Automatic extension for Form 8955-SSA

IRS Form 8955-SSA, the Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants with Deferred Vested Benefits, originally had a due date of August 1, 2011. However the deadline is automatically extended to January 17, 2012. Plans can file Form 5558 to request a 2 ½ month extension to make the Form 5500 also due on the same date. For plan years ending between December 31, 2009 and March 31, 2011, the January 17 date becomes the new filing deadline for future years. No other extensions are available past that date.

Prior to the electronic filing mandate for Form 5500 in 2009, Form SSA (Social Security Administration) was a required attachment to Form 5500. This form provided information about plan participants who terminated but did not withdraw funds from the plan during the tax year and was used by the IRS and the SSA. Because of the public nature of Form 5500 with electronic filing and the EFAST2 Web site, Form SSA was dropped from use. Form 8955-SSA, available since June 18, 2011, is the replacement for form SSA and needs to be filed for the 2009 and 2010 tax years – due January 17, 2012. The form needs to be filed for plan participants who have terminated employment during the tax year, but have not received any vested distributions to date and must include account balance and identification information. For the January 17 deadline, the information for tax years 2009 and 2010 may be combined.

Form 8955-SSA can be filed in hard copy or via third-party software and the IRS’ FIRE system (Filing Information Returns Electronically.)