1.11.2 Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process

Manual Transmittal

August 12, 2021

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 1.11.2, Internal Management Documents System, Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process.

Material Changes

(1) IRM 1.11.2.1, Program Scope and Objectives - Updated program manager to program director based on IRM 1.11.2.1.6, Terms, and to incorporate Interim Guidance Memorandum (IGM) RAAS-01-0421-0001, Interim Guidance on Redesigned Form 2061.

(2) IRM 1.11.2.1.3, Responsibilities - Changed the term program manager to program director and added responsibilities previously located under an executive or a management official. Removed management official. Updates based on IRM 1.11.2.1.6, Terms, and to incorporate IGM RAAS-01-0421-0001, Interim Guidance on Redesigned Form 2061.

(3) IRM 1.11.2.1.5, Program Controls - Updated IRM Certification to IMD Certification and added certifying Delegation Order and Policy Statement content to clarify program controls cover all IMDs, not just IRMs. Included certifying IRM management and internal controls.

(4) IRM 1.11.2.1.6, Terms - Removed the term management official as information is included for a manager, program director, and policy owner. Updated program director definition to member of the Senior Executive Service responsible for program administration including issuance and approval of IMDs based on Delegation Order 1-69, Authorization to Approve an Internal Management Document (IMD), and incorporate IGM RAAS-01-0421-0001, Interim Guidance on Redesigned Form 2061.

(5) IRM 1.11.2.2, IRM Standards - Updated to clarify the IRM conveys processes and directions instead of recommendations.

(6) IRM 1.11.2.2.1, Supplemental Sources of Guidance - Added the IRM Style Guide as an example of a published product.

(7) IRM 1.11.2.2.2(2), Responsibilities for Maintaining the IRM - Added verbiage to ensure the IRM incorporates interim guidance when making other IRM updates.

(8) IRM 1.11.2.2.4, When Procedures Deviate from the IRM - Updated the approval of deviations based on Delegation Order 1-69, Authorization to Approve an Internal Management Document (IMD). Removed a SERP Alert as an example, because authors of a SERP IRM should consider also issuing an IPU referencing the deviation.

(9) IRM 1.11.2.2.5(3), Address Management and Internal Controls - Changed program manager to program director to be consistent with IRM 1.11.2.1.6, Terms, and to incorporate IGM RAAS-01-0421-0001, Interim Guidance on Redesigned Form 2061. Added note to not include instructions to staff within internal controls. Added verbiage that internal controls provide an overview and to concisely document program controls.

(10) IRM 1.11.2.3.2, IRM Catalog Number - Updated title from Assign Catalog Number to match subsection content. Removed paragraph erroneously advising to contact an IRM printing specialist as SPDER is contacted for new IRM sections per IRM 1.11.2.4.1, Request a new IRM Chapter or Section.

(11) IRM 1.11.2.4.5(1), Change the IRM Author - Removed instructions to email SPDER and M&P when changing the IRM author and clarified the completion of the Author Change request via SharePoint.

(12) IRM 1.11.2.5.3, Designate IRM Content as Official use Only (OUO) - Updated OUO designation definition in paragraph 1 to align with IRM 11.3.12, Designation of Documents. Added reference to Delegation Order 1-69 for approval and authorization of IMDs. Updated guidance to send only newly designated OUO content to PGLD for clearance based on IRM 1.11.9, Clearing and Approving Internal Management Documents (IMDs). Based on PGLD, Disclosure guidance clarified that the program office owning the IRM makes the determination if content is OUO. Added reference to IRM 1.11.2.5.5, Contact Information, when using employee names or phone numbers.

(13) IRM 1.11.2.5.5(1), Contact Information - Updated title to Contact Information from Telephone Numbers. Added to avoid using employee names, email addresses, and phone numbers in the IRM, unless necessary for a business purpose. Added suggested alternatives, such as using a program office name instead of an individual or an organizational mailbox instead of an individual email address.

(14) IRM 1.11.2.5.7(9), Graphics - Removed example of using a graphic as an alternative to graphics in the IRM.

(15) IRM 1.11.2.5.7.2, Store IRM Graphic Files - Removed the third paragraph about using the IRM Source Graphics tool as it duplicates the prior paragraph linking to the same instructions in IRM 1.11.5.4, Submitting the IRM Publishing Package.

(16) IRM 1.11.2.5.8(3), Standard Citation Rules - Removed information for verifying citations as resource is no longer available.

(17) IRM 1.11.2.5.8.2(2), Cite Legal Sources - Updated instructions to not italicize the names of the parties or the numerical citation in court cases to match the IRS Style Guide. Updated the text in the example to match guidelines for fictionalizing names.

(18) IRM 1.11.2.6.1.3(2), Manual Transmittal Material Changes - Added language and example on summarizing revised transaction codes as a single line item in material changes.

(19) IRM 1.11.2.6.1.7(1), Signature of Approving Official - Updated approving official to member of the Senior Executive Service and references to Form 2061 based on revised Form 2061 Part VI, IMD Electronic Clearance Tool and IGM RAAS-01-0421-0001, Interim Guidance on Redesigned Form 2061.

(20) IRM 1.11.2.6.2, Manual Transmittal Optional Elements - Updated title from Optional Elements. Clarified optional Manual Transmittal elements as it relates to management and internal controls.

(21) IRM 1.11.2.7, Conduct an Informal Review - Removed management official terminology to be consistent with IRM 1.11.2.1.6, Terms.

(22) IRM 1.11.2.8(2), Editorial Update Process - Clarified non-editorial changes by removing sentences for correcting errors that require immediate attention (PII, telephone numbers, etc.) and updating information subject to frequent changes (tax years on forms). Clarified editorial changes for reorganizing content within an IRM section, renumbering paragraphs within a subsection and plain language changes without altering the meaning of the content. Added errors that require immediate attention (PII, telephone numbers, etc.) may qualify for expedited clearance and added link for additional steps involving PII.

(23) IRM 1.11.2.9, Rules to Obsolete an IRM Section - Updated instructions on required Arbortext Editor completeness check and a second method of preparing an obsolete XML file.

(24) Exhibit 1.11.2-2, Most Common Reasons to Review the IRM - Added content on changes to tax law, programs or processes as a common reason to review and update the IRM.

(25) Exhibit 1.11.2-3, TEMPLATE: IRM Change Request for New IRM Chapter, Section, Title or Owner - Changed management official to program director to be consistent with IRM 1.11.2.1.6, Terms, and to incorporate IGM RAAS-01-0421-0001, Interim Guidance on Redesigned Form 2061.

(26) Exhibit 1.11.2-4, IRM Web Resources - Updated the Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP) description.

(27) Editorial changes made throughout the IRM for clarity. Reviewed and updated plain language, grammar, titles, website addresses, legal references and IRM references.

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 1.11.2, dated April 22, 2020, is superseded. This IRM incorporates Interim Guidance Memorandum RAAS-01-0421-0001, Interim Guidance on Redesigned Form 2061, issued 04-29-2021.

Audience

Program directors, IMD/IRM coordinators, authors, managers, and reviewers who develop, review or approve IRM procedural content.

Effective Date

(08-12-2021)

Holly A. Donnelly
Director, Strategy and Business Solutions
Research, Applied Analytics and Statistics (RAAS)

Program Scope and Objectives

  1. Purpose. This IRM section describes the IRM authoring process and the procedures for creating or updating the IRM. Specifically, IRM 1.11.2:

    1. Describes the steps in the IRM authoring process.

    2. Establishes the standards and procedures for writing the IRM.

    3. Provides details on adding applicable "management and internal controls" to the IRM.

    4. Recommends IRM resources, including decision tools, websites and other IRM sections.

    5. Suggests ways to minimize duplication and improve the content and readability.

  2. Audience. These procedures apply to IRS employees who are responsible for developing, creating and improving the IRM including:

    • IRM authors

    • IMD/IRM coordinators

    • IRM Reviewers

    • Managers with internal management document (IMD) program responsibilities

    • Program directors

    • Contractors who prepare IRM material

      Note:

      This IRM uses the terms "author" and "originator" interchangeably.

  3. Policy Owner. The Office of Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Resources (SPDER), within Strategy and Business Solutions (SBS) - Research, Applied Analytics and Statistics (RAAS).

  4. Program Owner. SPDER within SBS - RAAS 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.

  5. Primary Stakeholders. Media & Publications control the IRM publishing process, the IRM publishing contract, and the IRM authoring software (Arbortext Editor) contract. All organizations and business units who manage, own, and issue instructions to employees are stakeholders in the IRM program.

  6. Contact Information. To recommend changes or make any other suggestions to this IRM section, email the SPDER office at SPDER@irs.gov.

Background

  1. 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 1.11.1.1.2, Authority.

  2. The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA98) 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.

  3. In 1999, 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, Internal Management Document (IMD) Program and Responsibilities, for information about the effect of these changes.

Authority

  1. By law, federal agencies must document, publish and maintain records of policies, authorities, procedures and organizational operations. The IRM is the source for the IRS. See IRM 1.11.1.1.2, Authority, for the authorities and legal obligations of IMDs.

  2. 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 administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect a member of the public. The redacted IRM posted on IRS.gov fulfills this requirement.

  3. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 USC 552(a)(2)(E), requires each agency to maintain and make available for public inspection and copying a current index of records likely to become the subject of multiple FOIA requests for substantially the same records. Document 10988, IRM Index, available on IRS.gov, fulfills this requirement.

Responsibilities

  1. The Director, Research Applied Analytics and Statistics (RAAS) is the executive responsible for the IMD program.

  2. The Director, Strategic Business Solutions, is the program director for SPDER.

  3. 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 (IRM).

  4. Program directors of each IRS organization are responsible for:

    1. Preparing, maintaining and archiving IMDs affecting their respective programs.

    2. Providing internal controls relating to each program, process or activity.

  5. Employees who prepare IMDs are responsible for clearing them through all affected offices.

  6. For more information on management’s role in administering the IMD process, see IRM 1.11.1.6, IMD Roles and Responsibilities.

Program Management and Review

  1. SPDER manages the IMD Program through the following reviews and reports:

    • Annual Report on the Internal Management Documents (IMD) Program - An annual memoranda issued to the heads of office on the accomplishments and activities of the IMD program.

    • Annual IMD Program Risk Analysis - An addendum to the above memorandum, this report provides the status Servicewide of the actions taken by each organization on the identified areas of risk to the IMD program. SPDER shares a report for each IRS organization with the IMD executive and IMD coordinator and staff.

    • IRM Online Index and Statistics at https://irm.web.irs.gov - Data statistics and indexes for current IRM sections.

    • IRM Data Reports - IRM data based on the IRM sections processed through M&P monthly. The reports maintain a list of Servicewide IRMs including new, revised, obsolete and official use only IRMs, by organizational program owner, title and process.

Program Controls

  1. IMD Certification - SPDER annually requests the heads of office indicate the current status of their IRM, Servicewide Delegation Order and Policy Statement content and certify IRM management and internal controls. SPDER compiles the results into a report for Senior Executives, managers, IMD coordinators, and staff. The report supports and improves IMD program management.

Terms

  1. Audience - The employees responsible for action or who require knowledge about the program, process or activity. Identify the IRM primary user by job title, role, specific office or organization.

  2. Internal control - A tool routinely used by management or an integral component of an organization’s management that provides unmodified assurance of achievement for the following objectives:

    1. Effectiveness and efficiency of operations.

    2. Reliability of reporting for internal and external use.

    3. Compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

    See IRM 1.4.2.4.2(2), Determine Existing Controls, for examples.

