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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

Information Powers: TMA70/S20: Documents from Banks

Notices and mandates should specify only those documents available to the bank’s customer, which will include copies of documents provided to the bank by the customer.

You should not ask for documents that are confidential to the bank and not available to the customer such as the bank’s correspondence file or information about credit-worthiness (but see EM10133). Nor should you ask for documents, retrieval of which is particularly costly and time consuming for the bank (for example paying in slips or paid cheques). (EM10133)

The authorised officer could, for example, require production of the following documents normally available to the bank’s customer:-

records of

  • bank accounts
  • deposit receipts
  • standing orders
  • securities, valuables, and so on, held for the customer (either in safe keeping or as nominee)
  • accounts at other branches or banks
  • credit cards issued
  • safe deposits
  • the purchase and sale of shares
  • insurance transactions carried out on the customer’s behalf.

A notice should not normally include a request for documents relating to the year of assessment in which the notice is given.

For example, a notice given on 30 November should not seek bank statements for a period after 5 April of that same year unless it can be shown that the information is relevant to tax liability for which a return has been or should have been submitted.

To avoid any possible difficulties over the interpretation of Section 20B(5) and (6) (time limits), you should ask under Section 20B(5) for bank pass sheets covering only a period extending back for 6 years from the expected date of receipt of the notice. If it is considered necessary to obtain pass sheets for an earlier period (or any other bank documents outside the normal time limit) a report with your file should be made to contact link.