13.1.16  Receipt and Assignment of TAS Cases

Manual Transmittal

June 22, 2012

Purpose

(1) This transmits editorial changes to IRM 13.1.16, Taxpayer Advocate Service, Taxpayer Advocate Case Procedures, Receipt and Assignment of TAS Cases.

Material Changes

(1) IRM 13.1.16.9.7 - Incorporated guidance from Interim Guidance Memo, TAS 13.1.16-1011-011 on Criteria 5-7 identity theft cases eligible for referral to Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU).

(2) IRM 13.1.16.9.7.1 - Incorporated guidance from Interim Guidance Memo, TAS 13.1.16-1011-011 on Criteria 5-7 identity theft cases not eligible for referral to IPSU.

(3) IRM 13.1.9.7.2 - Incorporated guidance from Interim Guidance Memo, TAS 13.1.16-1011-011 on determining eligibility for IPSU referrals when taxpayers contact TAS.

(4) IRM 13.1.9.7.3 - Incorporated guidance from Interim Guidance Memo, TAS 13.1.16-1011-011 on IPSU referral procedures for TAS.

Effect on Other Documents

This IRM supersedes IRM 13.1.16, Taxpayer Advocate Service, Taxpayer Advocate Case Procedures, Receipt and Assignment of TAS Cases dated February 1, 2011.

Audience

Taxpayer Advocate Service employees

Effective Date

(06-22-2012)


Nina E. Olson
National Taxpayer Advocate

13.1.16.1  (02-01-2011)
Receipt and Assignment of TAS Cases

  1. This section describes the different ways TAS cases are received and the initial assignment actions to take on these cases. The guidelines for loading cases on the Taxpayer Advocate Management Information System (TAMIS) and assigning cases are also included in this section.

13.1.16.2  (02-01-2011)
Introduction to TAS Case Receipt and Assignment

  1. TAS offices must expeditiously process direct contacts from taxpayers and referrals from Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Operating Divisions, Functions, and the NTA Toll-Free telephone number to ensure TAS cases are promptly assigned to Case Advocates for resolution.

  2. TAS offices also receive Congressional, Senate Finance Committee (SFC), and other sensitive inquiries that are treated somewhat differently. These contacts are received in a variety of ways, including the Information Tracking System (i-trak), and require the immediate input of the case on TAMIS.

    Note:

    See IRM 13.1.8, Congressional Affairs Program and IRM 13.1.9, Executive Correspondence Procedures.

13.1.16.3  (02-01-2011)
Receipt of Potential TAS Cases

  1. The TAS office may receive contacts from taxpayers, taxpayer representatives, third parties, congressional representatives, or IRS Operating Divisions Functions employees (OD/Functions).

    Note:

    In this Guide, "OD/Function" is defined as the portion of the IRS that does not include TAS. "IRS employees" means employees of all Operating Division or Function, and TAS.

  2. OD/Functions may submit taxpayer inquiries on Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Assistance (And Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order), but taxpayers and various third parties may contact TAS offices by telephone, fax, letter, E-mail, or in person.

  3. OD/Functions do not have to submit a Form 911 for every contact that may meet TAS criteria. Using the guidelines listed in IRM 13.1.7.4, Same Day Resolution by Operations, OD/Functions must first determine whether they can properly resolve the inquiry or provide the relief requested. If so, the OD/Function must take the necessary action and a referral to a TAS office is not necessary.

  4. If an OD/Function receives a taxpayer contact that meets TAS criteria, and the employee cannot resolve the taxpayer's inquiry or provide the relief requested by the taxpayer within the guidelines listed in IRM 13.1.7.4, the employee must prepare Form 911. The Form 911 must state the taxpayer’s problem, and must document the relief requested. OD/Functions are required to document the reason why the action was not taken by the initiator.

  5. OD/Functions will forward Form 911 to TAS within one (1) workday of identifying a contact that potentially meets TAS criteria when such contact cannot be resolved within the guidelines listed in IRM 13.1.7.4.

13.1.16.4  (03-23-2011)
Completion of Form 911

  1. Form 911 Sections I and II will be completed by the initiator on all potential TAS cases. The initiator may be from either internal (IRS employees) or external (taxpayers and various third parties) sources.

    1. When an IRS employee prepares the Form 911, the employee is responsible for assuring that Sections I, II and III are complete. The taxpayer's problem and the taxpayer's relief sought must be clear and specific in Items 14 and 15 of Section I.

  2. Only TAS employees will complete Section IV.

  3. During telephone contacts with taxpayers, TAS employees will enter cases on TAMIS through the Accounts Management Services (AMS) using the date of contact as the Taxpayer Advocate Received Date (TARD). Do not prepare a paper Form 911, because it would be duplicating the same information that is on AMS.

