- 1.11.2 Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process
- 18.104.22.168 Program Scope and Objectives
- 22.214.171.124.1 Background
- 126.96.36.199.2 Authority
- 188.8.131.52.3 Responsibilities
- 184.108.40.206.4 Program Reports
- 220.127.116.11.5 Terms
- 18.104.22.168.6 Acronyms
- 22.214.171.124.7 Related Resources
- 126.96.36.199 IRM Standards
- 188.8.131.52.1 Supplemental Sources of Guidance
- 184.108.40.206.2 Responsibilities for Maintaining the IRM
- 220.127.116.11.2.1 Risks When the IRM is not Current
- 18.104.22.168.3 Local Procedures
- 22.214.171.124.4 When Procedures Deviate from the IRM
- 126.96.36.199.5 Address Management and Internal Controls
- 188.8.131.52.6 Functional Statement IRM
- 184.108.40.206 IRM Format and Structure
- 220.127.116.11.1 IRM Section Elements
- 18.104.22.168.2 Assign Catalog Number
- 22.214.171.124.3 Identify IRM Owner
- 126.96.36.199.4 Assign IRM Author
- 188.8.131.52 Assign IRM Titles, Numbers, Owners and Authors
- 184.108.40.206.1 Request a New IRM Chapter or Section
- 220.127.116.11.2 Assign an IRM Number, Catalog Number and Title
- 18.104.22.168.3 Change the IRM Owner
- 22.214.171.124.4 Recommend an IRM Title
- 126.96.36.199.5 Change the IRM Author
- 188.8.131.52 Write the IRM
- 184.108.40.206.1 Prepare to Write or Revise the IRM
- 220.127.116.11.1.1 Organize IRM Material
- 18.104.22.168.1.2 Write a New IRM Section
- 22.214.171.124.1.3 Respond to Requested IRM Changes
- 126.96.36.199.2 Determine IRM Dates
- 188.8.131.52.2.1 Determine the Subsection Date
- 184.108.40.206.3 Designate IRM Content as Official Use Only (OUO)
- 220.127.116.11.4 Tables
- 18.104.22.168.5 Telephone Numbers
- 22.214.171.124.6 Fictitious Identifying Information
- 126.96.36.199.7 Graphics
- 188.8.131.52.7.1 Convert a Graphic to PDF
- 184.108.40.206.7.2 Store IRM Graphic Files
- 220.127.116.11.7.3 Use Alternative Text for Graphics
- 18.104.22.168.8 Standard Citation Rules
- 22.214.171.124 Use and Preparation of the Manual Transmittal (MT)
- 126.96.36.199.1 Required Elements of the Manual Transmittal
- 188.8.131.52.1.1 Manual Transmittal (MT) Date
- 184.108.40.206.1.2 Manual Transmittal Purpose
- 220.127.116.11.1.3 Manual Transmittal Material Changes
- 18.104.22.168.1.4 Effect on Other Documents
- 22.214.171.124.1.5 Audience
- 126.96.36.199.1.6 Effective Date
- 188.8.131.52.1.7 Signature of Authorizing Official
- 184.108.40.206.2 Optional Elements
- 220.127.116.11 Conduct an Informal Review
- 18.104.22.168 Editorial Update Process
- 22.214.171.124.1 Revise IRM for an Editorial Change
- 126.96.36.199 Rules to Obsolete an IRM Section
- 188.8.131.52 Communicate Information About the IRM
- Exhibit 1.11.2-1 Definitions of IMD Terms for Determining What Belongs in the IRM
- Exhibit 1.11.2-2 Most Common Reasons to Review the IRM
- Exhibit 1.11.2-3 TEMPLATE: New IRM Chapter or Section Request
- Exhibit 1.11.2-4 IRM Web Resources
Part 1. Organization, Finance, and Management
Chapter 11. Internal Management Documents System
Section 2. Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process
November 14, 2016
(1) This transmits revised IRM 1.11.2, Internal Management Documents System, Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has pointed out that program managers may not recognize that various policies, procedures and reviews are integral parts of their program’s system of internal controls. To remedy this, IRS is instituting a requirement that IRMs address relevant internal controls.
To assist authors when preparing the IRM, the SPDER office has developed an IRM template and incorporated it into this IRM revision to communicate the internal and management control framework. IRM 1.11.2 will serve as a model and include guidance on the type of information that encompasses internal controls.
This revision to IRM 1.11.2 institutes the rules that will ensure that the program’s internal controls are adequately expressed in the IRM. These procedures are effective for any IRM section entering clearance after January 1, 2017. This will allow managers and employees time to learn the new requirements and incorporate them into their respective IRMs.
(1) IRM 184.108.40.206, Program Scope and Objectives - Revised the title to properly reflect the information communicated in this subsection. Also, rearranged existing IRM content to place information involving internal controls for a program IRM under this subsection to conform to the new rules described in this revision. Subsections added under Program Scope and Objectives applicable to this program include:
IRM 220.127.116.11.1, Background - Added historical information about the IRM program and SPDER, formerly published in the IRM.
IRM 18.104.22.168.2, Authority - Added legal authorities about the IRM program addressed in IRM 1.11.1, Internal Management Document (IMD) Program and Responsibilities.
IRM 22.214.171.124.3, Responsibilities - Source of information added from the prior versions of IRM 1.11.2 and IRM 1230, Internal Management Document System Handbook (catalog number 30393O).
IRM 126.96.36.199.4, Measures and Reports - Added new information about measures and reports on the IMD program.
IRM 188.8.131.52.5, Terms - Compiled a list of frequently used terms in the IRM process, including those related to management and internal controls.
IRM 184.108.40.206.6, Acronyms - Compiled a list of frequently used abbreviations and their terms in the IRM process.
IRM 220.127.116.11.7, Related Resources - Moved content formerly in the text and the MT related resources here.
(2) IRM 18.104.22.168, IRM Standards - Added additional content to IRM Standards, to further clarify IRM requirements. Added valuable content previously published in IRM 1230.
(3) IRM 22.214.171.124.1, Supplemental Sources of Guidance - Clarified information relating to job aids.
(4) IRM 126.96.36.199.2, Responsibilities for Maintaining the IRM - Revised the title and realigned content for clarity.
(5) IRM 188.8.131.52.3, Local Procedures - Clarified the example under paragraph (2) relating to procedures handled locally that provide guidance Servicewide.
(6) IRM 184.108.40.206.4, When Procedures Deviate from the IRM - Clarified content under this subsection to apply deviations as expressed in the 2012 revision of IRM 1.11.2, as follows:
Revised content to apply the description of deviation and rules; since deviations involve IRM procedures, by definition they change national program guidance.
Require that deviations be issued to employees in a memoranda.
Paragraph (2), removed the phrase (including new rules) since the phrase is unnecessary.
Paragraph (2)a., removed "or documented designee" to ensure an executive (or an acting official) approves the revised guidance.
Added new paragraph to clarify that interim guidance rules may apply when issuing and communicating a deviation. However, so as not to interfere with program operations, the rules described under paragraph (2) remain substantially the same.
(7) IRM 220.127.116.11.5, Address Management and Internal Controls - Added new subsection to provide the information types and rules that will ensure internal controls are properly addressed in the IRM.
(8) IRM 18.104.22.168, IRM Format and Structure - In addition to some minor edits, updated Document 10988, IRM Index, information and added new IRS Style Guide, as the source for IRS writing rules.
(9) IRM 22.214.171.124.1, IRM Section Elements - Added a statement to clarify the IRM format rule that requires all content must be labeled and that every numbered subsection must contain text. Also added a sentence and example to describe the location and numbering of figures.
(10) IRM 126.96.36.199.2, Assign Catalog Number - Clarified information on catalog numbers by reordering content. Changed date to reflect that content was reworded.
(11) IRM 188.8.131.52.3, Identify IRM Owner - Revised title and content to focus on providing rules for IRM owners. The term is defined in IRM 184.108.40.206.5, Terms.
(12) IRM 220.127.116.11.4, Assign IRM Author - Revised title and content. Inserted reference to IRM 1.11.1 and added reference to indexing sources to locate an author.
(13) IRM 18.104.22.168.3 Designate IRM Content as Official Use Only - Corrected instructions on restricting a graphic. Removed information on researching the Law Enforcement Manuals. See IRM 1.11.6 on researching historical IRMs.
(14) IRM 22.214.171.124.6, Use Fictitious Identifying Information - Revised the title and clarified instructions for using live data or any other information that can be construed as personally identifiable information in the IRM. Also, added information for figures and graphics.
(15) IRM 126.96.36.199.7.3, Use Alternative Text for Graphics - Revised the title for clarity and use the term "alternative text" rather than verbal descriptive narrative to refer to a "graphic descriptor" in the IRM XML file.
(16) IRM 188.8.131.52.8.5, Create Hyperlinks - Corrected information on citation tags and IRM Online when referencing legal documents.
(17) IRM 184.108.40.206.2, Optional Elements - Clarified the definition of scope.
(18) IRM 220.127.116.11, Editorial Update Process - Clarified language to ensure these procedures conform to the rules in IRM 18.104.22.168.2, Incorporating Interim Guidance into the IRM, involving clearance of IRMs containing editorial updates, as follows:
Removed IG from the list as an editorial update. However, incorporating IG is subject to streamlined clearance, as described in IRM 1.11.9.
Removed the rule that IRMs updated for editorial changes must be published electronically since it’s the publishing standard, as described in IRM 22.214.171.124, Distributing the IRM Through IMDDS.
(19) IRM 126.96.36.199, Rules to Obsolete an IRM Section - Revised the title and clarified the rules (i) when portions remain effective and (ii) to ensure clearance through affected offices and specialized reviewers.
(20) Exhibit 1.11.2-1, Definitions of IMD Terms for Determining What Belongs in the IRM - Clarified the language for the term "temporary guidance."
(21) Exhibit 1.11.2-3, TEMPLATE: New IRM Chapter or Section Request - Revised the IRM request template to ensure information provided supports the IRM request. You can also use this template to request a title change.
(22) The following editorial changes were also made throughout this document:
Reviewed the IRM for editorial changes in accordance with the new Document 13275, IRS Style Guide. With the release of the IRS Style Guide, the grammar, punctuation and general writing rules in Document 12835, IRM Style Guide, are superseded. Reference to Doc. 12835 applies primarily to the IRM format and structure standards.
Clarified the language throughout, and reviewed and updated all references and website addresses.
Changed the SPDER office title to reflect the new name: Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Resources, (formerly Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Research), as a result of a corporate reorganization effective October 1, 2016,
James R Bolling
Acting Director, Servicewide Policy Directives and Electronic Resources
Purpose. This IRM section describes the IRM authoring process and the procedures for creating or updating the IRM. Specifically, IRM 1.11.2:
Describes the steps in the IRM authoring process.
Establishes the standards and procedures for writing the IRM.
Provides details on adding "management and internal controls" to the IRM, where applicable.
Recommends IRM resources, including decision tools, websites and other IRM sections.
Suggests ways to minimize duplication and improve the content and readability.
Audience. These procedures apply to IRS employees who are responsible for developing, creating and improving the IRM including:
Policy Owner. The Office of Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Resources (SPDER), is under Research, Applied Analytics and Statistics (RAAS).
Program Owner. SPDER is the program office responsible for overseeing the IMD process and providing guidance. Each IRS organization is responsible for establishing an internal process for managing their procedures based upon these Servicewide processes.
Contact Information. To recommend changes or make any other suggestions to this IRM section, email the SPDER office at SPDER@irs.gov.
