21.3.3 Incoming and Outgoing Correspondence/Letters

Manual Transmittal

August 11, 2017

Purpose

(1) This transmits the revision to IRM 21.3.3, Taxpayer Contacts, Incoming and Outgoing Correspondence/Letters in IRM 21.3, Taxpayer Contacts.

Material Changes

(1) Various editorial changes were made throughout the IRM. Also, cross-references were added, removed, or revised, as appropriate.

IRM Changes
IRM 21.3.3 throughout the entire IRM Removed the reference to the Policy Statement P-6-12.
IRM 21.3.3.1 through IRM 21.3.3.1.7 Internal Controls were added to the IRM due to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit
IRM 21.3.3.1.8 Added a link to the Policy Statement P-21-3.
IRM 21.3.3.3.4(1), (2) and (3) Added a link to the Policy Statement P-21-3 and renumbered the subsequent paragraphs,
IRM 21.3.3.4(4) Clarified rejects and unpostable guidance.
IPU 16U1513 issued 10-11-2016 IRM 21.3.3.3.4(5) Removed the note linking to the IRM 21.5.1.
IRM 21.3.3.3.4(9)(d) Added using the IAT Balance Due Tool.
IRM 21.3.3.3.4(9)(f) Clarified sending enclosures or attachments in correspondence.
IPU 16U1513 issued 10-11-2016 IRM 21.3.3.3.5 Updated the routing chart for returns received in the Andover Campus.
IRM 21.3.3.4(3) Added a caution to hand carry a statute imminent return for clearance if it has it has been 90 days or more after statute has stamped the return cleared for processing.
IPU 17U0051 issued 01-05-2017 IRM 21.3.3.4(6) Added CC INCHG for individual taxpayer address updates.
IPU 17U0051 issued 01-05-2017 IRM 21.3.3.4(6) Added a reminder to verify the person requesting the address update and notate the account accordingly.
IPU 16U1513 issued 10-11-2016 IRM 21.3.3.4.9.2.1 Added a link to IRM 21.3.3.4.9.2.1 for information of routing correspondence to Compliance.
IPU 16U1766 issued 12-19-2016 IRM 21.3.3.4.9.2(1) Clarified when to route installment agreement correspondence to CSCO.
IPU 17U0382 issued 02-27-2017 IRM 21.3.3.4.9.2(1) (a) Clarified routing correspondence to CSCO when the taxpayer is asking a question regarding their installment agreement.
IPU 17U0879 issued 05-19-2017 IRM 21.3.3.4.9.2(1) Added an exception for Field Assistance (FA) employees.
IRM 21.3.3.4.9(2) Added information for working and referring cases to Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS).
IRM 21.3.3.4.9.2(4) Clarified inputting TC 971-012 on formal claims.
IRM 21.3.3.4.9.2.1(5) Added a reminder for CIS users may have to split images when detaching part of a case prior to routing.
IRM 21.3.3.4.9.5(8) Updated to refer to IRM 21.3.6.4.1.
IPU 16U1513 issued 10-11-2016 IRM 21.3.3.4.12.1.1(6) Clarified the reminder for undelivered mail erroneously scanned in CIS.
IPU 17U0051 issued 01-05-2017 IRM 21.3.3.4.13(1) Added a generic paragraph explaining miscellaneous elections and form.
IRM 21.3.3.4.13(4) Added a note linking to IRM 3.10.72-9, for routing Form 5213.
IRM 21.3.3.4.13(11) Added a Note to clarify when to send an acknowledgement letter on an 83(b) Election.
IRM 21.3.3.4.17.3(5) Added a reminder to use CC CMODE, as required.
IRM 21.3.3.4.17.4 (5) Clarified when to send the unauthorized third party a 135C Letter.
IRM 21.3.3.4.23(2)(a) Clarified using a contraction in a letter.

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 21.3.3, Incoming and Outgoing Correspondence / Letters, dated August 12, 2016, (effective October 1, 2016) is superseded. This IRM incorporates Procedural Updates (IPU) after October 1, 2016. This IRM incorporates IPUs 16U1513, 16U1766, 17U0051, 17U0382 and 17U0879.

Audience

All Operating Divisions and Functions who initiate or resolve taxpayer correspondence.

Effective Date

(10-01-2017)

Kevin M. Morehead
Director, Accounts Management
Wage and Investment Division

Program Scope and Objectives Overview

  1. This section serves as a guide for performing tasks involved in processing incoming and outgoing taxpayer correspondence. ,

  2. Purpose: To provide guidance for addressing/resolving taxpayer correspondence, telephone inquiries and Taxpayer Assistance Centers (Walk-In Sites) issues relating to Business Master File (BMF), Individual Master File (IMF) and Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TEGE).

  3. Audience: All Operating Divisions and Functions who initiate or resolve taxpayer correspondence.

  4. Policy Owner: Director, Accounts Management.

  5. Program Owner: Process and Program Management (PPM) Business Adjustments.

  6. Primary Stakeholders: Wage and Investment (W&I), Small Business Self Employed (SBSE), Large Business and International (LB&I), Submission Processing (SP) and Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TEGE).

  7. Program Goals: Program goals for Accounts Management Correspondence Program are included in the Accounts Management Program Letter as well as IRM 1.4.16, Accounts Management Guide for Managers.

Background

  1. Added Internal Controls information as outlined in The Heightened Awareness, Sensitivity, and Understanding of Internal Controls Memo dated September 14, 2016.

  2. The information presented in this section is only for general correspondence guidance. Employees throughout the Service respond to taxpayer inquires using Correspondex and Service Center (SC) letters. Correspondex (C) and Service Center (SC) letters are constantly being added, deleted, or revised. Only use Headquarters approved C letters, SC letters and local use letters not mentioned in this section. See IRM 21.1.2.2.2, IRM 21 - Change Requests.

Authority

  1. Information regarding authorities delegated to Accounts Management can be found in IRM 1.4.3.3, Authorities.

  2. The policy statement relating to taxpayer correspondence can found in IRM 1.2.21.1.3, Policy Statement 21-3 (Formerly P-6-12).

  3. Per the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, taxpayers have the right to expect a fair and just tax system which provides taxpayers with the opportunity to have their facts and circumstances considered when it might affect their underlying liabilities, ability to pay, or ability to provide information timely. Taxpayers have the right to receive assistance from the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) if they are experiencing financial difficulty or if the IRS has not resolved their tax issues properly and timely through normal channels. IRS employees must be informed about taxpayer rights and be conscientious in the performance of their duties to honor, respect and effectively communicate those rights. Refer to https://www.irs.gov/Taxpayer-Bill-of-Rights, for additional information.

  4. These authorities take many forms: Treasury Regulations, the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), legislation, revenue rulings and revenue procedures, and advice from Counsel to name only some.

  5. While specific revenue procedures are cited in the IRM when they are applicable to the issue being covered.

  6. The IRM cites specific pieces of legislation when the information is relevant to the taxpayer correspondence or is useful for the employee’s greater understanding of the matter at hand.

Responsibilities or Roles

  1. IRM 1.1.13.9.4, Accounts Management, provides various guidance for Accounts Management employees including the following:

    • Data Management and Reports

    • Planning and Analysis

    • Joint Operations Center Representative

    • Process and Program Management

    • Project Management Office and Support

    • Electronic Services and Programs

    • Policies, Procedures and Guidance

    • Chief Accessibility Coordinator

    • Field Directors

  2. IRM 21.1.1, Accounts Management and Compliance Services Overview, provides guidance to employees assigned to the Accounts Management organization.

Program Management and Review

  1. IRM 1.4.16, Accounts Management Guide for Managers, provides guidance for program management and review of programs assigned to Accounts Management.

Program Controls

  1. FY 2018 Program Letter and subsequent fiscal years, Program Letters, Measures and Operating Guidelines.

  2. IRM 21.10.1, Embedded Quality (EQ) Program for Accounts Management, Campus Compliance , Field Assistance, Tax Exempt/Government Entities, Return Integrity and Compliance Services (RICS) and Electronic Products and Services Support.

Terms/Definitions/Acronyms

  1. The ReferenceNet Legal and Tax Research Service page provides an Acronym Database to research acronyms found within this IRM. Acronyms are also found in specific subsections of this IRM

Related Resources

  1. IRM 21.2.2-2, Accounts Management Mandated IAT Tools.

  2. IRM 1.10.1, IRS Correspondence Manual, the central IRM for correspondence.

  3. IRM 1.2.21.1.3, Policy Statement 21-3 (Formerly P-6-12)

  4. Document 6209

  5. Servicewide Notice Information Program (SNIP)

Policy Statement P-21-3

  1. Policy Statement P-21-3 is the result of a team formed to review Corporate Critical Success Factor 61 which dealt with existing requirements for the quality and timeliness of responses issued by the Service. For more information see IRM 1.2.21.1.3, Policy Statement 21-3 (Formerly P-6-12).

  2. A quality product or response is accurate, timely, and addresses all issues based on the information provided.

  3. Responses must:

    • Address all taxpayer issues in the correspondence

    • Request additional information, if needed, from the taxpayer

    • Notify the taxpayer if additional information is needed from outside the Service

    • Be written in language the taxpayer can understand

  4. See IRM 21.3.3.4.2, Policy Statement P-21-3 Procedures.

Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and Correspondence Requirements

  1. The Internal Revenue Code (IRC) provides guidelines for the Service which covers various issues, including taxpayer contacts.

  2. Where specific IRCs and Policy Statement P-21-3 guidelines conflict, IRC governs.

  3. Manually generated correspondence must include a contact name, telephone number, and unique employee identification number. See IRM 21.3.3.4.17.1, Preparing Outgoing Manually Generated Correspondence, for more information.

  4. Final response to taxpayer(s) must be initiated by the 30th day from the earliest IRS received date, unless the taxpayer has received an interim contact or interim contact has been initiated from the IRS by the 30th day.

What is the Definition of Correspondence? - Policy Statement P-21-3 Exclusion List

  1. Correspondence is all written communications from a taxpayer or taxpayer representative, excluding tax returns, whether solicited or unsolicited. This includes:

    1. Written communications in response to IRS requests for information or data.

    2. Written communications, including annotated notice responses, that provide additional information or dispute a notice.

    3. A telephone call that results in a written referral or research (Form e-4442,Inquiry Referral).

    Note:

    Requests for Extensions to Pay are considered Policy Statement P-21-3 and do require a response.

  2. The key to identifying taxpayer correspondence is to ask the following questions:

    1. Is taxpayer waiting for a response from the IRS?

    2. Is taxpayer waiting for an action to be taken by the IRS?

    3. Is taxpayer asking a question?

  3. The following list includes the work that does not meet the definition of correspondence under Policy Statement P-21-3 :

    Policy Statement P-21-3 Exclusion List
    Functions:
    Scheme Development Center (SDC), formerly know as Fraud Detection Centers (FDC)
    Facilities
    Training
    Types:
    Delinquent Return - Any original return or amended return received in response to a Return Delinquency Notice
    Substitute Return - Any original return or amended return received in response to a Substitute for Return notice
    Amended returns ( Form 1040X,Form 1120X, etc.)
    Form 94XX
    Tentative Carrybacks ( Form 1045 & Form 1139)
    All extensions to file: Form 4868,Form 7004, and Form 8868
    Employer Identification Number (EIN) Toll-Free Telephone Service
    Centralized Authorization File (CAF) / Power of Attorney (POA)
    Address Changes
    Internal requests between IRS functions may involve taxpayer correspondence. If there is no correspondence from the taxpayer, then the internal request is not considered correspondence (i.e., Form 3870, and Form 3465).
    Correspondence received only indicating a payment made.
    Form 8849, Claim for Refund of Excise Taxes, with no taxpayer correspondence attached.
    Other Exclusions:
    Correspondence not directly dealing with a taxpayer's account
    All correspondence received in response to IRS solicitations for information necessary to secure or complete the processing of a tax return. This exclusion may include responses to solicitations as the result of internal transcripts or the solicitation was solely to secure or complete the processing of a tax return in order to resolve the transcript issue. (Suspense files in Document Perfection, Rejects, Unpostables, Notice Review, etc.).

    Note:

    Correspondence attached to a return, addressing issues not directly related to the return is taxpayer correspondence.

    Child Support Enforcement (i.e., dealing with an agency, not a taxpayer)
    Responses to IRS third party solicitations (e.g., Automated Collection System (ACS) requests for Employment Verification, etc)
    Fed/State Program
    Schedules filed without return
    Telephone inquiries are not correspondence when responses are provided at the time of the inquiry. Calls received on Code-a-phones or for personnel temporarily away from their work station, are not correspondence if a response is provided by telephone to the taxpayer within a reasonable amount of time. Generally, this means within hours rather than days, but no longer than 48 hours.

    Note:

    If the call requires further research or a referral to another person/area the Form 4442 becomes correspondence for the purpose of Policy Statement P-21-3.

    Incoming replies from a third party (i.e., state certifications, Federal Tax Deposit (FTD) verification, etc.)
    Mag Tape Lists
    Frivolous Correspondence - See IRM 21.5.3.4.16.7, Identifying Frivolous Returns/Correspondence and Responding to Frivolous Arguments.
    Internal Computer Paragraph notices and transcripts. However, incoming replies to solicited information needed to resolve these are considered correspondence, unless the only reason for the solicitation was to secure or complete the processing of a tax return in order to resolve the transcript issue.
    Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) cases - when the taxpayer does not expect an answer from the campus.
    Form 8379 - Injured Spouse Allocation
    Requests on Form 4506 and Form 4506-A for copies of tax returns
    Responses to Computer Paragraph (CP), CP 08,CP 09,CP 27,CP 85A,CP 85B,CP 85C,CP 87A,CP 87B,CP 87C, and CP 87D

    Note:

    See specific IRMs for guidance on processing the above notices.

Correspondence Research

  1. This section discusses research, definitions, and references to various laws and guidance background, and provides information about the Submission Processing Consolidation (Rampdowns).

OMB Codes for Forms

  1. Public Law 104-13, Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, requires that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approve forms or documents prior to being made available for use.

  2. Items that carry OMB information can be classified into two categories:

    1. Information Collection Requests (ICRs) - A form, letter, notice, or other document used to request necessary information from at least 10 taxpayers. Each ICR is assigned a unique OMB number.

      Example:

      ICRs include major tax forms and instructions, public use forms, C, (SC), and (SC/Submission Processing (SP)) letters, draft letters, and CP notices.

    2. Document Perfection Requests (DPRs) - Also used to request information from at least 10 taxpayers. However, each DPR is not assigned a unique OMB number. Rather, it carries the OMB number of the document it perfects. An expiration date is not required on DPRs. DPRs include: public-use forms, C - (SC), and (SC/SP) letters, draft letters, CP notices, quick notes, and Form 5260 (C-NOTES).

  3. OMB number and expiration date must be typed or computer generated on ICRs.

  4. DPRs must carry OMB number of parent form.

    1. Refer to OMB Index Listing on the Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP) for assigned OMB number and OMB code for each form at: OMB Index Listing

    2. Use OMB code to input DPR C Letters. Refer to IRM 2.4.6,Command Codes LETER, LPAGE, LPAGD, LETUP, LETED, LLIST and LREVW, for input procedures for OMB code.

    3. A quick note can be a DPR. If it is used to request information to perfect a document, it must include the OMB number of the form to which the question refers.

    4. Do NOT use a C-NOTE to request information related to a form not included in OMB Clearance Index.

    5. Input of OMB code will enter OMB number on C-NOTE.

    6. Initiator is responsible for entering the OMB number on quick note.

  5. OMB requires that OMB number and expiration date appear in upper right corner of documents.

  6. ICRs must contain Paperwork Reduction Act Notice Language.

Potentially Dangerous Taxpayers (PDT) and Caution Upon Contact (CAU)

  1. The Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer (PDT) and Caution Upon Contact (CAU) system identifies taxpayers who may pose a threat to the safety of IRS employees whose official duties require personal contact with taxpayers. The Office of Employee Protection (OEP) is responsible for administration and maintenance of the PDT database. See IRM 21.1.3.11,Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer (PDT) or Caution Upon Contact (CAU) Indicators, for current procedures for working PDT cases.

  2. The PDT or CAU indicator will appear in the upper right-hand section of the document or system display. For more information see IRM 25.4.1, Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer, or IRM 25.4.2, Caution Upon Contact Taxpayer.

Correspondence Function Responsibility

  1. Initiate the appropriate letter when a request for a statement or certification of a taxpayer's account is received, or a request for a copy of a record of assessment under the provision of IRC 6203, Method of Assessment. Follow IRM 21.2.3,Transcripts.

  2. Follow disclosure provisions in IRM 21.1.3.2,General Disclosure Guidelines.

  3. Process "discovered remittances" in accordance with IRM 3.8.46, Discovered Remittance.

    Exception:

    For remittances found with misdirected tax returns that do NOT belong to IRS, see IRM 3.10.72,Receiving, Extracting, and Sorting.

  4. Expedite the resolution of all disaster correspondence or claims.

Quality and Timely Responses

  1. The Service must issue quality responses to all taxpayer inquires per IRM 1.2.21.1.3, Policy Statement 21-3 (Formerly P-6-12).

  2. A quality response must be written in plain language.

  3. A final response or interim letter initiated within 30 days of the IRS received date is considered a timely response. Whenever possible, a quality response should be issued in less than 30 days.

  4. The final or interim response must read either . . . "This is in response to your inquiry of" or "This is in response to your inquiry dated " or similar language provided in the appropriate C Letter.

  5. Outgoing correspondence must include the reference to the date of the incoming letter or inquiry.

  6. The letter must fully explain the action taken, even when that action is exactly what the addressee requested.

    Exception:

    If the closing action will generate a notice with a clear explanation to the taxpayer (for example, CP 210,CP 220,CP 225, etc.), a final closing letter to the taxpayer is unnecessary.

  7. If the taxpayer's or authorized representative's correspondence/inquiry is not dated:

    1. Use the latest postmark or private delivery service date on the envelope.

    2. If that date is unknown, use the Service Center Automated Mail Processing System (SCAMPS) digital dates.

      Note:

      SCAMPS sprays a digital date on the envelope.

    3. If the SCAMPS date is unavailable, use a date three days prior to IRS received date of the case.

    4. If the correspondence/inquiry from the taxpayer or authorized representative is in the form of a fax, use the date the fax was transmitted.

