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Possession or Power

Continuing our series of basic informative articles Hartley Foster Head of Tax Litigation DLA LLP looks at the concepts of 'Possession' and 'Power'
One of the restrictions on the ability of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to obtain documents from taxpayers and third parties is that many of its information powers are circumscribed by the stipulation that only documents which are in the 'possession or power' of the particular person need be delivered.1 Intuitively that appears uncontroversial. However the terms are not defined in the taxing statutes; and there is little case law on the meaning of the phrase in the context of requests for information from the taxing authorities. In the first part of the article an analysis of each of the terms is provided; in the second...

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