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Tactical Information Packages (TIPS)

30th Nov 2007
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HM Revenue and Customs have removed their Tactical and Information Packages (TIPs) from their website. TIPs were HMRC’s own detailed guides to the economics of a range of businesses, and are essential reading for those acting for any of the trades and professions featured.

The TIPS can still be accessed from browser caches and web archive services, alternatively, they can be downloaded below:


TIP 14 - Confectioners, Tobacconists and Newsagents(CTNs)
TIP 15 – Estate Agents
TIP 49 - Waste Disposal & Landfill Sites
TIP 56 - Bookmakers
TIP 62 – Construction Industry
TIP 73 – Field Sports
TIP 114 - Franchises
TIP 130 – Licensed Trade
TIP 155 - Mortgage Brokers

HMRC has not withdrawn its Business Ecconomic Notes (BENS), although these are all somewhat dated.
Business Economic Notes published to-date cover the following:
1. Travel Agents
2. Road Haulage
3. Lodging Industry
4. Hairdressers
5. Waste Materials Reclamation and Disposal
6. Funeral Directors
7. Dentists
8. Florists
9. Licensed Victualers
10. Jewelery Trade
11. Electrical Retailers
12. Antique and Fine Art Dealers
13. Fish and Chip Shops
14. The Pet Industry
15. Veterinary Surgeons
16. Catering - General
17. Catering - Restaurants
18. Catering - Fast Foods, Cafes and Snack Bars
19. Farming - Stock Valuation for Income Tax Purposes
20. Insurance Brokers & Agents
21. Residential Rest & Nursing Homes
22. Dispensing Chemists
23. Driving Instructors
24. Independent Fishmongers
25. Taxicabs and Private Hire Vehicles
26. Confectioners, Tobacconists and Newsagents


Replies (7)

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By User deleted
06th Dec 2007 13:02

I thought, Mike, that you had already asked to see the other TIPS under the FOI, some time ago? Didn't you, or am I imagining that I read that?

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By AnonymousUser
06th Dec 2007 12:37

Freedom of Information
Taxation magazine has submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to try and find out how the decision to publish and then subsequently the decision to withdraw these was reached, and then for the text of three sample TIPs as yet unpublished. If we get those we'll start asking for the others...

Mike Truman
Editor, Taxation magazine

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By AnonymousUser
13th Dec 2007 17:21

TIPs history
We started chasing these in October 2005, when they were not officially acknowledged as existing. We asked for a list of the TIPs in existence, details of why BENs were superseded by TIPs, and why the decision was made not to publish them. We didn't at that time ask for the text of any of the TIPs, but did say we would be doing so in the future.

We were told that the information about the change to BENs was no longer available, that TIPs had previously been expempted from publication but that the issue of publication had recently been reviewed (!) and they were all to be published in due course with sensitive material removed.

We chased again when nothing seemed to be happening, and publication started in September 2006, but never got further than the ones you list in the article. We've had an acnowledgment of our latest FoI request, so I hope we'll be getting a proper response shortly.

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By AnonymousUser
20th Dec 2007 12:33

Curiouser and curiouser...
We've had a full reply back on our FoI request, which you can read here:

It appears that there was some sort of legal challenge which forced HMRC to withdraw the TIPs already issued, but they can't disclose any more than that. Since both AWeb and Taxation now have the full text of them up on our websites, I wonder if we are going to receive similar challenges; it might then clarify the story. If anyone has heard from trade bodies etc of any problems i'd be interested to hear, and I'm sure Nikki would as well.

In the meantime I asked for the IT consultants, restaurants and takeaways, and GPs tips to be disclosed to us as an FoI request, and to their credit they have managed to do so within the time limit - I've so far found the FoI section of HMRC very good, and really work hard to meet their time limits.

So those three TIPs can now be accessed from the story linked above on Taxation's website, and we've put them in Free View so non-subscribers can find them. As you would expect they are filleted of certain key information, but there is a lot of good stuff in there.

The problem is where we go from here. I could just keep requesting them in batches of three, but that is obviously a very inefficient way of proceeding, since it would be better for them to publish based on their own updating schedule. I'm going to think about it over Christmas, but one way or another I'm determined we will get them all out and accessible

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By User deleted
21st Dec 2007 09:50

Well done, Mike
Thanks very much for updating us. To date we have not had any complaints about the TIPS, but maybe one should be careful about regarding them as exhaustive guides.

Yes, I agree that they should be available for all to see and look forward to seeing your article.

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By Paul Soper
21st Dec 2007 23:10

Well done Mike but...
All the links here and in the other story do not provide a route 'in clear' to the story - be nice to read it. It would be fascinating to discover who the legal challenge is from. Disgruntled tobacconists?

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By AnonymousUser
01st Jan 2008 12:11

... and chicks for free?
Yes, well, it's selling subscriptions to Taxation that pays the salary that allows me to spend the time composing FoI requests to get the story! The TIPs themselves can be found in our Free View section by non-subscribers, but the story is behind the subscription wall. You'll have to open your wallet, I'm afraid Paul. Or write me an article - the fee for that should pay for your subscription! Anyone with a sub to the magazine but who hasn't got a login yet can email in to get one, details in the Update pages.

The key point is that HMRC say they received a legal challenge, and although prepared to defend themselves they thought it would consume too many resources to do so which would be taken away from support of officers working cases.

Things have become a bit clearer since then, but not yet publishable; hope to be able to say more soon.

Mike Truman
Editor, Taxation magazine

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