HMRC Rant

TreadStone
TreadStone AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 280 ? ? ?
Does anyone know the reason why HMRC won't release Employers' PAYE figures over the telephone ?

We are confirmed agents but I have a client who is several months in arrears with his monthly PAYE and I can't match any payments for the last 10 months from his records.

I'm putting his year-end accounts together but I have no idea how much is outstanding at 31 December.

The lovely lady I spoke to had all the information in front of her but couldn't supply it over the phone - it needs to be in writing ! And even then I have to supply a list of payments which they will confirm. I don't have any sodding payments to match !!!! And even if I did, a reply will take 3 weeks she informed me.

Isn't this totally inefficient and a waste of everyones time ? This is when they're pushing for RTI and everything online. I sometimes think I've returned to 1983.

Imagine if a client rang you and asked how much their SA was at the end of this month and you replied " sorry, we can't tell you that over the phone, can you please write in"

It's not top-secret info is it ? I told her that the client was writing a cheque the same day for the arrears so he needed to know the amount. Didn't make any difference. Give me strength.

If anyone can explain the reason for this I would love to know.

Rant over.

Comments

  • totleyblade
    totleyblade Registered Posts: 48 ? ? ?
    Hi Treadstone, can't you see these figures via the client's account on the Government Gateway, https://online.hmrc.gov.uk/home? I can see all our PAYE transactions for the last 3 years when I access the PAYE services section and click on view account.
  • TreadStone
    TreadStone AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 280 ? ? ?
    Not on PAYE for Agents.

    I think that's only if each client is registered in their own right. It's the same for VAT - the agent log-in only shows returns submitted but a client who has registered themselves can view their account, payments made etc.

    I may be missing something here and would love to be corrected so I can access this information.
  • Rozzi Rainbow
    Rozzi Rainbow Registered Posts: 465
    I agree with you this is completely stupid!

    I had a similar situation after submitting the 2011/12 year end in May. They sent our client an underpayment demand, but we knew everything had been paid as we physically made the payments for our client. I can understand them wanting people to check online themselves rather than them spending ages on the phone sorting it out, but they really need to allow agents access to the online account if they are going to refuse to help by phone. Surely that is our job as agents, to sort out HMRC mess so our client doesn't have to!

    My issue got resolved quite quickly as we'd started making the payments a slightly different way towards the end of the year, so I asked the person on the phone to check if they'd received the last payment, which they hadn't as we hadn't quite got the reference correct. All was sorted easily when they managed to trace it, but it would have been much easier if they were allowed to give out a list of payments made.

    I know for VAT you can create a log in for the client themselves quite easily, I don't know if this can be done as easily for PAYE but it might be an option to be able to access the payment history?
  • TreadStone
    TreadStone AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 280 ? ? ?
    I know for VAT you can create a log in for the client themselves quite easily, I don't know if this can be done as easily for PAYE but it might be an option to be able to access the payment history?

    It is. I've actually just registered via the Government Gateway for this particular client for PAYE only and am waiting for the activation code. Once I have this I can then view everything.

    Why these details can't be linked to the agent access is beyond me.
  • anniem
    anniem Registered Posts: 1,326
    I think there is an HMRC/Accounting Bodies liaison group (or something that I can't quite remember at the moment) who strive to make the relationship between accountants and HMRC more workable. It would seem that this is exactly the sort of problem that ought to be brought to their attention to see if accountant access to HMRC information could be improved. I'm sure it could, even if they want to make our lives difficult!
    FMAAT - AAT Licensed Member in Practice - Pewsey, Wiltshire
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