Inspection Powers

Finance Act 2008, Sch. 36 contains inspection powers that enable HMRC to inspect business premises, business assets and statutory records.  Such inspections form an important part of carrying out compliance checks.

The powers must be used reasonably and proportionately and can only be used to inspect business premises.  They cannot be used to inspect premises that are used wholly for residential purposes.  It will be noted that the premises must be used wholly for residential purposes to be exempt form the powers.  If they are used only partly for business purposes then they are subject to HMRC’s inspection powers.

There are safeguards built into the legislation intended to ensure that the use of the powers is reasonable and proportionate.  HMRC have also put procedures in place to ensure that staff are aware of the limitations on the use of these powers and of the need not to breach a taxpayer’s right to privacy under the Human Rights Act 1998.

The provisions of Finance Act 2008, Sch. 36 will be covered in more detail in the Legal Background division when that division has been amended for the new provisions.

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More Information

Visits Arranged or With Notice

When an announced visit is arranged, either by agreement or by way of a formal notice, the taxpayer will be notified of the date and time…

When Visits will be Made

The inspection powers in Finance Act 2008, Sch. 36 only permit visits to business premises.  Visits cannot be made to premises used wholly for residential purposes.…

Types of Visit

Announced visits will usually be by prior arrangements, following an informal request asking for information and an inspection of the business records and premises.  If the…

Unannounced Visits

Unannounced visits will be used to tackle the black economy and where serious fraud is suspected.  HMRC will consider making an unannounced visit where:- Business taxpayers…

Visits Authorised by Tribunal

With the approval of an Authorised Officer, the officer can apply to the Tribunal for their approval of a visit to the business premises.  Approval will…

Private Residences

Private Residences Checks The powers contained in Finance Act 2008, Sch. 36 can only be used to carry out inspection visits to business premises.  HMRC do…

The Visit

The Visit At the start of the visit the officer will give the taxpayer a copy of the Fact Sheet on visits and explain what will…
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