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HMRC internal manual

Information Disclosure Guide

Information disclosure Gateways with other government departments: Intelligence Services (MI5, MI6, GCHQ)

HMRC may disclose information to the Intelligence Services through a legal gateway provided by section 19 of the Counter Terrorism Act 2008. This gateway permits the disclosure of information to the Intelligence Services for the purposes of the exercise by that service of any of its functions, and does not contravene any duty of confidentiality owed by the person making the disclosure. This means that HMRC can disclose the requested information with a basic explanation from the Intelligence Services as to why the information is required to confirm that it is for the purpose of exercising their functions.

Any disclosures made still need to comply with the Data Protection Act and the Human Rights Act, to allow HMRC to make the determination of what information is necessary, relevant and proportionate to be disclosed.

This gateway replaces the previous legal gateway HMRC had with the Intelligence Services which was section 19 of the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (ATCSA). However, the same departmental procedures (ATCSA procedures) apply in terms of disclosures made to the Intelligence Services using the Counter Terrorism Act gateway.

See IDG50100 for more information on how to disclose to organisations such as MI5, MI6 and GCHQ using the ATCSA procedures. This includes where the Intelligence Services request information from the department, or where the department wishes to pro-actively disclose the information to a part of the Intelligence Services.

You may only disclose information to the Intelligence Services in accordance with the procedure at IDG50100

Please also see IDG50130 if you are involved in a joint working situation with any part of the Intelligence Services.