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A Guide for Form 5500 - Due July 31st!

Stiff penalties may be assessed if you fail to file Form 5500 for your self-directed solo 401(k) on time. Here is a guide for determining if you need to file it and how to do so if needed.

When determining whether or not you must file From 5500 by July 31st (for plans with a December 31st year-end), it is important to know what funds must be included in the calculation to see if the $250k threshold has been surpassed.

To determine if the $250k limit has been met, you will need to consider:

  • The total plan assets for all participants' accounts under the Self-Directed Solo 401k plan must be added together to determine if the cumulative balance is over $250k. So, for example, the individual accounts for spouses and partners under the same plan will all need to be included in the calculation.

  • All traditional, alternative, and cash investments need to be added together to get the total value.

  • If you took a loan out of your solo 401k, the balance of the loan as of December 31st is treated as an asset, not a liability, so it must be included in the calculation to determine if the $250k threshold filing requirement has been met.

IMPORTANT: If you participate in multiple solo 401k plans, all the assets from all of the plans must be aggregated to determine if the $250k threshold has been met.

If you have determined that the plan's value is over $250k, here's some useful filing information:

In the past, there were two types of From 5500 that could potentially be filed: Form 5500-SF and Form 5500-EZ. "Beginning January 1, 2021, the Form 5500-SF can no longer be used to electronically file “one-participant” plan or foreign plan annual returns. Employers who sponsor one-participant plans or foreign plans must file Form 5500-EZ electronically using the Department of Labor’s EFAST2 filing system. Only employers not subject to the IRS e-filing requirements under Treas. Reg. 301.6058-2 may file paper Form 5500-EZ with the IRS." Source