5.14.9 Routine and Manually Monitored Installment Agreement Dispositions, Independent Review and Appeals

Manual Transmittal

December 18, 2017

Purpose

(1) This transmits a revision for IRM 5.14.9, Routine and Manually Monitored Installment Agreements, Independent Review and Appeals.

Material Changes

(1) IRM 5.14.9.1, Program Scope and Objectives - Revised the title to properly reflect the new information contained in this subsection. Also identified the primary purpose of the material provided and added content to place information involving internal controls for the program. Removed old information contained in this subsection. Subsections added under Program Scope and Objectives applicable to this program include:

  1. IRM 5.14.9.1.1, Background - Added information about the purpose of this IRM including the processing of Routine and Manually Monitored Installment Agreement Dispositions, Independent Review and Appeals.

  2. IRM 5.14.9.1.2, Authority - Added the legal authorities which govern the actions required of this IRM.

  3. IRM 5.14.9.1.3, Responsibilities - Added information about the executive responsible for the policies contained in the IRM. Also identified the management officials with ensuring the guidance in this IRM is complied with.

  4. IRM 5.14.9.1.4, Program Reports and Reviews - Added new information including group control reports, program reviews, security reviews, and performance management reports.

  5. IRM 5.14.9.1.5, Program Controls- Added information regarding the program controls associated with this IRM that relate to the procedures for the approval and monitoring of certain installment agreements.

  6. IRM 5.14.9.1.6, Terms/Definitions/Acronyms - Compiled a list of frequently used terms and acronyms in the processing of Routine and Manually Monitored Installment Agreement Dispositions, Independent Review and Appeals.

  7. IRM 5.14.9.1.7, Related Resources – Compiled a list of related resources.

(2) IRM 5.14.9.5(1)(f), Updated to include Restitution Based Assessments as not being compatible with IDRS monitoring and must be manually monitored in Centralized Case Processing (CCP).

(3) IRM 5.14.9.7(1), Added content from interim guidance memorandum SBSE-05-1213-0102, issued December 23, 2013 regarding changes negotiated with NTEU subject to the provisions contained in Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) - IRM Changes to Advisory Casework & Processes, dated December 22, 2009 and amended on January 6, 2010. Added new (a) When communicating the determination the employee will provide a response that is accurate and communicated in a clear, concise, professional, and easy to understand manner, deleted (a) to (c) alpha list, and revised it to a bullet list.

(4) IRM 5.14.9.7(1), Note, Updated to advise Independent Administrative Review not required on accounts containing “pending” IA status that are not in filing compliance at the time of the request. All modules containing a TC971-043 are to be reversed using the same date of the originating transaction code.

(5) IRM 5.14.9.7(3), Note, Updated to advise Independent Administrative Review not required on accounts containing “pending” IA status that are not in filing compliance at the time of the request. Taxpayer to be advised and all modules containing a TC971-043 are to be reversed using the same date of the originating transaction code.

(6) IRM 5.14.9.8(1), Added clarification regarding a taxpayer’s right to appeal a rejected installment agreement request.

(7) IRM 5.14.9.8(2), Added clarification about requirements prior to levy when an Appeal is denied.

(8) IRM 5.14.9.9(1) & (2), Added clarification regarding Taxpayer Advocate Service requests and referrals.

(9) IRM 5.14.9.10(7), Added links to user fee amounts on SERP and irs.gov.

(10) Reviewed and updated the IRM where necessary for the following types of editorial changes: IRM and IRC citations, published forms and web addresses.

Effect on Other Documents

This material supersedes IRM 5.14.9, dated March 11, 2011 This IRM incorporates Interim Guidance SBSE-05-1213-0102, dated December 23, 2013.

Audience

SB/SE Compliance Employees

Effective Date

(12-18-2017)

Kristen E. Bailey
Director, Collection Policy

Program Scope and Objectives

  1. This IRM describes the approval and monitoring of certain installment agreements. Specifically, IRM 5.14.9:

    1. Describes Routine and Manual Monitored installment agreements dispositions.

    2. Discusses considerations with respect to acceptance and/or rejection of installment agreements.

    3. Identifies and defines the next steps in the rejection process of installment agreements, Independent Administrative Review (IAR) and Collection Appeal Program.

    4. Defines the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) referral process.

    5. Provides information on installment agreement user fees.

  2. Purpose. - This chapter provides procedures for approval and monitoring of installment agreements, including the level of approval authority necessary for different types of agreements. It also provides procedures for providing the taxpayers with an independent administrative review when a revenue officer plans to reject a request for installment agreement. This chapter also provides policy and procedures for providing a taxpayers appeal rights on rejected requests for agreements, defaulted agreements, and terminated installment agreements.

