Harvey Employer Contributions

In TX-2017-09, the IRS extended the filing deadline to January 31, 2018 for income tax returns due between August 24, 2017 and January 31, 2018.  Deadlines for certain employer contributions to retirement plans key off of fully extended tax filing deadlines.  Thus, when the fully extended tax filing deadline is delayed, the employer contribution deadline is also generally extended.  It is important to use great care if planning to take advantage of this aspect of the Harvey Relief because not all employer contribution deadlines are extended.  

  • Discretionary profit sharing and discretionary matching contributions are extended to January 31, 2018.
  • The deadline for employer SIMPLE IRA and SEP IRA contributions is extended to January 31, 2018.
  • QNEC and QMAC deadlines to correct a failing ADP or ACP test are extended to January 31, 2018.  Rev. Proc. 2007-56 provides that for qualification purposes the deadline for correcting a failed ADP/ACP test can be extended.  The deadline for contributing QNECs and QMACs is generally the end of the plan year following the applicable plan plan year.  So, for 2016 calendar plan years, the deadline would generally be December 31, 2017.  This deadline is extended to January 31, 2018.
  • Minimum required contributions to defined benefit plans and cash balance plans are extended.
  • Similarly the quarterly contribution deadlines for defined benefit plans and cash balance plans are extended.
  • The safe harbor contribution deadline is not extended for qualification purposes.  However, the Harvey extension may provide some additional flexibility in deducting safe harbor contributions made September 15, 2017 – December 31, 2017 for the 2016 tax  year.  Safe harbor contributions are due the last day of the plan year following the plan year to which it applies.  So, for 2016 calendar plan years, these employer contributions are due no later than December 31, 2017 for qualification purposes and this deadline has not been extended.  To be deducted for the 2016 tax year, safe harbor 401(k) contributions must be made by the employer’s fully extended tax filing deadline.  Thus, if an employer’s tax return was properly extended on August 24, 2017, the deduction deadline has effectively been extended to December 31, 2017 as well.

To take advantages of the Harvey extension, the tax payer generally must have been under a valid extension as of August 24, 2017.  Additionally, the tax payer must have qualified as an “affected” individual.

This post was updated September 17, 2017 to reflect IRS 2017-49.

Harvey Information Center