1.11.2  Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process

Manual Transmittal

September 21, 2015


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

Material Changes

(1) IRM, IRM Standards - Revised content to emphasize the importance of the IRM and clarify what content belongs in the IRM. Also, moved content, formerly under IRM and IRM, regarding IRM currency and the risks associated with not keeping it current, and aligned it under IRM Standards. Also changed the subsection title of IRM to Responsibilities for Maintaining the IRM (formerly Keeping the IRM Current). Rearranged functional statement content to IRM

(2) IRM, Supplemental Sources of Guidance - Clarified information on other sources of guidance to assist with determining what belongs in the IRM.

(3) IRM, Local Procedures - Clarified information and examples relating to local procedures.

(4) IRM, When Procedures Deviate from the IRM - Clarified language on IRM deviations to conform with established rules for providing guidance outside the IRM. Added language to require review by affected program offices and specialized reviewers and extended effect of guidance up to two years.

(5) IRM, IRM Owner - Added language to paragraph (2) to provide rules when more than one office or organization own an IRM section.

(6) IRM, Changing IRM Titles, Numbers, Owners and Authors - Added established rules for administering IRM changes (for example, requiring management approval when submitting a request).

(7) IRM, Assigning an IRM Number, Catalog Number and Title - Clarified explanation for reinstating an IRM sections.

(8) IRM, Recommending an IRM Title - Clarified the necessary steps when requesting a title change.

(9) IRM, Preparing to Write or Revise the IRM - Added language to promote "plain language" as a standard for the IRM writing style.

(10) IRM, Handling Requested Changes to the IRM - Added and clarified information on the process for handling employee comments on IRM content. Added a note to reference the SERP feedback rule.

(11) IRM, Determining the Subsection Date - Clarified the subsection date definition and rules to conform to the IRM effective date and editorial update rules.

(12) IRM, Determining the Effective Date - Clarified the effective date rules and established a date rule where changes are made only for typographical errors.

(13) IRM, Signature of Authorizing Official - Changed signature authority to remove reference to senior manager. This language now conforms to the clearance rules in IRM 1.11.9.

(14) IRM, Editorial Update Process - Clarified the subsection date rule when publishing the IRM for editorial changes only. Reworded the language relating to typographical .errors for clarity.

(15) IRM, Preparing to Obsolete an IRM Section - Added instructions when preparing to obsolete an IRM section to encourage program owners to update information in other published sources such as websites, the IRM, other published documents and training materials.

(16) Exhibit 1.11.2-3, TEMPLATE: New IRM Chapter or Section Request - Added instructions to the template for requests that combine existing and new content into a new IRM chapter.

(17) Reviewed the IRM for editorial changes to clarify the language throughout and reviewed and updated all references and website addresses.

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 1.11.2, dated May 08, 2014, is superseded.


Employees involved in the IRM process in any capacity - Program managers , IMD/IRM coordinators, authors and reviewers

Effective Date


Related Resources

IMD Community Website: http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/

Electronic Publishing Website: http://publish.no.irs.gov/ephome.html

Official Part and Chapter title list: http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/IRMPartChap.asp

IRM authoring courses: http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/training/

IRS Historical Research Library website http://oldirm.web.irs.gov/

Jeffrey S. Butler
Acting Director, Servicewide Policy Directives and Electronic Research  (05-08-2014)

  1. 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 standard procedures for writing the IRM.

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

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

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

    • IRM authors

    • IMD/IRM coordinators

    • Supervisors with IMD program responsibilities

    • Contractors who prepare IRM material


      The term "author" and "originator" is used interchangeably. In this IRM, the term originator refers to the author.

  3. The Office of Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Research (SPDER) determines IRM policy and manages the servicewide IRM process. SPDER provides enterprise guidance and centralized oversight for the IRM. Each organization may have an embedded function that establishes internal procedures based upon these servicewide processes.

  4. The following table lists the primary sources of guidance on the IMD and IRM programs. Together this material forms the operating rules and responsibilities of the IMD program.

    IRM Title Guidance on
    IRM 1.11.1 Internal Management Document (IMD) Program and Responsibilities The IMD program, definitions and the roles and responsibilities of IRM authors, IMD/IRM coordinators and their supervisors
    IRM 1.11.3 Policy Statements Creating and revising servicewide Policy Statements
    IRM 1.11.4 Delegation Orders Creating and revising servicewide Delegation Orders and Organizational Delegation Orders
    IRM 1.11.5 Publishing the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) The publishing and distribution processes
    IRM 1.11.9 Clearing and Approving Internal Management Documents (IMDs) The clearance process and obtaining approvals
    IRM 1.11.10 Interim Guidance Process Authoring, issuing and clearing interim guidance and the rules for complying with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requirements
    IRM 10.2.13 Information Protection The proper handling of official use only (OUO) materials
    IRM 11.3.12 Designation of Documents Processing materials containing OUO information
  5. Contact Information. To recommend changes or make any other suggestions to this IRM section, contact the SPDER office by email at SPDER@irs.gov.  (09-21-2015)
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 that employees have the approved policy and guidance they need to carry out their responsibilities in administering the tax laws or other agency obligations.

  2. Through the IRM, IRS meets certain federal requirements to document, publish and maintain records of policies, authorities, procedures and organizational operations described in IRM, Authorities and Legal Obligations of IMDs. See also IRM for the types of IMDs along with a description.

  3. Instructions which are the primary source of guidance belong in the IRM. Primary, for this purpose, means it is the main source of instructions of procedural guidance. This includes information that is integral to the employee’s job responsibilities or affects their evaluation must be published in the IRM.

  4. 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 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 interim guidance outside of the IRM.

  5. All instructions to staff must be accurate, accessible, and easy to follow to ensure employees provide consistent and fair treatment to the public. Instructions to staff that revise the IRM in any way, including deviations, interim guidance, pilot project or temporary guidance, must:

    1. Reference the affected IRM section.

    2. Be approved at the executive level.

    3. Be communicated to all affected employees.

    4. Be evaluated for disclosure to the public and posted to IRS.gov as needed.

  6. To ensure IRM instructions remain consistent, review the IRM annually for organizational or operational changes. Also, reference the specific document or IRM subsection number and title where the primary material is located. These practices help employees find the instructions they need and eliminates duplicating content which can lead to conflicting instructions. See Exhibit 1.11.2-2, Most Common Reasons to Review the IRM.

  7. When proposing substantive changes to the IRM or changes which affect the IRM structure and organization, obtain management approval. Also, contact your organizational IMD coordinator for guidance. Visit http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/Resources/IMDContacts.asp for IMD contact information. See also IRM, for guidance when requesting a new IRM chapter or section.

  8. The "IRM Decision Tool " helps program managers and IRM authors determine the type of information that belongs in the IRM. Through a series of questions, the tool assists in identifying whether instructions to staff found in other sources must be in the IRM. See The IRM Decision Tool at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/decide/.  (09-21-2015)
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.

  2. To ensure employees can find the instructions, and to provide context and information, supplemental guidance should reference the applicable IRM section. This practice ensures a connection between the IRM and the supplemental source.

  3. Supplemental guidance includes:

    1. Published products (internal documents and forms)

    2. Organizational websites

    3. Job aids, such as check sheets and web-based decision tools

    4. Local procedures

    5. Training materials

  4. Internal management documents (IMDs) and other supplemental sources of guidance are defined in Exhibit 1.11.2-1,Definitions of IMD Terms for Determining What Belongs in the IRM.

  5. Risks associated with maintaining instructions in a separate source include:

    1. Documents are not subject to the same formal review and approval process (clearance) as the IRM.

    2. Archive copies aren't maintained in a searchable or central location.

    3. The changes between revisions may not be clearly documented.

    4. Documents may not be disclosed to the public risking the transparency of IRS operations.  (05-28-2014)
Responsibilities for Maintaining the IRM (formerly Keeping the IRM Current)

  1. The IRM owner is identified at the highest organizational level, e.g., Small Business/Self Employed (SB/SE), Large Business and International (LB&I), and Appeals for each IRM section. The "program owner" is the organization or office responsible for establishing the program policy, process and procedures necessary to implement and manage the program area for the IRS. Each program owner is responsible for developing and publishing procedures in the IRM. See IRM

  2. IRM content must be accurate and reliable to ensure consistent administration of the tax laws. To maintain the accuracy of the IRM content, the IRM program owner is responsible for reviewing the IRM at least annually, for procedural, operational, and editorial changes. Procedural and operational changes typically come from the following sources:

    1. Interim guidance,

    2. Corporate restructuring,

    3. New or revised legislation,

    4. Chief Counsel guidance, and

    5. Employee recommendations and feedback (see IRM

  3. Managing IRM updates on a routine schedule is also more efficient as it eases the burden on authors and reviewers by addressing changes as they occur. Infrequent updates typically require extensive changes which prolongs the processing time to write, clear and publish the IRM.  (05-08-2014)
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 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). These requirements are met when instructions to staff are written in the IRM. See IRM 1.11.1, 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. Inconsistently administer the tax laws.

