1.4.40  SB/SE Field and Office Examination Group Manager (Cont. 2) 
Guiding and Evaluating Employees 
Workload Reviews 
Items to Address During the Workload Review  (05-19-2010)
AIMS/ERCS Controls

  1. During a workload review the following actions should be taken:

    • Resolve any differences between the employee's inventory and group controls;

    • Verify the timely requisitioning of related returns under examination;

    • Confirm statute updates and that the correct alpha codes have been used when required;

    • Determine if applicable partnership control procedures (PCS) were followed;

    • Verify that proper controls have been established for substitute/delinquent returns; and

    • Ensure the project, source, and status codes are correct and timely updated.

    • Confirm Forms 895 are issued and returned timely.  (05-19-2010)
On-the-Job Visit

  1. To achieve our quality objectives, there must be managerial involvement at all stages of the examination. The on-the-job visit (OJV) is one of the most effective tools a group manager has to accomplish this task and is essential since much of an employees’ work and activities are performed independent of a group manager's direct observation.

  2. The manager should have a purpose for making a visit such as observing an examiner’s auditing abilities, observing an examiner’s communication skills, teaching an examiner new auditing techniques, etc. Purposeful and essential visits are valuable. Frequency of visits should be dictated by the needs of the employee and/or the specific case.

  3. Visitation needs can often be pinpointed during a workload review. A group manager should avoid making on-the-job visits only at the conclusion of examinations. Visitations made earlier in the audit process provides an opportunity to take corrective actions earlier rather than at the conclusion of an examination when it is too late to impact the progress of the case. Earlier intervention will foster better taxpayer relations.

  4. Managers should explain the reason and purpose of their visit to the examiner. Generally, managers will advise the examiner of their planned visit.


    Some taxpayers and virtually all representatives are well-acquainted with the normal practices of examiners and may wonder about the purpose of the group manager visitation.

  5. Communicate the observations to the examiner after every visit. The observations should include specific factual comments related to the examination and recommendations concerning future actions. They should be documented or summarized in timely feedback addressing as many of the critical job elements as practical. This feedback, as well as other documented feedback, will serve as a basis for the annual performance evaluations.

  6. An on-the-job visit can be used to observe, assist, and assess employee's knowledge, skills and taxpayer relations. Listed below are areas that should be considered during the on-the-job visit:

    1. Planning and scheduling the examination;

    2. Accounting skills and tax law knowledge;

    3. Workpapers and reports; and,

    4. Closing the examination.

  7. Listed below are a few of the EQRS quality attributes that lend themselves to being rated in an on-the-job visit case review. This list is not meant to be all-inclusive, but rather to assist a group manager in this particular type of case review. A group manager should use their own judgment to determine which quality attributes are most applicable for a specific review.

    1. Attribute 101, Pre-Plan Activity - Was the pre-plan appropriate?

    2. Attribute 604, Meet and Deal - Did the examiner communicate appropriately?

    3. Attribute 400, Audit/Compliance Interview - Was the interview effective and sufficient information obtained to understand the taxpayer/business operations?  (05-19-2010)
Planning and Scheduling the Examination

  1. Review the employee's work plan to determine if all large, unusual, and questionable issues (LUQ) have been addressed. Provide suggestions to the employee when warranted.

  2. Observe the examiner's professionalism, taxpayer relations, and communication skills.

  3. Determine if employee has requested proper books and records.

  4. Determine if the taxpayer has submitted the requested books and records. If not, determine if proper follow-up has been made to secure the necessary records.  (05-19-2010)
Accounting Skills and Tax Knowledge

  1. The group manager should review the case file during an OJV for proper financial and tax accounting. The manager should:

    1. Determine if the examiner considered LUQ items throughout the course of the examination.

    2. Determine if the examiner expanded and contracted the scope as appropriate.

    3. Determine if the examiner properly evaluated oral testimony.

    4. Determine if the examination techniques used are appropriate based on internal controls.  (05-19-2010)
Workpapers and Reports

  1. The group manager should review the case file to determine the following:

    1. Workpapers are being contemporaneously prepared.

    2. Workpapers document the appropriate information to support the issues examined during and at the conclusion of the examination. Copies of information are included in the workpaper file only when relevant. Unnecessary copies of taxpayer records have not been included.

