Whenever the HMRC arrange a visit via the phone, you should ask for the following:
- details about the visit
- name of the person visiting
- what their role is in the enquiry
- ask why were you selected to visit
An excellent thing to do is on the day of their visit to have all of their requested records, and by doing this you can make sure there is nothing extra that they did not request.
If a representative of HMRC contains a formal notice signed either by a tribunal or an Authorised Officer of HMRC it doesn’t mean that they have an automatic right of entry.
If the notice is signed by an Authorised Officer, or if there was a legitimate excuse for not allowing entry, there would be no penalty for refusing entry.
If the notice has been signed by a court there might be an initial penalty of £300 if there was no valid excuse for not allowing entry.
Our recommendation would be to look for professional advice before allowing them in because these visits are never random.
Firstly, they would like to have a word with the business owner and if they are not present, the representative of HM Revenue & Customs would evoke anyone who is in.
Following the visit, HMRC can write to you with the subsequent information:
- What you need to do to enhance your VAT record keeping
- Any corrections you ought to create to your VAT account
You can appeal any decision made by HMRC, but you must do so within thirty days.