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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Information & Inspection Powers: Information Notices: The notice: Part of a document

An information notice can apply to part of a document. This means that if any of the restrictions, see CH22100, applies, the person still has to produce any part of the document that the restriction does not apply to.

This can be done by producing a copy of the part which is not protected by the restriction. However, the original document must be produced if requested, see CH23480, when the protected parts may be kept covered up. Covering up parts of a document is known as ‘redaction’.

Unless one of the restrictions in CH22100 applies, you should normally insist on the full document being produced with nothing covered up. You should explain that you will be able to decide for yourself what information you need from the document to progress your compliance check. Everything else will be ignored. Remember that you are covered by the confidentiality restrictions in CRCA05/S18, see IDG30750. Do not hesitate to explain HMRC’s obligation of confidentiality.

If the person still resists producing the full document, you should normally ask for an explanation of what the parts withheld contain before you consider penalties for failure to comply with the notice, see CH26220.

If you are satisfied that those parts of the document could not in any circumstances be relevant to the tax position you are checking, you may agree that only the other parts can be produced.

If you are not so satisfied, you can insist on the whole document being produced. If the whole of a document is described in your notice, it is that which the notice applies to, not a part of the document.