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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Agent operational guidance: dishonest tax agents: getting access to an agent’s files: file access notice: the notice: form the documents must take

A person can comply with a file access notice by providing copies of the documents you require.

You must not specify that you require documents in a particular form, or that you require the original documents, unless you have reasonable grounds to do so. You will normally have discussed this with the document-holder before issuing the notice, see CH882300. They may also have made representations to you when you gave them an opportunity letter, see CH882530.

However it may not be sufficient for a person to produce a printed copy of a document held electronically. You can, if you have reasonable grounds to do so, require the document to be ‘in such form’ as is reasonably specified or described in the notice.

See CH23320 about what is a document and CH23360 about electronic documents