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Counsel Automated System Environment (CASE)

Privacy Impact Assessment  –  Chief Counsel - Counsel Automated System Environment (CASE)

CASE System Overview


The Chief Counsel is the chief legal officer of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and serves as counsel and legal advisor to the IRS Commissioner on both non-tax legal questions and matters pertaining to the administration and enforcement of the Internal Revenue laws and related statutes.  Chief Counsel’s Automated System Environment (CASE) provides the automated tools Office of Chief Counsel employees require to accomplish their official duties in the most cost-effective and efficient manner.  CASE consists of a number of core functions that have been implemented on a standard hardware platform nationwide, integrating new and existing systems.  The first CASE functions went into production in early 1994. 

Current CASE functions are documented in the CASE USER Handbook, and include:

CASE-TM (Technical Management Information System) is an automated system used only by National Office Chief Counsel personnel.

CASE-GL (General Litigation Automated Case Tracking System) allows users to open, update and close general litigation cases.

CASE-TR (Time Reporting System) is an administrative system to track time spent on various types of case work and supports resource allocation decisions.

CASE-IL (Uniform Issues List Tracking System) is a comprehensive list of legal issues arising from the Internal Revenue Code.  The UIL is an automated tool which is used for storing, researching, and retrieving issues related to internal Revenue Code sections.

CASE-TLCATS (Tax Litigation Counsel Automated Tracking System) is a case control and management information system for all of litigation cases.

CASE-GLS (General Legal Services) is a case control and management information system for all non tax related cases including labor, contracts, ethics, etc.

CASE-CT.  (Criminal Tax) is a case control and management information system for all criminal tax cases.

CASE-DL (Disclosure Litigation) is a management information system that tracks assignments and case information for disclosure litigation.

System of Records Number(s)

IRS 34.037 – IRS Audit Trail and Security Records System.
IRS 36.003 – General Personnel and Payroll Records
IRS 90.001 – Chief Counsel Criminal Tax Case Files
IRS 90.002 – Chief Counsel Disclosure Litigation Case Files
IRS 90.003 – Chief Counsel General Administrative Systems
IRS 90.004 – Chief Counsel General Legal Services Case Files
IRS 90.005 – Chief Counsel General Litigation Case Files
IRS 90.007 – Chief Counsel Legislation and Regulation Division, Employee Plans and Exempt Organizations Division, and Associate Chief Counsel (Technical and International) Correspondence and Private Bill File
IRS 90.009 – Chief Counsel Field Services Case Files
IRS 90.010 – Digest Room Files Containing Brief, Legal Opinions, and Digests of Documents Generated Internally or by the Department of Justice Relating to the administration of the Revenue Laws.
IRS 90.011 – Attorney Recruiting Files
IRS 90.013 – Legal Case Files of the Chief Counsel, Deputy Chief Counsel and Associate Chief Counsels
IRS 90.015 – Reference Records of the Library in the Office of Chief Counsel  
IRS 90.016 – Counsel Automated Tracking System (CATS) Records
IRS 90.017 – Correspondence Control and Records, Associate Chief Counsel (Technical and International)
IRS 90.018 – Expert Witness Library

Data in the System

1.   Describe the information (data elements and fields) available in the system in the following categories:

A.  Taxpayer
B.  Employee
C.  Audit Trail Information (including employee log-in info)
D.  Other (Describe)


A. For all applications listed (see page 1), taxpayer data includes, entity, name, SSN/TIN and may contain phone number, address, docket number, amount at issue in litigation, lien, judgment, payments, offense, forfeiture, income, and/or penalty/interest.

B. For all applications listed (see page 1), contain name, login ID, standard employee identifier (SEID); public encryption key, email address, and optional badge number and tax court bar number.  For CASE-TR employee’s SSN is required.

C. For all CASE applications, a separate form 5081 must be recommended and approved by senior executive service manager (SES). Users have access to the data in their functional area on a need to know basis.  All access requests and approvals are documented.  A user’s access to the data is terminated when that access is no longer required.

D.   Contact data includes Judge’s name, Department of Justice Attorney name, names of individuals that will or have testified in a court proceeding.

2.   Describe/identify which data elements are obtained from files, databases, individuals, or any other sources.

A.  IRS
B.  Taxpayer
C.  Employee
D.  Other Federal Agencies (List agency)
E.  State and Local Agencies (List agency)
F.  Other third party sources (Describe)


A.  For all CASE applications IRS data includes, entity, name, SSN/TIN and may contain phone number, address,  amount at issue. lien, judgment, payments, offense, forfeiture, income, and/or penalty/interest.

B. For all CASE applications except CASE-TR,  contain name, login ID, standard employee identifier (SEID); public encryption key, email address, and optional badge number and tax court bar number.  For CASE-TR employee’s SSN is required.

C.  For all applications listed may contain name, login ID, standard employee identifier (SEID); public encryption key, email address, and optional badge number and tax court bar number.  For CASE-TR employee’s SSN is required.

