1.11.9 Clearing and Approving Internal Management Documents (IMDs)

Manual Transmittal

January 24, 2017

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 1.11.9, Internal Management Documents, Clearing and Approving Internal Management Documents (IMDs).

Scope

This Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) section provides clearance procedures for IRMs, Delegation Orders, and Policy Statements.

Material Changes

(1) The following revisions are based on recommendations from the 2015/2016 Servicewide Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Improvement team to streamline and clarify the process of reviewing and approving new and revised IRM procedures. Content is added for internal control attributes based on IRM 1.11.2, Nov. 2016 revision.

(2) IRM 1.11.9.1 - Revised IRM subsection title and content to reflect internal control attributes. Added content to identify policy owner, program owner.

(3) IRM 1.11.9.1.1 through IRM 1.11.9.1.7 - Added content to identify authority, roles and responsibilities, measures, terms and acronyms to reflect internal control attributes.

(4) IRM 1.11.9.2 - Added subsection on standards of IRM clearance to document and clarify the purpose, requirements and actions of clearance. Added the use of a SPDER approved alternative Form 2061 to document the review and approval.

(5) IRM 1.11.9.2.1 - Clarified the circumstances for using streamlined clearance.

(6) IRM 1.11.9.2.1.3 - Clarified the process of incorporating approved delegation orders and policy statements into the IRM through the streamlined clearance process.

(7) IRM 1.11.9.2.2 - Added a subsection on the role and responsibility of organizational clearance points of contacts in receiving and distributing IRMs for review.

(8) IRM 1.11.9.3 - Revised subsection title from “Determining Reviewers” to “Identifying Reviewers” and clarified guidance. Added language requiring the author to specify affected program office(s) in their clearance request. Removed examples previously in IRM 1.11.9.3.2 and merged most of the content into this subsection. Eliminated the concept of not clearing through other offices when an organization has sole authority to set policy or procedure, as it contradicts clearance standards of clearing through affected offices. The program owner still has the authority to reject or accept comments and feedback from offices affected by the guidance.

(9) IRM 1.11.9.3.1 - Clarified language to include information on contacting the organization’s IMD Coordinator for information on the IRM employee feedback process. No procedural changes, solely clarification to language.

(10) IRM 1.11.9.4 (Table) - Revised contacts for specialized reviewers.

(11) IRM 1.11.9.4.1 - Modified criterion when clearance through Chief Counsel is required. Clarified situations when new/revised IMD content does not require Chief Counsel review, i.e., bulk processing, mail and transportation management, work planning and control or Part 2 - information technology IRMs.

(12) IRM 1.11.9.4.2 - Clarified language as to when clearance through PGLD is required. No substantive procedural changes; clarification to language and process.

(13) IRM 1.11.9.4.3 - Clarified language as to when clearance through TAS is required. No substantive procedural changes; clarification to language.

(14) IRM 1.11.9.4.4 - Clarified language as to when clearance through Workforce Relations is required. Documented the existing process of reviewing all procedural revisions for impact to Bargaining Unit (BU) employees and to discuss changes with management and embedded workforce relations representative. Documented the completion of Form 14036 when changes impact BU employees working conditions.

(15) IRM 1.11.9.4.7 - Clarified language as to when clearance through Identity Protection Strategy and Oversight office is required. No procedural changes, solely clarification to language.

(16) IRM 1.11.9.5 - Revised title from Clearance Package to Clearance Submission Guidelines. Clarified the steps for submitting IRMs for review. Added references to IRM 1.11.3, IRM 1.11.4 and IRM 1.11.10 for clearance guidelines for Delegation Orders, Policy Statements and Interim Guidance.

(17) IRM 1.11.9.5.1 - Renumbered subsection on Forwarding the IRM for Clearance (previously IRM 1.11.9.6.2). Clarified guidance to obtain management review of new or revised procedures before forwarding IRM out for clearance.

(18) IRM 1.11.9.5.2 - Renumbered subsection on Clearance Package (previously IRM 1.11.9.6). Clarified that either a track change or compare file is forwarded to reviewers for clearance.

(19) IRM 1.11.9.5.3 - Renumbered subsection on Form 2061 - Document Clearance Record (previously IRM 1.1.9.6.1) and added guidance allowing the use of a SPDER approved alternate clearance form to document concurrence and approval of new or revised IMDs.

(20) IRM 1.11.9.5.4.1 - Changed the approval of expedite clearance from an executive to a program director. The change was made to align the required approval level to the same as the IRM signatory.

(21) IRM 1.11.9.6 - Clarified the options a reviewer has for submitting comments. Content moved from IRM 1.11.9.7.2

(22) IRM 1.11.9.7 - Clarified language when a reviewer does not concur.

(23) IRM 1.11.9.7.1 - Clarified language when a reviewer does not concur and added guidance that if the reviewer subsequently agrees, another clearance request indicating their concurrence is required.

(24) IRM 1.11.9.8 - Added a time frame in situations when the IRM is substantially revised during the clearance process and is resent to the affected offices for review - at least five business days but not more than 20 business days.

(25) IRM 1.11.9.9 - Clarified actions when an reviewing office does not concur with substantive content changes to ensure the IRM Program Director is apprised of disagreements to IRM changes by a reviewing office.

(26) IRM 1.11.9.9.1 - Clarified language. No substantive procedural changes; solely clarification to language.

(27) IRM 1.11.9.10 - Clarified language. No substantive procedural changes; solely clarification to language.

(28) IRM 1.11.9.10.1 - Clarified that IMDs require approval and signature at or above the program director level. Changed subsection title from Approval by Program Owner to Approval by Program Director to clarify the authorized approving official is at the program director level or above. Clarified the program director may designate approval and signature to another. For all IMDs the designation must be in writing. For IRMs the designation must be a management official.

(29) IRM 1.11.9.10.2 - Clarified the final review actions by the IMD/IRM coordinator prior to publication. Documented existing action of reviewing the IRM XML file for context errors.

(30) IRM 1.11.9.10.3 - Clarified the types of documents to send to the IRS Historical Research library.

(31) Editorial changes made throughout the IRM for clarity. Revised titles, defined terms draft IMD and draft IRM, reorganized content (minor), and verified website addresses. The name of the office of SPDER changed to Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Resources.

Effect on Other Documents

This IRM supersedes IRM 1.11.9 dated December 4, 2014.

Audience

The IMD community: IMD authors, IMD/IRM coordinators, their managers, and those responsible for the clearance, review and approval of IMD material.

Effective Date

(01-24-2017)


Director, Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Resources

Program Scope and Objectives

  1. Purpose. This Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) section describes the Internal Management Document (IMD) clearance process and provides the procedures for clearing IMDs. Specifically, IRM 1.11.9:

    1. Establishes Servicewide standards and procedures for reviewing and approving a new, revised, or obsolete IRM section.

    2. Provides guidance and information to program owners on approving a revision or issuance of a new or revised IRM section.

