(b) Disclosure. -- (1) Information made confidential by subsection (a) of this section shall be open to inspection by or disclosure to officers, members and employees of the State Tax Department, county assessors, county commissions, county sheriffs, municipal financial officers and to members of the board of public works whose official duties require such inspection or disclosures for property tax administration purposes. Disclosure may be made to persons, or officers or employees thereof, who are employed by the state Tax Commissioner by contract or otherwise, provided such person, or officer or employee thereof, shall be subject to the provisions of this section as fully as if he or she was an officer or employee of the State Tax Department. Information made confidential by subsection (a) of this section shall be open to inspection by the property owner providing such information and to his or her duly authorized representative.
(2) Information made confidential by subsection (a) of this section may be disclosed in a judicial or administrative proceeding to collect or ascertain the amount of tax due, but only if: (i) The taxpayer is a party to the proceedings or; (ii) such return information directly relates to a transactional relationship between a person who is a party to the proceeding and the taxpayer which directly affects the resolution of an issue in the proceeding.
(c) Reciprocal exchange. -- The Tax Commissioner may permit the proper officer of the United States, or the District of Columbia, or any other state, or his or her authorized representative, to inspect reports, declarations or returns filed with the Tax Commissioner or may furnish to such officer or representative a copy of any such document provided such other jurisdiction grants substantially similar privileges to the Tax Commissioner or to the Attorney General of this state.
(d) Penalties. -- Any officer, member or employee of the State Tax Department, county assessors, county commissions, county sheriffs, municipal financial officers and the board of public works who violates this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both, together with the costs of prosecution.
(e) Limitations. -- Any person protected by the provisions of this article may, in writing, waive the secrecy provision of this section for such purpose and such period as he or she shall therein state, and the officer with whom such waiver is filed, if he or she so determines may thereupon release to designated recipients such taxpayer's return or other particulars filed under the provisions of the tax articles administered under the provisions of this article.
This section shall not be construed to prohibit the publication or release of statistics so classified so as to prevent the identification of particular reports and the items thereof nor to prevent the publication and release of assessments and appraised values of property.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
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