Form 5558: Everything You Need to Know

Form 5558 is an application used by employers to request more time to file certain employee plan returns.

Employers use Form 5558 when they need more time to file other forms; employers can file Form 5558 for one extension. Form 5558 applies to three tax forms including:

  • Form 5500: The Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan
  • Form 5500-EZ; Annual Return of One-Participant Retirement Plan
  • Form 5330: Return of Excise Taxes Related to Employee Benefit Plans

By using Form 5558, employers will get an extra 2.5 months to file their Form 8955-SSA report and Form 5500 annual report. This extension doesn't allow employers more time to pay any taxes that are due. Any taxes owed must be paid with the application for an extension to complete Form 5530. If the extension is given, interest still accrues on taxes left unpaid by their due date.

Specific Instructions for Filing Form 5558

Employers should place their name and address in the form's heading if the filer is a single employer asking for an extension on the following forms:

  • Form 5500
  • Form 5500-EZ
  • Form 5330

If the filer is completing the form for anyone other than a single employer, enter the name of the plan sponsor or administrator. The name of the plan sponsor on this form should be the same name listed on the yearly report/return filed. Next, the following should be placed:

  • Address, physical or P.O. Box
  • Room, suite, or unit number
  • The EIN

An EIN is given to employers for tax purposes. All applications for Forms 5500 or 5500-EZ must have the EIN.

A Social Security number needs to be entered if extra contributions were made to a custodial account, or the filer is an ineligible person who is not the employer.

All plans included on Form 5558 must have these complete on the table:

  • Plan name
  • Plan number
  • Plan year end date

The IRS chooses specific delivery services that employers can use to file Form 5558 that meet the agency's "timely mailing treated as timely filing and paying" rule for tax payments and tax returns. If an employer uses one of these chosen delivery services, the date on the postmark is usually the date the IRS will count as the file date.

Extension of Time to File Form 5500 or Form 5500-EZ

Most of the time, employers should use one Form 5558 for every return that needs a time extension. Single employers who have plan years ending on the same date should file only a single Form 5558 to get an extension to file several Forms 5500 or 5500-EZ.

Attach a copy of finished extension requests to the Forms 5500 or 5500-EZ. To get an extension on these forms, Form 5558 has to be filed before a return's expected due date. The expected due date for Forms 5500 and 5500-EZ is the date these forms should be submitted without an extension.

As long as Form 5558 is filed before Forms 5500 or 5500-EZ are due, the extension will be granted.

Employers should maintain a copy of the finished and filed Form 5558. There's no need to send it in when Forms 5500 or 5500-EZ are filed.

Exceptions in Extension of Time to File Form 5500 or Form 5500-EZ

Anyone filing for Forms 5500 or 5500-EZ will automatically get filing extensions for the same due date as the employer's federal income tax return if the employer's tax year and plan year are identical.

Employer's who get extensions of their filing date for their federal tax return that are later than the typical due date for Forms 5500 and 5500-EZ must include a copy of the document from the IRS indicating that a return extension was given. Extensions given in this situation may not be extended again by filing Form 5558 after the typical due date for Forms 5500 and 5500-EZ.

Extension of Time to File Form 5330

Form 5558 should be filed with the IRS with adequate time before a tax return's due date to ask for an extension on filing a Form 5330. If an extension for filing Form 5330 is given, employers can get up to six months after Form 5330's typical due date.

Employers can ask for a specific date on line two of Form 5558. Employers enter the Code section(s) for the specific excise taxes they need an extension for on line 2A. Employers enter the approximate amount of taxes that will be due with Form 5330 in line 2B.

Payment must be included with Form 5558. No cash is accepted, and money orders or checks should be made out to the "United States Treasury." Money orders should include:

  • Name
  • Filer's SSN or EIN
  • Plan number
  • Form 5330 section number
  • Tax year of payment

All Form 5558s that are filed for extensions on Form 5330 must be signed. The following people can sign Form 5558:

  • Employer
  • Plan sponsor
  • Plan administrator
  • Ineligible person for Form 5330
  • An attorney
  • Accountant allowed to practice in the IRS
  • Person with power of attorney

There won't be a copy of Form 5558 returned to employers asking for extensions for Form 5330. They will get an email from the IRS stating whether or not the extension was given.

If an employer can show that they cannot file Form 5330 because of extenuating circumstances, the IRS generally gives an extension that doesn't exceed six months.

If you need help filing a Form 5558, whether it's for more time for Forms 5500 or 5500-EZ or Form 5330, post your legal need on UpCounsel today. Our experienced team of lawyers has served over 10,000 businesses including Google and Airbnb.