3.42.7  EPSS Help Desk Support (Cont. 1) 
Worklists  (01-12-2015)
FATCA Emails

  1. FATCA generally requires FFIs to report directly to the IRS certain information about financial accounts held by U.S. taxpayers. It also requires certain NFFEs to disclose U.S. taxpayers who hold a substantial ownership interest in the NFFE. To assist with the FATCA reporting, the FATCA Online Registration System, International Data Exchange System (IDES) and International Compliance Management Module (ICMM) have been developed.

  2. The e-help Desk accepts phone calls and emails for system support related questions regarding the FATCA Online Registration System.

  3. The FATCA Online Registration System support will generate calls/emails to the e-help desk. The most common calls/emails received for system support will be:

    • Forgotten FATCA ID

    • Access Code

    • General Inquiries

    • Technical Difficulties


    The temporary Access Code will not be issued via email under any circumstances.

  4. The Technical Services Operation (TSO) accepts phone calls and emails for technical support related to error notifications.

  5. Due to the potential of Personal Identifiable Information (PII) being disclosed, assistors will not use the Reply button using the original email sent.

  6. To send an email response to a FATCA customer you must use the Send Email function. Do not reply to the customer via the Activities section.

  7. Use the FATCA email Template to respond to FATCA Online Registration System questions and use the FATCA Error Template to respond to error notifications. Complete the body of the email by copying the prepared response in the Solution, Use the "fill-in" as needed or type in a specific response to the problem. Always use "spell check."

  8. Your name or first initial and last name must be included in the email (e.g., John Doe or J Doe).  (10-01-2013)
Intelligent Contact Management (ICM)

  1. The e-help Desk uses the ICM/CVP platform in the IRS Contact Center Environment. The ICM/CVP is a web-based platform that provides for Prompt/Collect, Queuing, and Call Control services for contact centers and self-service Interactive Voice Response (IVR) applications.

    • Prompt/Collect asks callers questions that require responses and collects those entries or voice responses, which determine the skill needed to handle the issue.

    • Queuing accumulates telephone calls in a queue until delivery can be initiated to a resource like an assistor.

    • Call Control communicates with the Intelligent Contact Manager (ICM) to understand the correct place to send a call.  (10-01-2006)

  1. When all assistors with the necessary skills are busy, calls queue until an assistor becomes available to answer the call. In an Enterprise Queue, calls queue in a central network location. The call is in queue for every agent group in the enterprise that can handle it.

  2. Queuing calls at an enterprise level is a more efficient use of resources since it prevents calls from being stuck at one site, while there are resources available at another. Enterprise queuing reduces the impact of fluctuations at the sites caused by breaks, lunches, and the beginning and ending of shifts. Customers are less likely to hang up and retry as a result of lengthy queue times, so abandon rates are improved.

  3. When an assistor becomes available, the call will be routed based on priority. Priority is the order in which an agent group will answer a call when more than one call is in queue for that agent group. Priority is determined by the enterprise.

  4. Some calls will continue to queue locally. Local queue means that only that site can handle the call. Local queue has the highest priority and a call will be directed to the Next Available Agent/Assistor (NAA), at that site, before an enterprise queued call.  (10-01-2014)
Queuing International Calls

  1. Callers from the 50 United States, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam will be routed using the Internet Service Node (ISN) and the Customer Voice Portal (CVP) node. The e-help Desk serves international callers using a non-toll-free number that queues to the local ACD (Automatic Call Distributor) in Austin. Although these calls will not be routed by ISN/CVP, they will be recognized by ISN/CVP in order to achieve routing efficiency.


    Local queues always assume the highest priority so international callers will be routed promptly. This will improve the Average Speed of Answer and reduce the Abandon Rate of international calls.

  2. International calls cannot be transferred to another site. They can be transferred to a Lead/Manager Agent Group (AG 709) or an assistor's administrative extension.  (10-01-2013)
Customer Treatment While in Queue

  1. Recordings for music and announcements will be provided in order to give the caller proper treatment while they are in queue. In addition to the usual delay announcements, e-help has a group of informational messages that will be played during queue times on a specific group of applications.

  2. Emergency informational announcements will be tailored to the specific product experiencing difficulties. In an emergency, the message will be played right after the welcome message before the caller gets to the first prompt.  (10-01-2013)
After-hours and Variable Call Redirect (VCR) Announcements

  1. Callers to the e-help Desk do not have the ability to leave voice mail messages at the sites after normal business hours. Callers will hear one of two messages. After the message, there will be a courtesy disconnect.


    Assistors and managers can receive messages on their administrative extensions.

  2. A Variable Call Redirect (VCR) condition exists when there is a problem routing the call due to assistor availability or system performance. The caller will receive a courtesy disconnect after an appropriate announcement.


    An EFTPS call comes in but there are no assistors signed in to an agent group that handles EFTPS calls. A VCR condition exists and the caller will be routed to an appropriate announcement then disconnected.  (10-01-2013)
Voice Mail Messages

  1. Callers can still leave messages for assistors and managers on their Aspect administrative extensions in limited scenarios. See IRM, Transferring Calls.

  2. Each assistor should create their own personal greeting which includes their name, ID Number, telephone number, and work hours. If appropriate, forward your line to your voice mail using the call forward feature when you will be away from your desk for an extended period of time.  (10-01-2006)
Call Control

  1. With the implementation of ISN/CVP, e-help moved onto the Intelligent Contact Manager (ICM) platform. ICM is a dynamic call routing system capable of monitoring all e-help Desk sites within the enterprise. Specific thresholds and business rules are embedded in ICM, along with the identical agent groups and skills that are in Aspect. Based on the established business rules and thresholds, ICM gathers real-time and historical data from Aspect at each site at designated intervals to determine assistor availability by product line. It then routes each call to the assistor who is best able to handle that call.  (10-01-2006)
Next Available Agent/Assistor (NAA)

  1. Next Available Agent/Assistor (NAA) is a strategy for selecting an assistor to handle a call. The strategy seeks to maintain an equal load across agent groups. e-help is seeking to improve the overall level of service by sending each call to the NAA enterprise-wide who has the necessary skills to answer the customer’s question.

    • Primary Agent Groups are tied to specific applications and receive traffic unconditionally. Primary agent groups are protected from applications they support as back-up unless certain conditions are met.

    • Back-Up Agent Groups are actually primary agent groups receiving traffic from applications they are not assigned to as primary (e.g., an IMF e-file assistor receiving e-file application traffic). This traffic is received on best-performing agent group basis for the application being routed.

    • Alternate Staffing Groups receive traffic just like primary agent groups with the exception that they are not tied to one specific application, Business Operating Division (BOD), or Product Line.

  2. When a call is received on the e-help Desk line, ICM will look for an available primary assistor.

    Figure 3.42.7-12

    If ... Then ...
    A primary is available ISN routes the call to them.
    Two primary assistors are available ISN looks for the Longest Available Assistor (LAA), who will receive the call.
    A primary assistor is not available ISN looks for an available back-up assistor. The LAA will receive the call.
    Neither is available ISN will place the call into the Enterprise Queue. Once in queue, it continually goes through the sequence of primary and back-up until it can route the call.  (10-01-2006)
Class of Service

  1. Class of Service (CoS) is a way of managing traffic in a network by grouping similar types of traffic together, and treating each type as a class with its own level of service. Assistors must use a headset CoS when logged into the ISN/CVP. The figure below compares a handset CoS with a headset CoS.

    Figure 3.42.7-13

    Assistor with Handset CoS Assistor with Headset CoS
    Can wear a headset or use a handset. Must always wear a headset.
    Can choose to answer the call. Must answer the call. Will hear a beep in their headset and the caller will be on the line.
    Can choose not to answer the call. After several rings, the call will be routed to another assistor's phone. Does not have the option of determining when the call is answered.
  2. When the call is complete, the assistor will be placed in "Wrap" status. When ready to take another call, the assistor must place themselves in "Ready" status. If the assistor is not ready to take a call, they must remain in "Wrap" or "Idle" status.

  3. Assistors will still use a handset CoS when logged into Agent Group 707 (Extension Routing/Inventory). Managers and leads will use a handset CoS when logged into Agent Group 709 (Transfers).


    An assistor has been assigned to work a paper program. The assistor should log into AG 707. On a call the previous day, the assistor asked a customer to call her back on her administrative extension. If the customer calls back while she is working the paper program, the assistor will pick up the handset (or has the option of using the headset) and answer the call. See IRM, Agent Groups.  (10-01-2006)
Applications and Agent Groups

  1. Agent Groups are the skilled groups of assistors that provide service to the customer. Applications are the electronic products or services that we provide. ICM is used to distribute calls to skill groups (agent groups) to provide services (applications) to the caller.


