3.21.264 IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) Acceptance Agent Program

Manual Transmittal

October 11, 2018

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 3.21.264, International Returns and Documents Analysis, IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) Acceptance Agent Program.

Material Changes

(1) Changed Certified to Certifying throughout IRM based on Amended PATH Act

(2) Changed Third Party Data Store to External Customer Data Store throughout IRM

(3) Editorial changes made throughout IRM

(4) IRM 3.21.264.1(2) - Revised "Purpose" under Program, Scope and Objectives

(5) IRM 3.21.264.1.1 - Revised "Background" information

(6) IPU 18U0011 issued 01-02-2018 IRM 3.21.264.1.5(1) - Italicized the title for IRM 21.1.1.

(7) IPU 18U0933 issued 06-12-2018 IRM 3.21.264.3.3(3) - Revised instructions for escalation of interaction by Lead Provider Group

(8) IPU 18U1138 issued 08-03-2018 IRM 3.21.264.3.3(3) - Added instructions to pull Form 13551 to verify information on authorized representative not in the RTS

(9) IRM 3.21.264.3.4 - Revised Unauthorized IDRS Access.

(10) IPU 18U0011 issued 01-02-2018 IRM 3.21.264.4.2(1) - Added Casinos to the list for eligible individuals/entities.

(11) IPU 18U0011 issued 01-02-2018 IRM 3.21.264.5.1(1) - Added Note for Assistors to return F13551 to applicant if not latest version.

(12) IRM 3.21.264.5.1 - Added (2) to clarify that faxed or photocopied Form 13551 are not acceptable

(13) IRM 3.21.264.5.1(3), Revised Line items for Form 13551

(14) IRM 3.21.264.5.1(3) - Added instructions for Enrolled Agents to Line 1.

(15) IPU 18U0368 issued 02-28-2018 IRM 3.21.264.5.1(4) - Line 15a, revised to include which letter to issue for rejection and termination

(16) IPU 18U0328 issued 02-21-2018 IRM 3.21.264.5.1(4) - Revised instructions for EA research

(17) IPU 18U0011 issued 01-02-2018 IRM 3.21.264.5.1(4) - Revised several lines for F13551.

(18) IRM 3.21.264.5.1.4(1) - Added a Mandatory Training Certificate is required for each authorized representative.

(19) IPU 18U0011 issued 01-02-2018 IRM 3.21.264.5.1.1(1)(e) - Updated the FDTC requirement for renewal applicants.

(20) IRM 3.21.264.5.1.1 (1)(e) - Added acceptable date for FDTC for renewal CAA applicants.

(21) IPU 18U0593 issued 04-09-2018 IRM 3.21.264.5.1.1(1) f) - Revised Exception and removed wordings H&R Block and replaced with entity (EIN)

(22) IPU 18U0797 issued 05-10-2018 IRM 3.21.264.5.1.1 (1f) Revised statement to remove "dated for the current year" .

(23) IRM 3.21.264.5.1.1(1)(g) - added instructions to include fingerprint cards when box 10 is checked of Form 13551. Removed the example for (i)

(24) IPU 18U0328 issued 02-21-2018 IRM 3.21.264.5.1.2 - Revised instructions for EA research.

(25) IRM 3.21.264.5.1.2(4) - Revised sentence to include the envelope when returning application package

(26) IRM 3.21.264.5.1.3 - Removed (3) instructions for re-submission date applicant may reapply

(27) IRM 3.21.264.5.1.3 - Revised instructions to process application as new when response in received after 30 days.

(28) IPU 18U0933 issued 06-12-2018 IRM 3.21.264.5.1.9(1) - Added instructions for E-help assistor to direct applicants to internet for FDTC vendors

(29) IRM 3.21.264.5.2.1.5(6) - Changed the title of Form 9814

(30) IRM 3.21.263.5.2(3) Revised sentence to include the wording "reached" for eligibility date

(31) IRM 3.21.264.5.2.4(2) - Added a Note to include responses received after 30 days to be processed as new.

(32) IRM 3.21.264.5.2.4 (5) - Added Caution for Austin assistors to redact personal information for individuals not listed on Form 13551

(33) IPU 18U0933 issued 06-12-2018 IRM 3.21.264.5.2.4(5) - Revised the third bullet to include instruction to use the EFIN Active Status Date from Summary page located in the External Customer Data Store.

(34) IPU 18U0011 issued 01-02-2018 IRM 3.21.264.5.2.6(3) - Added sentence to continue processing if a change is indicated on F13551 without statement.

(35) IRM 3.21.264.5.2.7.(3) - Revised to include information on EIN change and tax compliance check.

(36) IPU 18U0445 issued 03-13-2018 IRM 3.21.264.5.2.7(4) - Removed the wording "new" , to clarify conducting background and tax checks on AR.

(37) IPU 18U0805 issued 05-11-2018 IRM 3.21.264.5.3(3) - Clarified applicant’s renewal period in the "Exception" .

(38) IPU 18U0805 issued 05-11-2018 IRM 3.21.264.5.3(4) - Removed bullets pertaining to EFIN on Line 3 on Form 13551 to reject application if Schedule C/C-EZ missing.

(39) IPU 18U0805 issued 05-11-2018 IRM 3.21.264.5.3.1 - Revised (1) replaced a business entity with an EIN/SSN, removed (10).

(40) IPU 18U1138 issued 08-03-2018 IRM 3.21.264.5.3.1(5) - Added additional guide to pass applicant when BMFOL has N and no status posted

(41) IPU 18U0805 issued 05-11-2018 IRM 3.21.264.5.3.1.1 - Removed (3) to check with Lead if status is other than listed under Return Status Codes.

(42) IPU 18U0805 issued 05-11-2018 IRM 3.21.264.5.3.2 - Revised (1) removing all active modules.

(43) IPU 18U0805 issued 05-11-2018 IRM 3.21.264.5.3.6 - Revised (1) adding additional IRCs, Types of Penalties and Penalty Reference Numbers.

(44) IPU 18U0011 issued 01-02-2018 IRM 3.21.264.5.4.1(1) - Updated location where the spreadsheet is found to S-Drive.

(45) IRM 3.21.264.5.4.1 (3) - Changed 15th of month to end of month

(46) IRM 3.21.264.5.6(1) - Added citation for Rejection Letter and Number for CSPC to use

(47) IRM 3.21.264.5.6.2 - Added instructions to process application as new when information received after 30 days of letter.

(48) IPU 18U0011 issued 01-02-2018 IRM 3.21.264.5.6.3(1) - Removed last sentence stating to include date applicant can reapply.

(49) IPU 18U0328 issued 02-21-2018 IRM 3.21.264.5.6(3) - Revised sentence to identify letter paragraphs that may appear on second page whenever possible.

(50) IRM 3.21.264.5.6(5) - removed instructions stating that TE may revise letter.

(51) IPU 18U0011 issued 01-02-2018 IRM 3.21.264.5.6(5) - Revised sentence to inform Assistors to not date letters they prepare.

(52) IPU 18U0554 issued 03-29-2018 IRM 3.21.264.5.6(8) - Added bullet to include mailing Letter 4963 authorized representative and/or principal, partner or owner.

(53) IPU 18U0368 issued 02-28-2018 IRM 3.21.264.5.6.8 - Revised (1) to include additional information for rejection of application

(54) IRM 3.21.264.7.1(1) - Removed reference to Exhibit 9

(55) IPU 18U0933 issued 06-12-2018 IRM 3.21.264.7.3(3) - Removed the 1st Note, removed 2nd Note and placed in 3.21.264.7.3(2)

(56) IPU 18U0980 issued 06-21-2018 IRM 3.21.264.7.3(3) - Add Note to use whatever case is reflected on Form 13551 to (3)

(57) IRM 3.21.264.8.3.5 - Revised to include address and response time-frame for reconsideration requests.

(58) Exhibit 3.21.264.- Revised name for FDTC acronym

(59) Revised Exhibit 3 - Fingerprint Card Instructions with latest revision

(60) Revised Exhibit 4 Form 3210 with latest revision

(61) Revised Exhibit 5, Request for Mail/Shipping Service with latest revision

(62) Deleted Exhibit 9 and removed related references.

(63) Deleted Exhibit 10 and removed related references.

(64) Deleted Exhibit 11 and removed related references.

(65) Deleted Exhibit 12 and removed related references.

(66) Deleted Exhibit 13 and removed related references.

(67) Exhibit 14 is now Exhibit 9

(68) Exhibit 15 changed to OUO and is now Exhibit 10

(69) Exhibit 16 Warning Letter revised and is now Exhibit 11

(70) Exhibit 17 Probation Letter revised and is now Exhibit 12

(71) Exhibit 18 Termination revised and is now Exhibit 13

(72) Exhibit 19 is now Exhibit 14

(73) Exhibit 20 is now Exhibit 15

(74) Exhibit 21 is now Exhibit 16

(75) IPU 18U0659 issued 04-18-2018 Exhibit 3.21.264-19 - Replaced Exhibit 19

Effect on Other Documents

This material supersedes IRM 3.21.264 dated November 17, 2017 (effective January 1, 2018). The following IRM Procedural Updates (IPUs) issued from January 3, 2018 through August 3, 2018 have been incorporated into this IRM: 18U0011, 18U0328, 18U0368, 18U0445, 18U0554, 18U0593, 18U0659, 18U0797, 18U0805, 18U0933, 18U0980, 18U1138

Audience

Wage and Investment (W&I), ITIN Policy Section, Austin e-Help Desk, and Small Business/Self-Employed (SB/SE), Field Examination and Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC)

Effective Date

(01-01-2019)

Linda J. Brown
Director, Submission Processing
Wage and Investment Division

Program Scope and Objectives

  1. This IRM provides guidance for administering the IRS Acceptance Agent (AA) Program and conducting compliance checks on AAs.

  2. Purpose: This IRM provides guidance for the processing Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program, and conducting compliance reviews for Certifying Acceptance Agents timely. This IRM provides guidance for reports for Acceptance Agents .

  3. Audience: The primary users of this IRM are Cincinnati Submission Processing Campus (CSPC), Austin e-Help Desk Assistors, Small Business/Self Employed, Field Examination and the IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN Policy Section) employees.

  4. Policy Owner: Director, Submission Processing

  5. Program Owner: ITIN Policy Section is responsible for the administration, procedures and updates related to this program

  6. Primary Stakeholders: Management Officials who rely on quality information.

  7. Program Goals: The goal for this program is to process Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program, prepare and mail Acceptance Agent agreements and conduct compliance reviews timely and accurately.

Background

  1. The information in the IRM provides guidance for administering the Acceptance Agent program. Included in this IRM is:

    • the application process to become an Acceptance Agent,

    • procedures for reviewing and processing Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program, and

    • an outline for compliance reviews

Authority

  1. The Acceptance Agent Program is governed by Rev. Proc. 2006-10, 2006-1 C.B.293. Refer to IRM IRM 1.4.3.3, Authorities, for information.

Responsibilities

  1. Austin e-Help Desk Assistors use this IRM for front end processing of Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program for entry into the Acceptance Agent Program.

  2. Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC) use this IRM for back end processing of Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program.

  3. ITIN Policy Section set the standards for on site compliance reviews conducted by Small Business/Self Employed, Field Examiners and correspondence compliance reviews conducted by the ITIN Policy Section.

  4. The ITIN Policy Section (IPS) has responsibility for information in this IRM. Information is published in this IRM on a yearly basis.

  5. The ITIN Policy Section Chief is responsible for ensuring this IRM is timely submitted to publishing annually.

  6. The Director of Submission Processing is responsible for policy related to this IRM.

Program Management and Review

  1. Program Reports: The program reports provided in this IRM are used to identify trends as it relates to the Acceptance Agent (AA) program. The Quality Standards report is utilized to identify which Acceptance Agent/ Certifying Acceptance Agent are not meeting the standards of the program.

  2. Program Effectiveness: See IRM 3.21.264.9, Acceptance Agents (AA) Reports.

Program Controls

  1. Quality guidelines for measurement is referenced in IRM 21.10.1, Embedded Quality (EQ Program for Accounts Management, Campus Compliance, Field Assistance, Tax Exempt/Government Entities, Return Integrity and Compliance Services (RICS), and Electronic Products and Services Support.. See IRM 3.21.264.11, Acceptance Agent Quality Standards for the types of reports and action taken.

Acronyms

  1. For a list of Real Time System (RTS) Acronyms and their meaning, refer to Exhibit 3.21.264-16, Acceptable ITIN RTS Abbreviations.

Overview

  1. This section of the IRM provides guidance for administering the IRS Acceptance Agent (AA) Program. Included is the following information:

    • Description of the application process to become an IRS Acceptance Agent.

    • Procedures for reviewing and processing Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program.

    • Outline of IRS' expectation of roles and responsibilities as it relates to the Acceptance Agent Agreement, Compliance Reviews and Quality Standards.

  2. This IRM is designed to be used by Submission Processing Campus (SPC), Electronic Products and Service Support (EPSS) e-Help Desk Assistors, Austin, Small Business/Self Employed, Field Examination, and the IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) Policy Section employees. IRM deviations must be submitted in writing following instructions from IRM 1.11.2.2.4, Internal Management Documents System- Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process, IRM Standards, and elevated through appropriate channels for executive approval.

    Note:

    All references to "Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number" throughout this IRM refer to both the English and Spanish versions unless otherwise specified.

  3. A person may wish to become an Acceptance Agent to assist with the process of acquiring an IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for alien individuals or clients who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number for tax purposes, but are ineligible for a Social Security Number (SSN).

  4. Prior to submitting a formal application, interested persons may request a telephone or in-person conference with the IRS to explore informally the benefits and responsibilities associated with the role of an Acceptance Agent. To request a pre-application conference the applicant can call (470) 639-2715 or send an e-mail to the ITINProgramOffice@irs.gov.

General Information

  1. The Acceptance Agent Program is governed by Rev. Proc. 2006-10, 2006–1 C.B. 293.

  2. On September 7, 2016, the IRS issued changes to the Acceptance Agent program. Open season was expanded to allow New and Renewal applications year round. Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program will be accepted from January through December of each year.
    Certifying Acceptance Agents (CAAs) will now be allowed to authenticate the passport and birth certificate for dependents. CAAs will continue to certify identification documents for primary and secondary applicants.

Mission Statement

  1. The mission of all employees processing Form 13551 is to ensure applications are processed timely and to ensure applicants admitted into the program are credible and responsible individuals who will advance the Internal Revenue Service’s goal of voluntary tax compliance.

IRS Employee Contacts

  1. The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, Section 3705 (a) provides identification requirements for all IRS employees working tax- related matters. IRS employees are required to give their name and unique identification number (ten digits of the Personal Identification Number shown on the Smart ID) during taxpayer telephone, face-to-face and written contact. In addition, a telephone number is required on all taxpayer correspondence. This will provide taxpayers with enough information to identify an IRS employee who has previously assisted with their tax-related matters.

    Note:

    An employee's Secure Employee Identification (SEID) is acceptable on written contacts.

Disclosure Guidelines for Acceptance Agents

  1. It is the responsibility of all IRS employees to protect confidential applicant information and to understand the difference between an authorized and unauthorized disclosure under the provisions of the law.

  2. You must determine if the person you are speaking to is entitled to receive or present requested information. Do not under any circumstance accept oral testimony for missing signatures or documentation verification. Once you have verified that the caller is responsible for the information, then take the appropriate action.

  3. Except for general information inquiries, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number Real Time System (ITIN RTS) will be used to authenticate customers calling about an Acceptance Agent application. Use the following tables to authenticate a customer and their authority to receive information pertaining to an Acceptance Agent application:

    Note:

    If unable to authenticate the customer with the following requirements, escalate the interaction to the Austin Leads Provider Group. Austin Leads will contact the Program Manager (PM) analyst for referral to the ITIN Policy Section. Include the customer's name and contact information in the escalation. For foreign nationals, include their e-mail address.

    Authentication Requirements
    Parties Position/Relationship TIN Name Address (physical or mailing) Date of Birth (DOB) Filing Status Other
    Principal, Partner or Owner X EIN X (legal or DBA) X      
    Authorized Representative )U.S. citizen or non-resident alien) X SSN/TIN X** (as shown on last return) X** (as shown on last return) X** X** (as shown on last return)  
    Authorized Representative (foreign national) X PTIN* X** X** X**    
    Contact X EIN         Title
    Phone number
    e-mail address
    *Note: For foreign nationals, use IDRS (CC RPVUE)
    Note: If the required disclosure information for an Authorized Representative is not available in the RTS, pull Form 13551 to obtain the information needed to continue with verification.
    Authorization Entitlement
    Authority Principal, Partner or Owner Authorized Representative Primary or Alternate Contact
    Status of Application Yes Yes No
    Firm Suitability or Tax Compliance Issue Yes Yes No
    Individual Suitability or Tax Compliance Issue No Yes No
  4. This also includes the protection of computer terminal information. For example, when applicants calling on IRS phone lines inquire about their application and less than 45 days have passed since the Form 13551 application was mailed, the employee should advise the applicant to allow more time for processing. If 45 days or more have passed and research shows no record of the application, employees are authorized to disclose to the applicant that we have no record of the application and they should re-submit their application.

  5. For questions on disclosure, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and the Privacy Act, refer to IRM 11.3, Disclosure of Official Information, or the Disclosure Help Desk at 1-866-591-0860 (for internal use only).

    Note:

    The Disclosure Help Desk number is for internal use only and should not be given to taxpayers.

Disclosure Related to Acceptance Agent (AA) /Certifying Acceptance Agent (CAA) Applications - Release of Information
  1. The taxpayer’s signature on Form W-7 authorizes the IRS to disclose to the AA only information necessary to resolve matters regarding assignment of an ITIN, including any previously assigned taxpayer identifying numbers.

  2. The Jurat, penalty of perjury statement, found in the Sign Here area of the Form W-7 serves as the authorization to release the information. Do not release other information, that is not necessary for the assignment of the ITIN, but found on the accompanying tax return or on IDRS.

    Exception:

    If there is an executed Form 2848, Power of Attorney, or Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization, present on the Centralized Authorization File (CAF) file for the ITIN/Form W-7 you are authorized to release information.

  3. Refer to IRM 3.21.264.3.3, Disclosure Guidelines for Acceptance Agents, above for additional information on disclosure.

Unauthorized IDRS Access

  1. While working assigned cases, SP employees may come across some accounts that are blocked on IDRS. These accounts can be identified by an IDRS security violation message: Unauthorized Access to This Account. Forward the case (Form 8822-B, Form 2553, etc.) to your manager. Managers will notify the local Planning & Analysis Staff who will scan the case and send encrypted information to the "≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ " mailbox to request access to the account. Managers will retain the original case in a file awaiting access (can take up to five business days). Once notified access has been granted, the case can be processed following applicable procedures.

Acceptance Agent Defined

  1. An AA is a person (individual or entity) who has signed an agreement with the IRS, and is authorized to assist alien individuals and other foreign persons in obtaining an ITIN or Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS.

Acceptance Agent and Certifying Acceptance Agent

  1. There are two kinds of Acceptance Agents:

    • Acceptance Agent

    • Certifying Acceptance Agent

  2. AAs are authorized to assist resident alien and non-resident individuals ineligible to receive a Social Security Number (SSN) in obtaining an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. The following responsibilities are included in their role:

    • AAs can conduct interviews with clients either through face to face or video conference (i.e., SKYPE)

      Note:

      AA must have the original identification document in their possession during the interview in order to see security features and authenticate the documents.

    • Substantiate the claim of identity and foreign status and authenticate the accuracy and completeness of supporting identification documentation.

    • Verify the completeness of the application.

    • Forward Form W-7 along with any required original or certified copies (certified by the issuing agency) of supporting documentation, and tax return or exception documentation to the IRS for processing and ITIN assignment.

      Note:

      The ITIN assignment letter is sent directly to the taxpayer, not to the AA.

  3. Certifying Acceptance Agents (CAA) are authorized to assist resident alien and non-resident individuals ineligible to receive a Social Security Number (SSN) in obtaining an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. The following responsibilities are included in their role:

    • CAAs can conduct interviews with clients either through face to face or video conference (i.e., SKYPE)

      Note:

      CAA must have the original identification document in their possession during the interview in order to see security features and authenticate the documents.

    • Substantiate the claim of identity and foreign status and authenticate the accuracy and completeness of supporting identification documentation. CAAs are authorized to authenticate the passport and birth certificate for dependents, other documents submitted must be original or certified copies from the issuing agency.

    • Prepare an original Form W-7 (COA)Certificate of Accuracy for each application submitted.

      Note:

      The COA identifies the type of supporting identification documentation that was reviewed.

    • Forward Form W-7 along with the COA, copies of original or certified copies (certified by the issuing agency) that identifies the applicants supporting identification documentation that was reviewed by the CAA to prove identity and foreign status and tax return or exception documentation to the IRS for processing and ITIN assignment for primary and secondary applicants.

      Note:

      The ITIN assignment letter is sent to both the taxpayer and the CAA.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Any eligible individual or entity can apply to become an Acceptance Agent. Persons eligible to be an Acceptance Agent include:

    • Financial institutions defined in IRC Section 265(b)(5)

    • Colleges or universities which are described in IRC Section 501(c)(3) and exempt from taxation under IRC Section 501(a)

    • Federal agencies (as defined in IRC Section 6402(h)

    • State and local governments, including agencies responsible for vital records

    • Casinos

    • Community-based organizations which are described in Section 501 (c)(3) or (d) and exempt from taxation under IRC Section 501(a)

    • Persons that provide assistance to taxpayers in the preparation of their tax returns

    • Other persons or categories of persons as authorized by regulations or other guidance of the Secretary of Treasury

  2. Each individual listed as an authorized representative on the application must be at least 18 years of age when application (Form 13551) is submitted.

  3. An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is required.

  4. A Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) is required. See IRM 3.21.264.5.1.8 and www.irs.gov/ptin for additional information concerning PTIN.

  5. Except for applications from VITA/TCE partners, all existing CAAs were required to provide an original certificate of completion from the vendor for the forensic document training course. CAA applications from new applicants are required to attach proof of FDTC completion. For renewal applications and additional information on FDTC, see IRM 3.21.264.5.1.9 , Forensic Document Training Requirements.

Acceptance Agent Application (How to Apply)

  1. To apply to become an Acceptance Agent, applicants must complete and submit Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program. Applications are accepted year round January through December of each year.

  2. To ensure that AAs have the tools they need to perform their jobs, all new and renewing applicants are required to complete mandatory training. The training is available online at www.IRS.gov. Additionally, CAAs must complete forensic training course and purchase the following tools and reference materials to authenticate identification documents.

    • Black or ultra-violet lights, magnifying glasses and/or jeweler's loop

    • The 2012 Edition of ID Checking Guide U.S./Canada and 9th Edition of International ID Checking Guide

  3. There are four required steps for new and renewing applicants;

    1. Take the Mandatory Acceptance Agent training

    2. Take the forensic training (applies to CAA applicants only)

    3. Complete Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program, and attach the fingerprint card (if applicable)

    4. Attach the certification forms (Mandatory Acceptance Agent Training and Forensic Training) for each authorized representative (person listed in block 5 of the application and continuation sheet )

  4. Completed Forms 13551 with the required attached certifications can be mailed to:

    Internal Revenue Service
    3651 South IH 35
    Mail Stop 6380 AUSC
    Austin, TX 78741

Suitability Checks

  1. Applicants are required to submit to suitability checks before being authorized to act as an Acceptance Agent (AA). There is no IRS processing fee to become an Acceptance Agent (AA). The applicant’s authorized representative may be subject to the following requirements:

    • A credit history check

    • A Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) background check

    • A federal tax compliance check

Acceptance Agent Agreement (AA and CAA)

  1. Once the IRS determines the applicant qualifies to be an AA/CAA, an Acceptance Agent agreement, described under Treasury Regulation 301.6109-1(d)(3)(iv)(A), is entered into between the IRS and the entity authorized by the agreement to act as an AA/CAA on behalf of an alien individual.

  2. The agreement stipulates the terms and procedures to be followed by the IRS and the AA/CAA to insure proper administration of the process by which IRS issues ITINs to alien individuals.

  3. The agreement is in effect on the date the agreement is signed by IRS and expires on December 31 of the fourth full calendar year after the year in which the agreement went into effect.

  4. To ensure that their AA/CAA status continues uninterrupted, AAs/CAAs should be advised to submit a renewal application 6 months prior to the expiration of their current agreement.

Designated Telephone Lines

  1. Acceptance Agent and Certifying Acceptance Agent (AA/CAA) must initially follow routine procedures (including Form W-7 and related publications) for questions regarding the status of an ITIN. If they need additional guidance, they should call the applicable number provided in the AA/CAA agreement.

    Note:

    For all questions pertaining to tax returns or tax-related issues they must call one of the following telephone numbers, 800-829-1040 if within the United States or 1-267-941-1000 if outside the United States.

Acceptance Agent/Certifying Acceptance Agent (AA/CAA) Form W-7 Requirements

  1. Acceptance Agents should use the most current revision of Form W-7 which is available on www.IRS.gov. The AA/CAAs must follow established procedures for completing Form W-7 and attach the required valid U.S. tax return or evidence that they meet one of five exceptions.

  2. If they wish to use a substitute form other than the original Form W-7, they must first obtain approval from the IRS. Refer them to Pub 1167, General Rules and Specifications for Substitute Form and Schedules, which guides them through preparing an acceptable privately designed and printed or computer-prepared and computer-generated substitute application.

Supporting Identification Documentation for Form W-7

  1. All Form W-7s submitted by an AA or CAA must meet supporting identification documentation requirements by proving identity and foreign status.

  2. AAs and CAAs must also attach valid exception documentation to prove the applicant has met an exception to the filing of a valid U.S. tax return.

  3. Form W-7 submitted by a CAA must have a Form W-7 (COA), Certificate of Accuracy attached with copies of the original or certified copies for the primary, secondary and dependent.

    Reminder:

    Effective September 7, 2016, passport and birth certificate are the only two documents CAAs are authorized to authenticate for dependents, all other documents for dependents must be original or certified copies (certified by the issuing agency).

    The W-7 COA stipulates that to the best of the CAA’s knowledge, the applicants supporting identification documentation is authentic and accurate.

Changes to Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program Application

  1. If the AA’s business name, address, or authorized responsible parties (signatories) has changed since the original submission, and approval of Form 13551, advise the AA to take actions as outlined in the table below:

    Change If... Then...
    Name
    1. A re-organization results in an entity change.

    2. Only a name and not an entity change, mail to:

      Internal Revenue Service
      ITIN Policy Section
      Mail Stop 97 WI
      401 W Peachtree St. NW
      Atlanta, GA 30308

    1. The AA must apply for a new Employer Identification Number (EIN) and a new AA agreement. The new application should be submitted to the address in the instructions.

    2. AA must submit a name change on office letterhead along with an explanation of the change (for example, a re-organization, a merger, etc.) and supporting documentation. Acceptable documentation includes copy of a marriage license, a divorce certificate, an official court-related document, or articles of incorporation validating the name change.

    Street Address The AA’s business location and/or mailing location changes, Advise them to file Form 8822-B, Change of Address, or similar statement showing both the old and the new information. Mail to the Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC) located at:

    Internal Revenue Service
    Mail Stop 362
    201 W. Rivercenter Blvd.
    Covington, KY 41011

    The CSPC will update the AA database and forward the Form 8822-B for Master File update.

    Note:

    In order for a similar statement to be accepted, it must have all of the elements of the Form 8822-B, (i.e., name of organization, identifying number (i.e., EIN), old and new address and is signed by an authorized individual).

    Miscellaneous Changes other than location or authorized representative(s), (i.e., business phone/fax number, E-mail address, etc), Advise AA to send amended application notating changes.
    Authorized Representatives (Signatories) Changes to Authorized Representatives, position titles, or office locations, Advise the AA to mail an amended Form 13551 listing all of the Authorized Representatives and required information (name, Social Security Number/Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, Date of Birth (DOB), home address, citizenship status and criminal/penalty assessment).

    Individuals who act as Authorized Representatives but leave their current employer are no longer authorized to sign or submit Form W-7 applications under the previous employer’s Acceptance Agent Agreement. The amended application should include a statement reflecting the name and Social Security Number/Individual Taxpayer Identification Number of the Authorized Representative being deleted. If a new Authorized Representative is being added, Items 1–10 of Form 13551 must be completed. AA’s should mail amended applications to:

    Internal Revenue Service
    Mail Stop 6380 AUSC
    3651 S. IH 35
    Austin, TX 78741

Public Lists of Acceptance Agents

  1. To be placed on the public list of Acceptance Agents maintained on www.IRS.gov, AAs/CAAs should check box 19 on Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program, at the time of submission of their initial application or send a letter on office letterhead to the ITIN Policy Section at the following address:

    Internal Revenue Service
    ITIN Policy Section
    Mail Stop 97-WI
    401 W Peachtree St. NW
    Atlanta, GA 30308

  2. Acceptance Agents and Certifying Acceptance Agents may send an e-mail to the ITIN Policy Section or submit an amended Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program along with a statement to add their name to the Public lists.

Telephonic Inquiries Received by the e-Help Desk

  1. Electronic Products and Support Services (EPSS) e-Help Desk may receive telephonic inquiries from Acceptance Agent applicants for:

    • General information on becoming an Acceptance Agent

    • Requests for fingerprint cards

    • Status of an Acceptance Agent application

    • Providing appropriate referrals for suitability issues

  2. Calls received at the e-Help Desk will follow procedures in IRM 3.42.7, Electronic Tax Administration, EPSS Help Desk Support, by creating an Interaction and attempting to assist the customer using Acceptance Agent solutions available in the e-Help Support Service (EHSS). Authentication of the caller is required for inquiries on the status of an application or any letters concerning tax compliance or suitability issue. See IRM 3.21.264.3.3, Disclosure Guidelines for Acceptance Agents.

    • If a customer is calling about the status of their Acceptance Agent application and more than 45 days have lapsed since it was mailed and the call was received at a site other than Austin or by an Austin assistor not trained on Acceptance Agent applications, use the EIN on the application to search either EHSS or the ITIN Real-Time System (RTS). If the application was mailed within the last 45 days, advise the caller that the entire application process can take up to 120 days.

    • Applicants needing fingerprint cards will be sent two cards per Authorized Representative. Fingerprint cards reflecting the Austin TX Originating Requestor Identifier (ORI) code are preferred but any fingerprints submitted on Form FD-258 are acceptable. Include Publication 5173, Acceptance Agent Fingerprint Card Stuffer with the request. See Exhibit 3.21.264-3, Acceptance Agent Fingerprint Card Stuffer. Stress to the applicant the fingerprint card must be complete, taken and signed by a trained specialist and also signed by them.

      Reminder:

      There is no restriction for the number of times an applicant can reapply since open season criteria was removed.

    • If an applicant is calling about an application previously returned as incomplete or for a suitability failure, advise the customer to comply with the letter they received.

      Note:

      Suitability issues involving an EIN can only be discussed with the principal, partner or owner of the entity or an authorized representative on the application or approved agreement. Individual suitability issues can only be discussed with the individual to whom they pertain. Follow authentication procedures in IRM 3.21.264.3.3 .

    • If unable to resolve the customer's issue about a rejected Acceptance Agent application, escalate the Interaction to an Incident and assign to the Austin Leads Provider group.

  3. To search for an Acceptance Agent application in EHSS:

    • Access the "Search Incidents" option from the Favorites and Dashboard menu.

    • Select the "Text Search" tab and enter the EIN (with hyphen) or EFIN for Corporate EIN in the Search Text box.

    • Click on the Search icon on the toolbar.

    • If multiple results are returned, determine the appropriate Incident based on the application date.

    • Authenticate the caller using IRM 3.21.264.3.3.

    • If more than 30 days have lapsed since the application was submitted and it was not found in EHSS, escalate the Incident to the Austin Leads Provider Group for additional research. See IRM 3.42.7.13.5.2, Escalating/Transferring Interactions.

  4. See IRM 3.21.264.7 for searching an application in ITIN RTS.

Acceptance Agent Application Processing (For Austin e- help Desk Use Only)

  1. The following section provides guidance for Electronic Products and Services Support (EPSS) Austin e-Help Desk employees for processing Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program.

  2. Austin e-Help Desk tax examiners and clerks will process new, renewal and amended AA Applications based on the guidance provided in this IRM section.

  3. Austin e-Help Desk employees should also refer to IRM 3.21.264.4, Acceptance Agent Defined and IRM 3.42.10, Electronic Tax Administration - Authorized IRS e-file Providers.

  4. Austin e-Help Desk managers are responsible for tracking and monitoring the ITIN AA application inventory to ensure adequate resources are available for timely processing. Applications should be received, processed and forwarded to the Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC) within 30 days of receipt by the IRS. If an application is returned to the applicant as incomplete or rejected, the processing time begins on the date the re-submission is received.

