1.4.54  Offer in Compromise Managers - Centralized Offer in Compromise Program Guide

Manual Transmittal

March 18, 2013

Purpose

(1) This transmits a revision for IRM 1.4.54, Offer in Compromise Managers - Centralized Offer in Compromise Program guide. This revision supersedes all prior revisions.

Material Changes

(1) In general, corrected grammar, eliminated areas that were not related to manager duties and clarified manager's role in managing inventories, eliminated duplicate language and instruction, and rearranged sections for better flow in processes.

(2) 1.4.54.2 - included a reference to all available AOIC reports listed in 1.4.54.4

(3) 1.4.54.2.2(3) - updated suspense file examples

(4) Added 1.4.54.3.2 Timeliness of Offer Investigation.

(5) 1.4.54.3.3 - Prior 1.4.54.3.2

(6) 1.4.54.3.4 - Prior 1.4.54.3.3, combined paragraphs 3 & 5

(7) 1.4.54.4 - Rearranged report order, updated report name to Fee Refund/Apply Listing and added Application Fee Analysis Report and removed Data Download Listing

(8) 1.4.54.5.4(6) - Updated the timeframe to inform an employee when they have given a taxpayer incorrect information to as soon as possible, but no later than the following business day the employee is present.

(9) 1.4.54.6.1(1) - Updated OFP to 790-0000X

(10) 1.4.54.6.2(1) - Added OFP 790-60000 used to track PE time spent on telephone contact

(11) 1.4.54.6.2(2) - Updated OFP to 810-6603X

(12) 1.4.54.6.2(3) - Updated OFP to 810-66025

(13) 1.4.54.6.2(4) - Removed bullet regarding telephone contact

(14) 1.4.54.6.2(5) - Added OFP 810-66040 used to track time spent on subpayments

(15) 1.4.54.6.7 - Managerial Actions Regarding Employee Responsible for Mandatory Offer Acceptance - New section added regarding managerial responsibility for offers accepted under mandatory acceptance.

(16) 1.4.54.8.3(4) - Updated IRM reference

(17) 1.4.54.10.1(d) - Added language to follow-up on Form 3210 transfer acknowledgments

(18) 1.4.54.10.2(1) -prior revision items b & k removed, balance of alpha list renamed respectively

(19) 1.4.54.10.2(1) added new item g and removed reference to removing liabilities not listed on Form 656

(20) 1.4.54.10.2(1) new items l & m - removed reference to CQMS and updated name of report

(21) 1.4.54.11 - Removed reference to 1.5.29

Effect on Other Documents

This revision supersedes IRM 1.4.54, dated April 2, 2012

Audience

Small Business/Self-Employed, Centralized Offer in Compromise function, COIC Group Managers, Department and Operation Managers with oversight over the COIC program.

Effective Date

(03-18-2013)

Scott Reisher
Director Collection Policy

1.4.54.1  (03-18-2013)
Overview

  1. This chapter discusses operational and administrative responsibilities regarding managing employees in the Centralized Offer in Compromise (COIC) function and is used in conjunction with IRM 5.8, Offer in Compromise.

1.4.54.2  (03-18-2013)
Responsibilities of the Team Manager

  1. In accomplishing the mission of the Internal Revenue Service, COIC Managers must provide oversight and direction in a number of areas. The oversight responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

    1. ensuring cases are assigned timely;

    2. ensuring employee's workload: (1) reflects employee experience and skills, (2) addresses Service-wide objectives, and (3) protects public interest.

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

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

    5. ensuring employees observe taxpayer rights;

    6. 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;

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

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

    9. helping COIC Process Examiners (PE) and Offer Examiners (OE) make the right next case decision;

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

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

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

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

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

    15. providing technical guidance to internal customers, and others, as necessary, relative to the COIC program.

