Where CDF offer is made 30 June 2014 onwards: the initial meeting: special circumstances and customer safeguards
When conducting meetings with customers you must always follow the guidance at COG11300.
You must always prompt customers invited to any meeting to let you know if there is anything about their health or personal circumstances that may make it difficult for them to deal with your investigations, so that you can help them in the most appropriate way.
Usually an adviser will volunteer this information but you must check because if a person has a disability, we are obliged, under the Equality Act 2010, to make any reasonable adjustments that are required to make sure they are not treated less favourably than any other person because of their disability.
Where a customer mentions a disability you must agree and make any reasonable adjustments required so that your meeting can proceed in a way that means the customer is not disadvantaged by their disability. You should also ask the customer whether they would like a friend, family member or support worker to attend any meetings with them.
Where the customer has difficulty speaking or understanding English, wherever possible, you should try to make sure that an interpreter is available. A meeting must not progress where it is clear that an interpreter is needed and one is not present. You must use a professional interpreter rather than rely on the customer’s representative or family member. You must consider obtaining translation of key documents.
HMRC does not have a legal obligation to provide an interpreter, but where we can we will try to help a customer who wishes to meet with us.
There are specific agreements in place for dealing with Welsh speaking customers in Wales. You should contact the Welsh Language Unit for further information.
(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)