TITLE 30

State Taxes

General Provisions; State Tax Agencies; Procedure and Enforcement

CHAPTER 3. DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE

Subchapter IV. Secretary of Finance; Powers and Duties


All tax returns or reports received by the Division of Revenue after January 1, 1989, shall be preserved for not less than 3 years, after which time the Secretary of Finance may establish guidelines and standards for retention and, upon the recommendation of the Director of Revenue, may authorize and direct their disposal or destruction.

30 Del. C. 1953, § 351; 59 Del. Laws, c. 147, § 1; 68 Del. Laws, c. 187, § 24; 69 Del. Laws, c. 188, § 3.;

The Secretary of Finance may authorize the Director of Revenue to write off and remove from active collection any account receivable arising from the assessment of any tax or addition to tax if it is determined that the account is uncollectible. An account is uncollectible if the Director finds after reasonable investigation that the potential recovery or administrative costs of collection would not warrant further collection efforts and:

(1) The debtor has received a discharge in bankruptcy with respect to the taxable periods in question;

(2) The debtor is deceased and reasonable additional collection measures will not cause the debt to be collected from the assets of the debtor or the debtor's estate;

(3) The taxes are debts of a business that is no longer in business and the Director is unable to find that either the business or any other person responsible for the debts has assets from which the debt may be paid; or

(4) The debt has been outstanding on the records of the Division of Revenue for more than 6 years.

30 Del. C. 1953, § 352; 59 Del. Laws, c. 147, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 159, § 1.;

The Secretary of Finance shall maintain a permanent public record of all decisions, rules and rulings of the Department of Finance.

36 Del. Laws, c. 8, § 12; Code 1935, § 155; 30 Del. C. 1953, § 353; 57 Del. Laws, c. 741, §§ 3B, 3D.;

The Secretary of Finance shall make rules, regulations and decisions not inconsistent with this title and require such facts and information to be reported as the Secretary deems necessary to enforce any state tax. No rule or regulation adopted pursuant to the authority granted by this section shall extend, modify or conflict with any law of this State, or the reasonable implications thereof.

36 Del. Laws, c. 8, § 12; Code 1935, § 155; 30 Del. C. 1953, § 355; 57 Del. Laws, c. 741, § 3D; 67 Del. Laws, c. 344, § 9; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

The Secretary of Finance shall prepare and cause to have printed in sufficient numbers all blanks necessary for the making of all returns required by any tax law that is administered by the Department of Finance.

36 Del. Laws, c. 9, § 12; Code 1935, § 155; 30 Del. C. 1953, § 356; 57 Del. Laws, c. 47, § 1; 57 Del. Laws, c. 741, §§ 3B, 3D, 3F; 67 Del. Laws, c. 292, § 2.;

(a) The Director of Revenue shall, on or before January 15 of each year, make available on an internet site the blank, downloadable returns required to be filed under Chapter 11 or 16 of this title that may be used by each person, fiduciary, partnership, or other entity for the purpose of filing such tax returns as may be due for that tax year.

(b) The Director of Revenue shall mail a blank return to any individual taxpayer who filed a tax return under Chapter 11 of this title in the preceding year, unless 1 of the following applies to the tax return:

(1) It was prepared by a paid tax preparer.

(2) It was prepared with a 2-D bar code or other electronic preparation media.

(3) It was filed in a manner other than by submission of a paper return.

36 Del. Laws, c. 8, § 12; Code 1935, § 155; 30 Del. C. 1953, § 357; 57 Del. Laws, c. 47, § 2; 57 Del. Laws, c. 741, § 3D; 67 Del. Laws, c. 292, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 113, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 158, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 386, § 1; 81 Del. Laws, c. 292, § 1.;

(a) The Secretary of Finance shall submit to the Governor and to the General Assembly an annual report covering the fiscal year ending June 30, including such recommendations concerning state taxes as are deemed necessary.

(b) The Secretary of Finance shall submit annually to the Governor, on or before September 1, an estimate of revenues to be received during the current fiscal year from the income tax and the franchise tax and shall submit biennially to the Governor, on or before September 1, an itemized estimate of the sums required for the maintenance of the Department of Finance.

36 Del. Laws, c. 8, § 12; 37 Del. Laws, c. 9, § 2; Code 1935, § 155; 45 Del. Laws, c. 10, § 9; 30 Del. C. 1953, § 360; 57 Del. Laws, c. 741, §§ 3B, 3D.;

The Secretary of Finance shall require such of the officers, agents or employees of the Department of Revenue as the Secretary designates to give bond for the faithful performance of their duties, in such sum and with such security as the Secretary determines. All premiums on such bonds shall be paid by the Department of Revenue out of moneys appropriated for that purpose.

36 Del. Laws, c. 8, § 12; Code 1935, § 155; 30 Del. C. 1953, § 361; 57 Del. Laws, c. 741, §§ 3B, 3D; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) The Secretary of Finance shall prepare and publish annual statistics, reasonably available with respect to the operation of the state tax laws, including amounts collected, classification of the incomes and exemptions of taxables and such other facts as are deemed pertinent and desirable.

