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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

Information Powers: Tax Cases: R v CIR ex parte Davis Frankel and Mead TCR4/01 73 TC 185

A S20 notice was served on the solicitors of a taxpayer under investigation by SCO. The Court considered:

  • whether the notice was unduly onerous
  • if the Revenue sought to enforce the notice in an overtly offensive way
  • whether the Board may delegate the issuing of a notice to an Inspector and if that delegation extends to consideration of whether the notice should be issued or merely the function of issuing a notice.

Mr Justice Moses found for the Revenue. He outlined the special obligation the Board’s delegate was under to stand back and reach a fresh view, scrutinising with care the reports from the investigators who seek inspection.

It was clear that the Revenue hierarchy had considered the burden that would be imposed but it was not disproportionate to the potential benefits.

The Revenue had offered meetings to discuss the way forward but these had been declined.