1.4.10 Return Integrity & Verification Operation Managers Guide

Manual Transmittal

September 04, 2020


(1) This transmits a revision to IRM 1.4.10, Resource Guide for Managers, Return Integrity & Verification Operation Managers Guide.

Material Changes

(1) IPU 19U1151 issued 10-29-2019 IRM Updated Integrity Verification Operation (IVO) to Return Integrity Verification Operation (RIVO)

(2) IPU 19U1151 issued 10-29-2019 IRM Updated IVO to RIVO

(3) IPU 19U1151 issued 10-29-2019 IRM Updated Policy Owner to Return Integrity Verification Program Management, (RIVPM)

(4) IPU 19U1151 issued 10-29-2019 IRM Updated RICO to RIVO

(5) IPU 19U1151 issued 10-29-2019 IRM Updated Integrity Verification Operation (IVO) to Return Integrity Verification Operation (RIVO)

(6) IPU 19U1151 issued 10-29-2019 IRM Updated Return Integrity Operation (RIO) to Return Integrity Verification Program Management (RIVPM)

(7) IPU 19U1151 issued 10-29-2019 IRM Updated from DMOS to RIVPM

(8) IPU 19U1151 issued 10-29-2019 IRM Updated to Return Integrity Verification Operation and RIVO

(9) IPU 19U1151 issued 10-29-2019 IRM Updated to Return Integrity Verification Operation and RIVO

(10) IPU 19U1151 issued 10-29-2019 IRM Updated IVO to RIVO

(11) IPU 20U0501 issued 04-07-2020 IRM Revised Title and Content to replace Enterprise Learning Management System (ELMS) with Integrated Talent Management (ITM)

(12) IPU 19U1151 issued 10-29-2019 IRM Corrected the broken link for the RA Process throughout this section

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 1.4.10 dated 09-13-2019 (effective 10-01-2019) is superseded. This IRM also incorporates IRM Procedural Update (IPU) 19U1151 issued 10-29-2019 and IPU 20U0501 issued 04-07-2020.


Managers in Return Integrity & Verification Operation

Effective Date


Denise D. Davis
Director, Return Integrity Verification Program Management
Wage and Investment Division

Program Scope and Objectives

  1. Return Integrity & Verification Operation (RIVO) managers provide leadership and direction to employees responsible for fraud detection and prevention, revenue protection, and account correction.

  2. This IRM section provides techniques, methods, and guidelines for managers in RIVO.

  3. This IRM section supplements the general guidelines for all managers outlined in IRM 1.4, Resource Guide for Managers, is referenced for generic guidelines as well as the website for Administrative Procedures for Managers located at: http://apm.web.irs.gov/.

  4. Managers must be knowledgeable in the use of various tools/resources. Examples of these tools/resources include (list is not all inclusive):

    • Electronic Fraud Detection System (EFDS)

    • Discoverer

    • Account Management Services (AMS)

    • Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS)

    • Integrated Automation Technologies (IAT)

    • Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP)

  5. Audience: The audience intended in this IRM is RIVO Managers.

  6. Policy Owner: The Return Integrity Verification Program Management, (RIVPM) is the policy owner of this program.

  7. Program Owner: RIVO is the program office responsible for oversight over this program.

  8. The Human Capital Office (HCO) provides managerial tools and information via a page on its website entitled," New Manager Orientation Support Center" which is found at: http://hco.web.irs.gov/apps/leads/nmo.html. Examples of the tools found on this resource page include:

    • Management 101 ("New Manager Orientation Tutorial" , "Ten Tips for New Managers" , etc.)

    • Orientation Resources ("My Guide - Leadership Development Guide" , etc.)

    • Performance Management ("Critical Job Elements (CJEs)" , "National Agreement Resource Center" , etc.)

    • Group Controls ("Managing Leave" , "Tours of Duty" , etc.)

    • Time & Attendance Guidance

    • Leadership Development ("Leadership Curriculum and Competencies" , etc.)

