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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

Information Powers: TMA70/S19A, TMA70/SCH1A/PARA 6 and FA98/SCH18/PARA 27: What Cannot be Included on the Notice

Section 19A authorises you to require any documents, accounts or particulars that may be reasonably required for checking the return. But it does not allow you to

  • insist that the taxpayer should attend a meeting (although a meeting will often be the best way of resolving an enquiry)
  • stipulate that the documents etc. should be delivered to HMRC premises. Unlike Section 20, Section 19A does not refer to delivery of the documents, but to their production EM2220
  • have a right of access to any premises. Section 19A obliges the taxpayer to produce documents to you, not deliver to your office EM2220. There may however often be distinct advantages for all parties for documents to be examined, and any meetings held, at the business premises, as this may eliminate some exchanges of correspondence and enable the enquiry to be settled more quickly and at less cost to the taxpayer EM1820+.
  • obtain any documents, accounts or particulars which have been brought into existence as part of the preparation for the presentation of a tax appeal
  • require production of any documents or particulars in respect of which the taxpayer can sustain a claim to legal professional privilege EM10165
  • require documents etc. to check a past year (where no enquiry has been opened or the enquiry window has closed) or which may be useful for checking a return which has not yet been received
  • obtain information relating to someone else’s return
  • obtain information from third parties
  • make a general request for information, for example something couched in terms such as `anything relevant to your return’. The information you require must be specific.
  • require accounts or particulars in any specified format.

If the information you need cannot be obtained under Section 19A or paras 6 or 27, you may be able to use a Section 20 Notice EM10100+.