(1)(a) The Tax Commissioner shall enforce sections 77-2701.04 to 77-2713 and may prescribe, adopt, and enforce rules and regulations relating to the administration and enforcement of such sections.
(b) The Tax Commissioner may prescribe the extent to which any ruling or regulation shall be applied without retroactive effect.
(2) The Tax Commissioner may employ accountants, auditors, investigators, assistants, and clerks necessary for the efficient administration of the Nebraska Revenue Act of 1967 and may delegate authority to his or her representatives to conduct hearings, prescribe regulations, or perform any other duties imposed by such act.
(3)(a) Every seller, every retailer, and every person storing, using, or otherwise consuming in this state property purchased from a retailer shall keep such records, receipts, invoices, and other pertinent papers in such form as the Tax Commissioner may reasonably require.
(b) Every such seller, retailer, or person shall keep such records for not less than three years from the making of such records unless the Tax Commissioner in writing sooner authorized their destruction.
(4) The Tax Commissioner or any person authorized in writing by him or her may examine the books, papers, records, and equipment of any person selling property and any person liable for the use tax and may investigate the character of the business of the person in order to verify the accuracy of any return made or, if no return is made by the person, to ascertain and determine the amount required to be paid. In the examination of any person selling property or of any person liable for the use tax, an inquiry shall be made as to the accuracy of the reporting of city and county sales and use taxes for which the person is liable under the Local Option Revenue Act or sections 13-319, 13-324, 13-2813, and 77-6403 and the accuracy of the allocation made between the various counties, cities, villages, and municipal counties of the tax due. The Tax Commissioner may make or cause to be made copies of resale or exemption certificates and may pay a reasonable amount to the person having custody of the records for providing such copies.
(5) The taxpayer shall have the right to keep or store his or her records at a point outside this state and shall make his or her records available to the Tax Commissioner at all times.
(6) In administration of the use tax, the Tax Commissioner may require the filing of reports by any person or class of persons having in his, her, or their possession or custody information relating to sales of property, the storage, use, or other consumption of which is subject to the tax. The report shall be filed when the Tax Commissioner requires and shall set forth the names and addresses of purchasers of the property, the sales price of the property, the date of sale, and such other information as the Tax Commissioner may require.
(7) It shall be a Class I misdemeanor for the Tax Commissioner or any official or employee of the Tax Commissioner, the State Treasurer, or the Department of Administrative Services to make known in any manner whatever the business affairs, operations, or information obtained by an investigation of records and activities of any retailer or any other person visited or examined in the discharge of official duty or the amount or source of income, profits, losses, expenditures, or any particular thereof, set forth or disclosed in any return, or to permit any return or copy thereof, or any book containing any abstract or particulars thereof to be seen or examined by any person not connected with the Tax Commissioner. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit (a) the delivery to a taxpayer, his or her duly authorized representative, or his or her successors, receivers, trustees, executors, administrators, assignees, or guarantors, if directly interested, of a certified copy of any return or report in connection with his or her tax, (b) the publication of statistics so classified as to prevent the identification of particular reports or returns and the items thereof, (c) the inspection by the Attorney General, other legal representative of the state, or county attorney of the reports or returns of any taxpayer when either (i) information on the reports or returns is considered by the Attorney General to be relevant to any action or proceeding instituted by the taxpayer or against whom an action or proceeding is being considered or has been commenced by any state agency or the county or (ii) the taxpayer has instituted an action to review the tax based thereon or an action or proceeding against the taxpayer for collection of tax or failure to comply with the Nebraska Revenue Act of 1967 is being considered or has been commenced, (d) the furnishing of any information to the United States Government or to states allowing similar privileges to the Tax Commissioner, (e) the disclosure of information and records to a collection agency contracting with the Tax Commissioner pursuant to sections 77-377.01 to 77-377.04, (f) the disclosure to another party to a transaction of information and records concerning the transaction between the taxpayer and the other party, (g) the disclosure of information pursuant to section 77-27,195, 77-5731, 77-6837, 77-6839, or 77-6928, or (h) the disclosure of information to the Department of Labor necessary for the administration of the Employment Security Law, the Contractor Registration Act, or the Employee Classification Act.
(8) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (7) of this section, the Tax Commissioner may permit the Postal Inspector of the United States Postal Service or his or her delegates to inspect the reports or returns of any person filed pursuant to the Nebraska Revenue Act of 1967 when information on the reports or returns is relevant to any action or proceeding instituted or being considered by the United States Postal Service against such person for the fraudulent use of the mails to carry and deliver false and fraudulent tax returns to the Tax Commissioner with the intent to defraud the State of Nebraska or to evade the payment of Nebraska state taxes.
