25.15.7 Innocent Spouse Shared Processing Responsibilities

Manual Transmittal

February 05, 2020


(1) This transmits revised IRM 25.15.7, Relief from Joint and Several Liability, Innocent Spouse Shared Processing Responsibilities.


IRM 25.15.7 has been revised to update information, and provide guidance for coordination between Cincinnati Centralized Innocent Spouse Operations (CCISO) and other functions of the Service.

Material Changes

(1) IRM - Incorporated applicable internal control information, title changed to "Program Scope and Objectives" , and included information from prior version of

(2) IRM - Revised instructions to be consistent with no longer referring -A freeze cases to the technical specialists.

(3) IRM - Removed references to CCEO/AUR Coordinator as obsolete.

(4) IRM - Revised for clarity.

(5) IPU 17U0647 - IRM - Corrected last instruction from "highlight" to "place case in appropriate colored folder."

(6) IPU 17U0647 - IRM - Corrected instruction for technician to "Non-Qualify" instead of "Disallow" requests with open OIC’s that may be accepted.

(7) IPU 17U0647 - IRM - Added the words "if needed" to the end of the sentence.

(8) IRM - Updated for new mailing address.

(9) Editorial changes including updates to references and web page links have been made throughout.

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 25.15.7 dated December 9, 2016 is superseded. This IRM incorporates IRM Procedural Update (IPU) 17U0647, Training Changes, issued 04-06-2017.


Employees within the Compliance Campus Functions and Cincinnati Centralized Innocent Spouse Operations (CCISO) who work cases involving innocent spouse issues.

Effective Date


Maha Williams
Director, Examination - Field and Campus Policy
Small Business/Self-Employed Division

Program Scope and Objectives

  1. Purpose: This IRM provides guidance for IRS employees considering innocent spouse relief requests where coordination with other functions is required.

  2. Audience: Small Business/Self Employed (SB/SE) employees within the Compliance Campus Functions and Cincinnati Centralized Innocent Spouse Operations (CCISO) who work cases involving innocent spouse issues.

  3. Policy Owner: The policy owner is the SB/SE Director, Examination - Field and Campus Policy.

  4. Program Owner: The program owner is SB/SE Campus Exam and Field Support.

  5. Program Goals: The program goals are to properly coordinate processing of innocent spouse relief requests when other account conditions are present.


  1. Requests for relief from joint and several liabilities are centralized at the Cincinnati IRS Campus known as the Cincinnati Centralized Innocent Spouse Operation (CCISO). Requests can be received in other operations.

  2. This IRM contains general information related to shared responsibilities with:

    • Accounts Maintenance (AM).

    • Campus Correspondence Examination Operation/Automated Underreporter Operations (CCEO/AUR).

    • Collection (which is further broken down into): Bankruptcy, Collection Due Process (CDP), Offer In Compromise (OIC).

    • Small Business/Self Employed (SB/SE) Field Examination.

    • Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS).

    • Tax Court/Appeals.


  1. IRC 66, Treatment of Community Income.

  2. 26 CFR section 1.66, code of Federal Regulations guidance on requests for relief from federal income tax liability resulting from the operation of community property law.

  3. IRC 6015, Relief from joint and several liability on joint return.

  4. 26 CFR sections 1.6015-1 through -9, which provide guidance on requests for relief from joint and several liability and related proposed regulations, including 78 F.R. 49242 (issued on August 13, 2013) and 80 F.R. 72649-01 (issued November 20, 2015).

  5. Rev. Proc. 2003-19, administrative appeal rights for the non-requesting spouse.

  6. Rev. Proc. 2013-34, guidelines for taxpayers seeking equitable relief from income tax liability under section 66(c) or section 6015(f).

  7. IRC 6663(c), special rule for joint returns regarding imposition of fraud penalty.

  8. 26 CFR section 301.7122-1, Compromises.

  9. IRC 6224(c) regarding settlement agreements related to TEFRA partnership proceedings.

  10. 26 CFR section 601.508 regarding disputes between recognized representatives of a taxpayer.

