1.4.50 Collection Group Manager, Territory Manager and Area Director Operational Aid

Manual Transmittal

August 21, 2018

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 1.4.50, Resource Guide for Managers, Collection Group Manager, Territory Manager and Area Director Operational Aid.

Material Changes

(1) IRM 1.4.50.1.5, Terms, added a definition for replacement inventory.

(2) IRM 1.4.50.1.7, Related Resources, updated to include additional IRM resources.

(3) IRM 1.4.50.3.2 Protecting Taxpayer Rights added additional information about the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

(4) IRM 1.4.50.3.3.1, IDRS Security, revised to update the name of the organization responsible for IDRS security from Collection Information Technology and Security (CITS) to Collection Automation Support and Security (CASS).

(5) IRM 1.4.50.3.6, Functional Security Reviews, revised the content to differentiate the authority and responsibility for after-hours security reviews and functional security reviews.

(6) IRM 1.4.50.4.1, Consultation Process, revised the documentation requirements for consultations.

(7) IRM 1.4.50.4.1.1, Cases Included in the Consultation Process, relocated Collection Consultation Exclusions to IRM 1.4.50.1.2, added cases to be considered for consultation.

(8) IRM 1.4.50.4.1.2, Collection Consultation Exclusions, removed the information regarding ICS exclusions from the Consultation Process.

(9) IRM 1.4.50.5.2.3, Field and Office Observations, revised to include observations replacement inventory taxpayer contacts.

(10) IRM 1.4.50.9.1.1, Shelving Erroneously Assigned Cases/Modules, revised this section to define what conditions constitute an erroneously assigned case.

(11) IRM 1.4.50.10.1, Case Grade, revised to remove references to grade GS-09 cases.

(12) IRM 1.4.50.10.5, Tax Examiner (TE) Case Assignments, replaced grade 09 cases with grade 11 cases.

(13) IRM 1.4.50.10.6, Disaster Issues and Replacement Inventory, new section added to address continuity of operations in the event of federally declared disasters and other significant emergencies.

(14) IRM 1.4.50.10.6.1, Systemic Disaster Indicators, added a section to describe the types of disaster relief and disaster indicators on IRS systems.

(15) IRM 1.4.50.10.6.2, -O Freeze Inventory, new section added to describe assignment limitations of cases with a -O freeze indicator.

(16) IRM 1.4.50.10.6.3, Replacement Inventory, new section added to define replacement inventory with guidance on how replacement inventory can be identified.

(17) IRM 1.4.50.10.6.4, Requesting and Assignment of Replacement Inventory, added a new section to describe how group managers request and assign replacement inventory in response to a federally declared disaster or other significant emergency.

(18) IRM 1.4.50.10.6.5, Replacement Inventory Implications, added a new section to address the impact of assignment of replacement inventory on standard inventory ranges and how to observe a taxpayer contact on a replacement inventory case.

(19) IRM 1.4.50.10.6.6, Returning Replacement Inventory to the Queue, new section added to address the situations which warrant the return of replacement inventory to the queue.

(20) IRM 1.4.50.11.5, Timely Processing of Collection Due Process (CDP) and Equivalent Hearing (EH) Requests, added information regarding weekly ICS CDP/EH reports available at the group level to assist in the monitoring of cases transferred to Appeals.

(21) IRM 1.4.50.13.5.2, Commonly Selected Review Components, reorganized into a table for readability.

(22) IRM 1.4.50.13.6.1, Common Components, reorganized into a table for readability.

(23) Exhibit 1.4.50-1, Revenue Officer Case Assignment Guide, incorporated grade 9 case grade factors into the grade 11 case factors since the default case grade for Field Collection inventory was changed to grade 11. Added international issues for determining case grade.

(24) Exhibit 1.4.50-2, Criteria for Review of Completed Work, revised to update locator services and financial analysis required for Currently Not Collectible Accounts.

(25) Exhibit 1.4.50-7, Operational Plan Guide, revised into a table for readability.

(26) Exhibit 1.4.50-8, Area Director Operational Aid, reorganized into a table for readability.

(27) Revised text for editorial corrections, updated IRM citations and corrected links.

Effect on Other Documents

This material supersedes IRM 1.4.50 dated May 4, 2017 and incorporates Deviation Memorandum SBSE-01-1017-0078, IRM Deviation for the Collection Consultation Process, issued October 31, 2017.

Audience

Small Business/Self-Employed Field Collection Managers

Effective Date

(08-21-2018)

Kristen E. Bailey
Director, Collection Policy

Program Scope and Objectives

  1. Purpose. This section discusses responsibilities of managers in Field Collection. The primary focus of this section is guidance related to Field Collection case work. While many topics are touched upon in this section, comprehensive guidance about all of them cannot be included here. As you use this section, remain alert for references to other resources, such as related IRMs and websites and access that guidance as needed to ensure a thorough understanding of topics. Specifically, IRM 1.4.50:

    1. Describes general administrative responsibilities required of field collection group managers.

    2. Describes employee performance and development procedures.

    3. Prescribes internal control requirements.

    4. Provides guidance to group managers on the assignment and approval of work.

    5. Provides guidance for operational reviews by Territory Managers and Area Directors.

  2. Audience. These procedures and guidance apply to IRS Field Collection Group Managers, Territory Managers and Area Directors.

  3. Policy Owner. SB/SE Director, Collection Policy.

  4. Program Owner. SB/SE Collection Policy is the program owner of this IRM.

  5. Primary Stakeholders. Field Collection, Collection Inventory Delivery and Labor Relations.

  6. Program Goals. This guidance is provided to communicate the managerial responsibilities to Field Collection group managers including performance management, assignment of work, approval of work, promoting quality casework and internal group controls.

  7. Contact Information. Recommendations and suggested changes to this IRM should be emailed to the Content Product Owner. The owner is indicated on the Product Catalog Information page which is found in the Form/Pubs/Products IRM listing of the Media and Publications web site.

Background

  1. Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) 1.4.50, Collection Group Manager, Territory Manager and Area Director Operational Aid contains procedures, guidance and information for Field Collection group managers. The content includes general administrative responsibilities, performance management, internal controls, assignment of work, approval of work, quality and program reviews.

Authority

  1. 5 USC Part III, Government Organizations and Employees.

  2. § 1204, Internal Revenue Service Restructuring & Reform Act of 1998.

  3. § 1203, Internal Revenue Service Restructuring & Reform Act of 1998.

  4. IRC § 6304, Fair tax collection practices.

  5. IRC § 6320, Notice and opportunity for hearing upon filing of notice of lien.

  6. IRC § 6330, Notice and opportunity for hearing before levy.

  7. IRC § 6331, Levy and distraint.

  8. IRC § 6672, Failure to collect and pay over tax or attempt to evade or defeat tax.

  9. IRC § 7213A, Unauthorized inspection of returns or return information.

  10. IRC § 7521, Procedures involving taxpayer interviews.

  11. 26 CFR 601-106 (Revenue Procedure 2012-18), Ex Parte Communications Between Appeals and Other Internal Revenue Service Employees.

  12. 31 USC § 3302, Custodians of money.

  13. 31 USC Chapter 53, Monetary Transactions.

  14. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Management Directive 715 (MD-715).SBSE Collection Functional Delegation Orders

  15. SBSE Collection Functional Delegation Orders, http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/opsupport/hc/facilitiesorganizationalsupport/orgsupportteam/imd/delorders/functional/ecs/default.aspx

Responsibilities

  1. The Director, Collection Policy is the executive responsible for the policies and procedures to be employed by collection personnel.

  2. Field Collection Group Managers, Territory Managers and Area Directors are responsible for ensuring compliance with the guidance and procedures described in this IRM.

  3. In June of 2014 the IRS adopted the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR). Familiarize yourself and your employees with these rights. Consider these rights in every interaction you and your employees have with taxpayers. These rights are articulated at 1.4.50.3.2.

Program Management and Review

  1. Program Reports: End of month reports. Group managers are required to use the ENTITY case management system and the Integrated Collection System (ICS) to verify and report time charges by their employees and to generate and approve end of month reports. Section 1204 reports. Group managers are required to submit quarterly certifications of compliance with section 1204 of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, prohibiting the use of tax enforcement results. ENTITY, ICS and the Automated Trust Fund Recovery (ATFR) penalty programs are used for group controls in these areas: imminent collection and assessment statutes, no touch/activity, higher graded duties, Notice of Federal Tax Lien (NFTL) determinations and pyramiding. Group managers are responsible for establishing and maintaining each of their employee’s Employee Performance File (EFP).

  2. Program Reviews: Functional Security Reviews. Group managers are required to conduct at least one security review, which must be documented and provided to the next level of management Review of remittance controls are required to be performed by the group manager at least annually. Embedded Quality (EQ) consistency reviews. Group managers will participate in one or more EQ consistency reviews each year to assist in rating EQ attributes. Operational reviews are conducted by the Territory Manager and Area Director annually to evaluate program delivery and conformance to administrative and compliance requirements.

  3. Program Effectiveness. The efficacy of Field Collection groups is measured by the program reports and reviews listed in IRM 1.4.50.1.4(1) & (2).

Terms

  1. Frequently used terms used in this IRM along with their definition include:

    1. Bargaining Unit employee- An employee who is covered by the current National Agreement with the National Treasury Employees Union.

    2. Drop File- A file to be established for each employee. The Employee Drop File is for documentation not related to performance.

    3. Employee Performance File- The Employee Performance File is a system consisting of all performance ratings and other performance-related records maintained in accordance with 5 CFR 293, Subpart D.

    4. ENTITY- The ENTITY case management system is current database displaying Field Collection, Advisory and Queue inventory.

    5. Ex Parte Communication- Communication between any Appeals employee and an employee of another IRS function without the taxpayer/representative being given the opportunity to participate in the communication.

    6. National Agreement- The contract between IRS and the National Treasury Employees Union which covers bargaining unit employees.

    7. Pyramiding- An in-business taxpayer, not current with FTDs and with two or more balance due trust fund modules assigned to Field Collection.

    8. Queue- The Queue is an electronic holding bin of cases from which Field Collection group managers select cases for assignment.

    9. Repeater- A taxpayer that has had more than module with a TDI or TDA delinquency that first came into existence in the immediate past two years from the current processing cycle.

    10. Replacement Inventory-Case or cases located the geographic assignment of a revenue officer due to a disaster.

    11. Representative- A person who is authorized to represent a taxpayer before the IRS.

Acronyms

  1. This table lists commonly used acronyms and their definitions:

    Acronym Definition
    ALS Automated Lien System
    ATFR Automated Trust Fund Recovery Penalty Program
    ATAT Abusive Tax Avoidance Transaction
    BU Bargaining Unit
    CJE Critical Job Element
    EOD End of Day
    EOM End of Month
    EPF Employee Performance File
    EQ Embedded Quality
    EQRS Embedded Quality Review System
    FAD Federal Agency Delinquency
    GM Group Manager
    ICS Integrated Collection System
    LR Labor Relations
    NQRS National Quality Review System
    NTEU National Treasury Employees Union
    OJI On-the-Job Instructor
    PII Personally Identifiable Information
    POD Post of Duty
    RO Revenue Officer
    ROTER Record of Tax Enforcement Results
    SAR Suspicious Activity Report
    TER Tax Enforcement Result
    UNAX Unauthorized Access
    WGI Within Grade Increase

Related Resources

  1. IRM resources:

    • IRM 1.4.1., Management Roles and Responsibilities

    • IRM 1.4.6, Manager’s Security Handbook

    • IRM 1.5.2, Uses of Section 1204 Statistics

    • IRM 1.15, Records and Information Management

    • IRM 5.1.2, Remittances, Form 809 and Designated Payments

    • IRM 5.1.3, Safety, Security and Control

    • IRM 5.1.10, Taxpayer Contacts

    • IRM 5.1.12, Cases Requiring Special Handling

    • IRM 5.1.23, Taxpayer Representation

    • IRM 5.2.1, Collection Time Reporting

    • IRM 5.2.4 , Collection Reports

    • IRM 5.3.1, ENTITY Case Management System

    • IRM 5.7.2 , Letter 903 Process

    • IRM 5.13.1, Embedded Quality Administrative Guidelines

    • IRM 6.430.2, Performance Management Program for Evaluating Bargaining Unit and Non Bargaining Unit Employees Assigned to Critical Job Elements (CJEs)

    • IRM 6.432.1, Reduction in Grade, Band and Removal Based on Unacceptable Performance

    • IRM 6.451, Policies, Authorities, Categories and Approvals

    • IRM 6.751, Discipline and Disciplinary Actions

    • IRM 6.800.2, Employee Benefits, IRS Telework (Flexiplace)Program

    • IRM 10.8.34 , IDRS Security Controls

    • IRM 25.1.8, Fraud Handbook, Collection Field Function

  2. Web resources:

    • Centralized Case Processing (CCP): http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/collection/ccpcoll/default.aspx

    • Critical Job Elements (CJEs): http://hco.web.irs.gov/apps/cje/

    • Embedded Quality: http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/sbseorg/eq/default.aspx

    • ENTITY: http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/Collection/collsystems/entity/default.aspx

    • Human Capital Office (HCO) website: http://hco.web.irs.gov

    • ICS User Guide:http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/collection/collsystems/ics/guides/userguide/default.aspx

    • iManage website:https://portal.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/iManage/SitePages/Home.aspx

    • MY SBSE web: http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/default.aspx

    • 2016 National Agreement II: http://hco.web.irs.gov/lrer/negagree/natagree/

    • New Manager Orientation (NMO) Support Center: http://hco.web.irs.gov/apps/leads/nmo.html

    • Section 1203/RRA 98:http://hco.web.irs.gov/lrer/conperf/1203issues/index.html

    • Telework: http://hco.web.irs.gov/telework/

    • UNAX:https://portal.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/vl003/lists/unax1/landingview.aspx

Role of the Field Collection Manager

  1. Fundamental responsibilities for all managers are discussed in IRM 1.4.1, Management Roles and Responsibilities. As a field collection group manager (GM), you must provide oversight and direction in a number of areas which will result in accomplishing the mission of the Internal Revenue Service. Your oversight responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

    1. Ensuring employee case actions are timely and in accordance with current law, policies, and procedures.

    2. Ensuring employees maintain high standards of professionalism in all contacts with the public, internal customers, and coworkers.

    3. Ensuring employees observe taxpayer rights.

    4. Ensuring employees are aware of ongoing changes to the laws, policies, and procedures that relate to their responsibilities (preferably during group meetings).

    5. Addressing systems issues that impact either internal or external customer needs.

    6. Ensuring cases are assigned timely and that employee workload:
      • Reflects current priorities.
      • Reflects employee experience and skill level.
      • Addresses Servicewide objectives.
      • Protects public interest.
      • Allows for effective case processing.

    7. Helping revenue officers (ROs) make the appropriate next case decision when necessary.

    8. Ensuring employees are accountable for the appropriateness of their actions.

    9. Providing ongoing employee feedback that is candid and meaningful and will establish a basis for determining an accurate assessment of performance and developmental needs.

    10. Issuing the Critical Job Elements (CJEs) timely in accordance with the 2016 National Agreement and evaluating employees performance against their CJEs.

    11. Creating and maintaining a work environment that will promote teamwork, positive working relationships, and increased employee satisfaction.

    12. Ensuring employees have necessary functioning equipment and supplies.

    13. Overseeing the time reporting process and ensuring that the group's End of Month (EOM) time and inventory data are accurate and timely.

  2. Your responsibilities also include:

    1. Developing employees.

    2. Evaluating employee performance and providing counseling.

    3. Addressing employee conduct issues.

    4. Fostering good working relationships.

    5. Defining goals and course of action.

    6. Assigning and directing work.

    7. Instructing employees in the application of procedures and guidelines.

    8. Displaying integrity in all actions.

  3. As a manager you are accountable to address performance deficiencies within your group. This may be accomplished through reviews and/or by requiring your concurrence with performing specific actions. For example, if you find that Notice of Federal Tax Lien (NFTL) determinations are not being made in accordance with IRM 5.12.2, Federal Tax Liens, Notice of Lien Determinations, you can require revenue officers to secure your written approval for all non-filing or extension decisions. For additional direction regarding performance issues see Exhibit 1.4.50-5, Suggested Action Steps for Unacceptable Performance.

  4. You must also oversee group remittance processing activities, including monitoring Form(s) 5919, Teller's Error Advice, sent to your group. Procedures are shown in IRM 5.1.2. See IRM 5.1.2.4.6, Responding to Form 5919. Remittance control reviews are addressed in IRM 1.4.50.11.1.

Communicating Expectations

  1. When a new group is established or a new manager is assigned to an existing group, a meeting with the employees must be held within the first 30 days. At this meeting the manager will communicate expectations to include the following topics:

    • Group procedures

    • Case work

    • Use of time - office/field/telework

    • Timeliness of case activity

    • Reasonable time frames for case actions
      (See IRM 5.1.10.3.1, Initial Contact Time Frames, IRM 5.1.10.8, Case Histories, and IRM 5.1.10.9, Timely Follow-ups, for timeliness and time frames.)

    • Case review schedule

    • Collection Consultations - schedule and structure

    These expectations should also be reviewed at the beginning of each fiscal year.

    Note:

    This meeting is considered a 7114 meeting, See the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, 5 U.S.C. § 7114. Local National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) chapter(s) must be notified of the meeting in accordance with Article 8, Union Rights, of the 2016 National Agreement.

  2. When a new employee is assigned to an existing group, the group manager must meet with the new employee to discuss managerial expectations (see (1) above) and ensure appropriate on-line Forms 5081 are completed and processed.

    Note:

    This meeting is considered a 7114 meeting. Local National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) chapter(s) must be notified of the meeting in accordance with Article 8, Union Rights, of the 2016 National Agreement.

Group Meetings

  1. Regular group meetings will be held as necessary to review items such as the following:

    • Directives from the Territory Manager, Area Director, and Headquarters

    • Procedural memoranda

    • IRM changes

    • Case resolution techniques

    • Changes in condition of employment

    • Automation issues

    • Mandated topics not available on other media

    • General group (employee) concerns

    Note:

    Regular group meetings are not ordinarily considered 7114 meetings. The Union entitlement arises where there is a discussion of a personnel policy, practice or other general condition of employment. For example, a discussion at a group meeting on the need to make timely Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (TFRP) determinations or how to handle a particular type of case would not ordinarily be considered 7114 issues. Managers should seek guidance and advice from their servicing Field LR Section if they are unsure whether an agenda item for a group meeting constitutes a 7114 issue. Article 8 Section 1 of the 2016 National Agreement also provides guidance on 7114 Meetings.

ENTITY End Of Month (EOM) Processing

  1. You are responsible for reviewing time reported by your employees to ensure accuracy. Using ICS and ENTITY, verify time prior to End of Month (EOM) processing (i.e., no later than COB on the last Friday of the monthly reporting period). Updates/corrections to End of Day (EOD) data occur overnight. Thus, if all EOD activity is not completed and verified by the Friday prior to EOM, delays in processing EOM reports will result. Exhibit 10 in IRM 5.2.1, Collection Time Reporting, provides information about the last Friday of each reporting period and number of expected hours in each period. Consider the following:

    1. You can use ENTITY to verify the accuracy of time charges. There is a “View” titled “Weekly Time Verification” and a “Report” titled “Hours Verification Report,” both can be used to validate time. For more information go to the ENTITY website: http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/Collection/collsystems/entity/default.aspx and IRM 5.2.1, Collection Time Reporting.

    2. Be alert for, and address as appropriate, issues such as potentially excessive administrative or miscellaneous direct time, minimal field time, discrepancies related to credit/comp/holiday/training time, etc.

    3. Ensure that the group secretary performs weekly time verification and checks for daily EOD for all employees.

    4. Monitor case sub codes and consider requesting that ROs validate sub codes monthly to avoid inaccurate time reporting. See IRM 5.3.1.2.3, Case Codes and Subcodes.

    5. Refer to IRM 5.2.1.8.1(3), Field Collection Area Procedures, for specific information about GM responsibilities related to time reporting.

General Managerial Responsibilities

  1. IRM 1.4.1.3, Administrative Responsibilities, contains information about general managerial responsibilities. Place special emphasis on responsibilities shown in the following sections.

Administrative

  1. Group Managers are responsible for oversight of certain administrative functions for their employees including, but not limited to:

    1. Maintenance of time and attendance records

    2. Certifying overtime records

    3. Approving scheduled and unscheduled leave

    4. Controlling and approving travel

    5. Maintaining safe working conditions

    6. Holding group meetings

    7. Keeping employees current on all applicable policies and procedures

  2. Other Administrative tasks include, but are not limited to:

    • Ensuring group ENTITY End of Month reports are completed correctly (verified, generated, and approved) by the due date

    • Completing quarterly 1204 self certifications

    • Oversight of supply procurement

    • Maintaining EPF and Drop files for each employee

      Caution:

      You may delegate certain duties to a secretary/ administrative assistant; however, you retain oversight responsibility for those tasks.

  3. Items that you must update individually with each RO annually include, but are not limited to:

    • Form 6774, Receipt of Critical Job Elements and Fair and Equitable Treatment of Taxpayers Retention Standard

    • Form 11386, IRS Telework (Flexiplace) Agreement

    • Form 7995 , Outside Employment or Business Activity Request

    • Form 10094, Employee Career Learning Plan

    • Form 6850-BU, Bargaining Unit Performance Appraisal and Recognition Election

  4. Resources:

    • IRM 1.4.1.3, Administrative Responsibilities

    • Document 12990, Records and Information Management Records Control Schedules

    • New Manager Orientation Support Center: http://hco.web.irs.gov/apps/leads/nmo.html

    • iManage website: https://portal.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/iManage/SitePages/Home.aspx

Employee Performance File (EPF)
  1. You are responsible for establishing and maintaining an EPF for each of your employees.

  2. You are responsible for ensuring the effective use of the EPF by:

    1. Ensuring that the proper documents are included in each EPF.

      Note:

      See IRM 6.430.2.3.5, Employee Performance File (EPF).

    2. Ensuring that filing and purging of performance related documents and records are in compliance with requirements, see (7) below.

    3. Keeping all performance records and documents secured.

    4. Forwarding EPF records of employees transferring to other Treasury Bureaus or to a different post of duty or manager within the Service.

  3. Form 6774, Receipt of Critical Job Elements and Fair and Equitable Treatment of Taxpayers Retention Standard, is maintained in the EPF. You must update the form annually and ensure it is signed and dated. See IRM 1.5.3.7, Retention Standard for the Fair and Equitable Treatment of Taxpayers.

  4. Recordation is defined as a manager's written record evaluating an employee in a positive or negative manner. For BU employees, recordation must be furnished to an employee within fifteen (15) workdays of the time the manager becomes aware, or should have been aware, of the event that it addresses. If it is not furnished within fifteen (15) workdays, it cannot become part of the EPF.

    Caution:

    Documentation on ICS regarding the monthly Consultation Process does not qualify as a performance recordation and is not to be included in revenue officers’ EPF folders or used for evaluative purposes.

  5. Electronic signatures may be used on Form 6850-BU, Bargaining Unit Performance Appraisal and Recognition Request, processed through HR Connect; however, paper copies of the form must be maintained in the EPF.

  6. The EPF is maintained in addition to and separate from the Employee Drop File. The EPF is not the same as the Official Personnel File (OPF). See IRM 1.4.1.8.4, Official Personnel File (OPF).

  7. For additional information regarding the specific items to be placed in the EPF and the retention period, refer to:

    • Human Capital Office website at: http://hco.web.irs.gov

    • 2016 National Agreement , Article 12: http://hco.web.irs.gov/lrer/negagree/natagree/

    • IRM 6.430.2.3.5, Employee Performance File (EPF)

    • The local Labor Relations Specialist

    • HR Connect: https://www.hrconnect.treas.gov/psp/hrprod/?cmd=login&languag

Employee Drop File (EDF)
  1. In addition to the EPF, a second file should be established for each employee. This is referred to as the drop file. The Employee Drop File (EDF) is for other documentation not related to performance.

  2. See IRM 1.4.1.8.5(7), Employee Performance File (EPF) for more information.

Medical Information
  1. Employee medical information must be maintained separately from the EPF and EDF.

  2. For more information see IRM 6.630.1.5.4, Safeguarding Medical Information, and the HCO website at: http://hco.web.irs.gov/perfmgmt

Protecting Taxpayer Rights

  1. A primary responsibility of managers is to monitor employee practices and actions to ensure that taxpayer rights are always observed.

  2. The IRS adopted the Taxpayer Bill of Rights in June of 2015. Taxpayer rights include, but are not limited to the following:

    1. The right to be informed.

    2. The right to quality service.

    3. The right to pay no more than the correct amount of tax.

    4. Proper notification of third party contacts.

    5. Protection from unauthorized disclosure.

    6. The right to challenge the IRS’s position and be heard.

    7. The right to appeal an IRS decision in an independent forum.

    8. The right to finality.

    9. The right to retain representation.

    10. The right to a fair and just tax system.

    For additional information about the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, https://www.irs.gov/taxpayer-bill-of-rights

  3. Section 1203 of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA ‘98) calls for the termination of any employee of the Internal Revenue Service if there is a final administrative or judicial determination that the employee willfully committed any act or omission described below:

    1. Failing to obtain required approval signatures when making a seizure.

    2. Providing a sworn, false statement in a "material matter" concerning a taxpayer.

    3. Violating the constitutional rights of or discriminating against taxpayers or employees.

    4. Falsifying or destroying documents to cover a mistake concerning a taxpayer.

    5. Receiving a criminal conviction or civil judgment for assault or battery on a taxpayer or employee.

    6. Violating the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), IRS regulations or policies to retaliate against or harass taxpayers or employees.

    7. Misusing IRC 6103 to conceal information from Congressional inquiry.

    8. Failing to file a federal tax return on or before its due date, unless it is due to reasonable cause.

    9. Understating federal tax liability, unless it is due to reasonable cause.

    10. Threatening an audit for personal gain.

  4. There is an important distinction between evaluating performance under CJE 2, Taxpayer Rights, and evaluating compliance with the Retention Standard for the Fair and Equitable Treatment of Taxpayers. See retention standard resources for more information.

  5. Resources:

    • Form 6774, Receipt of Critical Job Elements and Retention Standard

    • IRM 6.430.2.4.7,Rating Performance Against The Retention Standard for the Fair and Equitable Treatment of Taxpayers

    • IRM 6.430.2.2.5, Discussing The Retention Standard for the Fair and Equitable Treatment of Taxpayers

    • 1203 resources: http://hco.web.irs.gov/lrer/conperf/1203issues/index.html

    • Retention Standard resources: http://hco.web.irs.gov/perfmgmt/evaluation/evalperf/nonmgrpolicy.html

    • IRM 5.1.23, Taxpayer Representation

    • Office of Professional Responsibility website: http://irweb.irs.gov/AboutIRS/bu/opr/default.aspx

    • Publication 947: http://publish.no.irs.gov/getpdf.cgi?catnum=13392, Practice Before the IRS and Power of Attorney

Direct Contact For Taxpayers With/or Requesting Representation
  1. Keep in mind that IRC § 6304(a)(2) precludes communicating with a represented taxpayer in connection with the collection of any unpaid tax liability where that representative is ascertainable unless the representative fails to respond within a reasonable period, or the taxpayer or the representative has given prior consent to that communication.

  2. Taxpayer Interviews. Ensure that your group is in conformance with IRC 7521, Procedures Involving Taxpayer Interviews which codifies section 3502 of the RRA 98 and provides the following:

    1. An explanation of the interview process. Taxpayers must be clearly informed of their rights to be represented at interviews and to have the interview suspended if the taxpayer wishes to consult with a person authorized to practice before the IRS.

