Breadcrumb Region

21.2.1 Systems

Manual Transmittal

September 11, 2017

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 21.2.1, Systems and Research Programs - Systems.

Material Changes

(1) Various editorial changes were made throughout the IRM to update addresses, websites, IRM references and any other changes necessary.

(2) IPU 17U1020 issued 06-16-2017 IRM 21.2.1.1 Added sections to IRM 21.2.1.1.1 through IRM 21.2.1.1.7 for internal controls.

(3) IRM 21.2.1.3.1 - removed paragraph (2) with outdated sign on information.

(4) IRM 21.2.1.12.2 - updated (3) to remove Form 990.

(5) IPU 17U1007 issued 06-14-2017 IRM 21.2.1.22 - added a note to (2) to provide information on transcripts.

(6) IRM 21.2.1.35 - updated (5) to change 3217C letter to 5977C letter and include 5976C letter.

(7) IPU 17U0113 issued 01-17-2017 IRM 21.2.1.39 - updated (3) to remove reference to the Electronic Filing PIN.

(8) IPU 17U0248 issued 02-07-2017 IRM 21.2.1.39 - updated section to provide updated procedures for taxpayers requesting their AGI.

(9) IPU 17U0292 issued 02-13-2017 IRM 21.2.1.39 - updated (6) with the correct date for the taxpayer age.

(10) IPU 17U0442 issued 03-06-2017 IRM 21.2.1.39 - updated (6) and (8) to clarify that 1040-NR filers may use the Self-Select PIN.

(11) IPU 17U0802 issued 05-04-2017 IRM 21.2.1.39 - updated (6) to change year from 2011 to 2016 and added a note in (9) to clarify how to inform taxpayers to file if they meet the Special Circumstances requirements.

(12) IPU 16U1560 issued 10-20-2016 IRM 21.2.1.40 - updated (3) and (7) to correct mislabeled information.

(13) IPU 16U1671 issued 11-16-2016 IRM 21.2.1.40 - updated (5) to correct the bullet list.

(14) IRM 21.2.1.40 - added note to (5) on SSP not available to AM employees.

(15) IPU 17U0113 issued 01-17-2017 IRM 21.2.1.40 - updated (4) to remove reference to the Electronic Filing PIN.

(16) IPU 17U0248 issued 02-07-2017 IRM 21.2.1.40 - updated section to provide updated procedures for taxpayers requesting their AGI.

(17) IPU 17U0292 issued 02-13-2017 IRM 21.2.1.40 - updated (7) with notes clarifying faxing and using the current address of record.

(18) IPU 17U0802 issued 05-04-2017 IRM 21.2.1.40 - updated (7) Exception to include active identity theft indicators.

(19) IPU 17U1007 issued 06-14-2017 IRM 21.2.1.40 - updated (7) exception to remove the TC 971 AC 505.

(20) IRM 21.2.1.40 - updated (7) added links to IRM 21.2.3.3.1 and for a list of transaction codes that prevent transcript issuance. Added TC 971 AC 505 reference and provided a link for limited instances when it applies.

(21) IPU 17U0248 issued 02-07-2017 IRM 21.2.1.40.1 - removed obsoleted subsection due to updated procedures on AGI requests.

(22) IPU 17U0248 issued 02-07-2017 IRM 21.2.1.40.2 - removed obsoleted subsection due to updated procedures on AGI requests.

(23) IPU 17U0442 issued 03-06-2017 IRM 21.2.1.42 - updated link in (1) for the VITA/TCE/AARP sites.

(24) IPU 16U1560 issued 10-20-2016 IRM 21.2.1.43 - updated guidance for Form 94X e-File.

(25) IPU 16U1560 issued 10-20-2016 IRM 21.2.1.47 - updated (2) to clarify the EFTPS customer service number.

(26) IPU 17U0802 issued 05-04-2017 IRM 21.2.1.47 - added (10) to clarify multiple electronic payments deducted from taxpayer accounts.

(27) IPU 16U1482 issued 10-04-2016 IRM 21.2.1.48.1 - updated guidance on how taxpayers can pay through Direct Pay.

(28) IPU 16U1560 issued 10-20-2016 IRM 21.2.1.48.1 - updated (4) to clarify guidance regarding deceased taxpayers.

(29) IPU 17U0113 issued 01-17-2017 IRM 21.2.1.48.1 - updated (1) with the new restrictions for Direct Pay.

(30) IPU 17U0802 issued 05-04-2017 IRM 21.2.1.48.1 - updated (3) Note to include MFT 65.

(31) IRM 21.2.1.48.1 - updated (7) to include ability of Direct pay to issue email confirmations of payments.

(32) IRM 21.2.1.48.1.2.2 - updated (4) to remove reference to IRM 21.3.12 and replaced with IRM 5.19.1.

(33) IPU 17U0113 issued 01-17-2017 IRM 21.2.1.48.5 - added guidance to (2) to resolve conflicting IRM language.

(34) IPU 17U0248 issued 02-07-2017 IRM 21.2.1.48.5 - updated table in (7) to match the current listed preferred providers.

(35) IPU 16U1482 issued 10-04-2016 IRM 21.2.1.52 - updated guidance to direct employees to IRM 21.2.3.3.4, IRS Website (IRS.gov)

(36) IPU 16U1560 issued 10-20-2016 IRM 21.2.1.52 - corrected the IRM link.

(37) IPU 17U1007 issued 06-14-2017 IRM 21.2.1.52 - added a note to provide information on transcripts.

(38) IPU 16U1560 issued 10-20-2016 IRM 21.2.1.53 - updated guidance for E-Services.

(39) IRM 21.2.1.54 (1) (4)- updated various links and income threshold for free file eligibility.

(40) IRM 21.2.1.54.1 - updated language on partnership and income threshold for free file eligibility.

(41) 21.2.1.54.2 - added information on forms limitation and updated account access to reflect end of current year.

(42) IPU 17U0113 issued 01-17-2017 IRM 21.2.1.54.2 - corrected links in (14) and (15).

(43) IPU 16U1482 issued 10-04-2016 IRM 21.2.1.57 - updated (7) to include additional information on what the Online Payment Agreement will permit individuals to do.

(44) IPU 17U0802 issued 05-04-2017 IRM 21.2.1.57 - updated (7) to remove payroll deduction plans and (8) to include currently not collectible cases to the list of cases that cannot be processed by the Online Payment Agreement.

(45) IPU 17U1007 issued 06-14-2017 IRM 21.2.1.57 - Removed last bullet in section on CNC added in error.

(46) IPU 16U1482 issued 10-04-2016 IRM 21.2.1.58 - updated guidance to Secure Access eAuthentication.

(47) IPU 16U1560 issued 10-20-2016 IRM 21.2.1.58 - updated guidance to Secure Access eAuthentication.

(48) IPU 16U1671 issued 11-16-2016 IRM 21.2.1.58 - added date of birth as an option for Secure Access eAuthentication in (3).

(49) IPU 17U0248 issued 02-07-2017 IRM 21.2.1.58 - added Online Account to (2) as an application that uses Secure Access eAuthentication, corrected (12) to refer to the proper paragraph.

(50) IPU 17U0802 issued 05-04-2017 IRM 21.2.1.58 - additional applications in (2) were incorporated into the Secure Access eAuthentication process.

(51) IPU 17U1258 issued 08-21-2017 IRM 21.2.1.58 - updated (3) (7) information on third party verification of mobile phone account information; (8) added caution on accessing account.

(52) IPU 17U0802 issued 05-04-2017 IRM 21.2.1.61.2 - removed providing AGI over the phone in (3).

(53) IPU 17U1007 issued 06-14-2017 IRM 21.2.1.61.2(3) Added reference and link to CP302.

(54) IPU 16U1671 issued 11-16-2016 IRM 21.2.1.62 - added new subsection to provide guidance for the new IRS.gov application Online Account.

(55) IPU 17U0113 issued 01-17-2017 IRM 21.2.1.62 - clarified that the section refers to the Online Account application.

(56) IPU 17U0442 issued 03-06-2017 IRM 21.2.1.62 - updated guidance for added functionality to the See Payment history option for the Online Account application.

(57) IPU 17U1007 issued 06-14-2017 IRM 21.2.1.62 - updated guidance for added functionality for the Online Account application.

(58) IPU 17U1190 issued 07-26-2017 IRM 21.2.1.62 - updated MFT information and clarified process on cumulative balance due message. Inserted paragraph 8 on Tax Record options.

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 21.2.1, Systems and Research Programs - Systems, dated 09-14-2016, effective 10-01-2016, is superseded. This IRM also incorporated the following IPU’s: 16U1482 (10/04/2016), 16U1560 (10/20/2016), 16U1671 (11/16/2016), 17U0113 (01/17/2017), 17U0248 (02/07/2017), 17U0292 (02/13/2017), 17U0442 (03/06/2017), 17U0802 (05/04/2017), 17U1007 (06/14/2017), 17U1020 (06/16/2017), 17U1190 (07/26/2017), 17U1258 (08/21/2017).

Audience

These instructions are intended for all employees within LB&I, SBSE, TEGE and W&I Business Operating Divisions, who work with or have a need to know about systems/files/processes.

Effective Date

(10-01-2017)

Signed by
Kevin Morehead
Director, Accounts Management
Wage and Investment Division

Program Scope and Objectives

  1. Purpose: This IRM covers information on systems, files and processes used to resolve cases.

  2. Audience: The primary users of the IRM are all employees within LMSB, SBSE, TEGE and W&I Business Operating Divisions, who work with or have a need to know about systems/files/processes.

  3. Policy Owner: The Director of Accounts Management.

  4. Program Owner: Process and Program Management, Accounts Management, Wage and Investment (WI).

  5. Primary Stakeholders: The primary stakeholders are Management Officials who rely on accurate data, reports and quality information to ensure there are no gaps in efficiencies.

  6. Program Goals: Program goals for this type of work are included in the Account Management Program Letter as well as IRM 1.4.16, Accounts Management Guide for Managers.

Background

  1. Employees in the Accounts Management (AM) organization utilize multiple systems to process and resolve casework.

Authority

  1. Refer to IRM 1.4.3.3, Authorities, for information.

Responsibilities

  1. Account Management’s Policy and Program Management Section has responsibility for information in this IRM. Information is published in this IRM on a yearly basis.

  2. The Director of Accounts Management is responsible for policy related to this IRM.

  3. The Chief of this team is responsible for ensuring this IRM is timely submitted to publishing each year.

  4. Additional information is found in IRM 1.1.13.9.4, Accounts Management, and IRM 21.1.1, Accounts Management and Compliance Services Overview.

Program Controls

  1. Program Reports: The program reports provided in this IRM are for identification purposes for the Accounts Management Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) and Tax Examiners (TEs). For reports concerning quality, inventory aged listing, please refer to IRM 1.4.16, Accounts Management Guide for Managers. Aged listings can also be viewed by accessing Control Data Analysis, Project PCD, are on the Control-D/Web Access server, which has a login program control.

  2. Program Effectiveness: Program Effectiveness is determined by Accounts Management’s employees successfully using IRM guidance to perform necessary account actions and duties.

  3. Program Controls: Goals, measures and operating guidelines are listed in the yearly Program Letter. Quality data and guidelines for measurement are referenced in IRM 21.10.1, Embedded Quality (EQ) for Accounts Management, Campus Compliance, Tax Exempt/Government Entities, Return Integrity and Compliance Services (RICS) and Electronic Products and Services Support.,

Acronyms

  1. For a comprehensive listing of any IRS acronyms, please refer to the Acronym Database. Below are acronyms currently not listed in the database.

    Acronyms Definition
    BTM Bulk Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) Matching
    CADE2 Customer Account Data Engine
    CR Contact Recording
    eFS e-File Services
    EFW Electronic Funds Withdrawal
    FSA-D Federal Student Aid - Datashare
    FTCS Federal Tax Collection Service
    FOTW Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on the Web
    IA Interactive Application
    IBR Income Based Repayment
    ICR Income Contingent Repayment
    IDR Income Driven Repayment
    IEFW Income Earned From Work
    IRWeb Internal Revenue Website
    MAR Management Action Reports
    PAYE Pay As You Earn
    RRD Return Review Display
    RSO Relay Service Operator
    SSP Self-Select Personal Identification Number (PIN)
    TAC Template Aided Commands
    TDC Taxpayer Digital Communications
    VCR Variable Call Routing

Related Resources

  1. Refer to IRM 1.4.2.15, Related Resources, for information on related resources that impact internal controls.

Overview

  1. The IRS uses a network of tax account and information systems to maintain communication with and service to the taxpaying public. This section gives condensed descriptions and explanations of many of the systems, databases, files and processes used or researched by Customer Account Services (CAS) employees. Although this list is not all inclusive, these systems are used to:

    • file tax returns,

    • process tax returns,

    • process information returns,

    • issue notices, refunds, letters,

    • store and retrieve return information,

    • process adjustments to information,

    • provide information for other official processes.

  2. Customer Service Representatives (CSRs), Tax Examiners (TEs) and other IRS employees need both a general understanding of the systems and the ability to research for more specific information when needed, using these and other systems.

  3. Some of the systems that store and retrieve tax account information follow. See Document 6209, IRS Processing Codes and Information, for information on all systems, files and command codes.

    Systems That Store and Retrieve Tax Account Information
    System IRM Reference
    ACS - Automated Collection System IRM 21.2.1.23.
    AUR - Automated Underreporter IRM 21.2.1.24.
    CADE2 - Customer Account Data Engine IRM 21.2.1.4.
    CFOL - Corporate Files On Line IRM 21.2.1.11.
    eFS - e-File Services IRM 21.2.1.38.
    AMS - Account Management Service IRM 21.2.1.8.
    IDRS - Integrated Data Retrieval System IRM 21.2.1.3.
    Master File IRM 21.2.1.2
    ICCE - Integrated Customer Communications Environment IRM 21.2.1.28.

Master File

  1. The Master File (MF), the official repository of all taxpayer data extracted from magnetic tape records, paper and electronic tax returns, payments, and related documents, is maintained at Enterprise Computing Center - Martinsburg (ECC-MTB) and /or Enterprise Computing Center - Memphis (ECC-MEM).

  2. The Master File contains several parts, including:

    • Individual Master File (IMF) currently being replaced by CADE2

    • Business Master File (BMF)

    • Employee Plans Master File (EPMF)

    • Exempt Organizations/Business Master File (EO/BMF)

    • Information Returns Master File (IRMF)

    • Payor Master File (PMF)

  3. Most of the Master File parts are analyzed and updated weekly as follows:

    • Transactions, notices, and reports are generated at the campus.

    • Information is sent to other national files and to the campuses.

      Note:

      See IRM 21.2.1.4, Customer Account Data Engine 2 (CADE 2), for information about CADE 2.

Taxpayer Accounts

  1. Taxpayer account data is stored in various Master File parts, depending on the type of return filed. Master File records are considered the official control records for all taxpayer accounts.

  2. Taxpayer accounts are identified in the Master File by the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). The TIN for:

    1. An individual or a sole proprietor, is the taxpayer’s Social Security Number (SSN),

    2. An alien not eligible for an SSN, is the IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN),

    3. Adoption purposes, is the Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN), and,

    4. A business entity, is the Employer Identification Number (EIN).

  3. Each Taxpayer Account contains two types of modules: entity modules and tax modules.

  4. Each return and subsequent transaction document relating to an account is assigned a Document Locator Number (DLN). Refer to Document 6209 Section 4.2, DLN Composition, for a complete explanation of the DLN. Such transactions may appear on entity or tax modules.

Entity Modules

  1. Each Master File account has a section called the Entity Module, which contains:

    • Taxpayer’s name control (first four letters of last name/corporate name)

    • Current address and postal ZIP code

    • Taxpayer’s filing requirements

    • Area, Territory and office responsible for taxpayer’s account

    • Filing status, spouse’s name and TIN for Individual Master File (IMF/CADE2) accounts

    • Date of establishment and fiscal year ending date for BMF accounts

    • Plan Section for Employee Plan Master File (EPMF) accounts

    • EO Section for Exempt Organization/Business Master File (EO/BMF) accounts

Tax Modules

  1. A tax module is a record of tax data for a specific taxpayer covering one return for one tax period.

  2. A tax module is identified by a TIN, Master File Tax Account Code (MFT) and tax period.

  3. Master File Tax (MFT) Codes identify the specific types of return/account and Transaction Codes (TC) identify the types of transactions posted to accounts.

    1. Each tax form is assigned a Master File Tax (MFT) Code, e.g., MFT 30 identifies most 1040 series returns.

    2. Refer to Document 6209, Section 2.2, Tax Returns and Forms, for MFTs assigned to other returns.

  4. Every transaction must contain a Transaction Code (TC) to maintain accounting control of debits and credits and to post the transaction to the Master File. See Document 6209, Section 8A.2, Transaction Codes, for an explanation of these codes.

Transactions Codes

  1. Transaction Codes (TC) record specific types of actions (e.g., debits, credits, etc.) onto the accounts/module. See Document 6209, Section 8A.2,Transaction Codes for an explanation of these codes.

  2. Some transaction codes indicate action on the Entity Module only, (e.g., TCs 149 or smaller).

  3. When posted to tax modules, some transaction codes produce neither a debit nor a credit (e.g., TC 570, TC 470). Although this list is not all inclusive, these transaction codes may:

    1. Prevent credits from refunding

    2. Prevent credits from offsetting

    3. Delay subsequent notices and other computer outputs

    4. Cause information documents to be generated

    5. Contain item adjustment information

    6. Set Freeze Conditions

Unpostable Transactions

  1. Most transactions post to the Master File successfully. Those that fail are called "unpostables" . These transactions are then:

    1. Rejected to the unpostable tape; and,

    2. Returned to the Campus for resolution of the unpostable conditions.

  2. IMF/Unpostables involving TC 84X are found in the Refund Information File (RFIF). All others are found using CC ENMOD, CC TXMOD and CC UPTIN.

  3. BMF Unpostables are found using CC ENMOD, CC TXMOD and CC UPTIN as Unpostable Codes (UPC).

  4. Closed unpostables will appear on CC UPTIN until 90 days after the unpostable is closed.

  5. For more information on Unpostables, see Document 6209, Section 8B.1, IRM 3.12.37.15, Unpostables, (IMF), IRM 3.12.38.7, Unpostables, (BMF).

EIN Research and Assignment System (ERAS)

  1. The EIN Research and Assignment System (ERAS) was designed to process requests for Employer Identification Numbers (EINs).

  2. The process begins with the receipt of a:

    • Request for EIN from Online EIN Assistant

    • Request from Form SS–4, Application for Employer Identification Number, or request received from the Business and Specialty Tax Line

    • Return filed without an EIN

    • Return filed that includes a change of business

  3. Taxpayer entity information is input to the IDRS system via the CC ESIGN screen, which sets up a new account on the IDRS database and issues a unique EIN. CC BSIGN is used to give a block of EINs to an institution for assignment to estates and trusts in their care.

  4. A notice is mailed to the taxpayer informing them of their assigned EIN and a record of the new account is sent to update the Master File.

    Note:

    Additional information describing when and how to assign a new EIN can be found in IRM 21.7.13, Assigning Employer Identification Numbers (EINs).

Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS)

  1. The Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS) accesses Master File account information using IDRS Command Codes (CCs). Through wide-area networks, IDRS accesses:

    • Corporate Files On-Line (CFOL)

    • Files residing at the computing centers

    • Taxpayer Information Files (TIF)

  2. IDRS provides the means to:

    • Take control of and take action on cases

    • Request and receive printouts of modules

    • Research accounts

    • Research or extract from Master File tapes

    • Issue letters to taxpayers

IDRS Security

  1. The IDRS Security System provides protection for both taxpayers and the employee user. Taxpayers must be protected from:

    • Unauthorized disclosures of account information

    • Unauthorized changes of account information

    • Unauthorized accesses (UNAX) to account information

  2. A user, with an open IDRS session, who is inactive for 120 minutes is systemically signed off of IDRS. A screen message notifies the user that he/she is signed-off of IDRS. Users with systemic sign-off may sign back onto IDRS.

    1. A user who wants to prevent a systemic sign-off may return to IDRS, clear the IDRS screen, and press the transmit key to restart the 120 minute count-down.

    2. A user who expects to be away from his/her workstation for less than 120 minutes may either sign-off of IDRS or activate his/her workstation's password protected, screen-saver locking feature by pressing Control/Alt/Delete, then selecting the "Lock Computer" button.

    3. A user who expects to be away from his/her workstation for 120 minutes or more must sign-off IDRS.

    4. The IDRS security system replaced the report of the sign-off/sign-on percentages with a monthly count of IDRS systemic user sign-offs.

    5. Managers are required to advise users, with 15 or more systemic sign-offs for the month, of the need to properly sign-off when away from their workstations.

    6. IDRS allows users to sign-off IDRS using the F12 function key, then Page Up or XMIT.

Authorized IDRS Access

  1. You are permitted to access only those tax modules required to accomplish your official duties.

  2. You may access another IRS employee’s account information the same as any other taxpayer, when:

    1. An inquiry is received in writing or by telephone, and

    2. You do not know the employee.

    Caution:

    If you know the employee making the account inquiry, you must refer the case/contact to your manager. Prepare Form 4442, Inquiry Referral. Do not use an e-4442 via AMS because this requires you to access the employee's SSN.

  3. All actions taken on IDRS, both authorized and unauthorized, are recorded for an audit trail of that user.

    Note:

    See also IRM 21.1.3.8, Inquiries from IRS Employees, for information concerning Form 11377-E, Taxpayer Data Access, (UNAX).

Unauthorized IDRS Access

  1. Any employee who willfully accesses tax information (computer or paper) without authorization has committed an illegal act and is subject to criminal prosecution and disciplinary action up to and including removal from the Service.

  2. Immediately refer all information on potential unauthorized access to taxpayer information directly to theTreasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

  3. Two federal Statutes specifically address unauthorized accesses:

    • Title 18 USC 1030

    • Title 26 USC 7213 A

IDRS Retention Criteria

  1. An account is retained on IDRS as long as activity exists as outlined in IRM 2.9.1.13, IDRS Module Retention Criteria for the TIF.

  2. After three weeks with no activity, the account is removed from IDRS.

IDRS Message File

  1. Use Command Code (CC) MESSG to display the information on the IDRS message file.

  2. Campus Information System (IS) employees use the IDRS message file to alert users of problems with local IDRS files and to share pertinent information.

  3. The information may pertain only to local systems or to problems experienced by all sites.

  4. CC MESSG will route the CSR to his/her Campus. If you want to view another campus, then you would need to use CC MESSG and the campus location code (e.g., MESSG@08).

  5. Some campuses use the message file to issue IDRS bulletins or local decisions.

  6. The file advises users of changes in IDRS letters.

  7. It also alerts Customer Service sites to the volumes of special notices mailed to taxpayers that may cause an unscheduled increase in taxpayer contacts.