  4. When AMS is not available load cases directly through TAMIS.

  5. Paper Forms 911 will be prepared by TAS employees only when both AMS and TAMIS are not functional.

13.1.16.4.1  (02-01-2011)
IRC § 7602(c) Third Party Contact Authorization

  1. The following statement is on Form 911, Section I, Item 16, in the taxpayer signature area. "I understand that Taxpayer Advocate employees may contact third parties in order to respond to this request and I authorize such contacts to be made. Further, by authorizing the Taxpayer Advocate Service to contact third parties, I understand that I will not receive notice pursuant to section § 7602(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of third parties contacted in connection with this request."

  2. Because the taxpayer authorizes third party contact, IRC § 7602(c) does not apply. See IRC § 7602(c)(3)(A).

    Note:

    In situations when the taxpayer has not signed the Form 911, third party authorizations may also be obtained using Form 12180, Third Party Authorization Form.

13.1.16.4.2  (02-01-2011)
Oral Authorization for IRC § 7602(c) Third Party Contact

  1. Written authorization for third party contacts is the preferable means for obtaining taxpayer authorization. Oral authorization, however, is acceptable. When the taxpayer orally authorizes contact with third parties, such authorization must be thoroughly documented on the TAMIS history screen.

  2. When taxpayers authorize third party contact during a telephone call, document it in the TAMIS case history with the date of the contact.

13.1.16.4.3  (02-01-2011)
IRC § 7602(c) Third Party Contact Authorization made by Certain Power of Attorneys (POAs)

  1. Certain taxpayers' representatives may authorize third party contact. The taxpayer and representative must have executed a validForm 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative. Form 2848 provides that "The representatives are authorized to perform any and all acts that I (we) can perform with respect to tax matters described on line 3 [Form 2848], for example, the authority to sign any agreement, consents, or other documents." This language is considered sufficient to allow a taxpayer's representative to authorize third party contact.

  2. Only attorneys, CPAs, and enrolled agents can authorize third party contact as taxpayer representatives. In addition, students working in a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) or Student Tax Clinic Program (STCP) that represent taxpayers under a special order by the Director, Office of Professional Responsibility, may, subject to any limitations set forth in the letter from the Office of Professional Responsibility, represent taxpayers before any IRS office and can authorize third party contacts as a taxpayer's representative. When these representatives grant authority over the phone, document it in the TAMIS case history with the date.

    Note:

    This authority does not extend to the other types of representatives listed on Form 2848, such as family members, unenrolled agents or tax return preparers. Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization, does not grant this authority.

13.1.16.4.4  (02-01-2011)
IRC § 7602(c) Third Party Contact Not Authorized by Taxpayer or Representative

  1. When third party notification is not authorized by the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s representative, and meets the notification requirements under IRC § 7602(c), update the TAMIS Third Party Authorization Screen with the contact information and authorization. See IRM 13.4, TAS TAMIS Guide . For more information on Third Party Contacts and IRC § 7602(c), refer to 13.1.6, RRA98 § 3417 Third party Contacts.

13.1.16.5  (02-01-2011)
Complaints and Allegations Concerning Employees

  1. If the taxpayer contact contains a complaint about an employee or alleges employee misconduct, refer toIRM 13.1.15, Customer Complaints/RRA 98 § 1203 Procedures. Document TAMIS history with "referral to TIGTA per taxpayer complaint." Continue processing the contact for TAS criteria, if it contains tax-related issues.

13.1.16.6  (02-01-2011)
Initial TAS Case Receipt and Assignment Actions

  1. Forms 911 and correspondence (including returns) received directly in the TAS office should be date stamped with the date received in the Taxpayer Advocate office. This is the Taxpayer Advocate Received Date (TARD). Ensure the TAS date stamp does not conceal information provided on the Form 911 or on the return. The TARD will be noted on TAMIS. If a telephone call is received in the TAS office, the date of the telephone call is the TARD.

    Note:

    If TAS receives a Form 911 with a time-sensitive return or claim (e.g., received on the due date for filing, on the last day that the taxpayer can claim a refund, or the taxpayer has an imminent economic need for expedite processing), give the inquiry to the manager or designated official for immediate action or assignment. See IRM 13.1.18.6.3, Taxpayers Delivering Returns to TAS and TAS Date Stamping, for procedures to follow upon receipt of a return.

  2. Review the Form 911 inquiry to determine the TAS criteria, and then TAS must take the following initial case receipt actions on Forms 911:

    • Review Form 911 and/or correspondence for completeness, including the TARD date stamp;

    • Research TAMIS for any case controls (e.g., cross-reference EINs, SSNs, ITINs);

    • Research the Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS);

    • Verify the applicable TAS criteria; and

    • Load the case through AMS unless the case was received through AMS.

    The above actions must be taken within 1 workday of the TARD for Criteria 1 through 4 cases; and within 3 workdays of the TARD for Criteria 5 through 9 cases.

