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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Customer contact and data security: contact with third parties: agents and accountants: 64-8s

Customers must complete form 64-8 if they want us to deal with an agent who is acting on their behalf.

They must tell us what part of their tax affairs they want their agent to deal with by completing the appropriate section of the form 64-8. They can choose from:

  • tax affairs - Pay As You Earn (PAYE), Self Assessment
  • tax credits
  • corporation tax
  • employer PAYE scheme
  • VAT.

If the customer does not specify what they want the agent to deal with, we will assume they mean all the sections.

When we have authority we can:

  • exchange information with the agent and deal with matters within our responsibility
  • send agents letters and forms
  • send customers’ statements to agents, if they have indicated this on the 64-8
  • set up TTPs with the agent
  • discuss the debt or outstanding returns.

Form 64-8 authorises us to communicate with an accountant/agent on behalf of the customer and authorises them to deal with the tax affairs of the customer.

Where to get the paper 64-8

The new version of the 64-8 form (PDF 135kb) is available for customers from:

  • the HMRC website
  • the Self Assessment Orderline on phone number 0300 200 3610
  • HMRC Enquiry Centres
  • the Employer CD ROM.

Where to send paper 64-8s

The Central Agent Authorisation Team (CAAT) at Longbenton handles most paper forms 64-8 (and CWF1s) for self-employed individuals

It also handles changes of agent for individual taxpayers, trusts and partnerships which already have Unique Taxpayer References.

Their address is CAA Team, Longbenton, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE98 1ZZ

They do not handle any other correspondence.

Recording and timescales

The Central Agent Authorisation Team at Longbenton is responsible for the processing of 64- 8 for agent authorisations. There are some exceptions, see DMBM511915.

If a 64-8 is received by the CAAT they will process the agents details to any direct tax references quoted which will then be updated to IDMS. They do not set the signal on IDMS in TIS screen or make notes on IDMS.

CAAT currently update the SA IT system within 24 hours of receiving the form in CAAT providing there is already an SA record for the customer. CAAT will update all other IT systems within 7 working days.

If any 64-8’s received mention VAT or a VRN they will only scan the document to EF and forward it to NRS Variations at Grimsby, EF Tray 228S648R if it has a VRN at time of scanning or EF Tray 228S648 if no VRN quoted at time of scanning. Grimsby will index the case to show the VAT number or if they do not become VAT registered will change the document type and close the case.

The IDMS signal for 64-8 will not be ticked by this action. DMB can only tick the signal if there is a work item on IDMS. If you receive a next action W/I where DMTC have not been able to see the authorisation as no access to EF, you should check EF to confirm it is held then tick the 64-8 signal on IDMS for VAT.

If it is not obvious from DTR notes that the agent has a 64-8 authority DMTC, who have no access to EF, will ask the agent for their clients direct tax reference as a security check i.e. PAYE, CT. DMTC will then enter that HOD system to confirm that the 64-8 signal is there. If it is, they will deal with the case and wrap it as per their guidance. In addition they will send an e-mail to the VAT SPOC who will check EF for a 64-8 and where present, tick the signal on IDMS for the VAT work item.

Online 64-8

Agents can set up authorisation for most of their clients online without having to submit a paper 64-8. They can still use the paper forms but we prefer them to use the online service as it is faster and reduces errors.

If an agent has already submitted a paper 64-8, they will not have to repeat the authorisation for that client again online.

Agents can set up authorisations for:

  • individuals, organisations, trusts and partnerships under SA. These authorisations will also cover national insurance and, if they are existing claimants, tax credits
  • businesses and organisations under corporation tax
  • employers operating PAYE schemes.

We plan to extend the service to support authorisations for Value Added Tax (VAT) and non SA individuals at a later date.

Authorisation process

The agent must register with the relevant online service before they can use the online agent authorisation service.

Once we have processed the authorisation request we will send a letter to the client confirming the request for authorisation and providing a unique authorisation code. We will send a separate letter for each online service.

We will email the agent to tell them when if we can not issue an authorisation code - for example, when the client’s address is shown as returned letter service’.

If the client agrees to the authorisation, they must pass the authorisation code to their agent who will need to enter it online within 28 days of the date shown on the letter.

We amend self assessment and pay as you earn (PAYE) employer records, within a day and automatically update the computerised environment for self assessment.

We update electronic business services manually and it may take up to seven days before we can view the new PAYE agent details.

Corporation tax authorisations take between one and four days to update the client list.

Will we always contact the agent?

When dealing with debt related issues or outstanding tax returns we can deal with the agent but we will also have to deal with the customer directly at times, especially when asking for a debt to be paid or to warn of enforcement action. A 64-8 does not mean that we will solely deal with the agent, although wherever possible we should do. Part 2 of the 64-8 covers this.

Things to note about agent/accountant authority

Even if the notes say we have previously dealt with this agent and discussed the record with them, unless you can find authority or receive proof of that authority, then you should not discuss the record with them. Previous notes are not enough evidence because it could be that the customer has since withdrawn the authority (unless accompanied by a copy of the 64-8, see above) and therefore each time an agent contacts you they must be verified.

If an agent or other person was acting on behalf of a deceased customer prior to their death, for example through a power of attorney or consent (such as a form 64-8) you may no longer disclose confidential information to these third parties. If the personal representatives wish these third parties to continue to act they must provide a fresh consent. For guidance on third party deceased cases, see DMBM510450.