The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 resulted in a complete restructuring and reformatting of the IRM to align with IRS business processes. One of the primary goals of IRS modernization was to restore and maintain the IRM as the single, official compilation of IRS policies, procedures and guidelines.
In 2000, IRS formed the Office of Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Resources (formerly Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Research). SPDER is responsible for designing, implementing and monitoring a strategic approach to managing and setting Servicewide policy for internal management directives. See IRM 1.11.1, IMD Roles and Responsibilities, for information about the affect of these changes.
By law, federal agencies are expected to document, publish and maintain records of policies, authorities, procedures and organizational operations. The IRM is the source for the IRS. See IRM 188.8.131.52 for the authorities and legal obligations of IMDs.
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 USC 552(a)(2)(c), requires each agency to maintain and make available for public inspection and copying a current index providing identifying information for the public. The redacted IRM and the Document 10988, IRM Index, posted on IRS.gov, fulfills this requirement.
The Director, Research Applied Analytics and Statistics (RAAS) is the executive responsible for the IMD program.
The Director, Strategic Business Solutions, is the program manager for SPDER.
The Director, Media and Publications (M&P) is responsible for composition reviews involving numbering, formatting and processing the IRM for publication. M&P is also responsible for planning, developing, coordinating, administering and evaluating the policies, systems, procedures and standards to meet IRS publishing needs. See IRM 1.11.5, Publishing the Internal Revenue Manual.
Executives of each IRS organization are responsible for preparing, maintaining and archiving IMDs affecting their respective programs.
Management officials are responsible for:
Providing internal controls relating to each program, process or activity.
Ensuring the instructions are communicated to and carried out by the proper officers and employees.
Employees who prepare IMDs are responsible for clearing them through all affected offices.
For more information on management’s role in administering the IMD process, see IRM 184.108.40.206, IMD Roles and Responsibilities.
SPDER, as the process owner, monitors changes to the IRM involving content, numbering, titles and ownership. SPDER:
Compiles IRM data based on the IRM sections processed through M&P, monthly.
Prepares a list of active IRMs for each fiscal year, beginning October 1. Using this data, SPDER monitors changes to each new, revised and obsoleted IRM section.
Reports to each IRS organization the status of their revisions, including new, revised and obsolete IRM sections, after the end of each fiscal year.
SPDER also gathers data on IMD program matters and reports on potential areas of risk to the IRS from a Servicewide perspective. SPDER:
Issues an annual "state of the IMD program" letter to IRS executives reporting on the current status of the IRM Servicewide.
Issues an individual report to each IRS organization. See IRM 220.127.116.11.2(3), SPDER IMD Program Management, for more information on the SPDER annual review process.
Acronym - An alphabetical list of commonly used abbreviations and their definitions.
Audience - The employees responsible for taking action or who require knowledge about the program, process or activity. Identify the IRM primary user by job title, role, specific office or organization.
Internal control - A process effected by an entity’s oversight body, management, and other personnel that provides reasonable assurance that the objectives of an entity will be achieved. These objectives and related risks can be broadly classified into one or more of the following three categories:
Operations - Effectiveness and efficiency of operations.
Reporting - Reliability of reporting for internal and external use.
Compliance - Compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
Internal Management Document - Official communications that designate policies, authorities and deliver instructions to IRS officials and employees.
IRM Owner - The office which has primary responsibility for writing and maintaining IRM content. The director with program responsibility is the program owner.
IRS Organization - The highest level operating division or office headed by an executive.
Management Official - An individual employed by an agency in a position having duties and responsibilities which require or authorize the individual to formulate, determine or influence the policies of the agency. See 5 USC 7103(a)(11). This role is also referred to as program manager or program director.
Manager - The employee’s first-line manager.
Policy Owner - IRS organization or the title of the executive (position only) responsible for the program. This information is found in IRM 1.1, Organization and Staffing, for the applicable IRS organization.
Primary Stakeholders - Offices or functions, internal or external to the program, whose employees are responsible for following or developing the procedures.
Program Controls - The program reviews and quality assurance activities associated with the program.
Program Director - A senior manager or executive.
Program Effectiveness - A description of how program goals are measured. Include references and links to documents or websites helpful to employees.
Program Goals - A description of the program or manager’s expectations and what they plan to achieve. Include links to program and quality reviews.
Program Owner - The office which has primary responsibility for establishing the policy, process and procedures necessary to implement and manage the IRS program. Directors within this office are responsible for developing and publishing IRM procedures. The program owner is the IRM owner for the program.
The Accounts Management office under W&I's Customer Accounts Services manages the "refund inquiry" program. The Wage and Investment Division is the IRS organization. IRS program office: Refund Inquiry
• W&I is the IRS organization.
• Accounts Management is the Program owner / IRM owner.
• Customer Accounts Services (CAS) is the executive over Accounts Management (AM).
Program Reports - The types of reports and reporting mechanisms produced under the program. Identify the primary purpose for the data used to report program objectives, including:
Purpose - A description of the program, process or activity. Also, identify:
Employees responsible for taking action
The type of work employees will perform. See Audience.
The table lists commonly used acronyms and their definitions:
Acronym Definition AMC Alternative Media Center CCDM Chief Counsel Directives Manual ELMS Enterprise Learning Management Systems ERR Electronic Reading Room (resides on IRS.gov) FOIA Freedom of Information Act IMD Internal Management Document IG Interim Guidance IPU IRM Procedural Update M&P Media and Publications MT Manual Transmittal OUO Official Use Only Portable Document Format PII Personally Identifiable Information SERP Servicewide Electronic Research Program SME Subject Matter Expert SPDER Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Resources VILLA Virtual IMD Learning Library Application XML Extensible Markup Language
The following table lists the primary sources of guidance on the IMD and IRM programs. Together this material forms the operating rules and responsibilities for the IMD program.
IRM Title Guidance on IRM 1.11.1 Internal Management Document (IMD) Program and Responsibilities The IMD program, definitions and the roles and responsibilities of IRM authors, IMD/IRM coordinators and their managers IRM 1.11.3 Policy Statements Creating and revising Servicewide Policy Statements IRM 1.11.4 Delegation Orders Creating and revising Servicewide Delegation Orders and Organizational Delegation Orders IRM 1.11.5 Publishing the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) The publishing and distribution processes IRM 1.11.9 Clearing and Approving Internal Management Documents (IMDs) The clearance process and obtaining approvals IRM 1.11.10 Interim Guidance Process Authoring, issuing and clearing IGs and the rules for complying with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requirements IRM 10.2.13 Information Protection The proper handling of official use only (OUO) materials IRM 11.3.12 Designation of Documents Processing materials containing OUO information
Authors, reviewers and managers can find helpful information on these websites:
IMD Community Website: http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/
IMD Points of Contact (POCs): http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/Resources/IMDContacts.asp
Electronic Publishing Website: http://publish.no.irs.gov/ephome.html
Official Part and Chapter Title list: http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/IRMPartChap.asp This information is also available through http://irm.web.irs.gov/indexes/numerical/default.asp.
IRM authoring courses: http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/training/
IRS Historical Research Library website: http://oldirm.web.irs.gov/
A primary companion to this IRM 1.11.2 is Document 12835 , IRM Style Guide. The IRS Style Guide, a web-based product, is the Servicewide source for punctuation, grammar and general writing rules.
Refer to the IRM Style Guide only for IRM format and structure rules and related terms.
Use the IRS Style Guide,http://irweb.irs.gov/AboutIRS/bu/cl/comm/style/default.aspx(Document 13275) for the IRS writing standards.
The IRM is the primary, official compilation of instructions to staff that relate to the administration and operation of the IRS. The IRM ensures that employees have the approved policy and guidance they need to carry out their responsibilities in administering the tax laws or other agency obligations.
The IRM enables the IRS to meet certain federal requirements to document, publish and maintain records of policies, authorities, procedures and organizational operations described in IRM 18.104.22.168, Authorities and Legal Obligations of IMDs. See also Exhibit 1.11.2-1 for the types of IMDs and their description.
Instructions which are the primary source of guidance belong in the IRM. Primary, for this purpose, means it is the main source of procedural guidance. This includes information that is integral to the employee’s job responsibilities or affects their evaluation. The IRM contains information that:
Provides accurate measurements
Instructions remain in effect until amended, superseded or obsoleted by the publication of a subsequent IRM.
In certain operational or emergency situations, program owners may issue IG to quickly convey to employees a new procedure, a change to current IRM procedures, a temporary procedure or a pilot program. IG is issued either through memoranda or SERP IRM procedural updates (IPUs). See IRM 1.11.10, Interim Guidance Process, for detailed guidance for issuing instructions outside of the IRM.
All instructions to staff must be accurate, accessible and easy to follow to ensure employees provide consistent and fair treatment to the public. Instructions to staff that revise the IRM in any way, including deviations, interim guidance, pilot project or temporary guidance, must:
Reference the affected IRM section.
Be approved at the director level or above (or their documented designee).
Be communicated to all affected employees.
Be evaluated for disclosure to the public and posted to IRS.gov if necessary.
To ensure IRM instructions remain consistent, the IRM owner is responsible for ensuring the IRM is reviewed annually for organizational or operational changes.
Avoid duplicating information contained in another IMD that applies to another office or organization. Rather, refer to the specific document or IRM number and title where the primary material is located. These practices help employees find the necessary instructions and eliminate the potential for providing conflicting instructions. See Exhibit 1.11.2-2, Most Common Reasons to Review the IRM.
The "IRM Decision Tool" helps program managers and IRM authors determine the type of information that belongs in the IRM. Through a series of questions, the tool helps you identify whether instructions to staff found in other sources must be in the IRM. View the tool at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/decide/.
Organizations may issue supplemental guidance and local procedures to employees when the primary guidance is in the IRM. Supplemental guidance contains information that details how to perform or review a task. Supplemental sources must comply with published guidance and not supersede the IRM.
To ensure employees can find the instructions, and to provide context and information, reference the supplemental guidance in the applicable IRM section. This connects the supplemental source to the IRM.
Supplemental guidance includes:
Published products (internal documents and forms)
Job aids, such as check sheets and web-based decision tools
Consider these factors when determining whether to incorporate information into the IRM, or publish it in another source:
If a category of employees (even if just one) are required to perform certain actions, the information belongs in the IRM.
If employees are evaluated on how they follow the instructions, the information belongs in the IRM.
If the information itself is retained for future use (workpapers, worksheets) and is part of a case file, then the worksheets can either be published, appended to the IRM ( job aid) or be accessed via an online tool. However, the rules for preparing the worksheets belong in the IRM.
If specific instructions are provided on how to complete a form, they may be associated with the official form or placed in the IRM.
Risks associated with placing instructions in a separate source include:
Documents are not subject to the same formal review and approval process (clearance) as the IRM.
Archive copies aren't maintained in a searchable or central location.
The changes between revisions are not clearly documented.
Documents may not be disclosed to the public risking the transparency of IRS operations.
IMDs and other supplemental sources of guidance are defined in Exhibit 1.11.2-1, Definitions of IMD Terms for Determining What Belongs in the IRM.
Each program owner is responsible for developing, maintaining and publishing their procedures in the IRM. See IRM 22.214.171.124.5 for definitions, and IRM 126.96.36.199.3 for more information about the IRM owner.
IRM content must be accurate and reliable to ensure consistent administration of the tax laws. To maintain the accuracy of the IRM, the program owner is responsible for reviewing the IRM at least annually, for procedural, operational and editorial changes. Procedural and operational changes typically originate from the following sources:
Chief Counsel guidance
Employee recommendations and feedback (see IRM 188.8.131.52.1.3).
