Share this content
0
2033

HMRC - no 64-8, not authorised?

HMRC say they cannot speak with us because they do not hold a 64-8 authorisation

Didn't find your answer?

Search AccountingWEB

We have just phoned HMRC VAT with a VAT query, and after 28 minutes of waiting, then identification, the HMRC person said they could not speak with us because they do not hold a 64-8 authorisation for VAT.

We then phoned the HMRC agent helpline (without reference to any specific case) and the HMRC person there said that online authorisations usually apply only to online matters.  

It is correct that we don't hold a 64-8.  However, we applied for online authorisation about two years previously, and after getting that, we have been submitting VAT returns regularly since then.  The client is still listed in HMRC online services.  This is nothing to do with MVD as yet.

To remind ourselves how this works - we request authorisation by applying online, HMRC sends a letter to the client with an authorisation code.  The client gives us the code, we enter it, and shortly after we can see the client details in HMRC Online Services.

Authorisation

HMRC's letter to the client says: "Once this authority is activated it will allow us to exchange information about your VAT business with [agent name] and to deal with them on any matters within the responsibility of HMRC in relation to your VAT business."

Note that it says "on any matters", not just online matters.  It seems quite clear.

To take the matter up again with HMRC could be another half-hour before we even start to deal with the issue.

Has anyone else experienced this "not authorised" allegation?

Replies (20)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

avatar
By andy.partridge
01st May 2019 14:22

I've had it several times the other way round, and more than once been told it's best to do it online. Now I only do that.

Thanks (1)
By SteLacca
01st May 2019 14:52

It's a consequence of HMRC's half assed approach to all things technical, and their penchant for inexplicably complicated processes, such that nothing ever works as expected or as intended, but simply frustrates all processes.

Thanks (7)
avatar
By Matrix
01st May 2019 16:45

I spoke to Patricia on the VAT helpline this morning about my overseas seller’s VAT payment and she said that online authorisation is sufficient (I asked her).

I was all ready for the conversation about not having a 64-8 and was going to say it is impractical since they are overseas, the VAT registration is at our address and we completed the application, but got straight through security without it.

I would say call back but it took 30 mins to get through before 9am!

Thanks (2)
avatar
By Roland195
01st May 2019 16:48

Been frustrated by this too and it appears to be exclusively related to VAT in that the online authorisation is for the purpose of filing returns only IE we will let you file a return but we can't speak to you about it.

The VAT officer in this case wouldn't budge even after quoting much the same as above.

It's particularly annoying given the processing times on 64/8s these days.

Thanks (1)
Replying to Roland195:
avatar
By Matrix
01st May 2019 16:57

If they are difficult then you can go through alternative security, like box 5 from the last VAT return plus other available info.

It always depends who you speak to, I said to the lady this morning that, if you could see VAT payments from the agent account, then it may save on some of the calls.

Thanks (2)
Replying to Matrix:
avatar
By NewACA
07th May 2019 12:11

Under MTD, the agent sees the VAT payments on the 3rd party software. This assumes that the 3rd party software has added that feature. The HMRC list of suppliers for VAT MTD show which suppliers have added VAT payment and liabilities information to their software.

Thanks (1)
Replying to Roland195:
avatar
By Akkountant
01st May 2019 18:59

Thank you Roland195 and Matrix.
Your replies show that it's not an islolated occurrence.

Thanks (1)
avatar
By Akkountant
07th May 2019 09:52

An update, in case it helps anyone else:

HMRC’s deputy director of Making Tax Digital Clare Sheehan (14/02/19) urges agents to use the ASA instead and put away their paper 64-8 forms. “They are being replaced by the new system,” she said.

https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/tax/business-tax/quickbooks-explores-age...

Thank you John Stokdyk!

Thanks (1)
Replying to Akkountant:
avatar
By NewACA
07th May 2019 12:20

I've heard from others that the new authorisation system via the ASA account is worse than the current online system: it often doesn't work and gives limited Agent access: eg I think its only for the new MTD services, so if you wanted to change the VAT frequency say, or anything else not yet part of MTD for VAT, it won't work. I could be wrong though, as I have just avoided that entirely and am continuing to use the old online client authorisation process, even though we moved to MTD a few months back. The old authorisation process "authorisations" are automatically ported across to MTD immediately if you have already clicked on the dynamic link in your agent services account to "link existing clients".

Thanks (2)
avatar
By raybackler
07th May 2019 13:04

I have had this too and was being asked to fax over some information along with a 64-8 or they wouldn't speak to me. I provided the information and insisted the online approval was enough. I was then emailed to say it wasn't, so in my response I quoted their own text back at them as quoted by the OP. I got a very grudging acceptance, "on this occasion only". It is ridiculous that they act like this and I have only ever come across it this once with VAT.

Thanks (1)
Morph
By kevinringer
07th May 2019 13:32

Online VAT authorisation is for online VAT only (the client will then appear in your list in your GOV.UK account and you can submit VAT returns etc on their behalf).

You need a 64-8 in place for all offline VAT = phone and letters.

The online and offline systems are independent.

It's a bit like PAYE/CIS: you need a 64-8 for offline and a FBI2 for online.

In contrast for SA the 64-8 or online authorisation code cover both online and offline SA.

