Effective January 1, 2017, the five-year remedial amendment cycle for individually designed plans under the IRS determination letter program will be eliminated. The IRS recently announced additional revisions to the determination letter program in anticipation of this elimination. Controlled groups and affiliated service groups that previously made a Cycle A election are permitted to submit determination letter applications during the Cycle A submission period ending January 31, 2017; expiration dates on determination letters issued prior to January 4, 2016 are no longer operative; and employers that want to convert an existing individually designed plan into a defined contribution pre-approved plan and apply, if otherwise permissible, for a determination letter may do so between January 1, 2016 and April 30, 2017. Notice 2016-03 can be found?áhere.
Cycle D filers may want to consider filing their determination letter applications before June 30, 2014 in order to take advantage of using the 2011 Form 5300.?á The IRS issued a new Form 5300 at the end of last year that requires additional information not required on the 2011 Form 5300.?á An employer wanting to file before June 30th must distribute the related Notice to Interested Parties by June 20, 2014.?á In general, Cycle D filers are plan sponsors whose EIN ends in 4 or 9 or multi-employer plans.
Under new procedures issued by the IRS, effective for determination letter applications submitted on and after February 1, 2013, the IRS will no longer accept working copies of a plan document as part of the submission package. Plan sponsors must now provide an executed restatement of the plan with the application. This means planning ahead for those plan restatements that require board approval, so that the restatement will be executed in advance of the January 31 filing deadline for that cycle. A copy of IRS Revenue Procedure 2013-6 can be found here.
Puerto Rico Treasury Department Issues Guidance on Determination Letter Requirements for Qualified Plans
The Puerto Rico Treasury Department recently released guidance on obtaining determination letters for retirement plans intended to be qualified under the Puerto Rico Internal Revenue Code of 2011 (?Ç£2011 Code?Ç¥).?á The guidance is effective January 1, 2012 and included in Puerto Rico Internal Revenue Circular Letter 11-10.?á The new guidance provides that amendments required by the 2011 Code must be adopted by the last day of the plan year beginning on or after January 1, 2012 and must be filed with the Puerto Rico Treasury before the last day that the sponsoring employer?ÇÖs Puerto Rico income tax return must be filed for the tax year that begins on or after January 1, 2012.?á The new guidance also details the amendments required for compliance with the 2011 PR Code.?á The guidance can be found?áhere?á(in Spanish).
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that it will change several aspects of its employee plans determination letter program, which will take effect for determination letter applications filed on or after February 1, 2012 (for plans assigned to a five-year remedial amendment cycle) or May 1, 2012 (for plans assigned to a six-year remedial amendment cycle). Among the changes made, the IRS has eliminated elective demonstrations regarding coverage and nondiscrimination requirements. Furthermore, only plans that have made limited modifications to a pre-approved volume submitter plan may file the shorter Form 5307. These changes to the determination letter filing procedures will be reflected in Revenue Procedure 2012-6, which will be published on January 3, 2012. This announcement is available here.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2011-97, which includes the 2011 Cumulative List, the list of statutory, regulatory, and guidance changes that the IRS will look for when reviewing individually designed plans submitted for determination letters during the Cycle B submission period, which begins February 1, 2012 and ends January 31, 2013. Notice 2011-97 is available here.