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Tax and Tax Information - Income Tax

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Tax and Tax Information * Income Tax

SEP IRAs: A Path to More Retirement Income?   
Robert D. Cavanaugh, CLU

A SEP IRA is a plan that may allow you to put away more tax deductible dollars for retirement. For employers, SEPs are a simple way to establish a retirement plan for employees without many of the restrictions that apply to other qualified plans and without the mounds of paperwork.


Here, however, we are going to talk about how a SEP IRA could allow you to save more for retirement if you have self-employment income outside of your job or have your own business. Business owners are both "employers" and "employees." For this discussion, we will assume that you are the only employee.

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Note: If you are involved in a business with partners or employees, the same percentage contribution is required for all employees who are over age 21, have worked in the business in at least three of the last five years and made at least $450 (2006). Other technicalities may apply.


The Rules

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1. You can contribute up to 25% of your compensation, subject to a maximum. This maximum is indexed; for 2006 it was $44,000 and for 2007 $45,000.


2. Assuming the SEP IRA's tax year is the calendar year, contributions can be made up until April 15th of the following year, when the tax return is due.


3. You can contribute up until you are 70 1/2, but not beyond.


4. Withdrawals before age 59 1/2 are subject to the 10% premature distribution penalty tax unless one of the exceptions apply.


5. You have to start taking the money out (RMDs) at age 70 1/2.


The Benefits


1. SEP IRAs are simple. Essentially SEPS are big IRAs. There is very little paperwork.


2. They are flexible. You can vary the amount you contribute each year from zero all the way up to the year's maximum contribution limit.


3. The total contribution limit is indexed which allows more to be contributed each year.


4. Employer contributions are generally not subject to FICA (Social Security tax), FUTA (federal unemployment tax) or income tax withholding.


5. As an employee of your SEP IRA, you possibly can make deductible contributions as well. These contributions have the same contribution limits as traditional IRAs. For 2006 and 2007, this is $4,000. If you are age 50 or over, you can add another $1,000. However, if you make too much money, your contribution maximum is either reduced or eliminated.


6. You can be a participant in a qualified plan (for example, a 401(k)) at work and still be able to contribute to your SEP IRA based on your outside income. Again, this is a function of your income and subject to the phase out rules discussed below.


Phase-Out Rules


1. First, these rules apply if you are a participant in another qualified plan. Note that having a SEP IRA puts you in this category.


2. Your income and your tax filing status determine the phase-out. Technically, this is "modified adjusted gross income" (MAGI) which is adjusted gross income with certain adjustments. See your accountant.


3. If you file a joint tax return and have a MAGI of $75,000 or less (2006), you can make a full employee contribution: $4,000 or $5,000 if you are 50 or older. If your MAGI is over $85,000, no contribution can be made. A partial contribution formula determines the maximum permissible contribution for incomes between $75,000 and $85,000.


4. If you file a single tax return, you can make a full SEP IRA employee contribution if your MAGI is $50,000 (2006) or under and no contribution for incomes of $60,000 (2006) or more. Again, for incomes between these numbers, a formula determines a partial contribution limit.


5. If you are married and file a separate return, the phase-out starts at an income of zero. Adjusted gross income of $10,000 or more does not allow any contribution.


These benefits and rules of SEP IRAs are based on my understanding and cannot be used as tax advice. The proper plan will depend on your goals, income, tax filing status, and your participation in another qualified plan. It would be best to sit down with your accountant and financial planner and do the math on all your options.



Robert D. Cavanaugh, CLU is a 36-year financial and estate planning veteran and author of the free newsletter, "The Estate Preservation Advisor". For cutting-edge, easy-to-understand financial planning resources and techniques to increase your income, reduce taxes and preserve your estate, go to http://theestatepreservationadvisor.com/freevideo.htm





Robert D. Cavanaugh, CLU is a 36-year financial and estate planning veteran and author of the free newsletter, "The Estate Preservation Advisor". For cutting-edge, easy-to-understand financial planning resources and techniques to increase your income, reduce taxes and preserve your estate, go to http://theestatepreservationadvisor.com/freevideo.htm

What Other Authors say about Taxes

how to compute tax withholding amount by Steven Chang

Having the correct tax withheld for the year is important for a couple of reasons. Having too little taxes withheld and most likely you will need to pay taxes, and having too much withheld means that you...

Income Tax Software - The Best Ones On The Market by Mike Singh

There are several income tax software programs available on the market to help you complete your yearly taxes. These programs offer tax tips, checklists, and error checking messages to ensure that required...

Social Security and Our Current Tax System by Tony Robinson

Every week that you work, there are taxes deducted from your gross payroll that are distributed to the Social Security Administration, along with other programs administered by the government. Of all the...

Preparing Ahead For A Pleasant Tax Day by Carl LaFresnaye

How did you spend your last tax day? In line at a post office at almost midnight, dropping off your taxes? Dreading going on an extension again – knowing if you owe and don't pay it on time, there will...

Using The Federal Withholding Tax Table by Carl LaFresnaye

The federal withholding tax table is used to determine the amount of taxes that an individual must pay according to his or her living status, amount of money he or she makes, and his or her age. These...

About That Tax Rebate Check... by Carl LaFresnaye

You're getting a tax rebate check! Lucky you! I'm sure you're already planning how to spend it – who wouldn't? There are plenty of ways to spend it – and a lot of things you can do in the meantime, while...

