1.4.5  Corporate Tax Administration Tools

Manual Transmittal

October 16, 2015


(1) This transmits IRM 1.4.5, Resource Guide for Managers, Corporate Tax Administration Tools.


IRM 1.4.5 provides IRS managers with the background relating to delivery of corporate tax administration tools, where and how to access them, and related training materials.

Material Changes

(1) The following changes were made to IRM 1.4.5:

IRM Subsection IRM Content Changes
IRM Added alphabetical list item to first paragraph to explain employees may no longer use asset/locator tools to search or browse for anyone outside of their business case needs.
  1. Changed the name of WebPACER to PACER in the title, and in paragraph 1.

  2. Added a new paragraph 2 on IRS PACER POCs in SB/SE

  3. Added a new paragraph 3 and alphabetical list on PACER funding.

  4. Updated existing paragraphs 4 and 5 with current information.

Throughout the IRM Updated hyperlinks to current addresses throughout the IRM.

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 1.4.5, Resource Guide for Managers, Corporate Tax Administration Tools, dated July 11, 2011 is superseded.


This IRM is intended for IRS managers Servicewide.

Effective Date


Pete Rose
Director, Data Management Division  (07-08-2011)
Enterprise Research Program

  1. IRM 1.4.5 provides an overview of the program to purchase commercial products and services to support tax administration activities.

  2. IRS and NTEU adopted a strategy for managing the agency’s research requirements for tax law, legal, and asset/locator services at a corporate level. The goals of this strategy are:

    1. Improve access to commercial Electronic Research

    2. Provide products tailored to IRS needs

    3. Maximize the benefit of available resources

  3. The following table lists the types of research products and services available.

    Category Product
    Tax, Legal, Business, and News
    • Internal Revenue Code

    • Income tax regulations

    • IRS administrative decisions

    • IRS forms

    • Internal Revenue Manual

    • Federal tax judicial decisions

    • Commercial tax services and tax related books

    • Treatises and periodicals and other non-tax legal, news, and business sources

    Asset and Locator
    • Credit bureau reports

    • Judgments

    • Verdicts

    • Liens

    • Bankruptcy data

    • Real property records

    • State incorporation and corporate officer/principal information

    • Corporate asset data

    • Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) records where available

  4. All research products and services are available online. Asset and locator services are also available in batch. See http://rnet.web.irs.gov/Accurint/default.asp. Paper products include Internal Revenue Code, Income Tax Regulations, and Tax Handbooks. See http://rnet.web.irs.gov/Resources/PrintedTaxReferencesMaterials.asp. Products and services available on DVD include the Internal Revenue Code-including history, U.S. Tax Treaties, Income Tax Regulations, Revenue Rulings, Revenue Procedures, Internal Revenue Manual, and related announcements, notices, Chief Counsel Guidance, issue papers and associated guides and tax publications. See http://rnet.web.irs.gov/CCH/CCHContent.asp.

  5. IRS manages these contracts on a corporate level. The Office of Servicewide Policy, Directives, and Electronic Research (SPDER) is responsible for contract administration for all electronic research contracts except:

    1. The credit bureau contract, which is owned by SB/SE

    2. Certain local Asset and Locator contracts, which are owned by the requesting division

  6. Contact SPDER at spder@irs.gov.  (07-08-2011)
Electronic Research

  1. Electronic Research is the use of computers to gather information needed to complete a full analysis of a tax return, whether as part of the audit process, collection process, or assistance process. Electronic research includes the following categories of material:

    1. Asset and Locator

    2. Business and News

    3. IRS materials

    4. Legal

    5. Tax

    Also see IRM  (07-08-2011)
Electronic Research Advantages

  1. The quality of field investigations has direct impact on fair and impartial administration of the tax laws, protection of taxpayer rights, and the collection of the proper revenue. IRS employees commonly use research to determine a defensibly correct conclusion to a tax question.

  2. Expanded access to electronic research improves the quality of cases, assists in the fair application of the laws, and helps front line employees resolve taxpayer questions.

  3. Advantages to using electronic research are:

    1. Employees have immediate access to current procedures, forms, documents, agency decisions, regulations, related court cases as well as primary sources and secondary sources for tax-related research

    2. Time and money spent traveling to libraries and courthouses to perform research is reduced

    3. Electronic research is faster than perusing paper sources

    4. The ability to validate references ensures research results are accurate

    5. Consistent treatment to taxpayers is ensured, thereby improving business results

    6. Improved casework

    7. Research time is reduced  (07-08-2011)
Electronic Research Program Management

  1. In a stewardship role, SPDER provides oversight of the enterprise strategy for delivering electronic research tools, much like AWSS or MITS provides stewardship for other corporate assets.  (07-08-2011)
Electronic Research Oversight Council (EROC)

  1. The Electronic Research Oversight Council (EROC) is comprised of representatives from each division and function, including Chief Counsel. The EROC is chartered to provide a strategic direction for the identification and delivery of tax administration tools. This group provides a forum for division collaboration on the delivery of research services to employees.

