22.31.1 IRS Language Services

Manual Transmittal

December 02, 2016

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 22.31.1, Multilingual Initiative, IRS Language Services.

Background

This IRM provides guidelines and procedures for implementing the requirements of Executive Order 13166, Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) and complying with Department of Justice limited English proficient (LEP) Guidance 67 FR 41455-41472 and Department of Treasury LEP Guidance 70 FR 6067.

Material Changes

(1) Editorial changes were made throughout the IRM.

(2) Updated Language Services Executive Council and the acronym LSEC throughout to be the Language Services Executive Advisory Council and LSEAC throughout the IRM.

(3) Updated MAS website to http://taxforms.web.irs.gov/mas/default.aspx throughout. the IRM

(4) Updated Multilingual Gateway with other language sites or language sites throughout the IRM.

(5) Updated Tax Forms and Publications branches to Individual and Speciality Forms and Publications and Business, Exempt Organizations, and International Forms and Publications throughout the IRM.

(6) Updated Department of Justice LEP Guidance, 67 FR 41455-41472 throughout the IRM.

(7) IRM 22.31.1.1(2) Added Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR) to ensure taxpayers rights are protected.

(8) IRM 22.31.1.2.3(3) - Updated to provide examples of what is typically considered a vital document.

(9) IRM 22.31.1.2.4(2-4) - Removed non-vital documents categories.

(10) IRM 22.31.1.3.1 - Updated subsection title, LSEAC roles, responsibilities and members updated; added when appropriate, Chapter Presidents of Hispanic IRS Employees (HIRE) and/or Asian Pacific IRS Employees (ASPIRE) organizations will be invited to participate; added paragraph to include LSEAC members serve as language access issue points of contacts for their Operating Divisions.

(11) IRM 22.31.1.3.2 - Changed subsection title from Multilingual and Agency Services (MAS) to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI), Civil Rights Division (CRD). This subsection provides information on EDI’s role and responsibilities in the LSEAC process.

(12) IRM 22.31.1.3.3 - Deleted Asian Language Cadre, this group is no longer involved in Language Services. Changed subsection title and content to Multilingual and Agency Services (MAS)

(13) IRM 22.31.1.4(4) - Added the MAS Branch will work with the BODs and LSEAC to incorporate LEP strategies and operating priorities into BOD strategic plans; deleted the different LSEC methodologies used to develop the strategic plan;.

(14) IRM 22.31.1.4.1(3) - Deleted LSEC has responsibility for the development and oversight of the language assistance strategies, operational priorities and improvement projects..

(15) IRM 22.31.1.5(3) - Added the three-pronged LEP Needs Assessment process is combined to create the LEP Customer Base Report.

(16) IRM 22.31.1.6(1) Added Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR) to ensure taxpayers rights are protected.

(17) IRM 22.31.1.6.1(4) (b) - Clarified the use of OPI services for case/account related assistance.

(18) IRM 22.31.1.6.1.(4)(c) - Deleted the paragraph stating that vital documents will not be translated without LSEAC approval.

(19) IRM 22.31.1.6.3(2) - Updated the various Publication 850, Glossary of Tax Words and Phrases titles.

(20) IRM 22.31.1.7 - Deleted subsection, Language Certification Process, as language certification is no longer being performed and subsequent subsections have been renumbered.

(21) IRM 22.31.1.7 - Changed subsection to Standard Translation Process (STP).

(22) Figure 22.31.1.-1a and Figure 22.31.1-1b - Added paragraph to explain flowcharts.

(23) IRM 22.31.1.7.1.1(1) -- Changed the Deputy Commissioner (International), to Advance Pricing Mutual Agreement (APMA).

(24) IRM 22.31.1.7.1.1(3) - Changed name from office of Deputy Commissioner (International) to the LB&I Advance Pricing Mutual Agreement (APMA) Program; updated APMA website; deleted cost must be paid by the requesting office. .

(25) IRM 22.31.1.7.1.1(5) - Removed the limit of ten (10) pages for translations.

(26) IRM 22.31.1.7.1.1(6) - Deleted reference to one-year retention of original documents because documents are retained until/unless requested to be returned or deleted.

(27) IRM 22.31.1.7.1.1(7) - Deleted first and third bullets no longer applicable.

(28) IRM 22.31.1.7.1.2(1) - Added IRM reference for non-vital documents.

(29) IRM 22.31.1.7.1.3(1) - Added IRM reference for regularly encountered language.

(30) IRM 22.31.1.7.1.3.1(4) - Added procedures for translating a non-vital document if there is a critical need for information to reach LEP taxpayers to assist them in fulfilling their tax responsibility.

(31) IRM 22.31.1.7.2(1) - Added a bullet for the requestor to secure owners approval in writing before translating a document.

(32) IRM 22.31.1.7.2(3) - Added a bullet to reflect the BOD or function must determine adverse impact.

(33) IRM 22.31.1.7.2.1(2)(d)- Added bullet Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR) to ensure taxpayers rights are protected.

(34) IRM 22.31.1.7.2.4(1) - Added examples of alternative to translation..

(35) IRM 22.31.1.7.2.4(3) - Added similar or language appropriate statements can be added for the other four top languages.

(36) IRM 22.31.1.7.3(2) - Added excessive cost as determined by the BOD and LPTS, (if use of the translation contract for translation is required) will not be translated..

(37) IRM 22.31.1.7.4.2(3) - Deleted The LSEC must concur with translation for all vital documents; added if BOD approval cannot be obtained, then translation must stop.

(38) IRM 22.31.1.7.4.3(1) - Removed LSEC approval is received; added W&I/Media & Publications (M&P)/TF&P.

(39) IRM 22.31.1.7.4.4(4) - Deleted translating non-vital documents are subject to approval by the LSEC.

(40) IRM 22.31.1.7.4.5(1) - Added Availability of resources will determine if a non-vital will go through quality review.

(41) IRM 22.31.1.7.4.5(3) - Removed cadre

(42) IRM 22.31.1.7.4.5(4) - Removed reviewers have to be certified because the certification was removed.

(43) IRM 22.311.1.7.4.8(2) - Deleted one year retention of original documents.

(44) IRM 22.31.1.8(2) - Deleted the name of the contractor to make this IRM more evergreen; updated from 170 different languages to 300 different languages..

(45) IRM 22.31.1.8(4) - Changed the OPI requirement from will to may for each participating BOD to include specific procedures and guidance independently and in their IRMs.

(46) IRM 22.31.1.8.1(1) - Updated list of BODs participating in OPI.

(47) IRM 22.31.1.8.1(2) - Clarified National OPI responsibilities.

(48) IRM 22.31.1.8.1(4)(c) - Deleted reference to participating a Service-wide OPI Working Group.

(49) IRM 22.31.1.8.2 - Deleted subsection, Before Using OPI Service and subsequent subsections have been renumbered.

(50) IRM 22.31.1.8.2 - Changed subsection title toAccess OPI Service

(51) IRM 22.31.1.8.2(3) - Updated table to reflect current practices for accessing OPI service.

(52) IRM 22.31.1.8.3(1) Step 1 - added invoice date; Step 3 - removed examples such as Caribbean or Nevada.

(53) IRM 22.31.1.8.4(1) updated WebRTS (Request Tracking System) to Invoice Precessing Platform (IPP) Integrated Procurement System.

(54) IRM 22.31.1.8.4(2) - Added OPI website to paragraph;deleted paragraph referring to obsolete Form 10820.

(55) IRM 22.31.1.9 Updated subsection title from Espanol Web and Multilingual Gateway Site Content Publishing Process to Espanol Web and Other Language Site Content Publishing Process; updated content and websites..

(56) IRM 22.31.1.9.1(2-4) - Deleted since topics are no longer chosen using this method.

(57) IRM 22.31.1.9.2(2) - Removed the reference to the Standard Translation Process as this is no longer used to determine content.

(58) IRM 22.31.1.9.3.2 - Changed subsection title from LPTS Multilingual Gateway Content Manager to LPTS Other Languages Sites Content Manager.

(59) IRM 22.31.1.9.4 - Revised subsection for clarity.

(60) IRM 22.31.1.9.5 - Changed subsection title from Posting Content to the Espanol Website and Multilingual Gateway to Posting Content to the Espanol Website and Other Language Sites.

