If you run your own business and don’t have the knowledge or time to deal with your tax affairs, you may wish to appoint an accountant to manage them for you. However, HMRC abides by a strict confidentiality policy, and will need your permission to discuss your records with someone else.
How do I authorise a tax agent or accountant?
64-8 is an HMRC form for ‘Authorising your Agent’. You will need to provide the details of your chosen agent, before signing and returning to HMRC.
Partners in a partnership will need to provide separate permission for their individual tax affairs, and those of the partnership.
You can download a form 64-8 online from the HMRC website. Alternatively, ask your accountant or tax adviser to use the authorisation service online.
Should I authorise an accountant with HMRC?
You may not be aware of any allowances, expenses or tax relief that you can claim to reduce your tax bill. The admin involved might also use up time you want to spend managing your business.
This is when you may consider an accountant. A professional tax adviser or accountant can sort out all aspects of your tax affairs, including completing and submitting your self assessment tax return.
As long as you complete and sign a form 64-8, HMRC can discuss your tax affairs with your chosen accountant.
Who will be responsible for my tax affairs?
You still retain responsibility for all information that is submitted to HMRC. Even if you appoint someone to manage your tax affairs, it’s your duty to check submissions are made properly. If your tax adviser misses a deadline, you will receive the late filing penalty no matter whose fault it is!
What happens after I authorise an agent?
Once HMRC has received a signed form 64-8 giving your permission for an accountant or tax adviser to handle your tax affairs, letters and forms may be sent directly to HMRC rather than yourself.
There may be occasions where HMRC has to issue notification to yourself and your agent. For instance, HMRC will send correspondence regarding VAT and tax credits direct to you rather than your agent.
However, the agent will be able to sort out specific matters on your behalf, as long as a form 64-8 has been submitted.
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