5.4.12  Field Office Resource Team

Manual Transmittal

January 17, 2013

Purpose

(1) This transmits IRM 5.4.12, Field Office Resource Team (FORT), updated section of IRM 5.4 for use by Centralized Case Processing (CCP) FORT in the Philadelphia Campus.

Material Changes

(1) This section of the IRM specifically designed for the Field Office Resource Team (FORT) in Centralized Case Processing.

(2) Time frames for processing were added.

(3) Case controlling requirement added.

(4) Procedures were updated and clarified.

(5) References were corrected.

(6) Restructuring of IRM content.

(7) Restricted Interest procedures added.

Effect on Other Documents

This material supersedes IRM 5.4.12, dated 03–20–2012.

Audience

The target audience is the Centralized Case Processing FORT team in Philadelphia Campus.

Effective Date

(01-17-2013)

Cheryl Cordero
Director, Filing & Payment Compliance
Small Business/Self-Employed

5.4.12.1  (01-17-2013)
Overview

  1. The Field Office Resource Team (FORT) was created to provide a link between Centralized Case Processing (CCP) and Field Collection function (FCf) for the resolution of workflow issues, technical assistance, and answering general and procedural questions. The FORT will also provide support to CCP, process cases, and perform data analysis for continuous process improvements in CCP and FCf.

  2. The primary purpose and responsibilities of the FORT in CCP is to provide:

    1. Liaison services for IRS agencies.

    2. Case Processing Support for internal customers.

    3. Data Analysis for CCP.

    4. Customer Service to SBSE field, taxpayers, and CCP.

5.4.12.2  (01-17-2013)
Responsibilities

  1. This section describes the type of work the FORT will perform.

5.4.12.2.1  (01-17-2013)
FORT Referrals

  1. General Case Processing (GCP) and Manually Monitored Installment Agreement (MMIA) departments will prepare a referral to the FORT for issues beyond their scope. Local procedures and IRM 5.4 will determine the method and forms used to make the referrals.

    Note:

    If the FORT referral does not meet IRM 5.4 criteria reject the referral back to the originator.

  2. The FORT will assign and open a control base on IDRS.

    Note:

    All FORT referrals require the Integrated Collection System (ICS)/Accounts Management System (AMS) or the paper case to be documented.

  3. The FORT has 14 days from receipt of the case to take necessary action.

5.4.12.2.1.1  (01-17-2013)
Manually Monitored Installment Agreement FORT Referrals

  1. The following issues may be referred to the FORT by the Manually Monitored Installment Agreement (MMIA) team:

  2. Lien determinations for new balance dues added to existing IA’s where the Unpaid Balance of Assessment (UBA) exceeds $10,000.00.

  3. Assessment Statute Expiration Date (ASED) issues relating to the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (TFRP). See IRM 5.7.4.8.1.

  4. Collection Statute Expiration Date (CSED) issues. See IRM 5.14.2.

  5. Levy Release Requests. See IRM 5.11.2.

  6. Two Year Financial Reviews for BMF Partial Payment Installment Agreement (PPIA) cases. See IRM 5.4.11.8

  7. Complex IMF Partial Payment Installment Agreements financial reviews.

  8. Bankruptcy Questions. See IRM 5.9.4.18.

  9. Corporate Income Tax (1120) Non Filers and 6020(b) request for all returns except Forms 94X, Employee Federal Tax Returns. See IRM 5.18.2.

  10. Continuous Wage Levy Issues for:

    1. New balance dues that need to be added to existing wage levies..

    2. Levy releases for full paid accounts.

    3. See IRM 5.11.2.

  11. MMIA revisions to existing Installment Agreements (IA)s for taxpayers who:

    1. Want to reduce their IA payment by more than 20% of the current amount.

    2. Have new balance dues that need to be added to the IA that would add more than 6 months to the payment schedule. The full payment must be made with at least 6 months remaining on any ASED and 3 months remaining on any CSED.

    3. Accounts with delinquent Form 1120, US Corporate Income Tax Return and Form 2290, Heavy Highway Use Tax Return.

  12. Appeals requests from taxpayers including:

    1. Collection Due Process (CDP).

    2. Equivalent Hearing (EH).

    3. Collection Appeals Request (CAP).

    4. See IRM 5.1.9.

      Note:

      When requesting a CDP or EH hearing request be added to the CDP tracking system, use location code 0600 to identify hearing requests originating from CCP.

