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IRS suspends filing requirements for certain fringe-benefit plans.

Sec. 6039D required employers maintaining Sec. 120 group-legal-services plans, Sec. 125 cafeteria plans and Sec. 127 educational assistance programs to file an annual information return. Returns for these plans had to be filed on the Form 5500, Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan, series. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 (TRA '86) expanded the reporting requirement to Sec. 79 group-term life insurance plans, Secs. 105 and 106 accident and health plans and Sec. 129 dependent-care-assistance programs. The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 added Sec. 137 adoption-assistance programs to the list of specified fringe-benefit plans for which employers must file returns annually under Sec. 6039D.

Notice 90-24 suspended the filing requirement for those fringe-benefit plans added by the TRA '86. The notice stated that until the Service provided further guidance, employers maintaining plans under Sec. 79, 105, 106 or 129 were not required to file information returns. However, employers that maintained plans under Sec. 120, 125 or 127 had to continue to file a return. Under current filing instructions, employee-benefit plans described in Secs. 125, 127 and 137 are considered fringe-benefit plans, and employers must file Schedule F with a completed Form 5500 to satisfy Sec. 6039D's annual-return requirement. The IRS is evaluating whether this method of reporting the information required is appropriate.

Filing Relief

Employers maintaining specified fringe-benefit plans under Sec. 125, 127 or 137 are now relieved from the requirement to file annual information returns (Schedule F), which would have been attached to a completed Form 5500. This notice is effective on publication and applies to all plan years for which information returns have not been filed. Any future reporting obligations under Sec. 6039D will apply only to plan years beginning on or after the publication date of further guidance.

This notice does not affect annual reporting requirements under Title I of ERISA, or relieve plan administrators of any obligation to file a Form 5500 and any required schedules (other than Schedule F) under that tide. For further information on annual reporting requirements applicable to employee benefit plans under Title I of ERISA, see the instructions for Form 5500 and the Department of Labor's regulations. Form 5500 instructions may be obtained by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM or viewed at www.efast.dol.gov or www.irs.gov.

NOTICE 2002-24, IRB 2002-16
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Article Details
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Author:Fiore, Nicholas J.
Publication:The Tax Adviser
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2002
Words:383
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