3.21.264  IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) Acceptance Agent Program

Manual Transmittal

October 22, 2014

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 3.21.264, International Returns and Document Analysis, IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) Acceptance Agent Program.

Material Changes

(1) IRM 3.21.264.2.3(3), Created new paragraph three to add tables to clarify how to authenticate an individual calling about an AA application.

(2) IRM 3.21.264.3.2(5), Revised due date for Forensic Certification.

(3) IRM 3.21.264.3.2(1), Added Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) to Exception.

(4) IRM 3.21.264.3.2(5), Revised paragraph five Forensic Document Training Certification requirements.

(5) IRM 3.21.264.3.1 (2), Revised paragraph two for caller authentication and added paragraph three and paragraph four for instructions to research AA application in EHSS.

(6) IRM 3.21.264.4.1, Revised several lines of Form 13551 to clarify procedures.

(7) IRM 3.21.264.4.1(3), Clarified instructions for Line 2, Form 13551 PTIN requirement for principal, partner or owner.

(8) IRM 3.21.264.4.1.1(1), Clarified instructions for acceptance of Mandatory Training Certificate.

(9) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.4.1.2, Replaced IPS with Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC).

(10) IRM 3.21.264.4.1.2, Clarified instructions for Incomplete Applications.

(11) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.4.1.3, Replaced IPS with CSPC.

(12) IRM 3.21.264.4.1.3, Revised section to clarify instructions for responses to Incomplete application or Rejection letter.

(13) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.4.1.4, Replaced IPS with CSPC.

(14) IRM 3.21.264.4.1.10, Clarified instructions for PTIN requirements.

(15) IRM 3.21.264.4.1.11, New Section for Forensic Document Training Requirements.

(16) IRM 3.21.264.4.2.1, Removed ITIN policy Section, added Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC).

(17) IRM 3.21.264.4.2.1.1, Clarified instructions for EHSS and IM Case.

(18) IRM 3.21.264.4.2.1.2, Clarified procedures for IM Updates in paragraph one.

(19) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.4.2.1.4, Removed wordings "copies or reject" from last bullet in paragraph 2.

(20) IRM 3.21.264.4.2.1.4, Revised instructions for reviewer/lead process for RTS/IM.

(21) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.4.2.1.5, Deleted "IPS" and replaced with "CSPC" , Changed address to CSPC address in paragraph 4.

(22) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.4.2.2, Replaced IPS with CSPC.

(23) IRM 3.21.264.4.2.2, Revised Tridoc title and paragraph one.

(24) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.4.2.3, Replaced "IPS" with "Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC)" .

(25) IRM 3.21.264.4.2.3, Revised paragraphs to remove FDTC and abbreviate Form..

(26) IRM 3.21.264.4.2.4, Revised paragraph two.

(27) IRM 3.21.264.4.2.6.2, Revised (2) for instructions on passed/rejected authorized representative.

(28) IRM 3.21.264.4.2.8, Changed IPS to CSPC, revised paragraph five.

(29) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.4.2.7, Replaced "IPS" with "Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC)" .

(30) IRM 3.21.264.4.2.7, Revised (1) to process Form as new when EIN change.

(31) IRM 3.21.264.4.3, Revised paragraph four, changed tax years.

(32) IRM 3.21.264.4.3.1, Revised paragraph one to reflect updated tax years.

(33) IRM 3.21.264.4.3.1(4),Note, removed official use only reference.

(34) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.4.3.1(8), Replaced IPS with Cincinnati Submission Processing Center.

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(38) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.4.3, Update outstanding liability.

(39) IRM 3.21.264.4.3.3, Added paragraph three for fraud penalty assessment.

(40) IRM 3.21.264.4.3.4, Revised paragraph (6).

(41) IRM 3.21.264.4.3.5, Changed shelf to cart in paragraph three.

(42) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.4.3.5, Replaced IPS with CSPC.

(43) IRM 3.21.264.4.3.6, Added another Note to return application to authorized representative if only one on application and Preparer Penalty applies.

(44) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.4.3.6, Replaced IPS with CSPC.

(45) IRM 3.21.264.4.4(4), Removed ITIN Policy Section added Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC).

(46) IRM 3.21.264.4.4, Revised paragraph 4, update paragraph 4 and If/Then chart in paragraph 11.

(47) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.4.4.1, Replaced IPS with CSPC.

(48) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.4.4.3, Replaced IPS with CSPC.

(49) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.4.4.3.1, Replaced IPS with CSPC.

(50) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.4.4.3.2, Replaced IPS with CSPC.

(51) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.4.4.3.3, Replaced IPS with CSPC.

(52) IPU 14U0939 issued 05-30-2014 IRM 3.21.264.5.1(4), Revised see also id.

(53) IRM 3.21.264.4.5.2, Created new subsection, "Passed Application Documentation" . IPU 12U0550 issued 03-02-2012 IRM 3.21.264.4.5.2, Revised (3), added two bullets.

(54) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.4.5.2, Replaced IPS with CSPC.

(55) IRM 3.21.264.4.5.2, Revised paragraphs to clarify procedures for passed application.

(56) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.4.5.3, Delete paragraphs (2) and (3).

(57) IRM 3.21.264.4.6, Added new paragraph 12 for correspondence procedures.

(58) IRM 3.21.264.4.5.3(3), Revised paragraph to clarify rejected application documentation.

(59) IRM 3.21.264.4.6.1, Revised paragraphs 3 & 5, deleted paragraph 6 for incomplete application letter processing.

(60) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.4.6.2(6), Removed reference to packet sent to IPS.

(61) IRM 3.21.264.4.6.2, Revised paragraphs for making corrections to letter with minor errors.

(62) IRM 3.21.264.4.6.3, Revised paragraph for making corrections to letter with minor errors.

(63) IRM 3.21.264.4.6.4, Revised paragraph for making corrections to letter with minor errors.

(64) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.4.6.5, Removed reference to packet sent to IPS.

(65) IRM 3.21.264.4.6.5, Revised paragraph for making corrections to letter with minor errors.

(66) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.4.6.7, Removed reference to packet sent to IPS.

(67) IRM 3.21.264.4.6.7, Revised paragraph for making corrections to letter with minor errors.

(68) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.4.6.8, Removed reference to packet sent to IPS.

(69) IRM 3.21.264.4.6.8, Revised paragraphs for making corrections to letters with minor errors.

(70) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.4.6.9, Replaced IPS with CSPC. Removed reference to packet sent to IPS.

(71) IRM 3.21.264.4.6.9, Revised paragraph for making corrections to letters with minor errors.

(72) IRM 3.21.264.4.6.10, Revised paragraph to attach copy of letter to IM.

(73) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.5, Changed title and content to reflect that Acceptance Agent approval process is now handled by Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC); Moved (13)(16) to new subsection IRM 3.21.264.5.6.

(74) IPU 14U1151 issued 07–17–2014 IRM 3.21.264.5.1, Revised (1) for Clerical instructions on separating AA applications, added new (3) and (4) for date stamp AA application. Revised (6) and (7) to include documents may be included with AA packet.

(75) IPU 14U1151 issued 07–17–2014 IRM 3.21.264.5.1, Added a Note and Caution for stamping in correspondence Created a table for items to be included on EXCEL spread sheet. Added instructions for folder assembly and included language for Educational and Financial institutions (7).

(76) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.5.1.1(2) Clarified instructions for clerks for Amended Form 13551.

(77) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.5.1.2, Added new subsection on clerical actions for rejected applications.

(78) IPU 14U1151 issued IRM 3.21.264.5.1.2(2), Changed time frame for maintaining rejected applications.

(79) IPU 14U0939 issued 05-30-2014 IRM 3.21.264.5.1.2(2), Editorial Change.

(80) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.5.1.3, Renumbered. Previously IRM 3.21.264.5.1.2

(81) IPU 14U0939 issued 05-30-2014 IRM 3.21.264.5.1.3, Clarified clerical actions for Terminated Agreements.

(82) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.5.2 Changed title to reflect change from ITIN Policy Section to CSPC; (3) Clarified that faxed, stamped or electronic signatures are not acceptable on Form 13551.

(83) IRM 3.21.264.5.2(3), Removed CTEC requirement.

(84) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.5.3(1) Changed reference from IPS analyst to Tax Examiner; (2) Clarified process to post acceptance agents to the IRS website.

(85) IRM 3.21.264.5.3(2), Clarified that files are sent to Lead for Quality review.

(86) IRM 3.21.264.5.3, Added new (2), (4) and (5) to outline specific steps and RTS entry for new and renewing applications.

(87) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.5.4, Added new subsection on Quality Review.

(88) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.5.5, Revised subsection on Amended application process.

(89) IPU 14U1103 issued 07–03–2014 IRM 3.21.264.5.5(3), Added new (3) to provide guidance on processing changes to AA Type.

(90) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.5.6, Revised subsection on rejected application process. Previously numbered IRM 3.21.264.5.4.

(91) IPU 14U0939 issued 05-30-2014 IRM 3.21.264.5.6, Clarified RTS input for rejected application.

(92) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.5.7, Revised subsection on terminated application process.

(93) IPU 14U0939 issued 05-30-2014 IRM 3.21.264.5.7, Changed title to Terminated Agreements; Clarified that this will be handled by IPS.

(94) IRM 3.21.264.5.7(2), Clarified storage for terminated agreements is 1 year.

(95) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.6, Added CSPC for processing or tracking acceptance agent applications.

(96) IRM 3.21.264.6.3, Revised rows in the Acceptance Agent Input Screen.

(97) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.6.3, Replaced "IPS" with "CSPC" .

(98) IPU 14U0906 issued 05-23-2014 IRM 3.21.264.6.5, Replaced "IPS" with "CSPC" .

(99) IRM 3.21.264.6.5, Identified Reason for Change permitted by CSPC or IPS only.

(100) IRM 3.21.264.6.6, Revised paragraph four to include process application if returned within 30 days.

(101) IRM 3.21.264.7(7), Spelled out EPD (Exam Planning and Delivery).

(102) IRM 3.21.264.7.3.1, Added Form titles.

(103) IRM 3.21.264.8(2), Added Form to W-7 and added title.

(104) IRM 3.21.264.9.1(1), Added instructions for IPS to contact applicant by Correspondence letter.

(105) IRM 3.21.264.9.2(1), Removed Austin P&A, added IPS Analyst to review information returned by CAA.

(106) IRM 3.21.264.9.3(1), List instructions for IPS Compliance Analyst to follow prior to forwarding file to Senior Analyst for review.

(107) Editorial changes have been made throughout this IRM.

(108) Exhibit 3..21.264-3, Revised Exhibit and descriptor for Acceptance Agent Processing

(109) Exhibit 3.21.264-4 Revised Fingerprint Card Stuffer.

(110) Exhibit 3.21.264-5, Revised Exhibit and descriptor for Form 3210, Document Transmittal

(111) Exhibit 3.21.264.6, Revised Exhibit and descriptor for Form 9814, Express Services Routing

(112) Exhibit 3.21.264–9, Revised Letter 4963 and descriptor, Incomplete Application Letter

(113) Exhibit 3.21.264-10, Revised descriptor and variable responses to Incomplete Application.

