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Firefox not compatible with MTD Registration

Having set up my ASA and one team member ... the problems begin!

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I have successfully set up my Firm's Agent Services Account (I think) and can access it. I also registered one additional Team Member, but even though the correct process was followed, that member is unable to access my Firm's Agent Services Account through that additional regisreration. That will have to wait until later to sort out.

The ASA has been linked to the old Online Services Account. I know this because if I try to do it again, the system tells me that it has already been linked.

I am registering now because we have one client who submits monthly VAT Returns.and there is only a short window of opportunity to register that client for MTD for VAT with a Direct Debit already in place.

I started the process of signing up this client .... Log in to ASA (through the sign up client Portal) and give Client's VAT Number ..... Move to next page and press to confirm number ...... and then nothing. The system freezes or more likely is in a never ending loop.

I try this several times with the same result. I then have an idea and try doing this with the Chrome Browser instead of Firefox, and this time I get past the verify number and can complete all the other questions. This instigates an email to me which requires me to click on a link. This opens up a Browser window and invites me to sign in (which I do to the ASA) and then state the client's VAT number agian which I do and then to verify the number again and then ........ nothing. The default Browser on my computer is Firefox and it has stuck again at this point.

I am now completely in the dark as to whether my client has actually been signed up to VAT or not, and with no one manning the helplines I cannot find out until Tuesday at the earliest. If the client has been signed up. Apparently I will receive an email to confirm this the client is signed up but it may take 72 hours to get to me, which leaves little time to do anything about it if I don't received said email.

I have tried to work backward from the TaxCalc VAT Filer program, and dult authorised TaxCalc to communiucate with HMRC bur everytime I try to fetch something from HMRC, TaxCalc asked me to autorise it to speak to HMRC, even though this has been done. Again, no support available from TaxCalc today.

I wish those of you yet to set up your ASA and register clients the best of luck as luck is what you will need. Whilst I am not particularly surprised by the appalling HMRC systems and the lack of support when you need it, this is much worse than I thought.

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By Tornado
25th May 2019 13:52

Apologies for the spelling errors in the post, but I am unable to edit this particular post for some reason.

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25th May 2019 14:35

I recommend people use Chrome. I have had people successfully do everything with Firefox and Safari, but Chrome tends to implement the javascript more reliably.

What you are encountering is the mishmosh that goes on between getting into MTD and authorising sofware.

You can in fact authorise software without getting into MTD and you can get into MTD without authorising software.

From the MTD software point of view being rejected because you are not in MTD is the same as being rejected because you are not authorised.

We know from what you have said that you are not in MTD and in fact you know that.

Some software (eg mine) does run a separate test of authorisations which uses the hello api. I don't know who else does this. That enables identifying when you are authorised, but not in MTD. Otherwise you cannot find this out.

What you need to do now is to wait for an email from HMRC saying you have joined MTD. There is no sense contacting TaxCalc because that is all they can say.

If you don't get the email then chase HMRC (and use Chrome).

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to johnhemming
25th May 2019 14:40

johnhemming wrote:

I recommend people use Chrome. I have had people successfully do everything with Firefox and Safari, but Chrome tends to implement the javascript more reliably.

What you are encountering is the mishmosh that goes on between getting into MTD and authorising sofware.

You can in fact authorise software without getting into MTD and you can get into MTD without authorising software.

From the MTD software point of view being rejected because you are not in MTD is the same as being rejected because you are not authorised.

We know from what you have said that you are not in MTD and in fact you know that.

Some software (eg mine) does run a separate test of authorisations which uses the hello api. I don't know who else does this. That enables identifying when you are authorised, but not in MTD. Otherwise you cannot find this out.

What you need to do now is to wait for an email from HMRC saying you have joined MTD. There is no sense contacting TaxCalc because that is all they can say.

If you don't get the email then chase HMRC (and use Chrome).


I think this sums up just what a dogs breakfast the whole thing is. I barely understand what you are saying and just want a process that works on the browser of my choice. I don't want to have to learn what an api is or what it does, I'm an accountant !
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By Tornado
to gerrysims
25th May 2019 14:53

Hello Gerry

You will therefore not enjoy the endless circles that are involved in the registration process.

My monthly client usually has a substantial amount of VAT to pay each month. It looks as though HMRC are not going to get this unless they pay more attention to these problems that are time limited.

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to gerrysims
25th May 2019 15:02

gerrysims wrote:

I think this sums up just what a dogs breakfast the whole thing is. I barely understand what you are saying ,


There is a valid criticism of the HMRC APIs that they don't distinguish between not being in MTD and not being authorised. That has been raised with them and causes perhaps 80% of the initial problems with getting it to work.

gerrysims wrote:

just want a process that works on the browser of my choice.