5.4.12.2.1.2  (01-17-2013)
General Case Processing Referrals

  1. General Case Processing (GCP) will refer any complex or unusual issue to the FORT for resolution. FORT will provide feedback and recommend training on identified issues based on referrals received. See IRM 5.4.10. The following requests must be referred to the FORT:

    1. Interest abatements. These must be approved by Area Interest Abatement coordinators. See IRM 20.2.7.

    2. Manual refund requests.

    3. TAS adjustments. See IRM 13.1.7.

    4. Imminent Statute cases. See IRM 25.6.1.

    5. Prompt, Quick, and Jeopardy Assessments. See IRM 5.1.4 and IRM 25.6.1.9.9.1

    6. Department of Justice (DOJ) cases. These cases must be worked within 48 hours from receipt in the FORT. Process per the request.

    7. Military Deferment Requests. See IRM 5.1.7.12.

5.4.12.2.2  (01-17-2013)
Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS)

  1. The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization within the IRS whose employees assist taxpayers who are experiencing economic harm, who are seeking help in resolving tax problems that have not been resolved through normal channels, or who believe that an IRS system or procedure is not working as it should. Taxpayers may be eligible for assistance if they:

    1. Are experiencing economic harm or significant cost (including fees for professional representation),

      Note:

      If the taxpayer is not represented, keep in mind that he or she may be eligible for assistance from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC). LITCs assist low income individuals in resolving federal tax problems such as audits, appeals, litigation, and tax collection disputes. Some LITCs also provide services to taxpayers who speak English as a second language, including education about taxpayer rights and responsibilities, and consultations on individual tax issues. LITC services must be free or cost only a nominal fee. LITCs receive funding from the IRS and the program receives oversight from the National Taxpayer Advocate, but the clinics are wholly independent of the IRS. Although there is at least one LITC in each state, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, not every clinic offers a complete range of services. For a complete list of LITCs services offered, and contact information, see IRS Pub 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List. If appropriate, you can refer taxpayers to Pub 4134, but you cannot direct taxpayers to a specific LITC.

    2. Have experienced a delay of more than 30 days to resolve a tax issue, or

    3. Have not received a response or resolution to the problem by the date promised by the IRS.

  2. TAS has now clarified its existing criteria to include equitable treatment and taxpayer rights, specifically an area for "best interest of the taxpayer" and "Public Policy." Public Policy cases will be brought in the program as determined solely by the National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA). While TAS is required by statute to assist taxpayers in circumstances where Significant Hardship exists, it is also responsible for assisting taxpayers who have unresolved problems with the IRS. See IRM 13.1.7 if additional information is required. Taxpayers can contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service by calling their toll-free case intake line. To learn more about the Taxpayer Advocate Service, go to http://www.irs.gov/advocate/.

  3. The FORT is responsible to work all Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) cases identified in the Service Level Agreement or assigned to Field Collection function (FCf). See IRM 13.1.17. TAS requests will be received via Form 12412 an Operations Assistance Request (OAR). The assigned tax examiner will log the TAMIS number into the TAS logbook.

  4. If OAR was sent to CCP in error, the assigned tax examiner will reject the OAR back to the originator by fax with the first two pages of the OAR.

  5. Upon receipt of the OAR, contact the TAS employee to acknowledge receipt of the OAR.

  6. All requests should be completed by the requested completion date on the OAR.

    Note:

    If unable to meet the requested completion date contact the TAS employee to negotiate a new date.

  7. For MMIA issues, take necessary action and document ICS.

  8. When the recommended actions in Section IV of the OAR have been completed, complete Section VI on page 2 of the OAR and fax to the TAS originator. Include prints of any modules adjusted. Write "closed" on the OAR and suspend the file for 60 days.

  9. Purge the suspense file after 60 days.

5.4.12.2.3  (01-17-2013)
Military Deferment

  1. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, 50 U.S.C. app. Section 570, provides for deferment of payment of taxes by individuals whose ability to pay has been "materially affected" by the individuals military service. The deferment applies to the period of qualified military service plus a maximum of 180 days after the service period ends.

  2. IRM 5.1.7.12 and IRM 5.19.1.4.9 define the criteria for taxpayers to qualify for military deferment. The FORT is responsible to monitor all military deferment cases. Combat Zone cases are a category of military deferment and are NOT monitored in Centralized Case Processing. The cases are to be maintained until the military deferment period has expired. Upon receipt of a military deferment case check IDRS for the following:

    1. Posting of Status 44.

    2. Posting of TC 500 CC 50 (prior to Jan. 2004) and CC 51 (after Jan. 2004) on all balance due modules. If not posted, do the input, making sure to put the liability indicator P for Primary, S for Spouse, or B for Both.

    3. The tax examiner is to verify that the military deferment expiration date is computed correctly. Military Deferment expiration equals taxpayer's requested period of deferment during qualified military service plus 180 days.

      Note:

      An officer may receive deferment only for the first two (2) years of qualified military service plus 180 days.

      See IRM 5.1.7.12 and IRM 5.19.1.4.9 for a description of the periods of military service that qualify for deferment. If the military deferment expiration date is not correct, establish the correct date and use the corrected date throughout the procedures.