Managing IRM updates on a routine schedule is also more efficient as it eases the burden on authors and reviewers by addressing changes as they occur. Infrequent updates typically require extensive changes which prolongs the processing time to write, clear and publish the IRM.
IRS is required to document its operations, policies and procedures and comply with recordkeeping and disclosure requirements of the FOIA. These requirements are met when instructions to staff are written in the IRM. See IRM 1.11.1, IMD Program and Responsibilities.
To ensure reliability, the IRS must strive to maintain a current and complete IRM. When the IRM is not current, IRS employees may:
Provide taxpayers outdated and possibly inaccurate information.
Follow incorrect procedures.
Administer the tax laws inconsistently.
Operate according to guidance that is not transparent to the public.
In addition, an employee’s evaluation could be adversely affected by IRM inconsistencies.
Local procedures are procedures specific to a particular office or campus. They are based on the location, the internal processes of the locality or tailored to the specific needs of its taxpayers. Local procedures cannot deviate, contradict or duplicate material in the IRM, nor can they set policy or change national program guidance. These procedures supplement the IRM and are formally issued and communicated to employees in a specific office or campus. See IRM 184.108.40.206.4 should these procedures deviate from the IRM.
Procedures that result from national program guidance for the IRS on a specific work process must be included in the IRM.
Management is responsible for ensuring that all employees are aware of and have access to local procedures. To communicate a local procedure to employees:
Issue formally through a memorandum to affected employees.
Review at least annually to ensure consistency with current guidance.
Revoke and communicate to employees when the procedure is no longer effective.
The memorandum used to communicate a local procedure must:
Refer to the core process, procedure or applicable IRM section.
Be reviewed by the affected program offices.
Be approved by the responsible first-line executive (or their documented designee).
Local guidance may be subject to FOIA and require disclosure on IRS.gov. For information on the FOIA criteria and requirements, see IRM 220.127.116.11.1, Transparency of Instructions to Staff.
At times national program guidance may not apply to the work in all offices in all areas of the country because of special circumstances or other restrictions. In these cases you may need to deviate from the official procedures in the IRM. Executive approval is required when deviating from national program guidance.
Guidance that deviates from the IRM (even if temporary) must be:
Issued formally through a memorandum to affected employees.
Reviewed by affected program offices and specialized reviewers (when applicable).
Approved by an executive with program responsibility.
When preparing a deviation:
Summarize the circumstances that require deviation.
Identify the applicable IRM section.
Describe the reason for the deviation (explain what caused the situation to occur and what is being done to correct it).
Specify the timeframe the deviation is effective (not longer than two years).
Deviations may be communicated and distributed through interim guidance.
Procedural guidance which deviates from the IRM is subject to FOIA on IRS.gov. For information on the E-FOIA criteria and requirements, see IRM 18.104.22.168, Interim Guidance Requiring FOIA Compliance.
When creating or updating an IRM section involving a program, process or activity, describe the internal control framework in the first subsection. Title this subsection "Program Scope and Objectives." This subsection will inform employees about the importance of and context for internal controls by describing the program objectives and officials charged with program management and oversight. The terms associated with internal controls are listed in IRM 22.214.171.124.5 (4) and additional terms are defined in IRM 126.96.36.199.5.
As described in IRM 1.4.2, Monitoring and Improving Internal Control, internal controls are the programs, policies and procedures established to ensure that:
Mission and program objectives are clearly delineated and key terms defined.
Program goals are established and performance is measured to assess efficient and effective mission and objective accomplishment.
Programs and resources are protected against waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement and misappropriation.
Program operations are in conformance with applicable laws and regulations.
Financial reporting is complete, current and accurate.
Reliable information is obtained and used for decision making and quality assurance.
Annual Review Requirement: The program manager is responsible for ensuring that the internal controls content is complete and accurate and reviewed at least annually to promote consistent tax administration. This rule is consistent with the annual IRM review requirement discussed at IRM 188.8.131.52.2.
The IRM must address internal controls by providing information relating to the particular program, process or activity. Topics include (but are not limited to) those internal control definitions identified in the table.
Internal Control Topics Description of Subtopics Program Scope and Objectives Provide in the first subsection of each IRM section a general overview of the program and include:
Purpose of the program
Define the program objectives and goals and expectations for achieving the goals.
Background Provide information pertinent to the program, including informational sources or other guidance. Include the purpose of new legislation, explain importance of the program and describe program or workflow changes. Authority Provide the legal and regulatory authorities relating to the program. Reference the source of authorities:
Internal Revenue Code
Delegation of authority, etc.
Specify the officer or title of executives responsible for program oversight.
When describing their role, title the subsection "Roles and Responsibilities."
Program Management and Review
List and describe the types, purpose and frequency of reports used to support program objectives.
Identify the data sources, storage location or the primary purpose for compiling the data.
Describe how the program goals are measured. Include references to program and/or quality reviews.
Program Controls Document the program reviews and quality assurance activities that take place for the program. Terms and Acronyms
Define key terms that are pertinent to the program, objectives and goals.
List frequently used acronyms and their definitions.
Be specific when defining requirements. Clarify any terms that are subject to interpretation (particularly measures used for evaluation purposes).
Related Resources List sources employees use to conduct work, such as:
Clarify any terms that are subject to interpretation (particularly measures used for evaluation purposes). Use examples to illustrate the concept following these guidelines:
Fair or impartial: When using the term in this context, define "fair" as "provide accurate and professional service to all persons without regard to personal bias."
Timely: Rather than use the term timely, specify the actual timeframe or amount.
Usually or reasonable: Describe when an action isn’t required or explain what created the unusual circumstances. Or you may use an exception to illustrate the situation.
When adding management or internal controls to the program IRM, follow these rules:
Place management and internal controls in the first subsection of the IRM. Title this subsection "Program Scope and Objectives."
Include only relevant information and topics that are applicable to the program.
Provide information about the internal controls and reference the applicable IRM (sub)section which contain procedures or process steps for these controls.
Reference the original source of the information rather than repeat it.
Place the content in an exhibit if the list is lengthy. This applies especially to acronyms, definitions or related resources.
To ensure consistency and conformance with the IRM format and structure, place information relating to internal controls under the first subsection of the IRM. For complex topics or those that require a separate subsection, add a new subsection under "Program Scope and Objectives." The following example illustrates how to number the content under the first IRM subsection. Refer to the table of contents for IRM 1.11.2, above, to show how this content displays.
Functional statements are published in IRM 1.1, Organization and Staffing. A functional statement IRM provides a high-level description of an organization’s operations and organizational structure reflected in the activities they perform to achieve the IRS mission and responsibilities. Every primary IRS organization is responsible for preparing and maintaining a functional statement IRM.
The functional statement describes an organization’s:
Mission and how it supports the IRS mission.
Offices and their primary responsibilities.
The IRM owner is responsible for:
Publishing a functional statement when the organization is formed.
Revising the functional statement IRM when a change is made to the organization's structure, mission or primary responsibilities.
Obsoleting the functional statement IRM when an organization is no longer operational.
Reviewing the functional statement annually to ensure its accuracy.
For a new organization, find the information to prepare a functional statement IRM in the documentation establishing the office.
The IRM is organized by IRS business process. The IRM format and structure is designed to accommodate changes to IRS operations and program responsibilities. As the IRS changes, material may be added to or removed from the IRM independent of organizational structure. See IRM 184.108.40.206, IMDs Numbered by Business Process.
The IRM structure uses a precise numbering scheme, separated by decimals, to identify the content. The first three numbers, which represent the IRM section number, describe the:
Part – The IRS business process
Chapter – A major topic within the business process
Section – A specific topic within the major topic (chapter)
Each IRM section is an individually published product. Whenever a change is made, whether extensive or minor, the entire section is published.
Employees can access indexing tools which display the number, title or topic, and owner information about each IRM section.
Visit IRM Online at http://irm.web.irs.gov/ to access "IRM Indexes" by number, owner, audience, title, etc.
View Document 10988, Internal Revenue Manual Index, for a listing of IRM sections sorted by IRM number, owner/audience and alphabetical by chapter and section title. This document also provides IRM history, a list of authors and more.
Refer to Document 12835, IRM Style Guide, for the IRM format and structure standards and the IRS Style Guide, for punctuation, grammar and general writing rules.
Each IRM section consists of the following:
IRM number and title
Table of Contents
Exhibits and figures (when applicable)
The following table describes the elements of an IRM section.
IRM Section Elements Description IRM number
A three-part number aligned under the IRS business process.
Each IRM number has a title that describes the content.
Catalog numberSee IRM 220.127.116.11.2.
A unique 5-digit number and a letter assigned to each published product by M&P.
Identifies the product in publishing archives.
Manual TransmittalSee IRM 18.104.22.168.
A cover sheet transmitted with each IRM section.
Provides information about the IRM and any changes since the last published version).
Table of contents
A list of every IRM subsection, exhibit and figure.
The outline format helps readers to easily find information.
Automatically generated by the IRM authoring tool software.
A block of text containing instructions or information.
Assigned a number (may be sub-divided up to five subsection levels)
A title describes the content.
A date identifies the when the content became effective.
The text always starts with a numbered paragraph.
All other content (list, table or note) must be labeled.
You can display content under the paragraph in a list, table or note.
You can only use a "break" (br) to place content on a separate line in a table or an example, not a list.
You can only use a block paragraph (blockpara) to display a quote or an address.
An exhibit contains text, tables or graphics.
It’s located at the end of the IRM section.
It’s consecutively numbered.
A figure is located within the IRM subsection.
It’s numbered consecutively throughout the IRM section.
These IRM format rules ensure employees can find the information they need and reference. For this reason all subsections must contain information or procedures and each item must be numbered or labeled. Be sure that your IRM doesn’t contain any phrases, dangling paragraphs or subparagraphs that are not numbered or labeled.
You can’t reserve a subsection for a future issuance. All content that is approved for publishing must be addressed in the IRM.
The IRM is published at the section level. Each IRM section is assigned a catalog number by M&P. The catalog number is a unique string of 5 numbers and one letter.
When a catalog number is assigned, it is permanently associated with the IRM number and the primary topic. Neither the IRM number nor catalog number can be re-used unless it's for the same or a similar topic.
If the material in an IRM section is no longer in effect or useful, both the IRM number and catalog number are archived.
If the same or similar topic is reissued at a later date, the IRM number and catalog number are restored.
The M&P IRM printing specialist assigns a catalog number for each new IRM section. M&P will not assign a catalog number until SPDER approves the request as explained in IRM 22.214.171.124.3.
To contact an IRM printing specialist, visit http://publish.no.irs.gov/pubsys/irm/irmteam.html or email email@example.com.
IRM content is owned and managed by the IRS organization primarily responsible for the program. As explained in IRM 126.96.36.199.2, owners are responsible for the accuracy of their IRM content.
In some cases, two or more program offices in a different IRS organization may contribute to the content of an IRM section, however, only one organization can be the primary owner.
IRM owners are listed in the following indexing tools. Refer to these tools to determine who to contact when you have a question or concern that involves a particular program:
IRM Online – Research the current IRM on the IRWeb (HTML format).
IRM Numerical Index – Access the most current and historical versions of the IRM in PDF. The most current version is available in Arbortext Editor (XML).
IRM authors are responsible for preparing program procedures and guidelines. They may be analysts or front line employees. Frequently, authoring an IRM section is a collateral responsibility. Authors work closely with their IMD/IRM coordinators. See IRM 188.8.131.52.7 , IMD Authors, for roles and responsibilities of an IRM author.
When the IRM is published officially, the author's contact information is posted on the "Product Catalog Information" page for each published product. The author information is obtained from the Form 1767, Publishing Services Requisition.
