21.1.3  Operational Guidelines Overview

Manual Transmittal

August 30, 2013

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 21.1.3, Accounts Management and Compliance Services Operations.

Material Changes

(1) Various editorial changes throughout.

(2) IRM 21.1.3.2 Removed reference to contacting the local Disclosure manager.

(3) IPU 13U0672 issued 04-02-2013 IRM 21.1.3.2.2(6) Added a note with a link to help clarify any Red Button issues.

(4) IPU 12U1708 issued 10-10-2012 IRM 21.1.3.2.2(8) - Updated procedures for notifying Situation Awareness Management Center (SAMC).

(5) IPU 12U1708 issued 10-10-2012 IRM 21.1.3.2.2(9) - Added a paragraph for when to notify Computer Security Incident Response Center (CSIRC).

(6) IPU 13U0372 issued 02-19-2013 IRM 21.1.3.2.3(1) Added reference to the mandate of the IAT Disclosure tool.

(7) IPU 13U0372 issued 02-19-2013 IRM 21.1.3.2.3(2) Added reference to Identity Theft (IDT) alert indicator on IAT Disclosure tool.

(8) IPU 13U0529 issued 03-14-2013 IRM 21.1.3.2.3(2) Added link to IRM 10.5.3 for detailed information on ID theft tracking codes.

(9) IPU 13U0372 issued 02-19-2013 IRM 21.1.3.2.3(2) Added exception for e-file/Adjusted Gross Income cases meeting ID theft criteria.

(10) IPU 13U0529 issued 03-14-2013 IRM 21.1.3.2.3(2) Clarified exception.

(11) IPU 12U1826 issued 11-13-2012 IRM 21.1.3.2.3(2) Added a caution for accounts with ID theft related issues and a link for specific open controls.

(12) IPU 12U1708 issued 10-10-2012 IRM 21.1.3.2.3(3) - Added procedures to leave a brief Accounts Management Services (AMS) narrative for failed disclosures.

(13) IPU 12U1826 issued 11-13-2012 IRM 21.1.3.2.3(5) Clarified language in note.

(14) IRM 21.1.3.2.3(5) Added reference to IRM 3.21.263.7.1 for ITIN research.

(15) IPU 12U1708 issued 10-10-2012 IRM 21.1.3.2.3(8) - Added Example of prior year AGI calls to first bullet.

(16) IRM 21.1.3.2.3(10) Added reference to the IAT Disclosure Tool for research.

(17) IPU 13U0529 issued 03-13-2013 IRM 21.1.3.2.5(2) Added clarification of transfer PIN to Accounts Management assistors.

(18) IPU 13U0099 issued 01-09-2013 IRM 21.1.3.3(3) - Clarified language for account research prior to accepting a faxed POA/TIA.

(19) IPU 13U0792 issued 04-23-2013 IRM 21.1.3.3(3) Added designation of Level I to last paragraph and updated IRM reference title.

(20) IPU 12U1826 issued 11-13-2012 IRM 21.1.3.3(4) Removed requirement in second bullet to notate date on faxed form to Centralized Authorization File (CAF)/Power of Attorney (POA).

(21) IPU 13U0951 issued 05-20-2013 IRM 21.1.3.3.1 Removed sentence regarding a company or business as a third party designee.

(22) IPU 13U1191 issued 07-08-2013 IRM 21.1.3.3.1 Clarified procedures for third party designee being a company or business.

(23) IRM 21.1.3.3.1 Clarified note to state legal definition of person to include a company or business.

(24) IPU 12U1708 issued 10-10-2012 IRM 21.1.3.3.1(10) and (12) - Added form 990-PF and form 990-T to list.

(25) IRM 21.1.3.3.2(1) Added item "c" to required actions.

(26) IPU 12U1708 issued 10-10-2012 IRM 21.1.3.3.2(2) - Clarified POA authority to issue Oral Disclosure Consent.

(27) IPU 12U1826 issued 11-13-2012 IRM 21.1.3.9(1) Clarified procedures on mailing tax account information in relation to disclosure process and when TP can be directed to Taxpayer Assistance Center. (TAC) Added information on ID theft related contacts and link for specific open controls.

(28) IPU 13U0833 issued 04-29-2013 IRM 21.1.3.9(1) - Added link to IRM 21.2.3.4.1.3 for Transcripts and Identity Theft.

(29) IPU 12U1826 issued 11-13-2012 IRM 21.1.3.9(4) Added link to IRM 21.2.3.4.1(11) for additional information on faxing and Transcript Delivery System.

(30) IRM 21.1.3.10.7 Replaced TIGTA with Physical Security & Emergency Preparedness (PSEP) as point of contact.

(31) IRM 21.1.3.10.7(2) Added exception for some phone systems.

(32) IPU 13U0529 issued 03-14-2013 IRM 21.1.3.12(4) Clarified Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC)procedures in an emergency.

(33) IPU 12U1826 issued 11-13-2012 IRM 21.1.3.14 Updated link to new Alert 12A0549.

(34) IPU 12U1826 issued 11-13-2012 IRM 21.1.3.18 Updated link to reissued interim guidance memo dated September 25, 2012.

(35) IPU 13U0622 issued 03-27-2013 IRM 21.1.3.18(3) Clarified procedures to reflect use of e-911 and AMS.

(36) IPU 13U0137 issued 01-16-2013 IRM 21.1.3.18(4) Updated IRM reference to IRM 21.9.2.9.

(37) IPU 13U0810 issued 04-25-2013 IRM 21.1.3.18.1 Added a note on campus responsibility with Operation Assistance Requests (OARs) and removed reference to Philadelphia working international.

(38) IPU 13U1057 issued 06-06-2013 IRM 21.1.3.18.1(2) Remove exception on Correspondence Imaging System case with no actions.

(39) IPU 13U0792 issued 04-23-2013 IRM 21.1.3.19(3) Updated link to proper SERP Alert 12A0549.

(40) IPU 13U0137 issued 01-16-2013 IRM 21.1.3.24 Update title and section to reflect change from Accounts Management Taxpayer Assurance Program (AMTAP) to Integrity & Verification Operation (IVO).

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 21.1.3 dated September 20, 2012 is superseded. This IRM also incorporates the following IRM Procedural Updates (IPU) - 12U1708 (10/10/2012), 12U1826 (11/13/2012), 13U0099 (01/09/2013), 13U0137 (01/16/2013), 13U0372 (02/19/2013), 13U0529 (03/13/2013), 13U0622 (03/27/2013), 13U0672 (04/02/2013), 13U0792 (04/23/2013), 13U0810 (04/25/2013), 13U0833 (04/29/2013), 13U0951 (05/20/2013), 13U1057 (06/06/2013), 13U1191 (07/08/2013).

Audience

All IRS employees, in Business Operating Divisions (BODs), who are in contact with taxpayers by telephone, correspondence, or in person.

Effective Date

(10-01-2013)

Ivy S. McChesney
Director, Accounts Management
Wage and Investment Division

21.1.3.1  (10-01-2009)
Overview

  1. This section provides operational guidelines to ensure quality service when assisting taxpayers, representatives, and other third party contacts. You must become familiar with these guidelines to assure that taxpayer rights are upheld, disclosure safeguards and privacy rights are maintained, and safety and security issues are addressed in the proper manner.

    Note:

    Ensure taxpayer information and "Official Use Only" (OUO) information displayed on terminals is safeguarded. Terminal screens must be concealed (covered, powered off, etc.), to ensure taxpayer and OUO information are not revealed. See IRM 21.2.1.3.1, IDRS Security for additional information.

  2. Oral Disclosure Consent and Oral Statement Authority guidelines are included to assist you in closing account inquiries on-line, (i.e., Initial Contact Resolution) without additional research, documentation, or referral.

21.1.3.2  (10-01-2013)
General Disclosure Guidelines

  1. Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 6103(a) establishes the general rule that returns and return information are confidential and can only be disclosed to the extent the disclosure is specifically authorized in IRC 6103 or by another section of the Code.

  2. You must be sure that you provide valid information to the correct taxpayer or authorized representative.

  3. IRC 7213, 7213-A, provide criminal penalties and IRC 7431 provides civil remedies against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and its employees or contractors in case of unauthorized disclosure or inspection to ensure taxpayer returns and information remain confidential.

  4. In compliance with the above laws, one of the most critical and sensitive responsibilities of every IRS employee is the confidential handling of tax returns and return information.

  5. You must not disclose any tax return information until you are certain that the person with whom you are speaking is the taxpayer or an authorized third party.

  6. It is the responsibility of all IRS employees to protect taxpayer confidentiality and to understand when access to or disclosure of taxpayer information is authorized by law. This includes the protection of information displayed on a computer screen.

  7. Information regarding disclosure of confidential tax information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Privacy Act may be found in IRM 11.3, Disclosure of Official Information. For further information call the Disclosure Help Desk at 1-866–591–0860. The guidelines within this IRM apply to inquiries regarding Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) enrollment and electronic tax payments.

  8. When you receive a call from a taxpayer regarding his/her tax account information, you are under no obligation to determine if the taxpayer is using an unsecured platform such as a cell phone. However, if you become aware that the taxpayer is using a cell phone (e.g., the taxpayer states he/she is calling from a cell phone, etc.), you may advise the taxpayer of the disclosure risk of using the cell phone to discuss his/her account information.

  9. You may use the following tools, if available, when providing tax return and tax return information to a taxpayer or third party:

    • AMS (Account Management Services)

    • IAT (Integrated Automation Technologies)

21.1.3.2.1  (10-01-2009)
Disclosure Definition

  1. Disclosure is defined as making known to any person, in any manner, a return or return information.

  2. A return includes any tax return, information return, declaration of estimated tax, claim for refund, schedule, attachment, amendment or supplement that is required to be filed or is filed by, or on behalf of a taxpayer. See IRM 11.3, Disclosure of Official Information and Document 6986, Disclosure Awareness Pocket Guide.

  3. Return information includes, but is not limited to:

    • Acknowledgment of whether or not a return has been filed

    • Examination/Audit reports

    • Tax account information

    • Taxpayer delinquent account information

    • Taxpayer identification numbers

    • Taxpayer names and addresses

    • Transcripts of account information

21.1.3.2.2  (04-02-2013)
Authorized and Unauthorized Disclosures

  1. Disclosure of return information is authorized if there is a statutory exception under Title 26 to the general rule of confidentiality. For example, under IRC Section 6103, information can be given to the taxpayer or the taxpayer may consent to the disclosure of his or her return or return information to a third party. Also, IRS employees may share return information among themselves where the employees have a "need to know" to perform their tax administration duties.

  2. To avoid unauthorized disclosures of return information, immediately identify the taxpayer or his/her authorized representative when answering telephone inquiries or initiating telephone contacts involving discussion of returns or return information. The risk of unauthorized disclosure is greatest when employees, using Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS), Account Management Service (AMS), Automated Collection System (ACS), and Automated Underreporter Project (AUR), initiate telephone contacts or answer telephone inquiries.

  3. When you provide tax information to another employee, be sure the employee has a "need to know" for a tax administration purpose. If you are not sure, ask your manager.

  4. An unauthorized disclosure occurs when an IRS employee discloses a return or return information to someone who is not authorized to receive the information.

  5. If you suspect that an IRS employee has made a knowing or negligent disclosure of a return or return information, report it directly to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

    • Field employees report these matters to their local TIGTA office.

    • Headquarters employees report these matters directly to the TIGTA office at 1–800–366–4484.

  6. If a call or reply is received indicating a disclosure may have occurred in the mailing, faxing, or electronic transmission of a notice, transcript, or letter (e.g., multiple notices or letters in a single envelope with another taxpayer's information), or the taxpayer states they received IRS mail, e-mail, or a fax belonging to another taxpayer, follow instructions in IRM 25.13.1.3,Erroneous Correspondence Procedures - Red Button Process.

    Note:

    Read IRM 21.3.1.1.1 prior to forwarding any case to the Red Button process.

  7. Disclosure of sensitive information that involves erroneous taxpayer correspondence is reported directly to the Notice Gatekeeper using the Report Erroneous Correspondence button located on the Servicewide Notice Improvement Programs (SNIP) web site.

  8. If the disclosure of sensitive information does not involve taxpayer correspondence (for example, a verbal disclosure), or it involves the loss of theft of sensitive information (the loss or theft of hardcopy records or documents, packages lost during shipment, etc), report it to Situation Awareness Management Center (SAMC) via an Incident Reporting Form, within one hour.

  9. If the incident involves the loss or theft of an IT asset (computer, laptop, router, printer, removable media, CD/DVD, flash drive, cell phone) report it to Computer Security Incident Response Center (CSIRC).

    Note:

    If the incident involves both the loss of an IT asset (laptop, flash drive, etc) and the loss of sensitive information (loss of theft of hardcopy records or documents), report the incident to CSIRC.

  10. Never leave taxpayer information that can be seen by others who may be unauthorized to see the information.

21.1.3.2.3  (10-01-2013)
Required Taxpayer Authentication

  1. For purposes of identification and to prevent unauthorized disclosures of tax information, you must know with whom you are speaking, complete name and title and the purpose of the call/contact. It may be necessary to ask the caller or visitor if he or she is an individual (IMF) taxpayer (primary or secondary), a business (BMF) taxpayer (sole proprietor, partner, or corporate officer), or an authorized third party. Accounts Management Customer Service Representative's are required to use the IAT Disclosure Tool to perform required taxpayer authentication.

