1.11.13  Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Internal Management Document Program

Manual Transmittal

August 06, 2013

Purpose

(1) This transmits the revised IRM 1.11.13, Internal Management Documents System, Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Internal Management Document Program.

Material Changes

(1) The following are the specific changes to this IRM:

Reference Changes
IRM 1.11.13.1 Additional supplemental IRMs references added
IRM 1.11.13.1.2 TAS IMD SPOC Program Managers moved from section 1.11.13.4.1.
IRM 1.11.13.1.1 Added TAS Single Point of Contact Program Manager role and responsibilities throughout.
Various TAS IMD/SPOC Staff role and responsibilities added throughout.
IRM 1.11.13.2.1 Various Types of TAS IMD subsection updated and moved from 1.11.13.3. SLA, Delegation Orders, and Policy Statement guidance updated to include TAG as responsible office.
IRM 1.11.13.2.1.5.1 Interim Guidance Creation subsection added.
IRM 1.11.13.2.3 E-FOIA Law updated.
IRM 1.11.13.2.3.1 E-FOIA Compliance section moved from section 1.11.13.3.5.2
IRM 1.11.13.2.3.1.1 TAS E-FOIA Compliance for TAS Interim Guidance updated and moved from section 1.11.13.3.5.5.
IRM 1.11.13.3 TAS IMD Clearance Process updated.
IRM 1.11.13.5 TAS IMD Publishing & Distribution procedures updated and moved from section 1.11.13.2.5.
IRM 1.11.13.3.1 TAS Internal Clearance Process procedures subsection added.
IRM 1.11.13.3.1.1 TAS Interim Guidance Special Clearance Process subsection added.
IRM 1.11.13.3.2 TAS External Clearance process procedures subsection added.
IRM 1.11.13.3.2.1 TAS Guidelines for Providing Responses to External Comments subsection added.
IRM 1.11.13.4 Pre Publishing Process procedures added.
IRM 1.11.13.6 Monitoring procedures updated and moved from 1.11.13.3.5.6.
IRM 1.11.13.7 When and How to Obsolete TAS Interim Guidance moved from 1.11.13.3.5.6.1.
IRM 1.11.13.8 Reviewing IMDs for Systemic Issues entire subsection updated and moved from 1.11.13.4.
IRM 1.11.13.8 TAS IMD/SPOC Staff Responsibilities updated and added throughout.
IRM 1.11.13.8.1 Receipt of and IMD Review procedures and updated.
IRM 1.11.13.8.3 Assigning an IMD procedures added.
IRM 1.11.13.8.5 IMD Reviewer Guidelines updated to address editorial comments. TAS IMD Review Template SharePoint link added.
IRM 1.11.13.8.6 Completing the IMD Review and Posting time updated.
IRM 1.11.13.8.7 Elevating an IMD procedures clarified to include Attorney Advisors role.
IRM 1.11.13.9 TAS SPOC procedures updated and moved from 1.11.13.5.
IRM 1.11.13.10 TAS Method for Submitting Changes to Systems, IRMs, Forms, Pubs, Notices and Letters. These procedures also highlight TAS procedures for submitting recommendations Outside of the Clearance process and for advocacy issues. This subsection also was moved from 1.11.13.6.
IRM 1.11.13.6.1 Forwarding Forms and Publications Changes Request subsection deleted.
IRM 1.11.13.6.2 Coordination of Change Request by the TAS/IMD SPOC subsection deleted.
IRM 1.11.13.6.3 System Change Request (Form 5391) for IRM Procedural Changes subsection obsolete.
IRM 1.11.13.6.4 Editorial Changes Request (Form 9345) subsection removed.
IRM 1.11.13.6.5 Other Change Request subsection removed.
IRM 1.11.13.6.6 System Production Evaluation Report (Form 5715) subsection removed.
Exhibit 1.11.13–1 TAS Interim Guidance Memorandum (IGM) Procedures updated.
Exhibit 1.11.13-2 TAS IRM listing moved from Exhibit 1.11.13–6.
Exhibit 1.11.13–3 TAS IMD Review Flowchart revised.
Exhibit 1.11.13–4 IMD Review template removed.
Exhibit 1.11.13–5 IMD Review Process Quality Criteria removed

(2) Throughout IRM updated organizational titles and corrected grammar and punctuation.

(3) Updated all citations and links within IRM.

Effect on Other Documents

This IRM supersedes IRM 1.11.13 published on June 20, 2008.

Audience

All Taxpayer Advocate Service employees.

Effective Date

(08-06-2013)

Nina E. Olson
National Taxpayer Advocate

1.11.13.1  (08-06-2013)
TAS Internal Management Document Process

  1. This IRM section describes the TAS Internal Management Document (IMD) clearance process and supplements the guidance contained in:

    • IRM 1.11.1, IMD Program and Responsibilities;

    • IRM 1.11.2, Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process;

    • IRM 1.11.3, Policy Statements;

    • IRM 1.11.4, Delegation Orders;

    • IRM 1.11.5, Publishing Internal Management Documents (IMDs);

    • IRM 1.11.6, Using and Researching the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM);

    • IRM 1.11.8, Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP);

    • IRM 1.11.9, Clearing IMDs;

    • IRM 1.11.10, Interim Guidance Process;

    • IRM 13.2.1, Processing Advocacy Issues; and

    • IRM 13.2.2, Inventory Control and Working an Assignment.

  2. IRM 1.11 series contains guidance regarding the IMD process for managing, authoring, clearing, and publishing IRMs and interim guidance.

  3. This IRM section includes specific procedures and processes for Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) employees in creating TAS IMDs.

  4. This IRM provides TAS procedures for review of IMDs generating from internal operations and functions outside of TAS.

    Note:

    The procedures in this IRM provide specific guidance to employees in the TAS organization on authoring, issuing and publishing IMDs. The procedures in this IRM supplement the servicewide guidance in IRM 1.11.1, IRM 1.11.2, IRM 1.11.3, IRM 1.11.4, IRM 1.11.5, IRM 1.11.9, and IRM 1.11.10 on the IMD process.

1.11.13.1.1  (08-06-2013)
TAS IMD/SPOC Program

  1. In TAS, the IMD and Single Point of Contact (SPOC) are two individual programs managed by separate Systemic Advocacy Program Managers. The National Taxpayer Advocate's 2007 Objectives Report to Congress explained these programs as follows:

    The Commissioner of Internal Revenue must provide subordinates certain authorities to act on his behalf. This is accomplished through the issuance of Internal Management Documents (IMD). IMDs are also referred to as directives, internal directives and/or instructions to staff, and include the IRM, Policy Statements, Delegation Orders, and Internal Management Documents. IRMs require TAS clearance when the rights or duties of taxpayers are impacted or taxpayers are affected in some way. Additionally, the Tax Administration Council approved the creation of a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) in each of the Operating Divisions (OD) and TAS. The SPOC is responsible for managing customer communications (currently referred to as notices, letters, and stuffers).

    Note:

    TAS continues to maintain a SPOC program, while the Office of Taxpayer Correspondence (OTC) was created to manage and oversee notices, letters, and stuffers servicewide. The Office of Tax Form and Publication (TF&P) was also created to manage and oversee forms and publications servicewide.

  2. The Executive Director Systemic Advocacy (EDSA), who reports directly to the National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA), is the responsible program owner of the TAS IMD/SPOC Program. This is due to the emphasis TAS places on the review of external IMD products for systemic issues impacting taxpayer rights or taxpayer burden. The TAS IMD Program Manager and the TAS SPOC Program Manager report to the Director of Advocacy Implementation & Evaluation (DAIE) under the EDSA.

  3. The TAS IMD and SPOC Program Managers, also known as TAS IMD/SPOC, provide coordination and guidance to TAS IRM authors, reviewers, responsible managers, directors, and TAS IMD/SPOC staff analysts, regarding both the IMD and the SPOC programs. TAS IMD/SPOC also assist all TAS business units, including Executive Director of Case Advocacy (EDCA), Technical Analysis and Guidance (TAG), TAS Communications & Liaison (C&L), Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) Program, Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP), Business Assessment (BA), Business Systems Planning (BSP), and Vision, Strategy & Finance (VS&F), with their TAS IMD/SPOC needs.

    Note:

    The TAS IMD Program Manager also carries the title of "TAS IMD Coordinator."

  4. TAG is responsible for the overall management and content of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) between TAS and another organization, TAS Policy Statements, TAS Delegation Orders, and the majority of the TAS IRMs. TAG assigns a TAS IRM Coordinator to direct and control internal clearance of all TAS IMDs (e.g., IRM updates, Interim Guidance, etc.). The TAG IRM Coordinator supports the TAS IMD Program Manager by ensuring all internal clearance levels have been completed.

  5. The TAS IMD Program Manager provides oversight to the TAS IMD program and is a member of the IMD Oversight Council. The TAS IMD Program Manager also coordinates with Servicewide Policy, Directives, and Electronic Research (SPDER). For more information regarding the TAS IMD Program manager see IRM 1.11.13.1.2, TAS IMD/SPOC Program Manager.

