Retirement Savings and Benefits
Questions and comments about IRAs, 401k accounts, social security, and other forms of retirement savings and benefits.
Solo 401(k) - first Form 5500 filing - need EIN
Posted by: mem, August 22, 2017 10:32PM

In 2011 I set up a Solo 401(k) as a sole proprietor with TD Ameritrade, but under my SSN. I anticipate having to file Form 5500 for the 2017 tax year (which will be due by 7/31/2018), which will be my first filing. In order to do that, I will have to obtain an EIN for my business.

My TD Ameritrade plan adoption agreement has myself as the employer, with my SSN listed as the EIN. Since TD Ameritrade does not do any reporting to the IRS as far as the business goes, it probably doesn't strictly matter if the EIN is my SSN, at least under current reporting requirements.


1. Should I file an amended adoption agreement changing the employer's EIN to the real EIN to harmonize it with my 5500 filing? Or is the EIN used to file the 5500 just viewed as a vehicle for filing?

2. Now that I will have an EIN for my business, do I need to provide the EIN to my clients for their 1099s?

3. If #2 is not a requirement, can I continue to use my SSN on my Schedule C?

Regarding #1, I don't want there to be any inconsistencies if new regulations come along and TD Ameritrade must start reporting some information under the employer EIN.

Thanks to any who can assist with these questions!

Re: Solo 401(k) - first Form 5500 filing - need EIN
Posted by: Spirit Rider, August 28, 2017 03:51PM
1. I do not know for sure, but i would do so.

2. I really don't know. From the current W-9 instructions dated 2014.

If you are a single-member LLC that is disregarded as an entity separate from its owner (see Limited Liability Company (LLC) on this page), enter the owner’s "SSN" (or "EIN", if the "owner" has one). Do "not" enter the disregarded entity’s EIN. (emphasis mine)

However, I wonder if they just haven't updated the Form W-9 instructions to reflect the following change.

3. Prior to the 2016 tax year, Schedule C Instructions explicitly directed the use of your SSN and not a disregarded LLC's EIN on Line D.

However, effective with the 2016 tax year, the Schedule C Instructions for Line D changed to:

Single-member LLCs. If you are the sole owner of an LLC that is not treated as a separate entity for federal income tax purposes, enter on line D the EIN
that was issued to the LLC (in the LLC's legal name) for a "qualified retirement plan" (emphasis mine), to file employment, excise, alcohol, tobacco, or firearms returns, or as a payer of gambling winnings. If you do not have such an EIN, leave line D blank.

The bottom line.

(1) I would amend the adoption agreement, (2) I am inclined to think it would be better if the 1099's match the Schedule C even if the W-9 doesn't say so (yet). (3) Once you have the EIN you are now required to use it on Schedule C

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