(61) IRM 22.31.19.5(1) - Added bullet on time sensitive information related to service outages.

(62) IRM 22..31.1.9.6 - Changed subsection title from Maintaing the Espanol Website and Multilingual Gateway to Maintaining the Espanol Website and Other Language Sites.

(63) IRM 22.31.1.9.6(2) - Revised for clarity.

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 22.31.1 dated November 6, 2012 is superseded.

Audience

All IRS employees, vendors, contractors, etc. who provide oral and written language assistance to Limited English Proficient and non-English speaking taxpayers.

Effective Date

(12-02-2016)

Related Resources

The Multilingual and Agency Services website, http://taxforms.web.irs.gov/mas/default.aspx or at your BOD Intranet site.

The IRS Linguistics Policy, Tools, and Services Intranet website can be found at http://taxforms.web.irs.gov/mas/lpts/default.aspx..

Executive Order 13166, Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency, can be found at http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/cor/Pubs/eolep.php.

Department of Justice LEP Guidance 67 FR 41455-41472 (June 18, 2002), Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance Recipients Regarding Title VI Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting Limited English Proficient Persons, can be found at http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/cor/lep/DOJFinLEPFRJun182002.php.

Department of Treasury LEP Guidance, 70 FR 6067 (February 4, 2005), Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance Recipients Regarding Title VI Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting Limited English Proficient Persons, can be found at http://www.lep.gov/guidance/depttreas_lep_guide_final.pdf.

Carrie Holland
Director, Tax Forms and Publications
Wage and Investment Division

IRS Language Services Program Introduction

  1. This IRM provides guidance for implementing the Language Services (LS) Program throughout the IRS.

  2. The LS Program demonstrates IRS' commitment to assist taxpayers lacking full command of the English language ("limited English proficient" or "LEP" ) with understanding and meeting their tax responsibilities. The LS program, through its offerings, ensures that LEP taxpayers’ rights as outlined in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR) are protected.

  3. This IRM’s target audience is IRS employees who serve taxpayers lacking full command of the English language because it is not their primary language.

  4. The scope of the LS Program includes all tax-related written and oral assistance provided for taxpayers in non-English languages. It does not apply to Braille or American Sign Language, or internal use documents or information.

  5. The LS Program is Service-wide. All IRS organizations and their agents (e.g., contractors, volunteers) must uphold its requirements.

  6. The LS Program, through the Standard Translation Process (STP) establishes procedures, processes, and requirements for translation.

  7. Research identifies initiatives that increase IRS' understanding of LEP customer needs.

  8. Language assistance is available through the Over the Phone Interpreter (OPI) Service (IRM 22.31.1.8), fact sheets, bilingual assistors, telephone help lines, translated forms and publications, Publication 850, IRS.gov, the Español website and other language sites (IRM 22.31.1.9), and many other resources.

Executive Order 13166 - Limited English Proficient (LEP) Persons and Other Authority

  1. Executive Order (EO) 13166 mandates Federal agencies to provide LEP persons meaningful access to products and services. The EO defines "providing meaningful access" as:

    "…ensuring that the language assistance provides results in accurate and effective communication between the agency and the customer about the types of service and benefits available."

  2. Federal agencies must develop a written language assistance policy and guidelines under Department of Justice LEP Guidance, 67 FR 41455-41472 (June 18, 2002) and Department of Treasury LEP Guidance, 70 FR 6067 (February 4, 2005) to provide oral and written language assistance to regularly encountered LEP populations (within resource constraints).

  3. The aforementioned LEP guidance requires assessment of language assistance needs based on the following factors:

    • Number and/or proportion of "regularly encountered" LEP person

    • Frequency with which LEP persons are encountered

    • Importance of the service to the LEP and general population

    • Resources needed to provide language assistance.

  4. IRS, under the LEP guidance previously mentioned, requires identification, translation (for written materials), and/or interpretation (of spoken interactions) of tax-related items vital to LEP taxpayers who speak regularly-encountered languages if there are no alternative means to get the same information.

  5. The aforementioned guidance requires the evaluation and reassessment of the language assistance program at least every three years to ensure compliance.

IRS Language Services Policy Statement

  1. Policy Statement 22-3 (see IRM 1.2.22.1.3) affirms IRS' commitment to help non-English speaking taxpayers understand their tax obligations as follows:

    "The IRS commits to provide top quality service to each taxpayer, including those who lack a full command of the English language. The needs of these taxpayers will be included in the agency strategic plans, consistent with available resources. Language assistance may be provided, within resource constraints."

Definition of Terms

  1. This section lists terms and definitions that will be used throughout this IRM.

Limited English Proficient (LEP) Persons

  1. IRS defines LEP persons as individuals whose primary language is not English and who cannot speak, read, write, or understand English at a level that permits them to effectively obtain benefits and services to which they may be entitled or to meet their Federally-mandated responsibilities.

  2. IRS further defines LEP persons as those who either do not speak English well or do not speak English at all, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Regularly Encountered Languages

  1. Department of Justice LEP Guidance 67 FR 41455-41472 and Department of Treasury LEP Guidance 70 FR 6067 provide specific translation requirements for regularly encountered LEP language groups.

  2. Regularly encountered languages, as defined by the aforementioned LEP guidance, are determined by taking into consideration the number and/or proportion of LEP persons eligible to be served and the frequency of interaction with the agency.

"Vital" Documents (or Tax Products) for Translation

  1. Department of Justice LEP Guidance 67 FR 41455-41472 and Department of Treasury LEP Guidance 70 FR 6067 require translation for the regularly encountered LEP language groups of documents considered vital.

  2. Pursuant to the LEP guidance mentioned above, IRS defines documents vital for translation as those:

    • Containing critical information for accessing tax services, rights, and/or benefits; or

    • Required by law; and

    • Having no "alternate means" for obtaining the information in the LEP language.

  3. Vital documents, typically considered documents such as tax forms, publications and technical notices and letters, are translated by the bilingual staff of the Individual Specialty Forms and Publication, the Business, Exempt Organizations, and International Forms and Publications, and the Multilingual and Agency Services Branches in the Tax Forms and Publication Division (TF&P) in Wage and Investment (W&I) Media and Publications (M&P) and will receive priority in the translation process.

    Note:

    All tax products originated by the TF&P Division are considered vital documents.

  4. Vital documents will only be translated into "regularly encountered" languages.

  5. During the LEP Needs Assessment Process, IRS documents are reviewed and a determination is made about which IRS documents are considered vital (IRM 22.31.1.5).

"Non-Vital" Documents (or Non-Tax Products) for Translation

  1. IRS documents that do not meet the “vital” document criteria will be categorized as "non-vital."

Language Services Program Oversight

  1. The Language Services Executive Advisory Council (LSEAC) serves as the executive advisory board, and is the Service-wide focal point for language services communications, coordination, and risk management.

  2. Ownership of the Language Services Program resides with the Wage and Investment (W&I) Commissioner.

  3. The Director of Media and Publications within W&I serves as the Language Services Program executive director and is responsible for interfacing in conflict resolution, managing funding, approving priority status, and co-chairing the LSEAC.

  4. The Multilingual and Agency Services (MAS) Branch within W&I Media and Publications manages language services strategic operations.

Language Services Executive Advisory Council (LSEAC)

  1. The LSEAC serves as the oversight board that ensures that Service-wide issues related to the delivery of products and services to taxpayers with limited English proficiency (LEP) and employees who serve the LEP community are efficiently and timely addressed. Responsibilities include:

    1. Providing a forum for communication and coordination of efforts

    2. Resolving policies and procedures that may conflict or overlap

    3. Mitigating risks elevated by the Operating Divisions.

  2. The LSEAC is co-chaired by the Executive Director, Wage & Investment – Media and Publications, and the Executive Director, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, who provide direction and oversight.

  3. LSEAC members include executive representatives from organizations such as (there may be more than one representative from each):

    • Wage and Investment (W&I)

    • Small Business/Self Employed (SB/SE)

    • Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TEGE)

    • Large Business and International (LB&I)

    • Communication and Liaison (C&L)

    • Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS)

    • Appeals

    • Area-Wide Shared Services (AWSS)

    • National Headquarters/Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (NHqNHQ/EDI)

    • Human Capital Office (HCO)

    • Online Services (OLS)

    • Counsel

    • Criminal Investigations (CI)

    • Return Preparer Office (RPO).

