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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Customer contact and data security: contact with third parties: how to handle calls from third parties: call from voluntary organisation

Some customers who have difficulty paying their debts contact voluntary sector organisations (intermediaries) for help. These organisations may then contact HMRC on behalf of the customer.

If you receive a call from a voluntary organization, you should deal with the call as you would deal with any third party contact; you should firstly check to see if the customer is with them at the time of the call. If the customer is present you should:

  • verify the customer (see DMBM512800)
  • seek permission from them to speak to the representative
  • ask if there is any limitations on what you can disclose/discuss with that representative.

If the customer is not present them you should advise that you are unable to discuss the record with a third party without the customer present and ask the customer to send in written signed authority or call in to give verbal consent.

Note: Voluntary organisations, like all other third parties, can represent customers on multiple occasions although verbal consent should always be obtained.

For full guidance on third parties, refer to DMBM511620.