Making a HMRC data breach claim
Who is eligible to make a HMRC data breach claim?
Data breaches are now more common than ever. Cybercriminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated and the potential for human errors is an ever-present risk. Even still, this does not let organisations such as HMRC off the hook.
You will often be able to make a claim for HMRC data breach compensation if it can be shown that the breach was avoidable in any way. This could be due to insufficient security measures, or the result of direct actions from a member of staff at HMRC.
Making a claim following a HMRC data protection breach will often be possible, regardless of whether you suffered direct losses. That said, where you have experienced financial losses, medical harm, or anxiety, a more significant case can often be made.
How to start a HMRC data breach claim
When you get in touch with a member of our team, we will be able to carefully assess your case and whether you will have a valid claim against HMRC. If you are unsure whether HMRC has exposed your information, this is something our team can find out for you.
Once we establish that you have grounds to make a claim for a HMRC data protection breach, we can then proceed to take care of the whole claims process on your behalf.
Our data breach solicitors will proceed to contact HMRC with regards to their failure to protect your data. If we believe that their security processes were to blame, we will strive to get you the compensation you deserve.
Starting the claims process with our team is straightforward. You can use our secure online claim form to share the details of your situation, and we can get back to you shortly to let you know whether we will be able to help.
To speak to a member of our team today about making a HMRC data breach claim, you can also call us on 0330 041 5139.
What compensation can you receive for a HMRC data breach claim?
Where HMRC has failed to protect your data, you could make a data breach claim. This is regardless of whether you suffered direct harm as a result of the breach.
If you have suffered any financial losses, medical harm, or anxiety, your case for data breach compensation may be more significant.
Financial losses and/or identity theft are very real possibilities following a HMRC data breach. The effects can be devastating, with unauthorised third parties potentially being able to apply for credit in your name, set up fraudulent bank accounts and access any existing accounts.
Learning that your personal data has been exposed can be an incredibly distressing experience. So, even if you have not directly lost out, this does not mean that no harm has been done.
The mental and physical effects that often come with data breaches will be considered when it comes to assessing the level of compensation that should be awarded. While everyone will be affected differently by a data breach, common effects include a lack of sleep, feeling ill, unsettled or confused.
The full impact of a HMRC data breach is not always immediate
It is very often the case that the full impact of an HMRC data breach is not felt until months after the initial issue emerges.
This is particularly where personal information is accessed by an unauthorised third party. We have unfortunately seen many cases where experiencing a data breach has led to someone having to move house or area, losing their job, or dealing with relationship breakdown. All of this can happen a long time after the initial data breach was revealed.
Common questions about HMRC data breaches
How many times has the HMRC had data breaches?
The HMRC has been guilty of committing a high number of data breaches in recent years. Between 2020 and 2021, HMRC reported 17 data breaches to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), with this number rising to 22 between 2021 and 2022.
What was the HMRC data breach 2007?
In 2007, the personal details of 25 million children and adults on the child benefits database were exposed when two computer discs owned by HMRC went missing. The data included names, addresses, dates of birth, National Insurance numbers and bank and building society details.
How much compensation will I receive for a HMRC data breach?
It is not always possible to predict exactly how much HMRC data breach compensation you could receive. This is because there are likely to be a wide range of factors which will influence the final figure.
Common factors include:
- The type of data
- The amount of data compromised
- The events that led to the breach
- The level of responsibility shared by HMRC
- The distress caused
How do I know if I have been the victim of a HMRC data breach?
If your data has been exposed for any reason, HMRC are legally obligated to notify you that this is the case.
However, this information may not reach you or, if it does, there may be a delay. There have been many occasions where data breach victims only learn about a data breach after it has been reported by the ICO.
If you have reason to believe that you are the victim of a HMRC data breach (for example you are receiving a large number of spam emails or cold calls), it may be worth contacting HMRC directly to establish whether your details have been compromised.
How long do I have to claim HMRC data breach compensation?
Under normal circumstances, you will have six years to make a data breach claim. This is counted from the date when you first found out about the data breach or would have reasonably been expected to have been aware that it took place. This will usually be when HMRC first contacted you to make you aware of the breach.
Start your HMRC data breach claim today
At Hayes Connor, we want to ensure that you are able to access the compensation you deserve following a HMRC data protection breach.
With a wealth of combined experience and expertise among our team, we are perfectly positioned to advise you on the steps you need to take and what you can expect from the claims process.
With strict time limits in place for making a claim for a HMRC data protection breach, or any other type of government data breach, it’s important to act now to make sure you don’t miss out on your right to claim.