Preparing 5500 amended returns for electronic filing

Show expandable text

New (tax) year, new help!

Fixed Assets and UltraTax CS 2023 help is now on Help and Support. We're still moving articles, but you can find most content for the 2023 tax year there. Continue using the Help & How-To Center for tax years 2022 and older.

To prepare an electronic Form 5500 or 5500-SF amended return, complete the steps below. 


  • If you are preparing a 5500-EZ amended return, you must paper file; electronic filing is not available for this form. 
  • You do not need to attach a copy of the original return to the amended return. If you choose to attach the original return, refer to Attaching Portable Document Format (PDF) file to electronic files for more information.
  • You can create a copy of the return before you enter amended information so that you have the original return available as well. To create a copy of the return, open the client’s return, choose File > Save As, enter a new client ID, and click Save.
  1. Open Screen 5500 in the General folder.
  2. Mark the Amended return field in the General Information section.

    Note: When you mark this checkbox, UltraTax CS marks the An amended return/report checkbox on Form 5500, Page 1, line B; Form 5500-SF, Page 1, line B, or Form 5500-EZ, Page 1, line A, as applicable.

  3. Enter the client's tax data as necessary, making sure you adhere to the guidelines for entering data.
  4. If you prepared the original return with UltraTax CS, the Return Acknowledgement Number will automatically populate when you mark the Amended return field. If the original return was not prepared with UltraTax CS, enter the Return Acknowledgement Identification Number assigned by the Department of Labor (DOL) in the Original return acknowledgment ID number field.

    Note: If you do not enter the Return Acknowledgement Identification Number in this field, UltraTax CS generates a “Return has been marked as amended. The original return acknowledgment ID number …” federal diagnostic message when you attempt to create the electronic file.

  5. Choose View > Diagnostics to review the diagnostic messages in the Federal Diagnostics window. Click any item displayed in the window to open the corresponding screen to address the diagnostic message. Verify that you have cleared all Critical and ELF Critical diagnostic messages and have reviewed the FYI diagnostic messages, and then close the Federal Diagnostics window.
  6. If desired, Thomson Reuters can send the client an email notification on your behalf when the return is accepted. You must select this option in the client's return before you create the electronic file. For information about how to configure clients to have UltraTax CS send an acceptance email notification, see Configuring email notifications when electronically filed returns are accepted.
  7. By default, the government collation includes only the forms required to be submitted to the taxing authority when you file an electronic return. To modify these collations, choose Setup > 5500 Benefit Plans to open the 5500 Product information dialog. Then, click the Tax Return button to modify the print collation for all 5500 returns. For information about editing these collations, see Customizing the print collation for returns filed electronically. Thomson Reuters strongly recommends that you use the default collation. This will not affect which forms are included in the electronic file.
  8. Choose File > Print Returns or click the Print Print button button to open the Print Returns dialog.
  9. Mark the Government copy and the Create electronic file checkboxes.


    • To create the return or check the return for electronic filing errors without printing forms, mark only the Government copy and Create electronic filecheckboxes in the Print Returns dialog.
      • To check for errors without creating the electronic file, click the Check E-File button.
      • To check for errors and create the electronic file, click the E-File button.
    • If you use a third-party application vendor to transmit returns, mark the Create 3rd party Defile checkbox to create the electronic file. The third-party vendor is responsible for checking for errors.
  10. To create electronic files for amended returns for multiple clients at the same time, click the Clients button and select the appropriate clients.
  11. Click the Preview button to view the amended return on screen, or click the Check E-File, Print, or E-File button. When you click the Preview, Print, Check E-File, or E-File button, UltraTax CS checks for errors in the electronic file.

    Note: You must click the Print or E-File button in the Print Returns dialog to create the electronic file for the amended return. Clicking the Print Preview button in the toolbar or clicking the Preview button in the Print Returns dialog does not generate the electronic file for the amended return.


  • When UltraTax CS creates electronic files for amended returns, the application automatically deletes any untransmitted electronic files for a client.
  • If you use a third-party application vendor to transmit 5500 returns, UltraTax CS places the electronic file for the amended return in the location you specified in the Setup > User Preferences > File Locations tab. See Changing the location of electronic files for third-party application vendor transmissions for more information.
  • If you use a third-party application vendor as your transmitter, UltraTax CS creates the electronic file for the amended return without checking for errors when you print the return. The third-party application vendor checks for errors in these returns.

For information about resolving electronic filing errors and rejections, see the E-File Help Center > Resolving E-File Errors > 5500 Benefit Plans page.

Related topic: Creating the 5500 electronic file and correcting errors overview

Was this article helpful?

Thank you for the feedback!