Title 47. Revenue and Taxation

Subtitle II. Provisions Relating to Taxes Collected and Administered by the Collector of Revenue

Chapter 18. Administrative Provisions

Part I. General Powers and Duties of Collector

 

47:1508      Confidential character of tax records

 

A. (1) Except as otherwise provided by law, the records and files of the secretary of the Department of Revenue or the records and files maintained pursuant to a tax ordinance, excluding ad valorem property taxes and ad valorem property tax assessment rolls, of any political subdivision are confidential and privileged, and no person shall divulge or disclose any information obtained from such records and files except in the administration and enforcement of the tax laws of this state or of a political subdivision of this state.

 

(2) No person shall divulge or disclose any information obtained from any examination or inspection of the premises or property of any person in connection with the administration and enforcement of the tax laws of this state or a political subdivision of this state except to the taxing jurisdiction of his employment or, in the case of an already existing independent contractor arrangement, to the contracting taxing jurisdiction.

 

(3) Neither the secretary nor any employee engaged in the administration or charged with the custody of any such records or files shall be required to produce any of them for inspection or use in any action or proceeding, except in an action or proceeding in the administration or enforcement of the tax laws of this state or of a political subdivision.

 

B. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to prevent:

 

(1) The delivery to a taxpayer or his duly authorized representative of a copy of any return or report or any other paper filed by him pursuant to the provisions of this Title or pursuant to the provision of a tax ordinance of a political subdivision.

 

(2) The publication of statistics so classified as to prevent the identification of any return or report and the items thereof.

 

(3) The use of reports filed by a taxpayer under one Chapter of this Title or an ordinance of a political subdivision, in an action against the same taxpayer for a tax due under another Chapter of this Title, or another tax ordinance of the political subdivision.

 

(4) The inspection by the attorney general or other legal representative of the state of the returns, reports, or files relating to the claim of any taxpayer who has brought an action to review or set aside any tax imposed under this Title or by a political subdivision’s tax ordinance or against whom an action or proceeding has been instituted in accordance with the provisions thereof.

 

(5) The furnishing, in the discretion of the secretary or a political subdivision, of any information disclosed by the records or files to any official person of another department or political subdivision of this state, or any other state, or of the United States who is concerned with the administration of taxes and who in fact furnishes or has agreed with the secretary or political subdivision to furnish information contained in the records and files administered by him to the Department of Revenue or the political subdivision on a reciprocal basis; however, no such exchange of information shall be made in contravention of any provision of state or federal law prohibiting the dissemination of such information, nor shall such information be divulged except as provided by law, nor shall income tax records be divulged to any department, agency, or political subdivision of this state, another state, or the United States, except the Department of Revenue, or equivalent agency of another state, or the Internal Revenue Service of the United States and then only on a reciprocal basis. In addition, information divulged under this Subsection shall only be given to an agency which has agreed in advance to respect the confidentiality of such information.

 

(6) The secretary from disclosing to any person the name and address of any person who is registered and holds a license to operate within this state for motor fuel tax purposes, but the secretary shall not disclose any tax data whatsoever with respect to the licensee, except for information provided to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry for the enforcement of Chapter 30 of Title 3 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950. Any information so furnished shall be considered and held confidential and privileged by the Department of Agriculture and Forestry to the same extent heretofore provided. The Department of Agriculture and Forestry shall not disclose or be required to disclose any information obtained under this Paragraph unless the disclosure is ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction or agreed upon in writing by the registered licensee.

 

(7) The furnishing or publication of the whole or any part or extract of the motor vehicle license reports, or list of permit holders, or similar information not generally considered confidential.

 

(8) The secretary from disclosing the name and address of any taxpayer who has filed an income or corporation franchise tax return, but he shall not disclose any tax data whatsoever with respect to any taxpayer, and such information shall be made available to any taxpayer upon his request.

 

(9) The furnishing, in the discretion of the secretary, of severance tax information to the Department of Natural Resources to be used solely for the coordination and verification of revenue and production data relative to mineral resources produced within the state. Any information so furnished shall be considered and held confidential and privileged by the Department of Natural Resources to the same extent as heretofore provided.

