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Address change - VAT agent

What is the best course of action?

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Hi everyone. I know this question has been asked before but I am still unsure what the best option is.

I moved house recently. Managed to change my address as an agent for SA, CT and PAYE. But VAT is a different kettle of fish.

Apparently the best advice so far is to open a new VAT agent account but when I select "add services you can use" on the HMRC portal,VAT is not there to select since I am already registered.

Does it mean I need to create a new HMRC agent account? Is it the only solution? Does that not get a bit messy? And this means I'll be my clients agent for VAT twice since I am not prepared to close the first account as I dread the idea of losing all my current settings.

I can't leave things the way they are currently either as I will stop receivivng the mail and I will always have to give my old address if I want to pass security. Surely that's not allowed. 

Why couldn't HMRC make this more simple? It's so straightforward with the other services.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Replies (18)

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By Andy556
09th Jul 2021 08:22

HMRC gave me two options:

1) Close your current agent account and re-authorise every client... Not really an option

2) Leave it as it is and never receive letters again. I chose this

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Replying to Andy556:
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By Cylhia66
09th Jul 2021 08:41

Really? Is never receiving the letters again not a concern for you then? I can't trust my clients to always share the letters they receive with me, sadly.
And what about having to give your old address to pass security? Won't issues arise from this?

I'd be curious to know. If you are satisfied with this set up, then maybe I could satisfy myself with it too.

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Replying to Cylhia66:
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By Andy556
09th Jul 2021 08:57

It's a big concern but the other option isn't possible without major annoyance of myself and all my clients. The list is too big, imagine trying to re-authorise everyone with no issues before the MTD submission deadlines. It just wouldn't happen.

I've asked HMRC on the phone to stop all communication by post which they confirmed they would so no letters would go to my old address so hopefully they have stuck to their word.

If HMRC accept out of date information to pass security then that's their issue, I won't forget my old address so I'll always be able to pass security.

It's definitely not ideal but it works the best it can

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Replying to Andy556:
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By Cylhia66
09th Jul 2021 09:10

Thank you very much for your imput. That has set my mind at rest.

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Replying to Andy556:
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By bernard michael
09th Jul 2021 09:23

Andy556 wrote:

It's a big concern but the other option isn't possible without major annoyance of myself and all my clients. The list is too big, imagine trying to re-authorise everyone with no issues before the MTD submission deadlines. It just wouldn't happen.

I've asked HMRC on the phone to stop all communication by post which they confirmed they would so no letters would go to my old address so hopefully they have stuck to their word.

If HMRC accept out of date information to pass security then that's their issue, I won't forget my old address so I'll always be able to pass security.

It's definitely not ideal but it works the best it can

Why didn't you opt for Royal Mail to forward the post or collect it weekly from the local sorting office

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Replying to bernard michael:
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By Andy556
09th Jul 2021 09:59

For the rest of my life?

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Replying to Cylhia66:
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By Truthsayer
09th Jul 2021 09:01

I went with option 2) as well when I moved five years ago. HMRC told me they never write to agents about VAT matters and only send letters to taxpayers. Therefore it does not matter about the agent's address being wrong.

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Replying to Cylhia66:
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By rmillaree
09th Jul 2021 09:00

"Really? Is never receiving the letters again not a concern for you then? I can't trust my clients to always share the letters they receive with me, sadly.
And what about having to give your old address to pass security? Won't issues arise from this?
I'd be curious to know. If you are satisfied with this set up, then maybe I could satisfy myself with it too."

Unfortuantely practicably speaking this is the default option that the vat office say we must tolerate - we have gone down this route reluctantly on the basis that from the practical perspective there is virtually no mail sent to the old address - infact i can't remember anything having been sent any post to that address since we moved - the only time it is really noticed is when we apply for pincode and the letter to client references the old address - and also the proving your address details when you ring hmrc you have to guess which one hmrc have.
Note with regard to our official details on the vat computer they have our correct details so its not that hmrc dont know where we are.

