13.1.17  TAS Case Transfer Process

Manual Transmittal

August 28, 2013

Purpose

(1) This transmits a revision of the IRM 13.1.17, Taxpayer Advocate Service, Taxpayer Advocate Case Procedures, TAS Case Transfer Process.

Material Changes

(1) 13.1.17 was updated and reorganized to incorporate Interim Guidance Memorandum (IGM) TAS-13-0612-016, Interim Guidance on Centralizing Accounts Management Services (AMS) Referrals, dated June 5, 2012. As a result various subsections have minor verbiage changes or have been renumbered.

(2) 13.1.17.4 title changed to "Routing of AMS Receipts from Operating Division (OD) to Co-Located Toll-Free Sites".

(3) 13.1.17.4(1) now includes information about Centralized ORG Code 10.

(4) 13.1.17.4.1(2) now includes the Spanish Partnering office's website address.

(5) 13.1.17.4.2 revised to replace co-located office instructions with Centralized AMS instructions.

(6) 13.1.17.4.2.1 through 13.1.17.4.2.5 contain new subsection material incorporated from IGM TAS-13-0612-016 outlining specific handling instructions for various situations.

(7) 13.1.17.4.2.1 is now 13.1.17.4.3. Subsections renumbered accordingly.

(8) 13.1.17.4.2.6 through 13.1.17.4.2.8 paragraphs deleted.

(9) 13.1.17.4.3(3) is now 13.1.17.4.4(3). N-WLB Coordinator language changed to Centralized AMS national coordinator.

(10) 13.1.17.4.5 is a new section explaining how Centralized AMS staffing is to be determined.

Effect on Other Documents

This IRM supersedes IRM 13.1.17, Taxpayer Advocate Service, Taxpayer Advocate Case Procedures, TAS Case Transfer Process, dated March 27, 2012, and Interim Guidance Memorandum (IGM) TAS-13-0612-016, Interim Guidance on Centralizing Accounts Management Services (AMS) Referrals, dated June 5, 2012.

Audience

Primarily Taxpayer Advocate Service employees.

Effective Date

(08-28-2013)


Nina E. Olson
National Taxpayer Advocate

13.1.17.1  (02-01-2011)
TAS Case Transfer Process

  1. This section explains why some cases should be transferred to certain offices, the time frames for transferring them, and how to execute the transfer.

13.1.17.2  (02-01-2011)
Introduction to TAS Case Transfer Process

  1. TAS offices receive cases from a variety of sources as discussed in the "Case Receipt and Assignment Process." Generally, TAS cases will be worked at the point of contact (where the case was accepted into TAS ). However, in certain situations it may be in the best interest of the taxpayer and you to have the case worked by another office.

  2. Some IRS processes are centralized in one or more locations. Other processes are performed only in field offices (such as collection of balance due accounts by Revenue Officers) or only in campuses (such as resolving "scrambled SSN" accounts). Many campus processes were realigned along Business Operating Division (BOD) lines and others were centralized or consolidated in IRS Submission Processing, Accounts Management and Compliance Services Campuses.

  3. The latest changes that result from any new alignment are reflected at the Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP) web site, Who/Where tab. Choose the current Campus Program Locator Guide (formerly known as Transshipment Guide). See this website: Campus Program Locator Guide.

  4. Taxpayer issues that must be resolved in other offices because of a "centralized" or "office type" process may best be resolved by transferring the case to that office. In other instances, where only a small portion of the case needs to be worked by another office, it will be in the best interest of the taxpayer and you, the Case Advocate, to keep the case where it is received and work the portion of the case via a Form 12412, Operations Assistance Request (OAR).

13.1.17.3  (02-01-2011)
Determining if the TAS Case Should be Transferred

  1. Once the issues are determined, you will need to determine if the case issues are part of a centralized process or are worked by another type of office (local or campus). Check the TAS Technical Analysis and Guidance (TAG) IRM 13.1 web page for the latest updates to the TAS Transfer Guidelines. Use this link: TAS Case Transfer Guidelines.

