What’s New with Form 5500

Disclaimer: MSEC does not advise on tax matters. The information contained herein is general, and you should always consult qualified tax counsel with any questions.

Recently the IRS issued two new updates to Form 5500.

First, there are new compliance questions on the 2015 Form 5500-series returns. These questions will help the IRS to effectively focus on specific factors and issues of federal tax law compliance. Although responses to these new questions are optional for the 2015 plan year, the IRS strongly encourages you to answer them. To help answer any questions, the IRS has issued Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the IRS Compliance Questions on the 2015 Form 5500-Series Returns.

Second, legislation enacted earlier this year included an extension period of 3 ½ months for filing Form 5500 for plan years beginning after 2015. However, more recent legislation repealed that provision before it ever took effect, meaning the filing extension will remain at 2 ½ months beyond the regular filing deadline.

Employers can get a Form 5500 extension by filing Form 5558 on or before the regular Form 5500 due date, which is seven months after the end of the plan year. The extension is automatic meaning it does not require IRS or U.S. Department of Labor approval, as long as Form 5558 is filed on time. For calendar-year plans, the regular due date for Form 5500 is July 31; with the extension, the deadline is October 15.