 

(10) The secretary or political subdivision from disclosing to the legislative auditor, or any members of his staff designated by him, those papers, books, documents, including tax returns and tax return information, films, tapes, and any other forms of recordation, including but limited to1 computers and recording devices which the legislative auditor, in his discretion, deems necessary for the purpose of making an examination and audit of the books and accounts of the Department of Revenue, as provided in R.S. 24:513.1, or a political subdivision. Any information so furnished shall be considered confidential and privileged by the legislative auditor, and members of his staff, to the same extent as heretofore provided.

 

(11) The secretary from disclosing to any person upon request the name and address of any registered wholesale tobacco dealer who holds a license or permit to operate within this state, but the secretary shall not disclose any tax data whatsoever with respect to the wholesaler, except for information provided to the tobacco settlement enforcement unit of the Louisiana Department of Justice for the enforcement of Parts XIII and XIII-A of Chapter 32 of Title 13 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950 or to the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control for the enforcement of Chapter 7 of Title 26 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950. Such disclosure shall include any and all data with respect to dealers, including but not limited to any wholesaler or retailer, as well as manufacturer, sales entity affiliate, or importer. The secretary, attorney general, and commissioner shall share with each other the information received under the provisions of R.S. 13:5061 et seq., 5071 et seq., R.S. 26:901 et seq., and R.S. 47:841 et seq. and may share such information with other federal, state, or local taxing agencies or law enforcement authorities only for purposes of enforcement of those Sections and the corresponding laws of other states. The secretary, attorney general, and commissioner may share information received under this Paragraph with the professional services firm or firms retained for the purpose of calculating the tobacco revenue owed to the state pursuant to the Master Settlement Agreement executed on November 23, 1998, as well as any subsequent agreements that may be executed pertaining to the Master Settlement Agreement. Any information shared or furnished shall be considered and held to be confidential and privileged by the professional services firm or firms. The attorney general, commissioner, or secretary may also disclose any information obtained under this Paragraph pursuant to an order by a court of competent jurisdiction or if agreed upon in writing by the registered wholesale or retail tobacco dealer, sales entity affiliate, importer, or manufacturer. The disclosure of information by the attorney general, commissioner, or secretary permitted by this Paragraph shall not constitute a violation of any other provisions in law.

 

(12) The furnishing, in the discretion of the secretary, of severance tax information to the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to be used solely for the coordination and verification of revenue and production data relative to shell, sand, gravel, and fill material resources produced within the state. Any information so furnished shall be considered and held confidential and privileged by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to the same extent heretofore provided.

 

(13) The furnishing, in the discretion of the secretary, of severance tax information to the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, through the office of forestry, to be used solely for the coordination and verification of revenue and production data relative to timber resources produced within the state. Any information so furnished shall be considered and held confidential and privileged by the Department of Agriculture and Forestry to the same extent heretofore provided.

 

(14) A sales and use tax commission contracting with a political subdivision for the collection of taxes from disclosing to the internal auditor of the political subdivision, or any members of his staff designated by the auditor, those papers, books, documents, including tax returns and tax return information, films, tapes, and any other forms of recordation, including but not limited to computers and recording devices which the internal auditor deems necessary for the purpose of making an examination and audit of the books and accounts of the sales and use tax commission. Any information so furnished shall be considered confidential and privileged by the internal auditor, and members of his staff, to the same extent as heretofore provided.

 

(15) The secretary of the department, the executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission, or any political subdivision from disclosing to the Louisiana Lottery Corporation information regarding whether or not a lottery vendor or retailer applicant, as defined in R.S. 47:9002, is current in the filing of all applicable tax returns and reports, and in payment of all taxes, interest, and penalties owed to the state of Louisiana or to any taxing political subdivision. Any information so furnished shall be considered and held confidential and privileged by the Louisiana Lottery Corporation to the same extent as heretofore provided.

 

(16) The furnishing, in the discretion of the secretary, of oil spill contingency fee information to the office of the Louisiana oil spill coordinator within the office of the governor, such information to be used solely in the exercise of the powers, duties, functions, and responsibilities of that office as provided by law. Any information so furnished shall be considered and held confidential and privileged by the office of the Louisiana oil spill coordinator to the same extent heretofore provided.

