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HMRC internal manual

Appeals reviews and tribunals guidance

Applications to the tribunal: without notice (ex-parte) applications

The Tribunals Service will notify HMRC of all customer applications.

Some HMRC applications are made to the tribunal without notice to (or the involvement of) a respondent, for example an application for authorisation to carry out an unannounced inspection.

This means that the customer will not be given notice of the proceedings and it is expected that the tribunal will decide on the matter without the customer being present.

If the customer claims that they are entitled to take part in any without notice application proceedings, the decision maker should contact Central Policy (Tax Administration Advice) for advice.

Some particular types of without notice applications, listed below, are specifically identified in a Practice Direction as ones which the tribunal will consider directing should be heard in private, see ARTG8610:

  • requests for permission to require information relating to an inheritance tax return s219(1A) IHTA 1984
  • requests for permission to issue stamp duty land tax information powers under paras 2, 4, 7, 9, 10, 11 and 24 Sch 13 FA 2003, and
  • requests for permission to issue taxpayer notices and third party notices or to approve an inspection under paras 3, 4, 5, 13 Sch 36 FA 2008.

An application made under one of these provisions should include a request for hearing in private where the decision maker wishes to

  • maintain the confidentiality of sensitive information, such as HumInt and SAR derived material or
  • any other reasons in ARTG8610 apply.

ARTG7540 explains how to make an HMRC application, and gives a form of words for use when requesting that an application be heard in private. If there is any suggestion that such an application might not be heard in private the case owner must contact Central Policy (Tax Administration Advice) for advice.

In most cases the tribunal’s decision on without notice applications is not appealable, for example a tribunal-approved taxpayer notice under paras 3, 4 or 5 of sch 36 to FA 2008. See CH24320, CH24360 and CH24400 for more information on appeals against information notices.

If the customer claims they have a right of appeal against any tribunal decision on a without notice application by HMRC the decision maker should contact Central Policy (Tax Administration Advice) for advice.