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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

Disclosure of information: lawful authority to disclose information

Relevant legislation

The legislation that applies to this page is as follows:

  • Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005, section 18


The ability to disclose HM Revenue & Customs (NMWM02030) information (NMWM16050) to anyone is restricted by the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005. Only by acting in accordance with the provisions of that Act are you using HM Revenue & Customs information in a lawful way. Sharing information with anyone in a way that is not covered by that Act means you may personally be liable to departmental disciplinary action and also a criminal sanction (NMWM16105). The Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act is the Act of Parliament that created HM Revenue & Customs in April 2005. The legislation applies to all HM Revenue & Customs officers, whether they were former Inland Revenue or former Customs and Excise staff. The Act replaces former legislation on information sharing between the two departments. It also applies to all information held by HM Revenue & Customs including information gathered prior to April 2005.

The Act sets out what use HM Revenue & Customs may make of its information and the specific circumstances when we may disclose that information.

Section 18 Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act makes clear that you must not give (‘disclose’) HM Revenue & Customs information to anyone, unless you have lawful authority to do so. This includes other Government departments and their agencies, local authorities, the police or any other public bodies or authorities.

Sections 18 and 20 of the Commissioners of Revenue and Customs Act define when a member of staff has lawful authority to disclose information. Always consult your line manager if you are in any doubt whether or not information can be lawfully disclosed.