United States

IRS provides relief from electronic filing of Forms 8955-SSA and 5500-EZ

TAX ALERT  | 

The IRS issued Rev. Proc. 2015-47 to provide a method for plan administrators to request a waiver from required electronic filing of Forms 8955-SSA, Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants with Deferred Vested Benefits and Form 5500-EZ, Annual Return of One-Participant Retirement Plan. Specifically, the procedure allows a procedure for relief due to economic hardship.

Generally, entities required to file 250 or more returns a year (including Forms W-2s, income tax forms, etc.) are required to electronically file returns. In September 2014, the IRS provided regulations which added Forms 8955-SSA and 5500s to the list of forms required to be filed electronically. Failure to file electronically will be deemed as not filing such forms.

The revenue procedure provides, though, that in cases in which the cost of filing these forms is incrementally more to file electronically, the IRS may grant a waiver and allow paper filing. The procedure anticipates these instances will be rare, but plan administrators that believe electronic filing will be costly should review the terms of the procedure to see if a request for waiver would be helpful, as it lays out specific procedures to follow in making the request.

The procedure suggests filing the request at least 45 days in advance of the due date of the applicable form. The next applicable deadline for filing these forms for which electronic filing is required are extended Forms 8955-SSA which are due Oct. 15, 2015. Plan administrators wishing to request a waiver from electronic filing for these forms should submit a request as soon as possible. Form 5500-EZ will be required to be electronically filed beginning with deadlines after Dec. 31, 2015, so the procedure would apply to forms filed in 2016.

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