(IRS) Form 5558 instructions 2017/2018

What is form 5558 deadline?

First of all, IRS form 5558 is a kind of application used for employers to gain more time to file particular employee plan returns. It is worth highlighting that — actually — form 5558 covers three different forms:

  1. Form 5330 which is called Return for Excise Taxes Related to Employee Benefits Plans.
  2. Form 5500 which is named The Annual Report of Employee Benefit Plan.
  3. Form 5500-EZ which strands for Annual Report of One-Participant Return Plan.

By filling form 5558, employers receive two and a half additional months for entering Form 5500 Annual Report as well as Form 8855-SA report. However, the aforementioned extension is burdened wit one significant limitation. To put it precisely, it does not assign any time for paying taxes that are due. It means that in case of extension, the interest generated by the taxes which were unpaid by their due date rise.

Form 5558 Filing instructions

Employers are obliged to put in their name together with their address when the employer acts as a single filer requesting an extension on the previously mentioned sub-forms (form 5330, form 5500 and form 5500-EZ).

If the filer is compiling a report for anyone else that a single employer, he or she has to insert a name of the administrator o plan sponsor. It is worth remembering that the name of the plan sponsor should be the same as the name which appeared in the yearly report (return). Afterwards, the following details should be entered:

  1. Address — in the form of P. O. Box the physical one.
  2. One of the three elements — room, unit, number or suite.
  3. The EIN — the abbreviation for the employer identification number.

The last item is assigned to a respective employer solely for tax purposes. All applications on forms 5500 and 5500-EX must contain the EIN. The Social Security Number must be provided if the additional contributions were performed or the filer is an ineligible party and not the employer. All plans that are report in the fillable IRS form 5558 need to contain three obligatory elements, namely: plan number, plan name as well as indication of plan end year.

What is also important, Internal Revenue System selects the concrete delivery systems that can be used by employers which are caught with a dilemma where to mail form 5558. The aforementioned services are in accordance with the criteria of timely making interpreted as timely filing and paying stipulated by the agency. In this case, the date which appeared on the postmark is regarded as the filing date by IRS. The examples of specified delivery services are DHL Same Day Service, FedEx Standard Overnight, FedE priority Overnight, FedEx International Priority, UPS Next Day Air, UPS Next Day Air Saver, UPS Second Day Air as well as UPS Worldwide Express Plus.

How Privacy Act and Paperwork Reduction Act affect form 5558 filing?

The information on the aforementioned form is gathered in order to meet the obligation which stem from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) as well as from the Internal Revenue principles. If someone applies for a time extension, he or she is obliged to fill the section 6081 as well as 6109. The first one requires providing the general information, whereas the second — Social security Number or Employer identification Number which both fall into the category of taxpayer number. The only case when the information demanded by the Paperwork Reduction Act is when the form is marked with the legitimate control number of Office of Management and Budget. Booklets or records associated with the form must be stored as long as their contents may become relevant to any Internal Revenue regulation. In general, return information and tax return are confidential which is stipulated in the section 6103.

Common risks associated with form 5558 extension and how to avoid them

As virtually all legal actions, also filing form 5558 is burdened with several perils. The first risk results from the lack of possibility of electronic delivery via the so-called EFAST2 system. It means that the request for the extension needs to be postmarked and mailed before the agreed IRS form 5558 due date. Secondly, a lot of filers forget about reporting all ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) plans. To put it briefly, someone who has 5 ERISA plans is obliged to fill in 5 extension forms. The third risk is related to loss of material records of the postmarked extension. This is the reason why it is important to store meticulously the copies of the envelope which have been postmarked or another evidence confirming that the respective form has been mailed. The fourth threat comes down to providing inconsistent details, like employer name, numbers or plan names by mistake, out of sheer rush. Such incoherence may cause troublesome suspicions of the Department of Labor which may consider conducting a detailed audit. Lat but not least, it stands to reason that the prolonged date is the ultimate one. Thus, missing the extended filing date may provoke fines calculated with regard to the original due date.

Form 5558 — requesting an extension for filling and submitting employee retirement plans

Form 5558 Example:

Form 5558 Example


Source: https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/form-5558-avoid-errors-when-requesting-an-extension


  1. Suzan

    Is the date of the postmark being taken into account when submitting the application form 5558, or must it come before the designated date? I know that it is somwhere in instruction, but can not find it now.

  2. Michael

    Well, finally it is clearly and widely explained somewhere. I visited iris.gov site previously, but instructions there, aren’t so precise like here. Of course, there is a video with „tips”, but you have to constantly stop it, or watch it several times. So, you did a really good job!

  3. Suzan

    „To put it briefly, someone who has 5 ERISA plans is obliged to fill in 5 extension forms” – I have to send it all together, or each in a separate post?


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