  2. If you determine that the case meets TAS transfer criteria, refer to the current Campus Program Locator Guide to determine where the case should be transferred. This guide contains work alignment summaries and maps by BOD for each Submission Processing, Accounts Management and Compliance Services Campus. The following are examples of cases that meet TAS transfer criteria and where they should be transferred based on the Campus Program Locator Guide.

    Example:

    A taxpayer contacts TAS concerning an assessment that was made through the Automated Substitute for Return (ASFR) process. The taxpayer belongs to the SB/SE BOD ( Form 1040 with Schedules C, E, F or Form 2106 ). According to the Campus Program Locator Guide, ASFR processing has been centralized in two Campuses:
    1) W&I taxpayers at the Fresno Campus, or
    2) SB/SE and International taxpayers at the Brookhaven Campus.

    Example:

    A taxpayer contacts TAS concerning a Combined Annual Wage Reporting (CAWR) assessment. The taxpayer's business is located in Wisconsin. According to the Campus Program Locator Guide, CAWR processing has been consolidated in three campuses serving specific geographic areas. Based on the Campus Program Locator Guide, you would transfer the case to the Cincinnati Campus TAS office because that is the campus that serves your taxpayer's geographic area.

    Example:

    A taxpayer contacts TAS concerning a Form 4361, Application for Exemption from Self-Employment Tax for Use by Ministers, Members of Religious Orders and Christian Science Practitioners. According to the Campus Program Locator Guide, all cases involving self-employment tax have been centralized at the Philadelphia Campus. You should transfer your case to the Philadelphia Campus TAS office.

  3. In certain situations, when the TAS Transfer Guidelines do not apply, you may determine it would reduce taxpayer burden to transfer the case to another office. If this is the situation , you must first call the receiving office to discuss the transfer and the reason(s) you believe the case should be transferred. This should result in a dialogue between both the transferring and receiving office to reach agreement on which office is in the best position to assist the taxpayer. The taxpayer's circumstance is the overriding consideration in determining which office will work the case. The discussion and agreement should be documented on Taxpayer Advocate Management Information System (TAMIS). If concurrence cannot be reached the case must be elevated to the Local Taxpayer Advocate (LTA).

  4. If, after initial research and clarification of the taxpayer's problem you determine the case meets transfer criteria, transfer the case.

    Example:

    A taxpayer is requesting an installment agreement on a Form 940 , Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA), tax liability. After you contact the taxpayer to clarify the issue, you determine that he is disputing the underlying FUTA discrepancy and not requesting an installment agreement. At that point, you may transfer the case based on TAS transfer guidelines.

    If the issue changes after substantial or significant work has been completed on the case, and the change results in the case meeting transfer criteria, as outlined in TAS Case Transfer Guidelines, the transfer is not appropriate.

  5. Cases originating from NTA Toll-Free sites are transferred first to the local TAS office based on the taxpayer's home address (zip code) and are then re-transferred based on TAS Case Transfer Guidelines.

13.1.17.4  (08-28-2013)
Routing of AMS Receipts from Operating Division (OD) Co-Located Toll-Free Sites

  1. TAS now routes referrals from the co-located, toll-free Accounts Management System (AMS) sites to the Centralized AMS function. This applies to all TAS referrals from the co-located, toll-free AMS sites with the exception of campus offices and Puerto Rico. Here is a list of all AMS/TAS co-located offices now routed to the Centralized AMS function, org code 10 on AMS. The name of the co-located office and two-digit office identification number appear below, in numerical order:

    • Buffalo (16);

    • Pittsburgh (25);

    • Cleveland (34);

    • Indianapolis (35);

    • Detroit (38);

    • Des Moines (42);

    • St. Louis (43);

    • Baltimore (52);

    • Richmond (54);

    • Jacksonville (59);

    • Nashville (62);

    • Dallas (75);

    • Denver (84);

    • Seattle (91);

    • Portland (93); and,

    • Oakland (94).

