11.53.4 TIGTA/GAO

Manual Transmittal

April 15, 2015

Purpose

(1) ) This transmits a revision of IRM 11.53.4, Small Business/Self-Employed (SB/SE), Operation Support, Servicewide Operations, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration / Government Accountability Office (TIGTA/GAO).

Material Changes

(1) Editorial changes made throughout.

(2) Organization and employee titles updated throughout.

(3) Procedures for GAO/TIGTA/Legislative Implementation and Issue Management Resolution System (IMRS) removed from IRM 11.53.3 IRM 11.53.3, CSO Policy & Strategic Planning (Section 4) and moved to IRM 11.53.4, TIGTA/GAO.

(4) Web addresses updated throughout.

(5) Issue Management Resolution System section 11.53.4 removed due to reorganization

Effect on Other Documents

This material supersedes IRM 11.53.4, GAO/TIGTA/Legislative Implementation, dated November 15, 2011 and IRM 11.53.3, CSO Policy & Strategic Planning dated November 15, 2011.

Audience

Employees in SB/SE.

Effective Date

(04-15-2015)

Related Resources

The Servicewide Operations Intranet website is found at: http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/opsupport/servicewide/default.aspx and TIGTA/GAO information is available through links.

Maria Hwang
Director, Servicewide Operations

TIGTA/GAO

  1. The Chief, TIGTA/GAO reports to the Director, Servicewide Operations.

Servicewide Operations, TIGTA/GAO Mission

  1. TIGTA/GAO fosters partnerships with internal and external stakeholders to improve tax administration by:

    1. Serving as the operational liaison between GAO, TIGTA, Legislative Affairs (LA), SB/SE OUs and other Business Operating Divisions (BODs) to ensure compliance with tax law and oversight directives.

    2. Establishing effective programs to facilitate the GAO/TIGTA audit processes for the Commissioner, SB/SE.

    3. Serving as the operational liaison for legislative implementation and development of SB/SE legislative proposals and requests for published guidance.

TIGTA/GAO Responsibilities

  1. Coordinate and monitor all GAO/TIGTA audit activities throughout SB/SE by the following:

    1. Establishing cordial and effective relationships.

    2. Identifying high-risk issues.

    3. Assisting in developing corrective actions that properly address recommendations.

    4. Ensuring timely review and clearance of GAO/TIGTA audit report responses.

    5. Serving as a conduit for information transmitted to GAO and TIGTA and retain copies for agency historical files.

    6. Serving as the liaison with Legislative Affairs (LA), SB/SE OUs, other BODs, and Chief Counsel concerning GAO/TIGTA oversight processes that impact SB/SE.

  2. Coordinate, implement, and monitor the SB/SE legislative process by:

    1. Ensuring all new legislative provisions that affect SB/SE are assigned and specific actions developed to execute each new tax law.

    2. Updating and monitoring the Electronic Legislative Analysis Tracking and Implementation Services (E-LATIS) for timely completion of SB/SE legislative provisions and action items. This includes appropriations directives that affect SB/SE.

    3. Assisting with requests for researching pending and current legislation.

    4. Assisting Commissioner, SB/SE office with the clarification and submission of the SB/SE legislative proposals.

    5. Assisting Commissioner, SB/SE office with the clarification and submission of SB/SE requests for published guidance to Chief Counsel.

    6. Collaborating during periodic reviews of legislative implementation for Strategic Planning, including the Business Performance Review, Treasury review, or for external audit purposes.

TIGTA/GAO Structure

  1. The Chief, TIGTA/GAO reports to the Director, Servicewide Operations.

  2. TIGTA/GAO Lead Analyst reports to the Chief, TIGTA/GAO.

  3. TIGTA/GAO liaisons coordinate and monitor the audits and legislative processes for the Commissioner, SB/SE.

The SB/SE GAO/TIGTA Program

  1. GAO and TIGTA audit SB/SE operations and then share their audit findings and recommendations, if any, with Congress, other federal agencies, and the public.

  2. SB/SE executives place a high priority on audits since these findings can significantly affect the IRS' strategic plan and program initiatives.

  3. The TIGTA/GAO liaison(s) bring the necessary stakeholders together.

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. TIGTA/GAO partners with other stakeholders to coordinate the SB/SE GAO/TIGTA audit program.

  2. The TIGTA/GAO liaison is the primary point of contact for audits. The TIGTA/GAO liaison will notify each SB/SE OU functional coordinator of an upcoming meeting. Each OU functional coordinator will advise the TIGTA/GAO liaison of the name of the OU POC for that audit. The OU POCs and executives participate in meetings and serve as the secondary POCs for the auditors. The TIGTA/GAO liaison coordinates with the SB/SE functional coordinators to:

    1. Ensure all impacted stakeholders are engaged in the audit.

    2. Review the scope and objectives of the audit.

    3. Provide all impacted operating divisions with an opportunity to respond.

    4. Prepare timely responses.

    5. Monitor corrective actions.

    6. Provide periodic status updates.

    7. Facilitate delivery of requested case files in a timely manner.

    8. Facilitate requests for interviews of field or campus personnel.

    9. Direct activities as needed.

    10. Review assigned audit information entered into the SB/SE audit and update the audit record weekly as the audit progresses.

  3. After the TIGTA/GAO liaison has provided GAO/TIGTA with the executive and secondary POC information, the auditor can request information from the liaison, the functional coordinator, the executive, the secondary POC, or other personnel within the jurisdiction of the audit. GAO/TIGTA will include the TIGTA/GAO liaison in all information requests submitted in writing, sent via e-mail, or received by telephone.

  4. The functional coordinator, executive, secondary POC or other personnel will forward an e-mail to notify the TIGTA/GAO liaison of all verbal information requests received from GAO/TIGTA. The TIGTA/GAO liaison is responsible for monitoring, tracking, and accurately documenting all audit activity and must maintain ongoing communication with the functional coordinator, executive or secondary POCs and GAO/TIGTA auditors. As appropriate, auditors will contact the TIGTA/GAO liaison for additional assistance in obtaining requested information.

  5. The functional coordinator, secondary POCs and other personnel must observe the following guidelines when sharing information and data or meeting with auditors:

    1. Ensure information requested in engagement letters is available for auditors at the opening conference.

    2. Ensure information and data requested during audits is provided to the auditors in a reasonable and timely manner. In general, a maximum of two weeks is considered timely.

    3. Ensure all written comments, if any, in response to discussion draft reports are provided to the audit team at least one day in advance of the closing conference.

    4. Ensure management is aware of information and data requested and provided to GAO/TIGTA auditors.

    5. Provide requested information and data directly to the auditors with a copy to management and the liaison.

    6. Use appropriate disclosure and security protocols when forwarding information via e-mail or FAX.

    7. Provide copies of all audit correspondence, data, telephone call notes, meeting invitations, and meeting summaries to the liaison.

  6. GAO/TIGTA liaisons in other BODs have oversight responsibility for the coordination, implementation, and monitoring of the GAO/TIGTA audits that affect their organization. When their audits also affect SB/SE, they will coordinate with TIGTA/GAO for input. Any SB/SE input needs to be cleared appropriately with SB/SE. This includes assuming full or partial responsibility for planned corrective actions. The reverse is also true.

  7. Legislative Affairs (LA) has oversight responsibility for the coordination, implementation, and monitoring of the GAO/TIGTA audit process for the IRS Commissioner. See IRM 11.5.1, Legislative Affairs - Audit Process For General Accountability Office (GAO) and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) for detailed information and Exhibit 11.5.1-1 for basic terms used in the audit program.

  8. CFO has oversight responsibility for monitoring GAO/TIGTA audit recommendations and corrective actions.

Authorities & Expectations

  1. Treasury Order 115-01, dated January 14, 1999, provides TIGTA authority and access to IRS information.

  2. GAO-05-35G, dated October 21, 2004, GAO's Agency Protocols, contains protocols that govern the U.S. GAO's work with the executive branch agencies.

  3. The Commissioner, SB/SE provided expectations about the coordination of GAO and TIGTA audits in a memorandum dated May 2, 2008.

  4. The Commissioner, SB/SE provided further guidance and expectations about the coordination of TIGTA audits in a memorandum dated March 20, 2009.

  5. These documents are available on the SB/SE GAO/TIGTA Coordinator SharePoint Site.

Government Accountability Office (GAO) Audits

  1. GAO is the investigative arm of Congress. GAO examines the use of public funds and federal programs. GAO provides analysis, options, and recommendations to Congress for effective oversight, policy, and funding decisions. The GAO website is located at http://gao.gov/

  2. The GAO audit process includes the following steps:

    • Opening Conference Phase

    • Audit Phase

    • Exit Conference Phase

    • Draft Report Phase

    • Final Report Phase (Congressional 60 Day Letter Response)

    • GAO Response Clearance/Approval Process

Audit Process for SB/SE Lead & Non-Lead Audits
  1. For non-lead SB/SE audits, another BOD is the lead and SB/SE is impacted. The lead BOD is responsible for scheduling openings, closings, progress update meetings, or for preparing final management responses to draft and final reports (GAO reports).

  2. The lead BOD audit liaison is responsible for coordinating, facilitating, and monitoring of the audits that affect their organization.

  3. When impacted SB/SE OUs provide input or comments for a draft report or 60-day letter, the:

    1. Lead BOD audit liaison provides the response to the TIGTA/GAO liaison for review and approval by SB/SE.

    2. TIGTA/GAO forwards the response to the impacted SB/SE OUs and then through the Commissioner, SB/SE.

    3. SB/SE OUs and the Commissioner, SB/SE indicate approval by initialing the Action Routing Sheet.

    4. TIGTA/GAO liaison then returns the response to the lead BOD audit liaison.

    5. Lead BOD audit liaison reviews the response and forwards through their executive chain.

      Note:

      If the response changes, the lead BOD audit liaison forwards the response back to the TIGTA/GAO liaison to review and approve.