    3. Risk analysis workpapers (Field Examination only), mandatory leadsheets, and issue leadsheets are being prepared, used, and properly indexed to Form 4318, Examination Workpapers Index. or Form 4700, Examination Workpapers.  (05-19-2010)
Closing the Examination

  1. Observe the examiner's presentation of the audit findings. Audit findings should be presented in a professional manner.

  2. Observe the interaction between the examiner and the taxpayer and/or representative. Ensure the examiner provides them with an opportunity to present any additional evidence, oral testimony, or other pertinent arguments regarding the audit issues.  (05-19-2010)
Completed Case Review

  1. Perform a cursory inspection of every closed case. See IRM, Closing Returns - General. From this inspection and your knowledge of the case, you can determine if a more in-depth review is warranted.

  2. Assessment of an examiner's performance and feedback should be summarized in timely documentation, addressing as many of the quality attributes as applicable.

  3. A group manager should be satisfied that the work product flowing from the group meets or exceeds the quality attributes provided in IRM Exhibit 4.8.3-1, Quality Attributes.

  4. A group manager should not rely solely on completed case reviews to assess performance, identify concerns, solve problems, and manage inventories. Although a completed case review is a helpful tool, a group manager must realize that, at this point, the examination has been completed. It is too late to change the direction of the examination and ensure that quality is built into the process. In-process case reviews may provide a better opportunity for earlier managerial involvement to enhance communication with the taxpayer and/or representative, reduce examination span, identify additional compliance issues, or provide guidance regarding scope limitations.

  5. A completed case review can be used to assess the knowledge, skills, and taxpayer relations of the examiner. It can also be used to assess the quality of the examination. Listed below are areas that should be considered during a completed case review:

    1. Examination planning and scheduling;

    2. Accounting skills and tax law knowledge;

    3. Workpapers and reports; and

    4. Use of time.  (05-19-2010)
Examination Planning and Scheduling

  1. The group manager should review the case file to determine if:

    1. The examiner recognized and addressed all LUQ issues.

    2. The examination span was reasonable.

    3. Compliance checks were completed and documented in the case file.

    4. The preplan time was commensurate with the complexity of the return.

    5. Related and multiple year returns warranting examination were examined.  (05-19-2010)
Accounting Skills and Tax Law Knowledge

  1. The group manager should review the case file to determine if:

    1. The examiner expanded and contracted the scope as appropriate.

    2. The examiner used appropriate techniques to verify income.

    3. The examiner properly evaluated the relationship between financial accounting and tax accounting.

    4. The examiner properly evaluated oral testimony.

    5. The examiner applied the required accounting and financial skills and knowledge to reconcile the books and records to the tax return and analyze financial statements.

    6. The examiner recognized and pursued indications of fraud if they were present.

    7. The tax law has been appropriately applied. The factual development of the case should support the conclusion reached.  (05-19-2010)
Workpapers and Reports

  1. The group manager should review the case file to determine if:

    1. The workpapers were properly documented. They should reflect examination techniques employed, records reviewed, applicable tax law citations, and conclusion reached.

    2. The workpapers were contemporaneously prepared. Determine if the examiner spent time duplicating effort by recreating workpapers.

    3. Risk analysis workpapers (Field Examination only), mandatory leadsheets and issue leadsheets were prepared, used, and properly indexed to Form 4318, Examination Workpapers Index, or Form 4700, Examination Workpapers.

    4. The depth of the examination was sufficient. If not, provide the examiner with constructive feedback.

    5. The final report submitted to the taxpayer was professional in appearance and supports the conclusions reached during the examination.  (05-19-2010)
Use of Time

  1. The manager should determine if the time expended is commensurate with work performed and reflected in the case file. An ERCS time analysis report can assist and provide the following:

    1. Total time charged to the key return and related returns, if applicable;

    2. List of dates and corresponding time charged to the case; and

    3. Whether consecutive days were worked on the case or there are partial day time charges on nonconsecutive days (Field Examination only).


      All related returns should be linked to the key case on ERCS to provide an accurate reflection of time application by the examiner.

  2. The manager should determine if the workload priorities of the examiner had an impact on the planning and scheduling activities on the case.

    1. Total cases in process;

    2. Other priority work; and

    3. Details, training, or other assignments.  (05-19-2010)
Review of Examination Technical Time Reports (ETTR)

  1. ETTR reviews should be focused upon effective planning and scheduling techniques, with an emphasis on taking "meaningful" timely actions on in-process cases to bring them to closure.