    2. The right of consultation. Your employees are required to stop the interview with a taxpayer (unless required by court order) whenever a taxpayer requests to consult with a representative (e.g. certified public accountant, attorney or enrolled agent, or who is permitted to represent taxpayers before the IRS).

  3. By-pass procedures. IRC § 7521(c) permits an employee to contact the taxpayer directly and to request any information necessary to complete the investigation after obtaining your approval if the representative is responsible for unreasonably delaying or hindering the completion of a collection action. See IRM 5.1.23.5(1), By-Passing a Taxpayer's Representative.

    Exception:

    Per IRM 5.1.23.5, By-Passing a Taxpayer’s Representative, the IRS may work directly with a taxpayer to resolve an issue on the taxpayer's account if: The taxpayer initiates the contact to resolve the issue on the account and/or the taxpayer expresses a specific desire to resolve the issue without the involvement of the representative after the IRS employee has advised the taxpayer of the current representation. The taxpayer’s desire to have the IRS work directly with the taxpayer instead of the representative must be properly documented in the case file.

  4. Examples of steps you can take to ensure compliance by your employees are:

    • Group meetings

    • Case reviews

    • Workload reviews

    • Field visitations

    • Office visitations

    • Taxpayer/representative inquiries (if necessary)

Recording Taxpayer Interviews
  1. A taxpayer or representative may request to use audio or video equipment to record an in-person interview. See IRM 5.1.12.3, Taxpayer Recording of Interviews, for information on responding to such requests. The right to make an audio recording does not extend to telephone interviews.

Fair Tax Collection Practices
  1. Internal Revenue Code IRC 6304, Fair Tax Collection Practices, imposes certain restrictions with respect to tax collection. During a case review or upon receiving a complaint from a taxpayer, you may identify a potential violation of those restrictions. Potential employee violations of the Fair Tax Collection Practices must be reported to the local Labor Relations Specialist by the close of the next business day following notification of the alleged violation.

  2. To ensure collected data is complete and accurate, use the following issue codes when reporting the potential violation. Labor Relations uses these codes for tracking on the Automated Labor and Employee Relations Tracking System (ALERTS).

    • 141/ 6304: CONTACT TP UNUSUAL TIME/PLACE - Contacting a taxpayer before 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm, or at an unusual location or time, or location known or which should be known to be inconvenient to the taxpayer.

    • 142 /6304: CONTACT TP W/O REPRESENTATIVE - Contacting a taxpayer directly without the consent of the taxpayer’s Power of Attorney.

    • 143/ 6304: CONTACT AT TP EMPLOYER; PROHIBITED - Contacting a taxpayer at their place of employment when it is known or should be known that the taxpayer’s employer prohibits the taxpayer from receiving such communication.

    • 144/ 6304: TAXPAYER HARASSMENT IN A TAX COLLECTION MATTER - Any allegation of taxpayer harassment should be reviewed along with the Internal Revenue Code (IRC 6304) because the provision is intended to be applied in a general manner when evaluating the alleged employee misconduct. Conduct which is intended to harass a taxpayer, or conduct which uses or threatens to use violence or harm is an absolute violation of the IRC.

    • 145/ 6304: TAXPAYER ABUSE IN A TAX COLLECTION MATTER - Any allegation of taxpayer abuse should be reviewed along with the Internal Revenue Code (IRC 6304) because the provision is intended to be applied in a general manner when evaluating the alleged employee misconduct. The use of obscene or profane language towards a taxpayer is an absolute violation of the IRC.

    • 146/ 6304: CONTINUOUS PH / HARASSMENT - Causing a taxpayer’s telephone to ring continuously with harassing intent.

    • 147/ 6304: PH CALL W/O ID DISCLOSURE - Contacting a taxpayer by telephone without providing a meaningful disclosure of the IRS employee’s identity.

    Note:

    These codes are valid for Collection employees alleged Fair Tax Collection Practices violations only.

  3. If violations are confirmed, work with your LR Specialist to determine the next appropriate action.

  4. Resources:

    • IRM 5.1.10.6, Fair Tax Collection Practices

    • IRM 1.5.3.7, Retention Standard for the Fair and Equitable Treatment of Taxpayers

    • IRM 6.430.2.4.7, Rating Performance Against The Retention Standard for the Fair and Equitable Treatment of Taxpayers.

Ex Parte Communication With Appeals/GM Action Necessary
  1. An “ex parte communication” is a communication that takes place between any Appeals employee and employees of other IRS functions, without the taxpayer/representative being given an opportunity to participate in the communication. Revenue Procedure 2012-18, Ex Parte Communications between Appeals and other Internal Revenue Service Employees, applies to communications that take place after May 15, 2012, and clarifies the rules about ex parte communications.

  2. Prior to approving CDP cases for transmittal to Appeals, review Form 14461, Transmittal of the CDP/EH Hearing Request.

    • Ensure that narrative statements do not contain any commentary regarding the merits of the protest; e.g., do not discuss the revenue officers’s view regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the taxpayer’s appeal. See IRM 5.1.9.5, Communications with Appeals.

    • Ensure that the case file does not include documents that attempt to influence Appeals’ decision-making process.

  3. You must ensure that no prohibited ex parte communications are included in TFRP case files and ICS/ATFR case history before approving the transmittal of the case to Advisory. Document your concurrence in the ICS case history. See IRM 5.7.6, Trust Fund Penalty Assessment Action, for additional guidance on manager responsibilities for TFRP protest cases.

  4. If a taxpayer submits a written appeal after a (non-TFRP) Penalty Abatement Request is denied and Appeals consideration is necessary, ROs will forward the appeal to you for review and concurrence. Ensure that the ICS history is attached to the appeal request and that no prohibited ex parte communications are included before approving the transmittal of the case to Appeals. If the case history contains commentary that is determined to violate the ex parte communication rules, take appropriate action, which could include sharing the information with the taxpayer, or following ICS history removal procedures detailed in IRM 5.1.10.8, Case Histories.

  5. If the appeal contains new information that requires additional investigation or ICS documentation, the RO must secure managerial concurrence of decision to sustain penalty abatement denial. If the RO is unable to make contact with the taxpayer within a reasonable time period, the RO will forward the case file to the GM and the GM will take the following actions:

    • Prepare a letter to the taxpayer that identifies the new information and a brief summary of the results of the additional investigation.

    • Document issuance of the letter to the taxpayer in the ICS history and attach a copy of the letter to the taxpayer appeal.

    • You must ensure that the ICS history is attached to the appeal request and that no prohibited ex parte communications are included before approving the transmittal of the case to Appeals.

  6. Fast Track Mediation (FTM) can be used for TFRP protests as well as CDP and Equivalent Hearing (EH). The prohibition against ex parte communications between Appeals employees and originating function employees does not apply to FTM because the Appeals employees are not acting in their traditional Appeals settlement role. Ex parte communications, such as a private caucus between the Appeals mediator and Collection employees during the course of the mediation session, is permissible under the ex parte communication rules.

  7. Resources:

    • IRM 5.1.9.5, Communications with Appeals

    • IRM 5.1.9.3.3.2, Sending Hearing Request to Appeals

    • IRM 5.1.9.3.8, CDP and Equivalent Hearing Fast Track Mediation (FTM)

    • IRM 5.1.15.16.4, Penalty Relief Denial and Appeals

    • IRM 5.7.6, Trust Fund Penalty Assessment Action

    • IRM 8.1.10.4, Opportunity to Participate

IDRS

  1. Group managers are responsible for ensuring that their employees have access to the IDRS command codes necessary to perform their assigned tasks and required research.

IDRS Security
  1. IDRS security briefings are included in the mandatory Annual On-Line Briefings. IDRS security should also be reinforced through discussions at group/unit meetings.

  2. Employees should be reminded to complete Form 11377, Taxpayer Data Access, if an account is inadvertently accessed or otherwise applicable.

  3. IRM 10.8.34, IDRS Security Controls, requires managers to review periodic IDRS Security reports for their groups. In Field Collection, primary responsibility for those reviews rests with Collection Automation Support and Security (CASS). You may be contacted by a CASS representative if they are unable to resolve a potentially questionable access made by one of your employees.

  4. Generally, CASS will contact you via secure email. If contacted, take the following steps:

    • Take appropriate action to determine whether or not there was a business reason for the access. Actions may include conversations with the employee, review of case inventory, review of IDRS case controls, use of IDRS Online Reports Services (IORS) queries, review of audit trails, determining if access was by automated process, etc.

    • Provide feedback about your findings to CASS within five business days of their request

  5. Resources:

    • IRM 10.8.34, Information Technology (IT) Security, IDRS Security Controls

    • Form 11377, Taxpayer Data Access

    • UNAX resources: https://portal.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/vl003/lists/unax1/landingview.aspx

Employee Safety/Security

  1. Safety and security is a high priority. You must become familiar with your responsibilities to ensure workplace safety for everyone.

  2. See IRM 5.1.3, Safety, Security, and Control, for information about safety and security topics including armed escorts for revenue officers.

  3. Resources:

    • Employee Resource Center (ERC): http://erc.web.irs.gov/

    • Safety and Health Information Management System (SHIMS): https://shims.treas.gov/shims/web/MenuClaimant10.html

Working With NTEU

  1. Group Managers who supervise bargaining unit (BU) employees must:

    1. Notify the requisite chapter(s) regarding 7114 meetings when you plan to discuss changes in personnel policies, practices, and working conditions with your employees. Generally, five workdays notice is provided. See Article 8 of the 2016 National Agreement at: http://hco.web.irs.gov/lrer/negagree/natagree/

    2. Make sure employees have the opportunity to be represented at formal discussions regarding employee grievances, other personnel matters, and conduct issues.

  2. See Article 8 of the 2016 National Agreement for more information about how to identify 7114 meetings. Contact your LR Specialist if you need assistance to determine if a meeting is a 7114 meeting.

  3. Resources:

    • IRM 1.4.1.4, Agreements with NTEU, or contact the local Labor Relations Specialist.

    • 2016 National Agreement : http://hco.web.irs.gov/lrer/negagree/natagree/

Functional Security Reviews

  1. You will conduct annual security reviews per guidance in IRM 1.4.6.8.1, Managers Security Handbook-Functional Reviews. While the After-Hour review may be completed by a designee (e.g. the Commissioner’s Representative) of the group manager in posts of duty where the manager is not located, the complete Functional Reviews must be conducted by the group manager or acting group manager. The review must be documented and a copy of the documentation provided to the next level of management. You may use Form 12149, Functional Security Review for Managers, to document your review. If another form of documentation (such as a memo) is used, ensure that it covers all items shown on Form 12149 and contains the printed name/title of reviewer, signature of reviewer, and date of review.

  2. Refer to IRM 1.4.6, Managers Security Handbook, for servicewide guidance about your responsibilities.

  3. If your reviews reflect that employees repeatedly fail to observe security protocols, contact your LR specialist to determine the next appropriate action.

Employee Development/Training

  1. See IRM 1.4.1.6, Employee Development, for a full discussion of your responsibilities.

  2. Group manager roles and responsibilities in the area of employee development and training include but are not limited to:

    1. Overseeing orientation of new employees.

    2. Overseeing training for new employees (formal and on-the-job).

    3. Training and developing other employees including professional/technical and clerical staff.

    4. Assisting and advising employees preparing a Career Learning Plan (CLP).

    5. Delegating acting managerial assignments.

    6. Continuing education for employees to maintain and update knowledge and proficiency in technical areas.

    7. Providing opportunities such as details to facilitate career development.

    8. Ensuring employees have a working knowledge of tools to perform their duties (e.g., ICS, ATFR, ALS, etc.).

  3. You can find more information at the Human Capital Office website: http://hco.web.irs.gov which includes information on:

    • Servicewide Training and Briefing Programs

    • Policy and Procedural Guidance

    • Other related training resource sites, IRS Learning Center etc.

  4. For your BU employees, also see the 2016 National Agreement, http://hco.web.irs.gov/lrer/negagree/natagree/ (Article 30) or contact the local Human Resources Specialist.

  5. Resources:

    • Enterprise Learning Management System (ELMS): https://elms.web.irs.gov/

    • IRM 1.4.1.6, Employee Development

    • HCO website: http://hco.web.irs.gov

Consultation Process

  1. The consultation process is designed to facilitate managerial engagement and knowledge sharing in an informal and non-evaluative setting. Unlike case reviews, which focus on the quality of the revenue officer’s casework evidenced by case documentation, the consultation process focuses on quality through a discussion and interaction between the manager and the revenue officer. Active listening is critical to the consultation process to ensure appropriate issues are raised, proper actions are identified and necessary skills are transferred.

    Caution:

    There are certain situations in which cases and/or revenue officers are not to be included in the consultation process. See IRM 1.4.50.4.1.2, Collection Consultation Exclusions.

  2. The consultation process is designed to foster a mentoring and coaching environment, that facilitates learning by the employee and manager, as well as improved case resolution.

  3. At the beginning of each year, confer with your territory manager to develop a consultation plan for the group. The plan must include a determination of the type and frequency of consultations planned for each revenue officer. Monthly consultations are expected for most revenue officers; however, less frequent consultations may be appropriate for seasoned employees who need little oversight. Consultations must occur at least quarterly to give adequate attention to all revenue officers.

  4. As stated above, the discussion is the critical component of the consultation process. Documentation of consultations is minimal and is accomplished by completion of Form 6456, Conference or Contact Memorandum, for the revenue officer’s Employee Drop File. Required information contained on the Form 6456 is limited to the taxpayer name, the last four digits of the taxpayer’s Employer Identification Number or Social Security number and the date the consultation was held. Indicate the location where the consultation was held (i.e. office, field or telephonic) on the Form 6456. If additional documentation is recorded on the Form 6456, a copy of the form should be provided to the revenue officer. One Form 6456 can be used for multiple consultations held with a revenue officer on the same date. Form 6456 is found in the Miscellaneous/Publications menu under the Templates tab on the My ICS Menu. The form is titled Contact Memorandum.

  5. Consultation documentation does not meet the requirements for evaluative documentation.

  6. In addition to the documentation requirements above, consultations conducted on imminent CSED cases must also be documented in a manner consistent with IRM 5.1.19.5.3, Collection Statute Expiration-Documenting Imminent CSEDs. An imminent CSED is any CSED with less than 12 months remaining on the collection statute.

  7. Case history and/or case files should be available for reference and discussion, if warranted, during the consultation process. This may prove to be very helpful when consulting with revenue officers who are newly assigned to a group. To be most effective, a face-to-face consultation is preferred, but there may be situations in which consultations are completed via telephone.

Cases Included in the Consultation Process
  1. Consultations are mandatory on all imminent CSED accounts. Imminent CSED accounts are defined as cases containing at least one module will less than 12 months or less remaining on the collection statute.

  2. Consultations may be held at any opportunity the GM and RO have to discuss a case whether in the office, in the field or telephonically. Group managers have the discretion to select both business priority cases (e.g. IBTF, Pyramiding since RO assignment, etc) and non-business priority cases for consultation consistent with the consultation plan established for each RO.

  3. Revenue officers may also select cases for consultation to ensure the revenue officer’s developmental needs are addressed.

Collection Consultation Exclusions
  1. Generally, cases that are being actively reviewed for evaluative purposes in compliance with other sections of this handbook are excluded from the consultation process for a period of time.

  2. Cases which have been reviewed in EQRS within the past 60 days are excluded from the consultation process.

  3. Cases which have been reviewed and have a follow up review scheduled in EQRS are excluded from the consultation process.

  4. There are several other situations in which cases and/or revenue officers are not to be included in the consultation process:

    1. Cases assigned to a probationary revenue officer because the employee has an OJI and a prescribed review process during the first year.

    2. Cases assigned to a revenue officer who has been determined to be less than fully successful. Under this circumstance, cases are to be subject to full case reviews and consideration given to contacting Labor Relations for additional guidance and actions.

    3. Cases assigned to non-field revenue officers. For example, a revenue officer assigned to Insolvency.

    4. Cases assigned to revenue representatives and similar positions.

    5. ATAT CIPs until such time as there are TDA, TDI, Combo or FTD Alert issuances on the taxpayer.

Performance Management

  1. The three balanced measures are: Employee Satisfaction, Customer Satisfaction and Business Results. These three balanced measures are part of every individual and organizational performance evaluation system within IRS.

  2. IRM 6.430.2, Performance Management Program for Evaluating Bargaining Unit and Non Bargaining Unit Employees Assigned to Critical Job Elements (CJEs), contains detailed guidance about evaluating performance. Refer to that IRM as well as the following information when evaluating performance.

Performance Evaluation

  1. Preparing performance evaluations is one of your most important responsibilities. In carrying out this duty, you will observe how the employees are performing their duties and responsibilities to ensure that they are working efficiently and effectively to accomplish assigned tasks.

  2. Because you are responsible for implementing the policies and directives relative to performance evaluations, you should thoroughly familiarize yourself with all facets of performance appraisal/evaluation information including, but not limited to:

    1. Performance expectations.

    2. Mid-year and periodic performance reviews.

    3. Annual ratings.

    4. Acceptable level of competence.

    5. Unacceptable/ minimally successful performance.

    6. Competitive promotion appraisals.

    7. Employee Performance files (EPFs).

    8. Performance and recognition awards.

  3. A formal performance evaluation serves:

    1. As a record of performance to support, recommend and initiate actions such as within-grade increases, promotions, award recommendations, reassignments, details and adverse actions such as demotion or separation.

    2. To provide an employee with a basis for additional training and development.

    3. As a tool to improve the performance of individual employees.

  4. For employees new to the government, the first year of employment is a probationary period during which the employee must demonstrate successful performance and the capability to be promoted to the next grade level (if applicable). See IRM 6.430.2.4.3, Employees Serving Probationary Periods.

  5. Work closely with employees who are performing poorly, including probationary employees. Provide them with guidance/direction designed to assist them in improving performance. If performance improves, document the improvement accordingly. If performance fails to improve, 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 seek appropriate advice to determine next steps.

    Caution:

    Seek advice from your TM and LR Specialist as soon as you recognize that the performance of an employee is unacceptable.

  6. Documentation of Performance:

    1. Providing feedback to the employee (positive and constructive ) is essential to maintaining and/or improving their performance.

    2. Keep an employee's overall performance in mind when you discuss work and other activities. Let them know when some aspect of performance may influence their performance rating, a promotional opportunity or other personnel action.

    3. Recordation serves as a snapshot of employee performance. Adequate documentation will remind you of changes in performance over the rating period.

    Reminder:

    Notify employees of decreased work performance per guidance in IRM 6.430.2.3.3, Acknowledging Decreased Work Performance.

  7. When writing review narratives be concise, but descriptive enough to provide an accurate picture of the strengths, development needs, and accomplishments of the employee in each CJE. See IRM 6.430.2.4.6, Completing Appraisal Narratives.

  8. Performance evaluations provide a uniform means for a written evaluation and rating of each employee's proficiency.

    • IRM 1.5, Managing Statistics in a Balanced Measurement System, describes how balanced measures are used to support individual as well as organizational performance. The three balanced measures are : Employee Satisfaction, Customer Satisfaction, and Business Results. These three balanced measures are part of every individual and organizational performance evaluation system within IRS.

    • IRM 1.5.2, Uses of Section 1204 Statistics, provides specific guidance for SB/SE use of measures. This IRM provides information about the prohibition on the use of records of tax enforcement results (ROTERs) to evaluate employees or to impose or suggest production quotas or goals.

  9. Formal employee evaluations represent the sum of what you have observed in each employee's work, using feedback, reviews, visitations and other techniques discussed in this manual. Consider the following when evaluating performance for an annual appraisal:

    • Position description

    • Critical Job Elements (CJEs)

    • Mid-year and other progress reviews

    • Employee’s work products (management briefings, memos)

    • Employee’s self-assessment

    • Feedback from taxpayers and other customers

    • Team assignments and contributions to work group

    • Special achievements

  10. Each employee will receive an annual performance evaluation. See information about Performance Appraisal Due Dates in the 2016 National Agreement, Article 12, Exhibit 12-1.

  11. Employees may submit a self-assessment, limited to four pages in length, no later than the last workday of his or her annual appraisal rating period. See IRM 6.430.2.4.5, Self-Assessments and IRM 6.430.2.6(3), Conducting the Performance Appraisal Meeting.

  12. Use only the work requirements of the particular position or specific work standards established by the Service to make Acceptable Level of Competence Determinations (i.e. determination that employee is performing at a fully successful level).

  13. For information on the suggested steps to make unacceptable performance determinations, see Exhibit 1.4.50-5.

  14. Resources:

    1. Human Capital Office website: http://hco.web.irs.gov. At this website you will find the CJE Resource Center, Manager Guide for Employee Performance, Performance Awards information, forms, etc.

    2. 2016 National Agreement http://hco.web.irs.gov/lrer/negagree/natagree/ (Articles 7, 12, 17, 18 and 40)

    3. IRM 1.4.1, Resource Guide for Managers, Management Roles and Responsibilities.

    4. IRM 6.430.2.3.3, Acknowledging Decreased Work Performance.

    5. IRM 6.432.1, Reduction in Grade, Band and Removal Based on Unacceptable Performance.

    6. IRM 6.451, Employee Performance and Utilization.

    7. Other portions of IRM Part 6, Human Resources Management.

    8. The local Labor Relations specialist.

Reviews (Overview)

  1. Providing ongoing employee feedback that is candid and meaningful is essential to employee satisfaction and is an integral part of the group manager’s responsibilities. Reviews of employee work should serve to:

    1. Assess the employee’s effectiveness in meeting the expectations established in their Critical Job Elements.

    2. Determine the employee’s efficiency in carrying out the laws, procedures, and policies of the Service.

    3. Identify and address performance problems.

    4. Evaluate the employee's ability to properly plan and schedule field, office, and telework activity.

    5. Ensure the employee is taking timely and appropriate actions to bring the case to a prompt and proper resolution.

    6. Assess employee effectiveness in developmental case assignments.

    7. Determine the employee's effectiveness in meeting the IRS Retention Standard for the Fair and Equitable Treatment of Taxpayers.

  2. All reviews relating to a revenue officer's case work must be in writing. Managers must use EQRS to review individual cases, but other types of performance observation lend themselves to other methods. For reviews that consider RO activity across multiple cases (e.g., time utilization, office/field observation) a summary narrative, such as a memorandum, may be substituted.
    The EQRS Individual Feedback Report provides a record of your ratings and the narrative comments in which the revenue officer’s performance is summarized. Become familiar with attribute definitions. Access the Embedded Quality website for information about EQ attributes at http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/mgrsact/eq/collection/default.aspx and Document 12359, Embedded Quality Job Aid (Collection) provide specific guidance related to Embedded Quality attributes and how to use them.

    Note:

    IRM 5.13.2, Embedded Quality Attribute Definitions, is obsolete.

  3. At the beginning of the fiscal year, group managers will develop a review schedule for the group that includes all mandatory reviews and optional reviews. Optional reviews may include additional office or field visitations, time and workload reviews, etc. The review schedule should provide for a fair and accurate assessment of the employee's overall performance throughout the rating period.

  4. Mandatory reviews represent the minimum review requirements that must be completed for each employee. It is intended that the minimum requirements will provide managers with the opportunity to spend more time reviewing and developing revenue officers that need additional feedback and assistance.
    Mandatory reviews include:

    1. One or more annual field visitations or office observations with each revenue officer.

    2. One or more time utilization reviews with each revenue officer.

    3. Mid-Year appraisals/reviews. The mid-year appraisal should occur at the mid-point (six-months) of the employee's appraisal period.

    4. Annual case reviews. See IRM 1.4.50.5.2.2.

  5. When necessary, based on case reviews, other forms of review, the consultation process, field or office observation, etc., you have the authority to require your employee to obtain your approval before taking subsequent case actions.

    Example:

    Employees who inappropriately extend deadlines or delay case actions can be required to obtain your approval of their extensions in the future so as not to delay timely case resolution. The ICS Calendar is an excellent tool that can assist the GM and RO when Workload Management issues are found.

  6. Group managers will continually review information gathering activities by their employees. See IRM 5.1.3.7.1, Information Gathering Guidelines, for additional guidance.

  7. For additional guidance on preparing reviews, narratives, and appraisals see:

    • IRM 1.4.1.8, Evaluating Performance

    • Exhibit 1.4.50-6,Collection Group Managers’ EQRS Review Documents, Form 6850, and Narrative, General Guide

    • IRM 5.1.3.7.1, Information Gathering Guidelines

    • IRM 6.430.2, Performance Management Program for Evaluating Bargaining Unit and Non Bargaining Unit Employees Assigned to Critical Job Elements (CJEs)

    Note:

    Operational review aids for Territory Managers and Area Directors are presented in IRM 1.4.50.13, Exhibit 1.4.50-7 and Exhibit 1.4.50-8.

Case Reviews
  1. Choose a sufficient number of cases for review to ensure a thorough evaluation of each employee’s performance. Reviews should be tailored to individual needs. Scheduling of the review may be announced or unannounced at the option of local management.

    Note:

    See IRM 1.4.50.5.2.2, Requirements for Annual Performance Case Reviews, for minimum review requirements.

  2. Ensure case selection contains a mix of cases representative of the revenue officers assigned inventory. At a minimum, fifty percent of cases selected for review will be consistent with current priorities in the business plan. In addition to pyramiders, consider in-business trust fund, CSED/ASED, large dollar, cases with FPLP indicators, FTD Alerts and no activity cases. Emphasize cases in these categories on which there have been ten or more touches and cases that have been assigned for more than 120 calendar days. When reviewing BMF cases, the appropriateness of Letter 903 actions and timeliness of TFRP activity should be considered. See IRM 5.7.2.1, Overview of the Letter 903 Process.

  3. Work submitted for approval or closure also provides an opportunity to evaluate individual performance as well as the overall quality of your group's product. When reviewing cases submitted for approval or closure, look for performance that reflects an employee's adherence to IRM standards as well as other established policies and procedures. See IRM 1.4.50.5.2.5, Work Submitted for Approval/Closure.

    Caution:

    Confine your written review to work performed during the employees current rating period.

  4. Use the Embedded Quality Review System (EQRS) for individual case reviews. The review items on the EQRS Individual Feedback Report correspond with the performance standards of a revenue officer’s critical job elements. In general, deficiencies relating to a critical job element should be noted as an area of special concern if found in 25 percent or more of the cases reviewed. There may be instances where a single deficiency (e.g., expired statute) is critical. The attribute narrative should summarize the revenue officer’s performance for each individual case reviewed.

  5. You must also summarize the employee's overall performance on all cases reviewed, including the results of time utilization reviews, field/office visitations, etc., as part of your mid-year and/or annual performance assessment. Narrative feedback should address positive as well as negative aspects of an employee's performance. See Exhibit 1.4.50-6, Collection Group Managers’ EQRS Review Documents, Form 6850, and Narrative, General Guide.

  6. As part of the case review, prepare the EQRS Individual Feedback Report in duplicate and include all applicable case data. Both you and the revenue officer must sign it. Give the original Individual Feedback Report to the revenue officer for action on case recommendations. Retain the duplicate in the employee's performance file (EPF) for follow-up. Discuss all recommended actions entered on the Individual Feedback Report with the revenue officer to ensure that there is a complete understanding regarding your observations and direction.

  7. If you have directed specific case actions, a follow-up review should be scheduled 60-90 days after the initial review to ensure your instructions are being followed and the case is moving toward resolution. Follow-up review will generally be limited to the cases in which a follow-up review has been scheduled unless you need to see other cases to document a performance trend. Using EQRS, prepare a narrative conveying the results of the follow-up review.

