Form 5500-SF

Form 5500-SF

A form that a small pension fund or similar small retirement plan files with the IRS for annual reporting purposes. In order to be eligible to file Form 5500-SF, a pension or plan must have fewer than 100 participants, be held by one employer, hold no securities in that employer's company, and have independently audited books. This form is filed electronically.
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The Changes to Note section of the 2017 instructions highlight important modifications to the Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF and their schedules and instructions.
Line 4 of the Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF have been changed to provide a field for filers to indicate the name of the plan has changed.
Even though nondiscrimination testing isn't required, a Solo 401(k) plan generally must file an annual report on Form 5500-SF if it has $250,000 or more in assets at the end of the year.
Based on comments received in response to a Paperwork Reduction Act notice regarding the 2016 Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that filers who have made a concerted effort to locate missing participants will face less of a reporting burden associated with the missing individuals.
Once assets cross this threshold, you are required to submit Form 5500-SF or 5500-EZ to the IRS.
As part of revisions to the Form 5500 series, Form 5500-SF, Short Form Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan, was introduced to certain small pension and welfare benefit plans.
EBSA points out that 403(b) plan administrators now must file basic financial and other compliance information annually with the government on a Form 5500 or Form 5500-SF. Large plans must include a report of an independent qualified public accountant with their Form 5500.
Form 5500-SF is retained for certain small plans (generally, fewer than 100 participants) with secure and easy-to-value investment portfolios.
The two-page Form 5500-SF is to be used to satisfy the voluntary alternative reporting option imposed by the PPA for certain pension plans with fewer than 25 participants.
The Changes to Note section of the 2016 instructions highlight important modifications to the Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF and their schedules and instructions:
IRS Compliance Questions: Although they appear on the 2016 Form 5500, Form 5500-SF, Schedules H, I, and R, the IRS has decided that filers should not enter the Preparers Information at the bottom of the first page of Form 5500 for the 2016 plan year; and should not answer the IRS questions at Lines 4o and 6a through 6d of Schedules H and I and the Part VII IRS Compliance Questions of the Schedule R.
New compliance questions for the 2015 plan year Form 5500 filings (included on both Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF) are "optional," the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says, "but we strongly encourage you to answer them." Back in 2004, more specific information was requested on these forms, but then cut in an effort to streamline the process.