    4. Check IDRS (SUMRY and IMFOLI) to confirm all tax returns have been filed. If the taxpayer is not in filing compliance (all income tax returns filed), ask the taxpayer to submit the unfiled returns. Failure to submit unfiled returns does not prevent a taxpayer from being eligible for military deferment.

    5. Confirm that the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income (AGI) has decreased from the prior year compared to the start date of the military deferment. This should be indicated on the Letter 1175C, Collection Postponed During Initial Period of Active Military Service, or equivalent statement. If it has not decreased then the taxpayer is generally not eligible for military deferment.

      Note:

      Current monthly expenses incurred by the taxpayer as a result of military service should be deducted if current monthly earned income is more than monthly earned income immediately prior to military service.

      See IRM 5.1.7.12 and IRM 5.19.1.4.9 for detailed instructions for determining eligibility for military deferment.

    6. Documentation as outlined in IRM 5.19.1.4.9 must be in the case file.

  3. If the taxpayer does not qualify for military deferment reject the case to the originator. See IRM 5.1.7.12.2(3) to determine if the taxpayer qualifies for the reduced interest rate.

  4. After verifying that the taxpayer qualifies for military deferment and confirming the above information, take the following actions to monitor the case:

    1. Create the case on ICS.

    2. Document ICS with receipt of case and actions taken, as well as the calculated deferment date.

    3. Establish follow-up date. Determine this date by subtracting 30 days from the deferment date.

  5. Review the case when the scheduled follow-up date arrives (via ICS notification); review IDRS to determine current status of case.
    If case status has changed, such as full payment received or status has changed to 60 (installment agreement), no action is needed.
    Check IDRS IMFOLE/BMFOLE to see if the enter and exit dates are located on this command code prior to sending the Letter 535, Military Deferment Expiration letter..
    If still in deferment, issue Letter 535 and schedule 30 day follow-up on ICS.

    Note:

    Because accruals were suspended per the TC 500 it may be necessary to manually compute interest and FTP penalty prior to sending the Letter 535. See IRM 20.2.7.7.1 for interest and IRM 20.1.2.1.2.1 for FTP penalty instructions.

  6. Take the following actions 30 days after issuance of the Letter 535:

    1. Input TC 502.

    2. Input TC 550 with new CSED date. See IRM 2.4.19.

    3. If taxpayer has not responded to Letter 535, schedule next follow-up for 90 days after the date of the TC 502. No collection activity may occur for 90 days after input of TC 502.

    4. Ensure that the taxpayer is blocked from Federal Payment Levy Program (FPLP) during this 90 day period. See IRM 5.19.9.3.

  7. If taxpayer has not responded to Letter 535 by end of the 90 day suspense period, transfer the case and forward the paper case file to the appropriate collection function.

  8. If taxpayer responds to Letter 535 take the following actions:

    1. If the taxpayer responds with full payment and is in full compliance, forward case to closed case files and close ICS control.

    2. If taxpayer requests an installment agreement, input a TC 971 AC 043.

    3. If the taxpayer’s response indicates an inability to full pay, but the taxpayer wants to explore other payment options, determine if taxpayer qualifies for guaranteed or streamlined IA. Follow procedures in IRM 5.14.5.

    4. If the taxpayer's response indicates inability to pay, secure a Collection Information Statement (CIS) and determine if the account meets criteria for Currently Not Collectable (CNC) Hardship. If they do not meet CNC criteria contact taxpayer for appropriate case resolution.

5.4.12.2.3.1  (01-17-2013)
Military Deferment Transcripts

  1. Military Deferment Transcripts are generated by MITS during the month of January each year and sent to the FORT for review.

  2. If the taxpayer is no longer eligible for military deferment, input TC 502, contact the taxpayer and pursue case resolution. If collection activity does not resolve liability and filing compliance and:

    1. Distrainable assets are identified or taxpayer requests field contact, transfer case to appropriate revenue officer field group.

    2. If distrainable assets are not identified and case cannot be resolved by FORT, close case as appropriate.

5.4.12.2.4  (01-17-2013)
Government Accountability Office

  1. The FORT will process all Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit requests received from the Chief Financial Office (CFO) and contact appropriate areas/coordinators as needed.

5.4.12.2.5  (01-17-2013)
Two Year Financial Reviews for BMF Partial Payment Installment Agreements

  1. The FORT will receive and process calls from BMF taxpayers who receive a CP 522 letter requesting a mandatory two year review of their financial condition. Calls will be received on the FORT toll free line.

  2. When conducting a two-year review, consider the taxpayer's income, expenses, assets and equity to determine if:

    1. The balance due can be full paid, or;

    2. an adjustment to the payment amount is necessary, or;

    3. the agreement should continue without change, or;

    4. the taxpayer is unable to pay.