HMRC needs consistency. I remember raising this years ago in WT but nothing has been done.

Thanks (2)
Replying to kevinringer:
avatar
By Roland195
07th May 2019 16:17

You have to wonder what the thought process here was though (assuming there was one) - why would there need to be different authorisation for online/offline?

Thanks (2)
Replying to Roland195:
Morph
By kevinringer
08th May 2019 09:01

Agreed. I guess HMRC will say it is because of their different systems in which case they should have got their systems unified. This has been the case for 20+ years. HMRC have been able to unify it from BTA perspective so why not from an agent's perspective. 20 years later and many agents are still (rightly) confused. And it is now getting worse with MTD because HMRC have said the ASA replaces the 64-8, but it does not - you still need a 64-8. HMRC are doing a great job of extending their chaos.

Thanks (0)
By Charlie Carne
07th May 2019 20:27

I don't think that I've used a paper 64-8 for over 10 years and I've never been told that my online authorisation was not sufficient. What would be the point of HMRC running two entirely different agent authorisation systems (though it appears that the method used to obtain authorisation is shown on their database)? Clearly some staff at HMRC are confused and, when they see on their system that the online method was used, they incorrectly refuse to speak to the agent. If only HMRC employed people who understood their own systems!

Thanks (0)
Replying to charliecarne:
Morph
By kevinringer
08th May 2019 09:07

We need to clarify that in addition to the confusion between 64-8 and online, there are in fact 2 different online authorisation processes for VAT one of which does have the same function as the paper 64-8.

The process of authorising a client by agents logging into their old GG account and using the Authorise Client on the left will authorise for offline VAT the same as a paper 64-8.

The other online process is the one for online VAT returns: that is for the client to log into their BTA and appoint us as agents through Manage Account>Accountants>VAT Services>Add or change accountant.

Thanks (0)
Replying to kevinringer:
avatar
By legerman
08th May 2019 12:03

kevinringer wrote:

The process of authorising a client by agents logging into their old GG account and using the Authorise Client on the left will authorise for offline VAT the same as a paper 64-8.

The other online process is the one for online VAT returns: that is for the client to log into their BTA and appoint us as agents through Manage Account>Accountants>VAT Services>Add or change accountant.

Ha, that explains why I've never had an issue, I've only ever done it the first way. That to me is the equivalent of a paper 64/8

Thanks (0)
By turchyna582
08th May 2019 21:42

Taking the question of authorisation in a separate direction!
Quite some time back now, whilst I was EMPLOYED as Company Accountant; I had reason to request (in writing and on the company's letterhead), a copy of some historic VAT and PAYE account payment details ;as I was quite new to the role and wanted to do some reconciliation work.
HMRC responded to 'the Directors', confirming to them that they could not correspond with me, or discuss these matters without a 64-8 being lodged with them! They would only deal with the Directors.
I have always understood 64-8's to be required for external accountants/agents and not bone-fide employees (particularly those of obvious status within the company and responsible for such communications).
I replied on behalf of the Directors, to HMRC, and asked them to confirm that they had 64-8's for EVERY member of staff (nationally) that dealt with the routine affairs of EVERY registered employer.
I also requested that HMRC should forward to me, an equivalent 64-8 document that confirmed WHICH of their staff were authorised to communicate with or deal with my employer in respect of the company's affairs - as I had been instructed (as a result of HMRC's letter to the directors), to reciprocally NOT speak to an 'unauthorised' member of HMRC staff.
Basic common sense is it not? How do HMRC expect businesses to communicate or deal with their tax obligations, if HMRC adopt such an unnecessary and OTT attitude !
Any future HMRC query to an employer (by letter or phone), should I presume be unanswered: unless the employer has received an appropriate 64-8 equivalent authorisation -for THAT PARTICULAR member of HMRC staff to so communicate?

Thanks (0)
Replying to turchyna582:
avatar
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
09th May 2019 08:52

“I also requested that HMRC should forward to me, an equivalent 64-8 document that confirmed WHICH of their staff were authorised to communicate with or deal with my employer in respect of the company's affairs - as I had been instructed (as a result of HMRC's letter to the directors), to reciprocally NOT speak to an 'unauthorised' member of HMRC staff.”

What did they say to that?

Thanks (0)
Replying to atleastisoundknowledgable...:
By turchyna582
22nd May 2019 10:55

They have, in typical HMRC style, chosen not to reply. The directors have decided that should HMRC contact the company, or any individual director, on ANY matter concerning the company's accounts or taxation; they will refer them to me, citing that they (the directors) do not have the requisite knowledge to deal with the matter.

If HMRC choose not to deal with me, then HMRC (and not the company or the directors), are the cause of relevant information not reaching them.

If employees (especially those with obvious status and responsibility) are unable to do the very work they are paid for; then why are HMRC themselves employing staff? Is HMRC's most senior member of staff expected to deal with such matters? - that is what they are expecting our Directors to do!

Thanks (0)
avatar
By jones1948
09th May 2019 14:02

I have experienced this many times and can appreciate your frustration. You've followed their rules and processes, received an online thumbs up, but its a lottery when you speak to an official.

To make matters worse HMRC will not allow one 64-8 to cover all areas. The VAT people always want a separate one as do the PAYE section 50% of the time!

Thanks (0)
Share this content