Tax demands sent to ex-wives and pandemic payment check errors: a database of Revenue data breaches from 2020

A final tax demand sent to an ex-wife, a Revenue official sent information on her former husband by accident, and a staff member’s exam results mistakenly sent to a third party were among 149 breaches recorded by the Revenue Commissioners last year.

Revenue said the majority of the breaches were caused by human error and the volume of such incidents had been low given the volume of data they deal with.

A detailed log of the incidents reveals a significant chunk of the incidents related to Covid-19 support payments.

There were 26 cases where a compliance check letter was sent to a company with an incorrect list of employees.

Another 7 cases were recorded where a compliance letter was sent to the wrong tax agent, according to a database provided by Revenue.

Other one-off incidents included one where a taxpayer’s medical receipts were sent to the wrong person and a breach where an email about a taxpayer’s audit was attached to an “unconnected third party’s correspondence”.