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‘CONGRESSIONAL ACCESS TO RETURNS AND RETURN INFORMATION exXECUTIVE SUMMARY + Section 6103(a} provides that returns and return information shall be confidential, and except as ‘authored by the Code, no officer or employee of the United States may disclose any return or eturn Information obtained by him or her in any manner, # The House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees oversight authority regarding tax isues Isrooted in the constitutional oversight authority ofthe Lepsative Branch over the Executive Branch ‘The Constitution provides the House of Representatives with inkisfiiéicion over revenue raking also established the Joint ‘Committee on Taxation, The modern Joint Commitee wi 1986 to share oversight over taxissues. returns or eturn information requested, The only bale Drop with a committe's subpoena would be the ig uso, committee stff or the GAO) to receive and inepect the ceturns ve Specifically requested. It also provides that any returns or return Information obtained by or on behalf of such committee under tls subsection canbe submited by the ‘committee tothe Senate or the House of Represantatves, orto both effectively making the return Information pubic ‘# Section 6103(f}{4)(B) authorizes nontax committees to designate four agents to inspect returns and return information received via congressional resolution required by section 6103{0\3). also states that information provided to these nontax committees can be submitted tothe Senate or the House of Representatives only when sitting in closed executive session, «Section 6103(¢) authorize the disclosure of returns and retum Information pursuant to taxpayer consent provided regulatory requirements are satisod and disclosure wll not serious impair tax administration. ANALYSIS ‘Access toReturn Information Generally Section 6103() establishes the general ule regarding access to returns and return information It provides tat returns and return information shall be confidential, and shall not be disclosed except as ‘authorized by this Title 26. Ie further stats that “no officer or employee of the United States. shall sclose any return or rturn information obtained by him in any manner in connection with his service ‘as such an officer or an employee or otherwise or under the provisions of ths section.” IRC. § 6103). ‘respectively, tax o information returns and all attachments whe re supplemental thereto, and any Information obtained by, created by or otherwise Inthe. Se staff are subject tothe confidentialty rues of sect ns or return Information they receive under the Cod tion, andeXecutlon of those laws, or parts of laws, the gon ofthat committee. 2 USC. § 1904. Congress has 1e new Congress and fr the various congressional committees. Fh new Congress, the rules adopted generally establish standing committees, Including the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees, The rules aso _Benerally authorize the committees to conduct investigations and studies necessary to consider matters ‘within their jurisdiction, including the authority to subpoena witnesses and records in connection with such investigations. Article 1, Section 7 ofthe Constitution provides that all bil for ralsng revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives, atfording the House revenue rlsing prerogative snd, therefore, special authority over tax issues, As the standing House committee with jurisdiction over tax Issues, the Committee on Ways and Means has apaticularizd interest in IS programs and poll.