    3. Provides guidance on completing a document clearance request for IRMs, delegation orders and policy statements.

    4. Contains guidance on incorporating issued interim guidance, delegation orders and policy statements into the IRM and the clearance of these updated IRMs.

  2. Scope. This IRM section contains guidance for IMDs, specifically for the clearance of IRMs. The review and approval of other Internal Management Documents (IMDs), e.g., interim guidance, delegation orders and policy statements are contained in the other IMD 1.11 series IRMs, listed under Related Resources.

  3. Audience. This IRM section is for program directors, managers, analysts and other employees who are responsible for issuing, authoring, reviewing, approving, and managing IMDs, which includes authors of IRMs, reviewers of IRMs, IMD/IRM coordinators, and managers with IMD program responsibilities.

  4. Policy Owner. The Office of Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Resources (SPDER), under Research, Applied Analytics and Statistics (RAAS).

  5. Program Owner. SPDER is the program office responsible for overseeing the IMD program and providing Servicewide IMD policy and guidance including the IMD clearance process. Each organization is responsible for establishing an internal process for managing their IMDs based upon these Servicewide processes.

  6. Contact Information. This IRM section is authored by the SPDER office, which may be contacted in either of the following ways:

    • Email at SPDER@irs.gov

    • Website at http://spder.web.irs.gov/officeinfo/contact/

Background

  1. SPDER is responsible for designing, implementing, and setting the Servicewide standards for the clearance (review and approval) of internal management documents. See IRM 1.11.1.6, IMD Roles and Responsibilities, for information about Executive and organization and program office IMD requirements.

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 of IRS operational guidance and information. See IRM 1.11.1.3, Authorities and Legal Obligations Relating to IMDs, for the authorities and legal obligations of IMDs.

  2. Clearance documents are official records and are required to be maintained in the IRS Historical Research Library. Clearance documents are subject to federal records management requirements and National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) as provided in the IRS Records Control Schedules. See IRM 1.11.1.3 (2) Table for legal references.

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. The Director, SPDER has oversight responsibility for the IMD program of the IRS including IRMs. IMD content which includes IRM content is owned by the respective program office.

  2. Executives of each IRS organization are responsible for preparing, maintaining and archiving IMDs affecting their respective programs.

  3. Program owners and the assigned authors are responsible for determining the effect of the proposed changes on other program offices and documents and forwarding to these offices for review and comment.

  4. Program owners are responsible for ensuring IMDs are properly managed and maintained. See IRM 1.11.1.6.5 (2).

  5. Program directors are responsible for reviewing and approving new or revised IMDs within their program responsibility.

  6. IMD coordinators are assigned to each IRS organization to assist in managing the processing of IMDs for their organization. IMD Coordinators or designated IMD staff also coordinate incoming requests for clearance review as an IMD Clearance point of contact (POC).

Measures and Reports

  1. SPDER, as the process owner, monitors changes to the IRS’s servicewide IMD inventory including new, updated and obsolete content.

    1. The IRS Historical Research Library maintains data information on IRM clearance packages.

Terms

  1. Clearance - Review and approval of an IMD prior to issuance.

  2. Clearance Point of Contact (POC) - A designated IMD/IRM coordinator or contact within each IRS organization responsible for managing, coordinating and forwarding IMDs received for review and clearance for assignment to reviewers in affected offices. The clearance POC may be a designated organizational mailbox managed by the organization’s IMD program office.

  3. Clearance Process - An established, formal process that provides affected organizations and program offices the opportunity to review and comment on changes to information in the IMD to ensure it is complete, correct, and does not conflict with another policy, procedure, or process. The clearance process also documents the approval of IRS procedural changes by the program owner and responsible program director.

  4. Document Clearance Record (DCR) - Document used to obtain and record the review and concurrence from all affected offices and approval from the responsible program owner; either the Form 2061, Document Clearance Record, or an alternative form approved by the SPDER office.

  5. External Reviewer - Affected organizations/program offices outside of the originating organization.

  6. Internal Management Document (IMD) - Official communication which designates policies, authorities, and instructions to IRS officials and employees. IMDs include the IRM, interim guidance, policy statements and delegation orders.

  7. Internal Reviewer - Affected organizations/program offices within the originating organization.

  8. Program Director - Management official with responsibility and authority for administering a particular program and the issuance and approval of IMDs within their authority. The responsible program director is also the approving official of the respective IRM.

  9. Program Owner - The office which has responsibility for establishing the policy, process and procedures necessary to implement and manage an IRS program. The program owner is the IRM owner for the program. The director over the program is the program director authorized to approve the issuance of new or revised IRM guidance.

  10. Reviewer - A subject matter expert responsible for reviewing an IMD on behalf of their program office, area or organization.

  11. Specialized Reviewer - Specific and identified program offices (identified in IRM 1.11.9.4.1) with oversight in a particular area affecting servicewide IRS operations

Acronyms

  1. DCR - Document Clearance Record

  2. FOIA - Freedom of Information Act

  3. IG - Interim Guidance (either an interim guidance memorandum or SERP IRM Procedural Update)

  4. IGM - Interim Guidance Memorandum

  5. IMD - Internal Management Document

  6. IPU - IRM Procedural Update

  7. IRM - Internal Revenue Manual

  8. LR- Labor Relations

  9. M&P - Media and Publications

  10. MT - Manual Transmittal

  11. OUO - Official Use Only

  12. PII - Personally Identifiable Information

  13. POC - Point of Contact

  14. SBU - Sensitive But Unclassified

  15. SERP - Servicewide Electronic Research Portal

  16. SME - Subject Matter Expert

  17. SPDER - Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Resources

  18. WR - Workforce Relations

  19. XML - Extensible Markup Language

Related Resources

  1. These are the primary IRMs that provide supplementary information involving the clearance process.

    Type of IMD Additional Source of Clearance Guidance
    IRM IRM 1.11.2, Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process
    Servicewide Policy Statement IRM 1.11.3, Policy Statements
    Servicewide Delegation Order IRM 1.11.4, Delegation Orders
    Division/Function Delegation Order IRM 1.11.4, Delegation Orders
    Interim Guidance IRM 1.11.10, Interim Guidance Process

Clearance Process Standards

  1. Clearance takes place after authoring, but prior to publishing. After an author has updated or written their IMD and verified the revisions with his/her management, the IMD is sent to affected offices and stakeholders for review and concurrence and to the program director for review and approval. This formal review is called the IMD clearance process.

  2. A Form 2061, Document Clearance Record, or an alternative SPDER approved clearance record is used to obtain the review and approval of IMDs. This document serves as a control, routing slip, and a record of review and approval.

  3. The assigned author of the IMD is responsible for determining the effect of the proposed changes on their office and other program offices and forwarding the document to those offices for their review and comment.

  4. The responsible program owner at a director level approves IMD changes to ensure the instructions are consistent with IRS operational process and authorities.

  5. IMDs are reviewed by affected program offices when new or revised IMD content contains instructions or guidelines for that program office. Reviewing offices are responsible for considering the effect of the revisions on their procedures.