  4. When appropriate, Chapter Presidents of the Hispanic IRS Employees (HIRE) and/or Asian Pacific IRS Employees (ASPIRE) organizations will be invited to participate.

  5. LSEAC members serve as language access issue points of contact for their respective Operating Divisions.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI), Civil Rights Division (CRD)

  1. EDI CRD monitors and ensures compliance with Executive Order 13166, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Department of Justice LEP Guidance 67 FR 41455-41472, and Department of Treasury LEP Guidance 70 FR 6067, by:

    1. Developing language assistance advisories for IRS conducted and IRS assisted programs

    2. Conducting pre-award grant reviews and post-award audits to determine if applicants meet language assistance requirements

    3. Conducting post-award on-site compliance reviews of grant recipients to confirm availability of language access services

    4. Conducting on-site compliance reviews of Taxpayer Assistance Centers to confirm availability of language access services

    5. Providing language access related technical assistance to all Operating Divisions and IRS assisted programs

    6. Assisting MAS as needed with language services strategic program responsibilities, including environmental scans and related research to identify regularly encountered languages, monitoring service needs of the LEP community, identifying documents vital for translation

    7. Providing administrative support to the LSEAC as described in its Charter.

Multilingual and Agency Services (MAS)

  1. The mission of MAS is to facilitate IRS’ administration of policies and strategies supporting delivery of language assistance to LEP taxpayers.

  2. MAS works with the LSEAC to provide oversight of language services implementation.

  3. MAS monitors compliance with Department of Justice LEP Guidance 67 FR 41455-41472 and Department of Treasury LEP Guidance 70 FR 6067 by:

    1. Working with W&I Research to conduct environmental scans and related research to identify regularly encountered languages

    2. Developing and administering the IRS language assistance policies and standards

    3. Coordinating the identification of documents vital for translation into the "regularly encountered" LEP language(s)

    4. Monitoring the communication, product, and service needs of the regularly encountered LEP community

    5. Implementing the LEP Strategic and Needs Assessment, involving analysis to better understand the LEP customer base and developing strategic documents for Service-wide use.

  4. MAS is responsible for the Español and other language sites on IRS.gov (IRM 22.31.1.9).

LEP Strategic Process

  1. The LEP Strategic Process establishes the methodology for development of the Service-wide LEP Strategy. The strategy is documented as part of the LEP Strategic Plan.

  2. The LEP Strategic Process integrates the needs of the regularly encountered LEP language group(s) into the IRS Strategic Planning Process.

  3. The MAS Branch will conduct the necessary assessments to develop the LEP Customer Base Report.

  4. The MAS Branch crosswalks the LEP Strategic Plan with the IRS Strategic Plan and works with BODs and the LSEAC to incorporate LEP strategies and operating priorities into BOD strategic plans.

LEP Strategic Plan

  1. The LEP Strategic Plan includes IRS strategies, operating priorities and improvement projects related to language services.

  2. The LEP Strategic Plan is the source for recommended improvements to products and services for the LEP customer base. The objectives of the LEP Strategic Plan are delivered by the BODs and/or functions.

  3. The MAS Branch works with BODs to obtain buy-in and incorporate LEP improvement projects into BOD strategic plans to deliver the requirements of the IRS Strategic Plan.

LEP Needs Assessment

  1. The LEP Needs Assessment is the formal process used to obtain feedback from LEP taxpayers and stakeholders (external and internal) on LEP customer needs related to tax responsibilities.

  2. The LEP Needs Assessment provides a three-pronged approach to identifying LEP taxpayer communication, product, vital document, and service needs. A report of the findings is issued after the assessment.

  3. The LEP Needs Assessment process includes the:

    • Demographic Assessment

    • External Needs Assessment

    • Internal Needs Assessment

    which are combined to create the IRS LEP Customer Base Report.

LEP Demographic Assessment

  1. The LEP Demographic Assessment is the Service-wide resource for demographic data on the LEP customer base.

  2. This assessment process includes environmental scans, such as research studies, and data from U.S. Census reports to provide demographics and other characteristics of the LEP customer base.

  3. Information in this assessment will identify the "regularly encountered" LEP languages and areas with high concentrations of LEP persons.

  4. The assessment provides the following information on the largest LEP language groups:

    LEP Profiles
    Demographics
    • Languages

    • Numbers

    • Location (National, State, Zip Code)

    • Ethnic Islands and Communities

    • Number of tax returns

    Characteristics
    • Economic

    • Local

    • Household

    • Social

    • Ancestry

    • Date of U.S. entry

    • E-filers

    • EITC filers

    • Comparison to nationwide population

    • Filing habits (adjusted gross income, refunds, balance due, dependents, income, tax withheld, age, preparer [(self or paid])

External LEP Needs Assessment

  1. The External Needs Assessment is a mechanism to obtain direct taxpayer and stakeholder input on the needs of LEP customers, including "vital" document needs.

  2. Department of Justice LEP Guidance 67 FR 41455-41472 and Department of Treasury LEP Guidance 70 FR 6067 require routine assessment of communication, product, and service needs of the regularly encountered LEP language groups.

  3. The External LEP Needs Assessment includes analysis on data and feedback from various external sources to include the LEP taxpayer.

    Area Methodology and Frequency Information Obtained
    Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)/Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE)
    • General survey of LEP taxpayers and VITA/TCE Site Coordinators

    • Every two years

    • Trends

    • Vital documents

    • Language needs

    • Effectiveness of products and services

    • Communication needs

    Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs)
    • General survey of LEP taxpayers and LITCs Directors

    • Every two years

    • Trends

    • Vital documents

    • Language needs

    • Effectiveness of products and services

    • Communication needs

    Stakeholder, Partnership, Education, and Communication
    • Direct LEP taxpayer input through face-to-face survey and/or focus groups on specific topics

    • Stakeholder feedback through partners

    • Every two years

    • Information on specific issues and concerns

    Spanish Language Product Surveys
    • Direct LEP taxpayer input on specific services received

    • Ongoing/Annual

    • Effectiveness of products and services

    Tax Practitioner Survey
    • Tax practitioner input through face-to-face survey and/or focus groups

    • Every two years

    • Trends

    • Vital documents

    • Language needs

    • Effectiveness of products and services

    • Communication needs

Internal LEP Needs Assessment

  1. The Internal LEP Needs Assessment is performed to meet Department of Justice LEP Guidance 67 FR 41455-41472 and Department of Treasury LEP Guidance 70 FR 6067 requirements to evaluate the following:

    • Agency points of contact to determine where language assistance is likely to be needed

    • Resources needed to provide effective language assistance

    • Location and availability of the (current) resources

    • Arrangements that must be made to access these resources in a timely fashion.

  2. This assessment focuses on the identification of documents vital for LEP taxpayers and internal communication/training needs related to providing service to LEP taxpayers.

  3. The Internal LEP Assessment includes analysis on data and input from various internal sources (See table below). Information obtained includes:

    • Number of locations providing language assistance (state and national)

    • Site information (location, languages offered)

    • Bilingual employee information (number, languages spoken, tools available, training provided, bilingual partners)

    • Demand (total volume by language, location volume by language)

    • Cost (direct, indirect, training, overhead)

    • Reviews/Oversight (e.g., Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) audits, operational reviews)

    • Translated Documents (vital and non-vital).

    Points of Contact Products and Services
    Field Assistance
    • Over the Phone Interpreter (OPI)

    • Kiosks

    • Bilingual employees

    Accounts Management
    • Spanish Telephone Calls

    • Bilingual Employees

    • Spanish Correspondence

    Compliance Services
    • Spanish Telephone Calls

    • Bilingual Employees

    • Spanish Correspondence

    Stakeholder Partnerships, Education, and Communication
    • Bilingual Employees

    • VITA/TCE sites

    • Bilingual Partners

    • Education and Outreach

    Stakeholder Liaison
    • Bilingual Employees

    • Bilingual Partners

    • Education and Outreach

    Field Compliance
    • Bilingual Employees

    • Interpreters

    Submission Processing
    • Bilingual Employees

    • Spanish Correspondence

    Headquarters Communications and Liaison
    • Bilingual Employees

    • Spanish Marketing Products

    Taxpayer Advocate Service
    • Bilingual Employees

    • LITCs

    • Bilingual Cases

    Multilingual and Agency Services Branch
    • Español Web Site

    • Other language sites

IRS LEP Customer Base Report

  1. The IRS LEP Customer Base Report is the source document for the LEP Strategic Plan. It is the culmination of research, surveys, analysis and focus groups conducted as part of the "LEP Needs Assessment" .

