8.6.1 Conference and Issue Resolution

Manual Transmittal

September 25, 2019

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 8.6.1, Conference and Settlement Practices, Conference and Issue Resolution.

Material Changes

(1) This IRM section was revised to incorporate the contents of the following Interim Guidance Memorandums:

  • AP-08-0719-0011, Interim Guidance on Initial Conference Procedures for Liability, Penalty Appeals and Innocent Spouse Cases, dated July 9, 2019. This guidance consolidated initial case actions taken at different times to allow Appeals Technical Employees (ATEs) to validate case data when they start a substantive review of the case.

  • AP-08-1017-0017, Appeals Conference Procedures, dated October 13, 2017. The guidance in this memorandum modified in-person conference procedures by removing the requirements to (1) limit in-person conferences to cases that satisfy certain criteria and (2) obtain Appeals Team Manager concurrence in advance. This guidance eliminated IRM 8.6.1.4.1(4) and (5).

  • AP-08-1118-0013, Appeals Conference Procedures, dated November 28, 2018. This memorandum provided guidance for in-person conference procedures on Appeals Campus cases. This guidance eliminated in-person case assistance procedures, IRM 8.6.1.4.1.1 in its entirety. Deleted IRM 8.6.1.4.1.1, In-Person Conference: Case Assistance, replaced with IRM 8.6.1.5.1, Conference Practice. IRM 8.6.1.4.1.2, In-Person Conferences: Circuit Riding, is retitled and renumbered to IRM 8.6.1.5.1.1, Circuit Riding.

  • AP-08-0218-0002, Reopening Closed IRC Sec. 4980H Employer Shared Responsibility Payment (ESRP) Issues, dated February 2, 2018. This memorandum provided guidance to all Appeals employees regarding the reopening of IRC Section 4980H ESRP issues previously closed by Appeals.

(2) Added internal controls section IRM 8.6.1.1, Program Scope and Objectives, and its related subsections to comply with the Deputy Commissioners of Services and Enforcement and Operations Support memo dated September 14, 2016, entitled Heightened Awareness, Sensitivity, and Understanding of Internal Controls. Subsequent sections are renumbered accordingly.

(3) Updated IRM 8.6.1.5.1.1, Circuit Riding, to add New Mexico as a circuit riding state.

(4) Added language to further clarify IRM 8.6.1.5.3, Right of Consultation with Representative.

(5) Added new section as IRM 8.6.1.5.3.1, Restricted Contact with Taxpayer, to incorporate the provisions under IRC 6304(a)(2).

(6) Updated IRM 8.6.1.5.3.3, Bypass of a Representative, to further clarify bypass procedures.

(7) Expanded guidance in IRM 8.6.1.6.1, Raising Frivolous Issues During an In-Person Conference, to explain the provisions under IRC 7521(b)(1), Explanation of Processes.

(8) Added Exhibit 8.6.1-1, Pre-Selected Enclosures for Initial Contact Letters Based on Category and Case Type.

(9) Editorial changes made throughout.

Effect on Other Documents

This IRM supersedes IRM 8.6.1, Conference and Settlement Practices, Conference and Issue Resolution dated August 24, 2016.

Audience

Appeals Employees

Effective Date

(09-25-2019)


Anita M. Hill
Director, Case and Operations Support

Program Scope and Objectives

  1. Purpose: This IRM section covers procedures used by Appeals Technical Employees (ATEs) who conduct conferences for the purpose of resolving issues in dispute. A description of ATEs can be found in IRM 8.1.1, Appeals Function, Appeals Operating Directives and Guidelines, under Exhibit 8.1.1-1, Common Terms Used in Appeals. As an integral part to accomplishing the Appeals mission, conferences are scheduled on dates that are reasonably convenient for taxpayers and/or their representatives and the ATE. Appeals uses various conference methods; however, most conferences are held by telephone. See IRM 8.1.1.1, Accomplishing the Appeals Mission, for further information. Conference procedures for Appeals Team Case Leaders (ATCLs) are covered in IRM 8.7.11, Working Appeals Team Cases.

  2. Audience: Appeals Technical Employees.

  3. Policy Owner: Policy, Planning, Quality and Analysis is under the Director of Case and Operations Support.

  4. Program Owner: Appeals Policy is the program office responsible for providing technical and procedural guidance to the Appeals organization and is under the Director of Policy, Planning, Quality and Analysis.

  5. Contact Information: Appeals employees should follow established procedures on How to Contact an Analyst. Other employees should contact the Product Content Owner shown on the Product Catalog Information page for this IRM.

Background

  1. Appeals is the only administrative function of the Service with authority to consider settlements of tax controversies and has the primary responsibility to resolve these disputes, without litigation, to the maximum extent possible.

  2. Appeals’ mission is to resolve tax controversies, without litigation, on a basis which is fair and impartial to both the Government and the taxpayer in a manner that will enhance voluntary compliance and public confidence in the integrity and efficiency of the Service.

  3. Appeals accomplishes this mission by considering protested and Tax Court cases, holding conferences, and negotiating settlements in a manner which ensures Appeals employees act in accordance with the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR) in every interaction with taxpayers. See IRC 7803(a)(3), Execution of Duties in accord with Taxpayers’ Rights, Pub 5170,Taxpayer Bill of Rights, IRM 8.1.1.1, Accomplishing the Appeals Mission.

Authority

  1. Appeals is the Internal Revenue Service’s dispute resolution forum. The Commissioner granted Appeals authority to consider and negotiate settlements of Internal Revenue Service controversies. See Delegation Order 8-8 (formerly DO-66, Rev. 15), Authority of Appeals in Protested and Tax Court Cases, in IRM 1.2.2.9, Servicewide Policies and Authorities, Delegations of Authority for the Appeals Process and Policy Statement P-8-47, Consideration to be given to offers of settlement, in IRM 1.2.1.9, Policy Statement for the Appeals Process.

Responsibilities

  1. The Director, Case and Operations Support (C&OS) is the executive responsible for designing, developing, delivering, and monitoring short and long range administration policies, programs, strategies, and objectives for the Appeals organization.

Program Reports

  1. Policy, Planning, Quality and Analysis (PPQ&A) provides trends and data analyses and detailed summary reports for Appeals.

Terms and Acronyms

  1. See IRM 8.1.1-1 Exhibit, Common Terms Used in Appeals for common terms and definitions used in IRM Part 8. Terms listed in the exhibit are not included in the table.

  2. The table lists commonly used acronyms and their definitions:

    Acronym Definitions
    CIC Coordinated Industry Cases
    TEGE Tax Exempt and Government Entities
    CDP Collection Due Process
    COR Counsel of Record
    VSD Virtual Service Delivery
    LITC Low Income Taxpayer Clinic
    TBOR Taxpayer Bill of Rights

Related Resources

  1. This IRM is the primary source of guidance for this program. The following provide additional sources of guidance.

    • IRM 1.4.28.6, Conference Observation

    • IRM 1.25, Practice Before the Service

    • IRM 8.1.6, Appeals Function, Disclosure, Security, and Outside Contacts

    • IRM 8.4.1.15.1, Attorney of Record in Docketed Cases

    • IRM 8.22.5, Collection Due Process, Receipt, Control and Pre-Conference Considerations

    • IRM 8.23.2, Offer in Compromise, Receipt and Control of Non-Collection Due Process (CDP) Offers

    • Pub 947, Practice Before the IRS and Power of Attorney

New Receipts and Initial Case Actions

  1. Upon receipt of a new case assignment, the ATE will complete the statute verification and send the appropriate initial contact letter within the time frames shown below:

    For Verify Statute within Send Letter within
    Liability, Penalty Appeals, and Innocent Spouse 45 days 45 days
    Collection Due Process 30 days 30 days
    Offer in Compromise 30 days 30 days



    Re: Liability, Penalty Appeals, and Innocent Spouse work streams

    1. Appeal Team Managers (ATMs) will be reasonable in extending the contact time frame if circumstances (e.g. leave, workload, case complexity or other priorities) prevent the ATE from meeting it. If the ATM extends the time frame, the ATE will document this decision and the agreed upon time frame in the Case Activity Record and Timesheet System (CARATS) on Appeals Centralized Database System (ACDS). The statute verification time frame shall not be extended beyond 45 days. If the contact time frame is extended beyond 75 days then the ATM will contact the taxpayer/representative by correspondence providing a status of the case and to whom the case is assigned.

