2020 New York Laws
TAX - Tax
Article 28 - Sales and Compensating Use Taxes
Part 4 - Administrative Provisions
1146 - Returns to Be Secret.

Universal Citation: NY Tax L § 1146 (2020)
§  1146.  Returns  to  be secret. (a) Except in accordance with proper
judicial order or as otherwise provided by law, it shall be unlawful for
the tax commission, any tax commissioner, any officer or employee of the
department of taxation and finance, any person engaged  or  retained  by
such  department  on an independent contract basis, or any person who in
any manner may acquire knowledge of the contents of a return  or  report
filed  with  the  tax commission pursuant to this article, to divulge or
make known in any manner any particulars set forth or disclosed  in  any
such  return  or  report.  The officers charged with the custody of such
returns and reports shall not be required to  produce  any  of  them  or
evidence  of  anything  contained in them in any action or proceeding in
any court, except on behalf of  the  tax  commission  in  an  action  or
proceeding under the provisions of the tax law or in any other action or
proceeding  involving  the collection of a tax due under this chapter to
which the state or the tax commission is a party or a  claimant,  or  on
behalf  of  any  party  to  any  action, proceeding or hearing under the
provisions of this article when the  returns,  reports  or  facts  shown
thereby  are directly involved in such action, proceeding or hearing, in
any of which events the court, or in the case  of  a  hearing,  the  tax
commission  may  require the production of, and may admit into evidence,
so much of said returns, reports or of the facts shown thereby,  as  are
pertinent  to  the  action,  proceeding  or hearing and no more. The tax
commission may, nevertheless,  publish  a  copy  or  a  summary  of  any
decision  rendered  after  a  hearing  required by this article. Nothing
herein shall be construed to prohibit the delivery to a person  who  has
filed  a  return  or  report  or his duly authorized representative of a
certified copy of any return or report filed in connection with his tax.
Nor shall anything herein be construed to prohibit  the  delivery  to  a
person  required  to  collect the tax under this article or a purchaser,
transferee  or  assignee  personally  liable  under  the  provisions  of
subdivision  (c) of section eleven hundred forty-one of this chapter for
the tax due from the seller, transferor or assignor, of  any  return  or
report  filed  under  this article in connection with such tax provided,
however, that there may be delivered only so much of said return, report
or of the facts shown thereby as are pertinent to a determination of the
taxes due or liability owed by such person or purchaser,  transferee  or
assignee  and  no  more  or to prohibit the publication of statistics so
classified as to prevent the identification  of  particular  returns  or
reports and the items thereof, or the inspection by the attorney general
or  other  legal representatives of the state of the return or report of
any person required to collect or pay the tax who shall bring action  to
review  the  tax  based thereon, or against whom an action or proceeding
under this chapter has been recommended by the commissioner of  taxation
and  finance  or  the  attorney  general  or has been instituted, or the
inspection of the returns or reports required under this article by  the
comptroller  or  duly  designated  officer  or  employee  of  the  state
department of audit and control, for purposes of the audit of  a  refund
of  any  tax  paid  by a person required to collect or pay the tax under
this article. Provided, further, nothing herein shall  be  construed  to
prohibit  the  disclosure,  in  such  manner as the tax commission deems
appropriate, of the names and other appropriate identifying  information
of  those  persons holding certificates of authority pursuant to section
eleven  hundred  thirty-four  of  this  article,  those  persons   whose
certificates  of authority have been suspended or revoked, those persons
whose certificates of authority have expired,  those  persons  who  have
filed a certificate of registration for a certificate of authority where
the  tax  commission  has  refused  to issue a certificate of authority,
those persons holding direct payment permits pursuant to section  eleven

hundred  thirty-two  or  those persons whose direct payment permits have
been suspended or revoked by the tax commission.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (a) of this section, the tax commission may, in its discretion, permit the proper officer of any city, county or school district imposing any tax authorized by article twenty-nine, or the authorized representative of such officer, to inspect any return filed under this article, or may furnish to such officer or his authorized representative an abstract of any such return or supply him with information concerning an item contained in any such return, or disclosed by any investigation of tax liability under this article; but such permission shall be granted or such information furnished only if such city, county or school district shall have furnished the tax commission with all information requested by it pursuant to article twenty-nine of this chapter and shall have permitted the tax commission or its authorized representative to make any inspection of returns or reports filed with such city, county or school district which the tax commission may have requested pursuant to said section.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (a) of this section, the tax commission, in its discretion, may require or permit any or all persons liable for any tax or required to collect any tax imposed by this article, to make payment to banks, banking houses or trust companies designated by the tax commission and to file returns with such banks, banking houses or trust companies as agents of the tax commission, in lieu of paying any such tax directly to the tax commission. However, the tax commission shall designate only such banks, banking houses or trust companies as are already designated by the comptroller as depositories pursuant to section eleven hundred forty-eight.