  2. Zip code routing is not allowed in other than the offices designated by these procedures.

13.1.17.4.1  (08-28-2013)
Cases Eligible for Zip Code Routing

  1. Spanish cases are eligible for zip code routing.

  2. If, as a result of zip code routing, an office with no bilingual Case Advocate (BCA) receives a Spanish language case, transfer the case to the receiving office's Spanish partnership office. Spanish partnership offices can be found in Appendix B of the N-WLB procedures at http://tasnew.web.irs.gov/files/PolicyandProcedure/InventoryBalancing/BSP_N-WLB-SpanishPartnership.doc.

13.1.17.4.1.1  (03-27-2012)
Case Not Eligible for Zip Code Routing

  1. Cases that are not eligible for zip code routing include:

    • cases meeting transfer criteria per the TAS transfer guide;

    • TAS Congressional cases;

    • cases originating from the National Taxpayer Advocate’s office;

    • Senate Finance Committee (SFC) cases;

    • Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) cases;

    • reopened cases; and,

    • e-TRAK (formerly ECMS) cases.

13.1.17.4.2  (08-28-2013)
Procedures for TAS Centralized AMS Function

  1. These procedures apply only to the Centralized AMS function.

  2. Intake Advocates assigned to the Centralized AMS function will be assigned to AMS location code 10, and will not be able to access their local office AMS e-911 inventory. Access to their local office's TAMIS inventory will not be affected.

  3. Referrals in AMS location code 10 will be screened until the e-911 inventory is empty. When Centralized AMS screening is completed, the Intake Advocates will be available to handle phone calls, incoming correspondence, and TAMIS inventory for their local office.

  4. Access referrals in Centralized AMS location code 10 following the normal process for accessing AMS e-911 inventory.

  5. The order in which Centralized AMS referrals are screened is based on the Intake Advocates’ time zone.

    1. Eastern and Central Time Zone:
      • Screen AMS referrals in first in/first out order.

    2. Mountain and Pacific Time Zones:
      • Screen morning referrals in first in/first out order.
      • Screen afternoon referrals in criteria code order.
      • Screen all criteria code 1-4 referrals before screening criteria code 5-7.

13.1.17.4.2.1  (08-28-2013)
Referral Meets TAS Criteria

  1. Once the referral is screened and criteria is determined, transfer the case to the appropriate TAS office using the following process:

    1. First apply the TAS Case Transfer Guidelines found at http://tasnew.web.irs.gov/Files/PolicyAndProcedure/IRM/TAS_TransferGuidelines.doc. Transfer cases meeting transfer criteria to the designated office using the appropriate transfer reason code.

    2. Transfer any remaining cases to the taxpayer’s home state using TRC55, “Redirect e-911 Receipts to TP Home State.”

      Note:

      If the taxpayer's home state is California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, or Texas use the Zip Code Routing Tool to determine the correct TAS office to transfer the case.

      Note:

      Refer taxpayers meeting TAS criteria 5-7 (systemic burden) who seek assistance with an identity theft issue to the Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU). For more information, refer to IRM 13.1.16.9.7.

13.1.17.4.2.2  (08-28-2013)
Reopens and Duplicate Referrals

  1. Follow IRM 13.1.21.3.2(2) for processing referrals identified as a potential reopen. In addition, print the e911, mark it as a potential reopen, and give it to your manager.

  2. Follow IRM 13.1.16.7 for processing referrals identified as duplicates. In addition, print the e911, mark it as duplicate and give it to your manager.

13.1.17.4.2.3  (08-28-2013)
Bulk Cases

  1. If a referral or group of referrals is identified as meeting BULK criteria:

    • Transfer all related referrals to the same TAS office.

    • If a POA is involved, transfer the referrals to the geographic office of the POA.

    • Input the literal "BULK" in the local use field.

    • Notify your manager of the case file number(s) and the TAS office the case(s) was sent to.

    • The Intake Advocate's manager will contact the receiving office to make them aware of the incoming case(s).

  2. Some attributes of BULK cases are:

    • Same issue(s).

    • Require same or similar action(s).

    • Cases related to one another (e.g., same specific issue, same individual/business involved, one POA with the same problem affecting several taxpayers).

