1.18.3 Tax Forms Distribution Programs

Manual Transmittal

January 05, 2018

Purpose

(1) This manual transmits revised IRM 1.18.3, Distribution, Tax Forms Distribution Programs.

Material Changes

(1) IRM 1.18.3.1, added subsection title; Program, Scope and Objectives and renumbered the section accordingly

(2) IRM 1.18.3.1.1, added subsection title; Background

(3) IRM 1.18.3.1.2, added subsection title; Acronyms

(4) IRM 1.18.3.1.3, added subsection title; Related Resources

(5) IRM 1.18.3.2(2), Updated website information

(6) IRM 1.18.3.3), Revised International Program section

(7) IRM 1.18.3.4, Revised Taxpayer Assistance Center section

(8) IRM 1.18.3.5(3), Changed email address; Add “system” after ELITE

(9) IRM 1.18.3.6(2), Changed “participants” to “partners”

(10) IRM 1.18.3.6(3), Revised entire section

(11) IRM 1.18.3.6(4), Moved to IRM 1.18.3.6(3)

(12) IRM 1.18.3.6(5), Renumbered to IRM 1.18.3.6(4) and removed “In the fall”

(13) IRM 1.18.3.7(3), Updated 1st bullet to add F2333TE

(14) IRM 1.18.3.7(4), Changed TOFTS to TFDPS

(15) IRM 1.18.3.7(9), Changed number of products from 70 to 50

(16) IRM 1.18.3.8(1), Removed e, Package Assembly, g, Security Products, h, Tax Product Advance Notification

(17) IRM 1.18.3.8.2(1), Removed International programs

(18) IRM 1.18.3.8.3(1), added “the IRS web site at”; removed 2nd bullet and replaced with “Online Ordering...; removed 3rd bullet;(Note), Publication 1796, IRS Tax Products DVD is discontinued and has been obsoleted

(19) IRM 1.18.3.8.4(1)(b), Removed “tax packages”; added Instructions for Form 1040

(20) IRM 1.18.3.8.5, removed Package Assembly Program section and it has been moved to IRM 1.18.5.5.9

(21) IRM 1.18.3.8.6(4), Updated website information

(22) IRM 1.18.3.8.7, rRemoved Security Product Orders section and it has been moved to to IRM 1.18.5.5.5

(23) IRM 1.18.3.8.8,Tax Product Advance Notification Program is discontinued

(24) IRM 1.18.3.8.9, Revised Telephone Orders section

(25) Editorial changes were made throughout the IRM

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 1.18.3 dated March 25, 2014 is superseded

Audience

All IRS Employees

Effective Date

(01-05-2018)


LuCinda Comegys
Director, Distribution
Wage and Investment Division

Program, Scope and Objectives

  1. Purpose: To provide planning and distribution systems for all IRS print and electronic communications products used by the public and used internally within IRS

  2. Audience: Public (taxpayers) through designated distribution program partners. All IRS employees.

  3. Policy Owner: IRS Media and Publications Distribution.

  4. Program Owner: IRS Media and Publications Distribution.

Background

  1. Tax Forms Distribution Programs (TFDP) include distribution outlets for tax forms and products used by taxpaying public. These outlets are internal and external to the IRS. The Tax Forms Distribution Program Section (TFDPS) provides planning and distribution systems for these outlets in conjunction with the National Distribution Center (NDC).

  2. Programs include but are not limited to:

    • Employer Program

    • International Program

    • Tax Assistance Center (TAC)Program

    • Small Business Tax Products Distribution (SBTPD) Program

    • Tax Forms Outlets Program (TFOP)

    • Voluntary Income Tax Assistance/Tax Counseling for the Elderly (VITA/TCE) Program

    • Other Programs and Responsibilities

  3. TFDPS also provides oversight on processes and procedures regarding the communication of products status and ordering options. See Document 12320, Tax Forms Distribution Programs Section Information Guide for additional information on all TFDPS programs and processes.

