21.2.1  Systems (Cont. 1)

21.2.1.34  (10-01-2006)
ICCE /ENMOD History Items

  1. History items appear on ENMOD for actions taken by ICCE applications. The ICCE identifying IDRS number is 099 after the Campus two-digit number (e.g., 29099XXXXX). The last five digits are systemically generated.

  2. Transaction Code 016 (Miscellaneous Change Entity Code) identifies that a PIN was established. A second TC 016 indicates a PIN change. Other activities include issuing letters, IAGRE, and establishing installment agreements.

    Note:

    Only the taxpayer knows his/her PIN number (It does not appear on the tax module).

  3. A three-digit route code (agent message numbers) appears when a call is routed to a CSR. CC VPARS shows the literal meaning of the route code.

  4. By using the history information on ENMOD, VPARS and TXMOD, you can track the taxpayer’s actions during the interactive process.

21.2.1.35  (10-15-2012)
ICCE Management Action Reports (MAR) (Telephone and Internet)

  1. Management Action Reports (MAR) generate when transactions do not post to IDRS due to system/network problems (e.g., IDRS application down) or account conditions beyond design for the following applications:

    • Voice Balance Due

    • VPPIN

    • Refund Inquiry

    • Transcript

    • IRFOF (Internet)

    • On-Line Payment Agreement (Internet)

    • eAuthentication

  2. The Planning and Analysis (P&A) staff determines who, within the directorate, works the MAR. The MAR Directorate Assignments are as follows:

    Telephone Sites
    Account Type MAR Type Assignment
    SB/SE ACS Update ACS Levy Sources, ACS IA Confirmation Letter, Revised ACS IA Letter Ogden
    SB/SE AM Extension Confirmation letters, IA Confirmation Letters, IA Revised Letter, PIN Update Request, Transcript Request, Refund Trace CHCKL Request, Refund Trace LETER Request Memphis – SB/SE
    W&I ACS Update ACS Levy Sources, ACS IA Confirmation Letter, Revised ACS IA Letter Fresno
    W&I AM Extension Confirmation letters, IA Confirmation Letters, IA Revised Letter, PIN Update Request, Transcript Request, Refund Trace CHCKL Request, Refund Trace LETER Request Fresno
    Internet Sites  
    Account Type MAR Type Assignment
    SB/SE ACS ACS Levy Sources, ACS Extension Confirmation Letter, ACS IA confirmation letters, ACS History Items, ACS Pending IA Transactions, ACS control bases, , ACS IA Letter Revised Internet – SB/SE
    SB/SE AM Entity Change due to Electronic IA, Tel. # Change due to Electronic IA, Levy Sources, Extension Confirmation Letter, IA confirmation letters, History Items, Pending IA Transactions, Control bases, , IA Letter Revised, PIN update request Internet – SB/SE
    Entity Change due to undeliverable refund, Refund Trace CHKCL request Internet – Philadelphia
    W&I ACS ACS Levy Sources, ACS Extension Confirmation Letter, ACS IA confirmation letters, ACS History Items, ACS Pending IA Transactions, ACS control bases, , ACS IA Letter Revised Internet – W&I
    W&I AM Entity Change due to Electronic IA, Tel. # Change due to Electronic IA, Levy Sources, Extension Confirmation Letter, IA confirmation letters, History Items, Pending IA Transactions, Control bases, , IA Letter Revised, PIN update request Internet – W&I
    Entity Change due to undeliverable refund, Refund Trace CHKCL request Internet - Philadelphia

  3. A designated person is required to retrieve the reports on a daily basis and manually input the necessary action that the system failed to generate as indicated on the report, by the next business day. The designated person should confirm that the failed transactions were not completed systemically before processing manually.

  4. The MAR includes the TIN, MFT, Business Operating Division (BOD) and tax period, along with the needed correction for each application.

    Note:

    The BOD dictates which customer response telephone number is used on the taxpayer letters, except for eAuthentication transactions. See paragraph (5)(g) for specifics.

  5. MARS Corrective Action Needed:

    1. For full pay and installment agreements (W&I and SB/SE) processing, the paragraph number and fill-in data indicates a manual generation of Letter 3217C, Installment Agreement Accepted; Terms Explained or Letter 2273C, Installment Agreement Acceptance & Terms Explanation.

    2. For PIN (Memphis W&I and SB/SE) processing, the paragraph letter and fill-in data indicates the manual generation of Letter 2940C, VRU Request for Personal Identification Number (PIN).

    3. For Refund Trace CHKCL (Memphis W&I and SB/SE) processing, refer to IRM 21.4.2.4.16.1, ICCE Refund Trace Reports.

    4. For Transcripts (Memphis W&I and SB/SE) processing indicates a request for Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return with manual generation of a Letter 2941C, VRU Request For Form 4506.

    5. For IRFOF (Philadelphia) refer to IRM 21.4.2.4.17 , Payment Claims and Enhanced Reconciliation (PACER) and Treasury Check Information System (TCIS).

    6. For On-Line Payment Agreement (Internet W&I and SB/SE) processing, refer to IRM 5.19.1.5.7.1, OPA Management Action Reports (MAR).

    7. For eAuthentication (Internet W&I) processing, the paragraph letter and fill-in data indicates the manual generation of Letter 2940C, VRU Request for Personal Identification Number (PIN). Use Signature Code "BJ" and telephone number 1-888-841-4648 for eAuthentication 2940C letters.

21.2.1.36  (10-01-2006)
ICCE Payment Report

  1. The Payment Report lists each account for which an installment agreement has been accepted. The daily reports details the agreement type, duration, amount owed, payment date and monthly payment amount, as well as a summary of average duration, average amount owed and total accounts receivable.

21.2.1.37  (10-01-2006)
ICCE Undeliverable Letters

  1. Forward ICCE undeliverable letters, identified by 099 in the Employee Identification Number on the letter (e.g., 29099xxxxx), to Customer Service for resolution.

  2. See IRM 21.3.3, Incoming and Outgoing Correspondence/Letters for instructions for undeliverable items.

21.2.1.38  (08-14-2009)
e-File Services (eFS) System

  1. The e-File Services (eFS) System offers several methods for filing taxes and transferring funds electronically.

  2. eFS uses several multi-functional Electronic Filing Systems (EFS) to receive and process individual and business returns.

  3. The following table shows the returns and systems.

    Return System
    Form 1040 (Series)
    • On-Line Filing Program

    • e–file Practitioner Program

    • FEDERAL/STATE e–file Program

    Form 944 Form 944 on-line filing & Form 944 e-file XML (& MeF starting in January, 2014)
    Form 941, Form 941-PR, Form 941-SS Form 941 e–file Program, e-file XML and Form 941 On-line.(& MeF starting in January, 2014)
    Form 940, Form 940-PR Form 940 e-file and Form 940 On-Line Filing Programs (& MeF starting in January, 2014)
    Form 943, Form 943-PR MeF starting in January, 2014
    Form 945 MeF starting in January, 2014
    Form 1065 Form 1065 Electronic Filing Program
    Form 1041 Form 1041 Electronic Filing Program (& MeF starting in January, 2014)
    Form 1041 (Fiduciary) FEDERAL/STATE FIDUCIARY Program
    IMF e-file Processing sites for Processing Year 2010 PSPC, AUSPC, KCSPC, FSPC, and ANSPC.
    BMF e-file Processing sites for Processing Year 2010 CSPC and OSPC

21.2.1.39  (02-14-2012)
E-file Form 1040 Series

  1. Taxpayers may file returns through authorized IRS e-file providers, Electronic Return Originators (EROs). EROs transmit returns via a third party. In some cases, the ERO may perform both the ERO function and the transmitter function.

  2. The return may be prepared by the taxpayer, a tax professional or an ERO. Tax professionals may also be EROs, depending upon the functions performed.

  3. Taxpayers who file electronically using tax preparation software or who file through a tax professional are required to use a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to sign their returns. Taxpayers create their PINs using any five digits except all zeroes. If authorized by the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s PIN may be generated by the software or entered by the Electronic Return Originator (ERO). If the return is filed using the Self-Select PIN method, the taxpayer must also provide their date of birth and either their prior year adjusted gross income (AGI), their prior year self-selected PIN or their Electronic Filing PIN (EFP) for authentication. The AGI amount may not be from an amended return, a corrected amount from a math error notice, or other changes made during IRS processing. The prior year self-selected PIN is the five digit PIN they used to sign their tax year 2012 return. The Electronic Filing PIN is an IRS generated five digit number. It is used as an alternate authenticator if the prior year AGI or prior year PIN information is unavailable. See IRM 3.42.5.9.1.1, "Self Select PIN Method" and IRM 3.42.5.9.2, Form 1040 Online Filing for information to answer general PIN questions.

  4. The Practitioner PIN method is another signature option for taxpayers who use an IRS e-file provider to prepare their tax returns. This option is used in transmitting Forms 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ as totally paperless electronic returns. A Form 8879 , IRS e-file Signature Authorization, must be completed for all returns filed using the Practitioner PIN method. Form 8878, IRS e-file Signature Authorization for Form 4868 or Form 2350, Application for Extension of Time To File U.S. Income Tax Return must be completed for Forms 4868 filed using the Practitioner PIN method of filing when there is an Electronic Funds Withdrawal (EFW). Information on the requirements for using the Practitioner PIN method can be found in IRM 3.42.5.9.1.2, Practitioner PIN Method. In addition, the following web site can be used to answer general PIN questions: http://www.irs.gov/efile/article/0,,id=101246,00.html .

  5. The Self-Select PIN is the only IRS e-file signature method available to taxpayers who file a federal individual income tax return using online tax preparation software. This new requirement is to promote a paperless and secure method of signing individual returns electronically. Taxpayers choosing to electronically prepare and file their return using an online software package will be required to use the Self-Select PIN method as their signature. The Taxpayer selects five numbers (except all zeros) to enter as their electronic PIN signature. On a joint return, both spouses are required to enter a PIN as their electronic signature.

  6. Who is eligible to electronically sign using the Self-Select PIN signature method?

    • Taxpayers filing form 1040, 1040A, 1040-EZ 1040-SS(PR).

    • Taxpayers who did not file for Tax Year 2011, but have filed previously.

    • Taxpayers who are age 16 or older on or before December 31, 2013, who have never filed a tax return.

    • Primary taxpayers under age 16 who have filed previously.

    • Secondary taxpayers under age 16 who have filed in the immediate prior year.

    • Military personnel residing overseas with APO/FPO addresses.

    • U.S. citizens and resident aliens residing in the U.S. Possession of Puerto Rico or with foreign country addresses.

    • Taxpayers who are filing on behalf of deceased taxpayers.

  7. Taxpayers required to file the following forms, which must be attached to Form 8453, U.S. Individual Income Tax Transmittal for an IRS e-file Return:

    • Form 1098-C, Contributions of Motor Vehicles, Boats, and Airplanes ( or equivalent contemporaneous written acknowledgement )

    • Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative (or POA that states that the agent is granted authority to sign the return.)

    • Form 3115, Application for Change in Accounting Method

    • Form 3468, attach a copy of the first page of NPS Form 10-168A, Historic Preservation Certification Application (Part 2 - Description of Rehabilitation), with an indication that it was received by the Department of the Interior or the State Historic Preservation Officer, together with proof that the building is a certified historic structure (or that such status has been requested)

    • Form 4136, - attach the Certificate for Biodiesel and, if applicable, Statement of Biodiesel Reseller or a certificate from the provider identifying the product as renewable diesel and, if applicable, a statement from the reseller

    • Form 5713, International Boycott Report

    • Form 8283, NonCash Charitable Contributions, Section A (if any statement or qualified appraisal is required) or Section B., Donated Property, and any related attachments (including any qualified appraisal or partnership Form 8283)

    • Form 8332, Release / Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent (or certain pages from a divorce decree or separation agreement, that went into effect after 1984 and before 2009) (see instructions)

    • Form 8858, Information Return of U.S. Persons with Respect to Foreign Disregarded Entities

    • Form 8864, Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Fuels Credit - attach the certificate for Biodiesel and, Statement of Biodiesel Reseller or a certificate from the provider identifying the product as renewable diesel and, if applicable, a statement from the reseller

    • Form 8885, Health Coverage Tax Credit, and all required attachments

    • Form 8949, Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets, (or a statement with the same information), if you elect not to report your transactions electronically on Form 8949

  8. Who is not eligible to electronically sign using the Self-Select PIN method?

    • Taxpayers under age 16 who have never filed.

    • Secondary Taxpayers (spouse) under age 16 who did not file in the immediate prior year.

    • Taxpayers that file Form 1040-NR.

    Note:

    The Form 8453, U.S. Individual Tax Transmittal for an IRS e-file Return, will now be used to submit all required attachments to both online and practitioner prepared individual income tax returns.

  9. If the taxpayer does not have their tax return information available, they may call 1-800-829-1040 to request the information. If they can provide taxpayer authentication information to the Customer Service Representative, the tax information will be given over the telephone or a free transcript can be requested. Taxpayers who use Self-Select PIN are not required to complete or mail Form 8453-OL to the IRS.

