Government Audits and Investigations


If you are notified by the government of an audit of your company’s retirement and/or welfare plans, it is critical to have lawyers who can step in immediately to help you manage the process. In addition to dealing with the audits of employer sponsored retirement and welfare plans, recent IRS audits of large companies now include a close examination of executive compensation programs. Any government audit can be a tenuous process, but Haynes and Boone employee benefit lawyers have guided numerous companies through the process. Some of the audits that our lawyers have assisted with have been very large in scale and have involved potentially costly tax implications.

Our lawyers have significant experience with IRS and Department of Labor audits of retirement plans, welfare plans, executive compensation programs, top hat plans, and severance plans. Our lawyers appreciate the risk involved and are careful to communicate clearly with our clients through every step of the program. Haynes and Boone employee benefit lawyers can assist employers in gathering the information necessary to respond to an audit request and by reviewing the information covered by the audit to determine whether any corrective action is necessary. Where corrective actions are necessary and appropriate, our lawyers have assisted numerous employers in voluntary compliance and correction programs sponsored by the IRS and the DOL for 401(k), 403(b), defined benefit and other tax qualified plans.

In addition, our employee benefit lawyers can assist employers by communicating directly with the government officials on behalf of the sponsoring employer while the audit is ongoing. On the other hand, if the employer wants to take the lead in responding directly to the government’s requests, our lawyers can serve as back-up to answer any unexpected questions that may arise during the course of the audit.

For the foreseeable future, Haynes and Boone anticipates continued government examination of benefit plans and programs. Our lawyers stay abreast of trends in these audits and investigations and proactively communicate with their clients to ensure they stay in full compliance with all legal requirements, and if one of our clients receives notice of audit, we will do everything we can to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible.