The Summer, 2009/ Volume 9 edition of Employee Benefits News contains an interview with Monika Templeman, Director of EP Examinations at the IRS, in which the IRS’s revised EP large case program web page is discussed. According to the interview, due to the significant growth of the IRS’s EP large case program, better known as Employee Plans Team Audit (EPTA), the web page was revised to provide useful web-based tools and resources to help keep large qualified retirement plans in compliance with the tax laws, and to reduce the burden on plan sponsors and practitioners by posting helpful information and tips about the EPTA program and the issues impacting large plans found during EPTA audits.
The interview reveals that the web page contains the following items:
EPTA Trends and Tips: This provides a comprehensive list of plan errors found by EP examiners during audit, as well as those submitted through the IRS’s voluntary compliance program, and tips on how to avoid these errors before they occur. There are also links relating to fixing plan mistakes and procedures on self-correcting operational errors.
Internal Controls Questionnaire: This is a list of questions that EP examiners ask during an audit to gain an understanding of a plan sponsor’s internal controls and administrative procedures. Plan sponsors and administrators can review these questions, prior to an audit, so they can determine whether they have proper internal controls in place.
Taxpayer Documentation Guide: This is a comprehensive list of documents the EP examiner will need when reviewing issues identified for audit. This guide lets plan sponsors know which documents an EP examiner might request, and which the plan sponsor should therefore keep current and readily available.
EPTA Presentation: This is a PowerPoint presentation on the EPTA program that has been shared with practitioners at regional and national conferences.
EPTA Video: This is a video containing the latest information on the EPTA program (not necessarily found in the EPTA Presentation).
A visit to the web page shows that it also offers FAQs, contact information and a glossary of terms. All in all, the web page appears to be a very useful resource in helping to keep a retirement plan compliant with the tax laws and prepared for any audit by the IRS. It can be used by both small and large qualified retirement plans.