If you own a small business with a retirement plan for employees, you are required to file returns for those plans in a timely manner or pay some pretty hefty penalties.

On June 2, 2014, the IRS launched a penalty relief program for small businesses unaware of such requirements, and will waive penalties if you file by June 2, 2015. This is a temporary, one year pilot program.

If you file late returns by June 2, 2015, eligible filers can avoid penalties. It seems that the program has been a success so far claiming about 6,000 delinquent returns have been filed under this program.


Typically, the plan administrators and sponsors of these plans who have not filed the required annual returns can receive penalties up to $15,000 per return. (These would be filed on Form 5500-EZ)


This program is generally open to certain small business plans. These include owner-spouse plans, plans of business partnerships (together, “one-participant plans”) and certain foreign plans. You are allowed to file multiple late returns and if you file before the deadline there are no filing fees either.

Note If you have already been assessed a penalty for filing late, you are not eligible for this particular program.

How to Participate

The IRS has more information and details on how to participate in this pilot program, visit IRS.gov.