Section 112-113 – Further investigatory powers
139.Section 112 provides a power to WRA to copy, make extracts from and remove documents. The WRA may also retain the document for a reasonable period of time. This allows items to be removed for consideration or cross referencing against other documents. Where this happens, subsection (3) allows the person who produced the document to request a receipt for it and a copy of it without charging the person for the costs for doing so. The power to remove documents will normally be exercised with the taxpayer’s agreement as it does not amount to a right to seize documents. Subsection (5) provides that where a document that has been removed is lost or damaged, the WRA is liable to compensate the owner of the document for any expenses reasonably incurred in replacing or repairing the document.
140.Section 113 applies to any provision of this Act that requires a person to produce documents or where the WRA is permitted to inspect, copy or remove documents. The section is primarily concerned with ensuring WRA is able to access information or documents stored in electronic form.
141.Subsection (3) allows the WRA at a reasonable time to obtain access to, inspect, and check the operation of any computer or other apparatus used in connection with a a document that someone is required to produce or which may be inspected, copied or removed by the WRA. Subsection (5) allows the WRA to require the person in charge of the computer or other apparatus to provide help to fulfil the requirements of subsection (3). Subsection (6) makes it clear that references in subsections (3) to (5) to WRA getting access to a computer etc. or requiring assistance from a person are to be treated as references to an inspector carrying out an inspection on WRA’s behalf under section 103.
142.Any person obstructing WRA or an inspector exercising the powers in subsections (3) and (5) is liable to a penalty under section 146.