    Application numbers and agent group numbers and descriptions do not correspond one for one.  (10-01-2015)

  1. Application numbers have changed as a result of the implementation of ISN/CVP. The numbers are shown in the figure below:

    Figure 3.42.7-14

    Application Number Description
    704 EH - eAuthentication
    705 EH - Spanish eAuthentication
    710 EH – International
    711 EH – IMF e-file
    712 EH – Spanish IMF e-file
    713 EH – 1041 e-file
    714 EH – Spanish 1041 e-file
    715 EH – 94x e-file
    716 EH – Spanish 94x e-file
    717 EH – 1120 - 990 -1065 e-file
    718 EH – Spanish 1120 - 990 1065 e-file
    719 EH – Application e-file
    720 EH – Spanish Application e-file
    721 EH – Suitability
    722 EH – Spanish Suitability
    723 EH – Registration e-services
    724 EH – Spanish Registration e-services
    725 EH- FATCA
    726 EH - Spanish FATCA
    727 EH – TDS - e-services, TIN Matching
    728 EH – Spanish TDS - e-services, TIN Matching
    729 EH – SAM
    730 EH – Spanish SAM
    731 EH – EFTPS
    732 EH –Spanish EFTPS
    733 EH – Electronic Excise Tax
    734 EH – Spanish Electronic Excise Tax
    735 EH – Acceptance Agents
    736 EH – Spanish Acceptance Agents
    737 EH - e-services Level 2
    747 TSO - ACA IR EN
    748 TSO - ACA IR SP
    750 EH - ACA E-SERV EN
    811 TSO – Tax Law - Pertaining to Information Returns
    812 TSO CS – Notices and Password/PIN Resets for FIRE
    813 TSO – FS Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE)
    814 FS (FIRE) Level 2
    815 Tax Law (Customer Service Section) Level 2
    816 IFS (Information Filing Support) Level 1
    817 IFS (Information Filing Support) Level 2
  2. The applications are individually viewed by the ICM and ISN/CVP software as a single source of product line traffic enterprise wide through ISN/CVP Scripting. Callers hear prompting (and informational announcements, if placed in queue), and are then routed to an assistor.

  3. If an assistor is not available, the call will queue in the ISN/CVP until one becomes available.  (10-01-2015)
Agent Groups

  1. To be eligible to receive calls for EPSS applications, assistors will sign in to one of the following agent groups (AG):

    Figure 3.42.7-15

    Agent Group Description
    701 EH – English queue clearing
    702 EH – Spanish queue clearing
    703 EH – Training 1
    704 EH – Training 2
    707 EH – Extension Routing/Inventory
    709 EH – Lead - Manager (transfers only)
    710 EH – IMF e-file — e-file application — Suitability - e-services - CAA - eAuthentication
    714 EH – BMF e-file — e-file application - Suitability - e-services — SAM — EFTPS - Electronic Excise Tax - eAuthentication
    716 EH – IMF Spanish
    720 EH – e-file application - Suitability - e-services
    722 EH BMF Spanish
    805 TSO Inventory
    806 TSO ASG 1
    811 TSO – Tax Law (1099 Information Returns)
    812 TSO CS (Notices and PIN/Password Reset)
    813 TSO FS
    814 TSO FS Level 2 (Internal Transfers Only)
    815 TSO CS Level 2 (Internal Transfers Only)
    816 TSO Spec Projects
    817 TSO IFS Level 2
  2. Signing into AG 701 (English) and 702 (Spanish) will provide e-help with the ability to clear out local ACD queues. Not all assistors will have 701 or 702 in their profile.


    If a call is "in flight" to an assistor from the ISN/CVP, and the assistor goes from an available state to a non-available state to go to lunch, the call will be routed to the local queue. This call will then be routed to the NAA at that site; however, at the end of the shift or end of the day, managers, leads, or a designated assistor must log in to AG 701 or 702 to clear out any call sitting in the local queue.


    Assistors should NEVER go from "Ready" to "Release" or a non-available status (Idle or Log off).

  3. AG 703 and 704 will be used for training. New hires or assistors learning a new application will log in to one of these agent groups and will only receive one type of call until they are proficient in the application.

  4. Each assistor will have multiple agent group logins. An assistor can only log in to one agent group at a time.

    • Production – each assistor will have at least two.

    • Training – consists of one or more applications depending on the specific management request. Local system analysts will have a pool of user IDs. While training, an assistor will be assigned a training user ID.

    • Administrative – used when not actively taking calls (e.g., AG 707).


      When assigned to non-phone work (e.g., paper or email), log in to your administrative extension in "Available" status. Go into "Idle" for lunch, break, or other reason for Idle. See IRM, Reason Codes for Idle.  (10-01-2005)
Standardized Telephone Procedures

  1. A goal of the e-help Desk is for its assistors to use standardized procedures to efficiently provide consistent responses to its customers. This section establishes uniform procedures for telephone responses.  (10-01-2014)
Aspect Telephone System

  1. The routing of calls is managed using the Aspect telephone system via the ISN/CVP. This system provides for call routing capabilities, including queuing, reporting, and toll-free service. For consistency across the e-help Desk sites, all assistors will use the same Aspect telephone system guidelines.

  2. At the start of a shift:

    1. Sign on to Aspect.

    2. Select "Ready."


      Unless the user selects "Ready," Aspect defaults the user to "Idle" with no code. See IRM, Reason Codes for Idle.

  3. Whenever possible, all work should be completed before a call is ended. If extra time is needed at the end of a call, use "Wrap-up" while finishing the work before taking another call. Then, select "Ready."

  4. At the end of a shift, sign off of Aspect.  (10-01-2013)
Reason Codes for Idle

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

  2. When not available for incoming calls assistors must enter the appropriate Idle Reason Code.

  3. The following chart shows the list of Idle Reason Codes used in EPSS:

    Figure 3.42.7-16

    Reason Code Status Explanation
    1 Temporarily Off the Phone Use this code when you will be unavailable for telephone work for a period of time not specified by other reason codes. Examples are individual meetings with a manager, counseling, NTEU official duties, Form 3081 preparation, and rest room breaks.
    2 Inventory, First Available Use this code when you will be available for telephone work, if necessary, but your work assignment is working Interactions/Incidents off your EHSS worklist, or recording interactions after a system downtime.
    3   Reserved and will not be used at the present time.
    4 Training, Partly Available Use this code when you will be unavailable for telephone work during a specified portion of the tour of duty (TOD) because of training-related activities. Examples include partial-day off-site, on the job training (OJT), or instructor preparation. Do not sign on if you will be in training your entire TOD.
    5 Read Time Use this code when you will be unavailable for telephone work during a specified portion of the TOD because of read time as described in IRM
    6 Meeting Time Use this code when you will be unavailable for telephone work during a specific portion of your TOD because of team meeting time as described in IRM
    7 Break Time Use this code when you will be unavailable for telephone work during a specified portion of your TOD because of a scheduled rest break (other than lunch) or unavailable in order to relieve a stressful situation.
    8 Lunch Time Use this code when you will be unavailable for telephone work during a specified portion of your TOD because of a scheduled lunch break.  (03-13-2013)
Read and Technical Meeting Time

  1. Read and technical meeting time are scheduled on a weekly basis.

    1. Read time is defined as time spent reading and/or performing filing activities (e.g., IRM Procedural Updates, SERP Alerts, QuickAlerts, EPSS Communications, all employee memoranda, etc.). Read time must be reported to 990-59221.

    2. Technical meeting time is defined as time spent in recurring meetings that primarily focus on clarifying and reviewing technical or procedural issues. However, some brief or incidental administrative items may be addressed for a small portion of this meeting time. Technical meeting time must be reported to 990-59222.


    Formal training, On-the-Job instruction (OJI), significant administrative issues and Survey meetings should not be regarded as technical meeting time.  (08-24-2012)
Telephone Etiquette

  1. The way calls are handled by EPSS employees makes a difference in the way the customer perceives the Internal Revenue Service. The way the call is handled either enhances or damages the reputation of the organization. It is vital that each call be managed pleasantly and efficiently.

  2. Customers expect timely accurate and professional service. The tips below will help you to make a good telephone impression.

    1. Use the standard greeting for answering calls. Speak slowly and clearly. See IRM, Initial Greeting for the initial greeting. Avoid the tendency to display laziness or impatience after saying the same greeting numerous times daily.

    2. Address the caller by their last name and title (Mr. or Ms.). Use the caller's name often. Always be prepared to capture any notes for your case.

    3. Show genuine interest in the caller and enthusiastically try to solve their problem. Communicate accessibility, friendliness, and willingness to accommodate the caller.

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

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

    6. Ask permission to place the caller on hold and wait for a response. Do not keep the caller on hold for more than the necessary time to research without giving the caller an explanation and apology. Refer back to callers quickly to inform them of the status of their call.


      " This may take a few minutes. May I put you on hold?"

    7. Never eat or drink while talking on the telephone. These annoyances make rude sounds that magnify.

    8. Avoid side conversations when you have a caller on the line.

    9. Use courteous phrases such as "Thank you, Mr. Jones" ," Thank you for holding " , or other appropriate expressions.

    10. Provide the caller with the Interaction/Incident number on each elevated case or if you need to call the taxpayer back.

    11. To indicate closure, make sure the customer's questions and needs have been addressed.

  3. Employees may bring personal cell phones into the work place, but they are only to be used during breaks, lunchtime, or prior to or after an employee's official tour of duty. Employees will not interrupt their calls and conversations with taxpayers, third parties, and/or other IRS employees to take an incoming call on their personal cell phones. This also includes incoming and outgoing phone media such as text messages and emails. All personal cell phones should be silenced in order to avoid distractions and disturbances during working hours.  (10-01-2015)
Customer Complaints

  1. EPSS values customer feedback as a means of achieving customer satisfaction. If the customer complains, it is EPSS policy to answer the complaint and solve the customer's problem whenever possible. Always apologize for any IRS error.