  8. Written performance feedback (Individual Feedback Report, Form 6067, memorandum, etc.) must be provided to the employee within 15 work days. The 15 day time frame starts from the time the supervisor becomes aware of, or should have been aware of, the event addressed in the recordation/feedback item.

  9. Use the ICS History pick list to note "Case Reviewed" and the date of the review in the case history. Although you may suggest or request specific actions in the case history, you should avoid making numerous case decisions for the revenue officer. Documentation of an evaluative nature should not be entered in the case history.

    Note:

    A systemically generated history entry will appear in ICS based on the date shown the "Shared with Employee Date" section of the EQ review. The EQ system provides weekly (not daily) inputs to ICS, thus there may be a delay in the appearance of this history entry.

  10. As part of any case review, determine if the assigned grade level is still accurate. See IRM 1.4.50.10.1 , Case Grade.

  11. During case reviews ensure that TP rights have been observed, particularly with respect to direct contact provisions. See IRM 5.1.23.3.2.3, Written Communication to a Taxpayer’s Representative and IRM 5.1.23.5, By-Passing a Taxpayer’s Representative.

  12. Resources:

    • Embedded Quality: http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/sbseorg/eq/default.aspx

    • CJE Resource Center: http://hco.web.irs.gov/apps/cje/index.htm

    • IRM 5.7.2.1, Overview of the Letter 903 Process

    • IRM 5.13.1, Embedded Quality Administrative Guidelines

    • IRM 6.430.2.4.9, Rating CJEs

Requirements for Annual Performance Case Reviews
  1. For revenue officers GS-09 and below and all revenue officers rated less than fully successful, select a minimum of twelve (12) cases per year for review that meet the criteria in IRM 1.4.50.5.2.1. Review at least half of the cases prior to the mid-year progress review.

  2. For revenue officers GS-11 and above that are rated fully successful or higher, select a minimum of eight (8) cases per year for review that meet the criteria in IRM 1.4.50.5.2.1. Review at least half of the cases prior to the mid-year progress review.

  3. Review plans should be tailored to fit the needs of individual revenue officers.

  4. Use EQRS attributes, case summary narratives and performance summaries for all reviews conducted during the rating period to create performance feedback. Feedback must indicate to the employee how they are meeting or not meeting the EQRS attributes and aspects of the critical job elements.

  5. Provide the employee with the narrative within 15 work days and place a copy of the document in the Employee's Performance File.

  6. The mandatory field/office visitation and time utilization reviews mentioned in IRM 1.4.50.5.2.3, Field and Office Observations, and IRM 1.4.50.5.2.4, Time Utilization Review are in addition to the minimum case review requirement.

Field and Office Observations
  1. Observing the revenue officer during face-to-face contacts, either in the field or office, provides an excellent opportunity for you to assess his/her:

    1. Ability to conduct interviews.

    2. Ability to communicate and interact with taxpayers.

    3. Knowledge of policies and procedures.

    4. Ability to deliver fair and courteous treatment to all taxpayers.

     

  2. Conduct one or more annual field visitations or office observations with each revenue officer. When possible, conduct the field/office observation during the initial contact with the taxpayer.

  3. In situations where your group has been assigned replacement inventory due to a natural disaster, and there are no cases within the revenue officers geographic assignment area which do not contain a -O freeze, it is appropriate to observe a telephonic contact between the revenue officer and the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s representative. When you are observing a telephonic contact, advise the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s representative of your observation at the beginning of the contact.

  4. During your observations evaluate the revenue officer for:

    1. Ability to secure material information necessary to determine appropriate case direction.

    2. Delivery of fair and courteous treatment of taxpayers.

    3. Ability to address the various rights of the taxpayer (Pub. 1, Pub. 594, IRC 6320 and 6330, Collection Appeals Program).

    4. Ability to recognize and respond to taxpayer concerns, issues, and interests.

    5. Pre-contact preparation.

    6. Itinerary planning.

    7. Effective use of time.

    8. Ability to manage difficult, unexpected, complex or unusual circumstances.

    9. Ability to appropriately recognize and address third party contact situations.

    10. Observation of proper Disclosure requirements.

  5. Provide feedback based on all of your observations using a summary narrative, such as a memorandum.

  6. Resources:

    • CJE Resource Center: http://hco.web.irs.gov/apps/cje/

    • IRM 5.1.1.12, I, Third Party Contacts

    • IRM 25.27.1, Third Party Contact Program

      Note:

      IRM 5.1.17, Third Party Contacts, is obsolete. Refer to IRM 25.27.1, Third Party Contacts, for general servicewide guidance on third party contacts. Refer to IRM 5.1.1.12, Third Party Contacts, for third party contact information specific to Collection casework.

    • IRM 6.430.2.2.1, Retention Standard for the Fair and Equitable Treatment of Taxpayers

    • IRM 11.3.1, Introduction to Disclosure

Time Utilization Reviews
  1. Conduct one or more Time Utilization Review annually with each revenue officer. Use the Time Utilization Review to measure the overall effectiveness of the RO's office, field, and/or telework. Make observations regarding work quality as appropriate, but the purpose of this review is to evaluate employee performance in effective use of time and accuracy of documentation.

  2. Conduct the Time Utilization Review within fifteen (15) workdays of the day selected.

  3. Time Utilization Reviews should be unannounced. Document the review with a memorandum or Form 6067, Employee Performance Folder Record to summarize your observations.

    TECHNIQUE:

    • Evaluate whether time spent on case actions matches the time charged as well as the nature and complexity of what is required in each case

    • Evaluate whether the case actions taken are likely to move the case toward resolution

    • Identify unproductive/inefficient activity and make recommendations for improvement

    Example:

    You notice that the RO spent several hours completing initial analysis on cases in preparation for a field day, even though some of the cases did not appear to warrant that degree of preparation. Explain that a “one size fits all” approach is not efficient. It would be reasonable to recommend that the RO consider dollar amount, complexity, grade of the case, and other readily identifiable issues to determine the scope of initial analysis needed. The objective is to conduct the amount of research and analysis necessary to formulate a resolution plan.

    Example:

    You notice that RO activity on four of six delinquent return cases worked on the same day consisted of repeat phone calls to obtain delinquent Form 941 tax returns instead of using the appropriate IRC § 6020(b) process. Provide your expectation that, in the future, the RO will use the IRC § 6020(b) process when appropriate. When IRC § 6020(b) would not be appropriate, the RO should document the case history to reflect the reason.

  4. Documentation should be shared with the RO and maintained as part of the EPF to be used in preparation of the Mid-Year/Annual Appraisal.

  5. IRM 5.1.30, Resolution Directed Approach to Casework and IRM 5.1.31, Workload Management, may assist you in formulating guidance during these reviews.

Work Submitted for Approval/Closure
  1. When work is submitted to you for approval, you have an opportunity to evaluate your employees' performance. This also enables you to prevent deficiencies. Check for accuracy and level of quality before approving reports of currently not collectible taxes, installment agreements, requests for adjustment, seizure documents, TFRP investigations and recommendations, fraud referrals, and any other document prior to submission to another function. The quality of the work that leaves your group is a reflection on you as a group manager.

  2. For reminders about some specific items to check while reviewing work submitted for approval, refer to Exhibit 1.4.50-2. That exhibit is not an exhaustive list of requirements. Always refer to topical IRM sections if you have questions.

  3. Approvals of case resolutions, including Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (TFRP) recommendations, and those cases requiring financial analysis/verification will be made only after review of the applicable documents from the paper case file. Ensure that the financial analysis is consistent with the proposed collection determination. Also ensure that appropriate verification of equity in assets, income and expenses is in the file.

Use of Statistical Data/Section 1204 /ROTERs

  1. Section 1204 of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA 98) prohibits the use of Records of Tax Enforcement Results (ROTERs) to evaluate employees or to impose/suggest production quotas/goals for any employee. See 26 CFR § 801.3(e) implementing section 1204(a) of RRA 98.

  2. IRM 1.5.2, Managing Statistics in a Balanced Measurement System, Uses of Section 1204 Statistics, provides guidance to prevent the use of statistics to:

    1. Evaluate employees.

    2. Impose or suggest production quotas or goals with respect to such employees.

  3. You are prohibited from using records of tax enforcement results to evaluate any employee who exercises judgment with regard to determining tax liability or ability to pay. ROTERs are data, statistics, compilations of information or other numerical or quantitative recordations of the tax enforcement results reached in one or more cases. See IRM 1.5.2.11, Records of Tax Enforcement Results (ROTERs). This prohibition includes:

    • Self-assessments

    • Awards narratives

    • Case/workload reviews

    • Performance plans

    • Narrative feedback to evaluations

    Note:

    ROTERS do not include tax enforcement results of individual cases when used to determine whether an employee exercised appropriate judgment in pursuing enforcement of the tax laws based upon a review of the employee’s work on that individual case.

  4. You are also prohibited from using ROTERs to impose or suggest production goals or quotas for employees or groups of employees. Examples of prohibited ROTERs include:

    • Number of delinquent returns secured

    • Number of delinquent returns secured with full payment

    • Full payment rate

    • Number of seizures made

    • Number of levies issued

    • Number of OICs recommended for acceptance

    • Number of accounts reported currently not collectible

  5. Resources:

    • IRM 1.5.1, Managing Statistics in a Balanced Measurement System, The IRS Balanced Performance Measurement System

    • IRM 1.5.2, Managing Statistics in a Balanced Measurement System, Uses of Section 1204 Statistics

    • IRM 1.5.3.7, Section 1204 Quarterly Certification Requirements

    • Internal Controls/Sec 1204 http://cfo.fin.irs.gov/CPIC/CPIC_Home.htm

    • Section 1204: http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/supportingsbse/strategicplanning/default.aspx

Tax Enforcement Results (TERs)
  1. A Tax Enforcement Result (TER) is the outcome produced by an IRS employee's exercise of judgment in recommending or determining whether or how the IRS should pursue enforcement of tax laws.

  2. TERs may be discussed in employee reviews (but not employee evaluations) to determine if the employee exercised appropriate judgment, used time efficiently, and applied the laws in one or more cases properly. See IRM 1.5.2.10.1, Permitted Use of TERs.

Regulation 801/ Quantity & Quality Measures
  1. Regulation 801 implements the provisions of Section 1204 of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA 98), provides rules relating to the establishment of a balanced performance measurement system and sets forth rules governing the use of ROTERs.

  2. Quantity measures consist of outcome neutral production and resource data that does not contain information regarding the tax enforcement result (TER) reached in any case involving particular taxpayers. Examples of quantity measures include:

    • Cases started

    • Cases closed

    • Time per case

  3. Performance measures based in whole or in part on quantity measures will not be used to evaluate the performance of any non-supervisory employee who is responsible for exercising judgment with respect to tax enforcement results.

  4. The quality review of the handling of collection cases focuses on such factors as whether employees devoted an appropriate amount of time to a matter, properly analyzed the facts, complied with statutory, regulatory and IRS procedures, etc.

  5. Employees who are responsible for exercising judgment with respect to tax enforcement results in taxpayer cases may be evaluated on work done in such cases only in the context of their critical elements and standards.

  6. Resources:

    • IRM 1.5.2.12, Quantity Measures

    • IRM 1.5.2.13, Quality Measures

Retention Standard

  1. In addition to being evaluated according to the critical elements and standards or such other performance criteria as may be established for their positions all employees of the IRS will be evaluated on whether they provided fair and equitable treatment to taxpayers. See 26 CFR § 801.3(b) implementing section 1204(b) of RRA 98.

  2. Form 6774, Receipt of Critical Job Elements and Fair and Equitable Treatment of Taxpayers Retention Standard, is maintained in the EPF.

  3. Resources:

    • IRM 1.5.3.7, Retention Standard for the Fair and Equitable Treatment of Taxpayers

    • IRM 6.430.2.4.7, Rating Performance Against The Retention Standard for the Fair and Equitable Treatment of Taxpayers

    • Retention Standard resources: http://hco.web.irs.gov/perfmgmt/evaluation/evalperf/nonmgrpolicy.html

Within Grade Increase

  1. An employee shall be advanced in pay to the next higher step of their grade upon meeting the following requirements:

    1. Required waiting period completed.

    2. No equivalent increase in pay received during the required waiting period.

    3. Fully successful performance in each of the critical job elements of their position.

  2. Use only the work requirements of the particular position or specific work standards established by the Service to make Acceptable Level of Competence Determinations (i.e. determination that employee is performing at a fully successful level).

    Reminder:

    See IRM 6.430.2.5.4, Within-Grade Increase (WGI) Determination.

  3. For information on steps to follow when an employee is not meeting an acceptable level of competence, see Exhibit 1.4.50-4.

Evaluation Due Dates

  1. Each employee will receive an annual performance evaluation. The due date of an evaluation for any particular employee is based upon the last digit of the employee’s Social Security Number (SSN). Refer to the 2016 National Agreement, Article 12, Exhibit 12-1 at: http://hco.web.irs.gov/lrer/negagree/natagree/

Discipline/Disciplinary Actions

  1. Discipline is defined as measures taken by management that are intended to correct employee misconduct, and encourage employee conduct in compliance with the standards of conduct, policies, goals, work procedures, and office practices of the IRS and the Federal Service. Employees must adhere to all known conditions and standards of conduct established to provide for the orderly and efficient administration of the Internal Revenue Service.

  2. Employees who fail to comply with standards of conduct, work procedures, and office practices will be subject to disciplinary action designed to correct the violation and motivate the employee to become a productive member of the Internal Revenue Service.

  3. You are responsible for establishing and maintaining effective discipline within your work group. You must explain the work requirements and other standards your employees are expected to meet.

  4. When disciplinary action is required, it must be fair, equitable, impartial and as timely as possible.

  5. A guide to assist you in determining appropriate penalties to correct improper conduct can be found in IRM 6.751.1, Exhibit 1.

  6. Ensure that you discuss and coordinate all proposed disciplinary actions with your Labor Relations Specialist.

  7. Resources:

    • IRM 6.751, Discipline and Disciplinary Actions.

    • IRM 6.752, Disciplinary Suspensions and Adverse Actions.

    • The 2016 National Agreement, Articles 38 and 39: http://hco.web.irs.gov/lrer/negagree/natagree/

Telework

  1. Telework (formerly known as Flexiplace) is a program that permits your employees to work at home or at other approved locations other than the assigned post of duty.

  2. There are three (3) forms of telework:

    1. Frequent.

    2. Recurring.

    3. Ad Hoc.

  3. See Article 50, Section 1B of the 2016 National Agreement for more information about types of telework.

Managing In a Telework Environment

  1. Managing an employee participating in telework is essentially no different than managing an employee in the office. Ensure that your actions are in compliance with any applicable Local Telework Agreement (if one exists) as well as the 2016 National Agreement. The employee on telework is still held accountable for the Rules of Conduct, Critical Job Elements, Time and Attendance, Ethics, and all other regulations applicable to their position.

  2. Per Article 50, Section 1F of the 2016 National Agreement : telework is not a replacement for dependent/family care.

  3. If you determine that an employee's work appears to be degrading from "Fully Successful" or is below a "Fully Successful" rating, you should review Article 50 Section 2 of the 2016 National Agreement to determine whether the employee's continuation on Telework is appropriate. This occurs when any Critical Job Element (CJE) rating equals "2" or below.

    Ensure that your reasons for removal are well documented. This documentation may include but is not limited to EQRS Individual and/or Cumulative Feedback Reports, Form 6850, or memoranda. You must ensure that the employee is aware of the situation and you should then monitor their work product closely and develop a plan for improving that employee’s work, just as you would for an employee not on telework. There is no prohibition per the 2016 National Agreement on any type of performance review following a period in which an employee has worked at their telework site. Reviews may include "Time Utilization" , "Time and Activity" , or other performance based review. Ensure this also conforms with any applicable local Area agreement as well. The types and amount of time expended on telework should be comparable to time in the office. For example, there should not be increased amounts of administrative or miscellaneous time, or increased time charged to cases with minimal actions taken.

  4. You should ensure that revenue officers are responsive to all customers. They must check voice mail and email (when accessible) to ensure external as well as internal customers (including managers) receive responses timely. It is appropriate for an employee to check their VMS and email prior to going to lunch and some time prior to ending their day. Employees supplied with pagers and cell phones should be expected to be more responsive.

  5. You have the right to direct a telework employee to report to the office when necessary. For example, when having meetings, which include group meetings, case reviews, the Consultation Process, training, etc. This should be planned so that the employee has ample time to report to the office during their regular commute time. When an employee plans or decides to make field calls during a telework day the manager should be informed. This is referenced under Article 50, Section 5A of the 2016 National Agreement.

  6. Article 50 of the 2016 National Agreement addresses telework issues. Sections pertinent to the management of employees in a telework environment are listed below:

    1. A supervisor’s official relationship with, authority over, and accountability for an employee participating in the Service’s Telework Program is no different than his or her relationship with, authority over, and accountability for employees who are not participating in the Telework Program. In this regard, the supervisor retains the authority to review, determine, and approve participation in this program (Article 50/Section 1A-5).

    2. Revenue officers may participate in "frequent" telework. Subject to approval by their supervisor, frequent telework permits the revenue officer to work at an approved location remote to the assigned post-of-duty (POD) more than eighty (80) hours monthly (Article 50/Section 1B).

    3. Revenue officers approved for a recurring telework arrangement may work at the approved telework site for 80 hours or less per month (Article 50/Section 1B).

    4. Participants may be permitted to work at approved telework sites for full days or a portion of a day.

      Reminder:

      Unless as otherwise provided by Article 50/Section1C of the National Agreement: there is no limitation on how the work schedule may be configured as long as the scheduling is not disruptive to the work that remains in the office nor causes an unreasonable burden on those who choose not to work a telework arrangement.

    5. Management has the right to meet with employees to give assignments and to review work as necessary at either the official duty station, approved Telework location, or a mutually agreed upon site. (Article 50/Section 4C) This does not mean that 24 hour notification or union presence is required, but 24 hour notification is suggested.

    6. Employees must provide the supervisor and/or clerk in advance with all the specific information regarding their work schedule, type of work to be performed and location of the alternate work place. This includes the obligation to inform the supervisor when they are unable to perform work due to illness or other circumstances during the Telework tour of duty (TOD) and requesting appropriate leave (Article50/Section 5A-1).

    7. Employees must contact the office to report time, to retrieve messages, and to notify the supervisor and/or clerk of changes in work locations (Article 50/Section 5A).

    8. In order to ensure accountability, a participating employee and his/her supervisor must communicate at least one time during each pay period to verify the employee’s time and attendance (Article 50/Section 6E). In addition to this, the manager should ensure that the revenue officer will EOD, uploading all time and activity at least once per week. See IRM 5.2.1.8.1, Field Collection Area Procedures, for more information about time reporting and End of Month (EOM) guidelines.

  7. Resources:

    • IRM 6.800.2, Employee Benefits, IRS Telework (Flexiplace)Program

    • Document 12524, IRS Telework (Flexiplace) Program Managers' Desk Guide: http://publish.no.irs.gov/getpdf.cgi?catnum=50988

    • IRS Telework Program website: http://hco.web.irs.gov/telework/

Interaction With Employees On Telework

  1. Your official relationship with, authority over, and accountability for an employee participating in the Service's Telework Program is no different than that for employees who are not participating in the program.

  2. Your responsibilities include:

    1. Meeting with your employees at least once a year for the purpose of discussing, reviewing and updating the Telework Agreement.

    2. Directing telework employees to report to the office due to special circumstances.

    3. Meeting with employees to give assignments and review their work as necessary at the official duty station, approved work site that includes their home, or mutually agreed upon site.

    4. Inspecting the employee's work site when appropriate. You may visit the telework site, with twenty- four (24) hours notice, to ensure that Information Systems (IS) and sensitive information procedures are in place.

      Reminder:

      Work site inspections are not expected to be routinely conducted. Inspect as necessary to verify IS/sensitive information procedures.

    5. As with non-remote employees, be proactive in identifying opportunities to rate CJE 1, Workplace Interaction/Involvement/Enviornment.

  3. For an employee to remain on the Telework Program, they must:

    1. Remain "Fully Successful" or above.

    2. Not be subject to a conduct investigation in which management has sufficient evidence of serious wrongdoing that would impact the integrity and efficiency of the Service.

    3. Continue to stay in compliance with Article 50, Section 2 of the 2016 National Agreement.

  4. If any of the above circumstances do not apply, the employee may be suspended from telework pending resolution of the performance and/or conduct investigation situations.

  5. For further information, contact the local Labor Relations Specialist. You can also refer to the 2016 National Agreement , Article 50. Coordinate proposed changes to telework arrangements with your LR specialist.

Recognition and Awards

  1. Awards are opportunities for group managers to recognize and reinforce positive performance and behavior.

  2. You are responsible for maintaining a working knowledge of the awards process.

  3. Complete information regarding awards can be found on the Human Capital website at: http://hco.web.irs.gov/perfmgmt/awards/.

  4. Resources:

    • IRM 1.4.1.8.3, Recognition and Awards

    • 2016 National Agreement , Article 18, http://hco.web.irs.gov/lrer/negagree/natagree/

    • IRM 6.451.1, Awards and Recognition, Policies, Authorities, Categories and Approvals

    • The local Human Resources Specialist

Field Collection Workload Management

  1. You are responsible for effectively managing the group's workload. To accomplish this you must:

    1. Ensure priority cases are worked.

    2. Assign cases based on grade and priority level. See IRM 1.4.50.8.4 and IRM 1.4.50.10.1.

    3. Maintain targeted inventory levels and make adjustments as appropriate.

    4. Balance inventories within your group.

    5. Ensure case activity is progressing toward resolution.

    6. Continually strive to improve production, work processes, and/or to increase the quality of the work directed.

Total Inventory Management (TIM)

  1. Strive for currency of inventory by encouraging revenue officers to take the right action at the right time on each case.

  2. Communicate to revenue officers that you expect them to work their inventory as a whole.

Using ENTITY For Workload Management

  1. ENTITY is the primary case Management System for group managers. Group managers should familiarize themselves with the user guides and resources found on the ENTITY website : http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/Collection/collsystems/entity/default.aspx and IRM 5.3.1, ENTITY Case Management System.

  2. ENTITY receives information about case and RO activity from the Integrated Collection System (ICS), and the Delinquent Investigation/Account Listing (DIAL). ENTITY includes group level inventory, and time and activity information.

  3. Use ENTITY to:

    1. Manage and assign revenue officer inventory.

    2. Identify trends and patterns and cases where the revenue officer may need assistance, such as listed in (4) below.

  4. You can use the ENTITY report “Random Case Listing” to select categories of cases for review, such as pyramiders, trust fund repeaters, statute, no activity, etc.

  5. You can also use ENTITY to:

    1. Review the group queue using various sort options to select cases for assignment to revenue officers.

    2. Study workloads in particular zip codes.

    3. Examine inventory levels to support a request for additional staffing.

    4. Quickly identify inventories which deviate from targeted inventory.

    5. Generate a group inventory priority level statistical report.

  6. Resources:

    • IRM 5.3.1, ENTITY Case Management System

    • ENTITY website: http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/Collection/collsystems/entity/default.aspx

Management Information Systems (MIS) Reports
  1. The ENTITY system serves as an integral tool in management of the entire group’s inventory. There is no expectation that every available report/query will be run. Rather, you should identify those that best reflect the individual needs of your group, and run those as needed. In general, reports should not be run merely for the purpose of requesting a “status update” from an employee. Use Management Information Systems (MIS) reports to establish ASED and CSED controls necessary per IRM 1.4.50.11. In addition, utilize the reports and queries to:

    • Identify inventory trends

    • Identify inventory in need of additional attention

    • Monitor progress made on previously-identified trends

  2. Resources:

    • ENTITY website: http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/Collection/collsystems/entity/default.aspx

Queue

  1. The queue is an electronic file holding unassigned Collection cases. Cases in the queue are prioritized for selection.

  2. Cases can go into the queue from both ACS and Field Collection.

  3. IDRS assignment number "AOTO7000" is used for cases in the queue.

Case Priority Level

  1. All cases are assigned a Priority Level. priority levels:

    • 99-108 are high priority

    • 201-208 are medium priority

    • 301-303 are low priority

    • 399- non-IDRS case

    Exception:

    Priority Level 399 is a default priority level for non-IDRS assignments and is not associated with the priority of the case. For example, an FTD Alert is a non-IDRS case displaying a priority level 399, but is a High priority case.

  2. The prioritization process is designed to display cases in a priority hierarchy from the highest to lowest priorities. Case are prioritized weekly.

    1. High Priority 100: "Taxpayer Contact Required" cases are driven by the TSIGN (64xx/65xx), which alerts ICS that the case originated from Compliance Services Collection Operation (CSCO) or ACS and carries a sub code of 601 (IMF), 602 (BMF), 603 (NMF) or 604 (Large Dollar ).

    2. Priority levels 99 through 303: various elements are included in the prioritization such as: balance due, return types, tax period, model score and selection code.

Hold Files

  1. Group designation hold files are established for every group and are sometimes referred to as group manager hold files. The assignment code for this required hold files is: "AOTOxx00" . Group designation hold files (mandatory) are not the same as group hold files (optional). Group hold file assignment codes may be established to control cases meeting specific criteria. See IRM 1.4.50.9.2 for more information about group hold files.

Group Designation Hold File

  1. Certain BAL DUE or DEL RET cases move directly from notice status to Field Collection (FC). These cases bypass both ACS and the queue and are assigned directly to ICS (cases will be sent directly to the manager’s hold file). See IRM 5.1.20.2.3.1, Cases that Bypass ACS and the Queue that go Directly to ICS. Other types of cases will also arrive in your hold file, including FTD Alerts, OIs, case transfers, etc.

  2. Manage your hold file by conducting weekly reviews to determine:

    1. Which cases to assign and which to send to the queue. See IRM 5.1.20.2.3.3, Cases that Cannot be Moved to the Queue.

    2. Whether cases meet the requirements for mandatory assignment. See IRM 5.1.8.5,Mandatory Assignments, and IRM 5.7.1.4, Receipt of FTD Alerts.

    Reminder:

    FTD alerts must be assigned to an RO within seven calendar days from the date the alert arrives in your hold file. Do not assign Federal Agency Delinquency (FAD) cases to ROs.

  3. If you suspect you have received erroneous assignments in your hold file, contact your IQA and determine the appropriate resolution for such cases. See IRM 1.4.50.9.1.1.

  4. Do not shelve any case unless authorized by a specific policy directive or memorandum issued by the Headquarters staff. See IRM 1.4.50.9.1.1.

  5. To decrease cycle time, do not keep cases in the group designation hold file (AOTOxx00) more than 45 days after receipt. When you must keep a case in the hold file for more than 45 days, document the case history to show the reason.

    Reminder:

    There should not be any cases assigned directly to your GM assignment number ending in 01. When you see cases assigned to AOTOxx01, take immediate action to move them to the appropriate assignment code (group designation hold file, RO assignment or return to queue).

  6. "Taxpayer Needs Assistance" (H 100 priority level) cases must be promptly assigned to a revenue officer unless it is evident that the priority level coding is erroneous. Erroneously coded cases may be returned to the queue. Because many "Taxpayer Needs Assistance" cases come from a Campus, Toll Free Operation, or ACS, they may arrive without a clear explanation. If the contact request cannot be verified, document the ICS case history, update the case sub code as appropriate, and send any non-restricted case to the queue.

    1. For non-ACS accounts, look for a Form 4442, Inquiry Referral, transmittal, or annotation on IDRS.

    2. For ACS accounts, secure a copy of the account transmittal. It may be helpful to review the AMS history.

  7. When reassigning the inventory of a departing revenue officer, review all considerations in IRM 1.4.50.10.3, Reassignment of Departing Revenue Officer Inventory. Per guidance in that section, add such cases to your group designation hold file only after exhausting other assignment options.