      Note:

      For TEFRA key cases, the 45-day time frame for statute verification applies to field ATEs only. The TEFRA ATE will verify the statute within five (5) workdays prior to assignment of the case to a field ATE.

    2. The ATE will send the appropriate initial contact letter identified in the table below, unless an exception applies. See paragraph IRM 8.6.1.2(c) and (d). Also, see Exhibit 8.6.1-1 for the appropriate letter and enclosures, listed by categories and case types.

      For Issue
      Non-docketed Cases Letter 5157, Non-docketed Acknowledgement & Conference
      Docketed cases Letter 3808, Docketed Acknowledgment and Conference (To Petitioner), or Letter 3808-A, Docketed Acknowledgment and Conference (To Counsel of Record).

      Note:

      Docketed cases are first sent to Counsel to answer the petition. After Counsel answers the petition, cases are sent to Appeals for assignment. The 45 calendar days begin to run on the date of receipt by the ATE, (i.e., date of CR/NR). (See IRM 8.2.1.4(3).

      Collection Due Process (CDP) Cases and/or Equivalent Hearing Letter 4837, Substantive Contact Uniform Acknowledgement, or Letter 3846, Appeals Received Your Request for a Collection Due Process Hearing.
      Non-CDP Offer in Compromise (OIC) Cases Letter 5576, Appeals Offer in Compromise Acknowledgement and Conference. See IRM 8.23.2.2(3), Receipt, and IRM 8.23.2.3, Assignment of OIC Cases, and see exception in IRM 1.4.28.4.1(4) for OIC cases with feature code "DO" .
      Electronic Return Originator (ERO) Cases Letter 4301, Acknowledgement Letter - ERO. See IRM 8.7.13, e-file Cases.
      Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Cases See IRM 8.26, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program
    3. For non-docketed and docketed cases, the ATE may make initial contact by telephone in lieu of using a contact letter. During such contact, the ATE must ensure that the substance of the contact letter is discussed with the taxpayer and documented in the CARATS on ACDS.

    4. Alternately, if the ATE determines that a conference is not appropriate, the ATE will not send Letter 5157 or other letter listed in IRM 8.6.1.2.(1)b. Instead, within a reasonable time frame, the ATE will take the following actions:

      For the ATE will
      Premature Referrals Prepare Letter 5209, Appeals Referral to Examination, secure any additional documentation (if applicable), and submit the case to the ATM for closing. The ATE will document this action in the CARATS by inputting AC-OD.
      Full Concession Cases Notify the taxpayer/representative (if appropriate), prepare the appropriate closing letter/documents, and submit the case to the ATM for closing. The ATE will document this action in the CARATS by inputting DM.

      Note:

      If an issue raised by a taxpayer in a CDP/EH request is fully resolved by Collection, request a withdrawal using Letter 4388, Withdrawal Solicitation. See IRM 8.22.5.7, Pre-Substantive Contact Letter (SCL) on Resolved Case.

    5. On the letter, the ATE identifies the specific IRS publications, IRS notices or IRS brochures enclosed with the letter. These enclosures are pre-selected based upon the category and type of case; whether the case is in docketed or non-docketed status; and whether the case is worked in campus or field operations. The selected enclosures were identified as information adding value to the taxpayer. If the ATE eliminates a pre-selected enclosure, the reasons for the decision must be documented on the CAR. See Exhibit 8.6.1-1 for a detailed list of recommended pre-selected enclosures for the UAL based upon the category and type of case.

    6. If a notice or publication is applicable to the case and it is not a pre-selected enclosure, the ATE may add the enclosure.

  2. Recording the enclosures sent with the initial contact letter serves as the employee’s written explanation of the procedures described in the publications or notices to the taxpayer. For example:

    Pre-Selected Enclosures

    By enclosing You are explaining
    Notice 1016, How to Stop Interest on Your Account How to stop interest on a proposed or potential liability
    Publication 4227, Overview of the Appeals Process Brochure The mission, overview, and expectations of the Appeals process.
    Publication 4167, Appeals - Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution Post Appeals mediation, fast track settlement, fast track mediation, early referrals, and Rapid Appeals Process.
    Publication 4576, Orientation to Penalty Appeals Process The Appeal process, right to representation, and payment options for Penalty Appeals cases

     

Transfer Procedures

  1. This section provides guidance involving the transfer of a case (e.g., inventory balancing) within Appeals.

  2. Appeals will transfer:

    Type of Case: Transfer to:
    Coordinated Industry Case (CIC) The Appeals Office that serves the primary territory or area for the case. See IRM 4.46, LB&I Examination Process, for the definition of a Coordinated Industry Case (CIC)
    The first protesting partner’s return in a partnership not covered by the TEFRA provisions of IRC 6221 – IRC 6234 The Appeals Office with jurisdiction over the partnership return. For more information about Non-TEFRA entities, See IRM 8.19.9.2.1.2, Protest
    • Employee Plans (EP) and Exempt Organizations (EO) Cases from TE/GE

    • Cases containing Employee Plan (EP) and/or Exempt Organization (EO) issues from a source other than TE/GE

      Example:

      A pension plan deduction, on Form 1120, may be disallowed due to the employer’s use of incorrect actuarial assumptions. Factors to consider include, for example, the level of difficulty of the case and the workload of the offices.

      Example:

      Welfare benefit issues such as cafeteria plans, COBRA continuation health care coverage and voluntary employees’ beneficiary associations (VEBAs).

    The designated Appeals Office with expertise in these issues. See IRM 8.7.8, Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE) Cases, for Exhibit 8.7.8-1, Most Common EP Returns and Forms
    Case contains issues requiring specialized knowledge The Appeals Office with expertise in these issues
  3. Area Directors may approve or deny a transfer in the interest of tax administration.

    • If there is a disagreement between the Area Directors, they must set forth the reasons for denying a transfer and request approval of the denial in a memorandum to the appropriate executive for action.

Initial Assignment and Transfers of Docketed Cases in Appeals’ Jurisdiction

  1. Docketed cases in Appeals’ jurisdiction are generally assigned for consideration to an employee in the Appeals office designated on the docket list.

  2. The general docketed case assignment principle in paragraph (1) above is modified for certain types of cases that are transferred in Appeals to designated offices for assignment to employees who specialize and have expertise in the subject matter. Such case types include the following:

    1. Employee plan cases

    2. Exempt organization cases

    3. Estate tax cases

    4. Gift tax cases

    5. Cases with international issues

    6. TEFRA key cases

  3. When required, docketed cases containing certain issues are referred through the automated 13381 system to the appropriate ATM for assignment to the Technical Specialist as a team member or a consultant. See IRM 8.7.3, Domestic and International Operations Programs, and IRM 8.18.1, Valuation Assistance Procedures. The following issues must be referred to a specialist:

    1. Compliance Coordinated Issues (Feature Code IS)

    2. Appeals Coordinated Issues (Feature Code AI)

    3. Appeals Emerging Issues (Feature Code EM)

    4. Abusive Tax Avoidance Transactions (ATAT) (Feature Code LT)

    5. Penalties related to ATAT issues

    6. Engineering issues

    7. Certain valuation issues in connection with personal property and works of art

Communications with the Taxpayer and/or Representative

  1. This subsection provides directions on the use of answering machine/voice mail and faxes when communicating with the taxpayer and/or the representative. See IRM 8.6.1.4.1, Leaving Information on Answering Machines/Voice Mail, and IRM 8.6.1.4.2, Using Fax/EEfax to Communicate.

  2. IRM 8.6.1.4.3, Change of Address, contains instructions for verifying and/or updating a taxpayer's address.

  3. IRM 8.6.1.4.4, Copies of Written Communications, contains procedures for providing copies of communications to taxpayers, when a valid Power of Attorney exists.

