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Federal Tax

IRS Glitch Leads to Erroneous Form 8955-SSA Late Filing Notices

Tim Shaw  

· 5 minute read

Tim Shaw  

· 5 minute read

A national network of retirement plan professionals raised an issue to the IRS after members began to receive late filing notices relating to an electronic form used for satisfying annual registration requirements, which the agency claims was due to a computer issue.

According to the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA), one of the several organizations that comprises the American Retirement Association (ARA), erroneous notices were issued to taxpayers claiming their 2022 Forms 8955-SSA, Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants With Deferred Vested Benefits, were filed after the July 31 deadline.

The form is a “crucial requirement for reporting vested account balances of terminated participants, as mandated by Code Sec. 6057(a),” as described by accounting firm Rea & Associates in an August 28 blog post. It is connected with the Form 5500 series developed by the IRS, the Department of Labor (DOL), and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation for employee benefit plan reporting purposes under ERISA.

The ARA said it was told by the IRS that the issue was caused by a “programming glitch” that was resolved August 23. Also in the agency’s response was clarification that Form 8955-SSA is filed via the IRS’ Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) system and not the DOL’s EFAST system.

“The concern is that if a Form 8955-SSA is filed with EFAST, the form is not considered filed with the IRS, and the taxpayer will receive a penalty notice [as a result],” the IRS was quoted in saying by the ASPPA. “EFAST, therefore, can’t be used to file a Form 8955-SSA.”

Checkpoint reached out to the IRS to independently confirm the issue and its resolution but did not receive a response by press time. Reportedly, as of August 27, the IRS is drafting an article for the public on the matter and recommended next steps. Rea suggested impacted professional contact their third-party administrator if they received an erroneous notice.

As explained in the 2022 Form 8955-SSA filing instructions, if a filer is required to submit 250 returns “of any type during the calendar year,” then the form must be e-filed, a change made beginning with the 2014 version. “The requirement to file the 2022 Form 8955-SSA electronically does not apply to filers filing for relief under Notice 2014-35, 2014-23 IRB 1072 (relating to filers who qualify for relief under the [DOL’s] Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program),” per the instructions.

An IRS webpage lists approved software vendors for submitting the form, current through plan year 2021. Those not required to e-file can send a paper Form 8955-SSA to the IRS’ Ogden, Utah, location.


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