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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

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HM Revenue & Customs
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How to do a compliance check: information powers: third party notice: where approval is required: tribunal approval

Where you intend seeking tribunal approval, consent will only be given if you have told the third party that the information or documents are required, and you have given them an opportunity to make representations, see CH225460.

You should write to the third party saying you intend to issue a notice, listing what information or documents you want to see and inviting them to make any representations that you will present to the tribunal for consideration. This will put you in a position to seek the tribunal’s approval. It will also protect any relevant documents from destruction. There is a penalty for destroying documents after they have been asked for.

You must give the tribunal a summary of any representations a third party makes.

You must also give the person whose tax position you are checking a summary of the reasons why you require the information or documents from the third party, see CH225430. You must do this before the tribunal hearing, and it will usually be best to do this at the same time as writing to the third party, if it has not been done already. You will normally have done this when you asked the person for their approval but exceptionally you may have decided to seek tribunal approval from the start.

Although the law does not require you to allow a person whose tax position is being checked a reasonable opportunity to make for representations you should present to the tribunal any representations that are made.

A notice for issue to the third party after approval and signature by a tribunal member is at CHApp1.7 (Word 42KB).

See CH23660 about when you may wish to go to the tribunal without alerting the person.

Guidance about making applications to the tribunal is at ARTG7500.