IRS updates specifications for electronic filing of tax year 2012 Form 8955-SSA in calendar year 2013

The IRS has issued a revenue procedure that provides updated specifications for the electronic filing of Form 8955-SSA (Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants With Deferred Vested Benefits) with the IRS through the Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) system. The revenue procedure provides changes to Publication 4810 (Specifications for Filing Form 8955-SSA Electronically), which must be used for the preparation of Form 8955-SSA for tax year 2012 and prior tax years that are filed beginning January 1, 2013 and received through FIRE by December 31, 2013.

Plan administrators that need to apply for a Transmitter Control Code use Form 4419 (Application for Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE)). The IRS notes that Form 4419 must be submitted at least 45 days before the due date of a return to allow the IRS the minimum amount of time necessary to process and respond to applications.

The IRS has modified the instructions in the revenue procedure for amended returns in Part A, Section 6 to include information about the amended return indicator. In addition, any file processed after January 2, 2013 that receives a “Good, Not Released” status will be held for ten calendar days. The file will be automatically released after ten calendar days unless the filer contacts the IRS within the ten days. The file status descriptions in Part B, Section 7 have been revised and expanded. Other changes include the clarification of reporting criteria in the “S” record for Separated Participants, positions 552-559, and Voluntary Separated Participants, positions 560-567, and the modification of instructions in the “P” record for reporting Participant’s Annuity Type Code, position 100, and Participant Payment Frequency Code, position 101.

Source: Rev. Proc. 2012-34.