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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

Disclosure of information: civil and criminal court proceedings (no direct HM Revenue & Customs’ involvement)

HM Revenue & Customs (NMWM02030) staff may be asked to provide information in connection with court proceedings when HM Revenue & Customs does not have a direct involvement in those proceedings.

When will this occur?

There are many examples of when this may occur. For example:

  • a court may require HM Revenue & Customs information to corroborate information which HM Revenue & Customs has previously given to another Government Department, and will be used in evidence ( For example the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (NMWM02020) use information provided by HM Revenue & Customs when prosecuting);
  • litigation between an agent and their present (or former) customer may require HM Revenue & Customs’ information.

Procedure to follow

HM Revenue & Customs may only provide information to a civil court or tribunal when issued with a court order, subpoena or witness summons which is binding on the Department (NMWM16330).

If the court requests information, but does not issue a court order, witness statement or subpoena which is binding on the Department, then disclosure of HM Revenue & Customs confidential information is not permitted (NMWM16340). In such circumstances an alternative would be for the party whose confidential information is being sought to positively consent to the disclosure (see IDG43000). It may often be in the customer’s interests to consent to disclosure if they are involved in the litigation (NMWM16030).

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

Criminal Cases

This guidance does not cover disclosures under the provisions of the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996. Requests may also be made by the Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office and the Scottish and Northern Ireland equivalents (NMWM16500). Further guidance on this can be found in the Enforcement Handbook. See IDG90150 for a link to this guidance.

If you get a request for information from the Home Office or one of its associated agencies, bodies or organisations, including the police, then forward the request to the NMW Risk Team (NMWM02040).