4.62.1  International Visitors Program

Manual Transmittal

March 11, 2014

Purpose

(1) This transmits a major revision to IRM 4.62.1, Tax Administration Advisory Services Procedural Manual, General Information

Material Changes

(1) This IRM section is renamed "International Visitors Program." This issuance removes all material pertaining to the defunct Tax Administration Advisory Services Division (TAAS) and retains material relative to the International Visitors Program and Gifts from Foreign Governments. Specific changes are listed in the table below:

IRM subsection Nature of Change
IRM 4.62.1.1 Replaced "TAAS Mission" with "International Visitors Program Overview" that contains information previously in IRM 4.62.1.6. Content updated and reworded.
IRM 4.62.1.1.1 Replaced "TAAS Program Objectives" with "Program Guidelines" that contains information previously in IRM's 4.62.1.6.1 and 4.62.1.6.3. Content updated and reworded.
IRM 4.62.1.1.2 Added subsection "Language Skills" that contains information previously in IRM 4.62.1.6.2.
IRM 4.62.1.1.3 Added new subsection "IVP Presenter Guidelines."
IRM 4.62.1.1.4 Added subsection "IVP Program Evaluation" that contains information previously in IRM 4.62.1.6.8.
IRM 4.62.1.1.5 Added new subsection "Other Technical Assistance for Foreign Tax Administrations."
IRM 4.62.1.2 Replaced "Introduction to the TAAS Needs Assessment Process" with "Gifts From Foreign Governments" that contains information previously in IRM 4.62.1.4.13.4. Content updated and reworded.
IRM 4.62.1.3 Removed entire subsection.
IRM 4.62.1.4 Removed entire subsection.
IRM 4.62.1.5 Removed entire subsection.
IRM 4.62.1.6 Removed entire subsection.
IRM 4.62.1.7 Removed entire subsection.
IRM 4.62.1.8 Removed entire subsection.
IRM 4.62.1.9 Removed entire subsection.
IRM 4.62.1.10 Removed entire subsection.
IRM 4.62.1–1 Added Exhibit "International Visitors Program Application." The application was previously contained in IRM 4.62.1.6.1. Content updated and reworded.

Effect on Other Documents

None

Audience

All Operating Divisions and Functions

Effective Date

(03-11-2014)

Douglas O'Donnell
Assistant Deputy Commissioner, International
Large Business & International Division (LB&I)

4.62.1.1  (03-11-2014)
International Visitors Program (IVP) Overview

  1. The International Visitors Program (IVP) provides government officials from other countries with an opportunity to receive clear and concise briefings on IRS programs and policies. The briefings, given by IRS experts, assist the foreign country with its organization, strategic goals, and plans.

  2. IVP applications must originate from the country's taxing authority and be submitted to the IVP office via e-mail to the ITO mailbox or faxed to 202–515–4336. All contacts from foreign governments requesting presentations must come through the International Visitors Program Office. No other IRS offices are authorized to commit to scheduling programs.

  3. The International Visitors Program is not a venue for training. The program does not accept applications from non-government entities, interns, fellows, or students working on degrees or research. The IRS cannot honor requests from private businesses, private tax organizations, accounting firms, or educational institutions.

  4. Since a significant commitment of IRS resources is required to create and deliver each program, lengthy programs are discouraged. See Program Guidelines, IRM 4.62.1.1.1.

  5. Because of the high demand for participation in the program, the IVP cannot accept more than four (4) visits per country per year.

  6. The IVP web site is available to the public via irs.gov by searching" IVP" or "International Visitors Program." It contains complete program information and a link to the IVP Application. The application can also be found in Exhibit 4.62.1-1

4.62.1.1.1  (03-11-2014)
Program Guidelines

  1. IVP applications must come through appropriate government channels, and all participants must be national, state, or local government officials involved in taxation administration. Intermediary organizations are welcome to help the country prepare the IVP application, but the application itself must ultimately originate from the requesting country. The following are the current limitations for the IVP:

    • 1 visit per quarter - up to 4 visits per fiscal year per country,

    • A maximum of 6 delegates per visit, and

    • No more than 3 days per visit with a maximum of 3 topics per day.