Author information is also displayed in indexing sources listed under IRM 184.108.40.206 (3).
IRM changes may result from operational, procedural or administrative changes and affect the:
IRM chapter number and title
IRM section number and title
IRM owner (by IRS organization)
Administrative changes require SPDER approval. Any change to the IRM doesn’t take effect until the IRM is officially published.
Before submitting a request to SPDER:
Obtain management approval or secure documentation indicating their approval.
Complete the template in Exhibit 1.11.2-3 or provide the necessary information specified in the following subsections.
Send the request to your organizational IMD/IRM coordinator who will send it to the SPDER office for consideration.
To initiate a new IRM chapter or section, the author, on the program owner’s behalf, prepares a request that explains the reason for the new IRM chapter or section. Follow the template in Exhibit 1.11.2-3.
To assist SPDER in properly assigning new IRM content, include the following information in your request:
The IRS business process defined by IRM part number or title, if known.
The primary topic (program, process or activity) when requesting a new chapter.
The proposed IRM section title.
The business reason for requesting a new IRM number.
A flowchart, outline or plan describing the effect of the changes to existing content.
The author sends the request to their IMD/IRM coordinator to review. The IMD/IRM coordinator ensures it’s complete and then sends the request to the SPDER customer liaison or emails it to SPDER@irs.gov.
SPDER reviews the request to determine whether the information duplicates existing or historical IRM material. If a new IRM is needed, SPDER:
Determines under which business process the content belongs (IRM part and chapter).
Assigns a unique IRM chapter or section number.
Ensures the title sufficiently describes the content. See IRM 220.127.116.11.4 for more on IRM titles.
When the request is for a new part or chapter, SPDER:
Returns the request indicating approval.
Adds the title to the official Part and Chapter title list.
SPDER assigns IRM part and chapter numbers and titles. This ensures conformity and continuity across the IRM and among all IRS organizations and owners. The titles are automatically inserted into the IRM XML file when an author inserts the part and chapter number. This automated process ensures that the titles are consistent and accurate. See http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/IRMPartChap.asp for a list of the official titles.
Before approving a request for a new chapter, SPDER:
Reviews the request and researches the IRM archive.
Assigns the new number and title and maintains a record of the approved number and title.
Approves changes to the number and title of an active IRM section for historical research and operational consistency.
SPDER contacts M&P to request a catalog number, if needed. The table below describes when a new catalog number is requested:
IF your IRM is AND THEN SPDER New All of the material is new, Requests a new catalog number. New A portion of the material is moved from one IRM section to a new IRM section, Requests a new catalog number. Obsolete A formerly obsolete program, procedure or activity is reinstated, Identifies the original catalog number from the obsolete IRM section having substantially the same subject and title.
When you revise the IRM to incorporate information from another IRM section(s), describe the changes and reference the other IRM section(s) from which you are moving information in the Manual Transmittal.
When you reinstate an IRM section, you are reissuing a previously published IRM that is currently obsolete. In this case you don’t have to contact SPDER unless:
The content differs substantially from the prior revision.
You are revising the IRM title.
A corporate reorganization or change in program responsibilities may change the owner of a business process or activity.
When an IRM owner changes at the organizational level, submit the following documentation through your IMD/IRM coordinator to SPDER@irs.gov:
The IRM number
Current and new organizational owner name
Effective date of the change
Reason for the change
Confirmation from the new program owner
After SPDER acknowledges the change in ownership, the author is responsible for:
Making the necessary changes to the IRM XML file (including changing all the meta data fields).
Publishing the IRM to ensure all data sources (IRM Online, IRM Index, Publishing catalog page) reflect the proper information.
The IRM title describes the business process for a part or the major topic for a chapter. The name of an office or organization is not appropriate for a title unless it describes the program or activity. The rules for creating IRM titles apply to all IRM titles, including chapters, sections, subsections and exhibits.
To request a change to a chapter or section title, first consult with your management and/or your IMD/IRM coordinator.
When you receive approval, provide the following information:
IRM number and the title,
Business reason for recommending a title change, and
IRM section(s) or any other published document affected by the change.
SPDER considers your request and approves it or requests additional information.
When creating a title, make it short but descriptive. Also, avoid using punctuation in a title, such as, a hyphen (-) or slash (/).
Compare the following two IRM titles:
• IRM 1.11.2, Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process
• Hypothetical IRM 22.43.1, Operating Procedures
Analysis: The title of IRM 1.11.2 clearly and concisely describes the subject matter, but in IRM 22.43.1, the reader can't identify the program, process or activity.
When an IRM section is reassigned, the new author (or IMD/IRM coordinator) takes the following steps to update the information displayed on the product catalog information page:
Notify the IMD/IRM coordinator (or manager) in your organization.
Specify the IRM number and catalog number.
Provide your official name, telephone number and office symbols.
Email SPDER@irs.gov and copy MP.IRM@irs.gov.
If the IRM is posted to SERP, also update the author information on the SERP site. Follow instructions in IRM 18.104.22.168, Authorized Submitter.
The IRM author will follow these steps when assigned to write or update an IRM section:
Request the IRM authoring software (Arbortext Editor) by submitting a ticket to: http://getservices.web.irs.gov and select: Order from the Product and Services Catalog<My Technology.
Register as a user of the IRM authoring tool at http://publish.no.irs.gov/appls/sgmlxml/sgmlmain.cgi?request=MAIN.
With management approval, sign up to attend IRM authoring tool training. To register, visit http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/training/.
Sign up for the IMD Community mailing list at http://spder.web.irs.gov/officeinfo/mailinglist/default.asp.
IF you are preparing to THEN follow the instructions in Write a new IRM section, IRM 22.214.171.124.1.2. Revise an IRM section (to add, remove or change the content), IRM 126.96.36.199.2. Obsolete an IRM section, IRM 188.8.131.52.
IRM authors are also encouraged to participate in IMD training opportunities to remain proficient and current in their authoring responsibilities. Before attending training sessions, discuss your training needs or request approval from your manager. IMD training is provided through various settings, including:
Classroom (IRM authoring tool training)
Online (ELMS sessions, VILLA)
Saba Meeting (a web application used for the biannual IMD conference and ad hoc training)
These are the steps an author takes when assigned an IRM to write or revise:
Download the IRM XML file from the official repository of published products when revising the IRM. From the IRM Numerical Index, http://publish.no.irs.gov/pubsys/irm/numind.html, select your IRM. This will take you to the Product Catalog Information page. Then select the "Get XML Format." Only use this version to make your revisions.
Save the XML file to your computer. Right click on the hyperlink to the current XML format file on the Product Catalog Information page for the IRM, select "Save Target As" to save the file to your computer.
Gather all related interim guidance, policies, legislation and issues raised since the previous clearance process for the IRM section. To aid in this evaluation, refer to the IRM decision tool at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/decide/.
Discuss your planned IRM changes with your manager.
Coordinate an informal review of the IRM with stakeholders. See IRM 184.108.40.206.
Prepare the Manual Transmittal. See IRM 220.127.116.11.
Use Document 13000, IRM Package Check Sheet, to ensure you follow the IRM rules when revising or creating an IRM section.
Take these steps to ensure you prepare a quality product when writing the IRM (or any other document):
Action Steps Pre-write
Consult stakeholders and subject matter experts
Write the IRM content (first draft or revision)
Identify and write to your audience
Specify the program’s internal controls
Review content for clarity
Add or rearrange content
Remove unnecessary content
Edit Ask others to review the IRM for
To ensure the content is accurate and complete, add or revise the IRM to:
Incorporate interim guidance
Address process improvements or operational and procedural changes
Insert new or revised legislation
Revise guidance based on a Chief Counsel opinion
Remove outdated and duplicated content
Incorporate employee recommendations and feedback (see IRM 18.104.22.168.1.3)
Clarify or reorganize content
Rewrite content using plain language guidelines
Review the IRM for editorial changes, listed in IRM 22.214.171.124.
Validate IRM references, such as:
Other IRM sections, forms, publications, documents, letters, etc.
Organizational changes affecting terms and titles
Legal citations and references (court cases, revenue rulings, revenue procedures, etc.)
IRS toll-free numbers
To verify references to other IRM section numbers and titles:
View the official part and chapter titles at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/IRMPartChap.asp.
View the most current revision of the IRM at http://irm.web.irs.gov/.
Writing in plain language is important for IRM clarity and readability. Enhance the readability of the IRM by using these techniques to present information:
Use To List or table Simplify complex material. Table Present conditional information (if/then) or present procedures in a specific order (step/action). List Display procedures or actions. Figure Display graphical information within the text Exhibit Display a(n):
Text containing a varied format
Completed form, letter or prototype
Note (reminder, caution, etc.) Emphasize a point, remind or make aware. Example Illustrate a concept.
For help on writing in plain language, check out:
www.plainlanguage.gov for general information on plain language.
ELMS course 57235, Writing Your IRM in Plain Language, for IRM-specific guidance about plain language writing.
Consult with authors of other IRM sections that contain similar or cross-functional material to ensure clarity and consistency of the IRM guidance.
Identify other IRM sections affected by the changes to your IRM. Go to IRM Online http://irm.web.irs.gov/ and use the keyword search feature to identify affected IRM sections.
Identify the author or originator of an IRM section and notify them of changes that may affect their IRM section. Go to http://publish.no.irs.gov/catlg.html and select the applicable IRM from the Product Catalog Information page or the IRM Numerical Index, located on this site.
To ensure a well-organized IRM, take the following actions:
Step Action 1. Outline the major topics or develop a flowchart. 2. Prepare a purpose statement to describe the IRM topic and audience. Place this statement in the first subsection. 3. Organize the information into subsections:
Along process lines
In order of occurrence
In order of importance
4. Create subsection titles that are concise and clearly describe the content, using key words that assist online research. See IRM 126.96.36.199.4. 5.
Search the current IRM to ensure you’re not repeating content covered in another IRM section or published document.
Insert a reference to existing IRM content. When referencing another IRM section, include the IRM number and title to ensure employees access the most current instructions. See IRM 188.8.131.52.8.1.
Follow these steps when preparing to write a new IRM section:
Compile and organize the content. See IRM 184.108.40.206.1.1 for information on how to organize IRM content.
Draft the IRM content.
Write the content using the IRM XML editor (IRM authoring tool). See IRM 220.127.116.11.1 for the rules on how to revise the IRM.
Create a new IRM section and/or chapter. See IRM 18.104.22.168.1 to request a new IRM chapter or section.
To write the IRM use the current version of the XML editor tool:
Open a new IRM XML file. See Authoring the IRM with Arbortext Editor (Coursebook)
Complete the metadata.
Prepare the Manual Transmittal. See IRM 22.214.171.124
Prepare and input the content. See Document 12835.
If you’re a new author assigned to write the IRM, you must:
Learn By a. How to use the IRM authoring tool, Attending classroom training. b. IRM format and structure rules, Attending ELMS courses. c. IRM process rules, Reading about each IRM process in IRM 1.11, Internal Management Documents System.
Employees or affected program offices may suggest corrections or content changes to the IRM. See IRM 126.96.36.199, Providing Feedback About an IRM Section, for the various methods to give feedback.
To ensure the quality and consistency of IRM procedures, IRM authors will evaluate editorial (non-typographical) changes and respond to requests for substantive IRM changes. See IRM 188.8.131.52.2.1 for the definition of "substantive."
When an IRM author receives a written request that may require an IRM revision:
Acknowledge receipt of the recommendation within two weeks. Include an expected response date.
Review and consider the recommendation for acceptance.
Within 45 days, respond with any actions, including projected time frames.
