4.40.2  Program Responsibilities and Duties  (03-01-2002)
Office of Pre-Filing and Technical Guidance

  1. This section covers duties and responsibilities of Director, Pre-Filing and Technical Guidance, Technical Advisor Managers, and Technical Advisors.  (03-01-2002)
Director, Pre-Filing and Technical Guidance

  1. The Director, Pre-Filing and Technical Guidance, has overall responsibility for the Technical Advisor Program, including:

    1. Establishing overall program direction and assistance to Industry Directors.

    2. Providing guidance and assistance to Technical Advisor Managers and Technical Advisors.

    3. Assessing staffing needs of the Technical Advisor Program and making appropriate recommendations to the Industry Directors.

    4. Acting as the Central Clearing Point for monitoring the Issue Guidance process.

    5. Processing Coordinated Issue requests.

    6. Conducting operational reviews of the Program as appropriate.

    7. Approving Technical Advisor Meetings.

    8. Approving Technical Advisor Managers requests for outside speech.

    9. Communicating directly with the Field as appropriate.

    10. Assisting Industry Directors in identifying industry or issue areas for Technical Advisor Studies.

    11. Ensuring that findings of the Technical Advisor Program are disseminated to the Field as appropriate.

    12. Proposing Coordinated Issues based on recommendations of Technical Advisor Studies.

    13. Serving as the selecting official for Technical Advisor Program’s vacancy announcements.

    14. Ensuring that the Technical Advisor Program is adequately staffed.

    15. Establishing liaison with other government agencies.

    16. Ensuring that Technical Advisors are provided with adequate resources to do their job. Resources include, but are not limited to, subscriptions to trade and professional magazines and other publications; storage and working space; clerical and technical support; etc.

    17. Providing appropriate training for Technical Advisors.

    18. Initiating action with the Office of Chief Counsel to assemble a team of attorneys to assist each Technical Advisor.

    19. Developing and maintaining effective communications with Appeals and Chief Counsel.  (03-01-2002)
Technical Advisor Managers

  1. The role of Technical Advisor Managers is to facilitate the resolution of issues by providing vision, leadership, direction, education, information, and resources to internal and external customers in partnership with Technical Advisors.  (03-01-2002)
Technical Advisor Manager Responsibilities

  1. Technical Advisor Managers are responsible for oversight of the Technical Advisors assigned to them. A Technical Advisor Manager’s responsibilities include:

    1. Coordinated Issues — Advises the Director, Pre-Filing and Technical Guidance, and when appropriate, Industry Directors, in selecting industries/issues for coordination. Actively pursues resolution of issues in a uniform manner through proposed Coordinated Issues.

    2. Emerging Issues — Determines Emerging Issues in conjunction with Technical Advisors and actively assists in issue development. Assesses the need for new or revised Manuals and Audit Technique Guides.

    3. Interaction with Industry/Issue Teams — Provides direction and assistance to Technical Advisors in planning and arranging Technical Advisor Meetings. Collaborates with Industry Directors to ensure effective and timely response to inquiries by Technical Advisors.

    4. Interaction with Technical Advisors — Works with other Technical Advisors and Technical Advisor Managers by holding briefings as appropriate. Monitors feedback on unusual and significant issues. Implements policies, objectives and directives of the Office of Pre-Filing and Technical Guidance.

    5. Interaction with other Divisions — Functions as the focal point for matters relating to his/her Technical Advisors. Is responsible for the coordination and direction of Program initiatives within the assigned area(s).

    6. Pre-Filing and Issue Resolution — Identifies facts and well-settled principles of law for guidance and clarification. Actively markets IRS Pre-Filing Agreements and other pre-filing products and services in order to improve taxpayer compliance. Works with Counsel and others in resolving technical and procedural issues.

    7. Communication Strategy — Develops guidelines and disseminates information to stakeholders. Ensures that the Technical Advisor Program information posted on the Office of Pre-Filing and Technical Guidance Intranet web site is supported, maintained and up to date.

    8. Speaking Engagements — Develops a network of internal and external customers and, in coordination with Industry Directors and Director, International, identifies forums to discuss the concerns of the IRS and the industry.

    9. Training Activities — In coordination with Industry Directors, identifies needed skills and facilitates/coordinates Technical Advisor training throughout the Service.

