1.4.52 Offer in Compromise Manager's Resource Guide

Manual Transmittal

March 22, 2019

Purpose

(1) This transmits a revision to IRM 1.4.52, Resource Guide for Managers, Offer in Compromise Manager's Resource Guide.

Material Changes

(1) This IRM was reorganized and updated to incorporate the following changes.

Subsection Change
1.4.52.1 Incorporated operational and administrative responsibilities regarding managing employees in the Centralized Offer in Compromise (COIC) function and Monitoring Offer in Compromise (MOIC) function.
1.4.52.1.3 Incorporated Operations, Department and Team Manager responsibilities.
1.4.52.1.4 Added MOIC managers to this section.
1.4.52.1.5 Added MOIC to definitions and incorporated IRM 1.4.17.6.2, Nature of OIC Workload.
1.4.52.1.6 Edited and added definitions for COIC, Doubt as to Liability (DATL), and MOIC.
1.4.52.1.7 Added additional related resources.
1.4.52.2 Renamed section Responsibilities of an Offer in Compromise Manager to incorporate guidance from COIC group manager responsibilities from IRM 1.4.54.2 and incorporated IRM 1.4.50.3.1, Administrative.
1.4.52.2(6) Incorporated IRM 1.4.20.16.4 regarding utilizing LOKME when an employee is away for more than two weeks.
1.4.52.2.1 Added a section on Acting Manager Assignments and Designations.
1.4.52.3 Incorporated IRM 1.4.54.7.5, Security Access Validation Frequency.
1.4.52.4 Incorporated COIC group manager responsibilities from IRM 1.4.54.2(2). Added: Maintain and supply upon request a calendar of scheduled work.
1.4.52.4(3) Clarified for group meetings NTEU notification the date and agenda will be provided no less than five (5) workdays in advance.
1.4.52.5 Incorporated IRM 1.4.54.8, Time Reporting in the COIC Program.
1.4.52.5.1.1 Incorporated 1.4.54.8.1, Clerical Time Reporting in the COIC Program.
1.4.52.1.2 Incorporated IRM 1.4.54.8.2, Process Examiner Time Reporting in the COIC Program.
1.4.52.5.1.3 Added guidance for time reporting for DATL COIC employees.
1.4.52.5.1.4 Incorporated IRM 1.4.54.8.3, Offer Examiner Time Reporting in the COIC Program.
1.4.52.5.2 Incorporated IRM 1.4.50.2.3, ENTITY End Of (EOM) Month Processing.
1.4.52.5.3 Added section for MOIC time reporting.
1.4.52.6.1 Incorporated IRM 1.4.54.3.4, Use of Suspense/Hold Files.
1.4.52.6.3(4) Added: Assign inventory to employees regularly based on the workload as scheduled on their calendars, the AOIC follow-up screen/ICS Notifications, and as cases are closed.
1.4.52.6.3.1 Incorporated IRM 1.4.54.3.2, Assigning Work. Added: Assign inventory to employees regularly based on the workload as scheduled on their calendars, the AOIC follow-up screen, and as cases are closed.
1.4.52.6.3.2(3) Added: Assign inventory to employees regularly based on the workload as scheduled on their calendars, ICS Notifications, and as cases are closed.
1.4.52.6.4 Incorporated IRM 1.4.54.5.2, Managers Responsibility for Cases Transferred to the Field. Incorporated IRM 1.4.54.5.2.1, Field Drop Point for OIC Transfers, and removed reference to drop point.
1.4.52.6.5 Incorporated IRM 1.4.54.5.4, Closing and Review Actions. Added requirement for addressing CSEDs.
1.4.52.6.5.1 Incorporated IRM 1.4.54.5.4, Closing and Review Actions and incorporated IRM 1.4.20.18.2.4, Area AOIC Managerial Reviews. Added field OIC to this section to provide guidance on closing and review actions needed by management.
1.4.52.6.5(e) Added Note: All requests for manager callbacks should be completed within two business days. Details of the conversation must be annotated in the case history on ICS/AOIC.
1.4.52.6.5.1(1) For acceptance recommendations requiring review by Counsel, the manager must review the case for appropriateness and completeness prior to assigning to Counsel.
1.4.52.6.5.2 Added guidance for MOIC managers for closing and review actions.
1.4.52.6.6.1 Incorporated 1.4.54.3.1, Maintaining Appropriate Inventory Levels.
1.4.52.6.7 Incorporated IRM 1.4.54.3.3, Timeliness of an Offer Investigation.
1.4.52.6.8.1 Incorporated 1.4.54.3, Workload Management and IRM 1.4.54.3.5, Workload Management Using AOIC.
1.4.52.6.8.2 Split ICS and Entity tasks into two separate categories.
1.4.52.6.9 Incorporated IRM 1.4.20.18.2.2, OIC Managerial Reports, IRM 1.4.17.6.3, OIC Managerial Reports, and IRM 1.4.54.6 AOIC and Eureka Reports. Removed reference to Eureka.
1.4.52.6.9 (4)(i) Added: This report can be printed daily but minimally requires weekly reconciliation to ensure IDRS modules and respective notice/collection status codes match AOIC.
1.4.52.6.10 Incorporated 1.4.54.4.1, Semi-Annual and Quarterly Inventory Matches and added inventory match must be completed for COIC by March 31st and September 30th of each fiscal year and maintained for three years.
1.4.52.6.10.2 Clarified the semi-annual inventory match should encompass ICS, AOIC, and OIC files.
1.4.52.6.11 Added COIC and MOIC to the AOIC signature maintenance section.
1.4.52.6.12 Incorporated IRM 1.4.54.7.2, Quality of Reviews.
1.4.52.6.13 Incorporated IRM 1.4.54.4, Inventory Control.
1.4.52.7 Incorporated IRM 1.4.54.7, Reviews.
1.4.52.7.1 Incorporated IRM 1.4.54.7.9, Employee Performance Discussions IRM 1.4.54.5.3, Case Documentation, and 1.4.54.7.1, Reviews and Employee Performance Discussions.
1.4.52.7.2 Incorporated IRM 1.4.54.7.1, Reviews and Employee Performance Discussions.
1.4.52.7.3 Incorporated IRM 1.4.54.7.3, Review Documentation.
1.4.52.7.4 Summarized in tabular format the reviews needed for COIC, DATL, field OIC, and MOIC.
1.4.52.7.4(4) Technical Case reviews are to be conducted on the OE/OS as follows: Complete 1 minimum of one EQRS review per employee per month.
1.4.52.7.4(4) Provided mandatory review provisions for PEs.
1.4.52.7.4(4) For DATL TE: Complete a minimum of one EQRS case review per employee per month within the employee’s annual rating period.
1.4.52.7.4(4) For field TE: specified monthly review requirement.
1.4.52.7.4(4) For MOIC TE: Complete a minimum of one EQRS case review per employee per month within the employee’s annual rating period.
1.4.52.7.4(4) Incorporated IRM 1.4.54.7.4, Mandatory Reviews and changed work leader review from monthly to quarterly basis.
1.4.52.7.4(6) Removed bimonthly review requirement and added month Inventory Management Review and criteria.
1.4.52.7.4.1(3) Added after hours 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 co-located with the employee.
1.4.52.7.5 Added section to incorporate MOIC reviews from IRM 1.4.17.6.4, Area Managerial Reviews, IRM 1.14.17.6.5, Campus Mandatory Reviews, and 1.4.20.18.2.3, Campus Mandatory OIC Reviews.
1.4.52.7.5(1) Added to the Aged 5M Inventory Listing: Once the report is received back from DAE, MOIC Campus employees have 60 days to work that listing. See IRM 5.19.7.2.11(7). Within 90 days from the DAE response verify this listing was worked timely. Added to the Open Collateral Report: This report should be run annually in February with a follow-up by March 31.
1.4.7.6 Changed Taxpayer Review to optional.
1.4.52.7.7.1 Incorporated 1.4.54.7.6, COIC Department Manager Annual Operational Review.
1.4.52.7.7.2 Added suggested duties for Operations manager.
1.4.52.7.7.3 Added requirement for the territory to provide OIC Policy with an updated staffing chart on a quarterly basis. Changed follow-up on cases assigned to OS from 180 days to 120 days.
1.4.52.8.1 Incorporated IRM 5.19.7.2.9.3, Case History Documentation for DATL OIC.
1.4.52.8.2 Incorporated IRM 1.4.54.5.1, Protecting Taxpayer Rights.
1.4.52.8.3 Incorporated IRM 1.4.54.7.10, Use of Statistical Data.
1.4.52.9.1 Deleted IRM 1.4.52.9.1, Drop Point Responsibilities for the Tax Examiner and added this to 1.4.52.9.1, OIC Field Group Responsibilities for the Tax Examiner.
1.4.52.9.1 Removed requirement to send Form 3040 to MOIC when applying the deposit and added requirement that it must be clearly documented on AOIC that the taxpayer authorized on Form 656, Form 3040, or other written authorization application of the deposit. Added: Generate AOIC Transaction Error Listing. This report can be printed daily but minimally requires weekly reconciliation to ensure IDRS modules and respective notice/collection status codes match AOIC.
1.4.52.9.2 Summarized partial listing of MOIC tax examiners duties based on IRM 5.19.7, Monitoring Offer in Compromise.
1.4.52.11 Incorporated IRM 1.4.54.5.6, FRC Guidelines.
Throughout References to “COIC team” have been changed to “COIC group”.

(2) Editorial changes were made throughout this IRM to update website addresses, business units, legal references, and IRM references.

Effect on Other Documents

This material supersedes IRM 1.4.52, dated 10-24-2017.

Audience

Small Business/Self-Employed, Centralized OIC Group Managers, Collection Field function OIC Group Managers, Department Managers, MOIC Team Managers, Territory Managers and Operations Managers with Offer in Compromise oversight, and Director Specialty Collection Offer in Compromise (SCOIC).

Effective Date

(03-22-2019)

Nikki C. Johnson
Director, Collection Policy

Program Scope and Objectives

  1. Purpose: This chapter discusses the responsibilities of managers in Centralized Offer in Compromise (COIC), including Doubt as to Liability (DATL), Offer in Compromise (OIC) field groups, and Monitoring Offer in Compromise (MOIC) groups and should be used in conjunction with IRM 1.4.50, Collection Group Manager, Territory Manager, and Area Director Operational Aid, all sections of IRM 5.8, Offer in Compromise, IRM 5.19.7, Monitoring Offer in Compromise, and IRM 5.19.24, Doubt as to Liability Offer in Compromise. Assignment of work must align with Policy Statement 1-236, Fairness and Integrity in Enforcement Selection. Adherence to the principles in this policy statement ensure the Service is meeting its commitment in the IRS Mission Statement by “enforcing the tax law with integrity and fairness to all.” This section also provides guidance for operational reviews by department managers, operation managers, territory managers, and directors.

  2. Audience: These procedures apply to IRS (Internal Revenue Service) employees who are responsible for managing COIC, field Offer in Compromise (OIC), and MOIC employees.

  3. Policy Owner: Director, Collection Policy.

  4. Program Owner: SBSE Collection Policy, Offer in Compromise (OIC) Program.

  5. Primary Stakeholders: The primary stakeholders are COIC managers (including DATL managers), department managers, operation managers, field OIC managers, territory managers, MOIC managers and Specialty Collection Offer in Compromise (SCOIC) directors.

  6. Program Goals: Since managing employees who are engaged in evaluating and monitoring offers in compromise presents certain issues unique to OICs, this IRM provides the fundamental knowledge and procedural guidance for COIC, field OIC, and MOIC managers to appropriately manage their employees (offer examiner, process examiner, offer specialist, tax examiner and secretary). Guidance for the group managers, department managers, operation managers, territory managers, and the director is present as well.

Background

  1. This section provides direction for COIC group managers, department managers, operation managers, field OIC group managers, territory managers, and MOIC managers. Additional guidance is provided for the director of SCOIC for the operational review of the OIC program.

Authority

  1. Authorities relating to this section include:

    • IRC 7122, Compromises

    • IRC 6304, Fair tax collection practices

    • IRC 6702(b), Civil penalty for specified frivolous submissions

    • Policy Statement P-5-89

    • Policy Statement P-5-100

    • Policy Statement 1-236

    • Rev. Procedure 2003-71

    • IRM 1.2.44.2, Servicewide Policies and Authorities, Delegations of Authority for the Collecting Process- Delegation Order 5-1

    • Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, Section 1203

Responsibilities

  1. The Director, Collection Policy, is responsible for all policies and procedures within the Offer in Compromise program.

  2. The National Program Manager, Offer in Compromise, is responsible for development and delivery of policies and procedures within the program.

  3. The Director, SCOIC, is responsible for the performance of the OIC program and ensuring IRM policies and procedures are followed.

  4. Operation, department, territory, and group OIC managers are responsible for ensuring the procedures are followed and employee actions are timely and accurate.

Program Management and Review

  1. Operational and program reviews are conducted on a yearly basis by the director of SCOIC and Collection Policy respectively, with the use of data and reports from the Automated Offer in Compromise (AOIC) system, ENTITY case management system, and Integrated Collection System (ICS). Additional ad hoc reports which provide information on the inventory levels, hours per case, and age of offers in open or closed inventory are also provided when requested by SCOIC.

  2. For additional information on managing a field OIC group, see IRM 1.4.50, Collection Group Manager, Territory Manager and Area Director Operational Aid.

  3. Managerial case reviews are completed and controls followed as defined in this IRM. These reviews are a method to determine if the offer amount accurately reflects the reasonable collection potential (RCP) as defined in Policy Statement P-5-100 and if timely and appropriate actions have been taken. MOIC managers review to determine if timely and appropriate actions have been addressed during the OIC monitoring process as defined in this IRM and IRM 5.19.7, Monitoring Offer in Compromise. DATL COIC managers review to determine if timely and appropriate actions have been addressed per IRM 5.19.24, Doubt as to Liability Offer in Compromise.

  4. National quality reviews and consistency reviews are routinely conducted to ensure program consistency and effectiveness in case processing.

Program Controls

  1. AOIC is used to track offers submitted by taxpayers and record case actions and history. Ability to take action on AOIC is limited to specific offer employees. Additional permissions are provided based on an employee’s duties and responsibilities.