    • Systems Help for Managers ("Enterprise Learning Management System (ELMS)" , "Single Entry Time Reporting (SETR)" , "Concur" , "Human Resources (HR) Connect" , etc.)

  9. A resourceful managerial tool is iManage. It is a virtual community for Internal Revenue Service (IRS) managers. It contains targeted information, advice and interactive features to assist the manager in working more efficiently. The iManage site automatically grants access to employees coded as managers in HRConnect. Access the iManage site at https://portal.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/iManage/SitePages/Home.aspx, iManage.


  1. Return Integrity Verification Operation (RIVO) strengthens the integrity of the tax system by:

    • Protecting the public interest by improving IRS’s ability to detect and prevent improper refunds

    • Serving the public interest by taking actions fairly and appropriately to identify, evaluate and prevent the issuance of improper refunds

    • Helping taxpayers understand the refundable tax credits for which they are eligible.

    • Recover Improper Payments

Program Management and Review

  1. The program has reports to track the inventory, including receipts and closures.

  2. A quality program is in place to review all processes to ensure accuracy and effectiveness.


  1. Refer to the following:

    • IRM, Policy Statement 4-21

    • IRM 1.1.13, Organization and Staffing, Wage and Investment Division.


  1. Return Integrity Verification Operation (RIVO) has responsibility for information in this IRM. Information is published in the IRM on a yearly basis.

  2. The Director of RIVPM is responsible for the policy related to this IRM.

  3. The Chief of the Return Integrity Verification Program Management (RIVPM) is responsible for ensuring this IRM is timely submitted to publishing each year.

  4. More information can be found in IRM, Return Integrity and Compliance Services.


  1. For a list of Acronyms used throughout Return Integrity and Verification Operation (RIVO) see IRM, Acronyms

Operational Guidelines

  1. Return Integrity & Verification Operation (RIVO) managers are accountable for:

    • Ensuring controls are in place to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of taxpayer documents and information

    • Facilitating the delivery of their team's performance, as related to program goals

    • Listening to and formally and informally resolving employees' concerns

    • Sharing continuous performance feedback with employees

    • Leading, mentoring and coaching subordinate employees

    • Identifying potential process improvements

    • Ensuring best practices are properly documented (e.g., IRM, SERP IRM Procedural Update (IPU), training documents) and shared with IVO and Return Integrity and Correspondence Services (RICS) Headquarters

    • Ensuring appropriate training is delivered to subordinate employees

    • Personally participating in technical training classes with employees

    • Ensuring the maintenance of a safe and healthy work environment

    • Communicating issues and concerns to leadership, peers and subordinates, as applicable.

    • Performing conduct and/or leave counseling

    • Developing and maintaining a positive relationship with National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) organization

    • Applying staffing resources to meet all responsibilities and deliver all inventory products within appropriate time frames.

    • Delivering quality customer service

    • Coordinating with other managers to address programs and inventory issues, as needed, to effectively deliver program responsibilities

    • Providing timely and accurate resolution of inventory cases

  2. Managers must ensure read and meet time is met per the guidance below:

    1. Schedule read and meeting time for your team each week.

      Read time is generally spent on reading SERP IPUs, SERP Alerts, technical meeting notes, administrative information or as directed by management.

      Meeting time usually is 30 minutes per week with an additional 30 minutes, if needed. This time is generally spent clarifying IRM procedures, supplemental training or administrative information.

    2. Ensure the correct organization, function and program (OFP) codes are used on Form 3081, Employee Time Report, and SETR with the actual times used. See below:
      990-59221 – Read time
      990-59222 – Technical Meeting time
      990-59300 – Administrative Meeting time

Operational Reviews Overview

  1. An Operational review is an in-depth review and analysis of a particular program or function.

  2. Operational reviews are conducted in the following manner:

    • Department managers (DM) review front line teams

    • Operation managers (OM) review DMs

  3. Follow guidance in the NTEU 2016 National Agreement regarding the rating of work.

Operational Reviews

  1. The operational reviews must:

    • Evaluate and assess

    • Identify areas to improve

    • Establish target dates for improvement

    • Identify and praise accomplishments

    • Provide a follow-up on action items

  2. The review should address the following:

    • Workload management practices

    • Personnel management practices

    • Administrative practices

  3. Compare the above practices to the following:

    • Mission statement

    • Policies and regulations

    • NTEU National Agreement

    • Memos of understanding (MOUs)

    • Business measures and goals

  4. Prepare a schedule of planned reviews at the beginning of each fiscal year and no later than November 1st. Schedule reviews to ensure that all teams, including expansion teams, are addressed. Provide the schedule to the operations manager or director, as appropriate.