    Caution:

    Inadequate authentication of the identity of a caller could result in an "unauthorized disclosure" of return or return information. If an IRS employee makes a knowing or negligent unauthorized disclosure, the United States may be liable for damages in a civil cause of action. See IRC 7213, IRC 7213A , and IRC 7431. If an IRS employee makes a voluntary, intentional disclosure, the employee may be subject to criminal penalties including a fine, imprisonment, and loss of employment.

    Note:

    If working at a Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC), you may ask first for a valid, unexpired, government issued photo identification (ID). If the visitor does not have a photo ID, proceed with the Required Taxpayer Authentication as outlined in this IRM section or Third Party Authentication as outlined in IRM 21.1.3.3, Third Party (POA/TIA/F706) Authentication.

  2. When you determine that the person with whom you are speaking is being coached with the answers to the disclosure probes, you must verify if the caller is the taxpayer or someone else. Once you have determined that the caller is not the taxpayer, you must complete the required disclosure probes with the taxpayer and then secure verbal consent from the taxpayer to discuss the matter with the third party. IRS employees are authorized to accept a taxpayer's verbal consent to disclose return information to parties assisting the taxpayer in resolving a tax matter. For additional information IRM 21.1.3.4 , Other Third Party Inquiries and IRM 11.3.3.2.1, Requirements for Oral Authorization.

    Caution:

    The IAT Disclosure Tool will alert users to conditions on modules of accounts on which identity theft is a factor and/or suspected and documented. A list of identity theft action codes can be found in IRM 21.9.2.1(9). See IRM 10.5.3 for more detailed information on specific identity theft action codes. When disclosing information on accounts involving multiple entities, mixed periods, or cases involving ID Theft related transactions, additional authentication must be completed before disclosing information. Refer to IRM 21.1.3.2.4, Additional Taxpayer Authentication, and verify two additional items. For cases with open controls under IDT1, IDT3, IDT8, IDT9, MXEN, SCRM OR SSA2, see IRM 21.6.2.4.2.1,Telephone Inquiries Regarding MXEN, IDT1, IDT3, IDT8, IDT9 and Scrambled Cases.

    Exception:

    There is an exception to the procedure in the above caution when the caller is attempting to get his prior year Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) or self select PIN and the account contains an identity theft indicator, regardless of any open control. See IRM 21.2.1.40 and IRM 21.2.1.40.1 for more information.

  3. If you can assist the caller/taxpayer, perform the authentication probes shown in paragraphs (5) or (7) below. If the caller is a third party, go to See IRM 21.1.3.3, Third Party (Power of Attorney (POA)/Taxpayer Information Authorization (TIA)/F706) Authentication and follow the outlined authentication procedures. If the caller fails authentication, use AMS issue/narrative to leave a brief note recording the failed disclosure.

    Note:

    Do not proceed with authentication probes if the caller is an unauthorized third party. If the caller has information to provide on the taxpayer's behalf, accept the information according to IRM 21.1.3.4(5), Other Third Party Inquiries.

  4. If you cannot assist the caller, transfer the call to the appropriate application, using the TTG (Telephone Transfer Guide). Do not proceed with authentication probes.

  5. Required IMF authentication probes:

    1. Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) -Social Security Number (SSN), Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) – If the taxpayer is inquiring about a jointly filed return, only one TIN is necessary, preferably the primary number. The secondary TIN may be required if the primary is unavailable, or for use as an additional authentication check. See IRM 3.21.263.7.1 ITIN Disclosure Guidelines. , for specific ITIN research.

      Note:

      In the event the name and TIN provided by the caller at the beginning of the call does not match our records, ask the caller to verify their information. Terminate the call if, after probing, the information provided still does not match our records. Ask the caller to check their records and call back.

    2. Name – as it appears on the tax return (for the tax year(s) in question), including spouses name for joint return.

    3. Current address - If taxpayer fails to provide the correct address of record, but correctly responds to all of the other items, (IMF - name, TIN and date of birth) you may request additional taxpayer authentication pursuant to IRM 21.1.3.2.4, Additional Taxpayer Authentication.

      Note:

      If you are unable to verify the address on IDRS, request the address as it appears on the last tax return or as modified by IRS records.

    4. Date of birth (DOB) of primary or secondary taxpayer -- If the taxpayer fails the DOB probe, but correctly responds to all other items above (name, TIN, address), you may request additional taxpayer authentication pursuant to IRM 21.1.3.2.4, Additional Taxpayer Authentication.

      Note:

      If there is a discrepancy with the DOB on IRS records (CC INOLE) but you are confident (taxpayer has passed authentication requirements) that you are speaking with the taxpayer, advise the taxpayer to contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) at 1-800-772-1213 to correct the error.

      Caution:

      Filing status was removed as a required probe on December 12, 2011, however, knowledge of the filing status of any year or multiple years in question is vital to understanding if the individual inquiring is entitled to receive information on a given tax year. Take caution on any jointly filed account to ensure the individual is authorized to receive the information on the year or years in question.

      Reminder:

      See Exhibit 21.2.2-2 for those employees mandated to use the IAT Disclosure Tool.

  6. For first time filers, if the return is not completely processed, you can verify:

    • Amount of refund and filing status on CC FFINQ

    • Name control and DOB on CC INOLE

  7. Required BMF Authentication probes:

    1. Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) - Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Social Security Number (SSN).

      Note:

      If the customer is unable to provide the TIN but correctly responds to the name probe, request additional authentication. See IRM 21.1.3.2.4 Additional Taxpayer Authentication . For example, a previously issued EIN that has not been recently used or an EIN that was recently assigned.

    2. Name - as it appears on the tax return (for the tax year(s) in question). It may be necessary to probe for additional authentication information such as Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) or "Doing Business As" (DBA) for Sole Proprietor/Partnership. See IRM 11.3.2.4, Persons Who May Have Access to Returns and Return Information Pursuant to IRC 6103(e).

      Caution:

      If the caller is inquiring about multiple tax periods and MFT's you must be certain that the individual is authorized to receive information on each tax period and MFT.

    3. Current address - If taxpayer fails to provide the correct address of record but correctly responds to all of the other items (e.g., Name and Title) request additional taxpayer authentication pursuant to IRM 21.1.3.2.4, Additional Taxpayer Authentication.

      Note:

      If you are unable to verify the address on IDRS, request the address as it appears on the last tax return or as modified by IRS records.

    4. For Form 709 (MFT 51) calls, the Disclosure probes are TIN, name and address of the return and date of birth of the taxpayer.

    5. For Form 706 (MFT 52) calls, the Disclosure probes are SSN of the estate, name and address on the return and date of death or date of birth of the taxpayer, whichever is applicable.

      Reminder:

      If available, you may use AMS Privacy and Disclosure screens to access IDRS.

  8. If a taxpayer requests account information and there is no open account issue OR a notice has not been issued on the account, then more research is needed to prevent unauthorized disclosure. Examples of open account issues could include balance due issues, amended return, TDI, certain freeze codes or IRS initiated correspondence. See IRM 21.1.3.2.4, Additional Taxpayer Authentication for a list of additional verification items. Some of these issues may include requests for:

    • Verbal account information other than refund status, and taxpayer does not have any open account issues or notices.

      Example:

      Calls requesting the prior year Adjusted Gross Income (AGI).

    • Tax account information mailed to him/her at an address different from the address on IDRS.

    • Verification of estimated tax payments on an account without a filed return can be made to the secondary taxpayer when the preceding year shows a joint return with that same secondary taxpayer and Return Transaction Register (RTR) shows the joint ES voucher or joint check showing the intent to make joint ES payments.

    • Tax account information to be sent by facsimile copy (FAX).

    • Oral statement requests to change an address on an account without an open issue.

      Note:

      If the taxpayer is asking for verification of non-filing or account transcripts and you are unable to verify required authentication, advise the caller to submit Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Form, to the appropriate Return and Income Verification Services (RAIVS) unit.

  9. For refund inquiries from Electronic Return Originators (EROs), Transmitters, or Intermediate Service Providers (ISPs), see IRM 21.1.3.6, e-File PIN's and Form 8453 (U.S. Individual Income Tax Transmittal for an IRS e-file Return).

  10. To validate a caller's/visitor's information (e.g., name and TIN) prior to providing any tax account information, you must research one or more of the following Corporate Files on Line (CFOL) or Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS) Command Codes (CCs). Generally, you will start your search with CC INOLE.

    • INOLE

    • IMFOL

    • BMFOL

    • RTVUE

    • BRTVU

    • TRDBV

    • NAMES

    • NAMEE

    • SUMRY

    • TXMOD

    • ENMOD

    • REINF

    Note:

    You may research CC IRPOL and CC SUPOL for additional verification, but do not use this research as a primary or only source of taxpayer verification.

    Reminder:

    The IAT Disclosure Tool assists the user in verifying the identity of a caller and determining if the caller is authorized to receive confidential tax information or represent the taxpayer. The AMS Privacy and Disclosure Verification screens can also access IDRS for disclosure purposes.

  11. After satisfactory verification, provide the information requested. Once verification is complete for a BMF sole proprietor inquiry, it is not necessary to re-verify if the caller has an IMF inquiry and the IMF entity data indicates the same name and address.

    Note:

    This would also pertain if an IMF inquiry call was received first and verification was complete, it would not be necessary to re-verify for a BMF sole proprietor inquiry.

  12. See IRM 11.3.2, Disclosure to Persons with a Material Interest, for information on authorized recipients of return information.

  13. For instructions on answering Congressional inquiries, See IRM 21.1.3.18, Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Guidelines. For additional instructions on disclosure to designees and practitioners, see IRM 11.3.3, Disclosure to Designees and Practitioners.

  14. You must authenticate a caller (using CC NAMEI) who has elected/defaulted to a Customer Service Representative (CSR) via the Integrated Customer Communications Environment (ICCE). Authentication is required even if the caller has passed the Identification and Authentication (I&A) probes for the ICCE call.

    Note:

    Because there is always a possibility of an ICCE input error, always verify the taxpayer's TIN before discussing his/her account.

  15. For disclosure authentication related to ITIN calls, refer to IRM 3.21.263.7.1, Disclosure Guidelines for ITIN Data .

21.1.3.2.4  (12-12-2011)
Additional Taxpayer Authentication

  1. For other conditions in which additional authentication is warranted, using the list below, verify two or more additional items from the taxpayer's return or account:

    • Filing status on return in question

    • Spouse's date of birth

    • Child's/children's date(s) of birth

    • Amount of income reported on last return or tax due on return

    • Employers shown on taxpayer's Forms W-2

    • Financial institutions from taxpayer's Forms 1099-INT or Forms 1099-DIV

    • Number of exemptions claimed on last return or on return in question

    • Preparer, paid/unpaid, if any

    • Expected refund amount (within $100) unless computed by IRS

    • Any other verifiable items from the return/account

21.1.3.2.5  (10-01-2013)
Initial Authentication Transfer Procedures/Transfer PIN

  1. As of January 9, 2012 Accounts Management assistors who use the IAT Disclosure tool to cover full disclosure per IRM 21.1.3.2.3, Required Taxpayer Authentication, are able to provide the taxpayer a 4 digit transfer PIN generated by the IAT tool if the call must be transferred within Accounts Management for further action. The transfer PIN will help the taxpayer avoid repeating the full disclosure process with the next Accounts Management assistor on a transferred call.

  2. If it is necessary to transfer the call to another assistor in Accounts Management, generate the transfer PIN and explain the transfer to the taxpayer following normal transfer guidelines. Before you transfer the call you must:

    • Provide the taxpayer with the 4 digit transfer PIN generated by pressing the “Generate Transfer PIN” button located on the IAT Disclosure tool.

    • Ask the Taxpayer to repeat it back to you.

    • Explain the need to provide their name and the TIN and to inform the next account assistor of the 4 digit transfer PIN you provided to them at the beginning of that call and that the transfer PIN is good only for this call and any subsequent transfers that result from this call.

  3. The transfer PIN process is designated for use when you perform required taxpayer authentication located in the IRM 21.1.3.2.3, Required Taxpayer Authentication. It does not pertain to authentication done in the IRM 21.1.3.3 Third Party Authentication, for any third party authentication. (POA, TIA, Third Party Designee/ Oral Disclosure Consent)

21.1.3.2.6  (02-02-2012)
Accepting Transferred Calls When the Taxpayer Provides a 4 Digit Transfer PIN.

  1. Beginning on January 9, 2012 some taxpayers may inform an IRS assistor they have a 4 digit transfer PIN provided by the previous IRS assistor. Accounts Management assistors should take the PIN from the taxpayer and ask for the TIN and who they are speaking with and the purpose of the call/contact

  2. Input the taxpayers TIN into the IAT Disclosure Tool. If you are able to verify the 4 digit transfer PIN provided by the taxpayer on the IAT Disclosure Tool, you are considered to have met full disclosure per IRM 21.1.3.2.3, Required Taxpayer Authentication for that call.

    Note:

    At this time the transfer PIN is only good on an IMF to IMF transfer or a BMF to BMF transfer within the same TIN. The taxpayer is only validated on the TIN that holds the transfer PIN.

  3. If you are not able to verify the transfer PIN, or your business function is not participating in the transfer PIN process, apologize to the taxpayer and resume normal disclosure procedures found in IRM 21.1.3.2.3, Required Taxpayer Authentication. If you are unable to verify the PIN through the Disclosure Tool, you can check to see if a PIN was provided but has expired by checking command code ENMOD. ENMOD history will indicate the 4 digit transfer PIN and the date the PIN was issued. If history indicates that the PIN was provided on a previous day, please apologize to the taxpayer that the transfer PIN is no longer valid and continue normal disclosure procedures.