(114) Exhibit 3.21.264-11, Revised Letter 4956 and descriptor, Failure to Respond within 30 Days or Provide Missing Information

(115) Exhibit 3.21.264–12, Revised Letter 4961 and descriptor, Business Tax Compliance Failure (Owner) /Owner/Authorized Representative

(116) Exhibit 3.21.264–13, Revised Letter 4964 and descriptor, Application Received Outside of Open Season Window

(117) Exhibit 3.21.264.14, Revised Letter and descriptor, Application Received Outside of Renewal Window

(118) Exhibit 3.21.264–15, Revised Letter 4959 and descriptor, Individual Suitability Failure (Owner)

(119) Exhibit 3.21.264–16, Revised Letter 4958 and descriptor, Individual Suitability Failure (Individual)

(120) Exhibit 3.21.264–17, Revised Letter and descriptor, Previous Rejection or Termination

(121) Exhibit 3.21.264.18, Revised Letter and descriptor, Rejected Fingerprint Cards (FPC)

(122) Exhibit 3.21.264–19, Revised Form 13551 Review Checklist and descriptor

Effect on Other Documents

This material supersedes IRM 3.21.264 dated November 5, 2013 (effective January 1, 2014). The following IRM Procedural Updates (IPUs) issued from May 23, 2014 through July 17, 2014 have been incorporated into this IRM: 14U0906, 14U0939, 14U1103 and 14U1151.

Audience

Wage and Investment (W&I), ITIN Policy Section, Austin e-Help Desk, and Small Business/Self-Employed (SB/SE), Field Examination

Effective Date

(01-01-2015)

Paul Mamo
Director, Submission Processing
Wage and Investment Division

3.21.264.1  (08-08-2012)
Overview

  1. This section of the IRM provides guidance for administering the IRS Acceptance Agent (AA) Program. Included is the following information:

    • Description of the application process to become an IRS Acceptance Agent.

    • Procedures for reviewing and processing Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program.

    • Outline of IRS' expectation of roles and responsibilities as it relates to the Acceptance Agent Agreement, Compliance Reviews and Quality Standards.

  2. This IRM is designed to be used by Submission Processing Campus (SPC), Austin e-Help Desk Assistors, Small Business/Self Employed, Field Examination, and the IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) Policy Section employees.

    Note:

    All references to "Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number" throughout this IRM refer to both the English and Spanish versions unless otherwise specified.

  3. A person may wish to become an Acceptance Agent to assist with the process of acquiring an IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for alien individuals or clients who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number for tax purposes, but are ineligible for a Social Security Number (SSN).

  4. Prior to submitting a formal application, interested persons may request a telephone or in-person conference with the IRS to explore informally the benefits and responsibilities associated with the role of an Acceptance Agent. To request a pre-application conference the applicant can call 404-338-8063.

3.21.264.2  (01-17-2013)
General Information

  1. The Acceptance Agent Program is governed by Rev. Proc. 2006-10, 2006–1.

  2. On November 29, 2012 , the IRS issued final changes to the ITIN process. Certified Acceptance Agents will be required to certify to the IRS that they have verified the authenticity of the documents supporting the ITIN application. For certain ITIN applicants, this provides an option where they will not need to mail original documents such as passports. With respect to dependent children, in order to adequately substantiate identity and foreign status and protect important child tax credits, ITIN applications submitted to IRS by a CAA will continue to be required to include original documents or copies certified by the issuing agency.

3.21.264.2.1  (01-01-2011)
Mission Statement

  1. The mission of all employees processing Form 13551 is to ensure applications are processed timely and to ensure applicants admitted into the program are credible and responsible individuals who will advance the Internal Revenue Service’s goal of voluntary tax compliance.

3.21.264.2.2  (01-01-2012)
IRS Employee Contacts

  1. The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, Section 3705 (a) provides identification requirements for all IRS employees working tax- related matters. IRS employees are required to give their name and unique identification number (last seven digits of the Personal Identification Number shown on the Smart ID) during taxpayer telephone, face-to-face and written contact. In addition, a telephone number is required on all taxpayer correspondence. This will provide taxpayers with enough information to identify an IRS employee who has previously assisted with their tax-related matters.

    Note:

    An employee's Secure Employee Identification (SEID) is acceptable on written contacts.

3.21.264.2.3  (10-22-2014)
Disclosure Guidelines for Acceptance Agents

  1. It is the responsibility of all IRS employees to protect confidential applicant information and to understand the difference between an authorized and unauthorized disclosure under the provisions of the law.

  2. You must determine if the person you are speaking to is entitled to receive or present requested information. Do not under any circumstance accept oral testimony for missing signatures or documentation verification. Once you have verified that the caller is responsible for the information, then take the appropriate action.

  3. Except for general information inquiries, ITIN RTS will be used to authenticate customers calling about an Acceptance Agent application. Use the following tables to authenticate a customer and their authority to receive information pertaining to an Acceptance Agent application:

    Authentication Requirements
    Entity Position/Relationship TIN Name Address Date of Birth (DOB) Filing Status Other
    Firm/ Organization X EIN X (legal or DBA) X      
    Authorized Representative )U.S. citizen or non-resident alien)   SSN/TIN X (as shown on last return) X (as shown on last return) X X (as shown on last return)  
    Authorized Representative (foreign national)   PTIN* X* X* X*    
    Contact X EIN         Title
    Phone number
    e-mail address
    *Note: For foreign nationals, use IDRS (CC RPVUE)
    Authorization Entitlement
    Authority Principal, Partner or Owner Authorized Representative Primary or Alternate Contact
    Status of Application Yes Yes No
    Firm Suitability or Tax Compliance Issue Yes Yes No
    Individual Suitability or Tax Compliance Issue No Yes No
  4. This also includes the protection of computer terminal information. For example, when applicants calling on IRS phone lines inquire about their application and less than thirty days have passed since the Form 13551 application was mailed, the employee should advise the applicant to allow more time for processing. If more than 45 days have passed and research shows no record of the application, employees are authorized to disclose to the applicant that we have no record of the application and they should re-submit within the open season period which is May 1 through August 31 each calendar year.

  5. For questions on disclosure, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and the Privacy Act, refer to IRM 11.3, Disclosure of Official Information, or the Disclosure Help Desk at 1-866-591-0860 (for internal use only).

    Note:

    The Disclosure Help Desk number is for internal use only and should not be given to taxpayers.

3.21.264.2.3.1  (01-01-2011)
Disclosure Related to Acceptance Agent (AA) /Certified Acceptance Agent (CAA) Applications - Release of Information

  1. The taxpayer’s signature on Form W-7 authorizes the IRS to disclose to the AA only information necessary to resolve matters regarding assignment of an ITIN, including any previously assigned taxpayer identifying numbers.

  2. The Jurat, penalty of perjury statement, found in the Sign Here area of the Form W-7 serves as the authorization to release the information. Do not release other information, that is not necessary for the assignment of the ITIN, but found on the accompanying tax return or on IDRS.

    Exception:

    If there is an executed Form 2848, Power of Attorney, or Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization, present on the Centralized Authorization File (CAF) file for the ITIN/Form W-7 you are authorized to release information.

  3. Refer to IRM 3.21.264.2.3 , Disclosure Guidelines for Acceptance Agents, above for additional information on disclosure.

3.21.264.3  (08-08-2012)
Acceptance Agent Defined

  1. An AA is a person (individual or entity) who has signed an agreement with the IRS, and is authorized to assist alien individuals and other foreign persons in obtaining an ITIN or Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS.

3.21.264.3.1  (01-17-2013)
Acceptance Agent and Certifying Acceptance Agent

  1. There are two kinds of Acceptance Agents:

    • Acceptance Agent

    • Certifying Acceptance Agent

  2. AAs are authorized to assist alien individuals and other foreign persons ineligible or unable to receive a Social Security Number (SSN) in obtaining an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. The following responsibilities are included in their role:

    • Review the required supporting identification documentation that proves foreign status and identity.

    • Verify the completeness of the application.

    • Forward Form W-7 along with any required original or certified copies (certified by the issuing agency) of supporting documentation, and tax return or exception documentation to the IRS for processing and ITIN assignment.

      Note:

      The ITIN assignment letter is sent directly to the taxpayer, not to the AA.

  3. Certifying Acceptance Agents (CAA) are authorized to assist aliens and other foreign persons ineligible to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) in obtaining an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) from the IRS. The following responsibilities are included in their role:

    • Substantiate the claim of identity and foreign status and authenticate the accuracy and completeness of supporting identification documentation.

    • Conduct face to face or virtual video electronic interviews with all primary and secondary applicants.

    • Prepare an original Form 14194, Certificate of Accuracy (COA) for each application submitted.

      Note:

      The COA identifies the type of supporting identification documentation that was reviewed.


    • Forward Form W-7 along with the COA, copies of original or certified copies (certified by the issuing agency) that identifies the applicants supporting identification documentation that was reviewed by the CAA to prove identity and foreign status and tax return or exception documentation to the IRS for processing and ITIN assignment for primary and secondary applicants.

    • Submit original documents or certified copies from the issuing agency for dependents along with Form 14194.

      Note:

      The ITIN assignment letter is sent to both the taxpayer and the CAA.

3.21.264.3.2  (10-22-2014)
Eligibility Requirements

  1. Any eligible individual or entity can apply to become an Acceptance Agent. Individuals or entities covered under the professional standards of Circular 230 are eligible to serve as a CAA. This includes individuals who are Attorneys admitted to practice before the bar, Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), Enrolled Agents and registered tax return preparer not under suspension or disbarment from practice before IRS.

    Exception:

    Eligible entities exempt from Circular 230 are:

    • Financial institutions defined in IRC Section 265(b)(5)

    • Colleges or universities, that meet the definition of an educational organization as described in Treasury Regulation 1.501(c)(3)-1(d)(3)(i).

    • Gaming Industry

    • Low Income Tax Clinic (LITC)

    • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) centers/Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE)

  2. Each individual listed as an authorized representative on the application must be at least 18 years of age when application (Form 13551) is submitted.

  3. An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is required.

  4. A Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) is required. See www.irs.gov/ptin for additional information concerning PTIN.

  5. Except for applications from VITA/TCE partners, all existing CAAs were required to provide proof of completion of a forensic document training course (FDTC) and submit it to IPS by January 31, 2014 or their agreement was terminated. CAA applications from new applicants are required to attach proof of FDTC completion. For renewal applications and additional information on FDTC, see IRM 3.21.264.4.1.11, Forensic Document Training Requirements.

3.21.264.3.3  (08-15-2013)
Acceptance Agent Application (How to Apply)

  1. To apply to become an Acceptance Agent, applicants must complete and submit Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program. Applications must be submitted during the open season, May 1 through August 31, of each year. The open season will allow the IRS adequate time to process all Form 13551 prior to the beginning of each tax filing season.

  2. To ensure that AAs have the tools they need to perform their jobs, all new and renewing applicants are required to complete mandatory training. The training is available online at www.IRS.gov. Additionally, CAAs must complete forensic training course and purchase the following tools and reference materials to authenticate identification documents.

    • Black or ultra-violet lights, magnifying glasses and/or jeweler's loop

    • The 2012 Edition of ID Checking Guide U.S./Canada and 9th Edition of International ID Checking Guide

  3. There are four required steps for new and renewing applicants;

    1. Take the Mandatory Acceptance Agent training

    2. Take the forensic training (applies to CAA applicants only)

    3. Complete Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program, and attach the fingerprint card (if applicable)

    4. Attach the certification forms (Mandatory Acceptance Agent Training and Forensic Training) for each authorized representative (person listed in block 5 of the application)

  4. Form 13551 must be completed with the required certifications attached and mailed to:

    Internal Revenue Service
    3651 South IH 35
    Mail Stop 6380 AUSC
    Austin, TX 78741

3.21.264.3.4  (01-01-2012)
Suitability Checks

  1. Applicants are required to submit to suitability checks before being authorized to act as an Acceptance Agent (AA). There is no IRS processing fee to become an Acceptance Agent (AA). The applicant’s authorized representative may be subject to the following requirements:

    • A credit history check

    • A FBI background check

    • A federal tax compliance check

3.21.264.3.5  (01-17-2013)
Acceptance Agent Agreement (AA and CAA)

  1. Once the IRS determines the applicant qualifies to be an AA/CAA, an Acceptance Agent agreement, described under Treasury Regulation 301.6109-1(d)(3)(iv)(A), is entered into between the IRS and the entity authorized by the agreement to act as an AA/CAA on behalf of an alien individual.