Shelving Erroneously Assigned Cases/Modules
  1. Occasionally, you may find that your hold file contains erroneously assigned cases that cannot be transferred to the queue. An erroneously assigned case is one that is delivered inadvertently, i.e., the case was not routed to the intended destination. A case/module is not considered erroneously assigned solely because it is delivered to the Group Designation Hold File with less than six months remaining on the CSED. When you suspect you have received such erroneous assignments contact your IQA for information about related Headquarters instructions.

  2. Headquarters provides guidance about erroneously assigned cases when appropriate.. Do not shelve any case/module unless authorized by a specific policy directive or memorandum issued by Headquarters staff.

  3. If Headquarters instructions advise shelving as described in this section, you may transfer NMF cases below the revenue officer assignment threshold to IQA hold files (designated XXXX-6297) for shelving using TC530 CC39 or TC598 CC57 procedures.

  4. Unless specific headquarters guidance states otherwise, erroneously assigned short CSED (less than 6 months) cases may not be transferred to the IQA for shelving. The IQA staff will only shelve the specific module(s) with less than six months remaining on the CSED via the input of TC530/CC39. You may then evaluate the case for appropriate assignment (i.e. return to queue if not restricted or assign to RO).

    Note:

    Advance correspondence between group managers and IQAs is required when short CSED modules will be shelved according to these instructions. Send the IQA a secure email request identifying the taxpayer, TIN and module(s). The IQA staff will review the ICS history and take the necessary actions.

  5. Document the ICS case history with the following information to ensure correct processing and control of shelved modules:

    • Correct CSED date

    • Case priority level

    • Reason the module is being shelved by the IQA

    • Reference to the Headquarters guidance allowing use of shelving procedures

  6. The instructions above are limited to those erroneously assigned cases that cannot be normally processed to the queue and does not cover any case currently assigned to a revenue officer or any hold file case with a prior revenue officer assignment within the past 60 days.

Federal Agency Delinquency Cases
  1. Field Collection is not to work Federal Agency delinquency (Balance Due and Delinquent Returns) cases, except in special circumstances. See IRM 5.1.7.6.2.1, Federal Agency Cases in the Collection Field Function.

  2. Federal agency delinquency (FAD) cases are identified by the "Employment code -F." This code is located on:

    • The Integrated Collection System (ICS) on the "Other Entity Information" screen for Business Master File (BMF) taxpayers.

    • IDRS on the "ENMOD" and "SUMRY" screen.

  3. Federal Agency Delinquency (FAD) cases receive a unique collection assignment number. The inventory delivery system (IDS) will route these cases to the FAD unit in Brookhaven and use TSIGN 21008300.

  4. Situations may arise in which Field Collection receives cases through misrouting. The FAD unit should identify these accounts, reassign them on IDRS to the FAD group assignment, and contact the assigned revenue officer or group manager and advise them of the transfer. ICS does not have the ability to reassign cases to 21008300. The FAD unit uses IDRS to complete these actions.

  5. If these cases appear in your group designation assignment queue, do not assign to revenue officers. Review the entity information of cases which may appear to be Federal agencies to ensure they are not assigned.

    Note:

    If you need to assign inventory from the queue and a Federal agency delinquency account cannot be by-passed due to accelerated issuance designation, assign the case to a revenue officer with immediate reassignment to the Group Designation hold file when the case reaches the field.

  6. If a Federal Agency Delinquency case is assigned to a revenue officer in error or directly assigned to a revenue officer, you should re-assign the case to the group manager hold file. If you need a case removed from your hold file before FAD reassigns it, you may contact the FAD unit directly at :http://serp.enterprise.irs.gov/databases/who-where.dr/fad_contacts.html

  7. As with any case that remains in the group designation hold file for more than 45 days, document the case history with the reason. See IRM 1.4.50.9.1.

  8. Resources:

    • IRM 5.1.7.6.2.1,Federal Agency Cases in the Collection Field Function

    • IRM 1.4.50.9.1, Group Designation Hold File

Group Hold Files

  1. There are certain situations in which cases become inactive and warrant removal from revenue officer inventories, but must still be maintained in the collection group. In order to accommodate these situations, group hold files are authorized as specified below. Use of a Group Hold File is optional and is left to local management's discretion. However, if Group Hold Files are utilized, the following procedures must be followed.

  2. In order to maintain consistency, hold files must be designated specific assignment numbers and will be limited to the types of cases as described below:

    Assignment Number Group Type of Cases Explanation
    AOTOxx91 Field revenue officer Collection Due Process (CDP) OIs CDP Appeals Hold File: Receipt of the CDP in Appeals is confirmed and there is no open Bal Due or Del Ret and no further collection actions are warranted. See IRM 5.1.9.3.4 Controlling and Monitoring Cases While in Appeals.
    AOTOxx99 Field revenue officer Pending adjustments, ATAT-CIP Cases in which no revenue officer action or monitoring is needed.
  3. Cases should not be assigned to these hold files if action or monitoring is required on the part of the revenue officer or offer specialist. The revenue officer or will document the case history with the specific reason the case is being reassigned to the proper hold file and submit the request to the manager for approval. The manager will determine whether the case warrants assignment to the group hold file, document approval in the case history, and reassign the case to the specified number as noted above.

  4. A central point in the group may be established for maintaining the paper files associated with these cases, or the paper files may remain with the revenue officer as determined by the group manager.

  5. You must conduct quarterly reviews of the cases in these assignment numbers to ensure timely responses to the requested actions. The review should also determine whether the case should remain assigned to the hold file or be reassigned to the revenue officer for action. Document the ICS case history as appropriate.

Assigning Work

  1. Assignment of work must align with Policy Statement 1-236, Fairness and Integrity in Enforcement Selection. Adherence to the principles in this policy statement ensures the Service is meeting its commitment in the IRS Mission Statement by enforcing the tax law with integrity and fairness to all. An important component of fairness and integrity in enforcement selection includes the assignment of work by the group manager. The purpose of this section is to provide a framework for the assignment of work to ensure case assignments are consistent with the goals and objectives of the Service and are free from personal bias.

  2. Collection inventory is divided into three major categories; mandatory, high priority cases and medium to low priority cases. Cases are assigned from the queue using the Entity GM Case Assignment. In general, first assign mandatory assignments in your group manager’s hold file and priority level 99 cases from the queue. Next, evaluate high priority cases in the group manager’s hold file and high priority cases in the queue for assignment. Finally, evaluate remaining inventory in the queue and the group manager’s hold file for assignment.

    Note:

    The ICS group manager’s hold file may contain cases which do not meet mandatory assignment criteria or represent high priority work. Review these cases and make an assignment determination. Cases not meeting one of these criteria may be moved to the queue if in your professional judgement, higher priority inventory is available for assignment. All cases in the group manager’s hold file are also displayed in the GM Case Assignment section of Entity- as all available IDRS inventory for assignment is displayed for selection in GM Case Assignment.

  3. Mandatory Assignment Cases in the ICS GM Hold File and the Queue. Cases meeting mandatory assignment criteria in the Integrated Collection System (ICS) group manager’s hold file and the queue should be assigned prior to assigning other inventory. Mandatory assignment cases include:

    1. Mandatory FTD Alerts. FTD Alerts are generally received quarterly in the ICS group manager’s hold file. Plan for the arrival of FTD Alerts during the third month of each quarter. Inventories should be at a level that will allow for immediate assignment of these mandatory FTD Alerts without exceeding revenue officer inventory levels that you have determined is appropriate; however, in no circumstances should the assignment date exceed seven calendar days from the date the alert arrives in the group hold file.

    2. Mandatory Other Investigations. Certain Other Investigations (OIs) are mandatory and need to be assigned to the next available revenue officer. See IRM 5.1.8.5 ,Mandatory Assignments, for additional information. Upon receipt of an OI from Insolvency to investigate potential Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (TFRP) assessments, ensure that the case is created in the Automated Trust Fund Recovery (ATFR) program at the time the OI is assigned to a revenue officer. Upon receipt of an Appeals Referral Investigation (ARI), refer to IRM 5.1.9.3.9.2, Appeals Referral Investigation, for further information.

    3. Mandatory Accelerated Case in the Queue. Assignments should be made from the group queue using the GM Case Assignment menu in Entity. Decision analytics have been implemented to more effectively route cases. Entity first identifies and presents accelerated cases for assignment. These cases are identified as Mandatory Accelerated Cases in the GM Case Assignment view in Entity and should be assigned expeditiously to any grade appropriate revenue officer in the group before assigning other cases in the queue. Additional clarification can be found in IRM 5.3.1.2.1, Case Assignment Procedures..

    4. IRS Employee Accounts. Accounts on IRS employees bypass the queue and are assigned to the ICS manager’s group hold file. These cases should be assigned expeditiously to any grade appropriate revenue officer in the group.

  4. High Priority cases in the ICS GM Hold File, the Queue and other Statuses. The group manager should evaluate high priority cases in both the ICS group manager’s hold file and the queue for assignment. To decrease cycle time, do not keep cases in the ICS group manager’s hold file (AOTOxx00) more than 45 days after receipt. When you must keep a case in the group manager’s hold file for more than 45 days, document the case history to show the reason.

    1. Related Entities. Assign related taxpayer entities to the same RO as appropriate. Due to the change in treatment of Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) after 2009, you may wish to treat certain LLCs as related entities for assignment purposes. In general, assign taxpayer cases related to a present assignment to the same RO. See IRM 1.4.50.10.1, Case Grade, for case grade considerations.

    2. Taxpayer Needs Contact. Cases in the ICS group hold file with a priority level 100 combined with a sub-code 601, 602 or 603 must be promptly assigned to a revenue officer unless it is evident that the priority level coding is erroneous. See IRM 1.4.50.9.1(6),Group Designation Hold File, for additional guidance. Large dollar accounts containing a sub-code of 604 must also be evaluated for assignment.

    3. High Priority Cases in the Queue. High priority cases (levels 101-108) should be evaluated for assignment in conjunction with cases in the group manager’s hold file to determine the next best cases for assignment. See additional information below regarding case priority level.

    4. Cases that Cannot be Moved to the Queue. Cases in the group manager’s hold file which meet the criteria in IRM 5.1.20.3.3, Cases that Cannot Be Moved to the Queue, generally must be assigned.

    5. TFRP Assessments. Absent extenuating circumstances, promptly assign related TFRP assignments to the originating revenue officer unless the TFRP account has been:

    • Processed as a pre-assessed CNC

    • Processed as a pre-assessed installment agreement

    • Associated with a BMF installment agreement and placed in Status 63

    Note:

    It is appropriate to assign TFRP assessments outside the revenue officer’s geographic area to ensure continuity of collection. If personal contact was established with the taxpayer (even by telephone) to conduct a Form 4180 interview and to secure financial information as required by IRM 5.7.5, Collectibility Determinations the RO can continue to work the case if it can quickly and easily be resolved; or if field contact will be required to resolve the case, the revenue officer can either issue an ICS Other Investigation or transfer the case.

  5. ENTITY displays cases in the Collection queue. The inventory is prioritized by employing scoring mechanisms and data-driven algorithms so that no one individual can control the enforcement selection decision-making processes.

  6. Cases available to a specific group are based on the zip code assignments of the group. The group’s queue is displayed in the GM Case Assignment option of ENTITY. All cases presented in ENTITY are assigned a priority level, (see IRM 1.4.50.8.4, Case Priority Level). The case priority scoring criteria were developed with an emphasis on recent business trust fund taxpayers and other selected criteria. Cases within each the priority, high, medium and low are assigned a unique “priority level” (e.g. 101, 103, 201 etc.) based on the parameters of the case such as the type of tax (IMF or BMF), age of the liability or delinquency, specific selection or project codes and other criteria. Since the priority levels represent different types of cases, it would be erroneous to assign all of the available inventory with a particular priority level before considering other high priority cases for assignment. These priority levels enable the group manager to assign an appropriate mix of case (IMF/BMF, Del Ret/Bal Due) as determined by Field Collection in order to achieve the organizational goals of the Service.

    Example:

    A manager may select a large dollar IMF case from priority level 103 while there are BMF cases available in priority level 101 in order to achieve an appropriate mix of cases for the employee.

  7. In addition to priority level, each case is subject to further analysis which assigns one of five predictive values (a through e). The predictive values will help the group manager identify the most predicted productive work within each priority level.

  8. The selection of cases from inventory should represent highest priority level (for a particular type of case) combined with the highest predictive value. You are responsible for ensuring that cases are assigned at the proper grade level based on the all indicators of case difficulty. If two or more cases have the same priority level, but differing predictive values and you are limited by the number of cases to be assigned; the case with the highest predictive value should be assigned first.

    Example:

    Case A is assigned a priority level of 101 with a predictive value of "d" . Case B is assigned a priority level of 101 with a predictive value of "b" . In this example, case B should be assigned prior to case A.

    Note:

    It is not appropriate to assign a lower priority level case with a high predictive value over a higher priority level case with a low predictive value based solely on the comparative predictive values assuming two cases are of they same case type.

    Example:

    It is not appropriate to assign a case with a priority level of "201" and predictive value of "a" in preference to a case with a priority level "101" and predictive value of "d" unless the lower priority case meets mandatory assignment criteria or is a related taxpayer assignment.

  9. Professional judgement plays a limited role in case selection. Examples of exercising professional judgment in cases selection include:

    1. Assignment of cases within the geographic territory of the revenue officer, but outside the commuting area of the revenue officer. When assigning mandatory assignment or high priority cases in these areas, it is appropriate to assign additional cases in that area or en route to that area in an effort to maximize the resources of the Service. In these instances, these case assignments should represent the highest priority cases available for assignment.

    2. Cases which present specific criteria may be assigned to address the developmental needs of the revenue officer. If selecting cases from the queue, the cases selected should be the highest priority available.

      Note:

      This does not preclude the reassignment of a case with a specific criteria from one revenue officer to another for developmental purposes.

    3. The current workload of the revenue officer may be taken into consideration when assigning work. However, case assignments in these situations should also represent the highest priority level of available inventory. Workload adjustments to a revenue officer’s inventory should generally be accommodated by reducing the revenue officer’s inventory within the targeted inventory level (see IRM 1.4.50.10.2, Maintaining Targeted Inventories, rather than the assignment of lower priority work.

    4. Use professional judgement when selecting cases from the queue for assignment when one or more modules has less than six months remaining on the Collection Statute Expiration Date (CSED). Normally, modules with less than six months remaining on the CSED will not be assigned. Refer to IRM 5.1.19.5, Imminent CSEDs ,for additional information.

      Note:

      Potentially egregious in-business trust fund taxpayers (repeaters/pyramiders) with balance due or delinquent return periods within the past two years should normally be assigned despite an imminent CSED.

    5. Discretionary OIs may be assigned based on priority level. See IRM 5.1.8.6, Discretionary Assignments. If the priority level of the OI is below the priority level of available inventory for assignment and the OI cannot be assigned to a revenue officer, the case may be returned to the originator by the due date of the OI. When returning an OI, you will include an explanation in the remarks section stating why the OI cannot be assigned. See IRM 5.1.8.6, Discretionary Assignments, for additional information on determining the priority level.

    6. The ICS group manager’s hold file may contain cases which do not meet mandatory assignment criteria or represent high priority work. Review these cases and make an assignment determination. Cases not meeting one of these criteria may be moved to the queue if in your professional judgement, higher priority inventory is available for assignment.

    7. Professional judgement may also include the timing of assignment of inventory. The group manager should evaluate mandatory assignment and high priority inventory in the ICS group hold file in conjunction with similar inventory in the queue. There may be instances where it is appropriate to assign other inventory (i.e. mandatory assignment, high priority, related assignment) from the queue prior to cases in the group hold file, keeping in mind the cases in the group hold file should generally be assigned within 45 days of receipt.

  10. You may find MapInfo services helpful in determining optimal alignment of inventory. Visit the MapInfo website:http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/collection/collsystems/autosupport/contacts/18826.aspx

  11. Review ENTITY reports monthly to ensure ROs are not working over 25 percent direct time above grade. This can be accomplished by reviewing the Time Report, "Above Grade Direct Time Report." You may retain cases in inventory that do not match the RO's grade, examples include:

    1. Cases which had to be assigned to a revenue officer below his/her grade level (e.g., a TFRP assessment originating from an in-business case currently in inventory).

    2. There would be an unacceptable delay in working the cases if you reassigned them to other revenue officers.

    3. There is a need to maintain continuity of contact with the taxpayer.

    4. The revenue officer is in a one-person post of duty.

    5. Transfer of the case would cause unreasonable travel.

    6. The revenue officer needs or requests a higher-level case for developmental purposes.


    Per the 2016 National Agreement , Article 16, a revenue officer may spend up to 25 percent of his/her direct time during any four month period, working higher graded cases for developmental purposes.

    Caution:

    If you allow revenue officers to work higher graded cases it is essential that you track the percentage of direct time spent on higher graded work to ensure the 25 percent threshold is not being exceeded. Employees who exceed the 25 percent level for the preceding four month period may be entitled to a temporary promotion.

  12. Resources:

    • MapInfo: http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/collection/collsystems/autosupport/contacts/18826.aspx

    • IRM 1.4.51–18, Guide for ASED Report (Field Insolvency)

    • IRM 5.1.7.6.2.1, Federal Agency Cases and Special Circumstances

    • IRM 5.1.8.5, Mandatory Assignments

    • IRM 5.1.8.6, Discretionary Assignments

    • IRM 5.1.8.7.1.3, Unassessable Erroneous Refunds Recovery Procedures

    • IRM 5.1.21, Collecting From Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)

    • IRM 5.7.1.4, Receipt of FTD Alerts

Case Grade

  1. Balance Due and Delinquent Return investigations are issued with a case grade of GS –11, –12, or -13. These case grade levels reflect the anticipated level of difficulty of the entity. The Inventory Delivery System (IDS) is the primary system used to determine the case grade. Cases not graded by IDS will continue to receive their grade from RWMS. IRM Exhibit 1.4.50-1 reflects the criteria used by the Resources and Workload Management System (RWMS) to determine the case difficulty level.

  2. When manual identification of cases is necessary use the Revenue Officer Case Assignment Guide, in Exhibit 1.4.50-1.

  3. You are responsible for reviewing and maintaining the correct case grade. Case grade levels can be either increased or decreased. There are systemic processes in place to predict the grade level of a case. If, based on receipt of additional information or change in case circumstances, the predicted case grade does not appear to be accurate, you may re-grade the case. A list of criteria that should be considered in conducting case grade analysis is shown in Exhibit 1.4.50-1, Revenue Officer Case Assignment Guide. This can be done at any time: upon receipt, upon assignment to RO and during case reviews. Revenue officers should be encouraged to bring misgraded cases to your attention. See IRM 1.4.50.10.2(4), Maintaining Targeted Inventories.

  4. Document the factors used in determining a new case grade in the ICS history. The ICS pick list meets this documentation requirement. The following choices, if selected from the drop down menu, are written to the case history; Nature of Entity, Range of Case Issues, Personal Contacts, and Impact of Enforcement Action. If additional explanation is needed you should write a narrative history as well. See ICS User Guide, Chapter 23, Changing Case Grade Levels, for more information. Access the User Guide electronically at: http://icsweb.web.irs.gov/Docs/HTML/user_guide.htm

  5. You will not normally change the grade of a case unless it meets at least three of the four factors at the lower or higher level. Document in the case history the reason for not using at least three of the four factors when applicable.

  6. When you determine that the difficulty level of a case has changed, adjust the grade level by using the ICS Change Grade Level process. This will change the case grade level on ICS and upload the new determined grade level (DGL) to IDRS.

  7. You may need to consider a reassignment of the case if a grade level change is made. See IRM 1.4.50.10.2.

  8. In general, assign taxpayer cases related to a present assignment to the same revenue officer. If the new case is a lower grade than the original, re-grade it only if it meets the CAG criteria independent of the original assignment.

    Note:

    Though this may result in an appearance that the RO's inventory is "under-graded", the value of ensuring cross-compliance and effective use of RO time should outweigh this concern. See Exhibit 1.4.50-1.

  9. If you downgrade a case with a systemically assigned grade level, notify the employee via email of the reasons for downgrading the case.

Maintaining Targeted Inventories

  1. You are responsible for monitoring inventory levels to ensure each revenue officer has an appropriate number of cases within the established ranges that can be resolved most effectively and efficiently based on his/her grade level, experience, and expertise. The guidelines below provide flexibility for group managers to adjust inventories as needed. You must monitor the effectiveness of each revenue officer to determine the optimal inventory level based on the individual facts and circumstances of each RO. Factors to consider include, but are not limited to: developmental needs, performance issues, extensive geographic territory, and complex casework.

  2. Absent indications to the contrary, consider limiting new assignments to five per work week. Certain circumstances could necessitate assigning more than five cases, including, but not limited to:

    • Field RO is assigned from one group to another without his/her full inventory

    • Field RO returns from a temporary assignment, such as training or a detail, without an inventory

    • Field RO had previously been relieved of all or part of his/her inventory and needs replacement/additional inventory

    • Unforeseen circumstances in which cases must be assigned/reassigned, such as: extended absence of RO, need to avoid missing statute deadlines and/or RO requests additional cases be assigned

    Note:

    Excessive simultaneous assignments could adversely impact the revenue officer's ability to make timely initial contact and take appropriate and timely follow up action. Regardless of what inventory level you have determined to be appropriate, avoid assigning a large number of cases at one time whenever possible.

  3. When additional cases need to be assigned, you should look to the following sources for additional work:

    1. The group designation hold file.

    2. The highest level risk cases from the queue.

    3. Other revenue officers.

    4. Other groups (with concurrence from your territory manager).

  4. The standard inventory ranges of taxpayer cases (a taxpayer case constitutes all accounts/investigations on a single entity) for revenue officers are:

    Grade Standard Inventory Range
    13 34-50
    12 34-50
    11 53-79
    09 59-69
    05/07 49-59

    Inventory levels for Grade 13 revenue officers will include approximately 60 percent Grade 13 cases and approximately 40 percent cases below the Grade 13 level. Due to the complexity of the Grade 13 case work, the inventory level for a Grade 13 will be kept at or near the bottom of the standard inventory range. See IRM 1.4.50.10.1.

  5. The Standard Inventory Ranges apply only to revenue officers with case inventories of Bal Dues, Del Rets, OIs, FTD Alerts, and CIPs.

  6. Standard inventory ranges give you flexibility to consider a variety of circumstances when monitoring individual revenue officer inventories.

  7. When a revenue officer’s assigned inventory exceeds the maximum level of the standard range, you should reduce it to a level within the standard range within 10 work days. If you cannot reduce the inventory within 10 days, you must relieve the revenue officer, in writing, of the IRM requirements regarding prompt initial and follow-up contacts until the inventory is within range. Once the inventory level no longer exceeds the maximum level of the standard range, provide written notification to the employee. Maintain such documentation in the affected employee's EPF.

    Reminder:

    Encourage your revenue officers to discuss unmanageable inventory problems with you at any time. Collection Consultation sessions provide an appropriate forum for such a discussion.

  8. If inventories in the group are above the standard range, the following options should be considered:

    1. Reassigning cases to the group designation hold file on a temporary basis, preferably no longer than 45 days.

    2. Detailing in additional revenue officers.

    3. Adjusting group boundaries (by zip code).

  9. If revenue officers are still above their standard inventory level after using the above measures, you may return cases to the queue unless they are:

    1. Accelerated issuance.

    2. Restricted from moving to the queue (see IRM 5.1.20.3.3, Cases that Cannot be Moved to the Queue).

    3. Have no NFTL determination. If not filed, confirm there is an ICS history notation that explains the reason.

    4. Cases that reflect fewer than 6.5 months (195 days) before the Collection Statute Expiration Date (CSED) expires.

    5. Awaiting pending enforcement action (outstanding levy, summons, Letter 1058, or appeals actions).

    6. In-business trust fund cases.

    7. Trust fund cases with less than one year remaining on the ASED and no trust fund determination made.

    8. Cases with taxpayer contact within the last 6 months (180 days).

Inventory Adjustments
  1. When appropriate, you may reduce an RO's inventory to a level that is below the bottom of the established targeted range by using an Inventory Adjustment. Adjustments that reduce inventory levels below the bottom of the targeted ranges should be addressed in accordance with guidance below.

  2. The ENTITY Case Management System (ENTITY) requires managers to select a reason from the pick list when an inventory adjustment is made. Managers should discuss adjustments to inventory during a territory manager's operational review.

  3. An Inventory Adjustment is a percentage-based adjustment to the standard range. It is based on an evaluation of time spent on activities other than work on assigned cases (direct case time) and normal overhead. Examples of situations where you may consider an Inventory Adjustment are:

    1. Collateral assignments (e.g., NTEU Representative, EEO Counselor/Investigator, details out of office, instructing assignments, coaching, etc.).

    2. Customer Service assignments (e.g., Servicing walk-in taxpayers during filing season, ACS walk-in taxpayers).

    3. Part-time revenue officers (tour of duty less than 80 hours per pay period).

    4. Automation support.

    When an adjustment to a revenue officer's inventory is warranted because of any of these circumstances, use the projected time expenditure by the revenue officer to determine the appropriate adjustment.

    Example:

    You review a GS-12 revenue officer's time over the last six months and determine the employee appropriately spent 25% of her/his time on collateral assignments. An adjustment of 25% is indicated in this case and the new inventory range for the revenue officer is between 26-38 taxpayer cases.

    Inventory levels may be re-adjusted as warranted. Perform quarterly reviews of actual time your employees spend on collateral assignments and make adjustments as needed. Adhere to these guidelines when considering any adjustments to revenue officer inventories.

    Note:

    You may use "Joining/Leaving" as a reason for inventory adjustment if you need to incrementally increase or decrease the inventory level of an RO who is joining or leaving the group. In such cases, the percentage adjustment should be based on the individual circumstances of each RO.

  4. Resources:

    • ENTITY User Guide: http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/Collection/collsystems/entity/userguides/default.aspx. See Chapter 6, Employee Management.

Reassignment of Departing Revenue Officer Inventory

  1. Where inventory will be abandoned for periods of 90 days or more (for example a revenue officer is reassigned, on extended leave, or long term detail) you will consider performing the following actions:

    1. Holding assignment of additional work (after confirmation of the revenue officer’s effective date for detail, reassignment, retirement, etc.).

    2. Reviewing all inventory with the departing revenue officer, (including cases on the ATFR system) and identifying those which can be (1) resolved prior to the RO leaving, (2) returned to the queue (such as new cases, no contact, or other similar types), or (3) reassigned to the remaining revenue officers in the group. The transfer of these cases should be completed within a reasonable period of time, normally within 45 days. When appropriate, re-grade cases based on the post assignment criteria.

    3. When remaining inventory cannot be returned to the queue, you must decide how to proceed with disposition/assignment of those cases. RO inventory levels may not be raised above the target range for more than 10 days without relieving the receiving employee of certain time frame constraints. If you decide to raise revenue officer(s)’s inventory levels above maximum targets to accommodate the remaining inventory, you must then suspend contact and follow up time frames in writing for the revenue officers affected. See IRM 1.4.50.10.2 for further explanation. Consider discussing with the territory manager other options such as having RO's detailed to the group, re-arrangement of zip code assignments by updating the Assignment Rules Table on ICS, etc.

    4. When a revenue officer is reassigned between groups where the inventory remains within the commuting area, the affected group managers should consider retention of the transferring revenue officer’s inventory.

    5. After all above actions have been exhausted group managers may consider assigning the cases to their group designation hold file (AOTOxx00). If you assign the cases to the group designation hold file, you should consider these cases as priority, and take appropriate action (i.e., assign these within the next 45-60 days).

