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Per IRS Instructions for Form 8880 on page 2:

Who Can Take This Credit

You may be able to take this credit if you, or your spouse if filing jointly, made (a) contributions (other than rollover contributions) to a traditional or Roth IRA; (b) elective deferrals to a 401(k), 403(b), governmental 457(b), SEP, SIMPLE, or to the federal Thrift Savings Plan (TSP); (c) voluntary employee contributions to a qualified retirement plan, as defined in section 4974(c) (including the federal TSP); (d) contributions to a 501(c)(18)(D) plan; or (e) contributions, as a designated beneficiary of an ABLE account, to the ABLE account, as defined in section 529A.

However, you can’t take the credit if either of the following applies.

  • The amount on Form 1040, 1040-SR, or 1040-NR, line 11, is more than $32,500 ($48,750 if head of household; $65,000 if married filing jointly).
  • The person(s) who made the qualified contribution or elective deferral (a) was born after January 1, 2003; (b) is claimed as a dependent on someone else’s 2020 tax return; or (c) was a student.

CAUTION! You’ll need to refigure the amount on Form 1040 or 1040-SR, line 11, if you’re filing Form 2555 or Form 4563 or you’re excluding income from Puerto Rico. See Pub. 590-A at www.irs.gov/Pub590A for details.

You were a student if during any part of 5 calendar months of 2020 you:

  • Were enrolled as a full-time student at a school; or
  • Took a full-time, on-farm training course given by a school or a state, county, or local government agency.

A school includes technical, trade, and mechanical schools. It doesn’t include on-the-job training courses, correspondence schools, or schools offering courses only through the Internet.

The contributions must be reduced by the amount of distributions you, and your spouse if filing jointly, received during the testing period from any IRA, plan, or annuity included under eligible contributions. Refer to IRS Publication 590-A Contributions to Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), on page 47, for additional information.

Per the instructions for Form 8880, the credit percentage is 50%, 20%, or 10% of the eligible contributions, depending on your adjusted gross income.

For the 50% rate:

  • Married Filing Jointly - AGI not more than $39,000
  • Head of Household - AGI not more than $29,250
  • Single, Married Filing Separately, or Qualifying Widow(er) - AGI not more than $19,500

For the 20% rate:

  • Married Filing Jointly - AGI between $39,000 to $42,500
  • Head of Household - AGI between $29,250 to $31,875
  • Single, Married Filing Separately, or Qualifying Widow(er) - AGI between $19,50 to $21,250

For the 10% rate:

  • Married Filing Jointly - AGI between $42,500 to $65,000
  • Head of Household - AGI between $31,875 to $48,750
  • Single, Married Filing Separately, or Qualifying Widow(er) - AGI between $21,250 to $32,500

The credit is a nonrefundable credit (meaning it is limited by your tax liability), and may be reduced by other credits.

Note that any link in the information above is updated each year automatically and will take you to the most recent version of the document at the time it is accessed.


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