IRS announces changes to determination letter procedures for incomplete applications, requests for additional information

The IRS has made changes to the processing of employee plan determination letters that will take effect in 2015. The changes will be reflected in IRS Rev. Proc. 2015-6. The changes involve the procedures for incomplete applications and for requests from the IRS for additional information in the course of a technical review.

If an application is incomplete, the IRS will contact the applicant in writing and request the missing information. The applicant will then have 30 days from the date of the letter to provide the information to the IRS. If the applicant fails to provide the information within the 30-day period, the case will be closed and the IRS will retain the incomplete application, and the user fee submitted with the application will not be refunded. The applicant may submit a new on-cycle application, with a new user fee, by the end of the plan’s remedial amendment cycle, unless a later date is specified in the IRS’s letter informing the applicant that the case has been closed. If both the response deadline and the postmark date of any response to the IRS letter identifying the missing information occur after the end of the plan’s remedial amendment cycle, the remedial amendment cycle will not be extended and the IRS will send the applicant a final disposition letter.

The IRS states that it intends to develop a reference list that applicants may use to indicate the specific provisions in the plan document that reflect the items in the Cycle E Cumulative List. A template of the Reference List will be available at The inclusion of a completed reference list with the application will help the IRS’s review of the application and is encouraged. Submission of a reference list is not mandatory in Cycle E. However, the IRS is considering making the inclusion of the reference list mandatory beginning the following year, in Cycle A.

The IRS explains that it will not conduct technical review of an application until it is procedurally complete, as described above. However, if, while conducting a technical review, the IRS issues a written request for additional information from the applicant, the IRS will provide a time period for the applicant to supply the information. If the applicant’s response to this request is not timely and complete, the IRS will inform the applicant again, in writing, that the applicant must provide the specified information within a specified period of time. If the applicant’s response to the second request is not timely and complete, the case will be closed, the documents retained, and the user fee submitted with the application will not be refunded. The remaining procedures described above for incomplete applications will apply.

Source: IRS Announcement 2015-01.

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