Pension & Benefits News IRS temporarily allows electronic submission of requests for determination rulings
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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

IRS temporarily allows electronic submission of requests for determination rulings

By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff

The IRS has temporarily allowed the electronic submission of requests for letter rulings, closing agreements, determination letters, and information letters under the jurisdiction of the Office of Chief Counsel and for determination letters issued by the Large Business and International Division (LB&I). Rev. Proc. 2020-1, provides detailed information on how taxpayers can request advice from the IRS in the form of letter rulings, closing agreements, determination letters, and information letters and generally requires taxpayers to submit paper copies of written materials with wet signatures. However, the IRS now permits paper and electronic submission of requests for advice from the Associate Chief Counsel Offices (including the Associate Chief Counsel (Employee Benefits, Exempt Organizations, and Employment Taxes) and LB&I.

Note, though, that the IRS has not modified procedures for determination letters issued by the Small Business/Self Employed Division, Wage and Investment Division, or Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division.

Option for electronic submission. The IRS will accept electronic submissions for requests for advice made for matters under the jurisdiction of Associate Chief Counsel Offices and LB&I if the submissions are: (1) transmitted by facsimile or compressed and encrypted email attachments using the electronic submission procedures; and (2) signed using the electronic signature procedures.

Option for paper submission. The Service further announced that it would continue to accept requests for advice as provided in Rev. Proc. 2020-1, but there would be delays in the processing of requests that are submitted in paper copies due to the limited availability of personnel.

Electronic submission procedures. The taxpayers need to follow the following procedures for electronic submission:

  • Submission by electronic facsimile: Taxpayers are encouraged to use a secure electronic facsimile service for transmitting requests for advice. The secure electronic facsimile line for submitting requests under the jurisdiction of any of the Associate Chief Counsel Offices is (877) 773-4950 and for submitting determination letter requests under the jurisdiction of LB&I is (844) 249-6231. The taxpayers must submit a request package along with the full user fee payment set forth in Appendix A of Rev. Proc. 2020-1, through www.pay.gov.
  • Submission by compressed and encrypted email attachments: The IRS has encouraged taxpayers to use a secure electronic facsimile service for transmitting requests for advice because there are more risks associated with compressed and encrypted email attachments, such as the possibility that sensitive taxpayer information could be intercepted. The email address for requests that fall under the jurisdiction of any of the Associate Chief Counsel offices is: [email protected] and for determination letter requests that fall under the jurisdiction of LB&I is: [email protected].
  • Submission of copies and originals: Taxpayers do not need to submit multiple copies of documents when submitting them electronically.

In addition, the IRS will accept electronic signatures where wet signatures were previously required in one of the following formats: tiff, jpg, jpeg, pdf, Microsoft Office suite, or Zip. The IRS will conduct conferences by telephone and will have the discretion to determine the form in which it will issue advice to the taxpayer. The procedure is effective May 1, 2020 until modified or superseded.

Rev. Proc. 2020-1 has been modified.

Source: Rev. Proc. 2020-29.

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