This case concerned an application by HMRC for information notices relating to UK properties (Third Party and Taxpayer v HMRC [2023 UKFTT 71 (TC)). The third party notice was applied for under FA 2008, Schedule 36, para. 2.
The FTT, in allowing HMRC’s application, considered article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights but concluded that the application was lawful:
“The duty of confidentiality owed to clients (whether pursuant to the professional obligations owed by solicitors to their clients, or pursuant to data protection legislation) is overridden by the statutory obligation to provide the information under the provisions of Schedule 36.”
It was reasonable for HMRC to seek to obtain the information in question. Various other objections raised by the taxpayer did not sway the tribunal.
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In Schedule 36 Notices – HMRC Information Requests, tax barrister Keith Gordon encourages full compliance with legitimate requests from HMRC but also recommends that taxpayers should stand up to requests that do not meet the strict statutory criteria. The author reminds professional advisers of the risks of providing more information than the law requires.