HMRC power to request data

Produced by Tolley
HMRC power to request data

The following Employment Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • HMRC power to request data
  • Introduction
  • Outline
  • Relevant data, relevant data-holders and data-holder notices
  • Time limits
  • Penalties
  • Grounds for appeal


HMRC collects taxes needed to fund and deliver central government spending. With the extra investment in HMRC compliance activity since 2010, HMRC is tasked with raising ever higher additional revenue by tackling tax avoidance and tax evasion.

A series of initiatives have been launched to achieve the revenue target, including campaigns and task force activity, but HMRC has also been given extra help in the form of legislative powers to collect data.

The powers were introduced from 1 April 2012 to replace previous powers contained in TMA 1970. For a list of the previous legislative provisions, see CH28130. For background information on the introduction of the new data-gathering powers, see Simon’s Taxes A6.325.

The data collected feeds into the analysis work conducted by the HMRC Risk and Intelligence Service and is thought to play a prominent role in determining which campaigns are launched and which business sectors are going to be targeted for taskforce activity.

See the HMRC campaigns ― introduction and HMRC taskforces guidance notes.


FA 2008, Sch 36 introduced a new framework for HMRC powers including the information and inspection powers that an officer can use in carrying out a check of a taxpayer’s position.

HMRC uses its data-gathering powers to collect information in bulk by issuing a ‘data-holder notice’ to a relevant data-holder requiring the provision of ‘relevant data’. The powers allow HMRC to not only collect data for the purposes of risk assessment, but also for obtaining third party data in connection with specific tax checks. An example of a request for bulk information is when HMRC requires a bank to report details paid on savings accounts.

The legislation identifies categories of data-holder and the type of data HMRC can request from each data-holder.

Data gathering pow

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