    Note:

    Access to the IRS ITIN RTS is through the Employee User Portal (EUP). Submission of a 5081 and prior approval for access must be granted by your manager.

  5. The following Function and Program codes will be used by the Austin e-Help Desk when processing Acceptance Agent applications.

    Role Function Program Purpose
    Assistor 710 33100 Process Form 13551 including reviewing for completeness, conducting suitability checks and inputting applications into RTS.
    Lead/reviewer 710 33101 Reviewing Acceptance Agent applications.
    Clerk 720 33100 Batching Form 13551, maintaining control logs, mailing incomplete or rejected applications back to applicants, Finger Print Card (FPC) processing and forwarding Form 13551 to the Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC).
    Lead/reviewer 880 00000 Conducting an Embedded Quality Review and evaluation of an Acceptance Agent application processed by an assistor.

Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program

  1. Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program, is used to request entry into the IRS Acceptance Agent Program. The type of information requested includes a history of the applicant authorized to assist an individual in the preparation and submission of Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, the nature of the business and primary and alternate contacts.

    Note:

    Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program, must be the latest version. If not, return to applicant using Letter 4963, Returned for Incomplete Application

    .

  2. Faxed copies or photocopies of Form 13551 will not be accepted.

  3. The Austin e-Help Desk Tax Examiner must review each line of Form 13551 for completion. All line items must be completed and are required unless otherwise indicated. If an entry on the Form 13551 is invalid or needs to be updated and the application is not being returned/rejected, circle the incorrect entry in red ink. Any annotations made to the application by an assistor will also be made in red ink.

  4. The following table describes the items on Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program and whether the item is required by the applicant.

    Line Number Item Required Optional Description
      Type of Acceptance Agent X   Types of Acceptance Agents are Acceptance Agent (AA) and Certifying Acceptance Agent (CAA). One of these boxes should be checked by the applicant.
    • If both the Acceptance Agent and Certifying Acceptance Agent boxes are checked or if neither box is checked, return the application as incomplete unless a Forensic Document Training Certificate (FDTC) is attached.

    • If both boxes are checked, neither box is checked or AA box is checked and a Forensic Document Training Certificate (FDTC) is attached, process application as CAA. Use red ink to circle the incorrect entry and/or check the appropriate box to indicate the correct Acceptance Agent Type.

    Note:

    If AA Application History indicates a compliance review was conducted, seeIRM 3.21.264.5.6.8, Previous Rejection or Termination.

      Application Type X   Applicant checks Application Type box as New, Renewal or Amended.
    • New application is for applicant that has never been in the program or their prior agreement has expired. See IRM 3.21.264.5.2.4, New Application Processing, for information on processing new applications.

    • Renewal application is for applicant that is currently in the program and their agreement will expire at the end of the current year. See IRM 3.21.264.5.2.5, Renewal Application Processing, for information on processing renewal applications.

    • Amended application is for applicant that is currently approved in the program and making changes to their application. See IRM 3.21.264.5.2.6, Amended Application Processing. If a signed statement explaining the changes is not attached or if the reason for change is not indicated, return the application as incomplete.


    Research RTS to verify the correct application type is checked. Circle the incorrect entry and indicate the correct type in red ink if needed. Enter comments in RTS, if appropriate, to show receipt of an application and actions taken. See IRM 3.21.264.5.2(3), Processing Acceptance Agent Applications, for additional information.
    1 Description of Applicant's Professional Status and Organizational Status X   Area is split: one for professional status, one for organization. Check one box in each area.
    For Financial or Educational Institutions, Government Agency or a Casino, this takes precedence over their organization structure (such as a corporation or Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)).
    Verify the organization status indicated against Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS).
    • If the type of organization is not checked, research the EIN's filing requirements in IDRS and check the appropriate box in red ink.

    • If the type of organization checked does not match the EIN's income tax filing requirement in IDRS, return the application as incomplete.


    For applicants that are a partnership, corporation, Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) or sole-proprietorship, check the Electronic Return Originator (ERO) box if there is an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) on Line 3 and EIN on Line 4 and match an active/approved e-file application in the EUP (External Customer Data Store (ECDS)). If not, only the appropriate organization's structure (partnership, corporation, Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) or sole-proprietorship) should be checked.
    If the application is from a nonprofit organization, a copy of their IRS exemption letter is required for new applications (Copy of the IRS exemption letter is not required for renewal or amended application). If missing, return Form 13551 as incomplete.
    If proof of Professional Status of the Authorized Representative is missing or has expired (prior to date of application in Line 22):
    • Attorney or Certified Public Accountant (CPA): research their status on the State's Bar Association or Board of Accountancy (or similar) web site. If an active registration is found, attach a copy of the results to the application.

    • Enrolled Agent: If the applicant attached proof of professional status (e.g., EA card from IRS), no additional research is necessary. If the applicant did not attach proof or just write their EA number on Form 13551, research the IRS web site, type Enrolled Agent in the search box, select Active Enrolled Listing for a list of active Enrolled Agents. Active Enrolled Agent Listing is also available at the IRWeb by selecting Business Units>Return Preparer Office>Enrolled Agents, or contact the individual by letter and have them send a copy of their EA card.

    Note:

    Research is not required if the application is missing other information. Include the need for proof of professional status in the Incomplete letter. Proof of Professional Status is not required if person listed on an active EFIN. Search External Customer Data Store (ECDS) by SSN under personal suitability to see if Authorized Representative is listed in any active EFIN.

    2 Legal Name of Business and Name and PTIN of Principal Partner or Owner X   Legal Name of Business must match legal name on IDRS Master File. If neither the legal name or Doing Business As (DBA) name matches the legal name in IDRS, return the application using the incomplete application letter. Indicate in the letter that it does not match IRS records. Do Not enter application in RTS since the EIN may be incorrect.

    Exception:

    If the Line 2 reflects the entity's Doing Business As (DBA) name, draw an arrow down to Line 11 and update Line 2 with the entity's legal name from the IRS master file using red ink. Minor variances such as missing Inc., or LLC on the legal name or acceptance of an ampersand (&) in place of the word and are acceptable if there is enough of the legal name to make an informed decision that this is the correct entity.


    Name and PTIN of Principal, Partner or Owner. Verify PTIN (if provided) using IDRS (RPVUE).

    Note:

    The principal, partner or owner is only required to list a PTIN on Line 2 if one is issued, therefore, you may or may not see a PTIN on this line. Please note that this does not change the requirement for the individual listed on Line 5 of Form 13551.




    If a PTIN is reflected on Line 2 but it is not valid (see IRM 3.21.264.5.1.8, Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) Requirements) or is not listed but the Principal, Partner or Owner is also listed as an Authorized Representative, research IDRS (RPVUE) using their TIN. If a PTIN is found, annotate it on Line 2 and Line 5 and circle any invalid/incorrect PTIN in red ink. If a PTIN is invalid/incorrect and cannot be determined through research, reject the application for a suitability failure, see IRM 3.21.264.5.6.6, Individual Suitability Failure (Owner). If unable to determine PTIN through research, return application as incomplete, see IRM 3.21.264.5.6.1, Incomplete Application Letter.
    3 Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN)   X To be associated with an authorized e-file provider, EFIN should be entered. Research any EFIN listing in External Customer Data Store (ECDS). EFIN must be in an active status and the application completed. Annotate the application's completion date in red above the EFIN. For any EFIN listed on Form 13551, if the EIN in Line 4 does not match the EIN in External Customer Data Store (ECDS) or is no longer valid or on an active/approved e-file application, circle the EFIN in Line 3 in red ink. Do not enter the EFIN in RTS.
    4 Applicant's Employer Identification Number (EIN) X   Must match information on IDRS Master File

    Note:

    If the Employer Identification Number (EIN) does not match IRS records, research IDRS or other system/documents (i.e., External Customer Data Store (ECDS)). If it appears the numbers were transposed and the Entity Name matches the application entry, correct the EIN on Form 13551 and continue to process the application. If unable to identify the correct EIN, return the application to the applicant for corrections.

    5 Name and PTIN of Authorized Representative. X   Name and PTIN of the person authorized to sign application and agreement for applicant.
    PTIN is only required for tax practitioners. Authorized representatives from colleges, universities, VITA/TCE sites, financial institutions, casinos and federal agencies are exempt.
    If PTIN is required and listed in Line 5, verify it using IDRS (CC RPVUE). If application is not being returned for other reasons but PTIN is not valid, circle the number in red ink and research IDRS (RPVUE) using their TIN on Line 7. If found, annotate the PTIN on Line 5 in red ink and include a copy of the IDRS screen. If PTIN is missing or invalid and cannot be found, return the application as incomplete (see IRM 3.21.264.5.6.1).

    Note:

    If applicant's name was omitted from Line 5, but the application is from a sole proprietor or LLC and Line 2 reflects their name and Lines 6-10 pertains to that individual, annotate their name in red ink on Line 5 if that is the only error on the application.

    6 Date of Birth X   Pertains to Authorized Representative from Line 5 in MM/DD/YYYY format. Age must be 18 years as of date of application.
    7 Social Security Number/Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (SSN/ITIN) X   Pertains to Authorized representative from Line 5. Foreign nationals without an Social Security Number/Individual Taxpayer Identification Number can enter N/A.
    • If Line 7 reflects an ITIN but the authorized representative resides in the U.S. (Line 8), reject the application using Letter 4958, Individual Suitability Failure (Individual) and/or Letter 4959, Individual Suitability Failure (Owner).

    • If Line 7 reflects an ITIN but the authorized representative resides outside of the U.S. (Line 8), highlight the ITIN in yellow high lighter.

    Note:

    If Social Security Number/Individual Taxpayer Identification Number does not match IRS records, research IDRS or other system/documents such as the e-file application in External Customer Data Store (ECDS) or an attached Fingerprint card for the correct number. If it appears numbers were transposed and the name and date of birth for the researched TIN matches the Authorized Representative, correct the TIN in red and continue to process the application. If unable to identify the correct TIN, return the application for correction.

    8 Home Address X   Complete address of person from Line 5
    9 Citizenship X   Legal Status of Authorized Representative from Line 5. U.S. Resident Aliens must attach copy of Authorized Representative's "green card" . Non-Resident Alien Authorized Representatives must attach copy of their visa only if their home address reflects they are residing in the U.S. or if the business location on Line 12 reflects a U.S. address.

    Note:

    Copy of unexpired Form I-797A, Notice of Action is acceptable in lieu of Green Card and Employment Authorization Card (EAD/Work Permit) is acceptable in lieu of Visa. If either expired or will expire within 30 days, request new Visa or Green Card from applicant

    . Use IDRS CC DDBOL to verify status.
    If citizenship status on Line 9 does not match IDRS or if IDRS reflects codes "C" , "D" , "E" or "F" , see IRM 3.21.264.5.1.7, Citizenship Processing, for appropriate action.

    Note:

    Do not return application if the citizenship code on IDRS is blank or missing

    10 Assessed Penalties/Fingerprint Requirements. X   If the "yes" box is checked, the Authorized Representative must attach an explanation. Fingerprint cards are also required regardless of their professional status.
    11 Company "Doing Business As" (DBA) name X   If different from the business legal name on line 2
    12 Business Location Address X   Business physical location address (no P.O. Box).
    13 Business Telephone Number X   Business telephone number and e-mail address (required), fax number (optional).
    14 Mailing Address of the Business X   Required only if different from business location address.
    15 Year Round Tax Related Services X   Required if business does not provide tax related services 12 months a year. Applicant must provide a statement explaining why tax related services are not provided year round. Return application as incomplete if missing.
    15a Anticipated Volume of Form W-7 X   Volume must be five or greater for Form W-7 they anticipate submitting during a 12 month calendar period. Applications with a volume of less than five will be returned using Letter 4960, Rejection for Previous Termination, continued review and compliance checks are not required.
    Applications with entries such as Unknown, As many as possible, etc., are not acceptable and will be returned as incomplete using Letter 4963, Incomplete Application Letter after review and compliance checks are performed..
    16 Primary Contact X   Required only if different from the Authorized Representative listed in Line 5.
    17 Alternate Contact   X Enter only if different from Line 5; person must be authorized to contact IRS.
    18 Identify Programs X   Types of customers for whom Form W-7 Applications will be submitted. If the applicant is an Attorney, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Enrolled Agent (EA), Electronic Return Originator (ERO) and Item 18 is the only missing entry, enter "tax preparation" in Item 18 in red ink.
    If application is from a VITA/TCE partner, use red ink to circle any existing entry. For all VITA/TCE applications, annotate the Line "VITA/TCE" in red ink.
    19 Published List Check Box.   X Allows applicant to be listed on the IRS web site.
    20 Name and title of Authorized Representative (listed in Item 5) and Name and title of Principal Partner or Owner (listed in Item 2). X   For Authorized Representatives: If applicant is both the Authorized Representative and owner of the business only one entry is required.

    Note:

    If title is missing but can be determined, annotate in red ink. Example: If Authorized Representative is an Attorney, enter "Attorney" as their title.


    For principal, partner or owner: If an EFIN is listed in Line 3, the owner's name must be the Principal associated with the EFIN. If the Principal's name in Line 20 is not listed as the Principal for the EFIN in External Customer Data Store (ECDS), circle the EFIN in Line 3 and continue to process the application. Do not enter the EFIN in RTS. Notate on the Profile Sheet that the Principal on the Form 13551 is not reflected as Principal in External Customer Data Store (ECDS). For all others, it must be an individual authorized to legally bind the business indicated by the EIN in Line 4. Exhibit 3.21.264-15 reflects a partial list of acceptable titles for a principal, partner or owner. If the application reflects another title, contact the individual listed on the Form 13551 and verify they have the authority to legally bind the entity. If not, return application for an appropriate signature using Letter 4963, Incomplete Application Letter; see Letter 4963, Return for Incomplete Application. .
    21 Signature of Authorized Representative, and Signature of Principal, Partner or Owner X   Must agree with the names in Line 20. Only original signatures are acceptable, do not accept faxed, copied or stamped signatures. If the Authorized Representative is also the owner, only one signature is required.
    22 Date X   Signature date.
  5. Form 13551 Continuation Sheet is for Additional locations and/or Authorized Representative(s) and contains space for four Additional Representatives.

    • If Page 1 is signed by the Principal, Partner or Owner, Page 3 may be submitted without Page 4.

    • A maximum of ten Authorized Representatives is permitted per location. Return application as incomplete if more than ten individuals are listed as Authorized Representatives.

    Line Number Item Required Optional Description
      Legal Name of Business X   Same as Page 1, Line 2 (and Line 11, if applicable)
      Business EFIN   X Same as Page 1, Line 3
      Business EIN X   Same as Page 1, Line 4
      Business Location Address X   Same as Page 1, Line 12

    Note:

    If Continuation Sheets are attached, compare the Business location address with Business location address on Line 12 on Page 1 to determine additional location(s).

      Professional Status of Authorized Representative X   Same as Page 1, Line 1
    5 Name and PTIN of Authorized Representative X   Same as Page 1, Line 5
    6 Date of Birth X   Same as Page 1, Line 6
    7 SSN/TIN X   Same as Page 1, Line 7
    8 Home Address X   Same as Page 1, Line 8
    9 Citizenship X   Same as Page 1, Line 9
    10 Assessed Penalties/Fingerprint Requirements X   Same as Page 1, Line 10
    13 Business Telephone, Fax Number and E-mail address X   Same as Page 1, Line 13 Business telephone (required), fax number and E-mail address (optional).
    14 Mailing Address of Business X   Required only if different from business location address at the top of Page 3. When inputting application into RTS, if Line 14 is blank, duplicate information from the Business Location Address on Page 3.

    Note:

    If the Continuation Sheet reflects an additional location:

    1. with a different mailing address than on Line 14 of Page 1, enter the location in RTS (see IRM 3.21.264.7.3).

    2. with the mailing address the same as the entry on Line 14 of Page 1, return the application using Letter 4963 with the appropriate incomplete reason.

      Name and Title of Authorized Representative X   Must agree with entry in Line 5
      Signature of Authorized Representative X   Must agree with name in Line 5
      Date X   Signature Date
    16 Name and Contact Information for Primary and Alternate Contact   X Complete only if Contacts for the location are not already listed as the Contacts on Page 1, Line 16
      Name and Title of Principal, Partner or Owner X   Same as Page 1, Line 20
      Signature of Principal, Partner or Owner X   Same as Page 1, Line 21
Additional Application Documents
  1. In addition to the Form 13551, applications must include the following documents (if missing, return Form 13551 as incomplete (see IRM 3.21.264.5.6.1):

    1. Except as indicated below, an Attorney, Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Enrolled Agent (EA) must submit proof of their professional status. Documentation includes a copy of an unexpired license issued by a State Bar Association, State Board of Accountancy or Enrolled Agent card issued by the IRS is required.

      Note:

      Search External Customer Data Store (ECDS) by SSN under personal suitability, if the authorized representative is also listed on an active EFIN, proof of professional status is not required.

    2. All other applicants must submit a properly completed fingerprint card (FPC).

      Exception:

      The following do not have to submit a Fingerprint card: a principal or responsible official listed on an existing active e-file application, representatives from a VITA/TCE partner, representatives of an educational institution, casino, federal government agency, financial institution or a foreign applicant residing outside the United States.

      Note:

      Unless otherwise exempt, U.S. citizens residing outside the United States and working for a foreign business will still be required to submit Fingerprint card .

      Note:

      Except for foreign nationals living outside of the U.S., a positive (“yes”) response to Item 10 (assessed penalties/criminal convictions) requires submission of a Fingerprint card regardless of professional status or organization affiliation.

       

    3. Green card (also known as a United States Permanent Resident Card): if the applicant indicated in Item 9 ( Citizenship) that they were an U.S. Resident Alien, they must attach an unexpired copy of their green card.

      Note:

      Copy of unexpired Form I-797A, Notice of Action is acceptable in lieu of Green Card.

    4. Visa: if the applicant is a foreign national with a home address or business location address (Items 8 or 12, respectively) in the United States, they must attach a copy of their Visa.

      Note:

      Employment Authorization Card (EAD/Work Permit) is acceptable in lieu of visa. If EAD expired or will expire within 30 days, request new Visa from applicant.

    5. For new CAA applications or amended applications adding a new Authorized Representative, the original completed forensic document training certificate is required. Renewal CAA applicants must submit a new, original, FDTC with their application.

      Exception:

      Applications from VITA/TCE partners.

    6. Mandatory Acceptance Agent Training Certification Statement Exhibit 3.21.264-1, ITIN Acceptance Agent Training Certificate Statement. Effective May 1, 2010, all applicants (including renewals) must complete the mandatory ITIN Acceptance Agent training on the IRS web site and attach a signed copy of the certification statement.
      Mandatory Training Certification statements dated more than 120 days of the applicant’s signature are not acceptable.
      Each Authorized Representative must sign a separate statement (return application with multiple signatures on one statement as being incomplete).
      A facsimile copy of a signed training statement is acceptable.

      Note:

      The Mandatory Acceptance Agent training certification statement is available online at the end of the ITIN Acceptance Agent Training Power Point on the IRS.gov website. To access the training, use the search feature in the upper right corner of the www.IRS.gov home page. Enter "How to become an Acceptance Agent," , click "Search," and find the link to the ITIN Acceptance Agent Training Power Point. Each authorized representative must sign and attach a training statement.

      Exception:

      The IPS may approve an exception that allows an entity (EIN) to send in a cover letter with their application in lieu of individual mandatory training certificates. The cover letter states that all Authorized Representatives listed on the accompanying Form 13551 have completed the required mandatory training.

    7. Explanation statement and fingerprint cards if "Yes" box was checked on Line 10 (indicating assessment of a preparer penalty, conviction of a crime, etc.).

    8. Explanation statement if "No" box was checked on Line 15 indicating business does not provide year round tax related services.

    9. A signed statement is required if the Form 13551 is for an amended application but a reason for the change is not indicated.

    10. IRS exemption letter for new applications from a nonprofit organization.

Incomplete Applications
  1. Applications received must contain an original complete Form 13551 and documentation indicated in Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program. See IRM 3.21.264.5.1. Photo or facsimile copies of an application are not acceptable. Applications with an incomplete Form 13551 or missing required documentation will be returned to the applicant using Letter 4963, , Returned for Incomplete Application.

  2. It is essential to identify all incomplete/missing items initially. Except as indicated below, applications will not be returned a second time for any additional items not identified on the initial letter. If subsequent processing identifies an incomplete/missing item, process the application but notate the omission on the Profile Sheet. The Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC) will contact the applicant for the missing information.

    Note:

    If applicant submits two incomplete applications (original and new), they can be combined if the necessary information is there to make one complete application. The application that is used must have a valid signature from the applicant.

    1. If the application was initially returned for a missing or invalid EIN, it will be rejected if there is a tax compliance failure on the EIN listed on the resubmitted application. Use Letter 4961, Rejection for Unresolved Tax Compliance Issue - Business/Owner to notify the owner of the rejection.

    2. If the EIN passes the business tax compliance check but the application only reflects one Authorized Representative and they fail their suitability checks (including their tax compliance check), the application will be rejected . Use Letter 4958, Rejection - Suitability for Authorized Representative or Letter 4959 , Rejection for Individual Suitability - Owner, (as appropriate) to notify the owner and/or Authorized Representative that failed the suitability check.

      Note:

      If Authorized Representative is also the owner, only Letter 4959, Rejection for Individual Suitability - Owner is required.

    3. If the EIN passes the business tax compliance check and the application reflects multiple Authorized Representatives, at least one of who passes their suitability checks, accept the application and process it for the accepted Representative. Use Letter 4959 to notify the business owner. Use Letter 4958 to notify each representative that failed their suitability check.

    4. If application reflects more than ten Authorized Representatives for a single location, return the application as incomplete. However, review each Authorized Representative to ensure their information is complete (PTIN, citizenship status, signature, title, etc.) and conduct a tax compliance check only for the EIN.

  3. If the applicant is an attorney, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Enrolled Agent (EA) or Electronic Return Originator (ERO) and:

    1. If Item 18 is the only missing entry, enter "tax preparation" in Item 18 in red ink, or

    2. If proof of professional status was not attached, attempt to obtain a copy/verify status. For an attorney, research the applicant’s State Bar Association’s web site. For a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), research the State’s Board of Accountancy’s web site. For an Enrolled Agent (EA), research the IRS web site, type Enrolled Agent in the search box, select Active Enrolled Listing for a list of active Enrolled Agents. Active Enrolled Agent Listing is also available at the IRWeb by selecting Business Units>Return Preparer Office>Enrolled Agents, or contact the individual by letter and have them send a copy of their EA card.

      Note:

      If the authorized representative is also listed on an active EFIN, proof of professional status is not required.

    Note:

    If additional items are incomplete/missing, do not annotate Item 18 but include it as an incomplete item requiring a response from the applicant. If professional status cannot be verified, application will also be returned as incomplete.

     

  4. The envelope the application was received in and all original documents (including Fingerprint card) received with the application will be returned to the applicant. If Fingerprint card was required and not submitted, include 2 blank cards with Publication 5173, Acceptance Agent Fingerprint Card Stuffer for each applicant requiring a background investigation check. See IRM 3.21.264.5.4.

  5. Applications received outside of a renewal period are not entered in RTS; however, Letter 4965,Return for Submission Outside of Renewal Period will reflect any missing items. See IRM 3.21.264.5.6.3.

    Note:

    Copies of the incomplete application Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program, are no longer maintained by the e-Help Desk. It is critical assistors enter accurate and complete Comments in RTS or the EHSS Incident in the event the applicant or CSPC calls about the status of the application. EHSS incidents have the correct letter attached.

     

  6. The Fingerprint card for an Authorized Representative subject to a FBI background investigation must include the following: If missing, return the Fingerprint card as incomplete

    • Authorized Representative's name

    • Authorized Representative's date of birth

    • Authorized Representative's SSN/ITIN if a U.S. citizen or non-resident alien (Item 9, Form 13551)

    • Authorized Representative's sex

    • Signature of the Authorized Representative

    • Signature of the individual taking the fingerprints. If Authorized Representative signs the Fingerprint card as having taken their own fingerprints, reject the Fingerprint card.

    • Applications will not be returned solely because they were not taken on a FD-258. If the Fingerprint card cannot be processed using the AEF system, it will be returned by the clerical staff or designated reviewer.

      Note:

      If the Authorized Representative's name or date of birth is the only item missing on the Fingerprint card, compare the Social Security Number/Individual Taxpayer Identification Number on the Fingerprint card with the information on the Form 13551 and on IDRS (CC INOLES). If the Fingerprint card can be positively associated with the Authorized Representative listed on the Form 13551, annotate the Fingerprint card with the missing name or date of birth. (Only the name or date of birth may be blank but not both. If both are missing, return the Fingerprint card as incomplete).

    .

  7. Except for applications with more than ten Authorized Representatives at one location, suitability/tax compliance checks will be conducted on the company and all Authorized Representatives listed on incomplete application whenever possible. See IRM 3.21.264.5.3, Tax Compliance Checks. Letter returning the incomplete application will reflect any suitability issues. See IRM 3.21.264.5.6.1, Incomplete Application Letter.

    Note:

    Individual suitability issues will only be addressed to the Authorized Representative they pertain to. See IRM 3.21.264.5.6.7, Individual Suitability Failure (Individual).

  8. If an incomplete application is being returned:

    • and passes tax compliance/suitability checks, follow the procedures in IRM 3.21.264.5.5.2 .

    • also reflects suitability failures, follow the procedures in IRM 3.21.264.5.5.3 .

Responses to Incomplete Application or Rejection Letter
  1. For new or renewal applications, responses to an incomplete/missing information letter must be postmarked within 30 days of the date on the letter.. Applications received after that date will be processed as a new application.

    Exception:

    For applications with a non - U.S. mailing address, allow an additional 15 days response time for processing by the foreign postal system and transit time. Additionally, applications from disaster areas may be authorized additional response time. Review the news releases on the IRS website (keyword search "(Tax Relief in Disaster Situations IRS)" for affected areas and additional allowable time).

  2. For new or renewal applications, if the application is returned but still missing the requested information, the application will be rejected and returned to the applicant using letter indicated in IRM 3.21.264.5.6.2, Failure to Respond Within 30 Days or Provide Missing Information. Include appropriate comments in RTS that a reply was received but the missing information was not provided. Leave the application status in an I2 - (Incomplete/Invalid) application status. When the letter is reviewed/approved for release, the reviewer will change the status to REJECTED.

  3. If a response is received for an application previously returned for a tax compliance issue, the issue(s) must be reflected in IDRS as having been resolved or the individual must provide proof of their resolution as follows:

    • If all situations that caused the application's return have been resolved, include appropriate comments in RTS and change the application's status from REJECTED to "P2" (passed). If fingerprint card require processing, make a second RTS comment that the Fingerprint card was pulled and change the status to "I3" (pending Fingerprint card check).

    • If the application was previously rejected for missing returns and the applicant included copies of them, research IDRS to determine if they have been received.
      If reflected on IDRS, the copies can be classified and process the application as required. Include a comment the missing returns have been processed. If the returns have not been processed, access the Austin Routing Guide at https://program.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/WICASSpAuRCO/DRG/SitePages/CampusListing.aspx . Click the "ausc_stops" campus listing and transship the returns to the appropriate address. Include a comment in RTS that the missing returns were received and forwarded for processing. Change the application's status from REJECTED to "P2" (passed) and process the application as required.

    • If the application was previously rejected for missing returns and the applicant either includes a letter from the Business Specialty office or signs a letter stating that they were not liable for the returns, process the application as required. Include a comment in RTS (and on the Profile Sheet) a letter was received and the applicant was not liable for the missing return(s) and include the letter/statement in the packet going to the CSPC.

    • If the situation that caused the initial rejection has not been resolved, reject the application using Letter 4956,, Rejection - Fail to Provide Information in 30 Days. See IRM 3.21.264.5.6.2 , Failure to Respond Within 30 days or Provide Missing Information). Include appropriate comments in RTS that a reply was received but the situation remains unresolved (indicate what the situation was). Application status will remain REJECTED.

    Note:

    Do not reject the application if an entity or Authorized Representative had initially passed their tax compliance check but now has a filing requirement for a subsequent return or has incurred a new liability as a result of processing a subsequent return.

  4. If the application had previously been returned for a missing or invalid EIN (as indicated by a copy of the incomplete letter attached to the resubmitted application):

    • Conduct a business tax compliance check using the EIN on Line 4 as required by IRM 3.21.264.5.3.5 Business Employer Identification Number (EIN) Tax Compliance Check .

    • Conduct an individual tax compliance check for all Authorized representative(s).

    • As an exception to IRM 3.21.264.5.1.2, Incomplete Applications, to returning an application a second time, reject the application as indicated in IRM 3.21.264.5.3.5, Individual Tax Compliance Check if the tax compliance checks now identify a suitability failure.

    • Record results of the tax compliance checks in RTS.

  5. If an application was previously entered in RTS, the assistor assigned to process the resubmitted application will:

    • review all entries in RTS to ensure they reflect the information as reflected on it and update RTS as necessary.

    • update the IRS received date to reflect when the resubmitted application was received.

    • not conduct a business and/or individual tax compliance check(s) if previously conducted and passed. However, in order to pass the RTS edits, the tax compliance check date will be updated to the current date.

Applications from Volunteer Income Tax Assistance/Tax Counseling for the Elderly (VITA/TCE) Partners
  1. Austin e-Help Desk employees will receive AA applications from Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Partners. These applications are annotated "VITA/TCE Partner" across the top for easy identification.

    Note:

    If Form 13551 is not properly annotated "VITA/TCE Partner" but the applicant checked the "Other" and entered "VITA Site" , process as a "VITA/TCE Partner" application. Also, if you see VITA/TCE in the Line 18 description of Form 13551, process as VITA/TCE. Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC) will review the application and verify Forensic Training. However, a Mandatory Training Certificate is required for each authorized representative.

  2. These applications are exempt from the background check except when block 10 is marked "Yes" . All other application requirements are applicable unless otherwise noted in the guidelines outlined in the table below.

    If... Then...
    VITA/TCE Site list volunteers as authorized user of the EFIN on the e-file application Accept application as valid.
    An EFIN is not present on the application, Complete normal processing, annotate the application and forward to the CSPC.
    The EIN on Form 13551 does not match the EIN listed in External Customer Data Store (ECDS) for the EFIN, Circle the EFIN in red on Form 13551. Print the information and attach to the application. It will be reviewed when the application is sent to the CSPC.
    Item 18 is blank, Accept application as valid. Annotate in red "VITA/TCE" if missing.
  3. New applications from a VITA/TCE partner operated by a nonprofit organization must include a copy of the organization's IRS exemption letter.

Applications Received Outside of Renewal Window
  1. Renewal applications are application requests from applicants with a current Acceptance Agent agreement and will only be accepted during the year the current agreement expires. To prevent a lapse in service, Acceptance Agents should submit a renewal application at least 6 months before the expiration date.

  2. Agreements previously terminated or expired will be processed as a "new" application.

  3. Except as indicated in IRM 3.21.264.5.2.5, Renewal Application Processing, renewal applications received outside of the renewal period will be rejected and returned to the applicant using Letter 4965 , Returned for Submission Outside of Renewal Period. Include in the letter any missing items or documents and attach a copy of the letter to the Incident in EHSS.

  4. Renewal applications received outside of the renewal period will not be input into RTS. However, a comment will be entered in RTS for the existing approved record reflecting that the renewal application was received prior to the renewal period and returned.

  5. Tax compliance checks will not be performed on any application being returned for being outside of the renewal period window.

Applications with Multiple Representatives
  1. Organizations must submit Form 13551 Continuation Sheet for each individual authorized representative when more than one employee is authorized. A maximum of ten (10) authorized representatives is permitted per location. If Form 13551 reflects more than 10 authorized representatives for one location, return the application as incomplete (see IRM 3.21.264.5.6.1). Do not conduct a suitability or individual tax compliance check on any of the authorized representatives.

  2. If one authorized representative passes their individual tax compliance check (see IRM 3.21.264.5.3.2, Individual Tax Compliance Check), but another representative fails:

    • Include a comment in RTS indicating the individual who failed their tax compliance check and the reason why. Do not include them in the "Authorized Representative of the Business" block in RTS. Process the application with only the information for the individual(s) that passed.

    • Notify the representative who failed their tax compliance. See Letter 4958, Rejection - Suitability for Authorized Representative. If appropriate, send a letter to the business owner to notify them a representative on their application did not pass their suitability check. See Letter 4959, Rejection for Individual Suitability - Owner.

