- 13.1.4 TAS Authorities
- 188.8.131.52 Introduction to TAS Authorities
- 184.108.40.206 Authorities
- 220.127.116.11.1 Statutory Authorities
- 18.104.22.168.2 Delegated Authorities
- 22.214.171.124.2.1 Delegation Order No. 40 Credits and Refunds
- 126.96.36.199.2.2 Delegation Order No. 231 Abate Interest on Erroneous Refunds
- 188.8.131.52.2.3 Delegation Order No. 232 Authority to Issue, Modify or RescindTaxpayer Assistance Orders
- 184.108.40.206.2.4 Delegation Order 233 Authority of the National TaxpayerAdvocate to Approve Replacement Checks, to Substantiate Credits and to AbatePenalties
- 220.127.116.11.2.5 Delegation Order No. 250 Authority to Issue Taxpayer AdvocateDirectives
- 18.104.22.168.2.6 Delegation Order No. 267 Authority of the National TaxpayerAdvocate to Perform Certain Tax Administration Functions
- 22.214.171.124.3 Determining TAS Authorities and Examples
- 126.96.36.199.3.1 Prior Determinations
- 188.8.131.52.3.2 Adjustment Documents
- 184.108.40.206.3.3 Open in another Function/Operating Division/Office
- 220.127.116.11.3.4 Recommendations vs. Determinations
- 18.104.22.168.3.5 TAS Cases Not Meeting Criteria-Authority
- 22.214.171.124.3.6 Administrative Error/Service Error
- 126.96.36.199.3.7 Refunds
- 188.8.131.52.3.8 Currently Not Collectible
- 184.108.40.206.3.9 Installment Agreements
- 220.127.116.11.3.10 Substitute for Return (SFR)
- 18.104.22.168.3.11 Underreporter Program (URP) Assessment
- 22.214.171.124.3.12 Audit Reconsiderations
- 126.96.36.199.3.13 Claims/Amended Returns
- 188.8.131.52.3.13.1 CAT A/B Claims
- 184.108.40.206.3.14 Oral Statement Authority
- 220.127.116.11.3.15 Tolerances
- 18.104.22.168.3.16 Math Errors
- 22.214.171.124.3.17 Penalties
- 126.96.36.199.3.18 Trust Fund Recovery Penalty
- 188.8.131.52.3.19 Levy Release Authority
- 184.108.40.206.3.20 Lien Release
- 220.127.116.11.3.21 Exempt Organization (EO)/Employee Plan (EP) Issues
- 18.104.22.168.3.22 International Related Issues
- 22.214.171.124.3.23 Scrambled Social Security Numbers
- Exhibit 13.1.4-1 TAS Table of Delegation of Authorities
- Exhibit 13.1.4-2 Delegation of Authority Decision Tree
- Exhibit 13.1.4-3 Guide to Delegation of Authority with IRM References
- Exhibit 13.1.4-4 Delegation of Authority Quick Reference Guide
Part 13. Taxpayer Advocate Service
Chapter 1. Taxpayer Advocate Case Procedures
Section 4. TAS Authorities
As Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) employees you have statutory authorities, delegated authorities, the power of advocacy and negotiation to advocate for taxpayers. The following subsections describe the authorities of a TAS employee.
There are two types of authorities:
Statutory authorities are found in IRC §7803(c) and IRC §7811.
IRC §7803(c) defines the primary purpose of the Taxpayer Advocate Service as well as provides the foundation for the independence of TAS within the Internal Revenue Service. The code section requires separate addresses, telephone numbers and fax numbers for TAS. It directs TAS employees to notify taxpayers that they operate independently of other offices within the Service and that they report to Congress through the National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA). This section is also the source of TAS's confidentiality provisions for TAS.
IRC §7811 is the other source of TAS statutory authority. This section authorizes the issuance of Taxpayer Assistance Orders (TAOs). TAS has the authority to issue a TAO in the case where the taxpayer is suffering or about to suffer significant hardship as a result of the manner in which Internal Revenue laws are being administered (IRC §7811(a)). For taxpayers within this definition, TAS may issue a TAO to provide the types of relief outlined in IRC 7811(b). Refer to IRM 126.96.36.199, Taxpayer Assistance Order Process for additional information and specifics on the two types of TAOs TAS can issue. IRC §7811(d) also provides TAS with the authority to suspend the running of the period of limitation with respect to any action described in IRC §7811(b).
Delegated authorities, both administrative and procedural, are granted to the NTA by the Commissioner and re-delegated to employees and management of the TAS. This authority allows TAS to resolve routine cases in the same manner as other functions within the Internal Revenue Service exercising the same authority.
A taxpayer received a notice of intent to levy. He previously contacted IRS requesting an installment agreement and has not received a response. The taxpayer contacts TAS requesting an installment agreement (IA). TAS can establish the IA as TAS has been delegated this authority in this specific taxpayer's circumstances. The process and determination made by TAS to establish the IA should not be any different than that of a Collection or Customer Service personnel considering the same facts.
Commencing in May 1999, the NTA was granted authorities to perform specific, routine functions in taxpayer cases. " Routine" is defined as cases generally resolved through the application of standard procedures and guidelines to a given set of facts and circumstances. Routine cases are usually customer-service problems and include straight forward compliance issues.
The Commissioner expanded the authorities granted to the NTA on January 17, 2001 to include specific Accounts Management authority found in IRM 21. Refer to Exhibit 13.1.1–1, Authority of the National Taxpayer Advocate to Perform Certain Tax Administration Functions (Delegation Order No. 267). This authority was redelegated to specific TAS personnel effective October 1, 2001. The additional authorities were granted to improve service to taxpayers by decreasing the necessity for assistance referrals to other functions on TAS cases. The additional authorities still pertain to "routine" issues. Routine is defined as cases generally resolved through the application of standard procedures and guidelines to a given set of facts and circumstances. Routine cases are usually customer-service problems and include straight forward compliance issues.
