- 1.4.24 Central Withholding Agreement Program Group Manager Handbook
- 18.104.22.168 Program Scope and Objectives
- 22.214.171.124 CWA Group Manager Expectations
- 126.96.36.199 Workload Management
- 188.8.131.52.1 Case Assignments
- 184.108.40.206.2 Updating Case Inventory Control Systems
- 220.127.116.11.3 CWA Approvals
- 18.104.22.168.4 Addendum
- 22.214.171.124.4.1 Addendum - CWA Executed
- 126.96.36.199.4.2 Addendum - Event(s) Cancelled
- 188.8.131.52.4.3 Addendum - Approval
- 184.108.40.206.5 Policy Closures and Rescission Letters
- 220.127.116.11.6 Final Accounting
- 18.104.22.168.7 Site Visits
- 22.214.171.124.8 Closing Case
- 126.96.36.199.9 Case Control Procedures
- 188.8.131.52 Data Gathering and Measurement (Reports)
- 184.108.40.206 Customer Satisfaction
- 220.127.116.11.1 Dealing with Taxpayers and External Customers
- 18.104.22.168.2 Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer (PDT) and Caution Upon Contact (CAU) Programs
- 22.214.171.124.3 Management Responsibility Regarding Right of Representation
- 126.96.36.199.4 Procrastinating Taxpayers, Representatives, and Withholding Agents
- 188.8.131.52 General Group Management Issues
Part 1. Organization, Finance, and Management
Chapter 4. Resource Guide for Managers
Section 24. Central Withholding Agreement Program Group Manager Handbook
July 17, 2017
(1) This transmits revised IRM 1.4.24, Resource Guide for Managers - Central Withholding Agreement Program Group Manager Handbook, and is intended to supplement IRM 1.4.1, Resource Guide for Managers, Management Roles and Responsibilities.
(1) IRM 184.108.40.206 was revised and retitled "Program Scope and Objectives" to conform with the internal control requirements described in IRM 220.127.116.11.5. Existing IRM content from former IRM 18.104.22.168, Role of the CWA Group Manager, was moved to IRM 22.214.171.124.
(2) IRM 126.96.36.199.4.1 updated time frames when an addendum to a Central Withholding Agreement (CWA) is requested.
(3) IRM 188.8.131.52.1(4) updated to incorporate Interim Guidance titled number: LB&I-01-0216-001, Interim Guidance - Month End Report Due Date, dated February 16, 2017, revising the managers due date for submitting the monthly report.
(4) IRM 184.108.40.206.2(1) updated website link to the Office of Employee Protection (OEP) program.
Director Field Operations, Foreign Payments Practice
Withholding & International Individual Compliance
Large Business and International Division
Purpose: This IRM is a supplement to the general guidelines for all group managers contained in IRM 1.4.1, Resource Guide for Managers, Management Roles and Responsibilities.
Audience: This IRM is intended for the Central Withholding Agreement (CWA) group manager.
A CWA group manager:
Serves as a role model
Provides suggestions to implement new policies and procedures
A CWA group manager is responsible for the actions of a group of employees and instilling organizational values by providing direction and leadership. In addition to providing written and verbal directions, a CWA group manager must lead by example.
A CWA group manager is responsible for developing employees and inventory management. Some areas requiring managerial involvement include:
Communicating the missions of the CWA program
Ensuring group actions are aligned with the mission of the Service and CWA program
Transferring skills, knowledge, and experience
Empowering employees with additional responsibilities
Providing training and developmental experiences
A CWA group manager develops the expectation for the group in conjunction with the program manager. A CWA group manager and program manager will jointly identify opportunities, agree on goals, develop plans, and jointly reach commitments on those plans. These expectations should include the performance management objective in a CWA group manager's performance plan. The CWA group manager will update and revise these expectations as program requirements change.
A CWA group manager is responsible for guiding the activities of the group and evaluating employees. There are a number of reviews that can be completed. They include but not limited to the following:
In process case reviews
Final accounting reviews
Complete (Closed) case reviews
Integrated Collection System (ICS) location code reviews
Information obtained through the above reviews and visits must conform to the requirements of Document 11678, National Agreement II.