    Note:

    Do not include the specific reason(s) or the name of the authorized representative that failed their suitability check in the letter sent to the business owner.

Citizenship Processing
  1. Assistors will use IDRS Command Code DDBOL to verify the citizenship status.

    • If IDRS reflects any of the following codes, application should be rejected using Letter 4959, Rejection for Individual Suitability - Owner, to the owner indicating their representative did not pass the suitability check but do not indicate the specific reason. Additionally, send Letter 4958, Rejection - Suitability for Authorized Representative to the authorized representative indicating their citizenship status does not match IRS records and request they provide proof of their legal status.

      Note:

      If the citizenship mismatch is for an authorized representative who is also the principal/partner/owner that signed the application and they are the only authorized representative listed on the Form 13551, return the application as incomplete using Letter 4963, Returned for Incomplete Application.

      Code Reason
      C Alien not allowed to work
      D Not an American citizen, legal alien or alien not allowed to work
      E Alien Student
      F Condition - legal alien
    • If applicant indicates on the Form 13551 they are a U.S. citizen, then IDRS must reflect code "A" (American Citizen). If IDRS reflects code "B" (Legal Alien), return the application using Letter 4958 and Letter 4959.

    • Do not return an application if the citizenship code on IDRS is blank.

  2. Include a copy of the DDBOL screen for each authorized representative as part of any application packet.

Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) Requirements
  1. A Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) must be obtained by all enrolled agents, as well as all tax return preparers who are compensated for preparing, or assisting in the preparation of all, or substantially all, of any U.S. federal tax return.

  2. The principal, partner or owner listed on Line 2 of Form 13551 must also include their PTIN, if issued.

  3. Except as indicated below, all authorized representatives on Line 5 of Form 13551 must include their PTIN.

    Exception:

    CPA or Attorney (or person working directly under), college or university, financial institution, gaming industry (casino), federal agency, VITA, LITC, or foreign entity that does not provide tax preparation.

  4. To research a PTIN use IDRS (CC RPVUE) with the current processing year as indicated below. Include a copy of the RPVUE screen for each authorized representative in the application document packet, see IRM 3.21.264.5.5.

    • To research by SSN:
      RPVUE YYYYNNN-NN-NNNNP

    • To research by PTIN:
      RPVUE YYYYPNNNNNNNN P

      Note:

      There is one space between the CC and processing year (YYYY). When researching by PTIN there are two spaces after the PTIN (PNNNNNNNN) and the definer code "P" .

  5. Use the following table to determine what action to take when a PTIN is researched:

    Status Definition Action
    Applicant The status assigned to an individual who has submitted an application, however, has yet to complete the process required to be issued a PTIN (e.g., individual has yet to pay their application fee). Return application as incomplete.
    Pending Tax preparer was issued a PTIN, but is not qualified to prepare tax returns for the year specified on their PTIN application. At the start of the new calendar year, the pending status will update to Active or Provisional. Return application as incomplete.

    Exception:

    Process applications received during the PTIN annual renewal period October 1 to December 31.

    Active The status assigned to a PTIN holder who has self-attested to having one of the following credentials:
    • Certified Public Accountant

    • Attorney

    • or who has one of the following IRS issued credentials:

      • Enrolled Agent

      • Registered Tax Returned Preparer

      • Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent

      • Enrolled Actuary

    Process application
    Provisional The status assigned to a tax preparer who is required to meet additional steps before becoming Active (e.g., passing a competency test and/or tax compliance check). Process application
    Withdrawn The status assigned when an individual was issued a PTIN and later informed the IRS they were not required to obtain one. If not required to obtain one, they should provide the documentation with the application. If not included with application, return it as incomplete for the documentation.
    Expired The status assigned when a PTIN holder fails to renew. Reject application
    Inactive The status assigned when a PTIN holder who no longer practice requests to be placed in an inactive retirement status. Reject application
    Suspended The status assigned when the IRS determines a PTIN holder is temporarily not fit to practice. Reject application
    Revoked The status assigned when the IRS determines a PTIN holder is not fit to practice. Reject application
    Deceased The status assigned when a PTIN holder is deceased. Reject application
    Expired -DNRW The status assigned when a PTIN holder never renewed for previous year and does not have any open renewal for current years. Reject application

    Note:

    PTIN(s) fall under personal suitability. If an Authorized Representative's PTIN is expired, voluntarily inactive, suspended, revoked or for a deceased individual, send Letter 4958, Rejection - Suitability for Authorized Representative to the Authorized Representative to notify them they failed their suitability check. Send Letter 4959 , Rejection for Individual Suitability - Owner to notify the business owner one of the Authorized Representatives on their application failed their suitability check but do not disclose who or why.

Forensic Document Training Requirements
  1. All Authorized Representatives listed on a CAA application must complete a forensic document training course by an accredited vendor. The training is at the CAAs own expense and must provide the skills to effectively recognize fraudulent documents, particularly passports, driver's licenses, birth certificates, visas, national identification cards, military and US state ID cards. To identify a provider, E-help desk assistors should direct applicants to the internet for a vendor. The IRS does not endorse any specific individual or firm.

    Exception:

    CAA applications from VITA/TCE partners do not need to submit proof of completion of FDTC. The Stakeholder Partnerships, Education & Communication (SPEC) office will provide a listing of applicants that have taken the FDTC directly to the IPS.

  2. For an amended CAA application adding a new Authorized Representative and all new or renewal CAA applications, the original FDTC certificate must be provided with the application.

    Note:

    If original FDTC is not attached to the Form 13551 application, research RTS comments for indication of receipt of original FDTC. If original FDTC not provided, reject application and return to applicant.

  3. If the FDTC is the only document missing on a resubmitted application, allow the TE to call the applicant and have them mail the FDTC. If the FDTC not received within 15 days, reject application. Add Comment in RTS applicant failed to submit FDTC, etc.

  4. The following certificates are not acceptable:

    • Except for those from the University of West Virginia, any computer generated certificate.

    • Certificates more than four years old.

    • Certificate listing more than one Authorized Representative. Each Authorized Representative must provide their own certificate.

    • Certificate signed by same individual as both the instructor and student.

    • Certificate issued by the firm applying for the program.

    • Facsimile copy.

  5. Questionable certificates will be referred to the IPS for a determination/decision on their validity on whether they meet the requirements for fraudulent document identification.

  6. Tax Examiners are to add comments in RTS history stating the receipt of original FDTC including the date taken.

Processing Acceptance Agent Applications

  1. Exhibit 3.21.264-2 is a chart showing ITIN AA application processing.

  2. The goal for assistors is to process an application within two weeks of receipt by the IRS. Assistors will process applications in their cubby as follows:

    • Applications returned by a Lead/Reviewer for corrections.

    • Unless directed otherwise by a Manager or Lead, remaining applications in ascending Incident management (IM) sequence.

  3. Use the following table to determine how to process an Acceptance Agent application. Correct the Type of application on the Form 13551 in red ink if necessary.

    If... And... Then... IRM Reference
    the EIN does not exist in RTS   process the application as "new" see IRM 3.21.264.5.2.4, New Application Processing
    the EIN is in RTS the status is "I2 - Incomplete/Invalid Application" for either a new or renewal record finish processing the incomplete application as appropriate  
    RTS reflects the current agreement as SUSPENDED, REJECTED or TERMINATED the eligibility date to reapply has been reached process the application as "new" see IRM 3.21.264.5.2.4, New Application Processing
    the date eligible to reapply has not expired reject the application see IRM 3.21.264.5.6.8, Previous Rejection or Termination and IRM 3.21.264.5.5.3, Rejected Application Documentation
    RTS reflects the current agreement as APPROVED the agreement expires at the end of the current year process the application as a "renewal" see IRM 3.21.264.5.2.5, Renewal Application Processing
    RTS reflects the current agreement as APPROVED but the agreement does not expire at the end of current year the Form 13551 reflects different information than RTS process the application as "amended" see IRM 3.21.264.5.2.6, Amended Application Processing
    there is no change in information reject application if Form 13551 is marked as a "renewal" otherwise call Authorized Representative listed in RTS for clarification see IRM 3.21.264.5.1.5, Applications Received Outside of Renewal Window
Control of Applications
  1. Form 13551 will be controlled from receipt in the e-Help Desk until either returned to the applicant or processed by a Lead/Reviewer for forwarding to the CSPC using the Incident Management (IM) capability in the e-Help Support System (EHSS) (IRM 3.42.7.4).

Receipt of Applications/Establish e-Help Support System (EHSS), Incident Management(IM) Case
  1. On a daily basis upon receipt of ITIN AA application, the e-Help Desk clerk will date stamp when the Form 13551 was received by Austin e-Help Desk.

  2. Using EHSS, the clerk will create an Incident Management (IM) for each application.

    • Status will be "Open Researching"

    • Business Unit will be "e-Help Paper"

    • Product Type will be "710–33100 ITIN AA"

    • Problem Type will be either New, Renewal or Amended based on the Application Type selected on Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program.

    • Source will be "Correspondence"

    • Batch Volume (Qty of Paper) will be "1" .

    • Batch Volume (+/- Adjustment) will be "0"

    • Batch Received Date (Paper) will be the date stamped on the Form 13551 when it was received by the IRS. If IRS received date is missing, use the postmark date on the envelope the application was received in. If no postmark date or envelope, use the current date received in the Austin e-Help Desk.

    • Provider Group will be "Austin Assistors"

    • Assignee will be "Unassigned Assistor"

  3. For the Contact update the IM using:

    • EFIN from Line 3. If not found, use

    • EIN from Line 4. If not found, use

    • Legal name of business from Line 2. If not found, use

    • Principal, partner or owner's name from Line 2. If not found, enter "e-Product user" as the Contact

  4. For the Description in the IM, enter "ITIN AA Application" and the EIN from Line 4 (if indicated). Additionally, if the Contact was "e-Product user" , enter

    • the company's legal or Doing Business As (DBA) name (Lines 2 or 11 respectively)

    • name of the principal, partner or owner from the lower entry on Line 2. If blank, use name from Line 5

      Note:

      Never enter an applicant's Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) in E-Help Support Services (EHSS).

    • After all updates have been made to the IM, save and exit the Incident.

  5. The clerk will annotate the Incident Management (IM) number in red ink in the block titled For Official Use Only Control number in the upper right corner of each Form 13551.

  6. The clerk will put the Form 13551 and all incoming documentation (including the incoming envelope) in a folder. The EIN listed in Item 4 of the Form 13551 will be annotated on a label and attached to the right-most position of the file folder.

    • If Item 4 is blank, annotate the label with the applicant's TIN from Item 7 of the Form 13551. If Item 7 is blank or reflects a PTIN, annotate the label with the business name from Item 2.

    • Annotate the label with the Incident Management (IM) number vertically on the right side.

  7. The clerk will place the application folder on the AA application cart in ascending IM sequence.

  8. Designated assistors will work applications based on the oldest IRS received date as indicated by the inventory listing in EHSS.

    • The inventory list by IRS receive date will be placed on a clipboard on top of the AA application cart.

    • The designated assistors on evaluative review will check out the oldest application on the inventory list, write their name on the clipboard next to the Incident and assign themselves the incident in EHSS.

    • The Lead or Manager will assign applications to designated assistors on non-evaluative review in EHSS and clipboard.

    • The assistor will search EHSS by EIN to identify applications with the same EIN. If found, the assistor will pull the folders and take the applications to the Lead to combine and close the incident as duplicate. The Lead will mark through the Incident number on Form 13551 and write the IM number in "red" ink.

    Caution:

    Use the EFIN to research Corporate EINs to determine if there are other applications with the same EFIN (location).

    Note:

    Applications will not be assigned to an assistor scheduled to be absent for more than one day.

Incident Management (IM) Updates
  1. After an application has been researched/processed (including creating any appropriate letter or Profile Sheet), the assistor will update the associated Incident Management (IM) as follows:

    • Change Status of the case to "Pending Internal"

    • Change the Provider Group to "Austin Leads"

    • Verify that the appropriate Problem Type (New, Renewal or Amended) was selected when the case was created. If not, correct/change accordingly.

    • If necessary, delete any entry from the Assignee field so it is blank

    • If necessary, change the Batch Volume (+/- Adjustment) to reflect the number of additional multiple locations and/or Authorized Representatives

    Example:

    If the application reflected a total of three authorized representatives, enter "2" in the adjustment field. If the application reflected two locations, enter a "1" in the adjustment field. If the application contained a total of four authorized representatives and three locations, enter "6" in the adjustment field.

    • Search for and apply an appropriate solution.

    • In the Activities section, select "Analysis/Research" from the Assistor Update Type drop down menu.

    • Enter comments in the Assistor Update Entry block to reflect action taken.

      Note:

      If the application was entered in RTS, only general comments are required, (example: "Passed" , "Rejected-TCC-B failed" or "Incomplete" ).

      However, if the application was not entered in RTS, include detailed comments on any action taken, (example: "Incomplete-EIN invalid and missing Line 18" , or "Envelope postmarked 4/10/2014" ). If an incomplete or rejection letter was created, comment will also identify which letter is attached to the IM. Example: "Incomplete" , see attached Letter 4963, or Rejected-TCC-B failed, see attached Letter 4961 .

    • A copy of all incomplete or rejection letters will be attached to the Incident. Indicate the Incident and letter numbers as the title of the attachment. For individual suitability/tax compliance failures, include the last name of the Authorized Representative in parenthesis. Example: "IM00000 Ltr 4963" or "IM00000 Ltr. 4958 (Jones)" .

    • Select Save and Exit icon on the toolbar to capture all changes.

  2. Once the changes have been made to the Incident Management (IM), the assistor will put the application folder on the appropriate ITIN cart as specified in IRM 3.21.264.5.2.2.

Transfer of Assignment
  1. If an assistor is not available to process an application previously assigned to them or to maintain workflow, a Lead/Manager will re-assign the application to another assistor. by updating the Assignee on the Incident Management (IM).

Releasing Case Control/Closing e-Help Support System (EHSS), Incident Management (IM)
  1. Designated reviewers/leads will review applications by ascending IRS received date within the following priority:

    • Applications requiring Fingerprint card processing

    • All other applications

  2. Reviewer/lead will:

    • Verify application was processed in accordance with this IRM

    • For applications being passed or rejected, review the assistors recommendation. If they disagree with the recommendation, return the application to the assistor and indicate why. If they agree with the recommendation, indicate their recommendation and sign the Profile Sheet in the appropriate area.

    • Review any incomplete or rejection letters attached to the Incident. Ensure letters are addressed to the proper recipient and have been stamped with the e-Help Desk Operations Manager's signature. If letter contains errors, return it to the assistor for correction.

      Note:

      The letters in EHSS are in read only status. For minor errors (typographical error, formatting, etc.), the reviewer/lead may correct the letter by accessing it in EHSS, after corrections are made, change the SEID on the letter to reviewer/lead SEID and save the new letter. Print a copy of the corrected letter and attach it to the Incident. Delete the previous letter from the IM. Stamp the corrected letter being sent to the applicant with the e-Help Desk Operations Manager's signature and classify the previous letter.

    • Date stamp letter(s) and ensure no internal IRS documents or printouts are included.

    • Put letter in a sealed envelope and place it in the out-going mail basket.

    • Conduct quality review (see IRM 3.21.264.5.7).

    • Classify documents/printouts once application has been reviewed.

    • Recycle the application folder.

    • Put passed applications that were entered in RTS in the basket for forwarding to the CSPC. Passed applications that could not be entered in RTS or require exception processing will be placed in the basket for forwarding to CSPC.

  3. The reviewer/lead will update the Incident management (IM) assigned to the application.

    • Update the Assignee field with their name

    • In the Activities section, select "Operator Update" from the Assistor Update Type drop down menu

    • Indicate the letter number and date mailed (same date stamped on letter) in the Assistor Update Entry block if the application is incomplete or being rejected and returned to the applicant.

    • If application is passed or amended application for a miscellaneous change, indicate date when the application will be forwarded to the CSPC in the Assistor Update Entry block

    • Select the Save icon on the toolbar to capture all changes

    • Select the Close incident icon on the toolbar to close the case

Dispatching Applications
  1. Incomplete applications and rejected applications will be mailed daily.

  2. Applications being passed or amended will be forwarded to the CSPC anytime there are at least 24 packets in the CSPC basket. Regardless of the number, applications will be forward to the CSPC on the last workday each week.

  3. On the day the applications are sent to the CSPC, the e-Help Desk clerk or designated assistor will update applications in RTS.

    • Enter a comment "the application was forward to the CSPC"

    • Toggle the check box to indicate application was sent to the CSPC

    • For the "Date transmitted to CSPC" , use the same date shown on the Form 3210 (Document Transmittal) in paragraph (7) below.

  4. Applications will be mailed to the CSPC at the following address:
    Internal Revenue Service
    Mail Stop 362
    201 W. Rivercenter Blvd.
    Covington, KY 41011

  5. Prepare Form 3210 listing the applications in EIN sequence, include the legal name, AA or CAA, notate new, renewal or amended for each EIN. Copy 4 will be temporarily filed in a binder on the ITIN AA cart. Copy 1 and 3 will accompany the applications in a separate envelope. Copy 2 will be included in each envelope indicated the applications contained within. See Exhibit 3.21.264-4, Form 3210, Document Transmittal.

  6. Applications will be packaged to prevent damage and sent by ground delivery. Applications will be double wrapped as required for shipping packages containing SBU and sensitive PII documents. Complete Form 9814, Request for Mail/Shipping Service, have a manager sign, and tape to the outside of the package. Annotate in the top margin of the form "Request Tracking Number" . Date the Form 9814 the same as the date on Form 3210. See Exhibit 3.21.264-5, (Form 9814, Request for Mail/Shipping Service ).

  7. File the copy of Form 9814 returned from the mail room with the tracking information with the associated Form 3210 in the binder.

  8. When the signed Form 3210 copy 3 reflecting receipt by the CSPC is received, replace the matching copy 4 in the binder. The associated Form 9814 will be retained but Copy 4 will be classified.

Acceptance Agent Carts
  1. The Work in Progress cart has individual bins (referred to as "cubbies" ) for each assistor. The cubby will hold all applications assigned to an assistor for action.

    • New application will be added to a cubby in ascending IRS received date order.

    • Any applications returned by a Lead for correction during the review process will be put to the far left side of the cubby regardless of Incident number.

    • Assistors will process applications returned by a Lead/Reviewer first. Unless directed otherwise by a manager or lead, remaining applications will be processed in ascending IRS received date order.

    • At the end of their tour of duty, any applications still needing processing will be returned to the assistor’s cubby. No applications are to remain on an assistor’s desk overnight.

  2. Once processed, assistors will place applications on the review cart in ascending Incident Management (IM) sequence regardless of action/recommendation.

    Exception:

    Applications whose representative's Fingerprint card must be processed will be in the designated cubbies.

  3. Applications with representatives whose Fingerprint card were pulled and are still pending results will be filed by the Fingerprint card processing clerk on the bottom shelf in the designated area in EIN sequence. Once all results are received, the application will be pulled and the Fingerprint card tracking spreadsheet will be updated. The Fingerprint card processing clerk will provide the folder to a lead to have RTS updated with the results, the Incident Management (IM) closed and placed in the basket for forwarding to the CSPC.

Real Time System (RTS) Comments
  1. Except for applications with a missing or an invalid EIN, enter comments in the ITIN Real Time System (RTS) to show receipt of an application and actions taken. This includes:

    • Amended applications (even if the application did not change or add a new location or add a new representative).

    • Rejected applications submitted outside the renewal period.

    • New applications received from an applicant previously suspended or terminated by the ITIN Policy Section (IPS) and the eligibility date to reapply has not expired. Comment will be made to the rejected record that another application was received but returned because the eligibility date had not expired.

    • Responses received for rejected or incomplete application.

    • Applications previously returned for missing information or suitability failure. Comment will address if the previous issue has been resolved or supporting documentation received and attached to the Form 13551. If the information was not provided or the issue was not resolved, a comment will be made to the existing incomplete/rejected record that the application was resubmitted and what item(s) indicated on the previous letter were not addressed/resolved.

    • Applications with missing Forensic Document Training Certificate (FDTC) and applicant failed to provide FDTC after Tax Examiner request.

    • Applications previously returned as incomplete or rejected and the response was not postmarked/received within 30 days of the notification letter . Indicate in the comment the postmark date on the envelope or date subsequently received (whichever is earlier)

    • Incident Management (IM) number opened in EHSS.

  2. Limit comments for new applications to 100 characters. Limit comments for renewal applications to 89 characters.

  3. Comments must be complete and easily understood by anyone reviewing them as copies of applications are not maintained by the e-Help Desk (including incomplete or rejected applications). Do not use abbreviations or acronyms unfamiliar to other IRS employees. Exhibit 3.21.264-16 indicates a list of abbreviations to be used when making comments in RTS. Abbreviations indicated in Document 6209, Section 1 (Glossary), Part 2 (Acronyms) may also be used.

  4. Enter the individual's name and suitability results in RTS as a single comment.

    • If the Authorized Representative is a tax preparer but did not include their PTIN on Line 5 or if it is invalid, include an appropriate comment.

    • Also include the name of the principal, partner or owner from Line 2 of the Form 13551 and their PTIN (if required) if not listed on the Form 13551 as an Authorized Representative.
      Example:

    • John Doe, passed TCC-I

    • John Doe, TCC-I failed, FTF Form 1040 2011, missing FDTC.

    • John Doe, TCC-I, passed, but citizenship mismatch and PTIN invalid.

    • John Doe, PTIN P00000000

  5. When entering tax modules as comments in RTS, indicate the problem, the tax module form and tax period in that sequence.

  6. For the issue that caused the failure, enter:

    • "MR" or "FTF" if a return has not been filed and should have been

    • "BALDUE" for an unaddressed liability

    • "BALDUE-defaulted IA" for a defaulted installment agreement

  7. For the tax module form, enter an "F" followed by the form number. Example: F1040.

  8. For the tax period for quarterly returns, enter:

    • "03" for the 1st quarter

    • "06" for the 2nd quarter

    • "09" for the 3rd quarter

    • "12" for the 4th quarter

    Note:

    Do not enter a month for annual tax modules such as Form 940, 1040, 944, 1065 or 1120.

  9. If a missing module spans more than one period:

    • if the missing modules are consecutive, use "to" between the first and last missing module.

      Example:

      FTF F941 200803 to 200912

    • If the missing modules are not consecutive, separate the missing periods with a comma ("," ) and use an ampersand ("&" ) before the last period.

      Example:

      FTF F941 200803 to 200809, 200903 & 200912

  10. If different types of returns are missing or more than one reason per return type, separate the types with a semicolon (";" ) in ascending form number.

    Example:

    MR F940 2008 to 2009; F941 200803 to 200812; BALDUE F1065 2010

  11. If comment exceeds the 89/100 character limit, enter comments separately in a logical manner (i.e., all Form 941 issues in one comment, all Form 1040 issues in another, etc.).

    Note:

    Do not enter single "'" or double quotation (") marks when entering comments in RTS

  12. Include a copy of the Comments screen as part of any application packet.

  13. Include as a Comment the EFIN number if unable to enter in the RTS Input Screen.

New Application Processing
  1. New applications are accepted year round (January through December) each year.

  2. Applications previously returned as incomplete or rejected for a tax compliance issue must be resubmitted and postmarked within 30 days of the date of the letter.

    • If application is subsequently resubmitted and the issues are still outstanding, reject the application for failing to resolve the issue (see IRM 3.21.264.5.6.2 ).

    • If response is received that resolves the incomplete condition or tax compliance issue, then process the Form 13551 application.

    Note:

    An application resubmitted or new, received after the 30 days of the date of the letter is considered a new application. Care should be taken to not mistakenly reject a new application on the assumption that is a late response for a Failure to Respond.

  3. Prior to processing, check RTS to ensure the application status is new and not an amended or renewal application. If RTS reflects an approved agreement:

    • and it expires at the end of the current year, process as a renewal application as indicated in IRM 3.21.264.5.2.5, Renewal Application Processing otherwise

    • process as an amended application as indicated in IRM 3.21.264.5.2.6, Amended Application Processing.

  4. Use IDRS CC INOLES to verify the EIN against the legal name listed on Item 2 of the Form 13551. If the EIN is not found, research IDRS CC ENMOD to determine if the EIN was recently established. If a dummy module appears, make a copy of the screen and include in the application packet in lieu of the INOLES printout.

  5. For complete applications, make the following entries in red ink:

    • Legal name in Item 2 to match entity’s legal name on IDRS.

    • If Item 2 reflects the business as "Doing Business As (DBA)" , draw an arrow to Item 11 and enter the legal name in Item 2.

    • If Item 3 reflects a valid/active EFIN, annotate the EFIN Active status date as shown under the EFIN heading at the Summary Page in the External Customer Data Store. (ECDS).

      Note:

      The dates displayed in Application Status History are related to initial application and updates

      Caution:

      Redact any personal information from the e-file application summary page (i.e., Name, SSN) for the principal or responsible official who are not listed on the Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program prior to sending the Form 13551 application packet to Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC).

    • Except for the EIN and authorized representative’s personal information, circle incorrect items and/or make corrections as required (e.g., "new”" application that is really a "renewal" ).

      Note:

      Do not make any annotations if Form 13551 is being returned.

Renewal Application Processing
  1. Renewal applications are application requests from applicants with a current acceptance agent agreement. Agreements previously terminated or expired are processed as a new application.

  2. Renewal applications are accepted January through December of the year the current agreement expires. To prevent a lapse in service, Acceptance Agents should submit a renewing application at least 6 months before the agreement expiration date.

  3. For renewal applications received during their authorized renewal window:

    • Research RTS to verify the agreement expire at the end of the current year.

    • If Form 13551 application type is "Renewal" , input application as "Renewal" in RTS.

      Note:

      If the agreement is not set to expire at the of the current calendar year, RTS will default to "Amended" as the Application Type.

    • Review application for completeness. See IRM 3.21.264.5.1, Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program and IRM 3.21.264.5.1.1, Additional Application Documents. Letter 4963, Returned for Incomplete Application is used to return an application that is incomplete or missing information.

    • Conduct a business tax compliance check and an individual tax compliance check for all Authorized Representatives listed on the renewal application. See IRM 3.21.264.5.3, Tax Compliance Checks.

    • Conduct a background investigation check. See IRM 3.21.264.5.4, Background Investigation Checks.

  4. If submitted out of renewal period:

    1. Check RTS to see if renewal application reflects new data. If it does, contact the applicant or Authorized Representative to determine if it should be processed as an amended application for changes. See IRM 3.21.264.5.2.6Amended Application Processing. If they agree, check the "Amended" box and circle the "Renewal" box in red.

    2. If there are no RTS differences:

    • Return applications received outside of the window to the applicant. See IRM 3.21.264.5.1.5, Applications Received Outside of Renewal Period.

    • Enter a comment on the existing RTS entry that a renewal application was received but returned to the applicant because their current agreement has not expired.

      Note:

      The Reason for Change is "OTHER"

Amended Application Processing
  1. Accept and process amended applications year-round.

  2. Except for Item 18, amended applications must be complete. If Item 18 is the only item missing, annotate the programs/activities reflected on the existing RTS record in red ink. Otherwise, return as incomplete, see IRM 3.21.264.5.1.2, Incomplete Applications.

  3. Amended applications require a signed statement explaining the changes such as if applicant is being added or replacing an existing applicant, or if the location is being added or replacing the existing location. If a statement is not provided but the reason for change is clearly indicated, then continue processing the application.

  4. Amended applications will be placed on the ITIN AA cart with other completed applications (in ascending IM number) for processing by a Lead/Reviewer.

Changing or Adding New Location
  1. If the amended application's statement reflects it is only to change the existing agreement’s location, do NOT make any changes to RTS. Enter a comment that an amended application changing the existing location was received and prepare a Profile Sheet. Notate the Profile Sheet with the same comment.

  2. If amended application is only to add a new location, input new location into RTS and create a Profile Sheet. Enter a comment that an amended application for adding a new location was received. Annotate Profile Sheet that the amended application adds a new location.

    • If the AMENDED application is to add a new location and the Authorized Representative is reflected on the existing (Approved) application, include a comment that NNNNNNNNNNN (name of Authorized Representative(s) already passed the tax compliance check for XXXXXXXXXX (EFIN or office location code of the approved application).

    • If the AMENDED application is to add a new location and the Authorized Representative is NOT reflected on any existing (Approved) application for that EIN, include their name and appropriate incomplete/pass/fail/comment. If passed and their Fingerprint card needs to be processed, include another comment to that effect.

Adding New Authorized Representative
  1. If the amended application only adds a new authorized representative, conduct an IMF tax compliance check only.

    • If "FAILED" , return application using Letter 4958, Rejection - Suitability for Authorized Representative and Letter 4959, Rejection for Individual Suitability - Owner.

    • If "PASSED" , do not make any RTS entries on the Acceptance Agent Edit screen. Annotate Profile Sheet that new applicant needs to added to RTS.

  2. A Profile Sheet annotated with results of tax compliance check, recommendation and signature of assistor will be prepared and put on the appropriate shelf on the ITIN AA cart.

    • If passed, assemble packet as indicated in IRM 3.21.264.5.5.2, Passed Application Documentation

    • If rejected, assemble packet as indicated in IRM 3.21.264.5.5.3, Rejected Application Documentation

  3. Although no change is made to the approved application's information in RTS, add a Comment reflecting an amended application was received adding an additional Authorized Representative, the name of the new representative, Forensic Document Training Certificate (FDTC) date for CAA, their PTIN and whether they passed or failed their individual tax compliance check. If their Fingerprint card needs to be processed, include another comment to that effect.

Miscellaneous Changes
  1. Amended applications that do not add a location or representative are miscellaneous changes (i.e., change of representative’s home address). Enter a Comment in RTS (Reason for Change is "Other" ) and indicate what item(s) is being changed. Do NOT update the current/approved agreement in RTS. For example: If the business phone number is changed, simply add a comment such as "Amended application received, changing business phone number" .

  2. Prepare a Profile Sheet and notate it with the item(s) being changed and put on the appropriate shelf on the ITIN AA cart.

Employer Identification Number (EIN) Change
  1. If a business currently approved for participation in the Acceptance Agent program is assigned a new EIN because of an entity change (IRM 3.21.264.3.9, Changes to Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program Application), another Form 13551 reflecting the new EIN is required. Input the F13551 application into RTS as a new application. If the amended box is checked, circle the amended box and check the new box in red ink. See IRM 3.21.264.5.2.4, New Application Processing.

    Caution:

    Do not select the "Edit EIN" feature in "Reason for Change" in RTS to process the new application.

    Note:

    Update the Profile Sheet comment section with the old and new EIN prior to sending application to Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC).

  2. Access the existing EIN and enter a comment using Reason for Change of Other that the entity has changed and a new EIN issued. Include the new EIN in the comment.

  3. A tax compliance check will be conducted on the new EIN. Conduct a compliance check on the old EIN and record any previous tax liabilities on the profile sheet and determine if organization pass or fail their suitability.

  4. Any Authorized Representatives listed on the amended application are also subject to the tax compliance and background investigation checks.

Profile Sheet
  1. A Profile Sheet Exhibit 3.21.264-9, Acceptance Agent Suitability Profile Sheet will be completed for any Acceptance Agent application forwarded to CSPC.

  2. For applications with multiple locations, a separate Profile Sheet will be prepared for each location only when the authorized representatives are different at each location. Paper clip the Profile Sheets together and assemble the packet as indicated byIRM 3.21.264.5.5, Application Documentation Packet. Annotate the top margin of the topmost Profile Sheet with the number of locations associated with the application. Example: "2 locations" .

  3. Profile Sheets are not required for incomplete applications.

  4. Assistors will annotate the Profile Sheet as follows:

    • Under the FBI BACKGROUND CHECK block, check the appropriate box. See IRM 3.21.264.5.4(Background Investigation Checks) for additional information on whether an Authorized Representative is subject to a background investigation. (Other entries in the section will be completed by the clerical staff when the fingerprint card(s) is processed).

    • Under the SUITABILITY RECOMMENDATION check the appropriate radio button reflecting whether the business and/or Authorized Representative passed or failed the tax compliance check. In the "Date EIN established" , annotate the business operation date as reflected in IDRS (CC BMFOLE, field titled BUS OPER DT) and its filing requirements. Annotate any business related suitability issues in the upper block. Use the lower block to annotate any individual related issues. Disregard the radio buttons on whether there was a history of late filing and what IDRS command codes were used during any tax compliance research.

    • If the Form 13551 is amending an existing agreement to add an additional location without any new Authorized Representatives or update existing information such as an address or contact information, indicate the reason for the amended application in one of the issues boxes. Example: "Amended Form 13551 to change alternate contact" .

