1.11.2  Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process

Manual Transmittal

May 11, 2012


(1) This transmits revised IRM 1.11.2, Internal Management Documents (IMD) System, Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process.

Material Changes

(1) IRM - clarifies the types of information to include in the IRM. Adds definitions to the information types that don't belong in the IRM. Exhibit 1.11.2-1 addresses each step in the decision chart, What Belongs in the IRM?

(2) IRM - incorporates content from IRM, Requesting Changes to an IRM Section.

(3) IRM - removes reference to the Chief Council Directives Manual.

(4) IRM - clarifies and expands the rules for issuing local procedures.

(5) IRM - clarifies procedures on creating or revising part, chapter and section titles.

(6) IRM - adds a new section to address the changes to IRM dates. In May 2011, M&P systems were enhanced to allow for day-based revisions. The affect of this change required new definitions and instructions for managing dates.

(7) IRM - changes title of Office of the Notice Gatekeeper to the Office of Taxpayer Correspondence Services.

(8) IRM - changes to reflect Media & Publication's new procedures for entering the Manual Transmittal date and the Effective Date fields.

(9) IRM - clarifies the explanation of the Purpose field of the Manual Transmittal. It includes the proper language to use when the IRM is new, revised, obsolete or reinstated.

(10) IRM - change material in a table to a paragraph to clarify audience categories.

(11) IRM - removes options for Manual Transmittal and Effective Dates, which no longer apply.

(12) IRM - adds the word "documented" to the word designee, since organizations should keep records of signature authority for the IRM.

(13) IRM - changes the terminology for "Pre-Evaluation" to "Informal Review" . This concept addresses the process that may occur when developing the IRM section.

(14) IRM - adds a reference to the custom Form 1767 for the IRM to assist authors. Also adds the web link.

(15) IRM - add instructions allowing authors to create a graphic in gray-scale.

(16) IRM - adds information to improve the quality of graphics. Removed the subsection on Tag Image File Format (TIFF) Graphic Files, as PDF is the standard.

(17) IRM - updates include the accepted formats of stored source files.

(18) IRM - removes table of ELMS classes available for authors and refers employees to the SPDER website.

(19) Includes editorial changes such as replacing references to SGML with XML; correcting websites; clarifying subsections without changing their meaning, and reorganizing content to improve the flow.

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 1.11.2, dated May 4, 2010, is superseded. Interim Guidance memorandum RAS-01-0511- 01, Manual Transmittal Date Definition to Change is superseded.


All personnel responsible in the IRM process in any capacity - Managers, IMD/IRM coordinators, authors, and reviewers.

Effective Date


Related Resources

Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Research site: http://spder.web.irs.gov/

Electronic Publishing site: http://publish.no.irs.gov/catlg.html

Official Part and Chapter title list: http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/IRMPartChap.asp

List of IRM authoring courses: http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/training/

History of the IRM can be found on the IRS Historical Research Library Website

Kathryn A. Greene
Servicewide Policy, Directives
and Electronic Research (SPDER)  (05-11-2012)

  1. Purpose. This Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) section describes the process and procedures for creating or updating an IRM section. Specifically, the IRM section:

    1. Describes the steps in the IRM authoring process.

    2. Establishes the standard procedures for authoring the IRM.

    3. Provides guidance for preparing an IRM using the standard IRM format and structure requirements.

    4. Outlines strategies for minimizing duplication that can result in conflicting information.

    5. Provides tips for improving the quality of the writing and increasing the efficiency of the writing process.

  2. Audience. This IRM is designed for use by all personnel responsible for the IRM process including:

    • IRM Authors

    • IMD/IRM Coordinators

    • Managers with IMD program responsibilities

    • IMD Program Executives

    • IRM Reviewers

    • Contractors who prepare IRM material

  3. Process Owner. The Office of Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Research (SPDER) under the Office of Research, Analysis and Statistics (RAS) determines IRM policy and manages the servicewide IRM process. SPDER provides enterprise guidance and centralized oversight for the IRM.

  4. Contact Information. To recommend changes or make any other suggestions to this IRM section, contact the SPDER office via:

    • Email at SPDER@irs.gov

    • Website at http://spder.web.irs.gov (click on "Contact Us" )

  5. Other Sources of Guidance. The following table lists the IRM sections that provide additional guidance and details related to the IRM and the IRM process:

    IRM Title Guidance on -
    IRM 1.11.1 Internal Management Document (IMD) Program and Responsibilities The IMD process. Includes roles and responsibilities for IRM authors and IRM coordinators.
    IRM 1.11.3 Policy Statements Creating and revising Servicewide Policy Statements.
    IRM 1.11.4 Delegation Orders Creating and revising Servicewide Delegation Orders and Division/Function Delegation Orders.
    IRM 1.11.5 Publishing Internal Management Documents The publishing and distribution processes.
    IRM 1.11.9 Clearing Internal Management Documents The clearance process and obtaining approvals.
    IRM 1.11.10 Interim Guidance Process Authoring, issuing and clearing interim guidance. Complying with FOIA requirements.
    IRM 10.2.13 Information Protection Handling sensitive information, such as, Official Use Only (OUO).
    IRM 11.3.12 Designation of Documents Processing IRM materials containing OUO information.  (05-11-2012)
Requesting Changes to the IRM

  1. IRM readers have an opportunity to suggest changes to an IRM section in a number of ways. They may:

    1. Contact the organization's Internal Management Document (IMD) coordinators. See http:// spder.web.irs.gov/imd/council/ for a listing of IMD Coordinators

    2. Contact the IRM author or originator. To locate the originator of the IRM section, go to the Electronic Publishing intranet site for the product at http://publish.no.irs.gov/catlg.html.

    3. Submit memoranda to the originating office outlining the issue, including the IRM reference(s) and the recommended change(s).

    4. Submit feedback through the SERP Feedback System at: http://serp.enterprise.irs.gov/Feedback_Instructions/Feedback.htm for IRM sections hosted on SERP.

    5. Email the SPDER staff at SPDER@irs.gov, who will direct it to the appropriate office for consideration.

  2. Authors will take the following actions:

    1. Acknowledge receipt of the recommendation within 15 calendar days.

    2. Review and consider the recommendation for acceptance.

    3. Respond with any actions and the time frames in regards to the recommendation.

  3. If the recommendation is accepted and requires a change to procedures published in the IRM, authors must convey the changes timely. This can be accomplished by updating the IRM section or releasing interim guidance.  (05-11-2012)
What Belongs in the IRM

  1. The IRM is the primary, official source of IRS "instructions to staff" that relate to the administration and operation of the Service. The IRM ensures that employees have the approved policy and guidance that they need to carry out their responsibilities in administering the tax laws or other agency obligations. IRM content must be accurate and reliable to ensure consistent administration of the tax laws. Through the IRM, IRS fulfills certain legal obligations. See IRM, Internal Management Document (IMD Program and Responsibilities, Authorities and Legal Obligations of IMDs.

  2. Procedural guidance that has organization or Servicewide impact belongs in the IRM. These types of information include:

    1. Procedures - A process, series of instructions to be followed, or a set sequence of steps which establish a standard based on rule or policy.


      Official guidance and procedures developed for IRS employees by contractors must be included in the IRM and conform to IRS/IRM requirements.

    2. Guidelines - Directions that guide employees in determining a course of action, or explanations that allow flexibility to make judgments based on facts.

    3. Policies - Statements that generally advise IRS employees and the public of the IRS commitment to an important ideal or value.

    4. Authorities - Specific delegations issued by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, or on the Commissioner's behalf, to subordinates, with or without restrictions or re-delegation.

    5. Functional Statements - Descriptions of each IRS organization, including their structure, mission, and responsibilities.

  3. Officially published products:: The IRM should reference other IRS Official Published Products. Do not duplicate content covered in another IRM section; instead reference the (sub)section number (and title) where the related material is located.


    "To help determine if your material meets the criteria for the IRM, see IRM, What Belongs in the IRM." .

  4. Instructions to staff found in the following sources of guidance should either be referenced or incorporated into the IRM:

    • Interim guidance

    • Job aids

    • Desk guides

    • Websites

    • Contractor developed instructions

  5. Certain types of information may supplement or support a program, process, or activity. The following are the types of information that does not belong in IRM.

    1. Local/Limited use guidance - Guidance that provides instructions for a program within a particular unit or geographic location, describes the culture of a taxpayer base, or provides implementation actions, and that supplement or support prescribed IRM procedures.

    2. Temporary or pilot guidance - Guidance or information that is in force for a limited time (under one year), for a pilot program or an emerging issue.