    Note:

    If the Form 911 is incomplete, TAS will accept it into inventory following guidance above. The Case Advocate assigned the case will obtain the missing information in the initial contact per 13.1.18.3, Initial Contact.

13.1.16.7  (02-01-2011)
Prior TAMIS Control

  1. If there is an open case on TAMIS, forward the taxpayer contact to the assigned employee. Update the TAMIS history screen to note the taxpayer's contact.

  2. If TAMIS shows a closed TAS case with the same issue, refer to IRM 13.1.21.3, Reopening Cases for direction.

  3. If there is a prior unrelated closed case from the same taxpayer and the inquiry meets TAS criteria, load the inquiry on TAMIS per IRM 13.4.5, Creating and Working a Case on TAMIS, note on the current TAMIS case history screen the unrelated TAMIS case number and state that it was an unrelated issue.

13.1.16.8  (03-23-2011)
Contacts Not Meeting TAS Criteria (Frivolous Arguments)

  1. A contact does not meet TAS Criteria if the contact or inquiry ONLY questions the constitutionality of the tax system or the focus of the taxpayer's inquiry is solely to employ frivolous tax strategies to avoid or delay filing returns or paying federal taxes. For further assistance in determining whether an argument is frivolous see Notice 2010-33, 2010-17 I.R.B. 609 (or successor guidance) and also Publication 2105,Why do I have to Pay taxes? Keep in mind that if a taxpayer uses Form 911 to raise frivolous arguments, the taxpayer may be subject to a penalty of $5,000 under IRC § 6702(b). Check the TAS Website to see if interim guidance on processing frivolous Forms 911 has been posted.

  2. Forward any entirely frivolous correspondence to the Ogden Compliance Center, where it will be processed in accordance with procedures set forth in IRM 4.10.12.4.5.

  3. At the same time the frivolous correspondence is sent to Ogden, send a letter to the taxpayer stating that his or her inquiry does not meet TAS criteria and that it was forwarded to the Examination Division of the Ogden Campus. Use the standard non-criteria TAS letter (1686) and insert the following language:

    Example:

    "We have determined that the arguments you raised appear to be frivolous and have no basis in law. It is the policy of the Taxpayer Advocate Service not to respond on a point-by-point basis to questions such as those raised in your correspondence. The claims presented in your correspondence also do not relieve you from your legal responsibilities to file federal tax returns and pay taxes. We urge you to honor those legal duties.
    I have forwarded your inquiry to the Examination Division at the Ogden Campus. You may contact them at telephone number 1–866–883–0235. This is a toll-free number."

  4. Add a history notation on AMS (if the inquiry came to TAS on AM) of when the frivolous return letter was sent to Ogden Frivolous Return Unit. Refer to IRM 13.1.10, Special Processes, for more information.

13.1.16.8.1  (11-03-2011)
Contacts Not Meeting TAS Criteria (Nonfrivolous Inquiries)

  1. For all other contacts or inquiries that are legitimate but that nonetheless do not meet TAS criteria, take the following actions:

    1. If unable to resolve at point of contact, refer the telephone inquiry, via Form 4442, Inquiry Referral, through the Operating Division Liaison to the IRS OD/Function responsible for resolving the taxpayer’s inquiry.

    2. Advise the taxpayer that the contact does not meet TAS criteria and that the inquiry is being referred to the OD/Function for resolution. Contact with the taxpayer should be by telephone, whenever possible. If telephone contact cannot be made, send a letter, (see Letter 1686, Does Not Meet Taxpayer Advocate Criteria). Advise the taxpayer that the OD/Function will make contact within 30 calendar days (commencing from the date the taxpayer was advised of the referral) or within 45 calendar days for referrals to Criminal Investigation. However, do not inform the taxpayers that they may be the subject of an investigation. See IRM 21.5.6.4.52, Z Freeze.

    3. For correspondence, if unable to resolve at point of contact, send the taxpayer’s inquiry to the IRS OD/Function via Form 3210, Document Transmittal, and not on a Form 4442. This includes signed Forms 911 initiated by taxpayers and their representatives. Do not input these cases on TAMIS.

      Note:

      If referring Form 911, clearly state on Form 3210"Does not meet TAS criteria"

    4. On the referral to the OD/Function, whether on Form 4442 or Form 3210, be sure to notate the promised contact date given to the taxpayer.

    5. Add a history notation on AMS (if the referral came to TAS on AMS) or ENMOD to indicate the inquiry did not meet TAS criteria, that it was returned or referred and to whom.

  2. Internally referred cases not otherwise meeting TAS criteria may be returned to the function once received by TAS, but only with Local Taxpayer Advocate (LTA) approval. TAS will work to educate the function on why the case did not meet TAS criteria and how they could have addressed the issue. The LTA will determine if the incorrect referral is an anomaly or meets systemic burden criteria. A 7811 determination must still be made. An inquiry that initially doesn't meet TAS criteria may become one that meets both 7811 and TAS criteria.

