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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Information & Inspection Powers: Information Notices: Taxpayer Notice: Specific rules: Self Assessment return

A ‘taxpayer notice’ is a written notice to a person requiring them to provide information or produce documents reasonably required to check their tax position. For the use of first and third party information powers to check the tax position of one or more partners at the same time, see CH225600.

If a person has made a Self Assessment return, claim or election for a chargeable period, CH23540, you can only issue a taxpayer notice to check a person’s income tax, capital gains tax or corporation tax position for that period if one or more of the following conditions apply.

  • There is an open enquiry, see CH23540, into the SA or CTSA return, the claim or the election concerning the matters to which the taxpayer notice relates, or
  • you have reason to suspect, see CH23560, that

tax may not have been assessed, or

tax may have been under-assessed, or

tax relief given may be excessive


you could, if necessary, make an assessment or determination to correct the position, see CH23540.

  • The information or documents are also required to check their position regarding any tax other than income tax, capital gains tax or corporation tax or their tax position as an employer, contractor or person with other similar obligations to make deductions or repayments of tax or withholding of income.

But even where the above conditions do not apply, you can still issue a notice if you are giving a notice to a person

  • who may be, or may become, liable to tax under CTA10/S710 or CTA10/S713 (Change in company ownership), or
  • who carries on a trade for which a Herd Basis Election has been made if the notice refers only to information and documents that relate to

    • the animals kept for the purposes of the trade, or
    • the products of those animals, or
    • to whom a tax avoidance counteraction provision under CTA10/S733 or ITA07/S684 applies by reason of one or more transactions if the notice refers only to information or documents relating to that/those transactions.

You only need to open an enquiry into an SA or CTSA return if you are checking the person’s tax position relating to the capacity in which the person made the return.

For example, if the person has made an SA return for a period as a trustee but has not made a personal SA return for that period, you do not give notice of enquiry into the trust’s SA return if you are only checking the person’s own income tax position.

See also the general restrictions and rules for information notices at CH22100 and CH23220, and the specific rules for taxpayer notices in this section at CH23522 to CH23536. The operational guidance about taxpayer notices starts at CH223000.

Refer to CH23528 if the SA return is for a partnership.