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Taxfiler - problems linking to HMRC

HMRC checks on ID make it difficult and in some cases impossible to link data to Taxfiler

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We use Taxfiler (now IRIS) to file SA and CT tax returns.  We used to pay £18 a month, but since Iris bought it out it is now £78 a month.  Part of the software provides a link to HMRC where data such as p60 amounts can be downloaded.  This is ideal because it saves the grief of explaining to a client what a P60 is! However, in order to activate the link you have to go through HMRC ID checks, you just know this is going to be painful! So, all you have to do is log on to your agent account, (which in itself proves your ID using two factor authenication), and then you have to answer a few questions.  You are given three options of which you need to complete two, the options are: UK Passport, Credit reference agency, or Northern Ireland Driving Licence.  So for most of us that leaves the first two! and if we don't have a passport (and many have lapsed during lockdown) you can't complete the ID check and therefore you can't use the link.  Taxfiler don't want to know - it is an HMRC requirement, and HMRC, well you can guess that one. Anyone got any thoughts?

Replies (14)

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By sarahg
21st Oct 2021 11:31

When I did it I could also be verified from my last payslip

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By colinstewart
21st Oct 2021 11:58

You are indeed correct, but that option no longer exists!

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Replying to colinstewart:
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By sarahg
21st Oct 2021 12:30

That's strange, they must have changed it very recently, as I did it a couple of weeks ago

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By Leywood
21st Oct 2021 12:53

Its been mentioned on here a few times.

If I were you I would write to your MP and ask them to pass on to the minister in charge of the utter shambles. Ive had some luck recently doing it this way, on an unrelated matter.

The NI driving licence position is crazy. Its about time they had this sorted.

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By AdamMurphy
21st Oct 2021 12:55

Try it several times as I found with a client, registering for a CGT account, the questions changed each time she tried to register (first time same as yours above). Eventually she got questions she COULD answer!

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By Southwestbeancounter
21st Oct 2021 15:01

An acquaintance had this issue and despite the questions changing slightly each time he logged on, he didn't have the relevant criteria.

He got round it by using the credentials of the company secretary and that worked just fine!

This question has also cropped up not so long ago on AW and someone else just used the details of an employee in the office and that worked fine too - just goes to prove what a ridiculous system it is!! I think it has to be re-set every 18 months or so on Taxfiler from memory...…..

Good luck!

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By Andy556
21st Oct 2021 15:57

I've not been able to access it for over a year now and nothing is being done about it by anyone. I've just accepted I can't use it for now

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By taxwizard
21st Oct 2021 21:58

Yes I can understand took me ages to go pass through the checks. I think I must have tried at least 10 times as I could not remember when I took out a HP agreement or opened a bank account

Though it would link to HMRC data but would not pull through Salary and Tax information. Taxfiler said it was a HMRC issue as salary and tax data is only available when HMRC complete the PAYE reconciliation which starts on 6th June per night and is completed end of September. Didn't really understand what they were going on about.

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By colinstewart
22nd Oct 2021 08:22

Well it is good to know that I am not alone on this one. I think the thing that gets me is that Taxfiler are happy to take the money of us, but don't really want to get involved in supporting their customers. They must be big enough to go to HMRC and say 'now look, it's like this...' and gets some results. We have all seen the arrogance of the HMRC in spades this week so why would they listen to anyone who they can just ignore. The whole thing makes far more sense if you remember that the HMRC Mission Statement is 'We just don't care!'.

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By Winnie Wiggleroom
22nd Oct 2021 09:27

We have this issue, last time we got around it by using the office junior details but I am really sick of it now so I have asked the AAM team to look into it.

I did try calling the online services, first call they cut me off, second call they told me to call the SA helpline!

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By kdbr
25th Oct 2021 14:16

Same issue here, passport expired.

The response from HMRC:
"To access the online service, it is mandatory for customers to verify their identity by answering verification questions from 2 identity sources.

As you do not meet the current verification criteria, you cannot access the online account via Government Gateway."

Thank you and goodnight - so looking forward to MTD. They tell you it is possible to ID through SA record, but it never comes up as an option on screen. Managed to get round it eventually for another purpose earlier in the year, but it took weeks of angst, hours on the phone, until eventually someone who knew what they were doing took over and was very helpful. But back to banging head off brick wall again.

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By bosclibby
27th Oct 2021 10:13

Had same issues - not for Taxfiler but for VAT Filer within TaxCalc
It was a complete pain in the [***] and having lost the will to live on 3-4 occasions in the end I had to trawl all my personal data to find out when I last opened a bank a/c, took out a phone contract, took out a credit card etc. More by luck than judgement in the end I succeeded.
Utterly ridiculous when they should be able to do this via passport and driving licence (not just an NI version!)
This has to be made simpler before MTD for Income Tax becomes live

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By Jamesm2705
27th Oct 2021 11:03

I had the same problem a while ago. At some point my Taxfiler/HMRC link changed to VAT only so I attempted to go though security to update the connection.
We never holiday overseas for various reasons and so not having a passport, I could only answer questions relating to my credit history and therefore could not successfully reconnect to HMRC.
I contacted Taxfiler support and HMRC online services but neither could help and each referred me to the other.
In the end I bit the bullet and bought a passport just to use my tax software. Massive flaw in the system. (Works fine now though).

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By Winnie Wiggleroom
25th Nov 2021 16:47

For those that might still be interested the Agent Manager eventually got back to me - you really could not make this up so I will post below the email they sent and you can draw your own conclusions! (the only mention I made to VAT was that we were able to connect to VAT only services but not the rest)

Thank you for using our Agent Account Manager Issue Resolution service.

My contact within the department has advised the following

I have checked the reference number and it relates to VAT, I’d suggest he calls the VAT helpline on:

0300 200 3700 or outside of the uk+44 2920 501 261

Opening times:
Our phone line opening hours are:

Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm

Closed on weekends and bank holidays.

As I am unable to progress your issue further, I am now closing this issue.

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