Note that the reason for the secrecy is partly to protect the grand jury's ongoing investigation.
Therefore, the secrecy rule does not cover information that the government obtains by investigation
independent of the grand jury. This independently gathered information may be presented to the grand
jury, but this presentation does not automatically make the information subject to Rule 6e. However,
because the rule of secrecy is broad and is enforced by the court's contempt powers, U.S. attorneys
will be very reluctant to release information once it has been subpoenaed by a grand jury. The safest
procedure is to coordinate with the U.S. attorney and try to get the documents before they are
subpoenaed by a grand jury. When in doubt, the attorney must decide in favor of not releasing the
information. "Finally, an IG subpoena is not subject to these secrecy rules. This subpoena is a viable
alternative to a Grand Jury subpoena when the intention is to pursue other than criminal remedies."
E. Income Tax Records: 26 USC 6103a.
Section 6103(a) is the general rule, which states: Returns and return information shall be
confidential, and except as authorized by this title--
1. no officer or employee of the United States
2. no officer or employee of any state or of any local child support enforcement agency, or any
local agency administering a program listed in subsection (e)(7)(D), who has or had access to returns
or return information under this section, and
3. no other person (or officer or employee thereof) who has or had access to returns or return
information under subsection (e)(1)(D)(iii), subsection (m)(4)(B), or subsection (n), shall disclose any
return or return information obtained by him in any manner in connection with his service as such an
officer or an employee or otherwise under the provisions of this section. For purposes of this
subsection, the term "officer or employee" includes a former officer or employee.
The "return" is defined as any tax return, a declaration of estimated tax, or claim for refund which is
filed by or on behalf of the taxpayer. This includes any amendments to a return, any supporting
schedules, attachments, or lists which are supplemental to, or attached to the form.
"Return information" means a taxpayer's identity, the nature, source, or amount of his income,
payments, receipts deductions, exemptions, credits, assets, liabilities, net worth, tax liability, tax
withheld, deficiencies, overassessments, or tax payments. It also means information on whether the
taxpayer's return was, is, or will be examined or subject to investigation or processing or any other data
received, recorded, or prepared by, or furnished to or collected by the secretary with respect to a return
or with respect to the determination of the existence, or possible existence of liability (or the amount of
liability of any person for any tax, penalty, interest, fine, forfeiture, or other imposition, or offense, and
any part of a written determination or background file document relating to the determination which