TaxPersonal TaxTMA 1970, s 20B

TMA 1970, s 20B

[20B Restrictions on powers under ss 20 and 20A

(1) Before a notice is given to a person by an inspector under [section 20(1), (3) or (8A)]2, or under section 20A, the person must have been given a reasonable opportunity to deliver (or, in the case of section 20(3), to deliver or make available) the documents in question[, or to furnish the particulars in question]5; and the inspector must not apply for consent under [section 20(7) or (8A)]3 or, as the case may be, section 20A(3), until the person has been given that opportunity.
[(1A) Subject to subsection (1B) below, where a notice is given to any person under section 20(3) the inspector shall give a copy of the notice to the taxpayer to whom it relates.]6
[(1B) If, on an application by the inspector, a General or Special Commissioner so directs, a copy of a notice under section 20(3) need not be given to the taxpayer to whom it relates; but such a direction shall not be given unless the Commissioner is satisfied that the inspector has reasonable grounds for suspecting the taxpayer of fraud.]6
(2) A notice under section 20(1) does not oblige a person to deliver documents [or furnish particulars]5 relating to the conduct of any pending appeal by him; a notice under section 20(3) [or (8A)]4 does not oblige a person to deliver or make available documents relating to the conduct of a pending appeal by the taxpayer; and a notice under section 20A does not oblige a person to deliver documents relating to the conduct of a pending appeal by the client.
“Appeal” means appeal relating to tax.
(3) An inspector cannot under section 20(1) or (3) or under section 20A(1), give notice to a barrister, advocate or solicitor, but the notice must in any such case be given (if at all) by the Board; and accordingly in relation to a barrister, advocate or solicitor for references in section 20(3) and (4) and section 20A to the inspector there are substituted references to the Board.
(4) To comply with a notice under section 20(1) or section 20A(1), and as an alternative to delivering documents to comply with a notice under section 20(3)[or (8A)]4, copies of documents may be delivered instead of the originals; but –
(a) the copies must be photographic or otherwise by way of facsimile; and(b) if so required by the inspector (or, as the case may be, the Board) in the case of any documents specified in the requirement, the original must be made available for inspection by a named officer of the Board (failure to comply with this requirement counting as failure to comply with the notice).
(5) A notice under section 20(3), [does not oblige a person]7 to deliver or make available any document the whole of which originates more than 6 years before the date of the notice.
(6) But subsection (5) does not apply where the notice is so expressed as to exclude the restrictions of that subsection; and it can only be so expressed where –
(a) the notice being given by an inspector with consent under section 20(7), the Commissioner giving consent has also given approval to the exclusion;
(b) the notice being given by the Board, they have applied to a General or Special Commissioner for, and obtained, that approval.
For this purpose the Commissioner gives approval only if satisfied, on the inspector’s or the Board’s application, that there is reasonable ground for believing that tax has, or may have been, lost to the Crown owing to the fraud of the taxpayer.
(7) A notice under section 20(3) in relation to a taxpayer who has died cannot be given …8 if more than 6 years have elapsed since the death.
(8) A notice under section 20(3) [or (8A)]4 or section 20A(1) does not oblige a barrister, advocate or a solicitor to deliver or make available, without his client’s consent, any document with respect to which a claim to professional privilege could be maintained.
[(9) Subject to subsections (11) and (12) below, a notice under section 20(3) or (8A) –
(a) does not oblige a person who has been appointed as an auditor for the purposes of any enactment to deliver or make available documents which are his property and were created by him or on his behalf for or in connection with the performance of his functions under that enactment, and
(b) does not oblige a tax adviser to deliver or make available documents which are his property and consist of relevant communications.]9
[(10) In subsection (9) above “relevant communications” means communications between the tax adviser and –
(a) a person in relation to whose tax affairs he has been appointed, or(b) any other tax adviser of such a person,
the purpose of which is the giving or obtaining of advice about any of those tax affairs; and in subsection (9) above and this subsection “tax adviser” means a person appointed to give advice about the tax affairs of another person (whether appointed directly by that other person or by another tax adviser of his).]9
[(11) Subject to subsection (13) below, subsection (9) above shall not have effect in relation to any document which contains information explaining any information, return, accounts or other document which the person to whom the notice is given has, as tax accountant, assisted any client of his in preparing for, or delivering to, the inspector or the Board.]9
[(12) Subject to subsection (13) below, in the case of a notice under section 20(8A) subsection (9) above shall not have effect in relation to any document which contains information giving the identity or address of any taxpayer to whom the notice relates or of any person who has acted on behalf of any such person.]9
[(13) Subsection (9) above is not disapplied by subsection (11) or (12) above in the case of any document if –
(a) the information within subsection (11) or (12) is contained in some other document, and
(b) either –
(i) that other document, or a copy of it, has been delivered to the inspector or the Board, or
(ii) that other document has been inspected by an officer of the Board.]9
[(14) Where subsection (9) above is disapplied by subsection (11) or (12) above in the case of a document, the person to whom the notice is given either shall deliver the document to the inspector or make it available for inspection by an officer of the Board or shall -(a) deliver to the inspector (or, where subsection (3) above applies, the Board) a copy (which is photographic or otherwise by way of facsimile) of any parts of the document which contain the information within subsection (11) or (12), and
(b) if so required by the inspector (or, as the case may be, the Board), make available for inspection by a named officer of the Board such parts of the document as contain that information;
and failure to comply with any requirement under paragraph (b) above shall constitute a failure to comply with the notice.]9]1

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