  11. IRC 6103(e) regarding disclosure of joint return to either spouse or authorized representative.

  12. IRC 6213(a) regarding the right to raise innocent spouse relief in a petition for redetermination of a deficiency.

  13. IRC 6320 and IRC 6330 regarding rights to raise innocent spouse relief in a collection due process proceeding.

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. The Director, Examination - Field and Campus Policy, reports to the Director, Headquarters Examination, and is responsible for the delivery of policy and guidance that impacts the field and campus examination process. See IRM, Field and Campus Policy, for additional information.

  2. Campus Exam and Field Support, which is under the Director, Examination - Field and Campus Policy, is the group responsible for providing Servicewide policy guidance on compliance processes that relate to campus examination operations and support Field Exam and Specialty Programs in SB/SE and Large Business & International (LB&I). See IRM, Campus Exam and Field Support, for additional information.

  3. CCISO falls under the responsibility of the Director, Examination - Campus, with the Director, Examination - Field and Campus Policy, providing oversight to the innocent spouse processing IRMs.

  4. The IRS formally adopted a Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR) in June 2014. In 2015 Congress charged the Commissioner with ensuring IRS employees are responsible for being familiar with and acting in accordance with taxpayer rights. See IRC 7803(a)(3), Execution of Duties in Accord with Taxpayer Rights. For additional information about the TBOR, see Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) at Taxpayer Bill of Rights FAQs.

Program Management and Reviews

  1. Management officials in CCISO are responsible for ensuring that procedures established for considering requests for innocent spouse relief are followed by CCISO employees. Activities include creating and updating the Innocent Spouse Tracking System (ISTS) records, creating and maintaining cases on the Accounts Management System (AMS)/Innocent Spouse Application (ISA) Database, and making account adjustments needed to properly reflect the determination of relief or resolve complex account issues when requests for relief are non-qualifying. Management uses reports generated through IDRS, ISTS and AMS to account for cases within the operation, and measure program effectiveness.

  2. Policy does program reviews periodically on CCISO to evaluate whether case procedures comply with the IRM and to do risk analysis to identify possible process improvements. Operational reviews are conducted periodically by Director, Examination - Campus.


  1. The following is a list of common terms used in this IRM section:

    Term Description
    Amended Returns Amended returns generate an -A freeze on the account. The freeze condition must be resolved prior to non-qualifying or making a determination of innocent spouse relief.
    Automated Underreporter (AUR) The operation that proposes adjustments based on an automated process and generates transaction code (TC) 922 on the account transcript.
    Centralized Cased Processing (CCP) The campus function that closes field examination cases.
    Correspondence Imaging System (CIS) A document imaging and workflow system used to scan and process incoming documents as digital images.
    Docketed Cases Related to Open Examinations Requests for innocent spouse relief related to Tax Court cases originating in Campus Compliance Examination Operations, Area Office Examinations or Automated Underreporter require special handling.
    Open Litigation/Tax Court Accounts that have open litigation/Tax Court case indicators in the form of specific transaction codes and/or freeze codes.
    Request for Innocent Spouse Relief A Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, or other written statement signed under penalty of perjury, requesting relief from joint and several liability or relief from community property laws.


  1. The following is a list of common acronyms used in this IRM and their descriptions:

    Acronym Description
    AM Accounts Maintenance
    ACS Automated Collection System
    AUR Automated Underreporter
    ACDS Appeals Centralized Database System
    CC Command Code
    CCP Centralized Case Processing
    CDP Collection Due Process
    CIS Correspondence Imaging System
    CCEO Campus Compliance Examination Operation
    CCISO Cincinnati Centralized Innocent Spouse Operation
    DOJ Department of Justice
    DPC Designated Payment Code
    DIMS Docketed Information Management System
    EFT Electronic Funds Transfer
    GII Generalized IDRS Interface
    IPU IRM Procedural Update
    IDRS Integrated Data Retrieval System
    IORS IDRS Online Report Services
    ISTS Innocent Spouse Tracking System
    IUUD IDRS Unit and USR Database
    NPS Non-Petitioning Spouse
    NRS Non-Requesting Spouse
    OAR Operations Assistance Request
    OIC Offer in Compromise
    PC Processing Code
    PS Petitioning Spouse
    RS Requesting Spouse
    SLA Service Level Agreement
    SB/SE Small Business/Self Employed
    SNOD Statutory Notice of Deficiency
    TC Transaction Code
    TAS Taxpayer Advocate Service
    TBOR Taxpayer Bill of Rights
    USR Unit Security Representative

