Q: Both my wife and I contributed to a Thrift Savings Plan and an individual retirement account for the 2011 tax year. We filed jointly. My wife maxed out her TSP contributions, but I did not because I was hired midyear. We both maxed out our IRA contributions at $6,000: her to a Roth, me to a traditional. When using an electronic filing program, the software would not include our IRA, but it did so when I ran a fictitious sample filed as a single. Why did the program not deduct the IRA? Is a simultaneous deduction for TSP and IRA allowed?
A: I can’t tell why, with certainty, a particular computer program did what it did, but I can tell you that your income, your filing status and your eligibility to participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan affect your eligibility to contribute to IRA accounts. See IRS Publication 590 for the rules.