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HMRC internal manual

Information Disclosure Guide

Confidentiality when dealing with visitors, students and researchers: disclosing to students for research


HM Revenue and Customs holds a large database of material which students, or members of staff, may sometimes wish to access for research purposes. It should be noted that the Department is not to be used as a convenient source of research material, but where a student can show that that the research project will be of benefit to HMRC, access to data can be given so long as the below procedure is followed.


Access to data can be given on the following conditions:

  • The student completes a contractors declaration of confidentiality form. HMRC declaration of confidentiality (consultants & contractors) (PDF 51KB)
  • Any information used in the final report must be anonymised, and,
  • The Department has the right to a copy of the report, and the right to correct any part of the report, prior to publication in order to satisfy itself that all the conditions have been fully complied with. Please contact your Data Guardian for advice on drawing up an appropriate statement.

Requests for research material made under the Freedom Of Information Act 2000

It may be that a person attempts to obtain information for research purposes by making a FoI request. If this is the case, the usual procedures for dealing with FoI requests must be followed. Guidance on this is found at IDG40150.

Further guidance

If you receive a request for information and are unsure how to proceed please contact your Data Guardian for advice.