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Welcome to this Tax Exempt and Government Entities video on Revenue Procedure 2018-52 - the New Electronic VCP Submission Process.

We have a few announcements before we get started.

The information contained in this presentation is current as of the day it was presented and shouldn’t be considered official guidance.

No identification with actual persons (living or deceased), places, buildings and products is intended or should be inferred.

This program is being recorded and will be maintained under federal record keeping laws. Now let’s get started.

I’m Paul and together with Jennifer we work for the Employee Plans Voluntary Compliance function.

With other IRS employees we manage and process submissions made under the Voluntary Correction Program, commonly referred to as “VCP”.

Today’s presentation will discuss existing and new procedures for filing VCP submissions with the IRS.

In terms of the new submission process we’ll cover: The elements of the new VCP submission process, its effective dates and a limited transitional rule.

The expanded role for Authorized Representatives.

The specific steps to filing a VCP submission with the IRS using the pay.gov website.

The specific, limited role the existing IRS Form 8951 plays in the new VCP submission process.

Since 2013 paper VCP submissions, including all required forms and user fee check payments, are mailed to the IRS Service Center or Campus in Covington, KY.

IRS personnel in Covington deposit and account for the user fee checks that accompany VCP submissions.

They scan the paper VCP submission documents and place the created PDF on a shared drive.

They also create a record on a case processing system that the Voluntary Compliance function uses to process VCP submissions.

At this point, other IRS functions step in to “build” the VCP record.

The completed record is electronically transferred to the Employee Plans Voluntary Compliance function.

This slide illustrates the process steps performed by personnel at the Covington Campus.

Manual steps are performed by various IRS personnel.

The steps are centered around the deposit of a physical check, the scanning of VCP submission documents, and the creation of a record on a case processing system.

We wanted the VCP submission process to change to a paperless, 100% electronic process.

This will enhance and provide a better process that fits our customer’s expectations and makes it easier for them to make VCP submissions to the IRS.

With that said, limited IRS resources available to process paper submissions and the desire to have increased efficiencies also played a role in our decision to implement these changes in 2019.

Revenue Procedure 2018-52 was published on September 28, 2018.

It updates the Employee Plan Compliance Resolution System.

This system is commonly known as “ECPRS.” The new revenue procedure is generally effective as of January 1, 2019 and its main purpose is to describe the detailed changes being made to the procedures that plan sponsors, etc., will follow when filing VCP submissions with the IRS.

The new procedures for filing VCP submissions with the IRS has two main features.

First, the 100% electronic process eliminates the need for paper VCP submissions to be mailed to an IRS address.

The other feature is that the entire VCP submission will be filed via the Pay.gov website.

This process means that the VCP application Form 8950, the payment of the user fee and the submission of all VCP documents are all completed and submitted online through the internet.

The flowchart on this slide shows how this new process works.

Applicants will go to pay.gov to complete and sign the VCP application Form 8950, upload the VCP submissions documents and pay the applicable user fee.

After the submission is made, key data flows from pay.gov to the IRS, daily, resulting in the automatic creation of a VCP submission record in the IRS’s case processing system.

This record is automatically transferred to the IRS function that will build the VCP record.

The new 100% electronic VCP submission process is mandatory for all VCP submissions sent to the IRS on or after April 1, 2019.

Applicants may begin making VCP submissions to the IRS using the Pay.gov website beginning on January 1, 2019. From January 1, 2019 through March 31, 2019, a special transitional rule is available.

For the period from January 1, 2019 thru March 31, 2019 applicants may choose to continue filing making paper VCP submissions with the IRS or they may use the pay.gov website to file their VCP submission using the new procedures.

While applicants and plan sponsors have a choice, they can’t submit partially under the existing procedures and partially under the new procedures.

It’s one way or another. The transitional rule has an ending point.

Any paper VCP submission mailed to the IRS on or after April 1, 2019 will be returned unprocessed.

Paper VCP submission filed with the IRS during the transition period must: Follow the instructions detailed in Revenue Procedure 2016-51, Sections 10 and 11, Use Form 8950, VCP Application Form, with a November 2017 revision date. Use Form 8951 with a September 2016 revision date, and include a paper check for the user fee.

Of course, all other VCP submission documents must be submitted in paper form.

