1.11.9  Clearing and Approving Internal Management Documents (IMDs)

Manual Transmittal

April 07, 2014

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 1.11.9, Internal Management Documents, Clearing and Approving Internal Management Documents (IMDs).

Scope

This IRM section provides clearance procedures for IRMs, Delegation Orders, and Policy Statements.

Material Changes

(1) Incorporated Interim Guidance RAS-01-0913-0003 to add to the scope of PGLD's specialized review in IRM 1.11.9.4.2, Privacy, Governmental Liaison & Disclosure. PGLD now reviews IRMs related to privacy, information protection, and identity theft in addition to its review of IRMs related to disclosure or Official Use Only (OUO) information.

(2) Removed the shortened clearance timeframe for obsoleting IRMs. When obsoleting IRMs, follow standard clearance procedures.

(3) Removed the subsection about the publishing process, since that process is described in IRM 1.11.5, Publishing Internal Management Documents (IMDs).

(4) IRM 1.11.9.1, Overview of IMD Clearance. Added references to other IRM sections for information on clearing other types IMDs.

(5) IRM 1.11.9.1.1, Stages in the IMD Clearance Process. Revised, clarified, and added subsection references to the table of stages in the clearance process.

(6) IRM 1.11.9.2, Special Cases of Clearance Requirements. Grouped together all of the exceptions to the standard IMD clearance requirements.

(7) IRM 1.11.9.2.1, Editorial Updates. Revised description of editorial updates, and added guidance about how to clear editorial updates.

(8) IRM 1.11.9.2.2, Incorporating Interim Guidance into the IRM. Added guidance to send clearance documents secured during clearance of the interim guidance to the IRS Historical Research Library when incorporating that interim guidance into the IRM.

(9) IRM 1.11.9.3, Determining Reviewers. Consolidated descriptions of internal, external, and specialized reviewers.

(10) IRM 1.11.9.4, Specialized Reviewers. Added contact information for the specialized reviewers.

(11) IRM 1.11.9.4.1, Chief Counsel. Clarified Chief Counsel's clearance role and how to request clearance from Counsel.

(12) IRM 1.11.9.4.3, Taxpayer Advocate Service. Added a link to the list of taxpayer rights and added a caution to protect taxpayer rights.

(13) IRM 1.11.9.4.4, Workforce Relations. Revised the guidance for specialized clearance through the Human Capital Office (HCO) Workforce Relations office.

(14) IRM 1.11.9.4.6, Office of Taxpayer Correspondence. Specified that Office of Taxpayer Correspondence only reviews IRS toll-free phone numbers.

(15) IRM 1.11.9.5.1, Standard Clearance Time. Consolidated information about email templates.

(16) IRM 1.11.9.6.1, Form 2061 – Document Clearance Record. Simplified this subsection. Guidance on how to complete the Form 2061 is available on the form.

(17) IRM 1.11.9.6.1, Form 2061 – Document Clearance Record. Added guidance to contact your IMD/IRM coordinator for organizational-specific clearance guidance.

(18) IRM 1.11.9.6.2, Ways to Make IRM Clearance Easier to Review. Added a requirement to create both a clean and tracked-changes PDF for reviewers.

(19) IRM 1.11.9.8.2, No Response to a Clearance Request. Consolidated information on what to do if you do not receive a response to a request for clearance.

(20) IRM 1.11.9.9.1, Issuing IRM While Disagreements are Negotiated. Added guidance requiring IRMs to be re-cleared if the clearance process takes more than one year.

(21) IRM 1.11.9.9.1, Issuing IRM While Disagreements are Negotiated. Added a requirement to hold a meeting between the author, a dissenting reviewer, and their managers before issuing the IRM while disagreements are negotiated.

(22) Substantially revised, clarified, and reorganized content throughout. Made editorial updates, updated IRM references, updated links, improved the content flow, and provided logical subsection titles.

Effect on Other Documents

This IRM supersedes IRM 1.11.9 dated November 1, 2011 and incorporates Interim Guidance RAS-01-0913-0003, Interim Guidance on Clearance of Internal Management Documents (IMDs) related to Privacy, Information Protection, and Identity Theft through PGLD.

Audience

The IMD community: IMD authors, IMD/IRM coordinators, their managers, and those responsible for reviewing and clearing IMD material.

Effective Date

(04-07-2014)

Kathryn A. Greene
Director, Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Research

1.11.9.1  (04-07-2014)
Overview of IMD Clearance

  1. Purpose. This IRM section describes the Internal Management Document (IMD) clearance process and provides procedures that support the process. This IRM section also contains guidelines for IRM reviewers.

  2. Definition. The clearance process is an established, formal process that provides organizations affected by an IMD an opportunity to review, comment, and concur with the information in the IMD to ensure it is complete, correct, and does not conflict with another policy, procedure, or process.

  3. Audience. This IRM section is for the IMD community: IMD authors, IMD/IRM coordinators, and their managers. This material is also helpful to those responsible for reviewing and clearing IMD material.

  4. Scope. This IRM section provides clearance procedures for IRM, Delegation Orders, and Policy Statements. Other IRMs may provide additional clearance information for certain types of IMDs:

    Type of IMD: Additional Source of Clearance Guidance:
    Servicewide Policy Statement IRM 1.11.3, Policy Statements
    Servicewide Delegation Order IRM 1.11.4, Delegation Orders
    Division/Function Delegation Order IRM 1.11.4, Delegation Orders
    Interim Guidance IRM 1.11.10, Interim Guidance Process

  5. Process Owner. The Clearance Process is owned by the Office of Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Research (SPDER).

  6. Contact Information. This IRM section is authored by the SPDER office, which may be contacted in either of the following ways:

    • Email at SPDER@irs.gov

    • Website at http://spder.web.irs.gov/officeinfo/contact/

1.11.9.1.1  (04-07-2014)
Stages in the IMD Clearance Process

  1. The clearance process occurs between the authoring and publishing processes. The author has conducted an informal review and has updated, revised, or written the IMD, and is now ready to send the document to others for their formal review and concurrence. This review is called the IMD clearance process.

  2. The table below describes the stages of the IMD clearance process, who is responsible for actions, and the actions taken during each stage.

