Solo 401k Contribution Deadlines: The Ultimate Guide for 2023

solo 401k contribution deadline


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The Solo 401k is a popular retirement savings option for self-employed individuals and small business owners. It offers attractive contribution limits and the flexibility to contribute as both an employee and an employer. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover the 2023 Solo 401k contribution deadline, limits, and even a comparison with other savings plans to help you make informed decisions about your retirement planning.

2023 Solo 401k Contribution Deadlines Applying to 2022 Tax Returns

First things first, let’s talk about the 2023 Solo 401k contribution deadlines that apply to the 2022 tax year. While December 31, 2022, marked the end of the year and the last day to set up a new Solo 401k, you still have some opportunities to make contributions that will lower your taxable income in the year 2022.

Here are the solo 401k contribution deadline extension dates you should remember:

March 15, 2023: If you have an S-Corporation or a partnership LLC, this is your Solo 401k contribution deadline. Make sure to complete your contributions by this date to take advantage of the tax benefits.

April 18, 2023: This is a crucial date for those with sole proprietorships, single-member LLCs, and C-corporations. It is not only the federal tax filing deadline but also the Solo 401k contribution deadline for these business types.

Remember, these deadlines are vital if you want to make contributions for the 2022 tax year. But don’t worry if you need a little more time – you can also file for a six-month extension. The respective extension deadlines are September 15, 2023, and October 17, 2023, for the two mentioned dates above.

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Are there penalties for missing the solo 401k contribution deadline 2023?

There are no penalties for missing the Solo 401k contribution deadline. However, it’s crucial to adhere to these dates to ensure that you can make tax-deferred and tax-free contributions that can significantly lower your tax bill.

What Are The 2023 Solo 401k Contribution Limits?

The Solo 401k offers exceptional benefits, and a key aspect to understand is the contribution limits for the tax year 2023. With a Solo 401k, you can potentially save more for retirement compared to traditional retirement plans.

For 2023, the maximum contribution limits are as follows:

  • If you are under 50 years old: You can contribute up to $66,000 for the year. This includes both employee salary deferral contributions and employer profit-sharing contributions.
  • If you are 50 years old or older: You have the opportunity for catch-up contributions, which allows you to contribute up to $73,500 for the year. This catch-up amount is in addition to the regular contribution limits.

It’s essential to note that these contribution limits apply per participant. So, if you have a Solo 401k and your spouse is also earning money from your small business, they can also contribute the same amount to their Solo 401k. If both you and your spouse are 50 years old or older, this means you could potentially contribute up to $147,000 together, making it a fantastic opportunity for joint retirement savings.

solo 401k contribution deadline limit

Solo 401k vs SEP IRA. Which one is better?

Deciding between a Solo 401k and a SEP IRA depends on your individual circumstances and preferences. Both options have their unique advantages, so let’s explore each to help you make an informed decision.

Solo 401k:

  • Higher Contribution Rate: As an employee (yourself) you can use 100% of your income to contribute and as an employer (also yourself), you can make employer contributions at 25%. All are up to the annual limit of $66,000. With SEP IRA, the contribution is only 25% of incomes up to $66,000.
  • Ideal for Self-Employed: The Solo 401k is specifically designed for self-employed individuals or small business owners without employees, making it an excellent option for those in this category.
  • Tax flexibility: With Solo 401k, you can opt for the retirement account to be either Traditional (tax later) or Roth (tax now), whereas SEP IRA confines you to the rules of traditional IRA (tax later).


  • Easy to Set Up: The SEP IRA is easy to establish and maintain, making it a suitable choice for small business owners with employees who want a straightforward retirement plan for themselves and their staff.
  • Employer Contributions: With SEP IRA, the employer makes all contributions, allowing for potential tax benefits for the business owner.

In conclusion, the Solo 401k may be more advantageous for those who are self-employed or have a small business without employees, while the SEP IRA could be a better fit for businesses with employees who want to provide retirement benefits for themselves and their staff.

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How can I maximize my Solo 401k Contribution?

To maximize your Solo 401k contribution, consider the following tips:

  • Aim to contribute the maximum employee salary deferral amount ($22,500 for 2023).
  • If you are 50 years old or older, take advantage of the catch-up contribution ($6,500 for 2023).
  • Optimize the employer profit-sharing portion based on your business structure and income, potentially contributing between 20-25% of your net business self-employment income or W2.

Can I contribute to a solo 401(k) alongside other retirement plans?

Yes, you can contribute to a Solo 401k alongside other retirement plans. However, keep in mind that the total combined contributions from all retirement plans must still comply with the IRS contribution limits for each plan.

What happens to my solo 401(k) contributions if I close my business or change my employment status?

If you close your business or change your employment status, you have several options for your Solo 401k contributions:

  • Leave the account as is and continue managing it.
  • Roll it over into another retirement account.
  • Withdraw the funds, but be aware of potential tax implications and early withdrawal penalties, depending on your age and circumstances.

Understanding the Solo 401k contribution deadline, limits and rules is crucial for maximizing your retirement savings and tax benefits. Be sure to consult with a financial advisor or tax professional to make the best decisions for your financial situation. Remember, planning for your retirement early can significantly impact your financial security in the long run.




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