- 8.1.9 Closed Case Referrals and Customer Service Contacts
- 188.8.131.52 Appeals Account Resolution Specialist (AARS) Fresno Account Resolution Team
- 184.108.40.206 AARS Closed Case Referrals
- 220.127.116.11 Operations Assistance Request (OAR) From the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS)
- 18.104.22.168 Appeals Customer Service Telephone Line
- 22.214.171.124 Customer Service Emails
- 126.96.36.199 Controlling AARS Inventory
- 188.8.131.52 Closing Tasks
- 184.108.40.206 Accepting Assignment of Cases Open on the Appeals Centralized Database System (ACDS)
- 220.127.116.11 Storage of AARS Closed Case Files
- Exhibit 8.1.9-1 PEAS Inventory- AARS Error codes Used to Reflect the Reason for Inquiry
- Exhibit 8.1.9-2 PEAS Inventory - AARS Initiator Fields
- Exhibit 8.1.9-3 PEAS Inventory - New Codes Added to Existing Fields
Part 8. Appeals
Chapter 1. Appeals Function
Section 9. Closed Case Referrals and Customer Service Contacts
August 02, 2016
(1) This transmits revised IRM 8.1.9, Appeals Function, Closed Case Referrals and Customer Service Contacts.
(1) Updated IRM 18.104.22.168 to change title from AARS Customer Service Referrals to AARS Closed Case Referrals. Changed Outlook mailbox from *AP TAS Inquiries to *AP Inquiries.
(2) Updated IRM 22.214.171.124 (3)to change Outlook mailbox from *AP TAS Inquiries to *AP Inquiries
(3) Updated IRM 126.96.36.199 (10) to change Appeals customer service fax telephone number to (855) 595-0153.
(4) Updated IRM 188.8.131.52, Customer Service Emails to change Outlook mail to *AP Inquiries
(5) Updated IRM 184.108.40.206 to provide guidance on the AARS team’s use of the Processing Employee Automated System (PEAS) to control their inventory and removed guidance on the Appeals Customer Service (ACuServ) Inventory System. Also, changed title to "Controlling AARS Inventory" .
(6) Updated IRM 220.127.116.11.1, Initial Actions on Closed Case Referrals, for the AARS team to ensure that the APS Tax Examiner has closed the case from PEAS for a minimum of 30 days before the AARS team adds the closed case referral to PEAS as a new assignment for the AARS team. Included references to new IRM exhibits with codes for AARS cases controlled on PEAS.
(7) Changed title for IRM 18.104.22.168.2 to "PEAS Case Histories" , instead of "ACuServ Case Histories" , and updated this section to reflect the current requirement to control AARS cases on PEAS, instead of ACuServ.
(8) Updated IRM 22.214.171.124, Closing Tasks, for closing an AARS case from PEAS.
(9) Added Exhibits 8.1.9-1 to 126.96.36.199 to include new PEAS fields and/or codes for use by AARS team members.
(10) Made other minor editorial changes.
John V. Cardone
Director, Policy, Quality and Case Support
The Appeals Account Resolution Specialist (AARS) team is generally comprised of employees with extensive IRS experience in accounts management, customer service, and as tax examiners, among other varied responsibilities. The team performs a number of customer service related responsibilities for Appeals, for both internal and external customers. Primary responsibilities include:
Closed case referrals.
Customer service telephone and internal email inquiries.
Operations Assistance Request (OAR) screening for Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) OAR referrals.
A primary responsibility of the AARS team is to resolve the closed case referrals it receives. What constitutes a closed case referral is discussed below. The AARS team does not change case determinations or decisions.
The AARS team receives closed case referrals in a number of ways:
Taxpayers and Representatives
Telephone calls may be placed 24 hours a day through the Appeals customer service telephone number at 559-233-1267. Messages are returned within 24 hours.
Customers within IRS
IRS internal customers may send emails to the AARS team at the *AP Inquiries mailbox, the *AP Account Resolution mailbox, call the AARS team at 559-233-1267, or fax their requests to the AARS team at 855-804-7506.