    Note:

    Employees in Campus Compliance operations in SBSE and W&I have the option to verify the PIN via ENMOD in lieu of disclosure in IRM 21.1.3.2.3, or follow their normal disclosure procedures

  4. The disclosure transfer process covers only required taxpayer authentication in IRM 21.1.3.2.3, Required Taxpayer Authentication, and would not cover additional taxpayer authentication if required by the IRM. It may be necessary for the assistor to cover two additional items if the requirement is met. (i.e., faxing of tax account information for example)

  5. The PIN is only valid on the initial call and all subsequent transfers of that call. The PIN is valid on multiple transfers for the same call. The PIN will expire at the end of the call which generated the transfer PIN.

  6. Third party callers who are authenticated through the IRM 21.1.3.3"Third Party (POA/TIA/F706)" Authentication as well as IRM 21.1.3.3.1 Third Party Designee Authentication and IRM 21.1.3.3.2, Oral Disclosure Consent, will follow normal disclosure guidelines on both the original call as well as the transferred call.

21.1.3.3  (04-23-2013)
Third Party (POA/TIA/F706) Authentication

  1. When responding to a third party (anyone other than the taxpayer), who indicates he/she has a third party authorization on file, complete the appropriate search. For Power of Attorney (POA) and Tax Information Authorization (TIA) research the Centralized Authorization File (CAF) using CC CFINK before providing any tax account information.

  2. To verify that the caller is an authorized third party of the taxpayer, research the CAF. In order to research the CAF, you need the following information:

    • Taxpayer’s Name

    • Taxpayer’s TIN

    • Third Party’s Name

    • Third Party’s Number (also known as: Rep#, CAF#)

    • Tax Period(s) in Question

    • Tax Form(s) in Question

    Caution:

    If the third party caller or your research indicates that the taxpayer is deceased, the third party authorizations (POA's, TIA's) are nullified. If the caller was previously authorized before the taxpayer’s date of death, do not disclose the information. However, determine if the caller is authorized to receive information after the taxpayer’s date of death. See IRM 11.3.2.4.11, Deceased Individuals, for more information.

  3. For a customer who is submitting an original Form 2848 or Form 8821, or if the customer states they have previously submitted an authorization, perform account research in IRM 21.1.3.3(2) to verify no authorization is currently on file. If account research does not show the POA/TIA loaded to the CAF, you can accept a completed "unprocessed" paper or faxed copy of a third party authorization as valid and provide immediate assistance. However, you must perform the same authentication process for a paper or faxed authorization as you would for an authorization already on file. Forward the original unprocessed paper or faxed copy of the Form 2848 or Form 8821 to the appropriate CAF Unit for processing. See paragraph 4 below if the customer states they previously submitted an authorization.

    Note:

    As of March 2, 2012, the CAF function will not process Form 2848 submitted using a version older than the October 2011 revision. If the third party faxes a prior revision, inform the third party that the Form 2848 submitted cannot be loaded to the CAF database and to resubmit using the October 2011 revision. However, you can provide assistance as long as all essential elements are presented on the Form 2848. For the essential elements of a processable Form 2848 or Form 8821 see IRM 21.3.7.5.1, Essential Elements for Form 2848 and Form 8821

    When Part II of the Form 2848 contains a designation Level H or I, see IRM 21.3.7.5.6,Unenrolled Return Preparer (Level H ) and Registered Tax Return Preparer (Level I ) Representative Research, Rejections and Processing ,for research requirements.

  4. If it is determined that the POA/TIA was previously submitted but not on file, the telephone or walk-in assistor must ask the customer the date the Form 2848 or Form 8821 was submitted. Based on the customer response:

    • If it is less than 2 calendar weeks from the date the POA/TIA was submitted, treat the form as classified waste. Do not forward the POA/TIA to the CAF unit for processing

      Note:

      Assistors at walk-in sites may return the Form 2848 or Form 8821 to the customer.

    • If it is more than 2 calendar weeks from the date the POA/TIA was submitted, forward the copy of the POA/TIA to the CAF function for processing.

  5. The caller may be a student working in a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) or Student Tax Clinic Program (STCP). Those students may represent taxpayers under a special appearance authorization issued by the Director, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Program office. Del. Order 25-18 For additional information see IRM 21.3.7.8.4, Student Representatives (Student Attorney or Student CPA).

  6. If the caller does not have his/her CAF number available, request his/her name and address and use this information to verify that the caller is CAF authorized to receive the requested information.

  7. Provide the CAF number shown on RPINK or CFINK to the caller only after verifying the representatives name, street address, city, state and zip code. Do not provide the CAF number shown on RPINK or CFINK if you are unable to authenticate the caller. Advise him/her that you will mail the CAF number to the POA address of record. Use the IAT Letter tool to send Letter 1727C"Power of Attorney Representative Number."

  8. See IRM 21.3.7, Processing Third Party Authorizations onto the Centralized Authorization File (CAF), to research:

    • Centralized Authorization File (CAF)

    • Form 2848 – Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative (POA)

    • Form 8821 – Tax Information Authorization (TIA)

    • Oral Form 8821– (Oral TIA)

    • Form 706 – Estate Tax Return (Processed as POA)

    • Limited or one time authority POA (Specific Use Authorization)

    • Civil Penalty authorizations see paragraph (9) below.

  9. Civil Penalty and Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (TFRP) authorizations are posted onto the CAF and can be researched as follows:

    • IMF - Master File Transaction (MFT) 55

    • BMF - MFT 13

    • NMF - MFT 51 (Non Master File)

    • TFRP- MFT 55

    For additional CAF authentication information on Civil Penalties Form 8278(, Assessment and Abatement of Miscellaneous Civil Penalties), and TFRP ( Form 2749, Request for Trust Fund Recovery Penalties ), see IRM 21.3.7.8.2, Civil Penalty Authorizations.

  10. For additional authentication information on Form 8821, see IRM 11.3.3, Disclosure to Designees and Practitioners.

  11. For authenticating an Oral Disclosure Consent (ODC) designee, research TXMOD for history items. If no history is recorded on TXMOD, research AMS for history in narrative format (ODC can be recorded on IDRS and/or AMS). See IRM 21.1.3.3.2, Oral Disclosure Consent/Oral TIA (Paperless F8821) .

  12. To authenticate the ODC Designee, you will need to know the form and period in question along with the following:

    • Taxpayer's name

    • Taxpayer's TIN

    • Third party name

    • Third party phone number

21.1.3.3.1  (10-01-2013)
Third Party Designee Authentication

  1. IMF taxpayers may designate a "Third Party Designee" (Check Box) on all paper and e-fileForm 1040 Series returns. The Third Party Designee may be any person including a paid or unpaid return preparer, a family member or friend. The Designee may be a person who is not the preparer. To verify the caller as the Third Party Designee, research IDRS for the presence of the check box field (see paragraph 10 below) and follow the procedures below in paragraphs 13 and 14 in this section. The following information is entered in the Third Party Designee Section:

    1. Designee Name

    2. Designee Phone Number

    3. Any five digit number the Designee chooses as his/ her Personal Identification Number (PIN).

    Note:

    :The term "person" can also refer to a business entity such as firm or business the taxpayer designated as the third party designee. The authority granted by a 1040 filer using the check box option also extends to any Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, filed for the year in question as long as it is filed within the time period for the consent.

  2. BMF taxpayers may designate a Third Party Designee on any BMF return. All BMF returns contain either a Third Party Designee Section or a Paid Preparer Designee check-box. To verify the caller as the Third Party Designee, research IDRS for the presence of the check box field (see paragraph 10 below) and follow the procedures below in paragraphs 13 and 14 in this section. The following information is entered in the Third Party Designee section:

    1. Designee Name

    2. Designee Phone Number

    3. Any five digit number the Designee chooses as his/her Personal Identification Number (PIN).

    Note:

    The authority granted on a BMF return using the check box option also extends to any amended return filed for the year in question, as long as it is filed within the time period for the consent.

  3. For the returns with the Paid Preparer check box, the third party designee authorization applies only to the individual whose signature appears in the "Paid Preparer's Use Only" section of the return. It does not apply to the firm, if any, shown in that section.

  4. Third Party Designee authority is limited to the specific tax form and period of the return, and is limited to issues involving processing of that specific return. Check box authorizations do not confer the designee with any representational privileges. They do not allow the designee to bind the taxpayer to a particular course of action, such as an extension or an installment agreement, or to make a commitment on behalf of the taxpayer.

  5. The third party designee may discuss account related issues, but still may not discuss collection or examination proceedings (e.g., issues that are beyond return processing issues such as when the account is assigned to ACS, Examination (Exam), AUR, etc.).

  6. The third party designee cannot represent the taxpayer before the IRS. Representation before the IRS is a specific authority granted only by the completion and filing of a power of attorney (e.g. Form 2848 , Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative). The Third Party Designation does not allow a named designee to perform the tasks associated with representation and practice before the IRS.

  7. The third party designation authority expires one year from the due date of the return in question. Extensions of time to file a return do not extend the third party designation period. There are no exceptions or extensions to the expiration date of the third party designation period.

  8. The taxpayer or the designee may revoke the designation before the expiration date by submitting a written statement of revocation. A Transaction Code (TC) 971, with Action Code (AC) 263 changes the third party designee indicator to "0" indicating a revocation.

    Note:

    The third party designee authority expires with the taxpayer's date of death if the death occurs during the one year period described in paragraph 7 above.

  9. If the taxpayer appoints an individual as a third party designee, the authorization to receive or inspect return or return information applies only to the individual. If the taxpayer appoints a person other than an individual as the third party designee, an individual associated with the person (i.e., an employee of the company appointed) is authorized to receive and inspect the return or return information after the individual has authenticated that they are associated with the appointee. See paragraphs 13 and 14 below.

  10. A third party check box field is shown on TXMOD (IMF and BMF), IMFOLR, BMFOLR, RTVUE, BRTVU or ERINVC. The field will show either:

    • Blank --a third party is not designated by the taxpayer;

    • 1--Third Party Designee is designated by the taxpayer; or

    • 0 – Third Party Designee is revoked.

    Note:

    TE/GE assistors should use OL-SEIN to check for the presence of the check box indicator on the Form 990 ,Form 990-EZ, Form 990PF or Form 990-T until the information is available via IDRS.

  11. The third party indicator on IMF is followed by:

    • A five digit self-selected Personal Identification Number (PIN) — for a third party designee who is not a paid preparer; or

    • The designee's PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number) — for a third party designee who is a paid preparer.

      Note:

      After December 31, 2010 all paid preparers will be required to use a PTIN on any current or prior year return filed.

      Caution:

      Do not confuse a PIN and a PTIN. A Third Party Designee self-selected PIN is not an IRS assigned PTIN.

  12. The third party indicator on BMF is followed by:

    • For a third party designee — phone # and PIN.

    • For a paid preparer — phone # and PTIN.

    Note:

    After December 31, 2010 all paid preparers will be required to use a PTIN on any current or prior year return filed.

    Note:

    Forms 990, 990PF, 990-T and 990-EZ are verified using OL-SEIN as stated above and need only have a designee name and phone number to match for verification.

  13. To authenticate as the Third Party Designee, the caller needs to provide the information below. To verify the caller as a Third Party Designee, research on TXMOD (IMF and BMF), IMFOL, BMFOL, RTVUE, BRTVU ,TRDBV or ERINVC for:

    • Taxpayer's name,

    • Taxpayer's TIN,

    • Tax period

    • Form(s)

    • Designee's TIN, PTIN, or PIN.

    Note:

    If there is a TC 971 AC 263 on the account, do not use TRDBV, RTVUE or BRTVUE as it is not updated to reflect revocation.

    Caution:

    A history item on an account indicating that a Power of Attorney (POA) or Tax Information Authorization (TIA) has been received is not a valid indication that a POA or TIA has been approved and is on file. Check command code CFINK for a valid POA on file.

  14. Validate the identification number provided by the Third Party Designee with the posted data using the following procedures:

    • TIN - research using CC INOLE or CC ENMOD.

    • Self-selected PIN - research using CC TXMOD.

    • PTIN - validate the PTIN information provided by the designee with the data on TXMOD, IMFOLR, BMFOLR, RTVUE or BRTVU to ensure they match.

  15. If a caller states that his/her PTIN is lost, forgotten or never received, have the caller contact the vendor at:

    • Primary Toll Free: 877–613–PTIN (7846)

    • TTY: 877–613–3686

    • International Callers: 915–342–5655 (non-toll free)

    • Available Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST

  16. If there is no record of a Third Party Designee, no record of a POA/TIA/oral TIA, or no record of Oral Disclosure Consent (ODC), NO information may be provided.

    Note:

    If the original input of the Third Party Designation does not show the presence of a third party check box field and/or the designee's PTIN or PIN is missing or incorrect, the caller may provide a copy (via fax) of the signed original return with the correct designee information. If the return was transmitted via e-file, a copy of the signed taxpayer authorization form may be needed. After receipt of the faxed copy that includes indication of taxpayer consent (signature), you may discuss the authorized issues with the designee. Copies of returns sent to IRS solely for the purpose of supplying designee information are disposed of as Classified Waste. Currently, Third Party Designee information cannot be input to Master File after original processing of the return.

