4.13.2  Contact Employees

4.13.2.1  (10-01-2006)
Research/Initial Case Screening

  1. This chapter discusses the role of contact employees. Contact employees (Customer Service Walk-In and Toll-Free call sites, Examination, Accounts Management, etc.) who receive inquiries from taxpayers regarding disagreement with additional tax assessments and/or reversal of tax credits such as EITC, will be responsible for responding to requests.

    Note:

    W&I Examination Telephone Assistors are not considered contact employees. See IRM 4.13.2.4, Reconsideration Calls Received in Exam Operation for procedures applicable to telephone assistors.


    Use the following criteria to screen requests:

    1. The Taxpayer has filed an individual income tax return, and the examination has been completed and assessed, and

    2. The taxpayer has a copy of the report or knows what issues he/she is contesting, and

    3. The taxpayer does not agree with the assessment and/or reversal of tax credits, such as EITC, and

    4. The taxpayer has additional information that was not previously considered, that would change the assessment/tax credit reversal, and

    5. The assessment remains unpaid or as a result of the examination the tax credit(s) are reversed.

4.13.2.1.1  (10-01-2006)
Criteria Met

  1. If all of the above apply, See IRM 4.13.2.2, Function Responsible and Routing Instructions to identify the function responsible for originating the assessment.

4.13.2.1.2  (12-31-2009)
Criteria Not Met

  1. Cases not meeting the above criteria should be processed as follows:

    1. If a return has not been filed by the taxpayer, advise taxpayer to send a complete, signed tax return. Inform taxpayer that the filing of a return is a requirement for reconsideration.

    2. If the taxpayer does not know what issues he/she are contesting and he/she states they do not have or did not receive copy of the examination report, print a copy from CEAS/RGS (including Forms 886) and mail to the taxpayer. Include Publication 3598. If the case was not archived on CEAS/RGS or access to CEAS is not available, request a copy of the Examination Report and Publication 3598 be sent to the taxpayer from the RAIVS unit via Form 4442/4442C, see IRM 21.5.10.4.4. Advise the taxpayer to follow procedures in Publication 3598 in requesting reconsideration. Inform the taxpayer to include a home, cell or work phone number and a convenient time to call with his/her correspondence for the most efficient customer service.

    3. If the taxpayer has paid the assessment, and there have not been any credits reversed the request is a claim for refund, inform the taxpayer that he/she must follow claim procedures. Letter 89C may be used for this purpose. Include Form 1040X and instructions as an enclosure.

    4. If the case is currently open in Exam, and there is no assessment posted to the taxpayer’s account, advise the taxpayer to correspond with the office that has the open Exam. If the taxpayer provides correspondence, date stamp and forward the correspondence to the open control/office.

    5. If the taxpayer does not have any additional information to support his/her position, which was not previously considered during the examination, then he/she cannot go through the Audit Reconsideration program.

    6. If the taxpayer states he/she does not know what information can be submitted, issue Letter 3338C . Select paragraph "s" for the disputed issues and input the return address of the appropriate Exam CRU determined by referring to Exhibits 4.13.7–2 , 4.13.7–3 , and 4.13.7–4 .

    7. If correspondence is received and the disputed issues cannot be identified, send Letter 3338C. Select paragraph "s" to include Form 12661, Disputed Issue Verification. Input return addresses code of CRU determined by referring to Exhibits 4.13.7-2 , 4.13.7-3 , and 4.13.7-4 .

    8. If a loose Form 8862 is received from an Accounts Management employee, return the correspondence to the originating stop number. Accounts Management is responsible for issuing the Letter 3338C to the taxpayer.

4.13.2.2  (12-31-2009)
Function Responsible & Routing Instructions

  1. AUTOMATED SUBSTITUTE FOR RETURN (ASFR)

    To determine if the return or correspondence received is an ASFR Reconsideration, research IDRS for the following transaction codes. All must be present if the response is an ASFR Reconsideration.

    • TC Dummy 150

    • TC 494

    • TC 495

    • TC 290

    • TC599 cc 88

    W & I ASFR reconsideration requests will be routed to the ASFR units at the Fresno Campus. SB/SE ASFR reconsideration requests will be routed to the ASFR units at the Brookhaven Campus. Route international reconsideration requests to the Brookhaven Campus. See IRM 4.13.7–1 for ASFR addresses.

    Note:

    If the tax module has a previously posted TC 29X and/or a TC 599 89, and the tax on the return does not match the tax posted to IDRS, then it is not an ASFR Reconsideration request. It is an amended return. Route the return to Accounts Management.

