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My guess is that's a holdover from when you could only contribute $250 to the IRA of a non-working spouse. Note at the end of the paragraph it says "After 1996, change all instances of $2250 to $4000." Basically it's an exemption from the penalty if you made the mistake due to putting your the contribution intended for your spouse's IRA into your account instead. You don't get to keep the extra money in your IRA; you have to withdraw it.
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