  2. Professionalism and courtesy in dealing with internal and external customers are essential competencies. Customers should be treated with courtesy regardless of the source of the contact (phone, email, etc.). EPSS desires to build a reputation as a knowledgeable and customer-focused organization.

  3. If a caller requests to speak to a supervisor, follow the instructions below.

    1. Advise the caller you will refer him or her to your supervisor and put the caller on hold.

    2. Contact your supervisor or appointed designee. Transfer the call to the supervisor or designee in accordance with your organization's procedures (transfer using Aspect or Escalate the Interaction).

    3. If your supervisor or designee is not available, advise the caller accordingly and obtain all of the pertinent information and assure the customer that the supervisor will return the call. Secure the customers name, specific issue, phone number, and the best time and day (same day of call or the next business day) for your supervisor or designee to return the call.

  4. All complaints regardless of the source or issue may need to be elevated to your lead's Provider Group. Your lead will work with the manager to address the complaint. Ensure the customer's name, address, telephone number and specifics of the complaint are documented in the case. Submit the information to your manager for appropriate action.


    Complaints or suggestions about a system or application cannot be addressed by your manager and should be documented using the Problem Type Customer Comment and be escalated to the appropriate Analyst or Provider Group. See IRM, Problem Types.

  5. See IRM, email Etiquette.

  6. See IRM, Telephone Etiquette.  (10-01-2015)
Initial Greeting

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

    • Their title (e.g., Mr., Mrs., Ms., Miss)

    • Their last name

    • Their identification (ID Card) number


    Title, last name and identification number are the minimum requirements. If the employee prefers they may provide their first and last name and their identification number. Also, employees are required to provide their name and identification number to each customer who joins the call. See IRM, When to Use Unique Identifying Number

  2. The Smart Identification (SmartID) card is a standardized identification card for Federal employees and contractors. The ID card is required by Homeland Security as per Presidential Directive-12. The SmartID has a 10-digit number string called a Personal Identification (PID) Number that is printed on the front of the card. Employees must use their 10-digit SmartID Badge Number (including no spaces or dashes, example, 10000XXXXX) when communicating with taxpayers.

  3. Section 3706 of the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 authorizes the use of pseudonyms by IRS employees only if adequate justification for the use is provided by the employee and its use is approved by the employee’s supervisor.

  4. Section 3706 is intended to eliminate any taxpayer perception that employees avoid accountability for their actions through the use of pseudonyms, while still protecting an employee’s right to use pseudonyms in appropriate circumstances. Rather than being entitled to use a pseudonym, the employee must provide "adequate justification" , which includes "protection of personal safety" , and the employee’s supervisor must approve use of the pseudonym prior to its use. Thus, requests to use pseudonyms that do not provide adequate justification may be denied on that basis. See IRM 10.5.7, Use of Pseudonyms by IRS Employees, Exhibit 1.2.4-1. It is located on the IRM Online website: http://irm.web.irs.gov/default.asp.

  5. All e-help Desk assistors will use the following standard greeting when answering calls to the e-help desk: "This is employee's title and last name of e-help. My ID number is 10000XXXXX. "

  6. Probe the caller for an EFIN, ETIN, Username, contact name, etc., to initiate an efficient search. See IRM for additional information. If you determine the caller is not in the EHSS database, you will need to create an e-Product User case.


    SAM, EFTPS, and TIN Matching customers normally do not have an EFIN or ETIN.

  7. An example of a standard greeting is shown below:

    Figure 3.42.7-17

    Assistor Customer
    "This is Mr. Smith of e-help. My ID number is 10000XXXXX”." "This is Jane Doe. I seem to be locked out of the system. "
    "May I have your EFIN?" "My EFIN is 001234."
    The assistor will continue with appropriate authentication probes.  (10-01-2015)
Authentication and Authorization Guidelines

  1. Ensure that the caller is entitled to receive any information that is requested. First, you must authenticate the caller.


    Authentication is not required when the assistor does not need to access a system to provide specific account information. For example: "How do I recover my user ID?" or "How do I get my password?" . If, in the course of the call, a question turns into an inquiry that needs to be answered by accessing a secure system, disclosure procedures must be followed.

  2. Authentication means to establish the identity of the caller. Callers must provide certain information (i.e., shared secrets) before we can release tax return and tax information to them. Authorization means that the caller has the right to the information. The Disclosure website has excellent topics on who can access tax data at http://discl.web.irs.gov/Default.asp.


    The Disclosure Help Desk number located on the above website is for employees use only.

  3. To validate the caller's information prior to providing any tax account information, you must research the appropriate system (e.g., EHSS, EUP, FIRE or IDRS). For example, the legal company name or Doing Business As (DBA) name is found on the IRS e-file Application.

  4. Assistors are required to use the online version of the e-help Authentication/Authorization Job Aid for each phone call unless the call is a general inquiry that does not require you to provide account specific information. The e-help Authentication/Authorization Job Aid is available through SERP on the EPSS Portal and EHSS.

  5. When you make an outgoing phone call follow the specific disclosure probes related to the product. When making an outgoing call and the taxpayer is reluctant to give you his/her TIN, provide the taxpayer with the last four digits of his/her TIN (social security number /employer identification number). Then, request that the taxpayer verify the first five digits and continue with the appropriate probes. If the caller is still reluctant have the customer call the appropriate toll free number.  (10-01-2015)
Authentication/Authorization for e-file Application

  1. The requiredauthentication probes for e-file Application are:

    • Name

    • EFIN, ETIN, TIN (SSN or EIN)

    • Legal Company Name or Doing Business As (DBA), if applicable (Legal Company name or DBA must match the legal business name listed on the e-file application.


      If the caller is inquiring about their e-file application and there is no e-file application on file, you must authenticate the caller as an Individual or Business before disclosing e-file application information (no application on file). See IRM, Authentication for SAM, EFTPS and Business Online e-file (e.g., Large Taxpayers) for the required individual or business probes.


      You must ask two additional authentication probes when the company name the caller provides differs from our records.


      Verify the information given in response to the probes by researching EUP, IDRS or EHSS. If the caller's name does not appear on the e-file Application Summary Screen in the EUP, remember to check the Delegated User screen. Delegated Users' names do not appear on the summary screen.

  2. The required authentication probes for a reporting agent are the same as the e-file Application, however, you are addressing the Reporting Agents information.

    • Reporting Agent Name

    • Reporting Agent EFIN, ETIN, TIN (SSN or EIN)

    • Reporting Agent Company Name, if applicable


      The Reporting Agent company’s address can be used for additional authentication (for example, if the company name the caller gives differs from our records).


      Verify the information given in response to the probes by researching EHSS, EUP, or IDRS. If the caller's name does not appear on the e-file Application Summary Screen in the EUP, remember to check the Delegated User screen. Delegated Users' names do not appear on the summary screen.

    • Verify the caller has the appropriate e-file Role (Principal, Responsible Official or Delegated User if authorities are granted).

  3. To authenticate a SPEC employee, ask for their SEID and confirm it against the IRS Discovery Directory at http://discovery.directory.enterprise.irs.gov/discovery/search.asp utilizing the appropriate Area Map from the SPEC Organizational & Program Information page at http://win.web.irs.gov/spec/spec_Org_Prog_Info.htm. The probes are:

    • What is your Name?

    • What is your SEID?

    • In which Territory or Area are you located?

  4. Authorized IRS e-file Providers hold important roles in relation to participating in IRS e-file. A listing of those roles is shown below. An authorization matrix for e-file and e-file Application follows and shows the authorizations for the various roles for some Problem Types. See Publication 3112, IRS e-file Application and Participation, for additional information on the IRS e-file Application process.

    • Principals – Generally, the Principal for a business or organization includes the following:

      Figure 3.42.7-18

      Principal Explanation
      Sole Proprietorship The sole proprietor or owner is the Principal for a sole proprietorship.
      Partnership Each partner who has a 5 percent or more interest in the partnership is a Principal. If no partner has at least a 5 percent or more interest in the partnership, the Principal is an individual authorized to act for the partnership in legal and/or tax matters. At least one such individual must be listed on the application.
      Corporation The President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer are each a Principal of the corporation.
      Other The Principal for an entity that is not a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation is an individual authorized to act for the entity in legal and/or tax matters. At least one such individual must be listed on the application.


      VITA Sites, Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE), military bases.

    • Responsible Officials – A Responsible Official is an individual with authority over the Provider’s IRS e-file operation at a location, is the first point of contact with the IRS, and has authority to sign revised IRS e-file Applications. A Responsible Official ensures the Provider adheres to the provisions of the revenue procedure as well as all publications and notices governing IRS e-file. The Responsible Official may oversee IRS e-file operations at one or more offices, but must be able to fulfill identified responsibilities for each of the offices. If one individual cannot fulfill these responsibilities, additional Responsible Officials may be identified. To add or change Responsible Officials, a Provider must revise its IRS e-file Application.

    • Delegated Users – A Delegated User is an individual within a firm/organization, other than a Principal or Responsible Official, who is authorized to use one or more of the e-services products. A Principal or Responsible Official appoints an individual as a Delegated User on the IRS e-file Application available on the IRS web site. A Delegated User should be an employee, partner, or other member of the Firm/Organization or have a business relationship with the Firm/Organization. Principals and Responsible Officials with authority to add, delete, and change Principal can assign Principal Consent authority to a Delegated User. A Delegated User with Principal Consent authority has the same e-file application authorities as a Principal.


