21.3.8  Tax Exempt/Government Entities (TEGE) Customer Account Services (CAS) Telephone Operations

Manual Transmittal

September 06, 2013

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 21.3.8, Taxpayer Contacts, Tax Exempt/Government Entities (TEGE) Customer Account Services (CAS) Telephone Operations.

Material Changes

(1) Editorial changes have been made throughout, including updated references to Revenue Procedures.

(2) An explanation of the phrase "by virtue of an approved application" was added throughout the IRM. IPU 12U1654 issued 10-03-2012.

(3) Replaced the shared fax number for the TEGE Adjustments Unit and the TEGE Correspondence Unit with separate EEFAX numbers throughout the IRM.

(4) IRM 21.3.8.1(3) - Added IRM 21.2.2, Research, to the list of IRMs to which TEGE telephone assistors may need to refer. IPU 13U0150 issued 01-17-2013.

(5) IRM 21.3.8.3.4.1.2(6) - Differentiated between requests for copies of returns and for copies of applications, adding a cross-reference to IRM 21.3.8.5.1.4, "Inquiries Regarding Correspondence Controlled on TRAC," for the latter.

(6) IRM 21.3.8.3.4.1.7 - Revised the entire subsection to reflect EO's decision to discontinue the custom extract program. IPU 13U0663 issued 04-01-2013.

(7) IRM 21.3.8.3.4.2(3) - Added details to the Exception about searching the IRS Web site.

(8) IRM 21.3.8.3.7.1(3) - Modified the Note to include information on downloading prior year forms from the Web and a reference to IRM 21.3.8.3.7, "Ordering Forms and Publications." IPU 12U1654 issued 10-03-2012.

(9) IRM 21.3.8.3.8 - Removed the procedures for name change/correction from (1)(b) and added the deleted information to IRM 21.3.8.9.2, "Name Changes - EO and FSLG" ; deleted the Example and the Exception from (4) and added the deleted information to IRM 21.3.8.12.14.5.2, "Removing an Organization from a Group Ruling."

(10) IRM 21.3.8.3.8.1 - Specified in (1) which TC 59X transactions would not prevent auto-revocation, updated the auto-revocation time frame from three years and six months to three years and one month, replaced the existing Note with one explaining that an organization at risk of losing its exemption is entitled to request an extension on its third year return, and added an Example illustrating the impact on the effective date of auto-revocation when an organization fails to file its third year return timely if the return had an extended due date; added (3) with cross-references to IRM 21.3.8.12.24.4, "Special Procedures for Organizations That Require an IDRS Update to Submit the Form 990-N Timely," and to IRM 21.3.8.12.6.1, "Responding to Calls From or About Organizations in Status 97."

(11) IRM 21.3.8.4.1.5(4) - Added a Note about making a generic purpose statement before asking the caller the disclosure prompts. IPU 13U0663 issued 04-01-2013.

(12) IRM 21.3.8.4.4.2(4) - Replaced the reference to Publication 78 with one to the IRS Web site. IPU 12U1654 issued 10-03-2012.

(13) IRM 21.3.8.5.1.1 - Added a Reminder to (2) that assistors should use only the last seven digits of their Personal Identification Number if they have been issued an HSPD-12 card; added general points to consider when handling calls from TEGE customers in (3); added a cross-reference to IRM 21.2.2.4.5, "Account Management Services (AMS)" and to IRM 21.1.3.18, "Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Guidelines," to (9).

(14) IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3 - Updated the referral information in (8) for EO speaker requests and added a time frame for initial contact; replaced the verbiage in (10) about the Service having removed the private delivery address from form instructions with wording that indicates that the address may not be included in the instructions and added a Note giving the private delivery address for Ogden, Utah; added a reference to new IRM 21.3.8.6.2, "Out of Scope Topics and Issues," to (13).

(15) IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.1 - Clarified in the Note in (2) that grantors and contributors can rely on an organization in status 25 being treated as a public charity only up to 90 days after the end of the advance ruling period if there is no "P" case on EDS that was established after the advance ruling period expired, added a reference to the TEGE P&RG for use when discussing deductibility, expanded the status 41 procedures to include organizations with an organizing document dated within 27 months of the current date or within 27 months of the control date of a pending application, revised the description of organizations not showing exempt on IDRS so that EDS ruling information would apply to organizations in statuses 31, 36, and 40, and added an instruction to complete an EO Submodule Data Sheet if the organization has no submodule and is organized and operated as an exempt organization, added a procedure for organizations in status 99, and replaced the reference to EO R-Mail with a reference to out of scope; added a reference to "P" cases in (3) and clarified in the Note that organizations in status 25 are also included, as well as added a cross-reference to IRM 21.3.8.12.5.4.1, "IRC 507(b)(1)(B) Terminations (60-Month Terminations)."

(16) IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.2(1) - Added a procedure for cases in status 75 and assigned to specialist number 31848, Group 7848, Unassigned Records Unit; added a Reminder that cases in status 62 are not considered assigned and the name and telephone number of the determination specialist should not be given to the caller; added the requirement to notate the Form 4442 referrals going to the HQ analyst with the group number shown on EDS where appropriate; revised the time frames for processing an application per recommendations from Exempt Organizations HQ; added a Reminder for the assistor to consider TAS criteria; added an Exception for applications that were withdrawn because the organization felt it was being subjected to inappropriate scrutiny.

(17) IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.3 - Added a Reminder to the unassigned cases in (1) to look for the last letter created to determine whether an application is on- or off-cycle and added a Reminder for the assistor to consider TAS criteria; deleted status 03 and status 05 from the closed cases because there is a separate row in the table discussing those statuses; added a procedure for calls from unauthorized parties about cases in status 03 or 05; updated the procedure for Form 5306 status inquiries in (5) for the lead to contact the HQ analyst instead of EP HQ.

(18) IRM 21.3.8.5.1.4 - Revised the procedure for second requests not assigned or controlled on TRAC in (1) with a directive to have the caller fax the correspondence to the assistor or to prepare a Form 4442 referral to the HQ analyst via the lead/manager and added a Reminder for the assistor to consider TAS criteria; added work codes 53 and 54 to (3).

(19) IRM 21.3.8.5.1.4.1 - Revised (1) to reflect the current procedure of not controlling EP correspondence on TRAC; deleted (3).

(20) IRM 21.3.8.5.2(1)(a) - Deleted the reference to R-Mail. IPU 13U1015 issued 06-03-2013.

(21) IRM 21.3.8.5.2.2(2) - Deleted the reference to EO R-Mail. IPU 13U1015 issued 06-03-2013.

(22) IRM 21.3.8.5.2.4(1) - Added a Note about not providing the telephone number of the employee named on Letter 1042; added a requirement for the assistor's manager to cc: the HQ analyst when forwarding "failure to contact" information to a determination specialist's manager and for the assistor to include the assigned group number and the specialist's manager's name and telephone number in the email.

(23) IRM 21.3.8.5.4 - New subsection on bad line calls. IPU 12U1654 issued 10-03-2012.

(24) IRM 21.3.8.6 - Added "Out of Scope Procedures" to the subsection title; added a reference to the out of scope procedures in (1). IPU 13U1015 issued 06-03-2013.

(25) IRM 21.3.8.6.1.1 - Added a Note to (1) to advise EP customers that they may email their tax law question directly to EP HQ; removed the references to EO R-Mail in (4) and (8).

(26) IRM 21.3.8.6.1.2 - Added a row to the table in (1) to cover follow-up questions that are designated as out of scope; distinguished in (2) between preparing a second R-Mail referral for EP issues and following the out of scope procedures for EO issues. IPU 13U1015 issued 06-03-2013.

(27) IRM 21.3.8.6.2 - New subsection on out of scope procedures for EO issues. IPU 13U1015 issued 06-03-2013.

(28) IRM 21.3.8.7.3 - Replaced the reference to EO R-Mail in (1)(b) with a reference to out of scope; distinguished in (1)(k) between acknowledgement letters for EO applications and those for EP and added a procedure to prepare Letter 3367C (Merit Notice) for EO applications with a correct address on EDS/TEDS/LINUS; replaced Letter 4177C with Letter 4168C and added a cross-reference to IRM 21.3.8.12.12.1, "Publication 78 Data Omissions (Service Error / Non-Service Error)," and added a Note not to use Letter 4177C until it has been revised to reflect EO Select Check in (1)(p).

(29) IRM 21.3.8.8.3(1)Note - Removed the information about callers being able to order Form 13909, Tax-Exempt Organization Complaint (Referral) Form, by telephone because the National Distribution Center no longer stocks that form. IPU 13U0663 issued 04-01-2013.

(30) IRM 21.3.8.8.4(3) - Updated the hours of operation for the Enterprise Computing Center---Martinsburg. IPU 13U0838 issued 04-30-2013.

(31) IRM 21.3.8.8.5(3) - Revised the procedure for EP PLR status checks to agree with the procedure for EO PLRs. IPU 13U0663 issued 04-01-2013.

(32) IRM 21.3.8.8.6(3) - Added a cross-reference to IRM 21.1.3.18, "Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Guidelines," for information on completing Form 911/e-911.

(33) IRM 21.3.8.9.2 - Added a cross-reference to IRM 21.3.8.14.8, "Requests for IRC 527 Web Updates (Including Password Requests) and Troubleshooting Calls," to (1); updated the name change procedures in (2), (3), and the renumbered (9) to reflect all name changes being worked in Cincinnati except for those of central organizations and subordinates; added new paragraphs (4) through (6) with the information that had previously been in IRM 21.3.8.3.8, "Researching and Perfecting Entity/EO Submodule Information on the Master File," and renumbered the subsequent paragraphs.

(34) IRM 21.3.8.9.4 - Added the deletion of a DBA/AKA name to (1); updated the DBA/AKA name change procedures in (2) and (3) to reflect all name changes being worked in Cincinnati except for those of central organizations and subordinates; added the deletion of a DBA/AKA name to (4).

(35) IRM 21.3.8.9.6(1) - Added an Exception that the EIN consolidation procedures do not apply to organizations that had to apply for a different EIN because they changed entity type.

(36) IRM 21.3.8.9.7 - Added (7) with instructions to the assistor to advise small organizations that the IRS may not be able to change the organization's accounting period in time for the organization to submit a Form 990-N that is due within a few weeks of the contact.

(37) IRM 21.3.8.9.10(3) - Added a Reminder to consider the consequences of non-filing/auto-revocation when re-establishing the EIN of an exempt organization.

(38) IRM 21.3.8.9.11(1) - Added information clarifying the mandate to make certain tax payments electronically.

(39) IRM 21.3.8.10.2 - Specified in (8) that the procedure applied to assistors assigned to the notice applications and added a Note to refer to paragraph (10) for exceptions to the transfer procedure; deleted the reference in (10) to assistors assigned to tax law and notice applications and expanded the Exception to include CP 259-H and added a statement that questions on the CP 259-H should be transferred to the advanced tax law application for political organizations.

(40) IRM 21.3.8.10.2.7 - Revised the entire subsection to reflect the elimination of the 42X notices and CP 259-E, the redesign of the CP 259 series, and the addition of CP 259-H.

(41) IRM 21.3.8.10.2.8 - Revised the entire subsection to reflect the elimination of the 213 Notice. IPU 13U0150 issued 01-17-2013.

(42) IRM 21.3.8.10.2.9 - Revised the entire subsection to reflect the elimination of the 213 Notice and the increase in oral tolerance for the abatement of EP penalties.

(43) IRM 21.3.8.10.2.10(4) - Added "plan number" to the procedure for callers who state that they are not required to file a return. IPU 12U1654 issued 10-03-2012.

(44) IRM 21.3.8.10.3(9) - New paragraph about preparing a Form 4442 referral to EO or EP Accounts if the caller states that the entity filed or intends to file for bankruptcy.

(45) IRM 21.3.8.11.1.1 - Deleted the Note in (4); updated the processing time frame in (5).

(46) IRM 21.3.8.11.1.1.1 - Clarified in (3) that the 90-day period starts with the closed (status 03) date and added instructions to the Note about what to tell the caller who asks where to mail the requested information; added a Note to (9) about not providing the telephone number of the employee named on Letter 1042; added a new (12) with a directive to the assistor to consider TAS criteria.

(47) IRM 21.3.8.11.1.3 - New subsection on online payments for EP application user fees. IPU 12U1946 issued 12-14-2012.

(48) IRM 21.3.8.11.2(1) - Added information about LINUS code 5302.

(49) IRM 21.3.8.11.4(6) - Added an Exception for Form 4442 referrals on the refund of a user fee if there is an open case on EDS.

(50) IRM 21.3.8.11.5 - Updated the user fee deadline in (3) to 90 days to agree with the time frame given in Letter 3373C; specified in (5) that the caller should allow two weeks from mailing the additional user fee payment for the information to display on LINUS.

(51) IRM 21.3.8.12.3(2) - Replaced the reference to EO R-Mail with a reference to out of scope. IPU 13U1015 issued 06-03-2013.

(52) IRM 21.3.8.12.4(5) - Added a Reminder that the use of the TEGE Probe and Response Guide is mandatory for topics for which pages have been developed.

(53) IRM 21.3.8.12.5.1(1) - Replaced the reference to status 31 in the Caution with a reference to status 40.

(54) IRM 21.3.8.12.5.3.2(3) - Replaced the reference to EO R-Mail with a reference to out of scope. IPU 13U1015 issued 06-03-2013.

