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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

HM Revenue & Customs
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Information & Inspection Powers: Conditions and safeguards: Restrictions: Tax advice: power to require depending on who gave the tax advice

You must consider who gave the advice to the person whose tax position you are reviewing as this affects what you can require.

Advice from a legal professional

If the advice was given by a legal professional such as a solicitor, lawyer or legal counsel you cannot require a person to provide items that are legally privileged. For the advice to be legally privileged it must fall within one of the two types of privilege, Legal Litigation Privilege (LLP) or Legal Advice Privilege (LAP). See CH22240 for further guidance on legal professional privilege. Tax advice provided by such a legal professional is likely to fall within LAP and therefore you will not be able to require it in an information notice, see CH22242-54. 

Advice from someone other than a legal professional

If the advice was not given by a legal professional but was given by someone appointed to give advice about the person’s tax affairs, such as an accountant, an agent, a tax advisor or an avoidance promoter, that advice is sensitive as accountants regard these papers as confidential, but it is not privileged. However, that does not necessarily mean that you are entitled to require the tax advice documents. You must consider further conditions in order to decide, see CH22268.