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Online authorisation vs 64-8

HMRC won't speak to me due to lack of 64-8

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I recently took on a new client for self assessment / PAYE and used the HMRC Online Services route to authorise as PAYE & SA agent. The client appears on my government gateway account and I have been submitting FPS for a few weeks now. 

I have just tried to speak to HMRC regarding the PAYE balance and they said they can't speak to me as a 64-8 isn't in place. I explained that I had authorised online but the HMRC rep said that he can't see the authorisation at his end and that I need to submit a 64-8. 

Am I being silly? Do we need to do online authorisation AND 64-8? I thought it was one or the other. 

Thanks

Replies (32)

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By Cheshire
22nd Oct 2020 11:46

I always do both.

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By Duggimon
22nd Oct 2020 11:49

You are not supposed to need a 64-8, but HMRC's authorisation system is extremely fallible, and the agents on the line don't know what to do about it other than to ask for a 64-8, because that way you'll get off the phone.

I have been unable to determine if one is actually required in some circumstances or if there's some mistake being made, and nobody at HMRC that you can actually speak to seems to know either.

Certainly, sometimes the online authorisation is visible to HMRC and no paper form goes in, but sometimes it isn't and they need one.

Thanks (4)
Replying to Duggimon:
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By Kelly O
22nd Oct 2020 11:57

Thanks a lot, I thought this would be the case.

I've spoken to HMRC regarding client affairs with only online authorisation many times without issue.

I guess I'll just do the 64-8

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By SXGuy
22nd Oct 2020 13:01

Online authorisation is to enable you to file on their behalf. It doesn't give authorisation for you to speak to them on their behalf. That's what the 64-8 does.

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Replying to SXGuy:
Psycho
By Wilson Philips
22nd Oct 2020 13:14

"Does the Online Agent Authorisation service replace the paper 64-8 form or the FBI2?

No, you can carry on using the paper 64-8 form if you want to."

"... if you want to" suggests to me that online authorisation can be used instead of 64-8. ie one or the other, no need for both.

Also:

"If you act as a tax agent or adviser, you must have formal authorisation to deal with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on your client’s behalf.

It’s easiest to do this online using HMRC Online Services. If you can’t set up authorisation online, you’ll need to get your client to complete one of HMRC’s paper authorisation forms."

For our online authorised clients (pretty much all of them now) I can't recall a single instance of HMRC refusing to communicate with us.

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Replying to Wilson Philips:
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By SXGuy
22nd Oct 2020 17:41

Maybe they like you more than me :)

But I on the other hand have had plenty of conversations with hmrc where it goes

"we don't hold a 64-8" but I'm authorised on my agent account. "sorry we don't have a 64-8" OK fine I'll send one in.

Thanks (2)
Replying to SXGuy:
By Duggimon
23rd Oct 2020 08:52

SXGuy wrote:

Online authorisation is to enable you to file on their behalf. It doesn't give authorisation for you to speak to them on their behalf. That's what the 64-8 does.

I've been told that by agents on the phone as well, but it's not true. I've spoken to HMRC many times about clients for whom we've only authorised online. I would also add than no authorisation at all is required to file on someone's behalf, it's only to see their details online and to talk to HMRC.

I've also been told the reverse of the issue under discussion, where we've had a paper 64-8 in place for years, decades in some cases, and regularly receive mail as agents, only to be told when I call in that the authorisation isn't sufficient and we also need online authorisation.

None of it is true, either type of authorisation is sufficient on its own, but for some reason authorisation is not always visible to the people answering the phones so we get fed misinformation and nobody knows where we stand.

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Replying to SXGuy:
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By Cylhia66
29th Oct 2020 12:46

That's not true. The online authorisation and the 64-8 are the same thing and give the same permissions. I only use the online forms and am allowed to discuss my clients matters with HMRC when necessary.

Thanks (1)
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By NYB
22nd Oct 2020 13:06

I've done all mine over the years on line only. AND I have spoken to HMRC on their behalf. AND on the occasions Ive been turned away I've phoned again and been successful. Always worth trying.

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By Louisemunro320
22nd Oct 2020 13:41

Always do both - belt and braces where hmrc are concerned

Thanks (1)
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By Louisemunro320
22nd Oct 2020 13:42

Always do both - belt and braces where hmrc are concerned

Thanks (0)
Replying to Louisemunro320:
Psycho
By Wilson Philips
22nd Oct 2020 13:57

Always post twice - belt and braces where AWeb are concerned.

Thanks (7)
Replying to Wilson Philips:
the sea otter
By memyself-eye
22nd Oct 2020 14:00

my postman always rings twice.....

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By JD
22nd Oct 2020 14:17

and don't forget to do a FBi2 and send recorded delivery, which HMRC will also ignore.

Thanks (2)
Replying to JD:
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By Barbara G
22nd Oct 2020 20:29

FB12 can be done online, don't need to be posted. 64-8 needs to be posted to HMRC

Thanks (0)
RLI
By lionofludesch
22nd Oct 2020 14:21

Easiest way to deal with HMRC's fallible systems is just send in another form.

Also provides you with a great excuse "you lost my forms".

Thanks (1)
Replying to lionofludesch:
By SteveHa
22nd Oct 2020 15:35

Nope - easiest way is to shout at them until they do what they are supposed to do in the manner that they are supposed to do it in.

Karens of the world should unite.

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Slim
By Slim
22nd Oct 2020 15:36

I haven't completed a paper 64-8 in a long time and I've not had any major issues.

