TN 2 (12-18)

GN 03313.060 Disclosure to the Department of the Treasury (DT)

We provide general instructions for disclosing information from our systems of records (SOR) to other Federal agencies and officials and a link to our systems of records and their applicable routine uses in GN 03313.001. If you receive a request from DT, contact your regional Privacy Act Coordinator.

A. Disclosures to assist us in administering our Social Security programs

We disclose information to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to help detect unreported resources and non-wage income of Supplemental Security Income recipients and to assist IRS with investigations of lost, stolen, or forged Social Security checks. For more information concerning disclosure without consent to the Department of Treasury, see GN 03316.035.

B. Disclosures to audit SSA’s compliance with the safeguard provisions of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC)

These disclosures allow IRS to access our files and SOR containing tax return information to determine if we comply with IRS’ safeguard standards and requirements for tax return information. Requests from IRS for access to tax return information, for purposes of auditing SSA’s compliance with the safeguard requirements of the IRC, are ordinarily coordinated at the executive level in our Central Office.

C. Disclosures to DT for tax administration purposes

We may disclose relevant tax and non-tax return information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for their civil or criminal investigations concerning violations of Federal tax laws, or for general tax administration purposes, when we receive a valid request and a routine use in the system of records that contains the relevant information authorizes the disclosure. We do not process these requests under the law enforcement exception of the Privacy Act; rather, we disclose based on our routine use(s). In these instances, the IRS must still submit a valid request to us, as detailed below.

NOTE:: 

We cannot disclose information under the tax administration routine use to the Department of the Treasury’s Office of the Inspector General (IG). In cases involving an IG request, we should process the request as a law enforcement request.

EXAMPLE: The IRS sends in a valid request seeking an individual’s benefit payment data (e.g., benefit amount, financial institution, address, etc.) for investigating tax fraud concerning the individual’s benefit payments. The requested benefit information is stored in our Master Beneficiary Record (MBR) system of records. There must be an established routine use in this system of record allowing us to disclose this data to IRS. In this situation, a routine use does exist allowing us to disclose information from the MBR to IRS. For more information regarding this routine use, see routine use no. 5 in the MBR system of records notice.

1. Valid IRS Requests

To be valid, a request from IRS for civil or criminal investigations must:

  • be in writing on IRS letterhead;

  • be signed by an official of the IRS central office or a local field office (e.g., a revenue officer or supervisory or management official);

  • clearly state they are requesting the information for a civil or criminal investigation in connection with Federal tax administration, as defined in 26 U.S.C. § 6103(b)(4) or other relevant Federal tax laws. If the request cites to other relevant Federal tax laws other than 26 U.S.C. § 6103(b)(4), IRS must provide the legal citation;

  • contain the target(s) of the investigation/number holder’s (NH) name, Social Security Number (SSN), and date of birth; or the name and SSN; or the name along with sufficient identifying information (e.g. place of birth, mother’s maiden name, or father’s name) to enable us to locate the SSN. We will not disclose a NH’s name or any other information if IRS only furnishes a SSN;

  • clearly explain why they need the records. The request must clearly show a nexus between the reason they are requesting the information and our legal authority for disclosure; and

  • thoroughly explain and specify what information they need, in order for us to accurately search and produce the requested information. We will return the request to IRS for clarification when necessary.

2. Procedure for disclosing information to IRS

a. When IRS offices request non-tax return information from field offices, refer them to the regional Privacy Act Coordinator (PAC). The regional PAC should develop the request, but consult with OPD for advice and a final determination on whether to release the non-tax information to IRS.

b. IRS should fax all requests for earnings information to the Office of Central Operations (OCO) at:

Social Security Administration
Center for Automation, Security and Integrity
Attn: Security and Integrity Branch - SIPS
410 -597-0140

OCO may consult with OPD as necessary concerning the validity of an IRS request for earnings information.

NOTE:: 

IRS can retrieve Federal tax information within our systems (e.g., IRS 1099s, W-2s, and W-3s) within the last ten years without contacting us.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0203313060
GN 03313.060 - Disclosure to the Department of the Treasury (DT) - 12/21/2018
Batch run: 12/21/2018
Rev:12/21/2018