Share this content
0
2273

Sage asking for authorisation for every MTD return

Didn't find your answer?

Search AccountingWEB

We're using Sage for one of our monthly VAT returns. When we did the first MTD return (April 2019) the GOV.UK screens appeared asking for authorisation and codes sent to our mobile phone. The screen said that once in place the authroisation will last for 18 months. We've just done the May 2019 MTD return and had to go through all the authorisation screens again. I wasn't expecting to have to do this for 18 months. Has anyone else submitted their second MTD return? Did you have to go through the authorsation again? What software are you using?

Replies (21)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

avatar
By adam.arca
01st Jul 2019 18:02

Yes!

I've been doing some emergency bookkeeping for a client and have so far submitted 3 monthly returns, Feb to April, all under MTD.

They're on Sage 50cloud and this has happened every time. Haven't yet had the opportunity to get to the bottom of this issue.

Thanks (2)
avatar
By johnhemming
01st Jul 2019 18:52

Are you doing this through your ASA or via clients credentials.?

I have seen some issues with authorisations, but as far as I can tell that settled down about 6 months ago.

What you should do is to look at the list of authorised software using the government gateway. The only route to this I have used is via authorisation, but there probably is a alternative route probably using the URL directly.

I did a video looking at the interface on the test HMRC server (which is the same as live) That is at the end of the video linked below, but I have put a URL which takes you just before the bit about scopes.
https://youtu.be/pyGGIRgKMfU?t=395

Since originally writing this I have tried what I thought was the URL and indeed it works.

You should find this link useful:
https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/applications-manage-authority/applications

Thanks (1)
Replying to johnhemming:
Morph
By kevinringer
02nd Jul 2019 13:01

We always use our ASA credentials.

The client was in our old GG account and we have linked the old GG to the ASA.

I've looked at the YouTube video and the final link and confirm that Sage is one of the items listed. Sage authority is dated 03/06/19 but we were asked to do it again yesterday.

Thanks (0)
Replying to kevinringer:
avatar
By johnhemming
02nd Jul 2019 15:28

Obviously you should be using your ASA credentials, but the question is a systems question.

My view is that this is likely to be a sage problem.

With ASA credentials there are potentially two causes:

a) That the individual clients are not properly linked to the ASA credentials in Sage so that when you do something on another client it creates a new authority with HMRC which is then not available to the first (or any other client) .... or

b) That the token refresh is not working. You can tell if it is this by doing a lookup that requires an authorisation at say 10am in the morning. Then wait over 4 hours, preferably five.

If you find it needs reauthorising then the refresh is not working.

Both, however, look like issues within Sage.

You could, of course, authorise a second set of MTD software and try looking things up with that and see what happens. If the same thing happens with a second set of MTD software then it looks like something with HMRC, but I don't think it is HMRC on a first guess.

What I am suggesting is that you authorise a second set of MTD software and use that software to look at the same client (only look at things, not submit anything). That will pin down whether it is a sage issue or not. The software could be Mr Easy's or mine and neither of us will charge you for this.

Thanks (1)
Replying to johnhemming:
Morph
By kevinringer
02nd Jul 2019 15:46

Thanks John. I don't know what you mean by 'token refresh' nor 'doing a lookup' or 'only look at things'. If you mean looking at HMRC transactions through Sage, as far as I know there is no functionality in Sage to look up anything on the HMRC account.

Thanks (0)
Replying to kevinringer:
avatar
By johnhemming
02nd Jul 2019 15:53

The token refresh is what happens 4 hours after an access token has been obtained from HMRC. When you authorise access to HMRC's servers you get both an access token and a refresh token. The access token expires after 4 hours and then the refresh has to get new tokens. If that does not work then the system goes through authorisation again.

Hence if the authorisation has to be done again after 4 hours it is a bug in Sage's software (most likely).

Sage does look up the HMRC data if only when you try to find out what obligations are open. I don't, however, know what else Sage does.

By default it is possible to look up
a) What obligations there are open or fulfilled (returns)
b) Details of any return submitted
c) Details of payments
d) Details of liabilities.

You can to this with any MTD software that allows you to do this.

Thanks (1)
Replying to johnhemming:
Morph
By kevinringer
02nd Jul 2019 16:19

Thanks for explaining all that John. I was unaware of the tokens. I'm not aware that Sage does any of the lookup other than perhaps a.

Thanks (0)
Replying to kevinringer:
avatar
By johnhemming
02nd Jul 2019 17:19

Remember that you can use any MTD software to look up the data even if you submit via sage.