  6. The IRM must complete clearance within one year of the date clearance was initiated, or it must be cleared again.

  7. The IMD/IRM coordinator is the last review point prior to uploading the IRM for publishing.

  8. The following are the steps in the IRM clearance process. These topics are described in detail in the referenced IRM subsections.

    Step Actions IRM Reference
    1 Author finalizes draft IRM for review and approval. IRM 1.11.2, IRM Process
    2 Author identifies reviewers. IRM 1.11.9.3, Identifying Reviewers, and IRM 1.11.9.4, Specialized Reviewers
    3 Author sends completed Form 2061, Document Clearance Record or alternate clearance form to reviewers. IRM 1.11.9.5, Clearance Process Guidelines
    4 Reviewers comment and provide concurrence on changes within 30 days, plus extension up to 15 days. IRM 1.11.9.7, Guidelines for Reviewers
    5 Author considers reviewers’ comments and updates the draft IRM as applicable. IRM 1.11.9.8, Responding to Reviewers Comments, and IRM 1.11.9.9, Resolving Disagreements
    6 Program director reviews and approves the new, changed or obsoleted content. IRM 1.11.9.10.1, Approval by Program Director
    7 Author forwards the approved IRM to IMD/IRM coordinator for publishing who conducts final review for submission to M&P for publication. IRM 1.11.9.10.2, Final Review by IMD/IRM Coordinator
    8 Author or IMD/IRM coordinator forwards the IRM clearance package to IRS Historical Research library for archiving. IRM 1.11.9.10.3, Clearance Documents Sent to IRS Historical Research Library
  9. IRM revisions that only involve editorial changes or the incorporation of previously cleared guidance may follow a streamlined clearance. The following topics are addressed in IRM 1.11.9.2.1:

    • Editorial updates.

    • Incorporating interim guidance into the IRM.

    • Incorporating delegation orders and policy statements into IRM 1.2, Servicewide Policies and Authorities.

Instances of Streamlined Clearance

  1. This subsection describes situations for using an abbreviated or streamlined clearance when changes to an IMD are editorial or involve incorporating documents that were previously approved and cleared. These types of IRM changes include:

    • Editorial updates.

    • Incorporating interim guidance into the IRM.

    • Incorporating delegation orders and policy statements into IRM 1.2, Servicewide Policies and Authorities.

  2. The required level of review and signatures on the document clearance record, at a minimum, include:

    1. The author’s manager,

    2. The program director (or documented designee), and

    3. The organizational IMD/IRM coordinator.

  3. Follow IRM 1.11.2.8.1, Revising the IRM for an Editorial Update for completing the package for publishing.

Clearance of Editorial Updates
  1. The editorial update process allows for a modified clearance process when the IRM is being updated strictly to correct format, punctuation, grammatical or other typographical errors in the published IRM. See IRM 1.11.2.8, Editorial Update Process, for a detailed list of editorial changes and the rules for preparing the IRM XML file.

  2. Editorial changes do not affect the meaning of the content of the IRM. They require minimal review.

  3. Generally, the author’s manager, the program director, and the IMD/IRM coordinator are the only reviewers. Management may require additional levels of review.

Incorporating Interim Guidance into the IRM
  1. When updating the IRM only to incorporate an interim guidance memoranda (IGM) or a Servicewide Electronic Research Portal (SERP) IRM Procedural Update (IPU), an IRM author may use the streamlined clearance process.

  2. Procedural guidance issued through interim guidance, e.g., IGMs or SERP IPUs must be incorporated into the applicable IRM within a specific time frame. IGMs must be incorporated by the expiration date identified on the memo and SERP IPUs must be incorporated within one year from issuance. See IRM 1.11.10.

  3. Follow these guidelines when revising an IRM to incorporate interim guidance (IGMs or IPUs):

    If: Then:
    (1) The interim guidance (IG) was:
    1. Cleared and concurred through all affected offices and specialized reviewers within the past 12 months, and

    2. Incorporated into the IRM as written in the IG (IG memo or IPU).The approved language is the same as the language incorporated into the IRM.

    (1) You can use the streamlined clearance.
    1. Add the information from the interim guidance into the IRM.

    2. Complete a document clearance record for management, IMD/IRM coordinator and program director/executive approval and signature. Forward to any other reviewers as determined by management.

    3. Attach the clearance documents secured during clearance of the interim guidance to the IRS Historical Research library with the document clearance record for the IRM.

    (2) If the IG language must be revised, i.e., reinterpreted for inclusion in the IRM or if any of the conditions in (1) above are not met, (2) You must follow the rules under IRM 1.11.9.3 as the guidance requires review through all affected program offices and specialized reviewers.
  4. Refer to IRM 1.11.10, Interim Guidance Process, for guidance on preparing and clearing interim guidance.

Incorporating Delegation Orders and Policy Statements into the IRM
  1. After approval, signature and issuance of a Servicewide Policy Statement or Delegation Order (see IRM 1.11.3, Policy Statements and IRM 1.11.4, Delegation Orders), the word-for-word content of the delegation order and/or policy statement is incorporated into the IRM series 1.2, Servicewide Policy and Authorities by the office of SPDER for recordkeeping purposes. The Office of SPDER will:

    1. Incorporate the approved delegation order or policy statement into the applicable IRM through the streamlined clearance process. See IRM 1.11.2.8, Editorial Update Process.

    2. Archive the IMD clearance package in the IRS Historical Library when the contents are incorporated into the IRM.

Organizational Clearance Points of Contact

  1. Each organization designates a clearance contact to receive IRM clearance requests from organizations and specialized reviewers as identified by the author. These designated contacts assist in the coordination of IMD clearance for their organization. View the list of clearance Points of Contacts (POCs) at: http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/IMDClearancePOCList.asp.

  2. The organizational clearance POC ensures clearance reviews are completed and responded to timely.

  3. The clearance POC forwards the IRM to affected program offices and/or subject matter experts (SMEs) as identified by the author based on the material changes in the Manual Transmittal. If the author indicates a specific reviewer or office in the Form 2061 or email, the organization’s point of contact will ensure the IMD is forwarded to that program office or SME.

  4. Depending on the organization’s internal process, the organizational clearance POC may consolidate the responses and respond back to the originator with comments and one assessment.

Identifying Reviewers

  1. New or revised IMDs are sent to the author’s manager, IMD/IRM coordinator, affected internal offices, external organizations/program offices (through the organizational clearance POCs) and specialized reviewers to ensure the revised content is consistent with IRS operations and procedures. New or revised IRMs are also sent to employees for their feedback. Clearance is required by the following:

    • Author’s manager

    • IMD/IRM coordinator

    • Affected program offices within the originating organization (internal reviewers)

    • Affected organizations/program offices outside of the originating organization (external reviewers)

    • Specialized reviewers as identified in IRM 1.11.9.4, Specialized Reviewers

    • Employees who use the new or revised procedures. See IRM 1.11.9.3.1, Requesting Employee Feedback

  2. To identify affected program offices, determine the program or program offices affected by the changes.

    1. If the changes alter another organization/program’s offices work processes, procedures, official forms or internal management documents, send to that organization/office for review and concurrence.

