1.4.52  Offer in Compromise Manager's Resource Guide - Field Program

Manual Transmittal

August 06, 2015

Purpose

(1) This transmits a revision to IRM 1.4.52, Resource Guide for Managers,Offer in Compromise Manager's Resource Guide - Field Program

Background

This IRM is intended to supplement IRM 1.4.50, Resource Guide for Managers — Collection Group Manager, Territory Manager, and Area Director Operational Aid handbook. It does not repeat all of the sections that pertain to both collection and offer field managers. This guide is more functional and is tailored to the unique aspects of the OIC program.

Material Changes

(1) This IRM was reorganized and updated to incorporate the following changes.

1.4.52 Revised language, grammatical errors, spelled acronyms, and rearranged within established sections for better flow. Changed reference from "Manager" and "Group Manager " to the terms "you" and "your" . Changed references to Area Director to the Director Specialty Collection Offers & Liens (Director). Changed the reference from "Area" to "Territory" to conform with the reorganization.

Note:

It is highly recommended that you review the entire IRM to familiarize yourself with the reorganization of this IRM.

1.4.52.1 Added new Overview language.
1.4.52.2 (1) [7th bullet] added maintaining appropriate inventory levels to your responsibilities. Added [last bullet] overseeing the time reporting process. 2) added responsibilities of development, evaluating, addressing conduct issues, fostering good working relationships, etc. 3) added language that as a manager you are accountable to address performance deficiencies within your group, which may be accomplished through reviews and/or by requiring your concurrence with performing specific actions.
1.4.52.3 Established separate section for Communication Expectations with new employees as well as discussion topics for group meetings. Added as a group meeting discussion topic, complex cases.
1.4.52.4, 1.4.52.4.1 (Offer Specialists), 1.4.52.4.2 (TEs), and 1.4.52.4.3 (Secretaries/Management Assistants) Split out time reporting requirements by employee type. Added time code 120 for CDP cases.
1.4.52.5 (1) added language that it is the responsibility of the manager to make sure hold files are held to a minimum or eliminated by making assignments as expeditiously as possible.
1.4.52.5.1 (1) corrected PD references to current revisions. Removed the reference of total liabilities as a method of case grading. (2) added Fraud Technical Advisor (FTA) in the 9th bullet. (3) includes language that if a case should be downgraded, notate the reasons in the case history. You must also notify the Offer Specialist (OS) via email of the reasons for downgrading the case. If the OS disagrees, the employee and/or the Union may file a written challenge to the decision. See the Article 25 C.1 of the 2012 National NTEU Agreement.
1.4.52.5.2 Added (4) stating that management will endeavor not to assign new cases to employees on weekends, holidays, or when an employee is on leave. Added (5) stating that assignment of work should be in the best interest of the employee to allow the most efficient case processing.
1.4.52.5.3 (2) Changed the age of hold files from 15 – 30 to 60 – 90 days. Added new (3) stating that you should monitor OS inventories on a daily basis to ensure levels are maintained at the levels defined in IRM 1.4.50.10.2. (4) includes language that if adjustments must be made to inventory levels, is should be based on an evaluation of time spent on activities other than assigned work. (6) now includes language that if hold files become more than 90 days old it may be necessary to increase inventory levels to the higher level defined in IRM 1.4.50.10.2.
1.4.52.5.4 (2) Added the ENTITY User Guide web site. Added language on uses for AOIC and ICS.
1.4.52.5.5 Removed references to the Jasmine portal to run reports. Listed available reports on AOIC that are beneficial for field managers to utilize under the Reports & Correspondence menu, including a brief description. Provided a brief description for Eureka reports.
1.4.52.5.6 (4) includes language to maintain discussions in folders or binders. (5) includes language that inventory listing cases in Appeals (90XX) must be matched and indicate the proposed disposition is reflected on AOIC and ACDS shows a corresponding open offer.
1.4.52.5.6.1 (5) Added [last bullet] Time Utilization reviews.
1.4.52.5.7 (2) Added [5th bullet] to make sure all cases are worked within a reasonable time, generally within six months of assignment to the OS.
1.4.52.6.2 (2) includes information on EQRS Individual Feedback Report. Added a note providing that reviews that consider OS activity across multiple cases (e.g., time utilization, office/field observation) a summary narrative, such as a memorandum, may be substituted.
1.4.52.6.3 (2) Added an exception that more frequent consultations may be appropriate.
1.4.52.6.3.1 (1) changed the requirement to sit in on interviews from 1 to 2 interviews.
1.4.52.6.4.1 (2) added outstanding Interim Guidance Memorandums as being part of the operational review conducted by the TM. (3) b) identified overage assignments as those cases that are in an OS inventory or new inventory hold file for more than six months. (5) h) added language to employee case documentation should be documentation that is appropriate and accurately describes identified issues and case progression.
1.4.52.7.1 (1) Further defined case documentation as a critical part of the offer process and that it must support the case decision.
1.4.52.7.2 Updated the reference to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights to the 2015 version as stated by the Commissioner.
1.4.52.8 Removed (1) stating that TE staffing is administered by the National Program Manager.
1.4.52.8.2 (1) Added [9th bullet] to screen all incoming cases for filing and payment compliance, and [10th bullet] to screen all incoming cases for compliance with periodic payment requirements. (2) Added Alternative Resolution Implementation (ARI) in the title and throughout this paragraph. (4) Added the term timely to both the 18th and 21st bullets. In the 16th bullet, added a reference to see IRM 5.13.1.10.1.1 (2) for additional information when a non-reviewable case has been systemically selected. Also added a note in the 17th bullet that if the taxpayer authorized application of funds, the Form 3040 must be forwarded to the appropriate MOIC unit for resolution.
1.4.52.10 Added references to IRM 5.8.7.12.1 and 5.8.8.15 for shipping cases to FRC. (3) added language to add the FRC information onto the AOIC Tracking screen.

Effect on Other Documents

This material supersedes IRM 1.4.52, dated 04–29–2014 .

Audience

Small Business/Self-Employed, Collection Field function (CFf) OIC Group Managers, Territory Managers with Offer in Compromise oversight, and Director Specialty Collection Offers, Liens & Advisory.

Effective Date

(08-06-2015)

Kristin E. Bailey
Acting Director, Collection Policy

1.4.52.1  (08-06-2015)
Overview

  1. This chapter discusses your responsibilities as a manager in Field Offer in Compromise (OIC) groups and should be used in conjunction with IRM 1.4.50, Collection Field Function Group Manager Handbook, and all sections of IRM 5.8, Offer in Compromise. While many topics are touched upon in this chapter, comprehensive guidance included in other referenced IRMs cannot be included. As you use this IRM, remain alert for references to other resources, such as related IRMs and web sites. You should access that guidance as needed to ensure a thorough understanding of topics.

1.4.52.2  (08-06-2015)
Responsibilities of an Offer in Compromise Group Manager

  1. In accomplishing the mission of the Internal Revenue Service, it is your responsibility to provide oversight and direction in a number of areas. Your oversight responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

    • Ensuring case actions are timely and in accordance with current law, policies, and procedures.

    • Ensuring high standards of professionalism are maintained in all correspondence and telephone contact, with both internal and external customers.

    • Ensuring taxpayer rights are observed and taxpayers and/or their representatives are advised of those rights and how to exercise them.

    • Ensuring employees are aware of the role of the Taxpayer Advocate Service and the Low Income Tax Clinics (refer to Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List), and the service these functions provide is properly communicated with taxpayers and/or their representative.

    • Ensuring employees are aware of and comply with ongoing changes to the laws, policies, and procedures that relate to their responsibilities.

    • Addressing systems issues that impact either internal or external customer needs.

    • Ensuring cases are assigned timely and appropriate inventory levels are maintained.

    • Ensuring workloads (1) reflect employee experience and skills, (2) address Service-Wide objectives, and (3) protect public interest.

    • Helping Offer Specialists (OS) make the right next case decision.

    • Ensuring employees are accountable for the appropriateness of their actions.

    • Providing ongoing feedback that is candid, meaningful, and will establish a basis for determining an accurate assessment of performance and developmental needs.

    • Issuing Critical Job Elements (CJE) timely and evaluating employee performance against their CJEs.

    • Creating and maintaining a work environment that will promote teamwork, positive working relationships, and increased employee satisfaction.

    • Ensuring employees have necessary equipment and supplies.

    • Providing technical guidance on the OIC program to Field Collection groups managers, revenue officers, and others, as necessary.