In other words, just follow the “old” instructions and procedures detailed in Revenue Procedure 2016-51 when filing paper VCP submissions with the IRS during the transition period.

Beginning in 2019, under the new procedures, there’s an expanded role for authorized representatives.

Generally, an authorized representative is an attorney, CPA or actuary who has been properly authorized by the plan sponsor to file the VCP submission via pay.gov if certain conditions are met.

Those conditions require that the representative comply with the applicable requirements set forth in Rev. Proc. 2018-4 (or subsequent annual updates). The VCP submission must include a separate penalty of perjury statement signed and dated by the plan plan sponsor. Finally, a properly completed Form 2848, Power of attorney must be part of the VCP submission.

Here’s a sample penalty of perjury statement that would be signed and dated by the plan sponsor and included with VCP submission documents. It lets the IRS know the plan sponsor has been involved in the preparation of the VCP submission and believes the submitted information is accurate and complete.

This shows the proper way to complete Lines 3 and 5 on Form 2848 so the plan sponsor’s representative has the authority to make the VCP submission on behalf of the plan sponsor. For Line 3, Description of Matter, in the 1st box make sure there is specific reference to the Voluntary Correction Program and Revenue Procedure 2018-52. In the 2nd box “Tax Form Number” be sure “8950” is entered. The remaining Line 3 box should be left blank. For Line 5a, make sure the box next to “other acts authorized,” is checked and that the following is entered into the text box: “The signing and filing of Form 8950 and accompanying documents as part of a VCP submission.” The next few slides describe each step in the new VCP submission process.

When filing a VCP submission with the IRS you must use the Pay.Gov website. Before filing any submission, the plan sponsor or authorized representative will have to establish a pay.gov account. This contains a link to the pay.gov homepage.

Once there click on “Create an Account” and then choose “Create a company account.” Here’s a screenshot of the pay.gov webpage showing where the “Create an Account” is located.

This is a screenshot of the pay.gov webpage and shows where the “Create a company account” is located.

Follow the steps to create an account. Pay.gov doesn’t require much information.

It should take about 5 minutes or so for you to establish your pay.gov account.

In addition to this 1st step, familiarize yourself with the Form 8950 Instructions that apply to the January 2019 revision of Form 8950.

The official instructions are available on IRS.gov. Form 8950 will be completed as part of the submission process.

The 2nd step in filing a VCP submission is creating PDF documents. The next several slides list documents that must be converted to PDF documents for submission. This includes attachments to Form 8950, if required, a completed Form 2848 or form 8821 if applicable, penalty of perjury signed by plan sponsor, cover letter and failure descriptions.

As we continue, the list includes other VCP submission documents that must be submitted as PDF documents: The applicant’s narrative detailing the proposed method of correction, including earnings if applicable, computations and corrective plan amendments, methods used to locate former employees or beneficiaries, changes to administrative procedures and a copy of the plan document.

This is a continuation of the list of VCP submission documents that must be submitted in the form of PDF documents.

Applicants must include narrative requests for special tax relief, including loan failures along with an explanation supporting the request. Look for Revenue Procedure 2018-52, Section 11.04 for other applicable items that must be included with a VCP submission. The IRS has model VCP documents using Form 14568 and, if applicable, other forms in the Form 14568-A thru Form 14568-I series. When organizing these PDF files, follow the ordering rule set forth in Section 11.11 of Rev. Proc. 2018-52.

Once all applicable VCP submission documents are converted to PDF documents, combine them into a single PDF file.

The combined file can’t exceed 15 MB. If it does you’ll need to remove some items so that the file doesn’t exceed 15 MB.

These items must be faxed to the IRS after you complete the submission on pay.gov. Details will follow on a later slide.

Once the combined PDF file is created you’re ready to go to pay.gov to make a VCP submission to the IRS.

Jennifer will go over the remaining steps in the new VCP submission process. Take it away, Jennifer.

For STEP 3, go the pay.gov homepage to make your VCP submission. The link is on this slide or you can “google” it.

Once you are at the pay.gov homepage, enter “8950” in the search box and the click “Search.” A link appears “Application for Voluntary Correction Program” and a reference to Form 8950.

Click on the link and it’ll take you to the pay.gov version of Form 8950.

Here’s the landing page for Form 8950. It lists the overall steps in the pay.gov submission process.