21.1.3.3.2  (10-01-2013)
Oral Disclosure Consent/Oral TIA (Paperless F8821)

  1. Treasury Regulation 26 CFR 301.6103(c)-1(c) authorizes the IRS to accept written and non-written requests or consents from taxpayers authorizing the disclosure of return information to third parties assisting taxpayers in resolving federal tax related matters. In order to obtain a taxpayer's non-written consent to disclose, the IRS must:

    1. Gather sufficient facts underlying the request or consent to enable the employee to determine the nature and extent of the information or assistance requested and the return or return information to be disclosed.

    2. Confirm the identity of the taxpayer and the designee.

    3. Confirm the date, the nature and extent of the assistance request.

    Reminder:

    After taxpayer authorizes a designee to receive return information, using Oral Disclosure Consent (ODC), the taxpayer does not need to be present during any disclosure of return information.

  2. ODC can be obtained from either the taxpayer or Power of Attorney only if there are open account issues or the Service issued a notice, as shown on IDRS. The Power of Attorney may only designate a third party if that authority is indicated on the Form 2848. An indicator will appear on the command code CFINK for possible designation.

  3. Before recording an ODC onto IDRS and/or AMS, ensure taxpayer wants IRS to have a continuing dialog with the designated third party until the tax matter is resolved. Inform the taxpayer that all relevant tax return information may be disclosed to the authorized third party in order to resolve the tax issue.

  4. Record ODC on IDRS and/or AMS for each tax module under consideration. Required fields for input on either IDRS or AMS are in paragraphs 5 and 6 below.

  5. Using CC ACTON and the following format, record the history items on each tax module (TXMOD):

    • H#, or H,— activity code "oraldisclo"

    • H, — first name of designee

    • H, — last name of designee

    • H, — telephone # (without hyphens) of designee

      Note:

      Do not record ODC on CC ENMOD.

  6. Because there is no limitation of space on AMS, record the history on AMS as a narrative and list:

    • First and Last Name of designee

    • Telephone Number of designee

    • MFT/Tax Period(s) authorized for designee

  7. The history items are subsequently used to authenticate the third party. See IRM 21.1.3.3.(9), Third Party (POA/TIA/ Form 706) Authentication.

  8. ODC expires after the account issue(s) is closed; i.e., the module no longer meets IDRS retention criteria.

  9. ODC cannot be used to appoint a representative. A Form 2848,Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, must still be submitted in writing.

  10. All updates/changes (revoke/add/replace/delete) to ODC are input with additional history items. The latest history item designee is the valid designee.

  11. As a policy, a taxpayer cannot use ODC to request the IRS to systemically issue and mail account transcripts and/or copies of notices, letters, or returns to an authorized third party. However, if at the time the authorized third party contacts you regarding the account issue in question and requests such information, you may mail copies of such information related to the account in question to the third party, or to the taxpayer at the taxpayer's address of record.

  12. Requests for non-tax matter information (e.g., requests for income verification for student loans, mortgage loans, etc.) must be submitted in writing, generally on Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, which is processed by the Return and Income Verification Services (RAIVS) functional area.

  13. Oral Taxpayer Information Authorization (OTIA) (Paperless Form 8821) requests are processed/established onto the Centralized Authorization File (CAF) database by the centralized CAF Units. If the taxpayer requests to file an OTIA (paperless Form 8821):

    • Print and complete the requested Form 8821 parts 1 through 6 if applicable, and notate in part 7, "Oral Taxpayer Information Authorization."

    • Fax the completed Form 8821 to the appropriate CAF Unit.

    For additional information see IRM 21.3.7.8.13Oral Taxpayer Information (OTIA) Processing. A taxpayer or authorized representative may request the establishment of an Oral TIA without having an open account issue.

  14. The chart below shows the differences between ODC and OTIA.

    ODC OTIA
    Not present on CAF Present on CAF
    No Systemic notices allowed Systemic notices allowed
    No CAF number needed CAF number needed
    No refunds No refunds
    Notice or open account issue needed Can be established without open account issue

21.1.3.4  (10-01-2009)
Other Third Party Inquiries

  1. A taxpayer may bring a language, sign, or speech/voice interpreter to the office, or involve one in a telephone call. However, the taxpayer must be present. The taxpayer must give formal permission, via a written or oral statement, to allow us to disclose tax information to the interpreter. See IRM 11.3.3.2.1(3), Requirements for Oral Authorization, for more information.

  2. For hearing impaired taxpayers who use any relay service with Telephonic Devices for the Deaf/Teletype (TDD/TTY equipment) refer to IRM 21.2.1.60, Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHOH) Callers and TTY/TDD Equipment.

  3. For deceased taxpayers—the person whose name is shown on Entity as a second name line may be given information, if the person is an authorized party under IRC 6103(e). See IRM 11.3.2.4.11, Deceased Individuals.

  4. You may provide non-specific information to any caller, for example:

    • Cause of a notice (without accessing IDRS)

    • General procedures needed to resolve a situation

    • General information regarding the tax law

    • Other information that is generally available to the public

  5. You may accept information from any third party even if the provider of the information does not have a written or oral authorization from the taxpayer. Generally, this means any information that can resolve the account issues, but NOT an address change.

  6. Do not advise any third party who does not have written or oral authorization of any account information or resolution. This includes financial institutions requesting pay-off amounts. Send an appropriate Correspondex (C) letter to the taxpayer's address of record to advise the taxpayer if any action is taken.

    Example:

    You may accept canceled check information in order to initiate a payment tracer action. Do not provide posting information of the payment to the third party, unless the taxpayer has given written or oral authorization.

  7. For Compliance (ACS, Collection, Examination, etc.) employees; procedures for providing payoff figures to third parties, as provided in their related IRM and IRM tools (e.g., Electronic Automated Collection System Guide (e-ACSG)), take precedence and must be followed.

  8. Relatives are third parties and the rules outlined in this IRM apply to them. IRC 6103(e)(1)(B) provides that disclosure can be made to either spouse when a husband and wife file a joint return. If a spouse is claimed as an exemption (instead of filing jointly) the spouse for whom the exemption was claimed may not be given information without written or oral authorization from the primary taxpayer whose return is involved.

  9. See IRM 11.3.2.4.10, Minors, for disclosure rules for accounts of minors and for when tax information can be disclosed to parents.

21.1.3.5  (03-17-2010)
Reporting Agents File (RAF) and Form 8655, Reporting Agent Authorization

  1. When responding to third parties who call about BMF accounts, research the Reporting Agents File (RAF) (CC RFINK) in addition to researching the CAF (CC CFINK).

  2. Reporting Agents (RA) may SIGN and FILE federal employment tax returns (e.g., Form 941, 944, and 940) electronically (e-file ). By completion of Form 8655 (or approved substitutions), taxpayers authorize their RAs to receive copies of notices, correspondence, transcripts, deposit requirements and/or tax rates with respect to the designated employment tax returns, information returns, and/or payments. See IRM 21.3.9.3,Authorizations (Forms 8655 (Reporting Agents Authorization)).

    Note:

    Form 8655 does not authorize the RA to represent taxpayers in matters concerning "reasonable cause" for penalty abatement either verbally or in writing. The RA can provide information as an "other third party" to aid in penalty relief determination of whether or not "reasonable cause" exists for penalty abatement related to the tax form(s) and period(s) granted on the Form 8655. Once the determination is made the CSR can convey the information to the authorized RA.

  3. All Form 8655 (or approved substitute 8655 documents) are input to IDRS by the centralized RAF Unit located at the Ogden Campus.

  4. Any IDRS user profiled for CC RFINK can access the RAF data base. This allows authorized IRS employees to determine if the RA is currently on the RAF for the taxpayer in question. See IRM 2.3.16, Command Codes RFINK and RAFRQ , for CC RFINK.

  5. If the RA is shown on RFINK as the RA for the taxpayer in question then they are authorized to discuss the employment tax return and/or payment information for the tax forms and periods on RFINK. (See paragraph (8) below concerning authorized tax periods.) If the Notice Indicator is:

    • >Y< All notices and correspondence will be issued to the RA.

    • >N< Letters, notices, or correspondence are not systemically issued to the RA. (Still authorized to discuss the returns and/or payments which were authorized on the Form 8655)

  6. It is NOT necessary to ask the RA to transmit a faxed copy of Form 8655 before discussing the tax return or payment authorized on RFINK.

  7. Unlike the CAF, the RAF authorization begins with the tax period indicated on RFINK and REMAINS IN EFFECT until revoked or terminated.

    • An Action Code >A< or >blank< indicates that the agent information is current.

    • An Action Code >E< indicates that the authorization has been terminated or end dated.

    • An Action Code >R< indicates that the authorization has been revoked and replaced with a new reporting agent.

      Note:

      CC RFINK with Definer L (RFINKL) should be used to determine if the RA is still authorized for the specific periods in question.

  8. Information on the employment tax return and/or payments may be discussed with any employee of the RA shown on the RAF.

  9. To authenticate an RA caller, use CC RFINK with definer R. You need the:

    • RA's name

    • RA's EIN

    • RA's address

  10. For more information on RAF, see IRM 21.3.9, Processing Reporting Agents File Authorizations.

21.1.3.6  (03-31-2010)
e-File PIN's and Form 8453 (U.S. Individual Income Tax Transmittal for an IRS e-file Return)

  1. Form 8453, U.S. Individual Income Tax Transmittal for an IRS e-file Return, is used only to send any required paper forms or supporting documentation to the IRS.

  2. Taxpayers choosing to electronically prepare and file their return using an online software package or paid preparer are required to use a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to sign the return.

  3. The IRS e-file Signature Authorization forms must be completed and signed by the taxpayer before the return or the extension is transmitted to the IRS. These documents are retained by the paid preparer. The authorization form includes a consent by the taxpayer that allows the IRS to disclose to the intermediate service provider (ISP), transmitter or electronic return originator (ERO), the following information:

    1. An acknowledgement of receipt or the reason for rejection (this includes error conditions).

    2. An indication of any refund offset.

    3. The reason for any delay in processing the return or refund (this includes return unpostable conditions or account freeze conditions).

    4. The date of any refund.

    5. Other explanations, such as, why the above stated conditions occurred.

  4. The IRS e-file signature authorization form also includes a taxpayer authorization, which allows IRS to answer inquires from the financial institution involved in the electronic tax payment, to resolve issues related to the payment.

  5. Publication 1346, Electronic Return File Specifications and Record Layouts for Individual Tax Returns, lists reject codes and explanations for the ERO/ISP/Transmitter. Reject codes are also listed in SERP http://serp.enterprise.irs.gov/databases/local-sites-other.dr/eta.dr/err_rej_codes_toc.htm

  6. Before providing data from a taxpayer’s return, obtain the following information from the ERO/ISP/Transmitter:

    • The taxpayer’s name

    • TIN

    • Address

    • Refund amount

    • Acknowledgment date

    • Company where the ERO/ISP/Transmitter works

    • Declaration Control Number (DCN) under which the electronic return was accepted

      Note:

      The DCN will not be available on returns processed through Modernized e-File. (MeF) See IRM 21.2.2.4.4.5, TRDB Summary Screens for more information.

    • Electronic Filer Identification Number (EFIN) or Electronic Transmitter Identification Number (ETIN)

      Reminder:

      Use CC TRDBV to verify the last four items in the above list.

21.1.3.7  (10-01-2009)
Requests From Employees of Business Entities

  1. Employees who need information to resolve a business account matter must be authorized by the business entity as follows:

    1. Form 8821 (TIA) must be filed by the business entity to authorize certain employees to receive tax account information for the business. A CAF Number is assigned to each employee listed on the form(s).

    2. Research the CAF and, if authorization is verified, provide the tax account information.

    3. If TIA is not shown on CAF, request that the caller submit the completed TIA by FAX. For the essential elements of a processable Form 8821, see IRM 21.3.7.5.1, Essential Elements for Form 2848 and Form 8821 . This allows you to provide immediate account information. Forward Form 8821 to the CAF unit at the appropriate campus.

    4. Request the name, TIN of the caller, and data identifying the business entity.

    5. If you are unable to verify an authorization, offer to mail the response to the address of record.

    Note:

    For more information, see IRM 11.3.2.4.3, Corporations.

21.1.3.8  (03-17-2010)
Inquiries From IRS Employees

  1. IRS employees are taxpayers and are entitled to their tax account information in the same manner as other taxpayers who call, write, or visit us.

  2. There are special procedures that you must follow to protect the "taxpayer employee," as well as to protect yourself. If you receive a telephone contact or are assigned a case of an IRS employee, take the following actions:

    1. If you do not know the employee, complete the authentication check, and provide the information requested, or work the case. Complete Form 11377-E,Taxpayer Data Access.

    2. If you do know the employee, refer the case to your manager. Complete Form 4442, Inquiry Referral, to document the specific information requested. Use the Form 4442 via the "Forms" link shown on SERP, which can be completed on-line.

      Caution:

      Do not use a Form e-4442 via AMS because this requires you to access the employee's SSN.

  3. If your team/unit has a designated employee who handles all inquiries from IRS employees, refer all employee contacts/cases to that designated employee.