    • Overseeing the time reporting process.

  2. In addition, your responsibilities include:

    • Developing employees.

    • Evaluating employee performance and providing counseling.

    • Addressing employee conduct issues.

    • Fostering good working relationships.

    • Defining goals and course of action.

    • Assigning and directing work.

    • Instructing employees in the application of procedures and guidelines.

    • Displaying integrity in all actions.

  3. As a manager you are accountable to address performance deficiencies within your group. This may be accomplished through reviews and/or by requiring your concurrence with performing specific actions.

1.4.52.3  (08-06-2015)
Communication Expectations

  1. If you are assigned to a new group or you are a new manager assigned to an existing group, a meeting with employees must be held within the first 30 days. At this meeting the you should communicate expectations about the following suggested topics:

    • Safety and security,

    • Group procedures,

    • Case work,

    • Use of time in the office, field and telework,

    • Timeliness of case activity,

    • Timeframes for case actions, and

    • Case review schedules.

    Reminder:

    Expectations should be reviewed at the beginning of each fiscal year.

  2. When a new employee is assigned you must meet with him or her to discuss your expectations and ensure the appropriate OL 5081, Automated Information System (AIS) User Registration/Change Request, is completed and processed.

    Note:

    These meetings are considered 7114 meetings and the local National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) chapter(s) must be notified of the meeting in accordance with Article 8, Union Rights, of the IRS/NTEU National Agreement.

  3. Regular group meetings must be held as necessary to review and discuss such items as:

    • Directives from Headquarters, Director Specialty Collection Offers & Liens (Director), and/or the Territory Manager (TM)

    • Procedural memoranda

    • Changes to the IRM

    • Changes in condition of employment

    • Automation issues

    • Mandated topics (i.e., Ethics, etc.)

    • Annual IRS Employee Survey results

    • IRS employee engagement issues and general group concerns

    • Complex cases to brainstorm ideas to assist in taking appropriate closing actions

    Note:

    Some of these meetings are considered 7114 meetings (e.g., changes in condition of employment and certain mandated topics) and the local National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) chapter(s) must be notified of the meeting in accordance with Article 8, Union Rights, of the IRS/NTEU National Agreement. You should seek guidance and advice from their servicing Field Labor Relations Section if you are unsure whether an agenda item for a group meeting constitutes a 7114 issue. Article 8 Section 1 of the National Agreement also provides guidance on 7114 Meetings.

1.4.52.4  (08-06-2015)
Time Reporting in the Offer in Compromise Program

  1. You are responsible for reviewing proper time reporting by your employees. Using ENTITY, you should be alert for reporting excessive administrative or non-direct case time which is reported under ENTITY Code 106 .

  2. You should review employee ENTITY Time Reports monthly in order to:

    • monitor the accuracy of reporting direct time on case assignments;

    • monitor the percentage of direct time to ensure the OS is not working over 25% direct time above grade; and

    • make sure the proper amount of administrative time and other non-direct case time is accurately reported.

1.4.52.4.1  (08-06-2015)
Time Reporting for Offer Specialists

  1. Non-direct case time is work consisting of less than 15 minutes on an individual case including time spent discussing cases during the bi-monthly inventory discussions.

  2. OS should report non-case direct time under ENTITY Code 106. Time Code 106 has a Non-Case Direct and Direct-Case time designation which are captured and reported separately on ENTITY.

    Caution:

    OS must not charge any of their time to ENTITY Code 809 because time reported to Code 809 rolls into 101 TDA Direct and 201 TDI Direct time.

  3. Direct case time (106) covers all actions relating to the time spent working an assigned OIC submitted on Form 656, Offer in Compromise. This includes receiving and analyzing the form, all required documentation, conducting required interviews, determining reasonable collection potential, making disposition recommendations, reviewing request for Appeal consideration, time spent of more than 15 minutes discussing a case during bi-monthly inventory discussions, etc.

  4. OS should report time worked on offers with an open CDP to ENTITY Code 120. This includes receiving and analyzing the form, all required documentation, conducting required interviews, determining reasonable collection potential, making disposition recommendations, time spent of more than 15 minutes discussing a case during bi-monthly inventory discussions, etc.

1.4.52.4.2  (08-06-2015)
Time Reporting for Paraprofessionals (Tax Examiners, etc.)

  1. OIC support work that is performed by paraprofessionals (Tax Examiners, etc.) should be reported under ENTITY Code 106 — Non-Case Direct.

1.4.52.4.3  (08-06-2015)
Time Reporting for Clerical (Secretaries/Management Assistants)

  1. Clerical personnel in the OIC program (e.g., secretaries/management assistants) should report their case related work under time codes 502, 504, and 505. Listed below is an explanation of these codes.

  2. 502 Analysis/Perfection — Time spent by a CFf clerical employee in performance of their duties including, but not limited to, the following:

    • Analysis and perfection of input documents, excluding payment input documents.

    • Coding and editing of adjustment documents, such as Form 3870, Request for Adjustment, etc.

    • Performing research necessary to complete payment and credit transfer requests.

    • Reviewing and perfecting information or certified transcript requests and performing all necessary follow-up actions.

    • Performing miscellaneous duties as assigned.

    Note:

    Refer to IRM 1.4.52.8, Tax Examiners in the OIC Program, and IRM 1.4.52.9, Group Secretaries in the OIC Program, for a full description of support duties within the OIC program.

  3. 504 Clerical – Time spent by clerical employees maintaining filing systems (hardcopy files and/or electronic files), filing IRM transmittals and/or other documents, inputting accession numbers on Automated OIC (AOIC) on cases forwarded to FRC, and processing closed file requests, and processing closed file requests.

  4. 505 Clerical– Time spent by clerical employees in support of all Collection programs including, but not limited to, the following:

    • Typing/printing letters, forms, etc.

    • Processing and routing mail.

    • Conducting research to assist OS' with assigned cases, other than payment/credit transfer research.

    • Processing Form 795, Daily Report of Collection Activity, without returns and/or remittances, including such items as: (1) reviewing documents for accuracy and completeness; and returning incomplete or inaccurate documents to the initiator; (2) routing documents to the appropriate function; (3) determining the appropriate assignment number; (4) performing sample selection for National Quality Review System (NQRS); (5) performing sample selection for post reviews; (6) performing miscellaneous duties, as assigned.

1.4.52.5  (08-06-2015)
Workload Management

  1. You are responsible for effectively managing the group's workload. To accomplish this you should:

    • Ensure hold files are held to a minimum or eliminated by making assignments to active inventory as expeditiously as possible. See IRM 1.4.52.5.3 below for additional guidance on maintaining hold files.

      Note:

      The TM should be alerted to situations where inventory backlogs may delay the timely assignment of cases.

    • Ensure cases are assigned promptly.

    • Maintain appropriate inventory levels at appropriate grade levels and make adjustments as necessary.

    • Ensure case activity is progressing toward resolution by (1) timely conducting the required Embedded Quality Review System (EQRS) case reviews, (2) conducting any other reviews deemed appropriate, (3) monitoring group controls, and (4) having ongoing dialogue with each employee to adequately assess the individual progress of each case assignment.

1.4.52.5.1  (08-06-2015)
Case Grading

  1. You are responsible for reviewing all case receipts and ensuring that each assignment has been correctly graded prior to assignment to an OS. Case grading should be based on the criteria defined in the employees current Position Description (PD) for the GS-1169-12 (PD# 97019) and GS-1169-11 (PD # 97018), Offer in Compromise Specialist, which specifies that Grade 11 OS’ are generally assigned OIC cases that involve moderate issues, and Grade 12 OS’ generally are assigned inventory that involve more complex issues.

  2. Because OICs assigned to the OS generally contain financial statements submitted by taxpayers, as well as information obtained by the Centralized Offer in Compromise (COIC) sites through internal case-building, you should also take into consideration additional issues when determining the initial case grade of a new assignment. Generally, the below issues/processes could warrant a GS-12 designation.

    • Liabilities that cover a diversified spectrum of individual and business taxpayers (e.g., multiple and/or consecutive years of non-compliance requiring more analysis and evaluation to ascertain issues such as commingling of assets, income, expenses, etc.).

    • Entity consists of complex trusts, large municipalities, and/or educational institutions all of which require more specialized knowledge on tax laws.

    • Valuation of on-going businesses; income determination when excessive accumulation of retained earnings is identified; closely held entities; consideration whether compromise would impact overall compliance; public policy impact if collection were to be pursued; and the related valuation in making a final compromise decision.