 

(17) The furnishing of a taxpayer’s reported federal adjusted gross income as requested by the office of student financial assistance when based on certification by the office that the confidentiality of such information will be respected and that it holds an agreement signed by the taxpayer authorizing the release of this information for the purpose of considering the eligibility of the taxpayer’s beneficiary for a tuition assistance grant under the Louisiana Student Tuition Assistance and Revenue Trust Program as provided for by Chapter 22-A of Title 17 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 19502 or for the purpose of considering the eligibility of the taxpayer’s dependent child for an award under the Louisiana Taylor Opportunity Program for Students as provided for by Chapter 20-G of Title 17 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950.3

 

(18)(a) The secretary from disclosing the name and address of any taxpayer who is delinquent in the payment of any tax collected by the secretary at such time as all assessments have become final and collectible by distraint and sale.

 

(b) Any disclosure shall only be made after the secretary provides written notice by registered mail to the taxpayer. The notice shall inform the taxpayer of the secretary’s intention to publish the fact of the taxpayer’s tax delinquency and other tax information authorized by Subparagraph (c) for failure to pay the amount due. The notice shall give the taxpayer thirty days from the date of the notice to pay the total amount of tax, penalty, and interest due prior to publication or to make arrangements to pay the tax, penalty, and interest due.

 

(c) At such time as the notice provisions of this Paragraph have been satisfied, the secretary may disclose the name and address of the taxpayer, the type of delinquent taxes due, and the total amount of tax, penalty, and interest due. If the taxpayer is a business entity, the secretary may additionally name any owner who owns at least a fifty percent ownership interest in the entity. No other taxpayer information may be disclosed. The disclosure may be made in any newspaper, magazine, or in electronic media, such as television or the Internet.

 

(19) The secretary, in order to implement the provisions of R.S. 56:303(E), from disclosing to the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries upon the request of the secretary of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries or his designee a list of the names and social security numbers of those persons issued a certificate of exemption pursuant to R.S. 47:305.20(B).

 

(20) The secretary, in order to implement the provisions of R.S. 51:936(C), from disclosing to the Department of Economic Development, upon request of the secretary of Economic Development, information from the state returns and reports of a taxpayer who has applied to or contracted with the Department of Economic Development for assistance, including but not limited to tax incentives, economic development programs, financial assistance, cooperative endeavor agreements, or technical assistance. The secretary shall not disclose any data from those returns or reports provided by the Internal Revenue Service. Any information so furnished shall be considered and held confidential and privileged by the Department of Economic Development to the same extent heretofore provided.

 

(21) The furnishing, in the discretion of the secretary, of International Fuel Tax Agreement tax information to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, public safety services, to be used both solely for the coordination and verification of information relating to the International Registration Plan. Any information so furnished shall be considered and held confidential and privileged by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, public safety services, to the same extent as heretofore provided.

 

(22) The furnishing, in the discretion of the secretary, of gasoline and motor fuels and special fuels tax information to the Department of Agriculture and Forestry to be used solely for the coordination and verification of information relating to gasoline and motor fuels and special fuels. Any information so furnished shall be considered and held confidential and privileged by the Department of Agriculture and Forestry to the same extent as heretofore provided.

 

(23) The furnishing of, upon the request of the secretary of the Department of Children and Family Services or her designee, the address and social security number of the person designated by Department of Children and Family Services as an absent parent for the purpose of implementing the provisions of R.S. 46:236.1.1 et seq., the family and child support program.

 

(24) The furnishing to the Office of Financial Institutions documents and other materials submitted by a Louisiana Community Development Financial Institution or by qualified Louisiana businesses as provided for in R.S. 51:3093.

 

(25) The furnishing of, upon request, the following information provided to the Department of Revenue in an application for the Louisiana new markets tax credit, R.S. 47:6016, for all qualified equity investments made on or after July 1, 2008: the name of the original investor, a detailed description and the location of the qualified low-income business, the total amount of the qualified equity investment, and the total amount of Louisiana new markets tax credits earned.

