22.41.1 Outreach

Manual Transmittal

September 21, 2018

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 22.41.1, Indian Tribal Governments, Outreach.

Material Changes

(1) Incorporates new text, reissues existing information and reflects editorial and/or numbering changes throughout the subsections. Checked and corrected (where necessary) web addresses, IRM and legal resources. See below table for significant changes to this IRM:

IRM Reference Description of Change
Throughout IRM Updated manual to change references to certain positions in the ITG/TEB function as a result of the TE/GE reorganization. Changed references to the Director, Indian Tribal Governments to Director, Indian Tribal Governments/Tax Exempt Bonds (ITG/TEB).
22.41.1.1, Program Scope and Objectives Inserted new content for Internal Controls as required by IRM 1.11.2.
22.41.1.1.1, Background Moved and updated content formerly included in the Manual Transmittal Background section.
22.41.1.1.2, Authority Added new section.
22.41.1.1.3, Responsibilities Added new section. Moved content formerly in IRM 22.41.1.1, Overview, addressing Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR) information, employee identification requirements required by the Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA 98), and the right of taxpayers to receive Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) assistance.
22.41.1.1.4, Program Controls Added new section.
22.41.1.1.5, Acronyms Compiled a list of frequently used acronyms and their definitions used in ITG/TEB.
22.41.1.2, Overview Moved content formerly in IRM 22.41.1.1, Overview. Moved paragraphs (3), (4) and (5) addressing Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR) information, employee identification requirements required by the Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA 98), and the right of taxpayers to receive Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) assistance, respectively, to IRM 22.41.1.1.3, Responsibilities. Renumbered this section and the remaining subsections due to adding the new section for internal controls in IRM 22.41.1.1.
22.41.1.2.1, Stakeholder Outreach Moved content formerly in IRM 22.41.1.1.1.
22.41.1.2.2, Customer Outreach Moved content formerly contained in IRM 22.41.1.1.2. Revised text throughout for clarity.
22.41.1.3, Education Moved content formerly in IRM 22.41.1.2.
22.41.1.4, Outreach Selection Process Moved content formerly in IRM 22.41.1.3. As a result of the TE/GE reorganization, changed references to the ITG, ITG Director and Compliance Program Management (CPM) to ITG/TEB, ITG/TEB Director and ITG/TEB Technical Manager, respectfully. Also, added the ITG/TEB Field Operations Manager’s position.
22.41.1.6, Outreach Approval Moved content formerly contained in IRM 22.41.1.4. Revised text throughout for clarity and updated organizational references resulting from the TE/GE reorganization, i.e., ITG Director and the Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Government Entities/Shared Services (GE/SS) TE/GE were changed to ITG/TEB Director and the Director, Government Entities/Shared Services, respectfully. Also added the group manager and ITG/TEB Field Operations Manager to the management level approval chain.
22.41.1.7, Outreach Material Moved content formerly in IRM 22.41.1.6.
22.41.1.8, Outreach Data Capture Moved content formerly in IRM 22.41.1.7. Removed sentence "CPM no longer tracks outreach events or maintains a database of past events."
22.41.1.9, Outreach Activity Codes and Definitions Moved content formerly contained in IRM 22.41.1.8. Revised text throughout for clarity. Added instruction to select the appropriate project code to further define the type of outreach activity conducted. Provided a link to outreach activity and project codes in Document 11308, Government Entities Information System Codes. Also, added a note that Activity Codes are subject to change each fiscal year.
22.41.1.10(1) Core Components of an Effective Outreach, Component #1, Outreach Preparation, Step (2) Request approval to conduct the outreach. Moved content formerly in IRM 22.41.1.9 and revised Step 2. As a result of the TE/GE reorganization, added the ITG/TEB Field Operations Manager to the management level approval chain and changed the reference to the ITG Director to ITG/TEB Director.
22.41.1.10(1) Step 3, Core Components of an Effective Outreach, Component #1, Outreach Preparation, Step (3) Timely coordinate with internal and external partners to participate in events, based on the customer’s consent. Moved content formerly contained in IRM 22.41.1.9 and revised Step 3. Removed duplicate reference to “Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS)” in the list “Examples of internal partners”.
22.41.1.11, Indian Tribal Government News Moved content formerly in IRM 22.41.1.10.
22.41.1.12, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance/Tax Counseling for the Elderly Moved content formerly in IRM 22.41.1.11. Updated IRM references throughout subsection.

