HMRC is upgrading its online access system in preparation for the agent online self serve (AOSS) regime it plans to launch next year, and has warned accountants they will no longer be able to log in to SA Online using clients’ details.
AOSS has been long in the making, but is now caught up in the personal tax account project instigated earlier this year. Individual taxpayers are now being invited to sign up for their PTAs using the GOV.UK Verify mechanism rather than the government gateway.
According to HMRC’s latest Agent Update, “The personal tax account isn’t currently designed for use by agents. We will be improving the service to provide agents access, until then you should not try to access it on behalf of your client.”
The ramifications for using this popular technique for accessing HMRC Online are dire: “If you log on to submit your clients return using your client’s credentials this can create security alerts which HMRC staff need to investigate. This can delay clients receiving their repayments.”
Most agents have their own HMRC Online IDs and have gone through the online client authorisation process that gives them access to HMRC’s services for agents. In advance of the new security regime, the department is urging agents who have not registered to do so before 31 December to avoid complications during January’s self assessment peak.
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