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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

Information Powers: TMA70/S19A, TMA70/SCH1A/PARA 6 and FA98/SCH18/PARA 27: Summary of the Legislation



FA98/SCH18/PARA 27 

Unlike Section 20 the use of Section 19A and Paras 6 and 27 is not restricted to Inspectors.

Section 19A applies when notice has been given under Section 9A (Section 12AC for partnerships) of the intention to enquire into a return or any amendment to a return under ITSA.

Para 27 applies to CTSA enquiries when a notice of enquiry into a company tax return has been given under FA98/Sch 18/Para 24.

Para 6 applies when an officer has given notice of enquiry into a claim made outside a return.

You may issue a notice in writing requiring the taxpayer to

  • produce to you such documents as are in their possession or power
  • furnish to you accounts or particulars (provide information in Para 27)

as you may reasonably require to determine whether, and if so, to what extent, the return is incorrect or incomplete (or the amendment is incorrect).

Where you are seeking documents or information of a legal nature, the notice or any informal request should contain a paragraph along the following lines

“You are not obliged to deliver/produce documents [or furnish particulars/provide information] to which a claim to legal professional privilege can be maintained but you can choose to and it may assist progress of the enquiry if you do. Legal professional privilege is a complex area of the law which only properly applies in limited circumstances. I may wish to challenge any claim to legal professional privilege on the basis that I disagree that the documents/particulars/information being withheld properly fall within the scope of the privilege. Therefore, if you decide to withhold documents/particulars/information on the grounds that legal professional privilege attaches to them, please provide a description of each item withheld”.

For specific advice where you receive a claim to legal professional privilege see EM10165.

Your notice must state the time by which the taxpayer has to comply with the requirements, which shall not be less than 30 days from receipt, EM10014.

The taxpayer may appeal against the notice within 30 days.

If you have open enquiries for more than one return, you may make an informal request for documents and information covering both years. However, if you need to issue a formal notice, you should issue a separate notice for each year, clearly distinguishing the year covered by each document.