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Publication 560

Deducting Contributions(p6)

Generally, you can deduct the contributions you make each year to each employee's SEP-IRA. If you are self-employed, you can deduct the contributions you make each year to your own SEP-IRA.

Deduction Limit for Contributions for Participants(p7)

The most you can deduct for your contributions to you or your employee's SEP-IRA is the lesser of the following amounts.
  1. Your contributions (including any excess contributions carryover).
  2. 25% of the compensation (limited to $265,000 per participant) paid to the participants during 2015 from the business that has the plan, not to exceed $53,000 per participant.
In 2016, the amounts in (2) above remain unchanged.

Deduction Limit for Self-Employed Individuals(p7)

If you contribute to your own SEP-IRA, you must make a special computation to figure your maximum deduction for these contributions. When figuring the deduction for contributions made to your own SEP-IRA, compensation is your net earnings from self-employment (defined in chapter 1), which takes into account both the following deductions.
The deduction for contributions to your own SEP-IRA and your net earnings depend on each other. For this reason, you determine the deduction for contributions to your own SEP-IRA indirectly by reducing the contribution rate called for in your plan. To do this, use the Rate Table for Self-Employed or the Rate Worksheet for Self-Employed, whichever is appropriate for your plan's contribution rate, in chapter 5. Then figure your maximum deduction by using the Deduction Worksheet for Self-Employed in chapter 5.

Carryover of Excess SEP Contributions(p7)

If you made SEP contributions that are more than the deduction limit (nondeductible contributions), you can carry over and deduct the difference in later years. However, the carryover, when combined with the contribution for the later year, is subject to the deduction limit for that year. If you also contributed to a defined benefit plan or defined contribution plan, see Carryover of Excess Contributions under Employer Deduction in chapter 4 for the carryover limit.

Excise tax.(p7)

If you made nondeductible (excess) contributions to a SEP, you may be subject to a 10% excise tax. For information about the excise tax, see Excise Tax for Nondeductible (Excess) Contributions under Employer Deduction in chapter 4.

When To Deduct Contributions(p7)

When you can deduct contributions made for a year depends on the tax year on which the SEP is maintained.


You are a fiscal year taxpayer whose tax year ends June 30. You maintain a SEP on a calendar year basis. You deduct SEP contributions made for calendar year 2015 on your tax return for your tax year ending June 30, 2016.

Where To Deduct Contributions(p7)

Deduct the contributions you make for your common-law employees on your tax return. For example, sole proprietors deduct them on Schedule C (Form 1040) or Schedule F (Form 1040), Profit or Loss From Farming; partnerships deduct them on Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income; and corporations deduct them on Form 1120, U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return, or Form 1120S, U.S. Income Tax Return for an S Corporation.
Sole proprietors and partners deduct contributions for themselves on line 28 of Form 1040. (If you are a partner, contributions for yourself are shown on the Schedule K-1 (Form 1065), Partner's Share of Income, Deductions, Credits, etc., you receive from the partnership.)
Remember that sole proprietors and partners can't deduct as a business expense contributions made to a SEP for themselves, only those made for their
common-law employees.