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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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is a HMRC (vat) officer allowed to ask questions to a director

Customer Question

is a HMRC (vat) officer allowed to ask questions to a director regarding their other business interests when doing an inspections on a single specific limited company.
The Inspector is interested in the other companies but they have nothing to do with the company he is inspecting
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
HI.

Thank you for your question . My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

You will find the codes of practice that bind HMRC officers here

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/leaflets/c11.htm

But basically he is entitled to ask about anything that is relevant to the investigation. He should not go off on an entire frolic of his own. That does not necessarily mean though that the questions he ask must be confirmed to the specific company he is investigating. If he finds, for instance, evidence of a specific offence in one company then he is free to look at others as a wider issue.

In a nutshell though, as with most investigatory powers he can ask about anything that has relevance and use formal powers to obtain it if you refuse and he cannot show relevance.

The fact that the information relates to different companies doesn't necessarily mean that its irrelevant per se but he must show a connection.

Hope this helps.