    • Sign the Profile Sheet and annotate their SEID and date in the appropriate area.

  5. If the application packet is reviewed and is being rejected, the Profile Sheet will be classified. However, if it is being passed, the Lead/Reviewer will:

    • Check the appropriate radio button indicating their recommendation.

    • Sign the Profile Sheet and annotate their SEID and date in the appropriate area.

    • Make any comments on the back of the Profile Sheet. Highlight (in yellow high lighter) the notation that there are comments on the reverse page.

  6. If an application could not be entered in RTS because of a duplicate mailing address, etc., create a Profile Sheet from the Acceptance Agent Preliminary screen by entering the appropriate information and then selecting the Suitability Profile link. Comments can be entered on the Profile Sheet and then printed.

Multiple Locations
  1. Except for applications that reflect only one mailing address, each business location on an application will be entered as a separate record in RTS.

    Note:

    If a Form 13551 contains Continuation pages, compare the Business Location entry at the top of Page 3 with the Business Location address in Line 12 on Page 1 to determine if there are additional locations.

  2. If a Form 13551 reflects multiple business locations but only one mailing address, input only the location on Line 12 from Page 1 into RTS.

    • Return the application as incomplete using Letter 4963. Include a comment in RTS that the Form 13551 contained multiple locations but only one mailing address.

    • If the application reflects authorized representatives for the different locations, still conduct their suitability/tax compliance checks but record each individual's results under one RTS record.

  3. If the same authorized representative(s) are listed for all additional locations, input each location into RTS but only one Profile Sheet for the location on Page 1 is required. Annotate the top right margin of the Profile Sheet with the total number of additional locations.

Tax Compliance Checks

  1. A business and all authorized representatives must successfully pass all facets of the tax compliance check to be accepted in the ITIN Acceptance Agent program.

  2. The checks performed determine:

    • If all business and personal tax returns are filed timely,

    • If all tax liabilities are paid or appropriately addressed (e.g., installment agreement), and

    • If a fraud penalty has been assessed.

      Note:

      Shared Responsibility Penalties (SRP) are not included in Acceptance Agent suitability. SRPs for individual suitability are identified by MFT 35.

  3. Except as indicated below, to reduce taxpayer burden, tax compliance checks will also be conducted on applications being returned as incomplete whenever possible. Any compliance failures will be included with the incomplete application letter. See Letter 4963, Returned for Incomplete Application.

    Exception:

    Tax compliance checks will not be conducted on applications received outside of the applicant’s renewal period. If the application does not reflect an EIN or it is invalid, do not conduct the tax compliance on any Authorized Representative(s) since a valid EIN is required to capture any tax compliance or suitability issues in RTS. Conduct the checks once the application is returned with a valid EIN. A business and/or individual tax compliance check will not be performed if they were conducted and passed on an application previously returned as incomplete during the same processing period. Do not conduct individual tax compliance checks on applications with 11 or more authorized representatives per location.

    Note:

    Individual tax compliance failure can only be addressed to the individual to whom they pertain. When returning an incomplete application with multiple authorized representatives one of which has failed their compliance check, separate letters are required. Include a statement in the incomplete letter addressed to the principal/owner an individual listed as an authorized representative(s) did not pass the internal suitability check. However, do not include the name of the individual that did not pass the required suitability check nor indicate the reason for the failure

    .

  4. The business compliance check for applications from a sole proprietorship includes either an appropriate business return (example: Form 1065) or a Form 1040.

  5. The following table reflects when an application is accepted or rejected for tax compliance checks.

    Note:

    "Acceptance" of an application is limited to the Austin e-Help Desk's portion of the application process. Final acceptance into the program is at the discretion of the ITIN Policy Section.

    If... and... and... then...
    authorized representative has an ITIN (Item 7) resides in the U.S. (Line 8) no other authorized representatives are listed on the application that have a Social Security Number (SSN) application is rejected (no compliance checks are conducted)
    application has at least one authorized representative with a Social Security Number (SSN) conduct tax compliance checks
    resides outside of the U.S. (Line 8)   conduct tax compliance checks
    business fails     application is rejected
    business passes application consists of one Authorized Representative the Authorized Representative passes their individual tax compliance check the application is accepted
    the Authorized Representative fails their individual tax compliance check the application is rejected
    application consists of multiple Authorized Representatives at least one Authorized Representative passes their individual tax compliance check the application is accepted but only the Authorized Representative(s) that pass their tax compliance check are reflected in RTS
    no Authorized Representative pass their individual tax compliance check the application is rejected
  6. Results of a tax compliance check will be entered as Comments in RTS. Record business results separately from individuals. Individual results will be recorded by name regardless if application contains multiple Authorized Representatives.

Submission of Required Returns
  1. ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ "≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ " ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡

    Note:

    ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡

  2. Allow 45 days from the due date for processing of the return.

  3. A tax compliance check is conducted on the joint return if the applicant is the secondary tax payer on the account.

  4. All current year individual applications processed after April 15 require an approved extension shown on IDRS as transaction code TC 460). Check for any cross referenced SSN(s) that may be related to the individual’s SSN.

    Note:

    Current tax year returns with a tax liability received prior to Cycle 20 are shown on IDRS with a TC 150 (return filed and tax liability assessed) or TC 610 (remittance with return).

  5. All businesses must file all returns listed under the Filing Requirements.

    1. If CC BMFOL has "N" (for no return posted) and no status, pass

    2. If BMFOL has "N" (for no return posted) AND MF status 02, 03, or 04 on any of the last six tax modules on record and the extension has expired, it will be considered a tax compliance failure.

    3. A written statement from the provider indicating that they are not liable is acceptable. However, the statement must be specific. For example, if the issue were a non-filed Form 94X return, the firm would have to spell out why they are not liable for this return, e.g., no employees.

    Note:

    Nonprofit organizations with annual receipts less than $50,000 are required to file a Form 990-N (e-Postcard) only once every three years.

  6. Returns with disaster freeze codes of "-O" or "-S " may have been automatically extended past the return due date. Refer to the www.irs.gov home page. Type "Tax Relief in Disaster Situations IRS" in the upper right search window and check the news releases for their location and required due dates.

  7. A required return is considered submitted if there is evidence on IDRS such as "TRDBV shows Unpostable condition(s) that relate to the filing of a tax return, MeF shows an accepted return or TXMOD has a TC 150" .

  8. Individual returns with a freeze code of "-C" had their filing deadline extended because of combat zone service. Type "Extension of Deadlines — Combat Zone Service" in the search window on the IRS web site at www.irs.gov to determine required due date. Research CC IMFOLE for the Combat indicator on Line 11.

    • If Combat indicator is "1" , then the taxpayer is still serving in a combat zone. Any compliance activity such as assessing or collecting tax is prohibited.

    • If Combat indicator is "2" , then the taxpayer is no longer a combat zone participant. Follow normal IRM procedures to work the case.

  9. ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ "≡ ≡ " ≡ ≡ ≡ "≡ ≡ " ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ "≡ ≡ ≡ " ≡ ≡ "≡ " ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡

  10. Exhibit 3.21.264-14 reflects the more common income tax returns, the corresponding Filing Requirement Code (FRC) and Master File Code (MFT) reflected in IDRS and their due dates. If an entity reflects other filing requirements, research IDRS, Document 6209 and IRS website to determine if the return is required for quarterly or annual submission.

Return Status Codes
  1. Use the following table to determine the status of a tax module and whether it passes or fails:

    STATUS CODE DEFINITION PASS FAIL
    02 Delinquent Return   X
    03 Delinquent Return in Collection Status   X
    04 Extension to File Return NOTE 1
    06 Taxpayer is not liable for that return NOTE 2
    10 Filed Return X  
    12 Filed Return and Fully Paid X  
    21 1st Notice for a BALDUE Return NOTE 3
    22 Taxpayer Delinquent Account (TDA)
    23 Return filed but below TDA tolerance NOTE 4
    48 System generated to suppress BALDUE notice   X
    53 Currently Not Collectible   X
    54 2nd Notice for a BALDUE return NOTE 4
    56 3rd Notice for a BALDUE return
    58 4th Notice for a BALDUE return
    60 Current Installment Agreement X  
    61 Suspended Installment Agreement NOTE 3
    63 Installment Agreement X  
    64 Defaulted Installment Agreement NOTE 3
    71 Offer in Compromise (OIC) pending X  
    72 Litigation/bankruptcy X  

    Note:

    1. For current year returns on an unexpired extension: Pass; otherwise Fail.

    Note:

    2. For a business return(s) status "06" is acceptable to pass that module. For individual (Form 1040) returns, status code "06" normally indicates a spouse on a Married Filing Jointly (FSC 2) return but requires research. If the return was filed jointly, tax period would pass. If not filed jointly, research IDRS using CC IRPTR to determine whether the module should be passed or failed.

    Note:

    3. If module's BALDUE is below liability indicated in IRM 3.21.264.5.3.2, Outstanding Tax Liability: Pass; otherwise Fail.

    Note:

    4. Although the return has been filed, the tax compliance may fail because of the outstanding tax liability. If the liability no longer exists, is covered by an Installment Agreement, bankruptcy, Offer in Compromise, below the Acceptance Agent Program's threshold indicated in IRM 3.21.264.5.3.2, Outstanding Tax Liability or an uncollectible: Pass; otherwise Fail.

  2. Research IDRS (CC SUMRY) or SC-STS (Service Center Status) on (CC TXMODA) to determine the most current status of a module.

Outstanding Tax Liability
  1. ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡

  2. Exceptions include:

    1. Bankruptcy TC 520 unless reversed by a TC 521.

    2. Offer in compromise (Offer in Compromise) TC 480 with a collection code 71 (Offer in Compromise pending) or TC 780 (Offer in Compromise accepted) unless reversed by a TC 781 (defaulted on Offer in Compromise)

    3. Uncollectible account. If TC 530 is present on all balance due accounts unless it reflects any of the following closing codes:

      Closing Codes Definition
      03 Unable to locate
      09 Tolerance
      10 Defunct corporation
      12 Unable to contact
      13 In-Business corporation
      39 ACS cases with low RWS score
    4. Installment agreement (IA) (status code 60)

Fraud Penalty
  1. ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡

    Note:

    ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ including MFT 55 and MFT 13. Do not check just the last six years for the adjustment.

  2. Regardless of the amount, a fraud penalty must be fully abated or reversed (TC 321) for an individual or business to pass this aspect of their tax compliance check.

  3. If research determines a fraud penalty assessment, review the accuracy of the entry on Item 10 on the Form 13551.

    • If "Yes" box is checked and a statement and fingerprint cards are attached, continue to process the application.

    • If "No" box is checked, return the Form 13551 as a suitability failure (Letter 4958 and/or Letter 4959). Indicate that IRS records reflect the assessment of a fraud penalty so an explanatory statement is required. Statement needs to include why a fraud penalty assessment should not affect their fitness to be an acceptance agent or certifying acceptance agent. Also indicate a fingerprint card must be submitted regardless of the organization or professional status. Include two blank fingerprint cards and Publication 5173, Acceptance Agent Fingerprint Card Stuffer with the letter to the individual.

      Note:

      Do not disclose the name of the authorized representative(s) assessed a preparer penalty nor the reason to the owner.

Business Employer Identification Number (EIN) Tax Compliance Check
  1. A business tax compliance check is required for all new and renewal applications with an active/valid EIN. It is not required if an existing/approved agreement is amended to add a new location or additional authorized representatives.

  2. A business must pass the tax compliance check to be accepted into the ITIN Acceptance Agent program.

  3. Use IDRS CC INOLES to determine the filing requirements for a business.

  4. Business compliance checks are conducted using tax modules on IDRS.

  5. If IDRS (CC BMFOLI) reflects the IRS has created a Substitute for Return (SFR) for the Business EIN (reflected as SFR under the Posted Return column) and the module falls within the period specified in IRM 3.21.264.5.3.1, notify the Authorized Representative or Owner it is required unless:

    • An amended return for the module has been received.

    • BMFOLT reflects a TC 599 for the module indicating the taxpayer has accepted the SFR return and is, therefore, considered to have been filed.

    :

  6. If a business does not pass, the application is rejected and returned. See IRM 3.21.264.5.6.4, Business Tax Compliance Failure (Owner). List the specific reasons for the failure in the letter (see IRM 3.21.264.6.6) and in the Comments section of RTS.

  7. If an EIN is cross-referenced in IDRS to another (parent) EIN, returns for the child entity may have been submitted as part of another. If the EIN fails a component of a tax compliance check but states in a response to the rejection notice the return was filed as part of a parent organization's return, research the parent EIN where possible.

Individual Tax Compliance Check
  1. All authorized representatives listed on a new or renewal application must pass a tax compliance check of their individual tax liabilities. Authorized representatives being added to an existing/approved ITIN Acceptance Agent agreement also must pass a tax compliance check of their individual tax liabilities.

    Note:

    Do not conduct a tax compliance check for authorized representatives residing in the U.S. that have an ITIN. Reject such applications using Letter 4958, Rejection - Suitability for Authorized Representative and/or Letter 4959, Rejection for Individual Suitability - Owner.

  2. A compliance check is not required for individuals listed only as a Primary or Alternate Contact on the Form 13551.

  3. If an application has multiple authorized representatives, conduct the tax compliance on each. If an individual fails the check:

    • Circle their name on the Form 13551 in red ink.

    • Enter a Comment in RTS that indicates who failed their compliance check and why (see IRM 3.21.264.5.2.3, Real Time System (RTS) Comments).

    • Do not enter their name or other personal information as an authorized representative in the ITIN Acceptance Agent Application screens in RTS.

    • Notate on the Profile Sheet the name of the individual that failed their check.

    • Prepare appropriate rejection letter and address it to the authorized representative using their home address reflected on the application.

    • Put the entire application (including supporting documentation and rejection letter on the individual) on the appropriate cart.

  4. Individual compliance checks are conducted using tax modules on IDRS (MFT 30).

  5. For an application that lists only one authorized representative who is also listed as the principal, partner or owner; If they do not pass their tax compliance check, the application will be rejected and returned using Letter 4959, Rejection for Individual Suitability - Owner.

  6. For an application that reflects only one authorized representative who is not the principal, partner or owner and they fail their individual suitability check, the application will be rejected and returned using Letter 4958 , Rejection - Suitability for Authorized Representative and Letter 4959, Rejection for Individual Suitability - Owner.

    • Use Letter 4959 , Rejection for Individual Suitability - Owner to notify the principal, partner or owner an individual listed on their application did not pass our suitability check. Do not indicate the name of the individual nor the specific reason(s) for the failure in the letter.

    • Use Letter 4958 , Rejection - Suitability for Authorized Representative to notify the authorized representative they did not pass the suitability check and the reason(s) why.

  7. For an application that contains multiple authorized representatives and at least one passes their individual tax compliance check while the other(s) do not, process the application with just the representative(s) who passed.

    • Use Letter 4959 , Rejection for Individual Suitability - Owner to notify the principal, partner or owner that we are processing their application but one or more individual(s) listed on it did not pass their suitability check. Do not indicate the names(s) of the individual nor the specific reason(s) for the failure in the letter.

    • Use Letter 4958 , Rejection - Suitability for Authorized Representative to notify the authorized representative(s) they did not pass the suitability check and the reason(s) why.

  8. If during the course of processing an Acceptance Agent application, research reveals an Authorized Representative is listed on another existing/approved application under a different EIN, conduct another (new) tax compliance check.

    • If the Authorized Representative fails their tax compliance check, follow paragraphs 3, 5 and 6 above. Include a comment in RTS the other EIN that reflects the Authorized Representative.

    • If the Authorized Representative passed their tax compliance check, include a comment in RTS and notate the Profile Sheet the EIN, EFIN or office location code of the other organization they are listed on as an Authorized Representative. Highlight the annotation so the Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC) will know to pull the file since, generally, an individual can only be listed under one EIN.

  9. If IDRS (CC IMFOLI) reflects the IRS has created a Substitute for Return (SFR) for the taxpayer (reflected as "SUBST4" under the Posted Return column) and the module falls within the period specified in IRM 3.21.264.5.3.1, notify the Authorized Representative it is required unless:

    • An amended return for the module has been received.

    • IMFOLT reflects a TC 599 for the module indicating the taxpayer has accepted the SFR return and is, therefore, considered to have been filed.

Penalty Assessment
  1. If IDRS reflects a Master File Tax Account Code 13 for an EIN (CC BMFOLI) or MFT 55 for an individual (CC IMFOLI), research the tax module to determine if one of the penalties indicated below was assessed (TC 240) but not reversed by a TC 241 or TC 240R.
    Miscellaneous civil penalties (Transaction Code (TC) 240) greater than or equal to $1,000.00 for the last three years for the following civil penalty reference numbers: 549, 616, 618, 624, 626, 627, 628, 630, 631, 633, 634, 635, 645, 650, 665, 666, 667, 668, 670, 671, 672, 673, 686, 692. When TC 241 with penalty code 02 is assessed, the miscellaneous civil penalty does not apply.

    Note:

    Disregard IMF tax modules for account MFT 55 reflecting an ending month "01" . Such modules reflect an installment Agreement (IA) request not assessment of a Preparer Penalty.

    IRC Type of Penalty Penalty Reference Number (PRN)
    6695 (a) thru (e) Return Preparer Penalty 624
    6695 (f) Preparer Negotiating Taxpayer Refund Check 626
    6695 (g) Preparer EIC due diligence 627
    6700 Promoting Abusive Tax Shelter 628
    6701 Aiding and Abetting the Understatement of Another Person's Tax Liability 631
    6713 Disclosure or Use of Information by Return Preparer 633
    6694 (a) Understatement of Taxpayer's Liability by Return Preparer Due to Unrealistic Position 645
    6694 (b) Preparer's Willful or Reckless Conduct 650
    6721(e) Failure to File Forms W-2s with intentional disregard (CAWR Penalty Program 549
    6682 False information with respect to withholding (W-4, W-9 Penalty) 616
    6672 Failure to Collect and Pay Over Tax, or an Attempt to Evade or Defeat Tax. (Trust Fund Recovery Program) 618
    6720 Acknowledgement Regarding Vehicle Donation 630
    6715 Tampering With or Failing to Maintain Security Requirements for Mechanical Dye Injection Systems 665
    6702(a) Frivolous Tax Submissions 666
    6725 Failure to Report Vessel/Facility 667
    6039(f) Failure to Report Receipt of Foreign Gifts (Form 3520) 668
    6719 Failure to Register/Re-register 670
    6039G Failure to File Expatriation (Form 8854) 671
    6721(a)/(e) Failure to File Return Relating to Taxable Mergers/Acquisitions 672
    6720A Failure to Furnish certain Information to Participant in SIMPLE IRA Plans required under IRC section 408(i) of 408(I)(2) 673
    6721(a)(2)(a) Failure to File Partnership Returns on Magnetic Media 686
    5000A ACA Individual Shared Responsibility Payment 692
  2. If a tax module reflects one of the above PRN, review the accuracy of the entry for the Authorized Representative listed on Item 10 on the Form 13551.

    • If "Yes" box is checked and a statement and fingerprint cards are attached, continue to process the application.

    • If "No" box is checked, return the Form 13551 as a suitability failure ( Letter 4958 and/or Letter 4959). Indicate that IRS records reflect the assessment of a Preparer Penalty so an explanatory statement is required. Statement needs to include why a civil penalty assessment should not affect their fitness to be an acceptance agent or certifying acceptance agent. Also indicate a fingerprint card must be submitted regardless of the organization or professional status. Include two blank Fingerprint cards and Publication 5173, Acceptance Agent Fingerprint Card Stuffer with the letter to the individual.

    Note:

    If the preparer penalty assessment is for an authorized representative who is also the principal/partner/owner that signed the application and are the only authorized representative listed on the Form 13551, return the application as incomplete using Letter 4963, Returned for Incomplete Application.

    Note:

    Do not disclose the name of the authorized representative(s) assessed a preparer penalty nor the reason to the owner.

    • If the preparer penalty assessment is for the EIN (MFT 13) and the owner is not the Authorized Representative, see IRM 3.21.264.5.3.4, Business Employer Identification Number (EIN) Tax Compliance Check for processing.

  3. Do not reject a Form 13551 solely for assessment of a Preparer Penalty. If penalty's liability has been paid in full or is addressed in IRM 3.21.264.5.3.2 as an exception, forward the application to the Cincinnati Submission Processing Service Center (CSPC) for processing. However, if penalty has not been addressed and exceeds the liability threshold indicated in IRM 3.21.264.5.3.2, the application will be rejected.

Background Investigation Checks

  1. Except as indicated in the following paragraphs, all authorized representatives listed on an ITIN AA application are subject to a background investigation conducted by the FBI. Investigation is conducted by processing of a fingerprint card (FPC).

  2. Applications from the following organizations/individuals are exempt to the fingerprint processing requirement:

    • A college or university that qualifies as an educational organization under Treasury Regulations 1.501(c)(3)-1(d)(3)(i). Note: Educational institutions must be a college or university. Authorized representatives from educational institutions that are not a college or university must provide a Fingerprint card unless they are an Attorney, Certified Public Accountant (Certified Public Accountant (CPA), or Enrolled Agent (EA).

    • Casinos

    • Federal government agencies

    • VITA/TCE partners

    • Officials from financial institutions

    • Foreign nationals

  3. Selected individuals are also exempt from the background check if they provide proof of their active/unexpired professional status. These individuals are:

    • An attorney that is a member of a State Bar (or equivalent)

    • A Certified Public Accountant (Certified Public Accountant (CPA)) licensed by a State Board of Accountancy (or equivalent)

    • Enrolled Agent (EA)

  4. If an exempted individual does not provide a copy of their professional status with their application, attempt to verify it as follows:

    • For an Attorney, research their State’s Bar Association’s web site.

    • For a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), research their State’s Board of Accountancy web site.

    • For an Enrolled Agent (EA),if the applicant attach proof of professional status(i.e., EA card from IRS) no additional research is necessary. If the applicant does not attach proof or just write their EA number on Form 13551, research IRS Website at www.irs.gov; RPO; Enrolled Agents; for professional status. If results not found, return as incomplete.

  5. If a state’s web site supports the individual’s claim of professional status, print a copy of the web page and include it with the application packet. If unable to verify their status or it is expired, return the Form 13551 for a document supporting their professional status using Letter 4963, Returned for Incomplete Application. Applicants can also submit a fingerprint card in lieu of professional documents.

  6. Authorized representatives who are a Principal or Responsible Official (RO) on any current, active and approved electronic filing (e-file) application are not subject to an additional background investigation.

    Note:

    Search External Customer Data Store (ECDS) by SSN under personal suitability to see if Authorized Representative is listed in any active EFIN.

  7. Authorized Representative that answers "yes" to Item 10 (preparer penalty or criminal conviction) must submit a Fingerprint card. FPCs are submitted to FBI for a background check regardless of an organizational exemption affiliation or an individual's professional status.

  8. Fingerprints must be submitted using Form FD-258 with either blue or black lines. An electronically scanned Fingerprint card is acceptable. Fingerprint card must be:

    1. An original card (no photocopy).

    2. Signed by applicant.

    3. Signed by person taking fingerprints. Include the following minimum personal information

    • Applicant’s name.

    • Social Security Number (SSN) (except for foreign applicants).

    • Sex

    • Date of Birth(DOB)

    Note:

    To prevent delays when processing their application, it is recommended required applicants submit two fingerprint cards (FPC). An application will not be returned as incomplete if only one card per authorized representative is initially received.

  9. Fingerprint card (FPC) processed in support of the ITIN Acceptance Agent program must reflect the Austin Originating Requestor Identifier (ORI) code of TXIRS000Z. Affix a prepared label if the ORI is blank or shows a different ORI.

  10. A background investigation is not conducted for:

    • Applications rejected for failure of the business tax compliance check, or

    • Any authorized representative that fails the individual tax compliance check, or

    • Applications returned as incomplete.

  11. Documents required for a background investigation check:

    IF and and and Then
    Authorized Representative responded Yes to the Question on Line 10       Fingerprint card is required
    Application is from:
    • Federal Government Agency

    • Casino

    • Educational Institution

    • Financial Institution

    • VITA/TCE Partner

          No Fingerprint card are required
    Form 13551 is from a foreign entity outside of the U.S. Authorized Representative is a foreign national residing outside the U.S.   Business location is outside of the U.S. No Fingerprint card is required
      Has business location inside the U.S. Proof of U.S. Professional Status or Fingerprint card is required
    Authorized Representative is a foreign national residing in the U.S. or is a U.S. citizen On External Customer Data Store (ECDS) as a Principal or Responsible Official on a complete/approved e-file application use External Customer Data Store (ECDS) results
      Not on Third Party Store Has maintain U.S. professional status as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Attorney or Enrolled Agent Proof of Professional Status may be submitted in lieu of Fingerprint card
      Has no U.S. Professional Fingerprint card is required
    Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Attorney *On External Customer Data Store (ECDS) as a Principal or Responsible Official on an active, completed/approved e-file application Use External Customer Data Store (ECDS) results
    Not on External Customer Data Store (ECDS) Proof of Professional Status or Fingerprint card
    Enrolled Agent *On External Customer Data Store (ECDS) as a Principal or Responsible Official on an active, completed/approved e-file application Use External Customer Data Store (ECDS) results
    Enrolled Agent Not on External Customer Data Store (ECDS) Proof of Enrolled Agent or Fingerprint card
    All others (includes city, county or state agencies or Military/Armed Forces under the Department of Defense ) *On External Customer Data Store (ECDS) as a Principal or Responsible Official on an active, completed/approved e-file application Use External Customer Data Store (ECDS) results
    Not on External Customer Data Store (ECDS) Fingerprint card is required

    (*) Search External Customer Data Store (ECDS) by SSN under personal suitability to see if an Authorized Representative is listed in any active EFIN.

Control of Fingerprint Cards
  1. Fingerprint cards (FPC) identified for processing by the FBI are controlled with an Excel spreadsheet by an e-Help Desk clerk. The ITIN Fingerprint card Tracking spreadsheet is located on the web site "S-Drive" .

  2. The ITIN Fingerprint card Tracking spreadsheet is updated when Fingerprint card are submitted to the FBI, when results are received, and if there was information (data) or no information (no data).

  3. At the end of each month , the e-Help Desk clerk will e-mail a copy of the spreadsheet to the CSPC and the Program and Management Analyst in EPSS.

Processing of Fingerprint Cards
  1. If an authorized representative passes the tax compliance checks but requires background investigation check, the assistor will:

    • Notate the EIN in the larger "LEAVE BLANK" block on the Fingerprint card.

    • Annotate the block "1/1" if only one Fingerprint card was received for the authorized representative. If two cards are received, annotate one with "1/2" and the other with "2/2" .

    • Staple a Fingerprint card cover sheet to the front of the folder as shown in Exhibit 3.21.264-6, Fingerprint Card (FPC) Cover Sheet.

    • Enter a comment in RTS with the name of each authorized representative whose Fingerprint card was pulled for processing. Make separate entries for each authorized representative.

    • Change the RTS status to "I3 - In-Process FBI Check" .

    • Access the case in EHSS and make an Operator Update entry reflecting results of the individual tax compliance check and that the Fingerprint card was pulled for processing. The Status will also be changed to "Pending Internal" and the Provider Group changed to the "Austin Leads" and then saved.

    • Complete a Profile Sheet with their recommendation and indicate on it the Fingerprint card was pulled.

    • Put the application in the designated cubby for Fingerprint card processing.

  2. The Lead/Reviewer will review the assistor’s recommendation and take the following actions:

    • Update the Incident Management (IM) and assign the case to themselves.

    • If they disagree or find RTS errors, return the application to the appropriate assistor and discuss their finding(s).

    • If they agree with the recommendation, sign the Profile Sheet and put the folder in the basket for Fingerprint card processing. If the application is not selected for review, initial the Profile Sheet and put the folder in the basket for Fingerprint card processing.

  3. Daily, a designated e-Help Desk clerk or assistor will review the folders in the Fingerprint card basket and process them by the Automated Electronic Fingerprint (AEF) system.

Fingerprint Cards Processed using Automated Electronic Fingerprint (AEF) System
  1. Effective April 15, 2012, the FBI ceased accepting paper Fingerprint card for processing. Fingerprint cards will only be processed using the Automated Electronic Fingerprint (AEF) system.

  2. The e-Help Desk clerk (or designated assistor) is responsible for processing Fingerprint cards from authorized representatives with a Social Security Number (SSN) using the AEF system.

  3. Process the Fingerprint card using the Cogent System’s IRS Fingerprint Card Submission System (FCSS) Users Guide. Employees must:

    • Ensure the Fingerprint card lists the Austin ORI. Attach the available stickers to any Fingerprint card with a blank or different ORI.

    • Select Austin’s ORI information from the appropriate drop-down field when entering the demographics information for the Fingerprint card.

  4. If results are received in the same session, print a copy of the results and include it in the folder. Return the application folder and Fingerprint card results to the Lead that signed the Profile Sheet. See IRM 3.21.264.5.4.3, Processing of Fingerprint card Results, for additional instructions.

  5. Update the ITIN Fingerprint Tracking spreadsheet with the date the Fingerprint card was scanned and that the AEF system was used.

  6. File any folder for which results were not received on the bottom shelf of ITIN AA Cart in EIN sequence. Review the AEF for subsequent processing/results and, if found, print results. Return the application folder and Fingerprint card results to the Lead that signed the Profile Sheet. See IRM 3.21.264.5.4.3, Processing of Fingerprint card Results.

Processing of Finger Print Card (FPC) Results
  1. Fingerprint card processing results include:

    • No data found. Indicates there was no record of any criminal activity in the FBI data base by the authorized representative.

    • Data found. Indicates the FBI data base shows criminal activity.

      Note:

      The presence of data does not in itself mean a conviction. Data will also be indicated for individuals that were only charged, found innocent, or had the charges dismissed.

    • Rejected. Fingerprint card that could not be processed for various reasons are rejected.

  2. If Fingerprint card for multiple authorized representatives are processed, include the name of the appropriate individual when Comments are entered in RTS. Example: "Fingerprint card processed for A. Lincoln-no data found" or "Fingerprint card processed for G. Washington-data found" . Do NOT include the actual activity. Forward the application to the Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC) once all results are received.

Finger Print Card (FPC) Results-No Data Found
  1. If the results of the background check do not identify any criminal activity, the e-Help Desk clerk or designated assistor will:

    • Update the ITIN Fingerprint card tracking spreadsheet with the date of the results and notation "No Data" .

    • Annotate Profile Sheet that no data was found and date/initial the sheet.

  2. Leads will update RTS by selecting "Change Status" as reason for change and enter the comment "Fingerprint card processed for [name of individual] - no data found" .

    Note:

    If results were received from multiple Authorized Representatives for the same location, enter a separate comment for each individual.

    • Change the RTS application status to "P4 – Passed FBI Check" .

    • If Fingerprint card results were for the Authorized Representative whose personal data is reflected in RTS (i.e., Social Security Number (SSN), Date of Birth (DOB), etc.), change radio button for "Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI) Criminal Background Passed?" to "Yes" and enter date of the FBI check in the adjacent field.

    • If RTS reflects the personal data for a different Authorized Representative, do not make any entries for the "FBI Criminal Background Passed?" and date fields.

    • Enter a comment in the Incident Management (IM) (Activity Section) using the Operator Updates that Finger Print Card (FPC) were processed and the estimated date the application will be sent to the Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC). Once changes have been saved, close the Incident Management (IM) using the appropriate solution.

  3. Attach the Finger Print Card (FPC) and results to the packet and put in basket for subsequent forwarding to the Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC).

Finger Print Card (FPC) Results-Data Found
  1. If the results of background check identify any criminal activity, print the AEF rap sheet. The e-Help Desk clerk or designated assistor will:

    • Update the ITIN Fingerprint card tracking spreadsheet with the date of the results and notation "Data" .

    • Annotate the Profile Sheet that data was found and date/initial the sheet.

  2. Leads will update RTS:

    • Select "Change Status" as reason for change and enter the comment "Fingerprint card processed for [name of individual] - data found" .

      Note:

      Do NOT include the actual activity in the comments. Also, if results were received from multiple Authorized Representatives for the same location, enter a separate comment for each individual.

    • Change the application status to "P1 – Passed ERO Check" .

    • If Fingerprint card results were for the Authorized Representative whose personal data is reflected in RTS (i.e., Social Security Number (SSN), Date of Birth( DOB), etc.), change radio button for "FBI Criminal Background Passed?" to "Yes" and enter date of the FBI check in the adjacent field.

    • Enter a comment in the Incident Management (IM) (Activity section) using the Operator Updates that Fingerprint card were processed and the estimated date the application will be sent to the CSPC. Once changes have been saved, close the Incident Management (IM) using the appropriate solution.

