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PHILIP YAMALIS All right, ladies and gentlemen. Let's begin with today's presentation. It is my pleasure to introduce our presenters for today's web conference. Filomena Mealy and Nichelle Gray. Filomena is a relationship manager for the Tax Outreach Partnership and Education Branch and works out of the Cherry Hill New Jersey post of duty. Her responsibilities includes developing outreach partnerships with non-tax companies, organizations, and associations such as the banking industry to educate and communicate changes in tax law policy and procedures.

Nichelle is a stakeholder liaison in Communications and Liaison. Her responsibilities include developing partnerships with industry associations, as well as tax professional organizations to communicate and disseminate IRS key messages to educate memberships and encourage voluntary tax compliance. So Filomena and Nichelle, it's all yours this morning. NICHELLE GRAY Thank you, Phillip. Hi, everyone, we would like to share with you the information on the eSummons pilot program. Now this is a short presentation today.

We're going to present to you the basics of eSummons, but we do expect to have you ask questions so that our subject matter experts can address them for you. And joining us today as the subject matter experts are Donna DiLoreto, Tim Benningfield, and Jerry Culp. Let�s step into the summons background. IRS employees serve summons to banks and financial institutions to secure financial information, including books, records, and documents needed to successfully complete an examination. In our current summons process is primarily paper driven, Eye both in requesting the information and when receiving the requested materials from the financial institution. Now, when we issue a summons, the IRS employee prepares and prints a hardcopy summons and an invoice, and the invoice is so that your financial institution can request payment for the work you've done to provide us with the records, which are often research time and copying cost. Now as most of you might know, by law, the IRS employee is required to either serve the summons in person or mail the summons and invoice by certified or registered mail to the bank. And IRS employees often work in the field and must be in the office to mail the paper summons. So this can delay issuance by several days. So what about when we receive the requested records? Again, these are hardcopies. Many banks will mail back the summons records. Some banks return the records on encrypted electronic media, such as CDs, DVDs, or maybe thumb drives. We must then verify the accuracy of the records received, complete and sign the invoice and then mail, Fax or email the invoice to our Beckley Finance Center for your payment. But, again, the IRS employee must generally be in the office to secure and review the mail documents, which again can delay processing by several days. So when processing the documents received from the financial institution, IRS employees must then associate the pertinent hardcopy document with the case file and discard any unwanted documents.

And as you can guess, these paper documents can result in large closed case files and the electronic records stored on electronic media when associated with the case file will reduce the size of a particular file. Now let's turn to eSummons. Now we're moving away from the paper driven summons process to an electronic process called eSummons. The summons process is the electronic request and transfer of data between IRS and the banks or financial institutions.

Now at this time, the process can involve the use of our two electronic avenues, which are enterprise E-Fax referred to as EEFax or IRS Secure Data Transfer System referred to as SDT. So under the EEFax, this is a one-way electronic transmission only for issuing and receiving a summons request from IRS to the bank. Financial institutions can sign up to receive summons requests through EEFax, however, summons data can't, and I repeat cannot be sent back to us through EEFax. You must use the IRS SDT portal to do this. So at this time, we want to encourage you to get onboard with receiving summons by EEFax, even if you're not ready to participate in the full eSummons process of sending the requested documents electronically to us. So with the IRS Secure Data Transfer system, again, SDT, this process uses a secure Internet link to transmit files to and from IRS. So financial institutions, they�re responsible for ensuring the data is in an electronic format such as PDF, Excel, or Word document. And transmit the data to the IRS SDT Server over the Internet upon receipt of a summons request.

And this second, eSummons transmission process using IRS SDT is referred sometimes as the push method. And this is because you will push the summons data to the IRS Server. Now, we're not going to get into the nuts and bolts of the SDT portal, but you definitely can ask questions to our subject matter experts during the question and answer session. Now at this time, I'm going to turn it over to Filomena, who will discuss some of the benefits of eSummons and the future of eSummons. Filomena� FILOMENA MEALY Thank you, Nichelle. I don't want to spend a great time deal of time covering the advantages of the eSummons program because the benefits highlighted on your screen are pretty self-explanatory. However, let me frame the content of this portion by saying that from on the onset of the initiative, we obtained suggestions and feedback from interested stakeholders such as yourselves, in fact, the overall consensus was that there was a need for an easier, cheaper, and more efficient and convenient way to process summons. So it was with this thought in mind, that several financial industry partners agreed to become early adopters. In part, because they wanted a viable secure process, and because they knew that they would see both an immediate and long-term saving with the reduction of printing and mailing costs. In some instances, it was thought that older equipment could finally be retired because existing records were being converted into an electronic format. This meant that as an added bonus, storage space might be reduced, especially as more and more paper documents were being eliminated. And, of course, another key advantage was the reduction in administrative hours because staff was no longer burdened with handling hardcopies.