  2. The EROC members list is posted on ReferenceNet at http://spder.web.irs.gov/research/members/default.asp.

  3. The EROC serves as a decision-making body and makes recommendations on electronic research issues. Some of these issues include:

    1. Training

    2. Connectivity problems

    3. Content of products

    4. User concerns

    5. User requirements

  4. SPDER chairs EROC.  (07-08-2011)
Accessing ER Tools

  1. Access to ER tools often requires user IDs and passwords.

  2. Instructions for requesting access, as well as links to these tools, are on ReferenceNet at http://rnet.web.irs.gov/.  (07-08-2011)
Electronic Research Training and Reference Material

  1. Managers are responsible for ensuring employees have access to tax administration tools and receive training to use them.

  2. Information on training is on ReferenceNet at http://rnet.web.irs.gov/Training/.

  3. The following types of training are available:

    1. Classroom Training - Provides training for either a general or specific audience

    2. Centra - Offers training at your desk with a live instructor via web conference


      Recorded sessions are available for introductory and advanced classes.

    3. Computer Based Training - Gives you the flexibility to review the modules you need when it's convenient for you

    4. Electronic Research Expo and ER Training - Provides one on one impromptu discussions with ER experts at the Expo and classroom training associated with the event

    5. Quick Reference Guides - Help you get started with common tasks

    6. Telephonic Training - Allows for one-on-one or small group training by phone tailored to your research needs

    7. User Guides - Provide detailed instructions on how to use various tools  (07-08-2011)
Tax and Legal Research Contracts

  1. Current corporate tax and legal research services contracts provide IRS employees with access to the following:

    1. Primary and secondary Federal tax, news, business, and legal sources

    2. Federal tax resources on a commercial DVD intended for employees who need to perform research from off-site locations: see IRM DVD, for DVD ordering information


      These products are linked to cited references, allowing access to all research material from one place.

  2. SPDER's website, ReferenceNet, contains information on the research services contracts. See http://rnet.web.irs.gov/default.asp.  (07-08-2011)
Standalone DVD

  1. The Standalone DVD contains basic tax law information and is distributed quarterly. It is intended for employees who work outside an IRS office. Additional information may be found at http://rnet.web.irs.gov/CCH/disc.asp.

  2. The DVD is published quarterly with refreshed content. The DVD expires after 15 months, except for the last DVD of the year which is an archival non-expiring disk.

  3. To request automatic distribution of this product, the manager must update the office IMDDS information using the Order and Subscription Management System (OSMS) program at http://caps-as.enterprise.irs.gov/osms/app. Provide the following to OSMS:

    1. File 498

    2. Quantity needed

    3. Catalog number 01403V

    Obtain additional information from your IMDDS Coordinator at http://publish.no.irs.gov/distsys/imdds/imddteam.html.


    If you need a copy of the DVD immediately, you must use a different Catalog Number. Order by calling the National Distribution Center at 800-829-2765. You will need to provide your order point number. Request Catalog Number 32004A.  (07-08-2011)
Paper Research Products

  1. The IRS' goal is to maximize the use of web-based research products. However, we recognize that employees may also need to use paper research materials.

  2. SPDER manages enterprise contracts for bulk purchases of universally used paper products such as:

    1. Internal Revenue Code

    2. Income Tax Regulations

    3. Tax Handbooks


    Each operating division and function has responsibility to provide adequate research materials. Use discretion when determining the need for paper research products.  (07-08-2011)
Ordering Paper Research Products

  1. IRS has five-year bulk order contracts for the code, regulations and tax handbooks. For more information on these products contact your IMDDS Coordinator at http://publish.no.irs.gov/distsys/imdds/imddcoor.html.

  2. These publications can be ordered annually from the Printed Tax Reference Material (PTRM) Renewal Survey, that comes out every July. Orders must be placed by the first week in August. The survey contains instructions and is distributed to all IMDDS order points. If you have questions about the IMDDS system, call your function's IMDDS Coordinator.

  3. Each operating division and function is responsible for providing funds for the number of copies of the code and regulations ordered.

  4. SPDER funds all handbooks, up to the amount budgeted for this purpose. If costs exceed SPDER's appropriated amount, the operating division or function has two choices:

    1. Provide additional funding, or

    2. Reduce quantity ordered


    The Internal Revenue Code, Income Tax Regulations, and Tax Handbooks are available electronically from the commercial vendors who provide electronic tax research services to IRS.  (10-16-2015)
Asset/Locator and Public Records Contracts

  1. Employees can research public records through the asset/locator tool. It provides easy access to public records such as real estate transactions, real property assessment information, vehicles, aircraft, as well as information on people and businesses.


    Employees may not use asset/locator tools to search or browse for themselves, friends, relatives, celebrities, government officials, etc. Searching or browsing for these people is a violation of IRS policy as well as a misuse of government computer resources.

