13.1.16 Receipt and Intake of TAS Cases

Manual Transmittal

August 14, 2020

Purpose

(1) This transmits revisions to IRM 13.1.16, Taxpayer Advocate Service, Taxpayer Advocate Case Procedures, Receipt and Assignment of TAS Cases.

(2) IRM section title changed to Receipt and Intake of TAS Cases to reflect the intake and case receipt process.

Material Changes

(1) IRM 13.1.16.1 updated to clarify and update internal controls per IRM 1.11.2.2.5, Address Management and Internal Controls.

(2) IRM 13.1.16.2, TAS Intake Strategy, added to clarify TAS’s overall case intake procedures.

(3) IRM 13.1.16.3, Intake Advocate Delegated Authority, added to clarify delegated authorities for Intake Advocates and incorporate clarifications from the Question Resolution Information System (QRIS) 11053. QRIS 11053 will be obsoleted upon publishing of clarifications to IRM 13.1.16.3.

(4) IRM 13.1.16.4 updated to add a paragraph concerning employee personal cellphone and electronic device usage. Added a paragraph concerning requests to speak with a manager. Added a paragraph to clarify that employees should verify the taxpayer or representative’s comprehension before ending a call. Clarified that during busy times, employees may not be able to handle multiple taxpayer issues from practitioners in a single call.

(5) IRM 13.1.16.4.1.1, added a note clarifying that a TAS case can be established even when a called cannot be authenticated.

(6) IRM 13.1.16.4.1.2, Disclosure of Collection Activities with Respect to Joint Returns, added.

(7) IRM 13.1.16.4.2, clarified procedures for putting a caller on hold.

(8) IRM 13.1.16.4.4, added information concerning taxpayers identified as "Caution Upon Contact."

(9) IRM 13.1.16.4.5, Assisting Taxpayers Speaking a Language Other Than English, added.

(10) IRM 13.1.16.4.6, Taxpayer Bill of Rights, added to address TIGTA 2019-30-076, recommendation 3.

(11) IRM 13.1.16.5, Taxpayers Contacting TAS and the TAMIS Contact Record, added.

(12) IRM 13.1.16.6, Taxpayer Advocate Received Date, added to incorporate clarifications from QRIS 11050. QRIS 11050 will be obsoleted upon publishing of clarifications to IRM 13.1.16.6.

(13) IRM 13.1.16.7, Initial Contact During Intake, added to incorporate the Initial Contacts Completed during the Intake Process Initiative Memorandum of Understanding (May 30, 2018) and add requirement to discuss TBOR with the taxpayer during the initial contact to address TIGTA 2019-30-076, recommendation 3.

(14) IRM 13.1.16.8, renamed to "Sources of TAS cases and Initial Intake Actions for clarification" . Clarified actions to take when opening an IDRS Control Base and updated to reflect that NTA Toll-free will generate an e-911 on AMS for inquiries received after 7:00 pm CST.

(15) IRM 13.1.16.8.1, Immediate Elevation of Emergency Cases, added to highlight the importance of these actions.

(16) IRM 13.1.16.8.2, updated to inform the taxpayer calling a CCI Office that the call may be monitored or recorded. Updated to incorporate the Initial Contacts Completed during the Intake Process Initiative Memorandum of Understanding (May 30, 2018) and TAMIS Contact Record.

(17) IRM 13.1.16.8.4, updated to incorporate clarifications from QRIS 11050 concerning the TARD.

(18) IRM 13.1.16.8.5, updated to incorporate the Initial Contacts Completed during the Intake Process Initiative Memorandum of Understanding (May 30, 2018) and TAMIS Contact Record. Clarified that employees will discuss the Taxpayer Bill of Rights with the taxpayers, as appropriate.

(19) IRM 13.1.16.8.5.1, Computer Telephony Integrations Object Server (CTIOS) Soft Telephone System, added.

(20) IRM 13.1.16.8.6, updated to incorporate the TAMIS Contact Record.

(21) IRM 13.1.16.9.1, updated to incorporate the TAMIS Contact Record.

(22) IRM 13.1.16.9.2, Staffing Determinations for Centralized AMS, added and will remove from IRM 13.1.17.4.5 during next revision.

(23) IRM 13.1.16.10, incorporated IPU 20U0514.

(24) IRM 13.1.16.11, clarified the title and added additional systems to assist with research.

(25) IRM 13.1.16.11.2, clarified the If/Then table.

(26) IRM 13.1.16.12, incorporated IPU 20U0514.

(27) IRM 13.1.16.12.1, clarified that the employee only needs to have a discussion with the taxpayer if they are speaking in person or via telephone to the taxpayer.

(28) IRM 13.1.16.13, updated to incorporate the TAMIS Contact Record.

(29) IRM 13.1.16.14, added a note to clarify that TAS employees should not rely on the IRS’s allegation of frivolous arguments. TAS should base this decision upon discussions or correspondence received from the taxpayer and updated to incorporate the TAMIS Contact Record.

(30) IRM 13.1.16.15, updated to incorporate the TAMIS Contact Record and to clarify that use of the Form 4442 from AMS is not an electronic process and must be faxed to the IRS OD/Function responsible for resolving the taxpayer’s inquiry.

(31) IRM 13.1.16, updated to incorporate the TAMIS Contact Record.

(32) IRM 13.1.16.16.2, Updated based on News Release IR-2019-101, the IRS (including TAS) is no longer faxing transcripts. Updated to incorporate the use of the TAMIS Quick closure screen.

(33) IRM 13.1.16.16.2.1, clarified the meaning of Intake Strategy.

(34) IRM 13.1.16.16.4, clarified procedures for cases meeting BULK criteria.

(35) IRM 13.1.16.18.1.2(1), removed the ninth example, no longer accurate.

(36) IRM 13.1.16.18.1.3, clarified the fifth example.

(37) Exhibit 13.1.16-1, clarified Case Factors 20 - 24.

(38) Exhibit 13.1.16-3, Acronyms, added.

(39) Exhibit 13.1.16-4, TAMIS Case Coding, added.

(40) Exhibit 13.1.16-5, Contact Record Case Coding, Reason for Contact, added.

(41) Exhibit 13.1.16-6, Contact Record Case Coding, Reason for No Case, added.

(42) Exhibit 13.1.16-7, Contact Record Case Coding, Assistance Provided, added.

(43) Exhibit 13.1.16-8, Completing Initial Contacts During Intake Guide, added.

(44) Exhibit 13.1.16-9, Completing Initial Actions During Intake Guide, added.

(45) Exhibit 13.1.16-10, TAMIS History Literals for Account Actions Taken by Intake Advocates, added.

(46) All Sections: various grammatical or editorial changes, and corrections to links made throughout.

(47) Changes to numbering throughout as new sections were added.

Effect on Other Documents

This IRM supersedes IRM 13.1.16, Taxpayer Advocate Service, Taxpayer Advocate Case Procedures, Receipt and Assignment of TAS Cases dated April 7, 2017. The following IRM Procedural Updates (IPUs), issued from April 14, 2017 through April 16, 2020, have been incorporated into this IRM: 17U0685, 17U1583, and 20U0514.

Audience

Taxpayer Advocate Service employees

Effective Date

(08-14-2020)


Bonnie Fuentes
Executive Director Case Advocacy, Intake and Technical Support

Program Scope and Objectives

  1. Purpose: This IRM section describes case receipt and intake procedures for all TAS employees for handling all potential TAS cases.

  2. Audience: These procedures apply to all TAS employees performing case intake.

  3. Policy Owner: The Executive Director Case Advocacy, Intake and Technical Support (EDCA-ITS), who is under the Deputy National Taxpayer Advocate (DNTA).

  4. Program Owner: The EDCA-ITS who is under the DNTA.

Background

  1. This IRM provides an overview of the responsibilities and actions TAS employees should apply when reviewing taxpayer requests for TAS assistance.

  2. IRM 13.1.16 was revised to incorporate the:

    • Memorandum of Understanding Between the National Treasury Employees Union and the Internal Revenue Service Regarding Change in the Intake Process Which Includes the Establishment of the Centralized Case Intake (CCI) Organization (MOU) (dated May 16, 2016);

    • Delegation Order 13-2-1, Authority of Taxpayer Advocate Service Employees to Perform Certain Tax Administration Functions (dated Jul. 27, 2015) (Del. Order); and

    • Memorandum of Understanding Between the National Treasury Employees Union and the Internal Revenue Service, Taxpayer Advocate Service, regarding the Initial Contacts Completed during the Intake Process Initiative (dated May 30, 2018).

Authority

  1. Pursuant to IRC § 7803(c), the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate (known as the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS)) shall assist taxpayers in resolving problems with the IRS.

Responsibilities

  1. The EDCA-ITS, is the executive responsible for providing policy and guidance for Case Advocacy employees. This IRM is used by all TAS Case Advocacy employees performing case intake.

  2. All TAS employees performing case intake should follow the procedures contained in this IRM as well as other resources.

Program Reports

  1. Reports to monitor the timeliness and accuracy of TAS cases are derived from the Taxpayer Advocate Management Information system (TAMIS) and the TAS Case Quality Review System (CQRS).

Terms

  1. The following table contains a list of terms used throughout this IRM:

    Term Definition
    Action 1 Case For cases meeting TAS case acceptance criteria, the Intake Advocate conducts an in-depth interview, takes the action, creates the case on Taxpayer Advocate Management Information System (TAMIS) via Accounts Management System (AMS), performs initial contact and actions and the TAMIS case closing actions.
    Action 2 Case For cases meeting TAS case acceptance criteria, Intake Advocate conducts an in-depth interview, takes the action, creates the case on TAMIS via AMS, performs initial contact and actions and transfers the case to the Lead Intake Advocate (LIA), Lead Case Advocate (LCA), Taxpayer Advocate Group Manager (TAGM), Local Taxpayer Advocate (LTA) (or other designee based on office procedures) for monitoring and TAMIS case closing actions (as assigned by the manager).
    Action 3 Case For cases meeting TAS case acceptance criteria, Intake Advocate conducts an in-depth interview, takes appropriate case building action, creates the case on TAMIS via AMS, performs initial contact and actions and assigns the case to the local office or through the regular case assignment process.
    Calendar days Actual number of days including holidays and weekends.
    Case Advocacy Any employee working to advocate for the taxpayer. (This could include Intake Advocates, Case Advocates, Taxpayer Advocate Group Managers (TAGMs), Local Taxpayer Advocates (LTAs), etc.).
    Case Intake The procedures TAS employees perform when TAS receives a taxpayer inquiry.
    Centralized AMS This is the process of screening referrals in centralized accounts management services .
    Initial Research Research on Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS) or other systems to determine the status of case and location for assignment.
    Manual Inventory Balancing The procedures applied to the transfer of cases for workload balancing purposes.
    Open Control Open assignment control on IDRS, AIMS, ACS, etc.
    Quick Closure Issues that are either completely resolved by a TAS employee on the same day or resolved on the same day but require IDRS transaction monitoring before TAS can close the case.
    Receiving Office The office receiving a case that has been transferred by the TAS office where the case originated.
    Referrals from Operating Division (OD) A receipt from another IRS OD/Function that could potentially be a case in TAS.
    Taxpayer Advocate Received Date (TARD) The date TAS received the taxpayer’s inquiry.
    Work Days Business days (does not include holidays or weekends).

Acronyms

  1. See Exhibit 13.1.16-3 for a list of acronyms and their definitions used throughout this IRM and to document TAMIS during case intake.

Related Resources

  1. TAS employees will use the following tools in conjunction with this IRM when performing intake activities:

    1. Case Assistance by Issue Code (CABIC);

    2. Delegation Order 13-2-1, Authority of Taxpayer Advocate Service Employees to Perform Certain Tax Administration Functions (dated Jul. 27, 2015) (Del. Order);

    3. Form 4442 Referral Fax Numbers (on SERP);

    4. Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP);

    5. Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (And Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order);

    6. Estimated Completion Date (ECD) Tool;

    7. Form 4442, Inquiry Referral;

    8. Interim Guidance Memorandum (IGM) TAS-13-0620-0012, Interim Guidance on Accepting Cases Under TAS Case Criteria 9, Public Policy (Jun. 1, 2020);

    9. IPSU Referral Monitoring Sheet;

    10. IRS District Liaison Listing;

    11. Publication 2105, Why Do I Have to Pay Taxes?;

    12. Exhibit 13.1.16-2;

    13. TAS Toolkit;

    14. Taxpayer Bill of Rights;

    15. TAMIS Coding Reference Guide;

    16. The Source for Telephone Numbers;

    17. Transfer Guidelines;

    18. Campus Requirements and Routing Guide (CRRG); and

    19. Zip Code Routing (ZCR).

  2. In addition to the tools listed above, there are other relevant IRMs TAS case advocacy employees will use when performing intake activities:

    1. IRM 11.3, Disclosure of Official Information;

    2. IRM 13.1.2, Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA98);

    3. IRM 13.1.5, Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Confidentiality;

    4. IRM 13.1.6, Casework Communications;

    5. IRM 13.1.7, Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Case Criteria;

    6. IRM 13.1.8, Congressional Affairs Program;

    7. IRM 13.1.10, Special Processes;

    8. IRM 13.1.15, Customer Complaints/RRA98 §1203 Procedures;

    9. IRM 13.1.18, Processing TAS Cases;

    10. IRM 13.1.21, TAS Case Closing and Case Reopen Procedures;

    11. IRM 13.1.23, Taxpayer Representation;

    12. IRM 13.2, Systemic Advocacy;

    13. IRM 21.1.3, Accounts Management and Compliance Services Operations;

    14. IRM 25.23.3, IMF Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU) Paper Overview and Guidance;

    15. IRM 25.4.1, Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer; and

    16. IRM 25.25.10, Frivolous Return Program.

TAS Intake Strategy

  1. The primary mission of TAS’s Intake Strategy is to assist taxpayers who cannot otherwise resolve their issues with the IRS. Under the TAS Intake Strategy, all TAS employees performing intake duties will conduct in-depth interviews with taxpayers to determine the correct disposition of their issue(s). The intake role is very important as it serves as the first contact for most taxpayers coming to TAS for assistance. During the Intake Process, TAS employees:

    1. Assist the taxpayer with self-help options;

    2. Take actions within their delegated authority to resolve the issue up front;

    3. Create cases after validating the taxpayer meets TAS criteria;

    4. Conduct initial contact when speaking directly with the taxpayer or representative (see IRM 13.1.16.7, Initial Contact During the Intake Process); or

    5. Refer the taxpayer to the appropriate Business Operating Division (BOD) for assistance.

  2. Many taxpayers experiencing or about to experience a hardship seek TAS assistance to obtain relief. During the initial communication (verbal or written), TAS must notify the taxpayer of TAS independence within the IRS. See IRM 13.1.2.3, Implementation of RRA98 Provisions in Taxpayer Advocate Service.

  3. TAS identifies criteria that qualify taxpayers for TAS assistance. TAS Case Criteria should not be viewed as a means of excluding taxpayers from TAS, but rather, as a guide to TAS case acceptance. The criteria under which TAS accepts a case should not govern whether a taxpayer is entitled to relief. See IRM 13.1.7, Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Case Criteria.

  4. TAS must expeditiously respond to taxpayers’ inquiries by ensuring TAS cases are promptly assigned to a TAS employee for resolution.

  5. These inquiries require immediate input to the Taxpayer Advocate Management Information System (TAMIS).

    Note:

    See IRM 13.1.16.8, Sources of TAS Cases and Initial Intake Actions, and IRM 13.1.16.13, Contacts that Meet Criteria but Could Be Resolved without TAS Assistance, for more information about handling inquiries from taxpayers.

Intake Advocate Delegated Authority

  1. Delegation Order TAS-13-2-1, Authority of Taxpayer Advocate Service Employees to Perform Certain Tax Administration Functions, allows Intake Advocates to complete certain account actions to facilitate expeditious resolution of specific issues for TAS cases. Intake Advocates do not have the authority to take account actions for taxpayers that do not meet TAS case acceptance criteria.

  2. All TAS employees need to remember the underlying principles regarding authorities delegated to TAS:

    1. The delegated authorities should not conflict with TAS’s role as an advocate for the taxpayer;

    2. TAS’s authorities should be routine and non-substantive;

    3. TAS’s authorities should not create situations where TAS and the IRS are concurrently working the same case and disagree about the proper resolution of the case; and

    4. TAS has no authority to take an action or make a determination that the taxpayer may later appeal.

  3. Intake Advocates will take one of the following actions when working on account issues where they have the delegated authority to take the action for the taxpayer:

    1. Action 1 - Does Not Require Monitoring. Intake Advocate conducts an in-depth interview, takes the action, creates the case on Taxpayer Advocate Management Information System (TAMIS) via Accounts Management System (AMS), and performs the TAMIS case closing actions.

    2. Action 2 - Requires Monitoring. Intake Advocate conducts an in-depth interview, takes the action, creates the case on TAMIS via AMS, and transfers the case to the Lead Intake Advocate (LIA), Lead Case Advocate (LCA), Taxpayer Advocate Group Manager (TAGM), Local Taxpayer Advocate (LTA) (or other designee based on office procedures) for monitoring and TAMIS case closing actions (as assigned by the manager).

    3. Action 3: Assignment to Case Advocate Required. Intake Advocate conducts an in-depth interview, takes appropriate case building action(s), creates the case on TAMIS via AMS, and assigns the case to the local office or through the regular case assignment process.

  4. When using delegated authorities to input an account adjustment, Intake Advocate’s will use the literals in Exhibit 13.1.16-10, TAMIS History Literals for Account Actions Taken by Intake Advocates, to document account actions. Keep in mind, TAMIS Literals do not replace detailed case histories. Intake Advocates are required to document all actions taken on a case and all discussions with taxpayers, representatives, and TAS employees concerning case-related activities in the TAMIS History.

  5. Generally, Intake Advocates working the Centralized AMS queue do not have direct contact with the taxpayer or representative, would not complete the initial contact (see IRM 13.1.16.7, Initial Contact During Intake), and cannot use Quick Closure procedures on these cases ( IRM 13.1.16.16.2, Quick Closure Cases). Instead, the case will be assigned to a Case Advocate to complete, and if the case meets the definition of a Quick closure, the Case Advocate can close the case as a Quick Closure. If in the rare instance, an Intake Advocate does have direct contact with a taxpayer or representative in the Centralized AMS queue, then the Intake Advocate can use his or her delegated authorities to assist the taxpayer.

Communication Skills and Requirements

  1. The intake process is generally the first point of contact and may be the only communication taxpayers will experience with TAS. The way TAS employees communicate during the intake process (i.e., phone, face-to face, or correspondence) must create a positive first impression, which sets the tone for subsequent communications with the taxpayer or representative during case resolution. Taxpayers from various backgrounds may be encountering many different issues and may be frightened or confused and present themselves as uncooperative or angry as they attempt to resolve their IRS problems. TAS can alleviate their concerns and give them confidence that TAS will advocate on their behalf.

  2. Greet the taxpayer or representative in a professional and courteous manner. If necessary, adjust your choice of words to the taxpayer or representative’s level of understanding, and avoid technical jargon and acronyms. Actively listen to obtain a mutual understanding of the taxpayer’s problem. Avoid interrupting, picking words apart, and prematurely forming a response. Instead, listen carefully to the entire message with empathy and compassion. Repeat the issue back to the taxpayer or representative to verify you understand the problem.