  3. Audience. - These procedures and guidance apply to IRS Field Collection Revenue Officers and Group Managers.

  4. Policy Owner. - Director, Collection Policy, is the policy owner of this IRM.

  5. Program Owner. - Collection Policy, Case Resolution Alternatives, is the program owner of this IRM.

  6. Primary Stakeholders. - The primary stakeholders affected or impacted by this IRM are:

    • Field Collection

    • Independent Administrative Review

    • Insolvency

    • Appeals

    • Taxpayer Advocate Service

  7. Program Goals. Installment Agreements can be a viable case resolution for many delinquent accounts. By following the direction in this IRM section, employees can ensure installment agreements are approved when required, processed correctly, and that taxpayers will be granted the right to an independent review when planning to reject an installment agreement. Employees can also ensure that taxpayers receive appeal rights on all rejected requests for agreements, defaulted agreements, and terminated installment agreements.

Background

  1. This chapter will discuss the process and procedures for approval and monitoring of installment agreements. It also provides procedures to provide taxpayers with an independent administrative review when a revenue officer plans to reject a request for installment agreement. This chapter also provides policy and procedures for providing a taxpayers appeal rights on rejected requests for agreements, defaulted agreements, and terminated installment agreements

Authority

  1. IRC 6159, Agreements for Payment of Tax Liability in Installments - authorizes IRS to enter into written agreements with taxpayers to pay any tax in installment payments if IRS determines that the agreement will facilitate full or partial collection of the tax liability.

  2. IRC 6159(f) and IRC 7122(e), Compromises - states that taxpayers are entitled to independent administrative reviews of rejected requests for installment agreements.

  3. 31 United States Code 9701, Fees and charges for Government services and things of value - provides authority for the imposition of user fees.

Responsibilities

  1. The Director, Collection Policy is the executive responsible for the policies and procedures to be employed by collection personnel.

  2. Field Collection Group Managers and Territory Managers are responsible for ensuring the guidance and procedures described in this IRM are complied with.

Program Management and Review

  1. Program Reports:

    1. Monthly Installment Agreement Trend Report. Sourced from the CAR, CRA generates and reviews a monthly Installment Agreement trend report that captures data on the various types of installment agreements and compares year over year data on installment agreement inventory levels, the number of installment agreements initiated, default rates, full pay rates and dollars collected. Any anomalies are identified and researched for potential causes. Negative trends are identified and causes addressed.

  2. Program Reviews:

    1. Case reviews are conducted by Group Managers and NQRS to ensure compliance with this IRM.

    2. Operational reviews are conducted by Territory Managers and Area Director annually to evaluate program delivery and conformance to administrative and compliance requirements.

Program Controls

  1. Independent Administrative Review is required of all rejected installment agreement proposals. In addition, all rejection, modification, and termination decisions are subject to appeal procedures.

  2. The Integrated Collection System (ICS) ensures that taxpayer conditions meet requirements for Streamlined or In-Business Express installment agreement processing criteria, that there are no unfiled returns, and requires group manager approval for all non-streamlined installment agreements.

  3. The Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS) programming requires that all open modules be included in an installment agreement for input to be successful.

Terms/Definitions/Acronyms

  1. Frequently used terms and acronyms in this IRM along with their definition:

    Defined Terms

    Term Definition
    Routine Installment Agreement An installment agreement where type of debt does not meet criteria of any other type of IA.
    Manually Monitored Installment Agreement An installment agreement that is not compatible with IDRS monitoring.
    IDRS monitored Most installment agreements are systemically monitored utilizing IDRS.

     

    Acronyms

    Acronym Definition
    BMF Business Master File
    CAR Collection Activity Report
    CAP Collection Appeal Program
    CCP Centralized Case Processing
    CDP Collection Due Process
    CRA Case Resolution Alternatives
    DDIA Direct Debit Installment Agreement
    DPC Designated Payment Code
    IA Installment Agreement
    IAR Independent Administrative Review
    ICS Integrated Collection System
    IDRS Integrated Data Retrieval System
    IMF Individual Master File
    MMIA Manually Monitored Installment Agreement
    NQRS National Quality Review System
    NMF Non-Master File
    TAS Taxpayer Advocate Service

     

Related Resources

  1. IRM resources:

    • IRM 5.19.1.5.4, Liability Collection, Balance Due, IAs

    • IRM 5.4.11, CCP Installment Agreements

    • IRM 8.20.7.37, Appeals, Account and Processing Support (APS), Closing Procedures, Installment Agreements (IA)

    • IRM 13.1.7, Taxpayer Advocate Case Processing - Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Case Criteria

  2. Web resources:

    • Centralized Case Processing (CCP): http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/collection/ccpcoll/default.aspx

    • ICS User Guide: http://icsweb.web.irs.gov/docs/html/user_guide.htm

    • My SB/SE Web: http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/default.aspx

Managerial Approval

  1. Group Managers must approve most installment agreements. Specifically, installment agreements must be approved by managers when:

    1. the aggregate unpaid balance of assessments exceeds $25,000 or will not be fully paid in 60 months or less [See (2) below];

    2. an in-business trust fund taxpayer is involved;

    3. the taxpayer defaulted on a previous installment agreement;

    4. the taxpayer is allowed to skip more than 2 payments in a 12 month period (including systemic skip);

    5. there is an extension of the statutory period for collection, regardless of the length of the agreement or the amount of tax at issue; or

    6. partial payment installment agreements in accordance with the procedures provided in IRM 5.14.2.1, Partial Payment Installment Agreements, are involved.

