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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

How to do a compliance check: information powers: excise information notice: specifying or describing what you require

Your information notice must specify as clearly as possible the information or documents you require and the period to which they relate.

You should specify identifiable documents if you can. For example “…your letter to XXX Ltd dated 25 July 2011”.

If you cannot specify, you should describe as clearly and narrowly as possible the documents. For example, “…all correspondence between you and XXX Ltd in July 2011”.

This is because the information or documents must be reasonably required for the purpose of protecting, securing, collecting or managing revenues derived from duties of excise. It is not normally reasonable to require more information or documents than are needed in order to carry out the check.

There is more guidance with examples at CH23380.

There will be occasions when it is not possible to specify the information or documents required. In such circumstances it may be necessary to use broader descriptions, see CH23400.