    • Presence of transferees, nominees, and/or alter egos requiring identification, research and valuation in making a final compromise decision.

    • Presence of complex accounting practices, tax law, or investigative issues of more than usual difficulty or complexity.

    • OICs filed by individuals and business taxpayers (e.g. partnerships, corporations) involved in complex activities or transactions designed or structured to hide or conceal income requiring a thorough knowledge of the different fraud indicators, as well as working knowledge on a wide range of financial and investigative skills, such as offshore activities; multiple related entities.

    • Involvement of numerous creditors requiring a working knowledge of lien law in order to determine appropriate lien priority.

    • Need for comprehensive reviews to determine that other required returns such as individual income tax, excise, or specialty returns are filed, and a thorough analyses of these returns is required to identify omitted assets, and/or improper transfers.

    • Case complexity requires the involvement of specialists such as Examination, Office of Professional Responsibility, Evaluation Engineers, Criminal Investigation, Counsel, Fraud Technical Advisor (FTA), and/or Field Compliance.

    • Comprehensive and complex financial statements requiring knowledge of accounting and business principles .

    • Need to gather, research, inspect, and validate data from a variety of sources including internal sources and personal contacts. The data may, in some instances, be unique to a particular trade or industry.

    • Potential for media scrutiny due to the type of taxpayer.

    • Non-economic hardship-effective tax administration (NEH-ETA) issues in accordance with IRM 5.8.11.

  3. Case grade levels can be increased or decreased at any time. Case grades should be verified and changed on ICS. OS' should be encouraged to bring any issues to your attention. If you decide that a case should be downgraded, notate the reasons in the case history. You must also notify the OS via email of the reasons for downgrading the case. If the OS disagrees, the employee and/or the Union may file a written challenge to the decision. See the Article 25 C.1 of the 2012 National NTEU Agreement.

  4. The case grade should be changed if receipt of additional information or case circumstances warrant the change.

  5. You may need to consider a reassignment of the case if a grade level change is made.

1.4.52.5.2  (08-06-2015)
Assigning Work

  1. You are responsible for ensuring that cases are assigned at the proper grade based on the criteria outlined in IRM 1.4.52.5.1 above. Assignments must be made on both the AOIC and ICS systems.

  2. Monthly reviews of ENTITY reports should be performed to make sure employees are not working over 25% of direct time on cases above their grade level. This can be accomplished by reviewing the hours on the "Time on Above Graded Cases" report .You should also look at the percent of direct time on each employee's summary screen. To view this screen, select the employee's record from the "Employment Management" option in the ENTITY Main Menu. See Chapter 7 of Document 11434, ICS/Entity MIS Integrated Program Handbook, for details.

  3. You may elect to let the employee retain higher grade cases in inventory when the below issues are present:

    • There would be an unacceptable delay in working the case if it was reassigned.

    • There is a need to maintain continuity of contact with the taxpayer.

    • The transfer of the case would cause unreasonable travel.

    • The OS needs or requests a higher-level case for developmental purposes.

  4. You should endeavor not to assign new cases to employees on weekends, holidays, or when an employee is on leave.

  5. Assignment of work should be in the best interest of the employee to allow the most efficient case processing.

  6. Per Article 16 of the National Agreement, an employee may spend up to 25% of his or her direct time during any four-month period working higher graded cases for developmental purposes.

  7. If you allow the employee to work higher graded cases it is essential that you track the percentage of direct time spent on higher graded work to ensure the 25% threshold is not exceeded. Employees who exceed the 25% level for any four-month period may be entitled to a temporary promotion.

1.4.52.5.3  (08-06-2015)
Maintaining Employee Inventory Levels and New Case Hold Files

  1. OIC is a high profile program in which the timeliness of case processing and resolution have a significant impact on the overall program, including significant impact to customer service.

  2. It is your responsibility to make sure all cases are assigned upon receipt, or as soon as reasonably possible. Barring unforeseen circumstances, such as significant reductions in workforce, realignment of territories, etc., cases should not remain in a hold file for more than 60 to 90 days prior to assignment.

  3. OS inventory levels should be monitored on a daily basis to make sure they are maintained within the levels defined in IRM 1.4.50.10.2, Maintaining Targeted Inventories.

  4. If adjustments to inventory levels must be made it should be based on an evaluation of time spent on activities other than on assigned work (direct case time) and normal overhead. Examples of situations where you may consider an adjustment are collateral assignments (e.g. NTEU Representative, EEO Counselor/Investigator, details out of office, coaching, etc.). Inventory levels may be re-adjusted as warranted.

  5. Do not use hold files as a method of controlling inventory levels. They should only be used as a central control point for new assignments.

  6. In order to make sure hold files are maintained it may become necessary for you to increase inventory levels to the maximum level defined in IRM 1.4.50.10.2.

    Note:

    This decision must be based on the abilities of each individual employee; such as development needs and performance issues.

  7. Cases in the hold files should be reviewed on a monthly basis and a determination made to let the case remain assigned to the hold file or assigned to the OS for investigation. Document the Integrated Collection System (ICS) and AOIC case history as appropriate.

  8. Cases should be assigned on a first-in-first-out (FIFO) basis. This is determined by the IRS received date; unless the case qualifies for expedite processing as discussed in IRM 5.8.3.17, Expedite Handling.

  9. The drop point coordinator should ensure that OIC receipts are evenly distributed among OIC groups to minimize the length of time cases are maintained in hold files.

1.4.52.5.4  (08-06-2015)
Workload Management Using Integrated Collection System, ENTITY and AOIC

  1. ICS and AOIC are the primary Management Information Systems. You should also become very familiar with IRM 5.3.1, Entity Case Management Systems — ENTITY Case Management System (ENTITY), Document 11434, ICS/ENTITY MIS Integrated Program Handbook, as well as be proficient with the AOIC system and all available reports.

  2. ICS contains time and activity information and should be used to track time and record case history entries.

    Note:

    The ENTITY User Guide is available at the following website: http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/Collection/collsystems/entity/default.aspx

  3. All offer casework, as well as the management of inventory, must be completed through AOIC and ICS.

  4. The AOIC application is the official system of records for the OIC program and must be used to:

    • Produce all taxpayer correspondence and forms,

    • Provide inventory control,

    • Upload/download transactions to/from IDRS,

    • Produce numerous management reports,

    • Record and track taxpayer payments (application fee, TIPRA payments, deposits, payments on accepted offers, and recoupments), and

    • Monitor the taxpayer's offer status.

    • Assist employees in managing their inventories.

    • Identify cases or types of cases where it appears the OS needs assistance.

    • Determine age of inventory assigned to the OS, Counsel, Appeals, and other inventories.

    • Examine historical inventory levels for any assignment number.

    • Generate IDRS transaction error listings to correct input problems.

    • Generate Quality Review Listing.

    • Monitor aging of open, assigned cases.

    • Monitor aging on cases rejected with Appeal rights.

    • Monitor the status of closed offers.

    • Manage address and signature information for correspondence.

    • Systemically download tax period information and automatically load that information to the MFT screen.

    • Input OIC closing summary history statement as required by IRM 5.8.4.12, Documentation, and IRM 5.8.8.6 (7) , Required Actions Prior to Closing an OIC as an Acceptance.

  5. You should use ICS to:

    • Check hours spent on a case;

    • check the number of case touches;

    • to confirm the correct sub-codes to make sure time is tracked appropriately;

    • to create a CIP, OI, monitor controls;

    • check for timely follow ups; and

    • initial case actions

1.4.52.5.5  (08-06-2015)
AOIC and Eureka Reports

  1. From the Main AOIC Menu, the majority of the AOIC reports and workload management features are accessed by selecting the "Reports & Listings" under the "Reports & Correspondence" heading.

  2. Typically, reports have to be (G)enerated first (one of the various commands available), then once generated they can be (V)iewed on-line or (P)rinted.

  3. Multiple reports and listings can be (G)enerated at the same time, then (V)iewed or (P)rinted when ready.

  4. The "Area Office Menu" under "Reports & Correspondence" contains the following reports and listings:

    1. Inventory Listing — this report includes Offer Number, Assignment Number, Assignment Date, Name Control, Offer TIN, IRS Received Date, Processability Code, and Age Code. This report can be produced for an entire Territory, Group, or Individual Employee depending on the selection criteria used for the Assignment Number when creating the report. It can be sorted by Assignment Date, Name Control, IRS Received Date, and Total Liability. This report can be used to quickly check inventory levels and potential overage and overage cases within a particular inventory assignment number.

