Details Of Scientology Closing Agreement Slowly Coming Out - 1995-06-26
Following the recognition by the IRS of the tax-exempt status of numerous Scientology organizations on October 1, 1993, Tax Analysts, in a Freedom of Information Act request dated November 10, 1993, sought the underlying closing agreement, contending that it was part of the administrative record in these cases and hence subject to disclosure under section 6104. The IRS denied the request, contending that the closing agreement contained return information not subject to disclosure under section 6103.
Tax Analysts then filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, seeking release of the closing agreement and all other closing agreements pertaining to exempt organizations since December 31, 1992. In response to interrogatories, Jonathan Jackel, who is the trial attorney with the Tax Division of the Department of Justice assigned to the case, did lay out what appears to be the government's main defense to release of the closing agreements: "All information described by plaintiff that is not available to the public by virtue of I.R.C. sections 6104 or 6110 is confidential return information under section 6103."