Owner Kate Upcraft Consultancy Ltd
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Agents gain access to clients’ PAYE data

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Tax agents have finally been given limited access to their clients’ business tax accounts in order to view their clients’ PAYE payment and liability figures in real time.

19th Nov 2021
Owner Kate Upcraft Consultancy Ltd
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HMRC introduced a private beta service to view clients’ PAYE data in 2016, but until recently this service has been limited to tax agents with fewer than 200 employer clients.

This Autumn HMRC has been progressively inviting larger and larger agents (based on client numbers) to join the new service.

What’s on offer?

Agents will be able to view the same PAYE data as the client can see in their business tax account (if they access it), but this may not be the same data as HMRC contact centre staff can see.

Agents are offered the option to opt in to view clients’ PAYE payments and liabilities if:

  • The account that they have is one of an ‘administrator’ rather than assistant (or what is now called a ‘standard user') – this restriction may be removed in the future but only if HMRC can secure funding for the change
  • The agent is enrolled for PAYE online for agents

If the agent can opt-in they will only be able to see the PAYE liabilities and payments data for clients if:

  • HMRC has received an FBI2 and a 64-8 authorisation form; or
  • The agent has used Online Agent Authorisation to become authorised

HMRC had initially indicated that an FBI-2 alone was sufficient for clients to appear on the list but this now does not appear to be the case. Also, a form 64–8 on its own is not enough to allow online access.

Sadly 64-8 forms can be mislaid within the HMRC system, so clients may be missing from the list even if the agent has acted for them for many years. HMRC may be content to talk to the agent over the phone, which implies that there is a 64-8 on file, but still the system is apparently missing the 64-8.  

Guidance

HMRC has been unable to persuade GDS (body that writes gov.uk guidance) to prepare a user guide for the new business account viewing service.

The information that is displayed is taken from HMRC’s Enterprise Tax Management Platform (ETMP):

  • An annual statement for the client for a specific tax year:
    • The ‘charges’ column is the total from the FPS related to tax, NI, student loans and from the EPS the apprenticeship levy if applicable.
    • The ‘credits’ column is any recoveries in respect to CIS deductions suffered, statutory payments and employment allowance from the EPS.
    • The ‘charges’ minus ‘credits’ should equal the ‘payments’ column with the final column showing zero

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Replies (20)

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RLI
By lionofludesch
19th Nov 2021 18:26

OK - it's a start.

Thanks (0)
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By Paul Crowley
19th Nov 2021 18:58

I have had it for a couple of months
There was a thread on it demonstrating that HMRC chose to select businesses, over years, that were offered access and refused anyone who asked for that service.
At least 8 responders got it on the same day, all with less than 200 PAYE schemes.
I only have a poxy 55 or so that I operate, less than 85 as agent

Not quite the shining star but explains the dumb chase letters HMRC send out
No logic whatsoever on the payment allocation
Not yet seen any CIS deductions in credits

The HMRC opinion of GDPR is a load of shoemakers
I am still the appointed agent for a scheme even if it is closed. The scheme is not a legal person or a real person. It belongs to the business that is the employer, and the employer decides who the agent is.
HMRC need to understand that GDPR is different to data protection
Either way the 'scheme' did not sack me for reason of its non existence.

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By carnmores
20th Nov 2021 21:49

LOL

Thanks (1)
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By Not Anonymous
20th Nov 2021 16:36

"HMRC has been unable to persuade GDS (body that writes gov.uk guidance) to prepare a user guide for the new business account viewing service"

Which in reality would probably be a user guide initially written by HMRC and then dumbed down by GDS.

Such great co-operation between government departments. Not.

Thanks (2)
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By Paul Crowley
20th Nov 2021 19:33

"Ceased schemes and ceasing to act
When you cease a PAYE scheme reference, HMRC will now automatically remove this scheme from the agent’s dashboard.

It was useful to have access for a period of time post scheme cessation as the agent may be sorting out final PAYE liabilities. HMRC have said this is a new process to comply with GDPR.

If you stop acting for a particular client you should remove them from the client list."

Read it loads of times
But being as Aspie just cannot understand what

"When you cease a PAYE scheme reference" Actually means

Anyone able to help?

Thanks (0)
Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By Hugo Fair
20th Nov 2021 21:21

Cessation of a PAYE scheme occurs when an EPS is submitted with:
* 'Indicator this is the final submission because scheme ceased' is ticked;
* 'Date scheme ceased' has a value (from when you ceased as an employer and are paying your employees for the last time - so this is your final submission);
... and the last FPS included:
* ‘Date employment contract ended’ with that date (or earlier) for all employees.

Those actions will cause HMRC to treat the scheme as 'closed' which, for reasons best known to them (but that I can't see have anything to do with GDPR), will result in them immediately cutting-off access via the Agent's dashboard to the scheme and its history.

A typically pointless (and thoughtless) decision by HMRC.

Thanks (3)
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By Paul Crowley
21st Nov 2021 13:44

"HMRC introduced a private beta service to view clients’ PAYE data in 2016, but until recently this service has been limited to tax agents with fewer than 200 employer clients."

Interestingly the Taxation Magazine of 12 Nov 2021 suggested up to 2,000 clients (Page 4)
If I was a betting man I would go with Taxation having the typo.

https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/any-answers/cant-find-where-to-view-clie...