When you don’t agree to adopt a recommended change that in the requestor’s judgment could adversely affect their program, the requesting office may elevate the issue to the author’s manager and/or program director.
When you accept the recommendation, make the change by either:
Revising the IRM section when it’s due for an update, not to exceed two years from the date of the request.
Issuing IG if the matter is urgent. See IRM 184.108.40.206, Interim Guidance Definition and Use, for instructions on issuing interim guidance.
Document the issue and resolution in the IRM document clearance record (DCR) package maintained in the IRS Historical Research Library. See IRM 220.127.116.11.3, Clearance Documents Sent to IRS Historical Research Library.
If you revise the IRM based on the recommended change, document the resolution and disposition of the recommendation and send to the IRS Historical Research Library or email IRM.Library@irs.gov when the IRM is next published.
If you don’t revise the IRM based on the recommendation, send the information documenting the resolution and disposition to the IRS Historical Research Library for association with the IRM DCR package.
Include the following in the IRM DCR package:
The issue described by the employee or program office requesting the change.
The response and decision by the program office.
Any documentation or communications with and between management.
The IRM requires that content specify the effective date when certain decisions or changes were made for each published revision. The types of IRM dates include:
Manual Transmittal (MT) date
IRM effective date
The table below defines each type of IRM date and the proper date format:
IRM Dates Definition Date Format MT Date This is the date the IRM section is published and posted in the Core Repository of Published Products (housed on the Electronic Publishing website). Month DD, YYYY Effective Date This is the date the new or revised IRM section is effective. The IRM effective date can be:
The same date as the revision date, or
A specific future date.
(MM-DD-YYYY) - wild card date format. The wild card date reflects the published date.
(12-01-2015) - a specific date
Subsection date This is the effective date of the information in the IRM subsection. The subsection date can be:
The same date as the revision date, or
The effective date.
(MM-DD-YYYY) - wild card date format.
Specific Date: (12-01-2014)
Revision Date This date matches the MT date. The revision date only appears on paper products in PDF and Document 10988. (MM-DD-YYYY)
Follow these rules when the IRM section is effective on a specific date:
The IRM effective date must be later than the MT date. Be aware to meet the effective date, you must provide M&P a sufficient lead time to process the IRM. This is especially critical for IRMs published during filing season, between August through December.
All subsections revised must match the effective date. You can’t use a wild card date.
When adding or revising information that becomes effective on a specified date, insert the date in both the MT effective date element and the affected subsection date(s).
When the IRM specifies an effective date:
Your IRM is published November 15, 2015 but the procedures are not effective until January 1, 2016. The effective date in the MT will show a January 1st date and the subsection date will also be January 1st. The MT date will reflect the issue date.
Type of Date Date and Format MT date November 15, 2016 IRM Effective date 01/01/2017 Subsection dates 01/01/2017 Revision date 11/15/2016
For additional information on IRM dates in the Manual Transmittal, see IRM 18.104.22.168.1.
When you make a substantive change to an IRM section, change the subsection date. A revision is "substantive" if the change involves a procedural or operational matter. Document a substantive change in the Material Changes portion of the MT. See IRM 22.214.171.124.1.6, for the effective date definition.
The table below provides the rules for determining the subsection date:
IF the IRM THEN the Subsection Date is the: a. Changes are substantive, IRM effective date. b. Subsection revision contains both substantive and editorial changes, IRM effective date for substantive changes only. c. Changes are editorial only, Follow rules described in IRM 126.96.36.199.1. d. Revision incorporates content from an IG, IRM effective date. e. Revision incorporates content from an issued IPU, IPU issue date.
These subsection date rules also apply to an IRM exhibit.
When incorporating an IG or IPU into the IRM:
Explain the change in the Material Changes to create an audit trail. See details in IRM 188.8.131.52.1.3(3).
Specify the IG title and number in the Effect on Other Documents. See IRM 184.108.40.206.1.4(1).
OUO information requires protection from the public due to the risk and magnitude of loss or harm to the IRS or the privacy to which individuals are entitled under 5 USC 552a. See IRM 11.3.12, Disclosure of Official Information, Designation of Documents.
Material is considered OUO when restricted for official purposes by individuals authorized by Delegation Order 11-1, Administrative Control of Documents and Material (as revised). See IRM 220.127.116.11.
IRMs containing OUO information require clearance through Privacy, Government Liaison and Disclosure (PGLD) at PGLD.IMD.SPOC@irs.gov. See IRM 18.104.22.168.2, Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure.
IRM content which require a designation of OUO include:
Instructions relating to enforcement strategies, tolerances and criteria where public release would lead to a reasonable expectation of harm to IRS actions or operations.
Material where public release would significantly impede or nullify IRS actions in carrying out a responsibility or function.
Data processing information that would result in taxpayers altering their filing practices or avoiding payment of taxes.
Any IRM section can contain OUO content. You must protect sensitive information, whether electronic files or in paper. Encrypt documents containing sensitive information when sending out via email or saving to a hard drive. See IRM 10.8.1, Information Technology (IT) Security, Policy and Guidance.
Tag IRM content that is OUO using the IRM authoring tool to show that it’s "restricted" content. When published, the tagged information is automatically redacted from the public version. To tag content OUO in the IRM XML file:
Modify attribute on "manual tag" to hasouo= "yes."
Properly mark OUO material embedded in the text with a "restrict" tag or attribute.
When an IRM graphic contains any OUO information, you must insert a restrict tag or attribute to avoid releasing sensitive information. When you insert the restrict tag or attribute, the IRM author tool restricts the entire graphic.
To obtain special handling when sending the IRM for publishing, notate yes in box 7, Security and Special Handling of Form 1767, Publishing Services Requisition. See IRM 22.214.171.124.1, Preparing Form 1767, Publishing Services Requisition.
A table is a useful way to present information, particularly complex information, clearly and concisely. Use a table to present instructions that must be followed in a particular order or when presenting information with at least three conditions or steps.
For further instructions about tables in the IRM, refer to Document 12835.
For instructions on using the XML authoring tool to insert a table, refer to the coursebook, Authoring the IRM with Arbortext Editor, listed in Exhibit 1.11.2-4
To comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act for persons with disabilities, take the following steps when placing a table in the IRM:
For a table with a column title, insert a "header row" in the first row. By taking this action, the header row will display in bold font and will repeat on continuation pages of the paper IRM.
Insert a table summary to briefly describe the table contents. If the sentence preceding the table sufficiently describes the table contents, a table summary isn't necessary.
Don’t merge or span cells, vertically or horizontally. Display the information either by entering information in each row or column, or placing the information in a separate table.
For instructions on using the IRM authoring tool to insert tables and its features, visit VILLA at https://organization.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/ras/spder/IMD_COP/V/default.aspx. Search the site for XML modules and click on "XML Modules for Tables."
Using telephone numbers in the IRM is discouraged. However, when it’s necessary to display a telephone number, the follow these rules:
Verify the telephone number.
Review the number at least annually, especially if it’s an IRS tax assistance (toll-free) number.
Clear toll-free numbers through the Office of Taxpayer Correspondence. See IRM 126.96.36.199.6, Office of Taxpayer Correspondence.
Telephone numbers appearing in the IRM are available to the public. See IRM 188.8.131.52.11.1, Public Information Listing, for the rules for determining information that is publicly available.
Authors and reviewers must always check the IRM for taxpayer or other personally identifiable information (PII). To avoid accidental use of live taxpayer information in IRM text, exhibits or graphics, follow these guidelines for:
Names of taxpayers, businesses and streets.
Names for cities and towns.
Fictitious taxpayer identification numbers.
The following table lists common examples for IRM purposes. For additional categories of names and identifying numbers, visit https://portal.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/PGLD/fiie/SitePages/Home.aspx.
"Fictitious" Guidelines Examples Use common, fictitious names John Doe
John Q. Public
Use classes of objects, such as fish, birds or minerals, as names A. B. Pike
Use common, fictitious street names 123 Main Street
55 Elm Street
Use neutral names for cities or names of major cities Anytown, USA
New York, NY
Use fictitious Social Security Numbers (SSNs) that begin with "0" or "X" 000-00-XXXX
Use fictitious Employer Identification Numbers (EINs) that begin with "00" or "XX" 00-XXXXXXX
A graphic is a picture. The graphic may depict a flowchart, graph, form or logo. A graphic may be displayed in a figure or an exhibit. A graphic is created separately from the IRM XML file.
To publish a graphic in the IRM, the graphic must meet the following requirements.
Format: Create the graphic in PDF.
Color: Use black and white or gray-scale.
Orientation: Display in portrait or landscape. (A landscape-oriented graphic may only be placed in an exhibit.)
Name: Use an 8-digit graphic file name. See paragraph (3) below for an explanation.
File limitations: Prepare one graphic page for each PDF. If a graphic is two pages or more, save each graphic page to a separate PDF.
A graphic is associated with the IRM by a graphic number. The author inserts the graphic number in the IRM XML file. The graphic number is an eight digit graphic file name comprised of the IRM catalog number (without the alpha character) followed by three unique numbers assigned by the author.
A graphic that displays on more than one page will require a graphic filename for each graphic page and an associated PDF for each graphic page. Insert the graphic tag for each of the pages in the IRM XML file.
To insert a graphic in the IRM XML file:
Prepare the graphic in PDF.
Review the graphic content for accuracy.
Assign each graphic page a graphic number. Use the IRSTools <Show Graphic File list (on the Arbortext toolbar) to verify the number hasn’t been used.
Insert the graphic file number in the IRM XML file.
Insert a graphic descriptor for each graphic page in the XML file. If the text surrounding the graphic sufficiently describes the graphic content, the graphic descriptor should reference such paragraph(s).
Send the graphic(s) along with the XML file when forwarding for publishing.
Insert a restrict tag when a graphic contains OUO content.
When submitting graphics to M&P with your revision:
Submit only the changed graphic page(s). See IRM 184.108.40.206, Preparing the IRM Package for Publishing.
Submit the original source document for the graphic to firstname.lastname@example.org for future use. See IRM 220.127.116.11.7.2.
Because the graphic is a picture or illustration, the content can't be read by electronic media or employees with impaired vision (who use assistive technology such as a Job Access for Windows and Speech (JAWS) reader). For example, when a user conducts a key word search, the graphic content is not accessible. See IRM 18.104.22.168.7.3.
Consider other ways to present the information, as illustrated in the following examples:
Example Options Preference 1. A letter or memo on official stationary
Option A: Create a graphic of the letter to insert in the IRM.
Option B: Type the letter/memo (text) into the IRM authoring tool and describe the stationary used (or describe the logo).
Option C: Insert a web link to the memo or letter.
Option C is preferable if your primary audience includes employees with web access.
If employees don't have web access, Option B is appropriate.
2. Display a table
Option A: Create a graphic of the table.
Option B: Insert the information into a table in the IRM authoring tool.
Option C: Import the table from an Excel file into the IRM authoring tool.
Either Options B or C
Additional tips for creating a graphic:
When updating your IRM, review the graphic content.
When creating a graphic with a logo and the content is primarily text, insert the text in the XML file using a table. Specify the type of stationary in brackets.
Follow the editorial update process when improving the quality or display of an IRM graphic. See IRM 22.214.171.124.