  2. The agreement stipulates the terms and procedures to be followed by the IRS and the AA/CAA to insure proper administration of the process by which IRS issues ITINs to alien individuals.

  3. The agreement is in effect on the date the agreement is signed by IRS and expires on December 31 of the fourth full calendar year after the year in which the agreement went into effect.

  4. To ensure that their AA/CAA status continues uninterrupted, AAs/CAAs should be advised to submit a new application during the open season of the last year that the present agreement expires (May 1 thru August 31).

3.21.264.3.6  (01-17-2013)
Designated Telephone Lines

  1. Acceptance Agent and Certified Acceptance Agent (AA CAA) must initially follow routine procedures (including Form W-7 and related publications) for questions regarding the status of an ITIN. If they need additional guidance, they should call the applicable number provided in the AA/CAA agreement.

    Note:

    For all questions pertaining to tax returns or tax-related issues they must call one of the following telephone numbers, 1-800-829-1040 if within the United States or 1-267-941-1000 if outside the United States.

  2. The following are IRS offices located in the U.S. embassies:

    • London, England (44)(207) 894-0476

    • Paris, France (33)(1) 4312-2555

    • Frankfurt, Germany (49) (69) 7535-3811

    • Beijing, China (86)(10)8531-3983

3.21.264.3.7  (08-08-2012)
Acceptance Agent/Certifying Acceptance Agent (AA/CAA) Form W-7 Requirements

  1. The AA/CAAs must follow established procedures for completing Form W-7 and attach the required valid U.S. tax return or evidence that they meet one of five exceptions.

  2. If they wish to use a substitute form other than the original Form W-7, they must first obtain approval from the IRS. Refer them to Pub 1167, General Rules and Specifications for Substitute Form and Schedules, which guides them through preparing an acceptable privately designed and printed or computer-prepared and computer-generated substitute application.

3.21.264.3.8  (01-17-2013)
Supporting Identification Documentation for Form W-7

  1. All Form W-7s submitted by an AA or CAA must meet supporting identification documentation requirements by proving identity and foreign status.

  2. AAs and CAAs must also attach valid exception documentation to prove the applicant has met an exception to the filing of a valid U.S. tax return.

  3. Form W-7 submitted by a CAA must have a Form 14194, Certificate of Accuracy (COA) attached with copies of the original or certified copies for the primary and/or secondary and original or certified copies (certified by the issuing agency) for dependents that identifies the applicants supporting identification documentation they reviewed that was provided by the applicant as proof of identity and foreign status. The COA stipulates that to the best of the CAA’s knowledge, the applicants supporting identification documentation is authentic and accurate.

3.21.264.3.9  (08-08-2012)
Changes to Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program Application

  1. If the AA’s business name, address, or authorized responsible parties (signatories) has changed since the original submission, and approval of Form 13551, advise the AA to take actions as outlined in the table below:

    Change If... Then...
    Name
    1. A re-organization results in an entity change.

    2. Only a name and not an entity change, mail to:

      Internal Revenue Service
      ITIN Policy Section
      Mail Stop 97 WI
      401 W Peachtree St. NW
      Atlanta, GA 30308

    1. The AA must apply for a new Employer Identification Number (EIN) and a new AA agreement. The new application should be submitted to the address in the instructions.

    2. AA must submit a name change on office letterhead along with an explanation of the change (for example, a re-organization, a merger, etc.) and supporting documentation. Acceptable documentation includes copy of a marriage license, a divorce certificate, an official court-related document, or articles of incorporation validating the name change.

    Street Address The AA’s street, mailing, e-mail address, telephone or fax number changes, Advise them to file Form 8822-B, Change of Address, showing both the old and the new information. Mail to the ITIN Policy Section at the address listed above. The ITIN Policy Section will update the AA database and forward the Form 8822-B for Master File update.
    Authorized Representatives (Signatories) Changes to Authorized Representatives, position titles, or office locations, Advise the AA to mail an amended Form 13551 listing all of the Authorized Representatives and required information (name, Social Security Number/Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, Date of Birth (DOB), home address, citizenship status and criminal/penalty assessment).

    Individuals who act as Authorized Representatives but leave their current employer are no longer authorized to sign or submit Form W-7 applications under the previous employer’s Acceptance Agent Agreement. The amended application should include a statement reflecting the name and Social Security Number/Individual Taxpayer Identification Number of the Authorized Representative being deleted. If a new Authorized Representative is being added, Items 1–10 of Form 13551 must be completed. AA’s should mail amended applications to:

    Internal Revenue Service
    Mail Stop 6380 AUSC
    3651 S. IH 35
    Austin, TX 78741

3.21.264.3.10  (01-01-2011)
Public Lists of Acceptance Agents

  1. To be placed on the public list of Acceptance Agents maintained on www.IRS.gov, AAs/CAAs should send a letter on office letterhead to the ITIN Policy Section at the following address:

    Internal Revenue Service
    ITIN Policy Section
    Mail Stop 97-WI
    401 W Peachtree St. NW
    Atlanta, GA 30308

3.21.264.3.11  (10-22-2014)
Telephonic Inquiries Received by the e-Help Desk

  1. Electronic Products and Support Services (EPSS) e-Help Desk may receive telephonic inquiries from Acceptance Agent applicants for:

    • General information on becoming an Acceptance Agent

    • Requests for fingerprint cards

    • Status of an Acceptance Agent application

    • Assistance resolving suitability issues

  2. Calls received at the e-Help Desk will follow procedures in IRM 3.42.7 by creating an Interaction and attempting to assist the customer using Acceptance Agent solutions available in the e-Help Support Service (EHSS). Authentication of the caller is required for inquiries on the status of an application or any letters concerning tax compliance or suitability issue. See IRM 3.21.264.2.3.

    • If a customer is calling about the status of their Acceptance Agent application and more than 30 days have lapsed since it was mailed and the call was received at a site other than Austin or by an Austin assistor not trained on Acceptance Agent applications, use the EIN on the application to search either EHSS or the ITIN Real-Time System (RTS). If the application was mailed within the last 30 days, advise the caller that the entire application process can take up to 120 days.

    • Applicants needing fingerprint cards will be sent two cards per Authorized Representative. Fingerprint cards reflecting the Austin TX ORI code are preferred but any fingerprints submitted on Form FD-258 are acceptable. Include the Fingerprint card stuffer at Exhibit 3.21.264-4 with the requested cards. Stress to the applicant the fingerprint card must be complete, taken and signed by a trained specialist and also signed by them.

    • If an applicant is calling about an application previously returned as incomplete or for a suitability failure, advise the customer to comply with the letter they received. If more than 30 days old, advise the applicant they will need to wait until the next Open Season to resubmit the application.

      Note:

      Suitability issues involving an EIN can only be discussed with the principal, partner or owner of the entity. Individual suitability issues can only be discussed with the individual to whom they pertain. Follow authentication procedures in IRM 3.42.7.13.4.

    • If unable to resolve the customer's issue about a rejected Acceptance Agent application, escalate the Interaction to the Austin Leads. An Austin Lead will assign the case to a trained Acceptance Agent assitor for assistance.

  3. To search for an Acceptance Agent application in EHSS:

    • Access the "Search Incidents" option from the Favorites and Dashboard menu.

    • Select the "Text Search" tab and enter the EIN (with hyphen) in the Search Text box.

    • Click on the Search icon on the toolbar.

    • If multiple results are returned, determine the appropriate Incident based on the application date.

    • Authenticate the caller using IRM 3.21.264.2.3.

    • If more than 30 days have lapsed since the application was submitted and it was not found in EHSS, escalate the Incident to the Austin Leads Provider Group for additional research. See IRM 3.42.7.13.5.2, Electronic Tax Administration.

  4. See IRM 3.21.264.6 for searching an application in ITIN RTS.

3.21.264.4  (10-22-2014)
Acceptance Agent Application Processing (For Austin e- help Desk Use Only)

  1. The following section provide guidance for Austin Electronic Products and Services Support (EPSS) e-Help Desk employees for processing Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program.

  2. Austin e-Help Desk tax examiners and clerks will process new AA Applications based on the guidance provided in this IRM section.

  3. Austin e-Help Desk employees should also refer to IRM 3.21.264.3, Acceptance Agent Defined, and IRM3.42.10, Authorized IRS e-file Providers.

  4. Austin e-Help Desk managers are responsible for tracking and monitoring the ITIN AA application inventory to ensure adequate resources are available for timely processing. Applications should be received, processed and forwarded to the Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC) within 45 days of receipt by the IRS. If an application is returned to the applicant as incomplete or rejected, the processing time begins on the date the re-submission is received.

    Note:

    Access to the IRS ITIN Real-Time System (RTS) is through the Employee User Portal (EUP). Submission of a 5081 and prior approval for access must be granted by your manager.

  5. The following Function and Program codes will be used by the Austin e-Help Desk when processing Acceptance Agent applications.

    Role Function Program Purpose
    Assistor 710 33100 Process Form 13551 including reviewing for completeness, conducting suitability checks and inputting applications into RTS.
    Lead/reviewer 710 33101 Reviewing Acceptance Agent applications.
    Clerk 720 33100 Batching Form 13551, maintaining control logs, mailing incomplete or rejected applications back to applicants, Finger Print Card (FPC) processing and forwarding Form 13551 to the ITIN Policy Section.
    Lead/reviewer 880 00000 Conducting an Embedded Quality Review and evaluation of an Acceptance Agent application processed by an assistor.

3.21.264.4.1  (10-22-2014)
Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program

  1. Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program, is used to request entry into the IRS Acceptance Agent Program. The type of information requested includes a history of the applicant authorized to assist an individual in the preparation and submission of Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, the nature of the business and primary and alternate contacts.

  2. The Austin e-Help Desk Tax Examiner must review each line of Form 13551 for completion. All line items must be completed and are required unless otherwise indicated. If an entry on the Form 13551 is invalid or needs to be updated and the application is not being returned/rejected, circle the incorrect entry in red ink. Any annotations made to the application by an assistor will also be made in red ink.

  3. The following table describes the items on Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program and whether the item is required by the applicant.

    Line# Item Required Optional Description
      Type of Acceptance Agent X   Applicant checks application boxes as New, Renewal or Amended and checks box for Acceptance Agent or Certifying Acceptance Agent.
    • For New, Renewal or Amended boxes, see IRM 3.21.264.4.2, Processing Acceptance Agent Applications, to verify the type of application being submitted. Circle the incorrect entry and indicate correct type in red ink. For Amended applications, return application as incomplete, (see IRM 3.21.264.4.6.1) if a statement explaining the changes is not attached.

    • If both the Acceptance Agent and Certifying Acceptance Agent boxes are checked or if neither box is checked, return the application as incomplete.

    1 Description of Applicant's Professional Status and Organizational Status X   Area is split: one for professional status, one for organization. Check one box in each area.
    For Financial or Educational Institutions, Government Agency or a Casino, this takes precedence over their organization structure (such as a corporation or Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)).
    Verify the organization status indicated against IDRS.
    • If the type of organization is not checked, research the EIN's filing requirements in IDRS and check the appropriate box in red ink.

    • If the type of organization checked does not match the EIN's income tax filing requirement in IDRS, return the application as incomplete.