Thanks (0)
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By Self-Employed and Happy
22nd Nov 2021 11:27

I've had this for AGES, in fact I don't think I've ever not had it. All smaller Agents under 200 clients have had as far as I'm aware.

The most recent change I have seen is that I'm finally starting to get payments / liability information on MTD for VAT Agent Services Account (which is welcome).

Thanks (1)
Replying to Self-Employed and Happy:
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By spcm
22nd Nov 2021 12:38

I've also had the function for ages, from the beginning I think. But I also have a very small number of PAYE clients. What I haven't been able to see, which I have needed recently, is payment/liability information on my MTD for VAT Agent Services Account, particularly where there was a payment plan in place. I had to phone Debt Management, as they were continuing to take payments for the VAT Deferral Scheme despite the fact that the account was in credit!!

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Replying to Self-Employed and Happy:
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By Paul Crowley
22nd Nov 2021 14:08

I disagree
Only had it a couple of months just like several other responders

https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/any-answers/brand-new-agent-services-pay...

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Matthew Coates
By justme
22nd Nov 2021 12:33

I really don't understand this article. This has been the case for years now. At least, we've had access to all our clients PAYE & Liabilities for several years now. What's the big news all about? Frankly, it's shockingly bad. It's never accurate. Ring HMRC to deal with an issue and they'll have completely different figures to what's shown on the online account. The only thing that's ever accurate is the payments made by the client. You can rely on that, which can be helpful. The rest of it though, hardly worth even looking at. Like I say though, we've had access to all this for several years now.

Thanks (0)
Replying to justme:
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By Paul Crowley
22nd Nov 2021 14:01

I disagree
Only had it a couple of months just like several other responders

Thanks (0)
Replying to justme:
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By NYB
22nd Nov 2021 14:24

Totally with you. I've had it for many years. I dread looking. I have had inaccurate payments shown - only to find a couple weeks later its all changed.
It is totally beyond me that a payment can't be allocated correctly. AND you are supposed to put a monthly payment reference on each payment. That never works, The money is just put anywhere they fancy
I work on the premise that providing client has paid each month and its showing somewhere that will do. Worry at end of year if its still not self corrected

Thanks (1)
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By djn
22nd Nov 2021 13:42

'HMRC had initially indicated that an FBI-2 alone was sufficient for clients to appear on the list but this now does not appear to be the case. Also, a form 64–8 on its own is not enough to allow online access'.

This has always frustrated me. A 64-8 should be all that is needed in my opinon.

Thanks (0)
Replying to djn:
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By Paul Crowley
22nd Nov 2021 14:21

HMRC do not understand their own systems
See my thread
https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/any-answers/hmrc-paye-authorisation-show...

64-8 put client on limited
second 64-8 put client on full
Same client two weeks apart

Thanks (0)
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By North East Accountant
22nd Nov 2021 13:48

Well RTI did only start 8 years ago so it's great that HMRC have got round to this now.

Thanks (4)
By SteveHa
22nd Nov 2021 14:39

But there is so much wrong with this.

Quote:
If the agent can opt-in they will only be able to see the PAYE liabilities and payments data for clients if:

HMRC has received an FBI2 and a 64-8 authorisation form; or
The agent has used Online Agent Authorisation to become authorised

Why - surely an authorisation is an authorisation, rather than introducing more layers of unnecessary bureaucracy.

Quote:
Agents will be able to view the same PAYE data as the client can see in their business tax account (if they access it), but this may not be the same data as HMRC contact centre staff can see.

Why - it won't help when trying to resolve issues with HMRC, then, will it.

Quote:
HMRC has been unable to persuade GDS (body that writes gov.uk guidance) to prepare a user guide for the new business account viewing service.

So notwithstanding that it doesn't actually do what it should do, HMRC don't want to tell anyone how, anyway.

Quote:
When you cease a PAYE scheme reference, HMRC will now automatically remove this scheme from the agent’s dashboard.

It was useful to have access for a period of time post scheme cessation as the agent may be sorting out final PAYE liabilities. HMRC have said this is a new process to comply with GDPR

I have never heard such a load of cohones in my life. If the agent was authorised before the scheme ceased, then they remain authorised for legacy issues. What in hell's name does GDPR have to do with it?

Thanks (3)
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By Paul Crowley
22nd Nov 2021 18:40

"You cannot access this client’s liabilities and payments statements as you are only authorised with form FBI2.

You can still use all your usual HMRC online services to manage your client’s tax affairs.

Get full access
If you want to view this client’s statements you can apply online for full authorisation. You will get the same level of authorisation as returning both forms 64-8 and FBI2.

Before you apply, ask your client if any other agent is currently authorised to do their PAYE. Only one agent can have full authorisation at a time, and by applying you will remove any other authorised agent."

From HMRC
On line is supposed to be all that is needed
This directs to the online request that results in a letter

Thanks (0)
Dan Heelan
By danheelan
23rd Nov 2021 17:35

I thought this odd that everyone didn't have access, but then I remember I *think* I do remember signing up for a Beta 'back in the day'

D

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By AndrewV12
24th Nov 2021 10:24

IT COULD BE VERY HELPFUL, LETS NOT KNOCK IT ........TO MUCH.

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