(55) IRM 21.3.8.12.5.3.3(4) - Replaced the reference to EO R-Mail with a reference to out of scope. IPU 13U1015 issued 06-03-2013.

(56) IRM 21.3.8.12.5.4.1 - Replaced the suggested search term in (1) for finding information on terminating a private foundation on the IRS Web site and added a reference to Publication 4779, Facts About Terminating or Merging Your Exempt Organization; added a Note to (12) that organizations that fail to provide their 60-month termination follow-up information timely are to be treated as private foundations.

(57) IRM 21.3.8.12.5.5(4) - New paragraph explaining that a central organization must submit a new group ruling request if it wants to change the subsection under which its subordinates are exempt, including a Reminder that the subordinates must be described by the same subsection but that this may be a different subsection from that of the central organization. IPU 12U1843 issued 11-16-2012.

(58) IRM 21.3.8.12.5.6(3) - New paragraph about what an organization without an annual information return filing requirement and without an individual ruling of exemption should do with changes to its organizing document. IPU 12U1654 issued 10-03-2012.

(59) IRM 21.3.8.12.5.7(1) - Deleted the reference to EO R-Mail and replaced the references to Form 1120 with references to "taxable returns."

(60) IRM 21.3.8.12.6.1 - Added a new paragraph (2) with guidelines for handling general auto-revocation calls and renumbered the subsequent paragraphs; added a Note to the renumbered (3) about the occasional need to deviate from the standard procedures and clarified in the Caution that it may be necessary to check the auto-revocation date on the Internet before disclosing information on an organization that had been auto-revoked at least once before; added an Exception about colleges and universities showing auto-revoked on IDRS; deleted the disclosure dates for 2011 and added the dates for 2013; included a procedure in the renumbered (4) for organizations that request a copy of their previously-issued revocation notice and for government instrumentalities requesting Letter 4076C; added a Note to the renumbered (5) explaining that filer error (e.g., filing a return using another organization's EIN) is not an acceptable reason for reinstatement and added a procedure for organizations that believe that they were revoked in error because they formed at a date significantly later than the date they received their EIN; clarified in the renumbered (6) that the effective date of revocation is the submission/filing due date of the third year's return, added a cross-reference to IRM 21.3.8.3.8.1, "Compliance with EO Filing Requirements," and provided the mailing address for returns due while an application is still being processed; changed the Reminder that had been in the original (5) into a new paragraph (8) and added a Note that an organization must file its EO return extension request with EO Determinations while its application for reinstatement is still pending; added a new paragraph (9) about Form 990-N submitters not being able to submit that form until the organization's exemption has been reinstated and its EO filing requirements restored and renumbered the subsequent paragraph; added a response time frame for HQ analyst referrals to the renumbered paragraph (10) and added a Note not to prepare a second HQ analyst referral if TRAC or IDRS shows that an action was taken subsequent to the first referral or if the assistor can determine that the auto-revocation is legitimate.

(61) IRM 21.3.8.12.7(2) - Replaced the reference to EO R-Mail with a reference to out of scope. IPU 13U1015 issued 06-03-2013.

(62) IRM 21.3.8.12.8(6) - Replaced the reference to EO R-Mail with a reference to out of scope. IPU 13U1015 issued 06-03-2013.

(63) IRM 21.3.8.12.10(1) - Added the values for 2013 and converted the information into a table. IPU 12U1843 issued 11-16-2012.

(64) IRM 21.3.8.12.12.1 - Removed failure to file a return as a criterion for removal from Publication 78 data in (2)(f); added the directive to offer Letter 4168C to the table in (3)(c) and as a new (d) in (4).

(65) IRM 21.3.8.12.13(4) - Added a Note about preparing a Form 4442 referral to the lead if an eligible organization does not appear in the online EOMF and it was more than four weeks between the date IDRS was updated and the date the online EOMF file was updated. IPU 12U1843 issued 11-16-2012.

(66) IRM 21.3.8.12.14.3(4) - Added a statement about the acknowledgement letter sent to the central organization once all the requested updates to the subordinates' information have been made. IPU 13U0150 issued 01-17-2013.

(67) IRM 21.3.8.12.14.5(5) - Updated the name change procedure for subordinate organizations so that they are required to submit changes through their central organization. IPU 13U0663 issued 04-01-2013.

(68) IRM 21.3.8.12.14.5.1(2) - Updated the chart based on information supplied by EO HQ. IPU 13U0663 issued 04-01-2013.

(69) IRM 21.3.8.12.14.5.2 - Added an Exception to the chart in (1) for organizations that have an individual ruling dated after the date of inclusion in the group ruling and for organizations that are clearly not related to the group ruling under which IDRS shows the organization to be exempt; added a Note to (2) about the time frame an organization that leaves a group ruling has to apply for its own ruling to remain compliant with IRC 508.

(70) IRM 21.3.8.12.17.2(2) - Added a Reminder for the assistor to consider TAS criteria.

(71) IRM 21.3.8.12.19(4) - Added a Note with a cross-reference to IRM 21.3.8.5.1.4, "Inquiries Regarding Correspondence Controlled on TRAC," for situations where it has been more than 60 days since the request for a corrected/superseded letter was made and the letter was not received. IPU 12U1654 issued 10-03-2012.

(72) IRM 21.3.8.12.20(9) - Replaced the reference to EO R-Mail in the Exception with a reference to out of scope. IPU 13U1015 issued 06-03-2013.

(73) IRM 21.3.8.12.22(12) - Added a new paragraph directing the assistors to consider TAS criteria.

(74) IRM 21.3.8.12.22.1(1) - Added an Exception to clarify how disaster relief expedite requests are handled differently than other expedite requests. IPU 12U1654 issued 10-03-2012.

(75) IRM 21.3.8.12.24(8) - Replaced the second sentence with a cross-reference to IRM 21.3.8.3.8.1, "Compliance with EO Filing Requirements." IPU 12U1843 issued 11-16-2012.

(76) IRM 21.3.8.12.24.1.1(5) - Specified in the Note that organizations that have not filed an EO return for two consecutive years should submit the Form 990-N based on the prior fiscal period and then notify the Service that they have changed accounting periods.

(77) IRM 21.3.8.12.24.2(2) - Expanded the status 41 procedures in the Reminder to include organizations with an organizing document dated within 27 months of the current date or within 27 months of the control date of a pending application.

(78) IRM 21.3.8.12.24.2.1(2) - Added a Reminder to (c) that organizations whose EINs have to be re-established should be informed about auto-revocation and the requirement to apply for formal exemption.

(79) IRM 21.3.8.12.24.3 - Removed the information from (2) and (8) indicating that IRC 501(c)(21) organizations (black lung trusts) are not permitted to submit a Form 990-N; deleted the references to status 31 in the Note in (11).

(80) IRM 21.3.8.12.24.4(1) - Added a requirement to document the call thoroughly on AMS if the organization is at risk of losing its exemption. IPU 12U1843 issued 11-16-2012.

(81) IRM 21.3.8.12.26 - Completely revised the subsection based on information provided by EO Determinations that they are not processing requests to change NTEE codes. IPU 13U0663 issued 04-01-2013.

(82) IRM 21.3.8.12.28(8) - Added a reference to Notice 2010-82.

(83) IRM 21.3.8.13.1(7) - Expanded the information about waiving the excise tax imposed under IRC 4974 and IRC 4980F.

(84) IRM 21.3.8.13.3 - Revised (3) and (4) to explain that Rev. Proc. 94-22 was superseded by Rev. Proc 2012-35 and that the IRS will no longer forward letters from plan sponsors to missing participants. IPU 12U1654 issued 10-03-2012.

(85) IRM 21.3.8.13.3.2 - Updated the example in (4); updated the telephone number for the Department of Labor's toll-free customer service line and added the hours of operation in (6).

(86) IRM 21.3.8.13.7 - Replaced (6) with new paragraphs (6) through (9) to cover the information in Revenue Procedure 2013-12 and renumbered former paragraph (7); updated the telephone number for status checks on VCP submissions in the new (10).

(87) IRM 21.3.8.14.1.1(4) - Clarified that only political organizations that were required to file a Form 8871 must file a final Form 8871 when they terminate. IPU 13U0838 issued 04-30-2013.

(88) IRM 21.3.8.14.2 - Added paragraph (2) with time frame information about the generation of a user name and password.

(89) IRM 21.3.8.14.4(9) - Added a Note that CP 430 stopped generating in January 2013. IPU 12U1946 issued 12-14-2012.

(90) IRM 21.3.8.14.5(7) - New paragraph about CP 259-H, the TDI notice for political organizations that fail to file a Form 990 or Form 990-EZ. IPU 13U0663 issued 04-01-2013.

(91) IRM 21.3.8.14.8(1) - Replaced the procedure about referring computer problems to ACCENTURE with one that instructs the assistor to send his/her manager an email with a description of the problem. IPU 13U0663 issued 04-01-2013.

(92) IRM 21.3.8.15(3) - Replaced the reference to EO R-Mail with a reference to out of scope. IPU 13U1015 issued 06-03-2013.

(93) IRM 21.3.8.15.6(6) - Replaced the information about the statute expiration date of TETR refund requests with information about Announcement 2012-16.

(94) IRM 21.3.8.15.7(1) - Replaced the reference to EO R-Mail with a reference to out of scope. IPU 13U1015 issued 06-03-2013.

(95) IRM 21.3.8.16.5 - Added a new (2) about the consequences on FUTA of an Indian Tribe not compliant with its SUTA obligations.

(96) IRM 21.3.8.16.8 - Added a new (1) with expanded information about Revenue Procedure 2008-55 and renumbered the subsequent paragraphs; deleted the first sentence of the renumbered (2) because the information is now included in the new (1).

(97) IRM 21.3.8.17(3) - Deleted the reference to EO R-Mail. IPU 13U1015 issued 06-03-2013.

(98) IRM 21.3.8.17.1(8) - Replaced the reference to EO R-Mail with the TEB email address. IPU 13U1015 issued 06-03-2013.

(99) IRM 21.3.8.17.4 - Clarified in (8) that the assistor should use the later of the return due date or the received date when deciding whether to prepare a referral; added a Note to (9) instructing assistors not to tell a caller to file an amended Form 8038-CP to correct Part III information.

(100) IRM 21.3.8.17.5(6) - Replaced the reference to EO R-Mail with the TEB email address. IPU 13U1015 issued 06-03-2013.

(101) IRM 21.3.8.17.7 - Deleted paragraph (5). IPU 13U1015 issued 06-03-2013.

(102) IRM 21.3.8.17.9 - New subsection on Form 8703, Annual Certification of a Residential Rental Project.

(103) Exhibit 21.3.8-10 - Revised the list of EP letters per the information in Exhibit 1 from IRM 7.13.5, Employee Plans Automated Processing Procedures - Letter Generation. IPU 12U1843 issued 11-16-2012.

(104) Exhibit 21.3.8-11 - Added Letter 3336C, EP Acknowledgement Letter; added a Note to Letter 3734C explaining that it was used only for 2007 and prior revisions; added Letter 4399C, Revised Form 990/990-EZ Correspondence Issue (2008 & Subsequent). IPU 12U1843 issued 11-16-2012.

(105) Exhibit 21.3.8-12 - Added a time frame for EO speaker requests; revised the time frame information for the referrals prepared for IRC 527 organizations having computer problems; deleted the time frame information about requests to change an NTEE code; revised the EO application time frames; added a cross-reference to IRM 21.3.8.12.5.4, "Change in Foundation Classification," for the entry on foundation change requests; added a Reminder directing the assistors to consider TAS criteria; added a Note to the fiscal year change information with instructions to the assistor to advise small organizations that the IRS may not be able to change the organization's accounting period in time for the organization to submit a Form 990-N that is due within a few weeks of the contact.

(106) Exhibit 21.3.8-14 - Added Form 5316, Application for Group or Pooled Trust Ruling, to the list of EP applications. IPU 12U1654 issued 10-03-2012.

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 21.3.8 dated August 17, 2012 (effective October 1, 2012), is superseded. This IRM incorporates IPUs 12U1654 (dated 10/03/2012), 12U1843 (dated 11/16/2012), 12U1946 (dated 12/14/2012), 13U0150 (dated 01/17/2013), 13U0663 (dated 04/01/2013), 13U0838 (dated 04/30/2013), and 13U1015 (dated 06/03/2013).

Audience

Tax Exempt/Government Entities Customer Account Services Telephone Operation

Effective Date

(10-01-2013)

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

21.3.8.1  (01-17-2013)
TEGE Telephone Operations Overview

  1. This section contains information and guidelines for use by Customer Service Representatives (CSRs), and Customer Service Specialists (CSSs) in responding to inquiries from the Tax Exempt/Government Entities (TEGE) Customers.