You cannot realistically expect everything to work on every browser that is available. Do you know how many browsers there really are? I wrote one in 1995 which is decades out of date. Even Microsoft have given up with Microsoft Edge. It is reasonable to expect a browser that is commonly available and free (such as Chrome and possibly Firefox and Safari), but when you start going into the arcane world of non-standard browsers you cannot expect it to be merely a question of choice.

If there is something that works for the vast majority of operating systems and is free that seems fair to me.

gerrysims wrote:

I don't want to have to learn what an api is or what it does, I'm an accountant !

When I answer questions I try to provide additional useful information.

The short answer to tornado is "wait a bit". However, although I accept that I am not an accountant and I understand how this works at the very detailed technical level I think it is worth me explaining it at the broader level.

If it is a general view that I give too much detail then I will give less detail.

For example I think it is worth knowing at a broader level that you can authorise MTD software for scopes. That means that for the same ASA you could have one piece of software authorised for VAT, two other pieces of software authorised for ITSA and a third authorised for registering trusts.

You could, for example, decide that you would like to authorise one piece of software merely to read VAT information and another to submit it.

In a few moments I will see if I can have a row with someone about Brexit on the internet and then once I have finished my cup of tea I will take my daughter on a cycle ride.

Then later I might try to give reasonably detailed answers to questions about MTD. However, I am quite happy not to give detailed answers if people would prefer me not to.

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By Tornado
to johnhemming
25th May 2019 14:49

Hello John

Thanks for the advice. Who would have thought that one of the most popular browsers in the world will not work with one of the most advanced digital tax systems in the world. You would have thought someone would have tested it!

I now wonder how many other people have been sitting in front of their computers waiting for something to happen, blissfully unaware that Firefox does not cut it.

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to Tornado
25th May 2019 15:05

Tornado wrote:

Thanks for the advice. Who would have thought that one of the most popular browsers in the world will not work with one of the most advanced digital tax systems in the world. You would have thought someone would have tested it!


I don't know for certain. I use a complex system for testing which enables testing on a range of browsers with a wide range of operating systems.

However, to some extent life is too short and using Chrome is a simple solution rather than finding out which version of Firefox works.

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25th May 2019 20:12

If I get any problems with HMRC MTD, I will just file the return using the portal and write to HMRC explaining it is their own stupid system, and lack of testing thereof, which has led to this mess.

I commend this approach to others. We must not simply roll over on this one.

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to mr. mischief
30th May 2019 13:28

But if the client has been signed up for MTD you won't be able to file through the old GG portal because the option is not there.

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26th May 2019 07:29

This is one of the age old problems of computers. The APIs are written BY programmers, not FOR users. In their heads it works. In the wild, it doesn't.

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By Tornado
26th May 2019 09:52

For the benefit of listeners -

I repeated the process for signing up my client for MTD for VAT using just the Chrome browser and this time it seemed to work correctly.

I am promised a confirmation email of registration in between 24 and 72 hours, so I will wait for this, although as this is a holiday weekend, I think it may take a lot longer than that

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to Tornado
26th May 2019 10:02

It has been reported to take a bit longer more recently, but you never know. In the end all you can do at this point is wait.

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By SXGuy
26th May 2019 10:30

Copy and paste the email link in to chrome. Is the short and sweet answrr

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to SXGuy
30th May 2019 12:28

Copy and pasting email link between browsers does not always work, especially if you are half way through a sign up process. I've tried this for similar reasons.

I'd suggest setting your default browser to one that works before starting the sign up process. You can always change it back afterwards.

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By AJ1
26th May 2019 18:34

Just go to your clients record under the old hmrc portal & when you go to submit a return it should either give you the option to submit a return or say client already signed to mtd.

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to AJ1
26th May 2019 21:10

I am not sure when these things change. There is some validation done after an application to join MTD and hence one cannot be certain if this changes at the start or the end of the process. My guess is that its at the end, but I don't know.

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27th May 2019 08:21

Had the same issue when using AVAST's SafeZone browser - switched to Chrome and all was OK

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28th May 2019 09:31

We are having problems as well - each time we ring we get different advice - we try what they suggest - and wait 72 hours as they suggest to just get the same problems.

Now waiting for a call back from MTD - the vat Helpline can never help - but a 5 day delay - why do they make it so hard.

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to sally1964
28th May 2019 10:03

You need to wait until you get an email from HMRC saying you have now joined MTD.