  3. Whether the case was received as a result of an IRS referral or direct taxpayer contact to TAS, remember:

    • Each situation or case is decided on its own merit.

    • We need to be as helpful and compassionate as possible to a taxpayer whose case we cannot accept.

    • We should try to direct the taxpayer where to go for help and attempt to put the taxpayer in touch with an IRS employee who can help with the problem.

    • Remind the taxpayer that he or she may become eligible for TAS assistance if the IRS does not resolve the problem.

13.1.16.9  (11-03-2011)
Contacts Meeting TAS Criteria

  1. Contacts meeting TAS criteria must be added to TAMIS and will need additional determinations made on them.

    Note:

    Do not load to TAMIS non-congressional identity theft inquiries meeting TAS criteria 5-7 (systemic burden) and does not have a open or previously closed case on TAMIS. Refer these non congressional inquiries to Accounts Management Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU). See IRM 13.1.16.9.7, Criteria 5-7 Identity Theft Cases Eligible for Referral to Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU). .

13.1.16.9.1  (03-23-2011)
Loading TAS Cases on TAMIS

  1. Input on TAMIS (Taxpayer Screen 2 Hardship/Problem Description/Relief Requested), the problem of the taxpayer and the relief or assistance the taxpayer is requesting. Describe the taxpayer's problem or circumstance in the problem description field. Input the relief requested by the taxpayer in the relief requested field.

  2. When TAMIS is used to track non-TAS cases, use tracking code zero in the TAMIS Criteria Code field.

    Note:

    There is no TAS Criteria Zero. Zero is used as a tracking code for non-TAS cases.

13.1.16.9.2  (02-01-2011)
Determining Case Criteria Codes

  1. In many instances, more than one criteria code may apply to a case. When multiple codes apply, choose the one that reflects the issue of most concern to the taxpayer and that would offer the most benefit to the taxpayer. See IRM 13.1.7, TAS Case Criteria, for a definition of criteria codes.

    Example:

    A taxpayer’s wages are levied by the IRS because the Offer in Compromise (OIC) unit failed to input a Transaction Code 480 to the account, which would have prevented enforced collection action. The levy on the taxpayer’s wages is preventing him from making his rent payment. While both Criteria Codes 1 and 7 would apply, Criteria Code 1 should be chosen. The taxpayer is more concerned with the economic burden the levy is placing on him than the fact that an IRS process or procedure failed.

13.1.16.9.3  (02-01-2011)
Determining Where The Case Should Be Worked

  1. Determine whether the contact will be worked locally or meets transfer criteria (see IRM 13.1.17, TAS Case Transfer Process. Consider the taxpayer's best interest if the taxpayer states verbally or in writing that he or she wants the case worked in his or her local office. Issues to consider include, but are not limited to:

    1. Whether the taxpayer can bring the documents to a local TAS office.

    2. Whether there will be a difference in mailing times between the taxpayer sending documents to a local TAS office versus the taxpayer sending them to the TAS office that received the inquiry.

    3. Whether the inquiry is best worked at a local TAS office or a campus.

    4. Significant time zone differences.

    5. The taxpayer's best interest takes priority over language issues.

  2. If the issue meets transfer guidelines under Exhibit 13.1.17-1, TAS Transfer Guidelines, document the reason for transfer using the drop-down box on the TAMIS Transfer Screen and transfer the case to that office. If the drop-down menu does not list the reason for the transfer, note the reason for the transfer in the additional explanation field of the Transfer Screen. Also, note on the TAMIS Transfer Screen if any taxpayer documents are being forwarded and the method (e.g., secure e-mail, fax, overnight, etc.). Transfers are discussed in IRM 13.1.17, TAS Case Transfer Process.

    Note:

    Refer to the TAS Web page for the latest updates on TAS Case Transfer Guidelines

  3. Before transferring, the case must be loaded on TAMIS by the sending office within 2 workdays of the TARD on Criteria 1-4 cases and 3 workdays of the TARD on Criteria 5-9 cases. If TAMIS is non-operational seeIRM 13.1.17.9, Transferring Cases When TAMIS is NOT Operational.

  4. Any cases that need an immediate TAS response to prevent adverse actions should be transferred only after the sending office's LTA notifies the receiving office's LTA by phone of the impending transfer.

  5. On Criteria 1-4 Cases, if the taxpayer's circumstances require a contact in less than 3 workdays, fax a copy of the Form 911 or a copy of the TAMIS Screen 1, to the receiving office. FAX all documentation provided by the taxpayer unless there are documents that contain required original taxpayer signature(s), or voluminous paperwork, then send by overnight delivery.

