Working the Enquiry: Closure Applications: Statute
TMA 70/S28B (5)
TMA 70/SCH 1A/PARA 7(5)
FA 98/SCH 18/PARA 33
At any time during the course of an enquiry, the taxpayer may apply to the tribunal for a direction that HMRC should issue a closure notice.
The application will be heard and determined in the same way as an appeal hearing.
Unless the tribunal is satisfied that HMRC has reasonable grounds for not giving a closure notice they must give a direction in favour of the taxpayer. This puts the onus on you to show why your enquiries should be allowed to continue. The direction will specify when the closure notice has to be issued by.
Where the tribunal gives a direction you should follow the guidance at EM1990.
The taxpayer’s right to seek a direction for a closure notice does not affect your conditional right to enquire into any return. You should be prepared to emphasise this to the tribunal and to explain that you do not need to be dissatisfied with a return before you can enquire into it.
If a taxpayer applies for a closure notice, you may decide to consider whether Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) may help you and the taxpayer resolve these without the taxpayer having to go to a tribunal. If the taxpayer does not agree with the outcome of ADR, they will still be able to go to the tribunal. See the ADR web pages for guidance about ADR.