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Appoint a Tax Agent to Deal with HMRC

There may be times when it is best to appoint someone to deal with HMRC for you - or on your behalf. This page explains how to appoint a tax agent to represent you.

AGENT AUTHORISATION: An accountant is the most likely person to deal with HMRC on your behalf.

Even so, the appointed person you authorise can be a relative, a friend, or a voluntary organisation.

As a rule, HM Revenue and Customs continue writing to ‘you‘. This is the usual procedure even after the appointment of a tax agent.

The rules change for those who send in a Self Assessment tax return. In this case, HMRC send all the correspondence to the person authorised by ‘you‘. The exception is for any tax bills and refunds that may be due.

There are times when contacting HMRC will bring a swift conclusion to a minor enquiry. For example they may be able with short term Self Assessment enquiries.

But, the person appointed to deal with HMRC on your behalf must be with you if you call them.

HM Revenue and Customs staff will confirm their identity. They will also check that you authorised them as an agent to represent you.

Authorise an Agent to Handle Tax Affairs

Providing they meet HMRC standard for agents, an appointed agent to deal with HMRC on your behalf can be:

  • A trusted friend or a family relative.
  • A person from a voluntary organisation.
  • A legal professional such as an accountant or a tax adviser.

There are several ways an appointed agent can deal with your tax. They can either:

Authorise Someone to Manage Tax Online

Having a ‘trusted helper’ is a family member or friend register to help manage your tax online. The role of HMRC trusted helper is to help friends or family with their tax, which can include:

  • Checking that you pay the correct amount of Income Tax.
  • Checking or updating your personal tax account information.
  • Checking or updating your company car tax liabilities.
  • Claiming a tax refund on your behalf.

Note: You are legally responsible for your own tax affairs even if you appoint someone to deal with HMRC for you.

Authorise a Friend or Relative as an Intermediary

There may be situations where you are too ill to deal with HM Revenue and Customs. The same applies for people with a disability or those who do not speak English.

In this case you can arrange for someone else to deal with HMRC on your behalf. The ‘intermediary‘ can be a family relative, a friend, or a person from a voluntary organisation. Intermediaries do not have access to your tax online but they can:

  • Have discussions with HMRC about your affairs and answer questions on your behalf.
  • Help you deal with your tax and fill in any relevant taxation forms.

You can write to HM Revenue and Customs to authorise your intermediary.

National Insurance Contributions and Employers Office
HM Revenue and Customs

The letter that you send to HMRC must include these four items of information:

  • Your full name and current address.
  • Your tax reference number (e.g. Unique Taxpayer Reference).
  • The full name and current address of the person or organisation you authorise to act for you.
  • Your signature.

Note: There is an alternative if you are unable to sign the letter yourself. You will need to contact the relevant HMRC departments or ask someone else to contact them for you.

How to Appoint a Tax Agent to Deal with HM Revenue and Customs on Your Behalf