I am currently a student and I maxed out my Roth IRA contribution for 2020, but I still have “left-over” income saved. Given that I have not yet earned any taxable income for 2021, can I use these excess taxed earnings from 2020 to fund my Roth IRA in 2021? My question can also be rewritten as: can after tax earnings from a previous year be contributed to a Roth IRA in a current year? Thanks in advance.

1 Answer 1


To make a 2021 contribution to a IRA or Roth IRA you will need income in 2021. You can't contribute more than you make.

I am assuming that you aren't married. If you are married then the two people can contribute as much as either their combined income or the annual maximum. This is true even if only one has outside income.

The good news is that you have until the end of December to earn the income, and until tax day in April 2022 to make the contribution.

  • Yes. I’d add - you can make the deposit before you earned the income. e.g. you have a summer job each year, and will have enough income to make a Roth deposit. In January, you make the deposit, prior to actually earning it. May 31, 2021 at 15:49

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