1.4.11 Field Assistance Guide for Managers

Manual Transmittal

January 23, 2018

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 1.4.11, Field Assistance Guide for Managers.

Material Changes

(1) IRM 1.4.11.1 Program Scope and Objectives added section and rearranged existing IRM content; subsections added under Program Scope and Objectives applicable to this program

(2) IRM 1.4.11.1.1 Background added historical information about managing Field Assistance services

(3) IRM 1.4.11.1.2 Authority added legal authority for the Field Assistance program addressed in IRM 1.11.13, Wage and Investment

(4) IRM 1.4.11.1.3 Responsibilities added responsibilities and source of information for Field Assistance managers

(5) IRM 1.4.11.1.4 Program Management and Review added information about measures and reports for the Field Assistance program

(6) IRM 1.4.11.1.5 Program Controls added information and examples on programs controlled in Field Assistance

(7) IRM 1.4.11.1.6 Terms/Definitions/Acronyms information on defining acronyms used in this IRM section

(8) IRM 1.4.11.1.7 Related Resources moved content formerly in the text and the MT related resources here; added reference sources for records retention, disposition, and destruction

(9) IRM 1.4.11.4.4 Return Preparation Referrals deleted repetitive information

(10) IRM 1.4.11.3.5 Virtual Services Delivery updated (2)(b) and removed (2)(c) to reflect appointment service; deleted obsolete information

(11) IPU 17U1336 IRM 1.4.11.3.6 TAC Appointment Service added link to IRM 11.3.2 and deleted unidentified voicemail; IPU 17U1548 updated appointment procedures to match the desk guide

(12) IRM 1.4.11.3.6.1 Alternative Work Stream updated alternative work process

(13) IPU 17U0129 IRM 1.4.11.4.1 TAC Physical Security Requirements added management of TSRRD training; IPU 17U0201 removed TAC Maintenance Review, schedules for Remittance Review and IDRS/IORS Security Review

(14) IRM 1.4.11.4.1.3 Controlled Access Procedures deleted Note for long term acting directors

(15) IRM 1.4.11.4.1.4 Cameras/Photography Prohibited added link to IRM 10.5.1, Privacy Policy

(16) IPU 17U0129 IRM 1.4.11.4.2 TAC Security/Internal Controls added references regarding the manager's responsibilities on when to change the SF700 and updated references to IRM 10.4.1, Manager’s Security Handbook has been made obsolete; IPU 17U0201 changed duress alarm testing from quarterly to annually; Updated the correct terminology as Symantec Endpoint Encryption (SEE) replaced GERS; deleted repetitive information regarding service responsibility from (1)

(17) IPU 17U0129 IRM 1.4.11.4.2.1 Completing Form 700 add note for when to change combinations

(18) IRM 1.4.11.5 Initial Assistance Representative (IAR) deleted repetitive information on using multilingual service and note that IARs are only authorized for large and medium TACs

(19) IRM 1.4.11.6.3 Request for Post of Duty Changes removed procedures

(20) IRM 1.4.11.7 Hours of Operation and TAC Closing Procedures removed information on part-time offices

(21) IPU 17U0374 IRM 1.4.11.7.1 Changes in Hours of Operations (CHOR) updated procedures for requesting changes in TAC hours; IPU 17U0480 added new Form 13358-A, Change in Hours of Operations Request (CHOR) for Field Assistance Taxpayer Assistance Center

(22) IRM 1.4.11.7.1.1 Approval Authority for Changes in Hours of Operation moved from under Closing a TAC to under Changes in Hours of Operations (CHOR)

(23) IRM 1.4.11.7.2 Closing a TAC changed permanently close a TAC to release of TAC space

(24) IPU 17U0374 IRM 1.4.11.8.2.1 Approval Authority for Changes in Hours of Operation updated authority to approve changes in TAC hours

(25) IRM 1.4.11.7.3 Notification, Monitoring and Certification Procedures deleted due to information is on the CHOR form

(26) IRM 1.4.11.8 Publishing Taxpayer Assistance Center Information updated language, streamlined procedures and deleted unnecessary text

(27) IPU 17U0374 IRM 1.4.11.8.2 Posting TAC closings updated signage for closed TACs; deleted repetitive information on VSD sites in (7)

(28) IRM 1.4.11.10 Capturing Field Assistance Contacts updated procedures for capturing time

(29) IRM 1.4.11.11.5 Partner VSD Site Qmatic added VSD partner site language and appointment procedures; deleted obsolete information

(30) IRM 1.4.11.9.3 Staffing Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) Locations deleted procedures

(31) IRM 1.4.11.13.1.1 On-The-Job Training (OJT) removed references to filing season OJT

(32) IPU 17U0480 IRM 1.4.11.14 Field Assistance Engagement Plan added clarification for workgroup meetings to ensure meeting minutes are kept

(33) IPU 17U0201 IRM 1.4.11.15.11 Group Manager Mandatory Reviews, Reports, and Certification removed TSRRD annual Security Review dates and removed Quarterly Duress Alarms review; IPU 17U0268 removed Quarterly 3709 Email Certification; IPU 17U0374 added clarifications to the acknowledgement transmittal and TSRRD reviews; IPU 17U0480 removed return preparation from monthly EQRS observations; IPU 17U1130 changed technical advisor to senior operations manager; IPU 17U1548 updated Acknowledgement Transmittal Review documentation and retention requirements

(34) IPU 17U0129 IRM 1.4.11.15.12 Territory Manager Mandatory Reviews, Reports and Certification added information for Acknowledgement Transmittals Review; IPU 17U0175 updated territory manager requirements for acknowledgement transmittals review; IPU 17U0374 added clarification to the TSRRD reviews; IPU 17U1130 changed technical advisor to senior operations manager; IPU 17U1548 updated Acknowledgement Transmittals Review procedures

(35) IRM 1.4.11.17 Disclosure/Protection of Taxpayer Information added link to IRM 10.5.1, Privacy Policy

(36) IRM 1.4.11.17.3 Disclaimer and Date Stamps deleted information that is repeated in IRM 21.3.4.8.9

(37) IPU 17U0374 IRM 1.4.11.19.1 Management Responsibility for Form 795-A and Form 3210 Files and added clarification for manager’s responsibilities, removed Note and added this information to (4)

(38) IPU 17U0374 IRM 1.4.11.19.1.1 Supplemental Form 795-A added clarification for managers review of supplemental Form 795-A

(39) IPU 17U0374 IRM 1.4.11.19.1.2 Managerial Review for Acknowledgment Transmittals Procedures added clarification for manager reviewing transmittals; IPU 17U1336 removed the requirement for the group manager to complete the DCIs for the Transmittals Tracker; IPU 17U1548 updated procedures for acknowledging transmittals

(40) IPU 17U0129 IRM 1.4.11.19.2 Remittance Quarterly Reviews – Manager’s Requirements updated link to FY 2017 DCIs and deleted group manager’s review guide; IPU 17U1548 updated to reflect the updated DCIs

(41) IRM 1.4.11.19.4 Form 5919 - Teller’s Error Advice removed Note about weekly reports, added clarity and Online 5081 steps to access the e-Trak 809 Database System

(42) IPU 17U1130 IRM 1.4.11.19.5 Trends and Patterns Report for Territory Manager and Group Manager Responsibilities changed technical advisor to senior operations manager; added clarity and updated link to e-Trak 809 Database System Group Managers User Guide

(43) IRM 1.4.11.19.7 Loss of Payments added link to ATP SharePoint site

(44) IRM 1.4.11.19.8.1 Procedures for Ordering the Initial Form 809 Receipt Book for an Employee added homepage of the e-Trak 809 Database System

(45) IPU 17U1548 1.4.11.19.9 Disposal of Remittance and Non-Remittance Form 795-A and Form 3210 Retention Files added new procedures

(46) IPU 17U1548 IRM 1.4.11.19.9.1 Deviation for Quarterly Disposal of Remittance and Non-Remittance Form 795-A and Form 3210 added new procedures

(47) IPU 17U0175 IRM 1.4.11.20.3.6 Downloading Contacts added USB flash drive

(48) IPU 17U0129 IRM 1.4.11.24.1 Integrated Automation Technologies (IAT) Manager Responsibilities corrected command code to copy

(49) IRM 1.4.11.26 Field Assistance Insider Guidelines updated the certification process

(50) IPU 17U0767 IRM 1.4.11.27.2 Group Manager Responsibilities removed managerial requirement to increase reviews for employees with customer accuracy defects; IPU 17U0811 clarified evaluative review requirements

(51) IPU 17U0559 Exhibit 1.4.11-1 Field Assistance Telephone Scripts removed Note for shorter script deviation; IPU 17U1247 updated script for TACs closing and 3709 line disconnected; IPU 17U1548 updated script for TACs Closing and 3709 Line will be Disconnected; updated language to be consistent with all scripts

(52) IPU 17U0480 Exhibit 1.4.11-3 Change in Hours of Operation Request deleted exhibit

(53) Exhibit 1.4.11-3 Field Assistance Taxpayer Assistance Center Closure Request Document deleted due to information is embedded in the IRM

(54) Exhibit 1.4.11-4 IRS.gov Content Publishing Request Instructions deleted exhibit

(55) IPU 17U0268 Exhibit 1.4.11-5 TSRRD Payment Processing Checklist updated link to revised checklist

(56) IPU 17U0201 Exhibit 1.4.11-7 Remittance and Non Remittance Follow-Up Review Logs deleted

(57) Removed all references to Agency-Wide Shared Services (AWSS)

(58) Editorial changes and corrections made throughout

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 1.4.11 dated December 30, 2016 (effective January 03, 2017) is superseded. The following IRM Procedural Updates (IPUs), issued January 19, 2017 through November 01, 2017 have been incorporated into this IRM: 17U0129, 17U0175, 17U0201, 17U0268, 17U0374, 17U0480, 17U0559, 17U0767, 17U0811, 17U1130, 17U1247, 17U1336, 17U1548.

Audience

All managers in Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs)

Effective Date

(01-23-2018)

Related Resources

Wage and Investment Insider - Field Assistance Wage and Investment Insider - Field Assistance

Susan Simon
Director, Field Assistance
Wage and Investment Division

Program Scope and Objectives

  1. Purpose: The purpose of this section of the IRM is to provide Field Assistance (FA) managers with various techniques, methods and guidelines for managing a successful and effective Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC).

  2. Audience: This section contains guidance for all FA managers in TACs located in the United States and Puerto Rico.

  3. Policy Owner: Director, Field Assistance under Customer, Assistance, Relationships and Education (CARE).

  4. Program Owner: Field Assistance headquarters is the program office responsible for overseeing TAC administration, procedures, policy and guidance.

  5. Program Goals: The mission of Field Assistance is to provide quality service to taxpayers requiring face-to-face assistance and to educate taxpayers on services available to them through all channels, including self-assisted services. Field Assistance managers provide leadership and direction to employees responsible for procedural, tax law, and account related inquiries received in the TAC.

Background

  1. Field Assistance managers oversee employees in TACs who provide face-to-face assistance to taxpayers whose issues cannot be resolved through other convenient and efficient methods or who choose to obtain information and assistance in the TAC.

  2. In addition to the above, FA managers should understand and adhere to the guidelines of IRM 21.3.4, Field Assistance, which provides guidance on:

    • Providing everyday solutions to tax issues

    • Researching and resolving account inquiries

    • Accepting payments and establishing payment arrangements

    • Providing tax law assistance, January 2 - April 15

    • Explaining and assisting with procedural inquiries

    • Providing assistance and verification of documentation for Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TINs)

    • Assisting with applications for Taxpayer Assistance Orders (TAO)

    • Providing Multilingual Assistance

    • Assisting with Alien clearances (Sailing Permits)

    • Assisting with tax forms, instructions, and publications

    • Assisting with Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax (Form 2290)

Authority

  1. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights adopted by IRS in June 2014 and codified by IRC § 7803(a)(3), provides that taxpayers have the right to receive prompt, courteous, and professional assistance in their dealing with the IRS. They are to be spoken to in a way that is easily understood and any correspondence from the IRS must be clear and understandable. They have the right to speak to a supervisor whenever quality service is not received. For additional information, refer to Pub 5170, Taxpayer Bill of Rights (Brochure).

  2. The authorities for this IRM include:

    • IRM 1.2.10.2, Policy Statement 1-1, For Mission of the Service

    • IRC § 6103 Confidentiality and disclosure of returns and return information

    • IRC § 6301 Collection authority

    • IRC § 6402 Authority to make credits or refunds

    • IRC § 6404 Abatements

    • IRC § 7801 Authority of Department of the Treasury

Responsibilities

  1. Field Assistance managers are responsible for following the procedures outlined in this IRM when managing a TAC or in support of the duties performed in the TAC.

  2. This section is a supplement to the general guidelines for all managers contained in IRM 1.4, Resource Guide for Managers. These sections are to be referenced for general guidelines, as well as the iManage website.

  3. See IRM 1.1.13.8.6, Field Assistance, for responsibilities of the FA organization:

    • Director

    • Area directors

    • Territory managers

    • Headquarters staff

Program Management and Review

  1. Program Reports: The Policy, Technology and Measures section provides measures ensuring business objectives and goals are met and administers information systems to evaluate Field Assistance performance.

  2. Program Effectiveness: See IRM 1.4.11-8, Weekly Scorecard Report, for an example of FA measures and IRM 1.4.11.15, Quality Assurance and Review Process, for information on the quality review process.

Program Controls

  1. Field Assistance is subject to audits conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) to ensure its programs and activities are operating according to established policies and procedures. Within the Wage and Investment (W&I) division, program oversight of the internal controls program is managed under the leadership of the Director, Operations Support, W&I and within the Capital Management and Oversight Office.

  2. Management controls include:

    • National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) Most Serious Problems (MSPs)

    • GAO and TIGTA Audit Planned Corrective Actions (PCAs)

    • Quality Assurance Reviews

  3. IRM 21.10.1, Embedded Quality (EQ) Program for Accounts Management, Campus Compliance, Field Assistance, Tax Exempt/Government Entities, Return Integrity and Compliance Services (RICS), and Electronic Products and Services Support, contains procedures for evaluating TAC contacts.

Terms/Definitions/Acronyms

  1. The Acronyms Database also provides definitions found within this IRM. Acronyms are identified in specific subsections of this IRM.

    Common acronyms Definition
    FA Field Assistance
    TAC Taxpayer Assistance Center
    ITAS Individual Taxpayer Advisory Specialist
    FSA Facilitated Self Assistance
    VSD Virtual Services Delivery
    AD Area Director
    TM Territory Manager
    GM Group Manager
    HQ Headquarters
    SOM Senior Operations Manager
    SME Subject Matter Expert
    DFA Director, Field Assistance
    FAMIS Field Assistance Management Information System
    ITIN Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
    RSPCC Remittance Strategy for Paper Check Conversion
    SERP Servicewide Electronic Research Project
    IAT Integrated Automation Technologies
    RTS Real Time System
    ITLA Interactive Tax Law Assistant
    IAR Initial Assistance Representative
    EIN Employer Identification Number
    FACR Field Assistance Contact Recording
    AMS Account Management Services
    CIS Correspondence Imaging System
    EQRS Embedded Quality Review System

Related Resources

  1. The following lists additional sources of guidance for activities related to the managing of a TAC:

  2. Refer to 12990, Records Control Schedules, (RCS) for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)-approved records retention and disposition to prevent unauthorized/unlawful destruction of records.

  3. Refer to 12829, General Records Schedules (GRS), for the NARA-issued disposal authorizations for temporary administrative records common to all federal agencies.

  4. Refer to IRM 1.15.3, Disposing of Records, for guidance on disposing of records once their life cycle is complete.

Field Assistance Objectives

  1. TACs are one of the most visible areas within the IRS. TACs provide a face-to-face opportunity to assist America’s taxpayers in understanding and meeting their tax responsibilities and enhancing the image of the IRS.

  2. TAC managers must be fully knowledgeable and engaged in the operation of a TAC to serve a key role in the accomplishment of established goals and measures.

  3. The scope of service delivery must be clearly defined to enable FA to meet the following objectives critical to its success:

    1. Clearly define specific services offered to taxpayers and methods of delivery.

    2. Appropriately target and deliver employee training within the defined scope of services.

    3. Provide a systematic referral process in full partnership with other operating divisions designed to address taxpayer needs falling outside the realm of FA expertise.

    4. Ensure employees (permanently assigned and detailees) and managers provide highly accurate, courteous, and professional service to all taxpayers.

    5. Provide specific, meaningful measures to make FA accountable for the quality of its products and services.

    6. Employ effective targeted marketing and communication of the precise scope of assistance available.

  4. The demand for all services can and does occur throughout the year, but some are more prevalent during certain times of the year. Therefore, the service offerings are broken out in three categories:

    1. Pre Filing Season - Tax forms and publications, Form W-2 and Form 1099 account information and change of address.

    2. Filing Season - Tax law assistance (January 2 - April 15), acceptance of returns, Facilitated Self-Assistance, math error notices, and non -technical questions.

    3. Post Filing Season - Balance due notices, payments, account inquiries, and identity theft.

Structuring Work Flow in Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs)

  1. Service hours for TACs will be based on local traffic patterns and available resources determined by the area.

  2. Establishing an effective work flow in TACs is one of the primary responsibilities for FA managers. Manager's on-going involvement in balancing taxpayers with appointments, walk-in taxpayers, and other assignments is essential to ensure each taxpayer is serviced as expeditiously as possible and to minimize wait time.

  3. Scheduling assignments for employees requires consideration of training and expertise levels in order to accomplish program objectives.

Workflow and Referrals

  1. As employees are required to only work issues within their scope, they are often required to initiate referrals to resolve an inquiry.

  2. Ensure employees follow the required FA procedures for referrals in:

    • IRM 21.3.4.3.5, Referral Procedures

    • IRM 21.3.5, Taxpayer Inquiry Referrals Form 4442

  3. A designated FA employee may resolve account and technical referrals for which the front-line employee did not have the expertise. Managers are responsible for ensuring these referrals are worked timely.

  4. Out-of-Scope tax law issues will be referred per IRM 21.3.4.3.5.5, Out of Scope Procedures.

  5. Managers must review and initial all Form 4442, Inquiry Referral, or Form e-4442 referrals being transferred (this review may be delegated to a lead or a referral coordinator).

  6. Managers or a designated senior Individual Taxpayer Advisory Specialist (ITAS) will review all Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (And Application for Taxpayer Assistance order), referrals to the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS).

Advising Taxpayers of Wait Time

  1. Upon request, the taxpayer without an appointment that can be serviced the same day should be provided with a realistic estimate of expected wait time. This aids in good taxpayer relations and allows the taxpayer who cannot wait to call and make an appointment when it is more convenient for him or her.

  2. Material providing alternative methods to obtain tax assistance should be in clear view for the taxpayer to take with them. This could consist of publications, brochures, bookmarks, and other communication products.

  3. The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (IRS RRA 98), Section 3705(a), provides identification requirements for all IRS employees working tax related matters.

    Note:

    The Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR) adopted by the IRS in June of 2014, provides that taxpayers have the right to receive prompt, courteous and professional assistance in their dealings with the IRS. They are to be spoken to in a manner that is understood and any correspondence from the IRS must be clear and understandable. Taxpayers have the right to speak to a supervisor whenever quality service is not received. Additional information may be found on IRS.gov/taxpayer-bill-of-rights.

Preparation for Filing Season

  1. In order to prepare employees in TACs to perform their tasks for both taxpayers and the Service, advance planning is necessary. Evaluate the TAC to ensure that it is ready prior to the filing season.

  2. FA has created a Filing Season Readiness Program Database to ensure that all TACs are consistent.

  3. The Filing Season Readiness Database may also be used to develop an action plan for TAC operations.

Facilitated Self Assistance (FSA)

  1. The group manager (GM) will communicate policies and procedures to all group employees regarding FSA.

  2. Managers and area analysts should refer to the FSA System Management Guide.

  3. The GM will provide guidance to employees to ensure that FSA is used to the maximum extent possible. Employees should be familiar with IRS.gov and the tasks that can be accomplished via IRS.gov.

  4. The GM will ensure that an FA employee is available to facilitate. Refer to IRM 21.3.4.2.2, Facilitated Self Assistance (FSA), for facilitator duties.

  5. The GM will ensure the FSA printer and computers are operational. If a problem arises, refer to the FSA Troubleshooting Checklist located on the Wage and Investment (W&I) FA Insider home page. If the problem cannot be resolved, the GM will notify the designated FA HQ analyst with the specific details including bar code(s) of the kiosk or printer if warranted.

  6. The GM or designee will report FSA units daily on their Field Assistance Management Information System (FAMIS). See the FAMIS Guide for additional details. FSA is not connected to Qmatic and units can be obtained from the vendor’s report.

  7. Managers must take reasonable measures to ensure that the kiosk workstation placement provides a balance of taxpayer privacy and adequate physical security controls to prevent vandalism. The dedicated FSA printer will be kept in FA secure space, preferably the Initial Account Representative (IAR) workstation for easy retrieval of prints.

  8. The GM will ensure one-time use headphones are available when requested by taxpayers opting to use the alternative technology option on the kiosks.

Virtual Services Delivery

  1. Virtual Services Delivery (VSD) is a method for taxpayers to receive face-to-face service in areas not served by a TAC.

  2. The VSD support site GM (or designee) will ensure each TAC employee providing service virtually has received the training necessary for handling VSD taxpayers.

  3. The VSD support site GM (or designee) will ensure equipment at the partner VSD site and support site are functional and ready for daily operations.

  4. The designated TAC manager (or designee) will perform the initial Qmatic setup and configuration. The designated TAC manager (or designee) will have access to the Qmatic branch controller for all VSD sites and will monitor TAC traffic, and any other Qmatic system issues. The TAC group manager or designee is listed in FAMIS as the manager of the Office Designation Number (ODN) assigned to the partner VSD site. See IRM 1.4.11.11, Qmatic, for Qmatic procedures.

  5. Employees will capture time spent providing virtual assistance under a separate ODN. Employees will complete two Forms 5311, one for their home TAC and one for the VSD assistance. This allows employees to capture units for the ODN where the taxpayer is located, not where the employee performed the work. See IRM 21.3.4.6, Time Reporting for TAC Employees, for time reporting.

  6. Refer to IRM 21.3.4.3.3, Communicating With and Surveying Taxpayers, for Customer Satisfaction Survey procedures.

  7. Refer to the VSD procedures located on the FA Insider.

    • Requests for GM

    • Deaf/Hard of Hearing taxpayers

    • Irate taxpayers

    • Closures

    • Technical issues

TAC Appointment Service

  1. FA has implemented the FA appointment service in all TACs. Taxpayers will call the toll-free line, 844-545-5640, to schedule an appointment to receive services. Appointments will be available for all services provided in the TAC. With proper management oversight, wait time will be minimal for taxpayers with appointments and alternative work streams will be worked in a timely and efficient matter.

  2. For the most current TAC procedures for appointment service, refer to the Field Assistance Appointment Service Desk Guide and the Appointment Calendar User Guides.

    1. Accounts Management (AM) Toll-free Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) are responsible for scheduling appointments on the TAC appointment calendar after offering assistance over the phone and providing available alternative services. Refer to IRM 21.1.1.3, Customer Service Representative (CSR) Duties, for AM appointment instructions.

    2. Appointments are to be scheduled by AM starting at 8:30 a.m. when the TAC opens to the public. The last 30 minute appointment slot should be scheduled at 3:45 p.m. or earlier. This will allow the employees to serve the taxpayer in a quality manner and complete end of day activities before their tour of duty ends. Only appointments for transcripts and payments should be scheduled between 3:45 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. and these should be no more than 15 minutes in length. After 4:00 p.m. no appointments will be scheduled. The average time per appointment is 25 minutes with a five (5) minute wrap up time built in.

    3. The group manager is responsible for requesting access for themselves and their employees to the SharePoint Calendar. All employees will need access to the calendar in order to see the daily appointment schedule. Requests for access will be sent to the area analyst. Refer to the Field Assistance Appointment Calendar User Guide for additional information.

      Note:

      Up to two employees in a TAC will be granted "Contribute Permission" . Employees with "Contribute Permission" must attend a live training session that covers the calendar functionality and procedural functionality that will be delivered by their area analyst.

    4. The group manager will block break and lunch times for employees on the TAC appointment calendar.

    5. All ITAS in the TAC should be available for appointments to be scheduled with the exception of holidays, training, leave, detail, or other duties as noted below in (g). Resources should not be blocked for extended periods of time.

    6. The FA group manager should also input specific information in the notes (banner section) about the appointment guidance. Group managers MUST use approved wording for Banners. Copy and paste wording that is on the FA Appointment Calendar Job Aid or from the link on your area’s HomePage. Miscellaneous Banners and any other Banner not listed must be approved by your area analyst. When scheduling appointments, the AM CSRs are required to check the calendar notes/banners for daily appointment guidance.

      Example:

      "No Cash Payments"

    7. Group managers will identify ITAS availability on the appointment calendar for each day. It is recommended the FA group managers complete this task at least 30 days in advance or as soon as they know the employee’s schedule. Group managers should follow the FA TAC Appointment Calendar Job Aid - Date Guide for Blocking Reoccurring Blocks.

      TAC appointment service managerial guidance
      1. In medium and large TACs only, one ITAS will not be included in the daily schedule.

      2. The unscheduled ITAS should be "assigned" on a rotational basis. The intent of the unscheduled ITAS is to cover the periods of time when an ITAS is assigned to other duties, such as remittance processing and mail. They will also assist during times of unexpected staffing shortages.

      3. TACs with FSA will assign an ITAS to assist taxpayers at the kiosk(s).

      4. TACs with a VSD support will be included when scheduling appointments. The support site will follow IRM 1.4.11.3.5, Virtual Services Delivery (VSD), and assign an ITAS.

    8. The manager will ensure Pub 5202, Appointment Only Poster for Field Assistance Taxpayer Assistance Centers, which explains how to make an appointment in the TAC is displayed.

    9. Directions for making an appointment are posted on www.IRS.gov and can be heard on the 3709 line message. Refer to Exhibit 1.4.11-1, Field Assistance Telephone Scripts.

    10. Each TAC is responsible for recording a memo count for each appointment scheduled by AM.

      Note:

      The memo count used for an appointment scheduled by the TAC is different. Refer to the Appointment Service Closing Codes Guide, for additional information on memo counts.

    11. At the end of the day, it is recommended to print the TAC appointment calendar for the next day. Place the next day’s appointment schedule in a central, secured location such as a locked cabinet or safe. The appointment schedule can be provided to remote offices by printing directly to an on-site printer or by sending via secure email. The TAC manager or designee should review the calendar at the beginning of each day to identify updates or changes.

    12. It is extremely important for group managers, or designees, to regularly review their calendars in advance to check for double or over bookings, inappropriate referrals (such as out-of-scope issues), special requests, and to ensure times are blocked for appointments correctly, i.e., match the topics selected. This will allow time if taxpayer needs to be contacted to have an appointment rescheduled.

      Note:

      Exporting to Excel makes the information easier to print and sort. If a file is created or saved it should be deleted when no longer needed.

    13. The TAC manager or employee should not provide a copy of the daily calendar to the guard on duty.

    14. The area analyst will update permissions on the TAC appointment calendar for the TACs as needed, especially in the event the designees are not available. The areas will only have access to TACs within their area.

  3. In the event of an unplanned TAC closure, certain steps must be followed to notify the taxpayers scheduled for appointments.

    1. The FA group manager or designee will be responsible for contacting the taxpayer to reschedule an appointment when there is an unplanned TAC closure. Accounts Management will not be asked to call the taxpayers and reschedule appointments.

    2. Each TAC manager will be required to pair with another TAC manager in advance to assist with rescheduling appointments. Pairings should be within different geographical locations within the area, or across areas if necessary, to avoid paired offices being closed at the same time. In the event paired offices are closed, the area analyst with oversight over the closed office will be responsible for ensuring taxpayers are notified and reschedule appointments.

    3. As the manager of a closed TAC, there are steps you must take before you start calling taxpayers to cancel the appointment and before you start deleting/rescheduling the cancelled appointments.

      Steps for manager of closed TACs:
      1. Contact your area analyst. The area analyst will make the contacts to post the closure on IRS.gov and notify the FA headquarters (HQ) analyst. These actions must be done immediately once the closure is identified. If the area analyst is not immediately available, contact the senior operations manager (SOM).

      2. Contact your "paired" manager for assistance with cancelling and rescheduling appointments, if necessary.

      3. If the TAC manager or the paired manager is not available, the area analyst, or other member of the area leadership team, must ensure the taxpayers are contacted and the appointments are rescheduled.

    4. Make sure the first action you take before attempting to contact the taxpayers to reschedule the appointment is to update the banner to show the unplanned closure, citing the reason and the expected time frames the closure will last. Be as specific and informative as possible. This will be one of the first ways AM is notified of the closure.