  2. The TEGE Telephone Operation provides assistance to customers who need:

    1. Confirmation of the status of an application

    2. A letter issued affirming tax-exempt status

    3. Answers to miscellaneous Exempt Organization (EO), Employee Plan (EP), and Government Entity (GE) issues

  3. Assistors may also need to refer to the following:

    • IRM 2.3.10, Command Codes MFREQ and RECON

    • IRM 2.3.11, Command Codes TXMOD and SUMRY

    • IRM 2.3.12, Command Code ACTON

    • IRM 2.3.15, Command Code ENMOD

    • IRM 2.3.31, Command Codes CFINK, RPINK, KAFFQ and KAFTQ for CAF Inquiry

    • IRM 2.3.37, Command Code UPTIN for the GUF System

    • IRM 2.3.47, Command Codes INOLE, EOGEN, and SPARQ

    • IRM 2.3.59, Command Codes BMFOL and BMFOR

    • IRM 2.3.60, Command Codes NAMES, NAMEE, NAMEI, NAMEB, FINDS, FINDE, and TPIIP

    • IRM 2.3.64, Command Code EMFOL

    • IRM 2.3.73, Command Codes TRDBV, TRERS, TRPRT and R8453

    • IRM 2.4.4, Command Code MESSG

    • IRM 2.4.9, Command Codes ENREQ, INCHG, IRCHG, BNCHG and BRCHG

    • IRM 2.4.10, Command Codes EOREQ and EOCHG

    • IRM 2.4.13, Command Code TERUP

    • IRM 3.5.20-3, "RAIVS Contacts"

    • IRM 3.11.12, Exempt Organization Returns

    • IRM 3.11.22, Employee Plan Excise Tax Return

    • IRM 3.11.26, Miscellaneous Tax Exempt Governmental Entities (TEGE) Tax Returns

    • IRM 3.12.278, Exempt Organization Unpostable Resolution

    • IRM 3.13.12, Exempt Organization Account Numbers

    • IRM 3.13.36, EPMF Account Numbers

    • IRM 21.5.11, Employee Plan Accounts

    • IRM 7.25.1.1.1, Exempt Organizations Determinations Manual - Introduction, Cumulative List (Publication 78)

    • IRM 7.25.2, Exempt Organizations Determinations Manual, Single Parent Title Holding Corporations

    • IRM 7.25.3, Exempt Organizations Determinations Manual, Religious, Charitable, Educational, Etc., Organizations

    • IRM 11.3, Disclosure of Official Information

    • IRM 13.1.7, Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Case Criteria

    • IRM 20.1.8, Employee Plans and Exempt Organizations Miscellaneous Civil Penalties

    • IRM 21.1.3, Operational Guidelines Overview

    • IRM 21.2.2, Research

    • IRM 21.3.1, Taxpayer Contacts Resulting from Notice Issuance

    • IRM 21.3.3, Incoming and Outgoing Correspondence/Letters

    • IRM 21.3.5, Taxpayer Inquiry Referrals Form 4442

    • IRM 21.3.7, Processing Third Party Authorizations onto the Centralized Authorization File (CAF)

    • IRM 21.5.10, Examination Issues

    • IRM 21.7.7, Exempt Organizations and Tax Exempt Bonds

    • IRM 21.10, Quality Assurance

    • Document 6023, Group Exemption Roster

    • Document 6209, IRS Processing Codes and Information

    • Document 6379, Exempt Organizations Management Information Systems Codes

    • Document 6476, Employee Plans Computer System Codes

    • Document 11308, Government Entities Computer Systems Codes

  4. This IRM includes information and instructions to answer TEGE Telephone Operation calls.

21.3.8.1.1  (02-12-2008)
Customer Service Commitment to Quality

  1. The IRS is committed to a customer service program that encourages taxpayers to comply voluntarily with the tax laws and assists them in meeting their obligations.

  2. The TEGE Telephone Operation is committed to achieving excellence in the service it provides to its customers. We provide our customers with assistance in a manner that warrants the highest degree of public confidence. Representatives practice courtesy and proper communication techniques while ensuring that responses are technically and procedurally accurate and complete.

  3. The pursuit of efficiency, ensuring that the workload is handled as expeditiously as possible, is balanced with a careful consideration of how effectively we provide service to our customers. Doing the right thing the first time is our goal.

  4. In order to ensure quality service for our customers, telephone calls are monitored to establish a valid and reliable means to measure the quality of service.

21.3.8.1.2  (10-01-2006)
Customer Service Role

  1. Quality customer service is the primary goal of TEGE Telephone Operations and is an integral part of the IRS Balanced Measures.

  2. TEGE Telephone Operations recognizes that customer education is key to voluntary compliance within the Federal tax laws and regulations.

  3. TEGE Telephone Operations strives to ensure a consistent, uniform policy of quality service to all customers and to encourage the highest level of public confidence in the efficiency and effectiveness of the Service.

21.3.8.2  (11-02-2006)
Bomb Threats and Suicide Threats Overview

  1. For bomb threats, see IRM 1.4.19.3.6.3, "Telephone Threat Procedures."

  2. For suicides, see IRM 21.1.3.12, "Suicide Threats."

21.3.8.2.1  (11-02-2006)
Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer (PDT)

  1. For PDT, see IRM 21.1.3.11, "Potentially Dangerous Taxpayers (PDT) or Caution Upon Contact (CAU) Indicators."

21.3.8.3  (10-01-2006)
Research Systems and Miscellaneous Procedures

  1. This section serves as a guide to research tools and miscellaneous procedures used by TEGE Telephone Operations.

21.3.8.3.1  (10-01-2010)
Automated Research Systems

  1. The following is a list of automated research systems that can be utilized:

    Automated Research Systems
    System Definition
    EDS
    (EP/EO Determination System)

    Note:

    When researching EDS, rely on the Document Locator Number (DLN) only for current applications.

    This system is the determination application control database for both Exempt Organizations and Employee Plans. It can be researched by inputting the Employer Identification Number (EIN), DLN, case number, name control, or name control and zip code. It identifies status of applications, subsequent amendments and follow-up actions. See Document 6379, Exempt Organizations Management Information Systems, and Document 6476, Employee Plans Systems Codes, to assist in understanding the coding used in this system.
    IDRS
    (Integrated Data Retrieval System)
    This system is the primary system that IRS uses to house all accounts. IDRS may be used to research for EINs, exemptions, and tax account information and includes pending actions performed at various Campuses and Posts of Duty (PODs). This information is available to all IRS sites. See Document 6209, IRS Processing Codes and Information, and the Command Code Job Aid found on Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP), for additional information.
    LINUS
    (Letter and Information Network User-fee System)
    This system is the financial database for all EP/EO Determination Application User Fees processed at the Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC) and identifies application receipts established by CSPC prior to the information rolling to TEDS. The information contained on this system includes: user fee records, generated acknowledgement letters, generated determination case DLNs.
    SEIN and OL-SEIN (SOI EO Imaging Network and Online SOI EO Imaging Network) SEIN is a document imaging system that is used to scan and create images of specific EO returns. This is often referred to as the "front end processing." Once a month, the returns (scanned images) that are available to the public for inspection are written to CD\DVDs (" the back end processing" ) and distributed to various requestors nationwide. These CD/DVD images have specific information redacted, restricted or sanitized.

    Note:

    Extension Forms 8868 are scanned in and disclosed to the public only when they are submitted as an attachment to the return.


    All returns/attachments (including extension requests filed with the return) that are imaged through SEIN are available to internal customers via OL-SEIN. The images on OL-SEIN are not redacted; the images contain complete return information as filed.
    EO returns imaged include:
    • Form 990-PF

    • Form 990/Form 990-EZ

    • Form 990/Form 990-EZ with IRC 527 box checked

    • Form 8871

    • Form 8872

    • Form 990-T

    • Form 4720

    • Form 5227

    CIS (Correspondence Imaging System) CIS is a document imaging and workflow system. All incoming TEGE accounts paper correspondence, notice replies, and internal Computer Paragraph (CP) notices are scanned and processed as digital images. CIS interacts with IDRS to control cases, input STAUPs, when needed, and distribute cases electronically to CSRs for resolution. The digital cases are assigned to CSRs, who work the cases online using the workflow software. CIS interacts with IDRS to initiate various command codes and captures the request completed screens as a part of the digital case.
    State Web Sites State Corporate Records are available to verify information provided by the organization, to research corporate names when Master File needs to be perfected, and to determine if an organization is in good standing with the state, etc. (it cannot be relied on as the sole source).
    TEDS
    (Tax-Exempt Determination System)
    TEDS is envisioned as a centralized database and a user-friendly technology infrastructure. The end-state vision for TEDS consists of the database that stores all scanned images of all application packages, correspondence, closing letters, generated acknowledgement letters, and their associated data.
    TRAC (TEGE Rulings and Agreements Control System)
    formerly known as TCC (TEGE Correspondence Control System)
    This system is used to control correspondence received in the TEGE
    Correspondence Unit.
    See IRM 21.3.8.5.1.4, "Inquiries Regarding Correspondence Controlled on TRAC," and the subsequent subsection (EP) for additional information.
    SERP (Servicewide Electronic Research Program) SERP provides many operating/functional divisions an intranet research service for a variety of topics including:
    • IRMs and IRM Procedural Updates

    • Correspondex IDRS letters

    • Forms

    • Publications

    • Text provided for publication

    • Information alerts

    • Job Aids

    • Supplemental information documents developed by authorized submitters

    TEGE Research Portal This SERP-based site features various contact information, instructional presentations, job aids and other resources designed to help telephone assistors respond to TEGE customers.

21.3.8.3.2  (12-11-2009)
Research Systems Unavailability

  1. When an account or a tax law research system (e.g., IDRS, EDS, TEDS, SERP, Electronic Publishing Web site) is unavailable for an extended period of time and a phone call requires an action to be taken, follow the procedures in IRM 21.2.2.4.4.11, "IDRS/CFOL Not Available."

    Reminder:

    If you prepare a Form 4442 referral for a tax law issue, the response time frame is 15 business days; for account issues, it is 30 days.

21.3.8.3.3  (02-12-2008)
Disaster Assistance

  1. When a major disaster or emergency occurs, taxpayers and tax practitioners may require disaster/emergency relief measures that will enable them to meet their tax obligations for filing returns or paying taxes without being penalized.

  2. A major disaster is defined as any catastrophe (including any hurricane, tornado, storm, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide, mud slide, snowstorm, or drought) or, regardless of cause, any fire, flood, or explosion in any part of the United States which causes sufficient damage to warrant major disaster assistance. Disasters may also be caused by terrorist or military action.

  3. An emergency is defined as any occasion or instance which, in the determination of the President, Federal assistance (Public Assistance or Hazard Mitigation Assistance) is needed to supplement State and local efforts and capabilities to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in any part of the United States. IRS may extend relief as a result of any emergency situation.

  4. Specific disaster relief information is located on SERP in the "IRM Supplements" tab.

  5. Taxpayers and tax practitioners can find information about disaster losses in Publication 1600, Disaster Losses, or on the Internet by accessing the IRS Web page at www.irs.gov.

  6. Publication 3833, Disaster Relief - Providing assistance through charitable organizations, may be referred to for disaster assistance information.

  7. Many disaster victims register for federal assistance by calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA's) National Tele-registration Center at 800-462-9029, or Telephonic Devices for the Deaf (TDD) at 800-462-7585.

  8. For additional information, see IRM 25.16, Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief.

21.3.8.3.4  (10-01-2006)
Public Inspection of Determination Applications/Returns and Requests for Copies of Documents and Transcripts

  1. This section serves as a guide to requests for public inspection of applications/returns and requests for copies of documents and transcripts.

21.3.8.3.4.1  (10-01-2009)
Copies of TEGE Information Returns, Transcripts and Applications

  1. Organizations are required by law to make copies of their returns and their determination applications (if they filed for their exemption after July 15, 1987, or had a copy of their application on July 15, 1987) available to the public per IRC 6104(d). Encourage requesters to contact the organization directly to obtain a copy. There are various other sources available to obtain copies. See IRM 21.3.8.4.1, "Disclosure - General," and the subsequent subsections for additional information. Also refer to the section titled, "Public Inspection of Exemption Applications, Annual Returns, and Political Organization Reporting Forms," in Publication 557, Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization.

21.3.8.3.4.1.1  (10-01-2012)
Internet Web Site Sources for Information Returns

  1. Certain Internet Web sites provide access to disclosable information returns. Assistors may only refer callers to the non-IRS Web sites shown in a) and b) below when discussing Internet sites that post copies of information returns.

    1. Some redacted (sanitized) copies of Form 990, Form 990-EZ, or Form 990-PF filed by exempt organizations are available at www.guidestar.org. This is not an IRS Web site, but is owned and operated by Philanthropic Research Institute (PRI). IRS sells certain images to PRI. PRI decides what they display. IRS is not responsible for the content of this site. The Web site allows research of Forms 990 from the past three years (when available) free of charge. Users are required to register in order to view the returns.

      Note:

      All Form 990-N submissions are available on the IRS Web site. Access the e-Postcard information at www.irs.gov/eo. Click "EO Select Check" and follow the prompts.

    2. Any Form 5500 filed through EFAST2 (for plan year 2009 and later) is available at www.efast.dol.gov.

    3. Political organization notices and reports (Form 8871 and Form 8872) are available by accessing www.irs.gov/polorgs.

21.3.8.3.4.1.2  (12-14-2012)
Public Inspection of Exemption Applications and/or EO Information Returns Disclosable under IRC 6104

  1. Requests for public inspection of information returns or exemption applications and other documents disclosable under IRC 6104 must be written and must describe the material desired in reasonably sufficient detail to enable the Service to locate the material.

    Note:

    Applications and related documents filed prior to January 1, 1948, have been destroyed pursuant to Congressional authority and, therefore, are not available. See IRM 21.3.8.3.4.1.3, "Exempt Applications for Rulings Prior to January 1, 1948," for additional details. Also, EO returns are destroyed six years after the end of the year the returns are processed.

