11.3.19  Privacy Act Accounting for Disclosures

Manual Transmittal

September 13, 2013


(1) This manual, IRM 11.3.19, Disclosure of Official Information, Privacy Act Accounting for Disclosures, was reviewed on May 31, 2013, and determined to be technically accurate. It is being reissued as a non-procedural update and includes web link updates and links to citation references.

Material Changes

(1) Editorial changes were made throughout to update IRM/statute/organizational references and terms. Web and citation references were added/updated throughout to make the text easier to research in electronic media.

Effect on Other Documents

This material supersedes IRM 11.3.19, Disclosure of Official Information, Privacy Act Accounting for Disclosures dated March 31, 2008.


All Operating Divisions and Functions.

Effective Date


Related Resources

The Governmental Liaison and Disclosure intranet home page can be found at:

Gregory T. Ricketts
Acting Director, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure  (09-13-2013)

  1. The requirement for Privacy Act accounting for disclosure of tax records has been codified under IRC § 6103(p)(3). (See IRM 11.3.37, Recordkeeping and Accounting for Disclosures.)  (06-17-2005)
Accounting Requirements

  1. The Privacy Act requires each agency to keep an accurate accounting of the date, nature, and purpose of each disclosure of an individual’s record to any person or to another agency and the name and address of the person or agency to whom the disclosure is made. (See 5 USC § 552a(c).)

  2. The accounting is not required when the disclosure has been to those officers and employees of the agency which maintains the record who have a need for the record in the performance of their duties.

  3. Accountings are only required to be made when the disclosure is pursuant to subsection (b) of the Act.


    A disclosure to the individual who is the subject of the record, or to a recipient deriving his or her authority from the subject of the record, constitutes access to the records pursuant to subsection (d) of the Act and is not a subsection (b) disclosure. Accordingly, disclosures to the subject of record, to the subject’s representative or at the instruction or request of the subject are not subject to the accounting requirement.

  4. The accounting is not required if the disclosure is made or would be required to be made pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Release of publicly available information maintained in a Privacy Act System of Records released pursuant to a FOIA request does not require an accounting. Routinely this occurs when no FOIA exemption is applicable to withhold the records.

  5. The accounting must be retained for at least five years or the record retention period, whichever is longer.  (06-17-2005)
Form 5482 Procedure

  1. Each employee who makes a disclosure of a non-tax record subject to the accounting requirement, must prepare Form 5482, Record of Disclosure (Privacy Act of 1974). It is an NCR (carbonless paper) set assembly of an original and copy.

  2. The original will be maintained in a separate Form 5482 file by the official having custody of the system of records. Forms will be filed in alphabetical order, by name of the subject, in a separate section for each (calendar) year. This file will be maintained for five years; at the end of each year, all the forms in the section which become five years old will be destroyed.

  3. The duplicate will be associated with the record disclosed and will be retained for the retention period of that record.

  4. If the record is maintained on tape or some other format which precludes attaching Form 5482, no duplicate need be prepared.

  5. For multiple disclosures, in which all entries would be identical, except the identity of the subject, a single Form 5482 may be prepared by leaving the name block blank. A list of all persons involved would be attached to the original form which should be placed in front of the alphabetical items in the Form 5482 file. However, the list must not be attached to the Form 5482 copy placed in the record disclosed. The Form 5482 should be photocopied (one for each person whose records are disclosed) and the appropriate individual’s name inserted before association with the disclosed record.

  6. A Form 5482 recording a disclosure made pursuant to (b)(7) of the Privacy Act may be associated with the record disclosed only if the system of records has an exemption which would preclude the subject from obtaining the Form 5482 or learning of the (b)(7) disclosure. If the system of records would be generally available for the subject’s inspection (such as the official personnel folder) the Form 5482 should not be associated with the record. It should be marked for permanent retention and filed in a special section of the Form 5482 file. The Form 5482 may be destroyed whenever the record disclosed is known to have been actually destroyed. Permanent retention is required as long as the underlying record exists.

  7. Research to determine the existence of the underlying record should not be undertaken simply to permit destruction of Forms 5482.

More Internal Revenue Manual