(b)(1) General. — Except as provided herein, and notwithstanding the provisions of § 368 of this title, the Secretary of Finance shall prepare, maintain, and publish on the Division of Revenue Internet Website, 2 lists of taxpayers owing unpaid tax and additions to tax finally determined to be due under Title 30 for:

a. Personal income tax; and

b. Business taxes administered by the Department of Finance, including employee withholding tax.

(2) Contents of lists. — Each list shall consist of the 100 taxpayers owing to this State the greatest amount of unpaid tax and additions to tax, as modified by paragraph (b)(6) of this section, and shall contain the name and address of each such taxpayer, the total by type and amount of tax and additions to tax due and the date the amount was finally determined to be due. In the case of entities other than natural persons, the list may also name any persons who were at least 25% owners or beneficial owners or who were responsible officers of such entity at or after the time the liability was created.

(3) Administration.

a. Each list shall be updated on a quarterly basis; and

b. Notwithstanding paragraph (b)(7)a. of this section, each newly updated list shall not include the names of taxpayers that have appeared on previous versions of the same list unless:

1. A separate instance of unpaid tax or additions to tax, which ranks the taxpayer's new liability, subsequent to the publishing of the prior quarter's list, among the 100 largest; or

2. At least 1 year has elapsed since the taxpayer appeared on the list and, in the Director's judgment, returning the taxpayer to the list will significantly increase the likelihood of payment.

(4) Limitations. — No taxpayer shall be included on the aforesaid list until:

a. The overdue liability has been reduced to a judgment under § 554 of this title; and

b. Sixty days have elapsed following the date of mailing a notice by certified mail to the taxpayer, taxpayer's owners, beneficial owners or officers, as the case may be, of the Secretary's intent to include that taxpayer's name and other required information on the list to be published.

(5) Exceptions. — No taxpayer shall be included in the published list if:

a. The taxpayer has since the mailing of the notice, paid the liability in full, or entered into a written agreement with the Division for payment of the delinquency; or

b. The total liability for all taxes and additions to tax is less than $1,000.

(6) Calculating the amount of tax and additions to tax to be listed. For the exclusive purpose of ascertaining a taxpayer's inclusion on the published list, in calculating the amount of tax and additions to tax, there shall be excluded any amount of tax or addition to tax which:

a. Has been determined to be uncollectible pursuant to § 352 of this title; or

b. Is the subject of an agreement between the Secretary and the taxpayer for installment payment of the amount due and which is not in default by a period of 31 days; or

c. Is subject to stay of collection pursuant to the Bankruptcy Code of the United States [11 U.S.C. § 101 et seq.]; or

d. Has, in the discretion of the Secretary or the Secretary's delegate and in the interests of justice, been deferred from collection for no more than 90 days for the purpose of researching whether or not an error has occurred in calculating the amount due; or

e. The Director, in the Director's discretion, and after receipt of a taxpayer's written request and statement of reasonable cause, and with the written approval of the Secretary of Finance, has deemed to result from extraordinary circumstances.

(7) Compliance adjustment.

a. Taxpayers appearing on the above list shall be removed therefrom within 30 days of the receipt of full payment of the delinquent liability or entering into a written agreement with the Division for payment of the delinquency.

b. Any issuance of bad check or breach of said agreement may result in the taxpayer's name being immediately returned to the published list.

(8) Regulations. — The Department may promulgate rules and regulations necessary to implement 75 Del. Laws, c. 406.

(9) Any disclosure made by the Secretary under paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this section, in a good faith effort to comply with paragraphs (b)(3)-(7) of this section, shall not be considered a violation of any statute prohibiting disclosure of taxpayer information.

36 Del. Laws, c. 8, § 12; Code 1935, § 155; 30 Del. C. 1953, § 362; 57 Del. Laws, c. 741, §§ 3B, 3D; 75 Del. Laws, c. 406, § 1.;

Repealed by 50 Del. Laws, c. 443, § 1, effective July 14, 1955.;

The Secretary of Finance shall take all necessary steps to enforce the penalties provided by any state tax law administered by the Department of Finance.

36 Del. Laws, c. 8, § 12; Code 1935, § 155; 30 Del. C. 1953, § 364; 57 Del. Laws, c. 741, §§ 3B, 3D.;

The Secretary of Finance may appoint an unpaid advisory board of not more than 10 lawyers and tax experts to make recommendations concerning the rules, regulations and decisions of the Department and concerning changes in the state tax laws.

36 Del. Laws, c. 8, § 12; Code 1935, § 155; 30 Del. C. 1953, § 365; 57 Del. Laws, c. 741, §§ 3B, 3D.;

The Secretary of Finance shall act as Escheator of the State under the provisions of Chapter 11 of Title 12.