  4. IRM 8.6.1.4.5, Relief from Separate Notice Requirements [Section 3201(d) of RRA ‘98)], provides guidance on preparing written communications when working with taxpayers who file a joint return. It outlines relief from the separate notice requirements of Section 3201(d) of RRA '98.

  5. The ATE's badge number must be included on all written correspondence to the taxpayer and/or the representative. See IRM 8.6.1.4.6, Unique Identifying Number on Correspondence.

Leaving Information on Answering Machines/Voice Mail

  1. Answering machines and voice mail are frequently used when communicating with taxpayers, representatives, and other IRS employees. These systems are not secure and may not be used to transmit sensitive information, including tax information, except under the provisions of IRC 6103, Confidentiality and Disclosure of Returns and Return Information.

  2. Guidelines for leaving information on answering machines/voice mail may be found in IRM 11.3.2.7.1, Leaving Information on Answering Machines/Voice Mail.

Using Fax/EEFAX to Communicate

  1. Appeals employees must remember to protect tax information when using the fax machine or EEFAX. IRC 6103 provides details on the confidentiality and disclosure rules that must be followed when working with taxpayer return or taxpayer return information.

  2. IRM 11.3.1.14, Facsimile (FAX), Electronic Facsimile (E-FAX), and IRS Internal Enterprise Electronic Facsimile (EEFAX) Transmission of Tax Information, specifically addresses the use of faxes.

  3. In addition, Appeals employees should be familiar with the provisions of IRM 8.1.6.1,Practice Before Appeals, which details what each Appeals employee must verify before disclosing information of a confidential nature.

  4. Faxed information is not sealed and little protection is guaranteed at the receiving end. To protect confidential tax information, certain precautions must be taken. At a minimum employees should:

    1. Use a cover sheet, identifying the person for whom the information is intended and the number of pages being faxed.

    2. If faxing to the taxpayer, avoid including specific confidential information, other than name and phone number, on the cover sheet.

    3. If faxing to an authorized third party, use that person’s name on the cover sheet – not the taxpayer’s [IRM 11.3.1.14 (11)].

    4. Use the standard caveat found in IRM 11.3.1.14 (12) on all fax cover sheets. The standard language is on the fax cover sheet generated from ACDS.

    5. Fax the information in an order in which the cover sheet will become the first page covering the faxed tax information.

  5. IRM 11.3.1.14(9)(a) indicates that the taxpayer must provide "authorization to fax" and "authorization where to fax" prior to transmission. In addition, employees must inform the taxpayer of potential disclosure risks and document this in the taxpayer’s file. These requirements are reiterated in the IRS Information Protection Briefing available through ELMS.

  6. If any doubt exists as to the security of the faxed information, employees should mail the information to the taxpayer’s address of record or furnish it to the taxpayer at the Appeals conference.

Change of Address

  1. Verify the taxpayer's address. On a joint module, verify the address for each spouse. See the following IDRS commands that might be useful in verifying the taxpayer's address on Master File:

    • ENMOD (IRM 2.3.15.1)

    • SPARQ (IRM 2.3.47.6)

    • IMFOL"E" (IRM 2.3.51, Exhibit 2.3.51-13)

    • BMFOL"E" (IRM 2.3.59. Exhibit 2.3.59-13)

  2. If the taxpayer provides an address that does not match the address posted on Master File, advise the taxpayer to update his or her address with the IRS using:

    • Form 8822, Change of Address; or

    • Form 8822-B, Change of Address or Responsible Party - Business.

  3. If the case is docketed, also advise the petitioner to update his or her address with the United States Tax Court. The petitioner can obtain Form 10, Notice of Change of Address, from the Tax Court's website at www.ustaxcourt.gov.

  4. Determine the need to update the taxpayer's address on Master File. Prior to requesting a Master File update, ensure the change is being made as the result of clear and concise notification in accordance with Rev. Proc. 2010-16. This guidance explains how the Service is informed of a change of address. When so informed, update the taxpayer's Master File record to the new address.

    Note:

    The Service uses the taxpayer's address of record for the various documents that are required to be sent to a taxpayer's "last known address" under the Internal Revenue Code and for refunds of overpayments of tax. See IRM 8.17.4.8.7, Taxpayer’s Last Known Address, for additional information.

Copies of Written Communications

  1. Original notices and other written communications are required to be sent to the taxpayer.

  2. The taxpayer may submit a completed Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, to authorize one or more eligible individuals to represent the taxpayer before IRS.

  3. On line 2 (of Form 2848), the taxpayer must check the box - below the representative's name and address - if the taxpayer wants the IRS to routinely send copies of notices and communications to the representative(s) for as long as the notice or correspondence is within the scope of the representation authority of the representative. IRS can send copies of notices and communications up to two individuals. If the taxpayer does not check the boxes, the ATE will not routinely send copies of notices and communications. The ATE is not required to send forms, publications, and other related material with the notices unless another IRM section specifically states that such form, publications, and other related material is required to be sent.

    Note:

    ATEs are not prohibited from providing a copy of a notice or communication to a representative if the box is not checked.

  4. Furnish copies of communications received from the taxpayer to the authorized representative if the communications have a direct bearing on the nature of his/her representation.

  5. In a docketed U. S. Tax Court case, address and send all written communications to the Counsel of Record, if any. See IRM 8.4.1.15.1, Attorney of Record in Docketed Cases. Also, see Appeals' web page at http://appeals.web.irs.gov/tech_services/docketed/docketed.htm for additional information.

  6. See 26 CFR 601.506 for additional information about Conference and Practice Requirements. Also, see Form 2848, Form 2848 Instructions, and Publication 947, Practice Before the IRS and Power of Attorney.

    Note:

    A separate Form 2848 must be completed for each taxpayer. If a tax matter concerns a year in which a joint return was filed, each spouse must file a separate Form 2848 even if they are appointing the same representative(s).

  7. Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization, allows taxpayers to authorize individuals, corporations, firms, organizations, or partnerships to inspect and/or receive confidential tax information including written communications. It cannot be used to appoint a representative. For more information on Form 8821, see IRM 4.11.55.2.6.2, Form 8821 -Tax Information Authorization or IRM 5.1.23.3.3, Authority Granted by Form 8821.

Relief from Separate Notice Requirements [Section 3201(d) of RRA '98]

  1. Section 3201(d) of Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA ‘98) requires that, wherever practicable, any notice relating to a joint return be sent separately to each individual filing the joint return. The phrase "any notice," at a minimum, covers all notices required to be sent by statute. However, some notices not required by statute may be includible if they relate to the collection of the taxpayers’ joint and several liabilities or to any adjustment that may result in the issuance of a statutory notice of deficiency under IRC 6212.

  2. In certain instances, Letter 967, Consent Extending Period of Limitation Transmittal, does not have to be sent separately to joint return taxpayers. The right to refuse, allowed by IRC section 6501(c)(4)(B), now included on the Form 872, Consent to Extend the Time to Assess Tax, satisfies the requirements of section 3201(d) when one Letter 967 and one Form 872 are sent to spouses filing jointly as long as Appeals is confident that the spouses live at the same address. To ensure that both spouses receive their rights, Appeals must:

    • receive either one Form 872 - signed by both spouses or

    • receive two Forms 872 - one signed by each spouse.

      Note:

      If a Form 872 with only one signature is received, a separate Letter 967 and Form 872 must be sent to the spouse who did not sign the Form 872.

  3. Appeals is not required to send initial contact letters separately to each spouse under section 3201(d) of RRA ‘98 because the letters do not contain a notice required by statute; however, Appeals is not precluded from sending them separately.

  4. To summarize, the following table presents the actions that must be taken by Appeals when working joint returns:

    If ... Then ...
    Sending any type notice or correspondence Document what was sent and whether it was a separate mailing or a joint mailing to the spouses. If it is a joint mailing, document why a separate mailing was not used.
    Spouses have different mailing addresses Send all notices and correspondence in separate mailings to each spouse.
    Spouses have the same mailing address Send notices required by statute in separate mailings to each spouse.
    All other documents can be sent using joint mailing.
    One or both spouses have not indicated a new mailing address All notices and letters must be sent to the last known address within the meaning of 26 CFR 301.6212-2.
    Send notices required by statute in separate mailings to each spouse using the last known address.