  5. Request the information needed from the manager in advance, generally 30 days. This will ensure all information is available at the start of the review. This may include the following items:

    • Employee performance file (EPF)

    • Personnel files

    • Drop files (including meeting minutes)

    • Training files (access employee ELMS reports)

    • AMS data

    • Local inventory reports

    • Automated Age Listing (AAL)

    • Sample of closed cases and open cases

    • Leave tracking

    • Evaluation/Midyear sample pulls and tracking records

    • Engagement Plans/Activities

    • Quality/Productivity/Improvement Initiatives

    • Managerial Controls Tracking

  6. It is recommended when EPFs are reviewed; include a work leader, one team clerk/secretary (if one is assigned) and tax examiners (TEs), or other applicable team employee. Also, try to review EPFs of employees with different levels of experience.

  7. EPF review should cover the following:

    1. Personnel management practices

    2. Workload management practices

    3. Administrative, security, and safety practices

    4. Manager's organization

  8. Review personnel management practices of maintaining EPFs, drop files, and personal/training files for the following:

    Department Review Operation Review
    Critical Job Elements (CJEs) Form 12450-A, Manager Performance Agreement
    Form 6774, Receipt of Critical Job Elements and Fair and Equitable Treatment of Taxpayers Retention Standard (must be issued to employees within 30 days of the beginning of the performance period.) Training operation reviews
    Seasonal agreements (if applicable) (annually) Evaluations (annually)
    Training, on-the-job training (OJT) and certification documentation Poor performance
    Evaluative reviews, including content, scope and amounts (monthly employee reviews) Non-evaluative reviews and coaching
    Mid-year progress reviews (from Front line manager) (annually) Position management
    Appraisals (annually) Front line manager / employee development
    Poor performance Communication including team meetings notes
    Awards Section 1204 quarterly certification
    Non-evaluative reviews and coaching Managerial control tracking
    Position management IDRS Online Reports Services (IORS)
    Leave administration
    Employee development
    Communication including team meetings notes

  9. Review administrative, privacy, security, and safety practices, including the following:

    • Time reporting

    • Mandatory briefings

    • Release/Recall correctly updated

    • Annual Assurance and Security reviews

    • Section 1204 quarterly certification

  10. Review manager's organization effectiveness:

    • Timeliness of controlled responses

    • Effectiveness of method for managing tasks or assignments, completeness, thoroughness, timeliness of reviews, projects, etc.

  11. Allow sufficient time for performing the review, writing the report, and providing feedback from the final report to the manager or director, as appropriate.


    The feedback should follow the critical elements (i.e., Leadership, Employee Satisfaction, Customer Satisfaction, Business Results) and specify items reviewed. It should also follow the responsibilities outlined in the managerial performance plans (Leadership & Human Capital Management; Customer Service & Collaboration; and Program Management).

  12. Promptly document the operation review in a memorandum to the Manager or Department Head, as appropriate. Include the following in the memorandum:

    1. Summary of the observations (positive and negative)

    2. Recommendations and action items

    3. Follow-up dates


      Follow-up timely with the manager on action items and document all follow-up actions.

Front Line Manager Responsibility

  1. Front line managers must attend the entire Continuing Professional Education (CPE) training with their employees in order to actively participate with employees in addressing quality issues.

  2. Managers will use EFDS, Discoverer queries, and other management designated processes to move inventory through the system(s) and workflow. Queries will be consistent between sites for like work products and will be run periodically (daily, weekly, monthly, or ad hoc), as directed by management. Queries will be run to identify and resolve inventory discrepancies.