13.1.17.4.2.4  (08-28-2013)
Schemes

  1. If a referral or group of referrals is identified as a possible scheme, advise your manager of the case file number(s) and the TAS office the case(s) was sent to.

  2. Your manager will contact the receiving office to make them aware of the incoming case(s).

13.1.17.4.2.5  (08-28-2013)
Referral Does Not Meet TAS Criteria

  1. If the referral does not meet TAS criteria, take the following actions:

    1. Print e911;

    2. Complete Form 4442;

    3. Use SERP Referral Fax Number Tool found at http://serp.enterprise.irs.gov/databases/who-where.dr/referral_fax_numbers.htm to identify the fax number for the Form 4442. Location is determined by the call-site generating the AMS TAS referral;

    4. Input a history item on AMS to indicate the referral did not meet TAS criteria, the office where the referral was sent, and the response timeframe given to the taxpayer;

    5. Delete the AMS referral;

    6. Send the taxpayer Letter 1686L with a contact timeframe of 30 days (if CI referral, contact timeframe of 45 days); and,

    7. Give the e911 along with the Form 4442 to your manager.

    Note:

    Intake Advocates are in a unique position to identify systemic issues. Follow local procedures for inputting the issue on SAMS. Remember to make a note of the case file number to include on SAMS and do not include any identifying information.

13.1.17.4.3  (03-27-2012)
Procedures for Recipient Offices

  1. TAS offices must accept and process cases received in inventory using TRC55.

  2. When an office receives a transferred case, follow IRM 13.1.17.8(1). Do not review the criteria code again.

  3. If an office receives a case in error based on zip code routing and the case meets TAS Case Transfer Guidelines, the receiving office must notify the sending office and forward the case to the appropriate office. Follow the timeframes in IRM 13.1.17.6(1) and (2).

  4. If following the NTA-TF zip code tool causes incorrect case routing, notify the N-WLB Coordinator of the correct routing and forward the case. Use TRC55 to route to the correct office. Follow the timeframes in IRM 13.1.17.6(1) and (2).

  5. The receiving office must notify the sending office when an incorrect state office receives a case. The receiving office must forward the case, using TRC55, to the correct state's office. Follow the timeframes in IRM 13.1.17.6 (1) and (2).

  6. Cases received as a result of zip code routing qualify for a second transfer under N-WLB procedures, if the transfer deadline (within one work-day of the TARD) is met.

13.1.17.4.4  (03-27-2012)
Time Requirements for Routing Centralized AMS Zip Code Cases

  1. As part of normal inventory screening, make every attempt to transfer cases to recipient offices as soon as possible.

  2. These procedures include all AMS inventory received from the Operating Divisions' co-located toll-free sites.

  3. Direct any issues arising as a result of this process through your area office to the Centralized AMS national coordinator.

  4. Cases received as a result of zip code routing qualify for a second transfer under N-WLB procedures, if the transfer deadline (within one work-day of the TARD) is met.

13.1.17.4.5  (08-28-2013)
Staffing Determinations for Centralized AMS

  1. Any office with two (2) or more Intake Advocates will be considered to participate in the Centralized AMS function.

  2. Determination of Intake Advocate assignment to the Centralized AMS function will be rotated quarterly.

  3. Intake Advocate selection will be determined by inverse IRS EOD.

  4. Intake Advocates assigned to the Centralized AMS function must be reassigned on AMS from their home office location to AMS location code 10. This will not impact the IA access to TAMIS.

13.1.17.5  (11-01-2011)
Exceptions to TAS Case Transfers

  1. Cases should not be transferred multiple times because this is generally not in the taxpayer’s best interest. Cases that must be transferred in order to balance inventories should not be re-transferred. Therefore, cases referenced in the attached transfer guide or in this exceptions document are not used to balance inventories. Other cases should not be transferred more than one time unless it is in the best interest of the taxpayer and the taxpayer agrees to the transfer.

  2. NTA-HQ Cases, Senate Finance Committee (SFC) Cases and Cases originating from the Office of Technical Analysis and Guidance (TAG) or the newly established LTA office in Washington, D.C. are transferred based on the location of the taxpayer, the interests of the taxpayer, prior case activity, open controls and the location of centralized IRS work processes.

