- 13.1.21 TAS Case Closing and Reopen Case Procedures
- 22.214.171.124 Closing Criteria
- 126.96.36.199.1 Introduction
- 188.8.131.52.2 Closing Actions
- 184.108.40.206.2.1 TAO Codes
- 220.127.116.11.2.1.1 TAO/Relief Dates
- 18.104.22.168.2.1.2 TAO/Relief Codes
- 22.214.171.124.2.1.3 TAO/Relief Assistance Codes
- 126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Full, Partial or No Relief Codes
- 184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Full Relief Codes
- 18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Partial Relief Codes
- 126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 No Relief Codes
- 184.108.40.206.2.1.4 Assistance Codes
- 220.127.116.11.2.1.5 Systemic Issue Versus Individual Issue
- 18.104.22.168.3 Examples of Closed Case Points
- 22.214.171.124.3.1 Adjustment Cases
- 126.96.36.199.3.2 Appeals
- 188.8.131.52.3.3 Appointments Only
- 184.108.40.206.3.4 Audit Reconsiderations
- 220.127.116.11.3.5 Backup Withholding (BWH)
- 18.104.22.168.3.6 Balance Due
- 22.214.171.124.3.7 Collection Cases
- 126.96.36.199.3.8 Criminal Investigation (CI) Freeze
- 188.8.131.52.3.9 Claims
- 184.108.40.206.3.10 Entity Merges
- 220.127.116.11.3.11 Erroneous Refunds
- 18.104.22.168.3.12 Financial Management System (FMS) - Limited Payability
- 22.214.171.124.3.13 Identity Theft
- 126.96.36.199.3.14 Innocent Spouse Cases
- 188.8.131.52.3.15 Installment Agreement (IA)
- 184.108.40.206.3.16 Interest Abatement Claims
- 220.127.116.11.3.17 Lost/Stolen Refund Checks
- 18.104.22.168.3.18 Manual Refunds
- 22.214.171.124.3.19 No or Partial Reply from Taxpayer
- 126.96.36.199.3.20 Non-Master File (NMF) And MFT 31
- 188.8.131.52.3.21 Offers in Compromise (OIC)
- 184.108.40.206.3.21.1 Processability Determination
- 220.127.116.11.3.21.2 Offer Investigation and Review
- 18.104.22.168.3.21.3 OIC Appeals Review
- 22.214.171.124.3.22 Processing Returns
- 126.96.36.199.3.23 Revenue Protection Strategy (RPS)
- 188.8.131.52.3.24 Scrambled SSNs
- 184.108.40.206.3.25 Withdrawal of TAS Cases
- 220.127.116.11 Retention, Disposition and Security of TAS Case Files, Records and Reports
- 18.104.22.168 Reopening Cases
- 22.214.171.124.1 Introduction
- 126.96.36.199.2 Taxpayer Advocate Management Information System (TAMIS) Research
- 188.8.131.52.3 Case Reopen Codes
- 184.108.40.206.4 IRC 7811 Significant Hardship Determination on Reopen Cases
Part 13. Taxpayer Advocate Service
Chapter 1. Taxpayer Advocate Case Procedures
Section 21. TAS Case Closing and Reopen Case Procedures
May 04, 2016
(1) This transmits revised IRM 13.1.21, Taxpayer Advocate Service, Taxpayer Advocate Case Processing, TAS Case Closing and Reopen Case Procedures.
(1) 220.127.116.11.1(4) Revised paragraph to incorporate new attribute changes. Added new paragraph 5. Renumbered remaining paragraphs.
(2) 18.104.22.168.2(2)(c) Added new paragraph to incorporate new attribute changes. Renumbered remaining paragraphs.
(3) Minor formatting and grammatical changes were made throughout the section.
Nina E. Olson
National Taxpayer Advocate
This section explains when it is appropriate to close a case and gives some examples on when to close certain types of cases.
If the case can be closed within 5 workdays of the TAS received date (for Criteria 5-9 cases) and the taxpayer has not been notified of TAS handling, use one contact, preferably by telephone, to notify the taxpayer of both TAS involvement and problem resolution. If you are not able to reach the taxpayer by telephone, send a letter by the 5th workday after the TARD.
The goal of TAS is to resolve the taxpayer's problem(s) completely, avoiding the need for the taxpayer to contact TAS in the future.
Basic Rule: TAS can play a role in any tax matter within the IRS's control. TAS should keep the case open until the case is completely resolved, including addressing all related issues. See IRM 22.214.171.124.1 (4).
There will be some situations in which TAS no longer has a role and resolution of the case cannot be expedited. These cases should be closed.
Cases involving litigation should not generally be worked by TAS, since the government's interests are being handled by the Office of Chief Counsel or the Department of Justice, and jurisdiction is in the court. See IRM 126.96.36.199.1, Request for Assistance in Which Counsel or the Department of Justice has Jurisdiction. Before closing these types of cases, managerial approval is needed.
Address all incidental matters before closing the case. Examples of incidental matters (not all inclusive) to advise the taxpayer of:
The need to file any delinquent returns.
Any balance due amounts owed on other tax modules, when appropriate.
Any offsets, if applicable.
Any freeze conditions, except Criminal Investigation freeze codes.
If, after advising the taxpayer of other incidental matters involving his tax account, the taxpayer requests that TAS stay involved to help resolve those issues; add the issue as a Secondary Issue Code, and keep the case open until it is resolved.
If the resolution of the taxpayer's problem will impact an unrelated taxpayer, the case advocate must also address the unrelated taxpayer's issue to completely resolve the TAS case, even if the impact on the taxpayer may not be immediate.
Taxpayer A contacts TAS because he has been unsuccessful in getting a missing payment applied to his account. The Case Advocate determines that the payment was applied incorrectly to taxpayer B's account. After moving the payment to the correct Taxpayer A's account, the case Advocate must advise Taxpayer B of the action taken on that account because this action will result in a revised balance due Taxpayer B.
