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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: Tax advice: how to ask for tax advice

During enquiries into suspected avoidance if you think you need information and/or documents about the tax advice given along with other information it will be best to seek this when you think it is needed, and often requests are made informally. Approval from an Authorised Officer is not required for requests outside an information notice.

If the information is not provided after an informal request and you believe it is reasonably required to check the tax position, you must consider the guidance in CH22268.

Remember - if the tax advice, see CH22264, was given by a legal professional it is almost certainly covered by legal privilege and you cannot require the person to provide it but they may be prepared to provide this information voluntarily.

Where the tax advice was provided by a (non-legal professional) person appointed to give advice about a person’s tax affairs, your next action depends on the conditions you considered at CH22268.

  • If those conditions are not met, you may ask the person or their authorised agent to provide the tax advice documents voluntarily, but if they do not provide them there is nothing further you can do.
  • If the majority of those conditions are met, you may ask the person or their authorised agent to provide the tax advice documents voluntarily. If they do not provide them, you must ask the Business Unit Expert, see CH22272, for advice.
  • If the conditions are met, you may ask the person or their authorised agent to provide the tax advice documents voluntarily. If you do not receive them, see CH22272.