How Much Can You Contribute to a Traditional IRA in 2022?

Contribution Limits and How Much You Can Deduct

Woman sits at a dining table using a calculator to determine her traditional IRA contribution percentage
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An individual retirement account (IRA) is a tax-advantaged investment account that you can use to save for retirement. It comes with certain tax breaks. It also comes with rules about how much you can contribute to the IRA and when you can start withdrawing from it.

There are a few different types of IRAs, including the traditional IRA. Learn how much you can contribute to a traditional IRA and how this affects your tax deductions.

Key Takeaways

  • In 2022, you can contribute up to $6,000 to your IRAs, or $7,000 if you are at least 50 years old.
  • Contributions to a traditional IRA are tax-deferred, but they can get you a tax deduction when you file your taxes for the year you make them.
  • If you aren't covered by a retirement plan at work, you can deduct your contributions up to the contribution limit.
  • If you are covered by a retirement plan at work, how much of your contributions you can deduct is based on your filing status and MAGI.

IRA Contribution Limits

You can contribute $6,000 to your IRA in the 2022 tax year. If you're at least 50 years old, you're allowed to make an additional "catch-up contribution" of $1,000 for an annual total of $7,000. Contributions to a traditional IRA are tax-deferred. This means you won't pay income tax on the money you invest until you withdraw it and its earnings. You can begin withdrawing from retirement accounts without penalty once you reach age 59 1/2.

Unlike traditional IRAs that are funded with pre-tax dollars, Roth IRA contributions are made with after-tax dollars. You won't have to pay income taxes on this money when you withdraw it (including capital gains) because it was already taxed before you made your contributions.

You must have earned income throughout the year in order to make IRA contributions. These sources of income include:

  • Wages reported on a W-2
  • Self-employment income from a business or farm
  • Commissions
  • Bonuses
  • Alimony
  • Nontaxable combat pay

People with low levels of taxable income may not be able to contribute the full $6,000 (or $7,000). If your total taxable income falls below those limits, your total taxable income becomes your IRA contribution limit.

If you have multiple IRAs, such as one traditional and one Roth, the contribution limit is an annual total across all your IRAs. You can contribute to a traditional IRA, a Roth IRA, or both, but the total annual contributions to all your traditional and Roth IRAs cannot be more than $6,000 ($7,000 if you're age 50 or older).

Deadlines for Making Contributions

You can contribute funds to your traditional IRA at any time from the start of the calendar year up until the first deadline for your tax return. (Any personal extensions you might take on your taxes don't affect your window for contributing to your IRA.) For example, you could begin contributing to your IRA for the tax year 2021 on January 1, 2021, and then could continue contributing to it until April 15, 2022.

For the 2022 tax year, you can continue making contributions until April 15, 2023.

Where to Claim the Tax Deduction

Report your tax-deductible IRA contribution directly on Schedule 1 of Form 1040. You don't have to itemize to claim this IRA deduction. It's an adjustment to income, so you can take it in addition to itemizing or claiming the standard deduction for your filing status.

IRA Deduction Limits

Depending on your annual income and workplace retirement plan options (such as a 401(k) plan), your IRA deduction limits may be lower than your contribution limits. Contributions to a traditional IRA can be fully deductible, partially deductible, or entirely nondeductible.

How much you can deduct doesn't impact how much you can contribute to a traditional IRA. Even if you can't deduct anything, you can still contribute up to your annual limit. This is different from Roth IRAs, which limit how much you can contribute based on your income.

If you aren't covered by a retirement plan at work (and you are not married to someone who is covered by a retirement plan), your contributions are fully deductible up to your contribution limit.

If you are covered by a retirement plan, how much you can deduct is based on your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) and filing status. These income and deduction limits are frequently adjusted to account for inflation and cost of living changes. In 2022 these limits are:

2022 Traditional IRA Deduction Limits If You Are Covered By a Retirement Plan at Work
Filing Status MAGI Deduction
Single or Head of household $68,000 or less full deduction up to your contribution limit
more that $68,000 but less than $78,000  partial deduction
$78,000 or more no deduction 
Married filing jointly or Qualified widow(er) $109,000 or less full deduction up to your contribution limit
more than $109,000 but less than $129,000 partial deduction
$129,000 or more no deduction
Married filing separately less than $10,000 partial deduction
$10,000 or more no deduction

You can determine your MAGI by adding your adjusted gross income (AGI) to any deductions you took for student loan interest, foreign earned income and housing exclusions, savings bond interest, and employer adoption benefits.

If you're married, your spouse might be covered by a retirement plan at work even if you're not. In this case, if you live together or file a joint return, then your deduction is phased out if your MAGI is more than $204,000 but less than $214,000 for the tax year 2022.

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