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Can I contribute to a Roth IRA?

Maybe. It depends on your particular circumstances. You must have earned income during the year (typically, wages or self-employment income). Beyond that, your eligibility for a Roth IRA will hinge on two primary considerations: your adjusted gross income for the year and your income tax filing status. In a given tax year, it's possible you may qualify to contribute the maximum amount allowed by law, a lesser amount, or nothing at all. The maximum contribution is $5,000 in 2010 and 2011. In addition, if you're age 50 or older, you can make an extra "catch-up" contribution of $1,000 a year in 2010 and 2011.

If your filing status is: Your ability to contribute to a Roth IRA is limited if your modified adjusted gross income is: You cannot make a contribution to a Roth IRA if your modified adjusted gross income is:
Single or head of household At least $107,000 but less than $122,000 $122,000 or more
Married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er) At least $169,000 but less than $179,000 $179,000 or more
Married filing separately More than $0 but less than $10,000 $10,000 or more

Your allowable Roth IRA contribution for a given year may be reduced by contributions made to other IRAs during the same tax year. For example, even if you qualify to contribute the full $5,000 to a Roth IRA in 2011, you will be able to put in only $500 if you've already contributed $4,500 to your traditional IRA for that same year.