Related Resources

  1. The following references are useful when using this IRM section:

    IRM Purpose
    IRM, Non-Petitioning Spouse Describes actions to take when only one spouse petitions a statutory notice of deficiency on a joint account.
    IRM 13.1.7, Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Case Criteria Describes criteria used to designate cases accepted by TAS.
    IRM, Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Guidelines Provides guidelines used to refer taxpayers to the Taxpayer Advocate Service.
    IRM 21.5.6, Freeze Codes Describes freeze code conditions and how to resolve.
    IRM 25.15.12, Appeals Procedures Provides innocent spouse relief procedures for Appeals.
    IRM 25.15.14, Innocent Spouse Tracking System Provides information on the Innocent Spouse Tracking System.
    IRM 25.15.18, Innocent Spouse Relief Processing Procedures Provides procedures for processing requests for innocent spouse relief in CCISO.

Accounts Maintenance (AM) Overview

  1. When specific freezes or controls indicate that AM is working or resolving an account issue, then coordination between CCISO and AM is needed. The issue on the account must be resolved before a request for relief can be considered. This is particularly important when AM is working with an amended tax return.

Amended Returns

  1. If there is a –A Freeze on the account, it needs to be resolved prior to determination. Amended returns may result in:

    1. A lower liability,

    2. An increase in liability,

    3. A change in the account to full paid, or

    4. A change to the filing status.

  2. Retrieve a copy of the amended return through the Correspondence Imaging System (CIS), if available. If there is a control on the account, contact the assigned employee to have the freeze resolved per paragraph (3) below.

  3. If a copy of the amended return cannot be retrieved through CIS, request a copy of the amended return from the employee who is assigned the case.

    • ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡

    • ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡≡ ≡ ≡ ≡≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡

  4. The claim may be received in Full Scope with an –A freeze that posted after the Innocent Spouse claim was received. The Full Scope Technician will resolve the freeze before working the claim.

  5. Suspend the claim until the -A freeze is resolved. See IRM, -A Freeze, for additional information.

Campus Compliance Examination Operation/Automated Underreporter (CCEO/AUR) Overview

  1. If an innocent spouse claim is received on an open CCEO or AUR case, CCISO will coordinate:

    1. CCEO/AUR is responsible for all issues except making a determination on the innocent spouse claim. CCEO/AUR is responsible for coordinating final case processing including issuance of a Statutory Notice of Deficiency (SNOD), and account processing, if CCEO/AUR received the Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief , from the taxpayer.

    2. CCISO is responsible for notifying the Non-Requesting Spouse (NRS), making the innocent spouse determination, sending determination letter(s), and providing CCEO/AUR with instructions on case closing (i.e., how to assess the tax, forward case to Appeals, etc.).

  2. ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡≡

Form 8857 Received by CCEO/AUR Operations

  1. Upon receipt of the Innocent Spouse claim, CCEO/AUR will:

    1. Date stamp the Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, with CCEO/AUR received date.

    2. CCISO will acknowledge receipt of the claim using Letter 3659-C, Requesting Spouse Initial Contact. AUR will acknowledge receipt of the claim using Letter 4314-C, Automated Underreporter Interim Letter

    3. Input Stages 01 and 02 on the Innocent Spouse Tracking System (ISTS) using IDRS CC ISTSR. See IRM, Introduction, for information on ISTS.


      Upon receipt of the transferred case, CCISO will update ISTS.

    4. Fax Form 8857 and any correspondence regarding Form 8857 within 10 business days to CCISO at (855) 233-8558.


      If too large to fax, mail within 10 business days.

  2. The CCISO Innocent Spouse Coordinator will be available to help, if necessary.


  1. An account may have collection activity indicators. Coordination with the appropriate Collection Operation employee may be required while a request for relief is considered.

Automated Collection System (ACS) Tax Levy

  1. If the RS calls or corresponds regarding a levy, or there is an indication of a levy (TC 670 with Designated Payment Code (DPC) 04, 05, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, or 23 ), ask the RS for the following information:

    1. Levy source’s name.

    2. Contact person.

    3. Telephone number.

    4. Fax number, if known.


      Continuous or recurring levies may be suspended while an innocent spouse claim is pending (for example, a wage levy). Bank account, state income tax, Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend and electronic funds transfer (EFT) levies are typically a one-time levy action. Typically by the time a taxpayer is aware of a one-time levy, the action cannot be stopped. Any levy payment applied to an account after the received date of the request for innocent spouse relief, may be returned to the RS after a determination is made.


