Currently the IRS is using the EFAST system for the filing of forms 5500 which began with the 2000 plan year. The EFAST system can utilize both machine print and hand print forms for the forms 5500 and 5500-EZ.
- 2008 Form 5500 Instructions
- 2008 Form 5500, sample copy
- 2008 Schedule I, sample copy
- 2008 Schedule H, sample copy
- 2008 Schedule A, sample copy
Effective January 1, 2009
In an effort to modernize the ERISA Filing Acceptance System (EFAST) the DOL is introducing EFAST2. The greatest difference is that EFAST2 will only accept electronic filings. Therefore, the DOL has issued a final ruling regarding the filing of the Form 5500 which states that all plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2009 must be electronically filed. This means that for the plan year January – December 2009 (filing due by July 31, 2010) all Form 5500 must be filed electronically using the EFAST2 system. The DOL will no longer accept the hand print forms. Under the EFAST2 system the preparer of the Form 5500 has the option to obtain private software and transmit the form directly to the DOL via the internet or they can fill out the form directly on the DOL's website via IFILE . In addition to these changes, the Form 5500 has been changed to the new Form 5500-SF. Form 5500-SF was created for certain small plan filers and a number of the schedules to the Form 5500 were also changed. To obtain more information regarding the new system please visit the DOL's website.
If you are interested in obtaining private software for your company you can visit the Employee Benefits Security Administration's website for a list of approved software vendors.