IRS to Shut Down FIRE Filing System Oct. 11-14

By Craig Hoffman • October 10, 2014 • 0 Comments
The IRS announced this week, to the surprise of many, that the IRS electronic filing system known as FIRE (Filing Information Returns Electronically) will be shut down from approximately 3:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014, until approximately 6:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. The reason for the shutdown, according to the IRS website, is due to an annual power outage, apparently for routine maintenance.

The problem is this shutdown is scheduled for three of the last five days before the October 15 filing deadline for calendar year plans that requested an extension. The October 15 deadline applies not only to the Form 5500, but also to the IRS Form 8955-SSA (if required for the year). As we reported in the recent ASPPA asap 14-27, certain plan sponsors will be required to use the FIRE system next year to file Form 8955-SSA. For now, however, it is still voluntary. Nevertheless, many plan sponsors and their administrators use the FIRE system right now on a voluntary basis and as a result may be impacted by the maintenance shutdown so close to the filing deadline.

ASPPA’s Government Affairs Committee has reached out to the IRS and asked that the maintenance work be delayed until after the October 15 deadline. At this point, however, ASPPA members who use the FIRE system should be aware of this upcoming shutdown and do their best to work around it. ASPPA GAC will continue to monitor the situation to ensure there are no “glitches” when the FIRE system comes back online.