1.15.5  Relocating/Removing Records

Manual Transmittal

August 11, 2015


(1) This transmits revised IRM 1.15.5, Records and Information Management, Relocating/Removing Records.

Material Changes

(1) Editorial changes made to IRM, Shipping Permanent Records to NARA, to reflect current organizational titles and references.

Effect on Other Documents

This IRM supersedes IRM 1.15.5, dated November 7, 2013.


All business units and functions

Effective Date


Celia Richardson
Director, Identity and Records Protection (IRP)
Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure (PGLD)  (11-07-2013)

  1. This section explains how to relocate records between offices, organizations, and release custody to another government agency, including the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). It also provides guidance on removing personal papers, as well as preventing the unauthorized removal of government records by IRS employees, including political appointees.  (11-07-2013)
Migrating Records Between IRS Offices

  1. Following an organizational realignment, employees should:

    1. Relocate or migrate current records supporting the function to the new office or organization.

    2. Identify records not required by the new office or organization. Notify the Area Records Manager (ARM) for possible retirement of these records to a Federal Records Center (FRC).

    3. Notify the ARM about the reorganization, which may require revision of the Records Control Schedules (RCS).

    4. Update the gaining or new office filing plan to reflect the new function(s) and records.  (11-07-2013)
Releasing Records Custody Between Government Agencies

  1. NARA regulations, 36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 1228, Subpart H prohibit the release of records from one government agency to another without the approval of the Archivist of the United States, unless any or all of the following conditions exist:

    1. Release or change in custody is required by statute, Executive Order (EO) or Presidential reorganization.

    2. Records are permanent and are eligible for transfer to NARA.

    3. Records are on temporary loan for official use.


    Records subject to restriction upon their use, which is imposed by EO or by the agency, are still under restriction, even after they have been released to the gaining agency. However, the restriction can be removed later with a written agreement between the agencies.  (11-07-2013)
Definition of Permanent Records

  1. NARA has established definitions for the retention and transfer of permanent records. Permanent records:

    1. include documents related to policy, procedures, organization, or executive direction of the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) activities;

    2. contain evidence of the organization and functions of the IRS;

    3. contain information useful for researching the administrative history of the IRS and the Department of the Treasury; or

    4. are of value to the IRS because they contain information needed for organizational, procedural, and policy decisions.


    See 36 CFR 1220.14 for the regulatory definition of "permanent" records.  (11-07-2013)
Archival Standards for Permanent Retention of Records

  1. Only original or official copies of records which meet the definition of permanent are required for archival or permanent retention.


    Refer to the Permanent Records Directory/Index located in IRS Document 12990, Catalog 57910d, for the identification of permanent records created by the IRS.  (11-07-2013)
Records that Require Direct Transfer to NARA

  1. The following classes of IRS permanent records will transfer directly to NARA. These types of records should not be retired to an FRC. They are:

    1. audio-visual records (movies, photographs, tapes, etc.);

    2. maps, charts, etc.;

    3. electronic records referred to in IRM 1.15.6, Managing Electronic Records, for specific instructions on transferring permanent records directly to NARA.


    Unscheduled records that are at least 30 years old, and no longer have continuing value for the IRS, require NARA appraisal to determine if they are considered permanent in nature.


    If a permanent record has been retired to a FRC for temporary storage, the FRC will transfer the records to a facility within the National Archives at the appropriate time.  (11-07-2013)
Standard Form 258

  1. Records managers will provide the following information, which is required by Standard Form (SF) 258, Agreement to Transfer Records to the National Archives of the United States,Exhibit 1.15.5-1, including a box inventory or list and samples, if requested:

    1. record series or title;

    2. date span of records—beginning and ending;

    3. major and minor subdivisions, i.e. Division of Statistics of Income, Office of Compliance;

    4. contact person—include telephone number;

    5. RCS authority;

    6. volume and medium (paper, magnetic tape, photograph);

    7. any restrictions, e.g. Privacy Act, §6103, Classified;

    8. finding aids or documents;

    9. records' current location.

  2. Submit the above information, background materials and samples, if requested, to the IRS Records Officer for processing. The IRS Records Officer will prepare and forward the SF 258 to NARA for approval. After approval, NARA will return the original to the IRS Records Officer, who will retain the approved copy and send a copy back to the ARM who originated the request.  (08-11-2015)
Shipping Permanent Records to NARA

  1. When boxing and transferring permanent records to NARA, no special boxes are required. However, each box must include a detailed index listing the contents. This list must be provided to the IRS Records Officer for submission with the SF 258; shipping directions will be provided to the ARM along with the copy of the approved request.