13.1.16.9.4  (02-01-2011)
Cases Not Transferred

  1. If the TAS case will not be transferred, assign the case. See IRM 13.1.16.12, Case Advocate Case Assignment, in this chapter to determine appropriate case assignment.

13.1.16.9.5  (02-01-2011)
TAS Same Day Resolution

  1. Problems that are resolved by a TAS employee within 24 hours, also known as "Same Day Resolution" cases, are required to be loaded on TAMIS as a TAS case. "Same Day Resolution" cases must follow and adhere to TAS case processing procedures including, TAS identification procedures, taxpayer authentication and closing actions. See IRMs 13.1.18 and 13.1.21.

    Example:

    On March 15, a taxpayer calls the local TAS office because he received an IRS notice dated January 15, informing him that his federal income tax refund will be issued in 30 days. The taxpayer has not received his refund. After TAS identification and taxpayer authentication the TAS Case Advocate reviews IDRS and determines the refund was issued on March 13. After informing the taxpayer of the refund amount and interest (if applicable), the date of issuance, and after all applicable closing actions under IRM 13.1.21.1, Closing Criteria are completed, the case would be loaded and closed on TAMIS as a "Same Day Resolution" case.

13.1.16.9.6  (02-01-2011)
OD/Function 24-Hour Resolution Cases Referred to TAS

  1. If a contact meets TAS criteria but could have been handled by the OD/Function that made the referral, TAS will accept the referral and load the case on TAMIS. The LTA, or official with the authority, may issue a Taxpayer Assistance Order (TAO) without first issuing a Form 12412, Operation Assistance Request (OAR). See IRM 13.1.20.2(5) . A TAO can only be issued, however, if the case meets the criteria for a TAO as defined by IRC § 7811 and Treas. Reg. § 301.7811-1. See also IRM 13.1.20, TAS TAO Process, for procedures for issuing a TAO.

    Example:

    A taxpayer facing eviction calls the toll-free call site claiming her refund was not received, creating a financial hardship for the taxpayer. The post office returned the refund to the IRS due to a typographical error on the taxpayer's address setting a freeze on the account. Instead of doing a manual refund to relieve the financial hardship (which is within the call site's authority), the call site sends an E-911 to TAS. TAS calls the responsible official in the call site about issuing the refund. The call does not resolve the matter, and TAS cannot take action to release the refund because of the freeze code (i.e., the case is open in another function). The LTA may issue a TAO to the call site ordering the IRS to issue the taxpayer's refund without first issuing an OAR.

    Example:

    TAS receives a referral (Form 911) from a Revenue Officer (RO). The RO advises TAS that in working with the taxpayer, the RO has released a wage levy that was imposed due to an error and needs TAS's assistance in returning the levied proceeds to the taxpayer. The LTA contacts the RO Group Manager to discuss because a) although the inquiry meets TAS criteria, the RO could have initiated action for Same Day Resolution; b) TAS does not have the authority since the case is open in another function; and c) the RO does have the authority to initiate the return of levied property request. The discussion does not resolve the issue, so the LTA may issue a TAO to Collection directing the IRS to return the levied funds to the taxpayer without first issuing an OAR.

13.1.16.9.7  (06-22-2012)
Criteria 5-7 Identity Theft Cases Eligible for Referral to Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU)

  1. Generally, IRS and TAS will refer taxpayers meeting TAS criteria 5-7 (systemic burden) who seek assistance with an identity theft issue to the Accounts Management Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU).

    Note:

    Accounts Management IRM 21.9.2.10, Identity Theft Assistance Request (ITAR) - General Information, provides guidance for IPSU employees when resolving these identity theft priority referrals.

13.1.16.9.7.1  (06-22-2012)
Criteria 5-7 Identity Theft Cases Not Eligible for Referral to IPSU

  1. There will be situations where it is in the best interest of the taxpayer to retain the case in TAS for resolution. The National Taxpayer Advocate determined TAS will continue to resolve identity theft systemic burden cases that meet one of the following conditions:

    1. The taxpayer declines referral to IPSU.

    2. IPSU has already tried to provide relief in the past, and has failed.

    3. Systemic burden cases that require advocacy, which might lead to the issuance of a Taxpayer Assistance Order on behalf of the taxpayer.

    4. Taxpayers not satisfied with the assistance provided through IPSU.

    5. Taxpayers assisted by IPSU, who subsequently face economic burden while IPSU is processing their request, will come to TAS for assistance when IPSU cannot provide relief within 24 hours.

    6. Congressional cases.

    7. Any cases previously open in TAS.

    8. Taxpayer cases added to TAMIS will remain in TAS and be resolved through the OAR process.

13.1.16.9.7.2  (06-22-2012)
When Taxpayers Contact TAS - Determine Eligibility for IPSU Referral

  1. Determine if there is an open or closed case on TAMIS per IRM 13.1.7, Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Case Criteria. Taxpayers currently or previously assisted by TAS are not eligible for referral to the IPSU. If TAMIS reflects an open or closed case, provide the taxpayer with the advocate’s contact information and document TAMIS accordingly.

