Apply for a Determination Letter - Individually Designed Plans

Generallly, an individually designed plan is a retirement plan that has not been pre-approved by the IRS, and is drafted to meet the specific needs of a single employer or multi-employer group.

When to apply

You may only submit an application if your individually designed plan is:

  • A plan seeking an initial favorable determination letter
  • A terminating plan
  • A plan that meets certain circumstances to be announced in IRS guidance (no additional circumstances apply for applications in calendar year 2017)

How to apply - procedures and forms

These procedures generally apply to Form 5300 series determination letter applications submitted beginning February 1, 2016.

  1. Amend your plan for applicable law changes. These resources can help:

2.  Fill out and submit the appropriate forms and documents with your application package. Review Revenue Procedure 2019-4 for details.

Save time with fax: Include an employer fax number on line 1(h) so we can fax requests for additional information needed to process your application. This reduces mailing delays and the possible closure of your submission as incomplete and forfeiture of your user fee.

Check the right boxes: To authorize your representatives to receive notices and communications on your behalf, you must check the box on line 2 of Form 2848 and/or box 5(a) on Form 8821 for each authorized representative. If you fail to check this box, the IRS is not authorized to contact your representative about your submission.

Save time with fax: Include the representative’s fax number on line 2 of Form 2848 or 8821 so we can fax information requests to your representative. This reduces mailing delays and the possible closure of your submission as incomplete and forfeiture of your user fee.

  • Plan document. A copy of your plan document and trust document. If the plan is terminating, the plan document should be updated for any changes in the law effective as of the date of termination.

    For ongoing plans, the plan document should be updated for the applicable Required Amendments Lists
     
  • Amendments. Copies of amendments intended to comply with the Required Amendment List and discretionary amendments adopted or effective since the plan’s prior submission period, plus other supporting documents.
     
  • Prior letter or prior plan. If the plan has previously received a favorable determination letter from the IRS, include a copy of the letter.

    If the plan has not previously received a favorable determination letter, submit prior plan documents, adoption agreements and amendments to show compliance for the Cumulative List applicable for the plan’s prior submission period. For additional guidance, see Internal Revenue Manual 7.11.1.9, Determining the Scope/Verifying Plan Law.
     
  • Follow these tips to avoid processing delays with your determination letter application

3.  Pay the appropriate user fee. If you meet certain criteria, you may be eligible for a user fee exemption.

4.  Mail your application to the appropriate address

Where to mail your application

Internal Revenue Service
Attention: EP Determination Letters
7940 Kentucky Drive
MS 31A
Florence, KY 41042

For express mail or a delivery service:

Internal Revenue Service
Attention: EP Determination Letters
7940 Kentucky Drive
MS 31A
Florence, KY 41042.

Determination letter review process

Additional resources