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13.1.16  TAS Intake and Case Receipt Process

Manual Transmittal

April 7, 2017

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 “TAS Intake and Case Receipt Process” to reflect the intake and case receipt process.

Material Changes

(1) The title changed to reflect the intake and case receipt process.

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

(3) The entire IRM 13.1.16 was re-written 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 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and Delegation Order 13-2-1, Authority of Taxpayer Advocate Service Employees to Perform Certain Tax Administration Functions (dated Jul. 27, 2015) (Del. Order).

(4) IRM 13.1.16.1. Updated this section to incorporate the MOU, Del. Order, and Internal Controls.

(5) IRM 13.1.16.2. Moved content to IRMs 13.1.16.1 and 13.1.16.3. Incorporated new content for Communication Skills and Requirements based upon the MOU.

(6) IRM 13.1.16.2.1. New subsection providing clarification of disclosure requirements and taxpayer authentication.

(7) IRM 13.1.16.2.1.1. New subsection providing clarification of authorized disclosures.

(8) IRM 13.1.16.2.2. New subsection providing clarification on the use of cell phones and cordless devises.

(9) IRM 13.1.16.2.3. New subsection providing clarification for leaving messages on answering machines.

(10) IRM 13.1.16.2.4. New subsection providing clarification of the potential dangerous taxpayer indicator and threats.

(11) IRM 13.1.16.3. Changed the section title to Sources of TAS Cases and Initial Intake Processing. Broadened the focus and scope of the previous subsection to incorporate the MOU. Removed the discussion concerning manual preparation of Form 911.

(12) IRM 13.1.16.3.1. New subsection providing clarification to TAS employees on what steps need to be taken to assist a taxpayer or representative contacting TAS directly (telephone contacts to a TAS office, virtual service delivery, or walk-in to a TAS office) to incorporate the MOU.

(13) IRM 13.1.16.3.2. New subsection providing clarification to TAS employees on what steps need to be taken to assist a taxpayer or representative contacting TAS through correspondence (mail or fax) to incorporate the MOU.

(14) IRM 13.1.16.3.3. New subsection providing clarification to TAS employees on what steps need to be taken to assist a taxpayer referred to TAS from an IRS Operating Division or Function to incorporate the MOU.

(15) IRM 13.1.16.3.4. New subsection providing clarification to TAS employees on what steps need to be taken to assist a taxpayer or representative contacting TAS via a call to the NTA Toll-free line that the assistor transfers to TAS via Centralized Case Intake to incorporate the MOU.

(16) IRM 13.1.16.3.5. New subsection providing clarification to TAS employees on what steps need to be taken for Congressional Office contacts to incorporate MOU.

(17) IRM 13.1.16.3.6. New subsection providing clarification for other inquiries to TAS to incorporate the MOU.

(18) IRM 13.1.16.4. Removed discussion concerning completion of the paper Form 911 by TAS and IRS employees. Directions for entering cases on Taxpayer Advocate Management Information System (TAMIS) via Accounts Management System (AMS) have been moved to the subsections in IRM 13.1.16.3. Added new content providing clarification for AMS e-911 referrals from the IRS Operating Divisions and Functions to incorporate the MOU.

(19) IRM 13.1.16.4.1 – 4. Content moved to IRM 13.1.2.

(20) IRM 13.1.16.5. Added clarification on how to handle customer complaints.

(21) IRM 13.1.16.6. Case receipt content moved and clarified in the subsections in IRM 13.1.16.3. Added clarification on initial actions and case building.

(22) IRM 13.1.16.6.1. New subsection providing clarification when engaging in discussions about TAS to incorporate the MOU.

(23) IRM 13.1.16.6.2. New subsection incorporating and clarifying suspending collections per the Del. Order.

(24) IRM 13.1.16.7 and subsections contained with IRM 13.1.16.7. Revised the title of this section to better align with the content. Moved the reopen procedures from IRM 13.1.21 to IRM 13.1.16. Clarified the reopen procedures

(25) IRM 13.1.16.8. Previous content renumbered to IRM 13.1.16.9. New subsection providing clarification about contacts meeting TAS criteria but can be resolved without TAS assistance to incorporate the MOU.