  2. The IRS LEP Customer Base Report includes the following information on the largest LEP customer groups:

    • Demographics

    • Characteristics

    • Profiles

    • Major TIPS (Trends, Issues and Problems).

Providing Language Assistance

  1. Language assistance policies and standards ensure consistency and uniformity in the scope, quality, and accuracy of assistance given. They also ensure that LEP taxpayers' rights as outlined in the TBOR are protected.

  2. Language assistance policies and standards apply to all categories of language assistance and to anyone providing assistance in non-English languages on tax-related matters, in any format.

  3. Language assistance is provided in a variety of formats, categorized as follows:

    1. Written

      Example:

      Hardcopy and electronic translations and reviews

    2. Oral

      Example:

      Interpreting, summaries

    Note:

    This language assistance guidance does not apply to Braille formats or internal use personnel documents.

Language Assistance

  1. Executive Order (EO) 13166 (IRM 22.31.1.1.1) requires federal agencies to ensure that LEP taxpayers have meaningful access to products and services. Department of Justice LEP Guidance 67 FR 41455-41472 and Department of Treasury LEP Guidance 70 FR 6067 require federal agencies to provide oral language assistance and translate vital documents in "regularly encountered" LEP languages if there are no alternate means for providing the information.

  2. In accordance with the aforementioned guidance and research conducted, the IRS has designated Spanish as a regularly encountered language.

  3. Pursuant to the aforementioned guidance, the following actions will be taken for regularly encountered languages:

    1. Oral language assistance will be provided by bilingual assistors, if available. OPI Service may be used if assistors are not available. This service is determined by the MAS Branch and the BOD, within resource constraints (IRM 22.31.1.8).

    2. Documents designated vital for translation will be translated by the applicable branch within TF&P, if there are no alternate means for obtaining the information.

    3. Documents designated as non-vital for translation will be translated by the Linguistic Policy, Tools and Services (LPTS) Office.

  4. Pursuant to the guidance mentioned above, the following actions will be taken for all other non-English languages not designated as regularly encountered:

    1. Oral language assistance and written translations for education and outreach purposes may be provided in areas, as needed, where there are high concentrations of LEP persons.

    2. The use of OPI services for case/account related assistance, if bilingual assistors are not available, to assist LEP taxpayers. This service is determined by the MAS Branch and the BOD, within resource constraints.

Language Standards

  1. Language standards have been established to ensure consistency and uniformity in providing language assistance.

  2. Language standards are to be used to ascertain dialects, tax terminology, and common tax phrases (e.g., Making Work Pay Credit) to be used when providing assistance.

  3. These language standards are to be followed by IRS employees and their agents (e.g., contractors and volunteer partners).

  4. Oral language assistance through OPI must be guided by the dialect, Publication 850 in the applicable language pair, and dictionary standards provided. OPI is available to most BODs (IRM 22.31.1.8).

  5. Written language assistance must follow the dialect, Publication 850 (IRM 22.31.1.6.3) in the applicable language pair, the IRS Spanish Writing Style Guide (IRM 22.31.1.6.3), dictionary standards provided, and quality review standards.

  6. BODs are responsible to apply language standards to their oral and written language assistance.

Languages and Dictionary Standards

  1. This section includes standards for the top five LEP languages concentrated in the United States. These languages (listed in order by population size) include:

    • Spanish

    • Chinese

    • Vietnamese

    • Korean

    • Russian

  2. The series of the Publication 850, Glossary of Tax Words and Phrases, was developed to establish uniformity in language usage in IRS tax products and clarifying tax-related issues. This publication was issued in the top five LEP languages and is the official source for technical tax terminology. The series of Publication 850 is below:

    Language Publication
    Spanish Pub 850 (EN/SP), English-Spanish Glossary of Tax Words and Phrases
    Chinese (Simplified and Traditional) Pub 850 (CN-S), English-Chinese (Simplified) Glossary of Words and Phrases

    Pub 850 (CN-T), English-Chinese (Traditional) Glossary of Words and Phrases
    Vietnamese Pub 850 (EN/VN), English-Vietnamese Glossary of Words and Phrases
    Korean Pub 850 (EN/KR), English-Korean Glossary of Words and Phrases
    Russian Pub 850 (EN/RU), English-Russian Glossary of Words and Phrases
  3. The IRS Spanish Writing Style Guide (Document 12714) must be used by bilingual translators, non-linguist IRS professionals and paraprofessionals that perform translations or prepare Spanish-language material for any BOD. Both IRS employees and consultant translators are to adhere to the guidelines presented in the guide.

  4. The standard dialect for translation to:

    Language Translation Assessment and Document
    Spanish In general, Spanish-language material is translated and written following the usage of Spanish. Documents for use in Puerto Rico must contain specific terminology that conforms to the tax laws of Puerto Rico. The style and terminology to be used should follow the standards developed by the IRS Spanish Writing Style Guide and Publication 850 (EN/SP), English-Spanish Glossary of Tax Words and Phrases.
    Chinese The standard language for translation is Traditional Chinese. The source for the correct technical terminology for translation for Traditional Chinese is the IRS Publication 850 (CN-T), English-Chinese (Traditional) Glossary of Words and Phrases.

    The source for the correct translation for Simplified Chinese is Publication 850 (CN-S), English-Chinese (Simplified) Glossary of Words and Phrases.
    Korean The standard language for translation is Hangul. The source for the correct technical terminology for translation is the IRS Publication 850 (EN/KR), English-Korean Glossary of Words and Phrases.
    Vietnamese The source for the correct technical terminology for translation is the IRS Publication 850 (EN/VN), English-Vietnamese Glossary of Words and Phrases.
    Russian The source for the correct technical terminology for translation is the IRS Publication 850 (EN/RU), English-Russian Glossary of Words and Phrases.

Standard Translation Process (STP)

  1. The Standard Translation Process (STP) is the set of steps, criteria, and decisions that each document originator must follow to determine candidacy and requirements for translations.

  2. The STP applies to written translations, whether for internal purposes, the general public, or taxpayer-specific.

    Note:

    Written material translated for use in the office of the Deputy Commissioner, International (Large Business and International) is exempt from STP requirements.

  3. Written translations will only be done for materials that have been approved in their source language.

  4. The term "written translation" applies to hardcopy and/or electronic (e.g., CDs, Web pages) materials, already available in English, including (but not limited to):

    • Published materials

    • Notices

    • Announcements

    • Letters and other correspondence (e.g., e-mail)

    • Forms and instructions

    • Brochures

    • Flyers

    • Handouts

    • Web content/sites

    • Presentations

    • Articles

    • Press Releases

    • Training material

    • Publications

    • Telephone scripts/translated, reviewed recordings

    • Tax Topics.

  5. The STP consists of four components:

    1. Identifying the document for translation

    2. Determining the candidacy of a document for translation

    3. Assessing potential organizational impacts of translation

    4. Processing the translation and review of a translation candidate.

  6. STP components are sequential, and use a process of elimination to determine if a document should and can be translated as well as the correct process to follow based on the document category.

  7. The STP process is illustrated in Figure 22.31.1-1a and Figure 22.31.1-1b.

    Figure 22.31.1-1a

    This is an Image: 39864001.gif

    Please click here for the text description of the image.

    Figure 22.31.1-1b

    This is an Image: 39864002.gif

    Please click here for the text description of the image.

Identifying the Document for Translation

  1. The translation process begins by:

    1. Identifying request for translations from certain non-English languages into English

    2. Determining that a document is for public use

    3. Identifying the language for translation

    4. Identifying the document originator or document owner.

Requesting Translations of Non-Vital Documents from Certain Languages into English
  1. Translation assistance for documents written in certain languages such as French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese is also available in the office of the Advance Pricing Mutual Agreement (APMA) Program, Large Business and International.