    5. After the previous actions have been completed, call the taxpayer.

    6. The manager or designee will make one attempt to call the taxpayer.

      In situations 1, 2, 3 below, the manger will edit the appointment by:
      • Clicking the Block or Banner box

      • Clicking Save

      This will keep the appointment from being counted, but the appointment and attempted contact information will stay on the calendar.
      Contacting taxpayers for appointments:
      1. Reach taxpayer’s voicemail. "This is (employee name), badge number (xxxxxxx), calling from the (affected TAC’s city, state) IRS office. Due to unforeseen circumstances, we must reschedule your appointment. Please call 844-545-5640 to reschedule your appointment. We apologize for the inconvenience." Refer to IRM 11.3.2.7.1(2), Leaving Information on Answering Machines/Voice Mail.

      2. Unable to reach the taxpayer (such as no voicemail or incorrect phone number).

      3. Reach the taxpayer but unable to reschedule. Advise the taxpayer to call the appointment toll-free line to reschedule at their convenience.

      4. Reach the taxpayer and were able to reschedule the appointment. Edit the appointment to change the date and time of the appointment, as appropriate. This will move it from the original date it was scheduled and maintain a record of the original appointment.

      Note:

      Refer to the Field Assistance Appointment Calendar User Guide and the Field Assistance TAC Appointment Calendar Job Aid for instructions on editing the calendar.

    7. Block any remaining open/available time on the closed day’s calendar so AM cannot schedule appointments into these time slots.

  4. If the appointment calendar system goes down and/or is unavailable, AM CSRs should follow regular procedures to target the taxpayer’s issue, and provide assistance to resolve the issue over the phone. If the CSR is unable to help the taxpayer, and it is determined that an appointment will be needed, the CSR will advise the taxpayer to call back when the system comes back online. No written referrals to request an appointment will be completed.

  5. When you determine there are no appointments in the TAC due to cancellations or other mitigating circumstances, employees can be assigned to other tasks such as:

    1. Maintaining forms racks

    2. Mail processing, date stamping acknowledged Forms 3210 received

    3. Maintaining and updating the remittance and non-remittance logs

    4. Processing payments received earlier in the day (RSPCC Scanning and/or Key Verifying)

    5. Shredding

    6. E-learning

    7. In-house referrals

Alternative Work Stream
  1. To balance the agency’s workload and maximize resources, appointment service TACs will participate in the alternative work stream.

  2. Under the alternative work stream, managers will assign Correspondence Imaging System (CIS) case work as needed when there are no taxpayers who need face-to-face service and all required off-counter duties in the TAC have been completed.

  3. Management will determine a TAC’s capacity to allow employees to work on alternative work streams.

  4. Managers should be monitoring their calendars and their daily activities and make their work assignments based on what they see and what they can reasonably project.

  5. Employees can also work CIS in between appointments during idle time.

  6. When assigned to CIS work, the ITAS may need to work face-to-face contacts if the TAC is under staffed due to employee absences or if there is an unexpected increased demand, such as exception appointments or walk-in traffic and no one else is available to assist.

    1. FA will not close a TAC when there is an employee available to take scheduled appointments and/or to assist walk-in taxpayers.

    2. The group manager will determine whether the ITAS will be reassigned to work the counter or CIS inventory.

  7. An ITAS working cases is required to conduct thorough research and must be able to work independently.

  8. The ITAS will work cases first in and first out, regardless of age or overage.

  9. An ITAS working cases will be required to address all issues within FA authority, identified in the taxpayer’s correspondence.

    Note:

    When working alternative work stream cases, FA will follow the One Stop Service Approach to ensure taxpayers receive complete customer service. Refer to IRM 21.3.4.2.4.5.1, Alternative Work Stream and IRM References.

  10. ITASs who do not have the training level to address the issue should advise the group manager and ask the case be reassigned to an ITAS with the appropriate training level.

  11. ITASs will contact their group managers if they have any questions or have completed their assigned work and need additional cases.

  12. Managers should communicate any revisions or updates to the alternative work stream process to their employees.

  13. Managers should regularly review the appointment calendar and make adjustments to consolidate open time slots to limit employee idle time.

  14. The managers or designees are required to review the daily inventory reports and perform a quality review of the prior day’s adjustments.

  15. Managers should complete the required EQRS reviews. Performing two non-evaluative reviews during the first 60 days satisfies normal managerial review requirements. See IRM 1.4.11.27, Embedded Quality Roles and Responsibilities.

TAC Security Controls and Signs

  1. TACs should be arranged to take under consideration available space, volume and anticipated traffic. The overall appearance of the TACs should be clean, well organized, and uncluttered. The office should be as attractive as possible to maintain a professional and efficient image of the IRS to the public.

  2. Taxpayers who are seeking only forms should be able to help themselves, but limited to a specific quantity as determined by the TAC. In large offices with substantial forms traffic, consideration should be given to placement of the forms distribution function in a separate location from the TAC area.

    Example:

    In offices where the TAC is not located on the first floor, forms distribution could be performed in the lobby. Experience has demonstrated that this will substantially reduce the congestion and traffic in the TAC area.

  3. If a separate area is not available, self-service form racks should be used in the outer lobby or as near to the TAC entrance as possible. For guidance on required products to be stocked in the self-service racks, see IRM 21.3.4.9, Forms, Instructions and Publications, IRM 1.18.3, Tax Forms Distribution Programs, and the TAC Program Page.

  4. Group managers must ensure the address and order point contact information is current for their TAC(s). Order point contact information and address maintenance can be verified/updated by accessing the link Order and Subscription Management System on the TAC Program Page.

  5. The placement of self-service form racks and the forms distribution area should be coordinated with the appropriate local functional area.

  6. The office layout should be designed to provide for maximum privacy for taxpayers, depending on space availability.

  7. Approval Authority: The director of FA must approve any deviations from the prescribed procedures.

TAC Physical Security Requirements

  1. Annually, territory and group managers will receive training on TAC Security and Remittance Review Database (TSRRD) as part of CPE or Filing Season Readiness training to include updates and changes to the TSRRD database. Training will include the manager’s roles, responsibilities, and review process in completing the TSRRD surveys.

    Note:

    Group managers will receive the initial TSRRD training as part of the "Managing a TAC" course.

  2. The IRS has a legal obligation to protect the confidentiality of tax returns and related information. The Service also has the responsibility of protecting the entire Federal Tax Administration System, not just the individual components of the system but employees, computer equipment, tax returns, monies, property, facilities, and records. Therefore, minimum security standards have been established to minimize the potential for loss of life and property, the disruption of services and functions, and the unauthorized disclosure of documents and information.

  3. The TSRRD is comprised of various reviews that are due at various intervals; quarterly, semi-annually or annually. The reviews consist of the:

    • Annual Functional Security Review

    • After-Hour Security Review

    • Physical Security Review

    • Remittance and Receipt Checklist

    • Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS)/IDRS Online Reports Service (IORS) Security Review (IDRS/IORS Security Review)

  4. The frequency and due dates of the reviews are as follows:

    Review Frequency Due Date(s)
    After Hour Security Review Quarterly
    • Period ending December 31, due January 31

    • Period ending March 31, due April 30

    • Period ending June 30, due July 31

    • Period ending September 30, due October 31

    Physical Security Review Semi-Annually
    • Period ending March 31, due April 30

    • Period ending September 30, due October 31

    Functional Security Review Annually
    • Period ending September 30, due October 31

  5. To ensure that all facilities are properly protected, careful planning is necessary to ensure that appropriate protective measures are in place. Basic security measures will be locked perimeter doors, slab-slab exterior walls (at the IRS perimeter), duress alarms in public contact areas and intrusion detection for first floor offices and other offices as required by IRM guidelines. In addition, property standards for building access have been established for employees and visitors. These standards include ID and visitor badges, employee credentials, keys and locks, alarm maintenance and testing, duress alarms, fire suppression systems, and guard services.

  6. To establish a controlled access environment in TACs, refer to IRM 10.2.8, Incident Reporting. TACs are subject to compliance reviews by Facilities Management and Security Services (FMSS), Information Technology (IT), Government Accountability Office (GAO), and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

    Note:

    Refer to IRM 10.2.11, Basic Security Concepts, for guidance on limiting access. Refer to IRM 10.2.15, Minimum Protection Standards (MPS), for guidance on Controlled Access.

  7. Controlled access is an essential aspect of ensuring that FA has adequate safeguards in place to protect taxpayer information from disclosure and prevent unauthorized access to both information and property. In determining the security criteria for TACs, consideration should be given to the types and volumes of assets regularly received and stored. Examples of such assets include, but are not limited to:

    • Cash remittances

    • Check remittances

    • Form 809 Receipts

    • Received and Received with Remittance stamps

    • Tax returns

    • Return information

Controlled Area
  1. According to the IRM on Physical Security and Emergency Preparedness, "A controlled area is an interior space which is not designated as formal restricted area, but is designed to control employee access between work areas during normal duty hours." Management is responsible for determining such a need and for subsequently deciding to grant or deny access. As stated in the National Agreement (Document 11678) - Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), management retains the right to determine internal security practices.

  2. When protecting assets and information, access should be limited to those persons with a need to access the information due to their official duties and/or responsibilities.

Field Assistance Manager Responsibilities
  1. Managers should be diligent in their efforts to strengthen security by controlling access to the TACs. The security requirements outlined in IRM 10.2.8, Incident Reporting, must be implemented to the maximum extent in every TAC within space and funding constraints.

  2. It is important to emphasize the need to exercise good judgment in determining how we will control access. Consideration must be given to the impact that changes may have on the overall safety and security of all Post of Duty (POD) employees.

  3. For the numerous space projects in process which configure TAC space according to the new TAC model designs, managers will need to ensure that space layouts incorporate the security aspects required to meet controlled area requirements to limit access. Such aspects include at a minimum one or more of the following:

    1. Surrounding the TAC with slab-slab exterior walls.

    2. Wearing Identification (ID) cards for all TAC employees and visitors.

    3. Installing doors with appropriate combination locking devices or electronic card access.

  4. The type of locking device installed on the doors will depend on the POD's specific security system. For instance, if the IRS space has an electronic card access system, the TAC doors should have card readers installed on them. If there is no electronic card access system, combination locks will suffice.

  5. For offices where no space reconfiguration for the TAC Model is scheduled for the near term, managers should determine what measures can be taken to limit access.

  6. Older designed office layouts, may have no practical way to "control access" when another organization has a storage room inside our space. In those situations, it is even more essential to use appropriate locking containers to store sensitive information and documents.

  7. Managers must ensure that the TACs are equipped with adequate physical security controls to prevent unauthorized access (see IRM 1.4.11.4.1.3, Controlled Access Procedures). If controls are not already in place, management must work with local FMSS and commissioners representative/administrative officer assigned to the building. All TAC security, safety, health and space concerns must be identified and elevated through the appropriate management chain (area director's office to FA headquarters) so that the appropriate corrective action can be taken.

    Note:

    Other IRS business unit employees cannot be denied access to TAC space in emergency situations if their only means of emergency evacuation is through the TAC.

Employee Name Tags
  1. TAC employees are required to wear a name tag displaying their name while providing face-to-face assistance to taxpayers. If the name tag has not been ordered and received, the employee must verbally identify themselves by providing their name and employee identification number (all 10 digits of their Personal Identification Number) to all taxpayers.

  2. Employee name tags are supplied by the FA headquarters staff. New or replacement name tag information must be provided to the designated headquarter employee.

  3. Employee name tags will be displayed with the entire first name, last name and employee identification number. Courtesy titles may be used with the entire first and last name or with the last name. The employee identification number must be included on the name tag. No first name "initials" are permitted. See examples below;

    1. Entire First Name, Entire Last Name, and Employee Identification Number

    2. (Mr., Mrs., Miss, or Ms.) Entire First Name, Entire Last Name and Employee Identification Number

    3. (Mr., Mrs., Miss, or Ms.) Last Name and Employee Identification Number

Reporting A Missing Child From or Within IRS Facilities
  1. The "Code Adam Act of 2003" law requires that the designated authority for a public building establish procedures for a child missing within or from a federal building.

  2. The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Protective Service (FPS) implemented the policy nationwide and established procedures for locating a missing child in federal facilities.

  3. General Services Administration (GSA) administers this program nationwide in both owned and leased buildings. Each agency is responsible for establishing and implementing procedures consistent with GSA requirements.

  4. There are two alerts to be aware of:

    1. Code Adam - when a child is missing within an IRS facility.

    2. Code Amber - when a child is missing from an IRS facility.

  5. Once a child is determined missing "from" or "within" a federal building, a manager must follow the steps in the managers guide: Code Adam and Amber Alert Program IRS Managers Guide.

  6. If a manager is not available, employees should contact the on-site Commissioner’s Representative (CR) for the POD.

  7. For more information, see IRM 10.2.9, Occupant Emergency Planning.

Controlled Access Procedures
  1. Managers should take the following actions to control access:

    1. Visually monitor traffic in and out of TACs.

    2. Deny entrance to TAC space if the individual is not assigned to perform FA operations unless authorized by the TAC manager.

      Exception:

      Allow access to the TAC to employees from any organizational unit impacted by hurricanes or natural disasters. When non-TAC employees are located in TAC space compensatory controls should be implemented (i.e., non-TAC employees cannot walk behind the counters). Limit their access to what is necessary.

      Exception:

      The Inspector General Act -120.1.1 of 1978, as amended, gives TIGTA officials the authority to access all facilities of the IRS, the IRS Chief Counsel, and the IRS Oversight Board, and to access all records, reports, audits, reviews, documents, papers, recommendations, or other material available to the IRS, the IRS Chief Counsel, or the IRS Oversight Board which relate to their programs and operations.

    3. Conduct unannounced physical and fiscal reviews on a quarterly basis using page 5 of Form 12149, Functional Security Review for Managers.

    4. Use a designated entrance feature into TAC space, which will allow one of the following: an electronic card, a combination lock, or a security register (log). The type of entry will depend on the post of duty.

    5. Separate employee entrance from public access.

    6. Ensure unguarded doors facing public access are locked from the outside at all times, especially during normal business hours. Make sure doors without high traffic cannot be opened from the outside without a smart card, combination, or key.

    7. Ensure employees practice the clean desk policy, making sure tax data, cash, signature stamps, unused Form 809 receipt books, and "Official Use Only" data is properly secured at all times. Information should not be exposed when an employee has left the office for the day.

    8. Provide keys to locked containers and combinations to safes only to authorized personnel.

    9. Monitor janitorial cleaning performance during regular business hours.

    10. Provide TAC employees with information regarding the duress alarm and its response time (targeted response time is within 15 minutes).

    11. If corrective actions are needed, coordinate immediately with local FMSS and commissioners representative/administrative officer assigned to the building.

Cameras/Photography Prohibited
  1. In general, the Service has permitted employees and visitors to bring personal cell phones with or without camera capability into TACs and other IRS facilities. The FA organization has not changed this position. However, the use of cell phones with camera capability raises security issues as it relates to the confidentiality and privacy of tax returns and related sensitive information. It is impractical to change this policy or to prohibit cell phones with camera capability.

  2. In order to minimize the potential for inadvertently compromising taxpayer information or other sensitive information, employees and visitors to our TAC should be advised that:

    1. Cameras may not be used in the TAC and photographs may not be taken while in the TAC unless pre-approved by the TAC manager and cleared by FMSS.

    2. The use of camera capability in cell phones is not authorized in any IRS facility.

    3. The Service may not secure personal items such as cell phones on behalf of visitors, however, the FPS may request visitors to secure personal items such as cell phones in their automobile or in some other manner.

  3. Management is responsible for ensuring all employees are familiar with the rules and regulations governing the protection of sensitive data as outlined in IRC 6103. Penalties for employees compromising the protection and confidentiality of tax returns and related sensitive information are contained in the IRC, Privacy Act, Rules of Conduct, and UNAX documents. See IRM 10.5.5, IRS Unauthorized Access, Attempted Access or Inspection of Taxpayer Records (UNAX) Program Policy, Guidance and Requirements. Visit the UNAX website for more information. See 10.5.1, Privacy Policy, for policy relating to Recordings in the Workplace.

  4. It is the responsibility of management to ensure the rules regarding the use of cameras and photography are posted in a prominent location in the TAC. If visitors attempt to compromise security procedures, local security enforcement authorities must be notified.

TAC Security/Internal Controls

  1. Overview – The IRS has a legal obligation to protect the confidentiality of tax returns and related information.

  2. Management controls are an integral component of an organization’s management. They are the programs, policies, and procedures established to ensure that the organization is managed efficiently and effectively and protected from waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement, and misappropriation of funds. Management controls are synonymous with internal controls. See IRM 1.4.2, Monitoring and Improving Internal Control.

  3. Managers must constantly reinforce the importance of adherence to security and internal controls when processing remittances (cash and non-cash).

  4. Duress alarms located in each TAC will be tested annually by the local FMSS territory manager. If necessary, FMSS will contact the TAC manager for assistance to activate and reset duress alarm(s).

  5. Removable media and Digital Video Disk (DVD) players in the TAC do not require any additional security beyond that of any other furniture or IRS property in the TAC. Store remote controls for the television and DVD player in a safe place at all times (desk or cabinet is acceptable). IRS informational presentations are formatted without Symantec Endpoint Encryption (SEE) to operate on the televisions.

  6. The TAC Security and Remittance Review Database was developed to capture self-assessment results from the revised Physical Security and Remittance checklist tool.

  7. The database allows FA to effectively monitor the TACs adherence to security requirements.

  8. The database is used to store historical data and identify the offices that will be visited for operational reviews.

  9. The manager is responsible for conducting Functional Security Reviews using Form 12149, Functional Security Review for Managers, and/or other data collection instruments (DCIs) and input the results of the reviews in the database on a quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis as required.

  10. At a minimum, managers will ensure compliance with standards on

    1. IRM 1.4.6.5.6, Keys and Combination Control

    2. IRM 1.4.6.5.7, Information Protection

    3. IRM 10.8.1, Information Technology (IT), Policy and Guidance

    4. IRM 1.4.6.5.17, Disposition and Destruction

    5. IRM 1.4.6.5.18, Clean Desk Policy

    6. IRM 1.4.6.7, Identification Media

  11. The database addresses the following:

    1. Allows the ability to collect information, identify deficiencies, and follow-up on corrective actions in a timely and comprehensive manner according to the IRM requirements.

    2. Establishes the top security and remittance issues by ODN.

    3. Compiles data to assess effectiveness and progress in correcting weaknesses in physical security controls in order to protect sensitive taxpayer information and receipts.

  12. Managers must comply with all minimum security standards contained in IRM 1.4.6, Managers Security Handbook, all local security requirements, for reporting any violations to the local physical security office and other individuals (for example, TIGTA) who have security responsibilities.

  13. See IRM 3.8.47.4.5, Security of Forms 809 receipt for Payment of Taxes and IRM 10.2.14.7.4, Control and Safeguarding of Keys and Cipher Lock Combination, regarding the manager's responsibilities on when to change the SF 700.

Completing Form 700
  1. Access to the combinations of secured areas and/or containers will be controlled to prevent unauthorized access. The combinations will be given only to those who have a need to have access to the area. Managers must be familiar with the procedures for completing Standard Form 700.

    1. Print legibly.

    2. Block 1: Area or post of duty.

    3. Block 2: Building name.

    4. Block 3: Room number.

    5. Block 4: Division, Branch, Section or Office.

    6. Block 5: Serial number of container.

    7. Block 6: Manufacturer and type of container.

    8. Block 7: Manufacturer and type of lock.

    9. Block 8: Serial number of lock.

    10. Block 9: Date combination changed. If this is a new container, list the date the container was acquired in block.

    11. Block 10: Name of person making the change.

    12. Block 11: Names and SEID of ALL employees with the combination or key. Annotate the business address and telephone number of all personnel with the combination or key. In the event that additional space is required, use an addendum to include name of all employees with access to the safe. The addendum must be dated to identify when it was completed.

  2. Detach Part 1 of the Form 700 and attach the Form 700 Part 1 to the inside of the container. This must be made available for viewing by internal control reviewers.

  3. Complete Standard Form 700 Part 2A as follows:

    1. List the serial number of the container in the space marked container number.

    2. Print the combination clearly in the combination space.

    3. Insert Part 2A into a security envelope and retain in a secure location under control of the territory manager. The territory manager will maintain Form 700 in a locked file cabinet. If the territory manager chooses to maintain Form 700 in a locked box, ensure the box is stored in the file cabinet.

  4. Standard Form 700 must be clearly marked in legible print without error. Marking over, scratching out, use of correction fluid, use of correction tape, or lining through are not allowed.

  5. Form 700 is ordered by the area secretaries and distributed to managers as necessary. They come in packs of 100. These are not stocked at NDC but ordered through www.gsaglobalsupply.gsa.gov or www.gsaadvantage.gov with either a government purchase card or AAC (Activity Address Code). The phone number is 800-525-8027, select option 1 and request product #7540-01-214-5372, Standard Form 700.

    Note:

    Combinations must be changed whenever an employee who knows the combination leaves on a job transfer, is a released seasonal, retires, or terminates employment; whenever the combination is compromised in any way, at least once a year; or when the safe or lock is originally received. Combinations should be at least four (4) digits.

Use of Signs/Posters in TACs

  1. All TACs will display all required signs provided by headquarters and ensure procedures outlined in IRM 21.3.4.3.8, Signs, are followed.

  2. All other signs (e.g., signs from other business units, temporary signs) must be approved by the director of FA or headquarters designee.

  3. There are four categories of signage:

    • Cautionary Signs

    • Informational Signs

    • Directional Signs

    • Educational Signs

Removable Media and Digital Video Disk (DVD) Players

  1. Removable media and DVD players are used in TACs to promote the use of informational messages to improve the taxpayer experience. Removable media is defined as any device that can be used to transport or store data such as a flash drive, compact disk (CD), and DVD.

  2. Removable media and DVD players will be used for educational and communication purposes as directed by FA headquarters. Only approved IRS informational messages or informational videos are allowed. All other viewing methods such as cable, local television stations or the use of television antennas are prohibited, unless authorized by FA headquarters. To request the use of other viewing methods, contact your area office. Explain the reason why the IRS informational messages cannot be displayed. The area office will seek approval from FA headquarters.

  3. Removable media will be played continuously and allowed to loop so taxpayers may see repeated messages.

  4. Administrative support, technical staff and/or GMs are authorized to insert or remove the removable media or operate the DVD players. See IRM 1.4.11.4.4.1, Roles and Responsibilities for Removable Media, for more information.

  5. See Field Assistance Policy Guidance and Requirements for Removable Media and Digital Video Disc Players in the TACs, for the policy memo for Removable Media and Digital Video Disc (DVD) Players in the TACs.

Roles and Responsibilities for Removable Media
  1. Headquarters:
    Provide IRS informational presentations to the field which are approved by Communications and Liaisons (C&L), the Affordable Care Act Project Management Office and other designated approvers unless the TAC has prior approval from FA headquarters.
    Input Publishing Services Requests (PSR) depending on the type of removable media required.
    Input Employee Resource Center (ERC) ticket for DVD purchase and installation.
    Provide Integrated Procurement System (IPS) numbering scheme and approval path to local FMSS Project Manager or Media and Publications (M&P) analyst through FA budget analyst for DVD installation.
    GMs:
    Ensure the installation and execution of the flash drive on the televisions. If assistance is required for flash drive installation, the GM will first seek assistance from the local building maintenance or lessor before contacting the area office. The area office will notify FA headquarters.
    Provide general coordination and support for DVD player installations with FMSS.
    Be responsible for the operation of the DVD player such as inputting and removing DVDs (Administrative support or technical staff may be designated if GM not located in TAC).
    Monitor removable media and/or DVD player operations and notify the area office for removable media and DVD player when there is a problem. The area office will notify FA headquarters.
    Submit an Incident Report using the Computer Security Incident Reporting (CSIRC) Form and contact the territory manager and area office, if the removable media or DVD player is lost or stolen. The area office will notify FA headquarters.
    FMSS:
    Mount DVD players where they will not be easily accessible to the public and out of the reach of children (in secure space).
    Place the DVD players inside the GMs office as the first option.
    Maintenance, Repair, Replacement and/or Troubleshooting:
    TAC personnel should not attempt to repair the removable media or DVD player.
    If the removable media or DVD player requires service, replacement or becomes inoperable for any reason, contact the area office. Provide the location and what the removable media or DVD player is doing or not doing. The area office will notify FA headquarters.
    FMSS is responsible for the initial installation (where applicable) and maintenance of the DVD players while warranties are in affect.
    FA headquarters will fund replacement of any removable media, if required. When required, FA may fund replacement of DVD players if the warranty has expired.
    See IRM 1.4.11.4.2, TAC Security/Internal Controls, for security guidance.

Televisions (TVs) in TACs

  1. Only approved IRS informational messages are allowed on all TAC TVs. The use of cable and/or local TV stations is prohibited unless authorized by FA headquarters. To request the use of other viewing methods, contact your area office. Explain the reason why the IRS informational messages cannot be displayed. The area office will seek approval from FA headquarters.

  2. If permitted to use other viewing methods, the volume setting must be closed captioned and/or muted. If the use of the IRS informational messages, cable and/or local TV stations is not an option, the TV must be turned off.

  3. Playing background music is restricted. Sound must not interfere with the Qmatic or Contact Recording equipment currently located in the TAC.

  4. Only FA employees (administrative support, technical staff or GMs) are authorized to operate the TV.

  5. See Field Assistance Policy Guidance and Requirements for Televisions in the TAC, for the policy memo for TVs in the TACs.

Roles and Responsibilities for TVs in the TAC
  1. Headquarters:
    Input Employee Resource Center (ERC) ticket for TV installation, relocation or removal (where applicable).
    GMs:
    Provide general coordination and support for TV installation with FMSS.
    Be responsible for the operation of the TV such as turning on and off (Administrative support or technical staff may be designated if GM not located in TAC).
    Monitor TV operations and notify the area office when there is a problem. The area office will notify FA headquarters.
    Submit an Incident Report using the Computer Security Incident Reporting (CSIRC) form and contact the territory manager and area office if the TV is lost or stolen. The area office will notify FA headquarters.
    FMSS:
    Fund and install existing TVs.
    Mount TV where it will not be easily accessible to the public and out of the reach of children.
    Mount TV where placement will not interfere with Qmatic or Contact Recording operations, obstructing the ITAS station numbering panels and ticket numbering system.
    Consult with the GMs and determine the configuration of the TAC space to accommodate the TVs.
    Discard broken TVs.
    Maintenance, Repair, Replacement and/or Troubleshooting:
    TAC personnel should not attempt to repair the TV.
    If the TV requires service or becomes inoperable for any reason, contact the area office. Provide the location and what the TV is doing or not doing. The area office will notify FA headquarters.
    FMSS is responsible for the installation (where applicable).
    FMSS will discard broken TVs and replace them by relocating a TV from another TAC location (where applicable).

Initial Assistance Representative (IAR)

  1. Greeting and questioning the taxpayer by an IAR to determine the type of assistance needed requires excellent communication skills. It also requires good communication skills, along with the ability to readily analyze the taxpayer's need(s).

  2. The IAR should be knowledgeable of all TAC procedures located in IRM 21.3.4, Field Assistance.

  3. IARs can greatly contribute to the efficiency of a TAC by answering inquiries that can be resolved quickly in the general entry or reception area which would permit assistance to larger numbers of taxpayers with a minimal waiting time. (The types of inquiries normally handled by IARs do not involve technical tax issues.)

  4. An IAR can direct the flow of taxpayer traffic to the respective TAC service areas. A full-time IAR is needed for heavy taxpayer traffic during the filing season in medium or large TACs. A part-time or seasonal IAR may be desirable during non-filing season.

Managing Outlying TACs

  1. Managers may be responsible for supervising employees in offices other than where the manager is located. Regular communications with employees in outlying TACs is essential in achieving a successful and smoothly run TAC operation.

  2. Oversight and assessment for each office that the manager is responsible for is equally important and will aid in determining training needs, employee performance, and in identifying areas or processes that need improvement. Managers will need to monitor each employee's work to ensure that the work performed meets IRS requirements as outlined in IRM 21.3.4, Field Assistance.

Commissioner's Representatives (CR) in Outlying TACs

  1. Each outlying TAC has a Commissioner's Representative (CR)/Administrative Officer (AO) who is responsible for the office/building.

  2. It is the manager's responsibility to keep the CR/AO informed of TAC office closings or any problems (within the CR's area of responsibility) that the TAC may encounter in carrying out its function.

  3. It is important to keep open lines of communication with management in other functional areas.

Schedule Routine Visitations

  1. Managers must maintain close contact with employees in outlying TACs because their relative isolation tends to lessen their involvement with management.

  2. Make routine visits to the TAC and maintain documented evidence of managerial reviews, as outlined in IRM 1.4.11.15.12, Territory Manager Mandatory Reviews, Reports and Certification and IRM 1.4.11.15.11, Group Manager Mandatory Reviews, Reports and Certification. Validate these reviews quarterly by inputting the review results in the TSRRD. See IRM 1.4.11.4.1, TAC Physical Security Requirements.

  3. If items identified during a visit are the responsibility of the Commissioner's Representative (CR), schedule a discussion.

