October 16, 2019
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The Florida Statutes

The 2009 Florida Statutes

Title XIV
TAXATION AND FINANCE
Chapter 213
STATE REVENUE LAWS: GENERAL PROVISIONS
View Entire Chapter
Section 213.053, Florida Statutes 2009

213.053  Confidentiality and information sharing.--

(1)  This section applies to:

(a)  Section 125.0104, county government;

(b)  Section 125.0108, tourist impact tax;

(c)  Chapter 175, municipal firefighters' pension trust funds;

(d)  Chapter 185, municipal police officers' retirement trust funds;

(e)  Chapter 198, estate taxes;

(f)  Chapter 199, intangible personal property taxes;

(g)  Chapter 201, excise tax on documents;

(h)  Chapter 202, the Communications Services Tax Simplification Law;

(i)  Chapter 203, gross receipts taxes;

(j)  Chapter 211, tax on severance and production of minerals;

(k)  Chapter 212, tax on sales, use, and other transactions;

(l)  Chapter 220, income tax code;

(m)  Chapter 221, emergency excise tax;

(n)  Section 252.372, emergency management, preparedness, and assistance surcharge;

(o)  Section 379.362(3), Apalachicola Bay oyster surcharge;

(p)  Chapter 376, pollutant spill prevention and control;

(q)  Section 403.718, waste tire fees;

(r)  Section 403.7185, lead-acid battery fees;

(s)  Section 538.09, registration of secondhand dealers;

(t)  Section 538.25, registration of secondary metals recyclers;

(u)  Sections 624.501 and 624.509-624.515, insurance code;

(v)  Section 681.117, motor vehicle warranty enforcement; and

(w)  Section 896.102, reports of financial transactions in trade or business.

(2)(a)  All information contained in returns, reports, accounts, or declarations received by the department, including investigative reports and information and including letters of technical advice, is confidential except for official purposes and is exempt from s. 119.07(1).

(b)  Any officer or employee, or former officer or employee, of the department who divulges any such information in any manner, except for such official purposes, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(3)  The department shall permit a taxpayer, his or her authorized representative, or the personal representative of an estate to inspect the taxpayer's return and may furnish him or her an abstract of such return. A taxpayer may authorize the department in writing to divulge specific information concerning the taxpayer's account.

(4)  The department, while providing unemployment tax collection services under contract with the Agency for Workforce Innovation through an interagency agreement pursuant to s. 443.1316, may release unemployment tax rate information to the agent of an employer, which agent provides payroll services for more than 500 employers, pursuant to the terms of a memorandum of understanding. The memorandum of understanding must state that the agent affirms, subject to the criminal penalties contained in ss. 443.171 and 443.1715, that the agent will retain the confidentiality of the information, that the agent has in effect a power of attorney from the employer which permits the agent to obtain unemployment tax rate information, and that the agent shall provide the department with a copy of the employer's power of attorney upon request.

(5)  Nothing contained in this section shall prevent the department from:

(a)  Publishing statistics so classified as to prevent the identification of particular accounts, reports, declarations, or returns; or

(b)  Disclosing to the Chief Financial Officer the names and addresses of those taxpayers who have claimed an exemption pursuant to former s. 199.185(1)(i) or a deduction pursuant to s. 220.63(5).

(6)  The department may make available to the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States or his or her delegate, the Commissioner of Internal Revenue of the United States or his or her delegate, the Secretary of the Department of the Interior of the United States or his or her delegate, or the proper officer of any state or his or her delegate, exclusively for official purposes, information to comply with any formal agreement for the mutual exchange of state information with the Internal Revenue Service of the United States, the Department of the Interior of the United States, or any state.

(7)(a)  Any information received by the Department of Revenue in connection with the administration of taxes, including, but not limited to, information contained in returns, reports, accounts, or declarations filed by persons subject to tax, shall be made available to the following in performance of their official duties:

1.  The Auditor General or his or her authorized agent;

2.  The director of the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability or his or her authorized agent;

3.  The Chief Financial Officer or his or her authorized agent;

4.  The Director of the Office of Insurance Regulation of the Financial Services Commission or his or her authorized agent;

5.  A property appraiser or tax collector or their authorized agents pursuant to s. 195.084(1); or

6.  Designated employees of the Department of Education solely for determination of each school district's price level index pursuant to s. 1011.62(2).

(b)  No information shall be disclosed as provided in paragraph (a) if such disclosure is prohibited by federal law.

(c)  Any person designated in paragraph (a) shall be subject to the same requirements of confidentiality and the same penalties for violation of the requirements as the department.

(d)  For the purpose of this subsection, "designated employees of the Department of Education" means only those employees directly responsible for calculation of price level indices pursuant to s. 1011.62(2). It does not include the supervisors of such employees or any other employees or elected officials within the Department of Education.

