1.11.7 Accounts Management Tax/Policy/Program Analyst Guide

Manual Transmittal

October 30, 2017

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 1.11.7, Internal Management Documents System, Accounts Management Tax/Policy/Program Analyst Guide.

Material Changes

(1) Various editorial changes have been made and IRM references and titles have been updated throughout.

(2) IRM 1.11.7.1 and IRM 1.11.7.2 added sub-sections for Internal Controls; subsequent sections were renumbered.

(3) IPU 17U1107 issued 07-07-2017 IRM 1.11.7.3.3.2(4) Deleted (c) and added to (d) each individual IPU must be in subsection/exhibit and date order.

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 1.11.7, Internal Management Documents System, Accounts Management Tax/Policy/Program Analyst Guide, dated November 23, 2015, (effective date 01-01-2016) is superseded. This IRM also incorporates the following Interim Procedural Updates (IPU): 17U1107 (dated 07-07-2017).

Audience

Accounts Management IRM Authors/Analysts for Parts 3, 4, 5, 21 and 25 who post their IRM sections on Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP).

Effective Date

(01-01-2018)

Related Resources

Clearance Process Reviewers List can be found at http://win.web.irs.gov/imd.htm.

Kevin Morehead
Director, Accounts Management
Wage and Investment Division

Program Scope and Objectives

  1. Purpose: This IRM provides guidance to Accounts Management (AM) employees who produce IRM content, job aids, performance support tools and other procedural content.

  2. Audience: This IRM section provides guidance for IRM Coordinators, IRM authors and tax/policy/program analysts within WI AM.

  3. Policy Owner: The Director of Accounts Management.

  4. Program Owner: Process and Program Management, Accounts Management, Wage and Investment (WI).

  5. Primary Stakeholders: The primary stakeholders are tax/policy/program analysts, AM IRM Coordinator and IRM authors.

  6. Program Goals: The purpose of this IRM is to ensure that IRS procedures and other instructions to staff are published officially and in accordance with the rules described in this IRM section.

Background

  1. Accounts Management (AM) employees who produce IRM content, job aids, performance support tools and other procedural content.

Authority

  1. By law, federal agencies are expected to document, publish and maintain records of policies, authorities, procedures and organizational operations. The IRM is the source for the source for the IRS. Refer to IRM 1.11.1.3, Authorities and Legal Obligations Relating to IMDs.

  2. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), requires each agency to maintain and make available for public inspection and copying a current index providing identifying information for the public. The redacted IRM and the Document 10988, Internal Revenue Manual Index, posted on IRS.gov, fulfills this requirement.

Responsibilities

  1. The Wage and Investment Commissioner has overall responsibility for the policy related to this IRM which is published on a yearly basis.

Acronyms

  1. For a comprehensive listing of any IRS acronyms, please refer to the Acronym Database.

Related Resources

  1. In addition to IRM 1.11.7, the following list of IRMs and documents are useful tools in providing guidance to IRM authors:

    • IRM 1.11.1, IMD Program and Responsibilities

    • IRM 1.11.2, Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process

    • IRM 1.11.5, Publishing Internal Management Documents (IMDs) - Publishing the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM)

    • IRM 1.11.6, Using and Researching the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM)

    • IRM 1.11.8, Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP)

    • IRM 1.11.9, Clearing and Approving Internal Management Documents (IMDs)

    • IRM 1.11.10, Interim Guidance Process

    • Document 12229, IRM Authoring Tool Quick Reference Guide

    • Document 12835, The IRM Style Guide

    • Document 12591, M&P Quick Reference Guide for IRM Publishing

    • Training 15770 Coursebook, Authoring IRM Documents with Arbortext Editor

  2. Reference to the above IRMs and documents should be used when authoring an IRM and will be referenced accordingly throughout this IRM.

AM IMD Program Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Within the AM IMD Program, tax/policy/program analysts, the AM IRM Coordinator, and IRM authors play key roles. The following subsections will discuss their roles and responsibilities.

AM Tax/Policy/Program Analyst Roles and Responsibilities
  1. Within the AM IMD Program, tax/policy/program analysts are responsible for:

    • Maintaining information posted to IRS.gov (e.g., Tax Trails, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), etc.)

    • Addressing employee suggestions

    • Approving job aids

    • Ensuring training materials are based on current procedures

  2. IRS.gov Updates: The information posted to IRS.gov must be kept current and accurate. Technical changes must be made, as appropriate; this could be daily, monthly, quarterly, or annually. All references and links must be accurate. Analysts should conduct an annual review of all references and links before October 1st each year, to ensure references and links are accurate for the upcoming filing season. Technical changes must be cleared as appropriate, e.g., determine if Chief Counsel must review these changes. Analysts will need to make appropriate contacts to ensure information is forwarded to the correct parties to ensure IRS.gov information is properly maintained. Refer to IRM 11.55.1, Internet Content Publishing Process (ICPP) Management Document.

  3. Employee Suggestions: To improve the quality and consistency of procedures, analysts should review and evaluate employee suggestions expeditiously so the suggestions can be closed out within 75 calendar days (Servicewide processing cycle time goal) from the date the employee suggestion was submitted. Visit the Employee Suggestion Program web page for more information.

  4. Job Aids: The IRM author/responsible analyst should approve all job aids (including all locally prepared job aids) used with their IRM(s) and ensure the job aids:

    1. Are used as an IRM exhibit, an IRM Job Aid on SERP, a Technical Communication Document (TCD), or as training material.

