1.11.9 Clearing and Approving Internal Management Documents (IMDs)

Manual Transmittal

August 09, 2021

Purpose

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

Material Changes

(1) Deleted Scope in Manual Transmittal as it duplicated content in IRM 1.11.9.1, Program Scope and Objectives.

(2) IRM 1.11.9.1, Program Scope and Objectives - Deleted Scope as content is duplicated under Purpose of same subsection.

(3) IRM 1.11.9.1.6, Terms - Updated definition for program director to member of the Senior Executive Service from management official. Revision based on newly issued Delegation Order 1-69, Authorization to Approve an Internal Management Document (IMD), and incorporates Interim Guidance Memorandum (IGM) RAAS-01-0421-0001, Interim Guidance on Redesigned Form 2061.

(4) IRM 1.11.9.4, Specialized Reviewers - Changed PGLD specialized reviewer clearance criteria from sending all IMDs containing official use only (OUO) to PGLD for review to only sending IMDs containing newly designated OUO. This clearance change originated from PGLD Disclosure, as PGLD Disclosure stated that they reviewed the possible harm of disclosure when content was originally designated as OUO.

(5) IRM 1.11.9.4.1, Chief Counsel - Updated to check Part II, block 10 for selecting Chief Counsel as a specialized reviewer and not to fill out Part II, block 11a of the revised Form 2061. Change incorporates IGM RAAS-01-0421-0001, Interim Guidance on Redesigned Form 2061.

(6) IRM 1.11.9.4.2, Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure - Changed PGLD specialized reviewer clearance criteria from all OUO to only newly designated OUO. Added authors and program management must consider when IMD content no longer warrants an OUO designation. Changed to not send OUO content to PGLD if they reviewed the original designation or if removing the OUO designation. Revised criteria for PGLD clearance review, because PGLD already reviewed the possible harm of disclosure when newly designating content OUO. Change in guidance from PGLD Disclosure.

(7) IRM 1.11.9.4.2.1, Clearance of Official Use Only Information - Updated language of when to submit IMDs to PGLD. Change in guidance from PGLD Disclosure. Updated what the Office of Disclosure reviews. Removed guidance stating there must be an agreement prior to issuing the IMD, because PGLD Disclosure stated the requirement is no longer necessary. Added reminder to follow other privacy and security guidance when sending sensitive information to ensure the protection of sensitive content. Added sentence advising of what to select on Form 2061 or in the IMD Electronic Clearance Tool for OUO content to incorporate IGM RAAS-01-0421-0001, Interim Guidance on Redesigned Form 2061.

(8) IRM 1.11.9.5.1, Forwarding the IRM For Clearance - Added definition for a head of office.

(9) IRM 1.11.9.5.4.1, Expedited Clearance - Updated the program director must sign block 6 to approve expedited clearance to match revised Form 2061. Change incorporates IGM RAAS-01-0421-0001, Interim Guidance on Redesigned Form 2061.

(10) IRM 1.11.9.6, Comment Methods and Options - Updated steps to take for leaving comments and block number to 13b matching the revised Form 2061. Change incorporates IGM RAAS-01-0421-0001, Interim Guidance on Redesigned Form 2061.

(11) IRM 1.11.9.7.1, Review Assessment and Reviewer's Signature - Updated block numbers to 13b and 13c when leaving an assessment using the revised Form 2061. Added an example of a do not concur, comments required assessment. Removed guidance if reviewing office requires a manager’s agreement with the reviewer’s assessment as the revised Form 2061 no longer captures this agreement. Added business units will document this agreement per their internal established procedures. Updated instructions if a reviewer initially does not concur with the changes to the IRM, but concurs after subsequent discussion. Changes incorporate IGM RAAS-01-0421-0001, Interim Guidance on Redesigned Form 2061.

(12) IRM 1.11.9.8.1, No Response to a Clearance Request - Updated instructions when documenting a non-response to Part II, block 13a of the revised Form 2061. Change incorporates IGM RAAS-01-0421-0001, Interim Guidance on Redesigned Form 2061.

(13) IRM 1.11.9.9, Resolving Disagreements - Updated instructions for a reviewer’s subsequent concurrence under the original non-concurrence by checking the box in block 13d and documenting the subsequent concurrence in blocks 13e and 13f of revised Form 2061. Change incorporates IGM RAAS-01-0421-0001, Interim Guidance on Redesigned Form 2061.

