DRS: SN 95(12), 1995 Legislative Changes Affecting the Confidentiality of Returns and Return Information

 

STATE OF CONNECTICUT
DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE SERVICES

450 Columbus Blvd
Hartford CT 06103
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

This Special Notice has been cited by SN 99(2)

SN 95(12)

1995 Legislative Changes Affecting the Confidentiality of Returns and Return Information


PURPOSE: The purpose of this Special Notice is to describe amendments made to laws governing the confidentiality of tax returns and tax return information during the 1995 Session of the Connecticut General Assembly.


STATUTORY AUTHORITY: Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-15, as amended by 1995 Conn. Pub. Acts 23.


EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 1995.


CATEGORY OF PERSONS SUBJECT TO PROSECUTION FOR UNLAWFUL DISCLOSURE OF TAX RETURNS OR TAX RETURN INFORMATION EXPANDED: Formerly, only the Commissioner of Revenue Services, the authorized agent of the Commissioner of Revenue Services, or any state employee involved in the administration of Connecticut taxes was subject to fine (of not more than $1,000) or imprisonment (of not more than one year), or both, if such person unlawfully disclosed tax returns or tax return information. (Certain contractors involved in the processing, storage, transmission, or reproduction of returns or return information, and the programming, maintenance, repair, testing, or procurement of equipment for purposes of tax administration were also subject to such a fine or imprisonment.)

Effective October 1, 1995, any state officer or state employee, including any former state officer or state employee, who has or had access to returns or return information will be subject to fine (of not more than $1,000) or imprisonment (of not more than one year), or both, if such person unlawfully discloses tax returns or tax return information. Also, any current or former officer or employee of any contractor, whether the contractor was involved in the processing, storage, transmission, or reproduction of returns or return information, the programming, maintenance, repair, testing, or procurement of equipment, or the providing of any other service, for purposes of tax administration, who has or had access to returns or return information will be subject to a fine (of not more than $1,000) or imprisonment (of not more than one year), or both, if such person unlawfully discloses tax returns or tax return information. Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-15(a), as amended by 1995 Conn. Pub. Acts 23.


RECIPROCAL EXCHANGE AGREEMENTS AUTHORIZED WITH CANADIAN PROVINCES (OR THEIR POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS), WITH POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS OF OTHER STATES, AND WITH THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION: Effective October 1, 1995, the Commissioner of Revenue Services is authorized to enter into agreement with the tax officers of Canadian provinces (or their political subdivisions), with the tax officers of political subdivisions of other States, and with the Social Security Administration to exchange returns or return information. Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-15(a)(3), as amended by 1995 Conn. Pub. Acts 23.


CONTROLLING INTEREST TRANSFER TAX RETURN INFORMATION MAY BE PROVIDED TO TOWN CLERKS: Effective October 1, 1995, the Commissioner of Revenue Services is authorized to provide controlling interest transfer tax information to the town clerk of any Connecticut municipality. Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-15(a)(8), as amended by 1995 Conn. Pub. Acts 23.


RESTRICTIONS ON DISCLOSURE OF TAX RETURNS OR TAX RETURN INFORMATION TO OTHER STATE AGENCIES OR OFFICES: Formerly, the Commissioner of Revenue Services, upon written request by the head of another state agency or office, disclosed tax returns or tax return information to the head of such agency or office, when the tax returns or tax return information was required in the course of duty or when there was reasonable cause to believe that any Connecticut law, with which such agency or office was charged with enforcement, was being violated.

Effective October 1, 1995, the Commissioner of Revenue Services will not, upon written request by the head of another state agency or office, disclose tax returns or tax return information to the head of another state agency or office unless such agency or office shall have (1) established and maintained, to the satisfaction of the commissioner, a permanent system of standardized records with respect to any request, the reason for such request, and the date of such request made by or of it and any disclosure of returns or return information made by or to it, (2) established and maintained, to the satisfaction of the commissioner, a secure area or place in which such returns or return information shall be stored; (3) restricted, to the satisfaction of the commissioner, access to the returns or return information only to persons whose duties or responsibilities require access and to whom disclosure may be made under this section; (4) provided such other safeguards which the commissioner prescribes as necessary or appropriate to protect the confidentiality of the returns or return information; (5) furnished a report to the commissioner, at such time and containing such information as the commissioner may prescribe, which describes the procedures established and utilized by such agency or office for ensuring the confidentiality of returns and return information required by this subsection; and (6) upon completion of use of such returns or return information, returned to commissioner such returns or return information, along with copies made therefrom, or makes such returns or return information undisclosable in such manner as the commissioner may prescribe and furnishes a written report to the commissioner identifying the returns or return information that were made undisclosable.

Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-15(d), as amended by 1995 Conn. Pub. Acts 23.

Furthermore, no agency or office to which tax returns or tax return information has been disclosed by the Commissioner of Revenue Services may itself disclose, in a form which can be associated with, or otherwise identify, directly or indirectly, a particular taxpayer, such returns or return information, other than in a judicial or administrative proceeding to which such agency or office is a party pertaining to the enforcement of Connecticut law.

The Commissioner of Revenue Services will prescribe a standard agreement that must be signed by the head of each state agency or office to which tax returns or tax return information may be disclosed and by which tax returns or tax return information is requested on or after October 1, 1995. For a copy of such agreement, contact:

Internal Control Officer
Department of Revenue Services
25 Sigourney Street
Hartford, Connecticut 06106


EFFECT OF THIS DOCUMENT: A Special Notice is a document that announces a new policy or practice in response to changes in State or federal laws or regulations or to judicial decisions. A Special Notice indicates the Department's informal interpretation of Connecticut tax law and may be referred to for general guidance by taxpayers or tax practitioners.


EFFECT ON OTHER DOCUMENTS: None affected.


PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING NEW INFORMATION ABOUT DRS.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: To order forms and publications or for further information, call the Department of Revenue Services at 860-297-5962 (Hartford area or out-of-state) or 1-800-382-9463 (in-state). Forms and publications may be ordered through voice-mail 24-hours a day by choosing Option 3 on your touch tone telephone.

Electronic Delivery Options: You can also obtain tax forms and publications 24-hours a day from our Web home page at http://www.ct.gov/drs. Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD/TT) users only call 860-297-4911 during business hours.


SN 95(12)
All taxes
Issued: 8/21/95