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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

How to do a compliance check: information powers: excise information notice: opportunity letter

Unless the exception at CH228760 applies, you must send the intended recipient of the notice an ‘opportunity letter’ to tell them what you require and invite them to make representations to you.

In the opportunity letter you should set out the documents you require in the same way as you set out your requirements in the formal notice. The text relating to what you intend to include in the notice should be capable of being cut and pasted into the formal notice that you will ask the tribunal for approval to issue.

However, while the subsequent notice may be drafted more narrowly than the opportunity letter to reflect representations received, it must not be drafted more widely. If you need to add something to the proposed notice you should get a manager’s agreement, see CH228500, to send the recipient a fresh opportunity letter. The manager that agrees your request to apply to the tribunal to issue a notice may want to check the contents of the opportunity letter before it is issued.

It is good practice to send the opportunity letter at least 30 days before the tribunal are due to hear the application.

An example of an opportunity letter is at CHApp2.9 (Word 30KB).

If the recipient of the notice is intended to be a bank see guidance starting at CH231200.