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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

HM Revenue & Customs
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Information and Inspection Powers: Inspection Powers: Deliberate obstruction of an inspection

A person who deliberately obstructs an officer in the course of a tribunal-approved inspection is liable to a penalty, see CH26240.

Deliberate obstruction is knowingly and intentionally interfering with an officer exercising their right to inspect under the approval of the tribunal. It covers a range of possible behaviours such as

  • denying access to premises and assets,
  • cancelling visits without reasonable excuse, see CH26300, or
  • continued distraction to stop you completing the inspection.

The penalty does not apply where there is a reasonable excuse for the obstruction, see CH26300.