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HMRC Agent Services Account

Set up of new account, adding services, linking clients, difficult to impossible

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I am dismayed but not altogether surprised at just how difficult this is proving to be.  The clues were there from the outset - HMRC's Agent Services Account very similar in name to the HMRC Online Services for Agents.

What I have found out, from getting through at last on an online services general helpline (note the helpline number included in the letter with my Activation Code for my new ASA was actually a string of letters), was that, despite what the aforementioned letter says, the login itself has to go via a different route.  If you go in through the usual route, but with your new login details, you'll be taken to a "limbo" account.  No clients (despite my having linked them previously), but I was able to add a service and request an authorisation for a client).  The helpine told me to go to www.gov.uk, then in the search box type in Agent Services Account, and login with my new details.  This worked - although the only screen I am offered is one inviting new authorisations, or the option to link clients (which I tried in case my previous attempt had failed - however the message confirmed that I have previously linked - although where are my clients?).

Update - whilst typing out the above, I have received an HMRC Online Services Account response to my emailed query which I sent immediately prior to creating this post - I shall have a stab and return.  In summary though, it advises "access your account again, making sure you are not using a bookmarked/old link to access your login screen. We have made several changes to our site recently and so any saved links you have been using may no longer work correctly. Please close all your browsers down and use the link below (the link allows you to sign in as well as register) and not a favourite or bookmarked page.  The link given is https://www.gov.uk/log-in-register-hmrc-online-services"

To be continued..................

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By AW71
07th May 2019 09:22

That's strange. I tried setting up my first MTD client on Thursday with trepidation but all went well and now Taxfiler can see the next VAT return due and it's all ready for me to upload data when the time comes.

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07th May 2019 09:28

I suspect my software will be able to file a VAT return for my one (so far) MVD client because I think it will find the route via the login details. Have you tried logging in to your ASA account? Do you see anything there other than just a home page offering authorisations/linking, and set-up of new users?

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By AW71
to Ermintrude
07th May 2019 11:06

That's all I see. It's next to useless! You end up needing to keep your own list of clients who are enrolled once you get the email confirming success, and this is progress?!

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to AW71
07th May 2019 11:18

Despite the spin HMRC have tried to put on this, businesses will receive no advantage from this new system. Smaller businesses will be hammered with extra costs, be they from having to purchase new software (even a computer with training, plus a load of stress and anxiety for two of them who have previously maintained excellent manual books) or higher accountants' fees as accountants, too, have to upgrade and train. The objective is clear - a reduction in the workload of and demands upon HMRC, ultimately, but they do not have the resources for the transition phase.

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By AW71
to Ermintrude
07th May 2019 11:27

I have one client who keeps immaculate books on paper but just has no confidence in using a spreadsheet no matter how simple I made it and explained things. So now I have a data entry exercise myself each quarter just to give HMRC the same details as before ......

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to AW71
07th May 2019 14:25

AW71 wrote:

I have one client who keeps immaculate books on paper but just has no confidence in using a spreadsheet no matter how simple I made it and explained things. So now I have a data entry exercise myself each quarter just to give HMRC the same details as before ......

So you are aiding and abetting this client to circumvent the law and presumably being paid for it? Sorry but your dishonesty is exactly the ammunition that HMRC can use to justify this sort of carp.

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to Tim Vane
07th May 2019 14:42

I don't think its against the Law to enter the data manually from the clients records on MTD compliant software. Where in the VAT notice have you read that , please provide the evidence ?

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to nodrogbir
07th May 2019 16:46

nodrogbir wrote:

I don't think its against the Law to enter the data manually from the clients records on MTD compliant software. Where in the VAT notice have you read that , please provide the evidence ?

“If you are registered for VAT and your taxable turnover is above the VAT registration threshold (currently £85,000), you must keep digital business records”...
“MTD does not require you to keep additional records for VAT, but to record them digitally.”

So yes it is against the law.

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By AW71
to Tim Vane
07th May 2019 16:33

How on earth is this breaking the law?????? I am providing a digital record on spreadsheet for the client to keep. I don't see any law which says WHO has to create the record.
I'll await the withdrawal calling me a criminal through the safety of social media.

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to AW71
07th May 2019 16:49

“MTD does not require you to keep additional records for VAT, but to record them digitally.”

You are transposing manual records into digital form. This is expressly forbidden in the legislation. You are wasting your time and the clients money and putting the client at risk of penalties.

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to Tim Vane
07th May 2019 17:04

So what's the difference between an Accountant keeping records for the client from prime information than an employed book-keeper doing the same thing. If I wrote my daily purchases in a book and then handed the book to to my secretary to input the data on Xero are you saying that I am committing a crime ?

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to GHarr497688
07th May 2019 18:34

GHarr497688 wrote:

So what's the difference between an Accountant keeping records for the client from prime information than an employed book-keeper doing the same thing. If I wrote my daily purchases in a book and then handed the book to to my secretary to input the data on Xero are you saying that I am committing a crime ?

Nothing is wrong with what you are suggesting. It just doesn’t match the facts presented in the earlier post, which were that “immaculate books on paper” are transferred to a digital form “each quarter” by the accountant. If you need it in big writing for the hard of thinking: THAT IS NOT ALLOWED.

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By AW71
to Tim Vane
07th May 2019 17:07

The scenario is no different whatsoever than if the client had given me all their invoices and receipts and I analysed them myself.
I am not simply using their paper analysis to create a spreadsheet showing just box 1-7 figures.

