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Limited Issue Focused Examination (LIFE)

The IRS Large Business  and International (LB&I)  Division has implemented a new streamlined examination process called Limited Issue Focused Examination or LIFE. This process requires enhanced interaction between the IRS and the taxpayer. In a LIFE examination, the taxpayer and examiner work together on the most significant issues on the tax return. This should result in a more focused examination and reduce resource utilization. LIFE is an effort by LB&I to institutionalize "best practices" and provide consistency in the treatment of taxpayers.

  • IR-2002-133 -December 4, 2002 News Release
    IRS Implements New Limited Issue Focused Examination (LIFE) Process
  • LIFE is an accelerated, issue driven examination process that embodies unique  characteristics .
  • Why Participate in LIFE?
  • IRM 4.51.3
    • Exhibit 4.51.3 -
      • Instructions for Completing MOU
      • MOU Between IRS and
      • LIFE - MOU Attachment
      • LIFE - MOU Attachment Continuation
  • Frequently Asked Questions will help you understand the process.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding  (MOU) is the cornerstone of a LIFE examination.  It is an agreement between the IRS and the taxpayer to govern key aspects of the examination.  It establishes the roles and responsibilities of each party. 
  • Several misconceptions about the process were identified during the interim review.  These have been clarified through the Facts of LIFE .

Share your perspectives with the IRS LIFE Team at: LB&I Post Filing Design Team

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 11-Feb-2015