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28th May 2019 11:32

Well, we must be in the minority I'm pleased to say.

I set-up the firm's ASA last week without too much hassle. Linked our existing GG accounts and now have our first two monthly VAT clients authorised and entered into our bridging software.

I really was expecting the worst and we,as a practice, put it off for as long as possible. However, I only had one issue at the very beginning matching our practice and postcode which was sorted relatively quickly.

I use Chrome incidentally.

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By ClaireB
30th May 2019 10:50

I spent 1.5 hours going round in circles last night. Having set up the ASA successfully a few weeks ago, I now want to link a monthly client from the old online services list.

My issues are compounded by having changed smartphone and the HMRC access app no longer working.

The messages given by HMRC as to why this won't work, don't make sense. The links to log into the ASA are incorrect as this just takes you through the Sign Up process. The online helpdesk telephone options cut me off on the first attempt, with a message saying I needed to call the VAT helpline. The second time, I got through and was told that my access code had been reset but this might take 5-7 days to work.

I'm at my wit's end and as a part-time sole practitioner I don't have a lot of time to devote to this. It will be another 7.30pm call to HMRC tonight, and tomorrow and every day till it gets resolved I expect.

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to ClaireB
30th May 2019 11:41

Hello Claire B
The links to log into the ASA are incorrect as this just takes you through the Sign Up process.

If you use a different browser to sign in that will probably work - we had the same issue with Chrome taking us to the signup page in error - once we switched to Edge it logged in fine. This is quite a common trick you need employ on the direct gov website where it does have a habit of taking you to the wrong place.

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By ClaireB
to rmillaree
30th May 2019 11:52

Thank you. I'll have another go later on.

This whole business is quite stressful and a complete waste of time.

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30th May 2019 11:04

Ref linking old gateway to new ASA account - 2 questions below.

We have clicked the button to link clients from the old to the new and our first client has fully transitioned now to the point where the June vat return is sat waiting in Xero (phew)

Questions
The linking clients button (old gateway to asa account) is still available to press now in the ASA account.
Questions ref this button

(1) will new clients added to the old gateway automatically appear in the new ASA account? (when i say appear i mean in the invisible man sense that hmrc use)

(2) If clients only added to the old gateway don't link to new gateway - will pushing the link button again link the new old gateway clients?

Word of warning when a client is accepted onto mtd
Vat registration cert and ability to de-register via old gateway is removed for those clients (like Aladdin) . There is no similar function in ASA account.

Safe to say whoever writes the hmrc code must be a fun of the old movie classics - i am just hoping that if i click the "link button" for a second time that it doesn't have a "this account will self destruct in 5 seconds" message - that would be too much to take if there was a MI too - sigh.

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30th May 2019 11:28

It's been our experience that it doesn't work with Firefox, though I'm not sure why.

It works with Chrome, Edge and Safari though, not sure what the issue with Firefox is since there's no real feedback on the problem and I'm disinclined to waste time investigating it.

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30th May 2019 13:33

I used IE 11 and that has worked perfectly throughout the MTD/ASA process.

I use QBO. QBO said recently that they no longer support IE and we should use a modern browser. I've been using Chrome but yesterday one QBO page would not load in Chrome so I tried Edge. It did work on Edge. Trouble is not everything works on Edge. Nowadays you need at least two browsers on your PC so between them you can access most sites.

Returning to the OP, I suspect the Firefox freeze means you didn't complete the sign up process. Have you tried re-signing up your clients in Chrome?

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By Tornado
to kevinringer
30th May 2019 14:04

Hello Kevin

I tried to sign up my client on Saturday but went home not knowing if the procedure had worked of not. After thinking about a possible browser problem, I repeated the procedure with Chrome on Sunday morning and this time it seemed to work OK. I received an email and clicked on the link which seemed to work and hopefully completed the process.

In the meantime I have phoned the VAT helpline (only a half hour wait to be served) about problems with a Team Member not gaining access to my ASA account. This was easy to fix as it is just a matter of authorising that person in my ASA and then that all worked OK. Whilst I had the VAT helpline operator on the line, I asked him if he could see if my client had been registered for MTD for VAT yet and whilst he could see the application, he could not confirm that it was successful. He said to wait for confirmation email.

Needless to say that I am still waiting and no wiser as to what the situation is ..... and to be honest, I don't really care care now. Clearly the systems are not working properly, so we will just submit my Client's Return thorough the old portal until HMRC get themselves sorted out.

If they want to go down the penalties route then I will enjoy taking on this Challenge, and take them for as much compensation as I can.

