Q How does an agent get started?
You need to tell the Revenue that you are an agent. You log on to the Revenue website (www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk) and click in the relevant place to say you want to register as an agent. You need to provide some basic details and you are then given an agent reference number. Armed with this you must then log on to the Government Gateway at www.gateway.gov.uk and enrol for self-assessment returns.
Once you have completed this, you will be sent by post your government agent identifier. You are now set up.
Q What do my clients have to do?
A The big problem has been that your clients also needed to register at the Government Gateway before you could act. However, this process is changing in November and should be more straightforward as it will use the 64-8 form.
Where the 64-8 has been submitted, these details will be uploaded onto the Revenue’s computer system and an agent will be automatically linked with his client’s records.
Q So what should I do now?
A Many agents will want to wait until the 64-8 authorisation process is up and running. Realistically, most agents might first consider using this service for 2001/02 tax returns. The clear message is those who wish to use the internet service should ensure now that all 64-8 forms are signed and submitted to the Revenue.
Q When did it become available?
A Agents have been able to file self assessment returns for clients with effect from 20 August 2001.
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