5.13.4  Offer in Compromise/Embedded Quality Attribute Definitions

5.13.4.1  (04-25-2008)
Introduction

  1. This document describes Embedded Quality Review System (EQRS) and National Quality Review System (NQRS) review guidelines for Offer in Compromise Specialists. It is critical that collection offer personnel carefully and thoroughly document all activities taken and decisions made throughout the course of their investigations. Many parties need to access a case file to obtain a clear picture of case issues and actions which have been taken or planned. NQRS reviewers are one of these parties since a centralized review site relies exclusively upon the case file and history documentation to determine adherence to the NQRS attributes.

  2. The EQRS/NQRS review guidelines are based on Collection Internal Revenue Manuals, handbooks, and other published Collection procedural guidelines. Developers relied heavily on the same published procedures in drafting specific EQRS/NQRS documentation guidance for Field Collection Offer in Compromise employees.

5.13.4.2  (04-25-2008)
Overview

  1. The attributes along with their operational definitions are listed in this document. The latest revision of the Field Compliance Embedded Quality Field Collection Offer in Compromise (OIC) Job Aid (document 12360) is the companion document to be used by reviewers. The Job Aid is structured to provide the essential information needed to rate each attribute during a case review. Each attribute in the Job Aid includes Critical Job Element (CJE) linkage, the operational definition, the job aid definition, points to consider, a rating guide explanation, reason codes, IRM references, and examples.

  2. This handbook is intended only as an aid to effective case documentation as it relates to EQRS/NQRS attributes. It is not a substitute for Collection IRMs and Handbooks which outline the required actions that are tracked by EQRS/NQRS case reviews. It must not be cited as an authority for taking specific collection actions; those can be based only on the official procedural guidelines.

5.13.4.3  (04-25-2008)
Attributes

  1. There are five categories of attributes that are used by both NQRS reviewers and field offer managers in the EQRS process; these are Timeliness, Professionalism, Customer Accuracy, Regulatory/Statutory Accuracy, and Procedural Accuracy. The aspects are grouped in order to produce summary reports that focus on these specific areas of offer specialists' performance. Managers use two attributes which are not used by NQRS (Attribute 110 - Inventory Management and Attribute 410 - Field Visitation), that are contained in 5.13.4.9 below.

  2. Each attribute in the section reflects an Operational Definition, Job Aid Definition and a Rating Guide Explanation. The Operational Definition applies to case actions throughout all Compliance functions. The Job Aid Definition further describes considerations for evaluation of performance within a Collection specific context. The Rating Guide explanation provides additional guidance to the reviewer in evaluating performance relative to the attribute.

  3. Definitions and explanations can also be found at the Embedded Quality web site at http://sbse.web.irs.gov/eq/.

5.13.4.4  (04-25-2008)
Category One: Timeliness

  1. Four attributes fall within the Timeliness category.

5.13.4.4.1  (04-25-2008)
Attribute 107: Timely Initial Actions

  1. Operational Definition - Use this field to determine if the employee completed an initial analysis and took necessary initial actions within established timeframes of the date of the receipt of the case.

  2. Job Aid Definition- The purpose of this attribute is to determine whether the OS completed a timely initial analysis that included the required actions.

  3. Rating Guide Explanation- In some instances, all required initial actions may have already been completed when the offer is received in the field but the Specialist must, in all cases, conduct the initial analysis to determine that this is the case.

    Rate this attribute "Yes" if there is evidence in the history that the offer specialist completed timely initial analysis of the case, (within 30 calendar days or 35 calendar days if the employee is not co-located with the manager) of the date the offer is assigned to the OS on AOIC. Actions which reflect this activity in the case include the following:

    • Analysis of the taxpayer/POA submitted documents,

    • Determination whether the taxpayer made the 20% or periodic payment, if necessary,

    • Determination whether there is a need for additional information from the taxpayer,

    • Issue an additional information letter to the taxpayer, if appropriate, and demand payment of the balance of the 20% or periodic payment, current year’s estimated tax (ES) payments) and/or Federal Tax Deposits (FTD),

    • Make a lien determination and document the decision, and

    • To the extent that information is available, prepare an Asset Equity Table (AET) and Income Expense Table ( IET) to make a preliminary projection of case resolution.

    Rate this attribute "No " if there is no evidence in the case history that the action(s) noted in the "Yes" rating criteria were completed.

    NQRS will rate this attribute in all cases. Managers may rate this attribute "N/A" if 30 calendar days has not lapsed from the date the case was assigned to the OS if co-located with the manager or 35 calendar days from assignment date to the OS if not co-located with the manager.

