VAT agent authorisation

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Have a client that is a farmer doesn't use a computer, email etc and we need to get authorised as there agent.

Followed guidance from the above article which stated 

"Clients who are digitally excluded and unable to accept the digital handshake themselves can contact the relevant HMRC helpline who will make a referral to a specialised team. A member of this team will then contact the customer, confirm their identity, go through the consent wording and authorise the agent on their behalf. The agent needs to have set the client up on their ASA and generated the authorisation link in advance of this call."

We generated the link and the client called HMRC VAT helpline whilst in our office, we made first phone call waited 45 minutes on hold and once advisor said hello they hung up. Next advisor client done security and client explained they where looking to set up accountant for VAT but doesn't use computers etc the advisor said VAT has been submitted online since 2019, client advised that his accountant would be doing the returns but needs authorisied to do so, agent still kept repeating about 2019 which is irrelevant to what he is asking for , the advisor then proceeded to belittle our client asking did they have a email account which he said no and they asked how do you run your business in a condensing tone and how did your accountant send the client the authorisation handshake link, the client didn't even know what to say, the advisor then said "any wonder the first advisor hung up on you".

We took the phone off the client and advised that they are bang out of order and that we followed procuedure above by generating the link before the call so that the client could have help, asked for the agents details which they refused and cold transferred us to someone else, next advisor advised to send a letter.


Any idea how to do this without creating a goverment gateaway?

Replies (2)

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By claudialowe
17th Apr 2024 16:35

No help, sorry - but that is shocking behaviour. I wonder whether a call to the Agent maintainer might help, but I would certainly complain to everyone from Sir Jim downwards, and copy my MP in on every piece of correspondence.

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By rmillaree
18th Apr 2024 09:26

shocking at every level

just to be clear here did you concentrate on spelling out then specific guidance that says you need a calback from the specific relevant team and that this is specific digitally excluded case ?

is it possible perhaps ?this staff member thought you wanted them to action something that is beyond what they can do when all they needed to do was pass meeage to correct section.

what is clear to me is that if you NEED to speak to that specific department and thats an automatic request you dont want to get bogged down in detail of trying to explain anything to the advisor whose only job is to find their guidance that tells them how to request that callback. Must admit i havent had to do one of these so hard to see how it has gone so tragically wrong !!

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