This issue has been resolved: the website has been updated and the typos corrected.

So I wanted to verify that the IRA contribution limit was, as I originally thought, $5,500. I went to the IRS webpage linked here https://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/Plan-Participant,-Employee/Retirement-Topics-IRA-Contribution-Limits.

The page says that the 2015 limit is $5,500. OK, makes sense. But then I continue reading and get to the examples section where examples 2 and 3 imply that the actual limit is $6,500.

  1. John, age 42, with an IRA and Roth IRA can contribute $6,500.
  2. Sarah, age 52, can contribute $7,500. She can contribute an extra $1000 in addition to her $6,500 contribution because she's over 50.

These seem like some pretty deliberate typos. Is the IRS always this blatantly inconsistent or am I missing something?

  • Don't know, those examples both seem wrong to me too. – blm Oct 30 '15 at 1:41
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    Typos. Rare on the IRS site, but it happens. – JTP - Apologise to Monica Oct 30 '15 at 2:36

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It's 5 days later, and the site shows as above (i.e. they fixed it after receiving my note). For whatever one can say to criticize the tax code, it's written by congress, not the IRS. When I say "my friends at the IRS" it's not to be snarky, but a sincere thanks for how responsive and helpful I've found them in my 35 years of paying taxes. (And for what it's worth, this morning I saw an IRS email, telling me they corrected the typo and thanking me for the note.)

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    I haven't had a lot of contact with them other than my yearly tax filings (which doesn't really count as "contact"), but when I have had to talk with someone at the IRS, I've had the same experience, they've universally been friendly and helpful. – blm Nov 4 '15 at 1:56
  • Thanks, Joe! Cool to see that worked out. Also I'll keep in mind that the IRS are good people. Probably because a large number are from my hometown: Ogden, Utah ;). – Alex Favero Nov 4 '15 at 2:40

The contribution limit for 2016 is $5500, and additional $1000 if you're over 50.

IRS web site is not an authority, and yes - they do have typos.

  • +1 "IRS web site is not an authority" - shaking my head. Not in disagreement, of course, but just how crazy this fact is. I sent an email to them, thru the feedback link. Will advise if they reply. – JTP - Apologise to Monica Oct 30 '15 at 16:34
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    @JoeTaxpayer after the tax court decision last year that the IRS instructions are contrary to the law and the taxpayers relying on them should be penalized, I don't think typos on the website are enough to surprise me... – littleadv Oct 30 '15 at 16:56
  • So if the IRS website isn't the authority, what is? The link you posted was just a news release. That seems like it's just as authoritative as the website. Is it part of the tax code or something? – Alex Favero Oct 30 '15 at 16:58
  • Also, thanks Joe. I looked for link like that on the website last night and couldn't find it. – Alex Favero Oct 30 '15 at 17:00
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    @AlexFavero it references the code sections. Authority is (in the order of preference) the IRC, treasury regulations and the IRS revenue rulings. Also, Tax Court decisions and Federal court decisions that apply to your location (by circuit/Supreme Court) - trump the contradicting regulations/revenue rulings (if set as precedent, not always). – littleadv Oct 30 '15 at 17:04

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