Instructions for Form 5300 - Introductory Material Future Developments What's New Reminders Disclosure request by taxpayer. Public inspection. General Instructions Purpose of Form Type of Plan Terminating plan. Who May File Where To File How To Complete the Application What To File Specific Instructions Line 1. Line 1f. Lines 1g and 1h. Line 1i. Lines 1j through 1m. Line 2. Lines 2h through 2k. Line 3a. Line 3b. Line 3c. Line 3d. Line 3e. Example. Lines 3f and 3g. Line 4a. Partial termination request. Special ruling requests. Line 4b. Line 5. Note. Line 6. Line 7. Line 8. Line 9. Line 10. Line 11. Line 12. Line 13. Line 14. Line 15. Line 16. Line 17. Line 18. Line 19. Line 20. Line 21. Line 22. Line 23. Enter 1 Enter 2 Enter 3 Line 24. Line 25. Line 26. Line 27. Line 28. Line 29. Line 30. Line 31. Line 32. Line 33. Instructions for Form 5300 - Notices How To Get Tax Help Getting tax forms and publications. By phone. Instructions for Form 5300 (06/2023) Application for Determination for Employee Benefit Plan Section references are to the Internal Revenue Code unless otherwise noted. Revised: 06/2023 Instructions for Form 5300 - Introductory Material Future Developments For the latest information about developments related to Form 5300 and its instructions, such as legislation enacted after they were published, go to IRS.gov/Form5300. What's New The form and instructions have been updated to include individually designed 403(b) plans. Note. Rev. Proc. 2023-4 contains the guidance under which the Determination Letter (DL) program is administered. The revenue procedure is updated annually and can be found in the Internal Revenue Bulletin (I.R.B.). The application should be filed under Rev. Proc. 2022-40, 2022-47 I.R.B. 487 (with respect to individually designed plans), available at IRS.gov/irb/2022-47_IRB#RP=2022-40 or Part III of Rev. Proc. 2016–37, 2016–29, I.R.B. 136 (with respect to pre-approved plans), available at IRS.gov/irb/2016-29_IRB#RP-2016-37. Review these documents before completing the application. Reminders Disclosure request by taxpayer. A taxpayer can authorize the IRS to disclose and discuss the taxpayer's return and/or return information with any person(s) the taxpayer designates in a written request. Use Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, or Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization, for this purpose. See Pub. 947, Practice Before the IRS and Power of Attorney, for more information. Public inspection. Form 5300 is open to public inspection if there are more than 25 plan participants. The total number of participants must be shown on line 3e. See the instructions for line 3e for a definition of “participant.” General Instructions Purpose of Form File Form 5300 to request a DL from the IRS for the qualification of a defined benefit (DB) or a defined contribution (DC) plan and the exempt status of any related trust, and a determination that a 403(b) plan meets the requirements of section 403(b). Type of Plan A DC plan is a plan that provides an individual account for each participant and for benefits based only on: The amount contributed to the participant's account; and Any income, expenses, gains, and losses, and any forfeiture of accounts of other participants that may be allocated to the participant's account. A 403(b) plan is a type of DC plan. A DB plan is any plan that isn’t a DC plan. Note. A DB plan can’t be amended to become a DC plan. If a sponsor of a DB plan attempts to amend the plan to become a DC plan, or if the merger of a DB plan with a DC plan results solely in a DC plan, the DB plan is considered terminated. Terminating plan. If the plan is a terminating plan, file Form 5310, Application for Determination for Terminating Plan. If benefit accruals or contributions have ceased, the plan and trust won’t be considered terminated until formal action has been taken to terminate the plan. Who May File This form may be filed by the following. Individually designed plans. This form may be filed by the employer, (including a sole proprietor, partnership, or corporation) or plan administrator to request a DL for an individually designed plan that: Has never received a DL, regardless of when the plan was adopted; or Has previously received a DL and is specifically authorized to apply for a new DL under current IRS guidance. Pre-Approved Plan. An application for a DL for a Pre-Approved Plan may be filed on Form 5300 by an employer or plan administrator, if otherwise permissible under Rev. Proc. 2022-40, during the period announced in IRS guidance. If this is a Nonstandardized Pre-Approved Plan that has made limited modifications to an approved Pre-Approved Plan (that doesn’t convert the plan into an individually designed plan), file Form 5307, Application for Determination for Adopters of Modified Nonstandardized Pre-Approved Plans, instead of Form 5300. The plan will be reviewed on the