  3. When communicating, orally or in writing, use language to convey an attitude of customer service. What you say and how you say it makes taxpayers and representatives feel you value them, understand the issue, and want to help. You may not always be aware of the impact of what you say, especially when you are communicating on the phone and cannot see the taxpayer or representative’s reaction, but your communication skills send a powerful message and greatly impact the taxpayer's or representative’s perspective of TAS.

  4. The Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA 98), Section 3705(a), provides identification requirements for all employees working tax-related matters. See IRM 13.1.2.3, Implementation of RRA98 Provisions in Taxpayer Advocate Service. Taxpayers and representatives also have the Right to be Informed about who they are discussing their tax-related matters with.

  5. Immediately upon telephone contact, tell the taxpayer or representative your name, your job title, telephone number, your unique employee identification number (10-digit Smart ID badge number) and TAS statement of independence. See IRM 13.1.2.3.2 , Inform Taxpayer of Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS). For CCI Intake Advocates assigned to the phone system, inform the taxpayer of the following: "Your call may be monitored or recorded for quality purposes."

  6. If you do not make telephone contact, your initial letter to the taxpayer or representative must contain the above identifying information as well. In addition, your letter will contain your address and office hours. See The Right to Be Informed.

  7. During your initial phone conversation with the taxpayer or representative, secure the taxpayer or representative’s phone number in the event the phone disconnects during your conversation. Record the facts in the TAMIS history.

  8. During your initial phone conversation with the taxpayer or representative, it may be necessary to place the taxpayer or representative on hold to perform extended research. Always alert the taxpayer or representative of the need to place him or her on hold and obtain his or her agreement. Secure the taxpayer or representative’s phone number in case the phone disconnects.

  9. Research the account to ensure you cover all open issues.

  10. Explain why you are placing the taxpayer or representative on hold and give an anticipated time frame for the hold. Return periodically (at a minimum every 5 minutes) to reassure the taxpayer or representative that the call is still connected and you are still researching. Make every attempt to avoid keeping the taxpayer or representative on hold for an extended period. Ask the taxpayer or representative if he or she would rather receive a call back from you once you have completed your research to avoid a long hold time.

  11. Only place the taxpayer or representative on hold to research information that is not readily available (e.g., IDRS, AMS). If it is necessary to place the taxpayer or representative on hold on multiple occasions, apologize and provide an explanation for the additional research. Always thank the taxpayer or representative for holding when you return to the call.

  12. If the taxpayer or representative requests you to hold while he or she gets information or for another reason, give the taxpayer or representative the option of TAS calling back at a better time.

  13. If the taxpayer or representative asks to speak to a supervisor, follow the procedures in IRM 13.1.16.10, Complaints and Allegations Concerning Employees.

  14. When tax practitioners call with more than one client issue to discuss, you may not be able to handle each one of the practitioner’s cases in a single call. If call volumes are prohibitive, explain to the practitioner that you will work through one client issue per phone call and encourage him or her to fax completed Form 911 , Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (And Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order) to the TAS office closest to the practitioner for review. If the practitioner does not accept the practice of handling one client issue per phone call during busy times, offer to transfer the call to your manager.

  15. If you receive a threat via telephone, avoid making confrontational statements to the caller and follow the guidance in IRM 21.1.3.10.3, Assault/Threat Incidents/Abusive Practitioners.

  16. If a caller threatens suicide, refer to IRM 13.1.10.4.1, What to Do When the Taxpayer Threatens Suicide.

  17. Before ending a call, verify the taxpayer or representative’s comprehension by asking if he or she understand all of the information discussed, what the next steps are, and when he or she can expect a next contact.

  18. Employee personal cell phones and other electronic devices may be brought into the work place, but are to be used only during breaks and lunchtime, or prior to or after an employee's official tour of duty. Employees should not interrupt their calls and conversations with taxpayers, third parties, and/or other IRS employees to take an incoming call on their personal cell phones. This also includes incoming and outgoing phone media such as text messages and emails. All personal cell phones should be silenced to avoid distractions and disturbances during working hours.

Disclosure

  1. IRC 6103(a) establishes the general rule that returns and return information are confidential and can only be disclosed to the extent the disclosure is specifically authorized in the Internal Revenue Code or other laws.

  2. It is the responsibility of all IRS employees to protect taxpayer confidentiality and to understand when access to or disclosure of taxpayer information is authorized by law. This includes the protection of information displayed on a computer screen. TAS employees should consider using the Authentication Tools available on the Accounts Management System (AMS) and Integrated Automation Technology (IAT).

  3. Document taxpayer authentication in the TAMIS history. Employees can use the acronym “DV” (disclosure verified) for documentation purposes.

Authorized Disclosures
  1. TAS is responsible for protecting tax returns and tax return information and Privacy Act records. See IRC 6103 which contains provisions for protecting and disclosing confidential returns or return information. The Privacy Act (5 USC 552a(c)) protects the confidentiality of records retrieved by an identifier for an individual. See IRM 11.3, Disclosure of Official Information, concerning disclosure situations.

  2. TAS employees are responsible for verifying that they are speaking with the correct taxpayer or representative. Follow the guidance in IRM 21.1.3.2.3, Required Taxpayer Authorization, IRM 21.1.3.2.4, Additional Taxpayer Authentication, and for information on Power of Attorneys (POAs) or representatives, see IRM 13.1.23.3, General Disclosure Rules, and IRM 21.1.3.3, Third Party (POA/TIA/F706) Authentication.

    Note:

    Even if you are unable to authenticate the taxpayer because IDRS is unavailable, you can continue to work with the taxpayer or representative. You have to authenticate the caller before providing or disclosing any account information to the caller. You do not have to complete authentication to take down a description of the problem and any other information the taxpayer (or representative) voluntarily chooses to provide. A description of the problem (even if unable to verify on IDRS) should be sufficient to establish a case if it meets criteria.

  3. Prior to providing authorized tax return information, ask for identifying information and conduct IDRS research to validate the responses (e.g., name and TIN). For a list of the research command codes, refer to IRM 21.1.3.2.3(10).

  4. If more than one TAS employee contacts the same taxpayer or representative on the same case, the subsequent employee must also authenticate the taxpayer’s or representative’s identification before disclosing any information. Document every taxpayer or representative authentication in TAMIS. Employees can use the acronym “DV” (disclosure verified) for documentation purposes.

Disclosure of Collection Activities with Respect to Joint Returns
  1. IRC 6103(e)(8), Disclosure of collection activities with respect to joint return, balances two key taxpayer rights;

    1. The law gives a divorced or separated spouse the right to be informed about IRS collection activities taken against the other spouse in connection with tax owed on a jointly filed return.

    2. The information available to the spouse under this provision is limited to protect the other spouse’s right to privacy.

  2. See IRM 11.3.2.4.1.1, Disclosure of Collection Activities with Respect to Joint Returns, and IRM 5.1.22.4, Disclosure of Joint Returns - Divorced or Separated Spouses, when determining what information can be disclosed to the other spouse. Examples of common disclosure request situations appear in IRM 5.1.22.4.1(8), IRM 5.19.5.4.11.1(5), and IRM 5.1.22.4.1.1.

  3. Contact the Disclosure Help Desk if you need assistance when questions arise concerning the disclosure of divorced or separated spouses joint returns. Contact information for the Disclosure Help Desk can be located by clicking on the Disclosure link under the Technical Tools drop down list on the IRS Source homepage.

Use of Cell Phones and Cordless Devices

  1. During incoming calls if you know that the caller is on a cell phone or a cordless device, ask the caller if he or she is comfortable discussing personal tax information on a cell or cordless phone. Employees are not obligated to determine if the caller is using a cell phone or cordless device. See IRM 13.1.6.8, Disclosure Issues - Cell Phones and Cordless Devices, for more information.

  2. Document the taxpayer's permission to discuss sensitive but unclassified (SBU) information, if appropriate.

  3. During your initial phone conversation with the taxpayer, it may be necessary to place the taxpayer on hold to perform extended research. Always alert the taxpayer of the need to place him or her on hold and solicit his or her agreement. Secure the taxpayer’s phone number in case the phone disconnects.

  4. In the event the phone disconnects, try to call the taxpayer back.

  5. See IRM 13.1.16.4, Communication Skills and Requirements, for guidance related to placing a taxpayer on hold.

Leaving Messages on Answering Machines

  1. Generally, no tax information protected by IRC 6103 may be left on an answering machine or voicemail unless the taxpayer specifically agrees to allow TAS to leave that information. Follow procedures found in IRM 13.1.6.7, Leaving Messages on Answering Machines.

  2. If the inquiry is received on Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (And Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order), the taxpayers may note their agreement by checking box 9b on Form 911.

  3. If the taxpayer gives their agreement verbally, document the taxpayer’s agreement on TAMIS.

  4. While there are certain situations described in IRM 13.1.6.7 when taxpayer information protected by IRC 6103 can be left on a taxpayer’s voicemail, TAS cannot leave such taxpayer information on the voicemail or answering machine of a taxpayer’s authorized representative even if the representative asks TAS to do so, or on the voicemail or answering machine of a Congressional staffer.

Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer (PDT) Indicator and Threats

  1. Once a taxpayer is identified as potentially dangerous, a potentially dangerous indicator represented by symbol *PDT* is displayed on IDRS and on documents originating from IDRS. When *PDT* is displayed on TXMOD, ENMOD, IMFOL, or BMFOL be extremely cautious and inform your manager as soon as possible. Document “PDT” designations in the TAMIS history.

  2. Taxpayers may also be identified as caution upon contact. This indicator will be represented by symbol *CAU* is displayed on IDRS and on documents originating from IDRS. When *CAU* is displayed on TXMOD, ENMOD, IMFOL, or BMFOL be cautious and inform your manager as soon as possible. Document “CAU” designations in the TAMIS history.

  3. If a threat is made on any telephone call, either incoming or outgoing, complete Form e-4442, Inquiry Referral, or Form 4442, Inquiry Referral, to document the call and your response. Indicate “PDT” at the top and forward to your manager.

  4. Your manager will forward the Form 4442 or Form e-4442, to the nearest TIGTA office. See TIGTA, Office of Investigations, Emergency Contact Information.

  5. See IRM 25.4.1, Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer and IRM 25.4.2, Caution Upon Contact Taxpayer, for more information.

  6. For bomb threats or other emergencies, see IRM 21.1.3.10, Safety and Security Overview.

Assisting Taxpayers Speaking a Language Other Than English

  1. When explaining tax issues and procedures, alternatives, and appeal rights, the taxpayer or representative is more likely to feel comfortable and have a better understanding when using his or her primary language. Taxpayers may also be more comfortable asking follow-up questions or requesting clarifications in their primary language. Even if the taxpayer or representative understands English, if he or she prefers to speak in his or her primary language, TAS will heed this request.

  2. TAS uses the Over the Phone Interpreter (OPI) program to communicate with taxpayers or representatives speaking a language other than English. TAS employees can go directly to the OPI intranet site.

  3. The OPI site provides a Pocket Guide with easy-to-follow instructions, Over-the-Phone Interpreter Service (OPI) Frequently Asked Questions, and Working with Interpreters - Quick Tips Lionbridge to assist TAS employees using this service.

  4. Per the OPI FAQs, employees that have not already signed up for OPI can do so by contacting the TAS division representative who will provide the employee with the toll-free number and access code.

  5. Document the language the taxpayer or representative prefers to use when discussing his or her issue on TAMIS Taxpayer Screen 5 of 5.

  6. When employees are unable to speak to the taxpayer or representative in his or her primary language, there are tools available to help employees send correspondence to the taxpayer or representative:

    1. For Spanish-speaking taxpayers or representatives, use TAS Spanish Letters.

    2. The Multilingual & Agency Services (MAS) Branch provides translation services, see Request Translations. MAS will translate paragraph(s) needed to insert into a TAS Spanish Letter using a TAS Spanish Letter from English to Spanish.

    3. For case-related documents, TAS employees use the Specialist Referral System (SRS) to submit requests with encryption to protect taxpayers’ personal information. Immediately after sending the request through SRS, the TAS employee must send the paragraph(s) needed to insert into a TAS Spanish Letter to the *Linguistic Services mailbox. See IRM 22.31.1.5.4.4, Translating Non-Vital Documents.

  7. When an employee receives correspondence from a taxpayer or representative:

    1. The Multilingual & Agency Services (MAS) Branch provides translation services, see Request Translations. MAS will translate paragraph(s) needed to insert into a TAS Spanish Letter using a TAS Spanish Letter from English to Spanish.

    2. For case-related documents, TAS employees use the Specialist Referral System (SRS) to submit requests with encryption to protect taxpayers’ personal information. Immediately after sending the request through SRS, the TAS employee must send the paragraph(s) needed to insert into a TAS Spanish Letter to the *Linguistic Services mailbox. See IRM 22.31.1.5.4.4, Translating Non-Vital Documents.

  8. If you encounter a taxpayer for whom English is a second language, consider whether the taxpayer could benefit from assistance from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC). Note that in light of the Taxpayer First Act, you may now refer a taxpayer to a particular LITC for assistance. See Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List.

Taxpayer Bill of Rights

  1. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR) groups the existing rights in the tax code into ten fundamental rights and makes them clear, understandable, and accessible. The rights are:

    1. The Right to Be Informed.

    2. The Right to Quality Service.

    3. The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax.

    4. The Right to challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard.

    5. The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum.

    6. The Right to Finality.

    7. The Right to Privacy.

    8. The Right to Confidentiality.

    9. The Right to Retain Representation.

    10. The right to a Fair and Just Tax System.

  2. Taxpayers have always had these Rights but often were not aware of them. These Rights are now part of Pub 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, and are codified in IRC 7803(a)(3).

  3. During communications with taxpayers, TAS employees will verify the taxpayer is aware of and understands TBOR. TAS employees may use the TAS Taxpayer Bill of Rights website to assist with these discussions and will document the discussion and the taxpayer’s understanding of TBOR in TAMIS.

  4. When sending written communications, TAS employees may include Pub 1 as an attachment to ensure the taxpayer is aware of and understands TBOR.

Taxpayers Contacting TAS and the TAMIS Contact Record

  1. TAS employees contacted by a taxpayer or representative via telephone, fax, walk-in, email, cases on AMS, or correspondence must complete a TAMIS Contact Record. This includes:

    1. Contacts to any TAS employee from an individual who does not have an open or previously-closed case in TAS, but does not meet case acceptance criteria;

    2. Contacts to any TAS employee from an individual who does not have an open or previously-closed case in TAS and meets case acceptance criteria; and

    3. Contacts on a previously-closed or open case in TAS to a TAS employee who is not assigned an open case with the individual.

      Note:

      Cases received via AMS from the OD/Function are also considered contacts for purposes of the Contact Record, as these represent contacts by the taxpayer or representative who are seeking assistance and they are reaching TAS through an indirect method. Intake Advocates loading cases from AMS into TAMIS will complete the Contact Record.

  2. Use of the Contact Record is not limited to Intake and Case Advocates. It must be completed by any TAS employee contacted by a taxpayer, including managers and secretaries.

  3. The TAS employee receiving the contact must complete the Contact Record to capture the reason for the contact within two workdays. If TAMIS is down during this time, complete the Contact Record the next workday when TAMIS is available. Be sure to use the actual date of the contact.

  4. For voicemail messages received, receipt occurs on the day the TAS employee listens to the voicemail message. If an individual leaves multiple voicemail messages for the same TAS employee during a single day, employees may complete just one Contact Record for all messages left on that day. When an employee has entered a completed Contact Record and the taxpayer later calls back or leaves a message; the employee must enter a new Contact Record because the previous Contact Record cannot be updated.

  5. If an open case exists on TAMIS, employees will associate the Contact Record with that case.

  6. The information recorded on the Contact Record for an open case will not be retained on TAMIS as a separate, individual TAMIS screen like the OAR or POA screens. Instead, it operates as a template that, once completed and saved, will create a systemic TAMIS History containing the information collected, alerting the employee assigned to the case of activity in the case history by another TAS employee.

  7. See Exhibit 13.1.16-5, Contact Record Case Coding, Reason for Contact, Exhibit 13.1.16-6, Contact Record Case Coding, Reason for No Case, Exhibit 13.1.16-7, Contact Record Case Coding, Assistance Provided, for Contact Record coding and definitions.

Taxpayer Advocate Received Date

  1. The Taxpayer Advocate Received Date (TARD) is the date TAS received the taxpayer’s inquiry, even if TAS doesn’t immediately act on the inquiry to create a case in TAMIS. The document(s) may be received 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including weekends and holidays and will be date stamped as such. TAS employees will not change the date of the TARD to a date other than the date TAS received the inquiry even though there may be a delay in loading the case to TAMIS. It is critical that TAS know the date the case was received into TAS and employees cannot change this date no matter the circumstances.

    Example:

    A taxpayer faxes a Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance, to TAS on April 1, but a TAS employee does not create a case in TAMIS until April 3. The TARD is April 1 as this is the day the inquiry was received by TAS.

    Example:

    An IRS function submits an e911 referral to TAS via AMS on April 1, but a TAS employee does not pull the referral into TAMIS and create a case until April 3. The TARD is April 1 as this is the day the inquiry was received by TAS. This is true even through the AMS form used to put the case on TAMIS auto-populates a TARD of April 3. The auto-populated date must be corrected to April 1.

    Example:

    An IRS function receives correspondence from a taxpayer on June 1. The IRS sends a TAS referral on June 15 and TAS loads the case onto TAMIS on June 16. The IRS Received Date is June 1, the TARD is June 15, and the TAMIS Received Date is June 16.

    Note:

    AMS will pre-populate the TARD using the date the IRS employee created the e-911.

  2. It is acceptable for the TARD to be different from the IRS Received Date and the TAMIS date. IRM 3.12.279.31(1), Determining the IRS Received Date, explains that the IRS Received date is the date a document is actually received in a Campus or IRS office authorized to accept tax returns. The document(s) may be received 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including weekends and holidays and will be date stamped as such.

  3. The TAMIS Received Date is the date systemically populated when a case is loaded to TAMIS and cannot be edited.

  4. TAS always computes initial contact dates from the TARD, because it aligns with the expectations given to the taxpayer. Inaccurate TARDs lead to taxpayer dissatisfaction and resentment. In addition, inaccurate TARDs lead to taxpayer calls to the NTA Toll Free line, general TAS office number, or the manager because the taxpayer did not receive an initial contact within the timeframe promised by the referring employee.

Initial Contact During Intake

  1. When the initial contact is conducted during the intake process, employees will set the Next Contact Date (NCD) for three workdays following the TARD for criteria 1 through 4 cases. For criteria 5 through 9 cases, employees will set the NCD for ten workdays following the TARD and a follow-up date (FUD) for five workdays following the TARD.

    Note:

    For those cases where the taxpayer’s issue can be resolved within 24 hours and subsequent contact with the taxpayer is unnecessary, an NCD is not required.

  2. When the employee identifies time-sensitive issue(s) where the taxpayer could be adversely impacted if TAS does not take actions to immediately address or resolve the issue(s), he or she will immediately discuss the case with the manager to determine whether the case requires immediate assignment. If the manager determines the case requires immediate assignment, he or she will alert the manager of the receiving office within one workday and document the TAMIS history.

  3. Notify the taxpayer of TAS’s involvement and independence from the IRS. See IRM 13.1.2.3.2, Inform Taxpayer of Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Independence.

  4. Explain the confidentiality rule of IRC 7803(c)(4)(A)(iv). TAS personnel should also tell taxpayers that they will generally need to provide information to IRS personnel to resolve the taxpayer’s problem. See IRM 13.1.5.6, Communicating Confidentiality Rules to Taxpayers and Taxpayers’ Representatives.