  2. ICS is used by field OIC employees as a method for inventory control and history documentation.

  3. Managerial requirements for case approval are defined in Delegation Order 5-1.

  4. ENTITY and ICS are utilized by field OIC managers and AOIC is utilized by COIC (including DATL), field OIC, and MOIC managers as a method for inventory control and appropriate time utilization.

  5. Managers are required to follow program management procedures and controls addressed in this IRM. Additionally, field OIC managers are required to follow IRM 1.4.50, Collection Group Manager, Territory Manager and Area Director Operational Aid, when applicable.

  6. Case reviews are conducted by the Office of Chief Counsel on certain offers in accordance with Internal Revenue Code section 7122(b) and Treasury Regulations § 301.7122-1 - Compromises.

Terms/Definitions/Acronyms

  1. A list of common abbreviations, definitions and acronyms used throughout this IRM may be found in the table below:

    Acronym Name Definition
    AOIC Automated Offer in Compromise Computer application where offers in compromise are recorded and monitored from receipt to closure. History of the offer investigations conducted by COIC employees and of actions taken by Monitoring OIC (MOIC) units are also maintained on this system.
    COIC Centralized Offer in Compromise Taxpayers send Form 656, Offer in Compromise, to one of the two COIC sites; located at the Brookhaven or Memphis sites. Units located in Brookhaven and Memphis complete initial processing and forward processable offers to offer examiners at the sites or to field OIC for investigation.
    CSED Collection Statute Expiration Date The date the statutory period for collecting the tax expires.
    DATL Doubt as to Liability The Centralized DATL processing unit located at the Brookhaven site receives all Forms 656-L submitted on the basis of DATL. COIC will process Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (TFRP) and Personal Liability for Excise Tax (PLET) offers and forward them to field OIC offices for investigation.
    ICS Integrated Collection System Computer application used by Compliance employees to monitor inventory. Histories of OIC investigations conducted by field OIC employees are maintained on this system.
    OE Offer Examiner An offer investigator located in one of the two COIC sites; located at the Brookhaven or Memphis site.
    OS Offer Specialist A revenue officer appointed as an offer investigator, generally located in field OIC.
    MOIC Monitoring Offer in Compromise Groups located in Brookhaven and Memphis that monitor accepted offers for compliance with all terms, complete the default of accepted offers when applicable and are responsible for the 4710 account. Accepted offers are sent to one of the two sites (Brookhaven and Memphis) based on whether they were accepted in COIC or field OIC.
    TIPRA Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 – Section 509 Legislation enacted in May, 2006 which made major changes to the OIC program.
  2. Additional acceptable acronyms and abbreviations are found in the ReferenceNet Acronym Database.

Related Resources

  1. Additional resources can be found in:

    Resource Name Title Guidance On
    IRM 1.4.1 Management Roles and Responsibilities Provides fundamental responsibilities of management positions and also serves as a useful reference for all IRS Divisions and Functions' managers and employees.
    IRM 1.4.6 Manager’s Security Handbook Provides guidance on annual security reviews.
    IRM 1.4.50 Collection Group Manager, Territory Manager, and Director Operational Aid Provides guidance on Inventory Levels, maintaining EPFs and various other managerial responsibilities.
    IRM 1.5.2 Uses of Section 1204 Statistics Provides guidance to prevent use of statistics to evaluate employees.
    IRM 5.1.23 Taxpayer Representation Provides procedural guidance and instructions to handle taxpayer representation issues when working offer cases.
    IRM 5.3.1 ENTITY Case Management System (ENTITY) Workload management tool
    IRM 5.8 Offer in Compromise Provides procedures for collection employees to follow when considering a taxpayer’s proposal to compromise.
    IRM 5.19.7 Monitoring Offer in Compromise Provides the fundamental knowledge and procedural guidance for the tax examiners engaged in the monitoring of offers.
    IRM 5.19.24 Doubt as to Liability Offer in Compromise Provides SBSE site employees procedures for processing Doubt as to Liability Offer in Compromise cases.
    IRM 10.8.34 IDRS Security Controls Procedures for the administration of the security program for the Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS).
    Document 11678 National Agreement - Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) Provides notification for meetings as well as employee rights and benefits.
    Document 11434 ICS/Entity MIS Integrated Program Handbook Assists with workload management for the field OIC utilizing ENTITY Reports.
    Document 12360 Embedded Quality Job Aid (Offer in Compromise) Case reviews
    Document 12990 Records and Information Management Records Control Schedules Record retention information
    Training 28206-001 Automated Offers In Compromise (AOIC) Application AOIC user guide
  2. Employees can find helpful information on these websites:

    • SERP

    • IMD site for IGM

    • New Manager Orientation (NMO) Support Center

    • Critical Job Elements

    • iManage

    • UNAX Responsibilities

    • Delegation Orders

    • Embedded Quality

Responsibilities of an Offer in Compromise Manager

  1. In accomplishing the mission of the Internal Revenue Service, it is your responsibility to provide oversight and direction in a number of areas. Your oversight responsibilities include, but are not limited to below.

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

    • Ensuring high standards of professionalism are maintained in all correspondence and telephone contact, with both internal and external customers.

    • Ensuring taxpayer rights are observed and taxpayers and/or their representatives are advised of those rights and how to exercise them.

    • Ensuring employees are aware of the role of the Taxpayer Advocate Service and the Low Income Tax Clinics (refer to Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List), and the service these functions provide is properly communicated with taxpayers and/or their representative.

    • Ensuring employees are aware of and comply with ongoing changes to the laws, policies, and procedures that relate to their responsibilities.

    • Addressing system issues that impact either internal or external customer needs.

    • Ensuring cases are assigned timely and appropriate inventory levels are maintained.

    • Ensuring workloads (1) reflect employee experience and skills, (2) address Service-Wide objectives, and (3) protect public interest.

    • Helping employees make the right next case decision.

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

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

    • Issuing Critical Job Elements (CJE) timely and evaluating employee performance against their CJEs.

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

    • Providing technical guidance on the OIC program to other Collection employees, and other functions, as necessary.

  2. You are responsible for oversight of certain administrative functions for your employees including, but not limited to the list below.

    • Overseeing the time reporting process

    • Maintenance of time and attendance records

    • Certifying overtime records

    • Approving scheduled and unscheduled leave

    • Controlling and approving travel

    • Maintaining safe working conditions

    • Completing quarterly 1204 self certifications

    • Oversight of supply procurement

    • Ensuring employees have necessary equipment and supplies

    • Maintaining EPF and drop files for each employee

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

      Note:

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

  3. Items that you must update individually with each employee annually include, but are not limited to the list below.

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

    • Form 11386, IRS Telework Agreement for Bargaining Unit (BU)

    • Form 7995, Outside Employment or Business Activity Request

    • Form 10094, Career Learning Plan-Employee

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

  4. In addition, your responsibilities include the following list.

    • Developing employees

    • Addressing employee conduct issues

    • Defining goals and course of action

    • Instructing employees in the application of procedures and guidelines

    • Displaying integrity in all actions

  5. 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.

  6. You are responsible for ensuring your employees have access to the IDRS command codes necessary to perform their assigned tasks and required research. When an employee is expected to be away from their terminal for more than two weeks or longer, the employee should lock their profile to avoid being locked out by Data Security. The CC LOKME is used to lock IDRS. Please refer to IRM 10.8.34.6.2.2.4.2, Employee Self-Profile Locking (LOKME), for additional information.

  7. Managers coordinate IDRS security with their assigned Unit Security Representative (USR), otherwise known by their organizational title: Data Security Analyst (DSA). See IRM 5.1.25.2, Roles and Responsibilities, for additional information.

    Note:

    Managers are responsible for addressing the USR/DSA e-mails regarding IDRS related inquires within five business days.

Acting Manager Assignments and Designations

  1. You must designate with a formal delegation an acting manager during your periods of absence. Managerial tasks to be performed and those to be deferred may depend on the duration of the assignment. Refer to the National Agreement (Document 11678) for certain restrictions on performance evaluations ( i.e. The employee’s performance must have been observed under a signed performance plan for at least 60 days to be ratable under Article 12.) Assignments should be agreed on between you and the acting manager in advance. Specific expectations should be given at the beginning of each assignment. This will form the basis for your feedback on performance of the acting assignment.

  2. For a delegated acting manager utilize discretion to determine whether inventory level needs to be adjusted for the actor. Factors to consider are:

    • length of acting assignment and

    • duties to be performed during this assignment.

  3. You may designate specific tasks even though you are not absent. This enables a manager to provide developmental assignments to employees aspiring to the next level to gain useful experience. In this situation, no "acting" assignment or delegation exists; therefore tasks reserved to managers, (i.e., manager approvals, callbacks requested by the taxpayer that involve a CAP appeal, and travel approval), cannot be delegated.

Security Access Validation Frequency

  1. Managers are responsible for ensuring that required security duties, including reviews, are completed in a timely manner.

  2. Service officials and managers must communicate security standards contained in IRM 1.4.6, Managers Security Handbook, and IRM 10.8.1, Policy and Guidance, to subordinate employees and establish methods to enforce them. Employees are responsible for taking required precautions in providing security for the documents, information and property that they handle in performing official duties.

  3. An annual review must be conducted to certify that employees have the appropriate level of access to each application used. Any application that is no longer required for the performance of an employee's duties must have an online (OL) Form 5081, Automated Information System (AIS) User Registration/Change Request submitted to delete access to that application.

Communication of Expectations

  1. When a new group is established or you as a new manager are assigned to an existing group, a meeting with the employees must be held within the first 30 days. At this meeting communicate expectations about the following suggested topics below.

    • Safety and security

    • Group procedures

    • Case work

    • Use of time in the office and telework

    • Timeliness of case activity

    • Time frames for case actions

    • Case review schedules

    • Maintain and supply upon request a calendar of scheduled work

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

  3. When a new employee is assigned to an existing group, you must meet with him or her to discuss managerial expectations and ensure the appropriate OL Forms 5081, Automated Information System (AIS) User Registration/Change Request, are completed and processed.

    Note:

    These meetings are considered 7114 meetings and the local National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) chapter(s) must be notified of the meeting in accordance with Article 8, Union Rights, of the IRS/NTEU National Agreement.

  4. Hold regular group meetings as necessary to review and discuss items such as the listing below.:

    • Directives from Headquarters, Director SCOIC (Director), and/or the Program Manager (PM)/Territory Manager (TM) and Operation Manager (OM)

    • Procedural memoranda

    • Changes to the IRM

    • Changes in condition of employment

    • Automation issues

    • Mandated topics (e.g., Ethics, etc.)

    • Annual IRS Employee Survey results

    • IRS employee engagement issues and general group concerns

    • Complex cases to brainstorm ideas to assist in taking appropriate closing actions

    • Case resolution techniques in order to share best practices

    • Quarterly Policy conference call notes

    Note:

    Some of these meetings are considered 7114 meetings (e.g., changes in condition of employment and certain mandated topics) and the local National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) chapter(s) must be notified of the meeting in accordance with Article 8, Union Rights, of the IRS/NTEU National Agreement. For a regularly scheduled meeting the notification and agenda will be provided no less than five workdays in advance. Seek guidance and advice from your servicing Labor Relations Section if you are unsure whether an agenda item for a group meeting constitutes a 7114 issue. Article 8 Section 1 of the National Agreement also provides guidance on 7114 Meetings.

Time Reporting in the Offer in Compromise Program

  1. In accordance with IRS policy found in IRM 6.630.1.1.2, Administration of the Federal Leave System – Manager Responsibilities, as a manager you have a fundamental responsibility to verify the individual Time Entry record in SETR for each of your employees prior to certifying (signing off) the accuracy of the information in SETR at the end of the pay period. Ensure direct and indirect time is reported using the appropriate time, function and program codes [Organization, Function and Program Code (OFP)] and discrepancies are addressed as needed.

  2. Conduct leave audits on an as needed basis.

    Note:

    Employees and managers have the capability of generating Employee Work/Leave Audit reports from SETR, using an option under the Standard Reports menu. This report shows all hours an employee has either worked or taken as leave for the past 25 pay periods and may be extremely helpful when performing leave audits.

  3. Be alert for the reporting what could be considered excessive administrative or miscellaneous direct time.

Time Reporting for COIC

  1. Utilize SETR bi-weekly to ensure accurate time reporting. Discrepancies should be addressed, as needed.

Clerical Time Reporting in the COIC Program
  1. OFP time code 790–0000X covers time spent by clerical employees related to time spent in support of COIC including, but not limited to the following below.

    • Maintaining filing systems

    • Filing documents or cases

    • Processing closed files

    • Typing or inputting hardcopy or electronic information

    • Processing and routing mail

    • Conducting research

    • Processing remittances

Process Examiner Time Reporting in the COIC Program
  1. OFP time code 700-60000 covers all actions related to the time spent by PEs on telephone contact, including requests received on Form 4442.

  2. OFP time code 810–6603X covers all actions related to the time spent by PEs working on a newly receipted Form 656, Offer in Compromise. This includes the following below.

    • Loading offers to AOIC

    • Researching to make a processability determination

    • Processing application fees and deposits

  3. OFP time code 810–66025 covers all actions related to the time spent by PEs correcting input problems that have generated on the IDRS transaction error listings.

  4. OFP time code 810–6602X covers the following below.

    • Case building for additional financial documentation

    • Generating the appropriate correspondence

    • Reviewing the taxpayer's response to the request for additional financial verification

    • Alternative Resolutions

    • Liens and credit transfers

  5. OFP time code 810-66040 covers all actions related to the time spent by PEs processing subsequent payments.

Tax Examiner Time Reporting in the COIC Program
  1. OFP time code 810–61970 covers most actions related to the time spent by the tax examiners in the DATL COIC program.

Offer Examiner Time Reporting in the COIC Program
  1. OFP time code 810–6601X covers all actions related to the time spent by OEs working on an assigned OIC submitted on Form 656, Offer in Compromise. This list includes, but is not limited to the following below.

    • Receiving and analyzing the Form 656, Offer in Compromise and all required documentation

    • Determining Reasonable Collection Potential (RCP)

    • Making disposition recommendations and reviewing requests for Appeal consideration

    • Working CDP offers

    • Working Compromise of a Compromise

Time Reporting for Field OIC

  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 non-direct time, discrepancies related to credit/ comp/ holiday/ training time, etc.

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

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

    5. Refer to IRM 5.2.1.5, Field Collection and Field OIC Specialist Responsibilities, for specific information about GM responsibilities related to time reporting.