    2. Inventory Management Listing — this report provides an easy to read list, by assignment number, of the total OICs assigned to a specific office, how many are processable or not, and the number of potential overage and overage cases in that inventory. This snapshot view of assigned inventory levels and overage is a useful tool for managers.

    3. Closed Offers — a listing by Name, IDRS and Offer TIN, AO Closed Date and Final Disposition, of OICs closed for your Territory, for a specified time frame, with a specified disposition, and may be sorted by name control or TIN.

    4. Follow Up Listing — AOIC allows the user to input follow-ups which are used in assisting the case worker with inventory management. This report provides a quick and complete method for tracking the follow-ups so that timely actions can be taken. When used in conjunction with the Inventory Management Report, the follow-up listings can assist in identifying gaps in case processing that lead to overage.

    5. Rejected with Appeal Rights Listing — this report tracks aged cases that have been proposed for rejection and appeal rights have been exercised. The report lists the proposed rejection date, Offer Number, Age, Offer TIN, and Owner Code (AOIC assignment number). A useful tool to ensure cases in the 45-day hold file are timely closed.

    6. Transfers Not Accepted Listing — this report shows cases sent from another Territory that have not yet been accepted into inventory and transfers from COIC. The report includes: Sent From AO Number, Offer Number, Offer TIN, Name Control, Transfer Date, and NW Sub Code. The NW Sub Code is used by the Service Centers. This report should be used to ensure that you are timely receiving and assigning work transferred into your function.

    7. Total Liabilities Listing — report, broken out by range of the offer liability, giving case count and percentage for all processable offers received during a time frame specified by the user.

    8. Assignment Records — a complete listing of a Territory’s assignment numbers showing Assignment Number, Badge Number, Name, Phone Number, and Stop Number.

    9. Transaction Listing — an error register for transactions sent from AOIC to IDRS where there was a posting error. This report identifies transactions that need correcting so that they can properly post, and it must be worked routinely.

    10. Area and Territory Listing — a list of the offices by number. This report is useful in determining where an offer is assigned.

    11. Quality Review Listing — provides a list of the cases randomly selected for quality review. The size of the list is based on parameters provided by the Quality Review organization.

    12. Case History (Remarks) — this report provides the entire case history for an OIC. This report lists the Offer Number. It can be useful when conducting reviews to ensure the appropriate actions were taken on the case.

    13. 4196 Report — Within this selection, you can generate a summary report or a detail report. The summary report is a two page summary version of the much longer Detail 4196 Report. The report shows a brief inventory analysis for beginning inventory, receipts, dispositions (including dollar amounts), ending inventory, and age (open and disposed cases). The Detail report is the most comprehensive report produced for analysis of inventory receipt and disposition patterns. The report shows a similar inventory analysis as the 4196 Summary page (beginning inventory, receipts, dispositions [including dollar amounts], ending inventory, and age of open and disposed cases), but greatly expands on the level of detail provided. The Detail 4196 report additionally provides a breakout of various dollar ranges for the accepted, rejected, returned, and withdrawn closures. It also provides a detailed listing of the reasons for returns (both processable and non-processable). Age of inventory is similar to that found in the 4196 Summary Page, but includes a separate breakout for offers in Appeals.

    14. Letter Signatures — a complete listing (by Signature, Assignment Number, Title, and Name) of all employees assigned to a Territory Office that are set up on AOIC and systemically prints their information on AOIC generated letters. Signature information can be added and deleted using the Maintenance function.

    15. Letter Addresses — list of all of the IRS addresses used on AOIC correspondence when transferring case work from one IRS location to another.

    16. Standard Paragraphs — pre-written paragraph text that can be selected by letter for AOIC generated letters. This can be useful in determining the appropriate text to use for specific situations, if the user is not familiar with the AOIC letters.

    17. Disposition Codes — a complete listing of the disposition codes along with a complete listing of the various status codes used to control inventory in the Campuses.

  5. Eureka is a good tool to help manage inventory at the territory/manager level. Various Eureka reports are available for use. You should contact Headquarters to request access to Eureka and available reports.

1.4.52.5.6  (08-06-2015)
Semi-Annual Inventory Matches

  1. You must perform a physical inventory match against records on AOIC and/or ICS on a semi-annual basis and it must contain the following:

    • A 100% inventory match. This includes all of the group's assigned offer cases, including cases in hold files, assigned to Appeals, Examination, Counsel and the Independent Administrative Reviewer [IAR].

    • Reconciliation and acknowledgement of Forms 3210 for all closed or transferred OICs that are in transit status for more than 30 days.

      Note:

      Cases that are in transit status for less than 30 days should not be part of the match process.

  2. It is recommended that these matches be completed no later than March 31st and September 30th of each fiscal year.

  3. Documentation of the completion of the AOIC/ICS semi-annual match and the correction of all discrepancies must be maintained by the Territory Manager. Documentation must consist of a case listing indicating all cases have been matched and discrepancies resolved.

  4. Documentation must be retained in a folder or binder and available for review for two years.

  5. Inventory listing cases in Appeals (90XX) must be matched and indicate the proposed disposition is reflected on AOIC and ACDS shows a corresponding open offer.

1.4.52.5.7  (08-06-2015)
Quality and Inventory Controls

  1. The Service's vision focuses on three high level goals — service to each taxpayer, service to all taxpayers, and productivity through a quality work environment. The IRS has developed a set of Balanced Measures in three major areas: Customer Satisfaction, Employee Satisfaction, and Business Results, with Business Results comprised of measures of quality and quantity. In reaching our goals, we consider our impact on customer and employee satisfaction while we strive to improve quality and achieve quantifiable results.

  2. You are responsible for the quality of all work assigned to the group and for all work that leaves the group. At a minimum you should:

    • Solicit suggestions from the group to address ways that can improve the quality of the work.

    • Develop a plan to ensure a high level of quality in the group.

    • Use EQRS/NQRS results as a diagnostic tool to focus attention on specific quality issues and identify training needs.

    • Ensure appropriate time is devoted to coaching and mentoring employees, as well as providing guidance that will assist in resolving their most difficult assignments.

    • Ensure all cases are brought to a resolution within a reasonable amount of time. Generally, this should be within 6 months of assignment to the OS.

  3. An important area of workload management and quality control for you as the OIC manager is to establish group inventory controls. It is recommended that the Territory designate a Tax Examiner (TE) to retrieve and distribute these controls for all OIC groups within the Territory. The following controls should be retrieved from the appropriate databases (e.g., AOIC, ENTITY, and/or ICS) on a monthly basis to ensure regular control and prompt resolution of any identified problem.

    • Cases assigned to the Territory, but not received or not accepted on AOIC (Source: AOIC ) — The number of cases listed in inventory as "In Transit" should be low – 5% or less. The "In Transit" inventory report should be reviewed, and worked on a weekly basis by either you, the drop point manager or designee, or a designee to ensure regular control.

      Note:

      Timely and proper actions must be taken on any case that appear on this listing for more than 30 days.

    • Hold File Case Listing (Source: AOIC) — OIC Territory Managers should use the "corporate inventory" approach when addressing hold file situations in their respective groups, and consider reassignment of work from one group to another, whenever necessary.

    • Validate and Release (Source: AOIC Office Menu - AOIC Offers - Validate & Release) – Cases that are not validated and/or released by the group. This action should be completed weekly after quality review cases are selected.

    • Assessment Statute Expiration Date (ASED) Report (Source: IDRS and ICS) – This report is generated from IDRS downloads; however, this type of download information does not reach OIC CIPs in Status 71. Because of this factor, a designated TE should manually review all incoming cases for potential ASEDs. Once identified, the group secretary should input the case/modules, containing the ASEDs, on ICS in order to generate the ASED Indicator Report. A report should be generated monthly to identify accounts where the ASED will expire within the next 12 months. Since any potential ASED changes will not download on accounts in Status 71, you or your designee must revisit these cases to check for any changes. Follow procedures outlined in IRM 5.8.4.22.1, Trust Fund Liabilities, for handling potential ASED modules.

    • Form 2209 Courtesy Investigation

    • Appeal 30–Day Hold File (Source: AOIC and Eureka) – Centralization for this type of inventory is recommended. In addition, the use of a designated TE to monitor the progress of these cases is also recommended.

    • AOIC Transaction Listing (Source: AOIC Area Office Menu - Reports & Correspondence - Reports & Listings - Area Office - Transaction Listing) – This report can be printed daily but minimally requires weekly reconciliation to ensure IDRS modules and respective notice/collection status codes match AOIC. It is suggested that this reconciliation be performed by a designated TE.