    Note:

    If a taxpayer is calling in requesting his or her AGI, determine if it is needed for e-filing purposes. If it is, then you must provide the taxpayer with the original AGI from the prior years’ return. Command Code RTVUE and/or TRDBV or the Return Review Display (RRD) System must be used to provide this information, as original filing information is available regardless of subsequent adjustments or math errors. TXMOD and IMFOL will show the AGI as adjusted or corrected, NOT as filed. Special Circumstances: If the taxpayer filed their prior year's tax return after Cycle 50, using the ECC-MTB posting cycle, they should enter zero (0.00) for their prior year AGI. If the taxpayer's last year AGI was negative, they must enter the amount as a negative number (See IRM 3.42.5.9.1.1(3) , Self-Select PIN Method).

  10. To assist with taxpayer's inquiries, CSRs can find a complete listing of the e-file Error Reject Codes at the following web site: http://serp.enterprise.irs.gov/databases/local-sites-other.dr/eta.dr/err_rej_codes_toc.htm.

21.2.1.40  (04-24-2013)
E-file 1040 Series Online Filing

  1. The taxpayer may use tax preparation software bought off-the-shelf or available by electronic transmission to create an electronic income tax return using a personal computer Internet connection. A taxpayer may file up to five returns electronically with one software package.

  2. The online company will transmit online returns from the taxpayers to the appropriate Submission Processing Campus within 24 hours; retrieve the taxpayer acknowledgement and provide the acceptance or rejection notification to the taxpayer.

  3. Each taxpayer is required to use a Self-Select Personal Identification Number (SSP) to sign his/her e-file online return.

  4. Taxpayers choosing to electronically prepare and file their return using an online software package will be required to use the Self-Select PIN method as their signature. The taxpayer selects five numbers (except all zeros) to enter as their electronic signature. As part of the authentication process, the taxpayer has the option to choose between two “shared secrets” or an Electronic Filing PIN (EFP).

  5. The shared secrets are the original prior year Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) or prior year self-selected PIN. The prior year self-selected PIN is the five digit PIN the taxpayer used to electronically sign their previous tax year e-file return. The online filer has to enter their date of birth and one of the following:

    • Prior year AGI or

    • Prior year SSP or

    • Electronic Filing PIN (EFP)

    The taxpayer may enter all three, but only one has to match for successful authentication.

  6. Direct the taxpayer to obtain an Electronic Filing PIN (EFP) by following the instructions at http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Electronic-Filing-PIN-Request (or going to the irs.gov home page and typing “E-file PIN” in the search box) or else they may call 1-866-704-7388 and follow the automated system instructions.

  7. The EFP application is accessible through vendor tax-preparation service/software. The taxpayer will be given a link (in the software) to an Electronic Filing landing page on IRS' web site at http://www.irs.gov/. On the landing page there will be a definition of an Electronic Filing PIN and how to get one. The automated telephone application will work in a similar way. This will be used for customers who are electronically filing through a tax preparer, rather than through self-tax preparation software. If the customer does not have their prior year AGI or SSP, the preparer will direct them to the telephone EFP application.

  8. The taxpayer cannot use the AGI from an amended return, a corrected amount from a math error notice or other changes made during IRS processing. If the taxpayer does not have his/her original AGI, he/she may call toll-free, 1-800-829-1040 to request the original figure. See IRM 3.42.5.9.1.1(3), Self-Select PIN Method for further instructions if AGI is a negative amount.

  9. If the taxpayer is calling to request the prior year AGI or SSP in order to e-file, authenticate the caller following procedures in IRM 21.1.3.2.3, Required Taxpayer Authentication and IRM 21.1.3.2.4, Additional Taxpayer Authentication.

    Note:

    The AGI or SSP can be provided to either spouse over the telephone only for the year the joint return was filed if he/she meets the disclosure requirements above.

    Caution:

    If the IAT disclosure tool displays an identity theft indicator see paragraph (11) below.

  10. Use the “What’s my AGI” portion of the IAT Disclosure tool to provide the taxpayer with the prior year AGI or SSP.

    Note:

    If the tool does not provide the SSP, explain to the taxpayer that the SSP information is not currently available and the prior year AGI is all they need to validate and sign the return.

  11. 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), Identity Theft - General Information. See IRM 10.5.3, Identity Protection Program, for more detailed information on identity theft action codes. The IAT Disclosure Tool will display "IDT Indicator" in the alert box. See IRM 21.2.1.40.1, E-file 1040 Series Online Filing with Prior Year Identity Theft, for special handling procedures.

  12. If the taxpayer wants to obtain an Electronic Filing PIN (EFP), the application is accessible through vendor tax-preparation service/software or they may call 1-866-704-7388 and follow the automated system instructions or access the link on http://www.irs.gov/, Online Services.

    • All 1040 series tax returns for 2010 that were filed and processed by paper or electronically filed before cycle 50 (December 10th, 2011) should have an Electronic Filing PIN number assigned to the primary and spouses Social Security number.

    • The taxpayer will be given a link (in the software) to an Electronic Filing landing page on IRS' web site at http://www.irs.gov/. On the landing page there will be an explanation of what, why and how to get an Electronic Filing PIN.

    • The automated telephone application will work in a similar way. This will be used for customers who are electronically filing through a tax preparer, rather than through self-tax preparation software. If the customer does not have their prior year AGI or SSP, the preparer will direct them to the telephone application.

    • The Customer service representative should follow normal procedures when providing taxpayers information to file their return electronically. Follow general Disclosure guidelines in IRM 21.1.3.2.3, Required Taxpayer Authentication.

      Note:

      A Customer Service Representative will not be able to access or give out an EFP. The taxpayer must obtain it.

21.2.1.40.1  (06-03-2013)
E-file 1040 Series Online Filing with Prior Year Identity Theft

  1. Taxpayers affected by identity theft will not be able to provide their prior year AGI to file their current year return.

  2. 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), Identity Theft - General Information. See IRM 10.5.3, Identity Protection Program, for more detailed information on identity theft action codes. The IAT Disclosure Tool will display "IDT Indicator" in the alert box.

    Caution:

    Do not provide the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) or Self-Select PIN (SSP).

  3. Advise the taxpayer "Your call will be transferred to an assistor who will provide you with a special number to file your return electronically" .

    Caution:

    Do not transfer the call if the identity theft issue is not related to prior year AGI or SSP.

  4. Transfer the call to extension 92161 (For callers needing assistance in Spanish, use extension 92162). See IRM 21.1.3.2.5Initial Authentication Transfer Procedures/Transfer PIN, for transfer procedures after the taxpayer has been authenticated.

21.2.1.41  (10-01-2010)
FEDERAL/STATE e-file

  1. Federal/State e-file is available in 40 states plus the District of Columbia. and New York City.

  2. State Acknowledgements are accepted the Modernized e-File (MeF) System. Participating Federal/States can send their State Acknowledgements to MeF for trading partners to pick up when they pick up their Federal Acknowledgements.

  3. Acknowledgements of state returns are made within 48 hours. Acknowledgements for Federal returns usually are received within five minutes but can take up to two hours during peak days.

  4. States that participate in e-filing are:

    E-file States
    Alabama Kentucky North Dakota
    Arizona Louisiana Ohio
    Arkansas Maine Oklahoma
    Colorado Maryland Oregon
    Connecticut Michigan Pennsylvania
    Delaware Minnesota Rhode Island
    District of Columbia Mississippi South Carolina
    Georgia Missouri Tennessee
    Hawaii Montana Utah
    Idaho Nebraska Vermont
    Illinois New Jersey Virginia
    Indiana New Mexico West Virginia
    Iowa New York (now includes New York City) Wisconsin
    Kansas North Carolina  

  5. Each state issues its own publications to detail the state's software specification requirements.

  6. Software developers contact the appropriate state to obtain electronic filing publications. A roster of state coordinators is available on the IRS Home Page.

  7. State only returns are accepted for the following instances:

    • Previously rejected state e-file returns

    • State returns input separately from federal returns

    • Part-year resident state returns

    • Multiple state returns for one taxpayer

    • Non-resident state returns

    • Married filing separate with state, but filing joint with federal return

  8. IRS e-file accepts federal/state e-file returns with foreign addresses, including the U.S. possession of Puerto Rico. See also Publication 1346, Electronic Return File Specifications and Record Layouts for Individual Income Tax Returns.

21.2.1.42  (10-01-2006)
VITA/TCE/AARP/FSA sites

  1. The VITA/TCE/AARP/FSA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly, American Association of Retired Persons, Facilitated Self-Assistance) sites, accessible through a link on SERP's Who/Where tab, provides an on-line nationwide directory of volunteer assistance locations taxpayers may visit for free filing assistance. Use this link to refer taxpayers to volunteers.

  2. Users may search by state/county or zip code to provide a list of sites where taxpayers may file free. Site information provided includes:

    • Site Name

    • Address

    • County

    • Open/Closing Dates

    • Program Type

    • Phone

    • Hours and languages spoken

    • E-file availability

    • Whether taxpayer needs to call for an appointment

  3. Two of the several possible program types included Facilitated Self-Assistance FSA Fusion and FSA Standalone.

    1. FSA Fusion sites allow taxpayers to prepare their own returns with the assistance of a certified VITA volunteer. Taxpayers who do not wish to select this option may instead choose to have a volunteer prepare their return at the same location.

    2. FSA Stand-Alone sites only provide the self-prep option; volunteers at these locations only assist the taxpayer and do not prepare returns.

21.2.1.42.1  (08-29-2013)
VITA/TCE/AARP/FSA e-file

  1. Free electronic filing and transmitting is offered at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (VITA/TCE) Sites. See IRM 22.30.1, Stakeholder Partnership, Education and Communication for more information.

21.2.1.43  (11-16-2012)
Form e-file

  1. Reporting Agents who file Form 941 returns for themselves or others are eligible to participate in this program.

    Note:

    Software Developers who develop and test software for the programs, and IRS agents (via Simplified Tax and Wage Reporting System (STAWRS)) are also eligible participants of this program.

  2. Participants, except IRS Agents, must submit:

    • Reporting Agent's List to the Austin Submission Processing Campus (AUSPC) e-file Help Desk.

    • Form 8655, Reporting Agent Authorization, to the Austin Submission Processing Campus (AUSPC) e-file Help Desk.

    • IRS e-file Application through the electronic application process for the following:
      Electronic/Magnetic Media Filing of Business
      Employee Benefit Plan Returns
      Reporting Agents
      Software Developers Letter of Application (business taxpayer)

    • Complete three easy steps:
      1. Create an IRS e-Services account.
      2. Submit your e-file application online.
      3. Pass a suitability check.

  3. Reporting Agents have signature authority and electronically sign returns using an assigned Personal Identification Number (PIN)

  4. Only original, current tax year returns (no amended) and returns for all four quarters of the prior tax year are accepted by Form 941 e-file.

  5. The following is a list of attachments that can be transmitted through Form 941 e-file:

    • Schedule B, Report of Tax Liability for Semiweekly Schedule Depositors.

    • Schedule D, Report of Discrepancies Caused by Acquisitions, Statutory Mergers, or Consolidations.

    • Schedule R, Allocation Schedule for Aggregate Form 941 Filers.

21.2.1.43.1  (10-01-2011)
Form 944, Employer's ANNUAL Federal Tax Return (e-file)

  1. The Form 944, Employer's ANNUAL Federal Tax Return, is filed once a year rather than quarterly (due January 31), significantly reducing the tax filing burden. The 944 e-file Program will allow small employers with little or no employment tax liability to file their returns electronically. Eligible employers are those with estimated annual tax liability of $1,000 or less. See IRM 3.42.4, IRS e-file for Business Tax Returns, for additional information.

21.2.1.44  (11-16-2012)
Form 1065 & 1065-B MeF Programs

  1. Section 1224 of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 requires partnerships with more than 100 partners to file Form 1065, Schedule K-1, and related forms and schedules on magnetic media (electronically as prescribed by the IRS Commissioner). This legislative mandate applies to partnership returns for tax year ending December 31, 2000 and subsequent.

  2. Eligible participants for this program are:

    • Partnerships who develop their own software and file own returns

    • Originators/Preparers responsible for returns filed for firms, organizations or individuals and for Form 8453-P, US Partnership Declaration and Signature for Electronic Filing.

    • Transmitters who transmit returns directly to the IRS electronically.

    • Software Developers who develop and test software for the program.

  3. Participants must submit an IRS e-file Application via e-services for Electronic/Magnetic Media filing of Business and Employee Benefit Plan Returns. See Publication 3112, IRS e-file Application and Participation for additional information.

  4. For additional information on 1065 MeF Program see Publication 4163, Modernized e-file (MeF) Information for Authorized IRS e-file Providers for Business Returns and Publication 4164, Modernized e-file Guide for Software Developers and Transmitters.

21.2.1.45  (11-16-2012)
Form 1041 MeF Program

  1. Forms 1041, US Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts, are electronically received at the ECC-MEM and are processed by the Ogden Submission Processing Campus (OSPC). OSPC also processes the Form 8453-F, U.S. Estate or Trust Income Tax Declaration and Signature for Electronic Filing.

  2. An IRS e-file Application must be submitted electronically via e-services in order to participate in IRS e-file program.

  3. Eligible participants for this program are:

    • Electronic Return Originators

    • Transmitters & Software Developers

    • Intermediate Service Providers

  4. Whoever transmits the return to IRS is responsible for obtaining the fiduciary's signature on Form 8453–F and attachments, and forwarding to OSPC.