  2. Form 4506-A, Request for Public Inspection or Copy of Exempt or Political Organization IRS Form, is used for this purpose. This form is used to request a disclosable copy of an exempt or political organization's return, report, notice, or exemption application. A letter containing the same information as the Form 4506-A may also be used by media requestors to request a copy of disclosable documents. All other requestors must use Form 4506-A.

  3. Refer to the instructions for Form 4506-A for the appropriate mailing address and fee information.

    Note:

    If the caller identifies the organization for which he/she intends to request a copy of the application, research IDRS to make sure the organization received an individual ruling.

  4. Exempt Organizations requesting a redacted copy (sanitized copy) of their original return must submit Form 4506-A. If an organization wants a copy of its return as filed (unredacted), it must request a copy using Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, and pay the required fee. See IRM 21.3.8.3.4.2, "Information Returns/Transcripts Disclosable under IRC 6103."

  5. The standard time frame for receipt of requested copies is 60 days. If the request for a copy of a return cannot be filled within that time frame, Return and Income Verification Services (RAIVS) sends a Letter 2645C to the requester informing him/her that an additional 60 days is needed to fill the request. If the documents still cannot be provided at the end of that time period, RAIVS sends Letter 3983C to inform the requester about the status of his/her request.

  6. If the caller indicates it has been more than 60 days since the request was submitted and that she/he has received no response, confirm that the request was sent to the correct address (Ogden for copies of returns, Cincinnati for copies of letters/applications).

    • If it has been more than 60 days and the request for a copy of a return was sent to the correct address, instruct the caller to request the information again, marking "SECOND REQUEST" at the top of the request. Tell the caller to allow 30 days for a response to the second request.
      If it has been more than 60 days and the request for a copy of an application was sent to the correct address, refer to IRM 21.3.8.5.1.4, "Inquiries Regarding Correspondence Controlled on TRAC."

      Reminder:

      If the caller indicates that no response was received to a second request, see IRM 21.3.8.8.6, "Taxpayer Advocate Service Referral Guidelines, Including Congressional Inquiries, and Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (and Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order)."

    • If the request was sent to the incorrect address, provide the caller with the correct address. Although the request should be forwarded to the appropriate site, the caller may want to submit a copy of the request to the correct address.

21.3.8.3.4.1.3  (10-01-2012)
Exempt Applications for Rulings Prior to January 1, 1948

  1. If a caller inquires about obtaining copies of the determination application for an organization with a ruling date prior to January 1, 1948, inform the caller that the organization is currently exempt under IRC 501(c)(X) (if the organization is in 01 status). Explain that applications and related documents filed prior to January 1, 1948, have been destroyed pursuant to Congressional authority and, therefore, are not available.

21.3.8.3.4.1.4  (10-01-2006)
Public Inspection of EO Determinations and Rulings Under IRC 6110

  1. Requests to review documents/rulings under IRC 6110 must be mailed to:

    Internal Revenue Service
    P.O. Box 795
    Ben Franklin Station
    Washington, DC 20044

  2. Determination letters are also available (after editing) from the Headquarters public access reading room. Requests must be mailed to:

    Public Access Reading Room
    Internal Revenue Service
    1111 Constitution Ave, NW
    Washington, DC 20224

  3. See IRM 11.3, Disclosure of Official Information, for additional information.

21.3.8.3.4.1.5  (10-01-2012)
Copies of Form 5500/Form 5500-SF/Form 5500-EZ

  1. Pursuant to agreement reached between the Service and the Department of Labor (DOL), copies of Form 5500, Form 5500-SF, or Form 5500 C/R, and any schedules attached, can be obtained by contacting the Public Disclosure Office of the DOL at the address or phone number shown below:

     
    Public Disclosure, Room N-1513
    Employee Benefits Security Administration
    US Department of Labor
    200 Constitution Ave, NW
    Washington, DC 20210-1111

    Phone: 202-693-8673

    Note:

    If the caller has questions about his/her request, including the response time frame, instruct him/her to contact the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) at the number above.

    Reminder:

    After January 1, 2010, Forms 5500 filed through EFAST2 are available for public disclosure on the EFAST2 Web site for four years. Archived returns can still be requested through DOL's Public Disclosure Room as noted above.

  2. If the caller asks about getting a copy of a previously-filed Form 5500-EZ, ask the caller what the plan period of the desired copy is and use the following table to advise the caller:

    If the plan period of the desired Form 5500-EZ is Then
    199911 or earlier
    • Instruct the caller to send a written request or, for an unredacted copy, a Form 4506 to:
      Internal Revenue Service
      1973 North Rulon White Blvd
      Attn: EP Accounts M/S 6552
      Ogden, UT 84404

    • Tell the caller to allow up to 60 days for receipt of the requested copy/copies.

    199912 to 200912 Apologize to the caller and explain that copies of a Form 5500-EZ filed for these periods are not available.
    201001 or later
    • Instruct the caller to send a written request or, for an unredacted copy, a Form 4506 to:
      Internal Revenue Service
      1973 North Rulon White Blvd
      Attn: EP Accounts M/S 6552
      Ogden, UT 84404

    • Tell the caller to allow up to 60 days for receipt of the requested copy/copies.

21.3.8.3.4.1.6  (10-02-2009)
Copies of EO Returns on CD and DVD Format

  1. Customers can request CDs/DVDs with scanned images of certain information returns.

  2. A list of available forms and the related charge can be found on the IRS Web site. CDs/DVDs are free of charge for members of the media and other governmental agencies.

  3. Normal processing time for CD/DVD requests is a minimum of 60 days.

  4. If you get a call asking about the status of a previously-placed order, prepare a Form 4442 referral with the pertinent contact information and fax it to the RAIVS Unit at 801-620-7896.

  5. If you receive a call concerning problems loading the CDs/DVDs with the Alchemy Search program software for the imaged EO returns, see IRM 3.20.13.4.11, "EO Photocopy Technical Software Assistance Procedures."

  6. For additional information, see IRM 3.20.13, Exempt Organization Photocopy Procedures, and IRM 21.7.7.3.7.5, "CD and DVD Requests."

21.3.8.3.4.1.7  (04-01-2013)
Special Orders for Exempt Organization Information

  1. The IRS will no longer provide custom extracts of information from the Exempt Organizations business master file on a contractual basis, effective January 1, 2013.

  2. Exempt organization information remains available for downloading, on a non-customized, non-contractual basis, through the Exempt Organizations Bulletin Board on the Internet at SOI Tax Stats – Exempt Organizations: IRS Master File Data.

21.3.8.3.4.2  (10-01-2013)
Information Returns/Transcripts Disclosable under IRC 6103

  1. A request for a photocopy or transcript of a tax form disclosable under IRC 6103 and 26 CFR 601.702(d)(1) must be written and must describe the material desired in reasonably sufficient detail to enable the Service to locate the material.

  2. Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, is used to request a copy of a previously filed tax form.

  3. Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, is used to request a tax return transcript. Transfer callers requesting a transcript per the Telephone Transfer Guide (TTG) on SERP.

    Exception:

    Transcripts are not available for Forms 990-N. Direct callers asking for a transcript of the Form 990-N to the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov/eo. Click "EO Select Check" and follow the prompts.

  4. Refer to Form 4506 for the fee information. Refer to the instructions for Form 4506 and for Form 4506-T for the appropriate mailing addresses.

  5. Exempt Organizations requesting an unredacted copy (unsanitized copy) of their original information return must submit Form 4506 and pay the applicable fee (all EO requests on Form 4506 must be mailed to the Ogden Campus).

  6. The standard time frame for receipt of requested copies is 60 days. If the caller indicates it has been more than 60 days since the request was submitted, confirm that the request was sent to the correct address.

    • If it has been more than 60 days and the request was sent to the correct address, instruct the caller to request the information again, marking "SECOND REQUEST" at the top of the request. Tell the caller to allow 30 days for a response to the second request. If the caller indicates that no response was received to a second request, prepare a Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (and Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order). See IRM 21.3.8.8.6, "Taxpayer Advocate Service Referral Guidelines, Including Congressional Inquiries, and Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (and Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order)."

    • If the request was sent to the incorrect address, provide the caller with the correct address. Although the request should be forwarded to the appropriate site, the caller may want to submit a copy of the request to the correct address.

  7. See IRM 21.3.8.3.4.1.2, "Public Inspection of Exemption Applications and/or EO Information Returns Disclosable under IRC 6104," for requests involving publicly-available (redacted) information.

21.3.8.3.4.3  (11-25-2008)
Photocopies of Form SS-4

  1. If a caller requests a photocopy of an original Form SS-4 filed, probe to determine when the form was processed. Only Forms SS-4 processed between 1938 and 1998 are available. If the Form SS-4 was filed during this period, advise the caller to send a written request to the following address:

    Social Security Administration
    Earnings Reconciliation Branch
    4-D-15 NB Metro West
    300 North Greene Street
    Baltimore, MD 21201-1581

  2. See IRM 21.7.13.3.2.12, "Form SS-4 Retention (Past and Present) and Requests for Copies of Form SS-4," for additional details.

21.3.8.3.4.4  (02-12-2008)
Requests for Copies of Audit Reports

  1. If the customer is requesting a copy of his/her audit report:

    1. Prepare Form 4442 to request a copy for the customer.

    2. Annotate on Form 4442 the DLN of the audit assessment amount and the controlling DLN (usually the Transaction Code (TC) 300).

    3. If more than one year is involved (multiple years contain a TC 300), specify which year the customer is requesting.

    4. If there is more than one audit on the same year (multiple TC 300s on same tax period), specify which assessment the customer is requesting.

    5. Advise the customer it may take up to 60 days to receive the copy of the audit report.

    6. A copy of the audit report is provided free of charge.

    7. If a TC 421 is present on the module(s), route Form 4442 to the Return and Income Verification Unit (RAIVS) in the campus where the audit occurred. (See IRM 3.5.20-3, "RAIVS Contacts" , for additional information.)

    8. If a TC 421 is not present on the module(s), route Form 4442 to the area working the Exam.

21.3.8.3.5  (10-01-2006)
Refunds

  1. This section serves as a guide for handling refund issues.

21.3.8.3.5.1  (05-10-2011)
Refund Intercepts

  1. When a tax module reflects a pending refund (PN TC 846) that the customer indicates should not go out, assistors are required to stop it.

  2. For information on stopping the refund, see IRM 21.4.1.4.10, "Refund Intercept CC NOREF."

21.3.8.3.5.2  (10-01-2007)
Erroneous Refunds

  1. An Erroneous Refund is defined as "any receipt of money from the Service to which the recipient is not entitled." This definition includes all erroneous payments to taxpayers, even if the error could not have been known at the time of the refund.

  2. When a customer indicates he/she received an erroneous refund:

    1. Review the Master File Tax (MFT) code and tax period from which the refund came. This information is found on the front of the check or can be identified in the correspondence the customer received (510C letter).

    2. If the customer wishes to return the money immediately or asks how he/she can send the check back or make payments, see IRM 21.4.5.11, "How to Repay an Erroneous Refund or Return an Erroneous Refund Check or Direct Deposit ."

  3. See IRM 21.4.5, Erroneous Refunds, for complete erroneous refund procedures.

21.3.8.3.5.3  (10-01-2006)
Backup Withholding Refunds - EO

  1. If the customer is asking how to obtain a refund of backup withholding:

    1. If the EIN is not correct, provide the customer with appropriate guidance to initiate correction.

    2. Advise the customer he/she must submit Form 990-T for a refund of backup withholding.

      Note:

      If the organization does not have reportable unrelated business income (UBI) and is a Form 990-PF filer, the backup withholding should be reported in Part VI of Form 990-PF in lieu of completing Form 990-T.

    3. Refer the caller to the form instructions for completion assistance.

    4. See IRM 21.7.7.4.3.5, "Backup Withholding," for additional information on claims for refunds.

21.3.8.3.6  (10-01-2009)
U.S. Residency Certification

  1. Transfer callers with questions about U.S. Residency Certification or about Form 8802, Application for United States Residency Certification, per the TTG.

21.3.8.3.7  (10-01-2010)
Ordering Forms and Publications

  1. Follow the procedures in IRM 21.3.6.4.1, "Ordering Forms and Publications," when advising the caller about ordering forms and publications.

    Exception:

    Do not suggest that the caller go to IRS walk-in offices, libraries, or the post office for TEGE forms.

  2. If Elite is unavailable, prepare a Form 4190, Order Blank for Tax Forms and Publications, if the caller is requesting the current year's forms or Form 6112, Prior Year Tax Products Order Form, if the caller needs prior year forms.

21.3.8.3.7.1  (10-03-2012)
Revised Forms and Publications

  1. Most tax and information returns undergo yearly revision; many publications are also regularly updated.

  2. If a caller asks the date of the latest revision for a particular form or publication, you can research that on the Electronic Publishing Web site.

  3. If a caller asks whether an older revision of a form can be used, you should encourage the caller to use the most current revision. While prior revisions of tax and information returns will generally be accepted for those who file on paper, the filer of an outdated return is going to experience delays in processing and may also receive a request for additional information if new line items, sections, or schedules have been added to the current revision.

    Note:

    Callers who need to file returns for prior years should use the revisions for those specific years whenever possible. These forms may be downloaded from the IRS Web site by accessing "Prior Year Forms & Pubs" from the Forms & Pubs tab. (See IRM 21.3.8.3.7, "Ordering Forms and Publications," if the caller asks you to order the form.) If they cannot obtain forms for the correct year, they should be sure to notate the beginning and ending dates of the tax period at the top of the return.