Acronyms

  1. The following acronyms are used throughout the IRM:

    Acronym Definition
    CAS Customer Accounts Services
    CAPS Computer Assisted Publishing System
    ELITE Enterprise Logistics Information Technology
    NDC National Distribution Center
    M&P Media and Publications
    OPN Order Point Number
    OSMS Order Subscription Management System
    CQRS Centralized Quality Review Section
    SBTPD Small Business Tax Products Distribution
    SPEC Stakeholder, Partnership Education and Communication
    SRTC Stakeholder, Relationship Tax Consultants
    SBDC Small Business Development Centers
    TFDP Tax Forms Distribution Program
    TCE Tax Counselling for the Elderly
    TAC Tax Assistance Center
    TFOP Tax Forms Outlet Program
    TPOF Taxpayer Order Form
    SCORE Service Core of Retired Executive
    USDA United States Department of Agriculture
       

Related Resources

  1. Available resources are:

    • Accessible Forms & Publications, https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/accessible-irs-tax-products

    • Order & Subscription Management System, http://caps-as.enterprise.irs.gov/osms/views/homePage.xhtml

    • IRS.gov, http://www.irs.gov

    • Forms, Instructions & Publications, https://www.irs.gov/forms-instructions

Employer Program

  1. The Employer Program facilitates the distribution of employer related products and information returns to the public in support of the IRS Mission.

  2. Businesses and employers can order products offered in this program year round through the Online Ordering for Information Returns and Employer Returns page at https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/accessible-irs-tax-products or by calling the forms toll-free number 800-829-3676. All products in this program are distributed by the NDC.

International Program

  1. The International Program provides federal tax forms, instructions, and publications to some United Sates embassies and various military legal assistance offices worldwide for U.S. citizens abroad to file their federal return.

  2. Annually in December, the TFDPS sends e-mail to program participants providing information on any program changes. Included in e-mail is a spreadsheet with a recap of last filing seasons ordering history for use in determining the products and quantities they need to order for the next filing season.

  3. Program participants return the completed spreadsheet via e-mail to the International Program Administrator *W&I International Administrator mailbox for processing and fulfilment by the NDC. Participants can also use the spreadsheet for reorders.

  4. There are approximately 44 products offered on the International Program, with all of the orders sent from the NDC.

Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC)

  1. The TAC is designed to provide taxpayer assistance centers and other posts of duty (PODs) locations with tax forms, instructions and publications for redistribution to the public. Approximately 358 TAC offices and PODs are surveyed each year to determine the remaining stock levels and to obtain quantity requirements for the initial product shipment for the upcoming filing season. TAC program participants include IRS offices and taxpayer assistance centers.

  2. The Balance On Hand Survey is completed online. The survey is located in the Order Management System (OMS) on the intranet. Authorized Field Assistance personnel can access and update the survey using their office Order Point Number (OPN) ending in 6699.

  3. Media and Publications (M&P), in coordination with Field Assistance will determine the products TAC offices are authorized to stock each filing season. In addition, M&P in coordination with Field Assistance will determine which of the authorized products and the quantities to be automatically distributed to the TAC offices. TAC offices will place orders in the Order Subscription Management System (OSMS) for any authorized product not on the automatic distribution list. The authorized list and the products to be automatically distributed will be posted on the Taxpayer Assistance Center Order Management System (TAC OMS) early in the quarter of each fiscal year.

  4. TAC offices place reorders for tax products by using OSMS at http://caps-as.enterprise.irs.gov/osms/views/homePage.xhtml an online ordering system for IRS offices.

  5. Initial distribution of full cartons for the majority of tax products are shipped from the print contractor directly to the TACs, while initial distribution of products less than full carton and reorders are shipped from the NDC.

Small Business Tax Products Distribution (SBTPD) Program

  1. The TFDPS supports the SBTPD Program by providing tax materials for clients at various resource centers who conduct small business tax workshops on behalf of the Service.

  2. The Small Business/Self-Employed (SB/SE) Stakeholder Liaison staff partners with the Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) offices and others to conduct small business tax workshops to educate clients on Federal tax obligations for businesses.

