The Roth IRA is relatively young compared to other retirement plans. One disadvantage of Roth IRAs over other retirement accounts is that they don't offer upfront tax deductions, but the upside of this is they allow you to make tax-free deductions when you retire.
What this means is you continue to earn interest and other investment income and you don't have to report it on your returns as long as you meet the qualifications for the tax break. In 2020 and 2021, the contributions are set at $6,000. An additional $1,000 is allowed for those who are 50 years or older.
Can Anyone Contribute to a Roth IRA?
If you’re looking to invest in a Roth IRA, you have to abide by the phase-out amounts that are based on your modified adjusted gross income. For 2020, the amounts are set at $124,000 to $139,000 for singles and heads of households. For married couples who file joint taxes, the phase-out amount is set at $196,000 to $206,000, which is a slight increase from 2019 amounts was $193,000 to $203,000 for married couples and $122,000 to $137,000 for heads of household and singles.
In 2021, the phase-out amounts will climb to $125,000 to $140,000 for singles and heads of households. Married couples who file joint taxes are in the phase-out amount bracket of $198,000 to $208,000.
When am I Taxed on Roth IRA?
Contributions on a Roth IRA are after-tax, which means you pay your taxes before you make deposits on your Roth account. This means you won't receive a tax break on the year that you made your money.
You receive a tax break after you retire and you withdraw your money. Because you pay your taxes when you make your initial investment, all the returns on your investment are tax-free.
When Can I Withdraw Money from a Roth IRA?
Because you've pre-paid your taxes before you deposit money into your Roth account, you can withdraw your money at any time.
However, if you want to withdraw more than you've deposited, you'll be eating into some of your earning. To withdraw the earnings tax-free, you must have attained the age of 59.5. The IRS makes exceptions for special cases such as first-time home buyers and people living with permanent disabilities.
If you haven’t attained the age of 59.5 and haven’t met the requirements, you’ll be required to pay income taxes and an additional 10 percent early withdrawal penalty. If you are older than 59.5 but your Roth account hasn’t been active for five years, you’ll be required to pay taxes on your account’s earnings.
Are Withdrawals Required After a Certain age?
Because you've already paid your taxes before depositing into your Roth account, the IRS doesn't care if you withdraw your money or not. A traditional IRA requires you to make minimum withdrawals when you reach the age of 72 so that the IRS can receive taxes for each distribution.
With a Roth IRA, there are no requirements for withdrawals, which means you can leave your money in your account for as long as you like and earn tax-free income as long as you don't make early withdrawals. However, if you transfer your Roth IRA to another party, they may be required to take minimum distributions.
Traditional IRA vs. Roth IRA
With a Roth IRA, it doesn't matter how much income you earn from your investment. It remains tax-free. What's more, you've already paid taxes on your contribution, which means the income you earn is tax-free.
Read More: When Do IRAs Mature?
Qualified Roth IRA Withdrawals
If a withdrawal is qualified, it means it’s tax- and penalty-free. The following are instances of qualified Roth IRA withdrawals:
- When you’ve attained the age of 59.5 or older.
- If you have a permanent disability
- When you transfer your account to a beneficiary
- When you want to buy, build or rebuild your first home
Read More:Penalty for Early Withdrawal of an IRA
- Investopedia: How Roth IRA Taxes Work
- NerdWallet: How Roth IRA Taxes Work and When You Pay
- IRS: Amount of Roth IRA Contributions That You Can Make for 2020
- Internal Revenue Service. “Roth IRAs.” Accessed July 28, 2020.
- Internal Revenue Service. “Retirement Topics - IRA Contribution Limits.” Accessed July 28, 2020.
- Internal Revenue Service. “Amount of Roth IRA Contributions That You Can Make for 2020.” Accessed July 28, 2020.
- Internal Revenue Service. “Amount of Roth IRA Contributions That You Can Make For 2019.” Accessed July 28, 2020.
- IRS. "Income ranges for determining IRA eligibility change for 2021." Accessed November 6, 2020.
- Internal Revenue Service. “Traditional and Roth IRAs.” Accessed July 28, 2020.
- Internal Revenue Service. “Traditional IRAs.” Accessed July 28, 2020.
- Internal Revenue Service. “IRA Deduction Limits.” Accessed July 28, 2020.
- Investment Company Institute. “Frequently Asked Questions About Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).” Accessed July 28, 2020.
- Charles Schwab. “IRA Taxes: Rules to Know & Understand.” Accessed July 28, 2020.
- Internal Revenue Service “IRA FAQs - Investments.” Accessed July 28, 2020.
- Internal Revenue Service. “Publication 590-B (2019).” Accessed July 28, 2020.
- Charles Schwab. “Roth IRA Withdrawal Rules.” Accessed July 28, 2020.
- Internal Revenue Service. “Topic No. 557 Additional Tax on Early Distributions from Traditional and Roth IRAs.” Accessed July 28, 2020.
A seasoned writer with over 7 years of experience. An expert in SEO who conducts extensive research to produce in-depth content