HMRC must know the identity of the taxpayer whose tax position is being checked before they can issue a third party notice.

The information and documents requested in the notice must be for the purpose of checking the person’s tax position and the burden of providing them must be reasonable and proportionate. A third party notice should be considered only if the taxpayer cannot provide the information and documents themselves and there is no other way of obtaining them.

Before HMRC can issue a third party notice they must have obtained either:

  • the agreement of the person whose tax position they are checking, or
  • the approval of the Tribunal.


The approval of the Tribunal can only be sought by, or with the agreement of an Authorised Officer.

An information notice given for the purpose of checking the tax position of a person who has died may not be given more than four years after the person’s death.

Where the Tribunal approves the issue of a third party notice, it may also disapply the requirement to name the taxpayer in the notice if it is satisfied that the officer has reasonable grounds for believing that naming the taxpayer might seriously prejudice the assessment or collection of tax.

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