March 12, 1997
Pension Plan Deadlines Extended
for Disaster Areas
WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service and the U.S.
Department of Labor's Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration
have granted relief to taxpayers in areas designated as federal
disasters this month. Pension and other employee benefit plans will
have until April 30, 1997, to file required returns.
The extension applies to employee benefit plans, banks and
insurance companies located in the federal disaster areas, as well
as to plan administrators located outside the disaster areas who are
unable to obtain the information necessary for filing from service
providers, banks, or insurance companies whose operations were
directly affected by the storms and floods.
The agencies will not impose late filing or late payment
penalties for pension and employee benefit plan returns/reports and
related excise taxes due on or after February 28, 1997, if the
filing or payment occurs by April 30, 1997. This would include, for
example, Form 5500 series and excise tax returns.
To qualify for the extension, returns/reports must be marked
in red, bold print "Midwest/South Severe Weather '97" on the top
center of the first page. The return/report of an employee benefit
plan not located within a designated disaster area must have an
attachment identifying the plan's service provider affected by the
disaster and the county in which the service provider is located.
The IRS cannot administratively extend certain deadlines set
by law and these deadlines must be met:
-- contributions to qualified employee benefit plans must be
made by the due date of the return (with extensions) to be
deductible on that return;
-- contributions to pension plans under the minimum funding
standards of Internal Revenue Code Section 412 must be made
by the dates specified;
-- a rollover to a qualified plan or individual retirement
account (IRA) must be completed within 60 days of receipt of
the distribution; and
-- IRA contributions for 1996 must be made by April 15, 1997.
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