5500 Filing / Form

Penalties for failure to comply with IRS regulations can be costly.

If 100 or more of your employees participate in a health and welfare benefits plan, you must complete IRS Form 5500. Failure to do so can mean possible criminal penalties for deliberate failure to report, and fines of up to $1,100 a day (per employee) for missing or incomplete information.

 

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The IRS, Department of Labor, and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation jointly developed the Form 5500-series returns for employee benefit plans to satisfy annual reporting requirements under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code.

Plan sponsors must generally file the return on the last day of the seventh month after their plan year ends.

FormWho filesWhere to fileAdditional tips
5500 Filing / Form, Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan (form and instructions)The employer maintaining the plan or the plan administrator of a Pension or Welfare benefit plan covered by ERISA must generally file the Form 5500 to report information concerning the qualification of the plan, its financial condition, investments and the operations of the plan.Must be filed electronically through EFAST2.Due date: the last day of the seventh month after the plan year ends (July 31 for a calendar-year plan).
Extensions: request on Form 5558 (below)Increased Penalties for Failure to File Retirement Plan Returns
Clarifications to Instructions for Lines 4l of Schedules H/I (Forms 5500) and Line 10f of 5500-SF

 

Frequently Asked Questions about EFAST2

 

Troubleshooter’s Guide to Filing the ERISA Annual Report – hints for Forms 5500 and 5500-SF from DOL.
Troubleshooting electronic signatures
DOL’s Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program – what to do if your return is filed late.
IRS Penalty Relief for DOL DFVC Filers

 

Form 5500-SF, Short Form Annual Return/Report of Small Employee Benefit Plan (form and instructions)The plan with fewer than 100 participants
See the instructions on the Form 5500 Series page for other eligibility requirements.
Must be filed electronically through EFAST2.
Advantages to filing your one-participant plan return electronically.Mandatory electronic filing
Form 5500-EZ, Annual Return of  A One-Participant (Owners/Partners and Their Spouses) Retirement Plan or A Foreign Plan  (instructions)
Schedules: Completed and signed Schedules SB and MB, if applicable, must be kept with your records.Get prior year forms and instructions
“One-participant” plans* and foreign plans may file Form 5500-SF electronically in place of a paper-only Form 5500-EZ.
Certain retirement plans maintained outside the U.S. primarily for the benefit of nonresident aliens must file Form 5500-EZ rather than Form 5500.
Must be mailed to:

Department of the Treasury
IRS
Ogden, UT 84201-0020

Due date: the last day of the seventh month after the plan year ends (July 31 for a calendar-year plan).
Extensions: request on Form 5558
Penalty relief program for Form 5500-EZ late filers
Request copies of filed Forms 5500-EZ using Form 4506 (includes instructions).
Form 8955-SSA, Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants with Deferred Vested Benefits

Form 8955-SSA Instructions

Form 8955-SSA Resources

Plan administrators of plans that have separated participants with deferred vested benefits.

 

File electronically through the IRS FIRE system – no electronic signature needed.
Approved software vendors
May be mailed to:
Department of the Treasury
IRS
Ogden, UT 84201-0024Mandatory electronic filing
Due date: the last day of the seventh month after the plan year ends (July 31 for a calendar-year plan).
Extensions: request on Form 5558
Delinquent or amended returns: use the current year form
Increased Penalties for Failure to File Retirement Plan ReturnsForm 8955-SSA Resources has FAQs, guidance and e-file provider information.
Form 5558, Application for Extension of Time To File Certain Employee Plan Returns (form and instructions)May be used to file for an extension of time for the following returns:
Form 5500
Form 5500-SF
Form 5500-EZ
Form 8955-SSA
Form 5330
Must be mailed to:

Department of the Treasury
IRS
Ogden, UT 84201-0045

Use a separate Form 5558 for each plan for which an extension is requested; use a separate Form 5558 for an extension of time to file Form 5330 or Form 5500 series; may use a single Form 5558 to extend the Form 5500 and Form 8955-SSA filed for the same plan.

Do not attach lists of plans to a Form 5558.
Avoid errors when requesting an extension.
Signatures are needed for Form 5330, but not for 5500 or 8955-SSA extensions.

 

*A “one-participant plan,” for purposes of the Form 5500-EZ, means a retirement plan not subject to the annual ERISA Title I reporting requirements that only covers the owner who owns  the entire business (whether or not incorporated) and owner’s spouse, or one or more partners, and their spouses in a business partnership.

A plan is not a one-participant plan if the plan benefits anyone besides the owner (or owner and spouse) or partners (or partners and their spouses).

Notices from the IRS

Did you receive a notice related to your Form 5500 or 5500-EZ filing? These FAQs help you understand your notice.