What are the requirements concerning records and clients confidential information?
The term "client" as used throughout WAC 4-30-050 and 4-30-051
includes former and current clients. For purposes of this section, a client relationship has been formed when confidential information has been disclosed by a prospective client in an initial interview to obtain or provide professional services.
(2) Sale or transfer of client records: No statement, record, schedule, working paper, or memorandum, including electronic records, may be sold, transferred, or bequeathed without the consent of the client or his or her personal representative or assignee, to anyone other than one or more surviving partners, shareholders, or new partners or new shareholders of the licensee, partnership, limited liability company, or corporation, or any combined or merged partnership, limited liability company, or corporation, or successor in interest.
(3) Confidential client communication or information: Licensees, CPA-Inactive certificate holders, nonlicensee firm owners and employees of such persons must not without the specific consent of the client or the heirs, successors, or authorized representatives of the client disclose any confidential communication or information pertaining to the client obtained in the course of performing professional services.
This rule also applies to confidential communications and information obtained in the course of professional tax compliance services unless state or federal tax laws or regulations require or permit use or disclosure of such information.
Consents may include those requirements of Treasury Circular 230 and IRC Sec. 7216 for purposes of this rule, provided the intended recipients are specifically and fully identified by full name, address, and other unique identifiers.
(4) This rule does not:
(a) Affect in any way the obligation of those persons to comply with a lawfully issued subpoena or summons;
(b) Prohibit disclosures in the course of a quality review of a licensee's attest, compilation, or other reporting services governed by professional standards;
(c) Preclude those persons from responding to any inquiry made by the board or any investigative or disciplinary body established by local, state, or federal law or recognized by the board as a professional association; or
(d) Preclude a review of client information in conjunction with a prospective purchase, sale, or merger of all or part of the professional practice of public accounting of any such persons.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 18.04.055
(1). WSR 13-04-011, § 4-30-050, filed 1/25/13, effective 2/25/13. Statutory Authority: RCW 18.04.055
(4)(b), and 18.04.405
(1). WSR 11-06-062, amended and recodified as § 4-30-050, filed 3/2/11, effective 4/2/11; WSR 08-18-016, § 4-25-640, filed 8/25/08, effective 9/25/08; WSR 05-01-137, § 4-25-640, filed 12/16/04, effective 1/31/05; WSR 03-24-033, § 4-25-640, filed 11/25/03, effective 12/31/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 18.04.055
(2). WSR 02-22-082, § 4-25-640, filed 11/5/02, effective 12/31/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 18.40.055
[18.04.055]. WSR 93-22-046, § 4-25-640, filed 10/28/93, effective 11/28/93.]