As highlighted by the European Foundation today, proposals by EU taxation commissioner Laszlo Kovacs which provide for the sharing of VAT data between member states, pose a significant threat to individual privacy in the UK and across Europe.
European Foundation, HM Revenue and Customs would be required to grant "direct access" to personal information contained on national taxpayer databases, without the knowledge or consent of the UK taxpayer.
The move, which is designed to combat tax fraud, would not only increase the burden on the HMRC, at a significant cost to the taxpayer, it would also change the current culture of tax data sharing in the EU, making it compulsory rather than being dealt with on a case by case basis.
The reality is that European bureaucrats have no right to know any of this information about us.
Furthermore, we know from long experience that our own revenue can’t keep confidential information safe. Yet believe it or not, in the European context HMRC are amongst the BETTER taxmen.
Britons can say goodbye to their privacy if and when the government gives away our data like this.
By Alex Deane