21.3.3  Incoming and Outgoing Correspondence/Letters

Manual Transmittal

September 02, 2014

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 21.3.3, Taxpayer Contacts, Incoming and Outgoing Correspondence/Letters, in IRM 21.3, Taxpayer Contacts.

Material Changes

(1) Various editorial changes were made throughout the IRM. Also, cross-references were added, removed, or revised, as appropriate.

IRM Changes
IRM 21.3.3 Removed the reference to dictated letters throughout the entire IRM.
IRM 21.3.3.2 Added a note to see specific IRMs for processing certain notices in the P-21-3 exclusion list.
IPU 14U1126 issued 7-10-2014 IRM 21.3.3.3.4(3) Clarified the content of the opening paragraph.
IPU 14U0541 issued 03-21-2014 IRM 21.3.3.3.4(5) Added information for required correspondence.
IPU 13U1542 issued 10-21-2013 IRM 21.3.3.3.5 Added Brookhaven and Memphis to the rampdown chart.
IRM 21.3.3.4 Added a note to clarify 90 day Statute clearance of returns.
IRM 21.3.3.4(2)(a) Added forms to the note.
IPU 14U0541 issued 03-21-2014 IRM 21.3.3.4.2.1 Added clarification for Letter 86C section.
IPU 14U1126 issued 7-10-2014 IRM 21.3.3.4.2.1(1) Added a note for Accounts Management employees use 45 days in interim letters.
IPU 14U1126 issued 07-10-2014 IRM 21.3.3.4.2.1(2) Added to notate AMS/CIS to include the office you are referring your case.
IPU 14U0839 issued 05-09-2014 IRM 21.3.3.4.2.2(5) Added a reminder to send a final response after an interim letter is sent to the taxpayer.
IRM 21.3.3.4.2.2(5) Added reference for CIS users and removed link.
IPU 14U0839 issued 05-09-2014 IRM 21.3.3.4.2.2.1(2) Added a link for Identity Theft employees sending a final response when there is a balance due.
IPU 14U1126 issued 07-10-2014 IRM 21.3.3.4.2.2.1(2) Clarified when to address a balance due in correspondence to the taxpayer.
IPU 14U1126 issued 07-10-2014 IRM 21.3.3.4.2.2.1(3) Clarified to use an open paragraph if a pre-printed paragraph is unavailable for use.
IRM 21.3.3.4.6 Deleted section for processing paper Form 885-E, these are transmitted electronically by Exam to SSA.
IRM 21.3.3.4.9.2.1 Clarified title for subsection content.
IPU 13U1542 issued 10-21-2013 IRM 21.3.3.4.10.2(7) Added link for status 24 cases with can't pay, won't pay, or will pay later issues.
IPU 14U0219 issued 01-30-2014 IRM 21.3.3.4.10.2(8) Added a reminder for working correspondence cases if they are received in notice status and rolled into status 22.
IPU 14U1126 issued 07-10-2014 IRM 21.3.3.4.10.2.1 Removed status 26 cases and clarified the can't pay, won't pay or will pay later from the chart.
IPU 13U1542 issued 10-21-2013 IRM 21.3.3.4.10.2.1(3) Added a reminder for process status 22 reasonable cause abatement (including penalty appeals) cases.
IPU 14U0789 issued 04-30-2014 IRM 21.3.3.4.10.2.1(6) Clarified inputting TC 470 with no closing code.
IPU 14U0789 issued 04-30-2014 IRM 21.3.3.4.10.2.1.2(2) Removed chart and included a SERP link for ASFR Recon returns.
IPU 14U0789 issued 04-30-2014 IRM 21.3.3.4.13.2(1) Added a link for destroying classified waste.
IPU 14U0789 issued 04-30-2014 IRM 21.3.3.4.13.2(13) Clarified EP and EO undeliverable mail reporting time codes.
IPU 14U0541 issued 03-21-2014 IRM 21.3.3.4.17.1.1(5) Added a note to verify complete adjustments.
IPU 14U1126 issued 07-10-2014 IRM 21.3.3.4.17.1.2(2) Added an example of 86C Letter.
IPU 14U0839 issued 05-09-2014 IRM 21.3.3.4.17.1.2(8) Added clarification on sending 135C Letter to unauthorized third parties and notating the letter on AMS/CIS.
IRM 21.3.3.4.22 Deleted entire section Dictated and Other Special Letters.
IPU 14U0541 issued 03-21-2014 IRM 21.3.3.5.2(5) Added link for processing loose schedules / forms.

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 21.3.3 dated September 6, 2013 (effective October 1, 2013) is superseded. The following IRM Procedural Updates (IPU) issued from October 21, 2013 through May 9,2014, have been incorporated into this IRM: SERP IPU 13U1542, 14U0219, 14U0541, 14U0789, and 14U0839.

Audience

All Operating Divisions and Functions who initiate or resolve taxpayer correspondence.

Effective Date

(10-01-2014)

James P. Clifford
Director, Accounts Management
Wage and Investment Division

21.3.3.1  (10-01-2012)
Incoming and Outgoing Correspondence/Letter Overview

  1. This section serves as a guide for performing tasks involved in processing incoming and outgoing taxpayer correspondence. For more detailed information, refer to The Correspondence Manual - Document 11426 , the central IRM for correspondence.

  2. Correspondex (C) and Service Center (SC) letters are constantly being added, deleted, or revised. Therefore, consider information presented in this section as general guidelines only. You may only use Headquarters approved C letters, SC letters and local use letters not mentioned in this section. See IRM 21.1.2.2.2, IRM 21 - Change Requests.

21.3.3.1.1  (10-02-2012)
Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12)

  1. Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12) is the result of a team formed to review Corporate Critical Success Factor 61 which dealt with existing requirements for the quality and timeliness of responses issued by the Service.

  2. A quality product or response is accurate, timely, and addresses all issues based on the information provided.

  3. Responses must:

    • Address all taxpayer issues

    • Request additional information, if needed, from the taxpayer

    • Notify the taxpayer if additional information is needed from outside the Service

    • Be written in language the taxpayer can understand

  4. See IRM 21.3.3.4.2, Policy Statement P-21-3 (Formerly P-6-12) Procedures.

21.3.3.1.2  (10-02-2012)
Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and Correspondence Requirements

  1. The Internal Revenue Code (IRC) provides guidelines for the Service which covers various issues, including taxpayer contacts.

  2. Where specific IRCs and Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12) guidelines conflict, IRC governs.

  3. Manually generated correspondence must include a contact name, telephone number, and unique employee identification number.

  4. Final response to taxpayer(s) must be initiated by the 30th day from the earliest IRS received date, unless the taxpayer has received an interim letter contact or interim contact has been initiated from the IRS by the 30th day.

21.3.3.2  (10-01-2014)
What is the Definition of Correspondence? - Policy Statement P-21-3 (Formerly P-6-12) Exclusion List

  1. Correspondence is all written communications from a taxpayer or his/her representative, excluding tax returns, whether solicited or unsolicited. This includes:

    1. Written communications in response to IRS requests for information or data.

    2. Written communications, including annotated notice responses, that provide additional information or dispute a notice.

    3. A telephone call that results in a written referral or research (Form e-4442,Inquiry Referral).

    Note:

    Requests for Extensions to Pay are considered Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12) and do require a response.