Hours of Operations and TAC Closing Procedures

  1. Program management and oversight guidelines are provided in this section for changes in hours of operation at TACs.

  2. Full-time offices are open from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and have full-time staff five days a week, eight hours a day, 12 months a year (except for federal holidays).

  3. TACs will provide half an hour at the beginning of each day, before the TAC opens, to allow time for employees to prepare time reports, read new procedures and information, conduct directed learning, hold group meetings, and prepare for the day’s taxpayer-related activities.

  4. Lunchtime for employees will be scheduled at a time commensurate with the lower traffic periods of the day. Smaller offices (1 or 2 technical employees) with insufficient FA staff to remain open throughout the day, may close to allow the employee(s) time to take their lunch. Offices with 3 or more technical employees available to work are expected to remain open during lunch.

  5. TAC employees must only take in those taxpayers that they will be able to assist within the regularly scheduled hours. Any decision to keep a TAC open beyond the regular business hours requires supervisory approval.

Changes in Hours of Operations

  1. All TACs that were full-time last filing season will remain full-time this filing season, unless the director of FA (DFA) approves the change.

  2. Area directors or designee(s) (Designee refers to a SOM or TM) have authority to approve all Change in Hours of Operation Requests (CHOR). The table below provides a summary of time frames, level of approval authority and when it is appropriate to send an email notification of a temporary closure versus a CHOR form.

    Temporary Office Closure Approval Authority Person Responsible for Notifying Stakeholders Type of Notification
    *Less than two business days Territory manager Territory manager Email
    2-7 business days Area director or designee Territory manager Email
    8 consecutive business days or more Area director or designee Territory manager CHOR Form 13358-A

    *Includes same day closures or emergency closures.

  3. Area directors or designee(s) must make every effort to ensure temporary TAC closure notifications are shared with stakeholders as soon as possible.

  4. Please send an email (use email template below) with the following information when submitting a change in TAC hours of seven (7) consecutive business days or less.

    Subject line: URGENT - Temporary TAC closure notification request for change in hours of operation (insert city/state and effective date)
    Email template:
    TAC location
    Date(s) of closure
    Time of closure
    Reason for closure
    TAC guard (yes or no)
    Nearest TAC location and distance

    Note:

    If the temporary closure is due to employee being on leave, state the reason as "Employee on leave" . If the closure is due to training, specify the type of training (i.e., CIS, ELMs, OJT, mandatory briefings, etc.)

  5. The following stakeholders must be copied on your email notification:

    1. Area director

    2. Area technical advisor

    3. Area senior operations manager

    4. Area security analyst

    5. HQ security analyst

    6. FMSS HQ security analyst (requires notification only when a temporary TAC closure impacts a TAC guard)

    7. FMSS territory manager (requires notification only when a temporary TAC closure impacts a TAC guard)

    8. Legislative affairs representative

    9. Media relations representative

    10. Senior commissioner’s representative

    11. NTEU representative for the TAC

    12. Local taxpayer advocate office

    13. DFA (requires notification when a temporary closure is approved or when unusual instances occur, such as flooding, shootings, personal injury, hazardous material, etc.)

  6. Temporary office closures less than two business days - Require TM approval. Notification will come via email from the TM to the AD with a copy to stakeholders (see paragraph 4 and 5).

  7. Temporary office closures two - seven consecutive business days - Require AD or designee approval. Notification will come via email from the TM to the AD or designee with a copy to stakeholders (see paragraph 4 and 5).

  8. Temporary office closures eight consecutive business days or more - Require AD or designee approval. A CHOR form must be completed and approved by the AD or designee. Notification will come via email from the area office with the approved CHOR form attached. Once the AD or designee has approved the CHOR form it will be sent by the TM via email to stakeholders (see paragraph 5).

  9. Extending a CHOR form beyond the expiration date – When it is necessary to extend a CHOR form beyond its original expiration date, the AD or designee must approve a new CHOR form.

  10. Temporary lunch closures - TACs that are open during lunch hours will only close in the event there is insufficient staffing (i.e., two or less employees, etc.)

  11. Multiple Closures seven consecutive business days or less - To reduce the number of emails being generated; multiple closures should be consolidated into one email. Include all pertinent information for each location and ensure stakeholders are notified.

Approval Authority for Changes in Hours of Operation
  1. The table below, Approval Authority for Changes in Hours of Operation, provides a summary of time frames and level of approval authority needed.

    Temporary Closure Approval Authority Next Level Notification
    *Less than two business days TM Area director and stakeholders
    Two - seven business days AD or designee DFA and stakeholders
    Eight consecutive business days or more AD or designee DFA and stakeholders

    *includes same day closures or emergency closures.

Closing a TAC

  1. Temporary TAC closings should only occur as a last resort because of the potentially adverse impact on taxpayers and other functions at that location.

  2. Temporary closures may occur in smaller TACs (generally one or two person TACs) for the following reasons:

    1. Employees are attending training.

    2. Employees have an immediate or extended illness.

    3. An unfilled vacancy (i.e., retirement, resignation).

    4. There are no other employees within a reasonable distance (i.e., commuting area) available from FA.

  3. Before temporarily closing a TAC for an extended period, eight consecutive days, the area director must determine if there is a need to:

    1. Provide an employee from another TAC on a daily basis.

    2. Provide an employee from another TAC on a part-time basis (limited hours or days).

    3. DFA approval is required for all circuit riding.

  4. Release of TAC Space: The Wage and Investment Commissioner, in consultation with the Commissioner of Internal Revenue Service and the Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement, have the final approval authority to permanently release TAC space.

Actions to be Taken When Relocating a TAC
  1. The area office will ensure the appropriate actions are completed to implement the communication plan within 60 days prior to the TAC relocating. Listed on the FA Insider is the TAC Relocation Checklist that must be completed to facilitate proper communication of the upcoming TAC move.

  2. Headquarters will advise the national Governmental Liaison and other stakeholders of the TAC relocation prior to the actual move.

  3. The director of FA will notify the director of CARE of the effective date of the TAC relocation.

Publishing Taxpayer Assistance Center Information

  1. To ensure taxpayers know where they can locate a TAC, it is critical that information on IRS.gov, 3709 telephone recorded messages and TAC signage all have correct and consistent information.

  2. It is the area director's responsibility to ensure complete, correct and consistent addresses with hours of operation are published on IRS.gov and TAC signage. Area directors are responsible for ensuring IRS.gov, 3709 telephone recorded messages and TAC signage are reviewed for uniformity on a regular basis.

  3. IRS.gov will reflect the following information in the prescribed format as shown below and adhering to the IRS Style Guide standards:

    1. City (IRS.gov only) - Each TAC will be listed by the city in which it is located. If a TAC is located in a unique area, two city names should be separated with a slash (i.e., Plantation/Ft. Lauderdale). If a city contains more than one TAC, a location description may be included in parenthesis (i.e., New York (Harlem); Houston (NW).

    2. Street Address - Each street address must be limited to only necessary data. Street number, street name, city, state and zip code.

    3. Hours of Operation - Each listing must be complete. Individual days/times must be spelled out (i.e., Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)

    4. Lunch Closings - Closings for lunch must be entered in a consistent format.

    5. 3709 Telephone Numbers - Telephone numbers will be entered in the following format 999-999-9999.

  4. CPRs are required for the following:

    • Address changes

    • Telephone number changes

    • Indefinite/Permanent TAC closures

  5. Updates to any TAC information on IRS.gov will use the format and procedures prescribed by Online Services.

Posting TAC Hours of Operation

  1. Hours of operation, including lunch closings, must be posted using Form 13358, Taxpayer Assistance Center Hours of Service Insert (EN/SP).

  2. TAC signage must be updated/changed as necessary to reflect the information posted on IRS.gov. All closings must be posted on the TAC door for the duration of the time the TAC will be closed.

Posting TAC Closings

  1. Temporary Closings - If it is necessary to temporarily close a TAC for a period of one business day or more due to unscheduled employee absences or other circumstances beyond our control; the management chain of command will immediately be notified of the situation. IRS.gov, the 3709 telephone recorded messages, and TAC signage will be updated.

    Exception:

    IRS.gov does not need to be changed if closure is less than one business day, due to inclement weather or when the notification of the need to close the TAC is not received before the regularly scheduled opening. TAC signage must be updated to reflect all closures regardless of the duration, unless not possible due to geographic limitations.

    Note:

    If the area IRS.gov analyst is not immediately available to initiate the update to IRS.gov; the territory manager will contact the primary HQ IRS.gov analyst (or back-up) to initiate the update. When no HQ analyst is available, the territory manager will contact the SOM to determine if the IRS.gov analyst from another area can provide assistance.

  2. IRS.gov and signs will be updated for planned closures of any duration.

  3. Updates must be consistent and use appropriate professional language.

    Example:

    "This office is closed 1/21/15" .

  4. If an office is closed indefinitely, IRS.gov and TAC signage will be updated to say, "This office is currently closed" .

    Note:

    These updates will also require an approved CPR. The 3709 telephone recorded message will use the appropriate script. See Exhibit 1.4.11-1, Field Assistance Telephone Scripts.

  5. Permanent Closings - Upon approval of a permanent TAC closing Form 13312, Temporary Closing Notification for Taxpayer Assistance Centers, will be posted and the hours of operation column on IRS.gov will be updated with the following disclaimer: "This office no longer offers face-to-face tax assistance. Please visit one of the other offices on this page or call 800-829-1040" .

    Note:

    This update will require an approved CPR. The 3709 telephone recorded message will be recorded using the 3709 Script for TACs Closing and 3709 Line will be Disconnected. See Exhibit 1.4.11-1, Field Assistance Telephone Scripts. The disclaimer will be posted for 30 days. After 30 days, a request to remove the listing from IRS.gov will be initiated and the 3709 telephone will be disconnected.

  6. Holiday Closings - IRS.gov will include language that states the TACs, SSA offices and VSD sites are closed for all federal holidays. IRS.gov will include links to an OPM web page listing all federal holidays. TAC signage will be updated to reference holiday closures no less than three days prior to closure. Signage will be updated to reflect normal business hours the next business day.

The 3709 Telephone Recorded Messages

  1. Area directors will be responsible for continuously monitoring TAC addresses and hours of operation and documenting the reviews.

  2. In addition, area directors will certify quarterly that the information is consistent and correct. This will include monitoring the designated local telephone directory. A memorandum will be used for the certification process. See Exhibit 1.4.11-2, TAC Published Information Certification Memorandum. Certifications will be submitted to the HQ analyst responsible for IRS.gov on the last business day of the following months: January, April, July, and October certifying that all listings are correct.

  3. The 3709 telephone recorded message must have a recorded message using the approved FA Script (see Exhibit 1.4.11-1, Field Assistance Telephone Scripts). Any deviations from the prescribed script must follow the approval authority guidelines.

  4. The director of FA or designee must approve any deviations from the prescribed format. The area director or designee will submit the request via email to the HQ analyst(s) responsible for IRS.gov and the 3709 telephone recorded message programs.

Work Planning and Scheduling

  1. Work planning and scheduling are the foundation upon which successful FA programs are built. The purpose of the work planning and strategy plan is to enable FA to realistically plan or project the use of resources or accomplishments to meet taxpayer needs.

  2. Work planning can be defined as planning according to needs, and scheduling defined as planning according to resource availability, this includes placing blocks and banners on the TAC appointment calendars.

  3. When preparing a local schedule, it is necessary to analyze each portion of the TAC operation to maintain standardized services, whether responsible for a large TAC or a small, outlying TAC.

Scheduling for Staffing Needs

  1. Determine the staffing needs for the scheduling period by analyzing volume statistics. These statistics can be obtained from prior year data. Business Objects reports are the best source for this type of information.

  2. Business Objects reports provide data on workload volumes for the week, month, planning period and fiscal year. This data is provided on a weekly basis and is updated every Thursday.

  3. Factors to consider when analyzing statistical data may include, but not limited to:

    1. Type of employee available to be assigned to special TAC activities.

    2. Expectations of employee's performance and expertise related to the type of work performed.

    3. Volume of work anticipated.

  4. An analysis of weekly data will enable management to identify trends, patterns, need for additional staff and anomalies. Effective analysis will assist in planning and scheduling and using resources more efficiently.

Scheduling Considerations

  1. Skill in maintaining a flexible staff and balancing the workload will determine the overall success of the TAC operation.

  2. Managers must block the TAC appointment calendar when staffing may be limited to ensure taxpayers with appointments will be serviced.

  3. Examples of workload demands include:

    • Ordering forms and publications

    • Remittance Processing

    • Referrals

    • Adjustments

    • Correspondence

    • Directed Learning

    • Formal training

    • Away from office

    • Leave

Capturing Field Assistance Contacts

  1. It is critical that FA has timely, accurate reporting and monitoring of resource and workload information. Each TAC employee (including detailees) is responsible for correctly inputting the type of assistance they provide and length of contact and retaining a record.

  2. Each group manager is responsible for ensuring that each TAC employee (including detailees) accurately reports time charged to FA, correctly captures and records the type of assistance provided and the length of contact.

    1. FA employees will use Qmatic to capture contacts systemically.

    2. Contact is not closed on Qmatic until all actions have been complete.

  3. Form 13864, Field Assistance Contact Sheet, will be used by the employees if Qmatic goes off-line. Time on Form 13864 is recorded in minute increments.

  4. Form 6148, Walk-In Contact Card, is used as a traffic management tool if the Qmatic ticket printer is not operational . Form 6148 is sequentially numbered and tracks wait time.

  5. Form 5311, Field Assistance Activity Report, in the FAMIS application must be used by all employees to report the units and time on FAMIS. Then, units and time must be compared to the Qmatic 272d report (or the QMP Staff performance and Matter Report) data that auto-populated on Form 5311 to ensure accuracy.

  6. For multiple issues, employees will enter only one closing code which is the one that took the longest service time. Refer to the Form 5311 Coding Guide for further guidance.

  7. Group managers or delegate must:

    1. Review each employee's FAMIS Form 5311 for their respective TACs each week to ensure corrections are made prior to transmission.

    2. Extract and print the FAMIS Summary Report for each TAC in your group.

      Note:

      It must be extracted after the Form 5311s have been submitted; but before Form 5311s have been approved.

    3. Make comments of the review on the printed report.

    4. Sign and date each printed report after completion of the review.

    5. Maintain the printed report for one year after the review has been completed.

    6. Approve the Form 5311s for their respective TACs by close of business (COB) Tuesday (the following week). If an error is found after the manager has approved Form 5311, the area analyst may be contacted up until COB on Wednesday to make a correction.

  8. Data is transported to Business Objects on Thursday morning for the prior week's activity, therefore any approvals/corrections not completed prior to COB Wednesday will require an open window request.

  9. Each quarter, territory managers are required to complete a minimum of two reviews of their group manager’s Form 5311 reviews. Request the Summary Report Review completed by the group manager.

    1. Review the Summary Report for use of inappropriate Closing Codes, potential errors and any comments.

    2. Ensure all Form 5311s were "Created and Submitted" and approved timely by the group manager or delegate.

    3. Verify the Summary Report was signed and dated timely.

    These reviews are to be completed by the end of the Month following the quarter.

    Example:

    First quarter: October – December is due by the end of January; Second quarter: January – March is due by the end of April; and so forth.

    Note:

    Reviews can be completed any time before the due date.

Form 13864 - Field Assistance Contact Sheet

  1. Should Qmatic go off-line, TAC employees must use Form 13864 to record the type of assistance and the length of each contact in minute increments. See IRM 21.3.4.6, Time Reporting for TAC Employees.

  2. Contacts are to be recorded by selecting the correct closing code, and recording a unit for each taxpayer and the time.

  3. The form can be saved to the computer's hard drive and/or printed out.

  4. Entries to Form 13864 must be entered on FAMIS Form 5311 daily. See Form 13864, Field Assistance Contact Sheet for additional information.

    1. If Qmatic is down for an entire day, complete Form 5311 from Form 13864 for direct units and time.

    2. If Qmatic is down for part of a day, add all direct units from Form 13864, then adjust the time according to the amount that has been auto populated by Qmatic.

Management Review and Disposition of Form 13864 and Form 6148

  1. Group managers will:

    1. Ensure that TAC employees correctly capture and report contacts and hours.

    2. Review the complete Form 13864, Field Assistance Contact Sheet, and conduct comparative reviews to FAMIS Form 5311 and Business Objects reports to ensure that the data is being reported accurately.

  2. Procedures for the disposal of Form 13864 and Form 6148 are as follows:

    1. Form 13864 and Form 6148 prepared during the filing season may be destroyed two (2) months after the data captured has been used to prepare FAMIS form.

    2. Form 13864 and Form 6148 prepared during non-filing season may be destroyed one (1) month after the data captured has been used to prepare FAMIS form.

Qmatic

  1. Standardization is necessary to ensure nationwide consistency of the data collected.

  2. All TACs will use the HQ issued printer ticket categories.

    Note:

    No TAC may purposely disable, rename, or cover the standard ticket categories without the express written consent of the FA director.

  3. TACs will use the standardized priority codes and may not edit, delete, or rename priority codes. Requests for new priority codes may be submitted for approval:

    1. Requests for changes to priority codes may be submitted by the group manager for consideration to the HQ Qmatic analyst upon approval of the territory manager and area analyst.

    2. Managers may assign priority codes to workstations only but may not assign priority codes directly to employees in the staff registration. See IRM 1.4.11.11.4, Entering Employees on Staff Registration.

  4. TACs will use the standardized closing codes when ending the contact. FA HQ is responsible for updating these codes. This generally happens at the beginning of every fiscal year.

  5. Employees will enter a single closing code for the service that took the longest time to provide. This code will be entered at the conclusion of the contact.

    Exception:

    Memo Counts - Employees enter a second closing code after the primary closing code in specific situations. These closing codes are Memo Counts and range from 700 to 799. For a current list of codes, please visit the Qmatic webpage on the FA Insider.

    Example:

    A Spanish speaking Taxpayer had a refund inquiry. The taxpayer brought his school age son to act as an interpreter since the taxpayer spoke little English. The employee would close the contact by entering Closing Code 324, Refund Inquiries, then enter one Memo Count 724, Spanish Speaking Taxpayers (No OPI), since this was a taxpayer with limited English proficiency.

  6. A taxpayer contact representing more than one taxpayer will be closed as a multiple contact.

    Example:

    An ITAS assisted a preparer who brought in 25 current year tax returns. Five of the returns include remittance. Twenty do not include remittance. He correctly records this contact in Qmatic by entering closing code 412 and closing the ticket. Then, he selects walk-direct and enters closing code 351, Non-Cash Payments. He repeats selecting walk-direct and entering 351 four more times.

    Note:

    The Multisend closing code should only be used for 3709 contacts and forms contacts.

  7. Qmatic Report 272d, Matter Codes Served Per User, captures the number of taxpayers assisted, the time spent with each taxpayer, and the type of inquiry.

  8. Matters Code Served Per User must be pulled daily for each TAC employee, including employees detailed to the TAC to verify the accuracy of Form 5311.

  9. Guidance contained in the current Form 5311 Coding Guide found on the FA Insider should be interpreted as the IRM.

  10. Qmatic report 50c, Customers Served Per Matter Code, captures the total number of taxpayers served per matter code, the total transaction times per matter code, and the average transaction times per matter code. This report will be used to ensure the Qmatic and FAMIS data matches.

  11. Managers should refer to the FA Systems Management Guide which can be found on the FA Insider for understanding and managing the Qmatic system.

Wait Time

  1. FA has transitioned to an appointment service based entity, with wait time improving significantly. However, monitoring wait time is important to ensure all our customers are receiving service in a timely manner. Employees and managers should make every effort to begin service to taxpayers within 30 minutes of arrival without jeopardizing quality.

  2. During peak seasons, the Express Lane Services (ELS) for specific services can still be utilized.

    1. ELS allows taxpayers with quick, transactional service tasks (i.e., non-cash remittances, return drop off, localized TAC demand, etc.) to bypass IAR screening and receive immediate assistance.

    2. Through the use of roping and signage, ELS routes eligible taxpayers to a dedicated workstation with an available ITAS.

  3. Headquarters issues weekly national wait time information in the weekly score card to the director of FA and area directors. These reports show data uploaded into Business Objects from Qmatic.

  4. The wait time information data is located in reports uploaded from Business Objects Environment (BOE). Reports from BOE generate information for the weekly score card such as:

    1. National wait time percentage.

    2. Number of TACs that had 20 percent of their taxpayers wait 30 minutes or greater.

    3. Percentage by activities waiting greater than 30 minutes.

  5. Managers may use the Wait Time Strata by Activity Report, Snapshot Monthly TAC Level Report, and other reports in BOE as determined by the area analyst to analyze individual TAC data for traffic management and planning purposes.

Qmatic Ticket Process

  1. All FA group managers will use a standard process for explaining the use of the Qmatic system.

    1. All Sites - Group manager sets Qmatic priorities based on available employees, number of appointments, and expected traffic.

    2. Taxpayer enters TAC and selects a Qmatic ticket or an IAR assists the taxpayer in selecting a ticket.

    3. All taxpayers waiting for service in a TAC with full Qmatic must receive Pub 5006, While You are Waiting, which explains the Qmatic numbering system and the routing process.

    4. Group managers may assign an Individual Taxpayer Advisory Specialist (ITAS) a specific priority code based on the type of service he/she will provide by setting the Qmatic priority for the assigned ITAS workstation.

    5. Group managers should gate a workstation to assist taxpayers making payments with notices, vouchers and taxpayers wanting to pick up blank forms. The IARs first priority is always to ensure taxpayers have received a Qmatic ticket. The IAR should assist those taxpayers needing assistance with payments or forms when there is no line (taxpayers).

    6. Group managers should ensure IAR’s offer FSA as an option for assistance in TAC locations with FSA stations.

Automated Reports

  1. Managers have the option of configuring Q-Win software to automatically print reports. Configuration of these reports must include the following guidelines:

    1. Reports will be scheduled to print between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m.

    2. Do not configure the software to save the results as a file (html, jpg, gif, etc.).

    3. Reports must be set to print to an actual hard copy printer. Reports will NOT set to print an Adobe or Microsoft image files.

    4. Do not set filters to print individual employees or workstations (this may result in inaccurate data).

    5. Refer to the FA Systems Management Guide for assistance in setting up automated reports.

Adding Employees on Staff Registration

  1. Each FA employee must have a valid Qmatic user account. Non-FA employees will NOT be added to Qmatic.

    Exception:

    Area or HQ employees as well as employees with EUES may use default accounts for testing purposes.

  2. Before adding new users, all existing users must be logged out of Q-Next.

  3. Each employee will be entered into the employee registry using the following format:

    1. User’s first and last name and Standard Employee Identifier (SEID) (First letter of each name is to be capitalized and enter First Name then last name no commas – SEID listed all lowercase).

    2. User’s SEID (all lowercase).

    3. Last 4 digits of IRS badge number (must be numeric only).

    4. Check box. Must change password during next logon.

    5. Fields for Button Name and Priority must be left blank.

  4. Refer to the FA Systems Management Guide for assistance in adding staff members.

Partner VSD Site Qmatic

  1. The designated TAC Manager is responsible for the Qmatic branch controller used to manage traffic and capture services provided in partner VSD taxpayer facing sites. The designated TAC manager is listed in FAMIS as the manager of the ODN assigned to the taxpayer facing partner VSD site. This manager (or their designate) is responsible for:

    1. Adding employees who support partner VSD sites to the appropriate Qmatic branch controller.

    2. Assigning correct priorities to the workstations supporting partner VSD.

    3. Reviewing and approving all time charged to the partner VSD site’s ODN.

  2. Unless the system is not available, all ITAS assistors will use Qmatic when serving all taxpayer contacts (See IRM 1.4.11.10.2(2), Management Review and Disposition of Form 13864. Assistors must be careful to ensure they log in with the correct Qnext icon depending on whether they are providing service to taxpayers in their local TAC or at a virtual partner site. If the assistor is logged in to their local TAC’s Qnext and they need to start providing service to a virtual partner site, they must log out of the local TAC’s Qnext and log in to the VSD Qnext; and vice versa.

    Note:

    It is extremely important that the ITAS logs into the correct Qmatic site.

  3. All services provided at a VSD partner site are by appointment only. Group managers are responsible for reviewing the VSD partner appointment calendar and insuring adequate staffing.

Communicating Effectively

  1. TAC group managers should possess good communication skills that are essential in engaging employees in the discussion of issues that directly impact their performance and duties.

  2. TAC group managers should establish and maintain effective lines of communication both internally and externally. Additionally, they should ensure that all appropriate information is disseminated to the TAC employees and any employees that provide backup assistance.

  3. Oral communication should be expressed in a precise and meaningful manner.

  4. Whenever possible, group managers should communicate with their employees in person.

Field Assistance Corporate Training

  1. FA has established a Training Program to identify, develop and deliver training to all FA employees including analysts, managers, clerical/administrative staff and TAC employees. Training delivery varies based on several factors including efficiency and cost effectiveness. Training delivery methods include CENTRA, DVD, Virtual Classroom, Continuing Professional Education (CPE), Self-Directed Learning Modules (SDLM), Group Meetings or Classroom.

  2. With limited exception, no training will be held during the filing season.

  3. FA headquarters will submit the Corporate Training Plan according to Treasury Directive 12-70, Policy and Guidance for Conference Approval, provided by the Human Capital Office (HCO). Headquarters will secure training space via Training Room Information Management System (TRIMS). This will be completed prior to the Data Call, as this information is required when submitting the request to Treasury.

  4. Concurrent with the Data Call request:

    1. Headquarters will submit the class support Form 13167, Request for Centralized Delivery Services (CDS) Support, to CDS. This includes requesting course material to include forms and publications, training supplies and block hotel rooms for the known classes, well as the generation of reporting instructions to be sent to the appropriate area training analyst (ATA) host.

    2. Headquarters will copy the appropriate ATA host on the email communication to CDS.

    3. The ATA hosting the class will coordinate with CDS to ensure the above actions are completed.

    4. Headquarters will provide the hosting assignments for review and concurrence to the area senior operations managers prior to distributing to the ATAs.

    5. Headquarters will make every attempt for equitable assignments and to ensure hosting is in the area where the ATA is located.

  5. After headquarters receives budget approval of training pursuant to IRM 1.4.11.13.3.2(1)(d)(e), Field Assistance Headquarters Training Analyst, the following activities will be accomplished in an effort to most efficiently deliver training classes.

    45-60 days prior to the start of class, the specified Analysts will ensure the following are completed:
    1. Roster and Roster Selections – Headquarters will create pre-populated class rosters according to area participant class allocations and all class details including class name, course number, IO, class allocation, prep and class dates and class participants. Class Participants will be determined by the "Training Needs Report" pulled from the ELMS database and slotted according to" IRS EOD" . Headquarters will post rosters to the U: drive no later than 45 days before the start of class, and notify the applicable ATA host via email of the posting. The ATA host will use the roster to solicit for instructors. The ATA host will solicit/select instructors from other FA areas. It is required that the Training Travel Worksheet is used when anyone submits his or her travel estimates. The host will distribute the worksheet to all class participants. The ATA will want to include information as to, (a) applicable Lodging Tax Rate, (b) Local Shuttle Fees from/to the Airport, (c) to confirm that the travelers include Baggage Fees.

    2. The host Analyst will then complete the class roster with the instructor names and cost estimates for all participants and instructors.

    3. If there are requests for changes to slot allocations, the ATA hosting the class must seek approval from headquarters. If approved, participants will be added to the roster considering TAC needs, IRS Enter On Duty (EOD), Service Computation Date (SCD), etc.

    4. The ATA hosting the class will update the roster with the cost estimates on the U: drive within ten (10) business days prior to the roster "Lock Date" .

    5. The ATA hosting the class will contact and coordinate with CDS regarding the previously submitted Form 13167, Request for Centralized Delivery Services (CDS) Support. When available and as needed, the ATA will provide budget funding codes and any requests for accommodation anticipated for the class to CDS. The ATA for the area of the employee requesting accommodation will work in conjunction with the hosting area analyst to ensure that all special needs are accomplished.

    6. The ATA hosting the class will continue to coordinate with CDS to follow-up on the Reporting Instructions and hotel block of rooms. The host analyst will request from CDS a copy of the hotel letter of intent and post to the class folder on the U: drive immediately after securing from CDS.

    7. The ATA hosting the class will follow up on the ordering of training material with CDS to ensure correct course material, On the Job Instructor (OJI) material, and forms and publications are ordered timely from the National Distribution Center (NDC).

    8. The ATA hosting the class will ensure any and all external issues are addressed, i.e., solicit IT support to ensure all software applications required is available on the computers in the lab where training is delivered to include Network connectivity, HUBS, etc. The area analyst will also work with CDS regarding security access issues to building and/or parking lot especially when classes are held at campus locations.

