1.11.6 Using and Researching the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM)

Manual Transmittal

March 23, 2022


(1) This transmits revised IRM 1.11.6, Internal Management Documents System, Using and Researching the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM).

Material Changes

(1) IRM, Program Scope and Objectives: Changed policy owner to reflect Director, Strategy and Business Solutions, added primary stakeholders, and moved program goal to last paragraph to comply with IRM

(2) IRM, Roles and Responsibilities: Removed higher level management responsibilities and added responsibilities for SPDER program office, Media & Publications (M&P), SERP Communication Program (SCP), IRS program directors, program owners and assigned authors.

(3) IRM, Program Management and Review: Added Program Management and Review internal control to align with IRM

(4) IRM, Program Controls: Added Program Controls internal control to align with IRM

(5) IRM, Terms and Acronyms: Retitled to align with IRM, revised definition of IRM to align with new policy statement (PS) 1-237, The Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) is the Official Source of Instructions to Staff, and added several terms used within the IRM.

(6) IRM, IRM Purpose and Use: Reorganized, reformatted and combined content with content in previous IRM, Using the IRM, added introductory sentence and retitled to match subsection content.

(7) IRM, Structure of the IRM, previously IRM Moved subsection content to introduce IRM structure before addressing how to access the different IRM formats. Added introductory paragraph explaining each IRM section is formatted the same and incorporated reference to IRM from previous IRM (1).

(8) IRM, IRM Numbering Scheme: Added new subsection explaining IRM numbering scheme.

(9) IRM, IRM Section Major Components, formerly IRM, Elements of an IRM Section: Retitled to use consistent language with other IRM/IMD resources and added major component, IRM part, chapter and section titles.

(10) IRM, Manual Transmittal, formerly IRM Added list of manual transmittal mandatory elements and list of optional elements.

(11) IRM, IRM Part, Chapter and Section Titles: Added subsection to explain this IRM section major component.

(12) IRM, Table of Contents, formerly IRM Added explanation that the table of contents is in an outline format and the titles in electronic versions link to the content.

(13) IRM, Subsections, formerly IRM Reordered subsection content to present subsection elements in the order they appear and moved (2) information about subsection numbering to IRM, IRM Numbering Scheme.

(14) IRM, Index of Key Terms, formerly IRM, Topical Index: Added location of Index of Key Terms within an IRM section.

(15) IRM, IRM Dates, formerly IRM Moved to align under Structure of the IRM since dates appear throughout an IRM section and added revision date.

(16) IRM, Official Use Only (OUO) Content, formerly IRM Clarified OUO markings appear at the beginning and end of the sensitive content and added OUO content is redacted from IRM on IRS.gov.

(17) IRM, IRM Formats, formerly titled How to Access the IRM: Added introductory paragraph and updated (3) IRM product / platform titles to show current titles and reordered table to introduce content in alphabetical order.

(18) IRM, Internal Revenue Manuals on IRS.gov, formerly IRM, IRM on IRS.gov: Reorganized existing content, expanded instructions to view an IRM section in a step list, and explained IRM section format in (3) and (4).

(19) IRM, IRM Online, formerly IRM Added ownership information in (1), overview in (2), index list in (3), IRM section search options (4), and expanded tools and help features in (5).

(20) IRM, IRS Historical Research Library IRM, formerly IRM, Historical Library: Added SPDER maintains the library.

(21) IRM, Document 9768, Internal Revenue Manual DVD: Deleted subsection as Doc. 9768 has not been updated since February of 2020, therefore is not a viable resource at this time.

(22) IRM, Legal and Tax Research Services, formerly IRM, Commercial Research Services: Updated to reflect the current title for these services.

(23) IRM, Paper IRM, formerly IRM Reorganized existing content and added table of contents information in (1) and distribution information in (2).

(24) IRM, Publishing + Distribution Website, formerly IRM, Electronic Publishing Website: Combined and reorganized content with that in former IRM, Email Notification Subscription and Management for IRS Published Products, updated website, webpage and field names, added step instructions to locate an IRM section, and expanded and described IRM Product Catalog Results page contents.

(25) IRM, Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP) IRM: Reorganized existing content, added description for SERP website and web addresses for welcome and SERP IRM pages, expanded search options for SERP IRMs, clarified the SERP Communication Program (SCP) posts the IPU and revised content to the SERP website, and added information on superseding or incorporating an IPU into the IRM, updating the SERP IRM revision and submitting SERP feedback.

(26) IRM, Providing Feedback About an IRM Section - Outside of Clearance, formerly IRM Updated SPDER’s IMD Contacts List webpage and SCP, formerly SERP staff, names and removed the note about the Employee Suggestion Program (ESP) that is discontinued.

(27) IRM, How to Obtain an IRM Author's Name, formerly IRM Updated webpage and field titles.

(28) IRM, Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and United States Code (USC), formerly IRM Removed reference to Cornell to align with current IRS procedures and updated govinfo webpage name to reflect current name in (3).

