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Information Notices: ‘Fishing’ Allowed?

By Mark McLaughlin, April 2019
Mark McLaughlin highlights a case in which HM Revenue and Customs was not given its own way when requesting information to check a taxpayer’s tax position. 
Taxpayers understandably do not generally relish contact with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), such as receiving requests for information and/or documents in respect of an individual’s tax affairs. The natural instinct of some taxpayers is to resist such requests, or alternatively to provide only the details that the taxpayer considers HMRC should be entitled to see. 
However, HMRC has powers to obtain information and documents and can issue an information notice requiring the taxpayer to provide information or produce a document if it is reasonably required to check the taxpayer’s tax position (FA 2008, Sch 36, para 1). 
Restrictions on HMRC’s powers 
HMRC’s information
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