 

(26) The furnishing in the discretion of the secretary, of information to the treasurer of the state of Louisiana to be used solely to determine verification of the amount of sales tax, penalty, or interest paid by a person requesting a refund pursuant to R.S. 39:100.71 for any sales tax, penalty, or interest paid on a purchase made on or after September 1, 2005, through December 31, 2006, of any manufactured home used solely as residential housing. Any information so furnished shall be considered and held confidential and privileged by the treasurer by the same extent heretofore provided.

 

(27) The furnishing, in the discretion of the secretary, of information to the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism to be used solely to determine the economic impact and viability of art, historical, or cultural districts created within the state. Any information so furnished shall be considered and held confidential and privileged by the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism to the same extent heretofore provided.

 

(28) The sharing or furnishing, in the discretion of the secretary, of information to the Louisiana Workforce Commission for the purposes of determining, investigating, or prosecuting fraud related to all areas administered by the Louisiana Workforce Commission. Any information shared or furnished shall be considered and held confidential and privileged by the Louisiana Workforce Commission to the same extent heretofore provided.

 

(29) The sharing or furnishing, in the discretion of the secretary, of a taxpayer’s reported postsecondary education and employment information to the Louisiana Board of Regents for purposes of generating data related to the success of Louisiana’s postsecondary graduates in the workforce. Any information shared or furnished shall be considered held confidential by the Louisiana Board of Regents to the same extent provided for in Subsection A of this Section.

 

(30)(a) The secretary from annually disclosing, beginning September 1, 2012, to the Louisiana Clerks of Court Association, a list of each taxpayer who filed a return for the previous calendar year, which shall include only the taxpayer’s name, address, and the last four digits of the taxpayer’s social security number. The list shall be provided in an electronic format without cost to the Louisiana Clerks of Court Association.

 

(b) Upon written request of any district clerk of court, the Louisiana Clerks of Court Association shall provide to the clerk the electronic list for the respective parish.

 

(c) Neither the list provided by the secretary pursuant to this Paragraph nor the list provided by the Louisiana Clerks of Court Association pursuant to this Paragraph shall be considered a public record; however, the jury venire roll constructed by the district clerk of court shall be considered a public record.

 

(31) The sharing or furnishing, in the discretion of the secretary, of information to the Public Service Commission for the purposes of determining, investigating and enforcing the provisions of R.S. 45:1177. Any information shared or furnished shall be considered and held confidential and privileged by the Public Service Commission to the same extent provided for in Subsection A of this Section.

 

(32) The furnishing of information to the secretary of the Senate and the clerk of the House of Representatives regarding whether any person nominated or appointed to a board, commission, committee, corporation, district, or other office or position that requires confirmation, approval, or election by the Senate or the House of Representatives has filed tax returns or owes a liability for the previous five years. Any information so furnished shall be considered confidential and privileged by the Senate or the House of Representatives to the same extent provided for in Subsection A of this Section.

 

(33) The sharing or furnishing, in the discretion of the secretary, of information to the Department of Health and Hospital’s tax filing unit for the purposes of complying with mandatory requirements in accordance with federal law.

 

(34) The furnishing of information as requested by the transferor pursuant to the provisions of R.S. 47:1524(G).

 

(35) The secretary, in order to implement the provisions of R.S. 14:202.2, from disclosing the following information to the office of the attorney general upon the request of the attorney general or his designee:

 

(a) A list of the taxpayers claiming the tax credit authorized by R.S. 47:6030.

 

(b) The taxpayer’s submitted Form R-1086 and supporting documentation.

 

(c) The amount of the credit received by the taxpayer pursuant to R.S. 47:6030.

 

(36) The sharing or furnishing, in the discretion of the secretary, of information to the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control for the purposes of carrying out its administrative function of providing the state with an effective regulatory system for the alcoholic beverage and tobacco industries. Any information shared or furnished shall be considered and held confidential and privileged by the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control to the same extent provided for in Subsection A of this Section.

 

(37) The sharing or furnishing of information to the Department of Health and Hospitals for the purposes of monitoring the implementation and operation of the provisions of R.S. 47:297.13.

