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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
, see all updates

Contact - customers and employers: contacting employers

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 don’t 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.

If you’re following this guidance for the first time, go to .

If you’re dealing with an expired BF or action date, go to .

If you’re dealing with a reply to your written enquiry, go to .

If you’re dealing with an expired reminder BF or an action date, go to .

If you’re dealing with a reply to your written reminder enquiry, go to .

Step 2

Obtain the employer’s phone number, address and PAYE reference number from the tax credits computer and record them on form TC648. For how to do this, use TCM1000252 (pre-award) or TCM1000251 (post award).

If there is a phone number, go to .

If there isn’t a phone number, go to .

Step 3

Phone Directory Enquiries on 118 707 to obtain the employer’s phone number.

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

If Directory Enquiries can’t provide you with a phone number, go to .

Step 4

If the claim is pre-award

  • enter the employer’s phone number obtained from Directory Enquiries onto the tax credits computer. For how to do this, use TCM1000254 
  • go to .

If the claim is post award

  • enter the employer’s phone number obtained from Directory Enquiries onto the tax credits computer. For how to do this, use TCM1000253.

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

  • go to .

Step 5

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

Note: The employer’s phone number will only be updated when you’ve 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 6

Check the tax credits computer to determine if any action relating to your enquiry has already been taken.

If the claim is pre-award

  • check Application Notes to determine if any action relating to your enquiry has already been taken. For how to do this, use TCM1000021 
  • go to .

If the claim is post award

  • check Household Notes to determine if any action relating to your enquiry has already been taken. For how to do this, use TCM1000067 
  • go to .

Step 7

If there isn’t an entry relating to your enquiry, go to .

If there is an entry relating to your enquiry

  • make a note of the details of the entry on form TC648

then

  • go to .

Step 8

If the entry relating to your enquiry states a written enquiry has been issued, go to .

If the entry relating to your enquiry states a reminder has been issued, go to .

If the entry relating to your enquiry states the information required from the employer has been received, go to .

Step 9

Note: Before speaking to the employer, make sure you follow the latest Information Disclosure Guidance. For how to do this, use TCM1000256.

Phone the employer and confirm you are speaking to them by asking them to confirm the employer’s PAYE reference number you noted on form TC648.

If the person you speak to confirms the PAYE reference number, go to .

If the person you speak to can’t confirm the PAYE reference number

  • terminate the call and try to contact the employer several more times during the day

then

  • go to .

Step 10

If you’re able to contact the employer by phone during the rest of the day and they confirm the employer’s PAYE reference number, go to .

If you’re unable to contact the employer by phone during the rest of the day or the person you speak to is unable to confirm the employer’s PAYE reference number, go to .

Step 11

Place the casepapers in a secure cupboard and attempt to phone the employer again the following day

Note: Before speaking to the employer, make sure you follow the latest Information Disclosure Guidance. For how to do this, use TCM1000256.

  • phone the employer and confirm you are speaking to them by asking them to confirm the employer’s PAYE reference number you noted on form TC648.

Note: If you don’t succeed on your first attempt, try to contact the employer again several more times during the day.

If you’re able to contact the employer by phone during the day and they confirm the PAYE reference number, go to .

If you’re unable to contact the employer by phone during the day or the person you speak to is unable to confirm the PAYE reference number, go to .

Step 12

Ask the employer to provide you with the information you need.

If the employer provides the information you need, go to .

If the employer can’t provide the information you need at the time of your call, go to .

If the employer will accept a fax as confirmation for the information you need, go to .

If the employer refuses to provide the information you need over the phone or by fax and requests the enquiry in writing, go to .

Step 13

Send a fax to the employer as confirmation for the information you need

  • phone the employer to tell them you have sent the fax

and

  • ask them if they are now happy to provide the information you need.

If the employer will now provide the information you need over the phone, go to .

If the employer will now provide the information you need by sending a reply by fax

  • set a clerical BF date of 24 hours to wait for a reply

then, once you have received the employer’s fax

  • go to .

If the employer still refuses to provide the information you need over the phone or by fax, go to .

Step 14

Make a note of the information the employer has provided on form TC648

then

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

Step 15

Write to the employer at the address you noted on form TC648. On the written enquiry

  • ask the employer for the information you need
  • enter the Employer’s Helpline phone number 0845 714 3143

then, whichever is appropriate

* set a clerical BF for 15 days in the future

or  


* set an action date on the appropriate work list for 15 days in the future. For how to do this, use [TCM1000008](https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/tax-credits-manual/tcm1000008) 

Note: Make sure you select the Retained checkbox. For how to do this, use [TCM1000030](https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/tax-credits-manual/tcm1000030).  


Note: When calculating 15 days in the future, don’t include postal strikes, public holidays and bank holidays in the calculation.  
  • go to .

Step 16

If the claim is pre-award

  • update Application Notes with the message NA11 from TCM0164020. For how to do this, use TCM1000028 
  • go to .

If the claim is post award

  • update Household Notes with the message NA11 from TCM0164020. For how to do this, use TCM1000001 
  • go to .

Step 17

If the employer replies to your written enquiry within 15 days, return to the guidance you were previously following for the action you now need to take.

If the employer doesn’t reply to your written enquiry within 15 days

  • issue a reminder to the employer to

    • obtain the information you need

    and

    • include the Employer’s Helpline phone number 0845 714 3143

then, whichever is appropriate

* set a clerical BF for a further 15 days in the future

or  


* set an action date on the appropriate work list for a further 15 days in the future. For how to do this, use [TCM1000008](https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/tax-credits-manual/tcm1000008) 

Note: Make sure you select the Retained checkbox. For how to do this, use [TCM1000030](https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/tax-credits-manual/tcm1000030).  


Note: When calculating a further 15 days in the future, don’t include postal strikes, public holidays and bank holidays in the calculation.  
  • go to .

Step 18

If the claim is pre-award

  • update Application Notes with the message NA12 from TCM0164020. For how to do this, use TCM1000028 
  • go to .

If the claim is post award

  • update Household Notes with the message NA12 from TCM0164020. For how to do this, use TCM1000001 
  • go to .

Step 19

If the employer replies to your written reminder enquiry within the further 15 days, go to .

If the employer doesn’t reply to your written reminder enquiry within the further 15 days, go to .

Step 20

If the claim is pre-award

  • update Application Notes with the message NA13 from TCM0164020. For how to do this, use TCM1000028 
  • go to .

If the claim is post award

  • update Household Notes with the message NA13 from TCM0164020. For how to do this, use TCM1000001 
  • go to .

Step 21

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