      Note:

      Do not include the actual activity/what data was found in the EHSS Incident Management (IM).

    • If RTS reflects the personal data for a different Authorized Representative, do not make any entries for the FBI "Criminal Background Passed?" and date fields.

  3. Attach the Fingerprint card and rap sheet results to the packet and put in basket for subsequent forwarding to the CSPC.

Finger Print Card (FPC) Results-Reject
  1. If a Fingerprint card is rejected by Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI), a second may be submitted for processing at no additional cost to the IRS. If the second Fingerprint card also rejects, a request for a manual name check is required.

  2. The following actions will be done by the e-Help Desk clerk for the 1st Fingerprint card rejection:

    • Print a copy of the rejection notice by clicking on the FBI results icon in the Automated Electronic Fingerprinting (AEF) system.

    • Notate the ITIN Fingerprint card Tracking spreadsheet that the Fingerprint card was rejected, date of rejection and the IAFIS (Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System) Control Number indicated on the rejection notice.

    • If the applicant did not submit a second Fingerprint card, return the application folder and rejected Fingerprint card to the Lead that signed the Profile Sheet.

    • If the applicant submitted a second Fingerprint card, process it. Update the ITIN Fingerprint card Tracking spreadsheet with the date and appropriate information for the second Fingerprint card.

    • Scan the second Fingerprint card in AEF. When the demographics data is entered, the system will display a notice that a previous Fingerprint card was submitted and if the TCN should be included for the current submission.

      Note:

      If the TCN was for the Fingerprint card previously rejected, highlight the row and click on the "Select this TCN" button to add it.
      If the TCN was for another submission (e.g., an e-file application or prior Acceptance Agent application from a prior year), do not click on the "Select this TCN" button.

    • If the second submission results in no data, see IRM 3.21.264.5.4.3.1, Fingerprint card Results-No Data Found. If data was found, see IRM 3.21.264.5.4.3.2, Fingerprint card Results-Data Found.

  3. If the second Fingerprint card also rejects, the e-Help Desk clerk will:

    • Print a copy of the rejection notice by clicking on the FBI results icon in the (AEF) system.

    • Update the ITIN Fingerprint card Tracking spreadsheet with the date of the rejection, that the Fingerprint card rejected, and the TCN of the second rejection.

    • Return the application folder and rejected Fingerprint card to the Lead that signed the Profile Sheet.

  4. If the Form 13551 only reflected the one authorized representative whose Fingerprint card rejected, the Lead will:

    • Return the original application and all associated documents including the rejected Fingerprint card to the applicant using Letter 4954, Fingerprint Card Rejected by FBI, see IRM 3.21.264.5.6.9

    • Update RTS by selecting "Change Status" as the reason for change. Enter the comment "Fingerprint card rejected. Additional Fingerprint card not available. Requested additional Fingerprint card" and note that Letter 4954 was mailed and the date mailed. Change the application status to "I2 - Incomplete/Invalid Application" .

    • Using the Activities section of the Incident Management (IM), enter an Operator Update that the application was returned because the Fingerprint card could not be processed and the date the Letter 4954 was mailed. Once the update has been saved, close the Incident Management (IM).

    • Recycle the Fingerprint card cover sheet and folder. Classify the Profile Sheet and other IRS documentation in the CSPC packet.

  5. If the Form 13551 has multiple authorized representatives and at least one passed all suitability checks, the Lead will:

    • Return the authorized representative(s) rejected Fingerprint card and all associated documents to the applicant using Letter 4954, Fingerprint Card Rejected by FBI, see IRM 3.21.264.5.6.9, Rejected Finger Print Cards (FPC).

    • Enter a comment "Fingerprint card for [name of authorized representative] rejected. Additional Fingerprint card not available. Requested additional Fingerprint card" and that Letter 4954, Rejected Finger Print Cards (FPC)was mailed and when. Remove the individual(s) from the list of authorized representatives and change the application status to "P2 - Passed Suitability Checks" .

    • Using red ink, circle the name of the authorized representatives on the Form 13551.

    • Attach a copy of the dated Letter 4954 in the packet to the CSPC.

    • Using the Activities section of the Incident Management (IM), enter an Operator Update that an authorized representative(s) Fingerprint card could not be processed and was returned to the applicant, date of the Letter 4954 and the anticipated date the (passed) application with the other authorized representative would be forwarded to the CSPC. Once the update has been saved, close the Incident Management (IM).

    • Put the application in the basket for the CSPC and recycle the Fingerprint card cover sheet and folder.

  6. If both Fingerprint cards provided by the authorized representative were rejected by the AEF system as unprocessable:

    • Submit a Name Check using the request at Exhibit 3.21.264-7, Request for Name Check and Fax Cover Sheet. Enter the TCNs for both rejections as indicated.

      Note:

      ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡

      .

    • Update the ITIN Fingerprint card Tracking spreadsheet with the date, type "Name Check" and other information as appropriate.

    • Enter a comment in RTS indicating a Name Check request was submitted. (Example: "Name Check request for John Doe faxed to the FBI)" . Include the date of the Name Check request if different than the date the RTS entry is being made. (Example: "Name Check request for John Doe faxed to the FBI on 3/12/2012" ).

    • Update the Incident Management (IM) using the Activity section that a name check request was faxed to the FBI.

    • Re-file the application on the third shelf of ITIN AA cart pending results.

  7. When results of the name check are received, see IRM 3.21.264.5.4.3.1, Fingerprint card Results-No Data Found, or see IRM 3.21.264.5.4.3.2, Fingerprint card Results-Data Found, as appropriate.

Finger Print Card (FPC) Results-No Results Received
  1. To ensure Fingerprint card results are received in a timely manner, the e-Help Desk Clerk or designated assistor will monitor their receipt.

  2. Weekly, a report is run in RTS to identify applications in a "I3 - In-Process FBI Check" . Compare the results with the folders on the ITIN AA cart pending receipt of Fingerprint card results.

  3. Resolve any discrepancies between the folders on the cart and the RTS printout. Review the folders to determine when the Fingerprint card was submitted:

    • Results of Fingerprint card submitted using the AEF system should be received within 24 hours. If not received, notify a Lead/Manager who will research the delay.

    • Requests for a Name Check faxed to the FBI should be answered within 30 days. If not, notify a Lead/Manager who will contact the Program and Management Analyst in EPSS who will contact the FBI for assistance.

Application Documentation Packet

  1. To facilitate the review process and ensure IRS proprietary documents are not disclosed to unauthorized individuals, it is critical ITIN Acceptance Agent applications be assembled properly. Depending on the application's status and the recipient, each has a different assembly requirement.

  2. Documents in each packet will be assembled in the order indicated.

Incomplete Application Documentation Packet
  1. If an application is being returned to an applicant because it is incomplete, assemble it as follows: Staple together:

    • The undated incomplete letter (however, letter will be stamped with the e-Help Desk Operation's Manager's signature).

    • Form 13551 (To preclude confusion if the Form 13551 is subsequently returned, delete the Incident Management (IM) number and all IRS received date notations/stamps with either a single line or "x" in red ink).

    • Except for Fingerprint card, all other documents received with the application.

  2. Behind the assembled packet, paper clip any Fingerprint card received with the application or if a Fingerprint card is being included as part of the incomplete letter.

  3. Behind the packet returning the Form 13551 to the applicant include:

    • Copy of the RTS input screen and Comment pages if the application was entered in RTS.

    • Copy of IDRS (CC DDBOL) screen(s) for each authorized representative.

    • Copy of IDRS (CC RPVUE) screen for each authorized representative, when appropriate/required.

  4. Assemble the envelope in which the application was received, lead or reviewer may determine recommendation other than incomplete.

    Note:

    Do not attach any IDRS, IAT, RTS, or External Customer Data Store (ECDS) screen prints created while processing the application to the letter or packet going back to the applicant. If there are tax compliance issues listed on the letter, the reviewer/lead will research IDRS to ensure all issues are identified and are current.

Passed Application Documentation
  1. If the application contains multiple authorized representatives and at least one of them failed their suitability check, place the following documents of the failed applicant(s) at the top-most documents in the folder. Except for any Fingerprint card being returned, staple the documents together (Fingerprint card will be paper clipped behind the stapled packet).

    • Updated incomplete or rejection letter stamped with the signature of the Operations Manager

    • Training completion statement

    • Certification of completion of forensic document training

    • Copy of green card or Visa

    • Proof of professional status

    • Any other documents pertaining to the individual

  2. If application included an authorized representative requiring a background investigation by the FBI, place Fingerprint card as the next/top most document.

  3. Except for applications being returned as being incomplete, after any rejection letters and/or Fingerprint card, assemble the packet being sent to Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC) by stapling the following documents together:

    • Profile Sheet signed by the assistor and annotated with their SEID and date

    • Statement explaining items being added, changed or deleted (amended application only)

    • Form 13551

      Note:

      Circle in red ink the name of any Authorized Representative that failed their suitability check

      Note:

      Staple together the following documents by each Authorized Representative in the sequence indicated:

    • Training completion statement

    • For CAA applicants only: Original certificate of completion of a forensic document identification course

    • Copy of green card or visa if U. S. resident alien or non-resident alien residing in the U.S.

    • Copy of the e-file Summary page if the Authorized Representative is a principal or responsible official on a different active/completed e-file application to support why a background investigation is not required. Highlight the name of the Authorized Representative in yellow

    • Proof of professional status (Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certificate, Enrolled Agent (EA) card, etc.)

    • RPVUE (preparer data) printout of the PTIN

    • Proof of citizenship status (if required)

    • All other document(s) received with the application (including any fingerprint card not required for submission to the FBI)

    • For an EFIN listed on Line 3 in an active/completed status, a copy of the e-file Summary page (not required for amended application if RTS reflects the same EIN or EFIN with multiple locations on the current/approved agreement).

      Caution:

      Redact any personal information from the e-file application summary page (i.e., Name, SSN) for the principal or responsible official who are not listed on the Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program prior to sending the Form 13551 application packet to Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC).

    • e-file EFIN Status page reflecting return history (if applicable) for EFIN listed on Line 3 if in an active/completed status (not required for amended application if RTS reflects the same EIN or EFIN with multiple locations on the current/approved agreement).

    • If the principal, partner or owner listed on Line 2 is not also reflected as an Authorized Representative on the Form 13551 (on line 5 or a Continuation Sheet), a copy of the (CC RPVUE) (preparer data) printout of their PTIN

    • INOLES printout of the EIN (not required for amended application if IDRS (CC INOLES) reflects the same data in RTS for the current/approved agreement).

    • Envelope application was received in

    • Copy of any incomplete or rejection letter and response(s).

  4. Behind the assembled CSPC packet, paperclip the following:

    • RTS printout of the application

    • Copy of the Comments screen(s)

    • Copy of DDBOL screen for each authorized representative.

    • Copy of the RPVUE screen for an authorized representative that failed their individual tax compliance check.

Rejected Application Documentation
  1. For applications being rejected or applications being returned as incomplete that also have suitability check failures, staple the following documents together in the packet being sent to the applicant:

    • Appropriate (undated) letter stamped with the signature of the Operations Manager.

    • Form 13551 (To preclude confusion if the Form 13551 is subsequently returned, delete the Incident Management (IM) number and all IRS received date notations/stamps with either a single line or "x" in red ink).

    • Training completion statement

    • Proof of forensic documentation training (if applicable)

    • Proof of professional status (if applicable) and all other documents received with the application

      Exception:

      do NOT staple Fingerprint card with other documents

  2. For correspondence that is returned as undeliverable mail:

    If... Then...
    Correspondence is returned as undeliverable mail, verify the address on the letter matches the business mailing address on Form 13551.
    There are typos in the address, make corrections and reissue the correspondence
    There is an indication of a United States Postal Service (USPS) National Change of Address, Change the mailing address on RTS, enter comment "USPS NCOA" and reissue the correspondence.
    There is not an indication of a USPS National Change of Address Contact the applicant by telephone or fax for the correct mailing address.
    If applicant does not provide a correct mailing address within 5 business days of the contact and all avenues for subsequent applicant contact fails, (e.g., forwarding address on envelope, telephone number listed on Form 13551, etc.), Reject Form 13551. Complete Form 3210 and attach and mail the original FDTC and complete application to the ITIN Policy Section. Update status in RTS and enter RTS comment "Undelivered Ltr. XXXX (insert letter number), No response, F13551 Rejected" .
  3. Except for incomplete applications, assemble a rejection packet by paper clipping the following documents together:

    • RTS printout of the application

    • Copy of the RTS Comments screen(s)

    • IDRS printouts for citizenship (CC DDBOL) and PTIN (RPVUE)

    Note:

    Assemble the envelope in which the application was received with the rejection packet, the Lead/Reviewer may determine recommendation other than reject.

Amended Application Documentation (New Location or Miscellaneous Change)
  1. For amended applications adding a new location or for a miscellaneous change, staple together:

    • Profile Sheet notated with the reason for amendment, signed by the assistor and annotated with their SEID and date

    • Statement explaining items being added, changed or deleted.

    • Form 13551

    • All other document(s) received with the application (including any Fingerprint card)

    • For an EFIN listed on Line 3 in an active/completed status, a copy of the e-file Summary page if the amended application is for a new location

      Caution:

      Redact any personal information from the e-file application summary page (i.e., Name, SSN) for the principal or responsible official who are not listed on the Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program prior to sending the Form 13551 application packet to Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC).

    • e-file EFIN Status page reflecting return history (if applicable) for EFIN listed on Line 3 if in an active/completed status if the amended application is for a new location.

    • Envelope in which the application was received

  2. Assemble a review packet by paper clipping the following documents together:

    • RTS printout of the application if adding new location

    • Copy of RTS Comments screen(s)

    • IDRS printouts for citizenship (CC DDBOL) and PTIN (RPVUE) if adding a new location that reflects an Authorized Representative not reflected at another location under the same EIN.

Correspondence

  1. Applications that are missing documents or are incomplete or are rejected for a tax compliance failure will be returned using a cover letter.

  2. Assistors will prepare letters that are professional in appearance.

  3. Whenever possible letters that consist of two (or more) pages will include at least one paragraph on the second (or subsequent) page.

  4. Assistor will indicate their SEID on each letter they originate.

  5. Assistors should not date letters they prepare. The reviewer or lead will date stamp the letter when dispatched.

  6. Assistors will stamp the letter with the appropriate signature stamp.

  7. Indicated in the table below is a list of letters used to communicate with a representative about their application and the corresponding IRM reference and Exhibit number:

    Type Correspondence Letter Number IRM Reference Catalog Number
    Fingerprint Card Rejected by FBI 4954 IRM 3.21.264.5.6.9, Rejected Fingerprint Cards (FPC) 59500X
    Rejection - Fail to Provide Information in 30 Days 4956 IRM 3.21.264.5.6.2, Failure to Respond Within 30 Days or Provide Missing Information 59503E
    Rejection - Suitability for Authorized Representative 4958 IRM 3.21.264.5.6.7, Individual Suitability Failure (Individual) 59505A
    Rejection for Individual Suitability - Owner 4959 IRM 3.21.264.5.6.6, Individual Suitability Failure (Owner) 59507W
    Rejection for Previous Termination 4960 IRM 3.21.264.5.6.8, Previous Rejection or Termination 59508H
    Rejection for Unresolved Tax Compliance Issue - Business/Owner 4961 IRM 3.21.264.5.6.4, Business Tax Compliance Failure (Owner) 59509S
    Returned for Incomplete Application 4963 IRM 3.21.264.5.6.1, Incomplete Application Letter 59511E
    Returned for Submission Outside of Renewal Period 4965 IRM 3.21.264.5.6.3, Application Received Outside or Renewal Window 59513A
  8. Except as indicated below, use the mailing address indicated on Line 14 for any correspondence addressed to the principal, partner or owner indicated on Line 20 of the Form 13551. (If Line 14 is blank, use address on Line 12).

    • Applications being rejected for a business tax compliance failure will be addressed to the principal, partner or owner indicated on Line 20 of the Form 13551 provided the title is reflected in Exhibit 3.21.264-15, Acceptable Titles for Principal, Partner or Owner on Form 13551, as being authorized to receive a business tax compliance failure letter. If not, address the letter to the position in the organization as indicated in the Exhibit.

      Note:

      If the principal, partner or owner's title is missing on Line 20, research IDRS (CC BMFOLE) for a cross-referenced Social Security Number/Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (SSN/ITIN) (XREF TIN/ITIN). If the cross-referenced TIN is for the principal, partner or owner indicated on Line 2, address the letter to them. If there is no TIN (all zeroes) or if the TIN belongs to another individual, address the letter to position in the organization as indicated in Exhibit 3.21.264-15 .

    • Individual suitability failures will only be addressed to that individual at their home address indicated on the Form 13551. See Letter 4958, Rejection - Suitability for Authorized Representative and IRM 3.21.264.5.6.7. A Letter 4959 will also be sent to the principal, partner or owner. See IRM 3.21.264.5.6.6, (Individual Suitability Failure (Owner).

    • If the individual suitability failure belongs to the principal, partner or owner who is also reflected as an Authorized Representative, mail the Letter 4963 to their home address indicated on the Form 13551. Include any other incomplete or firm suitability issues in the same Letter 4963. IRM 3.21.264.5.6.1.

    • If an application is being returned as incomplete but one of the Authorized Representatives (other than the owner) failed their individual suitability check, the incomplete letter will be addressed to the principal, partner or owner and indicate that one or more of the authorized representatives listed on the application failed their suitability check. However, do not include the name of the individual that failed the check nor the specific reason for the failure. A separate letter will be sent to the individual that failed their check.

  9. If application is being returned as incomplete, rejected for a business tax compliance failure, or for notifying the owner an individual on their application did not pass their suitability check, address letter to the Doing Business As (DBA) name indicated in Line 11 or legal name indicated in Line 2.

  10. For an incomplete or rejection letter reflecting missing quarterly tax modules or modules with an outstanding balance due, indicate the quarter rather than the ending month.

    Example:

    Return Year Reason
    Form 941 1st Qtr. 2013 Missing
    Form 941 2nd Qtr. 2010 to 4th Qtr 2011 Missing
    Form 941 3rd Qtr. 2012 Missing
  11. A copy of all incomplete or rejection letters will be attached to the Incident. Indicate the Incident and letter numbers as the title of the attachment. For individual suitability/tax compliance failures, include the last name of the Authorized Representative in parenthesis.

    Example:

    IM00000 Ltr. 4963 or IM000000 Ltr 4958 (Jones)

  12. If correspondence is returned as undeliverable mail, see IRM 3.21.264.5.5.3 (2).

Incomplete Application Letter
  1. Letter 4963, Returned for Incomplete Application is used to return an application that is incomplete or missing information.

  2. A list of various reasons for returning the application is included with Letter 4963.

  3. If Fingerprint cards are needed, include 2 blank cards with Publication 5173, Acceptance Agent Fingerprint Card Stuffer for each applicant requiring a background investigation check.

  4. If appropriate, include paragraphs indicating any business tax compliance check failures. If one or more of the authorized representatives failed their suitability check, include a statement to that affect. However, do not include the name of any authorized representative that failed nor the specific reason for the suitability failure.

  5. Update the Incident Management (IM), see IRM 3.21.264.5.2.1.2 and attach a copy of the letter(s) to the IM.

  6. A Lead will review the packet (see IRM 3.21.264.5.7) and:

    • Update the Assignee block in the Incident Management (IM) to themselves.

    • Return it to the assistor if items are missing or the letter needs to be re-done.

    • Date stamp and mail the application if otherwise complete.

    • Using the Operator Update in the Activities Section, include a comment when the Letter 4963 was mailed and save the changes.

    • Close the Incident Management (IM).

    • Classify any internal documents in the packet.

Failure to Respond Within 30 Days or Provide Missing Information
  1. If an application was previously returned for missing documentation or incomplete information and the response is not received within 30 days of the date of the incomplete letter, the application will be processed as a new application. If an application is received within 30 days but the applicant failed to provide the requested missing information or they did not resolve a suitability/tax compliance issued, use Letter 4956 , Rejection - Fail to Provide Information in 30 Days, to return application.

  2. If the application is entered in RTS:

    • Add a Comment to indicate the postmark/IRS received date (whichever is earlier), the missing or incomplete information that was not received within 30 days.

  3. Assemble the rejected packet as indicated in IRM 3.21.264.5.5.3 , Rejected Application Documentation.

  4. Update the Incident Management (IM )(see IRM 3.21.264.5.2.1.2). and attach a copy of the rejection letter to the Incident.

  5. Place the application folder and rejection letter on the appropriate ITIN cart in ascending Incident Management (IM) sequence number.

  6. A Lead will review the packet, see IRM 3.21.264.5.7, Quality Review and:

    • Update the Incident Management (IM) as assigned to them.

    • Return it to the assistor if items are missing.

    • If complete and entered in RTS: update RTS status "REJECTED" , input appropriate comment, letter number and date mailed such as "Rejected-failed to provide missing information in response. Letter 4956 mailed 6/28/2013" .

    • Update the Incident Management (IM) using the Operator Update in the Activities Section and enter a comment reflecting when the Letter 4956 was mailed and save the update and then close the Incident Management (IM).

    • Classify any internal documents in the packet.

    • Date stamp the letter

    • Mail the original rejection letter and application back to the applicant.

    • Classify the Profile Sheet and any attached documents.

Application Received Outside of Renewal Window
  1. If an application is received outside the renewal window (in a year prior to the agreement expiration date) and is not an amended application, it will be returned to the applicant. Use Letter 4965, , Returned for Submission Outside of Renewal Period.

  2. Before returning the application, review it for completeness or missing documents. If information is incomplete or missing, include the paragraph reflecting the incomplete or missing item using the reasons in Letter 4963,, Incomplete Application Variable Responses or appropriate comment(s).

  3. Access the application in RTS and enter an "Other" comment that a renewal application was received outside of the renewal window and returned to the applicant.

  4. Update the Incident Management (IM), see IRM 3.21.264.5.2.1.2, Incident Management (IM) updates. Enter comment that the application was received and attach a copy of the letter to the Incident.

  5. Place the application folder and rejection letter on the appropriate ITIN cart in ascending Incident Management (IM)sequence number.

  6. A Lead will review the packet, see IRM 3.21.264.5.7, Quality Review and:

    • Update the Incident Management (IM) as assigned to them.

    • Return it to the assistor if items are missing.

    • Update the Incident Management (IM) using the Operator Update in the Activities Section and enter a comment reflecting when the Letter 4965 was mailed, save the update and then close the IM.

    • Enter a comment in RTS when the Letter 4965 was mailed.

    • Date stamp the letter and mail the application.

    • Classify any internal documents in the packet.

Business Tax Compliance Failure (Owner)
  1. Notify the business owner their application was rejected because of business tax and/or individual (if owner is the sole authorized representative) tax compliance issue using Letter 4961, Rejection for Unresolved Tax Compliance Issue - Bussiness/Owner.

  2. Update RTS:

    • Add a Comment to indicate the balance due (BAL DUE) or missing return(s). See IRM 3.21.264.5.2.3, Real Time System (RTS) Comments for format.

    • If not already changed, update the status of application to "F1 - Failed IRS Tax Compliance Check" .

    • Enter date of tax compliance check

  3. Assemble the rejected packet as indicated in IRM 3.21.264.5.5.3, Rejected Application Documentation.

  4. Update the Incident Management (IM), see IRM 3.21.264.5.2.1.2, Incident Management (IM) Updates. Enter comment that the application was rejected because of a business tax compliance failure. Attach a copy of the letter to the Incident.

  5. Place the application folder and rejection letter on the appropriate ITIN cart in ascending Incident Management (IM) sequence number.

  6. A Lead will review the packet, see IRM 3.21.264.5.7, Quality Review and:

    • Update the Incident Management (IM) as assigned to them.

    • Return it to the assistor if items are missing.

    • Update the Comments in RTS that the application is being rejected because of a business tax compliance failure, the letter number and date mailed.

    • Change the application's status in RTS to "REJECTED" .

    • Update the Incident Management (IM) using the Operator Update in the Activities Section and enter a comment reflecting when the Letter 4961 was mailed and save the update and then close the Incident Management (IM).

    • Date stamp the letter and mail the application.

    • Classify any internal documents in the packet.

Failure to Resolve Tax Compliance Issue
  1. If an application is received that was previously rejected for a tax compliance issue, research IDRS to determine if issue has been resolved and posted to master file. If it has not and the resubmitted application does not include a copy of the missing return(s), an IRS notice indicating they were not liable for them or a statement from the owner that they contacted the Business and Specialty Customer Service office and were informed they were not liable, reject the application using Letter 4956, Rejection - Fail to Provide Information in 30 Days.

  2. See IRM 3.21.264.5.6.2, Failure to Respond within 30 days or Provide Missing Information.

Individual Suitability Failure (Owner)
  1. If the Form 13551 was signed by the owner, partner or corporate officer who is not the authorized representative who failed their tax compliance check, use Letter 4959, Rejection for Individual Suitability - Owner, to notify the business owner their application (or an individual on the application) was rejected because of an individual tax compliance or other suitability issue.

  2. Do not disclose the name of the authorized representative(s) failed the suitability nor the reason to the owner.

  3. Update RTS:

    • Add a Comment to indicate the balance due (BAL DUE) or missing returns(s). See IRM 3.21.264.5.2.3, Real Time System (RTS) Comments for format.

    • If not already changed, update status of application to "F1 - Failed IRS Tax Compliance Check" .

    • Enter date of tax compliance check.

  4. Assemble the rejected packet as indicated in IRM 3.21.264.5.5.3, Rejected Application Documentation.

  5. Update the Incident Management (IM), see IRM 3.21.264.5.2.1.2, Incident Management (IM) Updates. Enter comment that the application was rejected because of individual suitability failure and attach copy of the letter to the IM.

  6. Place the application folder and rejection letter on the appropriate ITIN cart in ascending IM sequence number.

  7. A Lead will review the packet, see IRM 3.21.264.5.7, Quality Review and:

    • Update the Incident Management (IM) as assigned to them.

    • Return it to the assistor if items are missing.

    • Update the Comments in RTS that the application is being rejected because of a business tax compliance failure, the letter number and date mailed.

    • Change the application's status in RTS to "REJECTED" .

    • Update the Incident Management (IM) using the Operator Update in the Activities Section and enter a comment reflecting when the Letter 4959 was mailed and save the update and then close the Incident.

    • Date stamp the letter and mail the application.

    • Classify any internal documents in the packet.

Individual Suitability Failure (Individual)
  1. Letter 4958, Rejection - Suitability for Authorized Representative, will be used to notify the authorized representative they cannot participate in the Acceptance Agent program because of an individual tax compliance failure, or the citizenship or date of birth on the application does not match IRS records, or they reside in the U.S. but do not have an Social Security Number (SSN) or their PTIN is expired, inactive, suspended, revoked or reflects they are deceased.

  2. Mail letters concerning individual suitability issues only to the Authorized Representative with the issues using their home address indicated on the Form 13551.

  3. Update Real Time System (RTS):

    • Add Comment to indicate the reason for the failure. See IRM 3.21.264.5.2.3, Real Time System (RTS) Comments for format for tax compliance issues.

    • If not already changed, update the status of application to "F1 - Failed IRS Tax Compliance Check"

    • Enter date of tax compliance check.

  4. Assemble the rejected packet as indicated in IRM 3.21.264.5.5.3, Rejected Application Documentation.

  5. Update the Incident Management (IM), see IRM 3.21.264.5.2.1.2, Incident Management (IM) Updates . Enter comment that the application was rejected because of an individual suitability failure and attach a copy of the letter to the Incident.

  6. Place the application folder and rejection letter on the appropriate ITIN cart in ascending Incident Management (IM) sequence number.

  7. A Lead will review the packet, see IRM 3.21.264.5.7, Quality Review and:

    • Update the Incident management (IM) as assigned to them.

    • Return it to the assistor if items are missing.

    • Update the Comments in RTS that the application is being rejected because of an individual suitability failure, the letter number and date mailed.

    • Change the application status in RTS to "REJECTED" .

    • Update the Incident management (IM) using the Operator Update in the Activities Section and enter a comment reflecting when the Letter 4958 was mailed and save the update and then close the Incident.

    • Date stamp the letter and mail the application.

    • Classify any internal documents in the packet.

Previous Rejection or Termination
  1. Use Letter 4960, Rejection for Previous Termination, for an application previously rejected or received from an EIN whose agreement was terminated by the ITIN Policy Section. Letter 4960 will also be used when applicant entries on Form 13551 do not meet program requirements (e. g., Line 15a is less than five). Continued review and tax compliance checks will not be performed on applications that do not meet program requirements. IPS may terminate application for several reasons (i.e., Compliance Review, Inactivity and Missing Forensic Document Training Certificate). If the eligibility date has been met, process the application. See the eligibility date requirements below:

    • The eligibility date for Compliance Review-Termination is one year from the date of the Compliance Review letter date indicated in RTS. If the eligibility date will not be met, reject the incoming application.

    • If the applicant was previously terminated for inactivity and is submitting a new application, continue to process the application.

    • There is no eligibility date if prior termination was for a missing FDTC. If original FDTC is submitted with Form 13551 application, continue to process.

    Note:

    If the current status in RTS shows "Approved" or "Expired" with a RTS history indicating "Compliance Review-Probation" , process the incoming application as an Acceptance Agent (AA) only

  2. If appropriate, include date applicant can reapply .

  3. Enter a comment in RTS that another application was received but returned because the eligibility period had not expired.

  4. Assemble the rejected packet as indicated in IRM 3.21.264.5.5.3, Rejected Application Documentation.

  5. Update the Incident Management (IM), see IRM 3.21.264.5.2.1.2, Incident Management (IM) Updates. Enter comment that the application was rejected because of a previous rejection or termination and attach a copy of the letter to the IM.

  6. Place the application folder and rejection letter on the appropriate ITIN cart in ascending Incident Management (IM) sequence number.

  7. A Lead will review the packet, see IRM 3.21.264.5.7, Quality Review and:

    • Update the Incident Management (IM) as assigned to them.

    • Return it to the assistor if items are missing.

    • Update Comments in RTS that the application is being rejected because of a previous rejection or termination, the letter number and date mailed.

    • Update the Incident management (IM) using the Operator Update in the Activities Section and enter a comment reflecting when the Letter 4960 was mailed and save the update, then close the Incident.

    • Date stamp the letter and mail the application.

    • Classify any internal documents in the packet.

Rejected Finger Print Cards (FPC)
  1. If application contains multiple authorized representative and at least one passes their suitability check but another fails because their Fingerprint card could not be processed, the lead/reviewer will:

    • Return the rejected Fingerprint cards using Letter 4954, Fingerprint Card Rejected by FBI. The letter will be addressed to the principal/owner indicated on Line 20 of the Form 13551. Two blank Fingerprint cards and Publication 5173, Acceptance Agent Fingerprint Card Stuffer will be included. Any other documents specific to the authorized representative (e.g., Training Certification Statement, Green card, etc.) will also be attached to the letter.

    • Update RTS with a Comment with the name of the authorized representative whose Fingerprint card could not be processed.

    • Change the application's status in RTS to "P2- PASSED SUITABILITY CHECKS" and remove the individual whose Fingerprint card could not be processed from the Authorized Representative block on the AA Edit screen.

    • Circle that individual's name in red ink on the Form 13551.

    • Enter comments using the Operator Update in the Activities Section of the Incident Management (IM) that the Fingerprint card for one applicant could not be processed but the application contained other authorized representatives and was being sent to the Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC). Include date when the Letter 4954 was mailed and the anticipated date the application packet will be sent to the CSPC. Attach a copy of the letter to the Incident.

    • Save the changes and then close the Incident management (IM).

    • Stamp the letter with the date the letter is being mailed and with Operations Manager's signature (including copy in the CSPC packet) and mail the letter to the owner.

    • Classify any internal documents in the packet.

    • Update the Profile Sheet with a notation a Fingerprint card could not be processed for an authorized representative and their name and put the application packet in the CSPC basket on the ITIN cart.

  2. If the application contains one or more authorized representatives but will not pass because none of their Fingerprint cards could be processed, the lead/reviewer will:

    • Return the entire Form 13551 and the rejected Fingerprint cards using Letter 4954. Two blank Fingerprint cards for each authorized representative and Publication 5173, Acceptance Agent Fingerprint Card Stuffer will be included for each individual whose Fingerprint card was rejected. Letter will be addressed to the principal/partner/owner indicated on Line 20 of the Form 13551.

    • Update the Comments in RTS that the application is being returned because the Fingerprint card could not be processed, the letter number and date mailed.

    • Change the application's status in RTS to "I2 - INCOMPLETE/INVALID APPLICATION" .

