Specific Instructions

Table of Contents

    Lines 1a-h.   Enter the name, address and telephone number of the plan sponsor. The plan sponsor information used on this Form 8950 must be the same plan sponsor information that is being reported on the related Form 8951. The plan information entered should be the same information used on the applicable filed Form 5500, Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan; Form 5500-EZ, Annual Return/Report of One-Participant (Owners and Their Spouses) Retirement Plan; or Form 5500-SF, Short Form Annual Return/Report of Small Employee Benefit Plan.

      The plan sponsor is:
    1. For a plan maintained by a single employer, the employer;

    2. For a plan maintained by two or more unrelated employers (a multiple employer plan or multiemployer plan), enter the name of the plan administrator as if it was the plan sponsor (see Regulations section 1.414(g)-1). Items 1b-1k should be completed as if the plan administrator were the plan sponsor;

    3. For a plan sponsored by two or more entities required to be combined under sections 414(b), (c), or (m), one of the members participating in the plan;

    4. For a plan that covers the employees and/or partners of a partnership, the partnership;

    5. For an orphan plan, the name of the eligible party. Include a court order or other evidence documenting that the VCP applicant is an eligible party. See Rev. Proc. 2013-12, section 11.10;

    6. For an anonymous submission, enter “Anonymous” and include the specific name of the plan sponsor’s authorized representative as well as the unique identifying number the representative has assigned to the specific submission, as required by Rev. Proc. 2013-12, section 10.10. Enter this information on line 1a. The identifying number should not be used for any other anonymous submission. Lines 1b, 1c, 1e, 1f, 1g, 1h, 1j and 1k can be left blank. For line 1d, include the abbreviation of the state where the plan sponsor is located; and

    7. For a group submission, enter the name of the eligible organization. Enter this information on line 1a. Items 1b-1k should be completed as if the eligible organization were the plan sponsor.

    Address.   Enter the address of the plan sponsor. If applicable, include the suite, room, or other unit number after the street address. If the Post Office does not deliver mail to that address, show the box number instead of the street address.

    Foreign Address.   If the plan sponsor has a foreign address, complete lines 1f, 1g, and 1h. Do not abbreviate the country name. Follow the country's practice for entering the postal code and the name of the province, county, or state.

    Line 1i.   Enter the nine-digit EIN assigned to the applicant. For those applicants required to file a Form 5500 series return, the EIN should be the same EIN that is used when the Form 5500 series return is filed. Also, the EIN used on this Form 8950 must be the same EIN that is being reported on the attached Form 8951.

      If this is an anonymous submission, enter the EIN of the authorized representative's employer.

      Do not use a social security number or trust EIN.

      An applicant must have an EIN. If you do not have an EIN, you may apply for one online. Go to the IRS website at www.irs.gov/businesses/small and click on the “Employer ID Numbers (EINs)” link. Alternatively, an applicant can apply for an EIN by calling 1-800-829-4933 or by mailing or faxing a completed Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number, to the IRS.

    Line 2a.   List a person who may be contacted if additional information is needed. If you have appointed an authorized representative, check the box, do not complete any line 2 items and include Form 2848 with your submission. If you have listed an individual from a submitted Form 8821 as the contact person, note that an individual listed only on Form 8821 cannot be contacted if questions or issues arise during the processing of a VCP submission.

    Line 3.   Check the box that best describes the type of submission that is being mailed to the IRS. Most submissions will be regular VCP submissions. VCP group submissions, anonymous submissions, or non-VCP submissions involving 457(b) plans should be identified by checking the appropriate box. Do not check more than one box.

    Line 4a.   Enter the full name of the plan, as shown on Form 5500 or other documents. For example, you can enter the XYZ Company Profit-Sharing Plan. If this is an anonymous submission, leave this line blank.

    Line 4b.   Enter the plan’s three-digit plan number. Typically, three-digit plan numbers begin with “001” and continue in numerical order for each plan that has been adopted by the plan sponsor. The number you assign to a plan must not be changed or used for any other plan. For those plan sponsors required to file a Form 5500 series return, the plan number entered on Form 8950 should be the same as the plan number that was or will be used when the Form 5500 series return is filed. The plan number used on this Form 8950 must be the same plan number that is being reported on the related Form 8951. If your plan is a SEP, SARSEP, or SIMPLE IRA, leave this line blank.

      For anonymous submissions, enter “401” for the first anonymous submission made by the authorized representative using Form 8950. For subsequent anonymous submissions made by the authorized representative, the plan number to be entered on each Form 8950 will be the next number following 401 (for example, 402, 403, 404, etc.) resulting in unique plan numbers for each subsequent anonymous submission. The number assigned to a specific anonymous submission must not be changed or used for any other anonymous submission made by the authorized representative.

    Line 4c.   Enter the month the plan year ends. Plan year means the calendar, policy, or fiscal year on which the records of the plan are kept. If this is an anonymous submission, leave this line blank.

    Line 4d.   Enter the total dollar value of the retirement plan’s assets. For Form 5500 series filers, this information comes from the most recently filed return for the plan determined as of the date the Form 8950 is mailed to the IRS. Filers of the 2010 and 2011 Form 5500 can find this information on Schedule H or I. Filers of Form 5500-SF, look to line 7. For Form 5500-EZ filers, look to line 6. For plans that are exempt from filing a Form 5500 series return, enter the total dollar value of the retirement plan assets as of the last day of the most recently completed plan year.

