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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Agent operational guidance: dishonest tax agents: getting access to an agent’s files: file access notice: authorised officer’s agreement

A file access notice must be approved by the tribunal. An application to the tribunal for approval to issue a notice must be made by

  • an authorised officer


  • a specialist officer within the Agent Compliance Team (ACT) with the agreement of an authorised officer.

For applications to the tribunal for their approval to give file access notices the authorised officer will be an officer at Grade 6 within FIS, outside the caseworker’s management chain.

Self authorisation is not permitted. If you are a specialist officer in ACT and an authorised officer, you cannot make the application to the tribunal in one of your own cases. You will need another authorised officer to either make the application to the tribunal or agree that you can make it.

The caseworker must get an authorised officer’s agreement in writing.

There is a summary of decisions that require authorisation at CH885000.