25.4.1 Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer

Manual Transmittal

October 31, 2018

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 25.4.1, Employee Protection, Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer.

Material Changes

(1) IRM 25.4.1, Program Scope and Objectives - Revised the title to properly reflect the information communicated in this IRM subsection. Rearranged existing IRM content to place information involving internal controls under this subsection to conform to the new rules described in IRM 1.11.2. Subsections added under Program Scope and Objectives applicable to this program include:

  1. IRM 25.4.1.1, Background - Added historical information about the Office of Employee Protection (OEP) and Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer (PDT) program.

  2. IRM 25.4.1.2, PDT Program Roles - Source of information added from the prior versions of IRM 25.4.1.

  3. IRM 25.4.1.3, Terms - List of frequently used PDT program terms from prior versions of IRM 25.4.1.

  4. IRM 25.4.1.4, Acronyms - Compiled a list of frequently used abbreviations and their terms in the PDT program.

  5. IRM 25.4.1.5, Related Resources - Added resources containing additional information on the PDT program.

(2) IRM 25.4.1.1.3 Added the term ‘Nexus to Tax Administration’ and its definition.

(3) IRM 25.4.1.2(4) Added the statement that in order for a taxpayer to meet any PDT criteria, the specific incident must have occurred within the past 5 years.

(4) IRM 25.4.1.3 Updated web address for OEP web site.

(5) IRM 25.4.1.4(1) Added a note stating that if the Chief, OEP makes a No PDT / No CAU determination, the case is sent to the Associate Director, Incident Management and Employee Protection, for concurrence.

(6) IRM 25.4.1.4(4) Added specific information as to what is sent to General Legal Services (GLS) in the case of an appeal.

(7) IRM 25.4.1.5(2) Added information on what an IRS employee can do if they discover an account with a PDT indicator.

Effect on Other Documents

This material supersedes IRM 25.4.1, dated January 30, 2017.

Audience

All Business Operating and Functional Divisions with employees whose duties require them to have contact with taxpayers.

Effective Date

(10-31-2018)

Frances W. Kleckley
Director, Privacy Policy & Compliance
Privacy, Governmental Liaison & Disclosure (PGLD)

Program Scope and Objectives

  1. Office of Employee Protection (OEP) Mission: To effectively administer programs tracking potentially dangerous taxpayers and those taxpayers that should be approached with caution.

  2. Purpose: This IRM section provides information on the OEP and describes the Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer (PDT) program and PDT reporting process.

  3. Audience: The information and procedures in this IRM apply to all IRS employees with duties requiring taxpayer contact.

  4. Program Owner: The Chief, Office of Employee Protection, reports to the Associate Director, Incident Management and Employee Protection, and oversees the PDT program.

  5. Contact Information: To recommend changes to this IRM, see IRM 1.11.6.6, Providing Feedback About an IRM Section - Outside of Clearance, and send your suggestions to the *PGLD OEP mailbox.

Background

  1. In 1984, the IRS Commissioner assigned IRS Inspection the responsibility of developing a program to improve the Service's ability to identify taxpayers who represent a potential danger to employees. Inspection developed the Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer (PDT) program, which included the PDT System database. Inspection was then given responsibility for administering the program.

  2. Inspection became the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) in 1999. Most of Inspection’s previous duties, including the administration of the PDT program, were transferred to TIGTA. Due to TIGTA’s statutory role and responsibilities, however, it was agreed that the administration and maintenance of the PDT program be transferred back to the IRS. IRS established the Office of Employee Protection (OEP) in February 2000 to administer and maintain the PDT program and fulfill other employee safety recommendations. TIGTA, however, retains its investigatory role in the PDT program.

PDT Program Roles

  1. The following subsections detail the OEP’s and TIGTA’s specific roles and responsibilities within the PDT program.

OEP’s Role
  1. The OEP administers the PDT program by:

    • Reviewing and analyzing TIGTA’s Reports of Investigation (ROIs)

    • Making a determination as to whether or not PDT criteria have been met

    • Inputting and removing the PDT indicator to and from the Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS) Master File and/or Non-Master File accounts

    • Maintaining the PDT section of the Employee Protection System (EPS) database

    • Functioning as liaison with General Legal Services (GLS)

    • Providing information and feedback to referring employees and their respective IRS managers

    • Performing PDT five-year reviews

TIGTA’s Role
  1. TIGTA’s PDT program role is to:

    • Review the facts of the incident

    • Initiate a PDT case

    • Conduct an investigation

    • Forward the ROI to the OEP

Terms

  1. The following terms and definitions are provided to clarify terminology used in the PDT program:

    1. Assault: Direct physical contact, with the intent to cause physical harm, including striking or attempting to strike with objects, such as rocks or bottles, or brandishing a weapon.