    For applicants that are a partnership, corporation, Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) or sole-proprietorship, check the Electronic Return Originator (ERO) box if there is an EFIN on Line 3 and EIN on Line 4 and match an active/approved e-file application in the EUP (Third Party Data Store). If not, only the appropriate organization's structure (partnership, corporation, Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) or sole-proprietorship) should be checked.
    If the application is from a nonprofit organization, a copy of their IRS exemption letter is required for new applications (Copy of the IRS exemption letter is not required for renewal or amended application). If missing, return Form 13551 as incomplete.
    If the Professional Status of the Authorized Representative is missing or has expired (prior to date of application in Line 22):
    • for an Attorney or Certified Public Accountant (CPA): research their status on the State's Bar Association or Board of Accountancy (or similar) web site. If an active registration is found, attach a copy of the results to the application.

    • for an Enrolled Agent, contact the Office of Professional Responsibility at 1-202-927-3397 to verify the number and expiration date.

    Note:

    Research is not required if the application is missing other information. Include the need for proof of professional status in the Incomplete letter. Also research is not required if person listed on an active EFIN.

    2 Legal Name of Business and Name and PTIN of Principal Partner or Owner X   Legal Name of Business must match legal name on IDRS Master File. If neither the legal name or Doing Business As (DBA) name matches the legal name in IDRS, return the application using the incomplete application letter. Indicate in the letter that it does not match IRS records. Do Not enter application in RTS since the EIN may be incorrect. If the Line 2 reflects the entity's Doing Business As (DBA) name, draw an arrow down to Line 11 and update Line 2 with the entity's legal name from the IRS master file using red ink.
    Name and PTIN of Principal, Partner or Owner. Verify PTIN (if provided) using IDRS (RPVUE).

    Note:

    The principal, partner or owner is only required to list a PTIN on Line 2 if one is issued, therefore, you may or may not see a PTIN on this line. Please note that this does not change the requirement for the individual listed on Line 5 of Form 13551.




    If a PTIN is reflected on Line 2 but it is not valid IRM 3.21.264.4.1.10 or is not listed but the Principal, Partner or Owner is also listed as an Authorized Representative, research IDRS (RPVUE) using their TIN. If a PTIN is found, annotate it on Line 2 and circle any invalid/incorrect PTIN in red ink. If a PTIN is invalid/incorrect and cannot be determined through research, reject the application for a suitability failure, see IRM 3.21.264.4.6.7. If unable to determine PTIN through research, return application as incomplete, see IRM 3.21.264.4.6.1.
    3 Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN)   X To be associated with an authorized e-file provider, EFIN should be entered. Research any EFIN listing in Third Party Data Store. EFIN must be in an active status and the application completed. Annotate the application's completion date in red above the EFIN. For any EFIN listed on Form 13551, if the EIN in Line 4 does not match the EIN in Third Party Data Store or is no longer valid or on an active/approved e-file application, circle the EFIN in Line 3 in red ink. Do not enter the EFIN in RTS.
    4 Applicant's Employer Identification Number (EIN) X   Must match information on IDRS Master File
    5 Name and PTIN of Authorized Representative. X   Name and PTIN of the person authorized to sign application and agreement for applicant.
    PTIN is only required for tax practitioners. Authorized representatives from colleges, universities, VITA/TCE sites, financial institutions, casinos and federal agencies are exempt.
    If PTIN is required and listed in Line 5, verify it using IDRS (CC RPVUE). If application is not being returned for other reasons but PTIN is not valid, circle the number in red ink and research IDRS (RPVUE) using their TIN on Line 7. If found, annotate the PTIN on Line 5 in red ink and include a copy of the IDRS screen. If PTIN is missing or invalid and cannot be found, return the application as incomplete (see IRM 3.21.264.4.6.1).

    Note:

    If applicant's name was omitted from Line 5, but the application is from a sole proprietor and Line 2 reflects their name and Lines 6-10 pertains to that individual, annotate their name in red ink on Line 5 if that is the only error on the application.

    6 Date of Birth X   Pertains to Authorized Representative from Line 5 in MM/DD/YYYY format. Age must be 18 years as of date of application.
    7 Social Security Number/Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (SSN/ITIN) X   Pertains to Authorized representative from Line 5. Foreign nationals without an Social Security Number/Individual Taxpayer Identification Number can enter N/A.
    • If Line 7 reflects an ITIN but the authorized representative resides in the U.S. (Line 8), reject the application using Letter 4958, Individual Suitability Failure (Individual) and/or Letter 4959, Individual Suitability Failure (Owner).

    • If Line 7 reflects an ITIN but the authorized representative resides outside of the U.S. (Line 8), highlight the ITIN in yellow high lighter.

    Note:

    If Social Security Number/Individual Taxpayer Identification Number does not match IRS records, research IDRS or other system/documents such as the e-file application in Third Party Data Store or an attached Fingerprint card for the correct number. If it appears numbers were transposed and the name and date of birth for the researched TIN matches the Authorized Representative, correct the TIN in red and continue to process the application. If unable to identify the correct TIN, return the application for correction.

    8 Home Address X   Complete address of person from Line 5
    9 Citizenship X   Legal Status of Authorized Representative from Line 5. U.S. Resident Aliens must attach copy of Authorized Representative's "green card" . Non-Resident Alien Authorized Representatives must attach copy of their visa only if their home address reflects they are residing in the U.S. or if the business location on Line 12 reflects a U.S. address. Use IDRS CC DDBOL to verify status.
    If citizenship status on Line 9 does not match IDRS or if IDRS reflects codes "C" , "D" , "E" or "F" , see IRM 3.21.264.4.1.9 for appropriate action.

    Note:

    Do not return application if the citizenship code on IDRS is blank or missing

    10 Assessed Penalties/Fingerprint Requirements. X   If the "yes" box is checked, the Authorized Representative must attach an explanation. Fingerprint card are also required regardless of their professional status.
    Foreign nationals living outside of the U.S., financial Institutions, colleges or universities qualifying as an educational organization under Treasury Regulations 1.501(c)(3)-1(d)(3)(i), casinos, Federal government agencies and Electronic Return Originator (ERO) in good standing with the IRS are exempt as is an attorney, Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Enrolled Agent that provided proof of current/valid professional status. All other individuals must provide a completed Fingerprint card.
    11 Company "Doing Business As" (DBA) name X   If different from the business legal name on line 2
    12 Applicant Business Address X   Business physical location address (no P.O. Box).
    13 Applicant's Telephone Number X   Business telephone (required), fax number and e-mail address (optional).
    14 Applicant Mailing Address X   Required only if different from business location address.
    15 Year Round Tax Related Services X   Required if business does not provide tax related services 12 months a year. Applicant must provide a statement explaining why tax related services are not provided year round. Return application as incomplete if missing.
    15a Anticipated Volume of Form W-7 X   Volume must be five or greater for Form W-7 they anticipate processing during a 12 month calendar period. Return application as incomplete for entries such as "Unknown" , "As many as possible " , etc. are not acceptable. Applications with a volume of less than five will be rejected. See IRM 3.21.264.4.6.5 or IRM 3.21.264.4.6.7.
    16 Primary Contact X   Required only if different from the Authorized Representative listed in Line 5.
    17 Alternate Contact   X Enter only if different from Line 5; person must be authorized to contact IRS.
    18 Identify Programs X   Types of customers for whom Form W-7 Applications will be submitted. If the applicant is an Attorney, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Enrolled Agent (EA), Electronic Return Originator (ERO) and Item 18 is the only missing entry, enter "tax preparation" in Item 18 in red ink.
    If application is from a VITA/TCE partner, use red ink to circle any existing entry. For all VITA/TCE applications, annotate the Line "VITA/TCE" in red ink.
    19 Published List Check Box.   X Allows applicant to be listed on the IRS web site.
    20 Name and title of Authorized Representative (listed in Item 5) and Name and title of Principal Partner or Owner (listed in Item 2). X   For Authorized Representatives: If applicant is both the Authorized Representative and owner of the business only one entry is required.

    Note:

    If title is missing but can be determined, annotate in red ink. Example: If Authorized Representative is an Attorney, enter "Attorney" as their title.


    For principal, partner or owner: If an EFIN is listed in Line 3, the owner's name must be the Principal associated with the EFIN. If the Principal's name in Line 20 is not listed as the Principal for the EFIN in Third Party Data Store, circle the EFIN in Line 3 and continue to process the application. Do not enter the EFIN in RTS. Notate on the Profile Sheet that the Principal on the Form 13551 is not reflected as Principal in Third Party Data Store. For all others, it must be an individual authorized to legally bind the business indicated by the EIN in Line 4. Exhibit 3.21.264-32 reflects a partial list of acceptable titles for a principal, partner or owner. If the application reflects another title, contact the individual listed on the Form 13551 and verify they have the authority to legally bind the entity. If not, return application for an appropriate signature using Letter 4963, Incomplete Application Letter; see Exhibit 3.21.264-9.
    21 Signature of Authorized Representative, and Signature of Principal, Partner or Owner X   Must agree with the names in Line 20. Only original signatures are acceptable, do not accept faxed, copied or stamped signatures. If the Authorized Representative is also the owner, only one signature is required.
    22 Date X   Signature date.
  4. Form 13551 Continuation Sheet is for Additional locations and/or Authorized Representative(s) and contains space for four Additional Representatives.

    • If Page 1 is signed by the Principal, Partner or Owner, Page 3 may be submitted without Page 4.

    • A maximum of ten Authorized Representatives is permitted per location. Return application as incomplete if more than ten individuals are listed as Authorized Representatives.

    Line # Item Required Optional Description
      Legal Name of Business X   Same as Page 1, Line 2 (and Line 11, if applicable)
      Business EFIN   X Same as Page 1, Line 3
      Business EIN X   Same as Page 1, Line 4
      Business Location Address X   Same as Page 1, Line 12

    Note:

    If Continuation Sheets are attached, compare the Business location address with Business location address on Line 12 on Page 1 to determine additional location(s).

      Professional Status of Authorized Representative X   Same as Page 1, Line 1
    5 Name and PTIN of Authorized Representative X   Same as Page 1, Line 5
    6 Date of Birth X   Same as Page 1, Line 6
    7 SSN/TIN X   Same as Page 1, Line 7
    8 Home Address X   Same as Page 1, Line 8
    9 Citizenship X   Same as Page 1, Line 9
    10 Assessed Penalties/Fingerprint Requirements X   Same as Page 1, Line 10
    13 Business Telephone, Fax Number and Email address X   Same as Page 1, Line 13 Business telephone (required), fax number and Email address (optional).
    14 Mailing Address of Business X   Required only if different from business location address at the top of Page 3. When inputting application into RTS, if Line 14 is blank, duplicate information from the Business Location Address on Page 3.

    Note:

    If the Continuation Sheet reflects an additional location:

    1. with a different mailing address than on Line 14 of Page 1, enter the location in RTS (see IRM 3.21.264.6.3).

    2. with the mailing address the same as the entry on Line 14 of Page 1, return the application using Letter 4963 with the appropriate incomplete reason.

      Name and Title of Authorized Representative X   Must agree with entry in Line 5
      Signature of Authorized Representative X   Must agree with name in Line 5
      Date X   Signature Date
    16 Name and Contact Information for Primary and Alternate Contact   X Complete only if Contacts for the location are not already listed as the Contacts on Page 1, Line 16
      Name and Title of Principal, Partner or Owner X   Same as Page 1, Line 20
      Signature of Principal, Partner or Owner X   Same as Page 1, Line 21

3.21.264.4.1.1  (10-22-2014)
Additional Application Documents

  1. In addition to the Form 13551, applications must include the following documents (if missing, return Form 13551 as incomplete (see IRM 3.21.264.4.6.1):

    1. Except as indicated below, an Attorney, Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Enrolled Agent (EA) must submit proof of their professional status. Documentation includes a copy of an unexpired license issued by a State Bar Association, State Board of Accountancy or Enrolled Agent card issued by the IRS is required.

