HMRC information powers
HMRC information powers

The following Tax practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • HMRC information powers
  • What are the purposes for which HMRC may use its information powers?
  • Relevant foreign tax
  • Reasonably required
  • Information notices
  • Taxpayer notice
  • Third-party notice
  • Identity unknown notice
  • Identification notice
  • Documents
  • More...

FORTHCOMING CHANGE: Finance Bill 2021 introduces a new ‘financial institution notice’ (FIN) that can require financial institutions to provide information to HMRC about a specific taxpayer, without the need for approval from the First-tier Tax Tribunal. It also widens the purposes for which information notices can be issued, so that both the new FIN and the existing types of notice can be used either for checking a person’s tax position, or for collecting tax debts of a known taxpayer. The new measures apply from Royal Assent to the Finance Bill. A FIN may be issued on or after the date of Royal Assent regardless of when the tax liabilities or tax debt in question arose. For more information, see News Analysis: Spring Budget 2021—Tax analysis—Amendments to HMRC civil information powers, and for information on the draft clauses that were published in July 2020, see News Analysis:Draft Finance Bill 2020–21—changes to HMRC’s civil information powers.

HMRC's powers to check a person's tax position are in Schedule 36 to the Finance Act 2008.

The powers enable HMRC to:

  1. obtain documents and information, and

  2. inspect business premises

This Practice Note describes HMRC's powers to obtain documents and information, and the restrictions on those powers. The powers to inspect business premises are covered in Practice Note: HMRC inspection powers.

Revenue Scotland and the Welsh Revenue Authority have equivalent powers in relation to

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