21.3.11  Information Returns Reporting Procedures

Manual Transmittal

November 25, 2013

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 21.3.11, Taxpayer Contacts, Information Returns Reporting Procedures.

Material Changes

(1) IRM 21.3.11, Taxpayer Contacts, Information Returns Reporting Procedures -Significant changes were made throughout the entire IRM 21.3.11 as a result of removing duplicate information contained in IRM 3.42.9, Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE), publications and other resources. Some IRM sections have been deleted, revised, and renumbered to incorporate the new format. Various editorial changes were made throughout the IRM. Also, cross-references were added, removed, or revised, as appropriate.

(2) The following name changes are due to the reorganization of EPSS, Information Returns Branch (IRB) to Technical Services Operation (TSO), Quality Control Section (QCS) changed to Information Filing Support (IFS), and Electronic and Data Management Section (EDMS) changed to Filing Information Returns Electronically Support (FS).

(3) IRM 21.3.11.1 Assisting Payers in Filing Information Returns, - Added TSO do not handle individual tax law inquiries. Removed hours of Operation and phone numbers.

(4) IRM 21.3.11.1(4), Assisting Payers in Filing Information Returns - Deleted last bullet and clarified note that TSO assistors do not answer account specific questions.

(5) IRM 21.3.11.4, Resources/Research - Changed title from Resources.

(6) IRM 21.3.11.4.2, Publications Forms, Instructions and Other Reference Materials - Incorporated forms, publications, and instructions subsections within IRM 21.3.11.4.2. There is no need to list repetitive information when it can be located via forms, publications, and instructions hyperlink.

(7) IRM 21.3.11.4.3 ,Transmittals - Added new section.

(8) IRM 21.3.11.4.4, EHSS Knowledge/Solutions - Added new section for EHSS solutions as a resource.

(9) IRM 21.3.11.4.5, EPSS Communications - Updated title from e-help Communication to EPSS Communications.

(10) IRM 21.3.11.6, Assistor Procedures - Added new section.

(11) IRM 21.3.11.6.1, Responding to the Customer - Updated the procedures on how to respond to a call and email inquiry.

(12) IRM 21.3.11.6.2, Referring Customers to Other Areas and Resources - Updated and consolidated information on referring customers to other areas.

(13) IRM 21.3.11.3, Safety and Security - Revised section to include personal safety and assaults and threats.

(14) IRM 21.3.11.5, Communications - Added new section.

(15) IRM 21.3.11.7, Authentication and Authorization Guidelines - Added authentication and authorization definitions, IPU 13U0403 issued 02-25-2013.

(16) IRM 21.3.11.7.2, Authentication/Authorization for TCC Searches and Verifying the Receipt of a Notice - Added authentication probes for the call type, IPU 13U0403 issued 02-25-2013; added a note for additional authentication, IPU 13U0600 issued 03-25-2013.

(17) IRM 21.3.11.7.3, Third Party Authentication - Form 2848 Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative and Form 8821, Tax Information AuthorizationA - Added authentication probes for the call type, IPU 13U0403 issued 02-25-2013.

(18) IRM 21.3.11.8.1 (1), Interaction Creation - Added exception when creating the Interaction.

(19) IRM 21.3.11.8.1 (2), Interaction Creation - Deleted paragraph related to tax law inquiries.

(20) IRM 21.3.11.8.2, Escalation/Incident - Added new subsection to cover escalation and Incidents.

(21) IRM 21.3.11.8.3(1), Email System - Deleted paragraph regarding Interactions resulting from emails.

(22) IRM 21.3.11.8.3.1, Responding to Email Inquiries - Title changed to from Creating your Response to Responding to Email Inquiries. . Reworded paragraph (1) related to how to prepare response and added references to IRM 21.3.11.6.1.

(23) IRM 21.3.11.9.1, FIRE System - Updated to have the customer search the web for providers.

(24) IRM 21.3.11.10, Notices Addressed in TSO - Revised section to include notice overview and notices received in TSO.

(25) IRM 21.3.11.10.1, Notice CP 2000/ Underreporter Inquiries - Updated when more than one payer to escalate the case to IFS leads provider group.

(26) IRM 21.3.11.10.1, Notice CP 2000/Underreporter Inquiries - Changed title from Notice CP 2000.

(27) IRM 21.3.11.10.2.2(2), Missing TINs - Deleted table and added cross-reference to Pub. 1281 to handle taxpayer inquiries.

(28) IRM 21.3.11.10.2.5, Verifying the Receipt of a Notice - Updated procedures to escalate the case to IFS and not transfer the call.

(29) IRM 21.3.11.10.2.5(2), Verifying the Receipt of a Notice - Reworded and added cross-reference to IRM 21.3.11.7.2, for completing the authentication/authorization for verifying receipt of a notice.

(30) IRM 21.3.11.10.2.5(3), Verifying the Receipt of a Notice - Changed "due" to "mailed or is expected to be mailed" if filers are questioning whether they should have received a CP 2100 and it is 2 weeks after the final notice date.

(31) IRM 21.3.11.10.2.6, Encryption Codes - Revised section to remove QCS actions as they belong in IRM 3.42.9.

(32) IRM 21.3.11.11.4.1, Authentication/Authorization for Password Problems, Resetting PINs, User-ID Problems, Status of a File Submission, Making a Good File Bad, and Viewing Files in 3.4 on the Mainframe - IPU 13U600 expanded tridoc to include authentication for status of a file Submission, making a good file bad, and viewing files in 3.4 on the mainframe, however, subsection was deleted because the subsection was not applicable to IRM 21.3.11 and the information belongs in IRM 3.42.9.

(33) IRM 21.3.11.11.4.1, Authentication/Authorization for Password Problems, Resetting PINs, User-ID Problems, Status of a File Submission, Making a Good File Bad, and Viewing Files in 3.4 on the Mainframe - Added authentication probes for the call type. IPU 13U0403 issued 02-25-2013; expanded subsection to include authentication for status of a file Submission, making a good file bad, and viewing files in 3.4 on the mainframe. IPU 13U0600 issued 03-25-2013; however subsection was deleted because the subsection was not applicable to IRM 21.3.11 and the information belongs in IRM 3.42.9

(34) IRM 21.3.11.11.4.4, Authentication/Authorization for Encryption Code Information - Added authentication probes for the call type. IPU 13U0403 issued 02-25-2013; however subsection was deleted because the subsection was not applicable to IRM 21.3.11 and the information belongs in IRM 3.42.9

(35) IRM 21.3.11.11.4.5, Authentication/Authorization for Incomplete Form 4419- Added authentication probes for the call type IPU 13U0403 issued 02-25-2013; added additional authentication guidelines IPU 13U0600 issued 03-25-2013; however subsection was deleted because the subsection was not applicable to IRM 21.3.11 and the information belongs in IRM 3.42.9

(36) IRM 21.3.11.12, Information Returns Penalties - Updated section to refer to IRM 20.1.7, Information Return Penalties, for detailed information about information return penalties.

(37) IRM 21.3.11.14.1, Reclassification of Employees - Removed IFS procedures.

(38) IRM 21.3.11.15, Substitute Forms - Revised to include all substitute forms. Updated substitute statements to recipients to Substitute Forms

(39) IRM 21.3.11.18.1, Form 1096, Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns, Form 8935-T, Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, and Form W-3c, Transmittal of Corrected Wage and Tax Statements - Deleted section and incorporated into IRM 21.3.11.3.

(40) IRM 21.3.11.19, Forms Used to Report Income Paid to Foreign Persons - Deleted section incorporated into IRM 21.3.11.3.2.

(41) IRM 21.3.11.20, Forms Used to Report Tax Credits - Deleted section incorporated into IRM 21.3.11.4.2.

(42) IRM 21.3.11.21, Forms Associated with Interest and Dividend Payments - Deleted section incorporated into IRM 21.3.11.4.2.

(43) IRM 21.3.11.22, Forms Used to Report Donations - Deleted section incorporated into IRM 21.3.11.4.2.

(44) IRM 21.3.11.23, Forms Used to Report Information Pertaining to Educational Funds and Payments - Deleted section incorporated into IRM 21.3.11.4.2 includes IRM 21.3.11.23.1 through IRM 21.3.11.23.4.

(45) IRM 21.3.11.24, Forms Used to Report Debt Instruments - Deleted section incorporated into IRM 21.3.11.4.2 (includes IRM 21.3.11.24.1 through IRM 21.3.11.24.2).

(46) IRM 21.3.11.25, Forms Used to Report Stock Transactions - Deleted section incorporated into IRM 21.3.11.4.2 (includes IRM 21.3.11.25.1 through IRM 21.3.11.25.4).

(47) IRM 21.3.11.26, Forms Used to Report Government Payments - Deleted section instructions available in Publication 1220 (includes IRM 21.3.11.26.1).

(48) IRM 21.3.11.27, Forms Used to Report Payments, Contributions To, and Distributions From Certain Medical Accounts - Deleted section incorporated into IRM 21.3.11.4.2 (includes IRM 21.3.11.27.1 through IRM 21.3.11.27.4).

(49) IRM 21.3.11.28, Forms Used to Report Miscellaneous Payments - Deleted section incorporated into IRM 21.3.11.4.2 (includes IRM 21.3.11.28.1 through IRM 21.3.11.28.2).

(50) IRM 21.3.11.29, Retirement Plan Reporting - Deleted section incorporated into IRM 21.3.11.4.2 (includes IRM 21.3.11.29.1 through IRM 21.3.11.29.3).

(51) IRM 21.3.11.30, Forms Associated with Real Estate Transactions - Deleted section incorporated into IRM 21.3.11.4.2 (includes IRM 21.3.11.30.1).

(52) IRM 21.3.11.31, Reporting of Airline Payments - Deleted section incorporated into IRM 21.3.11.4.2 (includes IRM 21.3.11.31.1).

(53) IRM 21.3.11.32, Forms Used to Report Gambling and Wagering Transactions - Deleted section incorporated into IRM 21.3.11.4.2 (includes IRM 21.3.11.32.1 through IRM 21.3.11.32.2).

(54) IRM 21.3.11.33, Forms Used to Report Wages and Certain Benefits - Deleted section incorporated into IRM 21.3.11.4.2 (includes IRM 21.3.11.33.1 through IRM 21.3.11.33.5).

(55) IRM 21.3.11.36.3, Publication 1220, Specifications for Filing Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, 8935, and W-2G Electronically - Deleted section as it is incorporated into IRM 21.3.11.4.2

(56) IRM 21.3.11.36.3.1 File Format - Deleted section available in publication file specifications.

(57) IRM 21.3.11.36.4, Publication 1187, Specifications for Filing Form 1042-S, Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding, Electronically - Deleted section as it is incorporated into IRM 21.3.11.4.2.

(58) IRM 21.3.11.36.4.1, File Format - Deleted section available in publication file specifications.

(59) IRM 21.3.11.36.5, Publication 1239, Specifications for Filing Form 8027, Employer’s Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips, Electronically - Deleted section available in publication file specifications.

(60) IRM 21.3.11.36.5.1, File Format -Deleted section available in publication file specifications.

(61) IRM 21.3.11.36.6, Publication 4810, Specifications for Filing Form 8955-SSA, Annual Registration Statement of Identifying Separated Participants With Deferred Vested Benefits, Electronically -Deleted section available in publication file specifications.

(62) IRM 21.3.11.36.6.1, File Format - Deleted section available in publication file specifications.

(63) IRM 21.3.11.36.7, Publication 1516, Specifications for Filing Forms 8596, Information Returns for Federal Contracts, Electronically - Deleted section as it is incorporated into IRM 21.3.11.4.2.

(64) IRM 21.3.11.36.7.1, File Format - Deleted section available in publication file specifications.

(65) IRM 21.3.11.36.8, Publication 3609, Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) - Deleted section as it is incorporated into IRM 21.3.11.4.2.

