In any court proceeding to enforce a summons for any portion of software, the court may receive evidence and issue any order necessary to prevent the disclosure of trade secrets or other confidential information with respect to such software, including requiring that any information be placed under seal to be opened only as directed by the court.
26 U.S. Code § 7612. Special procedures for summonses for computer software
(a) General ruleFor purposes of this title—
(b) Circumstances under which computer software source code may be provided
(1) In generalSubsection (a)(1) shall not apply to any portion, item, or component of tax-related computer software source code if—
(A) the Secretary is unable to otherwise reasonably ascertain the correctness of any item on a return from—
the taxpayer’s books, papers, records, or other data; or
(2) ExceptionsSubsection (a)(1) shall not apply to—
any inquiry into any offense connected with the administration or enforcement of the internal revenue laws;
any tax-related computer software source code which is required to be provided or made available pursuant to any other provision of this title.
(3) Cooperation requiredFor purposes of paragraph (1), the Secretary shall be treated as meeting the requirements of subparagraphs (A) and (B) of such paragraph if—
such code and data is not provided within 180 days of such request.
(c) Safeguards to ensure protection of trade secrets and other confidential information
(1) Entry of protective order
(2) Protection of softwareNotwithstanding any other provision of this section, and in addition to any protections ordered pursuant to paragraph (1), in the case of software that comes into the possession or control of the Secretary in the course of any examination with respect to any taxpayer—
the software may be used only in connection with the examination of such taxpayer’s return, any appeal by the taxpayer to the Internal Revenue Service Independent Office of Appeals, any judicial proceeding (and any appeals therefrom), and any inquiry into any offense connected with the administration or enforcement of the internal revenue laws;
(E) at the end of the period during which the software may be used under subparagraph (A)—
the software may not be decompiled or disassembled;
(G) the Secretary shall provide to the taxpayer and the owner of any interest in such software, as the case may be, a written agreement, between the Secretary and any person who is not an officer or employee of the United States and who will analyze or otherwise have access to such software, which provides that such person agrees not to—
For purposes of subparagraph (C), the owner shall make available any necessary equipment or materials for analysis of computer software source code required to be conducted on the owner’s premises. The owner of any interest in the software shall be considered a party to any agreement described in subparagraph (G).
(d) DefinitionsFor purposes of this section—
(2) Computer software source codeThe term “computer software source code” means—
related programmers’ notes, design documents, memoranda, and similar documentation; and
related customer communications.
(3) Computer software executable codeThe term “computer software executable code” means—
any object code, machine code, or other code readable by a computer when loaded into its memory and used directly by such computer to execute instructions; and
(5) Related person
2019—Subsec. (c)(2)(A). Pub. L. 116–25 substituted “Internal Revenue Service Independent Office of Appeals” for “Internal Revenue Service Office of Appeals”.
“(1) In general.—
“(2) Software protection.—
In the case of any software acquired on or before such date of enactment, the requirements of section 7612(a)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (as added by such amendments) shall apply after the 90th day after such date. The preceding sentence shall not apply to the requirement under section 7612(c)(2)(G)(ii) of such Code (as so added).”