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Self employed grants

Agents unable to make claims on behalf of clients

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So agents will be unable to make the claim for self-employed grants on behalf of their clients.  This is going to be tricky for the really old school clients.  I've got some taxi drivers etc who barely use a mobile phone, let alone internet.  Clients will have to create their own gateway account apparently.  That means more hours on the phone supporting clients but no actual chargeable work done.

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By Laurence52
04th May 2020 09:35

HMRC say they will have an alternative scheme for those who can't make online claims though haven't given any details yet as to what this would be.

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Oaklea
By Chris.Mann
04th May 2020 09:42

I wonder what the rationale is behind this decision?

Surely this denies individuals to professional representation?

I’m all for clients being responsible for their own affairs but the majority of my clients expect me to deal with this type of formality, on their behalf.

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Replying to Chris.Mann:
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By susieq
04th May 2020 09:44

same with me, not sure what is worse - having to talk them through it over the phone, or actually making the claim on their behalf. I'd assumed it would work same as the furlough scheme.

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Replying to Chris.Mann:
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By meadowsaw227
04th May 2020 09:56

Is there anything to actually do for your s/e clients other than handhold as the grant is based on historical fact ! .

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Replying to meadowsaw227:
By Duggimon
04th May 2020 10:22

No, there isn't anything to do but handhold, which is the crux of the issue.

Guaranteed, there will be a number of people who check if they can claim for it, after first calling to ask what their UTR is. Then will get to the bit where it says they need a gateway account, and will call us again to ask if they need a gateway account. Then will want to stay on the phone while they slowly read the step by step instructions on setting one up, asking once per step why they need to do this.

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Replying to meadowsaw227:
Oaklea
By Chris.Mann
04th May 2020 11:06

Probably not. But, while my name’s over my door, I’ll try to provide the service, which my clients usually expect. And if that includes handholding, then so be it.

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Replying to Chris.Mann:
RLI
By lionofludesch
04th May 2020 12:15

Chris.Mann wrote:

Probably not. But, while my name’s over my door, I’ll try to provide the service, which my clients usually expect. And if that includes handholding, then so be it.

Social distancing is out of the window, then.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
Oaklea
By Chris.Mann
04th May 2020 13:18

When I've been in my office, I've tried my very best to meet the social distancing requirements and without exception, my client's have done exactly the same.

Having had mild symptoms of this wretched virus I am more than well aware of what is expected of me.

However, it has been suggested that accountants will not be permitted to submit clients claims, in this instance, although I've yet to see any evidence, to confirm that to be the case.

Frankly, if I'm authorised to complete; payroll, submit RTI's, prepare and submit claim for CJRS and prepare and submit Vat returns, why am I not authorised to submit claims for the self-employed. After all each and every one of them will be on the telephone, seeking out; their UTR and national insurance number, to name but only two areas, where they are completely in the dark.

And for some pillock to suggest that all I want to acheive is "handholding" really is taking the pi55!. Some members on here really do enjoy being complete and utter 4rseholes.

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Replying to Chris.Mann:
RLI
By lionofludesch
04th May 2020 13:24

Chris.Mann wrote:

Having had mild symptoms of this wretched virus I am more than well aware of what is expected of me.

Was one of them a complete loss of sense of humour ?

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Replying to lionofludesch:
Oaklea
By Chris.Mann
04th May 2020 13:27

Funnily enough, yes. Complete loss.

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By [email protected]
04th May 2020 10:02

That's a pain. Am I right in thinking that you cannot connect to Self Assessment through a new government gateway account without HMRC issuing an access code? It's a long time since I set one up.

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Replying to [email protected]:
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By susieq
04th May 2020 10:26

I'd like to know that too. I did set my husband one up recently and it was instant access but that was just in relation to his employment tax code but not sure if self employed account will be different to access. I've emailed all IT literate clients this morning and told them to set up an account. The phone calls have started already .........

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Replying to susieq:
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By Cheshire
04th May 2020 11:11

Why have you told them all they need to set one up? That is not what the guidance states. Havent you just made a rod for your own back?

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Replying to Cheshire:
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By susieq
04th May 2020 11:34

When you make your claim
You’ll only need your:

Self Assessment UTR - if you do not have this find out how to get your lost UTR
National Insurance number - if you do not have this find out how to get your lost National Insurance number
Government Gateway user ID and password - if you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you check your eligibility online
bank account number and sort code you want us to pay the grant into (only provide bank account details where a Bacs payment can be accepted)

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Replying to susieq:
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By Cheshire
04th May 2020 12:45

But you have to read all of it.