  3. Sensitive Issue Cases that ordinarily meet transfer criteria should be brought to the attention of your manager before transfer. Such cases may include but are not limited to suicidal communications (either orally or in writing), potential media contact cases, politicians, celebrities, and employees, etc. In some instances, your manager may decide it is in the best interest of the taxpayer to work the case locally.

  4. Congressional Cases are transferred to the local TAS office in the congress person's home state (Congressional District). If a case on the same taxpayer is controlled at another TAS office on a non-congressional case, call that office to determine if the open case involves the same issue. The congressional case will remain in the local office of the congress person's home state. Coordination between the assigned offices will be necessary. If there are two or more congressional inquiries on the same taxpayer, each office will be responsible for responding to their local congressional office staff. See IRM 13.1.8, Congressional Affairs Program, for additional information on congressional inquiries.

13.1.17.6  (02-01-2011)
TAS Transfer Time Frames

  1. Criteria 1 – 4 cases can be transferred if the system date (today) minus the TAS Received Date (TARD) is less than three work days.

    Example:

    If a case has a TAS Received Date of Friday, June 23, 2006, the case can be transferred until midnight on Tuesday, June 27, which is two full work days after the TAS Received Date.

  2. Criteria 5 – 9 cases can be transferred if the system date (today) minus the TAS Received Date (TARD) is less than five work days.

    Example:

    If a case has a TAS Received Date of Friday, June 23, 2006, the case can be transferred until midnight on Thursday, June 29, which is four full work days after the TAS Received Date.

  3. Criteria 0 cases: Initial Contact Date transfer rules do not apply.

  4. Do not contact the taxpayer to advise of the transfer if the above criteria are met. The transfer is transparent to the taxpayer.

  5. If it has been more than five work days from the TARD, the transferring office must contact the taxpayer either by telephone or in writing and advise him or her the Taxpayer Advocate Service has received the inquiry but it is being transferred to another office. Provide the LTA name, address, telephone number, and fax number, and advise the taxpayer of the date the next contact (NCD) can be expected. Document this action on the case's TAMIS Transfer Screen. See TAS Transfer Letter 2902L and TAS Transfer Letter 2902L-SP.

  6. Anytime the taxpayer has contacted the LTA directly (written, faxed, called local number, etc.) or contacted the local office directly (local or campus) and it has been identified as meeting TAS case criteria, you will need to contact the taxpayer to advise of a transfer to another office regardless of the IRS received date. Inform the taxpayer of the NCD.

13.1.17.7  (02-01-2011)
How to Transfer TAS Cases

  1. Use the TAMIS database when transferring a TAS case.

  2. If the case meets Criteria 1 - 4, the Form 911 must also be faxed to the correct office immediately.

  3. Any back-up information such as copies of tax returns, taxpayer information, etc., must be sent to be associated with the electronically transferred case, by fax if possible. If volume does not permit fax, or if original documents are needed by the other office (e.g., original signatures needed to process return, etc.), the information should be mailed by the fastest method available, after faxing the pertinent information. If mailing, use Form 3210, Document Transmittal Form.

  4. When updating TAMIS, do not change the TARD as the case moves from office to office.

  5. Update the TAMIS Transfer Screen to indicate the reason for the transfer through TAMIS. Indicate on TAMIS any documentation sent and how the document was sent (e.g., via fax, overnight mail, regular mail, etc.).

13.1.17.7.1  (02-01-2011)
Documentation Needed on TAMIS for Transferred Cases

  1. On all cases being transferred or referred, complete documentation is necessary. It must include:

    • The taxpayer's issues;

    • The reason for the transfer;

    • Why it is in the best interest of the taxpayer to transfer the case (if it is not listed in TAS Case Transfer Guidelines);

    • The open Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS) control number (if case is controlled on IDRS or assigned to a Revenue Officer);

    • Any contact you have had with the taxpayer, including taxpayer's phone number, and taxpayer authentication;

    • If the taxpayer has been notified of the transfer;

    • The promised "next contact" date (if any);

    • Whether any supporting documentation is to follow, and whether it will follow via fax or mail; and,

    • The name of the transferring Case Advocate (if applicable) and direct telephone number.

