Taxpayers Notices

Normally the officer carrying out a compliance check or an enquiry would have the authority to issue an information notice without further approval or agreement.

However if the notice requires the production of old documents they must have an agreement of an authorised officer.

HMRC can, if they wish, seek the approval of the Tribunal for issuing a taxpayer notice. The circumstances when an officer will consider seeking the Tribunal’s approval are where:-

  • The tax at risk is large, the time limit for making an assessment is close and an appeal may mean the tax cannot be quantified and assessed.
  • The taxpayer has a history of making appeals to delay matters and then withdraws them at the last moment.
  • There is a history of refusing to provide information.
  • The officer wishes to protect their information from being disclosed at an appeal hearing on the notice. For example where they hold information from an informer or a third party.
  • They have reason to believe that documents may be destroyed and it is necessary to consider criminal proceedings.


The taxpayer has no right to be present at or make representation to the hearing of an application for approval for issuing a taxpayer notice. However, if the taxpayer makes any representations to the officer, these must be fairly summarised and placed before the Tribunal. If the representations are in writing, the written document should be given to the Tribunal.

There is no appeal against the taxpayer notice that has been approved by the Tribunal (FA 2008, Sch. 36, para. 29 (3)).

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