21.3.8 Tax Exempt/Government Entities (TEGE) Customer Account Services (CAS) Telephone Operations

Manual Transmittal

August 22, 2019

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 21.3.8, Taxpayer Contacts, Tax Exempt/Government Entities (TEGE) Customer Account Services (CAS) Telephone Operations.

Material Changes

(1) IRM 21.3.8.3.1(1) - Replaced the reference to a USB thumb drive with "digital data format" ; updated the information about scanning the Form 8868 in the Note about SEIN. IPU 18U1370 issued 10-24-2018.

(2) IRM 21.3.8.3.4.1.1(1) - Added information about the machine-readable data from electronically-filed Form 990 series returns on Amazon Web Services to subparagraph (a); added information about Form 5500-EZ being filed electronically with EFAST2 for plan years beginning after December 31, 2019, to the Reminder in subparagraph (b).

(3) IRM 21.3.8.3.4.1.1(1) - Added the detail to subparagraph (a) that the GuideStar site is now operated by the exempt organization Candid and added details about the Form 990 series images available on Tax Exempt Organization Search to the Reminder in that subsection. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(4) IRM 21.3.8.3.4.1.1(1) - Added details about the timing of the updates of the Form 990-N and Form 990 series filings databases on TEOS to the Reminder in subparagraph (a); revised the wording in subparagraph (b) to conform to the wording in other employee plan resources and clarified in the Reminder that the information obtained from Form 8955-SSA is not published on the Internet. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(5) IRM 21.3.8.3.4.1.1(1) - Updated the information in subparagraph (a), including moving some of the information to a Note and reclassifying the existing Note as a Reminder; added multi-participant Form 5500-SF to subparagraph (b) and added a Reminder that information for one-participant or foreign plans is not published on the Internet. IPU 18U1370 issued 10-24-2018.

(6) IRM 21.3.8.3.4.1.2(2) - Added details about the determination letter images available on Tax Exempt Organization Search to the Reminder.

(7) IRM 21.3.8.3.4.1.2(2) - Added details about the Form 990 series images available on Tax Exempt Organization Search to the Reminder. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(8) IRM 21.3.8.3.4.1.4(1) - Deleted the reference to Form 5500 C/R and clarified in the Reminder that the information obtained from Form 8955-SSA is not published on the Internet. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(9) IRM 21.3.8.3.4.1.4 - Removed the four-year limit in the Reminder in paragraph (1) and added Form 5500-SF and information about one-participant and foreign plans; added a Note to the table in paragraph (2) about paper Form 5500-EZ submissions being destroyed six years after the end of the processing year. IPU 18U1370 issued 10-24-2018.

(10) IRM 21.3.8.3.4.1.5 - Replaced the references to a USB thumb drive in the title and throughout the subsection with "digital data format" ; updated the procedure in paragraph (5) for callers having technical problems with the digital image software. IPU 18U1370 issued 10-24-2018.

(11) IRM 21.3.8.3.4.2(6) - Revised the paragraph and first bullet to replace the time frame information about transcripts with a reference to IRM 21.2.3.7, Call Closure Requirements. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(12) IRM 21.3.8.3.8(5) - Added guidance for rulings that unpost.

(13) IRM 21.3.8.3.8(7) - Added a reference to IRM 21.3.8.11.7.1, Requests for Affirmation Letters from Organizations Showing an Advance Ruling Expiration Date (ARED) on Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS), to the Example. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(14) IRM 21.3.8.4.1.2(1) - Removed the references to historical Form 5500 schedules in subparagraph (i).

(15) IRM 21.3.8.4.1.2(6) - Updated the IRM reference to reflect the new subsection on inspection of EO returns. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(16) IRM 21.3.8.4.1.3(1) - Updated the name of the cited IRS website resource in subparagraph (b). IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(17) IRM 21.3.8.4.1.4(1) - Added an IRM reference to the Reminder for verification of the required fields on an authorization form faxed to an assistor. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(18) IRM 21.3.8.4.1.5(14) - Clarified that the identity of third party callers must be confirmed.

(19) IRM 21.3.8.4.1.5(11) - Added a Caution that the high risk authentication procedures do not apply to third parties. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(20) IRM 21.3.8.4.2.2 - Revised the title of the subsection to reflect the update in contents; added an IRM reference to paragraphs (1) and (4); moved the contents of paragraphs (6) through (8) to a new subsection, deleting the paragraphs in this subsection and renumbering the subsequent paragraph. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(21) IRM 21.3.8.4.2.2.1(2) - Added the detail that the GuideStar site is now operated by the exempt organization Candid. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(22) IRM 21.3.8.4.2.2.2 - New subsection on inspection of EO returns containing the information formerly contained in paragraphs (6) through (8) of IRM 21.3.8.4.2.2, Exempt Organization (EO) Inspection of Determination Applications and Disclosure of Employer Identification Number (EIN) Information. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(23) IRM 21.3.8.5.1.1 - Added guidance to paragraph (5) for contacts when the taxpayer does not respond to the assistor’s greeting when the call is connected; removed the Note from subparagraph (f) of paragraph (10) dealing with callers asking the assistor to hold.

(24) IRM 21.3.8.5.1.1(10) - Added a Note to subparagraph (f) with guidance for assistors when the caller asks them to hold. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(25) IRM 21.3.8.5.1.1 - Added a Note to paragraph (6) about services being provided only in English; added an Example to subparagraph (e) of paragraph (10) to illustrate the handling of a secondary issue. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(26) IRM 21.3.8.5.1.1(10) - Clarified in subparagraph (f) that the assistor must thank the caller for holding each time the assistor returns to the call after having placed the caller on hold. IPU 18U1370 issued 10-24-2018.

(27) IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3 -Added IRM references for confirming the identity of a third-party caller and for verification of the required fields on an authorization form faxed to an assistor to the Reminder in paragraph (2) and deleted that paragraph’s subparagraphs and paragraph (3) because the information contained in them is included in the referenced IRM subsection, renumbering the subsequent paragraphs, and added a reference to IRM 21.3.7.5.1, Essential Elements for Form 2848 and Form 8821, to the Reminder; deleted the redundant information in the renumbered paragraph (3) in favor of references to IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.2, Status of Pending (Open) Exempt Organization (EO) Determination/Application Requests, and IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.3, Status of Pending (Open) Employee Plans (EP) Determination/Application Requests. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(28) IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.1(2) - Moved the status 21 procedures to a separate row and made corresponding revisions to the status 20/status 26 information; added an Exception to the status 97 procedures for organizations that lapse back in status 97 within two months of being reinstated or being ruled on and there is no indication the current auto-revocation is legitimate.

(29) IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.1(2) - Revised the procedure for organizations in master file status 02, instructing the assistor to prepare a referral to the EO Correspondence Unit for all situations; revised the procedure for organizations in master file status 98, instructing the assistor to prepare a referral to the team lead for additional research. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(30) IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.1(2) - Clarified that organizations in status 28 are to be updated whether the organization is at risk of auto-revocation or not; added some examples of organizations that are not required to apply for formal recognition of their tax exemption. IPU 18U1370 issued 10-24-2018.

(31) IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.2(3) - New paragraph with information about withdrawing an exempt organization application. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(32) IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.3.1(2) - Revised the Note to summarize the additional criteria for applying for a determination letter per Rev. Proc. 2019-20.

(33) IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.3.1 - New subsection on the current criteria for applying for a determination letter under IRC 401(a) or terminating a plan. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(34) IRM 21.3.8.5.2.4(1) - Added status 75 to the rows of the table involving applications in an assigned status; clarified that calls on Form 1023 applications assigned to tax examiners are to be handled per the relevant job aid on the TEGE Research Portal; removed the instruction to include the determination specialist’s manager’s telephone number in the email with the "Multiple Attempts" template. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(35) IRM 21.3.8.7.3(1) - Revised the Reminder for using the asterisk when generating Letter 4172C to account for the EIN having been used on a disclosable document (subparagraphs (h) and (i)) and added the revised Reminder to subparagraphs (b), (d), (e), and (f); added Form 1026/group ruling requests to subparagraph (k) as an application type that does not generate an acknowledgement letter.

(36) IRM 21.3.8.7.3(1) - Updated the procedure for affirming the exemption of an American Red Cross component in subparagraph (h) to reflect Letter 4205 being obsoleted; revised the procedure for organizations in master file status 02 in subparagraph (i), directing the assistor to IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.1, Verification of Tax-Exempt Status and Foundation Classification, for guidance; added a reference to Form 8940, changed the IRM citation, and clarified that Letter 3367C is to be sent to the address showing on LINUS/EDS/TEDS in subparagraph (k). IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(37) IRM 21.3.8.7.3(1) - Added a Note to subparagraph (b) instructing the assistor to prepare a Form 4442 referral to the EO Correspondence Unit for third party contacts if the organization in question has an expired ARED that is 199401 or older. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(38) IRM 21.3.8.8.2(4) - Added a Reminder to the second bullet about the two methods the IRS has for contacting the caller. IPU 18U1370 issued 10-24-2018.

(39) IRM 21.3.8.8.3(1) -Revised the paragraph to indicate that the preferred method of delivery is via email and removed the email information from the Note. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(40) IRM 21.3.8.8.3(1) - Added details to the Note about the acknowledgement sent by EO Classification when the informant provides complete contact information. IPU 18U1370 issued 10-24-2018.

(41) IRM 21.3.8.8.7(1) - Removed the mailing address and referred the assistor to the form instructions. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(42) IRM 21.3.8.9.2 - Added a Note to paragraph (1) referring the assistor to IRM 21.3.8.14.8, Requests for IRC 527 Web Updates (Including Password Requests) and Troubleshooting Calls, for information about IRC 527 organizations that do not have an organizing document; updated paragraph (8) with information about the letter the EO Correspondence Unit sends to churches without formal recognition when they submit a name change request. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(43) IRM 21.3.8.9.2 - Added an Exception to paragraph (3) to explain when a name change should not be submitted under separate cover; clarified in paragraph (4) that the EDS/TEDS case must be approved in order for the assistor to use it as supporting documentation for a name correction; clarified that the guidance in paragraph (7) applies to organizations with individual rulings of exemption. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(44) IRM 21.3.8.9.5 - Added a Note to subparagraph (b) of paragraph (3) to provide guidance when a former officer asks to have his/her name removed from the organization’s c/o name line; clarified in paragraph (6) where written address change requests are to be sent if the caller’s organization has a pending (open) exemption application. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(45) IRM 21.3.8.9.5 - Inserted a new paragraph (2) containing the information from the previous paragraph (5) and renumbered the intervening paragraphs; added a Reminder to subparagraph (a) of the renumbered paragraph (3) that a TC 014 is not the only indication of an address change on IDRS; added a Reminder to subparagraph (a) of the renumbered paragraph (4) that the assistor can offer a third-party affirmation letter in situations where the organization has a new address but the caller is not authorized to update the address on IDRS. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(46) IRM 21.3.8.9.7(5) - Updated the procedures for status checks on requests to change the fiscal period to reflect the forms being worked in EO Entity and not the EO Correspondence Unit. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(47) IRM 21.3.8.9.7 - Removed the information about changing a plan year (part of paragraph (2) and all of paragraph (6)) and renumbered the subsequent paragraph. IPU 18U1370 issued 10-24-2018.

(48) IRM 21.3.8.9.7.1 - New subsection about changing the fiscal year of a plan. IPU 18U1370 issued 10-24-2018.

(49) IRM 21.3.8.9.8 - Added a Note to paragraph (11) explaining that a processed Form 990 series return systemically updates an organization from status 21 to the status it held before it was in status 21; updated the guidance in paragraphs (21) and (22) so that forms are ordered at the caller’s request. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(50) IRM 21.3.8.9.8(20) - Deleted the reference to the Supplemental Group Ruling Information (SGRI) in the Note because it is no longer generated and sent to the central organization. IPU 19U0143 issued 02-08-2019.

(51) IRM 21.3.8.9.8 - Added a Note to paragraphs (3), (4), and (6) instructing the assistor to advise the caller that we have no record of exemption and provided IRM references for additional information; added an IRM reference for additional information to paragraphs (15), (16), (29), (31), (32), and (36); added a Note to paragraph (28) explaining that organizations in status 40 do not display an EO filing requirement. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(52) IRM 21.3.8.9.10(6) - Deleted the reference to the Supplemental Group Ruling Information (SGRI) in subparagraph (g) because it is no longer generated and sent to the central organization. IPU 19U0143 issued 02-08-2019.

(53) IRM 21.3.8.9.10.1(5) - Updated the guidance in the Caution for determining the status code date. IPU 18U1370 issued 10-24-2018.

(54) IRM 21.3.8.9.12(2) - Added to the Caution throughout the table that EO return modules must be checked for freeze codes before deleting the EO submodule; revised the filing requirement bullet in the guidance for entities that do not qualify for tax exemption and deleted the Reminder. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(55) IRM 21.3.8.9.12(2) - Added a Caution to research BMFOLI for EO returns with a balance due before deleting the EO submodule. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(56) IRM 21.3.8.9.12(2) - Added information about organizations with a rejected Form 990-N to the Reminder following the table. IPU 18U1370 issued 10-24-2018.

(57) IRM 21.3.8.10.1.4(6) - Clarified that extension requests for Form 5330 must be signed. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(58) IRM 21.3.8.10.1.4 - Updated the procedure for requesting a copy of the filed extension request in paragraph (6), including explaining to the caller that the form is not required to be signed and may not show who filed the extension; added a Note to paragraph (8) with guidance for entities that receive an extension notice that contains the wrong return dates. IPU 18U1370 issued 10-24-2018.

(59) IRM 21.3.8.10.2.1.1(3) - Added a Caution with information about organizations that filed an incomplete Form 990-PF but that were classified as private foundations due to an error made when completing the Form 1023-EZ. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(60) IRM 21.3.8.10.2.1.1(3) - Updated the Exception with a recommendation that organizations that submit a Form 990-N after an incomplete return keep a notated copy of their letter for their records and added guidance for organizations at risk of auto-revocation. IPU 18U1370 issued 10-24-2018.

(61) IRM 21.3.8.10.2.2 - Updated the CP numbers throughout the subsection to reflect the BMF notices.

(62) IRM 21.3.8.10.2.7(5) - Clarified when to use the Probe and Response Guide; revised the guidance for calls where it is determined that the organization is not liable for the return and period named on the notice, including incorporating most of the Note into the bulleted text; added an Exception with information about terminated organizations. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(63) IRM 21.3.8.10.2.10(4) - Added a Note to the first data row of the table to show that the procedure includes returns filed under a different plan sponsor’s name, EIN, etc. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(64) IRM 21.3.8.10.2.12 - Specified in paragraph (4) that the Form 990 filing requirement must be deleted when updating the 527-IND field to "2" ; added an instruction to notate AMS to paragraphs (4) and (6). IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(65) IRM 21.3.8.10.2.12(4) - Revised the Caution and the Note to distinguish between a Form 8871 filed in error by an organization that qualifies under IRC 527 and a form filed in error by an organization that does not qualify under IRC 527. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(66) IRM 21.3.8.10.3.1(7) - Simplified the paragraph by removing the specific rate information and referring the assistor to the form instructions for the tax period in question. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(67) IRM 21.3.8.11.1.1(1) - Added Form 1026/group ruling requests to the Exception as an application type that does not generate an acknowledgement letter.

(68) IRM 21.3.8.11.1.1 - Clarified in paragraph (1) that the acknowledgement letter is sent to the address shown on the application; removed from paragraph (2) the information that the amount of user fee paid is shown on the acknowledgement letter. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(69) IRM 21.3.8.11.1.1(9) - Deleted the Note from the first bullet because it no longer applies. IPU 18U1370 issued 10-24-2018.

(70) IRM 21.3.8.11.4(5) - Clarified that the procedure also applies to lost user fee refund checks.

(71) IRM 21.3.8.11.4 - Added guidance about voiding and returning the user fee refund check and added a time frame to the Exception in paragraph (4); added a time frame to paragraph (5); added information about Form 3911 to paragraph (6). IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(72) IRM 21.3.8.11.4(3) - Removed the reference to the organization’s budget information in subparagraph (c). IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(73) IRM 21.3.8.11.4(5) - Updated the time frame for the receipt of a refunded user fee. IPU 18U1370 issued 10-24-2018.

(74) IRM 21.3.8.11.5(5) - Clarified that the procedure does not apply solely to misapplied additional user fee payments. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(75) IRM 21.3.8.11.5 - Revised paragraphs (1) and (2) so that they apply only to Form 8940, Request for Miscellaneous Determination, submissions and deleted the Exception in paragraph (2). IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(76) IRM 21.3.8.11.7.1(1) - Clarified that the procedure does not apply to organizations undergoing a 60-month termination of their private foundation status. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(77) IRM 21.3.8.11.8 - Added a Note to the EIN bullet of paragraph (7) stating that organizations that have changed their name must request an update to our records before submitting a Form 1023-EZ application; added a Note to the table in paragraph (13) that assistors cannot take an action on a rejected Form 1023-EZ application unless the caller has a copy of the application submitted by the organization, provided some examples of resolving disagreements over the rejection of a Form 1023-EZ, expanded the guidance on the referrals sent to the analyst, and added a Note allowing referrals on organizations set up under IRC 501(c)(4) that submitted only a Form 990-N.

(78) IRM 21.3.8.11.8(14) - Provided additional details about the wording in Letter 1049 and added a reference to IRM 21.3.8.12.17, Exempt Organization (EO) Case Development and Failed to Establish (FTE) Status, for additional information. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(79) IRM 21.3.8.11.8 - Updated the time frames in paragraphs (13) and (14) to make them consistent with the information in IRM 21.3.8.5.1.4, Inquiries Regarding Correspondence Controlled on the TEGE Rulings & Agreement Control (TRAC) System. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(80) IRM 21.3.8.11.8(13) - Updated the time frame for the receipt of a refunded user fee in the Reminder. IPU 18U1370 issued 10-24-2018.

(81) IRM 21.3.8.12.4(2) - Added Indian tribal governments to the second bullet. IPU 18U1370 issued 10-24-2018.

(82) IRM 21.3.8.12.5.1(5) - Added a reference to IRM 21.3.8.9.12, Updating Exempt Organization (EO) Submodules Created by EO-Employer Identification Number (EIN) Transcripts, EO Submodule Data Sheets, and Filed Returns, to help the assistor determine which organizations in status 36 are covered by the procedure. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(83) IRM 21.3.8.12.5.2(4) - Replaced the reference to the Supplemental Group Ruling Information (SGRI) in the Note because the SGRI is no longer generated and sent to the central organization. IPU 19U0143 issued 02-08-2019.

(84) IRM 21.3.8.12.5.3(5) - Added the example of a public charity that starts giving scholarships after it has received formal exemption. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(85) IRM 21.3.8.12.5.3.1(1) - Clarified that the new user fee doesn't apply for submissions postmarked prior to July 1, 2019. IPU 19U0143 issued 02-08-2019.

(86) IRM 21.3.8.12.5.3.1(1) - Added information about the new user fee effective January 1, 2019. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(87) IRM 21.3.8.12.5.3.2(2) - Clarified that the new user fee doesn't apply for submissions postmarked prior to July 1, 2019. IPU 19U0143 issued 02-08-2019.

(88) IRM 21.3.8.12.5.3.2(2) - Added information about the new user fee effective January 1, 2019. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(89) IRM 21.3.8.12.5.3.3(3) - Clarified that the new user fee doesn't apply for submissions postmarked prior to July 1, 2019. IPU 19U0143 issued 02-08-2019.

(90) IRM 21.3.8.12.5.3.3(3) - Added information about the new user fee effective January 1, 2019. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(91) IRM 21.3.8.12.5.4(1) - Clarified that the first four rows of the table apply to public charities. IPU 18U1370 issued 10-24-2018

(92) IRM 21.3.8.12.5.4.2 - Deleted paragraphs (5) and (6) and renumbered the subsequent paragraphs because discrepancies between IRS and organization records are covered elsewhere in the IRM. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(93) IRM 21.3.8.12.5.4.2(1) - Clarified the difference between being reclassified and being retyped. IPU 18U1370 issued 10-24-2018.

(94) IRM 21.3.8.12.5.7(3) - Streamlined the guidance for organizations with Form 990/Form 990-EZ filing requirements that are eligible to submit the Form 990-N. IPU 18U1370 issued 10-24-2018.

(95) IRM 21.3.8.12.6(3) - Added the directive to notate AMS when updating the organization from terminated status.

(96) IRM 21.3.8.12.6(3) - Revised the procedures for organizations in status 21 with a status code date of 201106 and later to make them clearer, deleting some information entirely or moving it to a better location in the IRM. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(97) IRM 21.3.8.12.6.1(4) - Added the directive to notate AMS when deleting the filing requirements of a terminated organization.

(98) IRM 21.3.8.12.6.1(1) - Clarified the meaning of "three consecutive years" as it relates to auto-revocation. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(99) IRM 21.3.8.12.6.1 - Clarified the meaning of an authorized caller in paragraph (1); specified in the last row of the table in paragraph (5) that the organization claims not to have been organized under IRC 501(a). IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(100) IRM 21.3.8.12.6.1(3) - Deleted the expired 2018 auto-revocation disclosure dates and added the dates for 2019. IPU 18U1370 issued 10-24-2018.

(101) IRM 21.3.8.12.10(1) - Deleted the information from the older years and added the insubstantial benefits values for 2018.

(102) IRM 21.3.8.12.12(5) - Added details about the determination letter images available on Tax Exempt Organization Search to the Reminder.

(103) IRM 21.3.8.12.12 - Added details about the timing of the Pub 78 and auto-revocation databases on TEOS to paragraph (5), added details about the timing of the determination letter, Form 990 series filings, and Form 990-N submissions databases on TEOS to the Reminder, and added a Note about the naming convention used in TEOS; added a reference to IRM 25.7.6.2.1, Cumulative List Coding Specifications, to paragraph (6). IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(104) IRM 21.3.8.12.12.1(2) - Added a new subparagraph (a) that reminds the assistor to change the default country of location if the organization has a foreign address of record and relettered the subsequent subparagraphs; deleted the reference to obsoleted Letter 4205C in relettered subparagraph (b). IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(105) IRM 21.3.8.12.14.3 - Updated the title of the subsection and completely revised the contents to reflect the elimination of the Supplemental Group Ruling Information (SGRI) process. IPU 19U0143 issued 02-08-2019.

(106) IRM 21.3.8.12.14.4 - Updated the title of the subsection and completely revised the contents to reflect the elimination of the Supplemental Group Ruling Information (SGRI) process. IPU 19U0143 issued 02-08-2019.

(107) IRM 21.3.8.12.14.5(3) - Deleted the reference to obsoleted Letter 4205C in subparagraph (a). IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(108) IRM 21.3.8.12.14.5.1(2) - Replaced the reference to the Supplemental Group Ruling Information (SGRI) because the SGRI is no longer generated and sent to the central organization. IPU 19U0143 issued 02-08-2019.

(109) IRM 21.3.8.12.17(4) - Added a time frame to the Exception. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(110) IRM 21.3.8.12.17(6) - Added a Note clarifying the procedure for callers requesting a copy of the Letter 1312. IPU 18U1370 issued 10-24-2018.

(111) IRM 21.3.8.12.18 - Added details about the determination letter images available on Tax Exempt Organization Search (TEOS) to the Reminder in paragraph (3); moved the time frame information from paragraph (5) to paragraph (4) and replaced it with guidance on ruling letters dated January 2014 or later that are not on TEOS.

(112) IRM 21.3.8.12.18(3) - Added details about the timing of the determination letter database on TEOS to the Reminder. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(113) IRM 21.3.8.12.19(5) - Added details about the determination letter images available on Tax Exempt Organization Search.

(114) IRM 21.3.8.12.19(5) - Revised the time frame information to reflect that the programming necessary to resolve the referral has not been developed, yet. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(115) IRM 21.3.8.12.24 - Added the normal time frame for a Form 990-N to post to IDRS after a successful submission to paragraph (10); removed the guidance to prepare a referral from paragraph (11). IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(116) IRM 21.3.8.12.24.1 - Clarified in paragraph (2) that the assistor must offer to take the Form 990-N information when the assistor cannot resolve the problem preventing the caller from submitting the organization’s Form 990-N; replaced the body of paragraph (4) with the information from the Caution, substituting offering to take the Form 990-N information for preparing a referral, and deleted the Caution. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(117) IRM 21.3.8.12.24.2 - Substituted offering to take the Form 990-N information for preparing a referral to the lead in paragraph (1); expanded the time frame in the Note in paragraph (2) to account for posting delays; detailed the information to include in the referral to the lead in paragraph (12) and added a Reminder about checking for pending transactions on ENMOD. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(118) IRM 21.3.8.12.24.2(2) - Revised the guidance in the body of the paragraph by removing some conditions and putting them in an Exception and added organizations with a pending (open) Form 1023-EZ application to the Exception. IPU 18U1370 issued 10-24-2018.

(119) IRM 21.3.8.12.24.2.1 - Deleted paragraph (3) because the information is included in IRM 21.3.8.12.24.3, Form 990-N Error Messages, Warning Messages, and Filing System Problems, and renumbered the subsequent paragraph. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(120) IRM 21.3.8.12.24.3 - Added examples to paragraph (3); substituted offering to take the Form 990-N information for preparing a referral to the lead in paragraph (11). IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(121) IRM 21.3.8.12.24.3(13) - Updated the procedure for collecting information when reporting potential systemic problems. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(122) IRM 21.3.8.12.24.4(1) - Clarified in the first two data rows of the table when the assistors are to prepare an EO Submodule Data to have the submodule created and when they are to update IDRS themselves. IPU 18U1370 issued 10-24-2018.

(123) IRM 21.3.8.12.29(5) - Added details about the civil penalty notice to the Note.

(124) IRM 21.3.8.12.29(5) - Added a Note with information about the civil penalty applied when an IRC 501(c)(4) organization registers more than 60 days after formation. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(125) IRM 21.3.8.13.1(7) - Deleted subparagraph (a) because the information is not directly related to Form 5330. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(126) IRM 21.3.8.13.1(7) - Added a Note about new Voluntary Compliance Program submission and payment requirements to subparagraph (a). IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(127) IRM 21.3.8.13.2(8) - Added information to the Note about the option of Form 5500-EZ being filed electronically using EFAST2 for plan years beginning after December 31, 2019.

(128) IRM 21.3.8.13.2 - Removed the mailing address from paragraph (9) and referred the assistor to the form instructions; added a Note to paragraph (11) about changing the plan’s filing requirement within the Form 5500 series. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(129) IRM 21.3.8.13.2 - Revised the Note in paragraph (8) to cover mandatory electronic filing of certain returns; updated paragraph (10) to indicate that the IRS-only questions were removed from the plan year 2017 forms; added a section of Form 5500-EZ that is out of scope for technical questions to paragraph (12). IPU 18U1370 issued 10-24-2018.

(130) IRM 21.3.8.13.2.1 - Reworded paragraph (1) to provide additional details; updated the penalty relief information for Form 5500-EZ filers in paragraph (5). IPU 18U1370 issued 10-24-2018.

(131) IRM 21.3.8.13.2.2(10) - New paragraph with information about unprocessable Form 8955-SSA submissions returned to the filer. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(132) IRM 21.3.8.13.2.3(5) - Revised the information to show the option of Form 5500-EZ being filed electronically using EFAST2 for plan years beginning after December 31, 2019.

(133) IRM 21.3.8.13.7 - Removed the references from paragraph (7); updated the reference in paragraph (8) and clarified that all VCP submissions must be made electronically and added a Note about multiple submissions; deleted paragraph (9) and renumbered the subsequent paragraphs; provided additional ways to identify a VCP submission in the renumbered paragraph (10); added a new paragraph (11) with guidance on calls where the applicant has a VCP user fee problem. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(134) IRM 21.3.8.13.7 - Revised paragraphs (7) through (9) to provide the most current revenue procedure references and effective dates; updated the website reference in paragraph (10). IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(135) IRM 21.3.8.13.7.1 - New subsection on the excise taxes assessed for failure to make the required minimum distribution (RMD).

(136) IRM 21.3.8.13.9 - New subsection about the requirement of some Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs) to file a Form 990-T, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(137) IRM 21.3.8.14.1.1(6) - Deleted the specific corporate tax rate so that the assistor could refer to the current rate. IPU 19U0237 issued 02-28-2019.

(138) IRM 21.3.8.14.2(2) - Added a Note about how a filed Form 8453-X displays on IDRS.

(139) IRM 21.3.8.14.3.1(10) - Deleted the specific corporate tax rate so that the assistor could refer to the current rate. IPU 19U0237 issued 02-28-2019.

(140) IRM 21.3.8.14.7(1) - Deleted the specific corporate tax rate so that the assistor could refer to the current rate. IPU 19U0237 issued 02-28-2019.

(141) IRM 21.3.8.15(4) - New paragraph referencing Indian tribal governments. IPU 18U1370 issued 10-24-2018.

(142) IRM 21.3.8.17.1(4) - Added a Note that Form 8038-B is being made historical. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(143) IRM 21.3.8.17.4(2) - Added a Note from the form instructions about the limited circumstances under which Form 8038-CP can be filed. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(144) Exhibit 21.3.8-10 - Added EDS Letter 5048 and Letter 5049 for foreign and U.S. territory organizations exempt under IRC 501(c)(3).

(145) Exhibit 21.3.8-10 - Revised the list of EP letters per Exhibit 7.13.5-1, List of All EP Determinations Letters (When to Use and Where to Access). IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(146) Exhibit 21.3.8-10 - Added Form 1023-EZ to the types of applications that can generate Letter 1312; added EO Letter 5050 for foreign organizations ruled to be exempt under IRC 501(a) other than IRC 501(c)(3). IPU 18U1370 issued 10-24-2018.

(147) Exhibit 21.3.8-12 - Revised the row about first requests for transcripts by removing the information about return copies, by making it apply to second requests also, and by referring to IRM 21.2.3.7, Call Closure Requirements, for the time frame details; deleted the row about second requests for transcripts. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(148) Exhibit 21.3.8-12 - Deleted the row concerning the processing of the Supplemental Group Ruling Information (SGRI) because the SGRI is no longer generated and sent to the central organization. IPU 19U0143 issued 02-08-2019.

(149) Exhibit 21.3.8-12 - Updated the information about requests to change the fiscal period of exempt organizations to reflect the forms being worked in EO Entity and not the EO Correspondence Unit; corrected the IRM reference for requests to change the fiscal period of an employee plan; added the exception to the monthly update schedule of the Pub 78 database on TEOS. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(150) Exhibit 21.3.8-12 - Replaced the reference to a USB thumb drive with "digital data format" ; added a row to the table for EO Exam submissions; updated the time frame for the receipt of a refunded user fee. IPU 18U1370 issued 10-24-2018.

(151) Exhibit 21.3.8-15 - Replaced the specific addresses for EO applications and returns with a directive to refer to the form instructions. IPU 19U0707 issued 05-31-2019.

(152) Exhibit 21.3.8-15 - Updated the address and fax number for EP Exam Classification. IPU 19U0075 issued 01-25-2019.

(153) Editorial changes have been made throughout, including updates to addresses, examples, fax numbers, form and publication titles, time frames, and references to Revenue Procedures, and adding internal cross-references.

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 21.3.8 dated August 17, 2018 (effective October 1, 2018), is superseded. The following IRM Procedural Updates (IPU), issued from October 24, 2018, through May 31, 2019, have been incorporated into this IRM: 18U1370, 19U0075, 19U0143, 19U0237, and 19U0707.

Audience

Tax Exempt/Government Entities (TEGE) Customer Account Services (CAS) Telephone Operation

Effective Date

(10-01-2019)

Karen A. Michaels
Director, Accounts Management
Wage and Investment Division

Tax Exempt/Government Entities (TEGE) Telephone Operations: Program Scope and Objectives

  1. This section contains information and guidelines for use by Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) and Customer Service Specialists (CSSs) in responding to telephone inquiries from Tax Exempt/Government Entities (TEGE) customers.

  2. Purpose: To provide procedures for assisting callers who need, for example:

    1. Confirmation of the status of an application

    2. A letter affirming tax-exempt status

    3. Answers to miscellaneous Exempt Organization (EO), Employee Plan (EP), and Government Entity (GE) issues

  3. Audience: The primary users of this IRM are the assistors who staff the accounts and tax law (basic and advanced) applications at the TEGE toll-free sites.

  4. Policy Owner: Director, Accounts Management

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

  6. Primary Stakeholders: Wage and Investment (W&I), Tax Exempt/Government Entities (TEGE)

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

Background

  1. The IRS is committed to a customer service program that encourages taxpayers to comply voluntarily with the tax laws and assists them in meeting their obligations.

  2. The TEGE Telephone Operation is committed to achieving excellence in the service it provides to its customers. We provide our customers with assistance in a manner that warrants the highest degree of public confidence. Representatives practice courtesy and proper communication techniques while ensuring that responses are technically and procedurally accurate and complete.

  3. Assistors assigned to the TEGE toll-free line provide help to callers on a wide range of topics relating to tax exemption.

  4. IRM 21.3.8 includes information and instructions to answer TEGE Telephone Operation calls and attempts to address the situations most frequently encountered by the telephone assistors. The instructions and information contained in this IRM and in other applicable IRMs cannot address every possible issue that may arise. If the caller's question/problem cannot be resolved by using the available references, it may be necessary to consult your lead/manager to determine the necessary corrective action. Any issue/question that cannot be resolved at the site-level or that could have Servicewide impact must be elevated by the lead/manager to the headquarters analyst with program responsibility.

Authority

  1. The procedures in this IRM are a translation of a variety of legal and administrative authorities into practical guidance the assistors can use to help their callers.

  2. 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.

  3. The principal IRC sections for the purpose of tax exemption are IRC 401 (employer-sponsored plans) and IRC 501 (tax exempt organizations). Other sections of the Internal Revenue Code are cited in this IRM as they apply to the topic being discussed.

  4. While specific revenue procedures are cited in the IRM when they are applicable to the issue being covered, three revenue procedures, updated annually, are the chief authority for the actions under the jurisdiction of the Associate Chief Counsel (EEE) and of TEGE Division:

    • Rev. Proc. 2019-1 - Associate Chief Counsel (TEGE)

    • Rev. Proc. 2019-4 - Commissioner, TEGE Division, Employee Plans Rulings & Agreement

    • Rev. Proc. 2019-5 - Commissioner, TEGE Division, Exempt Organizations Rulings & Agreement

  5. The IRM cites specific pieces of legislation when the information is relevant to the caller or is useful for the assistor’s greater understanding of the matter at hand. Exhibit 21.3.8-6, Acronyms for Major Tax Law Affecting Employee Plans, provides a quick reference for the names of the major pieces of EP legislation.

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Account Management’s Process and Program Management Section has responsibility for the information in this IRM, which is published on a yearly basis.

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

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

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

  5. Taxpayer Bill of Rights: In June of 2014, the IRS adopted the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR); therefore, consider these rights while carrying out your duties as a TEGE toll-free telephone assistor. For additional information, refer to Policy Statement 1-236 and to Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR).

Program Management and Review

  1. Program Reports: For information about the various diagnostics and reports used to assess the health of the program, refer to IRM 1.4.16.2.4, Measures and Diagnostic Goals, and to 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.

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

Program Controls

  1. Goals, measures, and operating guidelines are listed in the yearly Program Letter.

  2. Quality data and guidelines for measurement are referenced in 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. Terms used in this IRM generally have the standard English definition. Where the term has a special meaning in the context of a TEGE matter, the term is defined or clarified in the subsection in which it is used.

  2. All but the most common acronyms found in this IRM are spelled out when they are used for the first time in a subsection. Exhibit 21.3.8-4, Acronyms/Abbreviations — General, provides a list of common acronyms and abbreviations, including those used in the context of an exempt organization; Exhibit 21.3.8-5, Acronyms/Abbreviations - Employee Plans, focuses on those used in EP.

Related Resources

  1. In addition to this IRM and to the resources cited therein, assistors may also need to refer to supplemental resources and to other IRMs, such as the following:

    Note:

    For issues and procedures covered in multiple IRMs, the information in IRM 21.3.8, Taxpayer Contacts, Tax Exempt/Government Entities (TEGE) Customer Account Services (CAS) Telephone Operations, takes precedence for TEGE telephone assistors when they are assigned to TEGE telephone duties.

    • IRM 2.3.10, Command Codes MFREQ and RECON

    • IRM 2.3.11, Command Codes TXMOD and SUMRY

    • IRM 2.3.12, Command Code ACTON

    • IRM 2.3.15, Command Code ENMOD

    • IRM 2.3.31, Command Codes CFINK, RPINK, KAFFQ and KAFTQ for CAF Inquiry

    • IRM 2.3.37, Command Code UPTIN for the GUF System

    • IRM 2.3.47, Command Codes INOLE, EOGEN, and SPARQ

    • IRM 2.3.59, Command Codes BMFOL and BMFOR

    • IRM 2.3.60, Command Codes NAMES, NAMEE, NAMEI, NAMEB, FINDS, FINDE, and TPIIP

    • IRM 2.3.64, Command Code EMFOL

    • IRM 2.3.73, Command Codes TRDBV, TRERS, TRPRT and R8453

    • IRM 2.4.4, Command Code MESSG

    • IRM 2.4.9, Command Codes ENREQ, INCHG, IRCHG, BNCHG and BRCHG

    • IRM 2.4.10, Command Codes EOREQ and EOCHG

    • IRM 2.4.13, Command Code TERUP

    • IRM 3.5.20-3, RAIVS Contacts

    • IRM 3.11.12, Exempt Organization Returns

    • IRM 3.11.22, Employee Plan Excise Tax Return

    • IRM 3.11.26, Miscellaneous Tax Exempt Governmental Entities (TEGE) Tax Returns

    • IRM 3.12.278, Exempt Organization Unpostable Resolution

    • IRM 3.13.12, Exempt Organization Account Numbers

    • IRM 3.13.36, EPMF Account Numbers

    • IRM 11.3, Disclosure of Official Information

    • IRM 13.1.7, Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Case Criteria

    • IRM 20.1.8, Employee Plans and Exempt Organizations Miscellaneous Civil Penalties

    • IRM 21.1.1, Accounts Management and Compliance Services Overview

    • IRM 21.1.3, Operational Guidelines Overview

    • IRM 21.2.2, Research (in particular IRM 21.2.2-2, ACCOUNTS MANAGEMENT MANDATED IAT TOOLS)

    • IRM 21.3.1, Taxpayer Contacts Resulting from Notice Issuance

    • IRM 21.3.3, Incoming and Outgoing Correspondence/Letters

    • IRM 21.3.5, Taxpayer Inquiry Referrals Form 4442

    • IRM 21.3.7, Processing Third Party Authorizations onto the Centralized Authorization File (CAF)

    • IRM 21.5.10, Examination Issues

    • IRM 21.5.11, Employee Plan Accounts

    • IRM 21.7.7, Exempt Organizations and Tax Exempt Bonds

    • IRM 21.10, Quality Assurance

    • IRM 7.25.1.1.1, EO Select Check: Cumulative Lists of Exempt Organizations

    • IRM 7.25.3, Exempt Organizations Determinations Manual, Religious, Charitable, Educational, Etc., Organizations

    • Document 6023, Group Exemption Roster

    • Document 6209, IRS Processing Codes and Information

    • Document 6379, Information Systems Codes FY 2018; Quick Reference for EO Employees

    • Document 6476, Information Systems Codes FY 2018; Quick Reference for EP Agents/Specialists

    • Document 11308, Information Systems Codes FY 2018

Bomb Threats and Suicide Threats Overview

  1. For bomb threats, see IRM 1.4.19.3.6.3, Telephone Threat Procedures.

  2. For suicides, see IRM 21.1.3.12, Suicide Threats.

Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer (PDT) and Caution Upon Contact (CAU) Indicators

  1. For information on the PDT indicator, see IRM 25.4.1, Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer.

  2. For information on the CAU indicator, see IRM 25.4.2, "Caution Upon Contact" Taxpayer.

Research Systems and Miscellaneous Procedures

  1. This section serves as a guide to research tools and miscellaneous procedures used by TEGE Telephone Operations.

Automated Research Systems

  1. The following is a list of automated research systems that can be utilized:

    System Definition
    EDS
    (EP/EO Determination System)

    Note: When researching EDS, rely on the Document Locator Number (DLN) only for current applications.
    This system is the determination application control database for both Exempt Organizations and Employee Plans. It can be researched by inputting the Employer Identification Number (EIN), DLN, case number, name control, or name control and zip code. It identifies status of applications, subsequent amendments and follow-up actions. See Document 6379, Information Systems Codes FY 2018; Quick Reference for EO Employees, and Document 6476, Information Systems Codes FY 2018; Quick Reference for EP Agents/Specialists, to assist in understanding the coding used in this system.
    IDRS
    (Integrated Data Retrieval System)
    This system is the primary system that IRS uses to house all accounts. IDRS may be used to research for EINs, exemptions, and tax account information and includes pending actions performed at various Campuses and Posts of Duty (PODs). This information is available to all IRS sites. See Document 6209, IRS Processing Codes and Information, and the Command Code Job Aid found on Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP), for additional information.
    LINUS
    (Letter and Information Network User-fee System)
    This system is the financial database for all EP/EO Determination Application User Fees processed at the Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC) and identifies application receipts established by CSPC prior to the information rolling to TEDS. The information contained on this system includes: user fee records, generated acknowledgement letters, generated determination case DLNs.
    SEIN and OL-SEIN (SOI EO Imaging Network and Online SOI EO Imaging Network) SEIN is a document imaging system that is used to scan and create images of specific EO returns. This is often referred to as the "front end processing." Once a month, the returns (scanned images) that are available to the public for inspection are converted to a digital data format ("the back end processing" ) and distributed to various requestors nationwide. These images have specific information redacted, restricted or sanitized.
    Note: The extension Form 8868 is scanned in when it is submitted as an attachment to the return, but it is disclosed to the public only if the return was scanned before November 2, 2015. If the return was scanned after that date, Form 8868 is treated as extraneous material and not included with requests for copies.
    All returns/attachments (including extension requests filed with the return) that are imaged through SEIN are available to internal customers via OL-SEIN. The images on OL-SEIN are not redacted; the images contain complete return information as filed.
    EO returns imaged include:
    • Form 990-PF

    • Form 990/Form 990-EZ

    • Form 990/Form 990-EZ with IRC 527 box checked

    • Form 8871

    • Form 8872

    • Form 990-T

    • Form 4720

    • Form 5227

    CIS (Correspondence Imaging System) CIS is a document imaging and workflow system. All incoming TEGE accounts paper correspondence, notice replies, and internal Computer Paragraph (CP) notices are scanned and processed as digital images. CIS interacts with IDRS to control cases, input STAUPs, when needed, and distribute cases electronically to CSRs for resolution. The digital cases are assigned to CSRs, who work the cases online using the workflow software. CIS interacts with IDRS to initiate various command codes and captures the request completed screens as a part of the digital case.
    State Web Sites State Corporate Records are available to verify information provided by the organization, to research corporate names when Master File needs to be perfected, and to determine if an organization is in good standing with the state, etc. (it cannot be relied on as the sole source).
    TEDS
    (Tax-Exempt Determination System)
    TEDS is envisioned as a centralized database and a user-friendly technology infrastructure. The end-state vision for TEDS consists of the database that stores all scanned images of all application packages, correspondence, closing letters, generated acknowledgement letters, and their associated data.
    TRAC (TEGE Rulings & Agreement Control) System
    formerly known as TCC (TEGE Correspondence Control System)
    This system is used to control correspondence received in the EO
    Correspondence Unit.
    See IRM 21.3.8.5.1.4, Inquiries Regarding Correspondence Controlled on the TEGE Rulings & Agreement Control (TRAC) System, and the subsequent subsection (EP) for additional information.
    SERP (Servicewide Electronic Research Program) SERP provides many operating/functional divisions an intranet research service for a variety of topics including:
    • IRMs and IRM Procedural Updates

    • Correspondex IDRS letters

    • Forms

    • Publications

    • Text provided for publication

    • Information alerts

    • Job Aids

    • Supplemental information documents developed by authorized submitters

    TEGE Research Portal This SERP-based site features various contact information, instructional presentations, job aids and other resources designed to help telephone assistors respond to TEGE customers.

Research Systems Unavailability

  1. When an account or a tax law research system (e.g., Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS), EP/EO Determination System (EDS), Tax-Exempt Determination System (TEDS), Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP), Electronic Publishing website) is unavailable for an extended period of time and a phone call requires an action to be taken, follow the procedures in IRM 21.3.5.4.2.3, Required Systems Unavailable.

Disaster Assistance

  1. When a major disaster or emergency occurs, taxpayers and tax practitioners may require disaster/emergency relief measures that will enable them to meet their tax obligations for filing returns or paying taxes without being penalized.

  2. A major disaster is defined as any catastrophe (including any hurricane, tornado, storm, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide, mud slide, snowstorm, or drought) or, regardless of cause, any fire, flood, or explosion in any part of the United States which causes sufficient damage to warrant major disaster assistance. Disasters may also be caused by terrorist or military action.

  3. An emergency is defined as any occasion or instance which, in the determination of the President, Federal assistance (Public Assistance or Hazard Mitigation Assistance) is needed to supplement State and local efforts and capabilities to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in any part of the United States. IRS may extend relief as a result of any emergency situation.

  4. Specific disaster relief information is located on SERP in the "IRM Supplements" tab.

  5. Taxpayers and tax practitioners can find information about disaster losses in Publication 1600, Disaster Losses, or on the Internet by accessing the IRS Web page at www.irs.gov.

  6. Publication 3833, Disaster Relief - Providing assistance through charitable organizations, may be referred to for disaster assistance information.

  7. Many disaster victims register for federal assistance by calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA's) National Tele-registration Center at 800-462-9029, or Telephonic Devices for the Deaf (TDD) at 800-462-7585.

  8. For additional information, see IRM 25.16, Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief.

Inspection of Determination Applications/Returns and Requests for Copies of Documents and Transcripts

  1. This section serves as a guide to requests for inspection of applications/returns and requests for copies of documents and transcripts.

Copies of Tax Exempt/Government Entities (TEGE) Information Returns, Transcripts and Applications
  1. Organizations are required by law to make copies of their returns and their determination applications (if they filed for their exemption after July 15, 1987, or had a copy of their application on July 15, 1987) available to the public per IRC 6104(d). Encourage requesters to contact the organization directly to obtain a copy. There are various other sources available to obtain copies. See IRM 21.3.8.4.1, Disclosure - General, and the subsequent subsections for additional information. Also refer to the section titled, Public Inspection of Exemption Applications, Annual Returns, and Political Organization Reporting Forms, in Publication 557, Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization.

Internet Website Sources for Information Returns
  1. Certain Internet Web sites provide access to disclosable information returns. Assistors may only refer callers to the non-IRS Web sites shown in a) and b) below when discussing Internet sites that post copies of information returns.

    1. Some redacted (sanitized) copies of Form 990, Form 990-EZ, or Form 990-PF filed by exempt organizations are available at www.guidestar.org. This is not an IRS website but rather a site operated by the exempt organization Candid. Publicly-available data from electronically-filed Form 990 series returns are available in a machine-readable format through Amazon Web Services. See the IRS website for additional information and a link to that site.

      Note:

      In accordance with the applicable disclosure law, the IRS provides certain images to public requesters, who decide what they display. The IRS is not responsible for the content of their sites.

      Reminder:

      All Form 990-N submissions are available on the IRS website. This database is updated weekly, generally on Monday; there are no updates in January. Access the e-Postcard information at www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits. Click "Tax Exempt Organization Search" and follow the prompts. Starting with returns filed in December 2017, some images of Form 990 series returns (in addition to the submitted e-Postcards) are also available in that tool. This database is updated monthly (except for January), generally the third Monday.

    2. Identification and basic plan and actuarial information in Form 5500, Form 5500-SF, and schedules filed through EFAST2 (for plan year 2009 and later) are available at www.efast.dol.gov.

      Note:

      Some employee plan information is available online through private research services like FreeERISA.com.

      Reminder:

      The information for a one-participant plan or a foreign plan, whether electronically filed with EFAST2 using a Form 5500-SF (for plan years beginning before January 1, 2020) or using Form 5500-EZ (for plan years beginning after December 31, 2019), or filed on paper using a Form 5500-EZ, or information obtained through the Form 8955-SSA will not be published on the Internet.

    3. Political organization notices and reports (Form 8871 and Form 8872) are available by accessing www.irs.gov/polorgs.

Inspection of Exemption Applications and/or Exempt Organization (EO) Information Returns Disclosable under IRC 6104
  1. Requests for inspection of information returns or exemption applications and other documents disclosable under IRC 6104 must be written and must describe the material desired in reasonably sufficient detail to enable the Service to locate the material.

    Note:

    Applications and related documents filed prior to January 1, 1948, have been destroyed pursuant to Congressional authority and, therefore, are not available. See IRM 21.3.8.3.4.1.3, Exempt Applications for Rulings Prior to January 1, 1948, for additional details. Also, EO returns are destroyed six years after the end of the year the returns are processed.