1.11.13.1.2  (08-06-2013)
TAS IMD/SPOC Program Manager

  1. The TAS IMD Program Manager and TAS SPOC Program Manager in Systemic Advocacy have the responsibility for managing and coordinating TAS review of IMD/SPOC products that impact taxpayer rights or taxpayer burdens, whether the products originated from within TAS or from other IRS operational or functional units. As such, TAS Systemic Advocacy is responsible for representing the NTA in reviewing changes being made to IRS policies, authorities, and procedures.

  2. The responsibilities of the TAS IMD/SPOC Staff include, but are not limited to:

    • Performing abbreviated reviews;

    • Making comprehensive determination for IMD/SPOC products;

    • Monitoring the progress of reviews to ensure reviews are done properly;

    • Ensuring high profile reviews are properly elevated, when appropriate;

    • Facilitate negotiations with the Operating Division for acceptance of TAS recommendations;

    • Maintaining a record of all IMD review recommendations;

    • Assist with monitoring implementation of recommendations accepted by the IRS;

    • Completing tasks by the established deadlines, including extensions;

    • Communicating with reviewers, and the operating division or function on progress of the work and issues that arise; and

    • Coordinating daily activities with staff.

1.11.13.2  (08-06-2013)
TAS IMD Guidelines and Applicable Law

  1. This section covers IMD guidelines and applicable law regarding:

    1. Types of TAS IMDs

    2. Record Documentation and Retention

    3. E-FOIA

    4. TAS IMD Clearance Process

1.11.13.2.1  (08-06-2013)
TAS IMDs

  1. This subsection will provide guidance on the following types of TAS IMDs:

    1. Internal Revenue Manual

    2. Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

    3. Delegation Orders

    4. Policy Statements, and

    5. Interim Guidance (IG).

    Note:

    For general information on IRMs, see IRM 1.11.2, Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process.

  2. TAS authors should coordinate with the TAS IMD Program Manager if clarification is needed to determine the appropriate type of IMD for their guidance.

    Caution:

    IMDs are the official communications that constitute "instructions to staff." Communications in the form of "Question Resolution Information System" (QRIS) are not IMDs, as they do not constitute official guidance or address issues that are not already addressed in the IRM. Thus, if a TAS employee submits a question through QRIS on a topic not already addressed in the IRM, a QRIS response is not appropriate. The TAS employee question should be addressed by issuing an Interim Guidance Memorandum if new procedures are determined. See IRM 1.11.13.2.1.5, Interim Guidance. See also the QRIS website at this link: QRIS

1.11.13.2.1.1  (08-06-2013)
TAS Internal Revenue Manual

  1. TAS is responsible for writing and maintaining IRMs pertaining to TAS policies and procedures. This includes all Part 13 IRMs and some in Part 1. A current version of the list of TAS IRMs is shown at Exhibit 1.11.13-2, TAS IRM Listing.

  2. Within TAS, the TAS IMD Program Manager provides oversight for the IRM process for all TAS business units and acts as the TAS Liaison to SPDER and other operating divisions and functions during the creation, revision or obsolescing of any TAS IRM. The TAS IRM Coordinator maintains a detailed record of the TAS IRMs, including last published date, currency certification, business unit owner, author, manager, upcoming revision comments, and production status of each IRM.

    Reminder:

    The TAS IRM Coordinator is assigned to the Technical Advice and Guidance (TAG) function.

  3. Additionally, the TAS IMD Program Manager coordinates IRM Authoring training. This training includes:

    • Classroom training in IRM Authoring software, course number 15770. Arbortext is the publishing software used in creating the IRM;

    • Centra classes in various authoring techniques; and

    • Annual Continuing Professional Education (CPE) in authoring skills provided in a conference or virtual setting sponsored by SPDER.

  4. Management is responsible for ensuring that all IRM sections under their purview are reviewed annually, or more frequently for organizational or process changes that impact the currency of the IRM. Authors should issue either an Interim Guidance memorandum (IGM) or Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP) Interim Procedural Update (IPU) if a immediate change to guidance is needed prior to the next revision of the IRM. For more information see IRM 1.11.10, Interim Guidance Process.

  5. IRMs posted on the SERP website must follow annual currency certification requirements or risk removal from the website. For additional information on SERP requirements, please refer to IRM 1.11.8, Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP).

1.11.13.2.1.1.1  (08-06-2013)
Writing, Revising, and Publishing an IRM

  1. TAS IRMs must be written in plain language and accurately portray the current operating procedures of the TAS business units. Timely incorporation of interim guidance into the IRM is necessary to provide the transparency needed to serve the IRM users. These users, IRS employees, practitioners, and taxpayers depend on a current IRM in order to fully comply with the procedures governing the various internal revenue processes.

    Note:

    Follow IRM 1.11.2, Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process, for procedures on creating IRMs. When a new IRM is developed, the author must first obtain a catalog number and receive initial guidance from the TAS IMD Program Manager. SPDER controls the catalog number and the title. Requests for a change to a IRM title or new IRM catalog number, the author must first contact the TAS IMD Program Manager and request the change. The TAS IMD Program Manager will coordinate request with SPDER.

  2. When the author has completed the draft of the new or revised IRM, the author should contact the TAS IMD Program Manager or TAS IRM Coordinator for guidance on the clearance process and for an initial review of the IRM in the XML format.

    Note:

    XML is the file extension generated by Arbortext IRM Authoring Software.

  3. The TAS IMD Program Manager or TAS IRM Coordinator will assist the author and his or her manager in determining the clearance list of reviewers for any TAS IRM.

  4. TAS IRMs will be cleared through the internal or external impacted business units using Form 2061, Document Clearance Record. For additional guidance you must consider for all TAS IMDs see section IRM 1.11.13.3, TAS IMD Clearance Process.

  5. The author sends the final version of the IRM, responses to all of the reviewer comments, Form(s) 2061, and any other background information to the TAS IRM Coordinator. The TAS IRM Coordinator then:

    1. Ensures the IRM is cleared through all internal reviewers;

    2. Secures and reviews all Forms 2061 to ensure they contain the appropriate signatures and concurrence;

    3. Ensures the authors addressed all significant reviewer comments, including guidance on how to address rejection of significant comments;

    4. Coordinates with the author and functional director for submission of IRM for final approval by Deputy NTA (DNTA)/NTA; and

      Note:

      The functional director can approve IRMs that only pertain to editorial updates.

    5. Submits IRM package to the TAS IMD Program Manager.

  6. Once the internal clearance process is completed, all edits have been made, and the final version is approved, the TAS IRM Coordinator submits the publishing package to the TAS IMD Program Manager. The publishing package includes the XML file, any graphic or other image files, Document 13000, IRM Package Check Sheet, and Form 1767, Publishing Service Requisition.

  7. The TAS IMD Program Manager reviews the XML file for structural accuracy and compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. 794d) as amended by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-220), August 7, 1998. Form 1767 is also reviewed for accuracy. If there are errors, the TAS IMD Program Manager returns the files to the author, with a copy to the IRM Coordinator for correction.

  8. If external clearance is necessary, the TAS IMD Program Manager will:

    1. Prepare Form 2061 and submit to impacted organizations. See IRM 1.11.9.3, Steps to Determine IMD Reviewers.

    2. Compile external responses and provide to author and TAS IRM Coordinator.

      Note:

      If external comments are received, see IRM 1.11.13.3.2, TAS External Clearance Process

      .

  9. The TAS IMD Program Manager uploads the files to the M&P publishing site. The M&P staff will then process and update the IRM in the repository, and IRM Online.

    Note:

    SERP will publish the IRM to their site once the file is sent from M&P.

  10. Once the IMD is published the author must submit all completed Forms 2061 and related review comments to the TAS IRM Coordinator for submission to the IRS Historical Library. See IRM 1.11.9.12.2, Clearance Documents Sent to IRS Historical Research Library. The TAS IRM Coordinator must send the complete clearance package either by email or standard mail, not both. See addresses below.

    1. Mail the clearance package to:
      Internal Revenue Service
      Historical Research Library
      Attn: RAS:SPDER
      1111 Constitution Avenue NW K-3189
      Washington DC 20224

    2. E-mail the clearance package to: IRMLibrary@irs.gov

    Reminder:

    E-mail a copy of the entire IRM clearance package to the TAS IRM Coordinator for his/her records.

1.11.13.2.1.2  (08-06-2013)
Service Level Agreements (SLA)

  1. The NTA has reached agreements with the Commissioners of the Wage & Investment (W&I) Division, Small Business & Self-Employed Division, Tax Exempt & Government Entities (TE/GE) Division, Criminal Investigation (CI), Appeals, and Large Business and International (LB&I) Division, that outline the procedures and responsibilities for the processing of TAS cases when either the statutory or delegated authority to complete case transactions rests outside of TAS. These agreements are known as SLAs.

    Note:

    TAG is the responsible office for the content and accuracy of each SLA, in conjunction with the operating divisions.