  2. A group manager should ensure examiners are properly determining when to expand or limit the audit scope.

  3. Assessment of the employee's work observed during the review should be communicated in timely written or oral feedback.

  4. ETTR reviews should provide a quality check on the accuracy of the form preparation.

  5. The depth and timing of these reviews is determined by Area Director or Territory Manager guidelines.

  6. Listed below are a few of the EQRS quality attributes that lend themselves to being rated in a review of an ETTR. This list is not meant to be all-inclusive, but rather to assist a group manager in this particular type of case review. A group manager should use their own judgment to determine which quality attributes are most applicable for a specific review.

    1. Attribute 100, Protection of Statute of Limitations - Were statute issues appropriately addressed?

    2. Attribute 500, Time Spent on Examination/Compliance Review - On cases with high time, was the time commensurate with the work performed?

    3. Attribute 501, Efficient Resolution and IRM Timeframes Met - On inactive cases, were actions timely?

    4. Attribute 502, Workload Management - Was work appropriately and logically planned through the use of a planning calendar? Were appointments and follow-up work appropriately scheduled? Was work appropriately prioritized?  (05-19-2010)
ETTR Analysis

  1. The analysis process should be utilized to review the ETTR to observe planning, scheduling, time management skills, and to identify inactive cases.

  2. The time analysis and review process should verify timely contacts are made and work is properly planned and scheduled.

  3. Ensure there is a balance of inventory in the opening, active, and closing stages. Determine if there is a need for additional case assignments.

  4. Determine if time is effectively utilized by analyzing direct versus indirect time. Review reports to determine if time is charged in full or partial day time increments and on consecutive days.

  5. Review planning calendars to determine if:

    • Time is scheduled for pre-audit work on new cases (Office Exam only)

    • Portion of audit spent in field vs. office vs. flexiplace (Field Exam only).

  6. Determine if related return pick-ups are completed at the appropriate time when significant noncompliance issues exist. Cases should be updated to Status 12 when started.

  7. Verify the examiner is working on cases in priority sequence to the extent possible.

  8. For Field Examination only, determine if mutual commitment dates (MCD) are set for all cases in process according to guidelines. Ensure that dates are realistic and that planned actions are documented on the examiner's planning calendars to aid in meeting the MCDs.

  9. The following items can be used during this review:

    1. Planning calendar;

    2. ERCS Overage Report (IVL);

    3. ERCS Inactive Case Report; and

    4. ERCS Closed Case Report.

  10. Managerial directions and guidance should be summarized and recorded on specific cases on Form 9984, Examining Officer's Activity Record.  (05-19-2010)
On-Going Observation

  1. Observations of general activities in the work area can provide a group manager with indicators of the work atmosphere of the group and whether a productive work environment exists. Casual and brief visits with employees in the work area permit a group manager to provide assistance in an informal and time-saving manner. Some of the benefits gained through informal interactions are:

    1. Solutions to work difficulties;

    2. Substitution of oral feedback for written feedback;

    3. Timely communication of new procedural and technical developments; and

    4. Identify and correct improper or ineffective work habits.

  2. Informal discussions with employees may result in solving many work problems. To foster effective communication with employees, avoid assessing negative performance as a result of informal interactions.  (05-19-2010)
Feedback from Other Areas

  1. Solicit written feedback when employees are given assignments outside of the group. Some of these assignments will include:

    • Classifying returns;

    • Details to Technical Services staff;

    • Instructing;

    • Acting group manager; and

    • Details to other divisions.  (05-19-2010)
Disciplinary and Adverse Actions

  1. Disciplinary and adverse actions are tools that a group manager can use to enforce the rules, regulations, and work requirements that allow the Service to accomplish its mission in an effective and efficient manner.

  2. The goal of both disciplinary and adverse actions is to use the lowest level of discipline possible to correct inappropriate behavior. Each case is considered individually. See the references below for various actions and options.

  3. Seek assistance from the Labor and Employee Relations Office whenever dealing with any conduct problem that has the potential to result in a disciplinary action.

