HMRC arranging visit

Produced by Tolley

The following Value Added Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • HMRC arranging visit
  • VAT inspection visits
  • Errors
  • Preparing for the VAT inspection

HMRC arranging visit

This guidance note is part of a series of notes that provide an overview of the steps undertaken by HMRC when they arrange a visit at a traders premises. If the business is a small and medium size enterprise and HMRC has reason to suspect that the business is not fully complying with its VAT obligations they will follow the procedure outlined in Small and Medium Enterprises Assurance Manual which can be found at VSME1000 onwards.

General information that is produced by HMRC on how they conduct VAT visits can be found via the following link: Visits by VAT officers.

VAT inspection visits

HMRC verifies the accuracy of the VAT collected from VAT registered businesses by undertaking VAT inspections at the business’ premises. The main purpose of these visits is to ensure that the correct amount of VAT is paid at the correct time.

Every VAT registered business will at some point receive a VAT inspection from HMRC. The whole visit can take anything from an hour to a couple of days to complete although, for an average sized business, it should not generally last longer than a day. The officer will make contemporaneous notes during the visit in order to create a visit report later. The visit report is filed electronically by HMRC and will be used as the basis for future inspections as it contains details of the discussions undertaken and the books and records reviewed during the inspection.

For more information on the visit itself, see the During the visit - what to expect guidance note. For detail on providing documents to HMRC, see the Information and documents guidance note.

HMRC generally considers the following aspects when arranging VAT visits:

  1. if a newly VAT registered business is claiming a VAT repayment from HMRC. In this case, HMRC may elect to verify that the amount reclaimed on the return is accurate before making the repayment. The business should try to arrange the visit as soon

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