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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

How to do a compliance check: using inspection powers: during a visit: inspecting records

The power to inspect only applies to statutory records that are on the premises when you inspect them. However, the person may agree to a request to make available all the records you want to see during your visit. If you consider that there may be a problem with the records being made available you can issue a taxpayer notice, see CH223100 requiring production of the records at the premises at the time of your visit.

There are some restrictions on the types of documents and information we can require or inspect even if they would otherwise be reasonably required to check a person’s tax position, see CH22100.

If you are offered restricted documents to inspect you should remind the person that you have no power to inspect them. If the documents are still offered you may inspect them but make a full record of the circumstances in which the documents were offered for review.

Guidance on reviewing records and dealing with failures to keep adequate records is at CH211000.

Note: When you inspect records you should not mark them in any way for example to indicate a certain entry has been checked.