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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70216
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Is it legal for HMRC to give my personal details to a debt

Customer Question

Is it legal for HMRC to give my personal details to a debt collector without proving a debt?...I would expect this to contravene the data protection act.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I was a self employed carpenter until I went to university in 2007. I graduated with MMath in 2011 and am now studying for a Phd in applied maths. I believed my tax affairs were up to date and received a letter from HMRC that they no longer intended to send me any tax return forms. However, it seems that I didn't do one for 2006/7. Initially HMRC sent me an extortionate bill with fines etc for the time I was at Uni and each year that I hadn't sent a return. My accountant managed to sort some of that out for me, but unfortunately I lost my receipts etc for the last year of work, when I moved house. I believe my average annual tax bill was maybe a couple hundred pounds per year prior to 2007. Now Rossendales have sent a threatening letter claiming £1604.67. They are not the only company HMRC has given my personal details to. I currently live on my postgraduate stipend (about £14000 p.a., and maybe average £100 per month for teaching duties (which is taxed PAYE).


 


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Im really sorry but this is not a breach of the DPA.

This is just the HRMC instructing debt collectors to gather in a debt. They are perfectly entitled to do that.

All creditors everywhere can use the services of a debt collection company. There isn't a DPA issue arising.

The HMRC are perfectly free to disclose information like this in the course of collection.

Sorry thats probably not the answer you wanted but it is the position that you have and I have a duty to give you truthful and accurate information even though its not what I want to say.

Hope this helps. Please rate my answer OK SERVICE or above and I can answer your related questions.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OK, thanks...do you have any advice...its a complete waste of time trying to talk to HMRC (I've tried before), and I absolutely will not reply or have anything to do with the debt collector. I currently have £200 to last til the end of March, but I will give you a (modest) tip.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
You don't have to leave a tip.

I know that although the Revenue is not always unreasonable, unfortunately they often are.

It isn't really a good idea not to engage with the debt collectors though. Remember these are revenue debt collectors. They don't need an order to attend and seize goods. Its fair to say they don't often do that but there's a risk.

If its only £1600 ish then they would probably negotiate a repayment schedule.

Equally though with the revenue if you just start paying it they will often leave you alone.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok, thanks...I'm not worried about seizure of goods, 'cos I don't have anything of value, and live in an old railway goods wagon in a field on a hill in Wales. They'll have a problem even finding me. You've been very helpful

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
No problem. All the best.