(8)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the department may provide:

(a)  Information relative to chapter 211, chapter 376, or chapter 377 to the proper state agency in the conduct of its official duties.

(b)  Names, addresses, and dates of commencement of business activities of corporations to the Division of Corporations of the Department of State in the conduct of its official duties.

(c)  Information relative to chapter 212 and chapters 561 through 568 to the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation in the conduct of its official duties.

(d)  Names, addresses, and sales tax registration information to the Division of Hotels and Restaurants of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation in the conduct of its official duties.

(e)  Names, addresses, taxpayer identification numbers, and outstanding tax liabilities to the Department of the Lottery and the Office of Financial Regulation of the Financial Services Commission in the conduct of their official duties.

(f)  State tax information to the Nexus Program of the Multistate Tax Commission pursuant to any formal agreement for the exchange of mutual information between the department and the commission.

(g)  Tax information to principals, and their designees, of the Revenue Estimating Conference for the purpose of developing official revenue estimates.

(h)  Names and addresses of persons paying taxes pursuant to part IV of chapter 206 to the Department of Environmental Protection in the conduct of its official duties.

(i)  Information relative to chapters 212 and 326 to the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation in the conduct of its official duties.

(j)  Information authorized pursuant to s. 213.0535 to eligible participants and certified public accountants for such participants in the Registration Information Sharing and Exchange Program.

(k)1.  Payment information relative to chapters 199, 201, 202, 212, 220, 221, and 624 to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, or its employees or agents that are identified in writing by the office to the department, in the administration of the tax refund program for qualified defense contractors and space flight business contractors authorized by s. 288.1045 and the tax refund program for qualified target industry businesses authorized by s. 288.106.

2.  Information relative to tax credits taken by a business under s. 220.191 and exemptions or tax refunds received by a business under s. 212.08(5)(j) to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, or its employees or agents that are identified in writing by the office to the department, in the administration and evaluation of the capital investment tax credit program authorized in s. 220.191 and the semiconductor, defense, and space tax exemption program authorized in s. 212.08(5)(j).

3.  Information relative to tax credits taken by a taxpayer pursuant to the tax credit programs created in ss. 193.017; 212.08(5)(g),(h),(n),(o) and (p); 212.08(15); 212.096; 212.097; 212.098; 220.181; 220.182; 220.183; 220.184; 220.1845; 220.185; 220.1895; 220.19; 220.191; 220.192; 220.193; 288.0656; 288.99; 290.007; 376.30781; 420.5093; 420.5099; 550.0951; 550.26352; 550.2704; 601.155; 624.509; 624.510; 624.5105; and 624.5107 to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, or its employees or agents that are identified in writing by the office to the department, for use in the administration or evaluation of such programs.

(l)  Information relative to chapter 212 and the Bill of Lading Program to the Office of Agriculture Law Enforcement of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in the conduct of its official duties.

(m)  Information relative to chapter 198 to the Agency for Health Care Administration in the conduct of its official business relating to ss. 409.901-409.9101.

(n)  Information contained in returns, reports, accounts, or declarations to the Board of Accountancy in connection with a disciplinary proceeding conducted pursuant to chapter 473 when related to a certified public accountant participating in the certified audits project, or to the court in connection with a civil proceeding brought by the department relating to a claim for recovery of taxes due to negligence on the part of a certified public accountant participating in the certified audits project. In any judicial proceeding brought by the department, upon motion for protective order, the court shall limit disclosure of tax information when necessary to effectuate the purposes of this section.

(o)  Information relative to ss. 376.70 and 376.75 to the Department of Environmental Protection in the conduct of its official business and to the facility owner, facility operator, and real property owners as defined in s. 376.301.

(p)  Information relative to ss. 220.1845 and 376.30781 to the Department of Environmental Protection in the conduct of its official business.

(q)  Names, addresses, and sales tax registration information to the Division of Consumer Services of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in the conduct of its official duties.

(r)  Information relative to the returns required by ss. 175.111 and 185.09 to the Department of Management Services in the conduct of its official duties. The Department of Management Services is, in turn, authorized to disclose payment information to a governmental agency or the agency's agent for purposes related to budget preparation, auditing, revenue or financial administration, or administration of chapters 175 and 185.

(s)  Names, addresses, and federal employer identification numbers, or similar identifiers, to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for use in the conduct of its official duties.

(t)  Information relative to the tax exemptions under ss. 212.031, 212.06, and 212.08 for those persons qualified under s. 288.1258 to the Office of Film and Entertainment. The Department of Revenue shall provide the Office of Film and Entertainment with information in the aggregate.

(u)  Information relative to s. 220.187 to the Department of Education in the conduct of its official business.

