Licensing authorities must confirm a tax check has been completed by applicants renewing taxi driver, private hire and scrap metal licences, or applying for a licence held with another authority.
Applicants may need to complete a tax check if they’re applying for a licence for one of the following:
- taxi driver
- private hire driver
- private hire vehicle operator (England and Wales only)
- booking office (Scotland only)
- mobile (itinerant) scrap metal collector
- scrap metal dealer site
The rules for applicants completing a tax check changed on 4 April 2022 in England and Wales, and will change on 2 October 2023 in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
When a licensing authority must confirm a tax check
Individuals, companies and any type of partnership must complete a HMRC tax check and give their licensing authority a tax check code if they are:
- renewing a licence
- applying for the same type of licence they previously held, that ceased to be valid less than a year ago
- applying for the same type of licence they already hold with another licensing authority
You must then use the tax check code to confirm that the tax check has taken place before you can grant or refuse their application.
Follow the confirm an applicant’s tax responsibilities guidance if the applicant:
- has never held a licence of the same type
- had a licence of the same type that ceased to be valid a year or more before the application was made
Applications from partnerships
If an application is from a partnership, you must get confirmation from HMRC that each partner in the application has completed a tax check.
For example, if:
- one partner made the application on behalf of the partnership, you must get confirmation that this single partner has done a tax check
- more than one partner makes the partnership’s application, you must get separate confirmations that each of the partners has done a tax check
If some of the partners have completed tax checks but others have not (for example, if 3 partners are named and have signed the application but only 2 have done tax checks), you will need to get confirmation that all of them have completed a tax check.
What you’ll need
You will need the applicant’s:
- tax check code issued within the last 120 days
- licence type
You must ask the applicant to give you another tax check code if the code is over 120 days old.
You’ll also need one of the following:
- the individual’s date of birth
- the Company Registration Number, issued by Companies House
Confirm an applicant’s tax check
Check if there are any problems with this service.
If you cannot access the online service
If the service is unavailable for 5 days or more from the date when you first tried to use it, you do not need to get confirmation from HMRC and can continue to deal with the application.
If you do not have a tax check code
You must ask the applicant for a tax check code if they have not included it with their application.
The applicant may tell you that they do not have a tax check code because the online service was unavailable. If this happens:
you must ask them to re-try again to complete a tax check for 5 days in a row
after attempts on 5 consecutive days, you must check that the service was unavailable on these days
When checking service availability select ‘show all updates’ to view details of previous issues.
If you are able to confirm the service was unavailable, then a tax check no longer applies, and you can continue to deal with their application.
If your checks show that the service was available, you must tell the applicant and ask for a tax check code.
Licence extension and expiry while waiting for a licence application decision
An applicant’s existing licence may be extended until a final decision whether to grant an application has been made (including a decision on appeal) if they are renewing:
- a scrap metal dealer licence issued in England or Wales
- a London Hackney Carriage driver licence
- licences issued in Scotland
If the applicant does not give you a valid tax check code their licence will expire on whichever of the following dates is the latest:
- 28 days after you asked them for their tax check code
- the date their licence expires
For temporary licences in Scotland your licence will expire on whichever of the following dates is the latest:
- 7 days after you asked them for their tax check code
- the date their licence expires