IRS Offers Retirement Plan Tax Treatment Tools

October 8, 2003 ( - Admitting that tax laws can be "complex," the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has rolled out new materials to assist small businesses and plan sponsors in keeping their employee retirement plans eligible for tax-favored status.

>These materials, in various formats, explain the IRS programs available to assist retirement plan administrators navigate the complex tax laws. The materials also explain how to correct errors in the plans that could have tax implications not only for employee plans but also for participants, according to a news release.

>Among the resources is Publication 4224, “Retirement Plan Correction Programs.”   This pamphlet provides a synopsis of the various correction programs operated by the IRS, the US Department of Labor (DOL) and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) and explains the help available for a variety of plan problems.

>Similar is Publication 4050, “Retirement Plan Correction Programs.”   This CD-ROM offers a more in-depth guide to the correction programs sponsored by the IRS, DOL and PBGC.   Included in the CD-ROM:

  • IRS Revenue Procedure 2003-44, which sets forth the procedures relatingto the IRS’s correction programs, and a linked in-depth topical index
  • plain-language explanation of the IRS’s retirement plan correctionprograms and procedures, with links to definitions and relevant sectionsof Revenue Procedure 2003-44
  • video clips explaining the need for ongoing retirement plan self-auditprograms and available correction programs
  • “Guide to Common Qualification Requirements” to help employersunderstand their responsibilities under the law
  • examination guidelines
  • frequently asked questions on IRS and DOL correction programs and IRA-based plans.

>Additionally, an online version of the CD-ROM materials is available at .  With this online information, plan sponsors are better equipped to keep up with the latest information or any changes to the IRS correction programs that would not be reflected on the CD-ROM.

The new materials provide information on programs available to businesses and plan experts under the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS). The pamphlet and the CD-ROM can be ordered by calling (800) 829-3676.