  3. Managers will be responsible for monitoring and tracking inventory at the site, group and individual levels, as directed by management. Specific EFDS and Discoverer queries and other management designated processes i.e., IDRS Case Control Activity (CCA) reports will be used for these tasks. Queries will be consistent between sites for like work products and will be run periodically, as directed by management.

  4. Proper workload management is essential for timely responses to customers and prompt and accurate account transactions. Due to the variety and complexity of work, managers must be familiar with the many aspects of managing workloads such as:

    • Establishing controls and priorities

    • Conducting Reviews

    • Processing work within established time frames

    • Providing adequate training

    • Being involved in the daily operations of the unit

    • Managing time effectively

    • Using available reports and management tools to monitor the team’s productivity

    • Monitoring and closing necessary case controls

    • Transferring cases appropriately

    • Analyzing data correctly and making correct decisions

    • Working cases according to aged order or other priorities as established by management directives

Managerial Quality and Workload Reviews

  1. Managers will be responsible for ensuring that individual employees within their group timely and accurately resolve the inventory that they work.

  2. Managers will use EFDS, Discoverer queries, IDRS, CCA reports, Accounts Management Services (AMS), and other management designated processes to complete and document individual employee performance reviews on front line work products. All management reviews must be documented in writing, shared with the employee in a timely manner, and maintained in the EPF.

  3. RIVO Managers must complete quality and efficiency reviews on each employee in their team. A minimum of two (2) reviews will be completed each month for each employee. Managers are responsible for communicating expectations and evaluating employee performance relative to their critical elements. Reviews are performed to ensure:

    • Accurate resolution of inventory cases

    • An objective assessment of an employee's performance on an ongoing basis

    • Adequate information is available for mid-year and annual appraisals

    • The rights of taxpayers are protected

    • Training needs are identified

  4. Managers will document the results of the review. The documentation must include IRM references, impact to taxpayers, and both positive and negative feedback about the employee's performance.

  5. Managerial review is performed to assist employees with identified quality concerns in their work processes and products.

    • Managers will perform additional review on employees who have received errors and/or issues with their processes and work products to determine areas for improvement.

    • Managers will review additional work samples, as needed, to analyze problem areas and improvement opportunities.

    • The additional reviews will be documented as required.

    • Employees, whose performance is substandard, will be placed on a performance plan.

  6. Sharing results is a two-way communication. After sharing the review, managers must determine if the employee agrees with their assessment. Share review results as soon as possible (follow NTEU National Agreement II). Notate the reason on the review sheet if the time frame was not meet (e.g., due to unexpected leave, etc.).

    • If the employee agrees - Commend the positive performance or discuss areas for improvement.

    • If employee disagrees - Discuss openly to resolve the disputed issue. Discuss areas for improvement and develop plan to improve performance.

  7. Obtain the employee's acknowledgement on the review form. Provide one copy to the employee and retain the other copy for the EPF. Sanitize all employee data containing a social security number or name on the documents.


    Determine if additional monitoring/review is necessary based on the employees training, ongoing performance, and review feedback.

  8. If reviews cannot be conducted on an employee (e.g., extended illness, furlough, managerial absence, etc.) a review waiver is placed in the EPF explaining why the required number of reviews were not conducted.


    These waivers must be approved at the department level

  9. Follow guidance in the NTEU 2016 National Agreement regarding the review of work and evaluating employees.

Certification of New Hire Employees

  1. Perform 100 percent review of an employee's work product(s) until they meet established accuracy expectations. The 100 percent review will be non-evaluative. The employee will be certified once they reach an acceptable level of performance as outlined in the Operation established certification requirements.

  2. Once the new hire employee has been certified on a process (i.e., screening, verification, etc.) evaluative reviews should be conducted. If employee fails to maintain an acceptable level of performance, you may reinstate the 100 percent review (managerial review) to assist the employee in improving performance.

