is not open to public inspection under Section 6110 (Public Inspection of Written Determinations).
Return information does not include data in a form which cannot be associated with, or otherwise
identify, even indirectly, a particular taxpayer.
The purpose of this section is to assure taxpayers that their returns and information will not become
public knowledge. However, persons who have a legitimate need for the information have to have a
means of access to the information. The first means is Section 6103(c) which allows release upon
consent of the taxpayer. Release may be denied, however, if it would seriously impair tax
The next way to obtain the information is under 6103(i), (disclosure to federal officers or employees
for administration of federal laws not relating to tax administration). Subsection (1), Nontax Criminal
Investigation, provides for disclosure pursuant to an order by a federal district court judge or magistrate.
The disclosure will be limited to information necessary for preparation for or use in any administrative or
judicial proceeding (or an investigation which may result in such a proceeding) pertaining to
enforcement of a federal criminal statute which does not involve tax administration. The proceeding
must be one to which the United States may be a party. This provision includes federal grand jury
proceedings. The judge or magistrate will issue the order if there is reasonable cause to believe a
specific criminal act has been committed; that the information sought is or may be relevant to matters
concerning the commission of the criminal act; and the information is sought solely for a federal
proceeding regarding the criminal act and the information cannot be reasonably obtained from another
The statute also provides for release of return information by the Secretary of the Treasury when
he/she feels there is evidence of a violation of federal criminal law. The Secretary may release the
information to the head of the federal agency which is charged with enforcing the law in question.
F. Fair Credit Reporting Act: 15 USC 1681.
This statute was passed to ensure that consumer reporting agencies adopt reasonable procedures
for providing consumer credit information fairly, accurately, and that the information will be properly
used. "Consumer report agency" means any person who, either for profit or nonprofit, regularly
engages in assembling or evaluating consumer credit information on consumers for the purpose of
furnishing consumer reports to third parties and uses any means of interstate commerce to prepare or
furnish the reports. Subsection 1681b sets out the circumstances which allow disclosure of a consumer
report. Of these circumstances, the easiest is 1681b(2), in accordance with the written instructions of
the consumer to whom the consumer report relates.
Even if consent is not given, certain information may be given to a government agency: (1) name,
(2) address, (3) former address, (4) place of employment, and (5) former places of employment