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

  3. In addition, employees'evaluations could be adversely affected by IRM inconsistencies.  (09-21-2015)
Local Procedures

  1. Local procedures are procedures specific to a particular office or campus. They are based on the location, the internal processes of the locality, or tailored to the specific needs of its taxpayers. Local procedures cannot deviate, contradict, or duplicate material in the IRM, nor can they set policy or change national program guidance. These procedures supplement the IRM and are formally issued and communicated to employees in a specific office or campus. See IRM, should these procedures deviate from the IRM.


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

  2. Procedures that result from national program guidance for the Service on a specific work process must be included in the IRM.


    National Program Guidance
    • Centralized work processes only carried out in one office or campus. These procedures are the national program guidance for the Service and are subject to FOIA, therefore this content belongs in the IRM.

  3. Use a memorandum to communicate a local procedure. The memorandum should refer to the core process, procedure or applicable IRM section. It should be reviewed by the affected program offices and approved by the responsible first-line executive (or their documented designee).

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

    1. Issue formally through memoranda 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.


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

  5. Local guidance may be subject to FOIA and require disclosure on IRS.gov. For information on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) criteria and requirements, see IRM, Transparency of Instructions to Staff.  (09-21-2015)
When Procedures Deviate from the IRM

  1. Program guidance may not apply to the work in all offices in all areas of the country. In rare cases, it may be necessary to operate in a manner that does not comply with the official procedures in the IRM.

  2. Guidance that deviates from the IRM or that establishes new practices (even if temporary) must be:

    1. Approved by a first-line executive with program responsibility (or documented designee),

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

    3. Communicated to employees in writing, and

    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).

  4. Procedural guidance which deviates from the IRM are subject to disclosure on IRS.gov. For information on the E-FOIA criteria and requirements, see IRM, Interim Guidance Requiring FOIA Compliance.  (05-08-2014)
Functional Statement IRM

  1. Functional statements are published in IRM 1.1, Organization and Staffing. A functional statement IRM provides a high-level description of an organization’s operations and organizational structure reflected in the activities they perform to achieve the IRS mission and responsibilities. Every primary IRS organization is responsible for preparing and maintaining a functional statement IRM.

  2. The functional statement describes:

    1. The organization's mission and how it supports the IRS mission,

    2. The organization's strategic goals,

    3. The offices within the organization and their primary responsibilities, and

    4. The organization's reporting structure.

  3. For a new organization, the information for preparing a functional statement IRM is found in the documentation establishing the office.

  4. The IRM owner revises the functional statement IRM when a change is made to their structure, mission or primary responsibilities.

  5. The IRM owner obsoletes the functional statement IRM when an organization is no longer operational.  (05-08-2014)
IRM Format and Structure

  1. The IRM is organized by IRS business process. The IRM format and structure is designed to accommodate changes to IRS operations and program responsibilities. As the IRS changes, material may be added to or removed from the IRM independent of organizational structure. See IRM, IMDs Numbered by Business Process.

  2. The IRM is structured using a sequential series of numbers. The first three numbers, separated by decimals, represent the IRM number and describe the following:

    1. Part – Represents an IRS business process

    2. Chapter – Relates to a major topic within the business process

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


    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 a change is made, whether extensive or minor, the entire section is published.

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

    • For an electronic listing, access various "IRM Indexes" on IRM Online http://irm.web.irs.gov/.

    • For a portable document file (PDF) version that is updated monthly, see Document 10988, Internal Revenue Manual Index. This document also provides historical information.

  5. Document 12835, IRM Style Guide, is a reference guide for IRM authors that provides a set of editing and formatting standards to ensure consistency in the IRM, such as:

    • Hyperlinks

    • Standard citation tags

    • Plain language writing style

    • Preferred use of lists (alphabetical, numerical (step), and bullet)

    • Acronyms

    • Active voice

    • Use of emphasis  (05-08-2014)
IRM Section Elements

  1. Each IRM section consists of the following:

    • IRM number and title

    • Catalog number

    • Manual Transmittal

    • Table of Contents

    • Subsections (content)

    • Exhibit(s) and figure(s) (when applicable)

  2. The IRM number is based on the business process (part), major topic (chapter) and a specific topic (section). Each number is associated with a descriptive title.

  3. Media and Publications (M&P) assigns a catalog number to each IRM section. The catalog number consists of a unique 5-digit number and a letter. The catalog number serves as an identification number that is used to track the specific topic in publishing archives. See IRM

  4. The IRM Manual Transmittal (MT) is the cover sheet for each IRM section. The Manual Transmittal details the additions and removals for each revision since the last published version. For more on the Manual Transmittal, see IRM

  5. The table of contents lists each of the IRM subsections and exhibits, where applicable. The IRM authoring tool software we use to produce the IRM automatically generates the table of contents. The table of contents helps readers easily find information.

  6. A "subsection" contains content, e.g., informational or procedural guidance, on a specific topic. The IRM structure allows up to five levels of subsection. Each subsection number is separated by a decimal and each subsection is accompanied by a title. View this scheme in the table of contents of this IRM section. . The following example illustrates a subsection number recorded at the third subsection level.


    IRM is the 3rd subsection level of IRM 1.2.3. This list shows the components of IRM
    • Part = 1
    • Chapter = 2
    • Section = 3
    • Subsection 1 = 4
    • Subsection 2= 5
    • Subsection 3 = 6

  7. Exhibits, containing text, tables or graphics are located at the end of the IRM section.  (05-08-2014)
Catalog Number

  1. The IRM is published at the section level. Each IRM section is assigned a catalog number that is permanently associated with that IRM section and primary topic. The catalog number is a unique string of 5 numbers and one letter.


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

  2. A catalog number can't be changed or reused for a different IRM section or topic.

    1. If the material in an IRM section is no longer in effect or useful, both the IRM number and catalog number are archived. Neither the IRM number nor catalog number can be re-used, unless it's for the same or a similar topic.

    2. If the same or similar topic is reissued at a later date, the IRM number and catalog number are restored.

  3. The M&P IRM printing specialist assigns a catalog number for each new IRM section. M&P will not assign a catalog number until SPDER approves the request. This process is explained in IRM, Assigning an IRM Number, Catalog Number and Title.

  4. To contact an IRM printing specialist, visit http://publish.no.irs.gov/pubsys/irm/irmteam.html or mp.irm@irs.gov.  (09-21-2015)
IRM Owner

  1. IRM content is owned and managed by the organization responsible for the program.

  2. In some cases, two or more program offices may contribute to the content of an IRM section, however only one organization is the primary owner. IRM owners are responsible for the accuracy of their IRM content.

  3. Information about IRM owners is found in indexing tools which also display the number, title and historical information for each IRM section. Employees can refer to these tools to determine who to contact when they have a question or concern that involves a particular process, procedure or activity:

    • IRM Numerical Index – Access the most current and historical versions of the IRM in PDF format. The most current version is available in Arbortext Editor (XML).

    • IRM Online – Research the currently effective IRM on the IRweb (HTML format).

    • Document 10988, Internal Revenue Manual Index – Updated monthly, this document is published in PDF format.  (05-08-2014)
IRM Author

  1. IRM authors are subject matter experts who are responsible for preparing program procedures and guidelines. They may be analysts or front line employees. Frequently, authoring an IRM section is a collateral responsibility. Authors work closely with their IMD/IRM coordinators.

  2. When the IRM is published officially, the author's contact information is posted on the "Product Catalog Information" page for each published product. The author information is obtained from the Form 1767, Publishing Services Requisition.

  3. This information is also displayed in the following sources:

    • IRM Numerical Index on the Electronic Publishing website. See Exhibit 1.11.2-4, IRM Web Resources, for links to the Product Catalog page and IRM Numerical Index.

    • Document 10988,IRM Index.  (09-21-2015)
Changing IRM Titles, Numbers, Owners and Authors

  1. Changes to the IRM may involve more than just operational or procedural changes. The IRM may also be revised for administrative changes to the:

    • IRM chapter number and title

    • IRM section number and title

    • IRM owner (by IRS organization)

    • IRM author

  2. These types of changes require approval from the SPDER office. Note that any change to the IRM doesn’t take effect until the IRM is officially published.

  3. Before submitting a request to SPDER:

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

    2. Complete the template in Exhibit 1.11.2-3 or provide the necessary information specified in the following subsections.

    3. Send the request to your organizational IMD/IRM coordinator who will send it to the SPDER office for consideration.  (05-08-2014)
Requesting a New IRM Chapter or Section

  1. To initiate a new IRM chapter or section, the author or program owner prepares a request that explains the reason for the new IRM chapter or section. See template at Exhibit 1.11.2-3.

