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Tax Perspectives: Preparing Form 5500 for your Employee Benefit Plan

June 04, 2024 (3 min read)

A Form 5500 annual report is required both under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The form has a variety of purposes, the most important of which is to facilitate enforcement of the requirements of ERISA as it applies to employee benefit plans. The schedules are an important part of the filing, as well as the audited financial statements (where audit is required). They tell more about the health of the plan to the governing agencies and, consequently, can expose the sponsor to agency and participant scrutiny—so careful review is required.

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Related Content

  • Form 5500 Employee Benefit Plan Audits
    Learn more about the auditor's role in examining financial statements made part of the Form 5500 annual report for most employee benefit plan filings (with exception for small plans, insured plans, and limited other exceptions). The auditor, who must qualify as an Independent Qualified Public Accountant (IQPA), must form an opinion on whether the plan's financial statements and their accompanying notes are fairly presented and conform with generally acceptable accounting principles (GAAP).
  • Retirement Plan Mergers and Spinoffs
    Remember to timely file the final Form 5500 for a plan that merged during the plan year. Any nonsurviving plan in a plan merger must file a final Form 5500 annual report with the Department of Labor observing a due date of the last day of the seventh month following the month in which the merger took place. That will be before the usual due date for an ongoing plan unless the merger takes place on the last month of the plan year.

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    • Business Entities. IRS and Treasury Department issue proposed regulations that would remove the associated property rule and similar rules from the existing regulations on the interest capitalization requirements for improvements to designated property. Interest Capitalization Requirements for Improvements to Designated Property, 89 Fed. Reg. 42404 (May 15, 2024).
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