My net profit from a freelancer job is $2656. The IRS "self-employment estimated worksheet" calculated that my SE tax is $375.27, and "Deduction worksheet" calculated that after SE tax deduction, my maximum solo 401k contribution is $2648.37 After I pay SE TAX, the net profit reduces to $2280.73. Can I really contribute more than the profit after SE tax?

  • Is this a pre-tax 401(k) or a post-tax 401(k)?
    – shoover
    Dec 6, 2019 at 20:44
  • This is a pre tax Solo 401k.
    – soodala2k
    Dec 8, 2019 at 16:07

1 Answer 1


If you contribute the complete amount to your 401k, you don't own taxes on it. As a result, you can claim back the taxes you already paid, in your annual tax-filing, and yes, you can put the complete amount, including the temporarily 'missing' taxes, in the 401k (assuming you have enough cash on hand).

  • Really. I asked a question in a previous post and the bloggers said that SE, self employed tax must be paid first, then I can contribute whatever money left up to maximum allowable amount based on IRS. Your answer was my original ideal plan that I gave up after getting old response from my previous question. You suggested I can contribute all after expenses to my SOLO 401k, right? Thanks.
    – soodala2k
    Dec 8, 2019 at 16:14
  • @soodala2k you've got "two" wage numbers: one that your income tax is calculated on (which is reduced by 401k contribs), and another that FICA/Medicare are calculated on (and which are not affected by 401k contribs).
    – RonJohn
    Jan 6, 2020 at 2:09

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