Needless to say, we got the initial phase of the pilot up and running with the support of a small team of IRS personnel, some who are here with us today and who work with the early adopters to iron out a simple process. And based on their feedback, we learned that there were other advantages. For example, once the waiver is signed, allowing the IRS to E-Fax the summons back to your bank, our employees are able to send the summons to a designated location of your choosing. As Nichelle mentioned, this can often be done on the same day. And eliminates mail time on the front-end of the process. Why might this be a benefit? Well, what we were told and we learned was that it allowed for improved control and better tracking because it reduced or eliminated the paper summons from being misplaced. Especially, in those instances when personnel were away from their desk, when the IRS came to hand deliver the summons back to the bank. Bottom line, employees stress level was reduced because they knew exactly where to locate the eSummons. So there was no need to scramble to find it nor did they have to pick up the phone and call us to fax the summons over or wait another 3 to 4 days for the summons to be re-sent in the mail. I�d also like to point out that mail time can be eliminated on the back-end when you send all documentation to the IRS electronically. This can easily save another 3 to 4 days. Which could be helpful when the deadline is quickly approaching and your staff needs additional time to gather the documents requested. And, of course, those participants who chose to transmit directly using the Secure Data Transfer portal confirmed what everyone already expected, and that was that there was little or no downtime by having to copy documents not to mention, there was additional benefit to the reduction of mailing costs.

Also, as Nichelle mentioned, we learned that whole turn around process of receiving reimbursement and research expenses was faster and that was because as soon as our exam and collection employees received the invoice for the research expenses, they could forward it to our Beckley Finance Center, the payment could be disbursed directly to your financial institution.

During the initial pilot, training was provided to our revenue officers and revenue agents. Again, it did not take long for any of them to get up and running. And the feedback that was provided indicated that the process was working very smoothly and was turning out to be a win-win for both sides of the aisle. In fact, our employees expressed they were able to query the data much easier than having to sort through multiple paper documents. In addition, when they used the secure data transfer system, they felt that the concern regarding misrouted mail and possible unauthorized disclosures of personally identifiable information or what we like to refer to as PII was practically eliminated. In other words, documents could not be lost due to incorrect address or mail room error. In addition, some of our employees mentioned that the documentations was much easier to read on their government issued laptop, because they could zoom in. But more importantly, our employees were able to process requests much quicker without having to deal with any delays resulting from the mail turnaround time. What's the future of eSummons? Well, after evaluating feedback from both internal and external users from the initial phase, it was decided to open the pilot to other participants in the banking industry.

As a result, the pilot has been expanded to include credit unions, mortgage lenders and credit card companies. In fact, we have stepped up our outreach efforts by reaching out to key representatives in the various banking associations so they can share information on the initiative. As well as provide additional feedback, so that together, we can help shape the future of electronic transition and this, as an aside, there are also plans underway to expand the use of eSummons internal throughout our agency, This would include all operating divisions, and other functions such as Appeals and criminal investigation. The IRS is also sharing the eSummons initiative as a best practice with other government agencies. So you might be interested in trying to emulate a similar program. As many of you probably already know, legal orders such as summons are generated in large mass numbers in a variety of different formats by several different government agencies. However, it's our hope that by working together to create a set of standards for all these various electronic formats, the processing will ultimately be more efficient for both the requestors and the receivers. And in essence, they�ll be easier and less burdensome for all of us. It's our hope that through continued outreach and sharing this broadcast that in the next 3 years those of you in the banking industry will make this pilot a standard and allow us to expand usage to other industries. Now if you're interested in having your bank participate in the eSummons program, the first step is to have a manager or someone from your legal department submit a signed waiver to the IRS, which for all intensive purposes is a work-around that authorizes the IRS to fax the summons to your staff and bypass the law requiring that we hand-deliver or send it by certified mail as part of the e-fax method. Once the waiver is on file for the financial institution, it will remain on file until you tell us otherwise. The waiver is valid for all branches and needs only to be submitted once. Unfortunately, without the waiver on record, the IRS must by law continue to send the summons to the bank by certified mail or hand deliver it. Once the waiver is in, you can choose to continue to receive summons by fax, and you can go one step further and choose the transit documents back to us. If you want to transmit documentation to the IRS using the Secure Data Transfer portal, and then an IRS representative will work with you, especially, if you need any assistance in the initial set up which might take approximately an hour or so to complete.