 

(38) Beginning January 1, 2016, the sharing or furnishing of a complete record of all waiver of penalties that exceed twenty-five thousand dollars with the House Ways and Means and Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committees. Any taxpayer who accepts the remittance or waiver of penalties shall be deemed to have consented to the submission of the complete record of the remittance or waiver of penalty to the House Ways and Means and the Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committees. This provision shall not apply to any penalty the secretary remits or waives in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act regarding the remittance or waiver of penalties under the department’s voluntary disclosure program.

 

(39) The sharing or furnishing, in the discretion of the secretary, of information in response to a court-ordered subpoena requested by the Louisiana Office of the Inspector General, the Louisiana Attorney General’s office or a Louisiana District Attorney’s Office in connection with or related to an ongoing criminal investigation being conducted and/or a criminal proceeding pending in a court of competent jurisdiction in the State of Louisiana.

 

(40) The sharing or furnishing, in the discretion of the secretary, of information in response to a court-ordered subpoena requested by a United States Attorney’s Office in connection with or related to an ongoing criminal proceeding pending in a court of competent jurisdiction in the State of Louisiana. This provision shall also include the sharing or furnishing of information requested by a United States’ Attorney’s Office in connection with a federal grand jury subpoena.

 

C. Whoever violates any provision of this Section by divulging information unlawfully shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than two years or fined not more than ten thousand dollars, or both.

 

Amended by Acts 1960, No. 372, § 1; Acts 1971, No. 160, § 1; Acts 1975, No. 463, § 1; Acts 1976, No. 89, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1977; Acts 1976, No. 611, § 1; Acts 1979, No. 169, § 3; Acts 1979, No. 587, § 1; Acts 1983, No. 172, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 1983; Acts 1983, No. 368, § 1; Acts 1986, No. 634, § 2; Acts 1986, No. 766, § 2; Acts 1987, No. 547, § 1; Acts 1990, No. 35, § 1; Acts 1990, No. 460, § 1; Acts 1991, No. 1, § 1, eff. May 30, 1991; Acts 1992, No. 168, § 1, eff. June 8, 1992; Acts 1997, No. 1416, § 3, eff. July 15, 1997; Acts 1998, 1st Ex.Sess., No. 165, § 2, eff. May 7, 1998; Acts 2001, No. 257, § 1; Acts 2001, No. 435, § 1, eff. June 15, 2001; Acts 2003, No. 250, § 2; Acts 2003, No. 1068, § 3, eff. July 2, 2003; Acts 2004, No. 699, § 2; Acts 2005, No. 252, § 2, eff. July 1, 2006; Acts 2005, No. 383, § 1, eff. June 30, 2005; Acts 2005, 1st Ex.Sess., No. 29, § 1, eff. Nov. 29, 2005; Acts 2007, No. 345, § 1, eff. June 30, 2007; Acts 2008, 2nd Ex.Sess., No. 4, § 1, eff. March 24, 2008; Acts 2008, No. 121, § 1; Acts 2008, No. 468, § 2, eff. July 1, 2008; Acts 2008, No. 652, § 3, eff. July 1, 2008; Acts 2010, No. 617, § 1; Acts 2011, No. 397, § 1; Acts 2012, No. 459, § 1; Acts 2012, No. 849, § 1; Acts 2013, No. 221, § 3; Acts 2013, No. 399, § 3, eff. June 17, 2013; Acts 2013, No. 418, § 1, eff. June 21, 2013; Acts 2014, No. 682, § 2, eff. June 18, 2014; Acts 2014, No. 734, § 1, eff. June 19, 2014; Acts 2015, No. 117, § 1, eff. June 19, 2015; Acts 2015, No. 128, § 1, eff. July 1, 2015.

Footnotes

1 In the first sentence of par. (B)(10), “including but limited to” is as it appears in the enrolled bill (Acts 1983, No. 368, § 1).

2  Title 17, Chapter 22-A, see R.S. 17:3091 et seq.

3 Title 17, Chapter 20-G, see R.S. 17:3048.1 et seq.