An EU national is challenging HMRC over new rules that require tax authorities around the world to automatically exchange information on millions of their citizens who live abroad. In a complaint to the UK’s data protection regulator, the EU citizen said the common reporting standard — a key measure against tax evasion developed by international experts that is now being gradually introduced by more than 100 countries — made her personal information vulnerable to cyber hacking or an accidental leak.
In her complaint against the common reporting standard to the UK Information Commissioner’s Office, the EU citizen said the exchange of information required by the rules will expose her to “a disproportionate risk of data loss and potentially hacking”.
She is quoted by the FT:
“This risk has crystallised recently in light of incidents in which HMRC has lost data concerning UK taxpayers and recent data breaches concerning UK banks.”Her complaint cited how HMRC had lost the personal records of 25m taxpayers in 2007, as well as a media report in 2017 outlining how the tax authority’s website was vulnerable to cyber attacks. HMRC subsequently took action to fix the weaknesses.
HMRC declined to discuss the case but added:
“HMRC shares some personal data with overseas tax authorities to ensure that the right tax is being paid. HMRC only ever shares information when it’s entirely lawful to do so. This includes complying with applicable GDPR requirements.”The fact is data is vulnerable to hacking, even when the data is stored by "reputable/professional" organisations!
Tax does have to be taxing.
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