    Note:

    On transfers of Criteria 1 cases, the transferring office must document the case file and notate on TAMIS history the reason for the Criteria 1 designation.

13.1.17.8  (02-01-2011)
Receiving Transferred TAS Cases

  1. When you receive a transferred case, the initiating office has already determined that TAS criteria is met. DO NOT REVIEW AGAIN FOR CRITERIA. If while reviewing/working the transferred-in case, you determine that the TAS Criteria Code identified by the originating office was not accurate, change/update the criteria code on TAMIS. Generally, the Criteria Code will not be changed on a case unless the code is incorrect. Refer to IRM 13.1.18.2.2, Review TAS Case Criteria Codes, regarding criteria coding errors.

  2. If the case was transferred because of the IDRS status or an open control base, and that status or control changed between the day of transfer and receipt of the case, do not transfer the case back. The status at transfer time, not at receipt time, determines the appropriateness of the transfer.

  3. If necessary, contact the transferring Case Advocate for clarification of the issues or why the case was transferred. Refer to IRM 13.1.17.9, Disagreement on Transfers of TAS Cases.

  4. If the case was clearly transferred to the wrong office, you should re-transfer the case to the correct office. Do not transfer the case back to the originator unless that office should work the case.

  5. The receiving office is responsible for all taxpayer contact and case resolution actions with the exception of the initial contact with the taxpayer, as discussed in IRM 13.1.17.8.1 .

13.1.17.8.1  (02-01-2011)
Determining Which TAS Office Makes Initial Contact When Transfers are Involved

  1. A TAS office must make initial contact on transfer cases. The chart below defines the office responsible for making initial contact and the time frames when a case is transferred from one TAS office to another. However, if TAS receives a case more than 5 calendar days from the IRS received date; the transferring office must make contact with the taxpayer as a courtesy to the taxpayer even if the transfer occurs before the time frames listed in the chart below.

    If the criteria code is: Then the following office is responsible for making the initial contact:
    1-4 and the transfer is made within three work days of the TARD receiving TAS office
    1-4 and the transfer is made more than three work days from the TARD transferring TAS office
    5-9 and the transfer is made within five work days of the TARD receiving TAS office
    5-9 and the transfer is made more than five work days from the TARD transferring TAS office

13.1.17.9  (02-01-2011)
Disagreement on Transfers of TAS Cases

  1. If you disagree with the transfer of a case to your office, but your office has the resources to handle it, then work it in your office. Cases that you believe should not have been transferred and cannot be worked in your office will be brought to your manager with the reason(s) it cannot be worked. If your manager agrees, he or she will call the manager of the person who transferred the case.

  2. Disagreements on transferred cases will always be discussed manager to manager. If no agreement is reached, it will then be elevated to the LTAs. If the LTAs decide the case will be worked in your office, the decision is final. If the LTAs do not agree on which office should work it, the case will be elevated to the Area Director.

  3. All TAS offices are working for the taxpayer's best interest, so keep disagreements regarding transfers to a minimum.

13.1.17.10  (02-01-2011)
Transferring Cases When TAMIS is NOT Operational

  1. To help reduce delays in contacting and assisting taxpayers, the following procedures will be used when TAMIS is "down" for a period of 4 hours or more:

    1. Fax Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance and (Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order), for the transferred TAS case to the office that needs to take the action to resolve the case.

    2. Explain on the FAX cover sheet that TAMIS is down and that the attached case(s) have not been input. Also indicate on the Form(s) 911 or attachment why the case is being transferred.

    3. The receiving office must keep a copy of the fax for input to TAMIS as soon as it is available.

  2. If the case was already loaded on TAMIS and needs to be transferred at a time when TAMIS is not available, the case will be faxed to the receiving office. The transferring office will update TAMIS when the system is available and notate the TAMIS downtime.


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