IRS Issues Annual Update on Determination Letters and Private Letter Rulings

In January 2021, the IRS issued Rev. Proc. 2021-4, which includes annual updates to certain procedures including determination letter requests, private letter rulings, and employee plan tax information. 

Key updates to 2020 procedures are as follows:

Form 5310. Form 5310, Application for Determination for a Terminating Plan, must be filed electronically starting August 1, 2021. Form 5310 may also be followed electronically beginning April 16, 2021.

Leased employees. Determination letter applicants that are also requesting a ruling on the status of leased employees must make a specific request for the ruling in a cover letter.

Preapproved plans. An adopting employer of a preapproved defined contribution plan may apply for an individual determination letter (if otherwise eligible) during the period beginning August 1, 2020, and ending July 31, 2022.  In addition, the adoption period for defined benefit preapproved plans with respect to the third six-year remedial amendment cycle will not occur in 2021.

Government plans. The update adds a new category for determination letter requests for preapproved government pension plans that does not satisfy any of the regulatory safe harbor definitions.

Multiple employer plans (MEPs). This section clarifies that a controlling member of a multiple-employer plan is also the adopting employer that submits the plan’s determination letter application.

Employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). The update provides instructions for ESOP sponsors using Form 5307 to submit a determination letter request.

User fees. User fees for letter rulings and determination letter requests are updated as follows: 

Request type

2020

2021

Letter ruling request for five-year automatic extension of the amortization period

$1,000

$6,500

Form 5300, Application for Determination of Employee Benefit Plan

$2,500

$2,700

Form 5307, Application for Determination for Adopters of Modified Volume Submitter Plans

$800

$1,000

Form 5310, Application for Determination for Terminating Plan

$3,000

$3,500

HBL has experience in all areas of benefits and employment law, offering a comprehensive solution to all your business benefits and HR/employment needs. We help ensure you are in compliance with the complex requirements of ERISA and the IRS code, as well as those laws that impact you and your employees. Together, we reduce your exposure to potential legal or financial penalties. Learn more by calling 678-439-6236.

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