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21.3.3  Incoming and Outgoing Correspondence/Letters

Manual Transmittal

August 12, 2016


(1) This transmittal revises IRM 21.3.3, Taxpayer Contacts, Incoming and Outgoing Correspondence/Letters, in IRM 21.3, Taxpayer Contacts. 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 Added a link to the definition of manually generated correspondence.
IPU 16U0061 issued 01-06-2016 IRM Added guidance for (CC) INTST to provide an accurate balance due.
IPU 16U0078 issued 01-08-2016 IRM Clarified when figuring a balance due using CC INTST for correspondence, use 30 calendar days from the IDRS letter input date.
IPU 16U0197 issued 01-27-2016 IRM Clarified when to provide a balance due using CC INTST or the payoff calculator.
IRM Added a reminder to check the account (if there is a balance due) for an installment agreement (status 60) before issuing a letter.
IRM Added a link to the caution to IRM 21.5.2.
IPU 16U0061 issued 01-06-2016 IRM (d) Added a Caution to release the TC 470 or enter the appropriate number of weeks to release or delay the notice using (CC) STAUP.
IPU 16U0197 issued 01-27-2016 IRM Reworded entire IRM section for clarity.
IRM & (6) Separated the bullet list for original and amended returns with correspondence and without correspondence attached.
IPU 16U0197 issued 01-27-2016 IRM Clarified providing contact information in the interim letters.
IPU 16U0197 issued 01-27-2016 IRM Added an exception for acknowledgement letters for IDVTA-C employees.
IPU 16U0061 issued 01-06-2016 IRM Clarified the Exception for Interim Letters issued by the Clerical Staff or Interim Letters that are systemically generated.
IPU 16U0061 issued 01-06-2016 IRM ,(3) and (4) Clarified including a balance due in C Letters.
IRM Added the option to use an open paragraph for providing the balance due if a pre-printed one is not available.
IPU 16U0061 issued 01-06-2016 IRM Added a link to IRM 20 for reasonable cause denial letter procedures.
IPU 16U0061 issued 01-06-2016 IRM (c) Added the SCAMPS date when inputting a correspondence date on CC REQ54.
IRM Removed the IMF toll-free number 800-829-8374 for use in outgoing correspondence.
IRM Added a link for referring Form 4219 to the Advisory Group.
IPU 16U0622 issued 03-29-2016 IRM Clarified routing cases to Compliance and added a link to the SERP Who/Where tab for routing assistance.
IPU 16U0622 issued 03-29-2016 IRM Clarified routing cases to Central Case Processing (CCP).
IPU 16U0622 issued 03-29-2016 IRM Added a reminder 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.
IPU 16U0622 issued 03-29-2016 IRM Updated the exception for reasonable cause processing of Form 5471 and Form 5472.
IPU 16U0197 issued 01-27-2016 IRM Added status 20 to the can't pay, won't pay, or will pay later chart.
IPU 16U0061 issued 01-06-2016 IRM Clarified processing original returns attached to correspondence when no module is in status 26. Added a link for processing original BMF returns.
IRM Added a link for inputting the TC 599 with the appropriate closing code.
IRM Added a link for routing 6020(b) cases to CSCO.
IRM Clarified the first sentence and updated the addresses accordingly.
IPU 16U0230 issued 02-02-2016 IRM Removed the Returned Preparer Misconduct chart and provided a link to IRM 25.24.1, Return Preparer Misconduct Victim Assistance - General Overview.
IRM Clarified referring cases to BMF-AUR with a TC 925 on the account.
IPU 16U0230 issued 02-02-2016 IRM Included a link to when the taxpayers are requesting tax forms and publications.
IPU 16U0061 issued 01-06-2016 IRM Added undelivered CP01 C must be routed to the appropriate IDT Team.
IPU 15U1476 issued 10-06-2015 IRM Removed the 2475C Letter and added the 2675C Letter to the undelivered mail list for CAF.
IRM Added the 2673C Letter to the undelivered list for CAF.
IPU 15U1476 issued 10-06-2015 IRM Added a reminder to route only undelivered 112C Letters to Statute if it involves a Statute year return.
IRM & (7) Renumbered and clarified both sentences.
IRM Clarified the recipients of the CP 575 Notice.
IRM Updated to include EEFax and CIS for referring cases.
IPU 16U0061 issued 01-06-2016 IRM Renamed and reworded the entire sub-section for manually generated letters.
IRM Added a reminder to check the account (if there is a balance due) for an installment agreement (status 60) before issuing a letter.
IPU 16U0061 issued 01-06-2016 IRM New IRM sub-section for non-manually generated letters.
IPU 16U0061 issued 01-06-2016 IRM Renumbered the sub-subsection.
IPU 16U0061 issued 01-06-2016 IRM Renamed and renumbered sub-section.
IPU 16U0061 issued 01-06-2016 IRM and (10) Clarified issuing correspondence on a decedent's account.
IPU 16U0061 issued 01-06-2016 IRM Added a reminder to include copies of the letter enclosures for the authorized representatives.
IPU 16U0230 issued 02-02-2016 IRM (Exception) Added special guidance for Field Assistance employees working AM correspondence needing to send the taxpayer or authorized representative a C Letter enclosure.
IRM Added guidance for corresponding with deceased taxpayer’s account or a legally disable taxpayer’s account.
IRM Added guidance for corresponding on a joint return with a surviving spouse and / or a fiduciary.
IPU 16U0061 issued 01-06-2016 IRM Removed manually generated correspondence from the sentence.
IRM Added business forms in the example.
IRM Removed enclosing the Form 2210 / Form 2220 to the taxpayer and directing the taxpayer to go to for the appropriate form and instructions.
IRM Consolidated (b) and (c) push coding (TC 930) loose schedules.