(26) IRM 13.1.16.8.1. Content renumbered to IRM 13.1.16.10 for clarity.

(27) IRM 13.1.16.9. Former content moved to IRM 13.1.16.11. Current content previously in IRM 13.1.16.8. Removed sentence discussing the penalty under IRM § 6702(b) and the reference to interim guidance. Clarified discussion on handling contacts that may meet TAS criteria and may include a nonfrivolous issue, AMS input.

(28) IRM 13.1.16.9.1. Renumbered to IRM 13.1.16.11.

(29) IRM 13.1.16.9.2. Removed content concerning TAS Criteria Zero – obsolete. Other content incorporated into the subsections in IRM 13.1.16.3.

(30) IRM 13.1.16.9.3. Renumbered to IRM 13.1.17.

(31) IRM 13.1.16.9.4. Renumbered to IRM 13.1.17.

(32) IRM 13.1.16.9.5. Renumbered to IRM 13.1.16.11.2.

(33) IRM 13.1.16.9.6. Removed obsolete.

(34) IRM 13.1.16.9.7. Renumbered to IRM 13.1.16.11.3.

(35) IRM 13.1.16.9.7.1. Renumbered to IRM 13.1.16.11.3.1.

(36) IRM 13.1.16.9.7.2. Renumbered to IRM 13.1.16.11.3.2.

(37) IRM 13.1.16.9.7.3. Renumbered to IRM 13.1.16.11.3.3.

(38) IRM 13.1.16.10. Former content moved to IRM 13.1.17. New content previously IRM 13.1.16.8.1. Provided clarification about nonfrivolous inquiries to TAS not meeting criteria that incorporates the MOU.

(39) IRM 13.1.16.10.1. Removed obsolete.

(40) IRM 13.1.16.11. Content moved to IRM 13.1.16.12. Current content formally found in IRM 13.1.16.9 and clarified to incorporate prior changes made to case acceptance criteria in IRM 13.1.7.

(41) IRM 13.1.16.11.1. Current content formally found in IRM 13.1.16.9.2 and clarified to incorporate prior changes made to case acceptance criteria in IRM 13.1.7.

(42) IRM 13.1.16.11.2. New subsection providing for reduced case procedures for cases considered quick closures incorporating the MOU and the Del. Order.

(43) IRM 13.1.16.11.2.1. New subsection providing for reduced case procedures for cases considered quick closures incorporating the MOU and the Del. Order.

(44) IRM 13.1.16.11.4. Content moved from IRM 13.1.17.4.2.3 for clarity.

(45) IRM 13.1.16.12. Former content obsolete. New content formerly found in IRM 13.1.16.11.

(46) IRM 13.1.16.13. Clarified content based on “The Importance of Case Coding and How to Code Accurately” training provided to TAS employees.

(47) IRM 13.1.16.13.1. Clarified content based on “The Importance of Case Coding and How to Code Accurately” training provided to TAS employees.

(48) IRM 13.1.16.13.1.2. Clarified content based on “The Importance of Case Coding and How to Code Accurately” training provided to TAS employees.

(49) IRM 13.1.16.13.1.3. Clarified content based on “The Importance of Case Coding and How to Code Accurately” training provided to TAS employees.

(50) IRM 13.1.16.13.1.4. New content clarifying issue code rules based on “The Importance of Case Coding and How to Code Accurately” training provided to TAS employees.

(51) Added Exhibit 13.1.16-1, Quick Closure Completion of the TAMIS Case Factor Screen.

(52) Added Exhibit 13.1.16-2, Quick Closure Reference Guide for Intake Advocates.

(53) IRM 13.1.16.3.4(8)(c). Clarified content ECD is entered in the TAMIS history.

(54) IRM 13.1.16.3.5(10)(a). Clarified content ECD is entered in the TAMIS history.

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 March 28, 2017.

Audience

Taxpayer Advocate Service employees

Effective Date

(04-07-2017)


Nina E. Olson
National Taxpayer Advocate

13.1.16.1  (03-28-2017)
Program Scope and Objectives

  1. Purpose: This section contains the intake and case receipt procedures for all TAS employees. In particular, this section describes the different avenues in which TAS receives a taxpayer's inquiry and provides the intake process for handling potential TAS cases.