      If the RS indicates that the levy created an economic hardship, refer the case to TAS to make a hardship determination.

  2. Send a secure email including the taxpayer information for the release of levy request to the Lead.

  3. The Lead will forward the levy release request to the ACS contact.


  1. Coordination with Bankruptcy is required when either spouse is in bankruptcy.


    Look at the indicator associated with the TC 520 on TXMOD to determine who filed bankruptcy: P - Primary taxpayer or S - Secondary taxpayer, or B - Both taxpayers.

  2. If a determination is made to grant full or partial relief, call Centralized Insolvency to determine the bankruptcy specialist assigned to the case.

  3. Contact the bankruptcy specialist and advise which taxpayer filed the innocent spouse claim and the proposed determination.


    The bankruptcy outcome may determine if payments made by the RS can be considered for refund under IRC 6015.

  4. Confer with the bankruptcy specialist to determine if CCISO can mirror the account and adjust it.


    If the bankruptcy specialist will be mirroring the account, it may be necessary to suspend the case until the mirroring actions are complete, prior to completing the innocent spouse closure instructions

  5. Notate the Activity Record with all information obtained during contact with the bankruptcy specialist, including their name and phone number.

  6. Continue to complete the claim process per normal procedures.

Request for Collection Due Process (CDP) or Equivalent Hearing (Form 12153)

  1. Cases with CDP indicators do not automatically go to Stage 12. When preliminary determinations are purged, Generalized IDRS Interface (GII) recognizes coded CDP cases and a listing is generated. The cases are given to a Lead to research the Appeals Centralized Database System (ACDS).


    If the CDP is closed, the case moves to the next appropriate stage.

  2. Complete the following steps and transfer the case using the following procedures to the Appeals Office on open CDP cases where relief is allowed in full or in part:

    1. Do Not issue the final determination letter.

    2. Recharge documents to the Cincinnati Campus Appeals Office, using ESTAB to recharge the documents.

    3. Complete Form 3210, Document Transmittal. Keep two copies with the case and retain one copy for the team. Always use the primary TIN on Form 3210.

    4. Update ISTS and ISTSR Input Record accordingly.

    5. Close IDRS control base.

    6. Send the case to Appeals (Stop 29F) with a Form 1725, Routing Slip.

Identifying CDP Cases
  1. A taxpayer may request a CDP hearing or an equivalent hearing using Form 12153, Request for Collection Due Process or Equivalent Hearing.

    1. See IRM, Open Litigation/Tax Court, on how to identify CDPs and related -W freeze with TC 520 posted.

    2. If a TC 520 is present on TXMODA or IMFOLT, it will be paired with an indicator "P" if only the primary spouse requested a CDP hearing, "S" if only the secondary spouse requested a CDP hearing or "B" if both spouses requested a CDP hearing. The CDP request or hearing must be for the RS. Notate CDP on top of the ISTSR input record sheet and place in appropriate colored folder.

    3. If the CDP hearing request was received by Automated Collection System (ACS), there will also be an open IDRS control on TXMODA with activity beginning with CDP or equivalent hearing. The final activity on that control should be to Appeals indicating ACS sent the CDP hearing request to Appeals.


      Research for TXMOD controls TCPI status M, which indicates a CDP hearing already in progress.

    4. A TC 520 will not be present if the taxpayer has requested an equivalent hearing. Look for the following unreversed TC 971 action codes:

    • 275, 276, 277, or 278, 279

    • 630 or 631


      The TC 971 AC 278, 279 and 280 are reversed with a TC 972. A TC 971 AC 280 means that Appeals has completed their review of the equivalent hearing investigation and issued a determination letter; therefore, there is no open CDP case in Appeals.

Offer in Compromise (OIC)

  1. If an OIC was previously filed, look at the indicator on TXMOD to determine who filed the OIC: P - Primary taxpayer, S - Secondary taxpayer or B - Both taxpayers.


    If the OIC was for the NRS only, it has no bearing on the innocent spouse claim. Evaluate claim under normal procedures.