  4. References:

    1. IRM 6.751, Discipline and Disciplinary Actions

    2. IRM 6.752, Adverse Actions

    3. Managers' iManage resource center located athttps://portal.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/iManage/SitePages/Home.aspx

    4. Document 11678, National Agreement II.  (05-19-2010)

  1. Employees are entitled to present grievances without restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal. Grievances should be considered fairly and impartially, and processed expeditiously. Listed below are resources that provide guidance regarding the processing of a grievance:

    1. IRM 6.771.1, Agency Grievance System (AGS);

    2. Managers' iManage resource center located at https://portal.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/iManage/SitePages/Home.aspx;

    3. Document 11678, National Agreement II.  (05-19-2010)
Employee Development

  1. A group manager must ensure that support staff, paraprofessional, and technical employees receive training and guidance for successful performance in their group. Assess each employee’s abilities and performance, in order to develop the individual in their current position and for higher-level and more responsible work. In many instances, the Service provides formal training programs designed to meet the employee’s basic and advanced needs. These programs provide for classroom training, on-the-job instruction, continuing professional education (CPE), correspondence courses, and other approaches. Become familiar with the purpose and content of the various training programs and contact the Area training coordinator for additional assistance.

  2. To be successful, a group manager must be aware of the talents, current level of accomplishments, goals, and aspirations of the group's employees. Completing employee profiles for the group's employees will provide a basic foundation for assessing the group’s training and development needs. The degree of imagination, ingenuity, and creativity in this vital area is up to the group manager. Mentoring and frontline management readiness programs provide for the identification and development of employees who exhibit management skills and potential. Review each employee’s Career Learning Plan (CLP) and provide assignments to implement the plan.

  3. Listed below are references that may be helpful in developing employees:

    1. Human Capital Office Workforce & Career Planning website located at http://hco.web.irs.gov/workplan/index.html;

    2. Human Capital Office LEADS Development and Training website located at http://hco.web.irs.gov/devtrain/index.html;

    3. Document 11678, National Agreement II,, Article 30, Section 2(D), Training;


      The term Individual Development Plan has been replaced by the term Career Learning Plan;

    4. Form 10094, Employee Career Learning Plan, can be used to prepare a Career Learning Plan; and

    5. ELMS located at https://elms.web.irs.gov/.  (05-19-2010)
New Employee Training

  1. A group manager is responsible for ensuring new employees receive quality training. A group manager must be involved with trainees throughout their classroom and on-the-job training, and work closely with the Area training coordinator.  (05-19-2010)
Employee Training

  1. A group manager is responsible for ensuring employees receive quality CPE. CPE should be presented in accordance with the current fiscal year guidelines. A group manager is responsible for ensuring examiners and support staff receive the training they need to perform their job.

  2. A group manager may identify other training needs. Group meetings, self-study, external seminars, or memoranda may be effective methods for delivering other training needs.  (05-19-2010)
Employee Career Learning Plan

  1. Employee development is a shared responsibility between a group manager and employees. Each employee should prepare an Employee Career Learning Plan (CLP) to meet their specific needs. This plan should be updated as actions are accomplished.

  2. Document 11678, National Agreement II, provides that employees should also spend their own time on self-development; and

  3. A group manager should develop a monitoring and follow-up system to meet the individual needs of each employee. An effective CLP should be:

    • Mutually developed

    • Realistic

    • Balanced

    • Attainable

    • Mutually supported

  4. Employee development is directed toward improving skills in present and target positions. This can be accomplished through a variety of activities including: details to other areas or functions, instructing, OJI, acting group manager assignments, task force, and special projects.  (05-19-2010)
Helping People Achieve

  1. A group manager is an advocate for group employees. A group manager can help employees achieve their career objectives by remembering:

    1. Enthusiasm is contagious;

    2. Clearly shared objectives and standards are a must;

    3. Intermediate goals must be set, shared, and monitored;

    4. Small successes build confidence;

    5. Individual performance is evaluated against set standards; and

    6. Prompt corrective action may be necessary.

  2. Identifying, planning, and monitoring of employee needs and their development requires open communication. Direct involvement and ongoing attention are essential to the enhancement of employees’ skills and career advancement.

  3. Remember, a group manager is only as effective as the employees in the group. Thus, it stands to reason a group manager needs to assist in employee’s development by:

    1. Encouraging and appreciating excellence;

    2. Creating a climate of support, encouragement, recognition and team spirit; and

    3. Remaining flexible and resourceful.  (05-19-2010)
Group Manager Development

  1. Personal career objectives are a shared responsibility between a group manager and territory manager. Look for guidance in developing professional goals and objectives.