5.13.4.4.2  (04-25-2008)
Attribute 504: Timely Follow-up Actions

  1. Operational Definition - Use this field to identify if the employee took timely follow-up actions when the taxpayer failed to meet established deadlines.

  2. Job Aid Definition - The purpose of this attribute is to assess whether or not the OS took timely follow-up action(s). Throughout the investigation, follow up actions are required within 15 calendar days after a deadline has elapsed. This attribute only measures the timeliness of the action, not the effectiveness or appropriateness of the action(s) taken. The action itself is rated under the appropriate attribute: for example Lien Filing (Attribute 410); initiating a Courtesy Investigation (Attribute 415); etc.

  3. Rating Guide Explanation - Rate this attribute "Yes" if the OS took the documented follow-up action timely after the taxpayer/ POA missed an action date.

    Rate this attribute "No" if the OS failed to take the documented follow-up action timely after the taxpayer/ POA missed an action date.

    This attribute will be rated "N/A" in the following situations if:

    • The OS does not establish any deadlines

    • No contact was made with the taxpayer/POA

    • Taxpayer complied by deadline given

    Follow-up actions dates should be reasonable, based on the facts of the case. However, the granting of extensions where the taxpayer’s request is not reasonable, which serve to unnecessarily impede the resolution of the case, should be rated "No" .

    If the taxpayer meets the required deadlines, rate this under Attribute #505, Timely Employee Actions.

5.13.4.4.3  (04-25-2008)
Attribute 505: Timely Employee Actions

  1. Operational Definition - Use this field to identify whether the employee took timely actions, driven by receipt of case information, to meet the needs of the taxpayer/POA.

  2. Job Aid Definition – The purpose of this attribute is to rate whether or not the employee took subsequent case actions, based on information received, in a timely manner to resolve case issues and contribute toward case resolution. The employee is expected to take follow-up actions within 15 calendar days of an established deadline that has resulted in the receipt of additional information. This may include information received from the taxpayer/POA, from internal sources or from third parties. In addition, the employee is expected to take follow-up actions within 30 calendar days in situations where no contact has been established with the taxpayer or no deadline has been given.

  3. Rating Guide Explanation - Throughout the investigation, the scheduling of timely follow-up actions should be reasonable and appropriate, based on the facts of the case. In order to be considered timely, follow-up actions should be significant actions that can reasonably be expected to move the offer investigation toward resolution. Generally, timely employee actions should occur:

    • No later than 15 calendar days of an established deadline that has resulted in the receipt of additional information.

    • Within 30 calendar days in situations where no contact has been established with the taxpayer or no deadline has been given.

    If the file contains case related correspondence or inquiries from the taxpayer/POA upon assignment to the Offer Specialist, the OS should give due consideration to the information provided/questions asked and respond to the taxpayer/POA timely

    The manager should be observant of gaps in case activity after the receipt of case information.

    Rate this attribute " Yes" if the case history shows that, upon receipt of case information, the employee reviewed and acted upon the information timely.

    Rate this attribute "No" if

    • The OS failed to take an action within 15 calendar days of an established deadline that resulted in the receipt of additional information from a taxpayer or POA, or

    • Within 30 calendar days in situations where no contact has been established with the taxpayer or no deadline has been given.

    NQ should rate this attribute in every case. Managers may rate this attribute N/A for the period of an approved absence when the case history discloses justification for an absence that prevents timely completion of the action.

5.13.4.4.4  (04-25-2008)
Attribute 506: Timely Closing Actions

  1. Operational Definition - Use this field to identify if the case was closed timely after all necessary actions were taken and case information secured.

  2. Job Aid Definition – The purpose of this attribute is to rate only if the employee closed the case within the appropriate time frame once closure is the next logical step. The OS must submit the closing recommendation within 15 calendar days of the documented case decision.

  3. Rating Guide Explanation - This attribute will be rated "Yes" if the case is closed within the established timeframes.

    This attribute will be rated "No" if the requested information was received from the taxpayer/POA and the OS waited over 15 calendar days from the deadline to make a recommendation to accept, reject, return or initiate withdrawal of the offer or to ask the tax-payer/POA to amend the amount offered.

    This attribute will be rated " N/A" during in process case reviews when there is insufficient information to allow the Offer Specialist to make a closing determination.

