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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

Disclosure of information: obtaining information from third parties (such as Local Authorities)

Relevant legislation

The legislation that applies to this page includes:

  • Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005, section 18(2)(a)(i)
  • Data Protection Act 1998


There must be a business need for information before HM Revenue & Customs (NMWM02030) can request any information from a third party such as a Local Authority. There has to be a specific business reason for the request which relates to a specific business for the purposes of the functions of HM Revenue & Customs. There is not a business need if the request is purely asking for information of general interest that has no immediate relevance to the case being investigated.

A formal request to a third party for information can fall under Section 18(2)(a)(i) of the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005 or an appropriate legal gateway depending on who we are requesting information from.

Where a third party has concerns regarding their obligation with data protection matters they should be re-assured that they can respond to formal requests under section 29 of the Data Protection Act 1998, providing that the request is in writing and the enquiries are concerned with either:-

  • the prevention or detection of crime
  • the apprehension or prosecution of offenders
  • the assessment or collection of any tax or duty or of any imposition of a similar nature

National minimum wage investigations are civil investigations carried out as a function of HM Revenue & Customs. Therefore any request for information to a third party must only be made under the assessment or collection heading.

An appropriate form (Word 39KB) and stock letter found in Word SEES titled, “Section 29 covering letter” should be used to make such requests.