    1. The following is an example of what TAS employees could tell a taxpayer or taxpayer’s representative when he or she contacts TAS: The Internal Revenue Code gives the Taxpayer Advocate Service the discretion not to disclose certain information to the IRS. However, the Taxpayer Advocate Service will likely have to disclose to the IRS at least some of the information to obtain the assistance or relief you are requesting. If you ask me not to disclose to the IRS what you tell me or the fact that you have contacted the Taxpayer Advocate Service, the Taxpayer Advocate Service will generally honor your request.

  5. Verify the taxpayer is aware of and understands TBOR. See IRM 13.1.16.4.6. Document your discussion of TBOR in TAMIS.

  6. It is important to secure all documentation needed to support case resolution. This documentation may be required by the OD/Functional Unit or may be required by TAS to take an action, e.g., issuing a manual refund) per the IRM or other procedural guidance. TAS will generally request from the taxpayer only the information required by the Code, regulations, IRM, or other procedural guidance. Do not request documents from the taxpayer that are already present on IRS systems e.g., CIS, AMS, RGS/CEAS, ALS, TAMIS). Information requested from the taxpayer should pertain directly to the taxpayer’s issue and the relief or assistance needed. Agree on a due date to provide the information. Document in TAMIS all the information appropriate for relief that is requested from the taxpayer, the date the taxpayer has agreed to provide the documentation, and other information discussed relevant to the case.

  7. Advise the taxpayer or representative of your name, job title, address, telephone number, office hours, and ten-digit SmartID badge number. Explain to the taxpayer or representative that TAS has offices in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. If the case will be transferred, provide the receiving office’s address, fax number, and main telephone number. See IRM 13.1.6.2, Oral Communication, IRM 21.1.1.4, Communication Skills, IRM 10.2.5.6.1, Photo ID Cards, and the TAS Directory to find the receiving office’s contact information.

  8. Provide a meaningful apology specific to the taxpayer’s issue, if appropriate. See IRM 13.1.6.5, Apology.

  9. Verify how the taxpayer’s inquiry came into TAS. Input the Outreach codes in TAMIS Taxpayer Screen 1.

  10. Clarify the taxpayer’s issue and the relief or assistance requested. If, after the initial contact with the taxpayer, the TAS employee determines the original statement was unclear or incorrect, make the correction and document TAMIS.

  11. Upon clarification of the taxpayer’s issue and the relief/assistance requested, update the TAMIS Primary Core or Secondary Core Issue Codes (PCIC and SCIC) and the TAMIS Action Plan.

  12. Use the Case Actions screen on TAMIS to document initial contact actions and notate the date of the next action (FUD or NCD). Document the TAMIS History with details of your conversation with the taxpayer that are pertinent to the case. See Exhibit 13.1.16-3, Acronyms, for acronyms you can use to make documenting the TAMIS history easier.

  13. If you have sufficient information to make an IRC § 7811 Significant Hardship Determination, make the determination. Intake Advocates are not required to enter an “Explanation” on Taxpayer Screen 3. Intake Advocates working the case to completion (Action 1 or Action 2) will enter the literal IA7811. For those cases that are assigned to a Case Advocate to work, the Case Advocate will update the Explanation field as appropriate. For additional information see IRM 13.1.18.7, Making an IRC § 7811 Significant Hardship Determination.

  14. Provide the taxpayer or representative with an Estimated Completion Date (ECD) and notate on Initial Actions Screen 2.

  15. Inform taxpayers what TAS will do to resolve their issue(s), based on what you know from initial research and discussion with the taxpayer. Be sure to remind the taxpayer or representative that resolution can change as the assigned Case Advocate does a thorough review of the case.

  16. See Exhibit 13.1.16-8, Completing Initial Contacts During Intake Guide.

Sources of TAS Cases and Initial Intake Actions

  1. TAS receives taxpayer inquiries from a variety of sources. No matter how a case is received, TAS employees will gather all available information from the taxpayer and IRS sources to case build those inquiries meeting TAS case acceptance criteria before a case is assigned to a Case Advocate. These inquiries may originate from the following:

    1. Taxpayer Contacts TAS Directly (Telephone Contacts to a TAS Office, Virtual Service Delivery (VSD), or Walk-in to a TAS Office, and Calls Transferred by NTA Toll-Free Assistors to Centralized Case Intake);

    2. Taxpayer Contacts TAS through Correspondence (Mail or Fax);

    3. IRS Operating Divisions/Functions referrals via AMS or Form 911;

    4. Congressional office contacts; and

    5. Other inquiries (e.g., Senate Finance Committee (SFC), Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA)).

  2. Research to determine if the inquiry meets TAS criteria. TAS does not ask taxpayers to validate hardship as a prerequisite to accepting a case. If the taxpayer’s situation meets TAS case acceptance criteria, accept the case into TAS. See IRM 13.1.7, Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Case Criteria, IRM 13.1.18.1, Processing Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Cases, specifically the Common Sense and Good Judgment In Processing II, and IRM 13.1.16.11, Taking Initial Actions for Case Building during Intake.

  3. If the inquiry meets TAS criteria, but there is no time at the end of the day to input it, the case should be input the next business day. Use the date the taxpayer contacted TAS as the TARD. The TARD will be noted on TAMIS.

  4. When an e-911 is created from AMS, the entity information from IDRS is automatically populated in the e-911; however, these fields can be edited, and should reflect the current address and correct contact information. It is particularly important in identity theft cases to manually input the correct address and contact information since IDRS will often reflect incorrect entity information from an unauthorized return filed by an individual using the Social Security Number (SSN) of the TAS taxpayer. It is also important when handling accounts of divorced or separated taxpayers with joint liabilities, and cases where an individual reveals that he or she is a victim of domestic violence.

  5. Open an IDRS control base. The IDRS control base should include the following:

    • C#: Auto populated;

    • STATUS: Code “A” or “B” depending on the case type and published guidance;

    • ACT-DT: Auto populated;

    • ACTION-EMP: IDRS number;

    • ACTIVITY: TAMIS Case File Number, i.e., CFXXXXXXX;

    • RCVD-DT: Taxpayer Advocate Received Date (TARD); and

    • CAT: “ATAO”.

  6. Populate applicable fields on TAMIS Initial Actions Screen 1 to document that a control base was opened. If the case is assigned to a Case Advocate for completion, the Case Advocate will update the IDRS number upon receipt of the case. The control base will be opened even if the case will be transferred to another office for assignment.

  7. Take steps to suspend all relevant balance due modules and populate applicable fields on TAMIS Initial Actions Screen 1 with the details. See IRM 13.1.16.11.2, Suspending Collection Actions, and IRM 13.1.10.11, Suspending Collection Action, for additional information.

  8. Complete the initial actions as required by IRM 13.1.16.11, Taking Initial Actions for Case Building During Intake and IRM 13.1.18.2, Introduction to Initial Actions. Document the TAMIS history with all actions taken. See Exhibit 13.1.16-9, Completing Initial Actions During Intake Guide.

  9. If the inquiry does not meet TAS criteria, contact the taxpayer to explain why the issue does not meet TAS criteria and follow the procedures in IRM 13.1.16.15, Contacts Not Meeting TAS Criteria (Nonfrivolous Inquiries).

  10. Summarize the results of IRS systems research in the TAMIS history. Identify the systems researched on the TAMIS Initial Actions Screen 1. Include any information that will be useful to the Case Advocate for the review of the case. Information should include, but is not limited to:

    1. Entity or address discrepancies;

    2. Other tax periods with issues (balance due, unfiled return) not related to the taxpayer’s inquiry;

    3. Presence of valid Power of Attorney on file for any tax period; and

    4. Other IDRS information that identifies any account-related issue for the taxpayer (e.g., underreporter notice, pending adjustments, refund holds, identity theft indicator, statute issue).

  11. See IRM 13.1.16.11, Taking Initial Actions for Case Building During Intake.

  12. See Exhibit 13.1.16-3, Acronyms, for a listing of acronyms that can be used when documenting TAMIS.

  13. See Exhibit 13.1.16-4, TAMIS Case Coding, to assist with TAMIS coding.

Immediate Elevation of Emergency Cases

  1. TAS employees must contact management immediately to discuss the case when they identify a time-sensitive issue that could adversely impact the taxpayer if actions are not taken immediately. If management determines the case requires immediate assignment, the manager will assign the case, for immediate action, or if transferred, will alert the manager of the receiving office, within one workday and document the TAMIS history.

Taxpayer Contacts TAS Directly (Telephone Contacts to a TAS Office, Virtual Service Delivery, or Walk-in to a TAS Office)

  1. Taxpayers or their representatives contact TAS directly through the local office.

  2. When directly contacted by a taxpayer or taxpayer's representative, greet the individual and authenticate identity per IRM 13.1.16.4.1.1, Authorized Disclosures, or IRM 21.1.3.3, Third Party (POA/TIA/F706) Authentication, (for representatives). Verify the individual’s identification before discussing tax information protected by IRC 6103 and refer to IRM 13.1.16.4, Communication Skills and Requirements. If answering the call from a CCI office, inform the taxpayer: "Your call may be monitored or recorded for quality purposes" .

  3. Confirm the individual is seeking help on a federal tax matter. If the issue is regarding a non-tax account matter, make every effort to refer the individual to the appropriate agency. See The Source for Telephone Numbers at http://gatekeeper.web.irs.gov/plList.asp.

  4. If the inquiry meets TAS criteria, create an e-911 on AMS and transmit the case to TAMIS. If AMS is unavailable, load the case directly to TAMIS.

  5. Conduct an in-depth interview and initial contact with the taxpayer and complete the Contact Record. See IRM 13.1.16.7, Initial Contact During Intake.

    1. Intake Advocates will provide their personal desk phone number when working a quick closure case. See IRM 13.1.16.16.2, Quick Closure Cases. Intake Advocates will provide the published TAS office number on cases assigned to a Case Advocate. See IRM 13.1.18.3(9).

  6. When applicable, educate the taxpayer about his or her rights under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. For more information on how these rights might apply to specific situations see Learn What This Means for You at https://taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/taxpayer-rights.

  7. Document TAMIS with all initial contact information provided to the taxpayer and actions taken. Documentation includes, but is not limited to the:

    1. Next Contact Date provided to the taxpayer.

    2. Taxpayer authorization for TAS to leave a voice message in the event the taxpayer is not available. This can be indicated in one of the following ways:
      • Input to the "Taxpayer Consent to have Confidential Information Left on Answering Machine or Voice Mail box" in AMS, or
      • Entering “YES” in the NTA Use Field on TAMIS Taxpayer Screen 5, or
      • Documenting the authorization in the TAMIS history. See IRM 13.1.6.7.

    3. Estimated completion date (be sure to explain to the taxpayer that this may change once the assigned Case Advocate does a thorough review of the case). Use the Estimated Completion Date (ECD) Tool at https://organization.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/tas/CABIC/SitePages/ECD%20Tool.aspx to determine the estimated completion date. Remind the taxpayer that the ECD could change once the Case Advocate has an opportunity to thoroughly review the case. Document the ECD given in the Initial Actions Screen 2.

    4. Discussions with the taxpayer concerning the specific documents required for resolution and information the taxpayer will send to TAS. Documentation should include how and when the taxpayer will send the information to TAS (when applicable). Load documents received from the taxpayer to TAMIS, when applicable.

    5. Clarification of the taxpayer’s problem and the relief or assistance requested.

    6. Discussions with the taxpayer of what TAS will do to resolve the issue, based on what you know about the issue from initial research and through discussion with the taxpayer. Be sure to remind the taxpayer that resolution can change as the assigned Case Advocate does a thorough review of the case.

    7. IRC 7811 determination when there is sufficient information to make a determination. Intake Advocates are not required to enter an “Explanation” on Taxpayer Screen 3. Intake Advocates working the case to completion (Action 1 or Action 2) will enter the literal IA7811. For those cases that are assigned to a Case Advocate to work, the Case Advocate will update the Explanation field as appropriate. See IRM 13.1.18.7, Making an IRC § 7811 Significant Hardship Determination.

    8. Notification of TAS's involvement and independence from the IRS. See IRM 13.1.2.3.2, Inform Taxpayer of Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Independence.

    9. Explanation of the confidentiality rule of IRC 7803(c)(4)(A)(iv). TAS personnel should also tell taxpayers that they will generally need to provide information to IRS personnel to resolve their problem. See IRM 13.1.5.6, Communicating Confidentiality Rules to Taxpayers and Taxpayers’ Representatives.

    10. Apology given to the taxpayer, if appropriate; and

    11. Suspension of collection activity and the date input. Record this on the TAMIS Initial Actions Screen 1.



    This list is not all-inclusive and will vary depending on the issues involved in each case. It is important to provide the Case Advocate assigned the case with as much information as possible to effectively advocate for the taxpayer. See IRM 13.1.18.3.

Taxpayer Contacts TAS through Correspondence (Mail or Fax)

  1. TAS may receive correspondence or a Form 911, directly from the taxpayer, taxpayer's representative, or other IRS employees. See IRM 13.1.16.8.6 for inquiries involving Congressional correspondence and IRM 3.13.2.10.25, Correspondence from Incarcerated Taxpayers, for more information.

  2. Date stamp the correspondence or Form 911 with the actual date the correspondence was received in TAS, regardless of the time of day it was received. This is the Taxpayer Advocate Received Date (TARD). Ensure the TAS date stamp does not conceal information provided on the Form 911 or correspondence. If the 911 is received via fax or email, the TARD is the date of the fax or email, there is no need to date stamp the Form 911. Load documents, including the Form 911, received from the taxpayer to TAMIS.

  3. When it is necessary to call the taxpayer to make a case acceptance determination, TAS employees will authenticate the taxpayer’s identity per IRM 13.1.16.4.1.1, Authorized Disclosures. They will also conduct an in-depth interview and discuss with the taxpayer appropriate information as required by IRM 13.1.18.3 and IRM 13.1.16.6.

  4. If AMS is unavailable, load the case directly to TAMIS. The office receiving a Form 911 is responsible for creating the e-911 on AMS.

  5. Form 911 should not be sent to another office to create the case.

  6. If the Form 911 is incomplete, TAS will still accept it into inventory and complete the required fields on TAMIS to establish the case per IRM 13.1.18.3.

  7. If TAS receives a Form 911 with a time-sensitive return or claim (e.g., received on the due date for filing, on the last day that the taxpayer can claim a refund, or the taxpayer has an imminent economic need for expedite processing), give the inquiry to the manager or designated official for immediate action or assignment. See IRM 13.1.18.6.3, Taxpayers Delivering Returns to TAS and TAS Date Stamp, for procedures to follow upon receipt of a return or claim.

Referrals from IRS Operating Divisions/Functions

  1. If an OD/Function receives a taxpayer contact that meets TAS criteria, and the employee cannot resolve the taxpayer's inquiry or provide the relief requested by the taxpayer within the guidelines listed in IRM 13.1.7.4, Same Day Resolution by Operations, the employee must refer the inquiry to TAS. In this IRM, “OD/Functions” are defined as the divisions of the IRS that do not include TAS.

  2. OD/Functions do not have to submit a Form 911 for every contact that meets TAS criteria. Using the guidelines listed in IRM 13.1.7.4, the OD/Function employees must first determine whether they can properly resolve the inquiry (or take steps towards resolving) or provide the relief requested within 24 hours. If so, the OD/Function employees must take the necessary action and a referral to a TAS office is not necessary, unless the taxpayer makes the request.

  3. When making a referral to TAS, the OD/Function employee must prepare Form 911 or systemically route inquiries through AMS using Form e-911.

  4. The OD/Function will complete Form 911/e-911, Sections I and II before submitting it to TAS. The Form 911/e-911 must state the taxpayer’s problem and the relief requested. OD/Functions are required to document the reason the action was not taken by the employee.

    1. TAS should not reject a Form 911/e-911 simply because a field on the form is not completed as long as there is enough information on the Form 911/e-911 to allow TAS to assist the taxpayer.

  5. The OD/Function employee will forward Form 911/e-911 to TAS within one workday of identifying a contact that potentially meets TAS criteria if contact cannot be resolved within the guidelines listed in IRM 13.1.7.4.

  6. Upon receipt of the Form 911, review it for completeness and stamp it with the TARD. If the 911 is received via fax or email, the TARD is the date of the fax or email, there is no need to date stamp the Form 911. For more information concerning the TARD, see IRM 13.1.16.6, Taxpayer Advocate Received Date.

    1. The initial stated reason for referring the inquiry to TAS may not be the underlying reason of the taxpayer's issue and may require a contact with the taxpayer to obtain additional facts.

    2. When it is necessary to call the taxpayer to make a case acceptance determination, authenticate the taxpayer’s identity per IRM 13.1.16.4.1.1. Conduct an in-depth interview and discuss with the taxpayer the appropriate information as required by IRM 13.1.18.3 and IRM 13.1.16.6 . Verify the taxpayer’s identity before discussing tax information protected by IRC 6103 and refer to IRM 13.1.16.4.

      Note:

      TAS employees working the Centralized AMS queue generally do not have direct contact with the taxpayer, would not complete the initial contact, and cannot use Quick Closure procedures (see IRM 13.1.16.16.2, Quick Closure Cases) on these cases. Instead, the case will be assigned to a Case Advocate to complete, and if the case meets the definition of a Quick Closure, the Case Advocate can close the case as a Quick Closure.

  7. If TAS receives a Form 911 with a time-sensitive return or claim (e.g., received on the due date for filing, on the last day that the taxpayer can claim a refund, or the taxpayer has an imminent economic need for expedite processing), give the inquiry to the manager or designated official for immediate action or assignment. See IRM 13.1.18.6.3, for procedures to follow upon receipt of a return or claim.

Calls from the NTA Toll-Free Assistors Transferred to TAS (via Centralized Case Intake (CCI))

  1. Taxpayers may call the TAS NTA Toll-free Line (1-877-777-4778), staffed by Wage and Investment employees, when they believe their inquiry meets TAS criteria. If the NTA toll-free assistor believes the inquiry meets TAS criteria, the assistor will transfer the caller to CCI during normal business hours. The NTA toll-free assistor will add a history to the AMS prior to transferring the taxpayer, so the TAS employee answering the call will have a general idea about the nature of the call. See IRM 13.3.1.3, New TAS Cases.

  2. If TAS NTA toll-free identifies an inquiry meeting TAS criteria after 7:00 pm CST, the assistor will generate an e-911 on AMS, regardless of the time zone of the caller. See IRM 13.1.16.8.4, Referrals from IRS Operating Divisions/Functions.

  3. Taxpayers who come to TAS via the TAS NTA Toll-free Line may have an expectation that TAS already has information about their case or situation. It is important to take the time to explain the process they have just experienced and inform them about the TAS NTA Toll-free Line and the purpose of that line.

  4. Use the AMS information to validate the issue and give the taxpayers a sense of confidence that the information they already provided is valuable and will help TAS try to resolve the issue. Explain that he or she is speaking with a TAS employee who will ask questions to identify all the issues and may request information that is needed to advocate. Explain that you will either accept their case in TAS or direct them to the appropriate area for assistance.

  5. Conduct an in-depth interview and initial contact with the taxpayer and complete the Contact Record. See IRM 13.1.16.7,Exhibit 13.1.16-8 and Exhibit 13.1.16-9. Intake Advocates will provide the published TAS office number on cases that will be assigned to a Case Advocate. See IRM 13.1.18.3(9).

  6. When applicable, educate the taxpayer about his or her rights under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. For more information on how these rights might apply to specific situations see Learn What This Means for You at https://taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/taxpayer-rights.

