Form 5500 series recent updates
Update on extension of time
Along with the changes to the Form 5500 series, the FAST Act (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, signed into law on December 4, 2015) repealed the three and a half month extension for Forms 5500 that was enacted in July 2015. The extended due date for the Form 5500 series will continue to be determined under Department of Labor (DOL) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules in effect before the enactment of the July 2015 legislation, that is, the Form 5500 series will continue to have a 2 and a half month extension available (e.g., October 15 for calendar year plans).
Form 5500 changes overview
The DOL has released the 2015 Form 5500 series instructions and forms. The IRS has also released draft versions of the 2015 Form 5500-EZ instructions and form. While it appears the highly anticipated Form 5500-SUP (i.e., the planned distinct supplemental form/schedule) will not be issued for 2015, the compliance questions that were part of the draft Form 5500-SUP have been added to the DOL’s 2015 Form 5500 series (Form 5500, Form 5500-SF) and the IRS’ Form 5500-EZ.
Detail of Form 5500 changes
Compliance questions have been added to the 2015 Form 5500 Schedules H, I, and R, Form 5500-SF, and Form 5500-EZ. The primary focus of the new questions is to help the IRS effectively focus on specific factors and issues of federal tax law compliance. Preparers should carefully complete these questions and ensure they are answered accurately.
While, according to the instructions, responses to the new questions are optional for the 2015 plan year, the IRS strongly encourages plan sponsors to answer them. The DOL and IRS have not commented on future years, but it is anticipated that these questions will be mandatory for the 2016 plan years and thereafter.
Changes include the following:
If you have questions on the 2015 Form 5500 changes and how your filings may be impacted, please contact a member of Plante Moran’s Employee Benefits Consulting group.