    2. Are "user friendly" and are "made accessible" to meet Section 508 guidelines. Refer to IRM 1.11.8.6.5, Adding Job Aids, for guidance on adding job aids to the Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP) and IRM 1.11.8.7.3, Updating All Other Content, for guidance on updating job aids posted to SERP.

    3. Contain an IRM reference.

      Reminder:

      All procedural/instructional information must be in the IRM. A job aid cannot be the sole source of instruction.

    4. Are reviewed and updated (as needed) with current IRM references, etc., each time procedures are changes in the IRM.

      Note:

      All locally prepared job aids must be submitted to the appropriate IRM author/responsible analyst for approval PRIOR to be being used by employees.

  5. Training Material Updates and Coordination: The IRM author/responsible analyst should ensure training material is based on current IRM procedures.

    1. IRM authors/responsible analysts must have up-front conference calls with subject matter experts (SMEs) when updating and/or developing training material. This will ensure that all Critical Filing Season Refresher Training and formal training material is updated with the latest IRM changes.

    2. IRM authors/responsible analysts should provide project managers and SMEs with advanced copies of IRMs in order to write training materials effectively.

    3. Project managers should contact team coordinators and senior analysts to arrange conference calls to discuss IRM changes/updates. Team coordinators (project management and support teams) are assigned to all training subjects to ensure the process is streamlined and the training materials are consistent.

    4. Learning and Education (L&E) must incorporate approved training job aids into existing training material.

AM IRM Coordinator Roles and Responsibilities
  1. The AM IRM Coordinator:

    • Is contact point for AM IRM authors/managers/analysts regarding the AM IMD program

    • Serves as liaison between AM IRM authors and W&I IMD Team

    • Partners with the W&I IMD Team to assure overall effectiveness of the W&I IMD program

    • Ensures AM IRMs are cleared through all impacted functions (includes internal and external clearances)

    • Supports AM IRM authors (e.g., coaches on use of IRM Authoring Tool software, works with W&I IMD team to handle new IRM requests, provides guidance on clearance process, helps them determine who to clear IMDs through, works through issues with W&I IMD Team, reviewers; and works to minimize the number of overage IRMs

    • Ensures designations for who can approve IRMs and IPUs are kept up to date

    • Keeps IRM coordinators and authors aware of instructions/guidelines related to IMD programs

    • Monitors development of business unit/functional IMDs

    • Partners with W&I IMD Team to develop and enforce annual production schedule

    • Ensures end of year Forms 1767 are submitted to prevent delays in IRM processing

    • Works with W&I IMD Team to ensure interim guidance is timely incorporated and expired/superseded interim guidance that met e-FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) is removed from IRS.gov

    • Completes final review of IRM package for completeness using the IRM Authoring Tool software and uploads a zip file of the IRM pack to Publishing

    • Ensures all clearance documents, e.g., signed Forms 2061 and comments are sent to the IRS Historical Library

AM IRM Author Roles and Responsibilities
  1. As part of the AM IMD Program oversight, AM program managers/owners ensure each IRM section is assigned to a specific author who ensures all procedural content issued in the IRM and performance support tools are accurate and valid at all times, complying with the rules under IRM 1.11.2.5, Writing the IRM.

    Note:

    Every attempt must be made to keep procedures up to date in the published (official) IRM.

  2. IRM authors and their managers are responsible for making sure assigned IRM section(s) are current and valid at all times by ensuring:

    1. Procedures are accurate.

    2. Procedures do not contradict existing procedures, processes or laws.

    3. Procedures do not duplicate other IRM procedures.

    4. Integrated Automated Technologies (IAT) updates are cleared through the proper channels (Christa.L.Huggins@irs.gov)

    5. Current business practices are included.

      Note:

      Desk guides, job aids, (e.g. Technical Communications Documents) or other performance support tools do not provide official procedures or instructions; all procedural/instructional information must be included in the IRM. Refer to IRM 1.11.2.5, Writing the IRM, and IRM 1.11.8.6.5, Adding Job Aids, for SERP requirements for job aids.

    6. Procedures identify when specific work areas or units are required to complete certain tasks (e.g., transfer case/call to another area or unit).

    7. Official Use Only (OUO) information is properly designated with restrict tags. Refer to IRM 1.11.2.5.3, Designating IRM Content as Official Use Only (OUO), for further instructions.

    8. IPUs are issued as interim guidance in the interim of publishing your IRM. Refer to IRM 1.11.7.3.3.1, Issuing/Clearing IPUs.

    9. Tables, graphics and exhibits meet Section 508 Accessibility Compliance Requirement. Refer to IRM 1.11.2.5.4, Using Tables, IRM 1.11.2.5.7, Using Graphics, and IRM 1.11.8.5, Writing Section 508 Compliant Content, for further instructions.

    10. References are accurate, including references to legal citations. Refer to IRM 1.11.2.5.8.2, Citing Legal Sources.

    11. The master IRM file is updated in the Authoring Tool as changes occur; do not wait until the annual update to make changes to the IRM file.

    12. All procedures are technically reviewed by affected operation divisions, offices and Specialized Reviewers via Document Clearance process. Refer to IRM 1.11.7.3.1.5, Clearing IRMs.

    13. All IRM procedures must be approved by the W&I AM program director or his/her designee. For AM, senior managers have been designated to approve IRMs for publication, and the IRM author's lead or manager has been designated to approve the issuance of IPUs. Refer to IRM 1.11.7.3.1.6, Obtaining Approval to Publish the IRM.

    14. Comments received from clearance reviewers are documented, unless otherwise noted. Refer to IRM 1.11.7.3.1.5, Clearing IRMs.