  2. If there is no open or closed case on TAMIS, determine whether the taxpayer’s identity theft issue is suitable for referral to the IPSU, generally criteria 5-7, excluding exceptions noted in IRM 13.1.16.9.7.1, Criteria 5-7 Identity Theft Cases Not Eligible for Referral to IPSU.

  3. If the taxpayer’s circumstance meets eligibility requirements, advise the taxpayer he or she is qualified for referral to IRS’ Identity Protection Specialized Unit. If the taxpayer is not in agreement with this referral and the inquiry meets TAS criteria 5-7, create a case on TAMIS and notate TAMIS history screen “Taxpayer declined referral to IPSU.”

13.1.16.9.7.3  (06-22-2012)
IPSU Referral Procedures

  1. 1. When the taxpayer agrees to the referral, advise the taxpayer of the following:

    1. The IPSU will assign the case to a member of their staff within 5 workdays of receipt of the referral and issue a letter confirming receipt of the case in the IPSU.

    2. The IPSU will keep the taxpayer informed of case progress until all issues have been resolved. IPSU will make every effort to handle the case in a timely and efficient manner and notify the taxpayer of its resolution.

    3. The IPSU toll-free telephone number 1-800-908-4490; fax number 978-684-4542; and mailing address P.O. Box 9039, Andover, ME 01810.

    4. If circumstances change due to economic burden or the taxpayer becomes dissatisfied with the services provided by the IPSU, contact the National Taxpayer Advocate hotline at 1-877-777-4778.

    Note:

    In situations where the taxpayer has contacted TAS by mail and TAS is unable to reach the taxpayer by phone, issue a TAS Identity Theft Referral letter to the taxpayer advising that his account has been referred to IPSU for resolution.

  2. Take the following actions when the taxpayer agrees to IPSU referral (Do NOT add a case to TAMIS):

    1. Complete Form 4442, Inquiry Referral .

    2. Include any documents provided by the taxpayer.

    3. Within three work days of receipt of taxpayer inquiry by TAS, fax Form 4442 to the AM IPSU team using the Identity Theft Fax number 978-684-4542; or send secure E-mail to *W&I-ITAR.

    4. Open an IDRS control on TXMOD using Command Code ACTON “C#,TAS5-7IPSU,M,ATAO”.

      Note:

      The TAS employee inputting the control base will use his or her own IDRS number in the ACTON assigned employee field.

    5. Prepare an IPSU Referral Monitoring Sheet and monitor the taxpayer’s account for an IPSU IDRS Control. Maintain the Referral Monitoring Sheet in a suspense file. IPSU will control the case using IDRS category code “ITAR”.

    6. Once IPSU controls the account as “ITAR”, close the TAS IDRS monitoring control.

    7. If IPSU does not control the account on IDRS as “ITAR” within five business days of the date the case was referred to IPSU, elevate to your manager for action, providing the taxpayer’s name and SSN.

    8. If the IPSU control base is not open within five business days, the TAS Manager will contact the W&I Identity Theft Planning and Analysis (P&A) Analyst to determine the nature of the delay.

  3. If the OD/Function inappropriately refers the identity theft inquiry to TAS, instead of IPSU and it has not been loaded on TAMIS, contact the taxpayer and advise he or she is qualified for referral to IRS’s Identity Protection Specialized Unit. If the taxpayer is in agreement of referring the issue to IPSU, forward the inquiry following IRM 13.1.16.9.7.3(2).

    Note:

    Identity theft cases loaded on TAMIS from the NTA Toll-free will remain in TAS. Do not delete from TAMIS. Elevate inappropriate NTA Toll-free cases as appropriate using the NTA Toll-Free feedback form.

13.1.16.10  (02-01-2011)
Receiving Transferred TAS Cases

  1. TAS will receive cases transferred-in via TAMIS by other TAS offices. These cases are included in the group inventory screen on the Manager Inventory screen on TAMIS. The TAS office that receives the transferred case is responsible for assigning the case, contacting the taxpayer, and resolving the case. See IRM 13.1.17.5, TAS Transfer Time Frames. Review cases that are transferred from other TAS offices immediately for control, research, and assignment. Cases transferred from another TAS office have already been determined to meet TAS criteria. If there is a dispute about whether a case meets TAS criteria elevate the dispute to the LTA for resolution.

  2. Information about the types of cases that may be transferred are contained in IRM 13.1.17, TAS Case Transfer Process.

  3. Resolve any disputes about the appropriateness of the transfer with the sending office. Elevate unresolved disputes to the LTA through the manager. Follow the procedures in IRM 13.1.17, TAS Case Transfer Process.

