Spousal IRA limits

Let’s say a married couple made the following income in 2023:
Wife: $14K W2 income
Husband: $3K self-employment net income
They are over 50.
So the wife can contribute $7500 to a Roth IRA
Husband can contribute $6500 to his Roth IRA as a spousal IRA contribution. Right so far?
Now he can normally contribute 100% of his net income, or $3K in the above example, to his ROTH. But since he already contributed $6500 as a spousal IRA, I guess he can only contribute another $1K to his ROTH in the above example.

Do I have this correct?

Kind of, but not really. The spousal limits allow those MFJ to use their joint income to make contributions to both accounts. From IRS Pub 590-A p590a.pdf (irs.gov)

So you really need to add both incomes together and then distribute across both accounts. So in this case, the total income would be $17k, which is more than enough for spouse to make a total contribution of $7500 - $6500 for the base amount, plus $1000 for the over-50 catch up. If the total amount had been less than the $15k required to make both full contributions, say it was a total of $14k, they could have split the contributions at $7k each, or one could have made a $6500 contribution with the other making a $7500 contribution. The wife would not be the one required to make the larger contribution just because she made more money.

You came to the right conclusion, but used the wrong calculation to do so.



OK, thanks. At least I came to the right conclusion for practical purposes, LOL! Bottom line, I’ll have each of us contribute $7500 to each of our Roth IRA’s.