  2. Group Managers have the authority to approve all installment agreements, including partial payment installment agreements secured in connection with CSED extensions. There is no dollar limit set for group manager approval of installment agreements. (See IRM 5.14.1.4(3), Notice of Federal Tax Lien and Installment Agreements, regarding no dollar limits and IRM 5.14.2.2(18), Partial Payment Installment Agreements, on processing requirements with waivers.)

  3. After all necessary case actions are taken, including thorough documentation of completed investigations and financial analysis (see IRM 5.14.1.4, Installment Agreement Acceptance and Rejection Determinations), submit installment agreements to managers for review and approval. Case histories must be noted that installment agreements are pending and TC 971 AC 043 was input. (See IRM 5.14.1.3, Identifying Pending, Approved and Rejected Installment Agreement Proposals on IDRS). Inform taxpayers if approval of agreements is delayed. If managers do not approve installment agreements, refer to IRM 5.14.9.7 regarding Independent Administrative Review.

  4. After investigation, analysis and necessary actions, immediately request managerial approval of installment agreements (or input of installment agreements for those cases that do not require managerial approval.) Installment agreement payments may not be accepted and posted as such unless installment agreements are approved. Do not monitor cases to ensure taxpayers make payments before submitting for approval. (See IRM 5.14.3.1, Setting Deadlines and Receiving Payments, regarding requesting payments.)

  5. When installment agreements are approved by Collection Field function on taxpayers assigned to ACS, the ACS call-site should be contacted immediately and informed of the agreement. This requirement is in addition to the requirement to input TC 971 AC 043 and/or 971 AC 063.

  6. Managers must approve all revisions or adjustments to current installment agreements unless the conditions of IRM 5.14.11.7(2), Considerations after Default or Termination, Including Reinstatement, are met. Cases meeting the criteria of IRM 5.14.11.7(2) require no managerial approval if taxpayers have not been in default of agreements in the prior 12 months.

  7. If an existing installment agreement is modified, Collection field function employees will prepare Form 4844, Request for Terminal Action, for IDRS input and attach it to the new Form 433-D, Installment Agreement, or Form 2159 , Payroll Deduction Agreement, and the CIS. If the only change is the due date, complete Form 4844, and submit it for approval and IDRS input. Regarding revised agreements, the CSEDs may not be extended on balances due included in old agreements. If new agreements are entered into, CSEDs may be extended on those balances due included in old agreements as well as on balance due periods that have not previously been included in an installment agreement. (See IRM 5.14.2.2(4), Collection Statute Expiration Date (CSED): Law, Policy and Procedures, and IRM 5.14.11.7(4) , Considerations after Default or Termination, Including Reinstatement.)

IDRS Monitoring

  1. The Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS) is used to monitor most Installment agreements for timely payments on accounts, as well as to determine whether taxpayers remain in compliance with current filing and paying requirements. IDRS also monitors agreements based on the locator numbers recorded at the time agreements are input. (See IRM 5.14.1, Securing Installment Agreements, Exhibit 5.14.1–2).

    Note:

    Some agreements require special monitoring, such as when accounts reside on the Non- Masterfile (NMF) or if payment amounts are varied. These accounts must be manually monitored. See IRM 5.14.9.5.

  2. Follow ICS on-screen and help screen instructions to ensure installment agreements are routed properly for IDRS monitoring.

  3. Use IDRS to monitor installment agreements for IMF, out-of-business BMF, or in-business BMF modules in either notice or balance due status meeting these criteria:

    1. the payment must be for a fixed amount;

    2. the agreement must be monthly because even though payments may be submitted more often, IDRS monitors monthly; (anything other than a monthly payment increment should be processed as a manually monitored installment agreement);

    3. all payment due dates are limited to calendar days 1 through 28.

  4. To allow for timely input to IDRS, agreements should schedule the first payments to be at least 30 days after the date agreements are input, with the exception of DDIAs (See IRM 5.14.10, Payroll Deduction Agreements and Direct Debit Installment Agreements).

  5. If a payment is received in the area office on an IDRS-monitored installment agreement, use Designated Payment Code (DPC) "99" on the posting document. Refer to Document 6209, IRS Processing Codes and Information, for information on the use of Designated Payment Codes.