13.1.16.10.1  (02-01-2011)
Referrals within TAS

  1. Referrals are generally only made to TAS Technical Advisors (Campus Technical Advisors, Revenue Officer Technical Advisors, and Revenue Agent Technical Advisors). See IRM 13.1.12.1.2, Requesting Assistance from Technical Advisors.

13.1.16.11  (02-01-2011)
Advocacy Considerations

  1. TAS Employees may determine that certain issues arise often, are broad in scope, negatively impact taxpayers, or result in unfair taxpayer treatment.

  2. Elevate any issues that merit:

    • Pro-active involvement to prevent such problems in the future;

    • Change to Internal Revenue Service policies or procedures;

    • Change to the law or regulations; or

    • Change to current Internal Revenue Service systems.

  3. IRM 13.2.2.8.3, Submitting Advocacy Issues, explains the process for elevating advocacy issues. Continue processing the TAS case to resolve the taxpayer issue(s).

  4. Cases involving only an advocacy non income tax account-related issue should follow current systemic advocacy procedures outlined in IRM 13.2.1, Processing Advocacy Issues.

13.1.16.12  (03-23-2011)
Case Advocate Case Assignment

  1. Upon acceptance into the TAS program, cases are ready for assignment to Case Advocates. Assign cases to Case Advocates within 2 workdays of the TARD for Criteria 1-4 cases and 3 workdays of the TARD for Criteria 5-9 cases.

  2. Guidelines for case assignment are located athttp://tasnew.stg.web.irs.gov/Files/PolicyandProcedure/CaseGuidance/MiscDocsForPosting/TAMIS_Case_Assignment_List.doc. There is a table for each of the ten major categories of Issue Codes.

  3. Use the Case Assignment List table to determine case assignment:

    1. Select the Primary Core Issue Code (PCIC) for the case from the left column. See IRM 13.1.16.13, Case Coding for TAMIS Input, for more information on determining the correct PCIC.

    2. Move to the right column, "Assignment" to find the grade level of the Case Advocate, i.e., Grade 9 or Grade 11, that should receive the type of issue identified by the PCIC.

      Note:

      Grade 9 is considered the working level, so Case Advocates at the GS 5 or 7 levels will be assigned work from the GS 9 list of PCICs.

    3. When the "PCIC Description" calls for the assignment to a GS 9, assign the case to a GS 5, 7 or 9 Case Advocate.

    4. When the "PCIC Description" calls for the assignment to a GS 11, assign the case to a GS 11 Case Advocate.

      Note:

      Management has the right to assign higher graded work to employees in accordance with the National Agreement. Thus, GS 9 Case Advocates could be assigned GS 11 work in accordance with the National Agreement.

    5. Listed below are some items to consider when assigning case work:

    • Multiple issues

    • Multiple TAS offices in more than one area involved

    • Technical complexity (or difficulty of resolving case)

    • Sensitivity of the case (e.g., Senate Finance Committee Cases, suicide, media impact)

    • On-the-job training needs

  4. Use the TAMIS Manager Inventory Screen to assign cases to a Case Advocate. These instructions are found in IRM 13.4.6, Management Inventory Screen.

  5. Individual TAS offices will determine how cases are screened and assigned within their office. Generally, managers or their designees will determine case assignment, but TAMIS actions to move cases into employee inventories may be taken by other staff (see IRM 13.4.6, Management Inventory Screens).

    Note:

    If there is one issue that affects several taxpayers, a separate case should be loaded on TAMIS for each taxpayer.

    Example:

    A Campus experiences a systemic problem processing taxpayers' requests for extensions of time to file. As a result, taxpayers are charged late filing penalties in error and contact TAS about it. Each taxpayer who contacts TAS or is identified by TAS is loaded as a separate case. This allows TAS and the OD/Function to track the scope of the problem.

13.1.16.13  (02-01-2011)
Case Coding for TAMIS Input

  1. Each TAS case is assigned certain TAMIS codes once it meets case criteria. Even if the assigned Case Advocate did not initially input the case on TAMIS, he or she must still ensure that the information from the Form 911, other designated TAMIS input documents, or direct contact with the taxpayer is correct and updated on TAMIS as the case develops. Codes and information input instructions are found in IRM 13.4.5, Creating and Working a Case on TAMIS.

  2. Once the information is loaded on TAMIS, the system assigns a Case File Number. This number should be noted on Form 911.

  3. Refer to IRM 13.45, Creating and Working a Case on TAMIS, for information and codes needed for TAMIS input.

13.1.16.13.1  (02-01-2011)
Issue Codes

  1. TAS uses "issue codes" to identify the problem or issue as stated by the taxpayer (Taxpayer Issue Code (TIC)) and "issue codes" to identify the underlying IRS policy, procedure, or issue that generated the TAS case (Primary Core Issue Code (PCIC)).