  2. The key to identifying taxpayer correspondence is to ask the following questions:

    1. Is taxpayer waiting for a response from us?

    2. Is taxpayer waiting for an action to be taken by us?

    3. Is taxpayer asking a question?

  3. The following list includes the work that does not meet the definition of correspondence under Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12):

    Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12) Exclusion List
    Functions:
    Scheme Development Center (SDC), formerly know as Fraud Detection Centers (FDC)
    Facilities
    Training
    Types:
    Delinquent Return - Any original return or amended return received in response to a Return Delinquency Notice
    Substitute Return - Any original return or amended return received in response to a Substitute for Return notice
    Amended returns ( Form 1040X,Form 1120X, etc.)
    Form 941c/94XX
    Tentative Carrybacks ( Form 1045 & Form 1139)
    All extensions to file: Form 4868,Form 7004, and Form 8868
    Employer Identification Number (EIN) Toll-Free Telephone Service
    Centralized Authorization File (CAF) / Power of Attorney (POA)
    Address Changes
    Internal requests between IRS functions may involve taxpayer correspondence. If there is no correspondence from the taxpayer, then the internal request is not considered correspondence (i.e., Form 3870, and Form 3465).
    Correspondence received only indicating a payment made.
    Form 8849, Claim for Refund of Excise Taxes, with no taxpayer correspondence attached.
    Other Exclusions:
    Correspondence not directly dealing with a taxpayer's account
    All correspondence received in response to IRS solicitations for information necessary to secure or complete the processing of a tax return. This exclusion may include responses to solicitations as the result of internal transcripts or the solicitation was solely to secure or complete the processing of a tax return in order to resolve the transcript issue. (Suspense files in Document Perfection, Rejects, Unpostables, Notice Review, etc.).

    Note:

    Correspondence attached to a return, addressing issues not directly related to the return is taxpayer correspondence.

    Child Support Enforcement (i.e., dealing with an agency, not a taxpayer)
    Responses to IRS third party solicitations (e.g., Automated Collection System (ACS) requests for Employment Verification, etc.)
    Fed/State Program
    Schedules filed without return
    Telephone inquiries are not correspondence when responses are provided at the time of the inquiry. Calls received on Code-a-phones or for personnel temporarily away from their work station, are not correspondence if a response is provided by telephone to the taxpayer within a reasonable amount of time. Generally, this means within hours rather than days, but no longer than a 48 hours.

    Note:

    If the call is reduced to writing for future research or referral to another person/area, then it becomes correspondence.

    Incoming replies from a third party (i.e., state certifications, Federal Tax Deposit (FTD) verification, etc.)
    Mag Tape Lists
    Frivolous Correspondence - See IRM 21.5.3.4.16.7, Identifying Frivolous Returns/Correspondence and Responding to Frivolous Arguments.
    Internal Computer Paragraph notices and transcripts. However, incoming replies to solicited information needed to resolve these are considered correspondence, unless the only reason for the solicitation was to secure or complete the processing of a tax return in order to resolve the transcript issue.
    Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) cases - when the taxpayer does not expect an answer from the campus.
    Form 8379 - Injured Spouse Allocation
    Requests on Form 4506 for copies of tax returns
    Responses to Computer Paragraph (CP), CP 08,CP 09,CP 27,CP 85A,CP 85B,CP 85C,CP 87A,CP 87B,CP 87C, and CP 87D

    Note:

    See specific IRMs for guidance on processing the above notices.

21.3.3.3  (10-01-2004)
Correspondence Research

  1. This section discusses research, definitions, and references to various laws and guidance background, and provides information about the Submission Processing Consolidation (Rampdowns).

21.3.3.3.1  (10-01-2014)
OMB Codes for Forms

  1. Public Law 104-13, Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, requires that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approve forms or documents before they are issued.

  2. Items that carry OMB information can be classified into two categories:

    1. Information Collection Requests (ICRs) - A form, letter, notice, or other document used to request necessary information from at least 10 taxpayers. Each ICR is assigned a unique OMB number.

      Example:

      ICRs include major tax forms and instructions, public use forms, C, (SC), and (SC/Submission Processing (SP)) letters, draft letters, and CP notices.

    2. Document Perfection Requests (DPRs) - Also used to request information from at least 10 taxpayers. However, each DPR is not assigned a unique OMB number. Rather, it carries the OMB number of the document it perfects. An expiration date is not required on DPRs. DPRs include: public-use forms, C - (SC), and (SC/SP) letters, draft letters, CP notices, quick notes, and Form 5260 (C-NOTES).

  3. OMB number and expiration date must be typed or computer generated on ICRs.

  4. DPRs must carry OMB number of parent form.

    1. Refer to OMB Index Listing on the Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP) for assigned OMB number and OMB code for each form at: OMB Index Listing .

    2. Use OMB code to input DPR C Letters. Refer to IRM 2.4.6,Command Codes LETER, LPAGE, LPAGD, LETUP, LETED, LLIST and LREVW, for input procedures for OMB code.

    3. A quick note can be a DPR. If it is used to request information to perfect a document, it must include the OMB number of the form to which the question refers.

    4. Do NOT use a C-NOTE to request information related to a form not included in OMB Clearance Index.

    5. Input of OMB code will enter OMB number on C-NOTE.

    6. Initiator is responsible for entering the OMB number on quick note.

  5. OMB requires that OMB number and expiration date appear in upper right corner of documents.

  6. ICRs must contain Paperwork Reduction Act Notice Language.

21.3.3.3.2  (10-01-2011)
Potentially Dangerous Taxpayers (PDT) and Caution Upon Contact (CAU)

  1. The Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer (PDT) and Caution Upon Contact (CAU) system identifies taxpayers who may pose a threat to the safety of IRS employees whose official duties require personal contact with taxpayers. The Office of Employee Protection (OEP) is responsible for administration and maintenance of the PDT database. See IRM 21.1.3.11,Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer (PDT) or Caution Upon Contact (CAU) Indicators. , for current procedures for working PDT cases.

  2. You can ascertain that a taxpayer has been designated as potentially dangerous by an indicator. The PDT or CAU indicator will appear in the upper right-hand section of the document or system display. For more information see IRM 25.4.1, Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer, or IRM 25.4.2, Caution Upon Contact.

21.3.3.3.3  (10-01-2006)
Correspondence Function Responsibility

  1. Initiate the appropriate letter when you receive a request for a statement or certification of a taxpayer's account, or for a copy of a record of assessment under the provision of IRM 21.2.3,Transcripts.

  2. Follow disclosure provisions in IRM 21.1.3.2,General Disclosure Guidelines.

  3. Process "discovered remittances" in accordance with IRM 3.8.46, Discovered Remittance.

    Exception:

    For remittances found with misdirected tax returns that do NOT belong to IRS, see IRM 3.10.72,Receiving, Extracting, and Sorting.

  4. Expedite the resolution of all disaster correspondence or claims.

21.3.3.3.4  (07-10-2014)
Quality and Timely Responses

  1. Key terms are defined below:

    1. A quality response is one that is timely, accurate, and professional. Based on information provided, a quality response resolves taxpayer's issues, requests additional information from him/her, or notifies him/her that we have requested information from outside the IRS.

    2. A quality response must be written in language the taxpayers can understand.

    3. Timely means that a final response or interim letter was initiated within 30 days of the IRS received date. However, when possible, you should try to initiate quality responses in less time.

  2. For letters addressed to outside sources, reference the date of the incoming letter or inquiry and explain fully the action taken, even if it was exactly what the addressee requested.

  3. Your final or interim letter response must read either . . . – "This is in response to your inquiry of " or "This is in response to your inquiry dated " ___. If the inquiry is a letter that is not dated, use the postmark date. If that date is unknown, use a date three days prior to IRS received date. If the inquiry is in the form of a fax, use the date the fax was transmitted to us. If inquiry is received from a Taxpayer Assistance Center use the IDRS received date. See IRM 21.5.1.4.2.4 , Received Date – Determination.

