Becoming your Tax Agent
Accountancy covers a lot of disciplines but as far as the HMRC is concerned, we are 'Tax Agents'. This has a specific meaning in law.
They will not communicate directly with us in either direction without your authority. Clearly we cannot create it unilaterally and it is important that you understand that it does not in itself impose any obligation upon you - it's not a contract of any sort.
Indeed for some clients, it just sits in the background and is used for the odd query; but of course for most, it is the essential key for end-of-year submissions, most typically self assessment and accounts...and all other communications and questions throughout the year.
It also gives us access to your online account with HMRC, which is a very powerful tool in terms of the efficiency of our service and the speed with which we can give you answers.
How does it work?
As long as we have your (or your company's) self assessment number ('UTR') and postcode, we can make the application online. This generates a password at HMRC, who then send it to you in the post within about ten days. They don't send anything by email - beware of scams.
You then send us the password by post or email; or give it to us over the 'phone. We will be authorised within a few hours of doing that.
If there is no UTR or if for any reason it cannot be matched to the postcode, there is a postal application form ('64-8') but this procedure takes a lot longer.