TAS's delegated authorities are referenced in Exhibit 13.1.4–1, TAS Table of Delegation of Authorities. TAS authorities are both procedural and administrative. Procedural authorities include:
Delegation Order No. 40 — Credits and Refunds
Delegation Order No. 231 — Abate Interest on Erroneous Refunds
Delegation Order No. 232 — Authority to Issue, Modify, or Rescind Taxpayer Assistance Orders
Delegation Order No. 233 - Authority of the National Taxpayer Advocate to Approve Replacement Checks, to Substantiate Credits, and to Abate Penalties
Delegation Order No. 250 - Authority to Issue Taxpayer Advocate Directives
Delegation Order No. 267 - Authority of the National Taxpayer Advocate to Perform Certain Tax Administration Functions
Delegation Order 40 grants the NTA, DNTA, ATA and LTAs the authority to make credits or refunds within the applicable period of limitations, including manual refunds in certain circumstances. This authority cannot be redelegated below the LTA. Refer to IRM 21.4.4, Manual Refunds for additional information and procedures. Refer to IRM 188.8.131.52.1, Delegation Order 40 (Rev. 6) for a copy of the published delegation order.
Delegation Order 231 grants the authority to abate interest on erroneous refunds under IRC §6404(e)(2). TAS Delegation Order Number 231–2 grants the authority to abate interest on erroneous refund to the Local Taxpayer Advocate.
Delegation Order 232 grants the Director, Taxpayer Account Operations and Local Taxpayer Advocates the authority to issue, modify or rescind Taxpayer Assistance Orders (TAO's) for cases under TAS jurisdiction. Refer toIRM 184.108.40.206.1, Delegation Order 232 (Rev. 4) for a copy of the Delegation Order.
Delegation Order 233 grants the Director, Taxpayer Account Operations and Local Taxpayer Advocates the authority to take the following actions on cases under the jurisdiction of the TAS:
Approve replacement checks for lost or stolen refunds without a credit balance on an account where hardship or unreasonable delay exists.
Substantiate credits to taxpayer accounts where a taxpayer furnishes proof of payment but the Service cannot locate the payment within a reasonable period of time.
Abate for reasonable cause Form W-4 civil penalties assessed per IRC §6682.
Abate for reasonable cause all automatically assessed penalties.
Refer to IRM 220.127.116.11.2, Delegation Order 233 (Rev. 1) for a copy of the delegation order.
Delegation Order 250 grants only the National Taxpayer Advocate authority to issue a Taxpayer Advocate Directive (TAD) to mandate administrative or procedural changes to improve the operation of a functional process or to grant relief to groups of taxpayers (or all taxpayers). Taxpayer Advocate Directives are used when implementation will protect the rights of taxpayers, prevent undue burden, ensure equitable treatment, or provide an essential service to taxpayers. Authority to rescind or modify a TAD is granted to the NTA and the Deputy Commissioner. Refer to IRM 18.104.22.168.3, Delegation Order 250 (Rev. 1) for a copy of the delegation order.
Delegation Order No. 267 grants the National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) the following authorities for cases meeting TAS criteria 1–7 as outlined inIRM 22.214.171.124, Taxpayer Advocate Case Criteria . On October 1, 2001, the NTA redelegated the Authority to the DNTA, ATA, LTA, TAGM, TAS Program Analysts, TAS Technical Advisors, SAA and AAs. Refer to Exhibit 13.1.1–1, Delegation Order No. 267 for a copy of the delegation order.
The delegation order does not permit employees of the TAS to take actions on cases that are open in another IRS function.
The delegation order also does not permit employees of TAS to overrule determinations made by employees of other IRS functions who have been delegated comparable authority.
The IRM referenced in the delegation order is based on the IRM as of January 17, 2001.
The following is a summary of authorities listed in Delegation Order No. 267:
To report certain delinquent accounts currently not collectible under provisions contained in IRM 126.96.36.199.1 (or successor provisions).
To release liens in cases not currently open in another IRS function if the account is full paid and upon substantiation of no other balances under provisions contained in IRM 188.8.131.52.5 (or successor provisions).
To release levies in systemically generated cases under provisions contained in IRM 184.108.40.206.1.11 (or successor provisions).
To make trust fund recovery penalty adjustments under provisions contained in IRM 220.127.116.11.1.21 (or successor provisions).
To accept installment agreements under provisions contained in IRM 18.104.22.168.4 (or successor provisions).
To perform duties assigned to Accounts Management employees as described in IRM 21.1 through 21.7, 21.10, 3.11.6, 3.12.6, 121.2 through 121.5, 121.7 through 9 and 114.1.7, (as revised and in effect on 10-1-2000) under the procedures contained therein (or successor provisions).
On October 1, 2001, the NTA redelegated the authorities to employees of the TAS who are at the grade or position level of the Associate Advocate and above. Refer to Exhibit 13.1.4–2, Delegation of Authority Decision Tree for assistance in determining TAS authorities and actions necessary by the case advocate to resolve TAS cases.
Exhibit 13.1.4–3, Guide to Delegation of Authority with IRM References is a guide to determine TAS' authorities. Exhibit 13.1.4–4, Delegation of Authority Quick Reference Guide is a quick reference guide to determine TAS's authorities on common issues.
In exercising delegated authority, a case advocate should consider the following:
Does the taxpayer meet the TAS definition for criteria 1-7?
Is the case open in another IRS function?
Has a determination already been made by another IRS function?
Is there a disagreement with the IRS about the appropriate action necessary?
Do you have the authority to grant the relief requested?
Is the relief requested something you can provide using your statutory authorities?
What is the source of the authority you are relying on to resolve the taxpayer problems?
Is the relief something you can provide using your delegated authorities?
What restrictions, limitation, tolerances are associated with the authority?
What are the rules and procedures (including the IRM) that other Service employees exercising the same authority must follow?
The following examples are provided to assist case advocates in determining TAS authority and actions necessary to resolve the taxpayer's issue. The examples are not all inclusive of TAS authorities.
If TAS does not have authority to take actions on a case, an Operations Assistance Request (OAR) to the appropriate Operating Division/Function is necessary in accordance with the Service Level Agreements. Refer to IRM 22.214.171.124, Operations Assistance Request (OAR) Process and http://tasnew.web.irs.gov/index.asp?pid=865.
If there was a prior determination by another function or operating division, TAS generally does not have the authority to overrule the determination.
