IRS News Release  
May 20, 1997

Employee Plan Deadlines Extended
for Midwest Disaster Areas

WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of Labor's Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration have granted extensions to pension and other employee benefit plans in the federal disaster areas of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Plan administrators will have until June 30, 1997, to file required returns/reports.

The extension applies to employee benefit plans, banks and insurance companies located in the counties designated as federal disaster areas. It also applies to plan administrators located outside the disaster areas who are unable to obtain the information necessary for filing from service providers, banks, or insurance companies whose operations are located in the disaster areas.

The agencies will not impose late filing or late payment penalties for pension and employee benefit plan returns/reports and related excise taxes due on or after April 15, 1997, if the filing or payment occurs by June 30, 1997. This would include, for example, Form 5500 series reports and excise tax returns.

To qualify for the extension, returns/reports must be marked in red, bold print "'97 Floods" on the top center of the first page. The return/report of an employee benefit plan not located within a designated disaster area must have an attachment identifying the plan's service provider affected by the disaster and the county in which the service provider is located.

The IRS cannot administratively extend certain deadlines set by law and these deadlines must be met: -- contributions to qualified employee benefit plans must be made by the due date of the return (with extensions) to be deductible on that return; -- contributions to pension plans under the minimum funding standards of Internal Revenue Code Section 412 must be made by the dates specified; -- a rollover to a qualified plan or individual retirement account (IRA) must be completed within 60 days of receipt of the distribution; and -- IRA contributions for 1996 must have been made by April 15, 1997.

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