      Note:

      A mere reference to a procedure in another IMD does not require clearance through the responsible program office. Only when the revision involves a change to the other office’s published procedures or processes, must you submit the IMD for clearance.

    2. If the changes are owned by another program office, or if another office is responsible for implementation or conducting the work, send to that organization/program office for review and concurrence.

  3. A reviewer for clearance purposes is a subject matter expert (SME) or management official who is responsible for reviewing the IMD on behalf of their program office or organization. Internal reviewers are reviewers within the originating office. External reviewers are reviewers outside of the originating organization. Reviewers provide comments on new or revised IMD content that affect their operations.

    Example:

    If the IRM is owned by SB/SE, then any program office outside of SB/SE is considered an external reviewer for the purposes of IMD Clearance.

  4. When sending your IMD to an organization, outside or your organization always send the clearance request to the organization’s IMD Clearance POC in addition to the known reviewer. To identify the IMD clearance contact in each organization, check the Organizational IMD clearance POC listing on the SPDER website.

  5. Contact the IMD/IRM coordinator for help in identifying a SME or contact in a particular program office.

Requesting Employee Feedback

  1. Each organization will make new or revised IRMs available for feedback to employees who use the IRM. The feedback process is initiated at the time of clearance. The time frame for obtaining feedback from employees who use the IRM is five business days.

  2. Each organization determines the feedback process. Contact your IMD Coordinator for your organization’s process on IRM employee feedback. The Form 2061 is not required to document employee feedback and review.

  3. The author will include employee feedback comments in the historical IRM file.

Specialized Reviewers

  1. Specialized reviewers are identified program offices with oversight in a particular area affecting servicewide IRS operations. Review from a specialized reviewer is required when the material in the IMD contains content within their program office’s oversight, as described below.

    When material contains: Then send the IRM to: IRM Subsection
    Legal matters as described in IRM 1.11.9.4.1 Chief Counsel via email to IRM.Clearance.Counsel.Review@IRSCOUNSEL.TREAS.GOV IRM 1.11.9.4.1
    Any of the following as described in IRM 1.11.9.4.2:
    • Content identified as Official Use Only (OUO)

    • Procedures, policies, or instructions relating to the disclosure or potential disclosure of official information

    • Procedures, policies, or instructions relating to privacy or information protection

    Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure (PGLD) via email to *PGLD IMD SPOC IRM 1.11.9.4.2
    Changes to any sections in the following IRM parts:
    • Part 1 – Organization, Finance, and Management

    • Part 3 – Submission Processing

    • Part 4 – Examining Process

    • Part 5 – Collecting Process

    • Part 7 – Rulings and Agreements

    • Part 8 – Appeals

    • Part 20 – Penalty and Interest

    • Part 21 – Customer Account Services

    • Part 22 – Taxpayer Education and Assistance

    • Part 25 – Special Topics

    Exception:

    SERP IPUs are only forwarded to TAS for review if their changes affect how a member of the public files, pays, complies with their tax requirements, or interacts with the Service. See IRM 1.11.10.7.1.

    Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) via email to *TAS IMD SPOC IRM 1.11.9.4.3
    Changes to working conditions or job duties of bargaining unit employees Workforce Relations Division embedded contact by organization. See http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/WRPOCList.asp IRM 1.11.9.4.4
    Any of the following information:
    • An IRS toll-free telephone number

    • Instructions on developing or revising taxpayer notices or letters

    • Guidance on handling erroneous taxpayer correspondence

    Office of Taxpayer Correspondence (OTC) via email to *W&I OTC IMD POC IRM 1.11.9.4.6
    Procedures relating to:
    • Implementation of new legislation affecting tax administration, or

    • Interactions with Congress or a member of Congress (e.g., a U.S. Representative or a Senator)

    Legislative Affairs contact. See http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/IMDClearancePOCList.asp IRM 1.11.9.4.5
    Content relating to identity theft Identity Protection - W&I Office of Identity Protection via email to *W&I CAS:AM:IPSO-IDT-IRMs IRM 1.11.9.4.7

Chief Counsel

  1. The Office of Chief Counsel reviews IMDs for legal accuracy that reference one or more of the following authorities:

    • Federal law

    • Treasury Regulations

    • Revenue Rulings

    • Revenue Procedures

    • Notices

    • Announcements

    • Treasury Orders

    • Treasury Directives

    • Servicewide Policy Statement

    • Servicewide Delegation Order

    Note:

    Not all IMDs referencing such authority require review by Chief Counsel.

  2. Scope of review of an IRM update - Chief Counsel generally reviews the IRM section for legal matters based on the substantial changes identified in either the Material Changes portion of the draft IRM or in the track change file submitted. While Chief Counsel does rely on the listing of substantial changes and on the track change file submitted for review, Chief Counsel also considers whether the authority for legal matters not updated has changed or whether new legal matters should be addressed when an IRM is being updated.

  3. An author must submit IMDs to Chief Counsel for clearance when:

    1. The IMD contains new or revised guidance interpreting an authority listed in paragraph (1) above.

    2. The IMD is an IRM for processing tax returns or payments, specifically IRM Chapter 3.11, Returns and Documents Analysis, IRM Chapter 3.12, Error Resolution, IRM Chapter 3.13, Campus Document Services (except IRM 3.13.6, Submission Processing Image Control Team (ICT) Correspondence Scanning, and IRM 3.13.62, Media Transport and Control), IRM Chapter 3.21, International Returns and Document Analysis and IRM Chapter 3.22, International Error Resolution.

    3. Chief Counsel requests or has requested that the IMD be sent to their office for review.

  4. An author may submit an IMD to Chief Counsel when:

    • The author wants to verify whether a current interpretation in the IMD is valid, or

    • The author has a specific question relating to legal matters and the content relates to an authority in paragraph (1) above.

  5. An author should not submit IMDs to Chief Counsel that are:

    1. Revised solely for editorial issues, reorganization of content or renumbering or when obsoleting the IRM.

    2. In IRM Chapter 1.4, Resource Guide for Managers (except IRM sections addressing legal matters, e.g., IRM 1.4.51, Insolvency)

    3. In IRM Part 2, Information Technology

    4. In IRM Chapter 3.10, Campus Mail and Work Control

    5. In IRM Chapter 3.24, ISRP System

    6. Chief Counsel previously indicated through email that the IRM section does not require their review

    Exception:

    Authors may submit an IRM meeting the above criteria to Chief Counsel for review if there is a specific question relating to legal matters in the IRM section. The author will have to articulate the question in the clearance email to Chief Counsel.

  6. Send clearance requests to the Chief Counsel IMD clearance contact at: IRM.Clearance.Counsel.Review@IRSCOUNSEL.TREAS.GOV.