    • Diagnostic-Q Transcript (also known as "DIAG-Q" transcript) and "Unreversed TC470" , "Unreversed TC 480" and "AMO6 W" transcripts – Occasionally DIAG-Q and AMO6 W transcripts will be sent to the field for resolution. Cases listed on these reports should be resolved per instructions in IRM 5.19.7.3.24.2.

    • Time Management Reports (Source: ENTITY) — These reports should be reviewed monthly to monitor several issues: correct application of direct time on case assignments; track the percentage of direct time spent on higher graded work to ensure the 25% threshold is not being exceeded; proper use of administrative time and other non-direct case time usage.

1.4.52.6  (08-06-2015)
Employee Performance Analysis

  1. This section discusses the purpose and guidelines for carrying out case reviews and analyzing an employee's job performance.

1.4.52.6.1  (08-06-2015)
Case Reviews

  1. All case reviews and performance discussions should focus on providing the OIC employee with proper guidance and case direction, while conveying the importance of timely and effective case actions and any performance related issue. The review must also clearly emphasize your expectations concerning required case actions and completion time frames.

  2. Reviews are an integral part of your responsibilities. At the beginning of an employee's annual rating period, you must develop and implement a review plan. The review plan should provide for a fair and accurate assessment of the employee's overall performance throughout the rating period.

  3. All reviews must be conducted utilizing the EQRS regardless of whether they are evaluative or non-evaluative. Use of EQRS will enable you to:

    • Assess the employee's effectiveness in meeting the expectation established in the CJEs.

      Note:

      Reviews prepared on EQRS will link employee performance to both the review attributes and the CJEs.

    • Assess the employee's efficiency in carrying out the laws, procedures, and policies of the Service.

    • Identify and address performance strengths and weaknesses.

    • Assess the employee's ability to properly plan and schedule field, office, and telework activities.

    • Ensure the employee is taking timely and appropriate actions to bring cases to prompt and proper resolution.

    • Assess employee effectiveness in developmental case assignments.

    • Assess the employee's effectiveness in meeting the IRS Retention Standard for the Fair and Equitable Treatment of Taxpayers.

    • Assess the employee's performance in relation to customer satisfaction and the protection of taxpayer rights in an investigation.

  4. As part of any case review, you must determine if the assigned grade level is still accurate, and make the necessary adjustments on ICS.

  5. Reviews can help you identify an employee's need for training and development. In turn, case reviews will also help you ascertain how much time to devote to each employee, as well as design an individual review plan to assist the employee's identified needs. You may choose from the following review categories in designing an employee's review plan:

    • Field visitations

    • Office observations

    • Announced telephone conference monitoring

    • Spot reviews of open and closed cases

    • Formal inventory analysis

    • Reviews of work submitted for approval

    • Initial contact reviews

    • High priority case reviews (overage, potentially overage, gaps in activity of 45 days or more, and large dollar)

    • Time Utilization reviews

1.4.52.6.2  (08-06-2015)
Review Documentation

  1. You should become familiar with and use the below references for selection and review of cases.

    • Document 12360 (Rev. 11–2012), Embedded Quality Job Aid (Offer in Compromise),

    • IRM 5.3.1.3.3, Group Manager Responsibilities, and

    • Document 11434, ICS/ENTITY MIS Integrated Program Handbook,.

    .

  2. The EQRS Individual Feedback Report links the review attributes to performance standards of an OS' critical job elements. In general, deficiencies relating to a CJE should be noted as an area of special concern if found in 25% or more of the cases reviewed. However, there may be instances where a single deficiency (e.g., expired statute) is critical. EQRS allows you to generate reports of review data at both the group and individual level. It also allows you to consider program effectiveness and to properly evaluate the performance of employees in relation to his or her CJEs based on statistical data over a period of time.

    Note:

    For reviews that consider OS activity across multiple cases (e.g., time utilization, office and field observation) a summary narrative, such as a memorandum, may be substituted.

  3. You should utilize the EQRS Data Collection Instrument (DCI) to summarize observations derived from a case review. EQRS provides reason codes which correspond to each attribute of the case review. You should select the reason codes that relate to the performance observed. The Attribute Narrative field may be used to document the specifics of the employee performance. Each attribute links to a specific CJE aspect. If additional feedback to the employee is needed, you should prepare a memorandum to express commendation or concerns. If the memorandum (e.g., managerial case summary), is utilized it should:

    • Outline the performance in relation to the employee's CJEs and address positive as well as negative aspects of an employee's performance.

    • Provide clear managerial guidance on those cases requiring actions; including expectations, deadlines and required actions to expedite case disposition.

  4. For each case reviewed, you should document the ICS history with the following information using the ICS History pick list. No other entries are necessary or recommended.

    • Begin with using the term "Case Reviewed" .

    • The date reviewed.

    • The type of review completed.

    Note:

    Documentation of an evaluative nature should not be included in the case history.

  5. The DCI , and managerial case summary, if applicable, should be prepared in duplicate and reflect all case data, including employee feedback. Both you and the employee must sign the DCI. Securing the signature of the employee does not necessarily reflect agreement, but merely acknowledges receipt of the document(s).

  6. The original documents (e.g., DCI and managerial case summary) must be issued to the employee within 15 days after completion of the review in order for the employee to follow through on case recommendations and deadlines. You should retain a duplicate in the Employee's Performance File (EPF) for follow-up, and promptly discuss all recommended actions entered on the review document with the employee to ensure that there is a complete understanding about how, what, when, and why to take specific actions.

1.4.52.6.3  (08-06-2015)
Mandatory Reviews

  1. You must conduct a timely Mid-Year and Annual review on each of your employees.

    • Choose a sufficient number of cases to review to ensure a thorough evaluation of each employee’s performance. Case reviews must be documented using EQRS.

    • Reviews should include a mixture of review types, including but not limited to: 60 day inactivity, overage, potential overage, and large dollar. Cases may be selected from open inventory or closed cases submitted for approval.

    • Scheduling of the reviews may be announced or unannounced .

    • If the results of the review include directed actions, you should conduct a follow-up within 60-90 days after the original review to ensure that all instructions have been followed and the case is moving toward resolution.

  2. On a bi-monthly basis, you must conduct inventory discussions with each OS; however more frequent consultations may be necessary, depending on the performance of the employee. These discussions will include the following:

    • Cases on the ENTITY – No touch Report showing no case touches for over 30 days since assignment and/or showing no case touches within the last 45 days.

    • Assigned cases over six months.

    • Timely initial analysis, including cases with no touch within 30 days of assignment.

    • Unwarranted or undocumented activity gaps.

    • Status of the case, plan of action, and proposed disposition.

    • Large dollar cases.

  3. Using the above referenced reports, you must:

    • hold discussions with the OS and evaluate the progress of the specific case;

    • be able to ascertain how an OS is performing in relation to the employee's CJEs;

    • document your observations in a memorandum or on the margins of these reports; and

    • use the opportunity to recognize positive performance, as well as provide constructive feedback regarding needs for improvement.

  4. You must share the document with the OS within 15 days after the discussion is held and once acknowledged, retain in the EPF in accordance with current PII guidelines.

1.4.52.6.3.1  (08-06-2015)
Review of Taxpayer and/or Representative Interviews

  1. During the rating period you should conduct a documented review of a minimum of two taxpayer and/or representative interviews, either in the field, office, or monitored and announced telephone conversation, for each OS during the rating period.

    Note:

    It may be necessary to increase the number of reviews for those employees who have exhibited issues communicating with taxpayers and/or their representatives. The frequency will be your decision.

  2. This review may be incorporated as part of the mid-year and annual review assessment. Observing the employee during face-to-face contacts (e.g., field or office), and/or monitoring a pre-scheduled telephone conversation between the employee and the taxpayer and/or representative provides an excellent opportunity for you to assess the employee's:

    • ability to conduct interviews;

    • ability to communicate and interact with taxpayers and/or representatives;

    • knowledge of policies and procedures;

    • ability to secure necessary information/documentation and determine appropriate case direction;

    • delivery of fair and courteous treatment of taxpayers and/or representatives;

    • ability to address the various taxpayer rights (Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer; Publication 594, What You Should Know About the IRS Collection Process; and IRC 6320 and 6330, Collection Appeals Program);

    • use of Interest Based Negotiating techniques;

    • ability to recognize and respond to taxpayer concerns, issues and interests;

    • pre-contact preparation;

    • effective use of time;

    • ability to manage difficult, unexpected, complex or unusual circumstances;

    • ability to appropriately recognize and address third party contact situations; and

    • observation of proper disclosure requirements.

