A new framework for compliance checks was introduced by HMRC on 1 April 2009.  Assurance visits have always been a feature of VAT and the Inland Revenue had the power to visit employers to check on the operation of PAYE.  The inspection powers supporting both were inherited by HMRC after the merger of the Inland Revenue and HM Customs.  Under the new compliance framework, HMRC will have a new power to visit business premises to carry out compliance checks not just for VAT and PAYE but for the purposes of other direct taxes.

The new framework applies to compliance checks for:

  • Income tax
  • Capital gains tax
  • VAT
  • PAYE
  • The Construction Industry Scheme
  • Corporation tax


HMRC’s inspection powers will be supported by new information powers and there are new provisions relating to record keeping and time-limits for assessments and claims.

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