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HMRC internal manual

International Exchange of Information Manual

Notification requirement: Specified Relevant Persons: Summary

This guidance advises you about the obligation on Specified Relevant Persons to send out a notification to their clients about certain tax matters, and helps you to work out whether you are a Specified Relevant Person, and if so which clients you need to notify.

If you haven’t already, you may also want to read the overview of the client notification requirement [IEIM600500 +].

The obligation applies, in broad terms, to professional businesses that offer advice or services in respect of financial accounts or assets outside the UK or in respect of sources of taxable income outside the UK.

A Relevant Person is the business, and can be an individual, a company, a partnership, or similar entity.

The primary, wider scope of Relevant Person is in section 222(4) of Finance Act 2013, and is either:

  • a person appointed to give advice about the tax affairs of another person (whether appointed directly or by another tax adviser of that person), or
  • any other person who in the course of business:
    • gives advice to another person about that person’s financial or legal affairs, or
    • provides other financial or legal services to another person.

This is then narrowed down by reference to whether the Relevant Person provides or has provided offshore advice or services [IEIM603030] to any of their clients in the course of business, and is therefore a ‘Specified Relevant Person’.

A relevant person will not be a specified relevant person if they only complete and submit a tax return that reflects the fact that the client has overseas income or assets.  If the only advice or service of this kind that you offer is to fill in the boxes in the tax return reflecting overseas income or assets, by copying them from offshore bank accounts and P60s, then you are not within the obligation. The advice or services must be more substantial than just filling in a return.

There is an exemption where the Relevant Person wholly advises its own employees or officers, or the employees of officers of a connected party [IEIM604000].

The guidance includes flowcharts [IEIM605000] to help identify whether you are included in either of the definitions.

Where a business meets the definition of both Financial Institution and Specified Relevant Person, the rules applying to Specified Financial Institutions will take precedence, and only those rules will apply.