  2. When a new team is established or a new manager is assigned to an existing team, an expectation meeting with the employees must be held within the first 30 days and should be reviewed annually. At this meeting, the manager will cover the following issues:

    • Safety and security

    • Team procedures

    • Case work

    • Use of time

    • Timeliness of case activity

    • Time frames for case actions

    • Case review schedule

  3. When a new employee is assigned to an existing team, the team manager must meet with the new employee to discuss managerial expectations (see paragraph 2 above) and ensure appropriate On-line 5081, Automated Information System (AIS) User Registration/Change Request , is completed and processed.

    Note:

    National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) chapter(s) must be notified of these meetings in accordance with Article 12, Performance Appraisal System, of the IRS/NTEU National Agreement.

  4. Team meetings should be held on a regular basis to discuss such items as:

    • Directives from the Operation Manager, Director, and Headquarters

    • Procedural memoranda

    • IRM changes

    • Changes in condition of employment

    • Automation issues

    • Certain mandated topics (i.e. UNAX, POSH, Computer Security) not available on other media

    • Annual IRS Employee Survey results

    • 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.

1.4.54.2.1  (03-18-2013)
Managers Responsibility for Cases Transferred to the Field

  1. Managers are responsible for reviewing cases prior to transfer to the field.

  2. Offers that are transferred to the Field operation contain financial statement documents submitted by taxpayers, as well as information obtained through internal case building. Team Managers should ensure all internal case building documents have been included prior to transfer.

  3. Managers should ensure cases meet transfer criteria.

  4. Managers should ensure cases are transferred timely. Cases should be transferred on AOIC no longer than 3 days prior to mailing.

1.4.54.3  (03-18-2013)
Inventory Control

  1. An important area of workload management and quality. control for COIC Managers is the establishment of inventory controls. It is recommended that the Operation Manager designate staff to retrieve and distribute controls for the offer teams. The following controls should be retrieved from the appropriate AOIC database on a monthly basis. For a complete list of available AOIC reports see 1.4.54.4 below.

    • Time Sensitive Work – offers submitted with aged IRS received date or taxpayer imminent hardship.

    • Cases assigned to COIC, but not received or not accepted (Source: AOIC Reports Menu, Accept Transfer Option).

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

    • Closed Accepted – Not Validated/Released by Team (Source: AOIC Main Screen – Validated and Release)

    • Appeal 30-Day Hold File

    • Transaction Listing – This requires weekly reconciliation to ensure all IDRS modules and respective notice/collection status codes match AOIC. It is suggested that designated Process Examiners perform this reconciliation. See Exhibit 1.4.54-1.

1.4.54.3.1  (03-18-2013)
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. It is the manager's responsibility to ensure all cases are assigned upon receipt, or as soon as reasonably possible.

  2. Target levels have not been determined for the inventories of cases assigned to Examiners. Managers need to ensure that Examiner inventories are maintained at levels that ensure timely contact and efficient casework, while maintaining high levels of quality and customer service in the work performed by these employees.

1.4.54.3.2  (03-18-2013)
Semi-Annual Inventory Matches

  1. COIC Managers should perform an AOIC inventory match on a semi-annual basis.

  2. A 100% inventory match must include all of the team's assigned offer cases (including those in suspense assigned to the OE), offer files assigned to Examination, offers assigned to Appeals over 270 days old, and site revenue officer's assignment numbers.

  3. Documentation of the completion of the AOIC semi-annual match and the correction of all discrepancies must be submitted to the Department Manager. Operation will ensure that suspense files (i.e. 60XX, 55XX, 51XX, 3000) are reconciled on a quarterly basis. Operation will ensure that the AOIC record is closed when applicable.

1.4.54.4  (03-18-2013)
Workload Management

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

    1. ensure cases are assigned promptly.

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

    3. ensure case activity is progressing toward resolution by timely conducting the required case reviews, monitoring team controls, as well as having ongoing dialogue with each employee to adequately assess the individual progress of each case assignment.

    4. ensure suspense files are monitored for timely actions with no unwarranted inactivity gaps to ensure casework progression moves expeditiously. Alert management to situations where inventory backlogs may delay the timely assignment of, or progression of cases.