Before closing a case, review the action plan and TAMIS documentation to ensure all actions on the TAMIS Action Plan Screen have been completed and all related issues addressed.
Case Advocates are responsible for contacting the taxpayer or representative with a clear, complete, and correct explanation of what was done to resolve the problem. If the taxpayer or representative requests a written response, the Case Advocate must provide one. The closing contact must :
When appropriate address all balance due situations. Include specific dollar amounts of taxes owed, adjustment(s), and/or penalty and interest accruals as of a specific date. See IRM 188.8.131.52.3.6, Balance Due for additional information.
Advise of possible consequence of balance due situations and provide payment options including installment agreements (IA), partial payment installment agreements (PPIA), currently not collectible (CNC) and offer in compromise (OIC), as appropriate.
When appropriate, provide or discuss avenues of appeal or examination reconsideration, ensuring taxpayers are aware of and understand how to exercise their right to appeal an IRS decision in an independent forum.
Address all refund situations, including exact amount of refund, separate interest amount, exact date of refund depending on paper or direct deposit, and warn of possible offset if there is an offset indicator on IDRS. Advise the taxpayer interest is taxable in the year received.
Include an explanation that would educate the taxpayer if it appears he or she does not understand what caused the problem.
If appropriate, give an explanation of preventative actions.
Give "recourse" to an unsatisfied taxpayer if he or she indicates that the resolution does not provide what he or she requested. "Recourse" includes such things as speaking to a manager.
Give an apology specific to the taxpayer's concern. See IRM 13.1.6, Casework Communication for additional information.
Document closing actions/contact in TAMIS per IRM 184.108.40.206.2 (4), Closing Actions.
The following actions must be completed before closing the case:
Ensure adjustments are posted (not pending) — Check CC IMFOL/BMFOL;
Release notice or enforcement holds as appropriate;
Contact Compliance, if applicable, including assigned Compliance employees on actions taken and case resolution;
Retain a copy of applicable returns in the file, but remove any original returns and send them to be refiled. (TC 290 for .00 for a refiled DLN does not have to post before closing). If the returns are voluminous, only copy the pertinent sections that are needed to support any decisions made;
Delete case related e-mails from Outlook after printing copies for case file, if appropriate;
Remove any unnecessary paperwork (duplicate transcripts and E-mails) from the case file;
Close all IDRS control bases; and
Include a copy of the final IDRS print in the case file as well as any other pertinent IDRS information.
To meet the requirement for including final IDRS prints in case files, TAS employees can now copy and paste IDRS screen shots into TAMIS as a substitute for including hard-copy IDRS prints. TAMIS will systemically establish a History Date Stamp to reflect the date the TAS employee pasted the IDRS screen into a TAMIS History screen.
TAMIS must be documented with all actions taken and the case file must include copies of all closing correspondence. If a closing telephone contact was made, document a summary including a clear, concise and correct explanation of how the problem was resolved on the TAMIS History screen. Utilize the Closing Action Screen 1 to indicate the closing contact date and the resolution of the case in the Relief Resolution field. All taxpayer correspondence must remain in the case file.
Take the following closing actions on TAMIS (See IRM 220.127.116.11, Closing Actions directly after the case is resolved:
Check the accuracy of the Taxpayer Issue Code (TIC), Primary Core Issue Code (PCIC), and Secondary Core Issue Code (SCIC), and update TAMIS if necessary;
Complete appropriate fields on the Case Factors Screen and update TAMIS, if necessary;
Update the TAO/Relief Code and Assistance Code;
Input any other applicable special codes;
Verify that the TP Entity/POA/Congressional entity is correct;
Verify that the Outreach indicator is correct; and
Verify that any other special codes are correct.
It is only appropriate to use the No Customer Survey Contact Box in the following limited situations:
When the taxpayer/representative requests he not be included in the survey;
When the taxpayer/representative has made threats (verbal, physical, stalking); (see IRM 25.4.1, Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer); and
When the National Taxpayer Advocate has determined a specific case, or group of cases, should be excluded from survey contact due to extended delays (for example, cases involving Return Preparer Misconduct where IRS delays in developing procedures to provide relief in response to appealed TAOs resulted in excessive delays to taxpayers.)
An IRC § 7811 Significant Hardship Determination must be made prior to closing the case. If no IRC § 7811 Significant Hardship Determination has been made, make an IRC § 7811 Significant Hardship Determination before closing the case. Refer to IRM 18.104.22.168 , Making an IRC § 7811 Significant Hardship Determination
If an economic burden case (TAS Criteria 1-4) is determined to meet IRC §7811, and the Case Advocate decides that the relief requested by the taxpayer is not warranted, the Case Advocate must provide a written response. For economic hardship cases where the 7811 determination is Yes and no relief is due to: law prevents, hardship not substantiated, no internal revenue law issue, or Other, the letter will be signed by the LTA. The letter will explain why relief is not being granted.
Give the taxpayer an opportunity to speak to the LTA when the relief is not being granted.
The TAO Code is used to identify the ultimate resolution of the TAO that was issued. The TAO Codes are:
07 - TAO Issued - BOD/Function complied.
08 - TAO Issued - BOD/Function appealed; TAO sustained.
09 - TAO Issued - BOD/Function appealed; TAO modified.
10 - TAO Issued - BOD/Function appealed; TAO rescinded.
The Case Advocate, or appropriate TAMIS user, must input the correct TAO Code upon receiving notification of the outcome of the TAO. TAO Relief Codes are used to identify the relief determination when a Taxpayer Assistance order is issued.
The TAO Relief code takes precedence on cases where TAS issued a TAO. The Relief Code will always reflect the resolution of the TAO.
The TAO/Relief date is a required field for all cases if the TAO/Relief Code is
07 - TAO Issued - BOD/function complied
08 - TAO Issued - BOD/function appealed; TAO sustained
09 - TAO Issued - BOD/function appealed; TAO modified
60 - Full Relief - Individual Issue
61 - Full Relief - Systemic Issue
70 - Partial Relief - Individual Issue
71 - Partial Relief - Systemic Issue
The TAO/Relief Date is defined as the date relief action was initiated and the taxpayer was advised of such action.
