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Resignation forced by the Revenue

Revenue refusing to deal with agents

A very small one director and his wife company issued shares (before I was acting).  We need to submit a form 42 for the 2016/17 tax year.  Only the client can do that, the agent cannot.  The client has not been able to do it, so the form is still outstanding.

Another client moved.  As the VAT agent, I can only notify the Revenue using form 484.  I had a message saying that the client should log into their account and notify the Revenue from there.  Again, as agent, I am unable to notify the Revenue online.  As the client doesn't have an account, the address will presumably not be updated?

I am authorized to act for a client's personal tax affairs who is taxed under PAYE.  The Revenue say that she owes them £900 (she is a basic rate taxpayer).  I asked for details of how they had arrived at that figure and was told that they cannot tell me.  All they can do is send my client a letter.

I also act for a client earnings over £100k.  I received a letter from the Revenue saying that they were taking him out of the self assessment system.  In future, if he wants to submit a personal tax return, he can do so using a simplified form from his personal tax account.  I will not be able to file a self assessment tax return and neither can I access the simplified form.  

I think that there are other examples, but these are just the few that spring readily to mind having cropped up recently.

The thread here seems to be that the Revenue are no longer prepared to deal with agents but will instead only deal direct with the taxpayer.  Of course if all accountants feel as I do and find some other line of work, the Revenue will have "cut off their nose to spite their face" - I rang them this morning about an overpayment of PAYE for a client who is no longer trading and was told that they are currently due to deal with the claim at the end of January 2018.  Another client whose 2015/16 Estate Tax Return was submitted and received by the Revenue on 10th May 2017 is still waiting to be processed and uploaded onto the online system.

And we have yet to see what MTD will mean in practice - VAT Returns are all to be filed online - but they are at the moment only normally by the agent?  Perhaps the Revenue mean they can only be filed by the taxpayer using their online account (which virtually none of mine have at the moment).  

This is a nightmare scenario for everyone, isn't it?






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By Mitch
29th Aug 2017 17:01

I couldn't agree more - the whole system is a joke. Clients pay us to deal with HMRC so they don't have to. Why don't HMRC understand that????
Think I'll need to change my career as this one is becoming more frustrating by the day!!!

Thanks (2)
29th Aug 2017 17:10

It is a cunning plan so you will all be forced to go to the one remaining employer who needs your services. Am I glad I am now in my fifties not my twenties.

"Thanks for applying to HMRC, currently our automated appointment process is experiencing a high volume of applications but be assured your application is important to.........

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By Mr_awol
29th Aug 2017 17:19

Your client over £100k - you can file a Tax Return for him using your own software.

The VAT change of address you can do, signing the VAT484 as agent. Or you can do it via the agent portal if authorised.

You can find out the reasons for the underpayment - you just cant get all of the exact figures to check/correct it. Your client will have to go find their P60(s) or wait for the letter but this is inconvenience, not obstruction.

So really, it's the form 42 you have issues with.

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to Mr_awol
29th Aug 2017 17:56

Thank you, yes, I can file a Tax Return for the over £100k client for the moment but if they take them out of self assessment (as they plan to do), the Return will not be accepted using anyone's software.
As for the 484, I have done a paper form but that takes some weeks to process. The paper 484 has worked in the past, but the message I got today made me wonder whether that will continue to be the case (I would ring the Revenue and ask but not only if that more time and expense but they rarely know what the system is anyway).
As for the underpayment, if the Revenue were prepared to send me the details or better still let me have online access, they would save themselves, me, and the client, a lot of time, effort and expense.
And for the record, a client for whom I am authorized to act both for personal tax and PAYE (he has a Direct Payment Scheme) received a new tax code which was not on his personal tax account or PAYE account besides which the code was wrong. I am told that the code will be changed, but that neither as the personal tax agent, nor the PAYE agent, will I be notified. Only my client will be notified. In case you are curious, the incorrect code would have resulted in an overpayment of PAYE of some £3.6k. Another client who has ceased trading and as overpaid PAYE of some £3k will have his overpayment looked at in January 2018 (tel con with HMRC this morning).

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By Monsoon
to CarolineC
30th Aug 2017 09:59

Do they not still take unsolicited tax returns? They always used to. If someone has been in SA, then their UTR will be theirs even once they are marked on HMRC as not in self assessment. So in theory you should still be able to file using 3rd party. Unless this is a new development to do with the personal tax account malarkey.

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to Monsoon
30th Aug 2017 11:18

Monsoon is right you can file unsolicited returns and they will be processed as usual. The difference is that if they are not in SA, even though their name is still on your sa client list, they will not show any details of the submission or matters connected with it

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By Keith02
29th Aug 2017 17:39

All I do is say to each client "if you get any letters from HMRC etc, just scan them and email them to me". I have never yet seen one I cannot resolve on their behalf.

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By mbee1
30th Aug 2017 11:19

Where HMRC withdraw anyone from SA you can still submit a Return using software. It appears the record stays dormant so it's easy to submit a Return.

Strangely I've also just received a letter saying they're removing a client from SA even though his income is in excess of £100K. I shall just submit a Return as usual.

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By SteveRA
30th Aug 2017 21:04

The problem Caroline is highlighting is that we are constantly being eased out of the process. I too have had a client over £100k income removed from SA and have phoned and asked for them to be put back in, with the client's agreement of course.

Within SA you just have so much more access and control of the processes. It is also usually considerably quicker when refunds are due.

Apart from the penalty aspects self assessment works well for me and my clients, none of whom want personal tax accounts. Fortunately we almost never receive late submission penalties, I can think of only 3 in 20 years.

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to SteveRA
31st Aug 2017 08:43

Well, on the bright side my Mother in Law has for some reason been put back into SA, frankly I am not yet sure why as majority of her income is pensions that can be coded.

They removed her from SA about 6-10 years ago but I was called by her at the weekend and advised she had received a letter re 16/17 advising they now wanted a return.

So looks like a meal one Sunday followed by hours in the dining room extracting information from her to input into my laptop beckons. I suspect I will find there was no need for the return and will then need to try to persuade HMRC to remove her from SA.

HMRC moves in mysterious ways their wonders to perform.

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31st Aug 2017 09:37

DJKL wrote:

HMRC moves in mysterious ways their wonders to perform.

Surely that should be "HMRC moves in mysterious ways, and we wonder if they perform".

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