IRS Releases Revised Application for Plan Qualification

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that a new version of Form 4461-A, “Application for Approval of Master or Prototype or Volume Submitter Defined Benefit Plan,″ has been released and is now available online.

The IRS said the revised version of the form is preferred, but it will continue to accept the prior version for opinion or advisory letters on plans that reflect changes under EGTRRA or other changes from the 2006 Cumulative List of Changes in Plan Qualification Requirements put forth in Notice 2007-3 (See IRS Adds EGTRRA and PPA Provisions to Qualification Requirements). The agency said it will also continue to accept VS defined benefit plan submissions on a cover letter, as described in Rev. Proc. 2005-16, sections 17 and/or 18.

In a special edition of the agency’s employee plans news newsletter, the IRS reminds plan sponsors that the end of the Cycle B submission period of applications for determination letters for individually designed defined benefit and defined contribution plans is January 31, 2008. Cycle B submitters are those plans sponsored by an employer with an EIN ending in “2” and “7,’ as well as multiple employer plans.

As of February 1, 2008, the IRS will begin accepting determination letter applications for individually designed defined benefit and defined contribution plans in Cycle C – plans sponsored by an employer with an EIN ending in “3’ and “8’ and governmental plans, including governmental multiemployer and multiple employer plans.

The IRS also announced the updated Form 5558, “Application for Extension of Time To File Certain Employee Plan Returns,’ is now available online. According to the newsletter, notices regarding the approval/denial of extension requests for Form 5330 filers will be automatic beginning in January 2008, so all sections below the signature and date lines have been eliminated.

Form 5330, “Return of Excise Taxes Related to Employee Benefit Plans,’ is being revised. The newsletter said the redesigned form, grouping the various excise taxes by due date, will streamline processing and add excise taxes brought about by the Pension Protection Act. The revised version will be available online on or about January 18, 2008.

IRS forms and their instructions are available at on the Retirement Plans Community web page by clicking on EP Forms/Pubs/Products in the left pane. Paper copies can be ordered by calling (800) TAX-FORM (829-3676).