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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 all HoDs except tax credits

Action to take where previous correspondence has been received

When post is received from a third party or agent and there is no authority to act or the authority supplied does not contain an original signature, in all cases you should check whether the customer has previously been contacted regarding invalid authority from this third party.

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 customer regarding a third party that has no authority. Take no further action.

Exceptions

For any post received that contains a TTP request for a debt less than 10k and which will complete within three months see DMBM512150.

If correspondence is received from either:

  • an administrator of the estate
  • an executor
  • a third party

advising you the customer has died action should be taken in accordance with DMBM511960. All recovery action should cease and the case be transferred to Nottingham Estates and Trusts DMB OU 303600. Correspondence should be redirected to them using the redirection stencil on SEES.

Action to take where no previous correspondence has been received from this agent

Where invalid authority has been received:

  • make one attempt to contact the customer by phone
  • advise them a letter has been received from (name of agent) on their behalf but as the authority does not contain an original signature you are unable to deal with the correspondence
  • note that the 64-8 form (PDF 188kb)$http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/forms/64-8.pdf is available to download from the HMRC website
  • 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 unable to make contact by phone:

  • issue the SEES letter ‘DMSA10 Agent no authority’ for SA or a free format letter for all other heads of duty to the customer advising a 64-8 is required containing an original signature
  • note the IDMS action history that a letter has been issued
  • set a Next Action Code to match the existing code with a proposed BF date of ten calendar days after the date of issue of the letter/phone call.

Action to taken where no previous correspondence has been received from this third party

Where invalid authority has been received:

  • make one attempt to contact the customer by phone
  • advise a letter has been received from a third party on their behalf but as the authority is unacceptable you will not be dealing with correspondence
  • advise the customer if any future correspondence is received from this third party without valid authority, we will not be contacting them again and will be unable to respond to the third party.
  • advise the customer to authorise a third party the customer should send a letter containing:

    • 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 HMRC 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.

If unable to make contact by phone:

  • issue the SEES letter ‘DMSA20 Third Party No Authority’ to the customer for SA cases and A free format letter for all other heads of duty
  • note the IDMS action history that a letter has been issued
  • set a Next Action Code to match the existing code with a proposed BF date of ten calendar days after the date of issue of the letter/phone call.

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. Refer to IDG30431 for more information.

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

If unable to make contact by phone:

  • issue a free format letter requesting original document or certified copy of document
  • note the IDMS action history that a letter has been issued
  • set a Next Action Code to match the existing code with a proposed BF date of ten calendar days after the date of issue of the letter/phone call.