21.1.3.9  (04-29-2013)
Mailing and Faxing Tax Account Information

  1. Use the following guidelines to mail tax account information:

    If Then
    Taxpayer requests tax account information mailed to him/her at the address of record Mail information after conducting the required taxpayer authentication as outlined in IRM 21.1.3.2.3, Required Taxpayer Authentication. Even if no account information is provided verbally you must authenticate the taxpayer as outlined in IRM 21.1.3.2.3,.Required Taxpayer Authentication. If authentication cannot be achieved, the requested information can not be sent. Advise the caller to file a Form 4506-T. Do not direct the caller to the Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) if authentication was achieved. Only those taxpayers that require expedite service who are unable to pass disclosure may be directed to the Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) for help.
    If the taxpayer completes the required authentication but you still have doubts about the caller's identity Advise the caller that the requested information will be mailed to the taxpayer's address of record. Send taxpayer Transcript Delivery System Letter 3539 notifying them of third party request. If TDS is unavailable, refer to IRM 21.2.3.4.1, Requesting Transcripts.
    Taxpayer requests tax account information be mailed to him/her at address other than the address of record Complete required taxpayer authentication as outlined in IRM 21.1.3.2.3, Required Taxpayer Authentication, and complete high risk disclosure per IRM 21.1.3.2.4, Additional Taxpayer Authentication. If authentication cannot be achieved, the requested information may not be sent. Advise the caller to file a Form 4506-T. Do not direct the caller to the Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) if authentication was achieved. Only those taxpayers that require expedite service who are unable to pass disclosure may be directed to the TAC for help.
    Taxpayer request is for student loan, mortgage application, or some other purpose not related to resolving a federal tax matter Mail the information to the address of record if taxpayer authentication was achieved as outlined in IRM 21.1.3.2.3 Required Taxpayer Authentication, and IRM 21.1.3.2.4, Additional Taxpayer Authentication. If Authentication cannot be achieved, the requested information may not be mailed. Advise the caller to mail or fax a Form 4506-T. Do not direct the caller to the TAC if authentication was achieved. Only those taxpayers that require expedite service who are unable to pass disclosure may be directed to the TAC for help.
    Taxpayer request is for a student loan, mortgage application, or some other purpose not related to resolving a federal tax matter, to be mailed to an unauthorized third party. Advise the taxpayer that he/she must send via fax or mail a signed written consent (e.g., Form 4506-T) to Return and Income Verification Services (RAIVS) at the appropriate campus address.
    Taxpayer requests tax account information to be mailed directly to a third party for income verification Advise the taxpayer that he/she must send via fax or mail a signed written consent (e.g., Form 4506-T) to RAIVS at the appropriate campus address.

    Caution:

    When disclosing information on accounts involving multiple entities, mixed periods, or cases involving ID Theft related transactions, additional authentication should be completed before disclosing information. Refer to IRM 21.1.3.2.4 Additional Taxpayer Authentication, and verify two additional items. For cases with open controls under IDT1, IDT3, IDT8, IDT9, MXEN, SCRM OR SSA2, see IRM 21.6.2.4.2.1,Telephone Inquiries Regarding MXEN, IDT1, IDT3, IDT8, IDT9 and Scrambled Cases. For specific procedures to follow if the taxpayer requests a transcript in which identity theft has occurred or is suspected by the assistor, see IRM 21.2.3.4.1.3, Transcripts and Identity Theft.

  2. Faxing a document that contains Federal Tax Information of a taxpayer must be done in compliance with IRC 6103, and that means it must be sent to the taxpayer or to an authorized representative. Ensure that you are speaking to the taxpayer or authorized representative by completing the required taxpayer authentication and additional taxpayer authentication, as appropriate, outlined in IRM 21.1.3.2.3, Required Taxpayer Authentication; See IRM 21.1.3.2.4; Additional Required Taxpayer Authentication; and IRM 21.1.3.3 Third Party (POA/TIA/F706) Authentication. For further information on faxing, see IRM 11.3.1.11, Facsimile Transmission of Tax Information.

  3. Advise the taxpayer or authorized third party of the risks involved if tax information is faxed, e.g., someone else located at the fax location site could receive or see the tax information.

  4. Ask the taxpayer or authorized third party if he or she is at the same location as the fax machine. The fax number must be at a location where the taxpayer or authorized third party is physically present to receive the fax.

    Note:

    This does not require the taxpayer to be standing at the fax machine at the time the fax is delivered, but be in a reasonable proximity to obtain the fax once it is delivered. See IRM 21.2.3.4.1(11), Requesting Transcripts, for additional information on disclosure consideration when faxing using the Transcript Delivery System (TDS).

  5. If the matter does not pertain to the resolution of a tax matter, the taxpayer must either be at the fax machine location or provide written permission to fax to a third party. Information for a mortgage application, student loan information, and other federal or state benefits, etc. are examples of items not considered "for the resolution of a federal tax matter." Oral consents under IRC 6103 are not allowed if the matter is not for the resolution of a tax matter.

  6. When faxing tax information to the caller, use a cover sheet identifying to whom the information is intended and the number of pages being faxed. Make sure the necessary disclosure warning statement is on the cover sheet.

  7. If you have any doubt as to the caller’s identity and or intent, mail the requested information to the address of record.

  8. For more information regarding TDS, see IRM 21.2.3.4.1.4, TDS Delivery Options.

  9. Faxing tax account information includes, but is not limited to, the scenarios shown below. These scenarios are in accordance with the faxing guidelines and faxing chart shown in IRM 11.3.1.11,Facsimile Transmission of Tax Information

    If And Then
    (1) Taxpayer is requesting tax account information to resolve a balance due issue (federal tax matter) Taxpayer is at the same location of the fax machine which is located at his/her residence or business Fax using TDS. (see note below)
    (2) Taxpayer is requesting tax account information to resolve a balance due issue (federal tax matter) Taxpayer is NOT at same location of fax machine You cannot fax and TDS cannot be used to fax
    (3) Taxpayer is requesting tax account information for a student loan to be sent to a location such as Office Max, Kinko's, school financial aid office, etc. (non-federal tax matter) Taxpayer is NOT at same location of fax machine, but will pick up fax later in day from location You cannot fax and TDS cannot be used to fax
    (4) Authorized third party is requesting tax account information to help in resolving taxpayer's balance due issue (federal tax matter) Authorized third Party is at same location of fax machine Fax using TDS IF appropriate authorization received or on file. Authorization can be oral or written (see note below)
    (5) Authorized third party is requesting tax account information be sent to financial aid office for student loan (non-federal tax matter) Authorized third Party is at same location of fax machine Fax using TDS IF Form 8821 authorization or written equivalent received or on file (see note below)

    Note:

    Form 2848 is not appropriate for non-tax matters

    (6) Taxpayer is requesting tax account information for a student loan to be sent to a location such as Office Max, Kinko's, school financial aid office, etc. (non-federal tax matter) Taxpayer is at the same location of fax machine at the time of the call and will be in this location if the fax is sent within a specific time frame. You can manually fax within the specified time frame if the taxpayer indicates they cannot wait 5-10 calendar days for TDS postal mail delivery. Use postal mail delivery option on TDS for all other requests
    Do not use TDS to fax since fax may not be received immediately.

    Note:

    Use TDS for all fax delivery unless the taxpayer indicates they cannot wait 48 hours for a TDS fax.

  10. Enterprise e-Fax (EEFAX) is being rolled out in stages to all of Accounts Management. EEFAX users can send an email via Outlook with a PDF attachment of the faxed document. If you have EEFAX, you must use it in lieu of manual faxing.

  11. See IRM 11.3, Disclosure of Official Information, for information on authorized recipient(s) of return information.

21.1.3.10  (10-01-2006)
Safety and Security Overview

  1. IRC 7212, and IRC 3571 of Title 18 of the United States Code, provide criminal penalties of imprisonment and fines for anyone convicted of threatening, assaulting, or impeding an IRS employee from acting in his/her official capacity.

  2. The following sections provide guidelines for employees' awareness on matters of safety and security for their own well being or that of their families, and for the security of their office or coworkers.

21.1.3.10.1  (10-01-2009)
Personal Safety

  1. DO NOT WAIT FOR A DANGEROUS SITUATION TO OCCUR BEFORE READING THIS SECTION. FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF NOW WITH THESE PROCEDURES.

  2. Regardless of the size, your office should be free of safety hazards. This applies to both the taxpayer/customer waiting area and your own work area.

  3. If you notice outlets, cords, chairs, or any other office fixtures in need of repair or replacement, notify your manager, or the Safety Representative for your office, so he/she can take steps to get necessary actions taken.

  4. You should have, within easy reach, direct telephone numbers for Criminal Investigation, the nearest Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) office, your manager, the building manager or other facilities support, and other emergency numbers.

  5. You should also have Form 9166, Bomb Threat Card, and other security-related information to assist you in gathering pertinent information or providing guidance when dealing with a dangerous situation.

  6. See IRM 21.3.4, Field Assistance, for guidelines to handle dangerous face-to-face situations.

21.1.3.10.2  (10-01-2003)
Bribery Attempts

  1. Attempts to bribe IRS employees are flagrant attacks on the integrity of the IRS and its employees. You must be perceptive and alert to such overtures and take the following action if bribery offers are received:

    1. Avoid any statement or implication that you will or will not accept the bribe.

    2. Avoid unnecessary discussions of the matter with anyone.

    3. Report the matter IMMEDIATELY to the nearest TIGTA office.

21.1.3.10.3  (10-01-2008)
Assault/Threat Incidents/Abusive Practitioners

  1. Chances of being threatened or assaulted are always present when you perform IRS related activities, but may be more so when assisting taxpayers who owe taxes and can't or don't want to pay them.

  2. If you receive a threat via telephone, avoid making confrontational statements to the caller.

    1. Ask the caller to clarify vague statements.

    2. Have someone else (preferably your manager) listen to the call in order to corroborate statements made.

    3. Do not remain on line if caller is verbally abusive, whether a threat is made or not. Tell the caller that you are terminating the call and then hang up.

  3. If possible, document the following information:

    • Caller's/taxpayer's name

    • TIN

    • Time of call

    • Origin of call, if possible

    • Statements made by taxpayer/caller

    • Any other general information to aid the TIGTA investigation

  4. Research CC INOLE or CC ENMOD for taxpayer account data, if TIN is obtained from caller. Attach screen prints to any documentation sent to the nearest TIGTA office.

  5. When a threat is received, recording the call alerts management to the emergency situation and enables the call to be traced.

    1. Press the EMERGENCY/Record Call button on the telephone.

    2. The recording of the call begins and a manager/acting manager and Systems Administrator (SA) are notified of the emergency situation at your station. A recording is also being made of the call in the Contact Recording system.

    3. A manager will monitor the call to assess the gravity of the situation.

    4. Once an emergency situation is confirmed, the manager will acknowledge to you that he/she is aware of situation.

    5. By recording the call, the SA tracks the incoming call (via Aspect trunk record) and transmits it to the AT&T trunk group, if necessary.

    6. The recorded call is made available to the nearest TIGTA office, along with the written report. A copy of the recording from Contact Recording can be provided to TIGTA in lieu of the Aspect recording.

  6. For bomb threats or other emergencies, See IRM 21.1.3.10 sections below.

21.1.3.10.4  (10-01-2003)
Reporting Assault/Threat Incidents

  1. Immediately report to the nearest TIGTA office all assaults, threats or forcible interference (actual force, threat of force, or physical intimidation) made against you in the course of your official duties.

  2. Immediately report to the nearest TIGTA office all assaults or threats made against members of your family, which are intended to impede performance of your official duties.

  3. You must report each incident to your manager. If the nearest TIGTA office is not immediately available, contact Support Services (Physical Security) or the Federal Protective Service. Your manager will follow up on these actions.

  4. If an incoming call is not a local call, the threat may be against an employee, or employees in general, at the IRS office where the taxpayer resides. You must report the threat to your nearest TIGTA office. A TIGTA agent will contact the other TIGTA office. See Bomb Threats in IRM 21.1.3.10.7.

  5. You must report every incident no matter how insignificant it appears. The local TIGTA office determines what action, if any, is needed.

  6. If you receive a written threat, do not contact the taxpayer. Refer the threat to the nearest TIGTA office. They make decisions on protective measures and any future contacts.

21.1.3.10.5  (10-01-2004)
Written Assault/Threat Report

  1. You must immediately document the circumstances of the assault or threat incident. Prepare a written report on white paper with the following information:

    • Taxpayer's/caller's full name, if obtained,

    • TIN, if obtained, and

    • Any other pertinent information.

  2. Forward the written report through management, with a copy for the nearest TIGTA office. When possible, the investigating agent will interview you (the employee) on the day of the incident.

21.1.3.10.6  (10-01-2003)
Significant Incidents

  1. Sensitive or high profile episodes are considered "significant incidents."

  2. Significant incidents include, but are not limited, to:

    • Arson/Fires

    • Bombings

    • Bomb Threats

    • Demonstrations directed at IRS or which disrupt IRS activities

    • Suspicious packages resulting in site evacuation and/or notification of local authorities

  3. Should you become aware of these situations, because you receive the threat in person or on the phone, first remove yourself from the threatened area and then notify appropriate personnel.

21.1.3.10.7  (10-01-2013)
Bomb Threats

  1. A calm response to a bomb threat (a call, a visitor, or correspondence) may result in obtaining additional information and may be essential in preventing loss of lives and/or property. Obtain the daytime and after-hours telephone number for your nearest PSEP office before you are faced with a possible telephone threat. Follow the instructions below as they apply to your functional responsibilities:

  2. When you receive a bomb threat over the telephone:

    1. Keep caller on the line as long as possible. If possible, ask him/her to repeat message.

    2. Press EMERGENCY/Record Call on phone set. Complete and retain Form 9166.

    3. Ask the questions listed on Form 9166, Bomb Threat Card.

    4. Do NOT hang up after caller is off the line. (This assists in tracing the call.)

      Exception:

      Some phone systems operate to auto populate the next call after the caller is off the line.