21.2.1.46  (10-01-2006)
FEDERAL/STATE Fiduciary Return Program

  1. This program is for filing Estate and Trust returns for both federal and state at the same time.

  2. Any state that has a requirement to file both federal and state fiduciary returns may participate. (Currently New York is the only state participating.)

21.2.1.46.1  (10-01-2008)
FEDERAL/STATE Partnership Program

  1. This program is for filing Partnership Returns for both federal and state at the same time.

  2. Any state that has a requirement to file both federal and state Partnership returns may participate. Currently, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Utah and Wyoming are the only states participating.

21.2.1.47  (02-19-2013)
Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS)

  1. The Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) allows individuals and businesses to make electronic deposits and payments for federal taxes such as Employment Taxes, Excise Taxes, Corporate Income Taxes and Form 1040 Estimated taxes.

    Note:

    Treasury Decision (TD) 9507 ended the use of paper Federal Tax Deposit (FTD) coupons beyond December 31, 2010.

  2. Generally, businesses and individuals must enroll in the EFTPS program to participate. Taxpayers can visit https://www.eftps.gov/eftps/ to enroll in EFTPS and to obtain information on how to complete a payment, or they can call EFTPS Customer Service for assistance:

    • Business 1- 800-555-4477

    • Individual 1-800-316-6541

    • Spanish 1–800-244-4829

    • TDD 1–800-733-4829

  3. Participants make EFTPS payments by:

    1. Accessing the EFTPS web site, https://www.eftps.gov/eftps/ or by calling EFTPS at

      1. Business 1-800-555-3453

      2. Individual 1-800-315-4829

      3. Spanish 1-800-466-4829

      4. TDD 1-800-990-4829

      5. Local Direct Dial 1–303–967–5916

    2. Authorizing their bank to make a payment directly to the U.S. Treasury

    3. Contacting a third party provider such as a payroll service.

  4. As of January 1, 2011 businesses must use electronic funds transfer to make all federal tax deposits (such as deposits of employment tax, excise tax, and corporate tax). Forms 8109 and 8109-B, Federal Tax Deposit Coupon, cannot be used as of December 31, 2010. If the participant does not want to use EFTPS, they can arrange for their tax professional, financial institution, payroll service, or other trusted third party to make deposits on their behalf.

    Note:

    See Publication 15, Circular E, Employer's Tax Guide, "Section 11" for more information on "Electronic Deposit"

  5. Deposits made through EFTPS must be initiated by 8:00 p.m. ET one calendar day prior to the payment due date.

    Note:

    If the due date falls on a Saturday or Sunday and a deposit is made by 8:00 p.m. ET Friday, the deposit settlement date will not be until the next business day.

    Note:

    If the due date falls on a banking holiday and a deposit is made by 8:00 p.m. ET the calendar day before, the deposit settlement date will not be until the next business day.

  6. A Same Day Payment option is available through the Federal Tax Collection Service (FTCS) to businesses who cannot initiate a timely EFTPS payment. This option is not intended for ongoing use.

  7. Taxpayers should contact their financial institution for information on availability, deadlines, and fees. Refer to IRM 3.17.277.1.4.3(1) for availability of FTCS for individual taxpayers.

  8. EFTPS is a free service of the U.S. Department of Treasury. However, taxpayers are encouraged to check with their authorized financial institutions for their costs, deadlines, and eligibility requirements associated with each payment method.

  9. Use IDRS Command Code EFTPS to research payments made through EFTPS.

    Note:

    See IRM 2.3.70, Command Code EFTPS for additional information on CC EFTPS. See IRM 21.5.7.4.7.15 for information on EFTPS payment tracers.

21.2.1.48  (01-04-2011)
Electronic Payment Options for Individuals and Business e-file Users

  1. Individuals may electronically pay federal taxes, including the balance due on their current Form 1040 series return, estimated taxes, and other tax types using the following methods:

    • IRM 21.2.1.48.1, Electronic Funds Withdrawal (Direct Debit)

    • IRM 21.2.1.48.2, Payment by Credit Card or Debit Card (General)

    • IRM 21.2.1.48.3, Payment by Credit Card or Debit Card (Integrated e-file and e-pay)

    • IRM 21.2.1.48.4, Credit or Debit Card Payments (Pay by Phone or Internet)

    • IRM 21.2.1.47, Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS)

  2. Businesses may electronically pay federal taxes, including the balance due on certain returns, using the following methods:

    • Payment by Electronic Funds Withdrawal (Direct Debit). See IRM 21.2.1.48.1, Electronic Funds Withdrawal (Direct Debit)

    • Payment by Credit or Debit Card (Pay by Phone or Internet). See IRM 21.2.1.48.4, Credit or Debit Card Payments (Pay by Phone or Internet)

    • Electronic Federal Tax Payment System. See IRM 21.2.1.47 , Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS)

21.2.1.48.1  (10-01-2012)
Electronic Funds Withdrawal (Direct Debit)

  1. Taxpayers who electronically file the returns or tax forms listed below via an electronic return originator (ERO) or online can simultaneously authorize the Treasury to make an electronic funds withdrawal (direct debit) from a designated checking or savings account to pay a balance due, including interest and/or penalty.

  2. The following types of taxes may be paid by electronic funds withdrawal when these forms are filed electronically:

    1. Form 1040 series

    2. Form 4868

    3. Form 2350

    4. Form 1040-ES

    5. Form 941

    6. Form 941-PR

    7. Form 941-66

    8. Form 940

    9. Form 940-PR

    10. Form 944

    11. Form 1041

    12. Form 1065/1065B

    13. Form 1120/1120S/1120POL/ 1120F

    14. Form 7004

    15. Form 990-PF

    16. Form 8868

    17. Form 720

    18. Form 2290

  3. Late payments, including interest and/or penalty may be accepted if the electronic filing option extends beyond the return due date. There are no separate entries on the payment record for interest and/or penalty amounts. Those amounts should be combined with the tax due and the total should be reflected in the "Amount of Tax Payment" entry on the payment record.

  4. For some forms, such as Form 1040 and Form 1120 series returns, taxpayers may e-file early and schedule a payment for withdrawal on a future date, up to and including the return due date. After the return due date, the payment date is equal to the date the return is filed electronically. For example: If there are issues that prevent the return from being processed until 05/01/11, then 05/01/11 is treated as the payment date.

  5. Form 1040-ES payment requests must be authorized at the same time the Form 1040 series return, or Form 4868 extension is electronically filed. Estimated tax payments may be made whether or not there is a balance due on the return. Taxpayers may schedule payments for withdrawal on April 15, 2013 (1st quarter), June 17, 2013 (2nd quarter), September 16, 2013 (3rd quarter) or January 15, 2014 (4th quarter).

  6. Up to four estimated payments may be initiated with an electronically filed Form 1040 series return , or a Form 1040 return, Form 2350 extension, or Form 4868 extension form (using Modernized e-File (MeF) software). When one or more 1040-ES payments are made, IRS automatically enrolls a taxpayer in EFTPS (if not already enrolled). An enrollment letter is only mailed to a taxpayer when he calls EFTPS to request one. A taxpayer does not have to use EFTPS. We offer this option in case the taxpayer cancels an EFW payment and/or did not submit all four of their payments through EFW, and therefore now needs to make one or more additional payments. Taxpayers should call 1–800–316–6541 (available 24/7) for more information.

  7. For Form 2350 and Form 4868, taxpayers may schedule a payment for withdrawal on a future date up to and including the return due date.

  8. For Form 1065/1065B, taxpayers may schedule a payment for withdrawal on a future date up to and including the return due date.

  9. A taxpayer should refer to his/her tax preparation software or tax professional to determine if a partial payment may be made and to find out what the operational periods are for any electronic payment they may make.

  10. Taxpayers are prompted to enter the bank account number and routing transit number. Most rejects (a reject is technically referred to as a "return" by the financial institution) occur because one or more of these numbers do not exactly match the information contained by a taxpayer's financial institution. Taxpayers should verify these numbers with their financial institution prior to entering them on the payment record to prevent rejection of the payment.

  11. Taxpayers cannot change the bank account number or routing transit number once the return or form is filed. If the bank information changes, was entered incorrectly, or the account is closed prior to the scheduled payment date, the taxpayer should cancel the payment (time permitting) and make other payment arrangements to ensure that the balance is satisfied.

  12. To cancel scheduled payments, taxpayers should call toll-free, 1–888-353-4537. Cancellations must be requested no later than 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, at least two business days prior to the scheduled payment date.

  13. Taxpayers may also call the above number to inquire about the status of their payment(s) or for assistance regarding any letter they may have received pertaining to their electronic funds withdrawal request. Letters include, 4870 for returned payments and 4872 for canceled payments. This inquiry service is available year round, 24/7.

    Note:

    Taxpayers should wait at least ten days after returns are electronically filed and accepted before making any inquiries.

  14. The payer's bank statement provides confirmation of payment. The statement will include "United States Treasury Tax Payment" or something similar.

21.2.1.48.2  (11-19-2007)
Payment by Credit Card or Debit Card (General)

  1. Credit or debit card payments are accepted through private industry card processors (also known as service providers) and/or software developers which charge convenience fees for the service.

  2. Convenience fees are based on the amount of tax payment and may vary by service provider. Fees are disclosed to the taxpayer prior to the completion of the transaction.

  3. The card processor provides IRS the necessary payment information to update the taxpayer's Master File account. IRS does not have access to the card number.

  4. The cardholder's statement provides confirmation of payment. The statement will include a "US Treasury Tax Payment" transaction. The convenience fee is listed separately on the statement.

  5. The payment date for the card transaction is the date the charge is authorized.

  6. Cardholders may make tax payments on behalf of dependents or other taxpayers.

21.2.1.48.3  (10-01-2007)
Payment by Credit or Debit Card (Integrated e-file and e-pay)

  1. Taxpayers who e-file, may simultaneously file a balance due return and make a credit or debit card payment, if the tax preparation software used supports this payment option.

  2. "E-file and e-pay" card payments must be made at the time the return is filed electronically.

  3. Taxpayers are prompted to enter the card number and expiration date.

  4. The card payment is either authorized at the time the e-file return is transmitted or as part of the electronic return acknowledgment process.

  5. Taxpayers may refer to tax software or a tax professional for additional information, e.g., which cards are accepted.

21.2.1.48.4  (04-03-2013)
Credit or Debit Card Payments (Pay by Phone or Internet)

  1. Beginning January 1, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. through December 31, 2013 at midnight (except where notated in the chart below), the following types of taxes may be paid by Phone or Internet using a card:

     FORMS  PAYMENT TYPE  MAX PAYMENTS
         
     INDIVIDUAL  
    Form 1040 series Current Tax due 2 per year
       
    Current Year Notice 2 per year
       
    Prior Year 2 per year
       
    Advanced Payment of Determined Deficiency 2 per year
       
    Installment Agreement 2 per month
     Form 1040-ES Estimated Tax  2 per quarter

    Note:

    April 16, 2013 9:00 a.m. to January 15, 2014 midnight

        Form 1040-X Amended 2 per year
     Form 4868 Extension to File 2 per year

    Note:

    January 1, 2013 9:00 a.m. to April 15, 2013 midnight

    Form 5329 Current Tax due 2 per year
    Trust Fund Recovery Penalty Prior Year 2 per quarter
       
    Installment Agreement 2 per month
     BUSINESS  
    Form 940 series Current Tax due 2 per year
       
    Prior Year 2 per year
       
    Installment Agreement 2 per month
       
    Amended or Adjusted 2 per year
    Form 941 series Current Tax due 2 per quarter
       
    Prior Year 2 per quarter
       
    Installment Agreement 2 per month
       
    Amended or Adjusted 2 per quarter
    Form 943 series Current Tax due 2 per year
       
    Prior Year 2 per year
       
    Installment Agreement 2 per month
       
    Amended or Adjusted 2 per year
    Form 944 series Current Tax due 2 per year
       
    Prior Year 2 per year
       
    Amended or Adjusted 2 per year
    Form 945 series Current Tax due 2 per year
       
    Prior Year 2 per year
       
    Installment Agreement 2 per month
       
    Amended or Adjusted 2 per year
    Form 1041 series Current Tax due 2 per year
       
    Prior Year 2 per year
    Form 1065 series Current Tax due 2 per year
       
    Prior Year 2 per year

    Note:

    Prior to January 1, 2013, refer to the Electronic Payment Options Home page at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Electronic-Payment-Options-Home-Page, or a prior version of this IRM section for calendar year 2012 processing period dates.

  2. Businesses that are required to make FTDs cannot use a card payment to meet deposit requirements: Federal Tax Deposits can only be made through EFTPS. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that all taxes are paid or deposited correctly and on time.

  3. Payments may be made for the full outstanding balance or a partial payment (e.g., monthly installment agreement payments) may also be made.

  4. Past due payments (prior tax years and installment agreements) may be made for taxes up to ten years past due. Time frames for making prior tax year payments vary depending on the form. For a list of the forms and time frames, refer to the Electronic Payment Options Home Page at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Electronic-Payment-Options-Home-Page, then select Credit or Debit Card.

  5. Taxpayers have the option to either use an IRS e-pay service provider or an integrated IRS e-file and e-pay service provider. The service providers offer these options to taxpayers who file on paper or electronically. The payment options are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service providers charge convenience fees for the services.

  6. When answering an inquiry:

    • Telephone assistors/CSRs must probe to determine the caller's internet accessibility.

