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I had a question for Joel on something in your post. Here's the statement:
...if you or your spouse are eligible for any kind of employer-funded retirement benefit, your IRA cannot be deducted from your taxes.

For instance, any kind of defined-benefit (pension) plan makes your conventional IRA contribution taxable. Also, if your employer contributes just one dollar to your 401(k); or any other approved, tax-advantaged retirement plan, your conventional IRA contributions become taxable.

Now in IRS pub 590, Chapter 1 which deals with traditional IRA's, page 14, something else is stated. If you look at Table 1-2 Effect of Modified AGI on Deduction if Covered by Retirement Plan at Work - If you are covered by a retirement plan at work, use this table to determine if you modified AGI affects the amount of your deduction. The table shows that even if JCook9 contributed to a retirement plan and makes $40,000, he can still take a partial deduction. But if I were single and made $30,000/year and I contributed to my work's 401k, I could still deduct my contribution to a traditional IRA up to the maximum allowable contribution. Actually page 2 has the 2002 changes, which the ranges are $34,000-$44,000 for a single filer, $54,000-$64,000 married.

If I'm reading this wrong, tell me.

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