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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
, see all updates

How to do a compliance check: authorised officer: classes of authorised officer: issuing an identity unknown notice or identification notice

Only an authorised officer can issue

  • an identity unknown notice or
  • an identification notice.

Identity Unknown Notices

An identity unknown notice normally requires the approval of the tribunal but there are exceptions, see CH262200.

The authorised officer must apply to the tribunal for approval to issue an identity unknown notice but they can only do this after one of the Senior Civil Service (SCS) members, named below, has given consent. Consent is required for each case separately.

The authorised officer must be

  • minimum grade 6 in SI, AAG and RIS
  • nominated grade 6 in other business areas, or Central Policy, Tax Administration Advice (TAA) as appropriate.

The SCS members from whom consent must be obtained are

  • the Director of SI, AAG and RIS, or
  • any Assistant Director (AD) in Counter-Avoidence Directorate (previously AAG).

Outside of the above Directorates

  • any member of the Senior Civil Service (SCS) working in Central Policy. Such requests for consent should be sent to TAA.

Directorates should decide the arrangements that best suit their working area within the framework of this guidance.

If you think that it is appropriate to issue an identity unknown notice, you should discuss the case with your line manager. If they support your assessment of the situation you must make a submission to the authorised officer, see CH260500.

If it is necessary to apply to the tribunal for approval of a formal notice you should send a copy of the brief for the hearing, with a short submission, to the authorised officer via your line manager. The case owner will normally be responsible for drafting any initial letter, the formal notice and the brief for the tribunal.

The authorised officer should consider having a lawyer from Solicitor’s Office attend the tribunal hearing.

Exceptions

Where the identity unknown notice is one that does not require tribunal approval (for example, information about a subsidiary company from its parent, or a partner from another partner, see CH227100. SCS consent is not required.

Identification Notices

Tribunal approval is not required for issuing an identification notice, nor does it require consent from a member of the SCS, but it must be authorised and issued by an authorised officer.

The authorised officer must be

  • minimum grade 6 in SI, AAG and RIS
  • a nominated grade 6 in other business areas, or Central Policy, Tax Administration Advice (TAA) as appropriate.