Visits to Business Premises

Visits to business premises are a common approach used by HMRC to ensure business compliance.
  • Visits to business premises are usually prearranged to inspect business assets, premises and documents.
  • However, they may be unannounced, in which case the appropriate notice signed by the authorised officer is simply handed to the proprietor.
  • HMRC can then proceed to examine the assets, tills, books, records (including electronic ones) as appropriate.
  • It is not a power to interview.

Types of enquiry that may involve a visit

  • Aspect
    • One or more areas of your tax information are reviewed.
  • Full
    • Enquiry into the entire tax return.
  • Random
    • Tax returns across areas deemed to be ‘high risk’ (i.e. restaurants or construction businesses) are evaluated. HMRC prefers to focus its resources on cases likely to yield additional tax, so truly random enquiries are rare.
All types of enquiry should be taken seriously.

How we can help

  • Ensure you comply where necessary.
  • Prevent HMRC from ‘over exercising’ their powers (inspect, not search).
  • Guide you through any disclosure that needs to be made to HMRC.
  • Liaise directly with HMRC and negotiate the best possible result.

Contact us

Sean Wakeman
Sean Wakeman
Partner, Head of Tax Investigations
London