1.18.2 Forecasting Requirements

Manual Transmittal

November 20, 2020

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised text of the IRM 1.18.2, Distribution, Forecasting Requirements.

Material Changes

(1) IRM 1.18.2.1 (3), Revised Policy Owner description.

(2) IRM 1.18.2.1.3, Removed Document 7130 from the list of available resources. All information previously published in Document 7130 is available from the Publishing Catalog page at http://publish.no.irs.gov/catlg.html.

(3) IRM 1.18.2.5.2(2), Removed previous subsection that referred to Document 7130. All information previously published in Document 7130 is available from the Publishing Catalog page at http://publish.no.irs.gov/catlg.html.

(4) IRM 1.18.2.5.2(3), Renumbered to 1.18.5.2(2) after we remove previous subsection (2).

(5) Made editorial changes throughout to:

  • Update organizational information

  • Follow required document formatting, including Internal Controls and Material Changes

  • Reorganize the IRM after adding or removing any substantive content

  • Adhere to Plain Writing requirements

Effect on Other Documents

This supersedes IRM 1.18.2 dated January 5, 2018.

Audience

All IRS Employees

Effective Date

(11-20-2020)


Michelle Page
Director, Distribution
Wage & Investment

Program Scope and Objectives

  1. Purpose: The IRM describes the role of the Forecasting Requirements (FR) section in the Distribution Requirements branch (DRB) in determining quantity requirements and methods of distribution for all public and internal IRS published products.

  2. Audience: The procedure applies to all IRS employees, especially those in Media and Publications, Distribution and the Forecasting Requirements section.

  3. Policy Owner: Director, Distribution, Media and Publications, Customer Assistance, Relationships and Education, Wage & Investment division.

  4. Program Owner: Distribution Requirements branch is the program office responsible for determining requirements and methods of distributing IRS published products externally and internally.

  5. Policy Stakeholders: Correspondence Production Sites (CPS), National Distribution Center (NDC), Stakeholder Partnerships, Education & Communication (SPEC), Field Assistance (FA), Publishing, Tax Forms & Publications (TF&P), Learning & Education (L&E), Tax Forms Distribution Program Section (TFDPS), Postal & Transport Policy (P&TP), and all IRS offices.

Background

  1. Forecasting involves determining quantity requirements and methods of distribution for all public and internal IRS published products. The overall policy, design and management of the IRS forecasting requirements programs and systems resides with the Director, Distribution (D)/ Distribution Requirements Branch (DRB)/ and Forecasting Requirements (FR) Section. The primary forecasting distribution programs are:

    • Tax Products

    • Specialty Program

    • Annual Order (AO)

    • Campus Annual Order (CAO)

    • Monitor Reorder Point (MRP)

    • Internal Management Documents Distribution System (IMDDS)

    • Training Publications Distribution System (TPDS)

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. The Director of the Distribution division approves and authorizes the policy in this IRM

  2. The chief of the Distribution Requirements branch oversees the execution of policy in this IRM.

  3. The chief of the Forecasting Requirements section in the Distribution Requirements branch oversees the daily work of the Forecasting Requirements employees executing the tasks described in this IRM.

  4. The employees in the Forecasting Requirements section perform all tasks described in this IRM.

Related Resources

  1. Available resources are:

    • Publishing Services Request (PSR) - http://caps-as.enterprise.irs.gov/psr/app

    • CAPS Authorized List of Approvers - http://publish.no.irs.gov/appls/pst01c2.html

    • M&P Page 1 - http://publish.no.irs.gov/ephome.html

    • Publishing and Distribution Electronic Publishing Catalog - http://publish.no.irs.gov/catlg.html

    • Order Subscription Management System (OSMS) - http://caps-as.enterprise.irs.gov/osms/views/homePage.xhtml

    • Internal Management Documents Distribution System (IMDDS) - http://publish.no.irs.gov/distsys/imdds/imddsndx.html

    • Publishing Distribution Services - http://publish.no.irs.gov/servc.html

    • TPDS Course Catalog Document 6398-A - http://publish.no.irs.gov/distsys/d6398a/d6398a.html

    • Addresses for Training Order Point Numbers (OPN) - http://publish.no.irs.gov/distsys/imdds/trainopn.html

