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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

Opening the Enquiry: Information Request: Outline

FA98/SCH18/PARA 24

To open an enquiry you must

  • send the notice of enquiry to the taxpayer as required by the statute
  • enclose a copy of the relevant general information factsheet CC/FS1 (a, b or c), and
  • if there is an agent acting address your enquiries to them in accordance with the agreement with the professional bodies.

You must use the standard opening letters on SEES for SA, Partnerships, Companies and Claims.

You must normally send a copy of the relevant general information factsheet CC/FS1 (a, b or c) to the taxpayer with the enquiry notice.

  • Where however you have already opened an enquiry and you are extending your check to cover

    • earlier periods, or
    • opening an enquiry in to a return for a different period,

there is no need to issue duplicate copies of the factsheets, but you should remind the taxpayer that the guidance in the factsheets you have already issued applies to your extended check or new enquiry.

  • Where the enquiry is into a partnership return, you must send factsheet CC/FS1 (a or b) with the enquiry notice to the nominated partner. You must also send the relevant general information factsheet CC/FS1 (a or b) to each of the partners, no matter how big the partnership is.
  • You must always send a copy of CC/FS1 (a, b or c) to the person you are corresponding with in each company. If you are enquiring into a group, and it has been agreed that you should correspond with a single company officer on behalf of the group, you only need to issue one copy of CC/FS1 (a, b or c).
  • If the enquiry is into more than one company, see EM8110. If it is into a large group of companies, see EM8115.

Although the usual practice will always be to request the information informally in the first place, there may be some circumstances, see CH21150, in which you would consider it appropriate to issue a notice under FA08/Sch36/Para1 at the same time as you issue the notice of enquiry. CH23540 explains in detail when you can use information and inspection powers to check the position of self-assessment taxpayers.