Texas Attorney General Opinion: H-1070 Page: 3 of 6
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Honorable Ben Z. Grant
You ask if requiring a city officer or candidate for city
office to file certain portions of his income tax return with
the city secretary would violate either 26 U.S.C, S 7213(a)(2)
or (a)(3), or section 7 of the Privacy Act of 1974, 88 Stat.
1896, 1909, 5 U.S.C.A. S 552a note. Section 7213(a)(2) and
(a) (3) of title 26 of the United States Code (the Internal
Revenue Code) makes it unlawful for any state officer to disclose
"any return or return information . . . acquired by him or
another person under section 6103(d) or (1) (6)." Section
6103(d) concerns information disclosed by the Internal Revenue
Service to state officers charged with the administration of
state tax laws. Section 6103(1)(6) relates to information
disclosed by the I.R.S. to child support enforcement agencies.
These provisions do not appear to relate to any state or local
requirement that might be enacted requiring public officers or
candidates to reveal their individual tax returns. Whether
the proposed ordinance should be enacted is, of course, a
question of policy to be determined by the policy makers. We
do not believe the proposed ordinance, if enacted, would violate
these provisions of the Internal Revenue Code or subject the
city secretary to penalties thereunder for disclosure of any
information subsequently released by him. We have also examined
26 U.S.C. S 6103(p) (4) and (p)(8). Those provisions concern the
security of information obtained by state authorities charged
with administering state tax collections, and do not appear to
relate to the type of disclosure involved here.
Section 7 of the Privacy Act of 1974, about which you
specifically inquire, addresses the disclosure of social security
numbers. We note that the proposed ordinance requires only the
filing of designated portions of the city official's or candi-
date's income tax return. Under the proposal, the official or
candidate would need file only those portions of his return
showing occupation, gross income, net income, and income from
investments. The taxpayer's social security number need not
be disclosed under the proposed ordinance. See generally Privacy
Protection Study Commission, Personal Privacy in an Information
Society ,at 613 (1977).
Section 43-3 (a)(8) of the proposed ordinance would re-
quire a public official or candidate to include the following
information in his financial disclosure statement:
[P]rovided such information is not privi-
leged by law, if the person filing the
statement is the owner of five (5) per
cent or more of any corporation, trust,
partnership, firm or business association,
such person shall list all customers of
- Page 3 (H-1070)
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Texas. Attorney-General's Office. Texas Attorney General Opinion: H-1070, text, 1977; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth271595/m1/3/: accessed December 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.