Advanced Underwriting Consultants

Question of the Day – January 20

Ask the Experts!

The professionals at Advanced Underwriting Consultants (AUC) answer the tax and technical questions posed by producers.  Here’s the question of the day.

Question: My client is the 100% owner of a business, and has implemented a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP).  The client has determined that he contributed too much to his own SEP IRA for 2011.  What are the penalties for doing so, and how can he fix the situation?

Answer: Here is a link to an IRS website with information about SEP IRA contributions:,,id=111419,00/#contributions

Here is the specific question and answer regarding withdrawal of over-contributions to a SEP IRA contained on the website:

What are the consequences to employees if excess contributions are made?

If contributions are made in an amount that is more than is allowed, there are tax implications for the employer and the employees. Excess contributions are included in employees’ gross income. If an employee withdraws the excess contribution, and earnings on such amount, before the due date for filing his/her return, including extensions, the employee will avoid a 6% excise tax imposed on excess SEP contributions in an IRA. Excess contributions left in the employee’s SEP-IRA after that time may result in adverse tax consequences to the employer and the employee. If the employer contributes more than it may deduct, it may be subject to a 10% excise tax.

For the business owner in this case, he may withdraw the excess SEP contributions from his IRA, including any earnings on the excess contributions, by the due date for his 2011 return, including extensions.  That will allow the employee to avoid the 6% excess contribution excise tax.

The returned contributions will be taxed as extra compensation the employee/owner.

Have a question for the professionals at AUC?  Feel welcome to submit it by email.  We may post your question and the answer as the question of the day.