Coordination of Issues & Cases

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Coordination of Issues & Cases


34.2.1  Coordination with Other Chief Counsel Functions and Other Government Agencies

The following covers coordination with other Chief Counsel functions and other government agencies.  (05-30-1990)
Coordination with Government Agencies

  1. Coordination with Other Government Agencies. From time to time, matters will require coordination with other Government agencies. This may be undertaken at the local level by Regional or District Counsel, where the matter is completely within the jurisdiction of Regional Counsel and the other local agency. Whenever the matter is in litigation, coordination would normally be within the sphere of the United States Attorney's Office, which represents all Government agencies. Where jurisdiction in the matter lies in the National Office of the other Government agency, coordination should be arranged as much as possible at the local level and the matter transmitted to the Assistant Chief Counsel (General Litigation) to complete coordination with the other Government agency on a National Office level. In this situation, any letter addressed to the other agency should be prepared for signature in the National Office.
  2. Coordination with Other Chief Counsel Functions
    1. Procedures should be established by each Regional Counsel to make certain that the existence of related Criminal Tax, Refund and Tax Court cases is noted in each general litigation case, and, where such other cases exist there should be close coordination with those other functions. No action should be taken where a related criminal case exists unless such action has been cleared by the Criminal Tax function. If the case has been referred to the Department of Justice for prosecution, the matter must be cleared by that Department prior to any action being taken. If the only case pending with the Justice Department is the criminal case, the clearance will be obtained by the Criminal Tax function.
    2. Disclosure issues.
      1. Jurisdiction of Assistant Chief Counsel (Disclosure Litigation). The Assistant Chief Counsel (Disclosure Litigation) has primary responsibility for all litigation matters that involve alleged improper disclosures of tax return information (26 U.S.C.  7431), the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C.  552) and the Privacy Act of (5 U.S.C.  552a).
      2. Litigation involving solely disclosure issues. Any litigation case received in a field office that involves solely disclosure issues should be immediately referred to the Assistant Chief Counsel (Disclosure Litigation) for handling. The complaint should be sent to the Disclosure Litigation function in the National Office by express mail or by faxing a copy of the complaint to FAX number FTS 566-2056.
      3. Litigation in which multiple issues, including disclosure issues are raised. In any litigation case where disclosure issues are raised along with other issues, the Assistant Chief Counsel (Disclosure Litigation) will have the responsibility for presenting the Office's views on the disclosure issues to the Department of Justice. To this end, as soon as the complaint is received in the field office, a copy of the complaint should be express mailed or faxed to the Assistant Chief Counsel (Disclosure Litigation), and the attorney assigned the case in Disclosure Litigation will coordinate with the field attorney assigned the case.


    3. Wherever coordination in a field office has been affected, the material should be initialed by the appropriate field personnel in the various functions. Where criminal aspects are or may be involved, the transmittal memorandum should always show to what extent coordination has been effected.
    4. The Assistant Chief Counsel (General Litigation) office will coordinate with the other divisions in the Office of Chief Counsel, the Commissioner's office, and the Department of Justice when such coordination is necessary. When coordination has been effected with other functions in a field office, the office must always coordinate the matter with the corresponding office in the National Office. Chief Counsel Directives Manual (30)(13)20 establishes procedures for coordination.
    5. A copy of any material, correspondence or otherwise, that has been coordinated with another function(s) should be provided such other function(s) both at the regional and National Office levels. The respective offices will be responsible for providing such copies.


  3. Letters to the Department of Justice
    1. Symbols
      1. For the appropriate organizational case symbol to be used when a letter to the Department of Justice involves related cases being handled by more than one function of the Office of Chief Counsel, see CCDM (30)7(22)470.


    2. Caption. For the proper caption to be used when a letter to the Department of Justice involves cases or related subject matter pending in more than one function of the Office of Chief Counsel, see CCDM (30)7(11)470.
    3. Initials and Signature
      1. For the appropriate initial and signature which should appear in the review and forwarding of letters to the Department of Justice that pertain to more than one function of the Office of Chief Counsel, see CCDM (30)7(11)470.



  4. Suit when Criminal Case is Pending. Current instructions issued by the Chief Counsel should be consulted. On occasion, a District Director may recommend the institution of a collection suit even though related criminal matters are pending in the Criminal Investigation Division, there having been no reference to District Counsel or the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution. In these instances, the decision to proceed to collect is to be made by the District Director after coordination with those administrative officials having responsibility with respect to the criminal case. It may be that all responsible administrative personnel are agreed either that the institution of a collection suit will not affect the criminal case or, alternatively, that the proposed collection action needs to be taken despite possible interference with the criminal case. In such situation, District Counsel should prepare a suit letter, if the collection action is otherwise appropriate, even though it is felt that such action might have an adverse effect on the potential criminal case. Counsel is, of course, at liberty to ascertain whether the recommendation for collection action was fully considered by the administrative personnel and that complete coordination was affected among them.
  5. Competing with Other Agencies for Funds
    1. Where there is a conflict between the Service and another Government agency over a common fund, the following is suggested: try to resolve the problem at the local level. If unable to reach a satisfactory settlement, the matter should be referred to the National Office where attempts will be made to settle it with the National Office of the other agency. Failing that, recourse probably would be made to the Claims Division, General Accounting Office, where a claim for the fund would be formally filed. This procedure is generally outlined in the Internal Revenue Manual as a guide for District Directors, and the Office of Chief Counsel assists only in a very limited number of instances which are handled on an ad hoc basis.
    2. When a taxpayer has a nontax claim against another agency which is disputed and being handled in the Civil Division of the Department of Justice because suit has been filed in the Claims Court, each case will be separately considered. In some instances the Attorney General may not be authorized to counterclaim for the tax claims in such cases. The Service may recommend that the court proceed to judgment in favor of the taxpayer in the nontax suit and that after judgment is entered the tax claim be sent to the General Accounting Office for setoff against that judgment. It should be noted that it is possible for the Chief Counsel to authorize the Attorney General to counterclaim provided there is assurance that any final award made to the taxpayer is in the full amount allowable and that out of this award the counterclaim will be satisfied by an actual credit to the taxpayer's account in the appropriate District Director's office.

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