The income record viewer (IRV) service for agents, which has been in private beta for some time, has now been rolled out to all. The service appears as a new option in the agent services account via the link ‘view a client’s income record’.
The service provides:
- pay and tax details;
- employment history; and
- tax codes (current year only).
The information available covers the current tax year as well as the previous four tax years.
The service can be used for clients in self assessment as well as those who are not. This makes it potentially more useful than the rather unreliable self assessment pre-population service available in some commercial software. The new income record draws the data from a different source, which means that the data is available earlier (ie, before the PAYE record is reconciled as part of HMRC’s annual process).
Before the service is used for the first time for a particular client, the agent needs to email the client an authorisation link, which the client needs to accept. This is a one-off process for each client that does not need to be repeated. However, it does involve the client having (or setting up) government gateway credentials.
ICAEW’s Tax Faculty says: “This is a significant first step towards giving agents access to view information in clients’ personal tax accounts. However, the information currently available is limited and does not, for example, give access to view clients’ national insurance history records.
“It is frustrating that the authorisation process won’t be accessible to some clients. As the information being disclosed is valuable to fraudsters, it is perhaps understandable that HMRC needs to take extra care to ensure that the taxpayer has authorised the disclosure. ICAEW continues to press HMRC for better, more streamlined authorisation processes for all HMRC services”.
The Tax Faculty would welcome feedback on the service. Please contact Caroline Miskin.
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