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

Manual Transmittal

April 29, 2014

Purpose

(1) This transmits a revision for IRM 1.4.52 OIC Manager's Guide Field Program and is intended to supplement IRM 1.4.50 — Collection Field Function Group Manager 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 updated to incorporate the following changes.

1.4.52.4.3 (1) (a) Revised the minimum number of cases to 8 per year to be consistent with field Revenue Officer Group Manager guidance.

Effect on Other Documents

This material supersedes IRM 1.4.52, dated 02-20-2009 and incorporates the provisions of Interim Guidance Memorandum Number SBSE-01-0513-0023 issued May 7, 2013 titled Required Number of Cases for Review (Offer in Compromise).

Audience

Small Business/Self-Employed, Collection Field function (CFf) OIC Group Managers, Territory Managers with Offer in Compromise oversight, and Area Directors.

Effective Date

(04-29-2014)

Dretha Barham
Director
Collection Policy

1.4.52.1  (02-20-2009)
Responsibilities of an Offer in Compromise Group Manager

  1. In accomplishing the mission of the Internal Revenue Service, Offer in Compromise (OIC) group managers must provide oversight and direction in a number of areas. The oversight responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

    1. ensuring employee case actions are timely and in accordance with current law, policies, and procedures;

    2. ensuring employees maintain high standards of professionalism in all their contacts with the public, internal customers, and co-workers;

    3. ensuring employees observe taxpayer rights and advise taxpayers of their rights;

    4. 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 that they properly communicate the service that these two functions provide during their communication with taxpayers and representatives;

    5. ensuring employees are aware of ongoing changes to the laws, policies, and procedures that relate to their responsibilities;

    6. addressing systems issues that impact either internal or external customer needs;

    7. ensuring cases are assigned timely and that employee's workload (1) reflects employee experience and skills, (2) address Service-Wide objectives, and (3) protects public interest.

    8. helping OIC Specialists make the right next case decision;

    9. ensuring employees are accountable for the appropriateness of their actions;

    10. providing ongoing employee feedback that is candid, meaningful, and will establish a basis for determining an accurate assessment of performance and developmental needs;

    11. issuing the Critical Job Elements (CJE) timely and evaluating employees performance against their CJEs;

    12. creating and maintaining a work environment that will promote teamwork, positive working relationships, and increased employee satisfaction;

    13. ensuring employees have necessary equipment and supplies; and/or

    14. providing technical guidance to Collection Field Function (CFf) group managers, revenue officers, and others, as necessary, relative to the OIC program.

  2. When a new group is established or a new manager is assigned to an existing group, a meeting with the employees must be held within the first 30 days. At this meeting the manager will communicate expectations about the following suggested topics:

    • safety and security,

    • group procedures,

    • case work,

    • use of time - office/field/flexiplace,

    • timeliness of case activity,

    • timeframes for case actions, and

    • case review schedule.

      These expectations should also be reviewed at the beginning of the fiscal year.

  3. When a new employee is assigned to an existing group, the group manager must meet with the new employee to discuss managerial expectations (see paragraph 2 above) and ensure appropriate Form 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.

  4. Regular group meetings will be held as necessary to review items such as the following:

    • directives from the Territory Manager, Area Director, and Headquarters;

    • procedural memoranda;

    • IRM changes;

    • changes in condition of employment;

    • automation issues; and/or

    • certain mandated topics (i.e., Ethics);

    • annual IRS Employee Survey results and;

    • IRS employee engagement issues and general group employee concerns.

    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. Managers should seek guidance and advice from their servicing Field Labor Relations Section if they 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.

1.4.52.2  (02-20-2009)
Time Reporting in the Offer in Compromise Program

  1. Managers are responsible for reviewing proper time reporting by their employees. Using ENTITY, they need to be alert for reporting of what can be considered excessive administrative or non-direct case time which is reported for OIC purposes, under ENTITY Code 106. 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 of 15 minutes or less on each case. Offer specialists (OS) should not charge any of their time to ENTITY Code 809 since this time rolls into 101 TDA Direct and 201 TDI Direct and these types of cases are not worked in an offer field group. Instead, offer specialists should report their non-case direct time, as well as direct case 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.

  2. Direct case time (106) covers all actions relating to the time spent working an assigned offer in compromise submitted on Form 656, Offer in Compromise. This includes receiving and analyzing the form and 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 with a group manager during the bi-monthly inventory discussions, etc.

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

  4. 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.

  5. 502 Analysis/Perfection – Time spent by a CFf clerical employee in performance of their duties including, but not limited to, the following:

    1. analysis and perfection of input documents excluding payment input documents for non-field employees. CFf clerical employees who input payment posting vouchers on revenue officer cases on ICS would use this time code.

    2. coding and editing of adjustment documents, such as Form 3870, Request for Adjustment, etc.

    3. performing research necessary to complete payment and credit transfer requests.

    4. reviewing and perfecting information or certified transcript requests and performing all necessary follow-up actions.

    5. performing miscellaneous duties as assigned.

    Note:

    Refer to IRM 1.4.52.6, Tax Examiners in the OIC Program, and IRM 1.4.52.7, Group Secretaries in the OIC Program, for a full description of support duties within the OIC program.

  6. 504 Clerical – Time spent by CFf clerical employees maintaining filing systems (hardcopy files and/or electronic files), filing IRM transmittals and/or other documents, inputting accession numbers in the AOIC history on cases forwarded to FRC, etc. In addition, processing closed file requests should also be reported under operation code 504.

  7. 505 Clerical – Time spent by CFf clerical employees in support of all Collection programs including, but not limited to, the following:

    1. typing letters, forms, etc.;

    2. processing and routing mail;

    3. conducting research to assist revenue officers with assigned cases, other than payment/credit transfer research;

    4. 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 TSIGN via use of zip codes; (4) performing sample selection for NQRS; (5) performing sample selection for post reviews; (6) performing miscellaneous duties, as assigned.

  8. OIC managers should review their employee's ENTITY Time Reports on a monthly basis in order to monitor the correct reporting of direct time on case assignments; track the percentage of direct time spent on higher graded work to ensure the 25 percent threshold is not being exceeded; as well as check that the proper amount of administrative time and other non-direct case time is properly reported.

1.4.52.3  (02-20-2009)
Workload Management

  1. Managers are responsible for effectively managing the group's workload.
    To accomplish this, managers should:

    1. ensure cases are assigned promptly.

    2. maintain appropriate inventory levels at appropriate grade levels and make adjustments as necessary.