1.4.54.4.1  (03-18-2013)
Assigning Work

  1. Assignments are made on the Automated Offer in Compromise (AOIC) system.

  2. Weekly reviews of AOIC Inventory Listings, Follow-up Listings, etc. should be utilized to determine the appropriate work assignment.

  3. Management will endeavor not to assign new cases to a employees on weekends, holidays, or when an employee is on leave.

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

1.4.54.4.2  (03-18-2013)
Timeliness of Offer Investigation

  1. The timeliness of case actions in an offer investigation is important not only to ensure the efficiency of the process but also is a key component of taxpayer satisfaction.

  2. The guidelines for timely case actions defined in IRM 5.8 are intended to provide structure for the overall offer process and to ensure investigations are completed in a responsive and efficient manner.

  3. Managers and employees must make sure communications from taxpayers are addressed in a timely manner. Timeliness of case actions ensures the length of the offer investigation process is appropriate given the taxpayer's specific set of facts and circumstances.

  4. These guidelines are not intended as absolute measures of performance for individual employees. Performance evaluations of individual employees must be based on reviews of actual work produced by the employees and must take into account any special circumstances that may have impacted the ability of the employees to meet the specified guidelines. In general, unwarranted inactivity gaps in an OIC investigation should be avoided, and offer managers should establish controls to ensure that cases with unwarranted inactivity gaps are identified and addressed appropriately.

1.4.54.4.3  (03-18-2013)
Use of Suspense/Hold Files

  1. Cases suspended in a 51xx file awaiting taxpayer response should remain there no longer than 60 days.

  2. The COIC Assignment (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 30 days prior to assignment.

  3. Cases should be assigned from the hold file to an OIC Examiner based on first-in-first-out (FIFO) by IRS received date. The exception is if the case qualifies for emergency processing and is approved by the manager .

    Note:

    Inventory should be monitored for any anomalies regarding case assignment time frames.

  4. Hold files should be monitored on a weekly basis to ensure these expectations are met, and OIC cases are routinely assigned for investigation without delay.

1.4.54.4.4  (03-18-2013)
Workload Management Using AOIC

  1. AOIC is the primary Management Information System for COIC team managers. Managers should be proficient with the AOIC system.

  2. The AOIC application is the official system of records for COIC's offer program.

  3. AOIC systemically:

    • Produces taxpayer letters/forms

    • Provides inventory control

    • Uploads/downloads transactions to/from IDRS

    • Produces numerous management reports

    • Records and tracks taxpayer payments (Application Fee, Deposits, payments on accepted offers, recoupments)

    • Allows for automated monitoring of the taxpayer's offer status

  4. Team Managers will use the AOIC system to:

    • Assign work

    • Monitor inventory

    • Conduct case reviews

    • Assist employees in managing their inventories

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

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

    • Examine historical inventory levels to support a request for additional staffing or grade structure change. (Operation Manager)

    • Quickly identify inventory levels for any assignment number

    • Conduct on-line case reviews

    • Generate IDRS transaction listings to correct input problems

    • Generate Quality Review Listing

    • Monitor aging on Rejected with Appeal Rights cases

    • Manage address and signature information for correspondence

    • Generate transcripts for Counsel and Public Inspection File

1.4.54.5  (03-18-2013)
Reports Using AOIC and Jasmine Portals

  1. AOIC reports can be located on the Area Office Menu. The following reports can be accessed by utilizing the "Reports & Listings."

    1. 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.

    2. 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, IRS Received Date, and Total Liability. This report can be used to quickly check inventory levels and potential overage/overage cases within a particular inventory assignment number.

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

    4. 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.

    5. 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.

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

    7. 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.

    8. Transfers Not Accepted Listing – 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 you are timely receiving and assigning work transferred into your function.

    9. 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.

    10. 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.

    11. Assignment Records – a complete listing of an Area Office's assignment number showing Assignment Number, Badge Number, Name, Phone Number, and Stop Number.

    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, and it must be worked routinely.

    13. Area and 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.

    14. 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.

