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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: compulsory verification checks: verification checks based on type of contact: field force/distraint/outdoor calls (including taking calls from FFCs)

For outdoor calls the customer is required to pass three verification checks.

The verification checks for outbound calls are designed in such a way so as to not hinder the call but to still ensure you are satisfied that you are speaking to the correct individual.

There are less verification checks for outdoor calls because:

  • the Field Force collectors do not have direct computer access to customer records
  • customer is physically seen
  • the customer will have already been verified through the Quality Gateway checks.

Points to note

  • When you arrive at the premises you should ask for the customer by title, first name and surname.
  • If the customer asks where you are calling from you should say that you are an officer of HMRC. (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)
  • If the information is not readily available, or the customer fails one of the (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) questions, the (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) question must be replaced (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)  (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)  (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)  (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) .
  • The (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) question you choose should be suitable for the type of call you are doing.
  • If the (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) question is failed, advise the customer that they have failed the required verification checks and you are unable to discuss the nature of your call with them unless they can prove their identity using a form of ID (driving licence, letter from HMRC with their name on, utility bill etc).
  • You must not discuss the reason for your call with anyone apart from the customer, authorised third party/accountant or a responsible person of the company.
  • If the customer confirms you are talking to the right person after you have asked for them by name, this counts as a pass (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)
  • If you are visiting the premises we have on record which has already been verified you do not need to ask the customer to confirm their address (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)
  • If for whatever reason you are visiting an alternative address, you are away from the customers main residence or you are at an unverified address you should ask (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) .
  • (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

Questioning techniques

Because a Field Force officer/collector should ask for the customer by name and be physically at the address that we hold for the customer, there is no need to ask for their name and address again. The aim during an outdoor call is to get a resolution as quickly as possible as often the Field Force collector has multiple calls to do, therefore the verification checks that they have to do are designed with this aim in mind.

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Firstly, you should always ask for the customer by their full name(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)  (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

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If the address you are visiting is the address we have on our records that has been through Quality Gateway checks, and the customer has now confirmed their name, you have now satisfied verification (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

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For the final check you should say:

‘’I’m calling from HM Revenue and Customs, for security reasons I need to verify that I am speaking to the correct person, please can you just confirm……’’

You should then ask verification question (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

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If the customer satisfies the security/verification checks you should say:

 

“Thank you [use customer’s name], I’m calling about your outstanding debt/return….’’

If the customer wants confirmation that you are calling from HMRC advise the customer to phone the office who will confirm that you are calling from HMRC.

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)  (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)  verification checks helpcard for outdoor work (PDF 83kb)(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

Verifying Field Force collectors on the phone

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  • (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)
  • (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) verification checks helpcard for taking calls from FF or customers with FF (PDF 40 kb)(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)