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Rules Governing Practice before IRS

Voluntary Correction Program User Fees Changes

Effective January 2, 2018, the IRS simplified the user fees charged for most submissions made under the Voluntary Correction Program (VCP). The total amount of net plan assets determines the applicable user fee. Most alternative or reduced fees that were part of previous revenue procedures no longer apply. Refer to Revenue Procedure 2018-4, Appendix A.09 for details.

Retirement plan sponsors make submissions under VCP to resolve problems with their tax favored retirement plans (see Revenue Procedure 2016-51 for VCP details). VCP fees are:

  • user fees (see Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 7528),
  • published annually, and
  • subject to change.

Generally, you use net plan assets to determine the applicable user fee (effective for VCP submissions mailed to the IRS on or after January 2, 2018).

$0 to $500,000 $1,500
Over $500,000 to $10,000,000 $3,000

Over $10,000,000

$3,500

Determining net plan assets

In many cases, you determine the amount of plan’s net assets from its most recently filed Form 5500-series return. If your plan is not required to file a Form 5500-series return (see Rev. Proc. 2018-4, Appendix A.09 for additional information). For SEP/SARSEP/SIMPLE IRA plans, the amount of plan assets is the total value of all plan participants’ IRA account balances associated with the plan.

Exceptions to Asset Based VCP fees

The new fee schedule doesn’t apply to Group VCP submissions, or submissions for Orphan or 457(b) plans (see Rev. Procs. 2018-4 and 2016-51).

Reporting fees on Form 8951

The IRS is revising Form 8951, Compliance Fee for Application for Voluntary Correction Program (VCP). Until a revised form is available:

  • Continue to use Form 8951 (9-2016 version)
  • Ignore the information on the form that suggests VCP fees are determined based upon the number of plan participants
  • Don’t check boxes on Lines 8(a) through 8(c) because they no longer apply
  • Attach a check for the fee amount specified in Rev. Proc. 2018-4, Appendix A.09

The IRS won’t:

  • apply the new fee structure to VCP submissions made prior to January 2, 2018, or
  • issue refunds for pre-January 2, 2018 VCP submissions that are withdrawn and then resubmitted under the new fee schedule.

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