  8. The file may also show Campus IDRS profiles and telephone numbers and Campus P.O. Box listings.

Customer Account Data Engine 2 (CADE 2)

  1. The Customer Account Data Engine (CADE) system is the cornerstone of the IRS' modernization program; CADE 2 is the most updated version. It is incrementally replacing the IRS' tape-based Individual Master File (IMF) system as the system of record for taxpayer account and return data. CADE 2 is being developed and implemented over a series of multiple releases. Taxpayer accounts are moved from the IMF to the modernized system based on a segmented approach whereby the simplest accounts are moved first (e.g., 1040EZ accounts), followed by increasingly complex taxpayer accounts with each new phase. CADE 2 operates in current production environment and CADE accessible accounts can be displayed on Command Code IMFOL.

  2. Some of the benefits of CADE 2 are daily transaction posting and quicker refunds. The CADE system began deployment in 2004. See IRM 21.2.2.4.6, Customer Account Data Engine (CADE 2) for additional information about CADE 2.

    Note:

    See IRM 2.3.51.6, CADE 2, and IRM 21.4.1, Refund Research, for additional information.

Non-Master File

  1. The Non-Master File (NMF) system provides for certain types of tax assessments that cannot be implemented by Master File processing.

  2. NMF allows processing of accounts that have too many transactions or dollar amounts that are too large for the Master File to handle.

  3. NMF also allows processing accounts that require immediate assessments and accounts that are the result of new legislation that cannot be quickly implemented on Master File.

  4. A NMF account reflects an assessment of tax from a return or other source document, and by itself may not represent the entire liability for a tax period.

  5. An additional tax assessment to a tax year already established on the NMF database is established as a separate NMF account.

  6. To reduce erroneous refunds from Master File and to alert of assessments on NMF (and/or other accounts), a TC 130 is input to the Master File account, which creates a "V-" freeze.

    Note:

    A NMF account is identified by a TC 130 in blocking series (BS) 200–299. Refer to IRM 21.7.12.3, NMF Adjustments Research, for additional information. Do not refer accounts with a posted TC 130 to the NMF Toll Free line unless they are in blocking series 200–299.

  7. NMF accounts in Taxpayer Delinquent Account (TDA) status appear on IDRS for research purposes.

  8. Changes to accounts are made through regular NMF processing, with appropriate source documents, before updates to IDRS are made.

  9. To research a NMF/TDA account on IDRS, input the TIN followed by "N" .

Automated Non-Master File (ANMF) Research

  1. The Automated Non-Master File (ANMF) allows online research and requests for transcripts of ANMF accounts.

  2. A login and password are required to access the system. See IRM 3.17.46, Automated Non-Master File Accounting, for instructions.

  3. Research the Automated Non-Master File (ANMF) when a "V-" or "M-" freeze is present on a related Master File account.

  4. ANMF transcripts may also be obtained through Account Management Services (AMS).

NMF Toll-Free Telephone Number

  1. When a NMF account cannot be resolved by a CSR, advise the caller of the NMF toll-free telephone number, 1-888-829-7434. A NMF specialist will return the call and provide assistance. The taxpayer should leave a message and a CSR will contact them in 3 business days.

    Note:

    The NMF toll-free number, 1-888-829–7434 is only for taxpayer and authorized third party assistance. Other IRS functions are not permitted to use this line.

  2. A NMF account is identified by a TC 130 in blocking series (BS) 200–299. Refer to IRM 21.7.12.3, NMF Adjustments Research, for additional information. Do not refer accounts with a posted TC 130 to the NMF Toll Free line unless they are in blocking series 200–299.

Pipeline Processing (Paper Returns)

  1. A tax return moves through the workflow pipeline operation of a Campus as follows:

    OPERATION/DEPARTMENT RESPONSIBILITIES
    Receipt and Control Receive returns, sort by code and type of return, assign Document Locator Numbers —(DLNs) and batch into blocks of 100 documents (or less).
    Document Perfection Code and edit returns, ensure returns are signed and schedules attached, so that data is uniformly converted and processed.
    Data Conversion Transcribe data from tax returns, verify, and release for further processing.
    Information Systems (Computer) Performs validity and math error checks, and formats data for transmission to ECC-MTB. Receives and maintains updated files from ECC-MTB and updates the Taxpayer Information Files (TIF).
    Error Resolution Perfects/corrects output for campus computer validity and math error checks.
    Enterprise Computing Center at Martinsburg (ECC-MTB) & Enterprise Computing Center at Memphis (ECC-MEM) Receive tapes with error free data from all processing campuses for update to Master File. Computer tapes generate notices that are sent back to campuses.
    Unpostables Perfect conditions that prevent posting to Master File.

    Note:

    Do NOT provide the telephone number of these areas to taxpayers.

  2. Returns are processed by the Automated Data Processing (ADP) system as follows:

    1. Returns are mathematically verified and information extracted and recorded on magnetic tapes.

    2. The magnetic tapes are sent weekly to the ECC-MTB or ECC-MEM for posting to Master File.

    3. Master file information is researched through the IDRS. See IRM 21.2.1.3, Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS).

  3. After a tax return is processed, the final account condition is either:

    • Even (no balance due and no refund issued),

    • Refund (See IRM 21.4.1, Refund Research), or,

    • Balance Due (See IRM 5.19.1, Balance Due).

  4. Paper refund checks are mailed from the Department of Treasury Regional Financial Center in Austin, Texas. If requested by the taxpayer on the tax return, refunds are electronically deposited directly into the taxpayer’s bank account.

    Note:

    This is true for IMF Returns only. There is not a direct deposit option for BMF accounts at this time.

    See IRM 21.4.1, Refund Research, for information and procedures on refund inquiries.

  5. A Balance Due Notice is issued when credits on the account do not fully pay the liability on the return. See IRM 21.3.1.4, What is a Notice?.

Notices/Letters/Adjustments/Inquiries

  1. Account-related calls may result from a notice or letter to the taxpayer. Not all notices require a taxpayer response or action. An explanation of the account action is printed on the front and/or back of the notice. However, the taxpayer may not understand the notice or letter and/or wants/needs a more complete explanation.

    Note:

    See Servicewide Notice Information Program (SNIP), for the various types of notices.

  2. When a taxpayer indicates that the return was processed incorrectly and/or requests a change, the inquiry is normally handled by CSRs in Accounts Management of Customer Account Services (CAS). See IRM 21.5.1, General Adjustments.

  3. To resolve taxpayer inquiries about IMF/CADE2 and BMF notices, see IRM 21.3.1, Taxpayer Contacts Resulting from Notice Issuance.

Account Management Services (AMS)

  1. AMS provides a common user interface that allows users to update taxpayer accounts, view history and comments from other systems and access a variety of case processing tools.

  2. AMS features include:

    • Taxpayer account information

    • Representative Authorization alert on the AMS Disclosure Screen and the Account Summary Screen

    • A link to Centralized Authorization File (CAF) IND Alerts and CAF summary data "for all modules existing on IDRS" on the Module Detail screen

    • IMF automated computation worksheets

    • BMF automated computation worksheets

    • IDRS/CFOL command menu TACs (Template Aided Commands)

    • Access to the Enterprise Logistics Information Technology [ELITE] system for ordering forms and publications

    • Electronic inquiry referral (4442, e-4442), creation and resolution.

    • Electronic Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order (ATAO-Form 911/e-911)

    • Financial Statement option with generated Form 433-F

    • IDRS MultiPrint for batched IDRS prints. "Internal Use" and "Taxpayer" check boxes are available for prints

    • Reasonable Cause Assistant - A decision support tool for penalty and abatement determinations

    • Checklists with links to IRM references and IDRS commands to ensure that employees take all the necessary steps for case closure. Actions taken within the checklist leave narrative history, eliminating the need for manual entries

    • Self-selected "Hot Lists" that allow employees to choose up to 30 IDRS command codes for one-click activation

    • Direct links to frequently used sites such as EUP, SERP, IRWeb and Interactive Tax Law Assistant (ITLA)

    • A pay-off calculator that automatically calculates penalties, interest, and the total balance due on each active module and provides the total balance due for multiple modules for any designated period

    • Automated online forms

    • A message center for national and group messages. Group messages are input by local group managers

    • A calendar for tracking follow-ups needed or other events

    • View of tax return data for modules with associated returns filed for the current and three prior years for 1040 series returns

    • Ability to view CIS Images for Non-CIS users

    • Returned Refund Check - electronic system for processing returned checks (AM Campuses)

    • Remittance Processing for TAC Sites - auto population of Form 795A with payment information from Form 3244

    • An interface to upload e-911 case information from AMS to TAMIS for TAS users

    • Affordable Care Act (ACA) Tool

  3. AMS allows profiled users (5081) easy access to launch many systems (ACS, ACT, AOIC, ATFR, AUR, CEAS CIS, CNTLD, e-ACSG, ICS, i-EAR, Innocent Spouse, RCA, RGS, RTR, and TAMIS) without leaving AMS.

  4. AMS history is retained for 24 months from the last time the account is accessed.

  5. History input on CIS posts to AMS (currently history input on AMS does not post to CIS).

  6. AMS users can view histories input on ACS, AOIC, ATFR.

  7. AMS provides online inventories for Compliance Services Collection Operations (CSCO) and ACS users and Statute, Accounts Maintenance Research (AMRH), and Entity transcript inventories for AM and SP users.

  8. CIS inventory is accessed through AMS

  9. Branded Prescription Drug (BPD) Inventory is accessed through AMS.

ACA Fee Claim Inventories (AFCI)

  1. Affordable Care Act (ACA) Fee Claim Inventories (AFCI) was deployed within Account Management Services (AMS) in January 2014. AMS added the inventory to provide support for Affordable Care Act (ACA) Section 9008, which imposes an annual fee on certain manufactures and importers of Branded Prescription Drugs (BPD) with gross receipts of $5 million from BPD sales and Section 9010, which imposes an Insurance Provider Fee (IPF) for net premiums written during the calendar year that exceeds $25 million.

  2. The BPD portion of the inventory became available in AMS in July 2013. The stand-alone BPD inventory was eliminated with the creation of AFCI.

  3. AFCI is similar to CIS in that it is a document imaging and workflow system. In particular the AMS-ACA-AFCI will provide the Service the ability to automate the processing of subsequent BPD and IPF refund claims. All incoming Forms 843, Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement, regarding these fees and correspondence related to these claims will be scanned and directed to AFCI. Unlike CIS, cases will not be distributed electronically to users.

  4. AFCI interacts with IDRS to control the case and allows the system to automate the issuance of specific IDRS letters as requested by the business. The inventory is primarily for Large Business & International (LB&I) but Accounts Management (AM) will also need access to the inventory as they are responsible for any adjustments required.

  5. AFCI will be accessed via the AMS system, by selecting the AFCI tab and selecting the Work AFCI Inventory link.

  6. AFCI will be accessed by both LB&I and AM employees. LB&I users will route cases to designated/selected AM users electronically once they validate the claim and receive the Court’s disposition. AM users will access the AFCI link when they received notification via AMS Alert page that inventory has been routed to them to work. The Service anticipates very low receipts so AM will only need to profile a few users to work this inventory

Correspondence Imaging System (CIS)

  1. The Correspondence Imaging System (CIS) is a document imaging and workflow system. All incoming paper correspondence, notice replies, amended returns, internal transcripts, and internal Computer Paragraph (CP) notices are scanned and processed as digital images. CIS interacts with IDRS to control cases, input notice delays (via CC STAUP), when needed, and distribute cases electronically to CSRs for resolution. The digital cases are assigned to CSRs who work the cases online using the workflow software. CIS interacts with IDRS to initiate various command codes and captures the request completed screens as a part of the digital case.

  2. The Correspondence Imaging System Indicator (CIS-IND) displays on Command Code TXMOD, IMFOLA/BMFOLA and ADJ54. The CIS-IND is recognized as a part of the TC 29X transaction on TXMOD. The CIS indicator is a one (1) character field, i.e., CIS-IND<1. This means an adjustment was initiated through CIS and the source document is a digital image, rather than a paper document. The field is blank when an adjustment is not input by CIS. The IMFOLA and BMFOLA also display the CIS indicator on all TC 29X transactions.

    Note:

    On BMF cases, the CIS indicator will not show on TXMOD if the adjustment is for TC 290 .00 with no reference number changes. The indicator will remain on BMFOL.

  3. CIS inventory can be accessed using the AMS system. Users must access AMS first and then select the CIS inventory link.

    Note:

    See IRM 21.5.1 ,General Adjustments, and IRM 21.5.2, Adjustment Guidelines, for additional information and procedures on ADJ54 adjustments.

  4. Accounts Management Services (AMS) updated CIS inventory management in January, 2015 to add the "Close as MISC" button to the CIS case page. When multiple open CIS bases exist on a TIN, this button allows the user to close the unnecessary case(s) and update the IDRS category code to MISC. Updating the category code to MISC ensures that the secondary bases will be excluded from CIS and IDRS inventory counts. For more information, see IRM 21.5.1.5.1(17), CIS General Guidelines.

Enterprise Logistics Information Technology [ELITE]

  1. ELITE replaced the Centralized Inventory Distribution System (CIDS). It is used by the National Distribution Center (NDC) to process and distribute orders for IRS forms, instructions, publications and other printed materials for the public and IRS offices. Braille and Large Print tax products for taxpayers are also available on ELITE. ELITE is accessed by a link on AMS. Upon input of a forms order using ELITE, a systemic confirmation number will appear to verify the order. This number is for internal use only.

    Note:

    See IRM 21.3.6.4, Forms and Information Requests Processing Procedures, and IRM 21.2.2.4.5.2, Enterprise Logistics Information Technology (ELITE), for additional information.

Corporate Files On-Line (CFOL)

  1. CFOL is a collection of "read only" files extracted from Master File, and maintained at the ECC-MTB and ECC-MEM.

  2. Use CFOL Command Codes (CCs) to access CFOL through IDRS.

    • CFOL is for research only.

    • CFOL does not show pending transactions, case controls, rejects, history items, or unpostables.

    • CFOL may be available when IDRS is down.

  3. See IRM 2.3, IDRS Terminal Responses, and Document 6209, Section 15.5, Corporate File On-Line (CFOL), for a list of CFOL command codes and CFOL data.

Individual/Business Master File On-Line (IMFOL/BMFOL)

  1. IMFOL and BMFOL provide on-line research of IMF and BMF return and account data.

  2. Use IMFOL and BMFOL to research entity and tax data that may not otherwise be available on IDRS.

    Note:

    Master File does not carry all of the information that is available on IDRS.

    1. Use CC BMFOL to access nationwide entity and tax data information for BMF forms.

    2. Use CC IMFOL to access nationwide transactions posted to IMF/CADE2 and reduce the need to order a MFTRA transcript.

    3. IMFOL displays a literal CADE or CADE:R for CADE accounts.

    4. IMFOL displays Cycle Posted Day of the week for CADE2 accounts.

  3. Use CC IMFOR to display IMF retention tax modules. See IRM 2.3.51.5, Command Code IMFOR.

Return View (RTVUE/BRTVU)

  1. Use CC RTVUE to see line items transcribed from IMF/CADE2 returns, (including edited or verified fields) and the accompanying schedules and forms.

    1. This information is available for the current processing year and three prior processing years.

    2. The information on RTVUE does not change or reflect any subsequent adjustments or amended/duplicate returns.

    3. CC RTFTP provides a sanitized taxpayer version that includes no IRS edited or generated data.

    4. RTVUE/RTFTP transcripts should only be used when access to the Transcript Delivery System (TDS) is not available. TDS can provide three distinct types of transcripts in a more professional format with a generated cover letter. TDS is now accessed by the Integrated Customer Communications Environment (ICCE) application as well as the Return Income Verification Services function (RAIVS) when providing transcripts. See IRM 21.2.3, Transcripts, for information on requesting transcripts.

    5. The processing year includes all returns processed during the year. Delinquent returns will be displayed in the year processed using current year transcription lines.

    6. Delinquent returns will be displayed in the format of the processing year.

  2. Use CC BRTVU to access line items transcribed from BMF returns (including edited or verified fields). It includes information from duplicate and amended returns. BRTVU sanitized transcripts are also available through the AUTO-TRANSCRIPTS program.

Employee Plan Master File On-Line (EMFOL)

  1. Use CC EMFOL to:

    1. Access basic identifying information, amounts, counts, dates, codes and indicators for the Employee Plan Master File.

    2. Review posted transactions and status histories.

    3. Retrieve and review a plan and return module index for a specified account.

    4. Review plan data, including application and termination sections and posted transactions.

Employee Plan Return View (ERTVU)

  1. Use CC ERTVU to access the Employee Plan Return Transaction Files (EPRTF) to review returns and schedules processed during the current year and the nine previous years.

Third Party Authorizations

  1. The following subsection provides information on some authorized third party programs/files.

Centralized Authorization File (CAF)

  1. The Centralized Authorization File (CAF) contains taxpayer and taxpayer representative records.

  2. When a valid Power of Attorney (POA)/Tax Information Authorization (TIA) is shown on the CAF, a CAF indicator is present on the TIF. Valid POAs/TIAs include:

    • Completed Form 2848 (POA)

    • Form 8821 (TIA)

    • Form 706 (POA for U.S. Estate Tax Return)

    • NON-IRS forms supplemented with appropriate attachment containing all required information

    • Oral TIA (Paperless 8821)

  3. Use POAs/TIAs to:

    1. Direct refunds and/or copies of notices or correspondence to authorized representatives.

    2. Determine if an individual claiming to be a representative is, in fact, authorized to act on the taxpayer’s behalf.

  4. The CAF lists the tax modules and the specific representative to whom the taxpayer has granted authority. Use the taxpayer’s TIN to search the CAF.

  5. The representative record contains only the representative’s name and address. The primary search key is a unique IRS assigned representative identification number.

    1. The identification number is used by the representative whenever representing a client or submitting a POA/TIA.

    2. Before providing a representative with account-related information, access the taxpayer’s record. Use CC CFINK to verify the extent of the authorization. See IRM 2.3.31, Command Codes CFINK , RPINK, KAFFQ and KAFTQ for CAF Inquiry, for explanation of screen display.

      Note:

      The AMS Disclosure Tool also has the ability to verify POA/TIA.

    3. Refer to the CAF unit all inquiries regarding the resolution of multiple representative numbers assigned to the same representative.

  6. All POAs received for the following Employee Plans/Exempt Organizations (EP/EO) Determination Applications can be found using one or more of the following systems:

    • Employee Plans-Exempt Organizations Determination System (EDS)

    • Letter and Information Network User-fee System (LINUS)

    • Tax Exempt Determination System (TEDS)

    • TE/GE Rulings and Agreement Control System (TRAC)

    EO EP
    Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption, IRC 501(c)(3), 501(e), 501(f), 501(k), 501(n) Form 4461, Application for Approval of Master or Prototype or Volume Submitter Defined Contribution Plans
    Form 1024, Application for Recognition of Exemption, IRC 501(c)(2), (04), (05), (06), (07), (08), (09), (10), (12), (13), (15), (17), (19), (20), (25) Form 4461-A, Application for Approval of Master or Prototype or Volume Submitter Defined Benefit Plan
    Form 1025, No application (Dummy Form Number), IRC 501(c)(01), (11), (14), (16), (18), (21), (22), (24), 501(d) or 4547(a)(27) 529 Form 4461-B, Application for Approval of Master or Prototype or Volume Submitter Plans
    Form 1028 , Application for Recognition of Exemption IRC Section 521 Form 5300, Application for Determination For Employee Benefit Plan
    Note: Letter Requesting Exemption IRC 501(c)(26) and IRC 501(c)(27) Form 5306, Application for Approval of Prototype or Employer Sponsored Individual Retirement Account
    Form 5306-SEP, Application for Approval of Prototype Simplified Employee Pension–SEP
    Form 5307, Application for Determination For Adopters of Master or Prototypes Volume Submitter Plans
    Form 5308, Request for Change in Plan/Trust Year
    Form 5309, Application for Determination of Employee Stock Ownership Plan
    Form 5310, Form 5310, Application for Determination for Terminating Plan
    Form 5310A, Notice of Plan Merger or Consolidation, Spin-off, or Transfer of Plan Assets or Liabilities; Notice of Qualified Separate Lines of Business
    Form 5316, Application for Group or Pooled Trust Ruling

    Note:

    See IRM 21.3.7, Processing Third Party Authorizations onto the Centralized Authorization File (CAF), for additional information.

Reporting Agents File (RAF)

  1. The RAF contains information about the authorizations that taxpayers give to their reporting agents for employment tax modules.

  2. This authorization allows reporting agents to electronically file Forms 940, 941, 943,944, 945, 1042 or CT-1 for the taxpayer.

  3. The authorization also allows for reporting agents to make payments or deposits for Forms 940, 941, 943, 944, 945, 720, 1041, 1042, 1120 or CT-1.

  4. The information from the file is used to direct copies of notices and correspondence to the authorized reporting agents.

    Note:

    See also IRM 21.3.9.1, Purpose, and IRM 21.3.9.1.2, Background, for additional information.

Name Search Facility (NSF)

  1. NSF contains the full taxpayer or business names used and the most current Master File addresses.

  2. Use NSF to research:

    • Entity information

    • Account location

    • Cross reference information

  3. Use CC NAMEI, NAMES or FINDS for SSNs.

  4. Use CC NAMEB, NAMEE or FINDE for EINs.

Taxpayer Information File (TIF)

  1. The TIF consists of multiple areas of information. The TIF provides tax account information for certain taxpayers (generally involving only active accounts) on the database. Balance due notices are issued from the TIF.

  2. Use CC TXMOD/SUMRY to research the TIF for account information including pending transactions, rejects, unpostables and case controls.

Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN)

  1. The ATIN file contains Form W-7A, , Application for IRS Adoptions Taxpayer Identification Number, application information on pending adoptions.

  2. A temporary number is assigned to the child so that adoptive parents may claim a dependency exemption, child care credit and education credits.

  3. All update processing takes place at the Austin Campus using CC ATINQ.

Fact-Of-Filing (FOF)

  1. FOF file contains timely filed IMF/CADE2 refund returns (original only), usually posted within three weeks of processing.

  2. Use CC FFINQ to access the FOF file.

  3. Once the return posts to the Refund Information File (RFIF), it is purged from the FOF file.

Refund Information File (RFIF)

  1. Use CC REINF to access RFIF, which contains data extracted from IMF/CADE2 returns (except full paid) for the latest full calendar year tax period posted to ECC-MTB. RFIF provides basic initial data from returns and documents when they attempt to post to IMF/CADE2 at ECC-MTB.

  2. Updates to the initial RFIF information are limited and further research may be necessary when a module contains the following conditions:

    • Credit balance

    • Debit balance

    • Freeze codes

    • TC 740 (undelivered refund)

    • TC 977 (amended return with no original)

Audit Information Management System (AIMS)

  1. AIMS, the Audit Information Management System, a computer system used by Appeals, Examination, and TE/GE to control returns, input assessment/adjustments to Master File and provide management reports.

