Is HMRC involved in a DATA BREACH!

HMRC Data Breach

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I remember seeing a post on here recently regards penalty letters coming out to an agent for clients belonging to another agent (I cant find it now).  Anyway the same has just happened here today, I have received 3 client penalty letters along with 2 other letters for clients of 2 other agents.  I know nothing that HMRC does should shock us (knowing what we know) but i really think this is a bit beyond a joke when you consider there are personal details on these letters (UTR numbers, NI numbers and names).  Should this not be considered as a data protection breach and notified to the ICO?

Replies (22)

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By SXGuy
24th Mar 2021 14:49

It happens to me every year. As it has this year also. As someone else said, it's probably their envelope machine messing up

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Replying to SXGuy:
By tracyannw
24th Mar 2021 16:07

Surely that is not an acceptable excuse though? If we were to do something similar I am sure we would be reprimanded.

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Replying to tracyannw:
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By SXGuy
24th Mar 2021 17:12

Of course it's not good enough.

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By SteveHa
24th Mar 2021 15:21

tracyannw wrote:

Should this not be considered as a data protection breach and notified to the ICO?

Yes.

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By Swandan83
24th Mar 2021 15:39

Had exactly the same last week

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By Paul Crowley
24th Mar 2021 16:25

https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/any-answers/late-filing-penalty-notices-...

Tallulah is interested in comments

Do we really trust HMRC with the ID copies they are requesting if they cannot even send out post correctly

Time HMRC went back to Quills ink and ledgers

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By Refs1
24th Mar 2021 17:38

Yep happen to us too.

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By tomgill
25th Mar 2021 10:05

Yes... it may be more secure to send emails........as the Jam said.. THIS IS THE MODERN WORLD

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By JamesDS
25th Mar 2021 10:09

Not just to agents. The internet is replete with cases where individuals have received other people's HMRC missives - including highly sensitive FN/APN and enquiry paperwork.

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x
By rockallj
25th Mar 2021 10:09

Yep, me too

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By GARRY GREEN
25th Mar 2021 10:40

Same here too!

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By Charlie Carne
25th Mar 2021 10:46

As part of their 10-year strategy (pushed again by Rishi Sunak in his underwhelming "Tax Day" announcements on Tuesday), HMRC should allow every taxpayer and agent to opt into receiving all data via a secure portal (the Personal Tax Account or Agent Services Account) or to third party software via API's and allow the option to opt out of physical mail delivery altogether. The technology is available already in these portals, so this could be rolled out in under a year if they were minded to do so.

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Replying to charliecarne:
By tracyannw
25th Mar 2021 12:37

Not only would this option be more secure but can you imagine the tax payer funds that would be saved by no longer having to print and post all of these letters in duplicate! And the effect on the environment.

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Replying to tracyannw:
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By Paul Crowley
25th Mar 2021 13:24

But what really happens is client does not get a trigger.
A message from HMRC saying you have a message gets ignored or arrives in junk

How are we really expecting HMRC to cope with IT if it cannot cope with posting letters.
If my granny can cope with sending letters perhaps HMRC need my Granny as a how to post consultant for say a reasonable £120,000 per year

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Replying to tracyannw:
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By Paul Crowley
25th Mar 2021 13:27

Effect on paper is nil if printed by person who receives
Paper use makes trees and trees make good environment. USE MORE PAPER

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Morph
By kevinringer
25th Mar 2021 13:47

When SA started 25 years ago HMRC did not make mistakes like this, and in those days we used to receive agent copy PAYE coding notices and statements of account too. Also there were very few FBI exception cases (or ELS as it was in those days). Move forward 25 years and though technology has moved forward, HMRC has moved backwards.

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By 4b4
25th Mar 2021 14:33

Happened here too - two out of three in the envelope were for a different Accountancy firm - presume there's no one to 'clean' their sorting machine - it really is a shambles!

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Morph
By kevinringer
25th Mar 2021 14:43

Unfortunately, HMRC's 'solution' to this problem will be to stop sending copies to agents. They'll say it saves paper, the environment and taxpayer resources.

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Replying to kevinringer:
By Paul D Utherone
29th Mar 2021 11:07

kevinringer wrote:

Unfortunately, HMRC's 'solution' to this problem will be to stop sending copies to agents. They'll say it saves paper, the environment and taxpayer resources.


The trouble is that it's not just Agent copies in the envelopes. It looks like the machine is failing to separate letters to taxpayers and agents that are just printed as a stream print run, so stopping Agent copies will not help, and indeed potentially make any breach worse if it's just tax payer copies being stuffed wrongly and thrown away
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By Open all hours
25th Mar 2021 19:47

Can they be fined a % of turnover?

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By Open all hours
25th Mar 2021 19:50

Can they be fined a % of turnover?

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Maddy Christopher
By Maddy Christopher
26th Mar 2021 10:29

Hi all,

Thank you for all the information, you can now read the article:

https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/tax/hmrc-policy/hmrc-accused-of-data-bre...

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