(29) IRM, Interim Guidance, formerly IRM Reorganized existing IRM content, added interim guidance (IG) formats and updated IG now available on the Search Interim Guidance page and ways to confirm IG exists for an IRM section.

(30) IRM, Document 10988, Internal Revenue Manual Index, formerly IRM Reorganized existing content and added the four index listings within Doc. 10988 in (2).

(31) IRM, IRM Supplemental Guidance: Added subsection to introduce various supplemental guidance.

(32) Exhibit 1.11.6-1, Previous and Current IRM 1.11.6 Subsections Crosswalk: Included crosswalk to assist readers with finding new location for content.

(33) Editorial changes throughout include:

  • Added or corrected IRM and document citations

  • Added or corrected website and webpage links

  • Corrected capitalization, spelling, typos and grammar

  • Updated term “organization” to “business unit”

  • Incorporated plain language writing techniques

Effect on Other Documents

This IRM supersedes IRM 1.11.6 dated April 8, 2020.


All IRS employees

Effective Date


Holly A. Donnelly
Director, Strategy and Business Solutions
Research, Applied Analytics and Statistics

Program Scope and Objectives

  1. Purpose: This IRM section describes the function of the IRM and provides guidance on various ways to find information in the IRM.

  2. Audience: All IRS employees.

  3. Policy Owner: Director, Strategy and Business Solutions (SBS), Research, Applied Analytics and Statistics (RAAS).

  4. Program Owner: Office of Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Resources (SPDER).

  5. Primary Stakeholders: Media and Publications (M&P), Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP) Communication Program (SCP), and program offices who own and manage an IRM section(s).

  6. Contact Information: To recommend changes or make suggestions to this IRM section, contact the SPDER office by:

    • Email: *SPDER

    • Website: https://spder.web.irs.gov/officeinfo/contact/Default.aspx

  7. Goal: Instruct IRS employees on how to use the IRM and locate information efficiently and effectively in the performance of their duties.


  1. In 1999, IRS formed the Office of Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Research, following the enactment of the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998. One of the primary goals of IRS modernization was to restore and maintain the IRM as the official compilation of IRS policies, procedures and guidelines.

  2. SPDER produces tools to assist employees in using the IRM in the performance of their duties. The core mission is to design, implement and monitor the process by which IRS creates policy and procedure.


  1. By law, federal agencies are expected to document, publish, and maintain records of policies, authorities, procedures, and organizational operations. The IRM is the source for the IRS. See IRM for Internal Management Documents (IMD) authorities and legal obligations.

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. The SPDER program office, under RAAS, SBS, develops, oversees and executes all aspects of the IMD program which includes the IRM.

  2. M&P controls the IRM publishing process, the IRM publishing contract, and the IRM authoring software (Arbortext Editor) contract.

  3. The SCP, SERP staff hosts IRMs by request based on end-user need, ensures content is current and accurate, and makes real-time updates to information ensuring content is Section 508 compliant.

  4. Program directors Servicewide oversee IMD administration under their program responsibility, including approval of new or revised IMDs.

  5. Program owners and the assigned authors manage and execute the IMD program including the IRM.

Program Management and Review

  1. SPDER and program owners manage the IRM using the following processes and statistics:

    • Annual IRM Certification - Program owners annually certify the status of their IRM content and management and internal controls.

    • Annual SERP Certification Process - Program owners annually certify whether their SERP IRM content is accurate and current.

    • IRM Online Statistics at http://irm.web.irs.gov/tools/stats/default.aspx- Data statistics for current IRM sections.

Program Controls

  1. All IRM authors are required to follow the IRM 1.11 series and use the current IRM authoring software to author IRM sections.

  2. During quality review, managers evaluate whether employees researched, interpreted and correctly applied IRM instructions when performing their duties.

