Organizations that maintain or administer an ERISA covered Pension or Welfare benefit plan are required to file Form 5500 annually. Failure to comply with Form 5500 filing requirements may result in significant penalties, so it is prudent to ensure these documents are not only completed correctly but filed within the allotted time frame.
The experienced employee benefits professionals at eBen specialize in helping clients with current and delinquent Form 5500 preparation and filing. Here’s a look at who needs to file this form and how our services can help you eliminate this hassle and focus on what you do best.
Who Needs To File Form 5500?
Form 5500 is an annual document that must be filed with the Department of Labor by companies whose plans have 100 or more employee participants when the plan year begins and for those whose plans are funded by a trust, regardless of how many participants are involved.
This form contains pertinent information about an organization’s benefit offerings, including welfare benefit plans like group health, life or dental insurance, and retirement. Organizations such as church groups and government entities are often exempt from filing Form 5500. If you are unsure about whether you need to file this form, the eBen team will be happy to assess your situation and determine your status.
When Is The Form 5500 Filing Deadline?
Form 5500 is due on the final day of the seventh month after a company’s plan year has ended. For those whose plans have an effective date of January 1, the deadline for filing Form 5500 is July 31; if this date falls on a weekend, the deadline will be the following Monday.
What If We Can’t Meet The Deadline?
If your organization knows that it will be unable to meet this important deadline, the employee benefits consultants at eBen can provide assistance with finalizing preparation or request an extension on your behalf. The eBen team can help file IRS Form 5558 for each ERISA plan which meets the requirement for Form 5500 filing.
Successful submission and acceptance of Form 5558 will often grant organizations a one-time extension of 2.5 months. It is important to note that Form 5558 must be postmarked by the original due date to avoid rejection by the IRS. Organizations may face a $50 per day penalty that is retroactive to the original deadline for Form 5500 upon failure to meet the extended deadline.
If you have already missed the official deadline and did not complete an extension request, your organization is still required to prepare and submit Form 5500. However, the IRS offers penalty relief programs to help minimize the penalties associated with late submissions.
Penalties For Noncompliance
Unfortunately, there are steep penalties associated with failing to comply with the Form 5500 filing requirements. Notable penalties for noncompliance include:
- A fine of up to $2,400 per day against plan administrators if the form is late, deficient, or unfilled
- A penalty could be assessed through the Non-Filer Enforcement Program of $300 per day or up to $30,000 per year for every plan year filing
- Penalties do not have a statute of limitations and are cumulative
- In the case of willful and serious attempts to avoid filing this form, a company could face criminal penalties.
In addition, Form 5500s that are rejected will be treated as unfiled and are therefore subjected to the same penalties.
How eBen Can Make The Filing Process Easy
Working with experienced employee benefits consultants can help ensure your organization files Form 5500 properly and within the given time frame. The team at eBen can help assist with the following processes:
- Gathering the information that is needed to complete the form correctly, along with any required schedules and attachments
- Reviewing your plans and identifying potential compliance risks
- Preparing and submitting the form thoroughly and on time
- Assisting in filing any extensions that are needed
- Providing ongoing compliance support, adjustments, and advice
- Resolving common Form 5500 errors
- Responding properly to IRS questions or audit requests
These are just a few of the ways in which eBen’s benefits consultants can help your organization achieve compliance and avoid costly penalties.
Get Expert Help With Form 5500 Filing
Our professional team of employee benefits consultants at eBen have years of experience helping organizations meet Form 5500 filing requirements and timely submissions.
Let eBen handle the completion and submission of these vital tax documents, so your organization can focus on important business operations and initiatives.