How do I electronically file a 5500 return for tax years prior to the current year using CCH® ProSystem fx® Tax interview form?

Effective 1/1/2021, using the EFAST2 IFILE system is no longer necessary for electronic filing of prior year Form 5500 Series returns. CCH® ProSystem fx® Tax and CCH Axcess™ Tax can now be used for electronic filing of all form version years.
  • Only the current and one prior year (As of January 7, 2021, Form Versions 2019 and 2020) will be the only active Form Versions accepted by EFAST2 for electronic filing of Form 5500 Series filings in the Employee Benefit Plan System.
    • This is a change from previous years in which four form versions were active.
  • Current plan year (As of January 7, 2021, Form Version 2020) filings and filings for plan years older than one prior year (As of January 7, 2021, Form Version 2018) will need to be submitted using a current year (As of January 7, 2021, Form Version 2020) Form 5500 Series form.
  • Filings for the 2019 plan year will need to be submitted using a 2019 Form 5500 Series form. 
For CCH® ProSystem fx® Tax Preparation, Form 5500 Series filings with a plan year of 2020 or a plan year of 2018 or earlier should be processed and submitted for electronic filing using 2020 Tax Preparation.
  1. Go to Interview Form 1.
  2. In Box 60 - Plan year beginning if not 01/01/2020 field, indicate the plan year being filed
  3. In Box 61 - Plan Year ending if not 12/31/2020 field, indicate the plan year being filed.
  4. Calculate the return.
Notes
  • Form 5500 Series filings with a plan year of 2019 should be processed and submitted for electronic filing using 2019 Tax Preparation.
  • Form 5500 Series filings only in 2020 Tax Preparation and 2019 Tax Preparation can be electronically filed in CCH® ProSystem fx® Tax.

Additional Information

During calendar year 2021, any 2018 returns efiled using CCH® ProSystem fx® Tax and CCH Axcess™ Tax before 12/24/2020 using the 2018 year filter in Electronic Filing Status.  EFS supports three years at a time (current + 2 prior). The DOL now requires 2018 and prior forms to be filed on 2020 and newer forms, so Form 5500-Series filings for plan years 2018 and earlier filed using 2020 forms in Tax Prep and Axcess will be displayed when the 2020 year filter is used in EFS.

The Form 5500 Version Selection Tool at https://www.askebsa.dol.gov/FormSelector/ can be used to determine which forms you will need to complete your filing. In the date field on the Form 5500 Version Selection Tool, enter the beginning date of the plan year for which you are filing; except if the plan is a Direct Filing Entity (DFE), enter the last day of the plan year for which you are filing. 
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