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Filed SARS. IRS Wants Customer Back-up Info

We recently received notification from an IRS agent requesting the back-up information on a depositor on whom we filed two SARs. Should a subpoena be received before we release the materials?

Answer by John Burnett:The subpoena isn't necessary. The documents you used to complete your research prior to filing the SAR are legally an exhibit to the SAR to which verified law enforcement representatives have access. Because of the way SARs are filed, you hold the exhibit in-house. However, if law enforcement wants access to anything that's not already in that exhibit, it has to come up with the legal document compelling you to release it.


Answer by Ken Golliher:As noted, the disclosure of the supporting documentation to law enforcement without a subpoena is permissible. I would verify that this IRS Agent is part of CID, the IRS' law enforcement arm. I would also suggest you get an itemized, signed receipt for the copies you provide.

First published on 8/14/06

First published on 08/14/2006

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