TaxPersonal TaxTMA 1970, s 20

TMA 1970, s 20

[20 Power to call for documents of taxpayer and others

(1) Subject to this section, an inspector may by notice in writing require [a person –
(a) to deliver to him such documents as are in the person’s possession or power and as (in the inspector’s reasonable opinion) contain, or may contain, information relevant to –
(i) any tax liability to which the person is or may be subject, or(ii) the amount of any such liability, or
(b) to furnish to him such particulars as the inspector may reasonably require as being relevant to, or to the amount of, any such liability.]5

(2) Subject to this section, the Board may by notice in writing require [a person –
(a) to deliver to a named officer of the Board such documents as are in the person’s possession or power and as (in the Board’s reasonable opinion) contain, or may contain, information relevant to –
(i) any tax liability to which the person is or may be subject, or(ii) the amount of any such liability, or
(b) to furnish to a named officer of the Board such particulars as the Board may reasonably require as being relevant to, or to the amount of, any such liability.]6

(3) Subject to this section, an inspector may, for the purpose of enquiring into the tax liability of any person (“the taxpayer”), by notice in writing require any [other person]7 to deliver to the inspector or, if the person to whom the notice is given so elects, to make available for inspection by a named officer of the Board, such documents as are in his possession or power and as (in the inspector’s reasonable opinion) contain, or may contain, information relevant to any tax liability to which the taxpayer is or may be, or may have been, subject, or to the amount of any such liability [; and the persons who may be required to deliver or make available a document under this subsection include the Director of Savings.]8

(4), (5) …9

(6) The persons who may be treated as “the taxpayer” [for the purposes of this section]10 include a company which has ceased to exist and an individual who has died; …11

(7) Notices under [subsection (1) or (3) above]3 are not to be given by an inspector unless he is authorised by the Board for its purposes; and -(a) a notice is not to be given by him except with the consent of a General or Special Commissioner; and
(b) the Commissioner is to give his consent only on being satisfied that in all the circumstances the inspector is justified in proceeding under this section.

[(7A) A notice under subsection (2) above is not to be given unless the Board have reasonable grounds for believing –
(a) that the person to whom it relates may have failed or may fail to comply with any provision of the Taxes Acts; and
(b) that any such failure is likely to have led or to lead to serious prejudice to the proper assessment or collection of tax.]14
[(7AB) A Commissioner who has given his consent under subsection (7) above shall neither take part in, nor be present at, any proceedings on, or related to, any appeal brought –
(a) in the case of a notice under subsection (1) above, by the person to whom the notice applies, or
(b) in the case of a notice under subsection (3) above, by the taxpayer concerned, if the Commissioner has reason to believe that any of the required information is likely to be adduced in evidence in those proceedings.]15
[(7AC) In subsection (7AB) above “required information” means any document or particulars which were the subject of the proposed notice with respect to which the Commissioner gave his consent.]15

[(8) Subject to subsection (8A) below, a notice under subsection (3) above shall name the taxpayer with whose liability the inspector (or, where section 20B(3) below applies, the Board) is concerned.]12
[(8A) If, on an application made by an inspector and authorised by order of the Board, a Special Commissioner gives his consent, the inspector may give such a notice as is mentioned in subsection (3) above but without naming the taxpayer to whom the notice relates; but such a consent shall not be given unless the Special Commissioner is satisfied –
(a) that the notice relates to a taxpayer whose identity is not known to the inspector or to a class of taxpayers whose individual identities are not so known;
(b) that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the taxpayer or any of the class of taxpayers to whom the notice relates may have failed or may fail to comply with any provision of the Taxes Acts;
(c) that any such failure is likely to have led or to lead to serious prejudice to the proper assessment or collection of tax; and
(d) that the information which is likely to be contained in the documents to which the notice relates is not readily available from another source.
(8B) A person to whom there is given a notice under subsection (8A) above may, by notice in writing given to the inspector within thirty days after the date of the notice under that subsection, object to that notice on the ground that it would be onerous for him to comply with it; and if the matter is not resolved by agreement, it shall be referred to the Special Commissioners, who may confirm, vary or cancel that notice.]4
[(8C) In this section references to documents do not include –
(a) personal records (as defined in section 12 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984), or
(b) journalistic material (as defined in section 13 of that Act), and references to particulars do not include particulars contained in such personal records or journalistic material.
(8D) Subject to subsection (8C) above, references in this section to documents and particulars are to those specified or described in the notice in question; and –
(a) the notice shall require documents to be delivered (or delivered or made available), or particulars to be furnished, within such time (which, except in the case of a notice under subsection (2) above, shall not be less than thirty days after the date of the notice) as may be specified in the notice; and(b) the person to whom they are delivered, made available or furnished may take copies of them or of extracts from them.]13
[(8E) An inspector who gives a notice under subsection (1) or (3) above shall also give to –
(a) the person to whom the notice applies (in the case of a notice under subsection (1) above), or
(b) the taxpayer concerned (in the case of a notice under subsection (3) above),a written summary of his reasons for applying for consent to the giving of the notice.
(8F) Subsection (8E) above does not apply, in the case of a notice under subsection (3) above, if by virtue of section 20B(1B) a copy of that notice need not be given to the taxpayer.
(8G) Subsection (8E) above does not require the disclosure of any information -(a) which would, or might, identify any person who has provided the inspector with any information which he took into account in deciding whether to apply for consent; or
(b) if the Commissioner giving the required consent has given a direction that that information is not to be subject to the obligation imposed by that subsection.
(8H) A General or Special Commissioner shall not give a direction under subsection (8G) above unless he is satisfied that the inspector has reasonable grounds for believing that disclosure of the information in question would prejudice the assessment or collection of tax.]15M

(9) To the extent specified in section 20B below, the above provisions are subject to the restrictions of that section.]1 -2

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