Large Business and International Examination Process


Publication 5125

Publication 5125, Large Business and International Examination ProcessPDF outlines the LB&I Examination Process (LEP) which provides an issue-based approach for conducting professional examinations from the first contact with the taxpayer through the final stages of issue resolution. LEP establishes roles and responsibilities for both LB&I examiners and taxpayers and sets specific expectations with respect to claims for refund. However, not all examinations are the same in scope, size, and complexity; therefore, portions of the publication may be more applicable to some cases than others.

Publication 5125 highlights key factors in each phase of the examination including Planning, Execution and Resolution. IRM 4.46.1 provides general information and key definitions for LEP. IRM 4.46, sections 3, 4 and 5 provide the LEP planning, execution, and resolution procedures.

Below are some of the key factors identified in Publication 5125:

  • LB&I Examination Process (LEP) Publication 5125

    • Sets clear expectations for LB&I examiners, taxpayers, and representatives.
    • Examiners are expected to work transparently in a collaborative manner with taxpayers to understand their business and share the issues that have been identified for examination.
    • Encourages taxpayers and/or representatives to work transparently with examiners to provide an overview of business activities, operational structure, accounting systems and a global tax organizational chart.
    • Establishes expectations for working collaboratively to develop audit steps, timelines and providing appropriate personnel to actively assist in the development of the issue(s) identified.
  • Claim for refunds requirements

    • Requires adherence to Treas. Regs. 301.6402-2 and 301.6402-3.
    • Defines a designated period for the acceptance of informal claims.
    • Allows for early identification of issues and resource needs in the exam planning stage.
    • Mandates the filing of formal claims (using Form 1120-X, Form 1040-X, or Form 843) after the expiration of the period for filing informal claims.
    • Prescribes the filing of formal claims with the Internal Revenue Service Center where the taxpayer filed its original return.
    • Provides that a copy of the formal claim including all the factual and supporting documentation is provided to the LB&I team.
  • Issue driven examination process

    • Focuses the right resources on selected issues.
    • Encourages collaboration within issue teams where every examiner and their managers are equally responsible and accountable for the examination.
    • Issue team consults with counsel or subject matter experts as needed during issue development.
    • Establishes case timelines as determined by the most complex issues.
  • Issue development model

    • Relies on active dialogue and fact sharing. 
    • Seeks ongoing acknowledgement of facts to ensure accurate tax determinations.
    • Describes the LB&I Information Documentation Request (IDR) Process.
    • Excludes listed transactions, transactions of interest, or other issues defined and referenced in IRM 4.46.4 from the IDR enforcement process.
    • Addresses the applicability of penalties and compliance with IRC 6751(b). 
    • Explains the "Acknowledgment of Facts" IDR process for potentially unagreed issues.

LB&I examiners will discuss this publication at all opening meetings.