FOIA exemption (b)(2) permits an agency to withhold internal information the disclosure of which would risk circumvention of a statute or agency regulation or impede the effectiveness of an agency’s law enforcement activities. The information withheld pursuant to this exemption could impede TIGTA’s law enforcement activities if disclosed.
FOIA exemption (b)(3) in conjunction with I.R.C. § 6103 protects return information, as that term is defined in I.R.C. § 6103(a), of an individual or individuals. Some of the information withheld consists of return information pertaining to a third party which was collected by the Secretary of the Treasury with respect to determining possible liability under Title 26. In addition, information pertaining to standards and tolerances is withheld pursuant to I.R.C. § 6103 (b)(2).
FOIA exemption (b)(5) permits an agency to withhold inter-agency or intra-agency information that would not be available by law to a party other than an agency in litigation with TIGTA. Incorporated in Subsection (b)(5) is the deliberative process privilege which is asserted to protect opinions, deliberations, and/or recommendations made to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a result of TIGTA’s review. Also incorporated in subsection (b)(5) is the attorney-client privilege which is applicable to some of the information being withheld. The attorney-client privilege is asserted for confidential communications between IRS program offices and IRS Counsel.
FOIA exemption (b)(7)(C) permits an agency to withhold "information compiled for law enforcement purposes the release of which could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy." Some of the withheld information consists of identifying information compiled with regard to third parties. Releasing this information would not shed any light into the Agency's performance of its official functions, but instead would result in an invasion into the personal privacy of the individuals whose personal information has been withheld. The information was compiled for law enforcement purposes and the privacy interest of the third parties outweighs the public's interest in having the information released.
FOIA exemption (b)(7)(E) permits an agency to withhold "records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes... [that] would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions if such disclosure could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law." The information withheld pursuant to this exemption was compiled in connection with TIGTA law enforcement reviews and consists of techniques, guidelines, or tolerances not commonly known to the public and/or information that could lead to the circumvention of the law.