RSTP2027 - Cooperation or obstruction at an inspection

RSTPA guidance on the consequences of deliberately obstructing an officer during an inspection, as well as rights that the occupier has.

The occupier of the premises has the right:

  • to refuse us (or a person authorised by us) entry to the premises to be inspected;
  • to ask us (or a person authorised by us) to leave the premises during the course of an inspection; and
  • not to comply with any requirement on them due to us (or a person authorised by us) exercising a power which we have (such as requiring certain documents to be produced),

even if the inspection, or the exercising of the power, has been approved by the tribunal. There are implications however where this type of obstruction is deliberate.

Implications for deliberate obstruction

If you deliberately obstruct us (or a person authorised by us):

that has been approved by the tribunal under section 147 of the RSTPA 2014 (see RSTP2026), then you are liable to a penalty (see RSTP3015).

RSTPA 2014 section 195

Deliberate obstruction is knowingly and intentionally interfering with our right to carry out an inspection and right to exercise a power that has been approved by the tribunal. It covers a range of possible behaviours such as:

  • denying access to premises and assets (including non-cooperation when we make contact to arrange the inspection);
  • cancelling visits without reasonable excuse; and
  • continued distraction to stop us completing the inspection.

An example of something which would not be a deliberate obstruction would be if you receive a phone call that your child has been hurt at school, or that a relative has been taken to hospital and you then ask us to leave the premises so that you can deal with the situation.

If we are carrying out an inspection on the premises and the occupier decides not to continue with the visit then we will withdraw immediately. We will offer another time to complete the inspection or remove the documents presented for inspection (see RSTP2028) and continue the inspection of the documents on Revenue Scotland premises.

Where we are deliberately obstructed from carrying out an inspection or exercising a power which has not been approved by the tribunal, we may then decide to apply to the tribunal to approve a new inspection or the exercising of a power. In this case we will provide the tribunal with information relating to the previous obstruction, including any reasons that we were given by the person who carried out the obstruction.

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