    Note:

    See IRM 4.4.1, AIMS Procedures and Processing Instructions, Introduction for additional information on AIMS processing.

Taxpayer Delinquency Investigation Notice File (TDINF)

  1. Use CC TDINQ to research the TDINF for information about a Taxpayer Delinquency Investigation (TDI) and generating delinquency notices.

Local Campus Accounting Function Files

  1. This section describes three files maintained by the appropriate local campus Accounting Function areas. They are researched using the specific command codes described in each sub-section.

Dishonored Check File (DCF)

  1. DCF contains a record of checks dishonored by banks and returned to the IRS. The record remains on the file until research positively identifies the tax module(s) to which the check was originally applied.

  2. Use CC BDINQ to research the record for the following:

    • Dishonored check (DC) control number

    • Amount of check

    • Name control

    • Reason code (indicating why the check was dishonored)

    • Check writer’s name

Unidentified Remittance File (URF)

  1. The URF is a local Campus file which contains a record of each remittance (with a received date of one year or less) that cannot be positively identified and applied to a correct account or refunded to the taxpayer.

  2. Use CC URINQ to research for the following:

    • URF control number

    • Amount

    • Received date

    • Identifying data

  3. Prepare Form 8765, IDRS Control File Credit Application to request application of URF credits. Forward to the Unidentified Remittance Unit in the appropriate Campus. See IRM 21.5.7, Payment Tracers, for more information.

Excess Collection File (XSF)

  1. Use CC XSINQ to research credits maintained in the XSF. The XSF is a local file which consists mainly of unidentified remittances and other unclaimed credits with a received date over one year old.

  2. Use Form 8765, IDRS Control File Credit Application to request application of XSF credits. Forward to the Excess Collection Unit in the Campus. See IRM 21.5.8, Credit Transfers, for more information.

    Note:

    Transferred "Statute" credits are also maintained in XSINQ.

Tax Return Data Base (TRDB)

  1. TRDB contains all of the tax return data for electronically filed returns and subsequent corrections. Reject codes are displayed for research.

  2. Corrections from the following systems are also stored in TRDB:

    • Error Resolution System (ERS)

    • Generalized Mainline Framework (GMF)

    • Generalized Unpostable Framework (GUF)

  3. Status information (e.g., re-sequenced, corrected, posted, rejected return codes, etc.)

  4. Processing Codes (e.g., code and edit, condition, notice, audit, resequence, unpostable)

  5. History information

  6. Command Code (CC) Tax Return Print (TRPRT) provides the capability to obtain graphic prints of tax returns posted to the TRDB. This feature is available for returns filed for tax year 1999 and all subsequent tax years.

  7. See IRM 2.3.73, Command Codes TRDBV, TRERS, TRPRT and R8453, for specific information on TRDB Research Command Codes.

    Note:

    TRDBV will become the single source for both electronically filed and paper individual and business tax return data. TRDB will gradually assume responsibility for RTF (Return Transaction File) and Command Code RTVUE over the course of several years. TRDB and Return Transaction File (RTF) consolidation will take place in the future. The consolidation and retirement of RTVUE will be announced.

Modernized e-File (MeF/TRDB)

  1. Modernized e-File is a web-based system that allows electronic filing of Individual, Corporate, Partnership, Exempt Organizations, Excise, Estate and Trusts, and Employment Tax Returns through the Internet.

  2. The following form types can be e-filed through the MeF platform:

    • Corporations - Form 1120, Form 1120-F, and Form 1120-S

    • Exempt Organizations - Form 1120–POL, Form 990, Form 990–EZ, Form 990–N (e-postcard) and Form 990-PF.

    • Partnerships - Form 1065, and Form 1065-B

    • Excise Tax - Form 2290, Form 720 and Form 8849 (Schedules 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 8 only)

    • Extensions - Form 2350, Form 4868, Form 7004, and Form 8868

    • Individuals - Form 1040, Form 1040-A, Form 1040-EZ, Form 1040-PR, Form 1040-SS, Form 9465, and Form 56

    • Employment Tax returns - Beginning in January 2014, MeF will also be accepting Employment Tax returns, including Form 940, Form 940-PR, Form 941, Form 941-PR, Form 941-SS, Form 944, and Form 945

    • Estate and Trust - Also beginning in January 2014, MeF will be accepting Form 1041.

    Note:

    IRS does not fax copies of tax returns or provide MeF return transcripts. Taxpayers may receive a transcript of their return free of charge but must pay for a physical copy. Please refer to IRM 21.2.3.4, TDS Transcript Delivery Methods, for information on how to send a transcript or copy of a return to the taxpayer.

  3. When a new annual tax return form type is added to the MeF platform, tax returns filed using the new form will be accepted for the current tax year only. As subsequent tax years are added to the MeF system, MeF will accept the current tax year and two prior tax years. For processing year 2014, MeF will accept prior tax years 2013 and 2012.

    Note:

    MeF does not accept prior year extensions.

Automated Collection System (ACS)

  1. The Automated Collection System (ACS) accepts Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS) balance due and nonfiler cases requiring telephone contact for resolution. ACS also generates levies and correspondence. Tax Examiners use ACS' case management abilities to contact taxpayers, review their case histories, and issue notices, liens, or levies to resolve the cases. ACS contains taxpayer modules in a collection status. The databases are located at each campus.

    • Dallas Territory Office accesses Austin Campus

    • Seattle Territory Office accesses Ogden Campus

    • Buffalo Territory Office accesses Andover Campus

    • Nashville Customer Service Site accesses Memphis Campus

  2. ACS is also accessible through AMS.

Automated Underreporter (AUR)

  1. The AUR Campus Compliance program determines possible discrepancies between income, credits and/or deductions reported on a tax return versus the information documents submitted by employers, financial institutions, etc. Potential cases are reviewed and a determination is made as to whether or not the taxpayer must be contacted to resolve the possible discrepancy.

Taxpayer Advocate Management Information System (TAMIS)

  1. TAMIS is an Oracle web-based inventory control and report system used to control and track Taxpayer Advocate Service cases. The database is located in the Enterprise Computing Center in Detroit.

  2. TAMIS is accessible through AMS. For more information, see IRM 13.4.1, General TAMIS Information.

Variable Call Routing (VCR) and Taxpayer Access

  1. Variable Call Routing (VCR) is a technology that redirects telephone calls when the Automated Call Distributor (ACD) Voice Response Unit (VRU) for routing a call is unavailable due to insufficient circuits, equipment outages, or when the certain thresholds are met. The Intelligent Contact Management (ICM) provides instructions that redirect the call to an alternate destination. The alternate destination may be to a different call center device, or to a courtesy disconnect message.

  2. The VCR thresholds are based on the business rules for the factors ICM evaluates when making routing decisions: estimated wait time, agent status, average handle time, average queue time, abandon rates, site hours, circuitry, etc.

  3. Different lines of business use different combinations of these statistics to implement their business rules. If the call routing VCR threshold for the CSR has been reached, the call is instead re-directed to a courtesy disconnect message, also called a VCR message.

  4. In an effort to improve the taxpayer experience, the IRS is interested in the impact of technology on taxpayer access.

  5. If the taxpayer states they have been calling our toll-free product lines but are continually receiving busy signals, the CSR should request the following:

    • Toll-free telephone number the caller was trying to call.

    • Telephone number the caller called from when receiving busy signals. ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡

    • Date and approximate time of call attempt(s).

  6. Advise the caller that the issue will be referred to the telecommunications department for review and thank them for providing the information.

    Note:

    The caller will not receive a call back regarding this issue. Follow existing procedures to assist the caller with any additional issues.

  7. After the call, forward the requested information, if provided, via email to *W&I JOC ANI.

Contact Recording

  1. Contact Recording (CR) is a software application/tool/system for recording incoming and outbound telephone contacts between IRS customer service personnel and taxpayers or their representatives. Contact Recording also records telephone contacts between IRS employees and the Employee Resource Center, on-site contractors with IRS accounts, and the Enterprise Service Desk (ESD). Phone conversations and related computer screen activity is recorded and then made available through a browser-based interface to managers and quality reviewers, enabling remote assessment of employee performance and customer service quality. See IRM 21.1.1.10, Contact Recording, for more information.

  2. Before being connected to customer service personnel, incoming and outbound/dialer callers hear an announcement that states, "Your call may be monitored or recorded for quality purposes."

    • Based on FCC regulations, CSRs will be able to stop the recording if the customer requests not to be recorded.

  3. Quality Review uses CR to perform required random reviews (performance and product) of incoming telephone contacts.

  4. While the system provides screen capture of account actions, as well as voice recording of the call, the recordings are NOT accessible by Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), Voice Processing Identification Number (VPIN), Personal Identification Number (PIN), or any other Taxpayer Identification Number.

  5. The system stores audio data by employee SEID for a maximum of 45 days (default), unless it has been evaluated. If a call has been evaluated, it is then stored for an additional 15 days, 60 days total, and if pulled by a reviewer, can be retained for a maximum of 558 days.

  6. See IRM 21.1.1, Accounts Management & Compliance Services Overview, for procedures and additional information.

    Note:

    If your site has not conducted Contact Recording briefings, then Contact Recording was not implemented at your site. However, remember the caller will still hear the announcement.

Integrated Customer Communication Environment (ICCE) System, (formerly known as TRIS)

  1. ICCE is an automated call-routing interactive application system that permits taxpayers using a touch-tone telephone to select an application to resolve tax account issues, obtain tax information, or otherwise direct themselves to the appropriate source of assistance. ICCE reduces the number of calls that must be answered by a CSR. See IRM 21.2.1.30, ICCE Interactive Applications (IAs).

ICCE PIN Establishment

  1. To establish a PIN, the caller must use an ICCE telephone interactive application (IA) that requires the use of a PIN for verification, e.g., payoff, posted payments.

  2. In order for a taxpayer to have or to establish a PIN, the caller must have a current balance due account on IDRS.

  3. To use the system, the caller must use the Caller ID Number on a current balance due notice.

    Note:

    Caller ID Numbers on notices from a prior year do not work unless it was the last notice issued.

  4. A caller may not establish or maintain a PIN if any of the following conditions exists:

    1. Unable to pass automated IA interview (excluding date of birth problem)

    2. No data for caller on IDRS (no balance due)

    3. Blocked account indicator

    4. Different secondary SSNs on open IDRS modules (ex-spouse/current)

    5. Criminal activity indicator

    6. Scrambled SSN indicator

    7. Deceased taxpayer indicator

    8. PIN already established

      Note:

      If the taxpayer is in Direct Debit Installment Agreement (DDIA) status, they might not receive a notice with a Caller ID Number to allow them to establish a PIN.

    Caution:

    CSRs are NEVER allowed to establish PINs for taxpayers.

    Note:

    If a caller had established a PIN previously and now falls into one of the above categories, the PIN is systemically deleted.

  5. The caller must successfully enter the following requested information during the automated interview for Identification and Authentication (I&A).

    • SSN of the primary taxpayer on the account

    • Taxpayer's date of birth

    • Caller ID number from taxpayer's most recent notice (six digits)

    • State that he/she is the taxpayer or spouse

    • Choose six digits that qualify for a PIN

    The interview process is a form of taxpayer authentication. On all calls concerning PIN procedures, CSRs must also complete caller authentication before continuing the call.

ICCE PIN Default Procedures

  1. If the caller defaults from the automated authentication interview process because of date of birth alone, complete the authentication process. Then determine if a PIN has been established on the account. Access CC VPARS (see IRM 2.3.69, Command Code VPARS, for more information on this command code). If a PIN indicator of "Y" is not on VPARS, the taxpayer may establish a PIN, provided that criteria in IRM 21.2.1.29, ICCE PIN Establishment, has not been met.

    Note:

    IRM 21.2.1.33, ICCE CC VPARS, for CC VPARS example.

  2. Offer the caller the opportunity to return to the application to establish a PIN after completing caller authentication (and he/she has correctly entered a valid Caller ID).

    1. Advise the caller that a confirmation Letter 2940C, VRU Request for Personal Identification Number (PIN), will be mailed to his/her address of record within 10 business days to confirm actions for establishing a PIN.

    2. To re-enter a caller into the ICCE to establish a PIN:

    • Press "Inside Line" button on your tele-set

    • Press "#90683" for English or "#90686" for Spanish; for sites using the Infrastructure Update Project (IUP) numbers, use #3121 for English or #3259 for Spanish

    • Press "Enter"

    • Press "Transfer"

  3. If caller defaults from the process for a reason other than a date of birth problem, CSRs are to complete authentication and assist the caller with his/her inquiry without the use of the automated application. If the caller still wants to establish a PIN, return the caller to the application after his/her inquiry is satisfied.

    Note:

    CSRs are not allowed to establish PINs for taxpayers.

ICCE PIN Maintenance - Taxpayer Restrict Access

  1. Use the following procedures to re-enter the caller back into the automated application to Restrict Access or Lift a Block on their account themselves. Options for the PIN Maintenance Menu for the Taxpayer to use:

    • Press "1" if did not establish PIN

    • Press "2" if forgot PIN

    • Press "3" to change PIN

    • Press "4" to disable access to account

    • Press "5" to lift block from access to account (See Paragraph 6 below)

  2. If a caller defaults from the PIN Maintenance proceed with:

    1. Authentication refer to IRM 21.1.3.2.3, Required Taxpayer Authentication.

    2. Verify with CC VPARS the action the taxpayer was trying to take.

    3. Verify if a PIN is established. If taxpayer has forgotten his/her PIN and wants to establish a new one, they must first delete the old PIN and then use the caller ID on their current notice to establish a new one.

    4. Verify additional taxpayer authentication for taxpayers requiring to delete/erase or block PIN before continuing.

    5. Verify the account is not in ACS status. If the account is in ACS status the taxpayer is not able to restrict access to their account until they are no longer in ACS status.

      Note:

      If the taxpayer is in DDIA status they might not receive a notice with Caller ID to allow them to establish a PIN.

    Caution: Never ask for or let a caller tell you his/her PIN number.

  3. Advise callers of the two ways to disable /restrict access to their account. They must select the correct menu option:

    1. Press 1 to Erase current PIN and use the Caller Identification Number on their current notice.

    2. Press 2 to Block your account for use with the automated telephone system.

      Note:

      Option 1 & 2 above are routed to an Automated Call Distributor (ACD) where you are prompted to enter 1 to Erase or 2 to Block a PIN. If anything other than the prompt is heard, there is a technical problem and you must try again. PIN maintenance prompt is unavailable while accounts are in ACS status.

  4. Advise the caller that a confirmation Letter 2940C, VRU Request for Personal Identification Number (PIN), will be mailed to his/her address of record within 10 days to confirm actions for blocking or erasing their PIN.Important: Advise the taxpayer to prevent unauthorized action, they must re-enter the Primary TIN of the account into the system and they should follow the prompts to restrict access to an account.

  5. To Restrict Access - follow these steps to re-enter the caller back into the PIN application:

    1. Press "Inside Line" button on your tele-set

    2. Press "#90682" for English or "90685" for Spanish; for sites using Infrastructure Upgrade Project (IUP), use "3120" for English or "3249" for Spanish.

    3. Press "Enter"

    4. Press "Transfer"

  6. To Lift the Block follow these steps to re-enter the caller back into the PIN application:

    1. Press "Inside Line" button on your tele-set,

    2. Press "#90683" for English or "90686" for Spanish; for sites using IUP, use "3121" for English or "3259" for Spanish.

    3. Press "Enter."

    4. Press "Transfer"

Assisting Taxpayers with ICCE PIN Maintenance

  1. If the taxpayer requests assistance with PIN maintenance (e.g., erase/block a PIN), assist the taxpayer while they are on the telephone. Complete authentication before proceeding. For taxpayers requesting to erase/block a PIN, see IRM 21.1.3.2.4, Additional Taxpayer Authentication. Use CC VPARS to verify that TIF data is available.

    Note:

    Some SSNs have conditions that cause immediate routing to an ACS CSR during normal business hours or a message (after hours) to call back between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. The PIN maintenance prompt may or may not be heard. Should these instances occur, the PIN maintenance application is unavailable because an account is in ACS status.

  2. If TIF data is available, go to Step #4.

  3. If TIF data is unavailable, use CC MFREQ-C (while taxpayer is on hold) to establish the account (usually within seconds). Then continue to Step #4.

  4. From an outside line, Dial ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ to access the new/lost/block (N/L/B) menu.

    Note:

    This is an internal number for IRS use only. Do not provide this number to the caller.

    1. Enter SSN at prompt

    2. Select 1 for SSN

    3. Select 6 if taxpayer has questions about PIN

    Caution:

    If an announcement prior to the N/L/B Menu indicates that the ICM or IDRS is "down" you must call the next business day or when advised. At discretion of local sites or if taxpayer insists, prepare an in-house business use referral to process erase/block PIN requests.

  5. The PIN menu is as follows:

    Note:

    Do not press 1 if you hear the following prompt: "If you agree with the amount you owe, press 1."

    • If taxpayer did not establish PIN, press Option 1.

    • If taxpayer forgot his/her PIN, press Option 2.

    • To change PIN, press Option 3. (Only the taxpayer can activate (use) this option).

    • To disable access to account, press Option 4.

    • To lift "block" from your account, press Option 5 (Only the taxpayer can lift a block).

  6. Options 1, 2, or 4, in (5) above, are routed to an Automated Call Distributor (ACD) where a prompt is received. Enter 1 to erase or block a PIN or to enter 2 to lift a block. If anything other than prompt 1 or 2 is received; it indicates a technical problem, and you must try again later. See (4) Caution above.

  7. The system asks for re-entry of the taxpayer's SSN. Once the re-entry takes place, the Voice Response Unit (VRU) systems prompts to:

    1. Press 1 if SSN entered.

      Note:

      The system repeats the SSN as entered.

    2. Press 1 to verify.

  8. Once the re-entry takes place, follow the prompts to restrict access to an account:

    1. Press 1 to disable/erase the PIN until next notice

    2. Press 2 to disable/block the PIN until call back

    Note:

    When the above actions take place, there is an announcement that a confirmation letter will be mailed to the address of record within 10 days.

  9. End call after all actions are completed.

  10. A job aid, ICCE PIN Maintenance Procedures, is available on SERP. From the" Job Aids" link on the SERP home page, select the "Part 21 - Customer Account Services (Accounts Management)" link, then look under "Chapter 2: Systems and Research Programs" .

ICCE Interactive Applications (IAs)

  1. Interactive applications help taxpayers resolve issues without talking to a CSR. Taxpayers must meet eligibility criteria to use the applications.

  2. The following IMF applications are available:

    1. VOICE BALANCE DUE (VBD) - permits callers to request a payment extension or establish a monthly payment plan to satisfy an outstanding balance due. It also gives the caller the ability to revise their payment due date and/or amount on an existing payment plan or revise an existing extension to an installment agreement.

    2. LOCATION (LOC) - provides caller with information on where to file certain federal tax forms and where to mail payments.

    3. REFUND INQUIRY (REF) - permits callers to find out about the status of their tax refund.

    4. TRANSCRIPT (TRA) - permits callers, after address verification, to request an account transcript (Letter 2863C), a return transcript, or a Form 4506 (to submit a request for a photocopy of a previously filed return).

    5. VOICE PROCESSING PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (VPPIN) or (PIN) - permits qualified callers to establish, block or change their PIN. IRM 21.2.1.29, ICCE PIN Establishment, for procedures to establish a PIN).

    6. PAYOFF (PAY) - provides taxpayers, who have established a PIN, to receive a current or future payoff amount (within 120 days), the location for mailing payment, and an option to set up payment arrangements through the VBD application.

    7. VIEW CREDIT (CRD) - permits a taxpayer who has established a PIN to research a specific payment posted to his/her account or request a list of the last fifteen payments.

      Note:

      From the View Credit application the taxpayer may choose to enter the transcript, view debit or payoff applications.

    8. VIEW DEBIT (DEB) - permits a caller, who has established a PIN, to hear a summary or detailed account information of his/her account for a chosen tax year.

      Note:

      From the View Debit application the taxpayer may choose to enter transcript, view credit, payoff, or voice balance due applications.

    9. REFUND TRACE (RTR) - permits a caller to file a claim for replacement of a refund that was not received, lost, stolen or destroyed.

    10. WHERE’S MY AMENDED RETURN (WMAR) - permits callers to determine the status of their amended tax return.

ICCE Interactive Modules

  1. The following modules are used internally by the interactive applications:

    1. ENTER TIN — used to verify the TIN input by the taxpayer.

      Note:

      All TIN entries are checked for file source, TIN type validity, and data on Master File. Taxpayers who indicate that a joint return was filed are prompted to enter spouse’s TIN, if no data is available on the first TIN entered.

    2. ADDRESS — used by the transcript application to verify the street address input by the taxpayer against the address of record.

ICCE Aspect Tele-Set Call Referral Data

  1. When a taxpayer exits from an Interactive Application (IA), either by choice or by failure to respond correctly to the menu option, the call is routed to a CSR assigned to the "Default Application" . This is referred to as a "default" from an IA.

  2. Call referral data is displayed on the tele-set and describes information about the call that has "defaulted" from the system. The call referral data displays the following information on the tele-set:

    • Caller’s TIN

    • Three digit alpha to identify the automated application

    • An asterisk (*) following the three digit application to indicate Spanish language call (e.g., CSS*, REF*, ETM*, etc.).

    Note:

    CSRs begin a call by greeting the caller in Spanish when this indicator (*) is present.

  3. Use of the call referral data, along with IDRS CC VPARS screen information allows you to complete inquiries without asking the taxpayer duplicate questions.

  4. When technical problems are encountered along with any Interactive Application, the tele-set displays the code for the application (VBD, REF, etc.) with an error message from below:

    • No IP Response (No response from Interactive Processor)

    • NO IDRS RESPONSE (No info received from IDRS)

    • IDRS COMM ERROR (IDRS Communication error)

    • INVALID VRU PACKET (IP received invalid VRU packet)

    • IDRS CMD Error (IDRS Command Code error)

    • VRU Link Down (Voice Response Unit link down)

    • Invalid RT Code (Invalid Route Code)

    • Invalid CRP Code (Call Referral Number not listed in CRP Table)

    • VRU Config Error (Configuration error occurred on VRU)

    • VRU Internal Error (Internal error occurred on the VRU)

  5. To complete calls with technical problems, follow normal incoming call procedures, including taxpayer/third party authentication.

  6. Upon completing the call, immediately notify the manager or system administrator of the error message.

ICCE CC VPARS

  1. CC VPARS (Voice Processing Account Referral Screen) displays taxpayer account information and a description of the error the taxpayer encountered in an automated telephone system. The voice processing message section of the screen gives user friendly messages to indicate where the caller defaulted or exited the application.

  2. New calculated data fields on a screen show the total TDA and TDI yield score (Internal Use Only), a total of balance due modules and a total of assessed balances.

  3. To request CC VPARS:

    1. Enter the TIN from the call referral data on the tele-set display.

    2. Ask the caller to restate their TIN for verification and for Quality Review purposes.

  4. Continue the taxpayer contact from point of default using existing IRM procedures, including authentication probes, if necessary.

