1040-US: Compensation calculation for computing IRA contributions for a married filing joint client

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Question

How is compensation for calculating IRA contributions determined for a married filing joint client?

Answer

The tax application first determines the spouse with the higher compensation. Using their compensation alone, the maximum allowable traditional IRA contribution calculates. If the higher-compensation spouse is making a Roth IRA contribution, their compensation reduces by any traditional IRA contributions.

Next, the compensation available to the spouse with the lesser compensation calculates. This amount is the sum of both spouses' compensation, reduced by the traditional and Roth IRA contributions calculated for the higher compensation spouse. If the spouse with the lesser compensation is making a Roth IRA contribution, this amount is further reduced by any traditional IRA contribution being made by the spouse with the lesser compensation.

To see how the tax application determines which spouse has the higher compensation, view the IRA Compensation Worksheet by pressing CTRL+F in Screen IRA.

Related topic: Individual retirement account FAQs (1040)

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