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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Information & Inspection Powers: Information Notices: The notice: Meaning of 'provide information'

You cannot ask a person to create a document so that you can require them to produce it by an information notice, but you can require a person to provide information.

‘Provide’ in this context means “to give someone something that they need”. It indicates the thing in question must reach you rather than simply be made available so you have to go and get it.

‘Information’ has, amongst other things, been defined as

  • knowledge acquired in any manner, and
  • facts about a situation, person, event and so on.

It does not include opinion or speculation.


You want to check whether the market value of an asset used in a person’s tax calculation is accurate. You can ask the person to produce the valuation report document if they have commissioned one. You cannot require them to go and get a professional valuer’s opinion of the asset’s value. You can, however, require them to provide the information that a professional valuer would need to make a reliable valuation.

Depending on the matter under consideration information can include a statement of the reason why something was done, for example an explanation of the purpose of a particular transaction.

‘Providing information’ can be answering specific factual questions, but information can also be provided by creating a document that did not previously exist in order to conveniently provide the information required. For example, it can cover computations, calculations, analyses, translations of documents written in a foreign language, and so on.

See CH23360 for guidance on information in electronic format.