  2. Increased responsibility, advancement, and job enrichment should continue throughout a group manager's career. A group manager should develop and fully utilize a career developmental plan. Managerial career planning requires goals, actions, and commitment. Visit the Human Capital Office Workforce & Career Planning website located at http://hco.web.irs.gov/workplan/careerpath/index.html for additional information.  (05-19-2010)
Programs and Priorities

  1. A group manager plays a vital role in accomplishing the Service's mission. It is essential that all levels of management identify and prioritize expectations

  2. The SB/SE Commissioner establishes and prioritizes goals for each fiscal year as outlined in the Strategic Plan and the Examination Program Letter for the fiscal year. Policy statements, internal revenue manual procedures, and other documents provide guidelines for achieving these strategies.  (05-19-2010)
Work Categories

  1. Determine the priority of available workload in light of existing commitments, planned objectives, and procedural requirements.

  2. A group’s work can be divided into three categories. See IRM, Inventory Types.

  3. It is essential that a group manager understands priorities, monitors them closely, and ensures their attainment. Some mandatory programs, such as headquarters directed projects, have definite interim completion goals that should be attained. When assigning returns to examiners, mandatory and priority cases must receive first consideration. Although transferring work between examiners is not desirable, it could be required to satisfy priority needs.

  4. Some examples of priority cases are:

    • Cases in which either the government’s or the taxpayer’s interest is in jeopardy due to imminent expiration of the statute of limitations;

    • Bankruptcy or receivership cases on which the date for filing claims is about to expire;

    • Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) cases;

    • Cases returned by Technical Services for reconsideration;

    • Requests for prompt assessment;

    • Pre-identified art evaluation cases;

    • Delinquent account cases being held by Collection pending action by Examination;

    • Cases involving informant’s claims/letters;

    • Partnership and fiduciary cases involving Form 8340 , Partnership Control System (PCS);

    • Inadequate records follow-up examination;

    • Claims for refund;

    • Overage cases; and

    • Offers in Compromise.  (05-19-2010)
Technical Advisors/Issue Specialists

  1. Technical advisors/issue specialists facilitate the development of examiners' expertise by providing guidance on issues specific to certain industries or return types and provide technical support to Area examiners. They are responsible for preparing issue guidance and Audit Technique Guides (ATG) that provide auditing techniques, assist with issue identification and development, and tax law interpretation. ATGs can be accessed from the IRS.gov website athttp://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Audit-Techniques-Guides-ATGs.

  2. The technical advisory program involves industries and businesses selected because of possible noncompliance. The purpose of specializing is to allow technicians to develop expertise in the industry. Industry specialization also allows the Service to take consistent positions with certain industries and issues. Technical advisors located in LMSB and issue specialists located in SB/SE are both available to assist examiners.  (05-19-2010)
Headquarters Directed Projects

  1. These are high priority programs which have significant impact on future compliance with widespread geographic implications. These projects may be initiated at any time. A group manager's early involvement and continual monitoring is critical.  (05-19-2010)
Compliance Initiative Projects (CIP)

  1. The objectives of CIPs are to identify whether noncompliance exists, determine the reasons for noncompliance, reduce noncompliance, and make recommendations for increasing future compliance.

  2. CIPs are any activities involving contact with specific taxpayers within a group, using either internal or external data to identify potential areas of noncompliance within the group, for the purpose of correcting the noncompliance. The term CIP refers to activities formerly categorized as Return Compliance Programs (RCP), Information Gathering Projects (IGP), Compliance 2000 Projects, etc. See IRM 4.17, Compliance Initiative Projects, for additional information on CIPs.  (05-19-2010)
Local Source Projects

  1. Local source work consists of high-yield returns identified at the group level and coordinated with the local Planning and Special Programs (PSP) function. Historically, this work has proven to be much more productive than DIF source returns.

