A reader name Henry wrote in with the following question:
I maxed my Roth IRA this past October and I got married in November. Our combined MAGI now exceeds $156, 000. Am I ineligible for my Roth IRA now? What can I do?
As Henry correctly points out, the income limit for making Roth IRA contributions is $156, 000 if you’re married and filing jointly. More specifically, your allowable contribution phases our from $156k – $166k. As for what happens if you max your contributions and then get married later in the year, I have to admit that I’ve never really thought about it from this angle. Moreover, I’m not a tax expert. That being said…
My gut feeling is that this puts him over the limit for the year — after all, the determination is based on filing status, which applies for the entire year, without any apparent accommodation for when during the year you get married. Assuming this to be true, Henry will most likely have to re-characterize the contribution (and earnings) or withdraw the funds — otherwise he’ll likely be subject to a penalty for excess contributions.
But like I said above, I’m not entirely sure. So that’s where you guys come in… If you have any insights, please share them in the comments, below.