Recent Published Guidance


Interested in a printable PDF? See the list of Internal Revenue Bulletins in PDF format.

Recent Interest Rate Notices
Updates for the corporate bond weighted average interest rates; the 24-month average segment rates; the funding transitional segment rates; and the minimum present value transitional rates.

Rev. Proc. 2021-30, 2021-31 PDF
Updates the comprehensive system of correction programs for sponsors of retirement plans that are intended to satisfy the requirements of IRC Sections 401(a), 403(a), 403(b), 408(k), or 408(p), but that have not met these requirements for a period of time. This system, the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (“EPCRS”), permits Plan Sponsors to correct these failures and thereby continue to provide their employees with retirement benefits on a tax-favored basis. The components of EPCRS are the Self-Correction Program (“SCP”), the Voluntary Correction Program (“VCP”), and the Audit Closing Agreement Program (“Audit CAP”).

Notice 2020-52, 2020-29 I.R.B. 79
Clarifies the requirements that apply to a mid-year amendment to a safe harbor Section 401(k) or Section 401(m) plan that reduces only contributions made on behalf of highly compensated employees. This notice also provides temporary relief in connection with the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic from certain requirements that would otherwise apply to a mid-year amendment to a safe harbor Section 401(k) or Section 401(m) plan adopted between March 13, 2020, and August 31, 2020, that reduces or suspends safe harbor contributions.

Notice 2020-51, 2020-29 I.R.B. 73
Provides guidance relating to the waiver in 2020 of required minimum distributions (RMDs) from certain retirement plans and IRAs due to the amendment of IRC Section 401(a)(9)  by Section 2203 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, P.L. 116-136. In particular, this notice provides rollover relief (including an extension of the 60-day rollover period to August 31, 2020) with respect to waived RMDs and certain related payments, permits certain repayments to inherited IRAs, as described in Section 402(c)(11), and sets out Q&A’s to answer anticipated questions regarding the waiver of 2020 RMDs.

Notice 2020-50, 2020-28 I.R.B. 35
Provides guidance relating to the application of Section 2202 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Pub. L. 116-136, 134 Stat. 281 (2020) (CARES Act) for qualified individuals and eligible retirement plans. The CARES Act was enacted on March 27, 2020. Under Section 2202 of the CARES Act, qualified individuals receive favorable tax treatment with respect to distributions from eligible retirement plans that are coronavirus-related distributions. A coronavirus-related distribution is not subject to the 10% additional tax under IRC Section 72(t) (including the 25% additional tax under Section 72(t)(6) for certain distributions from SIMPLE IRAs), generally is includible in income over a 3-year period, and, to the extent the distribution is eligible for tax-free rollover treatment and is contributed to an eligible retirement plan within a 3-year period, will not be includible in income. Section 2202 of the CARES Act also increases the allowable plan loan amount under IRC Section 72(p) and permits a suspension of payments for plan loans outstanding on or after March 27, 2020, that are made to qualified individuals. The guidance in this notice is intended to assist employers and plan administrators, trustees and custodians, and qualified individuals in applying Section 2202 of the CARES Act, including by providing guidance on how plans may report coronavirus-related distributions and how individuals may report these distributions on their individual federal income tax returns.

The Appendix to this notice provides a sample amendment that plans may adopt to provide recipients of distributions that would otherwise be RMDs a choice whether to receive the waived RMDs and certain related payments.

Notice 2020-42, 2020-26 I.R.B. 986
In response to the unprecedented public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the related social distancing that has been implemented, this notice provides temporary relief from the physical presence requirement in Treasury Regulations Section 1.401(a)-21(d)(6) for participant elections required to be witnessed by a plan representative or a notary public, including a spousal consent required under IRC Section 417. While this temporary relief, which covers the period from January 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020, is intended to facilitate the payment of coronavirus-related distributions and plan loans to qualified individuals, as permitted by Section 2202 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Pub. L. 116-136, 134 Stat. 281 (2020) (CARES Act), the temporary relief applies to any participant election that requires the signature of an individual to be witnessed in the physical presence of a plan representative or notary.

Announcement 2020-7, 2020-25 I.R.B. 959
The IRS intends to issue opinion letters for pre-approved defined contribution plans that were restated for changes in plan qualification requirements listed in Notice 2017-37, 2017-29 I.R.B. 89 (the 2017 Cumulative List) and that were filed with the IRS during the submission period for the third six-year remedial amendment cycle under Rev. Proc. 2016-37, 2016-29 I.R.B. 136 (newly approved plans). The IRS expects to issue the letters on June 30, 2020, or, in some cases, as soon as possible thereafter. An employer adopting a newly approved plan will be required to adopt the plan document by July 31, 2022. Starting August 1, 2020, and ending July 31, 2022, the IRS will accept from any employer eligible to submit a determination letter request an application for an individual determination letter under the third six-year remedial amendment cycle for pre-approved defined contribution plans.

Rev. Proc. 2020-10, 2020-02 I.R.B. 295

Rev. Proc. 2017-41 sets forth procedures for providers of pre-approved plans to obtain opinion letters, once every six years, for qualified pre-approved plans submitted with respect to the third (and subsequent) six-year remedial amendment cycles. Defined benefit and defined contribution pre-approved plans are under different six-year remedial amendment cycles. This revenue procedure provides that the third six-year remedial amendment cycle for pre-approved defined benefit plans begins on May 1, 2020 and ends on January 31, 2025. It also provides that the on-cycle submission period for providers to submit opinion letter applications begins on August 1, 2020 and ends on July 31, 2021.

