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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
, see all updates

Contact - complaints handling (except CSSG): Complaints handling - all areas except CSSG

Checklist

Before you follow this guidance, make sure

  • you can make any changes. Follow the guidance in TCM0042260 
  • you have the correct user roles to follow this guidance. Use the B&C Roles and Access Catalogue. You can find this by going to the Benefits & Credits homepage, selecting ‘R’ on the B&C A-Z index, selecting ‘Roles and Access Process’, selecting ‘Roles & Access Catalogue’ from the Related links menu
  • you are in the correct MU. Use TCM0322460 for the correct MU number.

Background

Complaints can be received

  • by phone
  • in writing (by letter, fax or email).

Complaints by phone

When you receive a phone call from a customer or their authorised representative, it is classed as an informal complaint. At this point you should attempt to resolve all the issues to the customer’s satisfaction.

If you are unable to resolve the complaint and the customer wants to make a formal complaint, they have a choice of

  • writing to Customer Service and Support Group (CSSG) with details of their complaint

or

  • having a record of their phone call passed to CSSG for further action.

You should not attempt to deal with an informal complaint from

  • an office of a Member of Parliament (MP)
  • a Member of a Local Assembly (MLA)
  • a Member of the European Parliament (MEP).

These are dealt with by a dedicated helpline for Constituency Queries. MPs already have the direct contact details.

Complaints in writing

All written complaints, whether received by email, fax, letter or a record of an unresolved informal phone complaint, are classed as a formal complaint and should be sent to CSSG to be dealt with.

Guidance on how CSSG staff should categorise, register, acknowledge and deal with a formal complaint is contained in the following additional guidance, as appropriate

  • Customer Service Manual (Chapter 7)
  • Tax Credit Office’s local CSSG Induction and Learning Pack
  • Redress Handbook.

Points to consider when dealing with a complaint

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Guidance

Step 1

Consider the complaint

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If the complaint is being made by phone, go to .

If the complaint is being made in writing, either by letter, fax, email or printed record of a phone call, go to .

Step 2

If the complaint is not about tax credits, go to .

If the complaint is about tax credits, go to .

Step 3

  • tell the customer

    • because the complaint is not about tax credits, you will not be able to deal with it
    • you will instead pass the details of the complaint to the relevant department and have someone contact them in the near future

then

  • make a note of the details of the complaint and the customer’s contact details on form TC648 or an email

Note: Note on your correspondence that the complaint needs forwarding to another department for them to deal with.

  • send form TC648 or email to the Post Intake Team Manager at CSSG in Preston

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  • take no further action.

Step 4

Verify that you are speaking to the customer or their authorised representative. Follow the guidance in TCM0094120.

Note: You should read through any existing Household Notes or Application Notes to be able to confirm this.

If the caller does not have the required authority for you to be able to pass information on to them, go to .

If the caller does have the required authority for you to be able to pass information on to them, go to .

Step 5

  • tell the caller

    • that under the terms of the Data Protection Act, you are unable to pass on any information without the written consent of the customer, so you cannot deal with their call
    • ask them to put their client’s complaint in writing along with the customer’s letter of consent and post it to CSSG, Tax Credit Office, Preston, PR1 0YP

then

  • update Application Notes or Household Notes with the message CT15 from TCM0156060. For how to do this use TCM1000028 (pre award) or TCM1000001 (post award)
  • take no further action.

Step 6

Note: If the phone call is from an office of a Member of Parliament (MP), a Member of a Local Assembly (MLA) or a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), tell them that TCO provides a dedicated helpline for Constituency Queries and MPs should call the helpline using the direct contact details that have previously been given.

  • ask the caller what they are unhappy about and bear the following points in mind when dealing with them.

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then

  • make a record of your phone call on form TC648
  • go to .

Step 7

Following your conversation and action to resolve the issue consider what further action the customer wants to pursue.

If the customer is now satisfied and does not wish to continue with the complaint, go to .

If the customer wants to speak to a manager, go to .

If the customer wishes to make a formal complaint, go to .

Step 8

  • update Application Notes or Household Notes with the message CT16 from TCM0156060. For how to do this use TCM1000028 (pre award) or TCM1000001 (post award)
  • send the form TC648 to storage. Follow the guidance in TCM0074140 
  • take no further action.

Step 9

Note: You must get agreement from your line manager before you escalate an informal complaint. If it is not possible to escalate the phone call immediately, ask the caller for their contact details and inform them that a manager will phone them within 48 hours.

  • inform your line manager that the customer wishes to speak to a manager about their complaint and ask them to take the phone call.
  • pass your line manager form TC648 and let them know the details of the complaint
  • then
  • go to .

Step 10

Where necessary, line managers must make a further attempt to resolve the complaint.

If you are able to resolve the complaint to the customer’s satisfaction, go to .

If you are unable to resolve the complaint to the customer’s satisfaction, go to .

Step 11

  • make a record of the telephone call on the form TC648
  • update Application Notes or Household Notes with the message CT01, CT02, CT03, CT04, CT05, CT06, CT07, CT08, CT09, CT10, CT11, CT12, CT13, CT14, CW01, CW02, CW03, CW04, CW05 from TCM0156060. For how to do this use TCM1000028 (pre award) or TCM1000001 (post award)

then

  • send the form TC648 to storage. Follow the guidance in TCM0074140 
  • take no further action.

Step 12

The complaint now requires further action

  • tell the customer that, as the complaint now requires further action, they will shortly receive an acknowledgement letter containing the name and contact details of the person who will be dealing with their complaint and the timescale in which they will deal with it

then

  • go to .

Step 13

  • send or email the letter of complaint with an MS200, as well as form TC648 records of phone calls that have been escalated to the Post Intake Team Manager at CSSG in Preston

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Note: The CSSG Post Intake Team is responsible for the following tasks with regard to formal complaints

* categorising
* recording them on the CSSG database
* sending out acknowledgment letters
* allocating to CSSG teams for action.
  • take no further action.