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HMRC internal manual

Information Disclosure Guide

HM Revenue & Customs
, see all updates

Confidentiality when dealing with the customer: confidentiality when dealing with the customer: protecting confidentiality when meeting customers face to face

You must take all reasonable steps to protect confidential information when you have contact with customers in person, including verifying the identity of the person you are speaking to.

For proof of identity, wherever possible ask for photographic or other identity documents.

If you are still not sure, ask general questions of the customer using information available from HMRC records or databases. You must take care not to disclose any information about the customer when asking these questions.

If you are in any doubt about the identity of the customer, do not disclose any information to them until you can verify their identity to your satisfaction.

The Customer Adviser Guide intranet site provides detailed information about how to establish a customer’s identity, in any situation, not just on the telephone.

Computers or paper records should never be left unattended in any area of the office accessible by the public.

Further Guidance

If you require any further information regarding the protection of confidentiality when meeting customers, or require further assistance contact your Data Guardian.