There has been a lot of focus on how individuals and businesses can get ready for Making Tax Digital, but how do agents get involved in the process?
What is an agent services account?
If tax agents wish to access certain HMRC online services on behalf of their clients, such as the Making Tax Digital pilot scheme for income tax and VAT, then they will have to create an agent services account.
The agent services account can only access new HMRC online services. This means that agents wishing to access existing HMRC services (for example, VAT related matters for a client that is not in the Making Tax Digital scheme) should continue to use the government gateway.
Creating an account
One notable feature of the agent services account is that there should only be one account per firm. So the person who is responsible for the firm’s tax or administrative matters should set up the account, and have their firm’s Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) and the postcode associated with that UTR to hand when doing so.
Further information on how to create an agent services account is provided on HMRC’s website.
Although the MTD scheme is still in its pilot phase, any agents with clients that will be impacted by the mandate should look to set up an agent services account as part of their preparations, ideally before the scheme’s planned rollout in April 2019.