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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..................

Replies (30)

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By Ermintrude
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 GHarr497688
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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By Ermintrude
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 Nicky Gentle
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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Replying to Nicky Gentle:
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By Ermintrude
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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By Problematic
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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By Problematic
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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Replying to Problematic:
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By Ermintrude
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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