HMRC has published revised terms and conditions for using its online services. These terms and conditions sit across all of HMRC’s online services.
- Remove complicated numbering, rationalise duplicated content, and adopt the GOV.UK format, bringing the document into line with digital accessibility requirements.
- Make clear that individual taxpayers should never share their personal sign in credentials with anyone, including their agent.
- Clarify that agents should not ask for, or use, their clients’ personal sign in credentials.
HMRC is making these changes after identifying threats to the tax system that work by exploiting personal sign in credentials. It is asking agents to help protect taxpayers by not asking for or using their client’s HMRC sign in credentials to access a personal or business tax account. Sharing personal login credentials exposes taxpayers to a greater risk of fraud.
Publication of the revised terms and conditions is being accompanied by HMRC communications across social media and other channels, explaining the importance of not sharing credentials.
ICAEW has provided feedback to HMRC explaining that the lack of consistent functionality that allows agents to see and do what their clients can across all HMRC services can drive the use of customer credentials by some agents. Professional Conduct in Relation to Taxation (PCRT) Helpsheet A advises agents against using personal login credentials, but caveats that it may be acceptable in exceptional circumstances.
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