    2. Threat: Verbal or written expression of intent to cause harm to an IRS employee or contractor or to an IRS employee’s or contractor’s immediate family member. It also includes preventing an IRS employee or contractor from leaving a taxpayer’s business or residence, even if no physical contact actually occurs.

    3. Intimidate: Action intended to cause an IRS employee or contractor to become timid, or to force or deter an IRS employee or contractor from taking actions.

    4. Nexus to Tax Administration: A taxpayer who has some type of open activity or reasonable prospect of future activity on their or their business’s IDRS Master File or Non-Master File account, or a taxpayer who, even one with no open activity or reasonable prospect of future activity, initiates contact with the Service or any other tax administration authority.

Acronyms

  1. The following table contains definitions for the acronyms used in this IRM:

    Acronym Definition
    CAU Caution Upon Contact
    CAF Centralized Authorization File
    EIN Employer Identification Number
    EPS Employee Protection System
    GLS General Legal Services
    IDRS Integrated Data Retrieval System
    OEP Office of Employee Protection
    PGLD Privacy, Governmental Liaison & Disclosure
    POA Power of Attorney
    PDT Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer
    ROI Report of Investigation
    SSN Social Security Number
    TIGTA Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

Related Resources

  1. The following resources have additional information on the OEP and the PDT program:

    • OEP Knowledge Base site at: https://portal.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/vl003/lists/employeeprotection/landingview.aspx

    • Document 12855, Office of Employee Protection (OEP) Spotlight on Safety

    • Document 12963, A Guide to the Office of Employee Protection (OEP) Programs

The PDT Program

  1. The designation of Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer (PDT) must be based on verifiable evidence or information. There must also be a nexus to tax administration.

  2. Taxpayers must be identified by Social Security Numbers (SSN) and/or Employer Identification Numbers (EIN).

  3. Association with a PDT or membership in a group, some of whose members advocate violent protest against our tax system, does not by itself fulfill the criteria for designation as a PDT.

  4. The following criteria have been established for determining PDT status. The behavior/activity/incidents at issue must have occurred within the five-year period immediately preceding the time of classification as potentially dangerous:

    1. Taxpayers who physically assault IRS employees or contractors or members of their immediate family;

    2. Taxpayers who attempt to intimidate or threaten IRS employees or contractors or members of their immediate family through specific threats of bodily harm, a show of weapons, the use of animals, or through specific threatening behavior (such as acts of stalking);

    3. Persons who are active members of groups that advocate violence against IRS employees, or against other federal employees, where advocating such violence could reasonably be understood to threaten the safety of Service employees and impede the performance of Service duties;

    4. Taxpayers who have committed the acts set forth in any of the preceding criteria, but whose acts have been directed against employees or contractors of other governmental agencies at federal, state, county or local levels; or

    5. Taxpayers who are not classified as PDTs through application of the above criteria, but who have demonstrated a clear propensity towards violence through acts of violent behavior within the five-year period immediately preceding the time of classification as potentially dangerous.

    Note:

    The preceding criteria were approved by Chief Counsel. Adherence to the criteria is essential to ensure compliance with the Privacy Act. If a particular situation represents a borderline case in the application of the above criteria, the determination should be made in favor of the PDT designation (erring on the side of caution) for the protection of Service employees.

Reporting to TIGTA

  1. Employees will promptly report assaults, threats, harassment, or forcible interference incurred during, or related to, the performance of official duties to their local Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) office. Visit the Office of Employee Protection (OEP) website at https://portal.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/vl003/lists/employeeprotection/landingview.aspx for TIGTA Field Division contact information.

  2. Employees will report the incident to TIGTA if a threat to Service personnel is believed to exist, even if the information does not meet the established criteria.

  3. Employees will report information to TIGTA about individuals who are dangerous, but where no specific incident has occurred involving an IRS employee, e.g., the taxpayer was recently convicted of assault, if there is a relevance to tax administration.

PDT Determination and Appeal

  1. The Chief, Office of Employee Protection makes all PDT determinations.

    Note:

    In instances where the Chief, Office of Employee Protection determines that a case does not meet any PDT or Caution Upon Contact (CAU) criteria, the case is sent to the Associate Director, Incident Management and Employee Protection, for concurrence. See IRM 25.4.2, Caution Upon Contact Taxpayer, for additional information on the CAU program.

  2. Cases determined to not meet PDT criteria can be appealed by the referring employee's IRS Manager.

  3. The referring employee’s IRS Manager must contact the assigned OEP Specialist, either in writing or by telephone, to discuss the reasons for disagreement.

  4. If an agreement is not reached between the OEP and the employee’s IRS Manager, the OEP will forward the appeal to GLS. GLS will make a final decision on the determination.

    Note:

    The information that is sent to GLS, in order for a final determination to be made, includes the ROI received from TIGTA, all IDRS research, and the case write-up completed by the assigned OEP Specialist.