(14) IRM 1.11.9.10, Final Stages of the Clearance Process - Added guidance to send final drafts of clearance documents and Form 1767. Included stage for final management review and assessment. Added guidance for clearance originator to propose a final package approval due date in Part IV and the suggested time frame of 15 calendar days. Changes incorporate IGM RAAS-01-0421-0001, Interim Guidance on Redesigned Form 2061.

(15) IRM 1.11.9.10.1, Approval by Program Director - Updated definition of program director to match IRM 1.11.9.1.6, Terms, and added methods to identify a member of the Senior Executive Service. Updated designee verbiage by removing management official and replacing with a supervisory manager with program oversight per Delegation Order 1-69, Authorization to Approve an Internal Management Document (IMD). Updated approving instructions to complete Part VI, block 19b and sign block 19c of revised Form 2061. Removed management official verbiage and replaced with program director for issuing instructions or guidelines per Delegation Order 1-69, Authorization to Approve an Internal Management Document (IMD). Updated designated IRM approver instructions to record their name and official title in Part VI, block 19a of revised Form 2061. Changes incorporate IGM RAAS-01-0421-0001, Interim Guidance on Redesigned Form 2061.

(16) IRM 1.11.9.10.2, Final Review by IMD/IRM Coordinator - Added IMD/IRM coordinator final review instructions to verify substantively changed subsections contain a material changes entry and a new subsection date. Added instructions for coordinators to verify new or changed graphics do not contain personally identifiable information (PII) or federal tax information (FTI). Updated IMD/IRM coordinator final review instructions to complete Part VII and sign block 20c of revised Form 2061. Change incorporate IGM RAAS-01-0421-0001, Interim Guidance on Redesigned Form 2061.

(17) IRM 1.11.9.10.3, Archiving Clearance Documents - Updated program owner to program director matching IRM 1.11.9.1.6, Terms. Removed physical mailing address and added to email IRS Historical Research Library for assistance with clearance packages or to obtain the physical mailing address. Updated parts and blocks to check for reviewer and approving signatures matching the revised Form 2061. Changes incorporate IGM RAAS-01-0421-0001, Interim Guidance on Redesigned Form 2061.

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

Effect on Other Documents

This IRM supersedes IRM 1.11.9 dated April 17, 2020. This IRM incorporates Interim Guidance Memorandum RAAS-01-0421-0001, Interim Guidance on Redesigned Form 2061, issued 04-29-2021.

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

(10-01-2021)

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

Program Scope and Objectives

  1. Purpose. This IRM section contains guidance for clearing Internal Management Documents (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. 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.

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

  4. 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.

  5. Contact Information. Contact SPDER in either of the following ways:

    • Email at SPDER@irs.gov

    • Website at https://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 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 1.11.1.1.2, Authority, for the authorities and legal obligations of IMDs.

  2. Clearance documents are official records and there is a requirement to maintain them 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 1.11.1.1.2(2) Table for legal references.

Roles and Responsibilities

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

  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 1.11.1.6.6, Managers with IMD Oversight.

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

  6. Each IRS organization assigns IMD coordinators 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).

Program Management and Review

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

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

Program Controls

  1. The originating business unit is responsible for ensuring their IRM clearance is complete in accordance with IRM 1.11.9.

  2. The IRS Historical Research Library ensures clearance packages are present for all published IRM sections.

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/or forwarding IMDs received for review and clearance for assignment to reviewers in affected offices. The organization’s IMD program office may use a designated organizational mailbox to manage the program.

  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 the IMD Electronic Clearance Tool, see http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/eclearance.

  5. Editorial Change - A non-substantive revision to correct minor errors and typographical changes. See IRM 1.11.2.8, Editorial Update Process, for examples.

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

  7. 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.

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

  9. Program Director - Member of the Senior Executive Service (SES) responsible for program administration including issuance and approval of IMDs. To identify a member of the SES, see IRM 1.11.9.10.1 (1), Approval by Program Director.

  10. 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 owns all IRMs for the program. The director over the program is the program director authorized to approve the issuance of new or revised IRM guidance.

  11. Originating Organization - Also known as a business unit (BU), who owns the respective IRM section.

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

  13. Specialized Reviewer - Specific and identified program offices (identified in IRM 1.11.9.4, Specialized Reviewers) with oversight in a particular area affecting servicewide IRS operations.