Routine Installment Agreements

  1. Accounts are considered routine installment agreements when the type of debt does not meet the criteria for any other type of IA (Guaranteed, Streamlined, IBTF or IBTF-Express). In order to close BMF accounts as routine, all employment tax filing requirements must be closed.

  2. The preferred method of closing a Routine IA is by choosing Option A on the ICS Installment Agreement menu. Choosing this method of closure allows the IA to be systemically uploaded from ICS to IDRS (Status 60).

  3. After the Group Manager approves the IA, an ICS Print Manager Dialogue box provides the option of e-mail or immediate printing of the Form 433-D, Installment Agreement, and Letter 2850 , ICS Installment Agreement Confirmation Letter. A systemic ICS history is created stating the IA was systemically uploaded to IDRS.

  4. Generation of the acceptance letter and Form 3210, Document Transmittal, have not changed with the systemic upload process. You are still responsible for mailing Letter 2850, ICS Installment Agreement Confirmation Letter, to the taxpayer and power of attorney, if applicable.

  5. Write "FILE COPY" in RED ink along the top of the Form 433-D, Installment Agreement, and place it in the closed case file. Send the closed case file to CCP on the Form 795-B, Closure / Document Transmittal, or a manually created Form 3210 to:

    Internal Revenue Service

    2970 Market Street

    Mail Stop 5-E04.115

    Philadelphia, PA., 19104

  6. If a hard copy of the Form 433-D, Installment Agreement, was prepared and approved outside of ICS, select Option B under the Installment Agreement menu to close the case on ICS. Use the systemically generated Form 3210, Document Transmittal, to route the agreement form (Form 433-D, Installment Agreement) on top of the case file to CCP for input into IDRS at Mail Stop 5-E04.114.

  7. Option B does not systemically generate an approval notification, Form 433-D, Installment Agreement, or the Letter 2850, ICS Installment Agreement Confirmation Letter. Create the Letter 2850, ICS Installment Agreement Confirmation Letter, from the Installment Agreement menu under the Templates Listing on ICS. It is your responsibility to mail the letter to the taxpayer and power of attorney, if applicable.

Manually Monitored Installment Agreements (MMIA)

  1. Certain assessments and agreements are not compatible with IDRS monitoring. The types of agreements listed below must be manually monitored in Centralized Case Processing to ensure compliance with the terms of agreements:

    1. NMF assessments in either notice or Bal Due status;

    2. agreements calling for variable or percentage amounts;

    3. agreements with irregular payment intervals;

    4. BMF agreements secured from two or more parties at different addresses on the same liability (partnerships, multiple entities, etc.)

    5. L Freeze modules during pending Joint and Several Liability Relief Under IRC 6015 claims;

    6. Restitution Based Assessments;

    7. any other agreement not compatible with IDRS monitoring.

  2. Status 60 is not input on manually monitored installment agreements. The modules will remain open on ICS and will be transferred to Centralized Case Processing for monitoring.

  3. Select "MMIA — Centralized Case Processing" in either Option A or Option B on the ICS Installment Agreement menu. The preferable option is Option A. (See IRM 5.14.7.4.2(5), BMF Installment Agreements, Approval and Monitoring, for IBTF Cases.)

  4. ICS Installment Agreement Option A is used when no Form 433-D, Installment Agreement, has been prepared nor approved prior to submission of the agreement for approval on ICS. Approval by the group manager using ICS Installment Agreement Option A generates:

    1. Transaction code (TC) 971 Action Code (AC) 063);

    2. Approval notification to the revenue officer;

    3. An original and copy of the Form 433-D, Installment Agreement;

    4. Letter 2850, ICS Installment Agreement Confirmation Letter: This letter provides taxpayers with notice of the approval of their agreement as well as the terms and conditions of the agreements; and

    5. Form 3210, Document Transmittal, for transmitting the case file to CCP at Drop Point N-809.

  5. ICS Installment Agreement Option B should be used if a hard copy Form 433-D, Installment Agreement was prepared and approved outside of ICS. Option B does not generate the systemic information discussed in IRM 5.14.9.5(4)(b),(c) &(d). Use of Option B requires that the contact employee complete the following actions after managerial approval:

    1. Provide the taxpayer (and power of attorney if applicable) with Letter 2850, ICS Installment Agreement Confirmation Letter from the ICS Installment Agreement Template menu.

    2. Use the systemically generated Form 3210, Document Transmittal, to forward approved agreements to Centralized Case Processing along with the original case file to Mail Stop 5-E04.117.

    3. To ensure proper disposition, write "Manually Monitored IA" in red ink on the top of Form 433-D, Installment Agreement.