    3. ensure case activity is progressing toward resolution by timely conducting the required EQRS case reviews as well as any other reviews deemed appropriate by the manager, monitoring group controls, and having ongoing dialogue with each employee to adequately assess the individual progress of each case assignment.

    4. ensure hold files are held to a minimum or eliminated by making assignments to active inventory as expeditiously as possible. Alert senior management to situations where inventory backlogs may delay the timely assignment of cases.

1.4.52.3.1  (02-20-2009)
Case Grading

  1. Managers are responsible for reviewing all case receipts and ensuring that each assignment has been correctly graded prior to assignment to an OIC Specialist. Case grading should be based on the criteria defined in the employees current Position Description (PD) for the GS-1169-12 (PD# 90442) and GS-1169-11 (PD # 90441), Offer in Compromise Specialist, which specifies that Grade 11 OIC Specialists are generally assigned OIC cases that involve moderate liabilities of less than $100,000, and Grade 12 OIC Specialists generally are assigned inventory that involves liabilities greater than $100,000.

  2. Because OICs that are assigned to the Field operation generally contain financial statements submitted by taxpayers, as well as information obtained by the Centralized Offer in Compromise (COIC) sites through internal case-building, group managers should also consider additional issues when determining the initial case grade of a new assignment. Generally, the following issues/processes, when identified in an OIC, could warrant that the case receives a GS-12 grade designation:

    • income tax returns liabilities that cover a diversified spectrum of individual and business taxpayers (e.g., Schedule C with 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 could consist of the following: trusts, municipalities, educational institutions, LLCs, partnerships, corporations, all of which require more specialized knowledge on tax laws.

    • complexity of issues include, but are not limited to, 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, and/or public policy impact if collection were to be pursued; and valuation in making final compromise decision.

    • presence of transferees, nominees, and/or alter egos requiring identification, research, and valuation in making 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; disguised withdrawals in the form of shareholder loans; 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 Form 1040, excise, or specialty returns, are filed, and need to conduct thorough analyses of these returns 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, and/or Field Compliance.

    • comprehensive and complex financial statements requiring knowledge of accounting and business principles in order to determine the taxpayer's actual income and expense and thereby determine true Reasonable Collection Potential (RCP).

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

    • comprehensive case narratives and reports supporting the case disposition.

    • potential for media scrutiny due to type of taxpayer vis-a-vis final case disposition.

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

  3. Case grade levels can be either increased or decreased. Case grades should be verified and changed on ICS and AOIC, if necessary, after assignment or at any time during case progression. Specialists should be encouraged to bring to the manager's attention cases that may be incorrectly graded.

  4. The case grade should be changed if receipt of additional information or case circumstances warrants the change. Managers should document the ICS history outlining the factors used in determining a new case grade.

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

1.4.52.3.2  (05-03-2005)
Assigning Work

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

  2. Monthly reviews of the employees' ENTITY reports should be performed to ensure employees are not working over 25 percent of direct time on cases above their grade level. This can be accomplished by reviewing the "Time on Above Graded Cases" hours and 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, Document 11434, ICS/Entity MIS Integrated Program Handbook, for details.)

  3. A manager may retain cases in inventory that do not match the employee's grade when:

    1. there would be an unacceptable delay in working the cases if they were to be reassigned to other specialists.

    2. there is a need to maintain continuity of contact with the taxpayer.

    3. the transfer of the case would cause unreasonable travel.

    4. the specialist needs or requests a higher-level case for developmental purposes.

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

    Note:

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

1.4.52.3.3  (02-20-2009)
Maintaining Appropriate Inventory Levels

  1. Offer in Compromise is a high profile program, in which the timeliness of case processing and resolution are highly significant customer service issues. Hold files must not be utilized as a method of controlling inventory levels, but should be used as a central control point for assignments. It is the manager's responsibility to ensure all cases are assigned upon receipt, or as soon as reasonably possible.

  2. Target levels should be maintained based on direction contained in IRM 1.4.50.2.1.4 (Rev. 07/2007)

1.4.52.3.4  (02-20-2009)
Managing the OIC Manager's Hold File

  1. The Hold File should only be used as a temporary control point for new assignments. If a Hold File is established, OIC cases should not remain in that file for more than 15 to 30 days prior to assignment.

  2. Cases should be assigned from the Hold File to an OIC Specialist based on first-in-first-out (FIFO) based on IRS received date, unless the case qualifies for emergency processing as outlined in IRM 5.8.2.6 (Rev. 09/2005), Emergency Processing, and is approved by the manager for expedite processing and assignment.

  3. In order to maintain consistency, hold files must be designated specific ICS assignment numbers and will be limited to the types of cases listed below:

    Assignment Number Type of Case Explanation
    AOTOxx96 Rejections Offer Rejections pending the 45-day appeal period
    AOTOxx97 Independent Reviewer Offers sent to the Independent Reviewer
    AOTOxx98 Counsel Offers sent to Counsel for review

  4. Cases to be assigned to these hold files are only cases where no action or monitoring is required on the part of the offer specialist. The offer specialist will document the case history with the specific reason the case is being reassigned to the group hold file and submit the request to the manager for reassignment. The manager will determine if the case warrants assignment to the group hold file and if so, will document the approval in the case history and reassign the case to the specified number noted above

  5. A central point in the group may be established for maintaining the paper files associated with these cases, or the paper files may remain with the offer specialist as determined by the group manager.

  6. Hold files must be reviewed on a monthly basis to ensure that these expectations are met, and OIC cases are routinely assigned for investigation without delay. The local Area Coordinator should ensure that OIC receipts are evenly distributed among OIC groups to minimize the length of time OIC cases are maintained in hold files. If current inventory exceeds the Area's ability to meet the established 15 to 30 day assignment guideline, the Area OIC Coordinator must contact the National OIC Program Manager, and arrange for an inventory adjustment.

1.4.52.3.5  (02-20-2009)
Workload Management Using ICS/ENTITY & AOIC

  1. ICS, ENTITY and AOIC are the primary Management Information Systems for OIC field managers. Managers should familiarize themselves with IRM 5.3.1, ENTITY Case Management Information System (ENTITY), Document 11434 ICS/ENTITY MIS Integrated Program Handbook, as well as be proficient with the Automated Offer in Compromise (AOIC) system.

  2. In the OIC field program, managers should use ICS/ENTITY to track time and record case history entries. All offer casework, as well as the management of inventory, should be completed through AOIC and ICS.