    • If internet access is available, refer the taxpayer to Pay Taxes by Credit or Debit Card at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Pay-Taxes-by-Credit-or-Debit-Card, for vendor information. See If And Then chart below for more information.

      Note:

      Advise the taxpayer to select the "Payments" tab at the top of the irs.gov home page and follow instructions from there. If the the taxpayer wants to go directly to the link shown, they may type the URL above exactly as shown into their web browser, including hyphens and upper and lower case letters. The taxpayer may also search the IRS.gov home page using key words such as "Credit or Debit Card."

    • If internet access is not available, the telephone assistor/CSR will provide the customer with all toll-free telephone numbers for the service providers for the type of tax they are paying. See If And Then chart below for more information.

    If And Then
    Taxpayer wants to pay their bill with a credit/debit card Has access to the internet Advise the taxpayer to go to Pay Taxes by Credit or Debit Card athttp://www.irs.gov/uac/Pay-Taxes-by-Credit-or-Debit-Card, for service providers, telephone numbers, web sites and convenience fees.

    Note:

    Advise the taxpayer to select the "Payments" tab at the top of the irs.gov home page and follow instructions from there. If the the taxpayer wants to go directly to the link shown, they may type the URL above exactly as shown into their web browser, including hyphens and upper and lower case letters. The taxpayer may also search the IRS.gov home page using key words such as "Credit or Debit Card."

    Does not have access to the internet Provide the taxpayer with the service provider names and toll-free pay-by-phone numbers for all service providers for the type of tax they are paying. Advise the taxpayer that a convenience fee is charged for the service and may vary between providers.
    Taxpayer needs the phone number to pay with a credit/debit card   Provide the taxpayer with the toll-free numbers for all service providers for the type of tax they are paying. Advise the taxpayer that the information can be found web site at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Pay-Taxes-by-Credit-or-Debit-Card,

    Note:

    Advise the taxpayer to select the "Payments" tab at the top of the irs.gov home page and follow instructions from there. If the the taxpayer wants to go directly to the link shown, they may type the URL above exactly as shown into their web browser, including hyphens and upper and lower case letters. The taxpayer may also search the IRS.gov home page using key words such as "Credit or Debit Card."

    Taxpayer requests an extension to pay or installment agreement, and the contact representative is providing the taxpayer with options for payment Has access to the internet Advise the taxpayer to go to Pay Taxes by Credit or Debit Card at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Pay-Taxes-by-Credit-or-Debit-Card, for service provider telephone numbers, web sites and convenience fees.

    Note:

    Advise the taxpayer to select the "Payments" tab at the top of the irs.gov home page and follow instructions from there. If the the taxpayer wants to go directly to the link shown, they may type the URL above exactly as shown into their web browser, including hyphens and upper and lower case letters. The taxpayer may also search the IRS.gov home page using key words such as "Credit or Debit Card."

    Does not have access to the internet. Provide the taxpayer with the service provider names and toll-free pay-by-phone telephone numbers for the type of tax they owe.. Advise the taxpayer that a convenience fee is charged for the service and may vary between providers.

  7. The IRS and the Service Providers have established a policy determining the order of which the service providers are listed each filing season and they rotate the list of the companies via the IRM, IRS.gov and the publications to allow equal opportunity to the companies. The following is a list of service providers for filing season 2012. The IRM will be updated every December to show the next years filing seasons Service Provider Order.

    Credit or Debit Card Service Providers

    Official Payments (Official Payments Corporation) https://www.officialpayments.com/fed/index.jsp
    888-872-9829 Payment by Telephone (Toll-Free)
    800-487-4567 Live Operator (Toll-Free)
    877-754-4413 Customer Service (Toll-Free)

    ChoicePay (Official Payments Corporation) https://fed.choicepay.com/cpfed/index.jsp
    Personal Tax Payments Only
    866-964-2552 Live Operator (Toll-Free)
    Pay1040.com (Link2GovCorporation) https://www.pay1040.com/
    888-729-1040 Payment by Telephone (Toll-Free)
    888-658-5465 Customer Service (Toll-Free)
    Businesstaxpayment.com (Link2GovCorporation) https://www.pay1040.com/businesstaxpayment
    888-729-1040 Payment by Telephone (Toll-Free)
    888-658-5465 Customer Service (Toll-Free)
    PayUSAtax (WorldPay US, Inc.) https://payusatax.com/
    888-972-9829 Payment by Telephone (Toll-Free)
    888-877-0450 Live Operator (Toll-Free) (Automated phone system may identify the service as "Value Payment Systems" , a partner of WorldPay US, Inc),
    877-517-4881 Customer Service (Toll-Free)

  8. Credit and debit cards accepted may vary by service provider. The IRS does not determine which credit cards the service providers accept.

  9. Taxpayers can use debit cards issued by VISA and Master Card when making tax payments through the service providers. However, the service providers, VISA and Master Card treat debit cards and credit cards equally for the purpose of processing electronic tax payments.

    Note:

    Taxpayers wishing to make debit card transactions should be informed of the electronic funds withdrawal options and notified that funds will be withdrawn almost immediately if a debit card is used and advised that a convenience fee will be charged.

  10. Fees may vary by service provider. Convenience fees are disclosed to the taxpayer prior to the completion of the transaction. Fee calculations may also be obtained through the customer service numbers and web sites listed above. The IRS does not receive or charge any fees for payments. The IRS cannot pay or reimburse any convenience fee to taxpayers. The convenience fee charged in connection with the payment of income taxes by credit card is deductible if a taxpayer itemizes deductions. The convenience fee can only be claimed on a Schedule A form, line 23. The taxpayer can only deduct the portion that exceeds the 2% amount on line 38, Form 1040. The convenience fee paid by businesses that pay employment taxes is considered a deductible business expense.

  11. Taxpayers will be prompted to select a payment type (as described above) and enter the primary taxpayer’s Social Security Number (SSN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN), payment amount, card number, expiration date, and the cardholder's zip code as listed on that account. The tax year must be identified for prior tax years and installment agreement payments, advanced payments of determined deficiency, employment tax and Trust Fund Recovery Penalties.

  12. A confirmation number is provided at the end of the transaction. It may take the IRS 5-7 days to post the payment to the taxpayer's account. The payment date will be equal to the date the transaction was authorized.

  13. Taxpayers are limited in the number of payments that can be made through each service provider. These limits are posted on IRS.gov.

  14. The service provider forwards the Social Security Number (SSN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN) entered during the transaction to the IRS for validation.

    1. If the SSN/EIN forwarded by the service provider does not match IRS records, the payment will not be forwarded for posting.

    2. The payment may reject because the taxpayer entered an erroneous SSN/EIN during the transaction.

    3. If the SSN/EIN cannot be validated, the service provider will contact the taxpayer and provide advice on how to re-submit the card payment (if possible) or pay by check or money order.

  15. Once the SSN/EIN is validated, the service provider will forward the payment data (such as the TIN, payment amount, tax type, date and confirmation number) to the IRS.

  16. Payment vouchers (Form 1040-V, Form 940-V, Form 940-V(PR), Form 941-V, Form 941-V(PR), Form 941-V(SS), Form 943-V, Form 943-V(PR), Form 944-V, Form 945-V) and other payment related forms (Form 4868, 1040-ES, etc.) should not be forwarded to the IRS.

  17. For additional information on electronic payment options, including credit and debit cards, refer to the Electronic Payments Option page on IRS' web site at www.irs.gov/e-pay.

21.2.1.49  (10-01-2006)
IRS Web Site

  1. The IRS Web site provides tax information to the public. Taxpayers may:

    • Search publications by topic or keywords

    • Download forms, instructions and publications

    • Receive help with specific tax law questions via e-mail

    • Read about local tax news and seminars

    • Locate IRS offices in their area

    • Resolve Tax Account Issues or obtain tax information

  2. Taxpayers may access the IRS Internet Web site at: http://www.irs.gov/.

  3. The Web site also offers information for tax practitioners, e.g., special advance notices and electronic filing information.

  4. Taxpayers may research tax law issues by viewing Frequently Asked Questions, Publications, Tax Trails or Tax Topics, which contain the same text as the TeleTax tapes.

21.2.1.50  (04-24-2013)
Internet Electronic Filing PIN Request

  1. Electronic Filing PIN Request allows eligible taxpayers who do not have their prior year tax information to request a temporary PIN, used to verify their identity when e-filing their tax return, extension or installment agreement forms.

  2. Electronic Filing PIN Request is available in English or Spanish and is accessed by going to http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Electronic-Filing-PIN-Request (or going to the irs.gov home page and typing “E-file PIN” in the search box) or else they may call 1-866-704-7388 and follow the automated system instructions.

  3. Taxpayers are authenticated by the following five pieces of information:

    1. Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

    2. First and Last Name

    3. Date of Birth

    4. Filing Status

    5. Complete mailing address as it appeared on the prior year return

21.2.1.51  (10-01-2006)
Downloading From the Web Site

  1. To download (receive data from another computer into one's own computer) from the Web site, Adobe Acrobat Reader software is needed to view and print PDF files. This is the preferred format for viewing or printing IRS forms, instructions and publications.

  2. Adobe Acrobat Reader is available free of charge from the IRS Web site, as well as other Web sites.

  3. Advise callers needing technical assistance (not tax law) on downloading forms and publications from our Web site to contact the FEDWORLD Help Desk at (703) 487-4608.

21.2.1.52  (04-24-2013)
Electronic Tax Law Assistance (ETLA)

  1. Electronic Tax Law Assistance (ETLA) assistance is available for taxpayers unable to find answers to tax law questions through their own research.

  2. To use, taxpayers should access the IRS web site, then:

    • Type "Help with Tax Questions" (or simply "Tax Law Help)" into the search box at the upper right-hand corner of the page.

    • Click the resulting link for "Help with Tax Questions" and follow the instructions.

    For privacy and security reasons, CSRs do not handle tax account or refund questions; i.e., any question where the caller needs to disclose his/her (or another person's) name, SSN or address.

  3. Account related questions are not answered via ETLA. Callers are advised to call toll-free, 800-829-1040 or write to the campus listed on the notices for questions about tax accounts.

    Note:

    See IRM 21.3.2, Taxpayer Contacts Resulting From Electronic Tax Law Assistance Inquires for answers to ETLA questions

21.2.1.52.1  (10-01-2006)
ETLA Reply

  1. CSRs and specialists at various locations respond to taxpayer questions received via the Internet.

  2. Some questions are answered using a "canned answer" data base:

    • Prepared responses that provide information on specific tax topics

    • Prepared answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  3. Other customer inquiries require the CSR to research and answer the question.

21.2.1.53  (10-01-2007)
Internet Refund/Fact of Filing (IRFOF)

  1. Internet Refund/Fact of Filing (IRFOF) is an Internet application available through the world wide web almost all of the time and is accessed from the IRS.gov home page, by clicking on "Where's my Refund." Since January 1, 2008, IRFOF is available in both English and Spanish languages.

  2. Taxpayers obtain refund status information using the following: shared secrets, SSN, Filing Status and expected refund amount.

  3. IRFOF provides refund status information consistent with, but not identical to the information provided by the telephone based applications. Special emphasis is placed on some exception conditions, freeze conditions and Financial Management Service (FMS) Treasury Offset Program by providing detailed instructions and related information.

  4. For more information, see IRM 21.4.1.5, Internet Refund Fact Of Filing.

21.2.1.54  (10-01-2012)
Order a Transcript

  1. "Order a Transcript" is an internet application on IRS.gov that permits callers to order a Tax Return Transcript or a Tax Account Transcript.

  2. Taxpayers can order Tax Account and Tax Return transcripts, online, for the current and past three tax years.

  3. Taxpayers can request transcripts after passing authentication using the following shared secrets: SSN, or ITIN, Date of Birth, Street Address, and Zip or Postal Code.

  4. Taxpayer request for Transcripts will be sent to the taxpayer's address of record.

21.2.1.55  (11-03-2010)
e-Services

  1. E-Services is a suite of electronic products. Some e-services are available to external users, such as practitioners, through the Registered User Portal (RUP). Because IRS E-Service products, i.e., Electronic Accounts Resolution (EAR) and other electronic products are now available to the external user, there are instances of mis-routed e-service telephone inquiries. If a caller is requesting non-account related assistance for an e-service product, refer the caller to the toll-free number, 1-866-255-0654. You may also advise practitioner callers to request Publication 3112, IRS E-file Application Package, which is available by calling the toll-free number or by accessing IRS' website http://www.irs.gov/ on the Internet.

    Note:

    The e-help desk does not provide help with tax account or tax law issues.

  2. IRS employees also use some of the e-service products via the Employee User Portal (EUP). These include Transcript Delivery System (TDS) and PTIN. IRS employees should seek help with get-it services or by calling 1-866-743-5748 when problems are encountered.

  3. The following is a list of products (key words) and some definitions to help with the terminology of e-service:

    • Bulk TIN Matching (BTM) allows an authorized payer to match up to 100K TIN and name combinations against IRS records, within 24 hours, prior to filing information returns, e.g., Forms 1099, etc.

    • e-File Application:
      Internal - allows IRS to enter paper based applications and process suitability checks and approvals.
      External - allows a third party to apply "on-line" to become an e-filer and allows approved applicants access to certain e-service products, e.g., DA, TDS, EAR.

    • Registration - allows an individual to register to electronically transact business with IRS via the Registered User Portal.

    • Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN)
      Internal - allows an IRS user to research PTIN database information prior to August 23, 2010.
      External - allows a third party to apply "on-line" for a PTIN by accessing the tax professionals page at http://www.irs.gov/taxpros/.

    • Transcript Delivery System (TDS)
      Internal - allows IRS employees to deliver sanitized transcripts to taxpayers or their designee.
      External - allows authorized practitioners or state users to request and receive access to sanitized transcripts.

    • Indirect Channel Management (ICM)
      Internal - allows an IRS user to recruit and manage partner relationships.

    • Interactive TIN Matching (ITIN)
      External allows an authorized payer to match up to 25 TIN and name combinations, per request, against IRS records during an "on-line" session. This allows a payer to check names and TINs prior to filing information returns, e.g., Forms 1099, etc.

    Note:

    Do not confuse this acronym, "ITIN" , with Individual Tax Identification Number ITIN.

21.2.1.55.1  (10-01-2010)
Transcript Delivery System (TDS)

  1. The IRS Transcript Delivery System (TDS) is an e-service, for use by both internal and external users. The system allows users with appropriate authorization to obtain customized tax information products (return transcripts, account transcripts, records of account, wage and income information, and verification of non-filing) directly and instantaneously. .

  2. The following products are available through TDS:

    • Account Transcripts

    • Return Transcripts

    • Record of Account

    • Wage and Income Information Documents

    • Verification of Non-Filing

      Note:

      See IRM 21.2.3.4, Transcript Procedures for additional information

21.2.1.56  (06-08-2012)
IRS Free File Overview: The Free Way to Prepare and e-file Federal Taxes

  1. The IRS has a free way for everyone to prepare and e-file their individual federal tax returns. The program is called IRS Free File. It is available at www.IRS.gov/freefile or just click on the Free File icon on the http://www.irs.gov/ home page. Free File also can be used to prepare and e-file Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

    Note:

    Some taxpayers trying to access free tax preparation and e-filing are using downloadable PDF fill-in forms versions of the Form 1040 series available through the Forms and Publications web site, which cannot be filed electronically. If taxpayers want to prepare and e-file their tax returns for free, they must use a Free File option above.

  2. There are two Free File options, offered through the IRS partnership with the Free File Alliance. Taxpayers can e-file either option for free.

    • Free File brand-name software, which selects the necessary forms and performs the computations.

    • Free File Fillable Forms, which offers electronic versions of IRS paper forms.

  3. Here’s how Free File works:

    • If the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is $58,000 or less, taxpayers are eligible for one of the software products listed on www.IRS.gov/freefile. These are commercial products offered by the Free File Alliance, the IRS’ private-sector partners. The software supports nearly all individual tax forms and schedules. See IRM 21.2.1.56.1, Getting Started Using Free File Software, for additional information.

    • If the AGI is more than $58,000 filers can use Free File Fillable Forms. This product performs basic math only. Taxpayers must be familiar with IRS forms and schedules, and they must be able to calculate their tax liability. See IRM 21.2.1.56.2, Getting Started Using IRS Free File Fillable Forms, for additional information.

    • All taxpayers, regardless of income, can use Free File to prepare and e-file Form 4868 at no cost to them. See IRM 21.2.1.56.3, How to use IRS Free File to File Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, for additional information.

  4. Free File software partners may charge fees for state returns. For more information about state tax preparation and e-file including forms and fees, check the partner company’s website.

    Note:

    Free File Fillable Forms does not support any state returns.

  5. To use free federal return preparation software, taxpayers must access www.IRS.gov/freefile and not the partner company web sites. There are additional instructions at www.IRS.gov/freefile.

21.2.1.56.1  (06-08-2012)
Getting Started Using Free File Software

  1. If the adjusted gross income for tax year 2013 is $58,000 or less, taxpayers are eligible for Free File software. The income limitation is the same regardless of return filing status.

    Note:

    The adjusted gross income for tax year 2012 was $57,000 or less.

  2. To get started using Free File software or to learn more about the Free File program, go to www.IRS.gov/freefile or click on the Free File icon on the http://www.irs.gov/ home page.

    Note:

    Taxpayers must access Free File from irs.gov to ensure the product is free. If taxpayers access the software products by going directly to the partner company web sites, they may be charged a fee.

  3. Free File uses brand-name commercial software products made available for free by IRS’ private-sector partners.

    Note:

    IRS does not endorse any one Free File brand name software product.

  4. The benefits of Free File software:

    • Prompts taxpayer for filing information and allows verification of responses before submitting.

    • Automatically selects the correct forms and schedules, and performs the computations.

    • Identifies available credits and deductions.

    • Results in increased return accuracy, and faster refunds.

    • Securely e-files for free and allows easy printing of returns.

    • Provides confirmation from the IRS upon electronic receipt of return.

    • Safe and secure as software companies use the latest encryption technology.

    • It's free!

  5. Each Free File partner software company has its own criteria for eligibility. Generally, the criteria are based on the taxpayer’s age, state residency, income, earned income tax credit eligibility, or military status. Some partner companies also support taxpayers with foreign addresses.

  6. Taxpayers can select “Get Help Finding a Free File Company” under Step 2 at www.IRS.gov/freefile. This tool requires taxpayers to input certain information, i.e., age, state residency, and estimated income. The tool will find all the software products for which they are eligible.

  7. Once taxpayers have selected a Free File software product, they can click the product link, and they will be directed away from the IRS website and to the company website.

  8. Taxpayers should follow the company directions for the Free File software product they have selected. If taxpayers have questions or issues with the software product, they should contact the company for help. The company will provide assistance free of charge.

    Note:

    Taxpayers should not contact the IRS.

  9. Some partner companies support state tax return preparation and e-file for free but others may charge fees. For more information about state tax preparation and e-file including forms and fees, check the partner companies’ web sites.

  10. If taxpayers want to provide feedback about a Free File partner company, Customer Service Representatives and other front-line employees should notify the Return Preparer Office (RPO), Relationship Management and Marketing Branch by e-mail at ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ . This e-mail address is for internal use only. Follow secure e-mail policies when e-mailing Personally Identifiable Information (PII) to this email box.

21.2.1.56.2  (10-15-2012)
Getting Started Using Free File Fillable Forms

  1. Taxpayers, regardless of income, are eligible to use Free File Fillable Forms to prepare and e-file their federal income tax returns for free. Taxpayers must access this product at www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File:-Do-Your-Federal-Taxes-for-Free or just click on the Free File icon on the http://www.irs.gov/ home page, then click the "Use Free File Fillable Forms" button.

  2. The Free File Fillable Forms program offers nearly all individual federal tax forms and schedules. See the complete list of available forms at http://www.irs.gov/uac/List-of-Available-Free-File-Fillable-Forms.

  3. Free File Fillable Forms is best for taxpayers who are familiar with and/or have experience completing a paper Form 1040. Free File Fillable Forms is an electronic version of IRS paper forms. Taxpayers must be able to read and understand tax forms and instructions. Caution: Free File Fillable Forms does not provide all the features offered by other Free File software. For example, Free File Fillable Forms does not identify available credits and deductions. While some helpful guidance, such as checklists, are provided, full step-by-step guidance is not. It is important that the taxpayer understands his responsibility for the completeness and accuracy of any form submitted

  4. Free File Fillable Forms is capable of performing only basic math calculations when "Do the Math" is selected.

  5. Free File Fillable Forms does not support state return preparation. Taxpayers can find details on the program by selecting the ‘Learn More’ link from http://www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File:-Do-Your-Federal-Taxes-for-Free. .

  6. Taxpayers who select Free File Fillable Forms will be directed away from the IRS.gov web site and redirected to https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/FFA/Gateway/FED.htm.

    Note:

    Free File Fillable Forms is hosted, operated and maintained by an IRS Authorized IRS e-file Provider. The IRS, in partnership with http://www.freefilealliance.org/, offers this free service.

  7. After creating a password-protected account, taxpayers will receive automated e-mails from ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ . Taxpayers should not reply to this e-mail for help with their account or tax return.

    Note:

    E-mail from this address never requests personal information from a taxpayer, such as bank account information, social security number or date of birth.

  8. Taxpayers must select a tax form, i.e., Form 1040, Form 1040A or Form 1040EZ and input their tax information, as directed by the form and the instructions. They must determine their tax using the tax tables and enter it in the appropriate field. When completed, taxpayers can print and e-file their returns at no cost.

  9. Taxpayers may use Free File Fillable forms to prepare and e-file Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to file US Individual Income tax Return. For more information, refer to 21.2.1.56.3, “How to use IRS Free File to File Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time.”.

  10. Free File Fillable Forms taxpayers who successfully transmit their return (e-file) will receive notification from the IRS that their return was either accepted or rejected. The notification will come through ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ , usually within 2 hours from when the return was transmitted.

    Note:

    If taxpayers do not receive this e-mail, they should check their e-mail spam filters to ensure IRS confirmation was not misdirected to their "junk mail" or equivalent folders.

  11. Rejected returns are considered unfiled returns. The rejection notice to the taxpayer will include the MeF Business Rule for the rejection. Taxpayers should make the necessary corrections and resubmit the return. Taxpayers should select the ‘Learn More’ link from http://www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File:-Do-Your-Federal-Taxes-for-Free to get help with rejected returns. .

  12. Taxpayers who are unable to resolve their rejected return errors may call 1-800-829-1040. CSRs should authenticate the taxpayer and use the Return Review Display (RRD) system to assist taxpayers with rejected returnsCSRs should also review the Free File Fillable Forms information in the Accounts Management Research Portal. CSRs who are not account skilled should transfer these taxpayers to # 92020 ( IMF ACCT English) or # 92021 ( IMF ACCT Spanish). The accounts trained CSR authenticate the taxpayer and use the Return Review Display (RRD) system to assist taxpayers with rejected returns.

  13. Taxpayer issues that cannot be resolved by CSRs should be referred to IRS.gov.website.helpdesk@speedymail.com, or the IRS.gov Website Help Desk numbers below:

    • 1-800-876-1715 within the United States and Canada.

    • 1-915–342–5654 from other international locations.

    Note:

    When sending e-mail about a rejected return, taxpayers should follow the instructions below:

    • Locate the most recent rejection notification

    • Copy and paste the entire reason for the rejection into the body of the e-mail going to IRS.gov.website.helpdesk@speedymail.com.

    • Locate the Submission ID (a 20-digit number) and put a period and a space after every fourth digit).

      Example:

      If the Submission ID is 48658721369963514775, the Submission ID in the e-mail being sent to the website help desk should look like this: 4865. 8721. 3699. 6351. 4775.

    • Written instructions on how to locate and format the Submission ID can be accessed by selecting the ‘Learn More’ link from http://www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File:-Do-Your-Federal-Taxes-for-Free..

  14. CSRs must not provide taxpayers with the IRS.gov Website Help Desk number for questions concerning IRS account issues or tax law questions. Also, CSRs should not refer taxpayers to the e-Help Desk for Free File Fillable Forms issues. The e-help desk phone line is reserved to helping tax preparers and Electronic Return Originators (ERO).

  15. If taxpayers with income under $58,000 are having difficulty using Free File Fillable Forms, refer them to Free File brand-name software. IRM 21.2.1.56.1, Getting Started Using Free File Software.

  16. For additional help about Free File, see the Accounts Management Research Portal.

21.2.1.56.3  (06-08-2012)
How to use IRS Free File to File Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return

  1. Taxpayers who cannot file by the tax deadline must submit Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, prior to the April deadline. All taxpayers, regardless of income, can use Free File to prepare and e-file Form 4868 at no cost to them. Taxpayers may use Free File Software or Free File Fillable Forms to file a free extension

  2. Free File Software

    • Taxpayers must go to www.IRS.gov/freefile or just click on the Free File icon on the IRS.gov home page,

    • Taxpayers should select “Browse the list of Free File companies” from the Free File landing page, which will display the list of Free File providers. Free File limitations for filing tax returns, as listed by each company, do not apply to filing extensions. Therefore, taxpayers may use any company offering a free extension (Form 4868). Look for the wording “Free Extensions” by company’s offer and make a selection

    • Taxpayers will receive an acknowledgement that the IRS has received their Form 4868.

    • Taxpayers should be aware that Form 4868 is an extension to file, not an extension to pay. If they expect to owe additional tax, the amount should be submitted with the Form 4868.

    .

  3. Free File Fillable Forms. Taxpayers may use Free File Fillable forms to prepare and e-file Form 4868.

    • To begin, taxpayers must first select either a Form 1040, Form 1040A or Form 1040EZ and then fill out their name, address, and Social Security Number.

    • Taxpayers may then select “File an Extension”. Information that was entered on the Form 1040 will automatically transfer to Section 1, Identification, of Form 4868.

    • Finally, the taxpayer must complete Part II, Individual Income Tax of the Form 4868.

21.2.1.57  (10-01-2010)
R-Mail (IRS Telephone Referral Support System)

  1. R-Mail is an automated referral system used to add and process referrals of specific tax law topics via a centralized IRS Intranet database.

  2. Employees take messages for designated tax law topics and add the message to the R-Mail database.

  3. Employees who have log-ins/passwords and access to the IRS Intranet with a web browser, may add and/or process referrals. A response to the referral will be by phone, e-mail or postal mail.

  4. ''Canned'' answers are available in the system and may be accessed by using the ''key word'' search feature.