Entrance Letter
  1. Generally, the GAO Director of Tax Issues sends a Notification Letter to the National Director, LA, as the designee of the IRS Commissioner, to notify the IRS of a new audit.

    Note:

    Occasionally an audit letter may come from another office within GAO.

  2. The entrance letter, also known as the "Notification Letter," is the official notification that GAO will conduct a formal audit. LA will forward the entrance letter to the Chief, TIGTA/GAO and other impacted stakeholders to initiate the opening of an audit. Audits are assigned to a TIGTA/GAO liaison who serves as the primary POC throughout the audit process.

  3. If the lead OU is not identified or is in question, the TIGTA/GAO liaison attempts to resolve the issue with the assigned LA point of contact. If the issue cannot be resolved, then raise it to the Chief, TIGTA/GAO for resolution with LA.

Entrance Conference Phase
  1. Legislative Affairs schedules GAO meetings and issues the GAO entrance conference invitation.

  2. The TIGTA/GAO liaison performs the following tasks to manage the audit:

    1. Determines the impacted SB/SE OU(s).

    2. Forwards the invitation to the impacted SB/SE Operating Units/stakeholders.

    3. Forwards the entrance letter electronically to all impacted functions, indicating the audit number, title, and reply due date on the subject line of the e-mail. The SB/SE OU functional coordinator ensures their executive or designee participates at the opening conference.

    4. Enters the audit on the SB/SE GAO/TIGTA/Legislative Database and continuously updates the database throughout the process.

    5. Forwards the meeting invitation to all impacted stakeholders and to SB/SE Research Functional Coordinator.

    6. Provides a list of participants and briefing notes on the meeting if requested.

Audit Phase
  1. The audit phase is GAO’s research and information gathering phase.

  2. The TIGTA/GAO liaison will contact GAO to request the status of the audit. The purpose of the status request is to keep up-to-date with audit activities and to identify significant and/or sensitive issues before issuing the statement of facts. The TIGTA/GAO liaison will:

    1. Contact GAO each month to request the status of the audit (lead and non-lead).

    2. Request the status of the audit during the second week of each month; the request will have a 3 – 7 day response deadline.

    3. Notify the Chief, TIGTA/GAO when significant and/or sensitive issues are identified. The Chief, TIGTA/GAO will alert the Commissioner, SB/SE staff, when significant and/or sensitive issues are identified.

  3. The TIGTA/GAO liaison will schedule an interim meeting (if necessary) to discuss the preliminary audit findings. If requested, review audit work papers.

  4. The TIGTA/GAO liaison will:

    1. Update the audit on the SB/SE GAO/TIGTA/Legislative Database.

    2. Maintain the audit records for permanent files.

  5. If the TIGTA/GAO liaison or the OU has concerns about requests that seem to exceed the scope of the audit, those concerns should be shared with the Chief, TIGTA/GAO.

Exit Conference Phase
  1. GAO conducts an exit conference on all audits and provides a Statement of Facts for comment.

  2. The purpose of the exit conference is to discuss and resolve findings and questions contained in the Statement of Facts document.

  3. GAO provides an estimate of the number of recommendations that may be included in the draft report. Recommendations are not specifically identified until the draft report is issued.

  4. GAO uses this phase to discuss, clarify, or correct data and/or significant issues that may be included in the draft report.

  5. The liaison:

    1. Coordinates with LA to schedule the exit conference.

    2. Notifies the impacted SB/SE stakeholders of the scheduled exit conference.

    3. Forwards the Statement of Facts document to the impacted SB/SE stakeholders.

    4. Coordinates all comments and issues before and after the exit conference.

    5. Updates the audit on the SB/SE GAO/TIGTA/Legislative Database.

  6. All functional owners:

    1. Review briefing documents

    2. Identify any inaccurate or misleading statements or facts in the documents.

    3. Identify positive statements/comments in the documents.

    4. Consider redaction of specific report language

    5. Capture all recommended changes or comments to the agreement to the facts document in the comment matrix template.

    6. Appoint spokesperson(s) for the agreement to the facts conference call to ensure all comments are covered during the call

  7. The functional coordinator combines all comments into one file and provides the consolidated comment matrix to the TIGTA/GAO liaison prior to the conference call.

Draft Report Phase
  1. GAO prepares a draft audit report at the conclusion of an audit, requesting a formal agency response addressing recommendations.

  2. The draft report is assigned a report number that Treasury uses to track corrective actions on JAMES.

  3. The IRS Commissioner generally has 30 calendar days to respond to a draft report. However, the GAO required response due date can be as few as seven calendar days from the date of the draft report if there is a Congressional request for the report. The electronic cover memorandum accompanying the draft report will clearly stipulate the response time required.

  4. SB/SE will provide a response that includes the following:

    • Agreement with finding(s) and recommendation(s).

    • Highlight of successes, achievements, or directives.

    • Corrective actions that address the recommendation(s).

  5. To coordinate the response, the liaison:

    1. Forwards the draft report electronically to the impacted SB/SE functional coordinators and BOD(s), indicating the audit title, number, and reply due date in the subject line.

    2. Advises the impacted organizations of the pre-established due dates of the response.

    3. Forwards guidance electronically on preparing the response.

    4. Schedules and coordinates, if necessary, a draft report meeting. (Recommend meetings when the OU(s) disagrees with documentation in the report, there is disagreement with the ownership of a recommendation, or to ensure agreement with the response).

    5. Identifies program manager responsible for drafting the management response and establishes time frames for completing the response.

    6. Updates the audit on the SB/SE GAO/TIGTA/Legislative Database.

    7. Notifies the Chief, TIGTA/GAO that a request for an extension from GAO is necessary if a response cannot be drafted within the required time frame. The Chief, TIGTA/GAO contacts LA to request an extension from GAO.

    8. Contacts Legislative Affairs to request an extension on E-TRAK upon approval of an extension request. (Build in half a day for an E-TRAK update.)

Preparation of the GAO Audit Response
  1. The TIGTA/GAO liaison will coordinate and provide guidance on the preparation of the audit response to the lead SB/SE functional coordinator.

  2. The TIGTA/GAO liaison will provide the following information to the functional coordinator to assist with the preparation of the response:

    • GAO response template

    • Action Routing Sheet

    • Draft report and Cover Memo

    • Exit conference or draft report meeting notes, if required

    • Example of an approved SB/SE GAO response

  3. The SB/SE functional coordinator will ensure that the response is prepared with the following in mind:

    1. Use appropriate correspondence format. See The IRS Correspondence Manual Document 11426.

    2. Write using a positive tone.

    3. Address recommendation(s) in the first few paragraphs.

    4. Address the recommendation(s) and the corrective action(s).

    5. State positive results and/or next steps that address the recommendation(s) (include corrective actions that address the recommendations).

    6. Identify the appropriate program manager and executive for approval.

Financial Statement Audit
  1. GAO audits the financial statements of IRS annually with the objective of rendering an opinion, evaluating internal controls, and reporting IRS’s compliance.

  2. At the conclusion of the audit, GAO issues an opinion on the financial statements. The final report is issued annually by November 15.

  3. The Opinion rendered as one of the following:

    1. Unmodified Opinion – In all material aspects, the statements fairly represent financial data and operations.

    2. Qualified Opinion – Except for the circumstances specified in the report, the statements fairly present financial data and operations.

    3. Adverse Opinion – The auditor disagrees with application of certain accounting principles, and statements do not fairly represent financial data.

    4. Disclaimer Opinion – The auditor could not obtain enough evidential matter to express an opinion.

      An unfavorable audit opinion on IRS’ financial statements impairs GAO’s ability to place reliance on the Treasury and Government-wide financial statements.

  4. In the spring of the following year, GAO issues two related management reports:

    • Improvements Needed in IRS’s Internal Controls (new recommendations)

    • Status of GAO Financial Audit and Related Management Report Recommendations

  5. Time line of Events:

    1. December – GAO initiates the audit by issuing the entrance letter through Legislative Affairs, who sends it to the CFO, the lead stakeholder. The CFO controls and forwards the letter to the BODs. Each of the BODs appoints a liaison who is responsible for coordinating the audit activities. In SB/SE, a TIGTA/GAO liaison coordinates activities and ensures complete coverage and timely responses.

    2. February – March – GAO begins to requests documents via Prepared/Provided by Client (PBC) Listing. BODs are responsible for items identified in their organization.
      GAO may also request a walk-through to understand how work is processed. The CFO circulates Cycle Memoranda, that describe IRS’s operations/processes. There are three memoranda which SB/SE reviews and updates:
      • Revenue Receipts
      • Refunds
      • Unpaid Assessments
      The Financial Audit liaison coordinates review/update of the memoranda.

    3. February – September – CFO hosts monthly conference calls to discuss PBC Listing updates and other items submitted by GAO or IRS.

    4. March – April – Internal Control Testing at Field Offices. GAO conducts field testing over various aspects of field offices whose responsibilities include receiving taxpayer payments and returns and forwarding them for further processing. GAO issues a letter to the CFO identifying the sites where they plan to conduct field testing one to two weeks prior to the visit. In recent years, GAO has performed this testing in Collection field offices. The TIGTA/GAO liaison works with the OU coordinator to plan visitations and provide CFO and GAO with points of contact for each office. GAO hosts entrance and exit conferences at the end of each site visit in which the TIGTA/GAO liaison documents the summary findings.

    5. May – June – GAO issues Matters for Further Consideration (MFCs) which are the findings from the internal control testing at the field offices. IRS agrees with or refutes the facts identified in the MFC. IRS submits proposed resolutions addressing issues with which they concur. If IRS does not concur with the issue, it is required to support the position on the refuted situation/circumstances. During this time, GAO also issues Audit Inquiry Forms (AIFs) which relate to specific issues GAO needs clarification or additional information.

    6. June – September – GAO conducts transaction testing on sample cases for the Unpaid Assessment, Revenue Receipts, and Refund audits at the Kansas City campus.

