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When You May Use & Disclose A Client’s Tax Return Information Under 26 U.S.C § 7216

Under 26 U.S.C. § 7216, it is a crime for a tax return preparer to knowingly or recklessly disclose any tax return information, or use that information other than in tax return preparation. There are also civil penalties under 26 U.S.C. § 6713 for wrongful disclosures or uses of tax return information. The definitions of “tax return preparer” and “tax return information” are so broad, and the governing regulations so complex, that an attorney or accountant may inadvertently or “recklessly” violate section 7216 with no intent to do so. Caroline discussed and simplified section 7216 and its regulations.

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