    15. All AM IRMs must be on SERP. SERP related information is included in the IRM updates. SERP IRM Procedural Updates (IPUs), that have been issued between publishing cycles and have not been superseded by a subsequent SERP IPU, are incorporated into the XML file. Refer to IRM 1.11.7.3.3, Updating Your IRM between Publishing.

    16. All reviewers' comments and signed Forms 2061, Document Clearance Record, are sent to the IRS Historical Research Library. Refer to IRM 1.11.7.3.5, Sending IRM Clearance Documentation to the IRS Historical Library, for instructions on sending reviewers' comments and signed clearance forms to IRS Historical Research Library.

  3. IRM sections may require annual revisions and publishing. Your IMD Coordinator prepares the IRM Production Schedule for annual/yearly IRM printing. This schedule will inform you when your IRM is due to Media and Publications (M&P) for timely availability to its users.

    Note:

    If necessary, an IRM may be published multiple times within one year including updating (publishing) your IRM for editorial corrections. Contact your IRM Coordinator for assistance in determining if an IRM should be republished using the editorial update process and refer to IRM 1.11.2.8, Editorial Update Process.

IRM Process

  1. The Office of Servicewide Policy, Directives, and Electronic Research (SPDER) has Servicewide oversight of the IMD program. SPDER offers IMD Training to IRM authors throughout the year. These training courses can provide just-in-time training to help authors perform jobs effectively and efficiently. A list of available Servicewide IMD training can be found on the SPDER website, IRM/IMD Training page at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/training/.

    1. IRM authors should contact their IMD/IRM Coordinator to schedule IRM Authoring Tool Training.

    2. If an AM IRM author feels additional training, not listed on the SPDER website, is needed, the author should contact the AM IRM coordinator to determine if additional training is available and/or can be scheduled.

  2. All IRMs must be created and updated using the IRM Authoring Tool software; the current version is Arbortext Editor 6.0. Visit http://xmlhelpdesk.web.irs.gov/irm.html (IRM FAQs), if you need assistance with the IRM Authoring Tool software, or call (202) 803-9140 to report problems. You may also e-mail the help desk at xmlsgmlhelp@irs.gov.

  3. All IRMs must be posted on SERP.

  4. IRM authors can obtain the current version of an existing IRM XML file from the Electronic Publishing Web site through the IRM Numerical Index at http://publish.no.irs.gov/pubsys/irm/numind.html.

  5. Every attempt must be made to keep procedures up-to-date in the published (official) IRM. This may require that an IRM be updated more than once in a year. Contact your IRM Coordinator for assistance in determining if an IRM should be republished multiple times in one year.

  6. IRMs go through key phases, which will be discussed in later subsections.

    • Authoring (refer to IRM 1.11.7.3.1, Authoring the IRM for AM IRM Authors)

    • Updating (refer to IRM 1.11.7.3.3, Updating Your IRM between Publishing)

    • Clearing (refer to IRM 1.11.7.3.1.5, Clearing IRMs)

    • Obtaining Approval (refer to IRM 1.11.7.3.1.6, Obtaining Approval on Publishing an IRM)

    • Uploading (refer to IRM 1.11.7.3.1.7, Completing Final Review and Uploading the IRM for Publishing)

    • Publishing (refer to IRM 1.11.5, Publishing Internal Management Documents (IMDs)

    • Archiving (refer to IRM 1.11.7.3.5, Sending IRM Clearance Documentation to the IRS Historical Research Library)

Authoring the IRM for AM IRM Authors

  1. If an analyst is assigned ownership of an IRM section, the analyst is responsible for ensuring the guidance is accurate and correct. Refer to IRM 1.11.7.2.1.1, AM IRM Author Roles and Responsibilities, for specifics.

  2. The following sections contain specific instructions for AM IRM authors. The guidance in these sections supplements and enforces Servicewide program guidance in IRM:

    • IRM 1.11.1, IMD Program and Responsibilities

    • IRM 1.11.2, Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process

    • IRM 1.11.5, Publishing the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM))

    • IRM 1.11.9, Clearing and Approving Internal Management Documents (IMDs)

    • IRM 1.11.10, Interim Guidance Process

  3. As an IRM author, you should first ensure that you have the IRM authoring software, register as an IRM author and complete the IRM Authoring Tool 3 day classroom or virtual training. Guidelines to these procedures are listed in IRM 1.11.2.5, Writing the IRM.

    Note:

    For IRM Authoring Tool training dates, visit the Servicewide Policy, Directives, and Electronic Research (SPDER) website, IRM/IMD Training page at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/training/. The IRM/IMD Training page also contains links to just-in-time (refresher) e-learning modules, e.g., XML for IRM Authors, which is available via Enterprise Learning Management System (ELMS).

  4. Use the IRM Authoring Tool software, which is Arbortext Editor 6.0, to update IRM XML files. E-mails are generated to authors when IRM Authoring Tool software updates are available. Visit the XML Help Desk to report problems. You may also call the help desk at (202) 803-9140.

  5. Once software has been installed and training has been completed, an author must determine what guidelines and procedures the IRM will contain. It is important that the IRM is accurate and user-friendly. Refer to IRM 1.11.2.5.1, Preparing to Write or Revise the IRM. Analyzing and organizing material that is to be included in the IRM is important as it provides instructions on how employees perform their jobs. Include current business practices and specific procedures that identify when and what type of work is to be performed. Refer to procedures outlined in IRM 1.11.2.5.1.1, Organizing IRM Material.

  6. Writing the IRM should be done in a clear and concise manner:

    1. Create links to official sources of information, e.g., IRS official documents, forms and letters, other IRMs, legal references, etc. Refer to Document 12835, IRM Style Guide, and IRM 1.11.2.5.8.5, Creating Links.