  2. Form 4506-A, Request for Public Inspection or Copy of Exempt or Political Organization IRS Form, is used for this purpose. This form is used to request a disclosable copy of an exempt or political organization's return, report, notice, exemption application, or the original determination letter. A letter containing the same information as the Form 4506-A may also be used by media requestors to request a copy of disclosable documents. All other requestors must use Form 4506-A.

    Note:

    If an organization has multiple approved applications (for example, because the organization was required to apply for reinstatement after auto-revocation), a copy of only the most recent approved application will be sent to the requester unless the request contains specific instructions.

    Reminder:

    Depending on the caller’s request, there may be a self-help option:
    • For a limited window of time (a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of 18 months from the submission date), an organization may be able to retrieve and print a copy of its own Form 1023-EZ, Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, if they still have their login information from Pay.gov.
    • As of late February 2017, the information from all approved Form 1023-EZ applications is made available to the public (in spreadsheet format) at www.irs.gov. This database is updated quarterly. (If the caller wants a copy of the determination letter---or an application that is not in spreadsheet format, a Form 4506-A must still be used.)
    • Any accepted Form 990-N is available for inspection and printing using Tax Exempt Organization Search (TEOS) at www.irs.gov.
    • TEOS also includes some images of determination letters issued after January 1, 2014, and, starting with returns filed in December 2017, of some Form 990 series returns (in addition to the submitted e-Postcards). The longer-term goal is to include the disclosable portions of the exemption applications, too.

  3. Refer to the instructions for Form 4506-A for the appropriate mailing address and fee information.

    Note:

    If the caller identifies the organization for which he/she intends to request a copy of the application or of the original determination letter, research IDRS to make sure the organization received an individual ruling.

  4. Exempt Organizations requesting a redacted copy (sanitized copy) of their original return must submit Form 4506-A. If an organization wants a copy of its return as filed (unredacted), it must request a copy using Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, and pay the required fee. See IRM 21.3.8.3.4.2, Information Returns/Transcripts Disclosable under IRC 6103.

  5. The standard time frame for receipt of requested copies is 60 days. If the request for a copy of a return cannot be filled within that time frame, EO Return and Income Verification Services (RAIVS) sends a Letter 2645C to the requester informing him/her that an additional 60 days is needed to fill the request. If the documents still cannot be provided at the end of that time period, RAIVS sends another Letter 2645C to inform the requester about the status of his/her request.

  6. If the caller indicates it has been more than 60 days since the request was submitted and that she/he has received no response, confirm that the request was sent to the correct address (Ogden for copies of returns, Cincinnati for copies of letters/applications).

    • If it has been more than 60 days and the request for a copy of a return was sent to the correct address, instruct the caller to request the information again, marking "SECOND REQUEST" at the top of the request. Tell the caller to allow 30 days for a response to the second request.
      If it has been more than 60 days and the request for a copy of an application or of the original determination letter was sent to the correct address, refer to IRM 21.3.8.5.1.4, Inquiries Regarding Correspondence Controlled on the TEGE Rulings & Agreement Control (TRAC) System.

      Reminder:

      If the caller indicates that no response was received to a second request, see IRM 21.3.8.8.6, Taxpayer Advocate Service Referral Guidelines, Including Congressional Inquiries, and Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (and Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order).

    • If the request was sent to the incorrect address, provide the caller with the correct address. Although the request will be forwarded to the appropriate site, the caller may want to submit a copy of the request to the correct address.

Exempt Applications for Rulings Prior to January 1, 1948
  1. If a caller inquires about obtaining copies of the determination letter or exemption application for an organization with a ruling date prior to January 1, 1948, inform the caller that the organization is currently exempt under IRC 501(c)(X) (if the organization is in status 01 or status 25). Explain that applications and related documents for organizations with rulings prior to that date have been destroyed pursuant to Congressional authority and, therefore, are not available.

Copies of Form 5500/Form 5500-SF/Form 5500-EZ
  1. Pursuant to agreement reached between the Service and the Department of Labor (DOL), copies of Form 5500, Form 5500-SF, and any schedules attached, can be obtained by contacting the Public Disclosure Office of the DOL at the address or phone number shown below:

    US Department of Labor
    Employee Benefits Security Administration
    Public Disclosure Room
    200 Constitution Ave, NW, Suite N-1515
    Washington, DC 20210

    Phone: 202-693-8673

    Note:

    If the caller has questions about his/her request, including the response time frame, instruct him/her to contact the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) at the number above.

    Reminder:

    After January 1, 2010, a Form 5500 or Form 5500-SF filed through EFAST2 is available for public disclosure on the EFAST2 website. However, the information for a one-participant plan or a foreign plan electronically filed with EFAST2 using a Form 5500-SF will not be published on the Internet, nor will information obtained from a Form 8955-SSA. Archived returns can still be requested through DOL's Public Disclosure Room as noted above.

  2. If the caller asks about getting a copy of a previously-filed Form 5500-EZ, ask the caller what the plan period of the desired copy is and use the following table to advise the caller:

    If the plan period of the desired Form 5500-EZ is Then
    200912 or earlier Apologize to the caller and explain that copies of a Form 5500-EZ filed for these periods are not available.
    201001 or later
    • Except as noted below, instruct the caller to send a written request or, for an unredacted copy, a Form 4506 to EP Accounts. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.

    • Tell the caller to allow up to 60 days for receipt of the requested copy/copies.


    Note: All paper Form 5500-EZ submissions are destroyed six years after the end of the processing year.
Copies of Exempt Organization (EO) Returns in Digital Data Format
  1. Customers can request scanned images of certain information returns in a digital data format.

    Note:

    Prior to December 2017, the scanned images were available in DVD format

  2. A list of available forms and the related charge can be found on the IRS website (search for "copies of scanned exempt organization returns" ). Images in digital data format are free of charge for members of the media and for other governmental agencies.

    Note:

    Requests for images in digital data format must be prepaid if a fee is required.

  3. Normal processing time for digital data format requests is a minimum of 60 days. If additional time is needed, Letter 2645C is sent. Letter 3983C is used for other types of contact with the requester, for example, requesting an additional fee or informing the requester that the order is in the process of being filled.

  4. If you get a call asking about the status of a previously-placed order after the 60 days has expired and the caller has not received any correspondence regarding the request (if it has been less than 60 days since the request was submitted, tell the caller to allow up to 60 days for processing), verify that the request was sent to the correct address, that the correct fee was submitted, and that the payment was processed.

    • If the request was sent to the wrong address or with an incorrect fee or to the correct address with a correct fee but the payment was not processed, advise the caller that a new request sent to the correct address and with the correct fee would allow the request to be processed more quickly. If the information was correct but the fee was never processed, it is likely that the request never reached its destination.

    • If the request was sent to the correct address and with the correct fee and the payment was processed, research IDRS for a control by EO RAIVS (CAT Code EOPC) or a Letter 3983C or Letter 2645C sent on ENMOD by EO RAIVS. If it has been less than 10 days since the action was taken on IDRS, tell the caller to allow 10 days to receive the correspondence sent. If it has been more than 10 days or if there has been no relevant activity on IDRS, prepare a Form 4442 referral with the pertinent contact information and fax it to the RAIVS Unit at 801-620-7896.

  5. If you receive a call concerning problems loading the images with the Raw or Alchemy Search program software for the imaged EO returns, prepare a Form 4442 referral to your lead/manager with the following information:

    • Caller’s name

    • Caller’s telephone number

    • Best time to call

    • A brief explanation of the question or problem


    Tell the caller you’ll forward the inquiry to the appropriate area for resolution and to expect a return call within two business days. The lead/manager will email the information (via secured messaging) directly to the Ogden Data Management Division Information Technology (DMD IT) specialist and will copy the TE/GE HQ program analyst with oversight of the EO photocopy process.

  6. For additional information, see IRM 3.20.13, Exempt Organization Photocopy Procedures, and IRM 21.7.7.3.7.5, DVD Requests.

Special Orders for Exempt Organization Information
  1. The IRS will no longer provide custom extracts of information from the Exempt Organizations business Master File on a contractual basis, effective January 1, 2013.

  2. Exempt organization information remains available for downloading, on a non-customized, non-contractual basis, through the Exempt Organizations Bulletin Board on the Internet at SOI Tax Stats – Exempt Organizations: IRS Master File Data.

Information Returns/Transcripts Disclosable under IRC 6103
  1. A request for a photocopy or transcript of a tax form disclosable under IRC 6103 and 26 CFR 601.702(d)(1) must be written and must describe the material desired in reasonably sufficient detail to enable the Service to locate the material.

  2. Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, is used to request a copy of a previously-filed tax form.

  3. Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, is used to request a tax return or an account transcript. Refer to the TTG for callers requesting a transcript.

    Exception:

    Return transcripts are not available for most EO information returns. See the Form 4506-T instructions for details. Transcripts are not available for the Form 990-N. Direct callers asking for a transcript of the Form 990-N to the IRS website at www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits. Click "Tax Exempt Organization Search" and follow the prompts. Note that Tax Exempt Organization Search also displays some filed Form 990 series returns.

  4. Refer to Form 4506 for the fee information. Refer to the instructions for Form 4506 and for Form 4506-T for the appropriate mailing addresses.

  5. Exempt Organizations requesting an unredacted copy (unsanitized copy) of their original information return must submit Form 4506 and pay the applicable fee (all EO requests on Form 4506 must be mailed to the Ogden Campus).

  6. The standard time frame for receipt of requested return copies is 75 days. The standard time frame for receipt of copies of transcripts depends on the delivery method chosen by the requester (see IRM 21.2.3.7, Call Closure Requirements, for the time frames associated with the various options). If the caller indicates it has been more than the standard number of days since the request was submitted, confirm that the request was sent to the correct address.

    • If it has been more than the standard number of days and the request was sent to the correct address, instruct the caller to request the information again, marking "SECOND REQUEST" at the top of the request. Tell the caller to allow 30 days for a response to the second request for a copy of a return (second requests for copies of transcripts have the same time frame as initial requests). If the caller indicates that no response was received to a second request, prepare a Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (and Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order). See IRM 21.3.8.8.6, Taxpayer Advocate Service Referral Guidelines, Including Congressional Inquiries, and Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (and Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order).

    • If the request was sent to the incorrect address, provide the caller with the correct address. Although the request will be forwarded to the appropriate site, the caller may want to submit a copy of the request to the correct address.

  7. See IRM 21.3.8.3.4.1.2, Inspection of Exemption Applications and/or Exempt Organization (EO) Information Returns Disclosable under IRC 6104, for requests involving publicly-available (redacted) information.

Photocopies of Form SS-4
  1. If a caller requests a photocopy of an original Form SS-4 filed, probe to determine when the form was processed. Only a Form SS-4 processed between 1938 and 1998 is available. If the Form SS-4 was filed during this period, advise the caller to send a written request to the following address:

    Social Security Administration
    Earnings Reconciliation Branch
    4-D-15 NB Metro West
    300 North Greene Street
    Baltimore, MD 21201-1581
  2. See IRM 21.7.13.3.2.12, Form SS-4 Retention (Past and Present) and Requests for Copies of Form SS-4, for additional details.

Requests for Copies of Audit Reports
  1. If the customer is requesting a copy of his/her audit report:

    1. Prepare Form 4442 to request a copy for the customer.

    2. Annotate on Form 4442 the controlling DLN and the DLN of the audit assessment amount (the Transaction Code (TC) 300).

    3. If more than one year is involved (multiple years contain a TC 300), specify which year the customer is requesting.

    4. If there is more than one audit on the same year (multiple TC 300s on same tax period), specify which assessment the customer is requesting.

    5. Advise the customer it may take up to 60 days to receive the copy of the audit report.

    6. A copy of the audit report is provided free of charge.

    7. If a TC 421 is present on the module(s), route Form 4442 to the Return and Income Verification Unit (RAIVS) in the campus where the audit occurred. (See IRM 3.5.20-3, RAIVS Contacts, for additional information.)

    8. If a TC 421 is not present on the module(s), route Form 4442 to the area working the Exam.

Refunds

  1. This section serves as a guide for handling refund issues.

Refund Intercepts
  1. When a tax module reflects a pending refund (PN TC 846) that the customer indicates is not appropriate, assistors are required to stop it.

  2. For information on stopping the refund, see IRM 21.4.1.5.10, Refund Intercept CC NOREF with Definer "P."

Erroneous Refunds
  1. An Erroneous Refund is defined as "any receipt of money from the Service to which the recipient is not entitled." This definition includes all erroneous payments to taxpayers, even if the error could not have been known at the time of the refund.

  2. When a customer indicates he/she received an erroneous refund:

    1. Review the Master File Tax (MFT) code and tax period from which the refund came. This information is found on the front of the check or can be identified in the correspondence the customer received (510C letter).

    2. If the customer wishes to return the money immediately or asks how he/she can send the check back or make payments, see IRM 21.4.5.12, How to Repay an Erroneous Refund or Return an Erroneous Refund Check or Direct Deposit.

  3. See IRM 21.4.5, Erroneous Refunds, for complete erroneous refund procedures.

Backup Withholding Refunds - Exempt Organizations
  1. If the customer is asking how to obtain a refund of backup withholding:

    1. If the EIN is not correct, provide the customer with appropriate guidance to initiate correction.

    2. Advise the customer he/she must submit Form 990-T for a refund of backup withholding.

      Note:

      If the organization does not have reportable Unrelated Business Income (UBI) and is a Form 990-PF filer, the backup withholding must be reported in Part VI of Form 990-PF in lieu of completing Form 990-T.

    3. Refer the caller to the form instructions for completion assistance.

    4. See IRM 21.7.7.4.3.5, Backup Withholding, for additional information on claims for refunds.

U.S. Residency Certification

  1. Refer to the TTG for callers with questions about U.S. Residency Certification or about Form 8802, Application for United States Residency Certification.

Ordering Forms and Publications

  1. Follow the procedures in IRM 21.3.6.4.1, Ordering Forms and Publications, when advising the caller about ordering forms and publications.

    Exception:

    Do not suggest that the caller go to IRS walk-in offices, libraries, or the post office for TEGE forms.

  2. If Elite is unavailable, prepare a Form 4190, Order Tax Forms and Publications, if the caller is requesting the current year's forms or Form 6112, Order for Prior Year Tax Products, if the caller needs prior year forms and fax the form(s) to the National Distribution Center (EEFax 855-473-2007).

    Reminder:

    If a publication is no longer available in paper format (which is true for many TEGE publications), you will not be able to order a copy using Elite or Form 4190.

  3. In stock forms and publications are generally received within 10 business days of the date ordered.

Revised Forms and Publications
  1. Most tax and information returns undergo yearly revision; many publications are also regularly updated.

  2. If a caller asks the date of the latest revision for a particular form or publication, you can research that on the Electronic Publishing website.

  3. If a caller asks whether an older revision of a form can be used, encourage the caller to use the most current revision. While prior revisions of tax and information returns will generally be accepted for those who file on paper, the filer of an outdated return is going to experience delays in processing and may also receive a request for additional information if new line items, sections, or schedules have been added to the current revision.

    Note:

    Callers who need to file returns for prior years must use the revisions for those specific years whenever possible. These forms may be downloaded from the IRS website by accessing "Prior Year Forms Pubs" from the Forms Pubs tab. (See IRM 21.3.8.3.7, Ordering Forms and Publications, if the caller asks you to order the form.) If they cannot obtain forms for the correct year, they must be sure to notate the beginning and ending dates of the tax period at the top of the return.

  4. Prior revisions of some special-use forms and applications, e.g., applications for tax-exempt status and for determinations on the qualifications of an employee plan, may not be accepted for processing. See IRM 21.3.8.11.1.1, Processing the Exempt Organization (EO) Application and Requests on Form 8940, Request for Miscellaneous Determination.

Researching and Perfecting Entity/Exempt Organization (EO) Submodule Information on the Master File

  1. During the process of performing call-related research, any additional issues/problems discovered (within scope) must be addressed.

    Example:

    An authorized caller asks that you add a location address to the entity and, in the process, you note that the PO Box is incorrect so you correct the PO Box as well.

  2. The following paragraphs provide guidance on some of the more common issues you may discover and must address.

    Reminder:

    You may also need to research for the organization's compliance with its exempt organization (EO) filing requirements or set up an EO submodule with EO filing requirements for the organization. See IRM 21.3.8.3.8.1, Compliance with Exempt Organization (EO) Filing Requirements, for additional details about filing requirement compliance and IRM 21.3.8.12.24.2, The Rejected Form 990-N and Collecting Data to Establish an Exempt Organization (EO) Submodule for Organizations without a Submodule and for Organizations with a Pending (Open) Application, and the subsections that follow it for information about preparing and submitting the EO Submodule Data Sheet.

  3. If a misspelling or other error in the name is observed, see IRM 21.3.8.9.2, Name Changes - Exempt Organizations (EO) and Federal, State, and Local Governments (FSLG), for additional information.

  4. Central organization (affiliation code 6 or 8) submodule changes can only be made by OSPC. If the submodule of a central organization needs to be corrected, including reinstatements that didn’t roll from EDS/TEDS (see below), prepare a Form 4442 referral with the pertinent information and send it to EO Entity using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information.

  5. When the information from a determination case successfully "rolls" to Master File, the MF 030 date that displays on page 1 of EDS will match the date of a TC 016 on IDRS with a Document Locator Number (DLN) in blocking series 990 - 999. If you discover that an EO submodule was not added/updated within two weeks from the date the determination application was closed on EDS/TEDS and the delay was not caused by the end-of-year IDRS dead cycles, update Master File based on the closing information found on EDS/TEDS. If the delay was caused by the dead cycles, allow two weeks from the end of the dead cycles before treating as a "no roll." (If the ruling unposted, update IDRS even if it has not been two weeks since the case closed off EDS.) Add a history item to AMS whenever possible; otherwise use IDRS.
    Note the following information when working with a "no-roll" situation:

    • If CC INOLES shows a SOLE-PRP-SSN, this field must be deleted before the submodule can be added. See subparagraph (1)(b) of IRM 21.3.8.9.10.1, Definer Codes, for additional details.

    • If closing information is incomplete or not available (e.g., status 25 "P" cases), prepare a Form 4442 to the EO Correspondence Unit using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, indicating "NO-ROLL."

    • If the "no roll" is a reinstatement of exemption after the organization was auto-revoked for failure to file the required return for three consecutive periods (status 97 on IDRS), updating IDRS alone will not trigger the organization’s reinstatement date to be added to Tax Exempt Organization Search (TEOS), the successor to Select Check; you must also prepare a Form 4442 referral to the headquarters analyst (via your lead/manager). In addition to the contact and issue information, be sure to include the effective date of exemption from the closing information of the EDS case. Apologize to the caller and state that the correction will be initiated within 30 days.

      Exception:

      The effective date of a reinstatement cannot be earlier than the auto-revocation date on TEOS. If the effective date per the EDS reinstatement case is earlier than the auto-revocation date on TEOS, then the referral to add the reinstatement date must be sent to the EO Correspondence Unit for additional research to determine which information must be corrected. Use the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information. The CU will also initiate adding the correct reinstatement date to TEOS. If there is an open "R" case, notate that on the referral. Tell the caller that the database will be corrected or the caller/organization will be contacted within 60 days.

      Caution:

      Before updating an organization from status 97, ensure that the EDS reinstatement case did not previously roll to IDRS. If the organization went back into status 97 after the reinstatement case rolled, CAS does not have the authority to update the module. If the effective date of the reinstatement leads you to conclude that the module should be updated based on the EDS information, prepare a referral to the EO Correspondence Unit using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information. Notate the caller’s relationship to the organization. Tell the caller that the caller/organization will be contacted within 60 days.

    • If the "NO-ROLL" organization had an advance ruling and the period expired prior to the date the advance ruling process was eliminated (and there is no indication that a Letter 1048 was issued), use foundation code 09 (no foundation rule) for the foundation code because IDRS will not allow you to input an expired date in the Advance Ruling Expiration Date (ARED) field; give the organization 990-01 filing requirements.

      Exception:

      This only applies to organizations with an ARED of 200805 and earlier. If the ARED is 200806 and later, simply add the submodule information without any ARED if the input date is later than the ARED showing on EDS/TEDS. See IRM 21.3.8.11.7, Elimination of the Advance Ruling Process, and the subsequent subsections for additional information.

    • Do not attempt to give the organization a Form 941 filing requirement if there is already a Form 944 filing requirement on the account (even if the determination specialist coded the closing information on EDS/TEDS to show a Form 941 filing requirement) or your input will unpost.

  6. If a no-roll or similar issue prevented an organization from appearing in the appropriate online database or the organization’s information in the database was incorrect and you initiated the correction, apologize and assure the caller that your actions will update the appropriate system(s). Explain to the caller that most of the online databases are updated monthly (except January), but due to the timing of the update and the extraction of the data, it may be the second update (up to eight weeks from the call) before the organization’s information is displayed.

  7. If an EO submodule perfection not related to an EDS/TEDS No-Roll can be done based on information available while customer is on the phone, you must input the correction.

    Example:

    If EDS/TEDS research shows no "F" case (or "A" case that affects the foundation classification) and indicates a Letter 1048 was issued, but Master File still shows the organization as a public charity with 990 filing requirement and an expired Advance Ruling Expiration Date (ARED), delete the ARED, change the foundation code to 04, and change the filing requirement to 990PF-3. This procedure applies only to organizations in status 01. See IRM 21.3.8.11.7.1, Requests for Affirmation Letters from Organizations Showing an Advance Ruling Expiration Date (ARED) on Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS), for information to provide the authorized caller on requesting reclassification of the foundation type.

  8. If the effective date of exemption (status code date) of an organization with an individual ruling (affiliation code 1, 2, or 3) is showing all zeroes or otherwise needs to be corrected and the correct date cannot be determined from EDS/TEDS research, check CC BMFOLO for a deductibility year. If found, use January of that year for the status code date. For example, if CC BMFOLO shows a deductibility year of 1989, use 198901 for the status code date. If no deductibility code is found on CC BMFOLO, use the ruling date for the status code date. Do not confuse a status code date of all zeroes with a ruling date of all zeroes. See IRM 21.3.8.12.23, Ruling Dates with all Zeroes on Organizations with Individual Exemption, if the ruling date of an individually-exempt organization shows all zeroes.

    Note:

    The oldest status code date that IDRS will accept is 190101. Use that date if the organization was formed before January 1901.

  9. If a subordinate organization’s IDRS records are incomplete, use additional research and the following table to perfect/update the organization’s information:

    If the subordinate organization Then
    Shows all zeroes for the ruling date Use the ruling date of the central organization to perfect the subordinate’s submodule.
    Shows all zeroes for the status code date Update IDRS using the later of the establishment date of the EIN or the ruling date.
    Note: If both the ruling date and the status code date of the subordinate organization are all zeroes, prepare a Form 4442 referral to EO Entity using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information.
    Has no deductibility code Research the deductibility code of the central organization and of 2 - 5 other subordinates and update the deductibility code of the caller’s organization accordingly.
    Note: Occasionally there may be a discrepancy between the deductibility code of the central organization and that of the subordinates, for example, a central organization exempt under IRC 501(c)(4) (deductibility code 2) and subordinate organizations exempt under IRC 501(c)(3) (deductibility code 1). Consult your lead if you are unsure of the correct deductibility code.

    Reminder:

    See subparagraph (6)(f) of IRM 21.3.8.9.10, Transaction Codes (TCs) for the Entity Module, concerning the required input of definer code C fields when updating the EO submodule of a subordinate organization.

  10. If the Form 990 filing requirement is not displaying on IDRS even though the organization is in an EO status that "normally" displays a Form 990 series filing requirement (status 01, status 02, status 32, and status 36), research CC BMFOLE to see if the Business Closing Date (BCD) field is populated before giving the organization an EO filing requirement. If the BCD is populated, delete it using all 9s in that field on the CC BNCHG screen and then use a cycle delay when adding the EO filing requirement.

  11. If information found on IDRS (e.g., foundation classification, filing requirements, deductibility of contributions) contradicts information contained in an IRS letter in the caller's possession and you cannot ascertain the correct information from EDS/TEDS research, advise the caller to send a copy of the IRS letter and a cover letter explaining the discrepancy to the EO Correspondence Unit. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.

  12. If contradictory information about an organization with an individual ruling is found on IDRS that cannot be corrected based on EDS/TEDS research (e.g., a foundation classification present on a non-(c)(3) organization, deductibility code 1 on an organization not normally described in IRC 170), explain to the caller that additional research must be performed before we can affirm the exemption of the organization in question. Take contact information from the caller and prepare a Form 4442 referral to the EO Correspondence Unit using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, and explain the discrepancy. Request that the caller be contacted or sent an affirmation letter once the organization's administrative file has been researched and the discrepancy corrected. Advise the caller they will be contacted within 45 days (60 days for auto-revocation-related referrals).

    Exception:

    If you find a discrepancy in the organization's employment code, BOD Code, or BOD Client Code, prepare a Form 4442 referral with the necessary information and send it to EO Entity using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information.

  13. If there is conflicting information on EDS/TEDS and IDRS, compare the dates the information was added to the respective systems to determine which is more current. If the correct information cannot be determined by comparing the dates, prepare a referral to the EO Correspondence Unit per the guidance in paragraph (12) above and use the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information.

Compliance with Exempt Organization (EO) Filing Requirements
  1. Per the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA), if an organization exempt under IRC 501 fails to submit the annual electronic notice (Form 990-N) or fails to file Form 990, Form 990-EZ, or Form 990-PF for three consecutive years, its tax-exempt status is revoked as of the submission/filing due date of the third year. The system will put the organization in status 97 if there has been no TC 150 (or other satisfying transaction, i.e., TC 59X other than 592, 593, 597, or 598) posting for three years and one month.

    Note:

    Organizations that are at risk of having their exemption automatically revoked for failure to file for three consecutive years are entitled to request an extension on the third year's Form 990 series return (except for the Form 990-N). However, if they request an extension and then fail to file the return by the extended due date, their revocation is effective as of the original (unextended) due date of the third year's return.

    Example:

    As of June 1, 2013, an organization has not filed its annual information return for 201012, 201112, and 201212. However, the 2012 Form 990 module shows that there is a TC 460 for an approved extension until 8-15-13, and the current status code on IDRS is 01. If the organization files its return by the approved extension due date, then the return is not late and the organization's exemption will not be revoked. However, if the organization does not file by the extended due date, then the organization’s tax-exempt status will be revoked effective 5-15-13 (which is the due date of the third year's return without regard to the extension of time for filing date).

  2. If you are researching an organization with EO filing requirements other than 990-06, 990-13, or 990-14 AND you are speaking to an authorized caller, research CC BMFOLI to ensure that the organization has been filing returns as required by the PPA of 2006. If the organization has not been compliant, advise the caller accordingly.

    Note:

    If CC BMFOLI does not indicate that a return has posted within the past three fiscal periods but the caller states that a return was filed for at least one of those periods, transfer the caller to an EO account assistor so that OL-SEIN research can be performed.

    Reminder:

    If the organization is a subordinate whose financial information is included in a group return, you will not be able to verify the organization's compliance using CC BMFOLI alone. Research CC BMFOLT for a TC 590-14, which indicates that a group return including the subordinate's information was filed, thus satisfying the organization's filing requirement.

  3. If the caller's organization is at risk of auto-revocation because the due date of the third year's return is approaching and the organization failed to file for the previous two years, refer to IRM 21.3.8.12.24.4, Special Procedures for Organizations That Require an Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS) Update to Submit the Form 990-N Timely, for additional required actions. If the caller believes his/her organization's exemption was revoked in error, see IRM 21.3.8.12.6.1, Responding to Calls From or About Organizations in Status 97, for additional required actions.

Federal Tax Deposit (FTD) Coupons (Form 8109-B)

  1. A regulatory change took effect January 1, 2011, that eliminated Federal Tax Deposit (FTD) coupons.

  2. If the caller has general questions about electronic payment options (EFTPS), refer to the TTG.

Employer Identification Number (EIN) Verification and Requests for Substitute Letter 147C

  1. When a caller requests verbal or written (Letter 147C) confirmation of a TEGE entity's Employer Identification Number (EIN), verify disclosure. See IRM 11.3, Disclosure of Official Information, for general disclosure information.

  2. If the caller is an unauthorized third party, explain that if you are able to locate the organization on our records, you can only mail written confirmation to the organization's address of record, if available.

    Note:

    See (4) and (5) below for additional information about verbal confirmation.

  3. Obtain identifying information and research the Master File to locate the entity.

  4. If the entity IS LOCATED:

    1. Advise caller you can prepare Letter 4158C (EIN Letter) and mail it to the current address of record.

      Note:

      If the authorized caller expresses urgency (i.e., asks for the EIN confirmation to be faxed or otherwise states that she/he cannot wait the 10 - 14 business days to receive the letter in the mail), transfer the caller per the TTG (search under "EIN verification" ) so that the EIN letter can be faxed to the caller per the guidance outlined in IRM 11.3.1.14, Facsimile (FAX), Electronic Facsimile (E-FAX), and IRS Internal Enterprise Electronic Facsimile (EEFAX) Transmission of Tax Information.

    2. Verbal confirmation of the EIN assigned can be provided to an authorized party.

    3. Verbal confirmation of the EIN assigned to an organization can be provided to an unauthorized third party when it can be determined that the EIN is available on a disclosable document (approved determination application or filed Form 990/Form 990-EZ/Form 990-N/Form 990-PF).

      Note:

      If research via command code INOLES results in the message: NO RECORD FOUND, but the EIN can be confirmed via a command code such as NAMEE/NAMEB/FINDE, add the entity back to the Master File using TC 000 if the caller is authorized. Solicit the organization's current mailing address and use it when re-establishing the account. See IRM 21.3.8.9.10, Transaction Codes (TCs) for the Entity Module, for TC 000 guidance.

  5. If the entity is NOT LOCATED, advise the caller you are unable to locate and confirm the EIN for the entity.

    • If the caller is an authorized party, advise the caller that if a number cannot be confirmed, a new ID number must be obtained. In order to have formal tax-exempt recognition under the new number, the organization must apply or send in proof of a previously issued determination letter. See IRM 21.3.8.9.1, Applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and Re-establishing Entities/EINs on Master File, if, in response to probing, the authorized caller has a copy of a CP 575 series notice.

    • If the caller is an unauthorized third party, suggest that the caller go to the organization for confirmation.

Walk-In Services

  1. TEGE customers cannot receive assistance at Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs).

  2. If a caller asks for face-to-face assistance, inform the caller that assistance is provided only by telephone or in writing in response to correspondence.

Disclosure

  1. This section serves as a guide for disclosure issues as they relate to TEGE issues.

Disclosure - General

  1. See IRM 21.1.3, Operational Guidelines Overview, for general disclosure guidelines. The following subsections provide specific guidelines relating to TEGE cases.

  2. For TEGE Telephone Operations, the use of the word "Disclosure" refers primarily to:

    1. An employee's responsibility to verify that a party is authorized to receive verbal or written information about account, return, and other information under IRC 6103 (or disclosure of information under IRC 6104).

    2. The release, by the Internal Revenue Service, of determination application and return information to the general public under IRC 6104 or rulings under IRC 6110. This applies to both Exempt Organizations and Employee Plans.

    3. An Exempt Organization's requirement to make its determination application (if it filed for exemption after July 15, 1987, or had a copy of its application on July 15, 1987) and filed information returns available to the general public under IRC 6104.

IRC 6103
  1. IRC 6103 governs the disclosure of all TEGE account, determination, and plan-related information that is not disclosable to the general public under IRC 6104 or IRC 6110.

  2. Under IRC 6103, information not disclosable under IRC 6104 or IRC 6110 may be disclosed only to a person who has a material interest in the information pursuant to IRC 6103(e) and/or is legally authorized to act on behalf of the organization/plan. This includes:

    1. An officer authorized by the corporation in accordance with applicable state law to bind the corporation legally.

    2. A person designated by resolution of the board of directors or other similar governing body to act on behalf of the organization/plan.

    3. For return issues, an officer or employee who signed the return on behalf of the organization/plan and who is still employed by the organization/plan in the same capacity with the same authority.

    4. A third party authorized to act or receive information on behalf of an organization/plan by the execution of an appropriate formal authorization, such as Form 2848/Form 8821, or verbal consent under the authority of Treas. Reg. 301.6103(c)-1(c).

  3. For telephone requests, employees must ask sufficient questions to establish the identity and position of the caller before disclosing information that is not disclosable under IRC 6104 or IRC 6110.

    1. An officer, employee, or other individual who is acting on behalf of an organization (and is not an outside third party) must be asked if he/she is legally authorized to act on behalf of the organization/plan.

    2. Plan Participants seeking determination application related information for a plan must be able to provide sufficient evidence that he/she is a participant before any information can be disclosed.

    3. An outside third party (Certified Public Accountant (CPA), accountant, attorney, etc.) must have formal authorization (Form 2848/Form 8821) on file (or an Oral Consent recorded on the tax account module) before information protected under IRC 6103 can be disclosed.

    4. If there is a question as to the identity of a requester or whether he/she is entitled to receive information, it is necessary to ask additional disclosure prompts in order to determine that the caller is authorized. See IRM 21.3.8.4.1.5, Issue and Entity Identification and Taxpayer Authentication Procedures, for suggested additional probes. If you cannot determine that the caller is authorized, ask that a request be submitted in writing. If procedures allow for mailing the requested information (such as a letter), it can be mailed directly to the organization/plan sponsor using the address of record.

      Caution:

      Never fax information protected under IRC 6103 to a fax number provided by an unauthorized party.

  4. Some examples of information disclosable only to authorized persons under IRC 6103 are:

    1. Account/penalty information involving income tax returns such as Form 1120-POL, Form 5330, Form 990-T, etc.

    2. Specific account information pertaining to the assessment/abatement of late/incomplete return filing penalties relating to TEGE information and excise tax returns (Form 5500/Form 990 series, including Form 990-PF)

    3. Information pertaining to a pending (open) Exempt Organization application

    4. Information pertaining to a pending (open) or closed Employee Plan application when the number of participants is fewer than 26

      Note:

      Non-disclosable plan determination applications become (and remain) disclosable under IRC 6104 if the number of participants reaches 26.

    5. Information pertaining to an Exempt Organization application that has been closed Failed to Establish (FTE)

    6. Information pertaining to an Employee Plan application that has been closed incomplete (EDS/TEDS statuses 03 or 05) or withdrawn (EDS/TEDS status 04)

    7. Information pertaining to the reason an organization's tax-exempt recognition was terminated, suspended, or revoked, other than stating that the organization is not currently recognized as exempt by virtue of an approved application, i.e., that we have no record of the organization having tax-exempt status under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code

      Exception:

      The names of organizations in status 97 and the reason for revocation are made public so callers may be told that an organization in status 97 had its exemption revoked for failure to file an information return for three consecutive years once the organization's name has posted to the list of revoked organizations on the IRS Web page.

      Note:

      Information returns and approved determination applications remain disclosable under IRC 6104, even if the organization subsequently loses its exempt status or ceases to exist.

    8. Account/entity information pertaining to an organization (including churches and Federal, State and Local Government (FSLG) entities) that has never filed an application for recognition of tax exemption and has also never filed Form 990

    9. Information pertaining to an Exempt Organization application that has been closed as incomplete (EDS/TEDS status 03) or withdrawn (EDS/TEDS status 04)

  5. See IRM 21.3.8.4.1.5, Issue and Entity Identification and Taxpayer Authentication Procedures, for taxpayer authentication procedures and IRM 21.1.3.3.2, Oral Disclosure Consent/Oral TIA (Paperless F8821), for oral disclosure consent procedures.

IRC 6104
  1. IRC 6104(a) and IRC 6104(b) require the Service to make available for inspection:

    1. The approved application for exemption of any organization or trust described in IRC 501(c) or (d) determined by the Service to be exempt from taxation under IRC 501(a) for any taxable year;

    2. Any documents filed in support of such application; and

    3. Any letter or other document issued by the Service pertaining to the application if the application was filed after October 31, 1976.

    4. For Approved applications filed prior to November 1, 1976, only those determination letters that are on form letters or "L" type letters are open for inspection. These determination letters are available for inspection because the only information included in such letters is the Code section that describes the organization or trust. The disclosure of this information is authorized by IRC 6104.

    5. Upon request, a statement indicating the subsection and paragraph of IRC 501 that describes the exempt organization or trust.

    6. Information required to be furnished by IRC 6033 and IRC 6034 (exempt organization returns). Certain contributor information must, however, be withheld. Certain coding information may be withheld.

      Note:

      As a result of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 and subsequent corrective legislation, any Form 990-T, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return, filed by a 501(c)(3) organization after August 17, 2006, to report unrelated business income tax (UBIT) or Form 5227, Split-Interest Trust Information Return, filed for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2006, is now open for inspection under IRC 6104, except for the new Form 5227 Schedule A on beneficiaries. The Form 990-T return includes any schedules or attachments that relate to the tax on unrelated business income. If the schedule or attachment to the Form 990-T does not relate to the tax on unrelated business income, it is not disclosable.

    7. Any application filed with respect to the qualification of a pension, profit-sharing, or stock bonus plan under IRC 401(a) or 403(a), an individual retirement account described in IRC 408(a), or an individual retirement annuity described in IRC 408(b), along with any papers submitted in support of the application and any letter or other document issued by the Internal Revenue Service dealing with the qualification, if the plan has more than 25 participants. See IRM 21.3.8.4.3.2, Employee Plans (EP) Inspection of Determination Letters/Applications, for additional information.

    8. Any application filed with respect to the exemption from tax under IRC 501(a) of an organization forming part of a plan or account referred to in (g) above, along with any papers submitted in support of the application and any letter or other document issued by the Internal Revenue Service dealing with the exemption, if the plan has more than 25 participants.

      Note:

      In the case of any application, document, or other papers referred to in (g) and (h) above, information from which the compensation (including deferred compensation) of any individual may be ascertained is not open to inspection.

    9. Information required to be furnished by IRC 6058 (employee plan returns), regardless of the number of participants, except Form 8955-SSA, Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants With Deferred Vested Benefits

    10. Form 8871 and Form 8872 filed by IRC 527 organizations

  2. Other determination letters issued prior to November 1, 1976 may include return information, the disclosure of which is not authorized by IRC 6104. Disclosure of such letters is governed by IRC 6103.

  3. The disclosure of certain information pertaining to trade secrets, patents, processes, style of work or apparatus of an organization or national defense information may be restricted.

  4. Assistors may verbally disclose to unauthorized third parties any exempt organization data available from a source that is disclosable to the general public under IRC 6104, examples of which are listed in (1) above.

  5. Requests from unauthorized third parties for employee plan information disclosable under IRC 6104 must be in writing and must be sent to the address under "Disclosure" under the Who/Where tab on SERP.

  6. If an unauthorized third party asks about an information return which, according to our records, we cannot verify was filed, tell the caller that the return for that period is not available. Do not tell an unauthorized third party that a particular return was not filed. See IRM 21.3.8.4.2.2.2, Inspection of Exempt Organization (EO) Return Information, for additional details on EO returns. See IRM 21.3.8.13.2, Form 5500, Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan; Form 5500-SF, Short Form Annual Return/Report of Small Employee Benefit Plan; and Form 5500-EZ, Annual Return of A One-Participant (Owners/Partners and Their Spouses) Retirement Plan or A Foreign Plan, for information about a change in tax law that may explain why a Form 5500-EZ did not need to be filed.

IRC 6110
  1. IRC 6110 requires that, subject to certain deletions, determination letters and rulings (with associated correspondence) not covered by IRC 6104 must be made available for inspection.

    1. This includes letters and rulings unrelated to approved determination applications (i.e., private letter rulings), as well as denied EO determination application rulings.

    2. The determination letters and rulings (with associated correspondence) available under IRC 6110 have had identifying details removed and are indexed by the Code section at issue and by a nine-digit identifying number. These letters are available, after editing, from the FOIA Library at www.irs.gov.

    Note:

    Although redacted documents are available under IRC 6110 for denied EO determination application rulings pursuant to Tax Analysts v. IRS, 350 F.3d 100 (D.C.Cir. 2003), an unauthorized party CANNOT be advised that a specific individual EO determination application has been denied (see IRM 21.3.8.4.2.2(4)).

    Reminder:

    Letters that rule an organization to be exempt from federal income tax and the corresponding approved application for recognition of exemption are open to inspection under IRC 6104. See IRM 21.3.8.3.4.1.2, Inspection of Exemption Applications and/or Exempt Organization (EO) Information Returns Disclosable under IRC 6104, for more information.

Form 2848/Form 8821 Fax Submissions
  1. Form 2848/Form 8821 can be accepted via fax, if they contain the necessary information. If a Power of Attorney (POA)[Form 2848] or appointee [Form 8821] is going to fax in a Form 2848/Form 8821 (other than a "special use" power being faxed directly to the attention of the assistor responding to the call), advise the POA/appointee to include a short note of explanation on the fax cover sheet or in a cover letter.

    Reminder:

    TEGE call site assistors may accept faxed Form 2848/Form 8821 for "special use" situations (e.g., to discuss reinstatement procedures for an organization in status 20 or to collect information for an EO submodule), for application status checks, and to resolve/discuss account issues. Confirm the identity of the caller using the guidance in IRM 21.1.3.3, Third Party (POA/TIA/F706) Authentication and refer to IRM 21.3.7.5.1, Essential Elements for Form 2848 and Form 8821, to verify that all required fields are completed. See (5) below for information on the post-call handling of authorization forms faxed to call site assistors.

    Note:

    You may accept an authorization that is not on Form 2848 or Form 8821 as long as it contains the information that corresponds to the required fields of those forms. However, the authorization is valid only for the purpose of that call and must be destroyed as classified waste at the conclusion of the call. If the caller wants the authorization to be valid on a more permanent basis, instruct the caller to submit a properly-completed Form 2848 or Form 8821.

  2. If a customer wants to submit a Form 2848/Form 8821 for a pending (open) determination application:

    1. Instruct the caller to fax the form to the EO Correspondence Unit using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information.

    2. Advise caller that valid authorizations will be added within 5 business days and he/she may call back after at least 5 business days.

    3. Advise caller that an authorized officer within the organization/plan may call anytime to check on the status.

    4. If a caller states it has been more than 5 business days since he/she previously faxed Form 2848 to be added to EDS and the authorization is not on EDS, see the note in (4) below. If the caller believes the Form 2848 submitted was complete and accurate, prepare a Form 4442 referral to the EO Correspondence Unit using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information.

    Note:

    Appointees whose authority is established via Form 8821 are currently not added to EDS/TEDS, but rather are associated with the case file. Therefore, an appointee named on a Form 8821 will be required to fax his/her Form 8821 each time she/he requests information protected under IRC 6103 unless she/he is in contact with someone who has access to the case file and can see a previously-submitted form.

  3. If a customer wants to submit a Form 2848/Form 8821 for account issues:

    1. Instruct the caller to fax the form to the CAF Unit at: 855-214-7522 (except as noted in (b) below).

    2. Advise caller that valid authorizations will be added within five business days and he/she may call back after at least five business days.

      Note:

      In order for the CAF function to process the Form 2848 to the CAF file, it must be the October 2011 revision or later. If the third party faxes a prior revision, inform the third party that the Form 2848 submitted cannot be loaded to the CAF database and to resubmit the form using the October 2011 revision or later. However, if you receive a revision older than October 2011, you can provide assistance as long as all essential elements are present on the Form 2848. See IRM 21.3.7.5.3, Form 2848 and Form 8821 Research and Processing, for more information about CAF criteria.

       

    3. Advise caller that an authorized officer within the organization/plan may call anytime with account questions.

      Caution:

      A Form 2848/Form 8821 entered on CAF entitles the POA/appointee to account information only for the return and year noted; it does not entitle him to receive any other information protected by IRC 6103.

  4. If the customer indicates he/she previously faxed or mailed the Form 2848/Form 8821 and it is not reflected on the appropriate system, explain to the caller that incomplete or incorrectly completed forms are rejected, but the sender is not notified (unless the form was submitted to the CAF unit). Instruct the customer to review the instructions and be sure that the form is signed correctly before sending the form again. See IRM 21.3.7.5.1, Essential Elements for Form 2848 and Form 8821, for additional details.

    Note:

    The campus does not input POA information on EDS if the Form 2848 indicates the designation is for "h," an Unenrolled Preparer. Unenrolled Preparers must submit a completed Form 8821. All Form 2848/Form 8821 concerning pending (open) applications are input to TEDS whether or not they are valid. If the form is invalid, it is marked as such. The assistor must check the validity of the form before disclosing information protected under IRC 6103.

  5. Assistors must handle Form 2848/Form 8821 per the guidance shown below once they have completed the call:

    If the Form 2848/Form 8821 concerns Then
    An account issue Forward to CAF per (3) above
    An open determination or correspondence case Forward to the EO Correspondence Unit per (2) above
    A one-time special use issue (e.g., reinstatement) Destroy as classified waste
    Note: This includes authorizations that are not submitted on a Form 2848 or Form 8821.
Issue and Entity Identification and Taxpayer Authentication Procedures
  1. The key to a successful call is properly identifying the caller’s issue, including requesting additional information when necessary, and then providing the information to which the caller is entitled.

  2. If the caller’s opening statement or question does not provide enough information to determine the next steps, ask enough probing questions to determine whether the caller has a general question (one that can be answered without referring to a specific entity/plan or without requiring the caller to respond to the disclosure prompts) or whether the caller has a question about a specific organization/plan.

    Reminder:

    Do not equate a question relating to a specific organization/plan with the need to ask the caller the disclosure prompts. Information open to public disclosure under IRC 6104 may be provided without requiring the caller to respond to any disclosure prompts.

    Example:

    If the caller states that she wants to check on the exempt status of an organization, you may proceed with identifying the organization and researching its status. If the organization is in status 01, you may affirm the organization’s exemption without having asked the caller’s relationship to the organization.

  3. Whenever the caller’s question or issue concerns a specific organization or plan, it is critical that the caller and the assistor are referring to the same organization or plan.

  4. In order to ensure that both parties are talking about the same entity and to avoid the unauthorized disclosure of information protected under IRC 6103, ask the caller for the name, address, and EIN of the organization/plan in question. Compare the caller’s response to the information in our records using the available research tools.

    Note:

    For purposes of entity identification (but NOT when establishing the caller’s authority as noted in the Reminder that follows!), disregard minor discrepancies in the name or address of the entity (e.g., omission of "INC" from the organization’s name, "suite" instead of "apartment," "street" instead of "avenue," or the omission of a building name) as long as you are reasonably sure that you and the caller are referring to the same entity. Do not treat the c/o name line as part of the address for purposes of entity identification.

    Reminder:

    When attempting to determine the caller’s authority to receive information protected under IRC 6103 or to perform certain actions such as making an address change over the telephone, it may be necessary to prompt the caller to provide the entity’s exact name or address of record. If the caller is unable to do so, refer to the alternative disclosure prompts discussed in paragraph (11).

    Caution:

    The names of subordinate organizations may appear on the primary name line or on the sort name line, depending on the nature of the group ruling. If the caller is inquiring about a subordinate organization and correctly identifies the name of the subordinate as it appears on the sort name line, it is not necessary for the caller to identify the exact name of the central organization as it appears on the primary name line as long as you are reasonably sure that the correct subordinate organization has been identified.

  5. If the caller is unable to provide all of the identifying information (such as the city and/or state when the full address is not known), attempt to secure as many details as possible, and, if you are able to locate information open to public disclosure under IRC 6104, advise the caller that the information being provided is based on our available records.

    Example:

    A caller asks about the exempt status of an organization for which she has only the name. Using CC NAMEE, you are able to locate organizations with that name in Maine, Ohio, Nebraska, and Virginia. Additional IDRS research shows that only the organizations in Nebraska and Virginia are exempt by virtue of an approved application, i.e., the organizations have tax-exempt status under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. Disclose information to the caller about the organizations in Nebraska and Virginia but advise the caller that, because she was not able to provide complete identifying information, there is no guarantee that either of the organizations that you located is actually the organization about which she called. Tell her that she may call again if she obtains additional identifying information that indicates that neither of the exempt organizations you located is the correct organization.

  6. There are limitations to the research you can perform when the caller cannot provide enough information:

    • If you receive the message, "XXXXX POSSIBLE MATCHES, SUPPLY ADDITIONAL INFO," when you perform your CC NAMEE/NAMEB research, apologize to the caller and explain that we are unable to perform adequate research with the limited information provided by the caller. Invite the caller to contact us again if she/he can provide additional identifying information about the organization.

    • If your CC NAMEE/NAMEB research returns more than 15 - 20 pages of data (or if you receive the message, "XXXXX MATCHES - DISPLAY LIMIT EXCEEDED," consult your Lead.

  7. NEVER offer sensitive information (such as organization/plan name, c/o person name, current address, or other account-specific information) to a caller when attempting to identify the entity or to confirm authorization. Instead, ask the caller to provide the information and then compare the response to the information on record. Offering information that is present on the master file or EDS/TEDS record could compromise your ability to verify that the party is authorized, if necessary, and could result in an unauthorized disclosure. See IRM 11.3.1.9, Unauthorized Access and Disclosures of Returns or Return Information, for additional information.

