David Jetuah, Accountancy Age, Thursday 27 May 2010 at 15:45:00

Details of up to 50,000 tax credit claimants are sent to the wrong addresses

HMRC has suffered another embarassing data blunder after banking details of up to 50,000 people claiming tax credits were sent out to the wrong addresses.

Claimants were sent their annual tax credit award notice, but the documents contained personal banking details of other taxpayers, HMRC admitted today.

An HMRC spokeswoman conceded that the blunder was "embarassing" but insisted the leaked details were not enough for someone to commit identity fraud.

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation at ACCA said:

"One does wonder when HMRC will be able to properly clean up its act in this area. Even where a third party is used for printing there should have been systems in place to pick up errors.

"Let?s hope this data loss does not facilitate even greater fraud to occur in this already highly fraud-ridden area of tax."

Investigations are underway to identify the cause of the problem, HMRC said. The taxman will be contacting affected customers in writing this week, apologising and providing a corrected award notice.

"An initial analysis shows that ID theft could not result from this printing error,? the taxman added.

Further reading:

Chancellor admits HMRC lost 25 million people's data