Home > 105th Congressional Bills > S. 522 (rfh) To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to impose civil and criminal penalties for the unauthorized access of tax returns and tax return information by Federal employees and other persons, and for other purposes. ...

S. 522 (rfh) To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to impose civil and criminal penalties for the unauthorized access of tax returns and tax return information by Federal employees and other persons, and for other purposes. ...


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                                                        Calendar No. 37
105th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                 S. 522

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to impose civil and criminal 
  penalties for the unauthorized access of tax returns and tax return 
   information by Federal employees and other persons, and for other 
                               purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             April 8, 1997

Mr. Coverdell (for himself, Mr. Inhofe, Mr. Hutchinson, Mr. Hagel, and 
  Mr. Shelby) introduced the following bill; which was read the first 
                                  time

                             April 9, 1997

            Read the second time and placed on the calendar

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to impose civil and criminal 
  penalties for the unauthorized access of tax returns and tax return 
   information by Federal employees and other persons, and for other 
                               purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Taxpayer Privacy Protection Act''.

SEC. 2. PROTECTING THE PRIVACY OF TAXPAYERS.

    (a) Civil Penalty for Unauthorized Access of Returns and Return 
Information.--Section 7431 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 
(relating to civil damages for unauthorized disclosure of returns and 
return information) is amended--
            (1) by inserting ``or accesses'' after ``discloses'' in 
        subsection (a)(1),
            (2) by inserting ``or Access'' after ``Disclosure'' in the 
        heading for subsection (a)(1),
            (3) by inserting ``(or former officer or employee)'' after 
        ``officer or employee'' both places it appears in subsection 
        (a),
            (4) by inserting ``or access'' after ``disclosure'' each 
        place it appears in subsections (b), (c)(1), and (d),
            (5) by inserting ``the earlier of notification to or'' 
        after ``after the date of'' in subsection (d), and
            (6) by inserting ``or access'' after ``disclosure'' in the 
        heading.
    (b) Criminal Penalty for Unauthorized Access of Returns and Return 
Information.--Section 7213 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 
(relating to unauthorized disclosure of information) is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a)(1)--
                    (A) by striking ``this paragraph'' and inserting 
                ``this subparagraph'',
                    (B) by striking ``It shall be unlawful'' and 
                inserting the following:
                    ``(A) Disclosure.--It shall be unlawful'', and
                    (C) by adding at the end the following new 
                subparagraph:
                    ``(B) Access.--It shall be unlawful for any 
                officer, employee, or other person described in 
                subparagraph (A) willfully to access without 
                authorization any return or return information (as 
                defined in section 6103(b)). Any violation of this 
                subparagraph shall be punishable by dismissal from 
                office or discharge from employment and, further, shall 
                be a misdemeanor punishable upon conviction by a fine 
                in any amount not exceeding $1,000, or imprisonment of 
                not more than 1 year, or both, together with costs of 
                prosecution, and, if necessary, by dismissal from 
                office or discharge from employment.'', and
            (2) by inserting ``or access'' after ``disclosure'' in the 
        heading.
    (c) Notification of Unauthorized Access.--Section 6103 of the 
Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to confidentiality and 
disclosure of returns and return information) is amended by 
redesignating subsection (q) as subsection (r) and by inserting after 
subsection (p) the following new subsection:
    ``(q) Unauthorized Access Prohibited.--
            ``(1) In general.--Except as authorized by this title, no 
        officer or employee (or former officer or employee) of the 
        United States shall access any return or return information.
            ``(2) Notification.--Upon discovery that a taxpayer's 
        return or return information has been accessed in violation of 
        paragraph (1), the taxpayer shall be notified immediately.''.
    (d) Conforming Amendments.--
            (1) The table of sections for part 1 of subchapter A of 
        chapter 75 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by 
        inserting ``or access'' after ``disclosure'' in the item 
        relating to section 7213.
            (2) The table of sections for subchapter B of chapter 76 of 
        such Code is amended by inserting ``or access'' after 
        ``disclosure'' in the item relating to section 7431.
    (e) Effective Date.--The amendments made by this section shall 
apply to actions by officers or employees after the date of the 
enactment of this Act.




                                                        Calendar No. 37

105th CONGRESS

  1st Session

                                 S. 522

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to impose civil and criminal 
  penalties for the unauthorized access of tax returns and tax return 
   information by Federal employees and other persons, and for other 
                               purposes.

_______________________________________________________________________

                             April 9, 1997

            Read the second time and placed on the calendar

Pages: 1

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