    • Update the Incident Management (IM) using the Operator Update in the Activities Section and enter a comment reflecting the application was returned, attach a copy of the letter, save the update and then close the Incident.

    • Stamp the letter with the date the letter is being mailed and with Operations Manager's signature and mail the Form 13551 back to the owner.

    • Classify the Profile Sheet and any internal documents in the packet.

  3. If the Fingerprint card for an authorized representative cannot be processed by the FBI and there is not a second Fingerprint card in the folder, return the application and rejected Fingerprint card using Letter 4954, Fingerprint Card Rejected by FBI.

Request for Name Check
  1. Use the form in Exhibit 3.21.264-7, Request for Name Check and Fax Cover Sheet, to request a manual name check for an authorized representative after the second unsuccessful attempt to process their Fingerprint card.

Quality Review

  1. Team Leads and Designated Assistors (Reviewers) will:

    1. Perform random quality checks of applications processed by an assistor using the Review Form in Exhibit 3.21.264-8, Form 13551 Review Checklist.

    2. The results of the quality review process by the Leads/designated assistors are used to identify areas needing additional emphasis, training or clarification

    3. Review at least one application for Embedded Quality Review System (EQRS) purposes monthly. These reviews are considered during the assistor’s annual performance evaluation.

  2. A review by a Lead/designated individual includes (but is not limited to):

    • Whether the assistor identified all incomplete or missing information or documents when the application was initially reviewed

    • Accuracy of RTS entry

    • Compliance with this IRM

  3. The following items are critical to the ITIN acceptance agent program:

    • EIN

    • Authorized representative name

    • Mailing address

    • Background check requirement

    • Title in Item 20 must be appropriate for EIN in Item 4

    • Signature

    • Fraud Document Training Certification (FDTC) for CAA applicants.

Acceptance Agent Approval Process (For Cincinnati Submission Processing Center Use Only)

  1. The following section describe the process for Acceptance Agent Approval.

  2. The Acceptance Agent applications are submitted to the Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC) after Austin e-Help Desk employees process and enter the application in the ITIN Real-time System (ITIN RTS). CSPC employees are responsible for analyzing the applications and determining the final disposition.

Clerical Process

  1. Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC) clerks will verify the receipt of application from Austin e-Help Desk against the Document Transmittal (Form 3210) and take the following actions.

    If ... Then ...
    An application is received and listed on the Form 3210, Notate on Form 3210 whether the application is new, renewal or amended. Also notate if the applicant applied to be an AA or CAA.
    An application is received that is not listed on Form 3210, Record the application on Form 3210 in the same order of applications received.
    An application was listed on Form 3210, but not received, Write “Did not Receive” on Form 3210.
  2. The clerk will then acknowledge receipt of Form 3210 (sign), return part 3 to the originating office, and maintain a copy for one year.

  3. Date stamp the profile sheet that is attached to the front of each application received from e-help Desk. Stamp the date in a clean space on the profile sheet.

  4. Each application is counted and entered on the Mail Merge spreadsheet. Create one workbook to record both AA Types, (AA/CAA).).

    Note:

    It is important to accurately record all required information on the spreadsheet. The spreadsheet will be used to generate all correspondence, initial cover letter, congratulation letter, AA/CAA agreement and labels for envelopes.

    The spreadsheet must contain the categories listed below:

    "Categories" "Description"
    Legal Name See Line 2 of Form 13551. If different from attached CC INOLES print or information from IDRS, enter the name on CC INOLES.
    Doing Business As (DBA) See Line 11 of Form 13551. If same as legal name, do not enter on the spreadsheet.(not necessary to duplicate).
    Date of Application Enter the date stamped at the bottom of the application by Austin. The date can be located on the side of application or in a blank space. Use the latest date stamp.
    Type of Company See Line 1 of Form 13551. Only enter one type of company (e.g., Financial Institution, Educational Institution, Casino, Corporation, LLC, Sole Proprietor, etc).
    State See Line 12 (State /Country) of Form 13551 and enter on the spreadsheet. Refers to the state in which the organization was formed.
    Employer Identification Number (EIN) See Line 4 of Form 13551 and enter on spreadsheet.
    EFIN See Line 3 of Form 13551 and enter on spreadsheet if listed.

    Note:

    Not all organizations have an EFIN. Also if present, but circled out in red by Austin, it can still be used by CSPC. Enter on spreadsheet.

    ,
    Street Address, 2nd Line Address, City, State, Zip See line 12 on Form 13551, for complete business location address. Enter the Street Address (including suite number), City, State and Zip on the spreadsheet.

    Note:

    Use the 2nd Line Address field only if there is an additional address (such as the name of a plaza, shopping center or office park). Enter this information in the Street Address field on the spreadsheet and the actual street address should be entered in the 2nd line Address field.

    Authorized Representative/Responsible Person, Title Enter a comma after each A/R name, then their respective title. If more than one A/R, use the keyboard shortcut Alt+Enter between each name after the title to enter the next name.

    Exception:

    Do not enter if the name is circled in red ink by Austin.

    Street, City, State, Zip Code (Mailing Address) See line 14, for complete mailing address if different from line 12 of application. Enter the Street Address (including suite number), City, State and Zip on the spreadsheet.

    Note:

    Use the 2nd Line Address field only if there is an additional address (such as the name of a plaza, shopping center or office park). Enter this information in the Street Address field on the spreadsheet and the actual street address should be entered in the 2nd line Address field.

  5. Applications are checked for completeness and rejection criteria. The table below outlines appropriate actions:

    If ... Then ...
    The application is not complete, The clerk will notify the Lead for review to determine action to be taken.
    The application meets rejection criteria, see IRM 3.21.264.6.1.2 Separate any rejected applications and give to Lead to determine action to be taken.

    Note:

    Generally, you will not receive rejected applications.

    The application has FBI data, The application will be given to the Lead to determine if the application will be rejected or continue in the process.
  6. A folder is made for each application with the legal name on the folder. Assemble one folder per Employer Identification Number (EIN).

    Note:

    Do not make a folder for amended applications. Amended applications are processed and then filed in the previously approved file.


    The folder includes:

    • A Chronology Sheet to record action taken on the application, place in front left side of folder

    • The Suitability Profile Sheet, Form 13551 and it’s contents remain stapled as received from Austin are placed on the right side of the folder. The content packet may include:

    • A print from the Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS) of CC INOLES to ensure the information on Master File is the same as the information on the application,

    • The application with profile sheet, tax compliance and FBI results,

    • Mandatory Training Certificate

    • Original Forensic Training Certificate (CAA only)

    • Attachments from applicant (explanation of penalties, etc.)

    • ERO Profile sheet, fingerprint card (if attached)

    • The preliminary agreement. Three copies will be printed, one stapled copy to be sent to the applicant along with two signature pages and the other two will remain in the file until applicant return the two signed signature pages. The agreement, letter and labeled envelope are placed on the inside of each folder.

      Note:

      There are two types of agreements – AA and CAA. The type of agreement sent to the applicant for review is determined by the applicant type applied for on Form 13551.

      Note:

      Modification of language in agreements in section 3.01 for educational institutions and financial institutions are listed below:

    • Educational Institution: The CAA is a "Type of Company" organized under the laws of the State of "State of" , and is an educational organization as defined in section 1.501(c)(3)-1(d)(3)(i) of Income Tax Regulations.

    • Financial Institution: The CAA is a "Type_of_Company" as defined in section 265(b) (5) of the Internal Revenue Code or section 1.165-12(c)(iv) of the regulations and operating in the state of "State_of" .

    • Mailing envelope for the agreement package. Print the label for the mailing envelope, then pull and place on the envelope

    • The Acceptance Agent Preliminary Cover Letter, (see Letter 5609, Acceptance Agent Preliminary Cover letter) is sent to the applicant along with the preliminary agreement and two signature pages. Print the cover letter on plain paper, then use the copier to print the finalized cover letter on official letterhead. Place the two cover letters together (plain copy and letterhead copy). Place the stapled agreement behind the cover letters. Attach paper-clipped signature pages. Attach the labeled envelope.

  7. Prepare the Inventory Control Sheet listing the Employer Identification Number (EIN) and Organization Name. Check each file to ensure all required documents are in the folder before leaving for the Tax Examiner to review. Place completed folders (with letters, agreement, and envelope) on a cart with the corresponding Inventory Control Sheet in the order they were received. Applications are worked on a first in /first out basis. .

  8. After the Tax Examiner completes their review, the folders are returned to the clerical area. The folders are placed on the incoming mail cart in alphabetical order and any mail is placed in the designated basket to be sent to the applicant. The clerk will verify and initial the Mail Log Sheet and deliver the preliminary agreements to the mail room. The clerk will pull the folders from the incoming mail cart and place in the file cabinet in alphabetical order awaiting applicant response. The clerk will give the Mail Log Sheet to the Lead to update the Inventory Spread sheet to reflect the date the Acceptance Agent Preliminary Cover Letter and preliminary agreement was mailed to the applicant.

  9. The applicant should review the agreement and sign and return two signature pages to CSPC at the address provided for final approval within 45 days of the date of the letter. The clerk will check the date on the AA Inventory Spreadsheet . If the signature pages have not been returned within the 45 day from the date the correspondence was mailed, the folder will be removed from the file cabinet and placed in the designated area for the Tax Examiner to complete the rejection actions.

  10. Only original signature (not photocopied or stamped) on signature pages are acceptable to finalize an agreement. If the applicant returns the signature pages, review all correspondence received with them. Date stamp the correspondence and envelope. Date stamp correspondence in an area that does not cover up written information. Do not date stamp the signature pages of the agreement as they will later be attached to the finalized agreement. Attach the stamped envelope to the signature pages with a paperclip. Update the AA Inventory Spreadsheet with the date the signature pages received. Pull the folder from the file cabinet and update the chronology sheet to indicate signature pages received.

  11. Refer to the following table for additional required actions for Preliminary Agreement receipt and review.

    If ... Then ...
    signature pages are improperly signed (i.e., not signed, signed by someone other than the authorized representative or principal, partner, or owner identified on Form 13551) or signed on both the line for the organization and IRS representative
    • print another agreement with two signature pages and Letter 5612, Incomplete Signature Pages (indicating another signature is needed).

    • Prepare and attach another envelope and give to the Lead

    signature pages are returned as undeliverable; Give to Lead to research for a better address or call for a correct address to resend
    signature pages are properly signed, Pull the applicant file and organize with the following documents for the tax examiner to review:
    • Two copies of the final agreement with the signature page on top of agreement,

    • Certificate of Accuracy (COA) – Applies to CAA only,

    • Form 14718, Additional Information for Acceptance Agents

    • Letter 5614, Certifying Acceptance Agent Congratulatory Letter or Letter 5615, Acceptance Agent Congratulatory Letter

    • Envelope addressed to the applicant.

    changes have been made to the agreement,
    • TE will review the correspondence and agreement to determine if changes (business or mailing address, contact telephone number, e-mail address and primary or alternate contacts) are needed.

    • Make the corresponding change in the Mail Merge Spreadsheet and agreement and print the revised agreement for the file.

      Caution:

      If applicant request to add an authorized representative in Section 3.04 of the agreement who was not on Form 13551 and shown as having passed suitability by Austin e-Help Desk on the Suitability Sheet in the file, do not change the agreement.

  12. The application is added to the Inventory Control Sheet and placed on the cart for tax examiner review.

  13. When the Tax Examiner completes the review, the application package will be given to CSPC management for review. If management approves and signs the agreement, it is returned to the Tax Examiner to date stamp both copies of the congratulation letter, both copies of first and last pages of the agreement and the W-7 COA (if applicant is a CAA). When the Tax Examiner returns the final application package to the clerk, they will complete the Mail Log tracking sheet, place envelopes in the mail bin. The clerk will verify the information, initial the Mail Log Sheet and deliver the approved agreements to the mail room. The clerk will give the Mail Log Sheet to the Lead to update the AA Inventory Spreadsheet to reflect the date the agreement was approved, website inclusion and Green Card information. The clerk will file the folder in alphabetical order in the approved Acceptance Agent filing cabinet. The clerk will then ensure all approved applications are stored for 6 years (4 year agreement period plus 2 additional years) and will review storage files to ensure approved applications are destroyed 6 years after processing year.

Clerical Actions for Amended Form 13551
  1. AA/CAAs must complete and submit an amended Form 13551 by official mail to Austin e-Help Desk address in the application instructions to make changes to the originally submitted application. A change is considered any of the following:

    • Change in business or mailing address

    • Change in authorized representatives

    • Change contact telephone number and e-mail address

    • Change the primary and/or alternate contacts

  2. The clerk will verify receipt of the amended application from the Austin e-help desk against Form 3210, Document Transmittal, acknowledge receipt of Form 3210 (sign), return part 3 to the originating office, and maintain a copy for one year . Applications are then worked by Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC) tax examiners. The tax examiners will determine the appropriate action to take, annotate the chronology of changes and e-mail the AA confirming the date changes were completed. Once completed the file will be returned to the clerk to re-file in the appropriate cabinet.

Clerical Actions for Rejected Applications
  1. Applications may be rejected for the following reasons:

    • Failed tax compliance check,

    • Failed FBI background investigation,

    • Applicant has an ITIN and resides within the U.S.,

    • Applicant did not return signature pages within 45 days,

    • Organization business operations is outside the scope for the AA program.

  2. Maintain rejected applications in storage for one year.

  3. Before destroying rejected applications, remove any original forensic documentation training certificates from the rejected application files and return the certificate(s) to the applicant at the mailing address that is listed on Form 13551, Application to participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program.

  4. All remaining information in the rejected application file should be treated as classified waste.

Clerical Actions for Terminated Agreements
  1. Only the ITIN Policy Section (IPS) can terminate an agreement for the following reasons:

    • Request by the entity (withdrawal)

    • Expired Agreement (no renewal application submitted)

    • Compliance Review Infractions

    • Quality Review Infractions

    • Inactivity

    • ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡

  2. IPS will forward a copy of the terminated agreement letter to Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC). CSPC clerks will take the following actions;

    1. Pull the Acceptance Agent file

    2. Document the file chronology to indicate "Agreement terminated by IPS on MM/DD/YYYY"

    3. Place the termination letter in the file.

    4. Maintain terminated agreement files in storage for 1 year.

    5. After the required storage period, return any original forensic documentation certificates to the entity at the mailing address on Form 13551. Treat any remaining items in the file as classified waste.

Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC) Initial Review Process

  1. Tax Examiners will check out work utilizing the Inventory Control Sheet.

  2. CSPC tax examiners review the applications and determine if the organizations are providing tax preparation assistance throughout the year. Tax examiners will correspond with organizations if clarification or additional information is needed.

  3. Applications received with FBI data should be given to the Lead to determine if applicant will continue in the process or be rejected.

  4. The table below outlines the specific areas of review on the Form 13551 application.

    Note:

    Information noted for Form 13551 Lines 5 through 10 also apply to Continuation Sheets.

    Review Area Action
    Type of Acceptance Agent Types of Acceptance Agents are Acceptance Agent (AA) and Certifying Acceptance Agent (CAA). One of these boxes should be checked by the applicant

    Caution:

    Austin tax examiner should have checked the appropriate box in red ink.

    .
    • If both the Acceptance Agent and Certifying Acceptance Agent boxes are checked or if neither box is checked, contact the applicant by letter unless a Forensic Document Training Certificate (FDTC) is attached.

      Note:

      If AA Application History indicates a compliance review was conducted, see IRM 3.21.264.6.2 (5) below.


    Check with the Lead for assistance.
    Application Type Applicant checks Application Type box as New, Renewal or Amended.
    • New application is for applicant that has never been in the program or their prior agreement has expired.

    • Renewal application is for applicant that is currently in the program and their agreement will expire at the end of the current year.

    • Amended application is for applicant that is currently approved in the program and making changes to their application. If a statement explaining the changes is not attached, contact the applicant by letter.

    Organization Status (Line 1) All applicants must check the box that best describes the organization status. If this information is missing on Form 13551, research RTS and edit Form 13551 in red ink as appropriate. If the "Other" box is checked, applicant must insert a brief explanation of the organization status.
    If the explanation is missing, contact the applicant by letter.
    Professional Status of Authorized Representative (Individual listed on Line 5) All applicants must check either the "Tax Preparer" , "Certified Public Accountant (CPA)" , "Attorney" , "Enrolled Agent Enter No" , or "Other" box. If the "Enrolled Agent" box is checked, applicant must provide the number. If the "Other" box is checked, they must insert a brief explanation of the professional status.

    If the Professional Status is not checked or edited by Austin, but proof of Professional Status (CPA or state bar association license etc.) is attached, edit in red on Form 13551. Otherwise, correspond with the applicant to confirm.

    Note:

    If Professional Status indicated is not for a tax administration purpose, refer to the Lead. The Lead will contact the ITIN Policy Section for instructions on how to proceed.

    Legal name of Business and Name and PTIN of Principal, Partner or Owner of the Business, EFIN, EIN (Lines 2, 3 and 4). All applicants must enter the legal name of the business and the name of the principal officer, partner or owner of the business, along with their Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN), if one was issued.

    The applicant’s legal name can be the name of a person if a sole proprietorship or can be the name of the entity if a Partnership, Corporation or Limited Liability Corporation (LLC). The name is associated with the EIN and the IRS Master File. Check the CC INOLES print out to verify the legal name matches the EIN. If neither the legal name or Doing Business As (DBA) name matches the legal name in IDRS, correspond with the applicant to confirm. Indicate in the letter that it does not match IRS records.

    Exception:

    If the Line 2 reflects the entity's Doing Business As (DBA) name, draw an arrow down to Line 11 and update Line 2, using red ink, with the entity's legal name from the CC INOLES print.



    If an EFIN is present in Line 3, verify the number with the ERO data sheet provided by Austin e-help Desk. If the EFIN is circled out in red by Austin, CSPC should still use it as this determines the office code.

    All applicants must have an EIN to participate in the AA program.

     
    Name and PTIN of Authorized Representative of the Business and Date of Birth (Lines 5 and 6) The authorized representative is the person designated by the entity to submit Form W-7 applications and are required to sign the Certificate of Accuracy (COA).

    Each entity may have up to 10 authorized representatives per location. Organizations can complete one Form 13551 and attach the continuation sheet with the information from lines 2 through 13 of the application for the other authorized representatives.

    A PTIN is required for any person listed on Line 5 of Form 13551.

    Exception:

    CPA or Attorney (or person working directly under), college or university, financial institution, gaming industry (casino), federal agency, VITA, LITC, or foreign entity that does not provide tax preparation.



    Each Authorized Representative is required to complete the Mandatory Acceptance Agent Training. If applying as a CAA, the Authorized Representative is also required to complete Forensic Document Training. Ensure that both certificates are present for each Authorized Representative that passes the suitability before issuing a preliminary agreement.

    Note:

    Although VITA/TCE applicants are required to complete Forensic Document Training, they will not have a Forensic Document Training Certificate (FDTC). SPEC conducts Forensic Document Training for VITA/TCE applicants and provide a list to the ITIN Policy Section. Refer all VITA/TCE applications to your Lead. The Lead will verify if the Authorized Representative has completed Forensic Document Training through SPEC from the list provided by IPS.

    Social Security Number/Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (SSN/ITIN) (Line 7) The authorized representative must have a valid Social Security Number (SSN) if they are a U.S. citizen or an individual lawfully admitted to work in the U.S. Applicants with an ITIN and working in the U.S. will be rejected (not authorized to work in the U.S.). Applicants with an ITIN with a business and mailing address outside the U.S. will be considered. If missing on Form 13551, and is not on RTS, correspond with the applicant.

    Reminder:

    If not a U.S. citizen and business and mailing address is outside the U.S. they are not required to have a SSN.

    Home Address of Individual Listed on Line 5 (Line 8) All applicants must include a complete home address. If missing on Form 13551, and is not on RTS, correspond with the applicant to confirm.
    Citizenship/Resident Alien/Nonresident alien (Line 9) If the applicant is a Resident Alien or Nonresident Alien, a legible copy (front and back) of their immigration card (green card) or visa should be attached to the file if the applicant resides in the U.S. Verify that the expiration date has not expired. If the copy is not readable or is not attached, contact the applicant for a copy of the documentation.

    Note:

    Copy of unexpired Form I-797A, Notice of Action is acceptable in lieu of Green Card and Employment Authorization Card (EAD/Work Permit) is acceptable in lieu of VISA. If either expired or will expire within 30 days, request new VISA or Green Card from applicant.

    Previous Assessment of Preparer Penalties, or Criminal Convictions, or Failure to File Personal Tax Returns or Pay Tax Liabilities, or Criminal Conviction under U.S. Internal Revenue Laws (Line 10) Applicant must check the "yes" or "no" box. If the "Yes" box is checked, applicant must attach an explanation and a fingerprint card.
    If either is missing, contact the applicant and request that the missing information be submitted. The application cannot be processed without the results of the FBI data findings.
    If the FBI fingerprint results say “show data”, the file should be forwarded immediately to the Lead for review before sending any correspondence.

    The following are exempt from the fingerprint requirements: a financial institution within the meaning of IRC 265(b)(5) or Treasury Regulation 1.165-12(c)(1)(iv) , a college or university that qualifies as an educational organization under Treasury Regulation 1.501(c) (3)-1(d)(3)(i) , a casino, a Federal government agency or an ERO in good standing with the IRS. All EROs must submit proof of ERO status to be exempt from the fingerprinting requirement.

    Exception:

    An authorized representative that is a U.S. Attorney, Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Enrolled Agent but not a certified Electronic Return Originator (ERO) may submit evidence of U.S. professional status in lieu of the fingerprint card.

     

    Caution:

    Each individual listed as a responsible party, authorized representative or alternate contact of the business must have attained the age of 18 as of the date of the application.

    Doing Business As (DBA) Name (Line 11) Applicant must complete this only if the business is operating under a name different from the business name listed on Line 2.
    Business Location Address (Line 12) Applicant must complete. If more than one location, applicant must attach continuation sheets listing all locations.

    Note:

    A Post Office Box (P.O. Box)

    is not acceptable as part of the address.
    Business telephone number, Fax Number and e-mail address (Line 13) Ensure the telephone number, fax number and e-mail addresses are valid. If part of the e-mail address is missing, contact the applicant. If the applicant cannot be reached, request the e-mail address in the cover letter with the preliminary agreement.
    Mailing Address (Line 14) The mailing address is the address the applicant will receive correspondence. The entity must have a valid mailing address if different from the business location. Multiple business locations may not have the same mailing address. Ensure the mailing address is correct in the preliminary agreement. If the mailing address is the same for multiple locations, only one location should be placed in RTS.
    Organization is open for business 12 months of the year (Line 15) Applicant should check box "yes" or no. If box "no" is checked, a brief explanation must be attached. If the organization is not open 12 months a year, the applicant should be contacted to clarify the reason for part time operation and notified that part time businesses are not approved. Applicants submit Form W-7 applications all year to obtain ITINs for tax purposes and participant must be available to provide the service.
    Number of Form W-7 Applications planned to be submitted within 12 month calendar period (Line 15a) Applicant must have a volume listed of 5 or more. If missing on Form 13551, and is not on RTS, correspond with the applicant to confirm. If applicant does not meet requirement, reject the application, send Letter 5617, Acceptance Agent Applicant Reject
    Primary and Alternate Contacts (Lines 16 and 17) Optional field. Primary and alternate contacts may inquire about the status of Form W-7 applications. The primary and alternate contacts do not have signature authority for the Certificate of Accuracy.
    Activities Performed (Line 18) Applicants should perform U.S. federal tax preparation or tax related activities. When the organizations name suggest that their major activity is out of the scope of the program, e.g., Used Auto Dealership, correspond with the applicant to confirm by sending Letter 5611, Request for Additional Information - Acceptance Agent Application

    Note:

    Activities such as real estate, trust organizations, investments are acceptable.

    IRS Web site (Line 19) Optional field. Only applicants desiring to be listed on the IRS web site should check this block.

    Note:

    VITA and TCE sites are not posted to the web site because of limited service and income requirements.

    Name, Title, and Signature of Authorized Representative (Lines 20 and 21)

    Name, Title, and Signature of Principal, Partner, or Owner
    An original signature is required to process the application. Both the authorized representative and the principal, partner, or owner must print and sign their names. If missing on Form 13551, correspond with the applicant.

    Note:

    We do not accept faxed, stamped, or electronic signatures on applications. Any unusual or suspicious applications should be brought to the attention of the Lead.

     

    Note:

    Applicants use Continuation Sheets to reflect multiple Authorized Representatives or additional locations. For new and renewal applications, if Page 1 is signed by the Principal, Partner, or Owner, Page 3 may be submitted without Page 4. For Amended applications, if Page 3 is submitted separately without Page 1, Page 4 would also be required,

    Date (Line 22) Application must be dated.
  5. Check RTS History for evidence of recent (i.e., within 2 years) Compliance Reviews. If the current status on RTS shows Suspended or Expired with an RTS history indicating Compliance-Termination, reject the incoming application if the eligibility date will not be met . (The eligibility date is one year from the date of the RTS history item or letter date if shown showing the Compliance Review Determination). If eligibility will be met, then process the application. If the current status on RTS shows Approved or Expired with an RTS history indicating Compliance Review-Probation, process incoming application as an AA only.

  6. Tax examiners will check the application information against the preliminary (draft) agreement to ensure all data matches and has been accurately recorded. Ensure the applicant’s legal name, EFIN, EIN, authorized representative(s), the business and mailing address are included in the preliminary agreement. An appendix will be attached to the preliminary agreement if the organization has multiple locations, EFINs, and authorized representatives. The following table outlines the location of specific items that appear in both the draft agreement and application:

    Item Draft Agreement Application
    AA Type (AA or CAA) Title Check boxes at top of form
    Legal Name Introduction Section 1.01 Line 2
    Doing Business As Name Introduction Section 1.01 Line 11
    EIN Section 3.02 Line 4
    EFIN Section 3.02 Line 3
    Principal Office Address Section 3.03 Line 12
    Authorized Representatives Section 3.04 Line 5
    Mailing Address Section 4.05 (CAA agreement only) Box 14
  7. If preliminary agreement data is incorrect, make changes with a red pen and return to the clerk for correction.

  8. Once review of the preliminary agreement is complete, place file in bin for manager’s stamped signature of the original and copy of the cover letter. When Tax Examiner receives the file back, TE will date stamp the original and copy of the Acceptance Agent Agreement cover letter., see Letter 5609, Acceptance Agent Agreement Cover Letter Attach a copy of the preliminary agreement with two signature pages and place in designated mail basket. Attach a copy of the letter to the left side of the official file and keep two agreements with file for back end processing. Update RTS History to indicate Preliminary Agreement, two signature pages and cover letter mailed to applicant. Annotate the chronology stating the action taken (i.e., reviewed the application, identified concerns, contacted applicant (purpose and response), reviewed the agreement or returned the agreement to the clerk for corrections). Return the file to clerical area and complete the Mail Log Sheet.

Final Approval Process

  1. Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC) tax examiners will review the application and agreement information to ensure it is accurate and complete. Review all correspondence received with the signature pages to determine if changes should be made or have been made by the applicant. Refer to the table below for appropriate actions based on findings:

    If... Then...
    Changes are indicated or needed, Return the entire file (application and agreement) to the clerk for changes.
    Changes are not indicated or needed, Verify all pages of the agreement (10 pages for AA; 12 pages for CAA) are present which includes the following:
    • Appendix (if applicable)

    • Example of the Certificate of Accuracy (CAA only)

    • Telephone List (CAA only)

    • Documentation Code List

  2. Access RTS to update the Form 13551 application. Search the record by Employer Identification Number (EIN). If more than one record is present and the EFIN in your file is used for an expired record or the current record, remove the EFIN from that record before you use the same EFIN in the approved record.

  3. Update the ITIN Real-Time System (RTS). Ensure all the information on the application including changes is entered correctly before approving the application. When finalizing new applications into RTS, process as follows:

    • Enter the authorized representatives as listed on Form 13551 if omitted by Austin. Up to 10 authorized representatives can be entered in RTS for each location. If the primary and alternate contact information is blank, input the information for the authorized representative in the primary contact box. If the primary and alternate contact listed is not the authorized representative, and the e-mail address of the authorized representative differs, enter the e-mail address for the authorized representative next to the e-mail address for the primary or alternate contact e-mail address. E-mail addresses must be separated by a semicolon.

    • Update the application status in RTS to "Approve" .

    • Enter the date the agreement is approved and mailed.

    • Enter the agreement expiration date (December 31 of the fourth year from the date of approval).

    • Enter the correspondence status (for CAA – Both, for AA – Applicant Only)

    • Check for the Office Code. The system will automatically assign the Office Code. If an EFIN is in the system it will automatically use the EFIN preceded by two zeroes. If no EFIN is present, the Office Code will default to either eight zeros or seven zeros and a one.

    • Verify the Office Code assigned by RTS matches the Office Code on the example of the Certificate of Accuracy.

  4. When finalizing renewal applications into RTS, process as follows:

    • Select the "View" hyperlink in the Search Results table on the AA Search Screen. Review to make sure the agreement expires in the current year.

    • Select "Update Status" under "Reason for Change" , enter comments "Terminated old agreement" and click on Edit AA.

    • Update status to "Terminated" on the old record. Enter today's date in the "Termination Date" field at bottom of record.

    • Click "Submit" and continue to process the renewing "Pending" record.

    • Open the "Pending" record. This record should automatically be opened once the old record is terminated.

    • Select" Update Status" under "Reason for Change" , enter comments "FDTC received MM/DD/YYYY" and click on Edit AA.

    • Review the entire record against the Form 13551 and any correspondence to ensure you have the latest information. Make changes as appropriate. (EFIN, Address, e-mail address, etc.

    • Update the Applicant Status in RTS to "Approved."

    • Complete the following fields in RTS under "ITIN PO Only" : Agreement Signed Date, Date Agreement Mailed, Agreement Expiration Date and Correspondence Type.

    • Add one day to the date you approved the file as the "Agreement Signed Date" to give Quality Review a chance to review the file and return it to you.

    • Enter the completion date, no later than the next day as the "Date Agreement Mailed."

    • Enter a December date that is four years from the approval date as the "Agreement Expiration Date" . For example: an agreement approved 10/30/2014 expires 12/31/2018.

    • Select or Update the Correspondence Type based on the AA Typed selected on Form 13551. For AA, select "Applicant Only" . For CAA, select "Both" .

    • Click "Submit" and check the assigned Office Code in RTS against the Office Code on Form W-7 COA the two must be the same, if not, correct the W-7 COA to the number provided by RTS. The generated Office Code is the EFIN preceded by two zeros. RTS will assign all zeros or all zeros and the number one if an EFIN is not provided.

  5. When approving renewal applications with multiple locations, be sure to only approve in RTS the locations that are actually listed on the renewal Form 13551 application. Any other locations that were not included will be placed in "terminated " status by CSPC using the following steps:

    • Enter the EIN on the "AA Screen" and click Search

    • Select the location in "AA Search Screen" by clicking "View" link next to the location that is not renewing

    • On the "Acceptance Agent View Screen" , select "Update Status" in "Reason for Change" drop down box

    • Add comments in "Comments" box (i.e., Remove EFIN and terminate location not renewing

    • Click "Edit AA" next to Comments box

    • The "Acceptance Agent Edit Screen" appears

    • Highlight the EFIN and use the delete key on keyboard to delete EFIN

    • Select "Terminate" in drop down box next to "Applicant Status"

    • In the "Termination Date" box located at bottom right of screen, input date location being terminated

    • Click "Submit and continue to process the renewal records for the other locations"

      Note:

      Terminate locations that are not renewing prior to updating the locations that are renewing.

  6. Continue finalizing new and renewing agreement by taking the following steps:

    • Date stamp both copies of the first and last pages of the agreement, both copies of the congratulations letter see Letter 5614, Certifying Acceptance Agent Congratulatory Letter or Letter 5615, Acceptance Agent Congratulatory Letter (as applicable) and both copies of the example of the Certificate of Accuracy (CAA only) with the current date. Stamp both signature pages of the agreement and congratulatory letter with the signature stamp provided by the supervisor.

    • Put the original congratulations letter, the agreement, the example of the Certificate of Accuracy, Form 14718 , Additional Information for Acceptance Agents, a copy of Publication 4520, Acceptance Agents Guide for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), (for each authorized representative) and DVD “ITIN W-7 Application Process” (new applicants only) and ITIN Toolkit, Publication 4327, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), Publication 4857 and Publication 4859 in the envelope.

    • Annotate the chronology page with the status change in RTS.

    • Place the complete application package in designated basket for Quality Review. Quality Review will return the file to the designated Tax Examiner Folder cabinet within two business days.