    2. Create lists to allow the reader to easily scan and interpret information. Refer to IRM 1.11.2.3, IRM Format and Structure.

    3. Use a standard format to cite legal sources or other references in the IRM such as IRM sections, the Internal Revenue Code, regulations, court cases, administrative rulings, Congressional Acts, citing the web and creating links and IRS.gov. Refer to IRM 1.11.2.5.8, Setting Standard Citation Rules.

    4. Use tables when instructions should be followed in a particular order. Refer to IRM 1.11.2.3, IRM Format and Structure.

    5. Use graphics to illustrate information that is not reproducible in text. Graphics should be a completed form for illustrative purposes only and should contain alternative text to adhere to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1998, which requires electronic technology and information to be available to employees with disabilities. Refer to IRM 1.11.2.5.7, Graphics, and IRM 1.11.2.5.7.3, Use Alternative Text for Graphics. Also, visit the Alternative Media Center (AMC) website at: http://amc.enterprise.irs.gov.

Manual Transmittal
  1. The Manual Transmittal appears at the beginning of each IRM section. It contains important information which clearly defines what changes have been made in your IRM, why the changes have been made, and where they can be located. Refer to IRM 1.11.2.6, Preparing the Manual Transmittal, for more information.

  2. The Manual Transmittal consists of seven required elements. All seven elements must be completed. Refer to IRM 1.11.2.6.1, Required Elements of the Manual Transmittal.

    1. Manual Transmittal Date

    2. Purpose

    3. Material Changes

    4. Effect on Other Documents

    5. Audience

    6. Effective Date

    7. Signature

  3. For the Manual Transmittal Date, always use "Month DD, YYYY" . Refer to IRM 1.11.2.6.1.1, Manual Transmittal (MT) Date.

    Reminder:

    Media and Publications (M&P) changed the IRM dating procedures, and the wildcard, Month DD, YYYY, must be used for all IRMs; a specific date can no longer be entered as the MT Date (there are no exceptions—not even for filing season IRMs).

  4. For the Purpose, refer to IRM 1.11.2.6.1.2, Purpose.

  5. For the Material Changes, refer to IRM 1.11.2.6.1.3, Material Changes, and IRM 1.11.2.9, Preparing to Obsolete an IRM Section, for preparing a Manual Transmittal for an obsoleted IRM.

    1. Ensure all substantial (non-editorial) changes have been identified by subsection and paragraph(s).

      Note:

      Editorial changes do not have to be listed individually; only a general statement should be included.

    2. List changes in the subsection/exhibit order in which they occur in the IRM, when the IRM is sent out for clearance.

    3. For revised IRMs, review all IPUs that have been issued and ensure that any changes that are still reflected in the IRM are included in the Material Changes.

  6. For the Effect on Other Documents, refer to IRM 1.11.2.6.1.4, Effect on Other Documents.

  7. For the Audience, refer to IRM 1.11.2.6.1.5, Audience.

  8. For the Effective Date, refer to IRM 1.11.2.6.1.6, Effective Date.

    Caution:

    All W&I IRMs must use a specific date for the Effective Date. The wildcard (MM-DD-YYYY) should not be used for the Effective Date.

    Example:

    IRM 21.1.1, Accounts Management and Compliance Services Overview, is a filing season IRM that was effective on October 1, 2017; therefore, the Effective Date should be (10-01-2017).

  9. For the Signature, refer to IRM 1.11.2.6.1.7, Signatory (Signed By).

  10. Refer to IRM 1.11.2.6.2, Optional Elements, for more information on the following Manual Transmittal elements:

    • Note

    • Background

    • Scope

    • Related Resources

Subsection/Exhibit Dates in IRM File that Will Be Sent for Publishing
  1. Whenever a substantial (non-editorial) change is made to a subsection or exhibit, the date should be changed.

  2. If the subsection/exhibit was changed based on the issuance of an IPU, the date should be the date the IPU was posted to SERP.

    Example:

    An IPU was posted to SERP on October 18, 2016 for IRM 21.1.1, Accounts Management and Compliance Services Overview, to change IRM 21.1.17(9)(d); therefore, the subsection date for IRM 21.1.17, should be (10-18-2016).

  3. If the subsection was changed, but not as a result of an IPU, the IRM's new Effective Date should be used.

    Example:

    While updating the IRM file for IRM 21.1.1, Accounts Management and Compliance Services Overview, to send out for clearance, the author identified a change that should be made to Exhibit 21.1.1-1. IRM 21.1.1 is a filing season IRM that is usually effective on October 1 every year; therefore, the date for the updated exhibit should be (10-01-2013).

    Reminder:

    The wildcard, "(MM-DD-YYYY)" , should not be used.

References to IRMs, Legal Sources, Court Cases, Websites, and Other IRS Published Products
  1. IRM authors should avoid duplicating IRM procedures that are covered in other IRMs by a process’ program owner (including any that cross business unit and business operating division lines). Always refer your reader to the appropriate IRM, document, job aid, system, publication, tax form and/or instructions. Refer to IRM 1.11.2.5.8, Setting Standard Citation Rules, for further instructions.

  2. IRM authors should use references to IRMs, legal sources, court cases, other IRS published products (e.g., letters, notices, forms, instructions, publications, etc.), and websites in their IRMs to provide supplementary or administrative information. Refer to IRM 1.11.2.5.8, Setting Standard Citation Rules, and Document 12835, IRM Style Guide, for further instructions.