  4. Prior revisions of some special-use forms and applications, e.g., applications for tax-exempt status and for determinations on the qualifications of an employee plan, may not be accepted for processing. See IRM 21.3.8.11.5, "Applications with No/Insufficient Fee and/or on Obsoleted Forms."

21.3.8.3.8  (10-01-2013)
Researching and Perfecting Entity/EO Submodule Information on the Master File

  1. During the process of performing call-related research, any additional issues/problems discovered (within scope) must be addressed. The following list provides examples of some of the additional items you may discover and must address.

    Reminder:

    You may also need to research for the organization's compliance with its EO filing requirements. See IRM 21.3.8.3.8.1, "Compliance with EO Filing Requirements," for additional details.

    1. A caller asks that you add a location address to the entity. In the process, you note that the PO Box is incorrect. Correct the PO Box as well.

    2. If a misspelling or other error in the name is observed, see IRM 21.3.8.9.2, "Name Changes - EO and FSLG," for additional information.

    3. When the information from a determination case "rolls" to Master File, the MF 030 date that displays on page 1 of EDS (if the case did not unpost from EDS) should match the date of a TC 016 on IDRS with a DLN in blocking series 990 - 999. When it is discovered that an EO submodule was not added/updated within two weeks from the date the determination application was closed (EDS/TEDS no-rolls), update Master File based on the closing information found on EDS/TEDS, unless the delay in "rolling" was caused by the end-of-year dead cycles on IDRS (allow two weeks from the end of the dead cycles before treating as a "no roll" ). Add a history item to AMS whenever possible; otherwise use IDRS. See IRM 21.3.8.9.10.1 , "Definer Codes," specifically (1)(b), if INOLES shows a SOLE-PRP-SSN; this field must be deleted before the submodule can be added. If closing information is incomplete or not available (e.g., status 25 "P" cases), prepare a Form 4442 to the TEGE Adjustments Unit (EEFAX 855-204-6185), indicating "NO-ROLL."

      Note:

      If the "NO-ROLL" organization had an advance ruling and the period expired prior to the date the advance ruling process was eliminated (and there is no indication that a Letter 1048 was issued), use foundation code 09 (no foundation rule) for the foundation code because IDRS will not allow you to input an expired date in the ARED field; give the organization 990-01 filing requirements.

      Exception:

      This only applies to organizations with an ARED of 200805 and earlier. If the ARED is 200806 and later, simply add the submodule information without any ARED if the input date is later than the ARED showing on EDS/TEDS. See IRM 21.3.8.11.7, "Elimination of the Advance Ruling Process," and the subsequent subsections for additional information.

      Caution:

      Do not attempt to give the organization a Form 941 filing requirement if there is already a Form 944 filing requirement on the account (even if the determination specialist coded the closing information on EDS/TEDS to show a Form 941 filing requirement) or your input will unpost.

    4. Advise the customer that due to a systemic problem, the on-line "lists" were not updated to reflect the exempt recognition. Assure the customer that you will initiate the corrections to the system.

    5. If the issue is omission from the on-line Publication 78 data caused by Service error and you were able to update Master File to correct the problem, advise the customer that the organization will appear in the next (or, depending on the timing, the following) online update. See IRM 21.3.8.12.12.1, "Publication 78 Data Omissions (Service Error - Non-Service Error)."

    6. Advise the customer the approximate time frame the organization will appear in the on-line system: For Online Exempt Organization Master File (EOMF), it may take up to 6-8 weeks. Online Publication 78 data is generally updated the second Monday of each month.

    7. If an EO submodule perfection not related to an EDS/TEDS No-Roll can be done based on information available while customer is on the phone, you must input the correction.

      Example:

      If EDS/TEDS research shows no "F" case and indicates a Letter 1048 was issued, but Master File still shows the organization as a public charity with 990 filing requirement and an expired Advance Ruling Expiration Date (ARED), delete the ARED, change the foundation code to 04, and change the filing requirement to 990PF-3. This procedure applies only to organizations in status 01.

      Note:

      If the effective date of exemption (status code date) of an organization with an individual ruling (affiliation code 1, 2, or 3) is showing all zeroes or otherwise needs to be corrected and the correct date cannot be determined from EDS/TEDS research, check BMFOLO for a deductibility year. If found, use January of that year for the status code date. For example, if BMFOLO shows a deductibility year of 1989, use 198901 for the status code date. If no deductibility code is found on BMFOLO, use the ruling date for the status code date. For subordinate organizations (affiliation code 7 or 9), use the EIN establishment date. (See IRM 21.3.8.9.10, "TCs for the Entity Module," concerning the required input of definer code C fields when updating the EO submodule of a subordinate organization. Refer to paragraph (6)(i).) Do not confuse a status code date of all zeroes with a ruling date of all zeroes. See IRM 21.3.8.12.23, "Ruling Dates with all Zeroes on Organizations with Individual Exemption," if the ruling date of an individually-exempt organization shows all zeroes.

      Caution:

      The oldest status code date that IDRS will accept is 190101. Use that date if the organization was formed before January 1901.

      Exception:

      Central organization submodule changes can only be made by OSPC. If the submodule of a central organization needs to be corrected, prepare a Form 4442 referral to EO Entity (fax 801-620-7116) with the pertinent information.

    8. If a subordinate organization shows all zeroes for the ruling date, use the ruling date of the central organization to perfect the subordinate's submodule.

  2. If information found on IDRS (e.g., foundation classification, filing requirements, deductibility of contributions) contradicts information contained in an IRS letter in the caller's possession and you cannot ascertain the correct information from EDS/TEDS research, advise the caller to send a copy of the IRS letter and a cover letter explaining the discrepancy to:
    TEGE Correspondence Unit
    P.O. Box 2508, Room 4024
    Cincinnati, OH 45201

    The information may also be faxed to EEFAX 855-204-6184.

  3. If contradictory information is found on IDRS that cannot be corrected based on EDS/TEDS research (e.g., a foundation classification present on a non-(c)(3) organization, deductibility code 1 on an organization not normally described in IRC 170), explain to the caller that additional research must be performed before we can affirm the exemption of the organization in question. Take contact information from the caller and prepare a Form 4442 referral to the TEGE Correspondence Unit (EEFAX 855-204-6184) explaining the discrepancy. Request that the caller be contacted or sent an affirmation letter once the organization's administrative file has been researched and the discrepancy corrected. Advise the caller they should be contacted within 30 days.

    Exception:

    If you find a discrepancy in the organization's employment code, prepare a Form 4442 referral to EO Entity (fax 801-620-7116) with the necessary information.

  4. If there is conflicting information on EDS/TEDS and IDRS, compare the dates the information was added to the respective systems to determine which is more current. If the correct information cannot be determined by comparing the dates, prepare a referral to the TEGE Correspondence Unit (EEFAX 855-204-6184) per the guidance in paragraph (3) above.

21.3.8.3.8.1  (10-01-2013)
Compliance with EO Filing Requirements

  1. Per the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA), if an organization fails to submit the annual electronic notice (Form 990-N) or fails to file Form 990, Form 990-EZ, or Form 990-PF for three consecutive years, its tax-exempt status is revoked as of the submission/filing due date of the third year. The system will put the organization in status 97 if there has been no TC 150 (or other satisfying transaction, i.e., TC 59X other than 592, 597, or 598) posting for three years and one month.

    Note:

    Organizations that are at risk of having their exemption automatically revoked for failure to file for three consecutive years are entitled to request an extension on the third year's return. However, should they request an extension and then fail to file the return by the extended due date, their revocation is effective as of the due date of the third year's return.

    Example:

    As of June 1, 2013, an organization has not filed its annual information return for 201012, 201112, and 201212. However, the 2012 Form 990 module shows that there is a TC 460 for an approved extension until 8-15-13, and the current status code on IDRS is 01. If the organization files its return by the approved extension due date, then the return is not late and the organization's exemption will not be revoked. However, if the organization does not file by the extended due date, then the organization’s tax-exempt status will be revoked effective 5-15-13 (which is the due date of the third year's return without regard to the extension of time for filing date).

  2. If you are researching an organization with EO filing requirements other than 990-06, 990-13, or 990-14 AND you are speaking to an authorized caller, research BMFOLI to ensure that the organization has been filing returns as required by the PPA of 2006. If the organization has not been compliant, advise the caller accordingly.

    Note:

    If BMFOLI does not indicate that a return has posted within the past three fiscal periods but the caller states that a return was filed for at least one of those periods, transfer the caller to an EO account assistor so that OL-SEIN research can be performed.

    Reminder:

    If the organization is a subordinate whose financial information is included in a group return, you will not be able to verify the organization's compliance using BMFOLI alone. Research BMFOLT for a TC 590-14, which indicates that a group return including the subordinate's information was filed, thus satisfying the organization's filing requirement.

  3. If the caller's organization is at risk of auto-revocation because the due date of the third year's return is approaching and the organization failed to file for the previous two years, refer to IRM 21.3.8.12.24.4, "Special Procedures for Organizations That Require an IDRS Update to Submit the Form 990-N Timely." If the caller believes his/her organization's exemption was revoked in error, see IRM 21.3.8.12.6.1, "Responding to Calls From or About Organizations in Status 97."

21.3.8.3.9  (10-01-2011)
FTD Coupons (Form 8109-B)

  1. A regulatory change took effect January 1, 2011, that eliminated FTD coupons.

  2. If the caller has general questions about electronic payment options (EFTPS), transfer the caller per the TTG.

21.3.8.3.10  (10-01-2012)
EIN Verification and Requests for Substitute 147C Letter

  1. When a caller requests verbal or written (147C letter) confirmation of an organization's EIN, verify disclosure. See IRM 11.3, Disclosure of Official Information, for general disclosure information.

  2. If the caller is an unauthorized third party, explain that if you are able to locate the organization on our records, you can only mail written confirmation to the organization's address of record, if available.

    Note:

    See (4) and (5) below for additional information about verbal confirmation.

  3. Obtain identifying information and research the Master File to locate the entity.

  4. If the entity IS LOCATED:

    1. Advise caller you can prepare Letter 4158C (EIN Letter) and mail it to the current address of record.

      Note:

      If the authorized caller expresses urgency (i.e., asks for the EIN confirmation to be faxed or otherwise states that she/he cannot wait the 10 - 14 business days to receive the letter in the mail), transfer the caller per the TTG (search under "EIN verification" ) so that the EIN letter can be faxed to the caller per the guidance outlined in IRM 11.3.1.11, "Facsimile Transmission of Tax Information."

    2. Verbal confirmation of the EIN assigned can be provided to an authorized party.

    3. Verbal confirmation of the EIN assigned to an organization can be provided to an unauthorized third party when it can be determined that the EIN is available on a disclosable document (approved determination application or filed Form 990/990-EZ/990-N/990-PF).

      Note:

      If research via command code INOLES results in the message: NO RECORD FOUND, but the EIN can be confirmed via a command code such as NAMEE/NAMEB/FINDE, add the entity back to the Master File using TC 000 if the caller is authorized. Solicit the organization's current mailing address and use it when re-establishing the account. See IRM 21.3.8.9.10, "TCs for the Entity Module," for TC 000 guidance.

  5. If the entity is NOT LOCATED:

    1. Advise the caller you are unable to locate and confirm the EIN for the entity.

    2. If the caller is an authorized party, advise the caller that if a number cannot be confirmed, a new ID number must be obtained. In order to have formal tax-exempt recognition under the new number, the organization must apply or send in proof of a previously issued determination letter. See IRM 21.3.8.9.1, "Applying for an EIN and Re-establishing Entities/EINs on Master File," if the authorized caller has a copy of CP 575.

    3. If the caller is an unauthorized third party, suggest that the caller go to the organization for confirmation.

21.3.8.3.11  (03-06-2007)
Walk-In Services

  1. TEGE customers can no longer receive "walk-in" assistance at the Peck Federal Building in Cincinnati, making the services provided in the Cincinnati Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) consistent with those provided in the other TACs nationwide.

  2. If a caller asks about making an appointment for face-to-face assistance, inform the caller that assistance is provided only by telephone or in writing in response to correspondence.

21.3.8.4  (10-01-2006)
Disclosure

  1. This section serves as a guide for disclosure issues as they relate to TEGE issues.

21.3.8.4.1  (10-01-2009)
Disclosure - General

  1. See IRM 21.1.3, Operational Guidelines Overview, for general disclosure guidelines. The following subsections provide specific guidelines relating to TEGE cases.

  2. For TEGE Telephone Operations, the use of the word "Disclosure" refers primarily to:

    1. An employee's responsibility to verify that a party is authorized to receive verbal or written information about account, return, and other information under IRC 6103 (or disclosure of information under IRC 6104).

    2. The release, by the Internal Revenue Service, of determination application and return information to the general public under IRC 6104 or rulings under IRC 6110. This applies to both Exempt Organizations and Employee Plans.

    3. An Exempt Organization's requirement to make its determination application (if it filed for exemption after July 15, 1987, or had a copy of its application on July 15, 1987) and filed information returns available to the general public under IRC 6104.

21.3.8.4.1.1  (10-03-2012)
IRC 6103

  1. IRC 6103 governs the disclosure of all TEGE account, determination, or plan-related information that is not disclosable to the general public under IRC 6104 or IRC 6110.

