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Xero VAT & Government Gateway Code

Procedure when setting up/assisting in running Xero for client

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Can anyone help me  with this query. Would it be normal practice to ask client for Government Gateway Code when setting up Xero for a client? I am in process of retiring and assisting clients in finding new accountants and so being asked questions. The prospective accountants have not yet been appointed but are asking for the GGC. Would not it be possible to set up the software and involve the client at the stage the GGC is need to set up the VAT return facility? I am unhappy at client providing GGC. It is a bit premature as I am about to prepare figures for March Quarter and would not want any one interfering till that return submitted

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By SimonStone
31st Mar 2022 22:08

No, you don’t need the client Gateway details to set up Xero.

To file MTD through Xero you have two options. Either get authority from the client in the usual way on your Agent account and then connect your own Xero login to your Gateway log in to file VAT on their behalf.

Or, invite the client to use Xero and then they can file the VAT returns themselves using their own Gateway.

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Replying to SimonStone:
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By CJaneH
01st Apr 2022 16:21

Thanks for your response

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By DKB-Sheffield
01st Apr 2022 00:39

Asking for Gvt Gateway details before engagement? As the new (prospective) client I'd be concerned enough refuse. As the outgoing accountant I'd refuse - point blank - they're simply not your details to give!

I do make it easy to refuse though. I do not store, retain, or memorise any client Gateway details. If I (very rarely) need them (e.g. for the example given - to set up software for a client's own VAT submissions where they unable to set it up themselves), I contact the client and either screen share or talk them through the process.

Clients are aware I do not have these codes. They are told to save them securely. If they lose them, I'll assist in their retrieval. But, I never retain them!

There 2 reasons for this... (1) I have enough codes already, (2) That is what agent authority, and the agent login, is for.

I have experienced issues in the past couple of years - mainly with all singing, all dancing, online accounting services... These include;

- Retaining access to client GG after disengagement AND my agent appointment (it came to light when they called the client to discuss the CT liability from the return that I had filed!)
- Requesting clearance (inc. payroll records, VAT records, SA details and CT info) and receiving a 'simple' response giving all GG IDs and passwords with the direction "it's all available here"
- Losing a client to one of the aforementioned and being asked for SA GG credentials. When I said I couldn't provide them, I was given short shrift saying they wouldn't be able to file the SATR and would be advising the ex-client to pursue a complaint against me!

What I fail to understand is, if sending an email with an unencrypted, unprotected ('passworded') attachment is a potential breach of GDPR, how is it acceptable to store, and use, a client's personal login and password (let alone email them without being requested - and without the client's specific authorisation)? Furthermore, using a client's personal login for submissions is - effectively - filing whilst purporting to be the client (like using their bank access details to make a payment, sending an email from their account, or signing their name on a letter).

Finally, I am not suggesting any of this applies to the new accountant. If the client wishes to take the risk and provide an unengaged accountant with their GG details - so be it. However, under no circumstances would I provide a third party with any personal access details for any client (phone pin, door access code, mother's maiden name, OR GG details) even if the client has given express written and signed authority!

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Replying to DKB-Sheffield:
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By CJaneH
01st Apr 2022 16:23

Thanks for your detailed response and confirming my thoughts.

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