    3. Performance support tool - A web-based tool which provides information that supplements information in the IRM.

    4. Software or application specific - Content that provides instructions on how to use and operate a computer application.

    5. Official IRS published products - Published documents, forms, publications, or letters that reside on the Electronic Publishing website.

    6. Training documents - Published training documents and materials.

  6. The IRM Decision Tool is an "interactive" performance support tool that helps IRM authors determine the type of information that belongs in the IRM. Through a series of questions, the tool assists authors in identifying whether instructions to staff found in other sources must be included in the IRM. See "The IRM Decision Tool" at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/decide/.  (05-11-2012)
Local Procedures

  1. Local procedures are procedures specific to a particular office or campus. They are based on location, the needs of the locality due to internal processes, or tailored to the specific needs of its taxpayers.

  2. The table below describes when local procedures belong in the IRM.

    Description of Local Procedures Belongs in IRM? Example
    Procedures that supplement the IRM procedures or guidance but are written for a specific office or campus No Outreach strategies developed by an area office and post of duty (POD) to improve taxpayer compliance. Implementation procedures created for specific groups of taxpayers within each POD are considered to be local procedures and are advertised locally.
    Administrative procedures No Emergency evacuation plans, procedures relating to the facility, personnel procedures, etc.
    Centralized work processes only carried out in one office or campus Yes These procedures are the national program guidance for the Service and are affected by FOIA requirements.
    Guidance that affects all offices and employees Yes


    This rule applies even if a single aspect of the national program is carried out in one IRS location.

    The Chief Financial Officer sets policy guidance for the capitalization, depreciation, and disposal of property and equipment organization. Although these policies affect the CFO Office of Financial Management Policy and Business Analysis, Internal Financial Management, the guidance is in IRM 1.35.6, Property and Equipment Accounting, for employees Servicewide.

  3. Local procedures not included in the IRM, must be

    1. Issued formally through memoranda or other communication vehicles to affected employees.

    2. Signed by the responsible program director .

    3. Reference the core process, procedures, or applicable IRM section(s).

    4. Reviewed at least annually to ensure the guidance is consistent with current guidance.

  4. Local guidance may require disclosure on IRS.gov to adhere to FOIA laws. See E-FOIA requirements in IRM, Interim Guidance Requiring FOIA Compliance, for guidance.  (05-11-2012)
Deviating from the IRM

  1. Program guidance may not apply to the work in all offices in all areas of the country. Under certain circumstances it may be necessary to deviate from the official procedures in the IRM. The executive responsible for the program is responsible for approving the deviation.

  2. The local program owner seeking a deviation must obtain the concurrence of the responsible program director. The request must include the following:

    1. A summary of the circumstances that require deviation.

    2. The applicable IRM section.

    3. The reason for the deviation.

  3. Follow the guidance in paragraph (3) of IRM for information on communicating the guidance to employees.

  4. Guidance which deviates from the IRM may require disclosure on IRS.gov to adhere to FOIA laws. See E-FOIA requirements in IRM, Interim Guidance Requiring FOIA Compliance, for guidance.  (05-11-2012)
Keeping the IRM Current

  1. To maintain the accuracy of the IRM content, the IRM owner is responsible for reviewing the IRM at least annually or as required when an employee recommends changes to the IRM. See IRM, Requesting Changes to the IRM.

  2. Review the IRM for conflicting guidance, missing content, outdated content, unclear procedures, and FOIA compliance. The author may use user feedback and prior IRM reviews to facilitate the review.

  3. The author must revise the IRM to:

    1. Incorporate new or revised legislation.

    2. Incorporate process improvements or changes in procedure.

    3. Incorporate interim guidance.

    4. Incorporate updates made to other program areas related to the IRM section.

    5. Update guidance based upon the Office of the Chief Counsel's opinion.

    6. Update organizational references and terminology.

    7. Clarify or reorganize content.

    8. Rewrite using Plain Language techniques.

    9. Address end users' concerns.

  4. The author must validate references to the following:

    1. Official Documents, e.g., IRM sections, forms, publications.

    2. Organizational titles and terms.

    3. Website addresses.

    4. Legal citations and references (court cases, revenue rulings, and revenue procedures, etc.)

    5. IRS toll-free numbers.

    6. Office addresses.

  5. Certain types of changes can be made without need for a complete revision. For details, see IRM, How to Prepare an Editorial Update.  (05-11-2012)
Risks When the IRM is Not Current

  1. It is important to maintain the IRM to ensure that employees have the most current procedures. The Service must meet certain legal obligations with respect to internal management documents (IMDs). IRS is required to document IRS operations, policies and procedures, and comply with recordkeeping and disclosure (FOIA) requirements. See IRM 1.11.1, IMD Program and Responsibilities, for legal obligations.

  2. W hen the IRM is not current, IRS employees may face the following risks:

    1. Provide taxpayers outdated and possibly inaccurate information.

    2. Follow incorrect procedures if more current versions exist outside of the official IRM.

    3. Inconsistently administer the tax laws.

    4. Violate the legal requirement to disclose operations that affect the public.

  3. Updating the IRM on a regular basis eases the burden on authors and reviewers as well as readers. When updating an old and outdated IRM section, the processing time for authoring, clearing and publishing the IRM may increase since:

    1. It takes more time to compile and integrate all necessary changes into the revised IRM section.

    2. The IRM section may require review of more stakeholders.

    3. Waiting lengthens the processing time for authoring, clearing and publishing.

    4. Relying on multiple interim guidance memoranda may result in a revised IRM with missing information.  (05-11-2012)
Organization of the IRM

  1. The IRM format and structure is designed to accommodate changes in IRS' responsibilities and programs. As the IRS changes, the IRM also changes.

  2. To efficiently organize the IRM for reference, the IRM is structured using a sequential series of numbers. The first three numbers, separated by decimals, represent the IRM number and describe the following:

    1. Part indicates IRS business processes

    2. Chapter indicates a major topic within the business process

    3. Section indicates a specific topic within the major topic


    The following is the breakdown for IRM 1.11.2:
    Part 1 - Organization, Finance and Management
    Chapter 11 - Internal Management Document System
    Section 2 - Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process

  3. Each IRM section is assigned a unique catalog number. The catalog number is also an identification number. It is used to track this specific topic in publishing and archives.


    The catalog number for IRM 1.11.2, Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process is 29299R.

  4. Subsections. Subsections contain a more specific level of information. Subsections may be further divided to as many as five levels. Each subsection number is separated by a decimal. For an example, review the Table of Contents for this IRM. Note how each numbered subsection is accompanied by a title. Subtopics related to the subsection are nested, as in an outline. The following example illustrates a subsection number recorded at the five subsection level.


    IRM  (05-11-2012)
Elements of the IRM Section

  1. Each IRM section contains the following elements:

    • IRM number and title

    • Catalog number

    • Manual Transmittal

    • Table of Contents

    • Subsections

  2. The IRM format provides for various types of dates. These include:

    1. Manual Transmittal (MT) Date – This is the IRM issue date. It is the date that the IRM is published and available in the IRS Electronic Publishing System.


      M&P is responsible for inserting the issue date in the IRM XML file.

    2. IRM Effective Date - This is the date the new or revised IRM section is effective. This date can be the same as or later than the MT date.

    3. IRM subsection date – This is the effective date of the IRM subsection. When you substantially revise the information in a subsection, you must change the date.

    4. Revision Date - This is the date the IRM is revised and matches the MT date. The revision date is found on the on Electronic Publishing website and the Portable Document File (PDF) version of the IRM. It is also listed on Document 10988, IRM Index.

  3. A "Subsection" consists of:

    • Title: - A description of the content in the subsection.

    • Number: - This represents the Part, Chapter, Section and Subsection.

    • Date: - The effective date of the subsection content.

    • Text: - Text in the form of paragraphs. This may also include lists, notes, and/or tables.

  4. A subsection may also contain the following:

    • Figure: - A figure placed within the text.

    • Graphic: - A diagram or a picture illustrating textual material.

    • Exhibit: - An exhibit is always placed at the back of the IRM section.

  5. The text consists of:

    1. Numbered paragraphs, which convey policies, procedures, guidance, definitions, etc. They are required in each subsection.

    2. Tables or charts, which display information in columns and rows. Use tables to clearly present conditional information, list actions in a set order, or convey complex concepts.

