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Hello everyone,

I hope you and your loved ones are well. For a sole proprietor who sponsors a defined benefit plan, how does one determine how much of the contribution gets deducted on Schedule C for the employees and how much gets deducted on Form 1040 for the sole proprietor?

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Any reasonable method should be acceptable. One way you might do it, would be to prorate the total contribution in proportion to the actuarial present value of the increase in accrued benefit for the year.

If this is in regard to a specific plan, you should ask your actuary.

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The method suggest by C.B. Zeller may not be a reasonable method. Minimum funding standards for plans are determined under IRC Section 412 and deduction limits are imposed under IRC Section 404. Neither of those sections is related to the separate accrued benefit and vesting calculations under IRC Section 411. Since an actuary has to provide the 412 calculations for the plan and sign Schedule SB, it will be easy for the actuary to calculate the contribution split you need.  Of course, if the actuary provides a complete actuarial report it will show the basis for the minimum and maximum contributions and some combination of those numbers could reasonably be used by a layman to make that calculation.  Contributions will be allocated based upon the 412 minimums (for example) up to the total minimum contribution, and any excess will be allocated based upon the difference between the minimum contribution and the actual contribution made.

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It's one possible method, although there are certainly others. As another example, in a cash balance plan, you might prorate the contribution in proportion to the hypothetical pay credits.

I'm having some trouble understanding your claim that sec. 412 is not related to the individual benefit calculations. 412 says that for a single employer plan, the minimum funding standard is determined under sec. 430. 430 says that the minimum required contribution is equal to the target normal cost (plus a shortfall and/or waiver amortization charge, or minus the amount of excess funding). The target normal cost is equal to the present value of the increase in accrued benefits for the year, plan-related expenses and mandatory employee contributions notwithstanding.

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