4.4.7  Correspondence  (02-01-2006)

  1. This chapter provides general instructions and guidelines for:

    1. mailing and handling letters (including form, pattern and special letters), forms, reports, and other correspondence and materials;

  2. The information in this section of IRM 4.4.7 is provided to supplement, not duplicate, the instructions in IRM 1.10.1, Correspondence Handbook.  (02-08-1999)
Preparing and Handling Correspondence

  1. The procedures and responsibilities for preparing correspondence are outlined below.  (02-01-2006)
Initiator’s Responsibilities

  1. The initiator of the request must:

    1. Identify on Form 3198 the required letter, form, report or other material to be typed, photocopied, and enclosed in correspondence to the taxpayer.

    2. Ensure that RGS-generated letters are prepared by the examiner whenever RGS is available.

    3. Ensure that the contact information on the letter contains the name, identification number, address, contact telephone number and contact hours of the examiner of the case. The examiner's name will also appear in the signature block at the bottom of the letter. (EXCEPTIONS: Estate Tax closing letters will contain the name of the Chief, Estate & Gift Tax Program, in the signature block at the bottom of the letter. Excise Tax closing letters will contain the name of the Chief, Excise Tax Program, in the signature block at the bottom of the letter.)

    4. Provide any special instructions for the typing, handling, or disposition of the correspondence. If there is a box on the letter that must be checked, the initiator will clearly identify the appropriate box to check.

    5. Provide material for typing that is written with correct grammatical structure, punctuation, and capitalization.  (02-01-2006)
Centralized Case Processing (CCP) Responsibilities

  1. A thorough review is needed before mailing letters, forms, reports, or other correspondence.  (02-01-2006)
Case File Review

  1. Review the Form 3198 and/or the case file for special mailing and handling instructions such as:

    1. name changes

    2. address changes

    3. identification of a valid power of attorney (POA)

  2. Review for other special requirements such as extra copies of the examination report and workpapers.

  3. Requests that do not provide sufficient instructions to mail/prepare the letter will be referred to the unit manager for additional instructions under CCP established procedures.  (02-01-2006)
Review of Correspondence

  1. All correspondence and other materials must be complete, accurate, neat, and free of typographical errors. The CCP tax examiner will review, proofread and correct:

    1. misspelled words

    2. capitalization consistency

    3. proper word division

    4. other fill-in errors

  2. You may use AIMS address labels (if the name and address are correct), in the preparation of various letters and forms if there is no RGS-generated letter in the file.

  3. The taxpayer’s name, address, SSN, return form number, and tax period information should be reviewed for accuracy and can usually be picked-up from the tax return inside the case file or from information contained on Form 3198.

  4. Other information to be included/verified on the letter may come from forms and documents inside the case file, such as the Form 4549 or Form 4549–A, Income Tax Examination Changes, and Form 5344, Examination Closing Record.  (02-08-1999)
Number of Copies

  1. Unless stated otherwise,

    If: then prepare:
    no POA original and one copy
    POA original and two copies  (02-01-2006)
Power of Attorney

  1. Form letters, notices, correspondence, and other materials will only be sent to the taxpayer and/or an individual authorized by the taxpayer through a properly executed power of attorney (POA). Form 3198 should identify if there is a valid POA on file. If applicable, a valid Power of Attorney form or a CAF printout, should be included in the case file authorizing the taxpayer’s representative to receive letters, notices, and other written communications.

  2. Letter 937 will be used to transmit copies of correspondence addressed to the taxpayer to the POA.

    1. Always prepare an original and one copy of Letter 937.

    2. Pick-up the name and address of the POA from the POA form or the CAF printout.

    3. The same Person to Contact and Contact Telephone Number that appears on the correspondence being transmitted to the taxpayer will be included on the letter to the POA.

    4. Be sure Letter 937 includes the taxpayer’s name in the upper right corner.  (02-01-2006)

  1. Prepare an envelope to the taxpayer and to the POA if applicable. The social security number, employer identification number, document locator number, and the like should not be visible when mailing correspondence to taxpayers. Although this is not regarded as violating the Privacy Act or disclosure statutes, every effort should be made to protect the privacy of taxpayer information.  (02-01-2006)

  1. Most case files will contain an examination report to be sent as an enclosure. If the initiator did not provide the necessary number of copies of the examination report, the tax examiner will need to make the additional photocopies. The basic examination report forms are as follows:

    1. Form 886-A, Explanation of Items;

    2. Form 1273, Report of Estate Tax Examination Changes;

    3. Form 2504, Agreement to Assessment and Collection of Additional Tax and Acceptance of Overassessment.

    4. Form 4549, Income Tax Examination Changes—for agreed cases for individuals and corporations;

    5. Form 4549–A, Income Tax Examination Changes—for unagreed and accepted agreed cases for individuals, corporations, taxable fiduciaries, and taxable small business corporations;

    6. Form 4605, Examination Changes—Partnerships, Fiduciaries, Small Business Corporations, and Domestic International Sales Corporations—used to report audit changes made to partnership, fiduciary, and small business corporation returns;

    7. Form 4605–A, Examination Changes—Partnerships, Fiduciaries, Small Business Corporations, and Domestic International Sales Corporations—for unagreed and excepted agreed cases for partnerships, fiduciaries, and small business corporations;