  2. Batch processing of public record information, such as phone numbers and addressees, is also available under a national contract and is user funded. Offices that need this data can email SPDER for additional information at spder@irs.gov.  (07-08-2011)
Local Contracts

  1. Local contracts may still be required for data that is unavailable from the national contract vehicles. For example, in some states the Department of Motor Vehicles do not sell records to third-party vendors. Local contracts are predominately funded by SB/SE, however, these funds are expected to cover all needs for local contracts, regardless of operating division or function.


    There are IRS restrictions on the purchase of electronic research services, locator services, electronic assets/locator, and credit bureau information services. See IRM, Contract Restrictions. This IRS policy applies to the purchase of all local contracts and must be followed when seeking to purchase services outside the national contracts.  (07-08-2011)
Credit Bureau Information

  1. IRS has a national contract for credit bureau data. SB/SE owns and manages this contract.

  2. Full Credit Reports are only available to IRS employees working balance due cases. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires this limitation. Credit Reports can be a valuable source of information regarding an individual's addresses, assets, financial relationships, and judgment/lien information where available.

  3. Additional details about the Credit Bureau Program and Fair Credit Reporting Act may be found in IRM 5.1.18, Locating Taxpayers and Their Assets and IRM 5.17.6, Legal Reference Guide for Revenue Officers, Summonses.  (10-16-2015)
Court Records through PACER

  1. A nationwide Interagency Agreement provides IRS employees with Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER). Through PACER, users can access case and docket information from Federal Appellate, District and Bankruptcy courts, and from the U.S. Party/Case Index.

  2. The IRS PACER Points of Contact (POCs) are in SB/SE, Collection Information Technology and Security (CITS).

  3. PACER funding:

    1. Annually, designated Business Operating Division (BOD) contacts will provide SB/SE PACER POCs with their employees’ (users’) anticipated cost estimates by July 31st, for the upcoming fiscal year.

    2. SB/SE will fund the agreement to cover all PACER users with an IRS work-related need based on the estimates provided by the BOD contacts.

    3. Designated BOD contacts will advise SB/SE POCs of significant changes to the estimates as they become known. Significant increases in costs may become the responsibility of the individual business unit.

    4. All BODs are responsible for monitoring usage to ensure IRS employees are using it for IRS work-related purposes and for ensuring costs are within the estimates provided.

    5. SB/SE POCs will contact users to verify receipt and acceptance of PACER services.

  4. If you do not have a PACER ID, you may request one using Online 5081.

  5. More information on the agreement, funding, point of contact, as well as access to PACER is provided from the ReferenceNet web site at https://www.pacer.gov/  (07-08-2011)
Contract Management

  1. SPDER manages the Servicewide Electronic Research contracts which are set up at agency level with a single funding point for all delivery orders and requisitions.


    SB/SE coordinates and manages the Asset/Locator contracts for local or regionalized services and the National Credit bureau contract.

  2. Contracts are for multiple years, allowing IRS to purchase them at a consolidated bulk rate with a volume discount. This allows IRS to provide unlimited access to all employees who need to research, at a reduced cost per person.  (07-08-2011)
Contract Restrictions

  1. A key component of IRS' standardization of electronic research services is the intent to acquire, at the best value to the government, as much content for an ideal tax and legal reference library as possible through one source. Additional content will be obtained, as necessary, through existing avenues such as Fedlink or GSA schedules.

  2. The Office of Procurement issues policy entitled "Restrictions on the Purchase of Electronic Research Services, Locator Services, Electronic Assets/Locator and Credit Bureau Information Service" that controls the purchase of commercial electronic research services.

  3. This policy:

    1. States you must obtain approval from SPDER before procuring commercial multi-license electronic research services, or training for these services

    2. Ensures that IRS obtains standardized research materials that best meet the requirements of the agency at the best possible cost without service duplication


    SPDER reviews all electronic research service requirements to determine whether they are covered by existing contracts.

  4. See http://awss.web.irs.gov/Procurement/policy/irt.shtml to access this and other Office of Procurement IRT policy.  (07-08-2011)
Permissible Uses of Extracts from Commercial Research Services

  1. Copyright laws and restrictions apply to electronic research vendor data and its use. Fair Use of copyrighted material as defined by the courts allows:

    1. Making multiple copies for use in a classroom

    2. Copying and inserting materials in a training document

    3. Copying, downloading, and distributing materials for internal use by IRS employees

    4. Copying a document for a single person (i.e. a taxpayer or for a case file)

  2. Obtain explicit permission from SPDER at spder@irs.gov when:

    1. Using vendor content in training materials

    2. Posting vendor content on the IRS public web site

    3. Releasing vendor content as part of a FOIA request

    4. Using vendor content in any way not described above


    When referencing content, link directly to the source. Do not download and post a stand-alone copy of legal source documents to internal web sites. By linking to the source document you will ensure it is current.

More Internal Revenue Manual