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MTD & Taxfiler

Taxfiler says we are not authorised

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Have signed up a client for MTD a couple of weeks ago and received an email from HMRC confirming that this has been actioned.

Looking to use Taxfiler to file VAT return, so have entered all VAT details on Taxfiler, but the system still shows the message "Taxfiler was unable to download VAT period data from HMRC. The client and/or agent is not authorised." and thsi has been like that for the last week at least.

Agent credentials entered in the Taxfiler Settings tab are for "old" Agent login (not ASA).

Can't get my head around what I am doing incorrectly.

Replies (22)

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By free-rider
18th May 2019 14:35

Also, I have just noticed that Settings tab in Taxfiler includes only credentials for SA & CT but not for VAT (though these are the same in my case).

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By Matrix
18th May 2019 14:37

I haven’t done it yet, but I thought we had to set up an ASA and link the MTD registered clients first and then enter those credentials?

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By free-rider
18th May 2019 14:51

I have already:
1. Set up an ASA
2. Linked "old" HMRC Agent login credentials to ASA
3. Signed client for MTD and received email confirmation from HMRC that this has been done
4. Entered all data on Taxfiler for VAT and also re-linked Taxfiler to "old" HMRC Agent account

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By Matrix
18th May 2019 14:55

I would assume you use the new not the old credentials.

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By free-rider
18th May 2019 14:57

Initially I though the same, but when I enter new ASA credentials on Taxfiler I get a message that "The specified User ID and Password were not recognised as agent credentials".

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By Matrix
18th May 2019 15:10

Well contact Taxfiler then, they are pretty good at responding. Do you use any other software to see if the credentials work? Or maybe wait a few days.

It is def the ASA ones: https://www.icaew.com/technical/tax/making-tax-digital/signing-up-to-mtd...

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Replying to free-rider:
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By johnhemming
18th May 2019 15:24

The way oauth is supposed to work involves not giving anyone but HMRC your user Id and password.

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By Matrix
18th May 2019 15:36

These are used to log into all third party software, what do you mean?

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By johnhemming
18th May 2019 15:48

I mean the HMRC gateway user Id and password. These should not be given to 3rd party software providers.

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By Matrix
18th May 2019 18:04

But these are required to submit. Aren’t they required on your product?

If you think I was advising the OP to send the login details to Taxfiler then you are mistaken, I never suggested any such thing.

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By johnhemming
18th May 2019 19:11

The way that open authorization (note spelling) works is that it allows taxpayer to ask HMRC to authorise a third party (software company) to send instructions to HMRC on their behalf without just giving them the user id and password.

The steps are:
a) The third party software is asked to be authorised (someone clicks on something).
b) It passes the browser to the HMRC website
c) People say they want to authorise the third party.
d) People log into the HMRC website
e) they agree what the third party is authorised to do.
f) the browser is redirected to the third party website.

You can see this in my video.

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By johnhemming
18th May 2019 14:48

You need to authorise mtd software. This is oauth or open authorization. I did a video about this which you can find if you look at the cirrostratus channel on YouTube. I am in a trampolining centre at the moment waiting for one of my children to stop bouncing (hopefully without breaking any bones) otherwise I would give you a link to the video.

You can use some mtd software to find out what software providers you have authoris/zed . Mine does this probably others can do it as well.

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By free-rider
18th May 2019 14:57

Thank you, will have a look at YouTube now.

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By johnhemming
18th May 2019 18:09

This is probably the best video for looking at authorisations.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxmH7Bo-aI0

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By free-rider
18th May 2019 22:04

Thank you everyone. Have now sorted the issue. Apparently, when you reconnect Taxfiler to HMRC login you need to use new ASA login credentials instead of old Agent login details.

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Replying to free-rider:
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By johnhemming
19th May 2019 06:25

I presume you type the credentials into the HMRC website rather than the taxfiler software.

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By free-rider
19th May 2019 09:11

Yes, you are correct - the ASA login credentials are typed in to HMRC website.

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By johnhemming
19th May 2019 10:48

Thank you.

It is actually quite difficult to write software which takes the credentials and then uses the HMRC website to authorise software. I know this because I have done it for the test system so that when the system creates a test user on HMRC's test servers it can automatically authorise the test user.

In any event taxpayers and their agents should not be giving credentials to third party software.

There is an interesting question I don't know the answer to about whether it is possible to authorise two different MTD suppliers at the same time. I know it is possible to swap suppliers.

This is potentially quite an issue for an agent. If the agent has clients who are using say Sage, Xero and Quickbooks and using their ASA to authorise these they may have to swap the authorisations (not that this takes that long) between the different third party MTD vendors.

This is, however, an issue for a couple of months down the tracks.

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By vtsoftware
19th May 2019 15:25

We asked HMRC this specific question and have been advised that an agent can authorise multiple MTD software products without limit.

Philip Hodgson
VT Software

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Replying to vtsoftware:
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By johnhemming
19th May 2019 17:22

Thank you for this. My understanding (obviously from HMRC) is that it is possible to swap suppliers. I was told, but it was probably orally, that it is possible to revoke an authority, and they implied that only one could be active at any one time.

It is quite possible that both taxpayers and agents can authorise multiple MTD suppliers at any one time. There is no technical reason why this should not be possible.

If someone at VT wants to test this with me I would happily authorise one of my live accounts both with VT and with my software and we can see what happens.

As I see it there are two questions
a) Whether the arrangements for ordinary accounts and agents accounts are different and.
b) Whether there can be multiple authorities for any one scope (and it is the single scope that is the issue) on an individual HMRC account.

My view is that testing this will be the fastest way of getting an answer.

I have just looked at the revoke page on HMRC's servers and it appears entirely possibly by the layout of this that there can be multiple authorities at any one time for a single scope, but that is not what was implied to me when I asked the question. It is, however, the sensible solution.

Further edit on this. I found the response from HMRC and they said: "With regards to the 2nd question, the entity will need to remove Authority for the 1st software product themselves. Adding a new software does not automatically remove the existing one."

Reading the first sentence would imply that the authority should be removed, but with the second sentence it implies in fact that there can be two authorities at the same time.

Hence I think you are probably right, but I am still happy to run a test if you wish.

This was, however, the question I asked: "This also raises a question relating to Oauth which is whether it is possible to two or more providers to similtaneously have access authority to the APIs for a single government gateway number or does the original authority disappear when a new one is requested by a new provider?"

One would presume the answer should have been yes.

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By vtsoftware
20th May 2019 10:06

Both businesses and agents can have multiple and concurrent authorisations for both different and the same MTD products.

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Replying to free-rider:
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By sparkler
08th Jul 2019 23:49

Very helpful! I was having exactly the same problem, but have just done as you suggested and TaxFiler can now see my (one and only) MTD authorised client. Now to sign up a few more!

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