The IRS Form 5500 and all required schedules and attachments must be filed “by the last day of the 7th calendar month after the end of the plan or GIA year (not to exceed 12 months in length).” The most common way to obtain an extension is by filing IRS Form 5558 – Application for Extension of Time To File Certain Employee Plan Returns. The IRS revised IRS Form 5558 in June 2011.
Filing IRS Form 5558 will provide a 2-1/2 monthe extension. For plan years ending December 31, 2010, the filing deadline is August 1, 2011 (the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday), and filing IRS Form 5558 will provide an extension until October 17, 2011 (the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday).
No Signature Required for extension of IRS Form 5500
The IRS eliminated the signature requirement in 1998 for requesting an extension of IRS Form 5500.
Extension for IRS Form 8955-SSA
IRS Form 5558 now includes an extension of time request for IRS Form 8955-SSA, Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants With Deferred Vested Benefits. The instructions note that you should NOT use IRS Form 5558 to extend the due date for 2009 and 2010 plan years if the 2010 plan year ends before April 1, 2011, as those returns already have an extended due date until January 17, 2012.
Signature Required for IRS Form 5330 or IRS Form 8955-SSA Extension
If you are filing Form 5558 for an extension to file IRS Form 5330 or IRS Form 8955-SSA, IRS Form 5558 must be signed. The person who signs this form may be “a plan administrator, employer, plan sponsor, or any other individual or authorized representative” required to sign the Form 5330 and/or Form 8955-SSA.
IRS Form 5558 is “automatically approved to the date that is no later than the 15th day of the third month after the return/report’s normal due date” if:
(a) the Form 5558 is filed on or before the normal due date of Form 5500 series, and/or Form 8955-SSA for which this extension is requested, and
(b) the date on line 1 and/or line 2 (above) is not later than the 15th day of the third month after the normal due date.
Approved copies of IRS Form 5558 will not be returned to the file from the IRS.
No Attachment to IRS Form 5500 Required
The IRS has also changed the rules in recent years to no longer require IRS Form 5558 to be attached to the filing.
Here are some important takeaways:
Where To File (zip code changed):
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Ogden, UT 84201-0045
If you maintain more than one plan and the plan years end on the same date, you may file a single IRS Form 5558.
The normal due date of IRS Form 5558 is the date the IRS Form 5500 would otherwise be due, without extension.
If the filing date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday, the return may be filed on the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday.
Approved copies of Form 5558 will not be returned to the filer from the IRS.