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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
, see all updates

Contact - customers and employers: Contacting customers

Checklist

Before you follow this guidance make sure

  • 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.

Guidance

Note: When sending customer, staff or process data to another individual or team, make sure you follow the latest data security guidelines or contact the Data Guardian or Data Security Team for advice.

Step 1

Check whether the claim is pre-award or post award, if you do not know this already. For how to do this, use TCM1000025 

Note: If the status is ‘Partially Captured’ or ‘Awaiting Award’, the claim will be pre award. Any other status, the claim will be post award

  • obtain the customer’s phone number from the computer. For how to do this, use TCM1000175 (pre-award) or TCM1000174 (post award).

If you obtain a phone number, go to .

If you do not obtain a phone number, go to .

Step 2

Phone Directory Enquiries on 118707 to obtain the customer’s phone number.

If Directory Enquiries provide you with a phone number, go to .

If Directory Enquiries can not provide you with a phone number because the customer is ex-directory or not listed, go to .

Step 3

If the claim is pre-award

  • enter the customer’s phone number as ‘00000’ on the computer. For how to do this, use TCM1000177 
  • update Application Notes with the message NC80 from TCM0164020. For how to do this, use TCM1000028
  • check IT systems to obtain missing information. For how to do this, useTCM0317000
  • send a written enquiry to the customer
  • go to .

If the claim is post award

  • enter the customer’s phone number as ‘00000’ on the computer. For how to do this, use TCM1000176 

Note: Don’t complete the ‘Amend Finish’ screen at this point.

  • go to .

Step 4

Complete the ‘Amend Finish’ screen. For how to do this, use TCM1000032 

Note: The phone number will only be updated when you have completed the ‘Amend Finish’ screen.

If a warning message displayed and you had to pass the case to a Level 2 User or your manager, take no further action.

If a warning message displayed and you were able to make the change

  • update Household Notes with the message NC80 from TCM0164020. For how to do this, use TCM1000001
  • check IT systems to obtain missing information. For how to do this, use TCM0317000 
  • send a written enquiry to the customer
  • go to .

If no warning message displayed

  • update Household Notes with the message NC80 from TCM0164020. For how to do this, use TCM1000001
  • check IT systems to obtain missing information. For how to do this, use TCM0317000 
  • send a written enquiry to the customer
  • go to .

Step 5

If the claim is pre-award

  • enter the customer’s phone number you obtained from Directory Enquiries onto the computer. For how to do this, use TCM1000177 
  • go to .

If the claim is post award

  • enter the customer’s phone number you obtained from Directory Enquiries onto the computer. For how to do this, use TCM1000176 

Note: Don’t complete the ‘Amend Finish’ screen at this point.

  • go to .

Step 6

Complete the ‘Amend Finish’ screen. For how to do this, use TCM1000032 

Note: The phone number will only be updated when you have completed the ‘Amend Finish’ screen.

If a warning message displayed and you had to pass the case to a Level 2 User or your manager, take no further action.

If a warning message displayed and you were able to make the change, go to .

If a warning message didn’t display, go to .

Step 7

Phone the customer for the information you need.

Note: For a phone number starting with ‘18001’, follow the guidance in TCM0094260.

Note: If you’re unable to contact the customer at the first attempt, make a further attempt at a different time of day.

Note: Although you can contact the customer at their place of work, you must not ask their employer direct questions about the claim.

If the customer can not be contacted by phone because they have call barring, go to .

If the customer can not be contacted by phone because it is not listed, go to .

If the customer can not be contacted by phone because it is a dead line, go to .

If the call diverts to an answering machine

  • leave a message for the customer you need to speak to, tell them to call you back between 8am - 5pm
  • BF the case for 1 day

If you are able to contact the customer, go to .

If you are unable to contact the customer by phone,

  • send a written enquiry to the customer
  • go to .

Step 8

If the claim is pre-award

  • enter the customer’s phone number as ‘00002/(MM/YY)’ on the computer. For how to do this, use TCM1000177 
  • update Application Notes with the message NL11 from TCM0164020. For how to do this, use TCM1000028
  • send a written enquiry to the customer
  • go to .

If the claim is post award

  • enter the customer’s phone number as ‘00002/(MM/YY)’ on the computer. For how to do this, use TCM1000176 

Note: Don’t complete the ‘Amend Finish’ screen at this point.

  • go to .

Step 9

If the claim is pre-award

  • enter the customer’s telephone number as ‘00003/(MM/YY)’ on the computer. For how to do this, use TCM1000177 
  • update Application Notes with the message NL12 from TCM0164020. For how to do this, use TCM1000028
  • send a written enquiry to the customer
  • go to .

If the claim is post award

  • enter the customer’s telephone number as ‘00003/(MM/YY)’ on the computer. For how to do this, use TCM1000176 

Note: Don’t complete the ‘Amend Finish’ screen at this point.

  • go to .

Step 10

If the claim is pre-award

  • enter the customer’s telephone number as ‘00004/(MM/YY)’ on the computer. For how to do this, use TCM1000177 
  • update Application Notes with the message NL13 from TCM0164020. For how to do this, use TCM1000028
  • send a written enquiry to the customer
  • go to .

If the claim is post award

  • enter the customer’s telephone number as ‘00004/(MM/YY)’ on the computer. For how to do this, use TCM1000176 

Note: Don’t complete the ‘Amend Finish’ screen at this point.

  • go to .

Step 11

Complete the ‘Amend Finish’ screen. For how to do this, use TCM1000032 

Note: The phone number will only be updated when you have completed the ‘Amend Finish’ screen.

If a warning message displayed and you had to pass the case to a Level 2 User or your manager, take no further action.

If a warning message displayed and you were able to make the change

  • update Household Notes with the appropriate message, either NL11, NL12 or NL13 from TCM0164020. For how to do this, use TCM1000001
  • send a written enquiry to the customer
  • go to .

If no warning message displayed

  • update Household Notes with the appropriate message, either NL11, NL12 or NL13 from TCM0164020. For how to do this, use TCM1000001
  • send a written enquiry to the customer
  • go to .

Step 12

Confirm the person you are speaking to is the customer. Follow the guidance in TCM0094120 

  • ask the customer for the information you need and explain to them that we need the information to process their claim, but there are other ways they can provide the information if they are reluctant to provide any information because they are concerned that you are not from HMRC

    • they can phone the Tax Credits Helpline

    or

    • they can write to us with the information.

    Note: If they wish to do this, make sure you provide them with your full postal address.

If the customer is willing to provide the information you need, go to .

If the customer wishes to phone the Tax Credits Helpline or write to us with the information you need, go to .

Step 13

If the claim is pre-award

  • update Application Notes with the message NL08 from TCM0164020. For how to do this, use TCM1000028 
  • go to .

If the claim is post award

  • update Household Notes with the message NL08 from TCM0164020. For how to do this, use TCM1000001 
  • go to .

Step 14

If the customer provides all the information you need, go to .

If the customer doesn’t provide all the information you need, go to .

If the customer is unable to continue with the phone call at that moment

  • ask them what time you should call them back

then, when you phone them back at that time

  • go back to .

Step 15

If the claim is pre-award

  • update Application Notes with the message NL09 from TCM0164020. For how to do this, use TCM1000028 
  • send a written enquiry to the customer
  • go to .

If the claim is post award

  • update Household Notes with the message NL09 from TCM0164020. For how to do this, use TCM1000001 
  • send a written enquiry to the customer
  • go to .

Step 16

Return to the guidance you were previously following for the action you now need to take.