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to AW71
07th May 2019 18:28

AW71 wrote:

The scenario is no different whatsoever than if the client had given me all their invoices and receipts and I analysed them myself.
I am not simply using their paper analysis to create a spreadsheet showing just box 1-7 figures.

Well yes if you are going to talk drivel then you can assert anything. You seem to think that keeping meticulous accounts on paper and transferring them to a digital record every three months is keeping digital business records. Let’s hope that any VAT inspector is as big an idiot as you seem to think he will be.

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to Tim Vane
07th May 2019 19:24

Considering that I can't even remember the last time a client of mine had a VAT inspection - it must be at least 15 years, I'm not too worried about whether the prime entry books are manual before being converted to digital systems. If HMRC inspectors never come out to do compliance checks anymore, how would they know?

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to Tim Vane
07th May 2019 19:50

Tim Vane wrote:

Well yes if you are going to talk drivel then you can assert anything. You seem to think that keeping meticulous accounts on paper and transferring them to a digital record every three months is keeping digital business records. Let’s hope that any VAT inspector is as big an idiot as you seem to think he will be.

Sorry Tim but isn't this in fact allowed? Forget HMRC's pronouncements, look at the legislation:-
The Value Added Tax (Amendment) Regulations 2018 wrote:

(8) The information specified in paragraph (3) must be entered in the electronic account for the relevant prescribed accounting period no later than the earlier of the date by which the taxable person is required to make the return or the date the return is made for that prescribed accounting period.

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By AW71
to Wanderer
07th May 2019 20:05

.

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to Wanderer
07th May 2019 21:42

I know we all have different views on this that will be geared up by knowledge, client base and numerous other factors but Tim is bang out of order with his rude approach.

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to GHarr497688
08th May 2019 11:49

Quickly look at his original typo! "Carp"! pmsl!

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By Matrix
to Tim Vane
07th May 2019 22:26

So if a client uses an invoicing system, be it manual or a different system from the digital software such as word or a bespoke industry system, then it is not lawful to enter the invoices into the digital software since this is not keeping digital records?

A new client invoices 3 times a quarter and writes the invoices manually in a book, calculates the VAT and inputs in HMRC software. He is paying me to file under MTD so I was going to enter the 3 invoices in VT (and my costs) and file from there. Tim are you saying this is not digital?

Another client invoices from QB because they don’t like VT but the bookkeeper uses VT so everything is reconciled, is this not allowed either?

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By AW71
to Tim Vane
07th May 2019 23:34

.

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to Tim Vane
08th May 2019 11:48

What an hilarious typo! As you're certainly carping on about this matter! And not wholly (or even scarcely!) accurately that I can see either!

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08th May 2019 08:32

A lot of Accountants will become criminals if Tim is correct so I wonder what that makes of the AML laws! Maybe Hmrc would do better to invest more resources to catch those outside the system rather than those complying with the system which seems to be getting over complicated even for Accountants !

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08th May 2019 11:52

The records (for those to whom it applies) must be maintained digitally, and with no batch totals (except for some very small petty cash exceptions). The digital recording does not need to be live, so entering up data from manual records is fine. The VAT return is to be generated digitally, and (in the first transition year) these total figures may be entered into MVD software manually, and filed electronically.

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By AW71
to Ermintrude
08th May 2019 12:15

Amen

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10th May 2019 14:45

I cant even set up an ASA for VAT, I am sole trader not registered for VAT. Everytime I try I get sent straight to ASA for SA and I get asked for a UTR for a client. I DONT HAVE THEM
Its making me want to give up my business of 11 years.

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to Nicky Gentle
10th May 2019 14:57

I am a non-VAT registered agent and I was able to get set up as such. I can't remember exactly how I did it, but the links were there when I did. I was sent an Activation Code for Non-VAT Registered Agents through the post.

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05th Jun 2019 10:01

Hello!
Any progress? I have had exactly the same experience. My new account says that this has already been linked to another account (but you cant see the account it's linked to) but presumably it's to the original account where I have all my clients. It has been a very time consuming and frustrating process, and it's not over yet. Work wise it makes little difference to how I record the VAT information but the process of establishing the new route for submissions has proved extremely difficult with no assistance from HMRC.

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05th Jun 2019 10:01

Hello!
Any progress? I have had exactly the same experience. My new account says that this has already been linked to another account (but you cant see the account it's linked to) but presumably it's to the original account where I have all my clients. It has been a very time consuming and frustrating process, and it's not over yet. Work wise it makes little difference to how I record the VAT information but the process of establishing the new route for submissions has proved extremely difficult with no assistance from HMRC.

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to Problematic
05th Jun 2019 14:28

Apparently that's how it is! We will have two accounts! However I have somehow created a third - this is my recent email to HMRC's helpdesk (and the subject of my more recent Aweb question):

I applied for an authorisation for a client I thought from my new Agent Services Account (ASA). The letter with the authorisation code sent to my new client shows the new details for my new ASA account, and not the details for my Online Services for Agents (OSA) account.
However neither my new ASA account, nor my old OSA account, offered a screen to enter the code.
I took a chance logging in using my ASA details but the route that I would normally use for my OSA account, and lo – there was a screen into which I could enter the authorisation code and it was accepted.
However I do not know if the authorisation will actually take effect, and if it does whether I will be able to file a vat return for this client (turnover < £85,000) through my ASA account, my OSA account, or this new “limbo” account I seem to have created.

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