It is preferred that Appeals employees use Form 14416, Appeals Closed Case Referral, available in APGOLF (Appeals Generator of Letters and Forms). This form and any other questions about open or closed referrals may be emailed to the *AP Inquiries mailbox, the *AP Account Resolution mailbox, or faxed to the AARS team at 855-804-7506.
Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Employees
Per the TAS/Appeals Service Level Agreement (SLA), TAS is required to contact the AARS team by telephone or by email at *AP Inquiries, before issuing an OAR for action by Appeals. This includes closed Appeals cases. The OAR process is discussed in detail in IRM 188.8.131.52, Operations Assistance Request (OAR) From the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS).
A "closed case" is an Appeals case which has been closed on ACDS and the Processing Employee Automated System (PEAS) for at least 30 days. Cases needing any corrective action by Account and Processing Support (APS) which have not been closed on PEAS for at least 30 days should be referred back to APS for corrective action. Referrals back to APS should be made by the AARS team via a secure email from the AARS Team Manager to the Processing Team Manager (PTM) of the employee to whom the case was assigned for closure on PEAS. Include a "cc" to the Area Manager and APS Technical Advisor responsible for overseeing the APS team.
Closed case referrals may be for virtually any reason. Some of the most common issues are listed in the table below (not all inclusive):
Item No. Common Closed Case Referral Issues (not all inclusive): a) Tax court decision application b) Excess collection issues c) Payment tracers / misapplied payments d) Erroneous refunds e) Lien / levy issues f) Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (TFRP) issues g) Innocent spouse allocation and mirroring issues h) Penalty and interest computations when an error is identified i) Implementation of decisions reached through the Collection Appeals Program (CAP) j) Transaction issues involving the Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS), such as:
Installment Agreements - all types
Adjustments on Form 3870, Request for Adjustment
Correction of unpostable transactions
Offer in Compromise (OIC) processing
Currently not Collectible (CNC)
Penalty and interest computations
Not all referrals to the AARS team are accepted. The AARS team does not work the following issues:
Closed or open cases which were never assigned in Appeals.
Closed case inquiries where all transactions have correctly posted to IDRS, but the taxpayer or representative disagree with the substance of the decision rendered.
Open case issues. With very few exceptions, a case that is open on ACDS will not be accepted as a referral. Open cases should be handled by the appropriate APS office in coordination with the Appeals Technical Employee (ATE), as needed.
Tax Court cases dismissed for lack of jurisdiction or lack of prosecution.
If an approved Form 5402, Appeals Transmittal and Case Memo, or Form 3870 is needed to correct an account, the form must be signed by an Appeals Team Manager (ATM) or other official delegated to approve the action to be taken.
TAS uses the OAR process to refer a case to Appeals when TAS lacks either the statutory or delegated authority to affect the resolution of the matter. This authority is found in IRM Part 13, Taxpayer Advocate Service.
Actions specific to the OAR process were developed by TAS and Appeals in the 2004 Service Level Agreement (SLA), 2007 addendum to the SLA, and Post Assessment Penalty Appeal (PENAP) cases, March 2010. Per the addendum to the SLA, Appeals centralized its receipt of OARs. In accordance with the SLA, when initiating contact with Appeals, all TAS employees with questions regarding Appeals or Appeals cases will contact the AARS team prior to making contact with another Appeals employee.
Before referring an OAR to Appeals, TAS will contact the AARS team via email at *AP Inquiries, or by telephone at 559-233-1267, to determine if there is a current or former case in Appeals.
If the case is not currently or formerly an Appeals case, TAS will not send an OAR to Appeals. Appeals will reject an OAR if it does not involve a past or present case in Appeals. The OAR should be sent to the Operating Division (OD) that issued the notice granting the appeal right to the taxpayer. That OD should follow normal processes in forwarding the case to Appeals.