(66) IRM 21.3.11.36.10, Resetting Passwords /User ID Problems - Deleted section not applicable to IRM 21.3.11 belongs in IRM 3.42.9.

(67) IRM 21.3.11.36.11, Resetting PINs - Deleted section specific to IRM 3.42.9.

(68) IRM 21.3.11.36.12, Checking the Status of a File Submission - Deleted section specific to IRM 3.42.9.

(69) IRM 21.3.11.37, Notice Overview - Deleted section incorporated into IRM 21.3.11.10, Notices received in IRB (includes 21.3.11.37.1 through IRM 21.3.11.37.3).

(70) IRM 21.3.11.42, Wage and Income Transcripts, - Deleted section and incorporated in IRM 21.3.11.4.2.

(71) IRM 21.3.11.43, Requests for Forms and Publications - Deleted section and incorporated into 21.3.11.4.2 (includes 21.3.11.43.1 through 21.3.11.43.2).

(72) IRM 21.3.11.44.1, Paper Substitute Form 1096, Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns, Form 1097, List of Dividend Payments, Form 1098 series, Form 1099 series, Form 3921, Exercise of an Incentive Stock Option Under Section 422(b), Form 3922, Exercise of an Incentive Stock Option Under Section 422(b), Form 5498 series, Form 8935, Form W-2G, Certain Gambling Winnings, and Form 1042-S, Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income subject to Withholding - Deleted section and incorporated into IRM 21.3.11.15, Substitute Forms.

(73) IRM 21.3.11.44.1.1, Recipient Copies - Deleted section and incorporated into IRM 21.3.11.15 Substitute Forms.

(74) IRM 21.3.11.44.2.1, Form W-2, Recipient Copies - Deleted section deleted and incorporated into IRM 21.3.11.15 Substitute Forms.

(75) IRM 21.3.11.44.2.1, Form W-2, Recipient Copies -Deleted section and incorporated into IRM 21.3.11.15 Substitute Forms.

(76) IRM 21.3.11.44.3, Paper Substitute Form W-2c, Corrected Wage and Tax Statement, and Form W-3c, Transmittal of Corrected Wage and Tax Statements -Deleted section deleted and incorporated into IRM 21.3.11.15 Substitute Forms.

(77) IRM 21.3.11.44.4, Paper Substitute Form 1042-S, Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding - Deleted section deleted and incorporated into IRM 21.3.11.15 Substitute Forms.

(78) Exhibit 21.3.11-3, Infomercials - Deleted exhibit as this is available on the JOC website and not IRM procedures.

(79) Exhibit 21.3.11-4, Prompting Messages - Deleted exhibit as this is available on the JOC website and not IRM procedures.

(80) Exhibit 21.3.11-5, After-Hours Announcements - Deleted exhibit as this is available on the JOC website and not IRM procedures.

(81) Exhibit 21.3.11-6, Emergency Informational Announcements - Deleted exhibit section as this is available on the JOC website and not IRM procedures.

(82) Exhibit 21.3.11-7, Variable Call Redirect (VCR) Announcement - Deleted exhibit section as this is available on the JOC website and not IRM procedures.

(83) Exhibit 21.3.11-8, Taxpayer Assistance Communication Process - Deleted exhibit information included in IRM 21.3.11.6, Communications.

(84) 21.3.11-12 Interaction Job Aid - JOC Test Calls - Deleted exhibit section.

(85) 21.3.11-13 Interaction Job Aid for QCS Assistors - Recreates -Updated title to IFS recreates.

(86) 21.3.11-14 Accessing the IRB Probe and Response Guide - Deleted exhibit section.

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 21.3.11, Information Returns Reporting Procedures, dated December 4, 2012, (effective January 1, 2013) is superseded. This IRM incorporates the following IRM Procedural Updates (IPU) 13U0600 (issued 03-25-2013 and 13U0403 (issued 02-25-2013).

Audience

The primary audience is Customer Service Section employees in the Technical Services Operation, Electronic Products and Services Support.

Effective Date

(01-01-2014)

Related Resources

This IRM should be used in conjunction with IRM 3.42.9, Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) and IRM 3.42.7, e-help Desk.

Patricia LaPosta
Director, Electronic Products and Services Support
Wage and Investment Division

21.3.11.1  (01-01-2014)
Assisting Payers in Filing Information Returns

  1. The Electronic Products and Services Support (EPSS), Technical Services Operation (TSO) provides assistance for filing information returns to the payer/employer community. Support for the information return program is provided by Customer Service Section (CSS), Information Filing Support (IFS), and the Filing Support (FS). TSO handles inquiries (telephone and electronic mail) from the payer/employer community in relation to the preparation and filing of information returns. Inquiries relate to tax law, filing requirements, preparation, and submission of electronic files. Topics include:

    • Tax law questions from the payer community relating to the correct preparation and filing of business information returns

    • Tax law regarding Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, Form W-2c, Corrected Wage and Tax Statement and Form W-3c, Transmittal of Corrected Wage and Tax Statements

    • Electronic filing of Form 1097-BTC, Bond Tax Credit, Form 1098 series, Form 1099 series, Form 3921, Exercise of an Incentive Stock Option Under Section 422(b), Form 3922, Exercise of an Incentive Stock Option Under Section 422(b), Form 5498 series, Form 8935, Airline Payments Report, and Form W-2G, Certain Gambling Winnings

    • Backup Withholding as it relates to missing or incorrect taxpayer identification number (TINs) on Notices CP 2100, Please Check Your Backup Withholding List ("Large" payers), and CP 2100A, Please Check Your Backup Withholding List ("Small" payers)

    • Information return penalties pertaining to late filing, failure to file electronically and Reasonable Cause regulations as they relate to missing or incorrect Names/TINs on Notice 972CG,Proposed Penalty Notice

    • Electronic filing of Form 1042-S, Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding

    • Electronic filing of Form 8027, Employer's Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips

    • Electronic filing of Form 8955-SSA, Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants With Deferred Vested Benefits

      Note:

      TSO assistors do not answer individual tax law inquiries. Additionally, TSO assistors do not answer account specific questions (e.g., calls received regarding business or individual tax accounts).

21.3.11.2  (01-01-2014)
Impact on Other Offices

  1. Employees should be aware of the policies and procedures of other IRS offices that impact the Technical Services Operation (TSO). This section details some of those offices.

21.3.11.2.1  (01-01-2014)
Office of Disclosure

  1. The Office of Disclosure administers the provisions of IRC 6103, confidentiality and disclosure of tax returns and return information. All IRS employees are responsible for ensuring that taxpayer confidentiality is protected and tax records are properly safeguarded and disclosed only as provided by law.

  2. TSO employees must take measures to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of information. When giving information, verify that the customer is authorized to receive it. Disclose only what is necessary when giving information to third parties. Follow the authentication/authorization guidelines in IRM 21.3.11.7, Authorization and Authentication Guidelines.

  3. Answering machines and voice mail are frequently used when communicating with taxpayers, representatives, and other IRS employees. These systems are not secure and may not be used to transmit sensitive information, including tax information, except under the provisions of IRC 6103. Guidelines for leaving information on answering machines/voice mail may be found in IRM 11.3.2.6.1, Leaving Information on Answering Machines/Voice Mail.

  4. Governmental Liaison and Disclosure has developed rules to deal with disclosures of Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU) information when using cell phones or other cordless devices. Refer to IRM 11.3.2.6.2, Use of Cell Phones and Cordless Devices.

  5. Faxing of tax information to other IRS offices is permitted consistent with existing internal rules. See IRM 11.3.1.11, Facsimile Transmission of Tax Information, for guidance in faxing information to taxpayers and their authorized representatives.

  6. Employees may not use email to transmit SBU data unless they use the IRS Secure Messaging System. SBU data may not be sent outside of the IRS, including to other government agencies, taxpayers, or their representatives. See IRM 11.3.1.14.2, Electronic Mail and Secure Messaging, for general rules for email and Secure Messaging.

  7. Answers to other questions on Disclosure, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and the Privacy Act, may be found in IRM 11.3.1,Introduction to Disclosure. All questions from IRS employees should be directed to the Disclosure Help Desk at 1–866–591–0860.

  8. Employees must report an inadvertent disclosure of sensitive information, whether it be electronically, verbally or in hardcopy form, or the loss or theft of an IT asset, within one hour by filling out the appropriate form located under Employee Tools/Data Protection. The form can be found at Data Protection and Inadvertent Disclosures website.

21.3.11.2.2  (01-01-2014)
Taxpayer Advocate Service

  1. The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization within the IRS whose employees assist taxpayers who are experiencing economic harm, who are seeking help in resolving tax problems that have not been resolved through normal channels, or who believe that an IRS system or procedure is not working as it should. TAS criteria includes economic burden, systemic burden, best interest of the taxpayer, and public policy (as determined solely by the National Taxpayer Advocate). TAS is responsible for assisting taxpayers who have unresolved problems with the IRS. See IRM 13.1.7,Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Case Criteria, if additional information is required.

  2. While the IRS is continually working to serve customers in a quality manner, some taxpayers still have difficulty getting solutions to their problems or getting timely and appropriate responses to their inquiries. Per IRC 7803(c), Congress established the office of the National Taxpayer Advocate (referred to as TAS) and its functions within the IRS to assist these taxpayers. TAS has identified criteria that qualify taxpayers for TAS assistance. The Case Advocate will conduct an independent review of actions that have been taken or need to be taken to resolve the problems taxpayers are experiencing.

  3. Employees should not view TAS Case Criteria as a means of excluding taxpayers from TAS, but rather, as a guide to TAS case acceptance. The criteria under which TAS accepts a case should not govern whether a taxpayer is entitled to relief.

  4. Refer taxpayers to the Taxpayer Advocate Service when the contact meets TAS criteria and you can't resolve the taxpayer's issue the same day. The definition of "same day" is within 24 hours. "Same day" cases include cases you can completely resolve in 24 hours, as well as cases in which you have taken steps within 24 hours to begin resolving the taxpayer's issue. Do not refer these "same day" cases to TAS unless they meet TAS criteria and the taxpayer asks to be transferred to TAS. Refer to IRM 13.1.7.4,Same Day Resolution by Operations. When referring cases to TAS, use Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (and Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order), and forward it to TAS in accordance with your local procedures.

    Note:

    It is important that all IRS employees handle potential TAS cases with the taxpayer's best interest in mind. For more information, refer to IRM 21.1.3.18, Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Guidelines. Provide the taxpayer with the number for the NTA case intake line, 1-877-777-4778 or TTY-TDD, 1-800-829-4059. The taxpayer should be advised that TAS is available if the taxpayer is not satisfied with the service he or she received.

  5. An IRS employee should make a referral to a TAS office if the employee receives a taxpayer contact, and cannot initiate action to resolve the inquiry or provide the relief requested. A taxpayer does not have to specifically request TAS assistance to be referred to TAS. IRS employees will advise taxpayers of the option to seek TAS assistance when appropriate. TAS will request documentation from the taxpayer if it is needed to support the requested relief, or required by the IRM.

  6. The following types of cases should not be referred to TAS:

    1. Cases where the taxpayer's complaint or inquiry only questions the constitutionality of the tax system; or

    2. Cases where the focus of the taxpayer's inquiry is solely to employ frivolous tax strategies to avoid or delay filing federal tax returns or paying federal taxes.

21.3.11.2.3  (01-01-2014)
Identity Protection and Incident Management

  1. Identity Protection and Incident Management was established to address the increase in identity theft and data loss trends and the need for an IRS authority on policy, procedure, roles, and governance policy. Identity theft is a serious crime where someone obtains personal or financial information for personal gain. That information can include but is not limited to a social security number (SSN), birth date, address, bank account Information, and tax records.

