Review IRS 2019 Program Letter Now for Potential Impacts

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We’re well into the start of calendar year 2019, and the to-do list to close out 2018 holds many tedious and time-consuming tasks. It is tempting to put off thinking about what may be coming in this new year.

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However, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) works on a different timeline. The IRS plans its work based on its fiscal year, which for fiscal year (FY) 2019 began on October 1, 2018, and ends September 30, 2019. Right at the start of this fiscal year, the IRS released Publication 5313, “Fiscal Year 2019 Program Letter,” to share publicly the initiatives that the agency will be working on in FY 2019. It is worth taking a few minutes now to look at these initiatives, make some quick checks of any issues that may apply to your retirement plan, and prioritize action on them, if needed.

Six Priorities

Six issues are listed as priorities for the IRS Tax Exempt & Government Entities (TE/GE) unit that oversees employer-sponsored plans in the 2019 Program Letter’s Compliance Strategies section:

  • Distributions: Verify that participants are receiving correct distribution amounts within industries experiencing a decline in employment.
  • Form 5500/Form 5500-SF stop filers: Contact employers sponsoring plans that
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