  2. The request includes the following:

    1. A new IRM chapter (number and title).

    2. A new IRM section (number and title).

    3. A change to the IRM chapter title (required).

    4. A change to the IRM section title.

    5. Document the business reason.

    6. Provide a flowchart, outline or crosswalk of the proposed content.

  3. The author forwards the request to their IMD/IRM coordinator for review. The IMD/IRM coordinator ensures it is complete and then forwards the request to the SPDER customer liaison or email it to SPDER@irs.gov.

  4. SPDER reviews the request to determine whether the information duplicates existing or historical IRM material. If a new IRM is needed, SPDER:

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

    2. Assigns a unique IRM chapter or section number, and

    3. Ensures the title is sufficiently descriptive. See IRM, Recommending an IRM Title, for more on IRM titles.

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

    1. Returns the request indicating approval, and

    2. Adds the title to the official Part and Chapter title list.  (09-21-2015)
Assigning 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 titles are automatically inserted into the IRM XML file when an author inserts the part and chapter number. This automated process ensures that the titles are consistent and accurate. See http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/IRMPartChap.asp for a list of the official titles.

  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 when a new catalog number is requested:

    New All of the material is new, Requests a new catalog number.
    New A portion of the material is moved from one IRM section to a new IRM section, Requests a new catalog number.
    Obsolete A formerly obsolete program, procedure or activity is reinstated, Identifies the original catalog number from the obsolete IRM section, where the subject and title is substantially the same.


    When revising the IRM to incorporate information from one or more IRM sections into an existing IRM section, describe the changes and reference the affected IRM sections in the Manual Transmittal.

  4. When reinstating an IRM section, you are reissuing a previously published IRM that is currently obsolete . In this case it isn’t necessary to contact SPDER unless the content differs substantially from the prior revision, or you are revising the IRM title.  (05-08-2014)
Changing the IRM Owner

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

  2. To request a change to the owner of an IRM section, submit the following documentation through your IMD/IRM coordinator to SPDER@irs.gov:

    1. The IRM number

    2. Current and new owner

    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 must make the necessary changes to the IRM XML file and publish the IRM to ensure all data sources (IRM Online, IRM Index, Publishing catalog page) reflect the proper information.  (09-21-2015)
Recommending 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. IRM number and the title

    2. Proposed title

    3. Business reason for recommending a title change.

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


      When preparing the IRM for publication, specify the title change in the Manual Transmittal, in either the "Material Changes " or "Background."

  4. SPDER will consider your request and respond indicating approval or requesting additional information.

  5. When creating a title, ensure it is short yet descriptive. Also, avoid using punctuation in a title, e.g., a hyphen (-) or slash (/) .


    Compare the following two IRM titles:
    • IRM 1.11.2, Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process and
    • Hypothetical IRM 22.43.1, Operating Procedures.

    Analysis: The title of IRM 1.11.2 clearly and concisely describes the subject matter, whereas in the hypothetical example, the reader can't identify the program, process, or activity.  (05-08-2014)
Changing the IRM Section Author

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

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

    2. Specify the IRM number and catalog number.

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

    4. Email SPDER@irs.gov and copy MP.IRM@irs.gov.


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

  2. If the IRM is posted to SERP, the author information must also be updated on the SERP site. Follow instructions in IRM, Authorized Submitter.  (05-08-2014)
Writing the IRM

  1. The IRM author takes the following actions when assigned an IRM section to write or update:

    1. Requests the IRM authoring software (Arbortext Editor) by submitting a ticket to: http://getservices.web.irs.gov and select: Order from the Product and Services Catalog>My Technology.

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

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

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

      IF you are preparing to THEN follow the instructions in
      Write a new IRM section, IRM
      Revise an IRM section (to add, remove or change the content), IRM
      Obsolete an IRM section, IRM
  2. IRM authors are also encouraged to participate in IMD training opportunities to remain proficient and current in their authoring responsibilities. Before attending training sessions, discuss your training needs or request approval from your supervisor. IMD training is provided through various venues, including classroom, ELMS, Centra, and a biannual IMD conference.  (09-21-2015)
Preparing to Write or Revise the IRM

  1. The basic steps the author takes when preparing to write or revise the IRM are:

    1. Download the IRM XML file from the Electronic Publishing website when revising the IRM. Select "Find" to access the catalog page for access to the published IRM section.

    2. Save the XML file to your computer. Right click on the hyperlink to the current XML format file on the Product Catalog Information page for the IRM, select “Save Target As” to save the file to your computer.

    3. Gather all related interim guidance, policies, legislation and issues raised since the previous clearance process for the IRM section. To aid in this evaluation, the author may use the http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/decide/.

    4. Discuss your planned IRM changes with your manager.

    5. Coordinate an informal review of the IRM with stakeholders if necessary. See IRM, Conducting an Informal Review.

    6. Prepare the Manual Transmittal. See IRM

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

  2. The IRM author takes these steps to ensure a quality product when writing the IRM (or any other document):

    • Pre-writing - Gather information, consult with others and organize it.

    • Writing - Write the IRM content (first draft or revision) and ensure you identify and write to your audience.

    • Revising - Add, rearrange or remove content for clarity.

    • Editing - Review the IRM for plain language, grammar, punctuation, active voice, etc.

  3. To ensure the content is accurate and complete, the IRM author will add or correct the IRM for the following:

    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

    7. Clarify or reorganize content

    8. Rewrite content using plain language guidelines

    9. Review the IRM for editorial changes, listed in IRM

  4. As part of their responsibilities the IRM author also validates IRM references, such as:

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

    2. Organizational changes affecting terms and titles

    3. Website addresses

    4. Legal citations and references (court cases, revenue rulings, revenue procedures, etc.)

    5. IRS toll-free numbers

  5. Writing in plain language is important for IRM clarity. General information on plain language is available at www.plainlanguage.gov. ELMS course 57235, Writing Your IRM in Plain Language, contains IRM-specific guidance about plain language.

  6. Enhance the readability of the IRM by using these techniques to present information:

    1. A list or table to simplify complex material.

    2. A table to present conditional information (if/then) or present procedures in a specific order (step/action).

    3. A list to display procedures or actions.

    4. A figure to display graphical information within the IRM text.

    5. A long table or an item with varied format in an "exhibit."

    6. A "note" (reminder, caution, etc.), to emphasize a point, not to convey procedures.

    7. Examples to illustrate a concept.

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

    1. Identify other IRM sections affected by the changes in your IRM. Go to IRM Online http://irm.web.irs.gov/ and use the keyword search feature to identify potentially 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 http://publish.no.irs.gov/catlg.html and select the applicable IRM from the Product Catalog Information page or the IRM Numerical Index, located on this site.  (05-08-2014)
Organizing IRM Material

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

    Step Action
    1. Outline the major topics or develop a flowchart.
    2. Prepare a purpose statement to describe the IRM topic and audience. Place this statement in the first subsection.
    3. Organize the information into subsections, such as:
    • 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
    • Search the current IRM to ensure information in your section is not covered in another IRM section or document.

    • Insert a reference to existing IRM content. When referencing the IRM, include the IRM number and title to ensure employees access the most current instructions. See IRM  (05-08-2014)
Writing a New IRM Section

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

    1. Draft the IRM content (compile and organize) - See IRM, Organizing IRM Material

    2. Write the content in the IRM authoring tool - See IRM, Preparing to Write or Revise the IRM

    3. Create a new IRM section and/or chapter - See IRM, Requesting a New IRM Chapter or Section

  2. Every IRM section is created in the IRM authoring tool as an XML file. The author:

    1. Opens a new IRM XML file - see Authoring the IRM with Arbortext Editor (Coursebook)

    2. Completes the metadata

    3. Prepares the Manual Transmittal - see IRM

    4. Prepares and inputs the content - see Document 12835, IRM Style Guide

  3. A new author assigned to write a new IRM must learn:

    1. The IRM format and structure, and

    2. How to use the IRM authoring tool.  (05-08-2014)
Revising an IRM Section

  1. When revising an IRM section, the IRM author downloads the current IRM XML file from the http://publish.no.irs.gov/ and saves it on their computer. Only use this official file to make revisions.

  2. Validate references to IRM section numbers and titles within the subject IRM section and any external IRM sections. For official part and chapter titles, see http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/IRMPartChap.asp.

  3. Identify necessary changes since the previous revision, such as

    1. Interim guidance

    2. Feedback from employees

    3. Issues from the previous clearance

    4. Editorial changes  (09-21-2015)
Handling Requested Changes to the IRM

  1. Employees or affected program offices may suggest corrections or content changes to the IRM. The information in IRM, Providing Feedback About an IRM Section describes various methods for providing feedback.