(2) Updated to meet the requirements of P.L. 111-274 (H.R. 946), the Plain Writing Act of 2010. The Act provides that writing must be clear, concise, well-organized, and follow other best practices appropriate to the subject or field and intended audience.

Effect on Other Documents

This revision supersedes IRM 22.41.1, Indian Tribal Governments Outreach, dated December 23, 2016.

Audience

Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE)
Indian Tribal Governments

Effective Date

(09-21-2018)

Christie J. Jacobs
Director, Indian Tribal Governments/Tax Exempt Bonds
Government Entities and Shared Services
Tax Exempt and Government Entities

Program Scope and Objectives

  1. Purpose. This section provides procedures for customer education and outreach programs for Indian Tribal Governments/Tax Exempt Bonds (ITG/TEB) specialists who work with Indian tribal governments.

  2. Audience. These procedures apply to all specialists, managers and support staff who work with tribes in customer education and outreach activities.

  3. Policy Owner. Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE)

  4. Program Owner. The Director, Indian Tribal Governments/Tax Exempt Bonds (ITG/TEB), under TE/GE is responsible for overseeing federal tax administration as it applies to Indian tribal governments.

  5. Contact Information. To recommend changes or make any other suggestions to this IRM section, email the "Product Content Owner" on the Product Catalog Information page for this IRM.

Background

  1. The IRS established the Indian Tribal Governments’ function in 2000 under the TE/GE Division to serve as the primary contact in the IRS for federally recognized Indian tribes. In May 2017, the TE/GE Division reorganized and combined the Indian Tribal Governments (ITG) and Tax Exempt Bond functions (TEB). The scope and mission of ITG/TEB remains the same, to help Indian tribes address their federal tax matters.

  2. This is the sixth revision to IRM 22.41.1, Indian Tribal Governments, Outreach.

Authority

  1. ITG/TEB’s decision to participate in an outreach activity is driven by its desire to increase voluntary compliance and to support the current strategic work plan and ITG/TEB’s mission.

Responsibilities

  1. ITG/TEB follows the TE/GE Outreach Strategy which was developed to ensure that outreach efforts:

    • Treat all stakeholders fairly and consistently

    • Efficiently use employee and financial resources

  2. ITG/TEB employees must be familiar with and acting according to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Every employee must consider these rights in carrying out their duties. See IRC 7803(a)(3).

  3. IRS employees working tax related matters must identify themselves (The Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA 98) Section 3705(a)).

    1. IRS employees are required to give their name and unique identification number during taxpayer telephone, face-to-face, and written contact.

    2. IRS employees must put a telephone number on all taxpayer correspondence. This gives taxpayers enough information to identify an employee who has previously helped with a tax related matter.

  4. ITG/TEB employees should inform customers of available customer assistance from the Taxpayer Advocate Service’s (TAS) office when conducting outreach.

    1. TAS is an independent organization within the IRS that ensures tax problems, which haven’t been resolved through normal channels are promptly and fairly handled, or helps customers resolve tax matters if they are experiencing financial difficulty.

    2. Each state has at least one local Taxpayer Advocate who is independent of the local IRS office. To determine if a case meets TAS criteria, see IRM 13.1.7.2, Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Case Criteria.

Program Controls

  1. The Director, ITG/TEB and the Director, Government Entities/Shared Services (GE/SS) must approve ITG’s participation and/or attendance in any outreach event.

    Note:

    Approval is required even when it doesn’t cost anything to participate and/or attend.

