Final regulations permanently extend period to receive disclosure authorization

BY SALLY P. SCHREIBER, J.D.

The IRS on Monday issued final regulations extending 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 (T.D. 9618). The regulations, which were adopted without change from the proposed rule issued in March 2011 (REG-153338-09), will be published in the Federal Register on May 7.

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.” Under the previous regulations, a taxpayer’s signed and dated authorization had to be received by the IRS within 60 days of the date the authorization was signed and dated (Regs. Sec. 301.6103(c)-1(b)(2) before amendment by T.D. 9618). The move to a longer submission period came about because some financial institutions had difficulty obtaining and submitting written authorizations within the 60-day limit.

In December 2009, the IRS announced interim rules, under which it extended the period by which these authorizations must be received from 60 days to 120 days (Notice 2010-8). The interim rules affected authorizations signed and dated on or after Oct. 19, 2009. The final regulations make the interim rule permanent (and also make Notice 2010-8 obsolete on May 7 when the regulations are published in the Federal Register). The final regulations apply to authorizations signed on or after Oct. 19, 2009.

Sally P. Schreiber ( sschreiber@aicpa.org ) is a JofA senior editor.

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