HMRC has committed to considering and applying openness and early dialogue (OED) principles when carrying out all compliance work.
OED is an actual HMRC terminology that caseworkers should recognise.
You can ask HMRC why they are requesting information and documents.
HMRC Customer research has demonstrated that by explaining :-
This helps taxpayers understand what HMRC needs the taxpayers to do and reduces the concerns. It also helps reduce the time taken to resolve a compliance check.
There are times when HMRC cannot share the information because it is confidential, but they normally will say they cannot tell you.
Fraud Investigations do not use OED approach as the case could end up going down the criminal prosecution route.
HMRC if engaging with OED encourages increased use of the telephone as this in turn increases the opportunity for a person to make a disclosure of inaccuracies, wrongdoing or failures to notify.
Please be aware HMRC keeps a note of all telephone calls, which could be used in litigation.