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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Information & Inspection Powers: Types of inspection: Announced or Unannounced inspections

All inspections of premises must be carried out within one of two frameworks.

Announced Inspection

The person receiving the inspection is informed of your intention to visit and inspect their premises before you arrive. They can agree the date and/or time of your inspection. If this is not possible you must give at least 7 days notice, although normally the notice will be longer, see CH25480 and CH25500. It is possible with the permission of an authorised officer or the tribunal to give less than 7 days notice of an inspection, see CH25500 and CH25540.

Unannounced Inspection

You must be an authorised officer or, if not, you must have the agreement of an authorised officer, CH21720, to inspect any premises without prior arrangement with the occupier, see CH25520 and CH25540.

CH25440 provides guidance on when an inspection starts and ends.