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Do you have an Agents Services Account?

It would seem that HMRC are making life for professionals even more difficult with the advent of MTD. Those firms who have already registered their new agent service account should skip this blog, if you haven’t dipped your toe in this particular process as yet, you may find the following notes useful.

Here’s what I did to register my small practice:

Create a new agent services account

  1. Go to agent’s sign up page
  2. Select business type
  3. Enter your practice CT or income tax UTR and post code
  4. Check details are correct and follow link to Government Gateway
  5. Enter contact details and set password (watch out for the criteria)
  6. Make a note of your User ID and Gateway Agent ID
  7. Add your agent business’s details
  8. Add your address details
  9. Confirm address details
  10. Make a note of your Agent services account number, and then
  11. Continue to your agent services account.

That’s half the job done. You can now ask clients to authorise you to deal with their obligations, or link to your current Self-Assessment and VAT clients. I decided on the latter.

HMRC’s instructions to link client’s data

The notes say:

Use this service to allow your agent services account to access your current client relationships.
If your clients sign up to report their income and expenses, or their VAT returns, through software, you will then be able to:

  • use software to access information about these clients,
  • act on your client’s behalf for these services without having to ask for their authorisation again.

When to use this service

You should use this service if you expect to provide any of the following services for clients:

  • report their income and expenses through software,
  • report their VAT returns through software.

This service will not allow you to access these services on your client’s behalf:

  • register a client’s trust,
  • view a client’s PAYE income record.

Before you start

You will need the login details for each of the agent Government Gateway accounts your business uses for your Income Tax Self-Assessment and VAT clients. On the next screen, sign in with one of these Government Gateway accounts to start linking your existing clients.

You will need to repeat this process for each Government Gateway account your business uses.

Account linked

Follow the instruction until you get the above confirmation. HMRC then advise:

What you can do next

Your agent services account can now access your current client relationships linked to this Government Gateway account.

So, if your clients are signed up to report their income and expenses, or their VAT returns, through software, you can now:

  • use software to access information about these clients,
  • act on your client’s behalf for these services without having to ask for their authorisation again.

You will still need to use your software or Government Gateway accounts to manage your client lists.

If you use more than one Government Gateway account, you will need to repeat this process for each Government Gateway account your business uses.

Sign in using a different Government Gateway account to start linking it to your agent services account.

Job done

Now I need to make sure all affected VAT clients are using MTD compliant software before 1 April 2019…

Bob Edwards

Bob has been working with practices across the UK offering novel ways to improve cross-sales and increase new client acquisitions. He is also interested in "step changes" in legislation that offer challenges, and therefore opportunities, for practitioners to provide new recurring and one-off support services to clients.

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