In a move described by the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) as a "victory for common sense" HMRC have announced that they are phasing out business records checks (BRCs).

A spokesman for HMRC has confirmed that they will not be undertaking any new checks, although ones that they are already committed to are expected to continue.

The checks, devised in 2012, were carried out by telephone or through face to face visits with the aim of checking the adequacy and accuracy of records kept by small and medium sized entities (SMEs) but proved controversial, attracting criticism for being ineffective and poorly targeted.

In 2014 HMRC decided to amend BRCs to be a more tightly focused compliance intervention, reducing the number of checks from the planned 50,000 to 20,000. It is unclear whether they ever managed checks on these levels.

The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) also welcomed the move, saying that they were hopeful that HMRC would now focus on educating businesses about good practice rather than trying to catch them out for being non-compliant.