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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
, see all updates

Working the enquiry: meetings: spouses, civil partners and domestic partners - disclosure and forms of authority

When you intend to disclose

  • information given by your taxpayer in the course of an enquiry to their spouse, civil partner or domestic partner, or 
  • information given by your taxpayer’s spouse, civil partner or domestic partner, to your taxpayer,

you must first obtain the authority of the person who gave the information.

Normally verbal agreement will be sufficient and you should make a note of when they gave the authority.

If there is any doubt that a person’s authority has been given you should obtain their written authority. Copies of specimen authorities are given below. They should not be used as a matter of course in every case and should only be introduced when consideration of the third party’s affairs becomes relevant.

When a taxpayer or their spouse or partner refuses to give their authority, you should continue with the enquiry and not be side-tracked by the issue. You must however ensure that you maintain the confidentiality of the taxpayer or their spouse or partner. When you hold information that has been disclosed by your taxpayer’s spouse or partner on a confidential basis, see EM1895.

Taxpayer under enquiry

Use this authority for a taxpayer under enquiry.

`I hereby consent to disclosure of the following matters to ………….* during the course of the current enquiries into my tax affairs

  • my business activities
  • my taxation affairs
  • my personal and joint spending
  • personally and jointly held assets

……………………………………….. (Signature)

……………………………………….. (Date)’

*(Insert spouse’s/partner’s name)

Authority for Spouse/Partner

Use this authority for spouse/partner

`I hereby consent to disclosure of the following matters to ………………..* during the course of the current enquiries into their tax affairs

  • my business activities
  • my taxation affairs
  • my personal and joint spending
  • personally and jointly held assets

……………………………………….. (Signature)

……………………………………….. (Date)’

  • (Insert taxpayer’s name)