We have called and spoken to several IRS representatives; however, none could give us the exact amount it will cost us to request a ruling. We have already checked IRB 2008-1, but we're not sure which user fee may be applicable to us. We saw that a request could cost as much as $11,500; we want to be sure of the cost before we proceed in preparing the request.
TAPN turned to Denise Johnson, Esq., general counsel and tax compliance manager for Balance Consulting, who explains that the cost of obtaining written IRS guidance depends upon the issue on which you are requesting guidance and the type of guidance sought.
The cost can range from no fee to a few hundred to several thousand dollars. The 2008 process for obtaining guidance is outlined in Rev. Proc. 2008-1, 2008-4, or 2008-6 depending on the area under which guidance is requested. The 2008 fee schedule is outlined in Rev. Proc. 2008-8. Also keep in mind that there are some areas in which the IRS does not issue guidance - See Rev. Proc. 2008-3.
The cost is not based upon the complexity of the request; it is based upon the procedure and code section under which your concern falls. Once you have determined that, then you will be able to determine the fee.
For example, a determination letter regarding the qualified status of an employee benefit program under IRC 401(a) falls under the procedures outlined in Rev. Proc. 2008-6. If the question relates to a change in funding method, the user fee is $2,800. If the request relates to Sec. 1.408-2(e) approval to become a non-bank trustee of the plan, the user fee is $14,500.