  3. Internal Management Document - Official communications that designate policies, authorities and deliver instructions to IRS officials and employees.

  4. IRM Owner - The office with primary responsibility for writing and maintaining IRM content. The director with program responsibility is the program owner.

  5. IRS Organization - The highest level operating division or office headed by an executive.

    Example:

    IRS organizations include Small Business/Self-Employed (SB/SE), Appeals and Human Capital Office (HCO).

  6. Manager - The employee’s first-line manager.

  7. Policy Owner - IRS organization or the title of the executive (position only) responsible for the policy. IRM 1.1, Organization and Staffing, contains this information for the applicable IRS organization.

  8. Program Controls - The program reviews and quality assurance activities associated with the program.

  9. Program Director - Member of the Senior Executive Service responsible for program administration including issuance and approval of IMDs.

  10. Program Goals - The objectives or goals for the specific program and the results from following the processes and procedures of the program.

  11. Program Owner - The office with 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.

    Example:

    The Accounts Management office under W&I's Customer Accounts Services manages the "Policy & Procedures BMF" program. The Wage and Investment Division is the IRS organization. IRS program office: Policy & Procedures BMF
    • 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).

  12. Program Reports - The reports and reporting mechanisms produced under the program. Identify the primary purpose for the data used to report program objectives, including:

    • Data sources

    • Storage locations

    • Reporting mechanisms

  13. Purpose - A description of the program, process or activity. Also, identify:

    • Program objectives

    • Employees responsible for action

    • The type of work employees perform

  14. Stakeholder - Offices or organizations responsible for the program policy or whose processes or procedures are affected. These offices generally include those who are responsible for reviewing and approving the IRM.

Acronyms

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

    Acronym Definition
    AMC Alternative Media Center
    CCDM Chief Counsel Directives Manual
    FOIA Freedom of Information Act
    IMD Internal Management Document
    IG Interim Guidance
    IPU IRM Procedural Update
    ITM Integrated Talent Management
    LRSN Labor Relations Strategy and Negotiations
    M&P Media and Publications
    MT Manual Transmittal
    OUO Official Use Only
    PDF Portable Document Format
    PII Personally Identifiable Information
    SBU Sensitive but Unclassified
    SERP Servicewide Electronic Research Program
    SME Subject Matter Expert
    SPDER Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Resources
    XML Extensible Markup Language

Related Resources

  1. 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
    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 Servicewide Policy Statement Process Creating and revising Servicewide Policy Statements
    IRM 1.11.4 Servicewide Delegation Order Process 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 1.11.8 Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP) This IRM provides IRM authors the rules for issuing SERP IPUs. See IRM 1.11.8.7.1, Updating IRMs through an IRM Procedural Update (IPU).
    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 10.5.1 Privacy Policy The proper handling of Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU) information and Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
    IRM 11.3.12 Designation of Documents Processing IMDs and training materials containing OUO information

  2. IRM Decision tool - an interactive flowchart to assist in determining 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 https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/Resources/IRMDecisionTool.aspx.

  3. Document 12835, The IRM Style Guide, for IRM format and structure rules and related terms.

  4. The IRS Style Guide is a web-based product and is the Servicewide source for punctuation, grammar and general writing rules. See https://irssource.web.irs.gov/CL/Lists/IRS%20Style%20Guide/DispItemForm.aspx.

  5. Exhibit 1.11.2-4, IRM Web Resources, contains helpful IMD program information on IRS websites for authors, reviewers, and managers.

IRM Standards

  1. The IRM is the primary, official compilation of instructions to staff that relate to the administration and operation of the IRS. The IRM ensures employees have the approved policy and guidance they need to carry out their responsibilities in administering the tax laws or other agency obligations.

  2. 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 integral to the employee’s job responsibilities or affects their evaluation. The IRM contains information that:

    • Is necessary

    • Presents facts

    • States responsibilities

    • Conveys processes and directions

    • Provides accurate measurements

  3. 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 1.11.1.1.2, Authority. See also Exhibit 1.11.2-1 for the types of IMDs and their description.

  4. Instructions remain in effect until changed, superseded or obsoleted by the publication of a subsequent IRM.

  5. All instructions to employees must be accurate, accessible and easy to follow to ensure employees provide consistent and fair treatment to the public.

  6. Authors should ensure their IRM guidance does not contradict with any existing guidance.

  7. In certain operational or emergency situations, program owners may issue interim guidance (IG) to quickly convey to employees a new procedure, a change to current IRM procedures, a temporary procedure, a deviation, 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. Interim guidance, deviations, pilot projects, or temporary procedures, must:

    1. Reference the affected IRM section.

    2. Be approved at the director level or above (or their documented designee).

    3. Be communicated to all affected employees.

    4. Be evaluated for disclosure to the public and posted to IRS.gov if necessary.

  8. To ensure IRM instructions remain consistent, the IRM owner is responsible for reviewing each IRM section annually for procedural, organizational, or operational changes and accurate instruction.

  9. 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.

    Note:

    When addressing an IRS policy in connection with a procedure, rather than restating it verbatim, reference the policy statement or paraphrase the content to provide context, and include the IRM reference.

  10. The "IRM Decision Tool" helps IRM authors and their management determine the type of information that belongs in the IRM. Through a series of questions, the tool helps to identify whether instructions to staff found in other sources must be in the IRM. View the tool at https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/Resources/IRMDecisionTool.aspx.

Supplemental Sources of Guidance

  1. 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.

  2. Supplemental guidance includes:

    1. Published products, such as Document 12835, IRM Style Guide

    2. Job aids such as desk guides, audit technique guides, and user guides

    3. Knowledge management materials such as check sheets and web-based decision tools

    4. Local procedures

    5. Training materials

  3. Supplemental guidance must reference the core process, procedure, or applicable IRM section. To ensure employees can find the instructions, the supplemental guidance must reference to the primary IRM section.

  4. The program office owning the source content and any other affected program office must review supplemental guidance annually for accuracy.

  5. Information belongs in the IRM if any of the following apply:

    1. It details actions required by one or more employees as part of their duties.

    2. Employees are evaluated on how they follow the instructions it provides.

    3. It provides rules for completing required worksheets or forms not published elsewhere.

  6. Risks associated with placing instructions in a separate source include:

    1. Employees following outdated instructions.

    2. Risking transparency to the public by not disclosing IRS operations.

    3. Not clearly documenting changes between revisions.

    4. Not subjecting documents to the same formal review and approval process (clearance) as the IRM.

    5. Not maintaining archived copies in a searchable or central location.

  7. Definitions for IMDs and other supplemental sources of guidance are in Exhibit 1.11.2-1, Definitions of IMD Terms for Determining What Belongs in the IRM.

Responsibilities for Maintaining the IRM

  1. Each program owner is responsible for developing, maintaining and publishing procedures in the IRM to administer their program. See IRM 1.11.2.1.6, Terms, for definitions and IRM 1.11.2.3.3, Identify IRM Owner, for more information about the IRM owner.

  2. 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.

    • Updating the IRM when content is no longer accurate and reliable to ensure employees correctly complete their work assignments and for consistent administration of the tax laws.

    • Ensuring the IRM incorporates interim guidance when making other IRM updates.

  3. Procedural and operational changes typically originate from the following sources:

    • Legislation

    • Corporate restructuring

    • Interim guidance

    • Chief Counsel guidance

    • Employee recommendations and feedback (see IRM 1.11.2.5.1.3).

  4. 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.

Risks When the IRM is not Current
  1. IRS is required to document its operations, policies and procedures and comply with recordkeeping and disclosure requirements of the FOIA. Instructions to staff written in the IRM fulfill these requirements. See IRM 1.11.1, Internal Management Document (IMD) Program and Responsibilities.

  2. To ensure reliability, the IRS must strive to maintain a current and complete IRM. When the IRM is not current, IRS employees may:

    1. Provide taxpayers outdated and possibly inaccurate information.

    2. Follow incorrect procedures.

    3. Administer the tax laws inconsistently.

    4. Operate according to guidance not transparent to the public.

  3. In addition, IRM inconsistencies could adversely affect an employee’s evaluation.

Local Procedures

  1. Local procedures are 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 the taxpayers the location serves. Local procedures cannot set policy and cannot change or contradict national program guidance. These procedures are formally issued and communicated to employees in a specific office or campus. See IRM 1.11.2.2.4 if these procedures need to deviate from the IRM.

    Example:

    Local Procedure
    • Outreach strategies developed by an area office or post of duty to improve taxpayer compliance.
    • Implementation procedures created for a specific group of taxpayers within a post of duty or area/territory advertised locally.

  2. You must include in the IRM or interim guidance procedures that result from national program guidance for the IRS on a specific work process.

    Example:

    National Program Guidance
    • Centralized work processes performed in only one office or campus that provide Servicewide guidance. Therefore, this content belongs in the IRM.

  3. Management is responsible for ensuring all employees are aware of and have access to local procedures. To communicate a local procedure to employees:

    1. Issue formally through a memorandum to affected employees.

    2. Review at least annually to ensure consistency with current guidance.

    3. Revoke and communicate to employees when the procedure is no longer effective.

    Note:

    Administrative instructions such as emergency evacuation plans, facility-related personnel procedures, etc., are not subject to these requirements.

  4. The memorandum used to communicate a local procedure must:

    1. Refer to the core process, procedure or applicable IRM section.

    2. Document approval by the responsible first-line executive (or their documented designee).

    3. Have the affected program office review it for correctness.

  5. Local guidance may be subject to FOIA and require disclosure on IRS.gov. For information on the FOIA criteria and requirements, see IRM 1.11.1.3.1, Transparency of Instructions to Staff.

When Procedures Deviate from the IRM

  1. 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. Deviations from national program guidance require approval following Delegation Order 1-69, Authorization to Approve an Internal Management Document (IMD). See http://imdtrack.web.irs.gov/IG_Uploads/IRS.gov_Yes/OUO_No/del%20order%201-69%20signed.pdf.

  2. Guidance that deviates from the IRM (even if temporary) must be issued through an interim guidance memorandum in accordance with IRM 1.11.10, Interim Guidance Process. It must be:

    1. Issued formally through a memorandum to affected employees.

    2. Reviewed by affected program offices and specialized reviewers (when applicable).

    3. Approved following Delegation Order 1-69.

    4. Reviewed annually.

  3. When preparing a deviation:

    1. Summarize the circumstances that require deviation.

    2. Identify the applicable IRM section.

    3. Describe the reason for the deviation (explain what caused the situation to occur and what is being done to correct it).

    4. Specify the timeframe the deviation is effective (not longer than two years).

    Note:

    Consider also issuing an IPU referencing the deviation if your IRM is on SERP.

  4. 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 1.11.10, Interim Guidance Process.

Address Management and Internal Controls

  1. An IRM section involving a program or process must describe its internal control framework in the first subsection. Title this subsection "Program Scope and Objectives." This subsection describes the program objectives and officials charged with program management and oversight. This informs employees about the importance of and context for internal controls. The terms associated with internal controls are below in paragraph (4). Definitions for additional terms associated with the IRM process are in IRM 1.11.2.1.6, Terms.

    Note:

    There is no requirement for management and internal controls in Functional Statement IRMs, Division Delegation Order IRMs, IRMs not involving a program or process, or obsoleted IRMs.

  2. As described in IRM 1.4.2, Monitoring and Improving Internal Control, internal controls are the programs, policies and procedures established to ensure:

    1. Clear delineation of mission and program objectives and definition of key terms.

    2. Establishment of program goals and measurement of performance to assess efficient and effective mission and objective accomplishment.