  6. Use IRM 5.14.1, Securing Installment Agreements, Exhibit 5.14.1–2 to choose the appropriate Agreement Locator Number (ALN). ICS will automatically set the subcode to "901" and the location to "MMIA" .

  7. Advise taxpayers that the Letter 3856, MMIA Payment Reminder Notice, which includes a payment stub and envelope, will be mailed to them.

  8. When posting payments to manually monitored installment payments, use DPC "10" on posting documents. This code is designed to allow accumulation of data on these non-IDRS monitored agreements. See Document 6209 for information regarding other designated payment code indicators.

  9. Refer to IRM 5.4.11, CCP Installment Agreements, for CCP's monitoring procedures on MMIAs.

  10. See IRM 5.14.11.7, Default and Termination Procedures, for procedures on defaulted and terminated manually monitored installment agreements.

Securing Installment Agreements Through Other Investigations (OI)

  1. If an installment agreement is granted while processing a courtesy investigation (OI) and transfer of the balance due account is accepted, process the installment agreement (Form 433-D, Installment Agreement or Form 2159,Payroll Deduction Agreement) per the instructions found in the applicable IRM 5.14 section based on the type of IA secured.

  2. If transfer is not accepted, ensure the pending installment agreement indicator (TC971 AC043) is input to IDRS. Return the installment agreement form (Form 433-D, Installment Agreement or Form 2159, Payroll Deduction Agreement) to the initiator of the courtesy investigation for approval and processing.

Independent Administrative Review after Recommended Rejection of Installment Agreement Requests

  1. In accordance with Internal Revenue Code sections 6159(f) and 7122(e) and the taxpayer’s right to challenge the IRS’s decision and be heard, taxpayers are entitled to independent administrative reviews of rejected requests for installment agreements.

    1. When communicating the determination, the employee will provide a response that is accurate and communicated in a clear, concise, professional, and easy to understand manner. Contact employees (including revenue officers) and managers must ensure that all actions relative to this review are documented in case histories, including:

    • the date the case is sent to the independent reviewer;

    • the date the case is received from the independent reviewer; and

    • the date the case is forwarded for second level review (if applicable).

    Note:

    Independent administrative review is not required in cases where the installment agreement request was identified as "pending" in error, due to noncompliance with filing requirements. If the taxpayer was not in compliance with filing requirements at the time of their request, ensure all modules that contain a pending installment agreement indicator (TC971 AC043) are reversed with a TC972 AC043, using the same date of the originating transaction code. (See IRM 5.14.1.3, Identifying Pending, Approved and Rejected Installment Agreement Proposals on IDRS and IRM 5.14.1.4.2, Compliance and Installment Agreements.)

  2. When planning to reject a request for an installment agreement:

    1. Notify taxpayers that rejection of the request is being recommended if that is the next planned action, but do not notify taxpayers of actual rejection of the installment agreement request until after independent administrative review.

    2. Managers must review and concur with plans to reject installment agreement requests prior to independent administrative review.

      Note:

      This is accomplished by signing Form 12233, Request for Installment Agreement - Independent Review Prior to Rejection ,(see IRM 5.14.9.7(3)(e)) and if available, making a notation in the case history on the Integrated Collection System.

    3. If managers request additional information or action, these should be requested of the taxpayer or gained from the appropriate source, without commenting to the taxpayer regarding approval status of the agreement other than that the request is being considered. Also, set deadlines in accordance with the procedures provided in IRM 5.14.3.1, Setting Deadlines and Receiving Payments, if appropriate.

    4. In addition to exercising care with regard to conveying rejection of requests, exercise care regarding conveying acceptances. Specifically, though the plan to accept an installment agreement request can be shared, do not convey acceptance if a request requires managerial approval until approval is obtained.

  3. If rejection is the next planned action, the installment agreement case file will be sent to the Independent Administrative Reviewer along with:

    1. Form 12233,Request for Installment Agreement - Independent Review Prior to Rejection ,;

    2. a statement regarding the reason(s) for the proposed rejection. Bear in mind that the basis for the rejection of an installment agreement request could be the subject of an immediate appeal or a future Collection Due Process hearing;

    3. IDRS printouts associated with the case file, including IDRS CC ICOMP. (See IRM 5.14.9.2 regarding approvals);

    4. any documentation submitted by the taxpayer in connection with the installment agreement request;

    5. Form 12233, Request for Installment Agreement - Independent Review Prior to Rejection , must be signed by the employee responsible for the rejection determination and the employee's manager; and

    6. Record on Form 12233, Request for Installment Agreement - Independent Review Prior to Rejection , the date it was forwarded for independent review.