  3. Use IRM 11.3.2 and IRM 11.3.3, Disclosure to Persons with a Material Interest.

  4. When contacted by the BMF taxpayer or their authorized representative, The FORT will conduct a two-year financial review based on Form 433–A or 433–B. The business income and expenses should be updated using the Collection Information Statement on ICS. Equity in assets must be addressed in the case history. See IRM 5.15.1 to complete the financial review. If it is an in-business taxpayer or above criteria in IRM 5.19.1.5.5, and financial information is secured the FORT will conduct the two-year financial review within four (4) cycles.

  5. The FORT will receive a referral if the taxpayer states they have a court ordered payment such as alimony, child support, state and other court order payments, and documentation is not received. Prior to preparing the FORT referral CCP will:

    1. Request a copy of the agreement or court order by fax or mail, if the taxpayer does not have access to a fax machine allow 14 days for mailing.

    2. Complete 2-year financial review.

    3. Document case history with all action taken.

    4. Allow expenses if documentation is provided.

    5. Update IADIS for 4 cycles to prevent the case from defaulting.

    Note:

    Attempt to secure all available financial information during the initial contact.

  6. If there are increases to either the taxpayer's income or equity in assets, and the taxpayer now has the ability to full pay, demand will be made for full payment.

  7. If the taxpayer has newly acquired assets or increased equity in assets which can be applied to the liability in part, the taxpayer will be required to utilize the equity before a new PPIA will be allowed on the remaining liability.

  8. If the financial review indicates the taxpayer's ability to pay an amount that is different from the existing agreement and the payment amount needs to be increased, these changes will be conveyed to the taxpayer; verbally on the phone; or in writing.

  9. If there is no significant change to the taxpayer's financial situation, the agreement will continue. The taxpayer will be notified that there is no change in the agreement.

  10. If CCP is unable to revise the agreement or take other action necessary to resolve the case, i.e. taxpayer refuses new proposal, the agreement will be forwarded as follows:

    1. ACS (0012) cases will be returned to ACS.

    2. Campus (0012) cases will be issued to ACS.

    3. Field (0012) no equity cases will be forwarded to ACS.

    4. Field asset cases will be forwarded to the field.

      Note:

      Only PPIA's that originated in the field as asset cases may be returned to the field.

  11. Update levy source on LEVYS.

  12. Update the two-year review cycle by updating the Agreement Review Date on IAGRE and input the new review cycle to ICS if there is a PPIA OI.

5.4.12.2.6  (01-17-2013)
Lockbox

  1. Lockbox requests are taxpayer payments on current installment agreements or other balance dues. When the taxpayer sends the payment to the IRS lockbox without a payment voucher or there is insufficient information for the vendor to determine the correct posting of the payment, the vendor will fax these requests to the FORT daily. FORT TE’s will research IDRS to determine correct posting of the remittance. Lockbox requests must be completed and returned to the vendor via fax within 4 hours of receipt. Completed requests will be held in a suspense file for one week and then should be purged.

5.4.12.2.7  (01-17-2013)
Adjustments, Credit Transfers, Payment Tracers, and Interest Abatements

  1. The FORT will work adjustments, credit transfers, payment tracers, and interest abatements received in the FORT via:

    1. GCP Referrals.

    2. MMIA referrals.

    3. Restricted Interest and NMF balance due cases assigned to CFf. See IRM 21.7.12 Non-Master File (NMF) Adjustments and IRM 20.2.8 Restricted Interest.

    4. TAS requests.

      Note:

      The FORT generally should not receive referrals from other areas of the service unless the case meets CCP criteria. Requests received erroneously should be returned to the originator.

  2. Follow IRM 5.4.10 General Case Processing.

5.4.12.2.8  (01-17-2013)
Restricted Interest Computation

  1. When restricted interest is present on a module the Fort will receive a secure e-mail from the revenue officer.

    Note:

    The FORT only completes restricted Interest computation for Field Collection function.

  2. The request will contain the subject line "Request for Restricted Interest Calculation."

  3. The body of the e-mail will contain:

    1. Taxpayer Name

    2. Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)

    3. Tax Period

    4. Date of payoff

    5. A copy of a current transcript (TXMOD) to provide additional information such as the "2% date" for Large Corporate Underpayments.

    Note:

    If CCP is not able to ascertain the correct calculations, the requestor may be required to provide required documents.

  4. Use the Commercial off the Shelf (COTS) software program called InterestNet, to secure the accrued interest computation.

  5. See IRM 20.2.8, Restricted Interest.

  6. Request should be processed within 14 days of receipt.

    Note:

    Computations are subject to confirmation and quality review via the Office of Service Wide Interest.


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