ICCE /ENMOD History Items

  1. History items appear on ENMOD for actions taken by ICCE applications. The ICCE identifying IDRS number is 099 after the Campus two-digit number (e.g., 29099XXXXX). The last five digits are systemically generated.

  2. Transaction Code 016 (Miscellaneous Change Entity Code) identifies that a PIN was established. A second TC 016 indicates a PIN change. Other activities include issuing letters, IAGRE, and establishing installment agreements.

    Note:

    Only the taxpayer knows his/her PIN number (It does not appear on the tax module).

  3. A three-digit route code (agent message numbers) appears when a call is routed to a CSR. CC VPARS shows the literal meaning of the route code.

  4. By using the history information on ENMOD, VPARS and TXMOD, you can track the taxpayer’s actions during the interactive process.

ICCE Management Action Reports (MAR) (Telephone and Internet)

  1. Management Action Reports (MAR) generate when transactions do not post to IDRS due to system/network problems (e.g., IDRS application down) or account conditions beyond design for the following applications:

    • Voice Balance Due

    • VPPIN

    • Refund Inquiry

    • Transcript

    • IRFOF (Internet)

    • Online Payment Agreement (Internet)

    • Secure Access eAuthentication

  2. The Planning and Analysis (P&A) staff determines who, within the directorate, works the MAR. The MAR Directorate Assignments are as follows:

    Telephone Sites
    Account Type MAR Type Assignment
    SB/SE ACS (IMF) Update ACS Levy Sources, ACS IA Confirmation Letter, Revised ACS IA Letter Ogden
    SB/SE AM (IMF) Extension Confirmation letters, IA Confirmation Letters, IA Revised Letter, PIN Update Request, Transcript Request, Refund Trace CHCKL Request, Refund Trace LETER Request Memphis – SB/SE
    W&I ACS (IMF) Update ACS Levy Sources, ACS IA Confirmation Letter, Revised ACS IA Letter Fresno
    W&I AM (IMF) Extension Confirmation letters, IA Confirmation Letters, IA Revised Letter, PIN Update Request, Transcript Request, Refund Trace CHCKL Request, Refund Trace LETER Request Fresno
    Internet Sites
    Account Type MAR Type - (IMF & BMF) Assignment
    SB/SE ACS (IMF& BMF) ACS Levy Sources, ACS Extension Confirmation Letter, ACS IA confirmation letters, ACS History Items, ACS Pending IA Transactions, ACS control bases , ACS IA Letter Revised Internet – SB/SE
    SB/SE AM (IMF& BMF) Entity Change due to Electronic IA, Tel. # Change due to Electronic IA, Levy Sources, Extension Confirmation Letter, IA confirmation letters, History Items, Pending IA Transactions, Control bases, IA Letter Revised, PIN update request Internet – SB/SE
    Entity Change due to undeliverable refund, Refund Trace CHKCL request Internet – Philadelphia
    W&I ACS (IMF) ACS Levy Sources, ACS Extension Confirmation Letter, ACS IA confirmation letters, ACS History Items, ACS Pending IA Transactions, ACS control bases , ACS IA Letter Revised Internet – W&I
    W&I AM (IMF) Entity Change due to Electronic IA, Tel. # Change due to Electronic IA, Levy Sources, Extension Confirmation Letter, IA confirmation letters, History Items, Pending IA Transactions, Control bases, IA Letter Revised, PIN update request Internet – W&I
    Entity Change due to undeliverable refund, Refund Trace CHKCL request Internet - Philadelphia
  3. A designated person is required to retrieve the reports on a daily basis and manually input the necessary action that the system failed to generate as indicated on the report, by the next business day. The designated person should confirm that the failed transactions were not completed systemically before processing manually.

  4. The MAR includes the TIN, MFT, Business Operating Division (BOD) and tax period, along with the needed correction for each application.

    Note:

    The BOD dictates which customer response telephone number is used on the taxpayer letters, except for Secure Access eAuthentication transactions.

  5. MARS Corrective Action Needed:

    1. For full pay and installment agreements (W&I and SB/SE) processing, the paragraph number and fill-in data indicates a manual generation of Letter 5977C, Installment Agreement Accepted; Terms Explained, or Letter 2273C, Installment Agreement Acceptance & Terms Explanation or Letter 5976C, CC IAPND Installment Agreement Confirmation - OPA/VBD.

    2. For PIN (Memphis W&I and SB/SE) processing, the paragraph letter and fill-in data indicates the manual generation of Letter 2940C, VRU Request for Personal Identification Number (PIN).

    3. For Refund Trace CHKCL (Memphis W&I and SB/SE) processing, refer to IRM 21.4.2.4.16.1, ICCE Refund Trace Reports.

    4. For Transcripts (Memphis W&I and SB/SE) processing indicates a request for Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, with manual generation of a Letter 2941C, VRU Request For Form 4506.

    5. For IRFOF (Philadelphia) refer to IRM 21.4.2.4.17, Treasury Check Information System (TCIS).

    6. For Online Payment Agreement (Internet W&I and SB/SE) processing, refer to IRM 5.19.1.5.8.1, OPA Management Action Reports (MAR).

ICCE Payment Report

  1. The Payment Report lists each account for which an installment agreement has been accepted. The daily reports details the agreement type, duration, amount owed, payment date and monthly payment amount, as well as a summary of average duration, average amount owed and total accounts receivable.

ICCE Undeliverable Letters

  1. Forward ICCE undeliverable letters, identified by 099 in the Employee Identification Number on the letter (e.g., 29099xxxxx), to Customer Service for resolution.

  2. See IRM 21.3.3, Incoming and Outgoing Correspondence/Letters, for instructions for undeliverable items.

e-File Services (eFS) System

  1. The e-File Services (eFS) System offers several methods for filing taxes and transferring funds electronically.

  2. eFS uses several multi-functional Electronic Filing Systems (EFS) to receive and process individual and business returns.

  3. The following table shows the returns and systems.

    Return System
    Form 1040 (Series)
    • Online Filing Program

    • e–file Practitioner Program

    • FEDERAL/STATE e–file Program

    Form 944 Form 944 online filing & Form 944 e-file XML (& MeF starting in January, 2014)
    Form 941, Form 941-PR, Form 941-SS Form 941 e–file Program, e-file XML and Form 941 online.(& MeF starting in January, 2014)
    Form 940, Form 940-PR Form 940 e-file and Form 940 online Filing Programs (& MeF starting in January, 2014)
    Form 943, Form 943-PR MeF
    Form 945 MeF
    Form 1065 Form 1065 Electronic Filing Program
    Form 1041 Form 1041 MeF
    Form 1041 (Fiduciary) FEDERAL/STATE FIDUCIARY Program
    IMF e-file Processing sites for Processing Year 2010 PSPC, AUSPC, KCSPC, FSPC, and ANSPC.
    BMF e-file Processing sites for Processing Year 2010 CSPC and OSPC

E-File Form 1040 Series

  1. Taxpayers may file returns through authorized IRS e-file providers, Electronic Return Originators (EROs). EROs transmit returns via a third party. In some cases, the ERO may perform both the ERO function and the transmitter function.

  2. The return may be prepared by the taxpayer, a tax professional or an ERO. Tax professionals may also be EROs, depending upon the functions performed.

  3. Taxpayers who file electronically using tax preparation software or who file through a tax professional are required to use a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to sign their returns. Taxpayers create their PINs using any five digits except all zeroes. If authorized by the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s PIN may be generated by the software or entered by the Electronic Return Originator (ERO). If the return is filed using the Self-Select PIN method, the taxpayer must also provide their Date Of Birth (DOB) and one of the following:

    1. Prior year adjusted gross income (AGI). The AGI amount may not be from an amended return, a corrected amount from a math error notice, or other changes made during IRS processing.

    2. Prior year self-selected PIN. The prior year self-selected PIN is the five digit PIN they used to sign their prior year tax return.

    See IRM 3.42.5.9.1.1, Self Select PIN Method, and IRM 3.42.5.9.2, Form 1040 Online Filing, for information to answer general PIN questions.

  4. The Practitioner PIN method is another signature option for taxpayers who use an IRS e-file provider to prepare their tax returns. This option is used in transmitting Forms 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ as totally paperless electronic returns. A Form 8879, IRS e-file Signature Authorization, must be completed for all returns filed using the Practitioner PIN method. Form 8878, IRS e-file Signature Authorization for Form 4868 or Form 2350, Application for Extension of Time To File U.S. Income Tax Return, must be completed for Forms 4868 filed using the Practitioner PIN method of filing when there is an Electronic Funds Withdrawal (EFW). Information on the requirements for using the Practitioner PIN method can be found in IRM 3.42.5.9.1.2, Practitioner PIN Method. In addition, the following web site can be used to answer general PIN questions: https://www.irs.gov/Tax-Professionals/e-File-Providers-&-Partners/Practitioner-PIN-Method-for-Forms-1040-and-4868-Modernized-e-File.

  5. The Self-Select PIN is the only IRS e-file signature method available to taxpayers who file a federal individual income tax return using online tax preparation software. This new requirement is to promote a paperless and secure method of signing individual returns electronically. Taxpayers choosing to electronically prepare and file their return using an online software package will be required to use the Self-Select PIN method as their signature. The Taxpayer selects five numbers (except all zeros) to enter as their electronic PIN signature. On a joint return, both spouses are required to enter a PIN as their electronic signature.

  6. Who is eligible to electronically sign using the Self-Select PIN signature method?

    • Taxpayers filing form 1040, 1040A, 1040-EZ, 1040-SS(PR), 1040-NR.

    • Taxpayers who did not file for Tax Year 2016, but have filed previously.

    • Taxpayers who are age 16 or older on or before December 31, 2016, who have never filed a tax return.

    • Primary taxpayers under age 16 who have filed previously.

    • Secondary taxpayers under age 16 who have filed in the immediate prior year.

    • Military personnel residing overseas with APO/FPO addresses.

    • U.S. citizens and resident aliens residing in the U.S. Possession of Puerto Rico or with foreign country addresses.

    • Taxpayers who are filing on behalf of deceased taxpayers.

  7. Taxpayers required to file the following forms, which must be attached to Form 8453, U.S. Individual Income Tax Transmittal for an IRS e-file Return:

    • Form 1098-C, Contributions of Motor Vehicles, Boats, and Airplanes (or equivalent contemporaneous written acknowledgement)

    • Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative (or POA that states that the agent is granted authority to sign the return.)

    • Form 3115, Application for Change in Accounting Method

    • Form 3468, attach a copy of the first page of NPS Form 10-168A, Historic Preservation Certification Application (Part 2 - Description of Rehabilitation), with an indication that it was received by the Department of the Interior or the State Historic Preservation Officer, together with proof that the building is a certified historic structure (or that such status has been requested)

    • Form 4136, attach the Certificate for Biodiesel and, if applicable, Statement of Biodiesel Reseller or a certificate from the provider identifying the product as renewable diesel and, if applicable, a statement from the reseller

    • Form 5713, International Boycott Report

    • Form 8283, NonCash Charitable Contributions, Section A (if any statement or qualified appraisal is required) or Section B., Donated Property, and any related attachments (including any qualified appraisal or partnership Form 8283)

    • Form 8332, Release / Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent (or certain pages from a divorce decree or separation agreement, that went into effect after 1984 and before 2009) (see instructions)

    • Form 8858, Information Return of U.S. Persons with Respect to Foreign Disregarded Entities

    • Form 8864, Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Fuels Credit, attach the certificate for Biodiesel and, Statement of Biodiesel Reseller or a certificate from the provider identifying the product as renewable diesel and, if applicable, a statement from the reseller

    • Form 8949, Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets, (or a statement with the same information), if you elect not to report your transactions electronically on Form 8949

  8. Who is not eligible to electronically sign using the Self-Select PIN method?

    • Taxpayers under age 16 who have never filed.

    • Secondary Taxpayers (spouse) under age 16 who did not file in the immediate prior year.

    Note:

    The Form 8453, U.S. Individual Tax Transmittal for an IRS e-file Return, will now be used to submit all required attachments to both online and practitioner prepared individual income tax returns.

  9. If the taxpayer does not have their tax return information available, the taxpayer may use online self-help applications on IRS.gov (e.g., Get Transcripts Online, etc.) or may call the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) toll-free number, 1-800-908-9946, to request the transcript. Taxpayers who use Self-Select PIN are not required to complete or mail Form 8453-OL to the IRS.

    Note:

    Do not provide the AGI over the phone.

    • Command Code (CC) RTVUE and/or CC TRDBV or the Return Review Display (RRD) system on the Employee User Portal (EUP) must be used to provide tax information, as original filing information is available regardless of subsequent adjustments or math errors.

      Caution:

      If there are multiple returns for a tax year, CC RTVUE will show multiple tax returns for that year. The returns are in DLN order and the TC 150 may not be the first return shown. Input 00X where X is the number of returns, e.g., If the TC 150 has a higher DLN than the TC 976, the TC 976 will be on CC RTVUE first as 001 and the 150 would be 002.

      Caution:

      CC TXMOD and CC IMFOL will show the AGI as adjusted or corrected, NOT as filed

    • Special Circumstances: If the taxpayer filed their prior year's tax return after Cycle 50, using the ECC-MTB posting cycle, they should enter zero (0.00) for their prior year AGI. If the taxpayer's last year AGI was negative, they must enter the amount as a negative number. See IRM 3.42.5.9.1.1(3), Self-Select PIN Method. If the taxpayer has not filed their prior year return, they should enter zero (0.00) for their prior year AGI.

      Note:

      If it has been determined that the taxpayer meets the Special Circumstances listed above, inform the taxpayer how best to proceed without disclosing the prior year AGI.

  10. Use the RRD system on EUP to assist taxpayers with rejected returns and other e-file inquiries.

E-file 1040 Series Online Filing

  1. The taxpayer may use tax preparation software bought off-the-shelf or available by electronic transmission to create an electronic income tax return using a personal computer Internet connection. A taxpayer may file up to five returns electronically with one software package.

  2. The online company will transmit online returns from the taxpayers to the appropriate Submission Processing Campus within 24 hours; retrieve the taxpayer acknowledgement and provide the acceptance or rejection notification to the taxpayer.

  3. Each taxpayer is required to use a Self-Select Personal Identification Number (SSP) or the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) from the prior year return (see paragraph 7 below) to sign his/her e-file online return.

  4. Taxpayers who choose to electronically prepare and file their return using an online software package will be required to use the Self-Select PIN method as their signature. The taxpayer selects five numbers (except all zeros) to enter as their electronic signature. As part of the authentication process, the taxpayer may choose between two “shared secrets.”

  5. The shared secrets are the original prior year Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) or prior year self-selected PIN. The prior year self-selected PIN is the five digit PIN the taxpayer used to electronically sign their previous tax year e-file return. The online filer has to enter their date of birth and one of the following:

    • Prior year AGI or

    • Prior year SSP.

    The taxpayer may enter both, but only one has to match for successful authentication.

    Note:

    Accounts Management employees do not have access to SSP information.

  6. The taxpayer cannot use the AGI from an amended return, a corrected amount from a math error notice or other changes made during IRS processing. If the taxpayer does not have the original AGI, the taxpayer may receive the AGI through the Get Transcript Online self-help application on IRS.gov or by calling the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) toll-free number, 1-800-908-9946. See IRM 3.42.5.9.1.1(4), Self-Select PIN Method, for further instructions if the AGI is a negative amount.

  7. If the taxpayer calls to request the prior year AGI in order to e-file, do not provide the taxpayer with the AGI. Direct the taxpayer to the self-help application Get Transcript Online on IRS.gov, see IRM 21.2.1.52, Get Transcript , for additional information. You may also direct the taxpayer to the toll-free IVR number, 1-800-908-9946, where the taxpayer may request account or tax returns for previous years, see IRM 21.2.3.3.3, Interactive Voice Response, for additional information. If the taxpayer is unable to acquire their transcript through these processes, you may send a transcript to the taxpayer’s address of record. Alternatively, you may instruct the taxpayer to file the tax return by paper or seek electronic return originator (ERO) support.

    Exception:

    If the caller has an active Identity Theft indicator on the tax year requested see IRM 21.2.3.3.1 (5,) Assistor Provided through Transcript Delivery System, for a list of transaction codes that will prevent a transcript from generating. This includes the primary or secondary on a married filing joint account. Direct the taxpayer to file the return by paper. See IRM 25.23.2.22, Get Transcript Incident

    for more information on TC 971 AC 505 specific incident numbers.

    Note:

    If the caller requests the prior year AGI or SSP, do not fax the transcript. The transcript may only be sent to the address of record.

    Note:

    The "address of record" is the taxpayer’s address at the time of the call. If the caller updates the address of record during the call, do not send the transcript to the new address.

FEDERAL/STATE e-File

  1. Federal/State e-file is available in 40 states plus the District of Columbia and New York City.

  2. State Acknowledgements are accepted by the Modernized e-File (MeF) System. Participating Federal/States can send their State Acknowledgements to MeF for trading partners to pick up when they pick up their Federal Acknowledgements.

  3. Acknowledgements of state returns are made within 48 hours. Acknowledgements for Federal returns usually are received within five minutes but can take up to two hours during peak days.

  4. States that participate in e-filing are:

    E-file States
    Alabama Louisiana Ohio (now includes Regional Income Tax Authority (RITA))
    Arizona Maine Oklahoma
    Arkansas Maryland Oregon
    Colorado Michigan Pennsylvania
    Connecticut Minnesota Rhode Island
    Delaware Mississippi South Carolina
    District of Columbia Missouri Tennessee
    Georgia Montana Utah
    Hawaii Nebraska Vermont
    Idaho New Hampshire Virginia
    Illinois New Jersey West Virginia
    Indiana New Mexico Wisconsin
    Iowa New York (now includes New York City)
    Kansas North Carolina
    Kentucky North Dakota
  5. Each state issues its own publications to detail the state's software specification requirements. Software developers contact the appropriate state to obtain electronic filing publications

  6. IRS e-file accepts federal/state e-file returns with foreign addresses, including the U.S. possession of Puerto Rico.

VITA/TCE/AARP/FSA Sites

  1. Direct the taxpayer to the list of VITA/TCE/AARP/FSA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly, American Association of Retired Persons, Facilitated Self-Assistance) sites available on IRS.gov for future reference. Access the link http://vp0smtbwebspc60.ds.irsnet.gov:8080/Default.aspx on SERP's Who/Where tab, which provides an online nationwide directory of volunteer assistance locations taxpayers may visit for free filing assistance. Use this link to refer taxpayers to volunteers.

    Caution:

    VITA/TCE/AARP/FSA sites are intended to assist taxpayers in return preparation, but limited in the services they provide. Do not direct callers to these sites for individual tax law questions or other services not provided. Refer to Publication 3676-B, ITA/TCE Site Location Flyer for Field Assistance, Taxpayer Assistance Centers, which provides a list of the returns and forms IRS certified volunteers have been trained to work.

  2. Users may search by state/county or zip code to provide a list of sites where taxpayers may file free. Use the following site information to ensure that the volunteer site provides the necessary services before referring the caller:

    • Site Name

    • Address

    • County

    • Open/Closing Dates

    • Program Type

    • Phone

    • Hours and languages spoken

    • E-file availability

    • Whether taxpayer needs to call for an appointment

  3. Two of the several possible program types included Facilitated Self-Assistance FSA Fusion and FSA Standalone.

    1. FSA Fusion sites allow taxpayers to prepare their own returns with the assistance of a certified VITA volunteer. Taxpayers who do not wish to select this option may instead choose to have a volunteer prepare their return at the same location.

    2. FSA Stand-Alone sites only provide the self-prep option; volunteers at these locations only assist the taxpayer and do not prepare returns.

VITA/TCE/AARP/FSA e-File

  1. Free electronic filing and transmitting is offered at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (VITA/TCE) Sites. See IRM 22.30.1, Stakeholder Partnership, Education and Communication, for more information.

Form 94X e-File

  1. Reporting Agents who file Form 941, Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return, returns for themselves or others are eligible to participate in this program.

    Note:

    Software Developers who develop and test software are also eligible participants of this program.

  2. Participants must submit:

    • Reporting Agent's List to the Ogden Accounts Management Campus (OAMC).

    • Form 8655, Reporting Agent Authorization, to the OAMC.

    • Online IRS e-File Application (after first registering for e-services at www.irs.gov) for the following:
      Select Program(s) Applying For and add Reporting Agent as Provider Option, then select Forms and add 94X. Once submitted and approved, Letter 3086-A will be automatically generated and mailed to the address on the application.

  3. The participants must complete three easy steps: Create an IRS e-services account, submit your application, and pass a suitability check.

  4. Reporting Agents have signature authority and electronically sign returns using an assigned five-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN).

  5. Modernized e-File (MeF) for Employment Taxes offers an improved way to file Forms 940, 940-PR, 941, 941-PR, 941-SS, 943, 943-PR, 944, and 945 electronically. On MeF, the current and two prior tax year returns (no amended) are accepted by Form 941. In tax year 2017, Form 941 will accept all quarters for 2014, 2015, 2016, and the first three quarters of 2017.

    Note:

    Corrections to employment taxes must be made using the 94X Series, Adjusted Tax Forms. For more information, refer to Correcting Employment Taxes.

  6. The following is a list of attachments that can be transmitted through Form 941, e-file:

    • Schedule B, Report of Tax Liability for Semiweekly Schedule Depositors.

    • Schedule D, Report of Discrepancies Caused by Acquisitions, Statutory Mergers, or Consolidations.

    • Schedule R, Allocation Schedule for Aggregate Form 941 Filers.

      Note:

      Form 8974, Qualified Small Business Payroll Tax Credit for Increasing Research Activities, will be able to be attached starting in tax year 2017.

Form 944, Employer's ANNUAL Federal Tax Return (e-file)

  1. The Form 944, Employer's ANNUAL Federal Tax Return, is filed once a year rather than quarterly (due January 31), significantly reducing the tax filing burden. The 944 e-file Program will allow small employers with little or no employment tax liability to file their returns electronically. Eligible employers are those with estimated annual tax liability of $1,000 or less. See IRM 3.42.4, IRSe-filefor Business Tax Returns, for additional information.

Form 1065 & 1065-B MeF Programs

  1. Section 6011(e)(2) enacted by Section 1224 of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 requires partnerships with more than 100 partners to file Form 1065, Schedule K-1, and related forms and schedules on magnetic media (electronically as prescribed by the IRS Commissioner). This legislative mandate applies to partnership returns for tax year ending December 31, 2000 and subsequent.

  2. Eligible participants for this program are:

    • Partnerships who develop their own software and file own returns

    • Originators/Preparers responsible for returns filed for firms, organizations or individuals and for Form 8453-P, US Partnership Declaration and Signature for Electronic Filing.

    • Transmitters who transmit returns directly to the IRS electronically.

    • Software Developers who develop and test software for the program.

