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IRS form 5500-EZ
5500-EZ Plan characteristics for your CPA
5500-EZ Plan characteristics for your CPA
Updated over a week ago

Share the following suggestions with your CPA and/or tax preparer to complete your 5500-EZ successfully!

Part I
 Most plan years are from January 1st to December 31st. This information can be found on page 2 of the Adoption Agreement, item 7, “Plan Year.”

  • Check box A(1) if this is the first filing for this plan. Do not check this box if you have ever filed for this plan.

  • Check box A(2) if you are filing an amended Form 5500-EZ to correct errors and/or omissions in a previously filed annual return for the current plan year.

  • All one-participant plans should file a return for their final plan year indicating that all assets have been distributed. Check box A(3) if all assets under the plan have been distributed and this is the filing for the final plan year.

  • Check box A(4) if this form is filed for a period of less than 12 months. Show the dates at the top of the form.

Part II

1a. Name of Plan – The name of the plan can be found on page 1 (the first full page) of the Adoption Agreement.

1b. Three digit plan number – Found on page 2 of the Adoption Agreement, item 5.

1c. Plan effective date – Located on page 3 of the Adoption Agreement (most likely January 1st of the year the plan was set up).

2a. Employer’s name and address:

  • Employer’s name – Listed on page 1 of the Adoption Agreement

  • Employer’s address – Listed on page 2 of the Adoption Agreement

  • In care of name – This can be the business owner (which should also be you, the plan participant)

2b. Employer Identification Number – This is the employer EIN found on page 2 of the Adoption Agreement, item 3, “Employer Tax ID.” Do NOT enter your SSN here. If your business is a sole proprietorship and you haven't already obtained an EIN, you'll need to obtain an EIN.

2c. Employer’s Telephone Number – On page 2 of the Adoption Agreement, Item 2.

2d. Business code – 6 digit code found on page 1 of the Adoption Agreement, item 16, “Business Code.”

3a. Plan administrator – Page 2, item 10 of the Adoption Agreement. Enter “Same” if the administrator and employer are the same.

3b. Administrator’s EIN – Page 3, item A13 of the Adoption Agreement, “Plan Administrator ID number.”

3c. Administrator’s telephone number – Displayed under item A12 of the Adoption Agreement.

4. Only used if the employer name or EIN has changed since last plan filing.

5. Enter total number of participants in plan in spaces provided.

Part III – You and your CPA will enter the financial information requested

Part IV

Plan characteristics codes can be found on page 6 of the 5500-EZ instructions:

Codes applicable to the most Solo 401k plans:

2E – profit sharing

2J – section 401(k) feature

3B – plan covering self-employed individuals.

3D – pre-approved pension plan

It may also be the opinion of your tax advisor that the following codes are applicable to your Solo 401k depending on your use of the plan:

2R – participant-directed brokerage accounts

2S – plan provides for automatic enrollment in plan that has employee contributions deducted from payroll.

Part V – You and your CPA will answer the compliance and funding questions

 The information contained within this article is not a substitute for professional tax and/or legal advice. It is designed to help your tax professional find the characteristics of your plan so he or she may file the 5500-EZ in accordance with IRS guidelines.

You must file a 5500-EZ if you are terminating your plan

If you're rolling the assets over to another 401k provider you shouldn't need to file a 5500-EZ if you are keeping the same trust and tax ID number. However, it is recommended you check with your new document provider. 

If you're closing the 401k completely and distributing the assets, or rolling everything into a self-directed IRA or other qualified retirement vehicle, then you must file and submit form 5500-EZ.

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