  14. Substantive Change - A revision is substantive if the change involves a procedural or operational matter.

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 Program

  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. The following 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, Servicewide Policy Statement Process
    Servicewide Delegation Order IRM 1.11.4, Servicewide Delegation Order Process
    Division/Function Delegation Order IRM 1.11.4, Servicewide Delegation Order Process
    Interim Guidance IRM 1.11.10, Interim Guidance Process

Clearance Process Overview

  1. Clearance takes place after authoring, but prior to publishing. After writing or updating an IMD and verifying the content with management the author sends the IMD to affected offices and stakeholders for review and concurrence and then to the program director for review and approval.

  2. Authors begin the approval process using Form 2061, Document Clearance Record, or the IMD Electronic Clearance Tool at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/eclearance. This serves as a control, routing record and a record of review and approval.

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

  4. Affected program offices review IMDs when new or revised IMD content contains instructions or guidelines that affect their program office. Reviewing offices are responsible for considering the effect of the revisions on their procedures.

  5. The responsible program director approves IMD changes to ensure the instructions are consistent with IRS operational processes and authorities.

  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. Detailed descriptions of these topics are in the referenced IRM subsections.

    Step Actions IRM Reference
    1 Author finalizes draft IRM for review and approval. IRM 1.11.2, Internal Revenue Manual (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 generated IMD Electronic Clearance Tool email to reviewers. IRM 1.11.9.5, Clearance Process Guidelines
    4 Reviewers comment and provide an assessment 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, Archiving Clearance Documents

  9. IRM revisions that only involve editorial changes or the incorporation of previously cleared guidance may follow a streamlined clearance. See IRM 1.11.9.2.1, Instances of Streamlined Clearance.

Instances of Streamlined Clearance

  1. Clearance is abbreviated or streamlined when changes to an IMD are editorial or incorporate documents 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).

    3. The organizational IMD/IRM coordinator.

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

Clearance of Editorial Updates
  1. The editorial update process allows for a modified clearance process when IRM updates are 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. An IRM author may use the streamlined clearance process when updating the IRM only to incorporate an interim guidance memorandum (IGM) or a Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP) IRM Procedural Update (IPU).

    Note:

    Incorporate interim guidance (e.g., IGMs or SERP IPUs) into the applicable IRM(s) within two years from issuance or the stated memo expiration date, whichever is earlier. See IRM 1.11.10, Interim Guidance Process.

  2. 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 24 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 IG 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. Include the clearance documents secured during clearance of the IG in the IRM clearance package. Forward the package to the IRS Historical Research Library.

    (2) If the IG language must be revised, 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, Identifying Reviewers, as the guidance requires review through all affected program offices and specialized reviewers.
  3. Refer to IRM 1.11.10, Interim Guidance Process, for guidance on preparing and clearing IG.

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, Servicewide Policy Statement Process and IRM 1.11.4, Servicewide Delegation Order Process), SPDER incorporates the word-for-word content of the delegation order and/or policy statement into IRM 1.2.1, Servicewide Policy Statements, and IRM 1.2.2, Servicewide Delegations of Authority, for recordkeeping purposes. The Office of SPDER:

    1. Incorporates 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. Archives the IMD clearance package in the IRS Historical Library after incorporating the contents 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 https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/IMDClearancePOCList.aspx.

  2. 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 forwards the IMD to that program office or SME.

  3. The organizational clearance POC may consolidate the responses and respond back to the originator with comments and one assessment depending on the organization’s internal process.

Identifying Reviewers

  1. Authors send new or revised IMDs to:

    • 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. Identify affected program offices:

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

      Note:

      A simple reference to a procedure in another IMD does not require clearance through the responsible program office. You must submit the IRM for clearance only if the revision involves a change to the other office's published procedures or processes.

    2. If another program office owns the changes, or if another office implements or conducts 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 manager 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 affects their operations.

    Example:

    Consider any program office outside of SB/SE an external reviewer for the purposes of IMD clearance if SB/SE owns the IRM.