  3. The manager will document the certification in the EPF.

Quality Assurance

  1. Quality measurements are used to evaluate performance. The Quality Review process provides a method to monitor, measure, and improve the quality of work in the Return Integrity & Correspondence Services, Integrity & Verification Operations (RICS IVO). RICS IVO uses the Embedded Quality Review Program (EQRS) and National Quality Review System (NQRS) to monitor employee and operational performance. It assists in building commitment and capability to continually improve performance. IRM 21.10, Quality Assurance, provides guidance regarding the Quality Assurance processes.

Employee and Building Security Responsibilities

  1. You must use the standard emergency closing procedures, as provided for all sites, for weather and other emergency situations, such as threats.

  2. IVO employees should follow threat and other emergency procedures outlined in IRM, Safety and Security Overview and on the Emergency website.

  3. You must ensure employees follow the procedures for threats received on the telephone (e.g., bomb threats, suicide threats, or other threats). Emergency procedures are outlined in:

    • IRM, Assault/Threat Incidents/Abusive Practitioners

    • IRM, Bomb Threats

    • IRM, Suicide Threats

  4. In addition to the procedures above, you must reserve at least one voice port on your phone for emergencies. Also, you must obtain the following information for tracing the call:

    • Name of employee

    • Time received

    • Length of call

  5. For applicable safety/security incidents, you will contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and Security. See the Threat/Assault Reporting on the Employee Resource Center (ERC) web page.

Integrated Talent Management (ITM)

  1. The Integrated Talent Management (ITM) is an automated training system found at: https://elms.web.irs.gov/. The ITM is comprised of five modules: Learning, Performance, Workforce Planning, Succession Planning and Compensation. It allows the employee and manager to be directly engaged in planning, communicating, and coordinating training and development activities online.

  2. As a manager, you can monitor and view your employees' ITM items and curricula. The alignment of your employees shown in ITM is based on information provided weekly by HR Connect into ITM. A Personnel Action Request (PAR) aligns employees under you as their manager.


    The accuracy of this information is important because ITM sends a system-generated e-mail to your employee and you, as the manager, regarding scheduled training for the employee.

  3. You can access helpful job aids for managers and employees on the ITM website. A User Support link provides job aids for Administrator, Manager and User.

Managing Seasonal Employees: Release and Recall

  1. Seasonal employees work during high workload volume periods as specified in their seasonal employment agreement each year. Form 8506, Seasonal Employment Agreement, must be signed annually by each seasonal employee and manager.

  2. The Form 8506 is filed in the employee's Employee Performance File (EPF) within the first week of employment or return to duty. The seasonal agreement outlines the stated work season for the employee and this season must be specific on the agreement, including the specific months, as specified in Personnel Policy Memorandum #10 which can be found on the following website: http://hco.web.irs.gov/recruitstaff/internalplac/employprog/seasemploy/.

  3. Seasonal Probationary periods are defined as one calendar year (12 months) beginning with the seasonal employee’s enter on duty (EOD). This is regardless of the amount of time worked during the 12 month period.

  4. Newly Hired Seasonal employees cannot be held accountable for their performance under their critical job elements (CJE) until on their performance plan for 60 days. Managers must provide all new hires their Performance Plans and CJE document as early as possible but not later than 30 days of beginning of an employee’s appraisal period or when assigned to a new position that is expected to last at least 60 days (e.g., temporary promotions, detail).

    1. A Form 6774, Receipt of Critical Job Elements and Fair and Equitable Treatment of Taxpayers Retention Standard, must be signed by the manager, shared with and signed by the employee within 30 days of starting the position.

    2. Provide employee a signed copy of the Form 6774.

    3. When providing performance feedback to newly hired employees, during the first or second feedback sessions, discuss CJEs in detail to ensure the employees' understanding.

  5. Seasonal employees are subject to being periodically released from and recalled to work. All employees subject to release recall are ranked on a Release/Recall List and either released or recalled based on their position on this list. The actual determination of the release/recall roster will be made by the type of appointment, IRS enter on duty date (EOD), and the employee possessing the skills needed.