    1. Do not “cc” any attorneys or Chief Counsel subject matter experts in the email requesting clearance. If an attorney provided assistance on the revised language or an author would like to request a specific attorney to review the document, indicate the attorney’s name and any Chief Counsel case tracking number (interim guidance only) in the body of the email sent to the Chief Counsel IMD clearance contact.

  7. Chief Counsel generally does not review or verify the following unless specifically requested:

    • Cross-references to forms, notices, other IRMs or other documents

    • Listing of Transaction Codes (TC Codes)

    • Basic disclosure and privacy rules when an IRM is being cleared through PGLD

    • Indexed figures in IRMs contained in the Internal Revenue Bulletins (IRBs)

    • Due dates specified on tax forms

  8. Chief Counsel will generally provide comments on an IRM in a Word feedback form. Comments on an interim guidance will generally be in a Word feedback form unless comments in track changes are sufficient.

Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure

  1. Authors must submit all IMDs to Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure (PGLD) for review and clearance if their instructions involve any of the following:

    1. Disclosure or potential disclosure of official information or data.

    2. Official use only (OUO) information. For additional information, see IRM 1.11.9.4.2.1.

    3. Privacy or information protection. For additional information, see IRM 1.11.9.4.2.2.

  2. Laws and policies relating to disclosure issues may change over time and the sensitivity of content designated OUO may also change. For this reason, all IMDs that contain OUO content must be sent to PGLD for review even if the content designated as OUO has not changed.

  3. For IMDs containing identity theft content, see IRM 1.11.9.4.7, Identity Protection Strategy & Oversight. If an IMD contains both identity theft and OUO/disclosure content, send the IMD to both the PGLD and the Identity Protection Strategy & Oversight offices.

  4. Include a completed Form 13709, Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure Checklist for IMD and Training Materials, with the clearance request. Within the Form 13709 identify the IRM subsection number(s) or page number(s) for the content that you believe requires PGLD review.

  5. Send the clearance request to *PGLD IMD SPOC.

Clearance of Official Use Only Information
  1. Submit IMDs containing content designated as OUO, de-designated OUO, or potential OUO to PGLD for review.

  2. Designate IRM content as OUO per IRM 1.11.2.5.3.

  3. The following are examples of IRM content, which may require designation of OUO:

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

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

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

    Note:

    Employee contact name and phone numbers are generally not classified as OUO. See IRM 11.3.13.9.11.1, Public Information Listing.

  4. Authors coordinate with SMEs and management to make OUO determinations. The Office of Disclosure reviews any proposed OUO material and addresses any conflicts with the recommendations. An agreement must be reached prior to issuing the IMD.

    Note:

    The clearance file submitted to the IRS Historical Research Library must contain documentation outlining deviations from recommendations made by the Office of Disclosure.

  5. The designation of information as OUO must be approved by an official who has the delegated authority per Servicewide Delegation Order 11-1 (formerly DO-89, Rev.10).

Clearance of Information about Privacy and Information Protection
  1. PGLD is responsible for ensuring consistency in all processes and procedures affecting the way the Service handles privacy information protected by statute, regulation, Executive Order, or internal policy.

  2. Authors must submit all IMDs to PGLD involving privacy and data protection. Examples include:

    Criteria: Description:
    General privacy and data protection compliance
    • Compliance with any privacy and data protection laws, regulations, and policies

    • References to IRM 10.5 and subsections

    Definition, use, or management of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and other sensitive information, including Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU) data
    • Appropriately protecting PII and other sensitive information in email or online, during shipping, while stored (hardcopy or electronic format), in Flexiplace, Telework, or Home as POD situations, or on SharePoint

    • Procedures related to Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs) or Security Assessment and Accreditation

    • Elimination or reduction in use of Taxpayer Identification Numbers

    • Use of live data in training or developing systems

    Adoption or development of new technology; new uses for existing technology
    • Online services

    • Social media

    • Mobile devices

    Privacy risk assessments and privacy reporting requirements See IRM 10.5.2, Privacy Compliance and Assurance (PCA) Program
    Pseudonym use by IRS employees See IRM 10.5.7, Use of Pseudonyms by IRS Employees
    Potentially Dangerous (PDT) or Caution Upon Contact (CAU) taxpayers See IRM 25.4.1, Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer, and IRM 25.4.2, Caution Upon Contact Taxpayer
    Inadvertent/unauthorized disclosures or accesses
    • Reporting and tracking of IRS data loss incidents

    • Data loss or breach prevention tools or procedures

    • Procedures related to preventing or addressing unauthorized access or inspection of taxpayer records (UNAX)

Taxpayer Advocate Service

  1. Authors must submit IMDs to Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) for review and clearance if their IRM section is within the following IRM Part: 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 20, 21, 22, 25.

    Exception:

    SERP IPUs are only forwarded to TAS for review if their changes affect how a member of the public files, pays, complies with their tax requirements, or interacts with the Service. See IRM 1.11.10.7.1, Clearance and Approval of SERP IPUs.

  2. TAS reviews IMDs to ensure they protect taxpayer rights as defined by the Taxpayer Bill of Rights and to identify and mitigate IRS practices which might infringe on taxpayer rights or create undue burden to taxpayers. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights is published in Publication 1 and is available at: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Publication-1,-Your-Rights-as-a-Taxpayer-1.

  3. Employees must protect taxpayer rights when creating instructions. This promotes effective tax administration within all organizations, helps to build trust and consistency, and improves voluntary compliance.

  4. In accordance with IRC 7803, the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate is to identify and propose changes in the practices of the IRS in order to mitigate taxpayer problems.

  5. Send the clearance request to *TAS IMD SPOC, a mailbox shared by their IMD staff.

Workforce Relations

  1. Clearing an IMD through the Human Capital Office (HCO), Workforce Relations (WR) applies to matters involving a change to working conditions (i.e., conditions of employment) of Bargaining Unit (BU) employees. Conditions of employment (COE) is a term used to refer to personnel policies, practices, and matters impacting a bargaining unit employee’s daily work life (e.g., work processes/assignments, schedules, overtime, equipment, office space/design, parking, type/placement of office furniture, relocation of an office). Some changes require formal notice and negotiations with the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) before the change can be implemented. See IRM 6.711.1.6, Labor Management Relations, Managing Change and Dealing with the Union.

  2. Authors must evaluate all new or revised IMDs for potential changes to working conditions of BU employees. The author with their management and Embedded Workforce Relations/Labor Relations (WR/LR) representative should evaluate the impact and changes prior to clearance. See the LR website at http://hco.web.irs.gov/LaborRelations.htm for a checksheet to evaluate revisions for impact of bargaining unit employees. It is recommended that the checksheet be completed for all new and revised IMDs.

    Note:

    If your organization does not have an Embedded WR/LR representative, then forward a request to the *WRD mailbox at wrd.mailbox@irs.gov for assistance.

