DATE: May 24, 2018


SUBJECT: Office of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

  1. PURPOSE.  This Order restates and makes applicable to the Department of the Treasury (Department) the authority of the Inspector General for Tax Administration (Inspector General or IG) and Office of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), in accordance with the authorities set forth below.
  2. SCOPE.  This Order applies to all bureaus, offices, and organizations in the Department, consistent with authorities and responsibilities of the Office of Inspector General of the Department of the Treasury (TIG) and the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP).
    1. TIGTA is headed by an IG, who is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, and reports to and is under the general supervision of the Secretary of the Treasury (Secretary).
    2. TIGTA exercises all duties and responsibilities of an inspector general with respect to the Department and the Secretary on all matters relating to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the IRS Oversight Board (Board) and the Office of Chief Counsel of the IRS (Office of Chief Counsel). (Hereafter, the Board and the Office of Chief Counsel are referred to as the Related Entities.) TIGTA has all the powers and responsibilities of the former IRS Office of Chief Inspector, as provided for by the Inspector General Act (IG Act).
    3. TIGTA is independent of the Departmental Offices and all other offices and bureaus within the Department.
    4. The IG shall exercise all authorities established by the IG Act.
  4. DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY.  The Secretary hereby delegates to the IG the Secretary’s authority under 31 USC 333 to investigate civil and criminal violations, to issue cease and desist letters, and to assess, mitigate, and collect civil penalties, to the extent that they involve matters within TIGTA’s jurisdiction.
  5. REDELEGATIONS.  The IG may issue additional directives, delegations, or regulations regarding TIGTA as the IG deems appropriate.
    1. In executing the functions of TIGTA, the IG, and any duly authorized representative, is authorized to:
      1. 1)  access and disclose returns and return information, as defined in 26 USC 6103(b), only in accordance with the provisions of 26 USC 6103 and the IG Act;
      2. 2)  access all facilities of the IRS and Related Entities, including computer facilities and computer rooms, electronic data bases and files, electronic and paper records, reports and documents, and other material available to the IRS and Related Entities which relate to their programs and operations; and, when access is necessary to execute a function of the IG pertaining to a matter within the jurisdiction of the IG, all similar facilities and material throughout the Department;
        1. a)  such access shall be authorized notwithstanding any other provision of law, except pursuant to any provision of law enacted by Congress that expressly refers to inspectors general, TIGTA, or the IG, and limits the right of access of inspectors general, TIGTA, or the IG;
        2. b)  timely access to Federal grand jury materials protected from disclosure pursuant to rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure shall be authorized if the Attorney General grants a request for access in accordance with section 406(h) of the IG Act; 
      3. 3)  make such investigations and reports relating to the administration of the programs and operations of the IRS and Related Entities as are, in the judgment of the IG, necessary or desirable;
      4. 4)  request such information or assistance as may be necessary for carrying out the duties and responsibilities provided by the IG Act from any Federal, State, or local governmental agency or unit thereof;
      5. 5)  protect the IRS and Related Entities against internal and external attempts to corrupt or threaten their employees and facilities and to provide armed escorts to IRS employees when deemed necessary and appropriate, in accordance with section 412(k)(1)(C) of the IG Act;
      6. 6)  require by subpoena the production of all information, documents, reports, answers, records, accounts, papers, and other data in any medium (including electronically stored information, as well as any tangible thing) and documentary evidence necessary in the performance of the functions assigned by the IG Act, which subpoena, in the case of contumacy or refusal to obey, shall be enforceable by order of any appropriate U.S. district court; provided, that procedures other than subpoenas shall be used by the IG to obtain documents and information from Federal agencies;
      7. 7)  administer to or take from any person an oath, affirmation, or affidavit whenever necessary in the performance of TIGTA functions, which oath, affirmation, or affidavit when administered or taken by or before a TIGTA employee designated by the IG shall have the same force and effect as if administered or taken by or before an officer having a seal;
      8. 8)  enforce, pursuant to section 412(k)(1)(C) of the IG Act, criminal provisions of the internal revenue laws, other criminal provisions of law relating to internal revenue for the enforcement of which the Secretary is responsible, or any other law for which the Secretary has delegated investigative authority to the IRS;
      9. 9)  use the investigative, seizure, and forfeiture authority under the Money Laundering and Control Act of 1986, 18 USC 1956-1957, where the underlying conduct is subject to investigation under the IG Act; and,
      10. 10)  carry firearms, and perform the following functions set out in 26 USC 7608(b)(2):
        1. a)  execute and serve search warrants and arrest warrants, and serve subpoenas and summonses issued under the authority of the United States;
        2. b)  make arrests without warrant for any offense against the United States relating to the internal revenue laws committed in the TIGTA employee’s presence, or for any felony cognizable under such laws if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing any such felony; and,
