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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Customer contact and data security: contact with third parties: agents and accountants: authority in writing

Agent is a collective term used for an authorised third party acting on behalf of a customer. Most agents/accountants will submit their details on a 64-8 and you should encourage them to do so. But customers do not have to use the form 64-8 to notify us that an agent is acting on their behalf and they can put the details in a letter. The letter should contain

  • all the details set out on form 64-8 and
  • in what capacity the agent is acting.

The appropriate systems should be updated according to the details outlined in the letter, on IDMS the permanent notes facility must have

  • a record of the details of this authority including

    • the name of the agent/accountant who the consent is for
    • their relationship, if known and appropriate
    • the date in which the authority was received
    • a note to say the letter was signed
    • any limitations on what you can and cannot discuss
    • contact details for the agent/accountant.

Many of the letters you will receive will appoint a family member to represent another member for example some one on behalf of an elderly relative, or someone in the forces, or a parent for an older child and so on. Please be extra vigilant in these cases because the agent may not be acting in connection with all matters dealt with by the Department. You may find that there are different agents acting in different capacities for the same customer.

In all cases the written consent must be signed by the customer. The signature should be original and not a photocopy or faxed copy.

Afterwards, any written requests for authority should also be sent to CAAT at CAA Team, Longbenton, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE98 1ZZ.

Alternatively, the 64-8 can now be done online using the Online Agent Authorisation Service.

For further guidance regarding authority in writing, see DMBM512210.

If an agent or other person was acting on behalf of a deceased customer prior to their death, for example through a power of attorney or consent (such as a form 64-8) you may no longer disclose confidential information to these third parties. If the personal representatives wish these third parties to continue to act they must provide a fresh consent. For guidance on third party deceased cases, see DMBM510450.