    Note:

    When disclosing information open to the general public under IRC 6104, you may provide the caller with any identifying information not known to the caller as long as it is disclosable under IRC 6104. If the caller is authorized but does not know the current address of record (AOR) and you disclose the AOR to that caller, oral statement procedures for updating the address will not apply. Form 8822-B (or Form 990-N, etc.) will be required for an address update.

  8. Once you have identified the organization/plan, you must determine whether the information requested by the caller is open to inspection under IRC 6104 or is protected under IRC 6103 and open only to authorized individuals. Unless the information being requested is open to the general public under IRC 6104, or is available through IRS publications or on IRS Web pages, you must verify that the customer is an authorized party. This applies to all verbal and written disclosures.

    Reminder:

    When performing disclosure verification, take all necessary steps to assure yourself that the customer is an authorized party and entitled to the information requested.

    Caution:

    If the caller’s question/issue changes from one covered by IRC 6104 to one covered by IRC 6103, you must determine the caller’s authority to receive the information before disclosing it.

  9. If the information requested by the caller is protected under IRC 6103, you must determine the caller’s relationship to the organization/plan in question if the caller did not include that information with the opening or subsequent statements (for example, "I am the president of our local PTA and I want to check on the status of our application for exemption" ).

    Note:

    Using a purpose statement (such as, "In order to protect the organization and the IRS, I need to verify your relationship with the organization before disclosing certain information" ) before asking the caller the disclosure prompts can help put the caller at ease and can make you feel more comfortable asking the disclosure prompts.

    Reminder:

    Organizations can have varying titles for their officers. The key is to establish that the person with whom you are in contact is legally authorized to act on behalf of the organization and is not an outside third party. See IRM 21.3.8.4.3.1, Employee Plans Disclosure Explanation of Terms, for information specific to plan administrators.

    Caution:

    When the caller’s issue involves an employee plan, you must research the appropriate master file to determine the caller’s authority. For example, account calls on Form 5500, Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan, or Form 5500-EZ, Annual Return of A One-Participant (Owners/Partners and Their Spouses) Retirement Plan or A Foreign Plan, (MFT 74) and on Form 8955-SSA, Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants With Deferred Vested Benefits, (MFT 75) are to be verified via the Employee Plan Master File (EPMF) by inputting a "P" at the end of the plan sponsor’s EIN; account calls on Form 5330, Return of Excise Taxes Related to Employee Benefit Plans, (MFT 76) are to be verified via the Business Master File (BMF) by using the filer’s identifying number (EIN or SSN with a "V" at the end). See paragraph (11) below if the caller is attempting to demonstrate authority and is unable to give the correct address of record for the appropriate master file account.

  10. If the caller is an officer, employee, or other designated person within the organization/plan, and is not an outside third party, verbal confirmation that the caller is authorized to act on behalf of the organization/plan is sufficient verification for Exempt Organization and Employee Plan disclosure once the caller’s position within the organization/plan is established (and the correct organization/plan has been identified).

    Example:

    If the caller has stated she is the current treasurer of the organization, ask the caller if, as treasurer, she is legally authorized to act on behalf of the organization.

    Note:

    A trustee may be an outside third party who is not authorized without specific authority.

    Reminder:

    Certain issues and categories of callers require additional research:

    • If the caller represents a government entity, see IRM 21.3.8.4.4.2, Instrumentality/Governmental Units Disclosure, for additional information.

    • If the caller is a plan participant seeking information pertaining to a plan, see IRM 21.3.8.4.1.5.1, Authorization Requirements for Participants in an Employer-Sponsored Plan.

    • See IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.2, Status of Pending (Open) Exempt Organization (EO) Determination/Application Requests, if the caller is checking on the status of a pending (open) application and does not have the organization's EIN.

    • See IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.3, Status of Pending (open) Employee Plans (EP) Determination/Application Requests, if the caller is checking on the status of an EP application.

  11. If the caller being screened for authorization cannot provide the entity’s exact name or the correct address of record or the caller's position with the organization/plan does not clearly identify the caller as an officer (but the caller correctly responds to the other disclosure prompts), additional probing is necessary to help establish that the party is authorized. Ask the caller at least two organization-specific questions about any information found on the master file record (such as specific return information or EO information), or information found on EDS/TEDS, for example:

    • The date the organization's application for recognition of exemption was filed

    • The amount of user fee paid with the application for recognition of exemption

    • Specific line items from filed returns

    Caution:

    These high risk authentication procedures apply only to callers authorized by their position in the organization, not to third parties.

  12. If the caller is unauthorized, apologize and explain that disclosure laws prevent you from being able to respond to the question and provide general guidance or information open under IRC 6104 to the extent that is possible. Tell the caller that an officer legally authorized to act on behalf of the entity can call anytime for the requested information.

  13. Before an outside third party (e.g., an accountant, bookkeeper, or attorney) can be considered as authorized to receive information protected under IRC 6103, disclosure rules require:

    • Formal execution of authorization (i.e., Form 8821/Form 2848)

    • Oral Consent by an authorized party (for specific account matters) or

    • Specification of a Third-Party Designee on the return

  14. For third-party verification ask: "Do you have a valid authorization on file?" and use the following table.

    Note:

    See IRM 21.3.8.4.1.4, Form 2848/Form 8821 Fax Submissions, if the caller asks to fax the authorization to the assistor.

    If Then
    The issue concerns a determination application The authority must be verified on the POA screen of EDS/TEDS whenever possible. If the application is not on EDS/TEDS, yet, verify the POA information on LINUS. Authorizations recorded on the Master File are not valid for determination application issues.
    1. Secure the organization's EIN and name. Compare that information with the information on EDS/TEDS/LINUS.

    2. Secure the POA's name and address and compare that information with the information on EDS/TEDS/LINUS.

    3. Confirm the identity of the caller using the guidance in IRM 21.1.3.3, Third Party (POA/TIA/F706) Authentication.


    Caution: POA information may not be re-entered on an "S" case when the FTE file is re-established. If no POA information is displayed on the "S" case, research for the POA on the "I" case, and, if found, proceed as indicated above.
    The authorization is via Form 2848 or Form 8821 The authority must be recorded on CAF and the identity of the caller must be confirmed using the caller’s personal information. See IRM 21.1.3.3, Third Party (POA/TIA/F706) Authentication, for authentication requirements.
    Reminder: You may need to access both BMF and EPMF when researching the POA on an EP account.
    The authorization is via Oral Consent The authority must be recorded on IDRS (TXMODA) and/or on AMS. See IRM 21.1.3.3.2, Oral Disclosure Consent/Oral TIA (Paperless F8821), for authentication requirements.
    The authorization is via return check box designee Until such time as the check box authority is recorded on Master File for EO returns, the authority must be verified on OL-SEIN. See IRM 21.1.3.3.1, Third Party Designee Authentication, for general authentication requirements.
    Note: For the purpose of TEGE telephone assistance, the third-party designee check box authorization is applicable only for Form 990-T, Form 1120-POL, Form 990-PF, Form 990, Form 990-EZ, and Form 4720.
    Formal authorization cannot be confirmed
    1. Provide the caller with appropriate guidance on establishing formal authorization (e.g., faxing Form 2848/Form 8821 to CAF/TEGE Determinations or by having an officer provide an Oral Consent authorization for specific account matters).

    2. Provide the caller with general guidance.

    3. Explain that an officer legally authorized to act on behalf of the entity can call anytime for the requested information.

Authorization Requirements for Participants in an Employer-Sponsored Plan
  1. Plan participants requesting information relating to a plan do not have to be legally authorized to act on behalf of the plan. Rather, they must be able to demonstrate that they are participants in the plan and thus entitled to the information being requested.

  2. This demonstration can be satisfied verbally if:

    • The participant states that he/she is a current participant.

    • The participant can identify the employer/sponsor.

    • The participant can identify the plan.

      Note:

      There are no guidelines that specify how the participant must identify the plan. This is generally done by the caller (participant) providing the plan name or plan number, but any information is acceptable that assures you that you and the caller (participant) are talking about the same plan.

  3. When a participant cannot verbally satisfy entitlement to the information requested, advise him/her to submit the request in writing with proof he/she is a participant (e.g., W-2, participant statement).

  4. Participants are not entitled to account information (penalties, Form 5330 filing, etc.) pertaining to a plan/sponsor.

Leaving Information on Answering Machines/Voice Mail
  1. When leaving taxpayers' or their representatives' confidential information on an answering machine/voice mail, you must adhere to guidelines developed by Governmental Liaison and Disclosure. Guidelines which allow you to leave confidential information are described in IRM 11.3.2.7.1, Leaving Information on Answering Machines/Voice Mail.

Media Contacts/Referrals
  1. If a caller self-identifies as a member of the media, refer the caller to the Media Relations Office. Contact information is available on the IRS website by searching for "media relations."

Disclosure - Exempt Organizations

  1. This subsection serves as a guide for inspection/disclosure rules for Exempt Organizations.

Public Disclosure of Exempt Organization information
  1. The intent of Congress in allowing for the inspection of information governed by IRC 6104(a), (b), and (d) was to enable the public to scrutinize the activities of tax-exempt organizations and trusts. Congress intended that these organizations and trusts be subject to a certain degree of public accountability in view of their privileged tax status and because the public has a right to know the purposes for which their contributions are being or will be used.

Exempt Organization (EO) Inspection of Determination Applications and Disclosure of Employer Identification Number (EIN) Information
  1. Only approved determination applications and related documents are open to inspection under 6104. See IRM 21.3.8.4.1.2, IRC 6104, for additional information.

  2. With respect to requests for copies of approved EO determination applications, the following information is disclosable:

    • The application form (Form 1023/Form 1024/Form 1024-A or the letter which requests exemption where no application form is required)

    • Any attachments included with the application, including printed material or publications

    • Any letter issued by the Service in connection with the application

    • Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative

    • Form 872-C, Consent Fixing Period of Limitations Upon Assessment of Tax under IRC 4940

    • Form 8718, User Fee for Exempt Organization Determination Letter Request

    • Form 8734, Support Schedule For Advance Ruling Period, and related determination letter (while not part of the original application, foundation follow-ups relate to the application and are available for inspection pursuant to IRC 6104)

  3. With respect to requests for copies of determination applications, the following information is not disclosable:

    • Internal Documents, such as case notes made by the determination specialist (case chronology)

    • Technical advisory/notes issued regarding a review of the application

    • Internal Control Documents

    • Examination (audit) reports, work papers, and related correspondence

    • Trade secrets determined not to be open to inspection

    • Information contained in supporting documents, the disclosure of which has been determined would adversely affect the national defense

  4. If an application is pending (open), withdrawn, denied, or if no application has been submitted, neither the application nor any related supporting documents, nor the fact that an organization has or has not submitted an application for exemption, can be disclosed under IRC 6104. (See IRM 21.3.8.4.1.1, IRC 6103, for additional information.) When responding to such requests, you may state, "We have no record that the organization is a tax-exempt organization by virtue of an approved application (i.e., we have no record of the organization having tax-exempt status under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code)."

    Note:

    Denied EO determination rulings and related material may be disclosed in redacted form pursuant to IRC 6110. However, such disclosure may not be provided for any particular given entity, since pursuant to IRC 6110, identifying details are removed from denied EO determination letters and rulings. Such documents are, instead, indexed by the Code section at issue and by a seven-digit identifying number. See IRM 21.3.8.4.1.3, IRC 6110.

  5. If the IRS terminates or revokes the organization's exemption, the approved application and attachments are still open to public disclosure. However, the specific reason why an organization is no longer tax exempt may not be disclosed to the public. Simply advise the requester that the organization is no longer tax exempt.

    Exception:

    If the organization's exemption was auto-revoked for failure to file the required annual information returns for three consecutive years (status 97 on IDRS), certain information about the revocation may be disclosed as discussed in IRM 21.3.8.12.6.1, Responding to Calls From or About Organizations in Status 97.

  6. Exempt Organization Employer Identification Number (EIN) information can generally be disclosed to an unauthorized third party, but only when it has appeared on an (approved) application/return that is disclosable to the public under IRC 6104. If an organization has not filed a disclosable Form 990 series return, does not have an approved application, or is automatically recognized exempt from federal income taxes without having to file an application (such as churches and governmental instrumentalities), its EIN is not disclosable to an unauthorized party unless the entity is included in the current online Exempt Organization Master File extract (see IRM 21.3.8.12.13, Online Exempt Organization Master File (EOMF), 50 State List).

    1. An EIN can be used on affirmation letters, if the source of the EIN is from an application/return that is available to the public under IRC 6104.

    2. The EIN can be used to assist in identifying tax-exempt organizations during telephone calls, if the source of the EIN is from an application/return available to the public by 6104.

    3. If requesters ask for EINs that are not from tax-exempt organizations, or ask why some EINs are available when others are not, explain that some EINs are available because they are from applications/returns available under authority of IRC 6104.

Public Disclosure of Imaged Returns
  1. Under IRC 6104 and IRC 527, Congress adopted a system of transparency for organizations that are exempt from taxation. Under these provisions, the IRS is generally required to provide the public with access to the documents of tax exempt organizations required to be filed with the IRS.

  2. The IRS accomplishes the transparency requirements of section 6104 by making photocopies of the relevant filings of exempt organizations available to the public upon written request. The IRS also scans the documents to computer image files and provides copies of the imaged documents in bulk to requestors (for example, for posting to the Internet on sites such as GuideStar, operated by the exempt organization Candid). See IRM 21.3.8.3.4.1.1, Internet Website Sources for Information Returns, and IRM 21.3.8.3.4.1.2, Inspection of Exemption Applications and/or Exempt Organization (EO) Information Returns Disclosable under IRC 6104, for additional information.

  3. Organizations must exercise extreme caution when completing forms that will be open to inspection under IRC 6104 because the IRS does not redact extraneous information, including social security numbers, provided by exempt organizations prior to making photocopies available for inspection or distributing the scanned image data to subscribers.

  4. Instructions for the applications and returns filed by exempt organizations contain detailed information about the public disclosure of the forms. Returns and return schedules themselves are labelled as open to inspection unless there are special rules (such as is the case with Schedule B of the Form 990 series).

    Note:

    In the case of Form 990, organizations are specifically warned in the instructions not to include social security numbers because the IRS is required to make the filing available for inspection.

  5. If a caller states that a document that was not open under IRC 6104 or IRC 527 was inappropriately disclosed as a result of a return image created through SEIN, capture the following information in an email:

    1. Issue (what was disclosed)

    2. How the disclosure was brought to the attention of the caller

    3. Contact information for the caller (if additional information is needed)

    4. Case information (name and EIN of the impacted organization, form type and tax year, scan date (if known))

    5. Your name and team number

  6. Send the email to the Headquarters Analyst immediately (within one hour from the time the call was received).

  7. The Headquarters Analyst will forward the email to the TEGE Submissions Processing Programs (SPP) Disclosure Analyst, who will research to determine if the disclosure was authorized or unauthorized.

  8. Tell the caller that the information is being forwarded to the program analyst to determine if corrective action is appropriate and that the caller will be contacted if additional information is needed.

Inspection of Exempt Organization (EO) Return Information
  1. The majority of requests for return disclosure involve Form 990, Form 990-EZ, and Form 990-PF. The Pension Protection Act (PPA) of 2006, however, opened additional EO returns to inspection (a Form 990-T filed by 501(c)(3) organizations to report UBIT after August 17, 2006, and a Form 5227 (except the Schedule A) filed for tax years beginning after December 31, 2006). The PPA of 2006 also brought about the requirement to submit the e-postcard Form 990-N for tax years beginning after December 31, 2006 (the information from which is available on the Internet) for small organizations whose gross receipts are not large enough to require the filing of a Form 990 or Form 990-EZ. Refer to the following chart for special circumstances when addressing incoming telephone inquiries regarding the filing of these forms, especially when neither IDRS nor OL-SEIN research indicates that a return has been filed (also refer to the information in (2) and (3) below):

    Reminder:

    Only account assistors have access to OL-SEIN. If there is any indication that a return has been filed (e.g., based on a comment from the caller) and the return is not showing on IDRS, transfer the caller to an account assistor for additional research.

    If Then
    Form 990/Form 990-EZ filing requirement code is 2.
    Note: This applies only to tax years that ended on or before December 31, 2006.
    Advise the caller that a return is not required to be filed under IRC 6033(a)(3).
    A TC 590 is present without a Closing Code or with a Closing Code 075. Advise the caller that a return is not required to be filed under IRC 6033(a)(3).
    A TC 590 is present with a Closing Code 014. Advise the caller that the organization was included as part of a group return, and is not required to file a separate return.
    A TC 599 is present with Closing Code 017. Advise the caller that the return is not available at this time and ask the caller to wait at least two months before resubmitting a request.
    A TC 460 extension to file and entity filing requirement of 1 is present. Advise the caller that there is no return available and that disclosure laws prohibit you from providing additional information.
    A TC 150 with DLN blocking series 400-479 is present (dummy CP 140). Advise the caller that a return is not required to be filed under IRC 6033(a)(3).
    A TC 150 with Doc Code 89 is present. Advise the caller that a Form 990-N was submitted for the period and that the information is available on the IRS website.
    A TC 150 for MFT 67 is present and the organization is an IRC 527 political organization. Advise the caller that the Form 990 is available on the IRS website. See IRM 21.3.8.14, IRC 527 Organizations. Refer to (8)(a).
    There is no TC 150 on IDRS or return on OL-SEIN for the period requested and no exemption from filing a return for that period. Advise the caller that there is no return available and that disclosure laws prohibit you from providing additional information.

    Note:

    IRM 21.3.8.3.4.1, Copies of Tax Exempt/Government Entities (TEGE) Information Returns, Transcripts and Applications, and subsequent subsections provide guidance on obtaining disclosable copies of filed EO returns.

  2. You may respond to questions from unauthorized third parties on issues such as:

    • The due dates for returns (in general)

    • The extensions available (in general)

    • The first return filed by the organization

    • The most recent return filed by the organization

    • The returns available for copies requests

      Note:

      EO returns are destroyed six years after the end of the year that the returns are processed. Returns processed more than six years ago are not available.

    • Specific information, including line items, appearing on disclosable returns, unless the information is designated as not disclosable (e.g., certain items on the Form 990/Form 990-EZ Schedule B and the Form 5227 Schedule A)


    If the caller asks for information that is not open to the general public under IRC 6104, see (3) below.

  3. No compliance information is disclosable to unauthorized third parties under IRC 6104. These include:

    • Delinquent return issues, including penalty assessments/abatements

    • The due date of a specific delinquent return

    • Incomplete return information

    • Specific information on returns that are not available (e.g., why an organization with 990-01 filing requirement did not file)

Disclosure - Employee Plans

  1. This subsection serves as a disclosure guide for Employee Plans under IRC 6104.

Employee Plans Disclosure Explanation of Terms
  1. For purposes of determining whether a plan has fewer than 26 participants, the term participant means any employee or former employee of an employer, or any member or former member of an employee organization, who is or may become eligible to receive a benefit of any type from an employee benefit plan that covers employees of such employer or members of such organization, or whose beneficiaries may be eligible to receive such benefit.

  2. For purposes of determining who is a plan participant permitted to inspect material pertaining to a plan having fewer than 26 participants, the term plan participant includes, but is not limited to:

    1. A current plan participant

    2. Former employees, such as certain retired and terminated employees, who have a nonforfeitable right to benefits under the plan

    3. A beneficiary of a deceased former employee who is receiving benefits or entitled to receive future benefits under the plan, and

    4. An administrator, executor, trustee, or executor of the estate of a deceased participant if that person or institution is receiving benefits or is entitled to receive benefits under the plan in their official capacity

    Note:

    The availability of material for inspection by a plan participant pursuant to this paragraph does not constitute a determination by the Service that such person is a plan participant for any purpose other than the disclosure of documents.

  3. The term authorized representative means the representative of a plan participant designated by the plan participant in a written authorization to inspect the material described in 26 CFR 301.6104(a)-2 and 26 CFR 301.6104(a)-3.

  4. The term application for a determination letter includes the documents that the applicant files with respect to the qualification of a pension, profit-sharing, or stock bonus plan under IRC 401(a), an annuity plan under IRC 403(a), a bond purchase plan under IRC 405(a), and individual retirement accounts and annuities under an annuity plan under IRC 408(a), IRC 408(b), and IRC 408(c). This includes only applications for determination letters filed with the Service after September 2, 1974.

    Note:

    A determination submission closed as incomplete (identified by the closing code "03" on EDS/TEDS) is not considered an "application for a determination letter." Any information regarding an incomplete application is not disclosable to the general public, regardless of the number of participants.

  5. A supporting document is any statement or document submitted in support of an application for a determination letter that is not specifically required by the application form or the Service.

  6. A plan administrator is not entitled to receive information protected under IRC 6103 solely on the basis of holding that title. In order for the plan administrator to receive information not open to the general public under IRC 6104, at least one of the following must be true:

    • She/he is the plan sponsor

    • She/he has a valid POA

    • She/he is legally authorized to act on behalf of the plan

Employee Plans (EP) Inspection of Determination Letters/Applications
  1. IRC 6104(a)(1)(B) requires that any copies of an employee plan determination letter, application for a determination letter (Form 5300 series), and any supporting papers filed with respect to the qualification of a pension, profit-sharing, or stock bonus plan under IRC 401(a) or 403(a), and an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) under 408(a) or (b) must be open to inspection at such times and in such places as the Secretary of Treasury may prescribe if maintained by the Service, but only with respect to plans having more than 25 participants (as verified on EDS/TEDS or on IDRS using command code EMFOL). This applies both to open and closed applications, unless the application was returned as incomplete (EDS/TEDS status 03/05).

    1. If the plan has 25 or fewer participants, the information is NOT open to the public.

    2. If a plan has more than 25 participants, the information is open to anyone.

    3. When a plan having fewer than 26 participants files an application or Form 5500 that shows that the number of participants has increased to 26 or more, all prior applications or supporting documents and other documents received or issued by the Service after September 2, 1974, are open to inspection regardless of the number of plan participants indicated on any prior application.

    4. When a plan with 26 or more plan participants files an application or Form 5500 showing that the number of participants has decreased to 25 or fewer, supporting documents relating to such application and any other documents received or issued by the Service after the date of receipt of the application may only be inspected by a plan participant or his/her authorized representative.

      Note:

      Materials that were previously open to inspection remain open to inspection.

       

    5. Information pertaining to an incomplete application (status 03/05) is not disclosable to the general public under IRC 6104. It is open only to authorized individuals. See IRM 21.3.8.4.3.1(4) for additional information.

    6. The application for a determination letter and supporting documents are open to inspection by a plan participant or his/her authorized representative whether or not the application is withdrawn by the applicant and whether or not the Service determines that the plan is qualified.

    7. In dealing with questions from plan participants regarding the status of an application for termination of a plan, the participant may be advised that the application is pending (open). Upon completion of Service action, the participant may be advised as to whether or not the application has been approved.

    8. Direct questions pertaining to plan benefits of terminated plans to the plan administrator, who is responsible for notifying the participants of their benefits under the plan.

  2. Instruct callers requesting a copy of an employee plan application to send their request to the EP Correspondence Unit. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.

    The request must include:

    • The plan name and number

    • The plan sponsor's EIN (if available)

    • The requester's contact information

    • Proof that the requester is a plan participant or is otherwise authorized (if the plan has 25 or fewer participants)

      Note:

      Copies can be provided only for documents processed within the last 10 years. Generally, the first 100 pages are free, with a $0.20 charge for each additional page. Additional charges may apply. Refer the caller to the Freedom of Information Guidelines listed on www.irs.gov. Average processing time is 60 days. If the document cannot be located, or if other problems are encountered, the requester will be contacted.

  3. See IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.3, Status of Pending (Open) Employee Plans (EP) Determination/Application Requests, for information on researching the status of applications/determination letter requests. See IRM 21.3.8.13.6, Requests for Corrected/Superseding and for Copies of Employee Plans (EP) Determination Letters, for information on requesting copies of previously-issued determination letters.

  4. Requests from unauthorized third parties for employee plan information disclosable under IRC 6104 (except for copies of applications and letters as noted in (2) above) must be in writing and must be sent to the address found under "Disclosure" under the Who/Where tab on SERP.

  5. The Service is required to maintain applications for 10 years; application packages older than that are securely destroyed per schedule 24, TAX ADMINISTRATION - TAX EXEMPT AND GOVERNMENT ENTITIES (TE/GE), in Document 12990, Records and Information Management Records Control Schedules.

Withholding Certain Information
  1. IRC 6104(a)(1)(C) and (D) provide that information from which the compensation (including deferred compensation) of any individual may be ascertained is NOT open to inspection.

Disclosure - Government Entities

  1. This subsection serves as a disclosure guide for Government Entities.

Disclosure Requirements for Tax Exempt Bonds (TEB)
  1. Tax Exempt Bond (TEB) returns are not disclosable to the public. In order to obtain a copy of a TEB return, the requester must be an official of the municipality. In general, an official of a municipality is defined as someone who is authorized to make representations and commitments on behalf of a municipality, or to conduct official business on behalf of a municipality, such as entering into contracts.

  2. Municipal officials may be elected, appointed, or employees of a municipality. For example, in some towns and cities, the mayor, an elected official, can enter into contracts. In others, the town manager or business manager, an employee, may conduct all official business on behalf of the municipality.

  3. A key fact to ascertain is the position of the individual requesting the information. An employee of the city working in the finance office, business office, or legal office of the municipality that has specific knowledge of the return and contents is probably authorized to obtain a copy of a TEB return. The key element is that the municipality or an elected or appointed official of the municipality employs the individual.

  4. All other requesters must submit a Form 2848 or have a POA on file.

  5. Document 10011, Disclosure Guide for Tax Exempt Bond Examinations, provides an analysis of the applicability of IRC 6103 to bond returns and return information.

Instrumentality/Governmental Units Disclosure
  1. No account or entity information for an instrumentality/governmental unit is disclosable under IRC 6104 because an instrumentality/governmental unit does not file:

    1. A disclosable determination application (e.g., Form 1023), or

    2. A disclosable information return (e.g., Form 990).

  2. Mail Letter 4076C (Information Letter - Federal Tax Status of Governmental Entity) only to the address of record.

  3. A person legally entitled to receive Letter 4076C (Information Letter - Federal Tax Status of Governmental Entity), to request an action such as an address change, or to receive verbal confirmation that our records reflect that the organization may be a governmental unit, must be able to:

    1. Provide the EIN of the entity

    2. Provide the name and address of the entity exactly as it appears on our records, and

    3. Positively assert that he/she is an employee (hired or elected) of the entity and is legally authorized to receive the letter, to request the action, or to receive the information

      Note:

      If disclosure cannot be verified, the letter can be mailed to the current address of record.

  4. Potential Governmental Entity Contacts:

    If Then
    A third party calls to affirm tax-exempt recognition of a government entity so he/she can take a charitable deduction 1. Explain that there is no record of tax-exempt recognition, therefore we cannot disclose information pertaining to this account.
    2. Respond with general information based on what the caller says. For example, the caller might mention that the entity is a school, city, etc., or the name provided by the caller might imply that the entity is a public school, city, etc. A suggested response would be: "Based on the name, it sounds as though this could be a governmental unit. Governmental units are not required to have a determination ruling in order to accept charitable contributions to be used for public purposes." (This approach eliminates the appearance of disclosing confidential account information.)
    3. For a reference, use Publication 526, Charitable Contributions. There is also information on the IRS website that explains that governmental units may accept charitable contributions.
    The name of record is different from what the caller gives us when checking on the deductibility/exemption of the organization 1. We cannot confirm that the caller is legally entitled to receive account information if we are unable to establish with certainty that we are talking about the same organization. For example, if the caller gives an EIN and says that the name is "City of Any town" but the EIN brings up "County Sewer District," we cannot confirm that the caller is entitled to receive any account-related information specific to this organization.
    2. Exercise reasonable caution. Sometimes the name may be off by a word or two, or words in the name may be switched (ANYTOWN BOARD OF EDU vs. BOARD OF EDU OF ANYTOWN) or the name may be too long for the name line field.
    3. If entitlement to the information cannot be confirmed:
    a. Use the general disclosure rule of thumb: "When in doubt, don't give it out!"
    b. Explain "I am unable to confirm…"
    c. Offer to mail a letter to the AOR.
    d. Provide general information about instrumentalities, where appropriate.
Disclosure Requirements for Indian Tribal Governments (ITG)
  1. Indian Tribal Government (ITG) account and/or entity (EIN and address) information is not disclosable to unauthorized third parties.

  2. Verbal confirmation that an entity is a federally recognized ITG can be provided to an unauthorized third party if the tribe is listed in Rev. Proc. 2008-55 (or its successor). A person legally entitled to receive an ITG affirmation letter must be able to:

    1. Provide the EIN of the tribe

    2. Provide the name and address of the tribe exactly as it appears on our records, and

    3. State his/her title (e.g., Tribal Chairman) and positively assert that he/she is a tribal council member and legally authorized to receive the letter

    Note:

    If authority cannot be verified, the letter can be mailed to the current address of record.

General Telephone Guidelines

  1. This section provides guidance for providing quality customer service in answering telephone inquiries and for transferring customers when appropriate.

Telephone Guidelines

  1. This subsection serves as a guide for performing tasks involved in answering telephone calls.

Communication Skills
  1. While most communication skills and the related procedures are universal to customer service, the unique nature of the Tax Exempt/Government Entity (TEGE) customer base necessitates some practices that are not necessarily shared across all IRS business units. Therefore, assistors assigned to the TEGE toll-free applications must follow the guidelines in this IRM subsection and not the guidelines found in any similarly-titled subsections in other customer service IRMs unless specifically instructed in this IRM to do so.

  2. The Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, Section 3705(a), provides identification requirements for all IRS employees working tax-related matters.

  3. You must provide the following information in a professional and courteous manner when you communicate with a customer by telephone, correspondence, or face to face:

    • Your title (e.g., Mr., Mrs., Ms., Miss), last name (as printed on your badge), and identification (ID/Badge) number, OR

    • Your first name or first initial, last name (as printed on your badge), and identification (ID/Badge) number

    Reminder:

    All employees who have been issued a SmartID or PAC card containing the ten-digit PID must use the entire ten digits in verbal communications with taxpayers. In written correspondence, provide your generated Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS) or other unique letter system number.

    Note:

    If an additional taxpayer joins the call (e.g., if the original caller hands the phone to a different person), the assistor must provide the identifying information stated above.

  4. Follow the steps described in paragraphs (5) through (10) below to ensure that you are providing quality service. Keep the following thoughts in mind as you are assisting your caller:

    • To the customer, his/her issue is the most important thing on that person's mind when he calls the IRS for help. The caller doesn't really care that the assistor has asked the same questions and gone over the same information many times already that day.

    • Every caller deserves to be treated as an individual and with respect.

    • Many of our callers are volunteers who know very little about tax matters. They may be uncomfortable calling the IRS to begin with, and then doubly uncomfortable about discussing matters that are foreign to them.

    • While the disclosure prompts were put in place to protect both the caller and the Service, they are not meant to be interrogation tools. Callers can be intimidated by the assistor asking the disclosure prompt too aggressively. The assistor may need to clarify what the question means and why we are asking it as the situation demands. Using a purpose statement before asking the disclosure prompts might be helpful.

    • The assistor must be sensitive to clues that indicate that the caller may require extra patience and a slower-paced explanation.

  5. Greet the customer promptly:

    • Follow the guidelines outlined in IRM 21.3.8.5.1.1(3) above.

    • If the caller asks you to repeat your name and identification number, do so courteously and professionally.

    • Speak to the customer in a pleasant manner indicating a willingness to help by using an appropriate phrase such as "May I help you?" or "How can I help you?"

    • If there is no taxpayer on the line when the call is connected, first make an effort to ensure the taxpayer can hear you (e.g., ask if the taxpayer can hear you, repeat your name and identification number) and allow 30 seconds for the caller to respond. If there is still no response, disconnect the call and move on to the next call.

  6. Communicate with the caller in a professional manner during the contact:

    • Provide an appropriate response to the caller’s opening statement.

      Note:

      TEGE toll-free service is currently provided only in English. If an individual is calling in a language other than English and the caller cannot understand the assistor and the assistor cannot understand all parties to obtain the required disclosure authentication or to answer the caller's or the caller’s representative's question, advise the caller to call back with an interpreter.

    • Deal with the caller’s feelings (if appropriate), noticeable through tone, voice inflection, and rate of speech.

      Note:

      Whereas you must exhibit patience with customers, you are not expected to be subjected to abusive language. If the customer is being abusive, explain that you are willing to help and request that the caller remain calm in order to resolve the issue. If the customer continues with the abusive language, explain that if the caller does not discontinue the abusive language, the call will be terminated. If the caller continues the abusive language, terminate the call and inform your manager.

    • Adjust your choice of words to the customer's level of understanding. DO NOT "talk down" to the customer.

    • Avoid technical jargon. Phrases and abbreviations that are second nature to you are foreign words to the customer.

    • Refrain from speculating on why certain policy decisions are made and from expressing personal opinions about procedures and processes. Provide to the caller only information that can be substantiated by a reference to an official source, such as a publication or the IRS website, or to an IRS research tool, such as IDRS or EDS.

    • Control the conversation by keeping the customer on track and avoiding extraneous dialogue.

  7. Target the caller’s question:

    • Ask the appropriate questions to determine the nature of the inquiry.

    • Use appropriate paraphrasing showing you comprehend and have identified the question.

  8. Verify disclosure (as appropriate). See IRM 21.3.8.4.1.5, Issue and Entity Identification and Taxpayer Authentication Procedures, for the guidelines to follow.

  9. Get the necessary facts:

    • Use a purpose statement, if necessary, to prevent a feeling of being interrogated (e.g., "I need to ask you a series of questions to verify I understand your issue" ).

    • Ask questions pertinent to the inquiry. The information solicited must be necessary to answer the customer's inquiry.

    • Record the facts on paper, a job aid, or other methods to help you remember specific details.

  10. Provide assistance:

    1. Provide accurate and complete information, which includes giving a correct and complete technical answer. When a caller asks a specific technical question, provide a complete answer that is within the scope of your application or offer to prepare an appropriate referral (e.g., transfer to a different application or prepare a Form 4442). When providing a technical answer, cite the appropriate reference that supports the answer provided (e.g., publications, instructions to a form, revenue rulings, and revenue procedures). Citing an appropriate reference while speaking to the customer ensures that the information/answer provided is accurate. Additionally, by confirming the reference, we are educating the customer.

      Reminder:

      Use of the TEGE Probe and Response Guide (TEGE PRG) is mandatory for topics for which pages have been developed. You are not required to read the responses verbatim, but you must cover all issues listed in the response in an accurate and complete manner.

      Note:

      Do not simply refer the caller to general form instructions or to a publication unless the question is broader in nature, e.g., Do you have any publications that discuss applying for tax‐exempt status? Provide a direct answer, cite a specific section of form instructions or a publication, or prepare a referral (including a transfer, as appropriate) when the caller has a specific question.

    2. When referring the customer to the appropriate reference, explain to the caller how to obtain forms or publications via the self-help method, the IRS website, or if the caller prefers, place an order on his/her behalf. See IRM 21.3.6.4.1, Ordering Forms and Publications, for detailed information about this procedure.

    3. Provide all information/guidance the customer needs to avoid another contact on the same issue.

      Exception:

      If the caller wants help completing an entire (or almost an entire) form, schedule, or return, apologize and explain that you can help with specific lines or questions but that you are unable to go through the form line-by-line. Whenever possible, offer a self-help method for the caller (e.g., the Interactive Form 1023 on the IRS website).

    4. Limit the caller to one entity’s issue(s)/question(s) per call. If the call contains multiple taxpayers and each is requesting information about a different entity, it is still considered one entity per caller and the assistor may respond to each taxpayer separately. For example, the president of ABC organization asks for information about ABC and then hands the telephone to his spouse, the president of XYZ organization, who asks for information about XYZ.

      Note:

      Some calls may involve more than one organization but may be considered a single request(or). For example, if a central organization calls and asks about the procedure for changing the fiscal year of all of its subordinates and for submitting the name change of several of its subordinates, you would respond to the caller’s questions. However, if a central organization wants you to change the address of record for seven of its subordinates, you would apologize and explain that you may update the address of only one subordinate per call. Similarly, a caller asking about the merger of three organizations or about the consolidation of multiple EINs assigned to one organization would also fall within the "one entity per caller" policy.

      Reminder:

      Assistors must also limit callers to one letter per telephone contact. If the caller requires multiple letters, he/she must call back for each individual request or make the remaining requests in writing to the EO Correspondence Unit. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information.

    5. While addressing the caller’s issue, if an unresolved secondary issue is discovered, take the appropriate steps to address the issue (e.g., penalty abatement, old advance ruling, entity/submodule perfections, etc.).

      Note:

      This does not include contacting the organization about issues such as presumption of private foundation status or an expired advance ruling period if these issues are identified while performing research in the course of responding to an unauthorized third party.

      Example:

      A tax law assistor is verifying an organization’s exempt status for an authorized caller and, as required by IRM 21.3.8.3.8.1, Compliance with Exempt Organization (EO) Filing Requirements, accesses BMFOLI. While reviewing the organization’s filing compliance, the assistor sees that there are outstanding balances due displayed (i.e., the dollar amounts are expressed as positive figures). To address the secondary issue, the assistor determines what return the balances are associated with (researching the MFT as necessary) and brings up the topic with the caller within the scope of the assistor’s training. In other words, if a tax law representative sees a balance due on an MFT 67, the assistor will advise the caller that there seems to be an issue with the organization’s Form 990 return (and provide the tax period) that an account assistor would be trained to address and then offer to transfer the caller per the TTG. If the caller asks for more details, the tax law assistor would respond that they have not been trained beyond recognizing a potential problem and that the account assistor will be able to answer any questions they have and then offer the transfer again. If there are balances due on a TEGE return and on another non-TEGE return (Form 941, Form 1120, etc.), transfer the caller to the EO Accounts/Notices application and then that accounts assistor will offer a transfer to the non-TEGE application after the TEGE issue is addressed.

    6. Use appropriate hold procedures. Use the hold feature, not the mute feature. Only place the caller on hold when necessary (for example, to research a complex issue or to locate information that is not readily available, to prepare a C letter, or to make an online adjustment). You must provide a reason for placing the caller on hold, ask for permission, and wait for a response before placing the caller on hold whenever you are able. If you are not able to provide a reason and wait for an affirmative response to your request (for example, to hear a building emergency announcement or to resolve a sudden coughing spell), apologize to the caller when you return to the call and explain your sudden absence. Whenever possible, advise the caller of the expected wait time (no more than seven minutes). Be sure to return to the caller within that time frame! If you do not indicate a wait time, do not keep the caller on hold for more than approximately five minutes without returning to the caller. If it is necessary to put the caller on hold again, apologize and provide an explanation. Ask if she/he is willing to continue to hold. Thank the caller for holding any time you resume the call after having placed the caller on hold.

    7. As necessary, advise of appropriate time frames, identify situations that must be handled by the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), or use appropriate referral procedures (Form 4442). See IRM 21.3.8.8.6, Taxpayer Advocate Service Referral Guidelines, Including Congressional Inquiries, and Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (and Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order), and IRM 21.1.3.18, Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Guidelines, for additional information.

    8. Document account calls per the instructions in IRM 21.2.2.4.2.1, IDRS History Items and Account Inquiry, and in IRM 21.2.2.4.5, Account Management Services (AMS). All documentation must, to the extent possible, be completed while the taxpayer is on the phone.

    9. Avoid statements that could be misconstrued as offering legal advice. For example, avoid using language such as "Your organization qualifies as..." or "Your organization sounds like a..." because this cannot be determined by the information supplied by the caller. When offering information about qualifying for exemption, state, "Organizations with a purpose and activities similar to those you described have qualified under subsection(s)...," and reference the appropriate section(s) of Publication 557, Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization.

  11. Close the conversation:

    1. Verify the caller’s comprehension by asking if he/she understands the information given.

    2. Conclude the contact courteously and appropriately. For example, thank the caller if he/she provided information to help resolve an open issue; apologize if the Service made an error.

      Note:

      If you ordered transcripts/Records of Account for the caller, see IRM 21.2.3.7, Call Closure Requirements, for information on time frames to provide the caller and on required AMS documentation.

      Reminder:

      Use of wrap time must be minimal except in rare instances. Assistors are expected to complete calls (e.g., account adjustments and tax-related research) while on the line or on hold with the caller.

  12. When the call deals with TEGE issues that are handled on a different application (e.g., when an EO accounts assistor needs to transfer the caller to an assistor in EO tax law) or with IRS issues that are not handled in the TEGE telephone operations:

    1. Apologize to the caller and advise him/her we do not handle/answer the issue in our area.

    2. Advise the caller of the appropriate area (individual tax area, business tax area, exempt organization tax law, etc.) that handles the issue.

    3. If a referral can be made via the Telephone Transfer Guide, advise the caller you can transfer him or her to the appropriate area. Transfer the caller to the appropriate area using the Telephone Transfer Guide.

    4. If the referral cannot be made via the Telephone Transfer Guide (for example, Martinsburg), provide the caller the appropriate information.

  13. When the call deals with issues that are not IRS issues:

    1. Apologize to the caller and advise him/her the issue is not an IRS issue.

    2. Where appropriate, provide a courtesy referral to the caller (e.g., "You will need to check with your State corporate records/State sales tax area etc." ).

  14. If the caller asks to record the call, advise the caller that he/she cannot record the call. See IRM 21.1.1.7, Contact Recording.

Application 761 (TEGE Default) and Application 762 (TEGE Form Help)
  1. As stated in the WI Transfer Policy located on the Telephone Transfer Guide (TTG), employees assigned to TEGE Agent Groups will answer all TEGE Default (APP 761) and TEGE Form Help (APP 762) inquiries.

  2. For TEGE purposes, these are "transparent" applications and assistors must make no assumptions about the caller's issue before hearing the caller's question. If necessary, the assistor will probe to determine the specific question/issue.

  3. If the question is a topic on which the assistor has been trained and which is appropriate for his/her assigned applications, the assistor must provide a complete and accurate answer per the applicable procedures.

  4. If the caller's question is handled on a TEGE specialty application on which the assistor has not been trained or on a non-TEGE application, the assistor must refer to the TTG.

  5. See IRM 21.3.8.8.2, Form 4442 - Inquiry Referral, for situations where the assistor must prepare a referral instead of transferring the caller.

Hearing-Impaired Customers and TDD Equipment
  1. For general information about handling calls from hearing-impaired customers, refer to IRM 21.2.1.56, Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHOH) Callers and TTY/TDD Equipment.

  2. If you are not satisfied with the authentication or the customer does not give oral consent and the information being requested is protected under IRC 6103, determine the proper area in TEGE to receive the caller's request for information and provide the caller with the appropriate address (after determining whether the caller is going to use the United States Postal Service or a private delivery service).

    Note:

    The table below includes only the more common issues/addresses and is not all inclusive.

    If the caller's question involves Instruct the caller to write to
    Tax law issues, pending (open) applications, correspondence matters (Exempt Organizations) EO Correspondence Unit
    See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.
    Tax law issues, pending (open) applications, correspondence matters (Employee Plans) EP Correspondence Unit
    See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.
    EO Entity issues EO Entity
    See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.
    EO account-related matters EO Accounts
    See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.
    EP Entity issues EP Entity
    See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.
    EP account-related matters EP Accounts
    See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.
Miscellaneous Call Topics, Including Requests for IRS Speakers and Mailing Addresses, Filing Requirement Inquiries, Record Keeping, and Issues Beyond the Scope of Your Assigned Application
  1. If the caller identifies him/herself as an IRS employee, apologize for not being able to assist, and instruct him/her to follow his/her functional unit's internal procedure for technical support.

    Note:

    This applies only to IRS employees asking work-related questions. You may respond to the employee's questions that are not related to his/her official duties (e.g., about organizations with which the employee is affiliated), but the normal disclosure rules apply.

  2. If a caller wants to submit a Form 2848/Form 8821 to be added to EDS/TEDS for a status check on a pending (open) determination application, see paragraph (2) of IRM 21.3.8.4.1.4, Form 2848/Form 8821 Fax Submissions.

    Reminder:

    TEGE call site assistors may accept a faxed Form 2848 or Form 8821 for "special use" situations (e.g., to discuss reinstatement procedures for an organization in status 20 or to collect information for an EO submodule), for application status checks, and to resolve/discuss account issues. Confirm the identity of the caller using the guidance in IRM 21.1.3.3, Third Party (POA/TIA/F706) Authentication, and refer to IRM 21.3.7.5.1 , Essential Elements for Form 2848 and Form 8821, to verify that all required fields are completed. See paragraph (5) in IRM 21.3.8.4.1.4, Form 2848/Form 8821 Fax Submissions, for information on the post-call handling of authorization forms faxed to call site assistors.

  3. If the caller wants to withdraw a pending (open) application, see IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.2, Status of Pending (Open) Exempt Organization (EO) Determination/Application Requests, or IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.3, Status of Pending (Open) Employee Plans (EP) Determination/Application Requests, as applicable.

  4. If the caller is requesting a letter that can be prepared using information available from IDRS/EDS/TEDS, or if sending a letter is pertinent to the caller’s issue (e.g., reinstatement, etc.):

    1. Advise the caller that if he/she is willing to hold, the letter can be prepared. See IRM 21.3.8.7.3, Choosing the Appropriate Letter.

      Note:

      Assistors must limit callers to one letter per telephone contact. If the caller requires multiple letters, he/she must call back for each individual request or make the remaining requests in writing to the EO Correspondence Unit. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.

      Reminder:

      Outgoing correspondence cannot be faxed. The caller will receive the IDRS C letter in 10 - 14 business days.

      If Then
      The caller is willing to wait: 1. Place the caller on hold and prepare the appropriate letter.
      2. Written documentation is not required on these cases.
      The caller is unwilling or unable to wait: 1. Conclude the call.
      2. Go into "wrap" and complete the letter.
      3. Written documentation is not required on these cases.
    2. Although the information included in the affirmation letters directed to the organizations themselves is open to the public under IRC 6104, these letters must, be sent only to the Address of Record (AOR). If a caller wants an affirmation letter sent to an address other than to the AOR, you must prepare the third -party affirmation letter. This includes situations where the organization has a new address, but the caller is not authorized to initiate an address change on IDRS. You can comply with the caller's request for an affirmation letter by preparing a third -party letter and using the organization's name and its new address.

      Note:

      Be sure to advise the caller to submit a completed Form 8822-B (or a letter containing that information) to have the organization's mailing address changed in our records. Provide the caller with the mailing address or fax number for the submission of the Form 8822-B/written request. See IRM 21.3.8.9.5, Address Changes/Misdirected Mail, for additional information.

  5. If the caller is inquiring whether his/her organization is required to file a Form 990 series return, use of the TEGE PRG is mandatory.

    Note:

    If the caller indicates the organization is not required to file, confirm that the organization’s address of record is current.

    Reminder:

    If the caller is required to file a return that is already delinquent, explain the reasonable cause criteria (see IRM 20.1.1.3.2, Reasonable Cause). If the organization chooses to attach a letter of explanation to the delinquent return, it must retain a copy of the letter that it can use to respond to any penalty notice it receives.

  6. If the caller asks about record-keeping requirements for exempt organizations, refer the caller to:

    • The IRS website

    • Publication 583, Starting a Business and Keeping Records

    • Publication 4221-PC, Compliance Guide for 501(c)(3) Public Charities, Publication 4221-PF, Compliance Guide for 501(c)(3) Private Foundations, or Publication 4221-NC, Compliance Guide for Tax Exempt Organizations (other than 501(c)(3) Public Charities and Private Foundations), as applicable

    • Publication 1828, Tax Guide for Churches & Religious Organizations, if applicable

  7. If a caller requests information on having an IRS speaker address his/her organization, refer the caller to the page Requesting Educational Services from Tax Exempt & Government Entities on the IRS website (search for "guest speaker" ). If the caller does not have access to the Internet, send an email with the following information to *TE/GE Outreach with the subject line "EO Speaker Request" and tell the caller to expect to be contacted within 10 business days:

    • Name of the individual to be contacted and his/her position within the organization

    • Work day telephone number of contact person and the name and telephone number of a second person who can be contacted during the work day

    • Email address(es) of the contact person(s)

    • Name of the organization requesting the speaker. Is this organization sponsoring the event?

    • Title of event, e.g., general group meeting, statewide meeting, national conference

    • Location of the organization/speaking event, including the street address and city

    • Date for which the speaker is being requested and a proposed time and length of speech

    • Approximate number of attendees

    • Topics to be addressed/covered by speaker

  8. If the caller’s issue is handled in another area of IRS, perform the appropriate referral (e.g., transfer per the TTG, Form 4442 referral, Martinsburg toll-free number, the Searchable Telephone Numbers located in the TEGE Call Site - Research Portal, etc.).

    Note:

    If the caller received a notice that incorrectly advised him/her to call the TEGE toll-free number for assistance, apologize to the customer and ask if he/she would be willing to help prevent future occurrence by faxing a copy of the letter or notice to TEGE so that the originating office can be advised of the incorrect contact information.

  9. If the caller requests a street address for a private delivery service, it is permissible to give the appropriate one, even if the address is not provided in the forms and/or instructions.

