Commentary

A6.610 HMRC information powers—overview

Administration and compliance

A6.610 HMRC information powers—overview

Information powers

A6.610 HMRC information powers—overview

HMRC has various powers to obtain information and documents from various persons for the purposes of checking a taxpayer's 'tax position' or 'collecting a tax debt' of the taxpayer1.

These powers, together with the definitions of those terms, are summarised below.

Outline of the HMRC general information powers

Under FA 2008, Sch 36, Pt 1, an HMRC officer has the power to issue an information notice to obtain information and documents that are 'reasonably required' for the purpose of checking a taxpayer's 'tax position' or 'collecting a tax debt' of the taxpayer. These terms are explained below.

These powers are often referenced as HMRC's general information powers, as it also has other targeted information powers that are specific to particular areas of the tax legislation. See 'Other information powers available to HMRC' below.

Information notices can be used to obtain statutory records (see A6.631) as well as additional information and documents that do not form part of statutory records but are required by the HMRC officer for the purposes stated above.

Note that information notices can be issued to non-UK residents as long as the information/documents requested relate to the purpose of checking a taxpayer's UK tax position (or presumably collecting a UK tax debt, although the case predates that amendment to the legislation)2. In relation to issuing a third party notice to a non-resident (and presumably the other information notices that can be issued to third parties, see below), HMRC must be able to show a sufficient

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