  2. If you receive a call from a taxpayer who has received a suspicious, bogus, or phishing email that claims to be from the IRS, advise the taxpayer to send (forward) the email to the electronic mailbox, phishing@irs.gov. The IRS does not:

    • Initiate taxpayer communications through email

    • Request detailed personal information through email

    • Send email requesting PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts

  3. See IRM 21.1.3.23, Scams (Phishing) and Fraudulent Schemes, and IRM 10.5.3, Identity Protection Program, for additional information. Also visit the Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure (PGLD) web site for additional information at http://irweb.irs.gov/AboutIRS/bu/pipds/default.aspx.

21.3.11.3  (01-01-2014)
Safety and Security

  1. Although most customers who call are congenial, there is the possibility that calls of a threatening nature may be received. For additional information, see IRM 21.1.3.10,Safety and Security Overview.

    Note:

    If the caller is verbally abusive, whether a threat is made or not, the assistor is not required to remain on the phone. Tell the caller that you are terminating the call and then hang up. For additional information, see IRM 21.1.3.10, Safety and Security Overview.

  2. If a customer makes a suicide threat over the telephone, follow the procedures in IRM 21.1.3.12,Suicide Threats.

  3. Your work area should be kept safe and secure. For detailed information see IRM 21.1.3.10.1,Personal Safety.

21.3.11.4  (01-01-2014)
Resources/Research

  1. Assistors have resource available to them to perform their job, resources for the information return program include: classroom training, on the job training, publications, instructions for specific forms, Internal Revenue (IRS) Codes and Treasury Regulations, Notices, Revenue Procedures, Announcements, Revenue Rulings,IRMs, Knowledge Articles, and EPSS Communications.

21.3.11.4.1  (01-01-2014)
TSO Training Curriculum

  1. Training is critical to the accomplishment of the goals and objectives of EPSS. The curriculum is designed to provide assistors with the skills needed to perform their jobs.

  2. EPSS has courses that provide instructions for the e-help Support System (EHSS).

    Number Name Description
    11496 e-help Support System (EHSS)
    • Basic concepts and general information about EHSS

    • Open a new Interaction

    • Escalating an Interaction

    • Contributing Knowledge

    32092 EPSS Basic Assistor Training
    • Overview of e-help Desk Operations

    • EHSS procedures, Interaction creation, and problem resolution

    • Standardized telephone procedures; Communications; authentication and authorization policies; and call transfer procedures

    18974 e-help Support System (EHSS) Reporting
    • How to use the EHSS queue features

    • How to use EHSS Report features

  3. Classroom training for the products supported by TSO is shown below.

    Number Course Topics
    31307, Modules A-C, 49601, Module D-G CSR for TSO, Recruit Form 1097, List of Dividend Payments, Form 1098 series, Form 1099 series, Form 3921, Exercise of an Incentive Stock Option Under Section 422(b), Form 3922, Exercise of an Incentive Stock Option Under Section 422(b), Form 5498 series, Form 8935, Form W-2 series, Form W-2G, Certain Gambling Winnings, Backup Withholding, and Penalties, Extensions of Time and Waivers, Sick Pay, Special Wage Payments, Employee Reclassifications and Reference Material
    40101, Modules A–C, 49342 Module D-G CSR for TSO, Refresher Reviews and updates of the reporting requirements for Form 1097, List of Dividend Payments, Form 1098 series, Form 1099 series, Form 3921, Exercise of an Incentive Stock Option Under Section 422(b), Form 3922, Exercise of an Incentive Stock Option Under Section 422(b), Form 5498 series, Form 8935, Form W-2 series, Form W-2G, Certain Gambling Winnings, Backup Withholding and Penalties, Extensions of Time and Waivers, Sick Pay, Special Wage Payments, Employee Reclassifications and Reference Material
    26903 FIRE/Publication 1220 Electronic file format and specifications, resetting passwords and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs)
    29468 FIRE/Publication 1220 Refresher Updates to the electronic file format and specifications, resetting passwords and PINs. New forms, legislation, changes to publications

  4. The following courses are supplemental training for all TSO assistors. The courses enable assistors to answer contacts with professionalism and proficiency.

    Number Name Description
    13224 Avoiding Grammatical Errors in Business Writing In this course, you will learn
    • Recognize and repair the most common grammatical errors in sentence construction

    • Convey your information accurately

    • Represent yourself and your agency articulately and professionally

    13841 Microsoft Office: Getting Started with Word 2003 Course topics include:
    • Basic introduction to Word 2003

    • Tools used for creating and navigating documents in Word

    13852 Microsoft Office: Sending and Receiving Messages in Outlook 2003
    • How to send and receive messages in Outlook

    23434 Basic Computer Skills for e-help Desk
    • Introduce employees to basic computer skills required for e-help Desk duties

21.3.11.4.2  (01-01-2014)
Publications, Forms, Instructions and Other Reference Materials

  1. The following is a list of publications (pubs) used by TSO to answer questions relating to the filing of information returns.

    • Publication 15, Circular E, Employer's Tax Guide

    • Publication 15-A, Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide

    • Publication 15-B, Employer's Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits

    • Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax (For Individuals)

    • Publication 51, (Circular A), Agricultural Employer's Tax Guide

    • Publication 54, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad

    • Publication 334, Tax Guide for Small Businesses (For Individuals Who Use Schedule C or C-EZ)

    • Publication 515, Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Entities

    • Publication 517, Social Security and Other Information for Members of the Clergy and Religious Workers

    • Publication 521, Moving Expenses

    • Publication 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income

    • Publication 535, Business Expenses

    • Publication 560, Retirement Plans for Small Businesses (SEP, SIMPLE, and Qualified Plans)

    • Publication. 575, Pension and Annuity Income

    • Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs)

    • Publication 926, Household Employer's Tax Guide

    • Publication 957, Reporting Back Pay & Special Wage Payments to the Social Security Administration

    • Publication 963, Federal-State Reference Guide

    • Publication 969, Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans

    • Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education

    • Publication 1141, General Rules & Specifications for Substitute Forms W-2 & W-3

    • Publication 1179, General Rules and Specifications For Substitute Forms 1096, 1098, 1099, 5498, and Certain Other Information Returns

    • Publication 1187, Specifications for Filing Form 1042-S, Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding

    • Publication 1220,Specifications for Filing Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, 8935, and W-2G

    • Publication 1223, General Rules and Specifications for Substitute Forms W-2c and W-3c

    • Publication 1239, Specifications for Filing Form 8027, Employer's Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips

    • Publication 1281, Backup Withholding for Missing & Incorrect Name/TIN(s)

    • Publication 1516, Specifications for Filing Forms 8596, Information Returns for Federal Contracts

    • Publication 1582, Information Returns Vendor List

    • Publication 1586, Reasonable Cause Regulations & Requirements for Missing & Incorrect Name/TINs

    • Publication 1779, Independent Contractor or Employee

    • Publication 1976, Do You Qualify for Relief under Section 530?

    • Publication 4341, Information Guide for Employers Filing Form 941 or Form 944

    • Publication 4810, Specifications for Filing Form 8955-SSA, Annual Registration Statement of Identifying Separated Participants With Deferred Vested Benefits

  2. The following provides a list of instructions, forms, and other reference material used by TSO to answer questions relating to the filing of information returns.

    • Form 4419, Application for Filing Information Returns Electronically

    • Form 8027, Employer's Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips

    • Form 8508, Request for Waiver From Filing Information Returns Electronically

    • Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns

    • Form 8955-SSA, Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants With Deferred Vested Benefits

    • General Instructions for Certain Information Returns (Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, and W-2G)

    • General Instructions for Form W-2 and W-3

    • Instructions for Form W-9

    • Instructions for the Requester of Form W-9

    • Form 1096 Instructions

    • Instructions for Form 1097-BTC

    • Instructions for Form 1098

    • Instructions for Form 1098-C

    • Instructions for Forms 1098-E and 1098-T

    • Instructions for Forms 1099-A and 1099-C

    • Instructions for Form 1099-B

    • Instructions for Form 1099-CAP

    • Instructions for Form 1099-DIV

    • Instructions for Form 1099-G

    • Instructions for Form 1099-H

    • Instructions for Forms 1099-INT and 1099-OID

    • Instructions for Form 1099-K

    • Instructions for Form 1099-LTC

    • Instructions for Form 1099-MISC

    • Instructions for Form 1099-PATR

    • Instructions for Form 1099-Q

    • Instructions for Forms 1099-R and 5498

    • Instructions for Form 1099-S

    • Instructions for Forms 1099-SA and 5498-SA

    • Instructions for Forms 3921 and 3922

    • Instructions for Form 5498-ESA

    • Instructions for Form 8935

    • Form 8935-T and Instructions

    • Instructions for Forms W-2G and 5754

    • Internal Revenue Code and Regulations

    • Revenue Rulings, Revenue Procedures, Announcements, and Notices

21.3.11.4.3  (01-01-2014)
Transmittals

  1. This section provides information about the transmittal forms required when submitting paper copy "A" of information returns to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or the Social Security Administration (SSA).

    Note:

    For questions regarding how and where to file state copies of information returns, refer customers to the applicable state or local tax department. Customers can access information about state and local tax departments at http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=99021,00.html .

  2. Form 1096, Annual Summary and Transmittal of U. S. Information Returns, is used to transmit Form 1097-BTC, Bond Tax Credit, Form 1098 series, Form 1099 series, Form 3921, Exercise of an Incentive Stock Option Under Section 422(b), Form 3922, Transfer of Stock Acquired Through an Employee Stock Purchase Plan Under Section 423(c), Form 5498 series, and Form W-2G, Certain Gambling Winnings, filed on paper. It must be completed and signed by the person responsible for completing the forms. A separate Form 1096, Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns, is required for each type of information return being submitted by paper.

  3. Form 8935-T, Transmittal of Airline Payments Reports, is used as a transmittal form when filers are sending paper form to the IRS.

  4. Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, must be completed and signed by the employer and is filed with SSA. Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, is used to total all money amounts on the Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, that are being submitted with it.

  5. Form W-3c, Transmittal of Corrected Wage and Tax Statements, is the transmittal form for Form W-2c, Corrected Wage and Tax Statements. When employers find errors on Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statements, after filing with the SSA, they must file Form W-2c, Corrected Wage and Tax Statements, with Form W-3c, Transmittal of Corrected Wage and Tax Statements, to correct the errors. Form W-3c, Corrected Wage and Tax Statements, is completed and signed by the employer.

21.3.11.4.4  (01-01-2014)
EHSS Knowledge Articles/Solutions

  1. The assistors have a set of predefined solutions available in EHSS when responding to the customer on a underreporter, recreate, or tax law issue.

  2. Selecting the appropriate solution relative to the customer's issue will ensure the customer receives all of the pertinent information in relation to their inquiry.

    Note:

    Because CSS is still developing solutions to address all types of calls, a solution is available to identify a solution is needed.

21.3.11.4.5  (01-01-2014)
EPSS Communications

  1. EPSS Communications are email messages sent to individual assistors in an effort to improve communications between the e-help Desk sites, TSO, EPSS Headquarters, and national office business analysts. EPSS Communications provide information regarding new and/or revised solutions, site closures, and other pertinent information. Programming changes to EHSS or other systems/applications supported by EPSS may also be communicated this way.

21.3.11.4.6  (01-01-2014)
Organization, Function, and Program

  1. Organization, Function, and Program (OFP) codes are recorded on Form 3081, Employee Time Report, to identify work that IRS employees perform daily. See Exhibit 21.3.11-1, Organization, Function, and Program (OFP) Codes (phones and email), for program codes to use when assisting the help desk, read time, and working paper inventory. Time must be reported under the appropriate OFP codes for tracking purposes. Also see Exhibit 21.3.11-2, Overhead Programs.