Caseload Rotation

  1. Where feasible, revenue officer geographic areas and/or caseloads should be rotated every three years. This will give revenue officers additional experience and avoid over-familiarity with taxpayers in a particular geographic area. Rotate between revenue officers of the same grade at the same post of duty. Do not change revenue officers’ posts of duty to meet this objective.

  2. In large metropolitan areas with multiple groups and/or Posts of Duty (PODs), it may be possible to rotate caseloads by realigning zip codes between groups and/or PODs.

Tax Examiner (TE) Case Assignments

  1. Certain cases in Collection Inventory may be assigned to Tax Examiners (TEs).

  2. Assigned cases may be located either within or outside of the Area.

  3. TEs will not conduct field visits. All casework will be done in the office, using the telephone, mail, and online services.

  4. For specific guidelines on working Collection cases, TEs will refer to procedures found throughout Part 5 of the IRM. TEs should document the ICS history concerning deviations from IRM guidance for ROs. For example: Field visit to view business assets not made due to case assigned to Tax Examiner.

  5. Cases assigned to TEs should meet the following criteria:

    • Grade 11 cases

    • Individual Master File (IMF) with an Unpaid Balance of Assessments (UBA) below $25,000

    • Non-trust fund Business Master File (BMF) cases with an UBA below $25,000

    • BMF cases involving a sole proprietorship with an UBA below $25,000

    • Stand alone IMF DEL RETS and non-trust fund BMF DEL RETS

    • Stand alone BMF DEL RETS on sole proprietorships

    • Cases with Low or Medium Priority Levels

      Caution:

      Do not assign to TEs cases involving trust fund recovery penalties (TFRPs), Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), or those with a PDT or CAU indicator.

  6. All cases assigned to TEs should be sub coded as 655 (DEL RET) or 656 (BAL DUE) on the Integrated Collection System (ICS).

Cases Requiring Managerial Review Prior to Return to Queue
  1. Field Collection Corporate Inventory assigned to Tax Examiners may be returned to the queue with managerial approval.

  2. Depending on the facts of the case and the extent of taxpayer contact, the group manager covering the taxpayer’s location may be consulted to determine if the group manager wants the case assigned to a revenue officer.

  3. GMs should document the ICS case history concerning managerial review/approval of return to queue.

  4. The following cases may be returned to the queue:

    • Business Master File (BMF) cases that cannot be fully resolved AND have no indications of continuing operations or employees.

      Note:

      If the TE has confirmed via telephone call or correspondence that the taxpayer continues to operate and has employees, and an IBTF Express installment has not been granted, the case should be transferred to the group manager covering the taxpayer’s location.

    • Collection Statute Expiration Date (CSED )and Assessment Statute Expiration Date (ASED) cases with an imminent statute (i.e. expiring within twelve months).

      Note:

      Cases with less than six months remaining on the CSED cannot be transferred to the queue.

    • Seizures - any case requiring a seizure.

    • Summons - any case where a summons would be anticipated.

    • Any complex case where the group manager agrees that the resolution is outside the scope of the TE’s abilities.

Disaster Issues and Replacement Inventory

  1. This section outlines inventory management issues arising from federally declared disasters or other emergency declarations under the Robert T. Stafford Act. These events pose challenges to the Service in terms of protecting the rights of impacted taxpayers and maintaining continuity of Field Collection operations. The term "disaster" will be used generically in this section to cover all applicable federal declarations under the Robert T. Stafford Act. Procedures for working cases with disaster indicators is located at IRM 5.1.12.2, Cases Requiring Special Handling- Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief.

Systemic Disaster Freeze Account Indicators
  1. The disaster program uses IDRS to ensure prescribed relief is provided to taxpayers within the identified zip codes in a disaster area.

  2. Disaster freeze code indicators are posted on IDRS to taxpayer accounts in the identified zip codes via IT systemic programming, computer transaction code (TC) 971. TC 971, action code 078 will post a -O freeze to the taxpayer’s account and a TC 971 action code 688 will post a -S freeze to the taxpayer’s account.

    1. The presence of a -O freeze allows the Service to provide special processing related to filing, payment or interest relief under IRC § 7805A and restricts taxpayer contact unless exigent circumstances apply, see IRM 5.1.12.2., Cases Requiring Special Handling-Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief.

    2. The presence of a -S freeze gives the IRS the flexibility to grant filing and paying relief without suspending compliance activities.

  3. ICS will flag a taxpayer account containing a disaster freeze with a red box containing the abbreviation “DIS” on the ICS case summary screen whenever a disaster code (-O or -S) is posted to IDRS and extracted to ICS.

-O Freeze Inventory
  1. When the entire or significant taxpayer population located in the geographic assignment area of a group, territory or area is designated with a -O freeze, the manager(s) must take steps to maintain continuity of Field Collection operations.

  2. Master File and IDRS programing limit the transfer of cases when a -O freeze is present. Cases containing a -O freeze cannot be transferred between functions.

    Example:

    A case containing a -O freeze cannot be transferred from Field Collection (status 26) to the Queue (status 24).

  3. Cases containing a -O freeze may be transferred within the group.

    Example:

    Cases may be transferred between revenue officers in the same group or from a revenue officer to the GM hold file if appropriate.

  4. Generally, cases assigned to revenue officers containing an -O freeze should not be transferred to the GM hold file. Revenue officers will be unable to charge time to cases which have been transferred to the GM hold file. In addition, when the cases are reassigned to a revenue officer at the end of the disaster period, the case will receive a new RO assignment date, which will affect the accuracy of various management reports.

  5. It may be appropriate to return cases to the queue after the expiration of the disaster period which previously contained a -O freeze if there was no prior taxpayer contact and higher priority inventory is available for assignment in the queue or GM hold file.

  6. In cases where a group’s geographic area is impacted by a disaster to the extent that most or all of the taxpayer accounts currently assigned or available for assignment in the group’s queue have received a -O freeze, it may be necessary for the group manager to request replacement inventory.

Replacement Inventory
  1. Replacement inventory is defined as inventory meeting criteria established by headquarters, to be assigned to field collection groups affected by a disaster in order to maintain continuity of Field Collection operations. Replacement inventory is located outside the group’s assignment parameter table. These cases are generally worked remotely without travel to the taxpayer’s location.

  2. Replacement inventory is obtained from a "host" location. A host location is one which is identified as having inventory meeting the headquarter's criteria for replacement inventory which can be assigned to a group affected by a disaster. A host location can be located in the same Area as the group needing replacement inventory, or the host location may be located in another Area.

  3. Groups assigned replacement inventory generally will not send courtesy investigations, including those for routine asset checks. In addition, do not propose transfers of cases to the host location or another location based solely on the taxpayer’s address.

  4. Replacement inventory cases must be identified since the investigative requirements for replacement inventory deviate from the procedures for general inventory assignments. This identification is accomplished by updating the ICS sub code to 899 and by documenting the ICS case history "Disaster replacement inventory."

Requesting and Assignment of Replacement Inventory
  1. Group managers will initiate a request for replacement inventory by advising the Territory Manager that most or all of the cases currently assigned or available for assignment in the groups parameter table contain a -O freeze designation. The Territory Manager will notify the Area Director’s staff of the inventory needs who will in turn, contact the Director, Field Collection’s staff. The Director, Field Collection’s staff will coordinate replacement inventory requests with Collection Inventory Delivery & Selection (CIDS)-Collection Case Delivery (CCD).

  2. Headquarters will establish the criteria for replacement inventory and will coordinate with CIDS-CCD to deliver the inventory to the group. Group managers shall not attempt to assign replacement inventory other than the cases provided by CIDS/CCD.

  3. Identification and assignment of replacement inventory is accomplished through a bulk Generalized IDRS Interface (GII) process. The GM will need to estimate the replacement inventory needs of the group over the anticipated term of the disaster period. Historically, the inventory needs have averaged 20 cases per employee for a three-month period. Subsequent inventory requests can me made if needed, however, the processes involved cannot accommodate weekly inventory requests.

  4. The replacement inventory will be delivered to the group manager’s hold file. Group managers will assign replacement inventory to revenue officers based on the inventory needs of each RO.

  5. In order to provide employees with sufficient inventory which can be worked, assignment of replacement inventory is not limited to the recommendation at IRM 1.4.50.10.2, Maintaining Targeted Inventories of five cases per week.

Impact of Replacement Inventory on Revenue Officer Inventory Levels and Employee Observations
  1. Depending on how the group’s -O freeze inventory is assigned during the disaster period, revenue officer inventories may be above or below standard inventory ranges when the replacement inventory is assigned.

  2. In order to identify revenue officers impacted by the assignment of replacement inventory for end-of-month reporting, GMs should input an inventory adjustment reason in the ENTITY case management system for each employee assigned replacement inventory. This is accomplished by selecting the “DARE” option located in the inventory adjustment reason menu located in the inventory adjustment menu for each employee.

  3. In situations where a revenue officer’s assigned inventory exceeds the maximum standard inventory level due to the assignment of replacement inventory for a period exceeding 10 work days, the group manager must relieve the revenue officer in writing of the IRM requirements regarding timely initial contact and timely follow-up actions until the employee’s inventory is within the standard inventory range of the grade of the employee, see IRM 1.4.50.10.2, Maintaining Targeted Inventories.

  4. In situations the group manager must conduct a taxpayer contact observation during the disaster period and there are no cases within the revenue officers geographic assignment area which do not contain a -O freeze, it is appropriate to perform an observation on a replacement inventory case by observing a telephonic contact between the revenue officer and the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s representative. When you are observing a telephonic contact, advise the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s representative of your observation at the beginning of the contact.

Disposition of Replacement Inventory at the End of the Disaster Period
  1. At the end of the disaster period, replacement inventory cases where there has been no contact from the taxpayer should be returned to the queue. This includes cases located in the GM hold file which were not assigned to an employee and cases which were assigned to an employee where there has been no response from the employee’s contact attempts.

  2. Group managers must not transfer replacement inventory via ICS to another group affected by a disaster or significant emergency. Groups needing replacement inventory should follow the guidance set fourth above at IRM 1.4.50.10.2, Requesting and Assigning Replacement Inventory.

  3. Group managers must not transfer replacement inventory to the host location via ICS an the end of the disaster period.

  4. Cases where the unpaid balance of assessments exceeds the dollar thresholds established by headquarter for replacement inventory due to an additional assessment, the group manager will discuss the case with the employee. The case may be returned to the queue if no contact attempt has been made, or if the there has been no response from the employee’s contact attempt.

Group Controls

  1. An important aspect of workload management and quality control for Collection managers is the establishment of group controls and reviews. You must establish and maintain control procedures for shipping closed cases, Form 3210 retention and Form 3210 follow up. Use the EQ managerial review process to conduct case reviews.

  2. On a monthly basis, use the ENTITY and ATFR systems to monitor and maintain controls in these areas: pyramiding, CSED, ASED, Large Dollar, no touch/activity for specific time period, RO inventory levels, higher graded duties, RO time usage (focusing on field and administrative time), TFRP investigations, and In-Business Trust Fund cases. Take corrective actions when warranted. Many of these reports are currently available on the ENTITY Month End report. Establish appropriate controls for non-IDRS cases (FTD Alerts, Other Investigations, CIPs, etc.). Any negative trends identified should be addressed on a RO-by-RO basis. You should also utilize ICS "Notifications" to monitor ongoing case activities.

    Reminder:

    Reports available in ATFR include: ATFR ASED , Pending Determination , Pending 4183, Pending 1153, and Pending 2749 to CPM. Verify the calculation has been performed and shared with taxpayer.

  3. On a monthly basis, use the ENTITY system to monitor all cases with outstanding employment tax liabilities greater than $10,000 for which no NFTL has been filed or the normal NFTL determination period has been extended. If the NFTL is unfiled more than 60 days after receipt of the module, determine whether an immediate NFTL filing or non-filing determination is required. See 5.12.2.5 , Approvals Relating to Determinations, for GM approval/documentation requirements.

    Note:

    You may, if appropriate, monitor other NFTL filing determinations as well. If you decide to establish monitoring/controls for non-mandatory items, base your decision on individual facts and circumstances.

  4. Once established, these control reports can be utilized to identify cases needing regular review and follow-up by the manager. Reviews should address issues such as:

    1. Are timely and effective actions being taken to appropriately resolve the case?

    2. Is the accuracy of high priority cases (CSED, ASED) being verified?

    3. Are taxpayer rights being observed?

    4. Is the revenue officer providing good customer service?

Remittance Control Reviews

  1. You are required to maintain control procedures per IRM 5.1.2.4.5, Remittance/Document Transmittal Controls (Form 3210 and Form 795/795A), to ensure delivery and acknowledgement of remittance packages to Submission Processing. Periodically (at least once annually) conduct a review of control procedures established to ensure staff is complying with the procedures in IRM 5.1.2.4, Daily Report of Collection Activity. This control review should include the procedures for remittance packages prepared by revenue officers working away from the POD on extended field calls or telework. This control review should include reviewing procedures for remittance packages prepared by revenue officers within the group but located in satellite/remote PODs.

    Note:

    This control review is not a review of Form 5919, Teller's Error Advice. This control review is not a periodic check to ensure remittances/posting documents match the Form 795/795A being transmitted to Submission Processing.



    At a minimum your control review should confirm and document there is a process for and the group is complying with the following review points:

    • Form 3210 is used to transmit multiple Form 795/795As to Submission Processing per IRM 5.1.2.4, Daily Report of Collection Activity - Form 795/795A. This may be done by looking at both the Form 3210 control copies and the acknowledged Form 3210s.

      Note:

      Per IRM 5.1.2.4(4), Form 3210 must be completed and two copies included when sending more than one revenue officer sealed envelope to Submission Processing.

    • Form 3210 lists only documents transmitted, does not list any documents that were not transmitted, and is not missing transmitted documents.

      Note:

      When the Form 3210 is missing transmitted documents (i.e. documents are transmitted with the form but not listed on the form), Submission Processing is required to annotate the acknowledgement copy with documents received but not listed.

    • Form 795/795As are prepared timely according to IRM 5.1.2.4. This may be done by comparing the Form 795/795A dates with the remittance received dates for remittances listed on the Form 795/795A.

    • Form 795/795As and envelopes are prepared properly per IRM 5.1.2.4.3, Procedures for Preparing and Processing Form 795/795A. This may be done by comparing prepared Form 795/795As and envelopes with the requirements listed in IRM 5.1.2.4.3.

    • Control copies of Form 3210 are maintained per IRM 5.1.2.4.4, Procedures for Mailing Form 795/795A to Submission Processing. This may be done by looking at the location/file containing the Form 3210 control copies.

    • Control copies of Form 795/795A are maintained per IRM 5.1.2.4.3. This may be done by looking at location/file containing the Form 795/795As control copies.

    • A procedure is established to handle processing of remittances and returns for those employees away from the office per IRM 5.1.2.4. This may be done by verifying with employees the process used to ensure payments are processed the same day or no later than the next business day for those employees away from the office.

    • All document transmittal forms are reconciled on a biweekly basis to ensure that all transmittals were received per IRM 5.1.2.4.4(2). This may be done by looking at the location/file of the Form 3210 control copies for copies older than two weeks.

    • The actions in IRM 5.1.2.4.5.1, Form 795 Follow up, have been taken for document transmittals (Form 3210, or in the case of one envelope, Form 795/795A) without an acknowledgement and 14 days have passed since transmission. This may be done by reviewing the control documents, verifying they were all acknowledged and any that were not acknowledged were followed up on within 14 days. Verify the designated clerical contact knows the follow-up requirements contained in IRM 5.1.2.4.5.1, Form 3210 and Form 795/795A Follow Up.

    • Verify revenue officers in each post of duty have access to a "United States Treasury" stamp to meet the requirements of IRM 5.1.2.6.3.1, Overstamping or Endorsing.

    Note:

    To verify remittance packages prepared by revenue officers working away from the POD on extended field calls or telework, the ENTITY query system may be used to select payments secured on days the revenue officers were working away from the POD on extended field calls or Telework.



    You must document your review. An optional template containing the minimum documentation is contained in Exhibit 1.4.50-9, Remittance Processing Transmission Control Review Template. If the template is not used, the review documentation must, at a minimum, notate the date the review was completed, the name of the reviewer, each of the review points listed in the template, whether the review point's IRM requirement was met or not met, and any corrections/comments for each review point.

    The documented review must be retained for the appropriate period required under the records management guidelines per IRM 1.15, Records and Information Management. A copy of the documented review may be forwarded to the TM for review.

CSED Accounts

  1. Generate a report from ENTITY at least monthly to identify accounts for which the Collection Statute Expiration Date (CSED) will expire within the next 12 months. Review those cases to:

    1. Verify the accuracy of the CSED, and ensure corrective actions are taken (see below).

    2. Ensure that timely and effective action is taken.

  2. The CSED displayed may be invalid in certain cases. The CSED shown is always for the earliest assessment on the module. If that assessment is paid, the true CSED is for a later assessment (for example, an adjustment or deficiency assessment). If that is the case, request command code CSEDR to eliminate erroneous CSEDs from future monthly reports. Update the CSED date on ICS or instruct the revenue officer to take that action.

    Note:

    Update the ICS CSED date by selecting “New ICS CSED Date” under Module Detail, Update Module Date. Updating the IDRS CSED and requesting a TC 550 is not necessary in cases where the initial assessment has been full paid and the true CSED is based on a subsequent assessment. Review cc IMFOLT for FIRST CSED, NEXT CSED and LAST CSED and cc BMFOLT for LATEST CSED DATE, EARLIEST CSED DATE and IMMINENT CSED DATE.

  3. See IRM 5.1.19.5.3(3) , Documenting Imminent CSEDs, for necessary actions when the CSED will expire in 120 days or less.

  4. If a statute expires, see IRM 5.16.1.2.2.5, Report of Statute Expiration. Reports are not required for statutes that expire while cases are in the queue.

ASED Accounts

  1. Generate a report from ENTITY at least monthly to identify accounts where the Assessment Statute Expiration Date (ASED) for the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (TFRP) will expire within the next 12 months. Ensure that these cases are loaded on the ATFR System. Review and comparison of ENTITY reports and ATFR reports should ensure accurate identification of all potential ASED issues.

    Note:

    You may wish to review these reports more frequently during the period January through April.

  2. Review potential ASED modules where no penalty determination appears to have been made, and the case has been in inventory for greater than 5 months.

  3. When appropriate, instruct revenue officers to:

    1. Proceed with trust fund investigation.

    2. Prepare Form 4183, Recommendation Re: Trust Fund Recovery Penalty Assessment for approval.

    3. Secure Form 2750, Waiver Extending Statutory Period for Assessment of Trust Fund Recovery Penalty, from all persons who appear to be responsible for the trust fund taxes, but did not collect, account for and/or pay the taxes. This consent must be completed and signed by both the taxpayer and by a Service representative on or before the ASED expiration to be a valid extension of the ASED.

    4. Proceed with assessment.

      Caution:

      Taxpayers have the right to refuse to extend the limitations period. See IRM 5.7.3.6.1, Form 2750 Waiver.

  4. Check to ensure the revenue officer made a determination on ATFR, appropriately documented the ICS case history concerning TFRP development and the ASED Review indicator (ASED-R) is properly recorded on IDRS.

    ASED-R Meaning
    "1" Penalty assessed
    "2" Unable to locate responsible persons
    "3" No collection potential for any responsible person
    "4" All trust fund amounts paid
    "5" Penalty not applicable
  5. Report the expiration of any ASED per instructions in IRM 5.7.3.8, Reporting Expiration of TFRP Statute.

Monitoring Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (TFRP) Accounts

  1. The Automated Trust Fund Recovery (ATFR) application provides several reports to facilitate monitoring of TFRP assessments. Monitor ATFR reports at least monthly to ensure investigations are conducted and recommendations are made timely. Use these reports to:

    • Monitor the determination period and ensure revenue officers make timely TFRP determinations.

    • Determine whether imminent statute cases have been addressed.

    • Match the ATFR inventory with inventory assigned to the group and resolve any discrepancies semi-annually.

    • Ensure Forms 4183 are submitted timely for approval.

    • Ensure Letter 1153 is provided timely to responsible parties.

    • Ensure trust fund assessments are forwarded timely to Control Point Monitoring (CPM).

    Reminder:

    Use ATFR system reports at least monthly to promote timely TFRP investigations and actions by revenue officers

  2. The ATFR application is also used to approve revenue officer actions such as:

    • Delay of determination.

    • Nonassertion Recommendation of Uncollectible Trust Fund Recovery Penalty.

    • Recommendation of Trust Fund Recovery Penalty Assessment.

    • Cases closed to the queue or In-Business Installment Agreement.

  3. The following ICS case history entries should be automatically generated by ATFR:

    • Approved Delay Determination date

    • Pursue Determination date

    • 4183 sent for approval date

    • 4183 approved date

    • 4183 approval denied

    • 4183 amendment request

    • 4183 amendment approved

    • Disposition date and type

    • Form 2750 Extension date and Responsible Party SSN

    Reminder:

    Due to ex parte communication rules on documentation after receipt of a TFRP protest, ensure that the TFRP assertion recommendation is fully documented and supported prior to approving Form 4183.

    Note:

    Managers must document the ICS case history with the circumstances warranting the additional time when a Form 4183 delay is approved.

  4. If you approve an installment agreement before sending Form 2749 to CPM on ATFR, ensure that an Other Investigation (OI) is created on ICS to control the TFRP case until the Form 2749 has been submitted to CPM. See IRM 5.14.7.4.1(12), Trust Fund Recovery Penalties and Installment Agreements.

    Exception:

    If it is determined that the TFRP will not be recommended per IRM 5.7.4.8.1 no OI is necessary.

  5. If Bal Due modules are being reported CNC prior to sending Form 2749 to CPM on ATFR, an Other Investigation (OI) will be created on ICS to control the TFRP case until the Form 2749 has been submitted to CPM. See IRM 5.16.1.2.6(6), Defunct Corporations, Exempt Organizations, Limited Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies.

  6. Resources:

    • IRM 5.7.4, Investigation and Recommendation of TFRP

    • ATFR web page: http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/Collection/collsystems/atfr/default.aspx

Timely Processing of Collection Due Process (CDP) and Equivalent Hearing (EH) Requests

  1. ICS provides a monthly area level report to monitor processing of CDP and EH requests. These reports are accessible by the designated CDP coordinator for the area. The CDP coordinator monitors these reports to identify hearing requests that appear to be aging in field inventory and on a quarterly basis will issue an alert to the territory and/or group manager for appropriate follow-up.

  2. ICS provides a weekly group level CDP/EH Inventory Report. This report identifies CDP and EH requests in process at the group level. Use this report to identify hearing requests in the group and follow-up as appropriate on requests that appear to be aging. Refer to IRM 5.1.9.3.3Processing CDP and EH Requests, for time frames for processing hearing requests.

  3. Managers can check the receipt and status of cases in Appeals by researching the Appeals Centralized Database System (ACDS).

Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) Monitoring

  1. By memorandum issued by Commissioner, SBSE, on March 29, 2011, certain compliance employees of SBSE are now authorized electronic access to SAR information in connection with active and assigned cases.

  2. Revenue officers regularly assigned ATAT cases and all GS 13 field collection revenue officers will be authorized online access to SARs, but only after they and their managers have been trained in the proper handling of SAR information.

  3. Managers of employees with electronic access to SARs must conduct online reviews of SAR audit trails for their employees’ logons, logoffs, and SAR records access no less than annually and for a period of no less than 30 days of SAR access within the past year. Refer to IRM 5.20.12.8.1, Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Review Procedures.

  4. Managers of employees authorized to electronically access SARs will be provided instructions for completing the audit trail review and will be assisted in gaining the appropriate WebCBRS permission.

  5. If the Area SAR gatekeeper is an Area analyst, the Area Director may delegate another area management official the responsibility of completing the online review of SAR audit trails for the Area Gatekeeper.

  6. Resources:

    • Additional SAR Guidance can be found at:http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/Collection/toolsprocesses/sar/sarguidance/default.aspx

Closed Case File Transmittals

  1. Form 3210, Document Transmittal, is the control document used when shipping closed cases from the group to Centralized Case Processing (CCP).

  2. You must conduct quarterly reviews of Forms 3210 used to transmit closed cases. Confirm that control copies of Form 3210 are timely reconciled with acknowledgement copies. If Form 795B is associated with Form 3210, confirm that all cases listed on Form 795B are also listed on Form 3210.

  3. Refer to IRM 10.5.1.6.7.3, Shipping Personally Identifiable Information (PII) for further information about Form 3210 procedures including follow-up time frames/actions and loss reporting.

  4. Ensure that control copies of Forms 3210 are retained in accordance with the Records and Information Management Records Control Schedule in Document 12990, Records Control Schedules. See RECORDS CONTROL SCHEDULE (RCS) 22 TAX ADMINISTRATION – COMPLIANCE (#2). As of the published date of this IRM the Records Control Schedule allows transmittal documents to be destroyed when two years old.

Quality

  1. The IRS vision focuses on three high level goals: service to each taxpayer, service to all taxpayers and productivity through a quality work environment. IRS has developed a set of Balanced Measures in three major areas: Customer Satisfaction, Employee Satisfaction and Business Results, with Business Results comprised of measures of quality and quantity.

  2. You are responsible for the quality of all work assigned to your group and for all work which leaves your group regardless of the methods you use. You must devise a system of quality control which works for you. Consider:

    1. Encouraging revenue officers to work with you in your efforts to improve the quality of their work

    2. Devising a plan to ensure a high level of quality in your group

    3. Using reports available through the EQ system as diagnostic tools to focus attention on specific quality issues. The EQRS application used by front line managers and the NQRS application used by centralized reviewers mirror each other and feature numerous reporting capabilities that will facilitate comparison of results from both reviews at various levels of the organization. For example, if specific aspects of NQRS reports for a certain Area Office start to decline, area, territory and even group results for the same aspect measured under the managerial EQ review can be viewed to help isolate potential root causes.

  3. In planning your program, keep in mind that the best use of your time is coaching revenue officers and assisting them in the successful resolution of cases, especially those that are more complex.

  4. Reviews can help you determine your revenue officers’ needs for training and development. This will help you decide how much time to devote to each revenue officer.

  5. You may also choose from the following reviews and controls in designing your plan:

    1. Field visitations.

    2. Office observations.

    3. Spot reviews of open and closed cases.

    4. Formal inventory analysis.

    5. Time utilization reviews.

    6. Reviews of work submitted for approval.

    7. Initial contact reviews.

    8. TFRP cases pending determination or recommendation.

    9. Regular reviews of high priority cases:
      • Pyramiding
      • CSED accounts
      • Assessment Statute Expiration Date (ASED) accounts
      • Large dollar accounts
      • In-business accounts
      FTD Alerts

EQRS

  1. In reaching our goals we consider our impact on customer and employee satisfaction while we strive to improve quality and achieve quantifiable results. The Embedded Quality (EQ) process was developed to support Balanced Measures objectives.

    1. EQ is a tool designed to assist managers in identifying areas of strength and need in their employees’ individual performance. Case actions are evaluated against attributes that are designed, in accordance with IRM requirements, to identify actions that move cases toward closure through appropriate and timely case activity. The attributes link individual performance to organizational goals and are used by both Managers and National Quality Reviewers to assess significant case actions.

    2. EQ enables you to measure the quality of both individual and group performance. It allows National Quality Review to assess the quality of the function to facilitate recommendations for improvement through policy changes, training and updated procedural guidelines.

    3. The focus of EQ is on improving performance while the performance occurs. The attributes can be measured on open or closed cases. EQ is designed to identify gaps in quality case work at the earliest point in activity. It assists you in targeting corrective steps that positively impact performance.

