REGULATION/LEGISLATION

IRS determination letter guidance on deck

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The IRS announced Monday it will issue guidance Jan. 19 to plan sponsors on how it will revise its employee plan determination letter program.

In 2015, IRS officials said on Jan. 1, 2017, they will stop issuing the determination letters that plans rely on to affirm their qualified tax status, and instead only provide them when plans are started or terminated, due to limited resources.

The upcoming guidance will extend the period that certain employers may apply for a preapproved determination letter to April 30, 2017, from April 30, 2016, among other issues.

Annette Guarisco Fildes, president and CEO of the ERISA Industry Committee said her group will continue to press the IRS to save the determination letter program. “Eliminating the program would have significant consequences for ERIC's members and their ability to provide pension benefits in a cost-effective manner,” she said in a statement.

The guidance will be posted in an IRS internal bulletin.