  3. Documents should be shared with the OS and maintained as part of the EPF to be used in preparation of the Mid-Year and Annual Appraisal.

1.4.52.6.4  (08-06-2015)
OIC Territory Manager and Director Specialty Collection Offers, Liens & Advisory Annual Operational Group Review

  1. The purpose of this review is to ensure that the National program goals as well as those of the Director Specialty Collection Offers, Liens & Advisory (SCOLA) are being delivered through effective engagement with the GM, and territory managers (TM) in order to improve Employee Satisfaction, Customer Satisfaction, and Business Results.

1.4.52.6.4.1  (08-06-2015)
Territory Manager

  1. The TM should conduct a minimum of one annual operational review on each OIC group, with follow-ups conducted as needed and appropriate.

  2. The operational review should provide observations concerning casework based on OS’ CJEs, IRM provisions, outstanding Interim Guidance Memorandums, as well as the TMs expectations concerning case quality and timely actions, and any other information deemed necessary.

  3. The following program areas should be incorporated in all operational reviews:

    1. Management of Hold Files — ensure GMs are receiving and delivering inventory in a timely manner. This review should be completed at a minimum on a semi-annual basis.

    2. Overage Assignments — cases that are in an OS inventory or new inventory hold file for more than nine months.

  4. The review should also address how well the GM is managing the program in terms of ensuring timely and effective case actions. The TM should tailor the review(s) to the needs and issues of each individual group.

  5. Listed below are suggested focus areas to incorporate in the review:

    1. Managerial Group Controls — ensure cases in these inventories are being monitored and reviewed appropriately.

    2. Case File Reviews — ensure all mandatory reviews have been completed. At a minimum, review two to three active cases from each OS. Cases should be randomly selected and should include, but not be limited to, overage and in-business trust fund cases. Review Data Collection Instruments (DCI) completed by the GM to ensure appropriate case direction is given during reviews. Ensure GM reviews include a mixture of review types including, but not limited to, no touch, overage, potential overage, and large dollar.

    3. Specialist's Inventories — ensure that OS' inventories are being maintained per IRM 1.4.50.10.2, Maintaining Targeted Inventories.

    4. Employee Personnel Folders (EPF) — ensure EPFs are appropriately maintained within OPM guidelines, documents sustain an appropriate employee evaluation, and all mandatory reviews have been timely completed. An EPF review should be completed for all employees in the group. This should include, but not limited to, ensuring time sensitive documents are removed when appropriate; comparing case reviews, Form 6850, Performance Appraisal and Retention Standard Rating, and other evaluative documents to ensure records appropriately support the employee's annual performance evaluation. Findings should equate to observations of the employee's performance based upon the case reviews; including, ensuring the GM included specialized reviews, is demonstrating proactive case involvement, including office visits, field visits, and/or telephone monitoring reviews conducted by the GM during the rating period as well as ensuring performance and employee satisfaction issues are being addressed in a timely and appropriate manner.

    5. Communication — ensure managers are effectively communicating the goals of the Service, TM, and Director. The GM should also be effectively communicating procedural and policy changes, casework techniques, and other issues that affect the overall quality of casework. This can be accomplished by reviewing group meeting minutes that occurred during the rating period.

    6. Employee Satisfaction — ensure employee's concerns are being addressed to facilitate effective and appropriate casework. GMs should be adhering to all sections of this handbook; addressing employee survey issues, reviewing group action plans and results; supporting employee recognition and taking appropriate actions when performance issues arise; employing appropriate EEO and Diversity practices; and adhering to employee development and training guidelines.

    7. Customer Satisfaction — ensure customers are receiving timely and appropriate actions, and receiving fair and adequate treatment to assist in resolving their offer submission(s). The GM should be addressing timely initial and follow-up contacts scheduled by the OS; ensuring case actions are appropriate and effective; ensuring timely responsiveness to taxpayer requests, as appropriate; and requests for supporting documentation are appropriate. This should be addressed while performing case reviews.

    8. Employee Case Documentation — review case histories to determine documentation is appropriate and accurately describes identified issues, case progression, and supports the case decision.

    9. Utilization of Time — review monthly ENTITY reports to examine the group usage of 106 time (case and non-case direct), administrative time, CDP (120) time, etc.

    10. Bi-monthly Inventory Discussions — ensure these discussions are effectively improving case resolution and case cycle time. These discussions should include documentation by the GM to ensure proactive issues are discussed, target dates for actions are included and follow-up actions are taken in a timely manner.

    11. Taxpayer Interview Reviews — determine the effectiveness of GM engagement in ensuring taxpayer rights are not violated and timely and appropriate actions are being performed by OS.

    12. Annual Appraisal/Performance Document Approval — ensure continuity between the Form 6850 and the employee's annual performance. Compare the Form 6850 numerical values with the DCIs and written documentation issued during the rating period. The TM should compare casework observations with the feedback employees have received to ensure the employee's appraisal accurately reflects the performance observed in the cases. Ideally, the TM should be sufficiently familiar with individual casework to know whether a particular Form 6850 performance appraisal rating is an accurate reflection of the employee's performance when performing the second level approval.

  6. The review observations should be documented in a memorandum and shared with the GM within 30 days of the completion of the actual review.

1.4.52.6.4.2  (08-06-2015)
Director Specialty Collection Offers, Liens & Advisory

  1. The Director should conduct an operational review of the OIC program at least once each fiscal year with timely follow-up reviews when appropriate.

  2. The review findings should be documented in memorandum format and shared with the appropriate TM within 30 days after the completion of the review.

  3. In conducting these reviews, the Director may request the assistance of the National OIC Program Manager and/or analysts.

  4. The following program areas should be incorporated in all operational reviews:

    • Management of Hold Files — ensure the TM is managing the Area’s OIC inventory in a timely manner. Review the offer group's Hold File via the ICS and/or AOIC system.

    • Overage OIC cases — ICS and/or AOIC reports should be reviewed to make sure overage cases are being managed appropriately.

    • Review of Operational Reviews — ensure TMs are addressing pertinent program issues, as well as those specifically outlined in this handbook. Review all operational reviews completed by the TMs during the course of the fiscal year. Ensure TMs are holding GMs accountable for performance issues. Also ensure that follow-up reviews are scheduled when appropriate.

  5. The Director should also incorporate some of the categories listed below in operational reviews:

    • Case File Reviews — ensure proactive, timely, and appropriate case actions are occurring, and that managerial involvement exists when appropriate. You should review each operational review completed by the TM and review two to three cases from a sample of each offer group to ensure the GMs and TMs assessments are consistent.

    • Trend Analysis — identify and evaluate activities when compared to Territory and National goals that may require managerial involvement. Review cumulative data acquired and reviewed by TMs during the course of the fiscal year and compare with any findings of Collection Policy Analyst's.

    • Employee Personnel Folders (EPF) — ensure EPFs are maintained within OPM guidelines and documents support the employee evaluation (alignment of employees' evaluation and casework). Review a sampling of EPFs from a sufficient number of offer groups and compare with TM findings to ensure continuity. This review should include a comparison of Form 6850 with other evaluative documents. The EPF should include confirmation that all review requirements have been met by the GM and TM. In addition, verification that all appropriate documents have been purged timely.

    • Communication — ensure TMs are engaging GMs and employees to promote the achievement of program goals and fostering employee satisfaction. Review any town hall and TM attended group meeting minutes.

    • Inventory Levels — ensure inventories are being maintained per IRM 1.4.50.10.2, Maintaining Targeted Inventories, and hold files are maintained in accordance to IRM 1.4.52.5.3 and 1.4.52.5.4 above. This may be completed by reviewing appropriate ENTITY and AOIC reports, or acquiring appropriate reports from a Collection Policy Analyst.

    • Bi-monthly Inventory Discussion — ensure that the process is having a positive effect on case resolution and cycle time. Review the TMs analysis of GM participation and actions. If possible, attend an inventory discussion between a GM and an OS from at least one group.

1.4.52.7  (08-06-2015)
Case Documentation, Protecting Taxpayer Rights, and Use of Statistical Data

  1. This section discusses the proper guidelines employees should follow when documenting case files, and the importance of observing the rights of the taxpayer at all times. It also covers your appropriate use of statistical data when conducting a review.