    4. To conduct employee case reviews, use the Embedded Quality Review System (EQRS) to rate case actions against the attributes. EQRS also provides you with tools to capture and share review feedback to show employees how they performed in relation to both the attributes and their CJEs. This should assist managers in providing employees with specific examples of how to sustain or enhance their performance.

NQRS

  1. National quality reviewers use a similar web-based system called the National Quality Review System (NQRS). A cornerstone of EQ is that quality reviewers and managers use the same basic set of attributes. This should minimize the concern that national reviewers are applying different criteria than managers when reviewing cases. However the national quality reviews will not be used to evaluate individual employee performance. NQRS attributes are not linked to employee CJEs; instead each attribute is mapped to one of five Quality Measurement Categories:

    1. Timeliness.

    2. Professionalism.

    3. Procedural Accuracy.

    4. Regulatory Accuracy.

    5. Customer Accuracy.

EQ Consistency Reviews

  1. Consistency Reviews will be conducted to assist users in rating EQ attributes consistently by using the Attribute Job Aids, EQ website guidance, employee Critical Job Elements and IRMs. You may participate in one or more EQ consistency reviews each year. The goal of Consistency Reviews is to improve the understanding and application of the EQ rating guidelines. Group managers and territory managers within a territory will review the same case, compare attribute results, and discuss how rating guidelines can be applied to achieve consistency on attributes where significant rating inconsistencies occurred.

  2. Territory managers will schedule and conduct EQRS Consistency Reviews with group managers annually. Area Directors may add additional reviews when consistency among managers needs improvement. Consistency Reviews require all managers within a territory to review the same case to compare attribute results and discuss how rating guidelines can be applied to achieve consistency. Refer to IRM 5.13.1.5.3, Territory Office Responsibility, for review procedures and guidelines.

  3. Reviews are documented by preparing a written narrative to include the date the review was completed, observations and actions taken to achieve consistent application of EQ attributes.

  4. Refer to IRM 5.13.1, Embedded Quality Administrative Guidelines, for information and guidance about EQ.

Revenue Officer Case Documentation

  1. It is extremely important that case documentation is timely, clear, accurate, and complete. Specific guidance for revenue officer case documentation is provided in various sections of the IRM, including Part 5.

  2. Incomplete documentation will negatively affect:

    1. Subsequent revenue officer case actions.

    2. Ability to review and evaluate case activity.

    3. Actions by other employees.

    4. Quality Review System results.

    5. Cases presented in legal proceedings.

    For Example: Ensure that revenue officers clearly document the reason(s) why they have determined that the filing of a NFTL is not appropriate.

Territory Manager Operational Aid

  1. Guidance in this section is for Field Collection Territory Managers. An optional template to assist you with planning operational reviews can be found in Exhibit 1.4.50-7.

Role of the Territory Manager

  1. TMs have oversight responsibility for program delivery as well as administrative/compliance conformance.

    • Program Delivery focuses on group operations and ensuring appropriate guidance and direction is given to group managers to assist them in successfully delivering the program outlined in the Business Plan and Letters of Engagement.

    • Administrative/Compliance Conformance focuses on ensuring adherence to service-wide managerial requirements and law, regulation and policy. Such items may or may not seem directly related to program delivery. Examples include: 1204 certifications, hiring, travel authorizations/vouchers, remittance control reviews, etc.

Operational Reviews

  1. Operational reviews are used to monitor and document progress toward achieving organizational goals and objectives.

  2. Operational Reviews have two components: Program reviews and Administrative/Compliance Conformance reviews.

  3. While oversight responsibility is ongoing, TMs must periodically conduct appropriate reviews and document findings with a memorandum.

  4. Conduct follow up reviews when appropriate.

  5. These procedures apply to all general collection and ATAT groups (excludes OIC).

    Program Review Purpose: The program review of individual groups is intended to evaluate the effectiveness of the manager, assess the group’s performance and to provide guidance and direction intended to improve business results, foster effective casework and managerial engagement. The program review will assess the group’s progress in areas such as performance efficiencies and quality. Use the review to identify trends, assess skills, training needs and overall performance. GM communication and leadership of the group are addressed in this process. Program reviews should focus on assisting the group manager to improve performance and quality of case actions.

    Administrative/Compliance Conformance Review Purpose: The purpose of the administrative and compliance review is to ensure conformance with servicewide managerial requirements and compliance with guidance related to law, regulation, and policy.

Frequency

  1. Program and/or administrative/compliance reviews may be conducted during the fiscal year as a single phase comprehensive review or may take the form of an on-going series of multi-phased reviews that focus on specific aspects of the group’s performance.

  2. Information from periodic GM briefings could also be incorporated in a multi-phased approach. Briefings are an optional method used to ensure periodic communication on group progress and other areas of interest.

  3. Feedback about program review findings is expected to occur continuously throughout the review cycle.

Documentation

  1. When using a comprehensive review option, one narrative will be prepared to document findings.

  2. When using the multi-phase approach, prepare a narrative to document each component at the time the review is completed. For example, you may conduct reviews of specific program aspects, such as NFTL determinations or trust fund activity, providing group specific feedback.

  3. When using the multi-phase approach, you may choose to review program aspects across the territory and provide group specific feedback or review targeted aspects for a specific group.

  4. The narrative should be written with the GM as the intended audience. Attachments that provide additional detail may be used as appropriate.

  5. Share review documentation with the group manager within 60 days of completing the actual review.

Program Reviews

  1. When developing a group program review plan, consider the experience level of the GM and the group’s overall current performance. Additionally, TMs that are new to the existing groups should conduct a review that would ensure complete familiarity to the groups in the territory.

  2. Provide a framework for the group operational reviews at the beginning of each fiscal year based on the above criteria.

  3. Exhibit 1.4.50-7, Operational Review Plan Guide, may be used to develop the framework for the Operational Review.

  4. Confer with the Area Director (AD) for concurrence on a plan that is tailored for each group’s unique circumstances.

  5. Plan the review based on your analysis of territory and group performance results and program trends. A variety of management information system (MIS) reports should assist in determining areas of focus for the review.

  6. The review plan will be tailored to the needs of each group in order to assess progress on objectives and ensure employee skills are developed, customers serviced timely, and the group’s performance is enhanced in both quality and productivity.

  7. Critical items that should be addressed in each group Program Review include: leadership, communication, case reviews, quality of case actions, and employee performance feedback.

Program Review Planning
  1. When planning your review, incorporate mandatory review items and consider including other group appropriate items.

  2. The list below reflects commonly selected review components. Items annotated “mandatory” must be addressed in your annual operational review.

    Reminder:

    Mandatory items could be added to your oversight responsibility after this IRM is published. Incorporate these and any subsequent guidance issued into your reviews as appropriate.

Commonly Selected Review Components
  1. Items annotated “mandatory” must be addressed in your annual operational review.

    Territory Manager Operational Review Items

    Component Description
    Case Reviews
    1. At a minimum, review 2 to 3 cases per RO in the group. The reviews should assess whether the case is moving toward a logical resolution, if the RO is using good workload management techniques, and whether there are any trends that may be adversely impacting group performance. The TM review is a higher level review that considers if actions taken on the case are appropriate and are effectively moving the case toward a logical resolution.

      • As part of the case review process, customer service considerations may be assessed by determining if taxpayer contacts were timely and whether the RO has been responsive to taxpayer requests. In addition, confirm that RO has appropriately observed valid POAs on file. When case reviews are conducted, it is mandatory to ensure that managers are addressing TP rights, particularly with respect to direct contact provisions.

      • You may also include “mirror” reviews of cases which the GM has already reviewed in order to assess the accuracy of the GMs EQ attribute review and if proper direction was given by the GM as part of the review. You may use the EQ review reports to determine if the GM reviewed the appropriate number and mix of cases during both the mid and annual appraisal segments. This may also be accomplished at the mid year approval if the TM has elected to approve the mid year appraisal of each RO.

      Note:

      See IRM 1.4.50.5.2.2, Requirements For Annual Case Reviews.

    2. Additional considerations include:

      • Annual field visit conducted,

      • Annual time utilization reviews conducted,

      • Follow-up review conducted, and

      • Whether the reviews were provided to the RO timely.

    NFTL Determination Accuracy
    1. You must review an adequate sample of cases to determine if the GM and your approval, as TM, of NFTL determinations was secured when necessary and if the NFTL determination decisions were appropriate, mandatory.

      Note:

      See IRM 5.12.2 ,Notice of Lien Determinations, for mandatory NFTL determination guidelines.

    Collection Consultation Process
    1. The Consultation Process is designed to ensure that cases move as efficiently as possible and group managers provide guidance to ROs in an informal setting. Consultations emphasize timely contacts and actions that facilitate appropriate case resolutions. TMs should ensure the Consultations include a resolution based discussion between the GM and RO.

      • Confer with each group manager at the beginning of each fiscal year to develop a consultation plan for his/her group. The plan should include a determination of the type and frequency of consultations planned for each RO, mandatory.

      • Review monthly consultation reports to ensure the GM is meeting the requirements of IRM 1.4.50.4.1, Consultation Process,, and to verify managerial involvement and that appropriate guidance is being provided.

      • Observe a Consultation meeting between a revenue officer and group manager at least annually, if possible. Consider a biannual observation for a seasoned manager or more frequently for those GMs that are new or who are not conducting effective consultations. Observe consultations with a new (or long-term acting manager) during their first six months in the position.

      • Provide a written narrative to the GM after each meeting observed to include observations, recommendations, etc., focusing on strategies to make the consultation process more effective. This narrative can stand on its own or it can be included in the program review narrative if held in conjunction with that review.

    Quality
    1. Group quality should be analyzed using available EQ/NQ reports. These resources can be used to identify trends that may need further attention.

    Alternative Case Resolution
    1. Ensure that GMs are effectively utilizing resources such as Counsel, ATAT, FTAs, etc. This can be accomplished by CCI observation, EQ direction by GM, and compliance counsel participation.

    TFRP/ATFR
    1. Monitor TFRP timeliness trends as needed. Monitoring needs should be determined based on group performance and experience of the group manager. ATFR/TFRP timeliness trends may be addressed with the group manager during periodic briefings and summarized in the program review.

    ENTITY/MIS Report Analysis
    1. On an ongoing basis, conduct analysis of ENTITY and MIS reports in areas such as currency of inventory, NFTL filing determinations, activity lapses, pyramiding, large dollar, multiple modules, and other performance indicators. Identify possible case trends and provide guidance designed to achieve Area/Territory targets/objectives. Observation and results of your analysis may be addressed during periodic briefings with the group manager and then summarized in the program review narrative.

      Note:

      A written narrative should be prepared and shared with the GM more frequently if any issues or concerns exist.


    See http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/Collection/collsystems/entity/default.aspx or guidance on ENTITY and MIS reports.
    GM Controls
    1. Ensure that GMs have established adequate controls for priority cases such as ASED, CSED, ATFR, large dollar, activity lapses, etc.

      Note:

      TM briefings are one control point to assess controls and GM knowledge of the priority cases in their control.

    EPF Review
    1. Determine if the OPM guidelines for document retention and items included in EPF have been followed. Evaluate whether performance documentation supports the evaluation rating. Verify that the appropriate reviews have been conducted at the appropriate time.

    Communication
    1. Look for indicators that GMs are effectively communicating procedure and policy changes affecting overall quality of work. Assess the quality of GM guidance concerning effective case resolution. Review group meeting minutes to determine if Area and Territory information is shared as appropriate. You may also wish to conduct focus group or individual discussions to evaluate whether key information and message are delivered in a timely appropriate fashion.

    Employee Satisfaction
    1. These issues can be assessed by ensuring Survey or workgroup questionnaire issues are addressed and discussed on an ongoing basis. Ascertain if appropriate EEO and diversity practices are discussed, such as:

      • Reasonable Accommodation, hardships & EEO etc.

      • Discussion of training,

      • Employee development & CLPs,

      • Timely feedback to RO & timely evaluations, and

      • Targeted inventory levels & inventory mix

      should be considered.

    2. Many of these areas are addressed during periodic briefings and can be confirmed through GM completion of online mandatory briefings.

    Customer Satisfaction
    1. Look for indicators that customers are receiving timely and appropriate actions, and are receiving fair and equitable treatment from the RO to assist in bringing their case to an appropriate resolution.

    ATAT Program
    1. TMs of ATAT groups need to ensure case actions are tailored to the type of scheme. When reviewing cases, look for collaboration with Exam, Counsel and others as necessary. Time charging to the appropriate compliance designations should be assessed.

    Group Time Reporting and Analysis
    1. On a monthly basis review ENTITY reports and reports provided by the Area Analysts, to evaluate a group’s use of Direct Compliance Time, Field Time, Administrative Time, 809 Time, etc. These items may be addressed during periodic briefings as well.

    Group Productivity and Efficiency
    1. Conduct an analysis of the group’s efficiency in case resolution using productivity and cycle time reports provided by Area analysts. Productivity measures are a result of case work efficiencies, including simultaneous case actions, closing cases in a timely manner and working cases with resolution in mind.

    Annual Appraisal/Performance Document Approval
    1. You are responsible for ensuring timely feedback and appropriate ratings of employees. This should be an ongoing process during the year through approval of the annual rating. Ensure consistency between the Form 6850 critical job element rating/narrative and the performance documentation contained in the EPF. Review for potential 1204 violations/ ROTERs during this process.

      • Ensure that the GM has a review schedule that includes all required reviews such as mid year, field visits, etc. A mutually agreeable review schedule should be established at the beginning of each fiscal year. Ensure that GMs conduct mid year reviews between the fifth and seventh month of the rating cycle. Annual reviews/ratings should be completed at least 60 days prior to the end of the rating period so that employees have enough time to demonstrate improvement if necessary.

      • Discuss GM compliance with review schedules during periodic briefings and document compliance in the program review annual narrative.

     

Suggested Optional Components
  1. Suggested Optional actions that can be included in the Program review are shown below (this list is not all inclusive). These can be completed during the actual review or anytime throughout the year and included in the annual narrative:

    • Fraud program/identification and FTAs involvement

    • Inventory ranges and assignment practices/inventory delivery process

    • Above grade work

    • Multi-module strategy

    • Trends and pattern report – teller errors

    • Span of control

    • Review the managers hold file, group designation hold file and inventory deliver process to ensure the receiving and delivering of the inventory is completed in a timely manner

    • Attend at least one group meeting per year with each group

    • Field visitations to determine the effectiveness of the GM in ensuring TP rights and timely and appropriate actions taken by the RO.

Administrative/Compliance Reviews

  1. Administrative/Compliance Reviews are used to monitor and document oversight of operational items not included in program reviews. TMs are required to provide oversight for administrative/ compliance review areas. These reviews may be conducted at anytime during the fiscal year.

  2. Document results of mandatory Administrative/Compliance review items in a clearly identified subsection of your annual comprehensive program review or prepare a separate narrative review (at least annually) to summarize results.

  3. Documentation is required for those items noted as mandatory as well as items for which findings indicate non-compliance and/or a need for improvement.

Common Components
  1. Items to be reviewed during the fiscal year include, but are not limited to:

    Territory Manager Administrative/Compliance Review Items

    Component Description
    Remittance Controls
    1. Ensure adherence to IRM 1.4.50.11.1, Remittance Control Reviews, Mandatory.

    Remittance Processing
    1. Ensure that GMs are properly reviewing remittance processing procedures. See IRM 5.1.2.1,Remittance Processing Overview, and IRM 5.1.2.4, Daily Report of Collection Activity-Form 795-795A.

    EPF/Drop file reviews
    1. Some components of the EPF maintenance are addressed under program reviews. However, for the administrative and compliance review, assess compliance with established guidance. Suggested resources:

      • IRM 1.4.50.3.1, Collection Group Manager, Territory Manager and Area Director Operational Aid-Administrative.

      • IRM 6.430.2.2.4,Performance Management- Performance Management for Evaluating Bargaining Unit and Non Bargaining Unit Employees Assigned to Critical Job Elements-Sharing and Discussing the CJE Performance Plan.

      • IRM 6.735.1.5, Ethics and Conduct Matters-Outside Employment and Business Activities.

      • IRM 1.15.1, Records and Information Management Records and Information Management Program.

      • IRM 6.430.2.3.5,Performance Management- Performance Management for Evaluating Bargaining Unit and Non Bargaining Unit Employees Assigned to Critical Job Elements-Employee Performance File.

      • IRM 6.800.2, IRS Telework Program.

      • IRM 6.610.1.5.2, Hours of Duty-IRS Hours of Duty-Alternative Work Schedules.

    Controls
    1. Determine if appropriate and sufficient controls are in place such as:

      • Statutes, IRM 1.4.50.11.2, CSED Accounts and IRM 1.4.50.11.3, ASED Accounts.

      • TFRP, IRM 1.4.50.11.4, Monitoring Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (TFRP) Accounts.

      • CDP, IRM 1.4.50.11.5, Timely Processing of Collection Due Process (CDP) and Equivalent Hearing (EH) Requests.

      • Remittances, IRM 1.4.50.11.1, Remittance Control Reviews.

    Timekeeping/SETR
    1. Review the GM control timekeeping process to ensure that established timekeeping guidance is being followed. See IRM 6.630.1.1.2, Administration of the Federal Leave System – Manager Responsibilities.

    Security
    1. Security responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

      • Verification of GM after hours security checks and subsequent remedies. See IRM 1.4.6.8.1, Functional Reviews.

      • Verification that GM has reviewed Form 5081 accesses and need for access to all computer systems for their employees. See IRM 10.8.1.4.1.1.9, Access Authorization for information about the OL5081.

      • Ensuring that taxpayer returns and other sensitive records are protected. See IRM 10.5.1.4, Privacy and Information Protection-Employees/Personnel.

    Transmittal Logs/F3210
    1. Ensure that the GM has a process in place to monitor Form 3210 transmittals and that the forms are retained for the appropriate retention period. See Document 12990, Records and Information Management Records Control Schedules.

    Records and Information Management Records Control Schedules
    1. identify the GMs correspondence and file retention procedures to ensure they comply with Document 12990, Records and Information Management Records Controls Schedules.

    Travel Vouchers/Authorizations
    1. Ensure that the GM is approving authorizations and vouchers timely and monitoring for correct coding, receipts and expenses that are appropriate. See:

      • IRM 1.32.1, Official IRS Local Travel Guide

      • IRM 1.32.11, Official IRS City-to-City Travel Guide.

    Credit Bureau:
    1. Ensure the GM is approving credit bureau requests as required and has a system in place to monitor for proper documentation. See IRM 5.1.18.19, Consumer Credit Reports.

    Purchase Cards/Supplies Orders
    1. Review the group's purchase card procedures to verify they are in compliance with established guidance. See IRM 1.35.4.12 Documenting Purchase Card Transactions and the Purchase Card Guide, Document 9185, at:http://erc.web.irs.gov/docs/2002/awss/cs/erclinks/pc_guide.pdf

    1204/ROTERS
    1. On an ongoing basis, screen case and performance documentation for inappropriate use of ROTERs. Quarterly, complete the 1204 self certification and certify the group manager’s completion of their self certification. See IRM 1.5.3Manager’s Self-Certification and the Independent Review Process.

    EQ Consistency Reviews
    1. Conduct an EQ consistency review at least annually to promote consistent application of EQ Attributes. Document the consistency review per IRM 5.13.1.5.3, Collection Quality Measurement-Territory Office Responsibility.

     

Area Director Operational Aid

  1. See Exhibit 1.4.50-8, Area Director Operational Aid.

Revenue Officer Case Assignment Guide

Changes to the systemic grading process were made in 2012. Most cases receive their predicted grade via the Inventory Delivery System (IDS). Case grade is systemically assigned using information from one or more of the following sources:

  • Tax returns

  • IRP data

  • Module data

  • Entity level taxpayer data

Those cases not evaluated in the IDS still use the Resources and Workload Management System (RWMS) scores for case grading. The data IDRS uses to assign case grades is shown in the table below, "Manual IDRS Criteria for Grading TDAs and TDIs." IDRS sums the RWMS scores for all Taxpayer Delinquent Accounts (TDAs) on the taxpayer plus the Taxpayer Delinquency Investigation (TDI) entity score, and assigns a grade accordingly.

IDRS Criteria for Grading TDAs and TDIs

Grade IDRS Criteria for Grading TDAs and TDIs
GS-12 Total RWMS score for entity = 30,001 or higher
GS-11 Total RWMS score for entity = 0 to 30,000
  • Potentially Dangerous Taxpayers (unless they meet GS–12 criteria)

  • TDAs for Forms 1041, 730, 706, 709 (unless they meet GS–12 criteria)

 

You may consider non-IDRS work items in determining the correct grade for a case. Other Investigations (OIs) and Offers in Compromise (OICs) generally have the same grade as the underlying accounts. Ols for routine assignments, such as serving a Notice of Levy or summons, are GS–9 work. Higher graded Ols include:

Non-IDRS investigations, OIs

Grade OIs
GS-13 Expert witness requests and all other cases meeting grade 13 criteria in the OPM classification standards for revenue officers.
GS–12 Investigations for Department of Justice; complicated decedent cases and insolvencies; all other cases meeting grade 12 criteria in the OPM classification standards for revenue officers.
GS–11 Investigations for U.S. Attorney and Area Counsel; investigations requiring special handling; investigations on decedents, insolvencies, potentially dangerous taxpayers; all other cases meeting grade 11 criteria in the OPM classification standards.

 

Under the title Manual Criteria for Grading TDAs and TDIs you will find the criteria you can use to grade cases manually. Use the following criteria for regrading cases after assignment to revenue officers.

Caution:

You will not normally change the grade of a case unless it meets at least three of the four factors at the lower or higher level.

Note:

Managers will document in the case history the reason for not using at least three of the four factors when applicable.

Reminder:

When evaluating Total Positive Income (TPI) for Factor 1, Nature of Entity, consider all applicable income fields from the income tax return. That is, the sum of all income that was (or should have been) reported on an individual's income tax return. Losses are treated as zero.

The factors are:

Manual Criteria for Grading TDAs and TDIs-Nature of Entity

Grade Factor 1 Nature of Entity
GS-13
  1. BMF Cases: Total gross income greater than $4M or total assets greater than $5M or revenues that are required to meet this level of assets/ expenses. For example, financials may show gross income of less than $4M, but facts reflect the business pays expenses that exceed $4.2M.

  2. IMF Cases: Self-employed individuals with a Total Positive Income (TPI) greater than $262K or assets/expenses that would require this level of income to maintain or obtain these assets/expenses.

GS-12
  1. BMF Cases: Total gross income $262K to $4M or total assets $1M to $5M.

  2. IMF Cases: Self-employed individuals with a Total Positive Income (TPI) greater than $185K.

GS-11
  1. BMF Cases: Total gross income less than $262K or total assets less than $1M.

  2. IMF Cases: Total Positive Income (TPI) less than $185K.

 

Manual Criteria for Grading TDAs and TDIs-Range of Case Issues

Grade Factor 2 Range of Case Issues
GS-13
  1. Cases requiring investigation into complex subterfuges that conceal income and assets and delay collection. Examples include:

    • Wire transfers

    • Multiple sets of books

    • Records from layered entities

    • 1040NR filing

    • ATAT cases

    • Extensive Counsel involvement.

  2. Unique or sensitive forms of assets and income that may also require coordination with Federal, State & Local Agencies. Examples include:

    • Hazardous materials

    • Gaming issues

    • Hospitals and care centers

    • Professional sports teams

    • Nursing homes

    • Large oil companies

    • Estate cases with assets >$10M

    • Counties or municipalities >100,000 population and/or budget in excess of $10M

    • State governmental entities

    • Employee leasing companies

    • E-commerce internet based businesses.

  3. Income reported is at least 10 percent less than required to support assets with no clear explanation or basis (e.g. minimal income with substantial assets; individuals with no assets and no income but a high standard of living).

  4. Highly complex forms of ownership designed to shield income or assets. Examples include:

    • multi-layered entities

    • LLCs with one or more non-individual members

    • Two or more asset trusts

    • Intermediary cases

    • Offshore entities and transactions three or more entities with same owner/ management structure.

  5. Cases requiring complex investigative techniques that require methods not specifically described in relevant IRMs, such as:

    • Multiple-entity nominee/alter-ego investigations

    • Indian tribal rights and assets

    • Injunction and repatriation investigations

    • Jeopardy assessments/levies in which the taxpayer has concealed ownership

    • Assets in multiple states

    • 1099 OID income aggregate of $100,000+

    • Fuel tax credits

    • 1041 filings as part of an abusive scheme

    • Identity theft relating to three or more identities resulting in loss to the government.

  6. Entities with complex financial structure and multiple business entity relationships, including:

    • Parent corporations or entities with three or more subsidiaries

    • Large Federal contractors cases.

  7. Joint investigations with Exam, CID, and DOJ, for example:

    • Abusive scheme promoters

    • Settlement initiatives

    • Parallel investigations

    • ATAT cases.

GS-12
  1. In depth, detailed financial investigations involving sophisticated and difficult issues (e.g. electronic funds transfers between multiple accounts) (ATAT cases included).

  2. Income and assets that are difficult to trace, specialized, highly valuable or unique.

  3. Imbalance between income and assets with no clear explanation (e.g. income is not enough to support existing assets).

  4. Complex forms of ownership designed to shield income or assets (e.g. LLC’s, offshore entities, transactions, fraudulent conveyances, and family relationships).

  5. Complex investigative techniques (e.g. nominee, alter ego, suits, jeopardy levies).

  6. Large business entities with standard financial structure or mid-size size business with multiple entity relationships and a complex financial structure.

  7. Regular interaction with Counsel, Exam, CID, and Appeals.

  8. A non-U.S. citizen or non-resident alien living in a foreign country filing Form 1040NR.

  9. A non-U.S. citizen living in a foreign country, who met the substantial presence test and has a Form 1040 filing requirement.

  10. BMF cases, where the owner of a sole prop or officers/members of a partnership, LLC or Corporation are not U.S. citizens.

GS-11
  1. Cases may involve basic financial investigations and analysis, requiring only routine verification of income or assets (including summonses) some investigations may be moderately more complex.

  2. Income and assets may be easily identified or may be difficult to trace and identify.

  3. Some imbalance between income and assets, but able to identify reason.

  4. Cases may include businesses with simple forms of ownership or may be moderately more complex (e.g. LLC’s).

  5. Standard investigative techniques, including TFRP investigations. Assets may be subject to competing lien claims and may be difficult to determine rights (e.g. discharges, subordinations, redemptions, foreclosure, suits, etc.).

  6. Small to mid-size business entities with standard financial structure or small business with multiple entity relationships and a complex financial structure.

  7. Some interaction with Counsel, Exam, CID, and Appeals.

 

Manual Criteria for Grading TDAs and TDIs-Impact of Enforcement Actions

Grade Factor 3 Impact of Enforcement Action
GS-13
  1. Cases with extensive economic impact including:

    • Large business with assets over $10M

    • Action impacting >60 employees

    • Ripple effect for interrelated entities or feeder industries (e.g. large factoring company that has multiple businesses relying on factoring funds) (refer to Factor 1 criteria).*

  2. Potential for intense, recurring media scrutiny and strong public reaction that has a regional/national audience such as:

    • Network television

    • Radio, magazines, and newspapers (i.e. New York Times, Washington Post).

  3. Far-reaching compliance* impact by:

    • Initiating suits and civil injunctions both to prevent pyramiding and against promoters or entities marketing ATAT related products

    • ATAT coded cases

    • High profile individuals


    *Refers to national or regional impact.

GS-12
  1. Pronounced community or economic impact (e.g., large to medium business: action impacting > 31 employees).