    Note:

    Installment agreements are not considered "pending" if taxpayers are not in compliance with filing requirements at the time of their request and therefore they do not require Independent Administrative review. If the taxpayer’s installment agreement request was identified as "pending" in error, advise the taxpayer they do not have a pending installment agreement do to lack of compliance with filing requirements at the time of the request. Ensure all modules that contain a pending installment agreement indicator (TC971 AC043) are reversed with a TC972 AC043, using the same date of the originating transaction code. (See IRM 5.14.1.3 , Identifying Pending, Approved and Rejected Installment Agreement Proposals on IDRS and IRM 5.14.1.4.2, Compliance and Installment Agreements.)

    Note:

    See "Exception" in IRM 5.14.9.7(11) below.

  4. The Independent Reviewer will add the case to ICS no later than five business days after receipt.

  5. The "Independent Administrative Reviewer" reviews the decision to reject installment agreement requests independent of employees' and managers' opinions. The reviewer must exercise independent judgment to determine if rejection of the installment agreement request is appropriate. The reviewer should use problem solving and negotiation techniques and consider the taxpayer’s perspective when working toward case resolution.

  6. In deciding to uphold or overturn a proposed rejection, reviewers should:

    1. Consider the case as a whole;

    2. Focus on the reasons for the proposed rejection given by the contact employee (or, if appropriate, the reasons for the proposed rejection given by the group manager);

    3. Determine whether the proposed installment agreement would fully pay the liability before the CSED (see IRM 5.14.2.1, Partial Payment Installment Agreements, for exceptions). Use IDRS CC ICOMP or other source to support the decision to reject an installment agreement request for this reason;

    4. Review the analysis of the taxpayer's financial condition to determine whether the payment amount requested by the taxpayer is adequate, given the taxpayer's ability to pay;

    5. Determine whether the taxpayer is in compliance with the filing requirements (See IRM 5.14.1.4.2, Compliance and Installment Agreements);

    6. Determine whether positions expressed by the taxpayer were considered in the interview or review process; and

    7. Determine if reasons for rejection provided by the revenue officer or his/her manager should be provided to the taxpayer. Considering that the basis for the rejection can be the subject of an immediate appeal or a future Collection Due Process hearing, there should be very few circumstances when the taxpayer should not be told of the reasons for rejection. The reviewer should ensure that the reasons for rejection are well documented in the file including, as necessary, why a partial payment installment agreement was not appropriate.

  7. The reviewer may:

    1. Recommend that taxpayers be granted installment agreements (of the same amount proposed by taxpayers, or a different amount).

    2. Concur with decisions to reject agreement requests;

    3. Suggest modifications or conditions to agreements;

    4. Request additional documentation from revenue officers or other contact employees; and/or

    5. Request revenue officers or other contact employees gain additional information or documentation from taxpayers.

  8. Reviewers will provide all reasons for concurring (or not concurring) with decisions to reject installment agreement requests in the remarks section of Form 12233, Request for Installment Agreement - Independent Review Prior to Rejection. Bear in mind that the basis for the rejection of an installment agreement request could be the subject of an immediate appeal or a future Collection Due Process hearing.

  9. Reviewers must sign and record the date that cases were reviewed on the review form. The reviewer's original signature must be on Form 12233,Request for Installment Agreement - Independent Review Prior to Rejection , and any attachment thereto. IAR reviews will be completed and a determination made no later than 15 business days from opening the ICS OI.

  10. Independent Reviewers may not substitute Form 5942, Reviewers Report - Technical Services Advisory, for Form 12233, Request for Installment Agreement - Independent Review Prior to Rejection ,. No other forms, or other history or narrative may be substituted for Form 12233, Request for Installment Agreement - Independent Review Prior to Rejection ,. If a longer narrative is required than space allows on Form 12233, Request for Installment Agreement - Independent Review Prior to Rejection , an attachment is allowed. For ICS users, entries in the case histories are appropriate, but history entries cannot be substituted for Form 12233. The independent reviewer's history entries may be printed and attached to Form 12233, with a note on the Form 12233 stating: "See Attached" .

  11. The disposition of the review will be recorded on Form 12233, Request for Installment Agreement - Independent Review Prior to Rejection ,. If the reviewer finds:

    1. Rejection is inappropriate, then the case file and Form 12233, Request for Installment Agreement - Independent Review Prior to Rejection , will be returned to the manager, clearly recommending acceptance of the agreement.

    2. Rejection is appropriate, then the case file and Form 12233, Request for Installment Agreement - Independent Review Prior to Rejection , will be returned to the manager, clearly concurring with the rejection decision, so that an answer regarding the installment agreement request can be conveyed to the taxpayer.

    3. If additional information is necessary to make a determination, then the case file and Form 12233, Request for Installment Agreement - Independent Review Prior to Rejection , will be returned to the manager with a request for specific information and/or action. The reviewer will allow 10 days for a response. If the contact employee cannot complete the actions within 10 days, an interim response must be provided to the Independent Reviewer, with reasons why the 10 day time-frame could not be met.