    3. Protection of programs and resources against waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement and misappropriation.

    4. Conformance of program operations with applicable laws and regulations.

    5. Complete, current and accurate financial reporting.

    6. Usage of reliable information for decision making and quality assurance.

  3. Annual Review Requirement: The program director is responsible for ensuring the internal control 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 1.11.2.2.2.

  4. The IRM must address internal controls by providing an overview of information relating to the particular program, process or activity. The IRM must include the internal control components listed in the table below and present the topics in the same order as below. The IRM may include additional components, if any, after those specified in the table.

    Note:

    Do not include instructions to staff within internal controls.

    IRM Internal Control Components Description of IRM Internal Control Components
    Program Scope and Objectives Provide in the first subsection of each IRM section a general overview of the program and include:
    • Purpose

    • Audience

    • Policy owner

    • Program owner

    • Primary stakeholders


    Provide contact information for the program (optional).
    Background Provide a brief overview of information pertinent to the program, including informational sources on the program’s existence and content in the IRM.
    Authority Provide the underlying source authorities of the program, process, or activity. Reference the source of authorities:
    • Public law

    • Internal Revenue Code

    • Regulations

    • Policy statements

    • Delegation of authority, etc.

    Responsibilities or Roles and Responsibilities
    • Specify the executive or official by title responsible for program oversight.

    • Describe the role of each official. When describing their role, title the subsection Roles and Responsibilities.

    Program Management and Review Provide a general description on how the program is managed, and how effectiveness and objectives are measured. Identify reports used to accomplish these tasks.
    • Program Reports - List and describe the types, purpose and frequency to support the program objectives.

    • Identify the data sources, storage location or the primary purpose for compiling the data.

    • Program and /or quality reviews

    Program Controls Concisely document the program controls developed to oversee the program, such as embedded management and validation systems, operation reviews.
    Terms and Acronyms
    • Define the key terms included in the IRM content pertinent to the program, objectives, and goals.

    • List frequently used acronyms and their definitions.

    • Be specific when defining requirements. Clarify any terms subject to interpretation (particularly measures used for evaluation purposes).

    Related Resources List sources employees use to conduct work, such as:
    • Websites

    • Published documents

    • Job aids

    • Decision tools

  5. Place information relating to internal controls within the first subsection of the IRM. The following example illustrates how the numbering displays in the IRM:

    Example:


    • IRM 1.11.2.1, Program Scope and Objectives
    • IRM 1.11.2.1.1, Background
    • IRM 1.11.2.1.2, Authority
    • IRM 1.11.2.1.3, Responsibilities
    •Etc.

  6. When adding management and internal controls to the program IRM, follow these rules:

    1. Follow this format for all active (not obsolete) IRM sections that don’t follow a specific format, such as functional statement IRMs (IRM 1.1) and Servicewide Policies and Authorities (IRM 1.2).

    2. Include only relevant information and topics applicable to the program.

    3. Provide information about the internal controls and reference the applicable IRM sections or subsections which contain procedures or process steps for these controls.

    4. Reference the original source of the information when the content is lengthy.

    5. Place the content in an exhibit if the list is lengthy. This applies especially to acronyms, definitions or related resources.

  7. Clarify any terms subject to interpretation (particularly measures used for evaluation purposes). Use examples to illustrate the concept following these guidelines:

    1. 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."

      Example:

      Treat the customer fairly when handling a FOIA request.

    2. Timely: Rather than use the term timely, specify the actual timeframe or amount.

      Example:

      Process all adjustments within 2 work days.

    3. Usually or reasonable: You must describe when there is no requirement for an action or explain what created the unusual circumstances. Or you may use an exception to illustrate the situation.

      Example:

      Pay adjustments are completed within a reasonable timeframe, usually within two pay periods.

Functional Statement IRM

  1. The IRS publishes functional statement IRMs 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.

  2. The content in the functional statement IRM describes an organization’s:

    1. Mission and how it supports the IRS mission.

    2. Strategic goals.

    3. Offices and their primary responsibilities.

    4. Reporting structure.

  3. The IRM owner is responsible for:

    1. Publishing a functional statement after forming the organization.

    2. Revising the functional statement IRM when making a change to the organization's structure, mission or primary responsibilities.

    3. Obsoleting the functional statement IRM when an organization is no longer operational.

    4. Reviewing the functional statement annually to ensure its accuracy.

  4. For a new organization, find the information to prepare a functional statement IRM in the documentation establishing the office.

IRM Format and Structure

  1. The IRS organizes the IRM by business process. The design of IRM format and structure accommodates changes to IRS operations and program responsibilities. As the IRS changes, the IRM may have material added or removed independent of organizational structure. See IRM 1.11.1.5, IMDs Numbered by Business Process.

  2. 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:

    1. Part – The IRS business process

    2. Chapter – A major topic within the business process

    3. Section – A specific topic within the major topic (chapter)

    Example:

    The following is the breakdown for IRM 1.11.2:
    Part 1 – Organization, Finance and Management
    Chapter 11 – Internal Management Document System
    Section 2 – Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process

  3. Each IRM section is an individually published product. Whenever making a change, whether extensive or minor, you must publish the entire section.

  4. Employees can access indexing tools which display the number, title or topic, and owner information about each IRM section.

    • Visit IRM Online at https://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 alphabetically by chapter and section title. This document also provides IRM history, a list of authors and more.

  5. References for writing the IRM are:

    • Document 12835, The IRM Style Guide − provides the IRM format and structure standards

    • The IRS Style Guide − Provides punctuation, grammar and general writing rules. See https://irssource.web.irs.gov/CL/Lists/IRS%20Style%20Guide/DispItemForm.aspx.

IRM Section Elements

  1. Each IRM section consists of the following:

    • IRM number and title

    • Catalog number

    • Manual Transmittal

    • Table of Contents

    • Subsections (content)

    • Exhibits and figures (when applicable)

  2. The following table describes the elements of an IRM section.

    IRM Section Elements Description
    IRM number
    1. A three-part number aligned under the IRS business process.

    2. Each IRM number has a title that describes the content.

    Catalog number
    1. A unique 5-digit number and a letter assigned to each published product by M&P.

    2. Identifies the product in publishing archives.

    See IRM 1.11.2.3.2.
    Manual Transmittal
    1. A cover sheet transmitted with each IRM section.

    2. Provides information about the IRM and any changes since the last published version).

    See IRM 1.11.2.6.
    Table of contents
    1. A list of every IRM subsection, exhibit and figure.

    2. The outline format helps readers to easily find information.

    3. Automatically generated by the IRM authoring tool software.

    Subsection
    1. A block of text containing instructions or information.

    2. Assigned a number (may be sub-divided up to five subsection levels)

    3. A title describes the content.

    4. A date identifies when the content became effective.

    Example:

    IRM 1.2.3.4.5.6 is a subsection number at the third subsection level:
    • Part = 1
    • Chapter = 2
    • Section = 3
    • Subsection 1 = 4
    • Subsection 2= 5
    • Subsection 3 = 6

    IRM content
    1. The text always starts with a numbered paragraph.

    2. Authors must label all other content (list, table, or note).

    3. You can display content under the paragraph in a list, table or note.

    4. You can only use a "break" (br) to place content on a separate line in a table or an example, not a list.

    5. You can only use a block paragraph (blockpara) to display a quote or an address.

    Exhibit
    1. Contains text, tables or graphics.

    2. Located at the end of the IRM section.

    3. Exhibits are consecutively numbered.

    Example:

    Exhibit 1.11.2-4

    Figure
    1. A figure is located within the IRM subsection.

    2. Authors must number figures consecutively throughout the IRM section.

    Example:

    Figure 4.19.9-2

  3. These IRM format rules ensure employees can find the information they need to reference. For this reason all subsections must contain information or procedures and authors must number or label each item. Be sure your IRM doesn’t contain any phrases, dangling paragraphs or subparagraphs not numbered or labeled.

    Note:

    A dangling paragraph is an unnumbered or split paragraph, either by a table or a break paragraph (br).

  4. You can’t reserve a subsection for a future issuance. You must address all content approved for publishing in the IRM.

IRM Catalog Number

  1. The IRS publishes the IRM at the section level. M&P assigns each IRM section a catalog number. The catalog number is a unique string of 5 numbers and one letter.

    Example:

    The catalog number for IRM 1.11.2, Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process, is 29299R.

  2. When M&P assigns a catalog number, it is permanently associated with the IRM section and the primary topic. M&P cannot re-use the IRM number nor catalog number unless it's for the same or a similar topic.

    1. If the material in an IRM section is no longer in effect or useful, SPDER and M&P archive both the IRM number and catalog number.

    2. If later reissuing the same or similar topic, SPDER and M&P restore the IRM number and catalog number.

  3. The M&P IRM publishing specialist assigns a catalog number for each new IRM section. M&P assigns a catalog number upon SPDER approval of the request. For information on catalog number approval, see IRM 1.11.2.4.2.

Identify IRM Owner

  1. The IRS organization primarily responsible for the program owns and manages the IRM content. As explained in IRM 1.11.2.2.2, owners are responsible for the accuracy of their IRM content. To identify ownership see IRM 1.1, Organization and Staffing.

  2. 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.

  3. The following indexing tools list the IRM owners. Refer to these tools to determine who to contact when you have a question or concern involving a particular program:

    • IRM Online – Research the currently effective IRM (HTML format). See https://irm.web.irs.gov/.

    • IRM Numerical Index – Access the most recently published and historical versions of the IRM in PDF. The most current version is available in XML format. See https://publish.no.irs.gov/pubsys/irm/numind.html.

Assign IRM Author

  1. IRM authors are responsible for preparing program procedures and guidelines. Management assigns analysts or front line employees as IRM authors. Frequently, authoring an IRM section is a collateral responsibility. Authors work closely with their IMD/IRM coordinators. See IRM 1.11.1.6.8, IMD Authors, for roles and responsibilities and IRM 1.11.2.5.1.2 (3), Write a New IRM Section.

  2. M&P updates the author's contact information on the "Product Catalog Information" page for each published product as the "product content owner" . M&P obtains the author information from the Form 1767, Publishing Services Requisition.

  3. You also may find the author information in indexing sources listed under IRM 1.11.2.3.3.

Changes to IRM Titles, Numbers, Owners, and Authors

  1. When the IRS makes changes to the structure or the work of an organization, this can cause changes to:

    • Numerical placement of an IRM

    • The title

    • The owner (organization)

  2. SPDER approves and records these types of changes. Any change to a section takes effect when it is next published.

  3. To request such a change:

    1. Obtain management approval or submit documentation indicating their approval.

    2. Complete the template in Exhibit 1.11.2-3, TEMPLATE: IRM Change Request for New IRM Section, Title or Owner.

    3. Send the request to your organizational IMD/IRM coordinator who sends it to the SPDER office for consideration.

Request a New IRM Chapter or Section

  1. 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 and follows the template in Exhibit 1.11.2-3.

  2. To assist SPDER in properly assigning new IRM content, the author includes the following information in their request:

    1. The IRS business process defined by IRM part number or title, if known.

    2. The primary topic (program, process or activity) when requesting a new chapter.

    3. The proposed IRM section title.

    4. The business reason for requesting a new IRM number.

    5. A flowchart, outline or plan describing the effect of the changes to existing content.

  3. 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.