  2. Each SLA, when signed, will be posted to the E-FOIA website on Taxpayer Advocate Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

1.11.13.2.1.3  (08-06-2013)
Delegation Orders

  1. TAS Delegation Orders are created, revised or obsoleted by the TAG business unit with coordination through the TAS IMD Program Manager. These delegation orders are considered Division Delegation Orders or Redelegation Orders and are usually derived from a Commissioner’s (or Servicewide) Delegation Order. For more information on this process, see IRM 1.11.4, Internal Management Document System, Delegation Orders. Key points are as follows:

    • A TAS Delegation Order must be created when litigation over the activity can reasonably be expected. See IRM 1.11.4.4, Intent of Servicewide Delegations of Authority.

    • When authority is placed at the lowest level, all intervening grades of the position and series up to and including the senior level position have the same authority. See IRM 1.11.4.2, Types of Delegations of Authority.

    • If a Commissioner’s Delegation Order allows for redelegation (or is silent about redelegation), the NTA can issue a TAS Delegation Order to make any necessary redelegations. The TAS Delegation Order should delegate authority to the lowest possible level. Subordinate executives or other individuals named in the TAS Delegation Order can not redelegate to their subordinates. See IRM 1.11.4.3.3, Division/Function Delegations of Authority.

  2. Delegation Orders issued by the Commissioner that are specific to TAS are contained in IRM 1.2.50, Servicewide Policies and Authorities - Delegations of Authority for Taxpayer Advocate Service Activities.

    Note:

    TAG is the responsible office for the content and accuracy of TAS Delegation Orders.

1.11.13.2.1.4  (08-06-2013)
Policy Statements

  1. IRM 1.11.3, Policy Statements, defines the policies of the Internal Revenue Service. It contains instructions on preparing, clearing and publishing Policy Statements within the framework of the IRM process.

    Note:

    TAG is the responsible office for the content and accuracy of TAS Policy Statements.

1.11.13.2.1.5  (08-06-2013)
Interim Guidance

  1. An Interim Guidance Memorandum (IGM) is used when it is critical to quickly communicate official TAS directions. This includes communicating a change to procedures already in the IRM, or new procedures that will be incorporated into the IRM at a later date, or providing a temporary procedure required to support a one-time modification or occurrence in a program or process. For more information and description of Interim Guidance see IRM 1.11.10, Interim Guidance Process.

  2. All instructions to staff that may affect taxpayers will be issued via signed memorandum, in accordance with the IGM procedures. Informal communication vehicles such as Wednesday Weekly articles, newsletters, e-mail, SERP Alerts, or training materials may be used to publicize the official guidance provided in the IGM.

    Caution:

    SERP Alert, or QRIS response can not be used for distributing new procedures not published in the IRM.

  3. The TAS IMD Program Manager will assist the author in identifying IGMs that are required to be made public. See IRS.gov Electronic Reading Room website for current interim guidance available to the public.

  4. Guidance contained in an IGM is valid until the lesser of:

    • Up to one year from the date signed (e.g., a memo signed January 1, 2012 automatically expires after December 31, 2012), or

    • The expiration date stated on the memo.

  5. Therefore, the information must be incorporated into the IRM by the lesser of the expiration date or one year from the memo issuance, or the information is no longer valid and the memo will expire. It is imperative that the author take the necessary steps to incorporate procedures immediately into the IRM, and in no event later than the expiration date or one year.

  6. In the rare circumstance that the memo is not incorporated into the IRM within the required timeframes and the procedures are still applicable, the author must reissue the memo. The author must:

    1. Provide written justification to the TAS IMD Program Manager as part of the clearance package;

    2. Include the expired memo as background documentation; and

    3. provide a copy of the justification when requesting a new control number.


    The TAS IMD Program Manager will provide justification to the Director of SPDER for approval per IRM 1.11.10.6.6, Reissuing Interim Guidance Memoranda. Once approved by SPDER, the author must obtain approval from the director over the program that approved the originally issued memo, and the DNTA/NTA.

  7. Generally, the author of the impacted IRM is responsible for drafting, clearing, issuing, superseding or reissuing, obsoleting and incorporating these memos into the related IRMs. However, this task may be assigned to any analyst.

  8. If the IGM author is not the IRM author, then the IGM author should seek consent from the applicable IRM author. The author of the impacted IRM must incorporate the approved IGM procedures into the affected IRM within a year of issuance, unless the guidance is temporary.

1.11.13.2.1.5.1  (08-06-2013)
Interim Guidance Creation

  1. Authors are encouraged to start with the IGM template located on the SPDER website. Always check for the most recent version of the IGM template.

  2. Draft the memorandum, which includes a brief summary of the temporary guidance. The IGM template requires contact name and telephone number.

  3. The author of the IGM prepares the memo ensuring that all the required elements are included. See IRM 1.11.10.6.1, Authoring Interim Guidance Memoranda for required elements.

  4. The author of the IGM must ensure that the memo is 508 compliant, and contains the proper metadata. See Section 508 Compliance and Accessibility on the SPDER website for guidance on 508 compliance.

    Note:

    See IRM 11.3.13.7.1, Approach to Exemptions, for information on FOIA exemptions.

  5. The author will forward the IGM to the functional director for initial concurrence along with Form 2061, Document Clearance Record.

  6. Once initial concurrence is received from the functional director, all IGMs must be processed through the TAS IMD Program Manager for control number assignment, clearance, tracking, web publishing, and access. See Exhibit 1.11.13-1, TAS IGM Process.

  7. The author of the IGM will initiate contact with the TAS IMD Program Manager for assistance and guidance in preparing, routing/clearing, and obtaining a control number for the memo.

    Note:

    Concurrence from the functional director must accompany the draft IGM submission to the TAS IMD Program Manager. An email of the concurrence from the director is acceptable.

  8. The TAS IMD Program Manager will:

    • Determine if guidance is new, an update, or reissuance;

    • Ensure the document meets 508 compliance regulations;

    • Determine if the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) applies;

    • Verify all components of IGM are present (affected IRM section, function symbols, etc);

    • Discuss impacted organizations, including external functions;

    • Provide direction for incorporating Interim guidance into IRM (if applicable); and

    • Assign an IGM control number.

  9. After guidance is received from TAS IMD Program Manager, the author will:

    1. Add the Control number to the IGM. The control number will be issued in the following format: TAS-XX.X.XX-MMYY-NNN.

      Note:

      MMYY format must be updated once IGM is signed to match the month and year of actual signature date.

    2. The control number must be included in the upper right-hand corner of all TAS IGMs, along with identification of any impacted IRMs.

      Caution:

      The expiration date generally should be left blank until IGM is approved. Once the IGM is approved the author should update the expiration date accordingly.

  10. The author will coordinate internal review of IG with the TAS IRM Coordinator. See IRM 1.11.13.3, TAS IMD Clearance Process.

1.11.13.2.2  (06-20-2008)
Record Documentation and Retention

  1. Record retention information for all TAS records is contained in IRM 1.15.9, Records Management, Records Control Schedule for the Taxpayer Advocate Service.

1.11.13.2.3  (08-06-2013)
E-FOIA Law

  1. IRM 1.11.1.3.1, Transparency of Instructions to Staff, provides general servicewide procedural guidance on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552, for public disclosure and electronic availability of instructions to staff. The following is specific guidance for compliance with this law in the creation of instructions by and to TAS employees.

  2. FOIA provides public access to agency records unless protected from disclosure by an exemption (5 U.S.C. § 552(b)). The information subject to disclosure under 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(2) is any information that has "precedential value" (26 C.F.R. §601.702(b)(1)(ii)).

  3. FOIA requires "administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect a member of the public" be available to the public in an electronic form (5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(2)(C)), unless specifically exempted or excluded from disclosure under 5 U.S.C. § 552(b), respectively. This provision is known as E-FOIA and it applies to "instructions to staff. "

  4. Instructions to staff issued to IRS employees must be disclosed to the public if the lack of publication could affect a member of the public or he/she would have changed his behavior had the information been published. Several examples of instructions to staff are listed below. However, it is the content or subject matter of the material, not its format, that determines whether the document is subject to disclosure. Instructions to staff may include:

    1. Procedures, both national and local (IRMs are the primary source);

    2. Guidelines, both temporary and pilot;

    3. Policies (Policy Statements);

    4. Authorities (Commissioner and Division/Function Delegation Orders);

    5. Division/Function Directives (Industry Directives); and

    6. Interim Guidance.

  5. E-FOIA "instructions to staff" include all of the following characteristics:

    • Issues that affect a member of the public,

    • Issues that are NOT exempt from disclosure under U.S.C. 552(b).

  6. Documents are required by law to be made public unless the disclosure is subject to one of nine exemptions under FOIA §552(b). There are two exemptions which apply to "instructions to staff" matters:

    1. If the disclosure could reasonably be expected to permit the circumvention of the law by members of the public, such as OUO content (5 U.S.C. §552(b)(7)).