    Stage Description Actions Taken IRM Reference
    1 Author prepares the draft IMD for review • Follow internal review procedures before sending out for clearance.
    •Create PDF files of the updated IMD.
    IRM 1.11.9.6.2, Ways to Make IRM Clearance Easy to Review
    2 Author determines reviewers •Identify programs affected by guidance.
    •Identify specialized reviewers.
    •Obtain help from IMD/IRM coordinator or management, if necessary.
    IRM 1.11.9.2, Special Cases of Clearance Requirements
    IRM 1.11.9.3, Determining IRM Reviewers
    IRM 1.11.9.4, Specialized Reviewers
    3 Author completes Form 2061 and distributes to reviewers •Complete Form 2061, Document Clearance Record, identifying the reviewers of your IMD.
    •Send the draft IMD, any revised graphics, and the Form 2061 to the identified reviewers.
    IRM 1.11.9.6, Description of a Clearance Package
    IRM 1.11.9.6.1, Form 2061 – Document Clearance Record
    4 Reviewer comments on draft IMD •Review the IMD and provide comments if applicable
    •Request additional review time, if necessary.
    •Sign Form 2061 by the listed Response Due date.
    IRM 1.11.9.5.1, Standard Clearance Time
    IRM 1.11.9.7, Guidelines for Reviewers
    5 Author follows up on non-responses •Send follow-up emails on non-responses to requests for review.
    •If no response received by final follow-up due date, annotate on Form 2061 that no response was received.
    IRM 1.11.9.8.2, No Response to a Clearance Request
    6 Author considers reviewers' comments •Consider proposed changes to the IMD.
    •Revise draft IMD based on reviewers' comments.
    •Document whether you agree with the changes and address disagreements on substantive comments.
    •Email reviewers to tell them the status of their comments and any changes that were made based on their comments.
    IRM 1.11.9.8, Responding to Reviewers' Comments
    IRM 1.11.9.9, Resolving Disagreements
    7 Author obtains program owner approval Send the final IMD to the program owner for their signature. IRM 1.11.9.10.1, Approval by Program Owner
    8 Author ensures the IMD is ready for Publishing •Check to ensure there is signed Form 2061 from each reviewer.
    •Associate comments and documented actions on disagreements with related Forms 2061.
    •Send the clearance documentation package to IMD or designated IRM coordinator.
    IRM 1.11.9.10.2, Final Review by IMD/IRM Coordinator
    9 IMD/IRM coordinator conducts a final review •Review clearance package for completeness.
    •Sign Form 2061.
    •Upload zip file to Publishing.
    •Assemble all Forms 2061 and all information relating to any substantive feedback, and send this clearance package to IRS Historical Research Library.
    IRM 1.11.9.10.2, Final Review by IMD/IRM Coordinator
    IRM 1.11.9.10.3, Clearance Documents Sent to IRS Historical Research Library

1.11.9.2  (04-07-2014)
Special Cases of Clearance Requirements

  1. There are certain cases of IRMs that have special clearance requirements. This subsection describes these special cases.

  2. The special cases described in this subsection are:

    Special cases: For more information, see:
    Making only editorial updates to IRMs IRM 1.11.9.2.1
    Incorporating interim guidance into the IRM IRM 1.11.9.2.2
    Incorporating Delegation Orders and Policy Statements into IRM 1.2, Servicewide Policies and Authorities IRM 1.11.9.2.3

1.11.9.2.1  (04-07-2014)
Editorial Updates

  1. Editorial changes do not affect the meaning of the content of the IRM. They require minimal review. Generally the program owner for that IRM and the IMD/IRM coordinator are the only reviewers. However, your organization may require additional levels of review. See IRM 1.11.2.13.1, Editorial Updates, for more information.

  2. The following is a list of examples of editorial changes:

    • Spelling, typographical, or grammatical errors

    • Updating organizational terms and titles

    • Adding, updating or correcting references, links, or citations

    • Adding verbal descriptions to graphics for Section 508 compliance

  3. To update an IRM with only editorial changes, as described above, take the following actions:

    Stage Who is Responsible Actions Taken IRM Reference
    1 Author prepares the draft IMD for review • Follow internal review procedures before sending out for clearance.
    •Create PDF files of the updated IRM.
    IRM 1.11.9.6.2, Ways to Make IRM Clearance Easy to Review
    2 Author obtains program owner approval •Complete Form 2061, Document Clearance Record, identifying the reviewers of your IRM. Only the program owner and IMD/IRM coordinator review the IRM.
    •Send the draft IRM, any revised graphics, and the Form 2061 to the program owner and the IMD/IRM coordinator.
    IRM 1.11.9.6, Description of a Clearance Package
    IRM 1.11.9.6.1, Form 2061 – Document Clearance Record
    IRM 1.11.9.10.1, Approval by Program Owner
    3 Author ensures the IMD is ready for Publishing •Ensure there is a signed Form 2061 from the program owner.
    •Send package to IMD or designated IRM coordinator.
    IRM 1.11.9.10.2, Final Review by IMD/IRM Coordinator
    4 IMD/IRM coordinator conducts a final review •Review clearance package for completeness.
    •Sign Form 2061.
    •Upload zip file to Publishing.
    •Send all Forms 2061 to the IRS Historical Research Library.
    IRM 1.11.9.10.2, Final Review by IMD/IRM Coordinator
    IRM 1.11.9.10.3, Clearance Documents Sent to IRS Historical Research Library

1.11.9.2.2  (04-07-2014)
Incorporating Interim Guidance into the IRM

  1. IRM revisions can contain procedural guidance that was issued through interim guidance memoranda or Service Electronic Research Program (SERP) IRM Procedural Updates (IPUs). The clearance documents (such as Forms 2061, etc.) secured during the clearance of the interim guidance may suffice for the clearance of the revised IRM, according to the table below.

  2. Follow these guidelines when revising an IRM to only incorporate interim guidance:

    If ... Then ...
    The interim guidance has already been cleared and concurred through all affected offices and specialized reviewers within the past 12 months and there are no other substantive changes. Add the information from the interim guidance into the IRM.
    • Prepare a new Form 2061 for IRM publication

    • Obtain concurrence from the IMD/IRM coordinator and program owner/executive responsible for the program.