  2. Secure every box with the Caution Permanent Record Tape specifically designed by PGLD Records and Information Management team. This tape ensures that the containers are not disposed of before eventual transferring to NARA and provide easy identification of permanent records containers if stored in business units or on site. See Exhibit 1.15.5-2.

  3. When shipping the container(s) to NARA, the standard storage box fits inside a sleeve box to eliminate double wrapping each box in opaque paper, so that the tape or box is not visible. Make sure that the address to/from is printed on each sleeve and inside box, so that if the sleeve is damaged in transit, the box can be identified and delivered. To order record sleeve boxes, orders may go directly to Columbia Container Corp. 1798 Union Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21211 Telephone number: 410-467-1400, Fax number: 410-467-1793. RECORD STORAGE BOX SLEEVE - bundles of 25, plus shipping costs. Use of a different vendor is acceptable, but note that sleeve boxes must be one quarter inch in diameter larger on all six sides of a standard FRC box.  (11-07-2013)
Employee Responsibilities Regarding Personal Papers

  1. Personal papers are of a private and unofficial nature, that pertain to employee's personal affairs. See IRM, Types of Records and Their Life Cycles, for additional information on personal papers.

  2. Employees' responsibilities regarding personal papers are:

    1. to identify clearly and maintain those papers of a private or unofficial nature separately from the records of the office;

    2. if information about private matters and IRS business appears in the same document, photocopy at the time of receipt, with the personal information deleted.


    An employee may not remove any records or papers, although they may be non-records, if this will create a gap in the files and affect the integrity of the file, the documentation, or the body of information.  (11-07-2013)
Papers Which Can Be Removed

  1. An employee, leaving employment with the IRS, can remove the following:

    1. personal diaries (which are private records of public activities);

    2. work aids, such as office diaries, logs, and memoranda of conferences and telephone calls that are covered elsewhere by other, or more detailed or complete records; and

    3. extra copies (carbons, photocopies), unless prohibited, or as limited by, disclosure statutes, regulations, or agreements.

  2. The conditions under which an employee can remove papers are listed below:

    If removal does not then
    impose an administrative or financial burden, obtain the IRS Records Officer's approval to remove the records.
    violate the confidentiality required by national security, privacy, and other interests protected by law, obtain the IRS Records Officer's approval to remove records.


    If departing officials want copies of official records that are classified or otherwise restricted, they should consult the Disclosure staff, Chief Counsel and the IRS Records Officer. The IRS, not the individual, is responsible for determining whether the release of such records is appropriate and under what conditions.  (11-07-2013)
Papers Which CANNOT be Removed

  1. The conditions for which an employee CANNOT remove papers are listed below:

    If the records relate to then
    pending or contemplated civil, criminal, or administrative proceeding,
    Note: Releasing the information would impair or prejudice the outcome of the proceeding of government policy, decisions, determinations, or other actions.
    do not remove.
    national security information and officially limited information,
    Note: Such information remains classified, controlled or restricted, as long as required for national security or IRS' interests.
    do not remove.
  2. Executive Order 12958, Classified National Security Information and Treasury regulations provide for possible downgrading, declassification, and review of national security and officially limited information.


    Contact your Security or Disclosure Officer for questions concerning the disclosure and declassification of national security and the officially limited information.  (11-07-2013)
Paperwork and Procedures for Removal of Papers

  1. Before you depart from IRS employment, complete the following paperwork to certify removal of personal records:

    If you are then
    an IRS employee, complete, sign, and forward to your Records Manager, Treasury Department Form (TDF) 80–05.5, Documentary Materials Removal/Nonremoval Certification.
    a Presidential Appointee with Senate Confirmation (PAS), complete, sign, and forward to your Records Manager, Treasury Department Form (TDF) 80–05.6, Removal of Documentary Materials by Presidential Appointees with Senate Confirmation (PAS).  (11-07-2013)
Penalties for Unlawful Removal, Alienation, or Destruction of Government Records

  1. Penalties for unlawful removal, alienation, or destruction of government records may include a fine, imprisonment, or both.

  2. This offense, and related offenses, are stated in:

    • 18 United States Code (USC) 2071; and

    • 18 USC 641, 793, 794, 798, and 952.

Exhibit 1.15.5-1 
SF 258, Agreement to Transfer Records to the National Archives of the United States

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Exhibit 1.15.5-2 
Caution Permanent Record Tape and Instructions

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