21.3.11.5  (01-01-2014)
Communications

  1. The Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA 98), Section 3705, provides identification requirements for all IRS employees working tax related matters. All employees, are required to provide (at a minimum) the following information to each customer who joins the call.

  2. You must provide the following information in a professional and courteous manner when you communicate with a customer by telephone:

    • Your title (e.g., Mr., Mrs., Ms., Miss), last name and identification (ID/badge) number, or

    • Your first name, last name, and identification (ID/Badge) number.

  3. Follow IRM 21.3.11.6.1 Responding to the Customer and IRM 21.3.11.5.2 Telephone Etiquette for further guidance.

21.3.11.5.1  (01-01-2011)
Aspect/Uniphi Connect Agent Desktop (UCAD) Telephone System

  1. The routing of calls to TSO is managed using the Aspect telephone system via the Intelligent Contact Management (ICM). This system provides for call routing capabilities, including queuing, reporting, and toll-free service.

  2. At the start of a shift, users must sign onto the Uniphi Connect Agent Desktop (UCAD) telephone.

    Note:

    If you do not select "Ready" , Aspect defaults to Idle with no Reason Code. See IRM 21.3.11.5.1.1, Reason Codes for Idle.

  3. Calls are automatically routed to the next available assistor.

  4. When the call has been completed, the phone will be placed in "Wrap Up" . Whenever possible, all work should be completed before a call is released. If extra time is needed at the end of a call, use "Wrap-up" while finishing the work before taking another call. Then, select "Ready" .

  5. At the end of a shift, sign off of UCAD by clicking on the "Sign off" button and then clicking the "X" in the upper right corner of the display.

  6. Course 32093, EPSS Basic Assistor Training, includes a module on Telephone Procedures and Updates. Refer to the lesson for instructions on the functionality of the Aspect/UCAD telephone system.

21.3.11.5.1.1  (01-01-2014)
Reason Codes for Idle

  1. Idle is an Aspect status used by assistors to capture time when not in Available, Talk, Hold, or Wrap-up status. It is a broad status, controlled by assistors and used to record times for meetings, breaks, research, lunch, and training.

  2. When not available for incoming calls, TSO assistors must follow the procedures below:

    Note:

    The information below does not apply to Accounts Management employees. Accounts Management employees should adhere to the Accounts Management guidelines for Idle.

    Reason Code Status Explanation
    1 Temporarily Off the Phone Use this code when you will be unavailable for telephone work for a period of time not specified by other reason codes. Examples are individual meetings with a manager, counseling, Form 3081 preparation, National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) official duties and rest room breaks.
    2 Inventory, First Available Use this code when you are available for telephone work, if necessary, but your work assignment is working the EHSS worklist or recording Interaction data after a system downtime.
    3   Reserved and not used at the present time.
    4 Training, partly available Use this code when you will be unavailable for telephone work during a specified portion of the tour of duty (TOD) because of training related activities. Examples include partial day off-site, on the job training, or instructor preparation. Do not sign on to the phones if you will be in training during your entire TOD.
    5 Read Time Use this code when you will not be available for telephone work during a specified portion of the TOD because of read time.
    6 Meeting Time Use this code when you will not be available during a specified portion of the TOD because of team meeting time.
    7 Break Time Use this code when you will be unavailable for telephone work during a specified portion of your TOD because of a scheduled rest break (other than lunch) or unavailable in order to relieve a stressful situation.
    8 Lunch Time Use this code when you will be unavailable during a specified portion of the TOD because of a scheduled lunch break.

21.3.11.5.2  (05-01-2010)
Telephone Etiquette

  1. The way a call is handled either enhances or damages the reputation of the organization. It is vital that each call be managed pleasantly and efficiently.

  2. Tips to make a good telephone impression are:

    1. Speak slowly, but avoid the tendency to get lazy or impatient after saying the same greeting numerous times daily.

    2. Have a pad and pen ready for notations. Address the customer by their title (Mr. or Ms.) and last name if provided.

    3. Show genuine interest in the customer and enthusiastically try to solve their problem or answer their questions. Communicate friendliness and a willingness to help.

    4. Stay calm and use a well planned approach for disgruntled customers. Apologize for any IRS error and inform the customer of our plan to take corrective action. If there are steps the customer needs to take, advise them of what they need to do.

    5. Never let your voice reveal that the last customer was rude and insulting, or displace anger onto the next customer.

    6. Never eat or drink while talking on the telephone.

    7. Avoid side conversations when you have a customer on the line.

21.3.11.5.2.1  (01-01-2010)
Initial Telephone Greeting

  1. The initial greeting must include your title, your name and your badge number. You must provide the last seven digits of your badge number after announcing yourself.

  2. Section 3706 of the IRS RRA 98 authorizes the use of pseudonyms by IRS employees only if adequate justification for the use is provided by the employee and its use is approved by the employee's supervisor.

  3. Section 3706 is intended to eliminate any taxpayer perception that employees avoid accountability for their actions through the use of pseudonyms, while still protecting an employee's right to use pseudonyms in appropriate circumstances. See IRM 10.5.7, Use of Pseudonyms by IRS Employees.

21.3.11.5.3  (05-01-2010)
Customer Complaints and Comments

  1. If a customer asks to speak to a supervisor about a issue, offer to help, if the customer declines your assistance inform the caller you will transfer the call.

  2. Prior to completing the transfer, you must speak directly to the supervisor to verify that he/she is available and to advise him/her of the nature of the call. For calls requesting to speak to a supervisor in another section, explain that you cannot directly transfer the call and ask to take a written message.

  3. If the supervisor is not available, obtain all of the pertinent information and assure the customer that the supervisor will return the call. When taking a telephone message, all applicable information must be included and the message should be sent to the supervisor via secure email. Do not leave customer names and telephone numbers on an unattended desk. This would be considered a security violation.

21.3.11.5.4  (01-01-2014)
Escalation Path for Assistance

  1. The TSO Split One assistor is the first point of contact for customer issues. These assistors are in direct contact with the customer and interface with support groups as necessary. Split One handles all issues within the scope of their training and authority. They are responsible for documenting Interactions in a detailed and complete manner in EHSS. Typical issues deal with electronic filing, file format, and tax law questions.

  2. The TSO Split Two assistor provides support to customers with more complex issues. The assistors staffing Split Two are leads or more experienced employees. Split Two will resolve the issue and follow up with the customer to ensure that it has been resolved to the customer's satisfaction.

    Note:

    When assistors are receiving a higher than normal call volume or email volume about a specific issue, assistors must notify their manager in an email providing the relevant facts about the issue(s). For example: If TSO is receiving a large volume of calls because of a change in the format for electronic filing or there is legislation that changes a reporting requirement, the manager must be notified. The manager must alert the TSO branch chief about the issue(s) for scheduling and tracking purposes.

21.3.11.5.5  (01-01-2014)
Transferring, Elevating, and Referring Calls

  1. If a customer has reached you because they have selected an incorrect application, or if you have helped the customer and they need assistance on another TSO application, transfer the call. If a customer needs additional assistance from a manager or higher experienced employee, transfer the call. If a customer reaches TSO incorrectly, refer the customer to an appropriate area, when possible.

  2. When it is appropriate to transfer a customer to another application within the branch, use the inside line button on the UCAD display and the appropriate inside line number.

    • #92481 for the Customer Service Section (CSS)

    • #92482 for CP 2100, CP 2100A, Notice 972CG and password/pin resets

    • #92483 for the Filing Information Returns Electronically Support (FS)

    • #92486 for Information Filing Support (IFS)

      Note:

      Transfers to other sections in the branch should be avoided.

  3. When it is appropriate to transfer a call to another application within the branch, use the inside line button on the UCAD display and the appropriate inside line number.

    • #92484 for Filing Information Returns Electronically Support (FS)

    • #92485 for CSS Split Two

    • #92487 for Information Filing Support (IFS) Split Two

  4. Never transfer a call to a direct extension in another application.

  5. If a customer asks to speak to a supervisor in another application, advise the customer that you cannot transfer to a direct extension. Offer to give the supervisor a written message. See IRM 21.3.11.5.3, Customer Complaints and Comments.

  6. When a customer asks to speak to another front line assistor, ask if the call is expected, or if you may provide assistance. If the taxpayer indicates that the call is expected, advise that you will take a message and deliver it to the assistor.

    Note:

    If the customer is referring to an Interaction, remember to notate the Interaction number in the email.

  7. When transferring a call to Split 2, advise the customer that the call is being transferred. If Split Two is not available, ask the customer if he/she would like to initiate a referral. Create an Interaction as outlined in IRM 3.42.7.4, Introduction to the e-help Support System (EHSS). See Exhibit 21.3.11-5 Interaction Job Aid - Technical Referrals. Advise the customer that turn around time could be up to two business days, but is usually less. Provide the Interaction number for reference.

21.3.11.6  (01-01-2014)
Assistor Procedures

  1. TSO assistors use standardized procedures to efficiently provide consistent responses to its customers. This section establishes uniform procedures for phone and written responses.

21.3.11.6.1  (01-01-2014)
Responding to the Customer

  1. Customer Service Section (CSS) receives inquires via phone and email.

  2. When receiving inquiries through the phone take the following actions:

    • Greet the customer

    • Provide Professional and Courteous service

    • Target the customer's issue

    • Authenticate as appropriate

    • Research the applicable resources

    • Provide the applicable guidance (Solutions, Publications, etc.)

    • Provide citation, if necessary

    • Refer if appropriate

    • Verify caller's comprehension

    • Close the conversation

  3. You may receive inquiries through the EHSS email system. When responding to the inquiry perform the following actions:

    • Determine the customer's issue

    • Create your response

    • Prepare answers that are complete and professional

    • Use prepared answers from Knowledge Articles (Solutions), if available

    • Refer questions to other functions. See IRM 21.3.11.6.2

    • Review your response

    • Provide citation, if necessary

    • Ensure the response is professional and courteous

    Note:

    See IRM 21.3.11.5 Communications, and IRM 21.3.11.5.2 Telephone Etiquette, for further guidance.

  4. When providing a technical answer, cite the appropriate reference that supports the answer provided (e.g., publications, form instructions, revenue rulings and procedures, IRMs, etc.). Citing an appropriate reference while speaking to the customer ensures that the information/answer provided is accurate. Additionally, by confirming the reference, we are educating the customer. In some instances a reference may not be required. For example, a reference is not necessary when you cannot answer the customer's question(s) and must refer or transfer a call without providing a response.

21.3.11.6.2  (01-01-2014)
Referring Customers to Other Areas and Resources

  1. Questions relating to the following forms should be referred as follows:

    Form Title Phone Number
    940/940EZ Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment Tax Return(s) 1-800-829-4933
    941 Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return 1-800-829-4933
    943 Employer's Annual Tax Return for Agricultural Employees 1-800-829-4933
    944 Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return 1-800-829-4933
    945 Annual Return of Withheld Federal Income Tax 1-800-829-4933
    1040 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return 1-800-829-1040
    1042 Annual Withholding Tax Return for U.S. Source Income of Foreign Persons 1-267-941-1000
    1042-S (Tax law and paper reporting) Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding 1-267-941-1000
    8027 Employer's Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips 1-800-829-4933 (If specialized research is needed.)
    8955-SSA, (Tax law and paper reporting) Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants With Deferred Vested Benefits 1-877-829-5500
    SS-4 Application for Employer Identification Number 1-800-829-4933
    SS-5 Application for Social Security Card 1-800-772-1213
    SS-8 Determination of Worker Status for Purposes of Federal Employment Taxes and Income Tax Withholding 1-800-829-1040
    W-8 series W-8BEN, W-8ECI, W-8EXP, W-8IMY (Certificates of Foreign Status) 1-267-941-1000

21.3.11.7  (02-25-2013)
Authentication and Authorization Guidelines

  1. Ensure that the customer is entitled to receive requested information. You must authenticate the customer before providing secured account information.

