Ira Or Solo 401k Question:
They both allow for investing in alternative investments including real estate, but the solo 401k is generally more advantageous. For example, the contributions limits are higher for a solo 4o1k plan, you can borrow from a solo 4o1k plan, and the ongoing fees are also generally much less. See the following link for more on this.
Why A Solo 401k
You might be asking why I’m considering a solo 401k versus a SEP IRA or other self employed retirement savings options. Well, it all comes down to circumstance and how much you can save.
Let’s look at two scenarios that are similar to mine. First, in the past, I only saved in a because my income was lower and I was still maxing out my 401k at work, so I didn’t need any additional employee contributions.
With both a SEP and Solo 401k, on $30,000 of income, the employer contribution is $5,576.11. Since I was already doing the $18,000 at my primary employer, that amount didn’t make a difference.
However, fast forward to today, the business makes much more income, and my wife is now working for the business. As such, it can make a huge difference in savings and lowering our taxes. Let’s assume that the business is going to make $100,000 this year. That means that the business can contribute $18,587.05 to both my 401k and my wife’s 401k. Plus, my wife can contribute $18,000 of her salary to the 401k as well .
As such, the solo 401k provides much more savings options, and lower taxes today as a result.
Taxes For Making An Early Withdrawal From A 401
The minimum age when you can withdraw money from a 401 is 59.5. Withdrawing money before that age results in a penalty worth 10% of the amount you withdraw. This is in addition to the federal and state income taxes you pay on this withdrawal.
There are exceptions to this early withdrawal penalty, though.
If you want to remove money from a 401 account without paying taxes, you will need to meet certain criteria. According to the IRS, you generally dont have to pay income tax or an early withdrawal penalty if you experience an immediate and heavy financial need. One situation where this may apply is when you have medical expenses that arent reimbursed by your insurance and which exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income . If this happens, you dont have to pay taxes on the money you withdraw to cover that financial need. There are also other exceptions, such as for disabled taxpayers. The IRS provides a more complete list of situations where you wont pay tax on early withdrawals.
The big caveat here is that the amount you can withdraw tax-free is exactly enough to cover the cost of this financial need. And youll still pay the full income tax on your withdrawal only the 10% penalty is waived.
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Start Your Own Retirement Plan
When youre an employee, you can only use a 401 plan if your employer establishes a plan and youre eligible to contribute. All too often, thats not the case. But you still have options.
Ask for a 401: Your employer might be willing to set up a 401 they just havent done it yet. Start the conversation by asking why there isnt one, why you want one, and that there are potential tax benefits for employers. Explain that valuable employees like yourself would be even more valuable with excellent benefits. Offer to do some of the legwork required to get the plan up and running. In some cases, especially with small organizations, your employer simply doesnt have time to set up a plan. Cost is another factor companies and small nonprofits might be hesitant to pay plan costs . If cost is the primary concern, discuss less-expensive options like SIMPLE plans. Only time will tell if itll actually happen, but it never hurts to ask.
IRAs: If you dont have a 401, you may still be able to save in an individual retirement account , and you might even receive tax benefits similar to a 401. Unfortunately, the IRS sets maximum annual limits much lower for IRAs. Still, something is better than nothing. Evaluate traditional IRAs for potential pre-tax saving, and Roth IRAs for possible tax-free withdrawals . Another drawback of IRAs ) is that you may need to qualify to make contributions or receive a deduction. Speak with a tax expert before you do anything.
The 2021 Solo 401k Establishment/ Adoption Deadline Is Fast Approaching
The deadline to setup a solo 401k plan for 2021 is fast approaching. The good news is that as long as the solo 401k establishment documents is signed by 12/31/2021 business owners will be able to fund both the employee and employer contributions for tax year 2021 in 2022 by their business tax return due date including the business tax return extension.
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Do I Need A 401 Solo Plan
For sole proprietorship businesses, solo 401 plans are very effective ways to set aside and grow a large amount of money for retirement. If you’re a small business owner and don’t yet have a retirement plan set up, a solo 401 is an excellent way to save for retirement.
If you happen to need to hire employees at some time during your business’s lifetime, you’ll need to be sure to adjust the plan to include them equally or create criteria to define benefit-eligible employees and create retirement plans for them.
Think About Switching Jobs
You may be willing to do without benefits when you start working if your goal is to gain experience, or because you really believe in a company. Some startups may not have retirement plans in the first few years, but they plan to offer them later. But you may want to think about switching jobs to a more established company to make the most out of your savings if you’ve been there for years with no change in benefits.