  3. Referencing IRMs: Refer to IRM 1.11.2.5.8.1, Citing to the IRM. When referencing IRMs:

    • Be specific when referring to other procedures or instructions in your IRM. When referencing, include full and correct titles (when titles are provided). Use the complete IRM section/subsection number you are referencing.

      Note:

      Suggested Practice – Include the IRM section/subsection title the first time it is used in a subsection.

      Example:

      If referencing at the IRM section level, e.g., IRM 1.11.2, the reference would be IRM 1.11.2, Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process.

      Example:

      If referencing at the IRM subsection level, e.g., IRM 1.11.2.3, the reference would be IRM 1.11.2.3, IRM Format and Structure.

    • For cross-references to subsections, figures, exhibits, etc. within the same IRM, use the "seealso" element of the IRM Authoring Tool, with appropriate type.

      Reminder:

      Ensure no text besides "IRM" and the section/subsection number are included inside of the "seealso" element tags. Titles should be outside of the "seealso" element.

    • When referencing other IRMs, use the "citation" element of the IRM Authoring Tool.

      Reminder:

      Ensure no text besides "IRM" and the section/subsection number are included inside of the "citation" element tags. Titles should be outside of the "citation" element.

    • When referencing forms, use the citation element of the IRM Authoring Tool.

      Reminder:

      Ensure no text besides "Form" and the form number are included inside of the "citation" element tags. Titles should be outside of the "citation" element.

    • Verify all references to IRMs and their subsections, forms, publications, legal citations, etc. to ensure that they are still correct. Be sure to run the Validate Cross References feature under Tools of the IRM Authoring Tool.

      Note:

      The Validate Cross References feature only validates IRM references within the same IRM, if the "seealso" element was used. This feature does not validate references in "citation" elements

      .

  4. Referencing Legal Sources and Court Cases: Refer to IRM 1.11.2.5.8.2, Citing Legal Sources.

  5. Referencing Other IRS Published Products: Refer to IRM 1.11.2.5.8.3, Citing Other IRS Published Products.

  6. Referencing Websites: Refer to IRM 1.11.2.5.8.4, Validating Links.

    Caution:

    Intranet web addresses which show a numerical IP address, e.g., http://123.456.789/documents, are not allowable in IRMs because including these types of web addresses in a publicly available document pose a high risk of disclosing IRS computer systems.

    Reminder:

    Web addresses should be formatted using the anchor or "a" tag in the IRM Authoring Tool software.

    Note:

    Suggested Practice – Use Intranet web address to link users to information that changes frequently or is used internally such as lists of offices, addresses, telephone numbers or persons to contact.

Official Use Only (OUO) in the IRM
  1. Official Use Only (OUO) in the IRM is restricted information that is not available to the public. It is used for official purposes by authorized individuals. All OUO content is embedded within the IRM. When the IRM is prepared using the IRM Authoring Tool, the OUO material is placed within “restrict” tags or attributes. When published, the tagged information is automatically redacted from the public version. Refer to IRM 1.11.2.5.3, Designating IRM Content as Official Use Only (OUO), for further information.

Clearing IRMs
  1. All AM IRMs must be technically reviewed by the appropriate analysts, specialized reviewers, business operating divisions, business units/functions, and customers via the Electronic Document Clearance process. Guidelines are included in the AM Program Letter for campuses and remote sites to include employees or Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) with various levels of experience in the IRM review process. This new action complies with the requirements in IRM 1.11.9.3.1, Requesting Employee Feedback.

    Reminder:

    The W&I IMD Coordinator (*W&I IRMs) should be included on all W&I IRM clearance requests.

  2. IRM authors must determine which specialized reviewers, business operating divisions, business units, and functions need to review their IRMs.

    Reminder:

    Use the Clearance Process Reviewers List located at: http://win.web.irs.gov/imd.htm as a starting point to identify reviewers for W&I IRMs. Authors should now send any changes/updates to the W&I mailbox (*W&I IRMs) with a copy to the AM IRM Coordinator. If changes need to be made to the list, the IRM author should send the changes to the appropriate member of the W&I IMD Team with a copy to the AM IRM Coordinator.

    1. Specialized Review by Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS): All IRMs in Parts 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 20, 21, 22 and 25 must be sent to TAS for clearance review. Refer to IRM 1.11.9.4.3, Taxpayer Advocate Service, for more information.

    2. Specialized Review by Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure (PGLD): All IRMs containing material related to disclosure (e.g., OUO), privacy, information protection, and identity theft must be sent to PGLD for clearance review. Refer to IRM 1.11.9.4.2.2, Clearance of Information about Privacy and Information Protection.

      Reminder:

      OUO material is information that is not revealed to the public. If the IRM contains OUO content, prepare Form 13709, Disclosure Checklist for Internal Management Documents and Training Materials, and attach it to clearance request e-mail.

      Note:

      If you have any questions concerning Disclosure's review of your documents, please call your Disclosure Technical Advisor (DTA).

    3. Other Specialized Reviewers: Include Office of Chief Counsel, Legislative Affairs, Office of Taxpayer Correspondence, and Workforce Relations. Refer to IRM 1.11.9.4, Specialized Reviewers, for instructions on when to send an IRM to a specialized reviewer for clearance review.

  3. During the clearance process, IRM authors should:

    1. Determine reviewers with help from W&I IMD coordinator, AM IRM Coordinator, or management, if needed.

    2. Prepare Form 2061, Document Clearance Record, per instructions in IRM 1.11.9.6.1, Form 2061 - Document Clearance Record, to obtain concurrence and comments on the IRM.