    5. If inquiry is received from a Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) use the Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS) received date.

  8. See IRM 21.3.3.4.2.2, Interim Responses, for specific instructions regarding interim letters.

  9. Required correspondence are quality and timely responses when responding to a taxpayer’s correspondence per Policy Statement P-21-3 . See also IRM 21.3.3.2, What is the Definition of Correspondence? - Policy Statement P-21-3 Exclusion List. To ensure adherence to P-21-3 correspondence guidelines, check the following information before sending the closing letter to the taxpayer and the authorized representative:

    1. The appropriate C Letter is selected to preserve the audit trail on the taxpayer's account.

    2. The appropriate and correct pre-printed paragraph(s) are selected.

    3. The fill-in paragraph(s) selected address the taxpayer’s correspondence, and include appropriate, accurate, and complete information.

      Reminder:

      In order to provide a complete response to a taxpayer correspondence, an open paragraph can be utilized.

    4. Advise the taxpayer of the current balance due by utilizing Command Code (CC) INTST, or the AMS Payoff Calculator, to calculate a current balance due amount, if required per the IRM. The current balance due will include accrued penalties and interest. When calculating the current balance due, add 21 calendar days to the issuance date of the taxpayer’s letter (30 calendar days from the IDRS letter input date) or 10 calendar days from the date of the taxpayer’s phone call. IAT balance due tool can also be used to correctly compute the balance due. If an accurate balance cannot be provided, advise the taxpayer and/or authorized representative using pre-printed paragraphs in the appropriate C Letter (if available) that a notice of adjustment and balance due will be issued within 4 to 6 weeks. In addition, provide information that payments can be made to reduce their tax liability and interest.

      Reminder:

      See IRM 21.3.3.4, Required Information for Interim Letters and Closing Letters, regarding accounts with an installment agreement (status 60).

      Caution:

      If a balance due remains on the account after all actions have been completed, release any TC 470 or enter CC STAUP with the appropriate number of cycles to release the hold on the account, when applicable. See IRM 21.5.2.4.8.2 , Suppressing Balance Due Notices, for more information.

    5. Transcript of the account is included, if requested.

    6. Ensure all applicable enclosures / attachments are included. If forms or publications are needed direct the taxpayer or authorized representative to visit irs.gov or they can call toll-free at 1-800-829-3676.

Submission Processing Consolidation (Rampdown)

  1. Due to the continued increase in electronic filing of returns, the need for returns processing and related functions continues to decrease.

  2. Several Wage and Investment Submission Processing (SP) sites will cease operations, or "Rampdown" . Submission Processing (SP) support functions of that SP site will be transferred to a SP support site. Some of the mail activities will be absorbed by Accounts Management (AM) at that SP site. Still other activities will be transferred to another SP site (returns processing).

  3. It is important to remember that the SP sites that rampdown will still house other functions such as Appeals, Agency Wide Shared Services (AWSS), Information & Technology Services (IT), Disclosure, Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), Scheme Development Center, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), Compliance, and Accounts Management. Only SP will rampdown.

  4. When instructions direct that something be referred or routed to any function normally located at a(n) SP Site, it is the responsibility of the person making the referral to determine the correct SP location. Use the table below to route returns to the appropriate Submission Processing campus.

    Return received in: Transshipped for processing to:
    Andover IMF returns Kansas City
    Andover BMF returns Cincinnati
    Atlanta IMF returns Kansas City
    Atlanta BMF returns (Form 1120, Form 940, Form 941, Form 1065, Form 1041, Form 7004, Form 709, Form 706, and Form 720) Cincinnati
    Atlanta BMF returns (Form 990, Form 1120PC, Form 1120POL, Form 5330, Form 944, Form 945, Form 8868, Form 5558, and Form 5578.) Ogden
    Brookhaven IMF returns Fresno
    Brookhaven BMF returns Cincinnati
    Memphis IMF returns Fresno
    Memphis BMF returns Ogden
    Philadelphia BMF International returns Ogden
    Philadelphia IMF Domestic returns Kansas City
    Philadelphia IMF International returns Austin

Correspondence Procedures

  1. This section provides procedures for correspondence. Analyze each case and determine the nature of request or the problem. In reaching each determination, use all research capabilities available such as IDRS, Accounts Management Services (AMS), microfilm, Correspondence Imaging System (CIS), Command Code TRDBV, etc. to resolve the problem. Open cases must NOT remain uncontrolled more than 14 days from receipt at IRS. Refer to IRM 21.5.1.4.2.2,Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS) Control Procedures, for more information on controlling cases.

    Note:

    Amended returns and internal transcripts are not subject to these correspondence procedures.

  2. After making the initial determination, take one or more of the following actions:

    1. Use appropriate pre-composed C, Headquarters pre-approved SC or SC/SP letters. If preparing a Form 5260, Quick Note, it must be reviewed by the lead or manager.

      Note:

      If Spanish language correspondence is received, a reply must be issued using the Spanish version of the appropriate C letter, if one is available.

    2. Research available IRS publications, IRC, and other sources to answer nontechnical or pre-filing questions.

    3. Refer inquiries unrelated to adjustment activities to the proper area.

  3. Statute Periods - Procedures in IRM 25.6,Statute of Limitations must be followed. Hand carry potential statute documents or returns to the Statute Unit. Documents or returns that have been "cleared" by Statute do NOT need to be cleared a second time.

    Caution:

    If the original delinquent tax return that has never been process by SP and statute has cleared the tax return for processing once and if this same tax return goes unprocessed and it has been 90 days or more after statute has stamped the return cleared for processing you must hand carry the return back to statute again for clearance.

  4. Reject and Unpostable - After verifying (using CC ERINV) has an open reject (RJ), nullified unpostable (NU), or unpostable (Unnn) transaction status , prepare Form 5102,IDRS Expedite Routing Slip, for each correspondence item. Route package to Rejects or Unpostables, if initiated by those areas. Rejects or Unpostables will suspend cases frequently for more information from the taxpayer. If correspondence was NOT initiated by Reject or Unpostables, however the tax period has an unpostable caused by some other area, route to appropriate function for coordination and resolution with Rejects and Unpostables.

  5. If correspondence is received (not undelivered mail) indicating the person or business does not reside at that address, research for a new address.

  6. If a new address is found use the following procedures:

    • Correct the address using CC INCHG (for individual taxpayers) or CC BNCHG (for business taxpayers).

      Reminder:

      Due to the high level of identity theft, it is extremely important to ensure the changing of the taxpayer's address is warranted and necessary with the supporting documentation/forms submitted. In an effort to document who is requesting an address change, the assistor must enter whether the address change was submitted by the taxpayer or an authorized third party. Enter the taxpayer’s name (and title for business entities) which made the request or the authorized third party's name and title, as applicable, and phone number (if present) in the REMARKS field when using the IAT address tool, AMS or IDRS.

    • Re-mail the notice or letter to the correct address.

      Reminder:

      Recompute the penalty and/or interest on all balance due letters or notices more than seven days old.

      Note:

      See IRM 25.13.1.3, Erroneous Correspondence Procedures - Report Erroneous Correspondence Process, for additional guidance.

  7. For BMF Entity cases only - If a better address is not found, route the entire case to BMF Entity Function according to state mapping below.

    IF the entity’s principal business, office or agency is located in: Then Send BMF Correspondence to:
    Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia or Wisconsin
    Internal Revenue Service
    Attn: BMF Entity
    M/S 343
    Cincinnati, OH 45999-0023
    Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, or any place outside of the United States
    Internal Revenue Service
    Attn: BMF Entity
    M/S 6273
    Ogden, UT 84210-0023

Case Control and Inventory Management

  1. It is imperative that all correspondence be controlled correctly, in a timely manner. Good inventory management is a necessity. If cases are controlled correctly and timely, using the tools available, good inventory management is easier.

  2. The procedures that follow are the basic steps for controlling and working inventory for correspondence received from taxpayers. Specific IRM references are included. Consult those IRM references for the most complete instructions.

    Reminder:

    These are instructions for working correspondence Policy P-21-3 and do not address non-Policy Statement P-21-3 cases. See IRM 21.3.3.2, What is the Definition of Correspondence? - Policy Statement P-21-3 Exclusion List ,for Policy Statement P-21-3 Exclusion List.

    1. Determine where a case should be worked and if not, refer case to appropriate area/office using procedures in IRM 21.3.5,Taxpayer Inquiry Referrals Form 4442. Also see IRM 21.3.3.4.9.Taxpayer Inquiries and Complaints.

    2. Use Command Code (CC) SUMRY to determine if there are open controls in other campuses. If so, refer case to appropriate campus and send Letter 86C, Referring Taxpayer Inquiry/Forms to Another Office. See IRM 21.3.3.4.2.1,Use of 86C Letter - Referring Taxpayer Inquiry/Forms to Another Office.

    3. Determine earliest IRS received date of correspondence. See IRM 21.5.1.4.2.4,Received Date- Determination.

    4. Control all correspondence by the later of 14 days from the earliest IRS received date or 3 business days (including the day of receipt) from receipt in controlling area. See IRM 21.5.1.4.2.2, Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS) - Control Procedures, for more information on controlling cases.

    5. Control cases using the appropriate status code and category code (PAYT or TPRQ). Due to the 45 day aging criteria of correspondence, do not change the category code to a non-correspondence category code. Taxpayer-initiated correspondence received from another IRS office/area must still be controlled with the appropriate category code. Category codes can be located in the Document 6209, Section 14.

    6. Suppress all balance due notices (CC STAUPS/Transaction Code 470) while the case is in inventory. Adjust or release the hold as appropriate when the case is closed or routed to another area. See IRM 21.5.2.4.8.2,Suppressing Balance Due Notices.

    7. Follow all Policy Statement P-21-3 guidelines on all taxpayer correspondence cases. See IRM 21.3.3.4.2,Policy Statement P-21-3 Procedures.

    8. Issue an interim response when a final response can not be issued to the taxpayer within 30 days of receipt. See IRM 21.3.3.4.2.2,Interim Responses.

    9. Any action taken while the case is in inventory must be documented on IDRS and/or in CIS/AMS and updated appropriately. Follow procedures outlined in IRM 21.5.1.4.5,Suspense Folders, when suspending any case. Report any action taken (for example: requesting document from Files) and update the IDRS history and/or status as appropriate.

      Note:

      The received date, as reflected on IDRS, remains the same until the case is closed.

      Reminder:

      For non-CIS users, when sending suspense letters to taxpayers, must use the IDRS control base "S" (Suspense). This is only required when the Service sends out a letter and is waiting for a response from the taxpayer.

  3. When ready to close the case, ensure all applicable actions are taken.

    • Will the taxpayer receive a notice of adjustment or credit transfer sufficient to explain all issues raised by the taxpayer?
      If not, an appropriate letter must be issued. See IRM 21.3.3.4.17Outgoing Correspondence.

    • Will an adjustment or credit transfer bring the balance to zero or debit?
      If not, release/reduce holds as appropriate.

    • Did taxpayer request a refund?

    • Did you reverse all misapplied payments and offsets?

    • Did you check that there are no other open controls or that no additional correspondence has been received?

Policy Statement P-21-3 Procedures

  1. This subsection addresses guidelines and procedures to follow in working cases that meet Policy Statement P-21-3 criteria.

  2. Many types of correspondence are excluded from Policy Statement P-21-3 but may still require a response, depending on the program being worked. The Policy Statement P-21-3 Exclusion list is not all-inclusive and other exclusions may exist. Each piece of correspondence must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine if it meets Policy Statement P-21-3 criteria. See IRM 21.3.3.2,What is the Definition of Correspondence? - Policy Statement P-21-3 Exclusion List.

  3. When a particular program has correspondence guidelines, the program procedures govern. For example, a particular program may require taxpayer contact within 10 days instead of the 30 days required under Policy Statement P-21-3 guidelines.

Use of 86C Letter - Referring Taxpayer Inquiry/Forms to Another Office
  1. A Letter 86C is an interim letter required to be used to notify a taxpayer when their correspondence is being transferred to another office (outside your directorate) for resolution. This letter advises the taxpayer there may be a delay in receiving a final response or action taken on the account(s).

  2. The Letter 86C will include the same elements as other acknowledgment / interim letters; see IRM 21.3.3.4.2.2.1, Required Information for Interim Letters and Closing Letters.

    Reminder:

    Provide the taxpayer with a contact name and/or telephone number when possible. If a specific name and number is not available, use the general toll-free number closing paragraph.

  3. Taxpayers may be informed by telephone or letter that their correspondence is being transferred to another office for resolution. These procedures are based on the Policy Statement P-21-3 and the Letter 86C is the closing letter for the transferring office.

    Note:

    Accounts Management employees notify the taxpayer that an additional 45 days is needed to resolve the account when issuing the Letter 86C.

  4. Annotate Account Management Services / Correspondence Imaging System (AMS/CIS) when either the taxpayer has been informed the correspondence has been transferred to another office by telephone or an 86C has been issued. In addition, notate the date of the action as well as the location where the case was transferred.

  5. Letter 86Cis required when any of the situations below exist, unless the taxpayer is informed by telephone their case is being transferred.

    • The case must be worked by a non-IRS office, such as a state, local, or other federal agency.

    • The case must be worked by IRS International at the Philadelphia campus for individual taxpayers (IMF) and Ogden / Cincinnati campus for business taxpayers (BMF). (Unless the case is transferred within CIS/AMS. See (6) below for additional information.)

    • The case must be worked by a centralized program located at one campus location such as Excise, Tax Exempt & Government Entities (TE/GE), and Innocent Spouse, etc.

    • The case must be worked by a non-campus office, such as a field office or the Taxpayer Advocate (TAS) office.

    • The case must be sent from one campus to a different function in another campus. (i.e. work from Accounts Management at one site transferred to Examination in another site).

    • The case is an original return with correspondence attached.

    • The case is an amended return with correspondence attached.

    Note:

    Many addresses for various IRS locations can be found on SERP under the WHO/WHERE tab.

  6. Letter 86C is not necessary when:

    • Sending between different functions at the same campus, regardless if they are in different buildings.

    • Sending cases within the same AM functions where CIS/AMS is used to transfer the case electronically (i.e., IMF campus to a BMF campus or BMF campus to an IMF campus).

      Note:

      This includes work reassigned as part of inventory balancing.

    • Sending original returns with no correspondence attached.

    • Sending amended returns with no correspondence attached.

    • Identifying and correcting a transshipment error.

Interim Responses
  1. If a final response cannot be initiated within 30 days from the earliest IRS received date, an interim letter is required to be issued.

    Exception:

    If a final response cannot be initiated within 180 days from the received date of the taxpayer's complete and legible Form 14039, Identify Theft Affidavit, then an interim letter is required. See IRM 25.23.2.10,IDT Case Processing Time Frames, for more information.

  2. Include in all interim letters when a taxpayer can expect a final resolution. The promised resolution date may be any number of days and can vary depending upon the program being worked. The promised resolution date does not have to be in increments of 30 days. (See the appropriate functional IRM to determine the resolution time.)

  3. The name, telephone number and unique identification number of a contact person is required to be included in all interim letters input by an employee (other than a clerk) and not systemically generated. See IRM 21.3.3.4.17.1, Preparing Outgoing Manually Generated Correspondence.

    Exception:

    Identity Theft Victim Assistance (IDTVA) - Compliance (C) employees only - Follow guidance for issuing acknowledgement letters in IRM 25.23.10.3, Letter Procedures .

  4. Non-manually generated correspondence such as 2645C, Interim Letter, letters generated by clerical staff or AMS-CIS, can provide only a toll-free telephone number.

  5. Subsequent interim letters, for example, 2644C Letter, must be issued if a final resolution cannot be provided by the promised date included in the initial interim letter. The subsequent interim letter must include the specific reason for the delay.

    Reminder:

    Compliance Collection employees (ACSS, CSCO) see IRM 5.19.1.1(7),Balance Due Overview, for additional time frame information on interim letters.

  6. Telephonic interim responses are acceptable. Keep written or electronic documentation (AMS/CIS) of call with the case file.

  7. If an interim letter is sent and the action taken does not generate a final response (notice) to the taxpayer, a closing letter must be sent.

Required Information for Interim Letters and Closing Letters
  1. An interim letter must:

    • Identify the reason a final response is delayed.

    • Specify when the final response will be mailed.

    • Include the name, telephone number, and unique employee identification number of a contact person.

      Exception:

      Interim letters generated by the clerical staff or systemically by AMS-CIS provide a toll-free telephone number. Interim letters will provide a generic non-toll free telephone number for International taxpayers.

    Note:

    When possible, the contact name should be someone familiar with the issue(s).

  2. An accurate balance due for the tax periods referred to in the correspondence is required to be provided to a taxpayer or their authorized representative when requested.

  3. Use the available balance due language provided in one of the current C letters or an open paragraph can be used to address the balance if a preprinted one is not available.

  4. When explaining penalty and/or interest charged, include the following:

    • The dollar amount of the penalty including accruals

    • The title (name) of the penalty (e.g., Failure to Pay (FTP)

    • The Code section under which the penalty was assessed, if available as a selective paragraph in the appropriate C Letter

      Note:

      The title (name) of the penalty and the Code section are included in some of the generic selective paragraphs in the C Letters.

    • The dollar amount of the applicable interest charged, including accruals

  5. When a taxpayer requests penalty abatement based on reasonable cause and the request is denied, ensure all the required information is included in the denial letter. Follow the guidance in the IRM 20.1.1.3.5.3(5), Taxpayer Not Entitled to Relief.

  6. If a current balance cannot be provided, input CC STAUP to delay the next notice. Advise the taxpayer and/or authorized representative using pre-printed paragraphs in the appropriate C Letter (if available) that a notice of adjustment and balance due will be issued within 4 to 6 weeks. In addition, provide information that payments can be made to reduce their tax liability and interest.

    Exception:

    Compliance employees only - when handling an installment agreement request or an account with a previously approved installment agreement, follow procedures in IRM 5.19.1.1.5, Balance Due Outgoing Correspondence Guidelines.

    Exception:

    If account is in bankruptcy (status 72) or Offer in Compromise(OIC)(status 71), provide only the balance due. Do not request payment or use the balance due paragraph in the C letters. Use an open paragraph to give only the balance due, for example, Your balance including penalties and interest figured to (date) is (money amount). Making a request for payment is a violation of the automatic stay.