    Note:

    Customers requesting general information (i.e., not account specific, or protected information) do not require authentication. For example: "How do I apply for a transmitter control number (TCC)?" or "Do I need to submit a test file?" If, in the course of the call, a general question turns into an inquiry that needs to be answered by accessing a secure system, authentication procedures must be followed.

  2. Authentication means to establish the identity of the customer. Customers must verify required probes before TSO can release secured account information. Authorization means that the customer has the right to the information. The Disclosure website has excellent topics on who can access tax data at https://discl.web.irs.gov/Default.asp.

  3. Research the appropriate system (e.g., IDRS, IRP) to validate the customer's authentication responses prior to providing secured account information.

  4. Employees are encouraged to use the online version of TSO Authentication/Authorization Job Aid for each phone call with the exception for a general inquiry. The job aid is located at SERP/EPSS/TSO/Job Aid.

  5. Assistors may make outgoing calls in situations such as a call back to a customer to resolve an issue. Follow authentication and authorization guidelines to verify that the person to whom you are speaking and determine the person is authorized to receive the information using appropriate authentication and authorization guidelines.

21.3.11.7.1  (03-25-2013)
Authentication/Authorization for TCC and TIN Mismatch Problems and TCC Approval/Not Used Letters

  1. The required authentication/authorization probes for an inquiry relating to TCC and TIN mismatch problems and TCC Approval/Not Used Letters are:

    • Employer Identification Number (EIN) or TCC

    • Business Name

    • Business Address

    • The customer's position or relationship to the company

    Note:

    If the customer is unable to verify the address, you must obtain and verify two additional probes. EIN and business name must always be obtained and verified.

21.3.11.7.2  (03-25-2013)
Authentication/Authorization for TCC Searches and Verifying the Receipt of a Notice

  1. The required authentication/authorization probes for inquiries relating to TCC searches and verifying the receipt of a notice are:

    • EIN

    • Business Name

    • Business Address

    • Customer's Position or Relationship to the Company

    Note:

    If the customer is unable to verify the address, you must obtain and verify two additional probes. EIN and business name must always be obtained and verified.

21.3.11.7.3  (01-01-2014)
Third Party Authentication - Form 2848 Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative and Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization

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

  2. To verify that the caller is an authorized third party obtain the following information:

    • Taxpayer’s Name

    • Taxpayer’s TIN

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

    • Tax Period in question

    • Tax Form(s)

  3. If account research does not show the POA/TIA loaded to the CAF, you can accept a completed "unprocessed" paper or faxed copy of a third party authorization as valid and provide immediate assistance. However, you must perform the same authentication process for a paper or faxed authorization as you would for an authorization already on file. If the Form 2848 or 8821 are not on file, forward the original unprocessed paper or faxed copy to the appropriate CAF Unit for processing.

  4. Form 2848 may be faxed to TSO authorizing the customer to receive secured account information. Verify Form 2848 is complete with the information listed below:

    • Box 1 - Name, TIN and address of business requesting POA

    • Box 2 – Name and address of representative

    • Box 3 – Description of Matter section must clearly describe the type of information authorized to receive

    • Box 4 – Box checked, Specific Uses Not Recorded on CAF if applicable

    • Box 7 – Signature, Date, and Title

    • Part II – Signature of Representative

  5. Form 8821 may be faxed to TSO authorizing the customer to receive secured account information. Verify Form 8821 is complete with the information listed below:

    • Box 1 - Name, TIN, and address of business

    • Box 2 – Name and address of Appointee

    • Box 3 – Description of Matter section must clearly describe the type of information authorized to receive

    • Box 4 – Box checked, Specific Uses Not Recorded on CAF if applicable

    • Box 7 – Signature, Date, and Title (valid for 120 days from signature date)

    Note:

    Specific use authorizations generally are not recorded on the CAF database. These authorizations must be provided by the representative with each contact with the IRS.

21.3.11.7.4  (01-01-2014)
Disclosure Cross-References

  1. The previous sections are targeted at products and services supported by CSS. However, you should refer to the following IRM sections for complete guidance on Authentication and Authorization.

    • IRM 11.3.2, Disclosure to Persons with a Material Interest

    • IRM 11.3.2.4,Persons Who May Have Access to Returns and Return Information Pursuant to IRC 6103(e)

    • IRM 21.1.3.2, General Disclosure Guidelines

    • IRM 21.1.3.2.1, Disclosure Definitions

    • IRM 21.1.3.2.2, Authorized and Unauthorized Disclosures

    • IRM 21.1.3.3, Third Party (POA/TIA/F706) Authentication

    • IRM 21.1.3.3.1, Third Party Designee Authentication

    • IRM 21.1.3.4, Other Third Party Inquiries

    • IRM 21.1.3.7, Requests from Employees of Business Entities

    • IRM 21.1.3.8, Inquiries From IRS Employees

    • IRM 21.1.3.9, Mailing and Faxing Tax Account Information

    • IRM 21.2.1.60, Hearing Impaired Callers and TTY/TDD Equipment

21.3.11.8  (05-01-2010)
e-help Support System (EHSS)

  1. The e-help Support System is used to provide support to IRS' external customers. The Third Party Data Store (TPDS) maintains contact data for these customers. EHSS also receives contact data for Information Returns from the Transmitter Control Database. As customers contact TSO, assistors are able to access their contact history which is contained in Interactions. For detailed information about using EHSS, see IRM 3.42.7, e-help Desk. IRM 3.42.7.4, Introduction to the e-help Support System (EHSS).

21.3.11.8.1  (01-01-2014)
Interaction Creation

  1. Although Interactions vary in complexity, the same basic process is used to create all Interactions. From the EHSS Home page, use the "Open New Interactions" menu selection located under the "Service Desk" . Most CSS Interactions created from incoming telephone calls will have "TSO" in the contact field because CSS customers do not have contact information in Third Party Data Store (TPDS) or Transmitter Control Database.

    Exception:

    If you are performing IFS or FS work you should create the Interaction using the TCC code. See IRM 3.42.7.5.1,Contacts.

  2. Record Interaction details by following procedures in IRM 3.42.7.5, Interaction Details.

21.3.11.8.2  (01-01-2014)
Escalation/Incidents

  1. If an assistor creates an Interaction and needs further guidance or is directed to a different provider group the assistor will escalate the Interactions. See IRM 3.42.7.8,Escalate an Interaction

  2. If you receive a inquiry about a common problem, the Interactions can be related to the open Incident (if one exists). See IRM 3.42.7.8.1,Relate Interactions.

21.3.11.8.3  (05-01-2010)
Email System

  1. Email is a module within EHSS that allows TSO to expand its channels of communications. Email allows for response management, which directs and tracks emails from arrival through response, and includes intelligent routing and service-level management and reporting. See IRM 3.42.7.11.2, email Function, for complete information about handling email Interactions in EHSS.

21.3.11.8.3.1  (01-01-2014)
Responding to Email Inquiries

  1. Follow guidelines in IRM 21.3.11.6.1, Responding to the Customer when creating your response along with EHSS procedures in IRM 3.42.7.11.2.3, Procedures for Accessing and Creating Email Response.

  2. Emails are treated the same as telephone calls. If you can't answer the inquiry or need guidance, refer it to the appropriate provider group.

  3. Use templates or Knowledge Articles when appropriate, modifying if necessary to address the taxpayer's specific question.

  4. Do not copy long revenue procedures, revenue rulings, notices, etc. into your response.

  5. Cite the publication, form, or other reference source for your answer. Always provide the complete name of the publication, instructions, or form when first citing it in the email. Additionally, refer the customer to the instructions for form(s) when appropriate.

  6. Do not close an email by telephone. If specific facts or circumstances are not included in the question, follow (4) above.

  7. Do not use personal pronouns, such as "I" and "me." Refer to the organization as the Internal Revenue Service.

21.3.11.9  (01-01-2011)
Electronic Filing

  1. IRC 6011(e)(2)(A) requires payers who file 250 or more information returns to file those returns electronically. Payers who are under the filing threshold requirement are encouraged to file electronically.

  2. Employers filing 250 or more Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, must file those returns electronically. Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, is filed with the Social Security Administration. Advise the customer to call SSA's Employer Reporting Branch at 1-800-772-6270 for format and specifications.

    • SSA also has an online wage reporting program that allows filers of Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, to file electronically by entering wage data directly from their personal computers. Advise employers to contact SSA directly at Business Services Online, 1-888-772-2970 or refer the customer to the SSA website at www.socialsecurity.gov/employerand select "Business Services Online (BSO)" to register.

  3. Form 1042-S, Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding, Form 1097-BTC, Bond Tax Credit, Form 1098 series, Form 1099 series, Form 3921, Exercise of an Incentive Stock Option Under Section 422(b), Form 3922, Exercise of an Incentive Stock Option Under Section 422(b), Form 5498 series, Form 8935, Airline Payments Report, and Form W-2G, Certain Gambling Winnings, are also required to be filed electronically if a payer is filing 250 or more of any one type of these forms.

  4. This filing requirement (250 or more) applies separately to originals and corrections.

  5. If Form 1042-S, Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding, Form 1097-BTC, Bond Tax Credit, Form 1098 series, Form 1099 series, Form 3921, Exercise of an Incentive Stock Option Under Section 422(b), Form 3922, Transfer of Stock Acquired Through an Employee Stock Plan Under Section 423(c), Form 5498 series, Form 8027, Employer's Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips, Form 8935, Airline Payments Report, Form 8955-SSA, Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants With Deferred Vested Benefits, and Form W-2G, Certain Gambling Winnings, are required to be filed electronically, they must be filed through the Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) system. See Publication 1220, Specifications for Filing Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, 8935, and W-2G Electronically, Publication 1187,Specifications for Filing Form 1042-S, Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding, Electronically, Publication 1239, Specifications for Filing Form 8027, Employer's Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips, Electronically, and/or Publication 4810, Specifications for Filing, Form 8955-SSA, Annual Registration Statement of Identifying Separated Participants With Deferred Vested Benefits, Electronically,for the format and specifications of the files.

    Note:

    Remind customers that they must have software that can produce a file in the proper format. The FIRE system does not provide a fill-in form option for information return reporting.

21.3.11.9.1  (01-01-2013)
The FIRE System

  1. The FIRE system is the means by which transmitters can send information returns electronically to the IRS. It is an internet based system. The address is https://fire.irs.gov/firev1r/default.aspx or https://fire.test.irs.gov to connect to the FIRE test system.

  2. The advantages of filing electronically are:

    1. Paperless

    2. Results are available in 1 to 2 business days

    3. There is a later due date (3/31 as opposed to 2/28)

    4. Better customer service due to the online availability of transmitter files

    5. Available 24 hours a day 7 days a week, except for every Wednesday from 2:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. for programming updates and the last two weeks of the year when the system is down for yearly updates

  3. If customers question whether they are required to file electronically, probe to determine how many forms they are filing.

  4. If they have 250 or more, they are required to file them electronically unless they are granted a waiver with Form 8508, Request for Waiver from Filing Information Returns Electronically, from the electronic filing requirement.

  5. If they have less than 250 and it is prior to February 28, they can do one of the following.

    • File the forms on paper

    • Buy software to produce the file themselves

    • File the returns through a third party/transmitter

  6. If the customer decides to buy software, explain procedures to apply for a TCC using Form 4419,Application for Filing Information Returns Electronically. Advise the customer that a transmitter must have an EIN to receive a TCC. SSNs are no longer accepted when filing Form 4419, Application for Filing Information Returns Electronically.

  7. If they have 250 or more forms and it is after February 28,

    • Inform the customer they can still file on paper; however, they could be subject to a penalty.

    • Inform the caller they can search the web for software and third party providers.