    3. E-mail Form 2061, the draft IRM and new/revised graphics to the identified clearance reviewers.

      Reminder:

      The IRM XML file will need to be converted to PDF because all reviewers do not have access to the IRM Authoring Tool software.

    4. Ensure responses are received; follow-up with reviewers as needed.

      Note:

      If no response received by final follow-up due date, annotate on Form 2061 that no response received

    5. Evaluate all comments received to determine whether you agree and will incorporate the changes into the revised IRM and document the disposition (agree or disagree) of all comments for the historical clearance documentation file.

      Reminder:

      AM IRM authors must ensure all agreed changes from the document clearance review have been incorporated into the revised IRM XML file before the IRM package is sent forward for approval.

    6. Notify the reviewer when a significant comment is not incorporated.

      Note:

      Suggested Practice – Respond to all reviewers’ comments to indicate whether the comments will be incorporated, and if the comments will not be incorporated, provide a brief explanation.

    7. Address disagreements on substantive comments. Make sure all issues have been resolved and if necessary, elevate to management. Refer to IRM 1.11.9.9, Resolving Disagreements.

    8. Make agreed upon changes to IRM XML file.

    9. Maintain all clearance documentation, which will later be sent to the IRS Historical Research Library.

      Reminder:

      AM IRM authors must keep copies (recommend electronic folder with e-mails) of the entire IRM package including all Forms 2061 with feedback sheets and resolutions for a minimum of 18 months after the IRM has been published. This documentation serves as a paper trail to show the accuracy of your IRM.

Obtaining Approval to Publish the IRM
  1. The IRM approval process consists of obtaining signatures in:

    1. Box 10, Form 1767, Publishing Services Requisition (signatory must be signed by an authorized approver listed at http://publish.no.irs.gov/appls/pst01c.html).

      Note:

      In AM, the authorized approver is the IRM author's lead or manager. Contact your IRM Coordinator if you questions regarding approval signatures on Form 1767.

    2. Box 13, Form 2061, Document Clearance Record (signatory must be the business unit/functional director or his/her designee).

      Note:

      In AM, senior managers can approve IRMs on behalf of the AM Director.

  2. IRM authors should prepare Form 1767, Publishing Service Requisition, per instructions (refer to IRM 1.11.5.4.1, Preparing Form 1767, Publishing Services Requisition).

  3. Once the clearance process has completed and approvals have been obtained, IRM authors must submit the following information electronically to the AM IRM Coordinator for final review and upload to Publishing.

    • Updated IRM XML file

      Note:

      The file name for the IRM XML file should begin with the catalog number assigned to the IRM and include the IRM # in parentheses, e.g., 32114X (IRM 1-11-7).

    • Revised/new graphic files (if applicable)

      Note:

      All new/updated graphics must be submitted in PDF format. Refer to IRM 1.11.2.5.7.1, Converting a Graphic to PDF

    • Completed/signed Form 1767 (Refer to IRM 1.11.5.4.1, Preparing Form 1767, Publishing Services Requisition, and ensure Box 10 of Form 1767 is signed by an authorized approver listed at http://publish.no.irs.gov/appls/pst01c.html).

Completing Final Review and Uploading the IRM for Publishing
  1. The AM IRM Coordinator will perform the final review of the updated IRM and upload the IRM package to Publishing. Refer to IRM 1.11.9.10.2, Final Review by IMD Coordinator, for instructions.

  2. The AM IRM Coordinator will complete Document 13000, IRM Package Check Sheet, to ensure IRM package is properly prepared for publishing. Refer to IRM 1.11.5.4, Preparing the IRM Package for Publishing, and IRM 1.11.5.5, Submitting the IRM Publishing Package, for more information.

    Reminder:

    Additional checks, that are not listed on Document 13000, will also need to be completed, e.g., checking tables for Section 508 compliance, ensuring web addresses are correct and formatted using "a" element, etc.

  3. The AM IRM Coordinator will return any IRMs that are not submitted properly. The IRM author must make necessary changes/corrections to IRM package and resubmit the IRM package to the AM IRM Coordinator.

  4. Once the AM IRM Coordinator has reviewed the IRM package and coordinated with the IRM author as needed to make changes, the AM IRM Coordinator will prepare the IRM package zip file that will be uploaded to Publishing. The zip file should include:

    • Updated IRM XML file

      Reminder:

      The file name for the IRM XML file should begin with the catalog number assigned to the IRM and include the IRM # in parentheses, e.g., 32114X (IRM 1-11-7).

    • Revised/new graphic files (if applicable) Reminder: All new/updated graphics must be submitted in PDF format. Refer to IRM 1.11.2.5.7.1, Converting a Graphic to PDF

    • Completed/signed Form 1767 (Refer to IRM 1.11.5.4.1, Preparing Form 1767, Publishing Services Requisition, and ensure Box 10 of Form 1767 is signed by an authorize approver listed at http://publish.no.irs.gov/appls/pst01c.html).

  5. The AM IRM coordinator will upload the IRM package using the IRM Package Submission tool located at http://caps-as2.mcc.irs.gov/irm/japple?PAGE=gov.irs.publish.irm.Upload.

Addressing IRM Feedback and Comments

  1. To improve the quality and consistency of procedures, IRM authors must evaluate and respond to requests for IRM changes. Change requests may come in the form of:

    • A SERP Feedback

    • An employee suggestion

    • A general request

    • A response to clearance review request

  2. SERP Feedback: IRM authors must evaluate and respond to SERP Feedback requests for IRM changes within 45 days. Refer to IRM 1.11.8.10, SERP Feedback Application – Author/Content Owner Responsibilities, and IRM 21.1.2.2.2, IRM 21 – Change Requests/SERP Feedback, for more information.

