Gettry Marcus Discusses 5 Penalties That Can Occur Due to Deficient Employee Benefit Plan Form 5500 Filings During 2014

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Leading tax and forensic accounting firm Gettry Marcus lists 5 potential penalties that organizations can face in regards to deficient employee benefit plan Form 5500 filings.

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There can be significant penalties for deficient employee benefit plan Form 5500 return/report filings. Organizations that are not completely confident that every 'i' has been dotted and every ‘t’ has been crossed run the risk of an assessment that can have a serious impact to their bottom line.

“The plan’s trustees need to protect their fiduciary responsibilities and do what’s right for the employees and the plan. Qualified service providers can help avoid these costly penalties,” says Howard H. Fine, Partner-in-Charge of the Gettry Marcus Accounting & Auditing Group and its Employee Benefit Plan Audit Group.

Gettry Marcus CPA, P.C., a leading tax and forensic accounting firm, lists 5 penalties that can occur. Although there are a number of penalties that can be assessed for deficient filings, there are a few that can prove fairly substantial. For example, the Department of Labor (DOL) can:

  •     Assess $150 a day, up to $50,000, per annual report filing where the required auditor's report is deficient
  •     Assess $100 per day, up to $36,500, per annual report filing that contains deficient financial information, such as missing required supplemental schedules
  •     Assess $10 per day, up to $3,650, for failure to answer a question on the Form 5500 return/report

In addition, the DOL can impose penalties for late or incomplete filings after the day they are due (unless reasonable cause was provided for the improper filing). They can:

  •     Assess a civil penalty against a plan administrator of up to $1,100 per day, with no cap, for the late filing of a Form 5500 return/report
  •     Treat a Form 5500 return/report as if it had not been filed if it lacks material information

The bottom line: Be prepared, be thorough and choose an experienced benefit plan auditor.

As a member of AICPA's Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center, Gettry Marcus is committed to providing the highest quality and most efficient audits possible with a specialized team of auditors.

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.

Gettry Marcus CPA, P.C., a top New York City and Long Island CPA firm with offices in Woodbury, Long Island and New York City. We provide accounting, tax, and consulting services to commercial businesses, employee benefit plans, high net worth individuals and various industries which include real estate and health care. We have one of the premier and most credentialed business valuation, litigation and forensic accounting groups in the New York Area. Our experience in diverse industries and a highly talented and experienced professional staff gives us the ability to share valuable insights into our clients’ businesses, to better understand their goals and problems and to help them attain the vision they have for their company.

Gettry Marcus is "Always Looking Deeper" to build value for our clients.

Media inquiries: Contact Fayellen Dietchweiler at 516-364-3390 ext. 225 or at


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Scott Darrohn
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Fayellen Dietchweiler
Gettry Marcus
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