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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

How to do a compliance check: information powers: rules that apply to all notices: resolving disputes about legal professional privilege: process when a notice is given in correspondence: giving HMRC a list of documents

When a person receives your information notice they must send you a list specifying each document or type of document they think is privileged.

They should also give a description of each document or type of document but they do not have to describe a document if describing it would itself cause a dispute about privilege.

The list should be served on HMRC within a reasonable time to be agreed between you and the person, but in any event must be served no later than 20 working days, see CH230400, after the date given in the notice for providing information or producing documents. The person has to give you proof of service of the list.

If you receive a list, you have only 20 working days from receiving it to notify the person who sent it that there are items that you consider not to be privileged and therefore still require. If you miss that deadline you will not be able to enforce the notice in respect of the disputed items. 

Notifying the person means letting them know. Although you do not have to give the person proof of service you will need to be able to show that the person knew within the twenty working day period which documents you are disputing are privileged.

There are other deadlines in the process that neither you, nor the person, should miss.

See CH230230 for guidance about the action to take when the list arrives.