    Exception:

    Identity Theft Employees (IDT) only - see IRM 25.23.4.12.6, Actions Required on Streamline and Non-Streamline Case Processing, for closing IDT cases with a balance due.

  7. Research IDRS for an active installment agreement. If the account is in installment status (status 60), inform the taxpayer (using a pre-printed paragraph if available), that the installment agreement is still in effect and to continue making scheduled payments.

  8. When a payment(s) is received with correspondence, and it will not be addressed in a notice, you must also address the payment in the response to the taxpayer and the authorized representative.

Correspondence Date (Corr Date)
  1. Input a Correspondence Date, "CORRESP - DT" on CC REQ54, when working correspondence under Policy Statement P-21-3 . Input the Corr Date using the following priority:

    1. The date the taxpayer's correspondence was prepared or signed

    2. Envelope postmark date or the transmission date on the taxpayer's fax

    3. The Service Center Automated Mail Processing System (SCAMPS) digital dates

      Note:

      SCAMPS sprays a digital date on the envelope.

    4. Three days prior to the IRS received date of the case

    5. Current date

      Exception:

      When there is no monetary adjustment (i.e., Transaction Code (TC) 290 .00, TC 180 .00) or when no notice will be generated, it is not a requirement to input the correspondence date using REQ54.

  2. If the case is an amended return or other type of work specifically excluded from Policy Statement P-21-3 , you do not have to use a Corr Date. See IRM 21.3.3.2 (3) What is Correspondence? - Policy Statement P-21-3 Exclusion List.

  3. In both instances, the same adjustment notice generates to the taxpayer. The only difference is that an adjustment input with a Corr Date includes the sentence: "This is the result of your inquiry of (fill in) " .

  4. If working a case excluded from Policy Statement P-21-3 and the explanation on the adjustment notice will not be sufficient, the taxpayer must be provided a more detailed explanation in writing or via telephone contact.

  5. When working multiple issues of the same type of form that are excluded from Policy Statement P-21-3 , a date may be used as a means of identification by the taxpayer.

    Note:

    If no correspondence is attached, use the signature date.

Toll-Free Telephone Numbers
  1. When providing the taxpayer with a contact number, provide a toll-free number whenever one is available.

  2. Include the specific toll free number of the program or function who will work the case, if available.

  3. Taxpayers must be provided the appropriate toll-free number:

    Toll-Free Telephone Numbers:
    For Programs or Functions that have their own toll-free number:
    • Estate and Gift (E&G) 1-866-699-4083

    • Excise 1-866-699-4096

    • TE/GE accounts & tax law issues 1-877-829-5500

    • Taxpayer Advocate Service 1-877-777-4778

    • Non-Masterfile (NMF) 1-888-829-7434

    For Programs or Functions that do not have their own specific toll-free number:
    • IMF W&I - IMF SB/SE accounts 1-800-829-0922

    • Business accounts with an EIN 1-800-829-0115

      Note:

      These numbers should only be given to taxpayers through written correspondence.

    Note:

    Additional Toll-Free number information can be found on SERP, under the Who/Where tab, Telephone Numbers (frequently requested by Taxpayers), at The Source for Telephone Numbers.

  4. International telephone numbers can be found in IRM 21.8.2.1.3, Web Sites and Telephone Numbers, for international business taxpayers and IRM 21.8.1.1.4, Web-sites and Telephone Numbers, for international individual taxpayers.

Disposition of Returns

  1. Dispose of returns using the following guidelines:

    1. Refile numbered returns.

    2. Route unnumbered returns for processing.

    3. Destroy unsigned copies of filed returns and other material as classified waste when it is no longer needed for use in developing a case. See IRM 21.5.1.4.10,Classified Waste.

  2. Destroy illegible returns once you have determined they are unidentifiable.

Requesting Research Data, Returns, or Documents

  1. Use IDRS research capabilities to the fullest extent for correspondence, control, and research. Use Corporate Files On Line (CFOL) command codes and AMS Account Summary Tools, whenever possible, to obtain information before ordering a MFTRA or requesting a document from Files.

  2. Do NOT request original return if sufficient information is available through CFOL. CFOL provides on-line access to current Masterfile (MF) information for users in any campus through telecommunications network. Using CFOL command codes saves time and reduces unpostable conditions. CFOL command codes are available even when IDRS is down or NOT available.

Examination Support Function Procedures

  1. Examination Support function is responsible for maintaining files for Examination Classification. This function may be located within Taxpayer Relations Operations or Examination Operations, or Compliance Services, depending on the organization.

  2. Examination Support function is responsible for controlling "Prompt Audit" requests and for securing all returns needed for classification. Batch "Prompt Audit" requests and keep separate from other campus Examination Classification cases. If cases have statute implications, expedite processing to the Examination Classifier. Refer all completed cases to Examination function following current control and recharge procedures.

  3. Receipt and Control function routes certain Forms 2275,Records Request, Charge and Recharge, to Examination Support function. These items have been detached from returns and contain the Document Locator Number (DLN) of the document. A notation on Form 2275 indicates "Document being processed. Hold in suspense for 30 days."

    1. Maintain these items in a suspense file for 30 days.

    2. After 30 days has elapsed, forward Form 2275 to Return Files function.

    3. If item is returned indicating return is, e.g., "Not in Files" , wait 15 days and request return again.

    4. If the return is not received at the end of this time, follow appropriate Examination procedures to determine next action.

    5. Items associated by Return Files function are forwarded directly to requester.

  4. For incorrectly filed Forms 1120-S, U.S. Income Tax Return for an S Corporation ("loss" return), Examination Support function is responsible for obtaining Form 1040 for each shareholder identified on attached Schedules K-1. These procedures apply to SBSE Examination campus service:

    1. A Form 1120S fails to post with Unpostable Code 310 because of an established Form 1120 filing requirement (no Form 2553 filed or Form 2553 disallowed). Unpostable function initiates correspondence. If taxpayer fails to respond or sends an unsatisfactory response, nullify Unpostable Form 1120S and route to Examination Support function. A taxpayer who fails to file a Form 1120 when required, is subject to Taxpayer Delinquency Investigation (TDI) action.

    2. Secure a Form 1040 for all taxpayers listed as stockholders on Form 1120S.

    3. Assemble all Forms 1040 for each Form 1120S. Upon receipt of all the stockholders’ Form 1040s, route the Form 1120S and related Forms 1040 to Examination Division on a Form 4227, lntra-SC Reject or Routing Slip. Annotate on this form," Form 1120S incorrectly filed, shareholder returns that may have incorrectly claimed a loss from this Form 1120 are attached" .

  5. SBSE Examination Support function receives all claims for credit or refund, notices of elections, or reinstatements of elections filed under IRC section 2032A or those that contain a reference to Form 706,United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, Valuation Election. Upon receipt, route all such claims, notices, etc. to the Centralized Estate & Gift Department located at the Cincinnati Compliance Services Center.

Routing of Form 8596 and Form 8596-A Information Reporting on Federal Contracts

  1. Form 8596 and Form 8596-A are only processed at Kansas City. Forward all correspondence or replies received in reference to these forms to:

    Kansas City Campus
    IRP Group M/S 6052 Bldg S-1
    333 W Pershing Rd.
    Kansas City, MO 64108-4302

Routing of Form 4219, Statement of Liability of Lender, Surety, or Other Person for Withholding Taxes

  1. Research IDRS to determine if Collection Case Assignment has been established. If so, forward Form 4219,Statement of Liability of Lender, Surety, or Other Person for Withholding Taxes, to controlling employee at the appropriate field office.

  2. If no Collection Case assignment is present on IDRS, forward Form 4219 to the Advisory Group that services employer’s address. For the Advisory Group’s address see Collection Advisory Group .

  3. If there is a field office stamp on Form 4219, complete the appropriate form to associate Form 4219 with the employer's Form 941.

Incoming Correspondence

  1. This section identifies various types of correspondence received at a processing campus and provides procedures for handling.

  2. The goal in routing is to associate taxpayer inquiries with information or documents needed to respond to the taxpayer.

  3. A taxpayer inquiry may be routed to the appropriate area during the sorting process or after further analysis in Accounts Management or other Business Operating Divisions (BODs) that process taxpayer’s inquiries. In either case, route the inquiry to secure all information needed to reply to taxpayer.

  4. Route all inquiries using appropriate routing transmittal.

  5. Ideally, one office should assume responsibility for responding to an incoming inquiry and any related correspondence. Therefore, try to consolidate correspondence and copies into one area functionally responsible for preparing the reply. The responding office determines and initiates the appropriate action on the account. See IRM 21.5.2.3,Adjustments Guidelines Research.

  6. Also use IRM 3.10.72,Receiving, Extracting, and Sorting, IRM 3.13.62,Media Transport and Control, and local guidelines in conjunction with this IRM for routing correspondence to appropriate area.

Taxpayer Inquiries and Complaints

  1. Taxpayer Complaints - The employee's team manager ensures that taxpayer complaints are identified and handled promptly. Handle this type of correspondence separately and expeditiously from regular work flow. See IRM 21.1.3.16,Taxpayer Complaints/Compliments about IRS Service.

  2. TAS (Taxpayer Advocate Service) - Business Operating Divisions (BODs) should not refer cases to TAS if a resolution or steps can be taken to resolve the taxpayer's issue within 24 hours (same date resolution).However, cases where the employee cannot resolve the issue within 24 hours, but has taken steps within 24 hours to resolve the taxpayer's issue, also meet the definition of same day. Do not refer these cases to TAS, unless the taxpayer asks to be transferred to TAS. Refer taxpayers to TAS when the contact meets TAS criteria see IRM 13.1.7 , Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Case Criteria), or when Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (and Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order), is attached and steps cannot be taken to resolve the taxpayer's issue the same day.

    1. Per the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR), taxpayers have the right to expect a fair and just tax system which provides taxpayers with the opportunity to have their facts and circumstances considered when it might affect their underlying liabilities, ability to pay, or ability to provide information timely.

    2. Taxpayers have the right to receive assistance from the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) if they are experiencing financial difficulty or if the IRS has not resolved their tax issues properly and timely through normal channels.

    3. When making a TAS referral, use Form 911, and forward to TAS in accordance with your local procedures.

    Note:

    It is important that all IRS employees handle potential TAS cases with the taxpayer's best interest in mind. Route inquiries meeting Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) criteria which cannot be resolved within 24 hours to the Taxpayer Advocate's office on Form 911,Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance, within one business day of determining that TAS criteria may apply.

    See IRM 13.1.7,Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Case Criteria, and IRM 21.1.3.18, Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Guidelines.

  3. Embarrassment to the Service - When correspondence is critical or involves issues that could cause embarrassment to the Service (e.g., reaction to notices involving levies), contact the function in the campus, area or field office, or other agency, directly (by telephone) to alert them that correspondence has been received and is being directed to their office.

  4. Field Office - Forward taxpayer replies to correspondence received in a campus to proper field office, unless the case has been reassigned to a particular campus.

  5. Centralized Processing - Forward all correspondence relating to returns that receive centralized processing, for example, Excise Tax, to appropriate campus for processing, unless otherwise specified. These include taxpayers living in foreign countries, Form 6069,Return of Excise Tax on Excess Contributions to Black Lung Benefit Trust Under Section 4953 and Computation of Section 192 Deduction,Form 990-BL, Information and Initial Excise Tax Return for Black Lung Benefit Trusts and Certain Related Person, International, and many other programs and issues. Document date Letter 86C was sent and date initiated.

  6. Routing Transmittal - Use the appropriate transmittal to route all incoming correspondence that relates to an IDRS controlled case assigned to a function or specific examiner to that assigned area.

  7. Form 3699 - Use Form 3699,Return of Documents to Taxpayer, to return documents submitted by taxpayer but not required to process inquiry. Examples of such items are receipts, canceled checks, Form W-2, and original Form W-4.

  8. Signature Requirements - If taxpayer wants to know why a signature is needed, advise that IRC Section 6061 requires original signatures on returns and in certain other situations. Exceptions to original signature requirement apply to Form 1040NR and Form 1041 (Rev. Rul. 68-500).

    Note:

    Check specific program guidelines for exceptions to this policy. The Service's Fax Policy allows us to accept a faxed signature in many instances when we make taxpayer contact. Refer to IRM 21.5.3.4.2, Tax Decrease or Credit Increase Processing, for these procedures.

  9. Form 14157-A - Form 14157-A, Tax Return Preparer Fraud or Misconduct Affidavit, see IRM 21.3.3.4.9.5, Forms/Loose Forms Correspondence/Inquiry.

  10. Field Referrals - Follow the routing procedures outlined in this Section to refer the inquiry or correspondence to the appropriate office/area for further consideration/processing:

    Inquiry/Correspondence request: Route to:
    Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or Privacy Act Internal Revenue Service
    Governmental Liaison & Disclosure Office
    Suite 209
    2980 Brandywine Rd.
    Chamblee, GA 30341
    Attn: Franklin Byner

    Note:

    Use overnight mail

    Subpoenas or other court requests for IRS documents or testimony Internal Revenue Service
    Governmental Liaison & Disclosure Office
    Suite 209
    2980 Brandywine Rd.
    Chamblee, GA 30341
    Attn: Franklin Byner

    Note:

    Use overnight mail

    Killed in Action/Killed in Terrorist Action (KIA/KITA) (including claims and correspondence) Designated representatives as provided in IRM 21.6.6.3.23.2.1,KITA/KIA Procedures for All Functions , IRM 21.7.5.5, Killed in Terrorist Action (KITA) Estate Tax Returns
    Incorrect Refunds Accounts Management function
    Responses to Letter 118, Letter 177 and Letter 1355 that involve missing Schedules K-1 Information Return Processing (IRP) Unit in Receipt and Control
    Responses to Letter 118,Letter 177,Letter 1355, that involve Balance Sheets (Schedule L), signature, or Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) Document Perfection function
    Correspondence concerning potential bad payors, or correspondence relating to Automated Underreporting (AUR) Automated Underreporter Operations - Follow procedures in IRM 21.3.1.4.59, IMF Underreporter Letters and IRM 21.3.1.4.62, AUR Special Handling.
    Trust Fund returns on Form 1065 or in Form 1065 format Processing, as Forms 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income.
    Correspondence citing frivolous arguments, using criteria listed in IRM 25.25.10,Frivolous Return Program Ogden Frivolous Return program
    Entity changes when no other issue is involved, including correspondence and correction data relating to entity change Entity Control Function at the appropriate Campus
    Address changes for IMF and BMF, and name changes that do not involve a taxpayer's first name line for BMF accounts Accounts Management function
    Correspondence relating to BMF AUR Follow procedures in the IRM 21.3.1.4.114, Letter 2030/2531 - Business Master File (BMF) Underreporter Program - General Information.

    Note:

    The above quick reference guide is not all inclusive. Additional specific program or function routing instructions can be found in the following IRM Correspondence/Inquiry sections. See IRM 21.3.3.4.9.1 through IRM 21.3.3.4.9.5 below. Another source for determining proper routing is the Campus Locator Program Guide, which can be accessed at: Program Locator Guide

Examination Correspondence/Inquiry
  1. Refer taxpayer inquiries involving complex questions about tax issues that cannot be answered readily to Examination Operation. Use Form 5101,Examination Referral Slip, to transmit correspondence to Examination. Examples of cases that may require referral to Examination function are:

    1. Inquiries involving Examination matters that require research of tax laws, regulations, rulings, and court decisions

    2. Inquiries about a case under Examination or containing a protest of Examination action. If research finds an unreversed TC 420 or TC 424 Examination indicator and contents of correspondence are not relevant to examination, item is answered routinely by Correspondence function. Cases with TC 420 or TC 424, route per Automation Information Management Systems (AIMS) to the appropriate Examination operation

    3. Inquiries pertaining to a completed examination that involves technical issues or matters contained in examination report

    4. Procedures relative to administration appeals or disposition of examined cases

    5. Those requesting a tax determination when specific facts are given upon which to base an answer, even though taxpayer does not ask specifically for a "determination" letter

    6. Inquiries received from an employer concerning questionable/invalid form or statement from an employee

    Example:

    A Form W-5 is received from an employer with a statement. The advanced earned income credit is questionable. The employer knows the employee is divorced and is claiming two children that do not live with the employee.

  2. Forward letters submitted in accordance with requirements in IRC Section 905(c), Adjustments on Payment of Accrued Taxes, to Chief, Examination in field office.

  3. Route correspondence indicating possible informant cases or claims for reward to Fresno Accounts Management. A designated employee will classify and forward them to appropriate function as indicated below.

    1. Refer communication from informants, along with Form 3949, Information Report Referral, to the appropriate office specified on Form 3949. Refer communication or claims for rewards, Form 211,Application for Reward for Original Information, to the appropriate Informant Claims Examiner Unit (ICE), listed on the back of Form 211. Place in a sealed envelope marked "To be opened by Informant Claims Examiner only." Do NOT send an acknowledgment to informant in either situation listed above.

    2. If an informant's correspondence involves an IRS employee, place in a sealed envelope, and refer directly to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at (1-800-366-4484). DO NOT send an acknowledgment to informant.

    3. For more information on Form 3949, see IRM 21.1.3.19,Informant Contacts.

      Note:

      Do not suggest or encourage the informant to submit a claim for reward.

Campus Collection Function Correspondence/Inquiry/Notice
  1. A Collection function is authorized for each campus (Compliance Center) to perform collection tasks in a centralized manner. The objective of these Collection functions are to collect taxes through personal taxpayer contact whenever there is an outstanding balance due, with the exception of carryback applications/claims and numbered and unnumbered amended returns/claims received with balance-due notice attached. Route all notice responses and correspondence relating to balance due accounts to the local campus Collection function if the case is not listed in IRM 21.3.3.4.9, Compliance Criteria for Amended Returns/Claims and/or Balance Due Correspondence, (after inputting a STAUP for at least four cycles) and any of the following conditions are present:

    1. Taxpayer wishes to pay in installments, including Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request, or needs other assistance with arranging payments or has a question relating to the installment agreement.

      Note:

      The Form 433-D or Form 9465 must be input by the Compliance Center with jurisdiction for the taxpayer's account when the taxpayer is requesting a Direct Debit Installment Agreement (DDIA). Route these forms to the Campus DDIA Liaisons. See IRM 5.19.1.5.4.14.1,DDIA - Form 433-D, and Form 9465 Installment Agreement Request Installment Agreement, for additional information.