1.4.52.7.1  (08-06-2015)
Case Documentation

  1. Case documentation is a critical part of the offer process and must support the case decision. Specific guidance is discussed throughout all sections of IRM 5.8 but is specifically outlined in IRM 5.8.4.12, Documentation and IRM 5.8.11.5, Documentation and Verification.

  2. The need for accurate, complete, and high-quality case documentation is extremely important in the OIC program. Incomplete documentation will negatively affect:

    • subsequent case actions,

    • the ability to review and evaluate case activity,

    • actions by other employees, and/or

    • quality results.

1.4.52.7.2  (08-06-2015)
Protecting Taxpayer Rights

  1. One of your primary responsibilities is to monitor employee practices and actions to make sure taxpayer rights are always observed during the offer investigation. Case reviews, as well as observations of interactions with taxpayers and/or their representatives should be used to assess the employee's performance in this area. The reasons of the proposed decision must be clearly documented and supported to make sure the taxpayer has been afforded all rights in accordance to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR) as defined in paragraph (2) below. If taxpayer rights were violated or not afforded, the case should be documented and shared.

  2. Although many taxpayer rights are included in the tax code, taxpayers are often not aware of their rights and all of the tools available to help them resolve issues. The IRS adopted the TBOR to make already existing rights more visible and to guide taxpayers in their interactions with the IRS. Below is the list of rights. Each employee must be aware of those rights and adhere to allowing those rights to all taxpayer’s.

    • The Right to be Informed — Taxpayers have the right to know what they need to do to comply with the tax laws. They are entitled to clear explanations of the laws and IRS procedures in all tax forms, instructions, publications, notices, and correspondence. They have the right to be informed of IRS decisions about their tax accounts and to receive clear explanations of the outcome.;

    • The Right to Finality — Taxpayers have the right to know the maximum amount of time they have to challenge the IRS’s position as well as the maximum amount of time the IRS has to audit a particular tax year or collect a tax debt. Taxpayers have the right to know when the IRS has finished an audit.;

    • The Right to Privacy — Taxpayers have the right to expect that any IRS inquiry, examination, or enforcement action will comply with the law and be no more intrusive than necessary, and will respect all due process rights, including search and seizure protections and will provide, where applicable, a collection due process hearing.;

    • The Right to Confidentiality — Taxpayers have the right to expect that any information they provide to the IRS will not be disclosed unless authorized by the taxpayer or by law. Taxpayers have the right to expect appropriate action will be taken against employees, return preparers, and others who wrongfully use or disclose taxpayer return information.;

    • The Right to Retain Representation — Taxpayers have the right to retain an authorized representative of their choice to represent them in their dealings with the IRS. Taxpayers have the right to seek assistance from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic if they cannot afford representation.

    • The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard— Taxpayers have the right to raise objections and provide additional documentation in response to formal IRS actions or proposed actions, to expect that the IRS will consider their timely objections and documentation promptly and fairly, and to receive a response if the IRS does not agree with their position.

    • The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax — Taxpayers have the right to pay only the amount of tax legally due, including interest and penalties, and to have the IRS apply all tax payments properly.

    • The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum — Taxpayers are entitled to a fair and impartial administrative appeal of most IRS decisions, including many penalties, and have the right to receive a written response regarding the Office of Appeals’ decision. Taxpayers generally have the right to take their cases to court.

    • The Right to Quality Service — Taxpayers have the right to receive prompt, courteous, and professional assistance in their dealings with the IRS, to be spoken to in a way they can easily understand, to receive clear and easily understandable communications from the IRS, and to speak to a supervisor about inadequate service.

    • The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System — Taxpayers have the right to expect the tax system to consider facts and circumstances that may affect their underlying liabilities, ability to pay, or ability to provide information timely. Taxpayers have a right to receive assistance from the Taxpayer Advocate Service if they are experiencing financial difficulty or if the IRS has not resolved their tax issues properly and timely through its normal channels.

  3. You should ensure that all employees are aware of the role of the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), and that this information is properly communicated to taxpayers and representatives, as appropriate. TAS is an independent organization within the IRS that ensures tax problems, which have not been resolved through normal channels are promptly and fairly handled. There is at least one local Taxpayer Advocate in each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, who is independent of the local IRS office. To determine if a case meets TAS criteria, see IRM 13.1.7.2.

    Access to TAS can be obtained by calling their toll-free number 1–877–777–4778, TTY/TTD 1–800–829–4059; calling or writing to the local Taxpayer Advocate whose address and phone number is listed in local telephone directories; researching Publication 1546, How to Get Help With Unresolved Tax Problems or visiting their website at www.irs.gov/advocate.

  4. Section 1203 of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA '98) calls for the termination of any employee of the Internal Revenue Service if there is a final administrative or judicial determination that the employee willfully committed any act of omission described below:

    1. Providing a sworn false statement in a "material matter" concerning a taxpayer.

    2. Violating the constitutional rights of, or discriminating against, taxpayers or employees.

    3. Falsifying or destroying documents to cover a mistake concerning a taxpayer.

    4. Receiving a criminal conviction or civil judgment for assault or battery on a taxpayer or employee.

    5. Violating the Internal Revenue Code, IRS regulations or policies to retaliate against or harass taxpayers or employees.

    6. Misusing Internal Revenue Code section 6103 to conceal information from Congressional inquiry.

    7. Failing to file a federal tax return on or before its due date, unless it is due to reasonable cause.

    8. Understating federal tax liability, unless it is due to reasonable cause.

    9. Threatening an audit for personal gain. See Document 11043 RRA '98 Section 1203 All Employee Guide, for more information on identifying and reporting possible violations of Section 1203.

1.4.52.7.3  (08-06-2015)
Use of Statistical Data

  1. IRM 1.5.2, Managing Statistics in a Balanced Measurement System - Uses of Section 1204 Statistics, provides guidance to prevent use of statistics to:

    • evaluate employees, or

    • impose or suggest production quotas or goals with respect to such employees.

  2. You are prohibited from using Records Of Tax Enforcement Results (ROTERs) to evaluate any employee who exercises appropriate judgment with regard to determining tax liability or ability to pay. ROTERs are defined as a figure resulting from the recordation, accumulation, tabulation, or mathematical analysis that is directly related to producing a tax enforcement result. This prohibition includes:

    • self-assessments,

    • awards narratives,

    • case and/or workload reviews,

    • performance plans, or

    • narrative feedback to evaluations.

  3. You are also prohibited from using ROTERs to impose or suggest production goals or quotas for employees or groups of employees. Examples of prohibited ROTERs for OIC collection employees include:

    • Number of OICs recommended for acceptance or rejection

    • Dollars compromised

    • Number of closed OICs

  4. For more specific information see IRM 1.5.1, Managing Statistics in a Balanced Measurement System - the IRS Balanced Performance Measurement System, and IRM 1.5.2, Managing Statistics in a Balanced Measurement System - Uses of Section 1204 Statistics.

1.4.52.8  (08-06-2015)
Tax Examiners in the OIC Program

  1. Based on the OIC program's continued priority, reenergized focus on case cycle time, and the continued need for managerial-specialist interaction to ensure proper and effective case progression, TEs play a very special role in the program.

  2. Because of the nature of the TE work assignments, it is recommended that TEs be co-located with an OIC manager, whenever possible.

1.4.52.8.1  (08-06-2015)
Drop Point Responsibilities for the Tax Examiner

  1. Drop point responsibilities will consist of the following:

    • Analyze all Territory OIC receipts to ensure transfer is appropriate.

    • Accept transfers on the AOIC system and make appropriate group assignments on AOIC and ICS inventory systems based on established procedures and corporate inventory approach.

    • Interact with COIC site personnel to check on the status of transfers.

    • Monitor transfers in transit status.

    • Initiate transfer of offer cases to other office(s), when appropriate.

1.4.52.8.2  (08-06-2015)
OIC Field Group Assignment Responsibilities for the Tax Examiner

  1. The group responsibilities will consist of the following:

    • Review IDRS transcripts to ensure that the delinquent modules on IDRS match the compromise periods listed on Form 656, Offer in Compromise.

    • Contact taxpayers and/or their representative to correct mismatches, when necessary.

    • Input appropriate modules on AOIC for systemic generation of Status 71 on corresponding IDRS modules.

    • Analyze all corresponding taxpayer IDRS transcripts, determine assessment dates for each applicable module, and input information on the AOIC MFT screen.

    • Generate monthly AOIC transaction error listings and correct mismatches on both systems.

