Would you like an income tax credit when you start up a new 401(k) plan for your business?
How to figure your Tax Credit. For an eligible small employer, the credit is 50% of the qualified startup costs paid or incurred during the tax year. The credit is limited to $500 per year for the first credit year and each of the following 2 tax years.
That's a total of $1,500 off your income tax bill over the next three years! No credit is allowed for any other tax year.
Eligible small employer. To be an eligible small employer, you must have had no more than 100 employees during the tax year preceding the first credit year who received at least $5,000 of compensation from you during that tax year. However, you are not an eligible small employer if, during the 3 tax years preceding the first credit year, you established or maintained a qualified employer plan with respect to which contributions were made, or benefits were accrued, for substantially the same employees as are in the new qualified employer plan. See section 45E(c) for rules for controlled groups and predecessor employers.
Qualified startup costs. Qualified startup costs are expenses paid or incurred in connection with: (a) establishing or administering an eligible employer plan; or (b) the retirement-related education of employees about the plan. Eligible employer plan. An eligible employer plan is a qualified employer plan (as defined in section 4972(d)) with at least one employee eligible to participate who is not a highly compensated employee. All eligible employer plans of the same employer are treated as one eligible employer plan.
First credit year. The first credit year generally is your tax year that includes the date that the eligible employer plan becomes effective. However, you may elect to have the preceding tax year be the first credit year, and claim the credit for qualified startup costs paid or incurred during that tax year. For example, a calendar-year eligible small employer whose eligible plan is first effective on January 1, 2007, may elect to treat 2006 as the first credit year and claim the credit on its 2006 tax return for qualified startup costs incurred in 2006.
Beware of Amateurs. Not all 401(k) plan providers are the same. The better plan providers know how to design plans that greatly favor the business owner, providing much larger income tax-deductions than other amateur providers.