  2. English translations can be obtained from LPTS, which are performed either by internal employees or external contractors, on documents written in languages such as:

    • French

    • German

    • Italian

    • Portuguese

    • Various African languages

    • Arabic

    • Iranian Farsi

    • Spanish.

  3. The LB&I Advance Pricing Mutual Agreement (APMA) Program can assist with translation contracts to accommodate other languages. More information on how to obtain these services can be found in http://lmsb.irs.gov/international/TPO/APMA/Translate.asp.

  4. Translation/quality review/proofreading assistance may include any of the following tasks:

    1. Writing a summary translation of a source document

    2. Reading documents aloud while requestor takes notes

    3. Reading documents to pinpoint vital information

    4. Reviewing translations submitted by taxpayers or another source for accuracy and completeness.

  5. Translation/quality review/proofreading requirements are submitted as follows:

    1. Requests must be in writing, accompanied by Form 14078 and the final source document needing translation/review service, and may be sent by mail, fax, or e-mail.

    2. Explanatory background information should be provided.

  6. The original and any background information will be returned with the translation.

  7. Requests must include the target return date.

Determining that a Document is for Public Use
  1. Only "IRS public use tax forms and tax related documents" are within the scope of the Language Services Program.

  2. Public use documents include those that enable the general public and other Government agencies (including state and local ones) to comply with the requirements of the Internal Revenue laws and regulations or to otherwise communicate with the general public and other Government agencies.

  3. If a document is not for public use, then it is not considered a vital document, such as filing season tax products. It may be translated as a non-vital document (IRM 22.31.1.7.4.4).

Identifying the Language for Translation
  1. All documents (vital and non-vital) may be considered for translation into the IRM 22.31.1.2.2 regularly encountered language.

  2. Translations into languages other than the regularly encountered language will be limited to non-vital documents for education and outreach purposes only. Vital documents will not be translated into non-English languages other than those regularly encountered.

  3. Translations into non-regularly encountered LEP languages will be limited to situations where it is determined that:

    • The LEP language is one of the top five LEP language groups in the U.S. or

    • The LEP language is "highly concentrated" in the local area and the translated material is for local use only.

Highly Concentrated Limited English Proficient (LEP) Languages
  1. A language (other than the top five national relevant LEP languages) may be designated as a "highly concentrated LEP language" on a local basis.

  2. This designation allows local offices to provide limited language assistance and translation of local relevant non-vital documents for" education and outreach purposes only" .

  3. To achieve this designation, the LEP language group must exceed 20% of the state's LEP population or represent over 20,000 LEP persons.

  4. If the language does not meet the above criteria, then the document is not considered a vital document. However, it may be translated as a non-vital document (IRM 22.31.1.7.4.4) if there is a critical need for this information to reach to LEP taxpayers to assist them to fulfill their tax responsibilities.

Identifying the Document Originator/Owner
  1. Document originators/owners must approve translation of a document. They are also responsible for maintenance of translated documents.

    1. Document originators/owners are generally those with program responsibility for the technical content of documents.

    2. Only document originators/owners can have a document translated.

    3. If the translation requestor is not the document originator, the originator must be identified and contacted with the translation request.

    4. Originators can be identified through the Core Repository of Published Products (CROPP) at http://publish.no.irs.gov/catlg.html.

    5. Originators who concur with a translation request or initiate translation, should continue to the next step of the translation process.

    6. If the document originator cannot be identified or does not concur with the translation request, further pursuit of translation must stop.

Determining the Candidacy of a Document for Translation

  1. Before evaluating the need for translation, you must have determined:

    • Document is for public use

    • Translation is to an approved language

    • Document is not to be translated by the LB&I Division

    • You are the owner and agreed that translation is needed

    • You are not the owner but have secured the owners approval in writing to translate the document.

  2. It is not necessary to translate all documents, but it is necessary to ensure meaningful access, within resource constraints.

  3. To be a candidate for translation, a document must be:

    • Important to LEP taxpayers

    • In high demand or frequently used by taxpayers

    • Unavailable to taxpayers by alternate means (i.e., the same information is not already translated in another document or medium)

    • Determined by the BOD or function to have an acceptable level of downstream adverse impact (e.g., staffing to handle inquiries or calls, work process, etc.) on their organization that they can absorb without interrupting work.

Determining Importance to LEP taxpayers
  1. "Important" documents are those for which there would be a negative impact on LEP taxpayers if not available in their primary language.

  2. Important documents assist LEP taxpayers to:

    1. Understand and fulfill their tax responsibilities

    2. Access Federal benefits and services

    3. Avoid fines and penalties

    4. Exercise their rights as outlined in the TBOR.

  3. If the document does not meet one of the criteria above but is determined through direct input from LEP taxpayers and stakeholders to be important, documentation of importance must be provided.

  4. If the document does not meet the criteria above or cannot be substantiated as important to LEP taxpayers, then it is not considered a vital document. It may be translated as a non-vital document (IRM 22.31.1.7.4.4).

Determining High Demand and/or Frequent Use
  1. A document must be in high demand and/or frequently used by LEP taxpayers to warrant translation.

  2. High demand and frequency of use is based on the English version of the document.

  3. The document owner must determine projected demand and use for new English documents that are being translated.

  4. The following formula can be applied to assess the degree of demand of a document:

    When Multiplied by Multiplied by Is Then
    The total distribution volume of the English document The percent of returns not completed by tax preparers (50% for W&I taxpayers) LEP percent of the U.S. population (Spanish equals 3.2%) Greater than 200,000 The document is in high demand by the LEP

    Example:

    1,000,000 documents x 50% = 500,000 x 3.2% =16,000 (estimated demand)

  5. If the document does not meet this criterion, it is deemed not important and not considered a vital document. It may be translated as a non-vital document (IRM 22.31.1.7.4.4).

Determining Alternatives to Translation
  1. A review of existing language assistance services must be made before translation, to determine if another source of the translated information is available.

  2. Originators should research to determine if alternate means are available and serve as adequate replacements to document translation. Alternatives may include (not all inclusive) referrals to:

    • Existing translated materials

    • Pre-recorded Tele-tax information in Spanish

    • Live oral assistance via established Spanish language telephone service

    • OPI service, which is available to many IRS functions, if applicable.

  3. If information is available in the foreign language from another source, the originator should determine if the information is sufficient to serve as an alternative to translation.

  4. If the information, in an already-translated source, is adequate or if an explanation via Tele-tax or live assistance is appropriate, the following steps should be taken:

    • The translation requestor (if other than the originator) should be apprised of the alternative.

    • The alternative should be documented, and documentation saved with other translation records.

    • A statement should be added to the English document to indicate the source for translated information and directions on how the information may be obtained in another language (specify language or languages and point readers to the alternative).

  5. If a suitable alternative to translation is not identified, then the next step in the translation process should be considered.

Adding a Statement to the English Version
  1. If it is determined that an alternative to translation, such as Spanish telephone assistance or web content on a multilingual website, is available, a statement in the LEP language should be added to the English-language version of the document.

  2. The following statement has been approved for incorporation into English documents when referring taxpayers to Spanish telephone assistance:

    "Para asistencia en español, favor de llamar al XXX-XXX-XXXX."
    (For assistance in Spanish please call XXX-XXX-XXXX.)
  3. Similar or language appropriate statements can be added for the other four top languages.

  4. BOD/functional Executive approval (as determined by the BOD or function) is required to modify the English version of the document to add a statement.

  5. If the required approvals cannot be obtained, activities pursuant to translation must stop.

Evaluating the Organizational Impact of Translation

  1. Document translation may necessitate actions on the part of IRS. The anticipated actions must be assessed to determine candidacy.

  2. Documents with unacceptable organizational impact (as determined by the BOD or function) and excessive cost (as identified by the BOD and LPTS, if use of the translation contract for translation is required) will not be translated. The document originator must conduct the impact evaluation to document estimated cost necessitated by the document translation.