    Note:

    See IRM 8.17.4.6, When Should TCS Prepare Duplicate Original Notices, for more information regarding when two original notices are required.

Unique Identifying Number on Correspondence

  1. Section 3705(a) of the Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA 98) requires the IRS to include on any manually generated correspondence to a taxpayer or authorized representative the name, telephone number, and unique identifying number of an employee who can be contacted with respect to the correspondence. In the IRS, the unique identifying number is an employee’s 10-digit Smart ID badge number. Manually generated correspondence includes faxes and emails.

  2. All forms of communication generated on APGolf automatically include the employee’s badge number if the employee’s ACDS profile is updated to include the badge number. Employees should update their own ACDS profile to include their badge number. To update your ACDS profile, click on the "PERSONNEL" button from the ACDS top menu, then "Update Profile," then "badge number." Enter the 10-digit badge number and click "submit update."

    Note:

    When APGolf is not used, the correspondence, fax and/or e-mail require the employee badge number be manually inserted if the number has not been previously provided.

Conference Techniques Used by Appeals Technical Employees (ATEs)

  1. Conference techniques used by ATEs vary depending on the types of cases but there is no substitute for preparation, judgment, and common sense when conducting an Appeals conference. The ATE should provide the taxpayer with an explanation of the Appeals process and notification that the taxpayer might be contacted by an outside contractor to participate in a survey.

  2. Be thoroughly prepared for all aspects of a case. This maximizes the possibility of closing the case with one conference while resolving the disputed issues in a quasi-judicial manner. It is essential to have an open mind and genuine interest in achieving a mutually acceptable agreement.

  3. Set realistic target dates for the taxpayer and/or the representative to submit additional information, and proposal and counterproposal settlements. Ensure they understand the need to adhere to the dates set.

  4. Complete the conference timely and make an accurate and prompt decision to ensure the least amount of delay. Inform the taxpayer and/or representative of the final decision of the Internal Revenue Service regarding the amount of tax liability, or other issues in dispute.

  5. Appeals conferences are informal to promote frank discussion and mutual understanding. Do not consider ideological kinds of arguments. Handle conferences objectively with a goal of reaching a sound decision based upon the merits of the issues in dispute.

  6. Conduct conferences in an open atmosphere that fosters cooperation in the resolution of disputes. Above all, it is of utmost importance to be a good listener.

Conference Practice

  1. Taxpayers have multiple conference options including holding the conference by telephone, correspondence, in person or virtually (for example, WebEx videoconferencing software and Virtual Service Delivery (VSD)). Appeals may use other technologies as they become available. Generally, conferences are held by phone. Discuss the conference options with the taxpayer or representative. Document the Case Activity Record (CAR) as appropriate. See IRM 8.6.1.5.5, Virtual Service Delivery (VSD).

  2. Hold conferences on dates that are reasonably convenient to taxpayers and their representatives. For in-person conferences, attempt to provide the conference in a location that is reasonably convenient for the taxpayer, representative and Appeals. Appeals’ ability to hold an in-person conference in the taxpayer’s preferred location may be limited due to regulatory requirements or resource constraints including the availability of ATEs with subject matter expertise and the level of case inventories at the taxpayer’s preferred location. In certain circumstances, managers may approve holding conferences at other sites, including other federal buildings, when feasible and necessary to provide a conference opportunity. The amount in dispute is generally not a determining factor in approving a conference site.

  3. If your office cannot accommodate in-person conferences and the taxpayer or representative would prefer an in-person conference, the case will be sent to an Appeals office that does accommodate in-person conferences.

  4. Properly plan and execute an in-depth discussion of the issues to facilitate a resolution during the initial conference hearing. A frank discussion of the facts ordinarily brings a case to a prompt conclusion.

Circuit Riding
  1. If the assigned ATE is in a POD that conducts circuit riding, the ATM will allow circuit riding to a mutually convenient location when the address of the taxpayer, representative, or business (for business entities) is more than:

    1. 100 miles from a customer-facing VSD site, or

    2. 150 miles from the nearest Appeals Office (Area Directors have the discretion to deviate from these mileage limitations).

  2. The ATM will allow circuit riding if the nearest Appeals Office cannot take the case due to high inventories or lack of technical expertise, or if there is no convenient alternative.

  3. ATEs will circuit ride at least quarterly to meet the needs of taxpayers.

  4. In the states where Appeals no longer has a presence or has a small presence, the designated circuit riding location is shown below:

    State with Small or No Appeals Presence Designated Circuit Riding Location
    Alaska Anchorage
    Arkansas Little Rock
    Idaho Boise
    Kansas Wichita
    Montana Helena
    New Mexico Albuquerque
    North Dakota Fargo
    Rhode Island Providence
    South Dakota Aberdeen
    Vermont Burlington
    Wyoming Cheyenne

Change of Appeals Technical Employee (ATE) After Initial Contact

  1. Generally, a taxpayer does not have the right to a conference with an ATE other than the one assigned to his or her case. In Collection Due Process (CDP) cases, however, where the ATE has had prior involvement, the case must be reassigned. See IRM 8.22.5.4.1, No Prior Involvement.

  2. In cases where the prior involvement rule does not require transfer, the ATM or the Area Director may authorize a change in assignment where the circumstances warrant.

  3. The ATE will refer a taxpayer directly to the ATM to discuss (i) any concern raised by the taxpayer about the ATE, including the ATE's perceived impartiality and/or (ii) a request to have the case reassigned. The request will ordinarily be considered only before the ATE has begun to substantively consider the case. If the taxpayer requests that the case be transferred during the conference/hearing process, refer the request to the ATM.

  4. The ATM will evaluate the taxpayer's request and/or concerns and determine whether the case should be transferred to another ATE. The ATM will communicate the decision directly to the taxpayer/representative.

Right of Consultation with Representative

  1. If a case is in Appeals’ jurisdiction and a valid Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, is on file for the period(s) and the type of liability, contact the representative. When sending correspondence, send the original to the taxpayer and also send a copy of all correspondence to the representative. The ATE should document the Case Activity Record (CAR). See IRM 8.1.6.1.3, Representatives Qualified to Practice Before Appeals.

  2. IRC 7521(b)(2) requires an officer or employee of the Internal Revenue Service to stop the interview if the taxpayer clearly states, at any time, during any interview (other than an interview initiated by an administrative summons) their wish to consult with an attorney, certified public accountant, enrolled agent, enrolled actuary, or any other person permitted to represent the taxpayer before the Internal Revenue Service. Such officer or employee shall stop the interview regardless of whether the taxpayer may have answered one or more questions.

  3. IRC 7521(c) additionally provides taxpayers with the authority to have a person permitted to represent the taxpayer before the Internal Revenue Service in any interview described in IRC 7521(a), which provides procedures for the recording of “in-person interviews” with any taxpayer, relating to the determination or collection of any tax.

  4. If a representative fails to participate in the Appeals process by failing to respond to the ATE and the employee determines it is appropriate to “bypass” a representative, the employee should follow procedures shown in IRM 8.6.1.5.3.3, Bypass of a Representative.

Restricted Contact with Taxpayer
  1. Taxpayers' rights to representation are protected under the fair tax collection practices found in IRC 6304(a)(2). Without prior consent of the taxpayer given directly to an employee, or the express permission of a court of competent jurisdiction, the employee is prohibited from communicating with a taxpayer in connection with the collection of any unpaid tax, if the employee knows the taxpayer is represented by any person authorized to practice before the Internal Revenue Service with respect to such unpaid tax. Contact is also prohibited if the employee has knowledge of, or can readily determine the authorized representative’s name and address, unless the authorized representative fails to respond within a reasonable period of time to a communication or consents to direct communication with the taxpayer.

Taxpayer Consultation with Representative
  1. If a taxpayer clearly states, at any time, during a conference, that he or she wishes to consult with a qualified representative or otherwise seek advice, the conference must be suspended. If necessary, the conference should then be rescheduled. The ATE will allow the taxpayer a reasonable amount of time to complete this right of consultation. The ATE should document the CAR accordingly.