'can' not must.

Plus

''If you’re unable to claim online an alternative way to claim will be available. We will update this page with more information soon.''

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Replying to Cheshire:
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By susieq
04th May 2020 13:32

Ok, but I read the "can create an account" as in relation to "when you check your eligibility" rather than creating an account through the usual way. Also, it must be the easier way to claim because we all know what the phone lines have been like, not to mention the postal service.
Everyone can interpret the guidance as they see fit, but I for one have advised clients to set up a GG in readiness.

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Replying to [email protected]:
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By SXGuy
04th May 2020 10:31

For now yes, but if you recall the JRS set up, HMRC removed the activation code stage and allowed access straight away, they "may" do this for SEISS as well.

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Replying to SXGuy:
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By Southwestbeancounter
04th May 2020 14:52

SXGuy wrote:

For now yes, but if you recall the JRS set up, HMRC removed the activation code stage and allowed access straight away, they "may" do this for SEISS as well.


Let's hope common sense prevails with the SEISS otherwise it will be an absolute nightmare!

I am not going to suggest to my clients to get a GG account as all those interested in IT have already done that and the rest (which is the vast majority of them) will be completely out of their depth!

So I, for one, am looking out for Plan B!

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Replying to Southwestbeancounter:
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By SXGuy
04th May 2020 20:33

Let's hope plan b arrives soon because I agree a lot of my client base can't even operate a smart phone let alone register on hmrcs website.

I've had to notify the clients who have been ringing constantly since the scheme was announced as they were already telling me a GG would be needed. How they knew before us in don't know.
But there will be some soon who will gulp at the prospect of me not doing it for them.

If I'm honest a part of me is relieved I can't do it for them. Jrs was fine as it wasn't many but majority of my client base is SE who would all probably want it done ASAP if left to me.
I'll try and guide those I can but the rest will have to just bug HMRC until they give in and find another solution.

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By SXGuy
04th May 2020 10:31

I just wrote a short how to on my website, and mass mailed/SMS'd my clients with a direct link on how to do it.

Obviously ill help where I can, but that's all I can really do at this stage.

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Replying to SXGuy:
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By Matrix
04th May 2020 10:44

Please would you post the link since it isn't on the HMRC page. I don't know which GG account is required. Thanks.

I mean the HMRC link, I don't expect you to post your website unless you want to :)

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Replying to Matrix:
RedFive
By RedFive
04th May 2020 11:14

Matrix,

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-...

If you put a clients UTR and NI in the next step after that is for them to set up a gateway.

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Replying to RedFive:
My photo
By Matrix
04th May 2020 11:52

But what if they just want to set up a gateway in advance? Do you have the link?

I don’t want to send the personal tax account one in case it is incorrect.

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Replying to Matrix:
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By SXGuy
04th May 2020 12:05

As far as I know, its just a normal government gateway account, as in

https://www.access.service.gov.uk/login/create-account

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Replying to SXGuy:
Morph
By kevinringer
04th May 2020 12:14

We setup loads of GG accounts for CJRS. The ones we setup in readiness all needed an activation code but the ones we setup last minute didn't because HMRC got rid of the requirement to make it easier. I think you need a code for SA too so maybe HMRC may scrap that too for GG accounts setup nearer the time?

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By jon_griffey
04th May 2020 10:39

It's probably a blessing in disguise that agents can't do it. It would involve another round of Covid related work which may not be recoverable. I understand that some clients are not computer literate, but for most of them it will be surprising how quickly they learn if there is free money on offer.

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Replying to jon_griffey:
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By Southwestbeancounter
04th May 2020 15:06

Yes it would be lovely to have some time off and just sit in the garden and not have to bother about clients but for me this will be an even busier time than dealing with the CJRS or claiming the business rates grants.

Most of my clients are self-employed and this will be even more manic than the past month or so in my opinion and to be honest, although I'm absolutely shattered and would love some time off, now is the time when I can really give my clients a fantastic service when they most need it and enable them to access some much needed funds so that they can, hopefully, keep afloat.

I personally feel it will be a lot easier and quicker if agents can access the service as we can verify the figures straight away whereas clients will have to ring us for details pretty much every step of the way.

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By pauld
04th May 2020 10:50

Contacting clients now, is in my opinion, a mistake, as you are creating around 10 days more work for yourself. Why not wait until the scheme opens and all is clear how funds will be paid, how claims made etc

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Replying to pauld:
RedFive
By RedFive
04th May 2020 11:15

I've sent all mine an email this morning pointing them to the eligibility link and telling them to get on with it.