    15. Fee Refund/Apply Listing - this report lists the Offer Number, TIN, Payment Amount, Refund/App Code, Refund/Apply Reason. It is used for monitoring, reviewing, and tracking Application Fee records and refund 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.

    16. Application Fee Analysis Report - this report provides a means of tracking offer receipts during a specified period, then broken out by processable versus non-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 we take to make our receipts either processable or non-processable. The COIC sites and Headquarters principally use this report.

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

    18. Letter Signatures – a complete listing (by Signature, Assignment 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.

    19. Letter Addresses – 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.

    20. Standard Paragraphs – 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.

    21. Disposition Codes – 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 Campuses.

  2. Form/Letters Menu provides access to Letters, Forms, and Maintenance. The following applications can be accessed by utilizing the "Maintenance" listing.

    • Signature Maintenance

    • Return Address Maintenance

    • Transfer Address Maintenance

  3. The Jasmine Portal is a separate system and cannot be accessed from AOIC. An OL5081 must be completed requesting access to "AOIC EUREKA (AOIC EUREKA REPORTER) (AOIC)." Once secured, initial access to the Jasmine Portal may be obtained by contacting SBSE Collection Planning and Analysis. There are a variety of reports created for Eureka access that reside on this site.

1.4.54.6  (03-18-2013)
Reviews and Employee Performance Discussions

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

  2. All case reviews and performance discussions should focus on providing the employee with proper guidance and case direction, while conveying the importance of timely and effective case actions and any performance related issue(s). They must also clearly emphasize the manager's expectations concerning required case actions and completion time frames.

  3. Work reviews are an integral part of the Tam Manager's 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. The system of review should seek to:

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

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

    3. identify and address performance problems.

    4. assess the employee's ability to properly plan and schedule workload inventory activity.

    5. ensure the employee is taking timely and appropriate actions to bring the case to a prompt and proper resolution.

    6. assess employee effectiveness in developmental 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.

  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). At the discretion of local management, managers may be required to perform more or less of a particular type of review. Managers will select the applicable categories from the list below in designing an employee's review plan:

    1. Technical case reviews

    2. Telephone monitoring

    3. Work Leader review

    4. Time Utilization review

    5. On-The-Job-Visit

    6. Bin review

    7. Clerical review

    8. Data Security review

    9. Form 3081, Employee Time Input, review

1.4.54.6.1  (03-18-2013)
Quality of Reviews

  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 team and for all work which leaves the team. 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 Examiners to address ways that can improve the quality of their work.

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

    3. use EQ results as a diagnostic tool to focus attention on specific quality issues.

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

1.4.54.6.2  (03-18-2013)
Operation Manager Reviews

  1. Operation Managers are required to perform an operational review for each Department Manager within the operation. Operational reviews for each Department Manager must be performed annually, as outlined above. A yearly schedule of Operational Reviews must be submitted to the Directorship as required, and may be submitted to the Planning and Analysis staff according to local procedure.

1.4.54.6.3  (03-18-2013)
COIC Department Manager Annual Operational Review

  1. Operational Review – Department Managers should conduct a minimum of one annual Operational Review on each of their COIC teams. An Operational Review should assess how well the manager completes administrative duties, the effectiveness of their assigned programs, compliance with IRM 5.8 procedures, compliance with review schedules, mid-year and annual appraisals, time and attendance records, coordination with other areas within and outside the operation, and commitments on their performance plan.

    1. Department Managers will verify team leaders are performing the required performance reviews for their employees in a timely manner. Department Managers will also ensure individual team leader's documentation of these reviews is sufficient to effectively evaluate employees' performance. This should be accomplished as the Department Manager reviews performance appraisals, required monthly review schedules, and EQRS reports.

    2. Department Managers will review EPFs and drop files prior to signing as the second level approval for performance appraisals in order to verify that all required reviews were completed and there is sufficient documentation to substantiate the ratings for each CJE performance aspect.

