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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

How to do a compliance check: information powers: excise information notice: getting agreement to the notice

You cannot issue an excise information notice without tribunal approval.

Applications to the tribunal can only be made with managerial agreement.

If you propose to issue an excise information notice you must get agreement from an independent manager at grade SO or above who has been trained to authorise the notice. Normally this person will be your line manager, but they may be your manager’s manager, or a Customer Compliance Manager.

There can be no self-authorisation. You cannot authorise any notice, for a case in which you have been involved. In the first instance you should discuss the case with your line manager before deciding which person can agree an application to the tribunal. See CH228600 about the role of the manager in authorising excise information notices and other actions related to notices.

Once you have identified the person who can authorise the notice you must provide them with a written report containing the following information

  • the facts and a brief summary of the case to date
  • why you need to issue an excise information notice
  • what action you have already taken to obtain the information
  • what other means could be used to obtain the information and why you think they are inappropriate
  • why you think the proposed course of action is appropriate. In particular you must address the Human Rights Act aspects, see CH21300 and say why this action is proportionate to the level of duty at risk.

If the notice is to be issued to

  • a bank, see CH232200
  • an accountant for their working papers, see CH231400
  • a sensitive case(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

your report should highlight this.

If you are later seeking to assess daily or tax-related penalties, because the recipient has failed to comply with the notice, see CH270200 and CH270400.