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Revenue Scotland and Tax Powers Act 2014

Offence of wrongful disclosure

Section 19 – Wrongful disclosure of protected taxpayer information

31.Section 19 makes it a criminal offence to breach section 15, that is to say to disclose protected taxpayer information where there is not specific statutory authority under section 15(3). The penalty is imprisonment and/or a fine, with the length of sentence and the amount of the fine being higher on solemn prosecution (conviction on indictment) (see subsection (3)). There is a defence where a person reasonably believed that disclosure was lawful or the information disclosed had already lawfully been made public.

32.Subsection (4) sets out that other legal measures may also be taken against a person who breaches section 15, for example disciplinary measures in terms of employment law or a breach of confidence action may be taken despite the criminal prosecution.

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Text created by the Scottish Executive department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills

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