      Each Delegated User needs to be on only one IRS e-file Application. It is not necessary for a Delegated User to be on more than one IRS e-file Application to access e-services products. Each Delegated User affiliated with different firms (identified by different TINs) and authorized to view and make changes to an e-file Application, must be on the specific IRS e-file Application to be able to review and make changes to the application. Large firms with multiple Delegated Users on a single IRS e-file Application should limit the number of Delegated Users to 100.

  5. A Principal or Responsible Official may authorize an individual to do the following:

    • View Application information

    • Update Application Information

    • Sign and submit revised Applications

    • Add, delete and change Principals

    • Add, delete and change Responsible Officials

    • View software package information

    • Serve as MeF Internet Transmitter

    • Serve as MeF System Enroller

    • Access e-services incentive product: TDS

  6. The e-file Application also includes a Contacts section which contains information on primary and alternate contacts. These contacts may be persons distinct from the Principals and Responsible Officials, or they can be the same. Contacts should be available for contact from the IRS on a daily basis for general questions during testing and the processing year. Contacts will not have access to private information that is only available to Principals and Responsible Officials. A Primary Contact is required for the application. Alternate Contacts are not required, but can be specified. It is important for a Principal or Responsible Official to change or delete Contacts when the Contacts are no longer with the firm or their position within the firm no longer warrants being a Contact.

  7. Key Persons – Large firms with multi-layered management that are not sole proprietorships include only Principals and Key Persons who participate substantially with control over the firms's electronic filing operations as Principals on IRS e-file applications. "Participate substantially" means participation that is extensive and substantive, and not peripheral, clerical or ministerial.

  8. Use the matrix below to determine what authorizations follow the roles for the Principal/Principal Consent, Responsible Official, Delegated User, and Contacts for the Problem Types shown. An "X" means the role is authorized; "No" means they are not authorized.

    Figure 3.42.7-19

    Problem Type Principal / Principal Consent Responsible Official Delegated User
    *See (9)
    Suitability (Passed)
    *See (10)
    X X No No
    Suitability (Failed)
    *See 10)
    X X No No
    Status of Application
    *See (10)
    X X X X
    EFIN Status
    *See (10)
    X X X X
    Application Changes X X X No


    SPEC employees can initiate application changes.

  9. The Delegated User must have at least one of the following authorities in order to discuss application status and make application changes. They can discuss signature issues if they have authorities to add, delete, and change Principals and Responsible Officials.

    • Update Application

    • Sign and Submit Revised Applications

    • Add, Delete and Change Principals

    • Add, Delete and Change Responsible Officials

  10. The following authorization rules are related to all callers:

    1. The Principal, Principal Consent, Responsible Official, Delegated User (if they have been granted the authority), and the Contact can discuss the company's EFIN status, but not the status of other individuals.

    2. The Principal, Principal Consent, and Responsible Official can discuss their own suitability but not the suitability of someone else.


      If the caller is the individual with the suitability issues, you may discuss the matter in detail, but only after additional authentication. See Figure 3.42.7-22 and use the Authentication Matrix for SAM and EFTPS, "Individual" row.

    3. The Contact/Alternate Contact and Delegated User cannot discuss an individual's suitability.

  11. Encourage all callers to make Application changes through e-services.  (10-01-2015)
Authentication/Authorization for e-file

  1. The requiredauthentication probes for e-file are:

    • EFIN, ETIN, TIN (SSN or EIN)

    • Legal Company Name, or Doing Business As (DBA), if applicable


      Do not authenticate the Company or DBA names using EHSS. Access TPDS and verify the Company or DBA name from the e-file application.


      For case documentation purposes, ask the caller's name. If the caller's name is not shown in EHSS, or e-file Application, but they provide the EFIN, ETIN, TIN and the Company name, add the caller's name to the Description field.

  2. Before providing data from the taxpayer's transmitted return, be sure the EFIN above is contained in the transmitted return. Obtain the following information from the ERO/ISP/Transmitter:

    Figure 3.42.7-20

    Taxpayer's Name (including spouse if applicable) Taxpayer's Name
    Taxpayer's TIN Taxpayer's TIN
    DOB (Form 4868 excluded) Address
    Refund Amount, if any (Form 4868 excluded) Filing Year (i.e., calendar or fiscal year)
    Status/Rcvd Date Accepted/Rejected Date
    Submission ID  


    Use IDRS, MeF, and or other appropriate systems to verify the items listed.

  3. If the caller is unable to match one of the items from the transmitted return (other than the taxpayer's name and the taxpayer's TIN - these must always match except when the note below applies), you must ask the caller to verify two additional items from the transmitted return (i.e., AGI, Earned Income Tax (EIC) amount, number of W-2's, etc.).


    When the taxpayer(s) name is truncated, you may accept the name provided by the caller when it is similar to the name on the transmitted return. Two additional probes may be obtained if you are uncertain about the identity of the caller.

  4. IRS employees must use caution not to disclose return information except to the taxpayer or to a person whom the taxpayer authorized to receive that information by Form 2848, Power of Attorney; Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization; Form 8453, U.S. Income Tax Declaration for an IRSe-fileReturn (Tax Year 2006 and prior); Form 8453-OL, U.S. Income Tax Declaration for an IRS e-file Online Return (Tax Year 2007 and prior); or Form 8879, IRSe-fileSignature Authorization. Under the disclosure authority granted on the Form 8453, Form 8453-OL, Form 8879 or equivalent display of text, IRS employees are permitted to discuss the following with Authorized IRS e-file Providers:

    1. An acknowledgement of receipt or reason for rejection of the transmission,

    2. The reason for any delay in the processing of the return or the refund, and

    3. The date of any refund.


    Disclosures of return information should be limited to the authority granted to the third party by the taxpayer. The Form 8453 and Form 8879 give different authority than may be given under the check box authority, or oral authority, or that which is granted with filing of a Form 2848 and Form 8821 and then recorded on the CAF. Be sure that you have checked to see what authority has been granted prior to releasing information to a third party. See IRM, Disclosure, see IRM 21.1.3, Operational Guidelines Overview.

  5. By putting a firm name on the Form 8879, IRS e-file Signature Authorization, the taxpayer is authorizing anyone who works for that firm to contact us concerning the matters outlined on the form. Therefore, you may discuss acknowledgements, transmissions, and rejects with an ERO or their designee provided you have completed proper authentication procedures.

  6. To authenticate a SPEC employee, ask for their SEID and confirm it against the IRS Discovery Directory at http://discovery.directory.enterprise.irs.gov/discovery/search.asp utilizing the appropriate Area Map from the Organizational & Program Information page at http://win.web.irs.gov/spec/spec_Org_Prog_Info.htm. The probes are:

    • What is your Name?

    • What is your SEID?

    • In which Territory or Area are you located?

  7. Individuals at entities such as VITA Sites, Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE), and military bases or SPEC employees responsible for these entities can discuss generalities about acknowledgments, transmissions, and rejects, but not an individual taxpayer's information without proper authorization.  (08-24-2012)
Authentication/Authorization for Waiver Request (Form 8944)

  1. Waiver requests are based on Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTINs) which are assigned to an individual. If the caller is inquiring about the status/or information on their waiver request you must authenticate the caller as an individual.

  2. The required authentication probes for a waiver request are:

    • SSN/ITIN

    • Name (s) as reported on their Individual Income Tax Return

    • Address

    • Filing Status

    • DOB

  3. If the caller is unable to match one of the items above (other than the taxpayer's name and the taxpayer's TIN - these must always match), you must ask the caller to verify two additional items from their return (i.e., AGI, number of W-2, SE tax, refund amount etc.).


    If a business entity (firm) calls regarding the status of a waiver for a tax return preparer in their firm, inform the caller that the tax return preparer (individual) who signed Form 8944, Preparer e-file Hardship Waiver Request, is the only person that can receive information about the status of the form.

  4. If a Foreign Filer does not have a SSN/ITIN and is looking for the status of their waiver, use the PTIN database to authenticate the caller by asking and verifying the following probes:

    • PTIN

    • Preparer Name (Individual)

    • Address  (10-01-2015)
Authentication/Authorization for e-services (Other Than e-file Application)

  1. The requiredauthentication probes for e-services are:

    • Name

    • EFIN, ETIN, TIN (SSN or EIN)

    • Username


      The Forgotten Username question and answer must be used to recover the Username. If the customer answers the Username question incorrectly, two additional authentication probes are required. Verify the information given in response to the probes by researching EUP and, IDRS.


      Information obtained must be validated with IRS records before proceeding further.

  2. For a customer who has not completed their Registration, you are validating the individual because the Individual will own the products, not the Firm.


    If through research, you determine the caller is registered you may ask the required probes in (1) or validate the caller as an individual.

    For TDS, you are authenticating the individual user of these products as a Principal, Responsible Official, or Delegated User with the proper authorities.

