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H&r BlocksH&r blocks IRAs and Other Retirement Plans Table of Contents 2002 ChangesSimplified Employee Pensions (SEPs) 403(b) Plans Later ChangeDeemed IRAs 2002 Changes Simplified Employee Pensions (SEPs) Contribution limit increased. H&r blocks For plan years beginning after December 31, 2001, the annual limit on the amount of employer contributions to a SEP increases to the lesser of the following amounts. H&r blocks 25% of an eligible employee's compensation. H&r blocks $40,000 (subject to cost-of-living adjustments after 2002). H&r blocks Deduction limit. H&r blocks For years beginning after 2001, the following changes apply to the SEP deduction limit. H&r blocks Elective deferrals (SARSEPs). H&r blocks Elective deferrals under a SARSEP are not subject to the deduction limit that applies to employer contributions. H&r blocks Also, elective deferrals are not taken into account when figuring the amount you can deduct for employer contributions that are not elective deferrals. H&r blocks Definition of compensation. H&r blocks Compensation for figuring the deduction for employer contributions includes elective deferrals under a SARSEP. H&r blocks More information. H&r blocks For more information about SEPs, see Publication 560, Retirement Plans for Small Business. H&r blocks 403(b) Plans Figuring catch-up contributions. H&r blocks When figuring allowable catch-up contributions, combine all contributions made by your employer on your behalf to the following plans. H&r blocks Qualified retirement plans. H&r blocks 403(b) plans. H&r blocks Simplified employee pensions (SEP). H&r blocks SIMPLE plans. H&r blocks The total amount of the catch-up contributions to all plans maintained by your employer cannot exceed the annual limit. H&r blocks For 2002, the limit is $1,000. H&r blocks Rollovers to and from 403(b) plans. H&r blocks If a distribution includes both pre-tax contributions and after-tax contributions, the portion of the distribution that is rolled over is treated as consisting first of pre-tax amounts (contributions and earnings that would be includible in income if no rollover occurred). H&r blocks This means that if you roll over an amount that is at least as much as the pre-tax portion of the distribution, you do not have to include any of the distribution in income. H&r blocks Years of service for church employees and ministers. H&r blocks If you are a minister or church employee, treat all of your years of service as an employee of a church or a convention or association of churches as years of service with one employer. H&r blocks Prior law required church employees and ministers to figure years of service separately for each employer. H&r blocks As a minister or church employee, all contributions made to 403(b) plans on your behalf, as an employee of a church or a convention or association of churches, are considered made by one employer. H&r blocks Foreign missionaries. H&r blocks If you are a foreign missionary, contributions to your 403(b) account will not be treated as exceeding the limit on annual additions if the contributions are not more than the greater of: $3,000, or Your includible compensation. H&r blocks More information. H&r blocks For more information about 403(b) plans, see Publication 571, Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plans (403(b) Plans). H&r blocks Later Change Deemed IRAs For plan years beginning after 2002, a qualified employer plan can provide for voluntary employee contributions to a separate account or annuity that is deemed to be an IRA. H&r blocks For this purpose, a qualified employer plan includes a deferred compensation plan (section 457(b) plan) maintained by a state, a political subdivision of a state, or an agency or instrumentality of a state or political subdivision of a state. H&r blocks The term qualified employer plan also includes: A qualified pension, profit-sharing, or stock bonus plan (section 401(a) plan), A qualified employee annuity plan (section 403(a) plan), and A tax-sheltered annuity plan (section 403(b) plan). H&r blocks More information about IRAs can be found in Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs). H&r blocks Prev Up Next Home More Online Publications
Resolve Consumer Problems in Small Claims Court
Small claims courts resolve disputes over small amounts of money. While the maximum amount that can be claimed differs from state to state, court procedures are generally simple, inexpensive, quick and informal. Court fees are minimal, and you often get your filing fee back if you win your case. Typically, you will not need a lawyer-some states do not permit them. If you live in a state that allows lawyers and the party you are suing brings one, don't be intimidated. Most judges make allowances for consumers who appear without lawyers. Even though the court is informal, the judge's decision must be followed.
If you file a case and win, the losing party should give you what the court says you are owed without further action on your part. But some losers refuse to follow the court's decision. When this happens, you can go back to court and ask for the order to be enforced. Depending on local laws, law enforcement officials might sell a person's property or take money from a bank account or business cash register. If the person who owes the money receives a salary, the court might order an employer to garnish (deduct money from) each paycheck to pay you.
Check your local telephone book under the municipal, county or state government headings for small claims court offices. Ask the clerk how to use the small claims court. Before taking your own case to court, observe a small claims court session and ask the court if it has information that will help you prepare your presentation to the judge.