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

  3. When an IRM author receives a written request that may require an IRM revision, the author will take the following actions:

    1. Acknowledge receipt of the recommendation within two weeks. The acknowledgement should include an expected response date.

    2. Review and consider the recommendation for acceptance.

    3. Within 45 days, respond with any actions, including projected time frames, with respect to the recommendation.


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

  4. When the author does not 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 supervisor and/or program director.

  5. When the author accepts the recommendation, the change is made 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, or

    2. Issuing interim guidance if the matter is urgent. See IRM, Interim Guidance Definition and Use, for instructions on issuing interim guidance.

  6. The author must document the issue and resolution in the IRM document clearance record (DCR) package maintained in the IRS Historical Research Library. See IRM, Clearance Documents Sent to IRS Historical Research Library.

    1. If the IRM is revised based on the recommended change, the author documents the resolution and disposition of the recommendation and forwards it to the IRS Historical Research Library or email IRM.Library@irs.govwhen the IRM is next published.

    2. If the IRM is not revised based on the recommendation, the author forwards the documentation of the resolution and disposition to the IRS Historical Research Library for association with the IRM DCR package.

  7. The IRM author includes 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.  (05-08-2014)
Determining IRM Dates

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

    • Manual Transmittal (MT) date

    • IRM effective date

    • Subsection date

    • Revision date

  2. The table below defines each type of IRM date and the proper date format:

    IRM Dates Definition Date Format
    Manual Transmittal Date This is the date the IRM section is published and posted in the Core Repository of Published Products (housed on the Electronic Publishing website). Month DD, YYYY


    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.


    The IRM effective date can’t precede the Manual Transmittal date.

    • (MM-DD-YYYY) - wild card date format. The wild card date reflects the published date.

    • (12-01-2015) - a specific date


    A specific effective date is required for a filing season IRM.

    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.


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

    (MM-DD-YYYY) - wild card date format.
    Specific Date: (12-01-2014)
    Revision Date This date matches the Manual Transmittal Date. The revision date is associated with all published products and only appears on paper products (Portable Document File (PDF) version) and IRM indices, such as, Document 10988, Internal Revenue Manual Index. Not applicable
  3. When adding or revising information that becomes effective on a specified date, insert the date in both the Manual Transmittal effective date element and the affected subsection date(s).


    When the IRM specifies an effective date:
    Your IRM is published November 15, 2015 but the procedures are not effective until January 1, 2016. The effective date in the Manual Transmittal will show a January 1st date and the subsection date will also be January 1st. The Manual Transmittal date will reflect the issue date.

    Type of Date Date and Format
    Manual Transmittal date November 15, 2015
    IRM Effective date 01/01/2016
    Subsection dates 01/01/2016
    Revision date 11/15/2015
  4. For additional information on IRM dates in the Manual Transmittal, see IRM  (09-21-2015)
Determining the Subsection Date

  1. When a substantive change is made to an IRM section, change the subsection date. A revision is "substantive" if a procedural or operational change is made to the IRM. This type of change is documented in the Material Changes of the Manual Transmittal. See IRM, on 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.
    c. Changes are editorial only. Follow rules described in IRM
    d. Revision incorporates content from an interim guidance memorandum, IRM effective date.
    e. Revision incorporates content from an issued IRM procedural update (IPU), IPU issue date.
  3. These subsection date rules also apply to an IRM exhibit.

  4. When incorporating interim guidance or an IPU into the IRM, explain the change(s) in the Manual Transmittal Material Changes to create an audit trail. See details in IRM In the Effect on Other Documents, specify the interim guidance and IG number. See IRM  (05-08-2014)
Designating IRM Content as Official Use Only (OUO)

  1. Official use only (OUO) information requires protection from the public due to the risk and magnitude of loss or harm to the IRS or the privacy to which individuals are entitled under 5 USC 552a. See IRM 11.3.12, Disclosure of Official Information, Designation of Documents.

  2. Material is considered OUO when restricted for official purposes by individuals authorized by Delegation Order 11-1, Administrative Control of Documents and Material (as revised). See IRM

  3. The following describes IRM content which may require a designation of OUO:

    1. Instructions relating to enforcement strategies, tolerances and criteria where there is a reasonable expectation of harm to tax administration.

    2. Material where publication would hinder the law enforcement process.

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

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


    Employee contact name and phone numbers are generally not classified as OUO. See IRM, Public Information Listing.

  4. Any IRM section can contain OUO content. Sensitive information, whether electronic files or in paper, must be protected. Encrypt documents containing sensitive information when sending out via email or saving to a hard drive. See IRM 10.8.1, Information Technology (IT) Security, Policy and Guidance.

  5. IRM content that is OUO is tagged using the IRM authoring tool to denote that it is "restricted" content. When published, the tagged information is automatically redacted from the public version.

  6. 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.

  7. If an IRM graphic contains any OUO information, restrict the entire graphic. Place the "restrict" tag before and after the graphic tag.

  8. IRMs containing OUO information require clearance through Privacy, Government Liaison and Disclosure (PGLD) at PGLD.IMD.SPOC@irs.gov. See IRM, Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure.

  9. To obtain special handling when sending the IRM for publishing notate yes. in box 7 Security and Special Handling of Form 1767, Publishing Services Requisition. See IRM,Preparing Form 1767, Publishing Services Requisition.

  10. To access historical versions of the Law Enforcement Manual (LEM), refer to the Electronic Publishing site catalog page or the IRS Historical Research Library.  (05-08-2014)
Using Tables

  1. A table is a useful way to present information, particularly complex information, more clearly and concisely. Use a table to present instructions that must be followed in a particular order or when presenting information with at least three conditions or steps. For further instructions on using a table in the IRM, refer to Document 12835, IRM Style Guide.

  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 header (title), insert a header row in the first row. By taking this action, the header row will display in bold font and will repeat on continuation pages of the PDF copy of the IRM.

    2. Insert a table summary which to briefly describe the table contents. If the text surrounding the table sufficiently describes the table contents, a table summary isn't necessary.

    3. Do not 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.


      You can avoid spanning cells in either a row or column by repeating the information in the row or column or displaying the content in more than one table. . .

  3. For instructions on using the IRM authoring tool to insert tables and its features, check out the Virtual IMD Learning Library Application (VILLA) at https://organization.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/ras/spder/IMD_COP/V/default.aspx. Search the site for XML modules and click on "XML Modules for Tables."  (05-08-2014)
Using Telephone Numbers

  1. Using telephone numbers in the IRM is discouraged. However, if it is necessary to display a telephone number, the following rules apply:

    1. Verify that the telephone number is correct.

    2. Review at least annually for correctness, especially if it is an IRS tax assistance (toll-free) number.

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

  2. Note that telephone numbers appearing in the IRM are available to the public. See IRM, Public Information Listing, for the rules for determining information that is publicly available.  (09-04-2009)
Using Fictitious Identifying Information

  1. To avoid accidental use of "live" taxpayer information in IRM text or exhibits, follow these guidelines:

    "Fictitious" Guidelines Examples
    Use common, fictitious names John Doe
    Mary Doe
    John Q. Public
    Use classes of objects, such as fish, birds or minerals, as names A. B. Pike
    Roberta Salmon
    Michael Trout
    Use common, fictitious street names 123 Main Street
    100 Broadway
    55 Elm Street


    Do not use a well-known address such as "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue."

    Use neutral names for cities or names of major cities Anytown, USA
    New York, NY
    Washington, DC
    Use fictitious Social Security Numbers (SSNs) that begin with "0" or "X" 000-00-XXXX
    Use fictitious Employer Identification Numbers (EINs) that begin with "00" or "XX." 00-XXXXXXX
    XX-1111111  (05-08-2014)
Using Graphics

  1. A graphic is a picture. The graphic may depict a flowchart, graph, form or logo, i.e., an image that is not reproducible in text within the IRM authoring tool software. A graphic may be displayed in a figure or an exhibit. A graphic is created separately from the IRM XML file.

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

    1. Format: Create the graphic in Portable Document File (PDF) format.

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


      Color is limited to some Part 3 IRMs.

    3. Orientation: Display in portrait or landscape. (A graphic oriented in landscape may only be placed in an exhibit.)

    4. Name: Use an 8-digit graphic file name. See paragraph (3) below for an explanation.

    5. File limitations: Prepare one graphic page for each PDF file. If a graphic is two pages or more, save each graphic page to a separate PDF file.


      No photos or gradients are accepted.

  3. 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.


    IRM 3.11.8 is assigned Catalog Number 33465B. The first graphic in IRM 3.11.8 is typically named 33465001.

  4. A graphic that displays on more than one page will require a graphic filename for each graphic page and an associated PDF for each graphic page. Insert the graphic tag for each of the pages in the IRM XML file.