    • Send the clearance documents secured during clearance of the interim guidance to the IRS Historical Research Library.

    1. There are any new substantive changes to the IRM,

    2. The interim guidance has unresolved issues pending from its clearance,

    3. The interim guidance was not cleared and concurred through all affected offices and specialized reviewers, or

    4. The interim guidance was cleared more than 12 months ago.

    • Prepare a new Form 2061 for IRM publication

    • Clear the IRM following the guidelines in IRM 1.11.9.3 and IRM 1.11.9.4.

  3. Refer to IRM 1.11.10, Interim Guidance Process, for guidance on preparing and clearing interim guidance.

1.11.9.2.3  (04-07-2014)
Incorporating Delegation Orders and Policy Statements into the IRM

  1. SPDER is responsible for incorporating approved delegation orders and policy statements into the IRM. When Commissioner’s Delegations of Authority and Service Policy Statements are published as part of the IRM 1.2, Servicewide Policies and Authorities, they are subject to the same clearance rules as other IRMs. Follow the guidance in IRM 1.11.9.3, Determining IRM Reviewers, and IRM 1.11.9.4, Specialized Reviewers.

  2. See IRM 1.11.3, Policy Statements, and IRM 1.11.4, Delegation Orders, for guidance on preparing, clearing, and publishing these IMDs.

1.11.9.3  (04-07-2014)
Determining Reviewers

  1. The subsection explains how authors determine who will review their IMD.

  2. Contact your IMD/IRM coordinator for help determining appropriate reviewers. See http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/IMDContacts.asp for a listing of IMD/IRM coordinators.

  3. Every published IMD was previously reviewed and approved. It is generally unnecessary to expand the review beyond the changed information. However, there may be cases when an office has requested to review and clear the IMD. In addition, if laws or business practices have changed since the IMD was published, other offices may need to review the entire document.

  4. If your IMD revision includes substantial changes (major or important changes to the content, including technical, procedural, legislative, or interpretive changes), it has three potential types of reviewers: internal reviewers, external reviewers, and specialized reviewers.

    • Internal reviewers

    • External reviewers

    • Specialized reviewers

  5. Internal Reviewer: There are two types of internal reviewers. The first type of internal reviewer is an employee in the originating office who is responsible for reviewing published content or other communications. This may include a subject matter expert (SME), executive assistant, or manager in your immediate or program office. Your organizational IMD/IRM coordinator is also an internal reviewer, and is required to review your IMD. The SME will informally review the IMD during the authoring process and may not require a formal signature. See IRM 1.11.2.11, Informal Review.

  6. Often, IMDs will be cleared by IRS offices outside the program office yet within the "owning" IRS organization. This type of reviewer is also an "internal reviewer" .

    Example:

    Material relating to penalties (Part 20) are owned by the Penalty and Interest office in the Small Business/Self Employed Division (SB/SE). When penalty procedures change, the information may affect the work processes and procedures of employees in other SB/SE offices such as Examination and Collection. Employees in SB/SE offices outside the Penalty and Interest office are "internal" reviewers.

  7. External Reviewer: When the new or changed content affects or changes the work process or procedures of the employees in another IRS organization, then review by such "external" organization is required.

    Example:

    SB/SE made changes to their penalty procedures, which may affect the procedures and operations of other examination or examination-related functions in Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE) and Appeals. In this scenario, TE/GE and Appeals are "external" reviewers because they will need to change their penalty procedures if SB/SE changes its penalty procedures.

  8. Specialized Reviewer: A "specialized" reviewer involves offices with program oversight in certain particular areas involving important IRS operations. Depending on the circumstances, such specialized reviewers are required to review the IMDs that contain content within their particular area subject matter expertise. These reviewers are described in IRM 1.11.9.4, Specialized Reviewers.

  9. The following table details the actions the author takes at each step:

    Step Action
    1 Determine the impact that changes have on other offices, both internal and external, by considering whether the information:
    • Changes the authorities, procedures, workload, and/or workflow for another office so they are required to do something not previously done or to do something differently

    • Changes documents or files used by another office

      Note:

      A mere reference to a program in an IRM section, including a reference to their specific IRM section, does not require the function or organization to review that IRM during the clearance process.


    See IRM 1.11.9.3.1, Examples of When to Send an IRM to Another Office for Clearance, for details.
    2 Include individuals or offices that asked to provide input or that you asked to provide input, such as during an informal review. See IRM 1.11.2.11, Informal Review.
    3 Determine if one or more specialized reviewers must review it. See IRM 1.11.9.4, Specialized Reviewers.

1.11.9.3.1  (04-07-2014)
Examples of When to Send an IRM to Another Office for Clearance

  1. If an organization "owns" a process or program, then it has the sole authority to set policy or create procedures to manage that process or program. Generally, when creating or revising policy or procedures, the organization who owns the process or program is the only organization that needs to clear an IRM.

    Example:

    Research, Analysis and Statistics (RAS) owns IRM 1.1.18, Organization and Staffing, Research, Analysis and Statistics Division. IRM 1.1.18 is only cleared within RAS (and through any appropriate specialized reviewers).

  2. If two organizations share responsibility for a program, then the authoring organization must clear the guidance with the organization who shares responsibility.

    Example:

    The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Agency-Wide Shared Services (AWSS) share responsibility for the Public Transportation Subsidy Program (PTSP). CFO writes the guidance and clears it through AWSS.

    Example:

    If you are writing an IMD that relates to implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), clear that IMD through the ACA office.

  3. If an organization authors an IRM section containing policies, or procedures used by another organization's employees to do their jobs, the author should coordinate any changes that will change the authorities, procedures, or workflows used by another function or organization in the informal review process. The clearance of that IRM section goes through any function or organization that must change their authorities, procedures, and/or workflow because of those procedures.

  4. If the procedures change documents or files used by another function or organization, the organization that authors the IRM section must clear the IRM through the functions or organizations who use the documents or files.

1.11.9.4  (04-07-2014)
Specialized Reviewers

  1. Clearance must include review and concurrence from specialized reviewers when the material addresses certain content. Specialized reviewers are those offices with expertise in a certain program area, as provided below.

