In the exercise of their duties, the Inspectorate has attributed a series of prerogatives and powers, reflecting their privileged position to taxpayers. Among such powers, which are set out with a markedly heterogeneous nature in the General Regulations of the Inspection, we highlight the following:
a) Seek the support of the authorities as well as contest, help and protection that are precise. In addition, inspectors are considered agents of authority, for the purposes of administrative and criminal responsibility of those who show resistance or commit assault or insult against them, in fact or word, while on duty or in connection with it.
b) Determine the scope of the actions of verification and investigation and of obtaining information.
c) Set the start time of their actions, mark the place of where it shall occur and agree to its suspension, interruption or recommencement.
d) To request information from third parties with tax significance.
e) Demand the proving identity, character and powers of the person whose help is going to develop the actions.
f) Require the presence of the taxpayer or his representative if, in his judgement feels it is necessary for the proper practice of the proceedings.
g) Review the documentation of the taxpayer, which must be made available with the main and auxiliary accounting as well as other books, invoices, correspondence, documents and supporting documents, including computer programs and files.
h) Enter properties, business premises and other establishments or places where there are activities or holdings subject to tax, where there are assets subject to tax and where a chargeable event occurs or there is any evidence of it.
i) Collect information of workers or employees on issues related to work activities in which they participate; take measurements or take samples and obtain photographs, sketches or drawings (these operations should be performed by the Inspectorate itself) and verify internal control systems of the company, as it can facilitate the verification of the tax situation of the taxpayer
Moreover, it must be stressed that all behaviour of the taxpayer or the person who follows the proceedings, who tends to delay, hinder or impede the inspection activities is considered an obstruction or resistance; and are circumstances which harden these penalties.
As one would expect, the personal inspector’s duty is to have courtesy of respect to the general public and with the information of taxpayers, in order to facilitate compliance with their tax obligations. Also, the Inspection must keep strict confidentiality of known matters in the exercise of their functions and can only use the data, reports or records obtained for tax purposes entrusted to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.