Thanks (1)
Replying to johnhemming:
avatar
By adam.arca
02nd Jul 2019 13:37

johnhemming wrote:

Are you doing this through your ASA or via clients credentials.?

I'm not entirely sure what you're asking us to do there, John.

In my case, MTD was set up (early) by the client's bookkeeper before she went on long-term sick. So I guess that means client credentials?

The client uses Sage 50c so it is clearly authorised software and it definitely works (as in: submits returns to the new server via the API). What it doesn't seem to be doing for either Kevin or me is granting the 18 months' authority for the software to interact with the API which the blurb in the Sage message tells us we'll be getting.

Thanks (2)
Replying to adam.arca:
avatar
By johnhemming
02nd Jul 2019 19:36

Sorry I had not really picked up that you were different examples of the same problem.

Obviously my answers to Kevin are valid for you as well. Obviously the fact that this is happening for two firms (and is obvious when you are doing monthly returns) implies that it is a systemic problem. The fact that it does not happen with other software (and I know it doesn't happen with mine) implies that it is systemic problem relating to Sage.

You may wish to pin down if it is the refresh or a mess with the ASA credentials. That will make it easier to tell Sage how to fix their system.

Thanks (1)
Pile of Stones
By Beach Accountancy
04th Jul 2019 14:51

Given that you are paying Sage a lot of money for their software, I would moan long and hard at Sage Support.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By North East Accountant
04th Jul 2019 15:31

We're using Sage doesn't quite pin it down.

Which Sage product are you referring to?

Thanks (0)
Replying to North East Accountant:
Morph
By kevinringer
04th Jul 2019 15:44

Sage 50cloud Accounts v25.1.128.0

Thanks (1)
Replying to kevinringer:
avatar
By johnhemming
04th Jul 2019 16:35

It is probably worth doing the 4 hour test if you can find some way of doing a query with Sage software.

I think it is probably refresh tokens because that is harder to test. You have to authorise something and then wait for 5 hours to see if it works when refreshing.

It is also quite a low level part of the software. There are really two ways of writing this algorithm. One is to check the time for refresh and once it has gone over the time to do a refresh. A second is to refresh if the api call fails on authority. I use the latter which is a little unsubtle, but it does the job.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By NewACA
04th Jul 2019 18:31

The authorisation is meant to last 18 months, but we have seen that HMRC randomly delete some authorisations when they upgrade their MTD database, so far they appear to do this on a monthly basis. So in all likelyhood I would imagine it was HMRC, not SAGE if all you did was try again a month later. You'd need to do more testing than just going in and out of the API once a month to establish where the fault lies. Yes, token refreshes are every 4 hours.

Thanks (0)
Replying to NewACA:
avatar
By johnhemming
04th Jul 2019 18:42

I think you are right about this up to a point, but I think they do this far less frequently than they did previously. Further more you can check when the authorisation was granted as the OP has done.

Its the sort of issue that people will notice moreso as time goes by.

Thanks (0)
Morph
By kevinringer
04th Jul 2019 19:12

Another problem with Sage is the authorisation screen does not appear if the default browser is Chrome or Firefox. We've had to change the default browser to IE or Edge for all our PCs and clients' PC to get it to work.

Thanks (0)
Replying to kevinringer:
avatar
By johnhemming
04th Jul 2019 19:56

I would assume that is something to do with trying to launch a browser from inside a windows program. That should not be that difficult to solve for Sage.

MTD software that runs in a browser will simply redirect the browser to a new URL.

Unlike the refresh tokens this is quite an easy thing to test, however.

Thanks (0)
Replying to kevinringer:
avatar
By alejandra
04th Jul 2019 20:26

I use Chrome and the authorisation screen appeared OK. Sorry I can't explain why it worked for me though. Normally I am unlucky on these things.

Thanks (1)
avatar
By alejandra
04th Jul 2019 20:24

I am also using Sage50Cloud, v25, and I had to go through authorisation again in May even though I had already done it in April. I didn't feel like calling Sage to find out why - the helpline wait is usually around 50 minutes to an hour!

Thanks (2)
Replying to alejandra:
avatar
By johnhemming
04th Jul 2019 20:33

To find out if it is the refresh timer you need to find a way of using sage to look things up on the API. Alternatively you could ask sage what periods are outstanding and see if it requests reauthorisation, but it may not work specifically that way.

It does look like a Sage thing as my monthly clients (for example) don't have this issue. We did have some early problems with authorisations disappearing and, of course, the simple solution is to reauthorise, but as far as I can tell that has stopped. (in fact stopped a while ago)

Thanks (1)
Share this content