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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Operational Guidance

Our Conduct and Behaviour: conduct of compliance officers

It is important that your conduct is beyond reproach and conforms to the standards demanded by the Department.

You should:

  • observe the rules of conduct laid down in ‘Conduct’ on HR website
  • adopt the highest standards of behaviour in all dealings with the public
  • be alert to all areas of potential tax loss. Always ask the question ‘Does what I see reflect the known dealings with HMRC?’
  • not assume that every customer is potentially fraudulent. While being alert for signs of evasion or fraud, officers should be aware that most customers and employers will be conscientiously trying to meet their obligations
  • never enter into any private transactions with customers, employers or agents in circumstances which could result in the propriety of your conduct being brought into question. Be aware of the rules governing provision of hospitality
  • ensure that the customer’s rights are observed by:
    • treating all customers with equal fairness
    • being courteous and accurate
    • taking special care not to discuss the facts or circumstances of compliance checks in the presence of unauthorised persons.
  • seek to minimise costs by:
    • the efficient use of your use of time
    • accepting computer data in the customer’s preferred format, providing the customer also provides the means to read it
    • wherever possible leaving records in the order you find them.