I have a very wealthy client who is the subject of an unusual tax enquiry. He is extremely private.
At the outset of the enquiry, before he engaged me, he dutifully sent wads of information to HMRC, namely bank statements, sources of wealth, EIS investment details and their providers, sources of funding for said EIS investments etc. etc.
Due to previous run-ins with HMRC confidentiality, client wants to put pressure on HMRC to explain how they have maintained confidentiality of his tax papers.
Client knows that if he posts response to, say, specialist Mr X at HMRC Bristol, it may be delivered to HMRC address in, say, Wolverhampton. So he is left scratching his head in the knowledge that some low level employee at Wolverhampton must be scanning in his papers there, and then somehow the scanned copies end up with specialist Mr X at HMRC Bristol, or his understudy.
His main gripe is that if a dishonest employee at HMRC passes client's data to the criminal underworld, some crook will get hold of said confidential data and misuse it.
From prior run-ins with HMRC, it seems that HMRC are not that bothered if private and confidential information gets "lost".
But how do I satisfy client that HMRC must have certain procedures in place to ensure that all 56,000 of their employees are not looking at my client's papers. And yes, my client is that paranoid he really feels that all and sundry at HMRC have access to that data.
The problem I have is that I have no idea at all nowadays how HMRC works, and how it manages to keep wealthy client data from prying eyes. One would assume that as soon as client's envelope is signed for at HMRC (that is if HMRC employee can be bothered to sign for it), then it could be handled by several low-level employees of questionable integrity.