If an Accounts Management employee made a determination on a case and the determination was not "substantive" and now a taxpayer contacts TAS with information to resolve the issue, TAS, acting within its delegated authority is standing in the shoes of the Accounts Management employee. The TAS employee must ask the question: If the Accounts Management (AM) employee made the first decision what would the second AM employee do? If the answer (based on IRM 21 guidelines) is the second AM employee could make the adjustment then the TAS employee could take the same action.
"Substantive" determinations may include the issuance of a penalty denial letter, claim disallowance letter or partial claim disallowance letter.
Where TAS does not have the delegated or statutory authority, a TAS employee should not prepare an adjustment document, i.e. Form 3870. In these instances, TAS will use an Operations Assistance Request (OAR), to make a recommendation and request any and all actions.
TAS will prepare an OAR in sufficient detail to describe the actions necessary. Each case needs to be worked individually to determine how much information is necessary.
If an OAR involves a request for an audit reconsideration, how you would request the necessary actions of outlining the account adjustments is "based on the attached documents the taxpayer has evidence to support the 1) HOH filing status 2) dependency exemption for NN and 3) EITC of XX.XX. If after your review you determine the taxpayer is entitled to these adjustments please prepare the documentation to input the adjustments to 1) reduce the tax liability 2) allow the EITC and 3) adjust any penalties and interest."
TAS should not include the transaction codes with dollar amounts on the OAR or any attachments which would infer TAS has made a resulting determination. TAS should include statements similar to "If, after your review, you determine the taxpayer is entitled to these adjustments, please prepare the documentation to input the adjustments to a) adjust the tax liability, b) adjust the penalty and interest and c) remove any freeze codes or audit indicators."
If a case is open in another IRS function, regardless of whether it is actively being worked or who it is assigned to, TAS does not have the authority to take the required action and an OAR is necessary in accordance with the SLA (IRM 126.96.36.199, Operation Assistance Request (OAR) Process). In these instances, TAS must update the IDRS open control to " B" status to allow Operations to take the requested action.
Open in another function as stated in Delegation Order 267, indicates it is under the jurisdiction of another function, regardless of what status code the module or account is in on IDRS.
A tax module in Status 22 is under the jurisdiction of the ACS function. All actions other than requests for collection holds must be requested through the issuance of an OAR.
TAS cannot take actions on ACS controlled cases. If ACS cannot take the action necessary, i.e. Audit Reconsideration issue, the case advocate should contact ACS to request a hold and advise of the planned action. The OAR is then issued to the responsible Operating Division/Function after the case is built and required supporting documentation is attached.
An account in Status 26 is under the jurisdiction of Compliance and assigned to a Revenue Officer (RO). TAS does not have the authority to take actions on cases in Status 26 and must use the OAR process to request any necessary account action.
A tax module with an open AIMS control (-L freeze) is under the jurisdiction of Examination. TAS must use the OAR process to request any necessary account action.
A tax module in Status 24 (Queue) is under the jurisdiction of Compliance. Compliance made the determination to put the account in the Queue and therefore TAS must use the OAR process to request any necessary account action.
A tax module in Status 53 (Currently not Collectible) is under the jurisdiction of Compliance. All actions must be requested through the issuance of an OAR.
On actions where TAS does not have authority such as automated underreporter program assessments, substitute for return program assessments, audit reconsideration requests, or offer in compromise issues, TAS should make recommendations through an Operation Assistance Request (OAR). The facts and supporting documentation including the information from the taxpayer should be forwarded to the appropriate operating division.
A recommendation is not a determination, but a request for an action supported by the facts presented by the taxpayer, law and procedures. TAS should clearly explain the account adjustments, including decisions which need to be made so that the Operating Division/Function can make a determination based on TAS's analysis of the facts, law and taxpayer's position. Refer to IRM 188.8.131.52.3.2, Adjustment Documents on specifics for preparing the OAR when the issue involves an account adjustment.
The authorities granted under Delegation Order No. 267 only apply to cases meeting TAS criteria 1-7. If a case is accepted into the local TAS office as a criteria 9 case, TAS must resolve the taxpayer's issue through an Operation Assistance Request (OAR).
Delegation Order No. 267, grants TAS the authority to correct administrative errors and service errors, including decimal point errors, transposition errors and input errors. Definitions of administrative and service errors can be found in IRM 184.108.40.206, IRM 220.127.116.11.1.3 and IRM 18.104.22.168
TAS has the authority to correct administrative and service errors without the need to submit an OAR to the operating division.
A taxpayer properly filed her 2001 tax return. Shortly afterwards, she began receiving notices of a balance due. The notice showed her adjusted gross income, taxable income and tax were changed by IRS. The taxpayer tried repeatedly to resolve this problem with IRS to no avail. She contacted TAS for assistance. Her case met TAS criteria and was accepted into the program. The case advocate identifies an obvious input error (decimal in the wrong place). Because this was an IRS administrative error, the case advocate is able to adjust and restore the return to its original state as originally filed by the taxpayer.
If the error is a computational or processing error resulting from an audit examination (TC 420), this is considered an Audit Reconsideration and an OAR to Examination is required.
Under Delegation Order No. 40, the authority, after compliance with all requirements of existing procedures, to make credits or refunds is granted to the NTA, DNTA, ATAs, and LTAs. This authority can only be extended to an individual acting in the capacity of the above officials and may not be redelegated. Refer to IRM 22.214.171.124.5.1, Manual Refunds for additional information.
TAS has the authority to issue manual refunds on TAS cases, however if the account has an open control, coordination with the Operating Division/Function is required.
TAS does not have the authority under Delegation Order No. 40 to issue a manual refund for return of levy property. See IRM 126.96.36.199.3.19, Levy Release.
Refer to IRM 188.8.131.52.5.1, Manual Refunds for case processing procedures.
Delegation Order No. 267 grants TAS the authority to report certain delinquent accounts currently not collectible (CNC) up to a set amount of aggregate assessed balances, when an inability to pay is determined, as described in IRM 184.108.40.206.1 (currently IRM 220.127.116.11.1, Currently Not Collectible (CNC) on the following types of accounts:
Individual master file accounts or
Business master file (BMF) sole proprietorship or partnerships, no longer in business.