Bypass of a Representative
  1. If a representative is unreasonably delaying or hindering the completion of the Appeals process, an ATE is prohibited from bypassing a qualified representative without obtaining prior approval of the immediate supervisor. With the ATM’s consent, the ATE may notify the taxpayer directly that he/she believes the representative is responsible for unreasonable delay or hindrance of the appeals process. The ATE will document the CAR with sufficient facts to show how the appeal process was being delayed or hindered.

  2. The ATE will prepare a written notice of such permission, briefly stating the reason why it was granted. Such notice will be given to both the recognized representative and the taxpayer. See IRC 7521(c).

  3. The authority for bypass procedures is found in Statement of Procedural Rules §601.506(b). A bypass permits an ATE to contact a taxpayer directly to complete Appeals consideration. Permission to bypass a recognized representative and contact a taxpayer directly does not automatically disqualify an individual to act as the recognized representative of a taxpayer in a matter. The representative still continues to represent the taxpayer and is provided copies of all correspondence provided to the taxpayer.

  4. The ATE does not have the authority to bypass a "Counsel of Record" (COR), so these procedures don't apply to a COR. See IRM 8.4.1.15.1, Attorney of Record in Docketed Cases, for detailed information about the COR.

Participation in Conferences by IRS Employees

  1. Appeals has the discretion to invite Counsel and/or Compliance to the conference. The prohibition against ex parte communications must not be violated. See Rev. Proc. 2012-18. Appeals may also request that other experts attend conferences.

  2. See other IRM Part 8 sections for participation by IRS employees in cases under the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program. This includes IRM 8.26.5.4.7, Participants, that reflects Appeals' discretion to have Counsel, the originating function, or both participate in a Post-Appeals Mediation proceeding for a Non-Collection Case.

Virtual Service Delivery (VSD)

  1. Virtual Service Delivery (VSD) employs teleconferencing technology that permits parties to conduct virtual face-to-face conferences from remote locations. VSD technology is installed in a number of IRS locations known as VSD “support” sites, including all six Appeals Campus locations, which Campus ATEs can use to conduct VSD conferences. VSD technology is also installed in a number of “customer-facing” sites, where taxpayers and representatives can go to conduct VSD conferences. Customer-facing VSD sites include:

    1. Some IRS posts of duty,

    2. Partner sites, and

    3. Two Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs), for taxpayers represented by these LITCs.

  2. ATEs will follow these procedures with respect to VSD:

    Step Action
    1. These conditions must be met for a VSD conference:
    1. The ATE is co-located with VSD equipment

    2. The taxpayer or representative is located within 100 miles of a VSD customer-facing location, (see Exhibit 8.6.1-2)

      Note:

      The ATE has discretion to inform a taxpayer or representative who resides more than 100 miles from a VSD customer- facing location about the VSD program. In the event the taxpayer or representative wants to travel to that VSD location, the ATE should proceed with scheduling the VSD conference.

    3. The taxpayer is not raising frivolous issues listed in Notice 2010-33 (or its successor notice), and

    4. The taxpayer is not raising frivolous issues reflecting a desire to delay or impede the administration of Federal Tax Laws for a CDP hearing request.

    Reminder:

    If the ATE offers and the taxpayer declines the opportunity for a VSD conference, document the taxpayer’s decision in the CAR and input code “VSDX” in the LOC7 field.).

    2. Schedule an agreed-upon date and time (keeping in mind the impact of different time zones on both parties). The ATE will:
    1. Document the taxpayer’s decision in the CAR,

    2. Input code “VSDA” in the LOC7 field,

    3. Reserve the VSD equipment at his/her location for the agreed-upon date and time, using local procedures, and

    4. Reserve the customer-facing equipment for the agreed-upon date and time using the Outlook Reservation System. (Does not apply to LITC cases).

    Note:

    In scheduling the amount of time for the VSD conference to take place, consider scheduling some additional time to account for the taxpayer’s unfamiliarity with the location and/or equipment.

    3. The ATE will provide the following information to the taxpayer:
    1. Address and room number of the customer-facing equipment (Does not apply to LITC cases),

    2. Any local contact information the taxpayer will need at the site to gain access to the equipment or instructions for its use (Does not apply to LITC cases), and

    3. Instructions on how to make last minute contact with the ATE if the taxpayer will be late or encounters difficulties with access or use of the VSD equipment.

    4. The ATE will advise the taxpayer to submit copies of relevant documents (by mail or FAX) so that they are received at least 10 business days in advance of the scheduled conference.

    Note:

    While new information may be visually presented to the ATE at the conference, it is recognized that ATEs need time to review and consider such information before making final decisions that affect the resolution of a case. As such, expectations a taxpayer or representative may have for immediate decisions in such situations are unwarranted.

     

    Note:

    Refer to IRM 8.6.1.7.4, Taxpayer Raises New Issue, for situations where a taxpayer raises a new issue and IRM 8.6.1.7.5, Taxpayer Provides New Information, when a taxpayer provides new information.

    5. If the conference is delayed or canceled due to technical problems, the ATE will document the reason for the delay or cancellation in the CAR, and either:
    1. Reschedule an additional virtual conference if the taxpayer requests it, or

    2. Reschedule a telephone conference

    6. ATEs may take their laptop computers with them as they conduct VSD conferences to avail themselves of the use of the laptops in the same manner they are used during phone conferences and daily work. The VSD equipment in the support site offices is located near a network connection.

    Note:

    After agreeing to participate in the VSD process, if at any point, the taxpayer changes his/her mind and no longer wants a VSD conference, the ATE will delete code “VSDA” in the LOC7 field, replace it with code “VSDW.”

  3. In general, ATEs will follow the above procedures when taxpayers who are represented by an LITC with VSD technology request a VSD conference.

    Note:

    Prohibition Against Recommending Representation - IRS personnel are prohibited from making recommendations to taxpayers with respect to securing assistance from any specific individual, firm, or group, including LITCs. Do not recommend that the taxpayer seek assistance from any specific LITC. The taxpayer can obtain information about LITCs in Pub 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List.

  4. Additional information is available on the VSD SharePoint site to further assist the ATEs with their VSD responsibilities. Visit Virtual Service Delivery Employee Resources on Appeals' Collection SharePoint site for detailed instructions.

Audio and Stenographic Recording of Conferences

  1. Audio and stenographic recordings are allowed on Appeals cases scheduled for in-person conferences if a request to record is made pursuant to IRC 7521(a), Recording of Interviews.

  2. In-person conferences are not offered to, or allowed for, taxpayers who only raise frivolous issues and/or arguments, or other issues such as those concerning moral, constitutional, religious, conscientious, political, or similar grounds.

  3. In addition, taxpayers with issues deemed frivolous, who still desire an in-person conference, are allowed an opportunity to raise specific relevant issues in response to the Appeals letter advising them they do not qualify for an in-person conference.

    Note:

    Taxpayers who say they have relevant issues must state what the issues are and must provide necessary information before an in-person conference is scheduled.

  4. This section applies only to in-person conferences, and not telephone conferences.

Raising Frivolous Issues During an In-Person Conference

  1. Some taxpayers, who initially raised frivolous issues, then raise specific relevant issues and are given an in-person recorded conference, try to discuss frivolous issues during the recorded conference.

  2. Attempt to discuss the specific relevant issues. However, if it becomes apparent the taxpayer can no longer be persuaded to discuss only relevant issues, terminate the conference.

  3. IRC 7521(a), Recording of Interviews, authorizes both taxpayers and the IRS to audio record in-person interviews dealing with the determination or collection of taxes. These in-person interviews are initiated by the IRS for the purpose of gathering information regarding a taxpayer's tax liability, income or assets.

  4. IRC 7521(b)(1), Explanation of Processes, requires an officer or employee of the IRS to provide the taxpayer with an explanation of either the audit or collection process (as the case may be) and summary of the taxpayer’s rights under the process, before or at an initial, in-person interview relating to the determination or collection of any tax. Unlike interviews with Collection and Examination, conferences with Appeals are generally not the first or initial interview held with the taxpayer. Therefore, the obligations of section 7521(b)(1) should have already been fulfilled by Collection or Examination prior to the taxpayer requesting a hearing with Appeals. On that basis, IRC 7521(b)(1) , does not apply to Appeals.