    2. Taxpayer refuses to pay. See IRM 21.3.3.4.9.2.1 for more information.

    3. Taxpayer promises to pay in the future or is unable to pay. See IRM 21.3.3.4.9.2.1 for more information.

    4. Taxpayer responds to the installment notice (CP 521) they are unable to make the monthly payment or similar language.

    5. Taxpayer responds to a default notice (CP 523).

    6. Taxpayer’s account is in Masterfile status 41, 42, 43, 44, 46, and 91.

    7. Taxpayer’s account is in Service Center (SC) status 53 set by a TC 530, and does not meet the requirement in IRM 21.3.3.4.9.2.1, AM will work the taxpayer’s issue

    8. There are claims for refund, or request for abatement of the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty assessments.

    9. Responses on military deferment, and Substitute for Return (except fully paid SFR assessments or Exam SFRs) cases.

    10. Responses on deceased or incarcerated taxpayers that meet collection criteria (can't pay, won't pay, or will pay later). See

    11. Taxpayer indicates they are not liable for employment taxes because workers were independent contractors or subcontractors.

    12. Field office 6020(b) assessments (identified by TC 599 Closing Codes 63 and 64).

    13. Taxpayer requests release of levy or federal tax lien.

    14. Requests for extension of time to pay estate tax must be routed to the Centralized Estate & Gift Tax Department at the Cincinnati Compliance Campus.

      Reminder:

      See the Campus Program Locator Guide, found on SERP under the Who/Where tab for routing assistance.

      Note:

      Regardless of the phase of collection the case is in, the Combined Annual Wage Reporting (CAWR) case should be routed according to the state mapping. See Campus Program Locator Guide SB/SE Compliance Services.

    Exception:

    Field Assistance (FA) employees only , FA employees will address all issue(s) within FA authority presented by the taxpayer in their correspondence. All issues presented by the taxpayer must be carefully reviewed, addressed and resolved, before closing the case. See IRM 21.3.4.2.4.5.2 (2), Alternative Work Stream and IRM References, for more information.

  2. Field Collection (FC) employees must route status 26 cases (including Form 3870 and Form 4159) per IRM 5.4, Case Processing, and IRM 5.1.15, Abatements, Reconsiderations and Adjustments. If Forms 3870 or Forms 4159 are received in Accounts Management (AM) from Revenue Officers, reject the form back to the FC originator using Form 3210, Document Transmittal.

  3. The Wage and Investment Division (W&I) and Small Business/Self Employed Division (SB/SE) have implemented a Service Level Agreement (SLA) to establish uniform standards for the processing of certain status 26 casework (Forms 3870, Request for Adjustment/Forms 4159, Payment Tracer Request ) received in Centralized Case Processing (CCP) from Field Collection (FC).

    1. CCP will route only these specific cases to the designated point of contact (POC) at the Philadelphia AM Campus. These cases will then be scanned (into CIS) to Ogden Accounts Management (AM).

    2. Status 26 casework will not be routed to any other AM campus. If received, return to CCP at:
      Philadelphia CCP
      BLN 5-E04.114
      2970 Market St
      Philadelphia, PA 19104

    3. Only Ogden AM will process specific status 26 casework.

    4. AM will not accept any Form 3870 / Form 4159 status 26 requests directly from Field Collection. All such requests will be returned to the originator. AM will not respond to telephone, fax, or e-mail or direct inquiries from FC, requesting adjustment assistance. Any such callers will be referred to CCP Collection FORT Team for assistance.

  4. Route all amended/duplicate returns/claims and any correspondence from the taxpayer or their authorized representative to the Revenue Officer (RO) assigned to the account when at least one tax period is in status 26. An RO has a unique eight-digit number (not all zeros) (collection assignment number) located in the upper right hand corner of CC SUMRY. Only route the case to the RO if it has been assigned. Revenue Officer's address can be found on the SERP Who-Where tab titled RO Lookup. Otherwise, follow normal case processing procedures. If there are tax periods in notice status (i.e., 21, 56 or 58), in addition to the status 26 module(s), input CC STAUP 22 01 to accelerate those tax periods to status 26. Also, input a TC 971-012 for audit trail purposes on amended / duplicate returns or formal claims (only) for all tax periods involved. See IRM 21.5.1.4.8,Transaction Code 971 and IRM 21.5.3.2, What Are Claims for Credit, Refund, and Abatement, for more information.

    Note:

    Account refers to the entire TIN, not just one tax period. The RO is responsible for resolving the entire account, not just the status 26 modules. The amended / duplicate return or correspondence does not have to pertain to the status 26 tax period.

    Reminder:

    Do not route tax increase/credit decrease cases to the Revenue Officer if the Assessment Statute Expiration Date (ASED) will expire within 90 days. Forward the case to the Statute Team.

    Exception:

    BMF International units in OAMC process requests for reasonable cause on systemically assessed Failure to File penalty on Form 5471, Information Return of U.S. Persons With Respect to Certain Foreign Corporations, and Form 5472, Information Return of a Foreign Owned Corporation. For more information see IRM 21.8.2.20.2, Form 5471 Penalties Systemically Assessed from Late-Filed Form 1120 Series or Form 1065, IRM 21.7.4.4.4.16, Failure to File Form 1120 and Form 5471 penalties, and IRM 21.8.2.22.2, Form 5472 Penalties Systemically Assessed from Late-Filed Form 1120 Series. Manually assessed Failure to File penalty on Form 5471 and Form 5472 route penalty abatement request to the originator. The penalty assessed on Form 5471 and Form 5472 are subject to enforcement actions by Compliance.

    Reminder:

    See IRM 21.3.3.4.9.2.1.2, IMF Compliance Routing (ASFR Reconsideration and Status 26), for information regarding some collection assignment numbers that may not be assigned to a RO.

  5. Forward return delinquency cases that involve a module with an open control base in Collection or if taxpayer indicates not liable, previously filed, or will file and TC 140 is present on module, or in Tax Delinquency Investigation (TDI) status of 02 or 03 to CSCO.

  6. Route all other balance due notice responses or correspondence to Accounts Management function. This includes CP 504 responses where the case has not rolled to status 22 and status 6X cases unrelated to a collection issue.

  7. If correspondence is received in status 24, unrelated to a collection issue (can't pay, won't pay, or will pay later), reply to the correspondence unless a notice generated by an adjustment will answer the correspondence. Correspondence in status 24 with can't pay, won't pay or will pay later issues see the chart in IRM 21.3.3.4.9.2.1, Compliance Criteria for Amended Returns/Claims and/or Balance Due Correspondence.

  8. If working correspondence in status 22 (IDRS status), route the correspondence per IRM 5.19.1.2.2For All Employees ,for instructions specific to working status 22 correspondence.

    Reminder:

    AM will work status 22 correspondence cases if the case was received in AM in notice status before the case went into status 22. Do not route these cases to ACSS. Work the correspondence case following normal processing procedures. After completing the case, document the history on AMS. If a case was received in ACSS in status 22 and then subsequently went into another MF status e.g., status 12, ACSS will work the case.

    Exception:

    If a Decedent account includes any modules in status 22, transfer the correspondence to the appropriate ACSS site. See IRM 5.19.1.4.3, Deceased Taxpayers.

    Note:

    If working Amended Returns/Claims, see IRM 21.3.3.4.9.2.1Compliance Criteria for Amended Returns/Claims and/or Balance Due Correspondence.

  9. If working correspondence in status 71, route per SERP Website under "Who/Where" Offer-in-Compromise (OIC) Centralized Service Center Locations.

  10. If working correspondence in Bankruptcy status 72, route per SERP Website under "Who/Where" Insolvency (Bankruptcy) National Field/Centralized Site Directory.

    Exception:

    If the closing code is 76 or 77, these are Collection Due Process (CDP) cases and must be referred to the CDP caseworker in Automated Collection System (ACS) Support.

Compliance Criteria for Amended Returns/Claims and/or Balance Due Correspondence
  1. This IRM sub-section provides guidance for processing amended returns/claims and /or balance due correspondence on accounts in Collection status 22, 24, or involving other Collection criteria.

    Reminder:

    Exempt Organization accounts in status 22, 24, or 26 are worked in:

    Ogden Accounts Management
    IRS
    1973 North Rulon White Blvd.
    EO Accounts, M/S 6552
    Ogden, UT 84404

    Note:

    Amended returns/claims in status 72 are worked by Accounts Management employees. Ensure a TC 971 Action Code (AC) 010 is input, or has previously been input and contact made to the appropriate bankruptcy site using: Insolvency (Bankruptcy) National Field/Centralized Site Directory.

    Refer to IRM 21.5.6.4.44, -V Freeze, and IRM 21.5.6.4.46,-W Freeze, for additional processing information.

  2. Amended returns/claims (both numbered and unnumbered) in status 22 and 24 received in Accounts Management, are processed in Accounts Management following normal procedures, including inputting any necessary adjustments. See IRM 21.5.3.2, What Are Claims for Credit, Refund, and Abatement?, for more information regarding claims.

    Reminder:

    Processing amended returns/claims that by-pass SP can be found in IRM 21.7.9.3.1,Amended/Corrected/Adjusted Returns that By-Pass Submission Processing.

  3. Requests for reasonable cause penalty abatement (including penalty appeals) in status 22 must be forwarded to ACSS (Automated Collection System Support). Use the following link for ACSS routing: ACS Support and Status 22 TAS Liaisons.

    Exception:

    Penalty Abatement requests such as Civil Penalties and Exempt Organizations (EO) will be routed to the appropriate area that assessed the penalty. See IRM 20.1.1-4, Penalty Reference Numbers (500 Series), or IRM 20.1.1-5, Penalty Reference Numbers (600 Series) for Civil Penalty reference numbers and descriptions. Penalty request from Form 5471 and Form 5472 , see the exception in IRM 21.3.3.4.9.2.

    Reminder:

    AM will work status 22 reasonable cause abatement (including penalty appeals) cases if the case was received in AM before the case went into status 22. Do not route these cases to ACSS. If a case was received in ACSS in status 22 and then subsequently went into another MF status e.g., status 12, ACSS will work the case.

  4. Route all amended/duplicate returns/claims and correspondence received from the taxpayer in status 26 to the appropriate Revenue Officer group office. For more information see IRM 21.3.3.4.9.2(4), Campus Collection Function Correspondence/Inquiry/Notice.

  5. If correspondence (not in status 26) is can't pay, won't pay, or will pay later is received with an amended return/claim, detach the correspondence from the return and forward based on the guidance below. Notate across the top of the correspondence "Detached from Form 1040X or Form 94XX, etc.," to alert the receiving function that Accounts Management is processing a claim for this account.

    Example:

    Correspondence is received with a 1040X or claim: Detach the correspondence, notate at the top of the correspondence "1040X Detached" , route according to the Compliance Routing chart below, and process the 1040X or claim.

    Example:

    Correspondence is received with a 94XX: Detach the correspondence, notate at the top of the correspondence "94XX Detached" , route according to the Compliance Routing chart below, and process the 94XX. See IRM 21.7.2.4.6, Adjusted Employer's Federal Tax Return or Claim for Refund, for processing Form 94XX.

    Reminder:

    If the case is imaged in CIS, please see the guidance in the CIS User Performance Guide, for additional information on splitting images.

  6. Accounts Management does not work any correspondence cases in status 22, unless otherwise notated in the IRM.

  7. Reply to status 24 correspondence not related to collection matters (can't pay, won't pay, will pay later) unless the notice generated by the adjustment will provide a complete response to the taxpayer's issue(s).

  8. If the correspondence is can't pay, won't pay, or will pay later, regardless of the account status, see the table below for collection routing:

    Compliance Routing Can't Pay, Won't Pay, or Will Pay Later:
    Cases in Status: Route Collection correspondence to: Action needed:
    SB/SE and W&I 22 or 24
    (BOD code found on ENMOD)
    ACS Support Liaisons at ACS Support and Status 22 TAS Liaisons
    1. Route correspondence.
    2. ACSS will process the correspondence.
    20, 21, 23, 53, 56, or 58 Compliance Services Collection Operations at CSCO 1. Cases in status 20, 21, 56, or 58, input CC STAUP for 6 cycles.
    2. Route the correspondence
    3. CSCO will process the correspondence.
  9. If an original return is attached to correspondence on an account not in status 26 and research indicates no TC 150 posted, input TC 599 with appropriate closing code and send to appropriate function for processing. See IRM 5.19.2, Individual Master File (IMF) Return Delinquency, for IMF guidance or IRM 5.19.22, Business Master File (BMF) Return Delinquency, for BMF guidance.

    Reminder:

    For more information on inputting the TC 599 with the appropriate closing code, see Document 6209,IRS Processing Codes and Information, under the TDI Closing Codes .

BMF Compliance Routing for 6020b Correspondence Replies
  1. If correspondence is received in response to a 6020b assessment (not Status 26), stating TP not liable for the return, forward to Compliance Services Collection Operation (CSCO) at Service Center Addresses for Collection Operations. For more information, see IRM 5.18.2.4.6(4), Tax Technician Duties.

  2. If a return is attached to the correspondence, follow instructions in IRM 21.7.9.4.1.6, Duplicate Filing Conditions Involving Returns Prepared Under IRC Section 6020(b).

IMF Compliance Routing (ASFR Reconsideration and Status 26)
  1. If the amended return/claim or correspondence is for a tax year that is an ASFR Reconsideration, research IDRS for the following transaction codes. All must be present if the response is an Automated Substitute for Return (ASFR) Reconsideration:

    • TC 150 (Dummy)

    • TC 494

    • TC 495

    • TC 290 (tax assessment)

    • TC 599 closing code(cc) 88

  2. If the amended return/claim meets the criteria as an ASFR Reconsideration, route according to SERP Who - Where tab:ASFR - Reconsideration Returns - Centralized Processing Sites..

    Exception:

    If an IMF case has a TC 599 cc 89 present on the module and the tax on the return does not match the tax posted to IDRS, then it is not an ASFR Reconsideration request. It is an amended return and is worked in the Accounts Management Adjustment Function.

  3. There are two exceptions where the status 26 account is not assigned to a revenue officer:

    1. Status 26 with a TSIGN of 8000. If the amended return/claim is not for a period with an ASFR assessment, process the amended return/claim and route the correspondence as shown above see IRM 21.3.3.4.9.2.1, Compliance Criteria for Amended Returns/Claims and/or Balance Due Correspondence.

    2. Status 26 when there is a Manually Monitored Installment Agreement (MMIA). The TSIGN will be 35XX6XXX with a(n) history item on ENMOD identifying it as a MMIA. If the amended return/claim is for MMIA, route the amended return/claim and correspondence to Centralized Case Processing site at the:

      Philadelphia Campus
      2970 Market St.
      BLN 5-E04.117
      Philadelphia, PA 19104

    Note:

    For additional status 26 information see IRM 21.3.3.4.9.2Campus Collection Function Correspondence/Inquiry/Notice

    .

Employee Pensions, Profit Sharing Plans, IRA/Simplified Employee Plan, and Exempt Organizations Correspondence/Inquiry
  1. Taxpayer correspondence concerning normal issues on forms covering Employee Pensions or Profit Sharing Plans must be handled by Ogden campus.

  2. Forward correspondence concerning legal aspects of plan to Employee Plans (EP) function in appropriate area office. All tax law correspondence for Exempt Organization (EO) and Employee Plans (EP) goes to Tax Exempt/Government Entities (TE/GE) in Cincinnati. EO and EP account and entity correspondence generally go to Ogden. Use Letter 86C,Inquiry/Forms to Another Office, to notify the taxpayer of the referral. See the chart in IRM 21.3.8.5.1.2,Hearing - Impaired Customers and TDD Equipment, for routing addresses.

  3. Forward correspondence concerning Employee Plan (EP) and IRA/Simplified Employee Plan applications or oral requests for determination of whether a plan qualifies under IRC provisions to EP/EO Determination Site (EP/EO-DCSC) in Cincinnati. Use Letter 86C to notify the taxpayer of the referral.

  4. If taxpayer requests information on filing and paying tax withheld from pensions, annuities, and other deferred income, advise as follows:

    1. Income tax withheld on nonpayroll items can no longer be reported on Form 941. Non-payroll items include pensions, annuities, IRAs, military retirement, gambling winnings, backup withholding, Indian gaming projects, and voluntary withholding on certain government payments. Non-payroll withholding must be reported on Form 945,Annual Return of Withheld Federal Income Tax. Separate deposit requirements are required for payroll (Form 941 ) and nonpayroll (Form 945) withholding. Advise taxpayer that additional information is found in instructions for Form 945.

    2. Deferred Income Pension Plans - Payer of designated distribution or plan administrator is liable for withholding and paying tax. Taxpayer must determine who is the payor; however, if person making payment is acting solely as an agent for another person, he/she is not the payor. Advise taxpayer that additional information is found in Publication 15-A,Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide.

    3. If the plan is the payor, it must have an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This EIN is generally a different number from the company's EIN. If one has already been assigned, advise payor to use assigned number. For more information see IRM 21.7.13.5.7.4,Determining the Need for an EIN: Employee Plans.

    4. Generally, tax withheld must be deposited through Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). Deposits must be separate from Form 941 deposits. When an EIN is assigned, the taxpayer is automatically enrolled in EFTPS; however, if the payor already has a number, advise the payor to enroll in EFTPS.

      Reminder:

      Effective January 1, 2011, taxpayers are required to use EFTPS to deposit taxes. Form(s) 8109 and 8109-B, Federal Tax Deposit Coupon, cannot be used after December 31, 2010.

    5. IRAs-Banks, regulated investment companies, or insurance companies are considered payors as far as IRAs are concerned. Taxes withheld are to be paid by Federal Tax Deposit (FTD), separate from 941 deposits.

    6. Send the taxpayer the necessary data, such as a Form SS-4, with the response. If the taxpayer has included enough data so that all that is required is assignment of an EIN, forward the request to the campus of record as shown in IRM 21.7.13.7.1,State Mapping for Assigning EINs.

Corrected SSN/FICA, SSA/EIN Correspondence/Inquiry
  1. Route employer correspondence that corrects employee SSNs or names erroneously reported on prior FICA wage schedules to SSA. Do NOT convert to Form 94XX. Follow procedures in IRM 3.13.62,Media Transport and Control.

  2. Route requests received from applications for EINs to the appropriate Campus of Record. (See IRM 21.7.13.7.1,State Mapping for Assigning EINs.)

