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HMRC to drop organisational IDA

29th Sep 2014
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AIA

HMRC has dropped the need for organisational identity assurance (IDA), it announced at a recent agent strategy meeting. 

The ICPA's Tony Margaritelli, who attended the meeting, said the Revenue revealed that the requirement to maintain a separate ID for practices within the emerging agent online self service (AOSS) environment was now off the agenda.

A Government Digital Service (GDS) spokesperson for the Cabinet Office confirmed that the GovUk Verify service, going live in October, will be "aimed at citizens, not the organisational identity", a spokesman confirmed.

"The government gateway will remain open for businesses and agents. HMRC services won't have organisational IDA. In terms of what they plan for the future of their services, they would be the best ones to comment on that," the GDS spokesperson added.

"However GovUk Verify will be focusing on citizens."

IDA is a new method of verifying the identity of agents, taxpayers and businesses wishing to file returns and make other online submissions using government systems. IDA would verify the identity of the user through verification processes operated by third parties to reduce online fraud.

The government was previously considering both IDA for individuals and for organisations. But it decided after testing that organisational IDA was too complicated to implement. The individual IDA initiative, however, remains a key part of HMRC's digital strategy for agents.

This means that practices and firms can carry on using their existing government gateway credentials. Before, it was thought they would need to have an IDA identity that would link to the individual records of their clients. 

"It makes gross good sense, as organisational IDA was always going to be a nightmare to get sorted. The bigger the practice, the more issues it could have involved," said Margaritelli, speaking to AccountingWEB's John Stokdyk at the ICPA annual conference last week (see video below). 

He added that there was one potential downside because firms would not be able to rely on IDA for client due diligence and money laundering checks. Without the organisational tie-up with individual IDAs, firms would have to go elsewhere for their AML checks, for example to the online ID services that have sprung up in recent years. 

TaxCalc's Steve Checkley, who provided an update on IDA at Accountex in May this year, had previously said that organisational IDA  would mean anti-money laundering checks would be automatically carried out. 

"It would mean HMRC effectively performed the anti money laundering check for users, as a third party will have to vet a client before allowing them to confirm the relationship within the Revenue’s system," he said. 

But Margaritelli said the government's decison was nevertheless a "sensible" step forward. 

"It is to date the first step coming from this agile testing, which shows they've looked, tested, it didn't function and they took it out," he added.

For a recent IDA update, take a look at this downloadable guide from TaxCalc.

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By Ian McTernan CTA
30th Sep 2014 11:43

Sense at last?

Wait, HMRC actually tested something, found it didn't work, and then dropped it?  must be a first!  Usually they carry on regardless...

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By Old Greying Accountant
30th Sep 2014 12:36

Does that mean ...

... they will conentrate on a proper dashboard for agents so we can see PAYE, CIS and VAT payments and credits etc?

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Replying to vtsoftware:
Tony Margaritelli, ICPA Chairman
By Tony Margaritelli
30th Sep 2014 12:54

Does this Mean

As part of the AOSS Agent Online Self Service yes Agents will have a proper dashboard where we can monitor the items you mention Paye, Cis, payments thereto etc. However, whilst we will be able to view them we will be unable to make any amendments thereto because Agents will follow quite a way behind the individual taxpayer or business. They have assured us that ultimately we will have the same functionality but when is frankly another matter altogether.

Tony Margaritelli - Chair ICPA 

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By johnjenkins
01st Oct 2014 16:18

We should

have had AOSS yonks ago.

Perhaps with all their new tasks forces HMRC need people to man them, so, just maybe, they are going to allow us to do their office admin.

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