If you can’t resolve an issue with HMRC, help is at hand.
ACCA members often need to help their clients resolve a tax dispute with HMRC. The dispute may be settled very quickly and efficiently. But in some cases the accountant and their client reach deadlock with HMRC and there appears to be no obvious way of moving the case on. The answer may be to use the Agent Account Managers (AAMs) service.
AAMs are an HMRC initiative to help resolve client-specific issues. The AAMs act as an intermediary between agents and HMRC where the normal communication channels have broken down.
To use this service there is a fairly straightforward process. To register for the AAM there is an online registration form. The benefits are:
you can do this before you even have a tax issue
you only need to register once, and only one representative needs to register for everyone in the firm to be able use the service. If you have more than one branch or office, one representative from each branch will need to register, but then everyone in that branch will be able to use the service.
When HMRC receives your form, an automatic acknowledgment will be sent to your nominated email address.
How and when does AAM help in solving your client’s problems?
The first point to remember is that before you use the AAM service, you must first contact the HMRC office you’ve been dealing with or contact HMRC to attempt to resolve your issue. So the AAM service doesn’t replace HMRC’s process for formal complaints nor does it replace attempting to resolve the issue through ‘normal’ HMRC methods.
Unfortunately an accountant’s view of whether they have exhausted the normal methods may differ from HMRC’s view.
An online form should be completed for each issue. The form collects some details to demonstrate that you have already attempted to resolve the dispute by other means.
What happens after submission?
Once the form is sent you’ll receive an automatic email acknowledgment including a reference number specific to your query. Then HMRC states that a member of the AAM team will contact you within three working days.
Note that the AAMs don’t give advice on technical matters or the interpretation of tax legislation and guidance. However, as a last resort to resolve a dispute the service should be useful to accountants and their clients.