TIB - June 1993
On page 1 of TIB Volume Four, No.11 (June 1993), there was an article dealing with releasing Official Information about taxpayers.
In this article we said that "We have consulted with the Ombudsman, and between us we've agreed that it is vital that Inland Revenue does not release information we receive in confidence,..."
The Chief Ombudsman has pointed out that this statement reflects the general approach to release of informants' identities, but the rationale is not because the information is received in confidence. The reason is that releasing such information could well prejudice Inland Revenue's ability to detect revenue offences.
Where such factors are not involved in a particular case, the Ombudsman might form the opinion that the information ought not to be withheld and might recommend that it be released.
However, the sections in the previous article about confidentiality, defamation, illegal activities and safety still stand. Inland Revenue will not release any information if doing so would contravene any of these factors.