    Exception:

    If the closing action you take will generate a notice with a clear explanation to the taxpayer (for example, CP 210,CP 220, or CP 225, etc.), a final closing letter to the taxpayer is unnecessary.

  4. See IRM 21.3.3.4.2.2, Interim Responses, for specific instructions regarding interim letters.

  5. Required correspondence are quality and timely responses when responding to a taxpayer’s correspondence per Policy Statement P-21-3 (Formerly P-6-12). See also IRM 21.3.3.2, What is the Definition of Correspondence? - Policy Statement P-21-3 (Formerly P-6-12) Exclusion List. To ensure you are adhering to P-21-3 correspondence guidelines, check the following information before sending your closing letter:

    1. The correct letter is selected.

    2. The letter is addressed to the taxpayer or authorized representative.

    3. Transcript of the account is included, if requested.

    4. All applicable enclosures / attachments are included.

    5. All necessary paragraph(s) are selected.

    6. Correct paragraphs are selected.

    7. Fill-in paragraph(s) addresses the taxpayer’s correspondence; includes appropriate, accurate, and complete information.

    8. If the information required will not fit within the fill-in paragraph, select another paragraph that will provide the appropriate Information (e.g., when including balance due information).

21.3.3.3.5  (10-21-2013)
Submission Processing Consolidation (Rampdown)

  1. Due to the continued increase in electronic filing of returns, the need for returns processing and related functions continues to decrease.

  2. Several Wage and Investment Submission Processing (SP) sites will cease operations, or "Rampdown" . Submission Processing support functions of that site will be transferred to a(n) SP support site. Some of the mail activities will be absorbed by Accounts Management (AM) at that SP site. Still other activities will be transferred to another SP site (returns processing).

  3. It is important to remember that the SP sites that rampdown will still house other functions such as Appeals, Agency Wide Shared Services (AWSS), Information & Technology Services (IT), Disclosure, Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), Scheme Development Center, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), Compliance, and Accounts Management. Only SP will rampdown.

  4. When instructions direct that something be referred or routed to any function normally located at a(n) SP Site, it is the responsibility of the person making the referral to determine the correct SP location. Use the table below to route returns to the appropriate Submission Processing campus.

    Return received in: Transhipped for processing to:
    Andover IMF returns Fresno
    Andover BMF returns Cincinnati
    Atlanta IMF returns Kansas City
    Atlanta BMF returns (Form 1120, Form 940, Form 941, Form 1065, Form 1041, Form 7004, Form 709, Form 706, and Form 720) Cincinnati
    Atlanta BMF returns (Form 990, Form 1120PC, Form 1120POL, Form 5330, Form 944, Form 945, Form 8868, Form 5558, and Form 5578.) Ogden
    Brookhaven IMF returns Fresno
    Brookhaven BMF returns Cincinnati
    Memphis IMF returns Fresno
    Memphis BMF returns Ogden
    Philadelphia BMF International returns Ogden
    Philadelphia IMF Domestic returns Kansas City
    Philadelphia IMF International returns Austin

21.3.3.4  (10-01-2014)
Correspondence Procedures

  1. This section provides procedures for correspondence. Analyze each case and determine the nature of request or the problem. In reaching each determination, use all research capabilities available such as IDRS, Accounts Management Services (AMS), microfilm, Correspondence Imaging System (CIS), Command Code TRDBV, etc. to resolve the problem. Open cases must NOT remain uncontrolled more than 14 days from receipt at IRS. Refer to IRM 21.5.1.4.2.2,Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS) Control Procedures, for more information on controlling cases.

    Note:

    Amended returns and internal transcripts are not subject to these correspondence procedures.

  2. After making the initial determination, take one or more of the following actions:

    1. Use appropriate pre-composed C, Headquarters pre-approved SC or SC/SP letters. If preparing a Quick Note, it must be reviewed by the lead or manager.

      Note:

      If Spanish-language correspondence or form is received, you must reply using the Spanish version of the appropriate C letter, if one is available.

    2. Research available IRS publications, IRC, and other sources to answer nontechnical or pre-filing questions.

    3. Refer inquiries unrelated to adjustment activities to the proper area.

  3. Statute Periods - You must follow procedures in IRM 25.6,Statute of Limitations. Hand carry potential statute documents or returns to the Statute Unit. Documents or returns that have been "cleared" by Statute do NOT need to be cleared a second time.

    Note:

    The Statute stamp is valid for 90 calendar days. The Statute function must clear the return again if the assessment has not been made within 90 calendar days of the clearance.

  4. Reject and Unpostable - If a reject (RJ), nullified unpostable (NU), or unpostable (Unnn) transaction Status indicator appears in TXMOD display, prepare Form 5102,IDRS Expedite Routing Slip, for each correspondence item. Then route package to Rejects or Unpostables, if initiated by those areas. They will suspend there. If correspondence was NOT initiated by Reject or Unpostables, route to appropriate function for coordination and resolution with Rejects and Unpostables.

21.3.3.4.1  (10-02-2012)
Case Control and Inventory Management

  1. It is imperative that all correspondence be controlled correctly, in a timely manner. Good inventory management is a necessity. If cases are controlled correctly and timely, using the tools available, good inventory management is easier.

  2. The procedures that follow are the basic steps for controlling and working inventory for all correspondence received from taxpayers. Specific IRM references are included. Consult those IRM references for the most complete instructions.

    Reminder:

    These are instructions for working correspondence Policy P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12) and do not address non-Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12) cases. See IRM 21.3.3.2, What is the Definition of Correspondence? - Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerlyP-6-12) Exclusion List , for Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12) Exclusion List.

    1. Determine if the case should be worked in your area. If not, refer case to appropriate area/office using procedures in IRM 21.3.5,Taxpayer Inquiry Referrals Form 4442. Also see IRM 21.3.3.4.10.Taxpayer Inquiries and Complaints.

    2. Use Command Code (CC) SUMRY to determine if there are open controls in other campuses. If so, refer case to appropriate campus and send Letter 86C, Referring Taxpayer Inquiry/Forms to Another Office., See IRM 21.3.3.4.2.1,Use of 86C Letter - Referring Taxpayer Inquiry/Forms to Another Office.

    3. Determine earliest IRS received date of correspondence. See IRM 21.5.1.4.2.4,Received Date- Determination.

    4. Control all correspondence by the later of 14 days from the earliest IRS received date or 3 business days from receipt in controlling area. See IRM 21.5.1.4.2.2, Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS) - Control Procedures, for more information on controlling cases.

    5. Control cases using the appropriate status code and category code (PAYT or TPRQ). Due to the 45-day aging criteria of correspondence, do not change the category code to a non-correspondence category code. Taxpayer-initiated correspondence received from another IRS office/area must still be controlled with the appropriate category code. Category codes can be located in the Document 6209, Section 14.

    6. Suppress all balance due notices (CC STAUPS/Transaction Code 470) while the case is in your inventory. You must adjust or release the hold as appropriate when you close the case or route it to another area. See IRM 21.5.2.4.8.2,Suppressing Balance Due Notices.

    7. Follow all Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12) guidelines on all taxpayer correspondence cases. See IRM 21.3.3.4.2,Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12) Procedures.

    8. Issue an interim letter response when you are unable to issue a final response to the taxpayer within 30 days of receipt. See IRM 21.3.3.4.2.2,Interim Responses.

