Confusion over HMRC account registrations hampers first digital VAT submissions

Confusion over HMRC account registrations hampers first digital VAT submissions | Confusion over HMRC account registrations hampers first digital VAT submissions
By James Nadal | 8th July 2019 | 10 min read

The first quarterly submission deadline for MTD for VAT is rushing towards us.

And as it does, I am continuing to hear the same story about the biggest problem that appears to be blighting accountants.

What’s the problem?

The registration element of the process appears to be causing the most difficulty and confusion for accountants. Perhaps that’s because there are two sets of registration:

• An agent services account

• Registering individual businesses for MTD

Accountants seem somewhat baffled about where they should be going to carry out the necessary actions, as well as what order to do them.

Deadline looms

The first quarter being complete, the first submissions have been possible from 30 June. With the 7 August deadline arriving fast, I want to emphasise to customers that now is the time to get this registration sorted, if you haven’t already.

Don’t worry. If you’re among those having trouble, help is at hand.

Have you seen our simple to follow set up guide? This is the best way for you to understand what you need to do.

Common questions

Before looking at that in more detail though, I want to draw your attention to the most frequently asked questions from customers at the recent Accountex in relation to this subject. These should help clear up some of the confusion around registering accounts:

1. Now that MTD for VAT is mandatory, will all businesses over the VAT threshold be automatically signed up to MTD?

 No. Businesses have to be signed up to the service so that their records can be migrated in the HMRC systems. There will be no wholesale migration from HMRC.

2. Can agents sign clients up to MTD in bulk?

No. Agents must follow all steps for registering their clients and this must be done one client at a time.

3. Why is my new Agent Services Account not showing a list of all my clients?

The new Agents Services Account doesn’t currently show a list of clients. So, even if you have correctly mapped over all your existing credentials to this new account and client relationships are now mapped over, the ASA will not show a list of those clients.

What do I need to do to register accounts?

We’d recommend reading our guide to get the full lowdown. It contains a detailed 3 step process. However, here’s a precis:

1) Registering on the HMRC Website

Agents (anyone representing a number of clients) must register for an agents services account. This is done via a web journey on the GOV. Go HERE:

2) Connecting your Agent Services Account with your client relationships

Once you have your new account you will be able to link your existing client relationships for VAT to these new credentials. Again, it will not remove the client authorisation from your existing credentials. This mapping process is carried out in the same government web screens and is currently not possible via software.

3) Registering clients for Making Tax Digital

Each business will need to register for MTD. This is also done via government web pages. Your clients can register themselves for MTD for VAT or you can register them. But the process must be completed one client at a time because their personal information must be entered as part of the registration.

End in sight

Yes, it may seem a somewhat irksome prospect to complete these steps. But once you’ve got past this stage, the rest of the process should be straight forward.

Have you read the guide and still want more explanation or support? Speak to our MTD team. Email

Further reading

Also, check out HMRC's latest MTD help pages.