  5. When inserting a graphic in the IRM XML file, take the following actions:

    1. Prepare the graphic in PDF format.

    2. Review the graphic content for accuracy.

    3. Assign each graphic page a graphic number. Use the IRSTools >Show Graphic File list (on the Arbortext toolbar) to verify the number.

    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 VDN can reference such paragraph(s).

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

    7. Place restrict tags around the entire graphic if it contains "official use only" (OUO) material.


    An IRM authoring tool tip: Verify your graphic file numbers by using the "show graphic file list" on the toolbar under IRS Tools. By taking this action you will prevent duplicating a graphic file name.

  6. When submitting graphics to M&P with your revision,

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

    2. Submit the original source document for the graphic to mp.irm@irs.gov for future use. See IRM

  7. Because the graphic is a picture or illustration, the content can't be read by electronic media or by employees with impaired vision (who use assistive technology such as a Job Access for Windows and Speech (JAWS) reader. For example, when a user conducts a key word search, the graphic content is not accessible. See IRM Consider an alternative way to present the information, as illustrated in the following examples:

    Example Options Preference
    1. A letter or memo on official stationary
    1. Option A: Create a graphic of the letter to insert in the IRM.

    2. Option B: Type the letter/memo (text) into the IRM authoring tool and describe the stationary used (or describe the logo).

    3. Option C: Insert a web link to the memo or letter.

    Option C is preferable if your primary audience includes employees with web access.
    If employees don't have web access, Option B is appropriate.
    2. Display tabular information
    1. Option A: Create a graphic of the table.

    2. Option B: Insert the information into a table in the IRM authoring tool.

    3. Option C: Import the table from an Excel file into the IRM authoring tool.

    Either Options B or C
  8. Additional tips when 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  (05-11-2012)
Converting a Graphic to PDF

  1. To convert a graphic to PDF take the following actions:

    Converting a Graphic to PDF

    Step Action
    1. Open graphic in the application used to create it
    2. Go to File > Print
    3. Set Printer Name to "Adobe PDF"
    4. Click on "Properties"
    5. Under "Adobe PDF Settings" set Default Settings to "High Quality Print"


    Setting High Quality Print embeds the fonts

    6. Under "Paper/Quality," set "Color" to "Black and White"
    7. Under "Layout" set "Orientation" to "Portrait" (or "Landscape," if applicable), and "Pages Per Sheet" to "1"
    8. Click "OK" to exit the Adobe PDF Document Properties window
    9. Click "OK" to Print to Adobe PDF
    10. Save graphic file to hard drive using:
    • 8 digit filename (5 digit catalog number plus 3 unique numbers)

    • PDF extension (.pdf)


    To improve the quality of the IRM graphic, copy the content and insert it into a Microsoft™ product (Word, Excel, Publisher) before creating the PDF. For 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.

  2. Check the PDF to ensure the orientation and appearance are correct. See the lesson on "Inserting a Graphic" in Authoring the IRM with Arbortext Editor Training Document 15770-002, catalog number 40137Y at http://publish.no.irs.gov/getpdf.cgi?catnum=40137.

  3. To ensure your document will display properly in the PDF file, you must ensure the fonts are embedded (locked). To check whether the fonts are embedded, take the following actions:

    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.

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

  5. If you have any 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.


    If your graphic is prepared by a specialist in Learning and Education, the graphic is properly prepared for publishing. Follow the rules for inserting a graphic in the IRM and upload the graphic prepared by L&E with the IRM file. See IRM 1.11.5, Publishing the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM), for rules for submitting files for publishing.  (05-11-2012)
Storing IRM Graphic Files

  1. IRM authors must email M&P the original source files used in developing IRM graphics with the IRM package. These source files are the original files that were used to generate the PDF graphic submitted with the IRM package for publishing. A "graphic source file" is the original, editable file from which the graphic was created. Note, a TIFF, JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG, WPG or other graphic editor file can't be edited.


    You want to insert a screen shot in the IRM to show a picture to the employees who use this information. You copy and paste the "screen shot," to a Microsoft™ Word file. Save the Word file. The Word file is the original source of the graphic. Email the Word file, along with the graphic file number, to the M&P mailbox at mp.irm@irs.gov.

  2. M&P stores the original source files so that they are accessible to future users from the Electronic Publishing Product Catalog page.

  3. To access the IRM Source Graphics tool, visit: http://caps-as.enterprise.irs.gov/irm/japple?PAGE=gov.irs.publish.irm.Upload and:

    1. Click on the "IRM Source Graphics Submission" tab

    2. Enter the IRM catalog number

    3. Browse the computer for the zip file to submit: (path/filename.zip)

    4. Click "submit" button  (05-08-2014)
Verbal Descriptive Narrative (VDN) Requirements

  1. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1998 requires that federal agencies make electronic and information technology accessible to all people with disabilities. To ensure that employees with impaired vision have access to information contained in a graphic, IRM authors must create a meaningful description of each graphic. This description is called a "verbal descriptive narrative."

  2. The IRM authoring tool refers to a VDN as a "graphic descriptor." When inserting a graphic into the IRM XML file, the author inserts a "descriptor" tag to describe the graphic. They are only accessible in electronic formats of the IRM. 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. On the Electronic Publishing website (PDF format), the graphic is displayed but the alternative text is not accessible.

  3. The Alternative Media Center (AMC) provides training and guidance to employees throughout the IRS on effective methods of making products accessible during the development stage. For more information, go to AMC's Authoring Resources page at http://amc.enterprise.irs.gov/howto.html.  (05-08-2014)
Setting Standard Citation Rules

  1. It is important that authors follow a standard format when citing to sources in the IRM. Linking to relevant sources ensures that readers can easily find information applicable to the subject.

  2. Include pertinent web addresses in the IRM to assist users who access the IRM on the web. For example, link to:

    • Performance support tools

    • Contact listings (employees' names)

    • Official published products

    • Legal publications

    • Supplementary materials


    The primary source of guidance must be in the IRM. Refer to IRM

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

    1. Document 12835, IRM Style Guide, for the more on the IRM and other citation rules.

    2. Document 12229, IRM Authoring Tool Quick Reference Guide.

    3. For information on how to verify legal citations in the IRM, see http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/training/15770/resources/CheckLegal.asp.

    4. The course book, Authoring the IRM with Arbortext Editor, on the various ways to insert a link using the IRM authoring tool.  (05-08-2014)
Citing the IRM

  1. When citing an IRM section or subsection use the acronym "IRM" along with the IRM number. 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.


    Proper IRM Reference Format
    • Correct format: IRM and IRM
    • Incorrect format: IRMs and

  3. Include the IRM part, chapter or section title when referring to other IRM parts, chapters or sections. Adding the title helps readers find the information in the event the content is moved to another IRM subsection within the document.

  4. When referencing a subsection within an IRM, insert the entire IRM number down to the lowest level. Include the paragraph or list identifier and the IRM or subsection title.

  5. To verify current IRM information, visit the Electronic Publishing Catalog Information page at http://publish.no.irs.gov/catlg.html.  (09-04-2009)
Citing Legal Sources

  1. When citing law, such as statutes, regulations, agency decisions, or other issuances (e.g., United States Code, Code of Federal Regulations, revenue procedures and revenue rulings), provide an accurate citation. See Document 12835 (Catalog number 54913G), IRM Style Guide, for a complete listing of citation formats.

    IF citing to THEN provide EXAMPLE
    The United States Code (USC), Internal Revenue Code (IRC) or Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), The title (numeral) and section number. IRC 6103(h)
    31 USC 321
    31 CFR 1022.380
    Multiple IRC sections the IRC before each referenced Code section IRC 6103, IRC 6110 (not IRC sections 6103, 6110)
    Public law that is not codified, Either:
    • Name of the Act in which the law appears,

    • Public law number, or

    • Session law reference.

    Public Law 104-13, Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995
  2. When citing to a court case, italicize the names of the parties in court cases but not the numerical citation.


    John Q. Skunk Assocation. Inc. v. United States, 626 F. Supp. 564 (E.D. Ohio 1985)  (05-08-2014)
Citing Other IRS Published Products

  1. When citing to another IRS published product reference the document by name (form, publication, letter, etc.,) and provide a short description.


    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 will link to the current source.  (05-08-2014)
Validating 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 have not been modified, superseded or overturned. For legal and tax research services, see IRM and the ReferenceNet portal at http://rnet.web.irs.gov/.

  3. Verify links to IRS published materials (letters, notices, forms, instructions, publications, etc.) by visiting the Electronic Publishing Catalog Information page at: http://publish.no.irs.gov/catlg.html.

