HMRC protocols for calls to agents

Apr 03, 2018

Following discussions between the professional bodies and HMRC, via the Issues Overview Group, HMRC have now set out protocols for call backs and unsolicited calls to agents. 

“Agent single use passwords for call backs

Where an agent requests a call back for a self-assessment or PAYE issue that cannot be dealt with during their initial call to HMRC, HMRC will take a password from the agent to be quoted by the HMRC officer who makes that call back. The password will be for that call only. 

Unsolicited calls from HMRC

There is a process in place for unsolicited calls from Debt Management and Banking (DMB) and VAT departments when an agent requires proof that the call is genuinely from HMRC.

DMB can be asked to quote two characters from the agent reference number. They may also make reference to earlier contacts or information held. 

  • VAT will quote the 4 digit ID as an extra assurance.
  • Callers will also offer a call back should the agent remain concerned.
  • Unsolicited self-assessment and PAYE calls may be made by HMRC if there is a need to discuss correspondence recently received by HMRC. Callers will offer reference to earlier correspondence or phone calls as proof of identity.
  • Self-assessment, PAYE, DMB and VAT are the most likely departments of HMRC to require these processes. 

Please provide feedback if either of these situations regularly occur with other departments within HMRC so that we can explore a similar solution if it is necessary. “