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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Information and Inspection Powers: Inspection Powers: Meaning of ‘inspect’: Examples

  1. You are walking along a corridor with a representative of the business and come to a door in the corridor. He goes through but the door slips and closes in front of you. You may touch the door to open it and continue.

  2. You are shown into a room in which the books, records and invoices you asked for have been placed on a table for your inspection. You are allowed to open the files and boxes of records that have been collected. You are allowed to walk around and look at the pictures on the wall. You are not allowed to open the filing cabinet in the corner just to see what is in it.

  3. You are shown into a room in which the accounting records you asked for have been placed on a table for your inspection. You are told the invoices are in the filing cabinet in the corner. You may open the filing cabinet to inspect any invoices that you may want to.

  4. You are inspecting premises used in connection with taxable supplies and there is a delivery van in the yard waiting to offload goods. You are allowed to open the door – remember health and safety – as means of transport such as cars and vans are, for these purposes, premises. You may look at the boxes inside. You are also allowed to climb inside and look at the boxes you cannot see from outside. You should ask the trader to open any box you want opening so you can check the tax position of what is inside. It should be very rare to want to inspect goods waiting to be sent out for delivery. You are not allowed to open the driver’s holdall.