In certain circumstances we have the power to give a notice to a third party requiring them to provide us with the contact details of a person who is in debt to us but with whom we have lost contact.
‘Contact details’ means the debtor’s address and any other information about how the debtor can be contacted.
This is not a power which is used to simply find out more about a taxpayer. Other powers are available to Revenue Scotland for carrying out more detailed investigations on a person’s tax position, such as powers of enquiry (see RSTP1003), information notices (see RSTP2002) and inspection (see RSTP2019).
We can only give such a notice where:
- we reasonably require the contact details in order to collect the sum of money owed;
- we have reasonable grounds for believing that the third party has the required contact details; and
- the third party is a company or local authority; or
- the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the third party obtained the details in the course of carrying on a business.
- a profession; and
- a property business within the meaning of section 263(6) of the Income Tax (Trading and Other Income) Act 2005.
We cannot issue such a notice to a third party which:
- is a charity and obtained the contact details in the course of providing services free of charge; or
- is not a charity but obtained the contact details in the course of providing services on behalf of a charity that are free of charge to the recipient of the service.
Complying with the notice
The notice we give to the third party must name the debtor and specify or describe the period, means and form in which the contact details must be provided to us. A third party who fails to comply with the notice in any respect is liable to a penalty (see RSTP3020). A third party can seek a review or appeal against the giving of such a notice (or any requirement in it) only on the grounds that it would be unduly onerous to comply with the notice or requirement (see RSTP6004).