Acronyms

  1. Acronym Definition
    AO Annual Order
    CAO Campus Annual Order
    CPS Correspondence Production Services
    ELITE Enterprise Logistics Information Technology
    ESN Electronic Status Notice
    IMDDS Internal Management Documents Distribution System
    MRP Monitor Reorder Point
    NDC National Distribution Center
    OPN Order Point Number
    OSMS Order Subscription Management System
    PSDS Publishing Services Distribution System
    PSR Publishing Services Request
    TF&P Tax Forms and Publications
    TFORDER Tax Forms Order
    TPDS Training Publications Distribution Systems
    VITA Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

Tax Products Distribution

  1. The Tax Products Distribution program enables the IRS to closely plan, coordinate, control, and execute the distribution steps required to meet critical deadlines with high-quality products. Tax forms and instructions are the primary method of communication with the public. Customers use the products for return submissions and for making payments and withholdings. Each tax product results from new or revised legislation, regulations or rulings, court decisions, or suggestions from IRS employees or taxpayers.

  2. The Tax Products Distribution program determines distribution requirements for most tax products that originate in the Tax Forms and Publications (TF&P) division of M&P. This program does not include tax products developed for direct mailouts. FR analysts gather and monitor tax products requirements from several sources including the campuses, the Correspondence Production Services (CPS) sites, the National Distribution Center (NDC), and programs maintained in the Tax Forms Distribution Program Section (TFDPS).

Specialty Requirements Programs

  1. Some seasonal distribution programs coincide with the tax products peak season distribution. These programs include, but are not limited to:

    • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Distribution

    • Marketing-Promotional Products Distribution

  2. These products may ship directly from a print contractor to the end user or to the NDC for redistribution. M&P’s Publishing division and IRS product originators must establish shipping requirements during the product planning phase.

Annual Order (AO) and Campus Annual Order (CAO) Programs

  1. AO and CAO program analysts determine print requirements and distribute large volume of printed products with consistent usage to the campuses and to CPS and NDC warehouses. AO and CAO products support program workloads for Submission Processing, Accounts Management, Compliance, and Correspondence processing operations.

  2. CAO products are for internal use and are stocked only at the campuses and CPS warehouses.

  3. AO products are for internal and public use and are stocked at the campuses and CPS and NDC warehouses.

  4. Campus customers order stock from their local warehouse for AO and CAO products.

  5. Field offices and the public order from the NDC.

Monitor Reorder Point (MRP) Program

  1. The MRP program consists of products with low or inconsistent usage. Customers, including the campuses, order MRP products from the NDC to request stock on an as-needed basis. The MRP program relies on the Stock Resupply Process, Product Reference Material for Ordering, and Informational Tools to deliver its products and services. Electronic Form 2040 and Warehousing and Inventory Controls are processes that facilitate the orders.

Stock Resupply Process

  1. Stock Resupply involves several phases. FR staff survey, transfer and/or reprint products based on formalized production schedules or when a product’s balance on hand is below the reorder point.

The Survey Process
  1. FR analysts generally survey products in AO and CAO programs once a year. The annual survey is pre-populated with the product’s 12-month usage, current balance on hand, and the FR analysts’ projected print forecast. Campuses and CPS warehouse forms coordinators confirm the projected print forecast after they complete the following:

    • Contact each customer area (e.g., Compliance, Submission Processing, etc.) using the product to determine program changes that may impact usage

    • Review inventory reports to determine accurate annual usage

    • Determine the accuracy of their balance on hand information (warehouse or in work area)

    • Indicate, when necessary, the adjusted projected print forecast

    • Return the survey by due-in-date

    The FR analyst determines the NDC usage by reviewing the survey data to determine if a stock transfer or reprint is needed.

Stock Transfers
  1. If shortages of stock occur between survey periods, then campuses, the CPS, and the NDC can request a transfer by placing a Tax Forms Order (TFORDER). FR analysts resolve transfer requests within 48 hours. When a transfer is not possible, then the FR analyst requests a reprint. We cover reprint requests in IRM 1.18.2.5.1.3 below.

    Note:

    Campuses, the CPS, and the NDC will complete transfers within 48 hours of receiving the request. The FR analyst closes out the TFORDERs within 48 hours after completing the transfer request.

Reprint Requests
  1. Product originators request reprints on an as-needed basis to provide stock to campuses, the CPS, and the NDC. Originating offices have two available options to request reprints:

    1. Submit request online using the Publishing Services Request (PSR) system at http://caps-as.enterprise.irs.gov/psr/app

    2. Submit a completed Form 1767, Publishing Services Requisition, with authorized business and funding approvals, to the Publishing function in M&P

    Note:

    See http://publish.no.irs.gov/appls/pst01c2.html for a list of authorized approvers.

