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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

How to do a compliance check: information powers: rules that apply to all notices: form of documents

Where you require a person to produce a document, you are asking them to produce something that already exists. It can only be produced in the form in which it exists. If the information you need is held by the person in two documents, say an electronic record and a paper copy of that record, your information notice could specify which of the two documents must be produced.

A person can produce a copy of the document instead of the document itself, but you can’t specify the form in which that copy is produced. You can insist on seeing the original and then exercise your entitlement to take a copy in the form you choose. See CH229500 about copying or removing documents.