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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

How to do a compliance check: applying to tribunal for approval to give a Sch36 FA08 notice and preparing for the hearing: step 4 - 'without notice’ or ‘in private’ application

If your manager and the authorised officer agree that you should seek tribunal approval to issue an information notice, see CH265020 and CH265040, you should also consider whether the application should be made without notice, previously known as ‘ex-parte’.

This means that neither

  • the person to whom the notice is to be addressed nor
  • the taxpayer in a third party application

will be given details of when the hearing will take place and are not informed of, or entitled to attend, the proceedings. This also applies to any representatives of the taxpayer or the third party.

If you wish to apply for a ‘without notice’ (ex-parte) application you will need to provide a brief summary detailing your reasons on the IIP20 to support this application. It is not sufficient to simply request that the hearing is without notice.

Hearings will be held in public except where the tribunal gives a direction that the hearing, or part of it, is to be held in private. The tribunal can restrict access to the hearing if it thinks it is justified.

If you make a without notice (ex-parte) application, the tribunal must consider whether to give a direction that the hearing, or part of it, be held in private. Applications should be made to request a private hearing where it is necessary in order to:

  • maintain the confidentiality of sensitive information, such as HumInt and Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) derived material
  • safeguard the interests of public order or national security
  • protect a person’s right to respect for private and family life
  • avoid serious harm to the public interest
  • avoid prejudicing the interests of justice.

You should include in the IIP20 the reasons why you have applied for the application to be heard in private and explain why it satisfies one of the above criteria.

The judges need this information to enable themselves to consider your reasons and to satisfy themselves that it is in line with their overriding responsibility (Rule 2) to act justly and fairly to have the hearing in private and without notice.

If the person claims that they are entitled to take part in any without notice application proceedings, you should contact Central Policy (Tax Administration Advice) for advice.