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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Customer contact and data security: compulsory verification checks: verification checks based on customer type: verification checks with unauthorised third parties - TTP and payment only

Often you will get calls in Debt Management from a third party who has no authority on record and the customer is not present and available to give verbal consent. In most of these cases you would have to politely explain to the caller that we cannot discuss the customers tax affairs and that they need to get the customer to call in to discuss the case themselves or for a one-off call, give verbal consent for a third party.

However sometimes the third party may be calling to set up a TTP or make payment to the record and in these situations we can accept this provided that the third party matches our criteria for such calls, see DMBM511645.

Third party matches the criteria

Once you have established that the third party matches the criteria you should verify them using the checks for calls with Third parties with No Authority (TPNA) (PDF 16kb).

You should also advise them that you are unable to confirm any of the information that is given to you such as:

  • the total debt amount
  • any payments already made
  • any monies becoming due
  • the enforcement position
  • any outstanding returns
  • any designatory information
  • any previous correspondence and so on.

However, you will accept any information or payment given to you or will set up a short term TTP. If there is any further discussions necessary or for whatever reason you feel you cannot accept the TTP/payment then you should advise them to get the customer to call themselves.

Because we are not entering in to a two way discussion with the caller it is not necessary to verify the caller against our records (its unlikely that we will hold this information anyway) however it is necessary to establish that we are taking payment or setting up a TTP against the correct account, so in these cases you are verifying the record rather than the caller. Therefore it is only necessary to complete 3 basic verification checks.

You should also make a note of the name of the caller and the relationship to the customer (if applicable) and note this on the records in all calls.

Note: You should be very careful in these cases not to disclose or confirm any information and only take information to the caller. You can confirm that the TTP was set up or the payment was accepted.

Third party does not match criteria or fails verification

If the third party does not match the criteria, for example

  • they want to set up a TTP on a different amount
  • they want to set up a TTP for over £10k
  • they want to set up a TTP for longer than 3 months or
  • they fail to give you information to enable you to verify the record correctly

then you should advice that you are unable to complete their request and the customer must phone in on their own behalf.

You should not say where the information we hold differs from that being given.

Staff working in the NRU should see DMBM512906.