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Wednesday, 3 October 2012

How to deal with HM Revenue & Customs for someone else

You can act on behalf of someone else who finds it difficult to manage their own affairs - maybe because of illness or disability, or because they don't speak English.

Making a phone call on someone else's behalf

Discussing general information

If you ring HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on behalf of someone else, what happens depends on what you want to talk about. You will not be asked to provide proof of identity if you ask for a form or make a general enquiry. If you require further information, you or the person you are acting on behalf of will need to confirm their correct identity.

Discussing personal information

For other calls, it may be possible for the person you're acting for to give permission over the phone for you to speak for them. You will both need to be present when the call is made.

The person you speak to will need to be sure that whoever's giving permission is who they say they are. They'll be asked some questions about their tax affairs or tax credits/Child Benefit claim, so they should have all the relevant papers with them.

You may be asked to give the phone number you're calling from so you can be called back. It's best to make the call from wherever the person you're acting for lives, in case the number you give is checked in the telephone directory.

Acting for someone on a long-term basis

If you want to act for someone on a long-term basis, they or you on their behalf will need to write to HMRC and explain the situation. The letter will need to include:

  • their name and address
  • their tax reference or claim number
  • confirmation that they wish you to deal with their affairs
  • your name and address
  • signature of the person you are acting for

Once approved, you'll receive all future correspondence from HMRC, except letters for payment of any tax due and refunds. These will still be sent directly to the person you're representing.

You can find the postal address for HMRC by following the link below.

Becoming an appointee for someone claiming tax credits or Child Benefit

If someone is unable to act for themselves and wants to appoint you to deal with their tax credits or Child Benefit claim, they'll need to complete the appointee form attached to their original claim form.

Helping people claim or manage their tax credits

If you want to help claim or manage tax credits on another person’s behalf, you can do so. You will need to show HMRC that you have their permission to do so and the best way for you to do this will depend on your relationship with them. 

Help available from HMRC

If you have a disability

If you are disabled HMRC offers services to help you handle your tax affairs:

  • textphone numbers for helplines 
  • Braille and audio leaflets
  • Braille correspondence
  • home visits if you're housebound

If you don't speak English

HMRC offers a free language interpretation service to customers who do not have English as a first language. You can use this service when you telephone HMRC or when you come in to an HMRC office. With the right help you might not need to appoint a representative.

The following help sheets are available in various languages:

Provided by HM Revenue and Customs

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