Section 409A Audits on the Rise

Prevailing in an IRS Audit and Navigating the New and Ongoing Challenges in 409A Compliance

New IRS guidance on plan corrections issued Jan. 5

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE/CPE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Thursday, February 11, 2010

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will discuss the scope of IRS audits and potential liabilities that can arise from IRS information document request (IDR) responses, the most problematic ongoing 409A compliance issues, and best practices for employers and their counsel to prepare for and respond to an IRS audit.


The IRS is auditing business compliance with Sec. 409A, despite continuing confusion in complying with the new rules issued in Jan. 2009.

IDRs in IRS audits require companies to disclose details of pay practices that could be subject to Sec. 409A and to consider potential application of Sec. 409A to these practices. Thus, these IDRs are more akin to detailed litigation discovery requests than traditional IDRs.

Given the complexities of Sec. 409A compliance, IDR responses have the potential to reveal situations that constitute a violation of 409A. Legal counsel thus must guide all responses to IRS audit requests to ensure careful and consistent audit responses.

Listen as our authoritative panel of legal specialists guides you through the 409A audit process and provide best practices to handle some of the more difficult challenges that companies continue to face in the first year of the new requirements.



  1. Scope of IRS audit and Information Document Requests (IDRs)
  2. Documents that are not Section 409A compliant
  3. Scope of IRS "voluntary compliance" programs for operational errors
  4. Continuing problematic issues in implementing Section 409A rules


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What is the scope of the IDRs in 409A audits — and what pitfalls do the audit requests pose to unwary companies?
  • What is the scope of the IRS voluntary compliance programs for operational errors?
  • What are practical problems that continue to vex employers in implementing Sec. 409A rules?
  • What are the best practices for employers dealing with documents that are not 409A compliant?


Steven J. Friedman
Steven J. Friedman

Littler Mendelson

He advises employers on a variety of aspects of employee benefits law, including the structuring and implementation of...  |  Read More

Michael S. Melbinger
Michael S. Melbinger

Winston & Strawn

He practices exclusively in the area of executive compensation and employee retirement benefit issues for...  |  Read More

Gail W. Stewart
Gail W. Stewart

Baker Botts

She has over 20 years experience in employee benefits advising on the design and regulatory compliance of pension,...  |  Read More

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