Forms/Loose Forms Correspondence/Inquiry
  1. Forward correspondence received from software developers/form designers requesting approval to use substitute tax forms to Headquarters Substitute Forms Program. Depending on form, addresses are:

    Forms W-2 and W-3

    Internal Revenue Service
    Attn: Substitute Form W-2 Coordinator
    5000 Ellin Road
    Lanham, MD 20706



    Forms 1096, 1098, 1099 Series, 5498, W-2G

    Internal Revenue Service
    Attn: IRP Coordinator
    5000 Ellin Road
    Lanham, MD 20706

    Forms 4461, 4461-A, 4461-B, 5300, 5310, 5310-A, 6406

    Internal Revenue Service
    Attn: EP OCR Forms Coordinator
    1111 Constitution Avenue, NW
    Room 2232 IR
    Washington, DC 20224

    All other forms should be mailed to:

    Internal Revenue Service
    Attn: Substitute Forms Program
    5000 Ellin Road
    Mail Stop C6-175
    Lanham, MD 20706

  2. Process loose completed Form 1310,Statement of Person Claiming Refund Due a Deceased Taxpayer, in accordance with IRM 21.6.6.3.22.2, Processing Decedent Account Refunds, and IRM 3.11.3.10.3, Documentary Evidence.

  3. Process loose Form 1122,Authorization and Consent of Subsidiary Corporation To Be Included in a Consolidated Income Tax Return, to be Included in a Consolidated Income Tax Return, as follows:

    1. Research IDRS for DLN of parent corporation.

    2. After DLN is obtained, send Form 1122 to Files for association with parent Form 1120.

  4. Route Form 8939, Allocation of Increase in Basis for Property Received from a Decedent, to:

    Estate and Gift Tax Operation
    Attn: Stop 824G
    201 W. Rivercenter Blvd.
    Covington , KY 41011

  5. Form 8822-B, Change of Address or Responsible Party - Business, will continue to be used for address change requests from BMF, EO, and EP taxpayers.

    1. In addition, BMF taxpayers must notify the IRS whenever the responsible party changes. Form 8822-B was revised to reflect this function.

    2. Route loose Forms 8822-B to the Submission Processing Entity Unit located in Ogden or Cincinnati:

      Internal Revenue Service
      Attn: Ogden BMF Entity (BMF, EO, and EP)
      M/S 6273
      Ogden, UT 84404-0023


      Internal Revenue Service
      Attn: Cincinnati BMF Entity (BMF Only)
      M/S 343
      Cincinnati, OH 45999-0023

      Note:

      Only the Ogden Entity Team processes the Form 8822-B for EP/EO entities. Route all other Forms 8822-B according to state mapping in IRM 21.3.3.4..

  6. Return preparer misconduct correspondence or inquiry may be received from the taxpayer with or without Form 14157-A , Tax Return Preparer Fraud or Misconduct Affidavit.

    • An unscrupulous tax return preparer may alter a taxpayer's tax data (includes but is not limited to falsified dependents, expenses, deductions, credits, income, refund amount, etc.) and/or misdirect a portion or all of the refund. Taxpayers may become aware of misconduct through taxpayer initiated contact (telephone, Field Assistance or Taxpayer Advocate Service, etc.) or through Compliance or IRS enforcement investigative processes (Examination audit notices, AUR CP-2000, Integrity and Verification Operations (IVO) contact letters or Criminal Investigations(CI), etc.)

    • Taxpayer’s who claim to be a victim of return preparer misconduct may request assistance from the IRS by filing a complaint and providing required documentation. See IRM 25.24.1, Return Preparer Misconduct Victim Assistance – General Overview, for general information in identifying Return Preparer Misconduct (RPM) criteria and specific guidance for toll free assistors, Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) employees and non-specialized employees working paper inventory.

  7. The account shows BMF- AUR (Automated Under Reporters) Compliance involvement (TC 925) with an open BMF AUR control with the Category Code BUR1, BUR0, BURS, BURC. Route to these cases BMF AUR. Follow the guidance provided in IRM 21.3.1.4.114, CP 2030/2531- BMF Underreporter Program- General Information

    Note:

    CIS cases are routed to the OAMC central printer
    Mail Stop 6663
    Attention: BMF AUR Processing

    Reminder:

    Do Not put BMF- AUR control base in background (B) status.

  8. Generally, when a taxpayer or their representative requests forms or publications see IRM 21.3.6.4.1 , Ordering Forms and Publications . for more information.

Taxpayer Late Replies

  1. Unless otherwise specified in this section, mark all late replies from taxpayer or representative "Late Reply" and route to originating area.

  2. Route Employee Plans late replies to EP Accounts Management,
    EP Accounts Unit
    Mail Stop 6552
    1973 N Rulon White Blvd.
    Ogden, UT 84201

  3. Process late replies for Exempt Organizations (EO) as follows:

    • To process Form 990,Form 990-EZ, and Form 990-PF, requires the CSR to correspond twice with organization to obtain missing information.

    • Use Letter 2694C,Letter 2695C, Letter 2697C,Letter 2698C, or Letter 2699C to obtain this information.

  4. If a late reply to the Letter 2696C,Letter 2697C,Letter 2698C, or Letter 2699C is received, research IDRS CC ENMOD to see if a second (Letter 2696C,Letter 2697C,Letter 2698C, or Letter 2699C ) was issued.

    If Then
    Second letter was issued within last 30 days Pull the suspense, associate reply, and forward for processing.
    Second letter was not issued Stamp "Late Reply" on response, and forward to
    EO Accounts Management
    Mail Stop 6710
    1973 N Rulon White Blvd.
    Ogden, UT 84201
  5. When a late reply to an inquiry is received, route to Entity Control function if a temporary Social Security Number (SSN) was assigned and taxpayer now provides the actual SSN.

  6. If the taxpayer provides the requested information, stop the notice if it has not been issued.

  7. Take necessary actions to resolve situation. This may include preparation of a request for adjustment on a late reply to correct an adjustment action that was previously input.

  8. Process "Late Replies" for letters that were initiated by Document Perfection, Unpostables, or Rejects.

    1. Stamp "Late Reply" on response.

    2. No research is necessary.

    3. Forward all schedules, forms, and requests for missing information and signatures to Accounts Management function.

    4. Route SSN, address, and name changes to Entity Control function. Make all Master File entity changes as soon as possible. Exercise caution when correcting addresses shown on copies of returns, since they may reflect an old address.

    Exception:

    For EO account related Correspondence, follow (3) above.

Taxpayer "Non-Filer" Correspondence

  1. Forward all correspondence that might be a "non-filer" case to the unit which handles this type of correspondence. For additional information see IRM 4.19.17, Non-Filer Program.

  2. If the correspondence is returned by the unit, indicate Category A on the document and forward to Campus Examination function.

Undelivered Mail (Accounts Management)

  1. This section provides guidance when undelivered mail is received in Accounts Management.

Undelivered Mail Received From Campus Mail Operations
  1. The mail operation for each campus routes or determines if undeliverable mail is processed as classified waste as indicated below and in accordance with routing and disposition instructions provided in IRM 3.10.72, Receiving, Extracting, and Sorting,IRM 3.13.62, Media Transport and Control,IRM 3.13.36.28, Correspondence or and IRM 3.13.12.21, Undeliverable Mail, (for TE/GE undelivered correspondence).

  2. The following undelivered mail will be routed to Accounts Management for resolution:

    • Letter 105C - Claim Disallowed

    • Letter 106C - Claim Partially Disallowed

    • Letter 239C - TIN-Related Problem Resolution

    • Letter 474C - Math Error Explained (IMF)

    • Letter 852C - Penalty Waiver or Abatement Disallowed/Appeals Procedures Explained (FTD) For Use With AMS/RCA Applications

    • Letter 853C - Penalty Waiver or Abatement Disallowed/Appeals Procedure Explained (for use with AMS/RCA applications only!)

    • Letter 854C - Penalty Waiver or Abatement Disallowed/Appeals Procedure Explained

    • Letter 916C - Claim Incomplete for Processing; No Consideration

    Reminder:

    If the CSR receives an undelivered letter in the list above for Identity Theft (IDT), Centralized Authorization File (CAF), Reporting Agent File (RAF) or Refund Inquiry (RI), it must be forwarded to the originating office.

    Sort all undeliverable mail, other than notices, by name or employee number of originator and forward to respective areas.

  3. Identity Theft - The following specific undelivered mail (including Letter 105C and Letter 106C) must be routed to the appropriate Identity Theft team for resolution:

    • Letter 4281C - IM Breach Notification Letter - Authorized Use Only

    • Letter 4402C - ID Theft (Self Identified) - AM AC 504 Notification Letter)

    • Letter 4403C - ID Theft - IPSU Acknowledgement/Resource Info/Point of Contact

    • Letter 4524C - Identity Theft Assistance Request (ITAR)

    • Letter 4674C - Identity Theft Post-Adjustment Victim Notification Letter (For use By AM When TC 971 AC 506 is input)

    • CP 01C - We Have Verified Your Documents to Support Your Identity Theft Report

    Caution:

    For IDT employees, if there is an identity theft indicator on the account, additional research must be performed to ensure that the addressee is the intended taxpayer, or if the correspondence should be destroyed and not resent. See IRM 25.23.2.16, Initial Allegation or Suspicion of Tax-Related identity Theft - IMF Identity Theft Indicators, for assistance in recognizing identity theft tracking indicators. For any of the ID Theft Letters identified above, this includes the Letter 105C and Letter 106C, add a case note on CIS to indicate the address or additional information (i.e., unable to locate) from the undelivered mail.

    .

  4. Centralized Authorization File (CAF) - The following specific undelivered mail will be routed to the appropriate Centralized Authorization File (CAF) team for resolution:

    • Letter 861C - Power of Attorney, Tax Information Authorization and/or U. S. Estate Tax Return (Forms 2848, 8821, or 706) Incomplete for Processing

    • Letter 1727C - Power of Attorney Representative Number

    • Letter 2673C - Representative or Appointee/Taxpayer Response

    • Letter 2675C - Power of Attorney Termination Response

    • Letter 4527C - CAF Designation Level H and/or Level I Rejection Letter

    • CP 547 - We Assigned You a Centralized Authorization File (CAF) Number

    • All CP Notices and letters marked "CAF COPY"

  5. Reporting Agent File (RAF) - The following specific undelivered mail will be routed to the Reporting Agent File (RAF) team for resolution:

    • All CP Notices and letters marked "RAF COPY"

  6. Refund Inquiry (RI) - As of March 2015, the Refund Inquiry teams no longer take any action on any undelivered CP notices or C Letters specific to the Refund Inquiry Program, including those with the yellow USPS address sticker.

    Reminder:

    Undelivered refund checks and limited payability notices have maximum time frames for processing. Refer to IRM 3.30.123.14.2, Undelivered and Limited Payability Refund Checks, for specific processing time frames.

  7. Statute - The following specific undelivered mail must be routed to the appropriate Statute team for resolution:

    • Letter 112C - Payment/Overpayment/Credit Applied; No Record of Return Filed

    Reminder:

    The undelivered 112C Letter should be referred to the Statute Team only if the undelivered letter is for a statute year tax return.

  8. The above lists includes the Spanish version of the letters and notices.

  9. For a complete list of notices and letters that can be destroyed as classified waste see IRM 3.13.62-54, Undeliverable CP Notice and C-Letter Distribution and Mailing Guides.

  10. If the undelivered mail is a letter requesting additional information (suspense file) from the taxpayer or authorized representative, forward to the initiator. The initiator must update the suspense period to reflect the reissuance of correspondence. Include a note on case history sheet or case note on CIS.

  11. Any mis-routed undelivered mail received from Campus Mail Operations must be forwarded to the appropriate area (Compliance, Exam, etc.) for resolution.

Undelivered Mail Procedures for Accounts Management
  1. The following procedures apply to the letters and notices identified in IRM 21.3.3.4.12.1, Undelivered Mail Received From Campus Mail Operations.

  2. If the undelivered mail is not treated as classified waste, it must be date stamped with the IRS received date in a conspicuous place. Campus Mail Operations usually date stamps the case before sending the case to AM, if it does not have an IRS received date stamp, AM must stamp the received date before closing the case.

  3. When undelivered IRS-initiated correspondence is received, research Master File (MF) for an updated address. If the undelivered mail has a yellow address sticker provided by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) on original envelope, compare the yellow label entity to the name and address using the following Command Codes (CC) ENMOD, BMFOLE, or IMFOLE to verify it is the same taxpayer.

    Note:

    Compare the cycle of current MF address to see which address is the most current. For example, if the yellow label shows Bob S. Jones, review of ENMOD/IMFOLE shows Bob Jones and the address cycle is prior to the address on the yellow label, this indicates this is the same taxpayer with a more current address.

  4. If a new address is found, use the following procedures:

    • Recompute the penalty and/or interest on all balance due letters or notices more than seven days old.

    • Send the 2788C Letter, Undeliverable Mail - New Address Verification , or the appropriate C Letter if a new address is found.

      Caution:

      DO NOT update MF strictly based on the yellow sticker address provided by USPS. Use the address on USPS yellow label to only reissue the letter after research is conducted and it is determined that the USPS yellow address label is the most current.

    • Include a copy of Form 8822,Change of Address, when returning correspondence to individual taxpayers and filers of the Form 706 / Form 709 series. Include a copy of Form 8822-B, Change of Address or Responsible Party - Business, when returning correspondence to BMF, EO, and EP taxpayers.

    • Attach a copy of the undelivered mail to the appropriate C Letter.

  5. If the undelivered mail is a certified letter take the following action:

    • Do not send the 2788C Letter, Undeliverable Mail - New Address Verification, if a new address is found.

    • Re-mail the entire undelivered certified letter (including the envelope) unchanged to the new address in another envelope. It is not necessary to re-mail the letter certified. Do not issue a new letter.

    • Include the appropriate change of address form (Form 8822 / Form 8822-B), as required.

    • Input a history item on AMS that the undelivered certified letter was re-mailed.

    For more information on undelivered certified mail see IRM 25.6.1.6.2 (3), Identifying Undeliverable Mail.

  6. If a new address is not found and MF shows the same address as on the undelivered mail, use the appropriate form to associate the undelivered mail to the controlling DLN for the tax period.

    • Forward the case to Return Files (unless a local agreement has been reached with Files to associate in an alternative manner).

    • A TC 290 for $.00 is necessary when associating items with electronically filed returns.

      Reminder:

      Undelivered mail is not scanned into the Correspondence Imaging System (CIS). However, if undelivered mail is erroneously scanned into CIS, do not print and associate with the controlling DLN.

  7. An undelivered IVO certified 105C Letter / 106C Letter may be received in Accounts Management. These letters can be identified by a range of IDRS numbers between 148100000 – 1487900000 and the Austin IVO address of:
    Stop 6579
    3651 S Interregional Hwy 35
    Austin, TX 78741-0053

    When an undelivered IVO issued 105C Letter / 106C Letter is identified, use the following guidance for processing:

    • Route to IVO (at the above address) if the certified letter indicates a better address. This will be indicated by a yellow sticker or a handwritten forwarding address.

    • Destroy as classified waste if the undelivered IVO certified letter does not indicate an updated address (yellow sticker or handwritten forwarding address).

    • If the undelivered IVO letter was scanned into CIS in error, and does not have an indication of an updated address, close the CIS base and input a case note that states “IVO 105C (or 106C) Ltr CW” or similar language.



    For more information on undelivered IVO certified mail see IRM 25.25.7.5, Unclaimed Mail / Undelivered Mail.

Undelivered Mail Time and Volume Reporting for Accounts Management
  1. The following guidance is provided to determine the appropriate instances for reporting time and volume to production. Time and volume should only be reported to a production program if an IDRS action is taken by a Customer Service Representative (CSR). The following examples are not all inclusive.

    Example:


    Inputting a change of address
    Re-calculating the IDRS balance due to resend the notice to a new address
    Inputting an adjustment to release a freeze on the account, etc.

  2. If the time involved in processing undeliverable mail does not require IDRS action, the time is reported to the clerical function. The following examples are not all inclusive.

    Example:


    No action cases
    Classified waste/"burn items."

  3. The IAT Undeliverable Tool is available for use and MUST ONLY be used if closing an Undeliverable WITH an IDRS action. If NO IDRS action is required, DO NOT USE the tool. An IAT Undelivered Mail job aid is available, see Undeliverable IAT Tool.

  4. Accounts Management will report time to process undelivered mail as:

    Function IDRS time reporting non-IDRS time reporting
    IMF Undelivered Mail 710-40006 790-40006
    BMF Undelivered Mail 710-10005 790-10005
    EP Undelivered Mail 710-72801 790-10005
    EO Undelivered Mail 710-13107 790-10005
  5. For employees in Statute and AMRH, report the time using the appropriate time codes for the transcript associated with the undelivered mail.

  6. If the clerical function will be taking the necessary action on the undelivered mail, use the applicable 790 function code to report the time accordingly.

Miscellaneous Elections and Forms

  1. Miscellaneous elections and forms include:

    • Special forms requiring exception handling and maintenance.

    • Loose forms or schedules that should have been attached to a tax return when it was submitted, but are detached due to incorrect processing or sent in separately by the taxpayer.

    • Computer Paragraph (CP) notices are generated by the IRS to notify employees or taxpayers of a special circumstance on an account requiring action.

  2. Forward elections filed under the sections of the IRC listed below to Return Files function for association with the original income tax return. If research indicates no return has been filed, return the document(s) to the taxpayer on Form 3699,Return of Documents to Taxpayer. Request that the document(s) be resubmitted when the taxpayer files a return.

    • IRC Section 243

    • IRC Section 103

  3. A person who realizes a gain or other income because of an exchange to which IRC Section 367(b) applies must file a notice of such exchange on or before last date for filing a Federal income tax return for taxable year in question. Route these notifications to Examination Classification function.

  4. Form 5213, Election to Postpone Determination as To Whether the Presumption Applies That an Activity Is Engaged in for Profit, is filed under IRC Section 183(e). Upon receipt, route to field office to attention of Planning and Special Programs Manager, Examination function. Indicate on transmittal document that Section 183(e) elections require follow-up action on subsequent returns. Send elections to field office with jurisdiction over address of taxpayer on Form 5213.

