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HMRC internal manual

Information Disclosure Guide

Sharing information outside HMRC: sharing information with courts, tribunals and HMRC appeals: requests for information without a formal court order or summons

There will be times when an officer from the court or other person from the Court Service contacts you and asks you to supply information. Such request may be by letter or by telephone. Very occasionally, a solicitor or other individual may say that they require information in connection with criminal or civil proceedings.

If a court or any other person makes a request for information which is not a court order, witness summons or subpoena (see IDG40530 and IDG40540) you must not release any information.

All court orders, witness summons and subpoenas should be clearly marked as such. If you receive any other form or correspondence, letter or request then you must not provide any information.

In any case of this kind it is important that there is no delay in dealing with the request and you should reassure the requestor that HMRC will always seek to support legal proceedings where it is lawfully able to do so.

Further guidance

If you receive a request for information from court which is not identifiable as a court order, witness summons or subpoena please contact your Data Guardian for further guidance (see IDG80100).

Devolved administrations

This guidance applies throughout Great Britain and Northern Ireland.