(9) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (7) of this section, the Tax Commissioner may permit other tax officials of this state to inspect the tax returns, reports, and applications filed under sections 77-2701.04 to 77-2713, but such inspection shall be permitted only for purposes of enforcing a tax law and only to the extent and under the conditions prescribed by the rules and regulations of the Tax Commissioner.
(10) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (7) of this section, the Tax Commissioner may, upon request, provide the county board of any county which has exercised the authority granted by section 81-3716 with a list of the names and addresses of the hotels located within the county for which lodging sales tax returns have been filed or for which lodging sales taxes have been remitted for the county's County Visitors Promotion Fund under the Nebraska Visitors Development Act.
The information provided by the Tax Commissioner shall indicate only the names and addresses of the hotels located within the requesting county for which lodging sales tax returns have been filed for a specified period and the fact that lodging sales taxes remitted by or on behalf of the hotel have constituted a portion of the total sum remitted by the state to the county for a specified period under the provisions of the Nebraska Visitors Development Act. No additional information shall be revealed.
(11)(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (7) of this section, the Tax Commissioner shall, upon written request by the Auditor of Public Accounts or the office of Legislative Audit, make tax returns and tax return information open to inspection by or disclosure to the Auditor of Public Accounts or employees of the office of Legislative Audit for the purpose of and to the extent necessary in making an audit of the Department of Revenue pursuant to section 50-1205 or 84-304. Confidential tax returns and tax return information shall be audited only upon the premises of the Department of Revenue. All audit workpapers pertaining to the audit of the Department of Revenue shall be stored in a secure place in the Department of Revenue.
(b) No employee of the Auditor of Public Accounts or the office of Legislative Audit shall disclose to any person, other than another Auditor of Public Accounts or office employee whose official duties require such disclosure, any return or return information described in the Nebraska Revenue Act of 1967 in a form which can be associated with or otherwise identify, directly or indirectly, a particular taxpayer.
(c) Any person who violates the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a Class I misdemeanor. For purposes of this subsection, employee includes a former Auditor of Public Accounts or office of Legislative Audit employee.
(12) For purposes of this subsection and subsections (11) and (14) of this section:
(a) Disclosure means the making known to any person in any manner a tax return or return information;
(b) Return information means:
(i) A taxpayer's identification number and (A) the nature, source, or amount of his or her income, payments, receipts, deductions, exemptions, credits, assets, liabilities, net worth, tax liability, tax withheld, deficiencies, overassessments, or tax payments, whether the taxpayer's return was, is being, or will be examined or subject to other investigation or processing or (B) any other data received by, recorded by, prepared by, furnished to, or collected by the Tax Commissioner with respect to a return or the determination of the existence or possible existence of liability or the amount of liability of any person for any tax, penalty, interest, fine, forfeiture, or other imposition or offense; and
(ii) Any part of any written determination or any background file document relating to such written determination; and
(c) Tax return or return means any tax or information return or claim for refund required by, provided for, or permitted under sections 77-2701 to 77-2713 which is filed with the Tax Commissioner by, on behalf of, or with respect to any person and any amendment or supplement thereto, including supporting schedules, attachments, or lists which are supplemental to or part of the filed return.
(13) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (7) of this section, the Tax Commissioner shall, upon request, provide any municipality which has adopted the local option sales tax under the Local Option Revenue Act with a list of the names and addresses of the retailers which have collected the local option sales tax for the municipality. The request may be made annually and shall be submitted to the Tax Commissioner on or before June 30 of each year. The information provided by the Tax Commissioner shall indicate only the names and addresses of the retailers. The Tax Commissioner may provide additional information to a municipality so long as the information does not include any data detailing the specific revenue, expenses, or operations of any particular business.
(14)(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (7) of this section, the Tax Commissioner shall, upon written request, provide an individual certified under subdivision (b) of this subsection representing a municipality which has adopted the local option sales and use tax under the Local Option Revenue Act with confidential sales and use tax returns and sales and use tax return information regarding taxpayers that possess a sales tax permit and the amounts remitted by such permitholders at locations within the boundaries of the requesting municipality or with confidential business use tax returns and business use tax return information regarding taxpayers that file a Nebraska and Local Business Use Tax Return and the amounts remitted by such taxpayers at locations within the boundaries of the requesting municipality. Any written request pursuant to this subsection shall provide the Department of Revenue with no less than ten business days to prepare the sales and use tax returns and sales and use tax return information requested. The individual certified under subdivision (b) of this subsection shall review such returns and return information only upon the premises of the department, except that such limitation shall not apply if the certifying municipality has an agreement in effect under the Nebraska Advantage Transformational Tourism and Redevelopment Act. In such case, the individual certified under subdivision (b) of this subsection may request that copies of such returns and return information be sent to him or her by electronic transmission, secured in a manner as determined by the Tax Commissioner.