    3. Lists, which display procedures or rules.

    4. Examples, which illustrate concepts, procedures or processes

    5. Notes (reminder, caution, exception, etc.), which add emphasis to the preceding information or concepts and highlight important information for readers. However, "Notes" are not used to convey concepts or rules or to provide instructions.  (05-11-2012)
Determining the Number and Title of a IRM Section

  1. When creating a new IRM section, the author should prepare an outline or summary of the new material for the IMD or IRM coordinator. Include the following:

    1. Describe the purpose of the new IRM and provide supporting documentation (e.g., new legislation, operating procedures, software or other systems).

    2. Describe whether this new material affects any existing documentation. Also, define how the material will be organized.

    3. Propose an IRM number by looking at the existing Chapters.

    4. Propose a title.

  2. The IMD or IRM coordinator will review the requests and verify that the information does not already exist in the IRM and that the IRM number is not already assigned. A SPDER analyst may assist with the review.

  3. SPDER must approve any changes to the existing number of an IRM section. When requesting a change to the existing number of an IRM section, the author should prepare a justification for the IMD or IRM coordinator. The IMD or IRM coordinator will submit the request to SPDER for approval.


    Remember that the catalog number is associated with the specific topic of the section. The catalog number is used to track changes made to this specific topic.

  4. The number and titling of an IRM section must be completed prior to the clearance process and prior to requesting a catalog number for printing.  (05-11-2012)
Catalog Numbers for IRM Sections

  1. The IRM is published at the section level. Therefore, every IRM section is assigned a catalog number that is permanently associated with that IRM section and primary topic. The catalog number is a unique 5-digit number plus a letter.

  2. Catalog numbers cannot be changed or reused for a different IRM section or topic. If a specific topic that has a designated IRM number and catalog number is incorporated into another IRM, the IRM section is obsoleted and the IRM number and catalog number are archived. If that same topic is separated into an IRM section at a later date, the IRM number and catalog number may be restored.

  3. The IRM Publishing Team assigns a catalog number for each new IRM section. Once the new IRM number and title have been assigned, the author or IRM coordinator should contact an IRM Publishing Team member, visit http://publish.no.irs.gov/pubsys/irm/irmteam.html or mp.irm@irs.gov.  (05-11-2012)
Determining Subsection Dates

  1. The following are options for determining the subsection date:

    1. When adding or substantially revising a subsection, insert a wild card date (MM-DD-YYYY). This date will match the Manual Transmittal date.

    2. When adding or substantially revising information that becomes effective on a specific effective date (other than the MT date), insert the MT effective date.

    3. If you are not changing the content in a subsection or the changes are editorial don't change the subsection date.


      Your IRM is published in November but the procedures are not effective until the following January 1st. The Effective Date field in the Manual Transmittal will show a January 1st date and the subsection date will also be January 1st. The Manual Transmittal Date will reflect the issue date.

  2. If incorporating interim guidance into the IRM, the effective date of the subsection containing the interim guidance is generally the IRM issue date (MM-DD-YYYY). By taking the following actions, you will document the audit trail of the interim guidance.

    1. Document the interim guidance number and date in the Manual Transmittal (Material Changes).

    2. Specify that the IRM section supersedes the interim guidance In the Effect on Other Documents.

    .  (05-11-2012)
Determining the Number and Title for a New IRM Part or Chapter

  1. It is unusual to create a new IRM Part or Chapter. New Chapters may be required when the IRS has significantly new or changed major responsibilities, programs, or activities.

  2. To create a new IRM Part or Chapter, the author should prepare an outline or summary of the new material for the IMD or IRM coordinator. Include the following:

    1. Describe the purpose of the new IRM part or chapter and provide supporting documentation (e.g., new legislation, operating procedures, software or other systems). If the new Part or Chapter is a reorganization of existing IRM material, document the limitations of the existing organization.

    2. Identify all existing documentation, including IRM sections, that will be affected by this change.


      For archival purposes, changes to the existing IRM sections must be documented in the new IRM sections.

    3. Recommend a title for the Part or Chapter. The title should describe the business process, for a Part, or the major topic, for a Chapter. The title should not be the name of an office or organization.

  3. The IMD or IRM Coordinator will coordinate the request with SPDER. SPDER will review the request and research the existing IRM archive. If the request is approved, SPDER will provide the new number and title. The approved number and title will be added to the master list.  (05-11-2012)
Recommending Changes to the Name of Existing IRM Parts and Chapters

  1. To request a change in the name of an existing IRM Part or Chapter, the author should prepare a justification for the name change. Include the following:

    1. Describe the purpose for changing the existing name.

    2. Describe how the change will be documented in the IRM.

    3. Describe any IRM sections that could be adversely affected by the change.

  2. Obtain internal approval of the name change from your IMD/IRM coordinator and manager.

  3. Send the request with the approvals to the SPDER office for review and approval.  (05-11-2012)
IRM Authors and the Authoring Process

  1. IRM authors are subject matter experts who are responsible for preparing program procedures and guidelines. They may be analysts or front line employees. Authoring an IRM section is generally a collateral responsibility. Authors are encouraged to participate in Continuing Professional Education (CPE), as well as any other designated training requirements, to remain proficient and current in their IRM authoring responsibilities.

  2. Authors work closely with their IMD/IRM Coordinators to help ensure they follow the prescribed IRM authoring procedures.

  3. Prior to authoring an IRM, the IRM author must do the following:

    1. Request the IRM authoring software by submitting a ticket to: OS GetServices. Select: Order from the Product and Services Catalog>My Technology.

    2. Register as a user of the IRM Authoring Tool at http://publish.no.irs.gov/appls/sgmlxml/sgmlmain.cgi?request=MAIN

    3. Attend IRM authoring tool training. To register http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/training/.

  4. The major steps in the IRM authoring process are:

    1. Download the IRM XML file from the Electronic Publishing website if the IRM already exists.

    2. Gather all related interim guidance, policies, legislation, and issues raised since the previous clearance process for the IRM section.

    3. Write the material.

    4. Coordinate an informal review of the IRM with stakeholders if necessary. See IRM, Informal Review.

    5. Prepare the Manual Transmittal (IRM, Authoring Step 4: Prepare the Manual Transmittal).

  5. The process for updating the IRM varies depending on the extent of the revision. See flowchart at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/MonitorAndMaintainAnIRM.pdf for a detailed process of the life cycle of an IRM section.  (05-11-2012)
Tools for IRM Authors

  1. IRM authors have access to many resources to keep current with the IRM process and improve skills. The primary source of guidance is the sections in IRM 1.11, Internal Management Documents System.

    • IRM 1.11.1, Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process

    • IRM 1.11.5, Publishing Internal Management Documents (IMDs)

    • IRM 1.11.9, Clearing Internal Management Documents (IMDs)

    • IRM 1.11.10, Interim Guidance Process


    Other IRM sections under IRM 1.11 address the specific IMD programs in various organizations.

  2. The primary organizational contact is the IMD coordinator. See http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/council/ or check your organizational website for information on your IMD program. Your IMD Coordinator is available to discuss the following:

    • Training

    • IMD resources in your organization

    • Organizational procedures

  3. IMD training is available to the IMD community in self-study, virtual, and classroom formats. For a current list of courses, see http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/training/ . Before taking training always, discuss IMD training needs with your manager and seek approval.

  4. To improve the format of your IRM section, study the guidance in the IRM Style Guide, Document 12835 - http://core.publish.no.irs.gov/docs/pdf/54913d10.pdf

  5. Document 13000, IRM Package Check Sheet, is a helpful tool for authors when revising or creating a new IRM section. Using the checksheet will ensure that the IRM rules are followed. See also http://www.plainlanguage.gov/ for tips for writing in "Plain Language"

  6. To receive email notification when new revisions of IRMs are available, go to http://publish.no.irs.gov/catlg.html to sign up for specific IRMs. You may also request email notification for any form, notice, document, etc. that is maintained Media & Publication's Core Repository of Published Products (CROPP) at the website above. Use the "Manage My Subscriptions" tab.

  7. To receive email notifications of software updates and get the latest upgrades and fixes, sign up for the XML Author Registration. To register, click on the following link SGML/XML Author Registration.

  8. To receive important IRM authoring alerts, subscribe to the IRM/IMD Mailing List at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/mailinglist/default.asp

  9. Website Resources: The following websites can provide additional help when creating, clearing and publishing IRM material:

    1. http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/ - Servicewide Policy, Directives, and Electronic Research (SPDER) - For information on internal management documents (IMDs), IRM requirements, IRM authoring tool and training.

    2. http://xmlhelpdesk.web.irs.gov/ - For help with the IRM authoring tool and XML/SGML files.

    3. http://irap.web.irs.gov/508/guide.asp - For additional information on creating documents and files that are accessible to persons with disabilities.