To convert a graphic to PDF take the following actions:
Convert a Graphic to PDF
Step Action 1. Open graphic in the application used to create it 2. Go to File < Print 3. Set Printer Name to "Adobe PDF" 4. Click on "Properties" 5. Under "Adobe PDF Settings" set Default Settings to "High Quality Print" 6. Under "Paper/Quality," set "Color" to "Black and White" 7. Under "Layout" set "Orientation" to "Portrait" (or "Landscape," if applicable) and "Pages Per Sheet" to "1" 8. Click "OK" to exit the Adobe PDF Document Properties window 9. Click "OK" to Print to Adobe PDF 10. Save graphic file to hard drive using:
8 digit filename (5 digit catalog number plus 3 unique numbers)
PDF extension (.pdf)
To improve the quality of the IRM graphic, copy the content and insert it into a Microsoft™ product (Word, Excel, Publisher) before creating the PDF.
Check the PDF to ensure the orientation and appearance are correct. Information on graphic files is available on VILLA SharePoint site and the Authoring the IRM with Arbortext Editor (coursebook) lesson on inserting a graphic. See Exhibit 1.11.2-4 for source information.
Ensure the fonts are embedded (locked) so your document will display properly in the PDF. To check whether the fonts are embedded:
Open the PDF graphic and select "File" from the Toolbar and select "Properties."
In the Document Properties box, find "Fonts" tab. Check that each font is listed with the words "embedded subset" next to it.
If the "embedded subset" isn't next to each font, you will need to embed them by setting the file to High Quality Print. See Step 5 in the table under paragraph (1), above.
For questions about creating a graphic, contact the M&P IRM printing specialist at email@example.com or your Learning and Education (L&E) specialist.
M&P stores the original source files so they are accessible to future users from the Electronic Publishing Product Catalog page. These source files are the original files that were used to generate the PDF graphic submitted with the IRM publishing package. A "graphic source file" is the original, editable file from which the graphic was created.
Include the original source files used to develop the IRM graphics when you upload the IRM XML package to M&P. See IRM 126.96.36.199, Submitting the IRM Publishing Package.
To access the IRM Source Graphics tool, visit: http://caps-as.enterprise.irs.gov/irm/japple?PAGE=gov.irs.publish.irm.Upload and:
Click on the "IRM Source Graphics Submission" tab.
Enter the IRM catalog number.
Browse the computer for the zip file to submit: (path/filename.zip).
Click "submit" button.
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1998 requires that federal agencies make electronic and information technology accessible to all people with disabilities. To ensure that employees with impaired vision have access to information contained in a graphic, IRM authors must create a meaningful description of each graphic. Alternative text used to describe a graphic is called a" graphic descriptor."
When inserting a graphic into the IRM XML file, the author inserts a "descriptor" tag.
The text inserted within the graphic descriptor tags is accessible only on online IRM formats. Specifically:
On web-based media (HTML format), such as IRM Online, SERP, CCDM Online and Servicewide research tools, readers can view the graphic and access the alternative text.
On the Electronic Publishing website (PDF), the graphic is displayed but the alternative text is not accessible.
The Alternative Media Center (AMC) provides training and guidance to employees throughout the IRS on effective methods of making products accessible during the development stage. For more information, go to AMC's Authoring Resources page at http://amc.enterprise.irs.gov/howto.html.
Follow a standard format when citing to sources in the IRM. Linking to relevant sources ensures that readers can easily find information applicable to the subject.
Include pertinent web addresses in the IRM to help employees who access the IRM using online sources. For example, link to:
Performance support tools
Contact listings (employees' names)
Official published products
Consult the following resources for information on citation standards and inserting links in the IRM:
Document 12835, IRM Style Guide, Appendix , for standard citation rules in the IRM.
For information on how to verify legal citations in the IRM, see http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/training/15770/resources/CheckLegal.asp.
Authoring the IRM with Arbortext Editor, the IRM XML course book, on how to insert a link using the IRM authoring tool.
Document 12229, IRM Authoring Tool Quick Reference Guide.
When citing an IRM section or subsection always use the acronym "IRM" along with the IRM number, but don’t spell it out.
When citing multiple IRM sections or subsections within the same paragraph, place the acronym "IRM" before each referenced section or subsection. Also, include the complete IRM number when referencing the IRM section.
Include the IRM part, chapter or section title when referring to another IRM by part, chapter or section. Adding the title helps readers find the information in the event the content is moved to another IRM subsection within the document.
When referencing a subsection within the IRM you are writing, insert the entire IRM number down to the lowest level, including the paragraph or list item. It’s optional to Include the subsection title.
To verify current IRM information, visit the Electronic Publishing Catalog Information page at http://publish.no.irs.gov/catlg.html.
When citing law, such as statutes, regulations, agency decisions or other issuances (such as the United States Code, Code of Federal Regulations, revenue procedures and revenue rulings), provide an accurate citation. Refer to Document 12835, IRM Style Guide, for a complete listing of citation formats.
IF citing to THEN provide EXAMPLE The United States Code (USC), Internal Revenue Code (IRC) or Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), The title (numeral) and section number. IRC 6103(h)
31 USC 321
31 CFR 1022.380
Multiple IRC sections the IRC before each referenced Code section IRC 6103, IRC 6110
IRC sections 6103, 6110
Public law that is not codified, Either:
Name of the Act in which the law appears,
Public law number or
Session law reference.
Public Law 104-13, Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995
When citing to a court case, italicize the names of the parties in court cases but not the numerical citation.
For instructions on how to insert a citation tag in the IRM XML file, see IRM 188.8.131.52.8.5, Create Hyperlinks.
When citing to another IRS published product reference the document by name (such as a form, publication, letter, etc.,) and provide a short description.
Create a hyperlink to the published product in the core repository rather than recreate the document as a graphic. If the referenced document changes for any reason, the IRM will link to the current source. For help with creating a hyperlink in the IRM XML authoring tool, follow instructions in IRM 184.108.40.206.8.5.
Always verify links and references in your IRM file to ensure they work and refer to the most current information.
Ensure legal citations have not been modified, superseded or overturned. For legal and tax research services, see IRM 220.127.116.11.1 and the ReferenceNet portal at http://rnet.web.irs.gov/.
Verify links to IRS published materials (letters, notices, forms, instructions, publications, etc.) by visiting the Electronic Publishing Catalog Information page at: http://publish.no.irs.gov/catlg.html.
To verify a website address, copy and paste the website address from the "href" of the anchor (>a<) tag into your internet browser. To change the web address, follow the instructions in the Authoring the IRM with Arbortext Editor coursebook, listed in Exhibit 1.11.2-4
The IRM authoring tool uses different types of tags to create links in the published product. Visit the VILLA SharePoint site at https://organization.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/ras/spder/IMD_COP/V/default.aspx for step-by-step instructions to create these links. The table below describes these tags and their purpose.
Use the To create a link to a(n) >seealso< tag
IRM subsection (subsec)
anchor or >a< tag
Court case or Treasury regulation
citation or >C< tag
IRM subsection, figure or exhibit in another IRM
IRS published products, such as documents, forms or publications
Internal Revenue Bulletin (IRB), Internal Revenue Code (IRC), letters, notices, revenue procedures or revenue rulings
When you insert a reference in the IRM, online tools such as IRM Online automatically creates a link when you insert a seealso, citation (C) or >a< tag into the IRM XML file.
IRM Online http://irm.web.irs.gov/tools/createlink.asp offers a tool to help you create a link directly to an IRM part, chapter, section, subsection, paragraph or exhibit.
The MT communicates information about the IRM revision. The MT provides a historical record and description of substantive changes to procedures, processes and programs. A properly completed MT is a valuable tool for readers and researchers, such as, IRS employees, librarians and attorneys.
Prepare the MT so the reader can:
Determine whether the IRM section is new, revised or obsolete.
Identify important changes to procedures, guidelines and operations.
Identify the effective date for the procedures.
Understand the effect of the changes on other IRM sections or documents as to whether they are superseded or obsolesced.
Identify the intended audience for the IRM section.
Complete the required elements for each revision of a new, revised or obsolete IRM section. See IRM 18.104.22.168.1 for the details to properly complete the MT.
The MT also accommodates additional elements to add optional information. See IRM 22.214.171.124.2 for more information.
The IRM authoring tool automatically generates an MT template. Authors must complete the MT each time they create, revise or obsolete an IRM section.
Below is a list of the required elements arranged in order with a description of each:
Required Element Description MT Date Identifies the date the IRM section is published. The M&P IRM printing specialist completes this element. See IRM 126.96.36.199.1.1. Purpose Informs readers the reason for the revision, such as whether the IRM section is new, revised, reissued or obsolete. See IRM 188.8.131.52.1.2. for specific language. Material Changes Documents:See IRM 184.108.40.206.1.3
Substantive changes to the IRM section.
Reason(s) for the creation of a new IRM section.
Reason(s) the material is obsolete (in whole or in part).
Effect on Other Documents Lists other IRM section(s), IG or published products affected by this revision. For example:
To supersede or obsolete the prior IRM revision
To incorporate interim guidance
To incorporate a published document
Audience Identifies the primary user(s) of the IRM content, whether by organization, office or job category. See IRM 220.127.116.11.1.5 Effective Date Identifies the date the information in the IRM section becomes effective. This can be a wild card date (MM-DD-YYYY) or a specified date. See IRM 18.104.22.168.1.6 Signature Identifies the name and title of the approving official (director or above) responsible for the program area. See IRM 22.214.171.124.1.7
For additional information relating to the IRM date definitions, refer to the table at IRM 126.96.36.199.2.
The MT date is the date the IRM section is published. This is the date the IRM is expected to be posted to the Electronic Publishing website. M&P is responsible for setting the publishing date and inserting the MT date. (This date is contractually determined). There are no exceptions to this rule.
Refer to IRM 188.8.131.52.1.6 for the rules on the "Effective Date" and how it differs from the MT date.
The MT "purpose" is a brief statement that identifies the IRM number, chapter and section titles and describes the reason for the issuance, such as new, revised, obsolete or reissued. This statement is not intended to describe the purpose of the information in the IRM section itself.
To prepare the MT, use the following standard language:
IF the IRM section is When the IRM section THEN the purpose statement is: New Is issued for the first time under the IRM number. "This transmits new IRM X.X.X, Chapter title, Section title." Revised Is issued under the same IRM number. "This transmits revised IRM X.X.X, Chapter title, Section title." Obsolete Is no longer effective. "This transmits obsolete IRM X.X.X, Chapter title, Section title." Reissued Was previously obsolesced and is being republished with substantially similar information. "This transmits reissued IRM X.X.X, Chapter title, Section title."
The MT Material Changes highlights important features of the instructions issued. This segment:
Identifies significant changes to program operations.
Provides authority for the issuance or the reason for the changes.
Creates an audit trail for IG or other information incorporated into the IRM.
Follow these guidelines when preparing the Material Changes. Working from the last published XML file:
Delete the content from the Material Changes (except perhaps for a general statement or applicable editorial changes).
Review the updated IRM content and identify all significant changes, additions or deletions by subsection and paragraph. If a change was superseded by a subsequent change, explain.
List the changes in subsection order followed by Exhibit order.
Briefly describe each substantive change to help the reader understand what has changed and why. It is not sufficient to only use statements such as, "clarified procedures" or "added a new paragraph."
Summarize the editorial corrections by specifying the type of change, not each specific change or location. Place this information in the last paragraph in the list of material changes. By identifying the type of editorial change, you are verifying to readers that the content is reliable. See IRM 184.108.40.206(1) for changes considered editorial.
Insert >restrict< tags around any OUO content. See IRM 220.127.116.11.3 for instructions on how to designate OUO content.
Write a narrative explaining the substantive changes to the IRM. Then present the content changes in a paragraph, list or table format, using descriptive action verbs to describe each change. For an example see the Material Changes in IRM 1.11.2.
When listing changes, precede the list with a lead-in phrase.
When placing changes in a table, prepare a lead sentence or phrase describing the table contents.
