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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Information & Inspection Powers: Information Notices: The notice: What is a document

A ‘document’ is “anything in which information of any description is recorded”. It includes part of a document, see CH23340.

The word therefore has a wide meaning but a notice requiring production of a document only applies to a document that already exists. See CH23240 for guidance on creating a document in order to provide information required by a notice.

The wide meaning covers things like records held on a computer or similar electronic device, see CH23360.

If you need an electronic version of a document held electronically, you issue an information notice for the person to produce the original electronic document or an electronic copy, see CH23360. You must have reasonable grounds for making this request. You make the request by requiring the document to be ‘in such form’, see CH23220, as is reasonably specified, see CH23380, or described, see CH23400, in the notice. Before you issue such an information notice, you should seek the advice of a Data Handling Specialist or LBS Audit Specialists, who specialise in handling such matters.