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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

How to do a compliance check: establishing the facts: asking for information: what to do if information is not provided

If you receive no response, or not all the information you have requested is provided, you should consider one or more of the following actions.

  • Telephone the person (or their agent if one is acting) to find out why some or all of the information has not been provided. They may be having a problem locating the information and require more time.
  • Offer to visit to examine records at the person’s business premises or at their agent’s or accountant’s offices.
  • Issue an information notice if there is no good reason for the delay.

You should avoid prematurely issuing protective assessments, determinations, or closure notices in self assessment checks as a way of forcing progress before you have completed your fact-finding. You may find that you cannot meet the conditions, see CH206500, to issue a taxpayer notice if you later need to.

If the person appeals against your assessments, determinations or closure notice and

  • you need more information from them


  • you cannot use your information powers

you can ask the tribunal to use its information powers under rule 5 or rule 16 of the tribunal rules to require the person to give you the documents or information.

However relying on the tribunal is more uncertain, and possibly slower, than making timely use of your own information powers. The tribunal is more likely to refuse to use its information powers if we could have used our own but failed to do so.

You should consider whether Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) may help you get the information you need to resolve the case, see CH280400.