It’s important to read the “Before you begin” page because it contains helpful tips and the latest information that may not be included in Revenue Procedure 2018-52. For instance, it reminds the applicant about which documents should be part of the PDF file that will be uploaded. There are warnings about not using an SSN when completing this form and limitations with regards to faxing documents to the IRS. If you haven’t signed into your pay.gov account, you’ll be asked to do so before you can access the form. Note a customer service number and hours are provided in case you have problems making your VCP submission.

When ready, click on “Continue to the Form.” Assuming you’re signed in to your pay.gov account, click “Continue to the Form” button.

A pop-up message appears. The message indicates that applicants may call the VCP Status Line at 626-927-2011 after the submission is made to obtain submission status. Once you’re at the Form 8950 it must be completed.

The form will automatically compute the appropriate user fee based upon the information entered.

If you don’t know the NAICS business code, clicking on the question mark will take to a listing of the codes from which an applicant can select from. The system will alert you if you forget to make an entry or make an entry in the wrong form.

For instance, if you enter too many or too few numbers for the EIN or zip code.

All questions must be answered by clicking yes or no. Once the form is completed, the applicant will generally sign the form.

The penalty of perjury is part of the form, including those submissions submitted anonymously.

To sign the form, check the box next to the penalty of perjury statement and type your name in the “Type or print name” box.

Also complete the box asking for your business title.

If applicable, a properly authorized representative will be the one to sign the form.

After the form is signed, click on “Continue.” After completing and signing Form 8950, the 4th step is to upload the PDF that contains the required VCP submission documents.

Click on the “browse” button to locate the file on your computer.

Make sure its highlighted and click on “open” and then “attach”. The uploaded file should appear on the pay.gov webpage.

Click on “next”. If you don’t upload the PDF file or if the file exceeds 15MB an error message appears, and you won’t be permitted to continue to the next step in the submission process.

These arrows and reminders illustrate how to upload the PDF file that contains the VCP submission documents.

For most submissions, the 5th step is to pay the applicable user fee. However, before that, be aware non-VCP submissions involving 457(b)plans or a terminating orphan plan have no upfront fee requirements.

These types of submissions will be directed to a webpage where at the top of the page there is a brief notification that the submission was made and the specific Pay.Gov Tracking ID number has been assigned to the submission.

All other submissions will have to enter payment information if a user fee is required.

Choose a payment option. The user fee can be paid from a checking or savings account via a ACH electronic transfer or you can use a debit or credit card. After choosing a payment option, click on “Next.” Enter payment information. If paying from a savings or checking account you need to provide name on the account, plus the bank routing number and account number. If paying by credit card, the standard type of information must be entered.

Once finished, click on “Review and Submit Payment.” Here’s a partial screenshot from pay.gov where a payment is coming from a checking account.

Let’s look at the pay.gov payment confirmation page. Check and make sure the information is correct.

If there are errors, click on the previous button and go back and fix any errors.

Assuming no problems, the applicant will enter their email address twice.

Applicants may also choose to enter the email address of any other individuals who need to receive a payment confirmation email from pay.gov. The applicant must read the pay.gov authorization and disclosure statement and then check the box indicating agreement with the statement.

Once these actions have been taken, click on “Submit Payment.” Assuming there are no problems with the payment information you have provided, the next screen that appears on pay.gov is the payment confirmation screen. Print this webpage for your records.

The confirmation provides information about the submitted payment. Note that for ACH payments that are coming from a checking or savings account the actual payment date is 1-2 business days after the transaction date.

More importantly, the confirmation receipt screen serves as an acknowledgement that a VCP submission has been made to the IRS.

It shows a pay.gov Tracking ID number that is unique to the submission. This number will be the IRS control number or case number that is assigned to the VCP submission. Email receipts will be issued from pay.gov to the applicant and any other email addresses that were entered by the applicant on the payment screen mentioned on slide 33.

If the pay.gov website doesn’t generate a unique pay.gov Tracking ID number for your specific VCP submission it hasn’t been submitted to the IRS.

Slide 35 provides an actual “fake” example of the email confirmation that is sent out at end of the submission process.

It shows key information, including the pay.gov Tracking ID#, payment amount, type of payment, etc., regarding the payment submitted to pay.gov.

Step 6 only needs to be used if faxing some VCP submission documents to the IRS.