21.2.1.57.1  (08-14-2009)
Research

  1. The following reference materials are used in covering specific tax law topics:

    • Interactive Tax Law Assistant (ITLA)

    • Publications 15 &17

    • Publications covering specific topics

  2. International Category Questions (Aliens and U.S. Citizens Living Abroad) follow appropriate guidelines.

    • IRM 21.8.1, IMF International Adjustments

    • IRM 21.8.2, BMF International Adjustments

  3. There are a variety of on-line references in addition to the "canned'' or prepared answers in the R-Mail system. Employees have access to the Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP), IRWeb, Westlaw and the IRS Internet web site at http://www.irs.gov/.

21.2.1.57.2  (03-15-2012)
Procedures

  1. The response time objective for answering R-Mail questions is 15 business days.

  2. Always begin with the oldest message (first message) in the queue and proceed in order so questions are answered in the order received (first in, first out).

  3. When appropriate, use "canned" (pre-prepared) answers to address taxpayer inquiries. This improves productivity, accuracy, and consistency of responses.

  4. Depending on the complexity of the message, you may determine that a question is outside the scope of the service. IRM 21.2.1.57.2.2.7, "Out of Scope" Procedures.

  5. Read each message carefully just as you would actively listen to a caller.

  6. As you read the message, use the table below to determine what action is required.

    If And Then
    this is not a federal tax question (e.g., Social Security Administration (SSA), Department of Labor (DOL), State Taxing Authority, Child Support Payment Issues   provide the taxpayer with a source (name, address, phone number) or web site for the information requested
    the question relates to Estate and Gift Tax, Excise Tax, Employment Tax, Partnership and Corporation, Trust or Fiduciary it is out of the scope for Customer Account Services training

    Note:

    Assistors should answer general procedural questions when they are qualified to answer them.

    reclassify to the appropriate application. IRM 21.2.1.57.2.2.6, Reclassification of Messages.
    you have not received training and do not know how to research the taxpayer's question another assistor working your local R-Mail program can answer it move on to the next question
    you have not received training and do not know how to research the taxpayer's question assistors in your local R-Mail program have not been trained on the topic move the message to the Admin Queue. IRM 21.2.1.57.2.2.5, Referrals to the Administrative Queue
    the taxpayer asks for general information on a topic   reply using the appropriate canned answer, if available, and/or refer the taxpayer to the IRS Internet Web site at http://www.IRS.gov/ for additional information or download relevant publications or forms
    taxpayer requests copies of Revenue Rulings, Revenue Procedures, notices, announcements or Chief Counsel Advice   tell the requester how to access these items via the IRS web site and other sources
    the question involves TE/GE, or Exempt Organizations (EO) issues involves an application for approval of tax exempt status (Form 1023, or 1024) , a determination letter, Pub. 78, Cumulative List of OrganizationsForm 8734, Employee Benefit Plans: Sources of Information Backorder Notification; or change in exempt status use the TE/GE canned answer if it addresses the question. You may refer taxpayers to the TE/GE organization web site at http://www.IRS.gov/ if you confirm the answer is there. Otherwise, refer taxpayers to the TE/GE toll-free number at 877-829-5500.

    Note:

    Do NOT refer taxpayers with account questions to this number

    the question involves TE/GE Employee Plans (EP) issues   You may refer taxpayers to the EP web site at: http://www.IRS.gov if you confirm the answer is .there. Otherwise, refer all taxpayers to the TE/GE toll-free number at 877-829-5500
    the question contains complex issues involving tax law, revenue or private letter rulings, regulations, or court decisions   move the message to the Admin Queue. IRM 21.2.1.57.2.2.5, Referrals to the Administrative Queue, unless it meets the reclassification criteria
    the taxpayer makes a complaint about a previous R-Mail reply or a reply received from another IRS source you can clarify the matter and respond appropriately
    the taxpayer makes a complaint about a previous R-Mail reply or a reply received from another IRS source you are not certain how to clarify the matter move the message to the Admin Queue following the procedures in IRM 21.2.1.57.2.2.5, Referrals to the Administrative Queue
    you can provide a partial response but there are other issues that need to be addressed in another application   prepare a partial response and move the message to the appropriate application to address the other issue and to finalize the response.
    the taxpayer requests forms or publications provides a complete mailing address order forms or publications through ELITE System following the procedures in IRM 21.3.6.4.1, Ordering Forms and Publications
    the taxpayer requests forms or publications does not include a mailing address use the "forms and publications" canned answer which provides the various methods available for requesting forms and publications

    Note:

    DO NOT respond by requesting the taxpayer's mailing address.

    the taxpayer offers comments about or suggestions for improving the R-Mail System   move the message to the Admin Queue. IRM 21.2.1.57.2.2.5, Referrals to the Administrative Queue

    Note:

    If the R-Mail System is down, prepare Form 4442 with the R-Mail information and input the inquiry whenever the system becomes operational. The inquiry must be input within 2 days of receipt.

  7. When preparing your response, remember:

    • We provide information, not advice.

    • Make the taxpayer aware of the guidelines used to answer a question. It is the taxpayer's decision how to file his/her tax return.

    • We communicate the IRS position to the taxpayer, not defend it.

    • We assist the taxpayer with complying with the tax law, we do not provide tax planning. Taxpayers who wish to counsel on tax shelters or estate planning should consult professional financial experts or do their own research.

    • Refer students, who are preparing research papers on issues related to the Internal Revenue Code, to their nearest law library and/or advise to do Internet research.

21.2.1.57.2.1  (03-15-2012)
Adding Messages

  1. All users have the ability to add messages or questions to the R-Mail System. These messages are "filed" in chronological order within the selected category.

  2. The assistor is required to tell the taxpayer that she/he will be asking them specific information, related to the tax law question, to enable another assistor to return their call.

  3. The Form/Schedule field is required to be completed.

  4. When adding messages to the Question field adhere to the following:

    • Do not use all capital letters,

    • Use appropriate punctuation, capitalization, and no abbreviations,

    • Do not type unnecessary characters (i.e. #!&), or any series of zeroes,

    • Read the question back to the taxpayer to insure the question is accurate

  5. Complete the Application field by selecting the appropriate tax law subject. If the taxpayer specifically requests several tax law topics be input to the R-Mail System the assistor must place each question into the appropriate application.

  6. Select the Category field, Call Site or the TAC area, to which you are assigned.

  7. Attempt to obtain three Methods of Contact: Primary, Secondary, and Last Resort. Always obtain the taxpayer's first and last name and depending on the method of contact include the following:

    Phone Call Option:

    • Enter a telephone number and also enter the three digit foreign country code when inputting a foreign phone number.

    • Verify the time zone of the taxpayer

    • Ask for the time difference between the country they are calling from and the United States.

    • Enter that difference in the question box.

    • Obtain the best time to call during the normal work hours of 8 a.m. (all time zones) and 6 p.m. PST/PDT.

    • Enter the taxpayer's extension if applicable.

    • Ask if the taxpayer has call blocking. If the contact is by phone complete the Call Blocking box.

    • Advise the taxpayer "If we cannot reach you by phone after two attempts we will make contact using the secondary method."

      Note:

      TP's who leave only a phone option should be advised there will be no response after two failed attempts to contact.

    Postal Mail Responses:

    • Complete the Domestic Address field or the Foreign Address field.

    E-Mail Responses:

    • Complete the e-mail field with a valid e-mail address.

  8. When all necessary information is entered, click on ''Add Question''.

    • Advise the taxpayer we added their question to the active queue,

    • Provide the taxpayer with the message reference number,

    • Inform the taxpayer two attempts will be made to respond within 15 business days.

      Note:

      Do not refuse to take a referral just because you cannot obtain three methods .

21.2.1.57.2.2  (01-15-2009)
Processing Messages

  1. When processing the taxpayers messages there are resources available to help you respond thoroughly to each question such as: canned answers, references, copy and paste, and on-line sources. Always review your answer before sending your reply. If the message is out of scope of your training refer the message to the Administrative Queue or Reclassify the message. The employee identification information generates automatically on R-mail responses.

21.2.1.57.2.2.1  (01-15-2009)
Providing Your Response

  1. You may provide a response to a message by telephone, mail or e-mail. To meet the IRS goal for timely taxpayer contacts always follow the guidelines for taxpayer contacts.

    Note:

    Faxes should not be sent and conversations with third parties are not permissible due to risks of ''Unauthorized Disclosure''.

21.2.1.57.2.2.1.1  (11-03-2010)
Responding by Telephone

  1. Return calls to taxpayers between the hours of 8:00 a.m. (all time zones) and 6:00 p.m. (PST or PDT time zones). The call will be attempted during the time frame (best time) the taxpayer has requested. If the taxpayer provides no secondary method of contact, a second call will be attempted during the same "best" time frame the taxpayer requested on a different day.

  2. When you make outgoing phone calls, or when you leave a voice mail message in response to a taxpayer’s R-Mail inquiry, state the following:

    1. Your Title (e.g., Mr., Mrs., Ms, Miss), Last Name, and Identification (ID) (Badge) Number or, if the new IRS HSPD-12 (SmartID Card) is issued, use all 10 digits of your Personal Identification (PID) Number , OR your First Name, Last Name, and Identification Number (ID) (Badge) Number or, all 10 digits of your PID Number if the new IRS HSPD-12 (SmartID Card) is issued.

    2. You are with the IRS.

    3. Address the taxpayer by name.

    4. You are calling in response to his/her inquiry on (date).

  3. While speaking to the taxpayer, provide accurate and complete information. Explain any procedures and order necessary forms and publications.

  4. You must follow the steps in the Probe & Response Guide. The ITLA enhancement to the P&R Guide replace several pages in the Guide and assistors are required to use the available ITLA Tax Law Categories (TLC), see IRM 21.1.2.3.5, Probe & Response Guide.

  5. If the taxpayer asks additional questions while speaking with them either:

    1. Research the question and provide the answer to the taxpayer.

    2. Provide the taxpayer with Customer Service toll-free number 1–800–829–1040, if the question is not readily researchable or you are not trained on the tax law topic.

    3. Add the message into the R-Mail system as a new message under the appropriate tax law application.

  6. Close the conversation by:

    1. Verifying the callers comprehension by asking if he/she understands information given, and

    2. Courteously thanking the caller for their inquiry and/or apologizing if there was a delay in the response time.

  7. Telephone calls resulting in contact with the taxpayer require the assistor to document the response given and actions taken in the Comments box.

  8. When you have been unable to contact the taxpayer by Telephone, complete the following requirements:

    1. Document the actions taken in the Comments box, including date and time of call(s).

    2. If a second phone attempt is required, select the "call attempted" button to re-queue the question for another call.

    3. Respond using an alternate method of contact which was provided during the initial phone call.

    4. Do not leave confidential tax information on a voice mail message or an answering machine message.

    5. If the taxpayer has no answering machine the assistor must document the Comments box, and then follow procedures for no contact notification. IRM 21.2.1.57.2.2.1.3, Responding by Mail.

21.2.1.57.2.2.1.2  (01-15-2009)
Responding by E-Mail

  1. Thoroughly read complex or multi-part questions to make sure you understand the request.

  2. When responding to the taxpayer's question, start your response with wording that indicates you understand the question.

    • If the answer depends on facts or circumstances not specifically addressed in the question, state your assumptions.

    • If you do not understand the question, admit this to the taxpayer in your response.

  3. Address each question asked by the taxpayer.

  4. Your response must be complete and accurate without overwhelming the taxpayer with extraneous information. Answer the question as specifically as possible; usually, shorter is better.

  5. Use canned answers when appropriate, modifying if necessary to address the taxpayer's specific question. Do not use a canned answer that contains information on a topic but does not address the taxpayer's specific question.

  6. Do not copy long revenue procedures, revenue rulings, notices, etc. into your response (you may copy short items). Use the canned answer which tells taxpayers how to download these items from the IRS Internet Web Site.

  7. Do not provide the items referenced in (6) above as your only response to the taxpayer's question without providing additional explanation, unless the person making the request is a tax professional who specifically requested a copy of the document.

  8. If applicable, always cite the publication, form, or other reference source for your answer.

    Note:

    A statement generates automatically with each response telling the taxpayer how to download or request IRS forms and publications through IRS' website at http://www.irs.gov/.

  9. If the taxpayer refers to an earlier R-Mail inquiry on the same issue, use "Message Query" to locate the previous message to review the response. If the first message is still in queue, you should address both inquiries.

  10. If a taxpayer refers to an earlier unsuccessful search for information in an IRS publication, do not refer him or her back to that same publication unless you are certain the answer is in the publication and can cite the page number, column, and paragraph.

  11. Review your response as required. IRM 21.2.1.57.2.2.4, Review Your Answer .

21.2.1.57.2.2.1.3  (01-15-2009)
Responding by Mail

  1. The R-Mail System enables the assistor to create a No Contact Letter. The letter is to be printed and mailed (by assistors) to the taxpayer when the taxpayer requests a response in writing or other attempts to contact the taxpayer were unsuccessful.

  2. When the taxpayer specifically requests a response in writing, the assistor will create a personal response using the blank paragraph option in the ''No Contact Letter''.

  3. When creating a No Contact Letter response the assistor is required to determine the appropriate paragraph(s) applicable to the taxpayer’s situation.

