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Mike Hawkins | Head Data, Policy & Co-ordination team, KAI Presentation given to: KAI International Conference on Taxation Analysis & Research, 2 Dec 2011. The HMRC Datalab. What is the HMRC Datalab?. The idea

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the hmrc datalab

Mike Hawkins | Head Data, Policy & Co-ordination team, KAI

Presentation given to:

KAI International Conference on Taxation Analysis & Research, 2 Dec 2011

The HMRC Datalab
what is the hmrc datalab
What is the HMRC Datalab?

The idea

A secure environment where researchers can access confidential taxpayer and customs data to do research that benefits HMRC

The benefits

Improved evidence base and transparency with appropriate safeguards

We have learned lessons from the ONS

Same principles, similar governance arrangements and training as VML

Though there are some differences

Reasons for supplying data – we are governed by a different Act. The Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act (2005). All research using HMRC data must benefit HMRC.

how does the datalab work
How does the Datalab work?

Following the principles of the VML:

Valid research purpose of interest to HMRC

Trusted researchers from trusted institutions

Anonymisation of data

Controlled IT environment

Disclosure controls of any output

Safe projects, safe people, safe data, safe setting & safe outputs.

hmrc research agenda
HMRC Research Agenda

Administration/ efficiency improvements

Administrative burdens/ customer-related research


Data quality issues and survey design

Tax policy

Further details available on our website:

research proposals accepted to date
Research proposals accepted to date

Company births and deaths: investigating the role of taxation

Devereux, Loretz, Liu (Oxford, Bayreuth)

What happened to UK exports before, during and after the global financial crisis?

Kneller et al (Nottingham)

The Effect of Property Taxes on Reported Property Values: Evidence from Notches in the UK Stamp Duty

Best, Kleven & Slemrod (LSE, Michigan)

The sensitivity of UK manufacturing firms to extreme weather events

Martin & Muuls (Imperial, LSE)

how do i apply to do research in hmrc datalab
How do I apply to do research in HMRC datalab?

Simple process:

Send us a research proposal

We will consider against our priorities and let you know the outcome

Researcher and their institution must sign contracts

Arrange a date to come in, complete datalab training and start research

Full details at

data available in datalab
Data available in datalab

Initially four datasets:

Corporation tax

Value added tax

Stamp Duty Land Tax

Non-EU Trade Statistics (plus EU Trade Statistics post-2008)

Variable names and descriptions are available on our website:

Next datasets under consideration:

Tax Credits (administrative data linked to panel survey)


next steps data linking strategy
Next steps: data linking strategy

Significant benefits for research potentially available from linking HMRC datasets together and to:

HMRC survey data

ONS survey data

DWP data

Other data sources?

ESRC/ UK Data Archive report on HMRC datalab considered 3 options for matching other data to HMRC data in a secure environment

Currently working on data linking strategy

Report accessible via

All suggestions welcome

hmrc datalab and tax administration research centre
HMRC Datalab and Tax Administration Research Centre

HMRC/HMT/ESRC Tax Administration Research Centre – the Datalab will be

a key resource for the proposed Research Centre in:

testing and evaluating the impact of compliance interventions on tax behaviours;

developing new approaches to tax modelling and forecasting;

linking tax administration data with survey and other (OGD) data; and,

analysis to better understand tax design and operations.

Research Centre will also, hopefully, develop capacity in the external

research community to make use of these data

www hmrc gov uk datalab contact us at hmrc datalab@hmrc gsi gov uk

Contact us at:

Thank you – any questions?

Successful applicants will have to sign legal agreements.

The researcher’s agreement states they are subject to the duty of confidentiality set out in section 18(1) of the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005.

This states that officials may not disclose information held by Revenue and Customs.

Any breach of confidentiality can lead to criminal prosecution under section 19 of that Act.

Due to the strong penalties it is important that researchers know what can/cannot

be done in the Datalab

All researchers must go through training which will explain this as well as go through disclosure control examples, demonstrating what outputs are safe/unsafe.