  2. Listed below are OIC transaction codes and their explanation.

    OIC Transaction Code (TC) Explanation
    TC 480 OIC filed (-Y freeze)
    TC 481 OIC rejected
    TC 482 OIC withdrawn
    TC 483 TC 480 posted in error
    TC 780 OIC accepted (-Y freeze)
    TC 781 Defaulted OIC
    TC 782 TC 780 processed in error
    TC 788 Closing of accepted OIC, removes the Y freeze
  3. If the RS’s offer was rejected, denied, or withdrawn, continue normal claim procedures.

  4. If there is a pending OIC (TC 480), contact the RS and advise him/her of the consequences if the OIC is accepted (i.e., the acceptance of an OIC precludes the taxpayer from subsequently being considered for relief from joint and several liability for the same tax period). If the RS wants to proceed with the OIC, contact the OIC area and request that they expedite the OIC. Research SERP under the "Who/Where" tab to determine OIC contact. Suspend the claim in Stage 06 until a determination is made on the OIC.

    1. Do not consider the innocent spouse claim if the OIC is going to be accepted. The taxpayer can't be considered for relief from joint and several liability for the same tax period. Issue Letter 3657-C, No Consideration Innocent Spouse. Update ISTS and ISTSR Input Record to Stage 29 with the activity description "UNPR " and history comment "OPEN OIC."

    2. If the OIC is going to be denied, document the case Activity Record and continue with claim, as per normal procedures.


      The taxpayer may submit another OIC if relief is not granted through the innocent spouse provisions.

Small Business/Self-Employed (SB/SE) Field

  1. In some situations an innocent spouse determination is made by the field after the audit has closed or Centralized Case Processing (CCP) cannot process the determination. CCISO will most often receive the examination administrative file, with a Form 3870, Request for Adjustment, to adjust or correct the account, or sometimes CCISO might only receive the Form 3870 prepared by a field employee.

  2. Forms that are not correctly prepared or signed must be returned to the sender for perfection before the determination can be processed. Completed forms are sent to the Processing Team to correct or adjust the accounts.

Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS)

  1. TAS is an independent organization within the IRS whose employees assist taxpayers who are experiencing economic harm, who are seeking help in resolving tax problems that have not been resolved through normal channels, or who believe that an IRS system or procedure is not working as it should. TAS protects taxpayers' rights by striving to ensure that all taxpayers are treated fairly, and that they know and understand their rights under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. The goal is to work efficiently with TAS. See IRM, Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Guidelines, for more information on TAS.

Form 12412, Operations Assistance Request (OAR)

  1. CCISO receives Operations Assistance Requests (OAR) from TAS, either by mail, eFax, or secure email. Upon receipt of an OAR, hand deliver it to the CCISO Taxpayer Advocate Liaison.

  2. The CCISO TAS liaison will be responsible for:

    1. Accepting the OAR from TAS.

    2. Acknowledging receipt of the OAR within 3 workdays (within 1 workday for expedited OARs).

    3. Reviewing the case for appropriate assignment.

    4. Inputting the OAR information on the TAS database.

    5. Placing the innocent spouse/TAS cases in appropriate folder (which will remain around the case until it is closed to Appeals, Files or another area).

    6. Assigning the case to the appropriate employee within the function using a Form 3210, Document Transmittal, if needed.

  3. All cases will be worked based on the facts and circumstances of the case and in concurrence with the TAS employee per the Service Level Agreement with TAS. The Service Level Agreement can be found at http://tas.web.irs.gov/policy/sla/default.aspx.


    TAS cases which are marked "Expedite" will be expedited through the innocent spouse process.


    Innocent spouse cases have processing time frames based on statutory requirements. The statutory time frames cannot be circumvented, even for economic burden cases.

  4. See IRM 13.1.7, Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Case Criteria, for additional information on criteria.