    Note:

    This attribute rates case actions related to closing the case only. Other issues surrounding timeliness by an employee to take follow-up actions or actions to move cases toward resolution should be rated under Attributes 504 "Timely Follow-up Actions" and/or 505 "Timely Employee Actions" as appropriate.

5.13.4.5  (04-25-2008)
Category Two: Professionalism

  1. There are six attributes in the Professionalism category.

5.13.4.5.1  (04-25-2008)
Attribute 600: Clear Action Dates

  1. Operational Definition – Use this field to determine if the employee clearly communicated to the taxpayer a specific date for required action(s).

  2. Job Aid Definition- The purpose of this attribute is to rate whether or not the OS established and communicated specific deadlines (clear action dates) to the taxpayer during the course of the investigation.

  3. Rating Guide Explanation - This attribute will be rated "Yes" if the OS has documented the case history with the specific deadline or if the case file contains correspondence to the taxpayer with a specific deadline.

    This attribute will be rated "NO" if the OS failed to document the case history with the specific deadline or if the case file does not contain correspondence to the taxpayer with a specific deadline.

    This attribute will be rated "N/A" if:

    • No additional information/action is required from the taxpayer

    • No contact is made by the OS

5.13.4.5.2  (04-25-2008)
Attribute 601: Clear Taxpayer Expectations

  1. Operational Definition - Use this field to determine if the employee clearly communicated expectations to the taxpayer.

  2. Job Aid Definition – The purpose of this attribute is to measure, based on case documentation, if the taxpayer clearly understood what action they were to take or what information they were expected to provide to the OS.

  3. Rating Guide Explanation - This attribute will be rated "Yes" if the OS has documented the case history with the specific actions to be taken or if the case file contains correspondence to the taxpayer requiring specific actions.

    This attribute will be rated "No" if the OS did not document the case history with the specific actions to be taken or if the case file does not contain accurate and complete correspondence requiring action by the taxpayer.

    This attribute will be rated "N/A" if:

    • No contact is made by the OS

    • No expectations were communicated

5.13.4.5.3  (04-25-2008)
Attribute 602: Advised of Consequences

  1. Operational Definition –Use this field to determine if the employee clearly communicated the possible consequences if the taxpayer fails to comply with the employee request.

  2. Job Aid Definition- The purpose of this attribute is to determine whether or not specific consequences were communicated to the taxpayer/POA as part of establishing action dates and expectations.

  3. Rating Guide Explanation - This attribute will be rated "Yes" if the OS has documented the case history with the specific consequences or if the consequences are referenced in the correspondence with the taxpayer, i.e. additional information request, etc.

    Rate this attribute "No" if consequences were not communicated, or if they were not clear.

    This attribute will be rated "N/A" if:

    • No action is expected of the taxpayer

    • No contact is made

5.13.4.5.4  (04-25-2008)
Attribute 603: Problem Solving Techniques/Customer Point of View

  1. Operational Definition - Use this field to determine if problem solving and analytical skills were used, taking into consideration the customer’s point of view, when attempting to reach successful resolution to issues/case.

  2. Job Aid Definition- The purpose of this attribute is to assess whether or not the OS negotiated or attempted to negotiate an alternative resolution with the taxpayer based on the facts of the case. When circumstances dictate, the OS should use problem solving and negotiation techniques that consider the taxpayer’s point of view.

  3. Rating Guide Explanation - If the employee used analytical skills and addressed points raised by the taxpayer/ POA during case discussions or through correspondence, this attribute will be rated "Yes" . If the employee attempted to use these skills the taxpayer was unwilling to reconsider the offer amount or alternative resolutions, this attribute will also be rated "Yes" .

    The attribute will be rated "No" if:

    • The TP/POA was not given the opportunity to increase/decrease the amount offered

    • The taxpayer’s point of view or potential resolution was not considered

    This attribute will be rated " N/A" if no contact was made via phone, correspondence or in person.

5.13.4.5.5  (04-25-2008)
Attribute 605: Clear/Professional Written Communication

  1. Operational Definition - Use this field to identify whether all correspondence/documentation is businesslike and professional in tone, appearance and content.

  2. Job Aid Definition – The purpose of this attribute is to assess whether correspondence and other documents created by the Offer Specialist for the taxpayer or representative are businesslike, professional and responsive to their needs.

  3. Rating Guide Explanation - This attribute will be rated "Yes" if correspondence is complete and written in a clear, concise and professional tone.

    Note:

    This attribute deals with the overall "tone" of written interactions as seen throughout the entire case file. This element also evaluates the professional appearance of correspondence sent to the taxpayer or representative. This attribute will be rated "No" if egregious grammar and/or spelling errors are present in correspondence, it is not professional in appearance or it raises credibility issues.

