Third party information and the Data Protection Act 1998: handling information obtained
Once you have information it must be handled properly. The eight Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) principles are
- personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully
- personal data shall be obtained only for one or more specified and lawful purposes and shall not be further processed in any manner incompatible with that purpose or those purposes
- personal data shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose or purposes for which they are processed
- personal data shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date
- personal data processed for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes
- personal data shall be processed in accordance with the rights of the data subject under the DPA
- appropriate technical and organisation measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data
- personal data shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area, unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data.
When we have properly gathered information about an individual, that individual cannot see it if it is likely to affect assessing or collecting taxes or duty. Personal representatives (IHTM05012) are not entitled to apply for information about deceased persons. But when a taxpayer or advisor asks for details of information held, consult your local HMRC appointed Data Protection Officer.