        3. c)  make seizures of property subject to forfeiture under the internal revenue laws.
    2. The IG shall provide or arrange for audit services for contracts awarded by the IRS and Related Entities.
    3. The IG shall receive, investigate, and prepare final investigative reports for the Secretary on matters referred to the Department by the Office of Special Counsel regarding allegations of prohibited personnel practices related to personnel of the IRS and Related Entities.
    4. The duties and responsibilities described in this paragraph shall not be construed to impair or reduce the responsibilities of program managers in the IRS and Related Entities to ensure that programs are administered in an economic and efficient manner and that such programs are protected against waste, fraud, and abuse.  Similarly, this paragraph shall not be construed to prevent program managers in the IRS and Related Entities from coordinating with other agencies in fulfilling the managers' responsibilities for proper administration of programs.
    5. An audit, inspection, evaluation, or investigation conducted by the IG shall not affect the final decision of the Secretary or their delegate under 26 USC 6406.
    6. Pursuant to 26 USC 6103(h)(6)(B), if the IG or the Commissioner of Internal Revenue (Commissioner) prepares any report or other matter for the Board in order to assist the Board in carrying out its duties, and the IG or the Commissioner determines it is necessary to include any return or return information in such report or other matter to enable the Board to carry such duties, such return or return information (other than information regarding taxpayer identity) may be disclosed to members, employees, or detailees of the Board solely for the purpose of carrying out the Board’s official duties.
    7. Whenever information or assistance requested by TIGTA is, in the judgment of the IG, unreasonably refused or not provided, the IG shall report the circumstances to the Secretary or Deputy Secretary without delay.
    8. The IG shall not assume responsibility for any program operating responsibility of the IRS or Related Entities.
    1. Each fiscal year, the Department and the IG shall develop, submit, and comment on budget levels for TIGTA consistent with section 406(g) of the IG Act.
    2. TIGTA shall issue final decisions on administrative appeals under 5 USC 552 and 552a with respect to records that are within the custody of TIGTA.
    3. The Secretary shall provide the IG with adequate and appropriate office space at the Departmental Offices, IRS headquarters, and IRS field office locations, together with such equipment, office supplies, communications facilities, and services necessary for the effective operation of such offices, and will ensure necessary maintenance services for such offices, equipment, and facilities.
    1. All employees of the Department shall promptly and directly report the following matters to TIGTA:
      1. 1)  complaints or information concerning the possible existence of any activity related to the IRS or Related Entities that constitute a violation of law, including bribery overtures, or any other corrupt or threatening action to the extent it is within TIGTA’s jurisdiction;
      2. 2)  complaints or information related to programs and operations of the IRS or Related Entities concerning mismanagement; gross waste of funds; abuse of authority or violation of a taxpayer’s rights; violations of regulations, including ethics regulations; or a substantial and specific danger to the public health and safety;
      3. 3)  any disclosure of return or return information to, or any request for information from IRS Oversight Board members, employees, or detailees prohibited by 26 USC 6103(h)(6);
      4. 4)  any unlawful request by the President, Vice President, employees of the executive offices of either the President or Vice President, or any individual (except the Attorney General) serving in a position specified in 5 USC 5312 (generally Cabinet level positions), that any IRS employee conduct or terminate an audit or other investigation of any particular taxpayer with respect to the tax liability of such taxpayer, which is prohibited by 26 USC 7217; and,
      5. 5)  any matters that raise questions of propriety or legality under Executive Order 12333, as amended, regarding the conduct of United States intelligence activities with respect to IRS and Related Entities programs and operations.
    2. No employee of the Department shall prevent or prohibit the IG from initiating, carrying out, or completing any audit, inspection, evaluation, or investigation of a matter within the jurisdiction of the IG, or from issuing any subpoena during the course of any such audit or investigation.
    3. Employees of the Department shall maintain in confidence all communications with TIGTA employees when requested to do so, unless required or permitted by law to disclose, and shall not discuss any pending TIGTA investigation with the subject(s) of the investigation or the subject’s representatives unless required or permitted by law.
    1. The IG is designated a “Head of Bureau” and is authorized, with respect to the operations of TIGTA, to exercise the functions delegated from the Secretary to the “Heads of Bureaus” by treasury order until such treasury order is canceled or a successor treasury order is issued.
    1. 31 USC 321(b).  
    2. 5 USC 301 and 302.
    3. Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, 5 USC 401 et seq..
    4. Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, Pub. L. No. 105-206.
    5. Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, Pub. L. No. 110-343, 12 USC 5201 et seq.
  11. CANCELLATION.  This Order supersedes Treasury Order 115-01, “Office of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration,” dated January 14, 1999, and Treasury Order 115-02, “Delegation of Authority to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration Under 31 USC 333, Misuse of Treasury Name or Symbol,” dated April 25, 2005.
  12. OFFICE OF PRIMARY INTEREST.  Office of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.


Steven T. Mnuchin
Secretary of the Treasury