Terms and Acronyms

  1. The following table lists the terms and acronyms used throughout this IRM section and their definitions.

    Terms / Acronyms Definitions
    Electronic Freedom of Information Act (EFOIA) A federal law requiring public availability in an electronic format of instructions to employees affecting a member of the public.
    Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) A federal law requiring each agency to maintain and make available for public inspection and copying administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect a member of the public.
    Interim Guidance (IG) An official communication conveyed through memoranda or IRM Procedural Updates (IPUs) used by business units or program owners to convey immediate, emergency or temporary changes to operations or procedures for a defined effective period.
    Interim Guidance Memorandum (IGM) A type of IG used to issue an immediate or temporary procedural change to IRM procedures or operations in a memorandum. The procedural change is effective until the expiration date, not to exceed two years.
    Internal Management Document (IMD) An official communication that designates policies and authorities and delivers instructions to IRS officials and employees.
    Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) The official compilation of IRS policies, procedures and guidelines that employees are required to follow when administering tax laws, performing duties or executing IRS operations.
    IRM Owner The program office with primary responsibility for writing and maintaining IRM content whose program director approves the IRM.
    IRM Procedural Update (IPU) A type of IG used to issue an immediate or temporary procedural change to an IRM posted on SERP at http://serp.enterprise.irs.gov/. The procedural change is effective for up to two years.
    Official Use Only (OUO) A designation placed on sensitive information requiring protection from the public due to the risk and magnitude of loss or harm to the IRS or the privacy to which individuals are entitled under 5 USC 552a. See IRM 11.3.12, Designation of Documents.
    Portable Document File (PDF) A versatile file format created by Adobe that gives people an easy, reliable way to present and exchange documents - regardless of the software, hardware or operating systems being used by anyone who views the document.
    Program Director A member of the Senior Executive Service or their authorized delegate responsible for program administration including issuance and approval of IMDs. See Delegation Order 1-69, Authorization to Approve an Internal Management Document (IMD), for who can be an authorized delegate.
    Program Owner The office with primary responsibility for establishing the process and procedures necessary to implement and manage an IRS program. The program director over this office authorizes and approves new or revised IMDs.
    Search Interim Guidance page A webpage that contains active and archived IGMs, Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP) IPUs, and Servicewide delegation orders and policy statements found at http://imdtrack.web.irs.gov/search.aspx .
    Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP) An electronic research source, maintained by Wage and Investment (W&I), designed to provide access to current procedural guidance and reference materials located at http://serp.enterprise.irs.gov/.
    SERP Communication Program (SCP) The program office, under the guidance of Technical Assistance & Stakeholder Communication (TASC), responsible for ensuring content hosted on the SERP site is current and accurate.

Related Resources

  1. IRM Online: https://irm.web.irs.gov/

  2. Publishing + Distribution Find a Product (catalog) page: https://publish.no.irs.gov/catlg.html

  3. IRM Numerical Index: https://publish.no.irs.gov/pubsys/irm/numind.html

  4. Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP): http://serp.enterprise.irs.gov/

  5. IRS.gov: https://www.irs.gov/irm

  6. Integrated Talent Management (ITM) training course # 59521, The Internal Revenue Manual: An Introduction. Log in to ITM at https://irssource.web.irs.gov/Pages/ITM.aspx

IRM Purpose and Use

  1. The IRM is the official compilation of IRS policies, procedures and guidelines.

  2. The purpose of the IRM is to provide instructions to staff. These instructions relate to administration and operation of the IRS for all business units. The IRM ensures employees have the approved guidelines, policies and authorities they need to carry out their responsibilities in administering tax laws and other agency obligations. The IRM explains what needs to be done, how to do it and who is responsible to ensure consistent work performance.

  3. IRS employees, managers and executives use the IRM in the daily performance of their duties.

  4. IRM topics range from:

    • Administrative procedures and instructions, such as timekeeping and travel

    • IRS organizational structure, mission, and purpose in IRM 1.1, Organization and Staffing

    • Management practices in IRM 1.4, Resource Guide for Managers

    • Official policy statements (PSs) and delegations of authority, also called delegation orders (DOs), in IRM 1.2, Servicewide Policies and Authorities

    • Technical step-by-step instructions for employees throughout the IRS

  5. The IRM is also used by Government Accountability Office (GAO) and specialized groups within IRS, such as Chief Counsel (CC), Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), to:

    • Confirm IRS operates effectively and efficiently and provides quality service to the public

    • Identify potential problems that may result in unnecessary taxpayer burden or present taxpayer rights violations

    • Ensure IRS complies with applicable laws and regulations

    • Reduce risk

  6. Members of the public may also view the IRM to learn about the IRS policy and procedures. A redacted version of each IRM section is available to them on IRS.gov through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Structure of the IRM

  1. The IRM is a manual with a specific structure, format and numbering scheme consistent throughout. Regardless of the type of information found in an IRM section, all sections are formatted the same and look similar.

  2. The IRM is assigned, authored, and maintained at the section level. Each section is a separate published product.

  3. The IRM is organized by part, chapter, and section.

    1. Part - Each part contains instructions for an IRS business process


      See IRM, IMD Numbered by Business Process, for a description of IRS business processes by IRM part number.

    2. Chapter - Each chapter contains a primary topic within the Part

    3. Section - Each section covers a specific topic within the Chapter

IRM Numbering Scheme

  1. The IRM uses a unique numbering scheme that allows you to quickly locate and identify information needed to perform a task.

  2. The IRM number is a series of numbers separated by a decimal point that indicates the location of the information within the IRM, specifically the part, chapter, section and subsection(s).


    IRM The table below illustrates the nested placement of each IRM component.