  3. If after preliminary evaluation, the new or revised IMD potentially changes the working conditions of BU employees, the author sends their draft IMD to their Embedded Workforce Relations/Labor Relations representative for clearance. Embedded WR/LR representatives are listed at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/WRPOCList.asp.

  4. Embedded WR/LR representative will work with the Labor Relations Strategy & Negotiations (LRSN) office and the IMD author, to advise if the change(s) requires notice and bargaining with NTEU.

    1. If the change(s) does not require notice and bargaining, the IMD author may proceed with the changes and the review/clearance process.

    2. If the change(s) does require notice and bargaining with NTEU, the author in coordination with the LRSN representative will complete Form 14036, Notice to NTEU. The author must wait for an agreement and response from LRSN before proceeding.

      Note:

      Following conclusion of the notice and bargaining process, LRSN will contact the Embedded WR/LR representative, the Area LRSN, or the IMD author, as appropriate, to advise that the change(s) to the IRM may proceed based on the agreement of the parties.

Legislative Affairs

  1. Legislative Affairs (LA) is responsible for managing the IRS's relationship with Members of Congress and their staff; planning, developing, directing, and evaluating the legislative activities of the Internal Revenue Service.

  2. When enacted legislation becomes law, all IRS Business Operating Divisions must develop an implementation plan to make program changes required by new legislation requirements. Specific implementation actions typically include IRM updates.

  3. When a new IMD or change to an existing IMD relates to implementing new legislation affecting tax administration, or to official interactions with Members of Congress, the IMD must be sent to Legislative Affairs.

  4. Send the clearance request to the Legislative Affairs clearance point of contact at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/IMDClearancePOCList.asp.

Office of Taxpayer Correspondence

  1. The Office of Taxpayer Correspondence (OTC) reviews a document when it contains any of the following:

    • An IRS toll-free telephone number

    • Instructions on developing, revising taxpayer notices or letters

    • Guidance on handling erroneous taxpayer correspondence

  2. Send the clearance request to the Office of Taxpayer Correspondence clearance point of contact at *W&I OTC IMD POC.

Identity Protection

  1. W&I Identity Protection Strategy & Oversight (IPSO) reviews all IMDs with identity theft guidance.

  2. Send the clearance request to the clearance point of contact at *W&I CAS:AM:IPSO-IDT-IRMs.

Clearance Submission Guidelines

  1. This subsection describes the rules and processes for sending an IRM through clearance. This subsection discusses:

    • How to send an IRM for clearance

    • Time frames for clearing IRMs

    • What documents are sent for clearing IRMs, also known as the clearance package.

  2. The following procedures within this subsection are actions taken by the IRM author or the originator of the IRM.

  3. For instructions on clearing other IMDs see IRM 1.11.3, Policy Statements, IRM 1.11.4, Delegation Orders and IRM 1.11.10, Interim Guidance Process.

Forwarding the IRM For Clearance

  1. Before submitting an IRM for clearance, an IRM author’s manager must review the revised IRM content. This internal review ensures that the revised guidance is accurate, workable and that the effect on internal program offices, external program offices and employees’ duties are considered.

  2. Clearance can be simultaneous or sequential based on the program offices needs. Typically, IRMs are sent to the reviewers simultaneously and then forwarded to the Director for approval after reviewer’s comments are considered and any revisions to the IRM are made.

    1. Simultaneous Clearance: In simultaneous clearance, the reviewers review the IRM at the same time. Send the clearance package to all reviewers at the same time.

    2. Sequential Clearance: In sequential clearance, the reviewers complete the review in a certain order. List each reviewer on the clearance document in the order their review must occur. Once the first reviewer completes their review, the author then forwards the clearance request to the next reviewer, and so on, until every reviewer completes the review.

  3. The author or originator forwards the proposed new or revised IRM and clearance documents through email to the identified reviewers; affected program offices, specialized reviewers and SMEs. See IRM 1.11.9.3 for identifying reviewers and IRM 1.11.9.5.2 for documents to include in your email clearance request.

    1. For affected program offices and specialized reviewers outside of your organization, use the assigned organizational IMD clearance point of contact listing. Include the affected program office or known SME by name in the email to the point of contact. This information is essential to ensure your IMD is reviewed by the correct affected program office. The organizational IMD Clearance Point of Contact will forward the clearance request to the program office contact or identified SME. See http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/IMDClearancePOCList.asp, for a current listing of contacts and specialized reviewer contacts.

      Note:

      Do not email your IRM directly to a Head of Office.

    2. Provide clear instructions in the email and set a deadline for reviewers to review and respond. A sample email is available at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/clear.asp.

  4. List the procedural changes in sequential order in Manual Transmittal, Material Changes.

  5. Allow reviewers 30 calendar days to review and provide any comments. With approval by the program director, the review time can be less than 30 calendar days. See IRM 1.11.9.5.4 , Standard Clearance Time Frame, and IRM 1.11.9.5.4.1, Expedited Clearance Time Frame.

  6. Contact your IMD/IRM Coordinator for organizational specific guidance, as some organizations have internal processes on clearing IRMs.

Documents Sent for Clearance - Clearance Package

  1. Send the following documents to reviewers for clearance:
    These documents are referred to as the “clearance package”.

    1. Form 2061, Document Clearance Record, or approved equivalent. See IRM 1.11.9.5.3 .

    2. Draft IRM in PDF format.

      Note:

      Convert the IRM file from Arbortext to PDF using Adobe Acrobat with Arbortext tags turned off. A file prepared using Arbortext cannot be viewed unless the reviewer also has Arbortext.

    3. New or revised graphics in PDF format. See IRM 1.11.2.5.7.1, Converting a Graphic to PDF.

    4. “Tracked change” or “compare” PDF file of the IRM changes. For information for creating a tracked changes or compare file, see http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/clear.asp.

    5. XML version of the draft IRM for IMD/IRM Coordinators.

    6. Form 13709, PGLD Checklist for IMDs and Training Materials, if the IRM requires PGLD review.

  2. Send the following optional documents to reviewers based on preference or program office’s internal clearance guidelines:

    1. Form or matrix to capture reviewers’ comments. See IRM 1.11.9.6, Comment Methods and Options.

    2. Form 13839, Note to Reviewer, a template used to provide details or information about the proposed changes for the reviewer.

    3. Additional or background information that supports the changes.

Form 2061 - Document Clearance Record

  1. Form 2061, Document Clearance Record or an alternative clearance form approved by SPDER documents the review, concurrence, and approval of IMD changes. The form provides a historical record of reviewers’ decisions and concurrence pertaining to each IMD.

  2. The author/originator prepares a separate document clearance record for each IMD.

  3. The author/originator identifies the originator information and reviewers (Part 1 and 2) in the document clearance form.

Standard Clearance Time Frame

  1. When an IMD is sent for clearance, the standard time allowed for reviewers to review the document is 30 calendar days. If this is a non-work day, the due date is the next business day.

  2. If the reviewer needs additional time, the reviewer contacts the originator to request an extension. The originating office may extend their clearance review up to an additional 15 calendar days.

