A. The commissioner of the revenue shall preserve in a permanent file in his office all returns of tangible personal property, machinery and tools, and merchants’ capital.
B. The commissioner may, in his discretion, subject to the requirements of the Virginia Public Records Act (§ 42.1-76 et seq.), destroy any returns, collected by the commissioner of the revenue, which have been on file in his office for at least six years after the tax assessment year. Any commissioner who fails to comply with the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
C. In lieu of retaining the original returns in his office for at least six years after the tax assessment year, the commissioner, with the consent of the local governing body, may have the original returns copied. Any such copies shall be on a durable medium that complies with the requirements of the Virginia Public Records Act. After copying, the original returns may be destroyed in accordance with the provisions of § 15.2-1412, and the copies shall be retained in accordance with the provisions of subsections A and B of this section, mutatis mutandis. Any such copy may be used in any legal proceeding if the copy is authenticated in accordance with applicable law.
Code 1950, §§ 58-876, 58-877; 1968, c. 627; 1984, c. 675; 1996, c. 323.