    9. Any action taken while the case is in your inventory must be documented and on IDRS and CIS/AMS updated appropriately. Follow procedures outlined in IRM 21.5.1.4.5,Suspense Folders, when suspending any case. Report any action taken (for example: requesting document from Files) and update the IDRS history and/or status as appropriate.

      Note:

      The received date as reflected on IDRS remains the same until the case is closed.

      Reminder:

      For non-CIS users, when sending letters to taxpayers, you must use the IDRS control base "S" (Suspense). This is only required when the Service sends out a letter and is waiting for a response from the taxpayer.

  3. When ready to close the case, ensure all applicable actions are taken.

    • Will the taxpayer receive a notice of adjustment or credit transfer sufficient to explain all issues raised by the taxpayer?
      If not, you must send an appropriate letter. See IRM 21.3.3.4.16Outgoing Correspondence.

    • Will an adjustment or credit transfer bring the balance to zero or debit?
      If not, release/reduce holds as appropriate.

    • Did taxpayer request a refund?

    • Did you reverse all misapplied payments and offsets?

    • Did you check that there are no other open controls or that no additional correspondence has been received?

21.3.3.4.2  (10-02-2012)
Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12) Procedures

  1. This subsection addresses guidelines and procedures to follow in working cases that meet Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12) criteria.

  2. Many types of correspondence are excluded from Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12) but may still require a response, depending on the program being worked. The Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12) Exclusion list is not all-inclusive. Other exclusions exist. Each piece of correspondence must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine if it meets Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12) criteria. See IRM 21.3.3.2,Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12) Exclusion List.

  3. When a particular program has correspondence guidelines, the program procedures govern. For example, a particular program may require that you contact the taxpayer within 10 days instead of the 30 days required under Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12) guidelines.

21.3.3.4.2.1  (07-10-2014)
Use of 86C Letter - Referring Taxpayer Inquiry/Forms to Another Office

  1. The taxpayer must be notified when transferring the taxpayer's correspondence to another office for resolution. These procedures are based on the Policy Statement P-21-3. The Letter 86C serves as an interim letter to the taxpayer and there may be a delay in receiving a final response or action taken on their account. The Letter 86C will include the same elements as other interim letters. You must inform the taxpayer using Letter 86C or by telephone, that their case is being transferred to another office when any of the situations in paragraph 3 exists. The Letter 86C will be the closing letter for the transferring office.

    Note:

    Accounts Management employees use 45 days in interim letters.

  2. Annotate AMS /CIS either that you notified the taxpayer their case is being transferred to another office by telephone, or that you sent Letter 86C and the date of the action.

  3. Letter 86Cis required when any of the situations below exist, unless you inform the taxpayer by telephone that their case is being transferred. (Many addresses for various IRS locations can be found on SERP under the WHO/WHERE tab.)

    • The case must be worked by a non-IRS office, such as a state, local, or other federal agency.

    • The case must be worked by IRS International at the Philadelphia campus for individual taxpayers (IMF) and Ogden / Cincinnati campus for business taxpayers (BMF). (Unless the case is transferred within CIS/AMS)

    • The case must be worked by a centralized program located at one campus location such as Excise, Tax Exempt & Government Entities (TE/GE), and Innocent Spouse, etc.

    • The case must be worked by a non-campus, such as a field office or the TAS office.

    • When sending from one campus to a different function in another campus. (i.e. work from Accounts Management at one site transferred to Examination in another site).

    • The case is an original return or an amended return with correspondence attached.

  4. Letter 86C is not necessary when:

    • Sending between different functions at the same campus, regardless if they are in different buildings

    • Sending cases within the same AM functions where CIS/AMS is used to transfer the case electronically (i.e., IMF campus to a BMF campus or BMF campus to an IMF campus).

      Note:

      This includes work reassigned as part of inventory balancing.

    • Sending original or amended returns with no correspondence attached.

    • Identifying and correcting a transshipment error.

  5. Provide the taxpayer with a contact name and/or telephone number when possible. If a specific name and number is not available, use the general toll-free number closing paragraph.

21.3.3.4.2.2  (10-01-2014)
Interim Responses

  1. If you cannot initiate a final response within 30 days from the earliest IRS received date, you must initiate an interim response.

    Exception:

    On Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit; if you cannot issue a final response within 180 days from the received date of the taxpayer’s complete and legible documentation received, then an interim letter is required. See IRM 21.9.2.2.1,Identity Theft Time Frame, for more information.

  2. In the interim letter, you must tell the taxpayer when they can expect a final resolution. The promised resolution date may be any number of days and can vary depending upon the program being worked. The promised resolution date does not have to be in increments of 30 days.

  3. If the letter is manually generated, you must provide the name, telephone number, and unique identification number of a contact person. See IRM 21.3.3.4.16.1Preparation of Outgoing Correspondence.

  4. Non-manually generated correspondence letters, such as 2645C, Interim Letter, generated by clerical staff or AMS/CIS, can provide only a toll-free telephone number.

  5. You must issue subsequent interim letters with the specific reason for the delay if you cannot provide a final response by the promised resolution date. For CIS users, subsequent interim letters are sent systemically.

    Reminder:

    If an interim letter is sent and the action taken does not generate a final response to the taxpayer, a closing letter must be sent.

  6. Telephonic interim responses are acceptable. Keep written documentation of call with the case.

21.3.3.4.2.2.1  (10-01-2014)
Required Information

  1. An interim letter must:

    • Identify the reason a final response is delayed

    • Specify when the final response will be mailed

    • Include the name, telephone number, and unique employee identification number of a contact person

    Note:

    Where feasible, the contact name should be someone familiar with the issue(s).

  2. If there is a balance due, it must be addressed on all manually generated correspondence. You are required to provide a balance due only on the tax period the taxpayer raises in their letter See IRM 21.3.3.4.16.1 (2)Preparation of Outgoing Correspondence, for the definition of manually generated correspondence. You must provide the correct amount due. Use the available balance due language in the current C letters and include the following information:

    • The dollar amount of the penalty(s) and/or interest, including new accruals

    • The title (name) of the penalty or interest

    • The code section under which the penalty or interest is assessed

    • Information on how to request detailed information on the method used to compute the penalty or interest, such as a PINEX notice

    Note:

    The title (name) of the penalty and the code section may be available in the generic selective paragraphs in the Correspondex letter.

    Exception:

    Compliance employees only - when handling an installment agreement request or an account with a previously approved installment agreement, follow procedures in IRM 5.19.1.1.3, Balance Due Outgoing Correspondence Guidelines.

    Exception:

    If account is in bankruptcy (status 72) or Offer in Compromise(OIC) (status 71), provide only the balance due. Do not request payment or use the balance due paragraph in the C letters. Use an open paragraph to give only the balance due. Making a request for payment is a violation of the automatic stay.

    Exception:

    Identity Theft Employees (IDT) only - see IRM 21.6.2.4.2.5.5, Actions Required on All Streamline Case Processing, for closing IDT cases with a balance due.

  3. If you are unable to provide an accurate balance due, input CC STAUP to temporarily delay notices and use the pre-printed paragraph in the notices that informs the taxpayer of this delay. Also use the pre-printed paragraph in the letters that tells taxpayers they can still make payments to reduce their tax liability and interest.

  4. Research IDRS for an active installment agreement. If the account is in Installment Status (Status 60), inform the taxpayer the installment agreement is still in effect and to continue making scheduled payments. This is currently a pre-printed selection in the letters.