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Replying to Cylhia66:
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By lionofludesch
09th Jul 2021 10:45

Cylhia66 wrote:

Really? Is never receiving the letters again not a concern for you then? I can't trust my clients to always share the letters they receive with me, sadly.

To be fair, HMRC only notice that the address they have is wrong when Royal Mail return letters to them.

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By SXGuy
09th Jul 2021 10:02

I did hope, that with the introduction of ASA for MTD VAT, that when I transferred my vat clients they would also update my address with the current one.

When registering my ASA I used my new address, so I'm hopeful that any letters being sent for MTD clients will be sent to the new address. But so far not received any letters but that's mainly because no ones had any enquires.

I too took the view that creating a new agent account with a new vat agent code, and transferring them over was just to much of an ask so I left it.

It amazes me how anyone can write a database to hold VAT info that they didn't think addresses might change at some point and need updating. I guess that's HMRC for you.

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Replying to SXGuy:
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By rmillaree
09th Jul 2021 10:19

"When registering my ASA I used my new address, so I'm hopeful that any letters being sent for MTD clients will be sent to the new address."

There are no issues with anything linked to the new ASA as long as your details have been updated as approrpiate - the issue is purely the old system which is almost never really used to send any correspondence.

as you say unbelievable they have something than allows no addres change

it says it all that if you send vat 484 it currently takes nigh on 3 months for hmrc to update despite the fact they can see the form on the system - if anything ever should be updated within 3 working days by hmrc it is business address changes for vat !!!!

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By BudgetB
09th Jul 2021 10:10

I have to agree with Andy on this one, it is physically impossible to change your address as a VAT agent. I spent ages going round in circles with it and gave up. They have an address for me that's a couple of offices old now.

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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
09th Jul 2021 13:09

I've been 12 months trying to change our VAT agent address. We moved July of last year (and I'm still trying to get Openreach to put up a telegraph pole so that we can have hardwired broadband! So the VAT Office and Openreach are currently in joint-last place in my Nitwit Stakes).

Having manged quite easily to amend our own VAT registration address, my many calls to the alleged VAT helpline failed to get them to change our VAT agents' address to match. But they won't do that over the blower. End of! The bottom line is you have to write in to:

BT VAT,
HMRC,
BX9 1WR

And after he's told me that, the HMRC operative wished me a nice day and hung up on me!

That was about three months ago. Like a fool, I duly sent the letter proof of posting instead of "signed for recorded post". So of course it never arrived.

Anyway, that's it: write, letterhead, recorded signed-for delivery; and don't hold your breath!

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Jennifer Adams
By Jennifer Adams
09th Jul 2021 17:08

V pleased to read this post.

So that I wont be bothering to do as the letter I received last week from HMRC advised.
that is to phone theVAT online services helpdesk to arrange the change of address.

Also the PAYE /CIS phone number 0- letter aso says to phone and then send a list of clients business names and their employer PAYE ref.

I wont bother doing either

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Replying to Jennifer Adams:
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By Wanderer
09th Jul 2021 17:16

Jennifer Adams wrote:

Also the PAYE /CIS phone number 0- letter aso says to phone and then send a list of clients business names and their employer PAYE ref.

That does (almost) work. Took me about 18 months. Not 100% corrected but lost the will to carry on the fight at that point.

First couple of letters fell into a black hole. One problem was they corrected our address on one part but not another. Then every new client set up after the change had new address on one screen and old address on another screen. Eventually (I think it was) online services help-desk did correct that one.

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Replying to Jennifer Adams:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
09th Jul 2021 17:30

Re VAT, I too had a letter telling me the agent's SA and CT address had been changed but instructing me to ring the VAT helpline to change my VAT agent address.

I think it's a case of ring the VAT helpline so that they, in turn, can advise you to write in. What a palaver!

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ALISK
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
10th Jul 2021 00:08

Our vat address is 2 offices ago, SA is about 5 offices ago. I think CT is correct, not sure about PAYE. We have a spreadsheet that lists which address HMRC have for us for each tax so we can pass security!

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Replying to atleastisoundknowledgable...:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
10th Jul 2021 11:03

Did you have any trouble registering for the new MTD for VAT agents' service?

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