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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

How to do a compliance check: using FA08/Sch36 inspection powers: using inspection powers to carry out a visit

The following sections in this part of the guidance set out the legal requirements and operational procedures for notifying and conducting inspections under paragraphs 10, 10A and 11 of Schedule 36 2008, see CH251000.

Guidance about the valuation power contained within paragraph 12A is at CH256000.

Announced inspection visits will be

  • arranged in advance by agreement, see CH253000, or
  • made following the issue of a letter or formal inspection notice, for example when you have not been able to contact the person, see CH253500.

Where the risk justifies it unannounced inspections which do not have advance agreement or notice can be made, see CH254000.

The majority of visits will be pre-arranged with at least 7 days’ notice. Visits can sometimes be made earlier within the notice period, with the person’s agreement, for example at the person’s request to verify a claim.

If you need to make a visit with less than 7 days’ notice that the person does not ask for, you must get agreement in advance from an authorised officer, see CH262400.

All unannounced visits must be approved in advance by an authorised officer.

Inspections can be approved in advance by the Tribunal if you have reason to believe your inspection may be obstructed. The advantage of this is that penalties can be imposed if you are obstructed when attempting to carry out an inspection that has been approved by the tribunal, see CH25540. You will need the agreement of an authorised officer if you think you need tribunal approval for a visit.