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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

Introduction: Confidentiality and Personal Security

Confidentiality of Information 

Your legal obligations to maintain confidentiality as an employee of HMRC are determined by the Act that established HMRC. This is the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005 (PDF 273kb) (CRCA).

You must be fully aware of these obligations and comply with them at all times. There are criminal sanctions for those who disclose information when there is no lawful authority to do so.

The legislation states that you must not give or disclose HMRC information to anyone, including other government departments and their agencies, local authorities, the police or any other public bodies, unless you have lawful authority to do so - Section 18 CRCA.

All new staff must sign a declaration of confidentiality when they join HMRC under Section 3 CRCA. This is in the Manager’s Induction Pack.

Further Guidance

You can find detailed about confidentiality and your responsibilities is in the Information Disclosure Guide.

This also includes details on who to contact for advice about what can and cannot be disclosed. if you have any doubts about whether information can be lawfully disclosed, you must seek further advice before releasing the information.

Personal Security

You must always make sure that you pay attention to your own personal safety, especially when working out of the office. You can find detailed guidance about personal safety in HMRC’s HR policies and guidance.