  10. If the caller reports suspicious e-mails allegedly from the IRS or has other concerns about fraud related to the use of IRS' name, see IRM 21.1.3.23, Scams (Phishing) and Fraudulent Schemes.

    Note:

    If there is any indication that the caller’s entity has been the victim of identity theft, refer to IRM 25.23.11, Business Master File (BMF) Identity Theft Procedures for Accounts Management.

  11. Use the following guidance for calls dealing with topics which are not specific IRS tax issues:

    If the caller Then
    Is seeking state or local tax exemption (sales tax, property tax, etc.)
    Note: Even though the caller may use the terms "non-profit" or "not-for-profit," she/he may still be asking for information about federal tax exemption. Do not refer the caller to his/her state simply because she/he uses those terms. Probe to determine whether the caller is actually asking about federal tax exemption and provide information accordingly.
    1. Explain that the issue is not a federal income tax issue.
    2. Advise the caller that we can only provide information on exemption from federal income tax.
    3. Verify current tax-exempt recognition or offer guidance on applying for exemption from federal income tax per the mandatory use of the TEGE PRG, as appropriate.
    Exception: Do not use the PRG if the organization has been auto-revoked, whether or not it is in status 97.
    4. Advise the caller he/she needs to contact the appropriate state or local agency (if a sales tax issue, provide the caller with the appropriate state sales tax telephone number available on the TEGE Research Portal). Telephone numbers for state income tax offices are available on SERP.
    Is seeking information on incorporating in the state
    Note: Even though the caller may use the terms "non-profit" or "not-for-profit," she/he may still be asking for information about federal tax exemption. Do not refer the caller to his/her state simply because she/he uses those terms. Probe to determine whether the caller is actually asking about federal tax exemption and provide information accordingly.
    Provide the caller with the appropriate state corporate records division telephone number available on the TEGE Research Portal.
    Note: Do not refer a caller to the corporate records division of a state, unless the caller has questions about being a corporate entity (e.g., state requirements, name availability, fees). Do not refer general questions about operating as a charity in the state to the corporate records division. Callers with questions on that topic need to contact the appropriate state office, and it is the caller's responsibility for determining who the proper state authority is. See below.
    Is asking state-related questions on unincorporated associations formed under state law Refer the caller to his/her state's Secretary of State's office.
    Wants information about registering/operating as a charity in the state, including solicitation of donations 1. Explain that the issue is not a federal income tax issue and that the caller will need to contact the appropriate state or local agency.
    2. Suggest the caller research www.nasconet.org for a link to the office that regulates charitable activity in their state.
    Note: Refer callers to this site only when they are asking about operating as a charity in their state; not all callers will need this referral.
    States his/her bank/US Post Office says they need a determination letter 1. Verify current tax-exempt recognition or offer guidance on applying for exemption from federal income tax per the mandatory use of the TEGE PRG, as appropriate.
    Exception: Do not use the PRG if the organization has been auto-revoked, whether or not it is in status 97.
    2. If the organization is not required to file for formal recognition, refer the caller to the applicable cite in Publication 557 (exceptions to file such as churches, etc.).
    3. Where appropriate, explain that even if IRS does not require them to file for a formal determination ruling, we cannot prevent the bank/Post Office from requiring a formal ruling to open up an account/provide discounted services.
    Is attempting to secure a grant, and the grantor told them they need a 501(c)(3) to qualify for the grant. 1. Confirm whether the organization has received formal tax-exempt recognition.
    2. Verify current tax-exempt recognition or offer guidance on applying for exemption from federal income tax per the mandatory use of the TEGE PRG, as appropriate.
    Exception: Do not use the PRG if the organization has been auto-revoked, whether or not it is in status 97.
    Has an issue dealing with another federal agency/program (Treasury, Small Business Administration, etc.) 1. Explain that the issue is not an IRS federal income tax issue.
    2. Advise caller that we can only provide information on exemption from federal income tax.
    3. Advise caller he/she will need to contact the appropriate agency for help.
  12. For all other within scope questions, follow procedures outlined throughout IRM 21.3.8 and in the resources cited therein that are pertinent to the issue or refer to the appropriate technical reference(s) (e.g., form instructions and publications) to provide a complete and accurate response to the inquiry. For issues that are beyond the scope of your assigned application but that are within the scope of the Service, transfer or prepare a written referral, as appropriate. See IRM 21.3.8.6.2, Out of Scope Topics and Issues, for information on handling calls about out of scope topics. See IRM 21.3.8.5.2, Transfer Procedures, for additional information.

Verification of Tax-Exempt Status and Foundation Classification
  1. If the caller wants to verify the tax-exempt status of an organization, obtain as much identifying information relating to the organization as possible:

    • EIN of the organization

      Note:

      If the caller does not have the EIN, research IDRS via cc’s NAMEE/NAMEB to attempt to locate the EIN.

    • Name of the organization

      Caution:

      If the caller has provided the EIN of the organization, ask for the name of the organization. Telling the caller what name shows on our records under an EIN provided by the caller may be an unauthorized disclosure. See IRM 11.3.1.9, Unauthorized Access and Disclosures of Returns or Return Information, for additional information.

    • Address of the organization

      Note:

      It is not required that a caller know the address of an organization in order to receive affirmation of the organization's exempt status, but confirming the city and state at a minimum avoids confusion that can be caused when organizations located in different states have the same or similar name.

  2. Research to determine whether the organization is recognized as tax exempt:

    Reminder:

    Don’t rely on IDRS alone to determine whether an organization is recognized as tax exempt. Research EDS/TEDS to verify whether a determination has closed favorably and the data did not roll to the Master File. See IRM 21.3.8.3.8, Researching and Perfecting Entity/Exempt Organization (EO) Submodule Information on the Master File, for "NO ROLL" procedures if a "no roll" situation has occurred.

    If Then
    CC INOLES/ENMOD or EDS/TEDS reflects favorable tax-exempt recognition based on an individual ruling (status 01 and status 25) or on inclusion in a group ruling (status 01).
    Exception: See IRM 21.3.8.12.23, Ruling Dates with all Zeroes on Organizations with Individual Exemption, before affirming the exemption of an individually-exempt organization that displays all zeroes for its ruling date.
    Note: See (3) below the table if the organization's current foundation code is 09 or if it has an expired advance ruling period or has been presumed to be a private foundation.
    Caution: Research CC BMFOLO for a prior foundation code and EDS/TEDS before assuming that an organization with foundation code 04 and Form 990PF-1 filing requirement has been ruled to be a private foundation; it may be a presumptive private foundation, in which case you will need to give special instructions to an authorized caller (see IRM 21.3.8.12.5.4, Change in Foundation Classification). If the caller is unauthorized, tell him/her that the organization is a private foundation (if she/he asks about the foundation classification).
    1. Provide verbal confirmation that the organization is recognized as tax exempt under IRC 501(c)(X) (substituting the appropriate subsection for "X" ).
    Exception: If the organization’s ruling did not "roll" from EDS/TEDS to IDRS and, based on the filing requirements assigned on EDS/TEDS, the organization was required to but did not file its annual information return/notice for three consecutive years for periods beginning after December 31, 2006, explain to the authorized caller about auto-revocation. If the caller is unauthorized, explain that additional research is needed to respond, prepare a Form 4442 referral to the EO Correspondence Unit using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, and tell the caller she/he can expect to be contacted within 45 days.
    Caution:DO NOT USE PHRASES SUCH AS "IN GOOD STANDING" OR "IN GOOD STATUS."
    2. Confirm deductibility via CC BMFOLO before responding to a direct question about the deductibility of contributions. Remember to use the TEGE PRG; refer to IRM 21.3.8.12.4 for additional details.
    Note: Grantors and contributors may rely on an advance ruling or determination of termination of private foundation status under 507(b)(1)(B) for purposes of IRC 170. In other words, contributions to a private foundation in status 25 are treated like contributions to a public charity unless it is more than 90 days after the advance ruling period expired and there is no "P" case on EDS that was established after the advance ruling date. See paragraph (3) below for additional information.
    3. If requested and if the organization has an individual ruling of exemption or is the central organization in a group ruling, prepare an appropriate affirmation letter. See IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.(5).
    Note: If the organization is a subordinate in status 01, explain that we cannot prepare a letter of affirmation and advise the caller to contact the central organization (whose name you may provide if asked by the caller); you may reference the section entitled, "How do I verify that an organization is included as a subordinate in a group exemption ruling?," in Publication 4573, Group Exemptions.
    4. If the caller asks how long the organization has been exempt, you may disclose the ruling date and the status code date. The ruling date is the date the exemption was granted; the status code date is the date the exemption was effective.
    Note: If the status code date of an entity in status 01 is later than the ruling date, you cannot rely on that date as being the correct effective date of exemption. If the entity had previously been in a status such as status 21 or status 32 and then updated to status 01, for example, the status code date may still reflect the date of the conversion to status 21 or status 32 and not the original effective date of the exemption. If requested, share only the ruling date in this situation, unless you can verify the correct status code (effective) date on EDS/TEDS. You must also update IDRS accordingly.
    5. If the caller is authorized and the organization has a filing requirement other than 990-06, 990-13, or 990-14, research for EO return filing compliance and advise the caller accordingly. See IRM 21.3.8.3.8.1, Compliance with Exempt Organization (EO) Filing Requirements, for additional information.
    CC INOLES/ENMOD shows the entity in status 02 and there is no case closed on EDS/TEDS after the ruling date shown on IDRS.
    • Apologize to the caller and explain that our records are incomplete and that you are going to prepare a referral to the EO Correspondence Unit for research and correction.

    • Tell the caller to expect to be contacted within 45 days.

    • Prepare a Form 4442 referral to the EO Correspondence Unit. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details. Be sure to indicate on the referral the caller’s relationship to the organization so that the Correspondence Unit can send the appropriate letter.

    CC INOLES/ENMOD shows the entity in status 12 and with subsection 90, 91, or 92 AND there is no exemption ruling on EDS/TEDS that didn't roll to IDRS. Inform the caller that the entity is filing an information return as a non-exempt charitable trust (NECT). If the caller is authorized and requests a letter affirming the status (subsection 91 only), see IRM 21.3.8.7.3(1)(b).
    Technical questions on NECTs are out of scope.
    Note: Entities in status 12 are included in the online EOMF extract.
    The current status on IDRS is status 20 or status 26.
    Caution: Research CC ENMOD and the TRAC database for a pending reinstatement (i.e., a pending TC 016 on CC ENMOD showing EO filing requirements or an indication on TRAC that Letter 4168C was issued after the status code date) and EDS for a case with a control date or a closing date that is later than the status code date on IDRS before telling the caller that the organization is not tax exempt. If CC ENMOD shows a pending TC 016 with EO filing requirements, treat the organization as being in the status it held prior to termination and respond to the caller accordingly. If there is a pending TC 016 without EO filing requirements, consult with your Lead. If there is a case on EDS that is dated after the status code date on IDRS and EDS status and/or closing information does not provide sufficient information to respond to the caller and to update IDRS, if applicable, explain to the caller that more research is needed to respond to his/her question(s) and prepare a Form 4442 referral to the EO Correspondence Unit using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information.
    Verify disclosure. See IRM 21.3.8.4.1.5, Issue and Entity Identification and Taxpayer Authentication Procedures.
    • If the caller is authorized, explain that the current status of the organization is "terminated" (20) or "termination merger" (26). See IRM 21.3.8.12.6, Request for Reinstatement of Tax-Exempt Recognition, if the caller asks how the exemption can be reinstated.
      Note: Until a new status code is designated for that purpose, status 20 is also used for government entities that have voluntarily given up their exemption without terminating the organization. See IRM 21.3.8.12.5.1.1, Government Entities That Voluntarily Relinquish Their IRC 501(c)(3) Exemption, for additional information.

    • If the caller is unauthorized, advise caller This organization is no longer tax exempt as of (month/year). Use status code date for month/year. See IRM 21.3.8.4.2.2(5).

    The current status on IDRS is status 21.
    Caution: Before discussing the organization’s status with the caller, research CC ENMOD and the TRAC database for pending status updates (i.e., a pending TC 016 on CC ENMOD showing EO or taxable filing requirements or an indication on TRAC that Letter 4168C or a status 97 letter was issued after the status code date).
    Verify disclosure. See IRM 21.3.8.4.1.5, Issue and Entity Identification and Taxpayer Authentication Procedures.

    If the caller is authorized and
    • There are pending transactions or TRAC notations indicating a change in status, treat the organization as though it were in the status it held prior to status 21 or discuss auto-revocation, as appropriate.

    • There are no pending transactions or TRAC notations indicating a change in status, see IRM 21.3.8.12.6, Request for Reinstatement of Tax-Exempt Recognition.



    If the caller is unauthorized and
    • There are signs of a pending auto-revocation (for example, a pending transaction assigning a taxable return filing requirement or a TRAC notation indicating a status 97 or a no record of exemption letter was sent after the status 21 date), explain to the caller that more research is needed to respond to his/her question(s) and prepare a Form 4442 referral to the EO Correspondence Unit using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information.

    • There are no signs of a pending auto-revocation, treat the organization as though it were in the status it held prior to status 21.

    The CURRENT EO status is status 22. See IRM 21.3.8.9.8, Status Codes - Exempt Organizations (EO). Refer to (12).
    The current status on IDRS is status 27 and EDS/TEDS does not reflect a favorable ruling dated after the EO status code date on IDRS. Verify disclosure. See IRM 21.3.8.4.1.5, Issue and Entity Identification and Taxpayer Authentication Procedures.
    1. If the caller is authorized, explain that the organization is no longer covered by a group exemption because the central organization's exemption was auto-revoked for failure to file the required annual information return for three consecutive years. See IRM 21.3.8.9.12, Updating Exempt Organization (EO) Submodules Created by EO-EIN Transcripts, EO Submodule Data Sheets, and Filed Returns, for information on updating IDRS.

    2. If the caller is unauthorized, tell him/her that the organization is not exempt by virtue of an approved application, i.e., that we have no record of the organization having tax-exempt status under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, but that our records show that the organization was included in a group ruling until the month and year of the status code date (if the status code date on CC INOLES is not all zeroes).
      Note: See 3 and 4 below under organizations that are not exempt per IDRS or EDS/TEDS for additional information about organizations not required to apply for formal exemption, e.g., churches.

    The current status on IDRS is status 28 or status 29 and EDS/TEDS does not reflect a favorable ruling dated after the EO status code date on IDRS. Verify disclosure. See IRM 21.3.8.4.1.5, Issue and Entity Identification and Taxpayer Authentication Procedures.
    1. If the caller is authorized, explain that the organization is no longer covered by a group exemption.
      Update IDRS using the guidance in IRM 21.3.8.9.12, Updating Exempt Organization (EO) Submodules Created by EO-EIN Transcripts, EO Submodule Data Sheets, and Filed Returns, but DO NOT take the Form 990-N information for organizations in status 28 unless the organization has less than eight weeks to submit its Form 990-N before it is at risk of auto-revocation (follow the procedures in IRM 21.3.8.12.24.4, Special Procedures for Organizations That Require an Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS) Update to Submit the Form 990-N Timely) or there are extenuating circumstances (for example, when the organization’s Form 990-N rejected and the organization has no additional registered users to input the form once master file is updated).

      Note: If the organization is in status 28 and the central organization can be identified and is in EO status 01, provide the information required to be added back to the group ruling if the caller says that they are still included (see IRM 21.3.8.12.14.5, Adding Subordinates to a Group Exemption and Modifying Subordinate Information).

      See IRM 21.3.8.9.8, Status Codes - Exempt Organizations (EO), if the caller is authorized and the organization is in status 29.

    2. If the caller is unauthorized, tell him/her that the organization is not exempt by virtue of an approved application, i.e., that we have no record of the organization having tax-exempt status under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, but that our records show that the organization held a group ruling (status 29) or was included in a group ruling (status 28) until the month and year of the status code date (if the status code date on CC INOLES is not all zeroes).

      Note: See 3 and 4 below under organizations that are not exempt per IDRS or EDS/TEDS for additional information about organizations not required to apply for formal exemption, e.g., churches.

    Neither the Master File nor EDS/TEDS reflects a favorable tax-exempt ruling (including, but not limited to, organizations in status 31, status 36, or status 40). 1. Verify disclosure. See IRM 21.3.8.4.1.5, Issue and Entity Identification and Taxpayer Authentication Procedures.
    2. Advise the caller that we have no record of tax-exempt recognition by virtue of an approved application, i.e., that we have no record of the organization having tax-exempt status under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.
    Note: If the caller states he/she has a copy of a determination letter, instruct the caller to send a copy of that letter, along with a cover letter, to the EO Correspondence Unit. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.
    3. Explain that certain organizations (for example, churches, government entities, Indian tribal governments) may not be required to file for formal recognition and inform the caller that we can confirm tax exemption only when our records reflect that a formal determination ruling has been made. See Exception under #4 below.
    4. If the caller asks for additional details, advise him/her that an organization which meets an exception from the requirement to file for formal recognition may be treated as being tax exempt as long as it is organized and operated appropriately.
    Exception: If the entity has been organized and operated for more than three fiscal periods prior to the call and has not filed an information return or submitted an e-Postcard for three consecutive years for periods that began after December 31, 2006, then the organization may not hold itself out to be automatically exempt unless it meets one of the exceptions to the filing requirements imposed by the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (e.g., churches). The organization is required to apply for exemption or to file taxable returns.
    Reminder: Use of the TEGE PRG is mandatory when offering guidance on applying for tax exemption except when the organization has been auto-revoked, whether or not it is in status 97.
    5. If the caller expresses his/her belief that the organization in question might be covered by a group ruling, refer him/her to the central organization for specific information or to Publication 4573, Group Exemptions, for general information about group rulings.
    Reminder: Do not attempt to determine whether a particular organization is included in a group ruling if it is not showing as such on IDRS nor attempt to determine potential central organizations with which an organization could be affiliated.
    Note: If the caller represents a central organization requesting information on filing for a group exemption, use of the TEGE PRG is mandatory.
    6. If the caller is authorized, complete an EO Submodule Data Sheet (if there is no EO submodule and the organization is organized and operated as an exempt organization) or, if applicable, update the submodule per IRM 21.3.8.9.12, Updating Exempt Organization (EO) Submodules Created by EO-EIN Transcripts, EO Submodule Data Sheets, and Filed Returns, and offer appropriate annual return filing guidance. Refer to the TEGE PRG for specific return filing requirement guidance.
    Reminder: If the caller is authorized and claims the organization is described in IRC 501(c)(4) and the organization has no submodule, see IRM 21.3.8.12.29, Notification Requirements for Social Welfare Organizations Described in IRC 501(c)(4).
    Note: You may respond to questions from an unauthorized caller with general return filing requirement information, i.e., information not protected by IRC 6103.
    The current status on IDRS is status 32. Verify disclosure. See IRM 21.3.8.4.1.5, Issue and Entity Identification and Taxpayer Authentication Procedures.
    a. Research CC BMFOL/TXMOD to determine if a Form 990/Form 990-EZ has posted (TC 150) or was received for processing (TC 594/599) after the Status 32 date.
    • If a Form 990/Form 990-EZ has posted or was received for processing, update the status on IDRS to 01 with 990-01 FR and continue addressing the caller’s issue.

    • If no Form 990/Form 990-EZ has posted or was received for processing, continue to Step b.


    b. Check EDS/TEDS for an "F," "P," or "A" case closed after the Status 32 date.
    • If a closed case is found, update the status and filing requirements on IDRS based on the EDS/TEDS information and continue addressing the caller’s issue.

    • Even if no "F," "P," or "A" case is located, treat the account as though the organization is exempt and respond to the caller’s issue accordingly.


    Note: See IRM 21.3.8.12.6, Request for Reinstatement of Tax-Exempt Recognition, if the caller is authorized.
    CC INOLES/ENMOD shows the organization as an IRC 527 political organization (status 34, subsection 82). Verify disclosure. See IRM 21.3.8.4.1.5, Issue and Entity Identification and Taxpayer Authentication Procedures.
    • If the caller is authorized, explain that our records indicate that the organization identified itself as a political organization described in IRC 527.
      Note: If the authorized caller states that the organization doesn’t qualify as a political organization described in IRC 527 but rather as an exempt organization described in IRC 501, see IRM 21.3.8.9.12, Updating Exempt Organization (EO) Submodules Created by EO-EIN Transcripts, EO Submodule Data Sheets, and Filed Returns, and IRM 21.3.8.10.2.12, CP 249 Notices for IRC 527 Organizations, for information on making the necessary updates to master file.

    • If the caller is unauthorized, advise him/her that we have no record of tax-exempt recognition by virtue of an approved application, i.e., that we have no record of the organization having tax-exempt status under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. If the caller specifically asks if the organization is a political organization, refer the caller to the IRS website for publicly-disclosed filings. Instruct the caller to type "Search Political Organization Disclosures" in the search box.

    CC INOLES/ENMOD shows the entity in status 41 and there is no favorable case closed on EDS/TEDS after the status code date shown on IDRS. 1. Verify disclosure. See IRM 21.3.8.4.1.5, Issue and Entity Identification and Taxpayer Authentication Procedures.
    2. Advise the caller that we have no record of tax-exempt recognition by virtue of an approved application, i.e., that we have no record of the organization having tax-exempt status under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.
    3. If the caller is authorized, explain that the organization is required to apply for formal recognition of its exemption and that it is liable for a taxable return until it has had its exemption approved.
    Note: If the status must be changed to status 31 (because the organization qualifies as a public charity with annual gross receipts averaging $5000 or less), to status 36 (because the organization qualifies for exemption under a subsection other than IRC 501(c)(3), (c)(9), or (c)(17)), or to status 40 because the organization has an organizing document that is dated within 27 months of the current date or within 27 months of the control date of a pending (open) Form 1023/Form 1023-EZ or Form 1024 (501(c)(9) and 501(c)(17)), update the submodule per IRM 21.3.8.9.12, Updating Exempt Organization (EO) Submodules Created by EO-EIN Transcripts, EO Submodule Data Sheets, and Filed Returns. Inform the caller that the organization may still be subject to auto-revocation if they have not filed at least one taxable or EO return or submitted a Form 990-N in the last three tax periods.
    Reminder: If the caller claims the organization is described in IRC 501(c)(4), see IRM 21.3.8.12.29, Notification Requirements for Social Welfare Organizations Described in IRC 501(c)(4).
    CC INOLES/ENMOD shows the entity in status 70 and there is no favorable case closed on EDS/TEDS after the ruling date shown on IDRS. 1. Verify disclosure. See IRM 21.3.8.4.1.5, Issue and Entity Identification and Taxpayer Authentication Procedures.
    2. Advise the caller that we have no record of tax-exempt recognition by virtue of an approved application, i.e., that we have no record of the organization having tax-exempt status under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.
    3. If the caller is authorized, explain that the organization was denied exemption and that it is liable for a taxable return.
    CC INOLES/ENMOD shows the entity in status 71 and there is no favorable case closed on EDS/TEDS after the ruling date shown on IDRS.
    Caution: Do not rely solely on the closing code when researching EDS. Many FTE cases were erroneously closed in status 01 in the late 1990s, but the cases correctly showed an FTE letter as the last letter created and a Form 1120 filing requirement on the closing information page. Be sure to perform thorough research before determining that IDRS contains erroneous information.
    1. Verify disclosure. See IRM 21.3.8.4.1.5, Issue and Entity Identification and Taxpayer Authentication Procedures.
    2. Advise the caller that we have no record of tax-exempt recognition by virtue of an approved application, i.e., that we have no record of the organization having tax-exempt status under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.
    3. If the caller is authorized, explain that the organization failed to establish its exemption and that it is liable for a taxable return until it completes the application process and receives a letter of determination ruling it to be exempt. See IRM 21.3.8.12.17, Exempt Organization (EO) Case Development and Failed to Establish (FTE) Status, for additional information.
    CC INOLES/ENMOD shows the entity in status 97 and there is no favorable case closed on EDS/TEDS after the status code date shown on IDRS. Research CC ENMOD and TRAC for an indication that the organization's exemption is being restored (i.e., a pending TC 016 on CC ENMOD giving the organization an EO filing requirement and/or a closed TRAC case dated after the status 97 date showing that an affirmation or erroneous auto-revocation (ER) letter was sent to the organization).
    • If an indication of reinstatement is found, treat the organization as though it is exempt and respond to the caller accordingly.

    • If no indication of reinstatement is found, see IRM 21.3.8.12.6.1, Responding to Calls From or About Organizations in Status 97.
      Exception: If the organization went (back) into status 97 after having been in status 01 for only a month or two and there is no indication that the current status 97 is legitimate, explain to the caller that additional research is necessary and prepare a Form 4442 referral to the EO Correspondence Unit (see Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information). Be sure to indicate on the referral the caller’s relationship to the organization so that the Correspondence Unit can send the appropriate letter. Tell the caller to expect to be contacted within 45 days.

    CC INOLES/ENMOD shows the entity in status 97 but there is a favorable case closed on EDS/TEDS after the status code date shown on IDRS. Affirm the exemption of the organization using the verbiage in the first row of this table.
    Note: If the closing date on EDS/TEDS is more than two weeks prior to the date of the call and the organization is still showing status 97 on IDRS, follow the procedure in paragraph (5) of IRM 21.3.8.3.8, Researching and Perfecting Entity/Exempt Organization (EO) Submodule Information on the Master File.
    The EO status is status 98.
    • Apologize to the caller and explain that additional research must be performed to verify whether the organization is recognized as tax exempt.

    • Prepare a referral to your lead with the caller’s contact information and relationship to the organization.

    • Tell the caller to expect to be contacted within 45 days.

    • DO NOT PROVIDE ANY ACCOUNT/STATUS INFORMATION TO THE CALLER.

    The EO status is status 99. Research IDRS for the status held by the organization before it was updated to status 99 and respond to the caller based on the prior status.
    Note: If the prior status is 41 and the caller is contacting the Service because of a rejected Form 990-N or other filing requirement-related issue, see paragraph (36) of IRM 21.3.8.9.8, Status Codes - Exempt Organizations (EO).
  3. The foundation classification of a 501(c)(3) organization is disclosable to unauthorized third parties under IRC 6104. If an unauthorized third party asks about the tax-exempt status of an organization with an expired advance ruling or with foundation code 09 (and there is no "F," "P," or "A" case on EDS/TEDS giving final foundation information), affirm the organization's exemption but do not volunteer information about the organization's foundation classification. If the caller specifically asks about the foundation classification, explain that our records indicate that no final determination of foundation classification has been made. If the caller asks about the deductibility limit of contributions, tell the caller that we can only verify that contributions are deductible at the 30 percent limit at a minimum. Refer the caller to the organization for additional details.

    Note:

    If the caller is authorized and the organization is showing as a presumptive PF (Form 990PF-3 filing requirement) or with an 09 foundation code or with an expired advance ruling period (including organizations in status 25), ask the caller if the organization has a determination letter giving it a final foundation ruling. If so, instruct the caller to send a copy of the letter to the EO Correspondence Unit. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.

    If the organization does not have a letter giving it a final foundation ruling, explain to the caller what the organization needs to submit to have its foundation classification updated. See IRM 21.3.8.12.5.4, Change in Foundation Classification, and/or IRM 21.3.8.12.5.4.1, IRC 507(b)(1)(B) Terminations (60-Month Terminations), for details.

  4. See IRM 21.3.8.3.8, Researching and Perfecting Entity/Exempt Organization (EO) Submodule Information on the Master File, if information on IDRS differs from that contained in an IRS letter in the caller's possession or if the IDRS information is discrepant.

Status of Pending (Open) Exempt Organization (EO) Determination/Application Requests
  1. If the caller wants to know the status of a pending (open) EO determination/application request, including "A" and "P" cases:

    1. Obtain the name and address of the organization and its EIN (or DLN).

    2. Verify disclosure to determine authorization. If the caller is a third party, the authority must be confirmed on EDS/TEDS. See IRM 21.3.8.4.1.5, Issue and Entity Identification and Taxpayer Authentication Procedures, for additional information.

      Note:

      If the caller is authorized but does not have the EIN, research IDRS via cc’s NAMEE/NAMEB or by name control/zip code on EDS/TEDS/LINUS to locate the EIN/determination case.

    3. Research EDS/TEDS to determine the current status of the case and use the information in the following table and on the TEGE Research Portal (select the appropriate Word document from EO Job Aids/Status of Pending EO Applications) to respond to the caller.

      Issue Additional Reference
      Dishonored Check indicator is "Y." See IRM 21.3.8.11.2, Dishonored EO/EP User Fee Checks.
      Status of a previously-submitted expedite request See IRM 21.3.8.12.22, Exempt Organization (EO) Expedite Requests.
      Copy of the acknowledgement letter See IRM 21.3.8.7.3, Choosing the Appropriate Letter. Refer to paragraph (1)(k), Chart 8c.
  2. If an organization has correspondence or additional information that needs to be associated with a pending (open) application, instruct the caller to send the information to be associated to the EO Correspondence Unit. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.

    Note:

    If the applicant receives an Automated Information System (AIS) document with a request for additional information, she/he must follow the mailing instructions that accompany the request.

  3. If an authorized caller asks about withdrawing an EO application (other than the Form 1023-EZ), instruct him/her to put the request in writing and to mail/fax it to an address/fax number based on the status of the application at the time of the call. If the case is not assigned or is a Form 1023-EZ in any open status, the request for withdrawal must be sent to the attention of the manager of the EO Correspondence Unit so that the application can be pulled and closed. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details. The user fee is generally not refunded.

Status of Pending (Open) Employee Plans (EP) Determination/Application Requests
  1. If the caller wants to know the status of a pending (open) EP determination/application request:

    1. Obtain the name and address of the plan sponsor and/or the plan, plan number and the EIN (or DLN).

    2. Verify disclosure to determine authorization. If the caller is a third party other than a plan participant and the plan has 25 or fewer participants, the authority (POA) must be confirmed on EDS/TEDS. See IRM 21.3.8.4.3.1, Employee Plans Disclosure Explanation of Terms. See (3) below for information pertaining to plan participants. See IRM 21.3.8.4.1.5, Issue and Entity Identification and Taxpayer Authentication Procedures, and IRM 21.3.8.4.1.5.1, Authorization Requirements for Participants in an Employer-Sponsored Plan, for additional information.

      Caution:

      Plans with 26 or more participants are generally open to inspection under IRC 6104, but requests from unauthorized third parties must be in writing. See IRM 21.3.8.4.3.2, Employee Plans (EP) Inspection of Determination Letters/Applications.

      Note:

      If the caller does not have the EIN, research IDRS via cc’s NAMEE/NAMEB or by name control/zip code on EDS/TEDS/LINUS to locate the EIN/determination case.

    3. Research EDS/TEDS to determine the current status of the case:

      Exception:

      See (5) below if the authorized caller is checking on the status of a Form 5306 application.

      Caution:

      See IRM 21.3.8.11.2, Dishonored EO/EP User Fee Checks, if the Dishonored Check indicator is "Y."

      If the case is And Then
      Assigned on EDS/TEDS (status 52/status 53/status 32/status 33/status 62/status 72)   See IRM 21.3.8.5.2.4 for guidance.
      Not assigned on EDS/TEDS (status 34/status 41/status 50/status 51/status 56/status 58/status 75/status 91) or is in suspense status (status 37/status 38/status 39)
      Note: This includes cases unassigned in Technical Screening and Accelerated Processing (status 60/status 61/status 63/status 64/status 71/status 73/status 74).
      The current application assignment information posted on www.irs.gov is later than the control date on EDS/TEDS 1. Advise the caller the application is currently unassigned.
      2. Prepare Form 4442 and annotate "Status Inquiry with control date prior to current assignment date" (except as noted below). Include the form number and the plan number in the referral.
      3. Obtain pertinent information from the caller.
      4. Advise the caller someone will contact them within 30 days.
      5. Give the referral to your manager, who will route it to the manager of the EP Correspondence Unit using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information.
      Note:Rev. Proc. 2016-37 eliminated the five-year remedial amendment cycle so the remaining information in this block pertains to cycled applications submitted on or before January 31, 2017.
      Reminder: Research EDS for the last letter created. If the last letter created is Letter 2693, then the application is in line to be worked, i.e., on-cycle. (This field on EDS shows the older acknowledgement letter that EP Determinations no longer uses; they currently use Letter 3336C. However, any new letters created through EDS will appear in this field.) If the last letter created is Letter 1940, then the application has been determined to be an off-cycle case. When it has been determined that a case is off-cycle, Letter 1940 is always sent out to the plan sponsor and to the POA, if applicable, telling them this information. Direct callers with questions to the person whose name appears on the letter. If they have not received the letter and it has been more than two weeks since the status date, prepare a Form 4442 referral to the EP Correspondence Unit to have the letter resent. Use the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information.
      Exception: Unless it is for a reprint of Letter 1940, do not prepare a Form 4442 for "off cycle" applications. Refer to the "5-year remedial amendment cycle" link from the "off-cycle" link on the "Check the Status of Your Letter" page to determine whether an application was "on-" or "off cycle." Explain that "off-cycle" applications are placed in suspense and processed only after all "on-cycle" cases are processed.
      Caution: Do not attempt to explain to the caller why the application is "off-cycle." If the caller does not understand why the application is "off-cycle," refer him/her to the determination specialist whose name appears on the Letter 1940. If this is not possible, prepare a Form 4442 referral to the EP Correspondence Unit using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information. Include the form number and the plan number in the referral.
      Not assigned on EDS/TEDS (status 34/status 41/status 50/status 51/status 56/status 58/status 75/status 91) or is in suspense status (status 37/status 38/status 39)
      Note: This includes cases unassigned in Technical Screening and Accelerated Processing (status 60/status 61/status 63/status 64/status 71/status 73/status 74).
      The current application assignment information posted on www.irs.gov is the same month as or prior to the control date on EDS/TEDS 1. Advise the caller that the case is not currently assigned and that he/she will be contacted if additional information is needed or when the application is approved. If the current assignment month is the same as the control date month of the EDS case, inform the caller that the case will be assigned soon.
      2. Refer the caller to www.irs.gov for the current application processing date.
      3. Advise the caller to enter in the search box: "Status of Determination Letter."
      In review status (status 31/status 35/status 40/status 55)   Advise the caller their application has been worked by the determination specialist and is currently in the review process. If additional information is needed, the caller will be contacted.
      Caution: Advise the caller that there is no guarantee that the manager/reviewer will agree with the determination specialist's development of the case and/or the ruling she/he made. The application could be returned to the determination specialist for further development or put back into the general inventory to be re-assigned to a higher-graded determination specialist.
      Note: If the case has been in status 55 for more than 5 days and the control date is more than 60 days prior to the date of the call, refer the caller to the determination specialist who worked the case.
      If the case has been in status 31 for more than 120 days, prepare a Form 4442 referral to your Lead with the caller's contact information and tell the caller she/he will be contacted within 30 days. Include the form number and the plan number in the referral. The Lead will contact the secretary of the EP Quality Review staff to check on the status of the case.
      If the case has been in status 35 or status 40 for more than 60 days, prepare a Form 4442 referral (including the form and plan number) to your lead/manager to be elevated to the headquarters analyst. Tell the caller to expect contact within 10 business days.
      In status 57
      Note: Applications in this status are waiting to be closed off EDS; the determination letter is generally mailed before EDS shows a closed status.
      The case has been in that status for at least two weeks.
      Note: If the case has been in status 57 for less than two weeks, explain to the caller that they can expect to receive the determination letter and to contact us again if they have not received it within two weeks of the status 57 date.
      Prepare a Form 4442 referral (including the form and plan number) to your lead/manager to be elevated to the headquarters analyst. Tell the caller to expect contact within 10 business days.
      In closed status (status 00/status 01/status 02/status 04/status 06/status 07/status 08/status 09/status 13/status 21)
      Note: The favorable closed statuses are status 00/status 01/status 06/status 09/status 13/status 21.
        See IRM 21.3.8.5.2.4.(1).
      Exception: See below for information on cases in statuses 03/05 and 04.
      Note: Plan sponsors must allow two weeks from the date their application was closed favorably (based on the status date, not on the "Letter Prepared" date) to receive their determination letter. If it has been longer than two weeks and the caller states that the letter was not received, verify the address on EDS/TEDS.
      • If the address is correct, prepare a Form 4442 referral to the EP Correspondence Unit using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information. Include the form number and the plan number in the referral.

      • If the address is incorrect, instruct the caller to send the address change information and a request to send a (corrected) copy of the determination letter to the EP Correspondence Unit. Ask the caller to include the form number and the plan number in the request. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.


      Reminder: This procedure applies only to callers who claim never to have received their determination letter. If the caller is simply requesting a copy of the letter, refer to IRM 21.3.8.13.6, Requests for Corrected/Superseding and for Copies of Employee Plans (EP) Determination Letters.
      In status 54 (Transfer to Appeals) The case has been in that status for at least two weeks.
      Note: If the case has been in status 54 for less than two weeks, explain to the caller that we will check on the status only after it has been at least two weeks since the case was transferred.
      Prepare a Form 4442 referral to your Lead with the caller's contact information and the identifying information for the organization. Include the form number and the plan number in the referral. The Lead will check the status with Appeals per IRM 4.13.6.1, Appeal Rights, and will contact the caller with the information.
      In status 59 on TEDS   Respond to the caller based on the case status displaying on page 1 of EDS.
      Note: Status 59 is a TEDS only status. It denotes a case that is no longer being processed on TEDS, but rather is being processed manually on EDS. This status displays on the history page of EDS but not on page 1. It defaults to the TEDS status that the case was in prior to being put into status 59; this is the status that displays on page 1 of EDS.
      Not on Letter and Information Network User Fee System (LINUS) or EDS/TEDS
      Caution: Before concluding that the application is not on the system, verify that you are in the correct data base, i.e., that you are researching the EP data base for an EP application.
        1. Ask the caller when and where the application was filed and if a user fee was submitted and processed. If it has been less than four weeks since the application was submitted, explain that it takes up to four weeks for the information to show on our tracking system once it has been received and that it may take up to three weeks from the mailing date to receive the acknowledgement letter. (If the application was submitted more than four weeks prior to the call, the case will show on LINUS, regardless of whether a user fee was submitted or not.)
      2. Instruct the caller to submit a copy of the application and of the front and the back of the cancelled check or money order, if applicable, to the TEGE Adjustments Unit. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.
      EP in status 03/status 05 The caller is the POA or employer Inform the caller that the case was closed incomplete and the application returned with EDS/TEDS Letter 1012, EDS/TEDS Letter 1013, or EDS/TEDS Letter 1015, and an explanation of the missing items and that the plan sponsor or POA would have been given 30 days to respond with a complete application package.

      Resubmission within the 30 days:
      • No second user fee (unless the original user fee was refunded)

      • Remedial amendment period protected



      Resubmission after the 30 days:
      • New user fee required

      • Remedial amendment period not protected

      • Possibly in a different amendment cycle



      If it has been more than two weeks since the case closed incomplete and neither the plan sponsor nor the POA, if applicable, received the returned application or if it has been more than 30 days since the application package was resubmitted and no new case has been established, prepare a Form 4442 referral to the manager of the EP Correspondence Unit using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information.
      Note: All resubmitted applications, regardless of the response date, are established with a new DLN and a new control date, which means they take a later position in the work queue. They are also put into the general inventory, that is, they are not automatically reassigned to the original determination specialist.
      Caution: EP determination applications that are closed incomplete are not open to inspection by unauthorized third parties, even if the plan has 26 or more participants.
      EP in status 03/status 05 The caller is unauthorized. Refer the caller to the plan sponsor; do not give any information about the submitted case.
      EP in status 04   Tell the authorized caller that our records indicate that the plan sponsor withdrew its application.
      Reminder: EP determination applications that are withdrawn by the filer are not open to inspection by unauthorized third parties unless the plan has 26 or more participants.
      Note: If the authorized caller has questions about the withdrawal (e.g., who requested it), tell the caller to write to the attention of the manager of the EP Correspondence Unit. Ask the caller to include the form number and the plan number in the request. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.
      In status 30
      Caution: Research cases closed in status 30 by EIN, not just by DLN, to ensure that you have the most current information. Re-opened cases are assigned new DLNs.
       
      • Status 30 indicates a "dumped" case. Certain fields on EDS cannot be changed once the case is entered, so the only way to make a correction is to "dump" the case and re-enter it with the correct information.

      • If the case has been in status 30 for more than 30 days and no new case has been established under the plan's EIN, prepare a Form 4442 referral with the contact information and send it to the attention of the TEGE Adjustments Unit manager using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information. Include the form number and the plan number in the referral.

      Reminder:

      If a taxpayer meets TAS criteria and you cannot resolve (or take steps to resolve) the taxpayer’s problem within 24 hours, refer him or her to TAS for assistance. For example, if a taxpayer has experienced a delay of more than 30 days (beyond IRS-established time frames, if any) to resolve a tax account problem, he/she meets the criteria for assistance from TAS. See IRM 21.3.8.8.6, Taxpayer Advocate Service Referral Guidelines, Including Congressional Inquiries, and Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (and Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order), and IRM 13.1.7.2.2, TAS Case Criteria 5 – 7, Systemic Burden, for more information. Employees must also report systemic problems (including delays) to TAS by using the Systemic Advocacy Management System (SAMS) database on www.irs.gov.

  2. If an authorized caller has correspondence or additional information that needs to be associated with a pending (open) application, research EDS/TEDS and provide the caller with an address or fax number based on the current status of the application. If the caller is unauthorized, or if the application has not been assigned to a determination specialist or to a group, instruct the caller to send the information to be associated to the TEGE Adjustments Unit. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.

    Exception:

    Unprocessed powers of attorney on unassigned applications must be sent to the EO Correspondence Unit. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.

    Requests to withdraw unassigned applications must be sent to the EP Correspondence Unit (see paragraph (4) below).

    Note:

    If the applicant receives an Automated Information System (AIS) document with a request for additional information, she/he must follow the mailing instructions that accompany the request.

  3. If a plan participant asks about the status of an application for the termination of the plan, the participant may be advised that the application is pending (open) or that there is no record of having received an application for the termination of the plan. Once the case has been closed, the participant may be told whether the application was approved or not. Do not refer plan participants to the determination specialist assigned to the case, unless the participant wants to submit an interested party comment. See IRM 21.3.8.4.1.5.1, Authorization Requirements for Participants in an Employer-Sponsored Plan, for information on verification of participant status.

    Reminder:

    Refer callers with questions relating to plan benefits to the plan administrator, who is responsible for notifying the participants of their benefits under the plan.

  4. If an authorized caller asks about withdrawing the application, instruct him/her to put the request in writing and to mail/fax it to an address/fax number based on the status of the application at the time of the call. If the case is not assigned, the request for withdrawal must be sent to the attention of the manager of the EP Correspondence Unit so that the application can be pulled and closed. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.

    Note:

    When the withdrawal request is processed, the application is returned to the filer with a 2044 letter. The user fee is generally not refunded.

  5. If the authorized caller is asking about the status of a Form 5306 application (prototype employer-sponsored IRA), prepare a Form 4442 referral to the Lead with the appropriate contact information. The Lead will contact the headquarters analyst for the status and then respond to the caller.

Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption Under IRC 401(a) and Application for Determination Upon Termination
  1. The Employee Plans division changed the requirements for an individually designed plan submission via the Form 5300, Application for Determination for Employee Benefit Plan, or for the termination of a plan via the Form 5310, Application for Determination for Terminating Plan.

    Reminder:

    Generally, an individually designed plan is a retirement plan drafted to be used by only one employer.

  2. Rev. Proc. 2016-37, 2016-29 IRB 136 outlines the current requirements used to apply for a determination letter. In order to be eligible to apply for a determination letter, the plan must meet one of the following criteria:

    • The plan has never received a favorable determination letter.

    • The plan is terminating.

    • The IRS makes a special exception. The IRS will consider additional circumstances based on program capacity and other factors.

      Note:

      Under Rev. Proc. 2019-20 , a determination letter will also be issued for individually-designed statutory hybrid plans during the 12-month period beginning September 1, 2019, and ending August 31, 2020, and for certain individually-designed merged plans on an ongoing basis.

Inquiries Regarding Correspondence Controlled on the TEGE Rulings & Agreement Control (TRAC) System
  1. When a caller is inquiring about EO correspondence that has been mailed/faxed to EO Correspondence Unit, research the TEGE Rulings & Agreement Control (TRAC) System. (See IRM 21.3.8.5.1.4.1, Employee Plan Correspondence, for information on EP-related correspondence.)

    Reminder:

    Some Form 4442 referrals to the EO Correspondence Unit from the call sites are not controlled on TRAC until the referral has been worked and closed. Referrals can be identified by seeing "4442" in the comments section of the case.

    Note:

    To research the TRAC by EIN, you must enter the EIN as cNN-NNNNNNN. By researching with the EIN followed by the percent sign (%), you can bring up all cases on the TRAC under that EIN. If no information comes up under the EIN, research by name or by partial name (by using the percent sign before and after the part of the name used in the query). When searching by name, you must use all capital letters.

    Caution:

    Correspondence may have been submitted by unauthorized individuals or by third parties totally unrelated to the organization that is the subject of their inquiry (for example, a potential donor who asks for a copy of the organization's application). For this reason, the standard taxpayer authentication procedures may not apply. If you can reasonably determine that the caller is the submitter of the correspondence whose status is being questioned (the caller is able to provide the approximate submission date and the name of the organization that is the subject of the correspondence), you must respond with the status of the correspondence as indicated below.

    If And Then
    There is an open unassigned case on TRAC. It has been less than 60 days since the correspondence was received. Explain to the caller that the correspondence/referral has been received but the case has not been assigned. The caller can generally expect that he/she will receive a response within 60 days from the date of receipt for correspondence mailed/faxed by the taxpayer.
    There is an open unassigned case on TRAC. It has been 60 or more days since the correspondence was received. Prepare a Form 4442 referral to your lead/manager to be elevated to the headquarters analyst. Tell the caller to expect contact (letter or telephone) within 30 days.
    Note: Include a brief description of the purpose of the correspondence (for example, copies request, name change) to facilitate locating and responding to the correspondence.
    There is a case open on TRAC. It has been assigned for less than two weeks but not closed. Explain to the caller that the correspondence has been received and assigned but the case has not been closed. The caller can generally expect to receive a response within 30 days from the date the correspondence was assigned.
    There is a case open on TRAC. It has been assigned for two or more weeks but not closed. Prepare a Form 4442 referral to your lead/manager to be elevated to the headquarters analyst. Tell the caller to expect contact (letter or telephone) within 30 days.
    Exception: Do not prepare a referral for a case…
    • In status 03 if it has been in that status for less than two weeks. Explain to the caller that the requested information is generally received within two weeks of the date the case went into that status.
    • In status 04i if it has been in that status for less than 30 days. Explain to the caller that the case was referred for additional research or for technical advice and assistance and that the case could be in that status for up to 30 days.
    There is a case with a closed control   Advise the customer to expect correspondence within 2 weeks of the closing date.
    Exception: If the caller indicates the response was erroneous in some way or it has already been more than 2 weeks since the closed date and the response was not received, prepare a Form 4442 referral to your lead/manager to be elevated to the headquarters analyst. Describe the problem in sufficient detail and, if the response wasn’t received, be sure to notate whether the response was to be sent to the AOR or to a different address. If to a different address, make sure that address is included in the referral. Tell the caller to expect contact (letter or telephone) within 30 days.
    TRAC indicates the correspondence was transferred to Ogden and available research does not show that the caller’s issue was addressed. It has been less than 30 days since the closed date on TRAC. Explain to the caller that their correspondence was transferred to the office responsible for that issue and that the normal processing time is 30 days from the date that office receives the forwarded correspondence.
    TRAC indicates the correspondence was transferred to Ogden and available research does not show that the caller’s issue was addressed. It has been 30 or more days since the closed date on TRAC.
    • Explain to the caller that their correspondence was transferred to the office responsible for that issue but that the normal time frame is exceeded and that there is no indication that the caller’s issue had been addressed.

    • Suggest that the caller send a copy of the original request directly to that office and mark the copy as a second request.

    • Give the caller the contact information (mailing address and/or EEFax number) for EO Entity or EO Accounts based on the caller’s issue. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.

    No case is controlled on TRAC. It has been less than two weeks since the correspondence was sent to the EO Correspondence Unit. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details. Verify that the address/fax number used by the caller was correct. If not, instruct the caller to resend the correspondence to the correct address/fax number. Advise the caller the normal response time is within 60 days from the date of receipt for correspondence mailed/faxed by the taxpayer.

    If the address/fax number used was correct, advise the caller:
    1. There is currently no record of receipt of his/her correspondence and that it can take up to two weeks for the correspondence to show up on the tracking system.

    2. The normal response time is within 60 days from the date of receipt for correspondence mailed/faxed by the taxpayer.

    3. He/she is welcome to call us back if a response is not received within 60 days from the submission date for correspondence mailed/faxed by the taxpayer.

