Under the provisions of FA 2008, Sch. 36, para. 5 an authorised officer can issue an information notice requiring a person to provide information or produce documents reasonably required to check the UK tax position of:-
‘UK tax’ excludes ‘relevant foreign tax’.
These notices are known as identity unknown notices.
The provisions dealing with the right to appeal can be found in FA 2008, Sch. 36, para. 29-31.
The person receiving an information notice can appeal against the notice or against a requirement in it.
As well as a failure to follow the rules specifically relating to a particular type of notice, the grounds for appeal can include a failure to either:-
Where the appeal is against the notice, the person does not have to comply with it until the appeal has been heard. But where the appeal is against a requirement in the notice, the person must comply with the other requirements.
If the notice has been issued with the approval of the Tribunal the only way to challenge it is by way of judicial review.
An appeal must:-
If it is not settled by agreement between the appellant and HMRC it will be heard by the Tribunal, which can:-
The Tribunal’s decision is final – there is no further right of appeal.
If the Tribunal confirms or varies the notice, the person must comply within the period set by the Tribunal. If the Tribunal does not set a period, the person must comply within the period set by the officer.
The only ground for appeal is that complying with the notice would be unreasonably burdensome. It would be unreasonably burdensome if the requirement were not reasonable and proportionate for the purpose of checking the person’s tax position, taking into account the value of the information in that context.
There is no right to appeal against a notice requiring:-
An authorised officer must have the approval of the Tribunal before issuing an identity unknown notice unless the notice is issued to either:-
The conditions that have to be met before the Tribunal can give its approval for an identity unknown notice are set out in FA 2008, Sch. 36, para. 5 (4) and are as follows:-
HMRC would consider that there was a serious prejudice to the collection or assessment of tax if there was a risk of:-
Where the Tribunal gives approval, the notice must say so.