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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Communications: Incoming telephone calls: effect of these rules on customer service

The strict rules and procedures on confidentiality will lead to a slightly lower level of customer service. For example, Helpline can no longer look at COMPASS (IHTM31101) and tell the executor how much Inheritance Tax is outstanding, they will need to

  • take the caller’s details, and
  • ask the caseworker to ring back confirming the outstanding amount, once they have verified the callers details from the file.

These procedures have been put in place to protect caseworkers and taxpayers from bogus callers, so you should always remember to include details of the measures you have taken to protect confidentiality when you are noting up telephone calls (IHTM02196).

There is a fundamental difference between accepting information and giving out new information. In all cases make sure you are obtaining further information from the caller not giving it to them. You must continue to deal with customers’ telephone enquiries as helpfully as possible, within the constraints of needing to maintain customer confidentiality.