Time Reporting for Offer Specialists
  1. Review employee ENTITY Time Reports monthly in order to:

    • Monitor the accuracy of reporting direct time on case assignments.

    • Monitor the percentage of direct time to ensure the Offer Specialist (OS) is not working over 25% direct time above grade.

    • Make sure the proper amount of administrative time and other non-direct case time is accurately reported.

  2. You are responsible for reviewing proper time reporting by your employees. Using ENTITY, you should be alert for reporting excessive administrative or non-direct case time which is reported under ICS Code 106.

  3. Non-direct case time is work consisting of less than 15 minutes on an individual case including time spent discussing cases during the case review discussions.

  4. OS report non-case direct time under ICS Code 106. Time Code 106 has Non-Case Direct and Direct-Case time designations which are captured and reported separately on ENTITY.

    Caution:

    OS must not charge any of their time to ICS Code 809 because time reported to Code 809 rolls into 101 TDA Direct and 201 TDI Direct time.

  5. Direct case time (106) covers all actions relating to the time spent working an assigned OIC submitted on Form 656. This includes receiving and analyzing the form, all required documentation, conducting required interviews, determining reasonable collection potential, making disposition recommendations, reviewing requests for Appeal consideration, time spent of more than 15 minutes discussing a case during inventory management reviews, etc.

  6. OS must report time worked on offers with an open CDP to ICS Code 120. This includes receiving and analyzing the form, all required documentation, conducting required interviews, determining reasonable collection potential, making disposition recommendations, time spent of more than 15 minutes discussing a case during inventory management reviews, etc.

  7. The OS must report any clerical or administrative duties such as mailing or scanning cases not as case time but under ICS Code 611.

Time Reporting for Paraprofessionals (Field OIC Tax Examiners)
  1. OIC support work that is performed by paraprofessionals (tax examiners, etc.) must be reported under ICS Code 106 — Non-Case Direct.

Time Reporting for Clerical (Field OIC Secretaries/Management Assistants)
  1. Clerical personnel in the field OIC program (e.g., secretaries/management assistants) must report their case related work under ICS Codes 502, 504, and 505. Listed below is an explanation of these codes.

  2. 502 Analysis/Perfection — Time spent by a field OIC clerical employee in performance of their duties including, but not limited to, the following below.

    • Analyzing and perfecting of input documents, excluding payment input documents

    • Coding and editing of adjustment documents, such as Form 3870, Request for Adjustment, etc

    • Performing research necessary to complete payment and credit transfer requests

    • Reviewing and perfecting information or certified transcript requests and performing all necessary follow-up actions

    • Performing miscellaneous duties as assigned

    Note:

    Refer to IRM 1.4.52.10 ,Tax Examiners in the OIC Program, and IRM 1.4.52.12, Group Secretaries in the OIC Program, for a full description of support duties within the OIC program.

  3. 504 Clerical – Time spent by clerical employees maintaining filing systems (hardcopy files and/or electronic files), filing other documents, inputting accession numbers on Automated OIC (AOIC) on cases forwarded to FRC, and processing closed file requests.

  4. 505 Clerical – Time spent by clerical employees in support of all Collection programs including, but not limited to, the following below.

    • Preparing/printing letters, forms, etc

    • Processing and routing mail

    • Conducting research to assist OS' with assigned cases, other than payment/credit transfer research

    • Processing Form 795, Daily Report of Collection Activity, without returns and/or remittances, including such items as: (1) reviewing documents for accuracy and completeness; and returning incomplete or inaccurate documents to the initiator; (2) routing documents to the appropriate function; (3) determining the appropriate assignment number; (4) preparing sample selection for National Quality Review System (NQRS); (5) preparing sample selection for post reviews; (6) performing miscellaneous duties, as assigned.

Time Reporting for Monitoring Offer in Compromise

  1. Utilize SETR bi-weekly to ensure accurate time reporting. Discrepancies should be addressed, as needed. Time reporting should be recorded in accordance with the appropriate OFP time codes. To determine the appropriate count see the major operations found at http://ofp.ds.irsnet.gov/index.asp. For a list of MOIC tax examiner time codes see the table below. This list is not all inclusive.

    OFP Code Action Performed
    61900 Perfection
    61910 Monitoring
    61920 Potential Default
    61930 Phone Calls
    61940 Correspondence
    61950 4710 Deposit Actions
    61960 Closed Case Actions

Workload Management

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

    • Ensure hold files are held to a minimum or eliminated by making assignments to active inventory as expeditiously as possible.

      Note:

      Alert the OM/TM to situations where inventory backlogs may delay timely assignment of cases.

    • Ensure cases are assigned promptly.

    • Maintain appropriate inventory levels at appropriate grade levels and make adjustments as necessary.

    • Ensure case activity is progressing toward resolution by (1) timely conducting the required Embedded Quality Review System (EQRS) case reviews and required reviews along with any other reviews deemed appropriate, (2) monitoring group controls, and (3) monitoring inventory and having ongoing dialogue with each employee to adequately assess the individual progress of each case assignment.

    • Ensure that the cases submitted for approval have been assigned to the AOIC GM approval assignment number by the OE/OS.

Use of Suspense/Hold Files in COIC

  1. Cases suspended in a 51xx file awaiting taxpayer response should remain there no longer than 60 days.

  2. Cases in the COIC OE hold files, 60xx, should only be used as a temporary control point for new assignments. OIC cases should not remain in these files for more than 90 days prior to assignment to an OE.

  3. Cases should be assigned from the hold file to an OE based on first-in- first-out (FIFO) by IRS received date. The exception is if the case qualifies for emergency processing and is approved by the manager.

    Note:

    Inventory should be monitored for any anomalies regarding case assignment time frames.

  4. Monitor hold files on a weekly basis to ensure these expectations are met and OIC cases are routinely assigned for investigation without delay.

  5. Close rejected offers pending in the 45-day hold file closed immediately after the 45th day if no timely appeal is received.

Field OIC Case Grading

  1. You are responsible for reviewing all case receipts and ensuring that each assignment has been correctly graded prior to assignment to an OS. Case grading should be based on the criteria defined in the employee’s current Position Description (PD) for the GS-1169-12 (PD# 97019) and GS-1169-11 (PD # 97018), Offer in Compromise Specialist, which specifies that Grade 11 OSs are generally assigned OIC cases that involve moderate issues, and Grade 12 OSs generally are assigned inventory that involve more complex issues.

  2. Because OICs assigned to the OS generally contain financial statements submitted by taxpayers, as well as information obtained by the COIC sites through internal case-building, you should also take into consideration additional issues when determining the initial case grade of a new assignment. Generally, the below issues/processes could warrant a GS-12 designation.

    • Liabilities that cover a diversified spectrum of individual and business taxpayers (e.g. multiple and/or consecutive years of non-compliance requiring more analysis and evaluation to ascertain issues such as commingling of assets, income, expenses, etc.).

    • Entity consists of complex trusts, large municipalities, and/or educational institutions all of which require more specialized knowledge of tax laws.

    • Valuation of on-going businesses; income determination when excessive accumulation of retained earnings is identified; closely held entities; consideration whether compromise would impact overall compliance; public policy impact if collection were to be pursued; and the related valuation in making a final compromise decision.

    • Presence of transferees, nominees, and/or alter egos requiring identification, research and valuation in making a final compromise decision.

    • Presence of complex accounting practices, tax law, or investigative issues of more than usual difficulty or complexity.

    • OICs filed by individuals and business taxpayers (e.g. partnerships, corporations) involved in complex activities or transactions designed or structured to hide or conceal income requiring a thorough knowledge of the different fraud indicators, as well as working knowledge on a wide range of financial and investigative skills, such as offshore activities; multiple related entities.

    • Involvement of numerous creditors requiring a working knowledge of lien law in order to determine appropriate lien priority.

    • Need for comprehensive reviews to determine that other required returns such as individual income tax, excise, or specialty returns are filed, and an analysis of these returns is required to identify omitted assets, and/or improper transfers.

    • Case complexity requires the involvement of specialists such as Examination, Office of Professional Responsibility, Evaluation Engineers, Criminal Investigation, Counsel, Fraud Technical Advisor (FTA), and/or Field Compliance.

    • Comprehensive and complex financial statements requiring knowledge of accounting and business principles.

    • Need to gather, research, inspect, and validate data from a variety of sources including internal sources and personal contacts. The data may, in some instances, be unique to a particular trade or industry.

    • Potential for media scrutiny due to the type of taxpayer.

    • Non-economic hardship-effective tax administration (NEH-ETA) issues in accordance with IRM 5.8.11.2.2.

    • Cases involved in the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative Program (OVDI).

  3. Case grade levels can be increased or decreased at any time. The case grade must be changed if receipt of additional information or case circumstances warrant the change. Case grades must be verified and changed on ICS. Encourage OSs to bring any issues to your attention. If you decide that a case should be downgraded, notate the reasons in the case history. You must also notify the OS via e-mail of the reasons for downgrading the case. If the OS disagrees, the employee and/or the Union may file a written challenge to the decision. See the Article 25 C.1 of the National NTEU Agreement.

  4. You may need to consider a reassignment of the case if a grade level change is made.

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. Assign inventory in the following order below.

    1. Offers with less than six months remaining on the TIPRA statute

    2. Offers expedited per IRM 5.8.4.26

    3. Form 2209- compromise of a compromise investigations for assignment. All cases in the group manager’s hold file are displayed on AOIC. Form 2209s will be on ICS only and not AOIC in field OIC. Be mindful of the actual number of cases in the OS inventory.

    4. The Form 2209- ARI requests from Appeals

      Note:

      If possible, close ARIs within 45 days of receipt.

       

    5. Assign cases not meeting the criteria defined in a-d above on a FIFO basis as determined by the IRS received date.

      Note:

      Assign related taxpayer entities to the same OE/OS as appropriate.

     

  3. Attempt not to assign new cases to employees on weekends, holidays, or when an employee is on leave.

  4. Assign inventory to employees regularly based on the workload as scheduled on their calendars, the AOIC follow-up screen/ICS Notifications and as cases are closed.

  5. Per Article 16 of the National Agreement, an employee may spend up to 25% of his or her direct time during any four-month period working higher graded cases for developmental purposes.

  6. If you allow the employee 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% threshold is not exceeded. Employees who exceed the 25% level for any four-month period may be entitled to a temporary promotion.

Assigning Work for Offer Examiners
  1. Assignments must be made on the AOIC system.

  2. Utilize weekly reviews of AOIC Inventory Listings, Follow-up Listings, etc. to determine the appropriate work assignment.

  3. Assign inventory to employees regularly based on the workload as scheduled on their calendars, the AOIC follow-up screen, and as cases are closed.

Assigning Work for Offer Specialists
  1. You are responsible for ensuring that cases are assigned at the proper grade based on the criteria outlined in IRM 1.4.52.6.2 , and must be made on both the AOIC and ICS systems.

  2. Utilize weekly reviews of AOIC/ICS Inventory Listings to determine the appropriate work assignment.

  3. Assign inventory to employees regularly based on the workload as scheduled on their calendars, ICS Notifications, and as cases are closed.

  4. Perform monthly reviews of ENTITY reports to make sure employees are not working over 25% of direct time on cases above their grade level. This can be accomplished by reviewing the hours on the Time on Above Graded Cases report. You must also look at the percent of direct time on each employee's summary screen. To view this screen, select the employee's record from the Employment Management option in the ENTITY Main Menu. See Chapter 7 of Document 11434, ICS/Entity MIS Integrated Program Handbook, for details. You may elect to let the employee retain higher grade cases in inventory when the below issues are present:

    • There would be an unacceptable delay in working the case if it was reassigned.

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

    • The OS needs or requests a higher-level case for developmental purposes.

COIC Responsibility for Cases Transferred to Field OIC

  1. Managers are responsible for reviewing cases prior to transfer to the field OIC to ensure transfer criteria is met.

  2. Offers that are transferred to field OIC contain financial statement documents submitted by taxpayers, as well as information obtained through internal case building. Group managers should ensure all internal case building documents have been included prior to transfer

  3. Managers should ensure cases are transferred timely. Cases should be mailed no longer than three days after transfer on AOIC.

    Note:

    If a case has not been identified as a field OIC transfer within 12 months of the IRS Received Date, the site must retain and work the case. If the site believes there are complex issues that cannot be resolved at the site, the case must be elevated to the National OIC program manager for a transfer determination.

  4. Managers must ensure related offers received from field OIC and Appeals are loaded to AOIC. If the original offer was worked in field OIC, the related offer will be transferred on AOIC to the AO where the original offer was worked. An e-mail must be sent to the OIC field group manager so they can accept the transfer and assign the case for action. If the offer was received from Appeals an e-mail must also be sent to the Appeals Officer with the offer number, and the related offer must be returned directly to the Appeals Officer.

  5. The COIC employee's responsibilities will consist of the following:

    1. Review all transfer forms to ensure transfer is appropriate.

    2. If electronic transfer on AOIC is incorrect, accept transfers back on the AOIC system and re-transfer to the correct area.

    3. Interact with field OIC site personnel to check on the status of transfers, as needed.

    4. Follow-up on Form 3210, Document Transmittal, to ensure transfers were received and acknowledged.

    5. Retain Form 3210 for a period of three years.

  6. DATL COIC employees should follow IRM 5.19.24.10, DATL Offers Assigned to Specialty Groups.

Closing and Review Actions

  1. Managers are responsible for all cases in their group’s control. Careful review of cases should occur in order to provide a quality product and excellent taxpayer customer service. The following list, although not all-inclusive, are tasks to perform to ensure a quality product prior to taking closing actions.

    1. Ensure CSEDs are addressed and are correct.

    2. Ensure accepted terms do not extend beyond the CSED by verifying the accuracy of the CSED.

    3. Ensure all necessary closing AOIC letters and forms are sent to taxpayer/practitioner.

    4. Ensure all taxpayer/practitioner inquiries that might be generated as a result of OIC correspondence are addressed.

    5. Ensure a telephone call is made if a request to speak to a manager is made by the taxpayer/practitioner.

      Note:

      All requests for manager callbacks should be completed within two business days. Details of the conversation must be annotated in the case history on ICS/AOIC.

    6. Close accounts on AOIC.

    7. Receive and resolve all taxpayer/practitioner inquiries regarding the status of offer deposits that have not been refunded.