    8. Form 4665, Report Transmittal—never send the taxpayer or power of attorney copies of Form 4665;

    9. Form 4666, Summary of Employment Tax Examination.

    10. Form 4667, Examination Changes—Federal Unemployment Tax

    11. Form 4668, Employment Tax Examination changes Report and,

    12. Form 5385, Excise Tax Examination Changes.

  2. When the letter is ready to be mailed, the tax examiner will annotate on Form 9984 (which should be in the case file) the number of the letter issued, any enclosures sent with the letter, the date the letter was issued and the initials of the tax examiner who mailed the letter, e.g. "Letter 987 w/copy of RAR mailed 7/1/05 by a.c." Make the same annotation on Form 9984 for letters mailed to the POA. If Form 9984 is not in the case file, the form can be located at http://publish.no.irs.gov/FORMS/INTERNAL/PDF/92068H05.PDF. The tax examiner can download the form and complete the required information. Form 9984 remains in the case file.  (02-08-1999)
Types of Letters

  1. Various types of letters can be required, below is a breakdown of the type of letters to be sent by category.  (02-01-2006)
No Change or No Liability Notification Letters

  1. For examined no change cases in which the taxpayer or taxpayer’s representative was contacted, the taxpayer will be notified by letter that the reported tax liability or income is accepted without change. Copies of Notification Letters 590, 627, 628, 891, 920, 922, 942, 987, 992, 1156, 1386, 1456, 1864, 2062, and 2064, are not necessary for administrative files. Rather the report (return or claim, if no report) can be stamped to show the letter used and the date mailed; e.g., "Letter 627 mailed –––– " . The date of mailing will be entered. The same information may be included on Form 9984 instead of annotating on the report, return or claim.  (02-01-2006)
No Change Letters for TEFRA Partnership or S Corporations

  1. These cases will now be forwarded to Technical Services and updated to status 21. The TEFRA Coordinator in Technical Services will issue the no-change letter, place a copy of the letter in the file, and if applicable, send the case to CCP for final closure. Centralized Case Processing is not to issue the no-change letter.  (02-08-1999)
No Change Letter for Nonfiler Cases

  1. The following pattern letters are issued when a nonfiler case is closed without an examination report:

    1. Letter 2769, No Change, is to be issued when the examination results in a delinquent return being accepted as filed and the nonfiler did not have reasonable cause for his/her failure to file.

    2. Letter 2778, No Change Delinquency Penalty Not Charged, is to be issued when the examination results in a delinquent return being accepted as filed and no penalty is being asserted.

  2. When instructed, a special notification letter will be used instead of a form letter and will be worded "Upon further consideration, your return(s) for the year(s) –––– has (have) been accepted as filed." The notification will specify all years investigated even though some years may be beyond the statutory period of limitations.  (02-01-2006)
Agreed Cases

  1. In agreed cases, the taxpayer will be furnished a copy of the examination report either at the conclusion of the examination, by mail after the case has cleared Technical Services, or by mail after closing by Centralized Case Processing. Letters must be prepared to transmit a copy of the examination report to the taxpayer or to notify taxpayers who have already received a copy of the report from the examiner that the report has cleared Technical Services (if necessary). The copy of the examination report furnished to the taxpayer must not include Form 4665, Report Transmittal, or material of a confidential nature. Form 3198 should identify the letter to be sent to the taxpayer and/or POA.  (02-01-2006)
Estate Tax Closing Letters

  1. In all no change and agreed estate tax cases (including those accepted as filed on classification and those closed by survey procedures), a Letter 627 will be issued. The estate tax group/classification will check the box on Form 3198 in the "Letter Instructions" section to indicate they would like Letter 627 mailed to a specified individual.

  2. The examiner must clearly indicate any necessary fill-in information to be included on the letter by either including the information on Form 3198 or a completed pencil copy of Letter 627.  (02-08-1999)
Claim Disallowance Letters

  1. In all cases involving the disallowance of a claim for refund in whole or in part, a notification letter will be issued to the taxpayer. Certified notices of disallowance are issued by Technical Services when required under the Code.

  2. If a certified notice of disallowance is to be issued, this will be indicated on Form 3198 in the "Forward to Technical Services " section. The case will then be updated to status code 21. The following form letters are generally used as certified notices of disallowance:

    1. Letter 905 for claims partially disallowed

    2. Letter 906 for claims disallowed in full  (02-01-2006)
Undeliverable Mail

  1. When mail is returned from the Post Office as undeliverable, the following steps should be taken:

    1. If a new address is indicated on the returned letter, remail the letter to the new address.

    2. If no new address is indicated on the returned letter, attach a completed form 9856, Attachment Alert, and forward the letter to be associated with the closed case. Form 9856 can be located at http://publish.no.irs.gov/FORMS/INTERNAL/PDF/70303H99.PDF. Every effort must be made to correctly complete Form 9856. Complete the form as follows:

    Controlling DLN: Enter the DLN to which the documents should be associated. The controlling DLN can be found using CFOL Command Codes.

    Employee IDRS Number: Enter the Employee IDRS number. If not an IDRS user, enter the full name. Include a telephone number in this box until the form is revised to include a separate box for the number.

    Date Prepared: Enter the date the form is prepared.

    Stop Number and Alpha: Enter the complete address with Stop Number and Alpha. This will ensure timely routing back to the originating office, if needed.

  2. Documents to be associated with an electronically filed (ELF) return cannot be associated under an ELF DLN because there is no paper document to attach anything to. A list of ELF DLNs can be found at http://sbse.web.irs.gov/AIMS in the Documents section under ELF-DLN's. If you are trying to associate a document with an electronically filed return because no new address has been found, follow the procedures below:

    1. If no new address is indicated on the returned letter and the case was on AIMS, request the document be filed under the TC 421 DLN. Send the document via Form 9856 completed as outlined above See IRM section

    2. If no new address is indicated on the returned letter and the case was NOT on AIMS, input an ADJ 54, TC 290 for $0 to obtain a non-ELF DLN that the document can be filed under. Send the document via Form 9856 completed as outlined above See IRM Section .

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