General Instructions

Purpose of Form

Adopters of Master or Prototype (M&P) or volume submitter (VS) plans file Form 5307 to request a determination letter from the IRS for the qualification of a defined benefit or a defined contribution plan and the exempt status of any related trust.

Type of Plan

  • A Defined Contribution Plan (DCP) is a plan that provides an individual account for each participant and for benefits based only:

    1. On the amount contributed to the participant's account, and

    2. Any income, expenses, gains and losses, and any forfeitures of accounts of other participants that may be allocated to the participant's account.

  • A Defined Benefit Plan (DBP) is any plan that is not a DCP.

A qualified plan must satisfy section 401(a) including, but not limited to, participation, vesting, nondiscriminatory contributions or benefits, distributions, and contribution and benefit limitations.

Who May File

This form may be filed by an adopter of:

  • An approved non-standardized M&P plan,

  • An approved VS plan, or

  • An approved standardized plan under the circumstances described in Rev. Proc. 2005-16, as modified by Rev. Proc. 2007-44.

See Announcement 2001-77, 2001-30 I.R.B. 83 for exceptions.

Standardized Plans

Standardized plans will generally satisfy the requirements of sections 410(b) and 401(a)(4) if they follow the terms of their plan document. Specific determinations regarding sections 410(b) and 401(a)(4) are not routinely issued for these plans since a standardized plan operated in accordance with its terms will satisfy the requirements of sections 410(b) and 401(a)(4).

Who May Not File

This form may not be filed to request a determination letter for:

  • An M&P adopter that amends the plan other than through the choice of elections offered under the approved adoption agreement. However, an M&P adopter may amend the adoption agreement to add overriding language for sections 415 or 416 because of the aggregation of plans or may amend the trust or custodial account document to make any permitted changes;

  • A cash balance plan (use Form 5300, Application for Determination for Employee Benefit Plan);

  • A multiemployer or multiple-employer plan (use Form 5300);

  • An employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) (attach Form 5309, Application for Determination of Employee Stock Ownership Plan, to Form 5300);

  • An individually designed plan (other than an approved VS plan) (use Form 5300); or

  • A request to determine if you are a member of an affiliated service group (use Form 5300).

Where To File

File Form 5307 at the address indicated below:

Internal Revenue Service

P.O. Box 192

Covington, KY 41012-0192.

Private Delivery Services.   In addition to the United States mail, you can use certain private delivery services designated by the IRS to meet the “timely mailing as timely filing/paying” rule for tax returns and payments. These private delivery services include only the following:
  • DHL Express (DHL): DHL Same Day Service, DHL Next Day 10:30 am, DHL Next Day 12:00 pm, DHL Next Day 3:00 pm, and DHL 2nd Day Service.

  • Federal Express (FedEx): FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx 2Day, FedEx International Priority, and FedEx International First.

  • United Parcel Service (UPS): UPS Next Day Air, UPS Next Day Air Saver, UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air A.M., UPS Worldwide Express Plus, and UPS Worldwide Express.

  The private delivery service can tell you how to get written proof of the mailing date.

How To Complete the Application

Applications are screened for completeness. The application must be signed by the employer, plan administrator, or authorized representative.

Stamped signatures are not acceptable; see Rev. Proc. 2008-4, which is on page 121 of Internal Revenue Bulletin 2008-1 at

Incomplete applications may be returned to the applicant. For this reason, it is important that an appropriate response be entered for each line item (unless instructed otherwise). In completing the application, pay careful attention to the following:

  • N/A (not applicable) is accepted as a response only if an N/A block is provided.

  • If a number is requested, a number must be entered.

  • If an item provides a choice of boxes to check, check only one box unless instructed otherwise.

  • If an item provides a box to check, written responses are not acceptable.

  • Governmental plans and nonelecting church plans do not have to complete line 10a.

  • The IRS may, at its discretion, require a plan restatement or additional information any time it is deemed necessary.

  • The application has formatted fields that will limit the number of characters entered per field.

  • All data input will need to be entered in Courier 10 point font.

  • Alpha characters should be entered in all capital letters.

  • Enter spaces between any words. Spaces do count as characters.

  • All date fields are entered as an eight-digit field (MMDDYYYY).

Rev. Proc. 2008-6 publishes the guidance under which the determination letter program is administered. It is updated annually and can be found in the Internal Revenue Bulletin (I.R.B.).
Example. Rev. Proc. 2008-6, which is on page 192 of Internal Revenue Bulletin 2008-1 at, superseded Rev. Proc. 2007-6.

What To File

Payments for sanction fees, compliance fees, etc. should be submitted on separate checks.

  • A completed Form 5307, which consists of pages 1-9.

  • The appropriate user fee, if applicable, and Form 8717, User Fee for Employee Plan Determination Letter Request. Please submit a separate check for each application. Make checks payable to the “United States Treasury.

  • Schedule Q (Form 5300) Elective Determination Requests. Complete Schedule Q, if you want to broaden the scope of a determination letter by requesting a determination that your plan satisfies certain qualification requirements relating to minimum participation, coverage, and nondiscrimination. Schedule Q is no longer mandatory.

  • Form 8905, Certification of Intent To Adopt a Pre-approved Plan, if an employer intends to switch from the 5-year remedial amendment cycle to the 6-year remedial amendment cycle by meeting one of the eligibility requirements for the 6-year remedial amendment cycle.

  • All applications for plans that have at any time in the past received a favorable determination letter must include a copy of the plan's latest determination letter.

  • An opinion or advisory letter issued to the plan must accompany all applications for adopters of M&P or VS plans.

  • An adoption agreement must be submitted for M&P plans. Do not submit a copy of the basic plan document or trust instrument unless the plan is an M&P which uses a separate trust or custodial account document, in which case such trust or custodial account document must be submitted along with the application.

  • All applications submitted by adopters of approved VS plans must be accompanied by a copy of the plan and trust instrument and a written representation, made by the VS under penalty of perjury, which explains if the plan and trust instrument are or are not word-for-word identical to the approved specimen plan and, if not identical, describes the location, nature, and effect of each difference from the language of the approved specimen plan.

  • Written authorization allowing the VS practitioner to act as a representative of the employer with respect to the request for a determination letter.

  • All applications submitted by adopters of approved VS plans must also be accompanied by any other information or material required by the Service.

Specific Plans—Additional Requirements

(See Procedural Requirements Checklist)

  • If this application is filed for a standardized plan, complete only lines 1 through 5, 7 through 9, and 10c through 10g. Explain in a cover letter why the application is being filed.

  • For a governmental or nonelecting church plan, complete Form 5307 but skip line 10a. A nonelecting church plan is a plan for which an election under section 410(d) has not been made.

  • For plans of controlled groups of corporations, trades or businesses under common control, and affiliated service groups, submit the statement specified in the instructions for lines 6a and 6b.

  • File Form 5310, Application for Determination for Terminating Plan, to request a determination letter for the complete termination of a DBP or DCP.

More Online Instructions