COIC and Field Closing and Review Actions
  1. When work is submitted to you for approval, you have an opportunity to evaluate your employees’ performance and prevent deficiencies. The following list, although not all-inclusive, are tasks to perform to ensure a quality product prior to taking closing actions.

    Note:

    For COIC managers, tasks may be assigned to specific managers at local discretion.

    1. Managers are to review all acceptance, rejection, appropriate return, transfer and withdrawal case files to ensure all letters/forms are correct and have appropriate signatures and appropriate codes i.e. final disposition codes, and offer case codes.

    2. Ensure the Notice of Federal Tax Lien (NFTL) is filed as appropriate.

      Note:

      COIC managers will review and forward the (NFTL) for processing.

       

    3. On rejection recommendations, review case files prior to assigning to Independent Administrative Reviewer (IAR) inventory.

    4. For acceptance recommendations requiring review by Counsel, the manager must review the case for appropriateness and completeness prior to assigning to Counsel.

    5. Review taxpayer/practitioner's written request for appeal.

    6. Upon timely request, forward case to Appeals for review. Reassign case to Appeals systemically on AOIC.

    7. When it is determined a CDP offer should be rejected, ensure the offer type is updated to "Collection Due Process" which will generate offer type "P" .

    8. Input appropriate disposition code on AOIC.

    9. If clerical staff is available, verify clerical staff closes applicable offers on AOIC as "TP did not exercise appeal rights."

    10. Upon receipt of case from Appeals, review case file to ensure all necessary documentation, closing reports, and correspondence is contained in the case file.

    11. Monitor the rejection 45-day hold file.

    12. Monitor AOIC Quality Review Listing on a weekly basis.

    13. Prepare closed case files per established guidelines and transmit selected offer cases for Quality review or retention files.

    14. Based on established procedures, initiate AOIC Closed Case Validation Process. This might be delegated to one manager to perform for the Operation.

    15. Send closed accepted offers to MOIC at the Memphis site or Brookhaven site, as appropriate.

    16. According to procedure, timely ship closed cases to Federal Records Center.

MOIC Closing and Review Actions
  1. Managers are responsible for cases in their team’s control.

  2. Ensure when the OIC is complete and the taxpayer has fulfilled the terms of the OIC the case is transferred to compliance monitoring status.

  3. Refunds have been recouped, when appropriate.

  4. Appropriate mirroring has been completed.

  5. Terms of any collateral agreements have been met.

  6. NFTLs have been released as appropriate.

  7. See IRM 5.19.7.2.22, Closing an OIC, for additional tasks to be completed.

Maintaining Employee Inventory Levels and New Case Hold Files

  1. OIC is a high-profile program in which the timeliness of case processing and resolution have a significant impact on the overall program, including significant impact to customer service.

  2. It is your responsibility to make sure all cases are assigned upon receipt, or as soon as reasonably possible. Attempt not to assign new cases to employees on weekends, holidays, or when an employee is on leave.

Maintaining Employee Inventory Levels and New Case Hold Files for Offer Examiners
  1. Barring unforeseen circumstances, such as significant reductions in workforce, realignment of groups/territories, etc., cases should not remain in a hold file for more than 60 to 90 days prior to assignment.

  2. If the case remains in the hold file and is not assigned by the expiration date of the interim letter it is your responsibility to ensure the appropriate letter is sent advising the taxpayer of the status of the offer. This can be accomplished by establishing a up date on AOIC for an interim letter. An automated process has been established for mailing the letters.

  3. Target levels have not been determined for the inventories of cases assigned to OEs. You must ensure that OE inventories are maintained at levels that ensure timely contact and efficient casework, while maintaining high levels of quality and customer service in the work performed by these employees.

  4. If adjustments to inventory levels must be made it should be based on an evaluation of time spent on activities other than on assigned work (direct case time) and normal overhead. Examples of situations where you may consider an adjustment are collateral assignments (e.g., NTEU Representative, EEO Counselor/Investigator, details out of office, coaching, etc.). Inventory levels may be re-adjusted as warranted.

Maintaining Employee Inventory Levels and New Case Hold Files for Offer Specialists
  1. If the case was in the COIC hold file and was not assigned within 90 days it is your responsibility to ensure the appropriate letter is sent advising the taxpayer of the status of the offer. This can be accomplished by establishing a follow-up date on AOIC for an interim letter. An automated process has been established for mailing the letters.

  2. Monitor OS inventory levels on a daily basis to make sure they are maintained within the levels defined in IRM 1.4.50.10.2, Maintaining Targeted Inventories.

  3. If adjustments to inventory levels must be made it should be based on an evaluation of time spent on activities other than on assigned work (direct case time) and normal overhead. Examples of situations where you may consider an adjustment are collateral assignments (e.g., NTEU Representative, EEO Counselor/Investigator, details out of office, coaching, etc.). Inventory levels may be re-adjusted as warranted.

  4. Field OIC should not use hold files as a method of controlling inventory levels. They are only to be used as a central control point for new assignments. To ensure customer casework is addressed by FIFO you must ensure that OIC receipts and aged cases are evenly distributed to minimize the length of time cases are maintained in the hold files.

Timeliness of Case Actions

  1. The timeliness of case actions in an OIC investigation is important not only to ensure the efficiency of the process but also is a key component of taxpayer satisfaction.

  2. The guidelines for timely case actions defined in IRM 5.8 (COIC and field OIC), IRM 5.19.7 (MOIC), and IRM 5.19.24 (DATL) are intended to provide structure for the overall OIC process and to ensure investigations and monitoring are completed in a responsive and efficient manner.

  3. Managers and employees must make sure communications from taxpayers are addressed in a timely manner. Timeliness of case actions ensures the length of the offer investigation process is appropriate given the taxpayer's specific set of facts and circumstances.

  4. These guidelines are not intended as absolute measures of performance for individual employees. Performance evaluations of an individual employee must be based on reviews of actual work produced by the employee and must take into account any special circumstances that may have impacted the ability of the employee to meet the specified guidelines.

  5. In general, unwarranted activity gaps in an OIC investigation and monitoring of accepted OICs should be avoided, and offer managers should establish controls to ensure that cases with unwarranted inactivity gaps are identified and addressed appropriately.

Workload Management

  1. You, as a manager, are responsible for effectively managing the employee’s workload in order to encourage positive work flow and case movement.

Workload Management for COIC
  1. To effectively monitor your group’s workload you should perform the following activities:

    1. Ensure cases and Appeals Referral Investigations (ARI)s are assigned promptly.

    2. Maintain appropriate inventory levels and make adjustments as necessary.

    3. Ensure case activity is progressing toward resolution by timely conducting required case reviews, monitoring group controls, as well as having ongoing dialogue with each employee to adequately assess the individual progress of each case assignment.

    4. Ensure suspense files are monitored for timely actions with no unwarranted inactivity gaps to ensure casework progression moves expeditiously. Alert upper management to situations where inventory backlogs may delay the timely assignment of, or progression of cases.

  2. AOIC is the Management Information System for COIC managers. Managers should be proficient with the AOIC system since it is the official system of records for COIC's offer program.

  3. The AOIC system performs the functions below.

    • Produces taxpayer letters/forms

    • Provides inventory control

    • Uploads/downloads transactions to/from IDRS

    • Produces numerous management reports

    • Records and tracks taxpayer payments (Application Fee, Deposits, payments on accepted offers, recoupments)

    • Allows for automated monitoring of the taxpayer's offer status

  4. Group managers will use the AOIC system to:

    • Assign work.

    • Monitor inventory.

    • Conduct case reviews.

    • Assist employees in managing their inventories.

    • Identify cases or types of cases where it appears the Examiners need assistance.

    • Determine the age of inventory assigned to Examiners, Counsel, Appeals, and other inventories.

    • Examine historical inventory levels to support a request for additional staffing or grade structure change. (operation manager).

    • Quickly identify inventory levels for any assignment number.

    • Conduct on-line case reviews.

    • Generate IDRS transaction listings to correct input problems.

    • Generate Quality Review Listing.

    • Monitor aging on Rejected with Appeal Rights cases.

    • Manage address and signature information for correspondence.

Workload Management Using Integrated Collection System, ENTITY and AOIC for Field OIC
  1. ICS and AOIC are the primary Management Information Systems. Managers must become very familiar with IRM 5.3.1, ENTITY Case Management System (ENTITY), Document 11434, ICS/ENTITY MIS Integrated Program Handbook, as well as be proficient with the AOIC system and all available reports.

  2. ICS contains time and activity information and must be used to track time and record case history entries.

    Note:

    The ENTITY User Guide is available at: ENTITY User Guide.

  3. All OIC casework, as well as the management of inventory, must be completed through AOIC and ICS.

  4. The AOIC application is the official system of records for the OIC program and must be used to complete the following tasks.

    • Produce all taxpayer correspondence and forms.

    • Provide inventory control.

    • Upload/download transactions to/from IDRS.

    • Produce numerous management reports.

    • Record and track taxpayer payments (application fee, TIPRA payments, deposits, payments on accepted OICs, and recoupments).

    • Monitor the taxpayer's OIC status.

    • Assist employees in managing their inventories.

    • Identify cases or types of cases where it appears the OS needs assistance.

    • Determine age of inventory assigned to the OS, Counsel, Appeals, and other inventories.

    • Examine historical inventory levels for any assignment number.

    • Generate IDRS transaction error listings to correct input problems.

    • Generate Quality Review Listing.

    • Monitor aging of open assigned cases.

    • Monitor aging on cases rejected with Appeal rights.

    • Monitor the status of closed OICs.

    • Manage address and signature information for correspondence.

    • Systemically download tax period information and automatically load that information to the MFT screen.

    • Input OIC closing summary history statement as required by IRM 5.8.4.12, Documentation and IRM 5.8.8.7, Required Actions Prior to Closing an Offer as an Acceptance.

    • Monitor taxpayer contact has been made every 90 days (in the AOIC group hold file) or 120 days (when transferred from COIC) respectively.

  5. Use ICS to:

    • Confirm the correct sub-codes are in place to track time appropriately.

    • Create a CIP, OI, and monitor controls.

    • Check for timely follow-ups.

    • Review initial case actions.

  6. Use ENTITY to:

    • Check hours spent on a case.

    • Check the number of case touches.

AOIC and Business Objects Reports

  1. From the Main AOIC Menu, the majority of the AOIC reports and workload management features are accessed by selecting the "Reports & Listings" under the "Reports & Correspondence" heading.

  2. Typically, reports have to be (G)enerated first (one of the various commands available), then once generated they can be (V)iewed on-line and/or (P)rinted.

  3. Multiple reports and listings can be (G)enerated at the same time, then (V)iewed and/or (P)rinted when ready.

  4. The "Area Office Menu" under "Reports & Correspondence" contains the following reports and listings:

    1. Inventory Listing — this report includes Offer Number, Assignment Number, Assignment Date, Name Control, Offer TIN, IRS Received Date, Processability Code, and Age Code. This report can be produced for an entire Territory, Group, or Individual Employee depending on the selection criteria used for the Assignment Number when creating the report. It can be sorted by Assignment Date, Name Control, IRS Received Date, and Total Liability. This report can be used to quickly check inventory levels and potential overage and overage cases within a particular inventory assignment number.

    2. Inventory Management Listing — this report provides an easy to read list, by assignment number, of the total OICs assigned to a specific office, how many are processable or not, and the number of potential overage and overage cases in that inventory. This snapshot view of assigned inventory levels and overage is a useful tool for managers. For COIC cases, this may be used in conjunction with the Inventory Management Report, to assist in identifying overage and potential overage cases for review to recognize potential gaps.

    3. Closed Offers — a listing by Name, IDRS and Offer TIN, AO Closed Date and Final Disposition of OICs closed for your Area/Territory, for a specified time frame, with a specified disposition, and may be sorted by name control or TIN.

    4. Follow Up Listing— AOIC allows the user to input follow-ups which are used in assisting the case worker with inventory management. This report provides a quick and complete method for tracking the follow-ups so that timely actions can be taken. When used in conjunction with the Inventory Management Report, the follow-up listings can assist in identifying gaps in case processing that lead to overage.

    5. Rejected with Appeal Rights Listing — this report tracks aged cases that have been proposed for rejection and appeal rights have been exercised. The report lists the proposed rejection date, Offer Number, Age, Offer TIN, and Owner Code (AOIC assignment number). A useful tool to ensure cases in the 45-day hold file are timely closed.

    6. Transfers Not Accepted Listing — this report shows cases sent from another Area/Territory that have not yet been accepted into inventory and transfers from COIC. The report includes: Sent From AO Number, Offer Number, Offer TIN, Name Control, Transfer Date, and NW Sub Code. The NW Sub Code is used by the Service Centers. Use this report to ensure that you are timely receiving and assigning work transferred into your function.

    7. Total Liabilities Listing — report, broken out by range of the offer liability, giving case count and percentage for all processable offers received during a time frame specified by the user.

    8. Assignment Records— a complete listing of an Area’s/Territory’s assignment numbers showing Assignment Number, Badge Number, Name, Phone Number, and Stop Number.

    9. Transaction Listing — an error register for transactions sent from AOIC to IDRS where there was a posting error. This report identifies transactions that need correcting so that they can properly post. This report can be printed daily but minimally requires weekly reconciliation to ensure IDRS modules and respective notice/collection status codes match AOIC.

    10. Area and Territory Listing — a list of the Area offices and their Territory offices by number. This report is useful in determining where an offer is assigned.

    11. Quality Review Listing— provides a list of the cases randomly selected for quality review. The size of the list is based on parameters provided by the Quality Review organization.

    12. Case History (Remarks) — this report provides the entire case history for an OIC. This report lists the Offer Number. It can be useful when conducting reviews to ensure the appropriate actions were taken on the case.

    13. 4196 Report — within this selection, you can generate a summary report or a detail report. The summary report is a two page summary version of the much longer Detail 4196 Report. The report shows a brief inventory analysis for beginning inventory, receipts, dispositions (including dollar amounts), ending inventory, and age (open and disposed cases). The Detail report is the most comprehensive report produced for analysis of inventory receipt and disposition patterns. The report shows a similar inventory analysis as the 4196 Summary page (beginning inventory, receipts, dispositions [including dollar amounts], ending inventory, and age of open and disposed cases), but greatly expands on the level of detail provided. The Detail 4196 report additionally provides a breakout of various dollar ranges for the accepted, rejected, returned, and withdrawn closures. It also provides a detailed listing of the reasons for returns (both processable and non-processable). Age of inventory is similar to that found in the 4196 Summary Page, but includes a separate breakout for offers in Appeals.

