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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Agent operational guidance: dishonest tax agents: getting access to an agent's files: documents and information we require

When you decide that you need to see a tax agent’s files you must consider

  • what documents you need to see
  • what period those documents must cover
  • if there is any other information you require.

You should then make an informal approach to the person who has the documents to get what you require, see CH882300.

You must only ask for documents and information that will help you to find out the full extent of the

  • tax agent’s dishonest conduct
  • tax lost.

You must not ask for anything that you are prevented from getting using the formal powers that you have

  • under FA12/SCH38/PARA7 (file access notice), see CH182520 
  • under FA08/SCH36/PARA1 and 2 (information notices), see CH23000.

For example, you cannot ask for documents that are legally privileged because you cannot include a request for privileged documents in a file access notice. You cannot ask for information that is legally privileged because you cannot include a request for privileged information in a FA08/SCH36 information notice.

The kind of documents you can ask for using a file access notice are at CH182620.

The kind of documents you cannot ask for using a file access notice are at CH182700.

Restrictions on the information you can ask for using a notice under FA08/SCH36 are at CH22000.