A6.612 Third party information notices
For the latest New Development, see ND.1285, ND.1860.
Information and documents may be obtained from a third party to check the tax position of another person whose identity is known to HMRC1. HMRC may request information informally in the first instance, only issuing a formal notice if the information requested is not provided2. A third party notice cannot be given without either the agreement of the person whose tax position HMRC is checking or the approval of the Tribunal. Tribunal approval can only be sought by, or with the agreement of an authorised HMRC officer3. A third party notice can be issued to a non-resident individual4, but HMRC must show a sufficient connection between the intended recipient and the information sought to be obtained before serving the notice. In Derrin Brothers Properties & Others v HMRC, HSBC and Lubbock Fine5, the Court of Appeal explained the scope of the third parties' right to make representations at the Tribunal. They can only make representations to state any practical difficulties with compliance. Therefore, there is no requirement for third parties to be told the reason why the information is required and they cannot argue the taxpayer's case as to the scope or nature of the investigation.
That other person must be named in the notice except where the First-tier Tribunal has approved the notice and disapplied this requirement6, and the notice must ask only for information or documents which are reasonably required to check the tax position of that