What is a Schedule 36 Information Notice? When can HMRC issue one? What rights does the taxpayer have when an information notice is issued?

Subscribers please see Sch 36 information notices (subscriber version) for your detailed version which also includes case summaries and notes on appealing a notice.

At a glance

  • Schedule 36 of Finance Act 2008 gives HMRC the power to make a written request ("an information notice") for a taxpayer to provide information or produce a document provided that the information or document is "reasonably required" by the officer for the purpose of checking the taxpayer's tax position. 
  • An information notice can be used to allow the checking of past, present and future tax liabilities out of a check, investigation or enquiry of any kind. 
  • HMRC may use information notice requests as an informal method of openning a general enquiry into a taxpayer's affairs.
  • The notice must be in writing and specify the period for the information or document to be provided and by what means and or form.
  • There are restrictions as to the use of this power and a taxpayer may appeal such a notice.

Third party notices

  • HMRC may also issue an information notice to a third party in order to obtain information in respect of a taxpayer. 
  • A notice may also be served on third parties with or without the taxpayer's approval.
  • The taxpayer's right to appeal may be limited in cases where HMRC and the tribunal consider that the taxpayer is being evasive.

Further information powers

  • HMRC has additional bulk data gathering powers that allow them to obtain accounts details from financial institututions, electronic payment providers and business intermediaries.
  • HMRC has powers to interogate computers and if necessary remove equipment.
  • HMRC has powers to inspect business premises.

For futher information see Sch 36 information notices (subscriber version)

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