  2. 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). 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; or

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

  3. Generally, 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, for more information.

  4. 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.

  5. TAS must expeditiously respond to taxpayers’ inquiries to ensure TAS cases are promptly assigned to a TAS employee for resolution.

  6. These inquiries require an immediate input to the Taxpayer Advocate Management Information System (TAMIS). See IRM 13.4, TAS TAMIS Guide.

    Note:

    See IRM 13.1.16.3, Sources of TAS Cases and Initial Intake Processing, for more information about handling inquiries from taxpayers. See also IRM 13.1.16.8, Contacts that Meet Criteria but Could Be Resolved without TAS Assistance.

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

  8. Policy Owner: The Executive Director Case Advocacy, Intake & Technical Support is the program office responsible for the oversight of the TAS intake and case receipt process.

  9. Primary Stakeholders: The offices within TAS Case Advocacy have the responsibility for case receipt and intake.

13.1.16.1.1  (03-28-2017)
Authority and Background

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

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

13.1.16.1.2  (03-28-2017)
Terms/Definitions/Acronyms

  1. IRM 13.1.3, Definition of Terms/Use of Abbreviations, provides acceptable abbreviations and acronyms for use when documenting case histories throughout TAS case processing which includes the intake process.

  2. Exhibit 13.1.3-1, Acronyms and Definition of Terms, provides commonly used TAS terms and abbreviations.

13.1.16.1.3  (03-28-2017)
Responsibilities

  1. This IRM is used by all TAS Case Advocacy employees performing case intake.

13.1.16.1.4  (03-28-2017)
Intake Advocate Delegated Authority Principles

  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.

13.1.16.2  (03-28-2017)
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 manner in which 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 during case resolution. Taxpayers from varied backgrounds who may be encountering many different issues may be frightened or confused and present themselves as uncooperative or angry as they attempt to resolve their IRS problems. You have the opportunity to alleviate their concerns and give them confidence that TAS will advocate on their behalf.

  2. Greet the customer in a professional and courteous manner. If necessary, adjust your choice of words to the customer’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.

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

  4. The Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, Section 3705(a), provides identification requirements for all employees working tax-related matters. Immediately upon telephone contact, tell the taxpayer or representative your name, your job title and your unique employee identification number (10 digit Smart ID badge number). If you do not make telephone contact, your initial letter to the customer must contain the above identifying information. This will satisfy the requirements of this section of the law.

  5. 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.

  6. Explain why you are placing the taxpayer on hold and give an anticipated time frame for the hold. Return periodically to reassure the taxpayer that the call is still connected and you are still researching. Make every attempt to avoid keeping the taxpayer on hold for an extended period.

  7. Only place the taxpayer on hold to research information that is not readily available. If it is necessary to place the taxpayer on hold on multiple occasions, apologize and provide an explanation for the additional research. Always thank the taxpayer for holding when you return to the call.

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

  9. 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 Forms 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (And Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order) to the TAS office closest to the practitioner for review.

  10. 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.

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

13.1.16.2.1  (03-28-2017)
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. Refer to IRM 13.1.10.3, Disclosure Issues and Taxpayer Authentication, for specific disclosure and taxpayer authentication procedures while working a TAS case.

  4. Document taxpayer authentication in the TAMIS history per IRM 13.1.10.3(7). Employees can use the acronym “DV” for disclosure verified for documentation purposes.

13.1.16.2.1.1  (03-28-2017)
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, follow IRM 21.1.3.3, Third Party (POA/TIA/F706) Authentication.

  3. Prior to providing authorized tax return information, ask for identifying information and conduct Integrated Data Retrieval System (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 makes contact with the same taxpayer on the same case, then the subsequent employee must also authenticate the taxpayer’s identification before disclosing any information.

13.1.16.2.2  (03-28-2017)
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 customer's permission to discuss sensitive but unclassified (SBU) information, if appropriate.

    Note:

    Make sure you secure the taxpayer's phone number in the event the call disconnects.

13.1.16.2.3  (03-28-2017)
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, the taxpayers may note their agreement by checking box 9b on Form 911.