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (a) of this section, the tax commission may permit the secretary of the treasury of the United States or his delegates, or the proper tax officer of any state imposing a sales or compensating use tax, or the authorized representative of either such officer, to inspect any return filed under this article, or may furnish to such officer or his authorized representative an abstract of any such return or supply him with information concerning an item contained in any such return, or disclosed by any investigation of tax liability under this article, but such permission shall be granted or such information furnished only if the laws of the United States or of such other state, as the case may be, grant substantially similar privileges to the commission or officer of this state charged with the administration of the tax imposed by this article, and only if such information is to be used for tax purposes only; and provided further the commissioner of taxation and finance may furnish to the commissioner of internal revenue or his authorized representative such returns filed under this article and other tax information, as he may consider proper, for use in court actions or proceedings under the internal revenue code, whether civil or criminal, where a written request therefor has been made to the commissioner of taxation and finance by the secretary of the treasury of the United States or his delegates, provided the laws of the United States grant substantially similar powers to the secretary of the treasury of the United States or his delegates. Where the commissioner of taxation and finance has so authorized use of returns and other information in such actions or proceedings, officers and employees of the department of taxation and finance may testify in such actions or proceedings in respect to such returns or other information.

(e) Returns and reports filed under this article shall be preserved for three years and thereafter until the tax commission orders them to be destroyed.

(f) (1) Any officer or employee of the state who willfully violates the provisions of subdivision (a) of this section shall be dismissed from office and be incapable of holding any public office for a period of five years thereafter.

(2) Cross-reference: For criminal penalties, see article thirty-seven of this chapter.

(g) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (a) of this section, if the commissioner determines that a person required to collect tax is liable for any tax, penalty or interest under this article or is liable for a penalty under subdivision (e) of section eleven hundred forty-five of this article with respect to any failure, upon request in writing of such person, the commissioner shall disclose in writing to such person (1) the name of any other person required to collect tax or any other person liable for such penalty under such subdivision (e) whom the commissioner has determined to be liable for the same tax, penalty or interest or for such penalty with respect to such failure, and (2) whether the commissioner has attempted to collect such tax, penalty or interest or such penalty from such other person, the general nature of such collection activities, and the amount collected.

(h) (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (a) of this section, upon written request from the chairperson of the committee on ways and means of the United States House of Representatives, the chairperson of the committee on finance of the United States Senate, or the chairperson of the joint committee on taxation of the United States Congress, the commissioner shall furnish such committee with any current or prior year returns or reports specified in such request that were filed under this article by the president of the United States, vice-president of the United States, member of the United States Congress representing New York state, or any person who served in or was employed by the executive branch of the government of the United States on the executive staff of the president, in the executive office of the president, or in an acting or confirmed capacity in a position subject to confirmation by the United States senate; or, in New York state: a statewide elected official, as defined in paragraph (a) of subdivision one of section seventy-three-a of the public officers law; a state officer or employee, as defined in subparagraph (i) of paragraph (c) of subdivision one of such section seventy-three-a; a political party chairperson, as defined in paragraph (h) of subdivision one of such section seventy-three-a; a local elected official, as defined in subdivisions one and two of section eight hundred ten of the general municipal law; a person appointed, pursuant to law, to serve due to vacancy or otherwise in the position of a local elected official, as defined in subdivisions one and two of section eight hundred ten of the general municipal law; a member of the state legislature, or a judge or justice of the unified court system; or filed by a partnership, firm, association, corporation, joint-stock company, trust or similar entity directly or indirectly controlled by any individual listed in this paragraph, whether by contract, through ownership or control of a majority interest in such entity, or otherwise, or filed by a partnership, firm, association, corporation, joint-stock company, trust or similar entity of which any individual listed in this paragraph holds ten percent or more of the voting securities of such entity; provided however that, prior to furnishing any return or report, the commissioner shall redact any copy of a federal return (or portion thereof) attached to, or any information on a federal return that is reflected on, such report or return, and any social security numbers, account numbers and residential address information.

(2) No returns or reports shall be furnished pursuant to this subdivision unless the chairperson of the requesting committee certifies in writing that such returns or reports have been requested related to, and in furtherance of, a legitimate task of the Congress, that the requesting committee has made a written request to the United States secretary of the treasury for related federal returns or reports or return or report information, pursuant to 26 U.S.C. Section 6103(f), and that if such requested returns or reports are inspected by and/or submitted to another committee, to the United States House of Representatives, or to the United States Senate, then such inspection and/or submission shall occur in a manner consistent with federal law as informed by the requirements and procedures established in 26 U.S.C. Section 6103(f).

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