  4. When sending your IMD outside of your organization, always send the clearance request to the organization’s IMD Clearance POC in addition to the known reviewer. Do not send duplicate emails to the IMD coordinators and the organizational POC mailbox. To identify the IMD clearance contact in each organization, check the Organizational IMD clearance POC listing at https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/IMDClearancePOCList.aspx 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 must make new or revised IRMs available for feedback to employees who use the IRM. Initiate the feedback process 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 their own feedback process. Contact your IMD Coordinator at https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/Resources/IMDContacts/Default.aspx?org=None&role=IMD%20Coordinator for your organization’s process on IRM employee feedback. There is no requirement to document employee feedback and review on Form 2061.

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

Specialized Reviewers

  1. Identified program offices with oversight in a particular area affecting servicewide IRS operations are specialized reviewers. There is a requirement for review from a specialized reviewer 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 Chief Counsel via email to IRMClearance@irscounsel.treas.gov IRM 1.11.9.4.1, Chief Counsel
    Any of the following as described in IRM 1.11.9.4.2, Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure:
    • Content newly designated 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, Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure
    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:

    Only forward SERP IPUs to TAS for review if the change affects how a member of the public files, pays, complies with their tax requirements or interacts with the IRS.

    Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) via email to *TAS IMD SPOC IRM 1.11.9.4.3, Taxpayer Advocate Service
    Changes to conditions of employment of bargaining unit employees; and
    after completing the steps in IRM 1.11.2.5.1.4, IRM Changes Affecting Conditions of Employment of Bargaining Unit Employees
    Labor/Employee Relations & Negotiations via email to *WRD-Mailbox IRM 1.11.9.4.4, Workforce Relations
    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, Office of Taxpayer Correspondence
    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 https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/IMDClearancePOCList.aspx IRM 1.11.9.4.5, Legislative Affairs
    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, Identity Protection

Chief Counsel

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

    • 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 - Chief Counsel generally reviews the IRM section for legal matters focusing 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 to address new legal matters when there is an updated IRM.

  3. An author must submit an IMD to Chief Counsel if Chief Counsel requests to review the IMD, or if the IMD contains new or revised guidance interpreting an authority listed in paragraph (1) above. Additionally, IRMs in the following chapters must be submitted for Chief Counsel review:

    1. IRM Chapter 3.11, Returns and Documents Analysis

    2. IRM Chapter 3.12, Error Resolution

    3. 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)

    4. IRM Chapter 3.21, International Returns and Document Analysis

    5. IRM Chapter 3.22, International Error Resolution

  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 an IMD to Chief Counsel if Chief Counsel previously indicated through email the IRM section does not require their review, or if the IRM is revised solely for editorial issues, reorganization of content or renumbering, or is being obsoleted. Additionally, IRMs in the following chapters should not be submitted for Chief Counsel review:

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

    2. IRM Part 2, Information Technology − all chapters

    3. IRM Chapter 3.10, Campus Mail and Work Control

    4. IRM Chapter 3.24, ISRP System

    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 must articulate the question in the clearance email to Chief Counsel.

  6. Send clearance requests to the Chief Counsel IMD clearance contact at IRMClearance@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 revision of a 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. If you believe an attorney who didn’t provide assistance on the revision should have the document directed to them for review, please state why so the attorney’s manager may take it into account.

    2. Do not fill out Part II, block 11a, Specific external reviewers, of Form 2061 for Chief Counsel. Checking "Chief Counsel" in Part II, block 10, Specialized Reviewers, is sufficient.

  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 clearing an IRM through PGLD.

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

    • Due dates specified on tax forms.

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

Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure

  1. Authors must submit 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. Newly designated official use only (OUO) information. For additional information, see IRM 1.11.9.4.2.1, Clearance of Official Use Only Information.

    3. Privacy or information protection. For additional information, see IRM 1.11.9.4.2.2, Clearance of Information about Privacy and Information Protection.

  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, responsibility remains with IRM authors and program management to consider when IMD content no longer warrants an OUO designation. Do not send OUO content to PGLD if they reviewed the original designation or if removing the OUO designation.

  3. For IMDs containing identity theft content, see IRM 1.11.9.4.7, Identity Protection. 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 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 newly designated as OUO to PGLD for review.

  2. Designate IRM content as OUO following the criteria outlined in IRM 1.11.2.5.3, Designate IRM Content as Official Use Only (OUO).

