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Immigration: Sharing of Data between HMRC and Home Office

Volume 697: debated on Tuesday 22 June 2021

What his Department’s policy is on the sharing of data between HMRC and the Home Office for immigration purposes. (901611)

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs has a strict duty of confidentiality in relation to information it holds on taxpayers. HMRC will share information on individuals or employers with the Home Office for immigration purposes only where a clear legal basis exists, and it will share or disclose only the information that is necessary and proportionate to the intended purpose through strict adherence to data protection principles, including the UK general data protection regulation. Personal data that is disclosed is minimised where it can be and strictly governed and subject to audit.

It is not necessary and proportionate in the cases I have been hearing about. In one case, someone who had been here as a highly skilled migrant for 10 years was refused the right to remain because he had miscalculated his tax by £1.20 years previously. What global talent does the Minister think will want to take the risk of uprooting their families to another country that may well kick them out for something HMRC previously said was a minor issue?

For reasons that I have described, I cannot comment on individual cases. However, the hon. Lady is welcome to raise them with HMRC on behalf of her constituents. I can tell her that legislation provides very specific, well-designed information-sharing gateways under an umbrella memorandum of understanding governing all data sharing between the two sides, and all of that is grounded in strict obedience with the law.