  5. If the taxpayer made a payment with his/her correspondence, it must be addressed in manually generated letters.

21.3.3.4.2.3  (02-21-2013)
Correspondence Date (Corr Date)

  1. Input a Correspondence Date, "CORRESP - DT" on CC REQ54, when working correspondence under Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12). Input the Corr Date using the following priority:

    1. The date the taxpayer's correspondence was prepared or signed

    2. Envelope postmark date or the transmission date on the taxpayer's fax

    3. Three days prior to the IRS received date

    4. Current date

      Exception:

      When there is no monetary adjustment (i.e., Transaction Code (TC) 290 .00, TC 180 .00) and no notice will be generated, it is not a requirement to input the correspondence date using REQ54.

  2. If your case is an amended return or other type of work specifically excluded from Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12), you do not have to use a Corr Date. See IRM 21.3.3.2 (3) What is Correspondence? - Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12) Exclusion List.

  3. In both instances, the same adjustment notice generates to the taxpayer. The only difference is that an adjustment input with a Corr Date includes the sentence; "This is the result of your inquiry of (fill in). "

  4. If working a case excluded from Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12) and the explanation on the adjustment notice will not be sufficient, you must write or call the taxpayer with a more detailed explanation.

  5. When working multiple issues of the same type of form that are excluded from Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12), a date may be used as a means of identification by the taxpayer.

    Note:

    If no correspondence is attached, use the signature date.

21.3.3.4.2.4  (10-02-2008)
Toll-Free Telephone Numbers

  1. When providing the taxpayer with a contact number, provide a toll-free number whenever one is available.

  2. If the program or function that will work the case has their own toll-free number, provide that number in the contact paragraph of the letter.

  3. Taxpayers must be provided the appropriate toll-free number:

    Toll-Free Telephone Numbers:
    For Programs or Functions that have their own toll-free number:
    • Estate and Gift (E&G) 1-866-699-4083

    • Excise 1-866-699-4096

    • TE/GE accounts & tax law issues 1-877-829-5500

    • Taxpayer Advocate Service 1-877-777-4778

    For Programs or Functions that do not have their own specific toll-free number:
    • W&I accounts 1-800-829-0922

    • IMF SB/SE accounts 1-800-829-8374

    • Taxpayers with EIN 1-800-829-0115

      Note:

      These numbers should only be given to taxpayers through written correspondence.

    Note:

    Additional Toll-Free number information can be found on SERP, under the Who/Where tab, Telephone Numbers (frequently requested by Taxpayers), at The Source for Telephone Numbers.

21.3.3.4.3  (10-01-2004)
Disposition of Returns

  1. Dispose of returns using the following guidelines:

    1. Refile numbered returns.

    2. Route unnumbered returns for processing.

    3. Destroy unsigned copies of filed returns and other material as classified waste when it is no longer needed for use in developing a case. See IRM 21.5.1.4.10,Classified Waste.

  2. Destroy illegible returns once you have determined they are unidentifiable.

21.3.3.4.4  (10-01-2004)
Requesting Research Data, Returns, or Documents

  1. Use IDRS research capabilities to the fullest extent for correspondence, control, and research. Use Corporate Files On Line (CFOL) command codes, whenever possible, to obtain information before ordering a MFTRA or requesting a document from Files.

  2. Do NOT request original return if sufficient information is available through CFOL. CFOL provides on-line access to current MF information for users in any campus through telecommunications network. Using CFOL command codes saves time and reduces unpostable conditions. CFOL command codes are available even when IDRS is down or NOT available.

21.3.3.4.5  (10-01-2013)
Examination Support Function Procedures

  1. Examination Support function is responsible for maintaining files for Examination Classification. This function may be located within Taxpayer Relations Operations or Examination Operations, or Compliance Services, depending on the organization.

  2. Examination Support function is responsible for controlling "Prompt Audit" requests and for securing all returns needed for classification. Batch "Prompt Audit" requests and keep separate from other campus Examination Classification cases. If cases have statute implications, expedite processing to the Examination Classifier. Refer all completed cases to Examination function following current control and recharge procedures.

  3. Receipt and Control function routes certain Forms 2275,Records Request, Charge and Recharge, to Examination Support function. These items have been detached from returns and contain the Document Locator Number (DLN) of the document. A notation on Form 2275 indicates "Document being processed. Hold in suspense for 30 days."

    1. Maintain these items in a suspense file for 30 days.

    2. After 30 days has elapsed, forward Form 2275 to Return Files function.

    3. If item is returned indicating return is, e.g., "Not in Files" , wait 15 days and request return again.

    4. If the return is not received at the end of this time, follow appropriate Examination procedures to determine next action.

    5. Items associated by Return Files function are forwarded directly to requester.

  4. For incorrectly filed Forms 1120 ("loss" return), Examination Support function is responsible for obtaining Form 1040 for each shareholder identified on attached Schedules K-1. These procedures apply to SBSE Examination campus service:

    1. A Form 1120S fails to post with Unpostable Code 310 because of an established Form 1120 filing requirement (no Form 2553 filed or Form 2553 disallowed). Unpostable function initiates correspondence. If taxpayer fails to respond or sends an unsatisfactory response, nullify Unpostable Form 1120S and route to Examination Support function. Taxpayer still must file a Form 1120 consequently, if he/she does not, a TDI type action is taken.

    2. Secure a Form 1040 for all taxpayers listed as stockholders on Form 1120S.

    3. Assemble all Forms 1040 for each Form 1120S. When you receive all these Forms 1040, route Form 1120S and related Forms 1040 to Examination Division on a Form 4227, lntra-SC Reject or Routing Slip. Annotate on this form," Form 1120S incorrectly filed, shareholder returns that may have incorrectly claimed a loss from this Form 1120 are attached" .

  5. SBSE Examination Support function receives all claims for credit or refund, notices of elections, or reinstatements of elections filed under IRC section 2032A or those that contain a reference to Form 706,United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, Valuation Election. Upon receipt, route all such claims, notices, etc. to the Centralized Estate & Gift Department located at the Cincinnati Compliance Services Center.

21.3.3.4.6  (10-01-2011)
Routing of Form 8596 and 8596-A Information Reporting on Federal Contracts

  1. Form 8596 and Form 8596-A are only processed at Kansas City. Forward all correspondence or replies received in reference to these forms to:

    Kansas City Campus
    IRP Group M/S 6052 Bldg S-1
    333 W Pershing Rd.
    Kansas City, MO 64108-4302

21.3.3.4.7  (01-25-2007)
Routing of Form 4219, Statement of Liability of Lender, Surety, or Other Person for Withholding Taxes

  1. Research IDRS to determine if Collection Case Assignment has been established. If so, forward Form 4219,Statement of Liability of Lender, Surety, or Other Person for Withholding Taxes, to controlling employee at the appropriate field office.

  2. If no Collection Case assignment is present on IDRS, forward Form 4219 to the Advisory Group that services employer’s address.

  3. If there is a field office stamp on Form 4219, complete the appropriate form to associate Form 4219 with the employer's Form 941.

21.3.3.4.8  (10-01-2004)
Incoming Correspondence

  1. This section identifies various types of correspondence received at a processing campus and provides procedures for handling.

  2. The goal in routing is to associate taxpayer inquiries with information or documents needed to respond to the taxpayer.

  3. A taxpayer inquiry may be routed to the appropriate area during the sorting process or after further analysis in Correspondence function. In either case, route the inquiry to secure all information needed to reply to taxpayer.

  4. Route all inquiries using appropriate routing transmittal.

  5. Ideally, one office should assume responsibility for responding to an incoming inquiry and any related correspondence. Therefore, try to consolidate correspondence and copies into one area functionally responsible for preparing the reply. The responding office determines and initiates the appropriate action on the account. See IRM 21.5.2.3,Adjustments Guidelines Research.