  3. The following examples of IRM content 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:

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

    Reminder:

    You must follow other privacy and security guidance to protect sensitive information, whether electronic files or in paper. Encrypt documents containing sensitive information when sending out via email or saving to a hard drive. See IRM 10.5.1.6.8, Email, and IRM 10.8.1, Policy and Guidance.

  4. Authors coordinate with SMEs and management to make OUO determinations. The Office of Disclosure reviews any newly designated proposed OUO material for compliance with the FOIA and notifies the author if the identified OUO content does not meet the FOIA requirements.

    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. An official who has the delegated authority per IRM 1.2.2.11.1, Delegation Order 11-1 (formerly DO-89, Rev.10), Administrative Control of Documents and Material, must approve the designation of information as OUO. Select Yes in block 7 of Form 2061 or select Yes when asked by the IMD Electronic Clearance Tool to indicate new, changed or de-designated OUO.

Clearance of Information about Privacy and Information Protection
  1. PGLD is responsible for ensuring consistency in all processes and procedures affecting the way the IRS 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, Privacy and Information Protection 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 Taxpayer (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
    • Identifying, reporting and tracking of IRS data breaches.

    • 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:

    Only forward SERP IPUs 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 IRS. See IRM 1.11.9.4, Specialized Reviewers.

  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 https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-publication-1, Your Rights As a Taxpayer.

  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, Commissioner Of Internal Revenue; other officials, the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate identifies and proposes changes in the practices of the IRS to mitigate taxpayer problems.

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

Workforce Relations

  1. Clearing an IMD through the Human Capital Office (HCO), Labor/Employee Relations & Negotiations applies to matters involving a change to conditions of employment of Bargaining Unit (BU) employees. Conditions of employment is a term used to refer to personnel policies, practices, and matters impacting a bargaining unit employee’s daily work life, such as 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 implementing the change. See IRM 6.711.1.6, Managing Change and Dealing with the Union.

  2. Prior to starting clearance, authors must evaluate all new or revised IMDs (e.g., IRMs and non−emergency interim guidance) for potential changes to conditions of employment of bargaining unit employees. For IRMs and interim guidance, see IRM 1.11.2.5.1.4, IRM Changes Affecting Conditions of Employment of Bargaining Unit Employees.

  3. If management determines clearance through Labor/Employee Relations & Negotiations is necessary after evaluation per IRM 1.11.2.5.1.4, IRM Changes Affecting Conditions of Employment of Bargaining Unit Employees, submit Form 2061, Document Clearance Record, or IMD Electronic Clearance Tool email to *WRD-Mailbox. Attach Form 14036, Notice to National NTEU, if received from Labor Relations Strategy and Negotiations (LRSN).

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 IRS.

  2. When enacted legislation becomes law, affected 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 IRM author must send the IMD to Legislative Affairs.

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

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 to send 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. To clear other IMDs see IRM 1.11.3, Servicewide Policy Statement Process, IRM 1.11.4, Servicewide Delegation Order Process 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 the revised guidance is accurate, workable and the author’s manager considered the effect on internal program offices, external program offices and employees’ duties.

  2. Clearance can be simultaneous or sequential based on the program office’s needs. Typically, send IRMs to the reviewers simultaneously and then forward to the Director for approval after considering reviewer’s comments and making any revisions to the IRM.

    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 or forwards the generated IMD Electronic Clearance Tool email to the identified reviewers; affected program offices, specialized reviewers and SMEs. See IRM 1.11.9.3, Identifying Reviewers, and IRM 1.11.9.5.2, Documents Sent for Clearance - Clearance Package.

    1. For affected program offices and specialized reviewers outside of your organization, use the assigned organizational IMD clearance point of contact listing at https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/IMDClearancePOCList.aspx. The IMD Electronic Clearance Tool provides the email addresses when you select the affected program offices and specialized reviewers outside of your organization. Include the affected program office or known SME by name in the email to the point of contact. This information is essential to ensure the correct affected program office reviews your IMD. The organizational IMD Clearance Point of Contact forwards the clearance request to the program office contact or identified SME.

      Note:

      Do not email your IRM directly to a head of office. 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.

    2. Provide clear instructions in the email and set a deadline for reviewers to review and respond. A sample email is available at https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/clear.aspx. The IMD Electronic Clearance Tool generates an email with instructions for the author to forward.

  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. Obtain program director approval when the clearance review time is 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.

