A6.613 Identity unknown information notices
HMRC has various powers to obtain information and documents from various persons for the purposes of checking a taxpayer's 'tax position' or collecting a 'tax debt' of the taxpayer1.
These powers are summarised in A6.610, which also includes the definition of 'tax position' and 'tax debt'.
This article discusses identity unknown information notices, more commonly known as identity unknown notices. These notices are used when HMRC wishes to obtain information/documents from third parties in relation to a taxpayer(s), the identity of whom is not known to the HMRC.
This is not the same as identification information notices, which are used to obtain the identity of a taxpayer(s) from a third party where HMRC has other identifying information about the taxpayer (eg bank account number only). See A6.613A.
Identity unknown notices—overview
An HMRC officer may issue an Identity unknown notice to obtain information/documents from a third party that are 'reasonably required' (see A6.610) for the purposes of checking the tax position of a taxpayer(s) or collecting a tax debt owed by a taxpayer(s)2.
This is different from a third party notice (see A6.612) because an identity unknown notice is used when the identity of the taxpayer or class of taxpayers is not known to the HMRC officer3.
Note that the ability to issue an identity unknown notice for the purpose of collecting a tax debt owed by the taxpayer was introduced by FA 20214. An identity unknown notice can be issued for such a purpose irrespective of when the tax debt arose5.