  7. Document TAMIS with all information provided to the taxpayer and actions taken. Documentation includes, but is not limited to the:

    1. Next Contact Date provided to the taxpayer;

    2. Taxpayer authorization for TAS to leave a voice message in the event the taxpayer is not available. This can be indicated in one of the following ways:
      • Input to the "Taxpayer Consent to have Confidential Information Left on Answering Machine or Voice Mail box" in AMS;
      • Entering “YES” in the NTA Use Field on TAMIS Taxpayer Screen 5; or
      • Documenting the authorization in the TAMIS history. See IRM 13.1.6.7.

    3. Estimated completion date (be sure to explain to the taxpayer that this may change once the Case Advocate thoroughly reviews the taxpayer’s case). Use the Estimated Completion Date (ECD) Tool at https://organization.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/tas/CABIC/SitePages/ECD%20Tool.aspx to determine the estimated completion date. Remind the taxpayer that the ECD could change once the Case Advocate has an opportunity to thoroughly review the case. The employee enters the ECD in the Initial Actions Screen 2;

    4. Discussions with the taxpayer concerning the specific documents required for resolution and information the taxpayer will either send to TAS or should have ready when contacted by their assigned Case Advocate. Document how and when the taxpayer will send the information to TAS (when applicable). Load documents received from the taxpayer to TAMIS, when applicable;

    5. Clarification of the taxpayer’s problem and the relief or assistance requested;

    6. Discussions with the taxpayer of what TAS will do to resolve the issue, based on what you know about the issue from initial research and through discussion with the taxpayer. Be sure to remind the taxpayer that resolution can change as the Case Advocate does a thorough review of the case.

    7. IRC 7811 determination when there is sufficient information to make a determination. Intake Advocates are not required to enter an “Explanation” on Taxpayer Screen 3. Intake Advocates working the case to completion (Action 1 or Action 2) will enter the literal IA7811. For those cases that are transferred to a Case Advocate to work, the Case Advocate is required to update the Explanation field as appropriate. See IRM 13.1.18.7.

    8. Notification of TAS's involvement and independence from the IRS. See IRM 13.1.2.3.2.

    9. Explanation of the confidentiality rule of IRC 7803(c)(4)(A)(iv). TAS personnel should also tell taxpayers that they will generally need to provide information to IRS personnel to resolve their problem. See IRM 13.1.5.6.

    10. Documentation of the apology given to the taxpayer, if appropriate; and

    11. Suspension of collection activity and the date input. Record this on the TAMIS Initial Actions Screen 1.



    This list is not all-inclusive and will vary depending on the issues involved in each case. It is important to provide the Case Advocate with as much information as possible to effectively advocate for the taxpayer. See IRM 13.1.18.3.

Computer Telephony Integrations Object Server (CTIOS) Soft Telephone System
  1. The routing of calls to CCI is managed using the UCCE soft telephone system via the Intelligent Contact Management (ICM). This system provides for call routing capabilities, queuing, reporting, and toll-free service.

  2. The following table provides the status associated with the soft telephone:

    Status Definition
    Ready Indicates the employee is ready to receive a call
    Wrap-Up Used by employees when extra time is needed at the end of a call to finish work before taking another call
    Hold Used by employees when placing the taxpayer on hold. See IRM 13.1.16.4 for information on placing callers on hold.
    Idle Captures time when the employee is not in “Ready”, “Hold”, or “Wrap-up” status. This status is used in conjunction with a Reason Code to record times for meetings, breaks, research, lunch, and training.

  3. The following table provides Telephone Reason Codes used in conjunction with the Idle Status:

    Reason Code Status Explanation
    1 Temporarily Off the Telephone Use this code when you will be unavailable for telephone work for a period of time not specified by other reason codes. For example, time spent inputting time on SETR, individual meetings with your manager, rest room breaks.
    2 Inventory, First Available Use this code when you are available for telephone work, if necessary, but your work assignment is recording TAMIS interactions, or recording interactions after a system downtime.
    3 Paper Inventory Use this code when your will be available for telephone work, if necessary, but your work assignment is working paper inventory.
    4 Training Use this code when you will be unavailable for telephone work because of training related activities for a portion of the day. Do not sign on to the telephone if you will be in training for your entire tour of duty (TOD).
    5 Read Time Use this code when you will not be available for telephone work during a specified portion of the TOD because of read time.
    6 Meeting Time Use this code when you will not be available for telephone work during a specified portion of the TOD because of team meeting time.
    7 Break Time Use this code when you will be unavailable for telephone work during a specified portion of the TOD because of a rest break (other than lunch).
    8 Lunch Time Use this code when you will be unavailable for telephone work during a specified portion of the TOD because of a lunch break.

Congressional Office Contacts

  1. Congressional Offices may contact TAS via phone, fax, or mail for help to resolve a constituent's tax problem.

  2. TAS may receive information from Congressional Office, but it cannot disclose taxpayer information without a waiver signed by the taxpayer. See IRM 11.3.4.2, Disclosure to Members of Congress. Load documents received from the Congressional Office to TAMIS, when applicable.

  3. Create a case for each tax account congressional inquiry on TAMIS following the guidance in IRM 13.1.8.5, TAMIS.

  4. When a congressional tax account related inquiry is received and an open TAS case on TAMIS involves the same taxpayer issue and will be worked by the same TAS employee in the same office, add an additional Congressional Record to the existing case on TAMIS in accordance with IRM 13.1.8.5(10).

  5. When a congressional tax account related inquiry is received and an open TAS case exists on TAMIS, but involves a different issue or will not be worked by the same TAS employee or the same TAS office, create a new case on TAMIS in accordance with IRM 13.1.8.5(10).

    Example:

    TAS accepts a taxpayer’s issue into TAS. The taxpayer resides in Maine but because of inventory balancing, the Connecticut TAS office is working the taxpayer’s case. The taxpayer’s Congressional Office contacts TAS, at the taxpayer’s request, to assist with the taxpayer’s tax account issue. In this instance, TAS will create a new case on TAMIS for the Congressional inquiry that will be worked by the Maine TAS office.

  6. Two or more Congressional Offices may contact TAS for the same taxpayer. If it involves the same taxpayer issue(s) and will be worked by the same TAS employee in the same office, add an additional Congressional Record to the existing case on TAMIS. If not, create a new case on TAMIS in accordance with IRM 13.1.8.5(11).

  7. If the contact is by phone, discuss the appropriate information as required by IRM 13.1.18.3 with the Congressional Office or taxpayer and complete a Contact Record. Employees will provide the published TAS office number for cases that will be assigned to a Case Advocate. See IRM 13.1.18.3(9) and IRM 11.3.4.2.3, Telephone Inquiries.

  8. If the contact is by phone, provide the Congressional Office or taxpayer with an expected Initial Contact Date based upon the case acceptance criteria. See IRM 13.1.18.3(1) for timeframes and IRM 11.3.4.2.3.

  9. When the contact is by phone, advise the Congressional Office or taxpayer of any specific documents required for resolution and discuss when he or she can send the information to TAS. TAS employees are expected to associate all documents received with the case file or forward the documents to the office or individual controlling the case, as appropriate. See IRM 11.3.4.2.3.

  10. Document the TAMIS history with all information provided to the Congressional Office. Documentation includes, but is not limited to the:

    1. Estimated completion date (be sure to explain to the Congressional Office/taxpayer that this may change once the Case Advocate thoroughly reviews the taxpayer’s case). Use the Estimated Completion Date (ECD) Tool at https://organization.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/tas/CABIC/SitePages/ECD%20Tool.aspx to determine the estimated completion date. The employee enters the ECD in the Initial Actions Screen 2;

    2. Specific documents required for resolution and information the Congressional office or taxpayer will either send or have ready when contacted by the assigned Case Advocate. Documentation should include how and when the Congressional office or taxpayer will send the information to TAS (when applicable);

    3. A date to call back TAS if the Congressional office or taxpayer is not contacted by the date promised;

    4. Notification of TAS's involvement and independence from the IRS. For more information see IRM 13.1.2.3.2.

    5. Explanation of the confidentiality rule of IRC 7803(c)(4)(A)(iv). TAS personnel should also tell the Congressional Office or taxpayer that he or she will generally need to provide information to IRS personnel to resolve the taxpayer’s problem. See IRM 13.1.5.6.

    6. When appropriate, documentation of the apology given to the taxpayer; and

    7. Suspension of collection activity and the date input on the TAMIS Initial Actions Screen 1.



    This list is not all-inclusive and will vary depending on the issues involved in each case. It is important to provide the Case Advocate with as much information as possible to effectively advocate for the taxpayer. See IRM 13.1.18.3

  11. Forward tax law questions (non-account related) to the IRS District Liaison, who is responsible for congressional inquiries on IRS policies and procedures. The district liaisons are part of the Legislative Affairs, District Congressional Liaison branch. Advise the Congressional Office that the contact does not meet TAS criteria and that the inquiry is being referred to the District Liaison office for resolution. See the IRS District Liaison Map, for a list of the current District Liaison assignments. See IRM 13.1.8.3, Assignment and Routing.

Other Inquiries (e.g., Senate Finance Committee (SFC), Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA))

  1. Senate Finance Committee cases from the Electronic Tracking System (E-Trak) are loaded on TAMIS, but will generally be loaded to TAMIS by the District of Columbia (DC) LTA office prior to being transferred to the taxpayer’s local TAS office. See IRM 13.1.9.2.2.1, SFC Case Assignment, for more information.

  2. When the Small Business Administration (SBA) Ombudsman receives a case specific complaint against the IRS, the SBA Ombudsman will forward the complaint, by fax or by e-mail, to the DC LTA. The DC LTA office will determine if a referral to an LTA is appropriate and, if so, will create a case on TAMIS. Load documents received from the SBA Ombudsman to TAMIS, when applicable. For additional information on SBREFA cases, see IRM 13.1.9.5, Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) Cases.

AMS e-911 Referrals

  1. OD/Function employees with AMS access may create and submit an e-911 on potential TAS referrals.

  2. Once the e-911 is submitted, it is routed to the Local TAS AMS inventory or the Centralized AMS inventory.

  3. The e-911 from the co-located, toll-free AMS sites automatically routes to TAS Centralized AMS e-911 inventory, Org Code 10. This applies to all TAS referrals from the co-located, toll-free AMS sites, except for campus offices and Puerto Rico. The name of each co-located office and two-digit office identification number appears below, in numerical order:

    • 16 - Buffalo;

    • 25 - Pittsburgh;

    • 34 - Cleveland;

    • 35 - Indianapolis;

    • 38 - Detroit;

    • 42 - Des Moines;

    • 43 - St. Louis;

    • 52 - Baltimore;

    • 54 - Richmond;

    • 59 - Jacksonville;

    • 62 - Nashville;

    • 75 - Dallas;

    • 84 - Denver;

    • 91 - Seattle;

    • 93 - Portland; and

    • 94 - Oakland.

  4. See procedures for TAS Centralized AMS e-911 inventory in IRM 13.1.16.8.4, Referrals from IRS Operating Divisions/Functions.

  5. TAS offices will regularly review all AMS e-911 inventory, complete the applicable and required fields in the TAS Information Section on the e-911, and accept the e- 911 if it meets TAS criteria. The e-911 will load to TAMIS.

  6. When TAMIS is not operational, print the AMS e-911 and load a case on TAMIS once it becomes operational.

Procedures for TAS Centralized AMS Function

  1. These procedures apply only to the Centralized AMS function.

  2. Intake Advocates assigned to the Centralized AMS function will be assigned to Centralized AMS and will not be able to access their local office AMS e-911 inventory. Access to their local office's TAMIS inventory will not be affected.

  3. Referrals in Centralized AMS will be screened until the e-911 inventory is empty. Once the Centralized AMS screening is complete, the Intake Advocates will be available to assist with telephone calls, incoming correspondence, and TAMIS inventory for their local office. The Intake Advocate should check back with the Centralized AMS queue periodically.

  4. Access referrals in Centralized AMS following the normal process for accessing AMS e-911 inventory.

    1. The order in which Centralized AMS referrals are screened is based on the Intake Advocates’ time zone.

    2. Eastern and Central Time Zone:
      • Screen AMS referrals in first in/first out order.

    3. Mountain and Pacific Time Zones:
      • Screen morning referrals in first in/first out order.
      • Screen afternoon referrals in criteria code order.
      • Screen all criteria code 1-4 referrals before screening criteria code 5-9.

  5. If a referral does not meet TAS criteria, see IRM 13.1.16.12. If the referral requires action by an IRS BOD (outside of TAS), create a TAMIS contact record, close the referral, and give a copy of Form 4442 to your manager. See IRM 13.1.16.15, Contacts Not Meeting TAS Criteria (Nonfrivolous Inquiries).

  6. For referrals identified as a potential reopen case, see IRM 13.1.16.12.1. In addition, print the e-911, and give it to your manager.

  7. If a referral does not meet TAS criteria and does not require action by an IRS BOD (outside of TAS), see IRM 13.1.16.13. Create a TAMIS contact record and close the referral.

Staffing Determinations for Centralized AMS

  1. Any office with two or more Intake Advocates will be considered for participation in the Centralized AMS function.

  2. Determination of Intake Advocate assignment to the Centralized AMS function will be rotated quarterly.

  3. Intake Advocate selection will be determined by inverse IRS Enter on Duty Date (EOD).

  4. Intake Advocates assigned to the Centralized AMS function must be reassigned on AMS from their home office location to Centralized AMS. This will not impact the Intake Advocate’s access to TAMIS.

Complaints and Allegations Concerning Employees

  1. On occasion, you will receive a complaint about an existing open or closed TAS case. The taxpayer or representative may indicate they have not heard from their assigned TAS employee on a new case, have not received a return call on an ongoing case, or are dissatisfied with the manner the TAS employee handled the case. It is very important not to dismiss these complaints.

  2. Apologize to the taxpayer or representative and explain you will get him or her to the right person who can address the concern. First, however, you should look up his or her case on TAMIS (after authenticating the taxpayer or representative per IRM 13.1.16.4.1.1) and provide him or her with any current update to the case. If the TAS employee has attempted to contact the taxpayer or representative or has sent correspondence, you can relay this information to the taxpayer or representative. If that does not satisfy the situation, offer to transfer the taxpayer or representative to the TAS employee and provide the direct number for dialing (both local and toll free).

  3. If the taxpayer’s or representative’s complaint has risen to the level of a manager callback, then provide the taxpayer or representative with the manager’s name and telephone number, and offer to transfer the call to the manager. Send an encrypted e-mail to the manager providing the nature of the taxpayer’s or representative’s complaint, including the case file number, taxpayer’s or representative’s name, and telephone number. If the manager is unavailable, take the actions noted above and advise the taxpayer or representative the manager will call him or her back within one business day. If the discussion between the taxpayer or representative and manager escalates, managers should elevate the discussion to the next level in the chain of command.

    Reminder:

    There should be no PII included on the subject line of the e-mail because the subject line is not encrypted.

  4. Whenever transferring a call, particularly one involving a complaint, if possible, remain on the line to introduce the caller and explain the nature of the call.

  5. When you are dealing with an upset taxpayer or representative, realize that this person has the potential to be angry or emotional. If you do not take the appropriate action to minimize these conditions, it may block progress and become a serious barrier to assisting the taxpayer or representative. Use the following guidelines for dealing with anger and emotion:

    1. Recognize the taxpayer’s or representative’s feelings;

    2. Maintain self-control; and

    3. Try to defuse the taxpayer’s or representative’s anger or emotions.

  6. If the taxpayer or representative contact contains a complaint or alleges employee misconduct, refer to IRM 13.1.15, Customer Complaints/RRA 98 § 1203 Procedures. Continue processing the contact for TAS criteria if it contains tax-related issues. If the inquiry meets TAS criteria and requires a referral because of the taxpayer or representative complaint, document the TAMIS history that a referral was made per the taxpayer complaint.

Taking Initial Actions for Case Building During Intake

  1. To further develop the inquiry for TAS acceptance criteria, follow the appropriate research path, depending on the inquiry or issue. Research may include (but is not limited to):

    1. AMS histories;

    2. Automated Collection System (ACS) histories;

    3. Automated Lien System (ALS);

    4. Automated Underreporter (AUR) notices;

    5. Integrated Collection System (ICS);

    6. Correspondence Examination Automation Support (CEAS), a system used to view exam status, correspondence sent to taxpayer, and exam work documents;

    7. Employee User Portal (EUP);

    8. Modernized e-File (MeF);

    9. Correspondence Imaging System (CIS), an inventory system for scanning all Adjustments receipts (including Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return) into digital images;

    10. Pending transactions (e.g., TC 29X, TC 150, TC 30X) on command codes (CCs) ENMOD or TXMOD; and

    11. Letters or Notices issued to taxpayer using (CC) ENMOD and TXMOD to determine whether the taxpayer needs to obtain additional documentation to resolve the issue.

  2. If AMS history indicates the taxpayer has already been referred to or contacted TAS for assistance and subsequently referred back to an IRS Operating Division and the issue is still unresolved, this should weigh heavily in determining if the taxpayer meets TAS criteria.

  3. IDRS research identifies the underlying issues of the IRS process that occurred or failed to occur. Sometimes a taxpayer’s account may not reflect an action. Thus, the IRS’s failure to take an action could be the most significant issue, policy, or process that needs to be resolved.

    Example:

    The taxpayer filed his 2017 tax return and reported the estimated payment made December 31, 2017, but IDRS does not show the payment was applied to the 2017 account. Thus, the IRS failed to take the action to post the estimated payment to the 2017 account.

  4. Check Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP) at http://serp.enterprise.irs.gov/ for processing timeframes, alerts, letters, publications, etc. See Exhibit 13.1.7-1, General Response Time Guidelines, for additional information.

  5. The Case Assistance by Issue Code (CABIC) should be used as a research tool. CABIC has additional information for Initial Actions and Case Building for each issue code including:

    1. A description of the issue code;

    2. Estimated Completion Date (ECD) Tool;

    3. An example of an issue;

    4. IRM links to the basic research;

    5. Links to other references, such as Videos, Training Materials/Courses, Technical Communication Documents (TCDs), Integrated Automation Technologies (IAT) tools, Alerts, and interim guidance;

    6. Conversation points;

    7. OAR routing information; and

    8. Case building recommendations.

  6. Check the CABIC New Inquiry section for any current or recent Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) or Interim Guidance Memos (IGM) related to work processes.

  7. Research the Correspondence Imaging System (CIS) prior to requesting taxpayer documentation. Review the information with the taxpayer to ensure the CIS file contains all the documents the taxpayer believes were previously submitted. Check the documents for missing signatures, schedules, forms, etc. This reduces taxpayer burden by preventing a request of documents already received by the IRS (e.g., signed Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.)

  8. Discuss your research results with the taxpayer to confirm the accuracy of the information and whether there is additional information that will assist with issue resolution that the taxpayer can provide.

  9. If the taxpayer needs to provide additional information, advise the taxpayer that additional documentation may be necessary to resolve the issue. Use a statement such as: “Please be prepared to submit the following documents (provide a detailed description based on the taxpayer’s issue). The Case Advocate will let you know if there are any additional items needed to resolve your inquiry.” After explaining why you need additional information, ask additional probing questions to clarify, if necessary.

  10. Before closing the contact, summarize the content of the conversation, and confirm with the taxpayer that he or she understands what is happening with the case.

  11. Document the discussion and date of contact on TAMIS.

Engaging in Discussions about TAS

  1. Whenever there is an opportunity to interact with the taxpayer or his or her authorized representative directly, the TAS employee should make every attempt to provide key information about TAS, and obtain as much information as possible about the taxpayer’s issue. This opportunity presents itself during intake when the taxpayer or representative contacts TAS directly.