  4. The SPDER office reviews the request to determine whether the information duplicates existing or historical IRM material. If an organization requests a new IRM, SPDER:

    1. Determines under which business process the content belongs (IRM part and chapter).

    2. Assigns a unique IRM chapter or section number.

    3. Ensures the title sufficiently describes the content. See IRM 1.11.2.4.4 for more on IRM titles.

  5. When the request is for a new part or chapter, the SPDER office:

    1. Returns the request indicating approval.

    2. Adds the title to the official part and chapter title list.

Assign an IRM Number, Catalog Number and Title

  1. 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 IRM XML file automatically inserts titles when the author inserts the part and chapter number. See https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/irm/IRMPartChap.aspx for the list of official titles.

  2. Before approving a request for a new chapter, SPDER:

    1. Reviews the request and researches the IRM archive.

    2. Assigns the new number and title and maintains a record of the approved number and title.

    3. Approves changes to the number and title of an active IRM section for historical research and operational consistency.

  3. SPDER contacts M&P to request a catalog number, if needed. The table below describes the action taken when working a new catalog number request:

    IF your IRM is AND THEN SPDER
    New All of the material is new Requests a new catalog number.
    New You move a portion of the material from one IRM section to a new IRM section Requests a new catalog number.
    Obsolete You reinstate a formerly obsolete program, procedure or activity Provides the original catalog number from the obsolete IRM section having substantially the same subject and title.

  4. 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. See IRM 1.11.2.6 for completing a Manual Transmittal.

  5. When you reinstate an IRM section, you are reissuing a previously published IRM involving the same or substantially similar business process that is currently obsolete. In this case it’s only necessary to contact SPDER at SPDER@irs.gov if:

    1. The content differs substantially from the prior revision.

    2. You revise the IRM title or IRM number.

    3. The owner organization changes. In this case, refer to IRM 1.11.2.4.3 for guidance.

Change the IRM Owner

  1. A corporate reorganization or change in program responsibilities may change the owner of a business process or activity.

  2. When an IRM owner changes at the organizational level, submit the following documentation through your IMD/IRM coordinator to SPDER@irs.gov:

    1. The IRM number

    2. Current and new organizational owner name

    3. Effective date of the change

    4. Reason for the change

    5. Confirmation from the new program owner

  3. After SPDER acknowledges the change in ownership, the author is responsible for:

    1. Making the necessary changes to the IRM XML file (including changing all the meta data fields).

    2. Publishing the IRM to ensure all data sources (IRM Online, IRM Index, Publishing catalog page) reflect the proper information.

Recommend an IRM Title

  1. 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.

  2. To request a change to a chapter or section title, first consult with your management and/or your IMD/IRM coordinator.

  3. When you receive approval, provide the following information:

    1. Number and title of the chapter or section you want to change

    2. Proposed title

    3. Business reason for recommending a title change

    4. IRM section(s) or any other published document affected by the change

      Note:

      When preparing the IRM for publication, specify the title change in the Material Changes of the Manual Transmittal.

  4. SPDER considers your request and approves it or requests additional information.

  5. When creating a title, make it short but descriptive to ensure the reader can identify the program, process or activity. Avoid using punctuation in a title, such as, a hyphen (-) or slash (/).

Change the IRM Author

  1. When reassigning an IRM section, the new author (or IMD/IRM coordinator) takes the following steps to update the information displayed on the product catalog information page:

    1. Notify the IMD/IRM coordinator (or manager) in your organization.

    2. Specify the IRM number and catalog number.

    3. Provide your official name, telephone number and office symbols.

    4. Complete the Author Change request at https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authorchange.

      Note:

      If you don't know your office symbols, insert your organization and program area.

  2. If the IRM is available on SERP, also contact SERP program office to update the author information on the SERP site. Follow instructions in IRM 1.11.8.3, Authorized Submitter.

Write the IRM

  1. The IRM author follows these steps when assigned to write or update an IRM section:

    1. Request the IRM authoring software (Arbortext Editor) by submitting an OS GetServices ticket at https://selfservice.web.irs.gov/webtier-9.52/ess.do and selecting: Order from the Product and Services Catalog − Personal Productivity Services − Software Installation.

    2. Register as a user of the IRM authoring tool at https://publish.no.irs.gov/appls/sgmlxml/sgmlmain.cgi?request=MAIN.

    3. With management approval, sign up to attend IRM authoring tool training. To register, visit https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/training/.

    4. Sign up for the IMD Community mailing list at https://spder.web.irs.gov/officeinfo/mailinglist/default.asp.

      IF you are preparing to: THEN follow the instructions in:
      Write a new IRM section IRM 1.11.2.5.1.2.
      Revise an IRM section (to add, remove or change the content) IRM 1.11.2.5.2.
      Obsolete an IRM section IRM 1.11.2.9.

  2. SPDER encourages IRM authors 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. Various settings provide IMD training, including:

    • Classroom (IRM authoring tool training)

    • Online (ITM sessions)

    • Saba Meeting (a web application used for the biannual IMD conference, online IRM authoring tool training, and ad hoc training)

Prepare to Write or Revise the IRM

  1. These are the steps an author takes when assigned an IRM to write or revise:

    1. Download the IRM XML file from the official repository of published products when revising the IRM. From the IRM Numerical Index, https://publish.no.irs.gov/pubsys/irm/numind.html, select your IRM. This takes you to the Product Catalog Information page. Then right−click on "Get XML Format" and select "Save Target As" to save the file to your computer. Use ONLY this version to make your revisions.

    2. 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 https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/Resources/IRMDecisionTool.aspx.

    3. Discuss your planned IRM changes with your manager, including changes to work practices, procedures or policies utilized by or impacting bargaining unit employees. See IRM 1.11.2.5.1.4, IRM Changes Affecting Conditions of Employment of Bargaining Unit Employees.

    4. Coordinate an informal review of the IRM with stakeholders. See IRM 1.11.2.7.

    5. Prepare the Manual Transmittal. See IRM 1.11.2.6.

    6. Use Document 13000, IRM Package Check Sheet, to ensure you follow the IRM rules when revising or creating an IRM section.

  2. Take these steps to ensure you prepare a quality product when writing the IRM (or any other document):

    Action Steps
    Pre-write
    • Gather information

    • Consult stakeholders and subject matter experts

    • Prepare outline

    • Organize information

    Write
    • Write the IRM content (first draft or revision)

    • Identify and write to your audience

    • Specify the program’s internal controls

    Revise
    • Review content for clarity

    • Add or rearrange content

    • Remove unnecessary content

    Edit Ask others to review the IRM for
    • Plain language

    • Active voice

    • Grammar

    • Punctuation

  3. To ensure the content is accurate and complete, add or revise the IRM to:

    1. Incorporate interim guidance

    2. Address process improvements or operational and procedural changes

    3. Insert new or revised legislation

    4. Revise guidance based on a Chief Counsel opinion

    5. Remove outdated and duplicated content

    6. Incorporate employee recommendations and feedback (see IRM 1.11.2.5.1.3)

    7. Clarify or reorganize content

    8. Write content using plain language guidelines

    9. Write to the audience/user of the content

    10. Review the IRM for editorial changes, listed in IRM 1.11.2.8.

  4. Validate IRM references, such as:

    • Other IRM sections, forms, publications, documents, letters, etc.

    • Organizational changes affecting terms and titles

    • Website addresses

    • Citations to the law and other references (IRC, regulations, court cases, revenue rulings, revenue procedures, etc.)

    • IRS toll-free numbers

  5. To verify references to other IRM section numbers and titles:

    1. View the official part and chapter titles at https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/irm/IRMPartChap.aspx.

    2. View the most current revision of the IRM at https://irm.web.irs.gov/.

  6. 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:
    • Lengthy table

    • Text containing a varied format

    • Completed form, letter or prototype

    Note (reminder, caution, etc.) Emphasize a point, remind or make aware.

    Note:

    Don’t use these tags to convey procedures.

    Example Illustrate a concept.

  7. For help on writing in plain language, check out:

    1. https://www.plainlanguage.gov for general information on plain language.

    2. ITM course 57235, IRM Authoring - Writing in Plain Language, for IRM-specific guidance about plain language writing.

  8. Consult with authors of other IRM sections that contain similar or cross-functional material to ensure clarity and consistency of the IRM guidance.

    1. Identify other IRM sections affected by the changes to your IRM. Go to IRM Online https://irm.web.irs.gov/ and use the keyword search feature to identify affected IRM sections.

    2. Identify the author or originator of an IRM section and notify them of changes that may affect their IRM section. Go to https://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.

Organize IRM Material
  1. To ensure a well-organized IRM, take the following actions:

    Step Action
    1. Outline the major topics in chronological order.
    2. Include or update Program Scope and Objectives, the audience, and other internal control components per IRM 1.11.2.2.5, Address Management and Internal Controls.
    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 1.11.2.4.4.
    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 1.11.2.5.8.1.

Write a New IRM Section
  1. Follow these steps when preparing to write a new IRM section:

    1. Compile and organize the content. See IRM 1.11.2.5.1.1 for information on how to organize IRM content.

    2. Draft the IRM content.

    3. Write the content using the IRM XML editor (IRM authoring tool). See IRM 1.11.2.5.1 for the rules on how to revise the IRM.

    4. Create a new IRM section and/or chapter. See IRM 1.11.2.4.1 to request a new IRM chapter or section.

  2. To write the IRM use the current version of the XML editor tool:

    1. Open a new IRM XML file. See Authoring the IRM with Arbortext Editor (Coursebook) at https://publish.no.irs.gov/cat12.cgi?

    2. Complete the metadata.

    3. Prepare the Manual Transmittal. See IRM 1.11.2.6.

    4. Prepare and input the content. See Document 12835.

  3. If you’re a new author assigned to write the IRM, you must:

    Learn By
    How to use the IRM authoring tool Attending IRM authoring tool training.
    IRM format and structure rules Taking ITM courses.
    IRM process rules Reading about each IRM process in IRM 1.11, Internal Management Documents System and take ITM Course 18221, IRM Writing Style and Format.

Respond to Requested IRM Changes
  1. Employees or affected program offices may suggest corrections or content changes to the IRM. See IRM 1.11.6.6, Providing Feedback About an IRM Section - Outside of Clearance, for the various methods to give feedback.

  2. To ensure the quality and consistency of IRM procedures, IRM authors evaluate editorial (non-typographical) changes and respond to requests for substantive IRM changes. See IRM 1.11.2.5.2.1 for the definition of "substantive."

  3. When an IRM author receives a written request that may require an IRM revision:

    1. Acknowledge receipt of the recommendation within two weeks. Include an expected response date.

    2. Review and consider the recommendation for acceptance.

    3. Respond with any actions within 45 days, including projected time frames.

    Note:

    When responding to feedback received through SERP, see IRM 1.11.8.10, SERP Feedback Application - Author/Content Owner Responsibilities, for additional guidance.

  4. 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.

  5. When you accept the recommendation, make the change by either:

    1. Revising the IRM section when it’s due for an update, not to exceed two years from the date of the request.

    2. Issuing IG if the matter is urgent. See IRM 1.11.10.2, Interim Guidance Standards, for instructions on issuing interim guidance.

  6. Document the issue and resolution in the IRM document clearance record (DCR) package maintained in the IRS Historical Research Library. See IRM 1.11.9.10.3, Archiving Clearance Documents.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  7. Include the following in the IRM DCR package:

    1. The issue described by the employee or program office requesting the change.

    2. The response and decision by the program office.

    3. Any documentation or communications with and between management.

IRM Changes Affecting Conditions of Employment of Bargaining Unit Employees
  1. Authors with their management must evaluate all changes for potential impact to conditions of employment of bargaining unit employees prior to inclusion in the IRM and starting the clearance process. "Conditions of employment" means personnel policies, practices, and matters affecting working conditions.

