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IRS: Disregard Those Recent 2019 Form 5500 Extension Letters

If you have recently received approval of a filing extension requested last summer for your 2019 Form 5500 — you don’t need to do anything.  

We’ve heard that some plan sponsors are just now getting letters from the IRS approving the request for an extension in their Dec. 31, 2019 Form 5500 filing — months after the extended deadline. 

As you likely know, plans that wished to extend the deadline for filing their Form 5500 for the plan year ending December 31, 2019, were required to file their extension requests by July 31, 2020 (and then file the Form 5500 by October 15, 2020). Normally extension approval letters are sent closer in time to the request for extension. However, approvals for the 2019 Form 5500 extension requests were apparently just mailed out in the past week or so — and well after the extended due date for that Form 5500. 

In response to concerns from members, we have confirmed with officials at the IRS that the mailings were inadvertently delayed — and that the IRS will shortly publish a special edition newsletter acknowledging that reality, and confirming that no additional action is required on behalf of those who timely requested an extension last fall.

Kelsey Mayo, a partner with the Poyner Spruill LLP law firm, is the American Retirement Association’s Director of Regulatory Policy.