Since HMRC’s infamous major data loss in 2007, no one would blame you for thinking that staff at HMRC would be stringent when it comes to protecting taxpayers’ details.
Well, apparently this is not the case.
Treasury Minister David Gauke claims that a total of 35 staff had been suspected of deliberately disclosing data without authorisation since 2007 and all faced an investigation.
4 investigations were carried out in 2007-08 but that figure then doubled to eight the following year. By 2009-10 there were a total of 14 investigations and in 2010-11, in just a six month period, there were 9 investigations conducted.
According to Gauke, HMRC carried out their own internal investigations into the suspected members of staff who face disciplinary proceedings at the very least if found guilty.
There is also the potential for dismissal and if any members of staff were found to have breached the Data Protection Act or the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act they would more than likely face prosecution.
HMRC reviewed their data protection measures in 2007 after computer discs detailing 25 million child benefit records went missing but it seems that just was not enough.
KinsellaTax had a case where an inspector rang up the Licensing Authority saying that the lady who was running a children’s nursery was under investigation.
The lady in question was called in by the Licensing Authority and asked if this was so.
KinsellaTax obtained an apology from HMRC and the inspector was moved.
However, things were not made easier by the fact that the inspector’s boyfriend, also an inspector, conducted an enquiry into the client’s husband’s business dealings.
If you want it complicated; try HMRC.
If you have found yourself in the midst of a gruelling HMRC tax investigation and don’t know what to do call KinsellaTax immediately on 0800 471 4546.