Sample Privacy Policy

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Tax returns are confidential, and taxpayers should expect that their accountant will return their financial information with the utmost respect. Every tax firm has its own privacy policy. You should ask your tax professional for a copy of his or her policy. Below is a copy of the privacy policy I give to all my tax clients. It provides important information about how the client can protect the confidential nature of his or her tax information.

Your Tax Information is Confidential

Tax returns and tax return information are confidential and may not be disclosed to federal or state agencies, or to federal or state employees, or to any third party, except as provided by law. Disclosure of tax return information to federal or state agencies or employees is governed by Internal Revenue Code Section 6103.

A tax professional or tax return preparer who uses information from a tax return for any purpose other than to prepare a tax return, or who makes an unauthorized disclosure of return information, is subject to a $250 penalty for each disclosure, up to a maximum penalty of $10,000. If the action is undertaken knowingly or recklessly, the preparer may be subject to criminal penalties or fine up to $1,000, or up to a year in jail, or both, together with the cost of prosecution as provided for by the Internal Revenue Code Sections 6713 and 7216.

Confidential tax return information includes the following elements: the taxpayer's identity, the nature, source or amount of income, payments, receipts, deductions, net worth, tax liability, deficiencies, closing agreements, and information regarding actual or possible investigation of a return.

Types of Nonpublic Personal Information We Collect

We collect nonpublic personal information about you that is provided to us by you or obtained by us with your authorization.

Parties to Whom We Disclose Information

For current and former clients, we do not disclose any nonpublic personal information obtained in the course of our practice except as required or permitted by law. Permitted disclosure includes providing information to our employees.

Protecting the Confidentiality and Security of Current and Former Clients' Information

We retain records relating to professional services that we provide so that we are better able to assist you with your professional needs and to comply with federal and state laws regarding retaining tax returns. In order to guard your nonpublic personal information, we maintain physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards.

We do not share any of your confidential tax return information with any third-party. A third-party is any person or company other than you, the client. That means we cannot disclose your identity, income, net worth, tax liabilities, or other protected information to the Internal Revenue Service, state tax authorities, unmarried partners, friends, relatives, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, banks, or any other person or company without your explicit authorization.

How to Authorize Disclosure

You may authorize us to disclose certain tax return information to third parties of your choice.

Your permission must be obtained before your tax return is signed. Please talk to us about your desires for sharing your tax information with third parties and we will advise you of the proper procedure.

What To Do in the Case of Unauthorized Disclosure

If you suspect that your tax preparer has disclosed your tax return information without your explicit authorization, you may contact the IRS Criminal Investigation Division at (800) 829-0433. You may also want to seek legal counsel.

Disclaimer

This copy of the privacy policy is for information purposes only, to help you protect the confidential nature of your tax information. Every tax firm has its own privacy policy, and you need to ask your tax professional for a copy of his or her firm's policy.

I believe strongly that all tax clients deserve the strongest possible privacy policy.

Please do not copy any part of this privacy policy for your use without first obtaining permission.