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What Is A 401k Plan In Canada
Although we dont have 401k plans in Canada we do have similar types of investments accounts. Registered Retirement Investment Accounts are the equivalent to a US 401k.
Similar to a 401k Canadians receive a tax deduction for RRSP contributions and the income and capital gains earned in the plan are considered tax deferred until money is withdrawn from the plan.
Understanding Your Investment Account Options
Now that youve made the right choice in deciding to save for retirement, make sure you are investing that money wisely.
The lineup of retirement accounts is a giant bowl of alphabet soup: 401s, 403s, 457s, I.R.A.s, Roth I.R.A.s, Solo 401s and all the rest. They came into existence over the decades for specific reasons, designed to help people who couldnt get all the benefits of the other accounts. But the result is a system that leaves many confused.
The first thing you need to know is that your account options will depend in large part on where and how you work.
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Is Solo 401 Tax Deductible Solo 401 Tax Advantages
The nice thing about a solo 401 is you get to pick your tax advantage: You can opt for the traditional 401, under which contributions reduce your income in the year they are made. In that case, distributions in retirement will be taxed as ordinary income. The alternative is the Roth solo 401, which offers no initial tax break but allows you to take distributions in retirement tax-free.
In general, a Roth is a better option if you expect your income to be higher in retirement. If you think your income will go down in retirement, opt for the tax break today with a traditional 401.
Because of these tax perks, the IRS has pretty strict rules about when you can tap the money you put into either type of account: With few exceptions, youll pay taxes and penalties on any distributions before age 59 ½.
»Want more info? Heres our in-depth comparison of Roth and traditional 401s
Roth 401k And Voluntary After
- Voluntary after-tax solo 401k contributions fall under the employee contribution umbrella.
- This type of contribution is not considered employer contributions, so the contribution is not tax deductible because it is considered made with post-tax dollars.
- When voluntary after-tax solo 401k contributions are converted to a Roth IRA or the Roth Solo 401k, the conversion has to be documented in writing by completing a conversion Form , and a Form 1099-R has to be issued to report the conversion whether taxable or not. This reporting is covered by our annual service and fee.
- Voluntary after-tax solo 401k contributions can be distributed and thus converted at any time. This is why the conversion of voluntary after-tax solo 401k contributions has been dubbed the mega-backdoor Roth solo 401k.
- There is a lesser known rule called the overall 415 limits. The overall 415 limit for 401 plans including solo 401k plans. For 2020, the overall limit is $57,000. The overall limit increased to $58,000 for 2021. The overall limit looks at the total annual additions to all of a participants accounts in plans maintained by one employer and includes not just their salary deferrals, but also matching contributions, allocations of forfeitures and other amounts. Voluntary after-tax solo 401k contributions are subject to the overall annual limit $57,000 for 2020, and $58,000 for 2021.
I have provided the following links for more information and examples: https: 401k-contributions/
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Who Can Have A Solo 401 Plan
You can open an individual 401 if:
You make self-employment income through a product or service such as working as an independent contractor, painting, or driving for ride-hailing companies.
You own a sole proprietorship, a limited liability company, limited partnership, S corporation or, C corporation.
You are the only employee in your business.
When Is The Deadline To Open A 401k
While the IRS deadline for starting a safe harbor 401 plan is October 1, setting up a new 401 plan can take at least a month. So, the practical deadline for choosing to add a safe harbor 401 plan is closer to mid-August.
Can I open a 401k on my own? Set up a Solo 401 If you are self-employed you can actually start a 401 plan for yourself as a solo participant. In this situation, you would be both the employee and the employer, meaning you can actually put more into the 401 yourself because you are
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How Do You Set Up A Self
It is easy to set up a self-employed 401 plan with many 401 administrators. You can also open a solo 401 online. To set one up, you will need an Employer Identification Number , which you can get from the IRS. You also need to complete a plan adoption agreement and an account application. Self-employed 401s are easy to administer and attract low maintenance fees because they involve only one or two people.
Before choosing a plan administrator, it is important to compare their fees before you sign up. You may also want to choose an administrator that allows you to invest your retirement savings into a broad range of assets including mutual funds, ETFs, CDs, stocks, and bonds. Other features to look for include 24-hour multi-channel support, investment advisory, low fees, and positive customer reviews. Once youve completed the paperwork, and the plan becomes active, the only thing you have to do is to set contribution levels and choose investments.