    2. All other applicants must submit a properly completed fingerprint card (FPC).

      Exception:

      The following do not have to submit a Fingerprint card: a principal or responsible official listed on an existing active e-file application, representatives from a VITA/TCE partner, representatives of an educational institution, casino, federal government agency, financial institution or a foreign applicant residing outside the United States.

      Note:

      Unless otherwise exempt, U.S. citizens residing outside the United States and working for a foreign business will still be required to submit Fingerprint card unless otherwise exempt.

      Note:

      Except for foreign nationals living outside of the U.S., a positive (“yes”) response to Item 10 (assessed penalties/criminal convictions) requires submission of a Fingerprint card regardless of professional status or organization affiliation.

    3. Green card (also known as a United States Permanent Resident Card): if the applicant indicated in Item 9 ( Citizenship) that they were an U.S. Resident Alien, they must attach an unexpired copy of their green card.

    4. Visa: if the applicant is a foreign national with a home address or business location address (Items 8 or 12, respectively) in the United States, they must attach a copy of their Visa.

    5. For new CAA applications, the original copy of a completed forensic document training certificate or certification on vendor's letterhead is required. Effective January 1, 2014, a completed forensic document training certificate is required for all CAA renewal applications or amended CAA applications adding a new Authorized Representative. See IRM 3.21.264.4.1.11.

    6. Mandatory Acceptance Agent Training Certification Statement Exhibit 3.21.264-1, ITIN Acceptance Agent Training Certificate Statement. Effective May 1, 2010, all applicants (including renewals) must complete the mandatory ITIN Acceptance Agent training on the IRS web site and attach a signed copy of the certification statement.
      Training certification statement must be dated the same year as the application's submission (e.g., statements from a prior year are not acceptable).
      Each Authorized Representative must sign a separate statement (return application with multiple signatures on one statement as being incomplete).
      A facsimile copy of a signed training statement dated for the current year is acceptable.

      Note:

      The Mandatory Acceptance Agent training certification statement is available online at the end of the ITIN Acceptance Agent Training Power Point at the www.IRS.gov home page. To access the training, use the search feature in the upper right corner of the www.IRS.gov home page. Enter "How to become an Acceptance Agent," , click "Search," and find the link to the ITIN Acceptance Agent Training Power Point. Each authorized representative must sign and attach a training statement.

      Exception:

      The IPS approved an exception for applications from an H & R Block corporate-affiliated company allowing them to send in a cover letter stating all the people listed on the accompanying Form 13551 had completed the required mandatory training. This exception does not apply to H & R Block franchises.

    7. Explanation statement if "Yes" box was checked on Line 10 (indicating assessment of a preparer penalty, conviction of a crime, etc.).

    8. Explanation statement if "No" box was checked on Line 15 indicating business does not provide year round tax related services.

    9. Statement explaining changes if Form 13551 is for amended application.

    10. IRS exemption letter for new applications from a nonprofit organization.

3.21.264.4.1.2  (10-22-2014)
Incomplete Applications

  1. Applications received must contain an original complete Form 13551 and documentation indicated in Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program. See IRM 3.21.264.4.1. Photo or facsimile copies of an application are not acceptable. Applications with an incomplete Form 13551 or missing required documentation will be returned to the applicant using Letter 4963, Incomplete Application Letter. See Exhibit 3.21.264-9, Incomplete Application Letter.

  2. It is essential to identify all incomplete/missing items initially. Except as indicated below, applications will not be returned a second time for any additional items not identified on the initial letter. If subsequent processing identifies an incomplete/missing item, process the application but notate the omission on the Profile Sheet. The Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC) will contact the applicant for the missing information.

    1. If the application was initially returned for a missing or invalid EIN, it will be rejected if there is a tax compliance failure on the EIN listed on the resubmitted application. Use Letter 4961, Business Tax Compliance Failure (Owner) to notify the owner of the rejection. See Exhibit 3.21.264-12.

    2. If the EIN passes the business tax compliance check but the application only reflects one Authorized Representative and they fail their suitability checks (including their tax compliance check), the application will be rejected. Use Letter 4958, Individual Suitability Failure (Individual) see Exhibit 3.21.264-16 or Letter 4959, Individual Suitability Failure (Owner), see Exhibit 3.21.264-15 (as appropriate) to notify the owner and/or Authorized Representative that failed the suitability check.

      Note:

      If Authorized Representative is also the owner, only Letter 4959, Individual Suitability Failure (Owner) is required.

    3. If the EIN passes the business tax compliance check and the application reflects multiple Authorized Representatives, at least one of who passes their suitability checks, accept the application and process it for the accepted Representative. Use Letter 4959 to notify the business owner. Use Letter 4958 to notify each representative that failed their suitability check.

  3. If the applicant is an attorney, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Enrolled Agent (EA) or Electronic Return Originator (ERO) and:

    1. If Item 18 is the only missing entry, enter "tax preparation" in Item 18 in red ink, or

    2. If proof of professional status was not attached, attempt to obtain a copy/verify status. For an attorney, research the applicant’s State Bar Association’s web site. For a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), research the State’s Board of Accountancy’s web site. For an Enrolled Agent (EA), call the Office of Professional Responsibility at 1-202-927-3397.

    Note:

    If additional items are incomplete/missing, do not annotate Item 18 but include it as an incomplete item requiring a response from the applicant. If professional status cannot be verified, application will also be returned as incomplete.

  4. Except for the envelope the application was received in, all original documents (including Fingerprint card) received with the application will be returned to the applicant. If Fingerprint card was required, see IRM 3.21.264.4.4, and not submitted, include 2 blank cards with the appropriate instructions for each applicant requiring a background investigation check.

  5. Except for applications received outside of the Open Season, if the application contains a valid EIN, it will be entered in RTS: Comments must clearly identify the missing or incomplete information. Status of application will be "I2 – Incomplete/Invalid Application" . Applications received outside of an Open Season or renewal period are not entered in RTS; however, letter 4964 and letter 4965 will reflect any missing items. See IRM 3.21.264.4.6.3 and IRM 3.21.264.4.6.4.

    Note:

    Copies of the incomplete application and letter are no longer maintained by the e-Help Desk. It is critical assistors enter accurate and complete Comments in RTS or the EHSS Incident in the event the applicant or CSPC calls about the status of the application.

  6. The Fingerprint card for an Authorized Representative subject to a FBI background investigation must include the following: If missing, return the Fingerprint card as incomplete

    • Authorized Representative's name

    • Authorized Representative's date of birth

    • Authorized Representative's SSN/ITIN if a U.S. citizen or non-resident alien (Item 9, Form 13551)

    • Authorized Representative's sex

    • Signature of the Authorized Representative

    • Signature of the individual taking the fingerprints. If Authorized Representative signs the Fingerprint card as having taken their own fingerprints, reject the Fingerprint card.

    • Applications will not be returned solely because they were not taken on a FD-258. If the Fingerprint card cannot be processed using the AEF system, it will be returned by the clerical staff or designated reviewer.

      Note:

      If the Authorized Representative's name or date of birth is the only item missing on the Fingerprint card, compare the Social Security Number/Individual Taxpayer Identification Number on the Fingerprint card with the information on the Form 13551 and on IDRS (CC INOLES). If the Fingerprint card can be positively associated with the Authorized Representative listed on the Form 13551, annotate the Fingerprint card with the missing name or date of birth. (Only the name or date of birth may be blank but not both. If both are missing, return the Fingerprint card as incomplete).


    .

  7. Whenever possible, suitability/tax compliance checks will also be conducted on the company and all Authorized Representatives listed on incomplete application. See IRM 3.21.264.4.3, Tax Compliance Checks. Letter returning the incomplete application will reflect any suitability issues. See IRM 3.21.264.4.6.1, Incomplete Application Letter.

    Note:

    Individual suitability issues will only be addressed to the Authorized Representative they pertain to. See IRM 3.21.264.4.6.8, Individual Suitability Failure (Individual).

  8. If an incomplete application is being returned:

    • and passes tax compliance/suitability checks, follow the procedures in IRM 3.21.264.4.5.2.

    • also reflects suitability failures, follow the procedures in IRM 3.21.264.4.5.3.

3.21.264.4.1.3  (10-22-2014)
Responses to Incomplete Application or Rejection Letter

  1. For new or renewal applications, responses to an incomplete/missing information letter must be postmarked within 30 days of the date on the letter. Applications received after that date will be rejected and returned to the applicant. See the letter indicated in IRM 3.21.264.4.6.2, Failure to Respond Within 30 Days or Provide Missing Information.

    Exception:

    For applications with a non-U.S. mailing address, allow an additional 15 days for processing by the foreign postal system and transit time. Additionally, applications from disaster areas may be authorized additional response time. Review the news releases on the IRS website (keyword search "(Tax Relief in Disaster Situations IRS)" for affected areas and additional allowable time).

  2. For new or renewal applications, if the application is returned but still missing the requested information, the application will be rejected and returned to the applicant using letter indicated in IRM 3.21.264.4.6.2, Failure to Respond Within 30 Days or Provide Missing Information. Letter 4956 will reflect that the application will not be reconsidered until the next open season. Include appropriate comments in RTS that a reply was received but the missing information was not provided and the earliest open season date they can submit the application. Leave the application status in an I2 - (Incomplete/Invalid) application status. When the letter is reviewed/approved for release, the reviewer will change the status to REJECTED.

  3. If a response is received for an application previously rejected , check the re-submission eligibility date specified in the rejection letter reflected in RTS.

    Note:

    If re-submission eligibility date has passed, process application as a “new” application. See IRM 3.21.264.4.2.4, New Application Processing. If expiration date has not passed, return the application. See IRM 3.21.264.4.6.9, Previous Rejection or Termination.

  4. If a response is received during the same open season year for an application previously returned for a tax compliance issue, the issue(s) must be reflected in IDRS as having been resolved or the individual must provide proof of their resolution as follows:

    • If all situations that caused the application's return have been resolved, include appropriate comments in RTS and change the application's status from REJECTED to "P2" (passed). If fingerprint card require processing, make a second RTS comment that the Fingerprint card was pulled and change the status to "I3" (pending Fingerprint card check).

    • If the application was previously rejected for missing returns and the applicant included copies of them, research IDRS to determine if they have been received.
      If reflected on IDRS, the copies can be classified and process the application as required. Include a comment the missing returns have been processed. If the returns have not been processed, access the Austin Routing Guide at http://au-drg.enterprise.irs.gov/ and transship the returns to the appropriate address. Include a comment in RTS that the missing returns were received and forwarded for processing. Change the application's status from REJECTED to "P2" (passed) and process the application as required.

    • If the application was previously rejected for missing returns and the applicant either includes a letter from the Business Specialty office or signs a letter stating that they were not liable for the returns, process the application as required. Include a comment in RTS (and on the Profile Sheet) a letter was received and the applicant was not liable for the missing return(s) and include the letter/statement in the packet going to the CSPC .

    • If the situation that caused the initial rejection has not been resolved, reject the application using Letter 4956, Failure to Respond Within 30 Days or Provide Missing Information. See Exhibit 3.21.264-11 or (IRM 3.21.264.4.6.2, Failure to Respond Within 30 days or Provide Missing Information). Letter 4956 will reflect the application will not be reconsidered until the next open season. Include appropriate comments in RTS that a reply was received but the situation remains unresolved (indicate what the situation was) and the earliest open season date they can submit the application. Example: "Missing Form 1040 2010. Not eligible to resubmit until May 1, 2015" . Application status will remain REJECTED.

