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HMRC internal manual

Shares and Assets Valuation Manual

Correspondence and Customer Service: Disclosure of Information

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, any person has the right to request, in writing, the release of information held by public authorities. Requests under the Act are likely to be very rare but if you do receive one or think a request may fall within the terms of the Act, consult the SAV Customer Service Manager straightaway as we must reply to such a request within 20 working days.

The Freedom of Information Act does NOT affect the rules about the confidentiality of taxpayer information. Put very briefly, the rule remains that disclosure of information relating to a taxpayer’s affairs must only be made to the taxpayer himself, to an agent who is presently acting for him or to another person explicitly authorised by the taxpayer to be given information. “Taxpayer” includes taxpayers of all kinds, whether individuals, companies, partnerships or trustees. In relation to Inheritance Tax, the IHT Manual at IHTM02011 onwards gives very detailed guidance regarding IHT. If necessary, detailed guidance in relation to other taxes can be consulted. You should be particularly careful on receipt of a telephone call.

Any concerns about HMRC’s disclosure policy or doubts about whether disclosure can be made in a particular case should be discussed with your Manager. It there is still a doubt, the SAV Customer Service Manager can be consulted. If an occasion arises where you are asked to disclose information to new agents acting, you should consult the SAV Customer Service Manager about departmental practice.

  Additional Guidance: SVM150000