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Treasury written question – answered on 7th October 2008.

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Photo of Eric Pickles Eric Pickles Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what powers of entry are exercisable by representatives of (a) the Valuation Office Agency and (b) HM Revenue and Customs under (i) primary and (ii) secondary legislation.

Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Financial Secretary (HM Treasury) (also in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills)

Powers exercisable by (a) the Valuation Office Agency are contained in primary legislation. For council tax these are contained in section 26 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. They do not extend to forcible entry. For other functions of the Valuation Office Agency I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to Mrs. Spelman on 6 February 2006, Hansard, column 1037W.

Powers exercisable by (b) HM Revenue and Customs (of which VOA is an agency) are contained in primary and secondary legislation. HMRC has a wide range of responsibilities across a number of functions ranging from administration of tax and duties, enforcement of prohibitions and restrictions through to criminal offences. Within HMRC powers of entry are only used within the limits of a particular function and when it is proportionate and reasonable to do so. The main powers exercisable by HMRC (other than those listed elsewhere as exercisable by the VOA) are shown in the following table.

The Home Office is leading a review of powers of entry across all Government Departments and in which HMRC is engaged. The latest findings can be found at


List of the main powers of entry exercisable by HMRC (other than those listed elsewhere as exercisable by the VOA)
Statute Reference
Alcohol Liquor Duties Act 1979 Section 79
Betting and Gaming Duties Act 1981 Schedule 1
Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 Part III—sections 20(A); 25A and 33;
Part VIIIA—section 100F;
Part IX—sections 112 and 113;
Part IXA—section 118C;
Part XII—sections 161; 161A and 162.
Finance Act 1994 Part 1—section 24; schedule 7, paragraph 4
Finance Act 1996 Schedule 5, paragraph 4
Finance Act 2000 Part XII Schedule 6, paragraph 129
Finance Act 2001 Schedule 7, paragraph 6
Finance Act 2008 Schedule 36, paragraph 10
Inheritance Act 1984 Part VIII—section 20
Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 Part II—sections 8; 7; 18 and 32—schedule 1 and section 9
Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 Part II—section 51
Stamp Act 1981 Part 1 Regulations—section 16
Taxes Management Act 1970 Sections 61; 110 and 111
Value Added Tax Act 1994 Schedule 58 and schedule 11 paragraph 10
Hydrocarbon Oil Duties Act 1979 Regulations made under section 17
Hydrocarbon Oil Regulations 1973 (from Hydrocarbon Oil Duties Act 1979) Regulation 47
Hydrocarbon Oil Duties (Reliefs for Electricity Generation) Regulations 2005 Regulations 10 and 13

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