    No case is controlled on TRAC. It has been more than two weeks since the correspondence was sent to the EO Correspondence Unit. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details. Verify that the address/fax number used by the caller was correct, advise the caller there is currently no record of receipt of his/her correspondence and instruct him/her to fax/mail a copy of what was previously sent and annotate it "second request."
    Tell the caller the normal response time is within 60 days from the date of receipt for correspondence mailed/faxed by the taxpayer and instruct him/her to call us back if a response is not received within 60 days from the date the second submission was mailed/faxed by the taxpayer.
    AMS indicates that a first referral was sent to the EO Correspondence Unit 45 or more days prior to the call. There is no indication on TRAC, EDS, or IDRS that any action related to the referral has been taken. Apologize to the caller and send another referral to the EO Correspondence Unit using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, mark it as a second referral, and include the date of the first referral. Tell the caller to expect contact (letter or telephone) within 45 days.
    AMS indicates that a second referral was sent to the EO Correspondence Unit 45 or more days prior to the call. There is no indication on TRAC, EDS, or IDRS that any action related to the referral has been taken. Apologize to the caller and prepare a Form 4442 referral to your lead/manager to be elevated to the headquarters analyst. Tell the caller to expect contact (letter or telephone) within 30 days.

    Reminder:

    If a taxpayer meets TAS criteria and you cannot resolve (or take steps to resolve) the taxpayer’s problem within 24 hours, refer him or her to TAS for assistance. For example, if a taxpayer has experienced a delay of more than 30 days (beyond IRS-established time frames, if any) to resolve a tax account problem, he/she meets the criteria for assistance from TAS. See IRM 21.3.8.8.6, Taxpayer Advocate Service Referral Guidelines, Including Congressional Inquiries, and Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (and Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order), and IRM 13.1.7.2.2, TAS Case Criteria 5 – 7, Systemic Burden, for more information. Employees must also report systemic problems (including delays) to TAS by using the Systemic Advocacy Management System (SAMS) database on www.irs.gov.

  2. The following Status Codes are utilized for cases on TRAC:

    Status Code Status
    01 Unassigned inventory
    02 Case assigned to Tax-Examiner
    03 Case ready for closure
    04i Awaiting information (e.g., waiting on a case file from records or on technical assistance from lead/revenue agent)
    co Case closed
  3. The following Work Codes are utilized for cases on TRAC:

    Work Code Issue Explanation
    12 Referral to EO Quality Referred to EO Quality Assurance for technical assistance (used only with Status Code 04i)
    Note: If Quality Assurance instructs the EO Correspondence Unit to establish an "R" case (for example, so that the determination can be reworked), the TRAC case will be closed and the Comments section notated accordingly. See IRM 21.3.8.11.9, EP/EO Determination System (EDS) ‘R’ Cases, for additional information.
    40 Copy Requests Form 4506-A and other copy requests
    Note: All cases added to the system are added as Work Code 40, and the Work Code may not change until the case is closed. Therefore, avoid mentioning what the system indicates the issue is in order to prevent unnecessary confusion for the caller.
    41 Letter (Before October 1, 2015)
    Affirmation Letter (After September 30, 2015)
    (Before October 1, 2015) - Affirmation letter requests, by-laws, articles, changing members, listing of officers/members, phone number changes, dissolution requests (L 4197C)
    (After September 30, 2015) - Affirmation letter requests, including for third parties
    42 Case Establishments (Before October 1, 2015)
    Supersede Determination Letter (After September 30, 2015)
    (Before October 1, 2015) - A, F, P, S or T
    Note: No new "T" cases have been established since November 2009.
    (After September 30, 2015) - Superseding determination letter to correct or modify information (except for items pertaining to auto-revocation)
    43 Entity Name, dba name, % name, address and sort name changes
    44 FTE (Before October 1, 2015)
    Supersede Determination Letter - Auto-Revocation (After September 30, 2015)
    (Before October 1, 2015) - FTE letter requests
    (After September 30, 2015) - Superseding determination letter to correct or modify information pertaining to auto-revocation
    45 2nd Erroneous Revocation Acknowledgement that the second auto-revocation was erroneous and that the necessary steps have been taken to reinstate the organization's exemption
    46 Letter Reprint Letter reprinted (EDS) and acknowledgement letter (TEDS)
    47 Misrouted Misrouted mail
    Note: This work code is also used for EP correspondence controlled on the TRAC. See IRM 21.3.8.5.1.4.1, Employee Plan Correspondence, for additional information.
    48 Pub/Form Requests Pub and form requests
    49 Reinstatements IDRS status codes 20, 21 and 32
    50 Technical Technical issues
    51 Other IDRS submodule updates, EDS no-rolls, 2848s, status checks and other
    Note: After September 30, 2015, this code also includes letters (other than those specified elsewhere), e.g., by-laws, articles, changing members, listing of officers/members, phone number changes, dissolution requests (L 4197C).
    52 Expedite (Before October 1, 2015)
    Sub Submits Information (After September 30, 2015)
    Expedite requests (not used after February 2015)
    (After September 30, 2015) - Organization included in a group ruling sends a request for affirmation of exemption or submits by-laws changes, etc.
    Note: Subordinate name and address changes are forwarded to Ogden and closed on TRAC as 47 (Misrouted).
    53 Status 97 on IDRS Confirmation of auto-revocation
    54 Erroneous Revocation Acknowledgement that the auto-revocation was erroneous and that the necessary steps have been taken to reinstate the organization's exemption
  4. Unless it is under a litigation hold, closed correspondence is retained for six months after the closing date and is then destroyed as classified waste. The only information available on cases that have been closed for more than six months is that shown on TRAC (unless an EDS/TEDS case was established in connection with the correspondence).

Employee Plan Correspondence
  1. Employee plan correspondence (even if mailed or faxed to the EO Correspondence Unit in error) is not controlled on TRAC.

  2. The standard time frames for the various types of EP requests are:

    • Reprint of an EP determination letter = 2 - 3 weeks

    • Corrected/superseded EP determination letter = 45 days

    • Copy of an approved EP application = 60 days

    • All other EP requests/questions = 60 days

Correspondence/Referrals Worked in Exempt Organization (EO) Entity/Employee Plans (EP) Entity and in EO Accounts/EP Accounts
  1. Unless otherwise stated, the goal is to take action on correspondence/referrals sent to EO Entity/EP Entity or to EO Accounts/EP Accounts within 30 days of the earliest IRS received date.

    Note:

    If the correspondence/referral was received at another IRS site and forwarded to EO Entity/EP Entity or to EO Accounts/EP Accounts, the action(s) will be taken within 30 days of the date the correspondence/referral was received in EO Entity/EP Entity or in EO Accounts/EP Accounts. This includes peer-to-peer referrals sent via the headquarters analyst.

  2. Correspondence/Referrals worked in EO Accounts are controlled on the Correspondence Imaging System (CIS).

  3. If the caller claims that correspondence was sent to EO Entity/EP Entity or to EO Accounts/EP Accounts more than 30 days (or the appropriate number of days) prior to the call and there is no indication that an action has been initiated or, in the case of issues worked by EO Accounts, no case on CIS with a relevant date, confirm the address where the correspondence was sent. If the correspondence was sent to the correct address (see Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information), instruct the caller to send the request again and to mark it as a second request.

    Note:

    If the address used was a valid IRS address but not the correct address for the issue, the correspondence must be forwarded (if sent to the EO Correspondence Unit, research TRAC). Provide the correct address to the caller and, if there is no indication that the correspondence was received and forwarded, give the caller the option of waiting to see if the correspondence gets forwarded and worked or of sending the information to the correct address. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.

  4. If the caller states that the information has already been submitted twice to the correct address and there is no indication that the information has been received/acted upon, instruct the caller to fax you the correspondence. Once you have received the correspondence, forward it to the headquarters analyst via your lead/manager and include a detailed Form 4442.

    Note:

    If the caller is not able to fax the information to you, the caller will have to mail the information again.

Transfer Procedures

  1. Transfer customers only under the following circumstances:

    1. If the issue is beyond the scope of your assigned application or is an IRS issue outside the purview of TEGE, refer to the Telephone Transfer Guide found on SERP.

    2. Transfers as a participant in the Customer Satisfaction Survey. See IRM 21.3.8.5.2.3, Customer Satisfaction Survey.

  2. If you are unable to respond to a question on a topic in your assigned application, do not transfer the caller; prepare a Form 4442 and give it to your manager. Only misdirected calls or secondary questions regarding other topics may be transferred to the correct application. See IRM 21.3.8.8.2, Form 4442 - Inquiry Referral.

  3. Do not transfer a customer to another telephone number by selecting "Outside Line."

Requests to Speak to Specific Tax Exempt/Government Entities (TEGE) Telephone Operation Employees
  1. If a caller requests to speak to a specific TEGE Telephone Operation employee, see IRM 21.1.3.15, Request for Specific Employee. Normal Form 4442 time frames apply. See IRM 21.3.8.8.2, Form 4442 - Inquiry Referral, for additional details.

    Note:

    See IRM 21.3.8.5.2.4, Referring Customers to Determination Specialists Working Open/Closed Employee Plans (EP)/Exempt Organizations (EO) Determinations, if the caller asks to speak to the determination specialist assigned to his/her application.

Telephone Transfer Guide
  1. The Telephone Transfer Guide (TTG) is used to assist in determining the correct application to which to transfer a caller when the caller's question must be addressed by another area of the Service or by a TEGE assistor trained in that topic. The TTG is located on SERP.

    Caution:

    See IRM 21.3.8.5.2, Transfer Procedures, if you are unable to respond to a question on a topic in your assigned application.

Customer Satisfaction Survey
  1. As part of our goal to provide the best possible service, we solicit feedback from our customers to capture information about the service we provide. The Customer Satisfaction Survey allows us to systemically collect and review satisfaction data directly from our customers.

  2. The IRS has contracted with outside vendors to receive, compile, and report data from our Customer Satisfaction Survey. A relatively small number of phone calls are randomly selected on a daily basis to complete the survey. You are not required to directly ask the customers about the service they received; you only solicit the customers' participation in the survey.

  3. For details on the survey, see IRM 21.10.1.9.5, W&I Accounts Management and ACS Telephone Customer Satisfaction Survey.

Referring Customers to Determination Specialists Working Open/Closed Employee Plans (EP)/Exempt Organizations (EO) Determinations
  1. To ensure the best customer service, follow the procedures below:

    If caller inquires about Then
    An application that is closed on EDS/TEDS (status 00, status 01, status 02, status 03, status 04, status 05, status 06, status 09, status 11, status 12, status 13, or status 21)
    Note: The favorable closed statuses are status 00/status 01/status 06/status 09/status 13/status 21 (but be sure to check the F4 closing information to ensure there were no user fee payment problems before telling the caller the case was closed favorably). If the F4 screen flashes a message about the user fee payment, prepare a Form 4442 referral to the TEGE Adjustments Unit using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information. This is for authorized callers only.
    Reminder: Be sure that the letter shown on the initial EDS/TEDS screen is consistent with the closing code. If it is discrepant, inform the caller that additional research is required and prepare a Form 4442 referral to the EO or EP Correspondence Unit using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information.
    1. Do not refer the caller to the determination specialist that closed the case before attempting to provide assistance.
    Note:DO NOT provide the telephone number of the employee named on Letter 1042 (status 03 closures), a letter that is no longer used for incomplete (non- Form 1023-EZ) applications; explain to the caller that the organization must submit a new application and user fee if it wants to apply for formal exemption. See Step 6 below for Form 1023-EZ submissions closed with status 03.
    2. Advise the caller that since the application is closed, the determination specialist no longer has the application and you can provide assistance to him/her.
    3. Probe to determine the issue.
    4. Provide the appropriate guidance/referral to address the customer's issue.
    5. See IRM 21.3.8.12.17, Exempt Organization (EO) Case Development and Failed to Establish (FTE) Status, if the case closed FTE and caller states he/she previously responded or did not receive letters.
    6. See IRM 21.3.8.11.8, Form 1023-EZ, Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, for Form 1023-EZ applications in status 03.
    7. See IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.2, Status of Pending (Open) Exempt Organization (EO) Determination/Application Requests, for EO cases in status 04.
    8. See IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.3, Status of Pending (Open) Employee Plans (EP) Determination/Application Requests, for EP cases in statuses 03/05 or status 04.
    An EP application in status 08 This status is used for the submission of a Form 5310-A, Notice of Plan Merger or Consolidation, Spinoff, or Transfer of Plan Assets or Liabilities; Notice of Qualified Separate Lines of Business, and is considered neither favorable nor adverse. These applications are not reviewed by a specialist, as they are just an information filing. No letters are issued on these submissions.
    An EO case in status 37 Prepare a Form 4442 referral with the caller’s contact information and a concise description of the caller’s question/issue and send the referral as an email attachment to the determination specialist to whom the case is assigned.
    The status of a determination application that is assigned to a determination specialist (status 32/status 33/status 52/status 53/status 72/status 73/status 75, as well as status 62 for EP) and IS NOT a Form 1023 assigned to a tax examiner in Group 7885 or Group 7886 (See the Status of a Pending EO Application Other Than Form 1023-EZ job aid on the Portal for information on these applications.)
    Caution: Treat cases in status 52 with determination specialist number 50250, cases in status 52 showing assigned to a group instead of to an individual, or EO cases in technical screening (status 60/status 62) as unassigned cases. See IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.2.

    Note: Always verify on the second F6 screen that the case is assigned to an individual and not to a special project type. See IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.2, Status of Pending (Open) Exempt Organization (EO) Determination/Application Requests, for additional information on EO cases.

    1. If appropriate, explain that the application has been assigned.
    2. Explain that, if the determination specialist needs additional information, he or she will contact the organization.
    3. Explain that, depending upon the number of applications assigned to the determination specialist, it could be one or two months before the customer hears something from the determination specialist.
    4. Provide the caller with the determination specialist's name and direct phone number, but do not offer to transfer customer to the determination specialist. Ensure that you are giving the caller the name and telephone number of the determination specialist to whom the case is assigned.
    Note: If the telephone number for the determination specialist is listed as 513-263-4453 or 877-829-5500, research available sources to find the direct number for the determination specialist. DO NOT GIVE THE CALLER THE EO or EP CORRESPONDENCE UNIT'S TELEPHONE NUMBER FOR ASSIGNED CASES.
    5. Only in the case where the customer complains about having to pay for a call to the determination specialist, offer the alternative of obtaining the customer's information and sending a referral to the determination specialist (via your manager/lead) for a call-back. Advise customer he/she can expect a call-back within 5 business days.
    An assigned case (status 32/status 33/status 52/status 53/status 72/status 73/status 75, as well as status 62 for EP) because he/she did not receive a response to a previous inquiry or was consistently unable to leave a voice mail for the determination specialist because his/her mailbox was full
    Note: Always verify on the second F6 screen that the case is assigned to an individual and not to a special project type. See IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.2, Status of Pending (Open) Exempt Organization (EO) Determination/Application Requests, for additional information on EO cases.

    1. Document the caller's
    • Name

    • Telephone number

    • Summary of the inquiry


    Note: There is a template available on the TEGE Call Site Research Portal under "People" titled "Request for Determination Specialist to Return Call" which you may use for this purpose.
    2. Send an encrypted email to your manager/lead with the template as an attachment and with an indication of the issue: MULTIPLE REQUESTS/CONTACT ATTEMPTS, "Determination Specialist Return Call Request." Include the group number of the assigned specialist and the manager’s name in your email.
    3. Your manager/lead will forward the information to the determination specialist's manager (and will cc: the headquarters analyst), per local procedure, for the caller to be contacted within 10 business days.
    4. Document AMS with the actions taken.

Contact Recording

  1. "Contact Recording" is a telephone application/tool/system that records incoming "toll free" telephone contacts for the purpose of possible subsequent monitoring.

  2. See IRM 21.1.1.7, Contact Recording, for additional information.

Bad Line Calls

  1. Bad line calls are calls where the taxpayer cannot be serviced due to problems in the phone line. For examples of the types of calls that are considered bad line calls and for information on how to handle these calls, see IRM 21.1.1.7.2, Bad Line Calls.

R-Mail and Out of Scope Procedures

  1. This section serves as a guide for performing tasks involved in responding to calls about previous R-Mail referrals and about out of scope topics.

Tax Exempt/Government Entities (TEGE) Telephone Operations R-Mail Referrals

  1. R-mail was an automated referral system used to distribute specific issue telephone calls via a centralized IRS Intranet database.

    Reminder:

    All topics previously designated as EO or EP R-Mail must be handled using out of scope procedures.

  2. The R-Mail system was eliminated effective October 1, 2015.

Adding Tax Exempt/Government Entities (TEGE) Telephone Operations Referrals to R-Mail
  1. EO R-Mail was discontinued effective June 1, 2013, and EP R-Mail was discontinued effective October 1, 2015. The topics previously included in these referrals must be handled using out of scope procedures.

Responding to Questions About Previous R-Mail Referrals
  1. If a call is received that references a previous R-Mail for which an answer has already been provided and the customer has additional questions or requests that the response be repeated, apologize to the caller and explain that this referral system was eliminated October 1, 2015, and that the topics covered by this process are now out of scope and that no previous referrals can be researched. If the caller’s specific topic is out of scope, refer to the list of additional resources on the Portal to see if there are references to which the caller can be referred for additional research.

Out of Scope Topics and Issues

  1. As of June 1, 2013, topics previously designated as EO R-Mail topics and, as of October 1, 2015, topics previously designated as EP R-Mail topics are handled as out of scope, which brings the TEGE product line into alignment with the other WI functions.

  2. The Portal has a list of specific EO and EP topics that are considered out of scope (OOS).

  3. Assistors must probe sufficiently to determine whether the caller's question is out of scope because of the specific topic (e.g., NECTs) or because of the nature of the question (i.e., the caller is asking for an opinion or a legal position) and use the appropriate script from the TEGE Research Portal.

    Note:

    If the specific topic is out of scope, assistors must refer to the list of additional resources on the Portal to see if there are references to which the caller can be referred for additional research and then choose the appropriate OOS script based on that information.

  4. See IRM 21.1.1.3.1, Out of Scope and Limited Service, for additional information on handling out of scope contacts.

Generating Letters

  1. This section serves as a guide for performing tasks involved in sending outgoing correspondence.

  2. Use the standard IDRS C letters whenever possible. If there is no C letter that fits the situation, or if an existing non-account letter needs to be modified to fit the caller's situation, prepare a Form 4442 referral to the EO Correspondence Unit using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, unless guidance in IRM 21.3.8.7.3, Choosing the Appropriate Letter, indicates that only verbal information will be provided to the caller, e.g., affirming the exemption of a subordinate organization, which the IRS no longer does in writing.

    Note:

    Currently, all affirmation and information letters generated by TEGE telephone assistors and by the EO and EP Correspondence Units are in English. We cannot honor any requests for letters in Spanish or in any other language.

Certified Affirmation Letters

  1. Occasionally, a customer will request a certified letter of exemption. If the organization is formally recognized as exempt, the Disclosure Office will "Certify" the letter, i.e., place an official Internal Revenue Service stamp on an affirmation letter.

    Note:

    The Disclosure Office will certify only affirmation letters, not copies of determination letters.

  2. If the caller requests a certified affirmation letter, prepare a Form 4442 referral to the EO Correspondence Unit using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, and notate "Request for CERTIFIED AFFIRMATION LETTER" on the Form 4442. Tell the caller to expect the letter to be generated within 45 days.

    Note:

    Currently, all affirmation letters generated by TEGE telephone assistors and by the EO and EP Correspondence Units are in English. We cannot honor any requests for letters in Spanish or in any other language.

Using the Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS) C Letters

  1. For information on preparing IDRS C letters, refer to IRM 2.4.6, Command Codes LETER, LPAGE, LPAGD, LETUP, LETED, LLIST, and LREVW.

Choosing the Appropriate Letter

  1. To determine the appropriate letter that fits the customer’s situation, refer to the following charts, using all applicable research and information furnished by the caller.

    1. EO Letter Chart Quick Reference

      Affiliation Code EO Status Code Refer to
      1, 2 or 3 01, 12, or 32 Chart 1
      1, 2 or 3 02
      Do not issue affirmation letters to these organizations.
      Chart 8 a
      1, 2 or 3 25 Chart 2
      1, 2 or 3 20 or 21 Chart 3
      0, 1, 2 or 3 07, 30, 31,36, 40,41,42,70,72 and 99 Chart 4
      1, 2 or 3 71 Chart 5
      1, 2 or 3 22
      Never issue a letter to an organization in current Status 22.
      See IRM 21.3.8.9.8(12).
      1, 2 or 3 98
      Never issue a letter to an organization in status 98.
      See IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.1(2).
      6/8
      Note: Refer to charts for affiliation codes 1, 2, or 3 if the central organization wants affirmation of its individual ruling.
      01 Chart 6
      7, 9 01 See IRM 21.3.8.12.14.5, Adding Subordinates to a Group Exemption and Modifying Subordinate Information. Refer to (10).
      3, 7, 9 27, 28 Chart 8a
      N/A NO EO SUBMODULE PRESENT Chart 7
      N/A Use miscellaneous informational/procedural letters in response to information furnished by the caller. Charts 8 a-h as applicable
    2. Chart 1 - EO STATUS = 01, 12, or 32 - Affiliation Code = 1, 2 or 3 (Individual Ruling, including central organizations without a group ruling)

      Applicability Letter to Org Letter to 3rd party
      SS = 03
      Expired ARED (200805 and earlier ONLY)
      See IRM 21.3.8.11.7.1, Requests for Affirmation Letters from Organizations Showing an Advance Ruling Expiration Date (ARED) on IDRS. Letter 4170C
      (3rd Party Affirmation of Exemption Letter)
      Note: If the ARED is 199401 or older, prepare a Form 4442 referral to the EO Correspondence Unit using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, and request that they research for the foundation follow-up information and update master file based on their findings. Notate that the referral is for perfection purposes only and that the caller already received Letter 4170C.
      SS = 03
      Presumptive PFs
      No C Letter available
      Prepare a Form 4442 referral to the EO Correspondence Unit using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, and tell the caller to expect to be contacted within 45 days.
      Letter 4170C
      (3rd Party Affirmation of Exemption Letter)
      SS = 03
      Foundation code 09
      See IRM 21.3.8.12.5.4, Change in Foundation Classification. Refer to paragraph (7). Letter 4170C
      (3rd Party Affirmation of Exemption Letter)
      All other SS = 03 and other Subsections not listed below (includes AREDs of 200806 and later) Letter 4168C
      (Letter Affirming 501(c) Exemption)
      Letter 4170C
      (3rd Party Affirmation of Exemption Letter)
      SS = 80 No C Letter available.
      Send 4442 to the EO Correspondence Unit using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information.
      No C Letter available.
      Send 4442 to the EO Correspondence Unit using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information.
      Subsection = 90,91,92
      Note: Only NECTs showing subsection 91 will have a ruling of public charity status that allows them to file a Form 990. NECTs showing subsection 90 or 92 do not have any formal ruling and there is no letter available to document their status. Requests for more information than is discussed here are out of scope.
      No C Letter available.
      Send 4442 to the EO Correspondence Unit using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information. (For subsection 91 only.)
      No C Letter available.
      Inform the caller that the entity is filing an information return as a non-exempt charitable trust.
      Subsection = 93
      Taxable Farmer's Cooperative
      Letter 4163C (No Record of Exemption of Organization Letter) Letter 4172C (Letter to 3rd Party Regarding Non-Exempt Organization)
      Reminder: Use an asterisk (*) in the TIN window of the IAT Letter Tool to prevent the EIN from displaying on the generated letter unless the organization used the EIN on a disclosable document (approved exemption application or Form 990 series return).
    3. Chart 2 - EO STATUS = 25 - Affiliation Code = 1, 2 or 3 (Individual Ruling, including central organizations without a group ruling)

      Applicability Letter to Org Letter to 3rd party
      Subsection = 03 with Foundation code 02, 03 or 04 with Status Code = 25 (Unexpired ARED) Letter 4168C
      (Letter Affirming 501(c) Exemption) with the 60-month termination paragraph selected
      Letter 4170C
      (3rd Party Affirmation of Exemption Letter)
      Subsection = 03 with Foundation code 02, 03 or 04 with Status Code = 25 (Expired ARED) Letter 4168C
      (Letter Affirming 501(c) Exemption) with the appropriate private foundation paragraph selected
      Letter 4170C
      (3rd Party Affirmation of Exemption Letter) with the appropriate private foundation paragraph selected
    4. Chart 3 - EO STATUS = 20 or 21 - Affiliation Code = 1, 2 or 3 (Individual Ruling, including central organizations without a group ruling)

      Applicability Letter to Org Letter to 3rd party
      Status 20 Refer to IRM 21.3.8.12.6, Request for Reinstatement of Tax-Exempt Recognition. Letter 4172C (Letter to 3rd Party Regarding Non-Exempt Organization)
      Reminder: Use an asterisk (*) in the TIN window of the IAT Letter Tool to prevent the EIN from displaying on the generated letter unless the organization used the EIN on a disclosable document (approved exemption application or Form 990 series return).
      Status 21 See IRM 21.3.8.12.6. Letter 4170C (3rd Party Affirmation of Exemption Letter)
    5. Chart 4 - EO STATUS = 07, 30, 31, 36, 40, 41, 42, 70, 72, and 99 - Affiliation Code = 0, 1, 2 or 3 (Individual Ruling, including central organizations without a group ruling)

      Applicability Letter to Org Letter to 3rd party
      All Letter 4163C (No Record of Exemption of Organization Letter) Letter 4172C (Letter to 3rd Party Regarding Non-Exempt Organization)
      Reminder: Use an asterisk (*) in the TIN window of the IAT Letter Tool to prevent the EIN from displaying on the generated letter unless the organization used the EIN on a disclosable document (approved exemption application or Form 990 series return).
    6. Chart 5 - EO STATUS = 71 - Affiliation Code = 1, 2 or 3 (Individual Ruling, including central organizations without a group ruling)

      Applicability Letter to Org Letter to 3rd party
      All Letter 4188C (FTE Letter) Letter 4172C (Letter to 3rd Party Regarding Non-Exempt Organization)
      Reminder: Use an asterisk (*) in the TIN window of the IAT Letter Tool to prevent the EIN from displaying on the generated letter unless the organization used the EIN on a disclosable document (approved exemption application or Form 990 series return).
    7. Chart 6 - EO STATUS = 01 - Affiliation Code = 6 (GEN Parent - non Church) or = 8 (GEN Parent - Church)

      Applicability Letter To Org Letter to 3rd party
      All Subsections
      Note: Refer to charts for affiliation codes 1, 2, or 3 if the central organization wants affirmation of its individual ruling.
      Letter 4167C (Letter Affirming Group Exemption)
      Note: You must research at least one subordinate entity using EOGENS to ascertain the subsection under which the subordinate organizations are exempt in case it differs from that of the central organization.
      Letter 4170C
      (3rd Party Affirmation of Exemption Letter)
    8. Chart 7 - NO EO SUBMODULE PRESENT

      Applicability Letter To Org Letter to 3rd party
      All, except as noted below Letter 4163C (No Record of Exemption of Organization Letter) Letter 4172C (Letter to 3rd Party Regarding Non-Exempt Organization)
      Reminder: Use an asterisk (*) in the TIN window of the IAT Letter Tool to prevent the EIN from displaying on the generated letter unless the organization used the EIN on a disclosable document (approved exemption application or Form 990 series return).
      American National Red Cross component No C letter available.
      Send 4442 to the EO Correspondence Unit using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information.
      Letter 4170C
      (3rd Party Affirmation of Exemption Letter)
      Federal credit union No C letter available.
      Refer the caller to the National Credit Union Administration
      No C letter available.
      Refer the caller to the National Credit Union Administration
      Clearly a city or county Letter 4076C (Information Letter - Federal Tax Status of Governmental Entity)
      Note: For additional information about what constitutes an authorized caller for a government entity, see IRM 21.3.8.4.4.2, Instrumentality/Governmental Units Disclosure.
      Letter 4172C (Letter to 3rd Party Regarding Non-Exempt Organization)
      Reminder: Use an asterisk (*) in the TIN window of the IAT Letter Tool to prevent the EIN from displaying on the generated letter unless the organization used the EIN on a disclosable document (approved exemption application or Form 990 series return).
      Not a city or county, but is created by a government entity (no EO submodule, any employment code) Letter 4076C (Information Letter - Federal Tax Status of Governmental Entity)
      Note: For additional information about what constitutes an authorized caller for a government entity, see IRM 21.3.8.4.4.2, Instrumentality/Governmental Units Disclosure.
      Letter 4172C (Letter to 3rd Party Regarding Non-Exempt Organization)
      Reminder: Use an asterisk (*) in the TIN window of the IAT Letter Tool to prevent the EIN from displaying on the generated letter unless the organization used the EIN on a disclosable document (approved exemption application or Form 990 series return).
      Federal entity Letter 4076C (Information Letter - Federal Tax Status of Governmental Entity)
      Note: For additional information about what constitutes an authorized caller for a government entity, see IRM 21.3.8.4.4.2, Instrumentality/Governmental Units Disclosure.
      Letter 4172C (Letter to 3rd Party Regarding Non-Exempt Organization)
      Reminder: Use an asterisk (*) in the TIN window of the IAT Letter Tool to prevent the EIN from displaying on the generated letter unless the organization used the EIN on a disclosable document (approved exemption application or Form 990 series return).
      Indian Tribe listed in Revenue Procedure 2008-55 or its successor No C Letter available.
      Send 4442 to ITG Classification (fax 877-621-7401).
      Letter 4172C (Letter to 3rd Party Regarding Non-Exempt Organization)
      Reminder: Use an asterisk (*) in the TIN window of the IAT Letter Tool to prevent the EIN from displaying on the generated letter unless the organization used the EIN on a disclosable document (approved exemption application or Form 990 series return).
    9. Chart 8a - Miscellaneous informational/procedural letters for authorized parties except as otherwise noted

      Applicability/Issue Letter/Document
      Subordinate organization with EO status 27 or 28 Letter 4163C (No Record of Exemption of Organization Letter)
      Caution: Do not offer a letter unless the caller specifically asks for one.
      If the caller asks about being included in the group ruling and the central organization can be identified and is in EO status 01 on IDRS (status 28 organizations only), see IRM 21.3.8.12.14.5, Adding Subordinates to a Group Exemption and Modifying Subordinate Information.
      If the organization is in status 27 or if it is in status 28 and the organization does not want to be included in the group exemption (or the central organization IS NOT in EO status 01 on IDRS), see IRM 21.3.8.9.12, Updating Exempt Organization (EO) Submodules Created by EO-EIN Transcripts, EO Submodule Data Sheets, and Filed Returns.
      If the caller's organization is in status 28 and wants to submit a Form 990-N, see IRM 21.3.8.12.24.2.2, Establishing the Exempt Organization (EO) Submodule: Organizational and Operational Details, and IRM 21.3.8.9.12, Updating Exempt Organization (EO) Submodules Created by EO-EIN Transcripts, EO Submodule Data Sheets, and Filed Returns.
      Note: If an unauthorized third party asks for a letter, prepare Letter 4172C (Letter to 3rd Party Regarding Non-Exempt Organization).
      Reminder: Use an asterisk (*) in the TIN window of the IAT Letter Tool to prevent the EIN from displaying on the generated letter unless the organization used the EIN on a disclosable document (approved exemption application or Form 990 series return).
      Organizations with EO status 02 and no case closed on EDS/TEDS after the ruling date shown on IDRS No C Letter available.
      See IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.1, Verification of Tax-Exempt Status and Foundation Classification, for guidance.
      Organization requests written confirmation of its EIN. Letter 4158C (EIN Letter)
      Inquiry about exempt status of a taxable farmer’s co-op Letter 4163C (No Record of Exemption of Organization Letter)
      Inquiry about exempt status of an IRC 527 political organization Letter 4163C (No Record of Exemption of Organization Letter)
    10. Chart 8b -Miscellaneous informational/procedural letters - Form 8734 Issues

      Note:

      The advance ruling process was eliminated for applicants whose advance ruling period ended on or after June 9, 2008 (see IRM 21.3.8.11.7, Elimination of the Advance Ruling Process), and Form 8734, Support Schedule For Advance Ruling Period, was deemed "Historical" effective February 19, 2015. Advise organizations that must provide documentation about their public support under section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) or under section 509(a)(2) to submit the appropriate support schedule from Form 990/Form 990-EZ Sch A, Public Charity Status and Public Support.

    11. Chart 8c -Miscellaneous informational/procedural letters - Determination Application Issues

      Applicability/Issue Letter/Document
      Condominium association requests information on exemption qualification No C Letter available.
      Refer caller to Rev. Rul. 74-17.
      Organization Requests concerning copies of a determination for a ruling date prior to January 1, 1948 No C Letter available.
      See IRM 21.3.8.3.4.1.3. (1)(a).
      3rd Party Requests concerning copies of a determination for a ruling date prior to January 1, 1948 No C Letter available.
      See IRM 21.3.8.3.4.1.3. (1)(a).
      How to obtain a group exemption ruling Letter 4187C (Apply for Group Exemption Letter)
      Receipt of Pending (Open) EO Application
      Caution: Applies only to authorized caller or to the holder of a valid POA

      Affirm verbally if case is found on LINUS/EDS/TEDS.
      If caller states that the acknowledgement letter was never received and the application was other than a Form 1023-EZ, Form 1026/group ruling request, or Form 8940, verify the address on LINUS/EDS/TEDS.
      Reminder: Form 1023-EZ and Form 8940 applications do not generate acknowledgement letters (see IRM 21.3.8.11.1.1, Processing the Exempt Organization (EO) Application and Requests on Form 8940, Request for Miscellaneous Determination). Do not prepare a Letter 3367C (Merit Notice) for a Form 1023-EZ, Form 1026/group ruling request, or Form 8940 application.
      If the caller requests a replacement letter and the address on LINUS/EDS/TEDS is correct, prepare Letter 3367C (Merit Notice) to the address shown on LINUS/EDS/TEDS.
      If the caller requests a replacement letter and the address on LINUS/EDS/TEDS is incorrect, instruct the caller to send a written request (including the correct mailing address) to the EO Correspondence Unit. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.
      Receipt of Pending (Open) EP Application
      Caution: Applies only to authorized caller or to the holder of a valid POA

      Affirm verbally if case is found on LINUS/EDS/TEDS.
      If caller states that the acknowledgement letter was never received, verify the address on LINUS/EDS/TEDS.
      If the caller requests a replacement letter and the address on LINUS/EDS/TEDS is correct, prepare a Form 4442 to the EP Correspondence Unit using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information.
      If the caller requests a replacement letter and the address on LINUS/EDS/TEDS is incorrect, instruct the caller to send a written request (including the correct mailing address) to the EP Correspondence Unit. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.
      Request for a user fee refund No C Letter available.
      For additional information, see IRM 21.3.8.11.4, User Fee Refunds - Exempt Organizations.
    12. Chart 8d -Miscellaneous informational/procedural letters - Mergers/Terminations

      Applicability/Issue Letter/Document
      Organization has merged with another. No C Letter available.
      See IRM 21.3.8.12.5.2.
      Terminating/Dissolving an Organization See IRM 21.3.8.12.5.1, Dissolution.
      Organization has changed its legal structure, e.g.:
      1. Association that Incorporates;
      2. Corporation that Re-incorporates
      No C Letter available.
      Refer to IRM 21.3.8.12.20, Organizations That Undergo Changes in Entity Type/Legal Structure.
    13. Chart 8e -Miscellaneous informational/procedural letters - Name Change Guidance

      Applicability/Issue Letter/Document
      Organization has changed/wants to change its name Letter 4166C (Name Change Documentation Letter)
      Caution: Until Letter 4166C is updated to reflect the correct address(es) for submitting name change documentation, you must provide the caller with the address or EEFax number for EO Entity when you are generating the letter to an organization without formal exemption. See IRM 21.3.8.9.2, Name Changes - Exempt Organizations (EO) and Federal, State, and Local Governments (FSLG), for additional information.
    14. Chart 8f -Miscellaneous informational/procedural letters - Organizational Changes

      Applicability/Issue Letter/Document
      Guidance on how to terminate private foundation classification and become a public charity No C Letter available.
      See IRM 21.3.8.12.5.4.1.
      Organization wants to change its foundation classification to a church No C Letter available.
      See IRM 21.3.8.12.5.4. (1)(a).
      Organization proposes new activities Letter 4159C (Proposed Activity PLR Letter)
      Organization wants to change its subsection Letter 4181C (Change Subsection Letter)
      Organization wants an affirmation letter because its corporate standing in its state has been terminated or is inactive (per caller's comments) See IRM 21.3.8.12.2, State Reinstatement Affirmation.
    15. Chart 8g -Miscellaneous informational/procedural letters - Return Issues

      Applicability/Issue Letter/Document
      Organization wants to be exempt from filing a Form 990 - Governmental affiliation
      Note: This does not apply to 509(a)(3) supporting organizations.
      No C Letter available.
      Refer caller to Rev. Proc. 95-48.
      Organization wants to be exempt from filing a Form 990 - Church affiliation
      Note: This does not apply to 509(a)(3) supporting organizations.
      No C Letter available.
      Refer caller to Rev. Proc. 96-10.
      Back up withholding refund Letter 4191C (Backup Withholding Letter)
      Change in fiscal year Letter 4190C (FYE Change Letter)
      Authorized caller wants copy of CP 211A, Application for Extension of Time to File an Exempt Organization Return - Approved CP 211A cannot be regenerated. Prepare Letter 0333C (Extension of Time to File (IMF/BMF) Approved).
    16. Chart 8h -Miscellaneous informational/procedural letters - Miscellaneous

      Applicability/Issue Letter/Document
      Organization indicates it is not in the Publication 78 data Offer to prepare Letter 4168C (Letter Affirming 501(c) Exemption). See IRM 21.3.8.12.12.1, Publication 78 Data Omissions (Service Error / Non-Service Error), for additional information.
      Note: Do not prepare Letter 4177C (Add to Publication 78 Letter) instead of Letter 4168C unless you have made an update to IDRS so that the organization appears in the Tax Exempt Organization Search Publication 78 database AND the caller specifically asks for a letter that addresses the correction.

Undeliverable Mail

  1. Undeliverable mail is returned to the area that generated the letter. The manager determines whether a letter will be reissued, the Master File updated, or the correspondence destroyed.

  2. If an undeliverable letter is regenerated and mailed to an updated address, add the following history item to CC ENMOD:
    NDLTR
    REMAIL

Referrals

  1. This section serves as a guide for performing tasks involved in addressing inquiries that need to be referred to another area for resolution.

  2. A referral is a document prepared in the limited instances when a customer inquiry cannot be resolved while the customer is still on the telephone and is not resolved by the end of your work shift.

  3. All paper referrals originating from TEGE Telephone Operations must be transmitted on Form 3210, Document Transmittal.

    Note:

    Transmittal actions are completed by the clerical staff.

  4. The following items are NOT referrals:

    1. An inquiry resolved on-line, or by the end of your work shift

    2. A fax or written correspondence, whether it is an initial inquiry or it is related to an existing case

    3. Providing the customer with a telephone number, or directing him/her to a Walk-In office

  5. See IRM 21.3.5, Taxpayer Inquiry Referrals Form 4442, for additional information.

    Note:

    See IRM 21.3.8.17.7, Campus Correspondence for Missing Information on Tax Exempt Bonds (TEB) Returns, for Tax-Exempt Bond referrals.

How to Prepare a Referral

  1. When preparing a referral, complete the following:

    Step Action
    1 Understand the customer's issue or request.
    2 Complete the designated form(s) or record(s), as required, to record the referral.
    3 Use abbreviations that are universally understood.
    4 Explain action taken (e.g., transferring non-TEGE Telephone Operations related case).
    5 Include your name and employee identification number on the referral.
    6 Give the customer the appropriate response time frame. See Exhibit 21.3.8-12, Time Frames.
    7 Control the referral when appropriate.

Form 4442 - Inquiry Referral

  1. Most Form 4442, Inquiry Referral, referrals prepared by TEGE telephone assistors are either account-related issues or issues that are still TEGE-specific but which must be resolved by areas outside the TEGE Telephone Operations, such as by the TEGE Adjustments Unit or by the EO or EP Correspondence Unit.

  2. Occasionally, a special circumstance might necessitate completing a referral Form 4442 that does not go outside the TEGE Telephone Operations, but, rather, is routed to the assistor's manager. This includes, but is not limited to, the following situations:

    • When you are unable to respond to a question on a topic in your assigned application (See (7) below for call back time frame.)

    • When the call site closes for the day and the queued calls cannot be completed before the end of the TEGE assistor's tour of duty OR when the TEGE transfer application is closed for the day. Apologize to the caller that no one is available to answer his/her question and ask the caller whether he/she prefers to call back the next business day or at a later date or whether he/she prefers to have a referral prepared.

      Note:

      If the caller's question is not to be answered by TEGE, transfer or refer the caller appropriately.

    • When the caller is insisting on speaking to another assistor or to a manager (Inform the caller that the manager or his/her designee will return the call by the close of business on the next business day.)

      Note:

      This procedure applies to requests to speak to a TEGE call site manager. If the caller is asking to speak to a manager about a non-TEGE issue, transfer the caller to the appropriate area so that they may follow their own procedure for managerial referrals.

  3. A written referral is documented on Form 4442 when a customer’s inquiry must be referred to another area. This form is available on SERP and can be completed and printed for the referral.

    Note:

    Use e-4442 and the related procedures whenever possible.

  4. Form 4442 must be complete. A complete referral has (at a minimum) entries in:

    • Part I — boxes 1-6

    • Part II – boxes 8-9, 13-18, and 21-24. Make entries in the remaining boxes as appropriate. Be sure to include the caller’s telephone number whenever possible in case additional information is needed when the referral is worked.

      Reminder:

      The only two methods of contact are domestic telephone and mail. If the caller cannot or is unwilling to be reached using one of those ways, do not prepare a referral unless the caller can provide the name and contact information of someone who can be reached by domestic telephone or mail and who is authorized to receive the requested information.

    • Part III – Customer’s issue, any IRM reference directing the referral, any other pertinent information.

      Note:

      Be sure to indicate any special instructions or information, e.g., whether it was a third party contact, whether the caller/organization is expecting a response or whether the referral is requesting research and an update to records only. Include the form number and the plan number if the referral is about an EP application issue.

  5. Attach any supporting documents (paper Form 4442 only) and route to your manager for approval/signature. If approved, route or fax Form 4442 to the appropriate area.

  6. See IRM 21.3.5, Taxpayer Inquiry Referrals Form 4442, for general information and IRM 21.3.5.4.2.2 for information on controlling referrals.

  7. Unless otherwise specified, the response time frame for an account inquiry is 30 days; for a tax law inquiry it is 15 business days.

Exam Referrals/Informants

  1. If a call is received from a customer reporting information concerning alleged misconduct or wrongdoing of an exempt organization (either formally exempt or treated as exempt) or of an employee plan, advise the caller to email the information to the Classification area at eoclass@irs.gov. If the caller prefers to send the information by mail or fax, see Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.

    Note:

    The information may be sent in letter format or the customer may complete and submit Form 13909, Tax-Exempt Organization Complaint (Referral) Form, which is available on the IRS website (type "Form 13909" in the search window). If the informant provides complete contact information, Classification will generate an acknowledgement within 30 days of receipt. If the informant has not received an acknowledgement within 45 days of submission (and complete contact information was provided), confirm the address and advise the caller to send the information again.

  2. If the caller specifically asks, explain that the information can be submitted anonymously.

  3. If the complaint is dealing with EO related issues, but the organization does not have a formal exemption determination, advise the caller appropriately, e.g., that there is no record of an exemption by virtue of an approved application or that the organization is included in a group ruling, in addition to providing the contact information for EO Classification. See IRM 21.3.8.4.2.2, Exempt Organization (EO) Inspection of Determination Applications and Disclosure of Employer Identification Number (EIN) Information, for appropriate disclosure guidelines.

  4. Do not take information from the caller and prepare an exam referral based on that information. Informants must submit the information on their own behalf.

  5. Do not advertise or solicit submissions for the informant reward program. If the caller specifically asks about the program, refer the caller to Form 211, Application for Award for Original Information. See IRM 21.3.8.8.7, Informant Claims/Form 211, Application for Award for Original Information.

  6. If the caller has a complaint against an individual that is not directly related to that individual's relationship with an exempt organization or an employee plan, see IRM 21.1.3.19, Informant Contacts, for additional information.

Employment Tax, Information Returns, and Martinsburg Referrals

  1. When a call is received dealing with employment tax issues, probe to determine the nature of the question.

    If Then
    The caller needs assistance on completion of Form 941, Form 940, Form 943, Form 944, Form 945. Refer to the TTG; enter 941, etc.
    The caller is an employer needing help relating to paying a minister, pastor, or clergyman. Refer to the TTG; search under "minister" "clergy."
    The caller is requesting a refund of backup withholding. See IRM 21.3.8.3.5.3, Backup Withholding Refunds - Exempt Organizations, for guidance.
    The caller has account-related questions pertaining to Form 1096, Form 1098, Form 1099, Form W-2, Form W-4, etc. Refer to the TTG.
    The caller needs assistance completing or has tax law questions relating to the filing of information returns (Form 1096, Form 1098 series, Form 1099 series, Form 3921, Form 3922, Form 5498 series, Form 8027, Form 8955-SSA, and Form W-2G). Refer the caller to the Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) Web page available on the IRS website and to Pub 1220, Specifications for Electronic Filing of Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, and W-2G.
    The caller needs assistance completing Form W-2 or Form W-3. Refer the caller to the Enterprise Computing Center---Martinsburg (ECC-MTB) toll-free number at 866-455-7438. The Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD) number is (304)579-4827 (not a toll-free number). The hours of operation for the Center are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern time.
    Callers may also be referred to the Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) Web page available on the IRS website.

Miscellaneous Referrals and Contacts

  1. Employment Verification: If you receive a call for employment verification, instruct the caller to contact 800-996-7566 for assistance.

  2. Refer to the "TEGE Contact and Mail Points" on the TEGE Call Site - Research Portal to obtain a contact list for the following:

    1. FSLG Group Area Contacts

    2. State Social Security Administrator Contacts

    3. State Contacts

    4. ITG Management and groups

  3. Refer to the following table if you get a call from an authorized individual (see IRM 21.3.8.4.1.5, Issue and Entity Identification and Taxpayer Authentication Procedures) asking about the status of a TEGE private letter ruling (PLR) request submitted before January 2, 2015. If the ruling request was submitted on or after January 2, 2015, refer to IRM 21.3.8.12.5.3, Changes in Activities/Organizing Documents/By-Laws and Private Letter Rulings.

    Reminder:

    This procedure applies only to TEGE issues. If the caller is asking about the status of a non-TEGE PLR, refer to the TTG using as a search term the issue about which the PLR was requested.

    Note:

    Before preparing a referral to the headquarters analyst, make sure that you have:
    •Verified how long it has been since submitting the request (the caller must allow at least two weeks for the request to be received and logged in)
    •Asked how much fee was sent and whether the check cleared
    •Confirmed where the request was sent
    •Researched EDS

    Do not prepare a referral unless the responses to your questions and/or your EDS research verify that the caller is truly asking about a PLR and not about an application for exemption or about a Form 8940 submission.

    If the ruling request was submitted to Then
    EO
    1. Prepare a Form 4442 referral to your lead with the required contact/issue information.

    2. The lead will contact the Headquarters Analyst, who will research the status and share the information with the lead for the call back to the customer.

    EP
    1. Prepare a Form 4442 referral to your lead with the required contact/issue information.

    2. The lead will contact the Headquarters Analyst, who will research the status and share the information with the lead for the call back to the customer.

Taxpayer Advocate Service Referral Guidelines, Including Congressional Inquiries, and Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (and Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order)

  1. The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization within the IRS whose employees assist taxpayers who are experiencing economic harm, are seeking help in resolving tax problems that have not been resolved through normal channels, or who believe that an IRS system or procedure is not working as it was intended.

  2. Refer all Congressional inquiries to TAS on a Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (and Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order).

  3. Refer taxpayers to the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) (see IRM Part 13, Taxpayer Advocate Service) when the contact meets TAS criteria (see IRM 13.1.7, Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Case Criteria) and you cannot resolve the taxpayer's issue the same day. The definition of "same day" is within 24 hours. "Same day" cases include cases you can completely resolve in 24 hours, as well as cases in which you have taken steps within 24 hours to begin resolving the taxpayer's issue. Do not refer these cases to TAS, unless they meet TAS criteria and the taxpayer asks to be transferred to TAS. Refer to IRM 13.1.7.4, Same-Day Resolution by Operations. When referring cases to TAS, use Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (and Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order), and forward to TAS in accordance with your local procedures. Refer to IRM 21.1.3.18, Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Guidelines, for information on completing Form 911/e-911.

Informant Claims/Form 211, Application for Award for Original Information

  1. When a call is received from an informant that requests information on applying for a reward, instruct the caller to complete Form 211, Application for Award for Original Information. Refer to the form instructions if the caller asks where to send the completed form.

Updating the Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS) - Entity Issues

  1. This section serves as a guide for performing tasks involved in addressing general entity related issues.

Applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and Re-establishing Entities/EINs on Master File

  1. Applying for an EIN: When responding to customers concerning applying for an EIN, refer to the instructions to Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number, to Publication 1635, Understanding Your EIN, to the information on the IRS website (search "EIN" ), and to IRM 21.3.4.14, Applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN), for additional information.