An case advocate receives an inquiry meeting TAS criteria from a taxpayer, a sole proprietor. The taxpayer has received a notice of intent to levy and he is no longer in business and all filing requirements have been met. The balance due on his account is below the set amount. According to the financial analysis completed by the case advocate an inability to pay was determined and the account was closed CNC using the appropriate closing code.
TAS does not have the delegated authority to report BMF in-business accounts CNC. An OAR to Compliance should be issued.
A currently ongoing business received a balance due notice. The business owners immediately contacted the toll-free line for assistance to no avail. After their third contact they were referred to TAS and the case was accepted in the program. The assigned advocate secured the Collection Information Statement (CIS). All other collection options were considered. However, since they are still in business TAS doesn't have the authority to CNC the account and an OAR must be sent to Compliance.
Under certain conditions only partial financial analysis or verification is required prior to reporting an account CNC under closing codes 24 - 32, if the aggregate balance, plus accruals, is less than the specified amount in IRM 18.104.22.168.1, Currently Not Collectible (CNC).
If the aggregate balance, plus accruals, including any prior CNCs, is less than the specified amount and one of the following conditions exists, the account can be reported CNC with partial financial analysis and verification (IRM 22.214.171.124.1, Currently Not Collectible (CNC)):
Taxpayer has a terminal illness or excessive medical bills.
Taxpayer is incarcerated.
Taxpayer's only source of income is Social Security, welfare, or unemployment.
Taxpayer is unemployed with no source of income.
If the aggregate balance exceeds the specified amount in IRM 126.96.36.199.1, Currently Not Collectible (CNC) completion and verification of financial analysis is required and a Notice of Lien must be filed. If a Notice of Federal Tax Lien (NFTL) is required to be filed, refer to IRM 188.8.131.52, Procedures for Filing Liens. An OAR is required for the NFTL to be filed.
A case advocate received an inquiry requesting TAS assistance because he received a notice of intent to levy. The taxpayer defaulted on his installment agreement due to a reduction in household income. He wrote the IRS advising of the change in income two months prior to the default and never received a response. The total balance, including accruals is above the set amount. The case advocate completed the financial analysis and verification and determined an inability to pay. The taxpayer was advised a Federal Tax Lien would be filed and the account was closed CNC using the appropriate closing code.
Delegation Order No. 267 grants TAS the authority to establish Installment Agreements (IA) as described in IRM 184.108.40.206.4 (currently IRM 220.127.116.11.4, Can Pay by Installments). TAS has the authority to establish installment agreements up to a set amount of aggregate assessed balances as provided in IRM 18.104.22.168.4.1, Installment Agreement Overview.
Aggregate balances over a set amount that cannot be full paid within 60 months, require TAS to secure and analyze a Collection Information Statement (Form 433-A/B). Use collection guidelines in IRM 22.214.171.124.4, Can Pay by Installments to determine the correct amount the taxpayer should pay.
Follow procedures contained in IRM 126.96.36.199.4, Can Pay by Installments procedures to analyze collection information statements and make lien determinations.
Under TAS delegated authorities, TAS employees must follow the same procedures, i.e. securing levy sources and making lien determinations, as any other IRS employee.
TAS must inform the taxpayer that penalties and interest continue to accrue during the IA period, there is an IA user fee, a Notice of Federal Tax lien may be filed, and future compliance with the tax laws is required.
If a Notice of Federal Tax Lien is required to be filed, follow IRM 188.8.131.52, Procedures for Filing Liens.
Before considering an installment agreement, TAS needs to encourage the taxpayer to:
Pay as much as possible now to avoid additional penalty and interest
Consider borrowing or using lines of credit to pay the liability
Consider deferring other debts to pay the tax liability
A TAS case meeting criteria is assigned to a case advocate. The taxpayer owes balance dues for tax years 1999 and 2000. The taxpayer has filed and paid their 2001 taxes timely. In addition, they have corrected their withholding to prevent future balances due. The taxpayer proposes to pay $500 per month. As the taxpayer's proposal meets streamline installment agreement (IA) criteria per IRM 184.108.40.206.4, no collection information statement is required. TAS has the authority to establish the IA. Because this is a streamlined IA, a Notice of Federal Tax Lien determination is not required.
A TAS case meeting criteria is assigned to a case advocate. The taxpayer has a balance due on 1991, 1992, 1993 and is requesting an IA of $400 per month. The advocate requests the taxpayer to complete a Form 433-A, Collection Information Statement for Individuals, to determine if the taxpayer's proposed payment amount is feasible. The analysis of the 433-A indicates the taxpayer can pay $1000 per month. The taxpayer provides no additional information to consider for acceptance of an IA for less than $1000 per month. Prior to rejecting the taxpayer's proposed IA, an OAR must be sent to collections to review the proposed rejection. The independent review must take place prior to communicating the rejection to the taxpayer (prior to issuance of the TAS 2272 letter) per IRM 220.127.116.11.4.12. After concurrence of the rejection by the independent reviewer, the TAS 2272 letter can be signed and issued by the case advocate.
If a 900 waiver is required, refer to, IRM 25.6.18, Installment Agreement-Collection Statute Expiration Date (CSED) and IRM 18.104.22.168.3.4, Processing Form 900 Waiver From Taxpayer for procedures regarding securing and processing the 900 waiver.
Once a 900 Waiver has been secured from the taxpayer, an OAR to Operations is required to sign and approve the 900 Waiver.
TAS has the authority to work SFR assessment cases, when the taxpayer filed as a secondary SSN on a joint return for same tax period (IRM 22.214.171.124, Oral Statement Authority). In OAR is necessary to take actions on all other SFR issues.
If a taxpayer files a claim against an SFR assessment see IRM 126.96.36.199.3.13, Claims/Amended Returns determine your authority.
A case advocate receives a case, meeting TAS criteria. The taxpayer (the wife) is receiving balance due notices on her 1995 income tax return. She explains she has filed a married filing joint with her husband since 1965. The case advocate researches IDRS and verifies that the wife filed a joint return in 1995 with her husband and included all of her income. Based on oral authority the case advocate can adjust the account.
