Confidentiality when dealing with the customer: customer confidentiality: trans-gendered customers
All disclosures of HMRC information must be lawful in accordance with the provisions of the CRCA, see IDG40100.
The Gender Recognition Act 2004 provides additional safeguards on confidentiality, as well as allowing transgender customers to legally acquire their chosen gender. You must be aware of these additional safeguards on confidentiality when dealing with trans-gender customers, or handling information about them.
The Act allows a trans-gender person to apply for a ‘gender recognition certificate’. The issuing of this certificate gives a person the legal rights and responsibilities of their acquired gender. HMRC is advised of this to enable the department to carry out its functions, such as NICs administration.
The Act provides that you must not disclose any ‘protected information’ regarding trans-gender customers to a third party unless the disclosure falls within a limited number of special exemptions. If you are considering a disclosure of ‘protected information’ you must seek guidance first. ‘Protected information’ means information a person has supplied to a Gender Recognition Panel in connection with an application for a gender recognition certificate or any other information which concerns a person’s gender before their gender was changed.
Details of how to deal with trans-gender customers, and information about them, is given in the Customer Adviser Guide (see IDG80300).
If you receive a request for information concerning a trans-gender person, and are unsure as to how to proceed, seek further advice from the specialist team, or contact your Data Guardian.