Companies House data wiping plans will harm fight against tax avoidance, MP claims

COMPANIES HOUSE is considering proposals to reduce the amount of time the records of dissolved companies are retained on its database, according to reports.

The government’s company registration agency is reportedly considering cutting the time records are kept from 20 years to six, which would result in more than 2.5 million records being lost.

Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, warned such a move would “harm the global fight against corruption and tax avoidance” and make it harder for legitimate companies to conduct proper due diligence on potential business partners.

In a letter to prime minister Theresa May, Watson sought assurances the proposals would not go ahead.

“I have told the prime minister I would be interested to know which MPs have been demanding this changes, and what their motivation is for doing so,” Watson wrote.

“There is absolutely no cost or administrative burden that would be avoided by adopting such a measure, and no good reason for Companies House to do so.”

A Companies House spokesperson said, “Companies House has always had an obligation to delete expired records after a certain period of time has elapsed.

Companies House said it plans to hold a public consultation before any decision is made.



Related reading