Information and documents

Produced by Tolley
Information and documents

The following Value Added Tax guidance note Produced 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?
  • Types of information notice
  • 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?

An HMRC officer may serve a notice on a taxpayer or a third party (eg the taxpayer’s accountant or their 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:

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.
No other approval is required in order for the notice to be issued. However, if the officer needs to ask for an old document then the officer will need to obtain agreement from an authorised officer (see CH22140).
Where the officer thinks the approval of the tribunal is appropriate before issuing the notice then they will need the agreement of an authorised officer (see CH24120).
Please see CH23500 for more information.
Third party noticeAny officer of HMRC can give written notice to a third party that requires them to provide information or produce documents that are reasonably required for the purpose of checking another person’s tax position. HMRC is required to know the identity of the person whose tax position is being checked.
The officer will need to obtain approval from the person whose tax position is being audited

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