RSTP2018 - Concealing, destroying or disposing of a document

RSTPA guidance on the consequences of concealing, destroying or disposing of a document required by an information notice, including a criminal offence.

Criminal offence of concealing, destroying or disposing of a document

It is a criminal offence for you to conceal, destroy or otherwise dispose of a document (or arrange to do so), which is:

  • required to be produced by you by an information notice which has been approved by the tribunal; or
  • where you have been notified by us that:
    • the document is to be, or is likely to be, the subject of an information notice; and
    • we intend, or are required, to seek the approval of the tribunal in relation to the giving of the information notice.

If you are convicted of such an offence you are liable:

  • on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum; or
  • on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine, or both.

RSTPA 2014 sections 155-156

Penalty for concealing, destroying or disposing of a document

You are liable to a penalty (see RSTP3015) if you conceal, destroy or otherwise dispose of a document (or arrange to do so), which is:

  • required to be produced by you by an information notice; or
  • where you have been notified by us that the document is to be, or is likely to be, the subject of an information notice.

RSTPA 2014 sections 198-199

Circumstances where the criminal offence and penalty do not apply

You do not commit an offence or are not liable to a penalty where you conceal, destroy or otherwise dispose of a document:

  • that has been produced to us following an information notice, unless we have notified you that the document must continue to be available for inspection (if we decide at a later date that the original document need no longer be kept then we will withdraw the notification);
  • where more than six months have passed since you produced a copy of the document in response to an information notice and we have not asked you to produce the original (see RSTP2017); or

where more than six months have passed since we last notified you that the document may be included in an information notice and it has not been included in a notice.

Ref ID: 
RSTP2018
Archive Date: 
12 March 2015
Last updated: 
12 March 2015
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