"The following table outlines changes made to IRM X.X.X relating to [subject]."
IRM subsection Description [subsection #] Added [content] to explain [issue]. [subsection #] Deleted this section since procedures are no longer in effect. [subsection #] Revised [content] for [reason]. Editorial-type changes Reviewed and updated website addresses, legal references and IRM references, as necessary.
Follow these standards to describe substantive changes:
Type of Change What to Include Create a new IRM
Describe the primary purpose of the new IRM and the audience.
If material was moved from other IRM sections, identify those IRMs and the reason for removing the content from the original IRM.
Reorganize or restructure an IRM
Describe the reason for reorganizing or restructuring the content.
Specify the content that was removed, revised and added.
Significantly change a program or process
Summarize the change, describe the reason(s), add relevant dates and/or audience information.
Depending on the complexity, insert this information either in the "Background" or the first paragraph of the "Material Changes."
Incorporate IG into the IRM
Identify the number and issue date of the guidance.
For a memorandum, include the title.
Summarize the guidance and specify which subsection the guidance was incorporated.
Obsolete an IRM Explain the reason the information is no longer in effect. See IRM 18.104.22.168 for additional instructions to prepare the MT to obsolete an IRM section.
The "Effect on Other Documents" provides a record of the revision's specific effect on an existing document. This element provides an audit trail and is especially important for historical research. The "effect on other documents" means IRM material is either:
Amended - Existing material is changed
Supplemented - Material is added.
Superseded - Material is replaced by other materials.
Obsoleted - Material is no longer needed and will not be replaced by any other material.
This table suggest language to complete the effect on other documents.
When Then Sample Language Revising an IRM section, Specify the IRM number, title and MT date of the superseded document. [IRM number], dated MM-DD-YYYY, is superseded. Revising an IRM section to insert text from another IRM section, Specify the IRM number, title and MT date of the superseded document and indicate the IRM from which the text was moved. [IRM number], [Title], dated [MM-DD-YYYY], is superseded.
Text from [IRM number], [Title], dated [MM-DD-YYYY] has been incorporated.
Obsoleting an IRM section in its entirety, Specify the IRM is "obsolete as of the IRM effective date." [IRM number], dated MM-DD-YYYY, is obsolete as of the IRM effective date. Removing portions of an IRM section, Address actions separately, such as:
Specify that portions are obsolete and
Specify where active content moved.
Portions of [IRM number], [Title], dated MM-DD-YYYY, are obsolete as of the IRM effective date and the remaining portions are incorporated into [IRM number], [Title], dated MM-DD-YYYY. Issuing a new IRM section with no history, Insert "None" or "NA" "None" Incorporating interim guidance into the IRM, Insert the IG number and issue date.
For an IG memorandum, include the title.
This IRM incorporates Interim Guidance Memorandum SBSE-05-0508-XXX, [Title of interim guidance], dated [MM-DD-YYYY].
When completing the Effect on Other Documents for an IRM with a specific effective date, use this language:
The audience is the intended group of IRS employees for whom the IRM section is written. Identify the audience by the IRS organization or by , division, function, office or job category.
IRM audience by IRS organization:
All IRS organizations
Small Business/Self Employed (SB/SE), Large Business & International (LB&I), Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE) and Wage and Investment (W&I)
The IRM "effective date" is the date employees begin following the new procedures. The MT date matches the effective date when you enter the wild card date, (MM-DD-YYYY). The procedures cannot be effective before the IRM is issued. The rationale for this rule is that the procedures can't be effective before the IRM is available to employees.
Date Action Format IRM with no specified effective date Enter the wild card date, (MM-DD-YYYY), the date the procedures become effective. (MM-DD-YYYY) Procedures are effective on a specified date, (filing season, for example) Enter the specific date the content is effective. (01-01-20YY)
For IRMs published for the "filing season," insert the specific date in the "effective date" field. This date is also inserted for any revised subsection(s) where the content is changed. For a discussion of filing season, see IRM 22.214.171.124.2, Filing Season Production Schedule.
The MT identifies the authorizing official. This is the name and title of the program director or executive with authority to issue the IRM section (or their documented designee). This is normally the same authorizing official who signs the Form 2061, Document Clearance Record, in Block 13, approving the IRM content.
When instructions or guidelines apply to more than one IRS organization, the approving official is the primary head of office of the organization responsible for the program area.
For further guidance on signature authority, see IRM 1.11.9, Clearing and Approving Internal Manual Documents (IMDs).
You can use the authoring tool to generate optional elements that the tool does not automatically generate.
The following table describes the four optional elements:
Optional Element Description of Use Note Provide information to the reader to highlight an issue or describe a change. Background Cite the authority for issuing the document or to provide background information on the development of the material. Scope Use when it’s necessary to limit the applicability of the IRM revision. For example, the procedures may only apply:
During a certain time period.
To employees in a particular location (such as an area affected by a natural disaster).
To employees in a specific job category.
Related Resources List helpful websites, references or other sources of information on the topic.
Informal review is an opportunity to receive input from others when developing or revising a procedure, process or program. Obtaining input from affected stakeholders and SMEs simplifies the IRM review and clearance process.
An IRM reviewer may be a(n):
Subject matter expert (SME) in another office or organization.
Manager or management official.
Specialized reviewer (as defined in IRM 1.11.9).
Employee who follows the instructions.
An informal review is particularly helpful when the new or revised procedure, process or program addresses:
New or significant changes to a workflow or procedure
Taxpayer rights or duties
A change in working conditions requiring negotiations between workforce relations and the union
An informal review does not take the place of formal clearance. Formal clearance is still required by affected offices and specialized reviewers. See IRM 126.96.36.199, Determining Reviewers, for further guidance.
An informal review helps facilitate the processing of an IRM section by:
Providing an opportunity to verify the accuracy of current operations.
Opening communications with offices affected by the policies or procedures and obtain their buy-in.
Identifying potential issues or barriers.
Avoiding unnecessary delays during formal clearance.
Review these questions when considering whether to seek advice from a SME:
Is the material technically or procedurally complex?
Do you anticipate a lengthy review period?
Do you need the opinion of a SME before sharing the information with others?
Will you need the approval from another office or organization because of the proposed changes?
Do the procedures affect how other offices do their work?
Request an informal review when:
You’re not familiar with the subject matter.
You’re required to involve a specialized reviewer's input to develop the content (for example, obtaining legal advice, workforce relations).
You have a question or need confirmation from a SME in another office or organization.
When you initiate an informal review:
Identify the office or organization responsible for addressing the changes or concerns.
Explain the issues in an email or a note to reviewer outlining the changes or concerns.
Attach a draft of the revised IRM or pertinent portions.
Email the draft and specify a written response and the response date.
Set up a meeting to discuss the reviewers questions or concerns.
Documentation accumulated during the informal review process may become part of the clearance package archived in the IRS Historical Research Library. Keep copies of all actions and contacts with the SME. See IRM 188.8.131.52.3, Clearance Documents Sent to IRS Historical Research Library.
Follow the editorial update process to correct minor editorial and typographical changes to the IRM. The editorial update process promotes a more current and improved IRM.
Editorial changes include:
Updating organizational terms and titles.
Adding or correcting references and citations.
Correcting errors that require immediate attention (PII, telephone numbers, etc.).
Updating information subject to frequent changes (website addresses, tax years on forms).
Reorganizing the IRM without changing any substantive content or its meaning.
Improving the quality of an existing graphic or adding alternative text.
Converting a graphic to text.
Correcting typographical errors, e.g., spelling or grammatical errors.
Employees follow a streamlined clearance process when updating the IRM for editorial changes. The extent of review corresponds to the management level necessary to approve these minor corrections. See IRM 184.108.40.206.1, Clearance of Editorial Updates.
Furthermore, when updating a subsection, keep the current subsection date since editorial updates have no effect on the content itself. For the rules, refer to the table under paragraph (1) at IRM 220.127.116.11.1.
It is appropriate to revise the IRM for editorial corrections to improve readability or as part of an annual review. However, consider the cost-benefit of republishing the IRM within a year merely to correct a minor editorial error.
To update the IRM to correct an editorial error, follow this guidance:
Topic Action Subsection Date
For any change other than purely typographical, change the date to the IRM effective date.
If the changes are typographical only, change the date of the first IRM subsection.
Follow the rules for updating the MT described in IRM 18.104.22.168.
In the Material Changes, specify the types of editorial changes that were made. See the table under paragraph (2) below for suggested language.
Form 2061, Document Clearance Record Complete Form 2061:
Clear through the author’s manager
Clear through the IMD/IRM coordinator
Obtain approval from the program director or executive (or documented designee)
See IRM 1.11.9 for additional guidance on clearance and approval of the IRM.
Form 1767, Publishing Services Requisition Prepare Form 1767
Block 18: Select "Electronic Media"
If this IRM is normally printed and distributed, in Block 21, insert "This IRM will be issued electronically only; no paper distribution at this time," unless other arrangements are made. See IRM 1.11.5 for guidance.
Publishing Follow standard procedures to upload the IRM package to M&P.
When you prepare the MT, describe the type of information that changed in the Material Changes. If you make a change:
To a specific provision, specify the subsection.
Throughout the document, insert a statement, as suggested in the table:
Suggested Language for Preparing the Material Changes • Updated IRM X.X.X to reflect [specify the type of editorial change(s)]. • Reviewed and updated the IRM where necessary for the following types of editorial changes: legal citations, published forms and documents and web addresses. • Revised IRM X.X.X to improve the content for plain language, active voice and reorganize the same content. • Updated organization terms and/or titles [specify the change].
An IRM section is "obsolete" when the IRM information is no longer in effect due to a law, policy, operational, procedural or administrative change. The information in the IRM section may be eliminated completely or any of its remaining information merged into another IRM section(s).
An obsolete IRM file contains only the MT, when published. This document is the only remaining record of this IRM section. The author must explain in the Material Changes why the content is no longer effective or, if the content is restructured, where to find the current instructions.
In the event portions of the IRM remain effective, summarize the content specifying the current source and where the content will reside. You may list the changes in a paragraph or place it in a table or list along with the identifying information. Also, be sure to submit the active IRM for publishing before or simultaneously with the obsolete IRM to eliminate any conflicting instructions.
Following is sample language you may use for the MT "Material Changes" :
IF the information is THEN insert: Moved to another IRM section "The material relating to [INSERT subject] previously contained in [IRM section X.X.X] is incorporated into new [IRM X.X.X], [IRM section title]." Describe the reason. No longer effective "The material in [IRM section #] is obsolete because [insert reason]."
The table below provides step by step instructions when preparing to obsolete an IRM section.
Action Instructions Prepare the IRM file
Open the last published version of the IRM file and save it to your computer.
Place cursor at the end of the Manual start tag at the top of the IRM file.
Select "modify attribute" to change the status from "active" to "obsolete."
Ensure the >hasouo< tag is set to "no."
Update the metadata elements.
Delete the IRM content.
Prepare Manual Transmittal
Purpose: Insert: "This obsoletes IRM X.X.X, Chapter title, Section title."
Material Changes: Explain why the information is no longer in force or effect.
Effect on Other Documents: Insert "IRM [IRM number], [Title], dated [MM-DD-YYYY] is obsolete as of the date of this transmittal (or, if later, the IRM effective date)."
Submit file for clearance
Prepare Form 2061.
Clear the IRM through your manager and IMD/IRM coordinator.
Clear the IRM through any affected offices or specialized reviewers, as required.
Obtain the program director's (or documented designee's) signature.
Submit file for publishing
Prepare Form 1767.
Follow standard procedures for submitting the file to M&P. See IRM 1.11.5.
