1.22.4 Postage Accountability and Reporting Requirements

Manual Transmittal

October 15, 2015

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 1.22.4, Mail and Transportation Management, Postage Accountability and Reporting Requirements.

Material Changes

(1) IRM 1.22.4.3.1, added subsection title, responsibilities of Chief Financial Officer (CFO)/Financial Management (FM)/Office of Financial Management Policy. Office of Taxpayer Correspondence becomes part of M&P/Distribution organization

(2) IRM 1.22.4.3.1.1, added subsection title; responsibilities of Chief Financial Officer/Financial Management/Beckley Finance Center

(3) IRM 1.22.4.3.1.2, added subsection title; responsibilities of Chief Financial Officer/Financial Management/Office of Financial Management Systems

(4) IRM 1.22.4.3.1.3, added subsection title; responsibilities of Wage and Investment/Strategy and Finance

(5) IRM 1.22.4.3.1.4, added subsection title; responsibilities of Wage and Investment/Media and Publications/Distribution Requirements Branch

(6) IRM 1.22.4.3.3(3)(note), updated unique transaction identification number W-AW0071520151

(7) IRM 1.22.4.3.3(5), updated the fax number, 855-780-9044

(8) Editorial changes have been made throughout the IRM

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 1.22.4, Postage Accountability and Reporting Requirements, dated August 3, 2012 is superseded.

Audience

IRS Employees

Effective Date

(10-15-2015)


Patricia Evans
Director, Distribution
Wage and Investment Division

Introduction

  1. This section provides guidance for the IRS personnel responsible for purchasing and managing postage procured from the United States Postal Service (USPS). It also provides guidance for mailing operations responsible for reporting postal expenses through the Integrated Financial System (IFS). This guidance addresses specific types of postage and how two IRS offices (major cost center and non-cost center) must report each postage type.

Background

  1. Proper postage accountability is an IRS priority and an area of focus by the General Accounting Office (GAO) and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). Accurate postage expenditure information is critical to identifying opportunities for cost containment and developing future postal budget options.

  2. The USPS bills the IRS on a monthly basis via the Intra-governmental Payment and Collection (IPAC) system for one-twelfth of the yearly postage estimate. The USPS provides Wage & Investment (W&I), Media and Publications (M&P) and Strategy and Finance (S&F) a record of the Service's postage expenditures reported through the USPS Official Mail Accounting System (OMAS).

  3. Postage expenditures must be timely and routinely identified by specific offices.

Funding and Budget Administration

  1. Funding for the purchase of postage resides in the W&I financial plan. Processing the funding activities resides in W&I/S&F. All restrictions related to purchasing postage must be recorded in IFS against those funds. Reconciliation of the USPS expenditure report and the transactions in IFS are a joint responsibility of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Financial Management (FM) and W&I/S&F.

  2. Postage obligations and expenses will be committed and posted monthly to the appropriate code in IFS by W&I/S&F. This, along with accurate and timely reporting by IRS offices, will allow the Service to closely monitor and reconcile expenses and react to changes in expenditure patterns.

  3. The following material group codes and general ledger accounts will be used to report postage commitments, obligations and expenses:

    1. R604 6100.2381 - Notices

    2. R604 6100.2382 - Tax Products

    3. R604 6100.2385 - Administrative Mail

Responsibilities - Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
/Financial Management (FM)/Office of Financial Management Policy

  1. CFO/FM/Office of Financial Management Policy is responsible for providing overall financial guidance for postage expenses.

Chief Financial Officer/Financial Management
Beckley Finance Center (BFC)
  1. CFO/FM/BFC duties include:

    • Receiving weekly summary reports from the major cost centers

    • Receiving weekly transactional level reports from M&P

    • Receiving Form 10580-A, Postage Purchase/Expenditure Report from all IRS offices

    • Entering postage expenses into IFS

    • Notifying the point of contact (POC) at the major cost centers if weekly summary reports are submitted

    • Contacting the M&P POC if weekly transactional level reports are not submitted

    • Performing electronic match of expense information contained in IFS with USPS expenditure data

Chief Financial Officer/Financial Management
/Office of Financial Management Systems
  1. CFO/FM/Office of Financial Management Systems receives monthly USPS expenditure data that reflects actual charges recorded by the USPS and converts the data into spreadsheet format.

Wage and Investment (W&I)/Strategy and Finance (S&F)
  1. W&I/S&F staff duties include:

    • Providing accounting string and Agency Cost Code information to M&P/Distribution Requirements Branch (DRB)

    • Entering the monthly estimated commitment of funds by Cost Element group into the Integrated Procurement System (IPS) based on annual estimate

    • Providing the BFC the estimated obligation of funds using Form 2785, Requisition/Obligation Estimate Adjustment Notice

    • Reviewing and completing the IPAC billing document provided by the BFC to determine adequacy of funds provided

    • Obtaining receipt and acceptance certification from the Postal and Transport Policy section and DRB

    • Receiving the monthly USPS expenditure report from the Office of Financial Management Systems

    • Distributing the monthly USPS expenditure report to the major cost centers for reconciliation

