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HMRC internal manual

COTAX Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Case records: agents: agent acting for a company

A person or body can be appointed to act as an agent for a company. HMRC only communicates with an agent in writing or over the telephone if we have received a form 64-8 giving us authority to do so and the ‘64-8’ signal is set on the COTAX record. We also accept online returns from an agent, whether or not the ‘64-8’ signal is set. Authorisation on form 64-8 can be given on paper or electronically using the CT Online Service.

As long as an agent has a COTAX agent record, they can submit a return for a company for which they are not authorised by a form 64-8. Function DRTN (Display Return Details) shows that the return has been submitted by a filing only agent. We do not hold authority to correspond with the agent that submitted the return.

Each agent is identified by a unique code in COTAX. You use the agent ID to enter or amend agent details on a company’s COTAX record using function AMAG (Add/Amend Agent), and to set the ‘64-8’ signal to ‘Y’ when you receive a 64-8 giving authority to correspond with the agent representing a company. An agent can also complete a CT online agent’s authorisation that automatically sets the ’64-8’ signal on the company’s record.

You can see the agent acting for a company and whether the ‘64-8’ signal has been set using the View Agent’s Details screen in function VTPR (View Taxpayer Record). You can also see who set the 64-8 received signal as follows.

  • ‘Owning office’ where the 64-8 signal was set manually by the responsible office.
  • ’Centrally’ when the CAAT (Central Agents Authorisation Team) has set the signal.
  • ’Online by company’ where the company has used the CT Online Service to authorise the agent.
  • ‘Online by agent’ where the agent has used the CT Online Service to show that the company has given 64-8 authorisation.
  • ‘Not received’ if there is no 64-8 authorisation to correspond with the agent.

When a Debt Management office or the CT Unit Cumbernauld receive notification that a new agent is acting for a company, they should send the information to the CT responsible office shown in function VTPR (View Taxpayer).

When, occasionally, a company has more than one agent acting for them, the most recent agent is shown on all view functions. See COM44050 for details of how to view details of all current agents acting.

A paper form 64-8 must contain the original signature of an officer for the company. You cannot accept a fax or photocopy.

See COM44011 for a list of functions to use in particular situations.