As a footnote, I am now having problems viewing AWEB in Firefox. I am unable to view my own posts or edit them and there are some other features that do not work properly. As a test, I have accessed AWEB with Chrome and everything is working correctly, so it has to be a fault with Firefox.

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30th May 2019 13:58
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By Tornado
to kevinringer
30th May 2019 14:07

Hello Kevin

I have tried that and my client can still submit through the old portal.

The mystery is whether the registration application was successful and I need to wait a bit longer, or does it require a new attempt to sign up.

Who Knows? Apparently the MTD helpline do not.

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to Tornado
30th May 2019 14:27

I've been lucky. All my submissions through IE worked first time and I received an email confirming sign-up 72 hours later.

If the ASA had been designed for users it would show a table of all clients and the status of each clearly saying which sign-ups were in progress. But the ASA was not designed for practical use. If it was me I'd wait until nearer the deadline and if nothing has happened I would submit via the old portal. I know this might mess up the DD.

You and I have been making our opinions known on AW about MTD for a few years and this all proves we were right. MTD was inadequately tested and we're all suffering the consequences. I didn't expect so many problems at this stage. We haven't even got to the digitisation of transactions.

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By NewACA
30th May 2019 14:53

I have it as a "secret" from a reliable source at HMRC (who told me not to tell anyone!) that once you have moved a business/client over to MTD, you can still send one more submission on the old government gateway (which will be accepted by HMRC), though after that you are then blocked from doing so on the old government gateway.

If anyone is ever unsure at ANY stage of the MTD signup process that a registration/step worked (be that for agents or business owners), you just repeat the step again. If it worked, the HMRC webpage will tell you so and not allow you to repeat that step/registration.

Eg: you just did a client MTD registration and aren't sure if it worked, just do it again straight away - you do not need to wait 72 hours before trying again. If the application for MTD was made successfully before, you will be told onscreen (ditto any step of the ASA Account set up and client linking).

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to NewACA
30th May 2019 17:06

NewACA wrote:

I have it as a "secret" from a reliable source at HMRC (who told me not to tell anyone!) that once you have moved a business/client over to MTD, you can still send one more submission on the old government gateway (which will be accepted by HMRC), though after that you are then blocked from doing so on the old government gateway.


Your HMRC source isn't correct. I've checked my old GG account for clients that I've signed up but for whom I have not yet submitted an MTD return, and none of them have the option to submit a return through the old GG portal: there is a 'submit a return' link but it doesn't list any periods.
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to NewACA
31st May 2019 08:27

That is not true. If you manage to submit on the old gateway it gets lost. I had a client who came to me in a rush to do an mtd submission because of this.

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By Tornado
31st May 2019 08:11

Update

Having gone through the registration process for signing up one client twice and nothing happening, I took the advice of a poster here and tried again. Using Chrome I went through the process a third time and at the end of this I did get a screen to say that the process had been completed and I would get an email within 72 hours.

I have today received that email which confirms that my client is now registered for MTD for VAT.

This is clearly a hit or miss registration process but I would recommend using Chrome and when you have entered all the information for your client, there should be an end message to confirm that you will receive a confirmation email within 72 hours.

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By Tornado
03rd Jun 2019 16:14

Update

After receiving the email to confirm that my client had been registered for MTD for VAT, another email arrived to confirm that the Direct Debit details had changed but we/my client are not required to do anything.

The message was a little confusing in that the new DD takes effect from 14th July 2019 which seems to ignore the April 2019 payment which needs to be taken on the 14th June 2019. The message also implies that until the new DD is in place, the old DD will be used to take payment so I am assuming the April payment will be taken like this.

It is clear we will have to monitor this to ensure that HMRC do actually take the amount due for April by DD.

The next step is to set up TaxCalc to file the Return. This is relatively straightforward by following the TaxCalc guidance. TaxCalc was authorised to deal with HMRC and also provided back up security details.

A .csv file was extracted from the existing spreadsheet Accounting application for the nine relevant boxes and placed in a new dedicated folder for this client. TaxCalc was guided to this folder and picked up the figures as expected.

The step by step procedures followed through to a successful submission, although no email has been received from HMRC to confirm this.

One slightly odd problem is that TaxCalc warned that the Output Tax was not 20% of the sales declared. On closer examination we found that the Output Tax was 9 pence more than expected (rounding errors) so put the error message down to this as there was no other explanation.

We still need to see if all of this has actually worked correctly. One down many to go.

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to Tornado
03rd Jun 2019 17:23

Look up the submitted returns api to find out what HMRC have received.

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