TMA 1970, s 20A

(1) Where after the passing of the Finance Act 1976 a person –
(a) is convicted of an offence in relation to tax (whenever committed) by or before any court in the United Kingdom; or
(b) has [a penalty imposed on]3 him (whether before or after the passing of that Act) under section 99 of this Act,
and he has stood in relation to others as a tax accountant, an inspector authorised by the Board for the purpose of this section may by notice in writing require the person to deliver to him such documents as are in his possession or power and as (in the inspector’s reasonable opinion) contain information relevant to any tax liability to which any client of his is or has been, or may be or have been, subject, or to the amount of any such liability.
[(1A) The reference to documents in subsection (1) above does 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).]2
[(1B) Subject to subsection (1A) above, the reference to documents in subsection (1) above is to those specified or described in the notice in question; and
(a) the notice shall require documents to be delivered within such time (which shall not be less than thirty days after the date of the notice) as may be specified in the notice; and
(b) the inspector may take copies of them or of extracts from them.]2

(2) Subsection (1) above does not have effect in relation to a person convicted or penalised as there mentioned for so long as an appeal is pending against the conviction or [penalty]3; and –
(a) for this purpose an appeal is to be treated as pending (where one is competent but has not been brought) until the expiration of the time for bringing it or, in the case of a conviction in Scotland, until the expiration of 28 days from the date of conviction; and
(b) references here to appeal include further appeal but, in relation to the [imposition]3 of a penalty, do not include appeal against the amount of the penalty.

(3) A notice is not to be given to any person under this section unless with the consent of the appropriate judicial authority; and that authority is to give his consent only on being satisfied that in all the circumstances the inspector is justified in so proceeding.

(4) The power to give a notice under this section, by reference to a person’s conviction or the [imposition on]3 him of a penalty, ceases at the expiration of the period of 12 months beginning with the date on which it was first exercisable in his case by virtue of that conviction or [penalty]3.

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

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