There's also a testing phase to make sure everything is properly configured which should also not take very long. However, cuz our staff is kind of limited, and might need to schedule a convenient time for an appointment, the whole start up process could take as long as a week to complete. In essence, a few hours here and there throughout the week. If for any reason though you need to revert to using mail to send documentation back to IRS, that is perfectly acceptable. In fact, there may be instances where you might still have documentation that exists both on paper and in an electronic format, and in those instances, when there is mix media, just refer that all documentations be mailed in. Unfortunately, what we learned from the initial pilot is that there were delays in trying to associate bits and pieces of mixed media.

So in other words when using Secure Transfer Data portal to submit a request it must be either all transferred electronically, or you need to mail it. Bottom line there are no risks, penalties, or obligations to participate. So if you wish to participate in the eSummons pilot program, please contact Tim Benningfield or Donna DiLoreto either by phone or email and they will work with you to get up and running as quickly as possible. If for any reason you're not satisfied and later choose to revert permanently back to mailing, then we just ask that you reconnect with us by contacting either Tim or Donna so that they can remove your waiver from the IRS repository list. However, I really believe once you get started with eSummons, I doubt that you will want to go back to a paper process. At this time, I'd like to turn the presentation back to Phillip, our moderator to address the questions that came in today for the subject matter experts. Philip, back to you. PHILIP YAMALIS Thanks, Filomena. I want to thank you and Nichelle for all that information and for a great presentation. I know I certainly learned a lot. And I'm sure the audience, I hope you did too. I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome our subject matter experts who are joining us for our Q & A session.

Donna DiLoreto, program analyst for the Internal Revenue Service, we have Tim Benningfield, senior tax analyst, and Jerry Culp, the lead technology specialist. Before we begin the Q & A session, I want to mention again that we may not have time to answer all the questions submitted during this web conference, however, let me assure you we will answer as many as we have time for. Once, again, to ask a question of our subject matter experts, simply type your question in the Text Box that you see on your screen where it says "Ask question." Click on ask question, type your questions in the Text Box and we'll get to your question. Remember, by asking us a question, it helps us update our webpage as well. Okay, everyone, we're starting to receive a lot of questions. So let's get started so we can get to as many questions as possible. All right. I have a question coming in. And I'm going to turn it over to you, Donna. Welcome today. The first question that I see on the screen here is how can a bank begin receiving the IRS summons via the EEFax method that our presenters spoke about today?

DONNA DILORETO: Okay. To begin receiving IRS summons via E-Fax, all you have to do is contact Tim or me, and we will forward you a copy of the waiver. Simply sign the waiver and return to us. PHILLIP YAMALIS: So one of our folks says they signed up for the EEFax, however, the majority of the summons we receive are still by certified mail. Is there a way to have all summons to be served by the EEFax? Just as a follow-up on that.

DONNA DILORETO: Okay. So once we have that waiver, all employees will be able to fax E-Fax the summons to you. However, some employees will continue to use the standard methods. We're trying to educate our employees to use E-Fax for our partners. PHILLIP YAMALIS: Okay, Donna. So, the question just came in, Donna. I'm going to stay with you here. Internal revenue code 7603 B] Limits the service of the summons issued for production of books, papers, records, or other data held by a third-party record keeper to either hand delivery, or certified, or registered mail. So I know Filomena went over this in the presentation, but what if the bank is unwilling to sign a waiver authorizing the receipt of the summons electronically?

