(a) Except in accordance with proper judicial order or as otherwise provided by law, it shall be unlawful for the tax commission, any tax commissioner, any officer or employee of the department of taxation and finance, any person engaged or retained by such department on an independent contract basis, or any person, who, pursuant to this section, is permitted to inspect any costs or to whom a copy, an abstract or a portion thereof is furnished, or to whom any such information is furnished or any person who in any manner may acquire knowledge of such costs, to divulge or make known in any manner any of the costs of doing business of a retail dealer, or of an agent or wholesale dealer which have been filed with the tax commission pursuant to paragraph one , two or three of subdivision (b) of section four hundred eighty-three of this article, or to divulge the name of any person who has provided information to the tax commission concerning any alleged violation of this article.
(b) The officers and employees charged with the custody of such information shall not be required to divulge any of such information in any action or proceeding in any court, except on behalf of the tax commission in an action or proceeding under the provisions of this chapter or in any other action or proceeding involving the collection of a tax due under this chapter to which the state or the tax commission is a party or a claimant, or on behalf of any party to any action or proceeding under the provisions of this article when such information is directly involved in such action or proceeding, in any of which events the court may require the production of, and may admit in evidence, so much of such information as is pertinent to the action or proceeding, and no more.
(c) This provision shall not be construed to prohibit the disclosure of such information to a retail dealer or to an agent or wholesale dealer, or to its duly authorized representative, in connection with its establishment of a cost of doing business, or to prohibit the publication of statistics so classified as to prevent the identification of particular information concerning the cost of doing business of any retail dealer, agent or wholesale dealer, or the disclosure of the identity of persons licensed as agents or wholesale dealers or registered as chain stores, franchisees, cooperative members or large volume outlets, or the disclosure to the attorney general or other legal representatives of the state in connection with any action or proceeding under this article brought by or against the retail dealer, agent or wholesale dealer, or against whom an action or proceeding under this chapter has been recommended by the commissioner of taxation and finance or by the attorney general.
(d) Any officer or employee of the state who willfully violates the provisions of this section shall be dismissed from office and be incapable of holding any public office in this state for a period of five years thereafter.
(e) Cross-reference: For criminal penalties, see article thirty-seven of this chapter.
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