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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Information & Inspection Powers: Conditions and safeguards: What we can require or inspect: Relevant partner and certain documents

This guidance refers to relevant partners  and to the fact that some partners may have access to certain documents.

Relevant partner

A relevant partner is a partner who is named in a partnership statement that forms part of a partnership return.

Where the partnership return covers more than one period of account the return must contain a partnership statement for each period. The relevant partners may be different for each period of account.

For example

A, B, C and D are in partnership for the period 6 April to 31 August 2010. On 1 September 2010 partner A is replaced by E. The relevant partners are

  • 6 April to 31 August 2010 - A, B, C, D
  • 1 September 2010 to 5 April 2011 - B, C, D, E

A is not a relevant partner for the later period and E is not a relevant partner for the earlier period.

Certain Documents

The Partnership Act of 1890 allows each partner to

  • access the partnership accounts and records
  • inspect those accounts and records
  • copy the partnership accounts and records.

However, it does not entitle any partner to remove those books from the place where they are kept unless the other partners agree.

In addition, the partnership agreement or the status of the partner may not give all these rights to every partner.

Before you make any request for information, you should consider whether it is necessary to check what access and rights each partner has.