Information disclosure Gateways with other government departments: Local Authorities: general
Why share information with Local Authorities
HMRC shares information with different departments within Local Authorities for different purposes. We share information about:-
- children at risk with local Social Services departments; http://home.active.hmrci/idgmanual/IDG52970.htm;
- VAT and Customs matters with Local Trading Standards; ;
- Tax Credits for Housing Benefit purposes; ;
- Child Benefit for Housing Benefit purposes; ;
- Criminal investigations; ;
- Council Tax Reduction Schemes; see below.
Occasionally we may be part of a Local Authority led Crime Reduction and Safety Partnership group where we can share information with the bodies who are part of that group as long as a legal basis allows us to .
Ensuring information is shared lawfully
All disclosures of HMRC information must be lawful. See IDG40100 for more information on lawful disclosure as provided by the CRCA.
To be lawful, HMRC may only share information with local authorities through a legal gateway. See IDG40320 for general information about legal gateways. The appropriate legal gateway to use is listed under each type of disclosure to Local Authorities, at IDG52920 to IDG52980.
You must also ensure when passing information to Local Authorities that you follow the agreed procedure for disclosures. Details are listed under each type of disclosure to local authorities:
Legislation which allows disclosure
S127 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012
This provides for the introduction of the Universal Credit from 2013, and has consequences for the legal bases upon which HMRC may share information with Local Authorities.
Housing Benefit will form part of the new Universal Credit award. However, existing Tax Credit claimants will continue to receive Housing Benefit until they migrate to Universal Credit.
The gateways within the Tax Credit Act which permit the disclosure of Tax Credit, Child Benefit and Guardian’s Allowance will remain extant as long as the Tax Credit award remains in place. When the award ceases and the claimant migrates to the Universal Credit other gateways will provide the legal bases for disclosure.
S17 of the Local Government Finance Act (LGFA) 2012 amended paragraph 15A to Schedule 2 of the LGFA 1992
Since 1 April 2013 Local Authorities in England, Wales and Scotland have administered the Council Tax Reduction Scheme. This means that HMRC may share any information it holds for its functions with Local Authorities for any purposes relating to:-
- the determination of an application for a council tax reduction
- the review of, or an appeal against, such a determination
- the prevention or detection of fraud or error in connection with a council tax reduction
- action as a result of an attempt to obtain a council tax reduction fraudulently.