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HMRC internal manual

International Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Exchange of information: Form of report

Reports to the Centre for Exchange of Intelligence at Custom House Annexe, First Floor, 20 Lower Thames Street, London EC3R 6EE should be made in the format set out below. The CEI reference number should be shown if information has previously been obtained on the case. Provided that the security marking is no higher than Restricted, the report can be sent by internal email to RIS ID&I, Exchange of Information Team (RIS).

The request will be passed to an overseas investigator who will need to locate the relevant files. In many cases, however, it will not be possible to answer the requests from those files and the overseas investigator may have to collect information by correspondence or interviews. It is important, therefore, that the background to the request is set out and the relevance of the information needed is made clear, so that the investigator can direct enquiries accordingly. Where HMRC is providing information, it is also helpful if the source of the information is indicated, so that overseas investigators can make some judgements about the veracity of the information.

The CEI would like to be able to photocopy the report and send it overseas with a covering letter. The report should be factual and, if inferences are made, these should be defensible. It is important that the report is clearly written and free from jargon and abbreviations especially if it is going to a country where English is not the first language. Some countries such as the USA, Germany and the Netherlands have an obligation to tell their taxpayers that information has been requested. In other countries, such as Sweden or Denmark, the information sent may have to be released to their taxpayer upon request. If this is likely to prejudice enquiries, this should be made clear in a covering memo.

The format for the report is:

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION FROM [country]

Previous exchange of information reference:

THE FACTS

  1. UK PARTIES

For each UK taxpayer involved

  • full name
  • full address
  • date of birth (for individuals)
  • marital status (if applicable)
  • spouse’s name (if applicable)
  • spouse’s date of birth (if applicable).
  1. OVERSEAS PARTIES

For each overseas taxpayer about whom information is required

  • full name
  • full address
  • date of birth (for individuals)
  • marital status (if applicable)
  • spouse’s name (if applicable)
  • spouse’s date of birth (if applicable)
  • tax identification number (if known) (for USA individuals it will be the US social security number)
  • any other tax identification references.
  1. UK ENQUIRIES

Please give a concise description of the background to the UK enquiries and a summary of the facts, for example

  • origins and nature of the enquiry
  • the taxes involved
  • the period of the enquiry and the period for which the information is required, if it is different
  • the relevant facts or evidence established so far, identifying the source of the information (that is the taxpayer’s statement, third party statements, other documents). Please enclose copies of relevant documents
  • any inferences or conclusions drawn so far with reasoning
  • the irregularities discovered or suspected in UK taxpayer’s affairs, including the taxpayer’s admission or denials, as appropriate.
  1. OTHER INFORMATION

Please give details of any information not already included above which may be useful to the overseas authorities for their own tax purposes.

  1. INFORMATION REQUIRED
  • Please give a precise description of all the information which is required, for example: a list of items of information or documents
  • a list of specific questions
  • additionally, but not on its own, a general request for other relevant information.

Where it is appropriate, indicate

  • the relevance of the information being requested to the determination of UK tax liability
  • if the information requested is for years other than those under the enquiry, why it is relevant

whether a direct approach to the overseas taxpayer would prejudice the investigation.

An electronic stencil is available for use by HMRC officers, which follows the format described above. HMRC readers may access the stencil (Word 91KB) and this page also includes the instructions in the first paragraph above.