    7. October – November – CFO issues the After the Audit Report from the transaction testing. The majority of SB/SE findings are from the Unpaid Assessment sample. Responses to the reports are due by December 31.

    8. November 1 – GAO issues a draft opinion on the financial statements (unqualified, qualified, adverse, etc.), including other high-level data, material weaknesses, and reportable conditions. IRS has four hours to coordinate the review by the executives.

    9. November 15 – GAO issues final opinion on the financial statements and reports the opinion to Treasury.

    10. December – CFO requests the current statuses of open recommendations in the current GAO report, Status of GAO Financial Audit and Related Management Report Recommendations which are due by December 31.

    11. Quarterly – CFO requests updates to open recommendations (March, June, and September).

Establishing Accurate Corrective Action Due Dates
  1. SB/SE’s goal is to establish achievable corrective action due dates. For consistency throughout SB/SE, use the 15th of the month as the due date for all corrective actions. Delaying actions should be rare; however, certain delays, such as those relating to funding, IRM clearance and publication, executive steering committee concurrences, and Work Request (WR) prioritization, may be necessary.

  2. To ensure achievable due dates, the TIGTA/GAO liaison will advise the SB/SE OUs to:

    1. Brainstorm when findings and recommendations are first presented.

    2. Discuss and evaluate each recommendation.

    3. Consider all obstacles when establishing due dates.

    4. Draft a timeline including major milestone dates to arrive at the completion date.

    5. Add additional time to allow for unforeseen obstacles.

    6. Carefully consider the scheduling of due dates when the report includes numerous recommendations where one corrective action must be completed before work can begin on another action.

Final Report Phase (Congressional 60 Day Letter Response)
  1. The final report phase (Congressional 60 day letter response) is somewhat similar to the GAO draft report phase, except the agency must prepare a response for Congressional committee members. See the Legislative Affairs website for the GAO 60 Day Letter List of Chairmen and Ranking Members at: http://irweb.irs.gov/AboutIRS/bu/cl/la/lagt/default.aspx

  2. GAO issues the final report that includes the agency's official 30 day response to the draft report.

  3. The final report number remains the same as the draft report.

  4. The TIGTA/GAO liaison provides a copy of the final report to the impacted SB/SE OU(s).

  5. The SB/SE functional coordinator will ensure that the response is prepared with the following in mind:

    1. Be aware of the due date for each corrective action.

    2. Identify the responsible official.

    3. Develop the Corrective Action Monitoring Plan.

      Note:

      Use the following format example to address the Corrective Action Monitoring Plan in the response.

      CORRECTIVE ACTION MONITORING PLAN - We will monitor this action as part of our internal management control process.

    4. Estimate a realistic implementation date to complete the recommendation(s).

    5. Identify the responsible official (BOD executive) for the recommendation(s).

    6. State how the progress of the recommendation(s) is monitored.

    7. Identify the appropriate program manager and executive for approval.

GAO Response Clearance/Approval Process
  1. The TIGTA/GAO liaison prepares the Action Routing Sheet and forwards it to the lead SB/SE OU to initiate the clearance and approval process for an audit response. The Action Routing Sheet is located at : http://irweb.irs.gov/AboutIRS/bu/cos/execsec/default.aspx

  2. The TIGTA/GAO liaison includes the following individuals and information on the Action Routing Sheet for review and approval:

    • Responsible SB/SE Director

    • Responsible Program Manager

    • LA GAO/TIGTA Coordinator

    • Chief, TIGTA/GAO

    • Deputy Commissioner, SB/SE

    • Commissioner, SB/SE

    • Director, Legislative Affairs

    • Deputy Commissioner Service and Enforcement (signs 30-day and 60-day responses)

    • File names (short and descriptive) such as Audit number, Shortened Title Draft Report.doc or Audit number, Shortened Title IRS Response.doc

    • The Action Routing Sheet "Subject Line" should contain the title of the audit report and the report number.

    • The Action Routing Sheet Summary Box should contain the following two notes: "Note to Legislative Affairs: Please send the signed, scanned response electronically to (name of TIGTA/GAO liaison). Return the signature package through the Commissioner, SB/SE Office" and "Note to Commissioner, SB/SE Office: Please return the signature package to SE:S:OS:SO:T, (name and room number of Chief, TIGTA/GAO) via courier."

    • Due Date: Date the response is due to GAO

    • E-TRAK control number

  3. The lead SB/SE OU functional coordinator initiates the clearance process for the response.

  4. The lead SB/SE OU functional coordinator obtains review and approval from the following individuals:

    • SB/SE Program Manager

    • Director and/or Program Manager of other impacted BODs

    • SB/SE Director

  5. The TIGTA/GAO liaison continues the clearance process for the response through:

    • Legislative Affairs (LA)

    • Chief, TIGTA/GAO

    • Deputy Commissioner, SB/SE

    • Commissioner, SB/SE

    • Deputy Commissioner, Services and Enforcement

  6. LA continues the clearance process for the response through Deputy Commissioner to obtain the IRS Commissioner’s approval and signature.

Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA)

  1. TIGTA was established in January 1999 in accordance with the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA 98) and provides independent oversight of IRS activities. As mandated by RRA 98, TIGTA assumed most of the responsibilities of the IRS’ former Inspection Service. For additional information, see the TIGTA website at: http://www.treas.gov/tigta

TIGTA Audit Program
  1. The TIGTA audit program is comprised of reviews mandated by statute or regulations, as well as reviews identified through the audit planning and evaluation process.

  2. The TIGTA audit program is presented in the Annual Audit Plan published at the beginning of each fiscal year.

TIGTA Audit Plan
  1. The Annual Audit Plan is based on significant management issues facing IRS, as well as areas of concern from Congress, the IRS Commissioner, and IRS Oversight Board.

TIGTA Workflow Process
  1. TIGTA audits provide independent oversight of IRS activities to promote efficiency and effectiveness in administering the nation’s tax system.

  2. TIGTA's Office of Audit strategically evaluates IRS programs, activities, and functions to ensure that resources expended reduce vulnerabilities in the nation’s tax system.

  3. The TIGTA process includes the following steps:

    • Planning and Research Phase

    • Opening Conference Phase

    • Fieldwork Phase

    • Agreement-to-the-Facts/Closing Conference Phase

    • Discussion Draft Report Phase

    • Draft Report Phase

    • Final Report Phase

TIGTA Planning and Research
  1. TIGTA contacts Legislative Affairs (LA) via e-mail or memorandum indicating the scope of work and the anticipated periods involved for the planning and research project. Engagement letters are not required for these TIGTA audit activities which include audit planning, research activities (surveys, information gathering, etc.), and integrity projects.

  2. LA forwards the e-mail to the Chief, TIGTA/GAO.

  3. If planning contacts are made through different channels, the SB/SE recipient will forward to the Chief, TIGTA/GAO.

  4. The Chief, TIGTA/GAO assigns the planning and research project to a TIGTA/GAO liaison and informs the LA POC.

  5. The TIGTA/GAO liaison:

    1. Notifies TIGTA that he/she is the SBSE TIGTA/GAO liaison and coordinates the planning and research request.

    2. Forwards the e-mail to the responsible SB/SE OU functional coordinator to obtain a POC who will work with TIGTA to address the planning and research request.

    3. Provides the POC to TIGTA. TIGTA will coordinate the audit through the TIGTA/GAO liaison to obtain information unless otherwise directed.

    4. Enters the status of the planning and research project on the SB/SE GAO/TIGTA/Legislative Database.

  6. If the planning and research results in a formal audit, TIGTA will issue an engagement letter through LA. The TIGTA/GAO liaison assigned to the planning and research project will retain the responsibility for overseeing the audit.

  7. If an audit is not warranted, the planning and research project is closed by a TIGTA memorandum/e-mail.

Engagement Letter
  1. To initiate an audit, TIGTA notifies the IRS through the issuance of an engagement letter from the Deputy Inspector General for Audit to the Commissioner(s) of the BOD(s) that they forward to LA as the designee for the IRS Commissioner.

  2. The engagement letter is the official notification that TIGTA is conducting a formal audit. Once TIGTA issues the engagement letter, the audit is officially open, whether or not an opening conference is held.

  3. The engagement letter contains the following information:

    • Title

    • Audit Number

    • Scope of the review

    • Objective(s) of the review

    • Offices included in the review

    • Information and points of contact required to accomplish audit objectives

    • Deliverables and estimated completion dates

    • TIGTA executives and other points of contact

  4. LA forwards the engagement letter to all of the Operating Division audit contacts including the Chief, TIGTA/GAO with a cover memorandum from the Director, LA Division. The cover memorandum identifies the lead and other BODs or OUs TIGTA expects to contact and an LA POC.

  5. Chief, TIGTA/GAO or TIGTA/GAO Team Lead assigns the audit to a TIGTA/GAO liaison and informs LA.

  6. TIGTA/GAO liaison informs TIGTA via e-mail of the assignment, establishes a relationship, and requests available dates for an opening conference.

Lead Process
  1. When SB/SE is assigned as the lead organization, the TIGTA/GAO liaison identifies the appropriate SB/SE OU(s), SB/SE program owner(s), and other impacted BOD(s) based on the audit objective.

  2. The assigned TIGTA/GAO liaison electronically forwards the engagement letter to all impacted functions and the SB/SE Executive designee regarding the initiation of an audit. Included on the subject line of the e-mail is the audit number, title, and reply due date.

  3. When transmitting the engagement letter to the SB/SE Lead Director and other impacted BODs, the TIGTA/GAO liaison will request availability for the opening conference.

  4. The TIGTA/GAO liaison ensures the audit is in the SB/SE GAO/TIGTA/Legislative Database.

Non-Lead Process
  1. When another BOD is identified as the lead, the lead BOD liaison coordinates the opening conference.

  2. The TIGTA/GAO liaison:

    1. Identifies the appropriate SB/SE OU(s) and program owner(s) impacted by the audit objectives.

    2. Coordinates with the lead BOD liaison, advising him/her of SB/SE participation and obtaining potential opening conference dates.