  12. If a case is returned to a revenue officer (or other contact employee), the revenue officer (or other contact employee) will take the actions directed by the reviewer. If reviewers recommend acceptance of agreements, this information should be relayed to taxpayers, and agreements should be processed.

    Exception:

    If, after reviewing the reviewer's report a revenue officer still believes rejection is the proper action, the case file will be resubmitted to the reviewer, along with additional information and an explanation that supports rejection of the installment agreement request. If no resolution can be reached, the decision will be elevated to second level management (Territory Manager).

  13. If a decision to reject an installment agreement request is sustained by the Independent Reviewer:

    1. rejection and, except in rare cases, the basis for rejection must be communicated to the taxpayer by issuing Letter 4052, Rejection of Proposed Installment Agreement, found on the ICS Installment Agreement Template menu;

    2. specific amounts and conditions for acceptance of the agreement request must be provided to the taxpayer when they are informed of the rejection decision, if sufficient information has been provided to make this determination and an installment agreement is an appropriate resolution;

      Note:

      If the taxpayer later proposes an amount less than what previously was communicated to the taxpayer as being acceptable, this proposal will be deemed as an installment agreement request to delay collection, not requiring another independent review, unless there has been a change in the taxpayer's circumstances. Approval by the group manager is required. (See also IRM 5.14.3.2, Installment Agreement Requests Made to Delay Collection Action.

    3. taxpayers must be provided the right to appeal decisions to reject installment agreement requests (See IRM 5.14.9.8);

      Note:

      If the taxpayer requests an appeal, note all applicable information on Form 12233, Request for Installment Agreement - Independent Review Prior to Rejection , including the date of issuance of Form 9423, Collection Appeal Request, to the taxpayer, the date of receipt of completed Form 9423, Collection Appeal Request, from the taxpayer, and the date the file was forwarded to Appeals.

    4. If levy is the next intended action, then Letter 1058(DO) , Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to a Hearing, or Letter 3174P, New Warning of Enforcement, may be issued to taxpayers at the same time that the rejection of pending installment agreements is communicated to taxpayers using the Letter 4052 , Rejection of Proposed Installment Agreement. See IRM 5.11.1.3.2, Required Notices, regarding the appropriate letter to use. See IRM 5.7.8.5(12), Working Repeater Trust Fund Taxpayers to Address Pyramiding, for exceptions to levy being the next intended action.

      Note:

      No levy may be issued until after 45 days have passed since the communication of rejection of the request for installment agreement to the taxpayer. (See exceptions in IRM 5.14.1.5(2), Levy Restrictions and Installment Agreements.)

  14. In the event a proposed installment agreement is rejected and it is determined that the taxpayer made a good faith revision of the proposal and submitted the revision within 30 days of the date of the rejection, the installment agreement must be considered anew. If the revised submission is not in good faith, the appeal period continues to run from the date of the original rejection.

  15. Independent reviewers will notify referring contact employees or functions through appropriate channels of the outcomes of reviews, so appropriate TC 971s may be input. See IRM 5.14.1, Securing Installment Agreements, Exhibit 5.14.1-1.

    1. Input TC 972 AC 043 thirty days after installment agreement rejections are relayed to taxpayers if they are not appealed.

    2. If taxpayers appeal rejection decisions, do not input TC 972 AC 043, unless Appeals sustains rejections.

  16. Review of SB/SE field cases will take place in Technical Services.

  17. SB/SE Collection Field function administrative reviewers will also complete independent reviews on balance due periods not included in CDP appeals (when other balance due periods for the same entity are being appealed under CDP).

    Note:

    If the independent reviewer agrees that rejection is appropriate for the proposed installment agreement (for the periods not included under CDP), then inform the Appeals or Settlement Officer handling the CDP of the independent reviewer's decision after communicating rejection to the taxpayer. The taxpayer should be advised the independent reviewer's decision will be shared with Appeals and that the taxpayer should communicate any disagreement with this decision to the Settlement Officer handling the CDP as well reminding the taxpayer of their CAP rights.

  18. If taxpayers propose installment agreements as a collection alternative after requesting a Collection Due Process hearing (CDP) and rejection is planned, then the field employee will forward the CDP periods to Appeals under Collection Due Process (See IRM 5.1.9.3.3, Processing CDP and EH Requests). The independent review for CDP periods is accomplished by approval and signing of Form 5402, Appeals Transmittal and Case Memo, by the Appeals Team Manager. This is also true if installment agreements are requested while cases are assigned to Appeals for other reasons. If there are periods in the installment agreement request that are not included in the CDP request, these periods will be sent for independent review by Technical Services in accordance with the procedures provided in IRM 5.14.9.7(14).