  2. TAS employees handling direct taxpayer contacts during intake must discuss with the taxpayer appropriate information as required byIRM 13.1.16.7 and complete a Contact Record. This includes:

    1. Clarifying the problem and the relief requested;

    2. Informing him or her of the independence of TAS and the reporting requirements to Congress through the National Taxpayer Advocate. (See IRM 13.1.2.3.2 for the independence statement to provide to the taxpayer.)

    3. Verifying the taxpayer or representative contact information and best time to reach him or her.

    4. Providing the taxpayer or representative with the following information:
      i. The TAMIS case file number;
      ii. The telephone number of the office that will receive the case, if known; and
      iii. The next contact date.

    5. Informing the taxpayer or representative about what he or she can expect the Case Advocate to provide:
      i. His or her name, phone number, office hours, and employee number (10-digit Smart ID badge number);
      ii. Courteous and confidential service;
      iii. Timely acknowledgement;
      iv. An impartial and independent review of the problem; and
      v. Advice on how to prevent future federal tax problems.

    6. Based on the issue code, explaining what he or she should do to prepare for the first conversation with a Case Advocate, including the information to have available for discussion. Load documents received from the taxpayer to TAMIS, when applicable.
      i. The CABIC provides a link to Initial Actions and Case Building assistance that can assist with this discussion, or you can use SERP to search for specific procedural information by key words.
      ii. The CABIC does not list documentation for every issue code. When a list of documentation is not available, the assigned Case Advocate will advise the taxpayer of the documentation necessary to resolve his or her issue. In these circumstances, use a statement like the following: “Your Case Advocate may need to obtain documentation from you; however, he or she will need to review the case before advising you of the specific documents needed to resolve your issue.”

  3. Consider directing the taxpayer to TAS Toolkit at https://taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/ for more information about TAS.

  4. TAS employees must contact management immediately to discuss the case when they identify a time-sensitive issue that could adversely impact the taxpayer if actions are not taken immediately. If your manager determines the case requires immediate assignment, he or she will assign the case for immediate action, or if transferred, will alert the manager of the receiving office within one workday and document the TAMIS history.

Suspending Collection Actions

  1. Open an IDRS control base using (CC) ACTON. This will alert the operating division employees that TAS now controls the account and it will show the exact date of case acceptance into TAS.

  2. If the taxpayer has a balance due, determine the collection status via CC TXMOD, and place the following hold on collection activity to avoid the issuance of a levy or balance due notices while TAS is working on the case.

    If... Then...
    The account is in collection status, Request an Automated Collection System (ACS) hold. Contact the ACS Support Liaisons via fax or secure e-mail and request a 30-day ACS hold for a W&I case and a 60-day hold for an SB/SE case. To locate the ACS Support Liaison, go to:
    • SERP;

    • Click on the Who/Where tab;

    • Select the ACS Support Liaisons; and

    • Complete the fields (use cc INOLES to determine which Business Operating Division).

    Review CC TXMOD to determine if the account has an FPLP indicator (see IRM 5.11.7.2.3, FPLP Systemic Processes and Indicators). If an FPLP indicator is present, a request for an ACS hold must also include a request for an FPLP block (see IRM 5.11.7.2.6, Blocking or Releasing FPLP Levy). An FPLP block must be requested via an Operations Assistance Request (OAR). Document in the TAMIS History that an FPLP block needs to be requested, and prepare the case for assignment to a Case Advocate.
    The account is in Status 19,21, 20, 56, or 58 Input CC STAUP to the next status for 9 cycles to prevent further notices. To determine the next status, refer to Document 6209, Section 8.
    The account is in Status 26 The case is awaiting ICS assignment or already assigned to the Collection Field Function (CFF). Determine if an FPLP is present. See SERP Command Code Exhibit for FPLP Indicators. If so, then a request for a CFF hold including a FPLP block may be needed. Document in the TAMIS History there is a Status 26 with a FPLP present, and a FPLP block may need to be requested, and prepare the case for assignment to a Case Advocate.
  3. Document your actions on TAMIS Initial Actions Screen 1.

  4. For taxpayers with seriously delinquent tax debt(s), see IRM 13.1.24.8, Advocating for Taxpayers Facing Passport Revocation/Denial.

Inquiries on Open and Closed TAMIS Cases

  1. TAMIS provides information on open and closed cases. If there is an open case on TAMIS, explain to the taxpayer there is an open case. Contact your manager immediately if you identify a time-sensitive issue that could adversely impact the taxpayer if actions are not taken immediately. If your manager determines the case requires immediate assignment, he or she will assign the case for immediate action, or if transferred, will alert the manager of the receiving office within one workday and document the TAMIS history.

    If Then
    The initial contact has not passed Advise the taxpayer or representative of the first contact date, case file number, and office contact information including phone, fax, and address. Complete a TAMIS Contact Record.
    The assigned Case Advocate has already been in contact with the taxpayer and the taxpayer is calling before the NCD has passed Review TAMIS history and update the taxpayer or representative on the progress of the case. Complete a TAMIS Contact Record. Document your discussion with the taxpayer including disclosure verification in the TAMIS history.
    The NCD has expired without taxpayer contact Review TAMIS history and update the taxpayer or representative on the progress of the case. Send an email to the Case Advocate and his or her manager alerting them to the taxpayer’s call. There should be no PII included on the subject line of the e-mail because the subject line is not encrypted. Complete a TAMIS Contact Records. Document your discussion including disclosure verification and the NCD given to the taxpayer and a copy of the email in the TAMIS history.

  2. If a closed case exists, identify the tax years involved, review the TAMIS history, and research the appropriate resources to determine if the inquiry is a new unrelated issue that requires a new case or if the closed case may require reopening.

  3. If the inquiry involves a new issue unrelated to the closed case, determine if the inquiry meets TAS criteria and load the inquiry onto TAMIS. If the inquiry does not meet TAS criteria, see IRM 13.1.16.15, Contacts Not Meeting TAS Criteria (Nonfrivolous Inquiries).

  4. If a closed case for the same MFT(s) and tax period(s) exists, it may be necessary to reopen the closed TAS case. Contact the manager by phone, fax, or secure mail of the TAS office that closed the case. Document that a potential reopen request was received and to which office the inquiry was referred in the TAMIS history of the closed case. Reasons for reopening TAS cases may include:

    1. Additional information provided by the taxpayer, which was not previously considered;

    2. There was an IRS error that prevented case resolution;

    3. A late response from the taxpayer on a case that was closed due to no response; or

    4. The taxpayer is dissatisfied with the resolution of the case.

  5. The manager of the receiving office will decide if the case should be reopened. If the case should be reopened, the manager will ensure:

    1. The case is reopened on TAMIS and assigned to a TAS employee;

    2. Upon receipt of the inquiry, the taxpayer is contacted within one workday for criteria 1-4 cases and three workdays for criteria 5-9 cases;

    3. TAMIS is documented, including why the case was reopened, description of additional documentation received (if applicable), and the content of discussions with the taxpayer (if any); and

    4. See IRM 13.1.16.12.1, Reopen Procedures.

  6. If the case was originally worked by an Intake Advocate as a Quick Closure Case (see IRM 13.1.16.16.2, Quick Closure Cases), the manager will decide if the case should be reopened. If the case should be reopened, the manager will determine:

    1. If the case can be worked by an Intake Advocate as a Quick Closure Case, the manager will ensure:
      • The case is reopened on TAMIS and assigned to an Intake Advocate;
      • Upon receipt of the inquiry, the taxpayer is contacted within one workday for criteria 1-4 cases and three workdays for criteria 5-9 cases;
      • TAMIS is documented, including why the case was reopened, description of additional documentation received (if applicable), and the content of discussions with the taxpayer (if any); and
      • See IRM 13.1.16.12.1, Reopen Procedures.

    2. If the case should be assigned to a Case Advocate, the manager will ensure:
      • The case is reopened on TAMIS and assigned to a Case Advocate in same location as the original case;
      • Upon receipt of the inquiry, contact the taxpayer within one workday for criteria 1-4 cases and three workdays for criteria 5-9 cases;
      • TAMIS is documented, including why the case was reopened, description of additional documentation received (if applicable), and the content of discussions with the taxpayer (if any); and
      • See IRM 13.1.16.12.1, Reopen Procedures.

  7. If the case should not be reopened, the manager will determine if the inquiry is a new unrelated issue that requires a new case. If so, the manager will:

    1. Ensure a new case is created on TAMIS and assign per local office procedures;

    2. Contact the taxpayer within one workday for criteria 1-4 cases and three workdays for criteria 5-9 cases; and

    3. Document TAMIS, including an explanation of why the case was not reopened, description of additional documentation received (if applicable), and the content of discussions with the taxpayer (if any).

  8. If the taxpayer’s issue does not meet either reopen procedures or TAS case acceptance criteria, the manager will contact the taxpayer within three workdays to explain why the issue does not meet TAS criteria and follow the procedures in IRM 13.1.16.15

Reopen Procedures

  1. If a closed case for the same MFT(s) and tax period(s) exists, it may be necessary to reopen the TAS case. Contact the manager of the closing office by phone, fax, or secure email to forward the inquiry. See TAS Directory, to obtain the contact information for the closing office.

  2. Before you forward the inquiry to the TAS office that closed the case, take the following actions:

    1. Document the prior TAMIS case history with specific details of the taxpayer’s contact;

    2. If you are speaking with the taxpayer (in person or on the phone), educate the taxpayer by explaining that his or her issue appears to be the same as a previously closed TAS case. Tell the taxpayer you will contact the office that closed the case and a manager will determine if the case should be reopened;

    3. If you are speaking with the taxpayer (in person or on the phone), advise the taxpayer that a manager at the office that closed the case will contact him or her with the decision within three workdays;

    4. Attach any additional documentation provided by the taxpayer using the document attachment feature to the closed TAMIS case (unless the documents are too voluminous (exceeding 100 pages or once scanned exceed the file size limitations for emailing, in these instances mail the documentation to the office that closed the case and document TAMIS); and

    5. If you are speaking with the taxpayer (in person or on the phone), provide the manager’s last name and toll-free number of the office (or general office phone number if there is no toll-free office number) that closed the case.

  3. Upon receipt of the inquiry, the decision to reopen a case must be made by the manager of the closing office within one workday on criteria 1-4 cases and within three workdays for criteria 5 - 9 cases. The account must be controlled on TAMIS within one workday of a decision to re-open the case. The Taxpayer Advocate Received Date (TARD) is the actual date the taxpayer contacted TAS. The manager should:

    1. Review the closed case file. TAS sometimes receives correspondence that is dated prior to case resolution.

    2. If the manager receives a taxpayer contact dated after the closure of the prior case, review the closed case file to determine whether the taxpayer contacted the office to provide information previously requested or had additional information that would impact the resolution of the closed case. If so, process the case as a reopen.

      Example:

      On February 6, 2018, a taxpayer was transferred from NTA Toll-free to CCI requesting TAS reopen a closed criteria 1-4 case. The criteria of the case will not change in the reopen. On February 7, 2018, CCI sends the reopen request to the manager of closing TAS office, and the manager of the closing TAS office receives it. The manager has until February 8, 2018, to make the reopen decision, and then one (1) workday from the decision date to add the case to TAMIS and contact the taxpayer. On February 8, 2018, the manager of the closing TAS office makes the decision to reopen the case and contacts the taxpayer. On February 9, 2018, the closing TAS office builds the reopen on TAMIS, using February 6, 2018 as the Reopen TAS Received Date.

  4. If the manager determines the case does not require reopen, the manager should notate the decision in the TAMIS history of the closed case and notify the taxpayer within three workdays.

Case Reopen Codes

  1. TAMIS will require a reopen code consisting of two characters. The first character is numeric and indicates the number of times a case is reopened and the second is an alpha character that indicates the reason a case is reopened. Valid reopen reason codes are:

    Reopen Code Description
    C Receipt of Congressional correspondence
    A Receipt of additional information from the taxpayer
    E Error by the Service
    L Late response by taxpayer
    U Taxpayer dissatisfied (unsatisfied) with resolution
    I Incorrect actions/unresolved issues

IRC § 7811 Significant Hardship Determination on Reopen Cases

  1. A new IRC 7811 Significant Hardship Determination must be made on reopened cases. Follow procedures in IRM 13.1.18.7.

Contacts that Meet Criteria but Could Be Resolved without TAS Assistance

  1. Some taxpayers may come to TAS with a single issue that could be resolved without TAS assistance if the taxpayer was able to reach the appropriate IRS office or use online tools. While the issue may meet TAS criteria because the taxpayer was unable to reach the IRS directly (a system failure), experienced a delay (systemic burden), or did not receive quality service or a response to his or her challenge of the IRS’s position (which is contrary to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights), TAS may be able to assist the taxpayer in obtaining relief without establishing a case in TAS.

  2. TAS employees will document these contacts using the TAMIS Contact Record.

  3. The IRS has online tools or established processes that can provide relief without TAS involvement. In these circumstances, TAS should direct the taxpayer to the IRS online resources or the TAS Toolkit at https://taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/ which contains videos on topics designed to help the taxpayer understand how a process works and allow the taxpayer to resolve the issue (or “Self-Help”) themselves. If there is not an IRS tool available or the taxpayer’s issue is not on the TAS Toolkit, consider providing printed materials, if available, to assist the taxpayer.

  4. To determine if a taxpayer is eligible for Self-Help, visit the “New Inquiry” link on CABIC. The New Inquiry tool will guide you through the Systems Research, IRM links, and links to the IRS website that could resolve the taxpayer’s issue over the phone or with a simple mailing. If Self-Help is available for that issue code, it will be located under the Case Building Header. You can also use the SERP Advanced Search Option for similar guidance.

  5. If account research (see IRM 13.1.16.11) indicates there are no secondary issues or other factors that would impede relief via direct contact with the IRS or use of an Online Tool, TAS employees should educate and assist the taxpayer with the appropriate Self-Help option. Enter an AMS history note for any taxpayer re-directed to Self-Help.

  6. Whenever TAS redirects taxpayers to a Self-Help option, TAS will inform those taxpayers they can contact TAS again if they are unable to resolve the issue, and TAS will immediately establish a case to help them with their issue.

Contacts Not Meeting TAS Criteria (Frivolous Arguments)

  1. A contact does not meet TAS criteria if the contact or inquiry ONLY questions the constitutionality of the tax system or the focus of the taxpayer's inquiry is solely to employ frivolous tax strategies to avoid or delay filing federal returns or paying federal taxes. For further assistance in determining if an argument is frivolous, see Notice 2010-33, 2010-17 I.R.B. 609, and Publication 2105, Why do I have to Pay Taxes?

    Note:

    TAS employees should not rely on the IRS’s allegation of frivolous arguments. Employees may need to ask the taxpayer for more information before making a determination. TAS should base this decision upon discussions or correspondence received from the taxpayer.

  2. A contact may meet TAS criteria if the inquiry also includes a nonfrivolous issue that has not been worked within normal processing timeframes (e.g., penalty abatement) or causing an economic hardship (e.g., levy release). See IRM 13.1.16.11 (2), Taking Initial Actions for Case Building during Intake.

  3. Forward any entirely frivolous correspondence to the Ogden Compliance Center, where it will be processed in accordance with procedures set forth in IRM 25.25.10, Frivolous Return Program.

  4. At the same time the frivolous correspondence is sent to Ogden, send a letter to the taxpayer stating that his or her inquiry does not meet TAS criteria and that it was forwarded to the Examination Division of the Ogden Campus. Use the standard non-criteria TAS letter (1686) and insert the following language:

    “We have determined that the arguments you raised appear to be frivolous and have no basis in law. These types of arguments may result in penalties. It is the policy of the Taxpayer Advocate Service not to respond on a point-by-point basis to questions such as those raised in your correspondence. The claims presented in your correspondence also do not relieve you from your legal responsibilities to file federal tax returns and pay taxes. We urge you to honor those legal duties. I have forwarded your inquiry to the Examination Division at the Ogden Campus. You may contact them 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. MST at telephone number 1-866-883-0251. This is a toll-free number.”

  5. Select and add TAS Comment “TAS - e-911 Not TAS Criteria - Frivolous Claim” as a history notation on AMS (if the inquiry came to TAS through AMS) and TXMOD of the date the frivolous return or letter was sent to Ogden Frivolous Return Unit. See IRM 21.2.2.4.2.1, IDRS History Items and Account Inquiry.

  6. To protect taxpayer confidentiality, AMS blocks the view of regular TAS user history to all non-TAS users. AMS “TAS Comment” history is viewable by all AMS users. TAS has approved pre-written histories that TAS can select to provide a history to IRS AMS users. The pre-written histories are available for TAS users from the AMS History window.

  7. If the letter comes back undeliverable, research IDRS for an updated address. If the undeliverable mail has a yellow address sticker provided by the U.S. Postal Service on the original envelope, compare the name and address on the yellow label to the name and address on IDRS. Look at the cycle of the IDRS address to determine which address is the most current. If a new address is found, re-mail the original correspondence to the new address (unless damaged), but do not update the address on IDRS because the yellow address sticker is not considered an official source for changing an address. If no new address is found, destroy the undeliverable mail.

  8. Document the contact using the TAMIS Contact Record.

Contacts Not Meeting TAS Criteria (Nonfrivolous Inquiries)

  1. TAS will take the following actions during intake on all inquiries from taxpayers (including taxpayers’ representatives) or referrals from the Operating Divisions that are not frivolous and do not meet TAS criteria.

    1. Each situation or case is decided on its own merits.

    2. TAS does not ask taxpayers to validate hardship as a prerequisite to accepting a case.

    3. TAS needs to be as helpful and compassionate as possible to a taxpayer whose case TAS cannot accept.

    4. TAS will advise the taxpayer that the contact does not meet TAS criteria and direct the taxpayer where to go for help. TAS will attempt to put the taxpayer in touch with an IRS employee who can help with the problem.

    5. Remind the taxpayer that he or she may become eligible for TAS assistance if the IRS does not resolve the problem.

    6. Advise the taxpayer the IRS OD/Function will make contact within 30 calendar days (commencing from the date the taxpayer was advised of the referral) or within 180 calendar days for referrals to Criminal Investigation. However, do not inform the taxpayer that they may be the subject of an investigation. See IRM IRM 13.1.10.9, Inquiries on Open Cases with Criminal Investigation Involvement.

    7. Select an explanation from the TAS approved, pre-written history items in the select a narrative section from the History link on the Account Summary screen in AMS to explain why the referral was returned (if the referral came to TAS on AMS) and TXMOD/ENMOD to indicate the inquiry did not meet TAS criteria.

  2. Document the contact using the TAMIS Contact Record.

  3. If the taxpayer contacts TAS by phone or walks into the TAS office, but the inquiry cannot be resolved at point of contact or if NTA Toll-free transfers the call to TAS and the Intake Advocate determines the case does not meet TAS criteria:

    1. Whenever possible, make every effort to refer the taxpayer to the phone number of the OD/Function responsible for resolving the issue. This might mean providing the taxpayer with a telephone number, mailing address, or referring the taxpayer to the Tax Toolkit for additional assistance. Provide as much information as possible before directing the taxpayer elsewhere for assistance, including the status of the taxpayer’s issue with the IRS. For a listing of IRS toll-free phone numbers, go to The Source for Telephone Numbers. If unable to locate a specific number, refer the taxpayer to the IRS toll-free number (800-829-1040).