Recording Requirements

  1. IRC 7521, which was part of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights 1 (TBOR1), provides for audio recordings. Notice 89-51, 1989-1 C.B. 691 contains guidance for allowing the taxpayer to audio record any in-person interview relating to the determination or collection of any tax as long as there is a 10-day advance notification.

    Note:

    Notice 89-51, 1989-1 C.B. 691 cites IRC 7520 as the provision for procedures involving taxpayer interviews. In 1989, this code section was redesignated as IRC 7521, Procedures Involving Taxpayer Interviews.

  2. Although the IRS previously determined the provision was not mandatory for Appeals because Appeals conferences are not taxpayer "interviews," the Tax Court found that under IRC 7521 a taxpayer must be permitted to make an audio recording of an in-person IRC 6330 hearing. See Keene v. Commissioner 121 T.C. 8 (2003).

  3. Follow the provisions in Notice 89-51, 1989-1 C.B. 691, or its successor, when allowing recordings in cases within Appeals’ jurisdiction. Audio recordings are allowed on all types of cases that have in-person conferences on issues that are not deemed frivolous. In these cases, taxpayers must follow the requirements of IRC 7521. They must give ten (10) days advance notice of their intent to audio record, and provide their own recording equipment. Appeals also makes an audio recording of the conference with IRS equipment.

  4. Allow stenographic recordings by court reporters if all the following conditions are met:

    • the court reporters have the credentials listed below;

    • the taxpayer qualifies for an in-person conference; and

    • the taxpayer has given a 10-day advance notice.

  5. The stenographer must have one of the following credentials to be allowed to make a stenographic recording in Appeals.

    1. Court reporter of a United States District Court.

    2. An independent reporter qualified to take depositions for use in a United States District Court.

    3. Licensed or certified by any state to be a court reporter or to take depositions.

    Note:

    Per 28 USC §753, Reporters, the Judiciary Conference is responsible for establishing requirements for reporting service for a U.S. District Court

    . For more information access the U.S. Courts website at www.uscourts.gov, select “Rules & Policies,” “Judicial Policies,” and “Court Reporting Guidance.”

  6. Appeals audio records any conference stenographically recorded by the taxpayer and requests a copy of the stenographer’s record. If Appeals determines the costs of obtaining the stenographic record are too high, a copy of the record is not secured.

  7. The Appeals webpage contains helpful information on audio conference procedures, including how to identify yourself and participants on the recording. Also, see IRM 8.6.1.6.3, Procedures for Audio Recordings.

  8. Video recordings are not allowed.

  9. Procedures in Notice 89-51, 1989-1 C.B. 691 require ten (10) calendar days advance notice before a conference is recorded. If the taxpayer does not give the required ten-day notice, Appeals may, using its discretion and availability of IRS recording equipment, conduct the conference as scheduled, or set a new date.

  10. Inform the ATM about these recording situations. Two Appeals employees must be present at recordings where frivolous/constitutional, et al., arguments have previously been presented.

Procedures for Audio Recordings

  1. At the outset of the recording, the ATE conducting the conference identifies himself or herself and states the following information:

    • date

    • time

    • place

    • name of case

    • purpose of the proceeding

  2. All participants, including the ATE, must personally identify themselves and consent to the making of an audio recording. If an additional participant arrives or a participant leaves, verbally state this on the tape.

  3. When written records are presented or discussed during the proceeding, describe them in sufficient detail to permit identification when compared to other documents in the case file. If more than one tape is necessary to record the conference, each subsequent tape must be identified by giving the case name and date.

  4. State on the tape when the conference or recording session ends. Retain Appeals tapes in the case file.

  5. Process any payments or costs for copies of Appeals tapes given to taxpayers, per the provisions of Notice 89-51, 1989-1 C.B. 691.

New Issues and Reopening Closed Issues

  1. Policy Statement 8–2 (Rev.1) states that Appeals will not raise new issues and will not reopen an issue on which the taxpayer and the Service are in agreement. See IRM 1.2.1.9.

    Note:

    Although Appeals will not raise new issues, the ATE will notify their ATM if they identify a new systemic issue. ATMs will report the identification of new systemic issues to their Area Directors, who, in consultation with the appropriate Director of Operations will decide if the new systemic issue requires Compliance’s attention. If a systemic issue may be present, Appeals will notify the appropriate Compliance executives and personnel. The ATE will not raise a new issue in the disposition of the pending case except upon a showing of fraud or malfeasance, or misrepresentation of a material fact.

    Note:

    A systemic issue is an issue that requires a change or modification to an established procedure, process or operation (e.g., training issues, computer program, campus procedure for processing claims). These are issues that potentially impact more than one taxpayer.

  2. Policy Statement 8–3 (formerly P-8-50) states the policy of the IRS concerning the reopening of cases previously closed by Appeals. Mutual concession cases will not be reopened based on action initiated by the Service except when the disposition involved fraud, malfeasance, concealment or misrepresentation of a material fact, an important mistake in mathematical calculation or discovery that a return contains unreported income, unadjusted deductions, credits, gains, losses, etc., resulting from the taxpayer's participation in a listed transaction. Reopening the case requires the approval of the Appeals Director of Operations with oversight of the case. See IRM 1.2.1.9. The following explains references contained within this Policy Statement:

    1. Reference to a case closed on a basis of concessions made by both Appeals and the taxpayer, means a non-docketed case closed by a Form 870-AD, Offer to Waive Restrictions on Assessment and Collection of Tax Deficiency and to Accept Overassessment, or closing agreement.

    2. Reference to a case closed on a basis not involving concessions made by both Appeals and the taxpayer, means a non-docketed case closed by other than a Form 870-AD type of agreement. For example: A case closed by a Form 870 or similar form, or closed by reason of failure of the taxpayer to file a timely petition with the United States Tax Court following issuance of a statutory notice of deficiency by Appeals, an excise or employment tax case closed without agreement as to the assessment, or a case under IRC section 4980H closed by a Form 14799 , Agreement to the Assessment and Collection of Employer Shared Responsibility Payment (ESRP) IRC 4980H, in Appeals.

    3. Reference to a serious administrative omission regarding non-mutual concession cases includes criticism of an issue by the Joint Committee.

      Note:

      Appeals will not reopen a case (whether initiated by the taxpayer or the Service), if the case was closed with finality. See IRM 8.7.7.12, Audit Reconsideration Cases.

  3. Under Policy Statement 8-3, no approval is required to reopen previously closed cases in the following situations:

    • To allow carrybacks provided by law which were not taken into account in a prior closing.

    • To assess an excessive portion of a tentative allowance.

    • To adjust matters previously reserved by the government or by the taxpayer in an agreement. See IRM 8.6.4, Reaching Settlement and Securing an Appeals Agreement Form.

    • To allow the IRS to conduct a review required under IRC section 4980H(d)(3) for a previously-determined employer shared responsibility payment (ESRP).

    • To allow the IRS to commence an examination or audit under IRC section 7605(b) of an ESRP liability under IRC Section 4980H outside of the Letter 226-J, ESRP Preliminary Contact, process. See FAQs 55 and 56 on the IRS’s Question and Answer Page on ESRP.

  4. See IRM 8.7.7, Claim and Overassessment Cases, for procedures in cases where the taxpayer files a claim for refund in a case previously closed by Appeals.

Defining a New Issue

  1. The restrictions on raising a new issue (Policy Statement 8–2) or reopening a closed case (Policy Statement 8-3) do not apply to new issues:

    1. Raised by taxpayers, or

    2. Recommended by Counsel to be raised on behalf of the Commissioner in the course of review for the issuance of a statutory notice of deficiency.

    Note:

    Reopening a previously agreed issue or raising a new issue has the same implications, and is, for all practical purposes, one and the same. Therefore, for purposes of this section, treat reopening an agreed issue the same as raising a new issue.

  2. A new issue is a matter not raised during Compliance's consideration. Any issue not raised by Compliance in the report (e.g., 30-Day Letter) or rebuttal and disputed by the taxpayer is a new issue.

  3. A new theory or alternative argument is not a new issue. See IRM 8.6.1.7.2(3), General Guidelines.

    Note:

    A change in computation is not a new issue.