Assigning OARs

  1. OARs will be assigned to all functions of CCISO depending upon the recommended actions requested by TAS.

Actions Initiated on TAS Cases (OARs)

  1. Once a determination has been made or the requested actions have been taken on Full Scope innocent spouse/TAS cases, the technician will:

    1. Complete Section V of Form 12412, Operations Assistance Request (OAR), with the employee’s name, phone number, etc.

    2. Notate Section VI with actions taken, initial and date.

    3. Fax Form 12412 and a fax cover sheet to TAS Originating Office as indicated on the Form 12412.

    4. Notate the activity sheet that Form 12412 was faxed to TAS.

    5. File case as appropriate.

  2. Once an action has been taken on innocent spouse/TAS cases assigned to First Read and the Processing Team, the technician will:

    1. Notate Section VI of the Form 12412 with the action taken, initials, and date.

    2. Fax the TAS cover-sheet and completed Form 12412 to TAS.

    3. Notate activity sheet (when applicable) that Form 12412 was faxed to TAS. If activity record is not available, notate the Form 12412.

    4. Keep original Form 12412, TAS/OAR Disposition Sheet and the ISTSR Input Record with the case going to other areas or Files.

    5. Ensure the TAS folder includes a copy of the Form 12412, a print of ISTS showing Stage 30, if closing the claim, and a copy of the TAS OAR Disposition Sheet. If there is not an Innocent Spouse issue because it has previously been closed, the originals will stay in the appropriate folder.

    6. Return to CCISO TAS Liaison.

Closing and Transferring TAS Cases

  1. When closing or transferring a TAS case, update the case on ISTS and notate the ISTSR Input Record to Stage 30 or 07:

    1. Complete all required closing processes.

    2. Notate Section VI of Form 12412, Operations Assistance Request (OAR), of the actions taken to close the OAR such as closing to Appeals, Files, CDP, etc. Initial and date the Form 12412.

    3. Fax Form 12412 with a TAS cover sheet to TAS.

    4. Notate the activity sheet that the Form 12412 was faxed to TAS.

    5. Make a copy of Pages 1 and 2 of the Form 12412.

    6. Remove the innocent spouse case that is closing to Files or forwarding to another area from the TAS folder.

    7. Place copies of the Form 12412 and ISTS print in the TAS folder and return to the CCISO TAS Liaison.

    8. Keep original Form 12412 and ISTS print with the case going to another area or Files. Place originals inside case file so they are on top.

Open Litigation/Tax Court

  1. Accounts that have an open litigation/Tax Court case are identified with the codes listed in the table below.

    Freeze Code Transaction Codes Notation on ISTSR
    -W Freeze. TC 520 with Closing Code (CC): 70, 71, 73, 75, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84. Litigation. See IRM, -W Freeze for more information.
    -W Freeze. TC 520 with CC 72 or 74. Tax Court.
    -L Freeze. Open TC 420.


    AIMS is in Status 82.

    Tax Court Examination.
    -W Freeze. TC 520 with CC 76 or 77. Collection Due Process Hearing; see IRM, Request for a Collection Due Process (CDP) or Equivalent Hearing (Form 12153), for more information.
  2. If the above indicators are present, research the DIMS list for the account.


    For Docketed Cases, see IRM, Docketed Information Management System (DIMS). If not on DIMS, contact Counsel to determine further action.

  3. Coordinate with the DIMS contact and/or assigned Counsel Attorney to determine if CCISO will send determination letters to the RS or NRS or forward the case to Appeals.


    If the docketed case has been or will be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, Counsel may direct CCISO to retain the case and proceed with sending determination letters to the RS or NRS.

Docketed Cases Related to Open Examinations

  1. Open CCEO and Area Office Examination cases are identified by an AIMS status of 82 and open AUR cases by having a Processing Code (PC) of 80. Innocent Spouse claims related to Tax Court cases in CCEO, Area Office Exam or AUR require special handling and most often are claims for relief from proposed tax assessments.

    1. If the case is in CCEO or Area Office Exam as indicated by AIMS, refer the claim to the appropriate Appeals Office to be associated with the case file. See IRM, Audit Information Management System (AIMS), for more information.


      Appeals refers the claim to the Area Office Examiner or CCISO for the innocent spouse determination, per IRM 25.15.12, Appeals Procedures. If CCISO receives the claim for consideration, it will be worked at Appeals/Counsel’s direction with regard to taxpayer contact. See IRM, Litigation Referral Cases, for more information.

  2. For cases open in CCEO/AUR; research to determine if the RS is a party to the Tax Court case. Obtain case information from the Tax Court website at http://www.ustaxcourt.gov/, United States Tax Court.

