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HMRC have suspended my agent account for no reason

HMRC have removed my agent access for SA and CT for no reason

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on 17th April I noticed that I no longer can access my clients' SA accounts on my agent portal. Called up Agent helpdesk and they advised that my account has been closed as apparently I have "Ceased to trade". I have no idea why this has happenned or what has triggered it, although I did change my company name with companies house back in March...

They have been unable to do anything about it and have suggested only that I write a letter to the Agent maintainer team which I have duly done and sent by registered first class post. There is NO WAY to contact them via phone or email to check the status of this.

Today, I notice that access to my CT clients has also been removed! 

Has anyone else come across this and anyone got any useful suggestions as this is my livelihood! I can't submit anyone's SA returns or CT returns. I may also lose access to PAYE and VAT shortly and can't seem to stop this car-crash! What a nightmare!

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24th Apr 2019 19:19

sounds scary. our firm is going through the process of changing the name and address and we already had 2 64/8 and FBI2 rejected due to an incorrect address!

Having said that we also received a letter from CAAT referring to our firm 'accontant' (could be worse i suppose - re; James Naughtie and Jeremy H on R4T) and this officer replying to our cover note, suggested that OUR CLIENT (courier) should register with HMRC MLR to be recognised as an agent!

It's a shame there is no way of enclosing a picture on the forum. I wonder sometimes, what kind of level qualification is required to work at HMRC, even as an admin...

Coming back to your topic - Have you done some changes to the company, have you renewed MLR supervision, have you spent time a Her Majesty pleasure? There must be some logical explanation...
Try complain to HMRC - this link is for agent
https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/shortforms/form/OSC_Agent

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to ketteringUK
24th Apr 2019 20:47

ketteringUK wrote:
There must be some logical explanation...

I admire your optimism.
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24th Apr 2019 20:52

The only change we recently made was the change our company name by adding the word "Accountant" in it. I wish we'd never done it...

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24th Apr 2019 21:26

My guess is that their systems are identifying that some data does not match and are flagging this as someone not trading.

There are issues about how they are handling ASA processes. I have tried to find a helpline for this, but not found one.

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25th Apr 2019 08:16

From what you say, you've had no direct communication from HMRC, to explicitly explain why your agent account has been suspended? As we are all aware, on here, HMRC isn't well known, for timely communication.
That being said, this "occasion" will have a serious effect upon your livelihood and, ability to efficiently act for your clients.
Do you have a professional body/organisation who you could contact, for support?
In your situation I'd certainly be arranging a visit to my local MP's surgery, as quickly as possible and, I'd also be emailing (Sir) Jon Thomson [email protected]
due to the severity of your predicament.

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25th Apr 2019 10:02

You may need to contact HMRC Complaints.

I had a clients UTR stolen by HMRC and allocated to another person (similar name but not exact). New person received all my clients statements to pay loads-a-tax (which she was annoyed with as she was on benefits) and my client got a benefits enquiry because she wasn't due to receive any due to high income (she had never claimed benefits). It was a complete mess and - luckily at that point I still was agent for the UTR and could see new persons details on the account. I contacted HMRC who started doing something to put it right and stopped any refunds being made, but IMMEDIATELY stopped my access as they realised I wasn't new persons agent. This went on and on.

I ended up complaining to complaints department who were very good in updating me on the time-frame to put right and reconfirmed her payments on account were safe. They even sent a small goodwill payment (three times, twice it never arrived). But it hardly touched the time taken in resolving the issue.

I know its different but I really feel for the situation you are now in. Its debilitating. Personally I wish I had got complaints involved earlier - if you are sure its not a mistake you have made.

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25th Apr 2019 11:29

Thanks for your replies. I called HMRC at least 15 times and finally got through to someone who actually seemed to give a damn rather than "computer says no". They sent an internal email to the Agent maintainer team who did call me within 24 hours.

They advised that I had filled in a form some time ago (March 2019) but failed to tick a box regarding AML and so obviously automatically suspended my agent account without notice!

I have now been advised that I need to wait 72hours before my account can be reactivated. What a palaver!

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to Polly Lee
25th Apr 2019 11:39

"They advised that I had filled in a form some time ago (March 2019) but failed to tick a box regarding AML and so obviously automatically suspended my agent account without notice! "

They could (and should) have a duty of care to inform you, in writing, in my view.

HMRC's arrogance knows no bounds. However, if I had; an occupational pension, 100% sickness benefit, for the first six months, 50% for the second six months, holiday pay etc etc, I don't suppose I'd be too concerned about someone's livelihood, would I?

Beggars belief how lowly our sector is regarded by these people.

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29th Apr 2019 10:27

Sorry to see that Polly has also had this problem. We set up a second practice for MTD which has existed for 2 years but not done any business because of the delay in implementation. We cannot add new clients - which of course is a threat to livelihood.

HMRC has falsely accused us of letting our AML registration lapse and sent back a form highlighted 'old reference'.

Like Polly, I cannot find any phone line I could talk to to sort this out so have written to the 'agent maintainer team' in the hope that this gets sorted out.

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to davidross
29th Apr 2019 11:38

What I would suggest that you do is that you write to your MP and ask the MP to write to Mel Stride about this. There clearly is a blockage in the flow of activity for agents (that was evidenced by the computer system rejecting applications because they are too busy). This problem needs recognising at a higher level so that some changes on policy or resourcing are made and that is probably best achieved through the minister.

Don't write to the minister directly go through an MP.

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