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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Operational Guidance

Our Conduct and Behaviour: customer service to disabled people: particular requirements

If a person has any disability covered by the Equality Act 2010, you must make any reasonable adjustments that they require to ensure they are not treated less favourably than any other person, because they are disabled. This is a legal requirement. It is also good practice to make reasonable adjustments whenever the customer requests them, whether or not the customer is covered by the Equality Act.

If you believe that a person may have a disability do not make assumptions and do not make a diagnosis. Ask the person

  • whether there is anything about their health or personal circumstances that may make it difficult for them to deal with their tax affairs so that you can help.

For example, mental illness, learning difficulties and learning disabilities are all very different in terms of their impact on normal functioning. Anyone with such impairments will require very different adjustments to make sure they are not disadvantaged by their disability.

You should not decide the adjustments to be made. The person or their agent will explain what they require. You should ask questions if you need to clarify what adjustments they would like you to make.

You may be able to make most of the adjustments that are required quite easily in order for you to complete your compliance work. HMRC has processes in place to help you do this. For details of services available for people with particular requirements see COG11380 and HMRC services for customers with particular needs.

The type of adjustments you may be asked to make will depend on the nature of the person’s impairment and their individual circumstances. Unless the person, or their agent, explains their individual requirements they cannot expect you to know precisely what, if any, adjustments you should make.

You should not change the way you conduct your compliance checks when making reasonable adjustments beyond ensuring that our services are fully accessible to the individual and that they are not disadvantaged because of their disability in the way they are treated.