    When material contains … Then send complete IRM to…
    Legal matters as described in IRM 1.11.9.4.1 Chief Counsel
    Find contact information at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/OrgIMDClearancePOC.asp
    Any of the following as described in IRM 1.11.9.4.2:
    • Content identified as Official Use Only (OUO)

    • Procedures, policies, or instructions relating to the disclosure or potential disclosure of official information

    • Procedures, policies, or instructions relating to privacy, information protection, or identity theft

    Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure via email to *PGLD IMD SPOC
    Changes to any sections in the following IRM parts:
    • Part 1 – Organization, Finance, and Management

    • Part 3 – Submission Processing

    • Part 4 – Examining Process

    • Part 5 – Collecting Process

    • Part 7 – Rulings and Agreements

    • Part 8 – Appeals

    • Part 20 – Penalty and Interest

    • Part 21 – Customer Account Services

    • Part 22 – Taxpayer Education and Assistance

    • Part 25 – Special Topics

    Exception:

    See special handling of SERP IPUs in IRM 1.11.10.7.1, Clearance and Approval of SERP IPUs.

    Taxpayer Advocate Service via email to *TAS IMD SPOC
    Changes to working conditions or job duties Workforce Relations Division
    Find contact information at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/OrgIMDClearancePOC.asp
    Any of the following information:
    • An IRS toll-free number

    • Instructions on developing or revising taxpayer notices or letters

    • Guidance on handling erroneous taxpayer correspondence

    Office of Taxpayer Correspondence
    Find contact information at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/OrgIMDClearancePOC.asp
    Procedures relating to:
    • Implementation of new legislation affecting tax administration, or

    • Interactions with Congress or a member of Congress (e.g., a U.S. Representative or a Senator)

    Legislative Affairs
    Find contact information at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/OrgIMDClearancePOC.asp

1.11.9.4.1  (04-09-2010)
Chief Counsel

  1. The Office of Chief Counsel reviews IMDs to ensure they are legally accurate. However, not all IMDs require review by Counsel.

  2. Authors must submit IMDs to Chief Counsel that are new or revised interpretations of:

    1. Federal law

    2. Treasury Regulations, Revenue Rulings, Revenue Procedures, Notices and Announcements

    3. Treasury Orders or Treasury Directives

    4. IRS wide Policy Statements or Servicewide Delegation Order

  3. Authors must submit an IMD to Chief Counsel for review and clearance when requested to do so by that office.

  4. When not to submit: Do not submit IRMs to Chief Counsel for review and clearance that:

    1. Are renumbered unless they meet the criteria above

    2. Relate exclusively to information technology, error resolution, batch or bulk processing, mail and transportation management, or work planning and control

    3. Do not present legal issues requiring their review (as determined by Office of Chief Counsel during its last review)

  5. When clearing filing season IRMs or any IRM section revised every year, send them to Chief Counsel if the new or revised text meets the criteria in (2) above.
    If the new or revised text does not meet the criteria in (2), submit to Chief Counsel based on the following schedule:

    1. Send Parts 1, 5, 8, 10, 11 and 21 to Chief Counsel in years ending with an odd number.

      Example:

      2015, 2017, 2019, etc.

    2. Send Parts 3, 4, 7, 13, 20, 22 and 25 to Chief Counsel in years ending with an even number.

      Example:

      2014, 2016, 2018, etc.

      Note:

      The review year for a filing season IRM is the year the IRM is effective.

  6. An interactive Chief Counsel Clearance Determination Tool is available to help determine if an IRM should be cleared through the Office of Chief Counsel. Find it at the SPDER web page at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/clearance/CounselClearance/.

  7. Send your clearance request to the Counsel clearance contact, listed at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/OrgIMDClearancePOC.asp. Do not cc any attorneys or Chief Counsel SMEs in the email requesting clearance. In your email to Chief Counsel, state whether Counsel has informally reviewed your IRM or cleared interim guidance incorporated into your IRM and if so, list the case-mis tracking number on Counsel’s response or identify the attorney who provided assistance.

  8. Chief Counsel generally does not review or verify the following unless specifically requested:

    • Cross-references to forms, notices, other IRMs or other documents.

    • Transaction Codes (TC Codes).

    • Basic disclosure rules when an IRM is being cleared with PGLD.

    • Indexed figures in IRMs.

  9. Chief Counsel will generally provide comments on a Word Feedback Form. If you need comments in a different format, contact the docket attorney for the office assigned prime control of the clearance request.

1.11.9.4.2  (04-07-2014)
Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure

  1. Authors must submit all IMDs to Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure for review and clearance if they involve any of the following:

    1. Disclosure or potential disclosure of official information

    2. Official use only (OUO) information. For additional information, see IRM 1.11.9.4.2.1.

    3. Privacy, information protection, or identity theft. For additional information, see IRM 1.11.9.4.2.2.

  2. Include a completed Form 13709, Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure Checklist for IMD and Training Materials, with the clearance package sent to *PGLD IMD SPOC.

    Note:

    Please type either "Disclosure" , "PIP" , or "Disclosure/PIP" in the subject line of your email to *PGLD IMD SPOC, depending upon the items you have marked in section 9 of the Form 13709.

  3. For additional information, refer to the following resources:

    1. Disclosure site on IRWeb at: http://discl.web.irs.gov/Function/imd.asp

    2. IRM 11.3.12, Designation of Documents

1.11.9.4.2.1  (04-07-2014)
Clearance of OUO Information

  1. To ensure content is properly designated as Official Use Only, the Office of Disclosure within PGLD reviews all IMDs during clearance if they contain tagged OUO information.

  2. The designation of information as OUO must be approved by an official who has the delegated authority per Servicewide Delegation Order 11-1 (formerly DO-89, Rev.10).

  3. Authors coordinate with management, not the Office of Disclosure, to determine what information is "official use only." The Office of Disclosure reviews the tagged OUO material and addresses any conflicts with the recommendations. Agreement must be reached prior to issuing the IMD.

    Note:

    The clearance file submitted to the IRS Historical Research Library must contain documentation outlining deviations from recommendations made by the Office of Disclosure.

