4.62.3 Requests for Representation Funds and Gifts for Foreign Officials

Manual Transmittal

March 20, 2017

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 4.62.3, International Relations, Requests for Representation Funds and Gifts for Foreign Officials.

Background

This IRM provides procedures for requesting funds and gifts from the Representation Fund.

Material Changes

(1) This IRM is written to encompass the changes in Large Business and International (LB&I) since the last revision of this IRM.

(2) Position titles and organizational titles have been updated.

(3) Figure 4.63.2-1, Representation Fund Reports, is obsolete.

(4) Figure 4.63.2-2, Representation Fund Guidelines has been replaced by the tables in IRM 4.63.2.5, Procedures for Requesting Representation Funds.

(5) Exhibits of forms have been replaced by hyperlinks.

(6) Editorial changes made throughout.

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 4.62.3, dated June 30, 2002, is superseded.

Audience

All operating divisions and functions are required to use this IRM.

Effective Date

(03-20-2017)

Keith Walker
Director, Resource Solutions
Large Business and International Division

Program Scope and Objectives

  1. The Representation Fund is a budget allocation used to facilitate official reception and representation activities that further the interests of the U.S. tax administration system. Such activities are intended to increase cooperation with foreign governments and with public or private organizations outside of the Federal Government.

Background

  1. The Representation Fund is intended to cover allowable expenditures by IRS employees in providing suitable representation to foreign government officials or other agents, within the limitations described in this text.

Authority

  1. A memorandum making the Assistant Commissioner (International) the Plan Manager for the Representation Fund was signed by the Acting Assistant Commissioner (Human Resources) on July 20, 1986.

  2. With the reorganization of the Large and Mid-Size Business (LMSB) division to Large Business and International (LB&I),the Assistant Deputy Commissioner International (ADCI) replaced the Director, International (LMSB) as the "authorizing official" for the Representation Fund.

Responsibilities

  1. It is the responsibility of the Beckley Finance Center to record all obligations against the fiscal year in which the event occurred and make all reimbursements and payments associated with the Representation Fund.

  2. Representation Fund obligations must be processed through LB&I.

Representation Fund Budget Allocation Process

  1. During the first week of August, the Representation Fund Finance Coordinator requests Representation Fund (Rep. Fund) users to submit their next fiscal year needs.

  2. The Rep. Fund Finance Coordinator develops a chart comparing last year's allocation to what is requested for this fiscal year. The chart is submitted to the Assistant Deputy Commissioner International (ADCI) to develop a proposed allocation based on needs for the fiscal year, keeping within the total approved appropriation. Any IRS-hosted international meetings scheduled for the fiscal year receive strong funding priority.

  3. The proposed allocation is submitted to the ADCI for approval.

  4. Upon receipt of an approved allocation, the Rep. Fund Coordinator notifies users of their fiscal year allocation.

  5. The allocation process for the subsequent fiscal year is normally completed by the middle of September. No one is to conduct an event until receiving funding notification and proper approval for the scheduled event.

  6. In July of the funded year, the Rep. Fund Coordinator contacts users to inquire if they will use the remainder of their allocation. If the response is no, the funds are returned to CFO. They may not be used for other purposes.

Criteria for Representation Fund Expenditures

  1. Certain types of expenses associated with fulfilling the functions of the IRS are normally allowable at the discretion of the authorizing official. These expenses include:

    1. Entertainment costs incurred to promote official relationships with foreign governments, state officials and representatives of organizations necessary to enhance the performance of IRS.

    2. The purchase of centerpieces or other items dictated by custom for official functions or events. (This type of expense must receive prior approval because of certain appropriation prohibitions and fund limitations.)

  2. Prior to approving any expenditure, the authorizing official examines the intended expenditure to determine whether:

    1. The scale of the entertainment is suited to the purpose for which the funds are to be expended. The rank and importance of the persons in attendance to the nature and expense of the entertainment is evaluated.

    2. The number of federal employees and their spouses in attendance at a function hosted by the Service is appropriate in relation to the number of other attendees. (Additional IRS personnel beyond the number authorized may attend the representation functions at their personal expense.)

    3. Participation by relatives or companions of IRS employees attending an event for which Representation Funds are expended will be reviewed to ensure that attendance is appropriate and necessary as dictated by proper etiquette. (In the presence of the spouse of a foreign dignitary, it would be appropriate for the IRS official to include his/her spouse).

    4. In the world of international business, the exchange of gifts between officials is commonplace. The Representation Fund may be used to purchase gifts for foreign dignitaries as part of the expected code of behavior. However, such purchases and their accompanying circumstances must be reviewed and approved by the ADCI prior to purchase.

Prohibitions in the Use of the Representation Fund

  1. All Representation Fund requests must be pre-approved by the ADCI and processed through the Integrated Procurement System (IPS) prior to the funds being used.

  2. Expenses should not exceed the pre-approved amount. If an exception unavoidably occurs, the ADCI reviews the circumstances after the fact, and makes the determination regarding additional reimbursement.

  3. The fund may not be used for:

    1. The hire, purchase, operation or repair of any passenger-carrying vehicle.

    2. Expenses of printing or for the purchase of stationery or cards except for invitations to official functions.

    3. Expenses incurred for entertainment solely for employees of the Internal Revenue Service and/or their families.

  4. An IRS employee who has a meal paid for by the Representation Fund and who is on per diem is not allowed to claim the entire Meal and Incidental Expenditures (M & IE) amount on his/her travel voucher. If a person on per diem has a meal paid for by the Representation Fund, he/she reduces the allowable M & IE rate on their travel voucher.