TAS does not have the delegated the authority to work Underreporter Program (URP) issues, as directed in IRM 188.8.131.52, Procedures for Accounts Maintenance. An OAR to the appropriate Operating Division is necessary.
A taxpayer contacts TAS as she is receiving notices of balance due for the 1999 and 2000 year. The taxpayer explains that she received a refund for those years and is confused as to why she is now receiving notices. Due to the taxpayer's circumstances, the case is accepted into TAS as meeting criteria. The case advocate conducts IDRS research and determines the taxpayer was assessed by the URP function (TC290). She informs the taxpayer of the amount, source and type of unreported income obtained through her IDRS research (IRPTR and RTVUE). The taxpayer states the income was reported on her return. The case advocate requests the taxpayer prepare a written statement of the disagreement and documentation to support her position and requests the administrative file to obtain the necessary specifics. After information is received from the taxpayer, the case advocate prepares an OAR to the URP function for determination based on the taxpayer's request, documentation, facts and law. She includes documentation and facts to support her request including the taxpayer's written statement and documentation.
Audit reconsiderations are requests by taxpayers to reconsider a prior IRS audit adjustment on an individual income tax return where the tax has not been paid. Refer to IRM 4.13, Audit Reconsideration for the requirements on meeting audit reconsiderations. TAS does not have the delegated authority to work audit reconsiderations, an OAR to the appropriate operating division is necessary.
Audit reconsiderations also include requests for reconsiderations on a prior audit where the tax credit has been reversed, i.e. EITC.
A taxpayer's dependency exemptions for his two school age children and his Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for tax year 2000 have been disallowed. He sends TAS a signed Form 911 requesting assistance in this matter. Based on the taxpayer's prior contacts and situation the case is accepted into TAS as a criteria 7. The case advocate requests all documentation needed from the taxpayer to substantiate the dependency exemptions and EITC. After reviewing these documents, the case advocate feels the taxpayer is entitled to both the exemptions and the EITC and forwards the supporting documentation and recommendation via an Operations Assistance Request (OAR) to the Operating Division. If the Operating Division agrees with the OAR, a request to operations to input the adjustments is also necessary, as TAS does not have the authority to input the adjustments.
Pursuant to Delegation Order No. 267, TAS employees are authorized to perform functions of Accounts Management employees. This delegation includes the authority to make determinations on claims and amended return as described in IRM 184.108.40.206, General Claims Procedures. .
If TAS has the authority to make the claim determination, as indicated above and determines the claim should not be allowed, the TAS employee will issue a formal claim disallowance letter. The letter will be signed by the Area Taxpayer Advocate, refer to IRM 13.1.6, Casework Communications.
A husband and wife taxpayer previously filed an amended return to claim additional expenses on Schedule C. The decrease in income now qualifies them for EITC. As TAS has the authority to work the amended return under IRM 220.127.116.11, General Claims Procedures the case advocate can make the determination on the claim/amended return and input appropriate transaction codes including adjustments.
A single taxpayer with no dependents contacts TAS. She timely filed her 2000 tax return with wages of $9,000 on April 15, 2001. In June 2001, a friend advised her that because she turned 25 years old in March of 2000, she would be entitled to EITC for the tax year 2000. The taxpayer completes an amended return and mails to the proper IRS campus for processing in July 2001. In March 2002, the taxpayer realizes she has not heard anything about her claim filed in July 2001 for tax year 2000. She contacts TAS and her case is accepted into the program as criteria. The taxpayer is claiming $210 of EITC, which the case advocate verifies she is entitled. Because the EITC amount does not meet CAT A criteria the account can be adjusted by the case advocate.
If TAS under its delegated authority determines to allow a claim, the case advocate will send a letter to the taxpayer. Explain the claim allowance, the resulting tax account adjustments, the correct tax and if appropriate the collection alternatives.
TAS does not have the authority to make determinations on CAT A/B claims meeting criteria as described in IRM Exhibit 21.5.3.-2, Examination Criteria (CAT A). An OAR to Operations is required in accordance with the SLAs.
A case advocate is assigned a case meeting TAS criteria where the issue involves a prior SFR assessment where the claimed tax decrease is $7,000. The taxpayer sends you a return and substantiation to support the amended return. This case meets CAT A criteria. The case advocate upon math verifying, analyzing and developing the issues prepares an OAR including the return, taxpayer's documentation, IDRS prints and recommendation.
TAS can administratively input adjustments for accepted CAT A/B claims (IRM 18.104.22.168.7.2, Examination "Disallows," "Accepts," or "Selects" or the Claim). If after sending an OAR to operations for determination on the CAT A/B claim and the claim is determined to be accepted by operations, the corresponding adjustments based on the accepted claim can be input by TAS.
A case advocate is assigned a case, meeting TAS criteria. The taxpayer is requesting his amended return be processed. The amended return meets CAT A criteria. The case advocate issues an OAR to examination classification. Examination accepts the claim (the amended return as filed is allowed) and sends it back to the case advocate for adjustment processing. In accordance with IRM 22.214.171.124.7.2, TAS can input the adjustments based on the accepted claim.
This is an exception to the rule that TAS should not input adjustments on issues that they have not made a determination.
Pursuant to Delegation Order No. 267, TAS employees are authorized to perform functions of Accounts Management employees. This delegation includes Oral Statement Authority, as described in IRM 126.96.36.199, Oral Statement Authority. Oral Statement Authority is acceptance of a verbal request for account adjustment without written documentation. The following are examples of when Oral Statement Authority applies:
A taxpayer filed his 2000 tax return and claimed itemized deductions totaling more than the oral statement amount. The taxpayer did not file a Schedule A with his original tax return; therefore, he received a math error notice. The taxpayer has previously replied to the math error notice and sent in Schedule A to support his claim. He is frustrated and calls TAS for assistance. Research does not indicate that the IRS has received his Schedule A. The taxpayer provides the case advocate with the necessary Schedule A information over the telephone and has requested TAS to resolve his balance due immediately. TAS would not be able to resolve the account orally (over the telephone) as the amount exceeds Oral Statement Authority and a Sch A is required.
