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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

How to do a compliance check: information powers: taxpayer notice: restrictions

There are some restrictions on the information you can include on the taxpayer notice even if the information would otherwise be reasonably required to check a person’s tax position, see CH21520.

You can only require or inspect documents that are in a person’s possession or power, see CH22120.

You can only require a person to produce a document that was entirely created more than six years ago if you have the prior agreement of an authorised officer, see CH22140.

You cannot require a person to provide information or produce a document that relates to the conduct of a pending tax appeal, see CH22160.

You cannot require a person to

  • produce ‘personal records’ or
  • provide information from personal records, see CH22180.

You cannot require a person to

  • produce ‘journalistic material’ or
  • provide information from journalistic material, see CH22220.

You cannot require a person to

  • provide legally privileged information or
  • produce the privileged part of a document, see CH22240.

You cannot generally require an auditor to produce their statutory audit papers, see CH22280.

You cannot generally require a tax advisor to produce their advice papers, see CH22300.

Tax advice is a sensitive matter. Before requesting tax advice information or documents from either the taxpayer or their advisor you should contact the Business Unit Expert for your office. If this is not known you should contact (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) who will tell you who to approach.

For restrictions on notices where Self-Assessment returns are made, see CH206500.