    • Reconciling actual postage expenditures to the USPS expenditure reports

    • Following up with the reporting offices to determine proper disposition of discrepancies in transaction information

    • Notifying the BFC of any changes needed in IFS and providing appropriate supporting documentation from the affected reporting office

    • Notifying the DRB of changes needed in the USPS billing documents

    • Receiving notice correspondence volume and costing information from the M&P/Distribution Office of Taxpayer Correspondence (OTC)

    • Formulating annual postage estimates by budget object class (e.g., USPS, Transportation and Presort) in consultation with DRB

    • Providing the major cost centers estimates based on spending trends to formulate postal budgets

Wage and Investment (W&I)/Media and Publications (M&P)
/Distribution Requirements Branch (DRB)
  1. W&I/M&P/DRB has the overall leadership of the Mail Management Program and is responsible for the following duties:

    • Providing guidance and support to the affected stakeholders, including expense verification, adjustments and reconciliation

    • Signing IPAC bills indicating receipt and acceptance

    • Disseminating accounting string information to all IRS offices along with Agency cost codes

Major Cost Centers - Locations

  1. All procedures and reporting requirements are applicable to 14 major cost centers:

    Office Location
    W&I/Campus/Submission Processing Centers
    • Austin

    • Cincinnati

    • Fresno

    • Kansas City

    • Ogden

    W&I/Accounts Management Centers
    • Andover

    • Atlanta

    • Brookhaven

    • Memphis

    • Philadelphia

    Correspondence Production Services (CPS) Sites
    • Detroit

    • Ogden

    National Distribution Center (NDC)
    • Bloomington

    M&P
    • Washington

Major Cost Centers - Point of Contact (POC) Responsibilities

  1. The major cost centers will be responsible for compiling and transmitting a weekly summary of transactions to the BFC. This weekly summary is maintained to foster budget planning, verification and reconciliations of USPS billings.

  2. Each cost center office will have a POC and an alternate who will account for the respective postage expense transactions, summaries and reconciliations.

  3. Major cost center POCs maintain the F13490, Daily Transaction Record of IRS Postage, used to record daily transactions for postage expenses. The header information for the daily transaction record is derived from the Office Location/Cost Accounting Codes that includes:

    • Office Location

    • Office Location Code

    • Date on (mm/dd/yyyy) format

    • Sequence; this is the particular transaction sequence of the day showing first transaction as 1, second transaction as 2 and so on

    • Mail classification category as it appears on the USPS postage statement

    • Mail type - N for notices, TP for tax packages and ADM for administrative mail

    • Amount of transaction

    Note:

    The combination of the Office Location Code, date and sequence number becomes the unique transaction identification number (e.g., the first transaction for the Andover SC on July 15, 2015 is W-ANDO71520151).

  4. Weekly Summary Report - The week's accumulation of Daily Transaction Records are compiled and summarized on Form 13491, Postage Weekly Summary Report. The header information for the weekly report is contained in the Office Location/Cost Accounting Codes. The information includes:

    • Office Location

    • Office Location Code

    • Week ending date (mm/dd/yyyy) format

    • Agency Cost Code

    • Accounting String

    • Mail Classification Category as it appears on the USPS postage statement

    • Mail type - N for notices, TP for tax packages, and ADM for administrative mail

    • Total transaction for each Mail classification category

    • Total amount of transactions for the week

  5. The Weekly Summary Report must be prepared within three business days after the week ending date and sent to the BFC for verification and entry into the IFS. The report can either be E-mailed or faxed to the Postage Technician at:

    IRS/Beckley Finance Center
    Attn: Postage Technician Government Payables Unit
    E-mail: *CFO BFC Postage Expense Submissions
    Fax 855-780-9044

Postage Cost Accountability Reporting Requirements for IRS Offices

  1. All IRS Offices (except the major cost centers) expending postage funds are required to report postage purchases and expenses on a transactional basis. Form 10580-A, Postage Purchase/Expenditure Report, is due within three business days of purchase to the BFC for processing and entry into IFS. It may either be faxed to 855-780-9044 or submitted electronically to: cfo.bfc.postage.expense.submissions@irs.gov.

    Note:

    When submitted electronically a digital signature is required. Adobe Acrobat must have the digital signature reason code of "I attest to the accuracy and integrity of this document." Instructions for creating this digital signature reason code is available on the BFC web page at:
    http://cfo.fin.irs.gov/IntFinMgmt/BFC/BFC_Index.htm

  2. All IRS offices must report all types of postage purchase transactions.

Postage Stamps

  1. When ordering Postage Stamps, the Local Point of Contact (LPOC) or designee, must mail via USPS a completed PS Form 17-G, Official Mail Stamp Requisition, to:


    Stamp Distribution Office
    United States Postal Service
    8300 NE Underground Drive, Pillar 225
    Kansas City, MO 64161-9995

    Note:

    The USPS no longer provides Penalty Postage Stamps. Commercial stamps are provided. Ordering offices must monitor and ensure that all commercial stamps are being used for Official Government Use only.

  2. Offices are limited to $500 of commercial postage stamps per order. All exceptions must be approved by the DRB in advance.