    • Determine when manual input is required on accounts and perform action to input TC 480, 482, 483, and Status 71, when applicable.

    • Generate and mail Return Letters.

    • Screen all incoming cases for imminent statutes (ASEDs).

    • Screen all incoming cases for filing and payment compliance.

    • Screen all incoming cases for compliance with periodic payment requirements.

    • Input all corresponding modules on ICS and establish CIPs to generate ASED Inventory Listings.

    • Create and monitor Other Investigation (OI) controls to ensure timely actions are taken to protect imminent statute.

    • Handle all incoming taxpayer/practitioner phone calls regarding the status of their OIC, as well as any other issues that require knowledge of Servicewide policy and thorough familiarity with OIC program guidelines.

    • Monitor casework for timely disposition based on established CDP procedural guidelines.

    • Review cases to ensure they meet the appropriate criteria for transfer to Field Collection.

    • Ship closed cases to the Federal Records Center (FRC). See IRM 1.4.52.10 below.

  2. Form 2209, Courtesy Investigation (Incoming/Alternative Resolution Implementation (ARI)

    • Contact taxpayers and/or their representative and takes the appropriate action to resolve any issues.

    • Determines any necessary financial information needed and/or delinquent returns and makes the appropriate taxpayer demand.

    • Establishes proper group controls to monitor taxpayer responses and issues appropriate default recommendations, when appropriate.

    • Analyzes financial documents and information and processes delinquent returns.

    • Completes OI/ARI and issues appropriate disposition recommendation for managerial approval.

  3. Reconciles and monitors group controls

    • Cases assigned to the Territory, but not received or not accepted (Source: Area Office Menu, AOIC Offers, Accept Transfer)

    • Closed, accepted cases not validated or released (Source: AOIC Office Menu, AOIC Offers, Validate & Release)

    • ASED controls

    • CDP assignments

    • Appeal 30-day rejection hold file

    • AOIC Transaction Listing

    • Courtesy Investigations (OIs)

  4. Quality reviews case closure actions

    • Completes installment agreements, currently non-collectible, and adjustment forms, as requested by the GM and/or OS.

    • Processes closed cases in accordance with procedures defined in IRM 5.8.7.10, Alternative Resolution.

    • Monitors appeals process, if applicable, before requesting reversal of TC 480 and processing of corresponding form (e.g., Form 433D, 53, 3870, etc.).

    • Quality reviews all accepted, rejected, returned, and withdrawn case files to ensure all letters and forms have appropriate signatures, and inputs appropriate disposition codes on AOIC and ICS systems.

    • Analyzes Form 656, Offer in Compromise, to determine if all periods have been listed appropriately for all dispositions (except acceptances).

    • Processes requests for NFTL when requested by the GM or OS.

    • Analyzes case files to ensure the IAR has completed mandatory review on rejections.

    • Mails the Rejection Letter to the taxpayer and/or practitioner and monitors Rejection 30-Day Appeal files.

    • Reviews taxpayer and/or practitioner's written request for appeal for perfection issues and reassigns to the OS for review.

    • Upon request, forwards cases to Appeals for review, reassigns cases to Appeals on AOIC, and monitors Form 2515, Record of Offer in Compromise, until the OIC case is returned from Appeals.

    • Inputs the appropriate disposition code on AOIC and ICS, including those cases where the taxpayer does not exercise their right to appeal.

    • Upon receipt of a case from Appeals, analyzes the case file to ensure all necessary correspondence is contained and verifies the case is closed on AOIC with appropriate closing letter dates.

    • Generate and mail all necessary closing AOIC letters and forms to taxpayers and/or practitioners, as appropriate.

    • Handle all taxpayer and/or practitioner inquiries that may be generated as a result of correspondence.

    • Monitor AOIC NQRS Sample Reports on a weekly basis.

    • Strip closed case files as defined in IRM 5.8.7.12, Closed File Retention, and 5.8.8.9, Processing the Closed Offer File, and transmits selected offer cases for NQRS review.

      Note:

      See IRM 5.13.1.10.1.1, OIC Case Selection, paragraph (2) for additional information when a non-reviewable case has been systemically selected.

    • Ensure all deposits are properly addressed (refunded or applied) before the closure is input.

      Note:

      If the taxpayer authorized application of funds, the Form 3040 must be forwarded to the appropriate MOIC unit for resolution.

    • Timely closes accounts on AOIC and ICS databases.

    • Initiates AOIC Closed Case Validation Process.

    • Determine, the appropriate MOIC location that will monitor offer acceptance terms and mails required documents based procedures in IRM 5.8.8, Offer in Compromise, Acceptance Processing.

    • Timely analyze and work all taxpayer lien release requests and escrow demands.

    • Receive and timely resolve all taxpayer and/or practitioner inquiries regarding the status of offer deposits that have not been refunded.

    • Review all rejections, returns, and withdrawn offers for completion and ships the closed cases to FRC, including loading FRC information on the AOIC database.

  5. Post-closure case action activities

    • Receive and resolve all taxpayer and/or practitioner telephone inquiries involving OICs and/or non-OIC related calls by checking applicable systems (e.g., IDRS, AOIC, etc.) and/or redirects the call to the appropriate Service personnel.

    • Analyze accounts on AOIC and IDRS systems to resolve issues involving misapplied payments.

    • Communicate directly with MOIC campuses to resolve problems involving misapplied payments, late payments, changes in taxpayer financial conditions, etc.

    • Request manual refunds from MOIC when contacted by the taxpayer and/or practitioner, when appropriate.

    • Analyze and resolve M-Y freeze issues on accepted offers when contacted by the taxpayer and/or practitioner.

    • Review closed rejected and withdrawn offers from Appeals to determine if an OI should be issued to Field Collection in accordance with current field transfer procedures.

1.4.52.9  (08-06-2015)
Group Secretaries in the OIC Program

  1. A group secretary plays a key role in an OIC group. As a support clerical employee, he or she assists the GM in all administrative assignments, and also handles the numerous clerical processes that are involved in managing an OIC group operation. Listed below are the secretarial tasks that consist of, but are not limited to the following:

    • Schedule meetings and coordinates travel plans.

    • Handle budget issues.

    • Handle all issues involving time and/or leave.

    • Verify employee time on ICS ENTITY on a weekly basis.

    • File all documents, manuals, etc., per established group policies.

    • Handle all incoming calls for the GM and direct appropriately.

    • Update IRM manuals and appropriate handbooks.

    • Input cases on AOIC and ICS as assigned.

    • Assign casework to employees upon the request of the GM.

    • Reassign OICs from Hold Files to employees upon the request of the GM.

    • Control and respond to Form 3210, Document Transmittal, on all incoming work.

    • Forward rejected OIC case files to the IAR and change assignment on AOIC to the IAR.

    • Make appropriate copies of casework for NQRS review.

      Note:

      See IRM 5.13.1.10.1.1(2) for additional information when a non-reviewable case has been systemically selected.

    • Mail taxpayer correspondence, and provide assistance to the Drop Point TE , as needed.

    • Process CDP requests to the appropriate function for TC 520 input. See IRM 5.1.9.3.3, Processing CDP and EH Requests or IRM 5.8.4, Offer in Compromise - Investigation.

    • Retrieve the ICS/ENTITY Report on a monthly basis.

    • Retrieve the RO Inventory Report from AOIC and ICS on a weekly basis.

    • Match ICS and AOIC inventory for each OS on a monthly basis.

    • Process all Forms 795, Daily Report of Collection Activity.

    • Correct correspondence, as required by the GM.

    • Take and distribute all group meeting minutes.

    • Schedule and reserve conference rooms for group meetings, upon request.

    • Provide receptionist assistance, upon request.

    • Complete 1204 quarterly certification, as required by the GM.

    • Prepare and maintain a monthly schedule to make sure there is an Officer of the Day to cover taxpayer calls.

1.4.52.10  (08-06-2015)
Shipment of Closed Cases to Federal Records Center (FRC)

  1. The TE should follow procedures in IRM 5.8.7.12.1, Shipment of Closed Cases to Federal Records Center, and IRM 5.8.8.15, Forwarding Case Files to the Federal Record Center (FRC), depending on the type of closure.

  2. Procedures in IRM 1.15.4, Retiring and Requesting Records, should be followed when mailing closed cases to the FRC.

  3. All FRC information must be loaded on the AOIC Tracking screen for each case. This screen includes the OIC number, accession number, box number, FRC date and location. Refer to the AOIC Course User's Guide for instructions on loading information on the AOIC FRC Tracking screen.


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