  2. Follow the table below:

    If ... Then ...
    The change is editorial There is no impact to conditions of employment of bargaining unit employees and clearance may begin. Follow IRM 1.11.9, Clearing and Approving Internal Management Documents (IMDs).
    The change impacts the conditions of employment of bargaining unit employees, such as, but not limited to:
    • The nature or type of duties performed

    • Personnel policies (e.g., schedules, leave requests, and overtime)

    • Equipment and office space per Article 47, Section 5 of Document 11678, 2019 National Agreement

    The author’s management or a non−bargaining unit employee must contact the Labor Relations (LR) representative to create Form 14036, Notice to National NTEU. For LR contacts, see http://hco.web.irs.gov/apps/staffdir/HRBBP-LRPOCList.pdf.
    The LR representative submits Form 14036 to Labor Relations Strategy and Negotiations (LRSN) for a determination on whether there is an obligation to provide Formal Notice and bargaining with NTEU before clearance can begin. Follow the steps in paragraph 3 below.
    The change has no impact on the conditions of employment of bargaining unit employees Clearance may begin. Follow IRM 1.11.9, Clearing and Approving Internal Management Documents (IMDs).

    Note:

    Management or a non−bargaining unit employee must elevate questions about whether the change impacts the conditions of employment of bargaining unit employees to the LR representative for further evaluation at http://hco.web.irs.gov/apps/staffdir/HRBBP-LRPOCList.pdf.

  3. If the LR representative submits a Form 14036, Notice to National NTEU to LRSN, clearance is on hold until the manager notifies the IRM author clearance may begin.

    1. If LRSN determines the change(s) does not require notice and bargaining, they advise the LR representative that the IRM author may proceed with the changes and start the review/clearance process. Follow IRM 1.11.9.4.4(3), Workforce Relations.

    2. If LRSN determines the change(s) requires notice and bargaining with NTEU, clearance remains on hold until LRSN advises the LR representative that any bargaining obligation has been met and clearance may begin. When the author receives notification to begin clearance, follow IRM 1.11.9.4.4(3), Workforce Relations.

Determine IRM Dates

  1. The IRM requires content specify the effective date when making certain decisions or changes for each published revision. The types of IRM dates include:

    • Manual Transmittal (MT) date

    • IRM effective date

    • Subsection date

    • Revision date

  2. 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 M&P publishes the IRM section and posts in the Core Repository of Published Products (housed on the Electronic Publishing website). Month DD, YYYY

    Note:

    M&P inserts the issue date in the IRM XML file.

    Effective Date This is the date the new or revised IRM section is effective. The IRM effective date can be:
    1. The same date as the revision date, or

    2. 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

    Reminder:

    A filing season IRM requires a specific effective date.

    Subsection date This is the effective date of the information in the IRM subsection. The subsection date can be:
    1. The same date as the revision date, or

    2. The effective date.

    Note:

    When you substantially revise the information in a subsection, change the date. IRM 1.11.2.5.2.1

    (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)

  3. Follow these rules when the IRM section is effective on a specific date:

    1. 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.

    2. All subsections revised must match the effective date. You can’t use a wild card date.

  4. 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).

    Example:

    When the IRM specifies an effective date:
    M&P publishes your IRM November 15, 2016 but the procedures are not effective until January 1, 2017. The effective date in the MT shows a January 1st date and the subsection date also shows January 1st. The MT date reflects 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

  5. For additional information on IRM dates in the Manual Transmittal, see IRM 1.11.2.6.1.

Determine the Subsection Date
  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 1.11.2.6.1.6, for the effective date definition.

  2. 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.

    Example:

    You add a Program Scope and Objectives subsection, resulting in subsequent subsection renumbering. Change the effective date for the new Program Scope and Objectives subsection, but not for the renumbered subsections.

    c. Changes are editorial only See IRM 1.11.2.8.1, Revise IRM for an Editorial Change.
    d. Revision incorporates content from an IG memoranda, IRM effective date.
    e. Revision incorporates content from an issued IPU IPU issue date.

  3. When incorporating an IG or IPU into the IRM:

    1. Explain the change in the Material Changes to create an audit trail. See details in IRM 1.11.2.6.1.3(3).

    2. Specify the IG title and number in the Effect on Other Documents. See IRM 1.11.2.6.1.4.

Designate IRM Content as Official Use Only (OUO)

  1. An OUO designation prevents automatic distribution to the public of materials exempt from the FOIA where disclosure carries a reasonable expectation of harm to a government interest or to a personal privacy interest. See IRM 11.3.12, Designation of Documents.

  2. The IRS considers material OUO when restricted for official purposes by individuals authorized by Delegation Order 11-1, Administrative Control of Documents and Material (as revised) in IRM 1.2.2.11.1. Also see Delegation Order 1-69 for approval and authorization of IMDs containing OUO at http://imdtrack.web.irs.gov/IG_Uploads/IRS.gov_Yes/OUO_No/del%20order%201-69%20signed.pdf.

  3. IRMs containing newly designated OUO information require clearance through Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure (PGLD) at *PGLD IMD SPOC. See IRM 1.11.9.4.2, Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure.

  4. The following examples of IRM content may require a designation of OUO:

    1. Instructions relating to enforcement strategies, tolerances and criteria where public release would lead to a reasonable expectation of harm to IRS actions or operations.

    2. Material where public release would significantly impede or nullify IRS actions in carrying out a responsibility or function.

    3. Data processing information that would result in taxpayers altering their filing practices or avoiding payment of taxes.

    Note:

    Generally do not classify employee contact name and phone numbers as OUO. See IRM 1.11.2.5.5, Contact Information.

  5. Any IRM section can contain OUO content.

    Reminder:

    You must follow other privacy and security guidance to 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 10.5.1.6.8, Email, and IRM 10.8.1, Policy and Guidance.

  6. The program office owning the IRM makes the determination if content is OUO. When writing the IRM, for assistance with a determination of the reasonable harm of a specific OUO determination, send an email with the subject line "Informal Assistance Request" to *PGLD IMD SPOC.

  7. Tag IRM content that is OUO using the IRM authoring tool to show it’s "restricted" content. When published, the public version automatically redacts tagged information. To tag content OUO in the IRM XML file:

    1. Modify attribute on "manual tag" to hasouo= "yes."

    2. Properly mark OUO material embedded in the text with a "restrict" tag or attribute.

    3. 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.

  8. Notate yes in box 7, of both Form 2061 and Form 1767, Publishing Services Requisition. See IRM 1.11.5.3.1, Preparing Form 1767, Publishing Services Requisition.

Tables

  1. A table is a useful way to present information, particularly complex information, clearly and concisely. Use a table to present instructions that must follow in a particular order or when presenting information with at least three conditions or steps.

    1. For useful tips on using tables in the IRM, refer to Document 12835, The IRM Style Guide.

    2. 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.

  2. To comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act for persons with disabilities, take the following steps when placing a table in the IRM:

    1. For a table with a column title, insert a "header row" in the first row. By taking this action, the header row displays in bold font and repeats on continuation pages of the paper IRM.

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

Contact Information

  1. Avoid using employee names, email addresses, and phone numbers in the IRM, unless necessary for a business purpose. Use a program office name instead of an individual or an organizational mailbox instead of an individual email address.

  2. When it’s necessary to display a telephone number, follow these rules:

    1. Verify the telephone number.

    2. Review the number at least annually, especially if it’s an IRS tax assistance (toll-free) number.

    3. Clear toll-free numbers through the Office of Taxpayer Correspondence. See IRM 1.11.9.4.6, Office of Taxpayer Correspondence.

    Note:

    Telephone numbers appearing in the IRM are available to the public.

Fictitious Identifying Information

  1. Authors and reviewers must always review the IRM content for federal tax information (FTI) or other personally identifiable information (PII). If an author believes an exception exists where there is a need for FTI or PII in an IRM, contact privacy@irs.gov for guidance.

  2. To avoid accidental use of real taxpayer information in IRM text, exhibits or graphics, follow the guidelines in Document 13324, Guidelines and Examples for Fictionalizing Domestic Taxpayer Information, and Document 13311, International Name and Address Construction Job Aid, to properly fictionalize:

    1. Names of taxpayers, businesses and streets

    2. Names for cities and towns

    3. Street or PO Box Numbers and zip codes

    4. Taxpayer identification numbers

    5. Document Locator Numbers (DLNs)

    6. Telephone numbers, fax numbers, email addresses and any other potential PII

Personally Identifiable Information (PII) or Federal Tax Information (FTI) Breach Actions
  1. If you discover PII or FTI when reviewing or updating the IRM, you must report it immediately upon discovery. A prompt report decreases the possibility for use of the information to perpetrate identity theft or other forms of harm.

  2. Take the following actions immediately in accordance with IRM 10.5.4.3.3(2)b:

    1. Report the breach to your manager and IMD/IRM coordinator.

    2. Report it to the Office of Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure (PGLD) Incident Management Office (IM) using the PII Breach Reporting Form at https://etrak7.web.irs.gov/etrak-privacy/page.request.do?page=page.final2. Call 267-466-0777 if you have any problems with the online form or any questions about completing the online form.

    3. Contact SPDER at SPDER@irs.gov.

    4. Work with SPDER and your IMD/IRM coordinator to remove content from the IRS electronic sources and revise the IRM.

      Note:

      If you are not the IRM author, contact the IRM author, their manager, and their organizational IMD coordinator. They will work with SPDER to revise the IRM and remove content from the IRS electronic sources.

  3. For more information on PII or FTI unauthorized disclosure reporting, see IRM 10.5.4.3, Reporting Losses, Thefts and Disclosures.

Graphics

  1. A graphic is a picture. The graphic may depict a flowchart, graph, form or logo. A figure or an exhibit may display a graphic. Create a graphic separately from the IRM XML file.

  2. Ensure graphics do not contain personally identifiable information (PII) by following the guidelines in IRM 1.11.2.5.6, Fictitious Identifying Information. If you discover a breach, follow IRM 1.11.2.5.6.1, Personally Identifiable Information (PII) or Federal Tax Information (FTI) Breach Actions.

  3. To publish a graphic in the IRM, the graphic must meet the following requirements.

    1. Format: Create the graphic in PDF.

    2. Color: Use black and white or gray-scale.

      Exception:

      M&P only allows color to some Part 3 IRMs based on their approval.

    3. Orientation: Display in portrait or landscape. (Only place a landscape-oriented graphic in an exhibit.)

    4. Name: Use an 8-digit graphic file name. See paragraph (4) below for an explanation.

    5. 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.

      Note:

      M&P does not accept photos or gradients.

  4. 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.

    Example:

    M&P assigns IRM 3.11.6 Catalog Number 33455F. Typically name the first graphic 33455001 in IRM 3.11.6.

  5. A graphic that displays on more than one page requires 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.

  6. To insert a graphic in the IRM XML file:

    1. Prepare the graphic in PDF.

    2. Review the graphic content for accuracy.

    3. Assign each graphic page a graphic number. Use the IRS Tools − Show Graphic File list (on the Arbortext toolbar) to verify the number hasn’t been used.

    4. Insert the graphic file number in the IRM XML file.

    5. 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 must reference such paragraph(s).

    6. Send the graphic(s) along with the XML file when forwarding for publishing.

    7. Insert a restrict tag when a graphic contains OUO content.

    Note:

    An IRM authoring tool tip: Verify your graphic file numbers by using the "show graphic file list" on the toolbar under IRS Tools. By doing so, you’ll prevent duplicating a graphic file name.

