Minimizing Disclosure Risk in HHS Open Data Initiatives. 2. Title 26 (The Internal Revenue Code)


Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) outlines the legal requirements for safeguarding the data received on federal income tax returns (Johnson 2014). In so doing it defines Federal Tax Information (FTI) and spells out the conditions governing the use of such data. As a general rule, “no officer or employee of the United States, state government, or local law enforcement agency is permitted to disclose FTI except as authorized by law.” Section 1603 specifies a number of uses allowed by other agencies. These include the states (federal tax data on their residents, for state revenue functions), the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, the Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Analysis (for tax administration and economic studies), the Department of Agriculture (to support the Census of Agriculture), the Bureau of Economic Analysis (to support the development of National Accounts), and the Census Bureau. In additional to specific census uses listed in Section 6103, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Census Bureau have an agreement listing nine types of statistical applications for which the Census Bureau may receive FTI.

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