    During the 45 days prior to the start of class, the specified Analysts will conduct the following to ensure everyone is ready for training:
    1. The ATA hosting the class will conduct a conference call with the instructor team and CDS to cover logistics of classroom space, location, rental cars, special accommodations, instructor evaluations, classroom control, status of course material, and provide electronic course material and development guides to the instructor team. The host should also ensure reporting instructions were distributed and travel authorizations were input. The Host will also request that CDS confirm whether the hotel will charge Lodging Tax. In those instances where taxes are exempt, the Tax Exemption Form will be included when distributing the Reporting Instructions along with the Travel Questions and Answers (Q&As).

    2. The ATA hosting the class will update the class roster where necessary, and ensure the travel authorizations are within the class allocation provided by Treasury and appropriate costs are reflected in the authorizations. Headquarters will review any deviations proposed from the original slot allocations.

    3. The ATA hosting the class will ensure reporting instructions and hotel information, including a Lodging Tax Exemption letter as appropriate, is distributed to all students and the other area analysts.

    4. The ATA hosting the class will verify travel authorizations are input ten (10) business days prior to students attending class. This allows each area time to confirm that necessary expense estimates are included (i.e. shuttles, baggage fees, hotel tax, etc.), accurate travel codes are used and authorization totals are within the allocated budget per IRM 1.4.11.13.3.3(1)(h), Area Training and Budget Analysts, by pulling an obligation report from the Integrated Financial System (IFS). If the ATA host does not have access to IFS, he/she will request this information from the area budget analyst. If at any time the ATA host in their management of the class rosters believes there is potential for the class costs to exceed the class allocated budget, the host analyst must contact headquarters within one (1) business day and inform of the potential breach.

    5. Headquarters will lock or close rosters to any changes or revisions seven (7) business days prior to the start of the class. Any additions or changes to the roster after this time will first require approval of the host’s area director or his/her delegate and then headquarters by using the Training Withdrawal Form.

    6. Five (5) business days before the start of the class, headquarters will obtain an IFS report for the class and review to confirm that all travel authorizations have been input by all students and instructors. In the event any questions or concerns arise, headquarters will communicate with the host analyst and area analysts as needed to resolve the issue.

    7. The ATA hosting the class will arrange who will open the class, such as the area director or co-located territory/group manager. Class opening can also be conducted by area director using the Office Communicator System (OCS) live with a webcam if prearranged with CDS and the necessary equipment is available in classroom. If no one is available then CDS will open.

    By the end of the first day of class, the lead or associate instructor will complete the following:
    1. Provide the ATA hosting the class with a copy of the class roster to confirm the class attendees per IRM 1.4.11.13.3.5(1)(c), Instructor Responsibilities. The ATA host will notify headquarters of any discrepancies and post the final roster to the U: drive within five (5) business days of the class end.

    2. Provide the ATA hosting the class with a copy of the class agenda that will show a breakdown of the topics to be covered in the class. The ATA host will post to the U: drive within five (5) business days of the class end.

    3. The area analyst hosting the class will be available to troubleshoot any problems the instructor team may encounter if CDS is not able to resolve.

    By the end of class, the following will be done:
    1. The CDS will provide the ATA hosting the class and headquarters with a copy of the instructor evaluations if an evaluation has been requested by the instructors area management.

    2. Instructor team will request that CDS mail the students’ development guides and/or OJI material to their respective group manager and include a copy of the class agenda. If electronic versions are available, these may be forwarded to the group managers in place of the hard copy versions.

    3. Instructor team will provide feedback via conference call with headquarters and ATAs on the class for future improvements and an errata sheet on any errors found in the course material for elevation to the Learning and Education (L&E) Design Center. The conference call will allow for communication, exchange of ideas and an opportunity to voice concerns with the area and headquarters. This call will take place within two (2) weeks after the class ends.

    4. ATAs must verify travel vouchers are input within five (5) business days after class completion, voucher totals are within the allocated budget, and accurate travel codes were used, per IRM 1.4.11.13.3.3(1)(i), Area Training and Budget Analysts. If it appears that the actual amount of the vouchers exceed the approved allocation, notify headquarters immediately providing a detailed explanation of what actions and costs lead to the overage.

    5. The ATA will finalize the rosters on the U:Drive by entering the final voucher amounts for each instructor and student associated with the class.

    Throughout each class process, headquarters will complete the following:
    1. Review and close the rosters prior to employees attending class. Headquarters will be designated to monitor and review all class costs.

    2. Coordinate all training and conference requests with HCO, who will process all training and conferences in Servicewide Training Event Tracking System.

    3. Monitor and ensure that all training and conferences meet all threshold levels outlined in IRM 1.32.10.9.1, Approval Thresholds.

    4. Utilize various methods to identify, document, track and review all approved events, including cost comparisons, cost benefit analysis, justifications, travel cost estimates and meeting event approvals.

    5. Request re-approval for training or conferences when there is a change in the cost.

    6. Communicate that group/territory managers are solely responsible to certify that only approved employees attend training events and conferences.

  6. Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) references for FA training:

    1. IRM 1.4.11.13, Field Assistance Corporate Training, for FA training program.

    2. IRM 1.4.11.13.3, Roles and Responsibilities, for project leader, HQ training analysts, area training & budget analyst, group manager responsibility and instructor responsibility.

Field Assistance TAC Employee Training

  1. To help ensure employees working in TACs receive training, ITAS and IAR curriculums were created.

  2. ITAS and IAR employees must attend continuing professional education (CPE) each year. Contact the area training analyst for additional information.

  3. Employee training histories should be kept up-to-date on the enterprise learning management system (ELMS).

  4. To add, correct, or update information in an ELMS learning history, refer to the Human Capital Office website for information on how to complete Form 12201, Enterprise Learning Management System (ELMS) Learning/Teaching History. The manager needs to:

    1. Ensure both employee and manager has signed and dated Form 12201, ELMs Learning/Teaching History.

    2. Ensure proof of completed learning activities is attached to the Employee Resource Center (ERC) ticket (manager or employee may submit the ticket).

On-the-Job Training (OJT)
  1. OJT will be provided to develop employee knowledge, skills, and abilities to deliver quality service to TAC taxpayers. This program is essential in providing excellent service to taxpayers.

  2. OJT will be up to half the number of hours as the corresponding formal training class and e-learning. For example, a training class that is 40 classroom hours and 20 e-learning hours would allow for up to 30 hours of OJT.

  3. OJT will be scheduled immediately following attending a formal class whenever possible.

  4. Each Territory will assign one experienced On-the-Job Instructor (OJI) with both Classroom Instructor Training Class (CITC) and On-the-Job Instructor Training as the Territory Lead OJI. The Lead OJI will devote up to 25 percent - 30 percent of their time when conducting OJI.

  5. Lead OJI will be competitively selected. Once selected, the candidate must complete FA Lead OJI Training. The Lead OJI assignment will be for a period of up to 24 months to allow for training and adjust to their new responsibilities. At the area’s discretion, the Lead OJI positions may be announced on a rotational schedule.

  6. Areas have the discretion to set up a cadre or a Lead OJI per Territory depending on their needs, allowing flexibility to do either depending on circumstances at the time the Lead OJI position(s) are announced.

  7. OJIs are to conduct non-evaluative Embedded Quality Review System (EQRS) reviews during the OJT period.

Territory Lead OJI Responsibilities
  1. Consult with the area training analyst to establish the list of trainees ready for OJT.

  2. Assist managers and OJIs to develop individualized OJT plans for each trainee based on instructor feedback in the OJT guide and student identified opportunities for improvement.

  3. Develop exercises and examples that can be made available to FA training.

  4. Provide backup and assistance to Territory OJIs as necessary.

  5. Attend Training Analyst conference calls for all lead OJIs and conference calls for instructors, OJIs and managers following each classroom training class.

  6. Ensure completed OJT is recorded in the ELMs learning history of each trainee who has completed OJT.

Group Manager Responsibilities
  1. Group managers will provide On-the-Job Instructors (OJI) appropriate time to work with assigned trainees. Managers should assign OJI responsibilities only to an ITAS with knowledge of the topics covered in the course material and formal OJI training. OJIs who have not had a coaching assignment in the past two years will be required to be recertified.

  2. Group managers are required to ensure that every trainee who attends formal training is provided timely OJT that follows prescribed requirements.

  3. Group manager OJT requirements are to:

    1. Use the OJT checklist for each trainee.

    2. Assign an OJI to each trainee and inform area training analyst of assigned OJI.

    3. At the manager's discretion, attend area training analyst conference calls with the OJIs and the classroom instructors to discuss how the formal training was delivered and any problems encountered.

    4. Use the OJT administrative guide, OJT toolkit, development guide and OJT workbook to deliver the OJT program within the group.

    5. Develop an OJT plan for each trainee with the OJI to ensure that OJT will target the right topics and be delivered effectively. The OJT plan can be found embedded in the OJT checklist.

    6. Schedule uninterrupted time for both the OJI and trainees to complete the OJT plan including completion of any required e-learning courses.

    7. Ensure the OJI is completing non-evaluative EQRS reviews during the OJT period.

    8. Assess each trainee’s skills and provide them with a Certificate of Proficiency letter once required skills have been obtained. The certificate of proficiency grants the trainee permission to answer taxpayer’s questions on the certified topics. This marks the completion of OJT. Certificate of Proficiency should be placed in the employee performance file (EPF).

    9. Any trainee that is not certified to answer a topic at the end of OJT must complete additional work on the topic under the GM's supervision.

Area Training Analyst Responsibilities
  1. Area training analysts will support delivery of the On-the-Job Training (OJT) program in the area per established guidelines detailed in IRM 1.4.11.13.3.3, Area Training and Budget Analysts.

  2. Area training analysts will have additional oversight responsibilities for the OJT program:

    1. Conduct conference calls with classroom instructors, OJIs, and trainees’ managers to discuss OJT needs by topic for each class conducted in the area.

    2. Maintain a list of area OJIs on OJT SharePoint site.

    3. Conduct conference calls with Territory Lead OJIs to support ongoing OJT and to discuss improvements to the OJT program.

Territory Manager Responsibilities
  1. Each territory manager is accountable for ensuring their employees attending formal training are provided with timely OJT that follow prescribed requirements.

  2. Territory managers are responsible for ensuring that their territory has a Territory Lead OJI and that the Lead OJI performs the duties prescribed above.

  3. If a territory employee does not receive the OJT training as prescribed, the territory managers will discuss with the group manager the requirements of the OJT program and determine when the OJT for the employee will be completed.

Area Director Responsibilities
  1. Each area director is accountable for ensuring that every employee who attends formal training is provided with timely OJT that follows prescribed requirements.

Directed Learning
  1. FA group managers are required to provide up to one hour of uninterrupted time each week for technical employees (e.g., CSR and ITAS) in TACs for directed learning of technical issues, mini-training sessions, or read time. Self-Directed Learning Modules (SDLM) have been developed for this purpose.

  2. Time allotted for directed learning can also be used to cover other training needs identified by Quality Review results, as well as policy, procedural, and technical changes made during the year.

Training for Field Assistance Managers

  1. FA GMs must be trained in FA policies, procedures, and systems to effectively manage a TAC. All FA GMs are required to complete the "Managing A TAC" course. GMs should also plan to complete the "Continued Professional Education Workshop for Field Assistance Managers" as assigned.

  2. FA TMs must be trained in FA policies, procedures, and systems to effectively manage a Territory. All FA TMs are required to complete the "Managing A Territory" course.

  3. In addition, all managers are required to self-enroll in all other mandatory "Leadership Training" as directed by the Human Capitol Office.

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. The above discusses the roles and responsibilities to develop, update, review, and deliver training material. Project leads, Program Analysts, and Training Analysts all have vital roles in ensuring quality training material exists and is taught in the most efficient and effective manner.

Project Leaders
  1. Project Leaders are responsible for ensuring quality training material is developed and delivered for the projects they lead. Below is a list of required duties. Additional duties may be added by the DFA as needed.

    1. Submit justification for all resource requirements for DFA approval (i.e., equipment, travel, tools, training, course development needs, etc.)

    2. Request for Program and/or Training Funding must be submitted when forming projects.

    3. The headquarters training analyst should be notified of all projects prior to developing any training needs.

    4. Develop and monitor project training plan and expenditures. This includes verifying timely, accurate input of travel authorizations and vouchers.

      Note:

      Ensure that reporting instructions, travel authorizations and vouchers have the correct funding codes. Each voucher must contain the assigned Internal Order Code. Contact the headquarters budget analyst if an Internal Order Code is needed.

    5. Provide training plan, delivery and expenditure updates to budget analyst.

    6. Identify new and revised course development needs, including job aids.

    7. Identify number of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) needed for course or job aid development.

    8. Brief the DFA on project status.

    9. Identify outsource training needs.

    10. Consult with FA headquarters training and budget analysts for guidance as needed.

    11. Adhere to off-site training approval requirements, including cost comparisons.

Field Assistance Headquarters Training Analyst
  1. FA headquarters training analysts are responsible for overall oversight of the FA training plan. Below is a list of required duties. Additional duties may be added by the DFA as needed.

    1. Coordinate efforts to assess FA training needs. Once the Learning Product Development Plan (LPDP), Training Needs Assessment (TNA) document, and Training Delivery Plan (TDP) are approved by the DFA, they must be timely submitted to CARE.

      Note:

      DFA must approve and sign these documents.

      Get input for TNA projections/development from the following sources:
      • Quality reports

      • ELMS employee history

      • Area training analysts

      • Headquarters program analysts for new workload (new ITAS work, new project, etc.) and

      • DFA for priority needs

    2. Incorporate Project spending and training development plan into the overall FA Training Plan.

    3. Issue final training delivery plan and LPDP with project managers, area training analysts, and L&E project manager.

    4. Submit quarterly training requests to Strategy and Finance (S&F) for W&I and/or Treasury approval.

    5. Monitor and update DFA on training plan changes in scope, timelines or deliverables. Send copies to W&I, L&E and area training analysts.

    6. Keep DFA and appropriate staff informed of emerging issues, non-adherence to procedures that may jeopardize budget reports, etc.

    7. Review classroom evaluation data in ELMS for course improvement needs. This information must be provided to W&I L&E and/or SMEs for course development.

    8. Create email to solicit for bi-annual Subject Matter Expert (SME) cadre for DFA distribution. The statement of interest document was developed for this purpose.

      Note:

      SMEs should primarily consist of GS-11 employees. GS-9 employees may also be utilized. If GS-9 employees are the majority, DFA must be notified immediately.

    9. Develop Instructor solicitation template and requirements.

    10. Request new Internal Order codes for courses from Finance if needed.

    11. Coordinate with FA headquarters budget analyst prior to revising budget (including changes to approved training allocations, moving training from one area or date to another, etc.). Include affected area analyst in coordination if appropriate.

    12. Ensure FA headquarters budget analyst posts the IFS report to the U-Drive. All budget reports will be developed using this IFS report.

    13. Coordinate annual Training Analysts conference/training.

    14. Reporting due dates for the year are established by the FA headquarters budget analyst.

Area Training and Budget Analysts
  1. FA area training and budget analysts are responsible for overall oversight of the FA training plan for their area. Assignment of the duties is determined by the area director (AD). Below is a list of required duties. Additional duties may be added by the DFA or AD as needed.

    1. Coordinate efforts to assess area training needs. Training needs are submitted to headquarters for consolidation. The following sources should be used to help determine area training needs: Quality reports, ELMS employee history, and Field input.

    2. Provide guidance and support on training issues to all field managers and employees.

    3. Serve as area training point of contact.

    4. Serve as host for classes. Host duties include the following: Create roster for hosted classes, share roster with impacted area training analysts, and post the final roster to the U-drive.

    5. Evaluate training classes (budget permitting) and review evaluations. Suggestions to improve future classes should be shared with the headquarters training analyst.

    6. Ensure evaluations are received from instructors at the end of each class and provided to Centralized Delivery Services (CDS) for ELMS input.

    7. Ensure class registration is input into ELMS by CDS. If not, notify CDS point of Contact.

    8. Verify travel authorizations are input prior to students attending class and accurate travel codes are used.

    9. Verify travel vouchers are input within 5 days after class completion and accurate travel codes are used.

    10. Maintain a current list of instructors, SMEs and OJIs for the area.

    11. Ensure all employees receive training required by the job classification. Use the curricula to help determine training gaps.

    12. Coordinate CENTRA sessions, CENTRA orientation for new employees, identify instructors, set up sessions, provide material for sessions, create and maintain roster.

    13. Other duties: Block hotel accommodations as needed, schedule classroom(s), solicit for instructors, develop class roster, revise reporting instructions, complete Form 13167, Request for Centralized Delivery Services Support. Use of non-CMLC space is not recommended. If it is determined that an off-site location is needed, complete and forward to headquarters for approval, a request for approval to use the off-site location and a cost comparison. Ensure developmental guides are received by group managers after completion of classroom training.

  2. See Exhibit 1.4.11-8, Training Class Delivery Check Sheet, for additional guidance when delivering classes.

Group Manager Responsibilities
  1. Group managers play a vital role in the FA training program. They must ensure training curriculums are completed for themselves as well as their employees. Below is a list of duties that will help determine training needs.

    1. Review training history in ELMS for each employee. If discrepancies are discovered in the training history, have your employee complete Form 12201, ELMS Learning/Teaching History and follow the procedures in IRM 1.4.11.13.1, Field Assistance TAC Employee Training.

      Note:

      Employee training courses may be waived by the group manager ONLY if the employee has previously completed "Comparable Training Courses" in the employ of another federal agency or IRS business unit.

  2. Upon review and assessment take actions to address employee training needs. Action could include:

    1. Schedule E-Learning.

    2. Help employees put into practice training skills learned by assigning them work to reinforce those skills.

    3. Ensure employees receive OJT/OJI support.

      Note:

      OJT is mandatory. See IRM 1.4.11.13.1.1.2, Group Manager Responsibilities.

    4. Ensure employee received additional training for technical classes based on recommendations made by the instructor in the course developmental guide.

    5. Track the completion of directed learning lessons.

    6. Provide area training analyst the employee’s training needs.

  3. Group managers must monitor training travel for their employees. Actions include:

    1. Review and verify travel authorizations are input and cost estimates are complete and accurate prior to students attending class. This includes utilizing the Travel Authorization Worksheet and the Travel Cost Comparison Worksheet as warranted for each traveler's specific circumstances.

    2. At the conclusion of training classes, review and verify travel vouchers with reporting instructions are accurate and submitted for approval within five (5) business days.

    3. Direct any discrepancies or questions to the area training analyst.

Instructor Responsibilities
  1. Instructors should make every effort to ensure classes are effectively and efficiently taught. Students should be actively engaged in each lesson. Additional duties are listed below.

    1. Prep time must be used efficiently. This includes reviewing the course material and completing ERRATA Sheets as necessary. This will assist in the smooth delivery of course material during class time.

    2. Ensure class roster is received from area training analyst.

    3. Verify student attendance in class for names listed on the roster. If a student does not attend or is replaced, notate this on the roster and notify the area training analyst immediately.

    4. Return verified class roster to area training analyst at the end of the first day of class.

    5. Reinforce the necessity of course evaluations and comments. Class evaluations and comments from students and instructors are used as appropriate during course updates.

    6. Reinforce the use of correct travel codes on travel vouchers as provided by the student's specific area.

    7. Reinforce the need for travel vouchers to be filed within five (5) days after the travel has ended.

    8. Ensure each trainee receives counseling at the beginning, middle and end of OJT.

    9. Ensure developmental guides are completed for all tested modules.

    10. After the class, submit the ERRATA sheet with any revisions made during the class to the area host analyst who will then post it to the OJI SharePoint site for future use as needed.

    11. If any employee conduct issues arise, contact the area training analyst immediately.

  2. See Exhibit 1.4.11-8, Training Class Delivery Check Sheet, for additional guidance when delivering classes.

Employee Automated Readiness Assessment (EARA)

  1. EARA was developed to provide a consistent and standardized method of determining if employees are ready for their newly trained assignments. The EARA consists of two assessments: 21 scenario-based technical questions in the applicable area and an audio assessment containing 5 scenarios with 5 questions each.

    Note:

    For each scenario-based and audio assessment, there are "A" and "B" versions containing different assessment questions. The assessments, however, will address the same subject areas.

  2. Use of EARA is mandatory for the subject matter it currently covers as well as subjects added in the future. The requirement will be listed on the ITAS and IAR curricula. Managers will use the EARA to ensure the proficiency of newly hired employees and employees receiving skill-up training. The results of the assessment will be used to target the employee’s On-the-Job training.

  3. Employees will complete written assessment "A" immediately after their classroom and related ELMs e-learning training is completed. The assessment results will be used to identify the employee’s comprehension of the material. Employees, who do not pass written assessment "A" will complete assessment "B" immediately after completing their On-the-Job training. The On-the-job training should be targeted to focus on the topics that were below the passing score from the assessment results.

  4. The employee will print the assessment results report upon completion of the assessment. The manager will discuss the scenario-based and/or audio results with the employee and place the results in the employee’s drop file. The assessment results report requires the manager’s and the employee’s signature.

  5. In addition to the assessment, managers are required to perform two non-evaluative reviews to assess the employees’ ability to professionally and proficiently communicate technical information to taxpayers. These reviews must cover the subject/topic in the training the employee just completed.

  6. If an employee does not successfully complete assessment "B" , (both audio and written), the manager is to use the alternative assessment procedures outlined in IRM 1.4.11.13.4.1, Alternative Employee Readiness Assessment (AERA).

  7. If an employee’s performance is struggling, the manager can utilize the EARA to identify specific areas needing improvement.

  8. The EARA or AERA can be used to assess employees hired into FA who have previous training and work experience in the topics covered in an assessment. At the manager’s discretion, successful completion of the assessment may be used to "test-out" of formal training.

  9. Access to the EARA system will be granted by an OL-5081. Employees are required to add their Employee Identification (SEID) and SMART ID or IRS Badge number in the comment section of the OL-5081 request.

  10. Employees are allowed up to 60 minutes to complete each assessment. Employees must complete one written and one audio assessment. Employees that do not complete the assessment within 60 minutes will "time-out" of the assessment and will receive a score.

    Exception:

    Managers may request that the area analyst reset an assessment if an employee was interrupted while taking the assessment and did not finish within the 60 minutes. However, this should be rare!

  11. Visually Impaired (VI) users receive up to fifty percent additional time to complete assessments. The area site administrator must select the VI Indicator when adding a VI employee to the system.

  12. If the employee successfully completes the assessment, no further action is required. The employee must receive a score of 80% correct to pass. Employees that do not pass will not take the same assessment again.

  13. Managers can generate reports for an individual employee or for a group, as needed. Territory managers, area analyst and FA headquarters can generate reports for an individual employee, group, territory, and/or area as needed.

Alternative Employee Readiness Assessment (AERA)
  1. AERA is used when an employee does not successfully complete the EARA.

  2. The manager must meet with the employee to:

    1. Review the assessment results report.

    2. Provide counseling documentation.

    3. Determine a plan of action that will include activities to address the incorrect answers from the assessment.

    Note:

    The documentation provided must include notice to the employee that passing the assessment process (EARA or AERA) is a requirement prior to independent assignment of the work.

  3. Continue with OJT using recorded contacts and providing opportunities according to the action plan on the counseling memo. Prepare the employee for assessments by completing monitoring sessions and providing immediate feedback with suggestions on how to improve.

  4. AERA involves Contact Recording Monitoring consisting of the following process:

    1. A minimum of five (5 contacts total) recorded contacts must be reviewed. If an employee fails one or more reviews, two (2) additional reviews must be correctly completed by the employee on the specific assessment topic. If proper contact traffic is not available, test scenarios may be used (see ITLA training scenarios).

    2. The process for using test scenarios includes conducting five (5) test scenarios. If an employee fails one or more test scenarios, two (2) additional test scenarios must be completed correctly by the employee on the specific assessment topic.

    Note:

    The reviews completed are to be non-evaluative reviews to assess the employees’ ability to professionally and proficiently communicate technical information to customers. These reviews must cover the subject/topic in the training the employee just completed.

  5. If an employee does not successfully complete any of the assessments, the manager and territory manager must meet to determine the next course of action in accordance with applicable Labor Relations (LR) procedures.

Field Assistance Engagement Plan

  1. FA managers will create an engagement plan that defines how they will involve their employees to improve workgroup processes and relationships.

  2. The goal of the engagement plan is to enhance employee participation in improving business measures/results. This will demonstrate to employees that their opinion counts and should result in measurable improvement in a specific business goal, process or problem.

  3. At a minimum, the engagement plan will include:

    1. Identification of the problem/process which the workgroup has the ability to control and improve.

    2. Specifics of how the problem/process is connected to the Survey, Business Plan, and Performance Management System.

    3. Specifics of how the workforce will be enabled and/or improved.

    4. Specifics of what will be communicated and how it will be communicated to the workgroup.

    5. Explanation of how the workforce will be motivated.

    6. Explanation of how success will be celebrated.

    7. Timelines

    8. Feedback mechanisms, and

    9. Quantitative and qualitative measurements.

  4. Managers will conduct workgroup meetings and ensure meeting minutes are kept. These meetings will give the manager the opportunity to employ the engagement process, and begin identifying barriers/challenges to improvement, solicit ideas, and create work group buy-in for improvement.

  5. Workgroup meetings will be off-line so that employees in each group can work as a team if it means closing the TAC for the day.

Field Assistance Quality Review and Internal Controls

  1. In order to provide quality service to taxpayers, it is imperative that managers observe employees on an ongoing basis, and provide timely feedback to enhance their skills. Quality reviews are also performed nationally and the results are reported to external stakeholders and the public. FA quality is a measure of the accuracy of customer contacts that are captured and reviewed via contact recording. The system used to document employee and organizational performance data is the Embedded Quality Review System (EQRS).

  2. In addition to quality, FA has in place a number of internal control systems (procedures/processes), that are designed to reduce risks involved in the work we perform. These internal controls are established, for example, to help ensure the safety of employees and taxpayers in the TACs. Another example is found in the procedures FA employees must follow to protect taxpayer information and privacy. Management at all levels is responsible for ensuring internal controls are:

    • In place to reduce risk

    • Understood and consistently followed by employees

    • Functioning as intended, and

    • Reviewed ongoing and revised as needed to effectively and efficiently reduce risk

Field Assistance Quality Review

  1. The EQRS is used by FA managers to house employee performance documentation, tabulate average performance ‘scores’, and run cumulative performance reports. Reviews in EQRS can be designated as evaluative or non-evaluative to the employee. While EQRS is the cornerstone of FA employee performance management, the system was designed to only capture data derived from entire taxpayer contacts.

  2. EQRS is actually two separate systems; two "sides" which mirror one another. The EQRS side is used by managers to record observations of individual employee performance, while the National Quality Review System (NQRS), is used to measure FA as a whole. Field Assistance contracts with the Joint Operations Center (JOC) Centralized Quality Review Section (CQRS) to measure FA quality through the use of FA Contact Recording (FACR).

  3. Like EQRS, the NQRS is designed for reviews of entire taxpayer contacts only. Results of the NQRS review are reported externally as FA’s official quality measure. The findings of these reviews are documented in NQRS and the results are statistically valid. Statistically valid means we can be confident that the results of the review are true within an acceptable precision margin. For FA, the acceptable precision is +/- 5 percentage points at the area level on a quarterly basis, although the precision margin of the FA review is much better, usually +/- 1 or 2 percentage points.

    Example:

    You pull an NQRS report and it shows a cumulative accuracy percentage of 96% for fiscal year (FY) 2016. This report shows a precision margin of one percentage point. You complete a report for the DFA showing 96% accuracy for the year. The information you provided really means that we are 90% confident that the true accuracy of FA Contacts is 96% plus or minus one percentage point.

  4. FA uses a single Specialized Product Review Group (SPRG) to measure the quality of all services FA provides to taxpayers. Tax law and accounts reviews are not captured separately. The one consolidated FA SPRG is called "FA Contacts" .

  5. The CQRS quality reviewers input data from reviews of taxpayer contacts to measure FA organizational performance into CQRS. FA GMs input data from taxpayer contacts to evaluate individual employee performance into EQRS. Both systems use data collection templates for each contact, with quality attributes tied to the employees critical job elements (CJEs) and the three quality measures of accuracy, professionalism, and timeliness. This provides an objective and consistent assessment of employee performance as well as of FA as a whole. Refer to the EQ website for more information.

  6. Area quality analysts (AQAs) and GMs have access to all NQRS reviews. Managers will share the reviews with the individual employee whose work was reviewed. Both managers and analysts may use sanitized versions of the reviews with all employees as examples to illustrate exemplary performance, as well as common pitfalls.

    Caution:

    Results of the national review are not evaluative to the individual employee and cannot be used for an individual employee's performance rating nor filed in an individual employee’s EPF.

  7. In FA, there are many other opportunities in addition to taxpayer contacts that managers must review. Review of this work is not entered into the EQRS database. These reviews are part of FA’s internal control systems and may include, but are not limited to, written referrals, remittance reviews, security checks time utilization, OJI, and/or teaching assignments. These types of reviews are documented on Form 6067, Employee Performance Folder Record.

Field Assistance Internal Controls

  1. Internal controls are the programs, policies, and procedures established to ensure that:

    1. Mission and program objectives are efficiently and effectively accomplished.

    2. Program and resources are protected from waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement, and misappropriation of funds.