    14. Letter Signatures — a complete listing (by Signature, Assignment Number, Title, and Name) of all employees assigned to a Territory Office that are set up on AOIC and systemically prints their information on AOIC generated letters. Signature information can be added and deleted using the Maintenance function.

    15. Letter Addresses— list of all of the IRS addresses used on AOIC correspondence when transferring case work from one IRS location to another.

    16. Standard Paragraphs— pre-written paragraph text that can be selected by letter for AOIC generated letters. This can be useful in determining the appropriate text to use for specific situations, if the user is not familiar with the AOIC letters.

    17. Disposition Codes— a complete listing of the disposition codes along with a complete listing of the various status codes used to control inventory in the sites.

  5. Form/Letters Menu provides access to Letters, Forms, and Maintenance. The following applications can be accessed by utilizing the “Maintenance” listing.

    • Signature Maintenance

    • Return Address Maintenance

    • Transfer Address Maintenance

  6. In addition, COIC managers may utilize the following reports:

    1. Fee Refund/Apply Listing- This listing is used to track the application fees that were applied and/or refunded. If an offer with a posted TIPRA and application fee is changed from processable to not processable, AOIC will detect this mismatch and the offer will appear on the Fee Refund/Apply Listing report. Managers should ensure this report is checked every two weeks to identify cases with fee mismatches. Check the AOIC offer information to determine the reason for the not processable criteria. If the offer was deemed not processable due to bankruptcy, verify the fee was posted to the taxpayer’s account and ensure the history reflects actions were taken to manually refund the money. As a general rule bankruptcy is the only criteria monies are returned when the offer is changed from processable to not processable based on Section 300.3(b)(2). In the Payment screen, click the Clear Refund Indicator to remove the case from the report.

      Note:

      For any not processable criteria, other than bankruptcy, click the Clear Refund Indicator to remove the case from the report.

    2. Application Fee Analysis Report- This report provides a means of tracking offer receipts during a specified period, then broken out by processable versus non- processable, undetermined, with application fee, without application fee, and the reason (doubt as to liability only, low income, master offer referenced, or master offer closed in error). This report also provides a breakout of the number of days we take to make our receipts either processable or non-processable. The COIC sites and Headquarters principally use this report.

  7. Business Objects is a good tool to help manage inventory at the territory/manager level. Various Business Objects reports are available for use. Access may be requested by submitting an OL 5081 for Business Objects.

Semi-Annual Inventory Matches and Inventory Matches

  1. In order to maintain a valid inventory count you must perform an inventory match on a semi-annual basis.

  2. Complete these matches no later than March 31st and September 30th of each fiscal year.

  3. Documentation must be retained in a folder or binder and available for review for three years.

  4. When an employee leaves a group complete an inventory match prior to departure.

Semi-Annual Inventory Matches and Inventory Matches for COIC
  1. A 100% inventory match must include: all of the group's assigned offer cases (including those in suspense assigned to the OE/TE), offers assigned to Appeals over 270 days, and site revenue officer's assignment numbers. When matching cases assigned to Appeals in the 90xx inventories ensure the proposed disposition is reflected on AOIC and that ACDS shows a corresponding open OIC. A reconciliation and acknowledgment match of Form 3210 for transferred and closed offers in transit over 30 days must also be performed.

  2. Documentation of the completion of the AOIC semi-annual match and the correction of all discrepancies must be maintained by the DM.

  3. Operation will ensure that suspense files (i.e. 60XX, 55XX, 51XX, 3000) are reconciled on a quarterly basis. Operation will ensure that the AOIC record is closed when applicable.

Semi-Annual Inventory Matches and Inventory Matches for Field OIC
  1. You must perform a physical inventory match against records on AOIC and ICS on a semi-annual basis and it must contain the following:

    • A 100% inventory match utilizing AOIC, ICS, and OIC files. This includes all of the group's assigned OIC cases, including cases in hold files, pending approval files, assigned to Appeals, Examination, Counsel and the Independent Administrative Reviewer (IAR).

    • Reconciliation and acknowledgement of Forms 3210 for all closed or transferred OICs that are in transit status for more than 30 days.

      Note:

      Cases that are in transit status for less than 30 days should not be part of the match process.

  2. Documentation of the completion of the AOIC/ICS semi-annual match and the correction of all discrepancies must be maintained by the TM. Documentation must consist of a case listing indicating all cases have been matched and discrepancies resolved.

  3. Inventory listing cases in Appeals (90XX) must be matched and indicate the proposed disposition is reflected on AOIC and ACDS shows a corresponding open offer.

AOIC Clean Up

  1. Each COIC site (including DATL COIC), MOIC site, and Territory has a responsibility to perform general clean up actions on AOIC. The following is provided to assist in performing routine maintenance of user records.

  2. AOIC Letter /Form Clean Up- AOIC records the issuance of a letter in Remarks when the letter is cleared. Ensure AOIC generated letters and forms are cleared timely.

    Note:

    Ensure when an employee leaves the unit/group to have them clear their letters and forms as this cannot be done once their AOIC user number is deleted.

  3. AOIC Signature Maintenance- It is the responsibility of each COIC site, MOIC site, and Territory to maintain the AOIC signature information for the employees in their assigned area. Semi-annually review the AOIC information to ensure it is current by deleting obsolete signatures.

    Note:

    The Signature Maintenance listing may be found in AOIC under Forms/Letters.

    1. To update a signature, select the signature number that precedes the signature name. Input the necessary changes and press submit.

    2. To delete a signature, select the signature number that precedes the signature name. Select the delete button and then press ok.

  4. AOIC Address Clean Up- It is the responsibility of each COIC site, MOIC site, and Territory to maintain the AOIC address information for the addresses in their assigned area. Semi-annually review the AOIC information to ensure it is current by deleting obsolete addresses.

    Note:

    The AOIC Return Address Maintenance listing may be found in AOIC under Forms/Letters.

    1. To update an address, select the address number that precedes the address. Input the necessary changes and press submit.

    2. To delete an address, select the address number that precedes the address. Select the delete button and then press ok.

  5. AOIC Assignment Maintenance- Verify AOIC assignment numbers/names are correct. If the assignment number is no longer being utilized update the name to "vacant" .

    Note:

    Prior to creating a new assignment number on AOIC notify Policy so that all applicable assignment numbers are included in required reports for the National Office.

Quality and Inventory Controls

  1. The Service's vision focuses on three high level goals — service to each taxpayer, service to all taxpayers, and productivity through a quality work environment. The 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. In reaching our goals, we consider our impact on customer and employee satisfaction while we strive to improve quality and achieve quantifiable results.

  2. You are responsible for the quality of all work assigned to the group and for all work that leaves the group. At a minimum:

    • Solicit suggestions from the group to address ways that can improve the quality of the work.

    • Develop a plan to ensure a high level of quality in the group.

    • Use EQRS/NQRS results as a diagnostic tool to focus attention on specific quality issues and identify training needs.

    • Ensure appropriate time is devoted to coaching and mentoring employees, as well as providing guidance that will assist in resolving their most difficult assignments.

    • Ensure all cases are brought to a resolution within a reasonable amount of time. Generally, this should be within six months of assignment to the employee.

    • The expectation is that approval work is done on a daily basis and should be held in the managerial approval hold file no longer than seven calendar days plus five calendar days for mail time.

Quality and Inventory Controls for COIC

  1. An important area of workload management and quality control for COIC managers is the establishment of inventory controls. It is recommended that the operation manager designate staff to retrieve and distribute controls for the offer groups. The following controls should be retrieved from the appropriate AOIC database on a weekly basis unless specified as a monthly report. For a complete list of available AOIC reports see IRM 1.4.52.6.9, AOIC and Business Objects Reports.

    • Cases assigned to COIC, but not received or not accepted on AOIC (Source: AOIC ) — The "Transfers not Accepted" inventory report should be reviewed, and worked on a weekly basis by either you or a designee to ensure regular control.

      Note:

      Timely and proper actions must be taken on any cases showing as transferred 30 days or more from the date of the report run date.

       

    • Time Sensitive Work– offers submitted with aged IRS received date or taxpayer imminent hardship

    • Inventory Hold File Case Listing (Source: AOIC Inventory Listing and Inventory Management Listing– OIC operation managers should use the “corporate inventory” approach when addressing hold file situations in their respective groups, and consider reassignment of work from one group to another, or one examiner to another, whenever necessary.

    • Validate and Release– (Source: AOIC Office Menu - AOIC Offers - Validate & Release) –Cases that are not validated and/or released by the group. Complete this action weekly after quality review cases are selected.

    • Form 2209 Courtesy Investigation

    • Appeal 30–Day Hold File (Source: AOIC and Business Objects) – Centralization for this type of inventory is recommended. In addition, the use of a designated PE to monitor the progress of these cases is also recommended.

    • Rejected with Appeal Rights Listing – This report should be used to identify offers for which rejected letters have been generated yet the offer has not been closed.

    • AOIC Transaction Listing (Source: AOIC Office Menu - Reports & Correspondence - Reports & Listings - Transaction Listing) – This report can be printed daily but minimally requires weekly reconciliation to ensure IDRS modules and respective notice/collection status codes match AOIC. It is suggested that this reconciliation be performed by designated PEs.

Quality and Inventory Controls for Field OIC

  1. An important area of workload management and quality control for you as the OIC manager is to establish group inventory controls. It is recommended that the Territory designate a tax examiner (TE) to retrieve and distribute these controls for all OIC groups within the Territory. Retrieve the following controls from the appropriate databases (e.g., AOIC, ENTITY, and/or ICS) on a weekly basis unless specified as a monthly report to ensure regular control and prompt resolution of any identified problem.

    • Cases assigned to the Territory, but not received or not accepted on AOIC (Source: AOIC ) — The "Transfers not Accepted" inventory report should be reviewed, and worked on a weekly basis by either you or a designee to ensure regular control.

      Note:

      Timely and proper actions must be taken on any cases showing as transferred 30 days or more from the date of the report run date.

       

    • Hold File Case Listing (Source: AOIC) — OIC Territory Managers should use the "corporate inventory" approach when addressing hold file situations in their respective groups, and consider reassignment of work from one group to another, or between territories, whenever necessary.

    • Validate and Release (Source: AOIC Office Menu - AOIC Offers - Validate & Release) – Cases that are not validated and/or released by the group. Complete this action weekly after quality review cases are selected.

    • Assessment Statute Expiration Date (ASED) Report (Source: IDRS and ICS) – This report is generated from IDRS downloads; however, this type of download information does not reach OIC CIPs in Status 71. Because of this factor, a designated TE should manually review all incoming cases for potential ASEDs. Once identified, the group secretary should input the case/modules, containing the ASEDs, on ICS in order to generate the ASED Indicator Report. Generate a report monthly to identify accounts where the ASED will expire within the next 12 months. Since any potential ASED changes will not download on accounts in Status 71, you or your designee must revisit these cases to check for any changes. Follow procedures outlined in IRM 5.8.4.22.1 , Trust Fund Liabilities, for handling potential ASED modules.

    • Form 2209 Courtesy Investigation

    • Appeal 30–Day Hold File (Source: AOIC and Business Objects) – Centralization for this type of inventory is recommended. In addition, the use of a designated TE to monitor the progress of these cases is also recommended.

    • AOIC Transaction Listing (Source: AOIC Area Office Menu - Reports & Correspondence - Reports & Listings - Area Office - Transaction Listing) – This report can be printed daily but minimally requires weekly reconciliation to ensure IDRS modules and respective notice/collection status codes match AOIC. It is suggested that this reconciliation be performed by a designated TE.

    • Diagnostic-Q Transcript (also known as "DIAG-Q" transcript) and "Unreversed TC470" , "Unreversed TC 480" and "AMO6 W" transcripts – Occasionally DIAG-Q and AMO6 W transcripts will be sent to field OIC for resolution. Resolve cases listed on these reports per instructions in IRM 5.19.7.2.24.2.

    • Unpostable Transactions– Refer to IRM 21.5.5, Account Resolution-Unpostables, when unpostable issues are identified. Per IRM 21.5.5.4.2.2, Unpostables Created by Your Own Adjustments, specifically makes it clear that it is the originator’s responsibility to resolve unpostables they create, and that it is critical that all unpostable cases are worked within seven business days of receipt.

    • Time Management Reports (Source: ENTITY) — Review these reports monthly to monitor several issues: correct application of direct time on case assignments; track the percentage of direct time spent on higher graded work to ensure the 25% threshold is not being exceeded; proper use of administrative time and other non-direct case time usage.

Employee Performance Analysis

  1. This section discusses the purpose and guidelines for carrying out case reviews and analyzing an employee's job performance.

Case Reviews and Performance Discussions

  1. All case reviews and performance discussions should focus on providing the OIC employee with proper guidance and case direction, while conveying the importance of timely and effective case actions and any performance related issue. The review must also clearly emphasize your expectations concerning required case actions and completion time frames.

  2. Reviews are an integral part of your responsibilities. At the beginning of an employee's annual rating period, develop and implement a review plan. The review plan should provide for a fair and accurate assessment of the employee's overall performance throughout the rating period.

  3. All technical case reviews must be conducted utilizing the EQRS regardless of whether they are evaluative or non-evaluative. Use of EQRS will enable you to:

    • Assess the employee's effectiveness in meeting the expectation established in the CJEs.

      Note:

      Reviews prepared on EQRS will link employee performance to both the review attributes and the CJEs.

    • Assess the employee's efficiency in carrying out the laws, procedures, and policies of the Service.

    • Identify and address performance strengths and weaknesses.

    • Assess the employee's ability to properly plan and schedule office and telework activities.

    • Ensure the employee is taking timely and appropriate actions to bring cases to prompt and proper resolution.

    • Assess employee effectiveness in developmental case assignments.

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

    • Assess the employee's performance in relation to customer satisfaction and the protection of taxpayer rights in an investigation.

  4. For field OIC case reviews, determine if the assigned grade level is still accurate, and make the necessary adjustments on ICS.

