• The IRS has released guidelines for audio recording of interviews by taxpayers. The “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” (discussed in the January-February 1989 issue of Church Law & Tax Report) gave taxpayers a legal right to record interviews with IRS personnel. The guidelines are quoted below in their entirety:
Requests by taxpayers of their authorized representatives to make audio recordings of examination or collection proceedings, will be approved by the IRS official or employee conducting the interview under the following conditions: (a) the taxpayer or authorized representative supplies the recording equipment; (b) the IRS may produce its own recording of the proceedings; (c) the recording takes place in a suitable location, ordinarily in an Internal Revenue Service office where equipment is available to produce the Service’s recording; and (d) all participants in the proceeding other than IRS personnel must consent to the making of the audio recording and all participants must identify themselves and their roles in the proceeding. (2) Requests by taxpayers or authorized representatives to make audio recordings of examination proceedings or collection proceedings must be addressed to the officer or employee of the IRS who is conducting the interview and must be received by the IRS no later than 10 calendar days prior to the interview that is to be recorded. If 10 calendar days’ advance notice of intent to record is not given, the IRS may, in its discretion, conduct the interview as scheduled or set a new date. (3) When the IRS intends to record a taxpayer interview that is part of an examination or collection proceeding, it will so inform the taxpayer or authorized representative no later than 10 calendar days prior to the interview that is to be recorded. This requirement does not apply where the taxpayer has already submitted a request to make a recording and the IRS is merely seeking to make its own recording. (4) Requests by taxpayers or their authorized representatives for a copy or transcript of an audio recording procured by the IRS must be addressed to the official or representative conducting the interview and must be received by the IRS no later than 30 calendar days after the date of the recording. However, the IRS will attempt to accommodate requests received at a later date. All requests must be accompanied by payment of the costs of duplication or transcription. (5) At the outset of the recording, the official or employee conducting an examination or meeting that is to be recorded will identify himself or herself, the date, the time, the place, and the purpose of the proceeding. (6) When written records are presented or discussed during the proceeding, they must be described in sufficient detail to make the audio recording a meaningful record when matched with the other documentation contained in the case file. (7) At the conclusion of the proceeding, the IRS official or employee will state that the proceeding has been completed and that the recording is ended. IRS Notice 89-51.
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