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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Operational Guidance

HM Revenue & Customs
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Supporting Guidance: business records checks: what do I need to do before a visit: case review

Pre-visit research will help you to consider what you might expect to see or be asked given the nature of the business being visited. It will also give you an insight into what you would expect the minimum requirements to be for the type and size of business.

The following steps will assist you in building a picture of the customer and their business activities and history. However, these are only intended as a guide. In each case you must tailor your preparation to the business you are visiting and the time available.

  • Consider the customer’s responses to the Compliance Centre’s phone-based BRC questionnaire. These responses will have identified potential areas of record-keeping risk to prompt a visit to the customer.
  • Review any information regarding the customer’s business including any published guidance on generic business issues. This may indicate the type of records you could reasonably expect to see for each type of business. In addition, certain businesses may have common streams of ancillary income you should ensure are recorded. Just as importantly, there may be certain health and safety considerations that you need to take into account.
  • Confirm whether there is an agent acting for the customer, and whether they are involved in the areas to be covered by the BRC visit.