    3. Laws and regulations are followed.

    4. Financial reporting is reliable.

    5. Reliable information is obtained and used for decision making.

  2. Systems of internal control provide reasonable assurance that the following objectives are being achieved:

    1. Effectiveness and efficiency of operations.

    2. Reliability of financial reporting.

    3. Compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

  3. The unique mission of FA has resulted in a ‘bundle’ of internal controls that are a challenge for FA GMs to consistently complete. Due to the many and varied services offered at geographically dispersed, stand-alone offices, FA GMs have a wide array of responsibilities accompanied by the many and varied reviews that go with them. FA TMs share in this diversity of responsibilities and reviews including those to ensure the GM’s reviews are substantive, accurate, and completed in a timely manner.

  4. The effectiveness of a TAC operation is attributable to the level of the GM's commitment to achieve the objectives of FA through, in part, to conducting internal control reviews. The effectiveness of the GM is the responsibility of the TM and reflects the level of their commitment to provide support, feedback, and oversight to the GM completing their required internal control reviews.

  5. Most FA internal control reviews, each of which are discussed later in this section, fall into one of the following categories or review types:

    1. Employee performance,

    2. Operational,

    3. Remittance,

    4. Physical Security and Safety, or

    5. Certifications

Field Assistance Review Methods

  1. FA has in place many reviews conducted at various levels to provide management with assurance/confidence that procedural requirements are being consistently followed by employees as well as by managers. The methods used by FA to perform these reviews include:

    1. Field Assistance Contact recording (FACR) review of employee’s performance during taxpayer contacts or direct (stand-behind) observations of taxpayer contacts.

    2. Direct observation of employees performing tasks, such as conducting research, handling remittances, or performing security checks.

    3. Physical or automated review of employee records and reports derived from processes or systems including referrals, vouchers, receipts, IDRS, and other generated reports.

  2. FACR: Used in monitoring the quality of assistance that employees provide taxpayers. Routine monitoring using Contact Recording and/or direct observation process allows managers to:

    1. Determine areas needing improvement in a timely manner.

    2. Identify the causes of errors or problems, and take necessary action to correct them.

    3. Improve employee performance, enhance and expand employee skills, and develop employees to help them reach their career aspirations.

    4. Serve as a coach and role-model.

    5. Identify training needs.

  3. Direct Observation: In person review of employees performing tasks can reveal coaching opportunities that remote reviewing will miss. By observing each action taken to perform a task, it may be possible to identify and eliminate unnecessary steps an employee is taking or provide a different sequence of steps that makes the process more efficient.

    1. Direct observation also allows the manager to assess the adequacy of the physical surroundings where tasks are performed and identify barriers. For example: is the space well lit, big enough, is it high traffic or noisy. Such observations can lead to corrective actions that lead to greater productivity.

    2. During direct observation, avoid being drawn into the conversation between the taxpayer and the employee. As much as possible, managers should attempt to stay in the background.

      Note:

      Initiate a private conversation with the employee to ensure a taxpayer does not leave with inaccurate or incomplete information.

  4. Review of Records and System Reports: Some reviews of records/reports can be completed remotely, while others require a visit to at TAC, data input into a system can generally be reviewed remotely while manually kept or written records and reports generally must be reviewed in person. For example, to review if taxpayer data is not properly secured an on-site after hours review is needed. Conversely, to determine if all of a managers monthly employee performance reviews for a group have been completed, EQRS allows you to remotely research the number of reviews complete by a manager during a given timeframe.

Field Assistance Group Manager Responsibilities and Reviews

  1. FA GMs provide oversight and guidance to the TAC employees, review and assess the quality of service they provide to taxpayers, monitor and perform internal control actions, and are responsible for the day-to-day operations at the TAC(s).

  2. FA GM responsibilities include:

    1. Protection of IRS assets and taxpayer remittances.

    2. Maintaining a safe and secure place of business for employees and taxpayers.

    3. Conducting reviews to ensure employee adherence to internal control procedural requirements.

    4. Administrative procedures relating to employee pay, leave, awards, and conduct.

    5. Employee training and development and assignment of work.

    6. Achieving quality goals based on taxpayer needs and expectations. Taxpayers expect interactions with the IRS to be Quick, Right, and Polite, just as they do from any business interaction. More specifically, FA strives to provide services that consist of controlling the direction of the contact (Quick), giving accurate and complete assistance (Right), and maintaining professional courtesy (Polite).

  3. FA TMs provide oversight and guidance to the GMs, assess the effectiveness of TAC management in meeting organizational objectives, and communicate and support implementation of national policies.

  4. FA TM responsibilities include:

    1. Conducting operational reviews and ensuring completion of corrective actions, as needed.

    2. Evaluation of GM performance and development.

    3. Periodic and ongoing reviews of internal control procedural adherence.

    4. Allocating resources to facilitate group operations.

    5. Communication of key messages and implementation of service policies.

Review Plan and Scheduling Process Overview

  1. Accurately completing all of the required reviews in a timely manner is second only to physical security and safety as the most critical responsibilities of a FA GM. Following a written plan and schedule significantly improves the likelihood that the work required will actually be completed. In order to successful complete all of your review obligations you will establish a review plan and schedule.

  2. Like any other management activity, preparation is the key factor in completing quality reviews. With so many reviews required for FA managers and due dates at various intervals, establishing a review plan and schedule can be overwhelming. However establishing a review plan that works for you, becomes part of your routine, and delivers results, is well worth your initial time investment.

  3. TMs will discuss the GM’s review plan and schedule as needed, or at a minimum annually, as part of the group operational review (see IRM 1.4.11.15.11, Group Manager Mandatory Reviews, Reports and Certification. As long as all of your required reviews are completed correctly and in a timely manner, the plan and schedule should be modified to meet your needs and in consultation with the TM.

Review Documentation

  1. All reviews should be documented to provide objective and meaningful feedback aimed at improving performance. It is essential that managers promptly document and share the contact observed in accordance with the national agreement to ensure that important details of the direct observation are not forgotten.

  2. Effective documentation is an essential part of the review process. It is the factual basis for feedback to the employee. For EQRS reviews the documentation is entered on a Data Collection Instrument (DCI). There are three sections to enter remarks:

    1. Taxpayer Issue(s)

    2. Employee Action/Response

    3. Summary Feedback

    Note:

    For an EQRS review, use the FA EQRS job aid and the Guidelines for Writing FA EQRS Remarks, to effectively document the review.

Providing Effective Feedback

  1. Timely, continuous feedback is essential in the development of the skills employees will need to provide quality service to taxpayers. GMs should:

    1. Engage employees as partners in the identification and resolution of problems.

    2. Maintain and foster open, honest communication.

    3. Celebrate success.

    4. Continually reinforce organizational goals by sharing business results and identifying opportunities for improvement.

  2. Managerial feedback should be timely and identify specific performance.

  3. Managers should have periodic counseling sessions with each employee to discuss his/her progress, self-help techniques, and interpersonal skills with taxpayers.

  4. It is important that managers share positive as well as negative feedback with the employee in order to:

    1. Focus on the employee's overall job performance by building on strengths and addressing weaknesses.

    2. Develop and reinforce the employee's commitment to FA operational goals.

    3. Provide support and motivation.

  5. Reinforce positive performance attributes and sharing feedback in a constructive manner, offering suggestions to ensure corrective measures are taken to improve overall taxpayer service.

  6. Whenever possible, provide feedback in-person. Employees located in outlying TACs may need to be contacted by telephone, followed by written feedback.

Employee Performance Appraisals, Annual, Midyear Progress Review and Departure

  1. Annual Appraisal
    Permanent supervisors complete the annual performance appraisals for employees under their authority. The e-performance guides and job aids are available through ERC. Select Hiring, Training and Career tab, then Select Performance Management System. See Exhibit 1.4.11-4, Performance Appraisal Plan.
    Purpose - The performance appraisal serves as a record of performance to support, recommend, and initiate such actions as within-grade pay increases, promotions, awards, reassignments, demotions, or separations; and to provide the employee with a basis for further training and development; and to improve the performance of individual employees.
    Frequency - Annual appraisals will be completed for employees based upon the last digit of the employee’s social security number. They are due by the last day of the month following the end of the employee’s rating period.
    Documentation – Form 6850 BU, Bargaining Unit Performance Appraisal and Recognition Election. Form 6850 BU must be entered into HR Connect e-Performance.
    References -
    • IRM 6.430.2, Performance Management Program for Evaluating Bargaining Unit and Non-Bargaining Unit Employees Assigned to Critical Job Elements (CJEs)

    • IRM 6.430.3, Performance Management Program for Evaluation Managers, Management Officials and Confidential Management/Program Analysts

    • 2016 National Agreement, Article 12, Section 4 Employee Performance Appraisals

    Mid-Year Progress Review
    The supervisor observes the employee’s performance on a regular basis through the employee’s appraisal period and must conduct a mid-year progress review. The review must include a discussion on progress in meeting expectations and discuss each performance aspect whose performance has changed from the previous rating of record. The midyear review is documented in HR Connect, e-Performance.
    Purpose - Midyear progress review discussions should indicate progress on critical performance expectations as well as any necessary adjustments to those expectations, thereby providing employees with ongoing, formal feedback during the appraisal period.
    Frequency – The midyear appraisal should occur at the mid-point (six-months) of the employee's appraisal period.
    Documentation – The midyear progress review discussion should be documented in writing and may be in bullet or narrative format.
    Reference – For additional guidance, refer to IRM 6.430.2, Performance Management Program for Evaluating Bargaining Unit and Non-Bargaining Unit Employees Assigned to Critical Job Elements (CJEs); and IRM 6.430.3, Performance Management Program for Evaluation Managers, Management Officials and Confidential Management/Program Analysts, and the National Agreement, Article 12, Section 4 Employee Performance Appraisals.
    Departure Appraisals
    A departure appraisal is a type of appraisal prepared when either the supervisor or employee moves from one permanent or temporary assignment to another permanent or temporary assignment. Two events require a departure appraisal:
    1. Supervisor Departure – If a supervisor departs his or her position, a departure appraisal must be prepared for the employees under the supervisor’s work unit. If the employee being rated is a manager or management official, the departure appraisal will become the employee’s rating of record if the supervisor’s departure occurs within the last 60 days of the employee’s appraisal period.

    2. Employee Departure – If an employee departs his or her position, the supervisor must prepare a departure appraisal for that employee. The employee’s departure appraisal will become his or her rating of record if the departure occurs within the last 60 days of the employee’s appraisal period. If not within the last 60 days, the employee’s new supervisor will consider the departure appraisal when preparing the employee's rating of record.

    Purpose - Departure appraisals serve as a record of performance that is issued when an employee or the group manager (rating official) moves from a permanent or temporary assignment to another permanent assignment.
    Frequency - Departure appraisals must be completed within 30 days of the departure of either the employee or manager. To receive a departure appraisal, the employee's performance must have been observed under a signed performance plan for at least 60 days.
    Documentation – Departure appraisals will be documented on Form 6850 BU, Bargaining Unit Performance Appraisal and Recognition Election. A signature by a reviewing official is not required unless the departure appraisal will also be used as the employee’s annual rating of record.
    Reference - Refer to IRM 6.430.2, Performance Management Program for Evaluation Bargaining Unit and Non-Bargaining Unit Employees Assigned to Critical Job Elements (CJEs); and IRM 6.430.3, Performance Management Program for Evaluation Managers, Management Officials and Confidential Management/Program Analysts, and the 2016 National Agreement, Article 12, Section 4 Employee Performance Appraisals.

Operational Reviews

  1. In addition to ongoing periodic mandatory reviews, reports, and certifications, FA headquarters staff, area office staff, and TMs will conduct operational reviews (see IRM 1.4.10.3, Operational Reviews Overview.

  2. An operational review is an in-depth review and analysis of a particular program or function. Operational reviews are conducted in the following manner:

    • Territory managers review groups

    • Area director staff reviews TMs

    • DFA headquarters staff reviews the areas

  3. Each fiscal year, FA will conduct operational reviews as follows:

    1. Headquarters Staff – Site visit review of selected TAC(s) in each area on an annual basis as approved by the DFA.

    2. Area Office Staff - Review all the Territories each year.

    3. Territory Managers - Reviews will be completed for each Group annually and include at a minimum one TAC site visit.

    Exceptions/deviations – If operational reviews cannot be completed on-site due to budgetary reason, such as lack of travel funds, a deviation can be formally requested via memorandum and with approval of the DFA.

  4. A schedule of planned operational reviews will be prepared at each level at the beginning of the fiscal year and no later than December 31st. The schedules will reflect:

    1. The completion of each operational review individually, and the specific month in which each is to be completed,

    2. All area /territorial operational reviews will be completed by June 30th to allow for follow-up/corrective actions before the end of the fiscal year,

    3. The operational review approved by the SOM, area director, or FA director, as appropriate, and

    4. The operational review shared with group/territory manager, and posted to the operational review housing site on SharePoint.

  5. Area/territory operational reviews must:

    • Evaluate and assess performance and adherence to internal controls

    • Identify areas where to improvement is needed

    • Assign required corrective actions and target completion dates

    • Identify and praise accomplishments

  6. The review should address the following:

    • Workload management practices

    • Personnel management practices

    • Administrative practices

  7. Compare the above practices to the following:

    • Mission Statement

    • Policies and regulations

    • NTEU National Agreement

    • Memos of understanding (MOU)

    • Business measures and goals

    • FA operational reviews will include a combination of remote/virtual and on-site observations. The following DCIs are mandated for use during FA operational reviews: DCIs: Remittances (Noncash Payment & General, Forms 795/Forms 3210/Forms 3244, RSPCC Live & Retention, Form 809 Book IDRS Profile, Courier Live & Retention, Smart Safe Live & Retention, and Transmittal Binders) and limited Physical Security.

    • Physical Security – some of these questions should remain for onsite reviews, such as, the Form 700 in the safe.

    • Personnel Files (which includes the EPFs).

    • There are two parts to the on-site review, observations and retention files.

  8. Area/territory operational reviews will also document:

    1. Performance in areas designated for special emphasis by the Director, Field Assistance, in the Program Letter and/or Commitments.

    2. The validity of responses given during the Annual Assurance Review Process regarding the adequacy of internal controls, both administrative and program specific, that ensure programs achieve their intended results, realize their goals, and financial and management reports are accurate, complete, and timely (see IRM 1.4.2.11, Annual Assurance Review Process.

    3. The timely completion of required Field Assistance managerial reviews such as employee appraisals, employee performance reviews, payment processing reviews and physical/data security requirements. See IRM 1.4.11.15.12, Territory Manager Mandatory Reviews, Reports and Certifications, and IRM 1.4.11.15.11, Group Manager Mandatory Reviews, Reports and Certification.

    4. Best practices that can be shared with others.

  9. Allow sufficient time for an opening meeting or conference call upon arrival, performing the review, closing the review with an informal discussion of findings and recommendations, writing the formal report, and providing feedback from the final report to the manager or director, as appropriate.

  10. Effectively managing your time is critical during on site reviews. Before you arrive you will want to:

    1. Communicate your expectations for the visit and logistics (location, arrival time, etc.)

    2. Make arrangements to have your day-to-day responsibilities covered to minimize distractions during the visit.

    3. Request information well in advance and in writing to help ensure the information is available at the start of the review as requested.

    4. Revisit these items during your opening meeting to ensure you have what is needed to begin.

  11. Items you may want to request in advance of your arrival include:

    • Employee Performance file

    • Personnel files

    • Drop files (including meeting minutes)

    • Training files (access employee ELMs reports)

    • AMS data (case actions documented in AMS)

    • Sample of closed cases and open cases

    • Leave tracking

    • Evaluation/Midyear sample pulls and tracking records

    • IORS reports (to verify separation of duties)

    • TSRRD submissions

    • Managerial remittance reviews

  12. To further maximize the value of the time spent on-site, it is highly recommended that you create a list of reports, data, examples, references, and any other materials you think you may need to complete the reports before your visit. It is poor use of your time to travel to a TAC to do what can be done in the office (or virtually). Preparations done beforehand can allow for adequate time to thoroughly review what can only be done on site as well as activities that are better done in person, for example coaching and sharing best practices.

  13. Once the area or Territorial review is completed, documentation of the review in the form of a memorandum will be provided to the appropriate Manager or Executive, as appropriate for review and approval. Include the following in the memorandum:

    • Overall review summary of findings

    • Specific observations (positive and negative)

    • Opportunities for improvement

    • Recommendations and required action items

    • Target action completion dates and responsible official

    Note:

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

    IMPORTANT - Use of the Field Assistance Data Collection Instruments (DCIs) is mandatory when conducting reviews.

Review Process and Types of Review

  1. Review written documents prepared by the FA employee to ensure a quality work product. The documents may include but are not limited to:

    • Form 4442, Inquiry Referral

    • Form 3913, Acknowledgment of Returned Refund Check

    • Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (And Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order)

    • Form 3244, Payment Posting Voucher

    • Form 2063, Alien Clearance

    • Form 433–D, Installment Agreement

    • Form 2159, Payroll Deduction Agreement

    • Letters/quicknotes to taxpayers

    • Documents pertaining to notice accounts

    • IDRS Adjustments

    • AMS (Account Management Services) documentation

    • Form 809, Receipt for Payment of Taxes

    • FA DAS, Document Action Sheet (in ITIN authentication TACs only)

    • Annotations required on Form 2290, Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax Return, prior to mailing to campus for processing.

  2. Review administrative documents to ensure they are timely and accurately completed. These include the following:

    • Form 5311, Taxpayer Service Activity Report.

    • Form 3210, Transmittal of Documents (both remittance and non remittance) Document Review Plan – IRM 1.4.11.15.12, Territory Manager Mandatory Reviews, Reports and Certification

    • IRM 1.4.11.15.11, Group Manager Mandatory Reviews, Reports and Certification

    • Form 795-A, Daily Report of Collection Activity, Document Review Plan

    • RRA 98 Section 3709 Email Tracking Sheet

  3. Qmatic reports provide information regarding types of contact(s), taxpayer waiting time, and time spent per contact. Locations without Qmatic must use Form 6148 or optional Form 13864 to record this information.

    Note:

    Do a periodic matching of information on Form 5311 against information on individual Qmatic report.

  4. The review of Form 3210 will assist in determining the timely forwarding of returns, remittances and Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.

  5. TACs where IAR/secretary or managers are located must reconcile Form 795-A of other employees before submission to the appropriate Submission Processing Center (SPC). This reconciliation must be completed and not delay the transmission of the remittance packages. Remittance must be transmitted the day of receipt or the next business day.

  6. Oversight and assessment of employees working VSD is unchanged from regular FA procedures. Employees in a remote location provide VSD, so the support site GM is responsible for monitoring their employee's work and performing EQRS reviews. GMs will use the ULTRA inbox to collect a sample of contacts for quality reviews to ensure these contacts meet FA requirements and to identify any areas that need improvement. No additional EQRS reviews are required by GMs due to VSD.

  7. If during a TAC operation review, CI, GAO or TIGTA requests prior year e-filed return retention data from a flash drive or TWO, the agent will prepare and submit Form 13817, Request for Downloaded Contact, with the area's e-file analyst, who will then forward the request to the HQ e-file analyst for processing. The HQ analyst will coordinate with the TAC GM and or e-file coordinator to retrieve the information from the appropriate source.

Group Manager Mandatory Reviews, Reports, and Certification

  1. Group Manager Requirements:

    Monthly EQRS Observations:
    Purpose – Field Assistance GMs will use the Embedded Quality Review System (EQRS) to review counter contacts on Tax Law and Accounts issues. EQRS provides managers a data collection template for each contact, with quality attributes tied to the employees critical job elements (CJEs) and the quality measures (Accuracy, Professionalism, and Timeliness), providing an objective, consistent assessment of employee performance.
    Frequency – GMs are generally required to review at least one (1) evaluative contact per employee per month, 12 evaluative reviews per employee per year for employees on FACR and at least three (3) evaluative contacts per employee per quarter for employees not on FACR.
    Documentation – Input results into EQRS within three (3) business days of the review. Print and share the EQRS feedback report with the employee in compliance with the National Agreement. For TACs with FACR, input the DCI number (The format shall be only the ten digit DCI number.)
    Reference - IRM 1.4.11.15, Quality Assurance and Review Process, IRM 1.4.11.27, Embedded Quality Roles and Responsibilities, Group Manager Responsibilities.
    Physical Security:
    Purpose – The Internal Revenue Service has a legal obligation to protect the confidentiality of tax returns and related information.
    Frequency – The results of the reviews are input into the TAC Security and Remittance Review Database on a quarterly basis.
    Documentation – GMs are responsible for conducting Functional Security Reviews using Form 12149 and Data Collection Instruments (DCIs) and input the results of the reviews in the TAC Security and Remittance Review database on a quarterly basis. The TAC Security and Remittance Review Database was developed to capture self-assessment results from the revised Physical Security and Remittance checklist tool.
    Reference - IRM 1.4.11.4.1(1), TAC Physical Security Requirements.
    Quarterly Contact Recording:
    Purpose – Contacts will be reviewed to ensure adherence to policies and procedures and that appropriate contacts are available for national sample selection.
    Frequency – On a quarterly basis (or as directed by FA headquarters), areas will review: "Opt-out" contacts (closing code 1) specifically verifying that the taxpayer requested the "opt-out" (refer to IRM 21.3.4.28.3, FACR Opt-out), No show (closing code 999) contacts with over 4 minutes of transaction time, memo count closing codes (i.e., closing codes 724 - Spanish Speaking), Procedural (closing code 407), wrap-up contacts, and closing code 0 - Qmatic default error code.
    Documentation – Area reviewers will complete DCIs (DCI will be provided by FA headquarters) for FACR contacts reviewed and return them to FA headquarters.
    Reference - IRM 1.4.11.20.1(1)(a), (b), FACR Controls
    Quarterly Payment Processing Reviews:
    Purpose – Remittance processing is the most time sensitive work performed in a TAC. All FA GMs must conduct quarterly Payment Processing reviews using the mandatory FY Group Manager Remittance DCIs. Refer to IRM 1.4.11.19.2, Remittance Quarterly Reviews - Manager’s Requirements, for a complete listing of all required payment processing quarterly reviews.
    Frequency – Quarterly review of each TAC location.
    Documentation – Form 6067, Employee Performance Folder Record and Payment Processing Checklist. Attach Form 6067 and appropriate DCI.
    Reference - IRM 1.4.11.19.2, Remittance Quarterly Reviews - Manager’s Requirements
    Retention - Copies of the payment processing review documentation are required to be part of the TSRRD retention file and maintained for three (3) years.
    Acknowledgement Transmittal Review:
    Purpose – GMs are responsible to conduct and document managerial reviews to ensure internal control have been met and IRM 21.3.4.7.12, Remittance Acknowledgements Transmittal Form 795-A and Form 3210 Process, and IRM 21.3.4.8.5, Reviewing and Reconciliation of Form 3210, are being followed for all remittance and non-remittance documents transshipped from the TAC.
    Frequency – GMs must conduct and document monthly reviews of the remittance and non-remittance transmittals. The transmittals are housed in separate binders, one for remittance and another for non-remittance. GMs are required to complete a 100% review and reconciliation on the remittance transmittals and a sampling of 20 non-remittance transmittals for review and reconciliation. If less than 20 non-remittance transmittals are available, a 100% review is required. The review must be completed no later than the fifth (5th) business day after the close of the following month as listed in IRM 1.4.11.19.1.2, Managerial Review for Acknowledgment Transmittals Procedures.
    Documentation – GM must document their monthly review of the remittance and non-remittance transmittal acknowledgements finding directly on the Transmittals Tracker for that month. Form 14698-A, Field Assistance TAC Documentation Transmittal Review and Reconciliations, must be completed and electronically signed to certify the monthly transmittal review was conducted. A copy of the Transmittal Tracker with the GM’s monthly review finding must be attached to the completed and electronically signed Form 14698-A. These documents must be maintained with the associated monthly retention file for three years. Two Transmittal Trackers and two Forms 14698-A are required to be completed for each month, one to document and certify the monthly review of the remittance acknowledgments and one to document and certify the monthly review of the non-remittance acknowledgments.
    Reference - Refer to IRM 1.4.11.19.1.2, Managerial Review for Acknowledgement Transmittal Procedures, for complete documentation and follow-up procedures.
    Retention - Two completed and electronically signed Forms 14698-A and the two Transmittals Trackers listing the GMs findings must be maintained as part of the retention file for three (3) fiscal years. For additional documents required to be maintained as part of the retention file, refer to IRM 21.3.4.7.12.4, Retention Files for Remittance Acknowledgement Transmittal Procedures, and IRM 21.3.4.8.7.4, Retention Files for Non-Remittance Acknowledgement Transmittal Procedures.
    TAC Security and Remittances Review (TSRRD)
    Purpose - The TSRRD is one of the management controls for Field Assistance. GMs are responsible for conducting remittance processing reviews throughout the year and using the TSRRD to capture the results from the managerial reviews for each TAC that they manage.
    Frequency – GMs must monitor and document remittance procedures in each of their TACs on an on-going basis as outlined in IRM 1.4.11.19.2, Remittance Quarterly Reviews - Manager’s Requirements. Remittance reviews are required to be conducted for each quarter and the results of the reviews are used to answer the TSRRD survey questions.
    Documentation - Managers must establish and maintain appropriate recordkeeping systems which will support the data that is being submitted in the TSRRD database for remittances. Keep records to support the date of the review, data collected while conducting the review which should include any issues identified and any corrective actions that have been initiated. Do not attach a copy of the TSRRD survey report to the EPF review, only the appropriate DCIs. Use the comments section in the TSRRD database to record any necessary actions taken. For all TSRRD surveys, once the information has been submitted into the TSRRD system database, GMs will email themselves a copy of the TSRRD results report to be forwarded to their TM for review and approval of the submission. When requested by the TM, all supporting documentation used to answer the TSRRD survey questions will also be forwarded. The TM must review the TSRRD survey report for accuracy and completeness. The TM must address any questions or concerns with the GM before approving TSRRD survey report. If corrections are required, the GM will go back into the TSRRD survey link, make the necessary correction, and email a corrected TSRRD survey report to the TM for approval. The TM will reply via email stating that the TSRRD survey report submitted is approved.
    Retention - Copies of the approved email of the TSRRD survey report and, when applicable, the email of TSRRD survey report with corrections addressing TM questions or concerns, DCIs use to conduct reviews, copy of Form 14698-A, and any other supporting documentation must be maintained as part of the TSRRD retention file for three (3) fiscal years from the date of the review.
    Reference – Use Exhibit 1.4.11-5, TSRRD Payment Processing Checklist, to record the review results.
     
  2. Group Manager Mandatory Reports:

    Monthly Trends and Patterns Report
    Purpose – The trends and patterns report is the vehicle SPC uses to provide feedback to TAC TMs on errors that impact business results or customer satisfaction.
    Frequency – Monthly.
    Documentation – Group manager will share the results with the employees as appropriate. The Trends and Patterns report should be maintained in a group file for three years from the date of review. The TMs will forward the monthly Trends and Patterns Report, and actions taken to address errors identified, to the area analyst and senior operations manager who will inform the AD.
    ReferenceIRM 1.4.11.19.5, Trends and Patterns Report for Territory and Group Manager Responsibilities.
  3. Group Manager Mandatory Certifications:

    Annual Form 809 Reconciliation:
    Purpose – At least once a year, GMs must review all of the official receipt books assigned to their employees. Such review is necessary to verify that all official receipts have been accounted for. This yearly review is known as the Annual Reconciliation of Official Receipts.
    Frequency – Annually.
    Documentation – The TMs will provide a consolidated response to the Form 809 coordinator by the due date shown in the memo issued from SPC.
    Reference - IRM 3.8.47.6.17, Annual Reconciliation of Official Receipts
    Quarterly IRC 1204 Certification:
    Purpose – IRC 1204 provides guidance and instructions for the Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA 1998) IRC 1204 certification and independent review process. IRC 1204(a) states that the "IRS shall not use records of tax enforcement results (ROTERs) to evaluate employees or to impose or suggest production quotas or goals with respect to such employees" . IRC 1204(b) states "IRS shall use fair and equitable treatment of taxpayers as one of the standards for evaluating employee performance" .
    Frequency – GMs shall certify quarterly whether or not tax enforcement results are being used in a manner prohibited by subsection (a).
    Documentation – Form 1204-M, is to be completed by GMs if they are reporting no violations of IRC 1204(a) and are in compliance with IRC 1204(b). Form 1204-MV is to be completed by GMs who are reporting violations of IRC 1204(a) and/or incidents of non-compliance with IRC 1204(b). Although the certification process is electronic, managers must retain signed copies of completed RRA 98 IRC 1204, Manager’s Quarterly Self-Certifications, for audit and review.
    Reference -IRM 1.4.11.25, IRC 1204, Certification Process.
    Mandatory Briefings for New Hires:
    Purpose – New FA employees are required to complete:
    • Mandatory Briefings on Ethics

    • Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH)

    • No FEAR (alternates yearly with POSH)

    • Safety and Health

    • Information Protection Briefing (which includes Privacy/Disclosure, Computer Security, and UNAX)

    Frequency -
    • Ethics - Within 90 days of being hired

    • POSH - Within 60 days of being hired

    • Information Protection Briefing (includes Privacy/Disclosure, Computer Security, and UNAX) - Within 10 days of being hired (or seasonal employee return)

    • Safety and Health - Within 30 days of being hired

    • No FEAR - Within 60 days of being hired

    Documentation – Form 11370, Certification of Annual UNAX Awareness Briefing and ELMS Learning/Teaching History.
    ReferenceIRM 1.4.11.13(2), Field Assistance Training Program.