    Note:

    Do not reject the application if an entity or Authorized Representative had initially passed their tax compliance check but now has a filing requirement for a subsequent return or has incurred a new liability as a result of processing a subsequent return.

  5. If the application had previously been returned for a missing or invalid EIN (as indicated by a copy of the incomplete letter attached to the resubmitted application):

    • Conduct a business tax compliance check using the EIN on Line 4 as required by IRM 3.21.264.4.3.5.

    • Conduct an individual tax compliance check for all Authorized representative(s).

    • As an exception to IRM 3.21.264.4.1.2, Incomplete Applications, to returning an application a second time, reject the application as indicated in IRM 3.21.264.4.3.5, "Individual Tax Compliance Check" if the tax compliance checks now identify a suitability failure.

    • Record results of the tax compliance checks in RTS.

  6. If an application was previously entered in RTS, the assistor assigned to process the resubmitted application will:

    • review all entries in RTS to ensure they reflect the information as reflected on it and update RTS as necessary.

    • update the IRS received date to reflect when the resubmitted application was received.

    • not conduct a business and/or individual tax compliance check(s) if previously conducted and passed for applications received during the same open season/processing period. However, in order to pass the RTS edits, the tax compliance check date will be updated to the current date.

3.21.264.4.1.4  (05-23-2014)
Applications from Volunteer Income Tax Assistance/Tax Counseling for the Elderly (VITA/TCE) Partners

  1. Austin e-Help Desk employees will receive AA applications from Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Partners. These applications should be processed immediately and annotated "VITA/TCE Partner" across the top for easy identification.

    Note:

    If Form 13551 is not properly annotated "VITA/TCE Partner" but the applicant checked the "Other" and entered "VITA Site" , process as a "VITA/TCE Partner" application. Once the application is received in the Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC), it is verified.

  2. These applications are exempt from the background check except when block 10 is marked "Yes" . All other application requirements are applicable unless otherwise noted in the guidelines outlined in the table below.

    If... Then...
    VITA/TCE Site list volunteers as authorized user of the EFIN, Accept application as valid.
    VITA/TCE Site has a separate EIN from the parent organization for which they are providing tax preparation services and the parent organization is applying with the EFIN of the VITA site, Accept application as valid.
    An EFIN is not present on the application, Complete normal processing, annotate the application and forward to the CSPC.
    The EIN on Form 13551 does not match the EIN listed in Third Party Data Store for the EFIN, Print the information and attach to the application. It will be reviewed when the application is sent to the CSPC.
    Item 18 is blank, Accept application as valid. Annotate in red "tax preparation" if missing.
  3. Attach the cover sheet at Exhibit 3.21.264-2, VITA/TCE Cover Sheet, to the front of the application folder to facilitate identification of these applications. Place the application folder in designated cubby on the appropriate Acceptance Agent cart to expedite processing.

  4. Applications from Low Income Tax Clinics (LITC) will not receive priority consideration/processing unless also designated as a VITA/TCE site. Fingerprint card will be required unless the site is also a VITA/TCE partner.

  5. New applications from a VITA/TCE partner operated by a nonprofit organization must include a copy of the organization's IRS exemption letter.

3.21.264.4.1.5  (04-23-2013)
Applications Received Outside of Open Season Window

  1. New applications must be postmarked or received (whichever is earlier) during the open season window period of May 1 to August 31.

  2. New applications received outside of the open season will be rejected. See IRM 3.21.264.4.6.3. Return to the applicant using Letter 4964, Application Received Outside of Open Season Window. See Exhibit 3.21.264-13, Application Received Outside of Open Season Window. Include in the letter any missing items or documents.

    Note:

    ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡

  3. Tax compliance checks will not be performed on any application being returned for being outside of the open season window.

  4. Applications received outside of the Open Season Window will not be entered in RTS.

  5. If the application is incomplete/missing required documentation, either include a comment in the Activities Section of the Incident Management (IM) documenting the information needed or attach a copy of Letter 4964, (see Exhibit 3.21.264-13) to the case in the e-Help Support System (EHSS).

3.21.264.4.1.6  (08-20-2012)
Applications Received Outside of Renewal Window

  1. Renewal applications are application requests from applicants with a current Acceptance Agent agreement and will only be accepted during the open window of the year the current agreement expires.

  2. Agreements previously terminated or expired will be processed as a "new" application.

  3. Except as indicated in IRM 3.21.264.4.2.5, Renewal Application Processing, renewal applications received outside of the open season will be rejected and returned to the applicant using Letter 4965, Application Received Outside of Renewal Window. See Exhibit 3.21.264-14, Application Received Outside of Renewal Window. Include in the letter any missing items or documents.

  4. Renewal applications received outside of the renewal period will not be input into RTS. However, a comment will be entered in RTS for the existing approved record reflecting that the renewal application was received prior to the renewal period and returned.

  5. Tax compliance checks will not be performed on any application being returned for being outside of the renewal period window.

3.21.264.4.1.7  (08-15-2013)
Applications with Multiple Representatives

  1. Organizations must submit Form 13551 Continuation Sheet for each individual authorized representative when more than one employee is authorized. A maximum of ten (10) authorized representatives is permitted per location. If Form 13551 reflects more than 10 authorized representatives for one location, return the application as incomplete (see IRM 3.21.264.4.6.1). Do not conduct a suitability or individual tax compliance check on any of the authorized representatives.

  2. If one authorized representative passes their individual tax compliance check (see IRM 3.21.264.4.3.2, Individual Tax Compliance Check), but another representative fails:

    • Include a comment in RTS indicating the individual who failed their tax compliance check and the reason why. Do not include them in the "Authorized Representative of the Business" block in RTS. Process the application with only the information for the individual(s) that passed.

    • Notify the representative who failed their tax compliance. See Exhibit 3.21.264-16, Individual Suitability Failure (Individual). If appropriate, send a letter to the business owner to notify them a representative on their application did not pass their suitability check. See Exhibit 3.21.264-15, Individual Suitability Failure (Owner).

    Note:

    Do not include the specific reason(s) or the name of the authorized representative that failed their suitability check in the letter sent to the business owner.

3.21.264.4.1.8  (08-08-2012)
Revocation

  1. The Andover e-help Desk monthly provides a listing of Electronic Return Originators (EROs) that have had their electronic filing privileges terminated.

  2. ) Using the RTS, a Lead or designated assistor will review the spreadsheet to determine if any of the terminated EROs were also ITIN Acceptance Agents and take the following action:

    • If a match is found, create a Profile Sheet. Indicate "Revocation" on the Profile Sheet and attach supporting documentation. Forward the revocation package to the IPS for action.

    • If no match is found, treat the information as classified waste.

3.21.264.4.1.9  (08-15-2013)
Citizenship Processing

  1. Assistors will use IDRS Command Code DDBOL to verify the citizenship status.

    • If IDRS reflects any of the following codes, application should be rejected using Letter 4959, Individual Suitability Failure (Owner)to the owner indicating their representative did not pass the suitability check but do not indicate the specific reason. Additionally, send Letter 4958, Individual Suitability Failure (individual)to the authorized representative indicating their citizenship status does not match IRS records and request they provide proof of their legal status.

      Note:

      If the citizenship mismatch is for an authorized representative who is also the principal/partner/owner that signed the application and they are the only authorized representative listed on the Form 13551, return the application as incomplete using Letter 4963.

      Code Reason
      C Alien not allowed to work
      D Not an American citizen, legal alien or alien not allowed to work
      E Alien Student
      F Condition - legal alien
    • If applicant indicates on the Form 13551 they are a U.S. citizen, then IDRS must reflect code "A" (American Citizen). If IDRS reflects code "B" (Legal Alien), return the application using Letter 4958 and Letter 4959.

    • Do not return an application if the citizenship code on IDRS is blank.

  2. Include a copy of the DDBOL screen for each authorized representative as part of any application packet.

3.21.264.4.1.10  (10-22-2014)
Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) Requirements

  1. Except as indicated below, effective 1/1/2013, all authorized representatives on an application must include their Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). If issued, the principal, partner or owner listed on Line 2 of Form 13551 must also include their PTIN if professional status is tax preparer, CPA, ERO or enrolled agent or if activities listed on Line 18 reflect tax preparation services. If a PTIN is invalid and cannot be determined through research, reject the application. If missing, return application as incomplete.

    Exception:

    Authorized representatives from colleges, universities, VITA/TCE sites, financial institutions, casinos and federal agencies.

  2. To research a PTIN use IDRS (CC RPVUE) with the current processing year with a "P" delineator. Include a copy of the RPVUE screen for the principal/partner/owner and each authorized representative in the application document packet (see IRM 3.21.264.4.5).

  3. Use the following table to determine what action to take when a PTIN is researched:

    Status Definition Action
    Applicant The status assigned to an individual who has submitted an application, however, has yet to complete the process required to be issued a PTIN (e.g., individual has yet to pay their application fee). Return application as incomplete.
    Pending Tax preparer was issued a PTIN, but is not qualified to prepare tax returns for the year specified on their PTIN application. At the start of the new calendar year, the pending status will update to Active or Provisional. Return application as incomplete.
    Active The status assigned to a PTIN holder who has self-attested to having one of the following credentials:
    • Certified Public Accountant

    • Attorney

    • or who has one of the following IRS issued credentials:

      • Enrolled Agent

      • Registered Tax Returned Preparer

      • Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent

      • Enrolled Actuary

    Process application
    Provisional The status assigned to a tax preparer who is required to meet additional steps before becoming Active (e.g., passing a competency test and/or tax compliance check). Process application
    Withdrawn The status assigned when an individual was issued a PTIN and later informed the IRS they were not required to obtain one. If not required to obtain one, they should provide the documentation with the application. If not included with application, return it as incomplete for the documentation.
    Expired The status assigned when a PTIN holder fails to renew. Reject application
    Inactive The status assigned when a PTIN holder who no longer practice requests to be placed in an inactive retirement status. Reject application
    Suspended The status assigned when the IRS determines a PTIN holder is temporarily not fit to practice. Reject application
    Revoked The status assigned when the IRS determines a PTIN holder is not fit to practice. Reject application
    Deceased The status assigned when a PTIN holder is deceased. Reject application

    Note:

    PTIN(s) fall under personal suitability. If an Authorized Representative's PTIN is expired, voluntarily inactive, suspended, revoked or for a deceased individual, send Letter 4958 to the Authorized Representative to notify them they failed their suitability check. Send Letter 4959 to notify the business owner one of the Authorized Representatives on their application failed their suitability check but do not disclose who or why.

3.21.264.4.1.11  (10-22-2014)
Forensic Document Training Requirements

  1. All Authorized Representatives listed on a CAA application must complete a forensic document training course (FDTC) by an accredited vendor. The training is at the CAAs own expense and must provide the skills to effectively recognize fraudulent documents, particularly passports, driver's licenses, birth certificates, visas, national identification cards, military and US state ID cards. To identify a provider, applicants should search the internet for a vendor. The IRS does not endorse any specific individual or firm.

    Exception:

    CAA applications from VITA/TCE partners do not need to submit proof of completion of FDTC. The Stakeholder Partnerships, Education & Communication (SPEC) office will provide a listing of applicants that have taken the FDTC directly to the IPS.

  2. For an amended CAA application adding a new Authorized Representative and all new or renewal CAA applications, the original FDTC certificate must be provided with the application.

