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I could only feel better about this if I knew that you stumbled on to the gem of the 100% safe harbor here in the tax folder. But even if you found out about it somewhere else, at least you got the word.

I honestly can't say where I first heard about the safe harbor rules, but I know you've hammered the idea home in this group.

It's certainly earned income. And it's certainly subject to SE taxes. But I don't believe that it's eligible to establish a SEP contribution.

That's what I was afraid of. Can't really complain too much -- as an employee I can already tax-defer $12500 per year between a 401(k) and an IRA. But it doesn't hurt to ask.

Does seem a bit unfair that something can be considered self-employment income for tax purposes, but not for retirement purposes. But terms of art in any field don't necessarily make linguistic sense to outsiders.

<rant>The real problem is the law that lets people with the exact same income put dramatically different amounts of it in tax-deferred accounts, depending on where they got that income. In particular, employees of companies with no 401k plans are truly screwed -- they get the same $2000 IRA contribution limit as everyone else (granted, theirs is likely to be deductable, but with the Roth around that's no longer such an advantage), and no other options. Guess I should quit whining here and start bribing politicians^W^Wmaking campaign contributions.</rant>

Thanks.
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