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We use w-9s to obtain ss# or FEINs from anyone or any non-incorporated business (and all lawyers) that we pay "off w-2". has a good FAQ on SEPs where you will find that even if you file as a small business you are still eligible to contribute to a SEP--the differences come from if you are an employee or the business owner. Pub 560 outlines contribution limits for business owners as opposed to their employees. SEPs are a great way to defer taxes as well as set aside retirement funds w/o a lot of additional paperwork requirements for self-employed individuals. Better yet you can also, depending on your tax bracket, fund your IRA as well as SEP.

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