VAT 2024

VAT - more services to be removed from Online Service for Agents

18 March, 2024

On 16 April 2024, HMRC will remove some more functionality from their legacy Online Service for Agents.

From this date, you will no longer be able to use the Online Service for Agents to submit a VAT return, set up or amend a direct debit or change VAT registration details on behalf of your client. This does not impact services within the Agent Services Account (ASA). 

HMRC have circulated the following additional information about this change to the ATT and other members of the Joint VAT Consultative Committee (JVCC).

"From 16 May 2024 the remainder of legacy VAT services will be withdrawn. These are; view account and view submitted returns. 

Why this is happening? 

We are in the process of decommissioning our outdated legacy computer system. 

Our customers were moved to a new IT platform when we introduced Making Tax Digital for VAT. Agents and a small number of customers still have access to the legacy VAT services. Amendments made in the legacy system do not automatically update customer records on the new platform. This can lead to a delay in updating records. 

How this affects agents 

Agents must use the ASA to transact on behalf of their VAT clients and should no longer use the legacy Online Service for Agents. 

You will be unable to create/amend Direct Debits on behalf of your client using the legacy Online Service for Agents. Your client will need to self-serve through their VAT Online Account, this ensures that banking regulations are adhered to. The VAT C9 form is available for use if more than one signature is required on a Direct Debit Instruction (DDI).  

Please be aware that amendments you make to client details via the Online Service for Agents until closure will not be automatically reflected in your clients’ records. This includes DDI amendments, which could result in delayed payment to HMRC and prevent repayments reaching your client on time. Please refrain from using this service to advise us of any changes with immediate effect. 

Use your ASA to: advise HMRC of changes to your clients VAT account, view their account, view submitted returns, print a VAT certificate, cancel a VAT registration, and print VAT returns on behalf of your client. 

If you are not yet authorised to represent your client via the ASA, you will need to complete a Digital handshake. For information on how to do this please visit the following link:

How this affects clients 

The majority of clients will be unaffected by this change, they will be automatically logged into the new IT service when they access their VAT online account via their Business Tax Account. 

The small number of clients who still have access to the legacy IT service will not be able to submit a VAT return, set up or amend a direct debit or change VAT registration details. Clients affected will be directed to the new service by relevant guidance. 

VAT returns should be made through MTD compatible software unless we have granted an exemption. 

Clients must have a Government Gateway user ID and password to access the latest VAT online account. For assistance in gaining access Government Gateway, please follow this link:"

If you have any feedback or queries in relation to this change please email us at [email protected]