  3. Employee Suggestion: IRM authors should review and evaluate to employee suggestions, expeditiously; so, the suggestions can be closed out within 75 calendar days (Servicewide processing cycle time goal) from the date the employee suggestion was submitted. Visit the Employee Suggestion Program web page http://esp.web.irs.gov/, for more information.

  4. General Change Request (Outside of Clearance Process): IRM authors should evaluate and respond to general requests for IRM changes within a reasonable time frame. The response should include whether the author agrees with the change(s) requested and when agreed upon changes will be incorporated into the IRM; and if author disagrees with change(s) a brief explanation of why the change is not accepted. Refer to IRM 1.11.9.8, Responding to Reviewers' Comments, for more information.

  5. Response to Clearance Review Request: IRM authors must consider all comments provided in response to a clearance review request. It is recommended that authors respond to comments, within a reasonable time frame, to indicate whether the author agrees with the change(s) requested and when agreed upon changes will be incorporated into the IRM. Refer to IRM 1.11.9.8.1, Author Agrees with Reviewer's Comments, and IRM 1.11.9.9, Resolving Disagreements, for more information.

Updating Your IRM between Publishing

  1. W&I AM authors must use SERP IPUs to issue interim guidance to notify users of changes to your IRM before the annual updates are made.

  2. IPUs revises or corrects existing IRM information on the SERP IRM only. Further procedures on IPUs and how they are submitted for use can be located in IRM 1.11.8.7.1, Updating IRMs Through an IRM Procedural Update (IPU).

Issuing/Clearing IPUs
  1. When issuing IPUs, follow IRM 1.11.8.7.1, Updating IRMs through an IRM Procedural Update (IPU).

  2. For clearing IPUs, for AM IRM authors, follow general guidelines in IRM 1.11.10.7, SERP IPUs.

  3. All IPUs must be evaluated to determine if the they meet Freedom of Information Act (eFOIA) criteria. Follow guidance in IRM 1.11.10.3, Interim Guidance Requiring FOIA Compliance.

  4. If an IPU contains current procedures, but the procedures were not incorporated into a published copy of the IRM (through Media and Publications) within one year of the IPU being issued, the IPU is considered expired and must be reissued. Follow guidance in IRM 1.11.8.7.1.2, Reissuing IPUs (Interim Guidance).

    Note:

    SERP Alerts and IPUs may be restricted to Reading and Meeting time for CSRs, during the first two weeks of April (April 1 to 15th).

Keeping Track of Changes Made to the IRM
  1. When using the IRM Authoring Tool, the IRM author has the ability to track or “highlight” recent changes using one of the two features:

    • Change Tracking

    • Compare

  2. IRM authors MUST turn the Change Tracking feature on before they begin editing their IRM XML files, when preparing the IRM file to issue an IPU.

    • To do this, select Tools - Change Tracking - Track Changes. This toggles the Change Tracking feature on and off using the preferences set in the Track Changes Options dialog box. Track Changes are on when a check-mark is shown next to the Track Changes in the menu. Change tracking will stay on until turned off, even when the document is saved, closed and reopened.

    • When closing the file with changes tracked, a pop-up warning message will appear stating, “IRM file contains Change Tracking markup. Do you want to Accept/Reject changes now?” You can select “No” to keep the changes marked in the file.

      Reminder:

      The Change Tracking feature must be used when updating your IRM for a SERP IPU submission. Refer to IRM 1.11.8.7.1.3, IRM Authoring Tool - Updating Your IRM XML File for IPU Submission.

  3. If an IRM author accidently forgets to turn on the Change Tracking feature before the start of editing the IRM XML file, the IRM author does not need to go back and re-input the changes. The IRM author should use the Compare feature in the IRM Authoring Tool.

    Note:

    The original unchanged file will be necessary for comparison. To use the Compare feature, 1) open the revised IRM XML file, 2) select Tools - Compare - File in the Compare File dialog box, 3) select the original unchanged IRM XML file that is to be compared to, and 4) click Open. The IRM Authoring Tool will generate a comparison file in a separate window. Insertions and deletions are shown making it easy for the reviewer to see the changes.

  4. Use one of these features to format the IRM file that is sent out to clearance. After saving the file (select File/Save As (the IRM catalog # (IRM #)), convert the IRM file to a PDF (select File/Print, change printer name to "Adobe PDF" , select OK). This will become the IRM file to send out for clearance review.

Updating the Manual Transmittal When Issuing an IPU
  1. Four of the seven required elements will change every time the IRM is revised using the IPU process.

    1. Purpose

    2. Material Changes

    3. Effect on Other Documents

    4. Subsection Dates

  2. Do not update the Manual Transmittal Date. The SERP staff will edit this date before uploading to the IRM on SERP. Refer to IRM 1.11.8.7.1.3, IRM Authoring Tool - Updating Your IRM XML File for IPU Submission.

  3. To update the Purpose, use the following format – This transmits revised IRM X.X.X, Chapter title, Section Title. Refer to IRM 1.11.2.6.1.2, Manual Transmittal Purpose.

    Example:

    This transmits revised IRM 1.11.7, Internal Management Documents System, Accounts Management Tax/Policy/Program Analyst Guide.

  4. To update the Material Changes, follow IRM 1.11.8.7.1.3, IRM Authoring Tool - Updating Your IRM XML File for IPU Submission.

    1. The MT IPU begins after the IRM is published. For the first IPU after publishing, delete all of the Material Changes, except for the paragraph that covers editorial changes made throughout the IRM. The Material Changes should start from scratch and list all of the significant changes made since the IRM was last published.

