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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

Information Powers: TMA70/S19A, TMA70/SCH1A/PARA 6 and FA98/SCH18/PARA 27: What Can You Ask For in a S19A or Para 6 Notice

TMA70/S19A(2) and TMA70/SCH1A/PARA 6

S19A(2) authorises you to ask for

  • Such documents EM10201 as are in the taxpayer’s power or possession EM10202 as you may reasonably require to determine whether and, if so, the extent to which the return is incorrect or incomplete.
  • Accounts or particulars EM10204 which you may reasonably require for that purpose.

It should normally be a straightforward matter to demonstrate that the information requested is reasonably required to determine whether the return is incorrect or incomplete, and is therefore properly the subject of a Section 19A notice. To establish whether or not the business profits have been correctly returned the officer must clearly be entitled to obtain any documents, accounts or particulars relating to that business.

For examples see EM10011 and EM10012.

You should aim to identify and ask for all the information that you need for the purpose of checking the return at the outset of the enquiry. But it is inevitable that, in some cases, the need for further information will only become apparent as the enquiry progresses.

Each new request for information should be made informally in the first instance and a Section 19A notice issued only when the informal approach fails.

There is no restriction on the number of Section 19A notices that can be issued during the course of an enquiry. Section 19A(2) authorises the officer conducting the enquiry to issue a Section 19A notice at the same or any subsequent time as the Section 9A notice of enquiry is sent.

For specific advice on

  • ‘non-business’ records see EM10017+
  • professionals see EM10040+
  • documents or information of a legal nature see EM10165 
  • accountants link papers see EM10023
  • computerised records EM10050+