      Example:

      The taxpayer contacts TAS to request an Installment Agreement. The TAS employee researches the taxpayer's account and discovers the account is in status 22 (ACS). The taxpayer is not claiming a hardship and does not meet TAS criteria. TAS should refer the taxpayer to the ACS toll-free number shown on the Source for Telephone Numbers and the Installment Agreements section of the Tax Toolkit.

      Example:

      The taxpayer contacts TAS via NTA Toll-free to request a Wage and Income Transcript to prepare his or her income tax return. The taxpayer is not claiming hardship and has access to the internet. TAS should refer the taxpayer to the Get Transcript Online application on irs.gov.

    2. If referring the taxpayer to a toll-free number is not the appropriate solution, refer the telephone inquiry via Form 4442 to the IRS OD/Function responsible for resolving the taxpayer’s inquiry. See the Form 4442 Referral Fax Numbers (referral fax numbers are internal use only, do not give the number to the taxpayer). Alternatively, the TAS employee can obtain a Form 4442 from AMS, by accessing the taxpayer’s account by using the “Case by TIN” field. Once the taxpayer account information is uploaded, the Form 4442 will be available under “Forms” in the “Tools” section. On the Form 4442 sent to the OD/function, document the promised contact date given to the taxpayer. Use of the Form 4442 from AMS is not an electronic process, once the Form 4442 is complete, print and fax it to the IRS OD/Function responsible for resolving the taxpayer’s inquiry.

    3. Advise the taxpayer that the contact does not meet TAS criteria and that the inquiry is being referred to the IRS OD/Function for resolution, but do not give the fax number to the taxpayer.

  4. If the taxpayer sends TAS correspondence (including Form 911):

    1. Refer the inquiry via Form 4442 to the IRS OD/Function responsible for resolving the taxpayer’s inquiry. See the Form 4442 Referral Fax Numbers (referral fax numbers are internal use only, do not give the number to the taxpayer). Alternatively, the TAS employee can obtain a Form 4442 from AMS, by accessing the taxpayer’s account by using the “Case by TIN” field. Once the taxpayer account information is uploaded, the Form 4442 will be available under “Forms” in the “Tools” section. On the Form 4442 sent to the OD/function, document the promised contact date given to the taxpayer. Use of the Form 4442 from AMS is not an electronic process, once the Form 4442 is complete, print and fax it to the IRS OD/Function responsible for resolving the taxpayer’s inquiry.

    2. If referring Form 911, clearly state on Form 4442, “Does not meet TAS criteria.”

    3. Respond to the taxpayer's correspondence by telephone whenever possible. If telephone contact cannot be made after the first attempt, send Intake Letter 1686, Does Not Meet Taxpayer Advocate Criteria, to advise the taxpayer that the contact does not meet TAS criteria and that the inquiry is being referred to the IRS OD/Function for resolution. See also IRM 13.1.6.4, Written Communication.

    4. If the letter comes back undeliverable, research IDRS for an updated address. If the undeliverable mail has a yellow address sticker provided by the U.S. Postal Service on original envelope, compare the name and address on the yellow label to the name and address on IDRS. Look at the cycle of the IDRS address to determine which address is the most current. If a new address is found, re-mail the original correspondence to the new address (unless damaged) and enclose Form 8822, Change of Address, but do not update the address on IDRS because the yellow address sticker is not considered an official source for changing an address. If no new address is found, destroy the undeliverable mail and notate AMS.

  5. If the OD/Function (including NTA Toll-free) makes a referral not meeting TAS criteria, it may be returned to the OD/Function if it is in the best interest of the taxpayer, but only with management (i.e., Local Taxpayer Advocate, Taxpayer Advocate Group Manager, or Intake Advocate Group Manager) approval.

    1. If the incorrect referral was made through AMS, print the e-911 before selecting the delete button on AMS to delete the e-911.

    2. Determine whether the employee who submitted the e-911 can to take the action requested by the taxpayer.
      i. If the employee who submitted the e-911 can take the action requested by the taxpayer, immediately return the referral via fax to the manager of the employee who submitted the e-911. Include an explanation of why TAS is returning the referral and the promised contact date given to the taxpayer. Select an explanation from the TAS approved, pre-written history items in the select a narrative section from the History link on the Account Summary screen in AMS to explain why the referral was returned (if the referral came to TAS on AMS) and TXMOD/ENMOD to indicate the inquiry did not meet TAS criteria.
      ii. If the employee who submitted the e-911 cannot take the action requested by the taxpayer, refer the inquiry via Form 4442 to the IRS OD/Function responsible for resolving the taxpayer’s inquiry. See the Form 4442 Referral Fax Numbers (referral fax numbers are internal use only, do not give the number to the taxpayer). Alternatively, the TAS employee can obtain a Form 4442 from AMS, by accessing the taxpayer’s account by using the “Case by TIN” field. Once the taxpayer account information is uploaded, the Form 4442 will be available under “Forms” in the “Tools” section. On the Form 4442 sent to the OD/function, document the promised contact date given to the taxpayer and clearly state on Form 4442, “Does not meet TAS criteria.” Select an explanation from the TAS approved, pre-written history items in the select a narrative section from the History link on the Account Summary screen in AMS to explain why the referral was forwarded (if the referral came to TAS on AMS) and TXMOD/ENMOD to indicate the inquiry did not meet TAS criteria. Use of the Form 4442 from AMS is not an electronic process, once the Form 4442 is complete, print and fax it to the IRS OD/Function responsible for resolving the taxpayer’s inquiry.

    3. If the incorrect referral was made on a paper Form 911, determine whether the employee who submitted the Form 911 can take the action requested by the taxpayer.
      i. If the employee who submitted the Form 911 can take the action requested by the taxpayer, immediately return the referral via fax to the manager of the employee who submitted the Form 911 with an explanation of why TAS is returning the referral and the promised contact date given to the taxpayer. Select an explanation from the TAS approved, pre-written history items in the select a narrative section from the History link on the Account Summary screen in AMS to explain why the referral was returned (if the referral came to TAS on AMS) and TXMOD/ENMOD to indicate the inquiry did not meet TAS criteria.
      ii. If the employee who submitted the Form 911 cannot take the action requested by the taxpayer, refer the inquiry via Form 4442 to the IRS OD/Function responsible for resolving the taxpayer’s inquiry. See the Form 4442 Referral Fax Numbers (referral fax numbers are internal use only, do not give the number to the taxpayer). Alternatively, the TAS employee can obtain a Form 4442 from AMS, by accessing the taxpayer’s account by using the “Case by TIN” field. Once the taxpayer account information is uploaded, the Form 4442 will be available under “Forms” in the “Tools” section. On the Form 4442 sent to the OD/function, document the promised contact date given to the taxpayer and clearly state on Form 4442, “Does not meet TAS criteria.” Use of the Form 4442 from AMS is not an electronic process, once the Form 4442 is complete, print and fax it to the IRS OD/Function responsible for resolving the taxpayer’s inquiry.

    4. Respond to the taxpayer by telephone whenever possible. If telephone contact cannot be made after the first attempt, send Intake Letter 1686, Does Not Meet Taxpayer Advocate Criteria, to advise the taxpayer that the contact does not meet TAS criteria and that the inquiry is being referred to the IRS OD/Function for resolution. See also IRM 13.1.6.4, Written Communication.

    5. If the letter comes back undeliverable, research IDRS for an updated address. If the undeliverable mail has a yellow address sticker provided by the U.S. Postal Service on original envelope, compare the name and address on the yellow label to the name and address on IDRS. Look at the cycle of the IDRS address to determine which address is the most current. If a new address is found, re-mail the correspondence to the new address and enclose Form 8822, Change of Address, but do not update the address on IDRS because the yellow address sticker is not considered an official source for changing an address. If no new address found, destroy the undeliverable mail and notate AMS.

    6. The office will determine if the incorrect referral is an anomaly or occurs frequently. The manager will work to educate the function on why the case did not meet TAS criteria and how they could have addressed the issue.

  6. Congressional Inquiries. All cases involving any tax account-related issue referred to TAS from a Congressional office (whether the Congressional office contacts TAS directly or contacts the IRS and the IRS refers the case to TAS) will be accepted as TAS cases. When the case does not meet TAS criteria 1 through 8, the case will be accepted under criteria 9 in accordance with Interim Guidance Memorandum (IGM) TAS-13-0620-0012, Interim Guidance on Accepting Cases Under TAS Case Criteria 9, Public Policy.

Exceptions to TAS Case Acceptance Criteria

  1. There are exceptions to TAS’s case-acceptance criteria for certain categories of Systemic Burden cases. See IRM 13.1.7.2.2, TAS Case Criteria 5 – 7, Systemic Burden for more information.

  2. Do not load to TAMIS criteria code 5 to 7 non-congressional identity theft inquiries that are eligible for referral to the Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU). See IRM 13.1.16.16.3, Criteria 5-7 Identity Theft Cases Eligible for Referral to Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU). Document the contact using the TAMIS Contact Record.

  3. When a taxpayer specifically requests TAS assistance and no other case criteria is met, accept the case under Case Criteria 7. These cases meet TAS criteria because the taxpayer’s hesitance or unwillingness to work within the IRS structure to resolve his or her problem is an indication of a systemic failure. Document the conversation in the TAMIS History.

  4. Be sure to check the TAS website for any updates to TAS case criteria. For example, the NTA often issues interim guidance to specify the issue(s) that satisfy case criteria 9 that would not have normally met case criteria.

Determining Case Criteria Codes

  1. In many instances, more than one criteria code may apply to a case. When multiple codes apply, choose the one that reflects the issue of most concern to the taxpayer and that would offer the most benefit to the taxpayer. See IRM 13.1.7, Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Case Criteria, for a definition of criteria codes.

    Example:

    A taxpayer’s wages are levied by the IRS because the Offer in Compromise (OIC) unit failed to input a Transaction Code (TC) 480 to the account, which would have prevented enforced collection action. The levy on the taxpayer’s wages is preventing him from making his rent payment. While both Criteria Codes 1 and 7 would apply, Criteria Code 1 should be chosen. The taxpayer is more concerned with the economic burden the levy is placing on him rather than the fact that an IRS process or procedure failed.

  2. Taxpayers do not need to document their hardship to be accepted into the TAS program. Take any taxpayer indication or inference of hardship at face value and use the information provided to validate the taxpayer’s situation as appropriate for TAS handling. TAS employees will need to document the hardship in TAMIS while developing the case and determining what relief is appropriate.

Quick Closure Cases

  1. TAS considers the following two situations as meeting quick closure procedures:

    1. Issues that are completely resolved by a TAS employee the same day.

      Example:

      On March 15, a taxpayer calls the local TAS office because he requested transcripts of his last three income tax returns two weeks ago, and he has not yet received them. He needs them to qualify for a mortgage, and the underwriter must have the transcripts before March 17, or his pre-qualifying letter will expire and his closing date will be cancelled. He is not able to use the Online Transcript service because he is not living at the same address as his last filed return. The taxpayer does not want to update his address with the IRS until after he moves into the new home. After verifying the taxpayer’s identity and conducting an in-depth interview, TAS retrieves and prints transcripts for the taxpayer, mails them to the taxpayer, and confirms receipt. After all applicable closing actions under IRM 13.1.21.1, Closing Criteria, are completed, load and close the case on TAMIS as a quick closure and include a copy of the transcript in the case file.

      Note:

      Starting June 28, 2019, the IRS no longer faxes tax transcripts to taxpayers and third parties, including tax professionals. This action affects individual and business transcripts. Individual taxpayers and tax professionals have several options to obtain a tax transcript. See News Release IR-2019-101.

    2. Issues that are resolved by a TAS employee the same day, but require IDRS transaction monitoring before TAS can close the case per IRM 13.1.21.

      Example:

      Taxpayer contacts TAS because he has not received his refund; it has been three months since he filed his return. TAS researches IDRS and determines there is an S- Freeze on the account indicating the taxpayer’s refund was undeliverable. The taxpayer informs TAS that he changed addresses after filing his return. After verifying the taxpayer’s identity and conducting an in-depth interview, TAS confirms the new address. The case is not open in another function. TAS inputs IDRS command code (CC) CHK64 to change the taxpayer’s address and release the refund. TAS informs the taxpayer of the date he should receive the refund and the refund amount. TAS inputs a TAMIS history to document the initiated release of the refund and conversation with the taxpayer. TAS monitors the account to verify the refund is timely released to the taxpayer and address change has posted. After TAS completes all applicable closing actions under IRM 13.1.21.1, TAS closes the case on TAMIS as a quick closure.

  2. Generally, quick closure cases must follow and adhere to TAS case processing procedures, including taxpayer identification and authentication, initial contact interview, case documentation, and closing procedures. See IRM 13.1.16.7, IRM 13.1.18, and IRM 13.1.21.

  3. To facilitate the closure of these cases, employees can use the TAMIS Quick Closure screen to populate the necessary TAMIS fields required for closure. Keep in mind that the Quick Closure screen can only be used if the initial actions have not been recorded on the TAMIS Initial Actions screen. In the event that the initial actions have been entered on TAMIS, employees can still close the case as a quick closure by entering the following on TAMIS:

    1. TAMIS Taxpayer Screen 3. TAS employees are required to make a determination of significant hardship on all cases. Intake Advocates will not be required to enter an “Explanation” on Taxpayer Screen 3. Instead they will enter the literal IA7811. If the case is worked to completion by an Intake Advocate, this will alert TAS Quality Reviewers that the case was worked to completion by an intake advocate and an explanation is not required. For those cases that are worked by a TAS employee other than an Intake Advocate, the TAS employee will be required to enter the Explanation field as appropriate.

    2. TAMIS Taxpayer Screen 5. TAS employees are not required to input data in the Local Use, Local Use 2, Sys Adv Use, and N.O. Use fields.

    3. Taxpayer Screen 5, Special Case Code QC – Quick Closure. TAS employees will select special case code QC for all TAS quick closure cases.

    4. Action Plan Screen. TAS employees will enter the literal QC in the Action Plan Field to indicate that this is a quick closure case. An action plan is not required for quick closure cases; however, TAS employees will continue to document the action taken on the case in the history.

    5. Case Actions Screen. Generally, TAS employees are not required to complete the case actions screen for quick closure cases. However, TAMIS systemically generates an NCD for every new case. Therefore, employees are required to close out the date to complete the TAMIS case.

    6. Case Factors Screen. The Case Factors Screen is a required screen on TAMIS. There are 26 case factor determinations on the case factors screen. Many of the case factors are systemically populated by TAMIS. TAS has analyzed the case factors and determined that the answer to some case factors associated with quick closure cases is "no." TAS employees will use Exhibit 13.1.16-1, Quick Closure Completion of the TAMIS Case Factor Screen, to assist them with completion of the Case Factors Screen.

Quick Closure Cases Worked by Intake Advocates
  1. The Intake Strategy expanded delegated authorities to all Intake Advocates throughout TAS, granting authority to resolve more types of taxpayer problems during initial contact or to resolve or suspend actions once TAS establishes a case and assigns it to a Case Advocate.

  2. Intake Advocates may work quick closure cases when the taxpayer’s issue can be resolved under the authorities granted to Intake Advocates and

    1. the issue(s) is completely resolved by the Intake Advocate while on the phone with the taxpayer (Action 1 Case); or

    2. the issue(s) is completely resolved during the phone call with taxpayer except for IDRS monitoring of adjustments (Action 2 Case).

  3. Intake Advocates will work Action 1 cases through closure following the quick closure procedures.

  4. Intake Advocates forward cases requiring monitoring and TAMIS closing actions (Action 2 cases) for assignment to the Lead Intake Advocate, Lead Case Advocate, CCI Manager, Taxpayer Advocate Group Manager, LTA (or other designee based on office procedures for monitoring). The TAS employee assigned the case closing actions will follow the quick closure procedures.

  5. Intake Advocates should refer to Exhibit 13.1.16-2, Quick Closure Reference Guide for Intake Advocates, for assistance with Quick Closure cases.

  6. Intake Advocates are required to input case specifics, including taxpayer conversations, in the TAMIS history. When inputting certain IDRS adjustments where the Intake Advocate has the delegated authority, Intake Advocates will use the following literals:

    Delegated Authority TAMIS History Literal
    Entity Correction (Address Change or Correction of Typographical Errors on the Taxpayer’s Name) **IA ENTITY ADJ**
    Initiate a Refund Trace **IA CHKCL**
    Reissue a Returned Refund Check Posted on IDRS with an S- Freeze **IA CHK64**
    Request and Provide Transcripts, Forms, and Publications **IA DOCS**
    Order Automated Lien System (ALS) Research for Lien Release **IA ALS REQ**
    Input Streamline Installment Agreement **IA SIA**
    Input Guaranteed Installment Agreement **IA GIA**
    Input a Collection Hold (CC STAUP) **IA STAUP XX CYCLES**
    Input a Collection Hold (ACS hold cases) **IA ACS HOLD**
    Input an Additional Skip Payment **IA IASKIP**
    Input an Extension of Time to Pay **IA EXT2PAY**
    Correct Account with Substantiated Math Error **IA ADJ**
    Input Account Adjustment Meeting Tolerance **IA ADJ**

Criteria 5-7 Identity Theft Cases Eligible for Referral to Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU)

  1. Generally, the IRS and TAS will refer taxpayers meeting TAS criteria 5-7 (systemic burden) who seek assistance with an identity theft issue to the Accounts Management Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU). See IRM 13.1.7.3, Exceptions to Taxpayer Advocate Service Criteria.

    Note:

    IRM 25.23.3.2.6, Identity Theft Assistance Request (ITAR) - General Information, provides guidance for IPSU employees when resolving these identity theft priority referrals.

Criteria 5-7 Identity Theft Cases Not Eligible for Referral to IPSU
  1. There will be situations where it is in the best interest of the taxpayer to retain the case in TAS for resolution. The National Taxpayer Advocate determined TAS will continue to resolve identity theft systemic burden cases that meet one of the following conditions:

    1. The taxpayer declines referral to IPSU.

    2. IPSU has already tried to provide relief in the past, and has failed.

    3. Systemic burden cases that require advocacy, which might lead to the issuance of a Taxpayer Assistance Order on behalf of the taxpayer.

    4. Taxpayers not satisfied with the assistance provided through IPSU.

    5. Taxpayers assisted by IPSU, who subsequently face economic burden while Identity Theft Victims Assistance - IPSU (IDTVA-I) is processing their request, will come to TAS for assistance when IDTVA-I cannot provide relief within 24 hours.

    6. Congressional cases.

    7. Any cases previously open in TAS.

  2. Taxpayer cases added to TAMIS will remain in TAS and be resolved through the OAR process.

When Taxpayers Contact TAS - Determine Eligibility for IPSU Referral
  1. Determine if there is an open or closed case on TAMIS. Taxpayers currently or previously assisted by TAS are not eligible for referral to the IPSU. If TAMIS reflects an open or closed case, see IRM 13.1.16.12, Inquiries on Open and Closed Cases on TAMIS.

  2. If there is no open or closed case on TAMIS, determine whether the taxpayer’s identity theft issue is suitable for referral to the IPSU, generally criteria 5-7, excluding exceptions noted in IRM 13.1.16.16.3.1, Criteria 5-7 Identity Theft Cases Not Eligible for Referral to IPSU.

  3. If the taxpayer’s circumstance meets eligibility requirements, advise the taxpayer he or she is qualified for referral to the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit. If the taxpayer is not in agreement with this referral and the inquiry meets TAS criteria 5-7, create a case on TAMIS and notate TAMIS history screen "Taxpayer declined referral to IPSU."