Effect on Other Documents

This IRM incorporates Procedural Updates (IPU) after October 1, 2016. IRM 21.3.3 dated August 21,2015(effective October 1, 2015) is superseded. The following IRM Procedural Updates (IPU) issued from October 6, 2015 through March 29, 2016,, have been incorporated into this IRM: SERP IPU 15U1476, 16U0061,16U0078,16U0197,16U0230 and 16U0622.


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

Effective Date


James P. Clifford Director, Accounts Management
Wage and Investment Division  (10-01-2012)
Incoming and Outgoing Correspondence/Letter Overview

  1. This section serves as a guide for performing tasks involved in processing incoming and outgoing taxpayer correspondence. For more detailed information, refer to The Correspondence Manual - Document 11426, the central IRM for correspondence.

  2. Correspondex (C) and Service Center (SC) letters are constantly being added, deleted, or revised. Therefore, consider information presented in this section as general guidelines only. Only use Headquarters approved C letters, SC letters and local use letters not mentioned in this section. See IRM, IRM 21 - Change Requests.  (10-02-2012)
Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12)

  1. Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12) 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.

  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

    • 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, Policy Statement P-21-3 (Formerly P-6-12) Procedures.  (10-01-2016)
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 (formerly P-6-12) guidelines conflict, IRC governs.

  3. Manually generated correspondence must include a contact name, telephone number, and unique employee identification number. See IRM, 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.  (10-01-2015)
What is the Definition of Correspondence? - Policy Statement P-21-3 (Formerly P-6-12) 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).


    Requests for Extensions to Pay are considered Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12) 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 (formerly P-6-12):

    Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12) Exclusion List
    Scheme Development Center (SDC), formerly know as Fraud Detection Centers (FDC)
    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.).


    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.


    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, 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


    See specific IRMs for guidance on processing the above notices.  (10-01-2004)
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).  (10-01-2014)
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.


      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.  (10-01-2011)
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,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.  (11-25-2014)
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,General Disclosure Guidelines.

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


    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.  (10-01-2016)
Quality and Timely Responses

  1. Key terms are defined below:

    1. A quality response is one that is timely, accurate, and professional. Based on information provided, a quality response resolves taxpayer's issues, requests additional information from the taxpayer, or notifies the taxpayer that additional information has been requested from outside of the IRS.

    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.

  2. 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.

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

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


    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.

  5. 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.


      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.


    See IRM, Received Date – Determination, for more information.

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

  7. Required correspondence are quality and timely responses when responding to a taxpayer’s correspondence per Policy Statement P-21-3 (Formerly P-6-12). See also IRM, What is the Definition of Correspondence? - Policy Statement P-21-3 (Formerly P-6-12) 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.


      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. 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.


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


      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 , Suppressing Balance Due Notices, for more information.

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

    6. All applicable enclosures / attachments are included.  (10-21-2013)
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 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 Fresno
    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  (10-01-2015)
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,Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS) Control Procedures, for more information on controlling cases.


    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.


      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.

  4. Reject and Unpostable - If a reject (RJ), nullified unpostable (NU), or unpostable (Unnn) transaction status indicator appears in TXMOD display, prepare Form 5102,IDRS Expedite Routing Slip, for each correspondence item. Then route package to Rejects or Unpostables, if initiated by those areas where the case will be suspended. If correspondence was NOT initiated by Reject or Unpostables, 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 BNCHG.

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


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


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

  7. 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  (10-24-2014)
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 all correspondence received from taxpayers. Specific IRM references are included. Consult those IRM references for the most complete instructions.


    These are instructions for working correspondence Policy P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12) and do not address non-Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12) cases. See IRM, What is the Definition of Correspondence? - Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12) Exclusion List ,for Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12) 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 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,Use of 86C Letter - Referring Taxpayer Inquiry/Forms to Another Office.

    3. Determine earliest IRS received date of correspondence. See IRM,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, 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,Suppressing Balance Due Notices.

    7. Follow all Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12) guidelines on all taxpayer correspondence cases. See IRM,Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12) Procedures.

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


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


      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 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?  (10-02-2012)
Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12) Procedures

  1. This subsection addresses guidelines and procedures to follow in working cases that meet Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12) 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,What is the Definition of Correspondence? - Policy Statement P-21-3 (Formerly P-6-12) 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.  (10-01-2016)
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, Required Information for Interim Letters and Closing Letters.


    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.


    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.


    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).


      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.  (01-27-2016)
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.


    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,IDTVA Case Processing Time, 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, Preparing Outgoing Manually Generated Correspondence.


