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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Information & Inspection Powers: Information Notices: The notice: Serving notices

The rules about serving notices are based on rules in the Taxes Management Act (TMA) 1970 even if the notice relates to checking a VAT position. The Taxes Management Act rules apply in place of the rules in VATA94/S98, which still apply to other types of VAT notice.

You can serve a person a written information notice by delivering it to the person or by leaving it at their usual or last known place of residence.

A notice may also be served on a company by serving it on its ‘proper officer’ (see the definition in the Company Taxation Manual CTM00530).

A notice can be delivered by post addressed to the person

  • at the person’s usual or last known place of residence, or place of business or employment, or
  • in the case of a company, at any other prescribed place, or
  • in the case of a liquidator of a company, at the liquidator’s address for the purposes of the liquidation or any other prescribed place.

There are not presently any regulations prescribing other places for these purposes.

A notice served by post should normally be addressed to the company rather than its ‘proper officer’ unless you know that the company has a Company Secretary or you have the name of an individual with authority to deal with it.