    Number IRM Component IRM Title
    1 Part IRM 1, Organization, Finance, and Management
    11 Chapter IRM 1.11, Internal Management Documents System
    6 Section IRM 1.11.6, Using and Researching the Internal Revenue Manual
    4 Subsection 1 IRM, IRM Formats
    2 Subsection 2 IRM, Internal Revenue Manuals on IRS.gov

IRM Section Major Components

  1. Each IRM section contains the following major components in the order presented:

    • Manual transmittal

    • IRM part, chapter and section titles

    • Table of contents

    • Subsections

    • Exhibits (optional)

    • Index (optional)

Manual Transmittal
  1. Each IRM section begins with a manual transmittal.

  2. The manual transmittal is summary information that identifies the IRM section and its new and changed content, effect on other documents, audience, and approving official, provides the revision and effective dates, and describes the purpose and substantial changes from the prior revision.

  3. Each manual transmittal includes the following mandatory elements:

    1. Transmittal Date - Displays date the IRM is published

    2. Purpose - Tells if the IRM is revised, new, or obsolete

    3. Material Changes - Lists all changes the author made to the IRM since the last publishing

    4. Effect on Other Documents - Lists any incorporated interim guidance memorandum (IGM) or IRM procedural update (IPU), and if the current IRM supersedes a previous version

    5. Audience - Tells who uses the IRM, the end users

    6. Effective Date - Identifies the date the IRM procedures become effective, which may differ from the transmittal date

    7. Signature - Displays the name, title and program office of the approving official that owns the IRM

  4. Occasionally you may see the following optional manual transmittal elements:

    1. Note - Provides information to the reader to highlight an issue or describe a change

    2. Background - Cites the authority for issuing the document or provides background information on the development of the material

    3. Scope - Limits the applicability of the IRM, such as during a certain time of year or to employees in a specific job category or area

    4. Related Resources - Lists helpful websites, references or other sources of information on the topic.

  5. Historical manual transmittals are also used for research in tax court, audits and employee reviews since they record what changed, when it changed and why it changed.

IRM Part, Chapter and Section Titles
  1. Each IRM section includes the IRM part, chapter and section titles. The location varies depending on the IRM platform which are discussed in more detail later.

    1. IRM Online at http://irm.web.irs.gov/ shows the IRM part, chapter and section titles at the top of the IRM.

    2. The Product Catalog Results Portable Document File (PDF) version of the IRM lists the titles between the manual transmittal and the table of contents.

    3. SERP IRMs at http://serp.enterprise.irs.gov/content/irms/irms.html and IRS.gov IRMs at https://www.irs.gov/irm list the IRM part numbers and titles as a table of contents that link to related chapters and sections.

Table of Contents
  1. The table of contents follows the manual transmittal in each IRM section.

  2. The table of contents lists the IRM subsection and exhibit numbers and their titles in an outline format which helps readers easily find information.

  3. View the table of contents to find the number and title for each IRM subsection and exhibit.

  4. The titles in electronic versions link to the content.

  1. A subsection contains the IRM content. The content conveys procedural instruction or information about the IRM topic.

  2. A subsection consists of the following:

    1. Number - Represents the Part, Chapter, Section, and Subsection

    2. Date - The date the subsection content is effective

    3. Title - A description of the content in the subsection

    4. Paragraphs - Paragraphs, lists, tables and/or notes

  3. Depending on the complexity of the topic, an IRM can include up to five levels of subsections (subtopics). Subsections are nested like an outline.


    See the Table of Contents of any IRM section for an example of the subsection structure.

  4. Subsections may also contain figures. Figures may contain a graphic, table or caption and are numbered consecutively throughout the IRM.

  1. Exhibits are illustrative text, tables or graphics placed at the end of an IRM section. Exhibits are optional.

  2. Exhibits are consecutively numbered beginning with the IRM section number, followed by a hyphen and the exhibit number.


    Exhibit 1.2.3-1

Index of Key Terms
  1. Some IRMs include an index of key terms to identify the content in the IRM section. This feature is optional.

  2. An IRM index of key terms appears at the end of the IRM following the last subsection or the last exhibit.

IRM Dates

  1. The IRM includes four date types listed and defined in the table below:

    Date Type Definition
    Manual transmittal (MT) date Date M&P publishes the IRM section and posts it in the Core Repository of Published Products (CROPP) housed on the Publishing + Distribution website. This date appears unlabeled at the top of the IRM.
    IRM effective date Date the new or revised IRM section is effective. The IRM effective date can be the same as the manual transmittal date (revision date) or be a specific future date.
    Subsection date Date the substantially revised subsection information becomes effective. The subsection date can be the same date as the manual transmittal (revision date) or the effective date.
    Revision date This date matches the MT date. The revision date only appears on Publishing + Distribution Product Catalog Results page, PDF paper products and Document 10988, Internal Revenue Manual Index.

Official Use Only (OUO) Content

  1. Sensitive content is designated OUO when disclosure of the content could adversely affect IRS programs, operations essential to administering the tax laws, or the privacy of an individual. See IRM 11.3.12 for information about designating OUO content.

  2. When OUO content is included in the IRM it is clearly marked at the beginning and the end with red pound or hashtag signs.

