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Making Tax Digital - Set up an agent services account and sign up clients for MTD

If you’re an agent who makes VAT submissions on behalf of your clients, in order to sign up your clients to Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT, you must first set up an agent services account with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

The agent services account is needed to access new HMRC online services, including Making Tax Digital (MTD). It doesn’t replace your existing Government Gateway logins, which you will continue to use for existing services.

You only need one agent services account for your organisation and it should be set up by the person responsible for your organisation’s tax or administrative matters, such as a director, owner or lead partner.

Before you start

To create an agent services account and link your existing clients you’ll need the following:

  • Your agent firm’s Self-Assessment, Partnership or Corporation Tax Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
  • The post code associated with that UTR.
  • The Government Gateway IDs you currently use to submit VAT on behalf of your clients.

Create an agent services account

HMRC recommend that you use the Government Gateway ID that you currently use to manage clients.

  • 1. Visit the Get an HMRC agent service account web page.
  • 2. Enter your new Government Gateway User ID and password, then click Sign in.
  • 3. Follow the on-screen prompts and ensure you make a note of your Account Reference Number (ARN) and keep it secure.

You may be prompted to create a new Government Gateway ID as part of this process. If so, ensure you make a note of this as it’s the ID you’ll need to use for MTD submissions.

For further help with creating an agent services account, please refer to the following HMRC guide or video.

Sign up your clients for MTD

When to sign up

Before you sign up a client for MTD, check the following:

  • You have MTD compatible software for this client.
  • Their latest VAT Return under the Government Gateway has been submitted.
  • Your client’s data is up to date, accurate and complete.
  • Signing up for MTD must be done at least 5 working days after the last non-MTD VAT Return submission and at least 8 working days before the first MTD VAT Return submission.
  • You’ve advised your client that you are signing them up for MTD.

Sign up

During these steps your client will receive an email which they must verify to complete the sign up process.

  • 1. Visit the Sign up for Making Tax Digital for VAT web page.
  • 2. Click the Sign up your clients for Making Tax Digital for VAT link, enter your new Government Gateway User ID and password then click Sign in.
  • 3. Follow the on-screen prompts, entering the requested information about your client.

Once you confirm your client’s email address, they are sent a verification email. Your client must click the link in the email before you can continue.

  • 4. Once your client has verified their email address, click Continue.
  • 5. If prompted, you must also accept the terms and conditions on behalf of your client.

Once you sign a client up for MTD, from that point onwards you must submit their VAT Returns under the new MTD system.

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