  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 clearance package documents (or the generated IMD Electronic Clearance Tool email) to reviewers:

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

    2. Draft IRM in PDF format or HTML using the IRM Preview Tool. See https://irm.web.irs.gov/tools/preview.

      Note:

      Convert the IRM file from Arbortext to PDF using Adobe Acrobat with Arbortext tags turned off. Unless the reviewer also has Arbortext, they cannot view a file prepared using Arbortext.

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

    4. A “tracked change” or “compare” PDF file of the IRM changes. For information for creating a tracked changes or compare file, see https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/clear.aspx. An author may also attach a "tracked change" HTML version in lieu of a PDF using the IRM Preview Tool. See https://irm.web.irs.gov/tools/preview.

    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 the IMD Electronic Clearance tool at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/eclearance, 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 in Form 2061 , part 1 and part 2.

Standard Clearance Time Frame

  1. When sending an IMD for clearance, the standard time allowed for reviewers to review the document is 30 calendar days. If this is a non-workday, 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. When granting an extension, 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, Archiving Clearance Documents.

  4. Clearance review may not exceed 45 calendar days.

Expedited Clearance
  1. The program office may reduce the clearance time frame to meet business or operating needs. This requires the program director’s approval for expediting the issuance of an IMD. Originators must obtain director level approval to shorten the clearance time frame for the IRM.

  2. The program director signs block 6 of Form 2061 (or in the IMD Electronic Clearance Tool) to shorten the 30-calendar-day period of IRM clearance and signify the approval of the expedited clearance. The expedited clearance minimum time frame is 3 business days.

  3. 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, block 13b, contains a comment section for reviewers that opens when "I concur with comments" or "I do not concur; comments required" is selected.
    IMD Electronic Clearance Tool The tool allows the addition of comments and, if needed, documents attached. See http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/eclearance.
    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 https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/clear.aspx
    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, reviewers must follow the comment method requested by the IRM Author for that respective clearance.

Guidelines for Reviewers

  1. Reviewers conduct a review and provide 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 must 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 the required issues to address for concurrence.

  5. For any questions or concerns about the revised content, the reviewer must contact the author to resolve as soon as possible.

  6. Handle comments on IRM content not revised by the author 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 - Outside of Clearance. Authors 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 signs their assessment. The reviewer completes the steps below depending on the method of clearance used:

    Form 2061 IMD Electronic Clearance Tool
    1. Select the review assessment box in block 13b.

    2. Sign block 13c.

    3. Include any comments on the form or other feedback document.

    4. Return the signed form and any comments to the originator or requester.

    1. Select the Add Assessment button.

    2. Select the appropriate assessment and Sign button.

    3. Include or attach comments within the tool.

    4. The author/creator of the clearance request receives a systemically generated email notifying them of the reviewer’s assessment and comments (if any).

  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. They provided no comments.
    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 the reviewer does not agree with the change, issuance and publication of the document as written.

    Example:

    Revised IMD contains guidance contradicting current tax law.

    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. Form 2061 no longer captures this agreement. Business units document this agreement per their internal established procedures.

  4. If a reviewer initially does not concur with the changes to the IRM, but concurs after subsequent discussion, the reviewing office updates their assessment with Form 2061 or submits a new IMD Electronic Clearance Tool assessment indicating concurrence with comments and explain in the comments the reason for the subsequent change from non-concurrence to concurrence. For details see IRM 1.11.9.9 (2), Resolving Disagreements.

Personally Identifiable Information (PII) or Federal Tax Information (FTI) Breach Actions

  1. If you discover PII or FTI when reviewing the IRM or after it is published, immediately report it in accordance with IRM 10.5.4.3.3(2)b. A prompt report decreases possible use of the information to perpetrate identity theft or other forms of harm.

  2. Take the following actions immediately:

    1. Report the breach to your manager, the IRM author, their manager, and their organizational IMD coordinator. They will work with SPDER to revise the IRM and remove content from the IRS electronic sources.

    2. Contact SPDER at SPDER@irs.gov.

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

  3. See IRM 10.5.4.3, Reporting Losses, Thefts and Disclosures, for more information on reporting inadvertent unauthorized disclosures of PII or FTI.

Responding to Reviewers' Comments

  1. The author must consider and address reviewers’ comments or concerns on substantive content changes and revise the draft IRM as appropriate. As necessary, the author contacts 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.