    3. Forwards electronically the engagement letter and provides proposed dates, when available, for the opening conference to SB/SE OU(s) Executive designee(s). Include the audit number, title, and the reply due date on the subject line of the e-mail.

    4. Forwards a meeting invitation to POCs upon receipt from the lead BOD liaison.

    5. Ensures the audit is in the SB/SE GAO/TIGTA/Legislative Database.

  3. The TIGTA/GAO liaison addresses disputes with the lead BOD or functional designation. Unresolved disputes are elevated to the Chief, TIGTA/GAO. When determining lead designations, consider the following factors:

    • Focus of audit

    • Program ownership

    • Impact during review (which BOD is responsible for information/actions)

    • Prior report recommendations

    • Prior response signatures

    • IRM ownership (IRM sections may be owned by other BOD(s)

    • Form (example, Form 3870, Request for Adjustment) ownership

  4. TIGTA/GAO will advise Legislative Affairs of any change to the lead designation.

Opening Conference Phase
  1. If SB/SE is the lead on an audit, the TIGTA/GAO liaison schedules the opening conference with the SB/SE OU(s) and other impacted BOD(s). It is the responsibility of the SB/SE functional coordinator to encourage the executive from their functional area to participate at the opening conference.

  2. The TIGTA/GAO liaison:

    1. Forwards the engagement letter electronically to all impacted functions. Include the audit number, title, and the reply due date on the subject line of the e-mail.

    2. Forwards a meeting invitation to all impacted stakeholders and encourages SB/SE executive(s) participation. The executive has the option to appoint a designee within their function/program area to participate in the conference.

    3. Invite SB/SE Research to all opening conferences.

    4. Provides a list of participants and briefing notes on the meeting if requested.

    5. Updates the audit on the SB/SE GAO/TIGTA/Legislative Database.

Fieldwork Phase
  1. The TIGTA fieldwork phase is the same as the GAO audit review phase.

Agreement-to-the-Facts/ Closing Conference Phase
  1. The TIGTA closing conference phase is the same as the GAO exit conference phase except that TIGTA may identify potential recommendations.

  2. TIGTA conducts a mandatory closing conference with the TIGTA audit team and the IRS’ key audit stakeholders when they complete their audit fieldwork. This conference is referred to as the Agreement to Findings and Recommendation meeting, the Agreement to the Facts meeting, or the Exit Conference.

  3. TIGTA will request this mandatory closing conference through the TIGTA/GAO liaison.

  4. TIGTA will provide a briefing document of the tentative audit findings and recommendations to the TIGTA/GAO liaison prior to the closing conference.

  5. TIGTA will provide the briefing document at least two full business days before the closing conference to allow for key audit stakeholder review.

  6. The TIGTA/GAO Iiaison will review and then distribute the briefing document to the appropriate functional coordinators for their review and distribution to the key audit stakeholders.

  7. The TIGTA/GAO liaison e-mails the briefing document to the SB/SE Research coordinator, before the proposed date of the discussion draft meeting requesting:

    • Review of sampling methodology

    • Validity of statistical analysis and reporting monetary benefits (outcome measures)

  8. The TIGTA/GAO liaison will schedule an internal stakeholder meeting to take place prior to closing conference. The internal meeting is particularly essential if the TIGTA/GAO liaison identifies the potential for negative impact, and/or if the key audit stakeholders, after their review of the briefing document, raise concerns.

  9. This internal stakeholder meeting affords SB/SE the opportunity to correct, clarify, or mitigate the document contents prior to the closing conference with the TIGTA audit team.

  10. The TIGTA/GAO liaison will refer to the GAO/TIGTA Audit Notification and Meeting Invitees list on the TIGTA/GAO SharePoint site for required invitees for the closing conference.

Discussion Draft Report Phase
  1. TIGTA issues a discussion draft report after the conclusion of the closing conference.

  2. The discussion draft report identifies findings and recommendations and provides a snapshot of the potential draft report that will require an official response from IRS.

  3. A meeting may be held during the discussion draft report phase.

  4. The purpose of the discussion draft report meeting is to bring all impacted stakeholders together to discuss the audit findings, recommendations, and issues of concern, and to validate the responsible officials.

  5. If requested, and if not completed during the fieldwork phase, review the TIGTA's audit work papers and the reviewed cases/accounts at this time.

  6. A pre-discussion draft meeting based on the report findings and recommendations is at the discretion of the TIGTA/GAO Liaison, SB/SE program owner, and other impacted BODs. The purpose of the pre-discussion draft meeting is to discuss and coordinate the agency’s position on the findings, monetary benefits (outcome measures), and recommendations. The meeting should also cover any concerns with monetary benefits, clarification or agreement needed concerning the recommendation ownership, program manager responsibility, identification of an author for developing the report response, or the Service’ position.

Discussion Draft Report Activity - SB/SE Lead Audit
  1. TIGTA e-mails the discussion draft report to Legislative Affairs.

  2. Legislative Affairs distributes the discussion draft report electronically to all impacted BODs.

  3. Chief, TIGTA/GAO forwards the discussion draft report electronically to the liaison.

  4. The TIGTA/GAO liaison reviews the discussion draft report and determines if recommendations or monetary benefits (outcome measures) impact any SB/SE functions.

  5. The TIGTA/GAO liaison distributes the discussion draft report electronically within SB/SE to the appropriate OU functional coordinators, and affected BOD liaisons. Liaisons determine need for discussion draft meeting. The e-mail should include:

    • Outline/bullet recommendations in e-mail message

    • Identify which organization addresses each recommendation

    • State if report includes monetary benefit (outcome measures)

  6. If the OU(s) determines that there is no need for a discussion draft meeting because there are no recommendations, issues, or concerns with the discussion draft report, then the OU Executive will decide if a discussion draft meeting will be held and if a response will be prepared.

  7. The TIGTA/GAO liaison e-mails the discussion draft report to the SB/SE Research coordinator, before the proposed date of the discussion draft meeting requesting:

    • Review of sampling methodology

    • Validity of statistical analysis and reporting monetary benefits (outcome measures)

  8. The OU(s) should prepare in advance of the meeting a written list of their concerns regarding the discussion draft report. All recommended changes or comments to the agreement to the facts and draft discussion documents should be captured in the comment matrix template.

  9. The TIGTA/GAO liaison will contact the TIGTA auditors to determine their availability for a discussion draft meeting. Coordinate the date with the impacted directors and send the meeting invitation. The TIGTA/GAO liaison will:

    1. Coordinate with TIGTA to schedule a discussion draft meeting within five work days from receipt of the discussion draft report, if requested.

    2. Ensure the responsible executive(s), program owner(s), and/or manager(s) participate in the discussion draft report meeting. Request an e-mail from the SB/SE OU's executive, designee, and/or program manager validating their declination of a discussion draft report meeting.

    3. Invite SB/SE Division Counsel and Disclosure to the discussion draft report meeting to address recommendations for legislative proposals, regulatory or legal guidance, or disclosure and privacy issues, if needed.

    4. Invite Information Technology Systems (IT) and Business System Planning (BSP) to every discussion draft report meeting with recommendations impacting electronic or paper returns processing or posting, command codes, Master File or systemic adjustments, notice issuance, or re-engineering of business processes.

  10. The TIGTA/GAO liaison will conduct the discussion draft meeting to:

    1. Obtain an agreement to the facts.

    2. Resolve any disputed items.

      Note:

      If the TIGTA/GAO liaison is unable to resolve disputed items, elevate the issues to the Chief, TIGTA/GAO.

    3. Clarify any issues regarding the recommendations.

    4. Summarize meeting and requested changes.

    5. Obtain tentative date from TIGTA for issuing draft report.

  11. TIGTA/GAO Liaison will ensure objectives of the audit, findings, monetary benefits (outcome measures), recommendations, and ownership are addressed during the discussion draft report meeting. Internal ownership issues (lead/non-lead) on an audit are discussed off-line between SB/SE and the other BODs. If the TIGTA/GAO liaison cannot resolve the issue, elevate it to the Chief, TIGTA/GAO for a resolution with Legislative Affairs. If at any time during this phase it is believed that information in the report needs redacting because it is Official Use Only (OUO), contact a disclosure specialist.

  12. The TIGTA/GAO liaison will prepare and issue the discussion draft meeting minutes:

    1. The e-mail message will identify the SB/SE Director responsible for writing the audit response.

    2. Advise which directors are required to provide input or review/approve the response.

    3. Provide briefing notes on the discussion draft report meeting identifying significant issues agreed upon and addressed.

  13. Immediately following the discussion draft meeting, (encourage response preparation at this point), the TIGTA/GAO liaison will provide the response author and director/functional coordinators with:

    1. Example of Action Routing Sheet, or actual Action Routing Sheet if reviewers are known.

    2. Note to Reviewer.

    3. Response memo and attachment template with correct opening and closing paragraphs, and correct wording for "Corrective Action Monitoring Plan" entry.

    4. Due date for completing the response.

  14. The TIGTA/GAO liaison will update the audit on the SB/SE GAO/TIGTA/Legislative Database.

    Note:

    The following is a guideline for backward planning in the response writing and clearance process:

    • Deputy Commissioner/Commissioner – Minimum five business days

    • Commissioner, SB/SE Staff – Minimum five business days

    • Chief, TIGTA/GAO – Maximum one business day

    • Legislative Affairs – Maximum one business day (may be concurrent with Chief, TIGTA/GAO)

    • Impacted directors – remaining business days



    The start of the response writing is encouraged during the discussion draft phase with periodic follow-ups to ensure the process has begun.

  15. For guidelines on establishing a due date for a corrective action, see IRM 11.53.4.2.3.9, Establishing Accurate Corrective Due Dates.

TIGTA Discussion Draft Response Activity - Non-Lead Audit
  1. TIGTA management issues the discussion draft report to LA.