  2. ITG/TEB will ask TE/GE Communications and Liaison (C&L) specialists to help develop and coordinate communication strategies, teleconferences, webinars and other virtual outreach efforts.

Acronyms

  1. Acronyms used in this IRM section:

    Acronyms Definitions
    AC Activity Code
    ACA Affordable Care Act
    BSA Bank Secrecy Act
    C&L Communications and Liaison
    FO Field Operations
    GE/SS Government Entities/Shared Services
    ITG Indian Tribal Governments
    ITG/TEB Indian Tribal Governments/Tax Exempt Bonds
    K-Net Knowledge Network
    MOU Memorandum of Understanding
    RRA 98 Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998
    TAS Taxpayer Advocate Service
    TBOR Taxpayer Bill of Rights
    TCE Tax Counseling for the Elderly
    TE/GE Tax Exempt and Government Entities
    VITA Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

Overview

  1. The ITG/TEB function provides a single point of contact for assistance and service. ITG/TEB’s overall goal is to partner with Indian tribal governments, tribal associations, and other federal agencies to respectfully and cooperatively meet the needs of both Indian tribal governments and the federal government, to simplify the tax administration process. ITG/TEB is committed to providing a quality educational program to help tribes.

  2. ITG/TEB offers specialized information and services, including educational materials, to the Indian tribal community through its education and outreach program.

    1. ITG/TEB’s outreach strategy includes regularly updating external websites, publications and providing information their customers need.

    2. ITG/TEB uses virtual and on-line tools including teleconferences, publications, website, etc.

  3. Outreach includes educational activities that involve the customers’ participation. They help customers voluntarily comply with the tax laws and include:

    • Partnering with stakeholders

    • Educating customers directly

Stakeholder Outreach

  1. Stakeholder outreach includes activities with external partners to identify ways to increase ITG/TEB customers’ voluntary compliance.

    Example:

    Meetings with Indian tribes, tribal organizations, tribally owned businesses, national tribal business leagues, and federal and state government agencies.

  2. One goal of outreach is to provide opportunities to establish new partnership relationships and expand existing ones.

Customer Outreach

  1. Customer outreach activities are efforts that strive to increase compliance by providing guidance on general requirements. The main goal of outreach is to increase voluntary compliance by helping customers understand how to accurately and timely file employment tax returns and any other required returns. It includes face-to-face and virtual events that provide educational information to groups of customers within a tribal government/enterprise or with employees of federally recognized Indian tribes.

  2. Examples of customer outreach include, but aren’t limited to:

    • Virtual presentations (phone or web-based)

    • Participating in panel discussions

    • Workshops or seminars

    • Customer association conferences and meetings

    • Webinars

    • Publications

    • Forms

  3. Customer outreach is preferred as a compliance tool when there’s an opportunity to educate and interact with large numbers of customers at once. It’s a very useful and proactive tool to enhance voluntary compliance with federal tax rules and regulations.

  4. Outreach activities can be costly due to time expended and travel costs. When possible, consider using phone conferences, webinars, online presentations, and other means of electronic communication. For outreach to be cost effective, consider the following factors:

    • Market segment impact

    • Expected number of attendees

    • Size and scope of the organization

    • Travel expense

    • Impact on potential compliance issues

    • Opportunity to establish or expand partnerships

  5. Consider making outreach a virtual event. Discuss the options for virtual events, including platforms available, with TE/GE Communications and Liaison (C&L) when you plan events.

  6. ITG/TEB's goal is to provide timely outreach. Therefore, specialists and managers should establish outreach plans for pre-filing and filing in the area for which the specialist is responsible.

Education

  1. ITG/TEB is committed to collaborating with the tribes to ensure that both governments’ needs are met. To fulfill our mission with the tribes, we hold educational sessions to provide the needed information for them to satisfy the federal tax laws that apply to their situations.

