A brief guide to filing IRS Form 5500-EZ for your one-participant retirement plan

A one-participant retirement plan is aimed at small and self-employed business owners without full time employees. A full time employee is someone who works about 1,000 hours per year. This retirement plan is a good chance to increase retirement savings more quickly. Corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies and sole-proprietors are eligible to enroll. If the plan balance is less than $250,000, there are no tax filing requirements. If the balance exceeds this sum, you have to submit IRS Form 5500-EZ.


What is Form 5500-EZ?

Form 5500-EZ was designed by the IRS and is officially known as the Annual Return of One-Participant (Owners and Their Spouses) Retirement Plan. It is a two-page document that requires only basic data about plan assets.


Who files Form 5500-EZ?

This form must be filed by the one-participant and foreign retirement plan owners. You have to file Form 5500-EZ if:

  • you are the only owner of the business and your retirement plan covers only you;
  • your plan covers one or several partners in your business partnership;
  • your one-participant plan provides benefits only to you or to some of the partners of your business partnership (not all).

You are not required to submit IRS Form 5500-EZ for the 2018 retirement plan if the total amount of the one-participant plan assets at the end of the year is less than $250,000.


Can Form 5500-EZ be e-filed?

With PDFfiller, it’s not a problem. You can easily fill out all fields in the fillable form online without downloading any software. Place check marks where it’s necessary, type text anywhere on the fillable PDF form, insert the date and sign your 5500-EZ in seconds. Once the form is correctly completed, you can print it out without leaving your PDFfiller account and send to the IRS.


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How to fill out Form 5500-EZ?

It is a two-page form with five parts in general. The first part is the Annual Return Identification Information where you indicate the calendar year and whether it is the first return or not. In the second part called Basic Plan Information, you provide the following details: plan’s name and 3-digit number, employer’s name, employer identification number, telephone number and full address, plan administrator’s name and EIN. Then, go to the third section that is Financial Information. Indicate total plan assets and liabilities. In the Plan Characteristics part, you have to enter two-character feature codes from the List of Plan Characteristics Codes provided in the instructions to the form. And the last part contains several question of the Yes/No type. At the end, date and sign the document.


Where to file Form 5500-EZ?

Once you’ve filled and printed out the form for the Annual Return of One-Participant (Owners and Their Spouses) Retirement Plan, you should send it to the following address:

Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Ogden, UT 84201-0020


When is IRS Form 5500-EZ due?

You have to file the form for a retirement plan that started in 2018. The document has to be sent to the IRS by the last day of the seventh month after the plan that started in 2018 expires. There is a penalty for filing late. The minimum penalty is $25 and the maximum one – $15,000.