Rev. Proc. 2020-9, 2020-02 I.R.B. 294
Clarifies which amendments are treated as integral to a plan provision that fails to satisfy the qualification requirements of the Code by reason of a change to those requirements made by the recently published regulations under Sections 401(k) and 401(m) relating to hardship distributions of elective deferrals. This revenue procedure also extends the deadline, applicable to pre-approved plans, for adopting an interim amendment relating to those regulations.

Rev. Proc. 2020-4, 2020-01 I.RB. 148
Contains information on the types of advice provided by the Commissioner, Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division, Employee Plans Rulings and Agreements Office, including procedures for issuing determination letters and letter rulings. Rev. Proc. 2019-4 is superseded.

Notice 2020-14, 2020-13 I.R.B. 555
Sets forth the 2020 Cumulative List of Changes in Plan Qualification Requirements for Pre-Approved Defined Benefit Plans (2020 Cumulative List). The 2020 Cumulative List sets forth specific matters the IRS has identified for review in determining whether a defined benefit plan document that has been filed for an opinion letter has been properly updated. The provisions in the 2020 Cumulative List include statutory and regulatory provisions that were issued between October 1, 2012 and December 1, 2019.

Notice 2020-6, 2020-07 I.R.B. 411
Provides that if a RMD statement is provided for 2020 to an IRA owner who will attain age 70½ in 2020, the IRS will not consider such statement to be incorrect, provided that the financial institution notifies the IRA owner no later than April 15, 2020, that no RMD is due for 2020.

Rev. Rul. 2020-02, 2020-02 I.R.B. 298
Provides tables of covered compensation under IRC Section 401(l)(5)(E) and the Income Tax Regulations thereunder, effective January 1, 2020.

Notice 2019-60, 2019-49 I.R.B. 1292
Provides temporary relief with respect to the nondiscrimination requirements relating to benefits, rights, and features under closed defined benefit plans that generally meet the eligibility conditions for the relief provided in Notice 2014-5, 2014-2 I.R.B. 276, as extended.

REG-132210-18, 2019-48 I.R.B. 1232
Proposed regulations that would update the life expectancy and distribution period tables that are used to calculate required minimum distributions from qualified retirement plans, individual retirement accounts and annuities, and certain other tax-favored retirement arrangements.

Notice 2019-59, 2019-47 I.R.B. 1091
IRC Section 415 provides for dollar limitations on benefits and contributions under qualified retirement plans. Section 415(d) requires that the Secretary of the Treasury annually adjust these limits for cost of living increases. Other limitations applicable to deferred compensation plans are also affected by these adjustments under Section 415. Under Section 415(d), the adjustments are to be made under adjustment procedures similar to those used to adjust benefit amounts under Section 215(i)(2)(A) of the Social Security Act.

TD 9875, 2019-41 I.R.B. 856
Final regulations amending the current regulations under Section 401(k) relating to hardship distributions. Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 Section 41113 directs the Secretary to remove the requirement in the current regulations that an employee’s plan contributions be suspended for at least 6 months following a hardship distribution from the plan.

Notice 2019-49, 2019-37 I.R.B. 699
Extends the temporary nondiscrimination relief for closed defined benefit plans that is provided in Notice 2014-5, 2014-2 I.R.B. 276, by making that relief available for plan years beginning before 2021 if the conditions of Notice 2014-5 are satisfied.

Rev. Rul. 2019-19, 2019-36 I.R.B. 674
Provides that an individual’s failure to cash a distribution check from a qualified plan does not permit the individual to exclude the amount of the designated distribution from gross income under IRC Section 402(a) and does not alter an employer’s withholding and reporting obligations under IRC Sections 3405 and 6047(d).

REG-121508-18, 2019-30 I.R.B. 456
Proposed regulations relating to the tax qualification of plans maintained by more than one employer. These plans are often referred to as multiple employer plans or MEPs. The proposed regulations would provide an exception, if certain requirements are met, to the application of the “unified plan rule” for a defined contribution MEP in the event of a failure by an employer participating in the plan to satisfy a qualification requirement or to provide information needed to determine compliance with a qualification requirement. These proposed regulations would affect MEPs, participants in MEPs (and their beneficiaries), employers participating in MEPs, and MEP plan administrators.

Rev. Proc. 2019-20, 2019-20 I.R.B. 1182
Provides for a limited expansion of the determination letter program with respect to individually designed plans. It also provides for a limited extension of the remedial amendment period under IRC Section 401(b) and Rev. Proc. 2016-37 under specified circumstances, and for special sanction structures that apply to certain plan document failures discovered by the IRS during the review of a plan submitted for a determination letter pursuant to this revenue procedure.

Rev. Proc. 2019-19, 2019-19 I.R.B. 1086
Modifies and supersedes Rev. Proc. 2018-52, the most recent prior consolidated statement of the correction programs under EPCRS. This update is a limited update and is published primarily to expand SCP eligibility to permit correction of certain Plan Document Failures and certain plan loan failures, and to provide an additional method of correcting Operational Failures by plan amendment under SCP.

Rev. Rul. 2019–06, 2019-14 I.R.B. 919
Provides tables of covered compensation under IRC Section 401(l)(5)(E) and the Income Tax Regulations thereunder, effective January 1, 2019.

Notice 2019–18, 2019-13 I.R.B. 915
Inform taxpayers that the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service no longer intend to amend the required minimum distribution regulations under IRC Section 401(a)(9) to address the practice of offering retirees and beneficiaries who are currently receiving annuity payments under a defined benefit plan a temporary option to elect a lump-sum payment in lieu of future annuity payments.

Rev. Proc. 2019–4, 2019-1 I.R.B. 146
Contains revised procedures for determination letters and letter rulings issued by the Commissioner, Tax Exempt Agreements Office. Rev. Proc. 2018–4 is superseded.