IRS Proposes Extending Period for Receiving Authorization to Disclose Return Information


The IRS on March 17 issued a proposed regulation that would extend from 60 days to 120 days the permitted period for submission of taxpayer authorizations allowing disclosure of returns and return information to third-party designees (REG-153338-09). The IRS is proposing the change because some financial institutions have had difficulty obtaining and submitting written authorizations within the current 60-day limit.

Sec. 6103(c) authorizes the IRS to disclose a taxpayer’s returns or return information “to such person or persons as the taxpayer may designate.” To be effective, a taxpayer’s signed and dated authorization must be received by the IRS within 60 days of the date the authorization is signed and dated (Regs. Sec. 301.6103(c)-1(b)(2)).

In December 2009, the IRS announced interim rules, under which it extended the period under which section 6103(c) authorizations must be received from 60 days to 120 days (Notice 2010-8). The interim rules affected authorizations signed and dated on or after October 19, 2009. The proposed regulation would make the interim rule permanent; the interim rule will remain in effect until the proposed regulation is finalized. The final regulations would then apply to authorizations signed on or after October 19, 2009.

The IRS has asked for comments on the proposed regulation. Comments are due within 60 days of the issuance of the proposed regulation and can be submitted electronically at regulations.gov. The IRS has scheduled a public hearing for June 9.

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