Territory Manager Mandatory Reviews, Reports and Certification

  1. Territory Manager Requirements:

    Acknowledgement Transmittals Review
    Purpose - Territory managers will conduct quarterly reviews of the Remittance and Non-Remittance Acknowledgement Transmittals. Transmittals are housed separately, one binder for remittance and another binder for non-remittance. During the review, the territory manager will verify that the group manager has conducted the required monthly transmittal reviews, documented their finding on the Transmittals Tracker for that month, completed and signed Form 14698-A, Field Assistance TAC Documentation Transmittal Review and Reconciliations, and follow-up actions were completed timely.
    Frequency - Territory managers must review 25% of their TACs quarterly, with all TACs reviewed at least once annually. For each TAC- reviewed, the territory manager will select one month from the prior quarter or a month from the current quarter where the GM has already completed their monthly transmittal review. The review will consist of 100% of all remittance acknowledgment transmittals and a sampling review of 20 non-remittance acknowledgement transmittals, if less than 20 transmittals were available, 100% must be reviewed. Most reviews can be completed virtually; however, the territory manager will conduct physical file reviews of the acknowledgement transmittals during their on-site operational review.
    Documentation - Territory managers will, on a quarterly basis, complete and document the review of the remittance and non-remittance transmittal acknowledgements finding directly on the Transmittal Tracker for that month and, when required, complete an action plan for the GM to address finding. Reviews completed during an on-site annual operational review process will also be documented as part of the operational review write-up. Refer to IRM 1.4.11.15.9, Operational Reviews.
    The territory Transmittal Tracker listing the TMs finding, completed action plan and certification document of the quarterly review of the Remittance and Non-Remittance Acknowledgement Transmittals reviews will be sent to the area staff on or before the last business day of the second month after the quarter ends.
    • Example:

      First quarter of FY 2018 (October, November, and December) the summary and certification report is due by February 28, 2018.

    Reference - See IRM 1.4.11.19.1.2, Managerial Review for Acknowledgment Transmittal Procedures, for complete documentation and follow-up procedures.
    TAC Security and Remittances Review Database (TSRRD)
    Purpose - The TSRRD is one of the management controls for FA. TMs will use the TSRRD survey report to certify that the GM has conducted the required remittance processing reviews throughout the year and used the TSRRD to capture the results from the managerial reviews for each TAC that they manage.
    Frequency – Quarterly, TMs must review the GMs TSRRD results for accuracy. Results of the GM remittance reviews conducted during the quarter are used to answer the TSRRD survey questions. TMs must review and approve the TSRRD survey responses submitted by the GM prior to the deadline.
    Documentation - For all TSRRD surveys, once the GM completes and submits the TSRRD survey, the GM will email themselves a copy of the TSRRD survey report to be forwarded to their TM for their review and approval. TMs may request documentation of the remittance reviews conducted during the quarter from GMs to support data submitted in the TSRRD survey report. The requested documentation can include the DCI, Forms 6067, Forms 14698-A and any other documentation used by the GM to complete the TSRRD survey report. The TM must review the TSRRD survey report for accuracy and completeness for each TAC within their territory and address any questions or concerns with the GM. TM will approve the TSRRD survey report by replying to the individual email(s) received from the GM that list their TSRRS survey responses. The reply email must state that the TSRRD survey report is approved as submitted. A TSRRD email approval is required for each TAC within their territory.
    Reference – Use Exhibit 1.4.11-5, TSRRD Payment Processing Checklist, to record the review results.
    Follow-up – The operational review process can be used by the TM to document these actions.
    Retention - Copies of the approved electronic email TSRRD survey report for each TAC are part of the retention file and must be maintained for three (3) fiscal years from the date of review.
    Monthly Territory Managers Mandatory Reports
    Purpose - The Trends and Patterns report is the vehicle Submission Processing sites use to provide feedback to TAC territory managers on errors that impact business results or customer satisfaction.
    Frequency – Monthly.
    Documentation - The territory managers will forward the monthly Trends and Patterns Report, and actions taken to address errors identified, to the area analyst and senior operations manager who will inform the area director.
    ReferenceIRM 1.4.11.19.5, Trends and Patterns Report for Territory Manager and Group Manager Responsibility.
    Annual Form 809 Reconciliation
    Purpose - Territory managers will verify on an annual basis that the group managers conducted the annual reconciliation of official records.
    Frequency – Annually.
    Documentation - The territory manager will provide a consolidated response to the Form 809 coordinator by the due date shown in the memo issued from Submission Processing.
    Reference – IRM 3.8.47.6.17, Annual Reconciliation of Official Receipts.
    Quarterly 1204 Certification
    Purpose - Section 1204 provides guidance and instructions for the Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA 1998) Section 1204 certification and independent review process. Section 1204 (a) states that the "IRS shall not use records of tax enforcement results (ROTERs) to evaluate employees or to impose or suggest production quotas or goals with respect to such employees" . Section 1204 (b) states "IRS shall use fair and equitable treatment of taxpayers as one of the standards for evaluating employee performance" .
    Frequency – Territory managers shall certify quarterly whether or not tax enforcement results are being used in a manner prohibited by subsection (a).
    Documentation - After receiving all Form 1204-M or Form 1204-MV from each GM, Form 1204-M, is to be completed by territory managers if they are reporting no violations of Section 1204 (a) and are in compliance with Section 1204 (b). Form 1204-MV is to be completed by territory managers who are reporting violations of Section 1204 (a) and/or incidents of non-compliance with Section 1204 (b). Although the certification process is electronic, managers must retain signed copies of completed RRA 98 Section 1204 Manager’s Quarterly Self-Certifications for audit and review.
    Reference – IRM 1.4.11.25, Certification Process.
    Quarterly EQRS Reviews
    Purpose - Territory managers will monitor that group managers are conducting the required reviews and timely inputting data into EQRS.
    Frequency – Territory managers will conduct a minimum of 2 evaluative reviews per quarter of each group manager’s employee performance reviews and provide written feedback regarding the substance and timeliness of the reviews. During operational reviews, territory managers will verify that group managers are utilizing FACR for at least 80% of their observations per employee and that they are inputting the DCI numbers in the Remarks section. Refer to the FA Contact Recording User Guide. Exceptions will be validated and appropriate comments shall be included in the operational review narrative.
    Documentation - Run EQRS.
    ReferenceIRM 1.4.11.15.12, Territory Manager Mandatory Reviews, Reports and Certification.

Awards and Recognition

  1. FA is committed to providing a quality work environment that includes recognition of employee performance and contributions.

  2. Two objectives should guide group managers and employees in FA regarding the work environment:

    1. People should want to come to work every day.

    2. People should be motivated to do their best every day.

  3. Group managers should explore non-traditional means for recognizing superior performance on a daily basis and get feedback from their employees as to what types of recognition would be meaningful in their own groups.

  4. Some guiding principles for employee recognition (based on industry research include):

    1. When good work is observed, the recognition should be as immediate as possible.

    2. Recognition is a two-way process. Managers should recognize good work in employees. Employees should recognize good work from their managers.

    3. Recognition need not be highly structured or expensive.

    4. The bulk of the recognition process should come from the source closest to the employee or manager (i.e., the local or group level).

  5. For guidance on awards and recognition, see Non-Monetary Awards Program and Recognition Toolkit.

Disclosure/Protection of Taxpayer Information

  1. Be aware of disclosure and security issues at all times. To prevent unauthorized disclosure or breach of security, employees must use caution when accessing taxpayer's information.

  2. Requests for access to taxpayer account information can come from many parties (i.e., taxpayers, authorized representatives, unauthorized individuals, and third parties with legitimate material interest).

  3. See IRM 11.3.2, Disclosure to Persons with a Material Interest, and IRM 11.3.3, Disclosure to Designees and Practitioners, for discussions and examples of material interest and authorized designees. See IRM 21.1.3, Operational Guidelines Overview, for procedures for authenticating taxpayer/designee identities and access to information. See IRM 10.5.1, Privacy Policy, for IRS privacy policy on the protection of tax information that includes PII, SBU data.

Media Contacts

  1. The Field Media Relations Specialist serves as the focal point for contacts made by the media. Normally media representatives will contact the Field Media Relations Specialist to make inquiries or to arrange for contacts with other Service officials.

  2. There have been instances where the media representative may come directly to the TAC. In such instances, it is important that the employee contacted refers the media representative to the Field Media Relations Specialist or the IRS Field Relations Office.

Compliance with Security Standards

  1. Ensure compliance with the security standards contained in IRM 10.8.1, Policy and Guidance. Additional guidelines can also be found in IRM 21.1.3, Operational Guidelines Overview.

  2. It is important that Managers have a basic working knowledge of security requirements for tax return information, remittances, IDRS passwords, date and disclaimer stamps, and Law Enforcement Manuals (LEM). Minimum security standards for those areas are contained in IRM 10.8.1.5, Technical Controls.

  3. IRS laptop users shall be responsible for securing their laptops at all times. For additional information on protecting data using the Encrypted File System and securing laptops, see IRM 10.8.26, Laptop Computer Security Policy.

  4. Managers are required to conduct one functional security review per quarter for each TAC using page 5 of Form 12149, Functional Security Review for Managers or other DCI.

Disclaimer and Date Stamps

  1. The various stamps required are:

    Stamp Reference
    United States Treasury IRM 21.3.4.7.5
    Received with Remittance (with date) IRM 21.3.4.8.1
    Received (with date) IRM 21.3.4.8.1
    Proof of Delivery Only - This is Not an Official Receipt IRM 21.3.4.7.3
    Non-Negotiable IRM 21.3.4.12.9
    Void IRM 21.3.4.12.9
    Self-Help IRM 21.3.4.8.6
    Reviewed, but not Audited IRM 21.3.4.8.9
    Area Director Signature Stamp IRM 21.3.4.18.5
    Optional Stamp Reference
    Electronically Presented IRM 21.3.4.7.11.6

    Note:

    Electronically Presented stamp should be in red ink, pre-inked, standard office supply size 1/2″ × 1 5/8″. Font style should be all caps, Arial, bold and size 10.

     
  2. Ensure each TAC has date stamps that read "Proof of Delivery Only - This is Not an Official Receipt" for stamping a photocopy of a check or money order when a taxpayer wants proof of a non-cash payment.

    Note:

    Ensure procedures in IRM 21.3.4.7.8, Cash Payments, are followed for accepting cash payments.

  3. The following official IRS stamps must be stored in a locked container when not in use:

    • UNITED STATES TREASURY

    • RECEIVED

    • RECEIVED WITH REMITTANCE

    • PROOF OF DELIVERY ONLY NOT AN OFFICIAL RECEIPT

    • SIGNATURE STAMPS

    Example:

    An employee uses the "RECEIVED" date stamp to assist a taxpayer. After assisting the taxpayer, the stamp should not be left on the desk or on top of a file cabinet. The stamp must be immediately secured in a locked container. A locked container can be a file cabinet, desk drawer or similar metal container secured to the workstation or wall.

Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS)

  1. TAS is an independent organization within the IRS. The TAS identifies and addresses essential and procedural problems by analyzing the underlying causes to take corrective actions by targeting operational issues that affect taxpayers.

  2. The TAS employees assist taxpayers who are experiencing economic harm and are seeking help in resolving their tax problems that were not resolved through normal channels. See IRM 21.1.3.18, Taxpayer Advocate Service Guidelines for TAS criteria.

  3. Each employee should be familiar with TAS referral criteria in accordance with IRM 21.1.3.18, Taxpayer Advocate Service Guidelines.

Payment Processing - Manager’s Responsibility

  1. Remittance processing is the most time sensitive work performed in a TAC.

  2. GMs must ensure that they and their employees are familiar with procedures contained in IRM 21.3.4.7, Remittance Processing.

  3. GMs must ensure that employees with Form 809 receipt book have a lockable cash box and that employees are following the requirement for safeguarding remittance listed in IRM 21.3.4.7.4, Safeguarding Remittances.

  4. Payments received at the TAC must meet the 24-hour deposit standard. All payments must be processed on the day the payment is received or no later than the next business day. A payment is considered processed once it is submitted for deposit using RS-PCC or transshipped to the appropriate SPC for processing.

    Exception:

    During peak filing season, April 1 through April 15th, TACs have three (3) days to transship payments and payments with returns that are not processed using RS-PCC. See IRM 21.3.4.7.10, Transshipping of Payments or Payments with Returns.

  5. Non-cash payments must be processed using RS-PCC per IRM 21.3.4.7.11, Non-cash Payment Processing using Remittance Strategy for Paper Check Conversion (RS-PCC). Those payments that cannot be processed through RS-PCC must be transshipped to the appropriate SPC for processing. Field Office Liaison contacts and email addresses can be found on the Submission Processing website by selecting "SP Center Field Office Payment Processing Key Contacts and Liaisons" .

  6. All payments transshipped from the TAC must be mailed via traceable overnight mail on the day of receipt or the next business day. Refer to IRM 21.3.4.7.10, Transshipping of Payments or Payments with Returns.

  7. A large dollar payment is defined as a single payment of $100,000 or greater ($1,000,000 or greater for BMF). Large dollar payments must be transshipped on the same day the payment is received or, with managerial approval, the next business day. For procedures regarding large payments, refer to:

    • IRM 21.3.4.7.6, Large Dollar Payment

    • IRM 21.3.4.7.10, Transshipping of Payments or Payments with Returns

    • IRM 3.8.47.5, Campus Remittance Processing (of Field Office Receipts)

  8. Managers are accountable for acknowledgements of Form 795-A and Form 3210 requirements contained in IRM 21.3.4.7.12, Remittance Acknowledgments Transmittal Form 795-A and Form 3210 Process and IRM 21.3.4.8.7, Non-Remittance Acknowledgment Transmittals Form 3210 Process.

  9. Payment drop boxes are not authorized in TACs and all payments must be accepted in person.

Management Responsibility for Form 795-A and Form 3210 Files

  1. The manager must ensure that the retention file of Form 795-A and Form 3210 is maintained for each TAC for three (3) years from the month and year of the transmittal number. Refer to IRM 21.3.4.7.12.4, Retention Files for Remittance Acknowledgement Transmittal Procedures.

  2. Form 795-A is the transmittal used to record all payments received at the TAC unless the payment meets an exception outlined in IRM 21.3.4.7, Remittance Processing.

  3. Employees are required to prepare Form 795-A and Form 3210 as stated in IRM 21.3.4.7.9.1, Preparation of Form 795-A, Remittance and Return Report, and IRM 21.3.4.7.9.2, Reviewing and Reconciling Payments, Posting Vouchers, Form 795-A and Form 3210 for Payments and Payments with Returns.

  4. All employees with an AMS User Profile must prepare Form 795-A using AMS.

    Exception:

    AMS is down, when posting both a multiple and split payment or employees with an AMS managerial profile (i.e., group managers, acting group managers and group referral coordinator).

  5. Managers should be familiar with the AMS Form 3244/795-A Payment Receipt Processing Tool Job Aid. See IRM 21.3.4.7.9, Form 795-A, Remittance and Return Report.

  6. All Form 795-A payments and posting documents must be reviewed and reconciled before payments are processed using RS-PCC or payments are transshipped to SPC for processing. See IRM 21.3.4.7.9.2, Reviewing and Reconciling Payments, Posting Vouchers, Form 795-A and Form 3210 for Payments and Payments with Returns.

  7. Managers must maintain, by TAC, all Form 795-A and Form 3210 transmittals that are used to transship payments, payments with returns, and Form 809 receipts to ensure security of receipt and returns using the binder system. Refer to IRM 21.3.4.7.12.2, Remittance Acknowledgement Transmittal Binder System, and IRM 21.3.4.8.7.2, Non-Remittance Acknowledgement Transmittal Binder System.

  8. All Form 795-A and Form 3210 transmittals and supporting documents must be stored in these three ring binders.

  9. Each binder must have two dividers, one labeled Acknowledgement and one labeled "Pending Acknowledgement" . If multiple months are stored in a binder, additional dividers are necessary for each month to be labeled Acknowledgment.

  10. All Forms 795-A and Forms 3210 must be filed in the binders, in numerical order, by the transmittal numbers and under the appropriate divider.

  11. Current and previous month’s transmittal retention files must be maintained in the binder.

  12. The manager or authorized designee will follow the established system to track acknowledgement copies of Forms 795-A and Forms 3210 that are not received from the SPC within ten (10) business days from the date that the payments were mailed to the SPC.

  13. Complete follow-up action with the designated SPC when Form 795-A and Form 3210 are not received from the SPC between the 11th and 15th business days from the original date package was mailed. The managers must assign an employee and backup to:

    1. Open the mail daily and monitor the EEFax email inbox.

    2. Date stamp all acknowledged Form 795-A and Form 3210 received with the TAC’s official "Received" date stamp.

    3. Maintain the transmittal binders for remittance and non-remittance.

    4. Complete required follow-ups using Form 10946, Follow-up on Acknowledgement of Form 3210.

    5. Refer to IRM 21.3.4.7.12, Remittance Acknowledgements Transmittal Form 795-A and Form 3210 Process, and IRM 21.3.4.8.7, Non-Remittance Acknowledgement Transmittals Form 3210 Process, for additional information.

  14. Managers of remote TACs have an option to centralize their files at the office where they are physically located rather than the originating location, if they have storage capacity available.

  15. Each manager will identify the location where the files are stored for each TAC and share with their TM, who will share with the area office.

Supplemental Form 795-A
  1. Supplemental Forms 795-A are reviewed and approved by the GM for payments and Form 809 receipts transshipped to SPC for processing later than the close of business the day after the payment is accepted.

  2. Supplemental Form 795-A is the same as Form 795-A except that the originator will write SUPPLEMENTAL on the top of the form. Refer to IRM 21.3.4.7.9.3, Supplemental Form 795-A.

  3. The GM will review the supplemental Form 795-A using the same steps outlined in IRM 21.3.4.7.9.1, Preparation of Form 795-A, Remittance and Return Report. In addition, the GM must ensure that the supplemental Form 795-A contains the following:

    1. The date of the Form 795-A supplemental is the date the payments were received.

    2. An explanation for the delay written on the back side of all copies of Form 795-A or a statement attached to each copy of Form 795-A.

    3. FA manager’s signature and date is required indicating approval of the supplemental. EEFax is acceptable for remote managers.

  4. The GM has the discretion of accepting or not accepting the employee’s explanation of the late remittance explanation. If the Form 795-A is not approved as a supplemental, the manager will issue a Form 6067, Employee Performance Folder Record, to the employee for the late remittance.

Managerial Review for Acknowledgment Transmittals Procedures
  1. GMs are responsible for conducting and documenting monthly managerial reviews to ensure internal controls have been met for all remittance and non-remittance documents transshipped on Form 795-A and Form 3210 from the TACs.

  2. The monthly review for the remittance and non-remittance acknowledgement transmittals are required to be completed:

    1. Once all transmittals have been accounted for with acknowledgements of Forrm 795-A, Form 3210 or confirmed as required in IRM 21.3.4.7.12, Remittance Acknowledgments Transmittal Form 795-A and Form 3210 Process, and IRM 21.3.4.8.7.3, Non-Remittance Acknowledgement and Follow-up Procedures.

    2. No later than the fifth (5th) business day after the close of the following month.

      Example:

      October 2017 remittance and non-remittance month review will be due no later than December 7, 2017, the fifth business day after the end of the following month.

  3. Group manager must complete managerial reviews as listed below for each TAC locations:

    1. Remittance documents - 100% review of all remittance transmittal documents.

    2. Non-remittance – Sampling review of twenty (20) non-remittance transmittal documents. If less than 20 transmittals, 100% must be reviewed.

  4. Monthly review and reconciliation of the remittance and non-remittance acknowledgement transmittals finding must be documented directly on the Transmittal Tracker for that month. Form 14698-A, Field Assistance TAC Document Transmittal Review and Reconciliation, must be completed to certify the monthly reviews was completed. A copy of the Transmittal Tracker with the GM’s monthly review funding must be attached to the completed and signed Form 14698-A.

    1. Two Forms 14698-A are required to be completed for each month, one for the remittance and one for the non-remittance transmittal reviews.

    2. The monthly transmittals review must be documented on the Transmittal Tracker for that month. Add a detailed description of the finding next to the transmittal number and release date of transmittal reviewed.

    3. If no finding, mark N/A.

    4. If no remittance were transshipped during the month, Form 14698-A is required to be completed and signed, document the Transmittal Tracker "No documents transshipped during the month" .

  5. Two completed and electronically signed Forms 14698-A and two Transmittals Tracker listing GM’s findings are required to be maintained with the associated month’s retention file for three years. Refer to IRM 21.3.4.7.12.4, Retention Files for Remittance Acknowledgment Transmittal Procedures, or IRM 21.3.4.8.7.4, Retention Files for Non-Remittance Acknowledgement Transmittals Procedures.

  6. Reconciliation and reviews of the remittance and non-remittance are to be used as an evaluative record of the employee’s performance. Reviews are to be documented on Form 6067, Employee Performance Folder Record, and feedback discussed with the employee. The original signed Form 6067 must be retained in the Employee’s Performance Folder (EPF).

    Note:

    If the manager is on leave and has not completed the monthly transmittal binder review, the acting manager must ensure the review is completed.

Remittance Quarterly Reviews – Manager’s Requirements

  1. All FA group managers will conduct the following applicable reviews for payment processing.

    FA GM Form 795-A/Form 3210 Payment Processing Reviews
    Payment Processing
    Group managers are required to conduct quarterly reviews of the remittance process for each TAC to address:
    It is mandatory that the GMs use the Group Manager’s Data Collection Instrument (DCI) to document their quarterly required remittance reviews listed below. Additional instructions are listed on the DCIs.
    • FY 2018 Group Manager DCIs

    Review of Safety and Security and General Payment Processing, IRM 21.3.4.7, Remittance Processing
    1. Group manager must develop a system that allows to have knowledge and can answer the questions on the RP-General DCI.

    2. The RP-General DCI must be completed at the end of the quarter, but no later than the third business day of the next quarter and will be use by the group manager to answer the TSRRD Survey for that quarter.

    3. This review must be documented on the GM DCI tab "RP-General"

    Review of payments, Forms 795-A, Forms 3244, IRM 21.3.4.7, Remittance Processing. .
    1. Conduct a review, consisting of three (3) days per quarter live observation of remittance before transshipped and/or processed using RS-PCC or retention file review of the RS-PCC retention files before payments are shredded.

    2. The three days does not need to be consecutive days in the quarter.

    3. All payments, posting documents and Form 795-A for each of the three days must be reviewed in its entirety.

    4. This review must be documented on the GM DCI tab "RP-Payments, Form 795-A, 3244"

    Review of live non-cash payment observation, IRM 21.3.4.7, Remittance Processing.
    1. Conduct a review, consisting of one non-cash payment live observation per quarter. If possible, a live cash payment must be reviewed, unless during a TAC visit, there is no cash payment available for review.

    2. This review must be documented on the GM DCI tab "RP-Non-Cash Payment"

    Review of RS-PCC live or RS-PCC batch, IRM 21.3.4.7.11, Non-Cash Payment Processing using Remittance Strategy for Paper Check Conversion (RS-PCC).
    1. Conduct a review, consisting of one RS-PCC live observation or one RS-PCC batch less than 60 days from the day of the review per quarter. If possible, a live RS-PCC batch must a reviewed, unless during a TAC visit, there is no live RS-PCC batch available for review.

    2. This review must be documented on the GM DCI tab "RP-RSPCC"

    3. Manager must complete the following section of the RS-PCC DCI:

      RS-PCC General Questions

      RS-PCC Scanner

      RS-PCC Key Verification

    Review of RS-PCC Retention Files Batch, IRM 21.3.4.7.11.14, RS-PCC Retention File.
    1. Conduct a review, consisting of three RS-PCC batches that are more than 60 days but less than 120 days from the RS-PCC batch settlement date per quarter.

    2. The three RS-PCC batches do not have to be in the same quarter.

    3. This review must be documented on the GM DCI tab "RP-RSPCC"

    4. Managers must complete the following section of the RS-PCC DCI:

      RS-PCC Retention Files

    Review of Form 809 Receipt Book, IRM 21.3.4.7.8, Cash Payments. This remittance review is only required to be completed if that TAC does not have an approved permanent or temporary cash deviation for the entire quarter.
    1. Conduct a review consisting of a review of each Form 809 receipt book per quarter.

    2. Review Form 809 receipt book assigned to each employee within each TAC location.

    3. For Courier Service site, this review must be documented on the GM DCI tabs for "RP-Courier Service" .

    4. For Smart Safe site, this review must be documented on the GM DCI tabs for "RP-Smart Safe Service" .

    5. Managers must complete the following section of the "RP-Courier Service" or"RP-Smart Safe Service" DCI:

      Form 809 Book Questions

    Review of IDRS employee’s profile, IRM 21.3.4.7.8.7, Separation of Duties for Cash Payments. This remittance review is only required to be completed if that TAC does not have an approved permanent or temporary cash deviation for the entire quarter.
    1. Conduct a review, consisting of a review of the IDRS profile of the 809 book holder and IDRS inputter for cash payments per quarter.

    2. Required to print command code SFDISP for each employee with Form 809 book and each employee performing IDRS input for cash payment.

    3. Review print of command code SFDISP for Form 809 book holder and IDRS inputter.

    4. For Courier Service site, this review must be documented on the GM DCI tabs for "RP-Courier Service" and "IDRS-IORS" .

    5. For Smart Safe site, this review must be documented on the GM DCI tabs for "RP-Smart Safe Service" and "IDRS-IORS" .

    6. Managers must complete the following section of the "RP-Courier Service" or"RP-Smart Safe Service" and "IDRS-IORS" :

      IDRS Profile Questions

      IDRS-IORS

    Review of live cash payment observation, IRM 21.3.4.7.8, Cash Payments. This remittance review is only required to be completed if that TAC does not have an approved permanent or temporary cash deviation for the entire quarter.
    1. Conduct a review consisting of a review of one cash payment live observation per quarter. If possible, a live cash payment must be reviewed unless, during a TAC visit, there is no cash payment available for review.

    2. For Courier Service site, this review must be documented on the GM DCI tab "RP-Courier Service" .

    3. For Smart Safe site, this review must be documented on the GM DCI tab "RP-Smart Safe Service" .

    4. Managers must complete the following section of the "RP-Courier Service" or"RP-Smart Safe Service" DCIs:

      Live Cash Payments Observation

    Review of Courier or Smart Safe Service Live observation, IRM 21.3.4.7.8.15, Accepting Cash Payments in TACs with Courier Service, IRM 21.3.4.7.8.16, Accepting Cash Payments in TACs with Smart Safe Service. This remittances review is only required to be completed if that TAC does not have an approved permanent or temporary cash deviation for the entire quarter.
    1. Conduct a review, consisting of a review of Courier live observation or Smart Safe live observation per quarter.

    2. The review is required for TACs with Smart Safe or Courier Service.

    3. Whenever possible, remote managers should schedule their visits to the remote TACs on the day the courier visits.

    4. There will be times there will be no cash taken, but the courier will still visit the TAC and a partial review can be completed for that quarter.

    5. For Courier Service site, this review must be documented on the GM DCI tab "RP-Courier Service" .

    6. For Smart Safe Service site, this review must be documented on the GM DCI tab "RP-Smart Safe Service" .

    7. Managers must complete the following section of the "RP-Courier Service" or "RP-Smart Safe Service" DCIs:

      IDRS Input Questions

      OTCnet Preparer Questions

      OTCnet Approval Questions

    Review of Courier or Smart Safe Service and Retention Files, IRM 21.3.4.7.8.15.3, Courier Service Retention Files and IRM 21.3.4.7.8.16.5, Smart Safe Retention Files. This remittance review is only required to be completed if that TAC does not have an approved permanent or temporary cash deviation for the entire quarter.
    1. Conduct a review, consisting of three Courier or three Smart Safe retention files per quarter.

    2. This review is required for TACs with Smart Safe or Courier Service.

    3. For Courier Service site, this is documented on the GM DCI tab "RP-Courier" .

    4. For Smart Safe Service site, this is documented on the GM DCI tab "RP-Smart Safe Service" .

    5. Managers must complete the following section of the "RP-Courier Service" or"RP-Smart Safe Service" DCIs:

      Courier or Smart Safe Retention File Questions

      Submission Processing ATP SharePoint Questions

      Courier or Smart Safe Issue Log Questions

    Note:

    If any one of the required quarterly remittance reviews were not completed during the quarter, the group manager must document the DCI(s) and the TSRRD survey to show the specific required remittance review that was not completed and provide a brief explanation why it was not completed.