When a program or process is no longer effective, it’s important to update the information in other sources as well. Check for information that resides:
On the Web.
In the IRM owned by another organization or office.
In information published in other IRS documents or training materials.
Search IRM Online http://irm.web.irs.gov/ using the appropriate key words to identify IRM sections that reference an obsolete program or process. Notify the author or owner that the content requires updating. See IRM 22.214.171.124, Providing Feedback About an IRM Section - Outside of Clearance, for instructions.
Obtain agreement from affected offices and specialized reviewers to obsolete content from the IRM. Follow the instructions in IRM 1.11.9.
It is a good practice to issue a communication to inform employees about recent changes to the IRM. Consider issuing the communication to remind employees about important rules or work processes or to highlight significant changes.
Issue a communication on your organizational website, newsletter or mailing list to highlight a particular topic that is important to employees in your IRS organization or office.
Work with your organization's communications staff to identify the appropriate vehicle for the communication. Remember to:
Identify your audience to determine which communication vehicle is appropriate.
Reference the applicable IRM section or other official source when addressing a procedural or operational matter.
The following examples are publications you can use to communicate topics addressed in the IRM:
Publication Description Audience Business Unit News (BUN) News from your business unit with broad interest. IRS employees IRWeb's Daily News Short timely communications with a broad audience. IRS employees Leader's Alert All manager electronic newsletter IRS executives, managers and management officials IRS Headlines All-employee electronic newsletter IRS employees
SPDER issues IMD alerts on the IMD program and processes to:
Inform IRM authors, coordinators, reviewers and their managers about the latest program changes and enhancements, reminders and news.
Announce, reinforce or highlight published information or instructions, including links to the applicable IRM section.
Announce the issuance of an IG memo or a new IRM section.
There are two self-subscribing mailing lists for IMD alerts. IMD alerts are emailed to subscribers of the applicable mailing list and posted to the SPDER website. To sign up, see http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/News/default.asp.
The manager mailing list is for managers of employees with IRM/IMD program responsibilities. SPDER provides information on the latest program changes, enhancements and training opportunities for employees involved in the IMD program.
The author mailing list is primarily for IRM authors and is also helpful to IRM reviewers, coordinators, managers or others.
In addition to the self-subscribing mailing lists, the IMD Oversight Council has a unique email address to receive communications.
|Delegations of Authority||In general, the power to give orders or make decisions. At the IRS, specific delegations (delegation orders) are issued by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue or on the Commissioner's behalf, to subordinates, with or without restriction on redelegation.||Delegation Order (DO) 1-31, Authorization and Approval of Tour Renewal Agreement Travel|
|Functional Statement||Published under IRM 1.1, a functional statement provides a high level description of the reporting structure, responsibilities and activities performed by each directorship to achieve the IRS organization’s mission.||IRM 1.1.5, Organization and Staffing, Office of the Commissioner|
|Guideline||Directions employees use to determine a course of action or explanations that help employees make judgments based on facts.||See IRM 126.96.36.199, IRM Standards|
|Interim Guidance (IG)||A memorandum or IPU used to convey immediate, emergency or temporary changes to operations or procedures.||View at http://imdtrack.web.irs.gov/search.asp|
|Job aid or Performance Support Tool||A device or guide designed for use on the job that provides guidance on the performance of a specific task or skill, available in print or online. A job aid which summarizes IRM content should reference the applicable IRM.||Document 13000, IRM Package Check Sheet, is a job aid. |
The "IRS withholding calculator" is an online performance support tool.
|Local Guidance||Instructions provided for a program within a particular office or geographic location that supplement or support prescribed IRM procedures. See IRM 188.8.131.52.3||An office evacuation plan or procedures for conducting specific outreach sessions.|
|Official IRS Published Products||Published products that reside on the Electronic Publishing website and that include documents, forms, publications, letters and the IRM.||Document 7475, State and Address Abbreviations, Major City Codes (MCCs), ZIP Codes and Countries|
|Pilot Project||A short-term project or study designed to observe how a specific procedural change may work in practice, evaluate it for adjustments and decide whether to implement it permanently.||For a recent example of a pilot or trial project described in an IG memo, see the http://imdtrack.web.irs.gov/search.asp. |
HINT: Insert the term “pilot” in the keyword field.
|Policy Statement||A statement of views concerning an important ideal or value that guide IRS in administering the internal revenue laws and form the basis for IRM procedures and instructions.||Policy Statement 1-1, Mission of the Service|
|Procedure||A process, series of instructions to follow or a set sequence of steps that establish a standard based on rule or policy.||See IRM 184.108.40.206.7, for step-by-step instructions on how to insert a graphic in the IRM XML file|
|Software or Application specific||Instructions that describe how to use and operate computer software or application.||Online 5081 instructions|
|Temporary Guidance||Procedure, guidance or activity that is effective for a limited amount of time. See IRM 220.127.116.11, Interim Guidance Definition and Use, for a definition.||Operating instructions based on temporary legislation or involving a new or emerging issue. .|
|Training documents||Published training documents and other course materials.||Training 15770-002, Authoring the IRM with Arbortext Editor (Coursebook)|
|Conditions||Condition Explained||Review IRM||Update the IRM|
|1. Corporate reorganization||When an IRS reorganization takes place, changes may affect IRMs which reference the organization, function, program, etc.|| Verify: || |
|2. Delegation Orders and Policy Statements||When Delegation Orders and Policy Statements are revised, it may impact IRM references and instructions.||A Delegation Order and Policy Statement may be: || |
|3. References to Official Published Products||Official published products can be revised, removed, superseded or renamed.||Search for: ||Update references to reflect current documents: |
|4. Interim guidance (IG)||When an IG is issued the procedural changes may affect a published IRM section.||To determine if an IG is active, is affected by, or is referenced in your IRM section, check: || |
|5. Reorganize, add or remove IRM material||When IRM material is reorganized, added or removed, the references to this material must be updated.||Check all IRM references: || |
|6. IRM material duplicated in another document||Duplicating guidance can lead to inconsistencies in the IRM. Refer to the primary document to reduce the likelihood of conflicting information.||Check for IRM content that duplicates: || |
|7. Legal and other References||References are subject to change.||Verify these sources annually: || |
|8. Software or IT System Changes||Technology changes may affect business processes and the IRM procedures dependent on these technologies.||Check for: || |
|9. Telephone numbers in the IRM||IRS toll-free numbers are provided so taxpayers and practitioners can contact us.|| || |
|10. Website addresses||Website addresses change frequently.|| || |
|Request Date ||Date requested (email)|
|Requestor name and IMD role||Employee submitting the request.|
|Requestor’s IMD role||Your role in the IMD program (author, coordinator, manager).|
|IRM Part number and title||Identify the IRM part that applies to the IRS business process that applies to the IRS business process for this new topic.|
|IRM Chapter title||The primary topic for the new IRM that describes the program or activity. Don’t use the office name in the title.|
|(IRM section title)||Describe the specific program, process or activity for the new IRM. |
You may provide a summary of your plan for discussion purposes.
|Chapter or Section title (proposed)||Propose a chapter or section title. |
|Describe the proposal||Describe the purpose for the new IRM chapter or section. Explain the new or expanded process. |
|State business reason for proposal||Provide supporting documentation to support the request.(new legislation, operating procedures, software or other systems).|
|Audience||Identify the employees by organization, program office or job category who are expected to follow these procedures or benefit from the information.|
|Source of guidance||Provide supporting documentation for the new chapter/section, (new legislation, operating procedures, IRM content, software or other systems). |
|Program Director name and title||Insert the name and title of the approving management official to ensure concurrence with the request for a new IRM chapter or section.|
|IMD Coordinator Name |
|Insert the IMD coordinator’s name and the date the coordinator reviewed the request and forwarded it to SPDER|
|Author Information|| |
Author's official name
|SPDER Response||Reserved for SPDER staff. |
SPDER will consider your request. If additional information is needed, we will insert a request for additional information and document decisions here.
|SPDER Approver |
|Reserved for SPDER staff. |
When a decision is made, SPDER staff will sign and date, here.
|Alternative Media Center||Contacts to help deliver alternative accessible media to employees with disabilities||http://amc.enterprise.irs.gov/|
|Chief Counsel Decision Tool||Tool helps determine if your IRM requires Chief Counsel review||http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/clearance/CounselClearance/|
|Electronic Publishing site Product Catalog page||Access to all IRS published products current and archived||http://publish.no.irs.gov/catlg.html|
|Electronic Reading Room (ERR)||Houses IRS resources for public access||http://www.irs.gov/uac/Electronic-Reading-Room|
|IMD Alerts||IMD email to inform the IMD community about IMD matters |
Click on the link to subscribe to the applicable mailing list
|IMD Point of Contacts||List of IMD contacts by Organization or by their role in the IMD process||http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/IMDContacts.asp|
|Information Resources Accessibility Program (IRAP)||Contact for information on creating documents and files accessible to persons with disabilities||http://irap.web.irs.gov/|
|Interim Guidance||Link to active and archived IG through the IMD search page on IRM Online issued by IRS organization |
IG subject to FOIA is posted on the Electronic Reading Room page on IRS.gov
|For IRS employees: |
For the public: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Interim-Guidance-by-IRS-Business-Process
|IRM Quick Reference Guide||Tips for common problems when using the XML Editor software||Document 12229|
|IRM Style Guide||Reference tool for proper IRM writing style and standard format and structure rules||Document 12835|
|IRM Authoring Tool Course Book||Training manual on the XML authoring tool||Training 15770-002, Authoring the IRM with Arbortext Editor|
|IRM Online||Search the complete IRM on IRWeb and link to published products and legal resources (password required)||http://irm.web.irs.gov/|
|IRS Style Guide||Website provides guidance on grammar, punctuation, capitalization and more for all IRS communications||http://irweb.irs.gov/AboutIRS/bu/cl/comm/style/default.aspx|
|IRS Historical Research Library||Access IRS history and IRM documentation |
Contact the Library staff for questions and information
|M&P IRM Manual Program page||List of M&P's IRM resources||http://publish.no.irs.gov/pubsys/irm/irm.html|
|M&P IRM Team Members||List of current M&P IRM printing specialists |
|Official Part and Chapter Title List||List of the approved IRM part and chapter titles that are automatically generated by the IRM authoring tool into the XML file.||http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/IRMPartChap.asp|
|Organizational websites||List of IMD websites for each IRS organization||http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/related_sites.asp|
|Plain Language website||Information on writing in "plain language," under the Plain Writing Act of 2010, 5 USC 301||http://www.plainlanguage.gov/|
|ReferenceNet||Portal for tax, legal, asset locator and other corporate research tools||http://rnet.web.irs.gov/|
|Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP)||Portal for procedures and information involving customer account services matters||http://serp.enterprise.irs.gov/homepage.html|
|SPDER IMD Community website||Site for IMDs, IRM rules and communications, IRM writing and authoring tool training||http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/|
|Training information||For IMD training, available to the IMD community in self-study, virtual and classroom formats||http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/training/|
|XML Author Registration||Links to register and sign-up for email notifications of software updates and get the latest upgrades and fixes||http://publish.no.irs.gov/appls/sgmlxml/sgmlmain.cgi?request=MAIN|
|XML Help Desk||Contact information to an expert for help with the IRM authoring tool. You can also contact by OCS||Website: http://xmlhelpdesk.web.irs.gov/ |
|Virtual IMD Learning Library Application (VILLA)||A SharePoint site that houses a library of 3 - 5 minute training modules about the IMD process and the IRM authoring tool||https://organization.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/ras/spder/IMD_COP/V/default.aspx|