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HMRC internal manual

Technical Teams Operational Guidance

Investigation work: business side examinations: place of examination

If the taxpayer insists, or it suits us, we may take away books and records for examination, however a book examination is usually best carried out at the business premises. The Investigator and SI Accountant will need to examine the books and records on site if they are voluminous or if the books currently in use are linked with the period that is under investigation.

Subsidiary records and supporting documents should be immediately available and there may be staff who can save time by giving ready explanation and finding documents.

If there is any objection by a taxpayer or adviser to SI officers conducting the book examination on the premises it can be explained that:

  • it is a long-standing practice
  • it is part of the co-operation which is expected and which (where this is so) the taxpayer has indicated will be provided
  • it saves everyone’s time and costs if this can be done more easily at the business premises
  • the SI officers will conduct themselves with tact and discretion
  • we have the legal power to inspect ‘business documents’ on the premises under paragraph 10 Sch 36 FA 2008
  • documents falling outside the definition of ‘business documents’ can be required for production under paragraph 1 Sch 36 FA 2008, and it might be reasonable for us to require production at the business premises.