If you are a business owner that didn’t quite get around to setting up a retirement plan for 2014, it may not be over yet. It’s not exactly one of those it isn’t over until we say it’s over situations, but there is still time for a business owner to put money away for retirement and get a tax deduction for 2014.
I call it the “procrastinator’s pension plan,” but you probably heard of it under the name that Congress gave it: Simplified Employee Pension (SEP). It’s an IRA-based retirement plan that a business owner can adopt for a prior year. Here are a few of the details:
- Any employer can set up one up using IRS Form 5305-SEP.
- No filing fee is required.
- It must be offered to all employees who are at least 21 years of age, employed by the employer for three of the last five years and had compensation of $550 for 2014 ($600 for 2015).
- It must be based only on the first $260,000 of compensation ($265,000 for 2015).
- Only employer contributions can be made in an amount not to exceed the smaller of $52,000 ($53,000 for 2015) or 25% of compensation.
- Contributions must be immediately 100% vested.
As you can see, it’s not as nearly as flexible as a traditional profit sharing or 401(k) plan, but, hey, it can be done now.
“Now” means the business owner has to establish and fund his or her SEP by the due date of the 2014 business tax return, including extensions. For calendar year tax payers, the due date depends on the type of business organization:
- Sole Proprietorship reporting on Schedule C of Form 1040: April 15, 2015 or October 15, 2015 if an extension is filed.
- Partnership filing Form 1065: April 15, 2015 or September 15, 2015
- Corporation filing Form 1120 or 1120S: March 15, 2015 or September 15, 2014 if an extension is filed
There are a lot more details, of course, and you should talk this over with your tax adviser now to see if you should set one up. That is, if you can get around to it.