    3. Department Managers should also use EQRS reports to determine if their team leaders are completing the required number of paper case reviews and telephone monitoring. EQRS roll-up reports should be printed for each team and reviewed on a quarterly basis. If the required reviews have not been completed, the Department Manager should annotate valid reasons for deviation from the monthly schedules on the printed reports. A copy of the annotated report should be provided to the Operation Manager within 15 days after the end of the quarter.

    4. Department Managers should pay particular attention to and address any identified deficiencies; such as age of disposal, inventory management, etc. Follow-up action should be taken and documented as appropriate.

  2. Program Review – Each department will ensure that a review is conducted to ensure effectiveness of their assigned programs. These reviews should include methodology, findings, recommendations, and follow-ups. As part of a program review, Department Managers may utilize EQ reports to identify error trends and ensure consistency among teams.

  3. 3081 Review – For work plan and resource allocations, 3081s are reviewed weekly by Team Leaders for accuracy.

  4. A file must be maintained with copies of program reviews performed.

1.4.54.6.4  (03-18-2013)
Review Documentation

  1. It is required that COIC Managers use the Embedded Quality Review System (EQRS) to conduct technical case reviews. The EQRS system is an on-line quality review database accessed through the IRS Intranet via the URL address . Managers use EQRS and the EQRS Data Collection Instrument (DCI) to input case review/analysis results. Managers should become familiar with the options available on EQ.

    1. The attributes on the EQ system correspond with the performance standards of the Process and Offer Examiner's critical job element performance aspects. Both in-process and closed case reviews will be documented in EQRS. Review results are generated on an EQ "Employee Individual Evaluative Feedback Report."

    2. In general, deficiencies relating to a critical job element should be noted as an area of concern.

    3. There may be instances where a single deficiency is critical, i.e. taxpayer impact vs. non-impact errors.

    4. The program allows the manager to roll-up an employee's performance in relation to his/her CJEs based on statistical data over a period of time using the EQ "Employee Cumulative Evaluative Feedback Report"

  2. In addition to EQ reviews, other types of reviews such as "bond" paper and inventory reviews are permissible, and encouraged, as long as they address case performance based on the employee's CJEs.

  3. Regardless of the format used, COIC Managers should summarize observations they have derived from a case review. For cases reviewed using EQ, use the DCI Feedback Summary Section to record your remarks. When performing an EQ DCI, "bond" or inventory review, the summary 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, as well as establish expectations concerning the time and type of disposition required.

    • be concise in documenting serious performance deficiencies.

  4. All cases that are reviewed should reflect the action and the date when the review was performed. The manager should not enter any evaluative entries on the AOIC case history.

  5. Individual case reviews should include all applicable case data. The manager and the employee must sign the documents. Signature on the part of the employee will not necessarily mean agreement, but merely the acknowledgment of document receipt.

  6. Original documents of paper reviews should be issued to the employee within 15 days of the review event. Original documents of telephone monitoring reviews should be issued to the employee within three workdays of the review event. However, if the employee has provided incorrect information to a taxpayer, the manager will inform the employee as soon as possible, but no later than the next business day the employee is present after the review event. The manager should retain the review in the Employee's Performance File (EPF) for follow-up, and 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.

1.4.54.6.5  (03-18-2013)
Mandatory Reviews

  1. COIC Manager's will conduct a Mid-Year and Annual Review on each of their employees. A manager's observations and recordations will accurately assess the employee's performance. The listed items below are the types of reviews needed to accurately evaluate an employee's performance and quality of case work.

    1. Technical Case Reviews – The minimum number of EQ reviews is two per month, per employee, during the rating period. There should be a representative sample of closed and in-process case reviews. Bond paper reviews (see definition of a bond paper review below) are in addition to the minimum of two EQ reviews for each employee each month. The manager's review should focus on financial analysis, accurate RCP, appropriate case decision, appropriate request for additional financial information, timely POA/taxpayer contact, timely follow-up, inactivity gaps, etc.

