How to do a compliance check: using inspection powers: invigilation: powers to invigilate
Schedule 36 Finance Act 2008 gives HMRC the power to invigilate without consent.
It does not provide you with
- an absolute right of entry, or
- the right to stay on premises
if you are asked to leave.
Schedule 36 does allow for a penalty to be applied when a customer unreasonably obstructs an inspection that has been approved by a Tribunal, see CH26240.
Although HMRC officers have the power to invigilate at a customer’s premises the use of this power must be reasonable and proportionate.
Invigilation may be reasonable and proportionate when
- other evidence such as references from suppliers or covert activity suggests that sales have not been declared, or
- the Daily Gross Takings record is incomplete or has not been maintained.
You must be aware that invigilation is a very intrusive action and must only be done for the purpose of quantifying the suppressed sales after you have
- checked the business records
- (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) CH402170(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)
- explained to the customer that you believe they have under-declared their sales or taxable sales
- given the appropriate person factsheets CC/FS7a and CC/FS9 and explained their contents
- asked questions about the inaccuracies and discussed the best way to quantify the unpaid tax
- been unable to agree an alternative way to quantify the unpaid tax.