  3. The Automated Offer in Compromise (AOIC) application is the official system of records for Collection's offer program. AOIC systemically:

    1. produces taxpayer letters/forms,

    2. provides inventory control,

    3. uploads/downloads transactions to/from IDRS,

    4. produces numerous management reports,

    5. records and tracks taxpayer payments (Application Fee, TIPRA payments, Deposits, payments on accepted offers, recoupments), and

    6. allows for automated monitoring of the taxpayer's offer status.

  4. Use AOIC to:

    • assist employees in managing their inventories

    • identify cases or types of cases where it appears the Specialist needs assistance

    • determine age of inventory assigned to the Specialist, 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 on Rejected with Appeal Rights cases

    • monitor 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 offer closing summary history statement as required by IRM 5.8.4.8 (3), Documentation, and IRM 5.8.8.3 (2), Closing a Case as an Acceptance.

1.4.52.3.6  (02-20-2009)
AOIC and Jasmine Portal Reports

  1. From the Main AOIC Menu, the majority of the AOIC reports and workload management features are accessed by selecting Reports/Listings. Other features are accessed by selecting Maintenance, Accept Transfers and Application Fee.

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

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

  4. It is possible to (G)enerate a report/listing, go to other AOIC screens or functions, then return to the Area Office Reports/Listings Menu to (V)iew or (P)rint the requested item. This works as long as the AOIC session remains active (i.e., a user does not log out, then log back in).

  5. The Area Office Reports/Listing Menu contains the following listings/reports:

    1. 4196 Summary Page - a two page summary version of the much longer Monthly 4196 Report. The report is labeled Monthly Offer in Compromise Activity. The report shows a brief inventory analysis for beginning inventory, receipts, dispositions (including dollar amounts), ending inventory, and age (open and disposed cases).

    2. 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.

    3. Closed Offers - a listing by Name, IDRS and Offer TIN, AO Closed Date and Final Disposition, of offers closed for your area, for the time frame specified, by disposition specified, and sorted by name control or TIN.

    4. Total Liabilities - a report, broken out by range of liability, giving case count and percentage, for all processable offers received during a timeframe specified by the user. This can quickly provide the user a snapshot of dollar receipts, by range, into inventory.

    5. Undetermined Offers - a summary or detail report listing cases in "U" status. This report is useful in managing inventory in COIC.

    6. Area & Territory Listing - a list of the Area Offices and their Territory Offices by number. This report is useful in determining where an offer is assigned.

    7. Disposition Codes List - a complete listing of the disposition codes used in the Area Offices along with a complete listing of the various status codes used to control inventory in the Service Centers.

    8. Fill-in Paragraph List - paragraph text, by letter, of the AOIC letters. This can be useful in determining text to use for specific situations, if the user is not familiar with the AOIC letters.

    9. Assignment List - a complete listing of an Area Office's assignment number showing Assignment Number, Badge Number, Name, Phone Number, and Stop Number. This list should be reviewed on an ongoing basis to remove employees who are no longer with the offer program.

    10. Signature List - a complete listing (by Signature Number, Title, and Name) of everyone in an Area Office set up on AOIC to have their information automatically print on AOIC letters. Signature information can be added and deleted using the Maintenance function.

    11. Address List - a list of all of the IRS addresses used on AOIC correspondence by an area when transferring case work from one IRS location to another.

    12. 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. Part 2 of the report includes the Error Listing and Part 3 lists NMF transactions that require manual processing. The error listings should be reviewed on an ongoing basis (at least weekly) since the modules only remain on the list for a limited period of time.

    13. OIC Inventory Listing - this list 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 Area, 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, and IRS Received Date. This report can be used to quickly check inventory levels and potential overage/overage cases within a particular inventory assignment number.

    14. Monthly 4196 Report - this 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 Monthly 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 not processable). Age of inventory is similar to that found in the 4196 Summary Page, but includes a separate breakout for offers in Appeals.

    15. Inventory Management Report - this report provides an easy to read list, by assignment number, of the total offers assigned, how many are processable or not, and the number of potential or overage cases in that inventory. This can be very useful when needing a snapshot view of assigned inventory levels and overage.

    16. OIC Follow-up Report - 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 properly, the follow-ups and report can assist in decreasing casework lapses that lead to overage.

    17. OIC Case History Report - this report provides the entire case history for an offer. It can be useful in reviews, ensuring that AOIC has the required documentation when closing, comparing against the paper case file, etc. The report is very useful when there are multiple history entries and the LOOK feature is not available.

    18. Reject W/Appeal Rights Aged - this report contains open cases for which 45 days have passed since generation of a rejection letter or concurrence by the Independent Administrative Reviewer (IAR), whichever is later. It lists Offer Number, Age, Proposed Reject Date, Offer TIN, and Owner Code (AOIC assignment number). This report is a useful tool in helping to ensure that cases are timely worked and resolved after initial rejection.

    19. Transfers Not Accepted - this report shows cases sent from another area that have not yet been accepted into inventory. The report lists 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 receipts are timely received and assigned for investigation after having been transferred out from another location.

    20. Analysis Not Complete Listing - this report was developed for use in tandem with the Data Request function in AOIC. The report is for use when Data Request is used on initial loading of the offer and lists those cases where data have been received back from Masterfile/IDRS, but our analysis of that data has not been completed. This report is helpful in ensuring that cases ready for analysis are not overlooked.

    21. Data Download Listing - this report was designed for use with cases loaded using Data Requests. It provides a complete list of offers, by Offer Number and Name Control, of those cases where data was requested through Data Request and is now present on AOIC and ready for analysis. This report works in close conjunction with the Analysis Not Complete Listing.

  6. The Jasmine Portal is a separate system and cannot be assessed from AOIC. Initial access to the Jasmine Portal may be obtained by contacting SBSE Collection Policy Technical & Insolvency Group.

    1. Offer Age Listing TIPRA- this report identifies case age from IRS receipt date. Cases are listed on the report in age ranges. The report is a useful tool to monitor cases approaching the mandatory 24 month acceptance period. The report is linked to AOIC and allows the reader to view the AOIC history without having to separately access AOIC.

    2. Age of Inventory Since Assignment- this report shows the age of inventory since assignment to an AOIC assignment number. The report can be used to review each offer specialist’s inventory. The timeframe from date of assignment is listed in age ranges.

    3. Area Office (AO) Overage List- this report provides the offer pending date, the number of days the case has been open in the Area (used to determine 6 month overage timeframe) and sorts the inventory by number of days open. The report also provides a link to AOIC that allows the preparer to view the AOIC history while the report is open.

    4. Area Office (AO) Overage List – 6 month – this report computes the overage based on the Area Office (AO) Open Date. Potential overage cases are cases between 120-180 days from the AO open date. Overage cases are cases over 180 days from the AO open data. A total number of overage and potential overage cases are provided for each assignment number.

