The following examples illustrate the provisions of §§ 301.9000-1 through 301.9000-5:
A taxpayer sues a practitioner in state court for malpractice in connection with the practitioner's preparation of a Federal income tax return. The taxpayer subpoenas an IRS employee to testify concerning the IRS employee's examination of the taxpayer's Federal income tax return. The taxpayer provides the statement required by § 301.9000-5. This is a non-IRS matter. A testimony authorization would be required for the IRS employee to testify. (In addition, the taxpayer would be required to execute an appropriate consent under section 6103(c) of the Code). The IRS would oppose the IRS employee's appearance in this case because the IRS is a disinterested party with respect to the dispute and would consider the commitment of resources to comply with the subpoena inappropriate.
In a state judicial proceeding concerning child support, the child's custodial parent subpoenas for a deposition an IRS agent who is examining certain post-divorce Federal income tax returns of the non-custodial parent. This is a non-IRS matter. The custodial parent submits with the subpoena the statement required by § 301.9000-5 stating as the reason for the lack of taxpayer consent to disclosure that the non-custodial parent has refused to provide the consent (both a consent from the taxpayer complying with section 6103(c) and a testimony authorization would be required prior to the IRS agent testifying at the deposition). If taxpayer consent is obtained, the IRS may provide a declaration or certified return information of the taxpayer. A deposition would be unnecessary under the circumstances.
The chairperson of a congressional committee requests the appearance of an IRS employee before the committee and committee staff to submit to questioning by committee staff concerning the procedures for processing Federal employment tax returns. This is an IRS congressional matter. Even though questioning would not involve the disclosure of returns or return information, the questioning would involve the disclosure of IRS records or information; therefore, a testimony authorization would be required. The IRS employee must contact the IRS Office of Legislative Affairs for instructions before appearing.
The IRS opens a criminal investigation as to the tax liabilities of a taxpayer. This is an IRS matter. During the criminal investigation, the IRS refers the matter to the United States Department of Justice, requesting the institution of a Federal grand jury to investigate further potential criminal tax violations. The United States Department of Justice approves the request and initiates a grand jury investigation. The grand jury indicts the taxpayer. During the taxpayer's trial, the taxpayer subpoenas an IRS special agent for testimony regarding the investigation. The records and information collected during the administrative stage of the investigation, including the taxpayer's tax returns from IRS files, are IRS records and information. A testimony authorization is required for the IRS special agent to testify regarding this information. However, no IRS testimony authorization is required regarding the information collected by the IRS special agent when the IRS special agent was acting under the direction and control of the United States Attorney's Office in the Federal grand jury investigation. That information is not IRS records or information within the meaning of § 301.9000-1(a). Disclosure of that information should be coordinated with the United States Attorney's Office.
The United States Department of Justice attorney representing the IRS in a suit for refund requests testimony from an IRS revenue agent. This is an IRS matter. A testimony authorization would not be required for the IRS revenue agent to testify because the testimony was requested by the government attorney.
In response to a request by the taxpayer's counsel to interview an IRS revenue agent who was involved in a case at the administrative level, the United States Department of Justice attorney representing the IRS in a suit for refund asks that the IRS revenue agent be made available to be interviewed. This is an IRS matter. A testimony authorization would be required for the IRS revenue agent to testify because the testimony was first requested by taxpayer's counsel.
A state assistant attorney general, acting in accordance with a recommendation from his state's department of revenue, is prosecuting a taxpayer under a state criminal law proscribing the intentional failure to file a state income tax return. The assistant attorney general serves an IRS employee with a subpoena to testify concerning the taxpayer's Federal income tax return filing history. This is a non-IRS matter. This is also a state judicial proceeding pertaining to tax administration within the meaning of section 6103(h)(4) and (b)(4). As such, the requirements of section 6103(h)(4) apply. A testimony authorization would be required for the testimony demand in the subpoena.
A former IRS revenue agent is requested to testify in a divorce proceeding. The request seeks testimony explaining the meaning of entries appearing on one party's transcript of account, which is already in the possession of the parties. This is a non-IRS matter. No testimony authorization is required because the testimony requested from the former IRS employee involves general knowledge gained while the former IRS revenue agent was employed with the IRS.
A Department of Justice attorney requests an IRS employee to testify in a refund suit involving Taxpayer A. The testimony may include tax convention information, as defined in section 6105, which was originally obtained by the IRS from a treaty partner in connection with a tax case against Taxpayer B. While no testimony authorization is necessary, because the testimony is being requested by government counsel in a tax matter, the IRS employee may not testify (or otherwise disclose IRS records or information) without coordinating with the U.S. Competent Authority, as disclosure of tax convention information is governed by section 6105. The disclosure must also meet the requirements in section 6103(h)(4).
In a state court tort action, Defendant subpoenas IRS for Plaintiff's federal income tax returns for particular taxable years. This is a non-IRS matter. The Disclosure Officer instructs Defendant that the IRS has established procedures for obtaining copies of Federal income tax returns. Section 601.702(d)(1) of this chapter establishes the procedures for obtaining Federal tax returns by requiring written requests for copies of tax returns using IRS Form 4506, “Request for Copy of Tax Return.” At Defendant's request, Plaintiff executes Form 4506, naming Defendant's counsel as designee, and the form is properly submitted to IRS. A testimony authorization would not be required to disclose Plaintiff's returns to Defendant's counsel.