    Exception:

    Renewal applications received in 2014 and 2015 from applicants that submitted the original FDTC to IPS by January 31, 2014.

  3. The following certificates are not acceptable:

    • Except for those from the University of West Virginia, any computer generated certificate.

    • Certificates more than three years old.

    • Certificate listing more than one Authorized Representative. Each Authorized Representative must provide their own certificate.

    • Certificate signed by same individual as both the instructor and student.

    • Certificate issued by the firm applying for the program.

    • Facsimile copy.

  4. Questionable certificates will be referred to the IPS for a determination/decision on their validity on whether they meet the requirements for fraudulent document identification.

3.21.264.4.2  (08-15-2013)
Processing Acceptance Agent Applications

  1. Exhibit 3.21.264-3 is a chart showing ITIN AA application processing.

  2. The goal for assistors is to process an application within two weeks of receipt by the IRS. Assistors will process applications in their cubby as follows:

    • Applications returned by a Lead/Reviewer for corrections.

    • Unless directed otherwise by a Manager or Lead, remaining applications in ascending Incident management (IM) sequence.

  3. Use the following table to determine how to process an Acceptance Agent application. Correct the Type of application on the Form 13551 in red ink if necessary.

    If... And... Then... IRM Reference
    the EIN does not exist in RTS   process the application as "new" see IRM 3.21.264.4.2.4
    the EIN is in RTS the status is "I2 - Incomplete/Invalid Application" for either a new or renewal record finish processing the incomplete application as appropriate  
    RTS reflects the current agreement as SUSPENDED, REJECTED or TERMINATED the date eligible to reapply has expired process the application as "new" see IRM 3.21.264.4.2.4
    the date eligible to reapply has not expired reject the application see IRM 3.21.264.4.6.9 and IRM 3.21.264.4.5.3
    RTS reflects the current agreement as APPROVED the agreement expires at the end of the current year process the application as a "renewal" see IRM 3.21.264.4.2.5
    RTS reflects the current agreement as APPROVED but the agreement does not expire at the end of current year the Form 13551 reflects different information than RTS process the application as "amended" see IRM 3.21.264.4.2.6
    there is no change in information reject application if Form 13551 is marked as a "renewal" otherwise call Primary Contact list in RTS for clarification see IRM 3.21.264.4.1.6

3.21.264.4.2.1  (10-22-2014)
Control of Applications

  1. Form 13551 will be controlled from receipt in the e-Help Desk until either returned to the applicant or processed by a Lead/Reviewer for forwarding to the CSPC using the Incident Management (IM) capability in the e-Help Support System (EHSS) (IRM 3.42.7.4).

3.21.264.4.2.1.1  (10-22-2014)
Receipt of Applications/Establish e-Help Support System (EHSS), Incident Management(IM) Case

  1. On a daily basis upon receipt of ITIN AA application, the e-Help Desk clerk will date stamp when the Form 13551 was received by Austin e-Help Desk.

  2. Using EHSS, the clerk will create an Incident Management (IM) for each application.

    • Status will be "Open Researching"

    • Business Unit will be "EHELP Paper"

    • Product Type will be "710–33100 ITIN AA"

    • Problem Type will be "ITIN AA"

    • Source will be "Correspondence"

    • Batch Volume (Qty of Paper) will be "1" .

    • Batch Volume (+/- Adjustment) will be "0"

    • Batch Received Date (Paper) will be the date stamped on the Form 13551 when it was received by the IRS. If IRS received date is missing, use the postmark date on the envelope the application was received in. If no postmark date or envelope, use the current date received in the Austin e-Help Desk.

    • Provider Group will be "Austin Assistors"

    • Assignee will be"Unassigned Assistor"

  3. For the Contact update the IM using:

    • EFIN from Line 3. If not found, use

    • EIN from Line 4. If not found, use

    • Legal name of business from Line 2. If not found, use

    • Principal, partner or owner's name from Line 2. If not found, enter "e-Product user" as the Contact

  4. For the Description in the IM, enter "ITIN AA Application" and the EIN from Line 4 (if indicated). Additionally, if the Contact was "e-Product user" , enter

    • the company's legal or Doing Business As (DBA) name (Lines 2 or 11 respectively)

    • name of the principal, partner or owner from the lower entry on Line 2. If blank, use name from Line 5

      Note:

      Never enter an applicant's Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) in E-Help Support Services (EHSS).

    • After all updates have been made to the IM, save and exit the Incident.

  5. The clerk will annotate the Incident Management (IM) number in red ink in the lower right corner of each Form 13551.

  6. The clerk will put the Form 13551 and all incoming documentation (including the incoming envelope) in a folder. The EIN listed in Item 4 of the Form 13551 will be annotated on a label and attached to the right-most position of the file folder.

    • If Item 4 is blank, annotate the label with the applicant's TIN from Item 7 of the Form 13551. If Item 7 is blank or reflects a PTIN, annotate the label with the business name from Item 2.

    • Annotate the label with the Incident Management (IM) number vertically on the right side.

  7. The clerk will place the application folder on the AA application cart in ascending IM sequence.

  8. As required, applications will be assigned to an AA trained assistor based on the oldest IRS received date by a Lead or Manager.

    • The Lead or Manager will access the IM in EHSS and update the Assignee entry to the assistor assigned to work the application and then save the update and then exit the Incident.

    • The application packet will either be given directly to the assistor or placed in their assigned cubby on the "Work in Progress" cart.

      Note:

      To eliminate redundant EIN tax compliance checks, multiple applications from the same EIN should be assigned to the same assistor to be processed whenever possible.

    • Normally, applications will not be assigned to an assistor projected to be absent for more than one day.

    .

3.21.264.4.2.1.2  (10-22-2014)
Incident Management (IM) Updates

  1. After an application has been researched/processed (including creating any appropriate letter or Profile Sheet), the assistor will update the associated Incident Management (IM) as follows:

    • Change Status of the case to "Pending Internal"

    • Change the Provider Group to "Austin Leads"

    • If necessary, delete any entry from the Assignee field so it is blank

    • If necessary, change the Batch Volume (+/- Adjustment) to reflect the number of additional multiple locations and/or Authorized Representatives

    Example:

    If the application reflected a total of three authorized representatives, enter "2" in the adjustment field. If the application reflected two locations, enter a "1" in the adjustment field. If the application contained a total of four authorized representatives and three locations, enter "5" in the adjustment field.

    • Search for and apply an appropriate solution.

    • In the Activities section, select "Analysis/Research" from the Assistor Update Type drop down menu.

    • Enter comments in the Assistor Update Entry block to reflect action taken.

      Note:

      If the application was entered in RTS, only general comments are required, (example: "Passed" , "Rejected-TCC-B failed" or "Incomplete" ).

      However, if the application was not entered in RTS, include detailed comments on any action taken, (example: "Incomplete-EIN invalid and missing Line 18" , "Outside of Open Season Window" or "Envelope postmarked 4/10/2014" ). If an incomplete or rejection letter was created, comment will also identify which letter is attached to the IM. Example: "Incomplete" ,see attached Letter 4963, Exhibit 3.21.264-9 or Rejected-TCC-B failed, see attached Letter 4961, Exhibit 3.21.264-12.

    • A copy of all incomplete or rejection letters will be attached to the Incident. Indicate the Incident and letter numbers as the title of the attachment. For individual suitability/tax compliance failures, include the last name of the Authorized Representative in parenthesis. Example: "IM00000 Ltr 4963" or "IM00000 Ltr. 4958 (Jones)" .

    • Select Save and Exit icon on the toolbar to capture all changes.

  2. Once the changes have been made to the Incident Management (IM), the assistor will put the application folder on the appropriate ITIN cart as specified in IRM 3.21.264.4.2.2.

3.21.264.4.2.1.3  (08-15-2013)
Transfer of Assignment

  1. If an assistor is not available to process an application previously assigned to them or to maintain workflow, a Lead/Manager will re-assign the application to another assistor. by updating the Assignee on the Incident Management (IM).

3.21.264.4.2.1.4  (10-22-2014)
Releasing Case Control/Closing e-Help Support System (EHSS), Incident Management (IM)

  1. Designated reviewers/leads will review applications by ascending IRS received date within the following priority:

    • Applications requiring Fingerprint card processing or from VITA sites

    • All other applications

  2. Reviewer/lead will:

    • Verify application was processed in accordance with this IRM

    • For applications being passed or rejected, review the assistors recommendation. If they disagree with the recommendation, return the application to the assistor and indicate why. If they agree with the recommendation, indicate their recommendation and sign the Profile Sheet in the appropriate area.

    • Review any incomplete or rejection letters attached to the Incident. Ensure letters are addressed to the proper recipient and have been stamped with the e-Help Desk Operations Manager's signature. If letter contains errors, return it to the assistor for correction.

      Note:

      For minor errors (typographical error, formatting, etc.), the reviewer/lead may correct the letter by accessing it in EHSS, after corrections are made, change the SEID on the letter to reviewer/lead SEID. Print a copy of the corrected letter and attach it to the Incident. Delete the previous letter from the IM. Stamp the corrected letter being sent to the applicant with the e-Help Desk Operations Manager's signature and classify the previous letter.

    • Date stamp letter(s) and ensure no internal IRS documents or printouts are included.

    • Put letter in a sealed envelope and place it in the out-going mail basket.

    • Conduct quality review (see IRM 3.21.264.4.7).

    • Classify documents/printouts once application has been reviewed.

    • Recycle the application folder.

    • Put passed applications that were entered in RTS in the basket for forwarding to the CSPC. Passed applications that could not be entered in RTS or require exception processing will be placed in the basket for forwarding to CSPC.

  3. The reviewer/lead will update the Incident management (IM) assigned to the application.

    • Update the Assignee field with their name

    • In the Activities section, select "Operator Update" from the Assistor Update Type drop down menu

    • Indicate the letter number and date mailed (same date stamped on letter) in the Assistor Update Entry block if the application is incomplete or being rejected and returned to the applicant.

    • If application is passed or amended application for a miscellaneous change, indicate date when the application will be forwarded to the CSPC in the Assistor Update Entry block

    • Select the Save icon on the toolbar to capture all changes

    • Select the Close incident icon on the toolbar to close the case

3.21.264.4.2.1.5  (05-23-2014)
Dispatching Applications

  1. Incomplete applications and rejected applications will be mailed daily.

  2. Applications being passed or amended will be forwarded to the CSPC anytime there are at least 24 packets in the CSPC basket. Regardless of the number, applications will be forward to the CSPC on the last workday each week.

  3. On the day the applications are sent to the CSPC, the e-Help Desk clerk or designated assistor will update applications in RTS.

    • Enter a comment "the application was forward to the CSPC"

    • Toggle the check box to indicate application was sent to the CSPC

    • For the "Date transmitted to CSPC" , use the same date shown on the Form 3210 (Document Transmittal) in paragraph (7) below.

  4. Applications will be mailed to the CSPC at the following address:
    Internal Revenue Service
    Mail Stop 362
    201 W. Rivercenter Blvd.
    Covington, KY 41011

  5. Prepare Form 3210 listing the applications in EIN sequence. Copy 4 will be temporarily filed in a binder on the ITIN AA cart. Copy 1 and 3 will accompany the applications in a separate envelope. Copy 2 will be included in each envelope indicated the applications contained within. See Exhibit 3.21.264-5, Form 3210, Document Transmittal.

  6. Applications will be packaged to prevent damage and sent by ground delivery. Applications will be double wrapped as required for shipping packages containing SBU and sensitive PII documents. Complete Form 9814, (Express Services Routing), have a manager sign, and tape to the outside of the package. Annotate in the top margin of the form "Request Tracking #" . Date the Form 9814 the same as the date on Form 3210. See Exhibit 3.21.264-6, (Form 9814, Express Services Routing).