    4. http://www.section508.gov - The Center for Information Technology (CITA), General Services Administration's Office of Government-wide Policy is responsible for educating Federal employees and building the infrastructure necessary to support section 508 implementation. This site provides resources for understanding and implementing the requirements of section 508.  (05-11-2012)
Authoring Step 1: Getting Ready to Write or Revise an IRM

  1. To prepare to write an IRM section, the IRM author should first gather all related interim guidance, or other instructions to staff to determine if material belongs in the IRM. To aid in this evaluation, the author may use the IRM Decision Tool.

  2. When writing a new IRM section, the IRM author should

    1. Contact the IMD Coordinator or a member of SPDER for assistance with IRM Part and Chapter numbers.

    2. Discuss appropriate chapter and section titles with the IMD Coordinator. Verify the new IRM number and/or titles with SPDER at spder@irs.gov.

    3. Request a catalog number from the IRM Publishing Team at mp.irm@irs.gov.


      You must obtain an IRM number before requesting a catalog number.

    4. Contact the M&P distribution coordinator to establish a distribution pattern. See IRM 1.11.5, Internal Management Document Publishing Process.

  3. When revising an existing IRM section, the IRM author should

    1. secure the existing official format file from the publishing website and save it on the computer that will be used for authoring. Use this official file to make revisions.

    2. validate the current Part and Chapter title, and IRM number. See http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/IRMPartChap.asp

    3. Identify any new issues since the previous clearance process.

  4. While drafting the IRM section, the IRM author should determine if any material needs an informal review by outside reviewers. If so, consult with subject matter experts (SMEs) and/or managers as appropriate. See IRM, Informal Review..  (05-11-2012)
Authoring Step 2: Analyzing and Organizing the Material

  1. Consider the audience for the IRM section. It is critical that the IRM provide the information employees need to perform their jobs. To ensure a well-organized IRM, take the following actions:

    Step Action
    1. Outline major topics or develop a flowchart.
    2. Organize the information into subsections. Use a format that makes it easy for the reader to follow and understand. Some methods of organization include:
    • Along process lines

    • In order of occurrence

    • In order of importance

    3. Create subsection titles that clearly describe the text.
    4. Research the current IRM to ensure that information in your section is not provided in another IRM section. Do not duplicate information from another IRM section. To ensure that employees have the most current instructions, always link to the primary source in the IRM.


    Appeals' mission is stated in its functional statement, IRM 1.1.7, Organization and Staffing, Appeals.

  2. When creating a new IRM chapter or section, consider the following factors to ensure the material is properly organized by process, program, activity or other logical format:

    Factors Consider
    • Who is my audience? Think about why the reader needs the information.

    • Who will be interested in the document, even if they are not directly affected.

    • Write to everyone who is interested, not just to technical or legal experts.

    • Keep in mind the average reader’s level of technical expertise.

    Revision Dates
    • Are all sections revised at the same time?

    • Is a particular section revised more often than the others?

    Subject Matter Content
    • How can I make the topic/instructions easy for the reader to follow and understand?

    • Should I organize the content along process lines or in order of occurrence.

    • How much information is necessary?

    User Convenience
    • Will combining/separating the material help the user? Consider file size when making this determination.  (09-04-2009)
Authoring Step 3: Writing the IRM

  1. Keep these rules in mind when writing IRM material:

    1. Know and write to the audience.

    2. Use active voice whenever it is possible to identify the "actor" and the action.

    3. Use plain language writing style.

    4. Write clear and concise sentences.

    5. Create links to official sources of information, e.g., IRS Official Documents, Forms and Letters, other IRMs, legal references, etc.

    6. Spell-out acronyms. The first time any term appears, spell it out followed by the acronym in parentheses.


      You may use the abbreviation "IRS" in the IRM without first spelling out the complete title. However, do not use the title IRS and Internal Revenue Service interchangeably. Use one or the other throughout the IRM.

    7. Limit emphasis tags, e.g., bold and italic .

    8. Use italics, bold, "quotes" , or CAPS for emphasis, rather than "underline" because readers may interpret it as a website link.

  2. Use the following to enhance the readability of the IRM content:

    1. Use tables to present conditional information or procedures in a specific order.

    2. Insert a figure or flowchart to display information.

    3. Use a list to present procedures or actions.

    4. Display a long table or an item with varied format in an "exhibit" .

    5. Use a "note" (reminder, caution, etc.), to emphasize a point, not to convey procedures.

    6. Consider consulting with authors of other IRM sections containing similar or cross-functional material to ensure clarity and consistency of IRM guidance.

    7. Prepare examples to illustrate a concept.

  3. Consult Document 12835, IRM Style Guide (Catalog number 54913g), for detailed guidelines for format and use of language in writing the IRM. This section provides only a cursory overview.  (09-04-2009)
Table of Contents

  1. The IRM Authoring Tool automatically generates the table of contents. The table of contents reflects each numbered subsection and exhibit.

  2. The table of contents serves as a tool to help readers easily find information. As such, it is important to write titles using descriptive terms.  (09-04-2009)
Types of Lists

  1. Lists help the reader easily scan and interpret information. In the IRM format, lists follow a paragraph.

  2. Three types of lists are used in the IRM and are generated by the IRM Authoring Tool:

    • Alphabetical

    • Numerical (step)

    • Bullet

  3. Lists should contain more than one but less than 10 items. If listing more than ten items, it is best to cluster the related items into subgroups.


    Do not use sub lists or "lists under lists" when presenting the information.

  4. Introduce a list with any of these words, followed by a colon:

    • Following

    • As follows

    • Shown below

    • Including

    • Such as  (09-04-2009)
Alphabetical List

  1. An alphabetical list is used to display a list of related items, actions or instructions in random order. Identifying each item with an alpha makes it easy to cite as a point of reference.

  2. Use the following tips to create an alphabetical list:

    1. Begin each step with an action verb.

    2. Keep lists short and to the point.

    3. Use lists to break up lengthy content.

    4. Capitalize the first word in each list item.

    5. Use parallel grammatical structure (use the same form of the verb in each list item).

    6. End complete sentences with a period; do not end incomplete phrases with a period.  (09-04-2009)
Numerical List

  1. Use a numerical list (also known as a step list) to present actions, steps, directions, or activities accomplished in a sequential or priority order.

  2. A numerical list may be presented in a table format, to provide clarity, as illustrated:

    Preparing an IRM
    Step Action
    1. Gather and organize the material.
    2. Write the IRM section.
    3. Submit the IRM section for review.
    4. Obtain the necessary approvals.
    5. Prepare the package for publishing.  (09-04-2009)
Bullet List

  1. Bullet lists display a simple list of items in no specific order. Tips for using bullets lists include:

    1. Capitalize the first word in each item.

    2. Do not use punctuation marks at the end of each item unless one of the items is a complete sentence (in which case, punctuate all items in that list).

    3. Do not use a bullet list if it is necessary to cite the items individually (use an alphabetical list, above).

  2. The following example illustrates a Bullet List.


    Include the following in the IRM clearance package:

    • IRM Section in PDF format

    • Form 2061

    • Note to Reviewer

    • Background information  (09-04-2009)
Standard Citation Rules

  1. It is important for authors to follow a standard format when citing to sources in the IRM. This ensures that readers can find the information when they conduct electronic research.

  2. The following subsections set the standards for citing commonly cited documents in the IRM, including:

    • Referencing the IRM (global)

    • Referencing specific IRM sections

    • Citing legal sources

    • Citing court cases

    • Citing website sources  (09-04-2009)
Citing to the IRM

  1. When citing an IRM section or subsection, use the acronym "IRM." Do not spell out "Internal Revenue Manual."

  2. When citing multiple IRM sections or subsections within the same paragraph, place the acronym "IRM" before each section/subsection being referenced.

  3. Always include the full 3-digit IRM number, denoting the Part, Chapter and Section.

  4. Include the IRM Part, Chapter or Section title when referring to other IRM parts, chapters or sections. Adding the titles helps identify the information in case the information is moved or the reference number changes.


    IRM 1.11.2, Internal Revenue Manual

  5. When referencing a subsection within an IRM, insert the entire IRM number down to the lowest level. Include the paragraph or list identifier and the IRM or subsection title.

  6. To verify current IRM information, visit the Electronic Publishing Catalog Information page http://publish.no.irs.gov/catlg.html.  (09-04-2009)
Citing Legal Sources

  1. When citing law, such as statutes, regulations, agency decisions, or other issuances (e.g., United States Code, Code of Federal Regulations, revenue procedures, and revenue rulings), provide an accurate citation.

