7.13.1 Determination Letter Applications

Manual Transmittal

November 21, 2016


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

Material Changes

(1) Updated to meet the requirements of P.L. 111-274 (H.R. 946), the Plain Writing Act of 2010. The Act states writing must be clear, concise, well-organized, and follow other best practices appropriate to the subject or field and intended audience.

(2) Updated IRM, Systems, to clarify all letters should meet the standards in Interim Guidance for TE/GE Letter and Notice Procedures.

Effect on Other Documents

This supersedes IRM 7.13.1 dated August 27, 2015.


Tax Exempt and Government Entities
Employee Plans

Effective Date


Robert S. Choi
Director, Employee Plans
Tax Exempt and Government Entities


  1. This IRM gives an overview of the systems Employee Plans (EP) uses to process Determination Letter (DL) applications.

  2. This IRM applies to all EP employees and Cincinnati Service Processing Center (CSPC) employees who process DL applications.


  1. We use the Tax Exempt Determination System (TEDS) as the primary system for processing DL applications, but we continue to use the Employee Plans-Exempt Organizations Determination System (EDS) as our system of record, to close cases and generate DLs.

  2. We use the Letter Information Network User Fee System (LINUS) to process the user fee for the DL application. The initial user fee input data is automatically transmitted to TEDS. LINUS generates:

    • Form 2221, Schedule of Collections

    • Acknowledgment letters

    • EP Determination Input Sheet

  3. EDS is a national system run in a Sun Solaris environment. Retirement plan sponsors submit applications to EP to determine if they meet the Internal Revenue Code law requirements. EDS maintains inventory for cases in the EP and Exempt Organizations (EO) Determination Letter Programs.

  4. EDS receives data from, and sends data to, several remote systems via Electronic File Transfer Utility (EFTU):

    1. EDS uses data it receives from the TEDS to create and update cases in the EDS database.

    2. EDS sends case data to TEDS daily, including case status acknowledgement data, to manage information reports.

    3. LINUS data is taken in and stored to support manual case entry. LINUS transfers data to EDS if TEDS is unavailable.

    4. Data is sent to the Returns Inventory Classification System (RICS) daily and combined with TE/GE compliance data.

    5. Data is sent to the EP/EO Application Control System (EACS) each business day to forward to either the Employee Plans Master File (EPMF) or the Exempt Organizations Business Master File (EOBMF), and EACS sends data to EDS confirming the posting of data from EDS into EACS.

    6. Data is sent to a contractor (ICF Macro) who performs the Customer Satisfaction Survey.

    7. Data is transmitted via EFTU to Secure Data Transfer (SDT), which uses 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 uses Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) with Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption.

    8. SDT is used to provide files to external IRS customers. SDT is managed and maintained by the General Support System (GSS)-17.

  5. EDS sends updates to Business Objects. Business Objects:

    1. Replaces the Cyber Security Data Warehouse (CSDW) which allows users to view, create, and modify inventory and employee reports.

    2. Uses tools to provide a built-in interface to query and analyze data and to build ad hoc and canned reports.

  6. All letters must meet national standards for letter format, content, and style. EP Determinations must request approval from the Office of Taxpayer Correspondence for any letter they develop locally or any change they make to a nationally approved letter the Interim Guidance for TE/GE Letter and Notice Procedures.

  7. Correspondex is used to automatically generate the:

    • Acknowledgement Notice 3335

    • Letter 4577C

    • Letter 5289C

    • Letter 5290C