(v)  Information relative to chapter 202 to each local government that imposes a tax pursuant to s. 202.19 in the conduct of its official duties as specified in chapter 202. Information provided under this paragraph may include, but is not limited to, any reports required pursuant to s. 202.231, audit files, notices of intent to audit, tax returns, and other confidential tax information in the department's possession relating to chapter 202. A person or an entity designated by the local government in writing to the department as requiring access to confidential taxpayer information shall have reasonable access to information provided pursuant to this paragraph. Such person or entity may disclose such information to other persons or entities with direct responsibility for budget preparation, auditing, revenue or financial administration, or legal counsel. Such information shall only be used for purposes related to budget preparation, auditing, and revenue and financial administration. Any confidential and exempt information furnished to a local government, or to any person or entity designated by the local government as authorized by this paragraph may not be further disclosed by the recipient except as provided by this paragraph.

(w)  Tax registration information to the Agency for Workforce Innovation for use in the conduct of its official duties, which information may not be redisclosed by the Agency for Workforce Innovation.

(x)  Rental car surcharge revenues authorized by s. 212.0606, reported according to the county to which the surcharge was attributed to the Department of Transportation.

(y)  Information relative to ss. 212.08(7)(ccc) and 220.192 to the Department of Environmental Protection for use in the conduct of its official business.

Disclosure of information under this subsection shall be pursuant to a written agreement between the executive director and the agency. Such agencies, governmental or nongovernmental, shall be bound by the same requirements of confidentiality as the Department of Revenue. Breach of confidentiality is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided by s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(9)  The Department of Revenue shall provide returns, reports, accounts, or declarations received by the department, including investigative reports and information, or information contained in such documents, pursuant to an order of a judge of a court of competent jurisdiction or pursuant to a subpoena duces tecum only when the subpoena is:

(a)  Issued by a state attorney, a United States attorney, or a court in a criminal investigation or a criminal judicial proceeding;

(b)  Issued by a state or federal grand jury; or

(c)  Issued by a state attorney, the Department of Legal Affairs, the State Fire Marshal, a United States attorney, or a court in the course of a civil investigation or a civil judicial proceeding under the state or federal racketeer influenced and corrupt organization act or under chapter 896.

(10)(a)  Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, the department shall, subject to paragraph (c) and to the safeguards and limitations of paragraphs (b) and (d), disclose to the governing body of a municipality, a county, or a subcounty district levying a local option tax, or any state tax that is distributed to units of local government based upon place of collection, which the department is responsible for administering, names and addresses only of the taxpayers granted a certificate of registration pursuant to s. 212.18(3) who reside within or adjacent to the taxing boundaries of such municipality, county, or subcounty district when sufficient information is supplied by the municipality, the county, or subcounty district as the department by rule may prescribe, provided such governing bodies are following s. 212.18(3) relative to the denial of an occupational license after the department cancels a dealer's sales tax certificate of registration.

(b)  Such information shall be disclosed only if the department receives an authenticated copy of a resolution adopted by the governing body requesting it.

(c)  After receipt of such information, the governing body and its officers and employees are subject to the same requirements of confidentiality and the same penalties for violating confidentiality as the department and its employees.

(d)  The resolution requesting such information shall provide assurance that the governing body and its officers and employees are aware of the confidentiality requirements and of the penalties for their violation of such requirements, and the resolution shall describe the measures that will be put into effect to ensure such confidentiality. The officer of the department who is authorized to receive, consider, and act upon such requests shall, if satisfied that the assurances in the resolution are adequate to assure confidentiality, grant the request.

(e)  Nothing in this subsection authorizes disclosure of any information prohibited by federal law from being disclosed.

(11)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, with respect to a request for verification of a certificate of registration issued pursuant to s. 212.18 to a specified dealer or taxpayer or with respect to a request by a law enforcement officer for verification of a certificate of registration issued pursuant to s. 538.09 to a specified secondhand dealer or pursuant to s. 538.25 to a specified secondary metals recycler, the department may disclose whether the specified person holds a valid certificate or whether a specified certificate number is valid or whether a specified certificate number has been canceled or is inactive or invalid and the name of the holder of the certificate. This subsection shall not be construed to create a duty to request verification of any certificate of registration.

(12)  The department may provide to a United States Trustee, or his or her designee, for any United States Bankruptcy Court, exclusively for official purposes in connection with administering a bankruptcy estate, information relating to payment or nonpayment of taxes imposed by any revenue law of this state by a trustee, debtor, or debtor in possession, including any amount paid or due.

(13)  The department may disclose certain state sales tax information relating to the cancellation or revocation of sales and use tax certificates of registration for the failure to collect and remit sales tax. This information is limited to the sales tax certificate number, trade name, owner's name, business location address, and the reason for the cancellation or revocation.

(14)  Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 896.102(2), the department may allow full access to the information and documents required to be filed with it under s. 896.102(1) to federal, state, and local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies, and to the Office of Financial Regulation of the Financial Services Commission, and any of those agencies may use the information and documents in any civil or criminal investigation and in any court proceedings.

