Inspections may be announced or unannounced.
Announced inspections will be:
- arranged in advance by agreement CH253000, or
- made following the issue of an HMRC notice, for example if you have not been able to contact the customer CH253500.
Where the risk justifies it, unannounced inspections which do not have advance agreement or notice can be made CH254000.
The majority of inspections will be pre-arranged with at least 7 days notice. Sometimes the customer will want an earlier visit, such as where a claim they have made needs to be verified, and will agree to less than 7 days notice. You must not force such agreement in any way.
If you need to make an inspection with less than 7 days notice that is not agreed with the customer, you must get approval in advance from an authorised officer CH260000.
All unannounced inspections must be approved in advance by an authorised officer.
Inspections can be approved in advance by the Tribunal if you have reason to believe the inspection may be obstructed. This means that penalties can be imposed if there is deliberate obstruction when attempting to carry out an inspection that has been approved by the Tribunal see CH25540. You will need to apply to the appropriate authorised officer if you think you need prior approval for an inspection from the Tribunal.