    Note:

    Please refer to IRM 3.10.72-9, Form 5213 Routing to Planning and Special Programs (PSP), for further guidance.

  5. Route all elections with a notation "Filed under IRC Section 2032A" or containing a reference to Form 706, United States Estate Tax Return, Valuation Election, to the Estate and Gift Tax Operation at the Cincinnati campus. See IRM 21.7.5.1, Estate and Gift Tax Returns Overview, for mailing address. If a claim is attached to election, route both claim and election to Estate and Gift Tax Operation.

  6. Taxpayers may submit letter requests to retain (or adopt) a fiscal tax year under the Subchapter S Revision Act of 1982. Route these requests to Entity Control.

  7. If a request for redemption of registered securities, input TC 930, push code, to associate the request with the " Registered Owner" corporation's income tax return for period that includes "Date Paid" .

    Note:

    An input of TC 930, push code, is not necessary when working a CIS case.

  8. Associate a request identified under IRC Section 936 for Revocation of an Election to be Treated as a Possessions Corporation, as set forth in Treasury Reg. Section 1.936-7(d), with the original return.

  9. Route Form 8546, Claim for Reimbursement of Bank Charges, per the chart below:

    If the issue involves Then route request to
    A lost or misapplied payment Campus Accounting
    Attn: DCF (Dishonored Check Function)
    Erroneous levy Appropriate ACS Support (ACSS) Site
    DDIA processing error on the part of the Service ACS Support (ACSS)
    Stop 5050, P-4
    333 W. Pershing Rd.
    Kansas City, MO 64108
  10. Route election or Form 8023,Elections Under IRC Section 338 for Corporations Making Qualified Stock Purchases, shown below to field office with jurisdiction over purchasing corporation (or common parent of purchasing corporation if a consolidated return is filed) listed on election or Form 8023. If unable to determine correct field office, route election to SBSE Exam Classification. Use the purchasing corporation's address in box 2a of Form 8023 to determine correct field office as shown below.

    1. IRC Section 338(h)(10) election for target corporation listed in Section B of Form 8023

    2. IRC Section 338 election for target corporation listed in Section B of Form 8023

    3. An IRC Section 338 Election for target corporation, in addition to one listed in Section B of Form 8023 (i.e., a combined or multiple election); or

    4. Any other election on Form 8023

  11. IRC Section 83(b) - Election to include Certain Restricted Property in Gross income.

    If Then
    A paper return was filed Associate the election with the related return.

    Note:

    The related return is Form 1040 return for SSNs or Form 1120 series return for EINs.

    An electronic return was filed
    1. File the election using TC 290 . 00; use a non-refile block series.

    2. Do not use an "attachment" or an "association" form for routing to Files.

    There is indication a return will be filed Input TC 930 if the 83(b) election was not scanned into CIS. Refer to IRM 21.5.1.4.4.2,TC 930 Push Codes. If the 83(b) was scanned into CIS, Do not utilize push code procedures. Refer to IRM 21.5.1.5.7(3), CIS Push Codes.
    No indication a return has been filled or will be filed, do not return the election to the taxpayer Forward the election to be filed in the Alpha File. IRM 21.5.1.5.3 (2),CIS Source Documentation, states that if the 83(b) is scanned into CIS, the alpha file does not need to be sent.

    Note:

    If the taxpayer or the authorized representative requested an acknowledgement of the election, Submission Processing must follow IRM 3.10.72.5.4 ,Date Stamping Acknowledgements. If an interim was issued systemically by CIS, you must send a closing letter.

  12. IRC Section 7430 allows a taxpayer who prevails before the IRS in an IRS administrative proceeding to request reimbursement of reasonable administrative costs incurred in defending the taxpayer’s position. Only Appeals has the authority to consider IRC Section 7430 administrative costs awards. Route all requests for IRC Section 7430 administrative costs awards to Appeals unless the request is addressed to a specific IRS employee or IRS office. Presently, there is no IRS form for requesting IRC 7430 administrative costs award. Taxpayers and their representatives may file such a request by mailing a letter or Form 843, Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement, to the IRS. If unsure whether the Form 843 is requesting an IRC 7430 administrative costs award, please consult with the lead or manager.

  13. Rev. Proc. 2011-34 provides guidance for qualified real estate professionals to make a late election to aggregate all interests in rental real estate as a single activity. Refer to IRM 21.5.3.4.16.15, Late Election by Real Estate Professionals - Revenue Procedures 2011–34, for processing guidance.

  14. Refer to IRM 3.10.72,Receiving, Extracting, and Sorting, for proper routing instructions for other types of elections or notification. If routing instructions are NOT in the IRM 3.10.72 and NOT identified specifically in these instructions, route to Return Files function for association with return. Underline the name-control on all items routed to Return Files function and enter MFT and tax period in top margin.

CP 575 Notices - Assigning an EIN

  1. A CP 575 Notice is systemically issued to the taxpayer when the Employer Identification Number (EIN) is successfully assigned. See IRM 21.7.13.7.8, Computer-Generated Notices to Taxpayers, for more information on the CP 575 notices.

Correspondence Attached to the CP 575 Notice Worked by Accounts Management (AM)
  1. Most BMF entity change requests can be made by AM BMF employees, however, if the correspondence is requesting an update or change to the primary name line see IRM 21.7.13.6.5.6, Authority for Making Primary Name Line Changes, for more information. The authority for making changes to a primary name line is delegated to the BMF Entity function. Any correspondence requesting a change to the primary name line must be routed according to the state mapping. See IRM 21.7.13.7.2.3, Cases Forwarded to Submission Processing BMF Entity, for more information.

    Exception:

    Correspondence requesting a primary name line change for a Large Corporation (LCI) is handled by the Large Corporation Teams located in Cincinnati and Ogden. These requests must be routed accordingly. See IRM 21.7.1.4.11, Large Corp Unit, for more information.

  2. The following correspondence attached to a CP 575 Notice is worked by AM;

    • Correspondence requesting an EIN be reactivated; see IRM 21.7.13.4.2.6, Reactivating an EIN (TC 000), for more information.

    • Correspondence requesting a change or modification to the filing requirements; see IRM 21.7.13.6.5.2, Authority for Changing Filing Requirements. Ensure any filing requirements being added are compatible with posted filing requirements. If not, first delete the incorrect code, then separately add the correct code using a posting delay of 1 cycle to avoid creating an unpostable transaction.

    • Correspondence or questions regarding why an entity was established.

    • Correspondence regarding EIN prefixes 69/70; see IRM 21.7.13.2.4.1, Invalid EIN Prefixes, for more information.

    • Correspondence requesting a change in the business operation date (no account activity); see IRM 21.7.13.3.2.3, Business Operational Date (Form SS-4, Line 11), for more information.

    • Correspondence requesting a change in wages paid date (no account activity), if the business has employees, and the date the business began paying its employees changed; see IRM 21.7.13.3.2.4, Wages Paid Date (Form SS-4, Line 15), for more information.

    • Correspondence received regarding verification of the EIN assigned; see IRM 21.7.13.3.5.7.1, Post-Assignment EIN Disclosure Procedures, for more information.

    Note:

    The types of EIN correspondence identified above may not be all inclusive.

Misdirected Mail

  1. Correspondence that should not have come to the IRS is received from two principal sources:

    • The U.S. Postal Service (USPS)

    • Sender

  2. Return packages to USPS when they made the error.

  3. After determining that correspondence is a return that should have been filed in one of the locations listed below, send it to appropriate jurisdiction. Otherwise, return to sender.

    1. A state of the U.S. or a local jurisdiction

    2. District of Columbia

    3. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or a territory of the United States

  4. If it is an original return that should have been filed in a foreign country, return it to sender, if possible. If it is undeliverable, forward to State Department, addressed as follows:

    Consular Officer American Embassy (Name of foreign capital city only)
    Department of State
    Washington, DC 20520

  5. Do NOT include name of foreign country in address.

  6. Whenever such misdirected mail is found to contain a remittance, follow instructions in IRM 3.8.46,Discovered Remittances, if remittance is cash. If other than cash, follow instructions in IRM 3.10.72,Receiving, Extracting, and Sorting.

Taxpayer Inquiry Referrals

  1. Transship referrals to campuses using Form e4442 / 4442,Inquiry Referral, EEFax (Enterprise ee-Fax), Correspondence Imaging System (CIS) or transmit by telephone. Field offices may use messenger or mail service to transship referral cases when background material must be sent with case. Referrals can be made to a campus from the field level, from another campus, or from within the campus after research of all available data does NOT resolve inquiry.

  2. If an IDRS control base already exists on a referral case, update and reassign the case to the appropriate function. Control routine case referrals on IDRS following guidelines in IRM 21.5.1.4.2.2, Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS) - Control Procedures.

  3. Designated Personnel at the campus will process referrals to completion or transfer the case to appropriate area if additional action is required for final resolution of inquiry.

  4. Maintain control to ensure that a written reply is made to the taxpayer on referrals within 30 calendar days of IRS received date. If a final reply cannot be issued within this timeframe, issue an interim reply, in writing or by telephone to the taxpayer. Resolve the referral as soon as possible.

  5. If an interim letter was sent from a field office, there is no need to send another letter from the campus.

  6. Campus replies directly to the taxpayer in all cases except those in which a previous agreement dictates that the reply should go to referral resolution point in field office. See IRM 13.1.7.2,TAS Case Criteria, and IRM 13.1.17, TAS Case Transfer Process, for procedures for TAS referrals.

  7. When replying to a taxpayer by telephone:

    1. provide your name and identifying number.

    2. provide your telephone number if taxpayer must furnish additional information.

    3. inform the taxpayer if the telephone number is not a toll-free.

    4. update the case history in AMS/CIS with the record of telephone conversation.

  8. If referred inquiry relates to an assigned field case (Taxpayer Delinquent Account (TDA) or TDI), forward to campus Collection Operation (CSCO); do NOT establish IDRS control.

Outgoing Correspondence

  1. This section provides instructions for preparation and review of C letters, SC letters, special letters, and handwritten replies.

  2. The CORRESPONDEX (CRX) letter generating system is the letter writing system for the Internal Revenue Service. There are over 600 letters available for use to fit almost every tax situation. Use CRX to generate letters to taxpayers through the Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS). Currently, letters without attachments are printed at the two National Print Sites, located in Detroit and Ogden. Letters with attachments print in your jurisdictional campus.

  3. Effective June 30, 2013, the Correspondex Expert System (CES) Letter Tool used in conjunction with LPAGE, was obsoleted as a letter tool application primarily due to compatibility issues with Windows 7. The Integrated Automation Tool (IAT) Letters Tool was mandated for use replacing the CES.

  4. A searchable database with read only versions of current letters is available through SERP and has replaced the hard copy of Document 6548 (CORRESPONDEX). See Correspondex Letters, for a complete listing of letters on SERP.

  5. Additional information can be found in IRM 2.4.6,Command Codes LETER, LPAGE, LPAGD, LETUP, LETED, LLIST, and LREVW. Also, refer to CORRESPONDEX Job Aid on SERP under Letters/Forms/Pub tab.

  6. Preparer Guidelines - IRS sends correspondence to taxpayers to solicit information necessary to perfect returns and documents being processed. It also responds to taxpayer inquiries.

Preparing Outgoing Manually Generated Correspondence
  1. IRC Section 3705 of the Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 states;

    "Any manually generated correspondence shall include the name, telephone number and unique identifying number of an employee who can be contacted with respect to correspondence. Any other correspondence shall include a telephone number of a person who may be contacted with respect to the correspondence."

  2. The term manually generated correspondence is defined as any correspondence issued that is non-systemically generated and must contain certain elements listed in (1) above. The IRS employee issuing the correspondence is:

    1. Exercising judgment in working or resolving a specific taxpayer identified issue.

    2. Requesting the taxpayer provide additional case-related information to resolve the issue and the corresponding employee is in the best position to respond to all issues raised in the taxpayer’s correspondence. The Service must use sound business judgment to determine the provision’s applicability.

      Reminder:

      Don't apply the provision to general correspondence where the question could be resolved by any IRS employee.

  3. Manually generated correspondence may include:

    1. Correspondex Letters (C Letters)

    2. Local letters

    3. Quick notes, Form 5260

    4. Computer generated Reasonable Cause Assistant (RCA) denial letters

  4. Provide an accurate balance due in manually generated correspondence when requested by a taxpayer or the authorized representative. See IRM 21.3.3.4, Required Information for Interim Letters and Closing Letters, regarding accounts with an installment agreement (status 60).

Preparing Outgoing Non-Manually Generated Correspondence
  1. Non-manually generated correspondence may be issued as a result of a taxpayer or the authorized representative contact by telephone or in writing. Non-manually generated correspondence may be issued to the taxpayer or the authorized representative due to the following:

    1. Filing a return

    2. Issuance by an automated system

    3. Requests for information on an account

    4. Request for a current balance due

    5. Tax law matter.

      Note:

      The above list is not all inclusive.

  2. Non-Manually generated correspondence may include:

    1. Correspondex Letters (C Letters)

    2. Local letters

    3. Quick notes, Form 5260

    Reminder:

    An additional letter is not necessary if the notice is generated within the time frames and guidelines of Policy Statement P-21-3 as a result of an adjustment or credit transfer. The notice must address all the questions raised by the taxpayer or the authorized representative. A systemically generated notice will include the current balance due.

Issuing Outgoing Correspondence
  1. Computer Generated letters are considered pattern letters when they are intended for dissemination to 10 or more persons. These letters are numbered in accordance with IRM 1.17.1, Organizational Description, Authority, Role and Responsibilities, and IRM 1.17.2, Publishing Management. Form letters, pattern letters, and pattern paragraphs are prescribed by Headquarters for use in area offices.

  2. Do NOT make changes to text format, date of issue (or revision), or physical characteristics of these letters and paragraphs without prior Headquarters approval. Quick Notes that are computer generated must be forwarded to Headquarters for approval. See IRM 25.13.1, Taxpayer Correspondence Services, to request an update or to change an existing letter.

  3. When corresponding with a taxpayer concerning Social Security Administration (SSA) matters, include the Establishment Number as part of address if it is associated with the Form 941 correspondence that generated the inquiry.

  4. Correspondence received from the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s authorized representative requesting research, information, or action to an account must be answered.

    Exception:

    If the taxpayer will receive a notice as a result of an adjustment or credit transfer and the notice addresses all taxpayer's questions, another C Letter is not required. The notice must be issued within Policy Statement P-21-3 time frames and guidelines.

    When replying to the taxpayers or the authorized representative using pre composed and self-composed letters, Letter 3064C, IDRS Special Letter (formerly known as C note), or Quick Notes on Form 5260, take the following actions:

    • Begin the letter by indicating that this is a reply to a taxpayer's or a practitioner's letter or correspondence of a certain date. If the taxpayer's letter is not dated, see IRM 21.3.3.3, Quality and Timely Responses. If the correspondence is in the form of a fax, use the date the fax was transmitted to us. If correspondence is received from a Taxpayer Assistance Center, use the IDRS received date. (See IRM 2.4.6,Command Codes LETER, LPAGE, LPAGD, LETUP, LETED, LLIST, and LREVW.)

    • Use references furnished in the inquiry, or those secured during research, such as tax period, type of tax, specific tax return such as 1040A, etc., SSN/EIN, date of the letter, or symbols. This is particularly important in the case of large corporations or tax practitioners who may have several matters pending action.

    • When it is determined that a reference is appropriate, enter it on the Reference line if provided or above the salutation if sufficient space is provided. Reference data serves a dual purpose for both the taxpayer/tax practitioner as well as the Service for association and appropriate disposition. See IRM 21.3.3.4.20 Initiation of C Letters, and IRM 21.3.3.4.22, Quick Notes and 3064C Letters (C-NOTES).

      Example:

      Your letter dated 10/11/10, Payroll Div.; P.D.S.; Re: John Doe, 000-00-0000

    • Indicate action taken, even if it is exactly what the taxpayer requested. Indicate tax form and period to which the C Letter responds.

    • Tell the taxpayer a specific length of time in which to respond to a request for information. Tell the taxpayer what action(s) IRS plans to take in plain, polite, nonthreatening language if a timely response cannot be given.

    • Avoid using IRS jargon in taxpayer correspondence such as 201012. Use plain language the taxpayer can understand. The tone of letter must be courteous and helpful. Do not talk down to taxpayer through use of such phrases as, "You failed to .... " .

    • Indicate on the C Letter that an envelope is an enclosure when corresponding with a taxpayer or the authorized representative on a balance due account or when requesting additional information.

      Reminder:

      Enclose a bar-coded return envelope, or other return envelopes designated for special programs, when requesting additional information from the taxpayer or the authorized representative.

    • When the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) is known, it must be an integral part of a communication with taxpayer, but placed where it can not be seen through an envelope window, or on the outside of the envelope.

    • Whenever the Service requests additional information from a taxpayer, or any time a taxpayer contacts the IRS with a question, ask the taxpayer for a telephone number and best time to call in the event clarification from the taxpayer is required. The suggested language is: When you reply, please send us your telephone number and most convenient time for us to call so we may contact you if we need more information. Do NOT request telephone numbers of taxpayers with foreign addresses. Always provide the appropriate return address on the C Letter if issuing from correspondence or telephone contacts.

      Exception:

      When issuing "C" letters, such as 681C and 2273C, assistors use the Compliance Services Collection Operations (CSCO) campus return address, and are required to follow the guidelines in IRM 5.19.1.5, Methods of Payment. For other common "C" letters, such as 1721C and 147C, assistors would continue to follow IRM 21.3.3.4.17.1, Preparing Outgoing Manually Generated Correspondence, or IRM 21.3.3.4.17.2, Preparing Outgoing Non-Manually Generated Correspondence guidelines.

      Caution:

      This does not include internal transcripts. For amended returns, refer to IRM 21.6.7.4.6, Adjustment Considerations, for Individual Master File (IMF) accounts and IRM 21.7.9.4, Duplicate Filing Conditions Procedures, for Business Master File (BMF) accounts.

    Note:

    The procedures above must be used when corresponding with the taxpayer for other types of cases.

  5. Check the correspondence from the taxpayer, verifying that all necessary adjustments have been made and the taxpayer’s issue is resolved. For more information see IRM 21.5.2.4.19, Verifying Complete Adjustments.

    Reminder:

    Employees must use CC CMODE (change mode) to access and update taxpayer records on another Campus’ database. For additional guidance see IRM 21.3.4.7.8.8.1, Command Codes Used.