  3. See the matrix below for authorization for the TIN Matching and TDS State Users Products/Problem Types.

    Figure 3.42.7-21

    Products / Problem Types Principal Responsible Official Delegated Users Authorized Agent
    TIN Matching / Application [see (4) and (5) below] X X No No
    TIN Matching / Locked Out X X X X
    TDS X X X N/A
    TDS State Users X N/A X N/A
    • Did not receive TDS information

    X N/A X N/A
    • No links, having difficulty using TDS, and other technical problems

    X N/A X N/A
    • Any other problems [See (7) ]

    No No No N/A
  4. TIN Matching – A firm may designate Authorized Users (individuals who will be authorized to perform TIN Matching in e-services). A role must be selected for each one:

    • Principal – A sole proprietor, member of a partnership, or a corporate officer such as President, Vice-President, Secretary, or Treasurer. Principals are the individuals within the firm held legally responsible by the IRS for the activities of the firm.

    • Responsible Official – Someone designated by a Principal to perform all the TIN Matching duties of a Principal, including modifying a TIN Matching application.

    • Delegated User – An individual in the firm who has been authorized to perform TIN Matching.

    • Authorized Agent – An individual in the firm or another firm who has been authorized to perform TIN Matching on clients of the payer.

  5. TIN Matching users must be a payer of income reported on Form 1099-B, Form 1099-DIV, Form 1099-INT, Form 1099-MISC, Form 1099-OID or Form 1099-PATR. The payer must have filed an annual information return reporting income subject to Back-up Withholding paid on the previously mentioned forms in one of the past two tax years.

  6. TDS State Users – TDS functional roles include:

    • Principal – A state user who is responsible for maintaining the state's TDS application.

    • Delegated User – A state employee who requests transcripts but is not responsible for the state's TDS application.

  7. The e-help Desk cannot assist TDS State Users with anything other than a TDS technical issue.  (10-01-2013)
Authentication/Authorization for SAM, EFTPS and Business Online e-file (e.g., Large Taxpayers)

  1. Follow the authentication probes per Figure 3.42.7-22 and Figure 3.42.7-23 before assisting the caller. If the caller is an authorized third party, see IRM, Third Party (POA/TIA/F706) Authentication. The figures below provide quick reference guides. IRM 11.3.2, Disclosure to Persons with a Material Interest, and IRM,Persons Who May Have Access to Returns and Return Information Pursuant to IRC 6103(e), provide complete guidance on who is authorized to receive data by entity type.

  2. Use the figure below to authenticate the identity of EFTPS and SAM callers:

    Figure 3.42.7-22

    Entity Filing Requirement Position/Relationship TIN (SSN, EIN, ITIN) Name as reported on their tax return Address Filing Status DOB
          Required Authentication Probes*
    Individual 1040 Self X X X X X
    Spouse 1040 Spouse on joint only X X X X X
    Sole Proprietor 1040 with Schedule C and/or 941 Self (identified as first name on first name line) X X X    
    Single Member LLC 1040 with Schedule C and/or 941 Self (listed as single member) X X X    
    Partnership 1065 Partner X X X    
    LLC treated as a Partnership 1065 Partner/Member X X X    
    Corporation 1120 Officer that can legally bind X X X    
    LLC treated as a Corporation 1120 Officer/member that can legally bind X X X    
    Exempt/Church 990 and 941 only Officer/legally authorized X X X    
    Government 941 only Officer/legally authorized X X X    
    Trust 1041 Trustee X X X    


    If the caller is unable to match one of the items above (other than the taxpayer's name and TIN - these must always match), you must ask the caller to verify two additional authentications probes. See Figure 3.42.7-23 below. If a call is received regarding a name verification for an EFTPS or SAM product the taxpayer's name does not have to be an exact match but all other probes must be obtained.

  3. Follow the authentication probes in paragraph two for Online Filers calling about their 10 digit PIN and ask the caller if they are the Authorized Signatory (Contact) on the PIN Registration. See IRM, Processing Electronic 94x On-Line PIN Registration for Acceptable Contact Title based on Entity provided.

  4. For Form 1041 authentication, the trustee is authorized to receive return and return information. If the trustee is a bank, an employee of the trust department in the bank is authorized to receive return and return information. See IRC 6103 (e)(1)(F) for additional information. To authenticate that the caller is an employee in the bank's trust department:

    • Ask the caller if they are an employee of the institution’s trust department.

    • Verify information about the Trust they are calling about as shown in the Matrix: Trust EIN, Trust Name, Trust Address, Matter at issue (rejected return or EFTPS validation).


      Secure the name, title, and contact number for that employee (annotate this in the case).

    Figure 3.42.7-23

    *Additional Taxpayer Authentication (+2 add)
    Spouse's Date of Birth (DOB)/TIN
    Children's DOB
    Income or tax due on return
    Employer on W-2(s)
    Financial institution on Form 1099
    Number of exemptions
    Preparer information
    Refund within $100 (unless computed by IRS)
    Any other account item that can be verified from the return  (01-04-2013)
Authentication/Authorization for 990-N E-Postcard

  1. 990- N e-Postcard information (including the EIN) is available to the public; therefore, it is not considered information protected under IRC 6103. However, because our job is to assist customers in the filing of their postcard, we must ask probes to ensure that we are speaking to someone representing the company about which they contacted us. Authentication probes are:

    • Relationship to the organization (they simply need to be affiliated with the company)

    • TIN

    • Name of organization

    • Address of organization

    These probes are available in the e-help Authentication/Authorization Job Aid under SAM, EFTPS, Business Online e-file under "Exempt/Church." The only difference is because the information is not protected by IRC 6103, we are relaxing relationship to the company. This means the customer must simply be affiliated with the organization, they do not have to be able to act for the company in legal matters.  (10-01-2014)
Authentication/Authorization for Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) Online Registration System

  1. Assistors may receive calls/emails from a Responsible Officer (RO), Point of Contact (POC) or Power of Attorney (POA) regarding their FATCA ID, and Access Code.


    There are different authentication probes due to the sensitivity of the Access Code. Additionally the Temporary Access Code will never be provided via email.

  2. The information must match with the information input by the RO or POC in the FATCA Online Registration System. You are verifying the RO or POC information based from the FATCA Online Registration System.


    You will use the FATCA Employee User Portal to verify the items listed.

  3. The required authentication probes for Forgotten FATCA ID are:

    • Financial institution legal name


      If the legal name is over 40 characters the customer must provide the name as input in the FATCA Online Registration System.

    • Name of the RO, POC inquiring

    • FATCA Role - RO, POC

    • RO or POC email address

  4. The required authentication probes for a temporary Access Code are:

    • Financial institution legal name


      If the legal name is over 40 characters the customer must provide the name as input in the FATCA Online Registration System.

    • Name of the RO, POC inquiring

    • FATCA Role - RO, POC

    • RO or POC email address

    • RO or POC business address or the business phone number

  5. FATCA Roles are defined below:

    • A RO is an individual designated by the FFI in the FATCA Online Registration System.

    • APOC is an individual in the FATCA Online Registration System that the RO designates to receive FATCA information and take other FATCA-related actions on behalf of the FI.  (10-02-2014)
Authentication/Authorization for eAuthentication

  1. The required authentication probes for eAuthentication are:

    • SSN/TIN

    • Name as it appears on the return (including spouse if applicable)

    • Address

    • Filing Status

    • Date of Birth (DOB)

  2. High risk authentication must be performed for all Date of Death and Identity Theft (IDT) related eAuthentication lockout conditions. Using the Additional Authentication chart below, verify two or more additional items from the taxpayer’s return or account.

    Figure 3.42.7-24

    Additional Authentication Probes
    Spouse’s TIN or date of birth
    Child’s/children’s date(s) of birth
    Amount of income reported on the last return or tax due on return
    Employers shown on taxpayer’s Forms W-2
    Financial institutions from taxpayer’s Forms 1099-INT or Forms 1099- DIV
    Number of exemptions claimed on last return or on return in question
    Preparer, paid/unpaid, if any
    Any other verifiable items from the return/account  (01-30-2009)
Disclosure Cross-References

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

    • IRM 11.3.2, Disclosure to Persons with a Material Interest

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

    • IRM, General Disclosure Guidelines

    • IRM, Disclosure Definitions

    • IRM, Authorized and Unauthorized Disclosures

    • IRM, Required Taxpayer Authentication

    • IRM, Additional Taxpayer Authentication

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

    • IRM, Third Party Designee Authentication

    • IRM, Oral Disclosure Consent/Oral TIA (Paperless F8821)

    • IRM, Other Third Party Inquiries

    • IRM, Reporting Agents File (RAF) and Form 8655, Reporting Agent Authorization

    • IRM, Requests from Employees of Business Entities

    • IRM, Inquiries From IRS Employees

    • IRM, Mailing and Faxing Tax Account Information

    • IRM, Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHOH) and TTY/TDD Equipment  (08-24-2012)
Transferring Calls and Interactions/Incidents

  1. With ISN/CVP, calls are not transferred to a site; they will be transferred to an application. Similarly, Interaction/Incidents are not transferred to a site; they are transferred to a Provider Group in EHSS.

  2. Do not transfer calls using an Outside line.

  3. Callers should be verbally referred to a 1–8XX number by the assistor.  (10-01-2015)
Transferring Calls

  1. Each assistor will be provided with at least two extensions.

    • Production extensions are used when actively taking phone calls from the ISN/CVP.

    • Administrative extensions (e-help) are used for non-phone activities such as when working paper.