    10. Industry Director Meetings — Provides liaison between the Office of Pre-Filing and Technical Guidance and the Industry Directors. Holds regular discussions with LMSB Industries to ensure that appropriate issues are selected for coordination.

    11. Industry Director Program Support — Keeps informed of Industry profiles and business plans. Participates in budget planning process and progress meetings.

    12. Interaction with External Stakeholders — In coordination with Industry Directors and other affected offices, may serve as liaison to industry groups as well as legal and accounting associations.

    13. Industry Expertise — Develops and maintains technical skills by attending internal and external classes, conferences and seminars. Attends Technical Advisor Meetings.  (03-01-2002)
Interim Technical Advisors

  1. In addition to duties and responsibilities noted in IRM below, Interim Technical Advisors develop industry/issue areas assigned to them by the Director, Pre-Filing and Technical Guidance. Through direct communication with the Field and the business community, Interim Technical Advisor will:

    1. Define the business activities and other parameters of the assigned industry/issue areas;

    2. Identify potential issues for consideration by the Technical Advisor Program;

    3. Create a communications network between the Service and industry associations;

    4. Identify and analyze business practices and economic factors peculiar to the assigned industries;

    5. Identify inconsistencies and other problems impacting compliance within the assigned industry/issue areas;

    6. Conduct Technical Advisor Meetings when appropriate; and

    7. Advise the Director, Pre-Filing and Technical Guidance, as to whether the assigned industry/issue areas should be included in the Technical Advisor Program.  (03-01-2002)
Technical Advisors

  1. The role of Technical Advisors is to apply expert knowledge in identifying, developing and resolving issues; to educate internal and external customers; and to consult with internal and external customers on traditional and alternative issue resolution strategies in order to meet the objectives of the Service’s mission.  (03-01-2002)
Industry Knowledge and Expertise

  1. Technical Advisors keep informed of current industry/issue activities and monitor developing trends in order to forecast future compliance. As the industry/issue focal point, Technical Advisors will provide the tools and the support necessary for Examination Teams to plan and develop their audit of emerging issues.

  2. In order to identify novel and/or controversial tax treatment of transactions, Technical Advisors may:

    1. Study relevant publications such as trade journals, market reports, corporate annual reports and other SEC filings.

    2. Collaborate with Senior Industry Advisors in liaison with industry trade associations and other professional organizations.

    3. Attend industry conferences, conventions and meetings.

    4. Meet with other Federal, state and local governmental agencies responsible for regulating, or otherwise monitoring, the assigned industry/issue areas.

    5. Establish a communications network with the Field to facilitate flow of information.

    6. Communicate with, and obtain feedback from, Examiners engaged in auditing taxpayers within the assigned industry/issue areas.

    7. Seek opportunities to address trade and industry groups in order to discuss the industry and related issues. In accepting invitations to address such groups, the current Service guidance on the subject will be observed.  (03-01-2002)
Technical Advisor Responsibilities

  1. Identify Issues — Canvass industries for issues and trends; assess viability of issues identified by the Field; analyze and interpret legal developments; conduct studies to determine compliance; collaborate with other functions’ on issue selection criteria.

  2. Develop Issues— Gather pertinent facts; research issues, law and industry practices; obtain legal advice and assistance in development of issues; write technical material such as Coordinated Issues; assists in development of technical pronouncements.

  3. Resolve Issues — Partner with Industries, Appeals and Counsel in traditional issue resolution processes; advise Counsel and Treasury in development of technical pronouncements; recommend legislation and tax law changes; conduct briefings for Joint Committee, Taxpayer Advocate Service and others as appropriate; initiate and administer Compliance Initiative Projects (CIP).

  4. Consult on alternative issue resolution initiatives — Consult with Industries on merits of issues and alternate methods of resolution; assist Industry Directors and Headquarters in developing issue management strategies and assessing compliance.

  5. Educate internal and external customers — Conduct continued professional education (CPE) sessions, seminars and focus meetings for LMSB and other Divisions; conduct industry-wide meetings; speak at industry conferences and conventions; write and disseminate informational material such as Digests and Alerts; prepare and present videos and IVTs; advise foreign counterparts.

