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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

RLS: Information powers: Contact details for debtors: Introduction

Section 97 and Schedule 49 to the 2009 Finance Act introduced a new power which enables HMRC to obtain up-to-date addresses for people who are in debt to HMRC but with whom we have lost contact. It allows us to obtain that information from any third party where we have reasonable grounds to believe they have obtained the details in the course of carrying on a business.

This is not a power simply to find out more about a taxpayer. We can use it only in respect of a debtor, and where we need the address to collect that debt.

It does not apply to:

  • friends neighbours or relatives
  • charities providing advice free of charge
  • other government departments
  • those working on behalf of a charity who obtained details in the course of providing services free of charge to the debtor
  • an individual who has not had a business relationship with the debtor.

This tracing power is only to be used by the Tracing Units. After carrying out the normal tracing checks, the Tracing Unit will approach a third party when they have reasonable grounds for believing the third party has the information and it is the most cost effective option to do so.