4.7.4  Planning and Special Programs (PSP)  (10-01-2003)

  1. This section contains information and procedures for the PSP Support Manager, section chiefs, project/program coordinators (revenue agents and tax compliance officers without an inventory), and clerical staff. PSP users can also be individuals designated as actors — such as revenue agents and tax compliance officers.

  2. The actual instructions for PSP users for ERCS can be found in the ERCS PSP Handbook. The purpose of this section is to provide policy and procedure for the use of ERCS in PSP or similar operations.

  3. In an effort to simplify matters, the use of the word "area" in this section can be assumed to also mean "industry" .  (10-01-2003)
PSP User Capabilities

  1. PSP users can:

    1. Generate reports for the entire area, a specific territory, or for a specific AAC,

    2. Research/display records,

    3. Update records for the AAC(s) which they have permission,

    4. Print forms 895,

    5. Close records for the AAC(s) which they have permission,

    6. Update employee information for employees in their authorized AAC(s),

    7. Input SETTS time for PSP employees in their authorized AAC, and

    8. Generate a document transmittal.  (10-01-2003)
PSP User Position Codes

  1. PSP users generally utilize position codes 110, 122, 125, 131, 210, 222, 225, 231, 301, 327, and 400.  (10-01-2003)

  1. ERCS users in PSP may retrieve information and create reports for any territory or specific AAC in the area. Reports of statistical data for projects, impending statutes, and other priorities can be generated.

  2. PSP clerical staff generally has READ and WRITE permissions on ERCS. They also have permission to access the time reporting section of ERCS to enable them to input time.

  3. ERCS operates on the principle that PSP users should only change data on returns that are assigned to PSP. Consequently, a PSP user may change information only on returns in groups and statuses for which the user has permission. Throughout ERCS, error messages appear when a user attempts to update returns for AAC's for which the user does not have permission.

  4. Because of the potential for 1204 violations, reports generated in PSP that contain any Record of Tax Enforcement Results (ROTER) information are to be shared only at the territory level or higher. In PSP, only the PSP Support Manager and/or project/program coordinator may have access to reports with ROTER information.


    IRM 1.5, Managing Statistics in a Balanced Measurement System Handbook, provides further guidelines for the appropriate use of statistics by managers and employees.

  5. Users in PSP must be aware of the potential for UNAX violations from the use of ERCS. As with IDRS and AIMS, data from ERCS should be accessed only for IRS business purposes. No attempt should be made to access the user's SSN or the SSN of their spouse. If the user's or spouse's SSN is entered, the security officer is notified of a possible breach of security. The security officer is also notified if a user attempts to update an employee audit return that the user does not have permission to update.

  6. As employee audits generally originate in PSP, PSP users should be aware of the potential for notification as stated above. READ and WRITE permission should be granted only to those project/program coordinators in PSP with a need to update employee audits.  (10-01-2003)
Approval Authority

  1. The purpose for requiring approval authority is to provide an internal control to prevent examiners and managers from ordering tax returns or updating inventory outside their authority. Actions that require approval are:

    • Updating of the statute of limitations

    • Closing cases

    • Requisitioning returns

  2. Project/program coordinators have authority to transfer cases to another AAC and status code without approval. This is because of the project/program coordinators' responsibilities and because they do not have inventories. This is different than group users.

  3. Requests, statute updates, etc., made by clerical personnel in PSP are the same as those for group secretaries, as outlined in Section 5, Group.

  4. The next level of management in PSP approves updates on ERCS made by PSP personnel. Approval authority is delegated to section chiefs in PSP. Second-level approval is delegated to PSP Support Manager.

  5. PSP managers must log onto ERCS frequently to approve/disapprove changes. The updates do not rollup to AIMS until they are approved.

  6. Disapproval of updates causes the items to revert to their prior value(s). Returns with pending approval cannot be transferred or closed. ERCS does not create a "reject" list or otherwise mark disapproved updates. ERCS only lists those transactions that are pending approval and what the updated value will be when approved.  (10-01-2003)
Role and Responsibilities

  1. PSP is the central point for shipping returns from campuses. Prior to shipping returns to the area, the campus will update the AAC on the return. When the AIMS download tape is processed against ERCS, these returns are then established on ERCS for the area.

  2. Upon receipt of the return, the area is responsible for controlling the return on ERCS.

  3. PSP is, generally, the central receiving point for returns which are transferred from another area. The AIMS database is transferred from the transferring area to the receiving area. When the AIMS download is processed against ERCS, the returns are established on ERCS for the receiving area.

  4. The PSP Support Manager and/or ERCS Functional Coordinator has the option to inform his/her campus of what AAC's are area AAC's and what AAC's are campus AAC's. This should be coordinated between the area and campus.

  5. There are AAC's in each area that are specifically designated for PSP operations. These AAC's are standard so that returns sent by campuses, or other areas, to the area are sent in the same AAC.

