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Government Employees Who Receive Returns or Return Information Subject to Disclosure Restrictions

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The IRS has issued a guidance stating that government employees who receive returns or return information pursuant to disclosures under Code Sect. 6103(c), are subject to the disclosure restrictions, like all designees who receive returns or return information pursuant to taxpayer consent. Further, government employees who receive returns or return information pursuant to disclosures under Code Sec. 6103(k)(6) or (e), other than Code Sec. 6103(e)(1)(D)(iii) (relating to certain shareholders), are not subject to the disclosure restrictions with regard to the returns or return information received.


Section 2202 of the Taxpayer First Act (TFA), P.L. 116-25, amended Code Sec. 6103(a)(3) and (c) to limit redisclosures and uses of return information received pursuant to the staxpayer consent exception. Code Sec. 6103(c), as amended by the TFA, explicitly prohibits designees from using return information for any reason other than the express purpose for which the taxpayer grants consent and from redisclosing return information without the taxpayer’s express permission or request. Further, Code Sec. 6103(a)(3), as amended by the TFA, imposes disclosure restrictions on all recipients of return information under Code Sec. 6103(c). The TFA did not amend Code Sec. 6103(e) or (k)(6), or Code Sec. 6103(a) with respect to disclosures under Code Sec. 6103(e) or (k)(6).

Disclosure Restrictions

The IRS cited seven situations where disclosure restrictions of Code Sec. 6103(a) would or would not be applicable with regard to returns or return information received as a result of disclosure under:

  • Code Sec. 6103(c) with the consent of the taxpayer (taxpayer consent exception),
  • Code Sec. 6103(e) as a person having a material interest, but not under Code Sec. 6103(e)(1)(D)(iii) relating to disclosures to certain shareholders (material interest exception), or
  • Code Sec. 6103(k)(6) for investigative purposes (investigative disclosure exception).

Effect on Other Documents

Rev. Rul. 2004-53, I.R.B. 2004-23, has been modified and superseded.