    1. Manager must retain the completed DCIs and any additional documentation used to conduct remittance review not covered on the DCIs.

    2. Results of the remittance quarterly review will be used to complete the TSRRD survey for remittance on a quarterly basis.

    3. In addition to the required DCIs, group managers have an option to document the quarterly remittance reviews using the TSRRD Payment Processing Checklist to record the outcome of the reviews for each TAC. See Exhibit 1.4.11-5, TSRRD Payment Processing Checklist.

    4. Annually, territory managers and group managers will receive training on TAC Security and Remittance Review Database (TSRRD) as part of CPE or Filing Season Readiness (FSR) training to include updates and changes to the TSRRD database. Training will include the manager’s role, responsibilities, and review process in completing the TSRRD surveys.

      Note:

      Group managers will receive the initial TSRRD training as part of the "Managing a TAC" course.

RS-PCC Management Responsibility

  1. Group managers must ensure that employees are following procedures to process all non-cash payments received in the TAC unless the payment cannot be processed using RS-PCC. Refer to IRM 21.3.4.7.11, Non-Cash Payment Processing using Remittance Strategy for Paper Check Conversion (RS-PCC).

  2. To meet the 24 hours deposit standard, all non-cash payments must be processed using RS-PCC on the day payment was received or no later than the next business day. A payment is considered processed once the payment is scanned, key verified, and submitted for deposit.

  3. For TACs with one employee, the GM has an option to request limited key verification to be completed by another office within the group, parent/child relationship. Refer to IRM 21.3.4.7.11.9, Request for Temporary Change or Permanent Change for One-Person TACs in Key Verification Requirements.

  4. Group manager must ensure that all RS-PCC scanned batches of payment must be balanced a minimum of twice per week as required per IRM 21.3.4.7.11.12, RS-PCC Balancing.

  5. Group managers must ensure that all RS-PCC scanned batches of payment must be approved for shredding and shredded as required per IRM 21.3.4.7.11.13, Reconciliation Report and Shredding.

  6. Retention files for RS-PCC are maintained in the TAC for each RS-PCC batch of payments for three years as required per IRM 21.3.4.7.11.14, RS-PCC Retention File. The retention files must be maintained as follows:

    1. Binder/Folders/Envelopes (must be contained, cannot be loose in a drawer or box)

    2. Properly marked with the month and year

    3. Documents filed in sequential order within that month

    4. Maintained in a metal locked file cabinet

  7. Group manager must ensure that all batches of payments processed using RS-PCC must include Form 14443, RPSID Label. Form 14443 must be completed as required per IRM 21.3.4.7.11.2, Completing Form 14443, RPSID Label.

Form 5919 – Teller’s Error Advice

  1. The e-Trak 809 Database System is used to track serialized Form 809, Receipt for Payment of Taxes, issue Form 5919, Teller's Error Advice, notices to group managers and provide management reports.

  2. Form 5919, Teller’s Error Advice, is issued by the e-Trak 809 Database System to inform FA managers when critical errors are observed on any remittance documents.

  3. The e-Trak 809 Database System generates and sends an email containing Form 5919, Teller’s Error Advice, as information to the GM, along with a link to access the system for supporting documents.

  4. Critical errors are those conditions that correlate to potential waste, fraud, abuse, theft, or embezzlement such as late remittances, remittance missing, official receipts issued out of sequence, incorrect money amounts, late cash conversion or missing cash conversion information. See IRM 3.8.47.7.1, Critical Errors, for a listing of critical error items. See IRM 21.3.4.7.8.2, Completing Form 809 Receipt, for instructions when a critical error is discovered after part 2 of Form 809 was issued to a taxpayer.

  5. Group managers must notify the territory manager of any Forms 5919 that is issued to their group.

  6. Generally, FA group managers are allowed 15 days from the date of issuance to follow-up on the Form 5919 via the e-Trak 809 Database System. If there is a business need, such as a remittance missing, the time frame for responding will be shortened. See IRM 21.3.4.7.8.2, Completing Form 809 Receipt, for instructions when a critical error is discovered after part 2 of Form 809 was issued to a taxpayer. If a Form 5919 is not responded to by the response due date, then the system will send a second email to the group manager as a reminder on the next business day.

  7. If the second notice is not responded to timely, and there is a response required, then the e-Trak 809 Database System will send an email to the territory manager.

  8. The manager must log in to the e-Trak 809 Database Systems to respond to or close an error notice associated with Form 5919. Managers must share Form 5919 notices with the responsible employee, obtain a response from the employee, and take any needed corrective actions. Refer to the training publication Training Pub 12340-006, E-Trak 809 Database System Group Managers User Guide. The e-Trak 809 Database System is a management application managers request access to through Online 5081 as follows:

    1. Access the OL5081 system.

    2. From My Application screen click the request new application button.

    3. Type e-Trak 809 Database and select the campus sub-application name.

      Note:

      Select Austin if FA areas 2 or 3. Select Fresno if FA areas 1 or 4.

    4. Click the next button.

    5. In the Special Instructions box, include the effective date, job title, and EEFax number.

  9. The e-Trak 809 Database System aligns and validates employee to manager based on structure in HR Connect. It is important to ensure that employee's contact information on HR Connect is correct to ensure proper routing of Form 5919. Inform the designated SPC field office payment processing liaison of any changes to managers and the employees assigned to them by following the steps in (10) and (11) below.

  10. Territory manager must advise their area remittance analyst of acting assignments. The area remittance analyst will notify the SPC of long-term acting management assignments and/or to request a manual Form 5919.

  11. The Notification to SPC sites must be in writing and must include:

    • Manager’s complete name

    • Manager’s SEID

    • Manager's Badge number

    • Acting assignment effective date

    • Acting assignment ending date

    • Acting assignment par action completion date (if no par action completed write N/A)

  12. A listing of the designated Submission Processing sites, a listing of key remittance processing contacts, and additional data regarding remittance processing is available on the Submission Processing website select the following:

    • Standard Procedures Transshipping Processing

    • Field Office and SP Center Payment Processing Key Contacts and Liaisons

  13. The GM will maintain a retention file for Form 5919, Teller Error Advice, for three years from the date of issuance.

    Exception:

    Forms 5919 issued on Form 809 receipts. Retention of Form 5919 on Forms 809 is three years from the date the last Form 809 in the book is issued.

Trends and Patterns Report for Territory Manager and Group Manager Responsibility

  1. The monthly Trends and Patterns report is the vehicle Submission Processing uses to provide feedback to TAC territory managers on errors that impact business results or customer satisfaction.

  2. The report is based on the Forms 5919 issued via the e-Trak 809 Database System and certified by the campus manager.

  3. Trends and Patterns Report will be provided by the SPC to the TM by the fifth day following the end of the month when there is reportable data. Managers of record may access e-Trak 809 Database System to generate reports. Refer to the e-Trak 809 Database System Group Managers User Guide.

    Note:

    If there are reportable data and the TM does not get the Trends and Patters Report, please contact remittance campus manager. SPC field office payment processing key contacts and liaisons can be found on the Field Office Payment Processing Program page.

  4. The TM will share the Trends and Patterns report with the GM. The TM and GM will review the report and corrective actions, as needed, and develop an action plan to address errors identified on the report.

  5. The GM will share the results on the Trends and Patterns report with the employees, as appropriate, addressing any corrective actions required within an established deadline.

  6. The TM will maintain a file of the Trends and Patterns report with corrected action for a retention period of three years from the date the report was issued.

  7. The TM will forward the monthly Trends and Patterns Report, and actions taken to address errors identified, to the area analyst and senior operations manager who will inform the AD.

Late Remittance Reports

  1. Late Remittance reports will be provided by the SPC to each FA AD by the fifth day of the month following the end of the month where there is reportable data. Refer to IRM 3.8.47.5.2.4, Late Remittance Report for Area Offices.

  2. Timely, accurate payment processing translates to customer satisfaction and business results.

Loss of Payments

  1. The TAC manager is required to ensure all monies collected are balanced daily.

    If an employee:
    • Has a cash shortage

    • Receives counterfeit funds

    • Is missing negotiable checks or other instruments

    The manager must immediately take steps to minimize the loss. The manager must report any potential theft/embezzlement(s) to the TIGTA Office of Investigations at 800-366-4484 or the TIGTA website or the local TIGTA site, if available.
  2. Managers must follow the procedures in IRM 21.3.4.7.16, Loss or Shortage of Payments, whenever Losses and Shortages are identified.

  3. The names and telephone numbers of the current Remittance Security Coordinator (RSC) can be found on the Submission Processing website under

    1. Security Information

    2. Campus Security

    3. Remittance Security Coordinator Information

  4. All out of balance conditions must be identified and explained by the TAC. Include the statement of explanation with the accounting package to the SPC. If there is a cash shortage or overage, completion of Form 2424, Account Adjustment Voucher, digitally signed by the manager is required with the accounting package that is uploaded to the ATP SharePoint site. In addition, advise campus accounting to either debit or credit the account on IDRS. This adjustment can be initiated using IAT Tool. Refer to IRM 21.3.4.7.8.17, Loss or Shortage in TACs with Courier Service or Smart Safe Service.

  5. If contacted by campus accounting that an out of balance condition exists, and was overlooked, a completed Form 2424 is required within 24 hours. Email the digitally signed Form 2424 to the campus accounting contact.

Cash Payments Accountability

  1. Group managers will brief employees on IRC 7804(c) when the Form 809 book is initially received. See IRM 3.17.243.9.12, IRC 7804(c).

  2. IRC 7804(c) imposes liability against any officer or employee of the Treasury Department who fails to account for and pay over any amount of money or property collected or received by him/her in connection with the Internal Revenue laws.

  3. Group managers will prepare a memorandum indicating the briefing on IRC 7804(c) was held with employees. The GM and the employee will both sign and date and the memorandum will be maintained in the employee’s drop file.

  4. TAC employees are responsible to protect and safeguard monies that they have collected. In the event that an employee loses or fails to account for and pay over the money collected, an assessment for the loss may be made against the responsible employee and may be collected from the employee as if it were a tax.

  5. For guidance on losses and shortages, refer to IRM 21.3.4.7.16, Loss or Shortage of Payments, and IRM 3.0.167, Losses and Shortages.

  6. Group managers must ensure that they and their employees are familiar with procedures contained in IRM 21.3.4.7.8, Cash Payments.

Procedures for Ordering the Initial Form 809 Receipt Book for an Employee
  1. SPC receipt and control branches issue Form 809, Receipt for Payment of Taxes, books (official receipts) to GM with the authorization from the AD. The Field Office Payment Processing Program campus managers are listed on the homepage of the e-Trak 809 Database System.

  2. An initial Form 809 receipt book must be requested by authorized memorandum from the GM or management official, approved by the FA AD and sent to the SPC.

  3. A TAC’s GM will prepare the memorandum authorizing the employee to receive a Form 809 receipt book.

  4. Notification of changes to territory and group management must be provided via email to the Form 809 aligned SPC deposit managers.

  5. If a new or acting manager will be requesting Form 809 receipt books, then a signed memo from the territory is required before the new/acting manager can request books for the group.

    1. A secretary must not be assigned a Form 809 receipt book.

    2. In an office with an IAR, it is recommended that the IAR is assigned the 809 receipt book.

    3. It is suggested the manager rotates the 809 receipt book among employees on a yearly basis when the office is not staffed with an IAR. By rotating the 809 receipt book among ITAS, this will ensure the ITAS will not lose adjustment capabilities.

  6. Managers must use command code RSTRK (with definer R) to restrict sensitive command codes from a Form 809 book holder’s profile. See IRM 1.4.11.19.8.3, Separation of Duties and Form 809.

  7. Unless an approved temporary or permanent cash deviation has been granted by the DFA, at least one employee in each TAC has an issued Form 809 receipt book.

  8. Deviations for temporary or permanent cash deviation may be requested by memorandum from the AD to the DFA for TACs with less than three (3) permanent employees or staffed by circuit riders. Refer to IRM 21.3.4.7.8, Cash Payments.

  9. When submitting a request, provide the employee's name, SEID, position title, address, telephone number and names of managers through the AD level and the operating division, W&I or Small Business/Self Employed (SBSE). A copy of the authorization must be maintained in a locked metal container clearly labeled.

  10. The FA employee must sign the Receipt Page found in front of the Form 809 receipt book upon receipt of the book and return the signed receipt/acknowledgement to the issuing Submission Processing teller unit within five (5) business days after receipt. If the receipt page is inadvertently missing or lost, an acknowledgement memorandum must be prepared and provided to the SPC.

Annual Reconciliation of Official Form 809 Receipts
  1. At least once a year, SPC campus manager will request an annual Form 809 receipt Annual Reconciliation Report.

  2. The SPC campus manager will create the 809 receipt book Annual Reconciliation Report in pdf format.

  3. The SPC campus manager will email the 809 receipt book Annual Reconciliation Report memorandum to AD with a copy to area analyst for remittances.

  4. FA managers will provide their completed reconciliations to their TM, or designated official.

  5. The cover memorandum from the SPC field director should direct the TM or their designee to verify, sign and return the annual list to the SPC coordinator.

  6. The TM may respond in concurrence with:

    1. A digital signature on the pdf file.

    2. Any changes or corrections may be included in the pdf file.

    3. If the changes are too numerous, then attach a separate list and reference the attachment. The attachment should be submitted in narrative format via hard copy, under the digital signature of the TM, or via email from the TM.

    4. The TM's digital signature is required whether there are changes or not.

  7. For additional information refer to IRM 3.8.47.6.17, Annual Reconciliation of Official Receipts.

Separation of Duties and Form 809
  1. Managers must follow the procedures in IRM 21.3.4.7.8.7, Separation of Duties for Cash Payments.

Reordering Form 809
  1. Reordering Form 809, Receipt for Payment of Taxes, books requires managerial approval.

  2. TAC employees may request a new Form 809 receipt book after the issuance of the 40th receipt in the current Form 809 receipt book. This request must be signed by the manager.

  3. At management discretion, TAC employees may request a receipt book sooner than the 40th receipt.

    1. A memo is required from the TAC manager requesting the issuance of a new Form 809 receipt book before the issuance of the 40th receipt.

    2. The memo must contain the information as required on the Preliminary Reorder Certificate.

  4. If the TAC has a high volume of cash payments, with management discretion, TAC employee may request a receipt Form 809 book sooner than 40th receipt. The GM must submit a memo to SPC requesting the employee be assigned more than one Form 809 book at a time. The memo must contain the information as required on Preliminary Reorder Certification.

  5. Refer to IRM 21.3.4.7.8.5, Procedures for Ordering/Reordering Form 809, and IRM 3.8.47.5.4, Procedures for Sending Tax Receipts to a Submission Processing Center.

Returning Depleted or Partially Used Form 809 Book
  1. Form 809 Receipt Books must only be used by the designated employee.

  2. When a partially used receipt book is no longer required by the assigned employee (due to transfer, promotion, retirement, rotation of assignments, etc.), TAC managers must ensure that the remaining receipts are voided and return to the appropriate SPC campus. Refer to IRM 21.3.4.7.8.6, Returning Form 809 Book.

  3. TAC managers must ensure that depleted and partially used receipt books (the book cover and Parts 4) are returned to the issuing SPC per IRM 3.8.47.5.4, Procedures for Sending Tax Receipts to Submission Processing Center.

  4. Depleted or partially used 809 books must be returned to the SPC via traceable overnight mail.

  5. Return depleted Form 809 book cover and all 50 part four issued receipts to appropriate SPC that issued the Form 809 book within ten (10) business days of last receipt issued.

  6. When no longer required due to position change (transfer, promotion, retirement, approved cash deviation, etc.), return partially used Form 809 receipt books with:

    • Form 809 book cover

    • VOIDED unused receipts and

    • Part four of used receipts

    Send to the appropriate SPC that issued the Form 809 book within ten (10) business days. If the book is not returned with 30 calendar days, a Form 5919 could be issued.

  7. Managers must check depleted or partially used Form 809 books to ensure part four of all used receipts are attached and unused receipts are voided when returning 809 books to SPC.

  8. Return a depleted or partially used Form 809 books using Form 3210, Document Transmittal, to the issuing SPC campus via overnight mail.

  9. Form 3210 must be signed by the TAC’s GM. If GM is not on site, the employee with the Form 809 book must overnight the book, double-wrapped, to the manager for review and approval.

Disposal of Remittance and Non-Remittance Form 795-A and Form 3210 Retention Files

  1. Annually, between September 15th and October 1st, the FA area Remittance Information Resource Coordinator (RIRC) notifies all group managers to complete the survey for "Disposal Form 795-A and Form 3210" retention files located on the Field Assistance (FA) Remittance SharePoint site for each designated area. Refer to:

    • IRM 21.3.4.7.12.4, Retention Files for Remittance Acknowledgement Transmittal Procedures

    • IRM 21.3.4.7.11.14, RS-PCC Retention File

    • IRM 21.3.4.7.8.16.5, Smart Safe Retention Files

    • IRM 21.3.4.7.8.15.3, Courier Service Retention Files, for the requirement of retention period prior to requesting approval to dispose Form 795-A and/Retention Files for Remittance Acknowledgement Transmittal Procedures or Form 3210

    • IRM 1.15.3, Disposing of Records

    • Document 12990, Records Control Schedules, for NARA-approved records retention and disposition requirements

  2. The manager of record must complete the survey for "Disposal Form 795-A and Form 3210 retention" for each TAC location within their group located on the FA Remittance SharePoint site.

  3. The FA area RIRC point of contact will:

    1. Extract from the Field Assistance (FA) Remittance SharePoint Disposal Form 795-A and Form 3210 report listing custodial TAC office locations where retention files for approval of disposal are requested.

    2. Complete and electronically sign Form 11671, Certificate of Records Disposal.

    3. Submit via email the Disposal Form 795-A and Form 3210 retention file report and a completed and signed Form 11671 to the area Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure (PGLD) record specialist for approval. Refer to the Records and Information Management Area Specialist map for area contact information.

    4. Update the survey for "Disposal Form 795-A and Form 3210" retention files with the date Form 11671 was sent to the PGLD records specialists for approval.

  4. The PGLD records specialists will review, approve and electronically sign Form 11671 and forward the approved Form 11671 back to the FA area RIRC point of contact.

  5. The FA area RIRC point of contact will:

    1. Access the FA Remittance SharePoint site for your area.

    2. For each TAC location, update survey with the records specialists approved date listed on Form 11671.

    3. Once the FA Remittance SharePoint survey has been updated, the manager of record will receive an automatic email notification to destroy the approved Form 795-A and Form 3210 retention files.

  6. The manager of record or designee must:

    1. Once the email notification has been received, destroy the approved Form 795-A and Form 3210 retention files within 30 days from the email notification date using a shred bin or shredder.

    2. Once the files are destroyed, update the SharePoint Survey for "Disposal Form 795-A and Form 3210" retention files with the date the files were destroyed.

      Note:

      If the records to be disposed cannot fit within the facility’s shred bin(s), manager or designee can open an OS Get Services ticket to request the required services. The shred program resides within the FMSS org.

  7. The FA area RIRC point of contact will upload to the Remittance SharePoint Retention File site.

    1. Approved Form 11671 electronically signed by PGLD.

    2. Report for "Disposal Form 795-A and Form 3210" retention files document listing the date Form 11671 was sent to PGLD, the date approval was received from PGLD, and the date of disposal of files for each of the TAC locations listed.

    3. Naming convention for these files:

      Example:

      Area 1 – Fiscal Year 2017 Approved Form 11671

      Example:

      Area 1 – Fiscal Year 2017 Disposal Form 795-A and Form 3210 report

    4. These documents must be maintained for six (6) fiscal years.

Deviation for Quarterly Disposal of Remittance and Non-Remittance Form 795-A and Form 3210
  1. An "approved deviation" will allow the TAC to dispose of Form 795-A and Form 3210 more frequently than annually; however, approval must be granted by the area director.

  2. Territory manager can request a quarterly "temporary" deviation to dispose of Form 795-A and Form 3210.

  3. The request can be sent via email. The email must provide specific details to include the reason for the request (i.e., space issues).

    Note:

    Deviation from the annual requirement to dispose of Form 795-A and Form 3210 must be requested for each occurrence.

  4. The area will approve or disapprove the request for a temporary deviation for quarterly disposal of Form 795-A and Form 3210.

  5. On all approved requests, the area will notify:

    1. Field Assistance Headquarter (FAHQ), Financial Planning and Resources (FP&R).

    2. Field Assistance area Remittance Information Resource Coordinator (RIRC) of their concurrence via email.

  6. The FA area RIRC point of contact will notify the group manager of record to complete the survey for "Disposal Form 795-A and Form 3210" retention file for the approved TAC location.

  7. The group manager of record must complete the survey for "Disposal Form 795-A and Form 3210" retention file for the approved TAC location.

  8. The FA area RIRC point of contact will:

    1. Extract from Field Assistance Remittance SharePoint site Disposal Form 795-A and Form 3210 report listing custodial TAC office locations where retention files for approval of disposal are requested.

    2. Complete and electronically sign Form 11671, Certificate of Records Disposal.

    3. Submit via email the Disposal Form 795-A and Form 3210 report and a completed and signed Form 11671 to the area PGLD records specialists for approval. Refer to the Records and Information Management Area Specialist map for area contact information.

  9. The PGLD record specialist will review, approve and electronically sign Form 11671 and forward the approved Form 11671 back to the FA area RIRC point of contact.

  10. The FA area RIRC point of contact will:

    1. Access the FA Remittance SharePoint site for your area.

    2. For each TAC location, update survey with the records specialists approved date listed on Form 11671.

    3. Once the FA Remittance SharePoint survey has been updated, the manager of record will receive an automatic email notification to destroy the approved Form 795-A and Form 3210 retention files.

  11. The manager of record or designee must:

    1. Once the email notification has been received, destroy the approved Form 795-A and Form 3210 retention files within 30 days from the email notification date using a shred bin or shredder.

    2. Once the files are destroyed, update the SharePoint Survey "Disposal Form 795-A and Form 3210" retention files survey with the date the files were destroyed.

    Note:

    If the records to be disposed cannot fit within the facility’s burn bin(s), manager or designee can open an OS Get Services ticket to request the required services. The shred program resides within the FMSS org.

  12. The FA area RIRC point of contact will upload to the Remittance SharePoint Retention File site:

    1. Email notification with approved "temporary" deviation to dispose of Form 795-A and Form 3210.

    2. Approved Form 11671 electronically signed by PGLD.

    3. Report for "Disposal Form 795-A and Form 3210" retention files document listing the date Form 11671 was sent to PGLD, the date approval was received from PGLD, and the date of disposal of files for each of the TAC locations listed.

    4. Naming convention for these files:

      Example:

      Area 1 – Quarter 1 Approved Form 11671

      Example:

      Area 1 – Quarter 1 Disposal Form 795-A and Form 3210 Report

      Example:

      Area 1 – Quarter 1 Approved Deviation for (TAC Name(s))

    5. These documents must be maintained for six fiscal years.

Field Assistance Contact Recording (FACR)

  1. FACR is an automated system that records the audio portion of a taxpayer contact and synchronizes it with an employee’s computer screen activity. Qmatic signals the recording to begin at the start of each contact and turns it off at the appropriate time. Additional information on using Qmatic and Q-Next software can be found here: Q-Matic.

  2. FA managers use the Embedded Quality Review System (EQRS) to critique a random sample of taxpayer contacts for accuracy, timeliness and professionalism. Managers must provide positive/negative feedback from the FACR with employees. Defects identified can also be used to identify training and coaching needs. Quality reviewers use statistically valid samples of contacts to verify the accuracy of managers’ reviews, analyze trends, identify opportunities and implement quality improvement measures. These individual technology tools (Qmatic, FACR and EQRS) work in concert to achieve these outcomes:

    • A highly skilled workforce

    • Increased efficiency for managers

    • More accurate data, leading to targeted improvements

    • Enhanced quality for our taxpayers

  3. For TACs with FACR, recorded contacts will be used to accomplish the required monitoring. See IRM 1.4.11.27, Embedded Quality Roles and Responsibilities.

  4. Group managers are responsible for ensuring employees are following proper procedures when closing contacts. This includes use of the proper Qmatic closing codes, the "opt-out" function, and the "wrap-up" function.

  5. FACR agents (assistors), managers, and area analysts should refer to the FA Systems Management Guides for more information.

    Example:

    Refer to the FA Systems Group Manger Guide for the following situations (list is not all inclusive):

    • Adding/removing computers

    • Adding/removing employees/managers/circuit riders (including managing the OL5081 process)

    • Installing/configuring microphones

    • Refreshing/re-imaging computers

    • Other system maintenance issues

FACR Controls

  1. Contacts will be reviewed to ensure adherence to policies and procedures and that appropriate contacts are available for national sample selection. Although not required to conduct a periodic review, group managers hold the primary responsibility to ensure adherence. Territory, area and headquarters management will review policy adherence as a component of operational reviews.

    1. On a quarterly basis (or as directed by FA headquarters), areas will review all "Opt-out" contacts (Closing code 1) for a given period of time as specified by FA headquarters for proper use of "Opt-out" ; specifically verifying that the taxpayer requested the "opt-out" . Refer to IRM 21.3.4.28.3, FACR Opt-Out. Area reviewers will complete DCIs (DCI will be provided by FA headquarters) for "opt-out" contacts reviewed and return them to FA headquarters.

    2. On a quarterly basis (or as directed by FA headquarters), areas will review contacts with closing codes other than those routinely reviewed by national Quality Reviewers and analyze them to assess adherence to policies and procedures, whether improvement opportunities exist and if so recommend changes to policies and procedures and corrective actions. These reviews will include, but are not limited to: No show (closing code 999) contacts with over 4 minutes of transaction time, memo count closing codes (i.e., closing code 724 - Spanish Speaking), Non-technical contacts (i.e., closing code 413), wrap-up contacts, and closing code 0 - Qmatic default error code. Area reviewers will complete DCIs for contacts reviewed and return them to FA headquarters.

  2. When Ultra shows contacts less than 10 business days old in "deleted" status, the user (manager or analyst) who identifies the "deleted" status will input a ticket requesting an assessment/upgrade of the PC’s data storage capacity.

FACR Area Analyst Responsibilities

  1. Area analysts will provide guidance and support on the use of FACR to TAC managers. This includes providing new/acting managers with appropriate training materials.

  2. Area analysts are responsible for managing the Ultra user database that includes adding/modifying groups for agents (assistors).

  3. During System/Program Reviews:

    1. During program and operational reviews, area analysts will incorporate into their regular program/operational reviews analysis of Opt Outs, No Shows, Spanish speaking Memorandum counts, deleted status and wrap-up contacts. (This list includes minimal review requirements and is not all inclusive). Trends will be shared with appropriate territory and group managers and corrective actions will be taken where warranted.

    2. Area analysts will utilize the VERINT/IMPACT360 Web Portal application, Contacts, on the home page to review contacts not associated with a specific SEID and/or name. Analysts and group managers will determine corrective actions that should be taken, if any.

    3. Area analyst will ensure Pub 5004, "Your Contact Will Be Recorded..." Desktop Sign for Field Assistance Taxpayer Assistance Center (English/Spanish), is posted at each TAC workstation with contact recording and FA managers will ensure that damaged signs are replaced.

FACR Headquarters Analyst Responsibilities

  1. The roles and responsibilities of the headquarters Analyst include the following:

    1. Maintain the Contact Recording (CR) database by adding, updating and removing groups, agents and workstations on using the Ultra and DART applications.

    2. Approve OL5081 for access to CR within the business unit.

    3. Receive, review, and coordinate all requests for copies of download contacts and maintain the requests log for five (5) years.

    4. Monitor application performance and troubleshoot problems.

    5. Open IT tickets when the CR system (Ultra or DART) is not functioning properly and all efforts from the business unit have failed to restore functionality.

    6. Coordinate, distribute and analyze mandatory reports.

Requests for Copies of Downloaded Contacts
  1. It will occasionally be necessary to download and share copies of recorded contacts. FA headquarters will identify users to be profiled for download permissions.

  2. The ability to download contacts is generally limited to the headquarters Analyst. All headquarters Analysts must have secure email capabilities.

  3. The retention period for CR recordings can be as little as 7 days and as long as 18 months. Therefore, there are no time frame limitations on the filing of such requests.

  4. Download permissions allow the individual to download both audio (.wav) and screen (.avi) files from Ultra.

  5. Requests for downloading a contact must be in writing.Form 13817, Request for Downloaded Contact, is available for this purpose but a request by memorandum or email containing the same information as in the Form 13817 is acceptable. Verbal requests should not be accepted; however, the headquarters Analyst may complete the Form 13817 and then initiate the download as long as the requester has been verified. Fax and email requests will suffice as documentation as long as the requester has been verified and the document contains all information necessary to complete Form 13817.

