Information to help tax inspectors understand the pub trade has been removed from the Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) website, prompting suggestions it was proving too helpful to licensees.
A spokeswoman for HMRC confirmed that the Tactical and Information Package (TIP) on the licensed trade had been taken offline "for a variety of reasons," including the fact that it contained some commercial information which HMRC did not have the right to publish externally.
TIPs are produced for tax inspectors on a range of industries, and include information on trading practices, industry data and trends, as well as updates on relevant legislation. They were initially published online as part of a government drive to provide more information on the tax regime.
Stuart Crook, of accountancy firm Wellers, said: "We can only assume that the HMRC felt they were giving away too much information as the HMRC use the packs themselves when carrying out compliance visits. From the licensed traders' perspective it is well worth reviewing this document."
The HMRC spokeswoman said that all the information needed for a business to comply with tax regulations is still freely available. "If the licensee is declaring everything properly, and is keeping all the information required, they have nothing to worry about."