Reviews must be conducted for each employee. See IRM 1.4.1, Resource Guide for Managers, Management Roles and Responsibilities.
The number of required formal written case reviews for each employee in the group will be determined by the program manager, but at minimum, will provide enough documentation to support the employee's midyear review and annual appraisal.
Employees will be reviewed on critical job elements and tasks assigned.
Written documentation will be issued to employees.
Documentation will be completed for each employee within a group using a consistent format as determined by the program manager.
The CWA group manager will be available to meet with employees to discuss all case reviews, midyear reviews and annual appraisals.
A CWA group manager must plan, monitor, and direct input of work to accomplish program priorities and effectively utilize resources.
The CWA group manager is responsible for reviewing and analyzing employee inventory to determine they are at appropriate levels. In addition, the CWA group manager is responsible for ensuring cases are closed timely.
The CWA group manager is responsible for reviewing ICS location codes to confirm they are correct and updated timely.
A CWA group manager must work with other managers to balance inventory between the groups.
The CWA group manager will coordinate with other managers to transfer cases from one group to another.
When there is a change in staffing or other issues where inventory assignments are affected, the CWA group manager will be responsible for notifying the assignment "gatekeeper" to adjust the group assignment rotation schedule accordingly.
A CWA group manager must:
Assign work to maintain inventories to maximize efficiency, customer satisfaction, and business results
Anticipate and factor in other assignments such as employee working on other program teams, lead development, acting assignments, or other temporary assignments
Monitor progress of open cases by reviewing ICS location codes and ICS history
Guide employee performance by providing informal direction on cases; prepare in-process case review when formal guidance is needed
Confirm employees follow procedural requirements
The CWA group manager will assign cases to the tax specialist. The CWA group manager will consider:
Inventory Levels of the tax specialist to ensure inventory levels are maintained at maximum levels
Knowledge of Tax Specialists and Complexity of Case when assigning a case to ensure the case is worked efficiently. The CWA group manager should consider assigning cases based on developmental needs of the tax specialists.
The CWA group manager is responsible for reviewing case inventory on ICS to ensure the cases reflect accurate entity detail, location codes, type of closure, CWA and Directed Withholding (DWL) activity, and withholding amounts.
The CWA group manager will be actively involved in the progress of each employee's case work and ensure updates are timely and accurately made by employees.
The CWA group manager will review the CWA package for accuracy prior to forwarding it to the program manager for review (if required) or approving for execution where program manager review is not required. The CWA group manager will review:
The budget to ensure proper budget analysis has been performed, all income items have been supported by proper documentation, and all expense items are treated properly for U.S. tax purposes.
ICS to ensure it properly reflects all entity detail, includes all required history detail (including summary history), documents all contacts, all requested/received documents, the decisions of any determination made by the tax specialist regarding the nonresident alien, budget, etc.
All standardized documents related to the CWA to ensure they are accurate and supported by the information included in the budget and ICS history.
If there are questions or corrections, the CWA group manager will document ICS. Once the case information is accurate, the CWA group manager will forward the case back to the tax specialist or program manager if additional review is required.
The CWA will be approved and signed based on the current delegation order.
CWA group managers are responsible for considering and sending for program manager approval addendums to CWAs.
Any deviation to the situations described in the following sections must be approved by the program manager.
If a request for an addendum is made by the NRA or authorized representative to add additional event(s) and the CWA has been executed, the addendum will be completed and reviewed and approved by the manager if documentation for the event(s) was provided at least 30 days before the first event. Also, an addendum will be completed if the documentation for the event is provided with less than 30 days before the first event but at least 45 days prior to the new event(s) to be included. This 45 day deadline applies to any event where notification is provided less than 30 days before the first CWA event.
If a request for an addendum is due to event(s) being cancelled, the manager will review and approve the addendum only if documentation to support that there will be no reimbursement or insurance claim with respect to that event(s) will be received. Consideration can be given to extending the final deposit due date to provide adequate time to complete addendum if canceled event was scheduled during the last 7 days of the tour.