1.4.52.3.7  (05-03-2005)
AOIC Maintenance Menu

  1. To access this menu, the user must be profiled on AOIC for Maintenance Access.

  2. The items found in this menu are typically those used to update entries for processing accounts.

  3. This menu is also accessed where accepted offers are closed and transferred to the Service Center function.

  4. A list of its functions includes:

    1. Validate and Release - after carefully checking that AOIC is accurately documented with the offer terms, amount, and all other required information is reflected, the Validate and Release Closed Offers Screen is used to approve closure of the accepted offer. The screen displays Release Code, Offer Number, Offer TIN, Name Control, AO Closed Date, and Owner Code (AOIC Assignment Number of person closing offer).

    2. Service Center Destination Listing - this list is invoked from the menu displayed at the top of the Validate and Release Closed Offers Screen. This list shows the Offer TIN, Name Control, Offer Number, From AO, and To SC Abbreviation. This list is used by the area office to ensure that a closed accepted offer is sent to the correct Service Center location for monitoring of payments and compliance.

1.4.52.3.8  (05-03-2005)
AOIC Application Fee Menu

  1. There are several features on this menu, among them:

    1. Application Fee Report - this report lists the Offer Number, Fee Required, Waiver Criteria, Fee Account, Refund/Apply Code, Amount, and Reference Master Offer Number. It is used for monitoring, reviewing, and tracking Application Fee records and actions taken on specific offers as it relates to the Application Fee. This report is used in the COIC sites to assist in managing the Application Fee process.

    2. Application Fee Analysis Report - this report provides a means of tracking offer receipts during a specified period, then broken out by processable versus not processable, undetermined, with application fee, without application fee, and the reason (doubt as to liability only, low income, master offer referenced, or master offer closed in error). This report also provides a breakout of the number of days it took to render an offer receipt either processable or not processable. This report is principally used by the COIC sites and Headquarters.

1.4.52.3.9  (05-03-2005)
Semi-Annual Inventory Matches

  1. CFf OIC managers must perform an AOIC/ICS physical inventory match on a semi-annual basis, which contains the following:

    1. A 100 percent inventory match. This will include all of the group's assigned offer cases (hold file cases, assigned to Appeals, Examination, Counsel and the Independent Administrative Reviewer [IAR]).

    2. Reconciliation and acknowledgement of Forms 3210 for all closed or transferred OICs that are in "transit status" for more than 21 days.

    3. Cases that are in "transit status" for less than 21 days should not be part of the match process.

    Generally, these matches should be completed by March 31 and September 30 of each fiscal year.

  2. Documentation of the completion of the AOIC/ICS semi-annual match and the correction of all discrepancies must be maintained by the Area OIC Coordinator. This documentation should be retained and available for review for two years.

1.4.52.3.10  (02-20-2009)
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. Managers are responsible for the quality of all work assigned to the group and for all work which leaves the group. This is true regardless of the measures that are used; therefore, managers must devise a system which works for them. Managers should:

    1. solicit suggestions from offer specialists to address ways that can improve the quality of their work.

    2. devise a plan to ensure a high level of quality in the group.

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

    4. ensure that appropriate time is devoted to coaching and mentoring the offer specialists, as well as providing guidance that will assist the employee in resolving their most difficult assignments.

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

    • Cases assigned to Area, but not received or not accepted on AOIC (Source: AOIC Reports Menu, Accept Transfer Option) — The number of cases listed in inventory as "In Transit" should be low – five percent or less. The "In Transit" inventory report should be reviewed, and worked by the OIC Group Manager, the Area OIC Administrator, or a designee, at least once a month, to ensure regular control. Timely and proper actions should be taken on any case that appears on this listing for more than 21 days.

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

    • Pending Installment Agreement Cases — These cases may be controlled by the Group TE in accordance with IG memo 06-1107-050.

    • Closed Accepted – Not Validated/Released by Group (Source: AOIC Main Screen – Not Validated Option)

    • Assessment Statute Expiration Date (ASED) Report (Source: ENTITY/ICS)

    Note:

    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 at least 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, the manager/designee will need to revisit these cases to check for any changes. Follow procedures outlined in IRM 5.8.4.11, Responsibility of Offer Specialist (OS) and Field Revenue Officers (RO), for handling potential ASED modules.

    • Form 2209 Courtesy Investigations (OIs)

    • Appeal 30-Day Hold File

    Note:

    Area 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 (Option M on the Reports/Listings Menu)

    Note:

    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 or DIAG-Q Transcript and Unreversed TC470 Transcript/unreversed TC 480/AMO6 W Transcript

      Note:

      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 5.19.7.3.28.3 and 5.19.7.3.28.4.


    • Time Management Reports (Source: ENTITY)

      Note:

      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 percent threshold is not being exceeded; proper use of administrative time and other non-direct case time usage.

1.4.52.4  (05-03-2005)
Employee Performance Analysis

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

1.4.52.4.1  (02-20-2009)
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 the managers expectations concerning required case actions and completion timeframes.

  2. Reviews are an integral part of the managers responsibilities. At the beginning of an employee's annual rating period, the manager will 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. All reviews should be conducted utilizing EQRS regardless of whether they are evaluative or non-evaluative.

    EQRS will enable the group manager to:

    1. assess the employee's effectiveness in meeting the expectation established in the Critical Job Elements.

      Note:

      Reviews prepared on EQRS will link employee performance to both the review attributes and the critical job elements (CJEs).

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

    3. identify and address performance strengths and weaknesses.

    4. assess the employee's ability to properly plan and schedule field, office, and flexiplace work activities.

    5. ensure the employee is taking timely and appropriate actions to bring cases to prompt and proper resolutions.

    6. assess employee effectiveness in developmental case assignments.

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

    8. assess the employee's performance in relation to customer satisfaction and the protection of taxpayer rights, whenever applicable in an investigation.

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

  4. Reviews can help a manager determine an employee's needs for training and development. In turn, case reviews will help the manager ascertain how much time to devote to each employee, as well as design an individual review plan to assist the employee's identified need(s). Managers may choose from the following review categories in designing an employee's review plan:

    1. Field visitations

    2. Office observations

    3. Announced telephone conference monitoring

    4. Spot reviews of open and closed cases

    5. Formal inventory analysis

    6. Reviews of work submitted for approval

    7. Initial contact reviews

    8. High priority case reviews (overage, potentially overage, gaps in activity of 60 days or more, and large dollar)

1.4.52.4.2  (02-20-2009)
Documentation

  1. OIC managers will conduct case reviews utilizing EQRS . Managers should become familiar with and use the EQRS Field Collection Offer-in Compromise (OIC) Job Aid Document 12360 (Rev. 5-2006). IRM 5.3.1.3 Reviews and Responsibilities , and Document 11434 ICS/ENTITY MIS Integrated Program Handbook, as references for selection and review of cases.

