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Rules Governing Practice before IRS

Retroactive Responsibilities for Certified Professional Employer Organizations - Effective Certification Date of January 1, 2017

Per Rev. Proc. 2016-33, the IRS will issue a notice of certification to a CPEO applicant that has been approved for certification specifying the effective date of certification. The effective date of certification will typically be the first day of the first calendar quarter following the date of the notice of certification. However, a CPEO applicant that submitted a complete and accurate application before October 1, 2016, and is certified will have an effective date of certification of January 1, 2017, even if the date of the CPEO’s notice of certification is after January 1, 2017.

A CPEO that receives a notice of certification during the second quarter of 2017 (that is between April 1, 2017 and June 30, 2017) that provides for an effective date of certification of January 1, 2017, may file Form 941 for the first quarter of 2017 without an attached Schedule R (Form 941), Allocation Schedule for Aggregate Form 941 Filers, but then must file Form 941-X, Adjusted Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return or Claim for Refund, with a properly completed Schedule R for the first quarter by July 31, 2017. The CPEO will also need to file a Form 941 with an attached Schedule R for the second quarter by July 31, 2017.

Certified professional employer organizations are required to file Forms 940 and 941 electronically. Revenue Procedure 2017-14 waives the electronic filing requirement for the Form 941 for the first quarter in which a CPEO is certified. Therefore, a CPEO with an effective date of certification of January 1, 2017, may submit a paper Form 941 for the first quarter of 2017. The IRS has extended the e-file waiver contained in Rev. Proc. 2017-14 to apply to any quarter in 2017 that begins on or before the date the CPEO receives notice of certification. If the date of the notice of certification is between April 1, 2017, and June 30, 2017, the CPEO may file a paper Form 941 with an attached Schedule R for the second quarter of 2017 and will be required to e-file Forms 941 beginning with respect to the third quarter of 2017. If the date of the notice of certification is between July 1, 2017, and September 30, 2017, the CPEO will be required to e-file Forms 941 beginning with respect to the fourth quarter of 2017.

In addition, for newly certified CPEOs that are certified with an effective date of January 1, 2017, such a CPEO will be required to submit only one properly completed and executed Form 14751 covering the bond periods of January 1, 2017, to March 31, 2017, and April 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018. The single bond posted using this Form 14751 must have an effective date of January 1, 2017, and cover both bond periods using the same bond amount, which is in the amount required by Treas. Reg. §301.7705-2T(g)(2), calculated for the bond period beginning April 1, 2017, and ending March 31, 2018. In addition, the CPEO will have 30 days from the date of its notice of certification to submit this Form 14751, without regard to when the CPEO’s notice of certification is received.