  3. Participants must submit an IRS e-file Application via e-services for Electronic/Magnetic Media filing of Business and Employee Benefit Plan Returns. See Pub 3112, IRS e-file Application and Participation, for additional information.

  4. For additional information on 1065 MeF Program see Pub 4163, Modernized e-file (MeF) Information for Authorized IRS e-file Providers for Business Returns, and Pub 4164, Modernized e-file Guide for Software Developers and Transmitters.

Form 1041 MeF Program

  1. Forms 1041, US Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts, are electronically received at the ECC-MEM and are processed by the Ogden Submission Processing Campus (OSPC).

  2. Form 8453-F, U.S. Estate or Trust Income Tax Declaration and Signature for Electronic Filing is obsolete beginning Tax Year 2014. Form 8453- FE, U.S. Estate Or Trust Declaration for an IRS e-file return will be the signature document for all Form 1041 e-filed returns beginning Tax Year 2014. The Form 8453-FE should not be mailed to IRS. It will be included in the electronic return as a PDF.

  3. An IRS e-file Application must be submitted electronically via e-services in order to participate in IRS e-file program.

  4. Eligible participants for this program are:

    • Electronic Return Originators

    • Transmitters & Software Developers

    • Intermediate Service Providers

FEDERAL/STATE Fiduciary Return Program

  1. This program is for filing Estate and Trust returns for both federal and state at the same time.

  2. Any state that has a requirement to file both federal and state fiduciary returns may participate. (Currently New York is the only state participating.)

FEDERAL/STATE Partnership Program

  1. This program is for filing Partnership Returns for both federal and state at the same time.

  2. Any state that has a requirement to file both federal and state Partnership returns may participate. Currently, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Utah and Wyoming are the only states participating.

Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS)

  1. The Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) allows individuals and businesses to make electronic deposits and payments for federal taxes such as Employment Taxes, Excise Taxes, Corporate Income Taxes and Form 1040 Estimated taxes.

    Note:

    Treasury Decision (TD) 9507 ended the use of paper Federal Tax Deposit (FTD) coupons beyond December 31, 2010.

  2. Generally, businesses and individuals must enroll in the EFTPS program to participate. Taxpayers can visit https://www.eftps.gov/eftps/ to enroll in EFTPS and to obtain information on how to complete a payment, or they can call EFTPS Customer Service for assistance:

    • Customer Service 1-800-555-4477

    • Spanish 1-800-244-4829

    • TDD Hearing Impaired 1-800-733-4829

  3. Participants make EFTPS payments by:

    1. Accessing the EFTPS web site, https://www.eftps.gov/eftps/ or utilizing the Voice Response System by calling EFTPS at:

      1. Business 1-800-555-3453

      2. Individual 1-800-315-4829

      3. Spanish 1-800-466-4829

      4. TDD 1-800-990-4829

      5. Non-toll free 1–303–967–5916

    2. Authorizing their bank to make a payment directly to the U.S. Treasury

    3. Contacting a third party provider such as a payroll service.

  4. As of January 1, 2011 businesses must use electronic funds transfer to make all federal tax deposits (such as deposits of employment tax, excise tax, and corporate tax). Forms 8109 and 8109-B, Federal Tax Deposit Coupon, cannot be used as of December 31, 2010. If the participant does not want to use EFTPS, they can arrange for their tax professional, financial institution, payroll service, or other trusted third party to make deposits on their behalf.

    Note:

    See Publication 15, Circular E, Employer’s Tax Guide, Section 11, for more information on "Electronic Deposit."

  5. Deposits made through EFTPS must be initiated by 8:00 p.m. ET one calendar day prior to the payment due date.

    Note:

    If the due date falls on a Saturday or Sunday and a deposit is made by 8:00 p.m. ET Friday, the deposit settlement date will not be until the next business day.

    Note:

    If the due date falls on a banking holiday and a deposit is made by 8:00 p.m. ET the calendar day before, the deposit settlement date will not be until the next business day.

  6. A Same Day Payment option is available through the Federal Tax Collection Service (FTCS) to businesses who cannot initiate a timely EFTPS payment. This option is not intended for ongoing use.

  7. Taxpayers should contact their financial institution for information on availability, deadlines, and fees. Refer to IRM 3.17.277.1.5.8 for availability of FTCS for individual taxpayers.

  8. EFTPS is a free service of the U.S. Department of Treasury. However, taxpayers are encouraged to check with their authorized financial institutions for their costs, deadlines, and eligibility requirements associated with each payment method.

  9. Use IDRS Command Code EFTPS to research payments made through EFTPS.

    Note:

    See IRM 2.3.70, Command Code EFTPS, for additional information on CC EFTPS. See IRM 21.5.7.4.7.15, Remittance Strategy Paper Check Conversion (RS-PCC) for information on EFTPS payment tracers.

  10. When a taxpayer inquires about the IRS deducting their electronic federal tax payment twice, CSRs should check IDRS for the EFT Trace Number for each payment. Then refer to the table in IRM 3.17.277.5.3(4), EFT Number, to determine the payment method(s) used by the taxpayer.

    Note:

    To determine the payment method used for each payment, research positions 3 through 5 of the IDRS EFT Trace Number. Positions 3 through 5 on IDRS are equal to positions 1 through 3 in the IRM 3.17.277 table referenced above.

    Example:

    If the EFT Trace Number begins with 29200, positions 3 through 5 are equal to 200 (referred to as positions 1 through 3 in the IRM); this payment was made through e-File. If the EFT Trace Number begins with 29222 positions 3 through 5 are equal to 222 (referred to as positions 1 through 3 in the IRM); this payment was made through IRS Direct Pay.

Electronic Payment Options for Individuals and Business e-file Users

  1. Individuals may electronically pay federal taxes, including the balance due on their current Form 1040 series return, estimated taxes, and other tax types using the following methods:

    • IRM 21.2.1.48.1, IRS Direct Pay

    • IRM 21.2.1.48.2, Electronic Funds Withdrawal (Direct Debit)

    • IRM 21.2.1.48.3, Payment by Credit Card or Debit Card (General)

    • IRM 21.2.1.48.4, Payment by Credit Card or Debit Card (Integrated e-file and e-pay)

    • IRM 21.2.1.48.5, Credit or Debit Card Payments (Pay by Phone or Internet)

    • IRM 21.2.1.47, Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS)

  2. Businesses may electronically pay federal taxes, including the balance due on certain returns, using the following methods:

    • Payment by Electronic Funds Withdrawal (Direct Debit). See IRM 21.2.1.48.2, Electronic Funds Withdrawal (Direct Debit)

    • Payment by Credit or Debit Card (Pay by Phone or Internet). See IRM 21.2.1.48.5, Credit or Debit Card Payments (Pay by Phone or Internet)

    • Electronic Federal Tax Payment System. See IRM 21.2.1.47, Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS)

IRS Direct Pay

  1. IRS Direct Pay is a payment application available to Individual Master File (IMF) taxpayers through IRS.gov. It is a free service that allows taxpayers to make electronic payments directly to the IRS from their checking or savings accounts. It is the quickest possible way to make a payment, is free and secure, and provides electronic confirmation. Generally, payments will post within 48 hours. IRS Direct Pay will accept payments up to $9,999,999.99 and will also allow taxpayers to make two payments in a 24-hour period.

  2. Telephone assistors should encourage taxpayers inquiring about paying a balance to utilize IRS Direct Pay as a quick, accurate and easy way to make payments towards their IMF balance.

    Note:

    Taxpayers can access Direct Pay online through IRS.gov where they may select the Payments tab and follow the instructions.

  3. IRS Direct Pay is currently only available to IMF taxpayers. The service can be used for the following payment types:

    • Installment Agreements

    • Balance Due Notices

    • Estimated Tax Payments

    • Payments with a return

    • Payments with Extension-to-File.

      Note:

      It is not necessary to file a paper Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File for U.S. F1040 Individual Income Tax Return, if a taxpayer makes an extension-to-file payment with IRS Direct Pay

    • Payment for adjusted balance due (e.g., CP 2000 or Exam notice)

    • Payment with Amended Return

    • Payments with Form 5329, Additional Taxes on Qualified Plans (including IRAs) and Other Tax-Favored Accounts.

    • Individual Shared Responsibility Payments (related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA)).

    More payment types may become available in the future. Note that at this time only Form 1040-series payments and associated penalties can be made through IRS Direct Pay.

    Note:

    Direct Pay does not accept payments for MFT 31 or 65, Separate Assessments.

  4. Please advise joint filers using Direct Pay to complete the" Verify Identity" page using their information, even if the taxpayer is making an estimated tax payment. This will ensure that the payment is promptly applied to balance due account. Taxpayers should use their own Social Security Number. The payment will transfer to the joint account one cycle later. This should be the same even if the taxpayer is making payments on an account where the primary taxpayer is deceased.

  5. Important: Taxpayers must have a valid Social Security Number or an eligible ITIN to use Direct Pay. Most, but not all, ITINs are accepted. The majority of ITINs have a fourth and fifth digit that falls in the range of 70-88. These ITINs are accepted by Direct Pay. Any ITIN with the fourth and fifth digit outside of that range is from a new ITIN series, and has not yet been configured to work with the application. A future update will correct this problem..

  6. In addition to the ineligible ITIN, the following users can not use Direct Pay:

    • First-time filers can not use Direct Pay, since the application has no return history information to use for authentication purposes.

    • Users who have not filed a return in the last six years can not use Direct Pay. The application would not have sufficient filing information for authentication.

    • Users with a non-U.S. bank routing number. IRS Direct Pay requires a U.S. bank routing number (ABA). This nine-digit number is generally printed on checks or is available from your bank. If the taxpayer has an account with an international bank that has a U.S. affiliate, the bank may be able to provide the routing number.

  7. As of April 19, 2014, IRS Direct Pay added the following functionality:

    • The ability to schedule a payment from their savings or checking account up to 30 days in advance. Important: This feature is for a single payment and not regular periodic payments. The taxpayer needs to schedule each payment.

    • Payment status look up.

    • Payment rescheduling and cancellations.

      Note:

      In July 2018 users of Direct pay can opt to receive email notifications each time they make a payment.

  8. IRS Direct Pay is a self-help application, so the number of phone inquiries should be limited. For more information, see IRM 21.2.1.48.1.1, Responding to IRS Direct Pay Inquiries.

    Note:

    The IRS Direct Pay web pages are not yet available in Spanish.

Responding to IRS Direct Pay Inquiries
  1. Important: Telephone assistors should encourage taxpayers to use IRS Direct Pay for all inquiries on paying a balance due account. Taxpayers may access IRS Direct Pay by typing Direct Pay into the IRS.gov search field and clicking the resulting links.

    Note:

    Emphasize that Direct Pay is a quick, secure and easy way to make payments towards their IMF balance. The IRS does not charge fees to use this service.

  2. Since IRS Direct Pay is a self-service application, the taxpayer should be able to address most issues using online resources. Some Direct Pay users, however, may experience difficulty completing the identity verification process, and will ask you to check that the information they are using is accurate. Warning: You must successfully complete Taxpayer Authentication as described in IRM 21.1.3.2.3, Required Taxpayer Authentication, before providing the caller with any account information. If the taxpayer's only issue is to verify address information, it will be necessary to complete additional authentication as described in IRM 21.1.3.2.4, Additional Taxpayer Authentication.

  3. Submitting a payment with Direct Pay may require the user to provide information from a different tax year to verify their identity. This is where many verification errors occur, as users tend to use the most current information. Explain to the caller the following steps:

    • Tax Information - The user enters payment information, including, form type, reason for payment, and the tax year the payment should be applied to.

    • Verify Identity - The user enters information from a past year tax return for identity verification purposes. The tax year the user selects for identification verification does not have to match the tax year for the payment. The user must use the exact information (name, address, filing status, etc) from the return they are using to verify their identity.

    • Payment Information- The user enters the amount of payment, date of payment (within 30 days) and Bank Account Information, Routing number, Account number and type of Bank Account (Checking or Saving).

  4. Follow the instructions below for other IRS Direct Pay inquiries:

    If Then
    Taxpayer calls with general questions about IRS Direct Pay Tell the taxpayer that a link for IRS Direct Pay can be found on the "Payments" tab of the IRS.gov home page. They may also find it by using the IRS.gov search field to input the phrase "Direct Pay" , then clicking the resulting link.
    Taxpayer calls to verify payment. Research IDRS. See IRM 21.5.7.4.7.14.1, Electronic Funds Withdrawal (Direct Debit) and Credit Card Payment Tracer. The fourth digit in the EFT number will be a "0" for electronic funds withdrawal (direct debit) payments.
    Taxpayer calls asking if payments made on the due date will be applied on the same day. Tell the taxpayer that as long as the payment, including an installment agreement payment, was submitted on or before the due date and a confirmation number was received in this program, the payment will be considered timely.

    Note:

    Applicable penalties and interest will continue to accrue on unpaid balances until paid in full.

    Taxpayer calls with IRS Direct Pay related penalty issues See IRM 21.2.1.48.1.2, Inquiries Regarding Unsuccessful Direct Pay Payments, IRM 21.2.1.48.1.2.1, Removing Penalties Due to Unsuccessful Direct Pay Payments, IRM 21.2.1.48.1.2.2, Installment Agreement Issues Due to Unsuccessful Direct Pay Payments.
Inquiries Regarding Unsuccessful Direct Pay Payments
  1. The taxpayer may call after receiving Letter 5170, Important information about your IRS Direct Pay Payment. This letter:

    • Explains that the payment attempted through Direct Pay was not successful and provides a description of the problem, followed by what to do next.

    • Provides an error code. Use the table in paragraph (3) below to identify the error.

    • States that the rejected payment may result in penalty and interest, and if so, a separate letter will follow with the specific details. Important: Determine if the caller has received the formal penalty notice. If not, research the account to see if penalties are present and meet the criteria for penalty removal. See IRM 21.2.1.48.1.2.1, Removing Penalties Due to Unsuccessful Direct Pay Payments.

    • Advises the taxpayer that the best way to avoid or reduce penalty is to immediately replace the payment. Determine if the follow-up payment has been made; if not, reiterate this advice to the taxpayer.

  2. For taxpayers who do not receive a letter indicating their IRS Direct Pay transaction was unsuccessful, the account can be researched to identify the EFT payment number. Telephone assistors can research CC EFTPS to identify the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Reject Reason Code (RRC).

  3. The following chart provides a description of each error along with the instructions for what the taxpayer must do next.

    Code Description Messaging for Next Step
    R01 RETURN: INSUFFICIENT FUNDS Resubmit your payment and ensure you have sufficient funds in your account for this payment.
    R02 RETURN: ACCOUNT CLOSED Resubmit your payment and ensure you enter a valid checking or savings account number.
    R03 RETURN: NO ACCOUNT/UNABLE TO LOCATE ACCOUNT
    R04 RETURN: INVALID ACCOUNT NUMBER STRUCTURE
    R05 RETURN: UNAUTHORIZED DEBIT TO CONSUMER ACCOUNT USING CORPORATE SEC CODE Contact your financial institution for more information on how to correct this issue.
    R09 RETURN: UNCOLLECTED FUNDS
    R11 RETURN: CHECK TRUNCATION ENTRY RETURN
    R12 RETURN: ACCOUNT SOLD TO ANOTHER DFI
    R14 RETURN: REPRESENTATIVE PAYEE DECEASED OR UNABLE TO CONTINUE IN THAT CAPACITY
    R15 RETURN: BENEFICIARY OR ACCT HOLDER(OTHER THAN A REPRESENTATIVE PAYEE) DECEASED
    R16 RETURN: ACCOUNT FROZEN
    R17 RETURN: FILE RECORD EDIT CRITERIA
    R18 ACH REJECT: IMPROPER EFFECTIVE ENTRY DATE
    R19 ACH REJECT: AMOUNT FIELD ERROR
    R20 RETURN: NON-TRANSACTION ACCOUNT
    R21 RETURN: INVALID COMPANY IDENTIFICATION
    R22 RETURN: INVALID INDIVIDUAL IDENTIFICATION
    R23 RETURN: CREDIT ENTRY REFUSED BY RECEIVER
    R25 ACH REJECT: ADDENDA ERROR
    R26 ACH REJECT: MANDATORY FIELD ERROR
    R27 ACH REJECT: TRACE NUMBER ERROR
    R29 RETURN: CORPORATE CUSTOMER ADVISES NOT AUTHORIZED
    R30 ACH REJECT: RDFI NOT CHECK TRUNCATION PARTICIPANT
    R31 RETURN: PERMISSIBLE RETURN ENTRY
    R32 ACH REJECT: RDFI NON-SETTLEMENT
    R33 RETURN: RETURN OF XCK ENTRY
    R07 RETURN: AUTHORIZATION REVOKED BY CUSTOMER Resubmit your payment. You revoked the previous payment.
    R08 RETURN: PAYMENT STOPPED Resubmit your payment. We were unable to process the previous payment due to a stop payment request.
    R10 RETURN: CUSTOMER ADVISES NOT AUTHORIZED Resubmit your payment. We couldn’t process the previous payment because it was not authorized.
    R13 ACH REJECT: INVALID ACH ROUTING NUMBER Resubmit your payment and ensure that you provide a valid routing number for your financial institution.
    R24 RETURN: DUPLICATE ENTRY Contact your financial institution to determine if you need to resubmit your payment.
    R35 RETURN OF IMPROPER DEBIT ENTRY
    R28 ACH REJECT: ROUTING NUMBER CHECK DIGIT ERROR Resubmit your payment and ensure you provide a valid routing number for your financial institution.
    R34 ACH REJECT: LIMITED PARTICIPATION DFI Contact your financial institution to determine if they participate in ACH processing.
Removing Penalties Due to Unsuccessful Direct Pay Payments
  1. In rare cases, you may consider abating penalties resulting from an unsuccessful Direct Payment. This is true even if the taxpayer has not received the official penalty notice, and whether or not the taxpayer requests the abatement. A penalty may be abated without any written communication when it can be determined that the penalty should not have been assessed in the first place. See IRC 6404(a)(3), for additional information. If you can determine without additional information from the taxpayer that the penalty should not have been assessed, then the penalty can be abated without any written documentation.

    Caution:

    You must research the account thoroughly to make this determination. For example: Errors due to a misunderstanding of web site instructions. For example, the taxpayer accidentally inputs the routing number into the payment amount field.

  2. If you determine that the situation meets the criteria described in paragraph (1) and the penalty should not have been assessed, abate the penalty using a TC 281, RC 065, and PRC 015.

  3. Apologize verbally during telephone contact, or in writing for correspondence cases, if a notice or bill was sent to the taxpayer due to a penalty assessed in error.

  4. Determine if the taxpayer had an installment agreement that was affected by this situation. If so, follow IRM 21.2.1.48.1.2.2, Installment Agreement Issues Due to Unsuccessful Direct Pay Payments.

  5. In all other cases you must follow normal penalty relief procedures as described in IRM 20.1.2.1.6, Correcting Incorrect Assessments. IRS employees have a responsibility to correct incorrect penalty assessments when they are identified and the statutory period for making the correction has not expired. IRC 6404 (a) provides authority for IRS to abate at any time the unpaid portion of any liability that is excessive in amount, or that is erroneously or illegally assessed. A liability is excessive to the extent that it exceeds the amount provided for by law. For dishonored check penalties, follow IRM 20.1.10.4, IRC 6657 Bad Checks (Dishonored Checks or Other Forms of Payment).

  6. You may identify an erroneous overpayment. Simple input errors, such as the omission of a decimal point, resulting in a payment 100 times larger than intended.

    Note:

    You may identify an erroneous large dollar payment using the EFT number: the digits in positions 3-5 would be 222. (EFT number appears under a payment amount, similar to a DLN number)

Installment Agreement Issues Due to Unsuccessful Direct Pay Payments
  1. If a taxpayer's installment agreement (IA) erroneously defaulted due to the situations described in IRM 21.2.1.48.1.2.1, Removing Penalties Due to Unsuccessful Direct Pay Payments, follow the guidance in IRM 5.19.1.5.4.19, Revision/Reinstatement of IAs.

Electronic Funds Withdrawal (Direct Debit)

  1. Taxpayers who electronically file the returns or tax forms listed below via an electronic return originator (ERO) or online can simultaneously authorize the Treasury to make an electronic funds withdrawal (direct debit) from a designated checking or savings account to pay a balance due, including interest and/or penalty.

  2. The following types of taxes may be paid by electronic funds withdrawal when these forms are filed electronically:

    1. Form 1040 series

    2. Form 4868

    3. Form 2350

    4. Form 1040-ES

    5. Form 941

    6. Form 941-PR

    7. Form 941-SS

    8. Form 940

    9. Form 940-PR

    10. Form 943

    11. Form 943PR

    12. Form 944

    13. Form 945

    14. Form 1041

    15. Form 1065/1065B

    16. Form 1120/1120S/1120POL/ 1120F

    17. Form 7004

    18. Form 990-PF

    19. Form 8868

    20. Form 720

    21. Form 2290

  3. Late payments, including interest and/or penalty may be accepted if the electronic filing option extends beyond the return due date. There are no separate entries on the payment record for interest and/or penalty amounts. Those amounts should be combined with the tax due and the total should be reflected in the "Amount of Tax Payment" entry on the payment record.

  4. For some forms, such as Form 1040 and Form 1120 series returns, taxpayers may e-file early and schedule a payment for withdrawal on a future date, up to and including the return due date. After the return due date, the payment date is equal to the date the return is filed electronically. For example: If there are issues that prevent the return from being processed until 05/01/11, then 05/01/11 is treated as the payment date.

  5. Form 1040-ES payment requests must be authorized at the same time the Form 1040 series return, or Form 4868 extension is electronically filed. Estimated tax payments may be made whether or not there is a balance due on the return. Taxpayers may schedule payments for withdrawal on quarterly due dates (e.g., January 15, April 15, June 15, and September 15).

    Note:

    Quarterly due dates may change if they are impacted by a holiday or a weekend.

  6. Up to four estimated payments may be initiated with an electronically filed Form 1040 series return, or a Form 1040 return.Form 2350 extension, or Form 4868 extension form (using Modernized e-File (MeF) software). When one or more 1040-ES payments are made, IRS automatically enrolls a taxpayer in the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), if not already enrolled. An enrollment letter is only mailed to a taxpayer when the taxpayer calls EFTPS to request one. A taxpayer does not have to use EFTPS. We offer this option in case the taxpayer cancels an EFW payment and/or did not submit all four of their payments through EFW, and therefore now needs to make one or more additional payments. Taxpayers should call 1–800–316–6541 (available 24/7) for more information.

  7. For Form 2350 and Form 4868, taxpayers may schedule a payment for withdrawal on a future date up to and including the return due date.

  8. For Form 1065/1065B, taxpayers may schedule a payment for withdrawal on a future date up to and including the return due date.

  9. A taxpayer should refer to his/her tax preparation software or tax professional to determine if a partial payment may be made and to find out what the operational periods are for any electronic payment they may make.

