EFAST2 Filing System Credentials
Last week we discussed the 2009 IRS Forms 5500 Electronic Filing Requirements and EFAST2 Filing System. Getting Ready for EFAST2 Part 2 is part of the EFAST2 FAQ series and covers issues related to obtaining EFAST2 electronic signature credentials (an ID and pin code), which are owned by an individual and not a company:
Which credentials a 5500 preparer will need to complete a Form 5500 under EFAST2 will depend on which part of the Form 5500 and schedules the preparer completes and which system he/she uses to complete the forms. A preparer that prepares a Form 5500 using the DOL's web-based system will need filing author credentials. The filing author credentials will permit the preparer to complete a Form 5500 and the accompanying schedules. The filing author credentials also will permit the preparer to submit the filing and determine if the filing has been accepted. If the filing author would like to delegate responsibility to another preparer to complete one or more schedules, the other preparer will need to obtain schedule author credentials.
A preparer using third-party software will not need filing author or schedule author credentials. Because of the restriction on sharing signer credentials, generally, only an employer preparing its own Form 5500 and schedules will be able to use third-party software to prepare and transmit the forms directly to the DOL via the internet. Instead, the preparer either will use a third-party web-based system or he/she will use third-party software and upload it to IFILE. A preparer that uses third-party software to prepare the forms and then uploads the forms to IFILE will need to obtain filing author and schedule author credentials.
A preparer using a third-party web-based system will not need to obtain any credentials. Of course, the company official signing the filing will need signer credentials.
It also provides a chart that illustrates which credentials are needed for each type of system. Here is a complete list of the FAQ:
- How does a plan sponsor obtain electronic signature credentials?
- If more than one company or organization official is eligible to sign the Form 5500, will each official need to obtain electronic credentials?
- Besides signer credentials, which other credentials may be necessary under EFAST2?
- Under which filing systems, will a 5500 preparer need to obtain transmitter credentials?
- How will a 5500 preparer obtain filing author, schedule author, or transmitter credentials?
- May a preparer or plan sponsor use the same email address to obtain credentials for more than one person?
- Under IFILE, will a preparer be able to invite the plan sponsor official who will sign the Form 5500 to the electronic signing ceremony if the official does not have signer credentials?
- Under IFILE, does a preparer with filing author credentials have the ability to complete the Form 5500 and any of the schedules?
- Under IFILE, may a filing signer complete or modify a form or schedule?
- If an employer obtained filing signer credentials under EFAST, may the employer use those credentials under EFAST2?
- When will IREG website be available?