  2. A group manager has a responsibility to be innovative in developing local source work. Ensure CIP guidelines are followed when initiating this type of case work.  (05-19-2010)
Compliance Data Environment (CDE)

  1. CDE is a workload identification, planning and delivery system operating in a web-based environment.

  2. The benefits of CDE are:

    1. Faster delivery of returns into the audit stream from the time of filing;

    2. Provides 3-year return facsimile, entity data, and related returns

    1. Automated case building options include IDRS, CBRS, third party data (Choice Point), Schedules K-1, and related returns.;

    2. Just in time delivery - return orders no longer need to be placed months in advance;

    3. Most classification can be performed locally.

  3. CDE facsimile returns are used in place of the original return.

  4. For additional information and help refer to the CDE website located at http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/exam/tip/cde/default.aspx.  (05-19-2010)
Governmental Liaison Program

  1. Governmental Liaison is a program designed to foster joint tax administration between the IRS and state taxing agencies. It also promotes joint initiatives with other federal agencies, local governments, state agencies (other than taxing agencies), and private-sector organizations.

  2. Governmental Liaison objectives include:

    • Improve voluntary and enforced compliance;

    • Reduce taxpayer burden;

    • Enhance service to taxpayers; and

    • Allow IRS and state agencies to perform more efficiently and cost effectively.

  3. Field Governmental Liaison initiatives may include:

    • Information exchange;

    • Joint early intervention and education;

    • Joint enforcement; and

    • Joint technological activities.  (05-19-2010)
Specialty Areas

  1. Ensure that referrals to specialists, when warranted, are made in a timely manner and that examiners are working together to complete the examination as soon as possible. Examples of referrals that may be necessary are:

    • Employment Tax Specialist;

    • Employee Plans Specialist;

    • Excise Tax Specialist;

    • Computer Audit Specialists;

    • International Examiners;

    • Engineers; and

    • Economists

  2. For additional information on specialist referrals see IRM, Referrals for Specialists.  (05-19-2010)

  1. Fraud awareness is part of every program. Examiners should be alert for indications of fraud and are encouraged to discuss these cases with a group manager. The determination of civil or criminal fraud and the development necessary in the case should be discussed thoroughly. A Fraud Technical Advisor (FTA) can provide assistance in developing fraud cases. See IRM 25.1, Fraud Handbook.

  2. Examiners must discuss any potential fraud case they have with their group manager.

  3. Occasionally, a group manager will be requested to provide resources to assist in conducting grand jury investigations. Because of the confidentiality of grand jury information, only a limited number of designated officials are permitted to receive this information. This does not include examination group managers, unless the manager is included on the 6(e) order.

  4. Examiners should be made aware of their limited responsibility when assisting in grand jury investigations. The sole responsibility of the examiner is to examine books and records and interview third parties to determine the income of the targets of the grand jury. Investigations frequently continue for extended periods; therefore, it is important that feedback on examiner performance is received from the CI manager. The specifics of the investigation activity cannot be provided. However, specifics concerning the examiner’s performance level should be made available to a group manager.

  5. The Fraud Program home page is located at http://sbseservicewide.web.irs.gov/Fraud/default.aspx.  (05-19-2010)

  1. Group managers are responsible for ensuring the security of the information and property assigned to the group.  (05-19-2010)
Periodic Security Review

  1. A group manager must perform periodic reviews of their employees’ work space to ensure that laptop computers, Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU) data, and Personally Identifiable Information (PII) are protected at all times. See IRM 10.2.2, Physical Security Compliance Reviews.

  2. For additional information visit the following websites:

    1. MITS Cybersecurity home page at http://mits.web.irs.gov/Cybersecurity/default.htm;

    2. Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure, Think Data Protection located at http://irweb.irs.gov/AboutIRS/bu/pipds/information_protection/think/default.aspx.  (05-19-2010)
Mandatory Briefings

  1. Annual mandatory briefings can seem routine. The information a group manager and employees learn is integral to sustaining the integrity of our workforce and ensuring a secure and safe workplace.

  2. A group manager must ensure all mandatory briefings are timely completed. If there are questions concerning these briefings the territory manager should be consulted. Mandatory briefings include but are not limited to the following:

    1. Ethics;

    2. Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH);

    3. No Fear;

    4. Safety and Health; and

    5. Information Protection:
      (1) Computer Security;
      (2) UNAX - See IRM, Taxpayer Browsing Protection Act of 1997 (UNAX), and IRM, Taxpayer Browsing Protection Act; and
      (3) Privacy.  (05-19-2010)
Interactions with Other Functions

  1. Throughout this manual the importance of working as a team in order to accomplish the mission of the Service is discussed. The team is made up of all the employees of our organization. The interaction of employees is the lifeblood of the organization. Initial interactions in a work environment will form the basis for relationships with the key people a group manager must work for, with, and through.