  6. Also use IRM 3.10.72,Receiving, Extracting, and Sorting, IRM 3.13.62,Media Transport and Control, and local guidelines in conjunction with this IRM for routing correspondence to appropriate area.

21.3.3.4.9  (10-01-2014)
Taxpayer Inquiries and Complaints

  1. Taxpayer Complaints - The employee's team manager ensures that taxpayer complaints are identified and handled promptly. Handle this type of correspondence separately and expeditiously from regular work flow. See IRM 21.1.3.16,Taxpayer Complaints/Compliments about IRS Service.

  2. TAS - Business Operating Divisions (BODs) should not refer cases to TAS if they can resolve, or take steps to resolve, the taxpayer's issue within 24 hours (same date resolution). However, cases where the employee cannot resolve the issue within 24 hours, but has taken steps within 24 hours to resolve the taxpayer's issue, also meet the definition of same day. Do not refer these cases to TAS, unless the taxpayer asks to be transferred to TAS.

    Note:

    It is important that all IRS employees handle potential TAS cases with the taxpayer's best interest in mind. Route inquiries meeting Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) criteria which cannot be resolved within 24 hours to the Taxpayer Advocate's office on Form 911,Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance, within one business day of determining that TAS criteria may apply.

    See IRM 13.1.7,Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Case Criteria, and IRM 21.1.3.18, Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Guidelines.

  3. Embarrassment to the Service - When correspondence is critical or involves issues that could cause embarrassment to the Service (e.g., reaction to notices involving levies), contact the function in the campus, area or field office, or other agency, directly (by telephone) to alert them that correspondence has been received and is being directed to their office.

  4. Field Office - Forward taxpayer replies to correspondence received in a campus to proper field office, unless the case has been reassigned to a particular campus.

  5. Centralized Processing - Forward all correspondence relating to returns that receive centralized processing, for example, Excise Tax, to appropriate campus for processing, unless otherwise specified. These include taxpayers living in foreign countries, Form 6069,Return of Excise Tax on Excess Contributions to Black Lung Benefit Trust Under Section 4953 and Computation of Section 192 Deduction, Form 990-BL, Information and Initial Excise Tax Return for Black Lung Benefit Trusts and Certain Related Person, International, and many other programs and issues. Document date Letter 86C was sent and date initiated.

  6. Routing Transmittal - Use appropriate transmittal to route all incoming correspondence that relates to an IDRS controlled case assigned to a function or specific examiner to that assigned area.

  7. Form 3699 - Use Form 3699,Return of Documents to Taxpayer, to return documents submitted by taxpayer but not required to process inquiry. Examples of such items are receipts, canceled checks, Form W-2, and original Form W-4.

  8. Signature Requirements - If taxpayer wants to know why a signature is needed, advise that IRC Section 6061 requires original signatures on returns and in certain other situations. Exceptions to original signature requirement apply to Form 1040NR and Form 1041 (Rev. Rul. 68-500).

    Note:

    Check specific program guidelines for exceptions to this policy. The Service's Fax Policy allows us to accept a faxed signature in many instances when we make taxpayer contact. Refer to IRM 21.5.3.4.2, Tax Decrease or Credit Increase Processing, for these procedures.

  9. Form 14157-A - Form 14157-A , Tax Return Preparer Fraud or Misconduct Affidavit, see IRM 21.3.3.4

  10. Field Referrals - Follow the routing procedures outlined in this Section to refer the inquiry or correspondence to the appropriate office/area for further consideration/processing:

    Inquiry/Correspondence request: Route to:
    Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or Privacy Act Internal Revenue Service
    Governmental Liaison & Disclosure Office
    Suite 209
    2980 Brandywine Rd.
    Chamblee, GA 30341
    Attn: Franklin Byner

    Note:

    Use overnight mail

    Subpoenas or other court requests for IRS documents or testimony Internal Revenue Service
    Governmental Liaison & Disclosure Office
    Suite 209
    2980 Brandywine Rd.
    Chamblee, GA 30341
    Attn: Franklin Byner

    Note:

    Use overnight mail

    Killed in Action/Killed in Terrorist Action (KIA/KITA) (including claims and correspondence) Designated representatives as provided in IRM 21.6.6.3.23.2, Killed in Terrorist Action (KITA)/Killed in Action (KIA) and Astronauts Killed in the Line of Duty , IRM 21.7.5.5, Killed in Terrorist Action (KITA) Estate Tax Returns
    Incorrect Refunds Accounts Management function
    Responses to Letters 118/177 and 1355 that involve missing Schedules K-1 Information Return Processing (IRP) Unit in Receipt and Control
    Responses to Letters 118,Letter 177,Letter 1355, that involve Balance Sheets (Schedule L), signature, or Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) Document Perfection function
    Correspondence concerning potential bad payors, or correspondence relating to Automated Underreporting (AUR) Automated Underreporter Operations - Follow procedures in IRM 21.3.1.4.59, CP 2501 Pre-CP 2000 Contact Letter and IRM 21.3.1.4.60, AUR Special Handling.
    Trust Fund returns on Form 1065 or in Form 1065 format Processing, as Forms 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income.
    Correspondence citing frivolous arguments, using criteria listed in IRM 4.10.12.1,FRP Overview Ogden Frivolous Return program
    Entity changes when no other issue is involved, including correspondence and correction data relating to entity change Entity Control Function at the appropriate Campus
    Address changes for IMF and BMF, and name changes that do not involve a taxpayer's first name line for BMF accounts Accounts Management function

    Note:

    The above quick reference guide is not all inclusive. Additional specific program or function routing instructions can be found in the following IRM Correspondence/Inquiry sections. See IRM 21.3.3.4.9.1 through 21.3.3.4.10.5 below. Another source for determining proper routing is the Campus Locator Program Guide, which can be accessed at: Program Locator Guide

21.3.3.4.9.1  (10-01-2013)
Examination Correspondence/Inquiry

  1. Refer taxpayer inquiries involving complex questions about tax issues that you cannot answer readily to Examination Operation. Use Form 5101,Examination Referral Slip, to transmit correspondence to Examination. Examples of cases that may require referral to Examination function are:

    1. Inquiries involving Examination matters that require research of tax laws, regulations, rulings, and court decisions

    2. Inquiries about a case under Examination or containing a protest of Examination action. If research finds an unreversed TC 420 or TC 424 Examination indicator and contents of correspondence are not relevant to examination, item is answered routinely by Correspondence function. Cases with TC 420 or TC 424, route per Automation Information Management Systems (AIMS) to the appropriate Examination operation.

    3. Inquiries pertaining to a completed examination that involves technical issues or matters contained in examination report

    4. Procedures relative to administration appeals or disposition of examined cases

    5. Those requesting a tax determination when specific facts are given upon which to base an answer, even though taxpayer does not ask specifically for a "determination" letter

    6. Inquiries received from an employer concerning questionable/invalid form or statement from an employee

    Example:

    A Form W-5 is received from an employer with a statement. The advanced earned income credit is questionable. The employer knows the employee is divorced and is claiming two children that do not live with the employee.

  2. Forward letters submitted in accordance with requirements in IRC Section 905(c), Adjustments on Payment of Accrued Taxes, to Chief, Examination in field office.

  3. Route correspondence indicating possible informant cases or claims for reward to Fresno Accounts Management. A designated employee will classify and forward them to appropriate function as indicated below.

