Hide and seek? by Mark McLauglin

Mark McLaughlin looks at the status of bank statements requested in HMRC information notices, and the redaction of entries in bank statements.

A request for copies of bank statements is a common feature of HMRC enquiries. For example, in an enquiry into the self-assessment return of a self-employed individual, HMRC might ask for copies of bank statements for any business accounts, and also any private accounts in which business transactions have been made.

If the taxpayer (or agent) resists this request for bank statements, HMRC may issue an information notice to obtain them. Taxpayers have a general right of appeal against HMRC’s information notices, such as if the information requested is not considered to be ‘reasonably required’ to check the taxpayer’s tax position. However, there is no right of appeal if the information or document forms part of the taxpayer’s ‘statutory records’ (FA 2008, Sch 36, para 29(2))

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