  2. If substantially revising the IRM 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.

  3. 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 author incorporates the agreed upon changes 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, there is no requirement to follow-up. Treat the non-response as concurrence to move forward with the clearance process.

  2. An author documents a non-response by taking the steps below based on the method of clearance:

    Form 2061 IMD Electronic Clearance Tool
    Annotate the following in Part III, block 13a:
    1. In the "Name" , write the name of the reviewer or reviewing office.

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

    1. Select the No Response button.

    2. Identify the type of reviewer, their organization, role, and name.

    3. Select the Save button.

  3. The author considers comments received after the agreed-upon deadline 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, follow the table below.

    Form 2061 IMD Electronic Clearance Tool
    The reviewer resubmits the original signed Form 2061, checks the box in block 13d, and documents the subsequent concurrence in blocks 13e and 13f under the original non-concurrence in block 13b. The reviewer submits a new assessment concurring with the changes.

  3. If the reviewer continues to disagree with the changes, the author initiates 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. Inform the IRM program director of any continuing disagreement preventing the issuance of IRM guidance to employees to engage in a decision or resolution.

  4. If the disputing offices are still unable to resolve the disagreement, elevate the issue to the heads of office executives for discussion with the overseeing Deputy Commissioner.

    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, Resolving Disagreements, 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 they must publish the information to ensure operations continue in an efficient manner and to allow employees to perform their duties without unnecessary delays or incomplete/incorrect guidelines.

  2. After approval from the head of office, the originating office notifies the reviewer via email that they are sending the IRM to publishing in 15 calendar days. The email contains information identifying the comments not accepted and the reasons for its decision. For a sample 15-day notification email, refer to the SPDER website at https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/clear.aspx.

  3. If the IRM requires a change after the respective heads of offices reach a resolution, the originating office incorporates 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. Sending to management, the program director and IMD/IRM coordinator the final clearance package documents, including signed Form 2061s from reviewers, final updated IRM PDF drafts (one with changes accepted and one with track changes or a compare file), new or revised PDF graphics, and Form 1767. For details, see IRM 1.11.9.5.2, Documents Sent for Clearance - Clearance Package, and IRM 1.11.5.3, Preparing the IRM Package for Publishing.

    2. Final management review and assessment documented in Part V of Form 2061 or within the IMD Electronic Clearance Tool.

    3. Approval and signature of the program director (or their documented designee) in Part VI of Form 2061 or within the IMD Electronic Clearance Tool.

    4. Final review by IMD/IRM coordinator.

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

  2. The clearance originator proposes a final package approval due date in Part IV of Form 2061. The suggested time frame is 15 calendar days, but this can vary depending upon the business unit and circumstances.

Approval by Program Director

  1. IRMs require approval and signature at or above the program director level. The program director must be a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES) responsible for program administration including issuance and approval of IMDs. Generally, the Discovery Directory series and grade "ES" identifies a member of the SES. To confirm the program director is a member of the SES when Discovery Directory does not display the series and grade "ES" :

    • An author may elevate it to their management.

    • An IMD/IRM coordinator may elevate it to their management or the program director’s staff assistant.

    Note:

    A Personnel Action Request (PAR) reflecting the SES classification is equal to an "ES" position in Discovery Directory for the purpose of signing an IMD.

  2. The responsible program director (or above) reviews, signs and approves an IRM after internal, external, specialized reviewers and management review. The responsible program director may designate in writing a designee as the authorized approving official to review, sign and approve an IRM on their behalf. The designee must be a supervisory manager with program oversight per Delegation Order 1-69, Authorization to Approve an Internal Management Document (IMD). See http://imdtrack.web.irs.gov/IG_Uploads/IRS.gov_Yes/OUO_No/del%20order%201-69%20signed.pdf.

  3. To document approval, the program director (or designee) completes Part VI, block 19b and signs in block 19c, of Form 2061, or within the IMD Electronic Clearance Tool, as the approving official. The signature indicates they approve and authorize the issuance of the new, revised or obsolesced IRM.

  4. Program directors may not issue instructions or guidelines that affect areas outside their functional responsibility without appropriate clearance.

  5. Designated IRM approvers must also record their name and official title as described below depending on the method of clearance used:

    Form 2061 IMD Electronic Clearance Tool
    They must record their name and official title in Part VI, block 19a and indicate for whom they are signing on behalf of in the Title text box. See example below.

