In 1996 it was announced that the DSS was to be allowed to pass information to Revenue and Customs:-
‘The Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise will receive more information to aid closer working and help tackle tax evasion. This is as a result of the Chancellor’s proposal today [26 November 1996], with the support of the Secretary of State for Social Security, to allow the Department of Social Security to pass social security information to Customs and Excise and the Inland Revenue.
- Currently the Department of Social Security (DSS) cannot disclose information to Customs and Excise and the Inland Revenue except in very limited circumstances.
- Today’s [26 November 1996] proposal will enable the DSS to pass information to the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise to assist them in carrying out their duties. This will remove some barriers to closer working and mean that the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise can check and investigate anomalies between information held by the DSS, Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise.
- Any information received by Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise from the DSS will be held under the same strict confidentiality rules as all their other information on taxpayers.
- A provision enabling Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise to disclose information to DSS is contained in the Social Security Administration (Fraud) Bill which is currently being considered by Parliament.’(Revenue press release, 26 November 1996)
The provisions came into effect on 2 July 1997 (FA 1997, s. 110).
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