The AARS team determines proper routing of the OAR.
The AARS team is not responsible for determining where an OAR is assigned.
TAS will ensure that cases meet appropriate criteria prior to submitting an OAR to Appeals, including development of the case.
Recommendations made by TAS may include, but are not limited to the following:
Expedited consideration of the case by Appeals
A review of supplemental information or issues to be considered
Re-opening of the case by Appeals
Elevation of the case for review at a higher level
Other similar actions
Whenever appropriate, TAS will also outline the account adjustments which need to be effected to implement the recommendations of TAS.
When the referral is complete, it will be forwarded to Appeals with the OAR. To initiate an OAR, TAS will use Form 12412, Operations Assistance Request. To best facilitate tracking, the OAR will be sent via secure email, to *AP TAS OARS. If email service is unavailable, the OAR may be sent via fax to 855-595-0153
The AARS will acknowledge receipt of an OAR by sending an encrypted email to the TAS case advocate listed on the OAR. The email will provide TAS with the name and telephone number of the Appeals employee to whom the related Appeals case is assigned, as well as the name and telephone number of the employee's manager. A copy of the email, with the OAR attached, will be sent to the Appeals Team Manager (ATM) of the employee to whom the related case is assigned
TAS will hold related documents until Appeals acknowledges and accepts the OAR. Once TAS receives notification that the OAR is accepted, TAS will forward related documents to the Appeals employee who is assigned the OAR, by either hand delivery, fax, regular or overnight mail. The TAS employee should confirm routing information prior to forwarding the documentation.
The AARS team manages the nationwide Appeals customer service telephone line: (559) 233-1267. The customer service line is available to all those doing business with Appeals, whether they are internal or external customers. The line is staffed, Monday through Friday, from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Pacific time, and is available to receive messages 24 hours a day. The AARS team assists callers with a wide range of examination and collection issues which pertain to open or closed Appeals cases, and educates callers with Appeals processes and procedures. For the customer service line, Appeals receives calls pertaining, but not limited to, the following case types:
Open or closed Appeals cases
Assigned or unassigned Appeals cases
Cases in transit to Appeals
Cases involving appeal rights and post-appeal rights
Inquiries about cases that are not in the jurisdiction of Appeals are directed to the appropriate function for assistance (Accounts Management, Collection, Examination, etc...).
When accepting calls or transcribing messages left on the customer service line, AARS team members will note the following information:
Name of the caller
Taxpayer identification number
Contact telephone number
Location of an internal customer, if known
Caller's identity (TAS representative, Appeals Officer (AO), taxpayer, taxpayer representative, etc.)
Summary of the content of the call or message
The Appeals Customer Service email accounts are for members of TAS and internal customers only. Email inquiries are handled in the same manner as phone inquiries. See IRM 184.108.40.206, Appeals Customer Service Telephone Line.
Per the SLA addendum, TAS is to use the *AP Inquiries email account.
Other internal customers should also use the *AP Inquiries mailbox for Appeals inquiries.
The *AP Inquiries email account is monitored Monday through Friday, from 7:00 am to 3:00 p.m. Pacific time. The *AP ACCOUNT RESOLUTION email account is reviewed daily.
Effective February 25, 2016, the AARS team will control all new cases and track their time on the Processing Employee Automated System (PEAS). For additional information, see IRM 8.20.10, Processing Employee Automated System.
Prior to February 25, 2016, the AARS team controlled their cases on the Appeals Customer Service (ACuServ) Inventory System. All existing open AARS inventory controlled on ACuServ on February 25, 2016 will remain open on ACuServ for 150 days or until the case is closed, whichever is sooner. If not closed from ACuServ by July 25, 2016, the assigned AARS employee will enter and control the case on PEAS, transferring all case history and applicable data. The AARS team will have review-only access to ACuServ case histories.
All new cases need to be screened for any prior cases that are or were previously assigned to the AARS team, and to ensure that the case is closed by the APS Tax Examiner (TE) on ACDS and PEAS before the AARS team starts any action on the case.