  3. It is important not to release information designated OUO to the public. The content contained within the pound signs is redacted from the IRM content made available to the public.

IRM Formats

  1. The IRM is available in print and electronic format.

  2. You can access the different IRM formats through several different platforms. View the following subsections to obtain hyperlinks to and information about each IRM product.

  3. The table below outlines the various IRM formats in alphabetical order and their intended audiences.

    IRM Product / Platform OUO Redacted Intended Audience For more information
    Internal Revenue Manuals on IRS.gov at https://www.irs.gov/irm Yes Public IRM
    IRM Online at http://irm.web.irs.gov/ No IRS Employees IRM
    IRS Historical Research Library at https://oldirm.web.irs.gov/ No IRS Employees, federal employees, and others upon request IRM
    Legal and Tax Research Services at https://rnet.web.irs.gov/Default.aspx Yes IRS employees and the public IRM
    Paper IRM No IRS Employees IRM
    Publishing + Distribution website (Catalog) at https://publish.no.irs.gov/catlg.html#tab=tab1 No IRS Employees IRM
    Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP) at http://serp.enterprise.irs.gov/content/irms/irms.html No IRS Employees IRM

  4. IRM content may be superseded by interim guidance (IG). See IRM, Interim Guidance, for instructions to locate IG updates to the IRM.

Internal Revenue Manuals on IRS.gov

  1. IRS posts the IRM on IRS.gov in the FOIA Library at https://www.irs.gov/privacy-disclosure/foia-library to comply with FOIA legal requirements. This redacted version of the IRM does not contain any OUO content.

  2. To view a section of this publicly available version of the IRM:

    1. Click Admin Manuals & Instructions on the FOIA Library page

    2. Select Internal Revenue Manual (IRM). This opens the Internal Revenue Manuals, Table of Contents page organized by IRM parts. Each part number is a link to its table of contents.

    3. Select the IRM part that contains the IRM section you need to view to open the table of contents for that IRM part. Each IRM section and title is a link to its content.

    4. Scroll to locate the IRM chapter and section you need to view.

    5. Click on the IRM section link.

  3. Each IRM section shows the table of contents to the left-hand side of the page. Each subsection number and title is a hyper link to that specific content within the IRM. You may also navigate the content using the scroll feature.

  4. IRM sections with images contain a link to the text description of the image.

  5. The FOIA Library also houses recent DOs, PSs and IG to staff not yet incorporated into the publicly available IRM. Find the links, Recent Del Orders/Policy Statements and Recent Interim Guidance to Staff, under the Admin Manuals & Instructions heading.

IRM Online

  1. IRM Online is a searchable database, owned by the SPDER office, located at http://irm.web.irs.gov/.

  2. It contains every published IRM section, provides the most current published IRM, and allows you to research prior revisions. It updates when program owners revise and publish the next IRM version.

  3. IRM Online uses an advanced search feature or one of the following indexes to search and view the IRM:

    • Number

    • Audience

    • Effective Date

    • Title

    • Owner

    • Revision Date

  4. Each IRM section in IRM Online contains the following options (buttons) to enhance your IRM search experience:

    • Favorite – Use to create a favorite in your bookmarks

    • PDF/Print – Select to view or print a PDF copy of the IRM section

    • Publishing Catalog – Select to open the Product Catalog Results page for this IRM section in a new tab

    • SERP/IPUs – Select to see the SERP version or the IRM Procedural Updates Listing for the IRM section, if applicable

    • Library – Use to search the IRS Historical Research Library for prior versions of the IRM section

    • IRS.gov – Select to see the public version of the IRM

    • Interim Guidance / Interim Guidance Exists – Select to see or search IG for the IRM section

    • Contact Us – Use to open an email window to *SPDER

  5. IRM Online has several user-friendly tools and help features described in the table below.

    Tools and Help Features Description
    Embedded IRM links Within each IRM section are links to other IRMs, IRS published products and vendor supplied legal research and reference materials.
    Linking to IRMs tool The Link Creation Tool allows you to enter an IRM Number to create a properly formed link to the IRM section/subsection in IRM Online that you can use in a web page, email or other electronic product.
    Internal Management Documents tool Links to the SPDER IMD webpage at http://irm.web.irs.gov/imd/default.aspx that links to information pages including the following topics: Delegation Orders, Policy Statements, Internal Revenue Manual (IRM), Interim Guidance (IG), Chief Counsel Directives Manual (CCDM), Other IMDs, and IMD Community.
    IRM Statistics tool Links to the IRM Statistics webpage at http://irm.web.irs.gov/tools/stats/default.aspx that allows you to view IRM statistics for the whole of IRS or by business unit.
    IRMs Not Yet Effective tool Links to the Published But Not Yet Effective Index at http://irm.web.irs.gov/indexes/NewIndex/NotEffective/Default.aspx.
    Obsolete IRMs tool Links to the IRS Historical Research Library at http://irm.web.irs.gov/indexes/NewIndex/NotEffective/Default.aspx.
    FAQs help feature Links to the IRM Online Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) webpage at http://irm.web.irs.gov/help/FAQs/Default.aspx.
    Training help feature Links to the IRM Online Training webpage at http://irm.web.irs.gov/help/Training/Default.aspx that includes a link to the Overview of the IRM Online Website Power Point file, the upcoming live SABA Meeting training schedule for IRM Online, and instructions on how to enroll.
    Using Search help feature Links to the IRM Online Search Help webpage at http://irm.web.irs.gov/help/search.aspx that provides tips to efficiently search the IRM.
    Privacy Policy help feature Links to the SPDER Privacy Policy webpage at http://spder.web.irs.gov/common/pages/privacy.aspx that includes information and links to privacy policy resources.
    Contact Us help feature Opens an Outlook email to *SPDER