  2. An IVP application requesting a visit must be in writing and sent at least 45 days in advance to provide enough time:

    • For the IVP office to evaluate the request and schedule presentations on the topics requested,

    • To identify the appropriate IRS experts who will meet with the officials,

    • To allow the experts sufficient time to develop their presentations, and

    • To allow time for the visiting delegation to make their travel arrangements.

  3. All members of foreign delegations must go through IRS security screenings in force at the building locations where the visits are held and must hold valid passports. United States residents accompanying foreign delegations must have a photo ID issued by a government agency, such as a driver's license.

  4. Depending upon the content of the program, the visit may be held at National Office, a field office, or both.

  5. Restrictions may apply for visiting Taxpayer Assistance Centers, Call Sites, and Submission Processing Centers. Visits to Computing Centers are not permitted.

  6. Requesting major changes to the scheduled programs may be problematic. Any change requests impacting the original schedule will be evaluated by the IVP office.

  7. The IRS does not charge for these programs. However, all lodging, meals, and logistical arrangements are the responsibility of the visiting country.

  8. Visitors may not take photographs or videos in IRS facilities.

4.62.1.1.2  (03-11-2014)
Language Skills

  1. If the participants for observational visits do not speak English fluently, the sponsoring agency must provide interpretation services.

4.62.1.1.3  (03-11-2014)
IVP Presenter Guidelines

  1. Only publicly available information may be provided to foreign tax officials through the International Visitors’ Program (IVP). The general rule is that we only share information that is currently available to the public (e.g., found within the irs.gov web site, or other public site or reference book) where there are generally no disclosure or confidentiality restrictions attached to such materials.

  2. Sensitive, or tax return information, may only be shared with foreign tax officials through the U.S. Competent Authority pursuant to an appropriate exchange of information vehicle. The IVP is not the proper program if the information sought is protected under confidentiality or disclosure rules. If you have any questions as to what information should or should not be presented as part of an IVP, contact the IVP program manager at 202-515-4409.

4.62.1.1.4  (03-11-2014)
IVP Program Evaluation

  1. To improve the overall delivery of the IVP Program, feedback from participants is encouraged. A standard program evaluation form requesting feedback is provided to visitors, their representatives, and presenters. The completed forms should be returned to the IVP program office for review and analysis.

4.62.1.1.5  (03-11-2014)
Other Technical Assistance for Foreign Tax Administrations

  1. If a foreign tax administration requires more comprehensive assistance than is available through the IVP, they can seek assistance from the Treasury's Office of Technical Assistance (OTA). The OTA offers a variety of services to developing countries. See the OTA website for additional information.

4.62.1.2  (03-11-2014)
Gifts from Foreign Governments

  1. Employees are prohibited from requesting, or encouraging gifts from a foreign government, or from accepting or retaining a gift when it would create an adverse consequence to the United States.

  2. The Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act, 5 U.S.C. §7342, permits an employee to accept a gift of minimal value from a foreign government or international organization where it is offered as a souvenir or gesture of courtesy. Where more than one item is offered, the combined total value of all items may not exceed the minimal value limit. Currently, minimal value is set at $350 or less.

    Note:

    The above value is periodically adjusted by GSA. See §102-42.10 of Title 41 C.F.R. 102-42 for the current value.

  3. If you receive a gift from a foreign government, you must advise your supervisor and contact the Real Estate and Facilities Management office in Agency-Wide Shared Services, the office responsible for appraising foreign gifts, for further instructions.

  4. The IVP team will submit gifts received as part of an IVP on behalf of the presenters and notify them of the appraiser's determination as to whether or not they may keep the gift(s).

  5. The following information must accompany each gift submitted:

    • The name and position of the employee

    • A brief description of the gift and the circumstances justifying acceptance

    • The identity, if known, of the foreign government and the name and position of the individual who presented the gift

    • The date of acceptance of the gift

  6. If the gift is of minimal value, and its retention is consistent with government-wide standards of conduct found in 5 CFR Part 2635, the gift will be returned to the employee.

