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 IRS provides different ways to file for an extension.
- IRS Form 5500 IRS Form 5558 can be filed for a one-time 2-1/2 month extension.
- Corporate Return Extension The IRS also provides that a plan sponsor can use the extension of time to file federal income tax return to file a one-time extension for up to 1-1/2 months if certain requirements are met:
An automatic extension of time to file the Form 5500 annual return/report until the due date of the federal income tax return of the employer will be granted if all of the following conditions are met: (1) the plan year and the employers tax year are the same; (2) the employer has been granted an extension of time to file its federal income tax return to a date later than the normal due date for filing the Form 5500; and (3) a copy of the application for extension of time to file the federal income tax return is maintained with the filers records. An extension granted by using this automatic extension procedure CANNOT be extended further by filing a Form 5558, nor can it be extended beyond a total of 9½ months beyond the close of the plan year.
- Other Extensions of Time The IRS, DOL, and PBGC announce special extensions of time under certain circumstances, such as "extensions for Presidentially-declared disasters or for service in, or in support of, the Armed Forces of the United States in a combat zone."