IRS Historical Research Library IRM

  1. SPDER maintains the IRS Historical Research Library.

  2. To access or research versions of the IRM prior to 1997 unavailable on the Publishing + Distribution website, visit the IRS Historical Research Library at https://oldirm.web.irs.gov/. The library houses prior revisions of the IRM dating back to 1952.

  3. The IRS Historical Research Library also houses documents relating to IRS policy and organizational history including:

    • Policy memoranda prior to the official IRM

    • Treasury Orders from 1960 - 1980

    • Document clearance records (DCRs) for the IRM, delegations of authority, and policy statements from 1952 forward

    • Organizational history files from 1912 including restudies, proposals initiated to design an efficient organizational framework, final recommendations, implementation plans, descriptions of responsibilities assigned to the senior executive officers, organizational charts and organizational relationships and processes

    • Records documenting organizational, structural, and procedural changes

  4. Copies of these documents may be delivered in PDF, hardcopy or fax.

  5. Members of the public may request copies of these documents through the FOIA office. Information on how to request is available at https://www.irs.gov/privacy-disclosure/irs-freedom-of-information.

Legal and Tax Research Services

  1. A redacted version of the IRM is available to the public through legal and tax research services. IRS employees may request access to these services for which the IRS has current contracts by following instructions at https://rnet.web.irs.gov/Default.aspx.

  2. The IRM published by the legal and tax research services is limited to publicly available portions of the IRM with official use only (OUO) content redacted.

Paper IRM

  1. Paper copies of the IRM, produced in PDF format, include a page number in the table of contents. Copies are available to employees but may be subject to certain limitations, such as page count (more than 100 pages) or employee access to electronic sources.

  2. Employees without computer access receive print copies of the IRM section(s) they need to perform their work.

  3. M&P provides information on paper IRMs on their Internal Revenue Manual Program Paper IRM Content page at https://publish.no.irs.gov/pubsys/irm/irmpaper.html.

Publishing + Distribution Website

  1. Go to Publishing + Distribution’s Find a Product webpage, commonly referred to as the Catalog, at: https://publish.no.irs.gov/catlg.html to search and view all current and previous IRM sections published in PDF format.

  2. The Catalog provides various ways to search for the IRM and other product types:

    • Catalog number

    • Product Number

    • Product Title

      You may also click the IRM Numerical Index link at the bottom of the Catalog page under Additional Information to browse all active IRM sections.

  3. To locate a specific IRM section:

    1. Enter search criteria in Catalog Number, Product Number, or Product Title fields

    2. Click Find

  4. The IRM Product Catalog Results page provides the following information about each IRM section:

    • IRM number

    • IRM section title

    • Catalog Number

    • Revision date

    • Status (active, obsolete, or historical)

    • Language - the language(s) in which the product is written

    • Security Handling - indicates if an item needs to be locked in a file cabinet in using offices

    • Type of Use - Internal use, tax products, tax related public use, and general admin public use

    • Related Product - used when ordering of one item implies that another item should also be ordered

    • Description - identifies who uses the product, what they use it for and when, where, why and how they use it in a few short statements

    • Electronic PDF files - current and dating back to 1997

    • Extensible Markup Language (XML) file - current file only

    • Where to get copies - shows where users may order/obtain printed copies of the published product

    • Contacts - Content POC, Publishing Specialist, and Inventory Management Specialist

    • Physical Properties including total pages, width, depth, paper color and ink color, product type, unit of issue / units per construction and disposition instructions

  5. Employees can sign up to receive an email notification when a new revision is available for an IRM section or any published product using the Sign Up link under Availability on the IRM Product Catalog Information Results page.

  6. To manage your email notification subscription(s):

    1. Go to the Catalog at https://publish.no.irs.gov/catlg.html

    2. Click on Manage My Subscriptions

    3. Subscribe to or unsubscribe from desired publications

Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP) IRM

  1. Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP) is an electronic research source, maintained by W&I, designed to provide access to current procedural guidance and reference materials located at http://serp.enterprise.irs.gov/.

