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Revenue and Customs: Communication Service Providers

Volume 496: debated on Monday 20 July 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many requests for communications data were made by HM Revenue and Customs to communication service providers (CSPs) under the Taxes Management Act 1970 in (a) 2000, (b) 2001, (c) 2002, (d) 2003, (e) 2004, (f) 2005, (g) 2006, (h) 2007 and (i) 2008; and how many of these requests resulted in the requested communications data being disclosed by the relevant CSP. (284868)

Prior to 2005 when the Inland Revenue and HM Customs and Excise merged to form HM Revenue AND Customs (HMRC) S.20 Notices under the Taxes Management Act were regularly sought by the Inland Revenue Inspectors of Taxes on a case by case basis and could be issued from any tax office and a copy retained in individual taxpayers folders. There was no form of central record of the issue of S.20 Notices and the type of information requested. It is therefore not possible to provide this information for this period.

In February 2006 the HMRC Single Point of Contact (SpoC) for the acquisition and disclosure of communications data was designated as the National Telecoms Unit who are responsible for all departmental matters relating to communications data, including RIPA requests, witness statements and Production Orders. From 2006 onwards the HMRC SpoC has not issued any S.20 TMA Notices.