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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

How to do a compliance check: establishing the facts: asking for information: how to ask for information

You have a range of options for obtaining information. How you do so will depend on the type of check, the risks involved and the person from whom you require information.

Checking a person’s tax position (FA08/Sch36)

Your initial information request will often be by letter asking for specified information or documents to be sent to you, for example, in a notice opening a compliance check into a Self Assessment return. The appropriate general information factsheet CC/FS1 (a, b, c, or d) must be issued with the opening letter.

Some businesses will be selected for a visit by a risk team. The booking officer or visiting officer will explain what records the visiting officer will need to see and this will be confirmed by letter. Factsheet CC/FS3 (visits by agreement or with advance notice) must be issued with the letter.

In cases where the person has not cooperated with an informal request for information, or where other factors rule out the informal approach, you can issue an information notice, see CH221000.

Some persons, for example banks, will not be in a position to cooperate with informal requests for information or documents concerning their clients because of confidentiality or Data Protection issues and will require an information notice.

If you have reason to believe that a person you intend to visit will not produce the records you have requested at the premises during your visit, you will need to issue an information notice with the booking letter or inspection notice, setting out what you require. Information notices are in SEES Forms and Letters.