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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
, see all updates

Specialist areas - Post Room: Post Room - initial action

Version 1.0

Changes to previous version - amended guidance. Replaces ‘Post Room (Introduction)’, ‘External Post Handling (Info and AG)’, ‘Internal Post (Info and AG)’, ‘Miscellaneous Post (Info and AG)’, and ‘Registered / Recorded and Special Delivery (Info and AG)’.

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

Remove the items of post from the grey boxes

  • sort and place the items into one of the following seven blue boxes according to type and size

    • small post
    • A4-sized post
    • award notices
    • complaints, House of Commons, Director
    • thick post to be opened by hand
    • private or confidential post containing a full postal address

    Note: these are placed in the taller of the blue boxes

    • post not containing a full postal address

Note: Any post not addressed to Tax Credit Office (TCO) must be re-directed back to Royal Mail by placing it in the out box. Royal Mail will collect it the following day.

  • go to .

Step 2

Remove and count the items from each blue box in the following priority order

  • Letter and Forms on Computer (LFC)
  • award notices
  • private correspondence
  • RLS (brown and white envelopes)
  • Netherton
  • courier

Note: Place award notices and LFC in batches of 300 a box and the correspondence in batches of 100 a box.

then

  • enter the figures on the ‘Daily Post Count’ sheet
  • go to .

Step 3

Take a box of post according to the following priority order

  • LFC
  • award notices
  • private correspondence
  • RLS (brown and white envelopes)
  • Netherton

then

  • open the post using the Neopost machine

Note: If you work in Northern Ireland, any post addressed to the Director, Customer Service and Support Group (CSSG) or from a Member of Parliament (MP) or Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) is treated as confidential/restricted and must not be opened. You must only date stamp the envelope.

Note: Any post unsuitable for opening on the Neopost machine such as large or thick envelopes, should be opened by hand or using the large industrial Neopost machine.

  • go to .

Step 4

If the item of post is an LFC or award notice, go to .

If the item of post is an LFC or award notice with a valuable item attached, go to .

Note: This includes UK birth certificates even though they aren’t treated as a valuable item.

If the item of post is an LFC or award notice with cash enclosed, go to .

If the item of post is private correspondence, go to .

If the item of post has arrived in an RLS brown or white envelope, go to .

If the item of post is from Netherton, go to .

If the item of post is a claim pack that has been returned RLS

  • retain the claim pack in the Post Room

Note: A stock of approximately 200 returned claim packs is retained in case an area within the business requests any.

  • take no further action.

If the item of post is a completed claim form

  • place it in the post filing frame under ‘Netherton’
  • take no further action.

Step 5

Remove the LFC or award notice from the envelope

  • date stamp the LFC or award notice
  • place the LFC or award notice in the filing frame on your desk

Note: At various times during the day a member of the team will empty the filing frames and forward the LFC or award notice to the relevant teams to deal with.

  • take no further action.

Step 6

Remove the LFC or award notice and the valuable item from the envelope

  • date stamp the LFC or award notice

Note: Don’t date stamp the valuable item.

  • record details of the valuable item on the envelope in the following format

    • 1 x foreign document or passport (and so on)
    • NINO
    • initials of the post opener
  • record the valuable item on the ‘Valuables’ sheet

Note: If the valuable item is a UK birth certificate, it isn’t recorded on the ‘Valuables’ sheet. It must be placed to one side and collected later in the day by the Assistant Officer (AO) and placed in the secure silver box (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) .

  • place the LFC or award notice and the valuable item back in the envelope and secure it with a paper clip
  • place the envelope in the locked red box on your desk

Note: During the day, specified staff from the Valuables Team within the Post Room will empty the red box, check the contents against the ‘Valuables’ sheet and take them for their continuing action

Note: All post containing a valuable item must be worked and not stockpiled.

  • take no further action.

Step 7

Give the LFC or award notice and cash to your line manager so they can check the amount enclosed

  • record details of the cash on the envelope in the following format

    • amount of cash
    • NINO
    • initials of the post opener
  • record the cash on the ‘Valuables’ sheet
  • place the LFC or award notice and cash back in the envelope and secure it with a paper clip
  • place the envelope in the locked red box on your desk

Note: If it is a large amount of cash, rather than placing it in the secure red box take to your manager or the Valuables Team in the Post Room.

Note: During the day, specified staff from the Valuables Team within the Post Room will empty the red box, check the contents against the ‘Valuables’ sheet and take them for their continuing action.

Note: All post containing cash must be worked and not stockpiled.

  • take no further action.

Step 8

If the private correspondence is fully addressed

  • place it in a blue box for the area the addressee is located in so it will be delivered to them by the Messenger service

Note: If there isn’t a blue box for a specific area, the messengers will take it individually.

  • take no further action.

If the private correspondence isn’t fully addressed

  • pass it to your manager and ask them to trace the addressee on the Global Address List (GAL)

then, when your manager has traced the addressee

  • place it in a blue box for the area the addressee is located in so it will be delivered to them by the Messenger service

Note: If there isn’t a blue box for a specific area, the messengers will take it individually.

  • take no further action.

Step 9

Remove the RLS correspondence from the envelope

Note: If there are any guidance notes or a return envelope enclosed with the RLS correspondence, place them in confidential waste.

  • staple the RLS correspondence that has been returned undelivered to the envelope
  • go to .

Step 10

If the RLS correspondence is an award notice

  • place them in bags of either 50 or 100 and store them in the Post Room until a team working RLS correspondence request the work to be transferred to them
  • take no further action.

If the RLS correspondence is a Priority 1 LFC

  • pass the correspondence to the AO so they can count them and forward them to the Priority 1 Team (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)  
  • take no further action.

If the RLS correspondence is correspondence from Compliance or is connected to income tax

  • place it in the post filing frame under ‘Miscellaneous’
  • take no further action.

If the RLS correspondence is correspondence from a Review Team

  • pass it to your manager to arrange for it to be returned to the team that issued it
  • take no further action.

Step 11

Note: The correspondence that arrives from Netherton is correspondence that has been sent to Netherton by mistake either attached to a claim or renewal form. Netherton detach the correspondence and it arrives in the TCO Post Room in a box in the internal white courier van.

Remove the correspondence from the box

  • date stamp the correspondence
  • place the correspondence in the relevant pigeon hole in the post filing frame.

Note: At various times during the day a member of the team will empty the filing frames and forward the correspondence to the relevant teams to deal with.