  3. Form 12196, Small Business Tax Product Order Form for IRS Designated Partners, is used to request tax products for use as training material. SB/SE Stakeholder Liaison must contact TFDPS program administrator to establish an account. The program administrator sends the Form 12196 to the partner once the account is established. The partner sends the completed form via e-mail link to Computer Assisted Publishing Services (CAPS) e-mail box, where the data is extracted and loaded directly into Enterprise Logistics Information Technology (ELITE) system for order processing and fulfilment by a print contractor or the NDC.

  4. Since SBTPD Program is not filing season influenced, all orders are processed by the NDC year round.

Tax Forms Outlets Program (TFOP)

  1. TFOP was developed as an outreach to increase availability of major tax products in local communities.

  2. TFOP offers bulk tax products to various entities in areas that have high rate of paper returns and meet specific program criteria. IRS partners with libraries, post offices, federal, state and local government offices, prisons and military installations. TFOP also offers reproducible tax products to a limited number of previous Community Based Outlet Program partners.

  3. Annually in December or January, active TFOP partners receive an e-mail containing Form 8635, Orders for Tax Forms Outlet Program (TFOP) Partners. Partners e-mail the completed form 8635 to the CAPS e-mail box where the data is extracted and loaded directly into ELITE for order processing. Partners who have difficulty completing or submitting the order form can e-mail their order request to TFOP administrator inbox. The administrator will complete and submit an order form on behalf of these partners. Former CBOP partners receive e-mail that asks whether or not they want to receive the reproducible Publication 1132. Upon a positive response, the administrator adds the order (1 per a branch based on the number of partner branches on file in ELITE) to a spreadsheet. The administrator e-mails the spreadsheet daily to the ELITE programmer for order entry. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) partners receive similar e-mail, but requests their respective order for publication 225, Farmers Tax Guide. The administrator also submits these orders using the spreadsheet process

  4. When the tax products become available TFOP partners begin receiving shipments of the ordered tax products. Most bulk orders for major tax products ship directly from a print contractor while non-bulk orders ship from NDC.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance/Tax Counselling for the Elderly (VITA/TCE) Program

  1. The IRS offers free assistance with tax return preparation and tax counseling using volunteers trained by the Service.

  2. VITA/TCE assists seniors, individuals with low to moderate incomes, persons with disabilities, and those for which English is a second language. IRS also provides training materials for over 91,000 volunteers in this programs.

  3. Stakeholder, Partnership, Education and Communication (SPEC), Stakeholder Relationship Tax Consultants (SRTCs) and their volunteers use two order forms which offer a wide variety of tax materials:

    • F2333V/F2333TE, Order for VITA/TCE Program

    • F 2333X, Supplemental Order for SPEC

  4. Annually in September, TFDPS sends an email with Form 2333V, attached to partners and/or participants that have an email address associated to their accounts.

  5. Program participants send the completed Form 2333V to a mailbox where the data is extracted and loaded into CAPS e-mailbox for the SRTC review and edit if necessary, and approve. Approved orders are sent to ELITE for fulfilment by a print contractor or the NDC. Participants can also use Form 2333V for reorders.

  6. Program participants can send their completed Form 2333X to the SRTC for review and approval. SRTCs can email the approved form to the NDC for fulfilment.

  7. SRTCs can also enter orders for Form 2333V directly into the CAPS system.

  8. VITA/TCE materials are sent to individuals' homes and/or offices and in bulk quantities to VITA/TCE sites, IRS offices and military installations.

  9. There are approximately 50 products offered on the VITA/TCE Program with the training products and materials processed by the print contractor and the majority of the remaining orders processed by the NDC.