  2. LA distributes the discussion draft report to all impacted BODs.

  3. The Chief, TIGTA/GAO forwards the discussion draft to the TIGTA/GAO liaison.

  4. The TIGTA/GAO liaison reviews the discussion draft report and determines if recommendations or monetary benefits impact any SB/SE Directors (outcome measures).

  5. The TIGTA/GAO liaison distributes the discussion draft report to the appropriate SB/SE functional coordinators. The e-mail will:

    • Outline/bullet recommendations in message

    • Identify impacted organizations

    • State whether report includes monetary benefits (outcome measures)

  6. The TIGTA/GAO liaison will coordinate with impacted directors and/or the lead BOD liaison regarding the discussion draft meeting and invite participants as needed.

Draft Report Phase
  1. The TIGTA/GAO will coordinate and provide guidance on the preparation of the audit response to the lead SB/SE functional coordinator immediately after the discussion draft report meeting is held or declined.

  2. The TIGTA/GAO liaison will provide the following information to the SB/SE functional coordinator for preparation of the response:

    • TIGTA response template

    • Action Routing Summary sheet

    • Note to the reviewers

    • Discussion draft report

    • Discussion draft meeting notes and comment matrix, as appropriate

    • Example of an approved SB/SE TIGTA response

  3. The SB/SE functional coordinator ensures that the response is prepared using the same guidelines identified under the Preparation of the GAO Audit Response.

  4. The SB/SE functional coordinator ensures that the response addresses all monetary benefits (outcome measures).

  5. The TIGTA/GAO liaison updates the audit on the SB/SE GAO/TIGTA/Legislative Database.

  6. SB/SE functional coordinators and TIGTA/GAO liaisons review due dates for corrective actions to ensure established guidelines are followed.

TIGTA Draft Report Activity - Lead Audit
  1. TIGTA management issues the draft report to LA.

  2. Legislative Affairs assigns E-TRAK Control to the BOD and distributes the draft report electronically to all impacted BODs.

  3. The Chief, TIGTA/GAO forwards the draft report electronically to the TIGTA/GAO liaison.

  4. The TIGTA/GAO liaison distributes the draft report electronically to the Commissioner, SB/SE Office, the appropriate SB/SE OU functional coordinators, and impacted BOD liaisons. The e-mail will:

    • Outline/bullet the report recommendations

    • Identify which organization addresses each recommendation

    • State whether report includes monetary benefits (outcome measures)

  5. The TIGTA/GAO liaison will follow-up with directors, functional coordinators, and/or response author until completion and approval by other BODs, all affected non-lead SB/SE Directors, and lead director. The TIGTA/GAO liaison will advise the Chief, TIGTA/GAO of any delays.

  6. Upon receipt of the completed response, the TIGTA/GAO liaison will:

    1. Review and edit for tone, spelling, grammar, active voice, and noun/verb agreement.

    2. Verify titles associated with acronyms.

    3. Ensure proper format requirements.

    4. Consult lead director/functional coordinator if additional content requested or content leaves reviewer with questions.

    5. Negotiate revisions.

    6. Advise the Chief, TIGTA/GAO of delays.

    7. Check that outcome measures are addressed.

  7. The TIGTA/GAO liaison will forward the response electronically to Legislative Affairs for review and editing. Include all clearance documents for review.

  8. After reviewing and accepting appropriate changes made by Legislative Affairs, the TIGTA/GAO liaison forwards all of the response files to the Chief, TIGTA/GAO.

  9. The Chief, TIGTA/GAO will review and accept edits as appropriate and arrange to have the response formatted and printed. The paper signature package will be delivered to the SB/SE Commissioner staff. TIGTA/GAO will ensure that the Deputy Commissioner, SB/SE Staff Assistant logs the file into the correspondence log before pickup by courier.

  10. The Chief, TIGTA/GAO will forward an electronic copy of the approved response to the Commissioner, SB/SE.

  11. The Chief, TIGTA/GAO will monitor progress of audit responses with the Commissioner, SB/SE office.

  12. The Chief, TIGTA/GAO and/or TIGTA/GAO liaison will work with SB/SE Commissioner’s office to answer questions, coordinate content changes, and finalize response.

  13. Once the Deputy Commissioner Services and Enforcement (SE) approves the response, that office will forward the response to Commissioner, SB/SE for signature. The Chief, TIGTA/GAO and the, TIGTA/GAO liaison, will work with the Deputy Commissioner SE office to answer questions, coordinate content changes, and finalize response.

  14. Once the Commissioner, SB/SE signs the response, it is scanned and forwarded electronically to the Chief, TIGTA/GAO. Commissioner, SB/SE Staff returns the paper signature package to the assigned TIGTA/GAO liaison.

  15. The Chief, TIGTA/GAO or designee will e-mail the scanned response to TIGTAAuditIRSResponses@tigta.treas.gov with a copy to the appropriate TIGTA Audit Director, TIGTA Audit Manager, JAMES Coordinator, Legislative Affairs, and the TIGTA/GAO liaison. The TIGTA/GAO liaison will further distribute the signed report to the BOD/OU functional coordinators who contributed to the response.

TIGTA Draft Report Activity - Non Lead Audit
  1. TIGTA management issues the draft report to LA.

  2. The Chief, TIGTA/GAO forwards the draft report to the TIGTA/GAO liaison.

  3. The TIGTA/GAO liaison distributes the draft report within SB/SE to appropriate SB/SE functional coordinators.

  4. If necessary, the TIGTA/GAO liaison will issue an e-mail message to impacted SB/SE director/functional coordinators, providing:

    1. Example of Action Routing Sheet or actual Action Routing Sheet if reviewers are known.

    2. Note to Reviewer.

    3. Response memo and attachment template with correct opening and closing paragraphs, and correct wording for "Corrective Action Monitoring Plan" entry.

    This message will provide guidance about which SB/SE Directors need to provide response input and approve the response.

  5. The TIGTA/GAO liaison will consolidate and edit response for appropriate clearance within SBSE. (Additional quality review is completed as part of the lead BOD’s clearance process)

  6. The Chief, TIGTA/GAO and/or TIGTA/GAO liaison coordinate within SB/SE to answer questions, coordinate content changes, and finalize response for delivery to Lead BOD.

  7. The lead BOD will consolidate response for clearance. The TIGTA/GAO liaison will ensure that the audit response is cleared and approved at Commissioner, SB/SE level if necessary.

Final Report
  1. TIGTA issues the final report, which includes the agency’s official response to an audit.

  2. The final report is assigned a report number.

  3. The recommendations and corrective actions included in the final report are added to JAMES.

  4. The liaison provides a copy of the final report to the impacted SB/SE OUs and updates the SB/SE GAO/TIGTA/Legislative Database.

GAO/TIGTA Internal Control Program Background

  1. The Department of Treasury tracks the status of its bureaus' corrective actions addressing audit recommendations from the TIGTA and the GAO reports through JAMES. JAMES tracks the progress the bureaus are making in implementing TIGTA and GAO audit recommendations based on Treasury Directive 40-03, dated February 2, 2001, that establishes the policies and procedures and assigns responsibilities for implementing and monitoring audit follow-up within the Department.

  2. As the IRS Audit Follow-up Officer, the Chief Financial Officer, specifically the Office of Internal Control (OIC) under the Corporate Planning and Internal Control function (OS:CFO:CPIC:IC), is responsible for evaluating the effectiveness of IRS actions taken in response to audit recommendations from TIGTA and GAO. This office is primarily responsible for the following:

    1. Maintaining and updating the JAMES tracking database.

    2. Informing Treasury and the Management Controls Executive Steering Committee (MC ESC) about the status of the audit inventory through periodic reports.

    3. Ensuring the quality and timeliness of implementation of management corrective actions.

  3. IRM 1.4.30, Monitoring Internal Control Planned Corrective Actions, contains roles and responsibilities to assist managers and senior-level officials in structuring their organizations for effective monitoring and implementation of planned corrective actions (PCAs) affecting IRS internal controls. It also contains detailed guidance for administering and updating JAMES with information on recommendations and PCAs resulting from audits conducted by GAO and TIGTA.

  4. The SB/SE Division's JAMES Coordinator is a liaison who coordinates between the OIC and the SB/SE Division for tracking and reporting on TIGTA and GAO audit corrective actions.

Role of the JAMES Coordinator in the Audit Follow-Up Process
  1. The JAMES Coordinator is responsible for coordinating implementation of management corrective actions in response to TIGTA and GAO audit recommendations. The coordinator should:

    1. Forward JAMES verification memoranda and any other OIC memoranda to the appropriate offices (Directors, Senior Operations Advisors, and Functional Coordinators) within SB/SE to request verification of the information provided.

    2. Request status updates from Directors on the open TIGTA and GAO corrective actions.

    3. Review for accuracy and consolidate Corrective Action Status Update forms received from SB/SE Directors.

    4. Brief SB/SE Directors, or their functional coordinators, on problems or issues dealing with updates to TIGTA and GAO corrective actions.

    5. Prepare regular reports on the status of open TIGTA and GAO corrective actions and provide copies to pertinent SB/SE Directors and Managers.

    6. Assist analysts or functional coordinators with the preparation of concurrence memoranda for changes or closure of planned TIGTA or GAO corrective actions not implemented as planned and forward them to the OIC.

    7. Assist analysts or functional liaisons with the preparation of transfer memoranda to other IRS operating divisions and forward them to the appropriate offices.

    8. Answer questions from the OIC on status updates.

    9. Forward monthly JAMES reports to pertinent offices in SB/SE.

    10. Maintain records on JAMES audit verification memoranda, management updates to corrective actions, and related documents for each of the audit reports and corrective actions (e.g., maintain a corrective actions inventory database).

    11. Act as liaison between SB/SE managers and the OIC on resolution of problems encountered during implementation of actions and during verification of status updates.

    12. Provide guidance to functional coordinators and managers on audit follow-up policy and procedures and brief heads of functional areas about the status of the open inventory, as needed.