  2. Educational sessions cover various topics based on the tribe’s needs. Examples include, but are not limited to:

    • Employment Tax

    • Information Return Reporting Requirements

    • Gaming Issues

    • Bank Secrecy Act (Title 31)

    • Excise Tax

    • Tip Reporting

    • Tax Deposits

    • The Collection Process

  3. Some tribes may have topics that are of special interest to them and ITG/TEB develops sessions specific to their needs.

  4. ITG/TEB is responsible for education and outreach on the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) (Title 31) requirements to entities owned by Indian tribal governments. The Memorandum of Understanding MOU between ITG and SB/SE BSA addresses the shared responsibilities for the BSA and IRC 6050I notification and education activities for entities that are owned by Indian tribal governments.

Outreach Selection Process

  1. The Director, ITG/TEB must approval all proposed outreach events, including participation in events sponsored by tribal governments and tribal professional organizations.

  2. ITG/TEB’s decision to participate in an outreach activity is driven by its desire to increase voluntary compliance and support the current strategic work plan and program.

    Note:

    The ITG/TEB Director, ITG/TEB Field Operations Manager, or ITG/TEB Technical Manager provides this direction nationally.

  3. ITG/TEB field groups analyze and identify local trends, issues and problems to determine where best to focus outreach efforts.

Outreach Planning

  1. Evaluate outreach needs within an assigned geographical area.

  2. Coordinate with appropriate internal and/or external partners depending on the nature of the outreach.

  3. Obtain all required event-related approvals for all outreach and conference related events

Outreach Approval

  1. The ITG/TEB Director and the Director, Government Entities/Shared Services (GE/SS) must approve ITG/TEB's participation and/or attendance in any outreach event, even when there are no costs of participating and/or attending.

  2. Complete Form 14380, TE/GE Outreach Request Form, for each outreach event requested. Submit the form for approval through these management levels:

    1. Send to your group manager.

    2. Manager forwards to the ITG/TEB Field Operations (FO) Manager for approval.

    3. ITG/TEB FO Manager will forward to the ITG/TEB Staff Assistant for the ITG/TEB Director’s approval.

    4. ITG/TEB Staff Assistant will send to TE/GE C&L.

  3. The TE/GE C&L staff will obtain approval from the Director, Government Entities/Shared Services (GE/SS). For events with an Affordable Care Act (ACA) component, TE/GE C&L may also seek further approvals for the ACA content.

  4. After the Director, GE/SS approves the event, the TE/GE C&L Coordinator sends Form 14380-A to the presenter with reporting instructions for the outreach event.

  5. If the request is denied at any level, you’ll be notified.

  6. See also IRM 22.41.1.10, Core Components of an Effective Outreach, Component #1 Outreach Preparation, Step (2) Request approval to conduct the outreach.

Outreach Material

  1. ITG/TEB strives to maintain a repository of quality outreach materials because it:

    • Eliminates the need to create original products.

    • Ensures information presented nationwide is consistent.

  2. Specialists planning outreach events should check the outreach repository to determine whether an appropriate product is available. See the ITG Knowledge Network (K-Net) library Educational Resources for a list of products.

    Caution:

    Don’t modify the products in the ITG K-Net library without the ITG K-Net’s approval.

  3. Outreach products for distribution or available to the public include:

    • Written guides

    • Fact sheets

    • Charts

    • Publications

    • Slides

    • Graphic illustrations

  4. You may use any items in the IRS products catalog, or educational materials posted on www.IRS.gov as outreach materials without consulting ITG K-Net. However, if you have questions as to whether the material is current or appropriate for ITG audiences, contact the ITG K-Net.

  5. You may need to create a new outreach product for a specific outreach need. Before you begin, secure your manager’s approval. To ensure consistency, accuracy, and appropriateness, submit any new outreach product to the ITG K-Net for approval if it contains any unpublished interpretation of tax law or IRS policy information not previously approved. This applies to products that are adapted from sources other than official IRS products.

  6. Conform outreach products, including text and graphic material you distribute or display in face-to-face or electronic presentations to established TE/GE standards to ensure a consistent style (i.e. font, color, logo, and other features) for all TE/GE presentations. Find these standards on the page at Electronic Publishing Design Office.

