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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Customer contact and data security: phone contact: recording of phone calls for quality monitoring purposes: customer tells the member of staff they are being recorded

Customer recording the call

A customer might express a wish to make a recording of their phone conversation with you. It is not unlawful for an individual to record a phone call in this manner. HMRC has no objection to this provided:

  • the recording is for their own purposes and is not intended for use by a third party (note: where the call is from any section of the media (national, trade, regional, online), this must be referred to the Press Office. The only exception is where the customer is for example a journalist, and is simply enquiring about their own business affairs; in these cases do not refer them to the Press Office, this guidance still applies.
  • the conversation is business-related
  • it does not unduly intrude into your privacy or that of another member of staff.

In all cases where a customer advises that he wishes to records their phone call with HMRC, you should cover the three points above and make your own notes of the conversation. Guidance on making a note can be found at DMBM900500.

If the customer waits until the end of the call to tell you that they have recorded it, making it impossible to cover the three points above, you should record this in your note of the call.

If after following the above guidance, you still have concerns about a customer recording a phone conversation with you, these concerns should be made known to your line manager.

Dealing with a customer recording sent to HMRC

If the customer sends you a recording of their phone call but the call has not been recorded in HMRC as well, you should forward the call recording to the DMB National Complaint Team with a complaints stencil.

If the call has been recorded by HMRC, then you should listen to our copy of the call recording (and not that of the customers) whilst following your normal procedures in such cases.