  2. If you are citing a code such as the United States Code (USC), Internal Revenue Code, or Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), provide the title and section number.


    31 USC 321 or IRC 6103(h)

  3. If you are citing public law that is not codified, provide one of the following:

    1. Name of the Act in which the law appears,

    2. Public law number, or

    3. Session law reference.


    Department of Transportation Act, Pub. L. No. 89-670, section (or §) 9, 80 Stat. 931, 944-47 (1966).

  4. See Document 12835 (Catalog number 54913g) IRM Style Guide, for a more complete listing of citation formats.

  5. See http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/training/15770/resources/CheckLegal.asp for information on how to verify legal citations in the IRM.  (09-04-2009)
Citing Court Cases

  1. Use a standard citation to cite court cases.

  2. Always italicize the names of the parties in court cases but not the numerical citation.


    John Q. Skunk Ass'n. Inc. v. United States, 626 F. Supp. 564 (E.D. Ohio 1985)  (09-04-2009)
Citing Other IRS Published Products

  1. If you are citing another IRS published product (e.g., a form, publication, or letter) insert a reference rather than display graphics of the form, publication, or letter.

  2. Reference the document by name and provide a short description.

  3. Create a hyperlink to the published product in the core repository. If the referenced document changes for any reason, the IRM will link to the current source.  (09-04-2009)
Citing Website Sources and Creating Links

  1. Include pertinent web addresses in the IRM to assist users who access the IRM on the web. From the IRM, you can link to:

    • Performance support tools

    • Contact listings (employees' names)

    • Official published products

    • Legal publications

    • Supplementary materials


    If the core information is in the IRM, you can link to supplemental job aids, performance support tools or training materials.

  2. When referencing a website, you can refer to the web address (domain name) or the page name. When inserting a hyperlink in the IRM, use the web address. This is especially helpful for paper users of the IRM. To insert the hyperlink, use the <a> (anchor) tag in the IRM Authoring Tool.

    • A web address is: http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/

    • A page name is: IMD Community Page


    To cite a website address in the IRM::
    The IMD Community page is located at: http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/.


    Do not use a numeric IP address as it may pose a risk to IRS computer systems.

  3. Include the complete web address and name of the web page. The author must include the "http://" prefix in the IRM Authoring Tool.


    IRM Online at http://irm.web.irs.gov

  4. To link to an IRM reference on IRM Online, add an IRM number to the end of this link: http//irm.web.irs.gov/link.asp?link= . Links can be created to a part, chapter, section, or subsection. Examples are provided in the following table:

    IRM Reference to: Example Link
    Part IRM Part 3 http://irm.web.irs.gov/link.asp?link=3
    Chapter IRM 5.9 http://irm.web.irs.gov/link.asp?link=5.9
    Section IRM 1.11.2 http://irm.web.irs.gov/link.asp?link=1.11.2
    Subsection IRM http://irm.web.irs.gov/link.asp?link=


    In IRM sections published in 2005 and earlier, you can only link to the beginning of the IRM section. Therefore, a subsection link will take you to the first page of the IRM section.

  5. To link to a published product in the Electronic Publishing repository, add its catalog number to the end of this link; http://publish.no.irs.gov/getpdf.cgi?catnum=


    All catalog numbers are five numbers long.


    The URL of http://publish.no.irs.gov/getpdf.cgi?catnum=29299 links to the document with catalog number 29299.  (09-04-2009)
Using Tables

  1. A table is a useful tool to present information more clearly and concisely. Use a table to present instructions to be followed in a particular order or when presenting information with at least three conditions or steps. A table can be inserted using the IRM authoring tool.

  2. The following examples illustrate three common types of tables used in the IRM.


    "IF/THEN Table"

    IF the content conveys THEN prepare
    Multiple conditions, An "IF THEN" or an "IF and THEN" table.
    Steps, along with actions, A "Step Action"


    "IF and THEN" Table

    IF the taxpayer And a THEN
    agrees refund is due
    1. Adjust the tax return.

    2. Advise taxpayer the refund will be issued in six weeks.

    disagrees balance is due
    1. Adjust the tax return.

    2. Advise the taxpayer of his rights.


    "Step/Action" Table

    How to create a Table Header Row
    Step Action
    1. Highlight entire row.
    2. Select "Table" from the toolbar.
    3. Scroll down to "Convert to Header Row" .
    4. Click "Enter" .

  3. Insert headers for each column. When creating tables using the IRM authoring tool, it is necessary to create a "header row." This action is necessary to comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act for persons with disabilities.  (09-04-2009)
Using Telephone Numbers

  1. Using telephone numbers in the IRM is discouraged. However, if it is necessary to display a telephone number, the following rules apply:

    1. Ensure the number is correct.

    2. Review periodically (at least annually) for currency, especially IRS tax assistance numbers.

    3. Clear all toll-free telephone numbers through the Office of Taxpayer Correspondence Services. See IRM 1.11.9, Clearing IMDs.


    Phone numbers appearing in the IRM are available to the public.  (09-04-2009)
Using Fictitious Identifying Information

  1. To avoid accidental use of "live" taxpayer information in IRM text or exhibits, follow these guidelines:

    Guideline Examples
    Use common, fictitious names John Doe
    Mary Doe
    John Q. Public
    Use classes of objects, such as fish, birds or minerals, as names A. B. Pike
    Roberta Salmon
    Michael Trout
    Use common, fictitious street names 123 Main Street
    100 Broadway
    55 Elm Street


    Do not use well-known addresses such as "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue."

    Use neutral names for cities or names of major cities Anytown, USA
    New York, NY
    Washington, DC
    Use fictitious Social Security Numbers (SSNs) that begin with "0" or "X" 000-00-XXXX
    Use fictitious Employer Identification Numbers (EINs) that begin with "00" or "XX." 00-XXXXXXX
    XX-1111111  (05-11-2012)
Using a Graphic

  1. A graphic is an image that is used to make the text in the IRM section more clear or understandable.. A graphic may be displayed in a figure or an exhibit. A graphic is created separately from the IRM XML file.

  2. To publish a graphic in the IRM, the graphic must meet the following requirements.

    1. Format: Portable Document File (PDF).

    2. Color: Black and white or gray-scale.


      Color is limited to some Part 3 IRMs.

    3. Orientation: Displayed in portrait or landscape.

    4. Size: 6 3/4 inches wide by 7 7/8 inches high

    5. Name: An 8-digit graphic file name. See paragraph (3) below.

    6. File limitations: One graphic page in each PDF file. If a graphic is two pages or more, save each graphic page in a separate PDF file.


    No photos or gradients are accepted.

  3. A graphic is associated with the IRM by a graphic number. The author inserts the graphic number in the IRM XML file. The graphic number is an eight digit graphic file name comprised of the IRM catalog number (without the alpha character) followed by three unique numbers assigned by the author.


    IRM 3.11.8 is assigned Catalog Number 33465B. The first graphic in IRM 3.11.8 is typically named 33465001.

  4. A graphic that displays on more than one page will require a graphic filename for each graphic page and a PDF for each graphic page. You will insert the graphic tag for each of the pages in the IRM XML file.

  5. Authors are responsible for taking the following actions:

    1. Preparing the graphic in PDF format.

    2. Reviewing the graphic content for accuracy.

    3. Assigning each graphic page a graphic number.

    4. Inserting the graphic file number in the IRM XML file.

    5. Inserting a Visual Descriptive Narrative for each graphic page (in the XML file).

    6. Sending the graphic(s) with the XML file when publishing.

    7. Placing restrict tags around the entire graphic if contains Official Use Only (OUO) material.

  6. Because the graphic is a picture or illustration, the content can not be read by electronic media or to employees with impaired vision (who use assistive technology such as JAWS). See IRM For example, when a user conducts a key word search, the graphic content is not accessible. Consider an alternative way to present the information, as illustrated in the following examples.

    Example Options Preference
    1. Insert a letter on official stationary from the Commissioner,
    a. Create a graphic of the letter to insert in the IRM.
    b. Type the letter (text) into the IRM authoring tool and specify the type of stationary the letter was written on (or describe the logo).
    Option b. is preferable since the letter will be accessible to readers when they conduct research.
    2. Display tablular information,
    a. Create a graphic of the table.
    b. Insert the information into a table in the IRM authoring tool.
    c. Import the table from an Excel file into the IRM authoring tool.
    Options b. and c. may be used to available to the author.  (05-11-2012)
Converting a Graphic to PDF

  1. To convert a graphic to PDF take the following actions:

    Step Action
    1. Open graphic in the application used to create it.
    2. Go to File - Print
    3. Set Printer Name to "Adobe PDF"
    4. Click on "Properties"
    5. Under "Adobe PDF Settings" , set Default Settings to "High Quality Print" .


