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Can both spouses contribute to IRA ?

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Q: My husband and I collectively earn $85,000 a year. Neither of us participates in any retirement plans. Can we both make deductible IRA contributions for 2003? I.M., Thomasville, N.C.

A: Yes. The phaseout of IRA deductions for a married couple applies only if one or both spouses participates in a retirement plan through a job or self-employment. Since neither you nor your spouse participated last year, you can both make fully deductible IRA contributions for 2003. The maximum contribution is $3,000 (or $3,500 if you were 50 or older as of Dec. 31, 2003). Remember, you have until April 15, 2004 to make your 2003 contributions.

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