A taxpayer filed his 2001 tax return expecting a refund but received a balance due notice. The taxpayer reviewed his return and realized he under declared his withholding. The additional withholding is within Oral Statement Authority. The taxpayer has made several attempts to get the amount corrected and has been assured by an IRS employee each time that his account has been corrected. Today, he received another balance due notice and calls TAS for assistance. Under Oral Statement Authority, TAS can allow the additional withholding.
A taxpayer calls TAS because his name is misspelled on the installment agreement notice. He has sent a name correction with each payment for the past two months but the IRS has not corrected his name. TAS has the authority to correct the spelling of his name per Oral Statement Authority so all future notices will be correct.
A taxpayer receives a balance due notice on his Form 941, tax period ending September 30, 2001. He has received a record of accounts and noticed a payment is missing. He has been trying for 3 months to have the missing payment applied to his account. He calls TAS for assistance and states a payment was made on October 13, 2001. Research shows a payment dated October 13, 2001 on Form 941, tax period ending December 31, 2001. The taxpayer verifies with the case advocate the payment is applied to the incorrect tax period. Under the oral statement authority, TAS can transfer the payment.
A taxpayer calls TAS because he sent a request for penalty abatement to the IRS two months ago and he has not received a reply. Today, he received a balance due notice for penalty and interest. Research shows a late payment penalty (TC276) is on TXMOD. The amount is within Oral Statement Authority. All of the tax has been paid. TAS uses the Reasonable Cause Assistant (RCA) and based on the taxpayer's responses determines the taxpayer meets reasonable cause for the penalty to be removed. Under the oral statement authority, TAS can remove the late payment penalty. The case advocate explains to the taxpayer that the penalty is removed and he will receive a balance due notice in three to four weeks for the interest owed.
Pursuant to Delegation Order No. 267, TAS employees are authorized to perform functions of Account Management employees. This delegation includes the authority to make tax account adjustments below certain amounts as described in IRM 188.8.131.52, Tolerances. There are specific threshold/ceiling levels and Reasonable Cause Assistant (RCA) tolerance levels when abating penalties due to reasonable cause. Refer to IRM 184.108.40.206.12, Tolerances for a listing of tolerance threshold/ceilings amounts.
A taxpayer contacts TAS because he has responded to a balance due notice for an estimated tax penalty. He states he filed a Form 2210 on two separate occasions within the last 3 months, but has not received a reply from the IRS. He has provided a copy and says he will pay the balance due once the penalty is corrected. Research shows an estimated tax penalty (TC 176) is on TXMOD. TAS has the authority to reduce the penalty as the amount of the decrease is below the tolerance.
Pursuant to Delegation Order No. 267, TAS employees are authorized to perform functions of Account Management employees. This delegation includes the general math error authority as described in IRM 21.5.4, General Math Error Procedures. Math Errors include addition, subtraction errors on the return, use of incorrect tax table, omission of information required on return to substantiate an entry, missing or incorrect TIN for exemptions and certain EITC disallowances.
A case advocate receives a case, meeting TAS criteria. The taxpayer filed a 2000 return and claimed an EITC. The taxpayer received a math error notice that reduced his EITC due to an incorrect dependent social security number on the return. Over the telephone the taxpayer provides you with the correct social security number. You verify through IDRS that this is taxpayer's dependent. As TAS has the authority to correct math errors up to the amount claimed on the original return and allow oral statement up to the amount claimed on the original return (IRM 220.127.116.11), the case advocate can directly input the adjustment on IDRS (CC REQ54). In accordance with IRM 18.104.22.168.1, the case advocate documents her actions on IDRS.
Pursuant to Delegation Order No. 267, TAS employees are authorized to perform functions of Account Management employees. This delegation includes the authority to make determination of abatements on computer (automatic) assessed penalties, i.e. Failure to Pay (FTP), Failure to File (FTF), Estimated Tax (ES) and Federal Tax Deposit (FTD) penalties for statutory waiver, administrative error, service errors and reasonable cause as described in IRM 22.214.171.124, Oral Statement Authority and IRM 126.96.36.199.9.2, Oral Statement and Penalty Relief Request. Tolerance amounts apply to penalty type and amount per module and whether Reasonable Cause Assistant (RCA) is used.
Pursuant to Delegation Order No. 267, TAS employees are authorized to perform functions of Accounts Management employees. This delegation includes Oral Statement Authority, as described in IRM 188.8.131.52.9.2, Oral Statement and Penalty Relief Request, and grants TAS the authority to make penalty relief determinations on computer generated penalties over the oral statement ceiling, if a written request is submitted, the Reasonable Cause Assistant (RCA) is used, and IRM 20.1 procedures are followed.
A taxpayer filed his return late with a balance due. He was assessed a computer generated failure to file penalty (TC 166) and failure to pay penalty (TC 276). The taxpayer previously submitted a copy of a request for abatement of penalties to the TAS office in writing. The case is accepted into TAS as meeting TAS criteria 5. After research and analysis of the facts and documentation, use of the Reasonable Cause Assistant (RCA) and following IRM 20.1 procedures, the case advocate determines the taxpayer's written request met reasonable cause. As the case advocate has the authority make determinations on computer generated penalties and also has the authority to abate penalties for reasonable cause, the case advocate inputs the adjustments to abate the penalties.
Delegation Order 233 grants TAS, at the authority of the LTA, to abate for reasonable cause all automatically assessed penalties and W-4 Civil Penalties under §6682.
As TAS has this same authority under Delegation Order 267, as indicated in the above paragraph, the authority to abate automatic assessed penalties is granted to the case advocate level.
A taxpayer received a balance due notice and contacts TAS to remove a penalty. The inquiry meets TAS criteria. The taxpayer has called IRS toll-free number several times and has been told he does not have any penalty on his account. Research shows he was assessed a civil penalty because he gave incorrect information on his Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Certificate. The information the taxpayer provided establishes reasonable cause for penalty abatement. Under the Delegation Order 233, TAS has the authority to remove the penalty for reasonable cause.
A case advocate should use the Reasonable Cause Assistant (RCA) to make any reasonable cause penalty abatement or waiver of penalty determinations, as described in IRM 184.108.40.206.1, Reasonable Cause.