  2. Under IRC 6103, information not disclosable under IRC 6104 or IRC 6110 may be disclosed only to a person who has a material interest in the information pursuant to IRC 6103(e) and/or is legally authorized to act on behalf of the organization/plan. This includes:

    1. An officer authorized by the corporation in accordance with applicable state law to bind the corporation legally.

    2. A person designated by resolution of the board of directors or other similar governing body to act on behalf of the organization/plan.

    3. For return issues, an officer or employee who signed the return on behalf of the organization/plan and who is still employed by the organization/plan in the same capacity with the same authority.

    4. A third party authorized to act or receive information on behalf of an organization/plan by the execution of an appropriate formal authorization, such as Form 2848/Form 8821, or verbal consent under the authority of Treas. Reg. 301.6103(c)-1(c).

  3. For telephone requests, employees must ask sufficient questions to establish the identity and position of the caller before disclosing information which is not disclosable under IRC 6104 or IRC 6110.

    1. An officer, employee, or other individual who is acting on behalf of an organization (and is not an outside third party) must be asked if he/she is legally authorized to act on behalf of the organization/plan.

    2. Plan Participants seeking determination application related information for a plan must be able to provide sufficient evidence that he/she is a participant before any information can be disclosed.

    3. An outside third party (Certified Public Accountant (CPA), accountant, attorney, etc.) must have formal authorization (Form 2848/Form 8821) on file (or an Oral Consent recorded on the tax account module) before information protected under IRC 6103 can be disclosed.

    4. If there is a question as to the identity of a requester or whether he/she is entitled to receive information, it is necessary to ask additional disclosure prompts in order to determine that the caller is authorized. See (12) in IRM 21.3.8.4.1.5, "Taxpayer Authentication Procedures," for suggested additional probes. If you cannot determine that the caller is authorized, ask that a request be submitted in writing. If procedures allow for mailing the requested information (such as a letter), it can be mailed directly to the organization/plan sponsor using the address of record.

      Caution:

      Never fax information protected under IRC 6103 to a fax number provided by an unauthorized party.

  4. Some examples of information disclosable only to authorized persons under IRC 6103 are:

    1. Account/penalty information involving income tax returns such as Form 1120-POL, Form 5330, Form 990-T, etc.

    2. Specific account information relating to the assessment/abatement of late/incomplete return filing penalties relating to TEGE information and excise tax returns (Forms 5500/990 series, including Form 990-PF)

    3. Information relating to a pending Exempt Organization application

    4. Information relating to a pending or closed Employee Plan application when the number of participants is fewer than 26

      Note:

      Non-disclosable plan determination applications become (and remain) disclosable under IRC 6104 if the number of participants reaches 26.

    5. Information relating to an Exempt Organization application which has been closed Failed to Establish (FTE)

    6. Information relating to an Employee Plan application that has been closed incomplete (EDS/TEDS statuses 03 or 05) or withdrawn (EDS/TEDS status 04)

    7. Information relating to the reason an organization's tax-exempt recognition was terminated, suspended, or revoked, other than stating that the organization is not currently recognized exempt by virtue of an approved application, i.e., that we have no record of the organization having tax-exempt status under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code

      Exception:

      The names of organizations in status 97 and the reason for revocation are made public so callers may be told that an organization in status 97 had its exemption revoked for failure to file an information return for three consecutive years once the organization's name has posted to the list of revoked organizations on the IRS Web page.

      Note:

      Information returns and approved determination applications remain disclosable under IRC 6104, even if the organization subsequently loses its exempt status or ceases to exist.

    8. Account/entity information relating to an organization (including churches and Federal, State and Local Government (FSLG) entities) that has never filed an application for recognition of tax exemption and has also never filed Form 990

  5. See IRM 21.3.8.4.1.5, "Taxpayer Authentication Procedures," for taxpayer authentication procedures and IRM 21.1.3.3.2, "Oral Disclosure Consent/Oral TIA (Paperless F8821)," for oral disclosure consent procedures.

21.3.8.4.1.2  (10-01-2011)
IRC 6104

  1. IRC 6104(a) and IRC 6104(b) require the Service to make available for public inspection:

    1. The approved application for exemption of any organization or trust described in IRC 501(c) or (d) determined by the Service to be exempt from taxation under IRC 501(a) for any taxable year;

    2. Any documents filed in support of such application; and

    3. Any letter or other document issued by the Service pertaining to the application if the application was filed after October 31, 1976.

    4. For Approved applications filed prior to November 1, 1976, only those determination letters which are on form letters or "L" type letters are open for public inspection. These determination letters are available for public inspection because the only information included in such letters is the Code section which describes the organization or trust. The disclosure of this information is authorized by IRC 6104.

    5. Upon request, a statement indicating the subsection and paragraph of IRC 501 which describes the exempt organization or trust.

    6. Information required to be furnished by IRC 6033 and IRC 6034 (exempt organization returns). Certain contributor information must, however, be withheld. Certain coding information may be withheld.

      Note:

      As a result of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 and subsequent corrective legislation, any Form 990-T, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return, filed by a 501(c)(3) organization after August 17, 2006, to report unrelated business income tax (UBIT) or Form 5227, Split-Interest Trust Information Return, filed for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2006, is now open for public inspection under IRC 6104, except for the new Form 5227 Schedule A on beneficiaries. The Form 990-T return includes any schedules or attachments that relate to the tax on unrelated business income. If the schedule or attachment to the Form 990-T does not relate to the tax on unrelated business income, it is not disclosable.

    7. Any application filed with respect to the qualification of a pension, profit-sharing, or stock bonus plan under IRC 401(a) or 403(a), an individual retirement account described in IRC 408(a), or an individual retirement annuity described in IRC 408(b), along with any papers submitted in support of the application and any letter or other document issued by the Internal Revenue Service and dealing with the qualification, if the plan has more than 25 participants.

    8. Any application filed with respect to the exemption from tax under IRC 501(a) of an organization forming part of a plan or account referred to in (g) above, along with any papers submitted in support of the application and any letter or other document issued by the Internal Revenue Service dealing with the exemption, if the plan has more than 25 participants.

      Note:

      In the case of any application, document, or other papers referred to in (g) and (h) above, information from which the compensation (including deferred compensation) of any individual may be ascertained is not open to public inspection.

    9. Information required to be furnished by IRC 6058 (employee plan returns), regardless of the number of participants, except Schedule B filed with a Form 5500-EZ and schedules E and SSA filed with a Form 5500

      Note:

      Schedule B was replaced by Schedule MB and Schedule SB for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2008.

    10. Forms 8871 and 8872 filed by IRC 527 organizations

  2. Other determination letters issued prior to November 1, 1976 may include return information, the disclosure of which is not authorized by IRC 6104. Disclosure of such letters is governed by IRC 6103.

  3. The disclosure of certain information relating to trade secrets, patents, processes, style of work or apparatus of an organization or national defense information may be restricted.

  4. Assistors may verbally disclose to unauthorized third parties any exempt organization data available from a source that is disclosable to the general public under IRC 6104, examples of which are listed in (1) above.

  5. Requests from unauthorized third parties for employee plan information disclosable under IRC 6104 must be in writing and should be sent to the address under "Disclosure" under the Who/Where tab on SERP.

  6. If an unauthorized third party asks about an information return which, according to our records, we cannot verify was filed, tell the caller that the return for that period is not available. Do not tell an unauthorized third party that a particular return was not filed. See IRM 21.3.8.4.2.3, "EO Public Inspection of Determination Applications and Return Information," for additional details on EO returns. See IRM 21.3.8.13.2, "Form 5500/Form 5500-SF/5500-EZ," for information about a change in tax law that may explain why a Form 5500-EZ did not need to be filed.

21.3.8.4.1.3  (10-02-2009)
IRC 6110

  1. IRC 6110 requires that, subject to certain deletions, determination letters and rulings (with associated correspondence) not covered by IRC 6104 must be made available for public inspection.

    1. This includes letters and rulings unrelated to approved determination applications (i.e., private letter rulings), as well as denied EO determination application rulings.

    2. The determination letters and rulings (with associated correspondence) available under IRC 6110 have had identifying details removed and are indexed by the Code section at issue and by a nine-digit identifying number. These letters are available, after editing, from the Electronic Reading Room at www.irs.gov. See IRM 21.3.8.3.4.1.4, Public Inspection of EO Determinations and Rulings Under IRC 6110, for additional information.

    Note:

    Although redacted documents are available under IRC 6110 for denied EO determination application rulings pursuant to Tax Analysts v. IRS, 350 F.3d 100 (D.C.Cir. 2003), an unauthorized party CANNOT be advised that a specific individual EO determination application has been denied (see IRM 21.3.8.4.2.3(4)).

21.3.8.4.1.4  (06-18-2012)
.Form 2848/Form 8821 Fax Submissions

  1. Form 2848/Form 8821 can be accepted via fax, if they contain the necessary information. If a Power of Attorney (POA)[Form 2848] or appointee [Form 8821] is going to fax in a Form 2848/Form 8821 (other than a "special use" power being faxed directly to the attention of the assistor responding to the call), advise the POA/appointee to include a short note of explanation on the cover sheet or in a cover letter.

    Reminder:

    TEGE call site assistors may accept faxed Form 2848/Form 8821 for "special use" situations (e.g., to discuss reinstatement procedures for an organization in status 20 or to collect information for an EO submodule and/or Form 990-N), for application status checks, and to resolve/discuss account issues. See (5) below for information on the post-call handling of authorization forms faxed to call site assistors.

    Note:

    You may accept an authorization that is not on Form 2848 or Form 8821 as long as it contains the information that corresponds to the required fields of those forms. However, the authorization is valid only for the purpose of that call and must be destroyed as classified waste at the conclusion of the call. If the caller wants the authorization to be valid on a more permanent basis, instruct the caller to submit a properly-completed Form 2848 or Form 8821.

  2. If a customer wants to submit a Form 2848/Form 8821 for a pending determination application:

    1. Instruct the caller to fax the form to: EEFAX 855-204-6184 (TEGE Correspondence Unit).

    2. Advise caller that valid authorizations will be added within 5 business days and he/she may call back after at least 5 business days.

    3. Advise caller that an authorized officer within the organization/plan may call anytime to check on the status.

    4. If a caller states it has been more than 5 business days since he/she previously faxed Form 2848 to be added to EDS and the authorization is not on EDS, see the note in (4) below. If the caller believes the Form 2848 submitted was complete and accurate, prepare a Form 4442 referral to the TEGE Correspondence Unit (EEFAX 855-204-6184).

    Note:

    Appointees whose authority is established via Form 8821 are currently not added to EDS/TEDS, but rather are associated with the case file. Therefore, an appointee named on a Form 8821 will be required to fax his/her Form 8821 each time she/he requests information protected under IRC 6103 unless she/he is in contact with someone who has access to the case file and can see a previously-submitted form.

  3. If a customer wants to submit a Form 2848/Form 8821 for account issues:

    1. Instruct the caller to fax the form to the CAF Unit at: 801-620-4249 (except as noted in (b) below).

    2. Advise caller that valid authorizations will be added within 10 calendar days and he/she may call back after at least 10 calendar days.

      Note:

      Valid Form 2848/Form 8821 faxed to TEGE account assistors to establish the authority of the caller to resolve account issues on-line should be forwarded to the Centralized Authorization File (CAF) Unit at the conclusion of the call only if they are on the most current revision of the form.

    3. Advise caller that an authorized officer within the organization/plan may call anytime with account questions.

      Caution:

      A Form 2848/Form 8821 entered on CAF entitles the POA/appointee to account information only for the return and year noted; it does not entitle him to receive any other information protected by IRC 6103.

  4. If the customer indicates he/she faxed or mailed the Form 2848/Form 8821 previously and it is not reflected on the appropriate system, explain to the caller that incomplete or incorrectly completed forms are rejected, but the sender is not notified (unless the form was submitted to the CAF unit). Instruct the customer that before sending the form again, he/she should review the instructions and be sure to have the form signed correctly. See IRM 21.3.7.5.1, "Essential Elements for Form 2848 and Form 8821," for additional details.

    Note:

    The campus does not input POA information on EDS if the Form 2848 indicates the designation is for "h," an Unenrolled Preparer. Unenrolled Preparers must submit a completed Form 8821. All Form 2848/Form 8821 concerning pending applications are input to TEDS whether they are valid or not. If the form is invalid, it is marked as such. The assistor must check the validity of the form before disclosing information protected under IRC 6103.

  5. Assistors should handle Form 2848/Form 8821 per the guidance below once they have completed the call:

    If the Form 2848/Form 8821 concerns Then
    An account issue Forward to CAF per (3) above
    An open determination or correspondence case Forward to the Correspondence Unit per (2) above
    A one-time special use issue (e.g., reinstatement) Destroy as classified waste

    Note:

    This includes authorizations that are not submitted on a Form 2848 or Form 8821.

21.3.8.4.1.5  (04-01-2013)
Taxpayer Authentication Procedures

  1. Unless the information being requested is open to the general public under IRC 6104, or is available through IRS publications, employees must verify the customer is an authorized party. This holds true for all verbal and written disclosures.

  2. When performing disclosure verification, all necessary steps must be taken to satisfy the assistor that the customer is an authorized party and entitled to the information requested.

