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Proposed Regulations Will Require Electronic Filing of Forms 5500 and 8955-SSA When Filers Have 250 or More Returns

The proposed regulations NPRM Reg-111837-13 (August 30, 2013) (PDF) would generally require electronic filing of Form 5500 series returns and Form 8955-SSA for filers who have to file at least 250 returns during the year. The effective date of the change would be for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, but only for filings with a filing date after December 31, 2014. When determining the 250-return threshold, all returns, including information returns, must be aggregated. Returns include W-2’s, 1099-R’s, income tax returns, and employment tax returns.

Plan sponsors and plan administrators are already required to file Forms 5500 and 5500-SF electronically using the Department of Labor’s ERISA Filing Acceptance system. When DOL first implemented the mandatory electronic filing system, the IRS couldn’t mandate that filers include certain Internal Revenue Code (IRC) items in their electronic filing and these IRC items were removed from Form 5500 series returns. However, in coordination with DOL, the IRS anticipates adding IRC-related items to EFAST 2 when the regulations become final. The IRS plans to offer a paper-only form containing these IRC–related items to those filers who aren’t subject to the new electronic filing requirements.

Comments may be provided on the proposed regulations until October 29, 2013.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 11-Aug-2014