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I am a small business owner with retirement plans and did not know I had a filing requirement. I would like to come into compliance, but I am hesitant because of the penalties. What should I do?

You are in luck.  From June 2, 2014 until June 2, 2015, plan administrators or plan sponsors of certain small business plans and plans of business partnerships as well as certain foreign plans may be eligible to participate in the Internal Revenue Service’s pilot program wherein by filing current and prior year Form 5500 series returns, the plan administrators or sponsors can avoid penalties, which can be up to $15,000 per return.

For businesses and partnerships, only “one-participant plans” are eligible, meaning the plan covers only the owner of the entire business (or the owner and the owner’s spouse) or one or more partners in a partnership (or partners and their spouses).  The plan must also not provide benefits for anyone except the owner of the business (or the owner and the owner’s spouse) or one or more partners of the partnership (or partners and their spouses).

Foreign plans that are eligible are ones where the employer that maintains the plan is a domestic employer or a foreign employer with income derived from sources within the United States that deducts contributions to the plan on its U.S. income tax return.

Plan administrators or sponsors who have already been assessed a penalty for late filings are not eligible for this program.  However, they may still obtain penalty relief if they can show to the Service’s satisfaction that the failure to timely file reporting documents was due to reasonable cause.  Contact a qualified tax professional to discuss what strategy is best for you.

Rosenberg Martin Greenberg

25 South Charles Street, 21st Floor MD 21201
Phone: 410-727-6600
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Rosenberg Martin Greenberg

705 Melvin Avenue Annapolis, MD 21401
Phone: 410-727-6600
Map & Directions