I've called HMRC's time to pay line and -after being on hold for over 20 mins- I successfully passed through security. HMRC recognises that I am the appointed agent for my client regarding her personal taxes. But the officer has refused to even discuss a time to pay agreement with me on the basis that 'they no longer do that'.
In the past I've negotiated the arrangement and then the client has simply called HMRC to set up the mandatory direct debit. I've done this for SA, CT , VAT and disclosures. But now HMRC say that they won't even deal with the agent. Is this an experience shared by others? If so when did this change in practice come about?
It leaves me wondering if HMRC are determined to put all accountants out of business. With MTD software automating a lot of routine compliance, I wonder what services we can offer if we can't even speak to HMRC. What's the point of being an appointed agent?
I am a good accountant with a reputable little practice that has been running for about 7 years, but I'm suffering a 30% downturn in business (not clients leaving to go elsewhere, but clients shutting down or simply saying they will use software over me). Is this common place?