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Christopher Phelps
Christopher Phelps, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 2710
Experience:  CPA, CFP, PFS, Tax Practitioner 21 Years, Member AICPA/CSCPA Tax/Financial Planning Committee Member
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Subpoena of IRS return

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Can a spouse subpoena an ex-spouse's IRS records for child support and if so how is this done. Is the below info indicative of this situation?

In a state judicial proceeding concerning child support, the child's custodial parent subpoenas for a deposition an IRS agent who is examining certain post-divorce Federal income tax returns of the non- custodial parent. This is a non-IRS matter. The custodial parent submits with the subpoena the statement required by Sec.(NNN) NNN-NNNN5 stating as the reason for the lack of taxpayer consent to disclosure that the non- custodial parent has refused to provide the consent (both a consent from the taxpayer complying with section 6103(c) and a testimony authorization would be required prior to the IRS agent testifying at the deposition). If taxpayer consent is obtained, the IRS may provide a declaration or certified return information of the taxpayer. A deposition would be unnecessary under the circumstances.


You have obviously copied example 2 form the IRB 2005-11 ( You have also identified the method by which the disclosure is sought. The IRS may or may not decline to comply with the subpoena depending on whether their procedures allow it.

The non-custodial parent may attempt to quash the subpoena or otherwise assert privileges that would prevent disclosure by the IRS of private information. He/she may also attempt to influence the IRS to refuse the subpoena or to quash it themselves.

The request should generally be delivered to the District Director for the area where the tax information is located (i.e. where the return is filed).

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Christopher Phelps's Post:

So in other words I had the correct info in front of me and was unable to extrapolate it out correctly to understand even myself.

I take it that it will be hard to do this and that a judge himself could possibly subpoena the records if the person refused to summit. Correct?

Your attorney or an officer of the court may issue the subpoena. If you do not have an attorney the presiding judge or his clerk must sign the subpoena prior to service on the witness/defendent. Failure to comply with the subpoena (assuming the judge refuses to quash it) may result in the individual being held in contempt resulting in fines and/or jail time.

For service on the IRS to be valid it needs to comply with the requirements outlined in Sec.(NNN) NNN-NNNN5 of IRB 2005-11.

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