In October 2019, the IRS clarified its audit process for hardship distributions with the introduction of the Summary Substantiation Method. In order for a plan sponsor to satisfy this method, participants must self-certify their immediate and heavy financial need through the consistent and proper completion of the IRS self certification form.
Per this process, an IRS agent - and not the plan sponsor - will request any additional information and/or documentation needed in the event the self certification is incomplete or the participant has received more than two hardships during the same plan year (without adequate explanation).
If you are a plan sponsor who has implemented self-certification as part of your hardship distribution process, we've created a fillable PDF Hardship Distribution Substantiation Form for your use. Simply submit the form at right to download your copy.