    2. If the guidance relates solely to internal administrative matters and procedures, such as timekeeping, personnel, travel (GovTrip), etc.

  7. A restatement of already published material does not require E-FOIA controls if published in full. However, it is recommended that a full restatement also references the already published public source. However, if the restatement adds clarification or additional procedures or steps, then a determination will need to be made as to whether the clarification qualifies as an instruction to staff subject to disclosure.

    Example:

    An example of a restatement is the annual assessment statute expiration date reminder memo that is issued by Examination managers. The memo restates information already contained in sections of IRM 25.6, regarding Statutes of Limitations, so it does not need to be controlled and disclosed but it is recommended that the relevant IRM section(s) be referenced.

1.11.13.2.3.1  (08-06-2013)
E-FOIA Compliance

  1. The TAS IMD Program Manager will assist the author in identifying IMDs that are required to be made public pursuant to E-FOIA. The TAS IMD Program Manager will seek technical assistance when necessary, but uncertainty will generally be resolved in favor of disclosure.

  2. The time period for electronic availability should be within 7 calendar days. Failure to make such records available could invalidate actions taken in reliance on these documents.

  3. See IRM 1.11.13.2.3, E-FOIA Law, for E-FOIA requirements on making the document available to the public.

    Caution:

    Do not issue instructions to staff outside of the IRM other than interim guidance

1.11.13.2.3.1.1  (08-06-2013)
E-FOIA Compliance for TAS Interim Guidance

  1. If interim guidance memo, including SERP Interim Procedural Update (IPU), meets E-FOIA requirements per IRM 1.11.13.2.3, the interim guidance will be posted to the Electronic Reading Room (ERR) on www.irs.gov. See IRM 1.11.10.3, Interim Guidance Requiring FOIA Compliance for additional guidance on whether interim guidance is subject to E-FOIA and requires posting to the ERR on IRS.gov.

1.11.13.3  (08-06-2013)
TAS IMD Clearance Process

  1. The IMD Clearance Process is conducted after the authoring process. See the following IRM subsection regarding, Clearing IMDs for additional guidance:

    Definition of Clearance Process IRM 1.11.9.1.1
    Stages in the IMD Clearance Process IRM 1.11.9.1.2
    Determining the Scope of the Clearance IRM 1.11.9.2

  2. In general, TAS IMDs should be cleared through all applicable internal controls and impacted external business units based on the particular IMD guidance.

  3. The TAS IMD and/or IRM Coordinator will assist the author and his or her manager in determining the clearance list of reviewers for any TAS IMD. TAS IMDs should be cleared through all applicable internal controls affected external business units based on IRM 1.11.9 for Clearing IMDs and IRM 1.11.10 for Interim Guidance Process.

    Note:

    The TAS IMD and/or IRM Coordinator will also assist the author with preparing Form 2061Document Clearance Record, for internal and external reviewers.

  4. The TAS IRM Coordinator is responsible for routing and clearing IMDs through internal reviewers. See IRM 1.11.13.3.1, TAS Internal Clearance Process. The TAS IMD Program Manager is responsible for routing and clearing IMDs through external reviewers. See IRM 1.11.13.3.2, TAS External Clearance Process.

  5. The TAS IRM Coordinator will compile and forward all comments received from the internal reviewers to the author for consideration. The author must address all reviewer comments and update the IRM accordingly. All disagreement must be shared with the functional director and resolved with the internal reviewer prior to approval.

  6. All assigned reviewers must sign Form 2061. For additional information regarding the appropriate signature or approval level of the various types of IMDs, see IRM 1.11.9.5.1, Signatures on Form 2061.

  7. The functional director will forward the IMD to DNTA/NTA for approval.

    Exception:

    IGMs can also be approved by the designated Executive Director.

1.11.13.3.1  (08-06-2013)
TAS Internal Clearance Process

  1. For internal TAS review, the IMD should be forwarded to the TAS IRM Coordinator.

    Note:

    It is recommended that, during the drafting stages of an IMD, authors seek advice from Counsel to the NTA to ensure accuracy.

  2. The TAS IRM Coordinator will forward the IMD to the applicable TAS internal reviewers for feedback. The TAS IRM Coordinator will prepare Form(s) 2061, for review by all impacted internal departments and determine if guidance should be cleared as emergency or non-emergency per IRM 1.11.10.6.3, Clearance and Approval of Interim Guidance Memoranda.

  3. TAS Internal Reviewers may include:

    • SAMS Advisory Board (SAB)

    • TAS Directors

    • Counsel to the NTA (CNTA)

    • Labor Relations (LR)

    • Guidance Advisory Board (GAB)

    • Communications & Liaison (C&L)

    • TAS Executive Directors

    Note:

    The TAS IRM Coordinator will determine the internal review order as applicable to the IMD. The DNTA/NTA or designated Executive Director will be the final approval for all non-editorial updates of TAS IMDs.

  4. When sending IMDs to the TAS IRM Coordinator for clearance, the author should also prepare:

    1. Action Routing Sheet.

    2. Note to Reviewer.

  5. The functional director will forward the IMD to DNTA/NTA or designated Executive Director for approval.

    Note:

    If external review is necessary, preliminary approval from DNTA/NTA or designated Executive Director should be requested until external review concludes. See IRM 1.11.13.3.2, TAS External Clearance Process

    .

1.11.13.3.1.1  (08-06-2013)
TAS Interim Guidance Internal Clearance Process

  1. The author will coordinate internal review of Interim Guidance with the TAS IRM Coordinator.

  2. Send draft IG to TAS IRM Coordinator who will prepare Form(s) 2061, for review by all impacted internal departments.

    Caution:

    If external review is necessary, be sure to coordinate with TAS IMD Program Manager, who will initiate external review once internal review concludes. See IRM 1.11.13.3.2 for external review guidance.

  3. Once internal clearance review concludes, all comments will be forwarded to the author for consideration. If corrections are warranted, the author will update and immediately resubmit to the director for review, preferably within one business day.

  4. The director will review the IGM within two days, and if approved, have the IGM package loaded onto E-TRAK (preferred optional method) within one business day for Executive approval and signature.

    Reminder:

    If external review is necessary, preliminary approval from Executive should be requested until external review concludes. See IRM 1.11.13.3.2, for external review guidance.

  5. Once the IG is approved, the TAS IRM Coordinator or author will follow additional steps per IRM 1.11.13.4, Pre-Publishing Process.

1.11.13.3.2  (08-06-2013)
TAS External Clearance Process

  1. The author must pre-determine the effect the changes have on other offices prior to the external clearance process. The TAS IMD Program Manager must be consulted if assistance is needed with this determination. Some factors to consider that will generally require external clearance:

    • Reference to another function's IRM or procedures;

    • Affect how another function's employees do their jobs;

    • Shared process with another function.

    Exception:

    If the NTA, or a designee, determines the guidance solely applies to TAS internal procedures.

  2. The TAS IRM Coordinator or author must forward the IMD, including necessary attachments, to the TAS IMD Program Manager once internal clearance concludes.

  3. The TAS IMD Program Manager will assist the author with preparation of Form 2061 for securing approval of external reviewers and determine if guidance should be cleared as emergency or non-emergency per IRM 1.11.10.6.3, Clearance and Approval of Interim Guidance Memoranda. For more information on determining impacted organizations, see IRM 1.11.9.3, Steps to Determine IMD Reviewers.

  4. The TAS IMD Program Manager will compile and forward all comments received from external reviewers to author for consideration. The author must address all external reviewer feedback and update external feedback tracking sheet with a justified response to each comment. See also IRM 1.11.13.3.2.1 for guidelines for providing response to external comments.

  5. The author will update the IMD accordingly and include external feedback tracking sheet in the IMD approval package.

    Note:

    Substantive external comments must be shared with DNTA/NTA or designated Executive Director for acceptance and final approval. Additional updates may be required prior to final approval.

  6. The author will resubmit the IMD package to the director who will forward to the DNTA/NTA or designated Executive Director for final approval.

1.11.13.3.2.1  (08-06-2013)
Guidelines for Providing Response to External Comments

  1. General steps for addressing external comments:

    1. The author will review external comments and provide an explanation for rejecting or accepting all recommendations per the external feedback tracking sheet under the appropriate column designated for "TAS Response."

      Note:

      TAS response must be shared with the OD prior to publishing an IMD in an attempt to resolve all disagreements. See IRM 1.11.9.11.3, Resolving Disagreements.

    2. Substantive external comments and the author's explanation must be shared with the TAS functional director and DNTA/NTA. The TAS functional director and DNTA/NTA must approve responses to all substantial external comments prior to responding back to external function.

    3. The author or TAS IRM Coordinator will coordinate external response with TAS IMD Program Manager.

      Note:

      The TAS IMD Program Manager will provide response to the external function.

      If disagreements still exist, procedures set forth in IRM 1.11.9.11.4, Issuing IMD While Disagreements are Negotiated, can be exercised.