    5. If caller does not indicate location or time of possible detonation, ask him/her for this information. Since calls are routed between different call sites, it is extremely important to try to ascertain the caller’s physical location and which IRS facility (city, state, specific building/floor, or function, etc.) is threatened.

    6. Inform the caller that the building is occupied and detonation of bomb could result in death of, or serious injury to, many innocent people.

    7. Listen closely to the voice (male/female), voice quality (calm/excited), accents, and speech impediments.

    8. Pay particular attention to background noises such as motors running, music playing, and any other noise which may give a clue to caller’s location.

  3. You must immediately report a bomb threat to your nearest PSEP Territory Office..

  4. Remain available. PSEP and the TIGTA office may interview you.

  5. Use checklist on Form 9166 to gather as much information as possible. Retain checklist as evidence.

  6. Each Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) site must determine the most efficient method of ensuring that visiting taxpayers are evacuated from the site. Coordinate the method of evacuation with your local PSEP office before you are faced with this situation. Each site should review Document 12552, Emergency Preparedness Guide, and IRM 10.2.9,Occupant Emergency Planning, for more information.

21.1.3.10.8  (10-01-2003)
Suspicious Packages and Letters

  1. Unusual or suspicious-looking packages and letters require your immediate attention.

  2. Do not touch or move any letter or package delivered to your office or your work area with any of the indicators listed below. Immediately call for assistance and notify the nearest TIGTA office.

  3. Be alert for packages or letters which have:

    • Excessive postage

    • Excessive weight and/or a feel of a powdery, sticky or grainy substance

    • Excessive securing materials such as masking tape, string, etc.

    • Handwritten or poorly typed addresses

    • Incorrect titles

    • Misspellings of common words

    • No return address

    • Oily stains or discolorations

    • Protruding wires or tinfoil

    • Restrictive markings such as "Confidential," "Personal," etc.

    • Titles, but no names

21.1.3.10.9  (10-01-2006)
Other Incidents to Report to TIGTA

  1. The following is a list of other incidents you must report to the nearest TIGTA office. The list is not inclusive of all reportable incidents.

    • Assaults and/or threats, during duty hours, at the hands of unknown or unidentified assailants.

    • Incidents involving the discharge, display or other use of a firearm or other weapon.

    • Threats to damage employee's reputation or standing in the community.

21.1.3.11  (10-01-2012)
Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer (PDT) or Caution Upon Contact (CAU) Indicators.

  1. The Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer (PDT) and Caution Upon Contact (CAU) system identifies taxpayers who may pose a threat to the safety of IRS employees whose official duties require personal contact with taxpayers. The Office of Employee Protection (OEP) is responsible for administration and maintenance of the PDT database

  2. The system identifies taxpayers who are a potential danger to employees who are carrying out their job responsibilities.

  3. The following types of actions constitute the basis for a PDT determination:

    1. Physical assault of an employee or members of an employee's immediate family.

    2. Attempts to threaten or intimidate an employee or members of an employee's immediate family with a show of weapons or use of animals.

    3. Specific threats of bodily harm.

    4. Other specific threatening behavior.

    5. Active participation in groups advocating violence against IRS employees specifically.

    6. Active participation in groups advocating violence against Federal Government employees, in general, if advocating such violence threatens the safety of IRS employees and impedes performance of official duties.

    7. Commission of acts listed above, but directed against employees of other governmental agencies at federal, state, county, or local levels.

    8. A five year history of violent behavior toward the IRS prior to the current contact.

21.1.3.11.1  (01-07-2009)
PDT Indicator

  1. Once a taxpayer is identified as potentially dangerous, a PDT indicator represented by symbol *PDT* is displayed on IDRS and on documents originating from IDRS.

  2. If you are assigned work involving a PDT, notify your manager and the Office of Employee Protection before making any personal contact with taxpayer.

  3. When *PDT* is displayed on TXMOD or ENMOD, be extremely cautious and inform your manager as soon as possible.

  4. If a threat is made on any telephone call, either incoming or outgoing, complete Form e-4442 or Form 4442 to document the call and your response. Indicate "PDT" at the top and forward to your manager.

  5. Your manager will forward the Form 4442 or Form e-4442, to the nearest TIGTA office.

21.1.3.12  (03-14-2013)
Suicide Threats

  1. If a taxpayer makes a suicide threat over the telephone:

    1. Press the "EMERGENCY/Record" call button on the telephone set. This action records the call.

    2. Stay calm.

    3. Do not hang up or ignore the caller.

    4. Use judgment to try and determine if the caller is sincere. Ask the caller to clarify any vague statements they may have made. Keep the caller on the line if the threat seems valid.

    5. Immediately contact a manager to take the call (do not transfer or put caller on hold). If a manager is not available, send for a lead, if he/she is acting as a manager.

  2. The manager/lead will:

    1. Assume responsibility for the telephone call.

    2. Ask the caller for the location (including phone number) from which he/she is calling.

    3. If caller complies, document the caller's address/location.

    4. Use all means available at your site, including the telephone or internet access to gather the necessary information to contact the required local law enforcement or government suicide prevention authority.

    5. Report the threat and the caller's location to the local authorities. When we obtain a telephone number or the callers location from the caller, we can relay this information to the local authorities. This is not disclosure or return/account information.

      Note:

      If Campus or site directions vary, ensure all managers have the appropriate instruction inserted here. All sites should cover this information with local management to ensure that during a live call of this type, it is not the first time the manager has reviewed these instructions.

    6. When reporting a suicide threat to local law enforcement authorities, state only that the threat was made during a contact involving "official business" .

    7. Before ending the call, try to resolve the tax problem and calm the caller.

    8. Contact your local disclosure manager as soon as possible and inform him/her of the threat and of any information that was disclosed to the law enforcement or suicide prevention authority. See IRM 11.3.34.2, Procedures for Release of Information Regarding a Non-Tax Crime, andIRM 11.3.34.3, Expedite Procedures in Emergency Situations.

    9. If the caller refuses to give his/her location, a manager/acting manager can use IRS systems to obtain the name and address of the caller, in order to give the information to federal or state law enforcement agencies, in situations involving life and health of an individual. This is considered an authorized IRC 6103(i)(3)(B) disclosure. See IRM 11.3.28.9, Disclosure in Emergency Situations Pursuant to IRC 6103(i)(3)(B).

  3. If a manager/lead is not available:

    1. Stay calm.

    2. Follow the procedures in paragraphs (2) (a) through (2) (h) above.

      Note:

      If you hear a caller make a threat against another person (e.g., a family member, neighbor, etc.) follow the Suicide Threat procedures.

  4. If a taxpayer makes a suicide threat in a "TAC" site:

    1. Stay calm.

    2. Immediately send for a manager/lead.

    3. The manager/lead will contact the local law enforcement agency or government suicide prevention authority to report the threat and the office location.

    4. Ask the taxpayer for his/her personal address. Should the taxpayer leave the office before the local authorities arrive, you may then give this information to them.

    5. If the manager/acting manager is not immediately available, follow the procedures in paragraphs (4) (a) through (4) (d) above. Give a copy of the information to the manager, when he/she is available.

    6. In the event where there could be a danger to other TAC employees or visitors, local site management will determine if an evacuation is needed and the method of evacuation.

  5. If the taxpayer makes a suicide threat in written correspondence:

    1. Stay calm.

    2. Give the correspondence to the manager/lead, who will contact the proper local authority.

  6. See IRM 11.3.34, Disclosure for NonTax Criminal Violations, for additional disclosure information.

    Note:

    It is the policy of Customer Account Services to have a manager handle these types of situations, if at all possible.

  7. All suicide calls must be reported to the local TIGTA office following established procedures in that campus or site. A Physical Security Incident Reporting Form should also be electronically submitted to report the incident.

21.1.3.13  (10-04-2007)
Sexual Harassment

  1. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

    1. Submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of your employment.

    2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting you.

    3. Such conduct has the effect of unreasonably interfering with work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.

  2. Sexual harassment is:

    1. Illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and implemented under Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regulations, 29 CFR Section 1604.11.

    2. Prohibited by Issuance 5 of IRS Document 12011 , Plain Talk About Ethics and Conduct.

  3. Report the following situations directly to the nearest TIGTA office:

    1. "Quid pro quo" situations, in which submission to or rejection of sexually harassing behavior is used as basis for employment decisions affecting employee (such as a promise of promotion for engaging in sexual activity or a negative appraisal for refusing to do so) whether employment action was or was not actually taken against victim.

    2. Unwanted, aggravated, physical contact of a sexual nature.

  4. Report sexual harassment through:

    1. Management (e.g., supervisor, head of offices, etc.).

    2. The Union and the negotiated grievance process for bargaining unit employees.

    3. The Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and the Statutory EEO complaint process, including EEO counseling with the option of simultaneously bringing allegation to the attention of the Commissioner.

  5. You may also contact the nearest TIGTA office for any case of alleged sexual harassment.

  6. You also may call either of the hot-line numbers listed below:

    • IRS Sexual Harassment Hotline — 866-298-7672 (or TTY (866)702–5321)

21.1.3.14  (11-13-2012)
Preparer Issues and Complaints/Form 14157

  1. For preparer issues, complaints or questions or regarding Form 14157, Complaint: Tax Return Preparer, see SERP Alert 13A0463.

21.1.3.15  (12-09-2009)
Request for Specific Employee

  1. A caller or visitor may ask to speak to a specific employee who previously handled his/her inquiry. The caller may provide the name and/or ID Card number of the previous employee and indicate that he/she needs to discuss the account with that person.

    Note:

    Telephone numbers listed in internal directories (e.g. Outlook, Discovery Directory etc.) or on e-mails, memos, SERP Alerts etc. are intended for IRS use only. Do Not under any circumstances give the taxpayer or a taxpayer's representative the name or phone number of any employee (e.g., CSR, Manager, Analyst, etc.) listed in an internal directory, on an e-mail or internal use document.

  2. Make every effort to resolve the taxpayer's issue yourself. Encourage the caller or visitor to allow you to research his/her account.

  3. If the taxpayer still insists on speaking with the prior employee advise them that you will attempt to contact the other employee to have them return the call. Prepare Form 4442 or Form e-4442, Inquiry Referral and annotate "ACT SECTION 3705(a)(RRA 98)" at the top of the Form 4442 or Form e-4442. The form should contain:

    • The employees name (if available) and ID number.

    • Date the Taxpayer spoke to the original employee.

    • Details of the Taxpayers specific issue.

  4. Depending on the information available (name, ID number) the employee's manager should use all available resources to locate the specific employee (ie. Discovery Directory) requested by the taxpayer and forward the Form 4442, Inquiry Referral or Form e-4442 to that employees manager following appropriate referral procedures located in IRM 21.3.5.4,Referral Procedures.

    Note:

    Managers can contact the ID Media Program Manager in Mission Assurance and Security Services. They can be found at Identity Credential & Access Management.

21.1.3.16  (10-01-2004)
Taxpayer Complaints/Compliments About IRS Service

  1. Resolve, if possible, taxpayer complaints about unresolved tax account issues. If unable to resolve please refer to IRM 21.1.3.18, Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Guidelines, to determine if a transfer to TAS is appropriate.

  2. Taxpayer complaints about individual (IRS) employees are captured under the RRA 98 Section 1203 Procedural Handbook. Refer these calls or correspondence to your manager.

    Note:

    Form 10004, Customer Feedback Record, is obsolete. Do not use.

  3. Refer taxpayer compliments (calls or correspondence) of the IRS or individual employees to your manager.

  4. If correspondence is received with complaints or issues regarding the policy or law related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA - Health Care Act), follow procedures in IRM 21.3.3.4.10(9),Taxpayer Inquiries and Complaints.

  5. Make sure that you always express appreciation (thanks) to anyone who compliments you or the IRS.

21.1.3.17  (10-01-2005)
Taxpayer Request for Disclosure of Information

  1. The Privacy Act of 1974 gives individuals certain rights regarding their records maintained by federal agencies. Taxpayers requesting their information under the Privacy Act, must furnish:

    • Name

    • Address

    • Other specified information

    Note:

    Taxpayer must provide his/her TIN, if it is needed for research.

  2. Mark request "Privacy Act Request for Notification and Access" and forward to the Disclosure Office.

  3. Except as otherwise provided by law, the Privacy Act of 1974 permits an individual to:

    1. Determine which of his/her records Federal agencies may collect, maintain, use, or disseminate.

    2. Prevent his/her records from being used or made available for unauthorized purposes without his/her consent; and

    3. Gain access to information on him/her, have copies made, and, unless information concerns tax records, amend or correct such information.

  4. Under the Privacy Act, the IRS ensures taxpayers' rights by:

    1. Collecting, maintaining, using, or disseminating any record of identifiable personal information only for necessary and lawful purposes.

    2. Ensuring information is current and accurate.

    3. Ensuring information is used for its intended purpose.

    4. Ensuring adequate safeguards to prevent misuse of information.

  5. See IRM 11.3.18, Privacy Act Access and Amendment of Records, for information on requests made under the Privacy Act.

21.1.3.17.1  (10-01-2011)
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

  1. Under the FOIA, each taxpayer has the right, subject to certain limitations, to access records and documents maintained by the IRS.

  2. All requests made under the FOIA must be written.

  3. FOIA requests for copies of records and documents are handled by the Disclosure Office. If you receive a FOIA request directly from the public, immediately mail it to: IRS Disclosure Scanning Operation, 4800 Buford Hwy, Mail Stop 93A, Chamblee, GA 39901–0093.

