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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Customer contact and data security: introduction: who are our customers?

The ‘customer’ means all the individuals and organisations Debt Management deals with in carrying out its functions. This includes individuals, employers, employees, sole proprietors, partnerships and legal entities such as limited companies and trusts.

Your work for the Department will bring you into regular contact - either over the telephone, via written correspondence or face to face with

  • our customers and their agents
  • colleagues in other HMRC offices and government departments.

You have an important role to play in upholding the reputation of the civil service in general and HMRC in particular.

Throughout the DMBM customer contact guidance we follow the Ombudsman’s Principles that outline the approach we should adopt when delivering good administration and customer service and how to respond when things go wrong.

Throughout this guidance on contact, we use the term ‘customer’ to include taxpayers (for taxes and other duties), contributors (for National Insurance contributions, statutory sick pay and statutory maternity pay), traders for indirect tax debts, and Tax Credit and Child Benefit claimants.