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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

HM Revenue & Customs
, see all updates

How to do a compliance check: records: statutory records: general

Statutory records are records that the relevant tax laws require a person to keep. They are the records needed to enable a person to make a complete and accurate return, declaration or claim and HMRC to check it.

The records deemed to be statutory records will depend on the tax regime and the size and nature of a business or a person’s tax affairs.

Sometimes records are specified in legislation, for example VAT records. These are commonly called specified records, see CH212200.

Other legislation does not specify particular records that must be kept as long as they are sufficient to make a complete and accurate return. These are sometimes referred to as non-specified records, see CH212300.

CH10200 gives more guidance on the nature and extent of records that are required.

CH10300 gives guidance on the general rules for record-keeping and links to details of the legislation for each tax regime.

The relevance of statutory records to a compliance check carried out using powers under FA08/SCH36 is that HMRC officers have the power to enter a person’s business premises and inspect their statutory records, see CH255525. Also, a person does not have the right to appeal against a requirement in a taxpayer notice for a person to produce statutory records, see CH223200.

Records that are not statutory records, known as supplementary records, may be reasonably required under FA08/SCH36 to check a person’s tax position but a person may appeal against the taxpayer notice.