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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Information & Inspection Powers: Information Notices: Tribunal approval: Taxpayer Notice

In most circumstances you will give a taxpayer notice without tribunal approval. However, you can ask the tribunal to approve a taxpayer notice.

Applications for approval may be made ‘without notice’. This means that any person affected is not told about it. They cannot attend or make representations at the hearing. However, they may make representations to you which you must present to the tribunal for consideration (see below).

If the tribunal gives approval, the notice you send to the person must say so.

The tribunal may not approve a taxpayer notice unless all of the following conditions are met.

  • The application is made by or with the agreement of an authorised officer, see CH21720 
  • you have told the person that the information or documents referred to in the notice are required, (but see the exception in CH24140)
  • you have given the person a reasonable opportunity to make representations to you, (but see the exception in CH24140)
  • the tribunal has been given a summary of any representations made by the person, and
  • the tribunal is satisfied that, in the circumstances, you are justified in issuing the notice. You should be ready to explain to the tribunal why you have not issued an unapproved notice.

A summary of any representations made by the person should fully and accurately reflect their tone and content. Where the person makes written representations to you, the document should also be put in front of the tribunal so that the tribunal can draw its own conclusions about the tone and content.

An example of a tribunal-approved taxpayer notice is at CHApp1.3.

FA08/SCH36/PARA3 (2), (2A) & (3)