1.11.13.4  (08-06-2013)
Pre-Publishing Process

  1. Prior to publishing, the DNTA/NTA or designated Executive Director must approve all Interim Guidance and substantive IRM updates.

    Note:

    Editorial updates may be approved by the functional director.

  2. For IMDs, other than interim guidance, the TAS IRM Coordinator or author will:

    1. Complete Form 13000IRM Package Check Sheet, and Form 1767 to request publishing services for all IRMs, forms, and publications. Instruction for completing Form 1767 can be found on the back of form. The TAS IMD Program Manager should be consulted when assistance is needed to prepare this form. Also See IRM 1.11.5, Publishing IMDs.

    2. Electronically forward (email) IMD, Form(s) 2061, Form 13000IRM Package Check Sheet (if applicable), Form 1767Publishing Services Requisition, and reviewer comments to the TAS IMD Program Manager for approval and verification.

      Note:

      Complete Communications Assistance Request (CAR) and include in email if announcement of published IMD is needed in the form of a Wednesday Weekly, Manager Alert, Web page, etc. The CAR can be found on the TAS Communication and Outreach website at http://tas.web.irs.gov/default.aspx under "Hot Topics."

  3. For Interim Guidance, the TAS IRM Coordinator or author will:

    1. Update the IGM with the signature date;

    2. Update Control number MMYY to match signature Month and Year;

    3. Convert to a 508 compliant Word document. Be sure to include /s/ next to DNTA/NTA name;

    4. Add Metadata (keywords, file name, descriptors, etc.) to Word Document properties;

    5. Use E-FOIA decision tool to determine if IGM should be made available to the public;

    6. Electronically forward (email) IG, Forms 2061 and reviewer comments to the TAS IMD Program Manager for approval. The author should verify it contains all necessary components (control number, expiration date, impacted IRM, contact point, etc.);

    7. Complete Communications Assistance Request (CAR) and include in email. For a copy of this form, see: TAS Communication and Outreach webpage;

    8. If the IGM is being posted on www.irs.gov for E-FOIA compliance, the author must also prepare a Content Publishing Request Form (CPR) and include in email. http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/ig/E-FOIA/; and

    9. Proceed with immediately incorporating the IG content directly into the IRM (If applicable).

    Note:

    All Forms 2061 related to IGMs must be included in the package to historical library after the IRM is published.

1.11.13.5  (08-06-2013)
TAS IMD Publishing & Distribution

  1. All TAS IRMs follow the distribution pattern for IRM 13.1.1, Taxpayer Advocate Case Procedures, Legislative History and Organizational Structure. The authors should work with the TAS IMD Coordinator to verify the distribution pattern prior to publishing. See IRM 1.11.5 , Publishing IMDs.

    Example:

    This is shown on Form 1767, Publishing Services Requisition, by entering the catalog number 30650A in Block 21, Additional Instructions, and by entering "See Block 21" in Block 17, item C.

  2. Care should be taken to ensure that the distribution pattern maintained by Internal Management Documents Distribution System (IMDDS) is kept current as the organizational structure and physical addresses change. Contact the TAS IMD Program Manager or IMDDS to determine the current quantity per TAS location (the distribution pattern) that the file number/distribution pattern shows for printing and distributing or to confirm the pattern number. The distribution pattern information should be reviewed annually for accuracy.

    Note:

    A majority of TAS users can access the IRM electronically. Authors should only request print distribution when there is a requested need.

  3. The TAS IMD Program Manager will be the approving TAS official for Form 1767. Forward Form 1767 with IMD package to TAS IMD Program Manager, who will approve and submit to M&P on behalf of TAS.

1.11.13.5.1  (08-06-2013)
TAS Interim Guidance Distribution

  1. Once the IG is approved, the TAS IRM Coordinator or author will submit the approved IG, CAR(s) and CPR (if applicable) to the TAS IMD Program Manager. The TAS IMD Program Manager will verify that the IGM has all applicable components per IRM 1.11.13.4 (3), Pre Publishing Process for Interim Guidance.

  2. The TAS IMD Program Manager will submit the package to the TAS C&L Web Content Manager for appropriate publishing and distribution.

  3. The TAS C&L Content Manager will take the following actions:

    1. Ensures the document is 508 compliant and in PDF format;

      Note:

      Scanned PDF documents are not 508 compliant

    2. Post the IGM to TAS internal interim guidance web page located at http://tas.web.irs.gov/policy/igm/IRMinterimGuidance/default.aspx;

    3. Publicize the signed memo by posting a copy to the TAS internal website and announcing it in one of the weekly electronic communications (if necessary); and

    4. If a CPR is submitted for E-FOIA compliance, submit to SPDER for posting to IRS.gov Electronic Reading Room at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Interim-Guidance-by-IRS-Business-Process.

  4. The SPDER staff person will post the interim guidance to the appropriate webpage in the ERR on IRS.gov based on the CPR forwarded. The SPDER staff person will confirm the posting via email to the TAS C&L Content Manager and will include the document title, abstract and static file number. The TAS C&L Content Manager will forward posting confirmation to TAS IMD Program Manager.

    Note:

    All TAS procedural and guidance memos can be found on the internal website at http://tas.web.irs.gov/policy/igm/default.aspx.

1.11.13.6  (08-06-2013)
Monitoring

  1. For IMDs other than Interim Guidance:

    1. The author must perform an annual review of his/her IRM to verify the content is still technically accurate.

      Note:

      At a minimum, hyperlinks, telephone numbers, and the contact person should be verified as still accurate.

    2. If content is no longer current or correct, authors should update their IRMs as soon as possible with the revised guidance.

      Note:

      IRMs can be republished every 7 days depending on the number of pages and graphics.

  2. For Interim Guidance:

    1. The TAS IRM Coordinator and IG author will monitor procedural memos and solicit assistance from authors or content owners to ensure the information is promptly incorporated into the IRM.

      Reminder:

      Interim guidance, including SERP IPUs, should be promptly incorporated into the IRM less than one year of issuance or prior to the expiration date.

      Caution:

      If reissuance is necessary, clearance timeframes should be considered well in advance of IG expiration date.

    2. The IG author will also obsolete the IG when appropriate. See IRM 1.11.13.7 for procedures for obsolescing TAS interim guidance.

1.11.13.7  (08-06-2013)
When and How to Obsolete TAS Interim Guidance

  1. All IGMs will expire automatically at the end of one year from the issue date. However, when guidance expires or becomes obsolete earlier than the one year date, the IG originator, or IRM author must notify the TAS IRM Coordinator and TAS IMD Program Manager that the memo is obsolete and should be removed from the website at: www.irs.gov Electronic Reading Room. The following factors can cause obsolescence:

    1. The IRM has been updated with the new procedures and the IG is no longer needed.

    2. Procedures have changed and the guidance is invalid or superseded.

  2. It is the responsibility of the IG author to ensure that guidance contained within the IG is promptly incorporated into the relevant IRM.

  3. The IRM author should notate on the Manual Transmittal of the IRM section under "Effect On Other Documents," that the IRM incorporates interim guidance from the IGM control number, title, and the date it was issued. Below is an example of such a Manual Transmittal notation.

    Example:

    This IRM supersedes and obsoletes TAS interim guidance titled (insert Title, Control Number), issued on (Month DD, YYYY). The procedures are incorporated in this IRM at (subsection) and the interim guidance is superseded by the issuance of this IRM.

  4. The IG originator, or IRM author must also ensure expired guidance is timely removed from the TAS internal interim guidance web page and www.irs.gov (if applicable). After notifying the TAS IMD Program Manager that the memo has expired, the IG originator or author should prepare a CAR and a CPR (if posted on www.irs.gov ERR) to remove the expired memo. Also see Exhibit 1.11.13-1, TAS Interim Guidance (IG) Memoranda Process, steps 7 through 10, for additional information.

1.11.13.8  (08-06-2013)
Reviewing Internal Management Documents (IMDs) For Systemic Issues

  1. This subsection covers procedures for reviewing IMDs for systemic issues (i.e., economic burden, omission or infringement of taxpayer rights). This process primarily takes place while the operating or functional division is clearing its IMD product before the new or revised process becomes official guidance and creates a systemic issue for taxpayers. Systemic Issues that are already present within an IMD should also be identified and addressed during revision and clearance of IRMs or other IMD products. The TAS IMD review process is extremely important and due care should be taken to ensure changes in IRS policy, authority, and procedures do not cause adverse impact on taxpayers. See IMD/SPOC Flowchart Exhibit 1.11.13-3.

    Note:

    Recommendations identified for an IMD outside of the clearance review period should still be forwarded to *TAS IMD/SPOC mailbox. The TAS IMD SPOC staff will then load to SAMS and forward to the OD for immediate action per IRM 1.11.2.8.7.5. See IRM 1.11.13.10, Methods of Submitting Changes to IRMs, Forms, Publications, Notices, Letters, and Systems for further information.