  2. SERP contains some but not all IRM sections located on their SERP IRMs webpage at http://serp.enterprise.irs.gov/content/irms/irms.html. An IRM owner may elect to post an IRM section on SERP.

  3. You can search SERP IRMs by part, chapter, then section. You may also use links in the right-hand column on the SERP IRMs webpage to search SERP IRM information by IPU Lookup, IPUs by Month, IRM Authors and IRMs Removed. The SERP IRM advanced search feature allows the user to search by IRM number, title or keyword.

  4. Program owners with IRMs hosted on SERP use an IRM Procedural Update (IPU) to quickly update the SERP IRM and expediently communicate the change(s) to employees.

  5. The SERP Communication Program (SCP) posts the IPU and the revised IRM to the SERP website. The changed content appears highlighted in yellow so employees can easily locate the changes. The revised subsection date reflects the IPU revision date. IPUs that meet the FOIA criteria are redacted and posted on the FOIA Library on IRS.gov.

  6. Program owners either incorporate an IPU into the published IRM within a maximum of two years from the issuance date or supersede with a subsequent IPU. When the revised IRM is published, the IRM on SERP updates to the new revision.

  7. You may submit feedback on SERP IRM content to the IRM author using the SERP Feedback System.

Providing Feedback About an IRM Section - Outside of Clearance

  1. You may give feedback on a specific IRM section by:

    1. Emailing the originating office outlining the issue including the IRM reference(s) and the recommended change(s).

    2. Clicking the IRM OnlineContact Us link under Help to submit your feedback to the SPDER staff via email. SPDER directs your email to the appropriate IRM office.

    3. Contacting the business unit's IMD coordinator. See SPDER’s IMD Contacts List webpage at https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/Resources/IMDContacts/Default.aspx. Select your business unit and then contact the employee listed as "IMD Coordinator."

    4. Clicking the Feedback button at the top of the page on a SERP hosted IRM to submit your feedback to SCP. SCP staff forwards your feedback to the appropriate IRM program owner for consideration and response.

    5. Contacting the IRM author. For instructions, see IRM, How to Obtain an IRM Author's Name.


      Contact your lead or manager on the preferred method for submitting changes to the IRM since each program owner has their own procedures for handling IRM feedback.

  2. IRM authors acknowledge and consider feedback regardless of how you submit the request. When a recommended change is not adopted which could adversely affect your program, process or activity, you may elevate your change request through your management chain. For guidance on this process, see IRM, Respond to Requested IRM Changes.

How to Obtain an IRM Author's Name

  1. Use the Product Catalog Results page or IRM Numerical Index to locate the IRM author.

  2. To locate the author from the Product Catalog Results page:

    1. Go to Publishing + Distribution Find a Product page

    2. Select the drop-down arrow under View by Product Title Search and change All to IRM

    3. Enter the IRM number in the Enter search word(s): box

    4. Click Find

    5. Click the title of the IRM in the search results page

    6. Scroll down to Contacts

    7. Find the Content POC (IRM author) name, telephone number and office symbols

  3. To locate the author using the IRM Numerical Index:

    1. Go to the Electronic Publishing IRM Numerical Index page at https://publish.no.irs.gov/pubsys/irm/numind.html

    2. Expand the IRM Part

    3. Click on the Cat. No.

    4. Scroll down to Contacts

    5. Find the Content POC (IRM author) name, telephone number, and office symbols

Other Documents Related to the IRM

  1. Certain documents influence or are influenced by the IRM. Descriptions of some of these documents follow.

Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and United States Code (USC)

  1. The U.S. Government publishes the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) as Title 26 of the United States Code (USC).

  2. You can research the IRC/USC through various research services contracted by the IRS.


    You need an account to access these research services. To learn more about the research services and find your ID administrator who can provide your access information, go to the Reference Net page at https://rnet.web.irs.gov/. Locate the product you need. Click on the respective tab for assistance with obtaining an ID.

  3. You can also research the IRC / USC on the govinfo United States Code webpage at https://www.govinfo.gov/app/collection/uscode/ page and the U.S. House of Representatives website at https://uscode.house.gov/.


    IRS does not provide these sites, so verify the accuracy and currency of the information.

Interim Guidance

  1. Interim guidance (IG) may temporarily supplement or update IRM content. Business units and program owners issue IG using one of two formats:

    • Interim Guidance Memorandum (IGM)

    • IRM Procedural Update (IPU)

  2. Active IGMs and IPUs and expired IGMs are stored on the Search Interim Guidance webpage at http://imdtrack.web.irs.gov/search.aspx.

  3. You may confirm IG for an IRM section by opening the applicable IRM section on IRM Online. If IG exists, a pop-up window appears noting there is IG.

  4. IG meeting conditions under FOIA is posted on the IRS.gov FOIA Library under Recent Interim Guidance to Staff at https://www.irs.gov/privacy-disclosure/recent-interim-guidance-to-staff by related IRM number.

