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IRS Again Extends Relief From Physical Presence Requirement for Participant Elections

Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting  

· 5 minute read

Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting  

· 5 minute read

The IRS has provided participants, beneficiaries, and administrators of qualified retirement plans and other tax-favored retirement arrangements with another six months of relief from the physical presence requirement for any participant election:

  1. Witnessed by a notary public in a state that permits remote notarization; or
  2. Witnessed by a plan representative using an electronic system that satisfies the requirements below.

Through December 31, 2022, the physical presence requirement is deemed satisfied if the live audio-video technology being used by the plan representative to witness the participant signing the election satisfies the following requirements:

  1. The individual signing the participant election must present a valid photo ID to the plan representative during the live audio-video conference and may not merely transmit a copy of the photo ID prior to or after the witnessing;
  2. The live audio-video conference must allow for direct interaction between the individual and the plan representative (e.g., a prerecorded video of the person signing is insufficient);
  3. The individual must transmit by fax or electronic means a legible copy of the signed document directly to the plan representative on the same date it was signed; and
  4. After receiving the signed document, the plan representative must acknowledge that they have witnessed the participant’s signature in accordance with the requirements and transmit the signed document, including the acknowledgement, back to the individual under a system that satisfies the applicable notice requirements in Reg §1.401(a)-21(c).

The IRS originally provided this relief in June 2020 (See Temporary relief from physical presence rule for retirement plan participant elections (06/04/2020)) and has now extended it three times. See Extended: relief from physical presence for retirement plan participant elections (12/24/2020), and IRS again extends physical presence relief for retirement plan participant elections (06/25/2021).

To continue your research on temporary relief from physical presence rule for retirement plan participant elections, see FTC 2d/FIN ¶S-3419.5A.


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