TN 44 (05-12)

SI 02310.042 Tax Data Interface Interview Guidelines

A. Policy for tax data interface interview guidelines

1. Personal contact for conducting tax data interface interviews

A personal (i.e., face-to-face or telephone) contact is required in each tax data interface case except as noted in SI 02310.042A.2. (in this section). Field offices (FO) may choose the method of personal contact.

2. Exception to tax data interface interview guidelines

  1. Unless required by some other guideline, a personal contact is not required if:

    • the Supplemental Security Record (SSR) or FO files or records clearly show the FO previously developed the alert data. For more information on interface operations and related issues, see SI 02310.005;

    • the recipient has a representative payee which is a governmental agency or institution and the head of the agency or institution is an authorized representative. See definition of authorized individual in SI 02310.040B; or

    • other extraordinary circumstances (as determined by the FO) that prevent personal contact (e.g., the beneficiary lives far from the FO and does not have a telephone).

  2. The file must reflect the previous development or contain a report of contact (RCstating why the FO did not make a personal contact.

B. Procedure for tax data interface interview guidelines

1. Master Earnings File (MEF) procedure

  1. Follow the rules on tax data disclosure in SI 02310.041.

  2. For cases “not under Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Act (CMPPA)”, follow the procedures in SI 02310.005.

  3. Use the “Interview Approach” in SI 02310.042B.4. (in this section).

2. Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

  1. Follow the rules on tax data disclosure in SI 02310.041.

  2. For cases “under CMPPA”, follow the procedures in SI 02310.005.

  3. For mail contacts for the IRS, follow the steps in SI 02310.042B.3. (in this section).

  4. Use the “Interview Approach” in SI 02310.042B.4. (in this section).

3. Mail contact for IRS

Use the “other” section on the SSA-L3074-U2 (Notice of Appointment) to request the evidence to verify tax information.

  1. If the recipient is the taxpayer or authorized individual:

    • Add to SSA-L3074-U2 the following language We received information from computer matching with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). We learned that (1) (2) . Since this information may reduce or stop your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, we would like to discuss it with you. Under the computer-matching law, we cannot use this information to change (3) SSI until we give you 30 days to disagree with it. Please have with you (4) any records you have about (5) .

       

      (6)

       

      Fill-ins

       

      1. Choice 1: you have
        Choice 2: (name of recipient) has

      2. Specify income or resources and give amount and period, e.g., bank account number 98765 at XYZ Bank.

      3. Choice 1: your
        Choice 2: her
        Choice 3: his

      4. Choice 1: when you come in
        Choice 2: when you call

      5. Specify income or resources; e.g., your bank account

      6. If the fill-in for 4 is “come in,” add:

        If you cannot come to the office, you may have someone come in for you by completing the enclosed form. Fill in the name of the person who will come in for you, sign the form and have the person bring it when he or she comes to the office.

    • Enclose a completed Form SSA-2495 (Authorization to Disclose Internal Revenue Service Information), per SI 02310.041B.

    • If the FO does not receive a response in 35 days, use the N20 procedure and language in SI 02310.005.

    REMINDER: Before suspending payments, consider whether the beneficiary needs help in complying with our request. For more information on drug addiction and alcoholism, see SI 02301.260.

  2. If the recipient is not the taxpayer or authorized representative:

    • Step 1: Send the recipient an SSA-L3074-U2 with a completed SSA-2495. Use the following language:

      We received information from computer matching with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about (1) income or resources that may affect (2) eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Since this information may change (3) SSI, we would like to discuss it with you and (4) . When you come, please bring (4) with you so that (5) will have an opportunity to disagree with the information. If this is not possible, please have (4) sign the enclosed form. You should also bring (6).

       

      Fill-ins

      1. Name of taxpayer, possessive form, e.g., John Smith's

      2. Choice 1: your
        Choice 2: name of recipient, possessive form

      3. Choice 1: your
        Choice 2: his
        Choice 3: her

      4. Name of taxpayer

      5. Choice 1: she
        Choice 2: he

      6. Type of evidence needed to verify computer-match information; e.g., records of any bank accounts, which you or your spouse own.

    • Step 2: If recipient does not respond in 35 days, send an SSA-L8165 (Supplemental Security Income Notice of Decision) to the taxpayer with a completed SSA-2495. Use the following language:

      We are writing to tell you that we received information from computer matching with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that may affect (1) eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

      We learned that you have (2) . We cannot discuss this with (3) without your permission.