D.   Dept. of Justice for all applications listed except for CASE-TR and CASE-TM, includes, entity, name, SSN/TIN and may contain phone number, address,  amount at issue. lien, judgment, payments, offense, forfeiture, income, and/or penalty/interest. CASE-TM may contain name and phone number of Main Treasury personnel., Labor Department, and Pension Guarantee Benefits Corporation.  Additionally all CASE application except CASE-TR and CASE-TM may contain information from U.S Tax Court, Federal Court or District Court on Case Number/ Docket Number,  Lien judgment, payments, forfeiture.

E. No state or Local agency sources.

F. N/A

3.  Is each data item required for the business purpose of the system?   Explain.

Yes. The data contained in the CASE network is critical to Counsel's ability to handle taxpayer cases, correspondence, employee training records, employee personnel data and employee work schedule data.  An entity may have more than one legal case before the court with different persons associated with each case, the taxpayer data provides the means to identify parties to the legal case and the persons associated with a particular case.  Legal addresses, Judge’s and Chief Counsel Attorney names are needed for contacting the parties on a case before the court. Employee ID’s enable the system to identify authorized users and track access.  Public Encryption Keys allow system to protect taxpayer data from unauthorized access. 

4.   How will each data item be verified for accuracy, timeliness, and completeness?

Information is provided by Federal Courts and IRS.  Each data item is reviewed by Chief Counsel personnel for accuracy, timeliness and completeness.

5.   Is there another source for the data?   Explain how that source is or is not used.

No, there is no other source for the data.

6.   Generally, how will data be retrieved by the user?

Data is generally accessed on-line from secure locations within the Office of Chief Counsel.  Data is accessible on a need-to-know basis.

7.   Is the data retrievable by a personal identifier such as name, SSN, or other unique identifier?

Yes, data is stored and is retrievable by a unique case number assigned by the U.S. Tax Court (for docketed cases) or by a unique system-generated case number (for non-docketed or refund litigation cases), and can also be retrieved by taxpayer name, TIN and employee name.

Access to the Data

8.   Who will have access to the data in the system (Users, Managers, System Administrators, Developers, Others)?


Offices of Chief Counsel personnel have access to CASE on a need-to-know basis as authorized by immediate managers.   Systems administration and development is performed by a limited set of developers who have appropriate background clearances.

9.   How is access to the data by a user determined and by whom?

User access requests are authorized by management and by a select set of management analysts in the Office of Chief Counsel.  Access requests are processed using the On-Line 5081 system.  These management analysts determine the level of access granted each user by the application.

10.   Do other IRS systems provide, receive, or share data in the system?   If YES, list the system(s) and describe which data is shared.   If NO, continue to Question 12.

Generally No.  Systems outside of CASE do not have physical access to CASE data.  However, CASE-TYPE, CASE-DATE, Docket Number, TIN, Taxpayer Name and Address and Assigned Attorney is received from TLCATS once a day to update CASE and ensure consistent data. 

11.   Have the IRS systems described in Item 10 received an approved Security Certification and Privacy Impact Assessment?  Yes.

12.   Will other agencies provide, receive, or share data in any form with this system?

Data is provided by the Department of Justice and Federal Courts for all applications except CASE-TR.  CASE-TM may contain information from Main Treasury, Labor Department, Pension Benefits Corporation, and Federal Courts.  No access is given to any other agencies.

Administrative Controls of Data

13.   What are the procedures for eliminating the data at the end of the retention period?


Records are maintained in accordance with Records Disposition Handbooks, IRM 1.15.2.1 Chapter 6.  Magnetic media will be periodically updated to reflect changes and maintained as long as allowed.

14.   Will this system use technology in a new way?  If "YES" describe.  If "NO" go to Question 15.  No.

15.   Will this system be used to identify or locate individuals or groups?   If so, describe the business purpose for this capability.

Yes. CASE is used to identify individuals or groups who have filed petitions with the U.S. Tax Court or other federal courts in which the IRS is a respondent.  Such cases may be identified by common case elements (i.e. tax shelter involvement, issues, etc.) in order for the Office of Chief Counsel to develop fair and consistent litigation strategy.

16.   Will this system provide the capability to monitor individuals or groups?   If yes, describe the business purpose for this capability and the controls established to prevent unauthorized monitoring.

No, CASE is not used to monitor individuals or groups other than by monitoring the cases docketed with the U.S. Tax Court and other federal courts, and monitor the amount of time employees devote to individual cases.

17.   Can use of the system allow IRS to treat taxpayers, employees, or others, differently?   Explain.  No.

18.   Does the system ensure "due process" by allowing affected parties to respond to any negative determination, prior to final action?

CASE is a general support system.  It does not make or track negative determinations against any party.

19.   If the system is web-based, does it use persistent cookies or other tracking devices to identify web visitors?

Although parts of CASE are web enabled, it does not use persistent cookies to identify web visitors.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 18-Jul-2014