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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
, see all updates

Customer contact and data security: contact with third parties: how to handle correspondence from third parties: invalid authority for tax credits

Action to take where previous correspondence has been received

When post is received from a third party, intermediary, agent or appointee and there is no authority to act or the authority supplied is invalid or inappropriate (for example, it is a photocopy or the incorrect form is supplied), in all cases you should check whether the claimant has previously been contacted regarding invalid authority from this third party; see DMBM511625.

If so, record an IDMS Action History note under ‘Corres In’ and enter a free format note summarising the:

  • name of the sender
  • date of the letter
  • date it was received by HMRC
  • reason why authority is unacceptable.

You should also include a note to confirm the date of any previous contact with the claimant regarding a third party that has no authority. Take no further action.

Action to take when no previous correspondence has been received

Agent or paid professional

Debt management companies for whom the claimant is paying a fee should be treated as an agent and should complete a 64-8. It is not acceptable for a paid professional to complete a TC689 or their own equivalent document.

Where invalid authority has been received:

  • make one attempt to contact the claimant by phone
  • advise them a letter has been received from agent/paid professional on their behalf but as the authority was incomplete/inappropriate you are unable to deal with the correspondence.
  • confirm the correct authority required is a 64-8 and it should have their original signature (if the authority is for a joint claim signatures are required for both claimants); the 64-8 form (PDF 188kb) is available to download from the HMRC website
  • advise them if any further correspondence is received from this third party without valid authority, you will not be contacting them again and you will not be responding to the third party.

If you are unable to make contact by phone:

  • issue the SEES letter ‘DMNTC30 Paid Professional No authority to claimant’
  • note the IDMS Action History that a letter has been issued
  • set a Next Action Code of ‘Review’ with a proposed BF date of seven calendar days after the date of issue of the letter/phone call.

Intermediaries

These may be voluntary organisations (for example, Citizen Advice Bureau) or an individual (friend or neighbour).

Where invalid correspondence has been sent:

  • make one attempt to contact the claimant by phone
  • advise them the authority to act is incomplete/inappropriate so you are unable to deal with the correspondence
  • advise them the appropriate authority required is a TC689 or a letter from the intermediary giving the same information as on form TC689; authority is valid for 12 months from the date of signature which must be original (if the authority is for a joint claim signatures are required for both claimants)
  • advise them if any further correspondences are received from this third party without valid authority, you will not be contacting them again and you will not be responding to the third party.

If you are unable to make contact by phone:

  • issue the SEES letter ‘DMNTC40 - Intermediary No authority to claimant’
  • note the IDMS Action History that a letter has been issued
  • set a Next Action Code of ‘Review’ with a proposed BF date of seven calendar days after the date of issue of the letter/phone call.

Appointees

If a claimant cannot control their own affairs, someone may be appointed to act on their behalf. This could be due to illness, disability or mental health.

They can be appointed by:

  • a court of law
  • the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP)
  • the Department of Social Development (DSD) in Northern Ireland
  • HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)

Make one attempt to contact the appointee to request the original document of appointment or proof of appointment.

If you are unable to make contact by phone:

  • issue the SEES letter ‘DMNTC50 Appointee no authority to Appointee’ requesting original document of appointment or proof of appointment
  • note the IDMS Action History that a letter has been issued
  • set a Next Action Code of ‘Review’ with a proposed BF date of seven calendar days after the date of issue of the letter/phone call.