Code 1852, § 1588; Code 1915, § 124; Code 1935, § 113; 42 Del. Laws, c. 57; 30 Del. C. 1953, § 366; 57 Del. Laws, c. 741, §§ 3B, 3D.;

For the purpose of ascertaining the correctness of any return or for the purpose of making an estimate of the taxable income of any taxable, the Secretary of Finance may examine or cause to be examined, by any agent or designated representative, any books, papers, records or memoranda bearing upon the matters required to be included in a return and may by summons require the attendance of the taxable or of any other person having knowledge in the premises and may take testimony and require proof material for the investigation, with power to administer oaths to such person or persons. All banks, trust companies and brokers, when required by the Secretary, shall allow a representative of the Department of Finance to verify all accounts and records pertaining to the income of any taxable.

36 Del. Laws, c. 8, § 12; Code 1935, § 155; 30 Del. C. 1953, § 368; 57 Del. Laws, c. 741, §§ 3B, 3D.;

The Secretary of Finance may constitute agents, field agents or other appointees special constables and as such they shall have and possess all the powers that are possessed by county constables under the laws of this State.

36 Del. Laws, c. 8, § 12; Code 1935, § 155; 30 Del. C. 1953, § 369; 57 Del. Laws, c. 741, §§ 3B, 3D; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

The Secretary of Finance shall have all rights of appeal to the Superior Court as are granted to any taxable under this title.

36 Del. Laws, c. 8, § 12; Code 1935, § 155; 30 Del. C. 1953, § 370; 57 Del. Laws, c. 741, §§ 3B, 3D.;

Repealed by 69 Del. Laws, c. 369, § 2, effective July 12, 1994.;

(a) Except in accordance with proper judicial order or as otherwise provided by law, it shall be unlawful for any officer or employee of the Department of Finance, or for any other officer or employee of this State who has access to tax returns or information from tax returns under this title (other than Chapters 30 [except §§ 3004 and 3005], 51 and 52) to disclose or make known to any person in any manner the amount of income or any particulars set forth or disclosed in any report or return required under this title (other than Chapters 30 [except §§ 3004 and 3005], 51 and 52) including any copy of any portion of a federal income or estate tax return or report, or any information on a federal return or report which is required to be attached to or included in a state tax return.

(b) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the publication of statistics classified so as to avoid identification of specific taxpayers, or to prohibit the disclosure of the tax return or return information of any taxpayer to such person or persons as the taxpayer may designate in a written request or consent to such disclosure.

(c) For purposes of this section, the term "officer or employee" shall include present and former officers and employees, and any person or persons employed or retained by the State on an independent contractor basis, or any subcontractors thereof. The term "return" or "report" shall include reports of the Internal Revenue Service or other competent federal authority containing tax return information.

(d) Any violation of this section shall be a misdemeanor, punishable upon conviction by a fine not to exceed $1,000, or imprisonment not to exceed 6 months, or both. The Superior Court shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over such misdemeanor.

(e) For purposes of this section, the terms "return" and "return information" shall not be construed to include any information appearing on or to appear on the face of a license required to be displayed under § 2109 of this title or the name or mailing address of the licensee of said license.

(f) Refunds — The Director may disclose taxpayer identity information to the press and other media for the purpose of notifying persons entitled to tax refunds when the Director, after reasonable effort and lapse of time, has been unable to locate such persons.

67 Del. Laws, c. 40, § 1; 73 Del. Laws, c. 123, § 1; 81 Del. Laws, c. 103, § 1.;

(a) All prospective employees, contractors, and any subcontractors thereof, of the Department who will have access to federal tax information shall obtain a background check as provided in subsection (c) of this section in order to be considered for employment to ensure compliance by the Department with § 6103(p)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. § 6103(p)(4)) and IRS Publication 1075 and any successor statutory provisions or IRS publications.

(b) All current employees, contractors, and any subcontractors thereof, of the Department who have access to federal tax information shall be required to submit to subsequent background checks as provided in subsection (c) of this section not less frequently than once every 10 years to ensure compliance by the Department with IRS Publication 1075.

(c) A person required to obtain a background check under this chapter shall submit fingerprints and other necessary information to the State Bureau of Identification in order to obtain all of the following:

(1) A report of the person's entire criminal history record from the State Bureau of Identification or a statement that the State Bureau of Identification Central Repository contains no such information relating to that person.

(2) A report of the person's entire federal criminal history record from the Federal Bureau of Investigation pursuant to Federal Bureau of Investigation appropriation of Title II of Public Law 92-544 (28 U.S.C. § 534) or a statement that the Federal Bureau of Investigation's records contain no such information relating to that person.

(d) The State Bureau of Identification shall be the intermediary for the purpose of subsection (c) of this section and shall forward all information required by subsections (a) and (b) of this section to the Department.

(e) The Department may adopt such standards for screening the background checks required by this section as the Department shall determine appropriate.

81 Del. Laws, c. 103, § 2.;