  2. UNDERREPORTER (AUR)

    The assessment will be a TC 290 preceded by a TC 922. The originating campus may be determined from the address in the upper left corner of the CP 2000 (if available) or from the 1st two digits of the TC 922 DLN. Correspondence requesting a reconsideration will be forwarded to the Campus where the assessment originated. Refer to IRM 4.13.7–6, Addresses for AUR Reconsideration Requests. Route phone calls to AUR toll free numbers. The W&I toll free number is 1-800-829-3009, and the SB/SE toll free number is 1-800-829-8310.

    APPEALS OFFICE

    1. The assessment will be a TC 300 preceded by another TC 300 for zero closing the case from Examination to Appeals. Next to the second TC 300 (Appeals assessment) will be a three digit Appeals Office code. (APPL-CD>1XX or 2XX identifying the office that closed the case.

    2. TXMOD will show a three-digit Office code, 1XX (non-docketed cases) or 2XX (docketed cases) when Appeals closes a case. The examiner in CRU must know the Appeals closing code to determine if the case will be forwarded to Appeals or worked in the CRU. The Appeals closing code can be determined by contacting the Appeals Account Resolution Specialist (AARS) in Fresno at (559) 456-5931.

    3. For AUR cases that went to Appeals, the TC 300 (Appeals assessment) with an Appeals office code will be preceded by a TC 922). Forward these cases to Appeals.

      Exception:

      Forward TC 300 (Appeals assessment) with a preceding TC 922 to AUR ONLY when there is an indication that the Appeals assessment was due to dismissal from Tax Court for Lack of Jurisdiction (LOJ).

    4. For ASFR cases that went to Appeals, there will be a TC 300 (Appeals assessment) with an Appeals Office code. Forward these cases to Appeals.

      Exception:

      Forward TC 300 (Appeals assessment) that originated in ASFR to ASFR ONLY when there is an indication that the Appeals assessment was due to dismissal from Tax Court for Lack of Jurisdiction (LOJ).

      If the taxpayer requests an Appeals hearing and...

      The Appeals Closing Code is Description Action
      03 Agreed Nondocketed (No Form 906 or From 870-AD) Send to Appeals
      04 Agreed Notice of Deficiency or Non-filer where Agreement Constitutes Original Return Send to Appeals
      05 Defaulted Notice of Deficiency Send to Appeals
      08 Agreed Appeals, Docketed or Dismissed from Tax Court with Appeals time Do not send to Appeals. If Dismissed for LOJ work as Audit Reconsideration. If Appeals Settled, issue 916C
      10 Counsel Settled with no Appeals time Do not send to Appeals, issue 916C
      11 Dismissed from Tax Court for Lack of Jurisdiction (LOJ), Appeals issued Notice Do not send to Appeals. If Dismissed for LOJ work as Audit Reconsideration.
      12 Dismissed from Tax Court for Lack of Prosecution (LOP), Appeals issued Notice Do not send to Appeals, issue 916C
      17 Tried Tax Court Case Do not send to Appeals, issue 916C
      18 TEFRA Key Case closed to DOJ/Claims Court Do not send to Appeals, issue 916C
      19 TEFRA Key Case closed to DOJ/District Court or Bankruptcy Do not send to Appeals, issue 916C
      21 Dismissed, Tried, or Counsel Settled with no Appeals time Do not send to Appeals. If Dismissed for LOJ work as Audit Reconsideration. If Tried or Counsel settled, issue 916C

    5. Ensure cases are routed to the correct Appeals office as identified by the three digit Appeals Office code. Consult Appeals web page at http://appeals.web.irs.gov/APS/caserouting.htm for case routing addresses. See IRM 4.13.7–5 . When routing cases be sure to follow the guidelines in IRM 4.13.7–13.

  3. CAMPUS & AREA OFFICE EXAMINATION

    1. To determine the Examination area responsible for the audit reconsideration, research is required to identify the area responsible for adjustment to the taxpayer’s account. In making this determination examiners must consider the type of adjustment – Is there a TC 300 on the account? If the only adjustment after the taxpayer’s original filing is a TC 290, this is not an audit reconsideration for Examination.

      TC 300 – In almost all cases a TC 300 indicates a previous audit was performed by Campus or Area Office (AO) Exam. However, a TC 300 adjustment could be reflected on a case that was worked in AUR. If the TC 300 is preceded by a TC 922 and TC 520, this indicates an AUR case where the taxpayer petitioned Tax Court. These cases should be routed to Appeals for reconsideration, unless there is an indication that the assessment was due to a dismissal from Tax Court for Lack of Jurisdiction (LOJ). An ASFR case assessed by a TC 300 with an appellate code of 2XX should be routed to Appeals, unless there is an indication that the assessment was due to a dismissal from Tax Court for Lack of Jurisdiction (LOJ).

