Roth IRA Contributions and RMD Rules: Today’s Q&A Mailbag
By Jeremy Rodriguez, JD
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Single - W-2 worker making $ 500 a week. Few if any deductions. Contributes to employer 401K 3% of salary for a Traditional IRA. Is it legal to open up a separate Roth account say in Scottrade with $ 5500? Thank you for your help!
To make a Roth IRA contribution you must have taxable compensation. Your contribution will be limited to the lesser of $5,500 or 100% of your taxable compensation. Also, there are income limits that apply. If you are single and your income exceeds $118,000 for 2017 ($120,000 for 2018) your ability to contribute to a Roth IRA will begin to phase out. Your participation in 401(k) at work does not affect your ability to make a Roth IRA contribution.
Your traditional and Roth IRA contributions are aggregated that means you cannot contribute more than $5,500 to both IRAs combined for either 2017 or 2018.
Based on the information in your email, it sounds like you would likely be able to contribute to a Roth IRA, but your contribution would be limited by any traditional IRA contribution you would also make. Also, you would have to also check your income beyond just your W-2 income to be sure that you do not exceed the income limits for the year.
Contributing to an IRA can be complicated. For a more definitive answer on your situation, your best bet is to consult with a knowledgeable tax or financial advisor.
I need some help. I am confused by the rules for RMDs on an inherited spousal IRA.
My wife died on 2/11/2017. Her date of birth was 7/17/1945. She started taking her first RMD on her IRA in December, 2016.
Since her RBD was not until 4/1/2017, Am I correct that I do not have to take any RMD for 2017 prior to rolling her IRA into my own even though she had started to take RMD’s???
I appreciate any help you can give me. FYI – I am 68 years old.
Let me start by offering my condolences on the death of your wife.
When it comes to her IRA, you are correct. Your wife’s 70th birthday was in July 17, 2015. She would have turned age 70 ½ in 2016. That would mean that 2016 would be the first year that she would have been required to take required minimum distributions (RMDs) and her required beginning date (RBD) to take those distributions would have been April 1, 2017. Because she died before her RBD, you do not have to take an RMD before completing a spousal rollover. This is true even though she may have started taking her first RMD. When an IRA owner dies before their RBD, even if they are 70 ½ and even if they have begun taking their RMDs, the beneficiary is NOT required to take an RMD for the year of death.