    1. Refer communication from informants, along with Form 3949, Information Report Referral, to the appropriate office specified on Form 3949. Refer communication or claims for rewards, Form 211,Application for Reward for Original Information, to the appropriate Informant Claims Examiner Unit (ICE), listed on the back of Form 211. Place in a sealed envelope marked "To be opened by Informant Claims Examiner only." Do NOT send an acknowledgment to informant in either situation listed above.

    2. If informant's correspondence involves an IRS employee, place in a sealed envelope, and refer directly to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at (1-800-366-4484). DO NOT send an acknowledgment to informant.

    3. For more information on Form 3949, see IRM 21.1.3.19,Informant Contacts.

      Note:

      Do not suggest or encourage the informant to submit a claim for reward.

21.3.3.4.9.2  (01-30-2014)
Campus Collection Function Correspondence/Inquiry/Notice

  1. A Collection function is authorized for each campus (Compliance Center) to perform collection tasks in a centralized manner. The objective of these Collection functions is to collect taxes through personal taxpayer contact whenever there is an outstanding balance due, with the exception of tentative carryback cases and numbered and unnumbered amended returns/claims received with balance-due notice attached. Route all notice responses and correspondence relating to balance due accounts to campus Collection function (after inputting a STAUP for at least four cycles) when any of the following conditions are present:

    1. Taxpayer states he/she wishes to pay in installments or needs other assistance in arranging payment. This includes Form 9465,Installment Agreement Request.

      Note:

      Form 433-D or Form 9465 when the taxpayer is requesting a Direct Debit Installment Agreement (DDIA) must be input by the Compliance Center with jurisdiction for the taxpayer's account. Route these forms to the Campus DDIA Liaisons. See IRM 5.19.1.5.4.14.1,Direct Debit Installment Agreement — Form 433-D, Installment Agreement and Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request , for further information.

    2. Taxpayer refuses to pay.

    3. Taxpayer promises to pay in the future or is unable to pay.

    4. Taxpayer states "currently paying installments" (part pay Status 6x) with responses to Installment Reminder or Default Notices (CP 521-523), or in Status 41, 42, 43, 44, 46, and 91, or IDRS Status 53 caused by TC 530.

    5. There are claims for refund, or request for abatement of, Trust Fund Recovery Penalty assessments.

    6. Responses on military deferment, and Substitute for Return (except fully paid SFR assessments or Exam SFRs) cases.

    7. Responses on deceased or incarcerated taxpayers that meet collection criteria (can't pay, won't pay, or will pay later).

    8. Taxpayer indicates not liable for employment taxes because workers were independent contractors or subcontractors.

    9. Field office 6020(b) assessments (identified by TC 599 Closing Codes 63 and 64).

    10. Taxpayer requests release of levy or federal tax lien (Forward requests for extension of time to pay estate tax to the Centralized Estate & Gift Tax Department at the Cincinnati Compliance Campus).

      Note:

      Regardless of the phase of collection the case is in, the Combined Annual Wage Reporting (CAWR) case should be routed according to the state mapping. See SB/SE Compliance Services CAWR.

  2. Field Collection (FC) employees must route Status 26 cases (including Form 3870 and Form 4159) to Centralized Case Processing (CCP) per IRM 5.4, Case Processing, and IRM 5.1.15,Abatements, Reconsiderations and Adjustments. CCP works all Status 26 cases (including Form 3870 and Form 4159) requests from Field Collection (FC). This includes a request for an adjustment and refund offset. If Forms 3870 or Forms 4159 are received from Revenue Officers in Accounts Management (AM), reject the form back to FC. Reject the Form 3870 or Form 4159 back to the originator using Form 3210, Document Transmittal.

  3. The Wage and Investment Division (W&I) and Small Business/Self Employed Division (SB/SE) have implemented a Service Level Agreement (SLA) to establish uniform standards for the processing of certain Status 26 casework (Forms 3870, Request for Adjustment, / Forms 4159, Payment Tracer Request ) received in Centralized Case Processing (CCP) from Field Collection (FC).

    1. CCP will route only these specific cases to the designated point of contact (POC) at the Philadelphia AM Campus. These cases will then be scanned (into CIS) to Ogden Accounts Management (AM).

    2. Status 26 casework will not be routed to any other AM campus. If received, return to CCP at:
      Philadelphia CCP
      BLN 5-E04.114
      2970 Market St
      Philadelphia, PA 19104

    3. Only Ogden AM will process specific status 26 casework.

    4. AM will not accept any Form 3870 / Form 4159 Status 26 requests directly from Field Collection. All such requests will be returned to the originator. AM will not respond to telephone, fax, or e-mail or direct inquiries from FC, requesting adjustment assistance. Any such callers will be referred to CCP Collection FORT Team for assistance.

  4. Route all amended returns and any correspondence from the taxpayer or their authorized representative to the Revenue Officer (RO) assigned to the account when at least one tax period is in Status 26. An RO has a unique eight-digit number (not all zeros) (collection assignment number) located in the upper right hand corner of CC SUMRY. Only route the case to the RO if it has been assigned. Otherwise, follow normal case processing procedures. If there are tax periods in notice status (i.e., 21, 56 or 58), in addition to the Status 26 module(s), input CC STAUP 22 01 to accelerate those tax periods to Status 26. Also, input a TC 971-012 for audit trail purposes on amended returns or claims (only) for all tax periods involved. See IRM 21.5.1.4.8,Transaction Code 971, for more information.

    Note:

    Account refers to the entire TIN, not just one tax period. The RO is responsible for resolving the entire account, not just the Status 26 modules. The amended return or correspondence does not have to pertain to the status 26 tax period.

    Exception:

    BMF International units in OAMC process requests for reasonable cause on systemically assessed Failure to File penalty on Form 5471, Information Return of U.S. Persons With Respect to Certain Foreign Corporations, and Form 5472, Information Return of a Foreign Owned Corporation, regardless of status. For more information see IRM 21.8.2.21.2, Form 5471 Penalties Systemically Assessed from Late Filed Form 1120, IRM 21.7.4.4.4.16, Failure to File Form 1120 and Form 5471 penalties, and IRM 21.8.2.22, Form 5472 - Information Return of a 25% Foreign-Owned U.S. Corporation or a Foreign Corporation Engaged in a U.S. Trade or Business Forward manually assessed . Manually assessed Failure to File penalty on Form 5471 and Form 5472 route penalty abatement request to the originator. The penalty assessed on Form 5471 and Form 5472 are subject to enforcement actions by Compliance.

    Reminder:

    See IRM 21.3.3.4.9.2.1.2, for information regarding some collection assignment numbers that may not be assigned to a RO.

  5. Forward return delinquency cases that involve a module with an open control base in Collection or if taxpayer indicates not liable, previously filed, or will file and TC 140 is present on module, or in Tax Delinquency Investigation (TDI) Status of 02 or 03.

  6. Route all other balance due notice responses or correspondence to Accounts Management function. This includes CP 504 responses where the case has not rolled to Status 22 and Status 6X cases unrelated to a collection issue.

  7. If correspondence is received in status 24, unrelated to a collection issue (can't pay, won't pay, or will pay later), reply to the correspondence unless a notice generated by an adjustment will answer the correspondence. Correspondence in status 24 with can't pay, won't pay or will pay later issues see the chart in IRM 21.3.3.4.9.2.1.

  8. If working correspondence in status 22 (IDRS status); route the correspondence per IRM 5.19.1.2.1,For All Employees , for instructions specific to working status 22 correspondence.

