25.13.1 Office of Taxpayer Correspondence Services

Manual Transmittal

October 06, 2022


(1) This transmits revised IRM 25.13.1, Office of Taxpayer Correspondence Services.

Material Changes

(1) IRM Added in the evaluation of erroneous correspondence reported.

(2) IRM and (7) Added internal controls, IPU 21U1344 issued 12-17-2021.

(3) IRM Replaced All IRS employees to Business Units generating correspondence.

(4) IRM Clarified the background statement.

(5) IRM Inserted Correspondence Toolkit link for detailed guidance with a note for pilots/test, IPU 21U1344 issued 12-17-2021.

(6) IRM Clarified bullets and added Correspondence Toolkit; removed discontinued responsibilities for correspondence data, forecasting and downstream impact, IPU 21U1344 issued 12-17-2021.

(7) IRM Removed data analysis and metrics for correspondence, IPU 21U1344 issued 12-17-2021.

(8) IRM Updated subsection title from Servicewide Initiatives to Program Management and Review.

(9) IRM Combined program control statements.

(10) IRM Updated terms and acronyms charts.

(11) IRM Stakeholders/Partners Table, Accounts Management Services, OTC moved from providing impact assessment for toll-free telephone numbers to a follow-up with customer. Also updated listing, IPU 20U0726 issued 06-22-2020.

(12) IRM Replaced tables with numbered content for standardization.

(13) Editorial changes made throughout the IRM for clarity. Reviewed and updated grammar, plain language, web links, titles, IRM reference, organization terminology to business unit and reorganized content.

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 25.13.1 dated December 30, 2019, is superseded. This IRM incorporates IPU 20U0726 issued 06-22-2020 and 21U1344 issued 12-17-2021.


The policies, procedures and instructions outlined in this IRM apply to all divisions, functional units, employees and contractors within the IRS who are responsible for creating or revising taxpayer correspondence products, letters or notices.

Effective Date


Maria Cheeks
Director, Distribution
Wage and Investment Division

Program Scope and Objectives

  1. Scope: The Office of Taxpayer Correspondence determines cross-functional impacts to correspondence and implements standards and consistent design. OTC collaborates with business unit product owners and other stakeholders to ensure all correspondence is consistent, legally sufficient and written in plain language. OTC reviews and evaluates all reported erroneous taxpayer correspondence.

  2. Purpose: OTC is the single point of contact for the design, development, delivery, and adherence to IRS standards.

  3. Audience: Business units generating taxpayer correspondence Servicewide.

  4. Policy Owner: Office of Taxpayer Correspondence.

  5. Program Owner: Distribution.

  6. Primary Stakeholder: All business units.

  7. Program Goals: OTC is the coordinating organization for the design, development and delivery of quality taxpayer correspondence. OTC completes requests for services according to established program guidelines.


  1. The Office of Taxpayer Correspondence was established to create a unified work process to administer and facilitate correspondence standards Servicewide.


  1. Plain Writing Act of 2010 - The law requires federal agencies use clear government communication the public can understand and use.


  1. OTC is responsible for:

    • Coordinates Servicewide initiatives requiring written and electronic taxpayer communication.

    • Implements taxpayer correspondence standards, procedures, and policies (as documented in the Correspondence Toolkit).

    • Creates and revises taxpayer correspondence products, including electronic and paper.

    • Coordinates Servicewide responses to Erroneous Taxpayer Correspondence (ETC).

    • Documents risk-based decision processes on including erroneous correspondence reporting and correspondence development.

Program Management and Review

  1. OTC manages the outgoing correspondence through the following reviews and reports:

    • Erroneous Taxpayer Correspondence Report.

    • Annual Correspondence Review.

    • Yearly Start Up Review.

    • Agile Review.

Program Controls

  1. OTC tracks all Request for Services and Report Erroneous Correspondence through an internal database.

Frequently used Terms and Acronyms

  1. The following charts contain defined terms used throughout this IRM and acronyms:


    Term Definition
    Request for Services Online process for all request to revise or create IRS taxpayer correspondence.
    Report Erroneous Correspondence Online process to report errors in correspondence, or correspondence generated in error, or sent to the wrong party.
    Notice Start-Up A review of newly created or revised Computer Paragraph (CP) notices to identify errors prior to mailing.


    Acronym Definition
    APGolf Appeals Generator of Letters and Forms
    CP Computer Paragraph
    CPS Correspondence Production Services
    CRX Correspondence Letter System
    ETC Erroneous Taxpayer Correspondence
    IDRS Integrated Data Retrieval System
    MFT Master File Tax
    OTC Office of Taxpayer Correspondence
    PII Personal Identifiable Information
    RGS Report Generation Software
    SME Subject Matter Expert
    SNIP Servicewide Notice Information Program
    TAS Taxpayer Advocate Services
    UWR Unified Work Request

Request for New and Revised Taxpayer Correspondence Products - Request for Services Process

  1. OTC works with letter owners to create and revise taxpayer correspondence, including:

    Types of Taxpayer Correspondence

    Type of Correspondence Description
    Computer Paragraph (CP) Notices Tax account related systemically generated correspondence, created as a result of an account related activity or condition and sent directly to taxpayers.
    Correspondex letters (CRX) Letters generated through the Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS). Variable data and content is selected by the originator.
    Repository letters Tax account correspondence sent directly to taxpayers. Content is selected by the originator.