  7. File the copy of Form 9814 returned from the mail room with the tracking information with the associated Form 3210 in the binder.

  8. When the signed Form 3210 copy 3 reflecting receipt by the CSPC is received, replace the matching copy 4 in the binder. The associated Form 9814 will be retained but Copy 4 will be classified.

3.21.264.4.2.2  (10-22-2014)
Acceptance Agent Carts

  1. The Work in Progress cart has individual bins (referred to as "cubbies" ) for each assistor. The cubby will hold all applications assigned to an assistor for action.

    • New application will be added to a cubby in ascending IRS received date order.

    • Any applications returned by a Lead for correction during the review process will be put to the far left side of the cubby regardless of Incident number.

    • Assistors will process applications returned by a Lead/Reviewer first. Unless directed otherwise by a manager or lead, remaining applications will be processed in ascending IRS received date order.

    • At the end of their tour of duty, any applications still needing processing will be returned to the assistor’s cubby. No applications are to remain on an assistor’s desk overnight.

  2. Once processed, assistors will place applications on the review cart in ascending Incident Management (IM) sequence regardless of action/recommendation.

    Exception:

    Applications whose representative's Fingerprint card must be processed or applications from VITA/TCE partners will be in the designated cubbies.

  3. Applications with representatives whose Fingerprint card were pulled and are still pending results will be filed by the Fingerprint card processing clerk on the bottom shelf in the designated area in EIN sequence. Once all results are received, the application will be pulled and the Fingerprint card tracking spreadsheet will be updated. The Fingerprint card processing clerk will provide the folder to a lead to have RTS updated with the results, the Incident Management (IM) closed and placed in the basket for forwarding to the CSPC.

3.21.264.4.2.3  (10-22-2014)
Real Time System (RTS) Comments

  1. Except for applications with a missing or an invalid EIN or submitted outside of the open season window, enter comments in the ITIN Real Time System (RTS) to show receipt of an application and actions taken. This includes:

    • Amended applications (even if the application did not change or add a new location or add a new representative).

    • Rejected applications submitted outside the renewal period.

    • New applications received from an applicant previously suspended or terminated by the Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC) and the eligibility date to reapply has not expired. Comment will be made to the rejected record that another application was received but returned because the eligibility date had not expired.

    • Applications previously returned for missing information or suitability failure if received during the same Open Season. Comment will address if the previous issue has been resolved or supporting documentation received and attached to the Form 13551. If the information was not provided or the issue was not resolved, a comment will be made to the existing incomplete/rejected record that the application was resubmitted and what item(s) indicated on the previous letter were not addressed/resolved. Date of the next open season window as their eligibility date to resubmit will also be included.

    • Applications previously returned as incomplete or rejected and the response was not postmarked/received within 30 days of the notification letter. Indicate in the comment the postmark date on the envelope or date subsequently received (whichever is earlier) and indicate the date of the next open season window as their eligibility date to resubmit.

    • EFIN number if unable to enter in the RTS Input Screen.

  2. Limit comments for new applications to 100 characters. Limit comments for renewal applications to 89 characters.

  3. Comments must be complete and easily understood by anyone reviewing them as copies of applications are not maintained by the e-Help Desk (including incomplete or rejected applications). Do not use abbreviations or acronyms unfamiliar to other IRS employees. Exhibit 3.21.264-33 indicates a list of abbreviations to be used when making comments in RTS. Abbreviations indicated in Document 6209, Section 1 (Glossary), Part 2 (Acronyms) may also be used.

  4. Enter the individual's name and suitability results in RTS as a single comment.

    • If the Authorized Representative is a tax preparer but did not include their PTIN on Line 5 or if it is invalid, include an appropriate comment.

    • Also include the name of the principal, partner or owner from Line 2 of the Form 13551 and their PTIN (if required) if not listed on the Form 13551 as an Authorized Representative.
      Example:

    • John Doe, passed TCC-I

    • John Doe, TCC-I failed, FTF Form 1040 2011, missing Fraud Document Training Completion (FDTC).

    • John Doe, TCC-I, passed, but citizenship mismatch and PTIN invalid.

    • John Doe, PTIN P00000000

  5. When entering tax modules as comments in RTS, indicate the problem, the tax module form and tax period in that sequence.

  6. For the issue that caused the failure, enter:

    • "MR" or "FTF" if a return has not been filed and should have been

    • "BALDUE" for an unaddressed liability

    • "BALDUE-defaulted IA" for a defaulted installment agreement

  7. For the tax module form, enter an "F" followed by the form number. Example: F1040.

  8. For the tax period for quarterly returns, enter:

    • "03" for the 1st quarter

    • "06" for the 2nd quarter

    • "09" for the 3rd quarter

    • "12" for the 4th quarter

    Note:

    Do not enter a month for annual tax modules such as Form 940, 1040, 944, 1065 or 1120.

  9. If a missing module spans more than one period:

    • if the missing modules are consecutive, use "to" between the first and last missing module.

      Example:

      FTF F941 200803 to 200912

    • If the missing modules are not consecutive, separate the missing periods with a comma ("," ) and use an ampersand ("&" ) before the last period.

      Example:

      FTF F941 200803 to 200809, 200903 & 200912

  10. If different types of returns are missing, separate the types with a semicolon (";" ) in ascending form number.

    Example:

    Missing F940 2008 to 2009; F941 200803 to 200812; BALDUE F1065 2010

  11. If comment exceeds the 89/100 character limit, enter comments separately in a logical manner (i.e., all Form 941 issues in one comment, all Form 1040 issues in another, etc.).

    Note:

    Do not enter single "'" or double quotation (") marks when entering comments in RTS

  12. Include a copy of the Comments screen as part of any application packet.

  13. Include as a Comment the EFIN number if unable to enter in the RTS Input Screen.

3.21.264.4.2.4  (10-22-2014)
New Application Processing

  1. New applications are accepted only during the open window of May 1 – August 31. Applications received outside of the window will be returned to the applicant. See IRM 3.21.264.4.1.5, Applications Received Outside of Open Season Window.

  2. Applications previously returned as incomplete or rejected for a tax compliance issue must be resubmitted and postmarked within 30 days of the date of the letter . If response is received in a subsequent open season period, the Form 13551 will be processed as a new application including conducting current tax compliance checks.

    Note:

    If the application had been rejected for tax compliance check in a prior open season period and the issues are still outstanding, reject the application using Letter 4961 (see Exhibit 3.21.264-12). If application is subsequently resubmitted during the same open season window and the issues are still outstanding, reject the application until the next year's open season window for failing to resolve the issue (see IRM 3.21.264.4.6.2).

  3. Check RTS to ensure the application status is new and not amended or renewal prior to processing.

  4. Use IDRS CC INOLES to verify the EIN against the legal name listed on Item 2 of the Form 13551. If the EIN is not found, research IDRS CC ENMOD to determine if the EIN was recently established. If a dummy module appears, make a copy of the screen and include in the application packet in lieu of the INOLES printout.

  5. For complete applications, make the following entries in red ink:

    • Legal name in Item 2 to match entity’s legal name on IDRS.

    • If Item 2 reflects the business as "Doing Business As (DBA)" , draw an arrow to Item 11 and enter the legal name in Item 2.

    • If Item 3 reflects a valid/active EFIN, annotate the e-file application’s completion date as shown on the Summary Page in Third Party Data Store

    • Except for the EIN and authorized representative’s personal information, circle incorrect items and/or make corrections as required (e.g., "new”" application that is really a "renewal" ).

      Note:

      Do not make any annotations if Form 13551 is being returned.

3.21.264.4.2.5  (08-08-2012)
Renewal Application Processing

  1. Renewal applications are application requests from applicants with a current acceptance agent agreement. Agreements previously terminated or expired are processed as a new application.

  2. Renewal applications are only accepted during the open window (May 1 – August 31) of the year the current agreement expires.

  3. For renewal applications received during their authorized renewal window:

    • Process the application as received

    • Review application for completeness. See IRM 3.21.264.4.1, Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program and IRM 3.21.264.4.1.1, Additional Application Documents. Letter 4963 (Exhibit 3.21.264-9) is used to return an application that is incomplete or missing information.

    • Conduct a business tax compliance check and an individual tax compliance check for all Authorized Representatives listed on the renewal application. See IRM 3.21.264.4.3, Tax Compliance Checks.

    • Conduct a background investigation check. See IRM 3.21.264.4.4, Background Investigation Checks.

  4. If submitted out of renewal period:

    1. Check RTS to see if renewal application reflects new data. If it does, contact the applicant or Primary Contact to determine if it should be processed as an amended application for changes. See IRM 3.21.264.4.2.6Amended Application Processing. If they agree, check the "Amended" box and circle the "Renewal" box in red.

    2. If there are no RTS differences:

    • Return applications received outside of the window to the applicant. See IRM 3.21.264.4.1.6, Applications Received Outside of Renewal Period.

    • Enter a comment on the existing RTS entry that a renewal application was received but returned to the applicant because their current agreement has not expired.

      Note:

      The Reason for Change is "OTHER"

3.21.264.4.2.6  (08-15-2013)
Amended Application Processing

  1. Accept and process amended applications year-round.

  2. Amended applications require a statement explaining the changes such as if applicant is being added or replacing an existing applicant, or if the location is being added or replacing the existing location.

  3. Amended applications will be placed on the ITIN AA cart with other completed applications (in ascending IM number) for processing by a Lead/Reviewer.

3.21.264.4.2.6.1  (08-15-2013)
Changing or Adding New Location

  1. If the amended application's statement reflects it is only to change the existing agreement’s location, do NOT make any changes to RTS. Enter a comment that an amended application changing the existing location was received and prepare a Profile Sheet. Notate the Profile Sheet with the same comment.

    • If the AMENDED application is to add a new location and the Authorized Representative is reflected on the existing (Approved) application, include a comment that NNNNNNNNNNN (name of Authorized Representative(s) already passed the tax compliance check for XXXXXXXXXX (EFIN or office location code of the approved application).

    • If the AMENDED application is to add a new location and the Authorized Representative is NOT reflected on any existing (Approved) application for that EIN, include their name and appropriate incomplete/pass/fail/comment. If passed and their Fingerprint card needs to be processed, include another comment to that effect.

  2. If amended application is only to add a new location, input new location into RTS and create a Profile Sheet. No tax compliance checks are required if new location does not reflect any new applicants. Annotate Profile Sheet that the amended application adds a new location.

3.21.264.4.2.6.2  (10-22-2014)
Adding New Authorized Representative

  1. If the amended application only adds a new authorized representative, conduct an IMF tax compliance check only.

    • If "FAILED" , return application using Letter 4958, Individual Suitability Failure (Individual) and Letter 4959, Individual Suitability Failure (Owner).

    • If "PASSED" , do NOT make any RTS entries on the Acceptance Agent Edit screen. Annotate Profile Sheet that new applicant needs to added to RTS.

  2. A Profile Sheet annotated with results of tax compliance check, recommendation and signature of assistor will be prepared and put on the appropriate shelf on the ITIN AA cart.

    • If passed, assemble packet as indicated in IRM 3.21.264.4.5.2

    • If rejected, assemble packet as indicated in IRM 3.21.264.4.5.3

  3. Although no change is made to the approved application's information in RTS, add a Comment reflecting an amended application was received adding an additional Authorized Representative, the name of the new representative, their PTIN and whether they passed or failed their individual tax compliance check. If their Fingerprint card needs to be processed, include another comment to that effect.


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