  3. The originator documents the discussion and revised time frame and retains it as part of the historical file sent to the IRS Historical Research Library. Refer to IRM 1.11.9.10.3, Clearance Documents Sent to IRS Historical Research Library.

  4. Clearance should not exceed 45 calendar days.

Expedited Clearance
  1. The clearance time frame may be reduced to meet business or operating needs. Approval for expediting the issuance of an IMD is required by the program director. Originators have two options for expediting clearance:

    1. Obtain director level approval to shorten the clearance time frame for the IRM.

    2. Issue interim guidance.

  2. With program director approval, the 30 calendar day period of IRM clearance can be shortened. The program director signs block 3 of Form 2061 (or an approved equivalent) signifying the approval of the expedited clearance.

  3. Another option is to issue interim guidance. The clearance time for interim guidance can be as few as 3 business days. See IRM 1.11.10, Interim Guidance Process.

  4. The reviewer must contact the originator to discuss any concerns within the set time frame. For guidance on unresolved comments, see IRM 1.11.9.9, Resolving Disagreements.

Comment Methods and Options

  1. Typically, the author requests a specific method for reviewers to submit comments. The following are the options:

    Type of Document Description
    Within Form 2061, Document Clearance Record Part III of Form 2061 contains a comment section for reviewers to include comments within the form
    Comment Form or Matrix A Word or Excel file in a table format with headings for:
    • Reviewer name

    • IRM subsection or other identifying information

    • Comments on the changed procedures

    Download a sample at: http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/clear.asp
    PDF File The comment feature within Adobe Acrobat. The menu selection ToolsComment and Markup has tools to add sticky notes, make text edits, and highlight text.
    XML File The Track Changes and Comment features in the XML editor.

    Note:

    If identified, the comment method requested by the IRM Author must be followed for that respective clearance.

Guidelines for Reviewers

  1. Reviewers are responsible for reviewing and providing comments on changes to an IMD to identify inconsistencies between the changed content and their program’s processes, procedures and guidelines.

  2. For the IRM, reviewers are to focus on substantive (non-editorial) changes identified in the Manual Transmittal Material Changes. Reviewers are to consider the impact of the revisions to their program, processes and procedures.

  3. Reviewers should include suggested language if proposing additional or revised content or language.

  4. If a reviewer does not concur with the changed content, the reviewer must identify the specific issue with which they do not concur, the rationale for their position, and which issues must be addressed for concurrence.

  5. For any questions or concerns about the revised content, the reviewer should contact the author to expeditiously resolve.

  6. Comments on IRM content not revised by the author are handled outside of the IRM clearance process. Forward these comments to the author following the guidance in IRM 1.11.6.6, Providing Feedback About an IRM Section. Authors will follow IRM 1.11.2.5.1.3, Respond to Requested IRM Changes, for handling and addressing these comments.

Review Assessment and Reviewer's Signature

  1. To document completion of a review, a reviewer indicates and signs their review assessment on Form 2061, Document Clearance Record, Part III, Review Assessment and Signature, or a SPDER approved alternative clearance form. The reviewer documents their response by:

    1. Selecting the review assessment.

    2. Signing the Form 2061, Block 11. or approved alternative.

    3. Including any comments on the From 2061 or other feedback document.

    4. Returning the signed Form 2061 and any comments to the originator or requester.

  2. A reviewer must select one of the four review assessments:

    Review Assessment Explanation
    I concur, no comment. The reviewing office agrees with the changes in the draft IMD. No comments are provided.
    I concur, with comments. The reviewing office agrees with the changes in the draft IMD and provides comments that aren’t material to their approval.
    I do not concur, comments required. The reviewing office does not agree with the changes in the draft IMD and provides the points of disagreement and an analysis of the issue. A do not concur indicates that the reviewer does not agree with the change, issuance and publication of the document as written.
    Decline review. No Impact. The reviewing office provides no comments because the draft IMD does not affect their program.
  3. Some reviewing offices require a manager’s signature documenting their agreement with the reviewer’s assessment. In this case, the manager signs Form 2061, block 12: Reviewer’s Management Official in Part III or alternate clearance form.

  4. If a reviewer does not concur, the reviewer must identify the specific issue with which they do not concur, the rationale for their position, and which issues must be addressed before their office can concur.

  5. If a reviewer initially does not concur with the changes to the IRM, but concurs after subsequent discussion, the reviewing office should submit another document clearance record indicating concurrence with comments and explain in the comments the reason for the subsequent change from non-concurrence to concurrence.

Responding to Reviewers' Comments

  1. The author must consider comments on the substantive changes and respond.

  2. The author will consider and address reviewers’ comments or concerns on substantive content changes and revise the draft IRM as appropriate. As necessary, the author will contact the reviewer directly to address and rectify any comments or concerns that are unclear or questionable.

    1. If the author agrees to the suggested changes, the author revises the IRM and forwards the revised wording or revised IRM to prevent any misunderstanding.

    2. If the reviewer does not respond within the requested clearance response date, see IRM 1.11.9.8.1, No Response to a Clearance Request for further instructions.

    3. If the author disagrees with the suggested changes, see IRM 1.11.9.9, Resolving Disagreements for further instructions.

  3. If the IRM is substantially revised during the clearance process, forward the revised IRM to the offices affected by the changes, identifying the changed content. The additional time frame for review must be at least five business days but not more than 20 business days.

  4. In rare situations where the agreed upon changes require a prolonged time to revise, the program executive may approve publishing the IRM without further delay. The author must notify the reviewer of the delay to incorporate the agreed upon changes. Once the agreed upon changes are incorporated into the IRM, the author clears and republishes the IRM.

No Response to a Clearance Request

  1. If an identified reviewer does not respond to a request for clearance within the required time frame, no follow-up is required. The non-response will be treated as concurrence.

  2. To document that the reviewer did not respond to the clearance request, annotate the following in Block 11 of the Form 2061 or approved alternative:

    1. In the "Reviewer name" , write the name of the reviewer or reviewing office.

    2. In the "Title" , write "No Response Received."

  3. Comments that are received after the agreed-upon deadline will be considered by the author following the procedures in IRM 1.11.2.5.1.3, Respond to Requested IRM Changes.

Resolving Disagreements

  1. The author must consider all reviewer comments on substantive content changes.

  2. In situations where the reviewer “does not concur” with the changes, the author must contact the reviewer to try and resolve the disagreement. For any subsequent concurrences, the author will obtain a new Form 2061 from the reviewing office.

  3. If the reviewer continues to disagree with the changes, the author will initiate a conference call between the author, reviewer, management, and other key personnel from both offices to discuss the differing views before moving forward on publication of the IRM. The IRM program director must be informed of any continuing disagreement preventing the issuance of IRM guidance to employees in order to engage in a decision or resolution.

  4. If the disputing offices are still unable to resolve the disagreement, the issue will be elevated to the Heads of Office executives for discussion with the Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement.

