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I contributed to a Traditional IRA but didn't get a tax deduction. Why?

The most common reason why your contribution to a Traditional IRA is not giving you a full deduction is your modified Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is too high. If you are covered by a retirement plan at work, the amount of your deduction starts to reduce (or phase out) when your modified AGI falls into these ranges:

  • More than $99,000 but less than $119,000 for a married couple filing a joint return or a qualifying widow(er),
  • More than $62,000 but less than $72,000 for a single individual or head of household, or
  • Less than $10,000 for a married individual filing a separate return.

 

If you are not covered by a retirement plan at work, the amount of your deduction starts to phase out when your modified AGI falls into these ranges:

  • More than $186,000 but less than $196,000 if you are married filing jointly with a spouse who is covered by a plan at work. If your modified AGI is $196,000 or more under this filing status, you cannot take a deduction for traditional IRA contributions.
  • Less than $10,000 if you are married filing separately with a spouse who is covered by a plan at work. If your modified AGI is $10,000 or more under this filing status, you cannot take a deduction for traditional IRA contributions.

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