Case Advocates are required to indicate the type of relief/assistance provided to the taxpayer. This requirement is accomplished by selecting the appropriate TAO/Relief and Assistance Code on TAMIS. IRM 22.214.171.124.5, "Complete the following:" Section contains information about the TAO/Relief codes and their definitions.
Relief Assistance Codes are used to identify the relief determination of all TAS cases that do not involve the issuance of a TAO. Case Advocates must select relief/Assistance Codes based upon the relief requested by the taxpayer to the identified problems.
In cases involving multiple taxpayer issues, the Case Advocate will code the case based upon the total case resolution and not only for the initial Taxpayer Issue code.
The taxpayer contacts TAS for assistance in obtaining an offset Bypass refund (OBR). In reviewing the case, the case Advocate discovers that the balance due is based on a Substitute for Return (SFR) assessment. The Case Advocate is able to assist the taxpayer with lowering the amount owed by obtaining an audit reconsideration through the OAR process. The case Advocate is unable to work with the BOD on the OBR since the taxpayer contacted TAS after the offset occurred. The Case Advocate would code the case as partial relief since TAS provided relief on one issue but was unable to provide relief on another.
The relief determination on a case can be one of the following:
Partial relief; or
In addition to capturing the relief determination, the TAO/Relief Codes identify when a Taxpayer Assistance Order (TAO) has been issued and the disposition of the TAO.
The TAO/Relief code is a 2 digit code, entered on the TAMIS Closing Action Screen.
Certain relief Codes will also require the input of Assistance Codes. See IRM 126.96.36.199.2.1.4, Assistance Codes for additional information.
Based on the relief determination, select the appropriate Relief Code for TAMIS input.
For the relief determination, it does not matter whether the relief was provided by TAS directly (within our statutory or delegated authority) or provided by the IRS Operating Division or Functional Unit via an Operations Assistance request (OAR).
When all the taxpayer's economic or systemic burden issues are resolved, the taxpayer has received Full Relief.
The taxpayer contacts TAS regarding an unprocessed injured spouse allocation for refund. The taxpayer states she needs the refund for basic living expenses and she is unable to buy food for her family. Through the OAR process, the injured spouse claim is processed and a direct deposit refund is issued. The processing of the refund provides full relief to the taxpayer's economic hardship (TAO/Relief Code 60).
The taxpayer contacts TAS regarding an EITC examination. The taxpayer has submitted the documentation to support the EITC claimed on his original return but has not received a determination or refund. The normal time frames have expired and the taxpayer has requested TAS to assist in the process. Through the OAR process, the Examination function has confirmed receipt of the documents and provided a no-change determination. The examination is closed and the refund is released. The no-change determination and the refund release provided full relief for the taxpayer's case (TAO/Relief Code 61).
A partial relief occurs when a portion of the relief requested by the taxpayer is allowed.
A portion of the relief requested by the taxpayer, Partial Relief, may include but is not limited to:
A partial levy release of the amount requested.
Abatement on some, but not all, tax periods requested.
A refund of only a portion of the requested amount.
A partial claim allowance.
The taxpayer disputes the assessment of late filing and late payment penalties included in a balance due notice. The taxpayer claims he filed a filing extension and submitted documents to dispute the penalties. The taxpayer has received no response to the abatement request. After case development, the Case Advocate determine the taxpayer had filed a timely extension and the IRS failed to process the request. Because the taxpayer had filed an extension, the failure to file penalty was abated in full. The Case Advocate explained to the taxpayer that an extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay, therefore, the late payment penalties were proper. Because the taxpayer received only a portion of the requested relief, the case disposition would be partial relief (TAO/Relief Code 71).
No Relief is the determination made when TAS is unable to provide the relief requested by the taxpayer.
The taxpayer contacts TAS regarding a request for an installment agreement. The taxpayer submitted a written request for an installment agreement 60 days ago and has had no response. After contact with the taxpayer, the Case Advocate reviews IDRS and determine that an installment agreement has been established. When the Case Advocate calls the taxpayer regarding the information found on IDRS, the taxpayer states he just received the installment agreement confirmation yesterday. In this case, TAS provides no relief because the Operating Division has already provided the installment agreement. The case would be closed as TAO/Relief Code 53 -" No Relief- BOD/Function Already Provided Relief."
The Assistance Code is a 2-digit code used to identify the disposition of TAS cases on TAMIS. In addition, the code is used to identify whether assistance is provided to taxpayers on certain cases when TAS is unable to provide relief for the taxpayer's problem. If the IRC 7811 determination is "No" , case advocates cannot select a Relief Code and must instead identify the appropriate Assistance or No Assistance Code based upon the relief requested by the taxpayer to the identified problems.
When closing a Criteria 1-9 case and the no relief determination is for one of the following reasons, the Case Advocate will need to make a determination as to whether assistance was provided to the taxpayer:
TAO Issued - BOD/Function appealed; TAO rescinded.
No relief, relief appropriate but law prevents change.
No relief, hardship not substantiated (validated).
No relief, no response from taxpayer.
No relief, other.
A taxpayer contacts TAS requesting assistance with an audit reconsideration. The taxpayer claims that he has documents to support all of the expenses claimed on his tax return. The Case Advocate requests the taxpayer to provide documentation to support his request for reconsideration. The taxpayer does not respond to the Case Advocate's second request in writing. The case would be closed indicating no relief, because the taxpayer did not respond to TAS' request for substantiation (Assistance Code 92 No Assistance- No Response, doc not provided).
A taxpayer contacts TAS to request the return of levied proceeds as a result of a levy on her social security benefits. The taxpayer claims the money is needed to pay medical bills and other necessary living expenses. The taxpayer is unable to substantiate her economic burden to warrant the return of levied proceeds. Despite being unable to provide the relief requested, the Case Advocate assists the taxpayer with establishing an installment agreement and the release of levy. In this example, the case would be closed indicating no relief because the hardship is not substantiated. Because TAS was able to provide assistance with the installment agreement and release of levy, the Assistance Code on TAMIS will indicate TAS provided assistance (Assistance Code 97 Assistance Provided- Individual Issue).
