My wife is contributing to her SEP-IRA but I do not have one (I do have a schedule C, but I am not making a SEP contribution from it). I'd like to contribute to a Traditional IRA instead. But TT tells me our income is too high while being covered by a retirement plan at work. I get that my wife's SEP means she's covered by a retirement plan at work, but why is that affecting my contribution? Shouldn't the two be separate?
You can always contribute to a Traditional IRA if is there is sufficient joint taxable compensation. However, it might not be deductible if your joint MAGI exceeds the limit if one spouse is covered by a retirement plan.
See this IRS link for Traditional IRA deduction limits when covered by a retirement plan at work.
The previous answer was somewhat helpful. Let me ask my specific situation. I have a job with a retirement program. Spouse is self-employed with SEP (no W-2 or 1099). Spouse has Sch C, I do not. When letting TT/Home Business maximize the contribution it calculates to exactly what I get by doing it on paper. BUT it says spouse is not eligible because MAGI is over the threshold. (If contribution is made it would be subject to 6% penalty every year.) Combined our incomes are over the threshold but spouse MAGI alone is not over threshold. Am I wrong in my thinking here?