  2. Refer to the Correspondence Toolkit when creating, revising, or making data driven decisions toward correspondence service.


    Correspondence Pilots/Test will need to be approved by the Correspondence Leadership Council representative within each Business Operating Division (BOD).

  3. OTC will work with organizations to develop and design taxpayer correspondence. To create or revise tax account correspondence the functional business owner submits requests for OTC services through the Request for Services application and follows all prompts.

  4. OTC will contact you within two business days if your request involves: Legislative change, IRS Commissioner mandates or Broke/Fix. All other requests will be worked in received order.

  5. OTC will discuss appropriate timeframes for the entire product development phase with the customer.

  6. The table below describes how OTC coordinates and monitors development and implementation with stakeholders and partners.


    Stakeholder/Partner OTC will… Stakeholder/Partner will…
    Accounts Management Services Confirm with product owner that the necessary agreements were obtained.  
    Correspondence Production Services Coordinate the production of new products with Correspondence Production Services (CPS).  
    Information Technology Prepare programming requirements and submit Unified Work Requests (UWR) for correspondence products. OTC will coordinate product review for Notice Start-Up. If the correspondence products require use in a proprietary program (i.e., Report Generation Software (RGS), Appeals Generator of Letters (APGolf), etc.) the Subject Matter Expert (SME) must work with their respective programmers to ensure that new and revised correspondence products are compatible and load properly into their respective programs.
    Linguistic Policy, Tools and Services Coordinate the translation of English products into other languages. Translate products into requested languages for people not proficient in English. Refer to IRM 22.31.1 for additional information.
    Taxpayer Advocate Services (TAS) Share an advance copy of new and revised correspondence products with TAS. TAS will have 10 business days to provide feedback on taxpayer rights and taxpayer burden issues. For expedited correspondence, OTC may request an accelerated review.
    Chief Counsel Send a copy of new and revised correspondence products to Counsel. Counsel will determine if legally sufficient language is incorporated in the correspondence. Estimate feedback timeframe:
    • Priority 1; 5 business days

    • Priority 2; 10 business days

    • Priority 3; 20 business days.

    Other Stakeholders Coordinate services as applicable.  

  7. OTC will share feedback from stakeholders with product owner. The product owner and OTC will consider all changes based on this feedback.

  8. OTC tracks and documents coordination efforts, assessments and determinations made for all Request for Services received.

Erroneous Correspondence Procedures - Report Erroneous Correspondence Process

  1. All IRS employees must report any incident or potential incident of Erroneous Taxpayer Correspondence (ETC) to the Office of Taxpayer Correspondence through the Report Erroneous Correspondence process immediately upon discovery of the incident. Refer to IRM 10.5.4, Incident Management Program.


    Correspondence is Erroneous only when it is the result of an IRS error, not Identity Theft or taxpayer error.

  2. Erroneous Correspondence can be notices, letters, transcripts, faxes, or other electronic documents sent:

    • to the wrong taxpayer and not the address of record

    • to the wrong taxpayer electronically

    • to the right taxpayer that is not the last known address of record

    • incorrectly to the spouse of a taxpayer

    • incorrectly to a Power of Attorney

    • with missing or unreadable text

    • with erroneous account information (e.g., math error explanation in correspondence matching a math error code on IDRS)

    • with mixed entity information (e.g., correct taxpayer information is on page one, but unrelated taxpayer information is on page two)

    • in error (e.g., Return Delinquency notices sent to taxpayers who filed on time)

  3. The following examples are not considered ETC:

    • Correspondence sent to the taxpayer's address of record, even if the taxpayer no longer resides or receives mail at the address

    • Correspondence sent to locate delinquent taxpayers

    • Correspondence issued to an address from a return filed fraudulently or involving potential identity theft

  4. Use the following instructions when handling erroneous taxpayer correspondence sent to the wrong person:

    1. Apologize to the taxpayer.

    2. Request the taxpayer return the mail in a sealed envelope.

    3. Ask the taxpayer to write "Not at this address" and Return to Sender on the envelope and place it in the mail . If taxpayer refuses ask them to destroy the correspondence


      OTC does not contact taxpayers, solve technical issues, update taxpayer accounts, or refer cases to the appropriate area. For additional actions, contact your manager.

  5. Report all ETC using the Report Erroneous Correspondence process. Visit the Servicewide Notice Information Program (SNIP).

    1. Click the Report Erroneous Correspondence tab on the SNIP menu.

    2. Follow the prompts and answer the questions.

    3. Provide a detailed description - Include as much detail as possible on the form for our research, including details of the error, how you identified it, and all PII. The PII information will be encrypted when you transmit the form through the Report Erroneous Correspondence tab. If you have documentation, check Employee to Fax box.


      A fax cover sheet will appear with your name and ETC Report case number. If a fax sheet does not populate to print, use a local fax coversheet and include the ETC Report case number on the fax coversheet.

    4. Review the information you entered for accuracy.

    5. Click submit.

    6. Complete the fax cover sheet and fax any supporting documentation to the fax number on the cover sheet (855-696-9562).

    7. Include the ETC Report case number on any additional information you need to submit later (such as erroneous correspondence you requested and received from the taxpayer).


      OTC will review the report and contact you for additional information within 2 business days. OTC does not contact taxpayers, solve technical issues, update taxpayer accounts or refer cases to the appropriate area. For additional actions, contact your manager.

  6. OTC tracks and documents coordination efforts, assessments and determinations made for all erroneous correspondence reported.