  6. Area employee group codes (EGC) universal to all PSP operations are:

    • EGC 1998 — Incoming Field Audit Cases

    • EGC 2998 — Incoming Tax Compliance Office Cases

  7. Campus EGC's universal to all PSP operations are:

    • EGC 1000 — Field Audit Cases Awaiting Classification

    • EGC 2000 — Tax Compliance Office Cases Awaiting Classification

    • EGC 1066 — Field Audit Cases in Centralized Files

    • EGC 2050 — Tax Compliance Office Cases in Centralized Files and Scheduling

  8. The PSP Support Manager and/or ERCS Functional Coordinators in the area can set up additional AAC's for incoming cases. This is at the discretion of the area.  (10-01-2003)
Role and Responsibilities of Support Manager, Planning and Special Programs Section

  1. Responsibilities of the PSP Support Manager, Planning and Special Programs Section include, but are not limited to:

    1. Promptly assigning incoming cases,

    2. Monitoring status and statutes of all PSP cases, and

    3. Promptly closing all outgoing cases for final processing.  (10-01-2003)
Role and Responsibilities of the Project/Program Manager

  1. Responsibilities of the project/program coordinator include, but are not limited to:

    1. Monitoring the status and statutes of all assigned cases,

    2. Providing statute updates and forms 895 to the secretary for managerial approval and input to ERCS, and

    3. Promptly closing completed cases.  (10-01-2003)
Role and Responsibilities of Secretary/Clerk

  1. Responsibilities of the secretary/clerk include, but are not limited to:

    1. Promptly assigning incoming cases, including "claimed returns" ,

    2. Generating any required monitoring reports,

    3. Entering time reports (form 4502/4605) on a regular basis following local procedures and assuring that all case time has been properly posted prior to closing cases,

    4. Promptly processing all necessary ERCS changes, and

    5. Promptly processing completed closed cases after managerial approval.  (10-01-2003)
Inventory and Time Management

  1. Personnel in PSP are responsible for ensuring that the data for the return has been properly entered on ERCS. When cases are closed or forwarded to a group or other function, PSP is responsible for updating the ERCS data for the particular return.

  2. Project/program coordinators in the area will generally have their own AAC. The number and type of AAC's in PSP and the use of the codes is at the discretion of the PSP Support Manager and the area.

  3. Updates to returns made by project/program coordinators will be made and approved as necessary. These updates will be made as soon as possible after determination of the changes required.

  4. Mass updates can be made by project/program coordinators on ERCS when working with large groups of cases. Instructions for mass updates are contained in the ERCS PSP Handbook.
    Examples are:

    1. Surveying excess inventory in the area,

    2. Assigning a large number of cases to a group, or

    3. Ordering a volume of cases.

  5. Project/program coordinators should run ERCS reports on shared AAC's to ensure the returns charged to the area have been received from the campus or other areas. This is particularly true for the AAC's mentioned in section (6 and 7) above. A validation should be done on these AAC's codes on a monthly basis.

  6. PSP is generally responsible for the time reporting for the area. Group/function users are responsible for inputting technical time via Form 4502, Examination Technical Time Report, and/or Form 4606, Daily Activity Record, into ERCS on a regular basis for their particular group/function. The data is rolled up via SETTS to the Detroit Computing Center (DCC) and is the source of information for Tables 36 and 37. The current Headquarters deadline is that SETTS time must be input by the close of business of the last workday of the cycle. Transmission of SETTS to DCC is required by the close of business the first workday after the end of the cycle.

  7. The ERCS program systemically generates a unique number to all technicians required to report time on forms 4502 or 4606.

  8. PSP is generally responsible for ensuring that all groups have reported all time on ERCS. ERCS independently ensures that all employees in the area have been accounted for via unique numbers and position codes. Generally, the ERCS Functional Coordinator either corrects any input errors or requests the appropriate group/function to correct input errors prior to SETTS transmission.  (10-01-2003)

  1. The Territory Reports Menu on ERCS provides PSP users access to various reports providing summary information for all groups. Reports include campus totals; however, these totals are not included in industry or area totals.

  2. Many of the reports can be generated in real time. Some reports are created overnight. It is up to the individual operating division, ERCS Functional Coordinator and MITS to determine when these reports will be generated. More information regarding how to prepare the reports is contained in the ERCS PSP Handbook referred to in the introduction to this section.

  3. PSP is responsible for determining ERCS tracking codes. These four-digit codes are used to track particular cases through the examination process. These are used for items such as Compliance Initiative Projects, Program Actions, National Projects, MACS generated returns, etc. (Series 9500-9999 are reserved for Headquarters' use and 9000–9499 are reserved for area offices' use.) These tracking codes are in addition to Project Codes that are established on AIMS. Due to the limited number of project codes that are available, tracking codes can be used to further define subgroups within a group project code.

  4. While most ERCS reports are generated for use by group managers, the areawide reports contain general information about all groups and functions. Because of the potential for 1204 violations and UNAX violations, these reports, or reports from the closed case database, should be used only by those project/program coordinators or PSP Support Manager with a business need. These could include reports by the area Compliance Initiative Project Coordinator, the Preparer/Program Action Coordinator, MACS Coordinator, Area Classifier, or others.

  5. Section 6, Reports, contains detailed descriptions as well as recommended uses and frequency of generating reports available through ERCS.

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