Wednesday, 26 January 2011
Finance Bill 2011: Committee Stage
Martin Mansergh (Minister of State with special responsibility for the Arts, Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism; Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works, Department of Finance; Tipperary South, Fianna Fail)
Section 73 formalises taxpayer confidentiality. The need for such provision arises because of the volume and comprehensiveness of personal and commercial information concerning taxpayers which Revenue acquires. At present, there is no specific tax-related provision other than the statutory declaration made by inspectors in respect of Schedule D tax and corporation tax governing confidentiality requirements. Reliance is placed on the absolute ban imposed by the Official Secrets Act on civil servants revealing any information acquired in an official capacity. This section provides a specific tax-related provision which will reassure taxpayers that personal and commercial information revealed for tax purposes is protected against unauthorised disclosure. In other words, this strengthens by being specific the rights of the taxpayer.