    2. TC 290 – This adjustment could reflect a previous reconsideration made by Exam or an adjustment originated by another function such as AUR (usually preceded by TC 922) Collection or AM.

    3. If a Z freeze is present in the module and there was a prior TC 300 assessment, this may indicate the assessment was a prior questionable refund examination. The reconsideration request should be routed to Examination to be worked.

    4. Reconsideration requests where a Campus conducted the original examination – Campus exam reconsiderations can be identified as a TC 300 with an amount (or a TC 300 for zero with an adjustment to a refundable credit such as the earned income credit (TC 765) . In addition, the TC 420 will reflect an EGC of 5XXX. SBSE Campus exam reconsiderations should be addressed by the campus that performed the examination based on the DLN of TC 420 and EGC. W & I Campus exam reconsiderations should be worked in the receiving campus. If the receiving campus does not work the exam program, the reconsideration should be addressed by the campus that performed the examination based on the DLN of TC 420 and EGC.

    5. Area Office reconsiderations are similar to campus reconsiderations with the following exceptions. The TC 420 will reflect an EGC of 1XXX or 2XXX and the PBC will range from 201-215. The TC 420 and EGC will be used to determine the campus that services that AO. IRM 4.13.7–3, "Routing of Area Office Reconsideration Requests" , or the Campus Locator Guide (page 29) on SERP can be used to determine the servicing campus. Any SB/SE campus can route an AO reconsideration that is not conducive to correspondence exam to the responsible AO. The reconsideration does not have to be routed to the servicing campus just to be routed to the AO. W&I Campuses receiving AO reconsiderations will continue to send them to the SB/SE campus based on back-end mapping. The SB/SE campus will make the determination whether to work it in the campus or send it to the AO. Only issues that are conducive to correspondence exam and for which training has been provided should be worked in the campus. Some examples of issues conductive to correspondence are most Schedule A (itemized deductions) issues, Exemptions, filing status, Earned Income Credit, Child care credit, Child tax credit, Self-employment tax (if this is the only issue, Alternative minimum tax and certain Schedule C issues.

    6. Reconsideration requests where an Area Office PSP conducted the original examination are closed in one of two Centralized Case Processing sites, Memphis or Cincinnati. Memphis Campus (MSC) closes all SB/SE Exam cases from ALL areas EXCEPT the Central Area, Specialty, and International Cases, (prior SB/SE Areas 203, 206, and 215). Central Area, Specialty, and International closings are being done at Cincinnati Campus (CSC).

    7. If the audit reconsideration is not conducive to correspondence examination, the reconsideration should be established on AIMS and routed back to the Area Office PSP that conducted the original examination based on the PBC of the TC 420 (except if the TC 420 shows EGC of 1069 or 2069). The examiner will have to secure the administrative file to determine the responsible Area Office if the EGC reflected on the TC 420 is 1069 or 2069.

    8. Any audit reconsiderations received on NRP cases, Source Code 80 or 91, Project Code 0674 must be returned to the originating Examination office. If the case was worked in the Area Office, it will be returned to the Area Office regardless of the audit issue. If the case was worked by Cincinnati Campus Exam, it will be returned to Cincinnati Campus Exam. All NRP reconsiderations should be established on AIMS and routed back to the Area Office or Campus NRP Coordinator. See IRM 4.14.7.3 .

  4. SB/SE EXAM SUBSTITUTE FOR RETURN (SFR)

    1. All SB/SE Exam SFR and FRP SFR Reconsiderations are worked in the Automated Substitute for Return (ASFR) Operation at the Brookhaven Campus. To determine if the return or correspondence received is a SB/SE Exam SFR Reconsideration, research IDRS for the following Transaction and Business Codes. All must be present for the response to be considered a SFR Reconsideration.

    • TC 150 .00 (DUMMY SFR Return)

    • TC 300 with File Location Codes 17, 19, 28, 29, and 49

    • TC 421

    • Primary Business Codes (PBC) 295, 296, 297, 298, and 299. The PBC can be found directly above or to the right of TC 420.

      To determine if the return or correspondence is a FRP SFR Reconsideration, research IDRS for the following Transaction, Business, and Project Codes.

      • TC 150 .00 (DUMMY SFR Return)

      • TC 300 with File Location Codes 29

      • TC 421

      • Primary Business Codes (PBC) 298.

      • Project Codes 0310, 0311, 0312, and 0313. The Project Code can be found directly above or to the right of TC 420.