  2. Potential for media scrutiny and public reaction.

  3. State or local compliance impact.

GS-11
  1. Moderate community or economic impact (e.g., medium business: action impacting between >30 employees).

  2. May involve media coverage.

 

Manual Criteria for Grading TDAs and TDIs-Personal Contacts

Grade Factor 4 Personal Contacts
GS-13
  1. Representatives to include partners or principals from prominent accounting and/or law firms and financial institutions that command upscale fee structures. Cases that may:

    • Utilize complex strategies

    • Have multiple representatives for the same issue

    • Have the need for sophisticated interview techniques and complexity awareness.

  2. Cases involving:

    • National political figures

    • Nationally known high profile individuals, business owners/officers, or organizations to include:

      • Entertainers

      • Sports figures

      • Promoters

      • Influential individuals/ businesses (may be listed in publications such as Dunn & Bradstreet)

    • Business locations in multiple states with >60 employees.

  3. Cases requiring ongoing involvement with:

    • Chief Counsel, Area Counsel, Department of Justice, and U. S. Attorney’s Office

    • Exam, CID, and Appeals

    • High-level federal and state government agency representatives

    • Need for expert testimony

    • CI in parallel investigations

    • Exam and large shelter cases

    • Multiple suit/nominee/ transferee recommendations arising from a single case

    • International issues, treaties.

  4. Owners or corporate officers of foreign entities reporting complex business transactions.

GS-12
  1. Representatives from large state and regional accounting firms, law firms, and financial institutions.

  2. Large business owners or corporate officers, often well known within the State. State and local political figures. High profile individuals or organizations/individuals at the state or local level.

  3. Routine interaction with Area Counsel, Exam, CID, Appeals, and other internal stakeholders.

  4. Owners or corporate officers of foreign entities reporting limited transactions (e.g., foreign return penalty assessments, asset ownership with no or limited financial transactions).

GS-11
  1. Representatives from moderate size local accounting firms, law firms, and financial institutions. Representatives from national tax debt collection firms.

  2. Small to mid-size business owners, LLC members or corporate officers of mid-size companies, often well known in the immediate geographic area. Interaction with state and local taxing authorities to address competing lien interests.

  3. Limited interaction with Area Counsel, Exam, CID, and Appeals after consultation with the group manager.

 

Criteria for Review of Completed Work

Currently Not Collectible Accounts

If Then
Hardship
  1. Check Collection Information Statement (CIS) — is it less than one year old?

    1. Has RO analyzed CIS?

    2. If equity in assets, should accounts be reported CNC? Was equity verified and the value either collected or accounted for?

    3. Has information on CIS been appropriately verified?

    4. Has an NFTL determination been made?

    5. Does case meet criteria for installment agreement instead?

    6. Has all pertinent information, including results of full compliance check and summarizing entry been documented in history?

    7. Have taxpayer rights been documented?

    8. Has an offer-in-compromise been considered?

    9. Have allowable expenses been used accurately and any deviations documented and explained?

    10. Have third party contacts been recorded?

    11. Have all open filing requirements been resolved?

    12. Has the case closing letter been issued?

  2. Cases where the UBA is between the amounts in IRM 5.16.1.2.9(7) require the following additional investigative steps:

    1. Was the CIS compared to the taxpayer's Total Positive Income on the last filed return using RTVUE/TRDBV?

    2. Were return schedules reviewed to determine ability to pay and whether discrepancies exist between returns and CIS?

    3. Were information sources such as IRPTR/IRPTRJ used to resolve discrepancies?

    4. On-line locator services, such as Accurint.

  3. Cases where the UBA exceeds the amount in IRM 5.16.1.2.9(8) require the following additional investigative steps:

    1. Courthouse records check, on-line or in person for real property ownership.

    2. Motor vehicle records or Accurint (if motor vehicle records are available in the state where the taxpayer is located.)

  4. Cases where the UBA exceeds the amount in IRM 5.16.1.5.9(9) require the following additional investigative steps:

    1. Full credit report on IMF, sole proprietor taxpayers and LLCs where an individual owner is identified as the liable taxpayer.

    2. Did RO perform Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)research using FinCEN Query (FCQ) when IRPTR reflects that a taxpayer has filed a Foreign Bank Account Reporting (FBAR)?

    3. CC AMDIS, if there is a -L freeze on the account.

    4. Audit File or Special Agents Report if the assessment in Examination or Criminal Investigation.

  5. Check Form 53 for accuracy, completeness, and correct closing code. Are all modules on IDRS SUMRY included? Were appropriate TC 130 inputs requested in accordance with IRM 5.16.1.2.1(14) ?

Unable to Contact -Unable to Locate
  1. Check documentation. For accounts with an aggregate assessed balance less than the amount in IRM 5.16.1.2.1(4) require:

    1. A Field call to the Tp’s last known address

    2. An attempt to contact the Tp by phone

    3. Research of on-line services such as Accurint.

    4. All levy sources be addressed.

    5. Review of the Tp’s last filed return if filed within the past two years.

    6. Has the NFTL determination been made?

    7. Has all pertinent information been documented in history?

    8. Have third party contacts been recorded?

  2. Case where the UBA exceeds the amount in IRM 5.16.1.2.1(5) require the following additional investigative steps:

    1. Postal tracers.

    2. Motor vehicle records.

    3. Real and personal property checks.

    4. Employment commission information.

    5. FinCEN research when IRP reflects FBAR information.

  3. Cases where the UBA exceeds the amount in IRM 5.16.1.2.1(6) require the following additional investigative steps:

    1. Local licensing authorities if the taxpayer is engaged in a business which requires licensing.

    2. A passport check if it determined the taxpayer travels outside the U.S.

  4. Cases where the UBA exceeds the amount in IRM 5.16.1.2.1(7) require the following additional investigative steps:

    1. Full credit bureau report on IMF, sole proprietor taxpayers and LLCs where the individual owner is identified as the liable taxpayer.

    2. CC AMDIS if there is a -L freeze on the account.

  5. Check Form 53 for accuracy, completeness, and correct closing code. Are all modules shown on IDRS SUMRY included? Were appropriate TC 130 inputs requested in accordance with IRM 5.16.1.2.1(14).

In-Business and Defunct Corporations, Exempt Organizations, Limited Partnerships, and Limited Liability Companies
  1. Defunct Corporations, Exempt Organizations, Limited Partnerships and LLCs.

  2. Has Trust Fund Recovery Penalty been recommended if appropriate?

    Note:

    If the Bal Due modules are being reported CNC prior to sending Form 2749 to CPM on ATFR, an Other Investigation (OI) will be created on ICS to control the TFRP case until the Form 2749 has been submitted to CPM. See IRM 5.16.1.2.6(6), Defunct Corporations, Exempt Organizations, Limited Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies.

  3. For UBA less than the amount in IRM 5.16.1.2.6(7) require the following investigative steps:

    1. A field call to the taxpayer’s last known address.

    2. Secure a CIS if possible.

    3. Address all levy sources.

  4. Cases where the UBA exceeds the amount in IRM 5.16.1.2.6(8) require the following additional investigative steps:

    1. Review the last filed income tax return or the return information using CC BRTVU/TRDBV if the last filed return was both due and filed within the last two years..

    2. Review Accurint for real and personal property.

    3. Motor vehicle records or Accurint if motor vehicle records are available on Accurint in the state where the entity is located.

    4. Courthouse records checks, on-line or in person to verify real or personal property.

    5. State employment records.

  5. Cases where UBA exceeds the amount in IRM 5.16.1.2.6(9) require the following additional investigative steps:

    1. Check local licensing authorities when the taxpayer operates a business that requires licensing.

    2. Bank record analysis to confirm there is no business activity.

  6. Cases where UBA exceeds the amount in IRM 5.16.1.2.6(10) require the following additional investigative steps:

    1. Review a copy of the examination report if the assessment is the result of an examination or fraud penalty.

    2. CC AMDIS when there is a -L freeze on the account.

  7. If the entity is in-business, review for the following in addition to items 1 through 5 above.

    1. Is the taxpayer in compliance and has the taxpayer agreed to remain current?

    2. Have Trust Fund Compliance Program procedures including issuance of Letter 903 been considered? See IRM 5.7.2, Letter 903 Process.

    3. Does Form 53 have a mandatory follow-up scheduled in 18 to 24 months?

Installment Agreements

If ... Then ...
General
  1. Have all applicable taxpayer rights been documented?

  2. Has full compliance been discussed, documented and totally accounted for in the agreement?

  3. Check the CIS, is it current and complete?

  4. Does the agreement provide for full payment prior to the CSED? If not, has it been identified as a Partial Pay Installment Agreement (PPIA)?

  5. Have TC 971 AC 043 and AC 063 been input when appropriate?

  6. Have prior IA proposals been sent to the Independent Reviewer prior to rejection?

  7. Has the NFTL filing determination been made?

  8. Has the correct ICS closing method been selected (i.e., Routine, Streamlined, etc.), as appropriate?

BMF Agreements
  1. Has cause and cure of the delinquency been addressed?

    1. Are FTDs current?

    2. Have Trust Fund Compliance Program procedures been considered? See IRM 5.7.2, Letter 903 Process.

  2. If appropriate, has Trust Fund Recovery Penalty been recommended?

    Note:

    If you approve an installment agreement before sending Form 2749 to CPM on ATFR, ensure that an Other Investigation (OI) is created on ICS to control the TFRP case until the Form 2749 has been submitted to CPM. See IRM 5.14.7.4.1(12), Trust Fund Recovery Penalties and Installment Agreements.

    Exception:

    If it is determined that the TFRP will not be recommended per IRM 5.7.4.8.1 no OI is necessary.

    1. If the TFRP assessment will be suspended while the BMF taxpayer remains compliant with the installment agreement, ensure that the TFRP assessment has been added to the BMF IA to be placed in Status 63 and the TC 130 reversed.

    2. Has RO secured a waiver from all potentially responsible persons to extend the ASED?

  3. If the entity is a disregarded LLC and owes for both pre- and post 01/01/2009 liabilities, have the procedures in IRM 5.14.7.3.2 been followed for establishment of an SMO/LLC IBTFIA?

  4. Has the correct ICS closing method been selected? For example, Routine (TP is OOB with no open employment tax filing requirements), IBTF/IBTF Express (TP is in business with employees), etc.

Direct Debit Installment Agreements
  1. Is this a DDIA (Routine) or DDIA Streamlined IA?

    1. Were the procedures in IRM 5.14.10.4 followed when establishing the agreement?

    2. Was the Form 433-D (containing the TP signature and bank information) scanned and e-mailed to CSCO at *SBSE PSC CSCO DDIA?

    3. Was the closed case file sent under cover of the generated Form 3210 to CCP at Mail Stop 5-E04.115?

  2. Is this an IBTF-Express DDIA or IBTF-IA DDIA?

    1. Was the agreement established per the guidelines in IRM 5.14.10.5?

    2. Upon approval was the Form 433-D (containing the TP signature and bank information) scanned and emailed to CSCO at *SBSE PSC CSCO DDIA?

    3. For IBTF-Express DDIAs, was the closed case file sent under cover of the generated Form 3210 to CCP at Mail Stop 5-E04.115?

    4. For IBTF-IA DDIAs, was the case file sent to CCP for monitoring under cover of the generated Form 3210 (Mail Stop 5-E04.117)?

Partial Payment Installment Agreements
  1. For IMF accounts with an aggregate assessed balance above the amount in IRC 5.14.2.1.1(3), or if there is significant equity that cannot be liquidated, the following minimum verification is required:

    1. Real property records.

    2. Motor vehicle records.

    3. personal property records.

  2. For accounts where the UBA exceeds the amount in IRM 5.14.2.1.1(4) require:

    1. A full credit report.

    2. CC AMDIS where there is a -L freeze on the account.

    3. RAR or SAR if the assessment originated in Examination or Criminal Investigation.

Trust Fund Recovery Penalty

If ... Then ...
Initial actions
  1. Has RO taken into account all periods of liability?

  2. Have all responsible persons been interviewed?

  3. Have those interviewed signed Form 4180?

  4. Have potentially responsible individuals been given their rights? Was L3164A issued prior to third party contacts such as TFRP summons?

  5. Have third party contacts been recorded where applicable?

Preparation of Form 4183, Recommendation Re: Trust Fund Recovery Penalty Assessment
  1. Recommendations for Assessment.

    1. Is all applicable information documented on Form 4183?

    2. Is basis for recommendation adequately explained including the aspects of willfulness and responsibility?

    3. Has collectibility been addressed?

    4. Have core documentation items been secured and documented? Does core evidence cover all periods being recommended for assessment?

    5. If a core documentation item was not secured, is the reason documented in the ICS history? Per IRM 5.7.4.5(6) a brief ICS history addressing missing core documentation items should be made by the RO prior to sending the TFRP file to CPM.

      Note:

      Request for input of TC 130 no longer needs to be made manually. That input is now generated systemically based on ATFR inputs.

  2. Recommendations for Non-Assertion.

    1. Is basis for non-assertion sufficiently documented?

      • If individual considered not responsible, case history as well as Form 4183 should contain full explanation, including the aspects of willfulness and responsibility.

      • If recommendation for non-assertion is because it is not collectible, does it meet the relevant criteria? On Form 9297, Section II you must ensure all items are addressed. Action dates entered should correspond to the research or review actions in the ICS history. If an item was not completed, the RO should document ICS with the reason, such as: taxpayer would not provide a CIS and RO determined summons not appropriate.

    2. If future collection potential appears to be nonexistent because of advanced age and/or deteriorating health:

      • Has taxpayer’s latest income tax return been reviewed?

      • Has a current CIS been secured and verified?

      • Has a full compliance check been conducted and fully documented?

    3. In unable to locate situations, has a thorough CNC investigation been conducted?

      • Have normal investigative techniques been employed to try to locate the individual?

      • Have all in-house sources been checked in an attempt to determine social security number?

  3. If future collection potential exists, but account is currently not collectible, have pre-assessment procedures been considered?

    1. Has trust fund recovery penalty been recommended on Form 4183?

    2. Has Form 53 been prepared?

    3. Has Form 2749 been annotated to the effect that Form 53 prepared?

    4. Has taxpayer been advised that one notice will be sent?

    5. Has taxpayer been advised that Notice of Federal Tax Lien will be filed, if appropriate?

Trust Fund Recovery Penalty Dispositions
  1. No Response-Unagreed Cases.

    1. For regular assessments, have the procedures in IRM 5.7.6.2, Revenue Officer Assessment Actions and IRM 5.7.6.1.1.1, No Response (Unagreed) Cases, been followed?

    2. For regular assessments, have the procedures in IRM 5.7.6.2, Revenue Officer Assessment Actions and IRM 5.7.6.1.1.1, No Response (Unagreed) Cases, been followed?

    3. For prompt assessments, have the procedures in IRM 5.7.6.3, Quick and Prompt Assessment Actions, been followed?

    4. Has ATFR been updated and the case correctly routed to CPM?

  2. Appealed-Unagreed Cases.

    1. If assessment being appealed, has taxpayer complied with requirements stated on reverse of Letter 1153 (DO)?

      • Was the appeal received timely? See IRM 5.7.6.1.1(1), Taxpayer’s Response to Letter 1153(DO).

      • Does the case file and history confirm there is sufficient basis and documentation to support the assertion of the proposed assessment?

      • The protest letter must contain sufficient information to process the appeal.

    2. Ex Parte Considerations.

      • Review the TFRP case file and histories to ensure no ex parte communications are included before approving transmittal of the case to Advisory.

      • Document ICS history with your concurrence.

      • Refer to guidance for manager actions in IRM 5.7.6.1.8 if the TFRP case file or history contains ex parte communications which should either be shared with the taxpayer or removed.

    3. For cases being sent to Appeals, is case file adequately prepared for transmittal to Appeals through CPM?

      • All information and documents submitted in support of a protest should be included in the file.

      • Documents forming the basis of the penalty recommendation should be in the file.

      • All documents should be arranged in order of receipt (with the latest on top) under the appropriate case file tabs.

      • All duplicate items should be removed from file.

      • Has ATFR been updated?

  3. Agreed Cases.

    1. For regular assessments, have the procedures in IRM 5.7.6.2, Revenue Officer Assessment Actions, and IRM 5.7.6.1.2, Agreed Cases, been followed?

    2. For prompt assessments, have the procedures in IRM 5.7.6.3, Quick and Prompt Assessment Actions, been followed?

  4. Other TFRP dispositions.

    1. OIC Closure Approval-Obsolete.

    2. Return Case to the queue- used when a cases is updated to queue assignment on ICS.

    3. IBIA- used when the requirements in IRM 5.7.4.8.1(4) , Considerations for In-Business Installment Agreements, are met.

    4. LLC – cases determined to be treated as a disregarded entity where all assessments are for periods prior to 01/01/2009 and no trust fund potential.

    5. Corporate Case Full Paid- TFRP amount has been calculated to be fully paid.

    6. Below IRM Criteria- Cases meeting criteria in IRM 5.7.4.1.1.1 ,Factors When Considering Trust Fund Balance Owed Amounts.

    7. Created in Error/Other- case created in error or assigned after all ASEDs have expired.

    8. Opened in Error/Partnership- cases determined to be Partnership entities with no trust fund potential.

    9. Opened in Error/Sole Prop- cases determined to be Sole Proprietorships with no trust fund potential.

    10. All Parties Not Responsible and/or Form 9327 - Manager has approved Form 4183 with the appropriate Not Responsible or Not Collectible (Form 9327) determination. See note below.

    11. All Parties Non-Assert Form 9327 Only- Manager has approved Form 4183 with the appropriate Not Collectible (Form 9327). See note below.

      Note:

      On Form 9297 Section II you must ensure all items are addressed. Action dates entered should correspond to the research or review actions in the ICS history. If an item was not completed, the RO should document ICS with the reason, such as: taxpayer would not provide a CIS and RO determined summons not appropriate.

Other Case Actions

If ... Then ...
Request for Adjustment

Note:

If the Form 3870 is related to Identity Theft, ensure the guidance in IRM 5.1.28,Identity Theft for Collection Employees, is followed.

  1. Is supporting documentation attached?

  2. Has the adjustment been explained to the taxpayer, i.e., reasons for full or partial relief?

  3. Is Form 3870 completed correctly?

    1. Is a closing code required? When the requested action will satisfy the module, the module can be closed as Adjustment on ICS. ICS automatically uploads TC470 CC90 (on status 26 modules) upon managerial approval of these closings. If the requested action will not fully satisfy the account, the remaining balance should be full paid or resolved by installment agreement or currently not collectible determination.

    2. Is there an entry in Items 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 29 and 30 of Form 3870?

    3. Has taxpayer signed the form in Item 12 or is taxpayer’s letter or request attached?

  4. If less than 12 months remain in the statutory period for collection, has the Form 3870 been flagged for expedite action? See IRM 5.1.15.5(6), Adjustments-General Procedures.

    1. If less than 6 months remain in the statutory period for collection, the Bal Due should remain in RO’s inventory and no closing code entered on Form 3870.

    2. If 6 to 12 months remain in the statutory period for collection the Bal Due should be closed and closing code should be entered on Form 3870. See Exhibit 1.4.50-2 (3)(a).

  5. In cases involving requests for abatement of penalties, have the criteria for reasonable cause been met?

    1. Is the reason for noncompliance documented in writing by taxpayer?

    2. Does the reason include sufficient detail to determine whether ordinary business care was exercised?

    3. Was the penalty the result of carelessness or forgetfulness?

    4. Does the amount of penalty justify closer scrutiny of the case?

  6. If the adjustment will result in full payment and the collection investigation on the taxpayer is concluded, has the case closing letter (if appropriate) been prepared pending GM approval?

    Note:

    The Refund Statute Expiration (RSED) is generally three years from the Return Due Date or Extended Due Date for prepaid credits if a return was filed, or two years from the payment date for other payments, whichever is later. See IRM 25.6.1.10.2.7, Claims for Credit or Refund-General Time Period for Submitting a Claim and the exceptions to the general period in IRM 25.6.1.10.2.8 to IRM 25.6.1.10.2.11.

    Note:

    See IRC 6511: If the module credit created by the posting of an adjustment exceeds the amount of the credit that can be refunded or offset due to the recomputation of tax, penalties or interest, the revenue officer must transfer the barred portion of the overpayment to Excess Collections via Form 8758, Excess Collections File Addition and forward to CCP. A manual refund may be needed to allow the correct refund.

    Note:

    Check to ensure the revenue officer has made an RSED determination, has documented in ICS, and has input required RSED date on applicable Form 3870. This will apply to all Forms 3870 routed to CCP except Forms 3870 for TFRP, TIN, CAWR/FUTA or SFR.

Payment Tracer
  1. Has request been made on Form 4159, Payment Tracer Request?

  2. Has sufficient information been furnished to trace the payment?

    1. Copy of payment, front and back.

    2. Name, address and TIN of taxpayer.

    3. Type and period of tax.

    4. Amount, type and date of remittance.

    5. Endorsing IRS office if check, money order, etc.

    6. Date of IRS endorsement.

    7. Date of receipt, receipt number, and type of receipt.

  3. Have results been explained to the taxpayer?

  4. If the credit transfer will result in full payment and the collection investigation on the taxpayer is concluded, has the case closing letter been issued?

Credit Transfer
  1. Has request been made on Form 2424, 3870, or 4159?

  2. Has the module containing the credit been identified?

  3. Has module to receive transfer of credit been identified?

    Note:

    Check to ensure the revenue officer has made an RSED determination, has documented in ICS, and has input required RSED date on applicable form.

  4. Has the taxpayer been advised of the transfer?

Seizure
  1. Pre-seizure Considerations. See IRM 5.10.1 - verify the following prior to seizure:

    1. No prohibited seizure proposed.

    2. Liability verified.

    3. Alternatives considered/Risk Analysis.

    4. Net proceeds determination.

    5. Records check <90 days before approval.

    6. Individual Taxpayer - Exempt Assets Considered.

    7. Individual Taxpayer - Business Assets/Other assets were considered.

    8. NFTL filed on all modules shown on 668-B; Letter 3174 sent if appropriate. See IRM 5.10.1.4.3.3.

    9. Letter 1058 sent for all modules on Form 668-B at least 30 days prior to seizure/additional warning if + 180 days and no enforcement.

    10. Pub 1, 1660, 594 delivered. See IRM 5.10.1.5.1.

    11. PALS contacted to discuss FMV, expenses of sale.

    12. Attempt made to personally advise taxpayer of proposed seizure/911/TAS/GM.

    13. Ensure the appropriate level of approval was obtained for the particular type of asset. See Exhibit 5.10.2-1.

  2. Post-seizure Considerations.

    1. Has Form 2433, Notice of Seizure, been prepared correctly and timely?

    2. See IRM 5.10.2.7, Contracting for Services, for procedures involving expenses associated with the seizure.

    3. If applicable, were appropriate release documents issued?

    4. Has the RO submitted the opening documents for transmittal to Advisory?. The opening documents need to be transmitted (through the group manager) to Advisory within 5 workdays after seizure. See IRM 5.10.3.22.

Delinquent Returns
  1. General.

    1. Has full compliance been documented in the ICS history?

    2. Has the appropriate ICS closing option been used and the reason for use documented in the ICS history?

  2. Reasonable cause determinations when delinquent returns secured.

    1. Has reasonable cause criteria been met?

    2. Is a written statement from the taxpayer or a Form 4364, Delinquency Computations, attached?

  3. Returns without full payment.

    1. Has taxpayer been contacted and demand made for full payment of the liability?

    2. Has pre-assessment action been taken?

    3. Has a control (e.g., ICS-only module, request for case assignment) been established to complete the investigation if the liability is not resolved by full payment, installment agreement, or CNC, and there will be no continuing open assignment?

  4. Minimal or no tax due on returns (P–5–133).

    1. Has the anticipated tax due for each period been computed and documented in the ICS history?

    2. Has basis for determination been fully documented?

  5. Returns prepared under IRC 6020(b).

    1. Has Form 5604, Section 6020(b) Action Sheet, been prepared correctly?

    2. Has liability been computed accurately?

    3. Does documentation adequately explain the basis for requesting the assessment?

    4. Are the returns signed and is the statement pertaining to IRC 6020(b) typed or printed at bottom of return?

Collection Due Process (CDP) Cases
  1. General Considerations.

    1. Has the type of hearing request, CDP or Equivalent, been correctly determined?

    2. If new information or alternatives arose after the request was filed and the taxpayer was willing to work with Collection, was contact made with the taxpayer in an effort to resolve the issue?

    3. Does the case require GM contact?

  2. Ex Parte Considerations.

    1. Confirm that any narrative statement included on the Form 14461, Transmittal of the CDP/EH Hearing Request, is limited to a neutral list of documents and neutral statements regarding actions taken and documented in the case history without any further discussion regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the taxpayer’s appeal.

    2. The manager must ensure the requirement in (1) above is met and that no prohibited ex parte communications are included before approving the transmittal of the case to Appeals. See IRM 5.1.9.5, Communications with Appeals.

Offer in Compromise Cases
  1. Is the offer package being forwarded to the correct COIC site and within 24 hours of 656 receipt?

  2. Is Form 657 complete and attached?

  3. Is the Form 656 date stamped?

  4. Is the CIS and substantiation attached?

  5. Are Forms 2848 and 656A included (if applicable)?

  6. Have the applicable fees and deposits been attached?

  7. Has the TFRP been completed or the taxpayer warned that the OIC will not be investigated until the penalty is assessed as applicable?

  8. Is Form 3210 attached?

Summons
  1. See IRM 25.5, Summons.

  2. Is this a third party summons (including TFRP)? (See IRM 25.5.1.3.3 )

    1. If yes, GM approval is required before the summons is served. Ensure the ICS case history is documented to reflect the approval was secured. Ensure the summons is prepared correctly before approving. See IRM 25.5.2.2, Preparation and Use.

    2. It is important the manager recognizes their approval of a third party summons serves to certify that taxpayer rights provided in IRC 7602(c) were protected by issuance of Letter 3164A. See IRM 25.27.1.3, Notification Requirements.

Statutes
  1. See IRM 5.1.19, Collection Statute Expiration.

  2. Has the CSED been manually recalculated?

    1. If yes, has the RO documented the case history with steps followed to manually calculate the updated CSED? (GM approval of manual CSED updates indicates that the CSED calculation was reviewed and determined to be accurate.) See IRM 5.1.19.1.2, Collection Statute Date Update.

Suits
  1. See IRM 25.3, Litigation and Judgments.

  2. In all cases GM concurrence is needed before a suit package is sent to Advisory for review.

  3. Is this suit development case complex or fact-intensive where additional time is needed to analyze and gather the facts necessary for developing a suit recommendation?

    1. If yes, the case may qualify for suspension of the overage calculation (input of TC 971 AC 281). You must document approval to input the TC 971 AC 281 in the ICS case history. See IRM 25.3.2.6.1, Suits by the United States-Aging Suit Development Case Suspension.

Identity Theft Codes
  1. See IRM 5.1.28, Identity Theft for Collection Employees.

  2. When the taxpayer alleges identity theft:

    1. Was CC ENMOD reviewed for already posted identity theft action codes?

    2. Was TC 971 AC 522 PNDCLM requested if not already present on ENMOD?

  3. When substantiation documentation was received, was the correct source code (INCOME, MULTL, INCMUL, NOFR, OTHER) used with the TC 971, AC 522 request?

  4. If substantiation documentation (authentication of identity, evidence of identity theft) was not received, was TC 971 AC 522 reversed with a TC 972, AC 522 NORPLY?