    Reminder:

    AM will work status 22 correspondence cases if the case was received in AM in notice status before the case went into status 22. Do not route these cases to ACSS. Work the correspondence case following normal processing procedures. After completing the case, document the history on AMS. If a case was received in ACSS in status 22 and then subsequently went into another MF status e.g., status 12, ACSS will work the case.

    Note:

    If working Amended Returns/Claims, see IRM 21.3.3.4.9.2.1Amended Returns/Claims With or Without Correspondence Attached-Compliance Criteria.

  9. If working correspondence in status 71, route per SERP Website under "Who/Where" Centralized Offer in Compromise Campuses (COIC) for Initial Offer-in-Compromise Submissions .

  10. If working correspondence in Bankruptcy status 72, route per SERP Website under "Who/Where" Insolvency (Bankruptcy) National Field/Centralized Site Directory .

    Exception:

    If the closing code is 76 or 77, these are Collection Due Process (CDP) cases and must be referred to the CDP caseworker in Automated Collection System (ACS) Support.

21.3.3.4.9.2.1  (10-01-2014)
Compliance Criteria for Amended Returns/Claims and/or Balance Due Correspondence

  1. This section provides guidance for processing amended returns/claims and /or balance due correspondence on accounts in Collection Status 22, 24, 26 or involving other Collection criteria.

    Reminder:

    Exempt Organization accounts in status 22, 24, or 26 are worked in:

    Ogden Accounts Management
    IRS
    EO Accounts, M/S 6552
    Ogden, UT 84404

    Note:

    Amended returns/claims in Status 72 are worked by Accounts Management employees. Ensure a TC 971 Action Code (AC) 010 is input, or has previously been input and contact made to the appropriate bankruptcy site using: Insolvency (Bankruptcy) National Field/Centralized Site Directory .

    Refer to IRM 21.5.6.4.44, -V Freeze, and IRM 21.5.6.4.46,-W Freeze, for additional processing information.

  2. Amended returns/claims (both numbered and unnumbered) in status 22 and 24 received in Accounts Management, are processed in Accounts Management following normal procedures, including inputting any necessary adjustments. See IRM 21.5.3.2, What Are Claims for Credit, Refund, and Abatement?, for more information regarding claims.

    Reminder:

    Processing amended returns/claims that by-pass SP can be found in IRM 21.7.9.3.1,Amended/Corrected/Adjusted Returns that By-Pass Submission Processing.

  3. Requests for reasonable cause penalty abatement (including penalty appeals) in status 22 must be forwarded to ACSS (Automated Collection System Support). Use the following link for ACSS routing: ACS Support and Status 22 TAS Liaisons.

    Exception:

    Penalty Abatement requests such as Civil Penalties and Exempt Organizations (EO) will be routed to the appropriate area that assessed the penalty. See IRM 20.1.1-4, Penalty Reference Numbers (500 Series), or IRM 20.1.1-5, Penalty Reference Numbers (600 Series) for Civil Penalty reference numbers and descriptions. Penalty request from Form 5471 and Form 5472 , see the exception in IRM 21.3.3.4.9.2.

    Reminder:

    AM will work status 22 reasonable cause abatement (including penalty appeals) cases if the case was received in AM before the case went into status 22. Do not route these cases to ACSS. If a case was received in ACSS in status 22 and then subsequently went into another MF status e.g., status 12, ACSS will work the case.

  4. Route all amended/duplicate returns/claims and correspondence received from the taxpayer in Status 26 to the appropriate Revenue Officer group office as shown in the Compliance Routing chart below.

  5. If correspondence (not in status 26) can't pay, won't pay, or will pay later is received with an amended return/claim, detach the correspondence from the return and forward based on the guidance below. Notate across the top of the correspondence "Detached from Form 1040X or Form 94XX, etc.," to alert the receiving function that Accounts Management is processing a claim for this account.

    Example:

    Correspondence is received with a 1040X or claim: Detach the correspondence, notate at the top of the correspondence "1040X Detached" , route according to the Compliance Routing chart below, and process the 1040X or claim.

    Example:

    Correspondence is received with a 94XX: Detach the correspondence, notate at the top of the correspondence "94XX Detached" , route according to the Compliance Routing chart below, and process the 94XX. See IRM 21.7.2.4.6, Adjusted Employer's Federal Tax Return or Claim for Refund, for processing Form 94XX.

  6. Accounts Management does not work any correspondence cases in status 22 unless otherwise notated in the IRM. If correspondence is received in status 24, and is not related to collection matters (can't pay, won't pay, or will pay later), reply to the correspondence, unless the notice generated by the adjustment will answer the taxpayer's issue. If the correspondence is can't pay, won't pay, or will pay later, see the table below for collection routing

    Compliance Routing Can't Pay, Won't Pay, or Will Pay Later:
    Cases in Status: Route Collection correspondence to: Action needed:
    SB/SE and W&I 22 or 24
    (BOD code found on ENMOD)
    ACS Support Liaisons at ACS Support and Status 22 TAS Liaisons
    1. Route correspondence.
    2. Process the claim.
    21, 23, 53, 56, or 58 Compliance Services Collection Operations at CSCO 1. Cases in status 21, 56, or 58, input STAUP for 6 Cycles.
    2. Route Correspondence and/or process the claim.
  7. If an original return is attached and research indicates no TC 150 posted, input TC 599 with appropriate closing code and send to appropriate function for processing. See IRM 5.19.2, Return Delinquency.

21.3.3.4.9.2.1.1  (11-25-2009)
BMF Compliance Routing for 6020b Correspondence Replies

  1. If correspondence is received in response to a 6020b assessment (not Status 26), stating TP not liable for the return, forward to Compliance Services Collection Operation (CSCO). For more information, see IRM 5.18.2.4.6(4), Tax Technician Duties.

  2. If a return is attached to the correspondence, follow instructions in IRM 21.7.9.4.1.6, Duplicate Filing Conditions Involving Returns Prepared Under IRC Section 6020(b).

21.3.3.4.9.2.1.2  (04-30-2014)
IMF Compliance Routing (ASFR Reconsideration and Status 26)

  1. If the amended return/claim or correspondence is for a tax year that is an ASFR Reconsideration, research IDRS for the following transaction codes. All must be present if the response is an Automated Substitute for Return (ASFR) Reconsideration:

    • TC 150 (Dummy)

    • TC 494

    • TC 495

    • TC 290 (tax assessment)

    • TC 599 closing code(cc) 88

  2. If the amended return/claim meets the criteria as an ASFR Reconsideration, route according to SERP Who - Where tab: ASFR - Reconsideration Returns - Centralized Processing Sites.

    Exception:

    If an IMF case has a TC 599 cc 89 present on the module and the tax on the return does not match the tax posted to IDRS, then it is not an ASFR Reconsideration request. It is an amended return and is worked in the Accounts Management Adjustment Function.

  3. There are two exceptions where the status 26 account is not assigned to a revenue officer:

    1. Status 26 with a TSIGN of 8000. If the amended return/claim is not for a period with an ASFR assessment, process the amended return/claim and route the correspondence as shown above see IRM 21.3.3.4.9.2.1

    2. Status 26 when there is a Manually Monitored Installment Agreement (MMIA). The TSIGN will be 35XX6XXX with a(n) history item on ENMOD identifying it as a MMIA. If the amended return/claim is for MMIA, route the amended return/claim and correspondence to Centralized Case Processing site at the:

      Philadelphia Campus
      2970 Market St.
      BLN 5-E04.117
      Philadelphia, PA 19104

    Note:

    For additional Status 26 information see IRM 21.3.3.4.9.2Campus Collection Function Correspondence/Inquiry/Notice

    .


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