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Children: Maintenance

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department is taking to improve the exchange of information between the Child Support Agency and HM Revenue and Customs in relation to the assessment of child maintenance entitlement and payments. (206098)

[holding answer 16 May 2008]: Current legislation allows for the disclosure by HMRC of information needed for any of a number of child support purposes, including to enable the assessment/calculation of child maintenance liabilities. The Child Support Agency continues to work day to day with HMRC and has recently agreed an enhanced process for the exchange of national insurance contributions information when required by the Agency. This is in addition to HMRC's powers to disclose information relating to the earnings of self-employed non-resident parents and information held for the purposes of functions relating to tax credits or child benefit.

Both Departments are currently working together in preparation for the move to base maintenance assessments on HMRC data as proposed in the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Bill.