  2. Other Duties of SB/SE JAMES Coordinator:

    1. The SB/SE JAMES Coordinator also monitors SB/SE corrective actions in Material Weakness, Reportable Condition, and Remediation plans.
      Material Weakness is a significant program deficiency of sufficient importance to be reported annually to the Department of the Treasury and, ultimately, to the President and the Congress until corrected.
      Reportable Condition is a program deficiency, such as collection of unpaid taxes that requires IRS Executive oversight.
      Remediation Plan is necessary when the IRS’s financial systems do not comply with federal government requirements. Plans include remedies, resources, and target dates for completion. Quarterly reviews are coordinated with the OIC.

    2. The JAMES Coordinator works with the functional coordinators to ensure actions are completed and reported timely.

    3. The MC ESC provides leadership and oversight for GAO and TIGTA audit findings, Material Weaknesses, Reportable Conditions, and the Financial Statements Audit. The committee meets quarterly. The JAMES Coordinator is responsible for requesting Forms 13872 for any actions in Material Weakness, Reportable Condition, and Remediation Plans.

GAO/TIGTA Audit Recommendations and Corrective Actions Follow-Up Process
  1. The following sections explain the tracking of the implementation of corrective actions addressing audit recommendations to ensure that the SB/SE Division implements planned actions timely and as stated in the management responses to audit reports.

Audit Verification Using the Joint Audit Management Enterprise System (JAMES)
  1. Once TIGTA or GAO issues a final report, the OIC prepares the JAMES A-6 abstracts and the Audit Verification transmittal memorandum. The abstracts contain a summary of findings, recommendations, and planned management corrective actions, including the amount of any potential monetary benefits. For GAO final reports, initial abstracts prepared after receipt of the final reports show only findings and recommendations because, unlike responses to TIGTA draft audit reports, the management responses to GAO draft reports do not include specific corrective actions, due dates, and responsible officials.

  2. The OIC forwards the JAMES audit verification memorandum transmitting the final report abstracts to the SB/SE JAMES Coordinator requesting verification that the information shown in the abstract is correct, and, if not already provided, the specific corrective actions and original due dates for each audit recommendation (for the GAO report abstracts). The OIC assigns three-digit numbers (e.g., 1-2-3) to corrective actions when developing the final report abstracts in the JAMES tracking system. The first digit represents the finding, the second the recommendation, and the third the particular corrective action number under the recommendation.

  3. The JAMES Coordinator contacts the responsible SB/SE Division Director(s) or functional coordinators to resolve any discrepancies and/or request information on corrective actions. In case of discrepancies in the JAMES abstracts, the liaison prepares a draft response (electronically) to the JAMES verification memorandum for submission by the responsible SB/SE Director(s). If no changes are necessary, the JAMES Coordinator verifies for OIC, and sends an e-mail that the abstracts are correct. A concurrence memorandum, signed by a responsible official at the executive level, is only required if there is substantial disagreement or if monetary benefits have been identified.

  4. The JAMES Coordinator enters all new corrective actions on the individual function spreadsheets and prepares the monthly e-mails for each SB/SE Director for tracking and reporting purposes.

Corrective Action Status Updates
  1. SB/SE Directors are responsible for implementing the agreed upon corrective actions in the management responses to draft audit reports. The JAMES Coordinator is responsible for monitoring the status of all open SB/SE audit corrective actions and provides SB/SE Directors with Excel spreadsheets containing their function’s corrective action inventory by the 25th day of each month.

  2. Each director through their functional coordinators must provide the current status of all corrective actions due within six months in the "Current Status" column on the spreadsheet. Form 13872, Planned Corrective Action (PCA) Status Update for TIGTA/GAO Reports, is required for each action that is completed or rescheduled. For completed actions, Form 13872 must include specific information about actions taken, completion dates, and any documentation showing implementation of the recommendation. GAO or TIGTA does not consider a recommendation closed simply because the JAMES report says IRS closed it. The auditors may request documentation as evidence of the implemented corrective actions. When preparing status updates, managers should look closely at the JAMES abstracts or the final report to ensure their updates address the recommendations and planned corrective actions in the abstracts. Managers should address any identified monetary benefits in the status update, whether realized or not.

  3. For extensions of due dates, Form 13872 should include specific reasons for delays in implementing actions. When requesting extensions managers should ensure that the delay is attributable to the corrective action. Managers should set revised dates to the 15th of the month following the anticipated completion of the action to allow time to provide a response to the OIC and entry into JAMES. The appropriate director must sign the Form 13872. Managers must list a contact person in the Corrective Action Status Update Form who is a senior manager with subject-matter expertise who can answer questions from the OIC, TIGTA, GAO, or high-level manager.

  4. All updated spreadsheets and approved Forms 13872 are due to the Chief, TIGTA/GAO with a copy to the JAMES Coordinator by the 10th day of the following month.

  5. The OIC will inform the liaison of any pending actions because the status narratives were not satisfactory to either change, close, or delay the actions. Actions involving a Work Request (WR) or revisions to the IRM require full implementation of the programming changes and the actual IRM updates, in order to close them in the JAMES tracking system.

Change/Cancellation of Corrective Actions
  1. To request approval to change planned audit corrective actions or to close audit corrective actions SB/SE could not implement as planned (e.g., programming changes could not be implemented because the WR was not approved or because a planned project was canceled), the OU must prepare a concurrence memorandum for the signature of their director. Include a courtesy copy to the OIC. If the Chief Information Officer function rejects a WR (prepared in response to an audit recommendation), managers must ask IT to provide the denial in writing, including the specific reasons.

  2. Once signed by the Director, the functional coordinator will send the concurrence memorandum to the JAMES Coordinator who is responsible for transmitting the memorandum to TIGTA or GAO. The JAMES Coordinator is also responsible for following up on these memoranda. TIGTA and GAO send their responses to the OIC who then forwards them to the SB/SE JAMES Coordinator.

  3. Managers should request extensions of due dates for corrective actions pending responses from TIGTA or GAO on memoranda requesting approval to close or change their planned corrective actions.

Transfer of Corrective Actions to Another Business Unit
  1. Transfers of corrective actions to another BU require the concurrence memoranda, with attached abstracts of the corrective actions involved, signed by the directors responsible for the audit recommendations and corrective actions, asking for concurrence signature from the appropriate directors in the receiving BU.

  2. The SB/SE JAMES Coordinator forwards copies of the signed memoranda to the OIC and the appropriate JAMES coordinators in the receiving BU (both mailed and faxed hard copies).

SB/SE GAO/TIGTA/Legislative Database

  1. The SB/SE GAO/TIGTA/Legislative Database is a web-based application that helps designated users electronically monitor GAO/TIGTA audits.

  2. Database users will maximize the weekly open and closed audit inventory information by obtaining various audit reports, and securing legislative proposal information.

  3. Users will also be able to identify which functions are contributing to the completion of respective audits.

  4. The SB/SE GAO/TIGTA/Legislative Database will allow users and stakeholders to:

    1. Identify and/or track open GAO, TIGTA, and OIG (Office of Inspector General) audits.

    2. Search open and closed audit records.

    3. Obtain historical audit records information.

    4. Access GAO/TIGTA final reports for closed audit records.

    5. Extract reports by OUs involved in the audit.

    6. Research and identify issues that have and/or will affect program planning and design.

    7. Identify and track legislative proposals.

Function
  1. The SB/SE GAO/TIGTA/Legislative Database allows designated users to:

    1. Create New Records: The designated TIGTA/GAO lead analyst or TIGTA/GAO management assistant inputs partial audit record information to document a newly assigned audit. The liaison fully updates the audit record thereafter with all necessary audit details as the audit progresses.

    2. Edit Open and Closed records: The designated liaisons are to update/correct existing audit inventory.

    3. Search Open and Closed Records: All designated SB/SE GAO/TIGTA/Legislative Database users have the ability to search open and closed audit records.

    4. Extract Reports: All designated SB/SE GAO/TIGTA/Legislative Database users have the ability to secure and extract all available TIGTA/GAO Reports.

Application Security
  1. All designated SB/SE GAO/TIGTA/Legislative Database users must submit an electronic Form 5081 to gain access to the database.

  2. The SB/SE GAO/TIGTA/Legislative Database Administrator and Chief, TIGTA/GAO will have the authority to add and remove users from the database and to assign permissions.

  3. Executing changes to the data contained in the database is limited to TIGTA/GAO team members, and the SB/SE GAO/TIGTA/Legislative Database Administrator.

  4. The OUs must advise the Chief, TIGTA/GAO when a change in personnel requires an addition or deletion of user’s read-only authorization.

Using the Application - Overview
  1. The SB/SE GAO/TIGTA/Legislative Database home page provides a series of menu boxes that allow users to:

    1. Create new audit records and edit existing audit records.

    2. Search the database for open and closed audit records.

    3. Extract standard TIGTA/GAO inventory reports and/or create reports that can be useful to OUs by selecting specific parameters.

  2. Once users select a menu item, the subsequent pop-up screens include a sequence of drop-down menu boxes that provide users the ease of selecting the necessary parameters for their desired outcome.

  3. Standardized business organization abbreviations along with respective business functions and program names contained in the drop-down menus will provide consistency in selection.

  4. TIGTA/GAO will closely monitor and update the system to ensure it is meeting the needs of the database customers.

Description of SB/SE GAO/TIGTA/Legislative Database
  1. The SB/SE GAO/TIGTA/Legislative Database currently contains information on the status of all audits accessed through the following menu buttons:

    • Home

    • Create Audit Record

    • Edit Audit Records

    • Search Audits

    • GAO/TIGTA Database Reports

    • Create Legislative Proposal/Guidance Request Record

    • Search Legislative Proposals/Guidance Requests

    • Legislative Proposals/Guidance Requests Reports

    • User’s Guide

    • Admin Only (GAO/TIGTA)

    • Admin Only (Legislative)

  2. Each selected menu button follows a self-directed, streamlined, and structured process that facilitates user searches for information.

