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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

How to do a compliance check: using FA08/Sch36 inspection powers: visits with advance notice

If it has not been possible to contact the person to agree the time of the visit in advance, a visit must be arranged using the relevant visit-booking letter in SEES Forms and Letters.

A formal inspection notice must be issued if the person has not cooperated with visits booked by informal letter. The confirmation of inspection and notice to produce documents and information can be found in SEES Forms and Letters.

You must normally give the person, (or the occupier of the premises where this is not the person, for example, when inspecting premises used in connection with the supply or acquisition of goods) at least 7 days’ notice. Usually the notice will be longer.

If the person has a disability covered by the Equality Act 2010 you must agree with them any reasonable adjustments they require, see COG11365.

If you need to carry out an inspection with less than 7 days’ notice you must get this agreed by an authorised officer, see CH262400. The relevant inspection notice can be found in SEES Forms and Letters.

In some circumstances it may also be appropriate to get the inspection approved by the tribunal, for example if you think you will have problems with cooperation on the visit, see CH25540. The relevant tribunal approved inspection notice can be found in SEES Forms and Letters.

Applications to the tribunal for approval of an inspection notice must be made by or agreed by an authorised officer. If there is a tax agent acting the visit-booking letter or notice of inspection must be copied to the agent at the same time.

If the appropriate general information factsheet CC/FS1 (a, b, c, or d) (GOV.UK)has not already been issued, this must be sent to the person with the inspection notice, together with factsheet CC/FS3 (GOV.UK) Visit by agreement or with advance notice.

If you want to examine the business records during the visit you may need to issue a taxpayer notice, see CH23500, requiring the documents to be produced at the premises at the time of the inspection.

Template IT01_IT02, in SEES Forms and Letters, is available for you to make your report to an authorised officer. The authorised officer uses the same template to reply.