    Calls should NEVER be transferred to an assistor's production extension.

  2. If an assistor is handling a call regarding one application, but the caller has a question handled on another application, this phone call can be transferred back to the ISN/CVP.

  3. The chart below shows e-help and TSO phone applications with corresponding transfer extensions. All e-help Desk sites have been upgraded to Aspect 9.3. The transfer procedure has changed and assistors must add a two (2) between the 9 and the 3-digit call center transfer number.

  4. Do not transfer calls between TSO and the e-help Desk.


    Transfer the call internally when the customer chooses an incorrect prompt for ACA (e-help) or FATCA Error (TSO) on the (866) 937-4130 ACA/FATCA Electronic Filing toll free line. See paragraph (9) below.

    Figure 3.42.7-25

    Language Application # Description Transfer – Press #, then this number:
    English 708 EH – Extension Routing Out 92407
    English 709 EH – Extension Routing to Lead or Manager 90449
    English 711 EH – IMF e-file 92411
    English 713 EH – 1041 - 1065 e-file 92413
    English 715 EH – 94x e-file 92415
    English 717 EH – 1120 - 990 e-file 92417
    English 719 EH – Application e-file 92419
    English 721 EH – Suitability 92421
    English 723 EH – Registration e-services 92423
    English 725 EH - FATCA Registration 92425
    English 727 EH – TDS - e-services-TIN Matching 92427
    English 729 EH – SAM 92429
    English 731 EH – EFTPS 92431
    English 733 EH – Electronic Excise Tax 92433
    English 735 EH – Acceptance Agents 92435
    English 737 EH – Level 2 92437
    English 747 EH - IPF and BPD Registration and Application 92457
    English 749 TSO - FATCA (Electronic Filing) 92459
    English 750 EH - IPF and BPD Form Submission 92460
    English 811 TSO – Tax Law 92481
    English 812 TSO – CSS 92482
    English 813 TSO – FS 92483
    English 816 TSO - IFS 92486
        Spanish Transfer Numbers  
    Spanish 712 EH - Spanish IMF e-file 92412
    Spanish 714 EH - Spanish 1041 - 1065 e-file 92414
    Spanish 716 EH - Spanish 94x e-file 92416
    Spanish 718 EH - Spanish 1120 - 990 e-file 92418
    Spanish 720 EH - Spanish Application e-file 92420
    Spanish 722 EH - Spanish Suitability 92422
    Spanish 724 EH- Spanish Registration e-services 92424
    Spanish 726 EH- Spanish FATCA 92426
    Spanish 728 EH - Spanish TDS - e-services -TIN Matching 92428
    Spanish 730 EH - Spanish SAM 92430
    Spanish 732 EH -Spanish EFTPS 92432
    Spanish 734 EH - Spanish Electronic Excise Tax 92434
    Spanish 736 EH - Spanish Acceptance Agents 92436
    Spanish 748 EH - Spanish ACA 92458
  5. To have a customer call back, give the customer your six digit administrative extension. Customers who call back and were provided an administrative extension must be routed to a specific assistor. When the customer calls, the call will prompt the normal way. Once the caller reaches an assistor, the assistor will transfer the caller to a call control table in the ACD by entering #92407. The call control table will prompt the caller to enter the extension needed.

  6. The first two of the six digits reflect the last two digits of the Site's ACD Number, with the next four digits reflecting the assistors' ASPECT Sign-in Number. The first two digits for each destination site are as follows:

    • 24 - Andover

    • 31 - Austin

    • 29 - Atlanta

    • 44 - Cincinnati

    • 30 - Ogden/Martinsburg

  7. Software developers are provided with a silent prompt that they can enter after selecting 1 for e-file during the period November 1 through January 15. They are asked to enter the extension of an assistor assigned to their software package. The call will be routed to that number.

  8. Always probe the customer and determine if a transfer is warranted. Do not simply transfer the call when a customer makes a request. Verify that the call should be transferred. Transferred calls should be limited to the situations shown below:

    Figure 3.42.7-26

    If ... Then ...
    A customer has a question handled on another application Transfer the call to the ISN/CVP using the appropriate extension.


    Always attempt to assist the customer prior to making the transfer.

    A customer is calling back as requested and has the assistor's extension Transfer the call by entering #92407. A prompt will ask them to enter the extension of the assistor.
    A software developer needs to contact their test team Transfer the call by entering #92407. A prompt will ask them to enter the extension of the assistor.
    A customer must be transferred to a manager or lead Give the caller the administrative extension of the manager or lead. Transfer the call by entering #90449. A prompt will ask them to enter the extension of the manager or lead.
  9. Occasionally, assistors will receive phone calls from customers who need assistance with topics supported by different operations in EPSS. Do not transfer calls between toll free numbers.


    Both the e-help Desk and TSO staff the ACA/FATCA line (866-937-4130). If an assistor receives a call on the 4130 line and the customer has selected the incorrect prompt, do not tell the customer to call back, transfer the call to the appropriate application. See Figure 3.42.7-25 above for appropriate routing.

    1. Provide the customer with the appropriate phone number shown below and document the Interaction with the appropriate business unit, product type, and problem type.

    • (866) 455-7438 TSO toll free number

    • (866) 937-4130 ACA/FATCA Electronic Filing toll free number

    • (866) 255-0654 e-help Desk toll free number  (10-01-2014)
Call Transfer Basics

  1. Always inform the caller that you are transferring their call.


    Transfers no longer receive Queue priority.

  2. Use the following steps to transfer calls to another application:

    1. Press the INSIDE LINE key.

    2. Dial # and the appropriate extension number.

    3. Press the ENTER key.

    4. Press the TRANSFER KEY.


    Outgoing calls cannot be transferred using the above procedures. Document the case appropriately and transfer the case to the correct provider group.

  3. Use the following procedures to receive a transferred call:

    1. Depress OUTSIDE LINE key. Receive the call. Aspect will display E HELP XF IN.

    2. Open an Interaction/Incident.

    3. Follow existing procedures for working/closing/transferring the Interaction/Incident.  (03-05-2015)
Escalating/Transferring Interactions

  1. Follow guidance in IRM Interactions if an open Whiteboard exists.

  2. Do not open an Interaction if you are transferring a call. Note the guidelines and exceptions to this rule in the figure below. This chart shows various scenarios that illustrate e-help call/case transfer procedures:

    Figure 3.42.7-27

    If ... Then ...
    The caller selected an incorrect menu prompt
    1. Do not open an Interaction.

    2. Explain to the caller that they have selected an incorrect menu prompt.

    3. Ask the caller to wait while you transfer them to the correct application.

    4. Transfer the call to the ISN/CVP.

    The caller selected the correct menu prompt but needs further assistance on another application
    1. Open an Interaction.

    2. Resolve the customer's issue for that product.

    3. Explain to the caller that you have helped them as much as you are able.

    4. Close the Interaction.

    5. Ask the caller to wait while you transfer them to necessary application.

    6. Transfer the call to the ISN/CVP.

    The caller needs further assistance from the e-services Level 2 Provider Group
    1. Open an Interaction.

    2. Document the issue and the Username in the description.

    3. Explain to the caller that you have helped them as much as you are able.

    4. Tell the caller you are going to transfer the call/case to e-services L2.

    5. Escalate the Interaction to obtain an Incident Number.

    6. Provide the caller with the Incident number.

    7. Transfer the call.


    If a Spanish speaking customer, do not transfer the call. Escalate the Interaction only and an e-services level 2 specialist will call the customer.

    The caller needs further assistance from a Level 2 Provider Group (other than e-services Level 2)
    1. Open an Interaction.

    2. Explain to the caller that you have helped them as much as you are able.

    3. Tell the caller you must elevate their case to Level 2 and that someone will call them within two hours.

    4. Request that the customer call the help desk again if they do not receive a call from Level 2 within two hours.

    5. Escalate the Interaction to the appropriate Level 2 area by selecting the appropriate Provider (Assignment) Group.

    6. Give the caller the Incident number.

    The caller calls the e-help Desk again because they have not heard from Level 2 within two hours
    1. Retrieve the Incident.

    2. Document the call in the Activities section.

    3. Review the Activity log.

    4. If updated, give the caller the information.

    5. If not updated, inform the caller that you will research the Incident and someone will call them back.

    6. Refer to your manager or lead for resolution.

    The caller calls the e-help Desk again because although they have been contacted by EHSS Level 2, their issue is still not resolved
    1. Retrieve the Incident.

    2. Document the call in the activities section.

    3. Review the Activities log.

    4. If update give the caller the information.

    5. Inform the caller that someone from Level 2 will call them back.

    6. Contact (call or email) the Level 2 employee who is working the Incident and give them an update.

    7. Ask the Level 2 employee to call the customer back.

    8. Update the Incident in the activities section.

    The caller reached you incorrectly but does not want to be transferred
    1. Open an Interaction.

    2. Record the caller's problem thoroughly in the description.

    3. Escalate the Interaction.

    4. Assign to the Group for resolution.

    5. Give the caller the Incident number.

    The caller reached you because you are logged in to the super agent group because another site is closed
    1. Open an Interaction.