  2. Reestablishing an existing EIN:

    1. If a customer indicates that he/she has an EIN and CC INOLE has "no record," research IDRS using command codes such as NAMEE, NAMEB, or FINDE to determine if a record of the EIN exists.

      If Then And
      Master File indicates the EIN previously existedand the caller is authorized Re-establish the account on Master File, per IRM 3.13.12.6.2, TC 000. See IRM 21.3.8.9.10, Transaction Codes (TCs) for the Entity Module; refer to paragraph (3).  
      Master File has no prior history of EIN Probe to determine whether caller has a copy of a CP 575 series notice that was issued to the customer when the EIN was assigned. If customer has a copy of a CP 575 series notice, instruct caller to send a copy of the CP notice and a cover letter requesting reestablishment of the account to EO Entity. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.

      If customer does not have a copy of a CP 575 series notice, explain to the customer that he/she will need to apply for a new EIN. See above.

      Note:

      A copy of a determination letter or page one of Form 1023/Form 1024/Form 1024-A with the EIN on it is not sufficient proof to substantiate the reactivation of the EIN.

    2. If the caller needs to have a trust EIN re-established for an employee plan, prepare a Form 4442 referral with the necessary information and EEFax it to EP Entity using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information.

Invalid Employer Identification Number (EIN) Prefixes
  1. The prefixes of certain EINs, although the EINs were assigned by the Social Security Administration or by the IRS, are considered invalid and are not accepted by systems such as EFAST2. Those prefixes are 69, 70, 79, 96, and 97.

    Caution:

    Do not prepare an EIN affirmation letter (Letter 4158C) for entities with an invalid EIN prefix.

  2. Inform callers representing organizations or plan sponsors whose EINs have an invalid prefix, whether or not they are calling to report a problem, that their entity must have a valid EIN assigned to replace the invalid one. Refer to IRM 21.3.4.14, Applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN), for methods of acquiring a new EIN.

  3. See IRM 21.7.13.2.4.1, Invalid EIN Prefixes, for additional information.

Name Changes - Exempt Organizations (EO) and Federal, State, and Local Governments (FSLG)

  1. The documentation required to substantiate an organization’s name change is determined by the organization’s legal structure. Use the following chart to determine the appropriate documentation after researching IDRS and, if necessary, EDS/TEDS for the exempt status of the organization:

    Note:

    IRC 527 organizations are not required to have an organizing document. See IRM 21.3.8.14.8, Requests for IRC 527 Web Updates (Including Password Requests) and Troubleshooting Calls, for information if the caller’s IRC 527 organization is not described in the table below.

    The Organization is The Request Must Include
    Incorporated
    (Org. code 1)
    1. An amendment to the articles of incorporation, and
    2. Proof of filing with/approval by the state.
    Trust
    (Org. code 2)
    1. An amendment to the trust agreement or resolution to amend the trust document with the effective date, and
    2. Signature of at least one trustee.
    Unincorporated Association
    (Org. code 5)
    1. An appropriately dated amendment to the articles of association, constitution, or other organizing document, and
    2. Signature of at least two officers.
    Note: A copy of the meeting minutes showing the name change, signed and dated by at least two officers is acceptable.
    Government entity, political subdivision, instrumentality of government 1. Documentation from the governmental unit that created the entity showing the (new) name of the entity, and
    2. Letter signed by a person authorized by the creating governmental unit

    Note:

    Per Rev. Proc. 2019-5 (or its successor), only the Exempt Organizations Determinations Office has the authority to issue updated letters reflecting a name change. IRM 7.20.2, Determination Letter Processing of Exempt Organizations, requires a conformed copy of the amended organizing document to substantiate the name change; therefore, "Oral Statement Authority" does not apply to EO name changes.

  2. Organizations that are required to file an annual information return and that haven’t already notified the IRS of their name change can report the change on their return according to the appropriate Form 990 series instructions.

    Caution:

    Organizations required to file electronically must file a paper return to report a name change when reporting the change via return.

  3. If the organization is not required to file an annual return (other than the Form 990-N) or if the organization wants a letter acknowledging the name change, use the table below to provide the caller with the correct mailing address for the name change documentation based on the type of organization and its exempt status.

    Exception:

    If the organization is going to submit a new application for exemption (other than on Form 1023-EZ) or it is going to file delinquent Form 990 series returns, then it must include the name change documentation with those filings rather than sending the name change information under separate cover.

    If the Organization Is a(n) Then the Name Change Documentation Must Be Mailed to
    Organization with an individual ruling EO Correspondence Unit
    See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.
    Central organization in a group ruling EO Entity
    See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.
    Subordinate organization in a group ruling See (9) below.
    Non-church organization without a formal ruling and not part of a group exemption EO Entity
    See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.
    Church without a formal ruling and not part of a group exemption EO Correspondence Unit
    See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.
    IRC 527 organization See IRM 21.3.8.14.8, Requests for IRC 527 Web Updates (Including Password Requests) and Troubleshooting Calls.
    FSLG entity EO Entity
    See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.
  4. If the caller indicates the organization's name is incorrect on our records and the correct name can be confirmed from an approved application on EDS/TEDS, perfect the name.

    Caution:

    You may not necessarily be able to rely on the most recent EDS/TEDS case. Before relying on EDS/TEDS information, you may need to ask the caller whether the organization changed its name at any point after having received its initial determination letter. If the authorized caller indicates that the organization has not changed its name, the name on the "I" or "S" case may be more accurate than the name on an "A" or "F" case. If the caller states that the organization did change its name after receiving its determination letter, ask whether they notified the IRS of the change. If not, then they need to follow the normal name change procedure described above. If the caller states that the IRS was notified and the name agrees with a name showing on an EDS/TEDS case, then correct the name on IDRS. When in doubt, check with your Lead.

  5. If the caller indicates that his organization's name is incorrect on our records and the correct name cannot be confirmed on EDS/TEDS, instruct the caller to send a conformed copy of the organization's organizing document and/or name change amendment and a letter requesting the correction to the appropriate address from above based on the organization's exemption status.

  6. If generic words such as "church," "cemetery," "incorporated," "corporation," "association," "school," or "company" are misspelled, you may correct the spelling without the organization being required to submit a written request. If you are unsure whether the word may be corrected during the call, seek guidance from your Lead.

  7. If the name for an organization with an individual ruling as displayed on IDRS is radically different from the name given by the caller and the caller insists that the organization has not undergone a name change, prepare a Form 4442 referral to your lead/manager, who will elevate the issue to the headquarters analyst. See paragraph (9) for information on subordinate organizations.

    Note:

    This situation is not uncommon in the case of universities and instrumentalities when an affiliated entity files a return using the wrong EIN.

  8. Ogden initiates acknowledgement of the name change/correction within 30 days of receipt of the request by sending the organization a Letter 252C, Name of Business Shown on Return Needs Verification. The general time frame for requests sent to Cincinnati, which acknowledges the receipt of the correct name change documentation with Letter 4168C, Letter Affirming 501(c) Exemption, or, in the case of a church without formal recognition, with Letter 4163, No Record of Exemption of Organization Letter, is 60 days.

  9. Although central organizations must ensure that their subordinates have changed their names appropriately, they are not required to submit the name change documentation on behalf of their subordinates; they may simply inform EO Entity of the change (see Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information). Subordinates must submit all name changes through their central organization and not send name change documentation directly to the IRS.

    Note:

    If a subordinate calls about a name change for the central organization, inform the caller to have the central organization contact EO Entity. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.

Name Changes - Employee Plans (EP)

  1. A request to change the name of a plan must be:

    1. Made in writing

    2. Signed by an officer, and

    3. Faxed or mailed to EP Entity. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.

  2. Plan name corrections that cannot be verified on EDS/TEDS and corrected by the assistor at the time of the call must also be sent to EP Entity.

  3. EP Entity initiates the requested change within 30 days of receipt of the request; however, they do not issue a letter to the requester acknowledging that the change has been made.

"Doing Business As" (DBA)/"Also Known As" (AKA) Names for Exempt Organizations

  1. If an organization requests an assumed or trade name (e.g., "doing business as" (DBA) or "also known as" (AKA)) be added to or deleted from its name or that an existing DBA name be changed or corrected, it must submit the following:

    Note:

    The name could also be referred to as a "fictitious" , "assumed" , or "better known as" (BKA) name.

    Exception:

    If the requested change/correction can be verified on EDS/TEDS, perfect the entity information on Master File; the organization does not need to submit documentation.

    If the organization is Then the organization must submit
    Incorporated Proof the DBA/AKA name addition/deletion was filed with/approved by the secretary of state or appropriate state or local authority
    Exception: If the organization is incorporated in a state that does not register DBA names, the organization must provide a signed statement to that effect and must supply the documentation required of unincorporated entities.
    Not incorporated Documentation of the DBA/AKA name addition/deletion, signed and dated by at least one of the principal officers (e.g., amended organizing document, amended by-laws, or minutes of a meeting)
  2. Use the table below to provide the caller with the correct mailing address for the DBA name documentation based on the type of organization and its exempt status:

    If the Organization Is a(n) Then the DBA Name Documentation Must Be Mailed to
    Organization with an individual ruling EO Correspondence Unit
    See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.
    Central organization in a group ruling EO Entity
    See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.
    Subordinate organization in a group ruling Refer to paragraph (8) of IRM 21.3.8.9.2, Name Changes - Exempt Organizations (EO) and Federal, State, and Local Governments (FSLG).
    Non-church organization without a formal ruling and not part of a group exemption EO Entity
    See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.
    Church without a formal ruling and not part of a group exemption EO Correspondence Unit
    See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.
    IRC 527 organization See IRM 21.3.8.14.8, Requests for IRC 527 Web Updates (Including Password Requests) and Troubleshooting Calls.
    FSLG entity EO Correspondence Unit
    See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.
  3. Ogden initiates acknowledgement of the DBA/AKA name change/addition/deletion within 30 days of receipt of the request; the general time frame for requests sent to Cincinnati is 60 days.

Address Changes/Misdirected Mail

  1. For-Profit Entities - Requests must be made by an authorized individual. If the caller represents a for-profit entity, i.e., one that makes no claim to being exempt and/or is not asking about its exempt status or about applying for exemption, etc., transfer the caller using the Telephone Transfer Guide.

    Exception:

    If the caller represents the sponsor of an employee plan and you are changing the plan's address, you may also update the sponsor's address if requested by an authorized individual.

  2. Do not update the address on Master File without specific instructions to do so by an authorized individual.

    Note:

    You may correct obvious misspellings in the address fields whether or not the caller is authorized.

  3. Tax-Exempt Entities/Employee Plans - In order to make the change over the phone, the authorized requester must be able to cite the Address Of Record (AOR).

    1. Once verified, research Master File to determine if the change is pending or has been made.

      Reminder:

      A TC 014 is not the only indication of an address change input to IDRS; a TC 150 on ENMOD or BMFOLE could mean that the address was updated from an address change marked on a return filed by the organization.

    2. If the change has not been made, input the change (TC 014) to Master File. To remove the c/o name, input $$ on the c/o name line on the BNCHG screen. To delete the location address, input $$ on the first line of the location address on the BNCHG screen. See IRM 21.3.8.9.10, Transaction Codes (TCs) for the Entity Module, and IRM 21.1.3.20.1, Oral Statement Documentation Requirements, for additional information.

      Note:

      A former officer or other third party, although not authorized to provide a different c/o name or to request any other changes to the organization’s information, may request that his/her name be removed from the organization’s c/o name line. Verify the caller’s identity using INOLES (date of birth and Social Security Number) and then delete the c/o name line as requested if the caller’s identity is verified.

      Caution:

      When inputting an address change for an employee plan, determine whether you are being asked to make a change for the plan sponsor (using the sponsor's EIN), for the plan (using the plan sponsor's EIN with a "P" ), or for both. You must also determine the caller’s authority to request each change, keeping in mind that a person authorized to request one of the changes is not automatically authorized to request the other change so the appropriate disclosure procedures for each change request must be followed. If the caller is authorized to make both requests, you will need to input the change twice, once with a "P" and once without. If the caller is not authorized to make one or both of the requests, advise the caller to submit a Form 8822-B, Change of Address or Responsible Party - Business, or to have an authorized individual call. See IRM 21.1.3.2.3, Required Taxpayer Authentication, for information on authenticating the caller for BMF disclosure purposes.

    3. Prepare the appropriate affirmation letter reflecting the new address, if requested and if applicable.

    Note:

    If you are changing the address of a subordinate organization, remind the caller to inform the central organization of the subordinate's new address.

  4. If the caller is unable to validate the AOR, determine whether the organization will be filing a return before it needs to have its AOR updated. If yes, advise the caller that putting the new address on the return will update the address. If no, advise him/her to submit a completed Form 8822-B, Change of Address - Business, to the address shown on the form or to put the change in writing with the appropriate signature and either mail or fax the form/written request.

    Note:

    Do not treat the c/o name line as part of the address for disclosure purposes. If an authorized caller wants to change or add an c/o name line, input the information as requested if the caller has responded appropriately to the other disclosure prompts.

    1. If the entity shows a formal individual exemption on IDRS or EDS/TEDS, instruct the caller to send the documentation and a cover letter (if an affirmation letter is also being requested) to the EO Correspondence Unit. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.

      Reminder:

      If the caller wants an affirmation letter reflecting the organization’s new address but is not authorized to initiate an address change on IDRS, you can still comply with the caller's request for an affirmation letter by offering to prepare Letter 4170C, 3rd Party Affirmation of Exemption Letter, and using the organization's name and its new address.

    2. If the organization is the central organization or a subordinate in a group ruling or does not show a formal exemption on IDRS or EDS/TEDS, instruct the caller to send the address change form/written request to EO Entity. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.

    3. If the caller represents an employee plan, instruct him/her to send the address change form/written request to EP Entity. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.

    Note:

    Normal processing time for address changes sent to the EO Correspondence Unit in Cincinnati is 60 days; for those sent to EO or EP Entity, it is 30 days to initiate the change.

  5. If a former officer or other third party informs us that he/she is no longer part of the organization, but continues to receive correspondence, or that he/she was never affiliated with the organization (see (7) below), put the organization in status 21:

    1. If there is an open EO return module with no TC 150, use Command Code (CC) FRM49 TC 593/closing code 032 to satisfy the module; or

    2. If there is no open EO return module, use CC MFREQ to reactivate the most recent module or CC ACTON to create a dummy module; then use CC FRM49 to input the TC 593/closing code 032.

    Note:

    Even though status 21 will not follow a status 97, input the TC 593/closing code 032 to prevent BMF notices from generating.

    Reminder:

    TEGE telephone assistors cannot put central organizations into status 21. If you believe a central organization is more accurately in status 21, prepare a Form 4442 and route it to EO Entity using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information.

  6. If an organization has a pending (open) determination application, you may make the address change on Master File if requested to do so by an authorized party, but the organization must make the request in writing via letter or Form 8822-B to the EO Correspondence Unit to have the address updated on EDS/TEDS. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.

    Note:

    POAs as shown on EDS/TEDS are not authorized parties for the purpose of updating the AOR on Master File; the caller's authority must be recorded on CAF or you must have a properly-completed authorization in hand to update the AOR.

  7. If the caller states that he/she received IRS mail belonging to another taxpayer/entity, follow the procedure outlined in IRM 21.3.1.2.1, Erroneous Correspondence Procedures.

  8. If the caller requests an address change for an IRC 527 political organization in the ORACLE database on the IRS website, see IRM 21.3.8.14.8, Requests for IRC 527 Web Updates (Including Password Requests) and Troubleshooting Calls.

Employer Identification Number (EIN) Consolidations

  1. If the caller indicates (or if you discover from research performed in the normal course of the call) that his/her exempt organization has been assigned multiple EINs, instruct the caller to put the details in writing (including which EIN the organization wishes to use) and send the information to EO Entity. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.

    Exception:

    Do not initiate an EIN consolidation if the organization had to apply for a different EIN because it changed entity type.

  2. If the caller indicates (or if you discover from research performed in the normal course of the call) that the corporate sponsor or trust associated with his/her employee plan has been assigned multiple EINs, instruct the caller to put the details in writing (including which EIN the sponsor/trust wishes to use) and send the information to EP Entity. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.

Change in Accounting Period for Organizations Exempt Under IRC 501(a)

  1. When a contact is received requesting a change in an accounting period, research IDRS to verify what section the organization is exempt under.

    Note:

    If the caller is asking about the procedure to change the accounting period of an exempt organization, use of the "EO Change in Accounting Period" page in the TEGE PRG, located on SERP, is mandatory. Requests to change the fiscal year month of a subordinate organization whose accounting period is not dictated by the central organization may be made by either the subordinate or the central organization.

  2. Generally, organizations exempt under 501(a) will be deemed to have obtained the approval of the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue for a change in accounting period with the filing of the applicable information return for the short period for which a return is required. See Rev. Proc. 85-58.

  3. Do not change the fiscal year month based on information provided orally by the caller even if you suspect Service error in the processing of his/her original request. If IDRS research indicates that a change has been made (e.g., a TC 053 on CC ENMOD), but the change differs from what the caller is stating (including when the caller states that no change was requested), prepare a Form 4442 referral to EO Entity using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information. Provide a complete description of the problem. Tell the caller to allow 30 days for a response.

    Exception:

    Assistors with access to CIS/OL-SEIN may use information found on those systems to correct the fiscal year month. Any TEGE assistor may also correct the fiscal year month based on a statement from an authorized caller if the information on IDRS reflects the default assignment of December as the accounting period because the submodule was added as a result of the EO EIN Transcript program. (See IRM 21.3.8.9.12, Updating Exempt Organization (EO) Submodules Created by EO-EIN Transcripts, EO Submodule Data Sheets, and Filed Returns.)

    Reminder:

    If research indicates that a filed return needs to be reprocessed, follow the guidance in IRM 21.5.2.4.23, Reprocessing Returns/Documents, and the subsequent subsections.

  4. Exempt organizations submitting a Form 1128 must send the form to the address shown in the instructions to the form.

  5. Organizations must allow up to 30 days for the processing of their Form 1128. If the caller wants to check the status of his/her Form 1128 request, research IDRS to see whether the requested change has been made. If it has not (and it has been at least 30 days since the Form 1128 was submitted), confirm with the caller that the correct address was used. If not, provide the correct address. Advise the caller to send a copy of the request and to mark it as a second request.

    Note:

    Research TRAC if the caller is checking on the status of a Form 3115, Application for Change in Accounting Method.

  6. Advise callers representing Form 990-N submitters that changing IRS systems to reflect a change in accounting period can take several weeks. If the organization has already failed to submit e-Postcards for two consecutive years, then the IRS may not be able to make the change in time for the organization to submit its third e-Postcard before the due date. In that case, the organization may prefer to submit the e-Postcard based on the prior fiscal period and then change its accounting period so that the system reflects the new accounting period before the next Form 990-N would be due.

Change in Plan Year for Entities Exempt Under IRC 401(a)
  1. Entities described in IRC 401(a) may need to file Form 5308, Request for Change in Plan/ Trust Year. See Form 5308 and instructions or Revenue Procedure 2019-4 (or its successor) for Employee Plan User Fees (specifically for Change in Plan year Form 5308).

  2. Plan sponsors must allow up to 30 days for the processing of their Form 5308.

  3. If the authorized caller wants to check the status of the Form 5308 request, verify the following:

    • Has it been at least 30 days since the request was mailed?

    • Was the request sent to the correct address?

      Note:

      The Form 5308 instructions have not been updated to reflect the current mailing address (Florence, KY). See Exhibit 21.3.8-12, Time Frames, for the details and instruct the caller to use "EP Letter Rulings" in the Attention line.

    • Was the correct user fee (currently $1000) included and was the user fee payment processed?

  4. If it has not been at least 30 days since mailing the request to the correct address and with the correct user fee, provide the caller with the time frame information and inform that caller that the submitter will be contacted if additional information is necessary and will receive notification when the request has been processed.

  5. If the submission was sent to the incorrect address or without the correct user fee, provide the caller with the correct information and give the caller the option of waiting to see if the package is returned or of re-submitting a complete request to the correct address.

  6. If the caller responded to each question with Yes, research IDRS to see if the requested change has been made. If it has not, prepare a Form 4442 referral to the headquarters analyst via your lead or manager. Be sure to include complete contact information and details of the request such as plan number. Tell the caller to expect to be contacted within 30 days.

Status Codes - Exempt Organizations (EO)

  1. Status Code 01– When Status Code 01 is present on the Master File, it indicates an unconditional exemption has been granted to the organization.

  2. Status Code 02– Conditional — The exemption was conditioned upon an organization representing that it will meet an operational requirement. The organization needs to furnish amended articles containing the (c)(3) language. IRS no longer grants conditional rulings. Status code 02 may be encountered on rare occasion when working old case issues. See IRM 21.3.8.7.3(1)(i).

  3. Status Code 06 – State-operated university or college required to file Form 990-T for unrelated business income.

    Note:

    Advise the caller that we have no record of tax exemption by virtue of an approved application (IRM 21.3.8.4.1.1, IRC 6103). Explain that certain organizations (for example, churches, government entities, Indian tribal governments) may not be required to file for formal recognition and inform the caller that we can confirm tax exemption only when our records reflect that a formal determination ruling has been made. See IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.1, Verification of Tax-Exempt Status and Foundation Classification, for additional information.

  4. Status Code 07 – Church filing Form 990-T that does not have a formal exemption.

    Note:

    Advise the caller that we have no record of tax exemption by virtue of an approved application (IRM 21.3.8.4.1.1, IRC 6103). Explain that certain organizations (for example, churches, government entities, Indian tribal governments) may not be required to file for formal recognition and inform the caller that we can confirm tax exemption only when our records reflect that a formal determination ruling has been made. See IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.1, Verification of Tax-Exempt Status and Foundation Classification, for additional information.

  5. Status Code 10 – Pre-examination of church — The Form 990 that is submitted to OSPC will have been prepared by the EO Area Office Examination.

  6. Status Code 11 – Church-controlled school with no formal exemption that files a Form 5578.

    Note:

    Advise the caller that we have no record of tax exemption by virtue of an approved application (IRM 21.3.8.4.1.1, IRC 6103). Explain that certain organizations (for example, churches, government entities, Indian tribal governments) may not be required to file for formal recognition and inform the caller that we can confirm tax exemption only when our records reflect that a formal determination ruling has been made. See IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.1, Verification of Tax-Exempt Status and Foundation Classification, for additional information.

  7. Status Code 12 — A formal exemption was not granted for filing a Form 990 or Form 990-PF under IRC 4947(a)(1), a Form 5227 under IRC 4947(a)(2), or a Form 990-C/Form 1120-C (Taxable Farmer's Cooperative) under IRC 521.

  8. Status Code 18 - Is used when the organization is a trust. (Required to file Form 990-PF and Form 1041.)

    Note:

    Status Code 18 is input when a private foundation exemption has been revoked. The organization is required to continue filing a Form 990-PF return.

  9. Status Code 19 - Is used when the organization is a corporation. (Required to file Form 990-PF and Form 1120.)

    Note:

    Status Code 19 is input when a private foundation exemption has been revoked. The organization is required to continue filing a Form 990-PF return.

  10. Status Code 20 — Is used when the organization with an individual ruling is terminated or out of business. See IRM 21.3.8.12.6, Request for Reinstatement of Tax-Exempt Recognition, for additional information. See IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.1, Verification of Tax-Exempt Status and Foundation Classification, for additional information on status checks.

    Exception:

    Until a new status code is designated for that purpose, status 20 is also used for government entities that have voluntarily given up their exemption without terminating the organization. See IRM 21.3.8.12.5.1.1, Government Entities That Voluntarily Relinquish Their IRC 501(c)(3) Exemption, for additional information.

    Note:

    This Status Code is only used for organizations with individual rulings. If the organization is a subordinate of a group and the parent indicates it is no longer part of the group, the status code will be 28. See IRM 21.3.8.9.8, Status Code - Exempt Organizations (EO), for additional information.

  11. Status Code 21 — Is used when we are unable to locate the organization. See IRM 21.3.8.12.6, Request for Reinstatement of Tax-Exempt Recognition, for additional information. See IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.1, Verification of Tax-Exempt Status and Foundation Classification, for additional information on status checks.

    Note:

    When the Form 990 series return or e-Postcard for an organization in status 21 is processed, the status of the organization is updated to the status it held prior to status 21. Additionally, the address of record is updated to the address provided on the return/e-Postcard.

  12. Status Code 22 — Is used when the organization's exemption has been revoked by EO Examinations. This status generates an 1120 filing requirement. When an account is in STATUS Code 22, verify disclosure and respond to the caller using the following table:

    If Then
    The caller is authorized
    1. Apologize to the caller and advise him/her that you are unable to confirm the status.

    2. Prepare a Form 4442 with the caller's name, his/her relationship to the organization and his/her telephone number. In Part III Section B, notate: "Status 22 verification."

    3. Tell the caller that someone will contact him/her within 30 days.

    4. Route the Form 4442 to your manager, who will send it to EO Exam using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information.


    Caution: DO NOT update the account under any circumstances.
    The caller is not authorized Advise the caller that the organization is no longer tax exempt as of (month/year), using the status code date for month/year. See IRM 21.3.8.4.2.2.(5).
  13. Status Code 23 — Is used when the organization is terminated under 507(a).

  14. Status Code 24 — Is used when the organization is terminated under 507(b)(1)(A).

  15. Status Code 25 — Is used when a private foundation files a notification of its intent to begin a 60-month termination under 507(b)(1)(B). An advance ruling letter may be requested. See IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.1, Verification of Tax-Exempt Status and Foundation Classification, and IRM 21.3.8.12.5.4.1, IRC 507(b)(1)(B) Terminations (60-Month Terminations), for additional information.

  16. Status Code 26 (Termination/Merger) — Is used for accounts that are no longer in existence when two exempt organizations are merged (both accounts were exempt either by individual rulings or by a group ruling). See IRM 21.3.8.12.5.2, Merger of Two or More Organizations, for more information.

  17. Status Code 27 — Indicates a subordinate organization is no longer included in a group exemption ruling because the central organization's exemption was auto-revoked for failure to file the required annual information returns for three consecutive years. After the central organization is placed into status 97, subordinate organizations that are compliant with their EO filing requirement are placed into status 27 (those that are not are placed into status 97). Organizations are sent CP 120-B, Revocation notice of tax exempt status, when they are put into status 27. Because they still display an EO filing requirement on master file, organizations in status 27 may continue to submit a Form 990-N or e-file a Form 990 series return. See IRM 21.3.8.9.12, Updating Exempt Organization (EO) Submodules Created by EO-EIN Transcripts, EO Submodule Data Sheets, and Filed Returns, for information about updating IDRS for organizations in status 27.

  18. Status Code 28 — Indicates a subordinate organization is no longer included in a group exemption ruling. The status is updated to 28 when:

    • The central organization has notified IRS that the subordinate is no longer part of its group exemption.

    • The central organization files a final EO return.

    • A TC 591 is input on the central organization’s EO tax module.

    Note:

    The status will also automatically be updated to 28 if the subordinate organization files a 990 series return and checks the final return box, or if a TC 591 is input on any 990 series tax modules. Research EDS/TEDS to verify that the organization does not have an individual ruling.

  19. If the caller asks about returning to the group exemption and the central organization is in EO status 01 on IDRS, see IRM 21.3.8.12.14.5, Adding Subordinates to a Group Exemption and Modifying Subordinate Information. If the organization does not want to return to the group exemption or the central organization is not in EO status 01 on IDRS, see IRM 21.3.8.9.12, Updating Exempt Organization (EO) Submodules Created by EO-EIN Transcripts, EO Submodule Data Sheets, and Filed Returns.

  20. Status Code 29 — Is used when a group ruling has been dissolved as a result of the central organization notifying EO Entity that the group ruling was no longer being used. All EO filing requirements will reflect zero.

    Reminder:

    If the (formerly) central organization for a dissolved group ruling is going to maintain its individual exemption, it will be in status 01 with an affiliation code of 1-3 (generally 3) and the former subordinates will be in status 36 or status 40, as appropriate.

    Note:

    Only Ogden has the authority to take an organization out of Status 29 if there is no "T" case on EDS/TEDS. Impacted central organizations must send the request for reinstatement and a current listing of subordinates to EO Entity . Tell the caller to allow 90 days for the records to be corrected once Entity agrees to restore the group ruling. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.

    If there is a T case on EDS/TEDS, the central organization must submit a request to the EO Correspondence Unit. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.

    EO Determinations will notify the central organization whether its exemption can be reinstated or whether it will need to reapply.

  21. Status Code 30 — Applies to churches, their integrated auxiliaries, and conventions or associations of churches as described in IRC 501(c)(3) that voluntarily file Form 990, even though they have not received a formal exemption ruling and Master File does not indicate they are covered under a group exemption ruling. Handle as a no-record church. If requested, order all appropriate forms and send a Letter 4163C (No Record of Exemption of Organization Letter).

  22. Status Code 31 — Applies to small 501(c)(3) organizations other than churches and private foundations that normally have annual gross receipts of less than $5,000 and that submit a Form 990-N or that voluntarily file Form 990/Form 990-EZ, even though they have not received a formal exemption ruling and Master File does not indicate they are covered under a group exemption ruling. Handle as a no-record. If requested, order all appropriate forms and send a Letter 4163C (No Record of Exemption of Organization Letter).

  23. Status Code 32 — Applies to non-responders to CP 140 and CP 144.

    Note:

    No CP 140/CP 144s were generated/mailed after December 2007 and no additional organizations have been put into Status 32 since January 2008.

    1. Prior to December 2007, CPs 140 were issued to organizations with a filing requirement of 990-02 that were not required to file because their gross receipts were $25,000 or less and had not filed for three consecutive years.

    2. Prior to December 2007, CPs 144 were issued to organizations with a filing requirement of 990-01 that had not filed a 990 for three consecutive years.

    3. The EO Status was updated to 32 using the current month and year as the status date.

    4. See IRM 21.3.8.12.6, Request for Reinstatement of Tax-Exempt Recognition, if the caller is authorized.

      Caution:

      Do not discuss non-compliance issues (e.g., the organization's failure to respond to the CP 140/CP 144) with unauthorized callers.

  24. Status Code 33 — Applies to foreign private foundations described in IRC 4948(b) that are not required to apply for exemption, but are required to file a Form 990-PF to pay 4 percent tax on gross investment income derived from sources within the United States.

  25. Status Code 34 — Applies to political organizations operating under the rules of IRC 527.

  26. Status Code 35 — Applies to foreign entities that IRS has agreed are exempt by treaty with the participating country, but have no foundation code. For example, Canadian charities would be set up on Master File with an EO Status Code of 35.

  27. Status Code 36 — Applies to:

    • Organizations other than 501(c)(3), (9), or (17) that have submitted a Form 990-N or that filed Form 990/Form 990-EZ and have not received a formal exemption ruling, and the Master File does not indicate the organization is covered under a group exemption ruling

    • IRC 501(c)(4) entities that have registered under IRC 506 (even if no Form 990 series return was filed)

    Note:

    Status 36 is also used for organizations claiming exemption under IRC 501(c)(29) even though these organizations are required to apply for exemption because the application process is anticipated to take longer than the 180 days prescribed under the status 40 program.

  28. Status Code 40 — Is input by OSPC to create an EO submodule for a 501(c)(3), (9), or (17) organization that has not been ruled to be exempt at the time a Form 990-N is submitted or that a Form 990/Form 990-EZ is filed.

    • A CP 120, Confirmation of Tax-Exempt Status Required, is automatically generated to organizations that are put into status 40. This notice asks the organization for a copy of its determination letter and advises the organization that it must apply for formal recognition of its exemption if it does not already have a determination letter.

    • Use the following chart when responding to calls on CP 120:

      If Then
      An organization contacts the TEGE toll free sites to request an extension of time to reply to the CP 120 Prepare a Form 4442 referral to EO Entity using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information. Include the caller's contact information and the notation "CP 120 response" in Part III, section B of the referral.
      The caller has other questions about the letter which you cannot answer based on your knowledge of EO tax law and the requirement of certain organizations to apply for formal recognition of their tax-exempt status Prepare a Form 4442 referral to EO Entity using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information. Include the information stated above, as well as a summary of the caller's question/issue.

    Note:

    Although status 40 submodules do not display a Form 990 series filing requirement, the system will accept those returns when filed electronically or on paper. Do not attempt to add EO filing requirements to an entity in status 40.

  29. Status Code 41 — Input when a status 40 organization has failed to reply to solicitation for application. See IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.1, Verification of Tax-Exempt Status and Foundation Classification, for additional information.

  30. Status Code 42 — Input when an extension of time to file an EO return is received from an organization that does not have a formal exemption or is not covered under a group exemption ruling.

  31. Status Code 70 — Is input when, on merits of the application, an exemption is denied. See IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.1, Verification of Tax-Exempt Status and Foundation Classification, for additional information.

  32. Status Code 71 — Is input when an organization fails to establish (FTE) an exemption by failing to respond to our request for additional information. See IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.1, Verification of Tax-Exempt Status and Foundation Classification, for additional information.

  33. Status Code 72 — Refusal to Rule

  34. Status Code 97 — Automatic revocation of exempt status due to failure to file an information return or Form 990-N for three consecutive tax periods. See IRM 21.3.8.12.6.1, Responding to Calls From or About Organizations in Status 97, for additional information.

  35. Status Code 98 - Input to identify terrorist organizations. See IRM 21.3.8.12.6, Request for Reinstatement of Tax-Exempt Recognition.

  36. Status Code 99 - Input by the EO Compliance Area when an organization in status code 22, 41, or 70-72 files an EO return. Treat the organization as one which is not exempt, i.e., inform the authorized caller to file a taxable return until the organization applies for and receives formal exemption. See IRM 21.3.8.5.1.3.1, Verification of Tax-Exempt Status and Foundation Classification, for additional information.

    Exception:

    Update the submodule per IRM 21.3.8.9.12, Updating Exempt Organization (EO) Submodules Created by EO-EIN Transcripts, EO Submodule Data Sheets, and Filed Returns, if both of the following apply. Inform the caller that the organization will be able to submit its Form 990-N or e-file its return in four weeks and notate AMS with the actions taken.
    •The prior status of the organization is 41.
    •The caller asserts that the organization is organized and operated under an applicable subsection of IRC 501(c). If the caller claims exemption under IRC 501(c)(3), he/she states that the organization qualifies as a public charity with annual gross receipts averaging $5000 or less and that the organization does not intend to apply for formal recognition of exemption.

  37. See Exhibit 21.3.8-3, Table of IDRS EO Status, Foundation, and Affiliation Codes, for a quick reference guide.

Publication 78 Data- Updating to 01 Status

  1. When updating the EO submodule of an organization described in IRC 170(c) on Master File to status "01" and the organization is entitled to receive deductible contributions, DO NOT input cum list indicator (CUM-LIST-IND) 3. The update itself adds the organization to the monthly update of the online Publication 78 data that follows the MF extract pulled after the posting of the information to Master File.

    Example:

    An organization calls because they are not listed in the online Publication 78 data even though they have had a formal exemption under IRC 501(c)(3) for several years. The CSR researches IDRS and determines that the organization is not included because the organization's affiliation code on IDRS is zero (0). The assistor inputs a correction to IDRS to give the organization an affiliation code three (3) on May 15. If the assistor's transaction does not unpost, the organization will appear in the Publication 78 data no later than the July update. If the organization does not appear in the Publication 78 data by then, the assistor must prepare a Form 4442 referral to the headquarters analyst. See paragraph (5) of IRM 21.3.8.12.12.1, Publication 78 Data Omissions (Service Error / Non-Service Error), for additional details.

  2. For more information about Publication 78 data, see IRM 21.3.8.12.12, Publication 78 Data- Cumulative List of Organizations, and IRM 21.3.8.12.12.1, Publication 78 Data Omissions (Service Error / Non-Service Error).

Transaction Codes (TCs) for the Entity Module

  1. The following is a list of entity transaction codes you may encounter:

    Note:

    This list is not all inclusive. See Document 6209 for a complete listing of Transaction Codes (TCs).

    Transaction Code Meaning
    000 Establishes an account on the Master File.
    011 Identifies an account that has had two or more EINs consolidated on Master File.
    012 Reopens an inactive account on the Master File.
    013 Changes the name of an account on Master File.
    014 Changes the address of an account on Master File.
    016 Establishes and changes information contained on Master File such as:
    • BMF filing requirements

    • Fiscal year month

    • Employment code

    • EO submodule

    • Sort name

    • Care of name

    • Location street address

    • Location city, state and ZIP

    017 Replaces an EP File Folder Number.
    020 Removes or inactivates an account from Master File so future tax modules cannot be created. This code is also used to delete a Plan.
    022 Removes an EO module when a BMF account has an erroneously established EO section.
    023 Reversal of Election to Lobby
    024 Election to Lobby
    053 Changes the plan/fiscal year month. Form 1128 is required to change the accounting period.
    070 Church Exemption from SS Taxes
    071 Revocation of Church Exemption from SS Taxes
    127 Changes the name, address or EIN of the Plan Administrator.
    128 Replaces the Plan Name and Administrator data.
  2. Some of the more common transaction codes you may encounter are listed below.

  3. TC 000 establishes an account on the BMF for the first time or reactivates a previously-assigned EIN. These accounts may be entered in one of two ways:

    1. CC ENREQ/BNCHG, Doc Code 63, is used when no EO section needs to be established (e.g., EP trust EINs).

    2. CC EOREQ/EOCHG, Doc Code 80, is used when an EO submodule needs to be established.

    Caution:

    If there is already a dummy account on CC ENMOD, you will not be able to input a TC 000 using CC BNCHG/CC EOCHG until the information on ENMOD has been removed. Prepare a Form 4442 referral to your lead/manager, who will forward it to the headquarters analyst. Be sure to include all relevant information.

    If Then
    No EO submodule needs to be established by the assistor (e.g., EP trust EINs or exempt organizations with no ruling information available on EDS)
    Reminder: The assistor must prepare an EO Submodule Data Sheet and mark the box to indicate CAS TC 000’d the EIN if the caller represents an exempt organization.
    CC ENREQ/BNCHG format is used for input of an entity change transaction. It must be preceded by a CC ENMOD. If the TIN is not located on the Master File, an intend indicator of 1 must be input in column 20. The intend indicator allows the generation of a TC 000.

    The required fields for BNCHG TC 000 transactions are Doc. Code 63, name control, primary name, address, city, state, ZIP, filing requirements or NR, and Remarks. See IRM 21.1.3.20.1, Oral Statement Documentation Requirements, for details.
    An EO submodule needs to be established by the assistor from information available on EDS. CC EOREQ/EOCHG format is used for input of an entity and/or submodule change transaction. If the TIN is not located on the MF, an intend indicator of 1 must be input in column 20. The intend indicator allows the generation of a TC 000.

    The required fields for CC EOCHG TC 000 transactions are Doc Code 80, name control, primary name, address, EO status code and date, at least one of the following filing requirements: 990, 5227, 990-PF, or NR, and Remarks. See IRM 21.1.3.20.1, Oral Statement Documentation Requirements, for details.
    Reminder: When re-establishing the EIN of an exempt organization that was required to file annual information returns or to submit the Form 990-N, address the consequences of failure to file (auto-revocation) with an authorized caller. See IRM 21.3.8.12.24, Annual Electronic Notice Filing Requirement, Form 990-N, and the subsequent subsections for additional information.

    Note:

    IRM 3.41.269-5, Alphabetical Listing of Major Cities with Major City Codes and ZIP Codes, contains a list of Major City Codes which may be used as a short cut for inputting the city and state information.

  4. TC 013 indicates the primary name has been changed. Input this TC using ENREQ/BNCHG. When inputting a TC 013 on an EP account, the "P" must be input behind the EIN in order to post the name change transaction to the Employee Plans Master File (EPMF).

    Caution:

    See IRM 21.3.8.9.2, Name Changes - Exempt Organizations (EO) and Federal, State, and Local Governments (FSLG), before changing the name of an exempt organization with an individual ruling or before changing the name of the central organization in a group ruling.

  5. TC 014 indicates the account address (i.e., domestic, street address, mailing city, state and zip) has changed. Input this TC using ENREQ/BNCHG.

    1. When inputting a TC 014 on an EP account, input the "P" behind the EIN in order to post the transaction properly to the EPMF.

    2. If a foreign street address needs to be input, input the foreign city and foreign country in the mailing street address and mailing city, state and ZIP line.

      Note:

      U.S. territories and possessions are not considered foreign addresses. See IRM 21.7.13.7.3.8.3.2, Territories and Possessions State Codes, for additional information.

    3. A foreign postal code may be input.

    4. If a foreign country is not input, input ",." in the state field.

    5. If a foreign city or postal code is input, input the foreign street address.

    6. If a domestic mailing city, state and ZIP or major city code (Document 7475, State and Address Abbreviations, Major City Codes (MCCs), ZIP Codes and Countries) and ZIP are input, input the mailing address.

    7. If a major city code is input, input a mailing ZIP code.

    8. If the organization is a central organization or is an organization with an individual ruling and requests an affirmation letter reflecting the new address, prepare the appropriate affirmation letter. If the caller represents a subordinate organization and requests an affirmation letter, refer the caller to the central organization.

  6. TC 016 is used to establish and change information contained on Master File.

    1. This TC can be input using either CC ENREQ/BNCHG or EOREQ/EOCHG (valid for EO submodule changes).

    2. A definer code is not required for all TC 016 inputs. See IRM 21.3.8.9.10.1, Definer Codes, for additional information.

    3. Refer to the table below when deleting the information from the indicated fields:

      To Delete the Input
      Advance Ruling Date "999999" in the ADVNC-RULNG-DT field
      In care of name "$$" in the CARE-OF-NAME field
      Sort/DBA name "$$" in the SORT-NAME field
      Foundation code "99" in the FNDTION-CD> field
      Filing requirement "0" or "00" in the applicable form field
    4. Special Rules apply for EO submodule changes involving Group Exemption Numbers (GENs). If adding an organization to a GEN, enter that GEN in the NEW-GRP-EXEMP-NUM field. If CC INOLES shows an existing GEN:

      If Then Enter the Following in the FRM-GRP-EXEMP-NUM Field And Enter the Following in the NEW-GRP-EXEMP-NUM Field
      Not changing the GEN The CC INOLES GEN  
      Changing the GEN The CC INOLES GEN The new GEN
      Deleting the GEN The CC INOLES GEN "9999"
    5. Central organization submodule changes (affiliation codes 6 and 8) can only be made by OSPC. If the submodule of a central organization needs to be corrected, prepare a Form 4442 referral with the pertinent information and send it to EO Entity using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information.

    6. Subordinate submodule changes may require a variety of Definer Codes to be input for updating or changing specific information. When updating the submodule for a subordinate organization (affiliation codes 7 and 9), input definer code "C" and its fields, even if changes are not being made to the definer code "C" fields.

    7. See IRM 3.13.12, Exempt Organization Account Numbers (Entity), for additional information relating to updating or changing subordinate information.

    8. Additional information can also be found in IRM 3.12.278, Exempt Organization Unpostable Resolution.

  7. Use TC 022 to remove an EO module when a BMF account has an erroneously-established EO section or you are updating the submodule per IRM 21.3.8.9.12, Updating Exempt Organization (EO) Submodules Created by EO-EIN Transcripts, EO Submodule Data Sheets, and Filed Returns.

    Caution:

    When using TC 022, do not delete a good exemption. If the account shows an open AIMS (TC 420, 424, or 427) or Freeze Codes (-A, E-, -F, J-, -J, N-, O-, P-, -R, -S, T-, -U, -V, W-, X-, -Y, -Z) for any tax module, do not delete the EO section. If input, the action unposts as a UPC 359.

    1. Unless otherwise instructed, do not use TC 022 with accounts in EO Entity Status 01-26, 28, 29 and 70-72, unless it is obvious that the EO section was erroneously established.Never use TC 022 with accounts in EO Entity Status 97.

    2. Once an EO section is deleted, the account reverts back to a regular BMF account.

    3. Input a TC 022 with CC ENREQ/BNCHG.

  8. TC 024 is used to signify the Election to Lobby.

  9. TC 023 reverses the Election to Lobby.

  10. TC 070 is the church exemption from SS Taxes.

  11. TC 071 is used to revoke the church exemption from SS Taxes.

    Note:

    These transaction codes (paragraphs 7-11) are found on CC ENMOD only while they are pending. Once they have posted, they are found only on CC BMFOLE.

  12. See IRM 3.13.12, Exempt Organization Account Numbers, for additional information.

  13. See IRM 3.13.36, EPMF Account Numbers, for additional information.

Definer Codes
  1. When adding an EO submodule, research CC INOLES to identify whether:

    1. An existing filing requirement is present on the Master File that is incompatible with Form 990 filing requirements. Delete the existing filing requirement by entering "0" or "00" in the appropriate input field. See IRM 3.13.12, Exempt Organization Account Numbers, for additional information.

    2. An XREF Social Security Number (SSN) is present. Delete the SSN by using ENREQ/BNCHG and entering "000-00-0001" in the SOLE-PRP-SSN field. Use EOREQ/EOCHG with a delay code "1" to add the EO submodule information.

  2. For TC 016 changes using EOREQ/EOCHG, a definer code is always required if a filing requirement for Form 990, Form 990-PF, Form 990-T, Form 5227 or Not Required (NR) is input. Definer Codes A, B, and C may be input in any position.

  3. The following entries may be input with or without a definer code:

    • Advance Ruling Date

    • District of Location

    • Employment Code

    • File Folder Number

    • Foreign Street

    • In Care of Name

    • Large Case Code

    • Pension Plan

    • Sort Name

    • Type of Organization

  4. Definer Code A is used to change or add any of the following items:

    1. Subsection

    2. Foundation Code (when subsection is "3" )

    3. Deductibility Code and Year

    4. Classification Codes

    5. Fiscal Year Month

    6. Filing Requirements

    7. National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE) (if being added or changed; otherwise, not required). For additional information on NTEE codes, see IRM 7.20.2.5, Case Closing.

      Note:

      If one of these items is changed, you must input them all.

      Exception:

      See (6) below when perfecting the EOMF to reflect statuses 70, 71 or 72.

  5. Definer Code B is used when the Status Code and date are changed. In most cases when the status code is changed, it is also necessary to change filing requirements (definer code A) and, due to programming changes effective January 2015, the input of Definer C and its associated fields is required when updating an exempt organization to 01 status even if those pieces of information have not changed.

    Caution:

    When perfecting an account to Status 01 on Master File, use the information obtained from EDS/TEDS. If the correct status code date cannot be determined from EDS/TEDS, use January of the deductibility year on BMFOLO. If there is no deductibility year, use the ruling date as the status code date. You also need to assign an appropriate filing requirement.

  6. Definer Code C is used to add or change the following:

    1. Affiliation Code

    2. GEN (if present)

    3. Ruling Date

      Note:

      If one of these items is changed, you must input them all.

  7. When perfecting the EOMF to reflect Statuses 70, 71, or 72:

    Note:

    These procedures are applicable only when the closing information is available on EDS (e.g., for status 11 Failure To Establish cases). When the closing information is not available or is insufficient to make a correct update to IDRS, then prepare a referral to the EO Correspondence Unit per IRM 21.3.8.3.8, Researching and Perfecting Entity/Exempt Organization (EO) Submodule Information on the Master File.

    1. Input only "B" and "C" in the TRANS-DEFINER-CD>field (do not enter "A" ).

    2. Input the following fields for Definer Code A: SUBSECT-CD>, CLSF-CD>, FYM>, and FILING-REQUIREMENTS: 1120>01 (or 1041> 1 for trusts).

    3. Input Definer Code B fields as instructed in (5) above.

    4. Input Definer Code C fields as instructed in (6) above.

    5. Input CONTRIB-DED-CD/YR>20000 (contributions not deductible).

Incompatible Filing Requirements
  1. When establishing a filing requirement, refer to the table below to determine if the filing requirements are compatible. If the filing requirements are not compatible, delete the incompatible filing requirement. Failing to do so will create an unpostable.