  6. Managers should check SETR to make sure returning seasonal employees have time posted and should also remind returning seasonal employees to make sure their direct deposit information is still current. If not, changes should be made as soon as possible to ensure employees receive their pay timely.

  7. Managers should track/monitor promotions (salary grade increases) for seasonal employees to ensure promotions are processed timely.

  8. Prepare appraisals using Form 6850-BU, Bargaining Unit Performance Appraisal and Recognition Request. Refer to the NTEU 2016 National Agreement for information on resolving tie scores and for specific details regarding the release/recall process.

  9. Release/Recall must be accomplished in accordance with the NTEU National Agreement II, Article 14, Release/Recall Procedures, found at: http://hco.web.irs.gov/lrer/negotiations/natagree/index.html.

Managing Employees with Disabilities

  1. Managers must ensure the employees with disabilities are equipped with the tools and accommodations to perform their jobs. There are procedures in place to assist in accomplishing this task.

  2. If an employee with a disability needs an accommodation, contact the Reasonable Accommodation (RA) Coordinator in your area for assistance. RA Coordinators are located in the "Contacts" link on the RA Process website at: http://irweb.irs.gov/AboutIRS/ican/reasonable/process/default.aspx. There is a seven-step process to effectively processing a request for Reasonable Accommodation:

    1. Initial Contact

    2. Interactive Process

    3. Making It Official

    4. Submit Request

    5. Accommodation is granted or an alternative accommodation is granted, or the request is denied

    6. Extenuating Circumstances

    7. Closing Out the Request

  3. Additional information regarding reasonable accommodations can be found on the Reasonable Accommodation website under the Reasonable Accommodations Process link at: http://irweb.irs.gov/AboutIRS/ican/reasonable/process/default.aspx.

  4. In addition, the employee may need assistance in accessibility-type issues, such as ordering reference or training materials in alternative media. The Local Accessibility Coordinator (LAC) serves as the main point of contact to assist managers and employees with disabilities in the day to day accessibility issues. The Local Accessibility Coordinators report to the Chief Accessibility Coordinator.

  5. The Office of the Chief Accessibility Coordinator (CAC) was established to assist management with inquiries concerning accessibility; i.e., adaptive equipment/software compatibility and usability issues; reasonable accommodation concerns; and performance issues for disabled employees, etc., to name a few. The CAC has program oversight for: the Lions World Services for the Blind (LWSB) and the LAC program. The CAC works in close partnership with the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI), Reasonable Accommodation (RA) Coordinators, IRS Disability Office (IDO), IRS Center for Accessibility Needs (iCAN), Alternative Media Center (AMC), and Information Resources Accessibility Program (IRAP).

  6. Course 33788, Managing Employees with Disabilities, is available to all managers and LACs via ELMS. This course offers a comprehensive overview of the various facets involved in supervising employees with disabilities such as disability etiquette guidelines, the reasonable accommodation process, hiring, and various resources available to all IRS managers. For additional information, visit the Accessibility Office website at: http://win.web.irs.gov/Accessibility_Office/AO/AO_home.htm.

  7. Other useful resources regarding managing employees with disabilities include:

    • IRM 1.4.1, Management Roles and Responsibilities

    • IRM, Accessibility Office

    • IRM 6.410.1, Learning and Education Policy

    • Document 11953, EEO and Diversity Manager's Toolkit, Wage and Investment Division

  8. In addition, the following websites provide useful information regarding managing employees with disabilities:

    • Accessibility Office - http://win.web.irs.gov/Accessibility_Office/AO/AO_home.htm

    • Reasonable Accommodation: http://irweb.irs.gov/AboutIRS/ican/reasonable/default.aspx

    • Information Resource Accessibility Program (IRAP) Office: http://irap.web.irs.gov/

    • Alternative Media Center (AMC): http://amc.enterprise.irs.gov/

    • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: http://win.web.irs.gov/edi.htm

    • Job Accommodation Network (JAN): http://www.jan.wvu.edu/

    • National Treasury Employee Union (NTEU): http://hco.web.irs.gov/lrer/negagree/natagree/