  6. If correspondence is received from an unauthorized third party expecting a response, follow IRM 21.3.3.4.17.4, Correspondence Contacts, for the appropriate action.

Correspondence Contacts
  1. When furnishing a specific contact person in correspondence, use the name of an actual IRS employee, unless a registered pseudonym is being utilized.

    1. Include the name, telephone number, and employee IDRS identification number of a specified contact person in the letterhead or body of all manually prepared correspondence such as draft letters, 3064C Letters (formally known as the C-NOTES) and Quick Notes initiated when action taken does NOT close case (e.g., soliciting information needed to resolve an inquiry).

    2. 3064C Letters and Quick Notes initiated when an action closes the inquiry does not require a telephone number of a specified contact person. For cases assigned to Taxpayer Advocate, refer to IRM 13.1.6,Casework Communications. Provide the taxpayer with a telephone number or include a toll free number in the event additional assistance is required.

    3. The decision to include a contact paragraph, either selective or standard, or the decision that such a paragraph is not required, is made at the Business Operating Division (BOD) Headquarters level. Although C, SC, and SC/SP letters may contain a contact paragraph, it is not required in all cases.

    4. Include a specific contact name and phone number in the contact paragraph on a C, SC or SC/SP letter when that paragraph is selected and the assistor is in the best position to respond to the taxpayer's inquiry.

    5. A sample contact paragraph reads as follows: "If you have any questions about this matter, you may call us at (Phone Number) between hours of (Time) and (Time) including a time zone, and someone will be able to help you. Since there will be a long-distance charge to you if you are beyond the immediate dialing area of the campus, you may prefer to write us at the address on this letter or call the Internal Revenue Service office for your area."

  2. When forwarding a case to another office, the taxpayer and the authorized representative must be notified when transferring the taxpayer's correspondence to another office for resolution by sending the 86C Letter. See IRM 21.3.3.4.2.1, Use of 86C Letter - Referring Taxpayer Inquiry/Forms to Another Office.

  3. When a Service processing error results in the issuance of an incorrect letter or notice, acknowledge the error and include an apology in the appropriate C Letter.

    1. Advise taxpayers of a specific reason(s) when the errors are discovered in processing that have caused or will cause processing delays.

  4. Verify the Centralized Authorized File (CAF) to ensure the authorized representatives receive copies of correspondence and any related enclosures prior to initiating a C Letter.

    Reminder:

    Perform account research on all original Form 2848 or Form 8821 receipts. If the research determines that the POA/TIA has not been processed to the CAF, review the forms to ensure all essential elements are present on the authorization as per IRM 21.3.7.5.1, Essential Elements for Form 2848 and Form 8821. If all the elements are present, accept the completed unprocessed form and forward the original to the appropriate CAF unit for processing. See IRM 21.3.7-1, State Mapping, Where to File, for routing Form 2848 and Form 8821 to the appropriate CAF unit.

  5. Research the Centralized Authorization File (CAF) or the Reporting Agent File (RAF) when requests from a third party are received without authorization attached. RAF records third-party authorizations. See IRM 21.3.9.3, Authorizations - Form 8655, Reporting Agent Authorization, for more information. If authorization is on file, verify that the third party is authorized to receive requested information. If an authorization can not be located and the unauthorized third party request a response be sent directly to them, do the following:

    1. Initiate Letter 135C,Power of Attorney Needed to Furnish Information, to the unauthorized third party advising the Service is unable to provide requested information.

      Exception:

      For BMF taxpayers only - If the correspondence from the unauthorized third party is on the corporate or sole proprietor's letterhead and the address matches the address of record, do not send a 135C letter to the unauthorized third party.

      Caution:

      Do NOT use the TIN of the taxpayer as a controlling device on Letter 135C.

    2. Initiate the appropriate "C" Letter to the taxpayer that includes an explanation the information can not be provided to the unauthorized third party. See IRM 21.3.3.3.4(5), Quality and Timely Responses, to ensure the taxpayer receives a complete response.

    3. Capture the "request completed" screen for command code (CC) LETER according to IRM 21.5.1.5.1, CIS General Guidelines. Notate on CIS a 135C Letter was sent to an unauthorized third party.

  6. When issuing correspondence to third parties, other than authorized recipients with a POA, overlay default salutation of Dear Taxpayer. Reference name of entity, e.g., Dear ABC Bank, if there is enough space. Otherwise, use Dear Sir or Madam.

  7. Document all outgoing correspondence and include the date of correspondence on Form 5706,Case History Sheet, or equivalent documentation.

  8. Use Form 5703,IDRS Letter Enclosure, to associate enclosures with a C Letter. Attach the Form 5703 to the enclosure and send to the area preparing package for mailing within three days of date of the letter input.

    Reminder:

    Include copies of the letter enclosures for the authorized representative(s), as applicable.

    Exception:

    Field Assistance (FA) employees only - use Form 3699, Return of Documents to Taxpayer, instead of Form 5703 when required to return documents to the taxpayer and/or the authorized representative. FA employees must indicate in the C Letter to the taxpayer and/or the authorized representative, the documents (enclosure) will be received under separate cover.

Corresponding on a Deceased or Legally Disabled Taxpayer’s Account
  1. A fiduciary is a person to whom property or power is entrusted, for the benefit of another. A fiduciary for income tax purposes is a person who holds in trust an estate to which another has the beneficial title or in which another has a beneficial interest, or receives and controls income of another. This relationship occurs most often in cases involving:

    1. A deceased taxpayer or

    2. Legal disability - In situations where a taxpayer has been deemed disabled and unable to take care of his/her own affairs.

  2. Form 56, Notice Concerning Fiduciary Relationship, is used by an individual to notify the IRS of a fiduciary relationship. Other legal documents establishing fiduciary relationships can be substituted for the Form 56.

  3. If the IRS has been notified as to the existence of a fiduciary relationship, a letter must be mailed to the fiduciary's mailing address. Sample formats are discussed below:

    • Deceased taxpayer:


      John Brown, Deceased,
      Richard Doe, Executor
      (Richard Doe's address)

    • Legal Disability:


      John Smith,
      Howard Doe (Enter proper title of fiduciary)
      Howard Doe’s address

  4. If the name of the fiduciary cannot be obtained or if there is not sufficient time remaining on the statutory period of limitations, address the C-Letter for a deceased taxpayer as follows:

    John Doe, Deceased
    John Doe’s address

  5. When a fiduciary relationship cannot be established on a case involving a taxpayer under legal disability, address the C-Letter as follows:

    John Doe,
    John Doe’s address

Deceased Taxpayer Correspondence, Joint Return Filed
  1. If one spouse has died since the joint return was filed, address the correspondence as discussed in the paragraphs below.

  2. If the Service has not been notified as to the existence of a fiduciary relationship, a letter is addressed as follows:

    John Brown, Deceased,
    and Mary Brown
    John and Mary Brown’s last known address

  3. If the Service has been notified as to the existence of a fiduciary relationship, a second copy of the C-Letter must be prepared, addressed as follows:

    John Brown, Deceased,
    Richard Doe, Executor, and Mary Brown
    Richard Doe's address

    and

    John Brown, Deceased,
    Richard Doe, Executor and Mary Brown
    Mary Brown 's last known address

  4. "Surviving Spouse" may also be added after the name (Mary Brown in the above examples).

    Exception:

    Compliance employees only - See IRM 5.5.4, Collecting Actions on Insolvency and Decedent Cases, , ,

    when filing a Notice of Federal Tax Lien (NFTL), and notices such as a final demand letters or Collection Due Process (CDP) notice for specific guidance when corresponding on a decedent account.

Pseudonyms

  1. For purposes of anonymity, employees have the option of using only their last names on correspondence. Employees who have contact with the public, and do not believe use of only their last names provides sufficient anonymity, may ask to use a pseudonym.

  2. IRC Section 3706 of the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 authorizes the use of pseudonyms for IRS employees only if adequate justification is provided by the employee and its use is approved by the employee's supervisor. Justification must include the protection of the employee's personal safety.

  3. Refer to IRM 10.5.7, Use of Pseudonyms by IRS Employees, for detailed procedures.

Guidelines for Sending Correspondence to Typing or Terminal Operator

  1. The Typing function receives Form 3696,Correspondence Action Sheet, from various areas within the campus. These forms request preparation of a form (SC) letter, pattern letter, or special letter.

  2. Except as provided in IRM 21.3.3.4.22, Quick Notes and 3064C Letters (C-NOTES), all correspondence must be typed.

  3. See IRM 21.3.3.4,Correspondence Procedures, for specific instructions on initiating various types of correspondence.

  4. Refer to IRM 1.10.1, IRS Correspondence Manual, for general instructions and proper format for preparing special letters.

Initiation of "C" Letters

  1. Prepare Form 3696-A,IDRS Correspondence Action Sheet, when it is necessary to initiate a C Letter to a taxpayer if unable to input letter on IDRS.

  2. Clearly specify necessary "fill-in" and selective paragraph information on Form 3696-A. Failure to do so may result in incorrect information being transmitted to the taxpayer. Avoid using IRS jargon. For example, when referring to tax year 2010, use 2010 rather than 201012. Tax period fill-ins coded as 13P can be entered as YYYYMM. They will be converted and printed on letter as a complete date "e.g., 201012" becomes December 31, 2010.

  3. In most instances, prepare a separate Form 3696-A for each case and attach to document requiring correspondence. In instances where there is a high-volume item, prepare a cover Form 3996-A. Whenever possible, attach Form 3696-A so that name and address portion on document is visible.

  4. Ensure all conditions requiring correspondence have been annotated and the Form 3696-A has been properly prepared. The terminal operator may return incomplete or illegible Forms 3696-A. Send remittance returns with Form 3696-A through computer processing. Preparation of correspondence on these documents takes place after computer rejection.

  5. Non-remittance returns can be withdrawn from processing with a Form 3696-A. Route all completed Forms 3696-A for input of a "C" letter if the local organization provides this capability. Ensure "fill-in" numbers identified on Form 3696 coincide with items on corresponding letter in CORRESPONDEX Letters on SERP. Failure to do so may result in incorrect information being transmitted to taxpayer.

  6. Input IDRS correspondence in accordance with IRM 2.4.6,Command Codes LETER, LPAGE, LPAGD, LETUP, LETED, LLIST, and LREVW. The IDRS number of the initiator generates on all IDRS CORRESPONDEX (CRX) letters.

  7. Effective June 30, 2013, the Correspondex Expert System (CES) Letter Tool used in conjunction with LPAGE, was obsolete. CES transitioned to the Integrated Automation Technologies (IAT) Letter Tool. The IAT Letter Tool is superior to CES and is already mandated in Accounts Management and some other business operations. See IRM 21.2.2-2, Accounts Management Mandated IAT Tools, for more information.

  8. Ensure correct signature title codes are input to generate appropriate signatures on outgoing letters. If laser signature capability is not available, the signature must be either rubber stamped or manually signed. Signatures on outgoing letters are mandatory; failure to obtain a signature is coded as an error during Quality Review process.

  9. All manually generated letters must include the name, telephone number and employee identification number of the employee who can be contacted. When CORRESPONDEX letters are input by the terminal operator, the operator must input the IDRS number of the initiator of the letter or the employee who is to be contacted.

Initiation of SC and SC/SP Letters

  1. Prepare Form 3696–A when it is necessary to initiate an SC or SC/SP letter to taxpayer. (See IRM 21.3.3.4.20Initiation of C Letters, for more information on completing the form instructions.)

  2. SC Letters are preprinted form letters and SC/SP letters are preprinted form letters in Spanish.

  3. Only the Philadelphia Campus uses reproduced copies of SC/SP letters. Other campuses that need to initiate a Spanish language letter should use SC/SP letter as a guide, using local dialect if it differs from that on SC/SP. Include a contact number of a specific person, if appropriate. If a specific contact point is not appropriate, include the Toll-Free number as part of the letter. Do NOT include an English language Toll-Free telephone stuffer notice with a Spanish language letter.

  4. In most instances, prepare a separate Form 3696-A for each case and attach to document requiring correspondence. In instances where there is a high volume item, a cover Form 3696 may need to be prepared.

  5. Whenever possible, attach Form 3696 in such a manner that name and address portion on document is visible.

  6. Notate all the conditions requiring correspondence and prepare the Form 3696 properly.

  7. Letters must contain a telephone number of a person who may be contacted. This number can be toll-free.

  8. Send remittance returns with Form 3696 through computer processing. Preparation of correspondence on these documents takes place after computer rejection.

  9. Non-remittance returns may be withdrawn with Form 3696 from processing and then routed for typing.

Quick Notes and 3064C Letters (C-NOTES)

  1. The purpose of Form 5260,Quick Note, is to provide quicker, more personal service. Similarly, a 3064C Letter (C-NOTE) may be input on IDRS.

  2. Quick Notes (Form 5260) must:

    1. Not exceed one page in length

    2. Contain neat, easy-to-read handwriting

    3. Not be sent in situations where a form or pattern letter or telephone call would be more informative and responsive to inquiry

    4. Have a proper salutation and name and title of originator

    5. Include the telephone number of a specified contact person if initiation of Quick Note DOES NOT close case. Otherwise, include the toll-free telephone number. Refer to IRM 13.1.6.4,Written Communication, for Taxpayer Advocate Service cases

    6. Include organizational symbol, stop number and employee identification number

    7. Be in black or blue ink

    8. Be reviewed and approved by the employee's manager or team leader

    Reminder:

    Check the Centralized Authorization File (CAF) file to ensure the quick note is also mailed to the taxpayer's representative, if applicable.

  3. Examples of a few circumstances where a brief information message would suffice are:

    1. Answering inquiries that can be properly answered within lined writing space allotted on Form 5260 without crowding writing or affecting writing style (e.g., use of too concise statements that may seem abrupt to taxpayer)

    2. Returning documents to taxpayer when only a brief explanation needs to accompany documents

    3. Acknowledging receipt of requested forms or data

    4. Making interim replies and apologies for delays

    5. Sending publications to taxpayers when needed to call attention to particular paragraphs or pages

    6. Returning a letter to taxpayer when it is necessary to ask for a SSN or other required information omitted in letter; sending or confirming information when the taxpayer cannot be reached on a call-back

    7. Adding a personal touch to assure taxpayer that an individual representative is working on the problem

    Reminder:

    Use IDRS C Letters to correspond with taxpayers whenever possible.

  4. Originator must sign Quick Note.

  5. Postdate Quick Notes to allow sufficient time for review, stuffing etc.

  6. Letter 3064 C - With the exception of the handwriting requirement and mandatory 100% review, conditions for using a Letter 3064C, formerly known as the C-NOTE, are the same as those shown in (3) above. DO NOT use a 3064C Letter if there is another appropriate C or SC letter available and/or no situation in (3) applies.

  7. Select the appropriate signature code for the 3064C Letter.

Review of Outgoing Correspondence

  1. The following covers review of C Letters:

    1. Acknowledgment and Special Letters are ordinarily dated one to three working days after terminal input to allow for review. Other letters are dated three to five working days after terminal input to allow for reviewing, adding enclosures, signing, folding, and stuffing for mailing.

    2. Sort letters by number of copies, letter number, and employee number order. Number of copies should never exceed an original and one copy to taxpayer or POA. This does not include copies printed for suspense purposes.

    3. Pull and destroy error letters, i.e., an IDRS letter that is noted by the initiator to be in error and that has not been deleted via CC LPAGD (See IRM 2.4.6,Command Codes LETER, LPAGE, LPAGD, LETUP, LETED, LLIST, and LREVW ). The initiator notifies the reviewer (manager/lead) of name and address of party to whom letter was to be sent, number of copies, letter number, and employee number. The initiator must forward this information to the reviewer immediately so the letter can be stopped the next morning. Area and field offices must telephone this information to the campus reviewer (manager/lead), unless CC LPAGD was used.

    4. Sort letters into categories such as those needing enclosures, those going to areas that review and mail their own letters, certified letters, and other special cases for special handling. Forward these to their respective areas for action.

    5. Form 5703,IDRS Letter Enclosure, is available for nationwide use to indicate when one or more enclosures are required with a C Letter. The area preparing the package for mailing must receive Form 5703 within three days from date of input. Associate Form 5703 with appropriate letter to identify related enclosures. Form 5703 is not necessary for all letters prepared. Some letters have no enclosures; others contain enclosures that are readily available to the area preparing package for mailing. A Form 5703 may also be used for EPMF C letters when more than one letter could be included in same envelope. Enter all of the C letters numbers to be enclosed (and at some campuses, also sequence numbers) on Form 5701,Notice of Proposed Adjustment.

    6. Review letters as necessary for misspelled words, errors in capitalization and punctuation, IRS jargon (e.g., tax year 201012) and other fill-in errors. Fill-in errors may include missing alpha designations on forms. For example, Form 1040 "A" or Form 1040 "EZ" for individuals or Form 1120 "S" and Form 1120 H for business entities. Also, check for distorted or garbled print.

    7. Return campus input letters having terminal operator errors to the initiator for correction or reinput. If an error letter input from an area or field office cannot be corrected at a campus, call the initiator to explain error and advise that the letter must be reinput. Furnish necessary information from the letter to identify and assist in input. Return letters that have operator errors to appropriate office and note action taken by campus. Return related Form 5703 to the originator with letter.

    8. Letters that are defective because of computer problems (e.g., rejects) or other reasons not due to terminal operator errors can be typed manually or returned to initiator for re-entry via IDRS. Use computer-printed error list to determine specific content (as input through terminal) of letters rejected by computer.

    9. Also, review for missing signatures. All outgoing correspondence must be signed by hand, laser, electronic computer signature, or rubber stamp.

  2. The following covers review of SC and SC/SP letters:

    1. Review letters as necessary for misspelled words, errors in capitalization or punctuation, IRS jargon (e.g., tax year 200812) and other fill-in errors. A missing apostrophe can occur in contraction words if a user has an incorrect type of apostrophe when a letter processes in IDRS. If they type the contraction directly into the letter system, like the IAT Letter Tool, it is fine. Users should make sure any apostrophe in a contraction word has a straight point (i.e. don't). Curly apostrophes are created differently in Word docs (i.e. don’t). When a curly apostrophe is copied into a letter system which has to process back through CRX system/IDRS, the apostrophe doesn’t process correctly and it will cause the apostrophe to disappear (i.e. don t) or run all together (i.e. dont). Return letters requiring typing or minor changes to typist.

