Rulings Address Preparer Liabilities, Penalties for Return Disclosure

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IRS issues a pair of revenue rulings to provide guidance on determining whether a tax return preparer is liable for criminal and civil penalties for use or disclosure of return information. Revenue Rulings 2010-4 and 2010-5, along with a news release (IR-2009-121), are released a day after IRS issued guidance on the disclosure and use of tax return information by return preparers under tax code Section 7216. Rev. Rul. 2010-4 addresses situations where the return preparer uses information to contact taxpayers about tax law changes that could affect their previously reported income tax liabilities. Rev. Rul. 2010-5 addresses circumstances when a tax return preparer discloses certain types of required tax return information, such as data required by a professional liability insurance carrier when obtaining professional liability insurance coverage.