The Internal Revenue Service has revised its retirement plan repair guide.

The guide, published today on the IRS Web site as Revenue Procedure 2006-27, spells out rules employers and plan advisors can follow when seeking IRS forgiveness for plan administration problems through the agency’s Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System.

The new guide, which replaces a guide published in 2003, covers the self-correction, voluntary correction and audit closing agreement programs.

The programs apply to 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans and many other types of plans.

The IRS is highlighting new sections that deal with remedies for accidental exclusions of workers and bad retirement plan loans.

Other new sections of the new guide deal with topics such as the opening of the voluntary correction and audit closing agreement programs to terminating orphaned plans as well as the creation of a new method that employers and plan advisors can use to correct failures to obtain spousal consent.

The guide also includes a section on “Anonymous (John Doe) Submissions.”

An employer can work with an attorney to use that section to hammer out an anonymous deal with the IRS.

Normally, the IRS avoids starting new examinations of employers that come forward to report problems voluntarily.

But, if an employer submits a John Doe application for relief, the submission “does not preclude or impede an examination of the plan sponsor or its plan(s)” until the IRS knows the identities of the plan and the sponsor, IRS officials warn in the revenue procedure.

A copy of the revenue procedure is on the Web at Document Link