  2. The originator's duties include monitoring their print requisition status and ensuring the technical content has not changed.

Electronic Form 2040
  1. Originators must input all requirements for printed materials warehoused at the campuses, the CPS, and the NDC using the electronic Form 2040, Distribution/Shipping List application. The application interfaces with the Publishing Services Data system (PSD) and the NDC Enterprise Logistics Information Technology (ELITE) system to help track the status and progress of shipments. Customers must also input other totals such as Taxpayer Assistance Center, Internal Management Documents Distribution System (IMDDS), and contractor planning in the electronic Form 2040 application using generic order point numbers (OPNs) starting with 99999.

    Exception:

    Do not enter IRM distribution envelopes on Form 2040.

  2. Form 2040 is required for departmental random copies, also known as blue labels, for all IRS printed products shipping to campus warehouses or the NDC. Refer to Publishing Procedure 181 or Distribution Procedure 126, available on M&P Page 1 athttp://publish.no.irs.gov/ephome.html, for the number of samples to order.

Warehousing and Inventory Control
  1. Campuses, the CPS, and the NDC should establish receiving and inventory control methods that ensure:

    1. Quality products are distributed

    2. Sufficient stock is available to meet customer needs

    3. Government printing costs are kept low

  2. Campuses, the CPS, and the NDC should establish procedures that provide accurate records for:

    • Product receipts

    • Quality review of products

    • Stock issues

    • Keeping records consistent with the Electronic Status Notice (ESN) system

    • Stock disposals

    • Transaction history that provides an audit trail

    • Transfer requests

    • Requirements planning

    • Matching local OPNs with IMDDS records

Product Reference Material for Ordering

  1. Product information is available on the Publishing and Distribution Electronic Publishing website Catalog tab at http://publish.no.irs.gov/catlg.html. The product information provided at the site includes:

    • Catalog Number

    • Publishing Analyst

    • Distribution Analyst

    • Revision Information

    • Originating Office/Product Originator

  2. Offices can order NDC-stocked materials using the Order and Subscription Management System (OSMS) at http://caps-as.enterprise.irs.gov/osms/views/homePage.xhtml. The OSMS also contains an online catalog to search for NDC-stocked products.

Informational Tools

  1. The Form 2040 application and the PSDS databases provide Publishing and Distribution employees with the latest information on shipping, delivery, and availability of printed material.

  2. Shipping, delivery, and availability of printed material information Is also posted on the Publishing Distribution website Services tab at http://publish.no.irs.gov/servc.html, The Services tab also contains Tax Forms Program (including schedules and actual print and shipping dates), Internal Management Documents (IMDs), and training publication listings.

Internal Management Documents Distribution System (IMDDS)

  1. The IMDDS program automatically distributes IMDs to IRS offices servicewide per Document 12835. Examples of IMDDS subscription products include:

    1. Internal Revenue Manuals (IRMs)

    2. All employee products

    3. All manager products

    4. Specific documents or publications distributed to identified IRS employees

  2. Receiving IRS offices must maintain and update their IMDDS subscriptions via OSMS at https://caps-as.enterprise.irs.gov/osms/views/homePage.xhtml. Information on the IMDDS program is posted to the P&D website at http://publish.no.irs.gov/distsys/imdds/imddsndx.html.

Training Publications Distribution System (TPDS)

  1. The TPDS is designed to support IRS training needs. TPDS consists of course materials (multiple products) and individual products. Items are printed commercially and/or by print-on-demand at the NDC. The NDC provides order fulfillment and print-on-demand services to Learning and Education (L&E) for TPDS material.

Ordering Training Material

  1. The two types of TPDS orders are course and product orders:

    • Course orders are requests for complete sets of specific course materials

    • Product orders are requests for individual products

  2. Document 6398-A, Training Course Catalog, is a complete listing of TPDS courses customers can order from the NDC. Distribution updates Doc. 6398-A daily, and it is available electronically on M&P’s website at http://publish.no.irs.gov/distsys/d6398a/d6398a.html. When placing a course order, refer to the document to obtain the course catalog number. Using the course catalog number will ensure that all materials associated with a particular course are sent to the requestor.

  3. To order TPDS products, the requestor must use a TPDS order point number. A listing of TPDS order point numbers is posted on the Publishing and Distribution website at http://publish.no.irs.gov/distsys/imdds/trainopn.html. Customers must place all TPDS orders using the OSMS at http://caps-as.enterprise.irs.gov/osms/views/homePage.xhtml.