21.3.11.9.2  (01-01-2014)
Form 4419, Application to File Information Returns Electronically

  1. Filers must use Form 4419, Application for Filing Information Returns Electronically, to request a Transmitter Control Code (TCC) to file Form 1042-S, Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding, Form 1097-BTC, Bond Tax Credit, Form 1098 series, Form 1099 series, Form 3921, Exercise of an Incentive Stock Option Under Section 422(b), Form 3922, Transfer of Stock Acquired Through an Employee Stock Plan Under Section 423(c) Form 5498 series, Form 8027, Employer's Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips, Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns, Form 8935, Airline Payments Report, Form 8955-SSA, Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants With Deferred Vested Benefits, and Form W-2G, Certain Gambling Winnings, electronically.

    Note:

    A Transmitter Control Code is not needed when filing Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns, using the fill-in form on FIRE.

  2. A TCC is a 5 digit alpha/numeric code that is required when formatting a file and submitting it through the FIRE system. The TCC must be coded in the Transmitter "T" Record. TSO uses the TCC to identify payers/transmitters and to track their files through the processing system.

  3. TSO will issue separate TCCs when applicable. Only one TCC will be assigned per payer/transmitter EIN unless they are also filing other types of returns. For example, Form 8027, Employer's Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips, Form 8955-SSA, Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants With Deferred Vested Benefits, and Form 1042-S, Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding, require a separate TCC.

  4. Remind filers that they must complete Form 4419, Application for Filing Information Returns Electronically, in its entirety. The following items are frequently submitted incorrectly:

    • Missing or incomplete EIN

    • Omission of the contact person's telephone number

    • Wrong organization identified as the transmitter

    • Filers incorrectly submitting Form 4419, Application for Filing Information Returns Electronically, for filing Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement

    • Failure to check all the types of information returns to be filed

    • Submission of a new Form 4419, Application for Filing Information Returns Electronically, every year

    • Missing signature

  5. Transmitters/filers will keep the same TCC as long as they continue to file. If any information from the original application changes, they must notify TSO in writing.

  6. For additional information about Form 4419, Application for Filing Information Returns Electronically, and the application process, see Publication 1220, Specifications for Filing Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, 8935, and W-2G Electronically, Part A, Section 6.

  7. If filers/transmitters do not use their TCCs for two consecutive years, the system automatically deletes them. If a filer does not use the TCC, a "TCC Not Used Letter" will be generated from after the first year informing them that we have no record of receiving an electronic file using the TCC.

  8. When you receive calls because a filer/transmitter has received a "TCC Not Used Letter," explain the following:

    TCC Not Used Letter
    If Then
    the filer/transmitter will not be using the TCC in the future, explain that they do not have to take any action. The TCC will be deleted from our system automatically.
    the filer/transmitter wants to keep the TCC for future filing, explain that the TCC will not be deleted if they file returns in the next filing season (January - June) using the TCC.
    the filer/transmitter wants to keep the TCC and some of the entity information has changed, explain that they should fax or mail the letter back to TSO explaining that they want to keep the TCC and provide any changes to the entity information.
    the filer/transmitter states that they filed returns but used a different TCC, explain that the letter is only concerning the one TCC that was not used. If they don't need that TCC, explain that they do not have to take any action. The TCC will be deleted from our system automatically.
    the filer/transmitter states that they filed the returns using the TCC on the letter and the call was received in CSS or IFS, explain that you will have to transfer the call to someone at the FIRE system to research the submission. Transfer the call to IFS (#92486).

21.3.11.9.2.1  (05-09-2012)
Forgotten Transmitter Control Code (TCC)

  1. If customers state that they have lost or forgotten their TCC, follow the guidance provided in IRM 3.42.9, Forgotten Transmitter Control Code.

21.3.11.10  (01-01-2014)
Notices Addressed in TSO

  1. This section provides guidelines for identifying and resolving inquiries concerning Computer Paragraph (CP) notices.

  2. TSO assistors are not trained to answer questions about any of the notices other than the CP 2000, CP 2100, and CP 2100A. Calls received about the other notices must be referred to the telephone number on the notice. If there is not an IRS telephone number listed, refer individual customers to 1-800-829-1040, business customers to 1-800-829-4933, and International customers may be referred to 1-267-941-1000.

  3. TSO handles the following notices:

    • CP 2000 - Issued to taxpayer to request verification for unreported income, payments or credits (underreporting).

    • CP 2100 - Notice to Payer Pertaining to Missing and/or Incorrect Payee Names/TINs on Information Returns.

    • CP 2100A - Notice to Payer Pertaining to Missing and/or Incorrect Payee Names/TINs on Information Returns

21.3.11.10.1  (01-01-2014)
Notice CP 2000/ Underreporter Inquiries

  1. This section provides information about the handling of calls received pertaining to Notice CP 2000.

  2. Generally the calls that TSO receives about the CP 2000 notices are from an employer or payer that filed duplicate Forms 1099 or Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. The notice could also be issued because an employer or payer overstated the gross income of an employee or payee on an information return.

  3. CP Notices 541 - 546 and CP 2000 are commonly referred to as "C" notices or underreporting notices because they relate to IRC 3406(a)(1)(C). TSO employees are not trained to answer questions about CP Notices 541 - 546.

  4. When calls about CP 2000 notices are received by a Split One assistor, the assistor must verify the type of notice and the number of payees/employees involved. If there is only one payee/employee involved, advise the customer to file a corrected return. Copy A must be filed with SSA and a copy must be provided to the recipient along with a letter of explanation as to how the error was made. The payee/employee will then have to answer the notice and provide a copy of the corrected form and letter of explanation to the IRS. If the notice involves more than one payee/employee, CSS will create an Interaction and escalate the case to Information Filing Support (IFS) lead provider group. The computer assistants in IFS are trained to research the files to determine the error(s) and take corrective actions.

  5. The computer assistants must refer to IRM 3.42.9.17, Bad Payer Procedures, for procedures used for underreporting inquiries.

21.3.11.10.2  (01-01-2014)
Notices CP 2100/CP 2100A

  1. This section provides guidelines for identifying and resolving inquiries concerning Computer Paragraph (CP) Notices CP 2100 and CP 2100A.

  2. Notice CP 2100/CP 2100A calls constitute the largest volume of inquiries TSO receives during a typical year. The notices are commonly referred to as "B" notices because they relate to IRC 3406(a)(1)(A) and (B). This code section requires payers to withhold 28 percent of certain payments they make to recipients of Form 1099. This is called backup withholding.

  3. Filers of a Form 1099 (subject to backup withholding) can receive notification from the IRS that they have filed forms with incorrect payee names and taxpayer identification numbers (TINs), or have filed forms with missing payee TINs.

  4. There are two seasons for mailing of these notices; September - October and April. The largest mailing is in the September - October time frame.

  5. The notice contains a one page letter and a listing of the payee names identified by the IRS as having a "Possible Payee Name/TIN Discrepancy." The TSO assistor's responsibility is to assist the customer in determining the correct action to take in response to the notice.

  6. If 50 or fewer error documents are reported on the listing, a Notice CP 2100A is issued. If more than 50 error documents are reported, a Notice CP 2100 is issued. If there are 250 or more errors, the payers are issued on a CD/DVD.

  7. Publication 1281, Backup Withholding for Missing and Incorrect Name/TINs, (including instructions for reading CD/DVD formats) is your source of information for responses to questions about Notices CP 2100/CP 2100A.

21.3.11.10.2.1  (01-01-2013)
Payments Subject to Backup Withholding

  1. Not all reportable payments are subject to backup withholding. The following is a list of payments that are subject to backup withholding:

    • Certain interest and dividend payments when the payee fails to certify that they are not subject to backup withholding due to underreporting of dividends or interest on their tax returns

    • Rents, commissions, royalties, fees or other forms of compensation for services and other fixed or determinable gains, profits, or income payments under IRC 6041, 6041(a), and 6045(f) reported on Form 1099-MISC

    • Dividends under IRC 6042, reported on Form 1099-DIV.

    • Patronage dividends under IRC 6044, reported on Form 1099-PATR

    • Interest and original issue discounts under IRC 6049, reported on Form 1099-INT and Form 1099-OID

    • Certain transactions (Gross Proceeds) made by brokers and barter exchanges under IRC 6045, reported on Form 1099-B

    • Gambling winnings reportable on Form W-2G, Certain Gambling Winnings, unless subject to regular gambling withholding

    • Taxable grants and USDA agricultural subsidy payments reported on Form 1099-G.

    • Payment card and third party network transactions that are reportable on Form 1099-K

21.3.11.10.2.2  (01-01-2014)
Missing TINs

  1. The IRS considers a TIN to be missing if it isn't provided or if it is obviously incorrect. For example: A TIN that contains more or less than 9 digits, alpha characters, or all the same digits (22-2222222) is considered a missing TIN.

  2. When a call is received saying that the TIN Status on the listing received from the IRS is "Missing TINs, " use the probing questions, taxpayer (TP) responses, and actions in the following table.

    Missing TINs
    Question TP Response Action Needed
    Is the missing TIN due to a submission error ? Yes Advise the TP to correct their records as needed and file correctly in the future. If this is a call for the April notices, verify if the customer also filed incorrectly for the last prior year. If so, explain that they should file corrections. Refer the filer to the General Instructions for Certain Information Returns (Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498 and W-2G).
    Is the missing TIN due to a submission error? No Advise the TP to send a Form W-9,Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification, by December 31 to the payee and to start backup withholding until the TIN is received.
    Has the TP received a response from the solicitation (Completed Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification? Yes Advise the TP to update their records and stop backup withholding. Remit any withholding through the Federal Tax Deposit System and report on Form 945, Annual Return of Withheld Federal Income Tax. See Publication 15 (Circular E) Employer's Tax Guide, and the Instructions for Form 945 for additional information about depositing backup withholding or call the Business and Specialty Tax Line at 1-800-829-4933.
    Has the TP received a response from the solicitation (Completed Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification? No Advise the TP to continue to backup withhold until a TIN is received and to deposit withholding as outlined in Publication 15, (Circular E) Employer's Tax Guide. Also make annual solicitations with Form W-9 as required to avoid penalties.

21.3.11.10.2.3  (01-01-2014)
Incorrect Name/TINs or Not Currently Issued TINs

  1. Incorrect Name/TINs are treated the same way as Not Currently Issued TINs for solicitation purposes.

  2. When a call is received saying that the TIN Status on the listing received from the IRS is "Incorrect Name/TINs" or "Not Currently Issued TINs, use the probing questions, taxpayer (TP) responses and actions in the following table. "

    Incorrect TINS
    Question TP Response Action Needed
    Does the name/TIN on the notice match TP records? No, this is not the information that was submitted. If the mismatch is due to an IRS scanning error, no action is required. Explain that the IRS had a problem reading the information in the format in which it was submitted. Refer to the Paper Document Reporting Section in the General Instructions for Certain Information Returns (Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, and W-2G).
    Does the name/TIN on the notice match TP records? No, the TP submitted the information incorrectly. Advise the TP to correct their records and file correctly in the future. If this is a call for the April notices, verify if the customer also filed incorrectly for the last prior year. If so, explain that they should file corrections. Refer the filer to the General Instructions for Certain Information Returns (Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498 and W-2G).
    Does the name/TIN on the notice match TP records and is this the first time the TP has received a notice for this payee name/TIN? Yes, and this is the first time the TP has been notified about this payee. Advise the TP to send the First "B" Notice and Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification, to the payee within 15 business days from the later of the date on Notice CP 2100 or the date the notice was received.
    Did the payee return a certified Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification, within 30 business days? Yes Advise the TP to update their records and use the new information to file in the future. For the April notices, a corrected return may be needed for the last prior year.
    Did the payee return a certified Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification, within 30 business days? No Advise the TP to start backup withholding within 30 business days from the date on the Notice CP 2100 . Explain that the TP must deposit the backup withholding according to the deposit rules in Publication 15, (Circular E) Employer's Tax Guide, and the Instructions for Form 945 or refer the customer to 1-800-829-4933. Report the deposits on Form 945.
    Does the name/TIN on the notice match TP records and is this the first time the TP has received a notice for this payee name/TIN? Yes, and this is the second time within 3 years that the TP has been notified about this payee name/TIN. Advise the TP to send the Second "B" Notice to the payee to request a SSN Printout or Letter 147C. Do not send Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification.
    Did the payee return a SSN Printout or Letter 147C within 30 business days? Yes Advise the TP to update their records and use the new information in the future. For the April notices, a corrected return may be needed for the last prior year.
    Did the payee return a SSN Printout or Letter 147C within 30 business days? No Advise the TP to begin backup withholding within 30 business days from the date on their notice, deposit the withholding according to the deposit rules in Publication 15, (Circular E) Employer's Tax Guide, and the Instructions for Form 945 or refer the customer to 1-800-829-4933. Report the deposits on Form 945, Annual Return of Withheld Federal Income Tax.

