What are public records?

Public records can be documents, emails, photographs, recordings, or any other form of information that an agency retains. (See Tenn. Code Ann. § 10-7-503(a)). Many public records are available on the Department’s website. In addition to general information on the website, the Department provides the following:

  • Important notices
  • Tax rulings (redacted to remove confidential taxpayer information)
  • Tax guides
  • Legislative summaries
  • Reports and statistics, such as:
    • Collections summaries
    • Monthly collections spreadsheets
    • Collections spreadsheets by fiscal year
    • Retail sales by calendar year and month
    • Additional resources for researchers

Tax records, however, are not generally available to the public. Tax records include the following:

  • Tax returns
  • Refund claims
  • Tax-related information, such as:
    • A taxpayer’s identity, address and account number
    • Audits
    • Tax liability
  • Information related to the administration of state taxes

Although taxpayer records are confidential, the taxpayer itself may obtain copies of the taxpayer’s own records.

Additionally, personal information related to a motor vehicle record, such as a person’s name, address, photograph, and social security number, are not available to the public unless otherwise provided by state law.

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