Communications: Open government/freedom of information: providing taxpayers with extracts from the manual
We are required to publish our internal operating instructions under the Open Government Code. There are guidelines which set out what material may be excluded. Broadly this is material which may
- prejudice the assessment and collection of tax or assist tax avoidance or evasion
- reveal a loophole in the system
- reveal ways of escaping or delaying enforcement action
- reveal the department’s sources of information and investigation procedures
- disclose tolerance limits
However, where information is clearly in the public domain there are no grounds for withholding material. For example, it is widely known that we liaise with the other HMRC offices and can obtain tax papers relating to deceased people or companies, so we cannot justify excluding such material.
In view of this it is possible that taxpayers will request copies of extracts from the manual.
This manual is subject to Crown Copyright, but in accordance with the Code of Practice (IHTM02071) on Access to Government Information a version will be made available to the public. Some material will not appear in the public version, including material which would prejudice the assessment or collection of tax or help with tax avoidance or evasion. The omissions are authorised by the Code of Practice. Material which is to be excluded from the public version is shown as shaded text. This material is classified confidential.
You may provide copies of extracts from this Manual. But you must not provide any material shown as shaded text.