Customer contact and data security: contact with third parties: how to handle correspondence from third parties: confirming there is valid authority for all HoD cases except tax credits
All heads of duty (except tax credits) and written authority
Before you deal with third party correspondence you need to ensure that the authority you hold is valid and the correct information has been supplied.
A 64-8 form is required which must contain the customer’s original signature and should be forwarded to:
Newcastle Upon Tyne
A third party may be a friend, spouse, wages clerk or from the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) or a debt management company.
A letter from the customer granting a third party written authority should contain:
- the name and address of the third party and their relationship to the customer
- details of the tax covered by this authority
- details of any restrictions the customer may want; for example, they are happy for us to discuss their current debt but not their debt history or payment detail
- how long they wish to have the authority in place, if applicable
- the customer’s original signature.
Note: For voluntary organisations or debt management companies we will accept their equivalent document as long as it contains all the relevant information detailed above and the customer’s original signature.
Power of attorney
Where a customer is unable to directly deal with their own affairs they may decide to provide a third party with authority to act on their behalf. A power of attorney is a legal document whereby a person (the ‘donor’) gives another person (the ‘attorney’ or ‘donee’) this authority.
The Powers of Attorney Act 1971 sets out the documentation necessary to prove power of attorney. This must either be the original copy of the power of attorney or a certified copy of it. A copy is certified, according to section 3 of the act, if it is certified as a true and complete copy on every page by either:
- the donor of the power
- a solicitor
- a stockbroker.
The authorised person should sign each page of the copy to certify their verification.
In accordance with these requirements, any documentation presented to you should therefore be either the original document or a certified copy as specified by the Powers of Attorney Act.
Once you are satisfied that the attorney has the donor’s/granter’s authority to deal with their financial affairs, you should take a copy of the documentation for your file. You may then disclose to the attorney any information that could have been provided to the donor/granter.
Details of the third party authority should be recorded on IDMS Notes and Assets (as a permanent note) and all available heads of duty system records.
Any correspondence received authorising a third party to act for a VAT Trader should be passed to the:
HMRC VAT Scanning Team
who will scan it into EF.