    2. Process Examiner Telephone Monitoring Reviews – For telephone teams, EQ reviews should be split between paper and phones. Since the minimum number of reviews is two per Process Examiner per month, one should be a telephone review. More reviews should be conducted with employees who have exhibited problems in the area of communications with taxpayers and/or representatives. Managers responsible for phone teams must perform and document monthly mass monitoring sessions in conjunction with EQ reviews. The manager's review should focus on following disclosure guidelines, provide the correct answer, documentation, etc.

    3. On-The-Job Visit Review – Performed annually, this review allows the manager to observe the employee's performance while performing their normal and routine duties and must be performed for each Examiner during the rating period. The review must address employee's time utilization, inventory management abilities, inventory verification, quality of work completed, and a review of the employee's suspense file organization.

    4. Time Utilization – Performed annually, this review evaluates the employee's workload management, overall efficiency and technical competence.

    5. BIN Review – Performed annually, a Bin (segmented storage systems such as file cabinets, desk drawers) review evaluates the condition of employees' physical files and overall file maintenance along with an inventory verification.

    6. Inventory Management Reviews – All employees with cases controlled and reflected in these listings need to be reviewed and documented. COIC Managers should review these listings weekly by assignment date to ensure there are no unwarranted gaps in activity. Using these reports, managers should hold discussions with the employee assigned to the case and evaluate the progress of cases listed on these reports. Managerial observations should be summarized on the margins of these reports, or on a "bond" paper review. A monthly review must be performed and annotated. Lists with the employee's and manager's comments must be kept as documentation.

    7. Security Reviews – Managers must access the IDRS Online Reports Services (IORS) system on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis to perform required electronic security reviews for employees with access to the IDRS system. Managers will perform physical security reviews to evaluate an employee's compliance with security rules and regulations, and to ensure compliance with the Clean Desk Policy.

    8. Clerical – Performed monthly, clerical reviews ensure accuracy and timeliness of the employee's work.

    9. Form 3081, Time Reporting Review – Performed monthly as a non-evaluative review and evaluative quarterly, these reviews ensure timely reporting of time codes and function code accuracy.

    10. Work Leader Review – Performed monthly, work leader reviews can include work distribution planning, inventory management and monitoring, completion of work assignments, the ability to identify training needs, the ability to perform accurate EQ reviews, and technical accuracy of reviews.

    11. Bond Paper Reviews – Bond paper reviews can consist of other tasks, activities and duties within the scope of the examiners CJEs that cannot be captured on the EQ system. These may be Special Case processing of CDP offers, the work performed by the unit Bankruptcy coordinator, input from other teams/departments, taxpayer acknowledgements of customer service, special projects, case history documentation, workload inventory management, Inventory Report Listings reviews, IDRS Security reports, time input by the work leader and inventory assignment by the work leader.

  2. Emphasize cases that are generally reflective of the employee's typical performance.

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

  4. Follow-ups should be conducted on reviews, as appropriate.

1.4.54.6.6  (03-18-2013)
Frequency of Reviews

  1. Management should follow the guidelines in the Employee Feedback for Campus Compliance Services Managers or at the discretion of the Campus Compliance Directorship.

1.4.54.6.7  (03-18-2013)
Managerial Actions Regarding Employee Responsible for Mandatory Offer Acceptance

  1. On May 17, 2006, the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 (TIPRA) was enacted. TIPRA created IRC 7122(f), which applies to all OICs received on or after July 16, 2006. Under the law, an OIC will be deemed an acceptance if the IRS does not make a final determination within two years

  2. If the 24 month period has expired, the offer examiner who is currently assigned the OIC will enter a statement in the AOIC history addressing the reason(s) the 24 month period expired. The statement should include any unusual or mitigating circumstances.

  3. The Department Manager will review the AOIC history, summary statement, and the ICS history as well as any other relevant information to determine if further administrative action is warranted and if disciplinary action is appropriate.

