New HMRC powers to obtain current address details
The Finance Bill 2009 includes provisions to provide HMRC with additional powers to seek address related information when taxpayers have outstanding debts. HMRC have now issued draft regulations in line with the Bill.
The new powers are designed to allow HMRC to obtain up-to-date addresses for taxpayers who owe HMRC money and where the address held by HMRC is incorrect or out of date. Current policy is to first check internal systems for an up-to-date address. If this is unsuccessful, third party requests are made on an informal basis and any response from third parties is voluntary.
The new powers will allow HMRC to obtain information from third parties such as companies, local authorities, local authority associations and any other third party where HMRC has reasonable grounds to believe they hold such information in the course of business. The new powers do not allow HMRC to contact friends, neighbours, relatives or other government departments for information.
These powers are to be used solely for obtaining addresses and not for obtaining more detailed information on taxpayers affairs.