1.11.13.8.1  (08-06-2013)
Receipt of IMD Review

  1. All IMD product reviews will come into TAS through the TAS IMD/SPOC Program Managers mailbox *TAS IMD SPOC in Systemic Advocacy for control and distribution of the review request throughout TAS, as appropriate, based upon subject matter expertise and portfolio assignments.

  2. The IMD reviews should be E-mailed by the originating OD to the *TAS IMD SPOC mailbox, shared by the TAS IMD/SPOC staff; although some may still be forwarded to the TAS IMD and SPOC Program Managers individually at this time. In those cases, the TAS IMD and SPOC Program Managers forward all IMD review requests to the *TAS IMD SPOC mailbox for controlling.

    Note:

    TAS is considered a specialized reviewer and has specific instructions for mandatory review of various parts of the IRM. See IRM 1.11.9.4, Specialized Reviewers.

  3. Upon receipt of a new review request, the TAS IMD/SPOC staff member will create and name a folder for the review under the *TAS IMD SPOC mailbox "External Review" folder and enter the new IMD review on SAMS within 2 business days from the email received date, or "actual start date" . For a SPOC or "Other" product, a comprehensive determination generally should be made within 10 business days from the actual receipt date.

    Note:

    The SAMS title and folder name should carry a similar name as the incoming IMD title.

  4. The TAS IMD/SPOC Staff is normally allowed 30 calendar days to complete each review as necessary. However, a review may be shortened or lengthened with the originator's consent.

1.11.13.8.2  (08-06-2013)
Abbreviated IMD Review

  1. The TAS IMD/SPOC staff will determine if an IMD review should be abbreviated or comprehensive. Criteria for abbreviating an IMD review will be based on the following criteria:

    1. Does the IMD product contain processes that directly impact the taxpayer?

    2. Does the process create any apparent taxpayer burden?

    3. Does there appear to be any opportunity that the process might infringe upon taxpayers' rights?

    4. Does the content relate to an Objectives Report or ARC issue, past or present? If so, contact the subject matter expert or lead for the issue to determine the TAS position.

    5. Does the content relate to any "special projects" (TAP, cross-functional teams and task forces, etc.)? Check SAMS for any related entries. If so, contact the project lead to determine the TAS position.

    6. Does the content relate to any emerging issue, interim guidance or other update on hot topics, etc.?

  2. If the IMD Review meets any of the criteria above, it will be assigned for a comprehensive review, see IRM 1.11.13.8.3, Assigning an IMD. If the answers to all questions are negative, then the TAS IMD Program Manager, or designee, will prepare a "No Comment" or limited response and forward it to the OD originator of the product and close the review as "Abbreviated," with "No Comments" on SAMS.

1.11.13.8.3  (08-06-2013)
Assigning an IMD

  1. Once the IMD is loaded to SAMS, the TAS IMD/SPOC staff will assign to the appropriate Subject Matter Experts (SME) that reside in various functions within the TAS organization (example: Technical liaison, Attorney Advisors, Case Advocacy Field Systemic Advocacy (FSA) and Internal Technical Advisory Program (ITAP), Technical Analysis and Guidance (TAG), Local Taxpayer Advocates ( LTA), etc.).

    Reminder:

    TAS SMEs are required to update their profile applicable to items of interest or assignment. Profiles can be currently found on the TAS Systemic Advocacy SharePoint site: http://co.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/CL/TAs/SA/Lists/Contacts/All%20Contacts.aspx.

    Exception:

    Assignments are not necessary for abbreviated reviews.

  2. The TAS IMD/SPOC staff will notify the assignees of the timeframe to conduct the review.

    Caution:

    If reviews cannot be completed timely, the reviewer's manager should notify the TAS IMD/SPOC Staff so that an extended response date can be requested of the originating office.

  3. The designated managers from the Case Advocacy business units should assign reviewers to the IMD review by updating SAMS with the selected reviewer as a team member for that specific IMD review.

    Note:

    Assigned SME may coordinate the IMD review with other assigned SME(s) to ensure consistency on high profile issues.

1.11.13.8.4  (08-06-2013)
Performing a Comprehensive Review

  1. If the abbreviated review indicates that the IMD product should have a comprehensive review, the TAS IMD/SPOC Staff will update the review on SAMS within 4 business days from the "actual start date."

  2. The assigned SMEs will pull the files for their reviews from the SAMS "Files" tab.

    Note:

    An On-Line 5081 must be completed for SAMS Access.

  3. The response date for the TAS IMD reviewers to complete their reviews will typically be two weeks, unless it is an expedited or rush review. The timeframe is based upon the due date indicated on the originator's Form 2061 (normally 30 days), reduced by the time needed (typically 7-10 days) to allow the TAS IMD/SPOC Program Manager or staff analyst time to compile, edit, and elevate the review for management consideration, as necessary.

  4. The TAS IMD/SPOC staff uploads the final compiled response on SAMS under the "Files" tab, including updating the "Notes" tab (if necessary) with relative information. Once all information is updated (status; follow up date; etc.), this enables the TAS IMD/SPOC staff to track the following:

    1. Date received;

    2. Date the response is due;

    3. Originating division or function;

    4. Product / issue under review;

    5. Status of the review (pending, in process, forward for review, closed, etc.);

    6. TAS reviewers; and

    7. The results of the review, including recommendations made and implemented.

    Note:

    TAS review of forms, letters, notices, publications, etc., will be handled by the TAS SPOC Program Manager following these same procedures.

1.11.13.8.5  (08-06-2013)
Working the IMD Review

  1. In addition to normal review procedures found in IRM 1.11.1, Internal Management Documents System, Internal Management Documents (IMDs), and IRM 1.11.2, Internal Management Documents (IMD) System, Internal Revenue Manual (IRM), while completing his or her review, the reviewer should complete the TAS IMD Review Template, located at http://tas.web.irs.gov/policy/imd/default.aspx, and ensure the following mandatory items are considered:

    1. All taxpayer rights are protected;

    2. Any changes negatively impacting taxpayers are appropriately reviewed and elevated, along with recommendations for change;

    3. All language regarding TAS is accurate, especially TAS Standard Language;

    4. TAS references are mentioned in all appropriate circumstances;

    5. Associated guidance or references are correct and in proper location; and

    6. Justification for recommendations are thoroughly explained along with the suggestive language.

  2. The reviewer should also ensure they have considered the IMD Reviewer Guidelines shown below:

    IMD Reviewer Guidelines
    Issue Concerns:
    • Does the IMD product contain processes that directly impact the taxpayer?

    • Does the process create any apparent taxpayer burden?

    • Does there appear to be any opportunity that the process might infringe upon taxpayers' rights?

    • Does the content relate to an Objectives Report or ARC issue, past or present? If so, contact the subject matter expert or lead for the issue to determine the TAS position.

    • Does the content relate to any special projects (TAP, cross-functional teams and task forces, etc.)? Check SAMS for any related entries. If so, contact the project lead to determine the TAS position.

    • Do the procedures accurately follow the law (IRC, Treas. Reg., etc.) without diminishing taxpayer benefits and without placing undue requirements on the taxpayer?

    • To what extent does the issue impact balanced measures (customer service, employee satisfaction and business results)?

    • To what extent is the issue impacting taxpayers or, if new, what is the probability of impact?

    • To what extent is there public interest in the issue?

    • To what extent is immediacy of resolution required?

      Note:

      This list is not all inclusive, so be sure to check the TAS website for interim guidance and other updates on hot topics, etc.

      Caution:

      Although editorial comments are welcomed, you are not required to be a proofreader. Therefore, comments on spelling, punctuation, grammar, formatting, etc. are not required.

    Response Reminders:
    • Forward reviews to other subject matter experts, if known, and copy *TAS IMD SPOC mailbox .

    • Ensure comments are professional and have proper tone.

    • Save the filename of the review Word template to the number/name of the IMD review and the reviewer's last name (IRM XXX Smith).

    • Use TAS 24 hour language for taxpayer contacts.

    • Use TAS standard language for IRMs, notices, pubs, and forms.

    • Send completed consolidated review via email to *TAS IMD SPOC mailbox, and indicate if SAMS is updated on email.

      Note:

      If review results in "No Comment" a template is not required. The IMD Reviewer must provide e-mail to *TAS IMD SPOC that no changes are warranted. The IMD Reviewer should also update the SAMS "Notes" tab as "No Comment."

  3. The IMD Review template will contain each of the following items: a header, a body and a footer. A copy of the IMD Review Template is located on the TAS IMD/SPOC webpage at http://tas.web.irs.gov/policy/imd/default.aspx.

