HMRC has launched the Income Record Viewer, a new service for agents that provides access to information available to clients
in their Personal Tax Account, and which is not available to agents either online or by phoning the Agent Dedicated Line.
Previously known as the Agent Income Record Viewer or PAYE Income Record Viewer, the Income Record Viewer provides agents with view-only access to clients’ pay and tax details and employment history for the current tax year and the four years preceding it
The Income Record Viewer will provide the following information, if available:
- Employments, occupational pensions, pay, tax and student loan deductions
- Tax code including all allowances and deductions
- Taxable benefits provided by an employer
- Information on underpaid tax
- State retirement pension income.
Available now to all agents with an agent services account, the Income Record Viewer is accessible from the agent services account homepage (via the ‘view a client’s income record’ link).
To view the information HMRC holds for a particular tax year, agents will need to enter the client’s National Insurance number and then select the applicable year.
Before agents can view details in the Income Record Viewer, they will need authorisation from each client via an authorisation link — this needs to be done once by each client.
The authorisation link will be triggered the first time an agent accesses the Income Record Viewer for a client. They will be asked to enter the clients’ National Insurance number and date of birth. According to HMRC, this is to protect client security and comply with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) obligations.
Once the agent-client relationship is established via the link process, agents will be able to access income details for that client.
Short-term hassle for long-term gain?
News of the new service received a mixed welcome from AccountingWEB members via a post on the Any Answers forum. Original poster WhiteRose asked: “do we know if it will have better data on it than the APIs used via my tax software? It involves getting a new authorisation from every client, not sure if it’s going to be worth that extra work…”
Several members expressed frustration that existing authorisations for services such as self assessment or VAT didn’t work, so agents needed to authorise via the Government Gateway, which could be a stumbling block for some.