IRM 188.8.131.52, Closing Actions contains information about the Assistance Codes and their definitions.
For certain Relief and Assistance Codes the Case Advocate will need to determine whether the Core Issue of a TAS case involves a systemic issue or an individual issue. The determination of whether the issue is systemic or individual depends on the facts and circumstances of the case.
A systemic issue is an issue that requires a change or modification to an established procedure, process or operation (e.g., computer program, campus procedure for processing claims). These are issues that potentially impact more than one taxpayer.
Items to consider when determining whether it is a systemic issue include but are not limited to:
Is there a problem or delay in the IRS process?
Was the taxpayer given incorrect information by the IRS?
Did the IRS fail to properly consider available information?
Was the IRS not responsive to the taxpayers query?
Before closing a case identified as a systemic issue, determine if the issue should be submitted on Systemic Advocacy Management System (SAMS).
An individual issue is one that requires a change or modification to an account. For this purpose, the term, "Individual" does not mean just an individual person; but rather pertains to a single or joint filing, (e.g., husband and wife) a business, corporation, nonprofit entity, etc.
Items to consider when determining whether it is an individual issue include, but are not limited to:
Is the taxpayer requesting special action from IRS?
Did the taxpayer timely respond?
Did the taxpayer provide the correct information?
Did the taxpayer comply with proper IRS law, procedures, and guidance?
The following subsections provide unique closing clarification.
The TAS case is closed when the corrective input is posted on IDRS and the taxpayer is informed of the amount of the adjustment.
When moving money (including from Excess Collection) close the TAS case when all transfers are fully posted.
See IRM 184.108.40.206.3.6, Balance Due if a balance due remains.
Close cases involving Appeals issues in the following situations, being mindful these examples represent only a handful of situations involving Appeals issues that come to TAS:
If the issue is solely to get an appointment, close the TAS case once the appointment is set and the taxpayer or representative is informed of the appointment time.
If the TAS case arises because the taxpayer's problem is that he or she was not afforded appeal rights due to a determination by an Operating Division, close the TAS case when Appeals makes a decision whether or not to grant such appeal rights and the taxpayer or representative is advised of the Appeals decision. The Case Advocate will close the case when in agreement with Appeals decision and satisfied that all appropriate options have been considered.
If the issue is a delay or non-responsiveness of Appeals, the TAS case must remain open until the issue is resolved. TAS must ensure that the taxpayer or representative is informed of Appeals decisions, etc.
If the outcome involves an adjustment, the account must reflect the posted adjustment on IDRS and the taxpayer or representative must be informed about the adjustment before the case is closed.
Penalty Appeal cases should follow the same closing guidelines as in paragraph (1) above.
If the sole issue of a TAS case is the taxpayer's or representative's inability to obtain an appointment with an Operating Division, close the TAS case when the appointment date is confirmed with the taxpayer or representative.
Close the TAS case when the reopened examination has been completed, the taxpayer or representative has been notified of the results, and the adjustments (including any TC 971s) are posted on IDRS.
Close the TAS case when the BWH has been lifted (i.e., indicator is updated) and the payers have been notified; or an explanation of why the BWH is correct has been provided to the taxpayer or representative.
For cases which have a balance due at the completion of case processing, the Case Advocate must address the following before closing the case:
Inform the taxpayer or representative about the balance owed with accruals as of a specific date. See IRM 220.127.116.11.1 (4). Offer a breakdown of tax, penalties and interest. If applicable, provide adjustment and offset amounts. Inform the taxpayer that a notice will be forthcoming with the balance due amount. Interest will continue to accrue until the account has been satisfied. The penalty(ies) will accrue until the maximum penalty, by law, has been assessed.
If the taxpayer requests a breakdown of the balance due, compute the balance due. Be aware of situations that may require manual computations and use IDRS Command Code INTST. Do not use the balance due provided by Automated Management System (AMS) as the AMS calculations do not include a breakdown of both assessed and accrued failure to pay penalty and interest.
Solicit payment and provide payment instructions.
Discuss payment alternatives such as Installment Agreements (IA), Partial Payment Installment Agreements (PPIA), Offer in Compromise (OIC) and Currently Not Collectible (CNC) etc., if the taxpayer is unable to pay. See IRM 5.19.1, Balance Due for additional payment alternative information.
If the taxpayer does not want further assistance from TAS, refer him or her to the appropriate Operating division for assistance and document TAMIS accordingly.
Inform the taxpayer or representative that normal Collection procedures may resume, unless the taxpayer takes steps to address the balance due.
A collection case in which the taxpayer has substantiated an inability to full pay the outstanding tax delinquencies generally requires the application of a collection payment alternative prior to closing the case. These alternatives can take the form of a traditional installment agreement (IA), Partial Payment Installment Agreement (PPIA), Offer in Compromise (OIC) or Currently Not Collectible (CNC). TAS has an advocacy role to ensure when cases involve situations where the taxpayers have substantiated the inability to full pay, case closure should not be considered closed until after TAS has provided the taxpayer with collection payment alternatives.
Within this subsection, when a taxpayer's return has been included in a potential "refund scheme," and a determination is made that the taxpayer has filed a legitimate return, then that taxpayer is determined to have filed a "true return." If the case involves a "true return," the case remains open until a resolution is reached.
There are four processes involved with claims — Acceptance, Denial, Examination, and Delay. The closing criteria will depend on which process is involved in the TAS case.
Acceptance of Claim — Close the TAS case when the adjustment is posted and the taxpayer or representative has been notified of the change. Denial of Claim — Close the TAS case when the taxpayer or representative has been notified of the denial, given his or her appeal rights, a 105 or 106 letter is issued, and TC 290 for zero has posted.