  5. Targeted reviews can help you identify an employee's need for training and development. In turn, case reviews will also help you ascertain how much time to devote to each employee, as well as design an individual review plan to assist the employee's identified needs. You may choose from the following optional review categories below in designing an employee's review plan.

    • Office observations

    • Announced telephone conference monitoring

    • Spot reviews of open and closed cases

    • Formal inventory analysis

    • Reviews of work submitted for approval

    • Initial contact reviews

    • High priority case reviews (overage, potentially overage, gaps in activity of 45 days or more, and large dollar)

    • Time utilization reviews

      Note:

      Formal inventory analysis is defined as a review of the inventory to identify trends and issues that may be present in cases after identification in a specific case. E.g., providing unwarranted extensions, not submitting cases for approval timely, or requesting unnecessary information. The review is to determine if the issue is a trend or a one-time occurrence in a specific case.

Reviews and Employee Performance Discussions for OIC

  1. In addition to the reviews in IRM 1.4.52.7.1 , Case Reviews, as an OIC manager you may select from the list below in designing an employee’s performance plan.

    • Technical case reviews

    • Clerical review

    • Data Security review

    • Time Input review on SETR

  2. All performance discussions should be held within the guidelines of the current National Agreement, http://hco.web.irs.gov/lrer/negotiations/natagree/, and focus on providing the employee with proper guidance and case direction, while conveying the importance of timely and effective case actions and any performance related issue. They must also clearly emphasize the manager's expectations concerning required case actions and completion time frames

Review Documentation

  1. Become familiar with and use the below references for selection and review of cases.

    • Document 12360 (Rev. 12–2016), Embedded Quality Job Aid (Advisory-Offers in Compromise)

  2. Field OIC managers should familiarize themselves with the references below for selection and review of cases:

    • IRM 5.3.1.3.3, Group Manager Responsibilities and

    • Document 11434, ICS/ENTITY MIS Integrated Program Handbook for field OIC cases.

  3. The EQRS Individual Feedback Report links the review attributes to performance standards of an OE’/OS' critical job elements. In general, deficiencies relating to a CJE should be noted as an area of special concern if found in 25% or more of the cases reviewed. However, there may be instances where a single deficiency (e.g., expired statute) is critical. EQRS allows you to generate reports of review data at both the group and individual level. It also allows you to consider program effectiveness and to properly evaluate the performance of employees in relation to his or her CJEs based on statistical data over a period of time.

    Note:

    For reviews that consider OE/OS activity across multiple cases (e.g., time utilization and office observation) a summary narrative, such as a memorandum, may be substituted.

  4. Utilize the EQRS Data Collection Instrument (DCI) to summarize observations derived from a case review. EQRS provides reason codes which correspond to each attribute of the case review. Select the reason codes that relate to the performance observed. The Attribute Narrative field may be used to document the specifics of the employee performance. Each attribute links to a specific CJE aspect. If additional feedback to the employee is needed, prepare a memorandum to express commendation or concerns. If the memorandum (e.g., managerial case summary), is utilized it should:

    • Outline the performance in relation to the employee's CJEs and address positive as well as negative aspects of an employee's performance.

    • Provide clear managerial guidance on those cases requiring actions including expectations, deadlines and required actions to expedite case disposition.

  5. For each field OIC case reviewed, document the ICS history using the ICS History pick list. Begin with using the term Case Reviewed, include the date reviewed and the type of review completed.

    Note:

    Documentation of an evaluative nature must not be included in the ICS case history or AOIC Remarks.

  6. The DCI and managerial case summary, if applicable, should be prepared in duplicate and reflect all case data, including employee feedback. Both you and the employee must sign the DCI. Securing the signature of the employee does not necessarily reflect agreement, but merely acknowledges receipt of the document(s).

  7. The original documents (e.g., DCI and managerial case summary) must be issued to the employee within 15 days after completion of the review in order for the employee to follow through on case recommendations and deadlines. Retain a duplicate in the Employee's Performance File (EPF) for follow-up, and promptly discuss all recommended actions entered on the review document with the employee to ensure that there is a complete understanding about how, what, when, and why to take specific actions.

Mandatory Reviews (COIC, DATL, Field OIC, and MOIC)

  1. This section discusses mandatory reviews. Additional reviews may be required by the SCOIC director.

  2. Conduct a timely mid-year and annual review on each of your employees. Choose a sufficient number of cases to review to ensure a thorough evaluation of each employee’s performance. Document case reviews using EQRS.

  3. Scheduling of the reviews may be announced or unannounced.

  4. Frontline managers are responsible to conduct the following mandatory reviews unless otherwise delegated.

    Employee Mandatory Review Remarks
    Offer Examiner/Offer Specialist Technical Case Reviews Complete a minimum of one EQRS case review per employee per month within the employee’s annual rating period. The manager's review should focus on financial analysis, accurate RCP, appropriate case decision, appropriate request for additional financial information, timely POA/taxpayer contact, timely follow-up, inactivity gaps, etc. Include a mixture of review types. Cases may be selected from open inventory or closed cases submitted for approval.
    Process Examiner
    1. Technical Case Reviews

    2. Process Examiner Telephone Monitoring Reviews

    1. Complete a minimum of one case review per employee per month.

    2. PE phone reviews should constitute one half of the EQRS case reviews completed in the rating period. Managers responsible for phone groups must perform and document monthly mass monitoring sessions in conjunction with EQ reviews. The manager's review should focus on following disclosure guidelines, providing the correct answer, documentation, etc.

    DATL Tax Examiner Technical Case Reviews Complete a minimum of one EQRS case review per employee per month within the employee’s annual rating period. The manager's review should focus on appropriate case decision, appropriate request for additional financial information, timely POA/taxpayer contact, timely follow-up, inactivity gaps, transfer completed correctly, appropriate Form 3210 acknowledgement, etc.
    Tax Examiner Field Monthly Review
    1. You may select but are not limited to the following reviews:

      • Announced telephone conference monitoring

      • Monitoring effective closures for the IAR and 45 day rejection hold file

      • Effectiveness of uploading and managing Counsel SharePoint and Public Inspection SharePoint sites

      • Effectiveness of working the Transfer Not Accepted (TNA) listing

      • Monitoring Form 3210 Acknowledgments

    2. See IRM 1.4.52.9.1 for TE responsibilities for additional reviews/observations.

    Tax Examiner MOIC Technical Case Reviews Complete a minimum of one EQRS case review per employee per month within the employee’s annual rating period.
    Clerk Clerical Review Monthly review of assigned duties to ensure accuracy and timeliness of the employee's work.
    COIC Lead/DATL COIC Work Leader Review Performed quarterly by the front line manager (who has a lead), work leader reviews can include inventory management and monitoring, completion of work assignments, the ability to identify training needs, the ability to perform accurate EQ reviews, and technical accuracy of reviews.
  5. If the results of the review include directed actions, conduct a follow-up within 60 days after the original review to ensure that all instructions have been followed and the case is moving toward resolution.

  6. On a monthly basis, conduct a workload management review and discussion with each OE/OS/MOIC TE; however more frequent consultations may be necessary, depending on the performance of the employee. These reviews will be filed in the EPF and may include the following below. This list is not all inclusive.

    Employee Workload Management Review Criteria
    Offer Examiner
    • Cases assigned over 90 days.

    • Potential Overage and Overage Cases.

    • Timely initial analysis.

    • Unwarranted or undocumented activity gaps.

    • Status of the case, plan of action, and proposed disposition.

    • Large dollar cases.

    • Time Utilization Review

    • Scheduling of work

    Note:

    The OM must be notified and a proposed case disposition and date provided if the same case is on two consecutive reviews.

    Offer Specialist
    • Cases on the ENTITY – No Touch Report or ICS Report showing no case touches for over 30 days since assignment and/or showing no case touches within the last 45 days.

    • Assigned cases over 120 days.

    • Timely initial analysis, including cases with no touch within 30 days of assignment.

    • Unwarranted or undocumented activity gaps.

    • Status of the case, plan of action, and proposed disposition.

    • Large dollar cases.

    • Time Utilization Review

    • Scheduling of work

    Note:

    The TM must be notified and a proposed case disposition and date provided if the same case is on two consecutive reviews.

    MOIC Tax Examiner
    • Timely initial analysis.

    • Unwarranted or undocumented activity gaps.

    • Timely deposit disposition.

    • Timely release of NFTL.

    Note:

    The OM must be notified and a proposed case disposition and date provided if the same case is on two consecutive reviews.

  7. Using the above referenced reports, you must:

    • Hold discussions with the employee and evaluate the progress of the specific case.

    • Ascertain how an employee is performing in relation to the employee's CJEs.

    • Document your observations and target dates for the next case action and case resolution (if appropriate) in a memorandum.

    • Utilize this opportunity to recognize positive performance, as well as provide constructive feedback regarding needs for improvement.

    • Ensure follow-up actions are taken.

  8. Documentation must be shared with the employee within 15 calendar days after the discussion is held and once acknowledged, retain in the EPF in accordance with current PII guidelines.

  9. When necessary, based on case reviews or other forms of review such as telephone or office observation, etc., you have the authority to require your employee to obtain your approval before taking subsequent case actions. For 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.

    Note:

    The ICS Calendar is an excellent tool that can assist the GM and OS when workload management issues are found in field OIC cases.

  10. A time utilization review is performed to verify that the time reporting is commensurate with the case actions and is performed with the following criteria.

    • Scheduling of the reviews must be unannounced.

    • Conduct the time utilization review within 15 workdays of the day selected.

    • 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.

    • If the results of the review include directed actions, you must conduct a follow-up within 30 calendar days after the original review to ensure that all instructions have been followed and the case is moving towards resolution.

  11. Documents should be shared with the OE/OS and maintained as part of the EPF to be used in preparation of the mid-year and annual appraisal.

After Hours Review
  1. An after-hours review allows managers to determine whether documents, property and monies are being adequately protected when not in the custody of authorized IRS personnel. Managers can accomplish this by being the last to leave a work area and checking the area after the close of the business day. Managers could also accomplish after hours reviews by periodically arriving early to work ahead of the staff to review the work space for compliance.

  2. Managers periodically must review functional areas after hours to determine if sensitive information is appropriately containerized and properly disposed. This includes PII left in printing trays. Also check to see whether cabinets, safes and other containers are appropriately secured. Limited areas, secure areas, and office doors are to be secured and verified as well. If weaknesses are identified, managers must take immediate action to safeguard information, property or rooms/facility, counsel employees as appropriate, and/or request assistance from appropriate local FMSS Physical Security staff in developing corrective measures.

  3. The after-hours 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 co-located with the employee.

  4. Refer to IRM 1.4.6, Manager’s Security Handbook for servicewide guidance about your responsibilities.

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

Monitoring Offer in Compromise Mandatory Reviews

  1. Campus management must review the following reports to determine if timely and appropriate actions have been addressed during the OIC monitoring process. Procedures for accessing all the reports can be found in the AOIC Service Center User Guide.

    • New Work (NW) Listing: This list will show new incoming cases from the territory and COIC offices; these cases have not been accepted into the campus inventory. Generate a NW list every 30 days to validate receipt of case files and required documentation. Case files not received as listed and those received with incomplete or missing required documentation should be resolved within 15 days. These cases will be placed in NW sub code MC for missing case and IC for incomplete case. Those not resolved in the 15-day time frame will be returned to originator with an AOIC history note.

    • Journal Payment Due Date Report: This report must be generated monthly via AOIC using the following date parameters: 01-01-1995 to 30 days prior to the run date.

    • AOIC Follow-up Listing: This listing must be reviewed bimonthly using the following date parameters: query the AOIC system with a beginning date of 01-01-1995 to the current date. A corresponding entry should be in the case history for each item on the follow-up listing.

      Note:

      If there is a lien on the account, a follow-up must be set every 25 days to monitor for full payment.

    • Open Refund Recoupment Report: This report must be generated and submitted to the Discretionary Automated Examination (DAE) team by May 30 and November 30 each year.

    • Other Investigations (OIs): Generate a report quarterly on Form 2209, Other Investigations, with a beginning date 90 days prior to the run date to determine over due responses. Instruct tax examiners to follow up with the Territory or COIC to ensure OIs are being addressed and responded to.

    • Aged 5M Inventory Listing: Once the report is received back from DAE, MOIC Campus employees have 60 days to work that listing. See IRM 5.19.7.2.11(7). Within 90 days from the DAE response verify this listing was worked timely.

    • Open Collateral Report: This report should be run annually in February with a follow-up by March 31.

    • Employee (Open) Inventory Report: This report must be generated monthly for each employee to ensure timely intake into inventory and appropriateness of actions.

    • Closed Offer Deposit Disposition Report: This report must be generated monthly to ensure that deposits have been disposed of for rejected/withdrawn or terminated offers.

    • Quarterly generate a report on current open offers on AOIC for all statuses except for Journal Payment and 5M to determine if they are in the correct status and timely and effective action is being taken.

    • Deposit Electronic mailbox: This mailbox must be reviewed monthly to verify timely action and responses were completed.

    • DAE Run Report: This report must be reviewed and actions taken within 60 days of receipt.

  2. Use the AOIC Follow-up Report to ensure that the follow-up screen was updated and case actions were timely and appropriate.

Additional Optional Reviews for Managers

  1. The optional review below will provide managers with the opportunity to review and provide feedback to employees as necessary.

Review of Taxpayer and/or Representative Interviews
  1. The taxpayer and/or representative review is performed either in the office (field OIC cases) or on a monitored and announced telephone conversation.

  2. Observing the employee during face-to-face contacts and/or monitoring a pre-scheduled telephone conversation between the employee and the taxpayer and/or representative provides an excellent opportunity for you to assess the employee's:

    • Ability to conduct interviews.

    • Ability to communicate and interact with taxpayers and/or representatives.

    • Knowledge of policies and procedures.

    • Ability to secure necessary information/documentation and determine appropriate case direction.

    • Delivery of fair and courteous treatment of taxpayers and/or representatives.

    • Ability to address the various taxpayer rights (Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer; Publication 594, The IRS Collection Process; and IRC 6320 and 6330, Collection Appeals Program).

    • Use of Interest Based Negotiating techniques.

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

    • Pre-contact preparation.

    • Effective use of time.

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

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

    • Observation of proper disclosure requirements.

      Note:

      It may be necessary to increase the number of reviews for those employees who have exhibited issues communicating with taxpayers and/or their representatives. The frequency will be your decision.

