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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

How to do a compliance check: general: transition to the new CEMA79 information power

You should not delay starting your compliance check until the new excise information power becomes available on 1 April 2011 simply to require documents from a person that you could not require before that date.

Where you start your excise compliance check after CEMA79/S118BA comes into effect you should use the information power that is appropriate to the circumstances of the particular compliance check, but you cannot use the power under s118BA to seek documents

  • that you would have sought using s118BA, had the legislation been in force,

but

  • you were unable to get under the existing powers.

Example

In a check that you started in January 2011 you would have liked to issue a notice to a road haulier (who is not a revenue trader) asking for information about vehicles leased to a revenue trader, but you could not do this because CEMA79/S118B did not give you the power. Although from 1 April 2011 CEMA79/S118BA does give you the power to require documents from a third party, you should not use the power to revisit that earlier matter.

If, however, a fresh need for information from a third party arises after 1 April 2011 you may give a notice under s118BA to require them to provide it. This includes giving a notice to that third party for the first time, even though you may have been seeking the information informally or from other persons before 1 April.