  3. Further translation activities cannot proceed until an impact assessment is performed.

  4. The components of the impact assessment include:

    • Use of the document in business processes

    • Procedural changes required if the document is translated

    • Need for bilingual staff to process

    • Availability of bilingual staff

    • Need for additional bilingual staff

    • Potential increases in workload

    • Estimated staffing costs

    • Training needs

    • Potential labor relations issues

    • Notices, letters, or other documents sent with the document

    • Changes needed to computer systems

    • Requirements for a unified work request, and its anticipated costs

    • Problems, issues, and risks that might be encountered

    • Solutions necessary to resolve problems, issues and risks

    • External dependencies that might also be impacted.

  5. The document originator must look at all potential impacts and decide whether they have an unacceptable (negative) organizational impact.

  6. After the impact assessment is completed, the document originator must determine the following:

    If Then
    The organizational impact is unacceptable (negative) The translation activity must stop.
    The organizational impact is acceptable The translation activity may continue in its next step.

Processing a Translation Candidate

  1. If you meet all the previous criteria, your document is considered viable for translation.

Categorizing Documents
  1. The next steps are to determine document categorization (vital vs. non-vital):

    Information Contained Vital Document Non-Vital (National Relevance) Non-Vital (Local Relevance)
    Contains critical information for accessing tax services, rights, and/or benefits or is required by law Yes No No
    Contains technical tax information or general educational information relevant nationwide N/A Yes No
    Only contains general education or administrative information relevant to local area only N/A N/A Yes
  2. All tax products (i.e., forms, instructions, publications, and technical notices) originated by the Individual and Specialty Forms and Publications, and Business, Exempt Organizations and International Forms and Publication branches within TF&P are considered vital documents.

Approving Documents for Translations
  1. All translations, both vital and non-vital, must be approved (at a minimum) by the BOD or function of the originator.

  2. BODs or functions are responsible for developing their own internal approval process, including coordination with other BODs on jointly owned documents.

  3. If BOD approval cannot be obtained, then translation activity must stop.

Translating and Reviewing Vital Documents
  1. All vital documents (tax forms, instructions, and publications, as well as technical notices) will be translated by the applicable branch within TF&P. Once BOD/function approval is received, the request is assigned to the applicable branch within W&I/Media & Publications (M&P)/TF&P.

  2. Electronic files should be provided whenever possible.

  3. Quality reviewers of vital documents are designated individuals that are part of the staff of the multiple branches within TF&P.

Translating Non-Vital Documents
  1. Non-vital documents will be translated only if there are sufficient resources available for all aspects of translation, quality review, printing, and distribution costs.

    Note:

    Contract translation services are available. Contact the LPTS Office for assistance at *Linguistic Services.

  2. LPTS receives and handles non-vital document translation requests via the Publishing Services Request (PSR) process submitted by the requestors.

  3. BODs must establish internal processes to coordinate with LPTS about translating non-vital documents.

  4. All translation processes must comply with the language assistance policy (IRM 22.31.1.6.1) and language standards (IRM 22.31.1.6.2).

  5. To request translation services, the following guidelines must be followed:

    If Then
    Publishing services are necessary (i.e., the documents are not case-related) The document owner or designee needs to submit a PSR at http://caps-as.enterprise.irs.gov/psr/app. For the request to be considered, a completed Form 14078, Request for Translation and/or Quality Review Services, and the final (approved) document in its source language must be attached to the PSR.
    Publishing services are not necessary (the documents are not case-related) The document owner or designee needs to send an e-mail to *Linguistic Services. For the request to be considered, a completed Form 14078 and the final (approved) document in its source language must be attached to the e-mail.
    Case-related documents are being referred to LPTS for translation through the "Specialist Referral System" (SRS) The requestor needs to send the request through SRS. Immediately after sending the request through SRS, the same requestor needs to send the source document to the *Linguistic Services mailbox.

    Example:

    A document owner in SB/SE is ready to request translation services in order to offer his brochure in Spanish and Chinese to LEP taxpayers. Since the document owner will need Publishing services for these publications, he can submit one PSR, attach his English-language publication and a completed Form 14078. The document owner submits a Form 14078 to LPTS via e-mail, and simultaneously to the Publishing Services Request (PSR) system, in which he will indicate that the document needs to be translated in Spanish and Chinese. When he submits the PSR, the request will be routed to LPTS for translation.

    The document owner submits a Form 14078 to LPTS via e-mail, and simultaneously to the Publishing Services Request (PSR) system, in which he will indicate that the document needs to be translated in Spanish and Chinese. When he submits the PSR, the request will be routed to LPTS for translation.

    Example:

    A W&I employee just received the approved text that will be recorded on the IRS toll-free systems. She requests the translation of this text by sending an e-mail to *Linguistic Services. In the e-mail, she will attach a completed Form 14078 and the text that needs to be translated. When she sends the e-mail, the request will be routed to LPTS for translation.


    Example:

    A Revenue Agent is working on an international case and needs to translate bank statements that are in Farsi. She will access the SRS and will complete the request based on the online prompts. Once she submits the request, she will send an e-mail to *Linguistic Services and will attach the documents that need translation.

  6. Form 14078 needs to be completed as accurately as possible as per the owner’s needs (Items 1 through 6, requestor’s, and content owner’s information). This will eliminate any possible misconceptions.

    Example:

    A TE/GE analyst requests translation services for a newsletter that will be distributed in Los Angeles, California. She is aware that the most common language throughout the local audience is Mandarin. When she completes Form 14078, she needs to ensure that the box titled "Traditional Chinese" in Item 6 is checked. This will ensure that the document will benefit the majority of the local LEP audience.

Requesting Delivery Dates of Translated Non-Vital Documents
  1. When requesting translation services of non-vital documents, the document owner and/or requestor requests a proposed delivery date of the translated material in item 4 of Form 14078.

  2. When considering a document for translation, document owners and requestors must plan accordingly so as to allow at least 14 days from the date the request is sent to the delivery date that is requested in Item 4 of Form 14078.

  3. LPTS will consider the request received on the date the e-mail or PSR is received. The requests will be worked considering the available resources at the moment the request is received and the priority of the document.

  4. The priority of the document is determined by the document owner and/or requestor and then by LPTS, considering any memorandums of understanding (MOUs) or internal memorandums between LPTS and its major customers.

  5. If the delivery date requested by the document owner and/or requestor cannot be met, LPTS will contact the document owner and/or requestor and a new delivery date will be negotiated.

Performing Quality Review of Translated Non-Vital Documents
  1. Non-vital translations will undergo quality review, depending upon the availability of resources, including bilingual reviewers.

  2. Quality reviews of non-vital documents are performed to ensure that translated documents are:

    • Linguistically accurate and appropriate and

    • Technically accurate in their tax information.

  3. Quality reviews are performed as the following:

    Type of Quality Review Example
    As a step in the translation workflow when documents are translated in-house A request has been received at LPTS for the translation of a brochure. The translation is performed in house. Once the document has been translated, it will be forwarded to a reviewer in LPTS. The document will then continue its workflow.
    As an independent service when documents are translated outside of LPTS (such as by another function or BOD) The owner of a document requested a bilingual employee within his BOD to translate a document. The document is translated and returned to the owner. The owner of the document then sends a request to LPTS for the quality review of that translation. A reviewer in LPTS will review the translation.
  4. Quality reviewers of non-vital documents are designated reviewers within the LPTS office.

  5. BODs are responsible for establishing internal processes for the coordination with LPTS regarding quality reviews of non-vital documents.

  6. All quality review processes must comply with established language standards (IRM 22.31.1.6.2).

  7. To request quality review services, the following must be considered:

    If Then
    Publishing services are necessary The document owner or designee needs to submit a PSR at http://caps-as.enterprise.irs.gov/psr/app. For the request to be considered, a completed Form 14078, the final (approved) document in its source language, and the translation must be attached to the PSR.
    Publishing services are not necessary The document owner or designee needs to send an e-mail to *Linguistic Services. For the request to be considered, a completed Form 14078, the final (approved) document in its source language, and the translation must be attached to the e-mail.
    Case-related documents are being referred to LPTS for quality review through the “Specialist Referral System” (SRS) The requestor needs to submit the request through SRS. Immediately after sending the request through SRS, the same requestor needs to send the source and the translated document to the *Linguistic Services mailbox.

    Example:

    A document owner in LB&I translated a document into Spanish and will contact LPTS to request quality review services. The owner will need Publishing services for this document, as this product will be posted in IRS.gov. She will submit a PSR, attach a completed Form 14078, the English-language publication, and the translation. When she submits the PSR, the request will be routed to LPTS for quality review.


