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HMRC internal manual

Information Disclosure Guide

Information disclosure Gateways with other government departments: Local Authorities: disclosure of Child Benefit information

We may disclose Child Benefit information to local authorities.

Only the Tax Credits Office (TCO), Tax Credits Contact Centre (TCC), and Benefits and Credits/DWP Joint Intelligence Desk may disclose this information.

If a local authority officer asks you for information about Child Benefit, you must pass the request on to CBO. Offices other than CBO are not permitted to disclose this information to local authorities.

Procedure to follow

If the request is about a child considered to be ‘at risk’, send it immediately to CBO Customer Relations Unit (see IDG80100 for contact details, or see IDG52970 for more guidance on this subject).

Local Authorities may ask for information to help in the administration of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit. Disclosure of customer details may be made in these circumstances but should not be made without the customer’s written consent if the Authority is seeking information for Rent, other Council Tax or Homeless purposes.

Requests for information received from Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit can be released without consent where the request relates to the family unit of our customer. Information about other Child Benefit customers cannot and must not be released without the correct letter of consent (see IDG30210 for more guidance on consent).

Requests must be made in writing.

Information which can be disclosed

CBO may provide DWP and Local Authorities with information from the customer’s account record providing the reason for the request is valid.

CBO also provide witness statements for Child Benefit cases (see IDG40220).

Legislation which allows disclosure

The gateway provided by Schedule 5 Tax Credit Act 2002 allows the disclosure of Child Benefit information

Devolved administrations

This guidance applies to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (NI). NI Local Authorities are known as ‘Housing Executives’.

Further guidance

If you receive a request and are unsure how to proceed, contact CBO Customer Relations Unit see IDG80100.