Beta This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what this means

HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
, see all updates

Notes - recording and viewing: Maintain Household Notes function (Info)

Function MAINTAIN HOUSEHOLD NOTES allows you to

  • view all existing notes concerning a family
  • add a new note
  • delete an existing note.

Note: Most users will only be able to access Household Notes to previous year minus one (PY-1). A small number of users will have access to years before PY-1. If you need to check Household Notes for PY-2 and earlier, your manager will know what your local arrangements are.

Note: Before deleting any existing notes, you must follow the guidance in TCM0152100 or amend the details in an existing note.

The Maintain Household Notes screen is split into two sections

  • retained notes

and

  • tax year-based notes.

Note: You can only mark a note as retained or remove the retained marker if you have the appropriate user role and you work in one of the following areas

  • Appeals
  • Compliance
  • Debt Management
  • Customer Service and Support Group (CSSG)
  • Persons from Abroad.

The notes in both sections are displayed in descending event date order, starting with the most recent event first. The order may be reversed. This will be useful when trying to read a series of notes in chronological order or when deleting out of date notes.

The total number of notes that can be stored for a family is 25 retained notes in total and 100 for each year for tax year-based notes. Once the maximum number of notes has been reached, a warning message will be displayed. If additional notes are needed, you may need to delete an existing note first. Follow the guidance in TCM0152100.

When adding a note, you’ll be presented with a list of categories to select from. You must consider the nature of the note you’re entering and, where possible, use the ‘General’ category. Only use your work area as the category where absolutely necessary.

Household notes

  • can be recorded in upper case and lower case
  • must have the effective date before the actual text of the Household Note
  • must use TCM0154060 (or, where this isn’t possible, must use standardised abbreviations)
  • must be clear and concise and compliant with the Data Protection Act 1998 - for example,

    ‘031007 Complaint Correspondence received or 2004/05 System Estimated Income amended by CR2222’

Note: The effective date must be the date the change or amendment actually happened or the date you were notified of the change. If it isn’t possible to use any of the above dates, then the date the correspondence was received or the tax year the note relates to must be used to prefix the note.

Note: If you’re entering a standardised message with the code at the end of the message, you won’t be able to prefix the message with an effective date. In these cases, you must enter the effective date at the end of the standardised message after the code.

Note: If you work in one of the following areas

  • Appeals
  • Complaints
  • Complex Case
  • Compliance
  • Debt Recovery
  • Payments

and

  • you enter a note using your work area as the category from the Category drop down list, only somebody from your work area should delete the note. You must consider the nature of the note you’re entering and, where possible, use the ‘General’ category. Only use your work area as the category where absolutely necessary.

The accurate completion of notes will help keep colleagues in other teams or offices informed and help them deal with any follow up enquiries or actions. For accountability, a note must always be recorded. If notes aren’t completed correctly, cases will fail quality checks and this may have an adverse affect on accuracy figures.

The information you need to record will include

  • an enquiry you have made. This must include

    • who you contacted for the information
    • how you contacted them - for example, by phone or in writing
    • what information you’ve requested.
  • an enquiry you have received. This must include

    • who contacted you with the information
    • how they contacted you - for example, by phone or in writing
    • what information you’ve received.
  • additional information received from

    • customers
    • Contact Centres
    • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Department for Social Development (DSD) offices.
  • forms and outstanding enquiries issued. This must include

    • the number of the letter or form you have issued
    • who you issued them to
    • what information you’ve requested
    • the date you received them back.
  • if you’ve been notified of a change

    • what has changed
    • the details prior to the change
    • the new details.
  • the effective date of the change, if known (or, if you don’t know the effective date of the change, the date you were notified of the change)
  • phone calls, including calls to Directory Enquiries
  • issue of reminders
  • your identity details in the following format

    • TCO staff - Team / Office / Initials / Location / Floor and / or Room Number
    • Compliance staff - Pay Identity (PI) number.

When creating a new note you must start your entry in the free format field on the Add Note screen in the first space on the first line because the first 30 characters in this field form the preview of the note on the Maintain Household Notes screen.

An amendment can be made to the event date and to the actual note itself. However, the note category cannot be changed. If a category needs to be changed you can delete the note and replace it using a different category. Depending on your user role, you will also be able to alter the retained status of a note and make amendments to the event date or text of a retained note.

When recording the issue of an enquiry form or other tax credits related product - for example, a general enquiry form sent to the customer - you must use TCM0154060.

When recording messages or notes they should be kept to a minimum and

  • the effective date must be before the actual text of the Household Note
  • you must use a full stop to indicate the end of each note
  • you must start each new note immediately after the end of the previous note
  • you must use the abbreviations list wherever possible

Note: The Household Note must convey the action you have taken - for example,

‘031007 Complaint Correspondence received or 2004/05 System Estimated Income amended by CR2222’  

Note: If you’re entering a standardised message with the code at the end of the message, you won’t be able to prefix the message with an effective date. In these cases, you must enter the effective date at the end of the standardised message after the code.

If there isn’t enough room to record all the details that you need to record in Household Notes, you must

  • complete form TC648 with the details and send to storage. Follow the guidance in TCM0074140 

then

  • make the following entry in Household Notes

‘Effective Date XX/XX/XXXX TC648 recording information about XXXXXXXX (enter brief details of the information obtained) has been sent to storage (Enter your Office / Initials / Location details. For example, TCO Service / XX / Group XX)’.

The ability to access Function MAINTAIN HOUSEHOLD NOTES or VIEW HOUSEHOLD NOTES will be determined by your user role and the function you’re accessing the notes from.