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By busacrun
04th May 2020 11:00

it seems nothing more than a cheap way to get the masses signed up to a digital account, whether they want to or not

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Replying to busacrun:
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By Open all hours
04th May 2020 11:23

Exactly that and another opportunity for HMRC to bypass agents.

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Replying to Open all hours:
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By Cheshire
04th May 2020 12:47

been saying this for a while now

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Replying to busacrun:
By Duggimon
04th May 2020 11:36

Or possibly it's the easiest way to manage a system they have had to invent entirely in a short space of time?

How on earth else would they manage it if not over the internet? And if they need to be able to identify individuals, why use a system other than the one that already exists for doing so?

If you're going to make stupid proclamations then back it up, what's the alternative, that would work better and doesn't involve people signing up online?

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Replying to Duggimon:
Morph
By kevinringer
04th May 2020 13:34

HMRC built agents into CJRS because, as HMRC acknowledged, they needed agent help. Why does HMRC think they don't need agent help for SEISS?

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Morph
By kevinringer
04th May 2020 11:44

I practice in rural Wales where good internet is non-existent. I applied for MTD exemption for 25% of my MTD mandated clients on the grounds of digital exclusion. HMRC agreed and granted exemption for them. SEISS is for my smaller clients amongst whom the level of digital exclusion is higher: at least 50%. CJRS is proving challenging enough when we agents can process the claims. SEISS is going to be SO time consuming having to talk through half my clients how to setup a GG account step by step, and the other half I've no idea.

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Caroline
By accountantccole
04th May 2020 12:28

But then they send an email saying we need you to help your clients...……
Well give us access to make the claims then?

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Replying to accountantccole:
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By Southwestbeancounter
04th May 2020 15:09

accountantccole wrote:

But then they send an email saying we need you to help your clients...……
Well give us access to make the claims then?


Yeah that really cheesed me off when I read that this morning!!
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RLI
By lionofludesch
04th May 2020 12:49

"So agents will be unable to make the claim for self-employed grants on behalf of their clients."

Where does it actually say this ?

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By Cheshire
04th May 2020 13:09

''Your tax agent or adviser cannot make the claim for you. You must make the claim yourself. If you use an agent you should contact them if you need any help or support.''

From current guidance, although given the other guidance we have seen could change 15 times before the sun drops over the yardarm!

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-...

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Replying to Cheshire:
RLI
By lionofludesch
04th May 2020 13:46

Ah yes.

Thanks.

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By Joel Lambrick
04th May 2020 12:58

It appears the goalposts have been moved in relation to the maximum earnings of £50,000 being an average of the previous three years return to now just the 19/19 Tax Year.

Does anyone else believe this is the case ?

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By Joel Lambrick
04th May 2020 12:58

It appears the goalposts have been moved in relation to the maximum earnings of £50,000 being an average of the previous three years return to now just the 19/19 Tax Year.

Does anyone else believe this is the case ?

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Psycho
By Wilson Philips
04th May 2020 13:43

I’m mightily pleased that agents can’t do it. It will avoid the need for umpteen threads on AA about appropriate levels of fee to be charged (and whether we should in fact charge, with those that do being treated as a pariah).

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Replying to Wilson Philips:
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By Cheshire
04th May 2020 14:03

Just a shame we cannot stop the other umpteen new threads stating 'did you know we cannot do this as agents!!!! Why?' etc as if the question had not been asked before.

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Replying to Wilson Philips:
RLI
By lionofludesch
04th May 2020 13:56

Wilson Philips wrote:

I’m mightily pleased that agents can’t do it. It will avoid the need for umpteen threads on AA about appropriate levels of fee to be charged (and whether we should in fact charge, with those that do being treated as a pariah).

I'm still anticipating much the same work.

Most of it will be trawling through files to check the average earnings, then notifying the client that they should get a fifth of that. I'll be doing that anyway.

The actual claim wouldn't be much at all, Log on, tick the boxes, enter the bank details. Half an hour tops ?

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Replying to Wilson Philips:
Morph
By kevinringer
04th May 2020 14:08

Instead there will be umpteen threads on how much we are charging clients to hold their hands through the GG creation process. It's going to take much more time to handhold than it would if we agents could submit the claim.

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Replying to kevinringer:
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By Southwestbeancounter
04th May 2020 15:10

Yep! Without a doubt!

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