IPSU Referral Procedures
  1. When the taxpayer agrees to the referral, advise the taxpayer of the following:

    1. The IPSU will assign the case to a member of their staff within five workdays of receipt of the referral and issue a letter confirming receipt of the case in the IPSU.

    2. The IPSU will keep the taxpayer informed of case progress until all issues have been resolved. IPSU will make every effort to handle the case in a timely and efficient manner and notify the taxpayer of its resolution.

    3. The IPSU toll-free telephone number 1-800-908-4490; fax number 855-807-5720; and mailing address P.O. Box 9039, Andover, MA 01810 or 310 Lowell St., Stop 603, Andover, MA 01810.

    4. If circumstances change due to economic burden or the taxpayer becomes dissatisfied with the services provided by the IPSU, contact the National Taxpayer Advocate hotline at 1-877-777-4778.

    Note:

    In situations where the taxpayer has contacted TAS by mail and TAS is unable to reach the taxpayer by phone, issue a TAS Identity Theft Referral letter to the taxpayer advising that his or her account has been referred to IPSU for resolution.

  2. Take the following actions when the taxpayer agrees to IPSU referral (Do NOT add a case to TAMIS):

    1. Complete Form 4442.

    2. Include any documents provided by the taxpayer.

    3. Within three work days of receipt of taxpayer inquiry by TAS, fax Form 4442 to the AM IPSU team using the Identity Theft Fax number 978-684-4542; or send secure e-mail to *W&I-ITAR

    4. Open an IDRS control on TXMOD using Command Code ACTON "C#,TAS5-7IPSU,M,ATAO."

      Note:

      The TAS employee inputting the control base will use his or her own IDRS number in the ACTON assigned employee field.

    5. Prepare an IPSU Referral Monitoring Sheet and monitor the taxpayer’s account for an IPSU IDRS Control. Maintain the Referral Monitoring Sheet in a suspense file. IPSU will control the case using IDRS category code "ITAR."

    6. Once IPSU controls the account as "ITAR," close the TAS IDRS monitoring control.

    7. If IPSU does not control the account on IDRS as "ITAR" within ten work days of the date the case was referred to IPSU, elevate to your manager for action, providing the taxpayer’s name and SSN.

    8. If the IPSU control base is not open within ten work days, the TAS Manager will contact the W&I Identity Theft Planning and Analysis (P&A) Analyst to determine the nature of the delay.

  3. If the OD/Function inappropriately refers the identity theft inquiry to TAS instead of IPSU, and it has not been loaded on TAMIS, contact the taxpayer and advise the taxpayer that he or she is qualified for referral to the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit. If the taxpayer agrees to referring the issue to IPSU, forward the inquiry following the steps contained in this section.

    Note:

    If a case referred to IPSU is inadvertently added to TAMIS, do not delete the case from TAMIS. There are very few circumstances in which a case can be deleted from TAMIS, see IRM 13.4.2.8, Deleting Cases. Elevate inappropriate NTA Toll-free cases to the Area NTA Toll-free Coordinator, see IRM 13.3.1.5(3), Local Taxpayer Advocate Responsibilities for Cases Initiated by NTA Assistors.

Bulk Receipts

  1. An inquiry may meet the following definition for bulk receipts:

    • Same issue(s);

    • Require same or similar action(s);

    • Identified around the same time;

    • Long idle time between actions;

    • Cases related to one another (e.g., same specific issue, same individual/business involved, one POA with the same problem affecting several taxpayers); and

    • Originate from one source.

  2. How TAS assists taxpayers whose issues are identified as a bulk receipt depends upon the extent of TAS’s involvement in resolving the taxpayer’s issue and taxpayer impact and are shown in the table below:

    If the issue raised to TAS involves Then
    One IRS process impacting multiple taxpayers where TAS’s involvement is limited to:
    • Contacting the IRS;

    • Securing agreement for the IRS to correct the problem;

    • Monitoring the accounts to ensure the account is corrected; and

    • Informing the taxpayer of the resolution.

    Example:

    POA mails multiple requests for extension to file in the same envelope but only one taxpayer account was updated to reflect the timely filed extension request. The other taxpayers were assessed failure to file penalties.

    • If the DEDCA agrees there is minimal TAS involvement in resolving the issue, the DEDCA will assign the case to an LTA;

    • The LTA will ensure a master case is input onto TAMIS, all of the impacted taxpayers are documented in the TAMIS history and enter BULK (all caps) in the Local Use 2 field on TAMIS;

    • The LTA will coordinate with Systemic Advocacy for discussion with BOD, as appropriate;

    • LTA will ensure the accounts are monitored and taxpayers are contacted when issue is resolved, as appropriate; and

    • LTA will ensure the case is closed per IRM 13.1.21.

    Multiple taxpayers and TAS is unable to determine taxpayer impact.

    Example:

    TAS receives Form 911s with Forms 2848 attached for multiple taxpayers from the same representative. Box 12a and 12b, describing the tax issue and relief requested are identical for all the Form 911s and most of the taxpayers do not have a Power of Attorney on IDRS. The LTA identifies the Form 911s as a potential scheme and submits a SAMS issue referencing TAS Form 24194 and discusses the potential scheme with the DEDCA. Following IRM 13.1.5.8.3.2, Disclosure to Address a Systemic Problem, TAS works with Criminal Investigation and determines the appropriate action is to contact the taxpayers to alert to the TAS contact and determine if the taxpayer requires TAS assistance.

    • Discuss the issue(s) with the DEDCA;

    • If the DEDCA agrees, the DEDCA will assign the issues to an LTA(s);

    • The DEDCA will decide upon the appropriate contact method with taxpayers, i.e., phone call or correspondence. If correspondence, the LTA will coordinate with TAG to create a letter that can be used to contact all taxpayers.

    • The LTA will ensure the taxpayers are contacted using the appropriate method.

    • The LTA will ensure contact records are created for all impacted taxpayers, identify “List Case” as the Reason for No Case, and “Other” as the Assistance Provided and enter “BULK” (all caps) in the required text field.

    • As appropriate, the LTA will ensure taxpayers with issues meeting TAS case acceptance criteria are loaded onto TAMIS and assigned.

    Multiple taxpayers where TAS involvement in issue resolution is required.

    Example:

    An employer requests TAS assistance with issues caused by third party payer misconduct, fraud, or other bad acts.

    • Discuss the issue(s) with the DEDCA;

    • The DEDCA will assign the cases to an LTA(s);

    • If appropriate, the DEDCA will decide upon the appropriate contact method with taxpayers, e.g., phone call or correspondence. If correspondence, the LTA will coordinate with TAG to create a letter that can be used to contact all taxpayers;

    • The LTA will ensure each taxpayer is loaded separately onto TAMIS and assigned, as appropriate; and

    • The employee loading the case to TAMIS will enter BULK (all caps) in the Local Use 2 field on TAMIS.

  3. Enter BULK (all caps) in the Local Use 2 field on TAMIS.

  4. A separate case or contact record will be loaded on TAMIS for each taxpayer identified as a BULK case except in those instances identified in the above table where TAS employees are instructed to input a master case on TAMIS.

  5. See IRM 13.1.16.17, Advocacy Considerations, to determine if the bulk receipts issue should be added to the Systemic Advocacy Management System (SAMS).

Advocacy Considerations

  1. TAS Employees may determine that certain issues arise often, are broad in scope, negatively impact taxpayers, or result in unfair taxpayer treatment.

  2. Elevate and inform your managers of any issues that merit:

    • Proactive involvement to prevent such problems in the future;

    • Change to IRS policies or procedures;

    • Change to the law or regulations; or

    • Change to current IRS systems.

  3. IRM 13.2.2.8.3, Submitting Advocacy Issues, explains the process for elevating advocacy issues. Continue processing the TAS case to resolve the taxpayer issue(s).

  4. Cases involving an issue which may impact a widespread group of taxpayers or affects the rights of an individual taxpayer, should follow current systemic advocacy procedures outlined in IRM 13.2, Systemic Advocacy.

Case Coding for TAMIS Input

  1. Each TAS case is assigned certain TAMIS codes once it meets case criteria.

    Note:

    Even if the assigned TAS employee did not initially input the case on TAMIS, he or she must still ensure that the TAMIS codes are correct and updated on TAMIS as the case develops.

  2. Once the information is loaded on TAMIS, the system assigns a Case File Number.

  3. Refer to Exhibit 13.1.16-4.

Issue Codes

  1. Issue codes are used to:

    1. Identify the problem as stated by the taxpayer (Taxpayer Issue Code (TIC)),

    2. Identify the underlying IRS policy, procedure, or issue that generated the TAS case (Primary Core Issue Code (PCIC)), and

    3. Identify additional issues where TAS performed additional research or took some action to resolve before closing the case (Secondary Core Issue Code (SCIC)).

    4. See Exhibit 13.1.16-4.

  2. TAS uses the information gleaned from issue codes in any number of ways to advocate for taxpayers. Accurate case coding is a key component of TAS’s advocacy efforts. To appreciate the importance of accurate case coding, employees need to understand the many ways TAS uses this data. TAS uses case coding to identify trends to:

    1. Negotiate changes to IRS procedures that cause undue burden on taxpayers, or which fail to follow the dictates or intent of the law or regulations;

    2. Make decisions concerning case assignment;

    3. Recommend training or develop tools or guidance to assist with case processing; and

    4. Advocate for systemic change.

  3. To ensure proper case coding:

    1. Analyze the case;

    2. Identify the issue(s) requiring resolution; and

    3. Update and correct TAMIS at the time an update or correction is identified.

  4. Determine the issue code by the process that failed to occur. Taxpayers requesting assistance from TAS generally fall into one or more of the following categories:

    1. Refund inquiry;

    2. Document processing;

    3. Compliance issue (e.g., Examination, Collection);

    4. Payments and Credits;

    5. Penalty or Interest;

    6. Entity discrepancies or Identity Theft; or

    7. Other technical or procedural account problems.

  5. See the Case Assistance by Issue Code Guide and Exhibit 13.1.16-4.

Taxpayer Issue Code
  1. The TIC is a three-digit code that captures the taxpayer's perception of the problem or issue. The TIC can be either general or specific depending on the information received from the taxpayer, but it may not match the PCIC, SCIC, or OAR Issue Code. (See IRM 13.1.16.18.1.2, Primary Core Issue Code, and IRM 13.1.16.18.1.3, Secondary Core Issue Code.) The TIC is based on the information available when the case is loaded on TAMIS and then updated once the taxpayer's perception of the problem has been clarified. The TIC is entered into Screen 1 of the Taxpayer Information Screen.

  2. The TIC can be as broad as 000-Refund (General refund inquiry such as "Where is my refund?" ) or as specific as 010-Lost/Stolen Refund (specific refund inquiry such as "I lost my refund check." ).

    Example:

    A taxpayer calls TAS on September 15, and states he sent in all the information requested in a letter from Examination on March 1. The taxpayer states he received another letter from Examination indicating he would have a response by May 2. The taxpayer wants to know the status of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) examination and when his refund will be issued. The TIC code for this case is 630, Open EITC Audit. The taxpayer is aware that the refund is being held pending an examination of the return for EITC.

    Example:

    A call site sends a Form 911 which states the taxpayer sent in copies of his cancelled check twice and a copy of his bank statement showing the funds were removed. The taxpayer receives another letter from the IRS requesting the same information. Based on the information provided on the Form 911, the TIC is 210, Missing/Incorrect Payments. The taxpayer's issue is clear based on the Form 911; thus, the appropriate TIC can be determined based on the available information.

Primary Core Issue Code
  1. The PCIC is a three-digit code that defines the most significant issue, policy, or process within the IRS that underlies the cause of the taxpayer’s problem. IDRS research and other systems help identify the underlying issue causing the taxpayer to seek TAS assistance. It is not always possible to identify the most accurate PCIC at the time a case is initially established, as sometimes the PCIC becomes clearer after you have performed account research or have contacted the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s representative. In some cases, more than one PCIC may be applicable. Always select the most specific issue code, rather than a more general issue code.

    Example:

    The taxpayer filed a Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, four weeks ago because he forgot to claim Charitable Deductions on his Form 1040 Schedule A. The taxpayer received an eviction notice and requests an expedite refund. IDRS shows the claim was accepted, but the adjustment was not input. The TIC is 020, Expedite Refund Request and the PCIC is 330, Processing Amended Return.

    Example:

    The taxpayer received a Notice of Intent to Levy to pay his Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (TFRP) liability. The taxpayer does not dispute that he owes the TFRP, but he indicated that if the IRS levies his bank account, he would not be able to pay his wife’s medical prescriptions to treat a chronic illness. The PCIC is 710, Levy.

    Example:

    Six months ago, the taxpayer filed Form 1040X, to claim additional gambling losses as an itemized deduction on her Form 1040. The taxpayer wants to know the status of the claim. Audit Information Management System (AIMS) shows that Examination selected the claim and assigned it to an Examination unit at the Fresno campus four weeks ago. The PCIC is 610, Open Audit Non-EITC.

    Example:

    Four weeks ago, the taxpayer filed a Form 1040X to claim additional charitable deductions on his Form 1040. Last week, the taxpayer received an eviction notice and requested an expedite refund to avoid being evicted. IDRS shows the claim was accepted, but the adjustment was not input. The PCIC is 330, Processing Amended Return.

    Example:

    The taxpayer submitted a request for an Installment Agreement (IA) to cover the balances on the 2010 and 2011 individual tax returns. The IRS denied the IA because the taxpayer’s 2013 income tax return was delinquent. IDRS shows an IRC 6020(b), automated substitute for return, indicator on the 2013 account. The taxpayer indicated that she filed the 2013 return timely and does not have a balance due. The PCIC is 760, TDI-SFR/6020B.

    Example:

    The taxpayer contacted TAS because he requested an appeals conference a year ago and has not been granted an appointment. The taxpayer is disputing the IRS’s assessment of a civil penalty. The taxpayer’s business was destroyed by a fire in December 2015. All the taxpayer’s records were housed at the business. The taxpayer cited reasonable cause for failing to file Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, in 2016. However, the IRS denied his request and sent an 854C letter, Penalty Waiver or Abatement Disallowed/Appeals Procedure Explained, over a year ago. The PCIC is 911, Penalty Appeals.

    Example:

    A taxpayer contacts TAS to inquire about the status of his lien release. The taxpayer claims that more than two months have elapsed since all the taxes on the lien were paid, and he has not been notified of the release. IDRS shows the accounts do not have a balance due. The PCIC is 721, Lien Release.

    Example:

    The taxpayer electronically filed his individual tax return and was expecting a refund. He contacted TAS for assistance when he did not receive it within the six weeks as promised. A review of IDRS reflects a refund hold due to a transaction code (TC) 971 action code (AC) 134 indicating Integrity & Verification Operation (IVO) Pre-Refund Wage Verification Hold review. The PCIC is 045, Pre-Refund Wage Verification Hold.

  2. There will be some cases where the same issue code is used for the TIC and PCIC.

    Example:

    A taxpayer contacts TAS to inquire about the status of his lien release. The taxpayer claims that more than two months has elapsed since all the taxes on the lien were paid, and he has not yet been notified of the release. The Case Advocate confirms that all the taxpayer's payments were applied timely and the accounts are showing a zero-balance due. In this case, both the TIC and the PCIC would be 721, Lien Release.

    Example:

    The taxpayer submitted a request for an appeal to dispute the IRS determination denying a civil penalty. The taxpayer claimed reasonable cause on the failure to file Form W-2, but the IRS denied his request and sent an 854C letter 13 months ago. The TIC and PCIC are both 911, Penalty Appeals.

  3. Case Advocates and Intake Advocates will update the PCIC as the case progresses so that it always reflects the most significant issue of the case.

    Example:

    The taxpayer requests abatement of all the unpaid interest and penalties. The Case Advocate determines the primary taxpayer issue to be interest abatement. The TIC is 810, Informal Interest Abatement Request, because the taxpayer had not filed a formal claim for interest abatement. When developing the case, the Case Advocate determines that the Collection Statute Expiration Date (CSED) had been improperly extended. After correcting the CSED, the taxpayer is no longer liable for the unpaid interest and penalties. Based on this information, the Case Advocate determines the CSED is the most significant issue affecting the case and uses PCIC 175, Collection Statute (CSED).

Secondary Core Issue Code
  1. The SCIC is a three-digit code used when there are multiple issues to resolve on a case. TAS uses the SCIC to identify multiple issues involved in the case that TAS spent time researching or working to resolve. Do not use the SCIC to identify the taxpayer’s issue or the resolution of the case. Do not include incidental matters as SCICs that are only identified through basic IDRS research, but are not addressed or developed with the taxpayer. The SCIC should reflect issues where TAS performed additional research or took some action to resolve.

  2. The SCIC may be identified during intake or added as the case progresses.

  3. TAS may need to take actions to resolve secondary issues at the same time while working to resolve the primary issue or may have to wait to resolve the primary issue before resolving the secondary issue(s).

  4. Input additional SCICs on TAMIS Case Screen 5 as the case progresses so that it reflects all applicable SCICs identified.

  5. Examples of SCICs are shown below:

    Example:

    The taxpayer submitted a request for a Guaranteed Installment Agreement (IA) to cover the balances on the 2014 and 2015 business tax returns. The IRS denied the IA because the taxpayer’s 2016 return was delinquent. The taxpayer indicated she filed the 2016 return, and it does not have a balance due. IDRS shows a 6020(b) indicator on the 2016 account. The TIC is 752, Guaranteed IA, the PCIC is 760, TDI-SFR/6020B, and the SCIC is 752.

    Example:

    The taxpayer contacts TAS regarding a continuous wage levy. The levy was caused by a Combined Annual Wage Reporting (CAWR) assessment on his 2016 account. The taxpayer indicates he sent documents to dispute the CAWR assessment, but the IRS never responded. The taxpayer will not be able to meet payroll if the IRS does not release the levy. The PCIC is 675, CAWR, because the CAWR assessment caused the balance due, leading to the levy. The SCIC 710, Levy, is added during the intake process since TAS must also resolve the levy issue. The Case Advocate should take immediate actions to resolve the levy since it is causing the most harm to the taxpayer while at the same time obtaining information needed to resolve the CAWR issue.

    Example:

    The same facts as above, but TAS also sends the taxpayer’s documentation to the CAWR unit via an OAR, and the CAWR unit makes a partial abatement which leaves the taxpayer with a remaining balance due. The taxpayer agrees he owes the remaining balance and requests an In-Business Trust Fund (IBTF) Express IA. The PCIC is 675 because the CAWR assessment caused the balance due. The Case Advocate should still code the case with an SCIC of 710 since he or she worked to resolve the levy issue. In addition, the Case Advocate should add an SCIC 759, IA-Other, because he or she helped the taxpayer set up an express IA to resolve the balance due before closing the case.

    Example:

    The taxpayer inquires about the status of her 2017 individual income tax return. Specifically, she wants to know when she will receive her refund because her landlord is selling the property she is renting, and she has to vacate before the buyers close at the end of the month. She has signed a lease on a new apartment but cannot move in until she has paid the first month’s rent and deposit. She needs her refund to make payment. In addition, the taxpayer has a balance due from her 2015 individual income tax return and needs an offset bypass refund (OBR). IDRS research indicates her refund is being held for wage verification by IVO. The PCIC is 045, because the underlying reason the taxpayer did not receive her refund within normal processing timeframes resulted from the IVO hold pending wage verification. The SCIC is 060, IRS Offset, because documentation is needed to bypass an offset to the balance due liability.