    Rate this attribute "No" if the correspondence:

    • contains terms or acronyms normally not understandable by persons not employed by the Service,

    • does not adequately address the issue(s) intended, or

    • contains excessive errors in grammar, spelling or punctuation.

5.13.4.5.6  (04-25-2008)
Attribute 606: TP/POA Kept Apprised

  1. Operational Definition - Use this field to determine if the employee kept the taxpayer/POA informed throughout the process.

  2. Job Aid Definition - The purpose of this attribute is to rate whether or not the OS informed the taxpayer and/or representative of the case status at appropriate times throughout the case investigation, including final offer determinations. Additionally, this attribute is used to rate whether or not the OS supplied all required material to the authorized representative.

  3. Rating Guide Explanation - Rate this attribute "Yes" if the Offer Specialist documented the case history that the taxpayer/POA was kept apprised of relevant case actions or that efforts had been made to communicate to the customer, but were not successful.

    Rate this attribute "Yes" , in instances where the Offer Specialist has made an attempt to contact the taxpayer and/or POA or third party designee, to advise them that additional time beyond what is normally expected, is necessary in order to make an accurate RCP and to further advise them of an anticipated date for a determination.

    The following instances are actions that may require additional time beyond what is customary in order to make an accurate RCP:

    • Analysis and verification of extensive and complex financial information inclusive of verification of income and expense items

    • Valuation of assets on In-Business Trust Fund Taxpayers

    • Valuation of assets of an unusual nature

    Rate this attribute "No" if the Offer Specialist did not document efforts to keep the taxpayer/POA apprised when such action(s) was/were required.

    Rate this attribute "N/A" when the case is resolved and interim contact with the taxpayer/POA is unnecessary such as acceptance or withdrawal of the offer.

    Note:

    Activity lapses where information was not available to be conveyed to the tax-payer/POA will not be rated here.

5.13.4.6  (04-25-2008)
Category Three: Customer Accuracy

  1. There is one attribute in the Customer Accuracy category.

5.13.4.6.1  (04-25-2008)
Attribute 800: Customer Impact

  1. Operational Definition –Use this field to identify if the employee took the appropriate action to arrive at a correct and complete tax/case resolution with no material adverse impact on the customer.

  2. Job Aid Definition – This attribute measures whether or not the Offer Specialist took the appropriate actions throughout the life of the case to arrive at a correct and complete case resolution with no significant, unfavorable or adverse impact on the customer. This attribute considers errors already rated on the case from the CUSTOMER PERSPECTIVE ONLY.

    Enforcement action(s) driven by the facts and circumstances of the case, that are properly executed, do NOT constitute material adverse impact to the customer for the purpose of rating this attribute.

  3. Rating Guide Explanation- This attribute will be rated "Yes" when all other attributes measured in the review are rated "Yes" (or " N/A" ), i e. a perfect score.

    This attribute will be rated "Yes" if the Revenue Officer took the appropriate action(s) to arrive at an overall correct case resolution with no material adverse impact to the tax-payer.

    Note:

    It is possible to rate this attribute "Yes" even though other attributes may have been rated "No" . (The case does not need to have a "perfect score" in order to assign a "Yes" rating to this attribute).

    Two conditions must be met for the Customer Accuracy attribute to be rated "No" .

    1. Error(s) must have been charged on other attributes.

    2. One or more of the error(s) must have caused a significant negative customer impact.

    The key is to determine if the "No" rating(s) on other attributes resulted in a material adverse impact on the taxpayer. If not, then rate Attribute 800 "Yes"

    Do not use Attribute 800 to rate the correctness of the disposition method (Att 701) or to delineate all the case flaws unless they are the mistake(s) that resulted in the negative taxpayer impact. Use the Case Summary field to summarize overall case quality, including strengths and weaknesses.

    The attribute is rated "No" when the OS failed to take the appropriate action(s), which resulted in an incorrect tax/case resolution with material impact to the taxpayer.

    Select the attribute(s) rated "No" that are " driving" or causing the Error in Customer Accuracy. (Remember Attribute 800 cannot be rated "No" unless at least one other attribute is rated "No" ). There is no limit to the number of drivers that can be selected but at least one driver must be selected whenever Attribute 800 is coded "No" . Next, select the primary attribute driving the error. This attribute will be the source of the CJE mapping

    This attribute is required for all evaluative reviews and discretionary, though strongly encouraged, for targeted reviews

    "N/A" is never an option for National Review staff.