Outreach Data Capture

  1. After an event, complete Form 14380-A, Reporting Instructions and Feedback for TE/GE Outreach Event, and include:

    • Actual audience size

    • Actual cost

    • Event feedback

  2. Return the form to TE/GE C&L.

  3. TE/GE C&L captures all information and provides reports for tracking events and identifying customer types.

Outreach Activity Codes and Definitions

  1. Outreach uses seven categories identified by activity codes (AC):

    Activity Code Name Description: Apply time for:
    121 Face-to-Face Events (formerly Sponsored / Cosponsored Events) Active speaking or presenting at an event and has direct contact with customers, attendees or participants at a speech, workshop, panel discussion, presentation, etc.
    122 Other Outreach Events (formerly Non-Sponsored Events):
    • Telephone Conferences

    • Other Remote Outreach

    • Telephone conferences may be live, ITG-sponsored telephone conferences as well as those planned and organized by external groups requesting an ITG speaker.

    • Other Remote Outreach is when the specialist doesn’t physically attend a live event, but speaks virtually. Customers, attendees or participants attend a live scheduled event in which they’re required to register. ITG is represented remotely via live video feed, webinar or streaming, etc.

    124 Websites All activities related to creating/updating/maintaining internet and intranet web sites.
    125 Newsletters Working on e-News notifications.
    126 Forms/Publications Developing, designing and producing forms and publications.
    127 Customer Partnerships Relationship building meetings with tribes.
    743 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) VITA coordination.
  2. Project Codes are used to further define an activity code. Select the appropriate project code based on the type of outreach activity.

  3. Find outreach activity and project codes in Document 11308, Government Entities Information Systems Codes.

    Note:

    Activity Codes are subject to change each fiscal year.

Core Components of an Effective Outreach

  1. Component #1: Outreach Preparation. Purpose: This component discusses how to deliver an effective presentation. Coordinate information among our external and internal partners to produce the most meaningful presentations. Consider the audience’s level of tax knowledge during your preparation.

    Core Component #1: Outreach Preparation Action
    1. Call customer(s) to prepare and plan an effective outreach.

    Note:

    When possible, contact within five business days of the customer(s) request.

    Obtain from the customer:
    • Primary contact name, mailing address, telephone and fax numbers, email and outreach location

    • Outreach date(s)

    • Topic(s)

    • Time and duration of each presentation

    • Number of sessions needed

    • Type of outreach (i.e., keynote speaker, panel participant, cafeteria-style, workshop presentation, etc.)

    • Background and experience level of the audience

    • Number of attendees

    • Special audience needs or accommodations

    • Facility layout

    • Equipment availability

    • Internet connectivity

    • Shipping address for delivering outreach materials,

    • Whether attendance is mandatory or optional

    2. Request approval to conduct the outreach. Complete Form 14380, TE/GE Outreach Request Form, for each outreach event requested. Submit the form for approval through these management levels:
    1. ITG Group Manager

    2. ITG/TEB Field Operations Manager

    3. Director, ITG/TEB via ITG/TEB Staff Assistant.

    4. Director, Government Entities/Shared Services (GE/SS) via the TE/GE C&L staff.

      If the request is denied at any level, notify the customer.
      If the request is approved at all levels, notify the customer and finalize the outreach arrangements.
    3. Timely coordinate with internal and external partners to participate in events, based on the customer's consent.

    Note:

    If time permits and the customer agrees, participation from our internal and external cadre of partners may add considerable value to our total program package.