1.11.9.4.2.2  (04-07-2014)
Clearance of Information about Privacy, Information Protection, and Identity Theft

  1. PGLD is responsible for ensuring consistency in all processes and procedures affecting the ways the Service combats identity theft and handle privacy information protected by statute, regulation, Executive Order, or internal policy.

  2. Authors must submit all IMDs to PGLD that deal with any of the criteria below:

    Criteria: Description:
    General privacy and data protection compliance
    • Compliance with any privacy and data protection laws, regulations, and policies

    • References to IRM 10.5 and subsections

    Definition, use, or management of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and other sensitive information
    • Appropriately protecting PII and other sensitive information in email or online, during shipping, while stored (hardcopy or electronic format), in Flexiplace, Telework, or Home as POD situations, or on SharePoint

    • Procedures related to Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs) or Security Assessment and Accreditation

    • Elimination or reduction in use of Taxpayer Identification Numbers

    • Use of live data in training or developing systems

    Adoption or development of new technology; new uses for existing technology including, but not limited to:
    • Online services

    • Social media

    • Mobile devices

    Procedures related to identity theft and/or refund fraud  
    Inadvertent/unauthorized disclosures or accesses
    • Data loss or breach prevention tools or procedures

    • Procedures related to preventing or addressing unauthorized access or inspection of taxpayer records (UNAX)

1.11.9.4.3  (12-28-2010)
Taxpayer Advocate Service

  1. Authors must submit IMDs to Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) for review and clearance as provided in IRM 1.11.9.4.

  2. TAS reviews IMDs to ensure taxpayer rights are protected, to identify and mitigate IRS practices which might infringe on taxpayer rights or duties or create undue burden to taxpayers.

    Caution:

    All employees must protect taxpayer rights when creating instructions to staff. This promotes effective tax administration within all organizations and helps to build trust, consistency, and promotes voluntary compliance.

    In accordance with IRC 7803, the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate is to identify and propose changes in the practices of the IRS in order to mitigate taxpayer problems.

  3. Taxpayer rights are listed in Pub 1, available at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Publication-1,-Your-Rights-as-a-Taxpayer-1.

  4. Taxpayer duties are actions that the taxpayer is required to take.

  5. Email IRM clearance requests to the *TAS IMD SPOC mailbox, a mailbox shared by their IMD staff.

1.11.9.4.4  (04-07-2014)
Workforce Relations

  1. Clearing an IMD through the Human Capital Office (HCO), Workforce Relations, only applies to matters involving a change to working conditions (i.e., conditions of employment) of Bargaining Unit employees.

    Note:

    Conditions of employment is a term used to refer to personnel policies, practices, and matters impacting a bargaining unit employee’s daily work life (e.g., work processes/assignments, schedules, overtime, equipment, office space/design, parking, type/placement of office furniture, relocation of an office). Some changes require formal notice and negotiations with the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) before the change can be implemented.

  2. Authors must contact their Embedded Workforce Relations/Labor Relations (WR/LR) representative for help in making an initial determination regarding the impact of any changes on working conditions. All proposed changes affecting working conditions must be submitted to the Workforce Relations Office of Labor Relations Strategy & Negotiations (LRSN) for final review/concurrence with initial determinations. If an organization does not have an embedded workforce/labor relations staff, contact must be made directly with LRSN at WRD.Mailbox@irs.gov.

  3. LRSN will work with the Embedded WR/LR representative or the IRM author, as appropriate, to advise them if the change(s) requires notice and bargaining with NTEU.

    1. If the change(s) does not require notice and bargaining, the IRM author may proceed with the changes and the review/clearance process.

    2. If the change(s) does require notice and bargaining with NTEU, the IRM author must wait for an agreement and contact from LRSN before proceeding.

      Note:

      Following conclusion of the notice and bargaining process, LRSN will contact the Embedded WR/LR representative, the Area LRSN, or the IRM author, as appropriate, to advise them that the change(s) to the IRM may proceed based on the agreement of the parties.

1.11.9.4.5  (11-01-2011)
Legislative Affairs

  1. Legislative Affairs is responsible for managing the IRS's relationship with Members of Congress and their staff; planning, developing, directing, and evaluating the legislative activities of the Internal Revenue Service.

  2. When enacted legislation becomes law, all IRS Business Operating Divisions must develop an implementation plan to make program changes required by new legislation requirements. Specific implementation actions typically include IRM updates.

  3. When a new IMD or change to an existing IMD relates to implementing new legislation affecting tax administration, or to official interactions with Members of Congress, the IRM must be sent to Legislative Affairs.

1.11.9.4.6  (04-07-2014)
Office of Taxpayer Correspondence

  1. The Office of Taxpayer Correspondence reviews a document when it contains any of the following:

    • An IRS toll-free number

    • Instructions on developing, revising taxpayer notices or letters

    • Guidance on handling erroneous taxpayer correspondence

1.11.9.5  (04-07-2014)
Clearance Package Guidelines

  1. This subsection describes the rules and processes for sending an IMD through clearance. This subsection discusses:

    • The clearance time frames

    • The process for clearing an IMD

  2. There are two ways to clear an IMD. The author should determine the risk involved in using either method.

    1. Simultaneous Clearance: In simultaneous clearance, send the document to all reviewers at the same time. If a reviewer suggests a substantial change adopted by the author, the author must determine whether the IMD requires clearing again through all other reviewers, including specialized reviewers. Consult with your IMD/IRM coordinator if you have questions about whether an IRM needs to be re-cleared.

    2. Sequential Clearance: In sequential clearance, complete the review in a certain order. List each reviewer on the clearance document in the order the review must occur. Once the first reviewer completes their review, they forward the document to the next reviewer, and so on until every reviewer completes the review. If a reviewer suggests a substantial change adopted by the author, the author must resend the IMD to reviewers who already approved it.

1.11.9.5.1  (04-07-2014)
Standard Clearance Time

  1. When an IMD is sent for clearance, the standard time allowed for the review is 30 calendar days. If this is a non-work day, the due date is the next business day.

    Reminder:

    Interim guidance is cleared in less than 30 days. If you need to issue instructions quickly, consider issuing interim guidance. See IRM 1.11.10, Interim Guidance Process.

