HMRC RAIDS: Quick Look Guide for companies and their employees


1. Call JMW immediately on 0345 872 6666 

2. Arrival Procedure

  • The nominated supervising employee should be informed and should arrange for the following:
    • Note the time the Officers arrive at the premises
    • Check the ID of all the Officers in attendance.
    • Ask that the officers remain in the reception area whilst Legal representation arrives. If possible, ask they wait somewhere out of sight of customers/clients.
    • Check the search warrant they present and take a copy. This should include scope of the search (including the premises’ address), the names or number of Officers permitted to be present, the time period for which the search is permitted and property they are authorised to seize.
    • Before the Officers leave take their contact details so that they can be contacted later regarding the investigation and the seized goods.

 3. Monitoring

  • The Supervisor should allocate a ‘shadow’ for each Officer as they proceed to search the premises (if they refuse to wait for your Solicitor). Make sure they record what is copied, removed etc. and make copies of anything the Officer plans to remove.

 4. Questioning

  • Officers cannot interview or interrogate employees so refer any questions beyond those relating to practical arrangements (e.g. keys, passwords to enable access) to the Supervisor.
  • Remember – wilfully obstructing an officer is a criminal offence.

 5. Photographs

  • Take photographs of the serial numbers of any hardware which is removed (on your mobile phone if you do not have access to a camera).

 6. Receipts

  • If you are asked to sign a receipt for the removal of items, check the description carefully. It should be clear and precise and explain exactly what is being removed.
  • Get a copy of the each receipt for the records.

 7. Confidential Legal Documents

  • Remember, some documents are outside the scope of the warrant if they relate to communications between a legal professional and their client.
  • If you suspect a document falls into this bracket refer it to the Supervisor. If there is a disagreement, the document should be placed in a sealed envelope until the Solicitor arrives.

8. Publicity

  • Refer any press who appear either during or after the raid to the Solicitor.
  • JMW have a Specialist in media handling who will deal with PR ramifications and damage control.

 9. After the Search

  • Note the time the Officers leave the premises.
  • When the search is over, nominate one person to collect and compile all the data collected by those ‘shadowing’ Officers and hand this to the Solicitor and/or management when they arrive.


If you would like to read about dawn raids in more detail, see our guide here.

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