    1. The EQRS Individual Feedback Report links the review attributes to performance standards of an offer specialist's critical job elements.

    2. In general, deficiencies relating to a CJE should be noted as an area of special concern if found in 25 percent or more of the cases reviewed. However, there may be instances where a single deficiency is critical.

    3. EQRS allows the manager to generate reports of review data at both the group and individual level. It also allows the manager to consider program effectiveness and to properly evaluate the performance of employees in relation to his/her CJEs based on statistical data over a period of time.

  2. OIC managers 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. The manager should select the reason codes which 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, the manager should prepare a memorandum to the employee to express commendation or concerns. If the memorandum, (e.g., managerial case summary) is utilized it should:

    1. outline the performance in relation to the employee's CJEs, and address positive, as well as negative, aspects of an employee's performance.

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

  3. For each case reviewed, the manager should document the action taken in the ICS history. In order to accomplish this, OIC managers should use the ICS History pick list to note "Case Reviewed" , the date, and type of the review completed. No other entries are necessary or recommended. Documentation of an evaluative nature should not be included in the case history.

  4. The DC I , and managerial case summary, if applicable, should be prepared in duplicate and reflect all case data, including employee feedback. The manager and the employee must sign the DCI . The signature of the employee will not necessarily mean agreement, but merely acknowledge receipt of the document(s).

  5. 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. The manager should retain the 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.

1.4.52.4.3  (04-29-2014)
Mandatory Reviews

  1. OIC managers should conduct a timely Mid-Year and Annual Review on each of their employees.

    1. Choose a sufficient number of cases to review to ensure a thorough evaluation of each employee’s performance. This number may vary depending on the needs of the individual employee; however, managers should review a minimum of 8 open cases per year on each OIC Specialist. Review at least half of the cases prior to the mid-year. Case reviews must be documented using EQRS.

    2. 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.

    3. Scheduling of the reviews may be announced or unannounced at the option of local management.

    4. If the case review includes directed actions, follow-up reviews should be conducted 60-90 days after the review to ensure that all instructions have been followed and the case is moving toward resolution.

  2. On a bi-monthly basis, group managers will conduct inventory discussions with each OIC Specialist that will involve a progress discussion of the employee’s assigned cases when listed on the following reports:

    • ENTITY - No Touch Report (no case touches for over 30 days since assignment)

    • ENTITY - No Touch Report ( no case touches within the last 45 days)

    • AOIC Inventory Listings (cases assigned to OS with IRS received date over nine months)
      a) Using these reports, managers should hold discussions with the employee assigned to the case and evaluate the progress of these specific cases.
      b) At the end of the discussion, a manager should be able to ascertain how an employee is performing in relation to the employee's CJEs , and document these observations on the margins of these reports, or in a memorandum. Managers should use this opportunity to recognize positive performance, as well as provide constructive feedback regarding needs for improvement.
      c) The documentation of these reviews must reflect the expected actions and completion target dates for each case that was discussed.
      d) The document must be shared with the employee within 15 days after the discussion is held, and once acknowledged, filed in the employee's EPF .

1.4.52.4.3.1  (02-20-2009)
Suggested Reviews

  1. During the rating period managers should conduct a documented review of at least one taxpayer interview, either in the field, office, or monitored and announced telephone conversation, for each OIC Specialist during the rating period. More of these reviews should be conducted with employees who have exhibited problems communicating with taxpayers and/or representatives. 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 prescheduled telephone conversation between the employee and the taxpayer/representative provides an excellent opportunity for the manager to assess the employee's:

    1. ability to conduct interviews.

    2. ability to communicate and interact with taxpayers/representatives.

    3. knowledge of policies and procedures.

    4. ability to secure necessary information/documentation and determine appropriate case direction.

    5. delivery of fair and courteous treatment of taxpayers/representatives.

    6. 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; IRC 6320 and 6330, Collection Appeals Program).

    7. use of Interest Based Negotiating techniques.

    8. ability to recognize and respond to taxpayer concerns, issues and interests.

    9. pre-contact preparation.

    10. itinerary planning.

    11. effective use of time.

    12. ability to manage difficult, unexpected, complex or unusual circumstances.

    13. ability to appropriately recognize and address third party contact situations.

    14. observation of proper disclosure requirements.

  2. Documents should be shared with the offer specialist and maintained as part of the EPF to be used in preparation of the Mid-Year/Annual Appraisal.

1.4.52.4.4  (02-20-2009)
OIC Territory Manager and Area Director Annual Operational Group Review

  1. The purpose of this review(s) is to ensure that National and Area program goals are being effectively delivered through effective engagement of group managers, and territory managers in order to improve Employee Satisfaction, Customer Satisfaction, and Business Results.

1.4.52.4.4.1  (02-20-2009)
Territory Manager (TM)

  1. Territory managers should conduct a minimum of one annual operational review on each of their OIC groups, with follow-ups conducted as needed and appropriate.

  2. The operational review should provide observations concerning casework based on the specialist's CJEs, IRM provisions, as well as, the TM's 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 group managers are receiving and delivering inventory in a timely manner. This review should be completed at a minimum on a semi-annual basis.

      Note:

      Review the group manager hold file via the ICS/AOIC system. Consult with HQ's Program Manager and/or analysts to ensure that the group manager hold file is being effectively maintained and cases are being dispersed in a timely manner.

    2. Overage assignments

  4. The review should also address how well the manager 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 in a particular group.

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

    1. Managerial Group Controls – ensure that these cases are being monitored and reviewed appropriately.

    2. Case File Reviews

      This should include:

      • Ensure all mandatory reviews have been completed.

      • At a minimum, review two to three active cases from each offer specialist. 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 group manager to ensure appropriate direction is given during reviews.

      • Ensure managers' reviews include a mixture of review types including, but not limited to, no touch, overage, potential overage, and large dollar.

      • Specialist's Inventories – ensure that specialist’s inventories are being maintained per IRM 1.4.50.2.1.4

    3. 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 being reviewed.

      This should include:

      • Ensure that time sensitive documents are removed when appropriate.

      • Compare 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. These findings should equate to the TM's observations of the employee's performance based upon the case review findings.

      • Ensure that the manager has been including specialized reviews such as overage, in-business, large dollar, etc., and is demonstrating proactive case involvement.