      Note:

      The Tax Examiner that finalizes the agreement is responsible for accuracy of the entire application package.

    • Tax Examiner must check their designated folder cabinet daily for files returned to them by Quality Review and update RTS and chronology with the current mail date.

    • The Tax Examiner returns the final application package to the clerk (place folder in approval basket for the clerk to file) and update the Mail Log Sheet.

    • The Lead will compile the website information t from the Mail Log Sheet and forward weekly to the ITIN Policy Section (IPS) Senior Tax Analyst. The IPS Senior Tax Analyst will assign as appropriate to the IPS Content Management Application (CMA)analyst for posting to the website.

Quality Review (CSPC)

  1. Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC) Quality Review designees will perform random quality checks of Acceptance Agent applications processed by tax examiners.

  2. Quality Review designees should review at least two applications per month per tax examiner. A review includes (but is not limited to) the following:

    • Identification by the tax examiner of all incomplete or missing information or documents at the time of initial review

    • Accuracy of RTS entry

    • Compliance with this IRM

  3. The following items are critical to the ITIN Acceptance Agent program:

    • EIN

    • EFIN (if applicable)

    • Authorized Representative Name

    • Mailing address

    • Background check requirement

    • Title in Item 20 must be appropriate for EIN in Item 4

    • Signature

    • Forensic Document Training Certificate (FDTC) for Certifying Acceptance Agent (CAA) applicants

  4. Results of the quality review process are used to assess additional training needs or subject matter requiring additional emphasis or clarification.

Amended Applications

  1. Amendments to applications may be forwarded to Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC) from Austin e-help Desk employees. Requests for changes must be in writing by mail. Telephone requests will not be honored. Applicants are instructed to submit an Amended Form 13551, Application to participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program, when requesting changes to their Acceptance Agent application. CSPC may also receive written requests for amendments or changes to applications that are not on Form 13551 (telephone number, e-mail address, contacts etc.) These requests should still be processed. Applicant may request a change to business location or mailing address by submitting Form 13551 or Form 8822–B , Change of Address or Responsible Party-Business or similar statement. After RTS update, forward Form 8822-B for Master File update. See Form 8822-B for where to mail form.

    Caution:

    Request to change an authorized representative must be submitted by the applicant on Form 13551 to Electronic Products and Services Support (EPSS) for processing. This change must be requested by a Principal, Partner or Owner of the company.

    Note:

    Requests for changes may also be received by e-mail in the ITIN Policy Section (IPS). Any such requests will be processed upon receipt by the IPS.

  2. CSPC will process requested changes and change pertinent information related to requested change (e.g., telephone number, e-mail, Authorized Representative information, etc.) within 30 days of receipt of Form 13551 from Austin e-Help Desk employees or written request. Process amended applications or change requests as follows:

    1. Update RTS with the information provided in the request.

    2. Place the request or application in the file

    3. Annotate the chronology in the file with the amendments made in RTS.

    4. Correspond with the organization to advise the requested changes have been made.

      Note:

      A new agreement will not be sent.

    5. Place a copy of the e-mail in the file and forward file to clerk for filing

  3. When an applicant request a change to AA type on Form 13551, it should be processed as a new application. For example: an approved applicant submits a request to change from an AA to a CAA or vice versa. CSPC employees should send a new agreement to the applicant for signature as the responsibilities are different for the AA types. Update RTS comments to show that a preliminary agreement was mailed to applicant. See IRM 3.21.264.6.2, Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC). When the applicant returns the signed signature pages, see IRM 3.21.264.6.3 and update the following fields in RTS with the current information from the Amended Form 13551.

    • AA Type

    • Agreement Signed Date

    • Date Agreement Mailed

    • Agreement Expiration Date

    • AA Correspondence Type

    Note:

    Verify the new information entered in RTS matches the change requested on the Amended Form 13551 (for example: if Amended 13551 is adding an Authorized rep., make sure that name now appears in RTS).

Rejected Applications

  1. Applicants that meet the rejection criteria will be mailed a signed and dated Reject Letter (see Letter 5617, Acceptance Agent Applicant Reject) identifying the reason for rejection.

  2. Rejection criteria include(s), but not limited to:

    • Failed tax compliance check,

    • Failed FBI background investigation,

    • Applicant has an ITIN and resides within the U.S.,

    • Applicant did not return signature pages within 45 days,

    • Organization business operations is outside the scope for the AA program.

  3. Austin e-Help Desk employees will send rejection letters to applicants who:

    • Fail the tax compliance check, and

    • Have an ITIN and reside in the U.S.

  4. CSPC employees will send rejection letters to applicants who:

    • Fail FBI background investigation

    • Did not return signature pages within 45 days

    • Organization business operations is outside the scope for the AA program

  5. Applications failing the FBI Background Check will be mailed to CSPC for final determination. The clerk will follow the receipt process and then give the application(s) to the Lead for final determination. The clerk will take the following actions:

    If... Then...
    The Lead determines the application should be allowed to continue in the process, The application will follow the normal receipt process.
    The Lead determines the application is unacceptable and should not be allowed to continue in the process, The application will be rejected and clerk will follow reject procedures. All reject applications will be placed on the reject and/or failed list.
  6. Tax examiners will update RTS as follows:

    • Enter the reason for rejection in the comments field

    • Change status to Rejection.

    • Enter the date of rejection in the Termination Date field.

  7. Staple a copy of the Reject Letter to the application and return to the clerk for storage.

Terminated Agreements (ITIN Policy Section Use Only)

  1. Agreements may be terminated for, but not limited to, the following reasons:

    • Request by the entity

    • Agreement expired

    • Compliance Review infractions

    • Quality Review infractions

    • Inactivity

    • ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡

  2. Process terminated agreements as follows:

    1. Update RTS with the appropriate remarks, status and termination date.

    2. Annotate the chronology sheet with reason for termination.

    3. Send correspondence to the entity informing them of termination.

    4. The IPS Senior Tax Analyst will assign as appropriate to the IPS Content Management Application (CMA) analyst for removal from the website.

    5. Terminated agreements must be maintained in storage for 1 year. Forward a copy of the termination letter to Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC) to put with the agreement file and maintain in storage. Before destroying, CSPC will return any forensic document training certificates to the applicant at the mailing address that is listed on Form 13551.

General Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), Real Time System (RTS) Acceptance Agent Information

  1. In addition to the IPS, Cincinnati Submission Processing Center (CSPC) and Austin e-Help Desk employees use the ITIN-RTS to process and track AA Applications. Applications are entered and updated as needed on the system.

  2. Except for applications with an invalid or missing EIN or received outside of renewal window, all applications are entered in RTS.

  3. The following section will provide guidance on processing, updating and locating AA applications on the ITIN Real-time System (RTS).

  4. Refer to IRM 3.21.263, IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, (ITIN) Real Time System (RTS) general guidance on ITIN RTS navigation including user groups, access, and reference information.

  5. If RTS displays a "Technical Difficulties" error message/screen when submitting an application, the e-Help Desk assistor will notify a Work Leader who will contact the IPS to research the error and attempt to resolve it.

    • If error can be resolved, the IPS will notify the Work Leader to have the e-Help Desk assistor enter the application.

    • If error cannot be resolved, the e-Help Desk assistor will print a blank Profile Sheet and complete it with the appropriate comments/recommendations. Include a comment that the application could not be entered in RTS.

  6. The Andover e-Help Desk and non-Acceptance Agent trained assistors in the Austin e-Help Desk will use the ITIN RTS to research calls from customer about the status of their Acceptance Agent application.

Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), Real Time System (RTS) Navigation for Acceptance Agent Processing

  1. The applicable links on the Real Time System (RTS) Home Screen, that are used for AA processing include the following:

    • Home

    • Form 13551

    • Search AA

    • AA Reports

    • Reference

    • Close

  2. ITIN - RTS Screens are used to enter and research Form 13551 information. The screens include the following:

    • Acceptance Agent Preliminary Screen

    • Acceptance Agent Input Screen

    • Acceptance Agent Search Screen

    • Acceptance Agent View Screen

    • Acceptance Agent Edit Screen

    • Acceptance Agent History Screen

Acceptance Agent Preliminary Screen

  1. The Acceptance Agent Preliminary screen is used to start the process of entering Form 13551 to the RTS.

  2. To access the AA Preliminary screen

    1. Select the Form 13551 link on the Home Screen.

    2. Enter the EIN from the Form 13551 (or as much information that has been provided on Form 13551) in the input box and select the "Check DB" button.

    3. If the EIN that was entered matches an existing EIN in RTS, in the Applicant/EIN Specific Data section fields, the only Application Type option available is Amended (New Location). This screen also contains fields for the EIN, EFIN, Legal Name and Applicant Mailing Address. Similar information, along with the application status, is captured in a Search Result Table.

    4. If the EIN that was entered does not already exist in the RTS, in the Applicant/EIN Specific Data section fields, the only Application Type option available is New. The EIN will auto-populate. The Tax Examiner (TE) enters the remaining information from Form 13551.

  3. The AA Preliminary Screen also contains a Suitability Profile button that when selected, will display a "print only" Suitability Profile Sheet with pre-populated information from the AA Preliminary screen.

Renewal and Amended (New Location) Applications
  1. A Renewal application is when the applicant submits a request to continue in the program at or near the end of their four year approval period. Renewal applications are processed on applications that are in "Approved/Active" status.

  2. Refer to the steps outlined below to renew an application on RTS:

    1. Select Form 13551 from the Home screen .

    2. Enter the EIN shown on the renewal application and click the Check DB button on the AA Preliminary screen .

    3. Select an "Active" application from the Search Results Table. The Renewal Application Type radio button will auto-populate.

      Caution:

      Until a selection is made in the Search Results Table, the only available Application Type is Amended (New Location).

    4. Click Continue to open up the application for processing.

    5. Enter the information the same way you would enter it for a new application using the information from the Renewal application.

    6. Click the Submit button when all required fields have been completed.

      Note:

      A link is displayed on the screen that enables you to view/edit the Renewal application. Selecting the link will also enable you to return to the active/current office application.

      Note:

      If appropriate, be sure to include the EFIN on the renewal record. Also, the mailing address can be the same as the existing record. Neither will cause a Duplicate Error notice when the application is submitted.

  3. An Amended application is when the applicant wishes to add a new location.

    Note:

    Compare the business location address on the Continuation Sheets with the business location address on Line 12 of Page 1 of the Form 13551 to determine additional locations. However, if mailing address on the Continuation Sheet is the same as the mailing address on Line 14, return the application as being incomplete.

  4. Use the Form 13551 link on the Home screen to amend (add a new location) for an existing EIN. Refer to the steps outlined below for amending an application on RTS:

    Note:

    Only applications in "Active" status may be amended.

    1. Select Form 13551 from the Home screen.

    2. Enter the existing EIN and click the Check DB button on the AA Preliminary screen.

    3. Select the Amended (New Location) radio button. A warning will appear indicating that this option should only be used to create a new location.

    4. Click OK to remove the warning. This will open up the fields for input.

    5. Enter the information. The fields required to add a new location are the same fields required to enter a new application. Many of the fields will already contain data from the original record. Update existing fields if necessary.

    6. Click the Submit button. If all information is entered correctly the new location will be added. If you conduct a search of the application two or more records should be available as a result of amending the application.

New Application Not Previously Processed
  1. If a new or renewal application is received but RTS reflects an existing record that was not previously processed (i.e., neither accepted or rejected) from a prior year:

    • Edit the existing record and enter in the Comment field "Updating a new application previously not processed" .

    • Change application status code as appropriate.

    • Update the existing RTS record with the information on the Form 13551.

Application Previously Rejected
  1. If an application is returned that was previously rejected for a tax compliance issue but IDRS reflects the issue has subsequently been resolved or applicant attaches any missing returns or a letter explaining they were not liable for the missing return:

    • Edit the existing rejected record using the Acceptance Agent View screen.

    • Under the Reason for Change field, select "Update Status" , enter an appropriate comment in the Comment field (example: "Resubmitted application previously rejected for tax issue now resolved" ) and click the "Edit AA" button.

    • Change application status code as appropriate.

    • Update the existing RTS record with the information on the resubmitted Form 13551.

  2. If a previously rejected application is received, process the application as "new" , (see IRM 3.21.264.5.2.4) including complete/new tax compliance checks on both the business and all authorized representative (see IRM 3.21.264.5.3). Input application in RTS as a new record.

Application Previously Terminated, Rejected or Expired
  1. If RTS reflects an existing record in either a Terminated or Expired status, another record will be created for the "new" application. Do Not change the status on the Terminated or Expired record.

  2. See IRM 3.21.264.7.3.1 to prevent a "duplicate record" notice when the new record is submitted.

  3. The information on the Acceptance Agent Input Screen created will be automatically populated from the Terminated or Expired record.

    • Update the entries based on the new Form 13551.

    • Update the IRS Tax Compliance Check Date.

    • For Application Status, select either "I1 - In Process IRS Check" or "I2 - Incomplete/Invalid Application" as appropriate.

  4. If RTS reflects an existing record in Rejected status for the current processing year, the current record will be updated if the reason for rejection has been resolved and the application has been received back in the same processing year.

Acceptance Agent Input Screen

  1. The Acceptance Agent Input screen, is used to enter the Form 13551 in the RTS.

  2. The Acceptance Agent Input Screen is accessed through the AA Preliminary Screen . Enter required information on the AA Preliminary Screen, verify the application as a new record and select the Continue button.

    Note:

    Austin assistor will not make any changes on the Acceptance Agent Input Screen if the status is:

    • A - Approved/Active

    • E - Expired Agreement

    • P3 - Pending

    • S1 - Suspended from the AA Program

    • T - Terminated


    If Form 13551 is an amended application for an Approved/Active agreement, only enter a comment in RTS that it was received and what was being changed.

  3. The content of the Acceptance Agent Input Screen, includes the following:

    Note:

    When entering e-mail addresses in RTS, use whatever case (upper or lower) is reflected on the Form 13551.

    Acceptance Agent Input Screen Content Description
    IRS Received Date Enter:
    • the Batch Received Date (Paper) as reflected on the associated EHSS Incident. If no EHSS IM, enter

    • the current IRS received date stamped on the Form 13551.

    • If application is not date stamped, use post mark date on the envelope the application was received in.

    • If no envelope was received, enter the current date.

    • If application was previously returned or rejected, update the IRS Received Date using the date determination described above.


    Must be Numeric.
    Format must be MM/DD/YYYY
    AA Type Use the AA Type drop down box to select between the following:
    • Acceptance Agent

    • Certifying Acceptance Agent

    IRM 3.21.264.5.1 Type of Acceptance Agent for instructions.
    Professional Status Use the Professional Status drop down box to select between the following based on the entry in Line 1 of Form 13551:
    • Financial Institution

    • Education Institution

    • Government/ Military

    • Casino

    • Tax Preparer

    • Attorney

    • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

    • Enrolled Agent Enter the 9 digit enrolled agent number if Enrolled Agent is selected.( If Form 13551 reflects less than 9 digits, precede number with "0" , (zeros)

    • Electronic Return Originator (ERO)

    • Other

    Professional Status Description if Other Required when Professional Status selected is "Other" .
    Documentation of Professional Status Select "Yes" if documentation is present, otherwise select "No" .
    Organization Status Use the Organization Status drop down box to select between the following based on the entry in Line 1 of Form 13551:
    • Partnership

    • Corporation

    • Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)

    • Sole Proprietorship

    • Other

    Description of Organization Status Required when Organization Status selected is "Other" .
    Category Use the Category drop down box to select between the following based on Form 13551:
    • U.S. Certified Accountant

    • H&R Block Franchise

    • Enrolled Agent

    • Electronic Return Originator

    • Attorney

    • Other U.S. Return Preparer

    • College or University

    • Government Agency

    • Financial Institution

    • U.S. Real Estate Partnership

    • Foreign Real Estate Partnership

    • Foreign Accountant or Tax Preparer

    • Other U.S. Entity

    • Other Foreign Entity

    • Gaming Industry

    • H&R Block District Manager

    Legal Name Enter the legal name of the entity as reflected in IDRS (CC INOLES).
    Is this an entity? If the EIN is a corporation, partnership or Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), select the "Yes" radio button.
    Location Information Enter only if" Entity" answer above is "Yes" . Enter location from Line 2 on the Form 13551. If missing, use the State from the business address on Line 12. For foreign applications enter the country on Line 12.
    EFIN Enter the EFIN from Line 3 if it is active and reflected in the External Customer Data Store (ECDS) under the same EIN as indicated on Line 4.

    Exception:

    Applications with a sole proprietorship EIN but External Customer Data Store (ECDS) reflects their e-file application as a sole proprietorship under their SSN is acceptable.

    Note:

    EFIN is required if applicant professional status above is Electronic Return Originator (ERO).

    Authorized Representative of the Business Enter the Authorized Representative's name from Line 5 of Form 13551 and, if appropriate and valid, their PTIN.

    Example:

    John Doe P00000000
    John Doe P00000000, Jane Doe P00000000


    If the Form 13551 reflects more than 10 authorized representatives at the same location, do not enter any Authorized Representatives names or other personal information in the subsequent Authorized Representatives fields.

    Caution:

    You must use a comma when adding more than one Authorized Representative to prevent names from running together. List multiple Authorized Representatives horizontally, not vertically, and without a space after the comma. Do Not use a comma to separate a suffix (i.e., Sr.) after an Authorized Representative's name or enter a title (i.e., Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
    For example: For "John A Doe, Sr., Certified Public Accountant (CPA)" enter only "JOHN A DOE SR" .

    Mailing Address 1 Enter the applicant current number and street address from Line 14. If Line 14 is blank, use information on Line 12.
    Mailing Address 2 Enter any additional information on the applicant current number and street mailing address from Line 14. If Line 14 is blank, use information on Line 12.
    Mailing City Enter the applicant current city for the mailing address from Line 14. If Line 14 is blank, use information on Line 12.
    Mailing State or Province Enter the applicant current state for the mailing address from Line 14. If Line 14 is blank, use information on Line 12.
    Mailing Country Select the applicant current country from the drop down menu based on the entry on Line 14. If Line 14 is blank, use information on Line 12.
    Mailing Zip or Postal Code Enter the applicant current mailing address Zip/Postal Code from Line 14. If Line 14 is blank, use information on Line 12.
    Mailing Phone Number Enter the applicant current business phone number from Line 13 (if indicated)
    Mailing Phone Number Extension Enter the applicant current business extension from Line 13 if applicable
    Mailing fax Number Enter the applicant current business fax number from Line 13.
    Check box if Business Address is the same as Mailing address If the mailing address on Line 14 is blank or the same as the business location on Line 12, check the box to automatically populate the business address fields using the mailing address information.
    Title of Authorized Representative Enter from Form 13551
    E-mail address of Authorized Representative Enter from Line 13 of Form 13551
    Social Security Number Enter applicants 9 digit Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) from Line 7.
    Date of Birth Enter the Date of Birth from Line 6 in MM/DD/YYYY format.
    Selected for FBI Criminal Background Check? Use the radio button for FBI Criminal Background Check to choose Yes if application indicates a requirement for a FBI check, otherwise select No, see IRM 3.21.264.5.4.

    Note:

    When initially entering information in RTS, current edits will require a date if the "Yes" box is checked. However, since the Fingerprint card has not been processed, the "No" box must be checked.

    FBI Background Date Enter date Fingerprint card was processed by the FBI in MM/DD/YYYY format.
    IRS Tax Compliance Check Date All applicants will undergo this check. Enter in MM/DD/YYYY format:
    • If applicant had previously undergone a tax compliance check and failed, update date to when new compliance check was conducted.

    • If applicant had previously passed the tax compliance check but application was returned for being incomplete, update the tax compliance date to the same as the new IRS received date for the resubmitted Form 13551.

    .
    Applicant Status

    Note:

    Other statuses are listed in the drop-down box but are not used by Austin e-Help Desk Tax Examiners.

    Use the Applicant Status drop down box to select between the following: Refer to the table below for when to use the status codes.
    • F1 - Failed IRS Tax Compliance Check

    • F2 - Failed FBI Criminal Background Check

    • F3 - Failed FBI/IRS Tax Compliance Check

    • I1 - In-Process IRS Check

    • I2 - Incomplete/Invalid Application (Generate Incomplete Application Letter)

    • P1 - Passed ERO Status

    • P2 - Passed Suitability Checks

    • I3 - In-Process FBI Check

    • P4 - Passed FBI Check

    Note:

    F2 and F3 will not be used. Austin e-Help Desk employees will not make this determination.

    Electronic Return Originator (ERO) Approved Date If EFIN indicated on Line 3 is valid/active and External Customer Data Store (ECDS) indicates it is assigned to the same EIN on Line 4, enter the Application Status completion date indicated on the e-file Application Summary page in MM/DD/YYYY format.
    Home Address 1 Enter the current home address of the applicant from Line 8.
    Home Address 2 Enter any additional information of the applicants current home address from Line 8.
    Home Address City Enter the current home city of the applicant from Line 8.
    Home Address State or Province Enter the State or Province from Line 8
    Home Country Choose the home country of the applicant from the drop down box based on Line 8.
    Home Address Zip or Postal Code Enter the current Zip/Postal Code of the applicant from Line 8.
    U.S. Status Select from the drop down box based on response on Line 9:
    • U.S. Citizen

    • U.S. Resident Alien (green card holder)

    • Non-Resident Alien

    Green Card Attached? Select "Yes" if present. Otherwise select "No"
    Visa Attached? Select "Yes" if present. Otherwise select "No"
    Fingerprint Card Attached? Select "Yes" if present. Otherwise select "No"
    Convicted of a Crime? Choose Yes or No as indicated in Line 10.
    Crime Conviction Explanation If "Yes " , enter the explanation for Convicted of a Crime from the attached statement provided by the applicant.
    Doing Business As (DBA) Name Enter the doing business as Doing Business As (DBA) name from Line 11.
    Business Address 1 Enter the applicant's current business address from Line 12.

    Note:

    If the business address and mailing address are the same, check the box to automatically populate the business address entries with the same information as the Mailing address.

    Business Address 2 Enter any additional information on the applicant's current business address from Line 12.
    Business City Enter the applicant's current city for the business from Line 12.
    Business State or Province Enter the applicant's current state for the business from Line 12.
    Business Country Choose the applicant's business country from the drop down box based on the entry on Line 12.
    Business Zip or Postal Code Enter the applicant's current business Zip/Postal Code from Line 12.
    Business Phone Number Enter the applicant's current business phone number from Line 13.
    Business Phone Number Extension Enter the applicant's current business phone extension from Line 13.
    Business Fax Number Enter the applicant's current business fax number from Line 13.
    Open for Business 12 months a year? Choose the appropriate radio button Yes or No based on the entry on Line 15.
    Expected Number of W-7 Applications in a 12 month calendar period. Enter based on the information on Form 13551 Line 15a. If a range of numbers is indicated, enter the higher number.
    Other Address 1 If the "No" box on Line 15 is checked, enter the street address from Line 14.
    Other Address 2 If the "No" box on Line 15 is checked, enter any additional address information from Line 14.
    Other City If the "No" box on Line 15 is checked, enter the city from Line 14.
    Other State or Province If the "No" box on Line 15 is checked, enter the State or Province from Line 14.
    Other Country If the "No" box on Line 15 is checked, choose the country from the drop down base on Line 14.
    Other Zip/Postal Code If the "No" box on Line 15 is checked, enter the zip code or foreign postal code from Line 14.
    Other Telephone Number If the "No" box on Line 15 is checked, enter the telephone number from Line 13.
    Other Telephone Number Extension If the "No" box on Line 15 is checked, enter the telephone number extension from Line 13.
    Other Fax Number Enter the applicant's other Fax Number from Line 13, if present.
    Primary Contact First Name Enter the Primary Contact's First name from Line 16. If blank, use Line 5.
    Primary Contact Middle Name Enter the Primary Contact's Middle name/initial from Line 16 if present. Otherwise leave blank.
    Primary Contact Last Name Enter the Primary Contact's Last name from Line 16. If blank, use Line 5.
    Primary Contact Title Enter the Primary Contact's Title from Line 16. If blank, use line 20 if the same person.
    Primary Contact e-mail Address Enter the Primary Contact's e-mail Address from Line 16. If blank, use Line 13.
    Primary Contact Phone Number Enter the Primary Contact's Phone Number from Line 16. If blank, use Line 13.
    Primary Contact Phone Number Extension Enter the Primary Contact's Phone Number Extension from Line 16. If blank, use Line 13.
    Primary Contact Fax Number Enter the Primary Contact's Fax Number from Line 16. If blank, use Line 13.
    Alternate Contact First Name Enter the Alternate Contact's First name from Line 17.
    Alternate Contact Middle Name Enter the Alternate Contact's middle Name from Line 17 if present. Otherwise, leave blank.
    Alternate Contact Last Name Enter the Alternate Contact's Last Name from Line 17.
    Alternate Contact Title Enter the Alternate Contact's Title from Line 17.
    Alternate Contact e-mail Address Enter the Alternate Contact's e-mail Address from Line 17.
    Alternate Contact Phone Number Enter the Alternate Contact's Phone Number from Line 17.
    Alternate Contact Phone Number Extension Enter the Alternate Contact's Phone Number Extension from Line 17.
    Alternate Contact Fax Number Enter the Alternate Contact's Fax Number from Line 17.
    Programs/Activities Planned Enter from Form 13551 Line 18. If a statement is attached to the Form 13551 reflecting the activities performed, synopsize the statement for RTS input. Do not enter "see attached" or use slash ("/" ).
    For all VITA/TCE applications, do not enter the program/activities indicated on Line 18. Instead, only enter "VITA-TCE" .
    Public List Enter from Form 13551 Line 19.
    Name of Applicant Enter Principal, Partner or Owner from Form 13551 Line 20.
    Title of Applicant Enter Principal, Partner or Owner's title from Form 13551 Line 20.
    Signature Present? Enter "Yes" if present (Line 21 for the Principal, Partner or Owner), otherwise enter "No" .
    Signed Date Enter date Principal, Partner or Owner signed the application (Line 22) in MM/DD/YYYY format if "Signature Present" answer is "Yes" .
    Check if sent to CSPC Toggle check box.
    Date Transmitted Enter in MM/DD/YYYY format when" CSPC Sent Box" is toggled
    Agreement Signed Date Enter the Agreement Signed Date using MMDDYYYY format.
    MM values = 1 to 12
    DD values = 1 to 31
    Date Agreement Mailed Enter the Date Agreement Mailed using MMDDYYYY format.
    MM values = 1 to 12
    DD values = 1 to 31
    Send AA Correspondence to Select one of the following:
    • Applicant Only if application type is Acceptance Agent

    • CAA Only

    • Both if application type is Certifying Acceptance Agent

    Office Code The system will generate an 8 digit office code.

    Note:

    If EFIN is present the first two digits will be zero.

    Agreement Expiration Date Enter the Agreement Expiration Date using MMDDYYYY format.
    MM values = 1 to 12
    DD values = 1 to 31
    Termination Date Enter the Termination Date using MMDDYYYY format.
    MM values = 1 to 12
    DD values = 1 to 31
    Back to Preliminary AA Data Returns you to the Preliminary AA Data Screen.
    Submit Click on the Submit button after all the available information has been entered from Form 13551. If any required fields are incomplete or missing an error message will display. Resolve the error condition and click the Submit button again.
    Cancel Click on the Cancel button and the system will generate the following message: "You will lose data on the current Screen, Would you like to continue?"
    • Click the Okay button, then the system will direct you to the ITIN Home Screen.

    • Click the Cancel button to return to the current Screen.

    If ... Then ...
    the EIN fails the business tax compliance check, select "F1 - Failed IRS Tax Compliance check" .
    the EIN passes the tax compliance check but all Authorized Representative(s) fail their personal tax compliance check, select "F1 - Failed IRS Tax Compliance Check" .
    inputting a complete application into RTS prior to conducting any suitability checks, select status "I1 - In Process IRS Check" .
    application is being returned as incomplete, select status "I2 - Incomplete/Invalid Application" .

    Note:

    if business location is in the U.S. and the authorized representative is a non-resident alien with a non U.S. address, select status I2, RTS will not accept the F1 status without a social security number (SSN).

    the EIN passes the tax compliance check and at least one Authorized Representative passes their personal tax compliance check, select status "P2 - Passed Suitability Checks" .
    after the tax compliance status has been updated and an Authorized Representative requires Fingerprint card processing, change status from "P2" to "I3 - In Process, FBI Check" .

    Note:

    Once results of the background investigation are received:

    • if no data was found, change status from "I3" to "P4 - Passed FBI Check" .

    • if data was found, change status from "I3" to "P1 - Passed ERO Status"

    the Fingerprint card was rejected as unprocessable and no additional Fingerprint card is available to process and the application only reflected the Authorized Representative whose Fingerprint card could not be processed, Change the status in RTS from "I3" to "I2 - Incomplete/Invalid Application" . Remove any External Customer Data Store (ECDS) or IDRS screen shots, IAT printouts attached to support the previous tax compliance recommendation.
    the application contains at least one Authorized Representative that passed their background investigation, change the status from "I3" to "P4 - Passed FBI Check" . Use Letter 4954, Fingerprint Card Rejected by FBI. and IRM 3.21.264.5.6.9Rejected Finger Print Cards (FPC) to return the Fingerprint card to the owner/principal for the authorized representative(s) whose Fingerprint card was unprocessable.
Duplicate Record Error
  1. To prevent a "duplicate record" notice when a new record is created for an EIN that has an existing record in a Terminated, Expired, Rejected or Suspended status:

    • Do not enter any EFIN on the Acceptance Agent Preliminary Screen.

    • If the mailing address reflected on the screen is the same as on the Form 13551, change the mailing address slightly (example: change "ST" to "STR" or "STREET" and press the "Continue" button.

  2. If the EFIN was deleted from the Acceptance Agent Preliminary Screen:

    • Change the Professional Status to "Tax Preparer" if it was reflected as "ERO" .

    • Change the Category from "Electronic Return Originator" to "Other U.S. Return Preparer" (or other appropriate category).

    • For "Fingerprint Card Attached" entry, select the "Yes" radio button.

    • If the application is complete, include the Summary and EFIN History pages from the e-file application in the Acceptance Agent application packet.

    • include a comment in RTS the EFIN associated with the location and that it could not be entered in RTS. Also annotate the Profile Sheet with the EFIN and it was not entered in RTS.

Acceptance Agent Search Screen

  1. The Acceptance Agent Search screen is used to locate an existing record.

  2. To access and search for an AA record:

    1. Click on the Search AA link from the Home Screen and enter EIN (or other valid search criteria) on the AA Search screen.

    2. If a record is found, it will be displayed in the Search Results Table at the bottom of the AA Search screen. If multiple records are found, each will be displayed in the table, up to a maximum of 630 records.

    3. To review the record, click on the "View" link in the Search Results Table. This directs you to the Acceptance Agent View Screen.

  3. Listed below is the content of the Acceptance Agent Search Screen. One or more of the fields may be entered as search criteria to retrieve a record. Normally. however, the EIN field will yield the best result for a specific record.

    Acceptance Agent Search Screen Content Description
    EIN Enter the 9 digit EIN into input box.
    Office code Enter 8 digit office code into input box.
    EFIN Enter the 6 digit EFIN into input box.
    Legal Name Enter the legal name of the AA applicant into input box.
    Business Address 1 Enter the current business address of the applicant into input box.
    Business Address 2 Enter any additional address information into input box.
    Business City Enter the current business city of the applicant into input box.
    Business Zip or Postal Code Enter the current zip/postal code of the applicant into input box.
    Business State or Province Enter the current business state/province of the applicant into input box.
    Business Country Use this drop down box to choose the business country.
    Applicant Status Use this drop down box to select between the following:
    • A -Approved/Active*

    • E-Expired Agreement*

    • F1 - Failed IRS Tax Compliance Check

    • F2 - Failed FBI Criminal Background Check

    • F3 - Failed FBI and IRS Tax Compliance check

    • I1 - In-Process IRS Check

    • I2 - Incomplete/Invalid Application (Generate Incomplete Application Letter)

    • P1 - Passed ERO Status

    • P2 - Passed Suitability Checks

    • P3 - Pending*

    • R - Rejected

    • I3 - In-Process FBI Check

    • S1 - Suspended from the AA Program*

    • T- Terminated*

    • P4 - Passed FBI Check

    • W - Withdrawn


    *ITIN PO only
    Description of AA Use this drop down box to select between the following:
    • Financial Institution

    • Education Institution

    • Government Agency or Military Organization

    • Partnership, Corporation or Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)

    • Volunteer Organization

    • Gaming Industry

    • Attorney

    • Certified Public Accountant

    • Enrolled Agent

    • Principal or Responsible Official or ERO

    • Other

    AA Type Use the AA Type drop down box to select:
    • Acceptance Agent or

    • Certifying Acceptance Agent

    Selected for FBI Criminal Background Check? Select the appropriate radio button for Yes or No
    IRS Tax Compliance Check Required? Select the appropriate radio button for Yes or No
    Search Click on the Search button to perform a system validation to check one or more search criteria based upon the fields populated.
    Reset Click on the Reset button and the system will generate the following warning message: "You will lose data on the current Screen, Would you like to continue?"
    • Click the Okay button to clear all fields

    • Click the Cancel button to return back to the current Screen

    Search Results Click the Search button and the system will display the following fields in table format:
    • EIN

    • Office code

    • Legal Name

    • Applicant Status

    • EFIN

    • Business Address

    • Business City

    • Business State/Province

    • Business Zip/Postal Code

    Next If the search results generate more than 30 records per Screen, the system will enable the Next button.
    View Click on the View link to view a read-only version of the selected AA application record.
    History Click on the history link to view the History Screen for the selected AA application record.
    ITIN Home Click on the ITIN Home button to return to the ITIN Home Screen.