  3. Documents should be shared with the OE/OS and maintained as part of the EPF to be used in preparation of the mid-year and annual appraisal.

OIC Operations Manager/Territory Manager, Department Manager, and Director, Specialty Collection Offer in Compromise Annual Operational Review

  1. The purpose of this review is to ensure that the National program goals as well as those of the Director SCOIC are being delivered through effective engagement with the site and field group manager, department manager (DM), and operations managers (OM)/territory managers (TM) in order to improve employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, and business results.

COIC Department Manager Annual Operational Review
  1. Operational Review- DMs must conduct a minimum of one annual operational review on each of their COIC groups, including DATL OIC. An operational review should assess how well the manager completes administrative duties, the effectiveness of their assigned programs, compliance with IRM 5.8 procedures, compliance with review schedules, mid-year and annual appraisals, time and attendance records, coordination with other areas within and outside the operation, and commitments on their performance plan. A yearly schedule of operational reviews must be submitted to the Directorship as required.

    1. Verify group leaders are performing the required performance reviews for their employees in a timely manner. DMs will also ensure individual group leader's documentation of these reviews is sufficient to effectively evaluate employees' performance. This should be accomplished as the DM reviews performance appraisals, required monthly review schedules, and EQRS reports.

    2. Review EPFs and drop files prior to signing as the second level approval for performance appraisals in order to verify that all required reviews were completed and there is sufficient documentation to substantiate the ratings for each CJE performance aspect.

    3. Use EQRS reports to determine if their group leaders are completing the required number of paper case reviews and telephone monitoring. EQRS roll-up reports should be printed for each group and reviewed on a quarterly basis. If the required reviews have not been completed, the DM should annotate valid reasons for deviation from the monthly schedules on the printed reports. A copy of the annotated report should be provided to the operation manager within 15 days after the end of the quarter.

    4. Pay particular attention to and address any identified deficiencies; such as age of disposal, inventory management, etc. Follow-up action should be taken and documented appropriately.

  2. Program Review– Each department will ensure that a review is conducted to ensure effectiveness of their assigned programs. These reviews should include methodology, findings, recommendations, and follow-ups. As part of a program review, DMs may utilize EQ reports to identify error trends and ensure consistency among groups.

  3. Time Input review in SETR -For work plan and resource allocations, SETR is reviewed bi-weekly by group leaders for accuracy.

  4. A file must be maintained with copies of all reviews performed.

Operations Manager
  1. The OM is required to efficiently manage their operation, including maintaining good inventory controls.

  2. Actions which may be taken on a biweekly basis include but are not limited to:

    1. Review AOIC reports to ensure even inventory distribution among groups. Take into account the age of the cases (IRS received date and days in inventory).

    2. Review AOIC assignment numbers to verify group manager approval files are current.

  3. Follow up on cases assigned to the OE/TE over 90 days.

  4. Provide OIC Policy with an updated staffing chart on a quarterly basis.

  5. Research and address lost case files and recreate if appropriate.

  6. The OM must conduct a minimum of one annual operational review on each OIC group, including DATL COIC, with follow-ups conducted as needed and appropriate.

  7. The operational review should provide observations concerning casework based on OE/TE CJEs, IRM provisions, outstanding Interim Guidance Memorandums, as well as the OM’s expectations concerning case quality and timely actions, and any other information deemed necessary.

Territory Manager
  1. TMs are required to efficiently manage their territory, including maintaining good inventory controls.

  2. Actions which may be taken on a biweekly basis include but are not limited to:

    1. Review AOIC reports to ensure even inventory distribution among groups. Take into account the age of the cases (IRS received date and days in inventory).

    2. Review AOIC reports to ensure OSs are within targeted inventory range.

    3. Review AOIC assignment numbers to verify GM approval files are current.

  3. Follow up on cases assigned to the OS over 120 days.

  4. Provide OIC Policy with an updated staffing chart on a quarterly basis.

  5. Research and address lost case files and recreate if appropriate.

  6. The TM must conduct a minimum of one annual operational review on each OIC group, with follow-ups conducted as needed and appropriate.

  7. The operational review should provide observations concerning casework based on OS’ CJEs, IRM provisions, outstanding Interim Guidance Memorandums, as well as the TM’s expectations concerning case quality and timely actions, and any other information deemed necessary.

  8. Incorporate the following program areas in all operational reviews:

    1. Management of Hold Files — Ensure GMs are receiving and delivering inventory in a timely manner. This review should be completed weekly.

    2. Overage Assignments — Cases that are in an OS inventory or new inventory hold file for more than nine months.

  9. The review must also address how well the GM is managing the program in terms of ensuring timely and effective case actions. Tailor the review(s) to the needs and issues of each individual group.

  10. Listed below are suggested focus areas to incorporate in the review:

    1. Managerial Group Controls — Ensure cases in these inventories are being monitored and reviewed appropriately.

    2. Case File — Ensure all mandatory reviews have been completed. At a minimum, review two to three active cases from each OS. Randomly select cases and include, but not be limited to, overage and in-business trust fund cases. Review Data Collection Instruments (DCI) completed by the GM to ensure appropriate case direction is given during reviews. Ensure GM reviews include a mixture of review types including, but not limited to, no touch, overage, potential overage, and large dollar.

    3. Offer Specialist's Inventories — Ensure that OS' inventories are being maintained per IRM 1.4.50.10.2,Maintaining Targeted Inventories.

    4. Employee Personnel Folders (EPF) — Ensure EPFs are appropriately maintained within OPM guidelines, documents sustain an appropriate employee evaluation, and all mandatory reviews have been timely completed. Complete an EPF review for all employees in the group. This should include, but not limited to, ensuring time sensitive documents are removed when appropriate; comparing case reviews, Form 6850-BU, Bargaining Unit Performance Appraisal and Recognition Request, and other evaluative documents to ensure records appropriately support the employee's annual performance evaluation. Equate findings to observations of the employee's performance based upon the case reviews; including, ensuring the GM included specialized reviews, is demonstrating proactive case involvement, including office visits, and/or telephone monitoring reviews conducted by the GM during the rating period as well as ensuring performance and employee satisfaction issues are being addressed in a timely and appropriate manner.

    5. Communication — Ensure managers are effectively communicating the goals of the Service, TM, and Director. The GM should also be effectively communicating procedural and policy changes, casework techniques, and other issues that affect the overall quality of casework. This can be accomplished by reviewing group meeting minutes that occurred during the rating period.

    6. Employee Satisfaction — Ensure employees’ concerns are being addressed to facilitate effective and appropriate casework. GMs must be adhering to all sections of this handbook; addressing employee survey issues, reviewing group action plans and results; supporting employee recognition and taking appropriate actions when performance issues arise; employing appropriate EEO and Diversity practices; and adhering to employee development and training guidelines.

    7. Customer Satisfaction — Ensure customers are receiving timely and appropriate actions, and receiving fair and equitable treatment to assist in resolving their offer submission(s). The GM should be addressing timely initial and follow-up contacts scheduled by the OS; ensuring case actions are appropriate and effective; ensuring timely responsiveness to taxpayer requests, as appropriate; and requests for supporting documentation are appropriate. Address this while performing case reviews.

    8. Employee Case Documentation — Review case histories to determine documentation is appropriate and accurately describes identified issues, case progression, and supports the case decision.

    9. Utilization of Time — Review monthly ENTITY reports to examine the group usage of 106 time (case and non-case direct), administrative time, CDP (120) time, etc.

    10. Inventory Management Review — Ensure these reviews are effectively improving case resolution and case cycle time. In these discussions include documentation by the GM to ensure proactive issues are discussed, target dates for actions are included and follow-up actions are taken in a timely manner.

    11. Taxpayer and/or Representative Interview — Determine the effectiveness of GM engagement in ensuring taxpayer rights are not violated and timely and appropriate actions are being performed by OS.

    12. Annual Appraisal/Performance Document Approval — Ensure continuity between the Form 6850-BU and the employee's annual performance. Compare the Form 6850-BU numerical values with the DCIs and written documentation issued during the rating period. The TM must compare casework observations with the feedback employees have received to ensure the employee's appraisal accurately reflects the performance observed in the cases. Ideally, the TM should be sufficiently familiar with individual casework to know whether a particular Form 6850-BU performance appraisal rating is an accurate reflection of the employee's performance when performing the second level approval.

  11. Document the review observations in a memorandum and share with the GM within 30 days of the completion of the actual review. Any follow up actions must be reviewed and documented in a timely manner.

Director, Specialty Collection Offer in Compromise
  1. The Director should conduct an operational review of the OIC program at least once each fiscal year with timely follow-up reviews when appropriate.

  2. Document the review findings in memorandum format and share with the appropriate OM/TM within 30 days after the completion of the review.

  3. In conducting these reviews, the Director may request the assistance of the National OIC Program Manager and/or analysts.

  4. The operational review should be directed to current issues effecting the program and provide meaningful feedback. The Director may incorporate some of the categories listed below in operational reviews:

    • Management of Hold Files — ensure the OM/TM is managing the OIC inventory in a timely manner. Review the offer group's hold file via the ICS and/or AOIC system.

    • Overage OIC cases — review ICS and/or AOIC reports to make sure overage cases are being managed appropriately.

    • Review of Operational Reviews — ensure OMs/TMs are addressing pertinent program issues, as well as those specifically outlined in this handbook. Review all operational reviews completed by the OMs/TMs during the course of the fiscal year. Ensure OMs/TMs are holding their managers accountable for performance issues. Also ensure that follow-up reviews are scheduled when appropriate.

    • Case File Reviews — ensure proactive, timely, and appropriate case actions are occurring, and that managerial involvement exists when appropriate. Review each operational review completed by the OM/TM and review two to three cases from a sample of each offer group to ensure the DMs/GMs and OMs/TMs assessments are consistent.

    • Trend Analysis — identify and evaluate activities when compared to Territory/Campus and National goals that may require managerial involvement. Review cumulative data acquired and reviewed by TMs during the course of the fiscal year and compare with any findings of Collection Policy Analysts.

    • Employee Personnel Folders (EPF) — ensure EPFs are maintained within OPM guidelines and documents support the employee evaluation (alignment of employees' evaluation and casework). Review a sampling of EPFs from a sufficient number of offer groups and compare with OM/TM findings to ensure continuity. This review should include a comparison of Form 6850-BU with other evaluative documents. The EPF must include confirmation that all review requirements have been met by the DM, GM, OM, and TM. In addition, verification that all appropriate documents have been purged timely.

    • Communication — ensure OMs/TMs are engaging GMs and employees to promote the achievement of program goals and fostering employee satisfaction. Review any town hall and OM/TM attended group meeting minutes.

    • Inventory Levels — ensure field OIC inventories are being maintained per IRM 1.4.50.10.2, Maintaining Targeted Inventories, and hold files are maintained in accordance with IRM 1.4.52.6.6, Maintaining Employee Inventory Levels and New Case Hold Files, above. This may be completed by reviewing appropriate ENTITY, ICS, and AOIC reports, or acquiring appropriate reports from a Collection Policy Analyst.

    • AOIC Maintenance – Ensure AOIC signatures are being properly monitored and purged as appropriate by the OMs and TMs.

Case Documentation, Protecting Taxpayer Rights, and Use of Statistical Data

  1. This section discusses the proper guidelines managers and employees are to follow when documenting case files, and the importance of observing the rights of the taxpayer at all times. It also covers your appropriate use of statistical data when conducting a review.

Case Documentation

  1. Case documentation is a critical part of the offer process and must support the case decision. Specific guidance is discussed throughout all sections of IRM 5.8 but is specifically outlined in IRM 5.8.4.12, Documentation, IRM 5.8.11.5, Documentation and Verification, and IRM 5.19.24.26, Case History Documentation.

  2. Managers must document and ensure employees document conversations with taxpayers and representatives.

  3. The need for accurate, complete, and high-quality case documentation is extremely important in the OIC program. Incomplete documentation will negatively affect subsequent case actions, the ability to review and evaluate case activity, actions by other employees, and Quality results.

  4. If field OIC group managerial approval has not been noted either systemically or via a manual history entry on AOIC or ICS, then an entry noting managerial approval must be entered in ICS. Managerial approvals of currently not collectible (see IRM 1.4.50 Exhibit 2) and Installment Agreement/Payroll Deductions will also be documented via a history entry in ICS or AOIC.

    Note:

    Comments that could be considered "evaluative" in nature must not be entered in the ICS case history.

Protecting Taxpayer Rights

  1. One of your primary responsibilities is to monitor employee practices and actions to make sure taxpayer rights are always observed during the offer investigation. Case reviews, as well as observations of interactions with taxpayers and/or their representatives should be used to assess the employee's performance in this area. The reasons of the proposed decision must be clearly documented and supported to make sure the taxpayer has been afforded all rights in accordance to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR) as defined in paragraph (2) below. If taxpayer rights were violated or not afforded, document and share the case.

  2. The TBOR, as listed below, is contained in IRC §7803(a)(3). Many taxpayers are often not aware of their rights and all the tools available to help them resolve issues. Each employee must be aware of those rights and adhere to affording those rights to all taxpayers.

    • The Right to be Informed — Taxpayers have the right to know what they need to do to comply with the tax laws. They are entitled to clear explanations of the laws and IRS procedures in all tax forms, instructions, publications, notices, and correspondence. They have the right to be informed of IRS decisions about their tax accounts and to receive clear explanations of the outcome.

    • The Right to Finality — Taxpayers have the right to know the maximum amount of time they have to challenge the IRS’s position as well as the maximum amount of time the IRS has to audit a particular tax year or collect a tax debt. Taxpayers have the right to know when the IRS has finished an audit.

    • The Right to Privacy — Taxpayers have the right to expect that any IRS inquiry, examination, or enforcement action will comply with the law and be no more intrusive than necessary, and will respect all due process rights, including search and seizure protections and will provide, where applicable, a collection due process hearing.

    • The Right to Confidentiality — Taxpayers have the right to expect that any information they provide to the IRS will not be disclosed unless authorized by the taxpayer or by law. Taxpayers have the right to expect appropriate action will be taken against employees, return preparers, and others who wrongfully use or disclose taxpayer return information.

    • The Right to Retain Representation — Taxpayers have the right to retain an authorized representative of their choice to represent them in their dealings with the IRS. Taxpayers have the right to seek assistance from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic if they cannot afford representation.

