HMRC has made changes to the way it will supply information to accountants/agents.
When information is requested by an agent it will now be sent to clients. It suggests a quicker solution would be for the client to access the information via their personal tax account and supply it to their agent.
The message sent by HMRC is reproduced below:
‘We have recently seen a large increase in requests from agents for their clients’ pay, tax and employment history information, often in bulk, mainly to claim employment expenses, and involving a growing number of security issues. These include agents pretending to be their clients, and calling on behalf of clients who have not given the necessary permission.
As a result, we are making changes to the way we supply this confidential data. While we can continue to take requests for this information on our helplines, we can no longer provide the detailed personal information directly to agents over the phone. From now on, we will send the requested information directly to your clients, who will then be able to forward it to you for the relevant claim to be made or tax return completed.
I appreciate that this security measure will add some time to the process, and I am sorry about that. As a quicker alternative, please note that your clients can access this information through the online service in their Personal Tax Account. They can now view, print and download their pay and tax details in just a few minutes at gov.uk/personal-tax-account – they’ll need their National Insurance number and a recent payslip, P60 or passport to sign-in for the first time.
As you may know, we are working on a digital facility that will enable agents to access their clients’ details securely online, which I expect to go live later in the year. In the meantime, I hope you can understand the reasons for the urgent changes to our phone service in respect of this matter.’