HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

How to do a compliance check: information powers: excise information notice: introduction

You should check the other guidance available on GOV.UK from HMRC as Brexit updates to those pages are being prioritised before manuals.

An Excise Information Notice under CEMA79/S118BA is a written notice to a person who is not a revenue trader requiring them to provide documents reasonably required for an excise compliance check.

You should only seek tribunal approval to issue a notice if there is no other way of getting the information you need to complete your excise compliance check, see CH228220.

You should be aware of the rights our customers have under the Human Rights Act, see CH21300.

You must have a reasonable cause to believe that the information or documents are in the person’s possession or control, see CH228300.

There are restrictions on the types of information and documents you can ask for, see CH228320.

The notice should clearly specify or describe what it is you require, see CH228360. You may also say where and when you want to examine the documents, but it must never be at a place used solely as a dwelling, see CH228370.

The notice must give the recipient a reasonable period in which to comply, see CH228380.

You may copy and remove documents.

The recipient of the notice may supply copies of documents to you, but you can ask to see the original.

Before you consider giving a notice you must get agreement from a manager, see CH228500.

You may not give a notice without the tribunal approval.

You must tell the recipient of the notice what it is you want and invite them to make representations, although there is an exception to this requirement, see CH228700.

There are penalties for

  • failing to comply with a notice and
  • destroying or concealing documents required by a notice, see CH270000.