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IRA deduction limit with non-W2 income

Hello! We've run into a snag on the IRA deduction. My wife and I have no W-2 income, but she does have contractor income that is reported as nonemployee compensation on box 7 of 1099-MISC. Any of this should be deductible as her IRA contribution (up to the annual limit). She also has sales of books, on which she receives royalties on box 2 of 1099-MISC. These do not count as compensation and should not be able to be used as an IRA contribution. Overall she loses money on her business, so Schedule C shows a net loss.

It appears that the TurboTax program uses the Schedule C net gain (loss) entry as the IRA contribution limit, which is incorrect - it should only use the compensation portion, and it shouldn't matter if there are also losses or a net loss. If we enter just the gross profits, the program lets us deduct the IRA up to the annual limit, even past what is compensation. When we enter the expenses, so there is a net loss on Schedule C, it won't let her contribute anything to the IRA.

Conclusion: The program is not separating out the compensation portions as it should. Is there a way to work around this? We're using TurboTax Home and Business.
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1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
ChristinaS
Expert Alumni

IRA deduction limit with non-W2 income

Sorry- but the amount in Box 7 of the 1099-MISC is not particularly relevant.

When you have a business/ Schedule C, your compensation for IRA contribution is your net income (loss), not your gross income. If you have a net loss, you have no compensation for purposes of an IRA contribution. IRA contribution rules relate to earned income. Gross Schedule C income is not considered one's earned income.

https://www.irs.gov/publications/p590a/ch01.html#en_US_2016_publink1000230355

from link above:

Self-employment income.   If you are self-employed (a sole proprietor or a partner), compensation is the net earnings from your trade or business (provided your personal services are a material income-producing factor) reduced by the total of:
  • The deduction for contributions made on your behalf to retirement plans, and

  • The deduction allowed for the deductible part of your self-employment taxes.

  Compensation includes earnings from self-employment even if they are not subject to self-employment tax because of your religious beliefs.

Self-employment loss.   If you have a net loss from self-employment, do not subtract the loss from your salaries or wages when figuring your total compensation.

View solution in original post

3 Replies

IRA deduction limit with non-W2 income

What if the person did have W-2 income?
ChristinaS
Expert Alumni

IRA deduction limit with non-W2 income

Sorry- but the amount in Box 7 of the 1099-MISC is not particularly relevant.

When you have a business/ Schedule C, your compensation for IRA contribution is your net income (loss), not your gross income. If you have a net loss, you have no compensation for purposes of an IRA contribution. IRA contribution rules relate to earned income. Gross Schedule C income is not considered one's earned income.

https://www.irs.gov/publications/p590a/ch01.html#en_US_2016_publink1000230355

from link above:

Self-employment income.   If you are self-employed (a sole proprietor or a partner), compensation is the net earnings from your trade or business (provided your personal services are a material income-producing factor) reduced by the total of:
  • The deduction for contributions made on your behalf to retirement plans, and

  • The deduction allowed for the deductible part of your self-employment taxes.

  Compensation includes earnings from self-employment even if they are not subject to self-employment tax because of your religious beliefs.

Self-employment loss.   If you have a net loss from self-employment, do not subtract the loss from your salaries or wages when figuring your total compensation.

IRA deduction limit with non-W2 income

An extended question:  If she did have w-2 income she could have contributed up to the lower of $5,500 < 50 years old or $6,500 if > 50? Correct?
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