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IRS Extends 2023 Form 5500 Filing Deadline for California Plans


On October 16, 2023, the IRS issued IR-2023-189, which postponed the deadline to file various tax forms, including Form 5500, the Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan, to November 16, 2023, for plan administrators located in 55 out of the 58 counties in California. Previously, the IRS had extended the deadline to October 16, 2023.

Background

Ordinarily, plan administrators must file Forms 5500 for the plans they administer by the last day of the seventh month after the end of the plan year. For calendar year plans, this deadline would be July 31. However, plan administrators may, and often do, file Forms 5558 before this normal deadline to extend the deadline to the 15th day of the third month after the normal due date. For calendar year plans, this extended deadline would be October 15th.


The IRS has authority under Treas. Reg. § 301.7508A-1 to extend filing deadlines for taxpayers whom a federally declared disaster has affected. Previously, the IRS recognized that the Federal Emergency Management Agency had declared disasters for individuals affected by severe winter storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides in certain California counties beginning on December 27, 2022.


On this basis, earlier this year, the IRS had extended deadlines that were originally on or after December 27, 2022, and before October 16, 2023, to October 16, 2023. Through this new announcement, the IRS has extended the deadline one additional month to November 16, 2023.

Who is eligible for the extended deadline?

Plan administrators whose address of record is in any California county—except one of three excluded counties—qualify for this extension. The three counties that do not qualify for this extension are Lassen, Modoc, and Shasta counties.

Do I have to do anything else to qualify for this extension?

No, you do not have to do anything else to qualify for this extension. If your address of record with the IRS is within one of the qualifying counties, the extension is automatic. However, if your address is not within one of these counties, you may incur a penalty, and will need to file a request for abatement, or else you should contact the IRS.

What about California state tax filings?

The California Franchise Tax Board (“FTB”) has also extended its deadline to conform to the IRS's extended deadline. Taxpayers should consult with their tax professionals to understand how the FTB’s announcement applies to their situations.

Conclusion

The IRS did not announce this latest deadline extension until the due date so many plan administrators may have already filed their Forms 5500. However, for those plan administrators who did not file their Forms 5500 by October 16, 2023, this short extension will come as a welcome relief.

If you have any questions about your Form 5500 or how this relief may apply to you or your plan, please contact a Boutwell Fay attorney or email us at attorneys@boutwellfay.com.

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