beta This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what beta means

HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

Disclosure of information: sanction for unlawful disclosure

Relevant legislation

The legislation that applies to this page is as follows:

  • Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005, section 19


Unlawful disclosure of information is a criminal offence under Section 19 Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005. Unlawful disclosure occurs when HM Revenue & Customs (NMWM02030) information is disclosed in a way not in accordance with section 18 or section 20 of the Act (NMWM16030).

There will be many occasions where it will be beneficial to HM Revenue & Customs, or to others, to share information. However, you must ensure you have the lawful authority to do so.

Deliberate wrongful or negligent disclosure can lead to disciplinary action, which may lead to dismissal. It can also be a criminal offence, punishable on conviction by a fine, imprisonment of up to 2 years, or both.

It is important to realise that confidentiality is your personal responsibility. As such any sanctions for breach of confidentiality and wrongful disclosure fall on the individual (NMWM16030).