1.11.3 Policy Statements

Manual Transmittal

April 15, 2014


(1) This transmits revised IRM 1.11.3, Internal Management Document (IMD) System, Policy Statements.

Material Changes

(1) This revision features editorial changes only, as follows.

  1. Inserted a link to the IRS.gov page where recently signed policy statements are published, and citations to related IRMs where there were previously none.

  2. Changed the reference to "floppy disk" to "secure zip file."

Effect on Other Documents

This supersedes IRM 1.11.3, dated February 1, 2008.


All Divisions and functions

Effective Date


Kathryn A. Greene
Director, Servicewide Policy, Directives
and Electronic Research

Policy Statement Overview

  1. This Section contains the definition of official Policy Statements of the Internal Revenue Service. It describes how to prepare, clear and issue them.

  2. All Policy Statements must be coordinated with and reviewed by the Office of Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Research (SPDER) PRIOR TO SIGNATURE by the Commissioner or Deputy Commissioners.


    Except where specifically stated, all references to the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners are to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, the Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement and the Deputy Commissioner for Operations Support.

  3. Any questions, suggestions or recommendations may be forwarded to the SPDER office at spder@irs.gov .

Definition and Contents of Policy Statements

  1. Policy statements publicize views concerning an important value. These "Service policies" govern and guide Service personnel in the administration of the Internal Revenue Service.

  2. "Service Policies" are issued as "Policy Statements" and are published in IRM Section 1.2 (IRM sections 1.2.10 through 1.2.24. Policy Statements can form the basis for procedures and instructions in the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM). Policy statements are not, however, the appropriate vehicle to convey:

    • Instructions to staff

    • IRS interpretations of substantive tax provisions, or

    • Directions to the public.

  3. Similarly, Policy Statements do not ordinarily cover areas where basic decisions are proclaimed by another Government agency or are settled by law. An exception may be made, for purposes of clarity and understanding, to combine Service and other policies if they are so interrelated that omitting those policies originating outside of the Service might cause an erroneous or misleading impression.


    Any Policy Statement submitted for approval that contains procedural guidance will be returned to the originator for correction.

  4. The Commissioner or one of the Deputy Commissioners approves and signs all policy statements on behalf of the IRS.

  5. Policy Statements are numbered by the business processes to which they belong. For instance IRM 1.2.10, Policy Statements for Organization, Finance and Management Activities, contains all of the Policy Statements which relate to IRS administrative activities. IRM 1.2.13, Policy Statements for the Examining Process, contains all of the Policy Statements that relate to the Examining Process.

  6. Policies established by the Chief Counsel, Department of the Treasury or other offices of the executive branch, or by the legislative and judicial branches are not designated as "Service Policy Statements."

Designation of Policy Matters

  1. The designation of any item as a "Service Policy" concerns an issue of sufficient importance to require personal consideration by the Commissioner or Deputy Commissioners.

  2. Service Policies initiated by the Commissioner, Deputy Commissioners; or those initiated by Chiefs and Directors directly reporting to the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners, Division Commissioners and/or the National Taxpayer Advocate for the approval of the Commissioner or Deputy Commissioners, are the only policies which can be issued under IRM 1.2 , IRM sections 1.2.10 through 1.2.24.

  3. The words "Service Policy" should not be used to designate a Service position or procedure unless a Policy Statement on the matter has been issued or the Service intends to establish one. Procedures established in conformance with approved Service policies should be designated as procedures, instructions, guidelines, positions, etc.

  4. Policies issued from Divisions/Functions should not be called "Service Policy" and will not be published as such in the policy statement IRM sections 1.2.10 thru 1.2.24. Deputy Commissioners, Chiefs, Division Commissioners or equivalent may elect to issue Division or Function policies which offer a Servicewide position on matters within their jurisdictions. For example, the Chief Human Capital Officer may elect to issue a functional policy on specific acceptable personnel practices, or the Chief Financial Officer may issue policies to guide the Service toward good financial management. The official may propose the policy as a Service Policy if it meets the standards set forth in paragraph (1) above or if, under other circumstances, the policy requires higher visibility.

Preparing and Coordinating Service Policy Statements

  1. Headquarter officials are responsible for preparing Service Policy Statements within their Divisions and Functions and clearing them through impacted offices, the Office of Chief Counsel and then the Office of SPDER, prior to submitting to the Commissioner or Deputy Commissioners for approval and signature.


    SPDER will not process any Policy Statement packages without Chief Counsel review.


    All Policy Statements must be cleared through the Office of SPDER before forwarding to the Commissioner's office for signature.

  2. Headquarter officials are responsible for conducting a periodic review of the Policy Statements initiated by their organizations and then consulting among the appropriate executives concerning proposals to revise or revoke Policy Statements when necessary.

  3. "Field" executives may submit Policy Statement proposals through the appropriate Chief or Division Commissioner or other headquarter executives.

  4. The Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners are the only officials authorized to approve/sign Service Policy and when published in the related IRM section, the approval date will be printed with each Service Policy Statement, but a signature facsimile will not be printed.