  3. Upon receipt of the postage stamps, LPOC (or designee) must prepare and submit Form 10580-A, Postage Purchase/Expenditure Report, to the BFC within three business days. The completed Form 10580-A must be E-mailed to: cfo.bfc.postage.expense.submissions@irs.gov or faxed to 855-780-9044.

  4. The BFC will enter the postage purchase/expenditure into the IFS.

  5. A copy of Form 10580-A, and PS Form 17-G must be retained by the reporting office.

Postage Meter Refill/Reset

  1. To refill/reset a postage meter, the initiating office must follow the refill/reset procedures as required by the postage meter manufacturer.

  2. The Agency Cost Code must be recorded on all postal documents in the appropriate fields by the LPOC.

  3. Upon successful completion of the postage meter refill, the initiating office must prepare and submit Form 10580-A, Postage Purchase/Expenditure Report, to the BFC. The completed Form 10580-A must be E-mailed to: cfo.bfc.postage.expense.submissions@irs.gov or faxed to 855-780-9044 within three business days of the postage transaction.

  4. The BFC will enter the postage purchase/expenditure into the IFS.

  5. A copy of Form 10580-A must be retained by the reporting office along with any USPS certified postal documents.

  6. For locations using the National Mail contract, the Territory Point of Contact (TPOC), or the mail program office responsible for administering and monitoring the contract must follow the same procedures.

Permit Imprint

  1. Permit Imprint mailing is an economical method of postage payment for bulk mail such as letters to tax return prepares and other mass mail outs. Minimum volume requirements are 500 pieces for First-Class Mail and 200 pieces or 50 pounds for Standard Mail.

  2. All Permit Imprint mailings shall be coordinated through the M&P organization.

Business Reply Mail (BRM)

  1. Individual field offices are not required to track and/or report BRM volumes and/or costs. The BRM postage is monitored monthly by the W&I/S&F organization.

USPS Express Mail

  1. The LPOC must report to the BFC all USPS Express Mail labels charged to the IRS Federal Agency Code (218), using Form 10580-A, Postage Purchase/Expenditure Report.

  2. Within three business days of the transaction, the completed Form 10580-A must be E-mailed to: cfo.bfc.postage.expense.submissions@irs.gov or faxed to 855-780-9044.

  3. A copy of Form 10580-A and the certified copy of the USPS Express Mail labels must be retained by the reporting office.

  4. If the postage of the USPS Express Mail package is added using a postage meter, this expense will be included in the postage meter usage report.

Credits for Spoiled Postage

  1. Any office claiming credits for spoiled postage must complete PS Form 3533, Application for Refund of Fees, Products, and Withdrawal of Customer Accounts, in order to get a refund from the USPS. The completed form must accompany the spoiled stamps, meter strips, or envelopes when presented to the local Post Office that licensed the meter. Unused or spoiled stamps are considered for refund only if submitted within 60 calendar days of the postage meter date. The Post Office will issue a refund check or Postal Money Order.

  2. The LPOC must prepare and submit Form 10580-A, Postage Purchase/Expenditure Report, with the original PS Form 3533 and the check or Postal Money Order to:


    IRS/Beckley Finance Center
    Attn: Postage Technician
    Government Payables Unit
    P.O. Box 9002
    Beckley, WV 25802-9002

  3. This documentation must be sent to the BFC within three business days of the transaction.

  4. The BFC will credit postage refunds in IFS.

  5. A copy of Form 10580-A and PS Form 3533 must be retained by the reporting office.

  6. All postal refund checks or money orders submitted to DRB will be returned to the originating office.

Records Disposition

  1. The disposition of all postal records, consisting of Post Office forms, supporting documentation, mail control records and agency copies of penalty mail reports will be handled in accordance with IRM 1.15.49, Communication Records.

References

  1. Available resources are:

    • IRM 1.35.5, Advances, Prepaid Expenses and Other Assets

    • IRM 1.15.49, Communication Records

    • All IRS forms identified in these instructions and procedures may be obtained electronically from the M&P intranet website at: http://publish.no.irs.gov/catlg.html

    • The USPS forms and publications are available through your servicing Postal Business Center, USPS National Customer Support Center, or at: USPS website.

Postage Purchase/Expenditure Report (Form 10580-A)

Form 10580-A is available on Media and Publications web site at: http://core.publish.no.irs.gov/forms/internal/amc/talking_pdf/f10580-a--2014-12-00--acc.pdf and is 508 compliant.

Daily Transaction Record of IRS Postage (Form 13490)

Form 13490 is available on Media and Publications web site at: http://publish.no.irs.gov/cat12.cgi?request=CAT2&itemtyp=F&itemb=13490&items=* and is 508 compliant.

Postage Weekly Summary Report (Form 13491)

Form 13491 is available on Media and Publications web site at: http://publish.no.irs.gov/cat12.cgi?request=CAT2&itemtyp=F&itemb=13491&items=*.

Financial Managements Codes Handbook

The Financial managements Codes Handbook is available on Chief Financial Officer web site at: http://cfo.fin.irs.gov/index.htm