  2. The purpose of coding the case is to help quantify case data so that workload and systemic trends can be identified and analyzed. To facilitate this throughout the entire life of the case, the Case Advocate:

    • Analyzes the case.

    • Applies guidance and law to the facts and circumstances of the case.

    • Makes decisions aided by published guidance and law.

    • Updates and corrects TAMIS at the time the need for an update or correction is identified.

  3. IRM 13.4.5–1, Issue Code List, contains a listing of the "issue codes" and definitions.

13.1.16.13.1.1  (02-01-2011)
Taxpayer Issue Code

  1. The Taxpayer Issue Code (TIC) is a three-digit code that captures the taxpayer's perception of the problem/issue. The TIC can be either general or specific depending on the information received from the taxpayer. The TIC is based on the information available when the case is loaded on TAMIS and then updated once the taxpayer's perception of the problem has been identified. The TIC is entered into Screen 1 of the Taxpayer Information Screen and will be updated as the case progresses.

  2. The TIC can be as broad as 000-Refund (General refund inquiry such as "Where is my refund?" ) or as specific as 010-Lost/Stolen Refund (specific refund inquiry such as "I lost my refund check. " ).

    Example:

    A taxpayer calls TAS on September 15, 2008, and states he sent in all the information requested in a letter from Examination on March 1, 2008. The taxpayer states he also had received another letter from Examination indicating he would receive a response by May 2, 2008. The taxpayer wants to know the status of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) examination and when the refund would be issued. The TIC code for this case would be 630-RPS/EITC Claim. The taxpayer is aware that the refund is being held pending an examination of the return for EITC.

    Example:

    A call site sends a Form 911 which states the taxpayer has sent in copies of the cancelled check twice and a copy of his bank statement showing the funds were removed. The taxpayer receives another letter from the IRS requesting the same information. Based on the information provided on the Form 911, the TIC would be 210-Missing/Incorrect Payments. The taxpayer's issue is clear based on the Form 911; thus, the appropriate TIC can be determined based on the available information.

13.1.16.13.1.2  (02-01-2011)
Primary Core Issue Code

  1. The Primary Core Issue Code (PCIC) is a three-digit code that defines the most significant issue, policy or process within the IRS that needs to be resolved. The PCIC is located on Taxpayer Screen 5 on the TAMIS system. The objective is to identify the IRS issue, policy or process that, with TAS assistance, the taxpayer needs to resolve.

  2. Update the PCIC as the case progresses so that it always reflects the most significant issue of the case. The Case Advocate (CA) determines the PCIC. The taxpayer issue may not be the same as the underlying IRS issue. The CA must determine what IRS issue, policy or process caused the taxpayer to need TAS assistance.

    Example:

    The taxpayer requests abatement of all the unpaid interest and penalties. The CA determines the primary taxpayer issue to be interest abatement Use issue code 810, Informal Interest Abatement Request, for the Taxpayer Issue Code (TIC) because the taxpayer had not filed a formal claim for interest abatement. In developing the case, the CA determines that the Collection Statute Expiration Date (CSED) had been improperly extended. After correcting the CSED, the taxpayer is no longer liable for the unpaid interest and penalties. Based on this information, the CA determines the PCIC is the CSED and uses issue code 175, Collection Statute (CSED).

  3. There will be some cases where the same issue code is used for the TIC and PCIC.

    Example:

    A taxpayer contacts TAS to inquire about the status of his lien release. The taxpayer claims that more than two months has elapsed since all the taxes on the lien were paid, and he has not yet been notified of the release. The CA confirms that all the taxpayer's payments were applied timely and the accounts are showing a zero balance due. In this case both the TIC and the PCIC would be 721.

13.1.16.13.1.3  (02-01-2011)
Secondary Core Issue Code

  1. The Secondary Core Issue (SCIC) is a three-digit code that is used to identify secondary issues involved in the case. The SCIC is used when a case has multiple issues to resolve. The SCIC is not used to identify the taxpayer's issue or the resolution to the case.

  2. The case may reflect multiple SCICs. Input additional SCICs as the case progresses so that it reflects all applicable SCICs identified.

    Example:

    The taxpayer contacts TAS regarding a levy on his bank account. The CA determines that the levy was caused by $ 55,000 of missing FTDs and an unagreed FUTA assessment of $ 11,300. The TIC is 710-Levy. The taxpayer contacted TAS about the bank levy. The PCIC is 230-Missing FTDs, for the CA determined the missing FTDs was the predominant issue. Because the secondary issue of the unagreed FUTA assessment is involved, the SCIC is 677-FUTA. The taxpayer has an outstanding balance after the payments are applied and request a Streamline Installment Agreement. The SCIC-751 is added as another secondary issue.


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