  3. 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 of a taxpayer’s authorized representative or on the voicemail of a Congressional staffer.

13.1.16.2.4  (03-28-2017)
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 or ENMOD, be extremely cautious and inform your manager as soon as possible. Document “PDT” designations in the TAMIS history.

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

  3. Your manager will forward the Form 4442 or Form e-4442, to the nearest TIGTA office.

  4. See IRM 25.4.1, Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer, for more information.

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

13.1.16.3  (03-28-2017)
Sources of TAS Cases and Initial Intake Processing

  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, 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 13.1.16.6, Taking Initial Actions for Case Building during the Intake Process.

  3. If the case 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 using the date the taxpayer contacted TAS as the Taxpayer Advocate Received Date (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 are editable, 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 using Category Code “ATAO” and your own IDRS number. 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.

  6. Take steps to suspend all relevant balance due modules, and populate applicable fields on TAMIS Initial Actions Screen 1 with the details. See IRM 13.1.16.6.2, Suspending Collection Actions, and IRM 13.1.10.15, Suspending Collection Action, for additional information.

  7. Complete the initial actions as required by IRM 13.1.16.6, Taking Initial Actions for Case Building During the Intake Process and IRM 13.1.18.2, Introduction to Initial Actions. Document the TAMIS history with all actions taken.

  8. 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 13.1.16.10, Contacts Not Meeting TAS Criteria (Nonfrivolous Inquiries).

  9. 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 initial 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).

13.1.16.3.1  (03-28-2017)
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 13.1.16.2.1.1, 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 13.1.16.2, Communication Skills and Requirements.

  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. In the event that AMS is unavailable, load the case directly to TAMIS.

  5. Conduct an in-depth interview and discuss with the taxpayer appropriate information as required by IRM 13.1.18.3, Initial Contact.

    1. Intake Advocates will provide their personal desk phone number when working a quick closure case, see IRM 13.1.16.11.2, 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. 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, as appropriate.

  7. Provide the taxpayer with an Initial Contact Date based upon the case acceptance criteria. See IRM 13.1.18.3 for timeframes.

  8. 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.

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

    1. Initial 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 timeframe (be sure to explain to the taxpayer that this may change once the Case Advocate assigned 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 timeframe. For example: “Your issue will take a minimum of three weeks to resolve, but that could change once your Case Advocate has an opportunity to thoroughly review your case.” Document the ECD given in the TAMIS history.

    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).

    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 assigned 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. For additional information see IRM 13.1.18.7, Making an IRC § 7811 Significant Hardship Determination.

    8. Notification of TAS's involvement and independence from the IRS. For more information 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 in order 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.

13.1.16.3.2  (03-28-2017)
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 13.1.16.3.5 for inquiries involving Congressional correspondence).

  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.

  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 13.1.16.2.1.1, 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.

  4. In the event that 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.

13.1.16.3.3  (03-28-2017)
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.

  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 so 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 (1) 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.

    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 13.1.16.2.1.1, Authorized Disclosure. Conduct an in-depth interview and discuss with the taxpayer the appropriate information as required by IRM 13.1.18.3. Verify the taxpayer’s identification before discussing tax information protected by IRC § 6103, and refer to IRM 13.1.16.2, Communication Skills and Requirements.

  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.

13.1.16.3.4  (04-07-2017)
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 7:30 pm CST, the assistor will generate an e-911 on AMS. See IRM 13.1.16.3.3, 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 discuss the appropriate information as required by IRM 13.1.18.3. 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. Contact your manager immediately to discuss the case when 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, as appropriate.

  7. Provide the taxpayer with an expected Initial Contact Date based upon the case acceptance criteria. See IRM 13.1.18.3(1), for timeframes.

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

    1. Initial 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 timeframe (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 timeframe. For example: “Your issue will take a minimum of three weeks to resolve, but that could change once the Case Advocate has an opportunity to thoroughly review your case.” The employee enters the ECD in the TAMIS history;

    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);

    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. For additional information see IRM 13.1.18.7, Making an IRC § 7811 Significant Hardship Determination;

    8. Notification of TAS's involvement and independence from the IRS. For more information 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 in order to resolve their problem. See IRM 13.1.5.6, Communicating Confidentiality Rules to Taxpayers and Taxpayers’ Representatives;

    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.