    Example:

    Given the same facts as above, the Case Advocate submits the taxpayer’s documentation to IVO via an OAR. IVO verifies the wages and grants TAS permission to issue a manual refund. Prior to closing the case, the Case Advocate reviews IDRS and notices that an Underreporter indicator is now present on the taxpayer’s 2016 account. The Case Advocate contacts the taxpayer and reviews the CP2000 notice on AMS and IRP information. The taxpayer did not report wages from a part-time job she held for the first three months of 2016. She says she never received a W-2 from her employer. The Case Advocate educates the taxpayer about how to respond to the notice if she agrees with the additional tax proposed. The taxpayer says she will sign the notice and send it back as soon as she receives it in the mail. The Case Advocate should add SCIC 660, Open Underreporter, to TAMIS to reflect the work performed to develop and address the AUR issue with the taxpayer. While TAS did not keep the case open until the AUR unit posted the adjustment to the 2016 account, TAS took actions to perform additional AMS research on the CP2000 notice, reviewed the IRP information and addressed it with the taxpayer.

    Example:

    The taxpayer contacts the IRS after he tried filing electronically and his return was rejected because another individual filed a return for the same tax period using his SSN. The information reflected on the return does not match the taxpayer’s current address, employer, or income. The assistor advises the taxpayer to file a paper return, which could take six to twelve weeks to process. The taxpayer says he cannot wait that long for his refund because he is three months behind on his car payments, and his lender is threatening to repossess the vehicle. The assistor refers the case to TAS because of the economic burden. The PCIC is 425, Identity Theft. TAS should add SCIC 310, Original Return Processing, since TAS must take actions to have the taxpayer’s return processed and SCIC 020, Expedite Refund Request, if TAS has to request verification of economic hardship to issue a manual refund.

    Example:

    TAS received a Congressional inquiry from a taxpayer who is concerned because her wallet, containing a driver’s license with her current address and her son’s Social Security card, was stolen on October 31. After filing a police report, she was advised to contact the IRS. She tried contacting the IRS to report the incident before filing her individual tax return, but the IRS refused to do anything to help. The taxpayer filed her return and received a partial refund and a math error notice concerning her dependent’s SSN. The taxpayer believes the math error resulted from the theft of her wallet containing her son’s identity information. The PCIC is 425. IDRS research shows a Math Error code and open controls on the account for dependent claimed by another person. TAS should add SCIC 320, Math Error.

Issue Code Rules
  1. The following rules are in place to accurately code cases:

    1. If the underlying cause of the taxpayer’s problem is the identity theft, the PCIC on TAMIS should always be 425. Most identity theft cases will have secondary issue(s). If the identity theft is discovered due to compliance activity (IVO, exam, AUR), capture that activity as the SCIC. If the case involves economic burden, depending on the circumstances, consider whether 020, Expedite Refund, is an appropriate SCIC. If the taxpayer was unable to file electronically because an identity thief filed first, use SCIC 310, Processing Original Returns, to capture the need to adjust the taxpayer’s account per the duplicate return filed on paper by the true owner of the TIN. For more information, see IRM 13.1.16.18.1.3, Secondary Core Issue Code.

    2. If one of the underlying causes of the taxpayer’s problem involves an audit where the taxpayer claimed Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), TAS should use PCIC 630, Open EITC Audit; PCIC 639, EITC Reconsideration; or PCIC 640, EITC Recertification.

      Note:

      If the taxpayer has an identity theft and an EITC issue, use issue code 425 as the PCIC and the appropriate EITC code as a secondary issue. EITC takes precedence over all other issue codes except 425, Identity Theft.

    3. If the underlying cause of the taxpayer’s problem involves an Affordable Care Act (ACA) issue, TAS should use PCICs 920 to 924. ACA takes precedence over all other issue codes except Identity Theft and EITC.

      Note:

      If the taxpayer has an identity theft and an ACA issue, TAS should use issue code 425 as the PCIC and the applicable ACA issue code as the SCIC.

      Note:

      If the taxpayer has an EITC and an ACA issue, TAS should use the appropriate EITC issue code as the PCIC and the appropriate ACA code as the SCIC.

    4. If the underlying cause of the taxpayer’s problem involves issue code 271, FATCA Withholding, it takes precedence over the issue code that describes the function questioning the withholding (typically 610). It does not take precedence over the issue codes for Identity Theft, EITC, and ACA.

      Note:

      If the taxpayer has an identity theft and a Form 1042-S withholding issue, TAS should use issue code 425 as the PCIC and 271 as the SCIC.

      Note:

      If the taxpayer has an EITC and a Form 1042-S withholding issue, TAS should use the appropriate EITC issue code as the PCIC and 271 as the SCIC.

      Note:

      If the taxpayer has an ACA and a Form 1042-S withholding issue, TAS should use the appropriate ACA issue code as the PCIC and 271 as the SCIC.

  2. Examples of using the issue code rules are shown below:

    Example:

    The taxpayer tried to electronically file her individual tax return to get a refund. She contacted TAS for assistance because another return had been filed using the taxpayer’s social security number. The taxpayer was served an eviction notice and needed her refund quickly.

    The Case Advocate asks the taxpayer to file a paper return and provides the taxpayer with the appropriate IRS address. The IRS receives the return. However, the taxpayer received Advanced Premium Tax Credit and failed to include Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit (PTC), when filing the return. The IRS rejects the return and a RJ TC 150 is put on the taxpayer’s account. The Case Advocate secures a Form 8962 from the taxpayer and sends an OAR to the Rejects Liaison. In addition, the Case Advocate verifies that Taxpayer Protection Program (TPP) moved the first return (filed by the Identity Thief) to MFT 32 as requested by TAS. The IRS processes the return per the OAR. However, when the return posts, the IRS selects the return for an EITC review. The correct TAMIS coding for this example is PCIC 425, Identity Theft, with SCIC 630, Open EITC Audit, SCIC 920, ACA Credit for Individuals, and SCIC 315, Unpostable or Reject.

    Example:

    The taxpayer inquires about the status of her individual income tax return. Specifically, she wants to know when she will receive her refund because her landlord is selling the property she is renting, and she must vacate before the buyers close at the end of the month. She has signed a lease on a new apartment but cannot move in until she has paid the first month’s rent and deposit. She needs her refund to make payment. IDRS research indicates her refund is being held for wage verification by IVO.

    The PCIC is 045, Pre-refund Verification Hold; because the underlying reason the taxpayer did not receive her refund within normal processing timeframes is due to the IVO hold pending wage verification. The Case Advocate works with the taxpayer to obtain verification of her wages and forwards the documentation to the IVO unit via an OAR to verify the wages and release the refund. The IVO unit refers the taxpayer’s return to Examination in response to the OAR. The Case Advocate researches IDRS to find an Examination indicator and EITC project code on the taxpayer’s account. The Case Advocate should change the PCIC to 630, Open EITC Audit; and add SCIC 045 to TAMIS.

Quick Closure Completion of the TAMIS Case Factor Screen

Case Factor TAMIS Input
1. Various MFTs Systemically Populated
2. Multiple Tax Periods Systemically Populated
3. An account/return more than 3 years old Systemically Populated
4. Multiple Issues Systemically Populated
5. TP/POA communications requiring foreign language usage Systemically Populated
6. Statute Issue(s) Systemically Populated
7. Multiple entities "No "
8. Stolen identity or other fraud issues(s) without CI control or involvement TAS employees are required to answer this question based upon the facts and circumstances of the case.
9. Multiple transactions/adjustments TAS employees are required to answer this question based upon the facts and circumstances of the case.
10a. Third party contact recorded on Third Party Screen Systemically Populated
10b. Third party contact not recorded on Third Party Screen "No"
11a. Government agency contact recorded on Third Party Screen Systemically Populated
11b. Government agency contact not recorded on Third Party Screen "No"
12. Recreating records "No"
13. Intricate case planning, including IDRS analysis TAS employees are required to answer this question based upon the facts and circumstances of the case.
14. Financial Analysis TAS employees are required to answer this question based upon the facts and circumstances of the case.
15. Research of specialty issues "No"
16. Research of emerging issues "No"
17a. Form 12412 (OAR) issued to multiple BODs/Functions or Org Units Systemically Populated
17b. Multiple BOD/Function/ORG Unit contacts without Form 12412 issuance "No"
18. Extensive IRM research or guidance required from Operating Divisions/Functions beyond TAS delegated authorities "No"
19. Extensive negotiations with Operating Divisions/Function "No"
20(a). TAMIS Referral to Technical Advisor Systemically Populated
20(b). Technical Advisor Contact without TAMIS Referral Issuance "No"
21. Technical Advisor Assignment Systemically Populated
22. Contact with Attorney Advisor or Counsel "No"
23. Providing the Taxpayer/POA with Alternatives TAS employees are required to answer this question based upon the facts and circumstances of the case.
24. Developing Innovative Solutions "No"

Quick Closure Reference Guide for Intake Advocates

The Quick Closure Reference Guide for Intake Advocates provides a general overview of the basic steps that will be taken by Intake Advocates when working Quick Closure Cases. Keep in mind that each case is different and the steps may vary based upon the facts and circumstances. Employees with questions should seek the assistance of a manager, Lead Case Advocate (LCA), or Lead Intake Advocate (LIA).

Acronyms

Acronym Definition
ACA Affordable Care Act
ACS Automated Collection System
Adj or adjmt Adjustment
AIMS Audit Information Management System
ALS Automated Lien System
AMS Accounts Management Services
ANMF Automated Non-Master File
APR Apology rendered or Applicable Rate
ATAO Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order
AUR Automated Underreporter
BFS Bureau of Fiscal Service
BMF Business Master File
BOD Business Operating Division
BOE Business Objects Enterprise
CA Case Advocate
CABIC Case Assistance By Issue Code
CADE Customer Account Data Engine
CAWR Combined Annual Wage Reporting
CC Canceled check(s), courtesy copy, or carbon copy
CCI Centralized Case Intake
CEAS Correspondence Examination Automation Support
CEP Coordinated Examination Program
CI Criminal Investigation
CIS Correspondence Imaging System or Collection Information System
CK/CKD check/checked
Cong Congress person or Congressional
Cong Rep Congressional Representative
CRU Centralized Reconsideration Unit
CSED Collection Statute Expiration Date
DBA Doing business as
DDb Dependency Database
DV Disclosure of taxpayer verified - Taxpayer Authenticated
ECD Estimated Completion Date
EITC Earned Income Tax Credit
Employee Number This is the employee’s Smart ID number or IDRS number
E-TRAK Electronic Tracking System
EUP Employee User Portal
FATCA Foreign Account Tax Compliance
FP Fully paid
FPLP Federal Payment Levy Program
FU/FD Functional Unit/Division
FUD Follow Up Date
GM Group Manager
IA Intake Advocate
IA Installment Agreement
IAT Integrated Automation Technologies
IBTF In-Business Trust Fund
ICD Initial Contact Date
ICS Integrated Collection System
ID/self/TAS Identified self, name, badge number, phone number, fax number, and TAS handling
IDRS Integrated Data Retrieval System
IDTVA Identity Theft Victims Assistance
IGM Interim Guidance Memorandum
IMF Individual Master File
IPSU Identity Protection Specialized Unit
ITA Interactive Tax Assistant
ITAP Internal Technical Advisor Program
ITAR Identity Theft Assistance Request
IVO Integrity and Verification Operation
LCA Lead Case Advocate
LIA Lead Intake Advocate
LMOAM Left message on answering machine
LMTCB/LCBM Left message to call back/Left call back message
LTA Local Taxpayer Advocate
MF Master File
MOU Memorandum of Understanding
MSG Message
MTCB Message to call back
NCD Next Contact Date
NDA No data available
NFTL Notice of Federal Tax Lien
NLT No later than
NMF Non Master File
NTA National Taxpayer Advocate
OAR Operations Assistance Request
OBR Offset Bypass Refund
OD Operating Division
OIC Offer In Compromise
OOO Out of office
P&I Penalties and Interest
PANG Phone, address, name given
PCA Private Collection Agency
PCIC Primary Core Issue Code
PDC Private Debt Collection
PDT Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer
PFANG Phone, fax address, name given
PFANBATCGA Phone, fax, address, name given, badge (ID), apology, TAS Confidentiality, TAS statement of independence given (including statement that TAS reports to Congress through the NTA) and taxpayer authenticated
PFANBATGA Phone, fax, address, name given, badge (ID), apology, TAS statement of independence given (including statement that TAS reports to Congress through the NTA) and taxpayer authenticated
PI Positive identification
POA Power of Attorney
POI Proof of Income
PSD Problem Solving Day
PTC Premium Tax Credit
QC Quick Closure
RAMPI Request Answering Machine, Positive Identification
RDO Regular Day Off
Rec’d/recd received
Recon Audit Reconsideration
Rep Authorized Representative
R/O or RO Revenue Officer
RPS Revenue Protection Strategy
SBA Small Business Administration
SBREFA Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act
SBU Sensitive But Unclassified
SCIC Secondary Core Issue Code
SERP Servicewide Electronic Research Program
Sen Senator
SFC Senate Finance Committee
SSN Social Security Number
TAGM Taxpayer Advocate Group Manager
TAMIS Taxpayer Advocate Management Information System
TARD Taxpayer Advocate Received Date
TAS Taxpayer Advocate Service
TBOR Taxpayer Bill of Rights
TC or PC Telephone call
TCD Technical Communication Documents
TCM or PCM Telephone call made
TDI/SFR Taxpayer Delinquency Investigation/Substitute for Return
TFRP Trust Fund Recovery Penalty
TIC Taxpayer Issue Code
TIN Taxpayer Identification Number
TOD Tour of Duty
TOP Treasury Offset Program
TP Taxpayer
TPS Taxpayer Spouse
TPP Taxpayer Protection Program
TPPI Taxpayer phone inquiry
TPRQ Taxpayer request
w/ with
w/i within
w/o without
WOEA Warned of enforcement action

TAMIS Case Coding

The following listing provides links to case coding for TAMIS input:

  • TAMIS Coding Reference Guide;

  • Issue Code List;

  • TAS Organization Codes;

  • Criteria Codes;

  • How Received Codes;

  • MFT Codes;

  • OD Function Symbol and Location Codes;

  • Special Case Codes; and

  • Title - Senator and Representative.

Contact Record Case Coding, Reason for Contact

The following table defines the Reason for Contact field on the TAMIS Contact Record screen.

Reason for Contact Definition
IRS Toll-free Number The taxpayer contacted TAS looking for an IRS Toll-free number, including taxpayers looking for the TIGTA hotline for IRS scam impersonators.
IRS Mailing Address The taxpayer contacted TAS requesting an IRS mailing address.
TAC Office Information The taxpayer contacted TAS looking for information on a Taxpayer Assistance Center.
SSA Information The taxpayer contacted TAS with an issue involving the Social Security Administration, not the IRS.
Local or State Government The taxpayer contacted TAS with a question or issue that involves a local or state government, not the IRS.
Bureau of Fiscal Services The taxpayer contacted TAS with a question or issue that involves the Bureau of Fiscal Services, not the IRS.
Open TAMIS Case The taxpayer has an open TAS case or TAS is opening a new case on TAMIS.
Closed TAMIS Case The taxpayer has a closed TAS case.
Other Selection of "Other" requires the TAMIS user to enter the "Reason for Contact Description" in a text field.

Contact Record Case Coding, Reason for No Case

The following table defines the Reason for No Case field on the TAMIS Contact Record screen.

Reason for No Case Definition
Inquiry on Existing Case A TAS case already exists for the taxpayer calling. The TAMIS user is required to select one of the following:
  • Update - Taxpayer is requesting an update on the progress of the case;

  • CA Info - Taxpayer is seeking the Case Advocate’s contact information;

  • Callback Requested Not Received - Taxpayer has asked the Case Advocate for a return call and has not heard from the Advocate;

  • TP Issue Not Resolved - Taxpayer is seeking resolution to his or her issue;

  • TP Not Satisfied - Taxpayer is not satisfied with how his or her issue is being worked;

  • Possible Reopen - Taxpayer is contacting TAS about a potential reopen of a closed case.

No Hardship Taxpayer is not experiencing an economic burden and taxpayer’s issue meets one of the exceptions to TAS case acceptance criteria (See IRM 13.1.7.3, Exceptions to Taxpayer Advocate Service Criteria). Exceptions meet criteria 5 - 7 (systemic burden) and involve:
  • Identity Theft;

  • Processing of an Original Return;

  • Processing of an Amended Return;

  • Unpostable or Reject; or

  • Injured Spouse Claim.

Non-Criteria The taxpayer’s issue does not meet TAS case acceptance criteria.
No IRS Issue The taxpayer’s issue does not involve an IRS process, procedure, or account.
Issue Resolved TAS was able to resolve the taxpayer’s issue.
General/Non-Account Question The taxpayer was calling with a general tax question.
List Cases The taxpayer’s issue meets the definition of a bulk receipt involving multiple taxpayers and TAS is unable to determine taxpayer impact.
Other Selection of "Other" requires the TAMIS user to enter the "Reason for No Case Description" in a text field.

Contact Record Case Coding, Assistance Provided

The following table defines the Assistance Provided on the TAMIS Contact Record screen.

Assistance Provided Definition
Provided Explanation The TAS employee answered the taxpayer’s question.
Referred to IRS The TAS employee referred the taxpayer to the IRS unit that can assist the taxpayer.
Referred to TAC The TAS employee referred the taxpayer to the applicable Taxpayer Assistance Center.
Referred to Self Help The TAS employee referred the taxpayer to the IRS or TAS web page that can assist with the issue.
Referred to Non-IRS Agency The TAS employee referred the taxpayer to another agency.
F4442 The TAS employee sent a completed Form 4442, Inquiry Referral, to the IRS to assist the taxpayer.
Other Selection of "Other" requires the TAMIS user to enter the "Assistance Description" in a text field.

Completing Initial Contacts During Intake Guide

The Completing Initial Contacts During Intake Guide outlines the basic steps to take when the initial contact is completed during intake. Employees with questions should seek the assistance of a manager, Lead Case Advocate (LCA), Lead Intake Advocate (LIA), or Technical Advisor.

Caution:

This guide is updated periodically. Employees printing out the guide should ensure he or she is using the current revision.

Completing Initial Actions During Intake Guide

The Completing Initial Actions During Intake Guide outlines the initial actions to complete during intake. Employees with questions should seek the assistance of a manager, Lead Case Advocate (LCA), Lead Intake Advocate (LIA), or Technical Advisor.

Caution:

This guide is updated periodically. Employees printing out the guide should ensure he or she is using the current revision.

TAMIS History Literals for Account Actions Taken by Intake Advocates

Delegated Authority TAMIS History Literal
Entity Correction (Address Change or Correction of Typographical Errors on the Taxpayer’s Name) **IA ENTITY ADJ**
Initiate a Refund Trace **IA CHKCL**
Reissue a Returned Refund Check Posted on IDRS with an S- Freeze **IA CHK64**
Request and Provide Transcripts, Forms, and Publications **IA DOCS**
Order Automated Lien System (ALS) Research for Lien Release **IA ALS REQ**
Input Streamline Installment Agreement **IA SIA**
Input Guaranteed Installment Agreement **IA GIA**
Input a Collection Hold (CC STAUP) **IA STAUP XX CYCLES**
Input a Collection Hold (ACS hold cases) **IA ACS HOLD**
Input an Additional Skip Payment **IA IASKIP**
Input an Extension of Time to Pay **IA EXT2PAY**
Correct Account with Substantiated Math Error **IA ADJ**
Input Account Adjustment Meeting Tolerance **IA ADJ**