    Note:

    This use of the term taxpayer or customer in this attribute applies specifically to the taxpayer in the case that is being reviewed.

5.13.4.7  (04-25-2008)
Category Four: Regulatory/Statutory Accuracy

  1. There are two attributes in the Regulatory/Statutory Accuracy category.

5.13.4.7.1  (04-25-2008)
Attribute 609: Confidentiality

  1. Operational Definition –Use this field to determine if the employee protected the confidentiality of the taxpayer and/or taxpayer information.

  2. Job Aid Definition- The purpose of this attribute is to determine whether the OS properly protected taxpayer return and/or case related information.

  3. Rating Guide Explanation - Rate this attribute "Yes" if the Offer Specialist secured and/or verified the proper taxpayer authorization before making any disclosure of return or return/case information to a representative or third party.

    Also rate this attribute "Yes" when the only contact or communication on the case was with the taxpayer and no tax returns or case information was made available for unauthorized public inspection.

    This attribute will be rated "No" if the Offer Specialist discussed the taxpayer’s case with a non-liable spouse, POA, or other third party who does not have authorization to represent the taxpayer for period(s) in which there are open issues.

    This attribute is seldom rated "N/A" . "N/A" is not an option for National Review staff.

5.13.4.7.2  (04-25-2008)
Attribute 610: Identified/Provided Appeal Rights or Statutory Letters

  1. Operational Definition – Use this field to identify if the employee appropriately identified, addressed, and/or provided appeal rights or statutory letters.

  2. Job Aid Definition – The purpose of this attribute is to rate whether or not the OS followed regulatory/statutory guidelines to ensure that taxpayer rights are protected throughout the collection process. Included in this are the delivery of Pub 1 on initial contact and the explanation of additional appeal rights that may arise during the case. As case circumstances warrant, the OS must advise the taxpayer of appeal rights under CAP and CDP, as well as the right to appeal certain decisions such as: denial of penalty abatement or IA requests, assessment of TFRP; and OIC rejection.

  3. Rating Guide Explanation - Rate this attribute "Yes" when the employee provided information or advised the taxpayer/POA of all rights as the case progressed.

    Rate this attribute " No" if:

    • Employee fails to keep the taxpayer informed of all rights to appeal actions proposed or taken on the case

    • Pub 1 not verified

    • Right to representation not observed

    • Right to appeal rejection not observed

    • Statutory letter not issued

    • Failure to properly refer to Independent Reviewer

    Rate this attribute "N/A " if the file contains all the required information when received by the OS.

5.13.4.8  (04-25-2008)
Category Five: Procedural Accuracy

  1. There are eleven attributes in the Procedural Accuracy category.

5.13.4.8.1  (04-25-2008)
Attribute 106: Initial Offer Actions

  1. Operational Definition – Use this field to determine if the OS completed an initial analysis and took appropriate actions upon receipt of the offer case assignment.

  2. Job Aid Definition – The purpose of this attribute is to determine if the OIC Specialist conducted an initial analysis and took all necessary actions that were required based on the contents of the case when it was analyzed.

  3. Rating Guide Explanation

    Note:

    This attribute will be rated in all cases.

    This attribute applies only to actions taken based on information that was in the case file when it was received.

    This attribute will be rated "Yes" if the OS completed an analysis of the financial information and other data provided in the file and if they identified unresolved issues that resulted in the initiation of an appropriate course of action to work toward effective case resolution.

    Appropriate actions include:

    • Determine whether additional information from the taxpayer is needed to make a decision regarding the merits of the offer,

    • Determine if the taxpayer made the 20% or periodic payment,

    • Recognize the need to issue an additional information letter to the taxpayer, if appropriate,

    • Issue an additional information letter to the taxpayer, if appropriate, and include demand for any balance of the 20% or periodic payment(s), ES payments, or FTDs.

    • Make a lien determination and document the decision,

    • Determine ASED and take appropriate steps to protect statute of corporate trust fund tax, and

    • To the extent that information is available, prepare an AET/IET to make a preliminary projection of case resolution.

    Note:

    Although the IRM specifies that this analysis and the initial actions must be accomplished within specified timeframes, the timeliness of the initial actions and analysis are rated under Attribute 107.

