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Health Act 2009

Part 3.Miscellaneous

Disclosure of Information

66.HMRC holds information relating to the tax affairs of individuals – including those of GPs and dentists who provide medical and dental care on behalf of the NHS. It has been the practice of HMRC, over a number of years, to assist in statistical enquiries carried out by or on behalf of the Department of Health relating to the earnings and expenses of GPs and dentists by providing summarised data in aggregate anonymised form.

67.This annual exercise has been conducted on behalf of the Secretary of State and the devolved administrations by the NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care. The dental exercise has not included Scotland or Northern Ireland but there are proposals to extend the scope to include them in future.

68.The Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005 prohibits officials of HMRC from disclosing information of any kind held by HMRC in connection with a function of the HMRC – subject to certain exceptions.

69.The Act provides a further exception to the restrictions on the disclosure of information by HMRC to enable them to continue to participate in these annual earnings and expenses exercises.

70.The Act will allow HMRC to disclose certain information relating to the income and expenses of GPs and dental practitioners to the Secretary of State and to the devolved administrations or to persons providing services to, or exercising functions on behalf of, the Secretary of State or the devolved administrations. The information disclosed will be an anonymised summary of the earnings and expenses of GPs and dental practitioners and will not extend to other details disclosed to HMRC as part of the tax assessment process, such as investment income. Earnings that are identified as unconnected with medical or dental activities will be excluded.

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