    Caution:

    Do not refer FOIA issues to the Governmental Liaisons. The Government Liaison office is a different entity from the Disclosure Office, even though the general contact data appears to be the same for both. The disclosure manager for the geographical area in which the taxpayer resides is located on the irs.gov website.

  4. See Governmental Liaison Disclosure web site for more information on FOIA.

  5. FOIA requests for copies of recorded contacts are also handled by the Disclosure Office. Use the link above to locate the disclosure manager for the geographical area in which the taxpayer resides.

    Note:

    FOIA recording requests are handled expeditiously. The written request from the taxpayer must contain the date, name and identification number of the CSR (from the CSR’s identification badge), and the approximate time of the call. Also, in order for the IRS to locate and associate the call with the requester, there must be some identification of the taxpayer (name, address, TIN, etc.) during the call. The FOIA request cannot be processed without this information.

  6. See IRM 11.3.13,Freedom of Information Act, for information on requests made under FOIA.

21.1.3.17.2  (12-09-2011)
Taxpayer Request to Tape Record Conversation

  1. A taxpayer is not permitted to make any audio recording of a telephone conversation. Taxpayers are permitted to record a conversation during an in person interview if certain procedures are followed.

    Exception:

    See paragraph (3) below for Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TAC).

  2. If a taxpayer begins to record a conversation during a telephone call, and you are aware of it, courteously terminate the conversation.

  3. Taxpayers may record an in-person interview (e.g., contact at a TAC) if they provide 10 days advance written notice and utilize their own equipment for the recording. See IRC Section 7521, and IRM 5.1.12.4, Taxpayer Recording of Interviews , for more information. If a taxpayer attempts to record a conversation during an in-person interview without following these procedures, discontinue the interview and reschedule for a later date.

21.1.3.18  (03-27-2013)
Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Guidelines

  1. The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) provides assistance to taxpayers who are experiencing economic harm, who are seeking help in resolving tax problems that the IRS has not resolved through normal channels or believe that an IRS system or procedure is not working as it should.

  2. Congressional inquiries are referred to TAS. When you receive a Congressional inquiry via telephone or correspondence, refer to TAS using the following procedures:

    1. Prepare Form e-911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (And Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order), via AMS or Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (And Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order), if AMS is not available.

    2. In the "How Identified and Received" field, enter code "X" .

    3. Inform the Congressional caller of the referral to TAS. The local TAS Office serving the Congressional District of the caller is assigned to the case.

    4. Inform the caller that the Local TAS Office will contact him/her within seven business days.

      Exception:

      Do not refer Congressional inquires that are assigned via i-trak/e-trak to TAS. See IRM 11.5.3.1,Congressional Correspondence and Quality Review Branch.

  3. Refer taxpayers to the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) (see IRM 13,Taxpayer Advocate Service) when the contact meets TAS criteria (see IRM 13.1.7.2TAS Case Criteria) and you can't resolve the taxpayer's issue the same day. The definition of "same day" is within 24 hours. "Same day" cases include cases you can completely resolve in 24 hours, as well as cases in which you have taken steps within 24 hours to begin resolving the taxpayer's issue. In cases where the taxpayer states he has a hardship, use sufficient probing to determine that a manual refund is required before referring to TAS. For example: If the only issue is a refund, an explanation of the process and time frame for receipt of the refund may result in the taxpayer agreeing that the hardship can be relieved by the systemic release of the refund. Do not refer "same day" cases to TAS unless the taxpayer asks to be transferred to TAS and the case meets TAS criteria. Refer to IRM 13.1.7.4Same Day Resolution by Operations.When you refer cases to TAS, prepare Form e-911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (And Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order), via AMS or use Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (and Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order), if you are not an AMS user or AMS is not available, and forward to TAS.

    Exception:

    See Interim Guidance MemoTAS-13–0912–019, effective September 25, 2012 titled Reissuance of Interim Guidance on Changes to Case Acceptance Criteria.

  4. As part of the Identity Theft Program, the Accounts Management (AM) Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU) will assist taxpayers whose situations meet TAS criteria 5 -7 and involves identity theft. The applicable cases are considered IPSU criteria. See IRM 21.9.2.9, Identity Theft Assistance Request (ITAR) - General Information

    Note:

    This does not apply to cases that meet TAS criteria 1 - 4. Refer these cases accordingly as outlined in this IRM section.

  5. When referring taxpayer inquires to TAS, you must notate on the Form 911, Section III, box 9:

    • The TAS Criteria Number - see IRM 13.1.7

    • The specific circumstances of the hardship, and

    • Why you did not provide the relief. Please see Form 911, Section III instructions, for box 9 examples of reason(s) that prevent you from resolving the taxpayer's problem.

  6. A delay is defined as a lapse of more than 30 days from the date of the taxpayer's initial inquiry, or from the end of the prescribed/normal processing period, whichever is later. (e.g., a tax question, request for installment agreement/adjustment of tax, a refund not received six weeks after the return posts to Master File.) "More than 30 days" begins on the 31st day following the initial inquiry, or on the 31st day beyond normal processing of the return or issue in question. Remember that normal processing time, in some instances, may be as long as 45 to 90 days or longer, e.g., innocent spouse claims.

  7. Transmitting/routing procedures for the electronic version of Form 911 (e-911) are:

    1. For criteria 1 through 4 and 8, the Form e-911 is systemically routed directly to TAS.

    2. For criteria 5 through 7, the Form e-911 is systemically routed to a manager who reviews before either systemically transmitting it to TAS or systemically returning it to the CSR with comments.

    3. Internally referred cases not meeting TAS's case criteria may be returned to the function once received by TAS, with Local Taxpayer Advocate (LTA) approval. TAS will work to educate the function on why the case did not meet TAS criteria and how the function could have addressed the issue. The LTA will determine if the incorrect referral is an anomaly or meets systemic burden criteria.

    4. Your manager may add comments before routing a returned Form e-911 back to you.

    5. You must monitor all of your inventories (AMS, paper, CIS) for returned/rejected Form 911/e-911 .

    6. If the Form e-911 is returned as not meeting TAS criteria, follow referral procedures in IRM 21.3.5, Taxpayer Inquiry Referrals Form 4442.

    Advise the taxpayer he/she should be contacted by TAS within 7 business days. TAS expedites contacts where the taxpayer has indicated an urgent circumstance.

  8. Do not refer the issue/case to TAS if:

    1. You can take steps to resolve the problem within 24 hours (see paragraph 3 above) on the same day that you determine it to meet TAS criteria.

    2. The complaint or inquiry only questions the constitutionality of the tax system.

    3. The focus of the taxpayer's inquiry solely involves frivolous tax strategies intended to avoid or delay the filing or paying of federal taxes.

    4. The case has simply aged more than 30 days and the taxpayer has not made a follow-up call.

  9. TAS assigns individual toll-free telephone numbers to TAS case advocates. The individual toll-free number of the case advocate is given to the taxpayer or authorized third party when a case is established in TAS. You may receive calls from taxpayers who need assistance due to misplaced or forgotten toll-free numbers.

  10. For AMS users assisting taxpayers with an open TAS case, the individual case advocate toll-free number is displayed on the 911 screen on AMS. Advise the caller of the case advocate's toll-free number.

  11. For non-AMS users, refer the taxpayer to the NTA toll-free number at 1-877-777-4778.

  12. If you receive an inquiry about a closed TAS case, refer the taxpayer or representative to the NTA toll-free number at 1-877-777-4778 or TTY/TDD 1–800–829–4059. Special CSRs at this number will assist the taxpayer.

  13. If you receive an inquiry on a case that is open in TAS and the taxpayer is calling within the 7 day time frame since the case was established, advise the taxpayer to wait until the time frame expires to receive a response from the case advocate.

  14. If you receive an inquiry about an issue that is resolved or is in the process of being resolved, inform the taxpayer when he/she should expect to receive his/her response. Generally, this may take up to 7 business days. Advise the taxpayer that he/she can call this toll-free TAS telephone number 1-877-777-4778, if dissatisfied with the service received.

  15. For more TAS information, see IRM 13, Taxpayer Advocate Service. TAS criteria are also presented on Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP), under IRM Supplements-Job Aid Book. Complete TAS information is on SERP under Local/Sites/Other.

    Note:

    Generally, a case meeting TAS criteria is worked at the site receiving the contact (in person, telephone call, or correspondence.) Exceptions to this rule are in IRM 13.

21.1.3.18.1  (06-06-2013)
Operation Assistance Requests (OAR's) Accounts Management Guidelines

  1. The following procedures are for Accounts Management (AM) employees who process Operation Assistance Requests (OARs) received from Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS): Refer to the W&I TAS Service Level Agreement(SLA) for further information about OAR processing and procedures.

    1. If an AM campus receives a mis-routed OAR from TAS, the campus employee will NOT reject the case back to TAS unless the case is not worked in the AM organization (see (d) below). AM will work the case through conclusion unless there is a specific reason that this campus does not work the issue identified on the OAR.

    2. If the campus cannot work the case due to a specific reason, the employee will immediately route the OAR to their AM TAS liaison for routing to the appropriate AM campus. Reroute the OAR to the applicable W&I TAS Functional Coordinator/Liaison at the receiving AM campus and notify TAS of the transfer via secure mail.

      Note:

      It is the campuses' responsibility to ensure the OAR is worked at their site if the case is properly open there. See IRM 21.1.3.18.1 (2) below for some examples of reasons a campus may route an OAR to another AM campus.

    3. When the campus employee works a misrouted OAR, the employee will state on the OAR (during acknowledgement phase of the OAR to TAS) that he or she is working the misrouted case and advise TAS where to send the OAR in the future.

    4. If the issue identified on the OAR is an issue not worked in the AM organization, reject the OAR back to TAS accordingly. For example, the issue is only worked in Compliance.

  2. Some examples of reasons a campus may route an OAR to another AM campus include:

    • BMF OAR received at an IMF campus. (Cincinnati and Ogden are BMF campuses.)

    • Open control at another campus.

    • Campus does not work International issues.

  3. Accounts Management employees may receive OARs from TAS requesting a manual refund to relieve an economic hardship. These accounts would not normally require a manual refund however based on the facts and circumstances of the case TAS has determined that a systemic refund will not be received in time to relieve the hardship.

    1. For cases where TAS requests a manual refund to relieve a hardship, adjust the account, as appropriate, and issue the manual refund. See IRM 21.4.4

    2. For cases where TAS asks for permission to issue a manual refund, adjust the account, as appropriate, placing a hold on the credit to prevent a duplicate erroneous refund, and advise TAS of the amount of the credit available and the interest start date, if interest is due on the refund.

    3. If TAS requests a manual refund and no other action is requested or required by AM, reject the OAR and advise TAS that they have the delegated authority to issue manual refunds per Delegation Order No. 13-2 (Rev. 1).

  4. If you receive an OAR and TAS does not request a manual refund, do not prepare one unless normal procedures require a manual refund. (i.e. the refund will be going to someone other than the entity name on the master file)

21.1.3.19  (04-23-2013)
Informant Contacts

  1. Customer Service Call Sites and Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TAC) will follow the informant contact procedures outlined below.

  2. An informant who wishes to report possible instances of federal tax fraud by another individual must complete Form 3949-A, Information Referral, or provide this information via a letter.

  3. CAUTION: Do not advise the caller to complete Form 3949-A if:

    CALLER STATES REFER TO:
    Identity theft involving misuse of their own TIN (SSN/ITIN). IRM 21.9.2.3, Identity Theft – Telephone Overview for guidance
    They had a problem related to their own tax return and tax return preparer SERP Alert 13A0463 for guidance for reporting return preparer misconduct.
    They received a Duplicate TIN soft notice and wants to inform on the other taxpayer claiming the exemption or EITC. Instructions in IRM 21.5.10.4.2(6)(a), Exam Soft Notices CP 85A, B, and C and CP 87 A, B, C, and D.
  4. Informant referrals are no longer received "live" over the telephone. This is now a self-service line with no live assistance.

  5. If you receive a call from an informant, who wishes to report an alleged violation of the federal tax laws, you must take the following actions:

    1. Thank the caller for offering to provide information alleging a violation of the federal tax laws.

    2. Advise the caller that this information is no longer received "live" over the phone and that he/she must complete Form 3949-A, Information Referral, to provide information, or submit information via a letter.

    3. Advise the caller that the form may be obtained via http://www.irs.gov/, or submit a letter containing the information. ( information to include in the letter is shown in table below under Option 3) If the caller does not wish to obtain the form via the website, advise the caller you may order the Form 3949-A for him/her.

    4. If the caller does not have web access (Internet) or does not want you to order the form (is apprehensive about providing name and address), advise the caller to call 1-800-829-0433. Advise the caller that at this number, he/she will be provided a script with the following options/prompts:

      Option 1 - "You may obtain Form 3949-A by going to the IRS website at www.irs.gov , and selecting Forms and Publications."
      Option 2 - "We are transferring your call to our toll-free Forms and Publications Line at 1-800-829-3676."

      Note:

      Advise the caller that when transferred to the Forms line, the forms order assistor will ONLY order the Form 3949-A and will NOT address or take any information/details regarding the information he/she is reporting.

      Option 3 - "If you choose to write to us to report tax fraud and abuse, please provide all the information you have, including the following, if available:"
      • Name and address of the individual or business the caller is reporting.

      • Taxpayer Identification Number (Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number if the report concerns a business) of the individual or business the caller is reporting.

      • A brief description of the alleged violation, including how the caller became aware of, or obtained the information.

