May 21,2004 -- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently rolled out two new tools to aid small businesses in keeping their retirement plans compliance-friendly.

The agency now provides a basic "check-up" list for several retirement plans in addition to publishing a quarterly newsletter to help business owners stay up to speed with the ever-changing tax laws and guidelines. The new offerings are in response to small-business owners requesting more information on how to choose, establish and maintain their retirement plans.

The "check-ups" are a basic rundown of the 10 most common problems IRS examiners find when reviewing SIMPLE IRA, SEP and SARSEP retirement plans. The checklists are neither comprehensive nor should they be filed with the IRS. Rather, they are jumping off points when reviewing retirement plan compliance. The checklists are aimed at identifying problems that can be corrected easily, without penalty and without notifying the IRS.

The quarterly newsletter, titled Retirement News for Employers, relays information on new products, offers tips for filing, provides a calendar of events and deadlines, and outlines the effects of new laws and guidelines. Each newsletter will be available online only; the Spring 2004 issue is available now.