    The focus of this attribute is the analysis of the case file as a roadmap and starting point for the work that must take place to move the case toward an efficient resolution. It does not include subsequent analysis and verification of information submitted after the case was received. Use Attribute 413 -Financial Documentation Complete/Verified when rating the completeness of the case documentation and verification at case disposition

    If the initial analysis and actions were appropriate to the facts and circumstances of the case, rate this attribute "Yes" even if the actions fall outside the required timeframes. The Offer Specialist must conduct an initial analysis and complete necessary initial actions revealed by a review of the case file.

    The attribute will be rated "No" if the Offer Specialist failed to conduct an initial analysis and complete necessary initial actions revealed by a review of the case file.

5.13.4.8.2  (04-25-2008)
Attribute 108: Verify Full Compliance

  1. Operational Definition - Use this field to identify if the employee verified full compliance through appropriate research or other means such as inspection, inquiry, etc. as appropriate.

  2. Job Aid Definition- The purpose of this attribute is to determine whether the employee verified full compliance with all filing and deposit requirements, as well as required TIPRA payments during the investigation.

  3. Rating Guide Explanation

    Note:

    This attribute must be rated in all cases.

    Rate this attribute "Yes" if the Offer Specialist correctly addressed compliance on all IMF and/or BMF entities, documented the FTDs and ES requirements of the taxpayer and monitored compliance while the case was assigned to him/her.

    Rate this attribute as "No" if compliance was not considered, documented or monitored throughout the entire case.

5.13.4.8.3  (04-25-2008)
Attribute 410: Lien Filing Determination

  1. Operational Definition - Use this field to identify if the employee followed appropriate lien determination/filing procedures

  2. Job Aid Definition- The purpose of the attribute is to determine if a lien filing decision was made, whether the decision was appropriate and documented as required.

  3. Rating Guide Explanation

    Note:

    This attribute will be rated in all cases.

    Rate this attribute "Yes" if the employee adhered to applicable IRM criteria for making a proper lien filing determination in OIC cases.

    Rate this attribute "No" if the employee did not adhere to applicable IRM criteria for making a proper lien filing determination in OIC cases.

5.13.4.8.4  (04-25-2008)
Attribute 413: Financial Documentation Complete and/or Verified

  1. Operational Definition - Use this field to identify if the employee properly evaluated the thoroughness and accuracy of the financial information secured.

  2. Job Aid Definition- The purpose of this attribute is to rate whether or not the Offer Specialist completed a thorough verification of the taxpayer’s CIS. This process involves reviewing information from internal sources and requesting that the taxpayer provide additional information or documents that are necessary to make a reasonable collection determination. This attribute does not measure analysis of the information to make an Offer Determination (Attribute #414) .

  3. Rating Guide Explanation - This attribute will be rated "Yes" if a thorough and full analysis was conducted to verify income and expense information as listed on the CIS. Reworking issues addressed by previous field investigative work is not required to meet this attribute, unless there is convincing evidence to suggest further investigation is necessary. On OIC rejection cases, this attribute will be rated "Yes" when the OS conducted the necessary verification of information up to the point of the rejection determination. This does not necessarily mean that an actual request must have been made for the data at this point. Recognition/mention of the need is sufficient to meet the attribute.

    Note:

    If the history specifically states that the OS evaluated the AET/IET (or equivalent) in light of internal sources or substantiation provided and determined that the amounts claimed were reasonable, rate the attribute "Yes"

    This attribute will be rated "No" if:

    • Offer investigation reveals additional assets/expenses could be; retirement accounts, real property, value of life insurance, or court ordered child support payments not verified.

    • The OS made a blanket request for information that was not specific and did not consider information that was already in the file or available from internal sources.

    • The OS determines that an In-Business Trust Fund taxpayer, including sole proprietorships, as well as corporations, cannot pay operating expenses and remain current with taxes, all business assets should be valued and all operating expenses carefully verified.

      This attribute will be rated "N/A if:"

    • The offer is returned due to non-compliance

    • Tp withdrew the offer prior to investigation

    • TP failed to provide information that was properly requested

5.13.4.8.5  (04-25-2008)
Attribute 414: Analyze Ability to Pay

  1. Operational Definition - Use this field to identify if the employee determined the taxpayer’s ability to pay.

  2. Job Aid Definition- The purpose of this attribute is to determine if the OS analyzed the taxpayer’s financial information, and correctly applied existing guidelines, to determine the taxpayer’s Reasonable Collection Potential (RCP).

    This attribute does not measure the verification process necessary to confirm the accuracy of the financial information received, nor requests for subsequent or additional information, (see Attribute 413).