  4. Review your response as required in IRM 21.2.1.57.2.2.4, Review Your Answer .

21.2.1.57.2.2.1.4  (01-15-2009)
Procedures for Taxpayer Contacts

  1. To meet the goal of timely taxpayer contacts use the following guidelines:

    1. First attempt must be made using the taxpayer's primary method of contact.

    2. If primary method of contact is unsuccessful, and the primary method was a best time telephone call, the assistor has the option to attempt a second best time telephone call or to contact the taxpayer through the secondary contact method.

    3. If steps a & b are unsuccessful, the assistor will create a ''No Contact Letter'' to the taxpayer providing the information requested.

    4. If all attempted contacts are unsuccessful, close the message as ''Closed No Contact (Question Not Answered).''

21.2.1.57.2.2.2  (01-15-2009)
Using ''Canned'' Answers and References

  1. It is required to research the Canned Answers within the ''Canned'' answer database for specific tax law topics related to the taxpayer’s inquiry.

21.2.1.57.2.2.3  (01-15-2009)
''Copy and Paste'' From On-Line Sources

  1. You can copy and paste information from publications and other references from SERP, IRWeb, and the IRS' website at http://www.irs.gov/, and other on-line sources.

  2. Review and edit any material you copy and paste into any replies.

  3. Do not attempt to copy tables and charts.

  4. In many instances you can paraphrase the material you have copied and pasted into the response and make it much clearer to the taxpayer.

  5. If you quote material from a particular publication, reference the source in your reply.

21.2.1.57.2.2.4  (01-15-2009)
Review Your Answer

  1. Your response should be accurate, complete, and presented professionally.

  2. Prior to providing a response, review the question and proofread the answer you prepared.

  3. Check for spelling and grammatical errors if providing a written response.

  4. The tone of your reply is important. Make sure your words do not carry implied meaning that might inadvertently offend the taxpayer.

  5. Do not use all capital letters within a response; this implies shouting or hostility to some people.

  6. Do not use text messaging shorthand abbreviations/lingo when responding in writing.

  7. Prior to calling the taxpayer or sending a written response ask yourself the following questions:

    • Did I answer the taxpayer's question?

    • Have I addressed each (all) of the taxpayer's questions?

    • Did I state my assumptions (for incomplete facts and circumstances)?

    • Is my answer clear and concise? (Don't overwhelm with potentially confusing information).

    • Have I taken out extraneous material from pasted sources?

    • Have I edited jargon or highly technical terminology?

    • Does my answer look and sound professional?

    • Did I check for spelling and grammatical errors?

    • Is the tone appropriate?

    • Did I review the ITLA, Tax Law Category (TLC) or P&R Guide on the tax topic to ensure I did not miss any relevant points?

    Note:

    Make appropriate corrections if you answer "no" to any question.

21.2.1.57.2.2.5  (01-15-2009)
Referrals to the Administrative Queue

  1. Refer questions to the Administrative Queue in the following situations:

    • You need technical assistance or advice about how to respond to the message. (Remember that the message will be unavailable to others while in the Admin Queue, so if you know another assistor can answer it, bypass it rather than take the message out of circulation.)

    • The taxpayer asks a question about IRS business, activities, programs, etc. that is beyond the scope of Customer Account Services training.

    • The question is an exact duplicate of another question. Enter the message number of the question it duplicates and indicate "duplicate" in the Admin Review Comment window.

    • For additional inquiries to refer to the Administrative Queue. IRM 21.2.1.57.2, Procedures, If/Then table.

  2. To move a message to the Administrative Review Queue from the View Screen (before opening it), put a brief statement in the Comment window to explain the reason for the referral (e.g., "duplicate", "bad address", etc.) and click the Administrative Review button.

  3. To move a message to the Admin Review Queue from the Open Message screen (after opening), enter a brief statement in the reply window to explain the reason for the referral (e.g., "duplicate", "bad address", etc.) and click the Administrative Review button.

    Note:

    Messages forwarded to the Administrative Queue include the logon ID of the assistor who placed it there. However, messages returned from Administrative to the general queue do not retain the login ID. If sites wish to get the question back to the same person, assistors must include his/her name in the comments going forward initially. If an assistor needs clarification regarding placing questions in the Administrative Review Queue refer to your manager or local R-Mail Coordinator for guidance.

21.2.1.57.2.2.6  (01-15-2009)
Reclassification of Messages

  1. To reclassify a message while in the View screen (before opening the message):

    • Move the cursor to the Comment window and enter the date of the reclassification, e.g. "reclassified 11-30-08".

    • Include the name and Log In Username of the assistor who placed the message as part of the remarks going forward, e.g. M. Freeman, jack0000.

    • Click the down arrow in front of the ''Reclassify'' button. To access the category list.

    • Highlight the appropriate category and click the ''Reclassify'' button.

    • The message will move to the category you selected.

  2. To reclassify a message while in the Open Message screen (after opening it):

    • Move the cursor to the Comment window and enter the date of reclassification, e.g. "reclassified 11-30-08".

    • Include the name and Log In Username of the assistor who placed the message as part of the remarks going forward, e.g. M. Freeman, jack0000.

    • Click the down arrow in front of the ''Reclassify'' button to access the category list.

    • "Highlight the appropriate category" and click the ''Reclassify'' button.

    • The message will move to the application you selected.

      Note:

      If a message is received in the R- Mail System in an inappropriate application, re-classify the message to the appropriate application. Reclassification of Application can be done by the assistor when it has been determined the message is not in the correct tax law application.

  3. To reclassify a message while in the view screen (after opening it) :

    • Move the cursor to the Comment window and enter the date of the reclassification, e.g. "reclassified 11-30-08".

    • Include the name and login ID of the assistor reclassifying the message, e.g. M. Freeman, jack0000.

    • Include a brief reason for reclassification, e.g. Capital Gains and Loss question – Schedule D.

    • Click the down arrow behind ''Application'' to access the Application list.

    • The message will move to the application you selected.

  4. To reclassify a message while in the open message screen (before opening it):

    • Move the cursor to the Comment window and enter the date of reclassification, e.g. "reclassified 11-30-08".

    • Include the name and login ID of the assistor reclassifying the message, e.g. M. Freeman, jack0000.

    • Include a brief reason for reclassification, e.g. Capital Gains and Loss question – Schedule D.

    • Click the down arrow behind ''Application'' to access the Application list.

    • "Highlight the appropriate application " and click "Save" button.

    • The message will move to the application you selected.

21.2.1.57.2.2.7  (01-15-2009)
''Out of Scope'' Procedures

  1. Do not attempt to answer questions that are beyond the scope of your training. If you are not certain how to answer or research a question, move it to the Admin Queue (or skip it if your site determines locally a more highly skilled assistor will attempt to answer questions prior to moving them to the Admin Queue). Respond to questions you have been trained to answer.

  2. The person managing the Admin Queue will review the question to determine if the question can be addressed by another assistor with the appropriate training.

  3. Individual assistors should make the ''Out of Scope'' determination(s) and send the standard reply to the taxpayer, independent of the managerial review.

  4. As an assistor, you are responsible for using good judgment in making ''Out of Scope'' determinations and advising the taxpayer of their options for obtaining the information requested.

  5. For additional information, use the following resources:

    • IRM 21.3.4.3.7.5, Out of Scope Procedures (for Field Assistance employees).

    • IRM 21.1.1.6.1, Out of Scope and Limited Service for Customer Account Services and Accounts Management

21.2.1.57.2.2.8  (01-15-2009)
R-Mail Assistance Employee Identification (Section 3705)

  1. Employee identification information (last name, employee badge number, and telephone number) generates automatically on R-Mail responses.

  2. The following telephone numbers generate automatically on R-Mail responses:

    • IRS Tax Help Line for Individuals (800) 829-1040

    • Business and Specialty Tax Help Line (800) 829-4933

    • Refund Hot Line (800) 829-1954

    • IRS Forms and Publications Line (800) 829-3676

  3. When appropriate, answers prepared by another function or Chief Counsel that are sent from the Admin Queue should include the name and phone number and/or e-mail address of the person who prepared the response. Generally, this will only apply to very specialized or complex issues requiring extensive research or other unique situations.

21.2.1.57.2.2.9  (08-14-2009)
R-Mail Assistance Searching for Canned Answers

  1. How Do I Search for a Specific Canned Answer

    1. Click on the ''Find Canned Answer'' or ''Insert Canned Answer'' button.

    2. Enter keywords (e.g., mortgage interest, refund, wages, fraud) or the topic number (e.g., 510 or Topic 510) and click ''Search''

    3. The item(s) selected as a result of your search will appear at the top of your screen under ''Search Results.''

  2. Previewing and Copying Canned Answers

    1. Preview allows you to see the content of a canned answer. Highlight the title and click ''Preview.''

    2. After previewing the answer, click back to ''Canned Answer Selection.''

    3. ''Copy Answer'' copies the canned answer into your response. Once the answer is in the reply text box, you may edit it, if necessary.

    4. ''Clear'' deselects any canned answer you have highlighted. You must not have more than one title selected before clicking ''Copy Answer'', or you may not get what you expect in the reply text window.

    5. ''Return to Message'' takes you back to the message processing screen without copying a canned answer.

    6. If you are using Internet Explorer version 3.0, you will not be able to preview or copy canned answers listed below the ''Best Picks'' list.

      Note:

      To resolve this problem, enter your ''keywords'' or the topic number in the search box of the canned answer screen and click on the ''Search'' button. This brings that topic to the top of your screen as a ''Search Result'' which allows you to preview or copy it. You can preview or copy from ''Best Picks ''or '' Search Results''.

    7. If you have a problem ''previewing'' or ''copying'' while using Internet Explorer 4.0, use the ''Clear'' button to deselect the last item and then select the desired ''Canned Answer.''

21.2.1.57.2.3  (10-01-2010)
Searching the Intranet

  1. The IRWeb IRS Intranet web site:

    • The IRS' website is located at #http://irweb.irs.gov/#

    • Click on "Search" in the upper right hand corner of your home page. Enter your search text (key words) in the search box, click ''Go.''

    • This search locates items on the IRWeb the IRS Intranet;

    • Searches of Canned Answers, SERP, Westlaw and IRS.gov should be conducted before going to the Internet.

    • The Intranet will search only government web sites and not other Internet sites.

  2. General Internet Searches:

    • Internet searches are not required to answer most tax law questions. You must have Internet access to search the Internet.

    • When it is necessary to refer the taxpayer to other Internet reference sources, you may need to research before referring the taxpayer to the site.

    • A referral should not be your only response (unless the issue involves a non-IRS matter). A referral should be a recommendation of where the taxpayer can find more information to supplement your response. Before sending the taxpayer to a reference source, verify that it contains the information needed. When referring taxpayers to a non-IRS Web site, refer them for information only. We are not responsible for the validity of data on other sites. Include a statement such as: "Information at this site might be helpful to you. However, the IRS is not responsible for the validity of the information."

21.2.1.57.2.4  (01-15-2009)
R-Mail Assistance IT Contacts

  1. Contact IT (Information Technology) at (866) 743-5748, or at the OS GetServices web site: #http://getservices.web.irs.gov/webtier/ess.do# for assistance with configuring your system.

21.2.1.58  (10-01-2010)
LEXIS-NEXIS and WESTLAW

  1. The LEXIS-NEXIS electronic research contract provides easy research of authoritative information materials, such as:

    • Codes and Regulations (federal/state)

    • Legislation (federal/state)

    • Worldwide News and Business (magazines/newspapers)

    • Corporate and Financial (current assessments, analysts' reports, etc.)

  2. WESTLAW is another electronic research tool used for tax law, advanced topics, news, business, information, and all items referenced other than basic tax law.

  3. "LEXIS or WESTLAW Password" ; IRS ONLY uses the LEXIS portion of "LEXIS-NEXIS" and WESTLAW is omitted entirely in the password context.

  4. All users are "profiled" for LEXIS (to access basic tax law research) and WESTLAW (advance tax law research, news, business, and other resources).

21.2.1.59  (06-08-2012)
Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHOH)Callers and TTY/TDD Equipment

  1. Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHOH) callers who use the TTY/TDD equipment are instructed in Publication 17 to call toll-free, 800-829-4059, for assistance with tax law and account inquiries and/or to order forms and publications. Trained CSRs, using dedicated terminals, in the Atlanta, Dallas and/or Indianapolis call sites, answer both tax law and account calls through the TTY/TDD systems.

  2. To contact IRS, DHOH callers may choose to use the Federal Relay Service (FRS), a state relay service or any other relay service, or any third party assistant (friend or family).

  3. If the taxpayer (through the relay operator) requests an ACS toll-free telephone number, or if the tax account is in a collection status, advise the relay assistant to call:

    • 1-800-829-7650 for W&I ACS sites, or,

    • 1-800-829-3903 for SB/SE ACS sites.

  4. If the call is not tax account related, (i.e., general information or tax law), you may answer any/all questions and assist the taxpayer through any assistant.

  5. If the call is tax account related, before providing tax account information, you must:

    1. Complete required taxpayer authentication (as outlined in IRM 21.1.3.2.3, Required Taxpayer Authentication ) as if you were talking to the taxpayer.

    2. State the following: "Since you have placed this call with the assistance of a Relay Service Operator (RSO), we assume that in doing so, you have consented to the disclosure of your return information to the Relay Services Operator to the extent necessary to assist you with your question."

