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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Information & Inspection Powers: Penalties: When is a penalty chargeable: Failure to comply with an information notice

A person fails to comply with an information notice, see CH23220, if the information to be provided or the documents to be produced have not been provided or produced by the end of the period stated in the notice.

If the person has provided some but not all of the information, or produced some but not all of the documents, required by the notice you should consider whether

  • the information or documents that you have are sufficient to enable you to complete your compliance check. If so, you should take no further action to obtain the missing information or documents, or
  • the missing information or documents are likely to be of significance in completing your compliance check. If so, the information notice will not have been complied with and a penalty may be chargeable.

You may have agreed to allow the person more time to provide the information or produce the documents specified in the notice. The person will have complied with the notice if they produce the documents or provide the information within the further period of time, see CH23420.

A third party may refuse to comply with a notice on the grounds that it requires them to breach the confidentiality of one or more of their clients. There is no exemption from information powers on the grounds of confidentiality, but you should consider whether any of the statutory restrictions apply CH22100 and consider the application of Article 8, see CH21340, in the light of any representations made to you. On further consideration you may wish to withdraw the notice and either issue a fresh one or try to obtain what you need by other means.

Where information about clients other than the person named in the notice is withheld, perhaps through protecting confidential information prior to release, see CH23320.

A person is not liable to a penalty if there is a reasonable excuse for the failure to comply with the notice, see CH26300.