Jennifer Adams investigates the powers that enable HMRC to obtain documents from the taxpayer and third parties.
The ability of HMRC's Connect database to identify links between businesses, shareholders, properties, families and across different government departments is increasing in its sophistication such that investigations are being targeted rather than being on a speculative basis, as in the past. So, if a request for information is received, it is more than likely that HMRC has some information for which the taxpayer's input or confirmation is required.
The legal precedent is to be found in Sch 36 FA 2008, which enables an HMRC officer to send a written information notice, requiring the taxpayer or a third party, to provide information or documents if the ‘information or document is reasonably required for the purpose of checking the taxpayer’s tax position’. Revenue Scotland and the Welsh Revenue