      • Review office, field visit, and/or telephone monitoring reviews conducted by the group manager during the rating period.

      • Ensure performance and employee satisfaction issues are being addressed in a timely and appropriate manner.

    4. Communication – ensure managers are effectively communicating, to offer specialists, the goals of the Service, Area, Territory and group. They should also be effectively communicating procedural and policy changes, casework techniques, and other issues which affect the overall quality of casework.

      Note:

      In order to perform this task, the TM should review meeting minutes of group meetings which occurred during the rating period, and/or also include observations from group meetings attended during the rating period.

    5. Employee Satisfaction – ensure that employee's concerns are being addressed to facilitate effective and appropriate casework.

      Ensure managers are:

      • Adhering to all appropriate sections included within this handbook.

      • Addressing employee survey issues, proactively, by reviewing group action plan and results.

      • Supporting employee recognition and taking appropriate actions when performance issues arise.

      • Employing appropriate EEO and Diversity practices.

      • Adhering to employee development and training guidelines.

    6. Customer Satisfaction – ensure customers are receiving timely and appropriate actions, and receiving fair and adequate treatment to assist in resolving their offer submission(s). This should be addressed while performing case file reviews.

      Ensure that group managers are addressing:

      • timely initial and follow-up contacts by the offer specialists.

      • actions are appropriate and effective.

      • responsiveness to taxpayer requests, as appropriate.

      • requests for supporting documentation are appropriate

    7. Employee Case Documentation

    8. Utilization of Time – review monthly ENTITY reports to examine groups' usage of 106 time (case and non-case direct), administrative time, etc.

    9. Bi-monthly Inventory Discussions – ensure that these discussions are effectively improving case resolution and case cycle time.

      The discussions should include:

      • Observe an Inventory Discussion between an offer specialist and group manager.

      • Review a sampling of the group manager's documentation to ensure proactive issues are discussed and target dates for actions are included and follow-up actions are taken in timely manner.

    10. Taxpayer Interview Reviews - determine the effectiveness of group manager engagement in ensuring taxpayer rights and timely/appropriate actions are being performed by offer specialists.

    11. 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. TMs should also compare their own casework observations with the feedback employees have received from the group manager to ensure that 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 they perform the second level approval.

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

1.4.52.4.4.2  (02-20-2009)
Area Director (AD)

  1. Area Directors should conduct an operational review of their 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 Territory Manager(s) within 30 days after the completion of the review.

  3. In conducting these reviews, the AD 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 that the TM is managing the Area's OIC inventory in a timely manner. Review the offer group's Hold File via the ICS/AOIC system. Consult with HQ's OIC Program Manager and/or analysts, to ensure that the TM is effectively managing this inventory.

    • Overage OIC cases

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

  5. Area Directors should also incorporate some of the categories listed below in their program operational reviews:

    1. Case File Reviews – ensure proactive, timely, and appropriate case actions are occurring, and that managerial involvement exists when appropriate.

      Area Directors should:

      • Review case reviews completed by the territory manager of each offer group.

      • Review two to three cases from a sample of offer groups to ensure that group manager's and TM's assessments are consistent.

    2. Trend Analysis - identify and evaluate activities when compared to Area 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 findings of Collection Policy Analyst's.

    3. Employee Personnel Folders (EPF) - ensure EPFs are maintained within OPM guidelines and documents sustain an appropriate 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 6850and other evaluative documents, as well as ensuring appropriate documents have been purged. It should also include confirmation that all review requirements have been met by the group and TM.

    4. Communication - ensure TMs are engaging group managers and employees to promote the achievement of Area goals and fostering employee satisfaction. Review Town Hall minutes and TM attended group meeting minutes.

    5. Inventory Levels - ensure that specialist’s inventories are being maintained per IRM 1.4.50.2.1.4 and ensure timely contact and efficient casework, while maintaining high levels of quality and customer service.

      Note:

      This may be completed by reviewing appropriate ENTITY and AOIC reports, or acquiring appropriate reports from a Collection Policy Analyst.

    6. Bi-monthly Inventory Discussion - ensure that the process is having a positive effect on case resolution and cycle time, and review TM's analysis of group managers' participation and actions. Attend an inventory discussion between a group manager and an offer specialist from one group within the Territory.

1.4.52.5  (05-03-2005)
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 the appropriate use of statistical data, by managers, when conducting a review.

1.4.52.5.1  (02-20-2009)
Case Documentation

  1. Specific guidance for revenue officer case documentation is provided in various sections of Part 5. OIC managers should adhere to the same guidance as outlined in Part 5, as well as the provisions outlined in IRM 5.8.4.8, 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:

    1. subsequent case actions,

    2. the ability to review and evaluate case activity,

    3. actions by other employees, and/or

    4. quality results.

1.4.52.5.2  (02-20-2009)
Protecting Taxpayer Rights

  1. A primary responsibility of OIC managers is to monitor employee practices and actions to ensure that taxpayer rights are always observed during the offer investigation. Case reviews, as well as managerial observations of interactions with taxpayers/representatives, are vehicles to assess the employee's performance in this area.

  2. Taxpayer rights include, but are not limited to, the following:

    1. Right to privacy

    2. Right to due process

    3. Fair and courteous treatment

    4. Protection from unauthorized disclosure

    5. Right to submit a timely appeal on a rejection recommendation

    6. Right to managerial conference

  3. OIC managers should ensure that their 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. The Taxpayer Advocate Service (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, 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, Section 1203. All Employee Guide, for more information on identifying and reporting possible violations of Section 1203.

1.4.52.5.3  (02-20-2009)
Use of Statistical Data

  1. IRM 1.5.2, Managing Statistics in a Balanced Measurement System, provides guidance to prevent managers from using statistics to:

    1. evaluate employees, or

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

  2. Managers 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/workload reviews,

    • performance plans, or

    • narrative feedback to evaluations.

  3. Managers 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 rejected

    • Dollars compromised

    • Number of closed OICs

  4. For more specific information see IRM 1.5.1, The IRS Balanced Measurement System: A New Approach to Measuring Organizational Performance, and IRM 1.5.7, Section 1204/Regulation 801 Guidance for Small Business/Self-Employed (SB/SE).

1.4.52.6  (02-20-2009)
Tax Examiners in the OIC Program

  1. The staffing allocation of Tax Examiners (TE) in the OIC program is administered and monitored by the National OIC Program Manager. Allocation determinations are based on factors including, but not limited to an Area's OIC receipts, and managerial span of control.