  3. This database allows the liaisons to provide a profile on all audits.

  4. The database also allows users to link directly to GAO/TIGTA final reports on closed audits. Users may also conduct direct GAO/TIGTA report searches from the top line menu provided on each screen. Final reports include audit findings, recommendations, and IRS’ corrective actions that may affect current audit responses.

GAO/TIGTA Audit Records Retention & Disposition
  1. Destroy GAO audit files, both electronic and paper, five years after the cut-off period as designated by the National Archives and Record Administration (NARA). The cutoff period for GAO audits is defined as when no further corrective action is necessary. Also refer to Document 12829, General Records Schedule.

  2. Retire closed TIGTA audit paper files to the NARA Records Center after three years. Destroy records at NARA after the six year designated audit closure research period. Consider an audit closed on the final report issue date. Also refer to Document 12990, Records Control Schedules.

  3. Destroy SB/SE GAO/TIGTA/Legislative Database record and any attached GAO/TIGTA electronic files after the NARA designated six year period.

  4. Following are the procedures for GAO/TIGTA Audits and SB/SE GAO/TIGTA/Legislative Database record retention and disposal:

    1. Identify all files that will be retired to the Washington Federal Records Center (WFRC).

    2. Maintain a log listing the files to be retired as required by NARA procedures.

    3. Complete Form 11671, Certificate of Records Disposal, and submit to the OU Information Resource Coordinator (IRC). The IRC will review and forward the form to the Area Records Manager (ARM).

    4. Receive notification from the ARM of the approval of Form 11671.

    5. Complete an SF-135, Records of Transmittal and Receipt, after approval notification, and submit it to the area records manager. The area records manager will forward the approved SF-135 to the WFRC for assigning the Accession Number and shipment authority.

    6. Follow the instructions listed on the SF-135 and box the retired files as required by WFRC.

    7. Receive the Accession Numbers by the area records manager and schedule the boxes for pick-up and delivery to WFRC. Note: WFRC is required to store all boxes as received; unopened and taped.

SB/SE Legislative Program

  1. The designated TIGTA/GAO liaison maintains the legislative program for SB/SE. The program consists of three processes:

    • Legislative implementation

    • Legislative proposals

    • Requests for published guidance

Legislation Roles and Responsibilities

  1. TIGTA/GAO partners with other organizations to assist in the coordination of the SB/SE Legislative Program.

    1. TIGTA/GAO coordinates with Legislative Affairs (LA), which has oversight responsibility for legislative proposals, coordinating legislation with Treasury and Congress, reviewing Congressional testimony, attending hearings, and monitoring legislation through passage for the IRS Commissioner.

    2. TIGTA/GAO also coordinates the legislative process with:

    • Other functions within SB/SE

    • Other functions within IRS

    • Commissioner, SB/SE staff, which has oversight responsibility for the legislative program

    • SB/SE Communications, which has oversight responsibility for preparing legislative communication plans for all new SB/SE impacted legislation during the implementation process. This includes coordinating with Communications & Liaison (C&L) on external communication and preparation of internal communication for the SB/SE staff

    • SB/SE OUs which create legislative proposals as well as develop and monitor legislative implementation action plans for their specific programs

    • SB/SE Learning and Education, which has oversight responsibility for developing training related to all new legislation that affects SB/SE

Legislative Preliminary Review Activities

  1. Legislative Affairs (LA) monitors proposed/pending legislation (bills) as part of their oversight and coordination role. LA analyzes and tracks developing legislation that may affect IRS programs until Congress suspends activity on the bill or passes it.

    1. Proposed bills are those being formulated or considered for passage by Congressional Subcommittees, Congressional Committees, Conference Committees, U.S. House of Representatives or U.S. Senate. Pending bills are those that have passed both houses but have not been signed into law by the President.

    2. LA tracks bills of greatest interest to Treasury and IRS as they progress through the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee to enactment by the full Congress.

  2. In addition, LA issues weekly updates via e-mail on pending legislation. Any IRS employee can review the status of pending legislation by accessing the IRWeb page, selecting “Research” then selecting “THOMAS” and entering a key word search. LA and TIGTA/GAO also have subscriptions to additional research sites, such as Congressional Quarterly (CQ), that provide expanded and timely information.

  3. LA serves as the principal liaison between IRS leadership and the IRS Operating Divisions for implementing legislation.

    1. The LA Point-of-Contact (POC) forwards pending legislation to SB/SE TIGTA/GAO when enactment is imminent, i.e. when legislation is expected to be passed by both Houses of Congress but has not yet been signed into law or enacted by the President of the United States. The TIGTA/GAO liaison then forwards to the designated OU coordinators.

    2. LA POC tentatively assigns leadership of each legislative provision to an IRS BOD Commissioner or functional area, subject to later confirmation. The LA POC also forwards it to the Commissioner, SB/SE office. The Commissioner, SB/SE office has responsibility for SB/SE provision assignment.

    3. Commissioner, SB/SE office reviews and identifies provisions of the bill for which SB/SE owns or has impact and has responsibility for engagement of the executives and other commissioner oversight.

    4. Within each OU, a coordinator distributes the legislative text for preliminary review by each program manager. Program managers consider each legislative provision, outlining significant business impacts and policy issues that legislation may precipitate. Program managers also develop a list of actions their subject matter experts plan to take to implement each provision and forward it to their OU coordinator.

    5. The OU coordinator:
      1) Compiles an overall OU implementation outline
      2) Evaluates whether their OU has executive lead for implementation of any provision
      3) Forwards the OU implementation outline to the TIGTA/GAO liaison
      4) Briefs the OU executive(s) in preparation for an SB/SE implementation meeting with the representative from the SB/SE Commissioner's staff.

    6. OU executives should understand the impact of legislative provisions on their program areas. They should be prepared to accept leadership for legislative provisions, particularly those for which their program managers are responsible for policy or have the preponderance of actions.

  4. After the preliminary review by SB/SE OU, the TIGTA/GAO liaison convenes an initial SB/SE meeting to discuss the legislation.

    1. TIGTA/GAO liaison invites SB/SE OU executives, a representative of the SB/SE Commissioner's staff, OU coordinators, Division Counsel, SB/SE Communications representatives, and Learning and Education (L&E) liaisons to the meeting. Forms and Publications, Submission Processing, IT, Disclosure and others may also be considered.

    2. During the meeting, the TIGTA/GAO liaison will discuss anticipated SB/SE legislative impact and assign leadership for SB/SE-owned provisions to OU executives (with the executive’s concurrence).

    3. If it is evident that another operating division should own the provision or has impact, the TIGTA/GAO liaison contacts the operation’s division coordinator to discuss and resolve.

    4. The TIGTA/GAO liaison records and maintains the minutes of the meeting for distribution.

Legislative Implementation Activities

  1. When a bill is close to passage, and is expected to pass the House and Senate in the next few days and not likely to be vetoed by the President of the United States, the legislative implementation activities begin. These activities differ very little from the Legislative Preliminary Review Activities, but they do not offer as much lead time as the Preliminary Review.

  2. LA will distribute new legislation to the Operating Divisions immediately after passage. LA will then conduct a meeting with BOD leadership to explain the new legislation and confirm BOD leadership for each new legislative provision. In the absence of the Commissioner, SB/SE Representative, The TIGTA/GAO liaison will attend this meeting, confirming or negotiating provision ownership for SB/SE. This confirmation or negotiation is based on the preliminary discussions during the SB/SE meeting described in IRM 11.53.4.3.2(4) LA will enter the enacted legislation into E-LATIS for monitoring and tracking.

  3. After the TIGTA/GAO liaison receives implementation outlines and any required impact information, SB/SE legislative meetings are conducted for consultations between OUs, and other Office or BOD staff, Chief Counsel, Forms and Publications, IT, Finance Research & Strategy (FRS), Office of Taxpayer Correspondence (OTC) and Business Systems Planning (BSP).

  4. A brief analysis of significant resource/implementation impact to each OU may be prepared. Included are items such as cross-BOD coordination, form changes, internal legal opinion needs, Work Request (WR) needs, contracting requirements, processing work-around and/or potential implementation obstacles. If required, the TIGTA/GAO liaison receives OU costing impacts.

  5. The TIGTA/GAO liaison has responsibility for coordinating implementation of each SB/SE-owned legislative provision.

    1. Each SB/SE OU provides the TIGTA/GAO liaison with an OU coordinator. The TIGTA/GAO liaison will meet with OU coordinators, other Operating Divisions, Division Counsel, Disclosure and Communications specialists, L&E liaisons, IT, Forms and Publications, Submission Processing, and possibly others as they identify actions required to fully implement the new law and monitor status of these actions until completed. When it is necessary to conduct a meeting, the TIGTA/GAO liaison will obtain conference lines, reserve a conference room (if needed), and issue an e-mail invitation to all participants.

    2. Once an OU coordinator receives the legislative information, it is disseminated throughout their organization for review and analysis. The OU coordinator leads the analysis, review, and feedback activities within their organization, and submits timely feedback to the TIGTA/GAO liaison through the appropriate chain of command and ultimately through their executive. The TIGTA/GAO liaison assists in these activities to ensure coordination and to address potential actions for implementation.

    3. Each OU identifies implementation actions required by the new law. The OU coordinator is also responsible for submitting high-level actions for E-LATIS to the TIGTA/GAO liaison(s). Each OU coordinator is responsible for monitoring and providing status updates for their actions on a monthly basis or when requested by the TIGTA/GAO liaison(s).

    4. Each OU coordinator and/or TIGTA/GAO liaison will ensure all cross-BOD activity occurs and other BODs enter and monitor actions in E-LATIS on a monthly basis.

    5. A Communications specialist develops a legislative communication plan, outlining key messages, communication vehicles, audience, and due dates for communications actions. The TIGTA/GAO liaison enters these items into E-LATIS.

