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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Operational Guidance

Supporting Guidance: business records checks: non-cooperation

In the majority of Business Records Checks (BRC) cases your meeting will be with the customer or their representative who have day-to-day working knowledge of the business’s record-keeping systems. And in most cases, at the end of your check, you should be able to advise the customer on whether or not you consider their statutory records to be adequate. You must confirm this to the customer in writing within 10 working days of your visit.

In some cases the BRC visit cannot proceed because the customer is not at the premises when you arrive. If this is the case you should

  • arrange to undertake further research (for example by checking the internal systems and existing published information) to confirm whether the customer still trades from, or lives at, the address
  • reschedule the meeting and confirm the details in writing so the customer receives no less than 7 days advance notice
  • attempt to reschedule the visit, but no more than twice, unless there are clearly genuine reasons for doing so (for example, serious ill health)
  • discuss the case with your manager to consider

    • whether the case should be considered for tribunal approved inspection or information notices if there is serious risk
    • other courses of action to positively progress the BRC.

BRCs are targeted compliance checks set within a framework of education and leverage and are designed to positively influence customer behaviour. While the aim should always be to progress matters promptly by agreement it is important that instances of non-cooperation (including delay) are tackled effectively to maintain the deterrent effect of BRC.

You must not de-select cases except where shown in COG940475.