(b) Each municipality that seeks to request information under subdivision (a) of this subsection shall certify to the Department of Revenue one individual who is authorized by such municipality to make such request and review the documents described in subdivision (a) of this subsection. The individual may be a municipal employee or an individual who contracts with the requesting municipality to provide financial, accounting, or other administrative services.
(c) No individual certified by a municipality pursuant to subdivision (b) of this subsection shall disclose to any person any information obtained pursuant to a review under this subsection. An individual certified by a municipality pursuant to subdivision (b) of this subsection shall remain subject to this subsection after he or she (i) is no longer certified or (ii) is no longer in the employment of or under contract with the certifying municipality.
(d) Any person who violates the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a Class I misdemeanor.
(e) The Department of Revenue shall not be held liable by any person for an impermissible disclosure by a municipality or any agent or employee thereof of any information obtained pursuant to a review under this subsection.
(15) In all proceedings under the Nebraska Revenue Act of 1967, the Tax Commissioner may act for and on behalf of the people of the State of Nebraska. The Tax Commissioner in his or her discretion may waive all or part of any penalties provided by the provisions of such act or interest on delinquent taxes specified in section 45-104.02, as such rate may from time to time be adjusted.
(16)(a) The purpose of this subsection is to set forth the state's policy for the protection of the confidentiality rights of all participants in the system operated pursuant to the streamlined sales and use tax agreement and of the privacy interests of consumers who deal with model 1 sellers.
(b) For purposes of this subsection:
(i) Anonymous data means information that does not identify a person;
(ii) Confidential taxpayer information means all information that is protected under a member state's laws, regulations, and privileges; and
(iii) Personally identifiable information means information that identifies a person.
(c) The state agrees that a fundamental precept for model 1 sellers is to preserve the privacy of consumers by protecting their anonymity. With very limited exceptions, a certified service provider shall perform its tax calculation, remittance, and reporting functions without retaining the personally identifiable information of consumers.
(d) The governing board of the member states in the streamlined sales and use tax agreement may certify a certified service provider only if that certified service provider certifies that:
(i) Its system has been designed and tested to ensure that the fundamental precept of anonymity is respected;
(ii) Personally identifiable information is only used and retained to the extent necessary for the administration of model 1 with respect to exempt purchasers;
(iv) Its collection, use, and retention of personally identifiable information is limited to that required by the member states to ensure the validity of exemptions from taxation that are claimed by reason of a consumer's status or the intended use of the goods or services purchased; and
(v) It provides adequate technical, physical, and administrative safeguards so as to protect personally identifiable information from unauthorized access and disclosure.
(e) The state shall provide public notification to consumers, including exempt purchasers, of the state's practices relating to the collection, use, and retention of personally identifiable information.
(f) When any personally identifiable information that has been collected and retained is no longer required for the purposes set forth in subdivision (16)(d)(iv) of this section, such information shall no longer be retained by the member states.
(g) When personally identifiable information regarding an individual is retained by or on behalf of the state, it shall provide reasonable access by such individual to his or her own information in the state's possession and a right to correct any inaccurately recorded information.
(h) If anyone other than a member state, or a person authorized by that state's law or the agreement, seeks to discover personally identifiable information, the state from whom the information is sought should make a reasonable and timely effort to notify the individual of such request.
(j) All other laws and regulations regarding the collection, use, and maintenance of confidential taxpayer information remain fully applicable and binding. Without limitation, this subsection does not enlarge or limit the state's authority to:
(i) Conduct audits or other reviews as provided under the agreement and state law;
(ii) Provide records pursuant to the federal Freedom of Information Act, disclosure laws with governmental agencies, or other regulations;
(iii) Prevent, consistent with state law, disclosure of confidential taxpayer information;
(iv) Prevent, consistent with federal law, disclosure or misuse of federal return information obtained under a disclosure agreement with the Internal Revenue Service; and
(v) Collect, disclose, disseminate, or otherwise use anonymous data for governmental purposes.