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 taxpayer refuses an informal request for a visit, the officer can arrange a visit by issuing a formal notice.
If the nature of the risk requires it HMRC may carry out an unannounced visit, without giving any notice of the intended visit. No unannounced visit should be carried out unless it has been approved by an Authorised Officer.
If the officer believes that their inspection may be obstructed they can, with the approval of an Authorised Officer, apply to the Tribunal for their approval to a visit. If this is given, the taxpayer can be penalised for obstructing the officer carrying out the inspection.