HMRC may be extending access to taxpayers’ data

The Treasury has confirmed it was proceeding with plans to legislate making aggregated and anonymised data more widely available. In a published document HMRC said:

"The government has decided to proceed with the proposal to remove the legal restrictions that currently limit HMRC's ability to share anonymised individual level data for the purpose of research and analysis and deliver public benefits wider than HMRC's own functions, but they accept that this must be done only where there are sufficient safeguards in place to protect taxpayer confidentiality.

HMRC is committed to protecting its customers' information. We shall be consulting further on implementing the proposals for sharing anonymised data, and would only take forward specific measures where there was a clear public benefit and subject to suitable safeguards."

 A number of politicians and academics have reacted badly to this news.

The data shared could include details about income, tax arrangements and payment history. According to government sources the data would be cleansed of personal contact details of taxpayers.