Maximum and Minimum Roth IRA Contribution Limits

Learn about the IRS limits for contributions to tax-advantaged accounts

A couple discusses retirement plans.
•••

Westend61 / Getty Images

A Roth individual retirement arrangement (IRA) can provide an effective retirement savings tool with its tax advantages. Those who meet the qualifications to open a Roth IRA can contribute taxed income, then enjoy tax-free growth and tax-free distributions after age 59½.

If you have a Roth IRA, you’ll want to understand the annual contribution limits, which are $6,000 in 2022 or $7,000 if you’re over age 50. The IRS also prohibits individuals from contributing to a Roth IRA if their modified adjusted growth income (MAGI) exceeds a cap set by the IRS.

Learn more about who qualifies for a Roth IRA, what it takes to open one, and how much can be contributed to a Roth IRA each year. We’ll also review the steps you need to take if you accidentally exceed the maximum contribution.

Key Takeaways

  • Individuals who qualify for a Roth IRA can deposit the lesser of their adjusted growth income (AGI) or $6,000 in 2022 (or $7,000 if over age 50).
  • The IRS caps the amount of income to qualify for a Roth IRA to prevent high-earning individuals from using them as tax shelters.
  • The IRS regularly adjusts the limits for creating or contributing to a Roth IRA along with inflation.
  • Some people who earn too much to contribute the maximum amount to a Roth IRA may be eligible to contribute a lesser amount.
  • Individuals who earn too much to qualify for a Roth IRA can create what is known as a backdoor Roth IRA.

Income Limits on Roth IRA Contributions


Roth IRAs were created by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997. In an effort to keep them from being used as tax shelters by high-earning individuals, lawmakers set income limits for those who qualify to contribute to a Roth IRA.

There is no required minimum distribution after reaching a certain age like there is for traditional IRA accounts.

While any person who earns taxable income can contribute to a traditional IRA, eligibility to contribute to a Roth IRA is based on household income. The modified AGI limits and the contribution limits are adjusted for inflation by the IRS. The table below provides a summary of Roth IRA eligibility and contribution limits for 2022.

Filing Status 2022 Modified Adjusted Growth Income (MAGI) 2022 Contribution Limits
Single, head of household, married filing separately (and did not live with spouse at any time during the year) Less than $129,000 $6,000 ($7,000 if age 50 or older) or AGI, whichever is smaller
  At least $129,000 but less than $144,000 Reduced contribution limit
  $144,000 or more Ineligible to contribute
Married filing separately and lived with spouse at any time during the year Less than $10,000 Reduced contribution limit
  $10,000 or more Ineligible to contribute
Married filing jointly or qualified widow(er) Less than $204,000 $6,000 ($7,000 if age 50 or older) or AGI, whichever is smaller
  At least $204,000, but less than $214,000 Reduced contribution limit
  $214,000 or more Ineligible to contribute

If Contributions Must Be Reduced

If your contribution must be reduced, the IRS provides a worksheet to determine how much can be contributed.

Individuals who earn too much to qualify for a Roth IRA can use a two-step process known as a backdoor Roth IRA. Essentially, this involves creating a traditional IRA with post-tax dollars and converting it into a Roth. It can be done year after year.

Minimum Contribution You Need To Open a Roth IRA

While there are maximum contributions for Roth IRAs and income limits for those who qualify, the IRS does not set a minimum contribution for Roth accounts or any IRAs. If you create a Roth IRA and are unable to fund it after the initial deposit, you can hold that account for the rest of your life without withdrawing money.

Roth IRAs usually are created with a brokerage since they are designed as investment vehicles. Major brokerage companies including Fidelity and Charles Schwab have no minimum investment requirement. Other brokerages such as Vanguard may require $1,000 to $3,000 to open a retirement account.

Many major brokerage firms provide no-cost trading as well. However, make sure you fully understand the terms of the account before opening one.

The key is to make sure the financial institution you are considering provides access to the type of assets you wish to hold in your IRA.

Maximum Roth IRA Contribution Limits

The amount that can be deposited annually into a Roth IRA is based on AGI. As previously mentioned, while some individuals can contribute the maximum $6,000 annually ($7,000 for those over age 50), others may face a reduced contribution level due to their household income. The IRS adjusts these limits frequently for inflation purposes, but not necessarily annually.


It is important to note that the maximum contribution applies to all IRAs an individual holds. Thus, if a person has both a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA, and can contribute the $6,000 maximum, that total is what can be deposited into those accounts. The individual can’t deposit $6,000 into each IRA.

What To Do if You Make Excess Contributions

An excess Roth IRA contribution occurs if you contribute more than the contribution limit in a year. This may occur, for example, if your income unexpectedly increases, such as if you get a large year-end bonus, Erin Scannell, founder of Heritage Wealth Advisors in Mercer Island, Washington, told The Balance in a phone interview.

Scannell advises clients who are at risk of exceeding the income limits for contributing to a Roth IRA to wait until the end of the year or even early in the following tax year to make a Roth contribution. You can make IRA contributions until April 15 each year for the previous tax year.

Excess contributions are taxed at 6% per year for each year the excess amounts remain in the IRA. The tax can't be more than 6% of the combined value of all your IRAs as of the end of the tax year. The tax penalty can be avoided by withdrawing the excess amount and any income earned on the excess deposit before the tax filing deadline for that year.

“It’s a lot of paperwork and minutiae, and something to avoid if at all possible,” Scannell said.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you withdraw contributions from a Roth IRA?

You are allowed to withdraw any amount of the principal contributed to a Roth IRA at any time without penalty or taxes. Withdrawals of money that was not from principal contributions will be included in your taxable income and may be subject to a 10% additional tax if you are under age 59½.

Qualified distributions from a Roth IRA can be taken without penalty if it has been in the account for a minimum of five years and you are:

  • 59½ or older
  • Disabled
  • A beneficiary to an estate of an account holder who died
  • Using it to buy your first home

How do Roth IRA contributions affect your taxes?

Contributions to a Roth IRA are made with after-tax dollars and they are not tax deductible. The contributions are not reported on your tax return. Distributions that are contributions are not subject to taxes since they have already been taxed.

Want to read more content like this? Sign up for The Balance’s newsletter for daily insights, analysis, and financial tips, all delivered straight to your inbox every morning!

Article Sources