13.1.16.3.5  (04-07-2017)
Congressional Office Contacts

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

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

  3. 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).

  4. 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.

  5. 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).

  6. If the contact is by phone, discuss the appropriate information as required by IRM 13.1.18.3 with the Congressional Office/taxpayer. 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).

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

  8. Contact your manager immediately to discuss the case when 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, as appropriate.

    Note:

    Congressional cases infrequently require transfer.

  9. When the contact is by phone, advise the Congressional Office/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.

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

    1. Estimated completion timeframe (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 timeframe. For example: “Your issue will take a minimum of three weeks to resolve, but that could change once the Case Advocate has an opportunity to thoroughly review your case.” The employee enters the ECD in the TAMIS history;

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

    3. A date to call back TAS if the Congressional office/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, Inform Taxpayer of Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Independence;

    5. Explanation of the confidentiality rule of IRC § 7803(c)(4)(A)(iv). TAS personnel should also tell Congressional Office/taxpayer that they will generally need to provide information to IRS personnel in order to resolve the taxpayer’s problem. See IRM 13.1.5.6, Communicating Confidentiality Rules to Taxpayers and Taxpayers’ Representatives;

    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 Government Liaison office, who will either decide whether to work the case or forward it to Legislative Affairs for assignment if it is national in scope. Advise the Congressional Office that the contact does not meet TAS criteria and that the inquiry is being referred to the Government Liaison office for resolution. See Local Government Liaison listing for contact information at http://discl.web.irs.gov/GLD/GL/docs/Field-GL-List.pdf .

13.1.16.3.6  (03-28-2017)
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. For additional information on SBREFA cases, see IRM 13.1.10.8, Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) Cases.

13.1.16.4  (03-28-2017)
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 with the exception of campus offices and Puerto Rico. The name of the 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 special procedures for TAS Centralized AMS e-911 inventory in IRM 13.1.16.3.3, 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 upload to TAMIS.

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

13.1.16.4.1  (03-28-2017)
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 AMS location code 10, 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 AMS location code 10 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.

  4. Access referrals in Centralized AMS location code 10 following the normal process for accessing AMS e-911 inventory.

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

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

    2. 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.

13.1.16.5  (03-28-2017)
Complaints and Allegations Concerning Employees

  1. On occasion, you will receive a complaint about an existing open or closed TAS case. The taxpayers 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 and explain you will get the taxpayer 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 per IRM 13.1.16.2.1.1, Authorized Disclosures) and provide him or her with any current update to the case. If the TAS employee has attempted to contact them or has sent correspondence, you can relay this information to the taxpayer. If that does not satisfy the situation, offer to transfer the taxpayer to the TAS employee and provide the direct number for dialing (both local and toll free).

  3. If the taxpayer’s complaint has risen to the level of a manager callback, then provide the taxpayer 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 complaint, including the case file number, taxpayer’s name, and telephone number.

    Reminder:

    the subject line of an e-mail is not encrypted.

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

  5. When you are dealing with an upset taxpayer, 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. Use the following guidelines for dealing with anger and emotion:

    1. Recognize the taxpayer’s feelings;

    2. Maintain self-control; and

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

  6. If the taxpayer 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 customer complaint, document the TAMIS history that a referral was made per the taxpayer complaint.

13.1.16.6  (03-28-2017)
Taking Initial Actions for Case Building During the Intake Process

  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 Underreported (AUR) notices;

    5. Integrated Collection System (ICS);

    6. 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;

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

    8. Letters or Notices issued to taxpayer using IDRS command code (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 2015 tax return and reported the estimated payment made December 31, 2015, but IDRS does not show the payment was applied to the 2015 account. Thus, the IRS failed to take the action to post the estimated payment to the 2015 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.

13.1.16.6.1  (03-28-2017)
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 in the Intake Process when the taxpayer or representative contacts TAS directly.

  2. TAS employees handling direct taxpayer contacts during the intake process must discuss with the taxpayer appropriate information as required by IRM 13.1.18.3.

    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, Inform Taxpayer of Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Independence, for the independence statement to provide to the taxpayer.)