DONNA DILORETO: Okay, if the bank is not willing to sign the waiver of service by fax, the summons will continue to be served by certified mail or hand delivery. However, we still would like to fax the summons to the bank, because faxing the summons allows the bank to start processing the summons sooner than waiting to receive the summons by mail. It doesn't require a waiver. PHILLIP YAMALIS: Got you. Got you. Have to follow that internal revenue code here. So definitely got you on that. Jerry, let me turn it over to you. The question that just came in is how long does it take to set up the Secure Data Transfer process that our presenters talked about? JERRY CULP: Okay, so once all the background work is done or as we know like behind-the-curtain work is done, which is the authorizations and the sign off, and the building of the internal processes, once you get to the point to where I'm going to talk to or somebody I work with is going to talk to someone at the bank, typically about an hour. If I'm talking to just the person who is kinda handy with a PC. Frequently, if you have a technical expert, we can get all this done all over email just through couple of quick email exchanges. And if they're on the phone, like I said, if I'm talking to a technical expert, we'll be done in 5-15 minutes. PHILLIP YAMALIS: Nice. Very good. Okay. I found another question using the SDT system, the Secure Data Transfer. Once documentation is transferred using Secure Data Transfer, will I receive confirmation in the form of an electronic postmark as proof that my institution has complied with the Agency�s request? JERRY CULP: Okay, so whenever a file is transferred into Secure Data Transfer or out of Secure Data Transfer, the system will send an email to the person listed as the email recipient in the account. Now, I have to throw a caveat in here. Our system will send the email, but it does cross the Internet. So the Internet may throw in delays or it may get lost, or what happens typically like virus filters and things like that may block the email. And even emails that have worked for years could suddenly stop working by an update to security software. So I always throw that caveat out. If you're going to build this into your business process, you�ve got to be aware of these pitfalls. PHILLIP YAMALIS: So you talk about pitfalls. I definitely get it. I see pitfalls on my computer all the time at work and at home. So I truly understand what you're saying. Well, Tim, let me turn it over to you. You know, Jerry talks about these pitfalls, tell me is there someone there to assist me if I incur problems with e-Summons? TIM BENNINGFIELD: Hi Phil. The answer is yes. Absolutely. It depends on the issue or problem. There could be number of functions involved that the IRS can help. But the easiest way to get assistance is simply reach out to myself or Donna. And I think the previous slide had our contact information. And if we don't know the answer, or we can't resolve the issue, we know the people who can. So, yeah, the easiest way is to reach out to Donna or myself. PHILLIP YAMALIS: Yeah, that's awesome. We have provided that contact information to our recipients that was sent out to you earlier in an email, in a reminder email. Also, you can access that on the materials button that you see on your screen by clicking on materials. You'll see our slide presentation and on one of those slides is the contact information for you and Donna. So awesome. That's good that you provide that. Tim, let me ask you another question that just come in. What if some of the bank documents are not available in an electronic format? So can the bank respond to the summons issued by the revenue officer by using that SDT portal to send those documents available electronically? And then those that are not available electronically, simply send them by mail? Does that work?

TIM BENNINGFIELD: Good question. The short answer is no. When we're using SDT, it's kind of all or nothing. It's all electric or nothing at all. And we found initially in our set up, in our testing that the IRS is really not set up to receive any kind of mix media responses, paper and/or electronic responses. In general, what we found was in our testing is, when we were receiving responses, some in paper and some electronically, it really created a mass confusion both for the revenue office and the agent and for the bank as well. So like I said we had to draw the line to say if we're using SDT, it's all electronic. PHILLIP YAMALIS: Folks, it's one or the other, make up your mind, let�s do it, preferable electronically, right?

