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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Manual

Claims: capture (A-C): agent - authorisation

Checklist

Before you follow this guidance make sure

  • you have the correct user roles to follow this guidance. 
  • you are in the correct MU. Use TCM0322460 for the correct MU number.

Background

Agents are a type of personal acting body. However, for tax credits purposes they cannot act in the same way as other types of personal acting body, for example, appointees. An authorised appointee can fully act on a customer’s behalf, and can receive payments on their behalf. An agent

  • can act on a customer’s behalf

but

  • cannot automatically receive payments from them.

Customer’s can appoint an agent to act on their behalf for some or all matters in connection with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) - for example, a self-employed customer may authorise an accountant to act as their agent for their tax affairs.

Note: An agent can belong to various bodies or organisations, for example, solicitors and accountants.

Before you can disclose information to a third party, the customer must provide written authority allowing you to do so. This is usually done using form 64-8 (Authorising your agent) but you can also accept any form of written authority from the customer provided that it sets out clearly what you can disclose and to whom and is signed by the customer or both customer’s in a joint tax credits claim.

The Central Agent Authorisation Team (CAAT) deals with these requests and they are responsible for updating all the HMRC business streams with the agent’s details.

For tax credits purposes, the CAAT will record the agent’s authority to act in Application Notes and Household Notes.

You must always check Application Notes and Household Notes to check if an agent has been authorised and the agent’s identity verified, before replying to requests for information.

If the agent has been authorised and verified and is seeking responses on specific matters on behalf of the customer, send the reply direct to the agent. Normal correspondence such as award notices or Annual Declarations will continue to be sent to the customer.

Note: In a joint claim you must not disclose any information concerning either customer to an agent who has not been recorded as an authority to act on each individual customer’s behalf. This authorisation must be signed by both customers to enable the agent to act on behalf of both of them. If the agent has authority to act on only the first customer’s behalf, you cannot give customer-specific details such as income or other personal details relating to the second customer who has not provided their consent. In this situation only provide general non customer-specific information such as when payments of tax credits are due. In a joint claim, if an agent is authorised for one customer only we can still accept information relating to both customers from the agent for the purpose of a change in circumstances only, otherwise authority for both parties is required. We require both authorities unless there has been a household breakdown.

Note: You can take information from a customer’s authorised agent and discuss the customer’s claim with them. However, you should not disclose information to an agent that is not relevant to the issue concerned. You must only provide them with minimal personal information which is specifically about them and that is necessary for them to deal with the query or task. In the case of joint claims, if the third party is requesting information about the customer who has not given their authority, you must not disclose personal information specific to that non-consenting customer.

If you receive an authority to act on behalf of a tax credits customer from an agent, you must forward it to CAAT (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) .

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Guidance

Note: When sending customer, staff or process data to another individual or team, make sure you follow the latest data security guidelines or contact the Data Guardian or Data Security Team for advice.

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Step 1

Note: Only the Intermediaries, Agents & Appointees Team (IAA) are authorised to deal with these requests.

Check the type of request you have received.

If you have received a written request for proof of or confirmation of benefits, follow the guidance in TCM0288610.

If you have received a written request for information from the agent, go to Step 2.

If you have received a written request to become an agent, go to Step 15.

If you have received a form 64-8 from the agent, go to Step 15.

If you are dealing with an Agent CAAT referral, go to Step 16.

If you are dealing with an expired Agent CAAT referral BF, go to Step 26.

If you are dealing with an Agent CAAT 48 hour referral, go to Step 28.

If you are dealing with an expired clerical BF, go to Step 4.

If you are dealing with an entry that has been on the spreadsheet for 12 months, go to Step 39.

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Step 2

Check if a claim has been received. For how to do this, use TCM1000246.

If a claim has been received, go to Step 6.

If a claim has not been received, go to Step 3.

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Step 3

  • keep the letter in clerical BF for 14 days
  • take no further action.

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Step 4

Check if a claim has been received. For how to do this, use TCM1000246.

If a claim is not received, go to Step 5.

If a claim is received, go to Step 6.

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Step 5

  • place the agent’s request in confidential waste
  • take no further action.

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Step 6

Note: Authority recorded using self assessment after 07-09-2010 is not acceptable for tax credits purposes.

Check if authority has already been recorded. For how to do this, use TCM1000021 or TCM1000067.

If authority has already been recorded, go to Step 8.

If authority has not been recorded, go to Step 11.

If authority has not been recorded correctly, go to Step 7.

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Step 7

  • send form 64-8 and letter TC1089 to the customer
  • go to Step 14.

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Step 8

Consider if the request for information has a 64-8 attached to it.

If the request for information has a form 64-8 attached to it for a new Agent, go to Step 9.

If the request for information has a form 64-8 attached to it for an existing Agent who is already authorised to act, go to Step 10.

If the request for information does not have a form 64-8 attached to it, go to Step 10.

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Step 9

  • stamp the written request ‘No authority to act’
  • redirect it to the relevant area
  • send the form 64-8 to the Central Agent Authorisation Team (CAAT)
  • go to Step 36.

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Step 10

  • stamp the written request ‘Authority to act’
  • go to Step 32.

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Step 11

Consider if the request for information has a form 64-8 attached to it.

If the request for information has a form 64-8 attached to it, go to Step 12.

If the request for information does not have a form 64-8 attached to it, go to Step 13.

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Step 12

  • send the form 64-8 to the Central Agent Authorisation Team (CAAT)
  • go to Step 32.

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Step 13

  • send a form 64-8 to the customer
  • go to Step 14.

