Open tax data plans come under fire
The Treasury has confirmed the government’s intention to press ahead with plans to make anonymised tax data available to researchers and commercial organisations.
After consultation with various parties, HMRC took the stance that it wanted to publish data proactively and make what information available that it could without violating taxpayer confidentiality.
While The Guardian got confirmation from the Treasury that it was working on legislation to make aggregated and anonymised tax data more widely available, much of the work has already been underway at the HMRC Datalab that was set up in 2011.
The Datalab already allows approved academic researchers to access anonymous data in areas such as corporation tax, VAT, trade statistics and stamp duty land tax.
Personal income survey data is also released in tandem with the UK Data Archive through the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS).
HMRC’s current publication plan stipulates that raw data will not be released to protect taxpayer confidentiality, but broader summary statistics can be put into the public domain...