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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Agent operational guidance: poor agent behaviour: rude, abusive, threatening or violent agents

HMRC is committed to protecting and supporting its staff. Rude or abusive behaviour towards staff will not be tolerated. Rude or abusive behaviour includes behaviour such as

  • violence or threats of violence
  • inappropriate language in correspondence
  • unwelcome personal comments
  • rude, insulting or demeaning remarks made over the telephone
  • offensive behaviour at meetings or other face to face contact.

Regardless of how minor an incident appears to be it is important that all incidents of violent, abusive, threatening or discriminatory agent behaviour are reported whether they are written, verbal or physical.

There is detailed guidance for you and your manager starting at HR62002 about how to make the required report on form HR VIO1, which must be completed and emailed to your manager within 48 hours of the incident occurring.

The HR VIO1 report starts the audit trail for action within each business area. It also ensures that Risk and Intelligence Service (RIS) assesses details of the agent conduct that falls below expected standards for consideration of further action.

Where you are considering limiting your contact with the agent as a result of an incident described above, see CH870000.

Guidance about how to report your concerns where an agent is involved in suspicious repayment or registration activity is at CH850000.

Where an agent demonstrates poor technical ability, (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) , see CH845000.

If you suspect a tax agent of dishonest conduct you must contact the Agent Compliance Team (ACT), see CH880400.