  3. If the RS is a Non-Petitioning Spouse (NPS):

    1. Work the case as normal.

    2. Remove the colored folder.

    3. Update ISTS and the ISTSR Input Record with "RS Non-Petitioning Spouse" .

    4. If the RS has not had their account assessed yet, contact AUR to determine the date that the RS will be assessed per IRM, Non-Petitioning Spouse.

    5. On partial relief and disallowed cases, send a copy of the work papers and the allocation worksheets to the appeals office at the time of determination. This will assist the attorney if any subsequent adjustments need to be made to the account as a result of the Tax Court case.


      Attach a Form 1725, Routing Slip, notating "FYI - Please associate RS/NPS INNSP work papers and allocation with NRS/PS Docket No. NNNNN-NNX."

  4. If the RS is a Petitioning Spouse (PS):

    1. Notify Counsel and forward claim for association with petitioned case. Request direction from Counsel on how to proceed with taxpayer contact. See IRM, Litigation Referral Cases, for more information.

    2. Forward claim to Appeals by using a Form 1725, Routing Slip, notate "pre-assessment" and that the case is docketed on the top in red.


      If the TC 922 has a PC of 80 or Status 82 for AIMS, there is no need to notify CCEO/AUR. The case is already in Appeals.

Litigation Referral Cases

  1. Counsel attorneys, Appeals officers, Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys, and settlement officers may refer innocent spouse claims received in docketed Tax Court or open litigation cases to CCISO to make an innocent spouse relief determination.

    1. A copy of the petition or request should be included with the referral.

    2. The open litigation may be the result of a petition filed in response to a Statutory Notice of Deficiency, an open bankruptcy case, and other cases that are under a court’s jurisdiction.

    3. In general, a claim for relief received during Collection Due Process hearings is referred to CCISO for determination. See IRM, for more information.

  2. The case will typically include a memorandum addressed to CCISO as follows:


    Attn: Department One Manager

    7940 Kentucky Drive, Stop 840F

    Florence, KY 41042

  3. Upon receipt of a referral to make a determination, call or email the Counsel attorney or officer making the referral, and ask how they want CCISO to process the referral, if it is not apparent from the referral itself.

  4. In a claim filed during open litigation, work the claim with Counsel’s direction. For example:

    1. The Counsel attorney may want CCISO to solicit a Form 8857.

    2. The Counsel attorney may request that CCISO not make contact with the taxpayer and/or any third party witnesses. In these cases, the Counsel attorney will be responsible for corresponding with the taxpayer and/or any third party witnesses and for providing any missing information/documentation to the CCISO employee.

    3. The Counsel attorney may request that CCISO work the claim using normal procedures for taxpayer notifications and requests for information.

  5. If copies of the petition and related documents, such as the Statutory Notice of Deficiency are not in the case file, ask Counsel or the settlement officer to provide copies.

  6. Build the case on ISTS through Stage 06 and open TXMOD control with activity "LITIGATION" , then:

    1. Send Letter 3284-C, Non-Requesting Spouse Initial Contact, to NRS with a Form 12508, Questionnaire For Non-Requesting Spouse, if appropriate.

    2. Send Letter 3659-C, Requesting Spouse Initial Contact, to RS to request any additional information needed, including Form 8857, if appropriate


      Once a taxpayer files a petition in Tax Court or any court with jurisdiction, and alleges they are entitled to innocent spouse relief under IRC 6015, a "claim" has been made. If a Form 8857 is not included with the referral, solicit one, if Counsel concurs with such a request. If the RS does not respond to requests for Form 8857 or other information necessary to make a determination, advise the Counsel attorney and request further instruction.

  7. Work litigation cases in an expedited manner. Make determinations within 60 days of receipt, or by the date specified by Counsel.

  8. Do not issue determination letters since the taxpayer is already in litigation, and counsel/appeals retains jurisdiction. Provide the determination (allowed, partially allowed, or not allowed) to the Counsel attorney or officer making the referral.

    1. Document the case file with the determination. Do not send any letters, unless directed to do so by Counsel.

    2. Update ISTS and the ISTSR Input Record with Stage 11, then Stage 19. Activity description "TAXCOURT" will automatically generate when Stage 19 is input.

    3. Close TXMOD control.