Further to my blogs on the Nationwide I called HMRC and asked if they were requesting data from people like Nationwide from their offshore subsidiaries. I was told:
The information that has to be provided is set out in the notice. Notices were sent out to the financial institutions affected last week.
The law states that any information notice only requires a person to produce a document if it is in the person's possession or power. This is legal terminology which has been the subject of clarification in the courts but depending on the particular arrangements in a financial institution, it can mean that they have to provide information from offshore associates.
The ruling is not published yet.
I gather the ruling will be published in about four weeks.
But note the important point — which I will be returning to —that the power to acquire is what is important. And if, as I suggest, Nationwide seems to say its Isle of Man subsidiary is managed centrally as one unit with the UK then it must have the power to acquire the data.
I think IFRS 8 is about to become HMRC’s best friend.