To accept the case, it must have been closed by the APS TE on ACDS and PEAS for a minimum of 30 calendar days. Cases not closed for the minimum number of days will not, generally, be accepted by the AARS team. If the case is open or has not been closed for the minimum number of days, the applicable following actions should be taken:
If the referral is from an Appeals employee, reject it as an Appeals case that is open, or which has not been closed for the minimum number of days. See IRM 220.127.116.11 (2) if required closing actions by APS were incomplete.
If the referral is an OAR, close it as a rejected OAR, and return a copy of the OAR to the AARS team member working the incoming OAR. Forward the original OAR to its originator, separately.
If the referral is from the taxpayer or authorized representative, provide them with the name of the AO or PTM, and close the referral.
Repeated cases on the same taxpayer, generally, will be assigned to the same AARS team member that was initially assigned to the taxpayer. For every case coming to the AARS team, once it has been determined that the case is not open and has also been closed for at least 30 days, the AARS team member will check PEAS and ACuServ records to see if a prior AARS case is evident. If a prior case on the taxpayer is evident, the new case will normally be assigned to the same AARS team member to whom the prior case was assigned. The new case should be presented to the team lead to have it assigned to the appropriate AARS team member.
New fields have been added to PEAS for use by the AARS team. They include the following:
PEAS Inventory - AARS Error codes Used to Reflect the Reason for Inquiry. See Exhibit 8.1.9-1 .
PEAS Inventory - AARS Initiator Fields. See Exhibit 8.1.9-2.
PEAS Inventory - New Codes Added to Existing Fields. See Exhibit 8.1.9-3.
If the prior case was assigned to an AARS member who is no longer with the team, print and review the record for case assignment. The current AARS team member will retain the case.
If an approved Form 5402 and/or Form 3870 are needed to correct an account, the forms must be signed by an ATM or other official delegated to approve the action to be taken.
All new cases must be loaded onto PEAS within 24 hours of receipt.
Closed cases will not be reopened. If there is subsequent contact on a previously closed case and the case has been recorded as closed in the unit ACuServ or PEAS inventory report, do not remove the closed date and status. Import a new case on PEAS.
The first entry in PEAS must include comments regarding the Assessment Statute Expiration Date (ASED), Collection Statute Expiration Date (CSED), Refund Statute Expiration Date (RSED) and the 24-month Offer-in Compromise (OIC) statute under IRC 7122(f), as provided by the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 (TIPRA). Compute and record the dates for each statute in the initial history entry. Any potential statute issues should be discussed here.
Timely and accurate PEAS Case Activity Record (CAR) documentation is required to support effective AARS case management. AARS must also use the PEAS Suspense and PEAS Follow-up options as appropriate to efficiently and effectively manage their open PEAS inventory.
Record all contacts and/or case activities with respect to the case.
When recording an OAR on a closed case:
Record acknowledgement of the OAR, and
Input a follow-up action for when the OAR is to be completed. This will ensure the completion date is not missed. If more time is needed for completion, promptly contact TAS with a new date.
Make sure all entries are completed on PEAS, including:
03 - Regular Closure
20 - Rejected Case
99 - Delete Case
Strip unnecessary documents from the case file
Print the completed PEAS record and attach to the front of the closed case file
Place the case in the "Closed" bin
As stated in IRM 18.104.22.168 (4) (c), the AARS team typically does not accept referrals on cases that are open on ACDS. However, at the discretion of the Director, Account and Processing Support, in certain, rare circumstances, the AARS team may accept a referral of a case that is open on ACDS.
Requests to the AARS team to take action on cases that are open on ACDS should be made in an email to the manager of the AARS team, and contain the following information:
Taxpayer's TIN or SSN
Brief description of the issue to be considered by the AARS team
Summary of the actions that have been taken to address the issue, and why they have not been effective
Reason why APS cannot complete the actions
When the AARS team agrees to accept assignment of an open case, the ATM or PTM of the APS office handling the case will be notified by the AARS team manager that the case has been accepted.