The CWA group manager must approve any policy closures not due to where it is determined that the Non Resident Alien (NRA) is not performing, the entire tour is cancelled or the individual is a US resident or citizen and document approval in the ICS case history. See IRM 220.127.116.11, CWA Processing Procedures - Policy Closure.
The CWA group manager must approve rescission letters and document approval in the ICS history prior to issuance. The CWA group manager may approve rescission letter when it is discovered the NRA is not subject to withholding, and outline in IRM 18.104.22.168.3, Rescinding Directed Withholding Letters.
The CWA group manager will review the tax specialist's final accounting determination and approve before the final accounting letter is issued to the taxpayer under the following circumstances:
Streamline cases that become non-streamline cases - If a CWA was executed as a streamline case but at final accounting meet the non-CWA streamline case criteria, the CWA group manager should review and approve the tax specialist's final accounting determination.
Standard cases that become formal cases - If a CWA was executed as streamline or non-strealine case, but at final accounting meets the formal case criteria, the CWA group manager should review and approve the final accounting determination.
Non Streamline or Formal Case - If a non-streamline or formal case has an increase/decrease in total income or total expenses of ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ or more, the CWA group manager must review and approve the final accounting determination.
Non-Streamline or Formal case - When a non-streamline or formal case has an increase/decrease in total income or total expenses of ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ for entertainers or ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ for athletes, the CWA group manager must review and approve the final accounting determination.
The CWA group manager may review the final account when there are large, unusual and/or questionable items on the original budget that need to be verified by final accounting.
The CWA group manager will review the final accounting anytime the group manager has approved a CWA contingent on certain documents/verification being provided at final accounting.
The CWA group manager will notate in ICS when review of final accounting is required or completed.
The CWA group manager must approve all site visits prior to the event.
The CWA group manager will require the request from the tax specialist to be in the standard format required by the program manager and include all required information.
The CWA group manager will review and approve the request and forward the request to the program manager for final approval.
If a site visit is approved, the CWA group manager will ensure the site visit log is updated with the appropriate information.
After the site visit is completed, the CWA group manager will ensure that the tax specialist who conducted the site visit submits a site visit report within three business days of the site visit. The CWA group manager will review and approve the site visit report and forward it to the program manager.
The CWA group manager will ensure the site visit log is updated with information obtained at the site visit. The CWA group manager will submit the site visit log to the program analyst by the fifth business day of each month.
The CWA group manager will ensure all case are closed on ICS and paper files submitted to the group tax examiner within 10 days of final accounting letter if no additional deposits is required or within 10 days of the final deposit being made if an additional deposit is required.
The CWA group manager is responsible for assuring that control procedures are followed when receiving/filing closed cases; sending a case to another specialist, post of duty, LB&I Quality Measurement System (LQMS), or repository. This includes completing and tracking the Form 3210 Document Transmittal.
The CWA group manager is responsible for reporting the accomplishments of the group. The manager is responsible for maintaining employee reports and other databases the program uses to track results. As necessary, the CWA group manager may conduct and/or participate in studies to help determine the direction, expansion, or change in program activities.
The CWA group manager is responsible for review the ICS location codes report to determine that progress is being made on each case and whether there is a need to provide guidance to resolve the case.
The CWA group manager will submit any additional report required by the program manager by the due date indicated in the request.
The CWA group manager will follow the instructions issued to prepare and roll up the monthly group report. In order to ensure the report is accurate, the CWA group manager must reconcile the tax specialist report.
The CWA group manager will discuss any discrepancies found during their review with the tax specialist to ensure the report is correct.
When the CWA group manager determines the report is accurate, the report will be submitted with the program analyst.
The CWA group manager will submit the monthly report to the program analyst by the 10th business day following the end of the month. CWA employees will complete input of their monthly report by the 8th business day following the end of the month.
