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High court decision on HMRC’s informal enquiry powers

23 September 2019 / Adam Craggs , Constantine Christofi
Issue: 4713 / Categories: Comment & Analysis
No need for formalities

Key points

  • HMRC does not have to give notice under TMA 1970 s 9A and can conduct an informal enquiry.
  • Information notices had been issued to the taxpayer and third parties under FA 2008 Sch 36.
  • The Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005 s 5(1) enabled HMRC to conduct an investigation without using powers under TMA 1970.
  • The courts could exercise a supervisory jurisdiction if HMRC breached its public law duties.
  • HMRC’s enquiries to overseas authorities were lawful.
  • What is the purpose of TMA 1970 s 9A?

HMRC’s power to conduct non-statutory investigations was recently considered by Mr Justice Nugee in R (oao JJ Management LLP and others) v HMRC [2019] EWHC 2006 (Admin). The High Court confirmed that HMRC can conduct informal enquiries outside TMA 1970 s 9A as long as it has a proper purpose in pursuing such an enquiry. As a result of the court’s conclusions ...

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