Chief Counsel Directives Manual (CCDM)

  1. The Chief Counsel Directives Manual (CCDM) contains instructions and guidelines that address the processes and activities of the Office of the Chief Counsel. The CCDM is available in PDF from the Electronic Publishing catalog page and an online version, CCDM Online, is accessible at https://irm.web.irs.gov/ccdm/.

  2. The structure and numbering of the CCDM, in Parts 30 through 39, is similar to the IRM.

Document 10988, Internal Revenue Manual Index

  1. Document 10988, Internal Revenue Manual Index, is a compilation of the IRM sections published by Media and Publications. The index is published semi-annually and produced monthly.

  2. The index sorts the IRM sections into four listings:

    • Numerical Index

    • Owner Audience Index (alphabetical order by owner, then numerical order by IRM part)

    • Alphabetical Index (by IRM section title)

    • Obsolete Index (in numerical order by IRM part)

  3. The index provides the following information about each new, revised and obsolete IRM section:

    • Revision date

    • Catalog number

    • Old IRM number

    • Title

    • Organizational owners

    • User audience

  4. The index identifies IRM sections containing OUO information with an asterisk following the IRM section number.

IRM Supplemental Guidance

  1. An IRM section may link to supplemental guidance to assist you in performing your duties.

  2. Each supplemental source of guidance must reference the applicable IRM(s).

  3. These sources must support or supplement the IRM. They do not replace the IRM. Use them with the IRM. If there is a contradiction between supplemental guidance and the IRM, the IRM takes precedence.

  4. Supplemental guidance includes:

    • Published Products - such as Document 9669, Employee Personnel Resource Guide

    • Job Aids / Desk Guides - provide guidance on performance of a specific task and reference the IRM

    • Local Instructions / local procedures - provide instruction for a program within a particular office or geographic location that supplements or supports IRM procedures

    • Online / Web-based Decision Tools - assist in the performance of your duties, usually through a series of questions and answers or scenarios

    • Knowledge management materials - such as standard operating procedures (SOP)

    • User Guides - describe how to use and operate computer software or an application

    • Check Sheets - use to ensure a process is complete and correct

    • Training Materials - provide employees the program instruction they need to develop new skills to perform a task or process or enhance or improve current skills


      Although training materials are based on the IRM, you should never use them in place of the IRM.

Previous and Current IRM 1.11.6 Subsections Crosswalk

The table below displays the changes for previous and current subsections.

Current IRM Section Number and Title Previous IRM Section Number(s) and Title(s)
IRM, Program Management and Review New subsection.
IRM, Program Controls New subsection.
IRM, Terms and Acronyms IRM, Definition of Terms and Acronyms
IRM, Related Resources IRM, Related Resources
IRM, IRM Purpose and Use Combined:
IRM, How the IRM is Used
IRM, Using the IRM
IRM, Structure of the IRM Combined:
IRM, Structure of the IRM
IRM, How to Access the IRM, (1)
IRM, IRM Numbering Scheme New subsection.
IRM, IRM Section Major Components IRM, Elements of an IRM Section
IRM, Manual Transmittal IRM, Manual Transmittal
IRM, IRM Part, Chapter and Section Titles New subsection
IRM, Table of Contents IRM, Table of Contents
IRM, Subsections IRM, Subsections
IRM, Exhibits IRM, Exhibits
IRM, Index of Key Terms IRM, Topical Index
IRM, IRM Dates IRM, IRM Dates
IRM, Official Use Only (OUO) Content IRM, Official Use Only (OUO) Content
IRM, IRM Formats IRM, How to Access the IRM
IRM, Internal Revenue Manuals on IRS.gov IRM, IRM on IRS.gov
IRM, IRM Online IRM, IRM Online
IRM, IRS Historical Research Library IRM IRM, Historical Library
IRM, Legal and Tax Research Services IRM, Commercial Research Services
NA Deleted outdated content:
IRM, Document 9768, Internal Revenue Manual DVD
IRM, Paper IRM IRM, Paper IRM
IRM, Publishing + Distribution Website Combined:
IRM, Electronic Publishing Website
IRM, Email Notification Subscription and Management for IRS Published Products
IRM, Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP) IRM IRM, Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP) IRM
IRM, Providing Feedback About an IRM Section - Outside of Clearance IRM, Providing Feedback About an IRM Section - Outside of Clearance
IRM, How to Obtain an IRM Author's Name IRM, How to Obtain an IRM Author's Name
IRM, Other Documents Related to the IRM IRM, Other Documents Related to the IRM
IRM, Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and United States Code (USC) IRM, Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and United States Code (USC)
IRM, Interim Guidance IRM, Interim Guidance
IRM, Chief Counsel Directives Manual (CCDM) IRM, Chief Counsel Directives Manual (CCDM)
IRM, Document 10988, Internal Revenue Manual Index IRM, Document 10988, Internal Revenue Manual Index
IRM, IRM Supplemental Guidance New subsection