Phase Out


DEFINITION of 'Phase Out'

1. The gradual reduction of a tax credit as a taxpayer approaches the income limit to qualify for that credit.
2. The gradual reduction of a taxpayer's eligibility to contribute to a tax-advantaged retirement account as the taxpayer approaches an income limit.


1. For example, the federal Child Tax Credit begins to phase out for married taxpayers filing jointly when their modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) reaches $110,000. If their MAGI falls below this number, they can claim the full credit. If it falls above this number, the credit is gradually reduced until the income limit is reached. Above that limit, the taxpayer cannot claim the Child Tax Credit.
2. In 2009, single taxpayers whose MAGI was more than $55,000 could not fully deduct contributions to a traditional IRA from their taxes. This tax credit phased out for MAGI between $55,000 and $65,000, meaning that contributions were only partly deductible. Single taxpayers with MAGI above $65,000 could not deduct their traditional IRA contributions from their taxes at all.

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  1. When can catch-up contributions start?

    Most qualified retirement plans such as 401(k), 403(b) and SIMPLE 401(k) plans, as well as individual retirement accounts ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Who can make catch-up contributions?

    Most common retirement plans such as 401(k) and 403(b) plans, as well as individual retirement accounts (IRAs) allow you ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Can you have both a 401(k) and an IRA?

    Investors can have both a 401(k) and an individual retirement account (IRA) at the same time, and it is quite common to have ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Are 401(k) contributions tax deductible?

    All contributions to qualified retirement plans such as 401(k)s reduce taxable income, which lowers the total taxes owed. ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Are 401(k) rollovers taxable?

    401(k) rollovers are generally not taxable as long as the money goes into another qualifying plan, an individual retirement ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Are catch-up contributions included in the 415 limit?

    Unlike regular employee deferrals, catch-up contributions are not included in the 415 limit. While there is an annual limit ... Read Full Answer >>

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