      Note:

      If the customer does not give oral consent, apologize to the customer (through the RSO) for the inconvenience. Because of disclosure rules, we cannot provide the requested information through this connection without oral consent. These rules were established to protect the privacy of all taxpayers.

    3. Record ODC (Oral Disclosure Consent) statement given as a history item on the IDRS tax module and AMS. However, it is not necessary to record the name and telephone number of the relay service operator on the account. See also IRM 21.1.3.3.2, Oral Disclosure Consent/Oral TIA (Paperless F8821).

    4. Proceed with the call and provide the necessary tax account information.

    Reminder:

    Sometimes the relay services call the regular toll-free assistance lines. Treat calls in the same manner as any other tax assistance calls.

21.2.1.60  (06-08-2012)
Online Payment Agreement (OPA)

  1. Online Payment Agreement (OPA) is an online application that is available from the IRS.gov home page, by clicking "Online Payment Agreement" under the "Tools" link or the "Making a Payment" link.

  2. Individuals who owe $50,000 or less in combined tax, penalties, and interest can use the OPA application to request a payment agreement.

  3. OPA allows taxpayers or their authorized representative (Power of Attorney) to self qualify, apply for an installment agreement (OPA offers the following types of installment agreements: Paperless Direct Debit, Payroll Deduction and Routine), and receive immediate notification of approval.

  4. OPA offers users the ability to:

    • Agree to pay now

    • Arrange a short-term agreement

    • Arrange a monthly payment agreement

    • Establish pre-assessed agreements on current tax year Form 1040 liabilities, or

    • Establish a pending agreement if they cannot pay within 60 months and agree to send in financial information

    • Establish pre-assessed agreements on any new assessments resulting from an examination audit or automated underreporter (AUR) case

  5. The system will also permit individuals to:

    • Revise their payment due dates and/or amounts on an existing agreement.

    • Revise an existing short term extension to a monthly payment plan.

    • Revise a routine installment agreement to a direct debit or payroll deduction plan.

    • Receive information on delinquent tax returns.

  6. The OPA application determines eligibility, filing compliance, and checks for excluding account conditions. The system verifies that the proposed payment meets the streamlined agreement criteria, and provides a financial analysis tool to help determine a realistic payment amount.

  7. Taxpayers are authenticated through the use of their Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and Personal Identification Number (PIN) using the same shared secrets in the automated telephone system.

  8. Taxpayers who want to establish a pre-assessed agreement on a current tax year Form 1040 liability prior to a notice being sent are requested to enter the balance they will owe, as shown on their Income Tax Return. Taxpayers are authenticated through the use of the following shared secrets: SSN or ITIN which appears first on their return; if filing jointly, the spouses SSN or ITIN; Date of Birth (DOB); and Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) from their last year’s Income Tax Return.

  9. Taxpayers who want to establish a pre-assessed agreement after receiving notification of new assessment resulting from an examination audit or Automated Underreporter (AUR) case are requested to enter the balance they will owe, as shown on their CP 2000 or Notice of Deficiency. .They must follow the authentication procedures shown in (8) above.

  10. Power of Attorneys (POA) who have filed Form 2848 with the IRS and are authorized to represent their client(s) (the taxpayer) are required to enter their client’s SSN or ITIN, followed by their own Centralized Authorization File (CAF) number, the six digit Caller ID number from the taxpayer’s notice or signature date on Form 2848. This information is used to ensure that the POA is authorized to represent their client in the OPA application

  11. Power of Attorneys who wish to establish a pre-assessed agreement for their client(s) on a current tax year Form 1040 liability, prior to a notice being sent, are requested to enter the balance owed, as shown on their client’s Income Tax Return. Power of Attorneys who have filed Form 2848 with the IRS and are authorized to represent their client(s) (the taxpayer) are required to enter their client’s SSN or ITIN; if filing jointly, the spouse’s SSN or ITIN; the AGI from the client’s last year’s Income Tax Return; and their own CAF number. This information is used to ensure that the POA is authorized to represent their client in the OPA application.

  12. Users are allowed three attempts to match shared secrets. If they fail the third time, they will receive a failed taxpayer login message that will give them a toll-free phone number to call for assistance.

  13. Transactions that do not post due to system/network problems (e.g., IDRS application down) or account conditions beyond design for the application will be captured in the OPA Management Action Report (MAR) and will be worked by designated personnel in ACS Support and CSCO at Cincinnati (for SBSE), Fresno (for W&I, ACS cases Status 22/24) and Kansas City (for W&I non-ACS cases). For more information, see IRM 5.19.1.5.7.1, OPA Management Action Reports (MAR).

21.2.1.61  (10-15-2012)
eAuthentication

  1. A new IRS online application debuted on August 13, 2012. The eAuthentication registration process will centralize online activity by requiring users to establish an online account to access all future IRS online services. This will replace the previous system where users were required to authenticate for each action and application.

  2. Taxpayers will be required to provide five (5) pieces of information that will be validated against IRS records.

    • Name

    • Social Security Number (SSN) or Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)

    • Date Of Birth (DOB)

    • Address (last two filed returns)

    • Filing Status (FS)

  3. Once the user is authenticated and completes the online process by establishing a user name and password, they can access available online services, including eTranscript, the first new application to make use of the eAuthentication process.

  4. The implementation of eAuthentication and eTranscripts may generate some phone calls as a result of topics such as:

    • Registration problems

    • Account locked/Login issues

    • Forgotten User ID/password

    • Registration Letter received (2940C)

    • System unavailable/technical difficulties

  5. Below is a list of scenarios and the toll free response.

    If Then
    During the initial registration process, the taxpayer receives a message that the information they have entered (Name, SSN, DOB, FS, Address) does not match IRS records. "The information you entered does not match our records. Please verify your information and try again." CSR will authenticate the caller and verify the customer is using the last two filed returns to register. When authenticating, if DOB doesn’t match IRS records, perform high risk (two additional questions) and advise caller to:
    • Contact SSA to correct their DOB and to advise the lender they are unable to complete the authentication and will need to submit a paper Form 4506-T.

      Note:

      If their DOB is correct advise the taxpayer to try again in 24 hours and if they still cannot authenticate to go back to their lender and submit a paper form 4506-T.

    User account is locked out at initial registration (i.e., users has made 3 unsuccessful attempts to enter ID proofing information on the registration screen) and receives a lockout message. "We have locked your account because the information you entered does not match the data on your most recent tax return. If you believe you made a mistake when your entered your data, please try again in 24 hours. If your information has changed recently, please try again in 24 hours using your previous information. If you continue to have difficulty, please call our Help Desk at 888-841-4648." CSR will authenticate the caller and verify the customer is using the last two filed returns. When authenticating, if DOB doesn’t match IRS records, perform high risk (two additional questions) and advise caller to:
    • Contact SSA to correct their DOB and to advise the lender they are unable to complete the authentication and will need to submit a paper Form 4506-T.

    Return taxpayer account is locked as a result of the following:
    • Taxpayer has forgotten their password

    • Taxpayer has attempted to enter password three times and failed

    • Taxpayer receives an online message that the account is locked

    "Your password is invalid. Please try again." (forgot password link is available) Forgot password screen directs taxpayer to answer 2 challenge questions and hit continue. If the taxpayer enters an answer to a challenge question incorrectly the error states "The information you have entered is incorrect. Please try again." During the password reset, if the user does not answer the security questions correctly on the fourth try, they will receive the following error message:" You have exceeded the number of allowed attempts. In order to access your account you must re-register." (use hyperlink to re-register)
    1. CSR would remind the customer that the password is case sensitive, has upper and lower case and at least one special character. If that doesn’t address the issue, ask the customer if they tried the forgotten password link.

    2. Locked Account

      • CSR will advise caller to wait 60 minutes and make an attempt again, referring the caller to the password self help feature.

      • If caller indicates the information is needed immediately or the caller states he/she does not remember either the password or answers to the self-help questions, the CSR will advise taxpayer to re-register.

    Taxpayer has forgotten their User ID. The "Forgot User ID." link is available on the sign-in page. After the taxpayer clicks on the link there is a message directing the taxpayer "To recover your User ID you will have to re-register." CSR will instruct the caller to re-register by selecting the "Forgot User ID" link on the sign in page. Remind the customer once you have completed entering the information. Select continue and sign in.
    If a taxpayer who already has an online account is attempting to access the system but has a Date of Death indicator they will receive the following message: "You successfully created an account but a condition has been identified that is preventing access. Please contact us at 888-841-4648." CSR will probe to determine the message and authenticate the caller (with high risk). Research to determine if a date of death is on the account. If so, advise the customer to contact SSA at 1-800-772-1213 and notify lender they will need to submit Form 4506-T.
    Taxpayer is unable to access the application because they have one or both of the following indicator on their record:
    • ID Theft indicator

    • Date of Death

    • Has not filed a tax return in the past 2 years

    "The information you entered does not match our records. Please verify your information and try again."
    CSR will probe to determine where the customer’s information is failing. Ask if they are registering in the system for the first time or ask if they registered previously and are coming back in to request a new transcript?
    1. If first time registrant, go to scenario one.

    2. If customer registered previously, the assistor will authenticate the caller and verify they have filed a tax return in two previous years.

      • If no returns on file caller refer caller back to lender.

      • If returns on file determine if there is a date of death on the account (high risk authentication needs to be performed before advising TP and referring to SSA and back to the lender.)

    If neither of these two issues is the cause of the error message, the assistor will advise that the customer does not meet the systemic criteria for using eTranscripts (Send My Transcripts) and refer the caller back to the lender for 4506-T submission.
    The taxpayer is attempting to request a transcript for a year for which the tax return does not exist or has not yet been processed (most likely this is being done during the filing season).

    Note:

    Transcripts are not available if a tax return has not been filed or has not yet been processed. The system will create a "No Record Found" record.

    Refer to "Tax Year" Help Topic (eTranscripts WF 032) "There was No Record Found for the transcript you requested. Your No Record Found for [YEAR] will be delivered electronically to [MAILBOX NAME (i.e. Lender/Vendor Name)]."
    CSR will authenticate the caller and advise that there is no record of the account. Ask the customer when they filed the return if it is within 6 weeks, and then the return has likely not been processed. The system will generate a record of no record filing.
    The taxpayer is attempting to request a transcript for a year that does not appear as a selection in the drop-down box. CSR advises the taxpayer that the eTranscripts application only allows the taxpayer to request their tax account and/or tax return transcript for the current year and prior 3 years. Any other years will need to be requested through other available methods (complete Form 4506-T).
    Taxpayer receives a message that their Lender ID does not match our (IRS) records. Refer to eTranscripts WF 041 5x Lender Mismatch. "The Lender ID you have entered does not match our records. Please contact your lender to resolve this issue." CSR directs the taxpayer to contact their bank.
    Taxpayer receives a "Technical Difficulties" error page. CSR asks the nature of the call.
    • CSR directs the taxpayer to try again later.

    Taxpayer receives the message "The application is currently unavailable" . The taxpayer is provided with a date when the system is expected to be back online. Refer to eTranscripts WF 026 - Unavailable Page. CSR asks the nature of the call.
    • CSR directs the taxpayer to try again on the date provided in the message.

    Taxpayer is prevented from successfully completing any of the following due to a technical problem:
    • Password Reset function

    • Registration/Account creation

    • Profile Management (Create or Update)

    CSR asks the nature of the call.
    • CSR directs the taxpayer to try again later.

    Taxpayer has forgotten their Password but not locked out. The "Forgot Password" link is available on the sign-in page. After the taxpayer clicks on the link there is a message directing the taxpayer to "Answer the questions below to change your password." Taxpayer can then enter in their answers to their secret questions. CSR will instruct the caller to select the "Forgot Password" link on the sign in page. Remind the customer once you have completed entering the information. Select continue then enter in their new password and click save.
    Taxpayer received a letter (2940C) notifying them that an online account was created but the taxpayer did not create the account. The letter will read as follows: "Thank you for registering to use IRS online services. If you did not initiate this registration, contact us at 1-888-841-4648, Wednesday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. local time. Please keep your registration profile data current. We will send you a confirmation email each time you update your profile. Letter 2940C (Rev.10-2011)" or After updating their profile in e-Authentication via the profile management link the taxpayer receives an email. The email reads: "We updated your IRS online services profile per your request. We are sending you this email to inform you of the change. We do not require any additional information from you. If you did not request this change or believe your account has been compromised contact us at 1-888-841-4648." Advise the customer of the reason for the notice. The call is complete if the customer acknowledges creating or updating the account. If the customer is still unsure after hearing the explanation, direct them to the 888-841-4648 number. (No authentication required) "You have received this letter/email because you recently created or updated your IRS account or applied for a mortgage loan."
    The taxpayer receives an onscreen message that the transcript they are attempting to request has already been ordered within the last 24 hours. The taxpayer did not make the previous request. Refer to eTranscripts WF 010 – Duplicate Order Error Page "If you did not request this transcript, or you believe it has been more than 2 business days since you requested it, please contact us at 888-841-4648." Advise the customer of the reason for the message. The call is complete if the customer acknowledges ordering the transcript online. If the customer is still unsure after hearing the explanation, direct them to the 888-841-4648 number. (No authentication required) "You have received this message because you have already requested the transcript within the last 24 hours "
    If a taxpayer calls stating they are having trouble with their 508 software interfacing with the eAuthentication application. Refer the taxpayer to the new toll free number. (888-841-4648)


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