       

      How to make an appointment

      Please contact (4) at (5) for an appointment to discuss this information at the address shown above. If you cannot come in, please sign the enclosed form and return it to this office.

       

      What you will need

      Please bring any records you have about (6) discussed above. We must see the original document(s) or a certified copy. We cannot accept photocopies. We will not keep any of your papers.

      We need to hear from you even if you do not have the records. We will help you get the information that you do not have.

       

      If we do not hear from you

      If we do not hear from you within 30 days from the date of this letter, we will send a letter to (3) explaining that (7) Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments will stop. The letter will also explain (1) right to question our planned action if (8) thinks we are wrong.

       

      If you have any questions

      We will be glad to answer any questions you have. Contact (4) at (5) , or bring your questions to the appointment.

       

      Fill-ins

      1. Name of recipient in possessive form, e.g., Mrs. Joan Smith's

      2. Specify income or resources and give amount and period

      3. Name of recipient

      4. Name of field office (FO) contact

      5. Local FO telephone number

      6. Specify income or resources

      7. Choice 1: her
        Choice 2: his

      8. Choice 1: she
        Choice 2: he

    • Step 3: If the taxpayer does not respond in 35 days, issue a manual notice of planned action (NPA) to suspend for failure to cooperate (N20), with: 30-day right to request payment continuation; and the language below. Time the N20 transmission so we do not suspend benefits within 35 days of the NPA, and suppress the automated notice.

      REMINDER: Before suspending payments, consider whether the person need help complying with our request. For more information on drug addiction and alcoholism, see SI 02301.260.

      YOUR PAYMENT IS BASED ON THESE FACTS

      In an earlier letter, we told you we received information from computer matching with (1) about (2) income or resources. We learned that (3) has income or resources which may affect your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility. We told you that to keep getting SSI payments you must contact us about this information. We gave you and (3) 30 days to disagree with this information.

      Since you have not provided the information we asked for, we will stop your payments beginning (4) . We will not change your check if you appeal within 30 days.

       

      Fill-ins

      1. Source of information from computer match

      2. Name of taxpayer, possessive form; e.g., John Smith's

      3. Name of taxpayer

      4. Month and Year

4. Interview approach regarding tax data

a. General

Use the following guidelines when interviewing a recipient or representative payee regarding tax data:

  • Because of the confidential nature of the tax data, tailor the interview to fit the circumstances of the particular case;

  • Situations may occur in which the report does not pertain to the recipient or deemor. In other situations, the transaction reported may not constitute income or a resource for SSI purposes or it may be excluded (e.g., burial funds). Therefore exercise discretion when discussing the IRS information with recipients or the representative payee;

  • Give the recipient or representative payee an opportunity to refute or explain the IRS information; and

  • A recipient or representative may be authorized to receive information pertaining to one transaction noted on the alert but not another. Therefore, we must deal with each transaction individually according to SI 02310.042B.4.b. or SI 02310.042B.4.c. (in this section), as appropriate.

b. Recipient or representative payee is an authorized representative

No special procedures are necessary; i.e., discuss the tax data freely with the recipient or representative payee. For developmental procedures on IRS alert development and limited development, refer to SI 02310.046 through SI 02310.052.

c. A person who is not an authorized representative is present at the interview

Advise the recipient or representative payee that you cannot discuss the tax data in the other person's presence without a signed SSA-2495 from the taxpayer.

d. Recipient or representative payee is not an authorized representative

Do not reveal the tax data. If the taxpayer is present, obtain a signed SSA-2495 before discussing the information with the recipient and proceed according to SI 02310.042B.4.b. (in this section).

If the taxpayer is not present or refuses to sign the authorization, take the following steps to avoid an unauthorized disclosure:

  • Advise the recipient (or representative payee) that you have received information which may affect the recipient's SSI benefits;

  • Ask the recipient if he or she brought the evidence requested in the come-in letter;

  • If the recipient submits evidence, discuss the evidence with the recipient and proceed according to the instructions on IRS alert development and limited development in SI 02310.046 through SI 02310.052; and

  • If the recipient did not bring the requested evidence, ask why. Proceed accordingly based on the instructions on IRS alert and development and limited in SI 02310.046 through SI 02310.052.