When you hire an accountant to take care of your limited company affairs, you need to formally authorise them to deal with HMRC on your behalf. This is achieved by filling in Form 64-8, or using the online client authorisation system.
You can authorise your accountant to act on your behalf online, or by filling in the paper Form 64-8. This will enable your accountant to liaise directly with HMRC, and deal with tax-related correspondence on your behalf.
Some accountants still prefer to use the paper method, which is not a problem, however it may take weeks before the information is processed, so you should post the completed form as soon as possible.
What details are captured by Form 64-8?
- Your signature to authorise your accountant to act on your behalf.
- Your company name and registered address (or individual details if just authorising for your personal tax affairs).
- Your accountant’s name and address.
- The aspects of your tax affairs you want to authorise your accountant to deal with – your personal affairs, tax credits, Corporation Tax, VAT and your company payroll.
You can download a PDF version of Form 64-8 here.
As with all other aspects of communication with HMRC, taxpayers are actively encouraged to take advantage of online client authorisation these days.
Aside from tax credit and taxpayers who do not fill in an annual self assessment return, all of the services included on Form 64-8 can be authorised online.
All company accountants will have an HMRC online services agent code for each area of taxation.
Your accountant simply needs to input some key details relating to the service(s) they will be dealing with – e.g. your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) for self assessment, your Corporation Tax Reference for Corporation Tax, your company’s VAT registration number and other details for VAT online submission, and Accounts office references for your payroll.
Once your accountant registers you on the system, you will receive a letter containing a unique authorisation code, which you send to your accountant to complete the process.
You can read a full guide to the online authorisation process, for each type of tax, on the HMRC website.
Clearly, for most newly formed limited companies, you won’t yet be registered for any of these services (aside from self assessment), and will have no current tax registration details. Your accountant will register you for all the taxes you will be liable to pay via your company.
One final point worth mentioning is that you, as the company director, are ultimately responsible for all your tax affairs, and for the accuracy of any information sent to HMRC or Companies House.
Even though your accountant will prepare your books and communicate with the tax authorities, the buck stops with you, so take some time to understand the different aspects of company taxation, and check your accounts thoroughly before signing them off.