Most of the inspection powers can be used by any officer of Revenue and Customs. An officer of Revenue and Customs is a member of staff appointed by Her Majesty's Commissioners for Revenue and Customs.
Officers must follow the guidance on these powers given to them by HMRC.Whilst most officers of HMRC are able to use the majority of the new inspection powers, Paragraph 59 of Schedule 36 FA 2008 gives HMRC the ability to specify the member and class of officers of HMRC who will be "authorised officers" for this legislation.
Where you see the title "authorised officer" in this training material, it means an officer authorised under Paragraph 59. Classes of authorised officers will be listed in the Compliance Handbook. Authorised officers will receive additional training in the use of information and inspection powers.
Their role is to provide an independent scrutiny of the proposed course of action, carefully reviewing reports from an officer who wants agreement to conduct a particular kind of inspection. The authorised officer will need to be satisfied that the proposed notice or visit is appropriate and proportionate to the identified risks.
Although Schedule 36 FA 2008 does not specifically prohibit it, our policy is that there will always be a two-stage process and that there will be no self authorisation.