  3. Rating Guide Explanation - This attribute will be rated "Yes" if the OS accurately computed, within reasonable limits, the taxpayer’s ability to pay. In keeping with Policy Statement P-5-100, the focus of Attribute 414 is the calculation of the taxpayer’s reasonable collection potential. Although all facts that would change or significantly impact the ultimate case resolution should be considered; absolute mathematical precision is not required to meet this attribute. The OS is expected to maintain a flexible position when negotiating an offer.

    This attribute will be rated "No" if:

    • Future ability to pay is not taken into consideration

    • A computation error was made in calculating the reasonable collection potential

    • No consideration made to pursue assets beyond the reach of the government

    • The national/local standards are allowed for more than the number of dependents claimed on the taxpayer’s tax return

    Note:

    Certain situations (i.e. size of family, hardship issues, etc) may warrant a deviation from the national/local standards to allow more than the expense limit

    Consideration should be given that this may be a "no" in certain situations based on facts of the case and documentation.

    The assets of a non-liable spouse are not considered. For instance: the current spouse is unemployed and owns the home the taxpayer is currently living in; the taxpayer is making the monthly mortgage payment and has been for several years, and therefore the taxpayer has an equity interest in the property.

    This attribute will be rated "N/A" if:

    • The offer is returned due to non-compliance

    • TP withdrew the Offer prior to investigation

5.13.4.8.6  (04-25-2008)
Attribute 415: Courtesy Investigations (OI)

  1. Operational Definition - Use this field to determine if the Offer Specialist appropriately initiated a Courtesy Investigation (OI).

  2. Job Aid Definition- The purpose of this attribute is to determine whether the Offer Specialist recognized the need and appropriately recommended initiation of a courtesy investigation.

  3. Rating Guide Explanation - Rate this attribute "Yes" when the offer specialist identified issues and recommended initiation of a courtesy investigation.

    Rate this attribute "Yes" when the offer specialist identified issues and recommended initiation of a courtesy investigation but the OIC manager and the RO manager did not agree to the issuance of the OI.

    Rate this attribute "No" when there were collection issues that warranted initiation of a courtesy investigation but the OS fails to make a request for assignment to a Revenue Officer for further investigation.

    Rate this attribute " N/A" in those situations where there was no collection issues identified through the offer process that would warrant further investigation using an OI.

5.13.4.8.7  (04-25-2008)
Attribute 418: ETA/DCSC Determination

  1. Operational Definition - Use this field to determine if an ETA/DCSC offer was properly considered when the Offer Specialist has determined that the TP does not qualify for consideration under Doubt as Liability (DATL) or Doubt as to Collectibility (DATC)

  2. Job Aid Definition- When the OS determines that the taxpayer’s offer is not eligible for compromise based on (DATL) or (DATC) and the taxpayer can demonstrate that collection of the tax liability in full would create an economic hardship, or demonstrate that there is compelling public policy or equity issues in the case that would provide sufficient basis for compromise; an ETA offer should be considered.

  3. Rating Guide Explanation - The attribute will be rated "Yes" if the offer specialist recognizes and supports an acceptance based on ETA/DCSC and includes the proper documentation.

    The attribute will be rated "Yes" if the taxpayer submits an ETA/DCSC offer or submits a DATC offer and then later raises an issue that does not meet the criteria and the offer specialist does not support an acceptance.

    The attribute will be rated "No" if documentation supporting an accepted ETA/DCSC is in the case file, but the issue is not addressed in the case file.

    This attribute will be rated "N/A" if:

    • The Offer is returned due to non-compliance

    • The taxpayer withdrew the Offer prior to investigation

    • There are no ETA/Economic Hardship/Compliance related issues present in the Offer

5.13.4.8.8  (04-25-2008)
Attribute 700: Appropriate Approval

  1. Operational Definition - Use this field to determine if appropriate approvals were secured based on the type of closure.

  2. Job Aid Definition- The purpose of this attribute is to determine if the proper level for approval of an OIC was secured and when required, reviewed by the Independent Administrative Reviewer (IAR) or Area Counsel prior to closure.

  3. Rating Guide Explanation - This attribute will be rated "Yes" if all the appropriate approvals were received on the case prior to closure.

    The attribute will be rated "No" if the acceptance letter (case over $50,000) is signed by the approving official prior to counsel review or if the approval official is not the appropriate delegate.

    Managers are to rate this attribute "N/A" on in-process case reviews.

5.13.4.8.9  (04-25-2008)
Attribute 701: Appropriate Case Disposition

  1. Operational Definition - Use this field to identify if the method of case disposition was consistent with the facts and circumstances of the case as reflected in the case file.

