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July 8, 2009

Qualified Plan Compliance Tools Available

If an effort to assist qualified plan sponsors in their compliance efforts, the IRS’s Employee Plan Team Audit (EPTA) division has several new tools on its website:

  • EPTA Trends and Tips provides a comprehensive list of plan errors, by plan type, discovered by IRS examiners during audits. The list also provides tips on how to avoid plan errors before they occur. In addition, there are video links relating to fixing plan mistakes, and procedures on self-correcting operational mistakes.
  • An Internal Controls Questionnaire that provides a list of questions asked by IRS examiners during an audit to gain an understanding of a plan sponsor’s internal controls and administrative procedures. The questions are categorized by payroll, HR personnel, plan administration and internal control impact on plan failures.
  • Taxpayer Documentation Guide that lets plan sponsors of defined contribution plans, or defined benefit plans, know which documents/information should be readily available prior to an IRS audit.

These are tools that can be used to help the plan sponsor to make certain that its plan(s) remain compliant.  Generally, it is a prudent practice for a plan sponsor to self-audit its plan, at least annually.   While mistakes happen, the sooner they can be addressed, the more efficiently they can be corrected; these IRS tools can be useful to plan administrators in this process.

 

The information contained in this Benefit Beat is not intended to be legal, accounting, or other professional advice, nor are these comments directed to specific situations.

As required by U.S. Treasury rules, we inform you that, unless expressly stated otherwise, any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this Benefit Beat is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by any person for the purpose of avoiding any penalties that may be imposed by the Internal Revenue Service.

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