Legislation: Powers and safeguards
Officers need to be aware of both the legal powers which are available to help them carry out their duties effectively and the legal safeguards which are in place to protect the Human Rights and Confidentiality of individual citizens and businesses.
Officers should be aware that generic HMRC powers and safeguards legislation which has been introduced with the intention of aligning direct and indirect tax powers, penalties and safeguards, do not apply to our compliance activities. Our powers are determined specifically by MLR 2017 and Counter Terrorism Act 2008.
We do, in fact, comply with the article 6 requirements. Businesses are informed of their rights within our guidance and nothing hinges on whether that guidance is headed ‘Human Rights Act’ or not. Generally it is good practice to follow generic HMRC operational guidance in relation to this when exercising our powers. However, a specific Human Rights Act leaflet does not need to be issued.
Section 18 of the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005 (CRCA) makes it clear that Officers must not give (‘disclose’) HMRC information to anyone, unless they have lawful authority to do so. This includes other government departments and their agencies, local authorities, the police, any other public bodies, agents and members of the public.
Full details about the disclosure of information can be found in HMRC’s Information Disclosure Guidance.