Information and documents

By Tolley
VAT_tax_img4

The following Value Added Tax guidance note by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Information and documents
  • When is a taxpayer required to produce information and documents to HMRC?
  • Key points relating to an HMRC notice requiring information or documents
  • Key points relating to an HMRC third party notice requiring information or documents
  • When and how can a taxpayer challenge an informal HMRC request for information or documents?
  • When and how can a taxpayer challenge a notice to produce information or documents?
  • What are the penalties for failure to comply with an information notice?
  • Computer records and possible HMRC removal of computer equipment

This guidance note provides an overview of the main HMRC powers in connection with the requirement for taxable persons to produce information and documents required by HMRC. This note should be read in conjunction with the HMRC powers - Part II guidance note.

When is a taxpayer required to produce information and documents to HMRC?

HMRC’s powers to obtain information and documentation from a taxpayer were amended significantly by FA 2008, Sch 36 which became law on 1 April 2009.

FA 2008, Sch 36 paras 1–9, 15–23, 34, 35, 37; FA 2009, Sch 47 para 3; SI 2009/404 (subscription sensitive); SI 2009/1916 (subscription sensitive); De Voil Indirect Tax Service V5.234 (subscription sensitive); CH23000

An HMRC officer may serve a notice on a taxpayer or a third party (eg the taxpayer’s accountant or his business’ customers) requiring the production of information or documents that are reasonably required to check the taxpayer’s tax position. HMRC may still make an oral request for information or documents but such a request is not enforceable until formalised by a written notice (known as an ‘information notice’). An information notice has the effect of legally requiring a taxpayer to provide the information or documents requested.

Types of information notice

There are four types of information notices:

FA 2008, Sch 36, paras 3, 5, 5A, 34, 34B
Taxpayer noticeAny officer of HMRC can give written notice to a person that requires them to provide information or produce documents that are reasonably required for the purpose of checking their tax position.

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