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HMRC internal manual

Information Disclosure Guide

Sharing information outside of HMRC: sharing information with courts, tribunals and HMRC appeals: circumstances where court requests information

There are a variety of reasons why the courts may require access to confidential information held by HMRC. Understanding why information is required can help put the matter in its proper context but it is not always necessary to understand the court’s reasoning.

Typical examples include:

  • HMRC may be asked to release information in support of a prosecution by another government department. This will usually be as a result of having previously provided a witness statement (see IDG40220 for guidance on witness statements). It could also be because the information that the court now requires could not be disclosed under an information-sharing gateway (see IDG40320 for further guidance on gateways).
  • A court may require information in connection with a criminal case (not including proceedings begun by or on behalf of HMRC, for which see IDG54300).
  • A court may require information from you in connection with civil proceedings such as matrimonial disputes, matters concerning the whereabouts of children or their parents and disputes between customers and their agents.
  • You may receive a request for information in connection with an insolvency case which is made with the authorisation of the court. IDG40600 provides more information on insolvency proceedings.
  • Where a customer has gone to court for redress after an accident as a result of which he has lost income, and the respondent is seeking information about the customer’s employment history or income.
  • Where a coroner requires employment information to assist with an enquiry into a suspicious death.
  • Where information is required by an Employment Tribunal in connection with a claim against unfair dismissal.