Procedures for Requesting Representation Funds

  1. The table below contains specific guidelines for requesting Representation Funds before the event.

    Step Action By Whom When Forwarded to
    1 Form 9258 completed Requester At least 2 weeks prior to event Rep. Fund Coordinator to date stamp received
    2 Input to IPS for approval Rep. Fund Coordinator At least 2 weeks prior to event Approving officials
    3 Form 9258 forwarded for approval Rep. Fund Coordinator As received ADCI
    4 Check IPS request for approval Rep. Fund Coordinator/Requester Two days after forwarding for approval N/A
    5 Print IPS request Rep. Fund Coordinator When approved Hold with paperwork
    6 Approved Form 9258 received Rep. Fund Coordinator When signed Requester

    The requester can hold event only after approval of Form 9258 and IPS request is approved by the plan manager.

  2. The table below contains the guidelines for requesting Representation Funds after the event:

    Step Action By Whom When Forwarded to:
    1 Form 9259, 9260, 9261 (if required), detailed invoices or receipts and bank statement Requester No more than 5 business days after event* Rep. Fund Coordinator
    2 Print IPS request Rep. Fund Coordinator After receipt of Form 9259 Hold with paperwork
    3 Completed SF 1034 Rep. Fund Coordinator After receipt of Form 9259 ADCI
    4 Forms 9258, 9259, 9260, 9261, invoices/receipts and SF 1034 or bank statement Rep. Fund. Coordinator Signed by ADCI Beckley Finance Center, Beckley WV for payment

    Exception:

    *When the Small Purchase Card is used, the Cardholder will complete the required forms and submit to the Rep. Fund Coordinator within 15 days of receiving his/her Small Purchase Card bank statement.

  3. Obtain forms required to request and process Representation Fund expenditures by contacting the Rep. Fund Coordinator. These forms are also available on the IRS website. Contact the Rep. Fund Coordinator regarding any Representation Fund questions.

  4. Requestors should use a Small Purchase card if time allows or a personal credit card to pay for the meal or gifts using Representation Funds. The ADCI administrative assistant or the LB&I Commissioner’s office administrative assistant will be the cardholders who have the correct merchant codes to do these transactions. If time does not allow, you may use a personal credit card and be reimbursed.

  5. In those cases where a SF 1034, Public Voucher for Purchases and Services Other than Personal, is used, Beckley Finance Center makes the payment by direct deposit to the claimant or vendor whose name and address appears on SF 1034.

  6. If the invoice is in a foreign currency or does not equal the amount claimed:

    1. Form 9261, Methodology to Rectify Amount Claimed With Invoice or Receipt, should be completed and attached to Form 9259, Information With Respect to Reimbursement Of Representational Expenses.

    2. Complete Section I of Form 9261. The exchange rate to be used is the rate in effect on the date on which the expenditure is paid.

  7. If persons attend an international business activity who are not pre-approved by the authorizing official, complete Section 2 of Form 9261. This process is outlined in IRM 4.62.3.3(2)(b), which covers non-authorized IRS employees who may attend representation activities at their own expense.

Accountability for Representation Funds

  1. The Rep. Fund Coordinator prepares all reimbursement requests for approval by the ADCI, and transmittal to the Beckley Finance Center. The following documents are forwarded:

    1. SF 1034, Public Voucher for Purchases and Services Other than Personal

    2. Form 9258, Request for Representation Funds

    3. Form 9259, Information with Respect to Reimbursement of Representation Expenses

    4. Form 9260, Invoice/Receipt

    5. Form 9261, Methodology to Rectify Amount Claimed with Invoice or Receipt Form

    6. IPS documentation showing Status - completed

  2. The Rep. Fund Coordinator is responsible for maintaining the following data:

    1. The list of IRS employees and guests participating in representation activity, including participants' titles. In the case of foreign guests, the country represented should be listed.

    2. The date of activity, name and location (city/state) of the vendor providing the representation activity

    3. The amount of funds expended and photocopies of receipts

    4. The purpose of activity or expenditure

    5. The name and title of person receiving reimbursement

  3. The Rep. Fund Finance Coordinator and the ADCI will conduct a quarterly reconciliation of the Representation Fund.

Representation Fund Gift Distribution Guidelines

  1. The requester is to send the Rep. Fund Coordinator the following information:

    1. Name and title

    2. Post

    3. Telephone number

    4. Type of gift

    5. Name and title of recipient

    6. Name of foreign government

    7. Circumstances surrounding presentation of gift

  2. Gifts that are not distributed are to be returned to the Rep Fund Coordinator to be added back to the inventory. A note will be added to the original request about the return gift(s).

Last Minute Usage of the Representation Fund

  1. Last minute usage is allowed when a need occurs less than two weeks prior to the event. Along with contacting the Representation Fund Coordinator, you will be required to work with a designated purchase cardholder to pay for meal or gifts. The cardholder would be either the Administrative Assistant to the ADCI or the Administrative Assistant to the LB&I Commissioner. They will be able to get special merchant codes that will allow them to make the purchase with the Small Purchase card for dining. All other requirements for Rep. Funds are the same for a request within the two-week notice.