      • Tax Years involved and the estimated dollar amount of any unreported income.

      • Name, address, and daytime telephone number for the caller. (This information is not required to process the report, but would be helpful if provided.)

      • Indicate if there are any records available to support the allegation.

      • Indicate if the individual, who the caller is reporting, is considered dangerous.

      • Send letter to: Internal Revenue Service, Fresno, CA 93888.

  6. Do not complete the Form 3949-A.

  7. If the caller insists on speaking to someone regarding the potential fraud allegation, advise the caller to provide his/her telephone number on the Form 3949-A or correspondence so that the investigating official can contact him/her. However, do not offer the caller a time frame in which he/she may be contacted regarding the investigation.

  8. Do not suggest or encourage the informant to submit a claim for a reward. If the informant requests a reward, advise the caller that you will order Form 211, Application for Reward for Original Information.

  9. When you receive informant information via correspondence, mail the letter to:

    Internal Revenue Service

    Fresno, CA 93888

  10. International assistors who receive informant calls should follow the procedures outlined in IRM 25.2.1.3, Handling the Information and IRM 25.2.1.5, Documenting the Information.

  11. You may receive "informant" calls from Paid Preparers/Practitioners who wish to "report" or "turn in" other practitioners whom they suspect of poor practices. Follow instructions above in (5) (a) through (5) (d) for this type of call.

21.1.3.20  (05-07-2012)
Oral Statement Authority

  1. Oral statement authority is acceptance of a verbal request for account adjustment without written documentation, or, for account information without written request. Authenticate caller's identity before providing tax account information or taking account action. See IRM 21.1.3.2.3, Required Taxpayer Authentication.

  2. The authority to accept oral statement(s) was established to close account inquiries on-line. This authority also applies to accepting taxpayer/authorized third party verbal statements while on-line and then inputting an adjustment later. If possible, complete on-line adjustments while taxpayer or designee is on the phone.

  3. Oral statements are accepted by all functions in the IRS for the following open account/adjustment issues:

    • Address changes. Effective June 1, 2010, Revenue Procedure 2001-16 now allows the address to be updated via oral statement without an open account issue. See IRM 21.5.2.4.2,Adjustments With Oral Statement and IRM 3.13.2.3.6Change in Address for BMF or IRM 3.13.5.28,Address Changes from Oral Statements/Telephone Contact for IMF.

      Note:

      When updating address records through oral statement, advise the taxpayer to change their address at their local post office.

      Caution:

      Due to the high level of identity theft it is extremely important to ensure changing/correcting a taxpayer's address is warranted and necessary. Route all BMF address change requests with a Large Corp Indicator (LCI) to the appropriate Large Corp Unit per IRM 21.7.1.4.11.3Routing Large Corp Cases and Inquiries.

    • Other BMF Entity changes - See IRM 21.7.1.4, BMF/NMF Adjustment Procedures. Do not make any change to the first name line unless the correction is for a spelling error. You may also change the name control to correct a spelling error.

    • Other IMF Entity Changes -You may make name and TIN corrections. This includes invalid TIN problems such as name and TIN corrections and refund releases. See IRM 21.5.2.4.2, Adjustments With Oral Statement and IRM 21.5.6.4.17,I- Freeze.

    • Substantiated math error protests– See IRM 21.5.4.4.4, Math Error Substantiated Protest Processing. Increase or decrease of tax or credit to the amount reported on the original return.

    • Withholding Tax Credit - See IRM 21.6.3.4.2.2(10), Withholding (W/H) Tax Credit.

    • Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) – See IRM 21.6.3.4.2.7.13.2, EITC Math Error Reply. Correction of EITC to the amount claimed on the original return.

    • Credit transfers – See IRM 21.5.8.1, Credit Transfers Overview. Transfers of any amount between related and non-related accounts must be confirmed by the taxpayer. For example, the taxpayer can confirm the payment (date, amount, etc.) or can verify audit trail (DLN) from back of check.

    • Lost or stolen refund claims – See IRM Exhibit 21.4.2–1, Command Code (CC)" CHCKL" Input. Customer requests with filing status other than married filing joint that meet established criteria.

    • Undeliverable refund re-issuance – See IRM 21.4.3.4.3, Undeliverable Refund Checks. No dollar limitation.

    • Freeze releases resulting in a refund – See IRM 21.5.6.4, Freeze Code Procedures . No dollar limitation.

    • Credit elect reversals –. IMF only. See IRM 21.4.1.4.6, Credit Elect Problems. No dollar limitation.

      Note:

      BMF credit elect cannot be revoked. See IRM 21.7.4.4.5(4), Estimated Tax Overpayment, Credit Elect - General.

    • Penalty abatement - See IRM 21.5.2.4.9.2, Oral Statement and Penalty Relief Request. Customer requests that meet reasonable cause criteria and that do not exceed threshold/ceiling amounts.

    • Federal Tax Deposit (FTD) penalties. See IRM 20.1.4.26, FTD Penalty Relief.

    • Decimal point/transcription errors – obvious errors. This includes decimal point errors made by a customer when completing a tax form or by an IRS employee when transcribing a return or inputting an adjustment. Corrective actions may include increasing/decreasing assessments, and/or increasing/decreasing credits.

    • Installment agreements or other payment plans - for taxpayers meeting criteria. See IRM 5.19.1.5, Methods of Payment.

  4. Oral Statement Authority may also be accepted for claims for credit/refund after the Refund Statute Expiration Date (RSED). See IRM 25.6.1.10.2.5.7, Offsetting the Amount of a Refund With a Time-barred Adjustment, for specific instructions.

21.1.3.20.1  (05-07-2012)
Oral Statement Documentation Requirements

  1. When making adjustments or other Master File changes using oral statement authority, the items listed in paragraph (2) below must be entered on the adjustment document to document the call and indicate verification of taxpayer's identity or of his/her authorized third party. (e.g., Third Party Designee, Oral Disclosure Consent, etc) As a result, source documents are not always required for association with the computer generated document when the input change or correction is completed using oral statement authority.

  2. Documentation is required in the "Source Document Attached" (SDA) and "Remarks" sections, if present, of the input document.

    Note:

    The IAT Address Tool or the AMS Update Contact tool can be used for entity changes such as address changes, telephone numbers etc. If the customer is unwilling to provide a telephone number (e.g., unlisted number), indicate no #. When using the AMS Update Contact tool or the IAT tools to initiate entity changes meeting Oral Statement Authority, you do not need to update the remarks section to reflect the Oral Statement verification items listed below. With the exception of an oral statement address change, which will require the full remarks, you may leave default remarks as "NSD Per TP Contact."

    1. N – in SDA field indicates no source document is attached.

    2. Y - Source Document Attached.

    3. DV – indicates all disclosure items were verified and the requester is the taxpayer or an authorized third party.

    4. T – indicates inquiry received by telephone.

    5. C – indicates inquiry received by correspondence.

    6. W – indicates inquiry received in TAC.

    7. Caller identity – follow the table below:

    8. Remarks - briefly explain reason for adjustment action or credit transfer or other change or correction.

      If Then
      Single taxpayer Input "taxpayer"
      Joint return Input first name of husband or wife (at least the first letters or an abbreviation, e.g., Jane or Robt.)
      Business account Indicate position within corporation or partnership, and first initial of first name and entire last name, e.g., Pres.–W. Sandstorm, or Ptr.–W. Whitman
      Power Of Attorney (POA) Indicate (POA) and provide either name (first initial or first name and entire last name) or the representative (CAF) number, e.g., POA–R. Goldsmith or POA–210012345R
      Other third party 1. Indicate name and relationship to caller, e.g., relative, neighbor, friend,
      Oral Disclosure Consent (ODC),
      Third Party Designee, etc.
      2. Input phone number of third party.
      3. Advise caller that you will notify taxpayer of adjustment action, if any.

    9. Telephone number of taxpayer. If unwilling to provide number (e.g., unlisted number), indicate "NO #" .

  3. If change or adjustment cannot be completed with oral statement, and a source document is required, (e.g., a penalty abatement request for reasonable cause and above threshold/ceiling amount) the following notations are required:

    1. SD – source document.

    2. C – correspondence.

    3. Signer identity - see paragraph (2) above.

    4. Remarks "per letter" or other justification.

  4. DO NOT input any adjustment or change with oral statement if any doubt exists.

    1. Do thorough research to determine whether an adjustment or change can be made.

    2. If oral statement is not appropriate, ask taxpayer to submit documentation to support request.

21.1.3.21  (10-01-2009)
Tolerances

  1. Processing and adjustment tolerances allow adjustments (below certain amounts) without requiring verification of return line items.

  2. Most processing or adjustment tolerances relate to claims or other correspondence (informal claims). When working correspondence, if adjustment tolerance for an issue is lower than oral statement authority for the same issue, see IRM 21.5.1.4.12, Tolerances.

  3. Tolerances within the Collection program (deferral levels) set the parameters for working certain cases.

  4. For purposes of abating penalties for reasonable cause, there are specific threshold/ceiling levels for accepting requests by telephone. See IRM 20.1.1.3.6.4, Oral Statement Ceiling Exceeded; and use the Reasonable Cause Assistant (RCA). RCA will display a message indicating when requests for penalty abatement and any other required documentation must be submitted in writing.

21.1.3.22  (11-12-2009)
Voluntary Disclosure Practice

  1. Due to recent media attention, the public is more aware of IRS enforcement activities regarding abusive tax shelter and tax evasion schemes (e.g., "offshore" accounts, etc.).

  2. Voluntary Disclosure is handled by Criminal Investigation (CI).

  3. For more information on the Voluntary Disclosure Practice, refer to IRM 9.5.11, Other Investigations.

  4. Some taxpayers and/or authorized representatives may contact the IRS to obtain information about the Voluntary Disclosure Practice.

  5. Refer all potential Voluntary Disclosure callers to the local CI office in the State in which the Taxpayer resides. For more information see How to Make an Offshore Voluntary Disclosure on the IRS website. The SERP who/where tab also has information on The Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, which links to the IRS web site.

  6. Do not refer callers who request filing history or who wish to correct inaccuracies on a return.

  7. If in doubt about the intent of the caller's inquiry, transfer the call to your immediate manager or designated lead.

21.1.3.23  (10-01-2012)
Scams (Phishing) and Fraudulent Schemes

  1. Scammers may contact the public by telephone or e-mail to solicit money or financial information. This type of scam is called phishing.

  2. Phishing is the act of sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft.

  3. Phishing scammers may claim to be working for or on behalf of the IRS. They may indicate that they can help the victims file amended tax returns in an attempt to receive tax refunds, to get personal financial information, or Social Security numbers that can be used to steal the victims' identities or financial resources.

  4. The IRS does not ask for personal identifying or financial information in unsolicited electronic mail (e-mail), telephone calls, or postal mail.

  5. If you receive a call from a taxpayer regarding receiving a suspicious, bogus, or phishing e-mail that claims to be from the IRS, advise the taxpayer:

    • Do not open any attachments.

    • Do not reply.

    • "Forward" the e-mail to the electronic mailbox, phishing@irs.gov

    • Delete the e-mail after forwarding.

  6. This is an electronic mailbox established by the IRS for taxpayers to send information about suspicious e-mails they receive which claim to be from the IRS. The internet header has additional information to help locate the sender.

  7. If you receive a questionable e-mail via your IRS e-mail address meeting the criteria identified in (1) through (4) above, send the e-mail to the electronic mailbox phishing@irs.gov or you may also send it to *Phishing (an e-mail address). Do not open any attachments to questionable e-mails, which may contain malicious code that will infect your computer. After you have forwarded the e-mail or header information, delete the message.

  8. Taxpayers and IRS employees suspecting other frauds or scams (other than the phishing e-mail scam claiming to be from IRS) should report fraudulent use of the IRS name, or questionable organizations claiming to be working with or on the behalf of the IRS, to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1-800-366-4484 or fax information to 202-927-7018.

  9. Obtain as much information as possible about the call to include in the TIGTA referral. Include in the referral:

    • If the caller states he/she is with the IRS or calling on behalf of IRS.

    • Name and telephone number of the caller.

    • Purpose of the call.

    • Company name and telephone number.

  10. TIGTA will issue an acknowledgement letter to the taxpayer. However, information about the outcome of the investigation cannot be provided.

  11. Advise taxpayers to always call the IRS toll-free number if the identity of a caller is questionable.

  12. See IRM 21.1.3.19 Informant Contacts, for guidance on information received from an informant reporting possible instances of federal tax fraud by another individual.

21.1.3.24  (01-16-2013)
Calls and Faxes from Integrity & Verification Operation (IVO) to Employers

  1. Employees with the Integrity and Verification Operation (IVO) must contact employers via phone and/or fax to confirm the validity of income and/or income tax withheld that is reported on income documents (Forms W-2, W-2G, 1099, etc.).

    Note:

    Integrity & Verification Operation was formerly known as Accounts Management Taxpayer Assurance Program (AMTAP) and is now part of Return Integrity and Correspondence Services. (RICS)

  2. When the contact is by fax, each fax consists of:

    1. A cover sheet with the Department of Treasury/IRS Seal.

    2. A Department of Treasury/IRS letter.

    3. One or more sheets listing various employees for which income and/or withholding needs to be verified.

  3. If you have contact with taxpayers or employers and receive questions about whether the IRS sends faxes or makes phone calls to verify wages, income and/or federal withholding for employees, please advise the caller that these are legitimate inquiries.


More Internal Revenue Manual