What do you need an Agent Services Account for?

I don't think I've ever had an "Agent Services Account" in forty years - do I need one now?

Didn't find your answer?

I hadn't really clocked that there is a seperate thing called an "Agent Services Account" which seems to be different from an "Agent Services Dashboard" which is what I have always used and shows all my agent codes and clients. This has only become apparent now because I want to get authorised by a new VAT Registered client to complete their VAT Returns and the system has now changed so that "VAT for Agents" has disappeared from the Agent Services Dashboard. I am told I can now only get authorised via the Agent Services Account which, as far as I know, I don't have. So I assume I somehow have to register for one of these new-fangled accounts?

As far as I can see the only reason to have an Agent Services Account is so I can get authorised to act as agent for VAT matters. Is that correct or is there some other reason(s) why one might be useful.

I do have a seperate Business Tax Account for my company's Corporation Tax and MLR requirements but as far as I know that is nothing to do with an Agent Services Account.

Replies (28)

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By Jo Nokes
08th Apr 2024 13:32

You’ve led a charmed life, with not one client asking you to file their vat returns. IIRC, this new agent account was introduced as part of the great, let’s go digital movement, with MTD in view. I think Vat was the only tax that was migrated to the new platform. I’m sure other members will have a better recall than me

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By Paul Crowley
08th Apr 2024 13:55

Only use it for VAT authorisation
Badly designed and total carp compared to the old one.

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
DougScott
By Dougscott
08th Apr 2024 14:18

Paul Crowley wrote:

Only use it for VAT authorisation
Badly designed and total carp compared to the old one.

So if I do have to register for an ASA what happens to my AS Dashboard? Can I still use it or will it dissappear into the ether?

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Replying to Dougscott:
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By SXGuy
08th Apr 2024 14:29

You'll have and use both.

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Replying to SXGuy:
Pile of Stones
By Beach Accountancy
11th Apr 2024 17:25

But with two separate logins. Grrrrr!

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By SteveHa
08th Apr 2024 14:21

CGT is also via the ASA.

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Replying to SteveHa:
DougScott
By Dougscott
08th Apr 2024 14:28

SteveHa wrote:

CGT is also via the ASA.

Useful to know as one of my SA clients might soon have a CGT event. Do I have to do yet another authorisation for her to do her CGT????

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Replying to Dougscott:
By SteveHa
08th Apr 2024 15:10

Afraid so, and she will have to set up the property account first before you even get a look in.

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Replying to SteveHa:
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By Tom+Cross
08th Apr 2024 15:32

Yes, the Civil Service just love to make their "taxpayers", sorry customers, jump through a variety of hoops, none of which they understand, so they reach for the telephone, to ask their accountant, sorry agent, to guide them through it.
Welcome to the digital age, where the niceties of respect and common sense, no longer exist. Welcome to the world of Sir Harra, and his like. It's like "The Omen" only much more scary.

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Replying to Dougscott:
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By Geoff56
08th Apr 2024 17:29

You can report report CGT on property disposals via a paper return. I've done all mine this way.

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Replying to Geoff56:
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By Paul Crowley
08th Apr 2024 17:36

Same here, all bar two
The first ne wasted 2 peoples time for an entire morning.

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
DougScott
By Dougscott
08th Apr 2024 18:25

I think IT geeks forget that the whole point of IT is supposed to be to save time and make things more efficient.

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By claudialowe
08th Apr 2024 14:23

You will end up with 2 - VAT on one, and everything else on the old one.

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By AdamJones82
08th Apr 2024 14:32

Primarily designed for all-singing all-new bells and whistles MTD for VAT system.

Oh, wait, we still just submit box 1-9 figures like before. Money well spent (insert roll eyes emoji)

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Replying to AdamJones82:
DougScott
By Dougscott
08th Apr 2024 15:39

AdamJones82 wrote:

Primarily designed for all-singing all-new bells and whistles MTD for VAT system.

Oh, wait, we still just submit box 1-9 figures like before. Money well spent (insert roll eyes emoji)

Out of interest can you submit Boxes 1-9 directly through the Agent Services Account on behalf of your client or does the client need to have software of some sort like Quickbooks to submit the VAT Return. I merely ask because this client has few transactions and is on the Flat Rate Scheme so in my mind would be wasting money on software.

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Replying to Dougscott:
Pile of Stones
By Beach Accountancy
11th Apr 2024 17:26

Client needs to have software.

But in reality this can be Excel with free bridging software.

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Replying to Dougscott:
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By Homeworker
09th May 2024 18:12

Yes you can, and must, if you have a client with exemption from MTD for VAT, as I do. Otherwise you must use software to file.
My client is in his 80s, with commercial lettings (he's a retired dentist!) and I originally applied for exemption from MTD for VAT when it was due to start, as he keeps all of his records on paper and cannot use software. They refused on the grounds that I was able to file the returns for him (which kind of defeats the requirement of having the primary records kept digitally doesn't it?) but he wrote to them himself and they gave in.
I used to keep his records on spreadsheet - didn't want to get involved with bridging software - but with MTD for IT looming I have actually transferred it all to software now, as I can't face trying to get exemption again.

