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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Communications: Procedure for disclosure of information: how to deal with requests for information

Copies of Accounts and correspondence on the file

You should deal with requests for copies of HMRC Accounts as soon as possible. Where we are asked to supply copies of large amounts of information (such as the whole file) we may charge (IHTM02063) to provide these.

It is for you to decide whether we can provide the copies requested within the guidelines on the operation of the general rule (IHTM02031) on disclosure. You should consult your Manager if you are not sure.

If we cannot supply the copies because of taxpayer confidentiality you should write to the person who made the request to explain why we cannot send the copies. Standard Letter (IHTM02151) number 17 can be used.

If you can supply the copies you should:

  • make sure that no paperwork (such as a plan or valuation) is still with the Valuation Office (VO) (IHTM23002). If necessary, you should consider asking the VO to return any documents.
  • erase or block out all hand written notes from relevant documents before copies are made.

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Requests to inspect documents

Official bodies that are entitled to information without the usual consents (IHTM02033) can send officers to inspect documents at the Office provided they:

  • apply in writing
  • state the name of the officer who will attend
  • state the time when the officer will call.

You should speak to your manager if you receive any request to inspect documents.

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The instructions on this page do not cover:

  • limited disclosure for Capital Gains Tax purposes (IHTM02064), or
  • disclosure of information about aggregable property (IHTM02066)
  • disclosure of information obtained from tax returns (IHTM02067)
  • disclosure of information received from other countries under double taxation agreements (IHTM02068)