basis of the Cumulative List that was considered in issuing the opinion letter for the Pre-Approved Plan. See also Rev. Proc. 2023-4, section 12. Note. If no changes have been made by an adopting employer other than to select among options in the adoption agreement or make other permitted changes as specified in section 7.03 of Rev. Proc. 2017-41, 2017-29 I.R.B. 92, available at IRS.gov/irb/2017-41_IRB#RP–2017-41, the adopting employer must rely on the opinion letter for the Pre-Approved Plan. Where To File As of July 1, 2022, Form 5300 applications must be submitted electronically through Pay.gov. To submit Form 5300; you must: Register for an account on Pay.gov, Enter “5300” in the search box, select Form 5300, and Complete the form. Pay.gov can accommodate only one uploaded file. Consolidate your attachments into a single PDF file, which cannot exceed 15MB. If your PDF file exceeds the 15MB limit, remove any items over the limit and contact IRS Customer Accounts Services at 877-829-5500 for assistance on how to submit the removed items. How To Complete the Application The application must be completed and signed by the employer, plan administrator, or authorized representative. N/A (not applicable) is accepted as a response only if an N/A block is provided. If a number is requested, a number must be entered. If an item provides a choice of boxes to mark, mark only one box unless instructed otherwise. If an item provides a box to mark, written responses aren’t permitted. The application has formatted fields that will limit the number of characters entered per field. Enter a space between each word. Spaces count as characters. All date fields are entered as an eight-digit field (MM/DD/YYYY). Any required attachment should refer to the form and the line item. The IRS may require additional information. What To File If this is only a request for a partial termination, select the partial termination option on line 5 and answer “No” to the remaining form questions. All applications (including applications for Pre-Approved Plans, unless otherwise noted) must contain an original signature and be accompanied by the following. Note. See the Procedural Requirements Checklist to ensure that the application package is complete before submitting it. Incomplete applications may be closed if required items aren’t included in the submission. If the application package is closed as incomplete, the application won’t be returned and any user fee paid with the application won’t be refunded. (See Rev. Proc. 2023-4 (updated annually).) A completed Form 5300, including the procedural requirements checklist. A Form 8717, User Fee for Employee Plan Determination Letter Request, is not needed for cases submitted through Pay.gov, as the user fee is paid with the form submission. A copy of the current plan document and prior plan document(s), if the plan has been restated. Copies of all signed and dated plan amendments. If the plan was amended, include a copy of the last favorable DL and any amendments since the last favorable DL. The plan should be updated based on the Required Amendments List that was issued during the second calendar year preceding the submission of the DL application (and prior Required Amendments List). A copy of any Voluntary Correction Program compliance statement or Audit Closing Agreement Program closing agreement regarding the plan. For an adopting employer of a Pre-Approved Plan, attach a statement explaining why the Form 5300 is being filed, and include a copy of the opinion letter for the plan. The plan will be reviewed on the basis of the Cumulative List that was considered in issuing the opinion letter for the Pre-Approved Plan. See section 20 of Rev. Proc. 2016-37. For an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), attach: Form 5309, Application for Determination of Employee Stock Ownership Plan; A statement indicating whether the employer is a C corporation or an S corporation; and An explanation if the employer’s corporate status changed after the ESOP was originally adopted. Specific Instructions Line 1. Enter the name, address, and telephone and fax numbers of the plan sponsor/employer. A plan sponsor means: In the case of a plan that covers the employees of one employer, the employer; In the case of a plan sponsored by two or more entities required to be combined under section 414(b), (c), or (m), one of the members participating in the plan; or In the case of a plan that covers the employees and/or partner(s) of a partnership, the partnership. Note. The name of the plan sponsor/employer should be the same name that is used when the Form 5500, Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan, series annual return/report is filed for the plan. Line 1a is limited to 70 characters. The type of employer that can sponsor a 403(b) plan is defined in Regulations section 1.403(b)-2(b)(8). Line 1f. Enter the nine-digit employer