Acceptance Agent View Screen

  1. The Acceptance Agent View screen is used to print the Suitability Profile/History Sheet and edit the application if needed or continue to input additional forms.

  2. Access is granted through multiple screens.

    1. Click on the Search AA link from the Home screen and enter EIN (or other valid search criteria) on the AA Search screen.

    2. If a record is found, it will be displayed in the Search Results Table at the bottom of the AA Search screen. If multiple records are found, each will be displayed in the table, up to a maximum of 630 records.

    3. To review a record, click on the "View" link in the Search Results Table. This directs you to the Acceptance Agent View screen.

  3. The content of the Acceptance Agent View Screen includes the following:

    Acceptance Agent View Screen Content Description
    Letter Use this drop down box to select one of the following available letters:

    Note:

    Available selections are based on RTS role.

    • Profile Sheet

    • Incomplete Application Letter

    • Fingerprint Card Letter

    • Acceptance Agent Agreement Letter

    • Certifying AA Agreement Letter

    • Gaming Industry AA Agreement Letter

    • Acceptance Agent Reject Letter

    • Agreement Set to Expire within 180 days


    Not for use by the Austin e-Help Desk. Austin e-Help Desk will use Letter 4963, Returned for Incomplete Application ) and Letter 4954, Fingerprint Card Rejected by FBI.
    Generate Letter Click this button to generate the letter selected from the Letter drop down box. Depending on your selection the corresponding letter will appear on screen. The letter can be printed by selecting "File" and then "Print" . To close the letter, click the "x" at the top of the screen.

    Note:

    This button is only visible once input data has been submitted.

    Edit AA Click this button to make any updates to the AA Application record.
    Reason for Change Click on the Reason for Change drop down box and select from the following reasons:
    • EIN Edit*

    • Update Application Type*

    • Update Status

    • Update EFIN*

    • Name Change*

    • Address Change*

    • Change of Responsible Officer/Official*

    • Change of Contact*

    • Other


    *For use by CSPC or IPS only

    Caution:

    If a renewal application has been submitted, the link "Click here to edit the 're-applying' application" will be displayed. Select the link to access/update the Renewal record.
    Once in the Renewal record, the link will change to "Click here to return to/edit the active/current record" . Selecting the link will display the current/active record.
    Be sure to select the appropriate record before making any changes.
    Once a Comment has been entered, click on the Edit button to edit the record using the Acceptance Agent Edit screen.

    Comment Use this input box to provide comments to the Reason for Change box. Comments are limited to 100 characters for new/amended applications and 89 characters for renewal applications. System will not capture any comment if additional characters are used. If additional comments are needed, a separate edit is required.

    Note:

    Entry is required to edit an existing record.

    Acceptance Agent (AA) View Fields (Read-Only) Includes all content from the Acceptance Agent Input Screen.
    Back Select the Back button to return to the previous Screen.
    Cancel Click the Cancel button and the following warning message will appear: "You will lose data on the current Screen, Would you like to continue?"
    • Click the Okay button and the system will direct you back to the ITIN Home Screen.

    • Click the Cancel button and the system will return back to the current Screen.

Acceptance Agent Edit Screen

  1. The Acceptance Agent Edit Screen is used to edit or make changes to an existing application.

  2. To edit an existing application follow the steps below:

    1. Click on the Search AA link from the Home screen and enter EIN (or other valid search criteria) on the AA Search screen.

    2. If a record is found, it will be displayed in the Search Results Table at the bottom of the AA Search screen. If multiple records are found, each will be displayed in the table, up to a maximum of 630 records.

    3. To review the record, click on the "View" link in the Search Results Table. This directs you to the Acceptance Agent View Screen.

    4. Select a Reason for Change, enter the reason the application is being edited in the Comments field, and click the Edit AA button on the Acceptance Agent View screen. The application with the various input fields will be displayed.

      Note:

      If a renewal application has been submitted, the link "Click here to edit the 're-applying' application" will be displayed. Select the link to access/update the Renewal record.
      Once in the Renewal record, the link will change to "Click here to return to/edit the active/current record" . Selecting the link will display the current/active record.
      Be sure to select the appropriate record before making any changes.

    5. Update the appropriate fields based on your Reason for Change and click Submit to update the record. Click Cancel to cancel all changes and return to the main navigation screen.

    Caution:

    Do not edit any application in "Approved" , "Terminated" , "Expired" , "P3-Pending" or "Suspended" status.

  3. The content of the Acceptance Agent Edit screen is the same as the Acceptance Agent View screen with the exception of the Reason for Change and Comments fields and the Edit button.

  4. If an application was previously returned as incomplete or rejected and is returned within 30 days, the assistor assigned to process the resubmitted application is responsible for reviewing the existing RTS information and updating it as necessary.

Acceptance Agent History Screen

  1. The Acceptance Agent History screen is used to view all changes and edits that have been made to the application.

  2. To access and view the history record related to an AA Application:

    1. Click on the Search AA link from the Home screen and enter EIN (or other valid search criteria) on the AA Search screen.

    2. If a record is found, it will be displayed in the Search Results Table at the bottom of the AA Search screen. If multiple records are found, each will be displayed in the table, up to a maximum of 630 records.

    3. To review the history associated with a record, click on the "History" link in the Search Results Table. This directs you to the AA History Screen.

      Caution:

      Up to 30 Comments will be displayed. If more than 30 Comments have been recorded, they will be reflected on additional screens. Use the page numbers or [Next/Last] links to view any additional remarks.

  3. The Content of the AA History screen includes the following:

    Acceptance Agent History Screen Content Description
    Acceptance Agent History Fields Click on the History link for the selected batch record in the Acceptance Agent Search Results table. The following fields will be displayed:
    • EIN

    • Legal Name

    • Business Address 1

    • Business Address 2

    • Business City

    • Business State or Province

    • Business Country

    • Business Zip or Postal Code

    • EFIN

    • Office Code

    • Name of Responsible Party

    • Title of Responsible Party

    History The following fields will be displayed in a table format:
    • Date/Time

    • SEID of the employee that made the change

    • Applicant Status

    • Reason for Change

    • Comments

    Back Use the Back button to return to the previous Screen.
    ITIN Home Use the ITIN Home button to return to the ITIN Home Screen.

Compliance Reviews (ITIN Policy Section and Small Business/Self-Employed Field Examination Use Only)

  1. A certifying acceptance agent is subject to compliance checks by the IRS to determine their compliance with the rules, procedures and applicable laws related to the submission of Form W-7 applications and related tax returns.

  2. Rev. Proc. 2006-10, 2006-1 C.B.293 section 5.03 (2) provides, "A certifying acceptance agent must also agree to furnish supporting documentary evidence to the IRS upon request in such manner as the IRS and the certifying acceptance agent will establish. The certifying acceptance agent agreement will specify the manner in which IRS compliance checks will take place (i.e.,, either on site or through correspondence)."

  3. There are two types of Compliance Reviews: On-sight reviews and correspondence reviews. On-sight reviews are conducted by SB/SE and correspondence reviews are conducted by ITIN Policy Section.

  4. There are four categories of Compliance Reviews:

    Referral Referrals are used to investigate allegations, complaints, and warnings against CAAs. Referral visits involve the receipt of a referral from return preparers, taxpayers, IPS, and other IRS function.
    Follow-up Follow-up reviews are mandatory and used to investigate allegations, complaints and warnings against CAAs and are based on violations identified in a previous year. They will usually be performed when a warning letter has been issued to the CAA to verify the corrective action was taken.
    Targeted Targeted selections are based on a risk-based selection criteria indicating that AA program compliance issues may be present in a particular CAA's practice.
    Initial Initial reviews are used to determine general compliance with the AA Program in accordance with the CAA agreement and Rev. Proc. 2006-10, 2006-1 C.B.293. The reviews are based upon a defined methodology that uses risk based selection criteria.

Small Business/Self-Employed On-Sight Reviews

  1. SB/SE Examination provides support to the ITIN Policy Section (IPS) by conducting on-site visits. The IPS provides SB/SE Examination with the following annually:

    1. Compliance Review training materials

    2. Data Collection Instrument (DCI) Interview sheets, and all electronic files to SB/SE Examination Policy analyst.

    3. Support for technical questions.

    4. A lead ITIN instructor to conduct revenue agent training each year. SB/SE will provide an analyst to provide training on SB/SE examination issues or procedures.

  2. Wage and Investment (W&I) will provide Examination Policy Analyst with the projected direct examination staff years needed to conduct the compliance visits by April 15 so this workload can be incorporated into the examination plan for the next fiscal year. The Examination Policy Analyst will ensure this information is provided to Exam Planning and Delivery (EPD) for incorporation into the examination work plan for the next fiscal year.

  3. IPS will provide SB/SE with the listing of CAAs selected for review. The list will include the CAA, type of visit, and geographical location.

  4. SB/SE Examination Policy and the ITIN Policy Section will meet and negotiate the proposed number of CAA reviews to be performed by SB/SE examiners.

    Note:

    If agreement cannot be reached on the list of monitoring visits to conduct, this issue will be elevated to the Director, Examination Policy.

  5. The agreed upon CAA list will then be forwarded by the Exam Planning and Delivery (EPD) analyst assigned to the Director, EPD, for approval.

Certifying Acceptance Agent Workload Identification
  1. IPS will determine the method to select CAAs for compliance reviews by SB/SE Examination. Once the number of CAA reviews have been approved, a spreadsheet with the pertinent information will be securely (encrypted) e-mailed to EPD and Examination Policy.

  2. EPD will separate the list of CAAs by areas and send the reviews to the appropriate Area Planning and Special Programs (PSP) Territory Managers (TM).

  3. The area PSP TMs will provide the list of CAAs for their areas to their PSP CAA/ITIN coordinator for distribution to the group managers for assignment to trained examiners.

  4. The area PSP CAA/ITIN coordinator will evaluate the geographic locations of the staffing personnel in the area to determine the number of participants to monitor CAAs. The area PSP CAA/ITIN coordinator will coordinate with the field to ensure all examiners attend the National CAA/ITIN conference call training. This is a joint training class instructed by the ITIN subject matter expert analyst and the SB/SE Examination Policy analyst. The training should be completed by November 15 to enable the monitors to be available to conduct visits at the start of the filing season.

  5. The area CAA/ITIN coordinator should review each case and ensure the following is included prior to sending to a field group:

    • Copies of the applications associated with each case

    • Data Collection Instrument (DCI)

    • Case Activity Record

      Note:

      If the information in the case file is incomplete, the area PSP CAA/ITIN coordinator will contact the EPD analyst for assistance.

Scheduling the Visit with the Certifying Acceptance Agent (CAA)
  1. Visits should be made by appointment. Upon receipt of the CAA case file, it is recommended that the monitor contact the CAA by telephone prior to sending a letter to schedule an initial appointment. Advise the CAA of the purpose of the visit and the approximate time needed to perform the monitoring visit. Monitors can contact their Planning and Special Programs (PSP) CAA/ITIN coordinator for an electronic copy of this letter.

  2. If the monitor is not able to contact the CAA via telephone or letter, the monitor will contact the area PSP CAA/ITIN coordinator who will notify the IPS via e-mail.

Conducting the Visit
  1. It is recommended to conduct the interview prior to reviewing the CAA’s records. Interviews should only be conducted with the responsible party as listed on the application information sheet or person designated by the responsible party to act in his/her absence or contact or alternate contact as indicated on the application information sheet.

  2. All visits should be conducted in a professional and courteous manner.

  3. Monitors should use the CAA Compliance Review DCI, Exhibit 3.21.264-10, Compliance Review Data Collection Instrument (DCI), to conduct the interview with the CAA.

  4. Monitors should contact their PSP CAA/ITIN coordinator for an electronic copy of the CAA Compliance Review DCI.

  5. The CAA review includes, but is not limited to the following:

    • Visiting offices and observing office space for interviews to evaluate safe guards used to maintain confidentiality of client meetings and record;

    • Reviewing files, records, and standard operation procedures;

    • Reviewing CAA Form W-7 submissions (including any related federal tax return or exception information);

    • Analyzing advertising material;

    • Inspecting files. CAA must maintain files for three years;

    • Discussing any issues or concerns the CAA may have regarding the program, and

    • Advising the CAA that the IRS ITIN office will send them a letter regarding the outcome of this visit.

Reasonable Cause
  1. Reasonable cause will be considered by the ITIN Policy Section when addressing the CAA’s explanations for the noncompliance. The monitor should therefore include in the file any explanation or information the CAA provides. For example, the destruction of records due to a casualty qualifies as reasonable cause. The casualty should be substantiated by fire department or police records. The CAA must provide documentation that the circumstance was beyond his/her control and reasonable actions were taken to resolve the noncompliance as quickly as possible for reasonable cause to be present.

Identifying Violations
  1. The following techniques may be used to identify potential violations within the AA Program. The list is not all inclusive, and the monitors may develop their own techniques to identify violations.

    • Tax Returns - Confirm the CAA submits a copy of the completed tax return along with the Form W-7 unless an exception is being claimed. Review the tax return submitted with Form W-7. The return should be reviewed to verify whether a dependent was claimed for the Form W-7 submitted. For each dependent child with a W-7 you should verify if the dependent was a resident in the U.S. and then check to see if Child Tax Credit (CTC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) was claimed. Based upon the analysis of the returns, ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ . If this occurs, the monitor should make a referral to the IPS and identify the issues in question.

    • ITIN AA Application -To become a CAA, an applicant must complete a Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program. Once approved to participate in the Acceptance Agent program, the CAA will receive an “acceptance letter” and agreement package containing their EIN/Office Code and a sample Certificate Of Accuracy (COA) as well a copy of Pub 4520, Acceptance Agents Guide for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. Review the CAA’s application record provided by the area PSP CCA/ITIN Coordinator to ensure the CAA’s information is correct. The authorized representative is the only person allowed to sign the COA. Verify the authorized representative on the application.

    • Security - Inspect the interview area for Form W-7 and tax returns lying around where they might be in view to other taxpayers. Inspect the interview area to ensure the EIN/Office Code is not posted in large numbers. Interview the CAA to determine who has access to the taxpayer files. Verify if the taxpayer records are locked and secured at the end of each day by observing the storage area used for files.

    • Physical Checks - Inspect the interview area of the organization. If the office is in disarray, this could mean there are potential problems. The monitors should depend on their own instinct and judgment about the office environment, keeping in mind all offices are different. The Authorized Representative must sign and complete all pertinent information in the Certificate of Accuracy including the EIN and Office Code.

    • Knowledge - The CAA should be familiar with Publication 4520, Acceptance Agents Guide for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, the CAA Agreement and Rev. Proc. 2006-10, 2006-1 C.B.293. Inquire if the CAA attends the IRS sponsored Tax Forums. They should be aware of the new law changes. Ask the CAA if they have access to the internet. Law changes and other valuable information is available on the IRS.gov web site. Ask the CAA whom they contact when they need assistance with ITIN applications. Ask the CAA if they have viewed the ITIN Webinar on irs.gov. Inquire about the location of their Publication 4520.

Referrals
  1. During the course of the CAA visit, the monitor may recognize compliance issues. Remember that the purpose of the visit is strictly to focus on the CAA’s adherence to the guidelines in Rev. Proc. 2006-10, 2006-1 C.B.293, the CAA Agreement, and Publication 4520. If a compliance issue arises outside the parameters of the visit, a “Referral” must be made to the IPS for further action.

  2. If the CAA has knowledge of other CAAs incorrectly completing the Form W-7, claiming dependents that may not be allowable to claim the Child Tax Credit (CTC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), you can accept the information or tell the CAA to e-mail the IPS at ITINProgramOffice@irs.gov. Ask them to include all information they have including copies of violations if possible.

Handling Results of Certifying Acceptance Agent (CAA) Reviews
  1. It is very important that the monitor document their observations. The monitor will need to provide all pertinent information in the Comments section of the DCI or in a separate document. The IPS will use the monitor's data to evaluate the CAA’s compliance to program guidelines and send the CAA a letter.

    Reminder:

    At the conclusion of a visit, the monitor advises the CAA that the IRS ITIN office will send them a letter regarding the outcome of their visit. The monitor does discuss any recommendations.

  2. The IPS will determine the seriousness of the reported violations and issue the appropriate sanctioning letter.

  3. The IPS can issue acceptance, warning, probation or termination letters to the CAA depending on the severity of the violation.

Case File Assembly and Case Closure to PSP Coordinator
  1. At the conclusion of the monitoring visit, the monitor should submit a complete case file to the area PSP CCA/ITIN coordinator. Generally, the file should be closed within five work days of the visit from the group. Monitors should explain any delays in closure exceeding this time frame on Form 9984, Examining Officer's Activity Record.

  2. The case file should include but is not limited to the following:

    • Form 9984 with manager's initial or signature that case was reviewed;

      Note:

      Monitors are to use activity code 735 for all time associated with the CAA program.

    • Copy of appointment letter (if applicable)

    • CAA Compliance Review DCI

    • Any other work papers used to determine compliance

    • AA application information

Area PSP CAA/ITIN Coordinator's Responsibilities
  1. The area PSP CCA/ITIN coordinator is a direct link between the monitor and the headquarter analyst. The area PSP CAA/ITIN coordinator responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

    1. Scheduling CAA/ITIN training for monitors in their area. See IRM 3.21.264.8.1.6, Referrals.

      Note:

      Area PSP CAA/ITIN coordinators may have to train monitors if they are unable to attend the national training.

    2. Preparing and issuing case files to the field upon receipt from headquarter analyst.

      Note:

      The coordinator must ensure a record number is included on the DCI.

    3. Providing weekly status reports to the headquarter analyst. The information used for this report will be secured from the Master Tracking Spreadsheet.

    4. Maintain a "Master Tracking Spreadsheet" IRM 3.21.264.8.1.11, Master Tracking Spreadsheet.

    5. Reviewing all closed CAA/ITIN cases and closing them to IPS. See IRM 3.21.264.8.1.10, Case Closures to IPS.

    6. Provide ad hoc feedback/reporting to SB/SE headquarter analyst when requested.

Case Closure to ITIN Policy Section (IPS)
  1. The area PSP CAA/ITIN coordinator will review the cases, retain a copy of Form 9984, Examining Officer's Activity Record (electronic or paper) for their records, and send forward the original file to the IPS. All documents that can be transmitted electronically will be sent electronically and any paper documents will be sent via Form 3210, Document Transmittal to the IPS. The area PSP CAA/ITIN coordinator will retain Form 9984, Examining Officer's Activity Record for three years.

Master Tracking Spreadsheet
  1. Area PSP CAA/ITIN Coordinators must maintain a Master Tracking Spreadsheet to assign, monitor, annotate follow-up actions, completion dates, and closures for the visits by Exam Field personnel. This Master Tracking Spreadsheet is contemporaneously documented and should be available to headquarter analysts for interim status reports. All applicable fields in the Master Tracking Spreadsheet should be completed.

  2. The Master Tracking Spreadsheet may contain a selection of items listed below:

    • Record number

    • Multiple Compliance Visits (MCV)

    • EIN

    • EFIN

    • Organization's name

    • Responsible Officer

    • Address (street, city, state, and zip)

    • Area

    • Monitor (name and phone number)

    • Monitor's manager (name and phone number)

    • Monitor's territory manager (name and phone number)

    • Date received from IPS

    • Date received from headquarter analyst

    • Date assigned to group

    • Date assigned to monitor

    • Date of scheduled interview

    • Date of actual interview

    • Date closed or returned from group

    • Documents secured

    • Address change (Y or N)

    • Telephone number change (Y or N)

    • Date closed to IPS

    • Comments

Correspondence Reviews ITIN Policy Section (IPS)

  1. IRS conducts correspondence reviews when the organization is selected for a compliance review but not referred for an SBSE on-sight visit. IPS conducts the correspondence compliance reviews.

Pre-plan and Conducting Reviews
  1. The IPS Analyst contacts the CAA and conducts the correspondence review using the Initial Correspondence Compliance Letter and the Second Request Correspondence Compliance Letter if needed.

  2. The correspondence review letters request the following:

    • Copy of Form W-7

    • Copy of CP all IRS notices

    • Copy of documentation used to certify the Form W-7 applicant’s foreign status and identity

      Note:

      If Form W-7 is part of a Family Pack, all documents associated with the Family Pack must be submitted.

    • Copy of Exception documentation, if applicable.

    • Copy of tax return, if filed

    • Copy of Certificate of Accuracy (Form W-7 COA)

    • Copy of all advertisements

    • Copy of Intake Sheet and/or interview notes

    • Copy of written Standard of Operation

  3. The CAA is allowed 30 days to respond with requested information.

Case Analysis
  1. The IPS Analyst reviews the information that is returned by the CAA to ensure that all information requested has been received and takes the following initial actions:.

    • Records the findings on the Document Collection Instrument (DCI)

    • Finalizes the DCI

  2. Refer to the table below for appropriate Analyst responses to the CAA:

    If... Then...
    The CAA provides an incomplete response, The analyst will send the second request specifying the information needed. Allow 15 days for response.
    The CAA responds to the request and informs you that there was a theft, fire, natural disasters, and/or any situation beyond the CAA’s control, The Compliance Analyst consults with Senior Tax Analyst to determine if “Reasonable Cause” exists before proceeding. Senior Tax Analyst will determine appropriate extension, if applicable based on the facts of the case. See IRM 3.21.264.8.1.4, Reasonable Cause.
    CAA fails to provide the requested information, Contact the organization by telephone or e-mail to determine their reason for not responding. If CAA indicates problem with the U.S. mail being delivered, the analyst will e-mail the information (password protected) to the CAA. If these actions fail, the analyst will then attempt to contact the CAA by telephone. to get the correct address and/or other relevant information. The CAA must then submit the requested information within seven days. The analyst must document the chronology to reflect the contact and follow-up date.
Case Closure
  1. IPS Compliance Analyst should follow instructions below for completing the DCI package:

    • Staple letters sent, correspondence received, envelopes, and any other information related to the CAA case to the DCI.

    • Document the chronology to record the date the correspondence was mailed, date response was received and the date analysis was conducted

    • Prepare a synopsis of the review, identifying infractions and providing final recommendations.

    • Forward the completed file to the Senior Tax Analyst for review.

Sanctions

  1. Monitoring may include reviewing Form W-7 applications and related documents, scrutinizing advertising material, inspecting files and observing office area (for client interaction). If the monitor discovers the CAA is noncompliant because of a violation of one or more of the rules governing the IRS AA Program, the monitor will provide all pertinent information in the Comments section of the DCI or in a separate document for IPS review.

  2. IPS will review the monitor’s CAA compliance package and determine what infractions are appropriate.

  3. A violation may result in a warning, probation, or termination. The monitor must therefore document their observations in detail.

Levels of Infraction
  1. The IPS will monitor a CAA for conformity with all rules and guidelines governing the IRS ITIN AA Program.

  2. The IPS will monitor the CAA's compliance in the following areas:

    • Applicable rules listed in Rev. Proc. 2006-10, 2006-1 C.B.293 and Pub 4520.

    • Unacceptable cumulative suspense or reject rate

    • Significant complaints about a CAA's performance in the program

    • Loosely maintained/unorganized files

    • Violation of the advertising standards

    • Failure to retain and make available records as described in Rev. Proc. 2006–10 and the CAA Agreement where the non-compliance has occurred.

    • Erroneous filing of W-7s to claim individuals who do not qualify as dependents to claim Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC)

  3. Use reasonable cause criteria when addressing the above.

  4. In all cases, the IPS will review all the factors relevant to the violation. When the violation is minor, a written reprimand (warning) will be issued.

Level One-Warning
  1. Level one (minor infractions) characteristics include:

    • Little or no adverse impact on the quality of ITIN applications or IRS

    • No negative media impact

    • Self-correcting compliance issues

    • Procedural infractions

  2. Level one infraction examples include:

    • Loosely maintained or unorganized files

    • Failure to update IRS AA application for minor items

      Example:

      A monitor notes during a visit that the only violation is a discrepancy with the telephone number listed on the printout section of the AA application information. The CAA submits the correction to the ITIN Policy Section in the presence of the monitor. This action is a minor violation that warrants a verbal warning. The monitor will note the corrected violation on the daily activity record and indicate that he issued a warning to the CAA.

  3. Apply reasonable cause criteria when addressing the above examples. If the violation is due to lack of proper internal controls or office policy, consider a level two infraction.

  4. In most situations, the CAA can correct or take corrective action to resolve the minor violation immediately.

Level Two-Probation
  1. Level two (serious infractions) include:

    • Actions adversely impacting the quality of Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, submitted to IRS on behalf of his/her clients

    • Actions negatively impacting taxpayers

    • Continued level two behavior or egregious infractions

    • Intentional disregard of the AA Program rules

    • Mis-representation

    • Non-compliance (not self-corrected)

  2. Level two infractions generally result in:

    • Loss of CAA privileges

    • One year probation

    • Status change from CAA to AA (required to submit documentation with every Form W-7 application

Level Three-Termination
  1. Level three (major infractions) characteristics include:

    • Significant adverse impact on the quality of submitted Form W-7 applications

    • Continued level two behavior

    • Egregious infractions

  2. Level three infractions are violations of rules governing IRS AA Program, that, in the opinion of the Service, have a significant adverse impact on the quality of submitted Form W-7 applications. Level three infractions include continued level two infractions after the Service brought the level two infraction to the attention of the CAA. Some level three infractions may result in termination from the IRS AA Program and referral to Compliance for a preparer project.

  3. The following reasons (not all inclusive) may lead to termination of a CAA from the AA Program:

    • Failure to maintain any records

    • Maintaining invalid or expired documents

    • Failure to take Forensic Document Training

  4. Egregious infractions such as ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ unethical practices in Form W-7 preparation may result in termination from the AA Program. Examples include:

    • Failure to cooperate with the Service's efforts to conduct compliance reviews

    • Continued level one or level two infractions that are not corrected

Reconsideration
  1. Certifying Acceptance Agents may submit a written request within 30 days of the date of the Compliance Review letter to the ITIN Policy Section (IPS) for reconsideration of a Compliance Review determination for their organization. The request should be mailed to the ITIN Policy Section , 401 West Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA 30308. In order for a Compliance Review determination to be changed the CAA must be able to provide documentation related to the stated infractions that was available at the time the initial W-7 application was prepared or Compliance Review visit occurred.

  2. IPS will review the case and reconsideration letter request and determine if a change in the initial determination is warranted. If the CAA provides the necessary documentation, an adjustment will be made which could result in removal of the initial infraction(s) cited and a change in the initial Compliance Review determination. IPS will notify the CAA of the result of their reconsideration request by mail within 30 days of receipt of the request.

Acceptance Agent (AA) Reports

  1. AA Reports are generated from the ITIN Real Time System (RTS). Access is gained by selecting the AA Reports link on the Home screen.

    Note:

    Additional reports are also found on the ITIN Reports link on the Home screen.

  2. AA Reports are available based on RTS role and include the following:

    • AA Agreements 180 Days Expiration Report

    • AA Over-aged Report

    • Acceptance Agent Summary Report

    • E-mail List for Approved AAs

    • Mailing Labels for Approved AAs

  3. The IPS Reports Analysts review reports and analyze trends as it relates to the AA Program. Feedback (e.g., number of Form W-7 per state vs. number of CAAs per state, immigrant populations by state and zip code etc.) is provided as appropriate to the IPS Communications Analyst for use in training and education/outreach efforts (e.g., tax forums, conferences, newsletters, etc.).

Other Non-Acceptance Agent Reports

  1. Other miscellaneous Non-AA Reports are available to the IPS and are used by the Reports Analyst to evaluate the program. Examples include:

    • ITIN Comparative Report (produced by PMPA, used to study Form W-7 receipt patterns)

    • MITS 180 Report (accessed through Business Objects, used to study ITIN usage and Child Tax Credit (CTC) on tax returns)

    • MITS 401 Report (accessed through Business Objects, provides CTC info by individual taxpayer; report accessed by ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ and Examination

    • Media Requests (data gathered for media requests are sent through the IPS manager and/or designee to the Communication Analyst for approval and routing to the appropriate media source).

Acceptance Agent Quality Standards

  1. The IPS Quality Analyst (QA) determines which AA/CAAs are not meeting the quality standards of the program, notifies the AA/CAA of the status, monitors for improvements, and takes actions (e.g., probation) as appropriate.

  2. The QA requests/receives reports from the IPS Reports Analysts and takes actions as noted in the table below:

    Report Type Required Action
    Report of the CAAs that do not initially meet quality standards Review the reject/suspend applications to determine if there is a CAA error or Tax Examiner/IPS error
    • TE/IPS errors are added back to the total correct applications. If the percentage now falls into the standards scale, the CAA will not receive a warning letter.

    • If it is TE error, the analyst will provide feedback to the IRM analyst for possible alert/update and training emphasis.

    • If it is CAA errors, the CAA will receive a warning letter and be subject to a 6 month review.

      Caution:

      Warning letters should be sent no later than January so the warning letter period will encompass the filing season.

    Report of CAAs that received warning letters and are subject to a 6 month review Review the reject/suspended applications within the last 6 months
    • Review Form W-7 applications submitted during the 6 month warning period to determine if any rejections or suspensions were TE/IPS error or CAA error. TE/IPS errors will be added back to the total correct applications. If the percentage now falls into the standards scale, the CAA will not receive a warning letter

    • If the CAA is now meeting the standards, send a letter notifying them of improvement.

    • If standards are not met, send letter notifying them of probation. The probationary period will last 1 year. Update status on RTS to reflect CAA to AA demotion.

    Report of written requests of probationary AA’s that are requesting reconsideration back to CAA status Requests are only considered after at least one year of the probationary period is served.

    The agent will provide a client listing including the client name, date of birth, and country of citizenship. Use RTS to verify submissions and review for quality standards:
    • The agent must submit at least 75 high quality Form W-7 submissions.

    • If the agent submits at least 75 Form W-7 clients, review for quality standards.

    • If the agent meets the quality review standards, grant the reconsideration request and send a letter informing the agent of status.

    • Update RTS status from AA to CAA and correspondence status from applicant only to both.

    • If the agent does not meet the quality standards, the agent will remain in AA status for duration of agreement and be subject to the policies and standards of the AA program.

    Report of CAAs that did not submit any Form W-7 applications for a 12- month period CAA is terminated for duration of contract:
    • Send letter to former agent regarding termination.

    • Send information to the Web site Analyst for removal from the web site.

    • Update RTS status to Suspended 60 days after the date of the termination letter to allow for Form W-7 applications in process to continue.

    Report of written request from AA’s with required number of submissions for promotion to CAA status Requests are only considered if AA has been in the program for at least one year.
    • If the listing shows the required number of Form W-7 applications, review the applications for quality standards.

    • If the quality standards are not met, send rejection letter explaining quality standards were not met.

    • If the quality standards are met, send the agent a congratulations letter and a new agreement for signature (front end process). Receive signature pages and mail signed agreement (back end process).

    • Update RTS status from AA to CAA.

ITIN Acceptance Agent Training Certificate Statement

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Acceptance Agent Application Processing

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Publication 5173 Acceptance Agent Fingerprint Card Stuffer

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Form 3210, Document Transmittal

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Form 9814, Request for Mail/Shipping Service

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Fingerprint Card (FPC) Cover Sheet

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Request for Name Check and Fax Cover Sheet

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Form 13551 Review Checklist

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Acceptance Agent Suitability Profile Sheet

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Warning Letter

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Probation Letter

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Termination Letter

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Common Income Tax Returns

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Acceptable Titles for Principal, Partner or Owner on Form 13551

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Acceptable ITIN RTS Abbreviations

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