Selected for Examination — Close the TAS case when the taxpayer or representative has been notified that the claim has been selected for examination. If the claim is subject to a field examination, provide the examiner's name, address, telephone number, and confirmed appointment date and time. If the claim is subject to a campus correspondence examination, provide the correspondence examination toll-free number, mailing address and expected next contact date. See the SERP references via the Internet for correspondence examination toll-free numbers. http://serp.enterprise.irs.gov/databases/irm.dr/current/4.dr/4.13.dr/4.13.7.dr/4.13.7-4.htm.
A taxpayer submits a Form 1040X, meeting Category A criteria claim. The taxpayer came into TAS to obtain help in processing the Form 1040X. The amended return is selected for field examination. Close the TAS case once the taxpayer is notified of the examination appointment date and time, and provided with the examiner's name, address and phone number.
Delay in Processing — If the TAS case involves a problem with the examiner's work on the claim, the TAS case must be kept open until the taxpayer's problem has been resolved.
A taxpayer contacts TAS regarding the Form 1040X he filed to claim a refund. The taxpayer has not received any response from the IRS. The Case Advocate researches IDRS and determines examination has an open AIMS control on the Form 1040X. Close the TAS case when a determination is made, applicable adjustments post, or if the claim was denied, a TC 290 for zero posts and the taxpayer is notified of the determination and appeal rights.
If a determination was made on a TAS case and the taxpayer or representative subsequently disagrees with the decision and wishes to exercise his or her appeal rights, the Case Advocate should exercise judgement as to whether the case should remain in TAS or be closed. TAS cases involving Appeals do not have to be held open, unless the taxpayer requests that the Case Advocate provide assistance with the Appeals process. In deciding whether to close such a case, the Case Advocate should use his or her common sense and good judgement as to the likelihood that there will be a continuing dispute that warrants TAS's ongoing assistance. If the case is closed, remind the taxpayer that if they find the Appeals process is not working, they can re-contact TAS.
Close the TAS case when the merge is processed and the TC 011 is fully posted on IDRS.
Erroneous Refunds (Unassessable, Category B or D) - In cases involving a refund resulting from mistakes (usually clerical or ministerial) and not involving a redetermination of the tax liability, the TAS case will remain open until:
The taxpayer repays the erroneous refund and the payment has posted to IDRS; or
The erroneous refund package is sent to the campus Accounting office and an IDRS control category "ERRF" is reflected on IDRS.
Erroneous Refunds (Assessable - Category A1, A2 or C) - In cases requiring a recalculation of the tax liability, the case will remain open until:
The taxpayer either repays the erroneous refund within the demand period and the payment has posted to IDRS; or the TC 845 has posted to IDRS; or
The adjustment to correct the account has posted to IDRS, if the taxpayer does not repay; or
The taxpayer has entered into an installment agreement to repay the erroneous refund and it has been input for systemic or manual monitoring.
When a refund check being traced is over 14 months and 15 days old, the case must remain open until the determination is made whether to reissue the check and, if reissued, the reissued refund posts to the account and the account is in zero balance.
Take all steps necessary to perfect the account as outlined in IRM 21.9.2, Accounts Management Identity Theft. This includes verifying that the TC 971 AC 501 posted to ENMOD for each tax year impacted by identity theft and for which the taxpayer provided identity theft substantiation. Refer to IRM 18.104.22.168.3.1 , Resolving Mixed Entity Cases, if the case resulted in a mixed entity. Refer to IRM 22.214.171.124.3.24, Scrambled SSN, if the case resulted in a true scrambled SSN.
The following procedures serve as clarification for when an Innocent Spouse TAS case is closed.
The OD/Function makes a determination and completes any necessary adjustments including TC 972 AC 065, and all adjustments are posted.
The Innocent Spouse issue is in litigation. See IRM 126.96.36.199.1, Request for Assistance in Which Counsel or the Department of Justice has Jurisdiction.
Cases going to Appeals Division will not be closed until Appeals makes a determination on the appeal and the taxpayer or representative is informed. If the outcome involves an adjustment, the adjustment must be posted (not pending) on IDRS or NMF.
Cases requiring NMF action will not be closed until the required transactions are posted (not pending) on the NMF system (MARS) or under MFT 31.
Cases regarding only the status or receipt of the Innocent Spouse claim can be closed when the information is provided to the taxpayer.
When a TAS case involves a taxpayer who had been unable to secure an installment agreement (IA) but TAS secures an acceptable IA, the case will remain open until the IA is input for systemic or manual monitoring and applicable TC 971 action codes posted.
If the IA request is rejected, the case is referred to Operations using OAR procedures. Refer to IRM 188.8.131.52.4.11, Rejected Installment Agreement Independent Review. If the independent reviewer upholds the rejection, the taxpayer is entitled to appeal the decision. The case will remain open until the independent review is completed and the taxpayer has been given his or her appeal rights (via an IDRS generated Letter 2272C, Installment Agreement Cannot be Considered).
If a determination was made on a TAS case and the taxpayer or representative subsequently disagrees with the decision and wishes to exercise his or her appeal rights, the case advocate should exercise judgement as to whether the case should remain in TAS or be closed. TAS cases involving appeals do not have to be held open, unless the taxpayer requests the Case Advocate provide assistance with the Appeals process. If the case is to be closed, remind the taxpayer that if they find the Appeals process is not working, they can re-contact TAS. In deciding whether to close such a case, the Case Advocate should use his or her common sense and good judgement as to the likelihood that there will be a continuing dispute that warrants TAS's ongoing assistance.
Upon closing, taxpayers should be educated on other methods to address their balances, such as the Offer-in-Compromise (OIC) program.
Close the TAS case after a decision is made, the adjustment is completed and posts, or a TC 290 for zero posts and the taxpayer or representative has been notified. If a determination was made on a TAS case and the taxpayer or representative subsequently disagrees with the decision and wishes to exercise his or her appeal rights, the Case Advocate should exercise judgement as to whether the case should remain in TAS or be closed. TAS cases involving appeals do not have to be held open, unless the taxpayer requests that the Case Advocate provide assistance with the Appeals process. In deciding whether to close such a case, the Case Advocate should use his or her common sense and good judgement as to the likelihood that there will be a continuing dispute that warrants TAS's ongoing assistance. If the case is to be closed, remind the taxpayer that if they find the Appeals process is not working, they can re-contact TAS.