    Setting High Quality Print embeds the fonts.

    6. Under "Paper/Quality" , set "Color" to Black & White.
    7. Under "Layout" , set "Orientation" to "Portrait" and "Pages Per Sheet" to "1" .
    8. Click "OK" to exit the Adobe PDF Document Properties window.
    9. Click "OK" to Print to Adobe PDF.
    10. Save graphic file to hard drive using -
    • 8 digit filename ( 5 digit catalog number plus 3 unique numbers

    • PDF extension (.pdf)


    To improve the quality of the IRM graphic in the IRM, copy the content and insert it into a Microsoft™ product (Word, Excel, Publisher) before creating the PDF. For example, if your IRM displays a computer screen, copy the screen shot to a Word document before creating the PDF graphic. Then follow the steps in the table above from Step 2.

  2. Check the resulting PDF to ensure the orientation and appearance are correct. See the lesson on "Inserting a Graphic" , in Authoring the IRM with Arbortext Editor Training Document 15770-002, Catalog number 40137Y.

  3. To ensure your document will display properly in the PDF file, you must ensure the fonts are embedded (locked). To embed the fonts, take the following actions: .

    1. Open the PDF graphic (select "File" from the Toolbar and select "Properties" )

    2. In the Document Properties box, find "Fonts" tab. Check that each font is listed with the words "embedded subset" next to it.

    3. If you do not see "embedded subset" next to each font, you will need to embed them by setting the file to High Quality Print. See Step 5 in the table under paragraph (1), above.

  4. If you have any questions about creating a graphic, contact the M&P IRM Team at mp.irm@irs.gov or your Learning and Education specialist.  (05-11-2012)
Storing IRM Graphic Files

  1. IRM authors must email M&P the original source files used in developing IRM graphics with the IRM package. These source files are the original files that were used to generate the PDF format submitted with the IRM package for publishing. A "graphic source file" is the original, editable file from which the graphic was created. A TIFF, JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG, WPG, or other graphic editor file can not be edited.


    You have inserted a screen shot in the IRM to show your users. You downloaded the "screen shot," to a Word file. Copy and save the screen shot to Microsoft™ Word. The Word file is the original source of the graphic. Then email the Word file, along with the graphic file number, to the M&P mailbox.

  2. M&P will store the original source files so that they are accessible to future users from the Electronic Publishing Product Catalog page. This system provides authors a significant saving in cost and time.

  3. To access the IRM Source Graphics tool, visit: http://caps-as.enterprise.irs.gov/irm/japple?PAGE=gov.irs.publish.irm.Upload

    1. Click on the "IRM Source Graphics Submission" tab

    2. Enter the IRM catalog number

    3. Browse the computer for the zip file to submit: (path/filename.zip)

    4. Click "submit" button  (09-04-2009)
Verbal Descriptive Narrative (VDN)

  1. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1998 requires that federal agencies make electronic and information technology accessible to all people with disabilities. To ensure that employees with impaired vision have access to information contained in a graphic, IRM authors must create a meaningful description of each graphic. This description is called a "Verbal Descriptive Narrative" (VDN). The author types a VDN in a "descriptor" tag associated with the graphic in the IRM XML file.

  2. The Alternative Media Center (AMC) provides training and guidance to IRS employees throughout the Service on effective methods of making products accessible during the development stage. For more information, go to AMC's Authoring Resources page at http://amc.enterprise.irs.gov/resources.php.

  3. VDNs are not accessible in all formats of the IRM. Specifically, when the document is In the PDF version of the IRM (on the Electronic Publishing web site), the graphic is displayed, but readers cannot access the VDN. On web-based media (such as IRM Online, SERP, Corporate research tools), end users can view the graphic and access the VDN.  (09-04-2009)
Authoring Step 4: Prepare the Manual Transmittal

  1. The Manual Transmittal is an introduction to the IRM which provides a historical record of what procedures changed, when and why.

  2. It is important that the Manual Transmittal documents substantial changes. This will help IRM users and researchers understand the changes. The Manual Transmittal is an especially valuable tool to researchers, e.g., libraries and attorneys.

  3. Prepare the Manual Transmittal so that readers can:

    1. Identify important changes and information.

    2. Pinpoint if an IRM section is new, revised, obsolete, or reinstated.

    3. Identify the revision date.

    4. Understand the effect of the changes to other IRM sections or documents (i.e., superseded, or obsolesced).

    5. Identify any background information or references.

    6. Identify the intended audience for the IRM section.

  4. It is easier to create the Manual Transmittal once the final draft version of the IRM is written.  (05-04-2010)
Required Elements of the Manual Transmittal

  1. The IRM Authoring Tool automatically generates a Manual Transmittal template that authors must complete each time they create, revise, obsolete or reinstate an IRM section .

  2. The following is a list of the required elements and explanations:

    Number Required Element Description
    1. Manual Transmittal Date This is the date an IRM section is published. It will be entered by Publishing.
    2. Purpose This is a sentence that tells whether the IRM section is new, revised, or obsolete. See IRM, Purpose, for specific language.
    3. Material Changes For a revised IRM, identify the important developments, changes or features. It also serves as an audit trail for memoranda incorporated into the IRM.
    For a new IRM, explain the IRM's subject or the reason for publication.


    If the Manual Transmittal contains Official Use Only the material must be restricted. IRM, Official Use Only Information in the IRM

    4. Effect on Other Documents Provides a record of the specific effect on an existing document due to the revision:
    • If the IRM is superseded, specify the date of the superseded document.

    • If the IRM is obsolete, specify that the IRM is obsolete as of the date of the Manual Transmittal.

    • If a new IRM (no history exists), insert "none" or NA.

    • If interim guidance or SERP IPU has been incorporated into the IRM, include the interim guidance control number or SERP IPU number.

    5. Audience Primary users by division, function, or job category.  
    6. Effective Date The date the IRM becomes effective. It may differ from the Manual Transmittal date, but it cannot be earlier than the MT date.  
    7. Signatory (signed) Name and title of authorizing official responsible for the program area.


    Form 2061 must include the initials of this individual or documented designee. See IRM 1.11.9, Clearing IMDs.  (05-11-2012)
Manual Transmittal (MT) Date

  1. The Manual Transmittal (MT) date is the date the IRM section is published.

    1. The IRM author inserts a wild card date as follows: Month DD, YYYY. There are no exceptions.

    2. The M&P IRM Team member will insert the date the IRM will be published. This date, determined by the M&P IRM Team, is when the IRM will be available to employees.

      Date Definition Format Restriction
      Manual Transmittal Date This the date the IRM is published. Month DD, YYYY Must be entered as a wildcard date.

  2. Certain rules apply for the MT date and the Effective date fields in the IRM. The primary rule is that the MT date can not be later than the Effective date of the IRM procedures. This means the IRM can't be effective before the procedures are published. See IRM below.  (05-11-2012)

  1. The purpose statement in the manual transmittal explains the reason or "purpose" for the issuance. It is a brief statement that identifies the IRM number, chapter and section titles, and describes the purpose for the transmittal. This statement does not describe the purpose of the entire IRM.

  2. The purpose indicates the status of the version along with the IRM number, and chapter and section titles. For example, an IRM section may be: :

    • New

    • Revised

    • Obsolete

    • Reissued

  3. Use the following standard language and format:

    1. New IRM. "This transmits new IRM X.X.X, Chapter Title, Section Title."

    2. Revised IRM. "This transmits revised IRM X.X.X, Chapter title, Section Title."

    3. Obsolete IRM. "This transmits obsolete IRM X.X.X, Chapter Title, Section Title."

    4. Reissued IRM. "This transmits reissued IRM X.X.X, Chapter Title, Section Title."

  4. Use these terms under the following conditions:

    Term When the IRM section:
    New Is issued for the first time under the IRM number.
    Revised Is issued under the same IRM number.


    A change to the chapter or section title with the same IRM number is still a revision. Note any changes to the chapter or section title under Material Changes.

    Obsolete Is no longer effective. Describe the reason the information is no longer in effect.
    Reissued Was previously obsolesced and is being reinstated.


    The IRM section may be reinstated under the same number if it contains some or all of the same information as the previous revision.  (05-11-2012)
Material Changes

  1. The Material Changes element highlights the important features of the instructions issued, identifies significant changes, and provides the authority for the issuance. It creates an audit trail for memoranda and other documents incorporated into the text.