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

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

1.4.52.6.1  (02-20-2009)
Area Drop Point for OIC Receipts

  1. It is recommended that this assignment be handled by one TE for the entire Area (e.g., Area OIC Drop Point).

  2. The TE responsibilities will consist of the following:

    1. Analyzes all Area OIC receipts to ensure transfer is appropriate.

    2. Accepts transfers on the AOIC system and makes appropriate group assignment on AOIC and ICS inventory systems based on established procedures and corporate inventory approach.

    3. Interacts with COIC site personnel to check on status of transfers.

    4. Monitors transfers in "transit" status.

    5. Initiates transfer of offer case to other Area office(s), when required.

    6. Generates and issues AOIC Transfer Letter to taxpayer.

1.4.52.6.2  (02-20-2009)
OIC Field Group Assignments

  1. The TE's responsibilities will consist of the following:

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

    2. Contacts taxpayer or designee to correct mismatches, when necessary.

    3. Inputs appropriate modules on AOIC for systemic generation of Status 71 on corresponding IDRS modules.

    4. Analyzes all corresponding taxpayer IDRS transcripts, determines assessment dates for each applicable module, and inputs information on AOIC MFT screen.

    5. Generates monthly AOIC transaction error listings and corrects mismatches on both systems.

    6. Determines when manual input is required on accounts and performs action to input TC 480, 482, 483, and Status 71, when necessary.

    7. Generates and mails Return Letters.

    8. Screens all incoming cases for imminent statutes (ASEDs).

    9. Inputs all corresponding modules on ICS and establishes CIPs to generate ASED Inventory Listings.

    10. Creates and monitors Other Investigation (OI) controls to ensure timely actions are taken to protect imminent statute.

    11. Handles all incoming taxpayer/practitioner phone calls regarding status of OIC, as well as other issues which would require knowledge of Servicewide policy and thorough familiarity with OIC program guidelines.

    12. Creates OI and monitors casework for timely disposition based on established CDP procedural guidelines.

    13. Reviews cases to ensure they meet the appropriate criteria for transfer to the field.

    14. Ship closed cases to the Federal Records Center (FRC) and annotate the AOIC history to include the accession number, box number and date the closed file was sent to FRC.

  2. Form 2209, Courtesy Investigation (Incoming)

    1. Contacts taxpayer and/or tax practitioner and takes appropriate action to resolve.

    2. Makes determination of necessary financial information and/or delinquent returns and makes appropriate taxpayer demand.

    3. Establishes proper group controls to monitor taxpayer response and issues appropriate default recommendation, when necessary.

    4. Analyzes financial documents/information and processes delinquent returns.

    5. Completes OI investigation and issues appropriate disposition recommendation for managerial approval.

  3. Reconciles and monitors group controls

    1. Cases assigned to Area, but not received or not accepted - AOIC Reports Menu, Accept Transfer Option

    2. Closed Accepted - Not Validated/Released by group (AOIC Main Screen - Not Validated Option)

    3. ASED controls

    4. CDPs

    5. Appeal 30 day Rejection Hold File

    6. AOIC - Transaction Listing

    7. Courtesy Investigations (OIs)

  4. Quality reviews case closure actions

    1. Completes installment agreements, currently non-collectible, and adjustment forms, as requested by the manager and/or specialist.

    2. Processes closed cases in accordance with November 08, 2007 Interim Guidance Memorandum Processing Closed Offer in Compromise Cases or subsequent 5.8.7.8.1(5) procedures.

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

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

    5. For all dispositions except acceptances, analyzes Form 656, Offer in Compromise, to determine whether all periods have been listed.

    6. Processes requests for NFTL on these types of dispositions when requested by manager or specialist.

    7. On rejection recommendations, analyzes case files to ensure IAR has completed mandatory review.

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

    9. Reviews taxpayer/practitioner's written request for appeal for perfection issues and reassigns to specialist for review.

    10. Upon request, forwards case to Appeals for review, reassigns case to Appeals on AOIC, and monitors Form 2515, Record of Offer in Compromise, file until offer case is received back from Appeals.

    11. Inputs appropriate disposition code on AOIC and ICS . If no taxpayer request for an appeal is received, review Form 656, Offer in Compromise, to determine if all periods were listed.

    12. Close the offer on AOIC as "TP did not exercise appeal rights."

    13. Upon receipt of case from Appeals, analyzes case file to ensure all necessary correspondence is contained in the case file.

    14. Contacts Appeals Division on a monthly basis to determine case(s) status.

    15. Contacts the Centralized DATL Unit or the Examination Area office every six months to secure status report on combination DATL offers.

    16. Generates and mails all necessary closing AOIC letters and forms to taxpayer/tax practitioner.

    17. Handles all taxpayer/practitioner inquiries that might be generated as a result of this correspondence.

    18. Monitors AOIC NQRS Sample Reports on a weekly basis.

    19. Strips close case files per established guidelines and transmits selected offer cases for NQRS review.

    20. Based on established procedures, initiates AOIC Closed Case Validation Process.

    21. Determines, based on taxpayer designation (e.g., W&I or SB/SE), the appropriate Back-End Service Campus that will monitor offer acceptance terms and mails necessary documents based on established procedures.

    22. Closes accounts on AOIC and ICS databases.

    23. Analyzes and works all taxpayer lien release requests and escrow demands.

    24. Receives and resolves all taxpayer/practitioner inquiries regarding the status of offer deposits that have not been refunded.

    25. Reviews all rejections, returns, and withdrawal offers and ships these closed cases to Federal Records Center based on established procedures.

  5. Post-closure case action activities

    1. Receives and resolves all taxpayer/practitioner telephone inquiries involving offer and/or non-offer related calls by checking applicable systems (e.g., IDRS, AOIC, etc.,) and/or redirects the call to the appropriate Service personnel.

    2. Analyzes accounts on AOIC and IDRS systems to resolve issues involving misapplied payments.

    3. Communicates directly with Monitoring Offer in Compromise (MOIC ) campuses to resolve problems involving misapplied payments, late payments, changes in taxpayer financial conditions, etc.

    4. Requests all manual refunds from MOIC when contacted by taxpayer/practitioner.

    5. Works NFTL lien error report on accepted offers to determine if NFTL should be released.

    6. Analyzes and resolves M-Y freeze problems on accepted offers when contacted by taxpayer/practitioner.

    7. Reviews closed rejected/withdrawn offers from Appeals to determine if an other investigation (OI) should be issued to the field in accordance with current field transfer procedures.