Lost/stolen refund check inquiries will be handled in accordance with IRM 21.4.2, Refund Trace and Limited Payability, unless economic burden exists, and can generally be closed once the IRS has no further influence and the taxpayer must communicate with FMS. These include, but are not limited to, the following situations:
Refund Inquiry - No Form 3911, Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund, Filed by Taxpayer — Close this type of case when either the Form 3911 has been sent to the taxpayer or the IDRS command code CHKCL has been input per oral statement criteria and the IDRS control has been opened with the appropriate Campus's Refund Inquiry Unit IDRS number. Oral statement criteria do not apply if taxpayers' filing status is Married Filing Joint.
Refund Inquiry - Form 3911 Previously filed by Taxpayer or Taken by Oral Testimony from Taxpayer (CC CHKCL previously input or TC 971 with appropriate AC present) — the Case Advocate must obtain information regarding the disposition of the refund from Financial Management Services (FMS). Based on procedures in IRM 21.4.2, Refund Trace and Limited Payability, take appropriate action to resolve the taxpayer's refund trace inquiry, including advising the taxpayer to contact FMS.
If the check has been cashed, close the TAS case when either the IRS or FMS has sent a copy of the cancelled check and Form FMS 1133 (Letter 206C) to the taxpayer (status code 11 or 14). If a print of the cashed refund check has been provided to the taxpayer from PACER on-line and a Form 3911 has been provided, the case can be closed.
Once the Form FMS 1133 has been sent out, the taxpayer will be advised to direct all further inquiries regarding the status of the refund trace through the Bureau of Check Claims at 1-800-826-9434.
If the check has not been cashed, there are two options:
Wait until the money comes back to the IRS from FMS, an action which automatically reissues the check, closing the case when the TC 846 has posted and the account shows a zero balance; or
Issue a manual refund, closing the case when the TC 840 has posted, the module shows a zero balance, and the taxpayer has received the check.
Refund Inquiry-Non-Receipt of Direct Deposited Refunds - take appropriate action based on IRM 184.108.40.206.7.3, Non Receipt of Direct Deposited Refunds - "Refund Inquiry Employees."
If issuing a manual refund, close the case when the TC 840 has posted, the module shows a zero balance, and the taxpayer has received the check;
If taxpayer or their representative caused the error and the financial institution will not return the credit, close the case once the taxpayer is notified that the Internal Revenue Service does not have the authority to demand the return of the refund from the designated financial institution because the refund deposit went into the account listed on the tax return; or
If a direct deposit was diverted as a means of theft by an IRS employee or someone impersonating an IRS employee, close the case after making a referral to Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) following IRM 220.127.116.11.7.3, Non Receipt of Direct Deposited Refunds - "Refund Inquiry Employees."
Close the TAS case after the taxpayer has been notified, the TC 840 has posted, the account is in zero balance and the Case Advocate verifies the taxpayer received the check (except in cases that would not be expected to go to zero balance such as bankruptcy, Social Security Administration (SSA) tax for foreign students, third party claims, etc.)
If the taxpayer is not available by phone, a letter must be sent to verify the taxpayer received the refund check. The TAS letter will advise the taxpayer to contact the Case Advocate by a specific date if the refund is not received by that date. Include the exact amount of refund with interest stated separately, and if indicated on IDRS, warn of possible offset. Close the TAS case after a reasonable time frame for receipt after the time stated on the letter. Take into consideration the location of the taxpayer, foreign, local or cross country, in determining what is a reasonable time frame. Generally, two weeks or less is reasonable, but grant a minimum of 30 days to taxpayers/representatives outside of the continental United States.
When a TAS case results in the issuance of a manual refund by TAS, document the issuance on TAMIS by selecting the Manual Refund button on the TAMIS Closing Action Screen. Check the Manual Refund box whether the manual refund was provided by TAS directly (within our statutory or delegated authority) or was provided by the IRS Operating Division or Functional Unit via an Operations Assistance Request (OAR).
Refer toIRM 21.4.4, Manual Refunds, and IRM 3.17.79, Accounting Refund Transactions, for additional information on TAS manual refund procedures.
When additional information from the taxpayer or representative is required because the information is not available through internal sources, two attempts must be made (the second must be in writing) to obtain the information or documents. The second request must provide:
a specific date the response is due,
the consequences of no response or a partial response, and
the balance due on the accounts, including accruals computed through a specific date.
If there is no response to the Case Advocate's second request by the date requested in the letter, close the TAS case.
Document an explanation if longer or shorter time frames are agreed upon with the taxpayer or representative, and reasons for requesting information from the taxpayer or representative that could not be obtained from the IRS. Grant a minimum of 30 days to taxpayers/representatives outside of the continental United States.
If the Case Advocate must contact a third party (e.g., bank, employer, etc.) for information and does not receive a reply, tell the taxpayer of the lack of response and give him or her a reasonable amount of time to furnish the information before closing the case.
Allow sufficient time for taxpayer/representative responses. Consider the following factors when setting response dates:
Type of information requested;
Source of the documents;
Volume of documentation requested;
Taxpayer's ability to obtain the documentation;
Taxpayer is unrepresented and reliant upon his/her own resources in securing documentation;
Statutory of OD/Function deadlines; and
Taxpayer's specific circumstances.
Payments and adjustments fully satisfying NMF accounts must post to the taxpayer's account. A current NMF transcript reflecting the posted transactions must be obtained prior to closing the case for documentation purposes.
Payments and adjustments fully satisfying MFT 31 accounts must post prior to the taxpayer's account. An IDRS print of the MFT 31 account reflecting the posted transactions must be obtained prior to closing the case for documentation purposes.
