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Revenue Scotland and Tax Powers Act 2014

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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