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SEPs, LLCs, and controlled groups


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I've researched the issue of "related income" until I'm blue in the face. Hopefully, someone can help.

Please provide any source material so that I may read, absorb, and learn.

My clients are partners in a large controlled group. They individually own what we will call the parent company ("Co. X") and Co X owns controlling interests in other affiliated companies. For years they took their Co X K-1 income personally, applying it directly on their individual 1040s. Recently, LLCs were set up for each of the partners and the LLCs now hold their interests in CO X. Now the K-1 income filters down into the individual LLCs, allowing for additional deductions on the income.

There is a Safe Harbor 401k for the benefit of the employees in the affiliated companies, under which the partners may contribute up to $18k per year.

Can individual SEPs be set up for each individual LLC, but the individual LLCs only?

If so, may the partners contribute the max amount of 25% or $53k?

I express my sincerest gratitude in advance for any help on this matter!

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Is this an Affiliated Service Group (ASG)?

If yes have the individual LLCs adopted the parent plan allowing the partner to continue to participate in the safe harbor 401(k) Plan?

If no, under what athority do the partners contribute to the safe harbor 401(k) Plan?

If you are an ASG then the partners can not set up SEPs for the LLC and pass coverage as you'll be treated as one big happy family for IRS testing.

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