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Replying to Homeworker:
Morph
By kevinringer
10th May 2024 09:42

I have several dozen clients for whom I have obtained exemption from MTD VAT on the grounds of digital exclusion. I'm in a rural part of Wales and have been granted exemption on the grounds of remoteness of location and age of taxpayers. If HMRC have agreed a taxpayer is exemption from MTD VAT on the grounds of digital exclusion, I don't see how HMRC could argue that same taxpayer is not digitally excluded from MTD ITSA given MTD ITSA is even more digitally involved than MTD VAT. These clients maintain their VAT themselves, phone me with their boxes 1 to 9 figures, I log into the ASA and input the figures directly into the VAT return in the ASA.

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By Duggimon
08th Apr 2024 14:32

CGT on residential property, all trust matters, VAT under MTD, and Income Records (non-SA clients) are all exclusively under the ASA. If you don't count my tax software using the old login on the back end I think my use of the two accounts is about 50/50 these days.

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By Charlie Carne
10th Apr 2024 14:06

I use my Agent Services Account but I've not heard of an Agent Services Dashboard; what is that? According to https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/tax/hmrc-policy/hmrc-trials-agent-servic..., the dashboard simply tells you how efficient HMRC are and is not giving you client-specific information. @Dougscott - what do you do on the dashboard?

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Replying to charliecarne:
By Charlie Carne
10th Apr 2024 16:09

I think I've worked out what you mean and it's due to HMRC using confusing terms. I can log into two different HMRC portals at https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/gg/sign-in. When I go to that URL, it automatically redirects me to https://www.access.service.gov.uk/login/signin/creds but, if I enter that latter URL as a starting point, it doesn't work as I get a warning message "You cannot access the service from this page". (This daft redirection issue is similar to an issue I commented on yesterday for a Facebook post regarding problems logging into elements.iris.co.uk vs using www.elements.iris.co.uk or tax.elements.iris.co.uk.)

Having got to that page, I then have a choice of two Government Gateway ID's to use. One of them takes me to the portal that I have used for years that now seems to be called "Agent services dashboard" (I'd not previously spotted that name being used) and this page lists each tax service (CT, PAYE, SA, VAT, CIS) and, when I click on one of them, I can view a list of all my clients for that tax. This is clearly the page that @Dougscott is referring to and is the page you need for all taxes other than VAT.

If I had used my second Government Gateway ID at the login page, it takes me to the relatively new portal that was created for MTD for VAT and the page is headed "Welcome to your agent services account". This page is currently used for VAT clients (as all are now under MTD) and will be used (I believe) for MTD for ITSA clients, once we move any ITSA clients over to MTD. From here, you cannot list your clients (as you can in the other portal) but, instead, you have to enter the VAT number of the client you wish to access and it then brings up their data. But this is the only portal from where you can access client VAT data.

There is soon to be a third portal which will (we are told) supersede all others, using the new GOV.UK One Login at https://www.gov.uk/using-your-gov-uk-one-login but that's not live for agents yet.

Thanks (4)
Replying to charliecarne:
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By Software Seeker
11th Apr 2024 11:30

Great summary. Gee, I'm really looking forward to the THIRD portal. (I also think it was a BRILLIANT idea not to have a list of clients on the ASA, as it's SO helpful not being able to see who is and who isn't authorised).

Thanks (5)
Replying to Software Seeker:
Grace Heathfield
By Grace Mock
11th Apr 2024 12:33

Isn't that last bit absurd? I want to scream every time I have to look up the reference to type in. And then it asks you to confirm that's who you want AARRRGGHHHH!!

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Replying to Hut15:
Pile of Stones
By Beach Accountancy
11th Apr 2024 17:29

My retirement date: some time in 2034
Date they fix the ASA: 1 day after I've retired

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Replying to Beach Accountancy:
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By D V Fields
09th May 2024 19:38

What is your optimism based on for this date?

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Replying to charliecarne:
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By JD
10th May 2024 11:14

With tongue in cheek - Do you happen to know if accountants will be required to migrate HMRC data again, into this third portal?

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Morph
By kevinringer
12th Apr 2024 07:22

ASA was first required for the Trust Registration Service, then MTD VAT, then CGT and more recently Income Record Viewer. If MTD ITSA ever happens (doubtful), then ASA will be for that too. If you do any of these you'll have to have a ASA. Everything else will remain in the "legacy" agent account: SA, CT, employer's PAYE/CIS. The ASA requires a different user ID to the old agent account. As with all HMRC software, the functionality of the new ASA is inferior compared to the legacy agent account. Why didn't HMRC merely add the new services (TRS, MTD VAT, CGT and IRV) to the old account? These new services are on a different HMRC system (ETMP compared to the mainframe that had been used for VAT for the last 50 years). HMRC said that agents needed a new login to access these, thus the ASA. But businesses had their VAT account switched to the new ETMP and kept their existing login. I reckon HMRC could have put the new services on the old account if HMRC was so minded. A good example of when HMRC did do this, and at very short notice, was CJRS. So where there's a HMRC-will, there's a HMRC-way.

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By keithyates
17th Apr 2024 10:19

I'm glad this isn't just me. I logged into what I thought was our agent services account yesterday only to discover everything had disappeared ! Spent all morning waiting on the phone to speak to someone, got nowhere apart from being directed to the wrong helpline, accidentally strayed onto another login page and there it all is, magic !

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