  10. Taxpayers are prompted to enter the bank account number and routing transit number. Most rejects (a reject is technically referred to as a "return" by the financial institution) occur because one or more of these numbers do not exactly match the information contained by a taxpayer's financial institution. Taxpayers should verify these numbers with their financial institution prior to entering them on the payment record to prevent rejection of the payment.

  11. Taxpayers cannot change the bank account number or routing transit number once the return or form is filed. If the bank information changes, was entered incorrectly, or the account is closed prior to the scheduled payment date, the taxpayer should cancel the payment (time permitting) and make other payment arrangements to ensure that the balance is satisfied.

  12. To cancel scheduled payments, taxpayers should call toll-free, 1–888-353-4537. Cancellations must be requested no later than 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, at least two business days prior to the scheduled payment date.

  13. Taxpayers may also call the above number to inquire about the status of their payment(s) or for assistance regarding the letter 4870C they may have received pertaining to their electronic funds withdrawal request. This inquiry service is available year round, 24/7.

    Note:

    Taxpayers should wait at least ten days after returns are electronically filed and accepted before making any inquiries.

  14. The payer's bank statement provides confirmation of payment. The statement will include "United States Treasury Tax Payment" or something similar.

Payment by Credit Card or Debit Card (General)

  1. Credit or debit card payments are accepted through private industry card processors (also known as service providers) and/or software developers which charge convenience fees for the service.

  2. Convenience fees are based on the amount of tax payment and may vary by service provider. Fees are disclosed to the taxpayer prior to the completion of the transaction.

  3. The card processor provides IRS the necessary payment information to update the taxpayer's Master File account. IRS does not have access to the card number.

  4. The cardholder's statement provides confirmation of payment. The statement will include a "US Treasury Tax Payment" transaction. The convenience fee is listed separately on the statement.

  5. The payment date for the card transaction is the date the charge is authorized.

  6. Cardholders may make tax payments on behalf of dependents or other taxpayers.

Payment by Credit or Debit Card (Integrated e-file and e-pay)

  1. Taxpayers who e-file, may simultaneously file a balance due return and make a credit or debit card payment, if the tax preparation software used supports this payment option.

  2. "E-file and e-pay" card payments must be made at the time the return is filed electronically.

  3. Taxpayers are prompted to enter the card number and expiration date.

  4. The card payment is either authorized at the time the e-file return is transmitted or as part of the electronic return acknowledgment process.

  5. Taxpayers may refer to tax software or a tax professional for additional information, e.g., which cards are accepted.

Credit or Debit Card Payments (Pay by Phone or Internet)

  1. Beginning January 1, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. through December 31, 2017 at midnight (except where notated in the chart below), the following types of taxes may be paid by Phone or Internet using a credit or debit card.

    FORMS PAYMENT TYPE MAX PAYMENTS
    INDIVIDUAL
    Form 1040 series Current Tax due 2 per year
    Current Year Notice 2 per year
    Prior Year 2 per year
    Audit Adjustment/CP 2000/CP 2501/ CP 3219A 2 per year
    Installment Agreement 2 per month
    Extension to Pay No Limit
    Form 1040-ES Estimated Tax 2 per quarter

    Note:

    April 18, 2016 9:00 a.m. to January 15, 2017 midnight

    Form 1040-X Amended 2 per year
    Form 4868 Extension to File 2 per year

    Note:

    January 1, 2017 9:00 a.m. to April 18, 2017 midnight

    Form 5329 Current Tax due 2 per year
    Health Care - Form 1040 Audit Adjustment/CP 2000/CP 2501/CP 3219a (2015-2016) 2 per year
    Health Care - Form 1040 -Notice Payments Notice Balance Due (2015-2016) 2 per year
    Health Care - Form 1040X Amended (2014-2016) 2 per year
    Trust Fund Recovery Penalty Prior Year 2 per quarter
    Installment Agreement 2 per month
    BUSINESS
    Form 940 series Current Tax due 2 per year
    Prior Year 2 per year
    Installment Agreement 2 per month
    Amended or Adjusted 2 per year
    Form 941 series Current Tax due 2 per quarter
    Prior Year 2 per quarter
    Installment Agreement 2 per month
    Amended or Adjusted 2 per quarter
    Form 943 series Current Tax due 2 per year
    Prior Year 2 per year
    Installment Agreement 2 per month
    Amended or Adjusted 2 per year
    Form 944 series Current Tax due 2 per year
    Prior Year 2 per year
    Amended or Adjusted 2 per year
    Form 945 series Current Tax due 2 per year
    Prior Year 2 per year
    Installment Agreement 2 per month
    Amended or Adjusted 2 per year
    Form 1041 series Current Tax due 2 per year
    Prior Year 2 per year
    Form 1065 series Current Tax due 2 per year
    Prior Year 2 per year

    Note:

    Prior to January 1, 2016, refer to the Electronic Payment Options Home page at https://www.irs.gov/payments, or a prior version of this IRM section for calendar year 2015 processing period dates.

  2. Businesses that are required to make Federal Tax Deposits (FTDs) cannot use a card payment to meet deposit requirements: Federal Tax Deposits can only be made through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that all taxes are paid or deposited correctly and on time. The balance due reported on the tax return (current tax due), which does not require a federal tax deposit, may be paid with a credit or debit card.

  3. Payments may be made for the full outstanding balance or a partial payment (e.g., monthly installment agreement payments) may also be made.

  4. Past due payments (prior tax years and installment agreements) may be made for taxes up to 20 years past due. Time frames for making prior tax year payments vary depending on the form. For a list of the forms and time frames, refer to the Electronic Payment Options Home Page at https://www.irs.gov/payments, then select Credit or Debit Card.

  5. Taxpayers have the option to either use an IRS e-pay service provider or an integrated IRS e-file and e-pay service provider. The service providers offer these options to taxpayers who file on paper or electronically. The payment options are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service providers charge convenience fees for the services.

  6. Use the following chart when taxpayers inquire about credit or debit card payments.

    If And Then
    Taxpayer wants to pay their bill with a credit/debit card Has access to the internet Advise the taxpayer to go to the "Pay your Taxes by Credit or Debit Card" web site on irs.gov for service providers, telephone numbers, web sites and convenience fees. Provide one or more of the following options to the taxpayer.
    A) The taxpayer may select the “Payments” tab at the top of the irs.gov home page and follow the instructions from there.
    B) The taxpayer may search the irs.gov home page using key words such as "Credit Card" or "Debit Card" .
    C) If the taxpayer wants to input the link directly into their web browser, provide the full URL https://www.irs.gov/uac/Pay-Taxes-by-Credit-or-Debit-Card.

    Note:

    If the taxpayer requests the full URL, include hyphens, forward slashes, and upper and lower case letters.

    Does not have access to the internet Provide the taxpayer with the Preferred Provider name and toll-free pay-by-phone number for the type of tax they are paying. Advise the taxpayer that a convenience fee is charged for the service and may vary between providers.
    Taxpayer needs the phone number to pay with a credit/debit card Provide the taxpayer with the toll-free numbers for the Preferred Provider for the type of tax they are paying. Advise the taxpayer that the information can be found on the "Pay your Taxes by Credit or Debit Card" web site on irs.gov for service providers, telephone numbers, web sites and convenience fees. Provide one or more of the following options to the taxpayer.
    A) The taxpayer may select the “Payments” tab at the top of the irs.gov home page and follow the instructions from there.
    B) The taxpayer may search the irs.gov home page using key words such as "Credit Card" or "Debit Card" .
    C) If the taxpayer wants to input the link directly into their web browser, provide the full URL https://www.irs.gov/uac/Pay-Taxes-by-Credit-or-Debit-Card.

    Note:

    If the taxpayer requests the full URL, include hyphens, forward slashes, and upper and lower case letters.

    International taxpayer needs a non toll-free number Provide the taxpayer with the International Non Toll-Free number for the Preferred Provider. Advise the taxpayer that the information can be found on the "Pay your Taxes by Credit or Debit Card" web site on irs.gov for service providers, telephone numbers, web sites and convenience fees. Provide one or more of the following options to the taxpayer.
    A) The taxpayer may select the “Payments” tab at the top of the irs.gov home page and follow the instructions from there.
    B) The taxpayer may search the irs.gov home page using key words such as "Credit Card" or "Debit Card" .
    C) If the taxpayer wants to input the link directly into their web browser, provide the full URL https://www.irs.gov/uac/Pay-Taxes-by-Credit-or-Debit-Card.

    Note:

    If the taxpayer requests the full URL, include hyphens, forward slashes, and upper and lower case letters.

    Taxpayer requests an extension to pay or installment agreement, and the contact representative is providing the taxpayer with options for payment Has access to the internet Advise the taxpayer to go to the "Pay your Taxes by Credit or Debit Card" web site on irs.gov for service providers, telephone numbers, web sites and convenience fees. Provide one or more of the following options to the taxpayer.
    A) The taxpayer may select the “Payments” tab at the top of the irs.gov home page and follow the instructions from there.
    B) The taxpayer may search the irs.gov home page using key words such as "Credit Card" or "Debit Card" .
    C) If the taxpayer wants to input the link directly into their web browser, provide the full URL https://www.irs.gov/uac/Pay-Taxes-by-Credit-or-Debit-Card.

    Note:

    If the taxpayer requests the full URL, include hyphens, forward slashes, and upper and lower case letters.

    Does not have access to the internet. Provide the taxpayer with the Preferred Provider name and toll-free pay-by-phone telephone numbers for the type of tax they owe. Advise the taxpayer that a convenience fee is charged for the service and may vary between providers.
  7. The IRS has established a policy determining the Preferred Provider and the order of which the service providers are listed each filing season and they rotate the list of the companies via the IRM, IRS.gov, and the publications. The Preferred Provider is listed below first and the two other providers listed in subsequent order. The IRM will be updated every December to show the next year filing season’s Preferred Provider.

    Credit or Debit Card Service Providers
    PayUSAtax (WorldPay US, Inc.) https://payusatax.com/
    844-729-8298 Payment by Telephone (Toll-Free)
    855-508-0159 Live Operator (Toll-Free) (Automated phone system may identify the service as Value Payment Systems, a partner of WorldPay US, Inc),
    844-825-8729 Customer Service (Toll-Free)
    International Service (Non Toll-Free)
    1-615-550-1491 Payment
    1-615-942-1141 Live Operator
    1-615-550-1492 Customer Service
    Pay1040.com (Link2GovCorporation) https://www.pay1040.com/
    888-729-1040 Payment by Telephone (Toll-Free)
    888-658-5465 Customer Service (Toll-Free)
    1-501-748-8507 International Service (Non Toll-Free)

    Official Payments (Official Payments Corporation) https://www.officialpayments.com/fed
    888-872-9829 Payment by Telephone (Toll-Free)
    877-754-4420 Live Operator (Toll-Free)
    877-754-4413 Customer Service (Toll-Free)
    1-334-521-3842 International Service (Non Toll-Free)
  8. Credit and debit cards accepted may vary by service provider. The IRS does not determine which credit cards the service providers accept.

  9. Taxpayers can use debit cards issued by VISA and Master Card when making tax payments through the service providers. However, the service providers, VISA and Master Card treat debit cards and credit cards equally for the purpose of processing electronic tax payments.

    Note:

    Taxpayers wishing to make debit card transactions should be informed of the electronic funds withdrawal options and notified that funds will be withdrawn almost immediately if a debit card is used and advised that a convenience fee will be charged.

  10. Fees may vary by service provider. Convenience fees are disclosed to the taxpayer prior to the completion of the transaction. Fee calculations may also be obtained through the customer service numbers and web sites listed above. The IRS does not receive or charge any fees for payments. The IRS cannot pay or reimburse any convenience fee to taxpayers. The convenience fee charged in connection with the payment of income taxes by credit card is deductible if a taxpayer itemizes deductions. The convenience fee can only be claimed on a Schedule A form, line 23. The taxpayer can only deduct the portion that exceeds the 2% amount on line 38, Form 1040. The convenience fee paid by businesses that pay employment taxes is considered a deductible business expense.

  11. Taxpayers will be prompted to select a payment type (as described above) and enter the primary taxpayer’s Social Security Number (SSN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN), payment amount, card number, expiration date, and the cardholder's zip code as listed on that account. The tax year must be identified for prior tax years and installment agreement payments, advanced payments of determined deficiency, employment tax and Trust Fund Recovery Penalties.

  12. A confirmation number is provided at the end of the transaction. It may take the IRS 5-7 days to post the payment to the taxpayer's account. The payment date will be equal to the date the transaction was authorized.

  13. Taxpayers are limited in the number of payments that can be made through each service provider. These limits are posted on IRS.gov.

  14. The service provider forwards the Social Security Number (SSN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN) entered during the transaction to the IRS for validation.

    1. If the SSN/EIN forwarded by the service provider does not match IRS records, the payment will not be forwarded for posting.

    2. The payment may reject because the taxpayer entered an erroneous SSN/EIN during the transaction.

    3. If the SSN/EIN cannot be validated, the service provider will contact the taxpayer and provide advice on how to re-submit the card payment (if possible) or pay by check or money order.

  15. Once the SSN/EIN is validated, the service provider will forward the payment data (such as the TIN, payment amount, tax type, date and confirmation number) to the IRS.

  16. Payment vouchers (Form 1040-V, Form 940-V, Form 940-V(PR), Form 941-V, Form 941-V(PR), Form 941-V(SS), Form 943-V, Form 943-V(PR), Form 944-V, Form 945-V) and other payment related forms (Form 4868, 1040-ES, etc.) should not be forwarded to the IRS.

  17. For additional information on electronic payment options, including credit and debit cards, refer to the Electronic Payments Option page on IRS' web site at https://www.irs.gov/Payments.

IRS Web Site

  1. The IRS Web site provides tax information to the public. Taxpayers may:

    • Search publications by topic or keywords

    • Download forms, instructions and publications

    • Receive help with specific tax law questions via email

    • Read about local tax news and seminars

    • Locate IRS offices in their area

    • Resolve Tax Account Issues or obtain tax information

  2. Taxpayers may access the IRS Internet Web site at: https://www.irs.gov/.

  3. The Web site also offers information for tax practitioners, e.g., special advance notices and electronic filing information.

  4. Taxpayers may research tax law issues by viewing Frequently Asked Questions, Publications, Tax Trails or Tax Topics.

Downloading From the Web Site

  1. To download (receive data from another computer into one's own computer) from the Web site, Adobe Acrobat Reader software is needed to view and print PDF files. This is the preferred format for viewing or printing IRS forms, instructions and publications.

  2. Adobe Acrobat Reader is available free of charge from the IRS Web site, as well as other Web sites.

  3. Advise callers needing technical assistance (not tax law) on downloading forms and publications from our Web site to contact the FEDWORLD Help Desk at (703) 487-4608.

Internet Refund/Fact of Filing (IRFOF)

  1. Internet Refund/Fact of Filing (IRFOF) is an Internet application available through the IRS.gov home page, by clicking on "Where's my Refund." IRFOF is available in both English and Spanish.

  2. Taxpayers obtain refund status information using the following: shared secrets, SSN, Filing Status and expected refund amount.

  3. IRFOF provides refund status information consistent with, but not identical to the information provided by the telephone based applications. Special emphasis is placed on some exception conditions, freeze conditions and the Bureau of Fiscal Services (BFS) (formerly Financial Management Service (FMS)) Treasury Offset Program by providing detailed instructions and related information.

  4. For more information, see IRM 21.4.1.6, Internet Refund Fact Of Filing.

Get Transcript

  1. Get Transcript is an online ordering system for individual accounts, not business accounts, available through IRS.gov. The application provides two options: Get Transcript ONLINE and Get Transcript by MAIL. See IRM 21.2.3.3.2 , Get Transcript through IRS.gov , for additional information.

    Note:

    IRS does not fax copies of tax returns or provide MeF return transcripts. Taxpayers may receive a transcript of their return free of charge and must pay for a physical copy. Please refer to IRM 21.2.3.4, Get Transcript ONLINE through IRS.gov, for information on how to send a transcript of a return to the taxpayer.

E-Services

  1. E-Services is a suite of web-based products that provides customers with electronic options for interacting with the IRS.For instructions on how to use E-Services and become an IRS e-file participant, and to learn the guidelines for using the Integrated Enterprise Portal (IEP), review the following:

    • IRM 3.42.10, Authorized IRS e-file Providers

    • IRM 3.42.8, E-Services Procedures for Electronic Products and Services Support (EPSS)

    • Pub 3112, IRS e-file Application and Participation

  2. IRS employees also use the e-Services product Transcript Delivery System via the Employee User Portal (EUP). IRS employees should seek help with get-it services or by calling 1-866-743-5748 when problems are encountered.

  3. The following is a list of products (key words) and some definitions to help with the terminology of e-service:

    • Bulk TIN Matching (BTM) allows an authorized payer to match up to 100,000 TIN and name combinations against IRS records, within 24 hours, prior to filing information returns, e.g., Forms 1099, etc.

    • e-File Application:
      allows a third party to apply "online" to become an e-filer and allows approved applicants access to certain e-service products

    • Affordable Care Act (ACA) Application for TCC allows approved applicants to electronically file IRS ACA information returns.

    • New TIN Matching Application allows approved users to submit TIN/Name combinations against IRS records

    • Transcript Delivery System (TDS)
      Internal - allows IRS employees to deliver sanitized transcripts to taxpayers or their designee.
      External - allows authorized practitioners or state users to request and receive access to sanitized transcripts.

    • TIN Matching allows an external authorized payer to match up to 25 TIN and name combinations, per request, against IRS records during an "online" session. This allows a payer to check names and TINs prior to filing information returns, e.g., Forms 1099, etc.

Transcript Delivery System (TDS)

  1. The IRS Transcript Delivery System (TDS) is an e-service, for use by both internal and external users. The system allows users with appropriate authorization to obtain customized tax information products (return transcripts, account transcripts, records of account, wage and income information, and verification of non-filing) directly and instantaneously. IRM 21.2.3.4, TDS Transcript Delivery Methods, for additional information.

    Note:

    Return transcripts are only available for the current year through 3 years prior.

  2. The following products are available through TDS:

    • Account Transcripts

    • Return Transcripts

    • Record of Account

    • Wage and Income Information Documents

    • Verification of Non-Filing

IRS Free File Overview: The Free Way to Prepare and e-file Federal Taxes

  1. The IRS has a free way for everyone to prepare and e-file their individual federal tax returns. The program is called IRS Free File. It is available at https://www.IRS.gov/freefile. Free File also can be used to prepare and e-file Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. It is available at Free File: Everyone Can File an Extension for Free.

    Note:

    Some taxpayers trying to access free tax preparation and e-filing are using downloadable PDF fill-in forms versions of the Form 1040 series available through the Forms and Publications web site, which cannot be filed electronically. If taxpayers want to prepare and e-file their tax returns for free, they must use a Free File option above.

  2. There are two Free File options, offered through the IRS partnership with the Free File Alliance. Taxpayers can e-file either option for free.

    • Free File brand-name software, which selects the necessary forms and performs the computations.

    • Free File Fillable Forms, which offers electronic versions of IRS paper forms.

  3. IRS does not endorse any one Free File brand-name software product. The free file companies are IRS authorized e-file providers.

  4. Here’s how Free File works:

    • If the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is $66,000 or less, taxpayers are eligible for one of the software products listed on https://www.IRS.gov/freefile. These are commercial products offered by the Free File Alliance, the IRS’ private-sector partners. The software supports nearly all individual tax forms and schedules. See IRM 21.2.1.54.1, Getting Started Using Free File Software, for additional information.

    • If the AGI is more than $66,000, filers can use Free File Fillable Forms. This product performs basic math only. Taxpayers must be familiar with IRS forms and schedules, and they must be able to calculate their tax liability. See IRM 21.2.1.54.2, Getting Started Using IRS Free File Fillable Forms, for additional information.

    • All taxpayers, regardless of income, can use Free File to prepare and e-file Form 4868 at no cost to them. See IRM 21.2.1.54.3, How to use IRS Free File to File Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, for additional information.

  5. Some Free File software partners may charge fees for state returns. For more information about state tax preparation and e-file including forms and fees, check the partner company’s website.

    Note:

    Free File Fillable Forms does not support any state returns.

  6. To use free federal return preparation software, taxpayers must access https://www.IRS.gov/freefile and not the partner company web sites. There are additional instructions at https://www.IRS.gov/freefile.

Getting Started Using Free File Software

  1. The IRS Free File program leverages a private-public partnership to allow taxpayers to electronically prepare and file a federal return for free. Taxpayers must access and initiate return preparation with the Free File provider’s software from https://www.IRS.gov/freefile to be eligible for the free federal return and ensure it is free. IRS does not endorse any one Free File brand-name software product. The Free File companies are IRS authorized e-file providers.

  2. To qualify for a free federal return from any private-public partner, taxpayers must have an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $66,000 or less, regardless of return filing status. Private-public partners have additional qualification criteria that a taxpayer must meet to file a free federal return. Qualification criteria from all private-sector partners are displayed on the IRS Free File pages.

  3. Taxpayers can use the "Find Free File Software" tool at https://www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File:-Do-Your-Federal-Taxes-for-Free to get help finding a private-public partner that will provide a free return. After entering their information, the tool will find all the software products for which they are eligible. Once taxpayers have selected their private-public company, they can click the product link and will then see a message that they will leave the IRS.gov website and enter the private-public partner’s website.

  4. If taxpayers have questions or issues with the software product, they should contact the private-public partner for help. Assistance is provided free of charge. IRS assistors can not answer questions specific to any private-public software.

  5. For information about Free Extensions to File, see IRM 21.2.1.54.3, How to use IRS Free File to File Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, below.

  6. If taxpayers inquire about Free File in Spanish, direct then to the IRS.gov En Español link on the IRS.gov home page. That page will provide a link to the Spanish version of Free File, entitled https://www.irs.gov/Spanish/Free-File:-Presente-su-Declaración-Federal-de-Impuestos-gratuitamente.

Getting Started Using Free File Fillable Forms

  1. All taxpayers are eligible to use Free File Fillable Forms to prepare and e-file their federal income tax returns. However, some form and program limitations may prevent some taxpayers from efiling their return. The taxpayer should review the forms limitation page at Available Forms and Limitations. This free service can be accessed at https://www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File:-Do-Your-Federal-Taxes-for-Free. .

  2. The Free File Fillable Forms program offers nearly all individual federal tax forms and schedules. See the complete list of available forms at https://www.irs.gov/uac/List-of-Available-Free-File-Fillable-Forms.

  3. Free File Fillable Forms is best for taxpayers who have experience completing a paper Form 1040. Taxpayers must be able to read and understand tax forms and instructions.

    Caution:

    Free File Fillable Forms does not provide all the features offered by other Free File software. For example, Free File Fillable Forms does not identify available credits and deductions. It is important that the taxpayer understands the responsibility for the completeness and accuracy of any form submitted.

  4. Some important points regarding Free File Fillable Forms:

    • Taxpayers must create a new account each year.

    • The program is available from the beginning of the filing season through October 20th.