    Example:

    James Pelican, Program Manager, XYZ on behalf of Mary Robin, Program Director, ABC.

    They must also select Yes, they have authorization to approve this document and attach a copy of their authorization.

  6. The program director/executive with the authority over all the programs approves and signs on the Form 2061 or in the IMD Electronic Clearance Tool when an IRM affects several program areas within an IRS organization.

  7. The name on the signatory line on the IRM Manual Transmittal (MT) is the current or acting program director/executive who signed on the Form 2061 or in the IMD Electronic Clearance Tool. In the event the documented designee signs on the Form 2061, or in the IMD Electronic Clearance Tool, the name of the current director appears in the MT, not the designee.

Final Review by IMD/IRM Coordinator

  1. After the program director (or authorized designee) signs, the author takes the following steps depending on the method of clearance used:

    Form 2061 IMD Electronic Clearance Tool
    The author sends the finalized XML IRM file, along with all Forms 2061, Form 1767, reviewer comments and any other background information, to their organization’s IMD mailbox (if one exists) or their IMD/IRM coordinator for a final review. The author forwards the systemic email, "Approved for Publication" , to their organization’s IMD mailbox (if one exists) or their IMD/IRM coordinator for a final review.

  2. The IMD/IRM coordinator:

    1. Verifies the new/revised/obsoleted IRM was sent to affected offices and specialized reviewers following IRM 1.11.9.

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

    3. Verifies the author addressed non-concurrences.

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

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

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

    7. Verifies all substantively changed subsections have a material changes entry and a new subsection date or (MM-DD-YYYY).

    8. Verifies new or changed graphics do not contain personally identifiable information (PII) or federal tax information (FTI).

    9. Completes Part VII and signs block 20c, on Form 2061 or in the IMD Electronic Clearance Tool.

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

    1. Submits the IRM package for publishing to M&P, following the IRM upload instructions in IRM 1.11.5.4, Submitting the IRM Publishing Package.

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

Archiving Clearance Documents

  1. Within 30 calendar days after publication of the IRM, send records documenting the review and approval of IRM changes including new or obsoleted IRMs. The IMD/IRM Coordinator or author forwards the following documents for retention to the IRS Historical Research Library or ensures they are uploaded within the IMD Electronic Clearance Tool:

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

    2. Substantive comments affecting the content of the document, including any comment matrices, 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 the reason for changes.

    5. Feedback from end user employees.

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

    Note:

    Contact your organization’s IMD Coordinator to determine whether this action is the responsibility of the author or of the IMD Coordinator.

  2. Check the following information on each Form 2061 or clearance request before archiving or forwarding to the IRS Historical Research 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 in Part III, block 13c for each reviewer/reviewing office identified/listed in Part II

    • Signature and date, or electronic signature of program director (or authorized designee) in Part VI, block 19c

      Note:

      The library contacts the originating organization or returns incomplete packages for correction if the signature is missing in block 19c, Approving Official's Signature, or if a signed Form 2061 is not present for each reviewer checked on the form.

  3. The IRM author or IMD Coordinator takes the following action depending on the method of clearance used:

    Form 2061 IMD Electronic Clearance Tool
    Sends the IMD clearance package to the IRS Historical Research Library at IRMLibrary@irs.gov. For additional assistance or the physical mailing address, contact IRMLibrary@irs.gov.

    Reminder:

    When sending materials containing OUO, follow the guidance in IRM 10.5.1.6.8, Email, IRM 10.5.1.6.8.3, Emails to IRS Accounts, and IRM 10.5.1.6.7.2(1), Mail.

    Sends an email to the IRS Historical Research Library at IRMLibrary@irs.gov indicating the IRM is published and the clearance records are stored in the IMD Electronic Clearance Tool Archives. In the email specify your organization and the published IRM section.

    Note:

    The IMD Coordinator’s final assessment automatically archives the clearance records.

  4. The IRS Historical Research Library preserves the permanent record of changes made to the IRM through the Form 2061, Document Clearance Record (DCR). An archives page stores the IMD Electronic Clearance Tool clearance records. The information serves to support IRM author inquiries, legal cases, investigations and responses to inquiries and audits from outside offices like the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) or General Accountability Office (GAO) inquiries.

  5. To contact the library visit https://oldirm.web.irs.gov/.