Communications & Liaison (C&L) provides IRS employees and external partners a communications and outreach capability that promotes understanding of the agency’s mission and goals, promotes two-way dialogue, builds relationships with the tax professional community, government agencies, businesses and groups outside the tax community. The overriding goal is to help taxpayers understand and meet their tax responsibilities. Mission Supports the IRS mission and business objectives using strategic relationship management, communication tools and processes, resolution of issues of mutual concern, and information sharing. Strategic Priorities Enable IRS business objectives by supporting the operating and functional divisions’ major strategies and operational priorities. Ensure that communications with partners, Congress and others are consistent and coordinated IRS-wide and integrating partner feedback and concerns into the day-to-day operations of the agency. Ensure a quality work environment that is operationally efficient and effective. Ensure the support of taxpayer service and tax enforcement work to accomplish IRS business objectives. Headquarters Washington, DC Management Team Chief, Communications & Liaison — Terry Lemons Director, Office of Communications — Michelle Eldridge Senior Advisor, Office of Legislative Affairs — Bart Massey Director, Office of National Public Liaison — Melvin Hardy Director, Stakeholder Liaison — Derek Ganter Branch Chief, Tax Outreach, Partnership and Education (TOPE) — Christine Footit Stakeholders C&L's partners include national tax professional groups, organizations inside and outside the tax community, IRS advisory committees, Congress, government groups, oversight organizations, the news media, the National Treasury Employees Union as well as IRS employees and IRS operating, functional and support divisions. Overview and Services of the C&L Offices The C&L Division enables the IRS to achieve its strategic business objectives by integrating communications, partnering activities and information sharing with key internal and external stakeholders and is a key strategic tool for the Commissioner and for IRS Operating Divisions. C&L helps achieve the IRS strategic goals by: Linking the IRS to the American taxpayer through critical constituencies: Congress, national and local media, tax professionals’ organizations, and official oversight and advisory panels. Identifying ongoing and emerging issues from key stakeholders, and ensuring their timely resolution. Advising the Commissioner on the effective presentation of policy positions and issue responses. Promoting public awareness of major IRS initiatives. Coordinating high-priority communications to employees, working with professional staff in all IRS divisions. Office of Communications The focal point for planning, coordinating, and producing Servicewide communications. It provides a wide range of expertise, products, and services to help achieve business outcomes through communications within and outside the agency. The office works with national and local media to enhance the public's understanding of the IRS and its mission, programs and policies; manages national media campaigns to help the IRS meet its goals and business objectives; manages voicemail and Intranet channels for communicating with all IRS employees; and produces interactive video training. Office of Legislative Affairs Manages IRS relationships with members of Congress and their staffs by timely sharing publicly available information, serving as the central coordinating point for the IRS on its legislative objectives, and assisting in securing Congressional support for tax administration. It prepares and coordinates legislative proposals that further the IRS Strategic Plan’s objectives to improve service and compliance. These proposals are separate from those provided directly to the Congress by the Taxpayer Advocate. Legislative Affairs also provides a national level of coordination, oversight and guidance for the Congressional Affairs Program, which helps manage relationships with congressional offices. Office of National Public Liaison Manages relationships with national stakeholder organizations, business and professional associations, the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC), the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC) and federal agencies with an interest in tax administration, IRS activities and programs. The Office also manages the Nationwide Tax Forum program, with an annual attendance of more than 10,000 tax practitioners. Stakeholder Liaison Establishes and manages relationships with tax practitioner and industry organizations representing small business and self-employed taxpayers. It provides information about the policies, practices and procedures the IRS uses to ensure compliance with the tax laws and elevates issues that affect tax administration. TOPE Focuses on developing and building relationships with organizations outside of the traditional tax community. This team explores partnership opportunities with a variety of groups and associations that may not ordinarily interact with the IRS on a regular basis, with a special emphasis on emerging topics and issues ranging from the sharing economy to new tax law issues. TOPE works with these groups to provide them with a direct, interactive line of contact to the IRS, to share real-time information about tax laws that affect them and their communities as well as share critical information on hot topics.