Apply for a Determination Letter - Individually Designed Plans

 

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

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 seeking a ruling on a partial termination
  • A plan that meets certain circumstances to be announced in IRS guidance (Rev. Proc. 2019-20 PDF)
    • Plan mergers – may submit applications of certain merged plans on a continuing basis

How to apply - procedures and forms

These procedures generally apply to Form 5300 series determination letter applications submitted beginning January 1, 2017.

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 2021-4, revised annually, 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 for each authorized representative. If you don’t want a prior tax information authorization submission to be revoked, you must attach a copy of the tax information authorization you want to retain and check the line 5 box of Form 8821. If you fail to check these boxes, the IRS is not authorized to contact your representative(s) 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
P.O. Box 12192
TE/GE Stop MS 31A Team 105
Covington, KY 41012-0192

For express mail or a delivery service

Internal Revenue Service Attention: EP Determination Letters
7940 Kentucky Drive
TE/GE Stop MS 31A Team 105
Florence, KY 41042

Note: On or after August 1, 2021, Forms 5310 must be submitted via Pay.gov.

Determination letter review process

Additional resources