    2. Attempt to resolve the caller's issue.

    3. If unable to resolve, escalate the Interaction and assign to the correct Provider Group for resolution.  (10-15-2012)
Interaction/Incident Transfer Basics

  1. To ensure Interactions/Incidents populate in the provider group worklist, the process below MUST be followed when an issue needs to be assigned to another provider group to work. Take the following steps when required to transfer the Interaction:

    1. Document the case sufficiently so that the individual receiving the case has the required information.

    2. Escalate/reassign the case.

    3. Select the Provider Group (Assignment) as appropriate.

    4. Click Next.


      Your manager or lead will advise you when to assign a case to a particular individual.

  2. To receive the case:

    1. Assign the case within two hours of receipt (this action is performed by leads or managers). If this time frame is not met, the system will automatically escalate the problem by issuing an email to the receiving site manager.

    2. Work the case within two hours of receipt from leads or managers.

    3. Notify the customer of the resolution.

  3. Always provide the case number to the customer in the following instances:

    • The call is not resolved and you must call the customer back or vice versa.

    • You must transfer the case to another Provider Group.


    It is not necessary to give the customer an Interaction/Incident number for general information calls or other calls resolved on first contact.  (08-24-2012)
Complaints Regarding Transferred Calls

  1. Use the following procedures if a complaint is received on a Interaction/Incident that has been transferred:

    1. Document the time and type of complaint in the Description Field if the Interaction/Incident is still open.

    2. Escalate the Interaction to the receiving site manager by changing the Provider Group (Assignment).  (08-24-2012)
Business Continuance

  1. Business continuance is defined as any situation that interrupts the normal flow of business and requires a contingency plan. For example, inclement weather at one site may make it difficult for employees to report to work. E-help resources at other sites will have to be redirected to compensate for the unexpected event. Business continuance procedures primarily impact telephone calls. Take the following steps:

    1. Attempt to resolve the customer's issue.

    2. Open an Interaction and document the contact.

    3. If unable to resolve the issue, escalate the Interaction to the appropriate Provider Group (Assignment).

    4. Give the caller the Incident number.

  2. All leads and managers must continually monitor their worklists during business continuance.  (08-24-2012)
Contacting the Customer – Outgoing Calls

  1. Although the e-help Desk generally receives calls, at times outgoing calls must be made to resolve customer problems. Every effort should be made to contact the customer to successfully resolve the issue using the supplied telephone number. It is recommended that you use the following script when initiating or returning phone calls: "Hello, my name is Mr. Smith of the IRS e-help Desk. My ID number is 00-34567. May I speak with Mr. John Doe?" Verify that the person to whom you are speaking is the right customer, and determine that the person is authorized to receive the information using appropriate disclosure guidelines. See IRM, Authentication and Authorization Guidelines.


    IRM requires all contacts with customers to be documented in an Interaction. This includes outgoing calls.


    Outgoing calls cannot be transferred/routed to another application. If the caller needs further assistance you must create/transfer the Interaction/Incident per, Interaction/Incident Transfer Basics.

  2. Occasionally, assistors will not be able to reach the customer to obtain the required information.

  3. If no answer is received, take the following steps:

    1. Make two attempts per business day for two days.

    2. Document each attempt in the description field of the Interaction/Incident.

    3. Include the date and time the attempt was made.

    4. Include the disposition of that attempt (i.e., ring no answer, busy signal, unable to connect, etc.).

    5. Close the Interaction/Incident after the second unsuccessful attempt on the second business day.

  4. If an answering machine picks up, take the following steps:

    1. Leave the Interaction/Incident number, your name, and a telephone number so the customer can call us back.

    2. Make two attempts, one per business day leaving the same message.

    3. Document the Interaction/Incident with the date and time the message was left.

    4. Close the Interaction/Incident after the second business day.

    5. Refer to IRM, Office Of Disclosure answering machine and voice mail guidelines are discussed.

  5. If the caller responds after the Interaction/Incident is closed, update the Activities section of the case if available. If the case number is not available open a new Interaction.  (10-01-2009)
International Calls

  1. If you need to place an outgoing international call, contact your manager to schedule a time to make the call. The manager will open a ticket with Telecom to arrange for the call to go through during a certain time frame.  (01-30-2009)
Personal Safety and e-help Desk Calls

  1. Although most customers who call the e-help Desk are congenial, there is the possibility that calls of a threatening nature may be received. Note that if the caller is verbally abusive, whether a threat is made or not, the assistor is not required to remain on the phone. Tell the caller that you are terminating the call and then hang up. For additional information, see IRM, Accounts Management & Compliance Services Operations, Safety and Security Overview.

  2. If a customer makes a suicide threat over the telephone, follow the procedures in IRM, Suicide Threats.  (10-01-2014)
Contact Recording

  1. Contact Recording is a system that records incoming toll-free telephone contacts for the purpose of possible subsequent review. When a customer calls the e-help toll-free number, the customer is notified in both English and Spanish that their call may be monitored or recorded for quality purposes.

  2. Contact Recording is a tool that records incoming calls for required random review (performance and product). The system provides for screen-capture of 10% of all incoming calls. Screen-capture includes case work and any screens that appear on the assistor’s workstation during the completion of that call.

  3. Employees will be able to review the entire conversation and if screens are available, see their on-screen actions during the feedback sessions.

  4. If the caller indicates that they do not wish to be recorded, the assistor can disable the recording by using the "Stop on Demand" button on the computer desktop.


    If you must transfer the caller, advise the caller that he/she will need to restate the request not to be recorded when the transfer is complete.

  5. If the caller asks to record the call, advise the caller that he/she may not record the call. Advise the caller that he/she may request a copy of the call under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). All FOIA requests must be submitted in writing to:

    Mailing Address Private Delivery Service (POS) Mailing
    IRS Disclosure Scanning Operation
    Stop 93A
    P.O. Box 621506
    Atlanta, GA 30363-3006
    IRS Disclosure Scanning Operation
    4800 Buford Hwy, Stop 93A,
    Chamblee, GA 39901–0093

    All FOIA requests must include the date, name and identification number of the assistor, and the approximate time of the call. The requests are mailed to the scanning operation in Chamblee, Georgia, a list of the Disclosure Offices are available at http://www.irs.gov/uac/IRS-Disclosure-Offices.  (01-17-2012)
Customer Satisfaction Survey

  1. The IRS e-help Desk Customer Satisfaction Survey is conducted on the telephone through an external automated survey system administered by an outside vendor. A random sampling of customers calling the e-help Desk's toll-free number is used to assess their satisfaction with the services they received. See IRM e-help Phones Customer Satisfaction Survey, for detailed procedures.  (10-01-2005)
Miscellaneous e-help Procedures

  1. The e-help Desk has established a standardization of work processes in order to supply users of the Internal Revenue Service's electronic products superior customer service. Details of miscellaneous work processes follow.  (10-01-2015)
Change Request Procedures

  1. Change Request (CR) procedures have been established to define the process, roles, responsibilities and approval path required to make changes in EHSS. See IRM, EHSS Change Control Board, for more information.  (10-01-2013)
Reporting System Problems

  1. When EHSS, e-services, FIRE or one of the other systems used by the e-help Desk or TSO is experiencing a problem, users must inform the manager or lead of the problem. The manager/lead will issue an email to the appropriate system personnel. Refer to the Reporting System Issues Job Aid located on the EPSS SERP Portal for the required actions.  (03-05-2015)
System Downtime Procedures

  1. When EHSS is down an experienced assistor may be able to address the customer's issue without having access to solutions by researching IRMs and or Publications.


    During a period of EHSS downtime, you may transfer the call if it came in on the wrong application or if you know the solution requires the transfer (i.e., to e-services Level 2, IFS, FS, CSS, etc.) for resolution. Do not transfer the call because EHSS is down and you cannot assist the caller with their issue.

  2. Regardless of your experience level, in the event that EHSS is down and you cannot help the customer, log the information and advise the customer we will call them back when the systems are back up. Work Interactions/Incident in the following manner during EHSS Downtime:

    1. Manually record data about the call.

    2. EHSS down less than four (4) hours, enter the recorded data into EHSS once available. In the description, notate EHSS was down.

    3. EHSS down for four (4) hours or more do not enter the data into EHSS if the customer's issue has been resolved. If the issue wasn't resolved and needs to be referred to Level 2, escalate the Interaction and assign it to the appropriate provider group. In the description, notate EHSS was down.


    Most problems will not last more than four hours. Gaps in the customer history should not occur.

  3. In the event assistors cannot access customer information because a system other than EHSS is unavailable (e.g., EUP), do the following:

    1. Record pertinent customer information in an Interaction.

    2. Explain to the customer that you cannot access the requested data or perform the requested research because of a temporary system outage.

    3. Offer to respond to the customer by email when the system becomes available.


      Do not offer to email customer when eAuthentication system is unavailable.

      If ... Then ...
      The customer would like an email response
      • Verify you have the correct email address or if no email address is available, obtain and update the email address.

      • Select the "Notify on Close By" button.

      • Provide the Interaction number.

      • Inform customer they will receive an email once the Interaction closes. The receipt of the email indicates the problem is resolved and they will be able to access the system they were originally trying to use.

      • Assign Interaction to the site's Lead Provider Group.