Office of Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Research (SPDER) Responsibilities

  1. The Office of SPDER is responsible for substantive review of new and revised Service Policy Statements. After conducting its review, SPDER forwards the Policy Statement to the Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner for approval. Once signed, SPDER will:

    1. Post the approved Policy Statement to IRS.gov;

    2. Incorporate the new/revised Service Policy Statement into the appropriate Policy Statement IRM section, IRM 1.2(IRM sections 1.2.10 thru 1.2.24);

    3. Prepare the Manual Transmittal; and

    4. Submit the revised IRM to Media and Publication for issuance and distribution.

  2. Officials who prepare public speeches or correspondence are responsible for ensuring that the policies of the Service are correctly reflected. SPDER will provide assistance to such officials as requested.

Revising and Issuing Policy Statements

  1. Changes affecting a basic policy decision must be presented through SPDER to the Commissioner or Deputy Commissioners for approval after review and coordination among appropriate offices and Chief Counsel. A new approval date will be shown for the revised Policy Statement.

  2. In 2012, a project was completed, based on the IRM restructuring, to renumber the Policy Statements in line with the business processes to support the modernization of the IRS. For example, Service Policy relating to the examining process was renumbered P-4-XX; Service Policy relating to human capital management was renumbered P-6-XX, etc. Although Policy Statements are numbered to correspond to the processes represented by the IRM part numbers, the policies apply to any and all Service personnel and activities according to their terms. For a complete listing of IRM part numbers see IRM

  3. New policy statements are published, as soon as they are signed, on IRS.gov, at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Recently-Approved-Policy-Statements-1. They are added to the next revision of the applicable IRM Section within IRM 1.2

Preparation of a Policy Statement Package

  1. A Policy Statement package should include the following:

    1. Form 2061, Document Clearance Record - Prepare and photocopy, using one for clearance and one to retain for tracking the document. Make sure all reviewers are listed on the Form 2061, including the Director of SPDER. See IRM 1.11.1, Internal Management Documents (IMDs) for details for completing Form 2061.

    2. Note to Reviewers - The Note to Review is a requirement of the Commissioner's Office and any package submitted for approval/signature without one will not be considered and will be returned to the initiator. It should contain a clear and concise explanation of the change being made or, if new, why the Policy Statement is being issued. It should identify any major issues, and the significance of any change or reason for cancellation. There is a Note to Reviewer template, Form 13839, which can be completed and printed or downloaded to your computer. SPDER will rely on the language when preparing the Manual Transmittal. If the policy statement is being prepared to document a policy originally issued by a memorandum, include the memorandum as background information.

    3. Policy Statement - This should be prepared as shown in Exhibit 1.11.3-1. SPDER will assign numbers to new Policy Statements. Include an approval line with the Commissioner or Deputy Commissioners' name and title for signature and an effective date line.

    4. Revoked/Cancelled Policy Statement - Include a copy of the obsolete Policy Statement crossed out along with a "reason for the revocation or cancellation" statement. Exhibit 1.11.3-2.

    5. Electronic Policy Statement - Include the new or revised Policy Statement as a secure zip file, in Microsoft Word format. Policy Statements created in the Extensible Mark-Up Language (XML) software are also accepted and welcomed but are not required.

    6. Background Information - This consists of items that assist in explaining the new, revised or revoked/cancelled Policy Statement.

  2. Once completed, forward the package to the SPDER Office for final review, approval and publishing.

Sample Policy Statement


Approved: (leave blank)

(1) Protection from Reprisal for Whistleblowing

(2) The Internal Revenue Service recognizes and endorses the rights of employees to raise issues and to file complaints, subject to applicable law and regulations. The Service is committed to a work environment that is free from retaliation and reprisal, including reprisal for whistleblowing.

(3) The Service will foster a climate for employees where issues can be discussed openly and where allegations of misconduct and impropriety are immediately reported and appropriately acted on.

(4) Managers and supervisors are responsible for ensuring that the personnel actions they take conform to civil service laws and regulations. Those laws and regulations include retaliation for whistleblowing on the list of prohibited personnel practices. Managers and supervisors will take vigorous corrective action when a prohibited personnel practice occurs.

(5) The Service will not tolerate any type of reprisal or retaliation.

Approving Official Name, Title



Revoked Policy Statements remain in the IRM section for two years and are then removed. They will always be available through the IRM Historical Library.

Revoked Policy Statement P-1-20

(Revoked 09-22-1999)

(1) Policy Statement P-1-20 is revoked and replaced by the new regulation titled "Establishment of a Balanced Measurement system" and Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) 105.4, (now IRM 1.5) "Managing Statistics in a Balanced Measurement System Handbook." The regulation provides the general framework for the Service to implement sections 1201 – 1204 of the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act (RRA) of 1998.

(2) The Regulation, having the effect of law, strengthens and clarifies the prohibition on the use of records of tax enforcement results to evaluate employees or to impose or suggest production quotas or goals that were previously reflected in the Service's internal Policy Statement P-1-20. The revised IRM provides comprehensive guidance to implement the IRS' new system of balanced measures, including the prohibitions described in RRA 98 and the Regulation.