    Example:

    An employee in W&I arranged for the recording of the announcements that will be posted on the IRS toll-free systems. She will approach LPTS for the review of the recorded announcements. She requests this service by sending an e-mail to *Linguistic Services. In the e-mail, she will attach a completed Form 14078 and the files that will be reviewed. When she sends the e-mail, the request will be routed to LPTS for quality review.

  8. Form 14078 needs to be completed as accurately as possible as per the owner’s needs (Items 1 through 6, requestor’s, and content owner’s information). This will eliminate any possible misconceptions.

    Example:

    An analyst in SB/SE translated a training module and requests quality review services from LPTS. This training module will be offered to a select group of individuals in Puerto Rico. When he completes Form 14078, he needs to ensure that the box titled "Puerto Rico" in Item 6 is checked. This will ensure that LPTS is aware that the document needs to be reviewed considering the correct terminology applicable to the Puerto Rican audience.

Requesting Delivery Dates of Non-Vital Documents that Undergo Quality Review
  1. When requesting quality review services of non-vital documents, the document owner and/or requestor requests a proposed delivery date of the reviewed material in item 4 of Form 14078.

  2. When considering a document for quality review of translated material, document owners and requestors must plan accordingly so as to allow at least 14 days from the date the request is sent to the delivery date that is requested in item 4 of Form 14078.

  3. LPTS will consider the request received on the date the e-mail or PSR is received. The requests will be worked considering the available resources at the moment the request is received and the priority of the document.

  4. The priority of the document is determined by the document owner and/or requestor and then by LPTS, considering any MOUs between LPTS and its major customers.

  5. If the delivery date requested by the document owner and/or requestor cannot be met, LPTS will contact the document owner and/or requestor and a new delivery date will be negotiated.

Proofreading of Non-Vital Documents
  1. Proofreading is performed during different steps in the translation/review workflow. It is the action of reading aloud a document to ensure that there are no typographical errors and that the translated/reviewed text has been formatted correctly.

  2. Usually, two people will participate in a proofreading activity. One person is the responsible party on a translation or review and the other person could be a proofreader or any individual that has the necessary knowledge in both the source and target languages.

  3. Proofreading is performed on the following instances:

    Type of Proofreading Example
    After an initial translation is performed, the translator proofreads the document to ensure the translation follows the text in its source language. After finishing the updated translation of Notice 746(SP), the translator proofreads the document along with a co-worker. The co-worker will read aloud the English-language document and the translator will read the Spanish-language while listening to the English-language document. Any discrepancies are noted and addressed.
    After the final changes have been input on a translation or review, the translator or reviewer proofreads the document to ensure the correct use of the language. The document in its target language is read aloud. After inputting the final changes in the translation of Notice 746(SP), the translator reads the document along with a co-worker. The Spanish-language document is read aloud while the other proofreader follows along with the Spanish-language document. Any discrepancies are noted and addressed.
    After an initial translation has been performed on a document that will be published, the owner of the document is responsible for coordinating the typesetting of the translation with Publishing. Once Publishing typesets the document, the owner may forward the typeset document to LPTS for verification that the translation was typeset correctly. LPTS translates a publication for Stakeholder Partnerships, Education, and Communication (SPEC). The translated product is a document in Word that is sent to the owner and requestor: SPEC. They forward the translation to Publishing and the document is typeset. SPEC approaches LPTS for proofreading services. LPTS compares the documents (the typeset document along with the translation in Word) to ensure that the text was transferred correctly.
  4. To request proofreading services from LPTS, the document owner or designee needs to send an e-mail to *Linguistic Services. For the request to be considered, a completed Form 14078, the typeset document, and the original translated or reviewed document must be attached to the e-mail.

Maintaining Translated and Reviewed Documents
  1. Maintenance (updating, revising, and/or obsoleting) of translated documents will reside with the document owner.

  2. Document owners must “regularly” evaluate the need for translation revisions, updates, and/or deletions to ensure consistency with English documents.

  3. Continual identification of translated document needs will be monitored by the Language Services Program.

Recordkeeping of Translated and Reviewed Documents
  1. It is the responsibility of LPTS to maintain records on translated and reviewed non-vital documents.

  2. Translated and reviewed vital documents are archived following TF&P’s record-keeping procedures.

Over-the-Phone Interpreter (OPI) Service

  1. An oral interpreter service is available to taxpayers who are limited English proficient. The primary vehicle for providing this service is through bilingual IRS employees and the OPI service.

  2. The OPI service is a phone translation service provided by a contractor. This service provides eligible IRS employees with the ability to communicate with taxpayers through translators who speak more than 300 different languages.

  3. OPI service is free to taxpayers and is available around the clock. No advance appointment is necessary to use the service. This initiative supports the Service’s mission to provide taxpayers with top-quality service, specifically those whose native language isn’t English, and allows the IRS to comply with Executive Order 13166, as well as Department of Justice LEP Guidance 67 FR 41455-41472 and Department of Treasury LEP Guidance 70 FR 6067 and the IRS Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights.

  4. Specific procedures and guidance for use of the OPI service may be issued by each participating BOD independently and located in their respective IRMs, Program Letters or websites. General instructions for OPI service use are located below (IRM 22.31.1.8.2"How to Access OPI Service" ).

OPI Participants and Contacts

  1. The following BODs and functions are currently participating in the OPI service program:

    • W&I

    • SB/SE

    • LB&I

    • TE/GE − Counsel

    • TAS

    • Appeals

    • CI

    • Chief Counsel

    • EDI.

  2. National program and contract responsibility are handled by the MAS Branch. Day-to-day operations of the OPI Service-wide Program and contract oversight are the responsibility of the National OPI Service Program Coordinator located in the MAS Branch.

  3. The National OPI Service Program Coordinator is responsible for IRS contract negotiation and management and will oversee implementation of the OPI service across all participating BODs.

  4. Each BOD will name a Division OPI Service Representative to work with the National OPI Program Coordinator and serve as their BOD's contact representative for all OPI service activities. At a minimum, the Division OPI Service Representative will be responsible for:

    1. Managing and overseeing the BOD OPI service program

    2. Receiving and accepting OPI service invoices (IRM 22.31.1.8.3, Invoice Review Criteria for OPI Service).

  5. Additional duties may be assigned to the Division OPI Service Representative at the direction and discretion of each BOD. It is highly recommended that each BOD also have a back up representative so there is continuous coverage.

  6. The most recent contact information for both the National and Division OPI Service Representatives can be found at the MAS website, http://taxforms.web.irs.gov/mas/default.aspx or at your BOD Intranet site.

How to Access OPI Service

  1. It is very important to note that the vendor will not provide interpreter services unless the employee provides all required information.

  2. Each BOD with OPI services permission should disseminate their respective client code and access codes to its employees. Each BOD will have its own method for disseminating the required codes. If you have questions on where to locate these codes, contact your manager, your Division OPI Service Representative (http://taxforms.web.irs.gov/mas/lpts/opi/opicontacts.aspx) or the National OPI Program Coordinator.

  3. The following table contains the steps for using the OPI service:

    Step Action
    1 Have taxpayer on the phone line prior to step #2
    2 Dial 1-888-563-1155
    3 At the prompt, enter your PIN number (xxxx-xxxxx)
    4 Press
    • 1 for Spanish

    • 2 for Creole

    • 3 for Mandarin

    • 4 for Korean

    • 5 for Vietnamese

    • 6 for Somali

    • 7 for Russian

    • 8 for French

    • 9 for Arabic

    5 For any other language needs or concerns, press 0 for operator assistance. If no interpreter is available, the operator will inform you to call back later.
    6 TIPS FOR WORKING WITH INTERPRETERS:
    • Please provide a brief introduction to the calls content.

    • Please eliminate any background noise.

    • Please speak at a moderate rate of speed and instruct your parties to speak one at a time.

    • The interpreter serves to facilitate communication; he/she will not conduct the call itself.

    • Please contact your contractor Account Manager with any questions or concerns.

Providing Feedback on OPI Use
  1. To provide feedback on OPI Service or report any problems, use Form 14162, OPI Service Feedback, and e-mail it to the National OPI Program Coordinator at *W& I M& P OPI.

