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Changes to the instructions for "Exemption from User Fee", Form 8717 (Rev. 9-2016) -- 26-JAN-2017

Per Notice 2017-1, there are new requirements for an exemption from user fees. The new requirements are effective for determination letter applications filed on or after January 1, 2017. For plans submitting for a determination letter under Revenue Procedure 2016-37, disregard the instructions for "Exemption from User Fee" found on page 2 of Form 8717. You must now use the instructions listed below to determine whether you meet the requirements for an exemption. Determination letter filings on or before January 31, 2017, that are considered Cycle A letter requests with respect to an individually designed plan, or an application for a determination letter that is filed on or before April 30, 2017, with respect to a newly approved pre-approved defined contribution plan that is based on the 2010 Cumulative List and adopted on or after January 1, 2016, should continue to follow the old exemption rules listed in the instructions and Notice 2011-86.


Exemption from User Fee

The exemption from the user fee applies to all eligible employers (defined below) who request a determination letter:

  • if the plan was first in effect no earlier than January 1 of the tenth calendar year immediately before the year in which the application is submitted or,
  • if the plan was first in effect before this date, but the application is still filed within a remedial amendment period that began within the first 5 plan years.

To qualify as an eligible employer, an eligible employer as defined in section 408(p)(2)(C)(i)(1) must:

  • have no more than 100 employees who received at least $5,000 of compensation from the employer for the preceding year, and
  • have at least one employee who is not a highly compensated employee (as defined in section 414(q)) and is participating in the plan.

The determination of whether an employer is an eligible employer is made as of the date of the request described above. If your application meets these requirements, complete only the Certification. Don't complete any part of line 5.


For additional guidance on determining user fee exemptions, see Notice 2002-1, as amplified by Notice 2017-1.