To the relief/delight of many CPAs who audit employee benefit plans, a recent law that would have extended the Form 5500 deadline was repealed on December 4, 2015. As background, on July 31, 2015, President Obama signed the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 (the “2015 Act”). Among other provisions, the 2015 Act directed the Secretary of the Treasury to modify regulations for years beginning after December 31, 2015 so that the maximum extension for filing Form 5500 series tax returns would have been 3 1/2 months (rather than the 2 1/2 month extension period that has applied for many years). Thus, under the 2015 Act, for most calendar year 2016 Forms 5500, the extended due date was going to be November 15, 2017.
However, On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act. Included in its provisions is Section 32104, which repeals the above-referenced Form 5500 series extension provision of the 2015 Act and thereby keeps the maximum Form 5500 series extension period at 2-1/2 months. Thus, CPAs who audit employee benefit plans that are subject to Form 5500 reporting will not have their “busy season” (in industry parlance) extended to the middle of November each year.
Here is a link to the new law: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-114hr22enr/pdf/BILLS-114hr22enr.pdf