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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Customer contact and data security: telephone contact: customer phones to change personal details

There are certain rules regarding a customers request to change personal information depending on what head of duty the call is about. Firstly you must ensure that you have verified the caller, see DMBM512800.

Direct taxes

If you work in a direct tax office you are permitted to:

  • take the updated customer details over the phone
  • update the records once the customer has been successfully verified.

If, during verification the customer gives you a different address, telephone number, employer, surname and so on, you should not tell the customer that the information you hold is different but you should supplement the question with an additional one and only once you have verified five security questions can you ask the customer if they have changed their details. You should always make sure you have the previous details verified i.e. If they are calling to update an address, phone number, surname and so on then you have the previous address, phone number and surname.

Once you have taken the new information you should follow your guidance to:

  • update IDMS
  • note the records accordingly
  • and update TBS with the new details to ensure that all the HoD systems are updated

as appropriate.

Indirect taxes

All personal details

Legislation requires that any variations to the VAT register must be in writing, therefore if you work in an indirect tax office you must:

  • obtain changes to customer details in writing
  • forward the changes to National Registration Service (NRS) via Electronic Folder (EF).

Address update

If a customer tells you over the phone that they have a change of address then you should:

  • ask the customer to write in informing us of the new address on headed paper
  • sign the letter.

If we have contacted the customer at the new address and therefore have confirmation over the phone but have not yet had it in writing, then you can issue a VAT484 (PDF 28KB) to the customer.

If a third party advises of a new address for your customer then you should also issue a VAT484 (PDF 28 KB) to the customer.

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

You should ensure you note DTR with the action taken.