TIM BENNINGFIELD: Absolutely. PHILLIP YAMALIS: Donna, let me turn it back over to you, we talked about this waiver that we need so that we can provide the information electronically. Who is deemed in my institution? Who is authorized? Who is deemed authorized to sign this waiver? DONNA DILORETO: Okay, the person signing the waiver is any person who has authority to make that decision to wave service. Typically it's the head of the summons, or subpoena department, or a lawyer. PHILLIP YAMALIS: Okay. I have to get my attorney going here. All right. Now, when they sign the waivers, is the waiver a one-time occurrence that the IRS will associate with subsequent eSummons requests? DONNA DILORETO: Yes, it is. Once we have a signed waiver, it's available to all the IRS employees authorized to issue a summons and the waiver covers all future summons. PHILLIP YAMALIS: Very good. Okay. Get your questions in to us, folks. We have time for several more questions here. Remember to ask a question. Go to our ask question box on your screen. Type in your question in the Text Box. It's that simple. And we'll turn it over to one of our subject matter experts to answer for you. Okay, Jerry, let me turn it over to you. There's a question that came in that says what type of files are acceptable for transmitting? For example, do I use PDF? Excel? ,deliminated? Those are some of the examples that came in. What types of files are acceptable for transmitting to the IRS? JERRY CULP: So, SDT can transfer any kind file that can be made on the computer. There is a caveat though. We require a specific naming convention be appended to it. That is whatever the file is, it must end with .TXT. And without getting into the weeds, just let me say it has to do with an old security requirement and keeping out viruses and Malware. So, if you've got a PDF file, you could say file.PDF. You want to put .TXT on the end. So file name would be file dot PDFdot TXT and then once we get it we can strip that TXT off before it�s sent off for processing. PHILLIP YAMALIS: Got it. So any type of file is acceptable as long as we put that naming convention .TXT at the end of it. JERRY CULP: That's correct. PHILLIP YAMALIS: Very good. Here's a question that comes in on the similar nature. What's the maximum file size that can be submitted in a single transmission? JERRY CULP: So theoretically, we have terabytes of space to hold files. What's really going to be the limiting factor on this is the speed of the Internet transmission of the file. So very common speed would be say a megabyte per second. So if you're sending 100 megabyte file, you're taking just over one and a half. I don't know what the sizes are going to be for each bank or agency or company, so you just have to figure that for how long it will take. You should be able to at least get a megabyte per second across the Internet and however long it is you want to take for that file to come across.

PHILLIP YAMALIS: Very good. Donna, I'm not sure if we asked this question yet or not. But I want to ask you. Summons response that I get from the RO, can I send it via email?

I know revenue agents aren't allowed to use that email yet. But with this e-Summons, will I be able to send the summons response to you via email? DONNA DILORETO: Well, Phil, okay. Generally, no. Email isn't a secure method of forwarding taxpayer records or personal identifiable information back to us. There are also size limits. Currently only acceptable method of responding to a summons request is by using the IRS SDT secure portal or by U.S. mail.

If you do have an alternative secure method for sending the summons electronically, contact me or Tim, and we'll work with you. PHILLIP YAMALIS: Okay. Well, of course they can use that EEFax that we spoke about earlier, right? DONNA DILORETO: Well, the EEFax is only to forward the IRS to serve the summons, not to get the response back.

PHILLIP YAMALIS: Got you. Thank you for clarifying that for us. All right. Another question has come in here. Tim, I'll turn it over to you. I know Jerry just mentioned something about the naming convention. So do we recommend the use of a consistent file naming convention, especially, when compressed transmission exceeds space limitations? If so, can an example be provided? TIM BENNINGFIELD: That's a good question. A lot of our programs in terms of the summons responses and routing those responses, those files coming back from the bank to the IRS using SDT, the naming convention is how we route those file responses back to the revenue officers and revenue agents who made the request. So the answer is, no, we cannot compress different responses into, you know, a bulk transfer. Because in those naming conventions, there's kind of embedded in the naming convention is the date when that particular revenue officer or revenue agent can actually review the file. So if we compress them, condense in a bulk transfer, they would not be able to see these dates. So each file, each response file. Now in a response file, there might be a number of files. You know, bank signature cards, transaction statements, et cetera all related to the same summons. Those can be zipped and sent in that file with a naming convention. And the naming convention, by the way, is provided by the revenue officer, revenue agent in the E-Fax that they send to the bank with the summons. So, the example is if a bank was to send back a bulk file with all these summons responses, you know, the revenue officer or revenue agent wouldn�t be able to open it.

They wouldn�t know when it's time that they can actually view that material related to a specific summons. So that naming convention is very important in getting those responses to each individual summons with that naming convention, that is incredibly important.

