HMRC guidance on choosing your tax agent

Mar 09, 2023

HMRC has launched new guidance on choosing your tax agent, helping you finding out a tax agent to interact with HMRC on your behalf. Also, the advice allows checking whether the agent has relevant professional qualifications to deal with your tax affairs. 

The HMRC standards compliance becomes more significant when choosing a tax agent. If you have complex tax affairs and need a tax agent, you must select the right agent carefully. You must know that your agent can help you, but ultimately, you are responsible for your own tax affairs.

How to choose an agent?

The guidance advises you to keep close attention to all aspects while choosing your tax agent. You must emphasise that your tax agent is the person who interacts with HMRC on your behalf. Also, you must find out how much the agent will charge you for your services. 

HMRC recognises professional agents' service value to help taxpayers comply with their tax liability. However, you must check HMRC's agent standards compliance. HMRC advice in choosing a tax agent includes the following essential measures:

  • Checking the agent's website for the services offered
  • Reviewing terms and conditions, helping you understand your agent's legal agreement and service sign-up
  • Fee and charges understanding and the payment expectation
  • Reputation and history check, like their social media pages, reviews etc.
  • Check the right and similar experiences like business sizes, trade sectors background etc.
  • All services coverage like payroll, audit, VAT, or investment
  • Online Access with HMRC for your digital taxation
  • Relevant professional qualifications or membership of a Professional tax body or accountancy

Using a tax agent is helpful. However, always review your tax return carefully before signing. You must avoid signing your blank return because you are responsible for your tax return figure.

How do professional bodies of tax work?

Be aware that anyone can call themselves a tax agent - they may have no professional competence or relevant qualification. You are responsible for selecting the right agent because HMRC does not regulate tax agents. 

Tax advisors and agents have membership in accounting or tax professional bodies. These bodies offer relevant qualifications and professional training, keeping their members to stay up to date.

Also, professional accounting and tax bodies review their members' behaviour. The bodies take action if their behaviour falls short of professional standards. Also, these body members' professional indemnity insurance helps protect you if things go wrong.

Appointing and authorising your tax agent

After choosing the tax agent, the next step is appointing and authorising them to deal with and integrate with HMRC on your behalf. Besides tax bills or refunds, HMRC will send all letters and notices to your authorised agent. 

You must ask your agent to use HMRC's online authorisation service to deal with your tax. Also, the agent can complete forms 64-8 for HMRC.

You can utilise HMRC VAT online services to appoint your VAT agent. Your tax agent mainly helps in Gov UK taxes for:

  • Online Self Assessment tax payment
  • HMRC Self Assessment payment
  • Self Assessment tax calculation
  • Changing address with HMRC
  • Self Assessment tax return
  • HMRC Self Assessment

Also, using legal advisers' or solicitors' services is helpful. They offer services in Inheritance Tax and taxes on buying and selling property and many other issues.

How can KBM help you with your taxation?

We provide various training programmes and prepare HMRC-compliant accountants and bookkeepers. Our HMRC compliance training programmes include:

Also, you can confidently choose KBM as your tax agent. We have over 30 years of experience in taxation, accounting and finance. Our high-calibre professional accountants and tax experts' team provide complete advisory services in the following sectors: