Dealing with HMRC – guidance

Dedicated helplines and contacts for tax agents

Find out how to contact HMRC to get help and support.

Overview

There are a number of ways agents and advisers can contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for transactions or to get help and support.

In most cases, you can contact HMRC by using the HMRC Online Services, by phone and in writing. In some cases you can also email your queries.

If your client has formally authorised you to act on their behalf you can save time by using the Agent Dedicated or Priority Lines to contact HMRC about their:

  • personal Self Assessment tax affairs
  • partnership matters
  • PAYE (Pay As You Earn) for individuals (not employers)
  • tax credit claims

This guide will show you how to perform the transaction you require, get the information you need, or find the quickest contact route if you need to get in touch with HMRC for more detailed queries. It also covers the benefits and availability of the Agent Priority and Dedicated Lines.

Personal Self Assessment or PAYE for individuals

If you’re dealing with a client’s personal tax affairs, such as Self Assessment for individuals or partnerships or individuals’ PAYE (Pay As You Earn) matters, you can:

  • use HMRC’s Online Services for routine transactions (such as changing contact details, making payments or checking refunds)
  • contact HMRC by phone
  • contact HMRC in writing through the post

Using online services

For clients who are in Self Assessment, you can:

  • see your clients’ statements online
  • view their tax liabilities and the payments they’ve made
  • make claims to reduce their payments on account
  • change your client contact details online
  • use the secure email service to send HMRC queries and get replies

You need to be formally authorised by your client and have registered with the Self Assessment for Agents online service to do this.

Register for the Self Assessment for Agents online service

If your query is more complex or concerns a PAYE-related matter for an individual client, you can check the guidance on GOV.UK.

Self Assessment

Income Tax

PAYE for employers

If you can’t find the answer on the GOV.UK website, you can call the Contact Centre that covers your client’s affairs or write to HMRC - see the sections below on how to do this.

Telling HMRC about client changes of circumstances via email

If your client is an individual under PAYE and changes their name or address, you can let HMRC know about the changes via email.

Email your client’s change of circumstances details if they are individuals under PAYE

Contacting HMRC by post

You can write to HMRC at the postal address shown on the most recent correspondence you have received from them. If HMRC hasn’t written to you or your client recently, you can get the address for personal Self Assessment or PAYE for individuals queries.

Letter headings

HMRC has identified the most common Self Assessment and PAYE queries and created a list of headings that you can use when sending letters to them about your clients’ affairs - to help improve the time is takes to process your query.

Self Assessment and PAYE letter headings for agents

When you can expect to get a reply

You can find out when to expect a reply to a query or request you’ve sent to HMRC by using the ‘Where’s my reply’ tool. Please note: this tool covers some of the basic queries that are most popular with HMRC’s customers, but there are plans to develop the tool to include more topics.

Use the ‘Where’s my reply’ tool

Agent Dedicated and Priority Lines

Personal Self Assessment or PAYE for individuals queries

You can call the Agent Dedicated Line to deal with taxpayer-specific queries as long as your client has formally authorised you to act on their behalf.

The Agent Dedicated Line can’t help you if you’re calling about employer queries. You must use the dedicated helplines for employers or Construction Industry Scheme.

By phone you can update or discuss your client’s:

  • personal details
  • employment details
  • personal allowances
  • expenses
  • payment notifications
  • notifications of benefits in kind, other earnings or income
  • amendments to Self Assessment tax returns
  • request for repayments, reduce payments on account or collection of tax payable through a PAYE code

It’s a good idea to use this helpline instead of the general number as it provides tax agents and advisers with a full and fast service.

Contact HMRC - for enquiries other than Self Assessment and Income Tax for individuals

When you call the Agent Dedicated Line, your call will be:

  • given priority and answered faster
  • put through to an adviser who has at least 12 months’ experience
  • transferred to technicians if necessary to ensure your query is answered wherever possible during your first call

Remember that this service is only for agents that have been authorised by a client to act on their behalf. If HMRC cannot verify that you are formally authorised to speak to them on your client’s behalf, they will not be able to proceed with the call. For this reason, it’s important that you don’t give this number to your clients.

While HMRC can handle most general business, there are limits and specific exclusions to what they can do by phone.

Debt Management and Banking (DMB) Agent Dedicated Line

This helpline is intended for the sole use of agents with queries about DMB - and you can use it to get a priority service.

The telephone number is: 0300 200 3887.

Opening hours: 8 am to 8 pm, Monday to Friday.

Tax credits

If you are handling tax credits issues on your clients’ behalf, you can call the Agent Priority Line for tax credits.

Calls to this number will be routed to one Contact Centre site. When the call comes through to the Contact Centre, it is identified as an agent call and advisers will have the relevant guidance for verifying and dealing with agents to hand. This should ensure a more efficient service for you when managing your client’s tax credits affairs.

Changes to family circumstances

If your client’s claim is closed down due to a family breakdown and a new record is created, call the Agent Priority Line to make sure your agent details are transferred to the new claim.

Please note: if your client has a new partner who also wants you to act for them, they must complete form 64-8 before HMRC can discuss both parts of the claim with you.

Problems viewing agent authorisations for tax credits

If, when you contact HMRC the Contact Centre can’t see an agent authority on your client’s claim, you will be given further advice about what to do next. You may be asked to complete a new form 64-8.

Find form 64-8

Tax credits guidance for tax agents and advisers

PAYE for employers and the Construction Industry Scheme

You can deal with PAYE for employers and Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) issues:

  • through HMRC’s Online Service
  • by phone

You can also ask specific PAYE for employers queries via email.

Using online services

When you’re authorised by clients to manage their PAYE or CIS responsibilities, you can use the HMRC PAYE Online for Agents service to:

  • send your clients’ expenses and benefits returns online
  • get tax codes and notices
  • file your clients’ monthly CIS returns online
  • perform verifications for your CIS clients
  • make electronic payments

Use the PAYE for Agents online service

If you have a query, you may be able to find the answer on GOV.UK.

PAYE for employers

Construction Industry Scheme

Using the phone

If you have a specific query that you can’t answer through the guidance on GOV.UK, you can use the dedicated helplines for employers or CIS.

New Employer Helpline

For advice on PAYE matters for businesses starting to take on employees call the New Employer Helpline.

New Employer Helpline contact details

Employer Helpline

For expert advice for established employers on issues such as PAYE, statutory sick pay, maternity pay, and CIS call the Employer Helpline.

Get contact details for the Employer Helpline

CIS Helpline

For guidance on managing CIS call the CIS Helpline.

Find contact details for the CIS Helpline

Using email

If you have a query about statutory payments, you can email HMRC and you will receive a reply within 2 working days.

Statutory Sick Pay

Statutory Maternity Pay

Statutory Paternity Pay

Remember that emailing HMRC through these links is secure, but the nature of email means the reply to you is not. Therefore the email reply will not contain confidential information. If they need to, HMRC will email you to explain that they will be replying fully by letter or phone.

Corporation Tax queries

If you are authorised by your client and registered with the HMRC Corporation Tax for Agents online service, you can use it to:

  • view your client’s payments and liabilities
  • change your contact details
  • change their contact details, if your client is an incorporated business

Corporation Tax

If your query is more complex, you can phone the Corporation Tax Helpline.

Alternatively, you can write to the office that handles your client’s Corporation Tax. You can find the address on any letters HMRC have written to you about your client. If you’ve not received a letter you can use the general Corporation Tax Services address.

VAT, Excise and International Trade queries

For VAT, Excise and International Trade issues, you can contact or transact with HMRC:

  • online
  • by phone
  • by email
  • by post

depending on the nature of your enquiry.

VAT management

You can use HMRC’s VAT Online Services for agents to register clients for VAT and manage their VAT affairs.

Log into VAT Online

Start managing VAT for clients

VAT Returns

From 1 April 2010, most clients have to submit their VAT Returns online and pay VAT electronically.

If you have any clients who can still submit paper returns, and you’ve chosen not to submit them online, you should send their completed returns to:

HM Revenue & Customs
VAT Controller
VAT Central Unit
BX5 5AT

If exceptionally you need to use a courier service to deliver your clients’ returns, please use the following address:

HM Revenue & Customs
Alexander House
Southend on Sea
Essex
SS99 1AA

More on who needs to submit VAT Returns online and pay electronically

VAT questions

If you need advice on VAT, you can check GOV.UK for guidance.

VAT

VAT forms, manuals and detailed guidance

If you require guidance on specific issues, you can:

  • call the VAT Helpline
  • email HMRC
  • write to HMRC

VAT Helpline contact details

Alternatively you can email your VAT question to HMRC.

Email HMRC with your VAT enquiry

Follow the link below to find general guidance on the best way to contact HMRC with your VAT questions.

Questions about VAT: writing to HMRC to get them answered

Customs, International Trade & Excise questions

If you need advice on Customs, International Trade & Excise issues, you can check the guidance on GOV.UK.

Customs, Excise Duty and Import VAT: introduction

International trade, international visits and VAT

You can also phone, email or write to HMRC.

Contact details for Customs, International Trade & Excise questions

HMRC Online Services Helpdesks

Contact the Online Services Helpdesk if you’re having technical problems using the following agents’ online services:

  • Corporation Tax for Agents
  • PAYE/CIS for Agents
  • Self Assessment for Agents
  • Stamp Taxes for Agents

Online Services Helpdesk

Contact the VAT Online Services Helpdesk if you’re having technical problems with the following VAT online services for agents:

  • VAT registration
  • VAT for Agents
  • VAT EU Refunds for Agents
  • VAT EC Sales List (ECSL)
  • VAT Reverse Charge Sales List (RCSL)

VAT Online Services Helpdesk

Resolving problems or making complaints

If you encounter problems with any aspect of HMRC service, there are escalation and complaints schemes in each area of the business. Check with the office you have been dealing with to find out more about how you can escalate an issue or make a complaint.

Read more about making a complaint to HMRC

Latest news for agents and advisers

Specialist HMRC departments and finding other contacts

Sometimes you may need guidance from specialist teams within HMRC, such as:

  • Charities
  • Capital Gains Tax
  • Debt Management
  • Expatriates
  • Money Laundering Regulations
  • Residency
  • Inheritance Tax
  • National Insurance
  • High Income Child Benefit charge
  • Trusts
  • Shares and Assets Valuation
  • Stamp Taxes
  • Tariff Classification
  • CHIEF

You can find contact details for specialist departments or any other part of HMRC by using the Contact Us tool.

Contact us

Agent Account Managers (AAMs)

HMRC has set up a UK-wide team of Agent Account Managers (AAMs) to help tax agents and advisers deal with the department more effectively.

Find out more about AAMs