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A Guide to Form 5500

What is Form 5500?

The Form 5500 is a mandatory informational tax return that is to be filed annually by the plan sponsor. The completed Form 5500 and all the various attached schedules are filed with the Department of Labor. The Form 5500 reports basic information about the plan as well as financial information for the applicable plan year. Typically, a compliance consulting firm such as TriStar prepares this form for the plan sponsor.

Who Files Form 5500?

Anyone who sponsors a qualified retirement plan (such as a 401(k) plan) must file a Form 5500 annually. Owner only retirement plans (plans only covering owners and their spouse) are not covered by ERISA and they file a Form 5500‐EZ. Small Filer plans, those with less than 100 employees are also excluded from ERISA and they file a Form 5500‐SF.

What is the Deadline to File Form 5500?

The deadline to file Form 5500 is the last day of the 7th month following the close of the plan year, or this deadline can be extended. For calendar year‐end plans, the deadline to file or extend is July 31st. In the event a Form 5558 extension is filed, the extended deadline is 2 ½ months after the initial deadline, which for calendar year‐end plans is October 15th.

What are the penalties for Failing to File Form 5500?

Find out more in our guide to Form 5500: What is Form 5500

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