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HMRC internal manual

International Exchange of Information Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
, see all updates

Notification requirement: Scope and requirements: Recipients of notifications

Notification requirement: Scope and requirements: Recipients of notifications

Individuals rather than entities

The notification should be sent to current clients as at 30 September 2016 who are individuals (that is, natural persons rather than legal ones), or more specifically:

  • For a Specified Financial Institution, the where the account holder is an individual, rather than an entity
  • For a Specified Relevant person, where the advice or services are in respect of an individual client’s own tax affairs, rather than for an entity’s tax affairs


This group is then made smaller depending on the advice given and who the sender of the notification is, as explained below.


Retention of contact details

As the rules look at account holders and clients as at 30 September 2016, and in many cases the notification will be sent after that date, there is the possibility of the list changing in that interim period.  The rules require retention of records of account holders and clients as at that date, as these are the ones who will require the notification.

The application in each case is slightly different, but the meaning is the same:

  • For Specified Financial Institutions: an individual will either be an account holder or not at 30 September 2016, and only those who are should be included
  • For Specified Relevant Persons: an advisor may have clients for whom they do not provide regular services, but still consider there to be an ongoing relationship and some clients for whom they are engaged on a one-off or similar basis; the rules allow Specified Relevant persons to exclude clients whom, on 30 September 2016, they do not reasonably expect to provide further advice or services to


Where at 30 September 2016 the business has insufficient information to contact the individual (such as a barrister engaged by a solicitor who never received the client contact details) then there is no obligation to find those details.  If they are held at 30 September 2016, they must be retained.


Different approaches to identifying whom to notify

In each case, there is a specific approach whereby the sender identifies relevant people who should receive the notification, and a general approach where the sender identifies a group likely to benefit from the notification.

HMRC would prefer the specific approach to be taken where possible, as this is more targeted and more in keeping with the intention of the policy.  However, we accept that in many cases the business will not have the necessary records in an appropriate, accessible form to identify the individuals for the specific approach, so the general approach is included as an option.