Registering for electronic credentials overview (5500)

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There are five user types under the EFAST2 electronic filing system. When you apply for your electronic filing credentials, you can associate with several of these types if you will perform multiple functions. Before you register as an EFAST2 user, you should determine your expected system role (user type) so that the Department of Labor (DOL) grants all appropriate credentials after you complete the application. For further information, see the EFAST2 Guide for Filers and Service Providers. You can update your user type after you register. To do so, update your user profile. You must mark at least the Filing Signer user type.

Signers must have a User ID and PIN. To register for electronic credentials, do the following:

  1. Access the EFAST2 website.
  2. Click Register in the Main menu in the left pane.
  3. Read and accept the privacy statement.
  4. Provide your contact information, and then select your user types. See User Types below to determine your selection.
  5. Select one of two challenge questions, and provide the answer. This is used in case you forget your password.
  6. Verify registration information. Your registration is pending until you have received your Credentials Notification email with further instructions.
  7. The Credentials Notification email will provide a link to a secure EFAST2 website, which will ask you the answer to your challenge question. You will then be asked to accept the PIN Agreement and the Signature Agreement.
  8. You will be prompted to create a password. Once you create your password, the final step is to retrieve the User ID and PIN on the Confirmation page. Upon creating a password and retrieving the User ID and PIN, the EFAST2 registration and account activation is complete.

User Types

  • Filing Author - Filing Authors can complete Form 5500 or 5500-SF and the applicable schedules, submit the filing, and check filing status. Filing authors cannot sign filings unless they also have the Filing Signer role described below. If you are using UltraTax CS to submit your returns electronically, you do not need to mark this checkbox.


    • If you will use IFILE for prior-year returns, mark this checkbox. For more information, see Prior-year returns FAQ (5500).
    • If your firm uses the Service Provider Designation method, you should mark this checkbox during registration, or update your User Profile.
  • Filing Signer - Filing Signers electronically sign Forms 5500 and 5500-SF and ensure the filing information is correct. Their signature indicates that to the best of their knowledge and belief, the filing is true, correct, and complete. You cannot perform any other filing-related functions when you select this type. Filing Signers include plan administrators, employers, plan sponsors, direct filing entities (DFE), and practitioners who use the Service Provider Designation method. If you file your firm's Form 5500 or Form 5500-SF, you must mark this checkbox.

    Your 5500 clients will need a Filing Signer code; therefore, mark this checkbox during registration.

    Note: If your firm uses the Service Provider Designation method, you should mark this checkbox during registration, or update your User Profile to have this checkbox marked.

  • Schedule Author - Schedule Authors can complete one or more of the schedules that accompany Forms 5500 and 5500-SF. Schedules created by a Schedule Author are not ordinarily associated with a filing. To associate a schedule with a filing, the schedule must be exported, and the Filing Author must import the exported file to the correct filing. Schedule Authors cannot initiate, sign, or submit a filing. If you use UltraTax CS to electronically submit your returns, you do not need to mark this checkbox.

    Note: The Schedule Author type must be selected using the IFILE system. UltraTax CS does not provide Schedule Author capability; IFILE is provided solely by the Department of Labor. IFILE is a free limited-function web application for creation and submission of Form 5500 returns and reports through the Department of Labor (DOL). For additional details on using IFILE, refer to the IFILE User's Guide Update (provided by the DOL).

  • Transmitter - Transmitters can transmit Forms 5500 and 5500-SF electronic filings to the EFAST2 system for processing on behalf of others. Transmitters are responsible for the security of all filing information before and during transmission. Transmitters can be companies, trades, businesses, or individuals. If you are using UltraTax CS to transmit your filings, then UltraTax CS is the Transmitter, and you should not mark this checkbox.
  • Third-Party Software Developer - Third-Party Software Developers make Form 5500 series filing preparation and/or transmission software for use in the EFAST2 system. Third-Party Software Developers submit test cases to the Participant Acceptance Testing System (PATS) Team using their software. The PATS Certification Team then reviews the developer's submissions and provides feedback or approves and certifies the software. Third-party software developers can be companies, trades, businesses, or individuals. If you are using UltraTax CS to prepare your returns, then UltraTax CS is the Third-Party Software Developer, and you should not mark this checkbox.

Related topic: UltraTax/5500 electronic filing overview

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