  2. Job Aid Definition- The purpose of this attribute is to rate whether or not the Offer Specialist used the correct disposition method.

  3. Rating Guide Explanation - Rate this attribute "Yes" when case documentation and method of disposition are consistent with one another. Also this attribute should be rated "Yes" when errors identified in the analysis of ability to pay do not clearly reflect a different method of case disposition.

    Note:

    These errors will be rated under Attribute 414: Analyze Ability to Pay.

    Rate this attribute "No" when case documentation and method of disposition are inconsistent. When rating this attribute " No" a narrative comment must be entered that states specifically what the proper disposition should have been and an explanation of the reason the actual closing method was incorrect. (For example, the Offer was closed as an acceptance but should have been a rejection because the file clearly showed the taxpayer had the ability to full pay the liability through liquidation of specific distrainable assets.)

    Rate this attribute "N/A" for all in-process case reviews conducted prior to the case being submitted for approval of a closing recommendation.

5.13.4.8.10  (04-25-2008)
Attribute 702: Employee Case History/Documentation

  1. Operational Definition - Use this field to identify if the employee completed the required case history/case documentation per IRM guidelines including accurate, clear and concise preparation of internal documents.

  2. Job Aid Definition- The purpose of this attribute is to measures whether the case history and related case documentation was properly completed by the OS

  3. Rating Guide Explanation - Rate this attribute "Yes" if the OS completed the case history and documentation so that it is sufficient for the purposes noted above.

    Rate this attribute " No" if the Offer Specialist failed to maintain the case history and documentation sufficient for the purposes noted above.

5.13.4.8.11  (04-25-2008)
Attribute 703: Closing Reports & Supporting Documents

  1. Operational Definition - Use this field to identify if the file contained required closing reports and supporting documents.

  2. Job Aid Definition - The purpose of this attribute is to measure whether the OS included the required reports and supporting documentation.

  3. Rating Guide Explanation - The IRM requires that the offer file contain specific closing reports and supporting documentation. All final reports should be free of computation errors and prepared in accordance with IRM procedures.

    This attribute will be rated "Yes" if all the required reports and supporting documentation are in the case file.

    This attribute will be rated " No" if the required reports are not in the case file.

    This attribute will be rated "N/A" for in-process reviews where the case is not yet at the point of closing.

5.13.4.9  (04-25-2008)
Managerial Review Attributes

  1. There are two attributes that are used only in managerial reviews and do not apply to NQRS.

5.13.4.9.1  (04-25-2008)
Attribute 110: Inventory Management (Manager Review Only)

  1. Operational Definition – Use this field to determine if the employee considered and resolved inventory management issues within established guidelines.

  2. Job Aid Definition – Employees should manage their inventory in an efficient and effective manner. Efficient inventory management practices include planning and scheduling of work so that multiple case actions can be accomplished simultaneously to expedite case resolution. When inventory problems arise, employees should notify the manager and ensure inventory information is current and accurate.

  3. Rating Guide Explanation - Efficient inventory management practices include the prevention of inventory problems through effective planning and scheduling of work. Often work can be scheduled so that multiple case actions can be accomplished simultaneously to expedite case resolution and reduce inventory management problems.

    It is often difficult to determine on an individual case review whether the Offer Specialist is failing sub aspect B, of CJE V: Business Results Efficiency.

    Generally a determination can be made, based upon multiple cases reviewed over a period of time, as to whether sub aspect B of CJE V, is being rated as "Yes" .

    When rating this attribute the Group Manager should consider whether or not the employee:

    • Routinely identifies case work issues and documents a planned course of action to help prevent inventory problems

    • Reconciles inventory management issues as soon as possible, and/or informs the manager,

    • Reports time and activity in a timely and accurate manner

    • Updates case codes/sub-codes and other indicators timely and accurately

    • Ensures that automated inventory information is current and accurate

5.13.4.9.2  (04-25-2008)
Attribute 401: Field Visitations (Manager Review Only)

  1. Operational Definition – Use this field to identify if the employee conducted work at the appropriate location.

  2. Job Aid Definition - The purpose of this attribute is to determine if the Offer Specialist pursued the investigation in the field as dictated by the facts and circumstances of the case.

  3. Rating Guide Explanation - Rate this attribute "Yes" if a field visit was made to view the taxpayer’s business and/or assets based upon the facts and circumstances of the case, including any inconsistencies in property valuations as shown on the CIS vs. information from internal/external records.


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