IRS Circular 230 – Return of Client’s Records

Sec. 10.28 Return of Client’s Records

(a) A practitioner must, at the request of a client, promptly return all records of the client, that are necessary for the client to comply with their federal tax obligations.

The practitioner may retain copies of the records returned to a client. The existence of a dispute over fees does not relieve the practitioner of his or her responsibility under this section.

(b) Client records include all documents, or written or electronic materials provided to the practitioner, obtained by the practitioner in the course of the practitioner’s representation of the client, that pre-existed the retention of the practitioner by the client. Client records include:

1. Materials prepared by the client or a third party;

2. Any tax return, claim for refund, schedule, affidavit or appraisal.

Client records do not include any tax return, refund claim, schedule, affidavit, appraisal or any other document prepared by the tax practitioner, if the document is withheld pending the client’s performance of its contractual obligation to pay fees with respect to such document. (emphasis added)

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