identification number (EIN) assigned to the plan sponsor/employer or the organization sponsoring the 403(b) plan. For a 401(a) plan, this should be the same EIN that is used when the Form 5500 series annual return/report is filed for the plan. The plan of a group of entities combined under section 414(b), (c), or (m), whose sponsor is more than one of the combined entities, should only enter the EIN of one of the sponsoring members. This EIN must be used in all subsequent filings of DL requests for the plan, and annual returns/reports for the plan, unless there is a change of sponsor. Do not use a social security number or the EIN of the trust. The plan sponsor/employer must have an EIN. A plan sponsor/employer without an EIN can apply for one in one of the following ways. Online—Generally, a plan sponsor/employer can receive an EIN by Internet and use it immediately to file a return. Go to the IRS website at IRS.gov/EIN and click on Employer ID Numbers. By mail or fax—Send in a completed Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number, to apply for an EIN. Lines 1g and 1h. Enter the telephone and fax numbers of the plan sponsor. Line 1i. Enter the two digits representing the month the plan sponsor/employer's tax year ends. Lines 1j through 1m. If a foreign entity, follow the country's practice for entering the name of the city or town, the province/country, and the postal code. Line 2. If Form 2848 or Form 8821 is attached, check the box only. If not attached, enter a contact person. The contact person listed on line 2 will receive copies of all correspondence. Lines 2h through 2k. If a foreign contact, follow the country's practice for entering the name of the city or town, the province/country, and the postal code. Line 3a. This field is limited to 70 characters, including spaces. Fill in the plan name as it should appear on the DL. If the plan name contains more than 70 characters, abbreviations should be used. Line 3b. Enter the three-digit plan number, beginning with "001" and continuing in numerical order for each plan you adopt (001–499). The numbering will differentiate your plans. The number assigned to a plan must not be changed or used for any other plan. This should be the same number that is used on the Form 5500 series annual return/report for the plan. Line 3c. Plan month means the month in which the plan year ends. Enter the two-digit month (MM). Line 3d. Enter the plan's original effective date. Line 3e. Enter the total number of participants. A participant is: Any employee participating in the plan, including employees under a section 401(k) qualified cash or deferred arrangement who are eligible but don’t make elective deferrals; Retirees and other former employees who have a nonforfeitable right to benefits under the plan; and The beneficiary of a deceased employee who is receiving or will in the future receive benefits under the plan. Include one beneficiary for each deceased employee regardless of the number of individuals receiving benefits. Example. Payment of a deceased employee's benefit to three children is considered a payment to one beneficiary. Lines 3f and 3g. See Notice 2017-1, 2017-2 I.R.B. 367, (or later guidance) for further details, including how to determine compensation. Line 4a. Enter the number that corresponds to the request being made (enter one number only). Enter 1 if the plan is a new plan that's being submitted within its initial remedial amendment period described under Regulations section 1.401(b)-1(d)(1) or as extended in other guidance. See Rev. Proc. 2022-40 and Rev. Proc. 2019-39. Enter 2 if this plan is an existing plan that has never received a favorable DL. Enter 3 if neither 1 nor 2 applies and the plan is specifically authorized to apply for a DL under applicable IRS guidance. Include an attachment that cites the applicable IRS guidance and explain how the plan meets the criteria for a DL submission. Partial termination request. Enter 3 if requesting a determination with respect to a partial termination. Employers and plan administrators that request a determination on a potential partial termination may not request a DL on their entire plan unless the plan is otherwise eligible for a DL. Indicate in the cover letter if a partial termination may have occurred or might occur as a result of proposed actions. If the submission is only for a partial termination request, only complete lines 1–5 and submit the Form 8717 with the user fee. DO NOT submit the other items under What To File, earlier. Provide detailed information regarding the partial termination, including data specified on the Partial Termination Worksheet in these instructions. Using the format in the Partial Termination Worksheet, submit a schedule of information for the plan year in which the partial (or potential partial) termination began along with the following plan year, and for the 2 prior plan years, to