    3. Verifying the taxpayer or taxpayer 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 TAS employee’s initial contact date, as populated on the Case Action Screen once the inquiry is loaded to TAMIS.

    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, 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. Advising 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 initial conversation with a Case Advocate, including the information to have available for discussion.
      i. The CABIC provides a link to Initial Actions and Case Building assistance that can assist you 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. In these circumstances, the assigned Case Advocate will advise the taxpayer of the documentation necessary to resolve his or her issue. In these circumstances, use a statement similar to 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 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, as appropriate.

13.1.16.6.2  (03-28-2017)
Suspending Collection Actions

  1. Open an IDRS control base using command code (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 22, 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. 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 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). Add a follow up date on the case action screen on TAMIS for 30 days from the date the hold is placed on the account.
    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.
  3. Document your actions on TAMIS Initial Actions Screen 1.

13.1.16.7  (03-28-2017)
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 TAS case and provide the assigned TAS employee’s last name and toll-free phone number.

  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 13.1.16.10, 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 contact 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:

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

    • There was an IRS error that prevented case resolution;

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

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

  5. The manager will determine if the case should be reopened. If the case should be reopened, the manager will ensure:

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

    • 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 13.1.16.7.1, Reopen Procedures.

  6. If the case was originally worked by an Intake Advocate as a Quick Closure Case (see IRM 13.1.16.11.2, Quick Closure Cases), the manager will determine 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, 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 13.1.16.7.1, 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 13.1.16.7.1, 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:

    • Create a new case on TAMIS and assign per local office procedures;

    • Upon receipt of the inquiry, contact the taxpayer within one workday for criteria 1-4 cases and three workdays for criteria 5-9 cases; and

    • Ensure TAMIS is documented, 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 13.1.16.10, Contacts Not Meeting TAS Criteria (Nonfrivolous Inquiries).

13.1.16.7.1  (03-28-2017)
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.

  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. 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. Advise the taxpayer that a manager at the office that closed the case will contact him or her with the decision within three workdays; and

    4. Provide the last name of the manager and toll-free number of the office 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 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 1, 2016, 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 2, 2016, CCI sends the reopen request to the closing TAS office, and the closing TAS office receives it. The closing TAS office has until February 3, 2016, to make the reopen decision, and then one (1) workday from the decision date to add the case to TAMIS. On February 3, 2016, the closing TAS office makes the decision to reopen the case. On February 4, 2016, the closing TAS office builds the reopen on TAMIS, using February 3, 2016 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.

13.1.16.7.2  (03-28-2017)
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
  2. To reopen a case on TAMIS, see instructions contained in IRM 13.4.5.6, Reopen Screen.

13.1.16.7.3  (03-28-2017)
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, Making an IRC § 7811 Significant Hardship Determination.

13.1.16.8  (03-28-2017)
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. 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 particular 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.

  3. To determine if a particular taxpayer may be eligible for Self-Help, visit the Case Assistance by Issue Code Guide (CABIC) and look for the “New Inquiry” link. This 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.

    If account research (see IRM 13.1.16.6) 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.

  4. Whenever TAS redirects taxpayers to a Self-Help option, TAS informs 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.

13.1.16.9  (03-28-2017)
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 Pub 2105, Why do I have to Pay taxes?

  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 13.1.16.6 (2), Taking Initial Actions for Case Building during the Intake Process.

  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 at telephone number 1–866– 883–0235. This is a toll-free number.”

  5. Select and add TAS Comment “TAS - e-911 Not TAS Criteria - Frivolous Claim” 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 Comment histories are TAS approved pre-written histories 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 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, but do not update the address on IDRS because the yellow is not considered an official source for changing an address. If no new address found, destroy the undeliverable mail and notate TAMIS.

13.1.16.10  (03-28-2017)
Contacts Not Meeting TAS Criteria (Nonfrivolous Inquiries)

  1. TAS will take the following actions during the intake process 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 and 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 taxpayers that they may be the subject of an investigation.

    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. 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 current 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 2015 Wage and Income Transcript in order 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 Form 4442 sent to the OD/function, document the promised contact date given to the taxpayer.

