January 28, 2013 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has issued a notice describing changes to the Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance (DFVC) Program.
The notice states the migration to the wholly electronic ERISA Filing Acceptance System (EFAST2) is now completely implemented for all filing years, and paper filings of any kind (e.g., mail, fax) are no longer accepted for either timely or delinquent filings. The agency has added to its website an online tool to help filers determine which versions of Forms 5500/5500-SF and schedules to use when filing delinquent annual reports required by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) or amending prior year annual reports under EFAST2.
Although the DFVC Program does not provide relief from late-filing penalties under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) or Title IV of ERISA, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) agreed to provide certain penalty relief under ERISA section 4071 of Title IV for delinquent filings of the annual reports by Title I plans when the conditions of the DFVC Program are satisfied. Also, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) expects to issue separate guidance to provide certain penalty relief under the IRC for delinquent Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF Annual Returns/Reports filed for Title I plans where the conditions of this DFVC Program and any requirements imposed by the IRS under such separate guidance have been satisfied.
The notice also describes an existing online penalty calculator and Internet-based payment system for the DFVC Program. The notice is at http://www.dol.gov/find/20130128/. The agency has also posted a FAQs about the program at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq_dfvc.html.