  2. If the reviewer determines additional time is needed, they contact the clearance originator to negotiate an extended time frame. The originator documents the discussion and revised time frame and retains it as part of the historical file sent to the IRS Historical Research Library. Refer to IRM 1.11.9.10.3, Clearance Documents Sent to IRS Historical Research Library.

  3. Clearance should never exceed 60 calendar days.

  4. To ensure consistency and clarity, use email templates when communicating with reviewers. The templates may be customized to address issues unique to the IRM. The sample templates are written for use with an IRM section and can be referenced on the SPDER website at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/irm/clearance.asp.

    Note:

    Never directly email an IRM clearance package to a Head of Office.

1.11.9.5.2  (04-07-2014)
IMD Expedite Clearance Process

  1. If an IMD must be issued quickly, clear it using the Expedite Clearance process discussed in this subsection. The Expedite Clearance Process shortens the IMD clearance time frame from the standard 30 calendar days.

  2. To expedite, take the following actions on Form 2061:

    1. Check block 3 to denote an Expedite Clearance.

    2. Secure an electronic signature from your executive in the block to indicate agreement.

  3. Using the Expedite Clearance Process is not valid unless Form 2061 contains the electronic signature of an executive.

    Reminder:

    Interim guidance is cleared in less than 30 days. No approval is needed in block 3 of Form 2061 to clear interim guidance in less than 30 days. See IRM 1.11.10, Interim Guidance Process.

  4. If the reviewer has concerns or comments about the IMD, they must contact the originator to discuss them and do so within the set time frame.

1.11.9.6  (04-07-2014)
Description of a Clearance Package

  1. This subsection describes how to prepare a clearance package. A clearance package is the collection of documents emailed to the organizations who need to clear the IMD. A clearance package generally consists of:

    • Form 2061 – Document Clearance Record. See IRM 1.11.9.6.1, Form 2061 – Document Clearance Record.

    • Copy of the draft IMD in PDF format. See IRM 1.11.9.6.2, Ways to Make IRM Clearance Easy to Review, for guidance on converting a draft IMD to PDF format.

    • Documents that provide additional information to the reviewers

    • Graphics files. See IRM 1.11.2.8.7, Using a Graphic.

  2. A clearance package can also include a short (one-page) briefing paper highlighting the effect of a new program or changed procedures. Form 13839, Note to Reviewer, is a good tool for providing helpful information to the reviewer.

1.11.9.6.1  (04-07-2014)
Form 2061 – Document Clearance Record

  1. This subsection discusses the use of Form 2061. Download the form at: http://publish.no.irs.gov/getpdf.cgi?catnum=61498.

  2. Form 2061, Document Clearance Record, facilitates a smooth clearance of all IMDs. In addition, it is the official record of review and clearance concurrence. Specifically, it provides a historical record of reviewers' decisions and concurrences pertaining to each IMD.

  3. Before completing the Form 2061, contact your IMD/IRM Coordinator for organizational-specific guidance on identifying reviewers, as some organizations have an established reviewer listings identifying internal, external and Specialized Reviewers for each IRM section.

  4. Prepare a separate Form 2061 for each IMD.

  5. Fill out blocks 1-10, 14, and 15 of the form uniformly for each reviewer. Either the author or the reviewer can fill out block 11, which identifies the reviewer.

1.11.9.6.2  (04-07-2014)
Ways to Make IRM Clearance Easy to Review

  1. In the Material Changes portion of the Manual Transmittal, authors should follow these guidelines:

    1. List all substantial changes.

    2. Do not list every editorial change. Instead, make one general statement that editorial changes were made.

    Note:

    See IRM 1.11.2.9 , Authoring Step 4: Prepare the Manual Transmittal.

  2. A file prepared using the IRM authoring tool cannot be viewed unless the reviewer also has the IRM authoring tool. Therefore, to ensure readability of the IRM for all reviewers, authors convert the IRM file to PDF using Adobe Acrobat before sending it out. Create a PDF file with tracked changes visible and a "clean" PDF file with all changes accepted.

  3. To convert the file to PDF, take the following steps:

    Step Action
    1 In the IRM authoring tool, select View → No Tags to change the view with no tags
    2 To show the tracked changes, select View → Change Tracking → Changes with Highlighting.

    To show a "clean" file with changes accepted, select View → Change Tracking → Changes Applied.
    3 Select File → Print...
    4 Under Printer Name, select the Adobe PDF option, then Print
    5 A Save As dialog box appears. Type in a file name and select Save.
    6 PDF file is generated. You can go to the file location and open the PDF file.

    Note:

    The PDF file may open automatically when generated.

    Note:

    These PDFs are not formatted for publication. There may be irregularities in tables or exhibits, but these irregularities will be corrected when the IRM is sent for publication.

  4. If a reviewer has the IRM authoring tool and requests the IRM authoring tool file to complete their review, the originating office may provide a copy of the file to the reviewer.

  5. Clearance email templates can be found at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/irm/clearance.asp. See IRM 1.11.9.5.1.

1.11.9.7  (04-07-2014)
Guidelines for Reviewers

  1. This section provides guidelines for IMD reviewers. Reviewers should focus on the procedural changes in the draft revised IMD. The following are recommendations to help your review:

    1. Look for items in the Table of Contents that affect your organization or programs.

    2. Identify contradictions between established policies or procedures and the IMD sent for review.

    3. Focus on substantive changes to the technical, legal, or procedural guidance identified in the Material Changes portion of the Manual Transmittal.

    4. Consider the content, not the style of the content. It is the author's responsibility to ensure the final copy is correct.

  2. Contact the IMD author if you have questions or concerns about the revised content.

  3. If you propose to add or rewrite text, include suggested language to assist the author.

  4. If you determine that additional clearance is needed, you must notify the originator before forwarding the IMD to another office.

