Research at HMRC
The HMRC research programme supports and provides evidence for how we make, and evaluate, our policies.
Our research and analysis publications can be found at HMRC publications: research and analysis.
Working papers series
The working papers are occasional papers on analytical issues, produced by or on behalf of HMRC.
Contact the research team
For enquiries on the HMRC research and analysis programme, contact:
HMRC Knowledge Analysis and Intelligence Directorate
4th Floor, South Spur
Bush House SW Wing
Email: Brian O’Callaghan
For information on Customer Understanding Research:
HMRC Customer Insight & Knowledge Team
100 Parliament St
Email: Uma Kushalappa
Research activities funded by HMRC
The documents below set out current research activities funded by HMRC’s programme of research:
- Central External Research
- Customer Understanding Research
The HMRC Datalab
The HMRC Datalab allows approved researchers to access anonymised HMRC data in a government accredited secure environment.
The aim of the Datalab is to produce high quality analysis that benefits both HMRC and the wider research community.
Datalab projects are not commissioned by HMRC.
Data protection policies and standards
The Datalab follows HMRC’s strict data protection policies. There are restrictions on working practices to safeguard taxpayer confidentiality. To become an ‘approved researcher’, institutions have to submit a proposal and complete a short training course.
The Datalab is governed by the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act (CRCA) 2005, which dictates who HMRC can allow to access their data and for what reasons.
Research proposals for the Datalab must serve one of HMRC’s functions under the CRCA 2005. See IDG47000 - Disclosure for the purposes of HMRC’s functions for further information.
Organisations who can apply to use the Datalab
Access to the Datalab is open to researchers from a UK academic institution or government department.
HMRC also considers applications from not for profit organisations, such as independent research bodies.
International researchers will need to be affiliated, employed by, or studying at a UK university, government department or research organisation.
Applying to use the HMRC Datalab
To apply to use the HMRC Datalab:
download and complete the Datalab project proposal form:
email the form to: HMRC Datalab
It’s important that your proposal shows how your research will be:
- useful for HMRC
- improved using HMRC data rather than other available sources
The Datalab Team will then advise you on your project, and may request more detailed information.
Proposals are then evaluated against these criteria:
- contribution to HMRC functions
- long-term benefit to HMRC
- research design and likely impact of the research
- feasibility of the research
HMRC is more likely to support projects that are relevant to contemporary research questions.
All research in the HMRC Datalab must be independent, with the results intended for publication.
It may be useful to see this list of approved research proposals to help you with your submission:
These are topics currently of interest to HMRC which we would like to see explored in the HMRC Datalab:
- efficiency improvements within HMRC
- data issues
- tax policy
Application submission deadlines
Applications are assessed on a quarterly basis:
- 15 December 2014, to be discussed on 16 January 2015
- 3 March 2015, to be discussed on 20 March 2015
- 13 June 2015, to be discussed on 10 July 2015
These are the datasets currently available in the HMRC Datalab.
Other HMRC datasets
You can submit a proposal requesting the use of datasets not listed above, if the information you need is currently not available in the Datalab. Please consult our data catalogue for further information on the data that HMRC holds:
Using and matching your own data
You will need to describe the data you would like to bring and the HMRC Datalab Team will consider each dataset on a case by case basis.
Key identifiers have been removed from the HMRC Datalab datasets as part of the de-identification process so matching will have to be undertaken by HMRC.
Contact the HMRC Datalab
If you have any questions about the Datalab please contact us.
Bush House (South West Wing)
Email: HMRC Datalab