The IRS publicly released a legal advice memorandum* addressing the IRS legal responsibilities to protect tax return information for electronic data transmitted via the International Data Exchange Service (IDES) under the FATCA regime. AM2015-005 (release date 17 July 2015, and dated 9 June 2015)
*The memorandum is legal advice, signed by executives in the National Office of the Office of Chief Counsel and issued to IRS personnel who are national program executives and managers. The memo is issued to assist IRS personnel in administering their programs by providing authoritative legal opinions on certain matters, such as industry-wide issues. It is not to be used or cited as precedent.
Returns, return information, and tax convention information are categories of information related to taxes generally protected from disclosure under Code sections 6103 and 6105.
The IRS memo [PDF 576 KB] concludes that the protection under section 6103 arises on the inbound transfer of information at the time that the information is uploaded to IDES, and that section 6105 and treaty protections are likely to follow the conclusions under section 6103.
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