1.11.9.7.1  (04-07-2014)
Review Assessment and Reviewer's Signature on Form 2061

  1. To document completion of a review, a reviewer completes Form 2061, Document Clearance Record, Part III, Review Assessment and Signature. A reviewer selects one of four review assessment choices. They are below:

    Review Assessment Explanation Reviewer Actions
    I concur, no comment. Reviewer agrees with draft document. No comments are provided. 1. Select Review Assessment and sign Form 2061

    2. Return signed Form 2061 to the originator or as instructed in the clearance request
    I concur, with comments. Reviewer agrees with draft document and provides comments. The originator is not required to incorporate the comments to publish the document. 1. Select Review Assessment and sign Form 2061
    2. Return signed Form 2061 and comments to the originator or as instructed in the clearance request
    I do not concur, comments required. Reviewer does not agree with draft document and provides comments. 1. Select Review Assessment and sign Form 2061
    2. Explain why you do not concur with changes
    3. Return signed Form 2061, explanation and comments to the originator or as instructed in the clearance request
    Decline review. No Impact Reviewer provides no comments because document does not affect their program. 1. Select Review Assessment and sign Form 2061
    2. Return signed Form 2061 to the originator or as instructed in the clearance request

    Note:

    Block 12: Reviewer's Management Official in Part III of the Document Clearance Record is an optional signature. Some organizations require a manager to review IRMs in addition to the subject matter expert. Each organization determines if a manager needs to sign here and what position of manager signs here.

  2. Parts III or IV can be signed by anyone with documented designation to sign Form 2061 on behalf of the individual listed in that block– Reviewer; Reviewer's Management Official; Approving Official.

1.11.9.7.2  (04-07-2014)
Options for Providing Comments

  1. Typically, the IMD author requests a specific method for reviewers to use for their comments. The following are the options to deliver comments:

    Type of Document Description
    PDF File The comment feature within Adobe Acrobat. The menu selection ToolsComment and Markup has tools to add sticky notes, make text edits, and highlight text.
    XML File The Track Changes and Comment features in the XML editor.
    Separate Document Use a separate Word document, Excel document, or email message to capture comments.
    Comment Matrix A table with headings for:
    • Reviewer name

    • IRM subsection or other identifying information

    • Comments to help keep the comments organized

    Download a sample feedback form at: http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/irm/clearance.asp
    Within Form 2061, Document Clearance Record Part III of Form 2061 provides reviewers the ability to include comments within the form.

1.11.9.8  (04-07-2014)
Responding to Reviewers' Comments

  1. This subsection describes how the author responds to a reviewer's comments.

  2. IRM authors must consider all comments provided on all content in the IRM. This includes situations when reviewers comment on portions of the IRM that are not revised by the author.

1.11.9.8.1  (04-07-2014)
Author Agrees with Reviewer's Comments

  1. When a reviewer comments on the revisions made to the IRM section and the author agrees with them, the author should incorporate the comments before proceeding.

  2. As a courtesy, the author should email the reviewer to tell them that their comments were incorporated. If the author makes additional edits, the author should also provide the proposed rewording to prevent any potential misunderstandings.

  3. If the IRM is substantially revised during the clearance process, it may need to go through the clearance process again in order for all reviewers to approve the final version of the IRM. Refer to IRM 1.11.9.5, Clearance Package Guidelines.

  4. In rare instances, the agreed changes may require a significant amount of time to make because additional research is needed or new subsections must be written. If an organization's executive determines the IRM section must be published without further delay, they can approve proceeding to publishing without making the agreed changes. When this occurs, the author follows the procedures in IRM 1.11.9.9.2, Negotiated Updates, to clear and publish a revision.

1.11.9.8.2  (04-07-2014)
No Response to a Clearance Request

  1. If an identified reviewer does not respond to a request for clearance within the required time frame, the author sends a follow-up email to remind the reviewer that a response is due. Allow an additional five business days.

  2. If there is no response to the first follow-up email, the author sends a second follow-up email, copying the reviewer's IMD/IRM coordinator. The author decides how much time to allow.

    Note:

    Specialized reviewers are mandatory and must be required to reply. Therefore, copy the reviewer’s manager and IMD/IRM coordinator when sending both follow-up emails.

  3. If the author doesn't receive any response from the reviewer or IMD/IRM coordinator by the final deadline, that particular organization is deemed to have waived its review of the document. Annotate "no response received" on Form 2061.

    Note:

    Comments that are received after the agreed-upon deadline must be considered by the author following the procedures in IRM 1.11.2.1.1, Requesting Changes to the IRM.

  4. Email templates for the above emails are available on the SPDER website at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/irm/clearance.asp.

1.11.9.8.3  (04-07-2014)
Handling Comments to IRM Content Not Revised by Author

  1. Occasionally reviewers comment on portions of the IRM not revised by the author. If the author agrees with them and determines that making them does not excessively delay the clearing and publishing of the IRM section, incorporate the changes before proceeding.

  2. If the author agrees with the changes but determines that making them will excessively delay the clearing and publishing of the IRM, they can proceed without incorporating the changes into this version of the IRM section. The author must notify the reviewer that the changes will be incorporated within 120 days after the IRM is published. Follow procedures in IRM 1.11.9.9.2, Negotiated Updates, to process the changes.

  3. When comments are made to portions of the IRM that were not revised and the author disagrees with them, negotiations must take place until it is resolved. See IRM 1.11.9.9, Resolving Disagreements.

1.11.9.9  (04-07-2014)
Resolving Disagreements

  1. This subsection discusses how to resolve disagreements with IRM reviewers. An author must consider all comments whether they relate to a proposed change or to a portion of the IRM not changed. If the author does not agree with the comments and cannot resolve the differences after discussing with the reviewer, they elevate the issue to the next level of management. The level of management must be equal for the author and the reviewer.

    Note:

    When elevating, always include officials that have authority to change guidance based on recommendations.

  2. In situations where comments are initially rejected and subsequently resolved prior to publication, include documentation explaining why the comment was not accepted and how it was resolved as part of the clearance package sent to the IRS Historical Research Library.

1.11.9.9.1  (04-07-2014)
Issuing IRM While Disagreements are Negotiated

  1. If necessary, you may publish your IRM while disagreements are negotiated so employees can perform their duties without unnecessary delays and/or incomplete or incorrect guidelines. However, every attempt must be made to resolve the disagreement with the reviewing organization before publishing the IRM. The IRM author, the reviewer, and their managers must meet before the IRM is forwarded for publication.

