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proper officers and employees of the Treasury Department, the person who made the return or his duly authorized attorney, and are under no conditions made public, except where such publicity results through the use of such returns in any legal proceeding in which the United States is a party.42
RETURNS OF CORPORATIONS. The Secretary of the Treasury, at his discretion, upon application to him, setting forth what constitutes a proper showing of cause, may permit the inspection of the return of any corporation by any bona fide stockholder thereof. Application for such inspection must be made in writing to the Secretary of the Treasury, setting forth the reasons why inspection should be permitted. Attached to the application should be a certificate signed by the president or other principal accounting officer of such corporation, countersigned by the secretary, under the corporate seal of the company, that the applicant is a bona fide stockholder in the company. Where such certificate cannot be secured, other evidence will be considered to determine the fact whether or not the applicant is a bona fide stockholder. Upon receipt of such application the corporation, whose return it is desired to inspect, is notified of the facts and given opportunity to state whether any legitimate reason exists for refusing permission. The privilege of inspecting the return of any corporation is personal to the stockholders, and the permission granted by the Secretary of the Treasury to make such inspection cannot be delegated to any other person. 43 A person who, as trustee or in any other fiduciary relation, has the ownership or possessory right to stock in
42 T. D. 2016. 43 T. D. 2016.
a corporation, is considered as a stockholder in such corporation.44 Copies of returns on file in the Commissioner's office are not permitted to be sent to any person, except the corporation itself, or its duly authorized attorney, and in no case may the original returns be removed except upon order and by direction of the Secretary of the Treasury or the President.4
CORPORATIONS WHICH OFFER THEIR STOCK TO THE PUBLIC FOR SALE. The returns of ali corporations, whose stock is advertised in the press or offered for sale to the public by the corporation itself, may be inspected by any person upon written application to the Secretary of the Treasury, which application shall set forth briefly and succinctly all facts necessary to enable the Secretary to act upon the request. In case of doubt as to whether any company falls within this classification, the person desiring to see such return should support his application by advertisements, prospectus or such other evidence as he may deem proper to establish the fact that the stock of the corporation is offered for general public sale. 46
CORPORATIONS WHOSE STOCK IS LISTED ON A STOCK EXCHANGE. The returns of all companies whose stock is listed upon any duly organized and recognized stock exchange within the United States, for the purpose of having its shares dealt in by the public generally, are open to the inspection of any person upon written application to the Secretary of the Treasury, which application shall set forth briefly and succinctly all facts necessary to enable the Secretary to act upon the request. 47
44 Op. Atty. Gen. Dec. 27, 1910. 45 Reg. 33, Arts. 178 and 179. 46 T. D. 2016.
Inspection of Returns by State Officers. The proper officers of any state, imposing a general income tax, may on request of the Governor thereof have access to the returns of corporations, or to the abstracts of such returns showing the name and income of each corporation, at such times and in such manner as the Secretary of the Treasury may prescribe. A request for such inspection must be signed by the Governor of the state and sealed with the seal of the state and transmitted to the Secretary of the Treasury for his consideration and action thereon.48
Inspection of Returns by Government Officers. Returns of corporations (but not of individuals) may be inspected by an officer or employee of any department of the Government, on application to the Secretary of the Treasury by the head of the executive department in which such officer or employee is employed. If the return of a corporation is desired to be used in any legal proceedings other than those to which the United States is a party, or to be used in a manner by which any information contained in the return could be made public, the application for permission to inspect the return, or to furnish a certified copy, must be referred to the Attorney General for his recommendation before transmission to the Secretary of the Treasury.49
47 T. D. 2016.
48 T. D. 2016. It is to be noted that the law permits inspection only by officers of states which have a general income tax. This may not necessarily mean a tax on both corporations and individuals, but the privilege to inspect returns applies only to the returns of corporations.
FOR USE IN GOVERNMENT SUITS. All returns whether of persons or of corporations may be furnished, upon approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, for use in any legal proceedings before any United States grand jury or in the trial of any cause to which both the United States and the person or corporation rendering the return are parties, provided the return would constitute material evidence in the prosecution, defense or trial of such action or proceeding. In any case arising in the collection of the income tax the Commissioner of Internal Revenue may furnish for the use of the proper officer either the original or certified copies of returns, without the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury.
49 T. D. 2016. 50 T. D. 2016; Reg. 33, Art. 180.
ASSESSMENT AND PAYMENT OF THE TAX
All assessments are made by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. After the return of annual net income has been filed with the collector, it is sent to the Treasury Department at Washington for assessment of the tax. When the assessment has been made, the amount thereof is reported to the local collector who notifies the taxpayer, on or before June 1st, of the amount thereof. The tax becomes due on the 15th day of June, but an additional period of grace, being at least ten days after June 15, is allowed before penalty or interest applies. In the case of corporations reporting for their fiscal years the return of net income, when filed, is immediately forwarded to the Treasury Department at Washington and the tax assessed thereon. The amount thereof is reported to the local collector who notifies the corporation and payment is due 105 days from the date on which the return of income is required to be made in such cases, and after ten days notice and demand by the collector.2 If the tax is not paid within ten days after notice and demand by the collector, which notice cannot be given before the 15th day of June or before the expiration of 165 days after the close of the fiscal year of a corporation reporting on the basis of its fiscal year,
1 Act of September 8, 1916, § 9 (a) and $ 14 (a). 2 Act of September 8, 1916, § 14 (a).