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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Debt and return pursuit: contract settlements: contacting the customer

After reviewing the case you should make up to two attempts to contact the customer by telephone. Guidance on making contact by telephone can be found at DMBM510410.

For all cases

Before phoning:

  • bear in mind that although you will not have ownership of the IDMS Taxpayer Record or any other debts you should, in line with HMRC policy of whole case working consider referring to all debts in the phone call
  • check IDMS TIS and DTR so that you are aware of all outstanding debts and returns
  • ask the customer to make payment in full by debit card or, if that is not possible, negotiate a time to pay arrangement.

If other debts are subject to enforcement action you should:

  • phone the owning office
  • establish the position before you go ahead with the call.

When setting up a time to pay arrangement you should only:

  • agree this based on all outstanding debts and returns
  • calculate the accrued interest to date and ask for that as well

However, the customer may not make an offer to pay. Make a note of what they tell you and follow the guidance below; for:

  • alleged payment, see DMBM565090
  • disputed contract, see DMBM565100
  • all settlements - enforcement action following unsuccessful contact, see DMBM565130.