As we mentioned back on Slide 23, if some required documents could not be uploaded to pay.gov due to the 15MB file size limitation you can fax these documents to the IRS.

The documents may be faxed directly to the IRS using this special telephone number 855-203-6996.

Once again, its 855-203-6996. Include a fax coversheet that contains the pay.gov Tracking ID as well as the EIN, Employer name and plan name listed on the submitted Form 8950.

Avoid sending the IRS very large faxes. Once a fax is received by the IRS its converted into an email attachment and delivered to a MS Outlook mailbox. At the time of this presentation, if the attachment exceeds 25MB it won’t be delivered due to network protections and no notification is provided to the sender or the recipient.

If the fax you wish to send will likely exceed this limitation, split it up into multiple smaller faxes.

The “Before You Begin” webpage will have tips and updated information regarding the faxing of required VCP submission documents to the IRS.

If you are concerned that a large fax may not been delivered due to this 25MB limitation, call the VCP Status Line at 626-927-2011 and request confirmation we have received your fax.

Slide 37 discusses a 7th and final step that may apply to some VCP submissions that are made to the IRS.

Sometimes a plan sponsor or representative may need to update or revise a previously submitted VCP, but before such submission has been assigned to an IRS specialist for review. Don’t file a new Form 8950 application.

Instead, call the VCP Status Line at 626-927-2011. The IRS will assist you in determining how this information should be submitted and will arrange to have it associated with the unassigned VCP submission.

The last topic we will discuss is Form 8951.

Under our old paper-based process, the Form 8951 was included with all VCP submissions as it helped personnel in Covington process the paper check. In 2019, under the new procedures, that no longer applies. The Form 8951 has been retitled and has a limited role.

Except for paper submissions made to the IRS during the transitional period, Plan sponsors will only use Form 8951 if an additional user fee payment on an open VCP submission is required.

Typically, this applies to Group VCP submissions. However, it could apply to any submission where the incorrect fee was originally paid.

If you need to make an additional user fee payment, go the homepage of pay.gov and sign in.

Like Form 8950, you need to have an account on pay.gov to complete Form 8951.

Type in “8951” in the search box and then click on the link associated with Form 8951, Additional User Fee Payment for Open Application for Voluntary Correction Program.

Here’s part of the “Before you begin” webpage for the Form 8951. It reminds readers that it can only be used to make additional user fee payments that are due for existing VCP cases. Don’t use Form 8951 to pay the initial user fee for a new VCP submission.

Form 8950 is to be used for that purpose. The webpage provides information about the acceptable payment methods.

Finally, to complete Form 8951, you will need the IRS control number for the applicable VCP case.

Slide 41 describes the pop message that appears when you click on the “continue” button. It repeats the information on the previous slide with regards to when it’s appropriate to use Form 8951.

If the VCP submission was originally submitted via pay.gov, the control number is the pay.gov Tracking ID #.

If the original submission was not made through pay.gov, the control number is a nine-digit number beginning with “911.” Slide 42 is a screenshot of the pay.gov version of Form 8951. Complete items 1-4 using the same information used to complete Form 8950, VCP application form. For item 5 enter the additional payment amount that is being submitted.

Enter the “Control number” for the VCP case to which this payment applies. It’s either the pay.gov Tracking ID# or a nine-digit number beginning with “911.” After completing the form, click “continue.” Enter payment information and other required information described on slides 32-34.

A receipt showing you have made the additional payment to pay.gov will be generated.

If you have been working with an IRS employee with regards to the VCP submission, contact them and let them know you made the additional payment.

We have some final reminders for you. There’s a new process that plan sponsors and applicants must follow when making VCP submissions to the IRS. It’s 100% electronic and all documents, including the payment of the appropriate user fee are submitted through the pay.gov website.

It’s mandatory as of April 1, 2019, however applicants may begin using this procedure as of January 1, 2019.

A limited transitional rule permits paper VCP submissions to continue to be filed through March 31, 2019.

Form 8951 is no longer required to be submitted with any VCP submission made using pay.gov. In 2019, it’s role is limited to facilitate the payment of additional amounts owed on some previously filed VCP submissions.

The first link takes you to irs.gov where you can find information regarding most tax matters. The second link takes you to the correcting plan errors webpage on IRS.gov. Here you’ll find additional information and links pertaining to EPCRS.

Have a good day. We hope you found this information helpful.