  3. NEVER offer sensitive information (such as Organization/Plan name, c/o person name, current address, or other account-specific information) to a customer when attempting to confirm authorization. Instead, ask the customer to provide the information and compare the information provided with the available information on record. Offering information that is present on the Master File or EDS/TEDS record could compromise the ability to verify that the party is authorized and could result in an unauthorized disclosure. See IRM 11.3.1.7, "Reporting Unauthorized Access or Disclosures," for additional information.

  4. Before disclosing information protected under IRC 6103, solicit the name, address, and EIN of the organization/plan. (See (12) below if the caller fails to provide the correct address of record.) Unless the caller has a valid POA, the basic question that must be asked in all disclosure verifications is: "Are you a current officer legally authorized to act on behalf of the organization /plan?"

    Note:

    Using a purpose statement (such as, "In order to protect the organization and the Service, I need to verify your relationship with the organization before disclosing certain information" ) before asking the caller the disclosure prompts can help put the caller at ease and can make the assistor feel more comfortable asking the disclosure prompts.

    Reminder:

    Organizations can have varying names for titles of officers. The key is to establish that the person with whom you are in contact is not an outside third party and is legally authorized to act on behalf of the organization. See IRM 21.3.8.4.3.1, "EP Disclosure Explanation of Terms," for information specific to plan administrators.

    Caution:

    The names of subordinate organizations may appear on the primary name line or on the sort name line, depending on the nature of the group ruling. If the caller is inquiring about a subordinate organization and correctly identifies the name of the subordinate as it appears on the sort name line, it is not necessary for the caller to identify the exact name of the central organization as it appears on the primary name line as long as you are reasonably sure the correct subordinate organization has been identified and the other disclosure prompts have been appropriately addressed.

  5. If a party is an officer, employee or other designated person within the organization/plan, and is not an outside third party, once his/her position within the organization/plan is established (and she/he has provided the EIN, name, and address of the organization/plan or additional information as required in (12) below), verbal confirmation that he/she is authorized to act on behalf of the organization/plan is sufficient verification for Exempt Organization and Employee Plan disclosure. A trustee may be an outside third party, not authorized without specific authority. (If caller is a plan participant seeking information relating to a plan, see (9) below).

    Note:

    See IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.2, "Status of Pending EO Determination/Application Requests," if the caller is checking on the status of a pending application and does not have the organization's EIN. See IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.3, "Status of Pending EP Determination/Application Requests," if the caller is checking on the status of an EP application.

  6. Before an outside third party can be considered authorized to receive information protected under IRC 6103, disclosure rules require:

    • Formal execution of authorization (i.e., Form 8821/Form 2848)

    • Oral Consent by an authorized party (for specific account matters) or

    • Specification of a Third -Party Designee on the return

  7. For third-party verification ask: "Do you have a valid authorization on file?" and use the following table.

    Note:

    The information below pertains to authorizations that are not faxed directly to the attention of the assistor. See IRM 21.3.8.4.1.4, "Form 2848/Form 8821 Fax Submissions," if the caller asks to fax the authorization to the assistor.

    If Then
    The issue concerns a determination application The authority must be verified on the POA screen of EDS/TEDS. Authorizations recorded on the Master File are not valid for determination application issues.
    1. Secure the organization's EIN and name and compare with the information on EDS/TEDS.

    2. Secure the POA's name and address and compare with the information on EDS/TEDS.

    Caution:

    POA information may not be re-entered on an "S" case when the FTE file is re-established. If no POA information is displayed on the "S" case, research for the POA on the "I" case, and, if found, proceed as indicated above.

    Note:

    If the application is not showing on EDS/TEDS, verify the POA information on LINUS.

    The authorization is via Form 2848 or Form 8821 The authority must be recorded on CAF. See IRM 21.1.3.3, "Third Party (POA/TIA/F706) Authentication," for authentication requirements.

    Reminder:

    You may need to access both BMF and EPMF when researching for the POA on an EP account.

    The authorization is via Oral Consent The authority must be recorded on IDRS (TXMODA) and AMS. See IRM 21.1.3.3.2, "Oral Disclosure Consent/Oral TIA (Paperless F8821)," for authentication requirements.
    The authorization is via return check box designee The authority must be recorded on Master File or verified on OL-SEIN (in the event the return has not posted). See IRM 21.1.3.3.1, "Third Party Designee Authentication," for general authentication requirements.

    Note:

    For the purpose of TEGE telephone assistance, the third-party designee check box authorization is applicable only for Form 990-T, Form 1120-POL, Form 990-PF, Form 990, and Form 990-EZ.

    Formal authorization cannot be confirmed
    1. Provide caller with appropriate guidance on establishing formal authorization (e.g., faxing Form 2848/8821 to CAF/TEGE Determinations or by having an officer provide Oral Consent authorization for specific account matters).

    2. Provide caller with general guidance.

    3. Explain that an officer legally authorized to act on behalf of the entity can call anytime for the requested information.

  8. If a party is a plan participant requesting information relating to a plan, he/she does not have to be legally authorized to act on behalf of the plan but must be able to demonstrate he/she is a participant in the plan and thus entitled to the information being requested.

  9. This demonstration can be satisfied verbally if:

    • The participant states he/she is a current participant.

    • The participant can identify the employer/sponsor.

    • The participant can identify the plan.

  10. When a participant cannot verbally satisfy entitlement to the information requested, advise him/her to submit the request in writing with proof he/she is a participant (e.g., W-2, participant statement).

  11. Participants are not entitled to account information (penalties, Form 5330 filing, etc.) relating to a plan/sponsor.

  12. If the caller cannot provide the correct address of record or the caller's position with the organization/plan does not clearly identify him/her as an officer (but the caller correctly responds to the other disclosure prompts), additional probing is necessary to help establish that the party is authorized. This includes any information found on the Master File record (such as specific return information or EO information), or information found on EDS/TEDS, for example:

    • The date the organization's application for recognition of exemption was filed

    • The amount of user fee paid with the application for recognition of exemption

    • Specific line items from filed returns

    Note:

    Do not treat the c/o name line as part of the address for the purpose of disclosure verification.

  13. Before disclosing information open to public inspection under IRC 6104, solicit the EIN, name, and address of the organization to ensure that any information disclosed pertains to the correct entity. If the caller is unable to provide all of the identifying information (such as the city and/or state when the full address is not known), attempt to secure as many details as possible, and, if you are able to locate information open to public disclosure under IRC 6104, advise the caller that the information being provided is based on our available records.

    Example:

    A caller asks about the exempt status of an organization for which she has only the name. Using NAMEE, you are able to locate organizations with that name in Maine, Ohio, Nebraska, and Virginia. Additional IDRS research shows that only the organizations in Nebraska and Virginia are exempt by virtue of an approved application, i.e., the organizations have tax-exempt status under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. Disclose information to the caller about the organizations in Nebraska and Virginia, but advise her that because she was not able to provide complete identifying information, there is no guarantee that either of the organizations you located is actually the organization about which she called. Tell her that she may call again if she obtains additional identifying information that indicates that neither of the exempt organizations you located is the correct organization.

    Exception:

    Note the following exceptions:

    • If you receive the message, "XXXXX POSSIBLE MATCHES, SUPPLY ADDITIONAL INFO," when you perform your NAMEE/NAMEB research, apologize to the caller and explain that we are unable to perform adequate research with the limited information provided by the caller. Invite the caller to contact us again if she/he can provide additional identifying information about the organization.

    • If your NAMEE/NAMEB research returns more than 15 - 20 pages of data (including receiving the message, "XXXXX MATCHES - DISPLAY LIMIT EXCEEDED " ), consult your Lead.

    Note:

    When disclosing information open to the general public under IRC 6104, you may provide the caller with any identifying information not known to the caller as long as it is disclosable under IRC 6104. If the caller is authorized but does not know the current address of record (AOR) and you disclose the AOR to that caller, Oral Statement procedures for updating the address will not apply and Form 8822-B (or Form 990-N, etc.) will be required for an address update.

21.3.8.4.1.6  (10-01-2008)
Leaving Information on Answering Machines/Voice Mail

  1. When leaving taxpayers' or their representatives' confidential information on an answering machine/voice mail, you must adhere to guidelines developed by Governmental Liaison and Disclosure. Guidelines which allow you to leave confidential information are described in IRM 11.3.2.6.1, Leaving Information on Answering Machines/Voice Mail.

21.3.8.4.1.7  (03-11-2011)
Media Contacts/Referrals

  1. If a caller identifies him/herself as a member of the media, refer to IRM 21.3.5.4.4.2, "Media Contacts."

21.3.8.4.2  (10-01-2006)
Disclosure - Exempt Organizations

  1. This subsection serves as a guide for Public Inspection/Disclosure Rules for Exempt Organizations.

21.3.8.4.2.1  (10-01-2006)
EO Disclosure Requirements

  1. This section provides information relating to the disclosure requirements for Exempt Organizations.

21.3.8.4.2.2  (10-01-2006)
Public Disclosure of EO information

  1. The intent of Congress in allowing for the public inspection of information governed by IRC 6104(a), (b), and (d) was to enable the public to scrutinize the activities of tax-exempt organizations and trusts. Congress intended that these organizations and trusts be subject to a certain degree of public accountability in view of their privileged tax status and because the public has a right to know for what purposes their contributions are being or will be used.

  2. In view of the Congressional intent that the activities of exempt organizations and trusts be known to the public, Service employees must, to the extent it is administratively feasible, attempt to comply with requests for inspection of disclosable information, even though the information is contained in a document which is not specifically available for public inspection under IRC 6104. See IRM 11.3.9.3, Commonly Requested Documents, for additional information.

21.3.8.4.2.3  (10-03-2012)
EO Public Inspection of Determination Applications and Return Information

  1. Only approved determination applications and related documents are open to public inspection under 6104.

  2. With regard to requests for copies of approved EO determination applications, the following information is disclosable:

    • The application form (1023/1024 or the letter which requests exemption where no application form is required)

    • Any attachments included with the application, including printed material or publications

    • Any letter issued by the Service in connection with the application

    • Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative

    • Form 872-C, Consent Fixing Period of Limitations Upon Assessment of Tax under IRC 4940

    • Form 8718

    • Form 8734 and related determination letter (while not part of the original application, foundation follow-ups relate to the application and are available for public inspection pursuant to IRC 6104)

  3. With regard to requests for copies of determination applications, the following information is not disclosable:

    • Internal Documents, such as case notes made by the determination specialist (case chronology)

    • Technical advisory/notes issued regarding a review of the application

    • Internal Control Documents

    • Examination (audit) reports, work papers, and related correspondence

    • Trade secrets determined not to be open to public inspection

    • Information contained in supporting documents, the disclosure of which has been determined would adversely affect the national defense

  4. If an application is pending, withdrawn, denied, or if no application has been submitted, neither the application nor related supporting documents, nor the fact that an organization has or has not submitted an application for exemption, can be disclosed under IRC 6104. When responding to such requests, you may state, "We have no record that the organization is a tax-exempt organization by virtue of an approved application (i.e., we have no record of the organization having tax-exempt status under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code)."

    Note:

    Denied EO determination rulings and related material may be disclosable pursuant to IRC 6110 in redacted format. However, such disclosure may not be provided for any particular given entity, since pursuant to IRC 6110, identifying details are removed from denied EO determination letters and rulings. Such documents are instead indexed by the Code section at issue and by a seven digit identifying number. See IRM 21.3.8.4.1.3.

  5. If the IRS terminates or revokes the organization's exemption, the approved application and attachments are still open to public disclosure. However, the specific reason why an organization is no longer tax exempt may not be disclosed to the public. Advise the requester that the organization is no longer tax exempt.

    Exception:

    If the organization's exemption was auto-revoked for failure to file the required annual information returns for three consecutive years (status 97 on IDRS), certain information about the revocation may be disclosed as discussed in IRM 21.3.8.12.6.1, "Responding to Calls From or About Organizations in Status 97."

  6. The majority of requests for return disclosure involve Form 990, Form 990-EZ, and Form 990-PF. However, the Pension Protection Act (PPA) of 2006 opened additional EO returns to public inspection (Forms 990-T filed by 501(c)(3) organizations to report UBIT after August 17, 2006, and Forms 5227 (except the Schedule A) filed for tax years beginning after December 31, 2006). The PPA of 2006 also brought about the requirement to submit the e-postcard Form 990-N for tax years beginning after December 31, 2006 (the information from which is available on the Internet) for small organizations whose gross receipts are not large enough to require the filing of a Form 990 or Form 990-EZ. Refer to the following chart for special circumstances when addressing incoming telephone inquiries regarding the filing of these forms, especially when neither IDRS nor OL-SEIN research indicates that a return has been filed (also refer to the information in (7) and (8) below):

    Reminder:

    Only account assistors have access to OL-SEIN. If there is any indication that a return has been filed (e.g., based on a comment from the caller) and the return is not showing on IDRS, transfer the caller to an account assistor for additional research.

    If Then
    Form 990/990-EZ, filing requirement code is 2

    Note:

    This applies to tax years that ended on or before December 31, 2006, only.