Self-employed 401 plans have no annual minimum contribution requirements. In good years, you can make the maximum contributions and reduce your savings when the cash flow is low. But once you have up to $250,000 in the account, you must file IRS Form 5500-EZ to report the financial status of your solo retirement plan to the tax authorities.
Ira 401k And Us Investments For Canadians
We meet with a lot of clients who are looking for some guidance on how to handle their US investment accounts. Whether they have moved from the US or inherited US assets from family members these individuals often have the same questions, concerns and tax planning issues.
Outlined below are some of the frequently asked questions by clients with US investments accounts:
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New Oregon Rule Solo 401k
QUESTION 3: A new Oregon law has gone into effect June 2020 that requires us to provide a retirement plan for even ONE part time employee after just 60 days with the company. Therefore I may have to do a SEP or something like that as well. I was trying to avoid a IRA, SEP or SIMPLE plan in case I want to do a Mega Backdoor Roth in the future. How does this new law effect my Solo401k?
ANSWER: The new Oregon rule requires offering IRA type accounts to existing W-2 employees, whether they work full-time or part-time.
How Do You Open A 401
Do the following to open your 401:
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How A Keogh Works
Keogh plans usually can take the form of a defined-contribution plan, in which a fixed sum or percentage is contributed every pay period. In 2021, these plans cap total contributions in a year at $58,000. Another option, though, allows them to be structured as defined-benefit plans. In 2021, the maximum annual benefit was set at $230,000 or 100% of the employees compensation, whichever is lower it rises to $245,000 in 2022.
A business must be unincorporated and set up as a sole proprietorship, limited liability company , or partnership to use a Keogh plan. Although all contributions are made on a pretax basis, there may be a vesting requirement. These plans benefit high earners, especially the defined-benefit version, which allows greater contributions than any other plan.
How A Simple Ira Works
The SIMPLE IRA follows the same investment, rollover, and distribution rules as a traditional or SEP IRA, except for its lower contribution thresholds. You can put all your net earnings from self-employment in the plan, up to a maximum of $13,500 in 2021 , plus an additional $3,000 if you are 50 or older.
Employees can contribute along with employers in the same annual amounts. As the employer, however, you are required to contribute dollar for dollar up to 3% of each participating employee’s income to the plan each year or a fixed 2% contribution to every eligible employee’s income whether they contribute or not.
Like a 401 plan, the SIMPLE IRA is funded by taxdeductible employer contributions and pretax employee contributions. In a way, the employer’s obligation is less. That’s because employees make contributions even though there is that mandated matching. And the amount you can contribute for yourself is subject to the same contribution limit as the employees.
Early withdrawal penalties are hefty at 25% within the first two years of the plan.
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Can I Transfer Or Convert My Ira Or 401k To My Rrsp
It is definitely possible to transfer IRA or 401k money to an RRSP. However in many cases taxpayers will not be eligible or it will be more trouble than its worth to make the transfer. Let me further explain how this potential transfer is accomplished. The Canadian income tax act contains provisions under 60 that allow taxpayers to essentially transfer money from their IRA or 401k to their RRSP. The transfer is accomplished in the following manner:
- Money is withdrawn from the respective IRA or 401k
- Within 60 days of the end of the year in which the IRA/401k was de-registered money needs to be contributed to the taxpayers RRSP
- In the year of tax filings the taxpayer needs to report the IRA/401k distributions as both taxable in Canada and the US. For US citizens and green card holders these amounts will be reported and taxed on a full year US income tax return. For non-resident aliens the appropriate 15% withholding will be paid. These amounts are also reported and taxed for Canadian purposes
- The taxpayer will be allowed to offset as a deduction on their Canadian tax return the RRSP contribution.
- In order to complete the tax free transfer of the US money to a Canadian RRSP youll need to obtain a foreign tax credit on your Canadian tax return in order to recover the amount of withholding tax or actual tax calculated on your 1040 return. The technical calculations on how this is accomplished are beyond the scope of this article.
Administering A Solo 401 Plan
Once your Solo 401 plan exceeds $250,000 in assets at the end of the year, the IRS requires you file an annual Form 5500 EZ. Or if you ever terminate the plan, you must also file a Form 5500 EZ.
Unlike Traditional 401 plans, there are no compliance testing requirements to ensure Solo 401 plans do not favor highly compensated employees and are non-discriminatory, as long as you have no employees participating in the plan.
These plans can be called Self-Directed 401, Individual 401, Individual Roth 401, Self-Employed 401, Personal 401 or One-Participant 401 depending upon the vendor offering the plan services.
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