HMRC have agreed new fraud prevention measures with the tax bodies in order to verify a caller's ID when an HMRC employee contacts a tax agent.

  1. If the agent has requested a call back for Self Assessment (SA) or PAYE, HMRC should request a single use password to be quoted on the return call.
  1. HMRC’s Debt Management and Banking (DMB) department make unsolicited calls to agents. The caller should be asked to quote two characters from the agent's reference number.
  1. When a caller claims to be from HMRC’s VAT department, they should be asked for the four digit ID
  1. If the SA or PAYE team need to make an unsolicited call they should make reference to earlier correspondence/telephone calls as proof of identity.
  1. In any of these cases, if the agent remains concerned that the caller is not who they claim to be they should request a call back.

If information is shared without verifying the identity of the caller there is a potential risk of violating the Agent's responsibilities in respect of Data Protection and client confidentiality.