PHILLIP YAMALIS: Interesting. Okay. So, the next question that came in, I think I heard you answer it. So that means we can do bulk transmissions? Bulk transmissions can occur or does the bank have to transmit one summons request at a time? TIM BENNINGFIELD: It's one summons response at a time. And like I said, when a revenue officer or revenue agent is requesting material from the bank, it's typically a lot of files involved in honoring and responding to that summons. Like I said, it's numerous files. So they can zip those files right up and send it back to us zipped. But it's all related to one summons response. So one summons. That's the important thing. When I hear the question bulk, bulk transfer, well let�s just say that they received 2 or 3 summons from different revenue officers or revenue agents, could they bulk those, zip them up, all those responses into one file? The answer is, no. Each summons response has to stand on its own with that naming convention. So to zip a file, with multiple files, sure, for a single summons response, that we recommend doing. But to send back multiple summons responses and in one file, no, we don't want to do that. PHILLIP YAMALIS: Thanks, Tim. TIM BENNINGFIELD: Little confusing. I know.

PHILLIP YAMALIS: A little, but you made it clearer and understanding that that bulk transmission shouldn't be happening. As convenient it might seem, it seems like we might get there in the future. Well, guys, I'll tell you, that's all the time we have for questions right now. Man, I want to thank this opportunity to thank Donna, Tim and Jerry for taking the time to answer your questions. We really appreciate your time, your expertise on the call today. We certainly couldn't have done this without you. So thanks so much, Donna, Tim and Jerry, for taking the time to be with us today. Filomena and Nichelle, before we close the Q & A session today, tell us what are some of the most important points that you want the attendees to remember from today's web conference? NICHELLE GRAY: Well, Phillip, most important takeaways that I want to stress is that there are two electronic methods that participants can utilize. We have the Enterprise E-Fax which allows you to receive the summons by fax from IRS and all financial institutions can use this process as long as you have a fax number. And the second method is the Secure Data Transfer system. Which is needed to allow your bank to send documentation back to IRS employees. So those are the two that I want to do stress.

FILOMENA MEALY: Nichelle, if it�s alright I'll take the last bullet. I just want to remind everybody once again that to participate in the eSummons EEFax, it's important to have someone from your legal department submit a one-time only signed waiver to the IRS. In other words, if your bank already has a signed waiver on file, you don't need to send a second waiver. But if there is no waiver on file, and you need to go back and discuss participation with someone in your legal department, then I strongly recommend that you pass along the PDF presentation material you received today, especially, because page 26 does have the name and phone numbers of our subject matter experts who can get you up and running quickly and answer any additional questions you might have. With that being said, on behalf of the tax outreach partnership and education, I also want to thank all the associations for their help in supporting this initiative and for encouraging their members to tune into today's broadcast. With that, I want to turn it back to you, Phillip, to close out the presentation. PHILLIP YAMALIS: Thanks, Filomena. So ladies and gentlemen as part of the Service�s efforts to provide you with timely topics and interesting speakers, we�d appreciate if you would take a few minutes to complete a short evaluation before you exit today's web conference. If you have any requests for future web conference topics or pertinent information that you would like to see, perhaps in an IRS fact sheet, a tax tip, or Frequently Asked Question on, please include your suggestions in the comments section of the survey. Or use that asks question feature on your viewing screen. Click the survey button on the left side of your screen to begin. If it doesn't come up, check to make sure that you've disabled your pop-up blocker on your browser.

We hope that you will be able to join us for IRS webinars and web conferences that we'll offer throughout the year. None scheduled right now, but will be very, very soon. To register for upcoming IRS web conferences, please visit using key word "Webinars." We hope that you will look to your local stakeholder liaison for information about the policies, practices and procedures that the IRS uses to ensure compliance with the tax laws. We also elevate issues that affect tax administration by using the issue management resolution system or IMRS. Once again, to contact your local SL, you may send an email to That email address is on the bottom of this slide. Again, we�d like to thank all our presenters and subject matter experts for being with us today. Ladies and gentlemen, it's been a pleasure to be here with you. And on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service, I'd like to thank you for attending today's web conference. Not only is it important for the IRS to maintain strong partnerships with the tax professional community, it's also just as important to maintain strong partnerships with you, the financial institutions.