    MFT Filing Requirement is not compatible with
    01 (941) 941 (Filing Requirement Code (FRC) = 09 or 10 (with Doc. Code not equal to 51 or 52) or 944
    02 (1120) 1041, 1065, 708GS (T), 1041-A, 5227, 1068
    1120-C (FRC = 1 unless F1120 FRC = 07)
    990-T (FRC = 1 unless F1120 FRC = 03, 04, or 09)
    990-T (FRC = 2) 990-PF (FRC = 1 unless EO Entity Status = 19 or 22)
    990 (FRC = 03 or 07)
    990 (FRC = 04, 08, or 13 unless F1120 FRC = 09)
    990 (FRC = 01 or 02 unless F1120 FRC = 01 and EO subsection = 12 or F1120 FRC = 03, 04, or 09)
    8752 (unless F1120 FRC = 02)
    05 (1041) 1120, 1065, 1120-C, 990-T, 1066, 8752,
    990 (FRC = 03-07)
    990 (FRC = 01 or 02 unless EO Subsection = 91)
    990-PF (Unless EO Subsection = 92)
    06 (1065) 1120, 1041, 1066, 1120-C, 990-T, 1041-A, 5227, 4720, 990-PF, 990, 706GS(T)
    07 (1066) 1120, 1065, 1041, 8752, 112-C, 990-T, 1041-A, 5227, 4720, 990-PF, 990, 708GS(T)
    14 (944) 941
    15 (8752) 1041, 1068, 1120-C, 990-T, 1041-A, 5227, 990-PF, 4720, 990, 706GS(T), and 1120 (FRC not equal to 02)
    34 (990-T) 1041, 1065, 1068, 8752, 1120-C, 1041-A, 5227, 706GS(T), 990 (FRC = 03), 1120 (FRC = 01, 02, 06, 07, 10, 11, or 14-19)
    36 (1041-A) 1066, 8752, 1120, 1065, 1120-C, 990-T, 990-PF, 990
    37 (5227) 1120, 1065, 1066, 8752, 1120-C, 990-T, 990-PF, 990, 1041/706GS(T), (unless EO Subsection = 90)
    44 (990-PF) 1065, 1066, 8752, 1120-C, 1041-A, 5227, 990,
    1120 (FRC = 01 unless EO Entity Status = 19 or 22),
    1120 (FRC = 02, 06, 10, 11, 14-19),
    1041/706GS(T) (unless EO Subsection = 92),
    990-T (FRC = 02)
    50 (4720) 1065, 1066, 8752, 1120-C,
    1120 (FRC = 02, 06, 07, 10, or 11)
    990 (FRC = 2)
    67 (990) 1065, 1066, 8752, 1120-C, 1041-A, 5227, 990-PF,
    1120 (FRC = 02, 06, 07, 10, 11, 14-19),
    1041/706GS(T) (unless EO Subsection = 91),
    1120 (FRC = 01 unless 990 FRC = 01 or 02 and EO Subsection = 12),
    990-T (FRC = 2)
    77 (708GS(T)) 952, 1120-C, 1066, 1120, 1065
    990 (FRC = 03, 04, 06, 07, or 13)
    990 (FRC = 01 or 02 unless EO Subsection = 91)
    990-PF (unless EO Subsection = 92)
North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)
  1. If a call is received from an organization involved in business activities that wants to know what its NAICS code is; check page 1 of CC ENMOD or CC BMFOLO and page 1 of an EDS/TEDS EO determination record.

    If Then
    Our records reflect a code You may share it with the caller.
    There is no code Direct the caller to www.census.gov. There is a link from the Census Bureau's main page to the NAICS codes. From that page, the organization can research the codes and their definitions. There are also printed manuals that contain this information which are generally available in the reference sections of most public and university libraries.
  2. Although this code does not necessarily reflect unrelated business income, an abbreviated list of these codes can be found in the instructions to the 990-T, where they are referred to as "Codes for Unrelated Business Activity."

  3. If the caller asks about how to change the NAICS code we show for the organization, instruct the caller to send a written request to the EO Correspondence Unit with the relevant facts, including who selected the code initially, if known. The CU will refer to EO Determinations, if necessary, and will notify the organization if a Form 8940 and user fee are required to make the requested change. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.

  4. If the caller has additional questions about NAICS codes, direct him/her to the publicly-available references cited above. You are not responsible for determining the appropriate NAICS code for an exempt organization.

Federal Tax Deposits (FTD's)

  1. The object of the Federal Tax Deposit (FTD) system is to make available to the U.S. Treasury, as early as possible, monies paid by the taxpayer to satisfy tax obligations for employment, excise, corporation, or unrelated business income taxes. Under this system, a taxpayer does not make payments directly to the IRS. Taxpayers that have a deposit requirement (such as employment tax, excise tax, and corporate income tax) are mandated to pay electronically through Electronic Funds Transfer. Generally, electronic funds transfers are made using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), under which a taxpayer generally gives payment instructions to a financial institution which forwards the instruction to a clearing house. The clearing house then posts an entry to a receiving financial institution which, in turn, posts the entry to the Treasury's account. A taxpayer may arrange for a tax professional, financial institution, payroll service, or other trusted third party to make deposits on his/her behalf. Some taxpayers may remit taxes with a return under certain de minimis exceptions to the deposit rules as indicated in the instructions for a tax form.

  2. There are certain requirements for making EFTPS deposits. This information can be found in IRM 21.7.1.4.8.1, Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS).

  3. Refer to the TTG if the caller has general questions about electronic payment options (EFTPS).

  4. If the caller has specific questions about making an electronic payment (e.g., what four-digit code to use for making a payment on a particular return type), refer the caller to the EFTPS Customer Service line at 800-555-4477.

Updating Exempt Organization (EO) Submodules Created by EO-Employer Identification Number (EIN) Transcripts, EO Submodule Data Sheets, and Filed Returns

  1. Between early 2014 and July 2015, a transcript (EIN and name of entity only) generated whenever an entity applied for an EIN and indicated it was a non-profit organization. These transcripts were assigned to EO Entity, which performed IDRS research to determine if another EIN had already been assigned to the entity and, if not, created an EO submodule for the entity based on the organization’s name. If the organization sounded like a church, it was given status 30; non-churches were given status 36 and IRC 501(c)(4).

    Note:

    If the caller is contacting us because the organization received a notice of auto-revocation (CP 120-A) or because the organization is listed on Tax Exempt Organization Search as auto-revoked and the caller claims the entity was revoked in error (the organization is a church, the organization never formed or did not form as a non-profit/tax exempt entity, etc.), see IRM 21.3.8.12.6.1, Responding to Calls From or About Organizations in Status 97.

  2. Because all non-churches were assigned an IRC 501(c)(4) designation by default, other statuses and/or IRC subsections may be more accurate for the organization based on information you collect from the caller. Information from any paper EO return filed by the entity will update/correct the master file data (including adding the EO submodule if there is none), but if the organization is not required to file (e.g., churches) or is going to e-file its EO return or submit a Form 990-N, e-Postcard, master file may need to be updated before the return/form can be successfully transmitted. Use the following table to update master file if, based on information supplied by the caller, you determine that status 36 and IRC 501(c)(4) are not appropriate for the entity. The table can also be used to correct the EO status and/or subsection of other entities that do not have a formal ruling of exemption or that are not part of a group ruling, including organizations in status 27 or status 28.

    If the EO status of the entity on IDRS is And, based on the caller’s statements, the organization Then
    36 and IRC 501(c)(4) Qualifies under a different subsection of IRC 501 (other than IRC 501(c)(3), (9), (17), or (29))
    • Input a TC 016/definer A with the correct subsection and other required fields.

    • Notate AMS with the actions taken and under whose authority (use only the caller’s relationship to the organization, e.g., treasurer, and not the caller’s name).

    36 and IRC 501(c)(4) Qualifies as a political organization under IRC 527 Instruct the caller to put the details of the request in a signed letter (How was the Form SS-4 completed? Is the organization required to file a Form 8871, Political Organization Notice of Section 527 Status, and, if so, did it?), including contact information, and to send the letter to EO Entity. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.
    27, 28, 31, 36, 40, 41, or 99 Qualifies as a church, i.e., status 30
    • Delete the EO submodule with a TC 022.
      Caution: Before deleting the submodule, research BMFOLI for any balances due or freeze codes on an EO return module. If any are found, do not delete the submodule. Transfer the caller to an EO accounts assistor to handle that issue before making any updates to the submodule.

    • Input a TC 016/definer B with the required fields (and cycle delayed), using the current month/year for the status code date.
      Note: If the organization is in status 27 or status 28, you may perfect the primary name line to remove the name of the former central organization and/or perfect/delete the sort name line if the name on the sort name line or on a prior name line on CC ENMOD matches the current name of the organization as stated by the authorized caller. Be sure to use an appropriate cycle delay.

    • Notate AMS with the actions taken and under whose authority (use only the caller’s relationship to the organization, e.g., treasurer, and not the caller’s name).

    27, 28, 30, 36, 40, 41, or 99 Qualifies as a public charity under IRC 501(c)(3) with annual gross receipts averaging $5,000 or less, i.e., status 31
    • Delete the EO submodule with a TC 022.
      Caution: Before deleting the submodule, research BMFOLI for any balances due or freeze codes on an EO return module. If any are found, do not delete the submodule. Transfer the caller to an EO accounts assistor to handle that issue before making any updates to the submodule.

    • Input a TC 016/definers AB with the required fields (and cycle delayed), using the current month/year for the status code date and giving the organization a 990-02 filing requirement.
      Note: If the organization is in status 27 or status 28, you may perfect the primary name line to remove the name of the former central organization and/or perfect/delete the sort name line if the name on the sort name line or on a prior name line on CC ENMOD matches the current name of the organization as stated by the authorized caller. Be sure to use an appropriate cycle delay.

    • Notate AMS with the actions taken and under whose authority (use only the caller’s relationship to the organization, e.g., treasurer, and not the caller’s name).

    27, 28, 30, 31, or 36
    Note: This procedure also applies to organizations in status 41 if the organization has an organizing document that is dated within 27 months of the current date or within 27 months of the control date of a pending (open) Form 1023/Form 1023-EZ.
    Qualifies as a public charity under IRC 501(c)(3) with annual gross receipts averaging more than $5,000, i.e., status 40
    Reminder: Be sure to discuss the requirement to apply for exemption.
    • Delete the EO submodule with a TC 022.
      Caution: Before deleting the submodule, research BMFOLI for any balances due or freeze codes on an EO return module. If any are found, do not delete the submodule. Transfer the caller to an EO accounts assistor to handle that issue before making any updates to the submodule.

    • Input a TC 016/definer B with the required fields (and cycle delayed), using the current month/year for the status code date.
      Note: If the organization is in status 27 or status 28, you may perfect the primary name line to remove the name of the former central organization and/or perfect/delete the sort name line if the name on the sort name line or on a prior name line on CC ENMOD matches the current name of the organization as stated by the authorized caller. Be sure to use an appropriate cycle delay.

    • Notate AMS with the actions taken and under whose authority (use only the caller’s relationship to the organization, e.g., treasurer, and not the caller’s name).

    27, 28, 30, 31, 34, 40, 41, or 99 Qualifies under a subsection of IRC 501 other than IRC 501(c)(3), (9), (17), or (29), i.e., status 36
    Reminder: If the caller is authorized and claims the organization is described in IRC 501(c)(4), see IRM 21.3.8.12.29, Notification Requirements for Social Welfare Organizations Described in IRC 501(c)(4).
    • Delete the EO submodule with a TC 022.
      Caution: Before deleting the submodule, research BMFOLI for any balances due or freeze codes on an EO return module. If any are found, do not delete the submodule. Transfer the caller to an EO accounts assistor to handle that issue before making any updates to the submodule.

      Reminder: If the entity was set up as a political organization in error, you may also need to delete the political organization indicator and adjust the cycle delays accordingly. See IRM 21.3.8.10.2.12, CP 249 Notices for IRC 527 Organizations, for additional information.

    • Input a TC 016/definers AB with the required fields (and cycle delayed), using the current month/year for the status code date and giving the organization a 990-01 or 990-02 filing requirement.
      Note: If the organization is in status 27 or status 28, you may perfect the primary name line to remove the name of the former central organization and/or perfect/delete the sort name line if the name on the sort name line or on a prior name line on CC ENMOD matches the current name of the organization as stated by the authorized caller. Be sure to use an appropriate cycle delay.

    • Notate AMS with the actions taken and under whose authority (use only the caller’s relationship to the organization, e.g., treasurer, and not the caller’s name).

    27, 28, 30, 31, 36, or 40 Does not qualify for exemption from federal income tax
    • Delete the EO submodule with a TC 022.
      Caution: Before deleting the submodule, research BMFOLI for any EO return modules with a balance due or freeze codes. If any are found, do not delete the submodule. Transfer the caller to an EO accounts assistor to handle that issue before making any updates to the submodule.

    • Input a TC 016 with a cycle delay (BNCHG) and give the entity a taxable return filing requirement based on the entity type as stated by the caller: Form 1120 (corporations and unincorporated associations) or Form 1041 (trusts).
      Note: If the organization is in status 27 or status 28, you may perfect the primary name line to remove the name of the former central organization and/or perfect/delete the sort name line if the name on the sort name line or on a prior name line on CC ENMOD matches the current name of the organization as stated by the authorized caller. Be sure to use an appropriate cycle delay.

    • Notate AMS with the actions taken and under whose authority (use only the caller’s relationship to the organization, e.g., treasurer, and not the caller’s name).

    30, 31, or 36 Caller claims that the entity requested an EIN prematurely and that the entity never organized or operated and requests that the EIN be cancelled and/or that the filing requirements be removed.
    • Instruct the caller to put the details of the request in a signed letter, including contact information, and to send the letter to EO Entity. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.

    • Notate AMS with a summary of the request (use only the caller’s relationship to the entity, e.g., responsible party on EIN request, and not the caller’s name).

    Reminder:

    If a master file update is required before an EO return or a Form 990-N can be successfully transmitted, advise the caller to allow at least four weeks for the necessary systems to be updated (updates involving cycle delays may take up to six weeks). If the organization is at risk for auto-revocation, refer to IRM 21.3.8.12.24.4, Special Procedures for Organizations That Require an Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS) Update to Submit the Form 990-N Timely, for additional required actions. Also take the Form 990-N information if the organization’s Form 990-N rejected and the organization has no additional registered users to submit the form once master file is updated.

  3. If the caller asks about applying for exemption, use of the TEGE PRG, located on SERP, is mandatory.

  4. For situations not covered here or elsewhere in the IRM, prepare a Form 4442 referral to your lead.

Account Issues - Tax Exempt/Government Entities (TEGE)

  1. This section serves as a guide for performing tasks involved in answering general account related issues.

    Note:

    For Tax-Exempt Bond issues, see IRM 21.3.8.17, Tax-Exempt Bonds (TEB).

Extensions for Tax Exempt/Government Entities (TEGE) Return Filing

  1. This subsection serves as a guide for issues relating to return extensions.

Extensions - General Information
  1. IRC 6081(a) and Regulations 1.6081-1(a) generally provide that an extension of time to file will not be granted for more than 6 months from the due date of the return required to be filed.

  2. TEGE customers requesting an extension of time for filing a return must submit an application (e.g., Form 8868, Application for Extension of Time To File an Exempt Organization Return) or letter to the IRS campus where the return is to be filed on or before the due date of the return.

  3. If the application for extension comes in the form of a letter instead of an IRS form, the IRS campus follows normal approval/denial criteria. All information required by a form is also required in the letter.

  4. A separate extension form/request must be filed for each return.

Extension Due Dates
  1. Extension requests are due by the return due date (or extended due date for second requests if applicable). If the normal due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, the extension must be filed on the next business day following the Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday.

    Note:

    Federally-declared disasters may affect the due dates of returns, independent of filed extensions. See the Small Business/Self-Employed website for a list of disasters and affected zip codes.

Extensions — Exempt Organizations
  1. The following forms may be used to request an extension of time to file a return.

  2. For tax years beginning before January 1, 2016, Form 8868, Application for Extension of Time to File an Exempt Organization Return, except as noted below, is used to request an automatic 3-month extension of time to file the following forms and also to apply for an additional (not automatic) 3-month extension if the original 3-month extension was not enough time. For tax years beginning after December 31, 2015, Form 8868 can be used to request an automatic 6-month extension of time to file the forms listed here. Effective TY 2010, Form 8868 may be filed electronically.

    • Form 990

    • Form 990-BL

    • Form 990-EZ

    • Form 990-PF

    • Form 990-T (sec. 401(a) or 408(a) trust)

    • Form 990-T (trust other than above)

    • Form 1041-A

    • Form 4720

    • Form 5227

    • Form 6069

    • Form 8870

    Note:

    Corporations filing a Form 8868 to extend the due date of their Form 990-T receive an automatic 6-month extension to file that return.

  3. Form 7004, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns, is used to request an automatic 6-month extension of time to file Form 1120-C and all other 1120 series returns. A copy of Form 7004 must be attached to the return when filed.

  4. Organizations that submit a Form 8868 will receive one of the following notices:

    • CP 211A, Application for Extension of Time to File an Exempt Organization Return - Approved

    • CP 211B, Application for Extension of Time to File an Exempt Organization Return - Request Not Signed

    • CP 211C, Application for Extension of Time to File an Exempt Organization Return - Request Not Timely

    • CP 211D, Application for Extension of Time to File an Exempt Organization Return - Reasonable Cause Not Established

    • CP 211E, Application for Extension of Time to File an Exempt Organization Return - Denied, general

    Note:

    All but the CP 211A are denials.

  5. Research for extensions and the related notices using CC SUMRY/TXMOD/BMFOLT.

    • A TC 460 reflects that the extension was approved; the extended due date displays at the end of the transaction code line.

    • A TC 620 with no TC 460 reflects that the extension request was denied.

      Note:

      Prior to January 1, 2007, both approvals and denials were posted as TCs 460. If there was one TC 460 and the date shown at the end of the transaction code line was the original due date of the return, then the first extension request was denied. If there were two TCs 460 and the date at the end of the second transaction code line was the date of the first extension, then the first extension was approved and the second extension was denied. If there were two TCs 460 and the date at the end of the second transaction code line was the original due date of the return, then there was no first extension request or both the first and the second extension requests were denied.

Extensions - Employee Plans
  1. This section contains a list of forms that may be used to request an extension of time to file an EP-related return.

  2. Currently, the only extensions being denied are extensions that are filed late.

  3. Form 5330 extensions are posted to the BMF. If a customer states he/she submitted an extension for Form 5330 and it is not present on Master File, advise him/her to attach a copy of the Form 5558 he/she filed when submitting the return.

  4. During the period from January 2004 through December 31, 2008, Form 5500 series extensions that were denied posted to the EPMF, blocking series 800 (prior to January 2004, Form 5500 series extensions were not posted to the EPMF). Reconsiderations also posted whether they were approved or denied. If a customer states he/she submitted an extension for Form 5500 during this period:

    • If the extended due date is the same as the original due date, the extension was denied.

    • If the extended due date is past the original due date, the extension was granted and the extended due date is the new due date of the return.

  5. Beginning January 1, 2009, all extensions (approved, denied, and reconsiderations) post to IDRS as TC 460s.

  6. If the caller has received a CP 216F or CP 216H notice about an extension and states that no extension was requested, suggest to the caller that he/she contact the plan POA and/or administrator to see if that individual filed an extension request. If the authorized caller asks whether a copy of the filed extension can be sent to his/her attention and the extension was not for a Form 5330 (which must be signed), explain that the form is not required to be signed and, therefore, may not reveal who filed the extension request. If the caller insists on requesting a copy or the extension was for a Form 5330, prepare a Form 4442 referral to EP Accounts requesting that a copy of the extension be mailed to the caller's attention. Use the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information.

    Caution:

    DO NOT VOLUNTEER THE COPY. Initiate the request for a copy only when the caller specifically asks whether it is possible to receive a copy of the document.

  7. Form 5558, Application for Extension of Time to File Certain Employee Plan Returns, is used to request:

    • An automatic one time extension for filing Form 5500, Form 5500-EZ, Form 5500-SF, or Form 8955-SSA until up to the 15th day of the third month following the date prescribed for filing the return/form.

      Note:

      Extensions granted on the Form 5500 series will also apply to the Form 8955-SSA for the same tax year.

    • A 6-month extension for filing Form 5330. The extension for filing Form 5330 is not automatic and is subject to IRS approval.

      Note:

      For signature applicability, refer to Form 5558 instructions.

  8. Plan sponsors that submit a Form 5558 to extend the due date of their Form 8955-SSA or Form 5500 series return will receive one of the following notices:

    • CP 216F, Application for Extension of Time to File an Employee Plan Return - Approved

    • CP 216H, Application for Extension of Time to File an Employee Plan Return Denied - Not Timely

    Note:

    If the caller received a CP 216 series notice about an extension that contains incorrect dates, instruct the caller to write a letter requesting reconsideration and to provide an explanation of the incorrect dates on the notice. Send the letter to the address on the notice and include a copy of the notice. Instruct the caller to file the return before the extension is expired.

  9. Plan sponsors that submit a Form 5558 to extend the due date of their Form 5330 will receive one of the following notices:

    • CP 232A - Form 5558 Extension Approved

    • CP 232B - Form 5558 Extension Not Approved - Late

    • CP 232C - Form 5558 Extension Not Approved - Not Signed

    • CP 232D - Form 5558 Extension Not Approved - Unacceptable Reason

  10. Form 7004, Form 4868, or Form 8868 may be used in lieu of filing Form 5558 for Form 5500, Form 5500-SF, or Form 5500-EZ if the following criteria are met:

    • The plan year and the employer's tax year are the same.

    • The employer has been granted an extension of time to file its federal income tax return (or, in the case of an exempt organization, its annual information return) to a date later than the normal due date for filing the Form 5500 series return.

    • A copy of the application for extension of time to file the federal income tax return is attached to Form 5500 (after January 1, 2010, no extension can be attached to the return).

    Note:

    Using a Form 7004, Form 4868, or a Form 8868 extends the due date of the Form 5500 series return only until the due date of the employer's federal income tax return. An extension granted by using this automatic extension procedure CANNOT be extended further by filing a Form 5558, nor can it be extended beyond a total of 9 1/2 months beyond the close of the plan year.

  11. Form 7004, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns, is used to request an automatic 6-month extension of time to file all 1120 series returns.

  12. Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, may be filed to give a sole proprietor an automatic 6-month extension of time to file an Individual Income Tax Return (Form 1040 series).

    Note:

    If an electronic method for filing the extension was used, an electronic acknowledgement or confirmation number is returned to the filer. A paper copy of Form 4868 must be completed (including an annotation of the electronic confirmation number) and attached to the Form 5500-EZ when it is filed. If a Form 5500 or Form 5500-SF is filed, the filer must retain a copy of the extension acknowledgement in his/her permanent records.

  13. Form 8868, Application for Extension of Time To File an Exempt Organization Return, is used to request an automatic 6-month extension of time to file the 990 series returns (except for the Form 990-N, e-Postcard) for tax years beginning after December 31, 2015.

    Note:

    For tax years beginning before January 1, 2016, Form 8868 was used to request an automatic 3-month extension of time to file the 990 series returns (except for the Form 990-N) and also to apply for an additional (not automatic) 3-month extension.

Notices/Letters

  1. This subsection serves as a guide for issues relating to notices and letters received by TEGE customers.

  2. A CP notice results from:

    1. Input of notice codes

    2. Computer analysis of an account on Master File, or

    3. Posting of a transaction

  3. Notices may:

    1. Request payment

    2. Give instructions

    3. Inform

    4. Request returns or missing information from previously-filed returns

    5. Propose penalties or assessments

  4. Notice (CP) numbers are usually printed in the upper right corner of the notice. Each notice contains the taxpayer's name, address, TIN, and a computer-generated pre-printed message.

  5. See IRM 21.3.1, Taxpayer Contacts Resulting From Notice Issuance, for additional information. Samples of most notices may be found on the SNIP website.

  6. IRS issues letters to taxpayers to solicit information necessary to perfect returns and documents being processed. Letters are also issued to respond to taxpayer inquiries. Each letter may address more than one situation. These letters are issued via IDRS. Once issued, CC ENMOD displays the following information for each letter until the account has had no activity for a period of time:

    1. Letter #

    2. Date

    3. Employee #

    4. MFT

    5. Tax period

    Reminder:

    A copy of a previously-generated C letter cannot be reproduced because there is not a record of which selective paragraphs were used and what the fill-ins contained.

  7. See Exhibit 21.3.8-11 for a list (not all-inclusive) of common campus letters issued to TEGE customers. You may view a copy of these letters through the Correspondex Letters on SERP.

  8. If an authorized caller states that his/her organization/plan has a balance due or owes the IRS money, whether or not she/he cites a specific IRS notice, research the account before responding to the caller to ensure that the debt is not owed to another government agency or authority, e.g., to the caller’s state or to the Department of Labor, and to ensure that all issues can be addressed and/or that appropriate referrals can be made.

  9. If the caller is not authorized to receive account-specific information, but has questions about a notice or a letter, provide general information about the purpose of the letter/notice and instruct the customer to respond to the notice/letter in writing to the address given on the notice/letter. See IRM 21.3.8.4.1.5, Issue and Entity Identification and Taxpayer Authentication Procedures.

  10. If the issue cannot be resolved by the notice assistor during or as a result of the phone call, advise the caller to respond in writing to the address or fax number given in the notice/letter.

    Note:

    See (12) below for the notice calls that must not be transferred to the notice application.

  11. If the caller asks you to confirm receipt of a response to a notice/request for penalty abatement that was mailed/faxed within two weeks of the call, explain that you cannot confirm receipt but that normal processing time for the initiation of an action/response is 30 days from the IRS received date. If it has been more than two weeks since the response was submitted, research IDRS and/or CIS to determine whether the response has been received/controlled. If it has been received and you have been trained on CIS, work the case as applicable, per guidance. If you have not been trained on CIS, notate AMS (when available) with the remarks: Not trained on CIS. Provided correspondence time frame. If it has been more than two weeks since the response was submitted and there is no record of it having been received/controlled, ask the caller if she/he can fax in a copy of the response to 877-792-2864. If you determine that you are unable to work the CIS case while the caller is on the telephone, provide the caller with the normal processing time. For additional information about prior referrals on account issues, see IRM 21.3.5.4.2.1.1.1, Pre-existing Form 4442/e-4442.

    Note:

    If the caller asks a specific question about the submitted correspondence which you are able to answer by accessing CIS, attempt to answer the caller's question (whether or not you are then able to work the correspondence). If you are not able to answer the specific question, prepare a Form 4442 referral to the Lead with the appropriate contact information.

  12. Tax law assistors must transfer questions on notices to the appropriate notice application.

    Exception:

    Questions on CP 299, on CP 120-A, on CP 120-B, on CP 259-H, and on the CP 249 series are answered by tax law assistors and are not to be transferred to the EO Notice application. Transfer questions on CP 259-H and on the CP 249 series to the advanced tax law application for political organizations.

Campus Letters Issued on Incomplete/Erroneous Form 990 Series Returns Prior to January 2018
  1. When OSPC received an incomplete TEGE return (e.g., 990, 8038), they issue a letter to the taxpayer/POA requesting the missing information to complete the processing of the return.

  2. Once the requested information was received or the response time lapsed, Error Resolution System (ERS) forwarded the return for processing without adding any information to IDRS. If a caller wants to know whether submitted information was received, the only way to confirm that is by looking for a TC 150 (information received) or for some indication that a CP 141 series notice was issued (information not received or insufficient). If you cannot confirm, prepare a Form 4442 referral to ERS (EEFax 855-309-9361).

  3. If an authorized caller received an ERS notice and indicates that the organization needs a copy of the return as submitted in order to respond to the notice requesting missing information (e.g., because the organization did not keep a copy of the return it submitted), prepare a Form 4442 referral to ERS (EEFax 855-309-9361).

Incomplete and Wrong Return Type Processing after December 2017
  1. Beginning in January 2018, the IRS will not correspond for missing information on exempt organization returns (i.e., the Form 990 series) or for the correct exempt organization return type (for example, a private foundation that sends in a Form 990). Unless EDS research resolves a filing requirement mismatch at the time the return is received so that IDRS can be updated to allow the return to be processed without contacting the filer, the incomplete/erroneous return will be sent back to the filer unprocessed and no copy will be maintained. The return will be accompanied by a letter explaining what was missing or what the correct return type is per our records.

    Note:

    The incomplete returns will contain edit marks (red writing/circles/notations, etc.). If callers ask about the edits, explain that the marks relate to the Service’s processing of the return and that the filer may disregard them and rely on the letter to determine what needs to be corrected/completed.

  2. The type of return submitted determines the C letter sent to the filer:

    Return Type Submitted C Letter
    Form 990 Letter 2694C
    Form 990-EZ Letter 2695C
    Form 990-PF Letter 2697C
  3. If the filer sends back the complete/correct return within 10 days of the date of the C letter and includes a copy of the letter, the return will be processed as having been received on the date of the letter. Note that this treatment may not be reflected in the actual TC 150 date, but rather in the penalty having been suppressed. Complete/correct returns received after the tenth day will be processed under the date the complete/correct return was received.

    Exception:

    If the organization filed an incomplete Form 990 or Form 990-EZ but is eligible to submit a Form 990-N for that period (and has no non-IRS reason to file a Form 990 or Form 990-EZ), it may submit a Form 990-N and disregard the letter about the incomplete return (but recommend that the organization notate the details of the call on the letter and retain it in the organization’s records). The Form 990-N will follow the normal processing rules for that form. If the organization is at risk of auto-revocation, however, take the Form 990-N information to submit the form on behalf of the organization and notate AMS.

    Caution:

    If the organization filed an incomplete Form 990-PF and the caller states that the organization has a Form 990-PF filing requirement only because it selected the wrong foundation type on its Form 1023-EZ, Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, instruct the caller how to request correction of the foundation classification, if it has not already done so, per IRM 21.3.8.12.5.4, Change in Foundation Classification, and advise the caller to await the revised determination letter giving the organization public charity status and a new filing requirement before filing a return for the period in question if it is not at risk of auto-revocation. Recommend that the caller notate the details of the call on the letter they received with their incomplete Form 990-PF and to retain the letter in the organization’s records. If the organization must file a Form 990 or Form 990-EZ once the new determination is made, the organization will have to include a statement of reasonable cause with the return because it will be subject to a late filing penalty at that point. If the organization is at risk of auto-revocation, however, advise the caller to file a completed Form 990-PF.

    Note:

    Incomplete return penalties will no longer apply to Form 990 series returns, but the returns will still be subject to the daily delinquency penalty. Where applicable, the filer may submit a reasonable cause statement with the delinquent return.

    Example:

    If the caller states that there is not enough time to complete the return and send it back because the C letter arrived at the end of or past the 10-day period, apologize and instruct the caller to send the completed return as soon as possible and to include a reasonable cause statement about the reason for the delinquency. Any corroborating information, such as a copy of the postmark, can be attached.

  4. Because the return is not processed, there will be no information on TXMOD or BMFOL indicating that a return was submitted and there will be no return image available on the SOI EO Imaging Network (SEIN). The only indication that an incomplete/wrong return was received/sent back will be the C letter shown on ENMOD while the entity module is active.

    Note:

    If IDRS does not show a processed Form 990 series return for the period for which the caller is trying to verify receipt of the return and it has been less than three months since mailing the return, explain to the caller that it can take up to three months to process a correct and complete return. Inform the caller that incomplete or erroneous returns will be sent back to the organization and invite the caller to check again after three months from the mailing date if the organization has not heard from us and wants to confirm the receipt and processing of the return. If it has already been more than three months since the mailing date, tell the caller to submit a copy of the complete return and a cover letter (including reasonable cause information if the return is delinquent).

  5. When contacting us, callers with questions about their unprocessed returns may select the notice application or one of the tax law applications. To minimize the caller’s inconvenience by being transferred unnecessarily, all exempt organization assistors (accounts and basic and advanced tax law) must attempt to respond to the caller’s question(s) about the missing information unless specifically directed otherwise by this IRM or by the Telephone Transfer Guide.

    Note:

    Assistors staffing the notice application will transfer callers with questions about wrong return types/filing requirement mismatches to basic EO tax law.

  6. Filers of the Form 990-PF generally submit complete returns. The only "formal" schedule for the Form 990-PF is Schedule B, Schedule of Contributors, which the filer must attach unless it checks the box in Part I, item 2. Lines with the notation "attach schedule" require a schedule whose format/contents are specified in the form instructions for that line.

  7. If the caller’s issue involves a filing requirement mismatch and you have been trained in EO tax law, research EDS and IDRS and respond to the caller using the information in this subsection or elsewhere in this IRM. For example:

    If And Then
    The organization has valid EO filing requirements. Wants to change them (other than non-exempt charitable trusts (NECTs) discussed below Refer to IRM 21.3.8.12.5.7, Request to Change Filing Requirement.
    The organization is in status 41.   Refer to IRM 21.3.8.9.12, Updating Exempt Organization (EO) Submodules Created by EO-EIN Transcripts, EO Submodule Data Sheets, and Filed Returns.
    The organization is in status 71 and there is no favorable ruling on EDS dated after the status 71 date. The authorized caller claims that the organization has a determination letter dated after the status 71 date. Refer to paragraph (11) of IRM 21.3.8.3.8, Researching and Perfecting Entity/Exempt Organization (EO) Submodule Information on the Master File.
    The organization is in status 71 and there is no favorable ruling on EDS dated after the status 71 date. The authorized caller claims that the organization has proof that it responded timely to the request for additional information. Refer to paragraph (4) of IRM 21.3.8.12.17, Exempt Organization (EO) Case Development and Failed to Establish (FTE) Status.
    The organization is in status 71 and there is no favorable ruling on EDS dated after the status 71 date. The authorized caller claims that the organization qualifies under a different subsection of the Code than that under which it applied and failed to establish or, if claiming exemption under IRC 501(c)(3), that the organization is a public charity with average annual gross receipts of $5,000 or less. Instruct the caller to put the information in writing and to send it to EO Entity. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.
    The filer is an NECT under IRC 4947(a)(1) and treated as a private foundation (status 92) and attempted to file a Form 990 as an NECT under IRC 4947(a)(1) (public charity). The organization has a ruling letter giving the NECT Form 990/Form 990-EZ filing requirements as a public charity under IRC 509(a)(3). Refer to paragraph (11) of IRM 21.3.8.3.8, Researching and Perfecting Entity/Exempt Organization (EO) Submodule Information on the Master File.
    The filer is an NECT under IRC 4947(a)(1) and treated as a private foundation (status 92) and attempted to file a Form 990 as an NECT under IRC 4947(a)(1) (public charity). The organization does not have a ruling letter giving the NECT Form 990/Form 990-EZ filing requirements as a public charity under IRC 509(a)(3). Explain that the entity cannot file a Form 990 until the IRS determines it qualifies as a public charity under IRC 509(a)(3). To receive that ruling, the entity must submit a Form 8940, Request for Miscellaneous Determination, completed for their request type (refer to the form instructions for the details) and the applicable user fee.

    Note:

    Assistors staffing the notice application will transfer callers with filing requirement mismatches to basic EO tax law.

  8. If the caller’s issue involves missing information and the caller does not ask a direct question about the missing information, confirm that the caller has a copy of the return and a copy of the letter and that the caller has read the letter. If the caller does not have the letter, verify the organization’s filing requirement and direct the caller to the appropriate general instruction based on the return type:

    If the Organization Files Then Direct the Caller to And
    Form 990 General Instruction C, Sequencing List To Complete the Form and Schedules, and to the instructions to Part IV, Checklist of Required Schedules Invite the caller to contact us later if there are specific questions after reviewing the letter, the return, and that general instruction.
    Form 990-EZ General Instruction H, Requirements for a Properly Completed Form 990-EZ Invite the caller to contact us later if there are specific questions after reviewing the letter, the return, and that general instruction.
    Form 990-PF General Instruction B, Which Parts To Complete, and to the specific instructions for the items on the return marked "attach schedule" Invite the caller to contact us later if there are specific questions after reviewing the letter, the return, and that general instruction.
  9. If the caller’s return was missing a schedule and the caller has questions about completing the schedule, provide tax law assistance, transfer to the appropriate application, or follow the out of scope procedures, as applicable.

  10. If the caller is questioning the requirement to complete a missing schedule, ask the caller if the organization responded "Yes" to any question (or, in the case of the Schedule B for Form 990-PF filers, did the organization fail to check the box) that required the completion of the noted schedule or attachment? If so (and the question was not answered incorrectly), instruct the caller to complete the required schedule(s) and to send back the entire return. If the question was answered incorrectly, instruct the caller to correct the return and to send back the entire form.

    Note:

    Some schedules or attachments have only one "trigger" question in one part of the return (generally the section on activities), while others (for example, Schedule O, Supplemental Information to Form 990 or 990-EZ) have multiple such triggers. The organization is responsible for reviewing its return and for ensuring that they have included a completed schedule or attachment corresponding to any item to which they responded in a manner that would require a designated schedule or attachment.

CP 080 and CP 081
  1. A CP 080 is issued when a BMF taxpayer makes a payment(s) to the IRS but fails to file a tax return within 6 months after the return due date. A CP 080 continues to generate every 6 months until the credit condition no longer exists or until 6 months prior to the statute date.

  2. A CP 081 is a final notice that is generated to BMF taxpayers six months prior to the refund statute expiration date.

  3. If the caller received a CP 080 or 081, advise the caller to respond to the notice.

    1. If the taxpayer is liable for the tax, a return must be filed.

    2. If the taxpayer is not liable for the tax, advise the taxpayer of the requirement to file a signed return within three (3) years from the due date or within two years of the receipt of the payment to get a refund of prepaid tax or refundable credits, unless other obligations are owed. The return must be postmarked before the statute expires.

    Note:

    If an overpayment exists, IRS cannot refund any overpayment after the statute of limitations has expired.

CP 140/CP 144
  1. CP 140/CP 144 were last issued in December 2007. They were replaced by the e-postcard (Form 990-N) initiative. See IRM 21.3.8.12.24, Annual Electronic Notice Filing Requirement, Form 990-N.

CP 141I, CP 141L, CP 141C, and CP 504/CP 504B
  1. These notices are generated when an information return is received late or, prior to January 2018, incomplete and the Daily Delinquency Penalty is asserted. See IRM 21.3.8.10.3.1, Daily Delinquency Penalty - Transaction Code (TC) 238/TC 234), and IRM 21.7.7, Exempt Organizations and Tax Exempt Bonds, for a full discussion of how to process these calls. See IRM 21.3.8.4.1.5, Issue and Entity Identification and Taxpayer Authentication Procedures, for third party contacts.

  2. There are three different types of CP 141s:

    • CP 141I is sent to those filers whose return was filed incomplete. See IRM 21.7.7.4.23.1.3.1, Incomplete Return Item (IRI) Codes, for a list of the paragraphs included in the notice sent to these filers to show what is missing from the return.

    • CP 141C is sent when our records indicate the return is incomplete and late. See IRM 21.7.7.4.23.1.3.1, Incomplete Return Item (IRI) Codes, for a list of the paragraphs included in the notice sent to these filers to show what is missing from the return.

      Note:

      CP 141I and CP 141C were not generated after December 2017.

    • CP 141L is sent to filers who, according to our records, filed a complete return late.

  3. A CP 504/CP 504B is a final balance due notice advising the taxpayer of the intent to levy their assets and informing them how to prevent collection action.

  4. Probe to determine which notice the caller received. If the caller received the CP 504/CP 504B, determine what the previous notice was.

  5. If the current (or previous) notice is a CP 141I or CP 141C, regarding missing information, advise the caller the missing information must be provided to complete the return, as well as an explanation for not supplying the information with the originally-filed return. If the caller cannot provide the missing information, advise the caller to provide a detailed explanation why the missing information cannot be provided. Instruct the caller to pay the penalty. If the caller feels they have reasonable cause for removing the penalty, instruct the caller to provide a detailed explanation requesting that the penalty be abated and submit the request to the address shown in (7)(b) and follow (7)(c) below if applicable.

    Caution:

    Do not use Oral Statement Authority to address penalties assessed against an incomplete return.

  6. If the current (or previous) notice is a CP 141L, account assistors may abate the penalty only if one of the following applies:

    • The penalty is below the oral statement ceiling and the organization has reasonable cause for the abatement of the penalty. See IRM 21.1.3.20, Oral Statement Authority, and IRM 20.1.1.3.2, Reasonable Cause, for procedures to remove the penalty.

    • OL-SEIN shows that a reasonable cause statement for late filing was included with the return.

    • The caller faxes proof of timely mailing to the assistor's attention.

    • A case on CIS shows that the return was timely filed or contains an acceptable Reasonable Cause statement.

  7. If you are unable to abate the penalty (i.e., none of the bullets in (6) applies) and the caller has reasonable cause for penalty abatement, instruct the caller to:

    1. Submit a detailed explanation requesting that the penalty be abated. The request must address the reason for the late filing.

    2. Advise the caller to respond in writing to the address or fax number on the notice and inform the caller that a final response is generally initiated within 30 days of the earliest IRS received date. The appropriate contact information for EO Accounts (see Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information) may also be provided to the caller in lieu of or in addition to referring the caller to the contact information on the notice.

    3. If the account shows an amount due, proceed as follows:

    If MF status is Then
    21 or 58 1. See (6) above to determine whether you can abate the penalty.
    2. If you cannot abate the penalty, input a STAUP for 9 cycles. This allows the caller time to submit a written request for penalty abatement consideration.
    3. Advise the caller you will stop collection activities for 9 weeks; however, accrual of penalties (in the case of incomplete returns) and/or interest will continue until the penalty is paid or removed.
    4. Place a history item on AMS explaining the corrective action taken or the reason for the STAUP.

    Note:

    If an unauthorized third party asks whether you will put a hold on notices, explain that the appropriate actions will be taken. If the caller presses you for details, explain that IRC 6103 prohibits you from disclosing account-specific information to unauthorized third parties.

    22, 24 or 26 1. See (6) above to determine whether you can abate the penalty.
    2. If you cannot abate the penalty, instruct the caller to pay the penalty or follow the guidance in (7)(a) and (7)(b) above.

    Note:

    If the organization’s module is in one of these statuses and the caller wants to speak to someone about the account, transfer the caller to ACS per the Telephone Transfer Guide.

CP 142/CP 143
  1. CP 142, Request for Reason of Late Filing, is issued on late filed Tax Exempt Bond Form 8038, Form 8038-G, and Form 8038-GC, filed without a reason for filing late. This is not an assessment notice; it is requesting an explanation for what IRS believes is a late-filed return.

    Note:

    As of January 1, 2010, Form 8038-B and Form 8038-TC will also generate CP 142/CP 143.

  2. The customer must respond within 30 days from the date of the notice either to the address on the notice or by faxing the response to the fax number on the notice.

  3. CP 143, Late Filing Accepted, is issued after an acceptable response to CP 142 is received. If the caller received a CP 143 notice, inform the caller the reason they provided was accepted and no further action is required.

  4. Unless given other guidance (e.g., via a SERP Alert for specific situations), prepare a Form 4442 referral for the TEB subject matter expert in EO Accounts for all questions relating to the CP 142. Use the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information.

CP 217, CP 218, CP 219 and CP 221
  1. CP 217, CP 218, CP 219, and CP 221 are issued to organizations that file a "zero" Form 940 and based on the type of organization they are, they don't have to file a Form 940.

    • CP 217 is issued to organizations with Employment Codes G, F, or T.

    • CP 218 is issued to organizations with Employment Code C.

    • CP 219 is issued to organizations with Employment Code W and the EO Subsection Code is 03, or the Employment Code is blank and the EO Subsection Code is 03.

    • CP 221 is issued to organizations with Employment Code W and the EO Subsection Codes are 50, 60, or 70.

  2. Refer to the TTG if the caller has questions about one of these CP notices.

CP 259 Series - Exempt Organization Tax Delinquency Inquiries (EO TDIs)
  1. Taxpayer Delinquent Returns Notices and Taxpayer Delinquent Investigations (TDIs) are issued from Master File on accounts that have not received a return (Form 990/Form 990-EZ, Form 990-PF, Form 990-T, Form 990-N, Form 5227, and Form 1120-POL) to satisfy the filing requirement. The following table lists the forms and the applicable notices.

    Form Notice
    990 and 990-N 259-A
    990-PF 259-B
    Presumptive 990-PF 259-C
    990-T 259-D
    5227 259-F
    1120-POL 259-G
    990/990-EZ
    Note: This notice differs from the 259-A in that it is sent to 527 political organizations.
    259-H

    Note:

    See the Servicewide Notice Information Program (SNIP) site for an example of CP Notices.

  2. If the caller received a notice from the 259 series, use the following table to provide appropriate advice to the caller:

    If Then
    The organization previously filed a return or submitted a Form 990-N for the period Advise the caller to complete the section of the notice headed If you already filed a form…
    Note: If IDRS or OL-SEIN research confirms receipt of the return requested by the notice, advise the caller to disregard the notice.
    The organization is required to file an EO return (other than the Form 990-N) for the period Advise the caller to complete the section of the notice headed If you are filing late and to attach a completed return, including all required forms, schedules and statements, to the response.
    Note: If the caller asks where to send the response to the notice, instruct him/her to send it to the address on the notice.
    The organization is eligible to submit a Form 990-N for the period Determine if they still have time to submit the form for the period in question:
    • If they do, advise them to submit their Form 990-N and to disregard the notice otherwise. Ensure that the caller understands that the organization is required to file an annual return or e-Postcard by the fifteenth day of the fifth month following the end of its accounting period and that a failure to file the required return for three consecutive years will result in the automatic revocation of the organization's exemption.
      Example: If the notice concerns the period ending December 31, 2017, and the date the organization contacts the IRS is before January 1, 2019, the organization would still be able to submit its Form 990-N.

    • If there is no longer enough time to submit the form for the period in question (see example above), input a TC 598, CC 082 to satisfy the module; update the organization's filing requirement to 990-02 (if appropriate); advise the caller to disregard the notice; ensure that the caller understands that:

      • Paid preparers are available to submit prior year forms; information can be found on the IRS website.

      • Action being taken simply prevents any future notices from generating for that same return and period (in other words, no Form 990-N is being submitted on the organization's behalf).

      • Organization is still required to file an annual return or e-Postcard by the fifteenth day of the fifth month following the end of its accounting period.

      • Organization is still subject to automatic revocation if it fails to file a required return for three consecutive years (including the one on the notice).

    The organization is not required to file an EO return or to submit a Form 990-N for the period Advise the caller to check the appropriate box in the section of the notice headed If you don't think you have to file… and to return the notice. (Refer to the sample notice on SNIP).
    Exception: If the organization is not required to file a return or to submit a Form 990-N because of an accounting period change (i.e., the notice generated based on the prior accounting period), input a TC 590, CC 075 to satisfy the module, apologize to the caller, and instruct the caller to disregard the notice.
    The organization is a subordinate included in a group return for which an extension was filed
    1. Research IDRS for the group return and input the TC 460 on the subordinate's module if you are able to determine that the subordinate was to have been included in the extension; apologize and tell the caller to disregard the notice.

    2. If you determine that the group return was already filed and that the subordinate was to have been included, input the TC 590 cc 014 on the subordinate's module; apologize and advise the caller to disregard the notice.

    3. If you cannot determine that the subordinate's (group) return was supposed to have been extended or that the group return was already filed, advise the caller to contact the central organization for substantiation and to complete Section I or II of the notice, as applicable.

  3. If the caller received a CP 259-B (Form 990-PF), but research indicates that the entity is a presumptive PF and there is no open "A" case on LINUS or EDS/TEDS:

    1. Instruct the caller to submit a Form 8940, the appropriate support schedule from Form 990/Form 990-EZ Sch A, Public Charity Status and Public Support, completed for the five most recent tax periods, and the appropriate user fee (see Rev. Proc. 2019-5 or its successor for the current fee) to the Cincinnati Campus and a response to the notice to the Ogden Campus

    2. Update the organization's filing requirement to 990PF-3.

  4. If the caller received a CP 259-C, research EDS/TEDS for a favorable "F" case (or "A" case that affects the foundation classification). If none is found, instruct the caller to submit a Form 8940, the appropriate support schedule from Form 990/Form 990-EZ Sch A, Public Charity Status and Public Support, completed for the five most recent tax periods, and the appropriate user fee (see Rev. Proc. 2019-5 or its successor for the current fee) to the Cincinnati Campus and a response to the notice to the Ogden Campus.

  5. If the caller received a CP 259-H and is questioning the organization’s qualifications under IRC 527 or its liability for the return and period on the notice, use the Political Organization Filing Requirements page of the TEGE PRG located on the Portal to determine the organization's liability for the return for the period addressed in the notice.

    • If it is determined that the organization is liable for the return for that period, instruct the caller to complete the appropriate section of the notice and to send it back with a complete return.

    • If it is determined that the organization is not liable for the return for that period for a reason other than that the organization terminated, prepare a Form 4442 referral to EO Entity (using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information) stating that the organization is not liable, providing the reason, and requesting that the module be satisfied and, if applicable, that the submodule be updated and the filing requirements and 527-IND field be deleted/modified. Summarize the call in a history on AMS (name of the caller and his/her position in the organization; whether the organization is liable for the return or not; if not, explain why.

    Exception:

    If the organization has terminated and does not appear to have qualified under IRC 527, instruct the caller to respond to the notice in writing with information about the nature of the organization and its termination. If the terminated organization appears to have qualified under IRC 527, see IRM 21.3.8.14.1.1, Form 8871 Due Dates to Establish or Return Tax-Exempt Status, for guidance on terminating a political organization.

    Note:

    Questions on CP 259-H are answered by tax law assistors and are not to be transferred to the EO Notice application. Transfer questions on CP 259-H to the advanced tax law application for political organizations.

  6. If the caller states a response was previously sent to a CP 259 series notice, verify disclosure, per IRM 21.3.8.4. Check for the following:

    • A CIS control base on CC TXMOD for the MFT/tax period about which the notice was issued indicates OSPC has received a response. No further action is required from the customer at this time.