I find the hang up and call again works.

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Replying to Slim:
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By JD
22nd Oct 2020 15:46

Not sure it will - The will put the telephone in the bin and ignore it, along with the pile of unprocessed 64-8, FBi2 .......

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By frankfx
22nd Oct 2020 16:19

They would speak to you, if client was at your side to give one time authority.

Set up a conference call.

It should work.

HMRC not aware of covid 19 reality.

Also HMRC not aware that many clients never ever meet accountant in person??!!

Even do not consider it a problem that client makes a 10 mile journey to visit accountant so that the call can be made.

(Yet many HMRC are working from home, with dog barking for attention!)

Carbon footprint ??

This digital world is with us.

Next stop MTD mark 2.

Thanks (0)
ALISK
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
22nd Oct 2020 17:08

HMRC yesterday refused to speak to us for a VAT client who gave us authorisation via their online account. First time I’ve been refused for any client who I believe we have authority for.

Think I’m going start doing paper 64-8a

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By NYB
22nd Oct 2020 17:41

We have had many instances when HMRC has written us a letter. Direct to us as agents. A follow up phone call hAs on several occasions resulted in “ you are not an agent”. Despite writing to us directly. Another bit that is a shambles n

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Replying to NYB:
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By Kelly O
22nd Oct 2020 18:41

Exactly what happened to me *facepalm*

Thanks (1)
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By New To Accountancy
23rd Oct 2020 00:36

I sent 6 in for one particular client over the space of 2 years, every one vanished regardless of having had numerous conversations. On 64/8 No6, I had doodled on the back with lots of '3D cubes' - without realising it was the 64/8 with the wet signature on, so I still had to send it in. Finally HMRC received the 6th one (sods law) and the advisor must have been having a laugh with his colleague as he was saying things like 'I'll be square with you, we have received it' and 'I know you're not happy but there's 4 sides to every story'.

I didn't know how to react but at least he had a sense of humour and the good thing is this is still on their system and not got lost so perhaps doodling and making an impression is the way to get the 64/8 in and not to go missing.

Just use your own doodle, the cubes mine.

Thanks (1)
By Charlie Carne
23rd Oct 2020 11:35

There are two different online authorisation processes. The main one is where the agent logs into their HMRC portal and asks for authorisation, following which HMRC post out a code to the client by physical mail. Once you input the code that the client then gives you, you are, I am led to believe, fully authorised in exactly the same way as a paper 64-8.

The second method is where the client logs into their own HMRC portal and adds the agent's identifier code. Nothing gets posted out and this can (for some taxes) offer a reduced level of authorisation. At least that is my understanding. But I have not used a paper 64-8 for many years (I always use method 1 above) and I have rarely been told by HMRC that I don't have authority and, when I am, I push the matter or call back.

Thanks (1)
Replying to charliecarne:
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By Kelly O
23rd Oct 2020 15:49

Thanks for your input.

I used your method 1 as I also believed that led to same authorisation as 64-8. I suspect it usually does except when HMRC's systems don't work properly. I think I've just been unlucky in this instance.

I called twice, spoke to a different person 2nd time and he also couldn't see me registered as the agent at his end. I'll just have to do the 64-8 this time I guess.

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Replying to Kelly O:
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By AdShawBPR
29th Oct 2020 09:41

Online authorisation should be fine but it sometimes takes a while for full authorisation to kick in completely. Unless urgent I'd be tempted to wait a while and see if anything changes to your access.

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By tracyannw
29th Oct 2020 11:33

I have had this issue several times and find if you wait a few hours or days and call back again all seems good. I don't know if its a lack of training in that the agents are not checking correctly or if its a timing issue with HMRC systems but when I have experienced this it seems to correct over time. It does not always apply to new clients either i could have been set up with a client for several years with no issue then all of a sudden HMRC will not discuss with me even though I can see their account online through my agent ID. I have never completed a paper 64-8 and regularly discuss client accounts so its not a necessity.

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By SimonLever
29th Oct 2020 12:01

If you had (have?) authorisation in place and have had correspondence with HMRC previously when they refuse to discuss your client with you, you should tell them that you are reporting them to the ICO as they have disclosed information to you without the proper authority.
That may make them look a bit deeper!

Thanks (2)
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By Cylhia66
29th Oct 2020 12:52

The same thing excatly happened to me before.
I could see my client on my HMRC portal but I was told there was no 64-8.
It's a technical error at their end. You need to let HMRC know and they will be able to activate this client in a way it can be found at their end again. Usually takes about 48 hours. I think they asked me to send a screenshot if my memory is correct.

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Morph
By kevinringer
29th Oct 2020 12:56

HMRC have made a dog's dinner of PAYE (and CIS) authorisation. This is how I find it works in practice:

1. Paper 64-8 give you authorisation for offline contact = phone and writing.
2. Paper FBI2 gives you authorisation for online = coding notices etc.

Each of the above has its own online authorisation:

1. The online version of the 64-8 is log into the agent's account then select Authorise Client on the left.
2. The online version of the FBI2 is for the client to log into their online PAYE account and appoint you as agent.

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By Vallery Lee
29th Oct 2020 13:58

Over the last couple of weeks HMRC seem to have lost sight of 2 64-8 forms and 2 online registrations. I know life is difficult for us all right now but this seems a bit too much, I sympathise but can only suggest you keep plugging away. Maybe try phoning another day - sometimes it just depends who you get.

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