7.13.1  Determination Letter Applications

Manual Transmittal

August 20, 2014


(1) This transmits revised IRM 7.13.1, Employee Plans Automated Processing Procedures, Determination Letter Applications.

Material Changes

(1) Minor editorial changes have been made throughout the text to improve grammar and clarity.

(2) IRM, Overview updated to reflect the new application forms.

(3) IRM, Systems updated to provide more details on the systems that Employee Plans-Exempt Organizations Determination System (EDS) interacts with.

(4) IRM, Systems updated to reflect that Letter 5289C and Letter 5290C are also created on the Correspondex system.

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 7.13.1, dated June 10, 2013, is superseded.


Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE) Employee Plans Personnel

Effective Date


Robert Choi
Director, Employee Plans
Tax Exempt and Government Entities  (08-20-2014)

  1. This IRM provides an overview of the systems available for processing Employee Plans (EP) determination letter applications.

  2. The guidance in this IRM applies to all EP employees and Cincinnati Service Processing Center (CSPC) employees that process determination letter (DL) applications.

  3. DLs may be requested using the following forms:

    Form Revision Date
    Form 5300, Application for Determination for Employee Benefit Plan. December 2013
    Form 5307, Application for Determination for Adopters of Modified Volume Submitter (VS) Plans. June 2014
    Form 5309, Application for Determination of Employee Stock Ownership Plan.
    NOTE: The Form 5309 must be filed with a Form 5300.
    January 2012
    Form 5310, Application for Determination for Terminating Plan. December 2013
    Form 5310-A, Notice of Plan Merger or Consolidation, Spin-off, or Transfer of Plan Assets or Liabilities; Notice of Qualified Separate Lines of Business.
    NOTE: The filing of Form 5310-A will not result in the issuance of a determination letter.
    November 2010
    Form 5316, Application for Group or Pooled Trust Ruling or Cover Letter. June 2011


    DLs cannot be issued for an out of date application. If one is received, request that the taxpayer send in a completed version of one of the current forms.  (08-20-2014)

  1. Tax Exempt Determination System (TEDS) is the primary system for processing DL applications. Although, DL applications are processed in TEDS, they will continue to be closed and DLs generated on the EDS.

  2. The Letter Information Network User Fee System (LINUS) is used to process the user fee applicable for the DL application. This initial input data for user fee is then automatically transmitted to TEDS. The Form 2221, Schedule of Collections, acknowledgment letters and the EP Determination Input Sheet are generated from LINUS.

  3. EDS is a national system run in a Sun Solaris environment. Potential tax-exempt entities submit applications to Exempt Organizations (EO) and EP to determine if they meet the law requirements of the Internal Revenue Code. EDS maintains inventory for cases being resolved under the EP Determination Letter Program and the EO Determination Letter Program. EDS also contains letter generation functionality for the determination letter.

  4. EDS receives data from, and sends data to, several remote systems via Electronic File Transfer Utility (EFTU). Data is received from the Modified Employee Plans / Exempt Organizations Determination System (MEDS). EDS uses that data to create and update cases in the EDS database. Acknowledgement data is sent back to MEDS to report on the status. EDS sends case data to MEDS on a daily basis for the management of information reports. LINUS data is taken in and stored to support manual case entry. The LINUS data transfer provides data to EDS in the event that MEDS is unavailable. This functionality is available when necessary. Data is provided to the Returns Inventory Classification System (RICS) to be combined with TE/GE compliance data. This data transfer occurs on a daily basis. Data is sent to the EP/EO Application Control System (EACS) for forwarding to the Employee Plans Master File (EPMF) or the Exempt Organizations Business Master File (EOBMF), and data is received from EACS to report the status of posting EDS data into EACS. This data transfer occurs on each business day. Data is sent to a contractor (ICF Macro) who performs the Customer Satisfaction Survey. Data is transmitted via EFTU to Secure Data Transfer (SDT), which utilizes Tumbleweed Secure Transport v4.8.1, a certified Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 cryptographic module. Tumbleweed Secure Transport has an integrated web server based off of Apache that utilizes Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) with Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption. SDT is used to provide files to external IRS customers. SDT is managed and maintained by the General Support System (GSS)-17.

  5. Business Objects replaces the Cyber Security Data Warehouse (CSDW) in order for users to view, create, and modify inventory and employee reports. Business Objects uses a set of tools providing an in-built interface to query and analyze data and also to build ad hoc and canned reports.

  6. Locally developed letters must meet national standards for letter format, content, and style. These standards also apply when local changes are made to letters approved for national use. If a local change is made to a letter approved for national use, the letter must still contain the appropriate Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval number and letter number used by the Tax Forms and Publications Division. EP Determinations must request approval from the Office of Taxpayer Correspondence for any locally developed letters or local changes made to letters approved for national use.

  7. Correspondex is used to automatically generate the Acknowledgement Notice 3335, Letter 4577C, Letter 5289C, and Letter 5290C.

  8. Centralized Authorization File (CAF) is no longer used for EP determination letter cases.

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