Customer contact and data security: telephone contact: answering machines
Sometimes when you call a customer and they are not available to take the call you will be required to leave an answer machine message. You should ensure that you keep the message concise and be mindful that other people may hear the message.
Calling an individual
If you are calling an individual’s mobile or home landline you should say:
“This is a message for [customer’s name], my name is [give name if appropriate] and I’m calling from HMRC. Please can you ring me back on [give your call back number]. Thank you.”
Note: For reasons of security do not leave a reference numbers e.g. NINO, UTR, VAT, PAYE, CT or AO reference (this list is not exhaustive).
Calling a business premises
When calling business premises you should say:
“This is a message for [customer’s name], my name is [give name if appropriate] and I’m calling from HMRC. Please can a director, company secretary or company accountant call me back on [give your call back number] quoting your reference number [give appropriate reference number except Nino]. Thank you.”
(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)
If you are dealing with a case that requires access via the National Insurance Number (NINO); for example, in Tax Credit cases, you should not leave the NINO on the answering machine and instead just ask the customer to quote it when calling back.