  4. The Department Manager will prepare a memorandum to the Operation Manager detailing the reason(s) the 24 month period expired without the IRS making a decision on the OIC, why further administrative action is or is not warranted, and include any proposed disciplinary actions, if appropriate. The memorandum will also include the following information:

    1. IRS received date

    2. COIC site of original receipt

    3. Date received by offer examiner who is currently assigned the OIC investigation

    4. Date and type of any proposed recommendations made by an offer examiner

    5. Dates of discussion between manager and employee relative to the 24 month TIPRA issue beginning 18 months after the OIC was received by the IRS

    6. Any mitigating circumstances

  5. The Operation Manager will review the memorandum and forward a copy of the memorandum to the service center Director along with a cover memorandum outlining any recommended disciplinary action

  6. Instructions for processing the offer in compromise acceptance can be found in IRM 5.8.8, Acceptance Processing.

1.4.54.6.8  (03-18-2013)
Employee Performance Discussions

  1. All performance discussions should be held as soon as possible and focus on providing the employee with proper guidance and case direction, while conveying the importance of timely and effective case actions and any performance related issue. They must also clearly emphasize the manager's expectations concerning required case actions and completion time frames.

1.4.54.7  (03-18-2013)
Time Reporting in the COIC Program

  1. Managers should:

    • utilize Form 3081, Employee Time Report, weekly to ensure accurate time reporting. Discrepancies should be addressed, as needed.

    • ensure direct and indirect time is reported using the appropriate time, function and program codes (OFP's).

    • be alert for the reporting of what could be considered excessive administrative or miscellaneous direct time.

1.4.54.7.1  (03-18-2013)
Clerical Time Reporting in the COIC Program

  1. OFP time code 790–0000X covers time spent by clerical employees related to time spent in support of COIC including, but not limited to:

    • maintaining filing systems,

    • filing documents or cases,

    • processing closed files,

    • typing or inputting hardcopy or electronic information,

    • processing and routing mail,

    • conducting research, and

    • processing remittances.

1.4.54.7.2  (03-18-2013)
Process Examiner Time Reporting in the COIC Program

  1. OFP time code 700-60000 covers all actions related to the time spent by PEs on telephone contact, including requests received on Form 4442.

  2. OFP time code 810–6603X covers all actions related to the time spent by PEs working on a newly receipted Form 656, Offer in Compromise. This includes:

    • loading offers to AOIC,

    • researching to make a processability determination, and

    • processing application fees and deposits

  3. OFP time code 810–66025 covers all actions related to the time spent by PEs correcting input problems that have generated on the IDRS transaction error listings.

  4. OFP time code 810–6602X covers the following:

    • case building for additional financial documentation

    • generating the appropriate correspondence

    • reviewing the taxpayer's response to the request for additional financial verification

  5. OFP time code 810-66040 covers all actions related to the time spent by PEs processing subsequent payments.

1.4.54.7.3  (03-18-2013)
Offer Examiner Time Reporting in the COIC Program

  1. OFP time code 810–6601X covers all actions related to the time spent by OEs working on an assigned OICs submitted on Form 656, Offer in Compromise,. This list includes, but is not limited to:

    • receiving and analyzing the form and all required documentation,

    • determining Reasonable Collection Potential (RCP),

    • making disposition recommendations and reviewing requests for Appeal consideration, working CDP offers, and offers-on-offers

1.4.54.8  (03-18-2013)
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.

1.4.54.8.1  (03-18-2013)
Case Documentation

  1. OIC Managers should adhere to guidance in IRM 5.8, Offer in Compromise.

  2. The need for accurate, complete, and high-quality case documentation is extremely important in the COIC 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.

1.4.54.8.2  (03-18-2013)
Protecting Taxpayer Rights

  1. A primary responsibility of COIC 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 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. Rights 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 judgement 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.