There are three main processes involved with OICs:
Offer investigation; and
The general case closing criteria listed below applies to OICs where there is doubt as to collectibility or doubt as to liability. If the sole issue is whether or not to stay collection while the offer investigation is pending (or during a subsequent Appeals Office review), close the TAS case when the appropriate collection stay determination has been made. TAS should ensure adherence to IRM 18.104.22.168.16 , Policy Statement 5-97, and toIRM 22.214.171.124, Initial Offer Actions. The collection stay will generally be evident by IDRS Master File Status Code (SC) 71 (MF) and SC 89 (NMF).
If an OIC determination was made on a TAS case and the taxpayer or representative disagrees with the decision and wishes to exercise his or her appeal rights, the Case Advocate should exercise judgement as to whether the case should remain open in TAS or be closed. The Case Advocate should consider the request and the benefit to the taxpayer. The case does not have to be held open unless the taxpayer requests that the Case Advocate provide assistance with the Appeals process. In deciding whether to close such a case, the Case Advocate should use his or her common sense and good judgement as to the likelihood that there will be a continuing dispute that warrants TAS's ongoing assistance. If the case is to be closed, remind the taxpayer that if they find the Appeals process is not working, they can re-contact TAS.
If the issue involves solely the IRS's OIC processability determination, close the TAS case when either the taxpayer's offer becomes processable and is taken into the program for full investigation and review (this includes IDRS TC 480 posted to every affected tax module), or the taxpayer is notified in writing as to why the offer is unprocessable and the taxpayer cannot or declines to meet processability criteria. The TAS case will remain open to allow the taxpayer a reasonable amount of time (based upon the facts and circumstances of the taxpayer's case. Document TAMIS for the reason for allowing time beyond 14 days or 30 days for taxpayers or representatives outside the continental U.S.) to resubmit an offer that is processable. TAS will ensure processability determinations follow the guidelines in IRM 5.8.3, Offer In Compromise - Processability Determination, and on Form 656. These guidelines preclude IRS personnel from using subjective criteria (e.g., questions concerning allowable taxpayer expenses or the value of taxpayer property) when determining offer processability.
When the function determines the offer is not processable, Case Advocates have an opportunity to exercise their role as taxpayer advocates by reviewing the documentation provided by the taxpayer. If the review indicates the information provided supports processing the OIC, TAS should advocate for the taxpayer and consider use of a TAO. See IRM 13.1.20, TAS Taxpayer Assistance Order (TAO) Process.
If the taxpayer's problem involves the actual offer investigation and review, close the TAS case as follows:
Close the TAS case on accepted offers when the taxpayer has been notified of the acceptance and TC 780 has posted to all compromised tax modules.
Close the TAS case on rejected offers when the taxpayer has been notified of the rejection and given the right to appeal, and 1) the taxpayer or representative chooses to pursue the acceptance of the offer within Appeals; or 2) TAS assists the taxpayer in securing another payment alternative (i.e., installment agreement, CNC, etc.) See IRM 126.96.36.199.3.7, Collection Cases - Active Collection Status.
If TAS determines that the IRS rejection of the OIC is inconsistent with Policy Statement P-1-100 and the procedural guidance in IRM 5.8 and objects to the rejection, the TAS case should not be closed until the disagreement has been fully addressed. See IRM 188.8.131.52.3.21.3, OIC Appeals Review.
Close the TAS case on withdrawn offers when the taxpayer's request for withdrawal has been acknowledged and TC 482 has posted to all affected tax modules.
If the taxpayer's problem involves the Appeals Office review of a rejected offer, close the TAS case after Appeals appropriately accepts or rejects the offer and the appropriate IDRS transactions have posted to all affected modules, i.e., TC 780 for accepted offers and TC 481 for rejected offers.
When the issue in the TAS case is the processing of a return, close the TAS case when the Case Advocate can verify that there is a TC 150 showing on IMFOL or BMFOL and the taxpayer has been advised of any refund or balance due.
Examination RPS cases include open examinations, requests to reopen examinations, and prior-year revenue protection projects. Open RPS cases may be identified by an "L" freeze indicator and a RPS Project code like the 600 or 099 series project codes on AMDISA. For a complete list of RPS Project Codes refer to IRM 184.108.40.206, Program Description.
Close a TAS Examination RPS case when either the documentation has been received from the taxpayer that validates the fuel tax credit, the EITC or the dependency eligibility, or the taxpayer agreed with the assessment; and
IDRS and AIMS research indicates that the L, P, or R freezes have been released; and
The taxpayer has been notified that the information has been accepted, and the date the refund can be expected (if applicable).
If the taxpayer submits the information after the first request from the Case Advocate but the information is not sufficient to validate the fuel tax credit, the EITC or the dependency eligibility, the Case Advocate must advise the taxpayer that additional information is needed. This required second request must be in writing and must specifically indicate to the taxpayer what information is missing and the consequences if there is no reply. The Case Advocate, may determine that a telephone call to the taxpayer explaining what specifically is needed would assist in clarifying the documents needed to resolve the taxpayer's problems. After the phone call, the written second request would memorialize the phone conversation by stating "Per our conversation today, I need the following information to move forward on your case." If the information requested in the second contact is not received by the specified timeframe, forward the information previously submitted by the taxpayer to the Correspondence Examination Unit on Form 4442, then close the TAS case.
If the taxpayer submits no information after two TAS requests (second must be in writing), close the TAS case.
If the OD/Function determines the taxpayer's information submitted does not merit an allowance, and TAS agrees with the OD/Function's decision, close the TAS case when the taxpayer or representative has been notified of the denial and given his or her appeal rights. Prior to closing the TAS case, the Case Advocate will ensure the taxpayer received a 30-day letter as well as Publication 5, Your Appeal Rights and How To Prepare a Protest If You Don't Agree. The 30-day letter will afford the taxpayer an opportunity to request an Appeals conference. If the taxpayer decides to go to Appeals, the TAS case should remain open at least until the taxpayer is provided an appointment date and time. Whether the TAS case remains open once the appointment is scheduled will depend on the facts and circumstances. For example, if the taxpayer is facing economic harm, the TAS case will remain open to ensure Appeals expedites the case. See IRM 220.127.116.11.3.2, Appeals.