    • A TC 590 on CC TXMOD indicates the account is resolved. (See Document 6209 Section 11 for additional Closing Code information.)

    • A TC 150 on the appropriate CC TXMOD indicates OSPC has received and accepted a return for that module. No further action is required from the customer at this time.

    • No indication on CC ENMOD or CC TXMOD that a response was received. Advise caller to complete items shown in (2) above and resubmit it to OSPC.

  7. If the caller indicates that he/she sent a return under separate cover from the CP 259 series notice, inform the caller that it could take up to three months to appear on our system.

    Note:

    Research CC TXMOD and/or OL-SEIN; there is no indication on CC ENMOD.

  8. Refer to IRM 3.13.12, Exempt Organization Account Numbers, for additional information.

  9. Organizations must file returns as required by law. If they want to request a change in current filing requirements, they must submit the pertinent information to EO Determinations. Organizations that intend to submit such a request must still respond to OSPC's notices in a timely manner.

    Note:

    See IRM 21.3.8.12.5.7, Request to Change Filing Requirement, and IRM 21.3.8.11.7.2, Filing Requirements for Organizations within the First Five Years of Operation and Beyond, for exceptions to the written notification requirement.

CP 213
  1. The CP 213 Notice was obsoleted in January 2013. The remaining information in this subsection provides a historical background.

  2. The CP 213 Notice was not a bill. Except for the CP 213R, it contained a "proposed" penalty amount due to a late filed and/or incomplete Form 5500, Form 5500-SF, or Form 5500-EZ.

    1. The CP 213N was issued to plan sponsors who filed a Form 5500 series return late.

    2. The CP 213I was sent to plan sponsors who filed an incomplete Form 5500 series return which may also have been filed late. The long version indicated what information was missing on the return by means of a series of check boxes.

  3. The Department of Labor's (DOL's) ERISA - Filing Acceptance System (EFAST/EFAST2) may correspond twice asking for missing information and/or addressing the late-filed return. If the customer does not respond to either of the letters, the return is processed as is, and the information is provided to the IRS.

    Note:

    To verify if DOL issued a letter, research IDRS CC EMFOL for a TC 155 (1st letter) or TC 156 (2nd letter).

    Reminder:

    Information from any Form 5500 or Form 5500-SF that is processed by DOL is transmitted to the IRS to update the Service's records. This includes returns that are complete or incomplete, timely or delinquent.

  4. Once IRS receives the information from EFAST/EFAST2, a module is established on Master File with a return condition code of 'I' for an incomplete return and/or an 'N' for a late filed return. Previously, this information was used to generate the CP 213N or I Notices.

    Caution:

    The proposed penalty notice (CP 213I) generated based on the original filing of the employee plan return. Therefore, even if the filer filed an amended return to correct/complete the original submission, the filer may have received a CP 213I if the original filing was incomplete. Consequently, it is imperative that the assistor perform complete research, as well as probe the caller for information on post-original filings, before advising the caller what actions, if any, the caller must take.

  5. The CP 213 Notice gave the filer 30 days after the date of the notice to respond. The proposed penalty listed on the notice was assessed after 60 days, unless Ogden Accounts Management Center (OAMC):

    • Received written correspondence that established reasonable cause

    • Was provided the missing information from the filer, or

    • Was notified that a processing error was made on the part of the IRS or Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

  6. A CP 213R was generated when EP Accounts accepted reasonable cause and no penalty was assessed. For these modules, EMFOLT shows a TC 971 with the applicable Action Code.

CP 283/CP 295
  1. The CP 283, Penalty Charged on Your Form 5500 Return, is issued to notify the Form 5500 series filer of a balance due resulting from the assessment of a penalty.

    Note:

    A copy of this notice is available through the SNIP website.

  2. If the caller wants to request penalty abatement due to reasonable cause, instruct the caller either to fax or to mail the response to the address/fax number on the notice. A final response will be initiated within 30 days of the earliest IRS received date. Tell the caller that interest will continue to accrue until the penalty is abated or until the account is full paid.

    Exception:

    The TEGE telephone account assistors may abate the assessed penalty in the following situations only:

    • The penalty was for late filing, the caller has reasonable cause, and the penalty meets the conditions set forth in IRM 21.5.2.4.9.2,Oral Statement and Penalty Relief Request.

    • The penalty was for late filing and the caller can fax in proof of timely filing (Service error).

    • The caller can fax in proof of acceptance into the DOL's DFVCP with a signed and dated fax cover sheet.

    • The caller states they are located in a disaster area and you are able to confirm that through account research.

  3. The CP 295, Request for Payment - Form 5500, is an annual reminder notice as a follow up for the accounts in balance due. Refer to the CP 283 instructions above for resolution.

CP 403 and CP 406
  1. CP 403 and CP 406 notices are sent to plan sponsors who have not filed a Form 5500 series return for a particular plan year and our records indicate that the plan is still active. Both of these notices are computer generated.

    Note:

    Except for a small volume of CP 406s issued to clean out the queue, CP 403 and CP 406 notices are no longer issued to Form 5500-EZ filers as of January 2010.

  2. The CP 403 notice is generally sent out to the taxpayer 15 months after the original due date of the return to remind delinquent filers to file a return. This notice has a 30-day response time frame.

  3. The CP 406 notice is the second and final notice sent to the plan sponsor for a delinquent return, if we have not received a timely response from the taxpayer. The CP 406 notice is generally issued 15 weeks after the CP 403 notice. This notice also has a 30-day response time frame.

  4. Use the following information to respond to callers' inquiries on these notices:

    If the caller indicates that Then
    He/she already filed a return for the period noted on the CP notice.
    Note: This includes returns filed for the period noted on the CP notice using a different plan sponsor’s name and/or a different EIN or different plan name as indicated in Line 4 of Form 5500/Form 5500-SF.
    Instruct the caller to complete Section I of the notice.
    Note: Tell him/her to verify that the EIN, plan number, and tax period printed on the notice match the information previously submitted on his/her Form 5500 and to notate any discrepancies.
    He/she is not required to file a return for the period or plan number noted on the CP notice (including for the reason that a final return was filed in a previous period). Instruct the caller to complete Section II of the notice.
    He/she is required to file a return for the period noted on the CP notice. Instruct the caller to file the delinquent return electronically with EFAST2. See IRM 21.3.8.13.2, Form 5500, Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan; Form 5500-SF, Short Form Annual Return/Report of Small Employee Benefit Plan; and Form 5500-EZ, Annual Return of A One-Participant (Owners/Partners and Their Spouses) Retirement Plan or A Foreign Plan, for additional details.
    Note: If the caller has reasonable cause for filing the return late, instruct him/her to complete Section III of the notice.
    He/she responded to the CP 403 but still received a CP 406. Research for the response.
    • If found, apologize to the caller and tell him/her to disregard the second notice.

    • If not found (and it has been longer than 30 days since the response was sent), recommend that the caller send a copy of the response. If less than 30 days since the response was sent, inform the caller that it could take up to 30 days for the response to show on our system.

  5. Advise the caller to respond in writing to the address or fax number on the notice (EP Entity). See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.

    Note:

    If the caller received a CP 403 and will not be able to respond in writing to the notice before the CP 406 is generated (see (3) above):

    • Use command code ASGNB to delay the generation of the CP 406 by 15 weeks. See IRM 3.13.36.19.2.16, Command Code ASGNI/ASGNB, for additional information, OR

    • Prepare a Form 4442 referral and EEFax it to EP Entity using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information. See IRM 21.3.8.8.1, How to Prepare a Referral, for additional information.

  6. Filers who respond to the CP 403 or CP 406 with a copy of their unprocessed Form 5500 will have the return sent back to them with a Notice 1393 instructing them to file the return electronically. Advise the caller that the processing of the delinquent return may result in a penalty notice and that he/she must be prepared to supply proof that the return was originally timely filed or a reasonable cause statement requesting that the penalty not be assessed if he/she receives such a notice. See IRM 21.3.8.13.2, Form 5500, Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan; Form 5500-SF, Short Form Annual Return/Report of Small Employee Benefit Plan; and Form 5500-EZ, Annual Return of A One-Participant (Owners/Partners and Their Spouses) Retirement Plan or A Foreign Plan, if the caller has questions about filing the return.

    Note:

    If the filer responds to the CP 403/406 and completes section III with an acceptable reasonable cause statement, then a TC 971 AC 632 will be input on the module. The input of this TC will prevent the assessment of an IRS penalty. If you have researched the account in the course of the call and see that a TC 971 AC 632 was already input, then there would be no need to discuss the need to submit a request for penalty abatement.

Notice 9774
  1. Notice 9774 is an annual notice that is generated from the Automated Non-Master File (ANMF) when the balance due is below the ACS tolerance.

  2. These notices are generated only on Form 5500 Series returns processed before January 1, 2006. These notices are generated from Cincinnati SP Accounting.

  3. If the caller is responding to the Notice 9774, determine if they have responded in the past.

    1. If the caller states that he or she previously responded, ask the caller what the outcome was to the previous communication.

      If Then
      The caller states that the request for abatement was denied Advise caller to remit the amount reflected in the notice to the address appearing in the heading of the Notice 9774.
      The caller states that the request for abatement was approved Advise the caller to respond to the Notice 9774 including a copy of the letter detailing the approval via fax or mail to EP Accounts. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.
      The caller states they did not get a response Advise the caller to respond to the Notice 9774 including a copy of all previous correspondence via fax or mail to EP Accounts. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.
    2. If the caller states he or she did not previously respond, provide reasonable cause guidelines.

  4. If the caller states he/she would like to pay the amount shown on Notice 9774, advise the caller to mail the amount due to the address located on the bottom of the form/notice.

    Note:

    For information about check annotation, refer to IRM 5.19.1.2.7.1, Taxpayer Responsibilities - When Submitting Payments by Check.

  5. If the caller's question/issue requires NMF research to resolve, prepare a Form 4442 referral to EP Accounts using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information.

CP 249 Notices for IRC 527 Organizations
  1. When an organization files an SS-4 and indicates that it is a political organization, the entity is coded with a "1" in the 527 Indicator field located on CC INOLES, "527-POL-ORG-CD #" . This sets in motion the follow-up on these organizations. If certain filing requirements are not met, the IRS sends the CP 249 series of notices.

    Note:

    There is no current intent to update political organizations that obtained their EIN prior to January 1, 2006.

    Note:

    All BMF entities in existence on January 1, 2006 have an "N" in the POL IND block.

    • The CP 249A requests that the organization file a Form 8871.

    • The CP 249B informs the organization that it filed the Form 8872 late and that there is a penalty for late filing. The CP notice asks for a reason for the late filing.

    • The CP 249C notifies an organization that it filed a Form 8871 and that it is required to file the Form 8872 unless the organization is a QSLPO (Qualified State or Local Political Organization). The CP 249 asks the organization to file a Form 8872 or to amend its Form 8871 to identify itself as a QSLPO.

  2. When a call is received concerning CP 249A or CP 249C, check CC INOLES for the indicator. The indicator is generally "1" at the time of the initial call.

    Reminder:

    Questions on the CP 249 series must be answered by tax law assistors staffing the advanced tax law application for political organizations and are not to be transferred to the EO Notice application. Use of the TEGE PRG, located on SERP, is mandatory when the assistor is responding to questions about political organization filing requirements.

  3. The table below indicates the valid values for that field:

    Values Definition
    Blank Did not indicate they are a 527 political organization on the Form SS-4.
    1 Did indicate they are a 527 political organization on Form SS-4.
    2 527 organization contacted CAS/Ogden indicating they do not have to file a Form 8871.
    3 EO Examination determined the 527 political organization does not have to file Form 8871.
    4 The 527 political organization has to file a Form 8871 and Form 8872.
    5 The 527 political organization has to file Form 8871 but does not have to file Form 8872.
  4. If this new field needs updating, use CC ENREQ/BNCHG Doc Code 63 and leave a concise history of the reason for the update on AMS. If the 527 political organization calls Customer Account Services (CAS) and states:

    • It is not required to file Form 8871, then update 527-IND field with a "2" and delete the Form 990 filing requirement.

      Caution:

      Do not use "2" if the caller states the organization does not qualify under IRC 527 and filed a Form 8871 in error. For those calls, delete the 527-IND code by inputting a "9" as indicated below and make any other necessary changes (for example, delete or modify the filing requirement or submodule based on the information provided by the caller).

    • It has to file both Form 8871 and Form 8872, then update 527-IND field with a "4" .

    • It has to file Form 8871, but not Form 8872, then update 527-IND field with a "5" .

    Note:

    If you determine that the entity does not qualify as an IRC 527 political organization or if the caller indicates the organization does not qualify under IRC 527 and filed the Form 8871 in error, input a "9" to delete the indicator and make any other necessary changes (for example, delete or modify the filing requirement or submodule based on the information provided by the caller). Do not instruct the organization to file an amended Form 8871.

    Reminder:

    If a caller asks about applying for exemption, use of the TEGE PRG, is mandatory. If the organization is going to submit a Form 990-N, prepare the EO Submodule Data Sheet.

  5. To input the code:

    1. Bring up CC ENMOD

    2. Overlay with CC ENREQ

    3. Enter the appropriate code in the "527-IND>" field

  6. Advanced tax law assistors that cannot resolve the caller's CP 249 series issue using the procedures and information above (i.e., the issue involves more than simply changing the political organization indicator on IDRS) must advise the caller that they are unable to take an appropriate action based on the phone call and that the caller needs to respond to the notice in writing by completing the appropriate section of the notice. The assistor must also notate AMS with a concise summary of the call and the guidance given.

CP 138
  1. CP 138, Notification That the Overpayment on the Return was Offset Against Another Tax Period with a Balance Due, is issued to notify filers that an overpayment on a return has been offset to another tax period with a balance due.

  2. Refer to IRM 21.3.1.5.76, CP 138 Notice of Credit Applied, to respond to callers who have questions about this notice.

CP 231
  1. CP 231, Undelivered Refund Check, informs the taxpayer a refund check was returned undelivered and requests a correct address.

  2. If the caller is authorized and able to provide the required information, update the address of record.

  3. If the caller is unauthorized or unable to provide the required information, instruct the caller to respond to the notice.

  4. Once the TC 014 posts to Master File the S- freeze is released and the refund check is reissued. Refer to IRM 3.14.2.7.6.19, "Undelivered Refund Check Freeze (S-)," for other actions that will release the freeze.

CP 214
  1. CP 214 is a reminder notice sent to all filers with a Form 5500-EZ filing requirement two months before their plan ending date. The notice generates monthly.

  2. The notice summarizes the filing requirements for one-participant plans and tells the recipient to verify whether or not the plan will need to file. The notice also explains the potential penalties that may be assessed for not filing a timely return.

  3. While the notice does not require a response, it provides the TEGE toll-free number if the filer has any questions.

  4. If the caller states that he/she received the reminder in error because the plan had filed a final return in a previous period, research IDRS to verify that a proper final return had been filed and processed and that the filing requirement for the plan has been closed.

    • If research confirms that a properly-filed final return was processed, apologize to the caller and tell him/her to disregard the notice. If there is still an open filing requirement for the plan, prepare a Form 4442 referral requesting that the filing requirement be closed and EEFax it to EP Entity using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information.

    • If no final return was processed, review the requirements of a final return with the caller and instruct him/her to amend the previous return or to file a final return, as appropriate.

CP 161 and CP 220 Notices Resulting from a Form 5500 Series Return or from a Form 5330, Return of Excise Taxes Related to Employee Benefit Plans
  1. The CP 161 and the CP 220 are non-math error notices informing the taxpayer of a balance due if the balance due exceeds a certain tolerance (see IRM 3.14.2, Notice Review - Business Master File (BMF) Notice Review, for details). The balance due may be the result of any combination of tax, penalties, and interest.

  2. Due to the unique nature of employee benefit plan returns, calls on a CP 161 or a CP 220 that generates from those forms must be handled differently than calls on those notices that generate from other business returns.

  3. If the caller has questions about the notice or the balance due, research IDRS and explain how the balance due was calculated.

  4. The filer may respond to the CP 161/CP 220 with a request to abate the penalty due to reasonable cause but not to decrease the tax due. If the caller wants to respond, instruct the caller either to fax or to mail the response to the address/fax number on the notice. A final response will be initiated within 30 days of the earliest IRS received date. Tell the caller that interest and, if applicable, the penalty will continue to accrue until the penalty is abated or until the account is full paid.

  5. If the caller requests a current balance due, prepare a Form 4442 referral to EP Accounts using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information.

    Note:

    CC INTST will not work for a Form 5500 series return (MFT 74) or for a Form 5330 (MFT 76).

  6. See IRM 21.3.8.10.1.4, “Extensions - Employee Plans,” for extension information for a Form 5500 series return or for a Form 5330.

    Reminder:

    The due date of the Form 5330 is based on the Code section of the excise tax(es) for which the form is being filed; therefore, the form has a variety of different due dates. Refer to the form instructions and to IRM 21.5.11.13, General Form 5330 Processing, for details.

  7. No STAUP can be placed on a Form 5500 series return module (MFT 74) or on a Form 5330 module (MFT 76).

  8. If the caller asks about an installment agreement, apologize and explain that we are unable to set up an installment agreement on an employee plan return at this time. See IRM 21.3.8.10.3.7, Requests for Installment Agreements on Exempt Organization (EO) and Employee Plan (EP) Tax Modules, and refer to paragraph (3).

Penalties

  1. All TEGE telephone account assistors (Notice Application) must consider oral statement procedures, as applicable; see IRM 21.5.2.4.9.2, Oral Statement and Penalty Relief Request, when responding to calls concerning penalty abatement. Additionally, TEGE telephone account assistors (Notice Application), except as specifically prohibited by this IRM, must use all available tools to resolve penalty issues during a call with an authorized caller. This includes, but is not limited to, OL-SEIN, AMS, CIS, and the receipt of faxed POAs and proof of timely filing of returns and extensions. TEGE penalty abatement requests that do not meet Oral Statement Authority or IRS error criteria are worked in Ogden. See IRM 21.3.8.10.2.4, CP 141I, CP 141L, CP 141C, and CP 504/CP 504B, for information on abating an EO late filing penalty.

    Exception:

    Oral statement procedures do not apply to penalties assessed against incomplete returns.

  2. Listed below are various penalties that may be assessed when an organization or plan fails to meet established guidelines set forth by the IRC. These penalties include:

    1. Daily Delinquency Penalty

    2. Failure to File Penalty (Including failure to file a complete return)

    3. Failure to Pay Penalty

    4. Estimated Tax Penalty

    5. Failure to Deposit Penalty, and

    6. Making False Statements, concealing or not disclosing any fact required by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

  3. The TEGE call sites may receive calls on a variety of penalties as listed in (2) above; however, the largest volume of calls usually involves the Daily Delinquency Penalty.

  4. Penalties exist to encourage voluntary compliance by supporting the standards of behavior expected by the IRC. For most taxpayers and organizations, voluntary compliance consists of preparing an accurate return, filing it timely, and paying any tax due. Efforts made to fulfill these obligations constitute compliant behavior. Most penalties apply to behavior that fails to meet any or all of these obligations.

  5. Penalties encourage voluntary compliance by:

    1. Defining standards of compliant behavior

    2. Defining remedial consequences for noncompliance

    3. Providing monetary sanctions against taxpayers who do not meet the standard

    Note:

    These three factors support the public conviction that the tax system is fair and the penalty is in proportion to the severity of the noncompliance.

  6. For additional information on IRS' penalty policy, including information on reasonable cause, see IRM 20.1.1, Introduction and Penalty Relief.

  7. If an organization or plan sponsor pays a penalty which is subsequently abated, the standard time frame for a refund of payment is four to six weeks.

  8. Currently, Form 990 and Form 5500 series penalties may not be paid using a credit card. EO penalties may be paid via EFTPS if the organization is enrolled. If the organization is not enrolled in EFTPS, it may go to the bank and make a same day payment.

    Reminder:

    If the organization is not enrolled in EFTPS, it may not make a payment via phone or Internet; its only option is to make a same day payment at a financial institution. Form 5500 series and Form 5330 penalties may not be paid via EFTPS.

  9. If the caller states that the organization/plan cannot pay its penalty because it has filed or intends to file for bankruptcy, prepare a Form 4442 referral to EO or EP Accounts.

Daily Delinquency Penalty - Transaction Code (TC) 238/TC 234)
  1. The Daily Delinquency Penalty (DDP) under IRC 6652(c) (TC 238) is computed based on various factors such as the Return Due Date (RDD), Return Received Date (RRD), Correspondence Received Date (CRD), and the Correspondence Indicator Code (CIC).

  2. The DDP is a dual penalty and may be assessed if either or both of the following apply (without reasonable cause):

    1. Late filed return

    2. Incomplete return (does not apply to Form 990 series returns processed after December 2017)

  3. In those cases where a return was incomplete, the return posted with Incomplete Return Item Codes (IRI Codes). See IRM 21.7.7.4.23.1.3.1, Incomplete Return Item (IRI) Codes, for a complete list of IRI Codes and the related missing or incomplete items and associated notice paragraphs.

  4. The IRI code is located on TXMODA under the "posted return information" section as "IRI-CD> #" . See "IRI Code Example" in the job aids section of the TEGE Research Portal on SERP.

  5. The DDP may be assessed for either a late-filed or, until January 2018, an incomplete return. CIC's are input during processing to help identify why the penalty was assessed. Prior to January 2018, the CIC also identified the type of information requested in the correspondence (e.g., Non-IRI or IRI) and the response, if any, that was received from the organization. A Correspondence Received Date (CRD) was also entered indicating the date the missing/incomplete information was provided.

  6. Missing information was divided into two categories:

    1. Incomplete Return Items (IRI)

    2. Correspondence Items (Non-IRI)

  7. Under IRC 6652(c)(1)(A), a penalty can be charged when an exempt organization information return is filed late, unless the organization shows that the late filing was due to reasonable cause. Because the penalty rate varies depending on the form, the tax period, and the gross receipts of the organization, refer to the form instructions for the period in question for the applicable rate.

  8. For additional information regarding the DDP, including all applicable codes, an explanation of penalty computation, and abatement procedures, see IRM 21.7.7, Exempt Organizations and Tax Exempt Bonds, IRM 20.1.1, Introduction and Penalty Relief, and IRM 20.1.8, Employee Plans and Exempt Organizations Penalties.

Failure to Deposit Penalty - Transaction Code (TC) 186/TC 180)
  1. If a taxpayer fails to make timely and sufficient deposits of tax amounts with an authorized financial institution or by using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), when required by regulations, a Failure to Deposit penalty (FTD) under IRC 6656 may be assessed. The penalty is equal to the applicable percentage of the amount of the underpayment. The penalty may be abated upon showing reasonable cause (and not willful neglect) for the failure.

  2. Certain government entities will not be assessed a Failure to Deposit penalty for employment taxes, so long as they are depositing such employment taxes with a timely-filed employment tax return. See Rev. Proc. 2013-39, 2013-52 IRB 830. The Service places an Employment Code A on the BMF account of these entities. Thus, these entities have a reasonable cause for penalty abatement in these limited circumstances.

Failure to File Penalty - Transaction Code (TC) 166/TC 160)
  1. If a return is not filed on or before the due date, including any extension, a Failure to File (FTF) penalty under IRC 6651(a)(1) may be assessed. The portion of the penalty attributable to a deficiency must be assessed using deficiency procedures. The penalty may be abated upon showing reasonable cause for the failure.

  2. When a return is received without sufficient data to calculate the tax liability shown on the return (supporting schedules and/or forms) or without a signature, the processing center corresponds to try to obtain the missing information. If the taxpayer does not respond, a FTF penalty may be assessed.

Failure to Pay Penalty - Transaction Code (TC) 276/TC 270)
  1. If the amount shown on a return is not paid on or before the date prescribed for payments, a Failure to Pay (FTP) penalty under IRC 6651(a)(2) may be assessed. The penalty may be abated upon showing reasonable cause for the failure.

  2. If an Examination/DP Adjustment is not paid within 21 calendar days from the notice and demand date (10 business days if the amount equals or exceeds $100,000), an FTP penalty under IRC 6651(a)(3) may be assessed. The penalty may be abated upon showing reasonable cause for the failure.

Estimated Tax (ES) Penalty - Transaction Code (TC) 176/TC 170)
  1. Most exempt organizations are required to make estimated tax (ES) payments on their unrelated business income tax as if they were corporations.

  2. Form 990-T and Form 990-PF are subject to estimated tax penalties under IRC 6655. Political organizations are not required to make ES payments; therefore, Form 1120-POL filed by a political organization is not subject to ES payments. However, filers of Form 1120-POL that are not political organizations are required to make ES payments. The rules for computing, assessing and abating these penalties are basically the same as those for Form 1120.

  3. Tax-exempt corporations use Form 990-W or Form 1120-W to compute their estimated tax. Estimated tax must be paid by EFTPS, if required.

  4. Estimated tax payments must be made if the total expected tax (income tax minus credits) for the tax year is $500 or more.

  5. See IRM 21.7.7.4.23.2, Estimated Tax Penalty, for additional information.

Reasonable Cause for Penalty Abatement
  1. Reasonable cause is based on all the facts and circumstances in each situation and allows the Service to provide relief from a penalty that would otherwise be assessed. Reasonable cause relief is generally granted when the taxpayer exercises ordinary business care and prudence in determining its tax obligations, but is unable to satisfy those obligations.

  2. Reasonable cause relief is not available for all penalties. However, other exceptions may apply. For those penalties where reasonable cause can be considered, any reason which establishes that the taxpayer exercised ordinary business care and prudence, but was unable to comply with a prescribed duty within the prescribed time, is considered.

  3. Generally, excise taxes cannot be abated due to reasonable cause.

  4. Interest is required by law and cannot be abated due to reasonable cause.

  5. Refer to the chart below when responding to inquiries on the status of a penalty abatement request:

    If Then advise the caller
    No correspondence received and it has been more than 30 days since it was originally submitted 1. We have no record of receiving correspondence
    2. He/she must submit the request again, annotating "second request."
    No correspondence received and it has been less than 30 days since submitted 1. The correspondence is not yet showing as having been received.
    2. Actions are normally initiated on abatement requests within 30 days from the earliest IRS received date.
    1. The account reflects TC290
    2. TC235 with same date as TC238 date with an amount equal to the TC238 penalty assessment
    3. ADJ-RSN-CD>62- - -XX
    4. DLN Blocking Series: 10X, 15X or 18X
    The penalty has been abated.
    1. The account reflects TC290
    2. TC235 with same date as TC238 date with an amount less than the TC238 penalty assessment
    3. ADJ-RSN-CD>62- - -XX
    4. DLN Blocking Series: 10X, 15X or 18X
    The penalty has been partially abated.
    1. The account reflects TC290
    2. NO TC235
    3. ADJ-RSN-CD>62-----
    4. HOLD-CD>3
    5. DLN Blocking Series: 98X or 99X
    Reasonable cause is denied (854c denial letter will appear on CC ENMOD).
    1. The account reflects TC290.
    2. Penalty Reason Code (PRC) 62 in the first position with a PRC 041 (sustained by Appeals) or PRC 042 (partial abatement by Appeals) in the 4th position
    3. DLN Blocking Series: 96X
    A second penalty abatement request was received by the Service and forwarded to Appeals for determination. The taxpayer will receive a letter from Appeals advising them of the next steps in the Appeals process.
    Reminder: Penalties and Interest sustained by Appeals may be abated only by Appeals.

    Note:

    See IRM 21.5.2.4.9.2, Oral Statement and Penalty Relief Request, if you receive a telephone request for penalty abatement.

  6. For more information regarding reasonable cause, refer to the following IRMs:

    1. IRM 21.7.7, Exempt Organizations and Tax Exempt Bonds

    2. IRM 21.5.11, Employee Plan Accounts

    3. IRM 20.1.1, Introduction and Penalty Relief

    4. IRM 20.1.7, Information Return Penalties

    5. IRM 20.1.8, Penalty Handbook - Employee Plans and Exempt Organizations Miscellaneous Civil Penalties

Requests for Installment Agreements on Exempt Organization (EO) and Employee Plan (EP) Tax Modules
  1. Requests for installment agreements on EO and EP returns are handled by TEGE notice assistors. If the request is made on a TEGE tax law application, transfer the caller to the appropriate TEGE notice application.

  2. If the caller requests an installment agreement to pay off a balance due on an exempt organization return, route/refer the caller based on the collection status of the module:

    If the module is in Then
    Notice status (21, 58) Prepare a Form 4442 referral and route it to M/S 5500 at the Ogden campus.
    Status 22 or 24 Transfer the caller to ACS per the TTG.
    Status 26
    • If the taxpayer already has the phone number of the Revenue Officer, advise the taxpayer to contact the RO directly.

    • If the case is assigned to a specific RO (the last two digits of the assignment codes are 01-99) and the taxpayer does not have the RO telephone number, provide the RO name and phone number available on the RO by the RO by TSIGN/ZIP/STATE site on the Who/Where tab on SERP.

    • If the case is assigned to an RO group, but not yet assigned to a specific RO, inform the taxpayer that another office has jurisdiction of their account and they will contact the taxpayer when the account is assigned.


    Caution: Do not provide a specific time frame; we are unable to predict when a case is worked in the field.
    Note: Do not transfer the call or provide a direct telephone number of a revenue officer if the case is unassigned.

    Reminder:

    Address all filing requirement and compliance issues with the authorized caller before completing the transfer/referral process. Inform the caller it is in the organization’s best interest to make payments on the balance due to reduce the interest continuing to accrue until the balance is paid in full.

  3. If the caller requests an installment agreement to pay off a penalty assessed on an employee plan return, explain to the caller that we are unable to set up an installment agreement at this time. Instruct the caller to begin making payments and inform him/her that a yearly reminder notice will be sent to the address of record for the plan. Remind the caller that interest will continue to accrue until the penalty is paid in full.

Determination Issues

  1. This section serves as a guide for performing tasks involved in addressing general determination related issues.

Applications for Determinations

  1. Refer to Doc. 6379, Exempt Organizations Management Information Systems Codes, for a complete list of EO applications and descriptions of EO coding related to determination case processing used on EDS/TEDS.

  2. Refer to Doc. 6476, Employee Plans Systems Codes, for a complete list of EP applications and descriptions of EP coding related to determination case processing used on EDS/TEDS.

  3. Mail application packages and the appropriate user fee to the address shown on SERP.

  4. Enhancements made to EDS/TEDS in March 2010 added a Dishonored Check indicator. Valid code for this field are "Y," indicating that the check was dishonored, and "N," indicating that the payment was valid. For both EP and EO, a "Y" in this field will prevent certain case closings from moving forward. See IRM 21.3.8.11.2, Dishonored EO/EP User Fee Checks, for additional information.

  5. Another field added in March 2010 is the User Fee Payment Status. The valid entries for this field are:

    • C = Correct Amount (Amount submitted is the proper user fee.)

    • I = Insufficient Payment

    • O = Overpayment

    • N = Non-remit

    • U = Unknown

    • V = Verified

    Note:

    A blank entry in this field is not necessarily an indication that there is a problem with the user fee. Older EDS cases might not reflect an entry in this field. However, if the field displays an "I," "O," or "N," the determination specialist and/or manager must coordinate with the TEGE Adjustments Unit before the case can be closed as an approval or a denial in EDS.

  6. Once a determination has been granted, the organization or plan must continue to conform with IRS regulations which govern their ruling.

Processing the Exempt Organization (EO) Application and Requests on Form 8940, Request for Miscellaneous Determination
  1. When a substantially complete application for recognition of exemption is received with an appropriate user fee amount, an acknowledgement letter (Letter 3367C) is generated to the applicant at the address shown on the application and to the primary (first listed) authorized Power of Attorney, if applicable. The applicant must allow up to three weeks from the mailing date of the application to receive the acknowledgement letter.

    Exception:

    Some submission types do not generate an acknowledgement letter:
    • Form 1023-EZ applicants do not receive an acknowledgement letter giving them a DLN, etc.; however, they do receive an email acknowledging the payment within minutes of submission. See IRM 21.3.8.11.8, Form 1023-EZ, Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, for additional information about the processing of this application type.
    • Requests on Form 8940, Request for Miscellaneous Determination
    • Group ruling requests (shown on EDS as Form 1026)

  2. The acknowledgement letter shows the organization’s Employer Identification Number, the Document Locator Number assigned to the application for tracking purposes, and the application form number.

  3. The acknowledgement letter explains to the applicant that the IRS does not issue "tax-exempt numbers" or "tax-exempt certificates" for state or local sales or income tax purposes and instructs the applicant to contact his/her state or local tax office for information on those topics.

  4. Incoming applications that are substantially complete and that are submitted on a current revision and with the correct user fee are assigned to a specialist, generally in control date order, based on the Case Assignment Guide (CAG).

  5. The assigned specialist reviews the case and determines if the case can be closed on merit, requires development, or needs to be reassigned to another specialist based on the CAG.

  6. If the case can be closed on merit (without contact to the applicant), the specialist will prepare the case for closure according to the applicable case closure procedures.

  7. If the case requires development (cannot be closed on merit), the specialist will generally prepare Letter 1312, Request for Additional Information, using appropriate pre-written or composed development questions. See IRM 21.3.8.12.17, Exempt Organization (EO) Case Development and Failed to Establish (FTE) Status, for additional information about case development and about organizations that fail to respond to requests for additional information.

    Note:

    Refer all questions on assigned cases, e.g., requests for an extension on the user fee deadline, to the determination specialist working the case.

  8. If, after additional development, the determination specialist concludes that the organization qualifies for exemption, a determination letter is generated and sent to the organization. If the determination specialist concludes that the organization does not qualify for exemption, the organization is sent a proposed adverse letter explaining the Service’s reason for denying the exemption. This letter includes a complete explanation of the organization’s appeal rights (Publication 892, How to Appeal an IRS Decision on Tax-Exempt Status).

  9. Applications for which an incorrect user fee was paid, that are substantially incomplete, or that are on an obsoleted revision are not processed beyond an initial clerical screening (see the list that follows). Letter 5530-C, Return of Incomplete Determination Letter Request, will be sent to the applicant explaining why their application is being rejected (via the selective paragraphs), and the application and user fee check, stamped "Non-Negotiable," will be returned to the address on page 1 of the application (and the address of record updated with a TC 014 if necessary). The applicant will receive the rejected application package within four weeks of the date the Letter 5530-C was generated.

    • Any application form or letter request with any user fee other than a currently valid amount

    • Missing signature on Form 1023, Form 1024, Form 1024-A, or Form 8940

    • Obsolete version of Form 1023, Form 1024, Form 1024-A, or Form 8940

    • No financial data provided with Form 1023, Form 1024, or Form 1024-A

    • No organizing document provided with Form 1023, Form 1024, or Form 1024-A

    • No accompanying information/documentation provided with Form 8940, Group Exemption Letter Request, or Letter Application

  10. If a caller requests information about a rejected application and has not yet received the package returning the application and user fee, explain that the reason(s) for the rejection are detailed in the Letter 5530-C. If the caller has questions after receiving the letter, ask the caller to read the paragraphs selected and provide an explanation.

    Note:

    Rejected applications processed on or after October 1, 2016, display an indicator on LINUS (REASON FOR PAYMENT column) to show the reason for the rejection:
    • Returned - Obsolete/Missing Form
    • Returned - Incomplete User Fee
    • Returned - Signature Missing
    • Returned - Activity Description (Form 8940 submissions only)

  11. If the caller claims that the application was returned for no/insufficient user fee but that the user fee was processed and not returned with the application, instruct the caller to send the complete application and a copy of the front and the back of the canceled check (or proof of the processed money order) to the TEGE Adjustments Unit. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.

  12. If the caller is requesting the status of an application, it has been over four weeks since the application was mailed, and there is no information about the application on LINUS or EDS/TEDS, ask the caller if the user fee check was processed:
    If YES, follow the guidance in the job aid for the status of pending (open) EO applications on the Portal.
    If NO, research IDRS for an indication that a Letter 5530-C was generated. If so and if it has been less than four weeks since the generation date, explain that the application is being returned. If there is no indication that a Letter 5530-C was generated or if it has been more than four weeks since a Letter 5530-C was generated, review the correct mailing address, the proper user fee amount, and the clerical completeness information above to ensure the caller submits a complete package and suggest the organization send a new package and fee.

  13. If an authorized caller has application-specific questions on an EO case that cannot be addressed with information in this subsection or elsewhere in the IRM, prepare a Form 4442 referral to your lead and tell the caller to expect to be contacted within 30 days.

Acknowledging the Employee Plans (EP) Application
  1. The EP acknowledgement letter, formerly Letter 2693, is now Letter 3336C.

    Note:

    EDS still displays "Letter 2693" even though it is actually Letter 3336C that is issued to the applicant; Letter 3336C does not display on EDS.

Online Payments for Employee Plans (EP) Applications User Fees
  1. As of January 2013, EP applicants are able to pay their user fee online at www.pay.gov using a credit card or ACH debit from their checking or savings account.

  2. The filer will complete an online form similar to Form 8717, User Fee for Employee Plan Determination Letter Request.

  3. The payment will be downloaded to LINUS and will be identified by a DLN beginning with 26.

  4. The filer will be directed to print out the confirmation page and mail it in with the application to the Cincinnati campus (Covington, KY). Once received, the application will be entered in LINUS as a no-remit and associated with the online payment. In other words, there will be two entries on LINUS for the application, one with a 26 DLN showing the payment and one with a 17 DLN showing no remit.

  5. The application and user fee will move to TEDS only after both have been received. If there is only a 26 DLN entry on LINUS, then no application was received.

  6. During the testing phase, the filer will receive a confirmation email with the name and contact telephone number of a TEGE headquarters analyst for questions. Once the new process has tested successfully, the email will contain the toll-free number.

  7. Only EP user fees will be accepted online at this time.

Dishonored Exempt Organization (EO)/EP (Employee Plan) User Fee Checks

  1. If the user fee check submitted with the application (or as an additional user fee payment) was returned as dishonored, EDS/TEDS reflects a "Y" in the Dishonored Check indicator field and an "I" in the User Fee Payment Status field. Also, LINUS displays code 5302 with the associated payment.

    Note:

    When a valid payment is received, the Dishonored Check indicator is updated to "N" and the User Fee Payment Status field is updated to "C."

  2. Advise customer the user fee check submitted was returned due to insufficient funds.

  3. If the case is still open on EDS/TEDS:

    Step Action
    1 Explain to the customer that the organization/plan sponsor received, or will receive, a letter requesting a certified check or money order to cover the processing fee.
    2 Advise the customer that the organization/plan sponsor must respond with the replacement user fee (along with a copy of letter requesting the new fee) within 15 days of the date of our letter to the TEGE Adjustments Unit. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.
    3 Advise the customer to note the DLN or EIN on the replacement certified check or money order to ensure proper posting.
    4 Verify the organization’s/plan sponsor’s mailing address is correctly reflected on EDS/TEDS. If different:
    a) If the letter has not been received, advise the customer that our letter may not be timely received, and to go ahead and remit a replacement user fee to the address in step 2 above.
    b) Advise the customer to include a signed statement providing the appropriate mailing address.
  4. Use the following table if the case is closed in status 03 on EDS/TEDS and displays Dishonored Check indicator "Y" :

    If Then
    It has been less than six months since the case closed Provide the caller with the payment requirements/address information given in paragraph (3) above.
    It has been six months or longer since the case closed Advise the customer that if the organization still wishes to receive a determination, the organization must resubmit the application along with a new user fee (certified check or money order). See (3) above for address information.
  5. If the organization/plan sponsor wants to confirm receipt of the replacement check or money order previously sent to cover the dishonored check, research LINUS/EDS/TEDS to determine if the payment has been processed.

    If Then
    LINUS/EDS/TEDS reflects receipt of the new user fee Advise the customer the fee was received, and provide customer with the current status of the application (e.g., waiting to be assigned, assigned to a determination specialist, etc.).
    The new fee has been submitted within the last 30 days and LINUS/EDS/TEDS do not reflect receipt 1. Advise the customer you cannot confirm the receipt of the payment.
    2. Verify the mailing address to which the payment was submitted.
    Note: The organization/plan sponsor may have used the envelope supplied with our request.
    3. Advise the customer to allow for processing time and he/she can call back after 30 days from the date he/she mailed the check, to verify receipt.
    The new fee has been submitted over 30 days ago and LINUS/EDS/TEDS do not reflect receipt 1. Advise the customer you cannot confirm the receipt of the payment.
    2. If the customer can obtain proof the replacement check/money order was processed, advise him/her to fax or mail to the TEGE Adjustments Unit a copy of the cancelled check/money order (front and back) along with his/her EIN or DLN and daytime phone number, with an explanation that the fee was paid. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.
    3. If the customer cannot obtain proof the replacement check/money order was processed, apologize, and explain that there is nothing further you are able to do to confirm receipt of the payment. Advise the customer he/she will either have to:
    a. Wait a week or two and call us back.
    b. Submit another fee along with an explanation that a replacement check/money order was previously submitted (and the date) along with a request to locate the payment and provide a refund.
  6. If the caller states that the account on which the user fee is drawn has insufficient funds to cover the check, but the organization has not yet been notified by the IRS that the user fee check was returned from the bank (LINUS or EDS/TEDS research may not display this information, yet), instruct the caller to submit a cashier's check or a money order for the appropriate user fee to the TEGE Adjustments Unit as soon as possible. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details. This will prevent undue delays in the processing of the application.

User Fee Extensions

  1. Refer to IRM 21.3.8.11.1.1, Processing the Exempt Organization (EO) Application and Requests on Form 8940, Request for Miscellaneous Determination, and to IRM 21.3.8.12.17, Exempt Organization (EO) Case Development and Failed to Establish (FTE) Status, for information on extending the user fee date on an exempt organization submission.

User Fee Refunds - Exempt Organizations

  1. In general, the user fee paid for processing an initial EO application or for a group ruling letter is not refundable. (See the annual user fee revenue procedures for details.) However, there are certain circumstances under which a determination specialist may recommend (subject to managerial authorization) a refund of all or a portion of the user fee (e.g., an organization was already exempt under an individual or group ruling).

  2. If an organization requests a refund and the application is already assigned to a determination specialist or to a group, refer the caller to the determination specialist or to the group for the determination.

  3. If the case has not been assigned, or if the ruling has already been made, advise the caller to send a written request for a refund of the user fee to the TEGE Adjustments Unit (see Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details) if one of the following applies:

    1. The organization was already exempt under its own individual ruling and applied again in error.

    2. The organization was already covered under a group exemption.

    3. The organization paid a higher user fee than it was required to pay.

  4. User fee refund checks are made payable to the name of the organization as shown on the application for exemption, regardless of the original payor.

    Exception:

    In rare situations (for example, when the organization has not opened a bank account), the refund check may be made payable to an individual, but the request must be made in writing by an authorized person. Instruct the organization to send their written request (including the voided refund check made payable to the organization if it was already received) to the TEGE Adjustments Unit. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details. Tell the caller to allow up to 60 days from receipt for the request to be processed.

  5. Research LINUS to determine whether a refund was initiated. The organization can expect to receive its refund within four to six weeks from the date the transaction was initiated. If the organization indicates that it has not received its refund and it has been more than six weeks from the initiation date shown on LINUS or that the refund check was lost before it could be deposited/cashed, instruct the caller to complete a Form 3911, Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund, and send it to the attention of the manager at the address shown in paragraph (3). Tell the caller to allow up to six weeks from the received date for the Form 3911 to be processed.

    Note:

    The following refund codes are used on LINUS:
    5301 = Refund issued
    5303 with a 5301 = A refund was issued and the check came back to the Finance Center as undeliverable or with a stale date. The Finance Center notifies the TEGE Adjustments Unit, and the refund is put back on LINUS until contact can be made with the taxpayer to verify the correct mailing address or the refund is re-issued because the taxpayer did not deposit the original refund check timely. When the address has been verified, another 5301 code will display when the refund has been reissued.

  6. If the caller indicates that the organization was told more than 30 days prior to the contact that it was entitled to a refund of all or a portion of the user fee or it has been more than six weeks (plus delivery time) since a Form 3911 was sent but LINUS does not indicate that a refund was initiated, prepare a Form 4442, Inquiry Referral, with the caller's contact information and forward it to the attention of the manager of the TEGE Adjustments Unit using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information. Tell the caller to expect to be contacted within 45 days.

    Exception:

    Do not prepare a Form 4442 referral if there is an open case on EDS. Explain to the caller that refunds are generally not initiated on open cases because the user fee amount could change based on the determination specialist's development of the application.

  7. If the caller states that the organization has a user fee refund check that has become stale (i.e., is too old to process), instruct the caller to void the refund check and send it (and a written request for replacement of the check) to the address shown in paragraph (3). The TEGE Adjustments Unit will post the payment back on LINUS and then re-issue the refund. Allow two weeks from the IRS received date of the returned voided check for the corresponding notations to be made on LINUS and then the time frames in paragraph (5) apply.

Requests for an Additional User Fee and Located Misapplied User Fee Payments

  1. If the specialist working a Form 8940 , Request for Miscellaneous Determination, determines that the organization owes more user fee because it is requesting more than one ruling type, the additional user fee is requested on Letter 1312, Request for Additional Information, along with any other information the specialist needs to make a determination.

  2. If the filer does not submit the additional user fee or an amended request within 28 days (or within any extension granted by the specialist), any user fee paid is forfeited and the filer must submit the full user fee amount and a new Form 8940 if it wants to receive a ruling.

  3. If LINUS indicates that the additional user fee was received within the deadline and was processed more than 30 days prior to the call and EDS/TEDS has not been updated, prepare a Form 4442, Inquiry Referral, with the caller's contact information and forward it to the attention of the manager of the TEGE Adjustments Unit using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information. Tell the caller to expect to be contacted within 45 days.

    Note:

    There is a TEDS indicator on LINUS to identify the cases that are processed through TEDS.

  4. If the caller states that the organization submitted the additional fee at least two weeks prior to the date of the call and that the payment was processed, but LINUS research does not show the additional fee (and the payment was not identified as misapplied, as noted in the next paragraph), instruct the caller to send a cover letter and a copy of the front and back of the cancelled check to the TEGE Adjustments Unit. See Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information, for address and fax number details.

  5. If you have located the user fee or additional user fee as a misapplied payment, prepare a Form 4442 to the TEGE Adjustments Unit using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information. Include the caller's contact information and notate the MFT and tax period where the payment was found. The lead will include the relevant IDRS information with the referral to the Adjustments Unit. Tell the caller that our records will be corrected within 45 days and that the organization will be contacted if additional information is needed to process the application.

  6. If the caller has a question about a user fee that cannot be answered using the information in this subsection or elsewhere in IRM 21.3.8, prepare a Form 4442 referral to the TEGE Adjustments Unit using the fax number in Exhibit 21.3.8-15, Contact Information. Tell the caller to expect to be contacted within 45 days.

Recycled Document Locator Numbers (DLNs) for Determination Cases on EP/EO Determination System (EDS)

  1. Every tenth year a DLN has the potential of being re-used. For example, a DLN ending in 8 could represent a case submitted in 2008 or in 2018.

  2. You will know that a DLN has been re-used if you search by DLN and get more than one result.

  3. In order to find the power of attorney (POA) information for the more current application with the recycled DLN, research the POA by case number, which is distinct for each application.

Elimination of the Advance Ruling Process

  1. Effective with the release of temporary Regulations on September 9, 2008, the advance ruling process was eliminated for organizations receiving rulings after June 8, 2008, and for those whose advance ruling periods ended on or after June 9, 2008.

  2. Organizations with unexpired advance ruling dates impacted by the new process received a revised CP 158 explaining the change in the process.

  3. Links to several documents, including the revised CP 158, have been added to the TEGE Research Portal in the General Job Aids section. Use the information in this and the following subsections, as well as the FAQs and related pages on the IRS website, to respond to callers with questions about the new process or who are requesting letters affirming their exemption.

  4. If the caller asks about when the organization’s initial five years began and/or end(ed) or what the organization’s sixth (or subsequent) year would be, use the status code date and ARED information on IDRS to respond accordingly.

  5. If the caller has questions that you cannot answer using the information in the IRM or on the pages of the EO website covering this topic, contact your Lead.

    Reminder:

    The ARED itself is disclosable under IRC 6104.

Requests for Affirmation Letters from Organizations Showing an Advance Ruling Expiration Date (ARED) on Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS)
  1. If a caller requests an affirmation letter for an organization that shows an ARED of 200806 or later and that is not undergoing a 60-month termination of its private foundation status (see paragraph (3) below), the new process applies. Prepare Letter 4168C for the organization or Letter 4170C for third parties.

    • If the organization shows a Form 990 filing requirement, select the appropriate public charity paragraph(s), but DO NOT DELETE the ARED.

    • If the organization’s filing requirement has been updated to 990-PF and their foundation classification to 04 and there is no favorable "F" case on EDS/TEDS that was closed after the date the organization’s filing requirements and foundation classification were changed (or an "A" case that changed the organization’s foundation classification), delete the ARED and select the appropriate private foundation paragraph.

    • If there is a favorable "F" case on EDS/TEDS that closed later than the date the filing requirements and foundation classification were changed (or an "A" case that