  7. When submitting graphics to M&P with your revision:

    1. Submit only the changed graphic page(s). See IRM 1.11.5.4, Submitting the IRM Publishing Package.

    2. Submit the original source document for the graphic to the IRM Source Graphic link on the IRM Upload page at https://caps-as.enterprise.irs.gov/irm/japple?PAGE=gov.irs.publish.irm.Upload for future use. See IRM 1.11.2.5.7.2.

  8. Because the graphic is a picture or illustration, electronic media or employees with impaired vision (who use assistive technology such as a Job Access for Windows and Speech (JAWS) reader) cannot read the content. For example, when a user conducts a key word search, the graphic content is not accessible. See IRM 1.11.2.5.7.3.

  9. Consider other ways to present the information, as illustrated in the following examples:

    Example Options
    1. A letter or memo on official stationery
    1. Option A: If the primary audience includes employees with web access, insert a web link to the memo or letter.

    2. Option B: If employees don’t have web access, type the letter/memo (text) into the IRM authoring tool and describe the stationary used (or describe the logo).

     
    2. Display a table
    1. Option A: Insert the information into a table in the IRM authoring tool.

    2. Option B: Import the table from an Excel file into the IRM authoring tool.

     

  10. Avoid graphics that are simply screenshots of an IRS published product and use links instead.

  11. Additional tips for creating a graphic:

    1. When updating your IRM, review the graphic content.

    2. 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.

    3. Follow the editorial update process when improving the quality or display of an IRM graphic. See IRM 1.11.2.8.

Convert a Graphic to PDF
  1. 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. On the "Adobe PDF Settings" tab, set Default Settings to "High Quality Print" .

    Note:

    Setting High Quality Print embeds the fonts

    .
    6. On the "Paper/Quality," tab, set "Color" to "Black and White" .
    7. On the "Layout" tab, 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)

     

  2. 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.

    Example:

    If your IRM displays a computer screen, copy the screen shot to a Word document before creating the PDF graphic. Then follow the steps in the table above starting from step 2.

  3. 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 graphics. See Exhibit 1.11.2-4 for source information.

  4. Ensure you embedded (locked) the fonts so your document displays properly in the PDF. To check whether you embedded the fonts:

    1. Open the PDF graphic and select "File" from the Toolbar and select "Properties."

    2. In the Document Properties box, find "Fonts" tab. Check that each font is listed with the words "embedded subset" next to it.

  5. If the "embedded subset" isn't next to each font, you need to embed them by setting the file to High Quality Print. See Step 5 in the table under paragraph (1), above.

  6. For questions about creating a graphic, contact the M&P IRM printing specialist at mp.irm@irs.gov or your Learning and Education (L&E) specialist.

    Note:

    If an L&E specialist prepared your graphic submit the graphic for publishing following the IRM uploading rules. See IRM 1.11.5, Publishing the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM), for rules for submitting files for publishing.

Store IRM Graphic Files
  1. 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 used to generate the PDF graphic submitted with the IRM publishing package. A "graphic source file" is the original, editable file from which the author created the graphic.

    Note:

    You cannot edit a TIFF, JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG, WPG or other graphic editor file.

  2. Include the original source files used to develop the IRM graphics when you upload the IRM XML package to M&P. See IRM 1.11.5.4, Submitting the IRM Publishing Package.

    Example:

    You want to insert a screen shot in the IRM. You copy and paste the screen shot into a Microsoft™ Word file. Save the Word file. The Word file is the original source of the graphic. Include the Word file in the IRM XML package when uploading the file to M&P.

Use Alternative Text for Graphics
  1. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1973 (revised January 18, 2017) requires federal agencies make electronic information and communication technologically accessible to people with disabilities. All non-text content presented to the user requires a text alternative that serves the equivalent purpose. IRM authors must create a meaningful description of each graphic. Alternative text used to describe a graphic is a "graphic descriptor."

  2. When inserting a graphic into the IRM XML file, the author inserts a "descriptor" tag.

  3. The text inserted within the graphic descriptor tags is accessible only on online IRM formats. Specifically:

    1. 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.

    2. The Electronic Publishing website (PDF) displays the graphic, but the alternative text is not accessible.

  4. 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, visit the Learn section on the AMC website at http://amc.enterprise.irs.gov.

Standard Citation Rules

  1. Follow a standard format when citing sources in the IRM. Linking to relevant sources ensures readers can easily find information applicable to the subject.

  2. 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

    • Legal publications

    • Supplementary materials

    Caution:

    The primary source of guidance must be in the IRM. See discussion at IRM 1.11.2.2.

  3. Consult the following resources for information on citation standards and inserting links in the IRM:

    1. Document 12835, The IRM Style Guide, Appendix, for standard citation rules in the IRM.

    2. Authoring the IRM with Arbortext Editor, the IRM XML course book, on how to insert a link using the IRM authoring tool.

Cite the IRM
  1. When citing an IRM section or subsection always use the acronym "IRM" along with the IRM number, but don’t spell out Internal Revenue Manual.

  2. 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.

    Example:


    • Correct format: IRM 2.3.4.5 and IRM 2.3.4.6
    • Incorrect format: IRMs 2.3.4.5 and 2.3.4.6

  3. Include the IRM section title when referring to another IRM by part, chapter or section. Adding the title helps readers find the information in the event the author moved the content to another IRM subsection within the document.

    Example:


    IRM 11.3.4, Congressional Inquiries

  4. 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.

    Example:


    IRM 1.11.2.5.8.2, Cite Legal Sources

  5. To verify current IRM information, visit the Electronic Publishing Catalog Information page at https://publish.no.irs.gov/catlg.html.

Cite Legal Sources
  1. When citing law, such as the IRC, public laws, Treasury regulations, or other issuances (such as the United States Code and the Code of Federal Regulations as may be necessary for items not under the IRC or in Treasury regulations), provide an accurate citation. Refer to Document 12835, The IRM Style Guide, for a complete listing of citation formats.

    IF citing to THEN provide EXAMPLE
    Internal Revenue Code (IRC), The United States Code (USC) 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 IRC before each referenced Code section IRC 6103, IRC 6110
    Not
    IRC sections 6103, 6110
    Public law not codified Either:
    • Public law number or

    • Name of the Act in which the law appears

    Public Law 104-13, Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

  2. When citing a court case, do not italicize the names of the parties or the numerical citation in court cases.

    Example:

    John Q. Seagull Association, Inc. v. United States, 626 F. Supp. 564 (E.D. Ohio 1985)

  3. For instructions on how to insert a citation tag in the IRM XML file, see IRM 1.11.2.5.8.5, Create Hyperlinks.

  4. When referencing agency decisions reflected in published guidance (such as certain regulatory guidance, revenue procedures and revenue rulings) provide an accurate citation. You need a citation to be able to track a change.

Cite Other IRS Published Products
  1. When citing another IRS published product reference the document by name (such as a form, publication, letter, etc.,) and provide a short description.

    Example:

    Proper Form Reference Format
    • Correct format: Form 1040 and Form 1040-EZ
    • Incorrect format: Forms 1040, 1040EZ

  2. 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 automatically links to the current source.

  3. For help with creating a hyperlink in the IRM XML authoring tool, follow instructions in IRM 1.11.2.5.8.5.

Validate Links
  1. Always verify links and references in your IRM file to ensure they work and refer to the most current information.

  2. Ensure legal citations are valid and not modified, superseded or overturned. For legal and tax research services, see IRM 1.11.6.4.1 and the ReferenceNet portal at http://rnet.web.irs.gov/.

  3. Verify links to IRS published materials (letters, notices, forms, instructions, publications, etc.) by using the IRM Preview Tool at https://irm.web.irs.gov/tools/preview or visiting the Electronic Publishing Catalog Information page at: https://publish.no.irs.gov/catlg.html.

  4. To verify a website address, use the IRM Preview Tool at https://irm.web.irs.gov/tools/preview or 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.

Create Hyperlinks
  1. The IRM authoring tool uses different types of tags to create links in the published product. Visit the VILLA SharePoint site at https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/villa 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)

    • Paragraph

    • Exhibit

    • Figure

    Note:

    "Seealso" tags are used for cross-references within the same IRM section.

    anchor or <a> tag
    • Website address

    • Email address

    • Court case or Treasury regulation

    Note:

    Do not include server names or IP addresses in website links or addresses.

    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

  2. When you insert references in the IRM XML file, online tools such as IRM Online at https://irm.web.irs.gov/ automatically create links for seealso, citation (C) or <a> tags.

Use and Preparation of the Manual Transmittal (MT)

  1. 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.

  2. Prepare the MT so the reader can:

    1. Determine whether the IRM section is new, revised or obsolete.

    2. Identify important changes to procedures, guidelines and operations.

    3. Identify the effective date for the procedures.

    4. Understand the effect of the changes on other IRM sections or documents as to whether superseded or obsolesced.

    5. Identify the intended audience for the IRM section.

  3. Complete the required elements for each revision of a new, revised or obsolete IRM section. See IRM 1.11.2.6.1 for the details to properly complete the MT.

  4. The MT also accommodates additional elements to add optional information. See IRM 1.11.2.6.2 for more information.

Required Elements of the Manual Transmittal

  1. The IRM authoring tool automatically generates an MT template. Authors must complete the MT each time they create, revise or obsolete an IRM section.

  2. Below is a list of the required elements arranged in order with a description of each:

    Required Element Description
    MT Date Identifies the date M&P publishes the IRM section. The M&P IRM printing specialist completes this element. See IRM 1.11.2.6.1.1.
    Purpose Informs readers the reason for the revision, such as whether the IRM section is new, revised, reissued or obsolete. See IRM 1.11.2.6.1.2. for specific language.
    Material Changes Documents:
    • 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).

    See IRM 1.11.2.6.1.3.
    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 1.11.2.6.1.5.
    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 1.11.2.6.1.6.
    Signature Identifies the name and title of the approving program director responsible for the program area. See IRM 1.11.2.6.1.7.

    Note:

    This is normally the official who signs the Form 2061 or their documented designee. See IRM 1.11.9.

  3. For additional information relating to the IRM date definitions, refer to the table at IRM 1.11.2.5.2.

Manual Transmittal (MT) Date
  1. The MT date is the date M&P publishes the IRM section. This is the date to expect the Electronic Publishing website to post the IRM. 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.

    Example:

    The standard format is: Month DD, YYYY

  2. Refer to IRM 1.11.2.6.1.6 for the rules on the "Effective Date" and how it differs from the MT date.

Manual Transmittal Purpose
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

    Note:

    A change to the chapter or section title with the same IRM number is still a revision. Describe a change to the chapter or section title under Material Changes.

    "This transmits revised IRM X.X.X, Chapter title, Section title."
    Obsolete Is no longer effective.

    Note:

    In Material Changes, describe the reason the information is no longer in force or effect.

    "This transmits obsolete IRM X.X.X, Chapter title, Section title."
    Reissued Was previously obsolesced and the author republishes with substantially similar information.

    Note:

    You can reissue the IRM section under the same IRM number if it contains some or all of the same information as the previous revision.

    "This transmits reissued IRM X.X.X, Chapter title, Section title."

Manual Transmittal Material Changes
  1. The MT Material Changes highlights new, revised or removed procedures and content instruction in the published IRM. This segment:

    1. Identifies significant changes to program operations.

    2. Provides authority for the issuance or the reason for the changes.

    3. Creates an audit trail for IG or other information incorporated into the IRM.

  2. Follow these guidelines when preparing the Material Changes. Working from the last published XML file:

    1. Delete the content from the Material Changes (except perhaps for a general statement or applicable editorial changes).

