Personal information charter

How HMRC keeps your information safe and confidential.

HMRC knows how important it is to protect customers’ privacy and to comply with the Data Protection Act 2018. As such, we will not give your information to anyone, including government departments and their agencies, local authorities, the police or any other public or private sector bodies, unless we have lawful authority to do so.

This information charter sets out the standards that you can expect from HMRC when we request or hold information about you during your dealings with us, so that we can provide better services for you. It also sets out how you can help us make sure the information we hold about you is accurate.

You can read more about what you can expect from us and what we expect from you in Your Charter.

Information we collect

We collect information about you to help us:

  • collect tax, National Insurance contributions and VAT
  • pay tax credits and Child Benefit
  • administer the National Minimum Wage
  • enforce import and export legislation

‘Open source’ material

HMRC may observe, monitor, record and retain internet data which is available to anyone. This is known as ‘open source’ material and includes:

  • news reports
  • internet sites
  • Companies House and land registry records
  • blogs and social networking sites where no privacy settings have been applied

How we use your information

We may use information we hold about you:

  • for one or more of our lawful functions
  • to check that your existing information is accurate
  • to compare it against other information to help combat fraud and crime
  • to verify an entitlement that you may have
  • to help us authenticate your identity

Information we may give to others

If the law allows, we may give information about you to:

  • other government departments and similar bodies
  • the police and law enforcement agencies
  • the courts, on production of a valid court order
  • foreign tax and customs authorities

We may also disclose your non-financial VAT registration information in order to promote economic growth through improved credit scoring.

Read more about data protection in HMRC and find out how you can request information we hold about you in our data protection factsheet.