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


    Compliance Collection employees (ACSS, CSCO) see IRM,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.  (10-01-2016)
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.


      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.


    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


      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, 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.


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


    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.


    Identity Theft Employees (IDT) only - see IRM, 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 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.  (01-06-2016)
Correspondence Date (Corr Date)

  1. Input a Correspondence Date, "CORRESP - DT" on CC REQ54, when working correspondence under Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12). 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


      SCAMPS sprays a digital date on the envelope.

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

    5. Current date


      When there is no monetary adjustment (i.e., Transaction Code (TC) 290 .00, TC 180 .00) and 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 (formerly P-6-12), you do not have to use a Corr Date. See IRM (3) What is Correspondence? - Policy Statement P-21-3 (formerly P-6-12) 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 (formerly P-6-12) 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 (formerly P-6-12), a date may be used as a means of identification by the taxpayer.


    If no correspondence is attached, use the signature date.  (10-01-2015)
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


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


    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, Web Sites and Telephone Numbers, for international business taxpayers and IRM, Web-sites and Telephone Numbers, for international individual taxpayers.  (10-01-2004)
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,Classified Waste.

  2. Destroy illegible returns once you have determined they are unidentifiable.  (10-01-2015)
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.  (10-01-2013)
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.  (10-01-2011)
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  (10-01-2016)
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.  (10-01-2004)
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,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.  (10-01-2015)
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,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.


    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, 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).


    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, 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, 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


    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


    Use overnight mail

    Killed in Action/Killed in Terrorist Action (KIA/KITA) (including claims and correspondence)   Designated representatives as provided in IRM,KITA/KIA Procedures for All Functions , IRM, 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, IMF Underreporter Letters and IRM, 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,FRP Overview   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, Letter 2030/2531 - BMF Underreporter Program - General Information.


    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 through IRM below. Another source for determining proper routing is the Campus Locator Program Guide, which can be accessed at: Program Locator Guide  (10-01-2013)
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


    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,Informant Contacts.


      Do not suggest or encourage the informant to submit a claim for reward.  (03-29-2016)
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 is 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 campus Collection function (after inputting a STAUP for at least four cycles) when any of the following conditions are present:

    1. Taxpayer wishes to pay in installments or needs other assistance in arranging payment. This includes Form 9465,Installment Agreement Request.


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

    2. Taxpayer refuses to pay.

    3. Taxpayer promises to pay in the future or is unable to pay.

    4. Taxpayer states "currently paying installments" (part pay status 6x) with responses to Installment Reminder or Default Notices (CP 521-523).

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

    6. Taxpayer’s account is in Masterfile status 53 set by a TC 530.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


      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.

  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 claims (only) for all tax periods involved. See IRM,Transaction Code 971 and IRM, What Are Claims for Credit, Refund, and Abatement, for more information.


    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.


    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.


    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, Form 5471 Penalties Systemically Assessed from Late-Filed Form 1120 Series or Form 1065, IRM, Failure to File Form 1120 and Form 5471 penalties, and IRM, 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.


    See IRM, 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

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


    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.


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


    If working Amended Returns/Claims, see IRM Returns/Claims With or Without Correspondence Attached-Compliance Criteria.

  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.


    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.  (10-01-2016)
Compliance Criteria for Amended Returns/Claims and/or Balance Due Correspondence

  1. This 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.


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

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


    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, -V Freeze, and IRM,-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, What Are Claims for Credit, Refund, and Abatement?, for more information regarding claims.


    Processing amended returns/claims that by-pass SP can be found in IRM,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.


    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


    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, Campus Collection Function Correspondence/Inquiry/Notice.

  5. If correspondence (not in status 26) 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.


    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.


    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, Adjusted Employer's Federal Tax Return or Claim for Refund, for processing Form 94XX.

  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.


    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 section.  (10-01-2016)
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, Tax Technician Duties.

  2. If a return is attached to the correspondence, follow instructions in IRM, Duplicate Filing Conditions Involving Returns Prepared Under IRC Section 6020(b).  (04-30-2014)
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.


    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, 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


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

    .  (10-01-2012)
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,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,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.


      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,State Mapping for Assigning EINs.  (02-12-2009)
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,State Mapping for Assigning EINs.)  (10-01-2016)
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, Processing Decedent Account Refunds, and IRM, 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


      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

  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, CP 2030/2531- BMF Underreporter Program- General Information


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


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

  8. Generally, Forms Distribution Center handles requests for more than 10 forms. In instances where a taxpayer is requesting ten or fewer forms, provide the taxpayer with the website for forms and publications or the Forms Distribution Center toll-free number, 1-800-829-3676. Local procedures may allow campus facilities to handle some of these requests. For more information, see IRM, Ordering Forms and Publications . Forward these cases as appropriate. If a taxpayer requests preprinted Form 1040ES vouchers, notify taxpayer that preprinted ones are generated automatically after 1040 return is filed indicating intent to pay estimated tax, and that in the interim the taxpayer should use blank ones provided. Refer to IRM,Ordering Forms and Publications, for additional information relating to 1040ES vouchers.

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