During the week of May 17th, IRS Employee Plans Compliance Unit (EPCU) will send
a letter and instructions to 1,200 employers sponsoring 401(k) plans asking them to
complete the 401(k) Compliance Check Questionnaire. The information gathered from
the Questionnaire will provide a comprehensive view of 401(k) plans and will help EP
maximize its resources for education, outreach, guidance and enforcement efforts while
minimizing the burden to compliant plan sponsors.
EPCU will use a secure website to collect responses on the following topics:
• Employer and employee contributions
• Top-heavy and nondiscrimination testing
• Distributions and plan loans
• Other plan operations
• Automatic contribution arrangements
• Designated Roth features
• IRS voluntary compliance and correction programs
• Plan administration
All plan sponsors will complete the same Questionnaire; however, some questions may
only apply to plans with particular features. Failure to respond or provide complete
information will result in further action or examination of the plan.
The Questionnaire was developed because of the critical role 401(k) plans play in our
private retirement system. There are nearly half a million 401(k) plans in America covering
over 50 million participants.
See the EPCU Web page for more information on the Questionnaire, which is the featured
project on the page.
Upcoming 5500 Filing Deadline
Plan sponsors must file Form 5500-series returns on the last day of the seventh month after their plan year ends. When the deadline falls on Saturday or Sunday, it moves to the following Monday. For example, plans using a calendar year typically must file by July 31. In 2010, however, July 31 falls on a Saturday so the deadline becomes Monday, August 2, 2010. Plans can request an extension to file by submitting Form 5558, Application for Extension of Time to File Certain Employee Plan Returns, by that plan’s original due date.
Consider these important changes for 2009 Form 5500 filings:
• Paper copies of Form 5500 are no longer accepted. Plans must file the electronic version of Form 5500 using the
computerized ERISA Filing Acceptance System (EFAST2). Plans with fewer than 100 participants may be eligible
to use the new Form 5500-SF, Short Form Annual Return/Report of Small Employee Benefit Plan, which must also
be filed using EFAST2. See the Instructions for Form 5500-SF as to whether you can file this form.
• Filers need certain credentials to sign and submit Form 5500 or Form 5500-SF. Obtain these at www.efast.dol.gov.
• Complete Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF by using the EFAST2 web-based filing system (IFILE) or software
provided by approved vendors.
• Form 5500 and many of its schedules have been modified, so review your submission carefully.
• Schedule E (Form 5500) has been eliminated.
• Do not file Schedule SSA (Form 5500) information with the Form 5500, even if the submission pertains to a filing
year before 2009. SSA information must be filed directly with the IRS. More information will be available about
filing the SSA data in the near future.
2009 Form 5500-EZ
Every “one-participant plan” that is required to file a 2009 annual return must file the 2009 Form 5500-EZ (paper format) unless the plan is eligible and chooses to file its return electronically on 2009 Form 5500-SF. File Form
5500-EZ for 2009
with the IRS at the following address:
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Ogden, UT 84201-0020
A “one-participant plan,” for purposes of the 2009 Form 5500-EZ, means a retirement plan not subject to the annual ERISA Title I reporting requirements that only covers the owner, or the owner and his or her spouse of a wholly-owned trade or business (whether or not incorporated), or partners, or partners and their spouses of 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).
See Instructions for the 2009 Form 5500-EZ as to whether you must file an annual return for 2009 for a one-participant plan.
Certain retirement plans maintained outside the U.S. primarily for the benefit of nonresident aliens must also file Form
5500-EZ rather than Form 5500 or Form 5500-SF for the 2009 plan year. See the instructions for the 2009 Form 5500-EZ
for more information.
For additional information:
• DOL EFAST Help Line at 866-GO EFAST (866-463-3278)
• IRS Customer Account Services at 877-829-5500 (both are toll-free numbers)
Source: Retirement News for Employers http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/rne_spr10.pdf Volume 7 Spring 2010