  3. One of the most common errors for an incorrect name/TIN mismatch is in the case of a sole proprietor. Refer customers to the General Instructions for Certain Information Returns (Form 1097, Form 1098, Form 1099, Form 3921, Form 3922, Form 5498 and Form Wage and Publication 1281. These references state that, "A sole proprietor may have an SSN or an EIN. However, he or she must always furnish his or her individual name, regardless of whether he or she uses a SSN or an EIN." Remind customers that if they have the individual's name in their records, but failed to report it on Name Line 1 of the Form 1099 they filed, they don't have to do a solicitation. They must use the individual's name in the future. If they do not have the individual's name in their files, they must follow the table above and make the solicitation.

21.3.11.10.2.4  (05-01-2010)
Erroneous Backup Withholding

  1. If a payer or broker withholds under IRC 3406 from a payee in error or withholds more than the proper amount of tax, the payer or broker may refund the amount erroneously withheld if the refund is made prior to the end of the calendar year and prior to the time a Form 1099 is furnished to the payee with respect to the payment for which the erroneous withholding occurred.

  2. If the amount of the erroneous withholding is refunded to the payee, the payer or broker must adhere to the requirements set forth under Treas. Reg. 31.6413(a)-3.

  3. Only those amounts that are withheld erroneously may be returned.

21.3.11.10.2.5  (01-01-2014)
Verifying the Receipt of a Notice

  1. Taxpayers that have received notices in the past may call to see if they are supposed to receive a notice in the current year. Follow the table below to answer this type of call.

  2. Complete authentication/authorization process in accordance with IRM 21.3.11.7.2, Authentication/Authorization for TCC Searches and Verifying the Receipt of a Notice.

  3. After this information is confirmed through the database, you can tell the customer if a notice is being sent.

    Verifying the Receipt of a Notice
    If And Then
    filers are questioning whether they should have received a Notice CP 2100, it is 2 weeks after the final notice date verify if a notice was mailed or is expected to be mailed.
    a notice is due, the filer states that they have not received it escalate the case to IFS. IFS will recreate the notice. Explain to the filer what you have done, provide the Incident number, and tell them they should receive the notice within 4 weeks.
    a notice is due, the filer states that they have not received it and the filer would like the recreated notice sent to a different address escalate the case to IFS. IFS will recreate the notice. Explain to the filer what you have done and provide the Incident number. Explain that they should complete Form 8822-B, Change of Address, Business, and fax it to TSO. Tell them they should receive the notice within 4 weeks.
    the customer is concerned about the date of the notice, the solicitation process remind them that they have 15 business days from the date of the notice or the date they received the notice, whichever is later, to do the solicitation.

  4. When searching the TIN on the database, make sure the EIN being searched matches the EIN shown as the Access Key. The EIN shown as the Access Key is the EIN used to generate the notices. If the EIN searched is different from the Access Key EIN, there will not be a notice mailed to the company that owns the EIN searched.

  5. If a customer has questions about the status of a previous recreate research the Interaction. If customer does not have an Interaction number, you must open a new Interaction. See Exhibit 21.3.11-3 Interaction Job Aid for CSS Assistors - Recreates.

  6. If a customer has questions about the status of a previous recreate request, research the Interaction if closed and the customer needs further assistance, open a new Interaction and escalate to the IFS Lead Provider group.. See Exhibit 21.3.11-4, Interaction Job Aid - Opening an Existing Recreate Interaction.

  7. Notices CP 2100/CP 2100A and Notices 972CG require separate Interactions.

  8. Multiple requests for the same notice for different years should be in one Interaction.

  9. Requests with multiple EINs for the same notice by the same filer should be in one Interaction.

21.3.11.10.2.6  (01-01-2014)
Encryption Codes

  1. This section contains the procedures for providing encryption codes to filers upon receipt of a Notice CP 2100 CD/DVD or Notice 972CG CD/DVD listing for missing and incorrect names/TINs.

  2. Inquiries received in CSS and Filing Information Returns Electronically Support (FS) pertaining to an encryption code for Notice 972CG or Notice CP 2100 must be transferred to the IFS (#92486).

21.3.11.11  (01-01-2014)
Notice of Penalty

  1. A determination of the penalties to be assessed by the IRS is made when the processing of information returns is completed, generally a year to 18 months after the due date of the information returns. The IRS will notify filers of returns which are subject to penalty by issuing Notice 972CG, Notice of Proposed Civil Penalty.

  2. Notice 972CG, with a listing of missing or incorrect name/TIN combinations used on information returns, will be sent to filers of information documents noncompliant with IRC 6721. The notice may include proposed penalties for late filing and/or failure to file information returns electronically.

  3. If the filer disagrees with all or part of the penalties proposed, then an explanation establishing reasonable cause for why the penalties should not apply must accompany the response page to the IRS. See Pub 1586,Reasonable Cause and Regulation for Missing and Incorrect Name/TINs for further information if needed.

21.3.11.12  (01-01-2014)
Information Return Penalties

  1. IRC 6721, IRC 6722, and IRC 6723 give the IRS the authority to propose and assess penalties when filers of information returns, such as Form 1099 or Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, fail to comply with certain filing requirements established by other sections of the IRC and Regulations.

  2. When payers/filers do not meet the filing requirements, they may be assessed penalties for the following:

    • Failure to file by the due date (late filing)

    • Failure to include all information or correct information required (incomplete, missing names/TINs and other information)

    • Failure to file electronically

    Note:

    Refer to IRM 20.1.7, Information Return Penalties, for detailed information about information return penalties.

21.3.11.13  (01-01-2014)
Waivers From Filing Information Returns Electronically

  1. This section outlines the information that must be provided when filers call and need a waiver from the magnetic/electronic filing requirement set forth in IRC 6011(e) and IRC 6011(f).

  2. Requests for a waiver from electronic filing must be made by submitting Form 8508 Request for Waiver from Filing Information Returns Electronically, before the due date of the returns for which the waiver is being requested.

  3. Form 8508, Request for Waiver from Filing Information Returns Electronically, must be completed in full, signed by the filer, and submitted 45 days before the due date of the return if the filer wants a reply prior to filing paper returns.

  4. A separate Form 8508, Request for Waiver from Filing Information Returns Electronically, must be completed for each entity (EIN) for which a waiver is being requested.

  5. The approval of a waiver applies for one filing year only. A new waiver request must be applied for each year for which a waiver is needed. An initial request for waiver does not require the filer to submit cost estimates. Subsequent requests for a waiver require two current cost estimates from a third party for software upgrades, or programming to update the payer's system.

  6. If all of the information on the form is not completed, two current cost estimates are not provided after the first request, and/or the form is not signed by the payer, the request will automatically be denied.

  7. An approved waiver from filing electronically still requires the payer to file timely on paper forms to the appropriate submission processing site.

21.3.11.14  (05-01-2010)
Other Types of Inquiries Received in TSO

  1. This section lists additional subjects on which TSO receives questions and must provide filing requirements and recommended actions.

21.3.11.14.1  (01-01-2012)
Reclassification of Employees

  1. Calls are received in TSO about the misclassification or proper worker classification of individuals for employment tax purposes. When employers call because they have received notice from the IRS that they treated an employee as a nonemployee, you must follow the instructions in the notice and in Publication 15,(Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide, to help explain the actions required. You may also refer the customer to Publication 4341, Information Guide for Employers Filing Form 941 or Form 944 - Frequently Asked Questions about the Reclassification of Workers as Employees. This publication contains frequently asked questions about the reclassification of workers as employees.

  2. Follow the information outlined in Publication 15 and Publication 4341, Frequently Asked Questions About the Reclassification of Workers as Employees, for additional information.

  3. Employers may also qualify for relief from payment of employment taxes under section 530 of the Revenue Act of 1978. See Publication 1976,Do You Qualify for Relief Under Section 530?

  4. Announcement 2011-64 provides information about the Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP). This is a new program that provides an opportunity for taxpayers to reclassify workers as employees with partial relief from employment taxes if certain requirements are met.

21.3.11.14.2  (01-01-2013)
ITIN Inquiries

  1. An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a nine digit number issued by the IRS to individuals who are required for U.S. tax purposes to have a U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number but who do not have, and are not eligible to obtain, a SSN.

  2. Individuals must use Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, to apply for an IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

  3. The ITIN is for federal tax purposes only. It does not entitle individuals to social security benefits and does not change their immigration status or their right to work in the United States.

  4. If a customer is questioning where to report a payment made to someone who provides them with an ITIN, certain actions must be taken. The payer is required to use certain presumption rules to determine the following.

    • The status of the payee as a U.S. or foreign person and

    • The classification of the payee as an individual, trust, estate, corporation, or partnership.

    ITIN Inquiries
    If And Then
    the payer does not have a Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification, or a Form W-8 series on file. the person provided an ITIN and the payment is for services rendered, the payer must follow the presumption rules outlined in the General Instructions for Certain Information Returns (Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, and W-2G). Treat the payee as a U.S. nonexempt recipient subject to backup withholding and report the payment on Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, in Box 7. The backup withholding must be reported in Box 4.
    the payer has a Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification, on file. the recipient provided an ITIN on the form, follow the Presumption rules outlined in the general instructions and treat the recipient as a U. S. nonexempt recipient. See above.
    the recipient is an agricultural worker with an H-2A Visa, provided a SSN or an ITIN, the payment(s) ($600 or more) must be reported on Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, in box 1. See Publication 51, Circular A, Agricultural Employer's Tax Guide. Withholding is not required, but can be done if the employer and employee agree.
    the recipient is an agricultural worker with an H-2A Visa, has not provided a SSN, or an ITIN, the payment(s) must be reported on Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, in box 3 and is subject to backup withholding.

  5. Follow the detailed information in the General Instructions for Certain Information Returns (Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, and W-2G),Publication 51, (Circular A), Agricultural Employer's Tax Guide and Publication 1281, Backup Withholding for Missing Incorrect Name/TIN(s) when answering these questions.

21.3.11.15  (01-01-2014)
Substitute Forms

  1. This section includes information to provide customers when they want information about creating substitute forms that can be sent to the IRS, SSA, and the recipients/employees.

  2. Substitute forms for certain information returns must comply with rules set forth in Publication 1179, General Rules and Specifications For Substitute Forms 1096, 1098, 1099, 5498, and Certain Other Information Returns.

  3. Paper Substitute Form W-2 series and Form W-3 series must conform to the specifications in Publication 1141, General Rules and Specifications for Substitute Forms W-2 and W-3.

  4. Requirements for Paper Substitute Form W-2c Corrected Wage and Tax Statement, and Form W-3c, Transmittal of Corrected Wage and Tax Statements specific and filers are found in Publication 1223, General Rules and Specifications for Substitute Forms W-2c and W-3c.