the extent information is available. If the plan has more than one benefit computation formula, provide a schedule of information in the same format as lines 1a through 1f of the worksheet for each benefit computation formula. Include an explanation of how the plan meets the requirements of section 411(d)(3). Special ruling requests. See Rev. Proc. 2022-40 and Rev. Proc. 2023-4 (updated annually) for other types of issues for which a Form 5300 may be filed. Line 4b. If line 4a is “1,” enter the date the plan was originally adopted. If the initial plan is a proposed plan document, enter “09/09/9999.” Partial Termination Worksheet Year Year Year of partial termination Year 1 Participants employed: a Number at beginning of plan year b Number added during the plan year c Total, add lines a and b d Number dropped during the plan year e Number at end of plan year, subtract d from c f Total number of participants in this plan separated from service without full vesting 2 Present value (as of month / day) during the year of a Plan assets b Accrued benefits c Vested benefits 3 Submit a description of the actions that may have resulted (or might result) in a partial termination. Include an explanation of how the plan meets the requirements of section 411(d)(3). Line 5. A pension equity plan (PEP) is a DB plan which, rather than or in addition to expressing the accrued benefit as a life annuity commencing at normal retirement age, defines benefits for each employee as an amount equal to an accumulated percentage of final pay. Benefits are generally described as a percentage of final average pay, with the percentage determined as the accumulation of percentage points or lump-sum credits received for each year of service. Generally, the accumulated percentage points or lump-sum credits are multiplied by final average or career average compensation to determine the lump-sum amount. A “cash balance” plan is a DB plan which, rather than or in addition to expressing the accrued benefit as a life annuity commencing at normal retirement age, defines benefits for each employee in terms more common to a DC plan, that is, as a single-sum amount equal to the employee’s hypothetical account balance. Benefits consist of accumulated hypothetical allocation credits in an account plus accumulated hypothetical interest credits for the account. Note. If this is only a request for a partial termination, answer “No” for all questions after line 5. Line 6. Attach a statement that provides the following. Name of plans involved. Type of plan. Date of merger, consolidation, spinoff, or transfer of plan assets or liabilities. Verification that each plan involved was qualified at the time of the merger, consolidation, spinoff, or transfer of plan assets or liabilities. If the plan previously obtained a DL, only provide information on a transaction that occurred after the most recent DL was issued. Note. Verification includes (1) a copy of a prior DL, opinion, or advisory letter; (2) plan document and/or adoption agreement; and (3) interim and discretionary amendments. Note. For qualified individually designed plans, interim amendments only apply if the adoption deadline is before January 1, 2017. If applicable, file Form 5310-A, Notice of Plan Merger or Consolidation, Spinoff, or Transfer of Plan Assets or Liabilities; Notice of Qualified Separate Lines of Business, 30 days prior to the merger, consolidation, or transfer of assets or liabilities. Line 7. Check “Yes” and attach an explanation if the plan has any matter pending before: The IRS (including the Voluntary Correction Program), The Department of Labor, The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), or Any court (including bankruptcy court). The attachment should include a contact person's name and telephone number and agency or court. Line 8. Section 3001 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974 requires that applicants subject to section 410 provide evidence that each employee who qualifies as an interested party has been notified of the filing of the application. If “Yes” is marked, it means that each employee has been notified as required by Regulations section 1.7476-1. If this is a one-person plan or if this plan isn’t subject to section 410, a copy of the notice isn’t required to be attached to this application. If “No” is marked or this line is blank, the application will be returned. Rules defining “interested parties” and the form of notification are in Regulations section 1.7476-1. See Part IIB of Rev. Proc. 2023-4 (updated annually). Line 9. Check “Yes”if the plan is a governmental plan under section 414(d). Line 10. Check “Yes” if the plan is a church plan under section 414(e) that hasn’t made a section 410(d) election. Line 11. Check “Yes” if the plan benefits any collectively bargained employees under Regulations section 1.410(b)-6(d)(2). Line 12. Check “Yes” if the plan is an insurance contract plan under section 412(e)(3). Line 13. Check “Yes” if the plan is a multiemployer collectively bargained plan under section 414(f). Line 14. Check “Yes” if the plan is a multiple employer plan under section 413(c). Line 15. If “Yes,” attach a statement identifying the plan sections that satisfy the safe harbor (including, if applicable, permitted disparity requirements) and specify which of the following regulations is intended to be satisfied. 