The tax advantages of using SEP-IRAs for retirement savings can be offset by additional taxes that may be imposed for all the following actions.
- Making excess contributions.
- Making early withdrawals.
- Not making required withdrawals.
For information about these taxes, see chapter 1 in Publication 590. Also, a SEP-IRA may be disqualified, or an excise tax may apply, if the account is involved in a prohibited transaction, discussed next.taxmap/pubs/p560-007.htm#en_us_publink10008867
If an employee improperly uses his or her SEP-IRA, such as by borrowing money from it, the employee has engaged in a prohibited transaction. In that case, the SEP-IRA will no longer qualify as an IRA. For a list of prohibited transactions, see Prohibited Transactions in chapter 4.taxmap/pubs/p560-007.htm#en_us_publink10008868
If a SEP-IRA is disqualified because of a prohibited transaction, the assets in the account will be treated as having been distributed to the employee on the first day of the year in which the transaction occurred. The employee must include in income the fair market value of the assets (on the first day of the year) that is more than any cost basis in the account. Also, the employee may have to pay the additional tax for making early withdrawals.