    Note:

    If the independent reviewer agrees that rejection is appropriate for the proposed installment agreement (for the periods not included in the CDP request), inform Appeals, or the settlement officer handling the CDP, of the independent reviewer's decision before conveying rejection to the taxpayer.

  19. The only instances in which taxpayers are not afforded independent administrative review or given appeal rights after requesting an installment agreement are:

    1. taxpayers withdraw the request for an installment agreement (see IRM 5.14.4.5, Withdrawal of Installment Agreement Requests);

    2. taxpayers fully pay the liability; or

    3. installment agreement requests are made merely to delay collection (see IRM 5.14.3.2, Installment Agreement Requests Made to Delay Collection Action.)

Collection Appeals Program

  1. Along with a rejection of an installment agreement request, and in accordance with the taxpayer’s right to challenge an IRS’s decision in an independent forum, taxpayers must be immediately notified of their appeal rights. Taxpayers whose requests are rejected, as well as those whose agreements are in default or have been terminated, will follow the procedures in IRM 5.1.9.4, Collection Appeals Program (CAP). Taxpayers may appeal rejections, proposed terminations, and terminations within 30 days. The time frame to request these types of appeals cannot be extended. See IRM 5.1.9.4.2(7), Request for a CAP Appeal.

    Note:

    See IRM 5.14.9.7 regarding independent reviews on appeals cases and situations that do not require independent review nor appeals.

  2. Allow at least fifteen additional days after the thirty day period in case taxpayers mail requests for hearing regarding rejections, defaults, proposed terminations or terminations on the thirtieth day after any of these actions. However, if the taxpayer confirms that no hearing has been requested, there is no need to wait the additional fifteen days before issuing a levy, as long as all other requirements for levy have been met. See IRM 5.11.1, Notice of Levy - Background, Pre-Levy Actions, Restrictions on Levy & Post-Levy Actions.

  3. If taxpayers' appeals are rejected, taxpayers must be informed of this. Other collection action may then be taken, provided 30 days have passed since the date of rejection or termination.

    Note:

    See IRM 8.24.1, Collection Appeals Program (CAP), Appeals Division Manual for Collection Appeals Program, and IRM 5.1.9, Collection Appeal Rights, for general information regarding the Collection Appeals Program.

  4. Input, or request input of, appropriate TC 971 reversals if Appeals rejects (i.e., does not sustain) the taxpayer's appeals.

    • For rejected requests of installment agreements use TC 972 AC 043.

    • For appeals of defaulted (proposed terminations) of installment agreements, or appeals of terminated installment agreements, use TC 971 AC 163.

    See IRM 5.14.1, Securing Installment Agreements, Exhibit 5.14.1-1.

Referrals to the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS)

  1. Taxpayers have the right to receive assistance from the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) if they experience difficultly in resolving their problems with the IRS. Refer taxpayers to TAS when contact meets TAS criteria, (see IRM 13.1.7, Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Case Criteria) or when you are unable to resolve the taxpayer's issues the same day. The definition of "same day" is within 24 hours. "Same day" cases include cases you can completely resolve in 24 hours, as well as cases in which you have taken steps within 24 hours to begin resolving the taxpayer's issue. Do not refer same day cases to TAS unless the taxpayer asks to be transferred to TAS and the case meets TAS criteria. Refer to IRM 13.1.7.4, Same-Day Resolution by Operations.

  2. When making a TAS referral, use Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (and Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order), and forward to TAS in accordance to your local procedures.

Installment Agreement User Fees: Authority; General Information; and Cross Reference to IRM 5.19.1.5.5.5

  1. 31 United States Code 9701 – as implemented by Office of Management and Budget Circular A-25, section 6 – provides authority for the imposition of user fees. User fees are imposed for services pertaining to the entering into and monitoring of an installment agreement and the restructuring or reinstating of an installment agreement. See 26 CFR. 1.300.

  2. The purpose of installment agreement user fees is to recoup the cost of administering the installment agreement program.

  3. For agreements monitored in status 60, Masterfile generates:

    • user fees and

    • "user fee modules."

  4. User fee modules must be established on manually monitored installment agreements when they are received in Centralized Case Processing.

  5. For those ATAT agreements that are monitored in groups, request establishment of user fee modules from Centralized Case Processing.

  6. Taxpayers may be eligible for a reduced user fee if their adjusted gross income is below 250% of federal poverty guidelines. If the taxpayer’s income has decreased significantly and has provided an explanation (i.e. unemployed, etc.), in any form (correspondence, CIS etc.) and the income falls within the Federal Health & Human Services Guidelines (FHHSG), we can allow the reduced User Fee. See Form 13844 , Application For Reduced User Fee For Installment Agreements for additional information.

  7. For user fee amounts, see Installment Agreement (IA) User Fee Codes on SERP IRM Supplements or Payment Plans, Installment Agreements on irs.gov.