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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

Companies: Quarterly Instalment Payments: Information Powers Notice

The notice must specify the time allowed for furnishing the information, which must not be less than 30 days.

Penalties for failure to comply with these information powers falls under TMA70/S98 EM4900+

Regulation 10

You can require the company to furnish you with such information relating to the computation of any amount paid in respect of the company’s total liability for an accounting period in accordance with regulation 5 as you may reasonably require for ascertaining whether the amount of the payment was consistent with the quality and quantity of the information available to the company, at the time the payment was due, regarding its total liability for that period. You can also require information in order to ascertain the reasons for non-payment, where no instalment payments have been made, or for ascertaining whether a claim for repayment of amounts already paid under the instalment regulations was properly made.

Regulation 11

Similarly, you can require the company to produce all such books, documents and other records in its possession or power relating to the computation of any amount payable under the instalment regulations, or to ascertain the reasons for non-payment, or check a claim for repayment of an amount paid under the instalment regulations. ‘Documents’ for these purposes is to be taken as a reference to anything in which information is recorded and will include information held on computer or on electronic media. The company can comply with its obligations by supplying photocopies of documents, but if they do you can require the originals to be made available for inspection.

You can request books, documents and other records which are already in existence and are in the company’s possession or power. Examples would include any interim management accounts, minutes of Board meetings, profit forecasts, correspondence including discussion or decisions relevant to the instalment payment position. On the other hand Regulation 10 allows you to request information, which can extend beyond documents which are already in existence, for example an explanation of how a particular figure in the company’s interim accounts is made up.

Regulation 12

You can require the company to make available for inspection any books, documents or other records as could be required to be produced by notice under Regulation 11.You do not need a Regulation 11 notice before you can take action under Regulation 12. Where records are maintained by computer, the company must provide the officer making the inspection with all facilities necessary for obtaining information from them.