Commentary

E1.1133 Transfer of assets abroad—HMRC powers to obtain information

Personal and employment tax

E1.1133 Transfer of assets abroad—HMRC powers to obtain information

E1.1133 Transfer of assets abroad—HMRC powers to obtain information

An HMRC officer may, by notice in writing, require any person to furnish such information as the officer may reasonably require for the purposes of the transfer of assets abroad (TOAA) rules within such time, not less than 30 days, as is stipulated in the notice1.

Without prejudice to the generality of the above, the information which a person (P) may be required to provide includes particulars about2:

  1.  

    •     transactions with respect to which P was acting on behalf of others

  2.  

    •     transactions which the officer considers proper to investigate for the purposes of the TOAA rules (notwithstanding that P may consider that the provisions do not give rise to tax liability)

  3.  

    •     whether P has taken part or is taking part in any transactions specified in the notice, and if so, what part in which transactions

If the particulars sought by the officer go beyond what can reasonably be required for the purpose of the provisions, or if they are unduly oppressive or burdensome, the courts can intervene on an action by P. In Clinch3, a representative of a UK subsidiary of a Bermudan bank was asked for details of all transactions relating to the formation or management of overseas companies or trusts in which he and his staff had been involved. He contended that HMRC were not entitled to ask an intermediary for details of unspecified transactions on behalf of unspecified parties, but the court held that the

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