    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. CCI intake advocates will also complete Form 14556, TAS Open/Closed Case and Incorrect Referral Feedback, and send it electronically to the CCI Project Office. The CCI Project Office routinely shares this information with TAS and W&I leadership. Form 14556 is restricted for use only by CCI intake advocates. Other TAS employees are prohibited from using Form 14556.

  3. 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 Form 4442 sent to the OD/function, document the promised contact date given to the taxpayer.

    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 correspondence to the new address, but do not update the address on IDRS because the yellow is not considered an official source for changing an address. If no new address found, destroy the undeliverable mail and notate TAMIS.

  4. 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's 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 has the ability to take the action requested by the taxpayer.
      i. If the employee who submitted the e-911 has the ability to take the action requested by the taxpayer, immediately return via fax the referral 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 does not have the ability to 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 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.

    3. If the incorrect referral was made on a paper Form 911, determine whether the employee who submitted the Form 911 has the ability to take the action requested by the taxpayer.
      i. If the employee who submitted the Form 911 has the ability to take the action requested by the taxpayer, immediately return via fax the referral 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 911 does not have the ability to 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 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.”

    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, but do not update the address on IDRS because the yellow is not considered an official source for changing an address. If no new address found, destroy the undeliverable mail and notate TAMIS.

    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.

  5. 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-13-1116-009, Interim Guidance on Accepting Cases Under TAS Case Criteria 9, Public Policy (Nov. 14, 2016).

13.1.16.11  (03-28-2017)
Exceptions to TAS Case Acceptance Criteria

  1. Effective October 1, 2011, the National Taxpayer Advocate made changes 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 13.1.16.11.3, Criteria 5-7 Identity Theft Cases Eligible for Referral to Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU).

  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.

  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.

13.1.16.11.1  (03-28-2017)
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 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.

  3. When a taxpayer insists on TAS assistance, even though they are not presently experiencing an economic burden or systemic burden, TAS should accept the case under Case Criteria 7, 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.

13.1.16.11.2  (03-28-2017)
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, faxes them to the fax number he provides, 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.

    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, TAS Case Closing and Reopen Case Procedures.

      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 the taxpayer 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, Closing Criteria, 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, in-depth taxpayer interview, case documentation, and closing procedures. See IRM 13.1.18, Processing TAS Cases, and IRM 13.1.21. However, to facilitate the closure of these cases, the following TAMIS input changes apply to quick closure cases:

    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. For additional information see IRM 13.4.5.2.1.5, Taxpayer Screen 5 of 5.

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

    4. Action Plan Screen. TAS employees will enter the literal QC in the Action 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. For additional information see IRM 13.4.5.3.3, Action Plan Screen.

    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, employees are still required to close out the date in order to close the TAMIS case. For additional information see IRM 13.4.5.3.5, Case Actions Screen and IRM 13.4.5.3.6, History Screen.

    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 a number of the case factors associated with quick closure cases should be “no.” TAS employees should 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. For additional information see IRM 13.4.5.4, Case Factors Screen.

13.1.16.11.2.1  (03-28-2017)
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 take additional actions 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 can 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**

13.1.16.11.3  (03-28-2017)
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 25.23.3.3.5, Identity Theft Assistance Request (ITAR) - General Information, provides guidance for IPSU employees when resolving these identity theft priority referrals.

13.1.16.11.3.1  (03-28-2017)
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.

13.1.16.11.3.2  (03-28-2017)
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 13.1.16.7, 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 13.1.16.11.3.1, 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.”

13.1.16.11.3.3  (03-28-2017)
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 (5) 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 business 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 business 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 is in agreement of 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.

13.1.16.11.4  (03-28-2017)
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.

    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. TAS establishes cases for the individual taxpayers to advocate for penalty relief.

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

13.1.16.12  (03-28-2017)
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 any issues that merit:

    • Proactive involvement to prevent such problems in the future;

    • Change to Internal Revenue Service policies or procedures;

    • Change to the law or regulations; or

    • Change to current Internal Revenue Service 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 wide spread group of taxpayers, or affects the rights of an individual taxpayers should follow current systemic advocacy procedures outlined in IRM 13.2, Systemic Advocacy.

