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Apr 24th, 2014

Your tax record: for sale?

By Amy Lockwood

Have you heard about the latest data sell-off? Right now, the taxman, HMRC, is considering a plan to sell our personal tax details to private companies. Our incomes, the amount of tax we pay, and our tax histories could be sold to the highest bidder.

Tory MP David Davis has branded the plan “borderline insane”. But right now, HMRC is thinking about whether to go ahead anyway. If enough of us come together to create a huge petition, it will show HMRC, and the government that we won’t stand for them selling off our tax details.

Only a few months ago NHS England floated plans to sell off our health records. The outcry was huge, with organisations like the Royal College of GPs responding furiously to the idea that individuals might be identifiable from the data. In less than 24 hours, 150,000 members of 38 Degrees pledged to opt out of the scheme. Together, we forced a change of plan. NHS England panicked and paused the sell-off for 6 months.

If we act fast, we can do the same with HMRC. There is already opposition. MPs have criticised the plans. Tax experts have expressed concern, and organisations like Big Brother Watch are worried about “serious risks to privacy.”

38 Degrees members are coming together to create a huge petition, to show HMRC that we want our details kept private. If you want to add your name to the petition, click here.


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