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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50207228
  • Date: 4 August 2009
  • Public Authority: Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs
  • Summary: The complainant asked to be given the gross and net values of a specified estate, calculated by reference to any corrective accounts filed by the personal representatives of that estate. Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) refused to confirm or deny whether it held the requested information, relying on the provisions of sections 44 (Prohibitions on disclosure) and 40 (Personal data) of the Act. HMRC reviewed its decision and determined that the request should be refused in reliance of section 14(2) (Repeated requests). HMRC asserted that the complainant’s new request was for information that is ‘substantially similar’ to the information sought by an earlier request. It also pointed out that the Information Commissioner had already issued a Decision Notice in the previous case (FS50081722) in which he found that the information was exempt. The Commissioner has considered the submissions of both parties and has determined that HMRC’s application of section 14(2) was incorrect. However the Commissioner has determined that HMRC is not obliged to comply with section 1(1)(a) of the Act by virtue of section 44(2). The Commissioner has also decided that HMRC did not comply with section 17(5) of the Act by failing to provide a refusal notice compliant with that section within twenty working days of receipt of the request.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]