  2. The program owner, or a designee, is required to ensure a good faith effort is made to resolve any disagreements. This includes establishing meeting dates/times to discuss the disagreements, appointing representatives to attend such meetings.

  3. The organization can proceed with publishing if the first-line executive agrees the information must be published to ensure operations continue in an efficient manner.

  4. The originating office notifies the reviewer via email 15 calendar days prior to the IRM being sent for publication identifying which comments were not accepted and the reasons for its decision. For a sample 15-Day Notification email, refer to the SPDER website at: http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/irm/clearance.asp.

  5. Negotiations to settle the disagreement MUST continue until resolution is reached.

    Note:

    It is important to complete these negotiations within a reasonable period of time such as 30-60 days, or as agreed to between the two parties.

  6. If the IRM takes more than one year to review, it must be sent back through the clearance process to be re-cleared.

  7. If the resolution requires a change to the information that was published, the organization that owns the process must document the resolution and revise the IRM within 120 days from the date of resolution. Follow procedures in IRM 1.11.9.9.2 , Negotiated Updates.

1.11.9.9.2  (04-07-2014)
Negotiated Updates

  1. If an author does not incorporate requested changes before publishing their IMD, they must follow the steps in the table below to republish their IRM:

    If: Then:
    The author agrees with changes received during clearance but the changes are not made because incorporating them would delay publishing. •Incorporate changes and republish the IRM within 120 calendar days of the IRM's last publication.
    •Re-clear the IRM. Refer to IRM 1.11.9.3, Determining IRM Reviewers, and IRM 1.11.9.4, Specialized Reviewers, to determine clearance requirements.
    •Publish revised IRM.
    Changes received during clearance are still being negotiated and the IRM must be published before resolution. •Continue negotiations until agreement reached.
    •Incorporate all agreed upon changes and republish the IRM within 120 calendar days after the negotiation ends.
    •Refer to IRM 1.11.9.3, Determining IRM Reviewers, and IRM 1.11.9.4, Specialized Reviewers, to determine clearance requirements.
    •Publish revised IRM.

1.11.9.10  (04-07-2014)
Final Stages of the Clearance Process

  1. This subsection describes the final stages in the clearance process, including:

    1. Approval by program owner

    2. Final review by IMD/IRM coordinator

    3. Disposition of the clearance package

1.11.9.10.1  (04-07-2014)
Approval by Program Owner

  1. After an IMD has been cleared by internal, external, and specialized reviewers, it is reviewed and approved by the program owner/executive of the originating office.

  2. The program owner signs the Form 2061 in block 13. This signature indicates that they approve issuing the IMD. For the IRM, this is the individual identified on the Manual Transmittal or their documented designee.

1.11.9.10.2  (04-07-2014)
Final Review by IMD/IRM Coordinator

  1. After the reviewer's comments are addressed and the program owner has signed the Form 2061, the author sends the final version of the document, along with all Forms 2061, reviewer comments and any other background information, to their IMD/IRM coordinator for a final review. The IMD/IRM coordinator is responsible for:

    1. Ensuring the documents are cleared through all affected offices and all specialized reviewers

    2. Reviewing the Forms 2061, Document Clearance Record, to ensure they contain the appropriate signatures

    3. Ensuring all significant comments affecting the content were addressed by the author

    4. Signing (as the last reviewer in block 11) the Form 2061, Document Clearance Record

  2. The IMD/IRM coordinator may use the Document 13000, IRM Package Check Sheet to assist their review.

1.11.9.10.3  (04-07-2014)
Clearance Documents Sent to IRS Historical Research Library

  1. The IRS Historical Research Library preserves the permanent record of changes made to the IRM through the Form 2061, Document Clearance Record (DCR), packages. The information serves to support IRM author inquiries, legal cases, investigations and response to Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) or General Accountability Office (GAO) inquiries.

  2. Retain all reviewer signatures and significant/non-editorial review comments to include as part of the clearance package sent to the library after the IRM is issued. Forms 2061 are reviewed by the library staff to ensure completeness of the clearance documentation. At a minimum, the completed forms must reflect:

    • Request Date

    • IRM Number and Title

    • Originator, IMD/IRM coordinator, Name and Title of Official or Reviewer with Office Symbols

    • Initials and date, or electronic signature of each reviewer listed in block 11

    • Initials and date, or electronic signature of Approving Official or documented designee in block 13

      Note:

      The library will contact the originating organization or return incomplete packages for correction if the signature is missing in block 13, Approving Official's Signature, or if a signed Form 2061 is not present for each reviewer checked on the form.

  3. When the IRM has been cleared for publishing, assemble the following items to send to the IRS Historical Research Library:

    1. Completed and signed Forms 2061.

      Reminder:

      Reviewers' comments and approvals must be identified by organization and grouped together for proper identification.

    2. Any significant comments affecting the content of the document, including a comment matrix, print-outs of emails, or individual pages of other documents that reflect significant comments.

      Note:

      Please refrain from sending a copy of the entire IRM section or other document pages that do not reflect significant comments.

    3. Documents supporting comment discussions or deviations from recommendations made by a reviewer

    4. Interim guidance memoranda incorporated into the IRM

    5. Clearance documentation for any interim guidance memoranda that was issued within 12 months and incorporated into the IRM per IRM 1.11.9.2.2

    6. Any background material that supports why changes were made.

  4. Depending on your organization's established procedure, either the IRM author or the IMD/IRM coordinator submits the DCR clearance package to the library. The clearance package must be submitted within 30 days of submitting the IRM to Publishing. When emailing the clearance package, use identifying filenames. For instance, name each Form 2061 with the person or business unit that signed the form. In addition, only send one IRM clearance package per email. The clearance package may be emailed or mailed to the library using the information provided below.

    Note:

    The complete DCR clearance package must be sent via email or mail, not both.

    1. Email the clearance package to: IRMLibrary@irs.gov.

    2. Mail the clearance package to:

      Internal Revenue Service, RAS:SPDER
      1111 Constitution Avenue NW K-3189
      Washington, D.C. 20224

    Reminder:

    When sending materials containing OUO, follow the guidance in IRM 10.2.13, Information Protection.

  5. To contact the library visit: http://oldirm.web.irs.gov/.


More Internal Revenue Manual