  2. Prepare a short summary that explains the reason for issuing, revising, obsolescing or reissuing the IRM section. This may include a legislative change, new program or process, or organizational change. It is also helpful to mention the intended audience. For example, the following language may be used when issuing a new IRM section:

    "This IRM section contains information on [subject]. A change in tax law [citation] occurred that created new guidelines for handling cases involving [subject]. Information in this IRM is intended for use by [audience]."

  3. When revising an IRM section, identify all important changes, including additions or deletions, that occurred in this revision. A best practice is to describe the individual changes in a list and identify the affected subsections. You can also insert the information in a table. To assist readers, focus on the significant changes and important additions. The example below identifies important changes using sentences and lists:


    "Material Changes" using a sentence format

    1. Added [IRM subsection #] to explain how to close cases containing [issue].

    2. Deleted [old IRM subsection #] since these procedures are no longer in affect.

    3. Revised [IRM subsection #] to add a new closing code for [type] cases.

    4. Various editorial changes were made throughout the IRM.


    "Material Changes" using a list format

    1) The following topics from IRM x.xx.x are incorporated into this IRM:

    1. Topic

    2. Topic

    3. Topic

  4. You may also use a table format to list important changes, as illustrated in the following example.:


    Displaying "Material Changes" in a Table

      IRM subsection Description
    1. [subsection #] Added to explain how to close cases containing [issue].
    2. [subsection #] Deleted this section since procedures are no longer in affect.
    3. [subsection #] Revised to add new closing code for [type] cases.
    4. Various Several editorial changes were made.

  5. Do not individually list editorial changes. Summarize the editorial changes, since they are not critical to the content. A best practice is to add a general statement listing the type of editorial changes . Place this information in the first or last paragraph in the list of changes. See Editorial Updates. for additional ways to handle editorial-type changes (IRM


    "Website addresses, legal references and IRM references were reviewed and updated as necessary."

  6. Remember to place any official use only (OUO) content in Material Changes in restrict tags. See IRM, Official Use Only (OUO) Information in the IRM, for instructions on how to treat OUO content.  (05-11-2012)
Material Changes for an Obsolete IRM Section

  1. Information in an IRM section may be deemed obsolete or may be moved or merged into another IRM section.

  2. When preparing to obsolete an IRM section, clearly explain why the information is no longer in effect. Use language in the "Material Changes" for each circumstance.


    If information is Then use the following structure:
    Moved to another IRM section:


    "The material previously contained in [IRM section #] is incorporated into new [IRM section #], [IRM section title]."

    No longer effective:


    "The material in [IRM section #] is obsolete because [law, policy, administrative] change [of subject]. "  (05-11-2012)
Effect on Other Documents

  1. The Effect on Other Documents provides a record of the revision's specific effect on an existing document. This element provides an audit trail. It is especially important for historical research purposes.

  2. Describe what occurred that affects other published documents.

    If Then Sample Language
    The IRM is superseded Specify the IRM number, title and date of the superseding document. "[IRM number], dated MM-DD-YYYY, is superseded. "
    The IRM is obsolete Specify the IRM is obsolete as of the date of the Manual Transmittal. "[IRM number], dated MM-DD-YYYY, is obsolesced."
    "Portions of [IRM number], [Title], dated MM-DD-YYYY, are obsolesced, and other portions are incorporated in [IRM number], [Title], dated MM-DD-YYYY."
    Issuing a new IRM section that replaces an existing document or has a prior history Specify the document number or IRM number, title and date of the superseded document.  
    Issuing a new IRM section with no history Insert "none" or NA. "none"
    Incorporating interim guidance into the IRM Insert the interim guidance's control number and date. "This IRM incorporates Collection Interim Guidance Memorandum SBSE-05-0508-XXX, [Subject of interim guidance], "
    "This IRM incorporates SERP IPU 10XXX, 12XXXX, and 123XXX issued from Month DD, YYYY through Month DD, YYYY."

  3. When an IRM revision affects other IRMs that contain links or exact guidance, authors should consider documenting the other effected IRM also. For instance, if a change is being made to IRM by moving content to IRM and IRM 13.1.16 references with a link, then the change also affects IRM 13.1.16. Authors should:

    1. make sure that references to other IRMs are correct; and

    2. alert the authors of the referenced IRMs of any changes that may affect their IRM(s).  (05-11-2012)

  1. The audience is the primary user of the IRM section. List the audience by major Division or Function, organizational unit or job category.

  2. The following provides examples of the audience of your IRM by IRS organization:

    • All Divisions and Functions

    • Appeals

    • Wage and Investment

    • SB/SE, LB&I, TE/GE, and W&I

  3. The following provides examples of the audience of your IRM by job category or group:

    • All Managers

    • Appeals Officers and Appeals Settlement Officers

    • Employees who conduct examinations (in SB/SE, LB&I, TE/GE)

    • IMD community (IMD/IRM coordinators, IRM authors, managers, reviewers)  (05-11-2012)
Effective Date

  1. The Effective Date is the date when employees must begin following the new material in the IRM. The effective date equals or is later than the MT date. The effective date cannot precede the MT Date.

    1. By entering MM-DD-YYYY, the MT date will match the effective date.

    2. By entering a specific future date, the MT date will precede the effective date.

    Date Definition Format Action
    Effective Date This is the date the IRM section is effective. (MM-DD-YYYY) Enter the wild card date (MM-DD-YYYY) or a specified date (that is later than the Manual Transmittal date.  (05-11-2012)
Signatory (Signed By)

  1. A Director level or above, or his/her documented designee, is authorized to sign the Manual Transmittal. This includes an executive or senior manager of a program area.

  2. When instructions or guidelines apply across divisions/functions, the approving official is the primary Head of Office of the organization responsible for the program area.

  3. For further guidance, See IRM 1.11.9, Clearing Internal Manual Documents.  (09-04-2009)
Optional Elements

  1. An author can use the authoring tool to generate optional elements that the tool does not automatically generate

  2. The following table describes four optional elements :

    Optional Element Description of Use
    Note Impart special information for the reader, e.g., a change in Official Use Only (OUO) designation or to explain the reason for the issuance.
    Background Cite the authority for issuing the document or to provide background information on the development of the material.
    Scope Describe any limits applicable to the document, e.g., a specific period or certain offices in a particular location.
    Related Resources Assist readers, list the supplemental sources of information such as websites, documents, etc.  (05-11-2012)
Official Use Only (OUO) Information in the IRM

  1. Official Use Only (OUO) information requires protection from the public due to the risk and magnitude of loss or harm to the IRS or the privacy to which individuals are entitled under 5 USC 552a. See IRM 11.3.12, Disclosure of Official Information, Designation of Documents.

  2. Material is considered OUO when restricted for official purposes by individuals authorized by Delegation Order 11-1, Administrative Control of Documents and Material (as revised). See IRM 1.2.49, Delegations of Authority for Communications, Liaison and Disclosure.

  3. The following is a listing of situations which may require a designation of OUO:

    1. Instructions relating to enforcement strategies, tolerances and criteria where there is a reasonable expectation of harm to tax administration.

    2. Material where publication would hinder the law enforcement process.

    3. Material where public release would significantly impede or nullify IRS actions in carrying out a responsibility or function.

    4. Data processing information that would result in taxpayers altering their filing practices or avoiding payment of taxes.

  4. Effective June 1, 2009, all OUO content migrated to a single format known as "embedded OUO." This allows OUO content to be embedded in any part of the IRM, thereby eliminating the separate Law Enforcement Manual (LEM) format. When the IRM is prepared using the IRM Authoring tool, the OUO material is placed within "restrict" tags or attributes. When published, the tagged information is automatically redacted from the public version.


    Previous revisions of LEMs are still available in the historical Core Repository of Published Products and through the IRS Historical Research Library.

  5. Sensitive information, whether electronic files or in paper, must be protected. Encrypt documents containing sensitive information when sending out via email or saving to a hard drive. See IRM 10.8.1, Information Technology (IT) Security, Policy and Guidance.

  6. For additional guidance on clearing and issuing OUO material see IRM 1.11.9, Clearing IMDs.

  7. The following table provides instructions for preparing an IRM that contains OUO information.

    Step Document Type Action
    1. Form 2061
    1. Obtain signature of official within your organization who has been authorized under D.O. 11-1 (as revised).

    2. Check Box 10 "yes" to indicate that the IRM contains OUO.

    3. Check Box 11 "yes" if IRM section is available to the public under FOIA.

    4. Clear IRM through designated Disclosure Technical Advisor or other staff member in the Office of Governmental Liaison and Disclosure (GLD).

