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HMRC internal manual

Statutory Payments Manual

Information Powers - before you can issue a Formal Information Notice

Before you can consider issuing a Formal Information Notice you must have written to the person informally asking for the information or documents you need.

You do not need to write again if you have already written as part of your normal enquiries. If you have only asked for the information or documents in person or by telephone you must write informally.

When writing informally make sure that you:

  • give them a clear, specific and reasonable amount of time to provide the information or documents
  • specify the information or documents you need as clearly and precisely as possible and that you only ask for things which you could include in a Formal Information Notice, see SPM240600 

Do not allow them to delay the case unnecessarily, and do not issue repeated reminders.

A Formal Information Notice should not be issued unless the person has refused to co-operate with an informal written request for information, or has failed to produce some or all of that information within the time shown in the informal request.

You may feel that it is appropriate to telephone them once to remind them, or you may want to issue a Formal Information Notice without giving them any reminders, especially if your informal written request followed up a previous telephone request