1.4.52.7  (02-20-2009)
Group Secretaries in the OIC Program

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

    1. Schedules meetings and coordinates travel plans.

    2. Handles budget issues.

    3. Completes time reports and handles all issues involving time and/or leave.

    4. Verifies employee time on ICS ENTITY on a weekly basis.

    5. Files all documents, manuals, etc., per established group policies.

    6. Handles all managerial incoming calls and directs them appropriately.

    7. Updates IRM manuals and appropriate handbooks.

    8. Inputs cases on AOIC and ICS as assigned.

    9. Assigns casework to employees upon managerial request.

    10. Reassigns offers from Hold File to employee, upon managerial request.

    11. Controls Form 3210, Document Transmittal, on all incoming work.

    12. Forwards rejection offer case file to IAR and changes assignment on AOIC to IAR.

    13. Makes appropriate copies of casework for NQRS review.

    14. Mails taxpayer correspondence, and provides assistance to the Drop Point TE in the handling of extensive mail distribution; duplication of necessary documents, etc.

    15. Processes CDP liens - faxes Form 3177, Referral of Request for CDP Hearing and Request for CDPTS Input, to appropriate function for TC 520 input. See IRM 5.1.9.3.3

    16. Retrieves ICS/ENTITY Report on a monthly basis.

    17. Retrieves RO Inventory Report from AOIC/ICS on a weekly basis.

    18. Matches ICS and AOIC Inventory for each RO on a monthly basis.

    19. Processes Form 795, Daily Report of Collection Activity, for all group employees.

    20. Performs all correspondence corrections.

    21. Takes and distributes all group meeting minutes.

    22. Reserves conference rooms and schedules necessary meetings, upon request.

    23. Provides receptionist assistance, upon request.

    24. Completes 1204 quarterly certification based on managerial request.

    25. Prepares monthly calendar to ensure technical coverage for incoming taxpayer technical calls.

1.4.52.8  (02-20-2009)
Shipment of Closed Cases to Federal Records Center (FRC)

  1. As a result of revisions to IRM 1.15.28, Record Control Schedule for Collection, Item 50, which addresses procedures for case file retention in field operations, and IRM 1.5.29, Records Control Schedule for Service Center Operations, which covers campus procedures, the requirements to retain closed cases at the local area office for two years, plus the current year, have been revised.

  2. The new revision to IRM 1.15.28, Item 50, and IRM 1.15.29, Item 187, now allows local offices to retain closed files until " there is no longer a business need" to retain them at the local level.

  3. Based on the "business need" provision, and as a general rule, closed OIC files (other than acceptances) are to be retained in a local office for a period of no less than six months, or for a longer period, should there be a business need.

  4. The TE should take the following steps when mailing closed cases to the FRC:

    1. Retain a record of the cases shipped, including taxpayer's name, TIN, and year closed, with a cross reference to the FRC box number and location.

    2. Develop an Excel spreadsheet to include the Accession Number, Box Number, and location of the closed files. The spreadsheet should contain the taxpayer's name, TIN, offer number, and type of closure to account for any other offers filed by the taxpayer during a one-year period.

    3. Establish and monitor a group binder containing a listing for each box, the SF-135, and funding approval for each year.

    4. Purge the case file and mail only the following case documents to FRC:

      Type of Disposition Documents
      Returns, Terminations, or Withdrawals
      • Form 1271,Rejection or Withdrawal Memorandum

      • Return, Termination, or Withdrawal letter to the TP/POA

      • All Forms 656, Offer in Compromise, received

      • Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, if applicable

      • CIS

      • Case history sheets

      • Other significant correspondence/documents

      Rejections
      • Rejection Letter TP/POA

      • All Forms 656, Offer in Compromise, received

      • Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, if applicable

      • Form 1271,Rejection or Withdrawal Memorandum

      • Narrative report

      • CIS with supporting verification/documentation

      • Case history sheets

      • Other significant correspondence/documents

    5. TE should complete SF-135 and mail to FRC for approval prior to shipping records. When accession number is received from FRC, TE will have 90 days to get closed files to FRC. The TE should document the AOIC history to include the accession number, box number and date the closed file was sent to FRC.

    6. TE must ensure shipment of the closed cases to FRC in adherence to IRM 1.15.4, Retiring and Requesting Records, procedures and these guidelines. Failure to comply with these guidelines will result in FRC returning the cases to the initiator and charging the Area office for the cost. The shipment process should adhere to the following manual sections, and specified provisions.

    7. Documents should be placed in a white 10 x 12 x 15 box (Catalog # NSN8115–00–117–8294).

    8. Each box should be packed to avoid contents shifting or moving.

      Note:

      ALLOW ABOUT ONE INCH SPACE IN EACH BOX

    9. Contents should be placed in alpha order - using taxpayer's last name.

    10. Taxpayer's name and TIN must be on the FRONT TAB of each offer file so that these files can be retrieved quickly by FRC.

    11. Include the Excel spreadsheet containing the taxpayer's name, TIN, offer number, and type of closure in each corresponding box.

    12. Attach the entire Excel spreadsheet to SF-135 in Box 1 only.

    13. Once it has been determined how many boxes are required, complete the SF-135 and forward it to the AWSS Area Coordinator to forward onto FRC for the accession numbers.

  5. Upon receipt of the accession numbers, TE will have 90 days to ship all closed files to FRC using the following guidelines:

    1. Boxes totaling less than 24 cases can be mailed directly to the FRC.

      The following are the procedures:

      • The entire spreadsheet will be placed in Box 1 with SF-135 only.

      • Complete the White Boxes (Front) with the accession number. Ensure that the Box # is written on the front of the box. DO NOT WRITE ANY OTHER INFORMATION ON THE WHITE BOXES.

    2. Boxes exceeding more than 24 cases will need special handling.

      The following are the procedures:

      • The entire spreadsheet will be placed in Box 1 with SF-135 only.

      • Complete the White Boxes (Front) with the accession number. Ensure that the Box # is written on the front of the box.

    3. Boxes with 24 to 49 or more cases.

      Ship them by pallet and perform the following actions:

      • Contact AWSS to secure an estimate for shipment and delivery to FRC.

      • Once the estimate is received, request an RTS (Funding Request Approval) which can be done through the secretary.

      • FISCAL SBSE will approve funding.

      • Once approval is received from FISCAL, secure the GBL from AWSS.

      • Prior to shipping, contact the Area AWSS Coordinator to arrange shipment & delivery time to the FRC. If this is not done, and the cases are shipped prior to scheduled time, the FRC will refuse shipment and the boxes will be returned back to the initiator at Area cost.

      • Once pick-up and delivery is scheduled, the employee must be available on the day of pick-up to ensure the process is completed and to verify that the boxes are loaded in numerical order on the pallet.


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