Can I file with Agent Code without authorisation?

We have clients that come and want us to file only to HMRC. They do not wish to represent them.

Didn't find your answer?

So we have a few clients, that come to the practice, wanting Self Assessment to be filed to HMRC, but not to represent them. We can file with the agent credentials its not a problem, but I dont know if this is correct? Our name still shows on the return. I also spoke to HMRC about it and they told me if it is "Filing Only" than they do not need to authorise us, but I canot find information about this online anywhere. Have you heard of this and could you please provide some references where I can actually read it black on white?

Thank you

Replies (11)

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By OurPlace
07th Sep 2023 12:50

Why on earth would you agree to this? You have no idea what is being filed under the name of your firm.

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Replying to OurPlace:
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By Rayna Chamasanyan
07th Sep 2023 13:08

Well, they do not wish anyone to be authorised to deal with their affairs. We have the documents, we are in a possetion of all the bank etc. we just do not authorise to re-rpesent them. We calculate as any other self assessment, we file with our agent code. But we do not represent them for their taxes to HMRC. When I spoke to HMRC they said I do not need to have authorisation in place for "filing only". But I still want to read it somewhere...

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Replying to Rayna Chamasanyan:
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By SXGuy
07th Sep 2023 13:24

Well, I guess you could read the signature page of the tax return which states something along the lines of, who has completed the return. I don't believe it mentions anything about an agent, just the person on behalf of.

I could file yours if you wish without representing you.

Just to add, I have in the past done the same as you, and have been contacted by hmrc with a query relating to the return. And I have stated it was a file only service to which they were happy with and continued to persue the tax payer for answers instead.

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By mbee1
07th Sep 2023 12:56

We have a few file only Returns. They are all January submissions. They provide the figures and we input them into our software and file it electronically. When it is sent to them for approval, it is pointed out that it is a filing only service, that they have provided the figures and we have not looked or commented on them in any way.
Whilst they have gone through the usual due diligence when taken on, there is no 64-8 in place. The agent name and address is edited out before submission although, as there isn't a formal authority in place, I don't think this would matter if it showed anyway.

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Replying to mbee1:
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By Rayna Chamasanyan
07th Sep 2023 13:04

Great, thank you for this.

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Stepurhan
By stepurhan
07th Sep 2023 14:50

Whilst I see others have done this, I'm not sure I understand why either.

The returns will be associated with your agent account. HMRC have been known to identify those they believe to be bad agents. If these returns later prove dodgy, do you not risk being labelled as such because they don't ask about the individual returns.

Also anyone can file the figures online for themselves. Why are they not doing that instead? Even in simply entering their figures on the return for them, you are providing some level of advice. What is to stop them saying that you put figures in the wrong box, not that they provided you with dodgy information.

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Replying to stepurhan:
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By mbee1
07th Sep 2023 16:01

stepurhan wrote:

Whilst I see others have done this, I'm not sure I understand why either.

The returns will be associated with your agent account. HMRC have been known to identify those they believe to be bad agents. If these returns later prove dodgy, do you not risk being labelled as such because they don't ask about the individual returns.

Also anyone can file the figures online for themselves. Why are they not doing that instead? Even in simply entering their figures on the return for them, you are providing some level of advice. What is to stop them saying that you put figures in the wrong box, not that they provided you with dodgy information.

We operate in a niche market and the facility to submit a Return via HMRC's website is not permitted. Our software does allow us to file electronically up to 31 January each year. All our "filing only" Returns are January cases where the client can't get it together in time for 31 October.

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By Tom+Cross
07th Sep 2023 15:02

Has there been any consideration for the Money Laundering Regulations?

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Replying to Tom+Cross:
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By Rayna Chamasanyan
07th Sep 2023 17:21

Yes, everything is done as it should be, they simply do not wish anybody to be authorised to deal with their affairs but them. Also HMRC told me it’s fine, I just want to find where it’s written.

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Replying to Rayna Chamasanyan:
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By Hugo Fair
07th Sep 2023 19:09

What do you (and more importantly your clients) think is meant by "represent them for their taxes to HMRC"?

You keep referring to 'file only', but also say that "We have the documents, we are in a possession of all the bank etc. .. we calculate as any other self assessment, (and) file with our agent code".

So are you simply taking any figures supplied to you (without any sort of source documentation or sense-checking) and putting them into a form for submission?
Or do you get side-tracked into discussions about from where a figure is derived and/or how to possibly reduce the tax-bill?

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Morph
By kevinringer
12th Sep 2023 11:00

Agents don't need to be authorised to file SA using third party software. I haven't seen it written anyway and remember HMRC telling me in the early days of SA. I know it works in practice because we had a merger of practices and for a short period were filing using the user credentials for the old firm whereas the SA authorisations had been transferred to the new firm's credentials. All our returns were accepted without problem. Though I know it works in practice, I would not file for a client if the client didn't want to authorise me with HMRC.

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