  6. Conduct case consultations — In coordination with Examination Team Managers, visit cases; review records; analyze Information Document Requests and taxpayer responses; dialogue with taxpayers; assess, assist and advise further action.

  7. Develop and maintain industry/issue expertise — Attend external industry conferences and conventions for continued professional education; network with industry professionals; read industry publications and periodicals to keep abreast of industry practices; attend out-service professional training; attend CPE seminars and focus meetings conducted by the Service; participate in special assignments.

  8. Field Assistance — Answer questions from internal and external customers and disseminate responses to frequently asked questions through appropriate means.  (03-01-2002)
Coordinate Technical Advice and Guidance

  1. The Technical Advisor Program was formed to promote uniform and consistent treatment of issues. To better identify, develop and resolve issues, Technical Advisors should:

    1. Enhance communication and coordination with both internal and external customers. Speeches before external stakeholders should be coordinated with the appropriate Industry Directors and approved by the appropriate Technical Advisor Manager with a copy forwarded to LMSB Office of Communications and Liaison at least one month in advance of the proposed speaking engagement. A copy of the invitation and approval should also be forwarded to the appropriate Industry Directors and Senior Industry Advisors.

    2. Ensure timely release of formal and informal guidance.

    3. Assess the need for educating customers through training classes and/or Audit Technique Guides and, if necessary, develop the required training material.

    4. Clarify the law, and simplify procedures, in order to facilitate tax administration and compliance.

    5. In coordination with Examination Team Managers, participate in the development of audit plans to ensure proper consideration of Coordinated Issues. Determine if technical assistance or advice should be solicited. Attempt to reconcile inconsistent positions at the lowest possible level and, if necessary, raise the issue to the next level.

    6. In consultation with Examination Team Managers, look for potential Coordinated Issues during the planning stage of examinations. Requests for legal guidance should be submitted early in the examination process.

    7. Communicate with Examination Teams concerning Coordinated Issues within the assigned industry/issue areas.

    8. Develop pro forma Information Document Requests and Audit Plans for Coordinated Issues.

    9. Keep informed of regulations issued by other government agencies and notify Examination Teams of any development.

    10. In cooperation with the Director, International, participate in simultaneous examinations and exchanges with Treaty Partners.

    11. Meet with Examination Teams and other Functions, as needed, to discuss issues, trends, audit procedures, and means of resolution. Meetings may be local or national in scope.

    12. Utilize the LMSB Intranet web site to disseminate information.  (03-01-2002)
Offices of Industry Directors

  1. This section covers duties and responsibilities of Industry Directors and their respective offices as they relate to the Technical Advisor Program.  (03-01-2002)
Industry Directors, Large and Mid-Size Business Division

  1. Industry Directors and their designates will assist in:

    1. Ensuring that policies and procedures instituted by LMSB for uniform and consistent tax administration are followed.

    2. Identifying industry/issue areas for Technical Advisor Studies.

    3. Providing input to the Director, Office of Pre-Filing and Technical Guidance, on whether an industry/issue area warrants continued coordination.

    4. Selecting staff for Technical Advisor Program’s vacancy announcements subject to the approval of the Director, Office of Pre-Filing and Technical Guidance.

    5. Providing input to Technical Advisors in planning, arranging and conducting meetings and training sessions.

    6. Providing resources for the processing and distribution of information.

    7. Ensuring that Coordinated Issues, if applicable, are considered during the examination process. A listing of Technical Advisor Program areas and related information are available at the LMSB Pre-Filing and Technical Guidance Intranet web site.

    8. Ensuring that Examiners consult Technical Advisors in preparing requests for Technical Advice whenever the request involves an industry/issue area within the Technical Advisor Program. Requests should be made as early as possible in the examination process. A copy of each request should be sent to the appropriate Technical Advisor in accordance with Revenue Procedure 200X-2. Technical Advisors should be involved in every step of the process leading to the release of the Technical Advice Memorandum including Chief Counsel requests for additional information, conferences, discussions of tentative conclusions, etc.

    9. Ensuring that Examiners consult with Technical Advisors whenever their examination involves an industry/issue area within the Technical Advisor Program.

    10. Ensuring that Coordinated Issue are followed where applicable.

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