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In investigating criminal tax fraud matters, the Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S.) has operated under certain informal customs and practices to obtain taxpayers' records from financial institutions and other third-party recordkeepers. These informal customs and practices often violate information-gathering procedures required by the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (I.R.C.) and the Treasury Regulations. Therefore, taxpayers whose records have been obtained in violation of the I.R.C. and regulations may seek to suppress such evidence under the exclusionary rule3 by claiming violations of due process4 and the fundamental right of privacy. The focus of this article will be on the following three areas: (1) the formal procedures in acquiring such records as set forth in the I.R.C. and Treasury Regulations; (2) the informal customs and practices of the I.R.S. in obtaining a taxpayer's records from third party recordkeepers; and (3) the appropriate application of the exclusionary rule and availability of civil remedies when the information gathering procedures have violated the I.R.C. or Treasury Regulations.


Crofford J. Macklin Jr. is an Associate with Smith and Schnacke, Dayton, Ohio; B.A. Ohio State University, 1969; B.A. University of West Florida, 1974; J.D. Ohio State University, 1976.

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