IRS Employee Plans Unit to Cease Email Responses

The IRS employee plans unit will stop answering technical public questions shared via email in October.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says its employee plans (EP) staffers will “no longer answer technical questions by email, including questions forwarded from Customer Account Services,” effective October 1.

The IRS says the change is “due to realignment of legal work and a number of EP employees to the Office of the Associate Chief Counsel in January 2015.” In short, the Employee Plans group no longer has the bandwidth to do research and provide answers for legal topics, according to the IRS. 

Customer Account Services employees (available at 877-829-5500) will continue to help with account-specific questions, basic information about employee plans forms and the status of any pending applications.

The IRS notes it has helpful guidance about retirement plans and retirement plan forms and publications available online.

“If you have a legal question that needs to be addressed, you may want to request a private letter ruling,” the IRS says. A private letter ruling offers a written statement that interprets and applies tax laws to a taxpayer’s or a retirement plan’s specific set of facts.

The IRS reminds retirement plan professionals to see Revenue Procedure 2015-1 for information on how to obtain a private letter ruling and how the IRS applies user fees.