  4. To verify a website address, copy and paste the website address from the "href " of the anchor (<a>) tag into your internet browser. To change the web address, from the <a> tag, open the dialog box (modify attributes) and copy the correct address directly into both the href and the IRM XML file.  (05-08-2014)
Creating Links

  1. The IRM authoring tool uses different types of tags to create links in the published product. Visit the Virtual IMD Learning Library Application (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


    "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

    citation or <C> tag
    • IRM subsection, figure, or exhibit in another IRM

    • IRS published products, such as documents, forms, publications

    • Internal Revenue Bulletin (IRB), Internal Revenue Code (IRC), letters, notices, revenue procedures, or revenue rulings

  2. Through IRM Online, a link is automatically created when a seealso tag, citation tag and <a> tag is inserted n the IRM XML file to the IRM, other published products, and websites and email addresses. Legal citations, e.g., IRC, regulations or court case placed in a citation tag or <a> tag links to LexisNexis (password required).

  3. IRM Online http://irm.web.irs.gov/tools/createlink.asp provides a tool to help you to create a link directly to an IRM part, chapter, section, subsection, paragraph or exhibit.  (05-08-2014)
Preparing the Manual Transmittal

  1. The Manual Transmittal (MT) communicates information about the IRM version. The Manual Transmittal provides a historical record and description of substantive changes to procedures, processes and programs. A properly completed Manual Transmittal is a valuable tool for readers and researchers, e.g., IRS employees, librarians and attorneys.

  2. Prepare the Manual Transmittal 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, e.g., whether they are superseded or obsolesced.

    5. Identify the intended audience for the IRM section.

  3. Certain information must be completed for each revision of a new, revised or obsolete IRM section. See IRM for the required elements and the details required to properly complete the Manual Transmittal. Note also that the Manual Transmittal accommodates additional information types in "optional" elements. See IRM for more information.  (05-08-2014)
Required Elements of the Manual Transmittal

  1. The IRM authoring tool automatically generates a Manual Transmittal template that authors must complete each time they create, revise or obsolete an IRM section.

  2. Here is a list of the required elements and a description:

    Item Number Required Element Description
    1. Manual Transmittal Date Identifies the date the IRM section is published. The M&P IRM printing specialist completes this element. See IRM
    2. Purpose Informs readers the reason for the revision, e.g., whether the IRM section is new, revised, reissued or obsolete. See IRM for specific language.
    3. 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
    4. Effect on Other Documents Lists other IRM section(s), interim guidance 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

    5. Audience Identifies the primary user(s) of the IRM content, whether by organization, office or job category. See IRM
    6. 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
    7. Signature Identifies the name and title of the approving official responsible for the program area. See IRM


    This is normally the official who signs the Form 2061 or their documented designee. See IRM 1.11.9, Clearing and Approving Internal Management Documents (IMDs).

  3. For additional information relating to the IRM date definitions, refer to the table at IRM  (05-08-2014)
Manual Transmittal (MT) Date

  1. The Manual Transmittal date is the date the IRM section is published. This is the date the IRM is expected to be posted on the Electronic Publishing website. M&P is responsible for setting the publishing date and inserting the Manual Transmittal date. (This date is contractually determined). There are no exceptions to this rule.


    The standard format is: Month DD, YYYY


    Since this element is completed by M&P, employees shouldn't change this date when revising the IRM.

  2. For the rules relating to the "Effective Date" and how it differs from the MT date, see the discussion at IRM  (05-08-2014)
Manual Transmittal Purpose

  1. The Manual Transmittal "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. When preparing the Manual Transmittal, 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.


    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.


    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 is being republished with substantially similar information.


    The IRM section may be reissued 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."  (05-08-2014)
Manual Transmittal Material Changes

  1. The Material Changes portion of the Manual Transmittal highlights important information about changes to the instructions. It identifies significant changes, provides the authority or reason for the change, and creates an audit trail for interim guidance or other documents incorporated into the IRM.

  2. Follow these guidelines when preparing the Material Changes portion of the Manual Transmittal:

    1. Working from the last published XML file, delete the content from the Material Changes (except perhaps for a general statement or applicable editorial changes).

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

    3. List the changes in subsection order followed by Exhibit order.

    4. 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."

    5. If applicable, add a statement summarizing the editorial corrections by specifying the type of change, not each specific change or location. Place this information in the first or last paragraph in the list of material changes. By identifying the type of editorial change, you are verifying to readers that the content is reliable. See IRM for changes that are considered editorial.


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

    6. Place <restrict> tags around any "official use only " (OUO) content. See IRM for instructions on how to treat OUO content.

  3. Use these standards to describe substantive changes:

    Type of Change What to Include
    A new IRM
    • Describe the primary purpose of the new IRM and the audience.

    • If material was moved from other IRM sections, identify those IRMs and the reason for removing the content from the original IRM.

    Reorganized or restructured IRM
    • Describe the reason for reorganizing or restructuring the content

    • Specify the content that was removed, revised and added

    A significant change to a program or process
    • Summarize the change, any drivers for making the change, relevant dates, and the audience.


    "IRM X.X.X contains information on [subject]. The [insert tax legislation or legal provision] was implemented, effective [date] that resulted in new guidelines for handling cases involving [subject]. This information is intended for use by specify [audience]."

    Interim guidance incorporated into the IRM
    • Identify the number and issue date of the guidance.

    • For a memorandum, include the title.

    • Summarize the guidance and specify which subsection the guidance was incorporated.

    An obsolete IRM The reason the information is no longer in effect. For additional instructions when preparing the Manual Transmittal to obsolete an IRM section, see IRM
  4. Use descriptive action verbs to describe changes, such as added, deleted, and revised. The content in Material Changes can be presented in a sentence, list or table format. In each case, the first paragraph should provide a summary statement describing the changes to the IRM. For an example of a sentence format, refer to the Material Changes in IRM 1.11.2.

    1. When listing changes, precede the list with a lead-in phrase, such as "The following information from IRM X.X.X is incorporated into this IRM, as follows:" List the changes using the standards above.

    2. When placing changes in a table, prepare a lead sentence or phrase describing the table contents, such as "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.  (05-08-2014)
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.

  2. This table provides sample language to assist authors when completing the effect on other documents element.

    When Then Sample Language
    Revising an IRM section, Specify the IRM number, title and Manual Transmittal 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 Manual Transmittal date of the superseded document and indicate the IRM from which the text was moved. [IRM number], [Title], dated [MM-DD-YYYY], is superseded.
    Text from [IRM number], [Title], dated [MM-DD-YYYY] has been incorporated.
    Obsoleting an IRM section in its entirety, Specify the IRM is "obsolete as of the IRM effective date." [IRM number], dated MM-DD-YYYY, is obsolete as of the IRM effective date.
    Removing portions of an IRM section, Address actions separately, such as:
    • Specify that portions are obsolete, and

    • Specify where active content moved.

    Portions of [IRM number], [Title], dated MM-DD-YYYY, are obsolete as of the IRM effective date and the remaining portions are incorporated into [IRM number], [Title], dated MM-DD-YYYY.
    Issuing a new IRM section with no history, Insert "None" or "NA" "None"
    Incorporating interim guidance into the IRM, Insert the IG number and issue date.
    For an interim guidance memorandum, include the title.
    This IRM incorporates Interim Guidance Memorandum SBSE-05-0508-XXX, [Title of interim guidance], dated [MM-DD-YYYY].
  3. The reference date to the prior revision is the Manual Transmittal date. You may also specify the "IRM effective date" in the Effect on Other Documents element, use the following language.


    Effect on Other Documents: IRM 21.8.3, dated 08-23-2014, (effective 10-01-2014), is superseded.  (09-21-2015)

  1. The audience is the intended group of IRS employees for whom the IRM section is written. List the audience by major IRS organization, e.g., division, function, office or job category.


    IRM audience by IRS organization:
    All IRS organizations
    Small Business/Self Employed (SB/SE), Large Business & International (LB&I), Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE) and Wage and Investment (W&I)
    Employee Plans


    IRM audience classified by job category or group:
    All managers and management officials
    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, supervisors of these employees)  (09-21-2015)
Effective Date

  1. The IRM "effective date" is the date employees begin following the new procedures. The Manual Transmittal date will match the effective date when the wild card date, (MM-DD-YYYY), is entered. The procedures cannot be effective before the IRM is issued. The rationale for this rule is that the procedures can't be effective before the IRM is available to employees.

    Date Action Format
    IRM with no specified effective date Enter the wild card date, (MM-DD-YYYY), the date the procedures become effective. (MM-DD-YYYY)
    Procedures are effective on a specified date, (e.g., filing season) Enter the specific date the content is effective. (01-01-20YY)
  2. When specifying a date, the effective date must be the same as or later than the Manual Transmittal date.

