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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

Examinations: Information: Pre-award information powers

Subsection (2) of S14 sets out the powers to obtain information pre- award. It says:

Before making their decision the Board may by notice:-

require the person, or either or both of the persons, by whom the claim is made to provide any information or evidence which the Board consider they may need for making their decision.  
This is the power that enables you to obtain information from claimants by issuing them with a formal, written notice if you cannot persuade them to co-operate informally. But, in line with our agreed policy , claimants will always be given the opportunity to deal with us informally in the first place, backed up by the formal information power. However, the informal approach must still be in writing.

You must, in all cases, write to the claimant(s) to tell them you need to ask them some questions about their claim. After you have sent your opening letter you may sometimes find it useful to contact the claimant(s) by phone. This is acceptable but you must have allowed time for your opening letter to reach them.