  7. For information on purchasing gifts for foreign officials, see IRM 4.62.3.3, Criteria for Representation Fund Expenditures.

Exhibit 4.62.1-1 
International Visitors Program Application

INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE
INTERNATIONAL VISITORS PROGRAM
(IVP) APPLICATION
1. Name of person requesting the visit:
 
Name and e-mail of foreign government official requesting the visit (if you are a foreign official)
OR
Name and e-mail of U.S. Government official requesting the visit on behalf of the foreign government along with the name of the government department/agency you represent, (Example: John Doe on behalf of U.S. State Dept.). If requesting the visit on behalf of a government agency such as the U.S. Department of State, include documentation showing authorization from the requesting agency.
2. Name of foreign country and foreign government department/agency:
 
3. Contact information for foreign/U.S. government department/agency:
Mailing address:
 
 
Telephone number (if foreign government, include country and city codes):
 
FAX number:
E-mail address:
4. Date(s) visit requested:
Alternate Date(s):
5. Number of visitors (limited to 6 delegates per visit):
6. Will an interpreter accompany the participant(s)? Yes__ No__
Note: IRS cannot provide or arrange for interpreters. If any of the participants are not proficient in the English language, the requesting country must provide an interpreter.
7. List of participants:
Head of Delegation
Name:
Position/Title:
Education (i.e., specific colleges/universities):
Recent employment history (current position and last two positions held):
 
 
 
Other members of Delegation:
Provide same information listed above for other members of the delegation. Only name and title are required for any interpreter(s) or escort(s) who may accompany the delegation.
 
 
 
8. Topics requested (Please limit request to 3 topics per day)
We are better able to arrange for the appropriate technical and administrative presentations if we have a good understanding of the specific topics or questions you would like discussed. Additionally, many of our experts are located outside of Washington, DC and this may require some travel to receive briefings.
There are five major Business Operating Divisions within the IRS:
Wage and Investment Division (W&I) - Individual taxpayers with income from wages and investments - some with earned income tax credit, etc.
Small Business/Self Employed Division (SB/SE) - Small businesses with assets under $10 million U.S. dollars, self-employed individuals, farms, rental properties, and estates.
Large Business and International Division (LB&I) - Large corporations and mid-size businesses with assets of $10 million or more U.S. dollars, international taxpayers, and high wealth individuals.
Criminal Investigation Division (CI) - Investigates criminal violations of the IRS code, for example, fraud and money laundering.
Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE) - Pension plans, exempt organizations (religious, charitable, and not-for-profit organizations), government entities (federal, state, local, and Indian Tribal governments) and Tax Exempt Bonds.
For more information on these operating divisions and other functional areas, please visit our website at irs.gov.
Please indicate the purpose of the visit, how the briefings will benefit the foreign government's tax administration/government department and who you will share the information with once you return to your country (i.e., managers, analysts, taxpayers, employees, media/publications, etc.). For each topic listed, identify the business operating division of interest to you, followed by the list of questions or topics.
 
TOPIC 1:
Business Operating Division:
Amount of time you wish to spend on this topic:
List specific questions:
 
TOPIC 2:
Business Operating Division:
Amount of time you wish to spend on this topic:
List specific questions:
 
TOPIC 3:
Business Operating Division:
Amount of time you wish to spend on this topic:
List specific questions:
 
TOPIC 4:
Business Operating Division:
Amount of time you wish to spend on this topic:
List specific questions:
 
TOPIC 5:
Business Operating Division:
Amount of time you wish to spend on this topic:
List specific questions:
 
TOPIC 6:
Business Operating Division:
Amount of time you wish to spend on this topic:
List specific questions:
 
TOPIC 7:
Business Operating Division:
Amount of time you wish to spend on this topic:
List specific questions:
 
TOPIC 8:
Business Operating Division:
Amount of time you wish to spend on this topic:
List specific questions:
 
TOPIC 9:
Business Operating Division:
Amount of time you wish to spend on this topic:
List specific questions:

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