    2. Bring to the originator’s attention for correction of letters that contain significant grammatical errors, display poor sentence structure, contain inaccurate fill-in information, are obviously incomplete or inaccurate, or are of poor tone.

    3. Make sure that all enclosures are present or can be machine-inserted if letter is not prepared for mailing in the Typing Function. If a current year return must be used as an enclosure because appropriate prior year return is not available (e.g. fiscal filer), edit current year return to reflect correct tax period and up-to-date exemption and standard deduction information.

    4. These letters need not be signature-stamped; they have a printed facsimile signature. If a signature is not present, signature-stamp each letter, as appropriate.

  3. Review rough draft letters in accordance with above procedures.

Preparing Correspondence for Mailing

  1. Make sure all enclosures have been associated with the outgoing correspondence. If the taxpayer has an authorized representative on file (Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative), to receive certain tax information about a specific tax matter, mail notices and correspondence concerning that matter, along with a generated copy of the letter, to the representative. Indicate on the taxpayer's copy of letter that enclosures were sent to the representative. Staple enclosures between original and duplicate copy of the letter, if appropriate.

  2. Include telephone stuffer notices (e.g., Notices 356 through 465, depending on taxpayer's address) with most outgoing correspondence. Do Not include stuffer notice with the following:

    • Letter 86C or Letter 86(SC)

    • Letters with Army Post Office (APO), Fleet Post Office (FPO), foreign and out-of-region addresses

    • Letters that contain a contact number or contact name and number as part of heading or text

  3. Route letters identified in (2) above to Machine Services function along with a transmittal document indicating, "Telephone Number Correspondence - Do Not Include Telephone Stuffer Notice."

  4. Some campuses may instruct employees to stamp blank schedules enclosed with correspondence sent to a taxpayer to perfect a return. The stamp must show letter number and date so schedule may be easily associated with suspense item if completed schedule is returned without a copy of transmittal letter.

  5. Route one-page letters to Machine Services function for machine-folding and stuffing in accordance with IRM 3.13.62,Media Transport and Control.

  6. Hand-fold all two page letters and one page letters with enclosures.

    Note:

    Equipment at the campus may allow some of these items to be machine-folded and inserted. Process these items in accordance with instructions received from campus management.

Certified Mail Correspondence
  1. Handle certified mail using guidelines below:

    1. Certified letters can be identified by caption "CERTIFIED MAIL" in upper left corner of letter. Certified letters must be programmed for functional level signature. See IRM 1.2.43, Delegations of Authority for the Examining Process, for the function authority level signature requirements.

    2. Information on SERP under CORRESPONDEX Letters reflects which letters are to be sent as certified mail and provides distribution instructions. Process letters not included in these documents in accordance with "Additional Instructions" provided on Form 3696,Correspondence Action Sheet. For more information on processing certified mail, see IRM 3.13.62.7.4 Certified Mailing Procedures.

Mailing Correspondence
  1. Instructions for use of envelopes are contained in IRM 3.13.62,Media Transport and Control. When mailing exceptionally large returns or correspondence items, use a larger envelope than the one specified in IRM 3.13.62.

  2. Following proper mailing procedures helps assure that mail arrives at its destination safely, quickly, and economically. For general correspondence, use one of the following first-class indicia envelopes: E-125L, E-125R, or E-130 (non-window) or envelopes suitable for use with Composite Mail Processing System (COMPS) machine.

    1. "Attention" lines must be second line of address. Last line of address must contain city, two-letter state abbreviation, and ZIP code. Nothing is to follow the ZIP code or appear below ZIP code line.

    2. For large items of correspondence to U.S. addresses, U.S. possessions, Canada and Mexico, use E-44 first-class mailer.

    3. For large mailings of printed matter to U.S. addresses, or U.S. possessions, use E-72T third-class mailer envelope.

    4. If corresponding to overseas addresses from a local site, use envelope E-125L and forward to the shipping function for application of proper postage.

    5. For large mailings of printed matter such as taxpayer publications to overseas addresses, use E-72A envelope.

    6. Generally, use E-731JP as return envelope for correspondence or other return envelopes for special programs and functions that have been developed for use by each campus correspondence unit. For further information, refer to bar-code exhibit in IRM 3.10.72,Receiving, Extracting, and Sorting. Examples of specifically designated envelopes are: E-199, CP 2000; and E-73, DATC/ASTA.

  3. Completed correspondence with addressed envelope, where necessary, is processed in accordance with IRM 3.13.62,Media Transport and Control.

  4. Direct the taxpayer in the correspondence to go to IRS.gov for the Form 2210 (and the Form 2210 Instructions) or Form 2220(and the Form 2220 Instructions) instead of enclosing the appropriate form and instructions.

Breaches of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) Caused by Manual Stuffing Errors

  1. PII is taxpayer information or any combination of information that can be used to uniquely identify, contact, or locate a person that could subsequently be used for identity theft. Examples of PII include, but are not limited to:

    • Names

    • Home addresses

    • Social Security Numbers

    • Taxpayer Identification Number

    • Date of birth

    • Home telephone numbers

    • Other numbers or information that alone or in combination with other data can identify an individual

  2. Breaches of PII can be caused by the manual stuffing of envelopes with other taxpayer or additional taxpayer information. These are instances such as a taxpayer receiving another taxpayer's transcript of account, or receiving his amended return along with another taxpayer's return.

  3. Extreme care must be taken to ensure that only the material relative to the taxpayer(s) to which the correspondence is addressed is enclosed in the envelope. These breaches are serious and can cause a significant hardship for a taxpayer if their PII ends up in the wrong hands.

Correspondence to Past Tax Year Joint Filers

  1. If past tax year joint filers have changed their filing status, the Service mails correspondence to both parties when there is activity on an account. The purpose of this procedure is to assure that both taxpayers responsible for a joint account are aware of any action on account as soon as possible. IDRS letters, notices, and MF notices generate duplicate copies to notify both filers.

  2. Notification to both affected parties at earliest possible point in process results in improved taxpayer service; reduction in taxpayer burden, accelerated collection of taxes, enhanced voluntary compliance, and a marked reduction in need for manual research.

  3. Accounts with copies of correspondence generated to both filers contain special codes on screen.

    • Tax module displays a TC 971 with Action Code 055 if correspondence is a notice.

    • If it is a letter, Entity module shows a "C" for primary or "X" for secondary to show to which taxpayer letter was sent. IDRS letter to secondary filer has a lower case "c" in CAF position of header.

    • Notices of deficiency have an "@" sign on top of secondary taxpayer's copy.

    • TC 971 AC 055 was systemically generated on accounts prior to RRA '98 based on information on the original return.

  4. Do NOT send a copy of notice or letter in all cases. If a joint account is changed because of an adjustment, notify both taxpayers.

    1. Calls from taxpayers may be received indicating that taxpayer does not know why a particular notice or letter has been received.

    2. Research IDRS for indicators mentioned above in paragraph 3. If condition exists, explain to taxpayer that our records show that a joint return was filed.

  5. Command Code SPARQ displays most current name and address information found on National Account Profile (NAP) for both primary and secondary SSNs. Refer to IDRS Terminal Response Handbook for instructions on how to use CC SPARQ to research addresses manually and to the Command Code Job Aid on SERP under the IRM Supplements tab.

  6. Refer to IRM 21.5.2.4.22.1,IMF Blocking Series 99 Special Consideration, for instructions on processing of ex-spouse accounts.

Correspondence via Integrated Customer Communications Environment (ICCE)/Universal Access

  1. Telephone calls are routed from various locations outside taxpayer's jurisdiction using Universal IDRS. Letters automatically generated from Integrated Customer Communications Environment (ICCE) use address of taxpayer's jurisdiction regardless of where call is received.

  2. Manually input the letters which cannot be generated systemically.

    1. Obtain this information from Management Action Report (MAR) at site where taxpayer's call is received.

    2. Input letter using correct campus code for taxpayer's jurisdiction.

    3. Set bypass indicator to "Y" using Command Codes LETED/LETUP at both sites to omit two-day recycle for letter review.

    4. If ICCE call receipt site finds an error with an input letter, notify letter print site to manually pull letter from mailout. Re-input letter at receiving call site.

  3. If ICCE call receipt site is different from letter generation site, an on-line letter review will not be able to be performed at either location.

  4. Letter generation sites must perform periodic cursory review of letters and check for garbled copy on affected letters.

Suspense Files and Follow-up Actions for Correspondence

  1. Suspense files are broken down into the following mail categories:

    • CP notices, some having returns attached

    • Form letters

    • "Request" pending file consisting of items awaiting returns, documents or information (other than SSA related) from source other than taxpayer or the authorized representative. Maintain this file only if necessary or specified

    • Form letters and SSA form letters relating to inquiries received from SSA

    • "SSA Request" pending file awaiting returns, documents or information from any source other than taxpayer or the authorized representative relating to inquiries received from SSA. Maintain this file only if necessary

    • Loose schedules and miscellaneous correspondence or documents requiring a centralized suspense location

  2. CP Files - Maintain a separate file for each type of CP notice within cycle and sequence. CP number is printed to the left of campus address. Cycle and sequence number is printed on left side of notice.

  3. Letters - Maintain this file in alphabetical sequence (or numeric sequence by TIN, if appropriate and authorized by local management). Sort files for suspense to a 1-to-3 character sort and interfile daily. Within each subgroup, retain 7 suspense subgroups by date of inquiry letter as follows:

    1. 1st to 15th of month

    2. 16th to end of month

    3. 1st to 15th of following month

    4. 16th to end of following month

    5. 16th to end of following month

    6. 1st to 15th of following month (for 60-day suspense file)

    7. Special 15 day suspense file. This file should only be used as specifically required within this section (See Clearance of Suspense Files)

    8. Special 30-day suspense file. Refer to IRM 21.3.3.5.1, Clearance of Suspense Files.

  4. Pending Requests for Returns or Information Documents - Maintain a separate suspense file for return or information requests when it is advisable to retain control of correspondence.

    Example:

    Return needed is not on file within the campus. This file is in alphabetic order by week based on date return request was prepared.

Clearance of Suspense Files

  1. On a daily basis, associate replies to correspondence and IDRS-generated correspondence with suspense file in accordance with procedures in this section.

  2. Associate the entire correspondence with the suspense copy on file. This includes amended or corrected returns and schedules received by the Correspondence function in reply to an inquiry. Attach a Form 5706,Case History Sheet, or leave a CIS case note providing an efficient, uniform means of ready, responsive control to facilitate supervisory review and reporting or transferring a case to a different employee before completion, an explanation will require less time.

  3. After association, route file:

    1. To initiator as indicated by Form 3696,Correspondence Action Sheet. This Form 3696 reflects the need to perfect previously numbered document in file.

    2. To Receipt and Control function if Form 3696 was prepared by Returns Analysis, Error Correction or Unpostable functions and concerns perfection of an unnumbered document in file.

    3. To Returns Analysis function, if file concerns a Non–Automated Data Processing (ADP) return and Form 3696 does not designate another requester.

    4. To requesting function in all other cases, unless prescribed otherwise in specific subsections of this IRM.

  4. Process replies to CPs and inquiry letters according to instructions in this section relating to specific CP or inquiry letter involved. Letter replies to an inquiry from another office are routed to the appropriate office.

  5. When the campus receives replies with remittances, prepare Form 3244, Payment Posting Voucher, entering secondary TC 570 if payment is for an amount to be assessed.

  6. Cases held in suspense pending taxpayer response to Service correspondence are purged 10 days after suspense period ends. Suspense period is the time taxpayer was allowed to answer. The 10-day purge date can vary per IRM 3.13.62,Media Transport and Control.

Suspense Time Frames
  1. 45-Day Suspense File

    1. A 45-day suspense period is the standard for unanswered letters; however, letters such as overseas mail, requests requiring information from other sources (e.g., postal money orders), or other unusual situations may require longer or shorter suspense periods. Wait a maximum of 15 days for that reply before sending a follow-up letter, unless otherwise specified in the IRM.

    2. Clear suspense file 45 days from date last letter was placed in pending file.

      Example:

      On file covering 1st to 15th of month, pull and process "No Reply" cases within 45 days from 15th of month.

      Reminder:

      See specific IRMs for guidance on suspense cases and follow the procedures in those IRMs. For example, IRM 21.7.9.4.1.2, TRNS 193 Received Without Duplicate Return , states to suspend cases for 40 days.

  2. 15-Day Suspense File

    1. Allow a period of 15 days for response to follow-up letter, unless otherwise specified.

    2. Letter 118(SC), Corporate Return Incomplete for Processing: Forms 1120 Series, 1120S, has a 15-day suspense file when it goes to a taxpayer who has filed Form 1120L or Form 1120-PC requesting a copy of an annual statement.

  3. 30-Day Suspense File

    1. Maintain correspondence initiated from Accounts Management function in a 30-day suspense file. If no response is received within suspense period, indicate "No Reply" on letter and route it and case file to originator.

    2. Maintain the following letters in a 30 or 45-day suspense file: Letter 12C and SC, Letter 18C and SC, Letter 319C and 90SC, Letter 143C, SC, and SC/SP, Letter 118C and Letter 177C, and SC.

  4. Maintain EO Letters, Letter 2696C,Letter 2697C,Letter 2698C, and Letter 2699C in a 30-day file.

  5. When allocated suspense period has expired and a response was not received, proceed as follows:

    1. Stamp suspense copy "No Reply" and enter or stamp current date.

    2. Route "No Reply" correspondence to Receipt and Control function when Form 3696,Correspondence Action Sheet, is prepared by Returns Analysis function and concerns perfection of an unnumbered document.

    3. Route all other "No Reply" correspondence to originating area, unless specific instructions below prescribe otherwise.

    4. Route CP Notices marked "No Reply" to Accounts Management, unless prescribed otherwise in specific instructions governing processing of CP notices. Route "No Replies to 4010C - Proposed Increase to Tax or 4011C - Proposed Decrease to Tax" in accordance with procedures in IRM 4.19.5,Certification of State FUTA Credits.

    5. Attach items returned by U.S. Postal Service as "Undeliverable" to suspense file item and handle as prescribed for "No Reply" cases.

    6. Request follow-up correspondence on "No Reply" cases, when appropriate.

  6. Associate request file daily as returns and information requests are received. Associate suspense file with requested documents and forward by transmittal to unit responsible for processing case file.

  7. Request the file containing letters that require a return or other information each week. On Monday of fourth week, count the requests that were made, process those that are unfiled as follows:

    1. Send interim letter to the taxpayer, if one was not already sent.

    2. Use telephone or memorandum to initiate a follow-up request.

Loose Forms / Schedules

  1. Loose schedules are those that have inadvertently been detached from, or that cannot be associated with a return. These also include schedules received from taxpayers without sufficient information to indicate why they have been sent or to allow them to be associated with proper return.

  2. Upon receipt of a loose schedule (except for loose EP Schedules, Employment Schedules, and Form 851, Affiliations Schedule), do one of the following:

    1. Research CC ERINV to determine if the return is in Suspense/Rejects (or a history item will appear on TXMOD). If return is in Suspense/Rejects, forward to ERS for association with the open case.

    2. If a loose schedule relates to an IMF return that is expected to post within 36 cycles from return due date, or to a BMF return expected to post within 50 cycles (75 cycles for Estate and Gift Tax Returns) after end of tax period, input Push Code 930 and send loose schedule to Return Files function to be maintained with TC 930 suspense cases. Depending if the initiator of the TC 930 (push code) is required to take action on the loose schedule (returned) or attached to the original return (not returned) see IRM 21.5.1.4.4.2 , TC 930 Push Codes, for additional information.

    3. If a loose schedule relates to a return that is NOT expected to post within 36 cycles for IMF, or 50 cycles for BMF, maintain loose schedule in a suspense file until due date of return, then input push code as stated in IRM 21.3.3.5.2(2)(b) above.

    4. If the loose schedule relates to a prior year return or for a return that should have already posted, research for DLN. If DLN is found, enter it on the schedule and route it to Returns Files function to associate with return. If DLN is NOT found, return the loose schedule to taxpayer. These procedures are not intended for documents scanned into Correspondence Imaging System (CIS). CIS serves as the retention area for these documents. If the schedule is scanned on the incorrect tax period/form, correct the CIS case before closing the case.

      Exception:

      Per IRM 21.6.6.3.26, Electronic Filing System (e-file), loose schedules cannot be associated with ELF DLN's.

      Note:

      Refer to IRM 21.5.1.5.7,CIS Push Codes, for information on inputting push codes when using CIS. Also, in certain instances, TC930 push code procedures should not be used. Refer to IRM 21.5.1.4.4.3, Inappropriate Use of TC930 Push Codes.

  3. For loose EP forms / schedules, refer to IRM 3.10.72,Receiving, Extracting, and Sorting.

  4. For loose Employment forms / schedules, refer to IRM 21.7.2.4.4, Loose Employment Tax Schedules.

  5. For general loose forms / schedules procedures, refer to IRM 21.5.1.4.4, Processing of Loose Forms or Schedules

  6. If a loose Form 851 is received, research for the original return, then follow procedures below:

    If Then
    Original return is in Suspense/Rejects Route to ERS for association with open case.
    Original return has not posted and is not in Suspense/Rejects, but is expected to post within 50 cycles Input Push Code 930 as in (2)(b) above.
    Original return has posted Research at least three of the subsidiary corporation’s EINs to see if a TC 590 with closing code 014 has been input.
    1. If all three subsidiary corporations have a TC 590-014 posted, associate the Form 851 with the parent corporation’s income tax return.

    2. If at least one of the subsidiary corporations doesn’t have a TC 590-014 posted, forward the Form 851 to ERS for input of the TC 590-014.

    When the TC 930 push code suspense case is pulled from Return Files, showing the consolidated return posted Follow the same instructions as directly above.
    When the TC 930 push code suspense case is pulled from Return Files, showing the consolidated return has not posted Return the Form 851 to the taxpayer requesting a return. State a return for the tax period has not been processed for the tax period and ask the taxpayer to file a return and attach the Form 851. Inform the taxpayer that if a return has been previously filed to forward a copy with an original signature and attach the Form 851.
    The Form 851 relates to a prior year return, or for a return that should have already posted Return the Form 851 to the taxpayer requesting a return, the same as directly above.