Revenue Note for Guidance

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Revenue Note for Guidance

108. Inspection and removal of records


This section enables Revenue, through their authorised officers, to enter business premises, inspect business records, and in certain circumstances, to remove the records and retain them for a reasonable time.


(1) The terms “authorised officer” and “records” are defined for the purpose of the section; records includes computerised records.

(2) Authorised officers of Revenue have the power to enter business premises to—

  • (2)(a) require the production of the books and records of that business.
  • (2)(b) search the premises for records, etc. where necessary.
  • (2)(c) search a person if that authorised officer has reason to believe that the person has any records which may be required in criminal proceedings in relation to tax. The rights of the person being searched are also listed – the use of these powers is confined to fairly exceptional circumstances.
  • (2)(d) take copies of the records and to remove them and keep them for a reasonable period.
  • (2)(e) search the premises for goods that have not been recorded properly in the books, where necessary.
  • (2)(f) require persons connected with the business or on the premises to give all necessary assistance to that authorised officer in the performance of his/her duties.

(3) Nothing in subsection (2) interferes with client confidentiality.

(4) A trader is obliged, on request, to supply to an authorised officer details of his or her customers and suppliers showing a breakdown of the values of transactions over a specific period. The subsection provides that an officer can request a trader to supply specific records in connection with particular areas of his/her trading operations. Details on gifts and promotional items supplied are also covered – see section 21 on supplies made free of charge.

(5) Obstructing an authorised officer in carrying out his/her duties under this section is prohibited.

(6) An authorised officer must identify himself or herself by producing written authorisation at the request of any person concerned when entering a business premises, carrying out a search or requesting documents.

(7), (8) Subsections (7) and (8) provide that the powers conferred on authorised officers by this section may be used by them in respect of mutual assistance requests received from other Member States under Council Regulation No. 904/2010/EU of 7 October 2010 on administrative cooperation and combating VAT fraud in the field of value added tax.

Relevant Date: Finance Act 2020