General Guidelines

  1. Appeals will not raise new issues and will focus dispute resolution efforts on resolving the points of disagreement identified by the parties. The Appeals process is not a continuation or an extension of the examination process.

  2. Appeals will attempt to settle a case on factual hazards when the case submitted by Compliance is not fully developed and the taxpayer has presented no new information or evidence.

  3. In resolving disputes, Appeals may consider new theories and/or alternative legal arguments that support the parties' positions when evaluating the hazards of litigation in a case. However, the ATE will not develop evidence that is not in the case file to support the new theory or argument.

  4. The discussion of new or additional cases (or other authorities, e.g., revenue rulings or revenue procedures) that supports a theory or argument previously presented does not constitute consideration of a new issue.

  5. In docketed cases, the ATE will consider a new issue affirmatively raised by the government in pleadings and may consider any new evidence developed by Compliance or Counsel to support the government's position on the new issue. The ATE’s consideration of a new issue in a docketed case will take into account that the government has the burden of proof. See IRM 8.4.1.15.3, New Issues in Docketed Cases.

Burden of Proof when Government Raises New Issues

  1. The burden of proof is on the government when it raises a new (affirmative) issue in a docketed case.

Taxpayer Raises New Issue

  1. Appeals gives full, fair, and impartial consideration to the merits of each new issue a taxpayer raises once the originating function has had an opportunity to examine the issue.

  2. If the taxpayer raises a relevant new issue and there will be less than 210 days remaining on the statute of limitations when the originating function receives the case, solicit a consent to extend the statute of limitations. If the taxpayer will not sign a consent, follow the procedures in IRM 8.21.3.2.3.1, Protecting Statutes, General Guidelines, to protect the statute.

    Note:

    When soliciting a consent, ensure there is sufficient time remaining on the statute of limitations for Examination to complete its actions on the new issue and potentially return the case to Appeals.

  3. If the taxpayer raises a new issue and there will be at least 210 days remaining on the statute of limitations when the originating function receives the case, follow the procedures in IRM 8.6.1.7.7, Jurisdiction Released, to return the case.

  4. For LB&I source cases, see IRM 8.7.11.6.3Returning a Case to LB&I.

  5. If a taxpayer repeatedly raises a new issue as a delay tactic, refer to IRM 8.6.1.7.5, Taxpayer Provides New Information.

  6. For estate cases, see IRM 8.7.4.2, Estate Tax Cases Worked in Appeals.

Taxpayer Provides New Information

  1. New information or new evidence is any item or document related to a disputed issue that the taxpayer did not previously share with the examiner, and in the judgment of the ATE, merits additional analysis or investigative action by Examination.

    1. Additional analysis means categorizing, sorting, or reviewing large volumes of records, or requiring additional steps or reasoning to reach a conclusion.

    2. Investigative action means actions required for fact finding, to make inquiries or to verify the authenticity of an item.

     

    Note:

    If a taxpayer provides information in response to a question or request from Appeals to clarify or corroborate information contained or referenced in the examination report, Protest or Rebuttal, such information will not be provided to Compliance for review and comment, unless subject to the provisions of IRM 8.7.11.6.3(2) for returning a case to LB&I.

     

    Exception:

    In Collection Due Process (CDP) cases where there is an underlying liability, until further notice, follow the procedures in IRM 8.22.8.5.1, Referring a Liability Issue. Under IRC 6330(d)(3), Appeals must retain jurisdiction of these cases; therefore, jurisdiction can’t be released.

  2. If the case is IRS Campus-sourced (including claims, PENAPs, International penalties, and International Individual Compliance (IIC) - Tax Examiner cases as identified on Form 3198), determine if it meets the exception after receiving all new information. If the case meets the exception, review the new information and proceed with normal consideration. If the case does not meet the exception, go on to paragraph (3).
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    Note:

    Add Feature Code "NI" (New Information) to Campus-sourced cases where the taxpayer provides new information and the case meets the exception in (2) and Appeals will retain jurisdiction.

  3. If the taxpayer provides new information or evidence and there will be less than 210 days remaining on the statute of limitations when the originating function receives the case, solicit a consent to extend the statute of limitations. If the taxpayer will not sign a consent, inform the taxpayer that you cannot consider the new information because the originating function has not had an opportunity to review it. Proceed with normal consideration of the case. If you cannot reach settlement, follow the procedures in IRM 8.21.3.2.3.1, Protecting Statutes, General Guidelines, to protect the statute.

    Note:

    When soliciting a consent, ensure there is sufficient time remaining on the statute of limitations for Examination to complete its actions on the new information provided by the taxpayer and potentially return the case to Appeals.

  4. If the taxpayer provides new information or new evidence and there will be at least 210 days remaining on the statute of limitations when the originating function will receive the case, consider the following conditions before releasing jurisdiction:

    If Then
    1. The evidence is relevant to the proposed deficiency; and

    2. The evidence is not already in or referenced in the case file; and

    3. The evidence requires investigative action or additional analysis.

    • If ALL conditions are met, release jurisdiction and return the case to the originating function. See IRM 8.6.1.7.7, Jurisdiction Released.

    • If any condition is NOT met, proceed with normal consideration.

    Note:

    Where a taxpayer or recognized representative unreasonably delays the process by intentionally submitting new information or raising new issues multiple times to impede the process, after obtaining approval from the ATM, the ATE will notify the taxpayer or representative that the case will not be returned to the originating office for consideration of the new information or new issues and will make the determination based on factual hazards. The ATE will document the CAR accordingly.

  5. For information received in LB&I sourced cases, see IRM 8.7.11.6.3, Returning a Case to LB&I.

  6. Primary Business Code (PBC) 315, (IIC) field (Revenue Agent and Tax Compliance Officer) cases, should be worked following the procedures and guidelines outlined in this section.

Taxpayer Raises New Theory or Alternative Legal Argument

  1. If the taxpayer raises a relevant new theory or alternative legal argument and the case is an SB/SE field, office examination, or an LB&I case, follow these steps:

    Step Action
    1. Return the information package to the original exam group.
    2. Prepare an INTERIM customized Form 5402 using ACDS APGolf. Include the following information:
    1. JURISDICTION RETAINED

    2. Reason for sending information (i.e., Taxpayer is raising a new theory or alternative legal argument.)

    3. IRS Examination Group address

      Note:

      If Form 5402 requires a closing code, use Closing Code 00 – Not Applicable. Do not close the case on ACDS. This is not a closing action.

    3. Update the following in CARATS:
    • Action: SU

    • Subaction: PI

    • Suspense Action Reason Code: E/DD – Inactive, waiting for info/action by DD

    • Feature Code: EA – Examination Assistance Case

      Note:

      If there are other issues that you can continue working, there is no need to put the case in suspense.



       

    4. Prepare Letter 5209 to the taxpayer. Sign it, but do not date or mail it. Include a copy for the file and representative, if any, and envelope(s) for mailing. Letter 5209 advises taxpayers that you are sending their new theory or argument to the original exam group to assign to an examiner for review and comment and retaining jurisdiction of their case.
    5. Submit the case to the ATM for approval. If approved, the ATM will mail the letters and forward the information package to the original Examination Group.
  2. For LB&I sourced cases, also see IRM 8.7.11.6.3, Returning a Case to LB&I.

  3. The ATM will send the information package along with all supporting information to Exam, allowing at least 45 days for written review and comment (subject to ex parte requirements) and granting an extension of time, if mutually agreed.

    Exception:

    In Collection Due Process (CDP) cases where there is an underlying liability, UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, follow the procedures in IRM 8.22.8.5.1, Referring a Liability Issue. Under IRC 6330(d)(3), Appeals has to retain jurisdiction of these cases; therefore jurisdiction can’t be released.

Jurisdiction Released

  1. Follow these procedures to release jurisdiction and return a case to the originating function:

    Step Action
    1. Determine where to send the case:
    1. SB/SE field and office examination sourced cases and LB&I cases – return case to the Examination Technical Services location that serves the originating Exam group.

