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Greetings, Ed, and welcome. You asked:

1. Can you have a SIMPLE plan even if you have no employees?

Yes. For details, see IRS Publication 560 (Retirement Plans for Small Business) available at

2. Can you put in 6000 regardless of your self employed earnings? If total earning were 6000 could you use it all?

For the employEE contribution, she may put in the smaller of her net compensation from self-employment or $6,000.

3. Can you put in more than 6000 by claiming a 3% match on earnings? Thus if you earned 12000 would you be able to put in 6360 (6000 + 3% of 12000)?

If after all expenses but before the contribution as an employee she earned $12,000, then as the employER she could contribute 3% of $12K ($360) plus another $6K as the employEE. As you computed, that comes to a total of $6,360.

4. If I read right I missed 2000 because it had to be set up by October. Is that correct?

Yes, that is correct.

5. Could I set up a SEP-IRA for 2000 and then a SIMPLE in 2001?

Yes, you may. She has until the due date of her return, including extensions, to establish and make a contribution to a SEP for the 2000 tax-year. Therefore, as long as she acts to do so by October 15, 2001, then the action you propose is appropriate.

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