13.1.16.13  (03-28-2017)
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 IRM 13.4.5, Initiating and Working a Case on TAMIS.

13.1.16.13.1  (03-28-2017)
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)).

  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. In order 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. Obtain resource funding and make budget decisions;

    3. Make decisions concerning case assignment;

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

    5. 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. The TAS website contains a listing and description of the “issue codes.” See the Case Assistance by Issue Code Guide and the TAMIS Coding Reference Guide.

13.1.16.13.1.1  (03-28-2017)
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 13.1.16.13.1.2, Primary Core Issue Code, and IRM 13.1.16.13.1.3, 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, 2015, and states he sent in all the information requested in a letter from Examination on March 1, 2015. The taxpayer states he also had received another letter from Examination indicating he would receive a response by May 2, 2015. The taxpayer wants to know the status of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) examination and when his refund would be issued. The TIC code for this case would be 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 has 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 would be 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.

13.1.16.13.1.2  (03-28-2017)
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 made contact with 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 2015 Form 1040 Schedule A. The taxpayer received an eviction notice and requests 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, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to claim additional gambling losses as an itemized deduction on her 2015 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 2015 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 2009 and 2010 individual tax returns. The IRS denied the IA because the taxpayer’s 2012 income tax return was delinquent. IDRS shows an IRC 6020(b), automated substitute for return, indicator on the 2012 account. The taxpayer indicated that she filed the 2012 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 2013. All of 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 2014. 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 2015 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.

    Example:

    The taxpayer files her 2015 individual tax return. The tax return fails to post and IDRS indicates the return is coded with unpostable code (UPC) 126-0, based on the Dependency Database (DDb) filters. The taxpayer contacts TAS for assistance in obtaining her refund due to financial hardship. The correct initial TAMIS coding for this example is PCIC 425, Identity Theft, with a Secondary Core Issue Code (SCIC) 318, Taxpayer Protection Program Unpostable. However, after additional research and discussion with the taxpayer, TAS determined the taxpayer made a mistake on her return. Update the PCIC to 318 and remove SCIC 318, when you have determined identity theft is not involved.

  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 CA 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. 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 CA 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 CA 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 CA determines the CSED is the most significant issue affecting the case and uses PCIC 175, Collection Statute (CSED).

13.1.16.13.1.3  (03-28-2017)
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 related issues 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. SCIC may be identified during the Intake Process 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 using SCICs are shown below:

    Example:

    The taxpayer submitted a request for a Guaranteed Installment Agreement (IA) to cover the balances on the 2011 and 2012 business tax returns. The IRS denied the IA because the taxpayer’s 2014 return was delinquent. The taxpayer indicated she filed the 2014 return, and it does not have a balance due. IDRS shows a 6020(b) indicator on the 2014 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 2012 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 Installment Agreement (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 2016 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 2014 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, Pre-Refund Verification Hold; 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. The LTA approves the manual refund. Prior to the closing case, the Case Advocate reviews IDRS and notices that an Underreporter indicator is now present on the taxpayer’s 2015 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 2015. 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 2015 account, TAS did take necessary actions to address 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 has to 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, 2016. After filing a police report, she was advised to contact the IRS. She tried contacting the IRS to report the incident before filing her 2016 individual tax return, but the IRS refused to do anything to help. The taxpayer filed her 2016 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, Identity Theft. 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.

13.1.16.13.1.4  (03-28-2017)
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. Nearly all 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 13.1.16.13.1.3 , 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, 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 2016 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 2016 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. 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.

Exhibit 13.1.16-1 
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 form Operating Divisions/Functions beyond TAS delegated "No"
19. Extensive negotiations with Operating Divisions/Function "No"
20. TAMIS referral to a Technical Advisor TAS employees are required to answer this question based upon the facts and circumstances of the case.
21. Contact with Attorney Advisor or Counsel "No"
22. Providing TP/POA with alternatives TAS employees are required to answer this question based upon the facts and circumstances of the case.
23. Developing innovative solution "No"

Exhibit 13.1.16-2 
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 of the case. Employees with questions seek the assistance of a manager, Lead Case Advocate (LCA), Lead Intake Advocate (LIA), or Technical Advisor.


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