      Route SB/SE SFR and FRP SFR Reconsiderations to:
      Internal Revenue Service
      ASFR Operation Stop 654
      1040 Waverly Avenue
      Holtsville, NY 11742

  5. SB/SE EXAM Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Reconsiderations

    1. EITC reconsideration requests where the Ogden Campus, PBC 298, conducted the original examination will be worked in the Brookhaven Campus and should be routed to the address shown below.

      Mailing Address

      Exam Recon

      Stop 656

      1040 Waverly Ave

      Holtsville, NY 11742

    2. EITC reconsideration requests received on original examinations conducted in Brookhaven, Memphis, Cincinnati, and Philadelphia will be worked in the originating site.

    3. EITC examinations can be identified by Project Code, refer to LEM 4.19.1 section 4.19.14.2 for a current list of Project Codes.

4.13.2.2.1  (12-31-2009)
Routing Instructions for Multiple Year Reconsideration Requests

  1. When a reconsideration request is received that contains more than one tax year, it is in the best interest of the taxpayer if we work the case in the same campus. Multiple year requests should not be separated. If a request is received and a prior or subsequent year reconsideration is being worked in your campus, do not route the case. Assign the year(s) received to the examiner who is already working the case. If the audit reconsideration is generated from a program that was centralized (i.e.: POC), send the request(s) to the campus where the program was worked.

  2. If there is an open IDRS control, and phone contact has determined that a reconsideration request is being worked in the campus, contact the campus working the reconsideration to inform them that you will be sending a prior or subsequent year request to be consolidated.

  3. If there is no open IDRS control, multiple year reconsideration requests will be routed to the campus/area office that conducted the earliest audit. (the campus with the earliest dated TC 300).

  4. If there are multiple assessments for the same tax year, route to the campus that input the last adjustment. The exception to this will be if there are multiple assessments in one year(s) and multiple year reconsideration requests send all years to the campus with the earliest TC 300.

  5. If there is one TC 300 for 0, and one TC 300 with a money amount, route to the campus that input the TC 300 with the money amount. The exception to this will be if there are multiple assessments in one year(s) and multiple year reconsideration requests send all years to the campus with the earliest TC 300.

  6. If both TC 300’s contain a money amount, route to the campus that input the last adjustment.

    TAS cases are an exception. If there is an open TAS control on IDRS, and a subsequent or prior year reconsideration request has been received do not route the reconsideration request(s) to TAS or elsewhere.

    Note:

    If one year is an NRP case with a TC 300 amount, the NRP cases must be referred to the Area Office or Cincinnati Campus regardless of audit issues.

4.13.2.3  (12-31-2009)
Role of Contact Employees when a Reconsideration Request is Received and the Examination was Performed in the Area Office or Campus Examination Function

  1. If a reconsideration request is generated from a phone call, or walk in and the taxpayer knows what issue is being contested and has not previously received Letter 3338C :

    1. Briefly discuss the issues with the taxpayer. Use any available tools to research information pertaining to the taxpayer’s case. Contact Employees should complete and send Letter 3338C selecting the appropriate paragraphs that correspond with the disputed issues identified by the taxpayer. See Exhibits 4.13.7-14 through 4.13.7-26 for paragraphs.

    2. Advise the taxpayer that you will be sending a letter outlining the specific documentation they will need to include in their response. Advise them to return the information to the Campus Exam Operation address contained in the letter and include his/her home, cell and work phone number, along with the best time to call. To determine the correct campus address see Exhibits 4.13.7-2 , 4.13.7-3 , and 4.13.7-4 .

    3. Do not input a collection hold at this time. Advise the taxpayer that collection activity will continue until we receive the requested documentation. If the taxpayer has a hardship situation, follow existing TAS procedures.

  2. If a call is received by a CSR concerning an audit reconsideration request, and the taxpayer states they previously received a Letter 3338C and it has been 3 weeks or more since they sent in the requested documents, check for an open TXMOD control in the appropriate Campus Exam Operation. If there is not an open TXMOD control, input a STAUP for 3 weeks or a TC 470 (no CC) with a TC 472 (no CC) delayed 3 cycles on the account. Advise the taxpayer that there has not been enough time elapsed for the correspondence they sent in to have been put on our system, and you will be delaying any collection action. They should check back in 2-3 weeks. If 5-6 weeks have passed and there is no open TXMOD control in Exam indicating they have the correspondence, have the taxpayer fax the documents to you. Once the documents are received, complete Form 4442 and fax the Form 4442 and documents to the appropriate Campus Exam Operation. If Form 4442 and documents cannot be faxed, route or mail to the appropriate Campus Exam Operation using the routing Form 1725 or Form 3210 . If the taxpayer states they do not have access to a fax machine to fax in documents, they can mail copies of the documents previously sent directly to the appropriate Campus Exam Operation. See Exhibit 4.13.7-4, Central Reconsideration Unit (CRU) Addresses.

