Tax Advisers

The information powers can not normally be used to require a tax adviser:-

  • To provide information about “relevant communication” or
  • To produce documents that belong to the tax adviser and consists of relevant communications.

 

Relevant communications are defined by FA 2008, Sch. 36, para. 25 (3) as communications between a tax adviser and:-

  • A person in relation to whose tax affairs he has been appointed or
  • Any other tax adviser of such a person.

 

The purpose of which is the giving or obtaining of advice about those tax affairs. They include letters, emails, faxes, notes of telephone conversations or notes of meetings.

The exemption from the information powers is withdrawn by para. 26 and 27 for certain relevant communication where a tax adviser has acted as a tax accountant for a client. An information notice can be issued for any information or documents that haven’t already been provided by HMRC that explains entries in the client’s accounts, tax return or other information or documents given to HMRC if the tax adviser helped prepare them or submitted them.

This exemption from the protection from the information powers is limited. An officer can request information only to show how an entry was arrived at, not why.

As with privileged and audit documents, if only part of the document is protected from the information powers by para. 25, compliance with the notice can be made by way of a copy of the non-protected parts or a copy of the whole document with the protected parts blacked out. The whole of the original document must be produced, however, if required, with the protected parts covered up.

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