  2. The following presents an overview of the individuals and functions a group manager will look to for information, assistance, and guidance. These are all members of the team with whom a group manager must work effectively in order to accomplish the organization’s goals.  (02-03-2015)
Appeals and Area Counsel

  1. For the most part, an examiner's contact with Appeals and Area Counsel is through their group manager. Recognize Appeals' and Area Counsel's responsibilities and support their efforts.

  2. Cases in which taxpayers request Appeals’ consideration should be promptly transferred, but only if the taxpayer is eligible for an Appeals conference, all issues have been fully developed, quality assured, appeal rights fully explained, and Fast Track Settlement offered when applicable. Appeals provides feedback on the resolution of some appealed issues. See IRM, Eligibility for Appeals Conference and Preliminary Letters (SB/SE Field and Office Examiners Only).

  3. An examiner must request and receive permission from his or her group manager before initiating any communication related to a case with an Appeals employee, unless the case is being worked through Fast Track Settlement. The group manager will determine if the proposed communication is appropriate and whether it is an ex parte communication covered by RRA 98 limitations and further clarified by Rev. Proc. 2012–18. See IRM (4), Responsibility for Compliance with the Provisions of the Restructuring and Reform Act (RRA) 98 Section 1001(a)(4), for the group manager’s responsibilities with respect to the request.

  4. Area Counsel is available for legal guidance in situations such as summons enforcement, assertion of the civil fraud penalty, and interpretation of any legal issues where Counsel can be of assistance.  (05-19-2010)

  1. Close coordination with Collection personnel is essential on failure-to-file referrals, frivolous filer/nonfiler cases, and claims for refunds submitted during the collection process. Collection personnel must be involved with unpaid agreed deficiency cases of more than $100,000 prior to closing. If the taxpayer requests an installment agreement that exceeds examination limits, collection personnel should be contacted to assist the taxpayer. See IRM, Coordination with Collection , for additional information.  (05-19-2010)
Criminal Investigation

  1. The success of the area fraud program requires cooperation between group employees and Criminal Investigation. A group manager must ensure that adequate staffing is available and properly utilized to complete joint investigations, ensure that quarterly meetings are conducted to monitor the timely completion of joint investigations, and obtain feedback on the quality of fraud referrals. In addition, consider utilizing Criminal Investigation employees to conduct workshops on fraud development.  (05-19-2010)

  1. The Disclosure Officer can provide invaluable assistance in resolving questions regarding disclosures of tax returns, tax return information and Privacy Act (PA) information, such as personnel records. The Disclosure Officer handles all requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or the PA. A FOIA or PA request received in the group should be immediately forwarded to the Disclosure Officer for processing. However, absent a FOIA or PA request, the examiner/group manager has the authority to provide the taxpayer/representative with copies of documents related to the issues in question after reviewing the requested documents for any questionable items. Disclosure should be contacted if there are any questionable items that may be withheld from the requester.

  2. Subpoenas received by employees must be immediately faxed or hand-carried to the Disclosure Officer for processing. An employee is allowed to testify in a tax administration case as a witness for the government without a subpoena and without an authorization from the Territory Manager. A group manager should make full use of the local Disclosure Officer by extending an invitation to attend a group meeting and requesting orientation for new employees (including technical, para-professional, and support staff). See IRM 11.3, Disclosure of Official Information.  (05-19-2010)
Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA)

  1. TIGTA should be viewed as a positive resource in maintaining a respected, ethical organization. They support employees against false claims, threats, and accusations, as well as investigate allegations of wrongdoing. Invite TIGTA to group meetings to emphasize their role.

  2. A group manager should not conduct an investigation into the matters listed above under any circumstances unless TIGTA concurrence is obtained.

  3. All information received concerning misconduct of IRS employees or officials will be reported to the local TIGTA office, TIGTA hotline at 1-800-366-4484, or e-mail through the website at http://www.treas.gov/tigta/.