  3. If correspondence is received without supporting documentation:

    1. Contact Employees should complete and send Letter 3338C selecting the appropriate paragraphs that correspond with the disputed issues identified by the taxpayer. See Exhibits 4.13.7–14 through 4.13.7-26 for paragraphs. If it cannot be determined what issues are being contested, send Letter 3338C, selecting enclosure "s" to include Form 12661 "Disputed Issue Verification." Put in the return address code of the CRU to whom the response should be directed.

  4. If correspondence is received with supporting documentation or the walk-in taxpayer has documentation, check TXMOD/IMFOL for the collection statute (CSED);

    1. If there is less than one year remaining, do not input a collection hold (i.e., STAUP or TC 470).

    2. If the account is in collection status below 22, input a STAUP for 15 cycles.

    3. If the account is in status 22 or 24, input TC 470.

    4. If the collection status is 26, coordinate with the Area Office Collection Revenue Officer.

    5. If the account is in status 60 (Installment Agreement) instruct the taxpayer to continue payments as outlined in the agreement, do not input a collection hold (i.e. STAUP or TC 470).

    6. If the taxpayer has a hardship situation, and you have received an OAR, input the appropriate collection hold. If resolution of this case does not involve a full abatement, the collection hold must be reversed when the case is closed.

    7. Complete Form 4442 and fax along with documentation to the appropriate Campus Exam Operation. If Form 4442 and documents cannot be faxed, route or mail to the appropriate Campus Exam Operation using routing Form 1725 or Form 3210 .

  5. Advise the taxpayer that they can get Publication 3598, What You Should Know About the Audit Reconsideration Process, by accessing the website at http://irs.gov or by calling 1-800-Tax-Form (1-800-829-3676).

4.13.2.4  (12-31-2009)
Reconsideration Calls Received in Exam Operation

  1. If a call is received from the taxpayer requesting an audit reconsideration, research account to verify taxpayer meets reconsideration criteria. See IRM 4.13.2.1 , Research/Initial Case Screening.

  2. If taxpayer meets audit reconsideration criteria and CEAS does not show the receipt of new documentation, or the case is not on CEAS, advise the taxpayer to send in a request for reconsideration in writing, including the documentation not previously received and include a copy of their examination report if available. Inform the taxpayer to include his/her home, cell and work phone number, and send the response to the address on the letter/audit report received. Send Publication 3598 to the taxpayer and advise them to follow procedures in the publication on how to file an audit reconsideration request.

  3. The CEAS Status Codes have been expanded to four digits and identify the actions taken on the audit reconsideration case. Refer to IRM 4.13.3.1.8, Controlling the Case for Status Code Table and explanations.

  4. If the taxpayer does not know what information is specifically needed; review the CEAS/RGS workpapers, and advise the taxpayer what documentation is needed. If the case is not on CEAS review the request for documentation (Form 886-H or previously issued Letter 3338C and Letter 3339C with the taxpayer and identify the items the taxpayer has not submitted.

  5. The taxpayer states that they have already sent in everything requested in the Form 886-H or previously issued Letter 3338C, the assistor will review the CEAS Audit Reconsideration workpapers to ascertain if the information previously sent was determined by the examiner, to be complete and correct. If CEAS indicates that more information is needed, advise the taxpayer as to what additional information is needed. If the information previously sent was not sufficient to allow the deduction, advise the taxpayer why the reconsideration request was denied.

  6. If the case is open on CEAS as Recon and the taxpayer insists on talking to the assigned examiner after a full explanation was provided follow existing phone procedures in IRM 4.19.19 to send CEAS Action Note.

  7. If the taxpayer is under a 2 or 10 Year Ban (PC 0697 & 0698), and requesting a reconsideration of EITC, inform the taxpayer they are under the 2 or 10 Year Ban and cannot claim EITC until the Ban expires. A recertification indicator of 2 for the "2" Year Ban or " 4" for the 10 Year Ban will show on ENMOD, along with the year on which the Ban originated.

  8. If the taxpayer is contesting the 2 or 10 year ban, advise them to request an audit reconsideration for the year the ban originated, and submit documentation showing their EITC entitlement. Advise W & I taxpayers to forward their reconsideration request and documentation to Austin, and SB/SE taxpayers to forward their reconsideration request and documentation to Brookhaven.


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