  2. Responses to Form 14162 will generally be received within seven (7) business days. Emergency situations will be addressed immediately.

Invoice Review Criteria for the OPI Service

  1. The following table details the minimum invoice review criteria that should be followed by the Division OPI Service Representative to analyze the call detail of the OPI service and authorizing vendor payment: BODs can impose additional invoice review criteria at their discretion.

    Step Action
    1 Verify adequate supporting documentation was submitted. A contractor’s invoice is a proper invoice according to section 32.905 of the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR). It should minimally include the following items:
    • Contract number

    • Invoice date

    • Contract period of performance

    • BOD name

    • Invoice number

    • Invoice period of performance

    • Total number of calls (Spanish/other languages)

    • Call detail (SEID, access code, telephone number called (to and from), period of performance for invoice).

    2 Conduct validation as follows:
    1. Verify that the language rate billed on invoice matches the rate in the contract.

    2. Randomly select a minimum of 10% of calls billed and check the following items for accuracy: SEIDs, access codes, and telephone numbers listed on each invoice.

    3. Ensure that SEIDs belong to current IRS employees working or detailed into the BOD, access codes are valid and belong to your BOD.

    4. For BODS with small call volumes (fewer than 100 calls per month), 100% review of calls billed is recommended.

    3 Conduct trend analysis by reviewing for:
    • Anomalies

    • Calls of 60 minutes or more

    • Calls after core hours

    • Calls to questionable destinations

    • Calls totaling over 1,440 minutes (one full day)


    Resolve any issues identified above utilizing corresponding procedures identified by your BOD.
    4 Conduct a quality check to make sure all phone calls made during the invoice period were accurately recorded, reported and billed to IRS. Also, verify invoices to ensure that the contractor has not billed for more than the amount funded.

Timely Invoice Payment for OPI Service

  1. The contract for translation services is billed on a 30-day cycle. To ensure timely processing and payment by Beckley Finance Center, invoice validation and receipt and acceptance of the invoice on the Invoice Processing Platform (IPP) Integrated Procurement System is required within five (5) business days of invoice receipt.

  2. Typically the receipt date should reflect the last day of the service period or the actual date that the OPI services were received. The acceptance date will reflect that the OPI services rendered conform to the contract requirements. If there is a problem with receipt and acceptance, contact the National OPI Program Coordinator (see http://taxforms.web.irs.gov/mas/lpts/opi/opicontacts.aspx) immediately.

Updated Program Information on OPI Service

  1. To access updated program information on the OPI service, please visit any of the following:

    • Multilingual and Agency Services website (http://taxforms.web.irs.gov/mas/default.aspx)

    • Your BOD's multilingual website

    • IRWeb home page, and type "OPI " in the search box

Español Web and Other Language Site Content Publishing Process

  1. The IRS provides non-English-language websites for the general public in the Español website (Spanish) and other language (Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Russian) websites as follows:

  2. The Español and other language websites contain information in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Russian that can be viewed online or downloaded, providing meaningful access to products and services for LEP taxpayers.

  3. LPTS owns both the Español and other language sites. LPTS is responsible for managing a portion of the non-English language content in the Español Web Site and all the content of the other language sites. It manages and supports requests for translation and posting of content, but doesn’t create content.

  4. ) BODs and LPTS will be responsible for identifying new content for translation and/or improving existing foreign language content. In some instances, the LPTS Español and/or other language sites managers will suggest to BODs content that should be made available to the LEP taxpayers on these websites.

Strategic Planning

  1. The principles for managing content on the Español website and the other language websites correspond to those in the W&I Internet Content Publishing Process (IRM 11.55.1).

Content Requirements

  1. Posted content must meet the established language, dialects, and dictionaries standards (IRM 22.31.1.6.2).

  2. Content posted on the Español website and the other language sites must also exist in English on IRS.gov or published tax materials.

Content Management

  1. This section presents the responsibilities for content management of the non-English language IRS.gov websites managed by LPTS.

LPTS Español Web Site Content Manager
  1. The LPTS Español Website Content Manager will monitor to ensure translation and quality review standards are met.

  2. The LPTS Español Website Content Manager will act as the Español Internet Content Publishing Process Coordinator in accordance with the W&I Internet Content Publishing Process (see IRM 11.55.1).

  3. The LPTS Español Website Content Manager will identify any potential issues, conflicts, or other problems related to posting. Should concerns be identified, the LPTS Español Website Content Manager will prepare a description of the problem and transmit it to the affected content owner(s). Every effort will be made to work with the content owner to resolve issues.

LPTS Other Language Sites Content Manager
  1. The LPTS other language sites Content Manager will monitor to ensure translation and quality review standards are met.

  2. The LPTS other language sites Content Manager will act as the other language sites Content Publishing Process Coordinator in accordance with the W&I Internet Content Publishing Process (see IRM 11.55.1).

  3. The LPTS other language sites Content Manager will identify any potential issues, conflicts or other problems related to posting. Should concerns be identified, the LPTS other language sites Content Manager will prepare a description of the problem and transmit it to the affected content owner(s). Every effort will be made to work with the content owner to resolve issues.

Transmitting Content Submission Packages to LPTS

  1. If a BOD has English website pages that are also available in non-English languages, they must inform LPTS (linguistic.services@irs.gov) when changes are made to content, or content is "unpublished" so that the same action is taken on the multilingual websites.

  2. To submit content to IRS.gov/espanol and/or the Multilingual Gateway, content owners should:

    1. Submit the completed Form 14078, "Request for Translation" , with a copy of the original English source document, to the *Linguistic_Services mailbox

    2. Identify the new links to be created and posted if the content is new

    3. Include identification numbers for existing links

    4. Provide a copy of the static file

    5. Provide the expected completion date for posting of new content

    6. Provide the "unpublish" date

    7. Not delete the English content for a minimum of two weeks after submitting a completed translation request to allow sufficient turn-around time for posting new material (as this may cause broken links to the related foreign language files).

  3. When changes to the layout of English-language landing pages are made, content owners should:

    1. Submit the completed Form 14078, "Request for Translation," to the *Linguistic_Services mailbox

    2. Provide information on the planned redesign of the English web page including content and layout change

    3. Provide the expected completion date for the new English text and layout

    4. Identify the pages, links, and static files that have been changed

    5. Provide a Word document reflecting all edits, deletions, etc.

    6. Provide new "unpublish" dates for all included items.

  4. LPTS will assign priority dates for translation to items received.

    Note:

    At least three weeks turnaround time should be allowed for postings that are to be translated into Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and/or Russian.

  5. The requestor will be informed of the expected completion date for translation and the expected completion date for uploading and posting of new web files.

  6. LPTS will inform requestor when translation is complete and forward translated material to Español Website Content Manager or other language sites Content Manager, as appropriate.

  7. The Español Website Content Manager or other language sites Content Manager will create new file and post to website. Upon completion, website content managers will inform the requestor.

  8. BODs should create links on their English web pages to the corresponding foreign-language counterparts (related or associated assets), on the top right and below the title of the web page. Foreign language pages should have links to their English counterparts in the same location.

  9. LPTS Espanol and other language website content managers should create links on their web pages to the corresponding English counterparts ( related or associated assets), on the top right and below the title of the web page. Foreign language pages should have links to their English counterparts in the same location.

Posting Content to the Español Website and Other Language Sites

  1. Español and other language sites’ content will be posted on a first-come, first-serve basis.

  2. The following exceptions apply:

    • Time sensitive information related to the current filing season

    • Time sensitive information related to service outages

    • Time sensitive information related to recent tax law or IRS procedural changes.

  3. Upon posting of the content, the content provider will be provided with an URL to access the information.

Maintaining the Español Website and other language sites

  1. LPTS will follow the IRS.gov Web Certification Process and the W&I Annual Certification Process (see IRM 11.55.1.23) to ensure accuracy and currency of the content on the Español website and other language sites unless noted otherwise.

  2. Content providers are responsible for certifying ownership and accuracy of their Internet content to include any translated content posted on the Español and other language sites through these processes.

  3. The LPTS content managers are responsible for maintaining the infrastructure of the Español and other language sites. This includes:

    • Content organization

    • Navigation

    • Look and feel.