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Step 14

Note: The point at which authority comes in to play is when the agent wants to discuss the case in detail. At that point, the authority issue becomes real and we would then obtain the agreement of the parties concerned through a form 64-8.

Check the status of the award. For how to do this, use TCM1000025 

  • update Application Notes or Household Notes with the message JA08, JA10 from TCM0162020. For how to do this, use TCM1000028 or TCM1000001 
  • stamp the written request ‘No authority to act’
  • redirect it to the relevant area who will check the authority
  • take no further action.

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Step 15

Note: The signature must be original and not a photocopy.

If the form 64-8 is complete, that is all the boxes have been completed, go to Step 32.

If the form 64-8 is incomplete, that is all the boxes have not been completed, go to Step 33.

If the written letter of consent is complete, that is the letter has all the information that is required on a form 64-8, go to Step 32.

If the written letter of consent is incomplete, that is the letter does not have all the information that is required on a form 64-8, go to Step 33.

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Step 16

Check if there is a NINO on the referral.

If there is no NINO on the referral, go to Step 17.

If there is a NINO on the referral, go to Step 18.

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Step 17

  • send an email to the originator
  • delete the referral
  • take no further action.

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Step 18

  • print off the referral
  • delete the referral
  • go to Step 19.

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Step 19

Check if there is a claim and the status of the claim. For how to do this, use TCM1000246 and TCM1000025.

If the claim is partially captured or awaiting award, go to Step 20.

If the claim is award issued, go to Step 23.

If there is no claim or the claim has been withdrawn or ceased, go to Step 22.

If there is no claim and the case already has an expired 30 day BF, go to Step 27.

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Step 20

  • update Application Notes with the message JA16, JA17. For how to do this, use TCM1000028 
  • bf for 14 days
  • take no further action.

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Step 21

  • bf for 30 days
  • take no further action.

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Step 22

  • write the date the referral was received on the front of the printed sheet
  • bf for 30 days
  • take no further action.

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Step 23

Check if agent authority is recorded. For how to do this, use TCM1000067.

If agent authority is recorded, go to Step 25.

If no agent authority is recorded, go to Step 32.

If agent authority is recorded in earlier Notes, go to Step 24.

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Step 24

  • mark the Note as a retained note. Follow the guidance in TCM0152060 then return to this guidance
  • go to Step 32.

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Step 25

  • mark the Household Note as a retained note. Follow the guidance in TCM0152060 then return to this guidance
  • take no further action.

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Step 26

Check the status of the claim. For how to do this, use TCM1000025.

If the claim is partially captured and you have already set a BF for 14 days on two separate occasions, go to Step 21.

If the claim is partially captured or awaiting award, go to Step 20.

If there is no claim or the claim has been rejected, withdrawn or ceased, go to Step 27.

If the claim is award issued and you are dealing with an agent CAAT referral, go to Step 32.

If the claim is award issued, go to Step 23.

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Step 27

  • update the Agents spreadsheet in the CAF folder with

    • the date the referral was received
    • agent’s name
    • agent’s address
    • customer’s NINO
  • take no further action.

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Step 28

Check if authority is shown in earlier Notes. For how to do this, use TCM1000021 or TCM1000067.

If authority is shown in earlier Notes, go to Step 25.

If no authority is shown in earlier Notes, go to Step 32.

If there are no Household Notes or Application Notes because the claim has been rejected, go to Step 29.

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Step 29

Check the rejected drawer to establish whether we have received authority since the referral was sent to us.

If we have received authority, go to Step 30.

If we have not received authority, go to Step 31.

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Step 30

  • update CMA with the appropriate message from JA16, JA17, JA19. For how to do this, use TCM1000125 
  • send referral to storage. Follow the guidance in TCM0074140 
  • take no further action.

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Step 31

  • update CMA with the appropriate message from JA16, JA17, JA19. For how to do this, use TCM1000125
  • bf referral for 12 months
  • take no further action.

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Step 32

Note: Do not enter a note on a rejected claim. We cannot action these. We can only enter an Authority to Act note for a pre award or awarded claim. If you receive correspondence regarding a rejected claim, contact the customer to advise them that we need a pre award or post award claim to give authority.

Check the status of the claim. For how to do this, use TCM1000025.

If you are dealing with a claim that has been rejected, go to Step 37.

If you are not dealing with a claim that has been rejected, go to Step 38.

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Step 33

Note: Under no circumstances must any correspondence be sent to the agent.

If the form 64-8 is incomplete, go to Step 34.

If the mandate is incomplete, go to Step 35.

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Step 34

  • highlight the areas missed out and put an ‘X’ next to the relevant boxes on the form and send this together with form TC1092 (selecting option a) to the customer
  • go to Step 36.

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Step 35

  • send a form 64-8 together with form TC1092 (selecting option b) to the customer
  • go to Step 36.

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Step 36

Check the status of the claim. For how to do this, use TCM1000025 

  • update Application Notes or Household Notes with the appropriate message - JA07, JA08, JA09, JA10, JA11, JA14 from TCM0162020. For how to do this, use TCM1000028 or TCM1000001 
  • take no further action.

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Step 37

  • put authority in rejected drawer checking periodically whether the status has changed
  • take no further action.

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Step 38

  • update Application Notes or Household Notes with the appropriate message - JA07, JA08, JA09, JA10, JA11, JA12, JA14, JA15, JA18 - from TCM0162020. For how to do this, use TCM1000028 and TCM1000001
  • send the written request to storage. Follow the guidance in TCM0074140 
  • take no further action.

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Step 39

  • delete the entry on the spreadsheet
  • take no further action.