    Examples of internal partners:
    • Small Business/Self-Employed

    • Collection Division

    • Taxpayer Advocate Service

    • Privacy Governmental Liaison and Disclosure

    • Employee Plans and

    • Exempt Organizations



    Examples of external partners:
    • Tribal governments and related entities

    • Tribal professional organizations

    • Federal and state governmental agencies

    4. Assemble all materials to deliver an effective presentation. Order documents to support the technical/procedural topics you present at the: National Distribution Center website.
      Develop outreach materials, such as an agenda, participant handouts and PowerPoint presentation, etc. Tailor the outreach materials to meet the customer(s) needs.
  2. Component #2: Presentation Skills. Purpose: This component discusses how to conduct an effective presentation. Give an organized and knowledgeable presentation that addresses the customer’s concerns, allows time for questions, and offers a way for customers to follow-up after the presentation.

    Core Component #2: Presentation Skills Action
    1. Address the needs of the customer. Deliver a technically accurate presentation that addresses the issues the customer requested.
      Use plain language and concrete examples. Deliver the presentation in a clear and understandable manner.
      When available, use examples, rulings, and guidance that specifically apply to tribal governments and tribal enterprises.
      If the audience raises issues that weren’t part of the scheduled agenda, address these to the extent possible.
      If you need to research further, timely follow-up with the customer.
    2. Allow time for questions. Plan ahead to allow time to answer participants’ questions throughout the presentation.
    3. Remind audience that ITG's customer education and outreach products, and customer assistance are available. Explain ITG's customer education and outreach program and explain ITG services to audience.
      Make the customer aware of the customer assistance available on www.irs.gov and at taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov by giving a short overview of the material during the presentation.
      Provide your contact information.
      Provide ITG's website, www.irs.gov/tribes. This gives customers access to:
    • Link to subscribe to ITG e-News notifications

    • Frequently Asked Questions on current topics

    • Recent legal developments

    • Links to helpful websites

    • Their assigned ITG specialist’s location

  3. Component #3: Follow-up Procedures. Purpose: This component explains how to capture data from outreach events such as tracking event figures and following up with customer(s).

    Core Component #3 Follow-up Procedures Action
    1. Capture outreach data. Complete Form 14380-A, Reporting Instructions and Feedback for TE/GE Outreach Event, within 10 days after the event. Include event location, date and time, audience count, staff hours required for the event, costs, etc.
      Return form to TE/GE C&L.
    2. Follow through by calling or corresponding with the customer, as appropriate. Follow-up is essential in building lasting relationships with our customers. After the outreach event or in a follow-up call or email, check to see whether the point of contact has any further concerns that we didn’t address in the presentation or concerns for which we can offer future assistance.

Indian Tribal Government News

  1. ITG/TEB periodically issues email updates to all subscribers about recent developments, upcoming events, and other newsworthy items which may affect or be of interest to Indian tribal governments. These include, but are not limited to:

    • Recent legislation

    • Issuances from Treasury

    • New/changes in tax law affecting Indian tribal governments

    • IRS news releases and special announcements pertaining to Indian tribes

    • Upcoming training opportunities

    • Training session reminders

  2. Customers can subscribe to receive ITG e-News notifications at www.irs.gov/government-entities/indian-tribal-governments/subscribe-to-indian-tribal-governments-news/, and have it delivered directly to their email's inbox using the Gov Delivery system.

  3. Coordinate ITG e-News notifications with the TE/GE C&L staff.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance/Tax Counseling For The Elderly

  1. Specialists who work with tribes for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) coordinate with Wage and Investment Division (W&I), who is primarily responsible for this area, to help the tribal governments. See IRM 22.30.1.8.1.1, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), and IRM 22.30.1.8.1.2, Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE).

  2. Tribes report that this type of assistance is very beneficial to their tribal members. Due to the small number of specialists, we work only as coordinators in this area.

  3. Our main goal is to place tribal governments and their members in contact with volunteers to help them:

    • Prepare tax returns

    • Receive counseling

    • Receive tax education

  4. There are many possible ways to deliver assistance. Our main objective is to help the tribal governments in ways that work for them.

    Example:

    In some areas of the country, tribal volunteers run tax assistance sites. In other areas, tribes invite local volunteers to set up a site in the tribal center to help tribal members.