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VCP Submissions Must be Electronic Beginning April 1, 2019

On September 28, 2018, the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2018-52, which replaces Revenue Procedure 2016-51 and makes certain modifications to the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System ("EPCRS"). One significant change is the requirement to file Voluntary Correction Program ("VCP") submissions electronically beginning April 1, 2019.

Effective date: Rev. Proc. 2018-52 is effective as of January 1, 2019.

BACKGROUND

The EPCRS is a comprehensive system of correction programs for sponsors of retirement plans that are intended to satisfy the requirements of 401(a), 403(a), 403(b), 408(k), or 408(p) of the Internal Revenue Code, but that have not met these requirements for a period of time. It permits plan sponsors to correct certain plan document, operational, demographic or eligibility failures in order to continue to provide their employees with retirement benefits on a tax-favored basis. The components of EPCRS are the Self-Correction Program ("SCP"), the Voluntary Correction Program ("VCP"), and the Audit Closing Agreement Program ("Audit CAP").

Modifications to VCP Submission Process

Rev. Proc. 2018-52 makes significant changes to the VCP submission procedures, requiring a complete electronic submission beginning April 1, 2019. Notable changes include:

  • Beginning April 1, 2019, plan sponsors must use the www.pay.gov website when filing a VCP submission and paying applicable user fees. Note, a special transition period from January 1, 2019 through March 31, 2019 permits Plan Sponsors to either file paper submissions or use www.pay.gov. However, the IRS will not accept paper VCP submissions postmarked on or after April 1, 2019.
  • New procedures for filing a VCP submission and paying applicable user fees on the www.pay.gov website.
  • Plan Sponsors may designate an authorized representative to file the VCP submission.
  • While the electronic VCP submission filed using the www.pay.gov website must include many of the same documents as paper submissions under Rev. Proc. 2016- 51; there are procedural differences:
    • An applicant must use the www.pay.gov website to create a pay.gov account;
    • After the pay.gov account is established, the applicant must complete Form 8950, (Application for VCP Program Submission) on the www.pay.gov website;
    • All applicable forms and documents relating to the VCP submission must be converted into a single PDF document and then uploaded onto the www.pay.gov website; and
    • New procedures relating to the payment of user fees using the www.pay.gov website, including the generation of a payment confirmation. Note, the IRS will no longer mail an acknowledgment letter to the applicant; rather receipt of a submission and payment will be acknowledged through the generation of a unique pay.gov Tracking ID.

CHEIRON OBSERVATION

The move to electronic filing streamlines the VCP submission process and eliminates postage and handling costs. However, plan administrators and their consultants will only have the unique tracking ID to demonstrate that they filed.

Cheiron is an actuarial consulting firm that provides actuarial and consulting advice. However, we are neither attorneys nor accountants. Accordingly, we do not provide legal services or tax advice.

 
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