  4. The header of the IMD Review template should contain the following:

    1. The number and title of the IRM section, delegation order, or interim guidance.

    2. The date of the review.

    3. The name of the reviewer.

    4. The time or hours spent doing the review.

  5. The body of the IMD Review template should contain the following:

    1. Summary or overview statement regarding the product, if applicable;

    2. In column one, the location in the document of the item of concern: For IRMs, identify the IRM subsection, title and page number; for delegation orders, forms, letters, and documents identify the paragraph number, page number, etc.;

    3. In column two, the current language, word, sentence, etc., to be addressed in the review;

    4. In column three, identify if the item of concern is a significant taxpayer burden or taxpayer rights issue by inserting an "X" to indicate the comments involve taxpayer rights or burden;

    5. In column four, specify any concerns for that subsection or paragraph of the manual, order, or guidance, as well as the reviewer's comments and/or recommended language changes;

      Reminder:

      If a reviewer does not agree with the language in a document, rather than just indicating non-agreement, the reviewer should provide suggested language for how best to revise the document, whenever possible.

    6. Column five is for the use of the Operating Division (OD) that originated the document in responding to the corresponding TAS recommendation. They will indicate agreement or disagreement as to whether they will implement the recommendation. In cases where the OD disagrees with the recommendation, this space will allow them to explain why they are not able to implement the recommendation. This space may also be used by TAS SME to rebut OD non-adopted recommendations.

  6. The footer should contain the page numbers for the review document.

1.11.13.8.6  (08-06-2013)
Completing the IMD Review and Posting Time

  1. The review should be completed on or before the due date of the IMD review.

  2. Once the review is completed, the IMD reviewers will post their completed review documents as follows:

    1. Upload the IMD review template containing all recommendations to SAMS under the "File" tab. Reviewers may optionally add supplementary comments under the "Notes" tab, in support of the IMD review template.

      Reminder:

      A response is required for each review even if the response is one of "No Comment."

      Example:

      When no taxpayer rights or burden issues are found, add "No Comments" under the SAMS Notes tab.

    2. Send the completed IMD Review Template via email attachment to the *TAS IMD SPOC mailbox. Reviewers should also inform the TAS IMD/SPOC staff by email "No Comments" were added to the SAMS Notes tab.

      Caution:

      IMD Reviewers should not complete the "Recommendation" tab in SAMS, as this is the responsibility of the TAS IMD/SPOC Staff.

  3. Reviewers who did not receive a primary review assignment email from TAS IMD/SPOC may still optionally elect to review an IMD. Optional and supplementary reviewers (example: Technical Liaison, Attorney Advisors, Deputy Executive) should also submit completed review templates per the instructions in paragraph (2) above. Posting to SAMS is not required if the optional or supplementary user does not have SAMS access.

  4. The TAS IMD/SPOC staff will access SAMS and the *TAS IMD SPOC mailbox to retrieve the completed reviews and do the following:

    1. For archival purposes, ensure that the TAS IMD Reviewers have entered the individual completed reviews on the appropriate SAMS IMD Review project under the "Files" tab.

    2. Update the review status on SAMS to "In Negotiation" if comments are received. If no comments are received, the TAS IMD SPOC Staff will proceed with finalizing IMD as discussed in IRM 1.11.13.8.7, Finalizing, Elevating, and Evaluating the IMD Review.

  5. Time spent performing IMD reviews should be charged on SETR per Form 3081 for:

    • IMD Reviewers to "Proactive Advocacy/Assignments - OFP 36762;"

    • TAS IMD/SPOC staff members to "Systemic Advocacy IMD - OFP 36766;" and

    • Portfolio Advisors to "TAS Portfolio - OFP 36765."

  6. Assigned Reviewers' time spent doing IMD reviews should also be entered on SAMS. Time should be charged on the system using the time reporting instructions found on SAMS. See IRM 13.2.4.4, Systemic Advocacy Time Reporting.

  7. Any issues that cause the reviewer concerns should be raised to their manager and to the TAS IMD Program Manager.

  8. If the reviewer is unable to complete the review by the prescribed due date, the reviewer should contact his or her manager and the TAS IMD/SPOC Staff to determine if the due date can be extended.

1.11.13.8.7  (08-06-2013)
Finalizing, Elevating, and Evaluating the IMD Review

  1. Once all TAS reviewer responses are received; the TAS IMD/SPOC Staff will:

    1. Review and consolidate the responses within 7 business days of due date of the individual reviews, contact the reviewers for clarity, if necessary;

    2. Ensure comments are professional in nature and have proper tone;

    3. Share any TAS substantive changes/comments with Special Counsel to the NTA, as warranted;

    4. Ensure upper management has proper notification of significant concerns that seriously impact taxpayer rights or taxpayer burden, including those that relate to the Objectives Report or the ARC. See IRM 13.2.1.7, National Taxpayer Advocate's Annual Reports to Congress; and

    5. Forward to responsible function and monitor for response.

  2. The TAS IMD/SPOC staff will review all responses from originating division or function for acceptance and rejection of proposed recommendations. See IRM 1.11.9.11.3, Resolving Disagreements.

  3. For non-adopted significant recommendations the TAS IMD SPOC Staff generally will:

    1. Forward the non-adopted recommendation to the originating TAS IMD reviewer;

    2. Request the TAS reviewer to either concur with OD response, provide rebuttal or submit additional clarification to support original recommendation.

  4. The TAS IMD/SPOC Program Managers will evaluate and elevate any remaining unresolved issues fitting the criteria in this table in a timely manner (within 9 business days of the receipt) to the appropriate TAS Technical Liaisons or Attorney Advisors.

    Caution:

    Elevation through attorney advisors will be identified based on individual attorney advisor subject-matter-expertise, applicability to tax law, at the direction of the technical liaison, or through the specific direction or guidance of TAS management.

    The TAS IMD/SPOC Program Managers will request extensions from the originating office, as needed, to ensure there is sufficient time ( 5-10 business days) to consider elevating of unresolved issued prior to publishing.

    IMD Review Elevation Criteria
    "Yes" to any one of these items still unresolved after evaluating the OD's response should be elevated to the appropriate TAS Technical Liaison:
    • Does the issue impact one or more taxpayer rights?

    • Does the issue relate to a current ARC or Objectives Report issue or one ongoing from the past?

    • Does the issue relate to an emerging issue or a special project (Advocacy Project, Task Force, TAP issue, etc.)?

    • Does the issue impact balanced measures (customer service, employee satisfaction and business results)?

    • Does the issue relate to public interest? Explain.

  5. The TAS Technical Liaison or Attorney Advisor will review the unresolved issues, and determine if negotiation is warranted with the OD Program Manager.

    Note:

    If a discussion is not necessary, the TAS Technical Liaison or Attorney Advisor will document and provide rationale for not pursuing non-adopted issue.

  6. Once determination is made to hold negotiations meeting, the TAS Technical Liaison or Attorney Advisor will set up a conference with OD Program Manager, in addition to notifying the TAS IMD/SPOC Program Manager.

  7. The TAS Technical Liaison or Attorney Advisor will notify the TAS IMD/SPOC Program Manager on status of all elevated issues until resolved. The TAS IMD SPOC Program Manager will notify the DAIE for informational purposes.

  8. If issues remain unresolved after negotiations, the TAS Technical Liaison or Attorney Advisor will prepare a memo summarizing the issue(s) and notify the EDSA, who will then review earlier comments and consult with the Attorney Advisor or designee, prior to elevation to the NTA. However, efforts should be made to resolve the issue, as appropriate, at each step along the way.

  9. Responses received from the originating OD or function regarding TAS review comments must be entered on SAMS, along with any information obtained regarding status and/or implementation of TAS suggestions, as events occur.

    Note:

    In cases where the implementation is for a future date, a follow-up may be done to determine if the suggestions were correctly implemented. In situations were an agreement was not reached with the OD, and the issue is elevated, the TAS Technical Liaison should consider including in the Emerging Issues quarterly report prepared for the EDSA. Attorney Advisor should consider reporting to DNTA/NTA as an emerging issue.

  10. Prepare a signed clearance response via Form 2061 to the originating division or function once all recommendations have been properly addressed.

1.11.13.9  (08-06-2013)
Single Point Of Contact (SPOC) Processes

  1. TAS SPOC Program Manager oversees reviews involving new material or changes to existing customer (public) communications (e.g., notices, letters, inserts, etc.). A designated TAS SPOC Program Manager works directly with TAS IMD Program Manager to ensure SPOC reviews (IMDs)are completed timely and efficiently.

  2. In this program, the TAS SPOC Program Manager works with the various TAS business units to coordinate revisions to TAS forms and publications. Two principle TAS customers for the SPOC are the TAG and C&L business units. The TAS SPOC Program Manager also works referrals from the SAMS program that cannot be incorporated as an ongoing advocacy initiative (project, task force, etc.). The TAS SPOC Program Manager also works with the OD and various multi-divisional groups and task forces to make changes to forms, notices, letters, and publications owned by other operating divisions and functions.

  3. The TAS SPOC Program Manager ensures the appropriate TAS Standard Language is included, as applicable, in all IMDs that require a response from the taxpayer. The language consists of three levels of script (long, medium and small) that have been approved by the NTA for inclusion in IRMs, notices, letters, pubs, etc..

  4. The TAS SPOC Program Manager also communicates regularly with the Tax Forms and Publications business unit and the Tax Products Coordination Committee (TPCC), regarding TAS input for new or revised tax forms and publications. These reviews are managed through the IMD review process as previously described in this manual.