      Note:

      This applies to all changes, including any IPU changes made since the last published IRM.

    2. Review the updated IRM content and identify all significant changes, additions or deletions by subsection and paragraph. If superseding a change by a subsequent change, explain.

    3. List the changes in subsection order.

    4. Start each paragraph with the IRM subsection number, not by IPU number.

    5. 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."

    6. You may summarize code updates by specifying the reason and type of change, but not each specific change location.

      Example:

      Code XXX is no longer valid and now replaced by code XXX throughout this IRM.

    7. 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 the content is reliable. See IRM 1.11.2.8 for changes considered editorial.

      Example:

      "Reviewed and updated website addresses, legal references and IRM references, as necessary."

    8. Insert <restrict> tags around any OUO content. See IRM 1.11.2.5.3 for instructions on how to designate OUO content.

  3. 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.

    Example:

    Use terms such as: "added" , "deleted" , "revised" ," modified," etc.

  4. When placing changes in a table, prepare a lead sentence or phrase describing the table contents.

    Example:

    "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.

  5. 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 moving material 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 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 in which subsection you incorporated the guidance.

    Obsolete an IRM Explain the reason the information is no longer in effect. See IRM 1.11.2.9 for additional instructions to prepare the MT to obsolete an IRM section.

Effect on Other Documents
  1. 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:

    1. Amended - Existing material changed

    2. Supplemented - Material added.

    3. Superseded - Material replaced by other materials.

    4. Obsoleted - Material no longer needed and not replaced by any other material.

  2. This table suggests 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 you moved the text. [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 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/IPU 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].

  3. When completing the Effect on Other Documents for an IRM with a specific effective date, use this language:

    Example:

    Effect on Other Documents: IRM 21.8.3, dated 08-23-2014, (effective 10-01-2014), is superseded.

Audience
  1. The audience is the intended group of IRS employees expected to follow the IRM section procedures or benefit from the information. Identify the audience by the IRS organization or by division, function, office or job category.

    Example:

    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)
    Appeals
    Employee Plans

     

    Example:

    IRM audience classified by job category or group:
    All managers
    Appeals Officers and Appeals Settlement Officers
    Employees who conduct examinations (in SB/SE, LB&I, TE/GE)
    IMD community (IMD/IRM coordinators, IRM authors, reviewers, managers of these employees)

    Note:

    The IRM is available to the public as provided by FOIA but the public is not the intended audience and the IRM shouldn’t be written as taxpayer guidance or information.

Effective Date
  1. 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.

    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)

  2. For IRMs published for the "filing season," insert the specific date in the "effective date" field. Also insert this date for any revised subsection(s) with a change in content. For a discussion of filing season, see IRM 1.11.5.4.2, Filing Season Production Schedule.

Signature of Approving Official
  1. The approving official is the program director or member of the Senior Executive Service responsible for the program (or their documented designee). The MT identifies the approving official’s name and title. This is normally the same approving official who signs in the IMD Electronic Clearance Tool at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/eclearance or the Form 2061, Document Clearance Record, Part VI, Approving Official's Signature, block 19c, Signature, approving the IRM content.

  2. 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.

  3. For further guidance on signature authority, see IRM 1.11.9, Clearing and Approving Internal Manual Documents (IMDs).

Manual Transmittal Optional Elements

  1. If your IRM does not have a requirement for management and internal controls, then you may include optional elements. Otherwise, address these elements in the internal control subsections. It is not necessary to duplicate this information. You can use the authoring tool to generate optional elements the tool does not automatically generate.

  2. 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 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.

Conduct an Informal Review

  1. 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.

  2. An IRM reviewer may be a(n):

    1. Subject matter expert (SME) in another office or organization.

    2. Manager.

    3. Specialized reviewer (as defined in IRM 1.11.9).

    4. Affected stakeholder.

    5. Employee who follows the instructions.

  3. An informal review is particularly helpful when the new or revised procedure, process or program addresses:

    1. New or significant changes to a workflow or procedure.

    2. Legal interpretation.

    3. Taxpayer rights or duties.

    4. A change in working conditions requiring negotiations between Labor/Employee Relations & Negotiations and the union.

  4. An informal review does not take the place of formal clearance. You still must formally clear through affected offices and specialized reviewers. See IRM 1.11.9.3, Identifying Reviewers, for further guidance.

Determine the Need for an Informal Review

  1. An informal review helps facilitate the processing of an IRM section by:

    1. Providing an opportunity to verify the accuracy of current operations.

    2. Opening communications with offices affected by the policies or procedures and obtain their buy-in.

    3. Identifying potential issues or barriers.

    4. Avoiding unnecessary delays during formal clearance.

  2. Review these questions when considering whether to seek advice from a SME:

    1. Is the material technically or procedurally complex?

    2. Do you anticipate a lengthy review period?

    3. Do you need the opinion of a SME before sharing the information with others?

    4. Will you need the approval from another office or organization because of the proposed changes?

    5. Do the procedures affect how other offices do their work?

  3. Request an informal review when:

    1. You’re not familiar with the subject matter.

    2. You’re required to involve a specialized reviewer's input to develop the content (for example, obtaining legal advice, workforce relations). Authors must evaluate all new or revised IRMs for potential changes to conditions of employment of bargaining unit (BU) employees prior to clearance. See IRM 1.11.2.5.1.4, IRM Changes Affecting Conditions of Employment of Bargaining Unit Employees.

    3. You have a question or need confirmation from a SME in another office or organization.

Initiate an Informal Review

  1. When you initiate an informal review:

    1. Identify the office or organization responsible for addressing the changes or concerns.

    2. Explain the issues in an email or a note to reviewer outlining the changes or concerns.

    3. Attach a draft of the revised IRM or pertinent portions.

    4. Email the draft and specify a written response and the response date.

    5. Set up a meeting to discuss the reviewer’s questions or concerns.

    Note:

    Do not use a Form 2061, Document Clearance Record, for this purpose.

  2. 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 1.11.9.10.3, Archiving Clearance Documents.

Editorial Update Process

  1. 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.

  2. Editorial changes include:

    1. Updating organizational terms and titles.

    2. Adding or correcting references, websites, telephone numbers and citations.

    3. Reorganizing content within an IRM section without changing any substantive content or its meaning.

      Example:

      Renumbering paragraphs within a subsection.

    4. Improving the quality of an existing graphic or adding alternative text.

    5. Converting a graphic to text.

    6. Correcting typographical errors, e.g., spelling or grammatical errors.

    7. Changing to plain language without altering the meaning of the content.

    Note:

    Correcting non-editorial errors that require immediate attention (PII, etc.) may qualify for expedited clearance. See IRM 1.11.9.5.4.1, Expedited Clearance. For additional steps involving PII see IRM 1.11.2.5.6.1, Personally Identifiable Information (PII) or Federal Tax Information (FTI) Breach Actions.

  3. 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 1.11.9.2.1.1, Clearance of Editorial Updates.

    Note:

    When incorporating editorial changes or interim guidance, authors must update the IRM content to reflect current operations, including correcting inaccuracies and outdated links. See IRM 1.11.2.2.2 (2), Responsibilities for Maintaining the IRM.

  4. 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 1.11.2.8.1.

  5. 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.

Revise IRM for an Editorial Change

  1. Use the following guidance to update the IRM to correct an editorial error:

    Topic Action
    Subsection Date At least one subsection date in the IRM section must match the IRM effective date:
    • If the only change is editorial, such as a website address, legal reference, etc., change the affected subsection date.

    • If the only change to the IRM section is typographical, change the date of the first IRM subsection to match the IRM effective date.

    Manual Transmittal
    • Follow the rules for updating the MT described in IRM 1.11.2.6:

    • In the Material Changes, specify the types of editorial changes 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 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 M&P normally prints and distributes this IRM, in Block 21, insert "This IRM will be issued electronically only; no paper distribution at this time," unless making other arrangements. See IRM 1.11.5 for guidance.

    Reminder:

    Use the Form 1767 template at https://publish.no.irs.gov/pubsys/irm/IRM_1767.pdf to properly complete the form.

    Publishing Follow standard procedures to upload the IRM package to M&P.

  2. When you prepare the MT, describe the type of information changed in the Material Changes. If you make a change:

    1. To a specific provision, specify the subsection.

    2. 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].

Rules to Obsolete an IRM Section

  1. An IRM section is "obsolete" when the IRM information is no longer in effect due to a law, policy, operational, procedural or administrative change. You may completely eliminate an obsolete IRM section’s information or merge any of its remaining information into another IRM section(s).

  2. 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 restructuring the content, where to find the current instructions.

  3. In the event portions of the IRM remain effective, summarize the content specifying the current source and include the new location of the remaining content. You may list the changes in a paragraph or place them in a table or list along with the identifying information. Also, submit the active IRM for publishing before or simultaneously with the obsolete IRM to eliminate any conflicting instructions.

  4. See the table below for 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]."

  5. The table below provides step by step instructions when preparing to obsolete an IRM section.

    Action Instructions
    Prepare the IRM file using either method Method 1
    1. Open the last published version of the IRM file and save it to your computer.

    2. Place cursor at the end of the Manual start tag at the top of the IRM file.

    3. Select "modify attributes" to change the status from "active" to "obsolete."

    4. Ensure the <hasouo> attribute is set to "no."

    5. Update the metadata elements.

    6. Delete the IRM content. One subsection title and paragraph must contain text to pass a completeness check. Put "OBSOLETE" in the title and paragraph of the only subsection1 not deleted.


    Method 2
    1. Create a new IRM obsolete template by selecting File - New, then IRM (Obsolete) XML 1.0.

    2. Place cursor at the end of the Manual start tag at the top of the IRM file.

    3. Select "modify attributes" to add the catalog number

    4. Ensure the <hasouo> attribute is set to "no."

    5. Update the metadata elements for the user, owner, and author.

    6. Ensure to complete the Manual Transmittal per the row below and complete the Audience, Effective Date, and Signature. Select "modify attributes" to complete the IRM Part, Chapter, and Section tags. You must type in the section title.

    Prepare Manual Transmittal
    1. Purpose: Insert: "This obsoletes IRM X.X.X, Chapter title, Section title."

    2. Material Changes: Explain why the information is no longer in force or effect.

    3. 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
    1. Prepare a clearance record in the IMD Electronic Clearance Tool at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/eclearance or Form 2061.

    2. Clear the IRM through your manager and IMD/IRM coordinator.

    3. Clear the IRM through any affected offices or specialized reviewers, as required.

    4. Obtain the program director's (or documented designee's) signature.

    Submit file for publishing
    1. Prepare Form 1767.

    2. Follow standard procedures for submitting the file to M&P. See IRM 1.11.5.

  6. When a program or process is no longer effective, update the information in other sources as well. Check for information that resides:

    1. On the Web.

    2. In IRMs owned by other organizations or offices.

    3. In information published in other IRS documents or training materials.

    Example:

    Search IRM Online https://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 the content requires updating. See IRM 1.11.6.6, Providing Feedback About an IRM Section - Outside of Clearance, for instructions.

  7. Obtain agreement from affected offices and specialized reviewers to obsolete content from the IRM. Follow the instructions in IRM 1.11.9.

Communicate Information About the IRM

  1. 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.

  2. Issue a communication on your organizational website, newsletter or mailing list to highlight a particular topic important to employees in your IRS organization or office.

