Schedule 36 Notices

A Schedule 36 notice is given in writing by HMRC requesting information or documents to check your tax position.

Schedule 36 Notice - HMRC request for information

A Schedule 36 notice is a notice which is given in writing by HMRC to a taxpayer requesting him or her to provide information or documents that HMRC deem to be reasonably required to check their tax position.

HMRC cannot request that a person produce a document unless the document is in their possession or the person has the power to produce it.

HMRC defines in the person’s possession as the person having physical control over the document, it does not matter who the document belongs to.  HMRC defines in the person’s power as the person having the ability to get the document, or a copy of it, from whoever holds it.

The person who receives the notice must be given a reasonable time to respond to it, it should be noted however, that no statutory time limit is prescribed. In most cases where HMRC issue a notice under paragraph 1 of Schedule 36, they will allow 30 days from the date of the notice for the reply.

Frequently Asked Questions

The person who receives the notice can appeal against the whole notice or any part of the notice, however, there is no right of appeal against

  • a requirement to provide information or produce any document that is part of the person’s statutory records,
  • a notice or any requirement that requires only statutory records of any person relating to
  • the supply of goods or services, or
  • the acquisition or importation of goods from an EU member state, or
  • the importation of goods from outside the member states in the course of carrying on a business, or
  • a notice or any requirement approved by the tribunal. This is because the independent approval safeguards the person’s rights.

For an appeal to be valid it must:

  • be in writing
  • reach HMRC within 30 days of the date on which the information notice was received
  • be addressed to the officer of HMRC who gave the information notice, and state the grounds of appeal.

Where information and/or documents requested by HMRC have not been produced HMRC can charge an initial penalty of £300 followed by daily penalties of up to £60 a day for every day after the date the initial penalty is assessed until the information or documents are provided.

No penalty will be charged if the person has a reasonable excuse for failing to comply with the notice.  HMRC consider a reasonable excuse to be something that stops a person from meeting a tax obligation despite them having taken reasonable care to meet that obligation. It is necessary to consider what a reasonable person, who wanted to meet their obligation would have done in the same circumstances and decide if the action of the person met that standard as outlined by Judge Medd in The Clean Car Company (LON/90/138X).

A person can appeal to the tribunal against

  • the imposition of an initial or daily penalty, and
  • the amount of the initial penalty (if this is assessed in an incorrect amount) or the amount of the daily penalty, and
  • the imposition of a penalty for providing inaccurate information or producing a document that contains an inaccuracy in response to an information notice, and
  • the amount of the inaccuracy penalty.

An appeal must:

  • be addressed to HMRC in writing
  • reach HMRC within 30 days beginning with the date on which the penalty assessment was issued, and state the grounds of appeal.
Self-employed worker

How can Qdos help?

It is important to recognise the seriousness of a notice under Schedule 36 Finance Act 2008 and should you be unfortunate enough to receive one you should take action without delay.


Qdos Contractor’s Tax Consultancy team specialise in assisting individuals and businesses that are under enquiry and/or are in receipt of one of these notices.



For further information and how we can assist you with issues surrounding tax enquiries, please contact [email protected]

Tax Consultancy Services

Whether you are a contractor, agency or accountant, and have a tax related query, or require advice - give us a shout.

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