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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Information & Inspection Powers: conditions and safeguards: restrictions: legal professional privilege: how does it restrict what you can ask for

Legal professional privilege (LPP) is explained in CH22244.

You cannot use an information notice to require a person

  • to provide privileged information, or
  • to produce the privileged part of a document.

Where you are seeking documents or information that could include privileged material, any informal information request or notice must contain a section explaining the restriction in relation to LPP material - see the suggested wording at CH22248 for requests and CH22250 for notices. For example, if you are asking for all documents relating to transaction X and they could include privileged material if the person consulted a lawyer about the transaction, you must include the restriction section in your request or notice.

A lawyer is a member of the legal profession. Where you are seeking documents or information that could include advice on tax law given by someone who is not legally qualified, see CH22260.

Documents may contain some information that is privileged and some that is not. Where a person does not wish to produce that part of a document that is privileged, they can produce a copy of the part that is not privileged. The original document must be made available for you to inspect if you need to, see CH23480. The privileged parts may be kept covered up at this inspection.

Where any claim for legal professional privilege is made and you wish to challenge the claim you must make an urgent referral to Central Policy, Tax Administration Advice before taking any further action. See CH22254 for more detailed instructions about the procedure and tight time scales for action.

For any other matter relating to legal professional privilege arises or where you want advice before considering the claim you should make a report to Central Policy, Tax Administration Advice before taking any further action.

FA08/SCH36/PARA23