  5. Was TC 971, AC 522 IRSID requested for cases of IRS identified identity theft?

Target Inventory Levels and Inventory Adjustments Q&A

Question Answer
Q1. Who determines inventory levels? A1. You as the group manager are responsible for determining the appropriate inventory level depending on the individual circumstances.
Q2. What documentation is required by the group manager to justify an inventory adjustment? A2. The ENTITY Case Management System (ENTITY) requires managers to select a reason code whenever they make a percentage adjustment to inventory. You should be able to explain any adjustments to inventory when asked.
Q3. Since the maintenance of appropriate inventory levels is a major concern, who should verify that appropriate decisions are being made? A3. The SBSE Area Director is responsible for ensuring inventory levels are appropriate. The territory managers should include reviews of inventory determinations as part of normal operational reviews of their GM's activities.
Q4. A revenue officer was assigned to assist with the walk in taxpayers at the customer service counter for eight hours in a month. Does this mean the RO's inventory is adjusted by 5 per cent for the month? A4. No, inventory adjustments only apply to long-term or recurring collateral assignments. If an RO is required to assist with walk-in taxpayers for eight hours a month on a regular basis, then an inventory adjustment may be appropriate. Time is reported as detail out on ICS so that the reason for the inventory adjustment can be determined in a review.
Q5. Should inventories be adjusted because of assignment as acting group manager? A5. This is a judgment area. You should use discretion when determining whether to adjust inventory within range, or if a percentage adjustment is necessary. Factors to consider include length of detail and the duties to be performed during this assignment. Certain acting assignments could be considered to be developmental and may justify a reduction within range, but not a percentage to inventory.
Q6. Is this a new policy? A6. No. The original establishment of the maximum-targeted inventory levels was based on the number of cases on which a fully successful revenue officer should be able to make timely contact and follow up actions. This assumes that the revenue officer has no other duties/assignments and is working cases appropriate for his/her grade level. When the actual situation differs from this, it is necessary to make adjustments.
Q7. Is the decision to keep an RO at a particular inventory level within the target range more subjective than the inventory adjustment determination? A7. Yes. The inventory adjustment is based on an evaluation of how time is spent on activities other than work on assigned cases (direct case time) and normal overhead; it should be a calculated number. The factors that determine assignments within range are more judgmental and more often subject to reevaluation as cases are closed and new cases selected for assignment to the employee.
Q8. How should managers handle getting revenue officer trainees inventories to within target inventory ranges? A. By using sound judgment, and evaluating each revenue officer's situation individually. They should also confer with the trainee's coach (OJI) and/or training manager in order to assess the individual trainee's performance throughout the training period, and the level of performance at the completion of the training period. While some employees will be fully capable of taking on the additional inventory with little or no impact on their performance, others may require a slightly longer transition period before they are comfortable working within the new target inventory range. Factors to be considered are as follows:
  • Inventory Composition (e.g., type of cases, grade level of cases, etc.).

  • Size of Geographical Area.

  • Current assignment area of trainee (e.g., Is trainee simply going from a trainee status to regular RO status within same Area, Territory, Group ? Will trainee be reassigned to another Area, Territory, Group?)

  • Will the employee be receiving an entirely new inventory? In the case of a revenue officer moving to another Area, Territory, Group and receiving entirely new inventories, these inventories may need to be built up gradually.

  • Employee's experience/knowledge/aptitude (i.e. ability to handle additional workload without significant impact on performance). Look to the trainee's coach (OJIs) and /or trainee's manager for feedback.

Q9. A revenue officer has an inventory of taxpayers in hard to reach locations spread over an extensive area. It takes the revenue officer 4 to 5 hours driving time to reach each taxpayer. In some instances, the revenue officer must travel by airplane into a rural destination to meet with the taxpayer. Is an adjustment appropriate? A9. An Inventory Adjustment is not used to address this issue. Address such situations by determining the appropriate level of inventory within the established targeted range. The appropriate inventory level would be at your discretion after reviewing with the employee the time and distance traveled.
Q10. A revenue officer is working a case where a taxpayer operates several related limited liability partnerships. Each entity continuously pyramids trust fund liabilities. The revenue officer cannot locate any assets that can be used to satisfy the tax liability. The revenue officer must determine the culpability of each partnership and is working with Advisory and Area Counsel to pursue injunctive relief to stop the taxpayer from pyramiding trust fund taxes. Should an adjustment be made to the revenue officer's inventory? A10. An inventory level near the bottom of the established target range may be appropriate after the you and the employee have discussed the facts of the case and determined that such a change is critical to their ability to meet the deadlines of this potentially complex case.
Q11. How can a revenue officer manage an inventory of taxpayers who are geographically spread apart? A11. You must ensure that the revenue officers use sound workload and travel management practices to promote efficient use of resources when working inventories in geographically extended areas. When there is a need to travel to remote locations, encourage your revenue officers to schedule multiple taxpayer contacts and meetings in one area as opposed to them traveling several hours for a single contact. For example, traveling into town the night before and meeting with (5) taxpayers the following day is a more effective approach than a revenue officer making appointments on 5 different days and traveling several hours each day to meet with taxpayers.
Q12. As a group manager, how do I review inventory levels to determine if they are appropriate? A12. In order to determine the appropriate inventory level you should communicate with your revenue officers to determine if there are circumstances that warrant a reduction to the lower end of the target inventory range. If there are no circumstances that warrant a reduction, and additional cases can be worked effectively, you should increase the inventory level using the GM Case Assignment feature on ENTITY. For Inventory Adjustments, you should compare the hours charged to duties other than direct and overhead time on the RO Inventory Adjustment and Timecode Report from the Time Reports Section in ENTITY. The percent adjustment should be substantiated by the time reported by the revenue officer. If the percent adjustment cannot be substantiated, then the percent adjustment should be modified or removed to match the time actually spent working duties other than revenue officer duties.

Action Steps For Acceptable Level Of Competence Determination if an employee Within Grade Increase (WGI) is due.....

Within And the employee's last rating is... And the employee's performance is projected as... You must.....
90 days Fully successful or above Fully successful or above Do nothing. WGI will be automatically generated.
90 days Fully successful or above Below Fully Successful
  • Refer to WGI denial procedures in Article 17 for BU employees.

  • Consult with Labor Relations personnel and issue letter of intent to deny WGI 60 days prior to WGI due date.

  • If a fully successful rating is achieved after issuing intent letter, consult with LR regarding written notification to employee that WGI will become effective on original due date.

  • If a fully successful rating is not achieved after 60 days following issuance of intent letter:

    1. Consult with LR regarding written notification to employee denying WGI

    2. Prepare Form 6850-BU as you normally would at the end of the rating period except indicate period covered from the last annual rating to the date WGI was due and annotate that "WGI Denied"

    3. Submit signed form to the Transactional Processing Branch (TPB) at least 15 days prior to WGI due date to ensure that the WGI is not processed.

59 days or less Fully Successful or above Below Fully Successful
  • Refer to WGI denial procedures in Article 17 for BU employees.

    1. Consult with LR and issue letter of intent to deny WGI. Letter will provide for required 60 day notice period.

    2. As soon as possible, prepare Form 6850-BU. Complete appropriate blocks and annotate "Postpone WGI."

    3. Submit signed form to the TPB at least 15 days prior to WGI due date to ensure the WGI does not process.

  • If a fully successful rating is achieved at the end of 60 day notice period:

    1. Consult with LR regarding written notification to employee that WGI will become effective retroactive to original due date

    2. Prepare Form 6850-BU. Complete appropriate blocks and annotate "Release WGI."

    3. Submit signed form to the TPB within 3 days of advising employee.

  • If a fully successful rating is not achieved at the end of the 60 day notice period:

    1. consult with LR regarding written notification to employee that WGI is being denied

    2. prepare Form 6850-BU as if annual rating except: indicate period covered from the last annual rating to the date of WGI due annotate "WGI Denied"

    3. Submit completed form to the TPB within 3 days after denial letter is issued to employee

    4. Immediately have SF-52 prepared for denial of WGI.

59 days or less Below Fully successful and the WGI was previously denied Fully Successful or above
  • Prepare Form 6850-BU as if annual rating except:

    1. indicate the period covered from date WGI was last due to the date of this form being prepared and annotate WGI Released.

    2. Advise employee that the WGI will become effective the following pay period.

    3. Submit completed form to the TPB within 3 days of completing form.


 
59 days of less Below Fully Successful and WGI was not previously denied. Fully Successful or above No action necessary.

Suggested Action Steps For Unacceptable Performance

If… And… Then…
During a workload review you note a performance deficiency(ies) based on employee's Critical Job Elements (CJE) (e.g. 2C Protection of Public Interest, issue: filing of NFTL and/or extension of NFTL filing determination) Intentionally blank
  • Take informal steps to correct performance deficiencies such as:

    1. Query ICS for two oldest cases in revenue officer's inventory to review whether identified deficiencies are prevalent in these two cases

    2. Go to ICS and select additional cases to determine if there is a consistent pattern for the identified deficiencies.

    3. While reviewing employee documentation, see if you can determine other factors that may have caused the identified deficiencies

  • Counsel employee as to what is considered appropriate action on cases reviewed. Indicate which CJE or CJE's are identified as not being met at this time.

  • Schedule additional dates to review employee casework.

  • Require employee to obtain managerial approval to extend NFTL determination date (if applicable).

  • Continue to use ENTITY to identify lien indicator cases and perform a query of the cases on ENTITY. Indicators to check are:

    1. When the case is received in field.

    2. When the case is assigned to the revenue officer.

    3. When NFTL filed.

  • All discussion(s) with employee must be fully documented and a copy of the documentation is provided to employee with a copy placed their EPF.

  • Continue to closely observe/monitor employee performance using managerial tools available to you.

You continue to closely observe, monitor, review, and correct (if necessary) the performance deficiency(ies) the employee's performance improves
  • No additional action needed.

You continue to closely observe, monitor, review, and correct the performance deficiency(ies) the employee's performance does not improve
  • Begin formal counseling.

  • Consult with Labor Relations regarding the issuance of an opportunity letter to establish a formal period to show improvement to acceptable level of performance. The opportunity letter must include:

    1. Critical elements/performance standards that are not acceptable.

    2. Exact nature of deficiencies.

    3. Improvement expected

    4. Fact that failure to improve could result in proposal to remove employee from current grade or the Service.

    5. Specific period of time to demonstrate acceptable level of performance (usually 90 days).

    6. Stated commitment to work with employee.

    7. If on telework, suspension of telework until performance improves.

    • With the continued assistance of Labor Relations, follow procedures outlined in Article 40 of the National Agreement for BU employees.

    • Plan a review schedule. At this planning session discuss:

      1. Number of reviews planned.

      2. Types of reviews.

      3. Types of cases to be reviewed.

      4. Number of cases at each review.

      5. Time frames for review schedule (one a week, twice a month etc.)

      6. In summary, tailor the planned reviews to the needs of the employee and you.

  • Continue to use ENTITY to identify lien indicator cases and perform a query review of the cases on ENTITY. Indicators to continue to check are:

    1. When the case is received in field.

    2. When the case is assigned to the revenue officer.

    3. When NFTL filed.

    4. Review, approve, or disapprove (with comments) extension of NFTL determination(s) made by employee (if applicable).

    5. Document all reviews, provide copy of documentation to employee, and place in their EPF.

You continue to closely observe, monitor, and review employee performance based on the provisions of the opportunity letter. the employee's performance becomes minimally successful or fully successful
  • Consult with Labor Relations personnel and issue a letter informing employee of this fact.

  • If employee's telework was suspended during this period, consider resuming the schedule

You continue to closely observe, monitor, and review employee performance based on provisions of the opportunity letter. the employee's performance does not improve
  • Consult with Labor Relations regarding the issuance a 30 day advance notice of reduction in grade or removal.

  • Make sure all documentation is in order and copies provided to employee with copies filed in their EPF.

  • Follow procedures outlined in Article 40 of the 2016 National Agreement for BU employees with the continued assistance of Labor Relations.

  • Provide a written decision to the employee within 30 days after the date the advance notice period expires.

    1. If no written decision is made within this 30 day period, then the advance notice period may be extended for one additional 30 day period only.

    2. Provide a written decision to employee within extended 30 day advance notice period.

  • Initiate action to reduce in grade and/or removal based on unacceptable performance once the written decision is issued.

However, when a 30 day advance notice is being considered reassignment, voluntary reduction in grade, retirement or disability retirement is also being considered in lieu of notice
  • Consult with Labor Relations personnel.

  • Exercise options under consideration.

  • All but disability retirement option may preclude or delay processing of an action to reduce in grade or remove employee.

  • An application for disability retirement will not preclude or delay processing of an action to reduce in grade or remove the employee.

If written decision is issued to reduce in grade and/or removal based on unacceptable performance the personnel action is effected, the employee
  • Has appeal rights to Merit Systems Protection Board.

  • BU employee may alternatively choose to appeal through the negotiated grievance procedure.

Collection Group Managers’ EQRS Review Documents, Form 6850, and Narrative, General Guide

EQRS, Form 6850, and narratives are important in all actions regarding revenue officer performance. The review documents should justify the numerical ratings and average indicated on the F 6850.

These documents will assist you in substantiating your decision to take any action regarding the performance of a revenue officer or other employee. These actions can include awards, reduction of a rating of record, or removal from telework. These documents should be clear and concise. They should provide the employee with a clear understanding of their level of performance.

EQRS review documents, narratives and other evaluative documents should provide positive feedback and specific strategies for improvement as applicable. The narrative should be specifically written to enhance performance, identify weaknesses, and explain potential consequences when warranted.

Ensure that your reviews are written and encompass a wide spectrum of cases from the RO’s inventory. Include pyramiders, large dollar, IBTF, no touch, etc. If warranted, review more cases than the minimum required by IRM 1.4.50.5.2.2.

When performing case reviews utilizing the Embedded Quality Review System :

  1. Review actual hard copy case file(s). This is to ensure documents that will expedite case resolution are included, (e.g., financial statements, bank records, etc.) and that an appropriate evaluation of case direction has been made.

  2. Ensure clear comments are included for each case reviewed. If the revenue officer is performing well, document it in the comments.

  3. If case direction is needed, ensure your directions are specific. If warranted, reference specific documents reviewed in the case file.

When preparing the review documentation you should:

  1. Ensure the RO’s actions were appropriately documented on each case.

  2. Base your comments on actions pertaining to the applicable CJE and sub-element.

  3. Ensure conformity with the revenue officers’ CJE’s by utilizing the revenue officer’s Performance Plan, Document 11491.

  4. When appropriate, reference relevant IRM sections, subsections, and case file documents.

  5. Document strategies for improvement.

  6. Be realistic in expectations.

  7. Prepare a narrative of your overall findings.

Meet with the employee and engage in an open dialogue. Be sure to discuss the positive as well as the negative aspects of the employee’s performance. Discuss the comments on the EQRS Feedback Report given on each case and ensure the revenue officer understands.

  1. Ask for their input regarding your interpretation of their actions.

  2. If warranted, discuss the documents included in the case file, and address any that are missing.

  3. If appropriate add their proposed actions to your comments as additional action items.

  4. Ensure that time lines are realistic.

  5. Ensure that case direction is clear.

Discuss the EQRS Feedback Report narrative with the revenue officer to ensure they understand the document and its possible impact on their annual appraisal/evaluation (positive or negative).
You should have the employee sign for receipt of both the Individual Feedback Report and any accompanying documents. Document and date the Individual Feedback Report and narrative if the employee refuses to sign.

Annual Appraisal Document Form 6850:

Form 6850 is the numerical representation of the revenue officer's performance during the course of the evaluation period. It must be consistent with the revenue officer's casework and evaluative documents prepared during the course of the evaluative period. You should ensure that the preparation of Form 6850 is in accordance with Article 12 of the 2016 National Agreement. Base your appraisal of the revenue officer on documented materials such as:

  1. Evaluative documents retained in the revenue officer's EPF, such as EQRS Individual Feedback and/or Cumulative Feedback Reports. Also see IRM 1.4.50.5, Performance Management, and IRM 1.4.50.5.2, Reviews, for other considerations.

  2. Taxpayer correspondence. Internal customer correspondence.

  3. All awards received during the period.

Performance and Evaluative Narratives:

Narratives are an effective tool in documenting and informing a revenue officer of their performance. They should be used to emphasize the positive as well as the negative aspects of the revenue officer's performance. They can be used as either stand alone documentation (EQRS Individual and/or Cumulative Feedback Reports) and/or with the Form 6850 (when appropriate). See Article 12, Section 4N, of the 2016 National Agreement , regarding Form 6850 narratives. Effective narratives:

  1. Are clear and concise.

  2. Address each Critical Element and its accompanying sub-element (for Form 6850).

  3. Reference prior reviews and other evaluative documents completed during the course of the evaluation period and the dates completed or received.

  4. Are of sufficient length for the employee to have a clear understanding of their current level of performance and what is expected from them in the future.

  5. Summarize your findings during the course of a review or the overall performance during an evaluative period. You may choose to use specific examples or sanitized case references.

  6. Refer to specific Critical Job Elements and sub-elements.

  7. Describe strengths and weaknesses found within specific element(s).

  8. Describe strategies for improvement (if necessary).

  9. Identify the level of performance (overall and within a specific CJE).

  10. Describe potential consequences if performance is at an unacceptable level or regressing.

  11. Note that you are available for assistance.

In conjunction with the steps to address employee performance as outlined in Exhibit 1.4.50–5 of this handbook ensure that:

  • Your prescribed action is specifically documented and appropriately worded. Consult with your territory manager or Labor Relations Specialist as appropriate.

  • Your documentation includes a description of any problems and documentation of the discussion with the employee involved. Inform the employee of possible consequences if the issue is not resolved. You may inform the employee verbally, but confirm the discussion via memorandum. The proposed resolution of the issue should include a specific time period for completion. The resolution may include actions the employee must take and meetings between yourself and the employee to resolve the problem.

    Note:

    The employee is entitled to request representation by the Union when the employee and the supervisor or other management official meet to discuss action or potential action, based on unacceptable performance.

Note:

When taking any performance action, contact your servicing Labor Relations Representative and your direct supervisor.

Operational Review Plan Guide

Program Review Areas. The following table includes commonly selected components of the Program review portion of the operational review.

Program Review

Program Review Components
Case file reviews
NFTL determination accuracy
Consultations process
Quality – EQ/NQ analysis
Quality – Consistency reviews with GM
Alternative case resolution discussion – are we fully utilizing Counsel, FTAs, CI and our ATAT and OIC resources?
TFRP/ATFR process
ENTITY/Management Information Systems (MIS) analysis of trends in performance indicators.
GM controls
Employee Performance File (EPF) reviews
Communications
Employee Satisfaction
Customer Satisfaction
ATAT Program
Group Time Reporting and Analysis – relating to productivity and cycle time
Group Productivity and Efficiency
Annual Appraisal/Performance Document Approval
Fraud program/identification and FTAs involvement
Inventory ranges and assignment practices/ Inventory delivery process
Above grade work
Million dollar case assignments
Multi-module strategy
Trends and patterns report – teller errors
Span of control
Summons errors
Hold file composition and time in hold file – review for any issues with assignment and staffing
Group Meeting attendance
Field Visits
Other/Local
 

Administrative and Compliance Reviews Areas: TM Oversight Mandatory. The following table contains common components of the Administrative/Compliance portion of the operational review.

Administrative Review

Administrative and Compliance Review Components
Remittance control reviews (Mandatory verification/documentation)
Remittance processing reviews (Mandatory verification/documentation)
EPF – administrative review
Controls monitoring
SETR and timekeeping
Security – after hours and computer systems
F3210 transmittals review
Correspondence and file retention
Travel vouchers and authorizations
Credit bureau
Purchase cards and supplies
1204/ROTERS
EQ consistency review for Territory
Sensitive Case Reports- timely and appropriate
GMs Employee review schedule at beginning of fiscal year
Other

 

Optional: One on One Briefings – Periodic scheduling:

One on One Briefing Components

One on One Briefing Components
GM is scheduled for periodic briefings during the months of: (fill in)
Topics covered will include: (fill in )

 

Area Director Operational Aid (ADOA)

The table below contains common Area Director Operational Review components.

Area Director Operational Review

Component Description
Ongoing Feedback Provide feedback about program review findings continuously throughout the review cycle. Engage the Area’s Collection Policy Analyst in identifying trends on a monthly and cumulative basis to ensure appropriate actions are being taken to achieve Headquarters and Area goals. Review trend data monthly, especially key items such as:
  • Productivity

  • Inventory pipeline

  • Pockets of inventory

  • Time utilization

  • ATFR controls

Operational Reviews While oversight responsibility is ongoing, Executives/Area Directors/Leadership must periodically conduct operational reviews and document findings with a memorandum.
  • During the fiscal year conduct a single comprehensive review or conduct a series of reviews that focus on specific aspects of the territory’s performance.

  • Follow-up reviews should be conducted when appropriate.

  • Use operational reviews to identify ways to effect positive changes in performance, as well as to evaluate and document territory manager (TM) impact on Business Results, Employee Satisfaction and Customer Satisfaction.

  • A variety of management information system (MIS) reports should assist in determining areas of focus for the review.

  • Data Analysis- Identify and evaluate trends that may require managerial involvement. Below is a list of review components that you should consider.

    1. Utilize cumulative data such as ENTITY and Embedded Quality reports to identify areas of achievement and those that require improvement.

    2. A comparison to prior performance as well as current goals may be appropriate.

    3. Your Operational Review narrative should indicate what the trend analysis revealed, areas of concern or achievement, additional actions taken in the operational review as a result of the trend analysis, recommendations, etc.

    4. The narrative documents should be shared with the territory manager within sixty (60) days of completion of the actual review. The review should also include a candid discussion of the territory manager’s performance.

Territory Operational Reviews/Follow-ups Review completed operational reviews to ensure that territory managers are providing appropriate oversight and guidance. Issues to consider:
  • Does the review promote improvement of business results, customer and employee satisfaction (i.e. value added)?

  • Are all mandatory administrative/compliance items identified in the Territory Manager’s Operational Aid (TMOA) addressed?

  • Are corrective actions prescribed when applicable?

  • Are barriers to productivity identified and addressed?

Territory Manager Performance Analyze the effectiveness of TM actions taken to promote the achievement of the Area’s Collection Business plan. Issues to consider:
  • Determine if group managers establish proactive commitments and goals and fulfill the requirements of their Critical Performance Expectations

  • Is" value-added" feedback issued in a timely manner?

  • Does the mid-year feedback address proactive actions established in the manager’s initial performance agreement?

    Note:

    These reviews should identify areas of accomplishment as well as those in need of improvement with recommended strategies. This should also be apparent in operational reviews and final performance evaluations.

  • Do the territory managers’ evaluations of group managers align with mid-year feedback and other evaluative documents? If discrepancies are noted or concerns exist, ensure appropriate actions are taken.

Employee and Manager Development Ensure skill transfer needs are being addressed. Issues to consider:
  • What skill gaps have been identified?

  • What plans are in place (both formal and informal) to address those gaps?

  • Did managers receive appropriate training to facilitate efficient group operations?

Communication Ensure territory managers effectively communicate to group managers the goals of National Office, the Area, and Territory. Actions to consider:
  • Conduct focus group interviews with group managers, revenue officers, and staff.

  • Hold Town Hall meetings to discuss goals and concerns with group managers and territory managers. As appropriate, you may include representatives from Labor Relations, Counsel, Appeals, etc.

  • Validate that Leadership messages are understood and encourage open communication.

  • Ensure expectations of performance are understood and managerial concerns are heard and addressed.

  • Review minutes of territory meetings.

  • Ensure territory managers discuss special interest cases within their groups, e.g., suits, seizures, fraud referrals.

  • Include your observations from territory meeting(s) you have attended.

  • Meet with NTEU to address concerns as needed.

Case File Reviews Promote proactive, timely, and appropriate case actions. When appropriate, encourage managerial involvement. Action to Consider:
  • Based upon trend analysis results and Area goals, select a mix of cases to review that is representative of the inventory.

Employee Satisfaction Ensure that TMs address employees’ and manager’s concerns related to work life environment and the achievement of efficient and effective case work. Actions to Consider:
  • Ensure TM and GMs address issues raised in most recent employee survey.

  • Review territory operational reviews to ensure TM’s are adhering to Employee Satisfaction guidelines of the TM aid and addressing managerial adherence to established policies and procedures.

Customer Satisfaction Ensure customers receive timely and appropriate actions, and fair, adequate treatment to assist in resolving their delinquency issue(s). Action to Consider:
  • Assess territory manager’s involvement in addressing customer service issues. This should be evident in operational reviews and your discussions with territory managers.

EQRS Consistency Reviews Ensure territory managers conduct EQRS Consistency Reviews" annually" and promote consistent application of the EQ attributes.
Collection Consultation Process Ensure that the Collection Consultation process is used to facilitate managerial engagement and knowledge sharing designed to have a positive effect on case resolution. Actions to Consider:
  • Discuss with the territory manager the overall performance of the territory and how it was affected by the Consultation Process. You may consider holding a focus group meeting with group managers and/or revenue officers.

  • Ensure that territory managers participate in Consultations as appropriate.

  • Documentation: Provide a written narrative of concerns, recommendations, etc., focusing on items that may make the consultation process more effective.

Appropriate Case Resolutions Ensure that case resolution activities are appropriate. This includes the consideration and development of alternative forms of resolution such as the investigation of fraud referrals, criminal referrals, suits, etc. when applicable. Action to Consider:
  • Discuss with the territory manager their involvement in promoting the appropriate use of the Fraud Technical Advisor, Counsel, and Criminal Investigation.

Field Reviews Determine if revenue officers conduct effective taxpayer contacts and make optimum use of field time. Actions to Consider:
  • Review a sampling of field visitation reviews completed by at least two group managers in a territory.

  • Accompany a revenue officer during a field visit. (When budgetary guidelines allow).

  • Documentation: Provide a written narrative to the territory manager or discuss the findings.

ATAT Program Ensure that territory managers with ATAT groups effectively monitor the engagement of the ATAT manager with the revenue officers to resolve these egregious cases. When you review cases and operational reviews ensure the following actions are being conducted:
  • Active engagement with Examination and Area Counsel on the more complex cases.

  • Cases reflect actions tailored to the type of scheme.

  • Managers review ATAT direct time charges to determine if the revenue officers should be designated on ENTITY to the Special Compliance Program.

OIC Program Area Director operational review requirements for Offer In Compromise are contained in IRM 1.4.52.6.4.2.

Remittance Processing Transmission Control Review Template

Remittance Processing Transmission Control Review
Date of Review:
Name of Reviewer:
Group Number:
Post of Duty Reviewed:

Review Point Results Correction/Comment
Form 3210 used per IRM 5.1.2.4 and Form 3210 accurately lists only documents transmitted and includes all documents transmitted. IRM requirement met. Y/N  
Form 795/795As timely per IRM 5.1.2.4. IRM requirement met. Y/N  
Form 795/795As and envelope are prepared properly per IRM 5.1.2.4.3. IRM requirement met. Y/N  
Control copies of Form 3210 maintained per IRM 5.1.2.4.4. IRM requirement met. Y/N  
Control copies of Form 795/795A maintained per IRM 5.1.2.4.3. IRM requirement met. Y/N  
A procedure is established to handle processing of remittances and returns for those employees away from the office per IRM 5.1.2.4. IRM requirement met. Y/N  
All document transmittal forms are reconciled on a biweekly basis to ensure that all transmittals were received per IRM 5.1.2.4.4(2). IRM requirement met. Y/N  
Follow-up actions taken for Form 795s without acknowledgement and 14 days have passed since transmission per IRM 5.1.2.4.5.1. IRM requirement met. Y/N  
Revenue officers within each Post of Duty have access to a "United States Treasury" stamp to meet the requirements of IRM 5.1.2.6.3.1, Overstamping or Endorsing. Y/N