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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

HM Revenue & Customs
, see all updates

How to do a compliance check: recording information: what information should be recorded and retained

The original notes taken at the visit or meeting with the person or their representative form the main record of information a caseworker obtains during a compliance check and the basis for the compliance check report. They should be capable of supporting any subsequent conclusions, recommendations and decisions made.

The notes form part of the audit trail and if any decision made by a caseworker is challenged, all records will need to be examined.

When carrying out compliance checks at business premises you must record details of any meetings with the person, their representative or any employees. You must make a detailed note of

  • all records identified, produced and inspected
  • the risks identified
  • all checks applied to records seen, including document numbers where appropriate
  • all verbal rulings given and the nature and amount of errors identified
  • all further records and information requested at the end of your visit
  • details of any other issues discussed, including anything said by the person that you use to support a decision on penalty behaviour
  • the issue of factsheet CC/FS9 The Human Rights Act and penalties; who it was issued to and when it was issued
  • any reasonable adjustments made under the Equality Act 2010.


It is important that you retain

  • all original records of compliance checks and meetings, and
  • any information that has been recorded on sheets of paper


unless they have been scanned into a case management system such as Caseflow, using Caseflow scanning.