      For a group submission, the eligible organization is to provide a good faith estimate of the value of the retirement plan assets that are associated with the individual retirement plans that are part of the group submission.

    Line 4e.   Enter the total number of plan participants. For Form 5500 series filers, this information is on the most recently filed return for the plan determined as of the date the Form 8950 is mailed to the IRS. Filers of the 2010 and 2011 Form 5500 can find this information on line 6(f). For filers of Form 5500-SF and Form 5500-EZ, look to line 5(b).

      For applicants that are exempt from filing a Form 5500 series return, enter the number of plan participants determined as of the last day of the most recently ended plan year. However, if this information is not available at the time the VCP submission is being mailed to the IRS, it is acceptable to use the most recently ended prior plan year for which information on the number of plan participants is available. The exception does not apply if the VCP submission is mailed to the IRS more than seven months after the close of the most recently ended plan year preceding the date of the VCP submission. See Rev. Proc. 2013-12, section 12.08.

      Plans that have terminated and filed a final form 5500 series return should enter the number of participants on the return filed for the year prior to the year all assets were distributed.

      For group submissions, the eligible organization must provide a good faith estimate of the number of plan participants associated with the individual retirement plans that are part of the group submission.

      The number of participants reported on this Form 8950 must be the same number that is being reported on the related Form 8951.

    Line 5.   Review all possible choices before selecting an answer. Enter the type of plan that is the subject of this VCP submission by selecting the appropriate number from the choices associated with this line.

      For this purpose, governmental section 414(d) plans are section 401(a) plans sponsored by a governmental entity, as defined in section 414(d).

      If your plan type is not listed among the various available choices, enter 99 and attach a detailed description of your plan. It is expected that plan type 99 would be used in very rare circumstances.

    Line 6.   If “Yes” is chosen, check the boxes indicating which Appendix C, Part II Schedules are being submitted with the VCP submission. See Rev. Proc. 2013-12, Appendix C, for descriptions of the Schedules.

    Line 7a.   VCP submissions that involve 403(b) plans, SEPs, and SIMPLE plans may skip all questions on line 7. Anonymous submissions may also skip all questions on line 7. However, a determination letter application may need to be submitted to the IRS upon disclosure of the applicant’s identity.

    Line 7b.   Rev. Proc. 2013-12, section 6.05, generally requires that a determination letter application be included with a VCP submission if a section 401(a) plan document or operational failure (not a demographic failure) is being corrected by a retroactive plan amendment. However, no determination letter application is required to be submitted with a VCP submission in the following situations:
    • The failure is limited to late interim amendments or amendments required to implement optional changes associated with a change in tax law;

    • The failure is being corrected by adopting IRS model amendments or an IRS pre-approved prototype or volume submitter plan on which the plan sponsor has reliance;

    • For off-cycle plans (as of the date of the VCP submission), the failure is an operational failure that is being corrected by retroactive plan amendment. To determine whether a plan is on-cycle or off-cycle, see Rev. Proc. 2007-44 (or its successor). Generally, a plan’s cycle is determined by reference to the EIN of the plan sponsor if it is an individually designed document. If the plan document, at the time of the failure, is a pre-approved document, a different method is used to determine the plan's cycle.

      If 7b is checked “No,” include an attachment that explains why a determination letter application was not submitted with Form 8950 and related VCP submission. The attachment should refer to line 7b and include the applicant's name, plan number, and EIN.

    Line 7c.   If 7a is checked Yes, enter the plan’s remedial amendment cycle. For individually designed plans, plan sponsors would pick one of the five cycles from Cycle A through Cycle E. For plans that are under the six-year cycle associated with pre-approved documents, enter either “pre-approved defined contribution plan” or “pre-approved defined benefit plan,” as applicable. To determine a plan’s cycle, refer to the instructions for line 7b and Rev. Proc. 2007-44.

    Line 8.   If Yes, attach a written explanation that provides details of the transaction(s). See Rev. Proc. 2013-12, section 4.13(2). Include the applicant’s name, plan number, and EIN at the top of the attachment.

    Line 10.   See Eligibility Requirements for the Use of VCP , earlier, and Rev. Proc. 2013-12, section 4.02.

    Line 11.   If “Yes,” include an attachment that indicates when the determination letter application was submitted to the IRS, along with the case number that has been assigned, if known. Include the applicant’s name, plan number, and EIN at the top of the attachment.

    Line 12.   This question should be answered “Yes,” if:
    • A past determination letter application was withdrawn by the plan sponsor; or

    • A past determination letter application was closed as incomplete due to a failure to respond to a question and the VCP submission includes qualification failures that were identified during the application process or would have been discovered by the IRS had the application not been withdrawn or closed as incomplete.

      If line 12 was checked “Yes,” attach an explanation. Include the applicant's name, plan number, and EIN at the top of the attachment.

      Consider the following example: Plan Sponsor X submits a determination letter application to the IRS. During the review process, additional information is solicited in order to determine whether the plan had been timely amended for past tax law changes. The determination letter application is withdrawn by Plan Sponsor X. Two months later, Plan Sponsor X submits a VCP submission to the IRS indicating the plan document was not timely updated for various specified tax law changes. When completing Form 8950, Plan Sponsor X should answer “Yes” to question 12 and include a written attachment that explains why the determination letter application was withdrawn. 


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