  3. For IRMs published for the "filing season," the author must insert the specific date in the "effective date" field. This date is also inserted for any revised subsection(s) where the content is changed. For a discussion of filing season, see IRM, Filing Season Production Schedule.  (09-21-2015)
Signature of Authorizing Official

  1. The Manual Transmittal identifies the authorizing official. This is the name and title of the program director or executive with authority to issue the IRM section (or their documented designee). This is normally the same authorizing official who signs the Form 2061, Document Clearance Record, in Block 13, approving the IRM content.

  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).  (09-04-2009)
Optional Elements

  1. An author can use the authoring tool to generate optional elements that 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 describe, e.g., a change in official use only (OUO) designation or to explain the reason for the issuance.
    Background Cite the authority for issuing the document or to provide background information on the development of the material.
    Scope Describe any limits applicable to the document, e.g., effective for a specific period or the procedures are applicable to employees in a particular location.
    Related Resources List the supplemental sources of information, e.g., websites or documents, pertinent to the subject area.  (05-08-2014)
Conducting an Informal Review

  1. Informal review is an opportunity to receive input from others when developing or revising a procedure, process or program. An outside reviewer may be a subject matter expert (SME), manager or management official, specialized reviewer (as defined in IRM 1.11.9), affected stakeholder, or employees who may use the instructions. Obtaining feedback through an informal review during the writing stage may facilitate the process of writing and clearing the IRM.

  2. An informal review is particularly helpful when the new or revised procedure, process or program addresses any of the following:

    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 workforce relations and the union

  3. An informal review does not take the place of formal clearance. Formal clearance is still required by affected offices and specialized reviewers. See IRM, Determining Reviewers, for further guidance.  (05-08-2014)
Determining 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. The author should review the following 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. Obtaining input from affected stakeholders and SMEs will simplify the IRM review and clearance process. Request an informal review in the following situations:

    1. When the author is not familiar with the subject matter,

    2. When a specialized reviewer's involvement is required in developing the content (e.g., legal advice, workforce relations), or

    3. When you have a question or need confirmation from a SME in another office or organization.  (05-08-2014)
Initiating an Informal Review

  1. Take the following actions when initiating 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. Send the response by email and specify a response date.

    5. If questions arise, set up a meeting to discuss.

    6. Request a written response (email).


    A Form 2061, Document Clearance Record, is not used for this purpose.

  2. Documentation accumulated during the informal review process may become part of the clearance package sent to the IRS Historical Research Library when the IRM is issued. Maintain a record for the file by retaining copies of all actions and contacts with the SME. See IRM, Clearance Documents Sent to IRS Historical Research Library.  (09-21-2015)
Editorial Update Process

  1. The author may follow the editorial update process to correct minor changes in the IRM file. These changes do not alter the meaning of the content. For the IRM, the following items are editorial changes:

    1. Updating organizational terms and titles.

    2. Adding or correcting references and citations.

    3. Correcting errors that require immediate attention (such as incorrect telephone numbers or website addresses).

    4. Updating information that changes often (addresses, tax years on forms).

    5. Restructuring the IRM, such as moving subsections without changing the content.

    6. Changing a graphic to enhance it (convert to gray-scale, create a PDF), or to add a graphic descriptor.

    7. Converting a graphic to text.

    8. Incorporating interim guidance which was cleared and approved by all affected offices and specialized reviewers within the past 12 months, per IRM

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

  2. The editorial update process is the same as any other revision except for the following:

    1. Clearance is not required by any outside organization or office.

    2. The IRM is published and distributed electronically. See IRM 1.11.5, Publishing the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM).

  3. 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.  (09-21-2015)
Revising the IRM for an Editorial Update

  1. To update the IRM merely to correct an editorial error, follow this guidance:

    Topic Action
    Subsection Date
    • For any change other than purely typographical, change the date to the IRM effective date.

    • If the changes are typographical only, change the date of the first subsection.

    Manual Transmittal
    • Follow the rules for updating the Manual Transmittal described in IRM

    • In the Material Changes, specify the types of editorial changes that were made. See the table under paragraph (2) below for suggested language.

    Form 2061, Document Clearance Record Complete Form 2061:
    • Clear through the author’s immediate supervisor

    • Clear through the IMD coordinator

    • Obtain approval from the program director or executive (or documented designee)

    See IRM 1.11.9 for additional guidance on clearance and approval of the IRM.
    Form 1767, Publishing Services Requisition Prepare Form 1767
    • Block 18: Select "Electronic Media"

    • If this IRM is normally printed and distributed, in Block 21, insert "This IRM will be issued electronically only; no paper distribution at this time," unless other arrangements are made. See IRM 1.11.5, Publishing the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) for guidance.


    Use the Form 1767 template at http://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 preparing the Manual Transmittal, describe the type of information that changed in the Material Changes.

    1. If the change is made to a specific provision, specify the subsection.

    2. If changes are made 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 organization.
      • Updated organization terms and/or titles [specify the change].  (09-21-2015)
Preparing 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. The information in the IRM section may be eliminated completely or any remaining information merged into another IRM section(s).

  2. An obsolete IRM file contains only the Manual Transmittal, when published. This document is the only remaining record of this IRM section. The author must explain why the content is no longer effective or, if the content is restructured, where the remaining content can now be found. It can be helpful to provide a crosswalk (table or list) identifying where the content was moved. This documentation resides in the Material Changes element.

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

    Action Instructions
    Prepare the IRM file
    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 attribute" to change the status from "active" to "obsolete."

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

    5. Update the metadata elements.

    6. Delete the IRM content.

    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 Form 2061

    2. Clear the IRM through your supervisor, IMD/IRM coordinator, and any internal or outside reviewers, if necessary.

    3. 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 IRM Publishing Team. See IRM 1.11.5.

  4. When preparing to obsolete an IRM section, use the following language in the Manual Transmittal, "Material Changes" element, under the applicable circumstance:

    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. When a program or process is no longer effective, it’s important to update the information in other sources as well. Check for information that resides on the web, in IRM sections owned by other organizations and offices, or information published in other IRS documents or training materials. For example, search IRM Online http://irm.web.irs.gov/ using the appropriate key words to identify IRM sections that reference an obsolete program or process. Search for the author or owner to notify them the content requires updating. See IRM, Providing Feedback About an IRM Section - Outside of Clearance, for instructions.

  6. For the rules on clearance, follow the instructions in IRM 1.11.9, Clearing and Approving Internal Management Documents (IMDs). If stakeholders or other required reviewers are not affected by the change, clear the IRM only through your organization.  (05-08-2014)
Communicating Information About the IRM

  1. It is a good practice to issue a communication to inform employees about recent changes to the IRM. The communication may also remind employees about important rules or work processes and highlight significant changes based on employee feedback.

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

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

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

    3. When addressing a procedural or operational matter remember to reference the applicable IRM section.

  3. Here are examples of publications you can use to communicate about your IRM.


    Follow your organization’s rules and procedures about submitting articles for these publications.

    Publication Description Audience
    News from the Business Unit News from your business unit with broad interest. IRS employees
    IRWeb's Daily News Short timely communications with a broad audience. IRS employees
    Leader's Alert All manager electronic newsletter IRS executives, managers, and management officials
    IRS Headlines All-employee electronic newsletter IRS employees
  4. SPDER issues IMD alerts to inform IRM authors, coordinators, reviewers and their supervisors about the latest program changes and enhancements, reminders and news on the IMD program and processes. IMD alerts are issued to announce, reinforce or highlight published information or instructions, including links to the applicable IRM. It may also announce the issuance of an "interim guidance" memo or a new IRM section.

  5. There are two self-subscribing mailing lists for IMD alerts. An IMD alert is an email that is sent to the appropriate mailing list and is posted to the SPDER website. To sign up, see http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/News/default.asp.

    1. The manager mailing list is for supervisors of employees with IRM/IMD responsibilities and IRM/IMD program managers. 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 directed primarily to IRM authors, but IRM reviewers, coordinators, managers or other interested parties may also sign up.