  3. Work with your organization's communications staff to identify the appropriate vehicle for the communication. Remember to:

    1. Identify your audience to determine which communication vehicle is appropriate.

    2. Reference the applicable IRM section or other official source when addressing a procedural or operational matter.

  4. 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
    IRS Source Short timely communications with a broad audience. IRS employees
    Leader's Alert All manager electronic newsletter IRS executives and managers
    IRS Headlines All-employee electronic newsletter IRS employees

    Note:

    Follow your organization’s procedures when submitting articles for these publications.

  5. SPDER issues IMD alerts on the IMD program and processes to:

    1. Inform IRM authors, coordinators, reviewers and their managers about the latest program changes and enhancements, reminders and news.

    2. Announce, reinforce or highlight published information or instructions, including links to the applicable IRM section.

    3. Announce the issuance of an IG memo or a new IRM section.

  6. There are two self-subscribing mailing lists for IMD alerts. SPDER emails IMD alerts to subscribers of the applicable mailing list and posted to the SPDER website. To sign up, see https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/News.

    1. 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.

    2. The author mailing list is primarily for IRM authors and is also helpful to IRM reviewers, coordinators, managers or others.

  7. In addition to the self-subscribing mailing lists, the IMD Oversight Council has a unique email address to receive communications.

Definitions of IMD Terms for Determining What Belongs in the IRM

TERM DEFINITION EXAMPLE
Delegations of Authority In general, the power to give orders or make decisions.
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.
IRM 1.2.2.2.26, Delegation Order (DO) 1-31 (Rev. 1), 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, 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 1.11.2.2, 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.aspx
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 must include a reference to the applicable IRM.
Document 13000, IRM Package Check Sheet, is a job aid.
Another example is the collection of Audit Technique Guides.
The IRS "Tax Withholding Estimator" 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 1.11.2.2.3 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 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.aspx.
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. IRM 1.2.1.2.1, 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 1.11.2.5.7, 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 effective for a limited amount of time. See IRM 1.11.10.2, Interim Guidance Standards, 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 at https://publish.no.irs.gov/cat12.cgi?request=CAT2&itemtyp=T&itemb=15770&items=*, Authoring the IRM with Arbortext Editor (Coursebook)

Most Common Reasons to Review the IRM

Conditions Condition Explained Review IRM Update the IRM
1. Changes to tax law, programs or processes There is new legislation or revisions to a program or process. These changes may impact the IRM. Verify all related IRM content. Update the IRM to reflect the most current information.
2. Corporate reorganization, Change An IRS reorganization takes place, changes may affect IRMs which reference the organization, function, program, etc. Verify:
  • Terms

  • Titles

  • IRS organization (functional statement)

  • Programs

  • Procedures

  1. For a new IRS organization, prepare a functional statement (IRM 1.1 , Organization and Staffing).

  2. When an organizational change occurs, revise the functional statement.

  3. Review IRM for current terminology, titles, programs and procedures.

3. Delegation Orders and Policy Statements Revising Delegation Orders and Policy Statements, it may impact IRM references and instructions. A Delegation Order and Policy Statement may be:
  • Newly created

  • Revised

  • Revoked

  1. Verify the number and the revision date.

  2. Conduct the IRM process under the proper delegated authority.

  3. Ensure the program conforms to existing IRS policy.

4. References to Official Published Products The IRS can revise, remove, supersede or rename official published products. Search for:
  • IRM references to other published products on the Electronic Publishing site.

  • Changes to an IRM number or title, an outdated IRM number format or a number in parentheses, (4100, 7(10)00).

Update references to reflect current documents:
  1. Other IRM sections

  2. Forms

  3. Letters

  4. Publications

  5. Documents

  6. Notices

5. Interim guidance (IG) An IG is issued and the procedural changes may affect a published IRM section. To determine if an IG is active, check the IMD Tracking System at http://imdtrack.web.irs.gov/search.aspx.
To determine if Interim Guidance impacts an IRM, go to IRM Online, select the IRM section, then select Interim Guidance.
  1. Update the IRM to reflect the most current guidance.

  2. Incorporate procedures by the expiration date.

6. Reorganize, add or remove IRM material Authors reorganize, add, or remove IRM material, update the references to this material. Check all IRM references:
  • IRM numbers and titles

  • Exhibits

  • Figures

  1. Update IRM references to other IMDs.

  2. Verify references to other IRM section and subsection numbers.

  3. Verify IRM titles.

  4. Check for obsolete IRM sections and/or content.

7. IRM material duplicated in another document Duplicating guidance can lead to inconsistencies in guidance used by employees. Refer to the primary document to reduce the likelihood of conflicting information. Check for IRM content that duplicates:
  • Another IRM section.

  • A published document, where the content is the primary source.

  1. Rather than duplicate content, reference the original source.

  2. Follow the rules for determining what belongs in the IRM. See IRM 1.11.2.2.

8. Legal and other References References are subject to change. Verify these sources annually:
  • IRC

  • Regulations

  • Notices

  • Revenue Rulings

  • Revenue Procedures

  1. Use Servicewide research tools to verify all legal references.

  2. When preparing content, insert legal citations rather than restating the Code, regulations, etc.

9. Software or IT System Changes Technology changes may affect business processes and the IRM procedures dependent on these technologies. Check for:
  • Processes and procedures related to new system requirements

  • Release of new or upgraded software or computer application

  1. Obtain documentation about the new software or system change.

  2. Revise IRM content to reflect new processes or procedures.

  3. Request a new IRM section number.

10. Telephone numbers in the IRM The IRS provides toll-free numbers so taxpayers and practitioners can contact us.
  • Verify IRS toll-free numbers annually

  • Conduct a key word search for "1-888" or the term "toll-free."

  1. Verify all telephone numbers.

  2. Clear IRMs containing toll-free numbers, through the Office of Taxpayer Correspondence (OTC). See IRM 1.11.9.4.6.

Note:

For an office or other telephone number, review and revise the IRM as necessary (OTC clearance not required).

11. Website addresses Website addresses change frequently.
  • Verify all website addresses.

  • Key-word search for "http" to help locate the links.

  1. Copy link from the "href" attribute of <a> tag into your internet browser to verify it works.

  2. Fix the <a> tag for broken links.

TEMPLATE: IRM Change Request for New IRM Chapter, Section, Title or Owner

ITEM INSTRUCTIONS
Request Date Date requested (email)
Requestor’s name Employee submitting the request.
Requestor’s IMD role Your role in the IMD program (author, coordinator, manager).
Requested Change IRM chapter
IRM section
IRM title
IRM owner organization
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
Propose a chapter title.
  • Describe a specific program or activity under the applicable chapter (but don’t use the organization or office name).

  • IRM titles can’t include the name of an office or organization. See IRM 1.11.2.4.4 for guidance on IRM titles.

IRM Section title Describe the specific program, process or activity for the new IRM.
  • If requesting multiple sections in a new chapter, list here.

  • If request multiple sections in an existing chapter, prepare a separate request for each.

You may provide a summary of your plan for discussion purposes.
Describe the requested change For a new IRM chapter or section.
  • If moving content from another IRM, provide a crosswalk that compares the current information to the new/proposed format (using a table or outline).

  • If moving a portion of the content to another IRM section, identify the content and explain the reason for the change.

  • If requesting multiple sections, merging content, or developing new content, summarize the proposed changes in a table.

State business reason for proposal Provide supporting documentation to support the request (new legislation, operating procedures, software or other systems).
  • If the new chapter involves reorganizing existing IRM material, describe the limitations of the existing content.

  • Specify all existing documents and IRM sections affected by this change.

Note:

This information belongs in the MT background, material changes and effect on other documents.

Audience Identify the employees expected to follow these procedures or benefit from the information by organization, program office or job category.
Program Director name and title Insert the name and title of the approving program director to ensure concurrence with the request for a new IRM chapter or section.
IMD Coordinator Name
Date reviewed
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
Telephone:
Organization symbols
SPDER Response Reserved for SPDER staff.
SPDER will consider your request. If we need additional information, we will insert a request for additional information and document decisions here.
SPDER Approver
Date
Reserved for SPDER staff.
When a decision is made, SPDER staff signs and dates, here.

IRM Web Resources

RESOURCE DESCRIPTION WEB ADDRESS
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 https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/Resources/CounselDecisionTool.aspx
Electronic Publishing site Product Catalog page Access to all IRS published products current and archived https://publish.no.irs.gov/catlg.html
FOIA Library Houses IRS resources for public access https://www.irs.gov/privacy-disclosure/foia-library
IMD Alerts IMD email to inform the IMD community about IMD matters
Click on the link to subscribe to the applicable mailing list
https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/News/default.aspx
IMD Point of Contacts List of IMD contacts by Organization or by their role in the IMD process https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/IMDContacts/Default.aspx
Information Resources Accessibility Program (IRAP) Contact for information on creating documents and files accessible to persons with disabilities https://irap.web.irs.gov/
Interim Guidance Search for active and archived IG through the IMD search page on IMD Track, which you can filter by IRS organization.
SPDER posts IG subject to FOIA on the FOIA Library page on IRS.gov
For IRS employees:
http://imdtrack.web.irs.gov/Search.aspx
For the public: https://www.irs.gov/uac/Interim-Guidance-by-IRS-Business-Process
The 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 at https://publish.no.irs.gov/cat12.cgi?request=CAT1&catnum=40137, Authoring the IRM with Arbortext Editor
IRM Online Search the complete currently effective IRM and link to published products and legal resources https://irm.web.irs.gov/
IRM Preview Tool See what the IRM will look like (on IRM Online) to test links and to ensure proper display of IRM format/tables https://irm.web.irs.gov/tools/preview
IRS Style Guide Website provides guidance on grammar, punctuation, capitalization and more for all IRS communications https://irssource.web.irs.gov/CL/Lists/IRS%20Style%20Guide/DispItemForm.aspx
IRS Historical Research Library Access IRS history and IRM documentation
Contact the Library staff for questions and information
https://oldirm.web.irs.gov/
IRM.Library@irs.gov
M&P IRM Manual Program page List of M&P's IRM resources https://publish.no.irs.gov/pubsys/irm/irm.html
M&P IRM Team Members List of current M&P IRM printing specialists
Email M&P
https://publish.no.irs.gov/pubsys/irm/irmteam.html
mp.irm@irs.gov
Official Part and Chapter Title List List of the approved IRM part and chapter titles automatically generated by the IRM authoring tool into the XML file. https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/irm/IRMPartChap.aspx
Organizational websites List of IMD websites for each IRS organization https://irm.web.irs.gov/imd/other
Plain Language website Information on writing in "plain language," under the Plain Writing Act of 2010, 5 USC 301 https://www.plainlanguage.gov/
ReferenceNet Portal for tax, legal, asset locator and other corporate research tools https://rnet.web.irs.gov/
Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP) An electronic research site maintained by W&I designed to provide access to IRMs, updated with interim procedural guidance and other reference materials used by W&I employees http://serp.enterprise.irs.gov
SPDER IMD Community website Site for IMDs, IRM rules and communications, IRM writing and authoring tool training https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/
Training information IRM authoring and IMD training available to the IMD community in self-study, virtual and classroom formats https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/training/
Virtual IMD Learning Library Application (VILLA) The site contains training modules about the IMD process. https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/villa
XML Author Registration Links to register and sign-up for email notifications of software updates and get the latest upgrades and fixes https://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. Website: http://xmlhelpdesk.web.irs.gov/
Email: wi.mpm.xmlsgmlhelp@irs.gov