Taxing Definitions

Definition — Freeing information

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Source: Internet SecurityID: 2293968 © Christopher Hall Dreamstime Stock Photos
Source: Internet SecurityID: 2293968 © Christopher Hall Dreamstime Stock Photos

 

According to the old saying, information wants to be free. Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, which turned 50 years old in July, you can get information from the federal government, though not always for free. Generally, you’ll pay for copying charges, unless the total charges are $25 or less.

What information can you get? Under the Act, government records are public information, unless an exception or exclusion applies. Because the IRS is a government agency, FOIA also applies to IRS documents, except for those exempted by statute. For example, except for your own return, of which you can obtain copies outside of FOIA, individual income tax returns are generally considered private (internal revenue code section 6103), and therefore exempt from FOIA requests.

How much do you know about FOIA? Here are questions to test your knowledge.

1. What form do you use to request information from the IRS?

 

or

2. How many FOIA requests did the IRS receive during fiscal year 2015?

 

or

 

3. The IRS had 1,118 FOIA requests pending at the beginning of fiscal year 2015. How many requests were pending at the end of the 2015 fiscal year?

 

or

 

4. How long does the IRS have to comply with FOIA requests?

 

or

 

5. How much did the IRS spend during fiscal year 2015 to comply with FOIA requests?

or

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Note: This information should not be considered legal, investment, or tax advice. Taxing Lessons and Top Drawer Ink Corp. do not provide legal, investment, or tax advice. Always consult your legal, investment, and/or tax advisor regarding your personal situation.

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No specific form is available for FOIA requests. You’ll need to write a letter to the IRS Disclosure Office which has jurisdiction over the records you seek.

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Information source: https://www.treasury.gov/FOIA/Documents/Treasury%20FY15%20Annual%20Report_FINAL%203.2.2016.pdf

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Sorry, wrong answer :(
Right answer!

Information source: https://www.treasury.gov/FOIA/Documents/Treasury%20FY15%20Annual%20Report_FINAL%203.2.2016.pdf

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The IRS can extend the 20-day statutory time limit by 10 additional days in unusual circumstances.
Information source: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/irs_foia_guide.pdf

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Information source: https://www.treasury.gov/FOIA/Documents/Treasury%20FY15%20Annual%20Report_FINAL%203.2.2016.pdf

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