IRS Announces New Document Request Process for Examinations

The new process will affect Employee Plans examinations.

The Tax Exempt and Government Entities TE/GE Division of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced a new process for issuing information document requests (IDRs), which will affect Employee Plans (EP), as well as other, examinations.

Under the new process:  

  • Plan sponsors will be involved in the IDR process;
  • Examiners will discuss the issue being examined and the information needed with the plan sponsor prior to issuing an IDR;
  • Examiners will ensure that the IDR clearly states the issue and the relevant information they are requesting;
  • If the plan sponsor does not timely provide the information requested in the IDR by the agreed upon date, including extensions (two extensions are allowed), the examiner will issue a delinquency notice;
  • If the plan sponsor fails to respond to the delinquency notice or provides an incomplete response, the examiner will issue a pre-summons notice to advise the plan sponsor that the IRS will issue a summons unless the missing items are fully provided; and
  • A summons will be issued if the plan sponsor fails to provide a complete response to the pre-summons letter by its response due date.

The IRS says the new process requires the examiners’ managers to be actively involved early in the process and ensures that IRS Counsel is prepared to enforce IDRs through the issuance of a summons when necessary.

The agency says the updated process also will:

  • Provide for open and meaningful communication between the IRS and plan sponsors;
  • Reduce plan sponsors’ burden and provide consistent treatment of them;
  • Allow the IRS to secure more complete and timely responses to IDRs;
  • Provide consistent timelines for IRS agents to review IDR responses; and
  • Promote timely issue resolution.

The changes reflect the agency’s commitment to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.