The information powers in Finance Act 2008, Sch. 36 cannot be used to obtain medical records. Where the records mix both medical and financial information, HMRC take the view that they can be requested but that a request for patient’s records (or other records containing patient information) should only be made if:-
- there is reason to believe that fees have been omitted from the return because the records’ examination shows weaknesses that may have led to an understatement of fees
- it has been established that the patient record cards are prime income records, and
- the patient record cards are the most effective way of working out the true amount of liability.
Because of the sensitivities involved in asking to see medical records, the officer will not issue a notice without first consulting Central Policy, Tax Administration and Advice.
For these purposes a medical professional is a:-
- registered medical practitioner
- registered dentist
- registered optician
- registered pharmaceutical chemist
- registered nurse, midwife or health visitor
- registered osteopath
- registered chiropractor
- person who is registered as a member of a professional regulated by the Health Professions Council (HPC)
- clinical psychologist, child psychotherapist or speech therapist
- music therapist employed by a health service body
- scientist employed by such a body as Head of Department.
A medical record is:-
- any record which contains information relating to the physical or mental health or condition of an individual, and
- has been made by or on behalf of a medical professional in connection with the care of that individual.
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