Getting Tax Help From The IRS by Carl LaFresnaye

They say that the only things certain in life are death and taxes. Since we are all faced with filing our taxes year after year, it is pretty unavoidable. If you can afford to have a Certified Public...

Income Tax Preparation: Do It Yourself ? by Gary Talbot

There is one hassle that we all have to deal with each and every year and that is doing our income tax preparation. There are really only two choices we have in this matter. You can either do it yourself,...

IRS Provides Foreclosure Tax Relief For Homeowners by Raynor James

As if a foreclosure on your home isn't bad enough, do you realize there could be dire tax consequences? Fortunately, the IRS is taking steps to mitigate much of the double disaster. Many have accused the...

How To Turn Business Losses Into Cash Flow by Chris Raynal

By Christopher Raynalwww.masteraccountants.co.nzYou have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included. A courtesy copy of your publication...

Filing An Income Tax Return by Gray Rollins

When the month of April rolls around most of America is preparing their income tax returns. Each year all individuals who made an income are required to report that income to federal and state governments...

Is The RRSP The Most Effective Plan For Your Retirement? by Yvonne Finn

For many years Canadians have been relying on the income from their RRSP, which was instituted in 1957, to fund their retirement years.Now, however, the small rates of return, taxes and inflation are threatening...


Who are the CPA Moms?      Your Tax Professional Forever!!!!

“CPA Moms - Tax Moms - EA Moms" are trade names given to Accounting and Tax Professionals who chose to work in an “relaxed” environment. Some "Moms" work from home, other work from personal offices. Not all are Moms, there are some Dads. We call them Mr. Tax Moms. CPA Dads or Enrolled Agents Dads.
Each Mom is independent. Once a client starts working with a Mom, the client will keep the same “Mom” year after year regardless of where the client moves or relocates. Being in a “relaxed” environment has many advantages. Lower overhead, faster response time, more availability, etc.
To be a member a CPA Mom, Tax Moms, or an Erolled Moms the Tax Professional must ALWAYS be in good standing with their state licensing agency, experienced, and must demonstrate a high level of ethics, professionalism and proficiency.
Tax Net Inc, the parent company for all CPA Moms, Tax Moms and Enrolled Moms, developed the marketing and on-line systems to help qualified Tax Professionals who "choose" work from their “relaxed” environment and offer better service at a lower price to the consumer.
Since the “Moms” do taxes and accounting of all complexities, there is always a Mom available for every level of work. Since each Mom has a private 800 number, you are just a phone call away, regardless of where you live.
For reliability and dependability of Tax Net, Inc, the parent company of the “Moms” organization click on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) icon.

To Join CPA Moms

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Index of Articles about Taxes

What Other Authors say about Taxes

how to compute tax withholding amount by Steven Chang

Having the correct tax withheld for the year is important for a couple of reasons. Having too little taxes withheld and most likely you will need to pay taxes, and having too much withheld means that you...

Income Tax Software - The Best Ones On The Market by Mike Singh

There are several income tax software programs available on the market to help you complete your yearly taxes. These programs offer tax tips, checklists, and error checking messages to ensure that required...

Social Security and Our Current Tax System by Tony Robinson

Every week that you work, there are taxes deducted from your gross payroll that are distributed to the Social Security Administration, along with other programs administered by the government. Of all the...

Preparing Ahead For A Pleasant Tax Day by Carl LaFresnaye

How did you spend your last tax day? In line at a post office at almost midnight, dropping off your taxes? Dreading going on an extension again – knowing if you owe and don't pay it on time, there will...

Using The Federal Withholding Tax Table by Carl LaFresnaye

The federal withholding tax table is used to determine the amount of taxes that an individual must pay according to his or her living status, amount of money he or she makes, and his or her age. These...

About That Tax Rebate Check... by Carl LaFresnaye

You're getting a tax rebate check! Lucky you! I'm sure you're already planning how to spend it – who wouldn't? There are plenty of ways to spend it – and a lot of things you can do in the meantime, while...

Getting Tax Help From The IRS by Carl LaFresnaye

They say that the only things certain in life are death and taxes. Since we are all faced with filing our taxes year after year, it is pretty unavoidable. If you can afford to have a Certified Public...

Income Tax Preparation: Do It Yourself ? by Gary Talbot

There is one hassle that we all have to deal with each and every year and that is doing our income tax preparation. There are really only two choices we have in this matter. You can either do it yourself,...

IRS Provides Foreclosure Tax Relief For Homeowners by Raynor James

As if a foreclosure on your home isn't bad enough, do you realize there could be dire tax consequences? Fortunately, the IRS is taking steps to mitigate much of the double disaster. Many have accused the...

How To Turn Business Losses Into Cash Flow by Chris Raynal

By Christopher Raynalwww.masteraccountants.co.nzYou have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included. A courtesy copy of your publication...

Filing An Income Tax Return by Gray Rollins

When the month of April rolls around most of America is preparing their income tax returns. Each year all individuals who made an income are required to report that income to federal and state governments...

Is The RRSP The Most Effective Plan For Your Retirement? by Yvonne Finn

For many years Canadians have been relying on the income from their RRSP, which was instituted in 1957, to fund their retirement years.Now, however, the small rates of return, taxes and inflation are threatening...