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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

Information Powers: TMA70/S20: Definitions: Documents Relating to a Tax Appeal


Notices do not oblige a person to deliver documents relating to the conduct of any pending tax appeal by the taxpayer. Documents protected by that Section are only those which are brought into existence as part of the preparation for the presentation of an appeal and this limitation should not impede the issue of a notice where, for example, protective further assessments have been made and are under appeal.

The existence of an appeal does not prevent HMRC from exercising its powers under Section 20 in preference to asking the Appeal Commissioners to issue a notice under Regulation 10. In Regina v Commissioners of Inland Revenue ex parte Taylor (No.2) (62TC578) it was held that the powers in TMA70/S20 and TMA70/S51 (the predecessor to Regulation 10) are different powers exercised by different bodies and for purposes which need not be the same.

Note however that this case was concerned with a notice under TMA70/S20 (2). This was a notice given by the Board as opposed to notices under Section 20(1) or Section 20(3) given by an Inspector. The fact that Section 20B(2) omits any reference to Section 20(2) clearly implies that a Section 20(2) notice can require the delivery of documents relating to the conduct of an appeal. In the case of a notice under Section 20(1) or Section 20(3), any Section 20B(2) argument will hinge on whether the documents etc are `relating to the conduct of a pending appeal’ by the taxpayer.