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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: groups: introduction

Some of the rules for a third party notice, see CH23620, are changed where such a notice is given for checking the tax position of members of a group of undertakings, see CH23740. The rules are complex, and depend on who receives the notice, and whose tax position is being checked. The possible permutations are summarised in the table at CH225595.

There are two groups of special rules where a

  • third party notice is given to check the parent and any of its subsidiaries, see CH23760 
  • third party notice is given to the parent to check more than one subsidiary, see CH23780.

For completeness, this guidance explains all the rules you must follow when you wish to use third party information powers to check the tax position of a parent undertaking and/or a subsidiary undertaking within the same group. You should always refer to the technical guidance so that you are clear about the reasons for the actions you need to take in each situation.

  • giving a notice to an external third party to check the parent undertaking and any one or more known subsidiaries, see CH225520 
  • giving a notice to an external third party to check one or more known subsidiaries, see CH225530 
  • giving a notice to a parent undertaking to check the parent and one known subsidiary, see CH225540 
  • giving a notice to a parent undertaking to check the parent and more than one known subsidiary, see CH225550 
  • giving a notice to a parent undertaking to check one known subsidiary, see CH225560 
  • giving a notice to a parent undertaking to check more than one known subsidiary, see CH225570 
  • giving a notice to a subsidiary undertaking to check the parent or one or more known subsidiaries, see CH225580 
  • giving a notice to a subsidiary undertaking to check the parent and one or more known subsidiaries, see CH225590.

Some notices you give will be combined taxpayer and third party notices. A combined notice is sent to the parent when the information and/or documents sought is/are reasonably required to check the tax position of both the parent and one or more subsidiaries. Combined notices are highlighted in the table at CH225595.

It is important to be quite clear whose tax position you are checking. If the same information is needed to check the tax position of several undertakings in the group you must consider which safeguards apply and which do not.

Where you do not know the identity of one or more group undertaking you should refer to guidance about identity unknown notices at CH23900.