      The customer does not want an email response
      • Ask the customer to call back

    4. Apologize for the inconvenience that the outage has caused.


      When the system becomes available, the manager or lead will close the Interaction and an email will automatically be sent to the customer letting them know their case has been closed. A response should be provided within two hours of system availability.  (10-01-2014)
Software Developers Contact Procedures

  1. Each e-help Desk site will assign assistors to contact the software developers on the previous year's Approved Software Developers List. Take the following actions during initial outgoing contact:

    1. Open an Incident.

    2. Inform the software developer that at least two assistors will be assigned to them for their testing process.

    3. Give the software developer the names, tours of duty and administrative extensions of the assistors assigned to them (if known).

    4. Explain the guidelines for using email to the software developer. See IRM,Email Function.


      All subsequent contacts (email or phone) will be updated in the Activities Section of the original Incident.


    Do not use or provide your personal IRS (Outlook) email addresses to external customers.

  2. Refer to Publication 4164, Modernized e-File Guide for Software Developers and Transmitters, and IRM, for MeF Assurance Testing System (ATS) process, for IMF procedures. Refer to Publication 5078, Modernized e-File (MeF) Test Package Business Submissions, IRM, Receiving and Controlling e-file and MeF Test Transmissions, and IRM, for BMF procedures.  (04-16-2015)

  1. The eAuthentication application is a shared service that validates the identity of individuals and allows them to register and create an account to access IRS Online Applications (e.g., Get Transcript, Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN), Online Payment Agreement (OPA)). Taxpayers will be required to provide five (5) pieces of information that will be validated against IRS records. They are:

    • Name

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

    • Date Of Birth (DOB)

    • Address

    • Filing Status (FS)

  2. Get Transcript and IP PIN users are asked a series of questions (pulled from their credit report and other data sources via a third party vendor) in order to further verify their identity.

  3. Users have the option of either registering for eAuthentication by creating an account or entering as a guest. By creating an account, the user establishes a User ID/password combination which expedites future access to IRS online applications as their authentication information is retained. Users that enter as a guest, have to repeat the authentication process each time they use the IRS online service application.

  4. The e-help Desk only provides support for eAuthentication for inquiries received after the initial registration. The following issues will be supported:

    • Login issues (password, User ID, locked out)

    • Customer believes they did not create account

    • Customer needs account disabled/enabled

    • Customer is experiencing problems with accessibility (508) software (Dragon, Zoomtext, etc.)

    • Technical difficulties

  5. Escalate Interaction to the e-services Technical Level 2 Provider Group for assistance when caller:

    • received login error message and you are unable to resolve issue after completing required research

    • indicates they did not create or update an online account

    • requests their account be enabled or disabled

    • experiences an issue with accessibility software

  6. Follow all e-help Desk procedures for Interaction/Incident creation, solutions and authentication found within IRM 3.42.7.  (10-01-2013)
EHSS Level 2

  1. Third party users of e-file, MeF, and e-services often require more support than can be provided by first level assistors. Various complex issues of external users are elevated to Level 2 assistors, analysts, managers and leads. Level 2 Provider Groups include but not limited to:

    • e-services Level 2

    • 1120 Waiver Level 2

    • 990 Waiver Level 2

    • MeF Form Type Analysts (e.g., Form 1040, Form 1120, Form 1065 and Form 990).

    • Form 990-N/e-Postcard

    • FATCA LB&I Analyst

    • Managers and Leads  (10-01-2010)
e-services Level 2

  1. E-services Level 2 specialists resolve complex e-services issues for external customers, works with programmers to fix problems, and conducts testing to ensure system stability. It is important that proper documentation is completed prior to elevating Interactions to Level 2. See IRM, Writing Descriptions for Level 2.  (08-24-2012)
Working Level 2 Incidents

  1. When analysts work Incidents that have been elevated to their Provider Group, the status will be Open linked.

  2. Level 2 Provider Groups will work the case and update the Activities section with appropriate documentation. A solution must be selected to close the Interaction.

Exhibit 3.42.7-1 
Organization, Function, and Program (OFP) Codes (Phones and email)

Function Program Title (AN, AT, AU, CIN, and OG Programs)
750 42720 1040 PATS /ATS
750 42730 e-help Desk all incoming Telephone calls
750 42731 e-help Desk all outgoing Telephone calls (associated with incoming calls)
750 12760 BMF email
750 42732 EHSS cases (EHSS down)
750 12761 990-N e-Postcard
750 42760 IMF email
750 42761 Free Fillable Forms email
750 33220 FATCA email
750 42770 Preventive Maintenance; reviewing IRMs, Publications
Function Program Title (TSO Programs)
750 12730 Telephone Calls (All telephone calls)
750 12760 email (FIRE@irs.gov or MCCIRP@irs.gov)
750 12800 Processing - (FIRE/AWAX)
750 12810 Processing - (Paper Waivers) Form 8508
750 12820 Processing - (Paper Extensions of Time) Form 8809
750 12830 Processing - (Form 6847)
750 12840 Processing - (Form 4804)
750 12850 Processing - (Form 4419)
750 12860 Administration (Fax Server)
750 12870 Research (Penalty Research Form, Underreporting, CP 2000, Form 13460, Form 8647, missing Form 4804, and misrouted mail
750 12880 Processing (Processing Information Returns Filed on Mag Media)
750 12890 Processing (FIRE/Daily Reports)
750 84381 Paper Form 4423

Exhibit 3.42.7-2 
e-help Organization, Function, and Program (OFP) Codes (Paper)

Function Program Title (AN, AT, AU, CIN, and OG Programs)
710 33100 e-help Desk Form 13551 - ITIN Acceptance Agent application processing
710 33101 e-help Desk Form 13551 - ITIN Acceptance Agent application review
720 33100 Batching form 13551 ITIN Acceptance Agent applications (clerical)
750 11521 Form 1120 MeF Waivers
750 12252 Form 1065 Waivers
750 12260 Form 1120/1065/1041/990/ETEC/BMF ATS
750 12720 94x Business Acceptance Testing (MEF and legacy)
750 12910 Form 8453-C/S/I Corporation
750 12920 Form 94x Binary Form 8453-EMP, Form 8879-EMP
750 12930 Form 8453-F US Estate or Trust Income
750 12931 Prior Year Form 8453-F
750 12932 Form 1041 Binary F8453-FE, Form 8879-FE, Undeliverable
750 12940 Form 8453-P/PE/PE-B Partnership
750 13311 990 MeF Waiver
750 13910 Form 8453 EO (990 Binary)
750 42710 Online e-File application EFIN & zip codes, undelivered passwords acceptance & clean up letters.
750 42715 CPA Credentials/Proofs/Fingerprint Cards
750 42717 Terms of Agreement/Application
750 42720 Form 1040 IMF ATS
750 42750 Daily Worklist/Appeals
750 42751 ASAPHIT Transcripts, Periodic Appeals; Recheck
750 42753 Second Line Review (Suitability letters)
750 42755 Compromised EFIN
750 42900 Individual Income Tax Transmittals/Declarations for Electronic Filing (Form 8453-OL)
760 42780 E-File Electronic Filing Waiver
760 11270 Form 94x LOA (Letter of Application)
760 42711 AEF / Fingerprint Cards

Exhibit 3.42.7-3 
Overhead Programs

990 59130 ANALYST
990 59221 Read Time
990 59222 Recurring Technical Training/Meeting
    -Employee Satisfaction Survey
990 59320 BREAK TIME
990 59330 Form 3081 PREPARING and INPUTTING
990 59501 ANNUAL LEAVE
990 59502 SICK LEAVE
990 59567 VOTING
990 59579 LEAVE SHARE
990 84381 Affordable Care Act (ACA)
990 85208 SKILLSOFT
990 85243 1203 TRAINING
990 85244 1204 TRAINING
990 85250 Self assessment preparation

Exhibit 3.42.7-4 

AC Area Code
ACKS Acknowledgement
ADD Address
ALT CONT Alternate Contact
AM Accounts Management
AP Automatic Pass
APPL Application
A2A Application to Application
BAL DUE Balance Due
BBS Bulletin Board System
BKPT Bankruptcy
CHNG Change
CIV PEN Civil Penalty
COMP Compare/Miscompare
CONT Contact
CR Credit
CYC Cycle
DB Debt
DD Direct Deposit
ERC Error Reject Code
ERO Electronic Return Originator
F# Form Number
FIRE Filing Information Returns Electronically
FPC Fingerprint Card
HQ Headquarters
IFA Internet Filing Application
ILO In Lieu Of
INFO Information
LMTCBW/ Left Message to Call Back With
LTR Letter
MGMT REV Management Review
MLT LTR Multiple Issue Letter
NEG PEN Negligence Penalty
NLW/CO No Longer with Company
OC Owner Control
OPR Office of Personal Responsibility
PC Phone Call
POPS Proof of Professional Status
PROB Problem
PUB Publication
PW Password
PYMT Payment
RECD Received
REF Refer
RFINQ Refund Inquiry
RO Responsible Official
S/B Should Be
SC Service Center
SD Software Developer
SDC Scheme Development Center
SIG Signature
SPK W/ERO Spoke to Electronic Return Originator
STRUC Structure
SUIT Suitability
SUSP Suspended
TCB Transmitter Control Base
TP Taxpayer
TRANS Transmitter
TST Testing
UPD Update/Updated
UTC Unable to Contact
UTL Unable to Locate File Folder
W/O Without
XFER Transfer
XMIT Transmit/Transmission

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