A taxpayer meeting TAS criteria, submits a written statement supporting his request for abatement of failure to file penalty. The case advocate researches the law, IRM 20.1, follows procedures contained in IRM 20.1, uses RCA criteria and determines the taxpayer meets reasonable cause. The case advocate has the authority to abate the failure to file penalty and input the adjustments to adjust the account based on his/her determination.
The case advocate does not have the authority to make determinations on manually assessed penalties. TAS authorities pursuant to Delegation Order 267 grants TAS the authority to make determinations of abatements on automatically assessed penalties.
A taxpayer contacts TAS as he received a balance due notice on his 1999 tax account. He sold stock in 1999 and had a large capital gain. The taxpayer did not know at that time the gain and resulting tax would be so large. The liability consists of unpaid taxes. He has contacted TAS as he previously sent in two letters stating he thinks it is unfair that the penalties and interest are so large and he requests failure to pay penalty abatement. The taxpayer faxes you a copy of the letters he previously sent to the IRS requesting the penalty abatement. You research the taxpayer's account and provide him with details of his unpaid taxes. The penalties are computer generated. You research RCA and IRM 20.1 and determine the taxpayer does not meet reasonable cause for abatement of the failure to pay penalty. You contact the taxpayer and inform of the law and why you cannot abate the penalties and provide him his appeal rights. You inform him you will send him out a formal letter (TAS 854) letter signed by yourself, which explains the reasoning and his appeal rights. You explain to him his collection options. You send him the 854 TAS letter, as a case advocate can sign the TAS 854 letter.
Pursuant to Delegation Order No. 267, TAS employees are authorized to perform functions of Accounts Management employees. This delegation includes the authority to make Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (TFRP) adjustments in certain cases, as described in IRM 220.127.116.11.1.21 (currently IRM18.104.22.168.25, Processing Forms 3870 (Requests for adjustment/abatement)).
Case advocates can make adjustments to a TFRP liability based on a full paid or satisfied account in the following circumstances:
Withheld taxes were collected from the underlying trust fund by payment or credit offset (i.e., corporation full paid).
Full payment of the TFRP liability has been made by one or more related TFRP taxpayers.
A fully satisfied Offer in Compromise (OIC), TC 788 on the related BMF account, if TFRP adjustments are a condition of the OIC.
Abatements of the TFRP can only be authorized and conducted by Field Collection (FC) and or the Technical Support Function (TSF).
A case advocate is assigned a case that meets TAS criteria regarding a TFRP assessment. The taxpayer claims that he doesn't owe the penalty and states the other related and responsible TFRP taxpayer has paid the TFRP liability in full. After verification, the case advocate has the authority to adjust the TFRP.
A case advocate is assigned a case that meets TAS criteria regarding a TFRP assessment. The taxpayer claims that he was never interviewed by the Revenue Officer who determined that he was liable for the TFRP. The taxpayer provides information that substantiates his position that he is not responsible nor liable for the TFRP liability. The case advocate will prepare an OAR to operations for consideration.
Pursuant to Delegation Order No. 267, TAS employees are authorized to release levies in systemically generated cases in certain circumstances under provisions described in IRM 22.214.171.124.1.11 or successor provisions (currently IRM 126.96.36.199.12, Levy Release: General Information). Systemic levies are specifically referenced in IRM 5.19.9, Automated Levy Programs. There are three types of systemically generated or automated levies:
Federal Payment Levies
State Income Tax Levies
Other Automated Levies, such as Alaska Permanent Fund, lottery payments and vendor payments.
Refer to IRM 188.8.131.52, Automated Levy Program Procedures on Taxpayer Advocate Casesfor authorities and required actions on releasing systemically generated levies.
On Federal Payment Levies TAS has the authority to release the levy, except for modules assigned in Status 26, per paragraph (2) of IRM 184.108.40.206.1.2, Delegation Authority. If the tax module is assigned in Status 26 an OAR to the Operating Division is necessary.
A case advocate can sign a release of a systemic levy.
A taxpayer contacts TAS because his Social Security benefits have been levied. The case is not in being worked by another Operating Division/Function. The taxpayer states that his Social Security Disability benefits are his only income, and he needs every dollar to pay his rent and living expenses. The taxpayer provides a copy of his electric service cut off notice. Through research and the taxpayer's information, the case advocate determines the taxpayer's liability is Currently Not Collectible. The TC 530 CC 24-32 will generate the FPLP release. If the transaction code will not post in time to stop the levy, the case advocate has the authority to prepare and sign the appropriate form to request release of the levy. The completed appropriate form is forwarded to the FPLP Coordinator for input into the FMS computer system.
TAS does not have the delegated authority to release non-systemic levies.
A taxpayer has a balance due for 1999. Her case is in status 22 (ACS) and a wage levy has been placed on her wages. As a result, the taxpayer is suffering an imminent financial hardship and contacts TAS in writing on Form 911. The case meets significant economic hardship criteria. The case advocate contacts ACS to establish a "hold" on collection activity until the TAS case is resolved. Through research and the taxpayer's information, the case advocate determines the taxpayer's liability is Currently Not Collectible (CNC). The case advocate contacts ACS by phone or faxes an OAR to ACS to request the levy release, as TAS does not have the authority to release non-systemic levies.
Pursuant to Delegation Order No. 267, TAS employees are authorized to release liens in cases not currently open in another IRS function, if the account is full paid and upon substantiation that no other balance due exists as described in IRM 220.127.116.11.5 currently IRM 18.104.22.168.5, Lien Releases. The authority to sign a lien release is granted to the LTA or above. An OAR to Operations in accordance with the SLAs is necessary to file the lien release with the county recorder.
In accordance with IRM 21.7.7, Exempt Organizations and Tax Exempt Bonds and IRM 22.214.171.124, EPMF TAS should not take action on Exempt Organization issues (EO) or Employee Plan Issues (EP), including EO/EP account related issues, payment tracers, credit transfers, claims, carrybacks, penalties, interest, name changes, EO/EP determinations and technical questions. An OAR to Tax Exempt/Government Entity (TE/GE) operations is necessary.
