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Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

Press Release


September 14, 2010
TIGTA - 2010-52
Contact: Karen Kraushaar
(202) 622-6500
karen.kraushaar@tigta.treas.gov
TIGTA-PAO@tigta.treas.gov

TIGTA Report: The Office of Disclosure Continues to Improve Compliance with Freedom of Information Act Requirements

WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) continues to improve the accuracy and completeness of its response to taxpayer requests for information filed under the Freedom of Information Act, according to a report publicly released today by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires Federal Government agencies to make records available to the public upon request unless specifically exempted from disclosure by statute. Internal Revenue Code (I.R.C.) Section () 6103 is an example of such a statute; it protects the confidentiality of tax returns and return information.

According to the report, the IRS improved its service to persons who requested information under the FOIA/Privacy Act. The IRS improperly withheld information from requestors in only 1.3 percent of the 76 cases sampled.

"It is extremely important that all Federal agencies comply with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act," said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. "I am pleased that the Internal Revenue Service has made significant improvement in responding timely and accurately to FOIA and Privacy Act requests since Fiscal Year 2000," he added.

TIGTA did not include any recommendations in this report and the IRS did not have any written comments in response to the report.

To view the report, including the scope, methodology, and full IRS response, go to: http://www.treas.gov/tigta/auditreports/2010reports/201030090fr.pdf.

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