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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

How to do a compliance check: using FA08/Sch36 inspection powers: visits by prior agreement

The person will be contacted by telephone or letter and informed of the intention to visit and inspect their premises and records. They will be asked to agree the date and time of the inspection.

The visit may be arranged by the officer who will undertake the visit or by a booking officer. There will not normally be a need for a formal notice of inspection in these circumstances. A letter must be sent to the person confirming

  • the date, time and place of the visit
  • the name of the HMRC visiting officer(s)
  • which records the officer(s) would like to see.

If there is a tax agent acting letters must be copied to the agent at the same time.

Letters to persons and tax agents are available in SEES Forms and Letters.

If the appropriate general information factsheet CC/FS1 (a, b, c, or d) (GOV.UK) has not already been issued, this must be sent with the confirmation letter, together with factsheet CC/FS3 (GOV.UK).

Visits by agreement or with advance notice.

These visits will normally be arranged more than 7 days in advance to meet the notice requirements, see CH25480, but you can agree a visit within the 7 days’ notice period if it is convenient for the person. For example

  • the person may ask you to come earlier than that, especially to help check tax repayment claims
  • at a large business where your presence on the site may cause very little disruption to the business going on.