Pursuant to Delegation Order No. 267, TAS employees are authorized to perform certain functions of Accounts Management employees. This delegation includes the authority to take actions on certain type of International issues.
Under IRM 21.1 through 21.7, TAS can work the following types of issues:
Penalty and interest requests from original processing of Master File returns
Payment tracers (not related to FIRPTA or Section 1446 credits)
Requests for copies of returns
Information returns not requiring adjustment
Refund inquiry cases
Any general adjustment to the account that does not invoke a treaty benefit (credit transfers, payment issues, omitted exemptions, ITIN)
Foreign Tax Credit, Form 1116 under IRM 126.96.36.199.1.6
Oral Statement Authority Issues (excluding 1042S, 8288 series, 8804/8805, 1040NR, 1040SS, 1120F, 2555 and any issue claiming a Treaty exclusion or Treaty benefit) (IRM 188.8.131.52)
Math Errors (excluding 1042S, 8288 series, 8804/8805, 1040NR, 1040SS, 1120F, 2555 and any issue claiming a treaty exclusion or treaty benefit, IRM 184.108.40.206).
TAS does not have the authority to work and adjust International issues, IRM 220.127.116.11.5 and IRM 18.104.22.168.6. The following is a list of issues where an (OAR) is necessary:
Foreign withholding issues (1042S, 8288 series, 8804/8805- BMF)
Cases for adjustment citing tax treaty (BMF)
Tax adjustment or processing (Form 1120F, 940PR, 942PR, 941SS, and 943PR, (other than IRM 22.214.171.124.1.6), 706NA, 8279, 3520m 3520A-BMF)
Foreign Tax Credit Carryback
Form 1118 FTC (for 1120FSC-BMF)
Form 8840 (claiming closer connection -BMF)
Excess FICA claims for Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands (IMF)
Any Philippine Island case (IMF)
Foreign withholding issues (1042S, 8288 series, 8805/8804 -IMF)
Cases for adjustment under tax treaty (IMF)
Tax adjustment request (Forms 2555, 1040NR, 1040SS -IMF)
All Possessions and Territories income tax cases including Virgin Island cases (IMF).
Dual status cases (IMF)
Any taxpayer claiming closer connection (Form 8840 -IMF).
A case advocate is assigned an individual income tax case that meets TAS criteria concerning a delinquency penalty. The taxpayer filed a 1040 U.S. with a Form 1116, Foreign Tax Credit. The taxpayer has provided the written statement explaining why they were unable to timely file. The information warrants the abatement of the delinquency penalty in accordance with the reasonable cause assistant. Based on TAS authority the case advocate can abate the delinquency penalty.
A case advocate is assigned an individual income tax case that meets TAS criteria with a pending liability. The taxpayer filed a 1040 U.S. with a Form 2555 to exclude the income earned during the part of the year he was a bona fide resident of Country X. Upon examination of all the pertinent records (including the administrative file) the case advocate concluded that during processing the Form 2555 was not attached to the original 1040 and the foreign earned income exclusion was not allowed. The case advocate will submit an OAR to International Account Maintenance (IA) in accordance with the SLAs.
Pursuant to Delegation Order No. 267, TAS employees are authorized to perform functions of Accounts Management employees. This delegation includes the authority to resolve scrambled social security number (SSN) issues, as described in IRM 126.96.36.199.2, Scrambled SSN Case Procedures. A scrambled case is created when returns are filed by two or more taxpayers using the same SSN (common number) and a correct SSN for each taxpayer cannot be determined. If a correct SSN is located for either taxpayer, the accounts must be separated following Mixed Entity and Multiple Filers instructions; this situation is not a scrambled SSN and depending on the specific issue you may have to issue an OAR to resolve.
Accounts are scrambled to prevent returns from posting to the common number while Social Security Administration (SSA) determines the correct SSN for each taxpayer. If the scrambled indicator is already present on ENMOD and a determination has been made by SSA and Operations (the common number has already been scrambled), you do not have delegated authority to take any further action unless there is a refund issue. If the scrambled social security number issue involves a refund, follow IRM 188.8.131.52.2.5 to determine if a refund can be issued. After verification that notification has been sent to SSA (via Form 3857) through the Scrambled Coordinator, the TAS taxpayer should be told to continue using the IRSN assigned (the temporary number) and wait for notification from SSA or the operating division.
If the scrambled condition has not already been identified, you can establish the scrambled SSN case as outlined in IRM 184.108.40.206.2.9, Form 3857 which includes the preparation of Form 3857.
A taxpayer contacts TAS because he has found out someone else filed tax returns using his social security number. He states the other person has filed using his social security number for the last 3 years, and he has tried to get the matter resolved. Research shows another taxpayer has been filing returns under the social security number, and there are no indicators on ENMOD that the SSN used by the taxpayers has a scrambled indicator. TAS has limited delegated authority to resolve a scrambled SSN case. Follow IRM 220.127.116.11.2.2, Determining if a Scrambled Situation Exists, conduct all research and secure all returns. Follow OAR procedures to secure temporary TINs. Once the temporary TIN is provided, an OAR would be required to reprocess returns to the temporary TIN for one taxpayer, perIRM 18.104.22.168.2.4, Beginning Preliminary Scrambled Procedures. For the other taxpayer, use your delegated authority outlined in IRM 22.214.171.124.2.6, Condition 1 Case Processing and 126.96.36.199.2.7, Condition 2 Case Processing, to move the account from the common number to the temporary TIN and adjust the account to remove the other taxpayer's account information. Update the common number to put the scrambled indicator on ENMOD, as discussed in IRM 188.8.131.52.2.6, Condition 1 Case Processing and 184.108.40.206.2.7, Condition 2 Case Processing. Issue notification letters as outlined in the same IRM reference. An OAR is necessary to submit the completed Form 3857, Request for SSN Clarification, to the Scrambled SSN Coordinator to send a formal request to SSA, and to establish these taxpayers on the scrambled maintenance file Operation's monitors as outlined in IRM 220.127.116.11.2.10, Maintaining Scrambled SSN Files — Two Year File. The TAS case can be closed when you have verification from operations that the Form 3857 has been sent to SSA.