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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 at an inspection: the process

The person will tell you which documents or information included in your information notice they claim are privileged. If you do not accept that they are privileged and cannot resolve the dispute the person must place each disputed document in a container that prevents the document being visible.

The person will

  • seal, label and sign the container and

you will

  • countersign and
  • take custody of the container.

You should ensure that containers, seals and labels are secure. You should keep a record of the containers removed and the nature of the seal. For example,

  • one sealed, plastic A4-sized envelope with seal number xxx.

Give a copy of this record to the person.

You must ensure that the container, with its seal intact, reaches the tribunal within 42 working days, see CH230400, of you taking custody of it, together with an application to the tribunal to consider and resolve the dispute. If you miss that deadline you will not be able to enforce the notice in respect of the disputed items. For guidance on making applications to the tribunal, see ARTG7590.

Although 42 working days are available to transmit the documents to the tribunal you should try to reach a decision as to whether a referral to the tribunal is needed, or have the container delivered to the tribunal, within 20 working days.

See CH230500 about how the dispute may be resolved.