1.4.54.8.3  (03-18-2013)
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 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. The inclusion of ROTERs should be avoided in the following documents:

    • 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. Example of prohibited ROTERs for COIC collection employees include:

    • number of OICs recommended for acceptance or rejection

    • dollars compromised

    • number of closed OICs

  4. For more specific information see IRM 1.5.2, Managing Statistics in a Balanced Measurement System

1.4.54.9  (03-18-2013)
Security Access Validation Frequency

  1. Service officials and managers must communicate security standards contained in IRM 1.4.6, Resource Guide for Managers – Managers Security Handbook and IRM 10.8.1, Information Technology Security Policy and Standards – Information Technology (IT) Security, Policy and Guidance to subordinate employees and establish methods to enforce them. Employees are responsible for taking required precautions in providing security for the documents, information and property that they handle in performing official duties.

  2. Managers are responsible for ensuring that required security duties, including reviews, are completed in a timely manner.

  3. Every 30 days a review must be conducted to certify that employees have the appropriate level of access to each application used. Any application that is no longer required for the performance of an employee's duties must have an OL5081 submitted to delete access to that application.

1.4.54.10  (03-18-2013)
Other Management Responsibilities

  1. This section discusses some additional responsibilities required by managers in the COIC program.

1.4.54.10.1  (03-18-2013)
Area Drop Point for OIC Transfers

  1. It is imperative that cases being sent to the field be routed to the correct Area Drop Points. Managers should ensure employees use the most recent Drop Point listings to transfer cases to the field.

  2. The COIC employee's responsibilities will consist of the following:

    1. Review all Area transfer forms to ensure transfer is appropriate.

    2. If electronic transfer on AOIC is incorrect, accept transfers back on the AOIC system and re-transfer to the correct area.

    3. Interact with field OIC site personnel to check on the status of transfers, as needed.

    4. Follow-up on Form 3210, Document Transmittal, to ensure transfers were received and acknowledged.

1.4.54.10.2  (03-18-2013)
Closing and Review Actions

  1. COIC Managers are responsible for all cases in their team's control. The following list, although not all-inclusive, are tasks to perform to ensure a quality product prior to taking closing actions. Tasks may be assigned to specific managers at local discretion.

    1. COIC Managers should review all acceptance, rejection, return, and withdrawal case files to ensure all letters/forms are correct and have appropriate signatures, and for appropriate disposition codes on AOIC.

    2. Process requests for NFTL.

    3. On rejection recommendations, review case files prior to assigning to IAR inventory.

    4. Mail Rejection Letters to taxpayer/practitioner and monitor Rejection 30-Day Appeals files.

    5. Review taxpayer/practitioner's written request for appeal.

    6. Upon request, forward case to Appeals for review, reassign case to Appeals, systemically, on AOIC.

    7. Input appropriate disposition code on AOIC.

    8. Clerical staff closes the offer on AOIC as "TP did not exercise appeal rights."

    9. Upon receipt of case from Appeals, Offer Managers review case file to ensure all necessary documentation, closing reports and correspondence is contained in the case file.

    10. Ensure all necessary closing AOIC letters and forms are sent to taxpayer/tax practitioner.

    11. Handle all taxpayer/practitioner inquiries that might be generated as a result of COIC correspondence, or if a request to speak to a manager is requested.

    12. Monitor AOIC Quality Review Listing on a weekly basis.

    13. Prepare closed case files per established guidelines and transmit selected offer cases for Quality review or retention files.

    14. Based on established procedures, initiate AOIC Closed Case Validation Process. This might be delegated to one manager to perform for the Operation.

    15. Send closed accepted offers to Monitoring OIC at the Memphis or Brookhaven Campus, as appropriate.

    16. Close accounts on AOIC.

    17. Receive and resolve all taxpayer/practitioner inquiries regarding the status of offer deposits that have not been refunded through the Coordinator.

    18. According to procedure, ship closed cases to Federal Records Center.

1.4.54.11  (03-18-2013)
FRC Guidelines

  1. The IRM 1.15.28, item 50 allows local offices to retain closed files until there is no longer a business need to retain them at the local level.

  2. Based on the "business need" provision, and as a general rule, closed COIC 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.

  3. See IRM 5.8.7.12 for details on shipping cases to FRC.


More Internal Revenue Manual