1.401(a)(4)-2(b)(2) DC plan with uniform allocation formula. 1.401(a)(4)-3(b)(3) unit credit DB plan. 1.401(a)(4)-3(b)(4)(i)(C)(1) unit credit DB fractional rule plan. 1.401(a)(4)-3(b)(4)(i)(C)(2) flat benefit DB plan. 1.401(a)(4)-3(b)(5) insurance contract plan. Line 16. Check “Yes” if the plan utilizes the permitted disparity rules of section 401(l). Line 17. If “Yes,” attach a statement providing the plan name, the EIN of the plan sponsor/employer, the plan type of the other plan, and a copy of pertinent provisions from the other plan regarding the offset. Line 18. If this is a request for an individually designed plan that consists of a DB plan and a qualified cash or deferred arrangement, submit two Forms 5300 and two applicable user fees and provide an attachment with the plan sponsor/employer EIN and plan number of the other plan. Line 19. If the plan has been restated to change the type of plan under Regulations section 1.401-1, check “Yes” and attach a statement explaining the change. Line 20. Check “Yes” if this plan is a pooled employer plan under section 413(e). Line 21. Check “Yes” if this plan is requesting a ruling under 401(h). Line 22. Check “Yes” if this plan is requesting a ruling under section 420. Line 23. Enter the number that corresponds to the 403(b) eligible employer defined in Regulations section 1.403(b)-2(b)(8). Enter 1 if the eligible employer is a tax-exempt organization under 501(c)(3) including including but not limited to a church defined under 3121(w)(3)(A), or a qualified church-controlled organization (QCCO) under section 3121(w)(3)(B). Enter 2 if the eligible employer is a state, as defined by Regulations section 1.403(b)-2(b)(20), a political subdivision of a state, or any agency or instrumentality of a state with respect to an employee performing services in a public school, as defined by Regulations section 1.403(b)-2(b)(14). Enter 3 if the eligible employer is the employer of a minister described in section 414(e)(5)(A), but only with respect to the minister or a self-employed minister described in section 414(e)(5)(A). Line 24. Check “Yes”if the eligible employer is a section 501(c)(3) organization that satisfies the requirements of section 3121(w)(3)(B). Line 25. Check “Yes” if the church-controlled organization is a non-QCCO as defined in section 414(c)(2)(B). Note. A “Yes” answer means the plan is maintained by a church controlled tax-exempt organization under 501(c)(3) that is not a QCCO. Line 26. Check “Yes” if the plan is a church plan under section 414(e) that hasn’t made a section 410(d) election. Line 27. Check “Yes” if this plan allows for employee after-tax contributions. Line 28. Check “Yes” if this plan allows for elective deferrals. Line 29. Check “Yes” if this plan offers matching contributions. Line 30. Check “Yes” if this plan allows for non-elective employer contributions other than matching contributions. Line 31. Check “Yes” if this plan sponsor has less than 1,000 employees. Line 32. Check “Yes” if this plan is sponsored by an educational organization as defined in section 170(b)(1)(A) in which the employee contributions were contributed to a credit union described in section 501(c)(14) that maintains separate nonforfeitable special share accounts for each employee. A plan established on or before May 17, 1982, has grandfathered status for this for accounts administered by the credit union but no employees first covered by the plan after May 17, 1982, is covered by Rev. Rul. 82-120. A “Yes” answer is also required if the submitted plan was established by a church-related organization and was a defined benefit plan effective September 3, 1982, when 403(b) treatment was established. Line 33. A custodial account is defined in Regulations section 1.403(b)-8(d)(2) as a plan, or separate account under a plan, in which an amount attributable to section 403(b) contributions (or amounts rolled into a section 403(b) contract, as described in Regulations section 1.403(b)-10(d) is held by a bank or a person who satisfies the conditions in section 401(f)(2) if the conditions in Regulations sections 1.403(b)-8(d)(2)(i) through (iv) are satisfied. Individual annuity contracts are annuity contracts defined in Regulations section 1.403(b)-8(c). A Group Annuity Contract is a single annuity contract which separately accounts for the assets at the participant level. A retirement income account is a defined contribution program established or