5.21.5  International Field Calls

Manual Transmittal

November 25, 2013


(1) This transmits a revision of IRM 5.21.5, International Field Calls, for collection employees.

Material Changes

(1) This IRM is revised to make minor grammatical corrections, update organization terms and/or titles, and correct cross references.

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 5.21.5 supersedes IRM 5.21.5, dated 2/17/2009.


The target audience is revenue officers in SB/SE Field Collection (FC).

Effective Date


Dretha Barham
Director, Collection Policy  (11-25-2013)
Making International Field Calls

  1. International field calls are field calls made to foreign countries or U.S. Territories excluding Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


    There are revenue officers located in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

  2. Make an international field call only on an as-needed basis when there are several taxpayer cases in one location which can be addressed on the same trip.


    You may request approval for a trip to make an international field call for just one case if sufficient justification exists.

    1. See IRM, Initial Contact, for more information on initial contact for taxpayers located in a foreign country.

  3. Consult your Group Manager when you determine an international field call is necessary.

  4. Provide justification to your Group Manager if you need to make an international trip on your cases.

  5. Do not make an international field visit simply to hand deliver a document that is stipulated as requiring hand delivery. Instead:

    1. Document clearly in the Integrated Collection System (ICS) history why a field call to hand deliver a letter, notice, or document cannot be made, and

    2. Send the item registered mail to the foreign country, or

    3. Send the item certified mail if in the U.S. Territories.

  6. Secure an official passport. Access the LMSB International Travel Office website at: http://lmsb.irs.gov/international/dir_treaty/eoi_overseas/intl_coordination/travel_all_irs.asp for instructions on applying for an official passport.


    It takes about two to three months to process your request for an official passport.

  7. Consider the need to raise the spending limit on your Government Credit Card or the need to charge the air ticket to the SB/SE Centrally Billed Account.

  8. Discuss these needs with your manager, if applicable.

  9. Consult with the Tax Attaché to pre-arrange office space and secure contact telephone numbers to provide to taxpayers.


    The role of the Tax Attaché is to provide on-site support and assist in scheduling and coordinating your trip. See IRM 4.30.3, Overseas Posts.

  10. Arrange scheduled meetings with taxpayers at the U.S. Embassy, U.S. Consulate's Office, or the Tax Attaché's office in the country of travel whenever possible.

  11. Unannounced field calls should not be made while physically in a foreign country as this conduct is inconsistent with the approved purpose of your country clearance and may violate host country laws.


    You may make unannounced field calls as well as appointments when traveling in U.S. Territories.

  12. Pre-arrange meeting space:

    1. through the IRS office, if there is one, or

    2. through the Tax Attaché's office, if no IRS office exists.

  13. Send appointment letters to the taxpayer(s) you will meet with on the field trip.

    1. Secure confirmation replies before planning your itinerary.

    2. Send an information letter if there are other taxpayers in that area that you were unable to confirm with.

      Include the following in the information letter:

      • State what days and times you will be in the country,

      • Invite the taxpayer to contact you if able or if desired, and

      • Include a tentative day and time that taxpayer can visit you at the overseas IRS office.

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