AOSS (Agent Online Self Serve) beta testing

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I was added to HMRC's beta testing of AOSS this morning. HMRC are pursuing a deliberately slow roll-out and, apparently, very few agents have so far been enrolled in the beta, so I thought I'd use this blog to keep others informed of how HMRC's latest tool is progressing.

At the moment, it's early days and the tool doesn't yet do too much. It only covers PAYE and, for those clients, it only shows the totals due and paid for each tax year. That is, of course, information that is only currently available to clients (or agents who use a client's login credentials) on the existing system, so it is already an improvement. I am told that it will shortly break down the yearly liabilities by month and that other taxes (starting with VAT) will be added later in the year.

I will add to this blog as and when HMRC roll out new features but, if anyone has any suggestions or comments that you'd like fed back to the AOSS team, feel free to let me know.

About Charlie Carne

Read my AccountingWEB articles here.

Sole practitioner, cloud advocate.

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29th Apr 2015 15:48

Really interesting - would love to keep an eye on this. Look forward to reading your resulting blog posts! 

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30th Apr 2015 12:27

Will do!

I have been told by HMRC that, as of this week, there are only 15 beta testers enrolled so far, with an additional 5 to be added each week. So the roll-out is even slower than I'd realised. It's good that HMRC are taking the time to (with luck) get it right and have not built an entire system before discovering that most of the accounting community hate it. I remember as long ago as last month when they rolled out gov.uk to everyone as a replacement for hmrc.gov.uk and how we all took to AWEB to show how much we loved that!

As I seem to have the fortune (or is misfortune?) to be in on the ground floor with this new system, please can readers tell me what they'd like to see from AOSS. I have no idea whether HMRC will listen to me (and, by extension, you), but I can at least feed back your comments.

What aspects of the current agent login do you like/dislike? We are told that AOSS will, in time, bring all of the features currently available via the client login (eg PAYE/VAT payments made) to the agents' dashboard; do you have a preference for which features should be prioritised?

Would it be useful if AOSS offered a link that 3rd party software could use to track (for example) how HMRC have allocated tax payments, so that your existing commercial software would know not just what the tax liability was, but also that HMRC have recorded it as received or that they have mis-allocated it to the wrong tax or period (eg due to the client using an incorrect reference when making payment)?

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30th Apr 2015 14:33

AOSS

When EYU's are submitted, these are currently simply added or subtracted against period 12. In other words the EYU values adjust the period 12 totals.

To aid reconciliation it would be much better if EYU's were recorded separately. I realise this is really a criticism of the current way RTI accounts for submissions and ideally RTI and AOSS needs to be changed to make agents life easier when trying to reconcile the dashboard.

 

 

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By RedFive
03rd May 2015 11:45

Beta

 

I'm a Beta tester too.

Looking forward to being on the pointy end of how this develops. Being able to see PAYE total paid / owed is certainly a step in the right direction. Small acorns etc etc.

 

 

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03rd May 2015 14:44

This can't come soon enough.

It has always baffled me why agents can’t see the full account details. I regularly check clients’ accounts but have one or two that won’t pass on their Gateway details.

For PAYE this is vital until HMRC introduce DD’s for RTI returns, like VAT. Clients make mistakes like forgetting a payment or, the favourite in the past couple of months, do not notice NIC are due towards the end of the year. I have one client who omitted a number from the reference and two payments when to HMRC suspense. He didn’t know, HMRC didn’t know and I only spotted it because I log into his account regularly. After 6 months one has been corrected but HMRC still to credit the other to his account.

As agents we are doing the work but haven’t been given all the tools.

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10th May 2015 12:53

You beat me to it Charlie!

I too have been asked to be a BETA tester and this was to be the subject of my blog this week.

With my hat on as Associate Editor of accweb I asked Chris Kelly ('Customer and Stakeholder Team' who contacted me) some questions about the trial which I will place on my blog FYI.

I have found being able to see the additional info a godsend but it will come as no surprise that I found errors and in questioning  found out why this has not been available before and how much detail will be present in the future.

 

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14th May 2015 22:36

Accountex

Brief update:

I met some of the AOSS team from HMRC at Accountex today. A nice bunch of people and they clearly want to work with accountants to make this product as useful as possible. To that end, they want to roll out the improvements slowly, so as to test everything thoroughly in stages. For that reason, I have no updates to report yet on the functionality, as that has not changed since my initial post above. I will post more as and when....

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30th May 2015 12:31

PAYE payments by direct debit

There have been no further updates to the AOSS platform, so I thought I'd look at another related issue: that of the pain-point of ensuring that clients pay the correct amount of PAYE, use the correct reference and pay on time.

I looked at the direct debit options for paying PAYE today and am disappointed that HMRC still haven't updated their systems to take payments automatically, based upon the figures submitted on the FPS. They have been capable of doing this for VAT for years, so why not for PAYE? HMRC only allow an individual DD to be manually created each month, which is utterly pointless and has no significant advantage over internet bank transfers.

Let's see if we can persuade HMRC to take automated monthly direct debits based upon figures submitted via FPS (as they do for VAT payments based upon the VAT return). If lots of people add a "thanks" to this post, I will feed that response back to HMRC (via my AOSS beta trial) as highly requested.

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31st May 2015 12:54

I can't understand

why this wasn't set up when RTI was introduced. It will prevent many errors and then HMRC will be able to concentrate on the problems that take so long to resolve at the moment.

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25th Jun 2015 16:24

AOSS update launched today

HMRC have today launched an update to the AOSS beta. It still only covers PAYE, but they have now added the facility to drill down on each tax year and then each month to see the breakdown of tax, ee NIC, er NIC, student loans, etc. and payments allocated. It's going slowly but it is getting better.

 

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29th Oct 2015 12:39

Big update to AOSS this week

HMRC have launched a major update to AOSS this week. Now, when you log in, as well as having full access to the PAYE records for your clients, there are links to CT, SA and VAT clients.

At the moment, clicking those links opens a new tab for that tax and you are presented with the existing pages for CT, SA and VAT (whereas the PAYE link keeps you within the new AOSS screens). I presume that the intention is to migrate those other taxes over to the AOSS platform in time. Nevertheless, havign access to all four of these taxes from a single login is a welcome improvement.

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16th Apr 2016 17:45

PAYE

Is HMRC updating its AOSS so that the agents can view the payments made by client towards the PAYE. you can only see this if you logged into AOSS from clients log in and it is really very time consuming and also everytime we have to ask client to provide their login information. it will be much easier if agents will be allowed to view all the payments made to HMRC under PAYE like other services.

They must consider including this feature in their AOSS.

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