Forms Contain Updated Penalty Amounts
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and other federal agencies have released advance informational copies of the 2017 Form 5500 and Form 5500–SF and related instructions. These advance copies are for informational purposes only and cannot be used to file an annual return/report.
Modifications to Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF, and the schedules and instructions for plan year 2017, are described under “Changes to Note” in the 2017 instructions. Examples of these changes include:
- Administrative Penalties. The instructions have been updated to reflect that the new maximum penalty for a plan administrator who fails or refuses to file a complete or accurate Form 5500/5500-SF report has been increased to up to $2,097 a day for penalties assessed after January 13, 2017, whose associated violation(s) occurred after November 2, 2015.
- Note: Federal law requires the penalty amount to be adjusted annually after the Form 5500/5500-SF and its schedules, attachments, and instructions are published for filing, so filers should be sure to check for any possible required inflation adjustments of the maximum penalty amount that may have been published after the instructions have been posted.
- Removal of IRS-Only Questions. IRS-only questions that filers were not required to complete on the 2016 Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF have been removed from the forms (and schedules), including preparer information.
- Plan Name Change. Line 4 of the Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF (and the corresponding instructions) has been changed to provide a field for filers to indicate that the name of the plan has changed. The instructions for line 1a have also been updated to advise filers that if the plan changed its name from the prior year filing(s), filers must complete line 4 to indicate that the plan was previously identified by a different name.
Informational copies of the forms, schedules, and instructions are available here. Plan administrators generally must file the appropriate Form 5500 on the last day of the seventh month after the plan year ends.