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Published: 01 Jun 2021 Update History

Edition 17 of HMRC’s MTD update for agents includes details of how the functionality of the agent services account is developing and includes screenshots of some of the available services. ICAEW’s Tax Faculty highlights what has changed.

In its latest MTD update for agents, HMRC confirms that it continues to develop the functionality in the agent services account, as well as making improvements to wording based on user research.

We are in a transitional period where some agent services are available through the older Agents Online Services (AOS) account and some through the Agent Services Account (ASA). Details of where the services can be found is available on gov.uk.

New services are all being made available through the ASA and it may be some years before all services are consolidated into that account.

The faculty recommends that agents familiarise themselves with their ASA as it now gives direct access to a number of services. For example, for Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT this includes:

  • history of payments and returns;
  • view the VAT registration certificate;
  • file a VAT return for a non-MTD client whose record has been transferred to the new database; and
  • deregister for VAT.
Problems signing in

If you encounter a problem signing into your ASA or the screens shown are not as expected, check that you are using the correct link, rather than a bookmarked link to the AOS, and the government gateway credentials issued when the account was created.

ASA agent contact details

The update includes screenshots of the screens that are presented when creating an ASA and providing the contact details for the firm. It also explains where these details can be viewed within the ASA once it has been created.

Very unhelpfully, it is not yet possible to update these details, either online or by phone. The faculty has asked HMRC when this functionality will be provided.

MTD ITSA

Also included in the update are screenshots of the agent viewer service which allows agents with clients in the MTD for income tax self assessment (MTD ITSA) pilot to manage their clients’ income tax. This includes a service to report income sources that are not available via MTD ITSA software.

Later in 2021, HMRC plans to deliver an improved MTD ITSA agent authorisation and sign-up service; details are provided in the update.

The criteria for a taxpayer to join the MTD ITSA pilot are listed on gov.uk but a more detailed version is available in screenshots of the agent sign-up screens included in the update. 

Agents should be aware that some clients who are not eligible to join the public beta may be able to join in private beta by contacting their software provider

The faculty would welcome feedback on the agent services account, please contact caroline.miskin@icaew.com.

HMRC’s MTD update for agents is not published on gov.uk; agents who would like to receive future editions should email makingtaxdigital.mailbox@hmrc.gov.uk.

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