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Form 5558 - Avoid Errors When Requesting an Extension

Have you ever met the deadline to file a Form 5558, Application for Extension of Time to File Certain Employee Plan Returns, only to receive a Notice from IRS that your return was filed late?

It's possible that the information on your extension application didn’t match your Form 5500-series return (Form 5500, 5500-SF or 5500-EZ), Form 5330 or Form 8955-SSA. For example,

  • Mismatched plan sponsor or administrator name - The plan sponsor or plan administrator listed on Form 5558, Part 1, Block A didn’t match the name listed on the Form 5500-series return. The names must be identical.
    • Example – abbreviation: Form 5500 shows “Dana Kay Inc.” as the plan sponsor, while Form 5558 shows “DK Inc.” as the plan sponsor.

    • Example – common variation: Form 5500-SF shows “Hawk Inc.” as the plan sponsor, while Form 5558 shows “The Hawk.”

    • Example – different entity: Form 5500-EZ shows “Alvin Cooke P.C.” as the plan sponsor, while the Form 5558 shows “Alvin Cooke.”

  • Mismatched EIN, plan year-end or plan number - The employer identification number, Social Security number, plan year-end, or 3-digit plan number on Form 5558 didn’t match the ones used on your 5500-series return. Always use the EIN assigned to the plan sponsor for the Form 5500-series return. If you don’t have an EIN, you can apply for one over the phone or online.

  • Mismatched plan name - The name you entered in Form 5558, Part 1, Block C didn’t match the name used on your Form 5500-series return.

Sponsors of multiple plans
If you sponsor more than one plan, make sure the plan name and number on the Form 5558 match the plan name and number on the Form 5500-series return for that plan. This is especially important if you have recently merged one plan into another or changed your plan’s name.

Respond to your IRS Notice
Remember that a Notice of proposed penalty for filing your Form 5500-series return late is just that – a proposed adjustment. Make sure you timely respond to the IRS to avoid assessment of any penalties.

Always use the current version of the form
Check that you are using the most current version of any IRS form. The Retirement Plan Forms and Publications Web page has the latest version of forms, including the fillable versions if available.

Additional resources


Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 11-May-2015