- Final statements of agency policy and interpretations not published in the Federal Register.
- Final administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect a member of the public. This category includes training materials that would not impair tax administration. 1
- Final opinions, including concurring and dissenting opinions, as well as orders, made in adjudication of cases.
- Records that have been released under the FOIA that are likely to become the subject of subsequent requests for substantially the same records or that have been requested three or more times.
IRS Memo on FOIA Obligations and Transparency The IRS has issued a memo on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regarding the obligations and transparency requirements of the Service’s employees. FOIA Requests The FOIA obligates federal agencies like the IRS to timely respond to information requests within 20 days. The IRS is also required to make any appropriate information public without waiting for specific requests in certain cases. These include open compliance files, final statements, manuals and opinions that concern agency policy and affect the public. Further, records released under the FOIA that are likely to follow subsequent requests also do not need specific formal FOIA requests for their disclosure. Federal agencies are also instructed to exercise discretion in making a broader range of records available beyond the minimum required under the FOIA. Freedom of Information Act Obligations and Transparency,(Mar. 21, 2019) 2019ARD 056-1 Internal Revenue Service: Memorandum: Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE WASHINGTON, D.C. 20224 CHIEF PRIVACY OFFICER March 7, 2019 MEMORANDUM FOR DISTRIBUTION FROM: Edward T. Killen SUBJECT: Freedom of Information Act Obligations and Transparency The IRS is committed to openness in government and this memorandum describes every employee’s responsibility to promote transparency under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The FOIA requires all federal agencies to respond timely to requests for records and information the agency maintains. Under the FOIA, we have 20 business days to respond to a requester. This statutory responsibility is shared by all IRS employees and we are committed to meeting this obligation. We need you and your staff to give FOIA requests a high priority by responding timely and providing requested documents on a “rolling production” schedule (as they become available and until all documents are delivered). Treasury requires reports on IRS efforts to comply with the FOIA, including the time spent in researching, processing, and releasing documents. The Organization, Function and Program Code (OFP) 800-85330 on Single Entry Time Reporting (SETR) should be used by all employees who spend time on FOIA activities. Consistent use of this code by all IRS employees is critical, as it captures the overall time the agency spends on FOIA processing and is reported to both Treasury and the Department of Justice on the FOIA Annual Report. An accurate reporting of time spent on FOIA activities demonstrates IRS’ commitment to openness and transparency. Categories of Records Required to be Disclosed Proactively To promote transparency and efficiency, the IRS should make appropriate information public without waiting for specific requests. You can and should make the following categories of records available without requiring a formal FOIA request, to the extent their release does not seriously impair tax administration, compromise privacy interests, or fall within a FOIA statutory exemption: