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HMRC internal manual

COTAX Manual

Case records: agents: set up and maintain records for agents

The setting up and maintenance of all COTAX agent records is dealt with centrally by the Central Agents Team (CAAT) in Longbenton. The Maintain Agent role is not available to anybody outside the CAAT and this section of the COM gives guidance only to members of that team. If you are not part of the CAAT and are contacted by agents about their records, ask them to send the details to:

Central Agent Maintainer Team
National Insurance Contributions and Employer Office
HM Revenue and Customs
United Kingdom.

If you receive an official letter from an agent with a change of details you can send a copy of this to the (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

When using the Maintain Agent role, you must search COTAX carefully using function TRAG (Trace Agent) before setting up a new agent record. This is to make sure that duplicate records are not set up.

Maintain Agent gives you access to two COTAX functions.

  • RNAG (Register New Agent) to set up a new record for an agent.
  • RAGE (Revise Agent) to amend an agent’s record.

RNAG (Register New Agent) to set up a new record for an agent

In the Maintain Agent role, you use function RNAG to set up a new record on COTAX for an agent who is acting on behalf of a company. You cannot set up a record for an agent without a valid postcode unless the agent is abroad, in which case you must set the ‘abroad’ signal.

When you enter an agent’s name, address and contact details in COTAX, it allocates an agent ID which you can use immediately.

You must write to the agent to tell them their agent ID as COTAX does do so automatically.

RAGE (Revise Agent) to amend an agent’s record

In the Maintain Agent role you can use function RAGE to:

  • make changes to the agent’s name, address or contact details
  • note that the address has become RLS
  • store future changes such as a change of address which will happen at a future date, which are held as pending changes and can be viewed or amended in this function
  • note that the agent has ceased
  • note that the agent has been taken over or merged with another
  • recommence an agent who was previously noted as ceased, who has begun trading again.

If you enter a date of cessation on an agent record, the COTAX records of every company for which that agent acts show that he has ceased acting. If you subsequently use function RAGE to cancel the cessation, all the company records affected automatically show that the agent is acting unless a subsequent agent has already been noted on the record.

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