    2. Make sure subsections and paragraph references reflect where the information is currently in the IRM.

      Caution:

      References may change if multiple SERP IPUs were issued for the same subsection, entire subsections were deleted or added, and/or the IRM was restructured.

    3. When IPUs are issued, changes for each individual IPU must be in the subsection/exhibit and date order in which the changes appear in the IRM.

      Reminder:

      SERP will input the IPU number and date of the IPU at the beginning of each Material Change paragraph based on the referenced IRM subsection/exhibit.

      Note:

      When the IRM file is prepared for clearance review, all changes should be listed in subsection/exhibit order as they appear in the IRM. If a subsection/exhibit was changed multiple times, ensure the dates are listed in date order. For historical purposes, the Material Changes should list all of the changes that were made to the IRM since it was last published, even if the change was superseded by a later change.

  5. To update the Effect on Other Documents for a revised IRM, use one of the following formats:

    1. If no IPU(s) have been issued – IRM X.X.X dated Month DD, YYYY (effective Month DD, YYYY) is superseded or IRM X.X.X dated MM-DD-YYYY (effective MM-DD-YYYY) is superseded.

      Note:

      The "dated" date is the last published IRM’s Manual Transmittal Date (IRM’s published date) and the "effective" date is the last published IRM’s Effective Date.

    2. If IPU(s) have been issued, include the SERP IPU numbers and the dates issued.

      Example:

      If one IPU issued, use a statement similar to "IRM Procedural Update (IPU) YYUXXXX, issued Month DD, YYYY, has been incorporated into this IRM" .
      IRM 21.5.8, dated September 02, 2016 (effective October 1, 2016), is superseded. IRM Procedural Update (IPU) 16U1518, issued October 12, 2016, has been incorporated into this IRM.

      Example:

      If two IPUs issued, use a statement similar to" IRM Procedural Update (IPU) "YYUXXXX" , issued Month DD, YYYY, and IPU YYUXXXX, issued Month DD, YYYY, have been incorporated into this IRM" .
      IRM 21.5.8, dated September 02, 2016 (effective October 1, 2016), is superseded. IRM Procedural Update (IPU) 16U1518, issued October 12, 2016, and IPU 17U0199, issued January 30, 2017, have been incorporated into this IRM.

      Example:

      If more than two IPUs issued, use a statement similar to "The following IRM Procedural Updates (IPUs), issued from Month DD, YYYY through Month DD, YYYY, have been incorporated into this IRM: YYUXXXX, YYUXXXX, and YYUXXXX" .
      IRM 21.5.8, dated September 02, 2016 (effective October 1, 2016), is superseded. The following IRM Procedural Updates (IPUs), issued from October 12, 2016 through February 27, 2017, have been incorporated into this IRM: 16U1518, 17U0199, and 17U0379.

    For additional information, refer to IRM 1.11.2.6.1.4, Effect on Other Documents.

Posting the IRM to SERP

  1. After the IRM is published, and is EFFECTIVE, the SERP staff downloads the published IRM file directly from the Electronic Publishing web site, converts the files to HTML, and posts the IRM to SERP. This is transparent to the IRM authors.

    Note:

    For new IRMs, the author must contact SERP to request IRM be posted to SERP. Refer to IRM 1.11.8.6.1, Adding IRMs.

Sending IRM Clearance Documentation to the IRS Historical Research Library

  1. The IRS Historical Research Library preserves the history of why changes are made to documents. The library houses the permanent record of changes made to the IRM through the Form 2061, Document Clearance Record (DCR), packages. The information serves to support IRM author inquiries, legal cases, investigations and response to Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) or Government Accountability Office (GAO) inquiries.

  2. AM IRM authors are required to send all historical information pertaining to the IRM section to the library when they have received notification that their IRM is being processed.

  3. Once an IRM has gone through the clearance process and the IRM has been uploaded to Publishing, all of the clearance responses (e.g., signed Form 2061, reviewers' feedback/comments, and provided resolution responses to the reviewers to indicate if the author agrees or disagrees with reviewers' feedback/comments) should be compiled and sent to the IRS Historical Research Library as required in IRM 1.11.9.10.3, Clearance Documents Sent to IRS Historical Research Library. In addition, refer to IRM 1.11.9.6.1, Form 2061 Document Clearance Record, for detailed instructions on how Form 2061 should be completed.

  4. Before sending the IRM clearance documentation package to the IRS Historical Research Library:

    1. Review all Forms 2061 to ensure the form is signed by the reviewer.

    2. Ensure the package includes a Form 2061 from each reviewer (including non-respondents).

      Note:

      For non-respondents, enter the reviewer's name and organization information in Box 11 of Form 2061 and in the title field indicate no response received. For example:
      Jane Doe
      No Response Received
      Organization

    3. Ensure package has all comments and documented disposition (agree or disagree) on comments, along with actions taken related to disagreements.

    4. Ensure Box 13 on one of the Form 2061 is signed by the IRM's signatory (the business unit/functional director or his/her designee).

  5. IRM authors should e-mail the clearance documentation to the librarian at IRMLibrary@irs.gov (copy the AM IRM Coordinator on the e-mail) within 30 days of the IRM being published and/or within 30 days of the date when the author/coordinator is notified that the IRM will be published, e.g., e-mail confirmation from M&P that the IRM is being processed. The clearance documentation should be in zip file(s). Do not send clearance documentation for multiple IRMs using one e-mail. Send clearance documentation for different IRMs on separate e-mails.