The Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division of the Internal Revenue Service has issued new internal guidance for its agents on issuing information document requests (IDRs). The IRS issues IDRs to gather information during an examination. The new process will go into effect on April 1, 2017. Prior to its implementation, TE/GE will provide training to its agents on the new process.

Under the new process:

  1. Taxpayers will be involved in the IDR process.
  2. Examiners will discuss the issue being examined and the information needed with the taxpayer prior to issuing an IDR.
  3. Examiners will ensure that the IDR clearly states the issue and the relevant information they are requesting.
  4. If the taxpayer does not timely provide the information requested in the IDR by the agreed upon date, including extensions, the examiner will issue a delinquency notice.
  5. If the taxpayer fails to respond to the delinquency notice or provides an incomplete response, the examiner will issue a pre-summons notice to advise the taxpayer that the IRS will issue a summons unless the missing items are fully provided.
  6. A summons will be issued if the taxpayer fails to provide a complete response to the pre-summons letter by its response due date.

The new process requires the examiners’ managers to be actively involved early in the process and ensures that IRS Counsel is prepared to enforce IDRs through the issuance of a summons when necessary. Throughout this process, the IRS will respect taxpayer rights‎ and the changes will reflect the agency’s commitment to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

The updated process will:

  • Provide for open and meaningful communication between the IRS and taxpayers.
  • Reduce taxpayer burden and provide consistent treatment of taxpayers.
  • Allow the IRS to secure more complete and timely responses to IDRs.
  • Provide consistent timelines for IRS agents to review IDR responses.
  • Promote timely issue resolution.