    Note:

    Heads of Office are those executives who directly report to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, the Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement, and the Deputy Commissioner for Operations Support.

  5. The author will document the historical clearance file to explain the rationale behind any non-agreement and if applicable, any resolution.

Issuing IRM While Disagreements are Discussed

  1. If after taking action to resolve the disagreement as described in IRM 1.11.9.9 and the reviewing office continues to disagree with the substantive content changes, the organization can proceed with publishing if the Head of Office (Executive responsible for the IRM) agrees the information must be published to ensure operations continue in an efficient manner.

  2. The IRM can be published with Head of Office approval while differences are discussed to allow employees to perform their duties without unnecessary delays or incomplete/incorrect guidelines.

  3. After approval from the Head of Office, the originating office notifies the reviewer via email that the IRM will be sent to publishing in 15 calendar days. The email will contain information identifying which comments were not accepted and the reasons for its decision. For a sample 15-day notification email, refer to the SPDER website at: http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/clear.asp.

  4. If a change is required after the respective Heads of Offices reach a resolution, the originating office will incorporate all agreed-upon changes into the IRM and send it through clearance within 120 calendar days after resolving the differences. Refer to IRM 1.11.9.3, Identifying IRM Reviewers, and IRM 1.11.9.4, Specialized Reviewers, to determine the clearance requirements.

Final Stages of the Clearance Process

  1. The final stage of the clearance process involves:

    1. Approval and signature of the program owner (program director or their documented designee) on the Form 2061 or approved alternative.

    2. Final review by IMD/IRM coordinator.

    3. Archival of clearance documents with the IRS Historical Research Library.

Approval by Program Director

  1. IMDs require approval and signature at or above the program director level.

  2. The responsible program director (or above) reviews, signs and approves an IMD after it has been cleared by internal, external, and specialized reviewers. The responsible program director may designate in writing a designee as the authorizing approving official to review, sign and approve an IMD on his/her behalf.

  3. To document approval, the program director (or designee) signs Block 13 of the Form 2061 (or an approved alternative), as the approving official. The signature indicates they approve and authorize the issuance of the new or revised IMD or obsoleting the IMD.

  4. No management official may issue instructions or guidelines that affect areas outside his/her functional responsibility without appropriate clearance.

  5. For those designated to approve IMDs, they will record their name and official title in Block 13 of Form 2061 and indicate whom they are signing on behalf of in the Title text box or alternative clearance form.

    Example:

    Tom Jones, Program Manager, XYZ on behalf of Bill Smith, Program Director, ABC.

  6. When an IMD affects several program areas within an IRS organization, the program director/executive with the authority over all the programs will approve and sign the Form 2061 or alternative clearance form.

  7. The name on the signatory line on the IRM Manual Transmittal (MT) is the current or acting program director/executive who signed the Form 2061 (or approved alternative). In the event the documented designee signs the Form 2061, the name of the current director should appear in the MT, not the designee.

Final Review by IMD/IRM Coordinator

  1. After the program director (or authorized designee) signs the Form 2061, the author sends the finalized XML IRM file, along with all Forms 2061, Form 1767, reviewer comments and any other background information, to their IMD/IRM coordinator for a final review. The IMD/IRM coordinator will:

    1. Verify the new/revised/obsoleted IRM was sent to affected offices and specialized reviewers in accordance with IRM 1.11.9.

    2. Verify the responsible director or documented designee signed the clearance form, approving and authorizing the changes and issuance.

    3. Verify the author addressed non-concurrences.

    4. Review the IRM XML file to ensure the file is free of Arbortext context errors and the procedures in IRM 1.11.2, Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process were followed.

    5. Review the Form 1767, Publishing Services Requisition, for accuracy. If not already signed, authorized IMD Coordinators should sign Form 1767 in Box 10. See IRM 1.11.5.4.1 on completing the form.

    6. Verify the author completed all actions based on Document 13000, IRM Package Check Sheet.

    7. Sign and record an assessment on Form 2061, Document Clearance Record, or approved alternative, if not already completed.

  2. After completing all actions above, the IMD/IRM Coordinator will:

    1. Submit the IRM package for publishing to M&P, following the IRM upload instructions in IRM 1.11.5.5, Submitting the IRM Publishing Package.

    2. Forward the IRM clearance documents to the IRS Historical Library for archiving, following instructions in IRM 1.11.9.10.3. In some organizations, the author completes this step.

Clearance Documents Sent to IRS Historical Research Library

  1. Records documenting the review and approval of IRM changes including new or obsoleted IRMs should be sent to the IRS Historical Research Library within 30 calendar days after publication of the IRM. The IMD/IRM Coordinator or IRM author forwards Form 2061 or approved alternate clearance forms documenting the review, assessment, signature and substantive reviewer comments to the IRS Historical Research library, as indicated in paragraph 3 below. Contact your organization’s IMD Coordinator to determine whether this action is the responsibility of the author or of the IMD Coordinator.

  2. The IRS Historical Research Library preserves the permanent record of changes made to the IRM through the Form 2061, Document Clearance Record (DCR), or an alternative clearance form approved by SPDER. The information serves to support IRM author inquiries, legal cases, investigations and response to Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) or General Accountability Office (GAO) inquiries.

  3. The IMD/IRM Coordinator or author will forward the following documents to the IRS Historical Research library for retention:

    1. All signed Forms 2061 (or approved alternative) from reviewers and from the approving official (program director or designee).

    2. Substantive comments affecting the content of the document, including any comment matrices, print-outs of emails, or individual pages of other documents that reflect non-editorial comments.

    3. Documents supporting comment discussions or deviations from recommendations made by a reviewer.

    4. Background material that supports why changes were made.

    5. Feedback from end user employees.

    6. Interim guidance memoranda incorporated into the IRM and the original clearance of the interim guidance.

  4. The author or IMD Coordinator sends the IMD clearance package to the IRS Historical Research Library at IRMLibrary@irs.gov or mail the documentation to:

    Internal Revenue Service, RAS:SPDER
    1111 Constitution Avenue NW K-3189
    Washington, D.C. 20224.

    Reminder:

    When sending materials containing OUO, follow the guidance in IRM 10.2.13, Information Protection.

  5. Ensure the Form 2061 or clearance requests are completed, as data and information on IRM clearance is maintained by the IRS Historical Research library. Check the following information on the clearance request before forwarding to the library:

    • Date Originated

    • IRM Number and Title

    • Originator, IMD/IRM coordinator, Reviewer’s name, title, program office, office symbols

    • Signature and date, or electronic signature for each reviewer/reviewing office identified/listed in block 11

    • Signature and date, or electronic signature of Program Owner (Director or authorized designee) in block 13

      Note:

      The library will contact the originating organization or return incomplete packages for correction if the signature is missing in block 13, Approving Official's Signature, or if a signed Form 2061 is not present for each reviewer checked on the form.

  6. To contact the library visit: http://oldirm.web.irs.gov/.