(15)(a)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the department shall, subject to the safeguards specified in paragraph (c), disclose to the Division of Corporations of the Department of State the name, address, federal employer identification number, and duration of tax filings with this state of all corporate or partnership entities which are not on file or have a dissolved status with the Division of Corporations and which have filed tax returns pursuant to chapter 220.

(b)  The Division of Corporations shall use such information only in the pursuit of its official duties relative to nonqualified foreign or dissolved corporations in the recovery of fees and penalties due and owing the state.

(c)  All information exchanged between the Division of Corporations and the department shall be subject to the same requirements of confidentiality as the Department of Revenue.

(16)(a)  Confidential taxpayer information may be shared with the child support enforcement program, which may use the information for purposes of program administration, and with the Department of Children and Family Services for the purpose of diligent search activities pursuant to chapter 39.

(b)  Nothing in this subsection authorizes the disclosure of information if such disclosure is prohibited by federal law. Employees of the child support enforcement program and of the Department of Children and Family Services are bound by the same requirements of confidentiality and the same penalties for violation of the requirements as the department.

(17)  The department may provide to the person against whom transferee liability is being asserted pursuant to s. 212.10(1) information relating to the basis of the claim.

(18)  The department may disclose to a person entitled to compensation pursuant to s. 213.30 the amount of any tax, penalty, or interest collected as a result of information furnished by such person.

(19)  The department may disclose information relative to tax credits taken by a taxpayer pursuant to s. 288.9916 to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development or its employees or agents. Such employees must be identified in writing by the office to the department. All information disclosed under this subsection is subject to the same requirements of confidentiality and the same penalties for violation of the requirements as the department.

History.--s. 1, ch. 80-222; s. 11, ch. 81-151; s. 2, ch. 81-165; s. 4, ch. 81-179; s. 3, ch. 82-219; s. 75, ch. 83-217; s. 7, ch. 84-170; s. 14, ch. 84-338; ss. 31, 121, ch. 85-342; s. 29, ch. 86-152; s. 7, ch. 87-99; s. 10, ch. 87-102; s. 2, ch. 87-175; s. 17, ch. 87-198; s. 4, ch. 87-331; ss. 5, 31, ch. 88-119; s. 19, ch. 88-381; s. 1, ch. 89-128; s. 5, ch. 90-203; s. 4, ch. 90-290; s. 49, ch. 90-360; s. 34, ch. 91-112; s. 1, ch. 91-214; s. 242, ch. 91-224; s. 6, ch. 91-305; s. 17, ch. 92-138; s. 4, ch. 92-146; s. 8, ch. 92-319; s. 36, ch. 92-320; s. 65, ch. 93-207; ss. 3, 7, ch. 93-414; s. 15, ch. 94-124; ss. 15, 74, ch. 94-136; s. 2, ch. 94-187; s. 22, ch. 94-218; s. 14, ch. 94-353; s. 54, ch. 94-356; s. 1503, ch. 95-147; ss. 10, 24, ch. 95-272; s. 1, ch. 95-379; s. 4, ch. 96-283; s. 5, ch. 96-331; s. 34, ch. 96-397; ss. 62, 63, ch. 96-406; s. 1, ch. 96-421; s. 29, ch. 97-99; s. 39, ch. 97-170; s. 10, ch. 97-287; s. 2, ch. 98-95; ss. 5, 17, ch. 98-189; s. 1, ch. 98-299; s. 15, ch. 98-342; s. 130, ch. 98-403; s. 82, ch. 99-2; s. 5, ch. 99-5; s. 20, ch. 99-208; s. 6, ch. 99-239; s. 2, ch. 2000-152; s. 5, ch. 2000-182; ss. 8, 11, ch. 2000-312; s. 1, ch. 2000-313; s. 8, ch. 2000-355; s. 4, ch. 2001-106; s. 1, ch. 2001-139; s. 19, ch. 2001-158; s. 8, ch. 2001-225; s. 53, ch. 2001-266; s. 2, ch. 2002-68; s. 1, ch. 2002-171; s. 31, ch. 2002-218; s. 919, ch. 2002-387; s. 4, ch. 2003-36; ss. 34, 38, ch. 2003-254; s. 189, ch. 2003-261; s. 1, ch. 2005-96; s. 1, ch. 2005-140; s. 17, ch. 2005-280; s. 1, ch. 2006-85; s. 10, ch. 2006-230; s. 18, ch. 2006-312; s. 19, ch. 2007-5; s. 28, ch. 2007-106; s. 3, ch. 2008-89; s. 12, ch. 2008-240; s. 190, ch. 2008-247; s. 1, ch. 2009-50; s. 6, ch. 2009-51.

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