      IRS Technical Services
      [Address]
      http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/AboutSBSE/Exam/ts/contact/14354.aspx

    2. For all other cases - refer to the Case Routing tab on the Appeals Home Page at http://appeals.web.irs.gov/APS/caserouting.htm.

    2. Prepare a customized Form 5402 using ACDS APGolf.
    1. Include the following information:

      JURISDICTION RELEASED
      [Reason for releasing jurisdiction (i.e., Taxpayer provided new information, Taxpayer raised a new issue, etc.)]

      Return case to [Originating function’s address (i.e., Technical Services, IRS Campus, etc.)]
       

    2. Use Closing Code 20.

    3. Prepare Letter 5209 to the taxpayer. Sign it, but do not date or mail it. Include a copy for the file and representative, if any, and envelope(s) for mailing by APS. Letter 5209 advises taxpayers that you are returning the case to the originating function and the reason, i.e., because they raised a new issue, submitted new information, etc., and releasing jurisdiction of their case.
    4. Submit the case to the ATM for approval and processing. The ATM approves the case closure, closes the case on the ATM Case closing screen, and gives it to APS. APS closes the case on ACDS, mails Letter 5209 , and returns the entire administrative file to the originating function using Form 3210.
  2. For LB&I sourced cases, also see IRM 8.7.11.6.3, Returning a Case to LB&I.

Pre-Selected Enclosures for Initial Contact Letters Based On Category and Case Type

Category Type UAL Notice 1016 PUB 4167 PUB 4227 PUB 4576 Resource
CDP   Letter 3846, if applicable)     Include   IRM 8.22
IRM 8.6.1.2
CDP   Letter 4837     Pub 4227 is no longer included with L 4837. Letter revised. Refers taxpayers to IRS website to access.   IRM 8.22
IRM 8.6.1.2
OICC OIC - Field Letter 5576   Include Include   IRM 8.23
IRM 8.6.1.2
OICC OIC -Campus Letter 5576     Include   IRM 8.23
IRM 8.6.1.2
INNSP
Non-docketed
  Letter 5157 Include   Include   IRM 25.15.12
and
IRM 8.6.1.2
INNSP
Docketed
  Letter 3808 or 3808A Include   Include   IRM 25.15.12.
IRM 8.6.1.2
POST-PEN PENAP -Field Letter 5157 Include Include Include   IRM 8.11.1
IRM 8.26.5
IRM 8.6.1.2
POST PEN PENAP -Campus Letter 5157 Include Include   Include IRM 8.11.1
IRM 8.26.5
IRM 8.6.1.2
CIC
Non-docketed
  Letter 5157
(Include Pub 5083 for ATCL case)
Include Include Include   IRM 8.7.11
IRM 8.6.1.2
CIC
Docketed
  Letter 3808 or 3808-A(Include Pub 5083 for ATCL case) Include   Include   IRM 8.7.11
IRM 8.6.1.2
IC
Non-docketed
  Letter 5157
(Include Pub 5083 for ATCL case)
Include Include Include   IRM 8.7.11
IRM 8.6.1.2
IC
Docketed
  Letter 3808 or 3808-A(Include Pub 5083 for ATCL case) Include   Include   IRM 8.7.11
IRM 8.6.1.2
EXM/TEGE
Non-docketed
EP Letter 5157 Include Include Include   IRM 8.7.8
IRM 8.6.1.2
EXM/TEGE
Docketed
EP Letter 3808 or 3808-A Include   Include   IRM 8.7.8
IRM 8.6.1.2
EXM/TEGE
Non-docketed
EO Letter 5157 Include Include Include   IRM 8.7.8
and
IRM 8.6.1.2
EXM/TEGE
Docketed
EO Letter 3808 or 3808-A Include   Include   IRM 8.7.8
IRM 8.6.1.2
EXM/TEGE
Non-docketed
EMPL Letter 5157 Include Include Include   IRM 4.23.1
and
IRM 8.6.1.2
EXM/TEGE
Docketed
EMPL Letter 3808 or 3808-A Include   Include   IRM 8.7.16
IRM 8.6.1.2
EXM/TEGE
Non-docketed
EX Letter 5157 Include Include Include   IRM 8.7.10
IRM 8.6.1.2
EXM/TEGE
Docketed
EX Letter 3808 or 3808-A Include   Include   IRM 8.7.10
IRM 8.6.1.2
EXM/TEGE
Non-docketed
ES Letter 5157 Include Include Include   IRM 8.7.4
IRM 8.6.1.2
EXM/TEGE
Docketed
ES Letter 3808 or 3808-A Include   Include   IRM 8.7.4
IRM 8.6.1.2
EXM/TEGE
Non-docketed
G Letter 5157 Include Include Include   IRM 8.7.4
IRM 8.6.1.2
EXM/TEGE
Docketed
G Letter 3808 or 3808-A Include   Include   IRM 8.7.4
IRM 8.6.1.2
EXM/TEGE
Non-docketed
I Letter 5157 Include Include Include  
IRM 8.6.1.2
EXM/TEGE
Docketed
I Letter 3808 or 3808-A Include   Include   IRM 8.4.1
IRM 8.6.1.2
EXM/TEGE I Letter 3808
(campus
S dkt)
Include   Include   Use for Campus
S Docketed,
IRM 8.4.1
IRM 8.6.1.2
EXM/TEGE TEFRA Letter 5157   Include Include   IRM 8.19
IRM 8.6.1.2
EXM/TEGE TEFRAI Letter 5157 Include Include Include   IRM 8.19
IRM 8.6.1.2
EXM/TEGE TEFRAP Letter 5157 Include Include Include   IRM 8.19
IRM 8.6.1.2
OTHER ABINT
Non-docketed
Letter 5157   Include Include   IRM 8.7.7
IRM 8.6.1.2
OTHER ABINT
Docketed
Letter 3808 or 3808-A     Include   IRM 8.7.7
IRM 8.6.1.2
OTHER TFRP Letter 5157   Include Include   IRM 8.25
IRM 8.6.1.2
OTHER CAPIA NA         IRM 8.24
IRM 8.6.1.2
OTHER CAPLN NA         IRM 8.24
IRM 8.6.1.2
OTHER CAPLV NA         IRM 8.24
IRM 8.6.1.2
OTHER CAPSZ NA         IRM 8.24
IRM 8.6.1.2
OTHER DOP Letter 4301         IRM 1.25.1
IRM 8.6.1.2
OTHER 7430 Letter 5157     Include   IRM 8.7.15
IRM 8.6.1.2
OTHER 6161 Letter 5157     Include   IRM 8.7.4
IRM 8.6.1.2
OTHER 6702 N/A (Penalty considered only under CDP)         IRM 8.22.8.15
IRM 8.6.1.2
OTHER 6715 Letter 5157     Include   IRM 8.7.15
and
IRM 8.6.1.2
REFC   NA         NA

Virtual Service Delivery (VSD) Locations

For virtual face-to-face interactions, Campus ATEs will access VSD equipment located in one of the six (6) Campus Appeals offices, i.e., ("support sites" ), while the taxpayers and/or their representatives will access VSD equipment located in one of the "customer-facing" VSD sites. For Low-Income Tax Clinic (LITC) cases, special procedures apply. Visit Virtual Service Delivery Employee Resources on Appeals' Collection Share Point site for detailed instructions.

Support Sites

Appeals Support Sites Location
Holtsville Campus Holtsville, New York
Philadelphia Campus Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Florence Campus Florence, Kentucky
Memphis Campus Memphis, Tennessee
Ogden Campus Ogden, Utah
Fresno Campus Fresno, California
 

Customer-Facing Sites

Location Type Address
IRS 949 E. 36th Avenue - Anchorage, Alaska 99508
IRS 550 West Fort Street - Boise, Idaho 83724
IRS 700 E. San Antonio - El Paso, Texas 79901
Partner 7 N. 31st Street, Billings - Montana 59101
IRS 700 W. Capital, Little Rock - Arkansas 72201
IRS 51 S.W. First Avenue - Miami, Florida 33130
IRS 7180 9th Ave. North, Pensacola - Florida 32504
Partner 721 N. Cincinnati Street, Spokane - Washington 99202
LITC Oakridge, Tennessee
LITC Seattle, Washington