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Taxman says sorry for sending clients’ bank details to others

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08/05/2007

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has apologised for sending the bank details of 8,000 tax credit claimants to other claimants.

The error was blamed on a faulty printer that had been used to print 42,000 tax credit award letters, all containing errors. Many of those compromised by the mistake live in Northern Ireland and HMRC has written to their banks asking them to be alert for signs of identity theft on the UK current accounts.

HMRC, however, claimed that the letters with the bank details did not contain addresses or National Insurance numbers.

“It’s absolutely typical of HMRC that it thinks its catastrophic blunder can be justified by not being even worse than it is,” said an accountant who declined to be named.

“I deal with this shambolic department every working day and, to my mind, it is typical of its performance that this kind of error has been made.”

A spokesperson for HMRC said: “Our understanding is that the information should not be enough to perpetuate fraud.

“We have written to all affected claimants to apologise and to advise them of what we are doing to protect them. Correct notice awards are now going out to all those who received the ones with errors.”

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