    • The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard— Taxpayers have the right to raise objections and provide additional documentation in response to formal IRS actions or proposed actions, to expect that the IRS will consider their timely objections and documentation promptly and fairly, and to receive a response if the IRS does not agree with their position.

    • The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax — Taxpayers have the right to pay only the amount of tax legally due, including interest and penalties, and to have the IRS apply all tax payments properly.

    • The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum — Taxpayers are entitled to a fair and impartial administrative appeal of most IRS decisions, including many penalties, and have the right to receive a written response regarding the Office of Appeals’ decision. Taxpayers generally have the right to take their cases to court.

    • The Right to Quality Service — Taxpayers have the right to receive prompt, courteous, and professional assistance in their dealings with the IRS, to be spoken to in a way they can easily understand, to receive clear and easily understandable communications from the IRS, and to speak to a supervisor about inadequate service.

    • The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System — Taxpayers have the right to expect the tax system to consider facts and circumstances that may affect their underlying liabilities, ability to pay, or ability to provide information timely. Taxpayers have a right to receive assistance from the Taxpayer Advocate Service if they are experiencing financial difficulty or if the IRS has not resolved their tax issues properly and timely through its normal channels.

  3. Ensure that all employees are aware of the role of the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), and that this information is properly communicated to taxpayers and representatives, as appropriate. TAS is an independent organization within the IRS that ensures tax problems, which have not been resolved through normal channels are promptly and fairly handled. There is at least one local Taxpayer Advocate in each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, who is independent of the local IRS office. To determine if a case meets TAS criteria, see IRM 13.1.7.2.

    Access to TAS can be obtained by calling their toll-free number 1–877–777–4778, TTY/TTD 1–800–829–4059; calling or writing to the local Taxpayer Advocate whose address and phone number is listed in local telephone directories; researching Pub 1546, How to Get Help With Unresolved Tax Problems or visiting their website at www.irs.gov/advocate.

  4. 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 of omission described below:

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

    2. Violating the constitutional rights of, or discriminating against, taxpayers or employees.

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

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

    5. Violating the Internal Revenue Code, IRS regulations or policies to retaliate against or harass taxpayers or employees.

    6. Misusing Internal Revenue Code section 6103 to conceal information from Congressional inquiry.

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

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

    9. Threatening an audit for personal gain. See Document 11043, RRA '98 Section 1203 All Employee Guide, for more information on identifying and reporting possible violations of Section 1203.

Use of Statistical Data

  1. IRM 1.5.2, Uses of Section 1204 Statistics, provides guidance to prevent use of statistics to evaluate employees, or impose or suggest production quotas or goals with respect to such employees.

  2. You are prohibited from using Records of Tax Enforcement Results (ROTERs) to evaluate any employee who exercises appropriate judgment with regard to determining tax liability or ability to pay. ROTERs are defined as a figure resulting from the recordation, accumulation, tabulation, or mathematical analysis that is directly related to producing a tax enforcement result. This prohibition includes:

    • Self-assessments

    • Awards narratives

    • Case and/or workload reviews

    • Performance plans

    • Narrative feedback to evaluations

  3. 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 for OIC collection employees include:

    • Number of OICs recommended for acceptance or rejection

    • Dollars compromised

    • Number of closed OICs

  4. For more specific information see IRM 1.5.1, the IRS Balanced Performance Measurement System, and IRM 1.5.2, Uses of Section 1204 Statistics.

Tax Examiners in the OIC Program

  1. Based on the OIC program's continued priority, reenergized focus on case cycle time, and the continued need for managerial-specialist interaction to ensure proper and effective case progression, a tax examiner (TE) plays a very special role in the program.

OIC Field Group Responsibilities for the Tax Examiner

  1. The group TE’s responsibilities may consist of the following:

    • Analyze all OIC receipts to ensure transfer is appropriate.

    • Accept transfers on the AOIC system and make appropriate group assignments on AOIC and ICS inventory systems based on established procedures and corporate inventory approach.

    • Interact with COIC site personnel to check on the status of transfers.

    • Monitor transfers in transit status.

    • Initiate transfer of offer cases to other office(s), when appropriate.

    • Review IDRS transcripts to ensure that the delinquent modules on IDRS match the compromise periods listed on Form 656, Offer in Compromise.

    • Contact taxpayers and/or their representative to correct mismatches, when necessary.

    • Input appropriate modules on AOIC for systemic generation of Status 71 on corresponding IDRS modules.

    • Analyze all corresponding taxpayer IDRS transcripts, determine assessment dates for each applicable module, and input information on the AOIC MFT screen.

    • Generate AOIC Transaction Error Listing. This report can be printed daily but minimally requires weekly reconciliation to ensure IDRS modules and respective notice/collection status codes match AOIC.

    • Determine when manual input is required on accounts and perform action to input TC 480, 482, 483, and Status 71, when applicable.

    • Generate and mail return letters.

    • Screen all incoming cases for imminent statutes (ASEDs).

    • Screen all incoming cases for filing and payment compliance.

    • Screen all incoming cases for compliance with periodic payment requirements.

    • Input all corresponding modules on ICS and establish CIPs to generate ASED Inventory Listings.

    • Create and monitor Other Investigation (OI) controls to ensure timely actions are taken to protect imminent statute.

    • Handle all incoming taxpayer/practitioner phone calls regarding the status of their OIC, as well as any other issues that require knowledge of Servicewide policy and thorough familiarity with OIC program guidelines.

    • Monitor casework for timely disposition based on established CDP procedural guidelines.

    • Review cases to ensure they meet the appropriate criteria for transfer to Field Collection.

    • Ship closed cases to the Federal Records Center (FRC). See IRM 1.4.52.11

  2. Form 2209, (Courtesy Investigation)

    • Contact taxpayers and/or their representative and takes the appropriate action to resolve any issues.

    • Determine any necessary financial information needed and/or delinquent returns and makes the appropriate taxpayer demand.

    • Establish proper group controls to monitor taxpayer responses and issues default recommendations, when appropriate.

    • Analyze financial documents and information and processes delinquent returns.

    • Complete OI and issues appropriate disposition recommendation for managerial approval.

  3. Reconcile and monitor group controls as listed below:

    • Cases assigned to the Territory, but not received or not accepted (Source: Area Office Menu, AOIC Offers, Accept Transfer)

    • Closed, accepted cases not validated or released (Source: AOIC Office Menu, AOIC Offers, Validate & Release)

    • ASED controls

    • CDP assignments

    • Appeal 30-day rejection hold file

    • AOIC Transaction Listing

    • Courtesy Investigations (OIs)

  4. Perform quality reviews case closure actions as listed below:

    • Complete installment agreements, currently non-collectible, and adjustment forms, as requested by the GM and/or OS.

    • Process closed cases in accordance with procedures defined in IRM 5.8.7.10, Alternative Resolutions.

    • Monitor appeals process, if applicable, before requesting reversal of TC 480 and processing of corresponding form (e.g., Form 433-D, 53, 3870, etc.).

    • Quality review all accepted, rejected, returned, and withdrawn case files to ensure all letters and forms have appropriate signatures, and inputs appropriate disposition codes on AOIC and ICS systems.

    • Analyze Form 656, Offer in Compromise, to determine if all periods have been listed appropriately for all dispositions (except acceptances).

    • Process requests for NFTL when requested by the GM or OS.

    • Analyze case files to ensure the IAR has completed mandatory review on rejections.

    • Mail the Rejection Letter to the taxpayer and/or practitioner and monitors Rejection 30-Day Appeal files.

    • Review taxpayer and/or practitioner's written request for appeal for perfection issues and reassigns to the OS for review.

    • Upon request, forward cases to Appeals for review, reassign cases to Appeals on AOIC, and monitor Form 2515, Record of Offer in Compromise, until the OIC case is returned from Appeals.

    • Input the appropriate disposition code on AOIC and ICS, including those cases where the taxpayer does not exercise their right to appeal.

    • Upon receipt of a case from Appeals, analyze the case file to ensure all necessary correspondence is contained and verify the case is closed on AOIC with appropriate closing letter dates.

    • Mail all necessary closing AOIC letters and forms to taxpayers and/or practitioners, as appropriate.

    • Handle all taxpayer and/or practitioner inquiries that may be generated as a result of correspondence.

    • Monitor AOIC NQRS Sample Reports on a weekly basis.

    • Strip closed case files as defined in IRM 5.8.7.12, Closed File Retention, and IRM 5.8.8.10, Processing the Closed Offer File, and transmit selected offer cases for NQRS review.

      Note:

      See IRM 5.13.1.10.1.1, OIC Case Selection, paragraph (2) for additional information when a non-reviewable case has been systemically selected.

    • Ensure all deposits are properly addressed (via a request to MOIC to be refunded or applied) before the closure is input. When applying the deposit, it must be clearly documented on AOIC that the taxpayer authorized on Form 656, Form 3040 or other written authorization application of the deposit.

      Note:

      If the taxpayer authorized application of funds, send an e-mail request to the appropriate MOIC unit for resolution. It takes approximately 120 days for the funds to be transferred from the 4710 account.

    • Timely close accounts on AOIC and ICS databases.

    • Initiate AOIC Closed Case Validation Process.

    • Determine, the appropriate MOIC location that will monitor offer acceptance terms and mails required documents based procedures in IRM 5.8.8, Acceptance Processing.

    • Timely analyze and work all taxpayer lien release requests and escrow demands.

    • Receive and timely resolve all taxpayer and/or practitioner inquiries regarding the status of offer deposits that have not been refunded.

    • Review all rejections, returns, and withdrawn offers for completion and ships the closed cases to FRC, including loading FRC information on the AOIC database.

  5. Perform post-closure case action activities as listed below:

    • Receive and resolve all taxpayer and/or practitioner telephone inquiries involving OICs and/or non-OIC related calls by checking applicable systems (e.g., IDRS, AOIC, etc.) and/or redirects the call to the appropriate Service personnel.

    • Analyze accounts on AOIC and IDRS systems to resolve issues involving misapplied payments.

    • Communicate directly with MOIC campuses to resolve problems involving misapplied payments, late payments, changes in taxpayer financial conditions, etc.

    • Request manual refunds from MOIC when contacted by the taxpayer and/or practitioner, when appropriate.

    • Analyze and resolve M-Y freeze issues on accepted offers when contacted by the taxpayer and/or practitioner.

    • Review closed, rejected, and withdrawn offers from Appeals to determine if an OI should be issued to Field Collection in accordance with current field transfer procedures.

MOIC Tax Examiner Duties

  1. Process accepted offers with the case file on AOIC by reviewing and comparing Form 656 /(Amended) Form 656 and AOIC to ensure all tax modules are included. If the offer case file is not provided see IRM 5.19.7.2.9.2.

  2. Initial case review and documentation are required as each case is received into the tax examiner inventory and/or re-assigned to another tax examiner’s inventory.

  3. Incoming OICs must be accepted and updated on AOIC within 25 days of MOIC receipt (NW status) when liens are present to ensure timely release of liens on all full paid offers. On offers where no liens are present, the OIC should be accepted and updated on AOIC within 30 days.

  4. Review incoming offers to determine if manual monitoring or special handling is required.

  5. Review AOIC Transaction Listing for errors and resolve.

  6. Review and resolve any errors on the AOIC Daily Transaction Listing.

  7. Address the application fee.

  8. Perform mirroring actions when required.

  9. Timely release NFTLs when applicable.

Group Secretaries in the OIC Program

  1. A group secretary plays a key role in an OIC group. As a support clerical employee, he or she assists the GM in all administrative assignments, and also handles the numerous clerical processes that are involved in managing an OIC group operation. Listed below are the secretarial tasks that consist of, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Schedule meetings and coordinate travel plans.

    • Handle budget issues.

    • Handle all issues involving time and/or leave.

    • Verify employee time on ICS ENTITY on a weekly basis.

    • File all documents per established group policies.

    • Handle all incoming calls for the GM and direct appropriately.

    • Input cases on AOIC and ICS as assigned.

    • Assign casework to employees upon the request of the GM.

    • Reassign OICs from hold files to employees upon the request of the GM.

    • Control and respond to Form 3210, Document Transmittal, on all incoming work.

    • Forward rejected OIC case files to the IAR and change assignment on AOIC to the IAR.

    • Make appropriate copies of casework for NQRS review.

      Note:

      See IRM 5.13.1.10.1.1(2) for additional information when a non-reviewable case has been systemically selected.

    • Mail taxpayer correspondence, and provide assistance to the TE, as needed.

    • Process CDP requests to the appropriate function for TC 520 input. See IRM 5.1.9.3.3, Processing CDP and EH Requests or IRM 5.8.4, Investigation.

    • Retrieve the ICS/ENTITY Report on a monthly basis.

    • Retrieve the RO Inventory Report from AOIC and ICS on a weekly basis.

    • Match ICS and AOIC inventory for each OS on a monthly basis.

    • Process all Form 795, Daily Report of Collection Activity.

    • Correct correspondence, as required by the GM.

    • Take and distribute all group meeting minutes.

    • Schedule and reserve conference rooms for group meetings, upon request.

    • Provide receptionist assistance, upon request.

    • Complete 1204 quarterly certification, as required by the GM.

Shipment of Closed Cases to Federal Records Center (FRC)

  1. The PE/clerk/TE must follow procedures in IRM 5.8.7.12.1, Shipment of Closed Cases to Federal Records Center, and IRM 5.8.8.16, Forwarding Case Files to the Federal Record Center (FRC), depending on the type of closure.

    Note:

    Managers must ensure closed case retention and FRC guidelines are followed.

  2. Procedures in IRM 1.15.4, Retiring and Requesting Records, must be followed when mailing closed cases to the FRC. Document 12990, Records Control Schedules, Tax Administration - Collection, Item 50, allows retention of closed files until there is no longer a business need to retain them at the local level.

  3. Based on the “business need” provision, and as a general rule, closed COIC and field OIC files (other than acceptances) are to be retained in a local office for a period of no less than six months, or for a longer period, should there be a business need. After this time period case files should be retired to the Federal Records Center (FRC).

  4. All FRC information must be loaded on the AOIC Tracking screen for each case. This screen includes the OIC number, accession number, box number, FRC date and location. Refer to the AOIC Course User's Guide for instructions on loading information on the AOIC FRC Tracking screen. The accession number, box number, date sent to FRC and FRC location must be added to the AOIC remarks.