    • Taxpayers may access their Free File Fillable Forms account to prepare and file their return through the end of each year.

    • Taxpayers can correct and e-file previously rejected returns through the end of each year.

    • Taxpayers are able to print a copy of their return for their records, through October 20th each year.

    • Free File Fillable Forms supports free extensions to file. See IRM 21.2.1.54.3, How to use IRS Free File to File Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

  5. Free File Fillable forms does NOT support:

    • State return preparation.

    • Prior year tax return preparation.

  6. Free File Fillable Forms is third-party software. Taxpayers who select Free File Fillable Forms will be directed away from the IRS.gov web site and redirected to https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/. Free File Fillable Forms is operated by Free File Inc. formerly called the Free File Alliance, http://www.freefilealliance.org/

  7. After creating a password-protected account, taxpayers will receive automated emails from ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ . Taxpayers should not reply to this email for help with their account or tax return.

    Note:

    Email from this address never requests personal information from a taxpayer, such as bank account information, social security number, or date of birth.

  8. Taxpayers must select a tax form, i.e., Form 1040, Form 1040A, or Form 1040EZ and enter their tax information, as directed by the form and the instructions. They must determine their tax using the tax tables and enter it in the appropriate field. Taxpayers can print and e-file their returns at no cost. The user guide is available at Free File Fillable Forms User Guide.

  9. Free File Fillable Forms taxpayers who successfully transmit/e-file their return will receive notification from the IRS that their return was either accepted or rejected. The notification will come through ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ , usually within 2 hours from when the return was transmitted.

    Note:

    If taxpayers do not receive this email, they should check their email spam filters to ensure IRS confirmation was not misdirected to their "junk mail" or equivalent folders.

  10. Rejected returns are considered unfiled returns. The rejection notice to the taxpayer will include the MeF Business Rule for the rejection. Taxpayers should make the necessary corrections and resubmit the return. Taxpayers should use the Fillable Forms Error Search Tool.

  11. The IRS provides customer service support for this private-sector program. Taxpayers are encouraged to use the self-help tools to resolve rejected returns and other issues. Links to these tools are located on the Free File landing page at www.IRS.gov/freefile. Taxpayers who are unable to resolve their rejected return errors may call 1-800-829-1040. CSRs should authenticate the taxpayer and use the Return Review Display (RRD) system to assist taxpayers with rejected returns. CSRs should also review the Free File Fillable Forms information in the Accounts Management Research Portal. CSRs who are not account skilled should transfer these taxpayers to # 92020 (IMF ACCT English) or # 92021 (IMF ACCT Spanish); for sites using Infrastructure Upgrade Project (IUP) use 1020 (IMF ACCT English) or 1021 (IMF ACCT Spanish). Accounts trained CSRs authenticate taxpayers and use RRD to assist with rejected returns.

  12. CSRs speaking with taxpayers should encourage taxpayers encountering problems with filing their Free File Fillable Forms return, including rejected returns, to use the self-help methods available on IRS.gov. CSRs that identify taxpayers calling with a Free File Fillable Forms return problem, who have internet access available while on the call, should assist by helping the taxpayer to use the self-help methods provided on IRS.gov while on the call. CSRs should encourage the taxpayer to use the self-help method used on the call if the taxpayer encounters any other issues in filing.

  13. CSRs must not provide taxpayers with the IRS.gov Website Help Desk number for questions concerning IRS account issues or tax law questions. Also, CSRs should not refer taxpayers to the e-Help Desk for Free File Fillable Forms issues. The e-Help Desk phone line is reserved to help tax preparers and Electronic Return Originators (ERO).

  14. Taxpayers may experience access, display, and printing issues if they do not follow the recommended browsers or meet the computer requirements. See https://www.irs.gov/uac/minimum-computer-requirements-for-free-file-fillable-forms.

  15. If taxpayers with income under $66,000 are having difficulty using Free File Fillable Forms, refer them to Free File brand-name software. See IRM 21.2.1.54.1, Getting Started Using Free File Software.

How to use IRS Free File to File Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return

  1. All taxpayers, regardless of Age, AGI or residency can use Free File to prepare and efile Form 4868 at no cost to them. A list of Free File partners that provide free extensions is available at Free File: Everyone Can File an Extension for Free.

  2. Although these Free File partners will provide a free extension to everyone, restrictions age, AGI and residency will apply when filing Form 1040, Form 1040A and Form 1040EZ.

  3. Free File Fillable Forms has no restrictions on age, AGI or residency. All taxpayers may use Free File Fillable Forms to file a free federal extension on Form 4868 and a free Federal return on Form 1040, Form 1040A and Form 1040EZ.

LEXIS-NEXIS and WESTLAW

  1. The LEXIS-NEXIS electronic research contract provides easy research of authoritative information materials, such as:

    • Codes and Regulations (federal/state)

    • Legislation (federal/state)

    • Worldwide News and Business (magazines/newspapers)

    • Corporate and Financial (current assessments, analysts' reports, etc.)

  2. WESTLAW is another electronic research tool used for tax law, advanced topics, news, business, information, and all items referenced other than basic tax law.

  3. "LEXIS or WESTLAW Password" ; IRS ONLY uses the LEXIS portion of "LEXIS-NEXIS" and WESTLAW is omitted entirely in the password context.

  4. All users are "profiled" for LEXIS (to access basic tax law research) and WESTLAW (advance tax law research, news, business, and other resources).

Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHOH) Callers and TTY/TDD Equipment

  1. Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHOH) callers who use the TTY/TDD equipment are instructed in Pub 17, Your Federal Income Tax (For Individuals), to call toll-free, 1-800-829-4059, for assistance with tax law and account inquiries and/or to order forms and publications. Trained CSRs, using dedicated terminals, in the Atlanta, Dallas and/or Indianapolis call sites, answer both tax law and account calls through the TTY/TDD systems.

    Note:

    Starting January 2nd, 2014 see IRM 21.1.1.6(5) (6) (7), Customer Service Representative (CSR) Duties.

  2. To contact IRS, DHOH callers may choose to use the Federal Relay Service (FRS), a state relay service or any other relay service, or any third party assistant (friend or family).

  3. If the taxpayer (through the relay operator) requests an ACS toll-free telephone number, or if the tax account is in a collection status, advise the relay assistant to call:

    • 1-800-829-7650 for W&I ACS sites,,

    • 1-800-829-3903 for SB/SE ACS sites, or,

    • 1-800-829-3909 for TE/GE ACS sites.

  4. If the call is not tax account related, (i.e., general information or tax law), you may answer any/all questions and assist the taxpayer through any assistant.

    Note:

    Starting January 2nd, 2014, see IRM 21.1.1.6(5) (6) (7)Customer Service Representative (CSR) Duties, for new tax law procedures.

  5. If the call is tax account related, before providing tax account information, you must:

    1. Complete required taxpayer authentication (as outlined in IRM 21.1.3.2.3, Required Taxpayer Authentication) as if you were talking to the taxpayer.

    2. State the following: "Since you have placed this call with the assistance of a Relay Service Operator (RSO), we assume that in doing so, you have consented to the disclosure of your return information to the Relay Services Operator to the extent necessary to assist you with your question."

      Note:

      If the customer does not agree to oral consent (through the RSO), apologize to the customer (through the RSO) for the inconvenience. Because of disclosure rules, we cannot provide the requested information through this connection without oral consent. These rules were established to protect the privacy of all taxpayers.

    3. Record ODC (Oral Disclosure Consent) statement given as a history item on the IDRS tax module and/or AMS. However, it is not necessary to record the name and telephone number of the relay service operator on the account. See also IRM 21.1.3.3.2, Oral Disclosure Consent/Oral TIA (Paperless F8821).

    4. Proceed with the call and provide the necessary tax account information.

    Reminder:

    Sometimes the relay services call the regular toll-free assistance lines. Treat calls in the same manner as any other tax assistance calls.

Online Payment Agreement (OPA) for IMF Debts

  1. Online Payment Agreement (OPA) is an online application on the IRS.gov which allows individuals who owe $50,000 or less in aggregate assessed tax, penalties, and interest, to request a payment agreement. Taxpayers, who owe less than $100,000 in aggregate assessed tax, penalties, and interest can request a full pay agreement.

    Note:

    Taxpayers establishing a monthly payment agreement for balances of $25,001 to $50,000 must establish as a Direct Debit Installment Agreement (DDIA).

  2. OPA is accessed by clicking the Payments tab on https://www.irs.gov/ and clicking the Online Payment Agreement link.

  3. Using OPA, users can receive immediate notification of approval to establish streamlined payment agreements on liabilities reported using the following forms:

    • Form 1040 (MFT 30, 31)

    • Form 5329 (MFT 29)

    • Form 8278 (MFT 55)

    • Individual Shared Responsibility Payment (MFT 35/65)

  4. OPA allows taxpayers or their authorized representative (Power of Attorney) to self qualify and apply for an installment agreement. Agreements completed through OPA will have an originator code of 82 or 83.

  5. OPA offers users the ability to:

    • Agree to pay now

    • Arrange a full pay agreement balances less than $100,000 in aggregate assessed tax, penalties, and interest

    • Arrange a streamlined monthly payment agreement for individuals who owe $50,000 or less in aggregate assessed tax, penalties, and interest.

    • Establish pre-assessed streamlined agreement on current tax year Form 1040 liability for a balance of up to $50,000.

    • Establish pre-assessed agreement for the individual shared responsibility payment

    • Establish a pending agreement if they cannot pay within 72 months or by the CSED and agree to send in financial information

    • Establish an agreement on any new unassessed assessment resulting from an examination audit, Automated Underreporter (AUR) or Automated Substitute For Return (ASFR) case

  6. OPA offers the following types of monthly installment agreements:

    • Standard

    • Paperless Direct Debit Installment Agreement (DDIA)

  7. OPA will also permit individuals to:

    • Revise their payment due dates and/or amounts on an existing Standard installment agreement.

    • Revise an existing short term extension to a monthly payment plan.

    • Revise a routine installment agreement to a direct debit plan

    • Add new assessed balances to existing IAs, if the agreement meets streamlined criteria.

    • Reinstate a defaulted agreement if the taxpayer has defaulted more than twice in the past (TERM-IA) indicator on CC ENMOD. There is no change to Voice Balance Due (VBD).

    • Receive information on delinquent tax returns.

    • Establish agreements on accounts in notice status or status 22/24

    Note:

    An IDT indicator does not block the use of OPA.

  8. OPA cannot be used to :

    • Establish tiered payments (multiple payment amounts). Only one payment amount can be input.

    • Revise a DDIA in any way. This includes adding a liability, changing a payment date, payment amount, updating a routing or account number, or changing an existing DDIA to a regular IA.

    • Establish agreements on accounts in status 26 and 72

    • Add unassessed balances to existing agreements on assessed balances.

    • Establish agreements with both assessed and unassessed modules.

    • Establish agreements if the account has an interest or penalty computation hold.

    • Establish cross-reference agreements.

    • Establish Manually Monitored Installment Agreements (MMIA).

    • Establish Non-Streamlined payment agreements.

  9. The OPA application determines eligibility, filing compliance, and checks for excluding account conditions. The system verifies that the proposed payment meets the streamlined agreement criteria, and provides a payment estimator tool to help determine a realistic payment amount.

  10. Taxpayers register for Secure Access eAuthentication (see IRM 21.2.1.58, Secure Access eAuthentication) when using the OPA application. By registering, the user creates a user name/password combination which retains the information and expedites future access to OPA. As part of registration, the taxpayer is asked for an email address. A confirmation code is sent to that email address for the taxpayer to continue with the registration process.

    Caution:

    The confirmation code sent to their email is only valid for 15 minutes.

  11. The Secure Access eAuthentication application requires the taxpayer to provide the following information:

    • Name

    • Social Security Number (SSN) or Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)

    • Date Of Birth (DOB)

    • Address

    • Filing Status (FS)

  12. CSRs speaking with taxpayers should encourage taxpayers encountering problems to use the self-help methods available on IRS.gov. CSRs that identify taxpayers calling with a problem, who have internet access available while on the call, should assist by helping the taxpayer to use the self-help methods provided on IRS.gov while on the call. CSRs should encourage the taxpayer to use the self-help method used on the call if the taxpayer encounters any other issues.

  13. Taxpayers who want to establish a pre-assessed agreement on a current tax year Form 1040 liability or individual shared responsibility payment prior to a notice being sent are requested to enter the balance they will owe, as shown on their Income Tax Return.

  14. Power of Attorneys (POA) who have filed Form 2848 and are authorized to represent a taxpayer may use OPA on their client(s) behalf. To authorize, the POA must enter;

    • Taxpayer's SSN or ITIN

    • Their Centralized Authorization File (CAF) number, and

    • Either the six digit Caller ID number from the taxpayer's notice or signature date on Form 2848

    This information is used to ensure that the POA is authorized to represent their client in the OPA application. If subsequent Forms 2848 have been filed by the POA, the POA signature date of the most recent Form 2848 will be required. All outstanding tax periods must be included on the most recently filed Form 2848 for the OPA application to process.

  15. Taxpayers who want to establish a pre-assessed agreement after receiving notification of new assessment resulting from an examination audit, Automated Underreporter (AUR) or Automated Substitute for Return (ASFR) case are requested to enter the balance they will owe, as shown on their CP 2000 or Notice of Deficiency. They must follow the authentication procedures shown in (10) and (11) above.

  16. Power of Attorneys who wish to establish a pre-assessed agreement for their client(s) on a current tax year Form 1040 liability or individual shared responsibility payment , prior to a notice being sent, are requested to enter the balance owed, as shown on their client’s Income Tax Return. Power of Attorneys who have filed Form 2848 with the IRS and are authorized to represent their client(s) (the taxpayer) are required to enter their client’s SSN or ITIN; if filing jointly, the spouse’s SSN or ITIN; the AGI from the client’s last year’s Income Tax Return; and their own CAF number. This information is used to ensure that the POA is authorized to represent their client in the OPA application.

  17. Users are allowed three attempts ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡

  18. Transactions that do not post due to system/network problems (e.g., IDRS application down) or account conditions beyond design for the application will be captured in the OPA Management Action Report (MAR) and will be worked by designated personnel in ACS Support and CSCO at Cincinnati (for SBSE), Fresno (for W&I, ACS cases Status 22/24) and Kansas City (for W&I non-ACS cases). For more information, see IRM 5.19.1.5.8.1, OPA Management Action Reports (MAR).

Online Payment Agreements for Certain BMF Debts

  1. Online Payment Agreement (OPA) is an online application on IRS.gov, which allows in-business BMF taxpayers to request an In Business Trust Fund (IBTF) Express installment agreement for balances of $25,000 or less (CC SUMRY balance). The dollar threshold for granting the IBTF Express IA includes only the unpaid balance of the assessment (UBA); however, the UBA and all accruals must be full paid in 24 months. The amount owed must be from the current period, or prior calendar year. More BMF installment agreement capabilities may be added with future updates.

  2. The OPA will protect the statute, ASED and CSED by automatically determining if the proposed monthly payments will full pay the amount (including accruals) in the time allowed. If the payment does not meet criteria, OPA will advise the user of the minimum monthly payment needed to proceed. Balances of $10,001 to $25,000 are required to be Direct Debit Installment Agreements (DDIA).

  3. All DDIA agreements must be enacted through a United States financial institution. OPA will not allow installment agreements of any type or balance for taxpayers listing a foreign address on filed returns.

  4. Using OPA, users can receive immediate notification of approval to establish payment agreements on liabilities reported using the following forms:

    • Form 941 (MFT 01)

    • Form 1120 (MFT 02)

    • Form 1065 (MFT 06)

    • Form 940 (MFT 10)

    • Form 943 (MFT 11)

    • Form 944 (MFT 14)

    • Form 945 (MFT 16)

    • Form 2290 (MFT 60)

  5. OPA allows businesses or their authorized representative (Power of Attorney) to self-qualify and apply for an installment agreement.

  6. OPA offers users the ability to:

    • Agree to pay now

    • Arrange a short-term agreement

    • Arrange a monthly payment agreement

  7. OPA offers the following types of monthly installment agreements:

    1. Standard

    2. Paperless Direct Debit Installment Agreement (DDIA)

  8. OPA will also permit individuals to:

    • Revise their payment due dates and/or amounts on an existing agreement (Standard only)

    • Convert an existing short term extension to a monthly payment plan

    • Convert a routine installment agreement to a direct debit or payroll deduction plan

    • Establish agreements on accounts in notice status or status 22/24

  9. OPA can NOT be used to:

    • Establish tiered payments (multiple payment amounts). Only one payment amount can be input

    • Cancel an existing DDIA

    • Revise a DDIA in any way. This includes adding a liability, changing a payment date, payment amount, or updating an Account Number

    • Establish agreements on accounts in status 26, and 72

  10. If a business or POA meets the above criteria and agree to use OPA, advise them of the authentication process.

Verification Issues for BMF OPA Users
  1. BMF taxpayers (or their POAs) must verify their authority to establish an online agreement by providing:

    • The business EIN

    • The date the EIN was established (MM/YYYY) and

    • The business address

    • The Caller ID number provided in their notice

  2. Some taxpayers have difficulty in providing the date the EIN was established. Inform the taxpayer that this date can be found on the CP Notice 575, Notice of New Employer Identification Number. It is the date the notice was issued.

  3. If the caller does not have access to that notice, complete BMF authentication as described in IRM 21.1.3.2.3, Required Taxpayer Authentication. Once you have successfully completed this, you may provide the information to the taxpayer. The Entity Establishment Date consists of the month and year the business was established (MMYYYY). Locate the information using CC ENMOD. The date is located in the BMF Entity Data section and identified as "Entity Establishment Date."

  4. Power of Attorneys (POA) who have filed Form 2848 with the IRS and are authorized to represent their client(s) are required to enter their client’s EIN, followed by their own Centralized Authorization File (CAF) number, the six digit Caller ID number from the notice or signature date on Form 2848. This information is used to ensure that the POA is authorized to represent their client in the OPA application.

  5. Users are allowed three attempts to match shared secrets. If they fail the third time, they will receive a failed taxpayer login message that will provide a toll-free phone number to call for assistance.

Secure Access eAuthentication

  1. Secure Access eAuthentication is a rigorous identity-verification process that helps protect taxpayer data and IRS systems from automated cyberattacks. Before accessing certain IRS online self-help tools, users must first register through Secure Access and authenticate their identities. Thereafter, each time registered users return to the tool, they must enter both their credentials (username and password) plus a security code sent via mobile phone text.

  2. Secure Access eAuthentication is accessed automatically when individuals visit any of the IRS self-help tools protected by the authentication process. Individuals can learn more about this process at Secure Access: How to Register for Certain Online Self-Help Tools, which can be found at www.irs.gov/secureaccess. Currently, it is utilized by the following applications:

    1. Get Transcript ONLINE - See IRM 21.2.1.52, Get Transcript, for more information.

    2. IP PIN - See IRM 25.23.2.20, Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN), for more information.

    3. Online Payment Agreement - See IRM 21.2.1.57, Online Payment Agreement (OPA) for IMF Debts, and IRM 21.2.1.57.1, Online Payment Agreement for Certain BMF Debts, for more information.

    4. Online Account - See IRM 21.2.1.62, Online Account, for more information.

    5. FACTA QI

    6. ePostcard

    7. Taxpayer Digital Communications (TDC)

  3. To successfully authenticate their identities, first time users will need the following:

    • A readily available email address;

    • Social Security Number, secondary taxpayers on a joint account should use their own SSN and financial information;

    • Date of Birth;

    • The filing status and address from the last-filed tax return; and/or

    • Personal account number from a:
      credit card, or
      home mortgage loan, or
      home equity (second mortgage) loan, or
      home equity line of credit (HELOC), or
      car loan

    • A readily available mobile phone. Landlines, Skype, Google Voice or similar virtual phones as well as phones associated with pay-as-you-go plans cannot be used. Only U.S. based mobile phones may be used. Your name must be associated with the mobile phone account. If the taxpayer cannot pass this phase of verification, they will need to use the Activation Code by Mail method. The taxpayer may have a phone associated with their name but may not be able to pass verification due to the third party information. The agency the IRS uses for verification may not have all or up to date information for that mobile phone number. You will need to apologize and offer the alternative method for the activation code. See the Note below for further information on First-time users who opt for and Activation Code by Mail below.

    • Users who placed a security credit freeze with Equifax should contact Equifax and ask to temporarily remove the credit freeze. Once successfully registered, users should request Equifax to restore the freeze.

      Note:

      The three applications vary slightly in what is requested of users, such as the amount of financial information to provide, and accepting an ITIN or SSN compared to only accepting an SSN.

  4. Part 1 of the registration process: user submits their name plus an email address. A confirmation code is sent immediately to the email address and must be entered into the Secure Access prompt by the user. The user must successfully pass each part of the verification process in order to advance to the next stage.

  5. Part 2: user submits identity proofing information such as name, Social Security Number, date of birth, as well as filing status and address as listed on last filed tax return.

  6. Part 3: user submits financial information for verification such as the last eight digits of a personal credit card or account numbers for a car loan, home mortgage, home equity loan or home equity line of credit. The IRS only uses the financial information to verify identity. The taxpayer is not charged a fee, and the companies do not provide the IRS with information regarding account balances. This action creates a "soft inquiry" with the date of the request. Soft inquiries do not affect the taxpayer’s credit score and are displayed in the version of the credit profile viewable only to consumers and not reported to lenders. No additional soft inquiries are generated once the taxpayer has completed registration.

  7. Part 4: user submits telephone number for a text-enabled mobile phone associated with their name. If verified an activation code is immediately sent to the mobile phone and must be entered at the prompt. If the taxpayer cannot pass this phase of verification, they will need to use the Activation Code by Mail method. The taxpayer may have a phone associated with their name but may not be able to pass verification due to the third party information. The agency the IRS uses for verification may not have all or up to date information for that mobile phone number. You will need to apologize and offer the alternative method for the activation code. After authentication, the user will create a user name and password, plus select a site image and site phrase.

    Note:

    Alternatively, the user may request an Activation Code by Mail, which will be delivered via U.S. Postal Service within five to ten calendar days. Users will still need a text-enabled mobile phone. Upon receipt of the Activation Code by Mail, users should return to Secure Access and enter the activation code at the prompt. Users will be prompted to enter a mobile phone number (this path does not require the phone to be associated with the user’s name) and a security code text will immediately be sent to the mobile phone to verify its number. After verification, the user will be directed to create a username and password, plus select a site image and site phrase.

  8. Taxpayers who are experiencing difficulty using Secure Access eAuthentication when registering for Get Transcript ONLINE may call the toll-free line requesting assistance. Follow IRM 21.2.3.5.9.2, IMF Transcript Ordering.

    Note:

    AM Toll-free employees should not address questions related to Secure Access eAuthentication. Advise the caller to follow guidance provided by the application.

    Caution:

    Toll-free employees should not request or use a taxpayer's user name and/or password. Toll-free employees should not attempt to login to Secure Access for the taxpayers.