  5. Specifications for substitute Form 1042-S, Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding, are included in Publication 1179.

Exhibit 21.3.11-1 
Organization, Function, and Program (OFP) Codes (Phones and email)

Function Program Title
750 12730 All Telephone Calls
750 12732 FIRE Calls
750 12733 IFS Calls
750 12760 Email (fire@irs.gov or mccirp@irs.gov)
750 12800 Processing - (FIRE/AWAX)
750 12810 Processing Form 8508, Request for Waiver from Filing Information Returns Electronically
750 12820 Processing - Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns
750 12821 Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns, Prep
750 12850 Processing Form 4419, Application for Filing Information Returns Electronically
750 12851 Preparation Form 4419, Application for Filing Information Returns Electronically
750 12860 Administration - (Fax Server)
750 12870 Research (Penalty Research Forms, Underreporting, CP 2000, Form 13460, Form 8647, and Misrouted mail)
750 12871 Unpostable Project
750 12890 Processing (FIRE/Daily Reports)
750 12891 Fraud (1099-OID/1099-A)
750 12893 QCS-FIRE
750 42772 Solutions Board Meetings
Code Title

Note:

Following is a list of "Time Codes" that must be used with the OFP codes when inputting time in WebSetr.

1 Regular
2 Overtime
3 Night Differential
4 Comp Hours Worked
5 Sunday Differential
6 Sunday Night Differential
7 Legal Holiday Worked
8 Night Overtime Differential
9 Credit Hours Worked
R Religious Comp Hours Worked
T Comp Time for Travel Worked

Exhibit 21.3.11-2 
Overhead Programs

Function Program Title
990 51080 Course Development (Outside Support Service Org.)
990 51090 Course Development (IRM & Outside Support Service)
990 57910 Public Affairs Office Related
990 59100 Management & Supervision
990 59110 Work Leader/Senior/Lead
990 59120 Clerical Support for Management
990 59130 Analyst
990 59210 Instructing Training Which Includes: Preparing to Teach, Instructing Technical Training, Trainee Counseling/Eval Technical Training Technical Course Instructing Training Coordinator, Coaching, On-The-Job Training
990 59221 Read Time
990 59222 Recurring Technical Training/Meeting
990 59250 Attending Technical Training Which Includes: Attending Tech Classroom Training, Individual Training, Receiving On-The-Job Training, Meetings Concerning Handbook/Procedural Changes
990 59270 Attending Supervisory & Interfunctional Training
990 59300 Administrative Program Which Includes: Presenting Awards Meetings, for Administrative Announcements, Charity & Health Fund Drives, Orientation of New Employees Employee's, Time Spent During Counseling Sessions, General Office Moves, Employee Time Union , Time Spent at the Health Unit, Job Interview Time Inside/Outside SC, Tour Guides, Testifying in Court Cases Regarding IRS Engagement meetings, taking Employee Satisfaction Survey
990 59310 Machine Downtime
990 59316 Idle Time Due to Hazmat
990 59320 Break Time
990 59330 Form 3081 Preparing & Inputting
990 59390 Administering the Hazmat Program
990 59391 Fit Testing Gloves and Mask
990 59392 Hazmat Safety Briefing Conducted by Unit Managers
990 59501 Annual Leave
990 59502 Sick Leave
990 59503 Holiday Leave
990 59504 Emergency Military Leave
990 59505 FECA (On-The-Job Injury) for Posting Continuation of Pay & Misc Admin Leave
990 59506 Regular Military Leave
990 59504 Restored Annual Leave
990 59508 Home Leave (Annual Leave Earned Overseas)
990 59509 Use of Leave Share/Leave Bank Time
990 59511 SC Shutdown Inclement Weather
990 59512 SC Shutdown Other Building Closure
990 59521 FMLA Annual Leave
990 59522 FMLA Sick Leave
990 59525 FMLA Restored Annual Leave
990 59527 Sick Leave-General Family Care Bereavement
990 59528 Sick Leave-General Family Care Medical
990 59531 OT for LFSA Employee Travel on NW Days During Reg WK HRS and Did Not Perform Work
990 59532 Overtime for FLSA Employee Travel Time Work Performed Outside of Regular Duty HRS
990 59533 Overtime for Non-FLSA Employee Performed Work Outside of Regular Duty HRS
990 59540 Time Off Award Taken
990 59561 Admin/ER-Conduct Based Disciplinary or Adverse Actions
990 59562 Benefits-Including Health, Retirement, & Financial Counseling
990 59563 Volunteer Activities
990 59564 Approved Individual Development Plan/Self Directed Training
990 59565 Jury Duty - Summons for Jury Duty Only
990 59566 ADM Leave Misc - Covers ADM LV Not Identified under 5956X and 5957X
990 59567 Voting
990 59568 Blood Donation
990 59571 FECA Annual Leave (On-The-Job Injury)
990 59572 FECA Sick Leave (On-The-Job Injury)
990 59573 Relocation (When approved by the controller)
990 59574 OPM Examination
990 59575 Bone Marrow/Organ Donor
990 59576 FECA Restored Annual Leave (On-The-Job Injury - Contact WCC for Approval and Procedures)
990 59577 Local Holiday (Not National Holiday)
990 59579 Leave Share
990 59811 LWOP for On Board Employees Only
990 59812 LWOP for Family Medical Leave Circumstances
990 59813 LWOP as a Result of On-The-Job Injury - After Claim is Accepted by OWCP
990 59815 LWOP for Seasonal Employees on Furlough - Only Needed Until SF-52 is Posted
990 59821 Comp Other Than Religious
990 59825 Comp for Religious Purposes
990 59831 Flexi-Tour Credit Hours Taken
990 59841 Unapproved Leave Without Pay
990 59845 AWOL Due to Suspension Action
990 84810 TEPS Training
990 85200 Leadership Development Training
990 85201 Continuing Professional Education
990 85202 Executive Readiness
990 85203 Frontline Leader Readiness
990 85204 Expansion Managers' Training
990 85205 Senior Leader Readiness
990 85206 Coaching Strategy
990 85207 Functional Management Training
990 85208 Skillsoft
990 85240 All Other Mandated Training Not Listed Below
990 85241 UNAX/POSH/Annual Ethics/Security Awareness
990 85243 Balanced Measures Training
990 85244 1203 Training
990 85248 1204 Training
990 85249 Prep Time for Mandated Training
990 85280 Attending SFA Bargaining
990 85290 Attending SFA Non-Bargaining

Note:

*Whenever live work is used, trainee time will be charged to the appropriate direct program.

Note:

The only time that needs to be charged to 8524X during the new hire employee's orientation process is the time they actually spend attending any of the mandated sessions.

Exhibit 21.3.11-3 
Interaction Job Aid for CSS Assistors - Recreates

When opening an Interaction to order a recreate of Notice CP 2100/CP 2100A or Notice 972CG, take the following actions:

Click on the" Open New Interaction" menu selection located under the Service Desk.

Enter as much information as necessary to document the customer’s issue(s) when opening a new Interaction. The following fields are required:

  • Contact

  • Business Unit

  • Product Type (Notices)

  • Problem Type (CP 2100, CP 2100A or 972CG)

  • Provider Group (choose the IFS manager group)

  • Priority

  • Source

  • Description

  • Search Knowledge to select a solution

For cases where the customer's information is not in the TCB, enter TSO in the contact field and click the fill field button.

Enter the following in the Description Field: The problem type (Ex: CP 2100) if it is different than the product type, Company Name and TCC (optional). Verify the mailing address in ir.mag; enter "Address OK" if the address is the same. If the mailing address must be changed, advise the customer that we cannot change the mailing address until a Form 8822-B, Change of Address, Business, has been faxed to 1-877-477-0572. If the company has a permanent address change, advise the customer to follow the instructions on the form as to where to mail it in addition to faxing it to TSO. Make a note in the Interaction that Form 8822-B is being faxed. Also include the taxpayer's name, taxpayer's telephone number, and the company EIN. The EIN must be the last entry in the description field.

Click "Save." The status of the Interaction will be "Open - Idle."

Provide the Interaction number to the customer.

Exhibit 21.3.11-4 
Interaction Job Aid - Opening an Existing Recreate Interaction

When opening an Interaction in your worklist to recreate a notice, take the following actions:

Navigate to My Worklist from the Navigator Pane – Miscellaneous/ Worklist/My Worklist View.

Click the Interaction/ incident assigned to work.

Scroll through the details to gather as much information as possible.

Click any links in the Related Records Section to view details of related Interactions/Incidents

Glance at any documents listed in the attachment section

Scroll to the Activities Section

Add an Assistor Update Entry

Add/change any other field on the Details Tab (add another solution if appropriate)

Close or Escalate the Interaction/ Incident as appropriate

Exhibit 21.3.11-5 
Interaction Job Aid - Technical Referrals

When opening an Interaction to elevate a tax law question, take the following actions:

Click on the" Open New Interaction" menu selection located under the Service Desk.

Enter as much information as necessary to document the customer’s issue(s) when opening a new Interaction. The following fields are required:

  • Contact

  • Business Unit

  • Product Type (Tax Law)

  • Problem Type (Tax Law)

  • Provider Group (CSS Lead Group)

  • Priority

  • Source

  • Description

  • Search Knowledge to select a solution

Enter TSO in the contact field and click the fill field button.

Enter the following in the Description Field: The problem type if it is different than the product type, taxpayer's name, taxpayer's telephone number, taxpayer's question, and your initials.

Click "Save."

Provide the Interaction number to the customer.

Exhibit 21.3.11-6 
Interaction Job Aid for Information Filing Support Assistors - Recreates

When creating an Interaction for a recreate of Notice CP 2100/CP 2100A or Notice 972CG, the assistors in IFS must take the following actions:

  1. Log into EHSS

    Click on the" Open New Interaction" menu selection located under the Service Desk. Enter as much information as necessary to document the customer’s issue(s) when opening a new Interaction. The following fields are required:

    • Contact

    • Business Unit

    • Product Type (Notices)

    • Problem Type (CP 2100, CP 2100A or 972CG)

    • Provider Group (see below)

    • Priority

    • Source

    • Description

    • Search Knowledge to select a solution

  2. For cases where the customer's information is not in the TCB, enter TSO in the contact field and click the fill field button.

    In the Description field: Enter the tax year(s), company name, EIN, company address, company phone number, requestor's name, telephone number, and TCC (optional) in the Details field.

    Verify the mailing address in ir.mag and enter "Address OK" if the address is the same. If the mailing address must be changed, advise the customer that we cannot change the mailing address until a Form 8822-B, Change of Address, Business, has been faxed to 1-877-477-0572. If the company has a permanent address change, advise the customer to follow the instructions on the form as to where to mail it in addition to faxing it to TSO. Make a note in the Interaction that form is being faxed.

  3. If the requestor is not an IRS employee:

    Choose the Provider Group: "TSO IFS Lead" and select the Assigned To person (IFS Lead's name).

    Verify the default selection for the Priority Field is "3-Low."

    Click on "Save."

    Provide the Interaction number to the customer.

  4. If the requestor is an IRS employee:

    Choose the Provider Group: "TSO IFS Manager" as the provider group and select the Assigned To person (IFS Manager's name).

    Change the Priority Field to "Medium."

    In the Description field: Enter the contact information and mailing address provided by the IRS employee in the Details Field.

    Click "Save."

    Provide the Interaction number to the customer.

  5. The IFS manager or designate will take the following actions:

    Click on the "Case" tab.

    Change the Provider Group to: "TSO IFS Assistor."

    Change the Assigned to name to: "TSO IFS Assistor."

    Attach a file containing the IRS employee's profile from the Discovery Directory.

    Click on "Save."

    Send an email providing the Interaction number to a IFS Assistor and CC: the IFS Manager, Leads, IRS employee making the request, and the employee's manager.


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