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General Laws

Section 6. In addition to exercising the powers and performing the duties which are or shall be assigned to the commissioner by chapters fifty-eight to sixty-five C, inclusive, and by any other provision of law, the commissioner:

1. Shall make, with the approval of the secretary, and from time to time may revise, in like manner, such reasonable regulations, not inconsistent with law, as may be necessary to interpret and enforce any statute imposing any tax, excise or fee which is or shall be assessed or collected by the commissioner, or to prescribe the procedures to be followed within the department in seeking an abatement, refund, reimbursement or other relief under such statute. In each instance such regulations shall be general in scope and subject to the requirements of section thirty-seven of chapter thirty and section two of chapter thirty A.

2. Shall prepare and submit to the governor and the general court an annual report containing data and comment on the work of the department, recommendations for legislation or other action by the governor or general court, and such other information relating to the field of taxation as may be appropriate. Such report shall be printed, and copies thereof shall be made available for public distribution.

3. Shall require that whenever the department identifies a husband and wife in any communication, document or writing intended for use outside the department, the department shall use the name of both husband and wife and shall not use a legal phrase as a substitute for either name.

4. Shall, no later than the last Wednesday of each calendar year, prepare a statement which sets forth in simple and nontechnical terms:

(a) the rights of a taxpayer and the obligations of the commissioner during an audit;

(b) the procedures by which a taxpayer may appeal any adverse decision of the commissioner, including administrative and judicial appeals;

(c) the procedures for processing applications for abatement and filing of taxpayer complaints; and

(d) the procedures which the commissioner may use in enforcing the tax laws of the commonwealth, including assessment, jeopardy assessment, levy and distraint, and enforcement of liens.

The commissioner shall transmit copies of the statement required under this paragraph to the house and senate committees on ways and means and to the joint committee on taxation no later than the last Wednesday of January in each calendar year, and shall distribute the statement, or information as to where and the manner in which a copy of such statement may be obtained, to all taxpayers the commissioner contacts with respect to the determination or collection of any tax administered by him, other than by providing tax forms. The commissioner shall take such actions as he deems necessary to ensure that such distribution does not result in multiple statements being sent to any one taxpayer.

5. Shall make, with the approval of the secretary, and from time to time may revise, in like manner, such reasonable regulations as may be necessary to guarantee the prompt return to taxpayers of refunds resulting from the overpayment of taxes; to guarantee the earliest possible rendering of abatement decisions, including the requirement that refunds resulting from abatement decisions be issued to taxpayers within thirty days of such decisions.

6. Shall be allowed to participate with the division of employment and training in a program which permits employing units subject to chapter 151A to file with the department of revenue a consolidated return which includes, but is not limited to, unemployment insurance, unemployment health insurance, workforce training, income tax withholding and wage reporting information together with the required payment.

7. Shall establish written standards and procedures regarding the confidentiality and security of information disclosed by the commissioner to other agencies or entities, whether the disclosure is by means of an interdepartmental service agreement, contract or otherwise, and may suspend or decline to initiate the disclosure of the information if, in the commissioner’s judgment, the agency or entity has not fully complied with all standards and procedures or is unable to so comply.

8. Shall prepare and submit a bimonthly report of preliminary tax revenue collected each month. The commissioner shall submit these reports to the governor, the chair and ranking minority member of the house committee on ways and means and the chair and ranking minority member of the senate committee on ways and means, on or before the third business day following the fifteenth day of each month and on or before the third business day of the following month; provided, however, that the commissioner shall submit the report for June on the day after the department completes the processing of June tax revenues.

9. Shall publish on the department website, and shall update no less than quarterly, a listing of tax policy issues under development. The listing shall include a brief description of all tax policy matters, excluding letter rulings requested by individual taxpayers, on which, as of the date of publication, the commissioner reasonably anticipates issuing public guidance within the subsequent 12 months.

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