Business Premises

FA 2008, Sch. 36, para. 10 (3) defines ‘business premises as premises (or any part of premises) that the officer of Revenue & Customs has reason to believe are (or is) used in connection with the carrying on of a business’.

If a person is carrying on a property letting business and lets properties to others who use them for business purposes, those premises (and any business assets or business documents) can also be inspected but only if this is necessary for the purpose of checking the landlord’s tax position. If, on the other hand, the properties are let solely as dwellings, they cannot be inspected for the purpose of checking the landlord’s tax position.

Premises are defined by FA 2008, Sch. 36, para. 58 to include:-

  • Any building or structure
  • Any land
  • Any means of transport, for example a mobile shop.


A business includes a trade, profession or vocation carried on by a sole trader, partnership or company, and any person that is, or is required to be, registered for VAT.

In addition, Para. 60 states that references to carrying on a business include:-

  • Letting property
  • Trading activities of public authorities and charities.


Although they have not so far done so, HMRC is empowered to specify in regulations what should be treated as carrying on a trade.

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