Dear HM Revenue and Customs,
I asked here about HMRC's sharing of Child Benefit data with Bradford and Sheffield council
I received the following response:
"All the data that HMRC holds is subject to a statutory duty of confidentiality, which prohibits its disclosure except where the law provides otherwise. Typically for sharing with other parts of Government a specific legal provision is in place to authorise the disclosure (subject to various safeguards). In this particular instance the relevant legal provision is Paragraph 10A of Schedule 5 Tax Credits Act 2002. This allows HMRC to share information it holds (for the purposes of its functions relating to tax credits, child benefit or guardian’s allowance) with a local authority in England and Wales for use for the purpose of any enquiry or investigation under Part 5 of the Children Act 1989 relating to the welfare of a child."
I am now making a separate request to clarify the information already received.
In relation to Schedule 5:
1/ Is there any burden of proof on the body which is asking for HMRC data?
2/ How would a local authority be required to demonstrate it has reasonable cause to suspect a child is likely to suffer significant harm?
"10A(1)This paragraph applies to information, other than information relating to a person’s income, which is held for the purposes of functions relating to tax credits, child benefit or guardian’s allowance— ...
(2)Information to which this paragraph applies may be supplied to—
(a)a local authority in England and Wales for use for the purpose of any enquiry or investigation under Part 5 of the Children Act 1989 relating to the welfare of a child"
(1)Where a local authority— ...
(b)have reasonable cause to suspect that a child who lives, or is found, in their area is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm, the authority shall make, or cause to be made, such enquiries as they consider necessary to enable them to decide whether they should take any action to safeguard or promote the child’s welfare."
Our ref: FOI2016/00294
Dear Fiona Nicholson,
Freedom of Information Act 2000 Acknowledgement
Thank you for your communication of 15th November which has been passed to
HMRC's Freedom of Information Team.
We have allocated the above reference which you should quote if you need
to contact us.
The Team will arrange for a reply to be sent to you which will either
comply with HMRC's obligations under Freedom of Information Act or, if we
think it's an enquiry that we don't need to address under the terms of the
Act, let you know why. If it is the latter we will, if possible, pass it
on to a more appropriate part of the Department for answer.
HMRC Freedom of Information Act Team
Dear HM Revenue and Customs,
That's great, thank you very much.
Please find attached our reply to your FOI request.
Benefits & Credits
Tel No: 03000 586534
Room 1C/13 | 100 Parliament Street | London SW1A 2BQ
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