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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Agent operational guidance: dishonest tax agents: getting access to an agent's files: using powers under Schedule 36 Finance Act 2008

You can issue a file access notice for the documents you need to progress your case, but you may also need a person to provide you with information.

The information you ask for must be reasonably required to check a person’s tax position. Checking the ‘tax position’ of a dishonest tax agent means checking their position regarding the penalty for dishonest conduct.

To get the information you require to progress your case you can issue information notices under

  • FA08/SCH36/PARA1 (taxpayer notice)
  • FA08/SCH36/PARA2 (third party notice).

‘Providing information’ can be answering specific factual questions, but information can also be provided by creating a document that did not previously exist in order to conveniently provide the information required. For example, it can cover computations, calculations, analyses, lists of an agent’s and firm’s clients and so on.

You can issue a ‘taxpayer notice’ to the person who is or was a tax agent, and a ‘third party notice’ to any other person to check the tax position of the tax agent.

If you need to give information notices under FA08/SCH36, you must make it clear to the person to whom you propose to give the notice what powers you are using and why.

Detailed technical guidance about information powers under FA08/SCH36 starts at CH20000.