If the taxpayer does not want to go to Appeals, ensure the Statutory Notice of Deficiency (90-day letter) is issued. Before closing the TAS case, the Case Advocate should educate the taxpayer about the significance of the 90-day letter. When appropriate, inform the taxpayer about low income taxpayer clinics that may be able to assist the taxpayer if the taxpayer chooses to petition the United States Tax Court in response to the 90-day letter.
If a manual refund is issued, the following actions must be taken before the case is closed: the L, P, or R freezes must be released, and closing criteria for manual refunds have been followed (e.g., TC 840 is posted to the Master File, the account is in zero balance and the Case Advocate has verified the taxpayer received the refund check).
Close a TAS scrambled SSN case when all affected modules are correctly posted to the temporary number, the taxpayers have been issued letters regarding their account and their temporary TINs, and Form 3857, Request for SSN Clarification, has been sent to the Social Security Administration (SSA) by the Scrambled SSN Coordinator in Operations. Non-TAS taxpayers must be addressed as a related issue.
A TAS taxpayer (a taxpayer who contacted TAS) and a non-TAS taxpayer have both been sent Letter 239C, advising of actions being taken to correct a scrambled SSN. The TAS taxpayer responds and the Case Advocate determine he is the valid taxpayer. The non-TAS taxpayer has received an erroneous refund on the valid tax ID number. The non-TAS taxpayer is moved from the valid number to a temporary tax ID number. Before the Case Advocate closes the case he or she will completely resolve the TAS taxpayer's accounts. The Case Advocate will verify the non-TAS taxpayer has been informed of his erroneous refund, any balance due, the time frame for paying the money back, and the need to contact SSA. Verify the non-TAS taxpayer has been advised to use the temporary tax ID number given and has been educated on his or her tax status and information to prevent future tax problems.
If the taxpayer or representative requests his or her case be withdrawn or indicates he or she only wants to work with the Operating Division employee, close the TAS case after a letter is issued to the taxpayer or representative stating that TAS is closing the TAS case by his or her request. The letter must state that the taxpayer may recontact TAS if any further assistance is necessary.
Refer to Document 12990, Records and Information Management Records Control Schedules for issues regarding maintenance, retention, disposition and security of open and closed TAS case files, TAS records, reports and internal documents.
This section explains when it is appropriate to reopen a case, who should work the case and the TAMIS codes and instructions.
In reviewing taxpayer contacts, make a determination if it is necessary to reopen a prior closed case. This section provides guidance for reopening cases. 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.
The taxpayer is dissatisfied with the resolution of the case, and there is corrective action that can be taken.
An internal review indicates that the case was not completely, or was incorrectly resolved.
A decision whether or not to reopen a case is made by the TAS office that closed the prior case. The decision to reopen a case must be made within 1 workday on criteria 1-4 cases and within 3 workdays for criteria 5 - 9 cases, of receipt of the contact in the TAS office. The account must be controlled on TAMIS within one workday of a decision to reopen the case.
Research TAMIS to determine if the taxpayer contact issue is the same as in a previously closed case. If so, determine which TAS office closed the case.
If the office that had the original case (the closing office) is different from the office receiving the new inquiry, that office (the closing office) will determine if the case needs reopening.
Within 1 workday on criteria 1-4 cases and within 3 workdays for criteria 5-7 cases, of receiving the new contact, the receiving TAS office should notify the closing office by phone or FAX that the taxpayer wishes to reopen the case.
Update the prior TAMIS case history with specific details of the taxpayer contact. Document TAMIS before calling or sending a fax to the office where the prior case was worked.
Forward any supporting documentation to the appropriate office.
Follow guidelines in IRM 18.104.22.168, Transfer Timeframes on contacting the taxpayer about the transfer to the TAS office that worked the case.
If the receiving office previously worked the case, the receiving office should determine if the case should be reopened (i.e., by the Case Advocate who previously worked the case).
Review the closed case file. TAS sometimes receives correspondence that is dated prior to case resolution.
Determine if the same issues were considered in the prior case. If so, review the case to determine whether the issues identified in the contact were resolved.
If the TAS office 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.
In cases of repetitive contacts by unsatisfied taxpayers, use judgment in reopening the case or making further contact with the taxpayer. Keep the manager apprised of sensitive issues.
The following table summarizes the steps outlined above. This chart will assist the Case Advocate with the Reopen process.
IF THEN There is any uncertainty that the contact is related to the closed case, Telephone the office that closed the case to help in the determination. After the discussion with the other office the determination is that the contact is a new issue, Open a new case per procedures in IRM 13.1.16, Case Receipt and Assignment. The issues were resolved and the correspondence is dated before the case was closed, Associate the contact with the closed case and refile the case. Any issue is unresolved, Reopen the case. The taxpayer raises new issues in the contact, Open a new case per procedures in IRM 13.1.16, Case Receipt and Assignment. The taxpayer's contact contains no additional information, Contact the taxpayer to explain the prior resolution, document the contact in the TAMIS history and re-file the case. The taxpayer indicates the prior resolution was unsatisfactory and there is corrective action that can be taken, Reopen the case to resolve the problem. Nothing further can be done to address the taxpayer's concerns, Ensure the taxpayer knows all appeals options, document the contact in the TAMIS history, but do not reopen the case. The issue was previously resolved, but the contact indicates the taxpayer did not receive a response, Advise the taxpayer of the resolution, confirm the resolution in writing, and document the contact in the TAMIS history. The contact is unrelated to the closed case issue(s), Treat as a new issue. Refer to IRM 13.1.16, Case Receipt and Assignment. The taxpayer seeks assistance with an appeal. Use discretion and judgement in determining whether or not to reopen the case.
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 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
To reopen a case on TAMIS, see instructions contained in IRM 13.4.1, Taxpayer Advocate Management Information System (TAMIS).