IRM 1.5.1, The IRS Balanced Measurement System, provides guidance to prevent the use of statistics to:
Evaluate employees, or
Impose of suggest production quotas or goals with respect to such employees
CWA group managers are prohibited from using records of tax enforcement results (ROTERs) to evaluate any employee who exercises judgment with regard to determining tax liability or ability to pay. For more specific information, see IRM 1.5.1, The IRS Balanced Measurement System and IRM 1.5.2, Uses of Section 1204 Statistics.
Interactions with taxpayers and their representatives must be conducted in a professional and competent manner.
The CWA group manager must ensure employee contact is conducted in a manner that is conducive to promoting a positive image of the Service and CWA program. IRM 22.214.171.124.3 Ensure Quality Taxpayer Communication, provides information regarding the importance of quality communications.
When appropriate standardized forms and letters must be used. CWA program employees must receive approval from the group manager prior to issuing original correspondence. A CWA group manager must approve the content prior to its use and documented in ICS. Original correspondence sent to more that nine taxpayers must be approved by Office of Taxpayer Correspondence (OTC).
A CWA group manager must have an in depth working knowledge of Circular 230, Regulations Governing the Practice of Attorneys, Certified Public Accountants, Enrolled Agents, Enrolled Actuaries, and Appraisers.
See IRM 126.96.36.199 Taxpayer Rights for information concerning taxpayer rights and employee responsibilities when contact is made.
Refer to IRM 25.4.1 and 25.4.2 for guidance in dealing with taxpayers designated under the "Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer" (PDT) and "Caution Upon Contact" (CAU) programs, respectively. Additional information can also be found on the Office of Employee Protection web site.
Generally taxpayers dealing with the CWA program are represented.
When reviewing case, the CWA group manager will verify there is a valid disclosure authorization and the information is noted on ICS.
CWA group manager must effectively interact with taxpayers, representatives, and withholding agents. CWA group manager must maintain control over CWAs and decisions regarding withholding and not allow taxpayers, representatives, and withholding agents attempt to stall progress, When information requested is not received by deadline provided by tax specialist, the group manager should consider denying the CWA request.
When reviewing cases, the CWA group manager must confirm the tax specialist set reasonable deadlines and clarified consequences for not meeting deadlines when requesting information and documents.
When the CWA group manager determines a withholding agent has not met the requirements outlined in the CWA they should determine if the withholding agent should be placed on the "ineligible withholding agent" list.
If the CWA group manager determines the withholding agent should be placed on the "ineligible withholding agent" list, the group manager will forward the request to the program manager for a final determination.
Ensuring good customer relations with taxpayers is important. A group manager must listen to a taxpayers concerns or complaints. Complex tax laws and procedures are often the source of many concerns and complaints. A simple explanation or clarification is generally sufficient to resolve most concerns.
One of the group manager's responsibilities is to facilitate discussions between employees and taxpayers. Let the taxpayer fully explain their position. Neither agree nor disagree with taxpayer until the employee has responded to the taxpayers concerns. A group manager should avoid quick answers until they are in a position to make a fair and objective decision based on facts presented by all parties. After all the facts are determined, a group manager or their employee should promptly respond to the taxpayer's complaint or elevate to the program manager.
A group manager is responsible for end-to-end management of the group. Some additional areas of responsibility include:
Dissemination of instructions - a group manager should ensure instructions and guidelines from the management are timely disseminated to the group. A group manager should meet with their group and discuss emerging issues, new developments, and revised procedures as warranted.
Managerial Controls - a group manager should maintain effective group controls to ensure work is assigned and completed in an efficient manner.
Access to tax administration tools - A group manager should ensure employees have access the tools to do their jobs. They may include but not limited to tax law research tools, E-mail, Internet research sites, ICS, CWA shared drive, and IDRS.
Employees may be granted access to IDRS as part of conducting research on their assigned cases.
The group manager is required to review IDRS usage report to ensure employee access levels are appropriate and to report violations.
A group managers has a security responsibility which includes but is not limited to the following:
Controlling employees access to IDRS
Annual online 5081 certification
Ensuring employees have only those command codes necessary to accomplish their official duties