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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Customer contact and data security: letters

Although a lot of our DM business will be done on the telephone you may need to issue letters to the customer and likewise you may receive letters from the customer and it’s important that you protect customer information by following the guidelines below.

Which letter to use?

When sending any correspondence to our customers, you should ensure you are using the latest version and the correct letter for the case. Debt Management has a number of stock or standard letters that will suit most circumstances and you should use these where appropriate.

Although a lot of our letters go out automatically from IDMS, some letters still need to be sent manually from other systems. Some DM areas have their own letters systems but most areas now use SEES to send their letters and in most cases you should be using this when sending correspondence out to your customer. Field Force Collectors have the ability to produce scaled down versions of letters whilst out on the road using their Ultra Mobile PCs.

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It is important that you protect our customer’s information when sending correspondence out of the department. When sending a letter to a customer the key things to remember are

  • make sure the name and address of the customer is correct
  • check that the name and address - and only those details - are showing if you use a window envelope
  • the reference number is correctly entered
  • only appropriate correspondence is sent
  • check before sealing that only correspondence for the customer you are sending it to is included in the envelope.
  • make sure the correct postal system is used for the type of post you are sending and use the appropriate class of postage (usually this is second class though there may be occasions when first class or recorded or registered delivery is needed).

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Noting receipt when letters come into the department

It is vitally important that you correctly note IDMS when dealing with any written correspondence. This is to ensure our post is worked correctly, promptly and within the timescale of our service level agreement. This is ever more important as post moves around HMRC.

For full guidance on this, see DMBM900540.