IRS Extends the Form 5500 Due Dates for Some Employee Benefit Plans
The Internal Revenue Service has broadened the filing and payment relief provided under prior guidance. IRS Notice 2020-23 postpones, among other relief, the due date for employee benefit plans required to make the Form 5500 series filings due on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020. Plans with original due dates or extended due dates falling within this period now have until July 15, 2020, to file their information reports.
Plan Administrators with original (un-extended) filing due dates falling within this announced 2 ½ month period who need additional time to file may request extensions by filing Form 5558 by July 15, 2020. However, the extended due date will not be later than what it would have been absent this relief.
The chart below highlights the plans with a plan year-end which may benefit from Notice 2020-23 and have until July 15, 2020, to complete the required filing.
Notice 2020-23 invokes the Rev. Proc. 2018-58 section about Postponements for Federally Declared Disasters, which also states, “whatever postponement of the Form 5500 series filing due date is permitted by the IRS under section 7508A will also be permitted by the Department of Labor and PBGC for similarly situated plan administrators and direct filing entities.”
The PBGC acknowledged this IRS notice in its own Disaster Relief Announcement but reminded filers there are certain actions listed on the PBGC’s Exception List that do not automatically qualify for the relief. The Exception List comprises actions that the PBGC views as creating a high risk of harm to plan participants. For those actions, the PBGC will consider relief on a case-by-case basis. For example, the PBGC filing relief may help those defined benefit plan sponsors recently engaging in significant layoffs who now need to file a PBGC Reportable Event due to a single cause active participant reduction.
IRS Notice 2020-23 also applies to the Form 990 series of filings that apply to tax-exempt trusts described in Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(9), referred to as VEBA (voluntary employees’ beneficiary association) trusts, among others, due on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020. The due date for these information reports is extended as well to July 15, 2020.