EP Determination Letter Resource Guide - Specialist Review Process
When an application for a determination letter cannot be closed by a technical screener, it is assigned to an Employee Plans Specialist.
The specialist will analyze the application, cross-referencing the information with specific criteria to determine if the plan is qualified.
Alert Guidelines, Explanations and Plan Deficiency Paragraphs and other guidance (see below) are used in order to ensure that the plan or amendments meet current IRS requirements.
If necessary, further information may be required by the specialist to clarify issues and/or additional amendments may be requested.
The Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) provides employers with the opportunity to make voluntary and timely correction of qualification or operational failures and to promote voluntary compliance.
Most applications submitted are issued a Favorable Determination Letter.
Each case is subject to review by our Quality Assurance Staff.
If certain requirements are not satisfied, an adverse or unfavorable determination letter may be proposed. In this case, the options are:
Request for the Appeals Process
The Appeals Process is available when the Service and the taxpayer cannot resolve issues and an adverse determination letter is proposed;
Request for Technical Advice
A Technical Advice Request is a request for guidance regarding a procedural or technical issue provided in the form of a memorandum to the individual taxpayer.
Technical Advice Requests help Service personnel resolve complex issues and help establish and maintain consistent holdings throughout the Service.
Generally, the Service will determine when to request technical advice, but the taxpayer may request that an issue be forwarded for technical advice. A Technical Advice Request will be initiated on all determination letter requests that are subject to Mandatory Technical Advice. For example, Cash Balance Plan Conversions are currently subject to Mandatory Technical Advice;
Request for Withdrawal of the Application
The applicant's request for a determination letter may be withdrawn by a written request at any time prior to the issuance of a final adverse letter. Withdrawal of the application will not result in an adverse letter. However, user fees are non-refundable. Also, an information referral may be made to EP Examinations for consideration of an audit.
Quality Assurance Bulletins
Bulletins issued by the EP Quality Assurance Staff on topics of interest to ensure the consistent processing of cases by Employee Plans Specialists.
Recurring Plan Issues
A report which summarizes frequently recurring defects in plan language that require corrective amendments and delay case closure.