  4. After TIGTA conducts an investigation of alleged improper conduct, the report will be presented to management for review and decision on whether disciplinary action will be required. If no disciplinary action is required, one of the following actions must be taken:

    1. Clearance letter

    2. Closed without action letter

    3. Warning or caution letter

  5. TIGTA, Office of Audit, is an independent third party which reviews IRS systems, procedures, and effectiveness.  (05-19-2010)
Research, Analysis & Statistics (RAS)

  1. RAS is comprised of the following offices:

    • National Research Program (NRP)

    • Office of Program Evaluation & Risk Analysis (OPERA)

    • Servicewide Policy, Directives & Electronic Research (SPDER)

    • Statistics of Income (SOI)

    • Office of Research (OR)

  2. RAS identifies noncompliance at the issue level. Their activities may include demographic, economic, and other studies as requested by the Director, Examination.  (05-19-2010)
Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS)

  1. The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization within the IRS, led by the National Taxpayer Advocate. Each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico has at least one Local Taxpayer Advocate, who is independent of the local IRS office and reports directly to the National Taxpayer Advocate. TAS helps taxpayers resolve problems with the IRS and recommends changes that will prevent the problems.

  2. If a group manager is unable to resolve certain taxpayer complaints or inquiries meeting TAS criteria, a referral may be warranted. Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (And Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order), should be completed and forwarded to the local TAS office. See IRM, TAS Case Criteria, which provides the criteria for referral to TAS.

  3. Prompt action to resolve a taxpayer’s complaint will result in increased respect for the Service. A group manager and their employees share the responsibility for maintaining favorable public relations.  (05-19-2010)
Communications & Liaison (C&L)

  1. C & L coordinates all media contacts. All media contacts must be cleared through the C & L office. C & L may request that a group manager or technical employees make presentations to groups of taxpayers through taxpayer education programs.  (05-19-2010)
Campus Contacts

  1. The support staff may occasionally have to contact one of the campuses to resolve a return requisition, payment posting, or other problems. Each Campus has three Directors: Accounts Management, Submission Processing and Compliance Services. The relationships established with Campus personnel will prove invaluable to the smooth operation of the group.  (05-19-2010)
Collateral Duties

  1. The importance of working as a team in order to accomplish the mission of the Service has been discussed throughout this IRM. This team is made up of all Service employees. The following presents an overview of some collateral duties which a group manager may be called upon to handle.  (05-19-2010)
Classroom Instructor

  1. Group managers may be given instructor assignments in both technical and administrative areas. These assignments give a group manager a change of pace and the ability to refresh their skills.  (05-19-2010)
Commissioner Representative

  1. The Senior Commissioner Representative and Commissioner Representatives provide management leadership for cross-functional administrative activities in field offices of the IRS. Duties may include taxpayer concerns, security, supplies, safety, and general operating guidance. See IRM, Senior Commissioner's Representatives Branch, for additional information.  (05-19-2010)

  1. A group manager may play a key role in recruiting qualified candidates. When internal employees are being considered for a crossover to another position or external applicants are seeking initial appointments, a group manager may be in a position to influence an individual’s decision to work for the Internal Revenue Service. Represent the Service in a professional manner when talking with prospective employees or school officials. Review recruitment literature and talk with a personnel staffing specialist before making recruitment visits to obtain knowledge regarding job duties and educational requirements.  (05-19-2010)
Wage & Investment (W & I) Customer Service

  1. A group manager may receive a request to provide examination staffing during filing season to assist taxpayers with the preparation of their returns or technical assistance.  (05-19-2010)
General Group Management Issues

  1. A group manager is responsible for end-to-end management of the group. Some additional areas of responsibility include the following:

    1. Dissemination of instructions - a group manager should ensure instructions and guidelines from management are timely disseminated to the work group. A group manager should meet with their group and discuss emerging issues, new developments, and revised procedures as warranted.

    2. Managerial controls - a group manager should maintain effective group controls to ensure work assigned is completed in an efficient manner. Ensure work assignments are completed in a fair and impartial manner. Employee suggestions for improvements should be given consideration and full employee engagement encouraged. A group manager should ensure all employees are made aware when another person has been designated to act on behalf of the group manager.

    3. Personnel Issues - personnel issues that may occur in the group include the following:
      Review time and attendance records periodically to determine if any areas require attention.
      Employees should promptly notify their group manager when they will be absent.
      Employee vacation time should be scheduled in advance to facilitate proper planning and ensure employees are given an opportunity to take their accrued annual leave.
      A group manager should review employee position descriptions and critical job elements to ensure they are current.

    4. Access to tax administration tools - A group manager should ensure employees have access to tax administration tools needed to do their job. They may include but are not limited to the following:
      Tax law research tools;
      Asset locator tools; and

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