  5. Cases initiated by TIGTA that result in a "No PDT" determination can be appealed by the referring TIGTA Special Agent-In-Charge.

  6. In order for TIGTA to appeal a "No PDT" determination, the TIGTA Special Agent-In-Charge must contact the assigned OEP Specialist. If an agreement on the determination cannot be reached, the OEP will forward the appeal to GLS. GLS will make a final decision on the determination.

PDT Indicator

  1. Input and removal of the PDT indicator to IDRS is restricted to the OEP.

  2. Input of the PDT indicator will result in "PDT" appearing on the systems and documents listed in Exhibit 25.4.1-1.

    Note:

    When an IRS employee discovers a PDT indicator on a taxpayer’s account and that employee is unaware of why the taxpayer was designated as a PDT, he/she may contact the OEP to obtain background information on the reason(s) for the PDT designation. IRS employees may contact the OEP by calling the OEP’s main line at (313) 628-3742 or sending a secure message to the OEP mailbox *PGLD OEP.

PDT Indicator versus CAU Indicator

  1. If a PDT case meets (Caution Upon Contact) CAU criteria rather than PDT criteria:

    1. The Chief, Office of Employee Protection will make a "No PDT" determination on the PDT case.

    2. The referring employee's IRS Manager will be notified of the "No PDT" determination and the intent of initiating a CAU case.

    3. Once the PDT case is closed, the OEP will initiate a CAU case.

    4. The Chief, Office of Employee Protection will make a "Yes CAU" determination on the CAU case.

    5. The referring employee and his/her manager will be notified of the CAU determination.

Power of Attorney (POA) Information

  1. An IRS employee, who is assigned a case for which there is a POA and there will be contact with that POA, has a "business need to know" whether the POA has been designated as a PDT or CAU. The IRS employee can utilize IDRS to ascertain whether the POA has been designated as a PDT or a CAU, just as the IRS employee does for any taxpayer, as long as the IRS employee does not access any of the POA's other tax information.

  2. IDRS Command Code "ENMOD" can be used to determine if the POA has been designated as either a PDT or a CAU. If an IRS employee does not know the POA's SSN and/or EIN needed to utilize "ENMOD" , he/she can use Command Codes "NAMES" or "NAMEI" to obtain the POA's SSN - OR - "NAMEE" or "NAMEB" to obtain the POA's EIN. For assistance in using these Command Codes, please consult the "IRS Processing Codes and Information" handbook (Document 6209) or other IDRS resources.

  3. If an IRS employee is unable to determine if the POA has been designated as either a PDT or a CAU utilizing IDRS, the IRS employee may contact the Office of Employee Protection. The IRS employee will give the POA’s name, address and Centralized Authorization File (CAF) number to an OEP Specialist who will utilize the Employee Protection System and determine if the POA has been designated as either a PDT or a CAU.

Five-Year Review of PDT Records

  1. A PDT indicator will remain on a taxpayer's IDRS Master File and/or Non-Master File account for five years, at which time, the status will be reevaluated by the OEP.

  2. Any taxpayer, who has been designated as a PDT and meets one or more of the following renewal criteria, will retain the PDT indicator for an additional five-year period:

    1. An additional PDT referral was made during the five-year period under review;

    2. The PDT offense was a physical assault on an IRS employee or contractor;

    3. An arrest by TIGTA or other law enforcement agencies, for a threat to or an assault on an IRS employee or contractor, occurred during the five-year period under review; or

    4. There is current IRS activity at the time of the review.

  3. If the taxpayer does not meet the above renewal criteria, the OEP will remove the PDT indicator from that taxpayer's IDRS Master File and/or Non-Master File account.

Display of "PDT" Indicator

Once a designation has been made, the PDT indicator will appear in the upper right-hand section of the following documents and systems:

  • National Computing Center (NCC) Transcripts (except Privacy Act Transcripts)

  • Microfilm Replacement System (MRS) Transcripts

  • Audit Information Management System (AIMS)

    • AIMS Display (AMDIS)

    • AIMS Weekly Updates

    • AIMS Charge-Out (Form 5546)

  • Federal Tax Deposit (FTD) Alerts (BMF only)

  • Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS) Transcripts

    • Tax Modules (TXMOD)

    • Entity Modules (ENMOD)

    • Summary Modules (SUMRY)

    • Taxpayer Delinquent Inquiry (TDINQ)

  • Corporate Files On Line (CFOL) Modules

    • Individual Master File On Line (IMFOL)

    • Business Master File On Line (BMFOL)

    • Information National On Line Entity (INOLE)

  • Balance Due Accounts

  • Return Delinquency Accounts

  • Daily Transcripts Registers (DTRs)

  • Integrated Collection System (ICS) screens

  • Automated Collection System (ACS) Web

  • Examination Returns Control System (ERCS) screens