202. Secrecy required of officials; penalty for violation. 1. Except in accordance with proper judicial order or as otherwise provided by law, it shall be unlawful for any tax commissioner, any officer or employee of the department of taxation and finance, or any person who, pursuant to this section, is permitted to inspect any report, or to whom any information contained in any report is furnished, or any person engaged or retained by such department on an independent contract basis, or any person who in any manner may acquire knowledge of the contents of a report filed pursuant to this article, to divulge or make known in any manner the amount of income or any particulars set forth or disclosed in any report under this article. The officers charged with the custody of such reports shall not be required to produce any of them or evidence of anything contained in them in any action or proceeding in any court, except on behalf of the state or the commissioner of taxation and finance in an action or proceeding under the provisions of this chapter or in any other action or proceeding involving the collection of a tax due under this chapter to which the state or the commissioner of taxation and finance is a party or a claimant, or on behalf of any party to any action or proceeding under the provisions of this article when the reports or facts shown thereby are directly involved in such action or proceeding, in any of which events the court may require the production of, and may admit in evidence, so much of said reports or of the facts shown thereby, as are pertinent to the action or proceeding and no more. The commissioner of taxation and finance may, nevertheless, publish a copy or a summary of any determination or decision rendered after the formal hearing provided for in section one thousand eighty-nine of this chapter. Nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit the delivery to a corporation or its duly authorized representative of a copy of any report filed by it, nor to prohibit the publication of statistics so classified as to prevent the identification of particular reports and the items thereof, or the publication of delinquent lists showing the names of taxpayers who have failed to pay their taxes at the time and in the manner provided by section one hundred ninety-seven together with any relevant information which in the opinion of the commissioner of taxation and finance may assist in the collection of such delinquent taxes; or the inspection by the attorney-general or other legal representatives of the state of the report of any corporation which shall bring action to set aside or review the tax based thereon, or against whom an action or proceeding under this chapter has been recommended by the commissioner of taxation and finance or the attorney-general or has been instituted; or the inspection of the reports of any corporation by the comptroller or duly designated officer or employee of the state department of audit and control, for purposes of the audit of a refund of any tax paid by such corporation under this article; or the disclosing to a state agency, pursuant to section one hundred seventy-one-f of this chapter, of the name and taxpayer identification number of any taxpayer whose overpayment is certified to the comptroller to be credited against a past-due legally enforceable debt owed to such state agency and the amount of the overpayment and interest thereon certified to the comptroller to be credited against a past-due legally enforceable debt; or the disclosing to the commissioner of finance of the city of New York, pursuant to section one hundred seventy-one-l of this chapter, of the name and taxpayer identification number of any taxpayer whose overpayment is certified to the comptroller to be credited against a city of New York tax warrant judgment debt. Provided, further, nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit the disclosure of the names of corporations subject to tax under section one hundred eighty-two or one hundred eighty-two-a of this article, or to any two or all of such taxes, for purposes of assisting corporations subject to such tax or taxes in determining whether a gross receipt or a gross receipt from sales of petroleum is an excludible gross receipt or excludible gross receipt from sales of petroleum because it is derived from a sale for resale.
2. (a) Any officer or employee of the state who willfully violates the provisions of subdivision one of this section shall be dismissed from office and be incapable of holding any public office in this state for a period of five years thereafter.
(b) Cross-reference: For criminal penalties, see article thirty-seven of this chapter.
3. Notwithstanding any provisions of this section, the tax commission may permit the secretary of the treasury of the United States or his delegates, or the proper officer of any other state charged with tax administration, or the authorized representative of either such officer, to inspect the reports filed under this article, or may furnish to such officer or his authorized representative an abstract of any such report or supply information concerning an item contained in any such report, or disclosed by an investigation of tax liability under this article, but such permission shall be granted or such information furnished to such officer or his representative only if the laws of the United States or of such other state, as the case may be, grant substantially similar privileges to the commission or officer of this state charged with the administration of the tax imposed by this article and such information is to be used for tax purposes only; and provided further the commissioner of taxation and finance may furnish to the secretary of the treasury of the United States or his delegates such reports filed under this article and other tax information, as he may consider proper, for use in court actions or proceedings under the internal revenue code, whether civil or criminal, where a written request therefor has been made to the commissioner of taxation and finance by the secretary of the treasury or his delegates provided the laws of the United States grant substantially similar powers to the secretary of the treasury or his delegates. Where the commissioner of taxation and finance has so authorized use of reports or other tax information in such actions or proceedings, officers and employees of the department of taxation and finance may testify in such actions or proceedings in respect to such reports or other tax information.
4. Notwithstanding any provisions of this section, the tax commission may furnish any municipality with such information contained in the franchise tax reports filed under this article as it may consider proper for use in any certiorari or condemnation proceedings, and may furnish any authorized officer or employee of the department of financial services of the state of New York with any information contained in the franchise tax reports of corporations liable to pay a tax under section one hundred eighty-seven of this chapter, provided such information is to be used for tax purposes only.
5. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision one of this section, the tax commission, in its discretion, may require or permit any or all persons liable for any fee or tax imposed by this article, to make payment of any fee, tax, penalty or interest imposed by this article to banks, banking houses or trust companies designated by the tax commission and to file reports with such banks, banking houses or trust companies as agents of the tax commission, in lieu of making any such payment directly to the tax commission. However, the tax commission shall designate only such banks, banking houses or trust companies as are or shall be designated by the comptroller as depositories pursuant to section two hundred six.
Last modified: February 3, 2019