1.11.13.10  (08-06-2013)
Methods of Submitting Changes to IRMs, Forms, Publications, Notices, Letters and Systems

  1. All TAS employees should coordinate change requests for any IMD (forms/letters/notices/pubs or IRM) through the TAS IMD/SPOC Program.

    Caution:

    "Green Button" or "SERP feedback" actions must be coordinated with the TAS IMD/SPOC Staff for all TAS employees prior to submission.

  2. The IMD change request or recommendation should include:

    • Name and number of IMD for recommended change

    • Project Lead name and telephone number

    • Description of the changes to be made

    • Reasons for change

    • Supporting documentation, including examples

    • Suggestive language

      Note:

      Use of the IMD Review template is highly recommended to submit changes for IMD issues.

  3. When Systemic Advocacy receives issue submissions related to form and publication revisions, the SAMS Program Manager will coordinate these issues with the TAS SPOC Program Manager. The TAS SPOC Program Manager will review the issue and make determination to gather additional feedback from TAS subject matter experts or forward to responsible OD for action.

    Note:

    Internal requests for TAS review of these documents will be handled by the TAS SPOC Program Manager using procedures outlined in IRM 1.11.13.8, Reviewing IMDs For Systemic Issues.

  4. IMD change resulting from projects or advocacy issues should be coordinated with the TAS IMD SPOC staff. The TAS analyst should update the SAMS project or advocacy "Recommendation" tab with IMD recommendations prior to forwarding to the *TAS IMD SPOC mailbox. The TAS IMD SPOC staff will:

    1. Enter new IMD review on SAMS and update the "IMD Type" drop down menu as "Outside Clearance Process."

    2. Add new association to project or advocacy "Work Type ID"

    3. Update the "Notes" tab with relative information.

      Caution:

      The IMD review "Recommendations" tab should not be updated if the project or advocacy "Recommendation" tab is updated by the assigned TAS analyst.

    4. Send recommendations to the responsible ODs who own the particular letters/notices or IRMs.

    5. Create folder for IMD review under the *TAS IMD SPOC mailbox "External Review" folder and monitor for response.

      Note:

      If a recommendation is accepted by OD, publishing may take longer based on set guidelines for specific IMD types.

      Example:

      Filing season forms often get updated annually. Therefore the OD may agree to incorporate a recommendation, but publishing may be delayed until the designated timeframe opens for the next filing season.

  5. TAS employees should use SAMS to report systemic programming and operational problems that result in systemic problems for taxpayers.

  6. Suggestions for changes or improvements to internal TAS procedures or policies, Service Level Agreements, or IRM 13 should be forwarded to the appropriate TAS office for consideration (e.g. TAG, C&L, BA, VS&F).

    Note:

    The Deputy Commissioner will ultimately approve or reject the change.

Exhibit 1.11.13-1 
TAS Interim Guidance (IG) Memoranda Process

The table below outlines the IG process, including E -FOIA considerations, from beginning to end.

STEP RESPONSIBLE PARTY ACTION
1. Author/Analyst 1) Prepare draft memo (must be 508 compliant)
2) Coordinate with IMD Program Manager to identify it as interim guidance (IG)
3) Request a control number from the TAS IMD Program Manager by providing the following:
• a copy of the draft memo,
• a tentative issuance date,
• the identified impacted IRMs, if applicable, and
• a point of contact for the memo, including symbols and phone number
2. TAS IMD Program Manager 1) Assign a control number
2) Evaluate memo for E-FOIA criteria
3) Coordinate with Initiator
4) Explain the one-year rule and the need to monitor the memo for expiration
5) Review for 508 Compliance
6) Check for proper IGM format
7) Request initiator/author/analyst/TAS IRM Coordinator to notify TAS IMD Program Manager if the memo is obsoleted early through an IRM update or a changed process
3. Author/Analyst 1) Prepare the memo in accordance with E-FOIA guidelines
2) Prepare CAR and CPR (only if E-FOIA applies), including abstract for insertion on CPR
3) Clear memo package, including attachments, CAR and CPR , using Form 2061
4) Forward the signed final memo package electronically to TAS IMD Program Manager
4. TAS IMD Program Manager 1) Review the final memo package for compliance with E-FOIA guidelines and proper clearance approvals
2) Forward the memo package to the TAS C&L Staff for posting on the TAS website and www.irs.gov.
5. TAS C&L Staff 1) Review the CPR, CAR and memo to ensure that all information required for posting is provided.
2) Ensures the memo is 508 compliant and in PDF format.
3) Email the completed CPR, CAR, PDF and Word documents to appropriate TAS C&L staff for loading of IG to TAS website.
4) Email the completed CPR and PDF to the designated SPDER staff
6. SPDER Staff
1) Link the IGM to the Instructions to Staff Electronic Reading room site on www.irs.gov
2) Send confirmation to the TAS IMD Program Manager that the memo is posted to the site, for the IMD Coordinator to notify the initiator.
7. IRM Author
1) Create/update IRM in accordance with established procedure, not to exceed 1 year
2) Notify the IMD and IRM Coordinator when the IG is no longer needed
8. Author/Analyst
1) Ensure IRM has been updated and IRM indicates incorporation of the IG, if applicable. [Note: If IRM is not updated, consider reissuance of IG, but remember that the reissued memo must be approved by Director of SPDER and the Director who approved the originally issued memo and the NTA.]
2) Ensure expired memos are removed from www.irs.gov. (Expired memos are those that are either incorporated into an IRM or post- expiration date.)
3) Prepare the CPR and CAR and obtain approval for removal.
4) Forward CPR and CAR requesting removal of expired documentation to TAS IMD Program Manager.
9. TAS IMD Program Manager 1) Forward CPR to SPDER requesting removal of subject IG documentation from www.irs.gov.
2) Forward CAR to TAS C&L Staff for removal of subject IGM from TAS internal webpage.
10. SPDER Send confirmation to the TAS IMD Program Manager that the IG has been removed from www.irs.gov.

Exhibit 1.11.13-2 
TAS IRMs Listing

The table below contains a listing of all IRMs where TAS is the owner. The list contains the IRM number, the catalog number, and the official title.

Caution:

Some IRMs below may not be published to the repository and still in development.

IRM # Catalog # Title
1.1.8 30382H National Taxpayer Advocate
1.2.50 55340R Delegation of Authorities for Taxpayer Advocate Service Activities
1.4.13 49230M TAS Managers Resource Guide
1.5.8 30338P Guidance for Taxpayer Advocate Service
1.11.13 49558R Internal Management Documents System - Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Internal Management Document Program
13.1.1 30650A Legislative History and Organizational Structure
13.1.2 30652W Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA98§)
13.1.3 30653H Definition of Terms / Use of Abbreviations
13.1.4 35723S TAS Authorities
13.1.5 30655D TAS Confidentiality
13.1.6 30657Z Casework Communications
13.1.7 30658K Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Case Criteria
13.1.8 30659V Congressional Affairs Program
13.1.9 30660W Senate Finance Committee (SFC) Case Procedures
13.1.10 30661H Special Processes
13.1.11 30662S Case and Inventory Management
13.1.12 30663D Technical Advisors and the Virtual Team Process
13.1.14 35726Z Suspension of the Statutes of Limitation under IRC 7811(d)
13.1.15 35727K Customer Complaints/RRA98§ 1203 Procedures
13.1.16 35728V Receipt and Assignment of TAS Cases
13.1.17 47430U TAS Case Transfer Process
13.1.18 47431F Processing TAS Cases
13.1.19 47432Q TAS Operations Assistance Request (OAR) Process
13.1.20 47433B TAS Taxpayer Assistance Order (TAO) Process
13.1.21 47434M TAS Case Closing and Re-Open Case Procedures
13.1.22 49944H Inventory Balancing Procedures
13.1.23 52344F Taxpayer Representation
13.1.24 58009D Case Advocacy Procedures
13.2.1 30665Z Systemic Advocacy - Processing Advocacy Issues
13.2.2 30666K Systemic Advocacy - Inventory Control and Working an Assignment
13.2.4 58125E SAMS Administration
13.3.1 30667V National Taxpayer Advocate Toll-Free Program - NTA Toll-Free Procedures
13.4.1 32655X General TAMIS Information
13.4.2 35620K Administration and Security
13.4.3 35621V TAMIS Training
13.4.4 35622G Navigation/Querying
13.4.5 35623R Creating and Working a Case on TAMIS
13.4.6 35624C Management Inventory Screens
13.4.7 35625N Administrative Reports
13.4.8 35626Y Report Writing
13.5.1 32657T TAS Balanced Measure System
13.6.1 35731S Internal and External Communications
13.7.1 47230S Taxpayer Advocacy Panel
13.8.1 47233Z Procedures For Oversight Of The Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Program
13.8.2 50017B Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) Program Communications

Exhibit 1.11.13-3 
IMD SPOC Flowchart

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