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2023 Profit-Sharing Plan


In 2023, employers can continue to use a profit-sharing plan to make discretionary retirement contributions for their employees. This type of plan is commonly referred to as a defined contribution plan.

Do I Qualify for the Profit-Sharing Plan?

The profit-sharing plan in 2023 remains a flexible option for employers to contribute to their employees' retirement. These contributions are discretionary and can be made regardless of the business's profitability.

2023 Profit-Sharing Plan Details

Under the Internal Revenue Code, a profit-sharing plan in 2023 must adhere to specific requirements to qualify for tax benefits:

  • Protection from diversion (Plan assets must exclusively benefit employees and their beneficiaries.)

  • Compliance with nondiscrimination rules (The plan must not favor highly compensated employees.)

  • Adherence to contribution and benefits limits.

  • Minimum vesting standards.

  • Plan participation rules.

Discretionary Contributions

Employer contributions in 2023 are discretionary, allowing flexibility in the amount and frequency of contributions. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for small businesses. For self-employed individuals, net earnings from self-employment are required to contribute on their behalf.

Contribution Limits

The maximum employer deduction for 2023 is the lesser of 25% of compensation or the current annual dollar limit, adjusted for inflation. For self-employed individuals, the deduction is limited to 20% of net earnings. Contributions must be allocated among participants and distributed under specific conditions.

Benefits for Employees

Employees benefit from employer contributions and the resulting income, expenses, gains, losses, and forfeitures from investments. While employees cannot contribute directly, they often have options to choose how these contributions are invested.

Key Benefits

  • Compatibility with other retirement plans.

  • Suitable for businesses of any size.

  • Flexible contributions.

  • Ideal for businesses with variable cash flow.


  • Mandatory filing of Form 5500 with the IRS.

  • Potentially higher administrative costs compared to simpler plans like SEP IRA or SIMPLE IRA.

  • Requirement to prove nondiscrimination in favor of highly compensated employees.

  • Exclusive reliance on employer contributions (adding a salary deferral feature changes it to a 401(k) plan).

Assumptions and Requirements

  • Employers aim to make maximum allowable contributions.

  • Individual employee contributions are capped.

  • No voluntary contributions from employees.

  • Annual filing of Form 5500 is required.

Eligible Business Entities

  • Schedule C

  • Schedule F

  • S Corporation

  • C Corporation

  • Partnership


The 2023 profit-sharing plan continues to be a versatile and beneficial tool for employers to support their employees' retirement goals. Its flexibility in contributions, broad applicability across different business sizes, and potential for significant tax advantages make it a compelling choice for businesses planning their retirement benefits strategy.

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