Other Programs and Responsibilities

  1. In addition to the above distribution programs, TFPDS is responsible for special distribution processes including databases, order forms and product information sharing with the IRS employees and contracted entities. Some of the primary processes are:

    1. External Addresses

    2. ELITE Contractor Planning Application

    3. Internet Ordering Initiative

    4. Non-Program Order Forms

    5. Prior Year Tax Forms

    6. Telephone Orders

External Addresses

  1. The External Addresses system was developed to standardize data entry, search options and reports for several programs. It is maintained in the CAPS system. Programs that use the External Addresses system are:

    1. TFOP

    2. SBTPDP

    3. VITA/TCE

Enterprise Logistics Information Technology (ELITE) Contractor
Planning Application

  1. The contractor planning application is an ELITE function that creates distribution lists for CAPS program orders. The distribution lists contain full carton and less-than full carton orders for TAC, TFOP and VITA/TCE programs for products that will ship directly from print contractors.

  2. After an initial order load in early October, CAPS orders are sent to ELITE daily. ELITE sends a nightly file to CAPS containing the shipping date and quantity for any product on a distribution list or filled by the NDC.

  3. An ELITE distribution list for a specific product contains orders from all CAPS programs that will be filled by a print contractor. Distribution lists are Excel spreadsheets that can be sorted or edited as needed.

  4. Multiple lists for the same product can be generated on a weekly basis or as needed.

  5. Order quantities can be rounded to full carton quantities using user defined percentages.

Internet Ordering Initiative

  1. The TFDPS continuously explores all avenues for tax product distribution including the IRS web site at http://www.irs.gov. Currently the forms and publications web pages on this web site accept orders for:

    • Forms and Publications by U.S. Mail

    • Online Ordering for Information Returns and Employer Returns (Employer forms and instructions)

  2. The pages are updated annually and then on as needed basis throughout the year by a TFDPS analyst.

Non-Program Order Forms

  1. The TFDPS has ownership of several forms used for ordering commonly requested tax products:

    1. Form 4190, Order Form for Tax Forms and Publications, can be used by the IRS TACs and call assistors to place taxpayer orders for Federal tax products from the NDC.

    2. The Taxpayer Order Form (TPOF) is included in the annual Instructions for Form 1040 and some high-volume taxpayer publications. The most commonly requested taxpayer products are listed on the TPOF.

    3. Call site assistors and/or taxpayers can send the completed order form to the NDC for data transcription and other fulfilment.

Prior Year Tax Forms Program

  1. The Prior Year Tax Forms program involves the archival, storage and management of all tax forms and instructions dating back to 1864.

  2. Products are provided to customers from in-house stock, print on demand and on-line printing from Portal Document Format files. The product's originator may determine whether the products and revisions are to be included as a prior year product and added into the Prior Year Tax Forms program.

  3. A calendar year product is revised annually and becomes a prior year product on December 1. A revision date product is revised as needed and becomes a prior year product once a new revision is approved to print. Orders for prior year products are limited to 5 prior years.

  4. The Prior Year Tax Forms program analyst works with the Publishing personnel to update the IRS web site for prior year forms, instructions and publications page at https://www.irs.gov/forms-instructions

Telephone Orders

  1. The TFDPS has the responsibility of providing support and assistance to the toll-free Forms number 800-829-3676 operation. This process involves working with other IRS and M&P personnel including:

    • Business Requirements System Integration

    • National Distribution Center

    • Distribution Analysts

    • Printing Specialists

    • Tax Law Specialists

    • Customer Account Services (CAS) policy analysts

  2. TFDPS analyst responsibilities include sharing tax product information, provide reference or guidance with the ordering processes such as:

    1. Provide information on the availability of new, obsolete and revised products

    2. Deliver time frames to the public

    3. Distribute requirements by program

    4. Address and/or forward customer complaints, inquiries or concerns

    5. Refer systemic problems to the appropriate source

    6. Share questions or comments regarding procedures

    7. Review materials and guidelines with the Centralized Quality Review Section (CQRS) to ensure that up-to-date information is used when monitoring the service provider National Telecommuting Institute (NTI) order entry clerks

    8. Notify CQRS personnel of changes in procedures and practices

    9. Attend conference call meetings to perform call calibrations for monitoring the use of required call attributes

    10. Attend pre and post season meetings with all stakeholders to improve communication and continuity

    11. Monitor computer systems and daily/nightly file transmissions from IRS to IRS to ensure there are no problems or issues