maintained by a church, or a church-related organization, pursuant to a plan as defined section in 1.403(b)-9(a). Instructions for Form 5300 - Notices How To Get Tax Help If you have questions about a tax issue, need help preparing your tax return, or want to download free publications, forms, or instructions, go to IRS.gov, and find resources that can help you right away. Getting answers to your tax law questions. On IRS.gov get answers to your tax questions anytime, anywhere. Go to IRS.gov/Help or IRS.gov/LetUsHelp for a variety of tools that will help you get answers to some of the most common tax questions. Go to IRS.gov/ITA for the Interactive Tax Assistant, a tool that will ask you questions on a number of tax law topics and provide answers. You can print the entire interview. You may also be able to access tax law information in your electronic filing software. Getting tax forms and publications. Go to IRS.gov/Forms to view, download, or print all of the forms and publications you may need. You can also download and view popular tax publications and instructions (including the Form 1040 instructions) on mobile devices as an eBook at no charge. Or, you can go to IRS.gov/OrderForms to place an order and have forms mailed to you within 10 business days. By phone. For questions regarding this form, call the Employee Plans Customer Service toll free at 877-829-5500. Instructions for Form 5300 - Notices How To Get Tax Help If you have questions about a tax issue, need help preparing your tax return, or want to download free publications, forms, or instructions, go to IRS.gov, and find resources that can help you right away. Getting answers to your tax law questions. On IRS.gov get answers to your tax questions anytime, anywhere. Go to IRS.gov/Help or IRS.gov/LetUsHelp for a variety of tools that will help you get answers to some of the most common tax questions. Go to IRS.gov/ITA for the Interactive Tax Assistant, a tool that will ask you questions on a number of tax law topics and provide answers. You can print the entire interview. You may also be able to access tax law information in your electronic filing software. Getting tax forms and publications. Go to IRS.gov/Forms to view, download, or print all of the forms and publications you may need. You can also download and view popular tax publications and instructions (including the Form 1040 instructions) on mobile devices as an eBook at no charge. Or, you can go to IRS.gov/OrderForms to place an order and have forms mailed to you within 10 business days. By phone. For questions regarding this form, call the Employee Plans Customer Service toll free at 877-829-5500. Privacy Act and Paperwork Reduction Act Notice. We ask for information on this form to carry out the Internal Revenue laws of the United States. We use this information to determine whether the plan complies with these laws. You aren’t required to request a determination letter; however, if you do so, sections 6001, 6011, 6058(a), and 6109 require you to provide the information requested. Failure to provide this information in a timely manner, or providing false or fraudulent information, may subject you to penalties. You aren’t required to provide the information requested on a form that is subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act unless the form displays a valid OMB control number. Books or records relating to a form or its instructions must be retained as long as their contents may become material in the administration of any Internal Revenue law. Generally, tax returns and return information are confidential, as required by section 6103. However, section 6104(b) makes certain information contained in this form publicly available. We may also give it to the Department of Labor or the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) for administration of ERISA; the Department of Justice for civil and criminal litigation; and cities, states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. commonwealths and possessions for use in administering their tax laws. We may also disclose this information to other countries under a treaty, to federal and state agencies to enforce federal nontax criminal laws, and to federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies to combat terrorism. The time needed to complete and file this form will vary depending on individual circumstances. The estimated average time is: Recordkeeping Learning about the law or the form Preparing the form Copying, assembling, and sending the form Form 5300 33 hr., 57 min. 10 hr., 7 min. 17 hr., 38 min. 1 hr., 52 min. We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions. You can send us comments throughIRS.gov/FormComments. Or you can write to: Internal Revenue Service Tax Forms and Publications 1111 Constitution Ave. NW, IR-6526 Washington, DC 20224 Don’t send Form 5300 to this address. Instead, see Where to File, earlier.