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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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How to do a compliance check: information powers: introduction

FA08/Sch36 gives officers of HMRC the power to issue

  • a taxpayer notice which can be used to obtain information and documents from a person for the purpose of checking their tax position
  • a third party notice which can be used to obtain information and documents from one person for the purpose of checking the tax position of another person, whose identity is known, and
  • an identity unknown notice which can be used to obtain information for the purpose of checking their UK tax position from

    • a person whose identity is not known to the issuing officer, or
    • a class of persons whose individual identities are not known to the officer
  • an identification notice which can be used to obtain information for the purpose of checking the tax position for a person or class of person

    • whose identity is not known to the officer, but
    • where the authorised officer holds information that enables the person’s identity to be ascertained.

CEMA79/S118BA gives officers the power to issue

* an excise information notice which can be used to obtain information from a person in order to check duties of excise.

Failure to comply with an information notice can lead to the recipient having to pay penalties.

Safeguards have been built into the legislation and our procedures to ensure that the information requested in an information notice is reasonably required by the issuing officer for

  • the purpose of checking a person’s tax position - FA08/Sch36 or
  • the purpose of protecting, securing, collecting or managing revenues derived from duties of excise - CEMA79/S118BA.

For example, some information notices can only be issued with

  • the agreement of an authorised officer
  • the agreement of the person whose tax position you are checking
  • the approval of the tribunal

or a combination of the above.

You must not include anything in an information notice which could be used to identify an informant.

There are rights of appeal against information notices but not against a requirement to produce statutory records when checking a person’s tax position under FA08/Sch36, or a notice that has been approved in advance by the tribunal.

You must issue factsheet CC/FS2 (GOV.UK) Information noticeswith an FA08/Sch36 information notice.