    2. Form 13709 Complete when clearing IRM through GLD (Disclosure).
    3. IRM file Modify attribute on "manual" tag to hasouo= "yes" .


    This step is extremely important. This attribute does not automatically update when the OUO status changes.

    Properly mark OUO material embedded in the text with a "restrict" tag or attribute.
    4. IRM graphic Place the "restrict" tag before and after the graphic tag.


    If the graphic contains any OUO information, the entire graphic must be restricted.  (05-11-2012)
Informal Review

  1. Informal Review is a form of communication between the author and subject matter experts, managers, and other affected stakeholders to obtain input and approval on the IMD subject matter prior to starting the authoring process.


    The informal review was formerly referred to as "pre-clearance" or "pre-evaluation" .

  2. An informal review is not mandated but is strongly encouraged when the new or revised policy or procedure addresses the following:

    1. Legal interpretation

    2. Effect to taxpayer rights or duties

    3. Change in working conditions requiring NTEU negotiation

    4. Significant changes to a workflow or procedure  (05-11-2012)
Benefits of an Informal Review

  1. An informal review will help facilitate the processing of an IRM section by serving to:

    1. Provide an opportunity to verify the accuracy of current operations.

    2. Obtain input from a subject matter expert .

    3. Open communications with functions affected by the policies or procedures and obtain their "buy-in."

    4. Identify potential issues or barriers .

    5. Avoid unnecessary delays during formal clearance.  (09-04-2009)
Determining the Need for an Informal Review

  1. The author should consider the following questions to help determine the need for an informal review.

    1. Is the material technically or procedurally complex?

    2. Do you anticipate a lengthy review period?

    3. Did you identify a subject matter expert who may want to weigh-in before sharing it with others?

    4. Will you need to obtain agreement from your or another organization because of your proposed changes?

    5. Do your changes affect a large segment of the IRS, e.g., travel, leave, IDRS, etc.?  (05-04-2010)
How to Initiate an Informal Review

  1. To initiate an informal review, email the reviewer a short paper outlining changes. Include a complete draft of the revised IRM. Request acceptance and agreement.


    Ask that they respond via email.

    Step Action
    1. Send a memorandum or short (one-page) paper outlining changes via email to the Reviewer.
    2. Send a complete draft of the revised IRM
    3. Request acceptance and agreement
    4. Ask that they respond via email
  2. Did the reviewer agree to the changes?

    IF response is THEN
    "Yes" Proceed with authoring.
    "No" Work with reviewer to resolve the disagreement.
    If necessary, elevate issue to management until it is resolved.

  3. You must address and resolve concerns raised by affected organizations and specialized reviewers. However, if you cannot resolve a disagreement within a reasonable amount of time and withholding procedures will hinder employees' ability to do their jobs, initiate the formal clearance review without further delay. See IRM 1.11.9, Clearing Internal Management Documents.


    Clearance is the formal review process and is required even if you conduct an informal review.  (05-04-2010)
Documentation Required

  1. Maintain a record or paper trail of the steps taken during the informal review. This documentation becomes part of the clearance package sent to the IRS Historical Research Library once the IRM is issued.

  2. After revising the IRM, take the following actions to ensure the file is properly documented:

    1. Create a paper trail. For example, follow-up all telephone contacts with an email to create a record for the file.

    2. Address all issues under discussion.

    3. Include the information with the clearance package to the IRS Historical Library. See IRM, Clearance Documents Sent to IRS Historical Research Library.  (09-04-2009)
Obsolete IRM Material

  1. An IRM section may become obsolete because the information is no longer in effect due to a law, policy or administrative change. The information in the IRM section may be eliminated completely or combined with another IRM section(s). The table below provides step by step instructions for preparing to obsolete an IRM section.

    Step Action Instructions
    1. Prepare the IRM file
    1. Open IRM Authoring Tool application

    2. Select File - New

    3. Select Obsolete IRM template

    4. Complete Manual Transmittal

    5. Complete metadata elements

    6. Insert IRM numbers and titles for the Part, Chapter and Section.

    7. Save IRM file using catalog number assigned

    2. Prepare Manual Transmittal
    1. Insert Month DD, YYYY in Manual Transmittal Date field.

    2. Purpose: Insert: "This obsoletes IRM x.x.x, Chapter title, Section title."

    3. Material Changes. IRM, Material Changes (Obsolete IRM Section)

    4. Enter Effect on Other Documents

    5. Enter Audience

    6. Enter name and title of signatory

    3. Submit file for clearance
    1. Prepare Form 2061

    2. Clear IRM through applicable reviewers

    3. Obtain approval from the Program Director

    4. Submit file for publishing
    1. Prepare Form 1767

    2. Follow standard procedures for submitting the file to IRM Publishing Team  (09-04-2009)
Making Minor Changes to an IRM Section: Editorial Updates

  1. The author uses the Editorial Update process to make minor changes that do not alter the meaning of the content. Only the following items are "editorial" and are eligible for the Editorial Update process:

    1. Correcting spelling/typographical errors

    2. Correcting grammatical errors

    3. Updating organizational terms and titles

    4. Restructuring the same content in another location

    5. Updating or correcting references, links or citations

    6. Correcting website addresses

    7. Updating information that changes often (addresses, tax years on forms)

    8. Correcting errors that require immediate attention (e.g. incorrect telephone numbers)

    9. Updating toll-free telephone numbers

    10. Improving quality or format of graphics

    11. Converting graphics to text

    12. Adding Verbal Descriptive Narratives (VDN) to graphics

  2. The IRM process is the same as any other revision except:

    1. Clearance is streamlined. It is not necessary to clear the IRM through any outside functions. See IRM 1.11.9, Clearing IMDs , for specific procedures.

    2. Distribution is electronic only. (There is no printed distribution.) See IRM 1.11.5, Publishing IMDs.  (05-11-2012)
How to Prepare an Editorial Update

  1. To update the IRM through the Editorial Update process:

    Step Action
    1. Input changes to the IRM source file. For each subsection containing editorial changes, change subsection date to (MM-DD-YYYY) or a specified date.
    2. Update Manual Transmittal to reflect changes.
    3. Complete Form 2061, Document Clearance Record, and obtain approval from:
    • Immediate supervisor

    • Director (or documented designee)

    • IMD coordinator


      The signatory on Manual Transmittal must sign Form 2061


    4. Prepare Form 1767, Publishing Service Requisition, and note in Box 21, Additional Instructions:
    "This IRM will be issued electronically only; no paper distribution at this time."
    If a paper distribution is required, check Box 18 in Type of Service Desired. See IRM 1.11.5, Internal Management Document Publishing Process, Exhibit 1.11.5-1, Completing Form 1767, Publishing Services Requisition


    A customized Form 1767 for the IRM is available to help you accurately complete the form at http://publish.no.irs.gov/pubsys/irm/IRM_1767.pdf

    5. Submit package to Media and Publications. For procedures, see IRM 1.11.5, Publishing Internal Management Documents.

  2. You must also prepare a Manual Transmittal for the Editorial Update. When preparing the Manual Transmittal, indicate substantial change(s) made to the document in the Material Changes element.

    1. If the change is made to a specific provision, specify the subsection.

    2. If changes are made throughout the document, use one of the following general statements:

      1. IRM X.X.X is updated to reflect [specify the type of editorial change(s)].
      2. Editorial changes were made throughout IRM X.X.X. The web addresses, IRM and legal resources were checked and corrected, where necessary.
      3. IRM 1.11.2 is revised to improve the content flow, and make minor editorial changes.
      4. Updated organization terms and/or titles [specify the change].

Exhibit 1.11.2-1 
What Belongs in Your IRM

The IRM Decision Tool - What Belongs in Your IRM? takes you through the following decision points to help you determine whether information belongs in the IRM. Each step is a decision point. The answer, yes or no, at each decision point will help you determine whether the information belongs in the IRM.

Step 1: Does your content fall in the category of instructions to staff?

  1. Procedures

  2. Guidelines

  3. Policies

  4. Authorities

  5. Interim Guidance

Step 2: Does your content meet any of the following categories?

  1. Local/Limited use guidance

  2. Temporary or pilot guidance

  3. Performance support tools

  4. Software/Application specific content

  5. Official IRS published products (Form, Letters, etc.)

  6. Training documents

Step 3: Does your content have Servicewide impact?

  • Do the instructions to staff affect employees Servicewide?

Step 4: Does your content have Division/Function-wide impact?

  • Do the instructions to staff affect employees Division-wide and/or Function-wide?

Step 5: Does your content affect employee duties?

  • Do the instructions to staff affect employees in the performance of their jobs?

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