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Here are five tips from the IRS office of Employee Plans to make filing Form 5500s and related returns, including extensions to file the Form 5500s, more efficient.

Tip 1:  If your plan year is anything other then the calendar year, make sure you enter it on the Form 5500, when the plan year is not listed on the return it is deemed to be a calendar year end.

Tip 2:  Make sure the plan name listed on the Form 5500 and the Form 5558 are consistent and that which was originally established with the IRS.  DO NOT use:

  1. Abbreviations – unless originally established with one,
  2. Common variations – be consistent, or
  3. The same name for a new plan – if a plan changed, establish new name.

Tip 3:  Make sure the EIN on the Form 5500 is the same as that listed on the Form 5558, and they are the same as issued by the IRS.  The EIN on the Form 5500 should be that of the plan sponsor, not that of the plan trust or Social Security Number.

Tip 4:  Make sure to always enter the three digit plan number established for the plan.

Tip 5:  and be sure Part II line 1 of the Form 5558 is only check if this is the very first filing of the Form 5500 for the plan.

For more tips and answers regarding filing Form 5500 and related returns, search the "Form 5500 Corner" on IRS.gov,

Thank you for making it your plan to pay attention to these simple details.