    Advise the caller a return is not required to be filed under IRC 6033(a)(3).
    A TC 590 is present without a Closing Code or with a Closing Code 075 Advise the caller a return is not required to be filed under IRC 6033(a)(3).
    A TC 590 is present with a Closing Code 014 Advise the caller the organization was included as part of a group return, and is not required to file a separate return.
    A TC 599 is present with Closing Code 017 Advise the caller the return is not available at this time and ask him/her to wait at least two months before submitting a request.
    A TC 460 extension to file and entity filing requirement of 1 is present 1. Advise the caller an extension has been filed and no return is currently available, if the extended due date has not passed.
    2. If the extension date has been reached, advise the caller the return is not available. Do not give the extension due date.
    A TC 150 with DLN blocking series 400-479 is present (dummy CP 140) Advise the caller a return is not required to be filed under IRC 6033(a)(3).
    A TC 150 with Doc Code 89 Advise the caller that a Form 990-N was submitted for the period and that the information is available on the IRS Web site.
    A TC 150 for MFT 67 and the organization is an IRC 527 political organization Advise the caller that the Form 990 is available on the IRS Web site. See IRM 21.3.8.14, "IRC 527 Organizations." Refer to (8)(a).
    No TC 150 on IDRS or return on OL-SEIN for the period requested and no exemption from filing a return for that period Advise the caller that there is no return available and that disclosure laws prohibit you from providing additional information.

    Note:

    IRM 21.3.8.3.4.1 and subsequent subsections provide guidance on obtaining disclosable copies of filed EO returns.

  7. You may respond to questions from unauthorized third parties on issues such as:

    • The due dates for returns (in general)

    • The extensions available (in general)

    • The first return filed by the organization

    • The most recent return filed by the organization

    • The returns available to request copies of

      Note:

      EO returns are destroyed six years after the end of the year the returns are processed. Returns processed more than six years ago are not available.

    • Specific information, including line items, appearing on disclosable returns, unless the information is designated as not disclosable (e.g., some items on the Form 990/Form 990-EZ Schedule B and the Form 5227 Schedule A)


    If the caller asks for information that is not open to the general public under IRC 6104, see (8) below.

  8. No compliance information is disclosable to unauthorized third parties under IRC 6104. These include:

    • Delinquent return issues, including penalty assessments/abatements

    • The due date of a specific delinquent return

    • Incomplete return information

    • Specific information on returns that are not available (e.g., why an organization with 990-01 filing requirement did not file)

  9. Exempt Organization Employer Identification Number (EIN) information can be disclosed to an unauthorized third party only when it has appeared on an (approved) application/return that is disclosable to the public under IRC 6104. If an organization has not filed a disclosable Form 990 series return, does not have an approved application, or is automatically recognized exempt from federal income taxes without having to file an application (such as churches and governmental instrumentalities), its EIN is not disclosable to an unauthorized party.

    1. An EIN can be used on affirmation letters, if the source of the EIN is from an application/return that is available to the public under IRC 6104.

    2. The EIN can be used to assist in identifying tax-exempt organizations during telephone calls, if the source of the EIN is from an application/return available to the public by 6104.

    3. If requesters ask for EINs that are not from tax-exempt organizations, or ask why some EINs are available when others are not, explain that some EINs are available because they are from applications/returns available under authority of IRC 6104.

21.3.8.4.2.3.1  (04-18-2012)
Unauthorized Disclosures of Imaged Returns

  1. If you receive a call from an organization stating that information protected under IRC 6103 was inappropriately disclosed as a result of a return image created through SEIN (e.g., Form 990 Schedule B contributor information displayed on a return viewable on the GuideStar Web site), capture the following information in an email:

    1. Issue (what was disclosed)

    2. How the disclosure was brought to the attention of the caller

    3. Contact information for the caller

    4. Case information (name and EIN of the impacted organization, form type and tax year, scan date (if known))

    5. Your name and team number

  2. Send the email to the Headquarters Analyst immediately (within one hour from the time the call was received).

  3. The Headquarters Analyst will forward the email to the BSP:SPP analyst with oversight over the imaging program.

  4. Apologize to the caller and tell him/her that the information is being forwarded to the program analyst for the appropriate corrective action.

21.3.8.4.3  (10-01-2006)
Disclosure - Employee Plans

  1. This subsection serves as a disclosure guide for Employee Plans under IRC 6104.

21.3.8.4.3.1  (03-04-2009)
EP Disclosure Explanation of Terms

  1. For purposes of determining whether a plan has fewer than 26 participants, the term participant means any employee or former employee of an employer, or any member or former member of an employee organization, who is or may become eligible to receive a benefit of any type from an employee benefit plan which covers employees of such employer or members of such organization, or whose beneficiaries may be eligible to receive any such benefit.

  2. For purposes of determining who is a plan participant permitted to inspect material relating to a plan having fewer than 26 participants, the term plan participant includes, but is not limited to:

    1. A current plan participant

    2. Former employees, such as certain retired and terminated employees, who have a nonforfeitable right to benefits under the plan

    3. A beneficiary of a deceased former employee who is receiving benefits or entitled to receive future benefits under the plan, and

    4. An administrator, executor, or trustee, or executor of the estate of a deceased participant if that person or institution is receiving benefits or is entitled to receive benefits under the plan in their official capacity

    Note:

    The availability of material for inspection by a plan participant pursuant to this paragraph does not constitute a determination by the Service that such a person is a plan participant for any purpose other than the disclosure of documents.

  3. The term authorized representative means the representative of a plan participant designated by the plan participant in a written authorization to inspect the material described in §§ 301.6104(a)-2 and 301.6104(a)-3.

  4. The term application for a determination letter includes the documents which the applicant files with respect to the qualification of a pension, profit-sharing, or stock bonus plan under IRC 401(a), an annuity plan under IRC 403(a), a bond purchase plan under IRC 405(a) and individual retirement accounts and annuities under an annuity plan under IRC sections 408(a), (b), and (c). This includes only applications for determination letters filed with the Service after September 2, 1974.

    Note:

    A determination submission closed incomplete (identified by the closing code "03" on EDS/TEDS) is not considered an "application for a determination letter." Any information regarding an incomplete application is not disclosable to the general public, regardless of the number of participants.

  5. A supporting document is any statement or document submitted in support of an application for a determination letter that is not specifically required by the application form or the Service.

  6. A plan administrator is not entitled to receive information protected under IRC 6103 solely on the basis of holding that title. In order for the plan administrator to receive information not open to the general public under IRC 6104, at least one of the following must be true:

    • She/he is the plan sponsor

    • She/he has a valid POA

    • She/he is legally authorized to act on behalf of the plan

21.3.8.4.3.2  (10-01-2011)
EP Public Inspection of Determination Letters/Applications

  1. IRC 6104(a)(1)(B) requires that any copies of an employee plan determination letter, application for a determination letter (Form 5300 series), and any supporting papers filed with respect to the qualification of a pension, profit-sharing, or stock bonus plan under IRC 401(a) or 403(a), and an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) under 408(a) or (b) must be open to public inspection at such times and in such places as the Secretary of Treasury may prescribe if maintained by the Service, but only with respect to plans having more than 25 participants. This applies both to open and closed applications unless the application was returned incomplete (status 03/05).

    1. If the plan has 25 or fewer participants, the information is NOT open to the public.

    2. If a plan has more than 25 participants, the information is open to anyone.

    3. When a plan with fewer than 26 participants files an application or Form 5500 that shows that the number of participants has increased to 26 or more, all prior applications or supporting documents and other documents received or issued by the Service after September 2, 1974, are open to public inspection regardless of the number of plan participants indicated on any prior application.

    4. When a plan with 26 or more plan participants files an application or Form 5500 showing that the number of participants has decreased to 25 or fewer, supporting documents relating to such application and any other documents received or issued by the Service after the date of receipt of the application may only be inspected by a plan participant or his/her authorized representative.

      Note:

      Materials that were previously open to public inspection remain open to public inspection.

    5. Information relating to an incomplete application (status 03/05) is not disclosable to the general public under IRC 6104. It is open only to authorized individuals. See IRM 21.3.8.4.3.1(4) for additional information.

    6. The application for a determination letter and supporting documents are open to inspection by a plan participant or his/her authorized representative whether or not the application is withdrawn by the applicant and whether or not the Service determines that the plan is qualified.

    7. In dealing with questions from plan participants regarding the status of an application for termination of a plan, the participant may be advised that the application is pending. Upon completion of Service action, the participant may be advised as to whether or not the application has been approved.

    8. Direct questions relating to plan benefits of terminated plans to the plan administrator, who is responsible for notifying the participants of their benefits under the plan.

  2. Instruct callers requesting a copy of an approved employee plan application to send their request to:
    Internal Revenue Service
    EP Determinations
    Attn.: Customer Service Manager
    P.O. Box 2508
    Cincinnati, OH 45201

    EEFAX 855-204-6184

    The request should include:

    • The plan name and number

    • The plan sponsor's EIN (if available)

    • The requester's contact information

    • Proof that the requester is a plan participant or is otherwise authorized (if the plan has 25 or fewer participants)

      Note:

      Copies can be provided only for documents processed within the last 10 years. Generally, the first 100 pages of the copy are free, with a $0.20 charge for each additional page. Average processing time is 60 days. If the document cannot be located, or if other problems are encountered, the requester will be contacted.

  3. See IRM 21.3.8.13.6, "Requests for Copies of EP Determination Letters," for information on requesting copies of previously-issued determination letters.

  4. Requests from unauthorized third parties for employee plan information disclosable under IRC 6104 (except for copies of approved applications and letters as noted in (2) above) must be in writing and should be sent to the address found under "Disclosure" under the Who/Where tab on SERP.

21.3.8.4.3.3  (10-01-2006)
Withholding Certain Information

  1. IRC 6104(a)(1)(C) provides that information from which the compensation (including deferred compensation) of any individual may be ascertained is NOT open to public inspection.

21.3.8.4.4  (10-01-2006)
Disclosure - Government Entities

  1. This subsection serves as a disclosure guide for Government Entities.

21.3.8.4.4.1  (10-01-2006)
Disclosure Requirements for Tax Exempt Bonds (TEB)

  1. Tax Exempt Bond (TEB) returns are not disclosable to the public. In order to obtain a copy of a TEB return, the requester must be an official of the municipality. In general, an official of a municipality is defined as someone who is authorized to make representations and commitments on behalf of a municipality, or to conduct official business on behalf of a municipality, such as entering into contracts.

  2. Municipal officials may be elected, appointed, or employees of a municipality. For example, in some towns and cities, the mayor, an elected official, can enter into contracts. In others, the town manager or business manager, an employee, may conduct all official business on behalf of the municipality.

  3. A key fact to determine is the position of the individual requesting the information. An employee of the city working in the finance office, business office, or legal office of the municipality that has specific knowledge of the return and contents is probably authorized to get a copy of a TEB return. The key element is that the municipality or an elected or appointed official of the municipality employs them.

  4. All other requesters must submit a Form 2848 or have a POA on file.

  5. Document 10011, Disclosure Guide for Tax Exempt Bond Examinations, provides an analysis of the applicability of IRC 6103 to bond returns and return information.

21.3.8.4.4.2  (10-03-2012)
Instrumentality/Governmental Units Disclosure

  1. No account or entity information for an instrumentality/governmental unit is disclosable under IRC 6104 because an instrumentality/governmental unit does not file:

    1. A disclosable determination application (e.g., Form 1023), or

    2. A disclosable information return (e.g., Form 990).

  2. Mail Letter 4076C (Information Letter - Federal Tax Status of Governmental Entity) only to the address of record.

  3. A person legally entitled to receive Letter 4076C (Information Letter - Federal Tax Status of Governmental Entity), or to receive verbal confirmation that our records reflect the organization may be a governmental unit, must be able to:

    1. Provide the EIN of the entity

    2. Provide the name and address of the entity exactly as it appears on our records, and

    3. Positively assert that he/she is an employee (hired or elected) of the entity and legally authorized to receive the letter

      Note:

      If disclosure cannot be verified, the letter can be mailed to the current address of record.

  4. Potential Governmental Entity Contacts:

    If Then
    A third party calls to affirm tax-exempt recognition of a government entity so he/she can take a charitable deduction 1.      Explain there is no record of tax- exempt recognition, therefore we cannot disclose information relating to this account.
    2.      Respond with general information based on what the caller says. For example, the caller might mention the entity is a school, city, etc., or the name provided by the caller might imply the entity is a public school, city, etc. A suggested response would be: "Based on the name, it sounds as though this could be a governmental unit. Governmental units are not required to have a determination ruling in order to accept charitable contributions to be used for public purposes." (This approach eliminates the appearance of disclosing confidential account information.)
    3.      For a reference, use Publication 526, Charitable Contributions. There is also information on the IRS Web site that explains that governmental units may accept charitable contributions.
    The name of record is different than what the caller gives us when checking on the deductibility/exemption of the organization 1.      We cannot confirm that the caller is legally entitled to receive account information if we are unable to establish with certainty we are talking about the same organization. For example, if the caller gives an EIN and says the name should be "City of Any town" but the EIN brings up "County Sewer District," we cannot confirm that the caller is entitled to receive any account -related information specific to this organization.
    2.      Exercise reasonable caution. Sometimes the name may be off by a word or two or words in the name may be switched (ANYTOWN BOARD OF EDU vs. BOARD OF EDU OF ANYTOWN) or the name may be too long for the name line field.
    3.      If entitlement to the information cannot be confirmed:
    a.      Use the general disclosure rule of thumb: "When in doubt, don't give it out!"
    b.      Explain "I am unable to confirm…"
    c.      Offer to mail a letter to the AOR.
    d.      Provide general information about instrumentalities where appropriate.


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