    6. SB/SE Learning & Education (L&E) representatives review OU implementation plans and identify needs for new instruction or training modules. The TIGTA/GAO liaison(s) enters these items into E-LATIS.

Legislative Implementation Plan
  1. The TIGTA/GAO liaison constructs a comprehensive SB/SE legislative implementation plan working document. It consists of a high-level spreadsheet, including all legislative provisions and SB/SE associated implementation actions. Implementation actions may include forms and publications changes, legal advice or regulations, Work Requests (WR), stakeholder communications or publicity, Compliance memoranda, IRM updates/alerts, updated phone scripts, post-processing adjustments, non-programmed notice changes, new taxpayer notices, and business processes coordinated with other BODs.

  2. OU coordinators finalize implementation action items and forwards them to the TIGTA/GAO liaison by the due dates discussed in the initial SB/SE legislative meeting. The TIGTA/GAO liaison(s) enters the items into E-LATIS.

Monitoring E-LATIS

  1. The status of legislative provisions and implementation items posted to E-LATIS is updated regularly, based on the due dates provided by the OU coordinators. LA monitors status (red, yellow, green) and completion of all legislative provisions and implementation actions in E-LATIS. Overdue provisions and actions are reported to BOD Commissioners monthly for immediate action.

  2. The TIGTA/GAO liaison(s) monitors actions monthly to ensure timely implementation of the legislation. It is imperative that the OUs notify the TIGTA/GAO liaison(s) before the status is red. The TIGTA/GAO liaison(s):

    1. Updates SB/SE-owned legislative provisions and implementation actions in E-LATIS monthly.

    2. Notifies the OU coordinators of necessary provision and action updates. The status for actions with due dates within six months are updated the first Monday of each month and provision updates are made by the 15th of each month, at least one week prior to the due dates.

  3. OU coordinators are responsible for the following monthly activities:

    1. Providing status updates for SB/SE provisions and action items owned by their respective OU executives.

    2. Analyzing the status (red, yellow, green) of those provisions for their executive leads.

    3. Briefing the OU executive(s) about completed actions/provisions and the cause(s) of delayed/suspended actions (yellow, red).

    4. Timely elevating to the OU executive(s), unresolved policy issues or implementation barriers that require executive consideration.

    5. Reporting the status of legislative actions and provisions for use in the SB/SE Business Performance Review.

  4. Legislation may require IRS to submit reports to Congress (sometimes on a periodic basis, such as quarterly or annual reports to Congress). LA personnel enter these requirements into the database. If SB/SE is responsible for the preparation of a congressional report and an entry in the E-TRAK system has not been made by the SB/SE Executive Assistant, the TIGTA/GAO liaison will discuss the item with the responsible SB/SE function. If the function does not enter the item, discuss the issue with LA.

Legislative Proposals Overview

  1. Legislative Proposals are suggestions for legislation that will further the objectives of the IRS Strategic Plan (such as reducing the tax gap) to improve service and compliance. Legislative proposals may seek to address an area of noncompliance, reduce the burden or complexity of tax administration, or seek technical corrections to rectify oversights or omissions.

  2. Legislative Proposals are submitted in two ways:

    1. From internal sources, including SB/SE staff and offices, the SB/SE Commissioner, other IRS BODs or organizations, and the IRS Commissioner.

    2. From external sources, including practitioners, stakeholder organizations, Treasury, other Federal Agencies and Congress.

  3. The Deputy Commissioner presents to the IRS Commissioner legislative proposals cleared by the IRS BODs. Proposals approved by the Commissioner are sent to Treasury for review and consideration. Treasury will consult with OMB and the Taxpayer Advocate on the proposals. Proposals approved by Treasury and OMB are shared with Congress for possible inclusion in future legislation.

  4. Legislative Affairs monitors the progress of legislative proposals once they are approved within IRS and ready for submission to Treasury for clearance and submission to Congress. The TIGTA/GAO liaison coordinates with Legislative Affairs to determine the status of proposals under consideration by Treasury and Congress.

Requests for Published Guidance Overview

  1. Requests for published guidance seek clarification and/or changes to existing legislation as well as to existing published guidance (i.e. policies, procedures, etc.). Requests for guidance strive to promote consistent treatment and sound tax administration, resolve a frequently litigated issue, lessen burden on taxpayers and the Service, and/or enable taxpayers to more easily understand or comply with tax law.

  2. Requests for published guidance are submitted in two ways:

    1. From internal sources, including SB/SE staff and offices, the SB/SE Commissioner, other IRS BODs or organizations, and the IRS Commissioner.

    2. From external sources, including practitioners, stakeholder organizations, Treasury, other Federal Agencies and Congress.

  3. The Commissioner, SB/SE presents the requests coordinated by the OUs to Counsel.

  4. The TIGTA/GAO liaison monitors the progress of the submissions through Counsel.

Legislative Proposal/Request for Published Guidance Process

  1. Within SB/SE, the TIGTA/GAO staff has responsibility for preparing the solicitation, monitoring, tracking, reviewing, and coordinating of legislative proposals and requests for guidance with impact on SB/SE. The solicitation will include a request that each executive prioritize their submissions.

    1. The SB/SE legislative proposal process provides an updated inventory of proposals for the Commissioner, SB/SE office to use in responding to periodic recommendations from Treasury/Congress/GAO/TIGTA.

    2. Both the SB/SE legislative proposal process and the request for published guidance process are vehicles for seeking needed changes identified by SB/SE staff.

  2. The SB/SE legislative proposal process includes:

    1. Annual Legislative Proposal Request - The annual request canvassing for any proposals warranting consideration by Treasury and Congress is composed by the TIGTA/GAO liaison for e-mail distribution by Commissioner, SB/SE staff. This request provides guidelines, a legislative proposal template and an example of an existing legislative proposal, which provides useful information to assist in the development of a proposal. The information is found on the Legislative Affairs website: http://irweb.irs.gov/AboutIRS/bu/cl/la/default.aspx

    2. Contents of Proposal - As set forth in the proposal template, a legislative proposal should include an explanation of the existing Code section and suggested changes, problems seen under current law, an assessment of the need for the legislative change, description of impact on compliance or enforcement, and revenue and administrative resource effects of the proposal.

    3. TIGTA/GAO Reviews Legislative Proposals within SB/SE - The liaison reviews the proposals received during the annual process. Proposals received outside the annual process are part of the next scheduled annual review. The liaison may contact the originator for additional information if the proposal needs clarification.

    4. SB/SE Division Counsel’s Review of Legislative Proposals:
      1) The representative of the SB/SE Commissioner's staff will forward proposals to Counsel for review and comment. As necessary, Headquarters Division Counsel will assist in determining whether the proposal requires a legislative change, is feasible, and warrants further consideration.
      2) The TIGTA/GAO liaison and SB/SE Leadership (representative from the SB/SE Commissioner’s staff, OU directors and/or OU coordinators) will meet with SB/SE Division Counsel to discuss the feedback provided on the legislative proposals.
      3) Headquarters Division Counsel will work with the executives and OU coordinators in the originating office on feasibility and need for the suggested legislative change.
      4) The Commissioner, SB/SE receives the proposals, recommended by their staff representative as warranting consideration, in a summary format after consultation between the appropriate SB/SE office and Headquarters Division Counsel. The originators of the proposals not recommended for consideration are notified and continued development is suspended.

    5. Summarization of Legislative Proposals for Commissioner, SB/SE Approval - TIGTA/GAO provides the representative for the Commissioner, SB/SE with a summary of the requests in order of ranking. The Commissioner, SB/SE will prioritize the submissions based on the effect on SB/SE needs, the Strategic Plan, impact on voluntary compliance, and other appropriate considerations and forward them to Counsel for further consideration.

    6. After the IRS Commissioner and IRS Chief Counsel approve the legislative proposal, IRS Legislative Affairs forwards the proposal to Treasury and OMB.

  3. The request for published guidance process includes:

    1. Annual Solicitation for Published Guidance Request – The annual solicitation for guidance is included in the solicitation for legislative proposals composed by the TIGTA/GAO liaison for distribution by the Commissioner, SB/SE staff representative. The e-mail request provides useful information to assist in the development of a request for guidance and includes a request for prioritization.

    2. Contents of solicitation – As set forth in the e-mail, a request for guidance should include:
      1) Code section(s) involved
      2) Why guidance is needed
      3) History related to the issue
      4) Suggested form of the guidance
      5) Potential impact of guidance
      6) Other IRS organizations we will need to coordinate with on the issue
      7) Person to contact for information (name and telephone number)

    3. TIGTA/GAO reviews and perfects request for published guidance within SB/SE:
      1) The liaison reviews the requests received during the annual process. Requests received outside the annual process are part of the next scheduled annual review. The liaison may contact the originator for additional information if the request needs clarification or development.
      2) The liaison reviews the requests to determine if guidance is appropriate or the request rises to a legislative proposal. If the request requires a change to legislation, it is returned to the author for re-submission as a legislative proposal.
      3) The liaison organizes a meeting with SB/SE Counsel and SB/SE Leadership (representative from the SB/SE Commissioner’s staff, OU directors and/or OU coordinators) to discuss the requests for guidance and provide a final ranking.
      4) TIGTA/GAO provides the SB/SE Commissioner’s staff representative with a summary of the requests in order of ranking. After consultation between the appropriate SB/SE office and Headquarters Division Counsel, the staff representative forwards the requests determined to warrant consideration to the Commissioner, SB/SE. The originators of the requests not recommended for consideration are notified and continued development is suspended.
      5) The Commissioner, SB/SE will prioritize the requests based on the effect on SB/SE needs, the Strategic Plan, impact on voluntary compliance, and other appropriate considerations and forward them to the SB/SE Counsel Representative for submission to the appropriate divisions within Chief Counsel.

    4. The TIGTA/GAO liaison adds the legislative proposals and requests for guidance to the SB/SE GAO/TIGTA/Legislative Database. Permission to access the database is required. The liaison tracks and updates the proposals and guidance requests through the process.