  6. Contacts will be downloaded in the following situations:

    1. TIGTA Request (see IRM 1.4.11.20.3.2 for details)

    2. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (see IRM 1.4.11.20.3.3 for details), and

    3. Management Requests (see IRM 1.4.11.20.3.4 for details).

  7. Procedures for Saving Downloaded Contacts: Copies of the downloaded contacts and the original request (form, memo or email) should be saved in a secure, encrypted location, in the sensitive but unclassified (SBU) folder.

Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) Requests
  1. TIGTA will occasionally request that a contact be downloaded and provided to them. These requests can be made by EEFax or email.

  2. The request must contain the following:

    • Date of Contact

    • Employee Name

    • TAC Name

    • Start Time of Contact

    • Name of Requestor

    • Organization Symbols

    • Function

    • Date of request

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request
  1. Under the Freedom of Information Act, each taxpayer has the right, subject to certain limitations, to access records and documents maintained by the IRS.

  2. FOIA requests are handled by the Disclosure Office (see IRM 11.3.13, Freedom of Information Act).

  3. Written requests must contain the following:

    • Date of the contact,

    • Name of the Employee,

    • Approximate time of the contact,

    • Taxpayer identification (name, address, TIN, etc.)

    • Requests that do not contain this information cannot be processed.

    Note:

    Screen files and audio files cannot be edited to prevent unauthorized disclosure. Disclosure Office requestors will be notified of this and they will be responsible for determining whether recorded audio and screens can be released to taxpayers.

Managerial Requests
  1. Management may request a recorded contact be downloaded. The reason for the request must be stated clearly on Form 13817, Request for Downloaded Contact, and must be approved by the area director or authorized delegate. In general, the reason for these downloads is to provide a copy of the contact to another party when necessary (TIGTA, Labor Relations, etc.)

  2. Below are examples of valid requests:

    • Employee disputes the EQRS DCI, and the dispute is expected to extend beyond 18 months

    • Gross employee misconduct

    • Evidence of potential criminal intent by the taxpayer or employee.

  3. Below are examples of requests that should be denied:

    • Singular taxpayer complaint

    • Singular performance issue

    • "Just in case" requests

Download Approval
  1. The download can take place once the Form 13817 with proper approval is received.

    Exception:

    For TIGTA/FOIA requests - so as not to delay investigations or taxpayer requests, it is not necessary to obtain area director or delegate approval prior to the download being completed and provided to TIGTA or the Disclosure Office.

  2. The headquarters analyst will forward TIGTA and FOIA requests to the Policies, Technology, and Measures section chief.

Downloading Contacts
  1. Download the contact onto the SBU folder. (See FACR desk guide).

  2. Copy the contact onto a USB flash drive or CD, encrypted with a Symantec Endpoint Encryption (SEE) default password to be hand delivered or sent via traceable UPS to the requester. Send an email to the requestor with the SEE default password.

Record Keeping and Storage of Download Contacts
  1. The headquarters Analyst should keep a record of all requests for download as they are subject to subsequent review. Specific instructions regarding Freedom of Information requests received from taxpayers will be contained in IRM 21.1.3.17.1, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

  2. All requests (forms and e-mails) for downloaded contacts that are held for retention should be reviewed quarterly (every 90 days) to determine the need for continuing file retention (the downloaded and stored contact). It will often be necessary to contact the initiator of the request to determine the need for ongoing storage. Contacts deemed no longer necessary for retention will be deleted from SBU storage. Form 13817 and similar documents will be stored by the headquarters Analyst according to document retention requirements for a minimum of five (5) years after the contact has been deleted.

Over-the-Phone Interpreter Service (OPI)

  1. Use bilingual employees, if available or the OPI service if bilingual assistance is needed to assist TAC taxpayers. If the bilingual employee is assisting other taxpayers, use the OPI service. Taxpayers should not be made to wait to be served by a bilingual employee.

  2. The OPI service is to be used by TAC employees while assisting TAC taxpayers. It is imperative that Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) assigned to each TAC employee are not shared with other employees, TACs or other business units.

    Note:

    To obtain the correct PIN, contact the local area OPI analyst.

  3. Monthly reports for each area are provided by the FA headquarters analyst assigned the OPI program.

  4. Area analysts will review the following:

    1. Calls lasting over 20 minutes - Employees are instructed to hang up when research is required and to call back when the research is completed. See IRM 21.3.4.3.7, Multilingual Assistance.

    2. Employee badge # - Only TAC employees should use the OPI service.

  5. Issues identified by the area analysts after review of the reports will be elevated to the headquarters OPI analyst.

Workers Compensation Cases and Safety and Health Information System (SHIMS)

  1. Managers must ensure that employees are aware of their responsibility for reporting on the job injuries and complying with the agency’s regulations.

  2. Managers should ascertain if medical attention is requested from the injured employee and if so, ensure prompt medical attention is received.

  3. Managers must contact Workers’ Compensation Center (WCC) immediately upon notification from an employee of an injury at 804-771-2900; be prepared to report all facts.

  4. Managers must complete a Supervisor’s Report in Safety and Health Information System (SHIMS) or the Supervisor's section of the CA-1 (Traumatic Injury) or Form CA-2 (Occupational Disease or Illness) claim form within 2 days of written notification of injury.

  5. Refer to the Employee Resource Center or the Workers' Compensation Center webpage for additional information and assistance.

Account Management Services (AMS) Group Manager Responsibilities

  1. AMS provides the ability to share business data, increases the availability of key tools to IRS employees, and integrates the access of these capabilities into a common interface.

  2. Managers are responsible for ensuring that all employees have access to AMS when researching taxpayers account inquiries. These responsibilities include:

    1. Verifying IDRS access for all employees in order to use AMS.

    2. Initiating OL5081s for new employees needing access to AMS.

    3. Performing AMS Profile Management to verify and profile AMS application tools for each employee.

    4. Ensuring all employees are trained and equipped to use AMS for all account issues.

    5. Ensuring all employees use the appropriate checklist adhering to the AMS IRM requirements.

    6. Ensuring employees understand the required usage of AMS for all account related inquires.

    7. Monitoring employee's AMS usage via contact recording and/or other appropriate monitoring tools to ensure employees are using the system as required.

AMS Group Messages

  1. Management should use the group message as appropriate for their group.

  2. Group messages can be cut and pasted from email.

  3. Group messaging has a 2000 character limit

  4. To send a Group message:

    • Click on Group under the Message Center

    • Click on Create New

    • Submit

Territory Manager Responsibilities (AMS)
  1. Territory managers will support the required use of AMS.

  2. Territory managers will ensure SMEs are available during AMS training and to provide OJI support.

  3. Territory managers will review territory inventory reports for timely closures and timely taxpayer contact of in-house inventory.

  4. Territory managers will include the required use of AMS as part of operational reviews.

Area Director Responsibilities (AMS)

  1. Area directors will support the required use of AMS.

  2. Area directors will ensure Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are available during AMS training and to provide OJI support.

  3. Area directors will review the required use of AMS as part of operational reviews.

AMS System Security Officers (SSOs)

  1. Each area is assigned a SSO who has program oversight and is responsible for maintenance and upkeep of the AMS database.

  2. SSOs are responsible for the following duties:

    1. Approving Account Management Service OL5081s.

    2. Performing routine administration and maintenance of employee and group profiles as directed.

    3. Transferring employees from group to group and updating profiles when necessary.

    4. Performing checks to ensure employees are using AMS as the primary research tool for all account inquiries, per IRM requirement.

    5. Staying abreast of the new features and functionality of AMS.

Integrated Automation Technologies (IAT) Group Manager Responsibilities

  1. IAT provides a computer tool that will be used with IRS systems to improve quality and timeliness of tax processing by eliminating repetitive typing and making precise decisions.

  2. IAT allows employees to perform the following tasks:

    1. Ability to perform multiple Credit Transfers at a time.

    2. Automates the Manual Refund process.

    3. Payment Tracer capabilities.

    4. Document 6209 lookup capabilities.

    5. Monitoring of cases or inventory work.

    6. Address changes (Employee may use AMS or IAT to process address changes).

  3. Managers will ensure that all employees receive training on the use and application of IAT.

  4. Managers can identify a senior ITAS or Grade 11 to process Manual Refund requests for their group.

Manual Refunds Using Integrated Automation Technologies (IAT)

  1. Refunds are generated through normal Master file processing and are identified with a TC 846; however, in special circumstances a manual refund may be needed. See IRM 21.4.4, Manual Refunds.

  2. The ITAS uses IAT manual refund tool to initiate, monitor, and process a manual refund. The IAT manual refund tool will automatically complete Form 5792, Request for IDRS Generated Refund and Form 3753, Manual Refund Posting Voucher.

  3. Management appoints and delegates authority to specific persons to sign and authorize manual refunds. This is to maintain the internal controls standards required by General Accountability Office with respect to disbursements.

  4. The area directors must submit a Manual Refund Signature Authorization Form annually by October 1, to campus accounting manual refund unit delegating those persons authorized to sign and approve manual refunds. See IRM 3.17.79.3.5, Employees Authorized to Sign Requests for Refunds for further information.

  5. At the discretion of the area director, group and territory managers can now be given the authority to sign manual refund requests. Areas will identify which group managers, territory managers or area directors will sign manual refunds. Refer to:

    1. IRM 21.4.4, Manual Refunds, to verify that correct procedures have been followed prior to approval.

    2. IRM 21.3.4.12.2.1, Manual Refunds Using Integrated Automation Technologies (IAT), for FA guidance on manual refund approval procedures.

    3. IRM 2.3.9.9, CMODE, for detailed guidance on processing employees request for CMODE access.

    4. IRM 21.4.4-3, Accounting Function - Manual Refund Team Contact Information for a complete listing of addresses and contacts.

    5. IRM 1.4.6.3, Responsibilities of Service Officials, Managers and Employees for the responsibilities to maintain effective controls to prevent fraud, waste or abuse of government resources and mismanagement of service programs.

    6. IRM 1.4.16.4.8, Manual Refunds - Training and Monitoring Requirements.

    7. Exhibit 1.4.11-7, Managers Monitoring Confirmation Log.

    Note:

    If no manual refund is initiated within the week, managers must sign the confirmation logs by COB Monday of the following week.

  6. When approving Manual Refund Form 5792, manager will review the "Remarks box" to ensure employees include the verbiage W&I:FA:CARE. Employees will continue to select W&I:AM as the FA BOD.

  7. Each time a manual refund is approved, an email notification will be sent to the territory manager with a copy to upper management (SOM, area account analyst, and other(s) designated by the area). The area account analyst will send a copy of the email notification to the HQ accounts analyst. In the subject line include the following: MR Approved – date (i.e.,11/19/2016).

IRC 1204 Certification Process

  1. IRC 1204 provides guidance and instructions for the Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA 1998)IRC 1204 certification and independent review process.

  2. IRC 1204(a) states that the "IRS shall not use records of tax enforcement results (ROTERs) to evaluate employees or to impose or suggest production quotas or goals with respect to such employees."

  3. IRC 1204(b) states "IRS shall use fair and equitable treatment of taxpayers as one of the standards for evaluating employee performance" .

  4. All managers shall certify quarterly whether or not tax enforcement results are being used in a manner prohibited by subsection (a).

  5. Form 1204-M is to be completed by all managers if they are reporting no violations of IRC 1204(a) and are in compliance with IRC 1204(b). Form 1204-MV is to be completed by all managers who are reporting violations of IRC 1204(a) and/or incidents of non-compliance with IRC 1204(b).

  6. The certification process is electronic. Managers must retain original signed copies of completed Form 1204-MV or Form 1204-M, Manager’s Quarterly Self-Certification for audit and review.

  7. Form 1204-N, is to be completed by all next level managers excluding group managers, if they are reporting no violations of IRC 1204(a) and are in compliance with IRC 1204(b). Form 1204-NV is to be completed by next level managers who are reporting violations of IRC 1204(a) and/or incidents of non-compliance with IRC 1204(b).

  8. For further guidance, refer to IRM 1.5.3, Manager’s Self-Certification and the Independent Review Process.

Field Assistance Insider Guidelines

  1. The Insider is W&I's intranet site that is maintained by W&I C&L. It features:

    • Links to all W&I functions web pages

    • News articles about W&I initiatives and activities

    • Friendly reminders of current and upcoming events

    • Your Neck of the Woods, activities of local interest across the country

  2. The Insider User Group, composed of W&I C&L webmasters, works with content owners from each of the W&I functions to produce and maintain each function's intranet pages.

  3. All FA employees who own content on the Insider must do the following:

    1. Work with FA webmaster who reviews, approves, and forwards information to the W&I C&L webmaster for posting.

    2. Verify all content is original. If the content appears elsewhere on intranet or internet, a link to the original content will be used.

    3. Request any outdated content be deleted, unless the content needs to be retained for historical purposes. Any content that needs to be retained will be housed on the FA Insider Archive page.

    4. Obtain approval for all new content. All new content must be approved by the applicable area director or HQ section chief. Areas must approve any content that originates from the area (such as TAC or FAce of the Month). HQ sections must approve any content originating from the section (such as the TAG Newsletter or program procedural or technical information). An email acknowledgement (approval) from the area director or HQ chief must be included when requesting an item for posting to the FA Insider.

  4. On a semiannual basis (June and December), the HQ Intranet program analyst will review the FA Insider to ensure the information is timely and accurate. During the December review, the information on the FA Insider will be certified by the HQ program analyst responsible for the program information.

Embedded Quality Roles and Responsibilities

  1. To ensure the effectiveness of the Embedded Quality Review System (EQRS) specific roles and responsibilities are defined for Individual Taxpayer Advisory Specialist (ITAS), group managers, territory managers, area staff, and headquarters quality analyst staff. See IRM 1.4.11.15, Quality Assurance and Review Process, for information on the review process.

Employee Responsibilities

  1. Individual Taxpayer Advisory Specialist (ITAS) will use their reference material to answer accounts and tax law topics. If a tax law topic is covered in the Interactive Tax Law Assistant (ITLA), correct and complete use of ITLA is mandatory.

  2. Group managers will share the NQRS reviews with the applicable employee to provide them with positive reinforcement as well as coaching/direction in areas identified for improvement. ITAS will review the NQRS DCIs and advise the group manager if they agree or disagree that the DCI correctly reflects the contact review. If the employee disagrees they should present the reasons for their disagreement to their manager.

  3. National reviews completed by CQRS may never be used as evaluative performance feedback or used in an employee evaluation. National Review DCIs will not be filed in an employee’s Employee Performance File (EPF). The information from national reviews may be used to illustrate a point or as examples ONLY. DCI information used during group discussions about quality must be sanitized and generic; free of information that might identify an employee or a group.

Group Manager Responsibilities

  1. Group managers are required to review, document and personally share at least one evaluative contact per employee per month; 12 evaluative reviews per employee per year for employees on FA Contact Recording (FACR). The focus of these managerial reviews is to document and improve employee performance. Contacts selected for review must have Customer Accuracy impact (Attribute 715 coded Y/N).

  2. To the extent possible, contacts should include a mix of the work the employee performed during their rating period. FACR contacts should be selected for review based on the type of work the employee has performed. However, be cognizant of special assignment or exceptional service (positive or negative) which you observe and use the opportunity to reinforce excellent performance or bring a swift end to less than acceptable behavior. If improvement opportunities have been identified, perform reviews that allow you to monitor the progress the employee is making in improving that aspect of their performance. Refer to the FA Systems Management Guide for FACR inbox setup and user guidance.

  3. Review contacts in which new procedures are being introduced, new tax law is being applied, and/or areas of special emphasis identified by the Territory or Area. Cover the reference materials that explain the new procedures during group meetings and document this in the group meeting minutes.

  4. Observe the full contact without distraction or interruption. For TACs without FACR technology, direct observation will be used to accomplish this requirement. For TACs with FACR, recorded contacts will be used to accomplish the required monitoring. The following practices should be followed in observations under either method:

    1. Take detailed notes.

    2. Validate the accuracy of actions through research in ITLA, 6209, and/or IRM.

    3. All defects charged must include specific IRM or other applicable references recorded in the feedback narrative of the DCI.

    4. Use job aids located on the EQ website for guidance on attribute coding.

    5. Input results into EQRS within three business days of the review.

    6. Print and personally share (in person or over the phone) the EQRS feedback report with the ITAS in compliance with the National Agreement.

  5. Advise the territory manager of any exceptions for not completing the required monthly reviews due to employee absences or assignments to other duties For example, if employees are on extended acting assignments, leave or training. The TM should provide the manager with a written waiver for any month the managers cannot complete the required reviews for these reasons and the waiver will be filed in the employee’s EPF.

  6. Review NQRS DCIs and forward any rebuttals on Form 14448, Quality Review Rebuttal Form, to the AQA. For guidance on the rebuttal process see IRM 21.10.1.8.5, Field Assistance Quality Review Rebuttal Process.

Territory Manager Responsibilities

  1. Territory managers are required to run EQRS reports for each group manager and monitor to ensure required reviews are conducted and timely input into EQRS.

  2. Territory managers will conduct a minimum of two evaluative reviews per quarter of each group manager’s employee performance reviews and provide written feedback regarding the focus, substance and timeliness of the reviews.

  3. During operational reviews, territory managers will verify that group managers are utilizing FACR for at least 80% of their observations per employee and that group managers are inputting the DCI numbers in the Remarks section of the FACR recorded contact. Refer to the FA Contact Recording User Guide.

  4. Approve manager requests for waiver of the minimum monthly review requirement when an employee is absent from work or on assignment away from their ordinary customer assistance duties. At the TM discretion, written waivers of the monthly review requirement may be provided to the manager for placement in the EPF. These exceptions will be validated and appropriate comments should be included in the operational review narrative.

  5. As needed, provide feedback and corrective actions in a formal action plan for managers at risk of not completing monthly reviews and/or not providing adequate performance feedback.

  6. Resolve any customer accuracy or accuracy driver discrepancies. If necessary, elevate the issue to the area quality analyst for clarification. Coach and educate group managers to reduce disparities between managerial reviews and NQRS customer accuracy rates.

  7. Provide a quarterly list to the area of reviews that were not input timely.

  8. Support the Area in meeting or exceeding the accuracy goal for their Area by ensuring group managers cover topics identified as reoccurring customer accuracy errors by reviewing group meeting minutes during operational reviews.

Area Director and Area Quality Analyst Responsibilities

  1. Area directors and their staff support the EQRS process through the following actions:

    1. Monitor completion of required minimum managerial EQRS reviews.

    2. Verify territory managers are compliant with FACR responsibilities during operational reviews.

    3. Review NQRS cumulative data, and Area Analysis to ensure proactive steps are being taken to eliminate repeat customer accuracy errors.

    4. Reduce the disparity between FACR managerial and NQRS customer accuracy rate by ensuring TMs are coaching and sharing a comparison of EQRS and NQRS reviews.

  2. The AQAs are responsible for downloading NQRS reviews from the NQRS database weekly, and sending the reviews to the group manager/territory manager. In addition, the area analyst should review monthly NQRS reports and determine if there is more than one customer accuracy error for the same case type. Share information with group managers and provide instruction for sharing corrective tax law or procedures during the next group meeting.

  3. The AQA is responsible for determining if a rebuttal to a NQRS review should be forwarded CQRS for reconsideration. Submit any rebuttals following IRM 21.10.1.8.5, Field Assistance Quality Review Rebuttal Process. Resolve and escalate any unresolved or recurring EQ issues to the headquarters EQ Analyst.

Headquarters Quality Analyst Responsibilities

  1. Headquarters Quality Analysts (HQA) are responsible ensuring the weekly sample is valid, uploaded and reviewed. The HQA maintains EQRS and NQRS attributes, Master Attribute Job Aids (MAJA), Quality Job Aides and EQ course material. In addition the HQA has responsibility to:

    1. Approve the national review quarterly sample plan and recommend annual funding allocation to CQRS to conduct the national review according to the sample plan.

    2. Negotiate agreement with CQRS on rebuttals submitted by the areas and oversight for NQRS rebuttal process.

    3. Make final determinations on rebuttals at the 3rd level and communicate these decisions to the areas and CQRS.

    4. Send weekly NQRS reports and communicate recommendations to area quality analysts, as needed.

    5. Provide quarterly EQRS attribute use reports per the National Agreement to Labor Relations.

    6. Provide quality related input/narrative for the Business Performance Review (BPR) and CARE operational review as well as for responses to external stakeholders regarding FA performance.

    7. Analyze quarterly NQRS national trend reports for improvement opportunities.

    8. Participate in area operational reviews, analyze area error trends, and look for efforts to improve quality.

    9. Issue Quality Grams as needed.

    10. Keep CQRS updated on current FA procedures and provide guidance to advise CQRS on EQ coding guidelines.

Referral Responsibilities

  1. Headquarters Coordinator:

    • Serve as liaison with other business units

    • Establish contact in Campuses for overage referrals

    • Elevate concerns

    • Consolidate and analyze reports from areas on an as needed or requested basis

    • Identify current or emerging issues regarding process

    • Collect and share best practices

    • Share statistical reports with all on an as needed or requested basis

    • Timely respond to questions/issues from area coordinators

    • Serve as a resource person

    • Set policies

    • Submit IRM updates

    • Conduct reviews

  2. Area Coordinators:

    • Support FA employees with program initiatives

    • Consolidate and maintain a list of referral coordinators and their backup

    • Consolidate and maintain a list of SMEs

    • Provide monthly reports to headquarters coordinator

    • Provide reports to area director and territory manager on an as needed or requested basis

    • Ensure changes to the referral procedures are timely disseminated to FA employees

    • Monitor the FA in-scope tax law emails (sent to wi.fa.ot.ref@irs.gov) daily for any submissions by area employees

    • Assign the in-scope tax law email to a designated FA specialist/SME

    • Ensure the FA specialist/SME has closed the in-scope tax law referral timely

    • Coordinate training

    • Ensure proper training

    • Communicate changes in the systems or guidelines

    • Provide feedback to Managers

  3. Group Managers:

    • Appoint Group Referral Coordinators (GRC)

    • Appoint SME

    • Ensure GRC and SME understand their role in the program and have enough time to carry out their responsibilities

    • Implement and monitor program to ensure timeliness, accuracy and appropriateness of referrals

    • Ensure accurate reporting on Form 5311

    • Ensure employees understand program goals, objectives and procedures

    • Ensure referrals routed outside of FA are outside of FA scope, unless mandated by IRM

    • Review and approve all outside referrals

    • Review rejected and overage referrals

    • Profile Skill Set for employees working In house inventory

    • Schedule employees to work referral inventory

Individual Taxpayer Identification (ITIN) Authentication

  1. ITAS in a limited number of TACs began authenticating original passports and national identity cards only. Starting October 2016, TACs expanded the number of authentication documents to include nine (9) additional documents for primary and secondary and one (1) additional document for dependents. See IRM 21.3.4.19.1.1(5), ITAS Responsibilities for Processing New W-7 Applications in the TAC, for a list documents.

  2. Prior to February 1, 2017 TACs could request a deviation to authenticate in TACs when staffing fell below three (3) full time permanent ITAS. Since all TACs are moving to appointment service, staffing is no longer used as a critieria to determine if a TAC will authenticate. Effective February 1, 2017 ALL TACs with proper spacing to set up an authentication room and at least one employee (including part time, seasonals) assigned to the TAC will authenticate ITIN documents. For a list of TACs with authentication trained employees see Taxpayer Assistance Center Locations Where In-Person Document Review is Provided.

  3. A TAC can still submit a request to temporarily suspend authenticating ITIN documents if the ITIN equipment or room where the equipment is located is not operable.

  4. The memorandum for an equipment or room not operable request should include the following information:

    • The problem the TAC is encountering

    • Actions taken to resolve the problem

    • Specific amount of time that it will take to resolve the issue

  5. Once the request is submitted and approved, updates to IRS.gov will be completed and the deviation will be recorded and tracked by the HQ ITIN Analyst.

  6. Once the problem is resolved, and authentication can resume, the area ITIN analyst will notify the HQ ITIN analyst via email the effective date of when the TAC can start ITIN authentication.

Field Assistance Telephone Scripts

3709 Script for Single TAC Location
Thank you for calling the Internal Revenue Service office located at __________ (insert street address, city, state and zip code). We do not provide live telephone assistance at this number. To schedule an appointment, call us at 844-545-5640. Go to IRS.gov and select 'Contact Your Local Office' for a list of available services at this location before you request an appointment. Many self-service options are available on IRS.gov, such as making a payment or getting a transcript. You may be asked to provide valid photo identification and a Taxpayer Identification Number, such as a Social Security Number, to receive services. Thank you for calling the Internal Revenue Service.
3709 Script for Multi-TAC Location
Thank you for calling the Internal Revenue Service offices located within the __________area (insert name of metropolitan area). Our offices are located at ___________________________________ (insert street address, city, state and zip code of each TAC). We do not provide live telephone assistance at this number. To schedule an appointment, call us at 844-545-5640. Go to IRS.gov and select 'Contact Your Local Office' to see the list of available services at this location before you request an appointment. Many self-service options are available on IRS.gov, such as making a payment or getting a transcript. You may be asked to provide valid photo identification and a Taxpayer Identification Number, such as a Social Security Number, to receive services. Thank you for calling the Internal Revenue Service.
3709 Script for TACs Closing and 3709 Line will be Disconnected
Thank you for calling the Internal Revenue Service office located at __________ (insert street address, city, state and zip code). We do not provide live telephone assistance at this number.
Effective ________ (insert date) walk-in assistance is not available in this office but you may find the help you need at www.irs.gov. If you want to call us, for individual tax information call 800-829-1040, or for business taxes you may call 800-829-4933.
To schedule an appointment at our office located at __________ (give nearest TAC address, city, state and zip code), call 844-545-5640. You may be asked to provide valid photo identification and a Taxpayer Identification Number, such as a Social Security Number, to receive services.
Thank you for calling the Internal Revenue Service.
3709 Script for 3709 Post of Duty (No TAC In POD)
Thank you for calling the Internal Revenue Service office located at __________ (insert street address, city, state and zip code). We do not provide live telephone assistance at this number.
Find the help you need at www.irs.gov. If you want to call us, for individual tax information call 800-829-1040, or for business taxes you may call 800-829-4933.
For in-person help you can also visit our office located at __________ (give nearest TAC address, city, state and zip code). To Schedule an appointment, call us at 844-545-5640. You may be asked to provide valid photo identification and a Taxpayer Identification Number, such as a Social Security Number, to receive services. Thank you for calling the Internal Revenue Service.
3709 Script for Disaster-Related TAC Closures
Thank you for calling the Internal Revenue Service office located at __________ (insert street address, city, state and zip code). We do not provide live telephone assistance at this number. Due to damages sustained during_____________________ (Insert name of disaster, e.g., Hurricane Katrina), this office is closed indefinitely. For Disaster Assistance - dial 866-562-5227.
Find the help you need at www.irs.gov. If you want to call us, for individual tax information call 800-829-1040, or for business taxes you may call 800-829-4933. Thank you for calling the Internal Revenue Service.
3709 Script for Temporarily Closed, Unstaffed TACs
Thank you for calling the Internal Revenue Service office located at __________ (insert street address, city, state and zip code). We do not provide live telephone assistance at this number. Effective ________ (insert date) walk-in assistance is currently not available in this office.
(Insert ONLY if re-open date available) This office will re-open __________(insert date).
You may find the help you need at www.IRS.gov. If you want to call us, for individual tax information call 800-829-1040, or for business taxes you may call 800-829-4933.

Note:

If another TAC is located within 100 miles of closed TAC, use the following paragraph.


To schedule an appointment at our office located at ______ (give nearest TAC address, city, state and zip code), call us at 844-545-5640.
Thank you for calling the Internal Revenue Service.

TAC Published Information Certification Memorandum

TAC Published Information Certification Memorandum
WAGE AND INVESTMENT DIVISION
MEMORANDUM FOR DIRECTOR, FIELD ASSISTANCE
FROM: Area Director, Field Assistance Area X
SUBJECT: Area X TAC Publish Information Certification
I certify that the following are true for each Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) in my Area: The hours of operation and TAC addresses are correctly posted on IRS.gov. The hours of operation are correctly posted in each TAC in my Area. The hours and TAC addresses are correctly referenced in the 3709 telephone recording. The local office 3709 telephone number and local address (if applicable) are correctly posted in _____* of the _____** designated (Yellow Book, AT&T, etc.) local directory. The _____*** discrepancies have been reported to headquarters for corrections.
*Represents the number of correct telephone numbers and local addresses verified.
** Represents the total offices reviewed.
*** Represents the number of discrepancies found.

Embedded Quality (EQ) Quarterly Review Plan

EQ Quarterly Review Plan

Performance Appraisal Plan

Performance Appraisal Plan

TSRRD Payment Processing Checklist

TSRRD Payment Processing Checklist

FA Weekly Scorecard Example

FA Weekly Scorecard Report

Managers Monitoring Confirmation Log

Manual Refund Managers Monitoring Confirmation Log

Training Class Delivery Check Sheet

Training Class Delivery Check Sheet