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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

Working the examination: Meetings: Video and tape recording

You must not make a tape or video recording of a meeting.

If the claimant or his or her agent wish to do so you should

  • normally allow a tape recording of the meeting to be made. You should ask the claimant or agent to agree to provide either a full and typed transcript of the proceedings at their own expense, or an unedited copy of the tape. or if local facilities exist, ask to make a copy at the end of the meeting. You should still prepare your own notes.
  • normally refuse the video request. Video recordings of meetings can have security implications, both for the officers concerned and the Department. There is the risk that the video will be used for some other purpose. From the claimant’s point of view there are normally no immediately obvious business reasons why a video, as opposed to an audio tape, recording is necessary. You do not need to give detailed reasons for this in the case of a particular claimant. If you do have particular concerns you should make a note of them in the enquiry papers. But exceptionally there may be circumstances where the case for video rather than audio recording is pressed.

Exceptional Circumstances

An example may be where the claimant is deaf.

You do not have the right to insist on a claimant attending a meeting. If the claimant refuses to take part unless the proceedings are video recorded then you will have to weigh up all the circumstances and decide whether to make an exception to the normal policy. You should consult your line manager in such circumstances.

If you do decide, exceptionally, to allow a video to be made on official premises you should explain that for security reasons the Revenue does not normally allow this, and the following conditions must apply:

  • the camera should be sited so that the Claimant Compliance Officer’s (CCO) face is not clearly seen on film. This will usually mean that it should be sited behind the CCO;
  • the claimant or agent should give an undertaking that no part of the recording will be used for any purpose other than the current enquiry;
  • the claimant or agent should supply you with an unedited copy in VHS format at their own expense or, if local facilities permit, allow a copy of the tape to be made at the end of the meeting. You should still prepare your own notes. If the claimant objects to these conditions you may refuse to make any exception to the normal policy of not allowing video recording on official premises.

If video recording does take place on official premises you must take care that official papers, files and computer screens are not visible and that other members of staff and details of building security systems are not within camera shot.

You cannot prevent a claimant from making a video on his or her own premises. Again you will have to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages in deciding whether to acquiesce.