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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

How to do a compliance check: information powers: identity unknown notice: what is an identity unknown notice

An identity unknown notice is a written notice to a person requiring them to provide information or produce documents reasonably required for the purpose of checking the UK tax position of

  • a person whose identity the officer does not know or
  • a class of persons whose individual identities are not known.

Such notices may be of use if it is known that arrangements have been made to hide or launder monies from tax evasion through financial institutions, nominees or others.

HMRC may be aware of the existence of serious tax irregularities but not of the identity of the person(s) involved. An example could be the existence of offshore bank accounts.

This power enables HMRC to serve a notice requiring the bank to provide information about its investors.

See CH23920 for technical guidance on this subject.