The AARS team manager will advise the ATM or PTM whether or not the referral has been accepted.
Records storage for AARS cases was determined by agreement with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), job number N1-058-07, and supplemented by DAA-0058-2013-0012, (08/07/2013).
AARS closed cases are stored in TIN order, by date closed, and within the fiscal year.
Cut off files at the end of the quarter In which the case/referral is closed.
Paper files are to be destroyed no less than 1 year after cutoff, and not later than 2 years after cutoff.
|Error Code Definition||Error Code||Definition for Data Dictionary / Utilities: AARS Error Code Definitions|
|Dec Doc-APP||01||Decision Document Issue: Appeals|
|Dec Doc-Counsel||02||Decision Document Issue: Counsel|
|F3870||03||Form 3870 Issue|
|F5278||04||Form 5278 Issue|
|Closing Docs||05||Closing Documents Issue: Form 5402, Form 3870, etc.|
|TC 48X||06||APS input TC48X incorrectly/not input|
|TC 52X||07||APS input TC 52X incorrectly/not input|
|Status (IRS)||08||IRS Personnel inquiry|
|Status (TP/POA)||09||TP/POA inquiry|
|Doc/Ltr Req||10||Requesting miscellaneous documents for TP/POA|
|Gen Asst-IRS||11||General assistance to an internal customer: Counsel, TAS, Disclosure, etc.|
|TP Ed||12||Explanation of procedures or processes|
|Blk 96X||13||Penalty sustained in Appeals - subsequent claim (tax) filed|
|Penalties||14||Miscellaneous Penalty issues|
|NPS/PS||15||Non-Petitioning Spouse/Petitioning Spouse adjustment issue|
|Premature Asmt||16||Issue with premature assessment: not abated, etc.|
|IDRS Action Incorrect||17||IDRS Action Incorrect: includes ascertain correct code issues, carryback/NOL codes, reference codes, Hold Code, Priority Codes, etc.|
|IDRS Action Not Input||18||Requested account adjustment(s) not input to IDRS|
|DDIA||19||Direct Debit Installment Agreement Issue|
|IA Not Input/ Incorrect||20||Installment Issue: not input or incorrectly input|
|Misc IA||21||Miscellaneous Installment Agreement Issue: taxpayer defaults on IA, or other reasons|
|MMIA||22||Manually Monitored Installment Agreement Issue|
|Int 6404(g) Susp||23||Interest Issue: 6404(g)|
|Int Carry-back||24||Interest Issue: Carry-back|
|Int May/SEQUA||25||Interest Issue: May/SEQUA|
|Int Net Rate||26||Interest Issue: Net rate|
|Int Other||27||Interest Issues Other: Large Corporate Underpayment (LCU) Interest|
|I/S||28||Innocent Spouse issue|
|Lien||29||Lien Issue: not input/needs filing, withdrawn action not taken, etc.|
|OIC APP||30||Offer in Compromise not closed correctly by Appeals|
|OIC Non-APP||31||Offer in Compromise not closed correctly by Collection|
|Payment/Credit||32||Payment/Credit/Credit Transfer Issue/Excess Collections|
|ST 72||33||Systemic Status 72 Issue|
|Det Change||34||Determination Change: ATE is changing determination|
|30 Day||35||Returning to APS due to closing > 30 days|
|CIT||36||Returning to Complex Interest Team to resolve interest issue|
|Unpostable||37||Unpostable on account causing back-end issues, referred to APS|
|Collection||38||Miscellaneous Collection issues not fitting into any other category|
|TFRP||39||Trust Fund Recovery Penalty Issue|
|Reject||40||Reject/Open - rejected back to originator for misc. reasons: case still open in Appeals, AQMS identified error, etc.|
|Misc||41||Miscellaneous Issue: An issue that doesn’t fit into any other category|