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

Exhibit 1.11.2-1 
Definitions of IMD Terms for Determining What Belongs in the IRM

Delegations of Authority In general, the power to give orders or make decisions. At the IRS, specific delegations (delegation orders) are issued by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue or on the Commissioner's behalf, to subordinates, with or without restriction or redelegation. Delegation Order (DO) 1-31, Authorization and Approval of Tour Renewal Agreement Travel
Functional Statement Published under IRM 1.1, Organization and Staffing, a functional statement provides a high level description of the reporting structure, responsibilities and activities performed by each directorship to achieve the IRS organizations' mission. IRM 1.1.5, Organization and Staffing - Office of the Commissioner
Guideline Directions employees use to determine a course of action or explanations that help employees make judgments based on facts. See IRM, IRM Standards
Interim Guidance (IG) A memorandum or IRM procedural update (IPU) used to convey immediate, emergency or temporary changes to operations or procedures. View at IMD Tracking System
Job aid or Performance Support Tool A device or guide designed for use on the job that provides guidance on the performance of a specific task or skill, available in print or online. A job aid which summarizes IRM content should reference the applicable IRM. Document 13000, IRM Package Check Sheet, is a job aid.
The "IRS withholding calculator" is an online performance support tool.
Local Guidance Instructions provided for a program within a particular office or geographic location that supplement or support prescribed IRM procedures. See IRM An office evacuation plan or procedures for conducting specific outreach sessions.
Official IRS Published Products Published products that reside on the Electronic Publishing website and that include documents, forms, publications, letters and the IRM. Form 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 an example of a test or trial project, see Topic Based IRM Revision and Clearance Pilot with SB/SE Examination
Policy Statement A statement of views concerning an important ideal or value that guide IRS in administering the internal revenue laws and form the basis for IRM procedures and instructions. Policy Statement 1-1, Mission of the Service
Procedure A process, series of instructions to follow or a set sequence of steps that establish a standard based on rule or policy. See IRM, for step-by-step instructions on how to insert a graphic in the IRM XML file
Software or Application specific Instructions that describe how to use and operate computer software or application. Online 5081 instructions
Temporary Guidance Procedure, guidance or activity that is effective for a limited amount of time. See IRM, Interim Guidance Definition and Use. An emerging issue
Training documents Published training documents and other course materials. Training 15770-002, Authoring the IRM with Arbortext Editor (Coursebook)

Exhibit 1.11.2-2 
Most Common Reasons to Review the IRM

Conditions Condition Explained Review IRM Update the IRM
1. Corporate reorganization When an IRS reorganization takes place, changes may affect IRMs which reference the organization, function, program, etc. Verify:
  • 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.

2. Delegation Orders and Policy Statements When Delegation Orders and Policy Statements are revised, it may impact IRM references and instructions. A Delegation Order and Policy Statement may be:
  • Newly created

  • Revoked

  1. Verify the number.

  2. Ensure the IRM process is conducted under the right delegated authority.

  3. Ensure the program conforms to existing IRS policy

3. References to Official Published Products Official published products may be revised, removed, superseded or renamed. 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

4. Interim guidance (IG) When an IG is issued the procedural changes may affect a published IRM section. To determine if an IG is active, is affected by, or is referenced in your IRM section, check:
  1. Update the IRM to reflect the most current guidance

  2. Incorporate procedures by the expiration date

5. Reorganize, add or remove IRM material When IRM material is reorganized, added, or removed, the references to this material must be updated. Check all IRM references:
  • 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

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

  • A published document, where that 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. IRM

7. 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.

8. 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

9. Telephone numbers in the IRM IRS toll-free numbers are provided 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), IRM


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

10. 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

Exhibit 1.11.2-3 
TEMPLATE: New IRM Chapter or Section Request

Request Date
Date requested (email)
Requestor Name Employee submitting the request (author, coordinator)
Suggested IRM # Propose an IRM number based on the IRS business process, program or major topic. Also, verify whether the topic exists in the IRM or other published resources.
New Chapter Number If a new IRM chapter, propose a new number. Once approved, the new chapter will be added to the official Part and Chapter title list.
Chapter title (current or proposed) Insert the chapter title or if new, recommend a title.
The title should describe a program or activity under the appropriate business process (the IRM Part).
The title should not restate the name of an office or organization.
New Section Number(s) For a new IRM section, insert an x, unless the request is for a section in a new IRM chapter.
If the request involves multiple sections in a new chapter, list them here.
If the request involves multiple sections in an existing chapter, prepare a separate request for each.
Section title (proposed) Propose a section title.
This title should describe a specific program or activity under the applicable chapter. Preferably, the title should not repeat the chapter title.
See IRM for guidance on IRM titles.
Background / Purpose Describe the purpose of the new IRM chapter or section and describe any supporting documentation (e.g., new legislation, operating procedures, software or other systems) to support the request.
Audience Identify the intended audience for these procedures. Consider which offices, organizations or job categories will follow the guidance.
Describe the proposed changes Describe the new or expanded process. Provide an outline (or flowchart) of the new material.
If moving content from another IRM, provide a crosswalk. (A crosswalk is a diagram or table that compares information or data.)
If guidance will remain in an existing IRM section, identify those (sub)sections and the reason the guidance is in a separate IRM section.
If requesting multiple sections in a chapter, involving merged or new content, summarize the proposed changes in a table.


Use this information to draft the IRM content and document the changes in the Manual Transmittal.

Source of guidance (describe new or expanded process) Provide supporting documentation for the new chapter/section, (new legislation, operating procedures, IRM content, software or other systems).
If the new chapter involves reorganizing existing IRM material, describe the limitations of the existing content.
Specify all existing documents, including IRM sections, affected by this change.


This is the type of information that belongs in the Manual Transmittal background, material changes and effect on other documents.

Program Owner / Office Insert the name and title of the program owner 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 Insert:
Author's official name
Organization symbols
SPDER RESPONSE Reserved for SPDER staff.
SPDER will consider your request. If additional information is needed, we will insert a request for additional information and document decisions here.
SPDER Approver and Date Reserved for SPDER staff.
When a decision is made, SPDER staff will sign and date, here.

Exhibit 1.11.2-4 
IRM Web Resources

Alternative Media Center Contact for help with delivering alternative accessible media to employees with disabilities http://amc.enterprise.irs.gov/
Chief Counsel Decision Tool Tool helps determine if your IRM requires Chief Counsel review http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/clearance/CounselClearance/
Electronic Publishing site Product Catalog page Access to all IRS published products current and archived http://publish.no.irs.gov/catlg.html
Electronic Reading Room (ERR) Houses IRS resources for public access http://www.irs.gov/uac/Electronic-Reading-Room
IMD Alerts Communication vehicle for managers, coordinators and authors on IMD matters
Click on the link to subscribe to the applicable mailing list
IMD Point of Contacts Find IMD contacts by Organization or by their role in the IMD process http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/IMDContacts.asp
Information Resources Accessibility Program (IRAP) Contact for information on creating documents and files accessible to persons with disabilities http://irap.web.irs.gov/
Interim Guidance Link to active and archived interim guidance through the IMD search page on IRM Online issued by IRS organization
IG subject to FOIA is posted on the Electronic Reading Room page on IRS.gov
For IRS employees:
For the public: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Interim-Guidance-by-IRS-Business-Process
IRM Quick Reference Guide Provides tips for common problems when using the XML Editor software Document 12229
IRM Style Guide Reference tool for proper IRM writing style and standard format and structure rules Document 12835
IRM Authoring Tool Course Book Training manual on the XML authoring tool Training 15770-002, Authoring the IRM with Arbortext Editor
IRM Online On IRweb, research the complete IRM
Links to published products and legal resources (password required)
IRS Communicator's Style Guide An interactive website provides guidance on IRS communications and other resources http://irweb.irs.gov/AboutIRS/bu/cl/comm/style/default.aspx
IRS Historical Research Library Access IRS history and IRM documentation
Contact the Library staff for questions and information
M&P IRM Manual Program page For a list of M&P's IRM resources http://publish.no.irs.gov/pubsys/irm/irm.html
M&amp;P IRM Team Members For the current M&P IRM printing specialists http://publish.no.irs.gov/pubsys/irm/irmteam.html
M&P IRM Team email Contact M&P IRM printing specialists mp.irm@irs.gov
Official Part and Chapter Title List List of the approved IRM part and chapter titles that are automatically generated by the IRM authoring tool into the XML file. http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/IRMPartChap.asp
Organizational websites Check out the IMD sites of IRS organizations http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/related_sites.asp
Plain Language website Find information on writing in "plain language," under the Plain Writing Act of 2010, 5 USC 301 http://www.plainlanguage.gov/ for plain language.”
ReferenceNet Portal for tax, legal, asset locator and other corporate research tools http://rnet.web.irs.gov/
SERP Portal for procedures and information involving customer account services matters http://serp.enterprise.irs.gov/homepage.html
SPDER IMD Community website Site for IMDs, IRM rules and communications, IRM writing and authoring tool training http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/
Training information For IMD training, available to the IMD community in self-study, virtual and classroom formats http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/training/
XML Author Registration Sign-up to receive email notifications of software updates and get the latest upgrades and fixes http://publish.no.irs.gov/appls/sgmlxml/sgmlmain.cgi?request=MAIN
XML Help Desk Contact an expert for help with the IRM authoring tool. Contact by telephone, email or OCS Website: http://xmlhelpdesk.web.irs.gov/
Email: xmlsgmlhelp@irs.gov
Phone: 202-317-3443
Virtual IMD Learning Library Application (VILLA) A SharePoint site that houses a library of 3 - 5 minute training modules about the IMD process and the IRM authoring tool https://organization.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/ras/spder/IMD_COP/V/default.aspx

More Internal Revenue Manual