  9. After successfully authenticating their identities, taxpayers will receive a CP 301, Online Services eAuthentication Notice, in the mail confirming account creation. Returning users can only access the online tools if they provide their username and password PLUS a six-digit security code that will be sent to the mobile phone number entered as part of the registration process. This two-step process (credentials and security code) allows Secure Access to add an extra layer of protection to selected IRS.gov self-help tools. The process makes it more difficult for automated cyberattacks or account-takeover attempts to be successful.

  10. The EPSS Help Desk will assist callers who have already established an online account with certain account maintenance issues. EPSS supports the following types of Secure Access eAuthentication calls:

    • Login issues (password, User ID, locked out)

    • Customer believes they did not create account

    • Customer needs account disabled/enabled

    • Customer is experiencing problems with accessibility software (Dragon, Zoomtext, etc.)

  11. CSRs speaking with taxpayers should encourage taxpayers encountering problems to use the self-help methods available on IRS.gov and within the applications by accessing the frequently asked questions and hyperlinks.

  12. If the caller is experiencing an issue as stated in (10) refer the caller to the toll free number provided in the system message.

    Note:

    The EPSS Help Desk does not provide technical support for other issues involving Secure Access eAuthentication, Get Transcript, Online Payment Agreements (OPA) or the IP PIN application.

Where’s My Amended Return (WMAR)

  1. Where’s My Amended Return (WMAR) is an Integrated Customer Communication Environment (ICCE) application, established March 18, 2013, to provide automated access to the processing status of Form 1040X US Amended Return. It is available in English and Spanish, and accessible by:

    • Telephone, using the toll-free number 866-464-2050 (must use a touch-tone phone)

    • Using the “Where’s My Amended Return?” (WMAR) online tool available from the home page on IRS.gov

  2. Taxpayers can track the status of their Form 1040X for the current year and up to three prior years. They must wait three weeks after filing the form before using WMAR. Consistent messages are provided by the phone and web versions of WMAR.

  3. Taxpayers authenticate by inputting the following information:

    1. Social Security Number or Taxpayer Identification Number

    2. Date of Birth

    3. Zip Code

  4. Once authenticated, taxpayers can find out the status of their Form 1040X across the following three processing stages:

    1. Received Status – Taxpayer is provided the received date and told to wait up to 16 weeks for processing

    2. Adjusted Status – Taxpayer is given the adjustment posting date and advised to wait 3 weeks to receive their refund and/or notice.

    3. Completed Status – Taxpayer should have received their refund and/or notice information and the inquiry date is greater than 3 weeks from the adjustment date.

  5. WMAR is designed to lock out taxpayer’s after three failed attempts to authenticate. The lock out period for three failed attempts is a 24 hour period.

  6. The telephone WMAR application is designed to route taxpayers to a live assistor if Identity Theft or Date of Death indicators are located on the Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS). If the Online WMAR application identifies either of those indicators, it will provide a callback number with a specific three-digit extension

  7. The following Amended Tax Returns cannot be accessed using WMAR:

    1. Carrybacks (Applications and Claims)

    2. Form 843 Claims

    3. Injured Spouse Claims

    4. Form 1040 marked as an amended or correct return

    5. Amended Returns with a foreign address

    6. Business Amended Returns

    7. Any amended return routed/received outside the processing operations and received by a specialized function (i.e. Examination Department, Bankruptcy Department, Form 1040X response to a CP2000, Request for Verification of Unreported Income, Payments or Credits)

  8. For more information, see IRM 21.5.3.3.1, Locating Amended Returns (Form 1040X), and IRM 21.4.1.4, Refund Inquiry Response Procedures.

IRS PayNearMe - Paying with Cash at a Retail Partner

  1. PayNearMe is a new payment option available to taxpayers through https://www.irs.gov/Payments and participating retail stores. It is a secure walk up cash payment method that converts cash payments to electronic transactions. It utilizes a barcode and retail locations to complete the transactions.

  2. This cash option is only available at participating 7-Eleven locations. There are no participating locations in the following states at this time: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wyoming.

  3. PayNearMe is a payment option for taxpayers who prefer to pay their taxes with cash.

  4. PayNearMe will be deployed in phases:

    • Individual Master File (IMF) taxpayers will have access March 17, 2016

    • The Business Master File (BMF) option is currently unavailable

  5. Official Payments, one of the payment processors, will offer PayNearMe as a payment option on their site for individuals. This can be accessed on the IRS.gov website by going to the "Payments" tab, or by entering the website address https://www.irs.gov/Payments, and selecting the "Cash at a Retail Partner" link in the "Other Ways You Can Pay" box.

  6. PayNearMe charges a service fee which is separate from tax obligations. The fee structure is:

    • Individuals will pay $3.99 per transaction with a $1,000.00 daily payment limit

  7. Taxpayers who want to pay their taxes with cash through the IRS PayNearMe option should do the following:

    1. Taxpayers should go to https://www.irs.gov/Payments to begin the payment process. In the "Other Ways You Can Pay" box, click on "Cash at a Retail Partner" and follow the instructions on that page.

    2. The taxpayer will receive an email from Official Payments confirming their information.

    3. The IRS will then verify the information sent by Official Payments.

      Note:

      This process may take two to three business days.

    4. PayNearMe notifies the taxpayer via email with next step instructions and a barcode. The barcode is available to be printed or displayed on mobile devices.

      Note:

      The PayNearMe barcode will expire in 7 days after it is emailed to the taxpayer.

    5. Taxpayers present the barcode at a participating retail location. The retail clerk scans the barcode and collects the cash and fee.

    6. The retail clerk presents the taxpayer with a receipt to confirm the transaction. Important: Taxpayers should keep this receipt as proof of payment.

    7. Official Payments and PayNearMe send transactions for processing.

      Note:

      It usually takes two business days for payments to be submitted to the IRS. Taxpayers should allow for this to make timely payments in order to avoid interest and penalties.

  8. Telephone assistors should encourage taxpayers inquiring about paying a balance to utilize IRS Direct Pay, IRM 21.2.1.48.1, IRS Direct Pay, as a quick and easy way to make payments towards their IMF balance. Assistors should encourage cash paying taxpayers to use the PayNearMe option.

    Note:

    Taxpayers can access Direct Pay online through IRS.gov where they may select the "Payments" tab and follow the instructions.

  9. IRS PayNearMe is currently only available to IMF taxpayers. The service can be used for the following payment types:

    • Form 1040 series

    • Form 1040 ES Estimated Tax

    • Form 4868 Automatic Extension to File Taxes

    • Installment Agreements

    • Trust Fund Recovery

    • Form 5329 Return for Individual Retirement Arrangement Taxes

  10. Please advise joint filers using PayNearMe to complete the "Verify Identity" page using the primary filer's information, even if the taxpayer is making an estimated tax payment. This will ensure the payment is promptly applied to the balance due account.

  11. IRS PayNearMe is a self-help application, so the number of phone inquiries should be limited. For more information, see IRM 21.2.1.60.1, Responding to IRS PayNearMe Inquiries.

    Note:

    The IRS PayNearMe web pages are not yet available in Spanish.

Responding to IRS PayNearMe Inquiries

  1. Important: Telephone assistors should encourage taxpayers to use IRS Direct Pay, IRM 21.2.1.48.1, IRS Direct Pay, for inquiries on paying a balance due account. Telephone assistors should encourage cash paying taxpayers to use the PayNearMe option. Taxpayers may access IRS PayNearMe by typing "Payments" into the IRS.gov search field and clicking on the "Cash at a Retail Partner" link.

    Note:

    Emphasize that PayNearMe is a quick and easy way to make cash payments towards their IMF balance.

    Note:

    Inform the taxpayer there are fees to use this service.

  2. Since IRS PayNearMe is a self-service application, the taxpayer should be able to address most issues using online resources. Some PayNearMe users, however, may experience difficulty completing the identity verification process, and will ask you to check that the information they are using is accurate. Warning: You must successfully complete Taxpayer Authentication as described in IRM 21.1.3.2.3, Required Taxpayer Authentication, before providing the caller with any account information. If the taxpayer's only issue is to verify address information, it will be necessary to complete additional authentication as described in IRM 21.1.3.2.4, Additional Taxpayer Authentication.

  3. If taxpayers experience technical difficulties with the PayNearMe application, they should be directed to the PayNearMe customer service number: 888-714-0004.

  4. Submitting a payment with PayNearMe may require the user to provide information from a different tax year to verify their identity. This is where many verification errors occur, as users tend to use the most current information. Explain to the caller the following steps:

    • Tax Information - The user enters payment information, including, form type, reason for payment, and the tax year the payment should be applied to.

    • Verify Identity - The user enters information from a past year tax return for identity verification purposes. The tax year the user selects for identification verification does not have to match the tax year for the payment. The user must use the exact information (name, address, filing status, etc) from the return they are using to verify their identity.

  5. Follow the instructions below for other IRS PayNearMe inquiries:

    If Then
    Taxpayer calls with general questions about IRS PayNearMe Tell the taxpayer that a link for IRS PayNearMe can be found on the "Payments" tab of the IRS.gov home page by clicking the "Cash at a Retail Partner" link.
    Taxpayer calls and they are experiencing difficulties while at a retail location while trying to make their payment. Tell the taxpayer to call the PayNearMe customer service telephone number 888-714-0004.
    Taxpayer calls to verify payment. Research IDRS. See IRM 21.5.7.4.7.14.1, Electronic Funds Withdrawal (Direct Debit) and Credit Card Payment Tracer. The fourth digit in the EFT number will be a "6" and the 10th and 11th position will be "59" , "60" , or "61" .
    Taxpayer calls asking if payments made on the due date will be applied on the same day. Tell the taxpayer that as long as the payment, including an installment agreement payment, was submitted on or before the due date and a confirmation number was received, the payment will be considered timely.

    Note:

    Applicable penalties and interest will continue to accrue on unpaid balances until paid in full.

    Taxpayer calls with IRS PayNearMe related penalty issues SeeIRM 21.2.1.60.2.1, Removing Penalties Due to Unsuccessful PayNearMe Payments
    Taxpayer calls but didn’t receive email notification with barcode Taxpayer verification may take up to 48 hours to process as well as generate the email with the barcode. Additionally, advise taxpayers to check their spam filters to ensure the email hasn’t been sent to a spam folder in their email inbox. If this is not successful, provide the taxpayer with the PayNearMe customer service number 888-714-0004.

Inquiries Regarding Verification of Official Payment PayNearMe Payments

  1. Taxpayers will receive a receipt from the retail location. Important: Taxpayers should keep this receipt as proof of payment.

  2. Taxpayers will also receive a notification of a successful transaction via email from Official Payments

  3. If the taxpayer did not receive an email advise taxpayers to check their spam filters to ensure the email hasn’t been sent to a spam folder in their email inbox. If the taxpayer did not receive a confirmation email, apologize and provide the taxpayer with the PayNearMe customer service telephone number 888-714-0004.

  4. Research IDRS. See IRM 21.5.7.4.7.14.1, Electronic Funds Withdrawal (Direct Debit) and Credit Card Payment Tracer. The fourth digit in the EFT number will be a "6" and the 10th and 11th position will be "59" , "60" , or "61" .

Removing Penalties Due to Unsuccessful PayNearMe Payments
  1. In rare cases, you may consider abating penalties resulting from an unsuccessful PayNearMe payment. This is true even if the taxpayer has not received the official penalty notice, and whether or not the taxpayer requests the abatement. A penalty may be abated without any written communication when it can be determined that the penalty should not have been assessed in the first place. See IRC 6404(a)(3), for additional information. If you can determine without additional information from the taxpayer that the penalty should not have been assessed, then the penalty can be abated without any written documentation.

    Caution:

    You must research the account thoroughly to make this determination.

  2. If you determine that the situation meets the criteria described in paragraph (1) and the penalty should not have been assessed, abate the penalty using a TC 281, RC 065, and PRC 015.

  3. Apologize verbally during telephone contact, or in writing for correspondence cases, if a notice or bill was sent to the taxpayer due to a penalty assessed in error.

  4. Determine if the taxpayer had an installment agreement that was affected by this situation. If so, follow IRM 21.2.1.60.2.2, Installment Agreement Issues Due to Unsuccessful PayNearMe Payments.

  5. In all other cases you must follow normal penalty relief procedures as described in IRM 20.1.2.1.6, Correcting Incorrect Assessments. IRS employees have a responsibility to correct incorrect penalty assessments when they are identified and the statutory period for making the correction has not expired. IRC 6404(a) provides authority for IRS to abate at any time the unpaid portion of any liability that is excessive in amount, or that is erroneously or illegally assessed. A liability is excessive to the extent that it exceeds the amount provided for by law.

Installment Agreement Issues Due to Unsuccessful PayNearMe Payments
  1. If a taxpayer's installment agreement (IA) erroneously defaulted due to the situations described in IRM 21.2.1.60.2.1, Removing Penalties Due to Unsuccessful PayNearMe Payments, follow the guidance in IRM 5.19.1.5.4.19, Revision/Reinstatement of IAs, to reinstate the IA.

Department of Education

  1. The IRS has an ongoing partnership with the Department of Education (ED) to enhance the ability of financial aid applicants to obtain the necessary income verification items required to successfully complete financial aid forms. This IRM section is based upon internal stakeholder consensus and contains the procedures that should be followed by call site and Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) employees.

  2. This IRM section incorporates interim guidance memorandum WI-21-0314-03, Interim Guidance on Department of Education (ED) Procedures, issued April 7, 2014.

Background

  1. College bound students applying for financial aid through the Department of Education’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) use a tool developed by the IRS and the Department of Education. The tool is internally known as the Federal Student Aid - Datashare (FSA-D), and externally as the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT). There are two parts to FSA-D:

    • FAFSA on the Web (FOTW)

    • Income Driven Repayment (IDR) includes: Income Based Repayment (IBR), Income Contingent Repayment (ICR), and Pay as You Earn (PAYE) Plans.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

  1. The taxpayer could be a student, parent of a student, or the spouse of a student applying for financial aid.

  2. IRS DRT retrieves tax return information for the respective school year. Taxpayers can select whether or not to transfer the tax return information into the student loan application.

  3. While completing the student loan application, taxpayers are given the option of accessing the IRS DRT so individual tax information can be populated into the FAFSA. Assistors can provide specified line amounts from the processed return. Refer to the list below.

    Note:

    If identity theft (IDT) is an issue, see (5), scenario 4 below.

    • Type of return

    • Number of exemptions

    • Income tax after credits "Per Computer" figures on Command Code (CC) RTVUE

    • Tax exempt interest income

    • Non-refundable Education Credit


    If an actual transcript is needed, follow IRM 21.2.3.5.9.2, IMF Transcript Ordering.

    Note:

    IRS isues a CP302 to the taxpayer each time their account is accessed via the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. (DRT) See IRM 25.23.2.24.1, FAFSA Incident-CP302.

  4. Some of the questions on the FOTW require calculations that are not on the tax return transcript as a singular item. These calculations are NOT to be done by assistors, but rather, done by the taxpayer. However, you can provide specific line item information from the tax return needed for the taxpayer to calculate the FOTW field. Fields include:

    • Income Earned From Work (IEFW) = wages, plus business income, plus farm income

    • Individual Retirement Account (IRA) Deductions = IRA payments, plus Self- Employment Retirement Plan deductions

    • Untaxed IRA Distributions = Gross IRA distributions, minus taxable IRA distributions

    • Untaxed pension portions = Gross pension/annuity, minus taxable pension/annuity

    Note:

    DO NOT complete any calculations as the applicant needs to make those calculations.


  5. If taxpayers contact the IRS when they encounter problems with the tool, follow the instructions outlined in the table below.

    If Then
    Scenario 1: The taxpayer requests technical support to resolve an error message (technical difficulties, data not found) or a broken link issue. Refer the taxpayer to 1-800-4FED-AID.

    Note:

    Do not attempt to provide any technical support for the IRS DRT.

    Note:

    Assistors should verify with the taxpayer if there is an immediate need for a transcript. If yes, refer to Scenario 3.

    Scenario 2: The taxpayer cannot authenticate (entries do not match IRS records) or is unable to obtain tax information and requests entity information support.

    Note:

    IRS DRT error messages include:

    • “Your entries do not match IRS records.”

    • “Your address does not match IRS records.”

    Follow Disclosure guidelines as outlined in IRM 21.1.3.2.3, Required Taxpayer Authentication, and IRM 21.1.3.2.4,Additional Taxpayer Authentication, as warranted, and provide the requested information.

    Note:

    If there is an Identity Theft (IDT) indicator or the assistor suspects IDT, see Scenario 4 below.

    Scenario 3: The taxpayer requests a tax account or tax return transcript. Follow IRM 21.2.3.5.9.2, IMF Transcript Ordering.

    Note:

    If there is an IDT indicator or the assistor suspects IDT, see Scenario 4 below.

    Scenario 4: The taxpayer is unable to obtain tax information and requests support with a confirmed or unconfirmed IDT.

    Note:

    IRS DRT error message is “Unable to provide the federal income tax information.”


    In these cases the student will need a tax return transcript.
    Refer to IRM 21.2.3.5.8, Transcripts and Identity Theft.

Transcript Requests with Identity Theft (IDT) Issues

  1. The Department of Education (ED) established a verification process for applicants who are victims of IDT and cannot secure a transcript through normal IRS channels. The ED agreed to accept the alternate transcript generated through the IRS Tax Return Data Base (TRDBV).

  2. If taxpayers have an IDT indicator on their account or the assistor suspects IDT, refer to IRM 21.2.3.5.8, Transcripts and Identity Theft.

Amended Returns

  1. The Department of Education (ED) discourages applicants from using the IRS DRT if they have filed an amended tax return. A tax return transcript is available but does not show the line-by-line changes for an amended return. For income verification purposes, ED has directed taxpayers to provide the following:

    • either a signed photocopy of the originally filed tax return, a tax return transcript, or a record of account transcript, AND

    • a signed copy of the Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return

Income Driven Repayment (IDR) Plans - Adjusted Gross Income

  1. The taxpayer is identified as a borrower of a student loan who is applying for a repayment plan.

  2. The IRS deployed an enhancement to the FSA-D application to include repayment plans. While FSA-D retrieves tax return data for successfully authenticated student loan applicants, the new functionality retrieves only the adjusted gross income (AGI) of successfully authenticated borrowers applying for a repayment plan (IBR, ICR, PAYE) through the ED’s StudentLoans.gov website.

  3. The AGI for the requested tax year or one previous tax year is retrieved. For example, for 2014, the IDR tool will first check tax year 2014 and provide the 2014 AGI if it is available. If the 2014 data is not available, the IDR tool will check and return the 2013 AGI if that year is available. If neither year is available, the applicant will receive a message indicating that no data was found.
    Follow the instructions in the table below:

    If Then
    Scenario 1: The applicant requests technical support to resolve an error message (unable to provide the federal income information, technical difficulties, data not found) or a broken link issue. Refer the applicant to ED’s Direct Loan Applicant Services Center at 1- 800-557-7394.

    Note:

    Do not attempt to provide any technical support.

    Scenario 2: The applicant cannot authenticate (applicant entries do not match IRS records) and requests entity information. Follow Disclosure guidelines as outlined in IRM 21.1.3.2.3, Required Taxpayer Authentication, and IRM 21.1.3.2.4, Additional Taxpayer Authentication, as warranted, and provide the requested information.

    Note:

    If the assistor suspects IDT, refer to IRM 25.23.2.16.2, IRS Initiated Suspicion of Identity Theft - TC 971 AC 522 IRSID, and IRM 25.23.3.2, Identity Theft-Telephone Overview and General Guidance.

    Scenario 3: The applicant requests AGI figures after receiving the message “No Data was found.” Follow Disclosure guidelines as outlined in IRM 21.1.3.2.3, Required Taxpayer Authentication, and IRM 21.1.3.2.4, Additional Taxpayer Authentication, as warranted. Research to determine if the return has processed. Follow IRM 21.4.1.4, Refund Inquiry Response Procedures.

Online Account

  1. Online Account is a new online system that allows taxpayers to securely access their IMF account information through IRS.gov/account.

  2. Online Account is currently offered only in English and includes balances on MFTs 29, 30, 35 and 55.

  3. Access requires the taxpayer verify their identity and pass a rigorous authentication process using Secure Access eAuthentication. See IRM 21.2.1.58, Secure Access eAuthentication, for more information.

  4. The Online Account application provides taxpayer access to the following options:

    • View Balance Due

    • Make a Payment

    • See Payments

    • Tax Records

  5. The View Balance Due option offers the taxpayer the following options to view their balance due:

    1. The application allows the taxpayer to view their Account Summary, which displays the cumulative balance owed to the IRS. If the taxpayer has an issue which will not allow an accurate calculation of the Cumulative Balance Due, a message will be provided to view their balance in the Overview by Tax Year Table. This message will not keep the taxpayer from viewing additional information in the application.

    2. The application provides an overview of the taxpayer’s balance due by year. The overview by year table will display information for the four most recent tax years as well as older years with balance due or TDI returns. The taxpayer will be able to select any year that is not fully paid to retrieve a breakdown of the balance owed and/or additional information for that year.

  6. The Make a Payment option offers the taxpayer a link to the following payment options:

    1. Pay by Bank Account - Information will be provided to the taxpayer on how to make a payment by bank account. A link will be provided to Direct Pay, an existing application on IRS.gov. See IRM 21.2.1.48.1, IRS Direct Pay, for additional information.

    2. Pay by Card - Information will be provided to the taxpayer on how to make a payment by Credit or Debit Card. A link will be provided to the Pay your Taxes by Debit or Credit Card page on IRS.gov, allowing the taxpayer to select a payment processor.

    3. Set up a Payment Plan - Information will be provided to the taxpayer on how to set up either a short-term payment plan or an Installment payment plan if they need more time to pay their balance due. A link will be provided to the Online Payment Agreement application. See IRM 21.2.1.57, Online Payment Agreement (OPA) for IMF Debts, for additional information.

  7. The See Payments option allows taxpayers to view their payment history for the last 18 months. If users have not filed and have credits on their account, they can see the total of the credits applied from a prior year and estimated tax payments applied to that year.

    Note:

    Only payments that have successfully posted to their accounts on MFTs 29, 30, 35, and 55 will be displayed.

  8. The Tax Records option allows taxpayers the following options to view or obtain transcript related products:

    1. Primary taxpayers will have access to the tax records snapshot, which contains key information from the current year’s tax return as originally filed. (if available) The following information will be provided:
      • Form filed
      • Filing status
      • Total exemptions claimed
      • Adjusted gross income
      • Refund amount if applicable

    2. All users will have a link to the "Get Transcript " application where users can view, print or download their tax record. Users will be taken directly into "Get Transcript" without having to re-authenticate.

  9. Additional information regarding Online Account may be accessed through the Employee Demo site via SERP under Job Aids, Part 21, Chapter 2. The link is to a prototype of the Online Account application so assistors can see how Online Account will look and function when customers use it.