Using HMRC paper forms to apply for client authorisation

As a tax agent, adviser or accountant, you must be formally authorised by an individual or a business to deal with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on their behalf. HMRC won't be able to discuss your client's personal or financial information with you if they haven't received this formal authorisation.

In most cases getting formal authorisation is straightforward. The easiest way to set up and manage your client authorisations is to use HMRC Online Services. If you choose not to set up your client authorisations online, you can ask your client to complete a paper form.

This guide explains how to use paper forms to set up client authorisations and suggests ways to speed up the process.

On this page:

Applying for client authorisation using paper forms

The easiest way to set up and manage your client authorisations is to use HMRC Online Services. This saves you and your client having to complete paper forms and makes it easier for you to manage authorisations for all your clients online. But if you choose not to use HMRC Online Services to set up authorisations, you can ask your client to complete a paper form.

Agent authorisation (whether by paper form or online) will not transfer any of your client's legal obligations to you. Your client remains responsible for all aspects of their dealings with HMRC.

Agent codes and agent reference numbers

For some taxes you need an agent code (or agent reference number) before you set up client authorisations.

For Self Assessment, Corporation Tax, PAYE for employers and CIS clients, you must have an agent code. This applies whether you are using a paper form or the online authorisation process.

For VAT and VAT EU Refunds, you don't need an agent code to set up authorisations using form 64-8, but some agents do need an agent reference number to set up online client authorisations.

Find out more about agent codes and agent reference numbers

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Authorisation using forms 64-8 or FBI 2

Your clients can use form 64-8 to authorise you to act on their behalf for:

  • individual, partnership and trust tax affairs (which includes National Insurance)
  • requests for information to help calculate the High Income Child Benefit charge (see separate section later in this guide)
  • Corporation Tax
  • PAYE for employers
  • CIS for contractors
  • tax credits (see separate section later in this guide)
  • VAT (see separate section later in this guide)

If you know that your client wants you to act on their behalf for more than one tax or process, you can get authorisation for all of them at the same time by selecting the appropriate boxes on form 64-8. If you start to act for an aspect of a client's affairs not covered by the original form 64-8, you'll need to submit a new one.

Please note: if your client wants you to act in relation to CIS, they should make a clear note on the form (or attach a separate letter).

Read more about acting as a tax agent for a CIS contractor or subcontractor

Personal representatives can also use form 64-8 if they want you to deal with the estate of a deceased person in certain circumstances (see the section below).

The completed form should normally be sent to HMRC at the following address, but there are some exceptions (see later in this section):

HM Revenue & Customs
Central Agent Authorisation Team
Benton Park View
Longbenton
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE98 1ZZ

When the registration process is complete, HMRC may start sending letters and forms to you - but sometimes HMRC will write to your client as well as or instead of you. Depending on which tax you've been authorised for, you may also be able to view statements online, returns submitted, payments made and what is owed.

If your client has authorised this, you will start receiving their Self Assessment statements. But your client will continue to receive National Insurance statements unless they have asked HMRC to defer payment.

Go to form 64-8

You can find out when to expect a reply to your form 64-8 using HMRC's 'Where's my reply?' tool.

Use the 'Where's my reply?' tool

When to send form 64-8 to another HMRC Office

Your client should send the completed form 64-8 to HMRC at the above address unless:

  • the authorisation relates solely to Corporation Tax (in which case you should send it to the HMRC Office that deals with your clients' Corporation Tax)
  • your client is already dealt with by the Manchester Expatriate Team, in which case you should send it to that team
  • your client is already dealt with by the High Net Worth Unit (previously the Complex Personal Return Team), in which case you should send it to that team
  • the form has been specifically requested by an HMRC office, in which case you should return it there
  • the authorisation relates to a charity, in which case you should send it to the charities correspondence team in Bootle
  • the authorisation relates to trust tax affairs, in which case you should send it to the trusts and estates team in Nottingham
  • the form accompanies an R40 repayment claim (see below)

R40 repayment claims

If you're sending form 64-8 with an R40 repayment claim for the National Claims Office in Leicester, you should send both forms to that address. But if your client has a PAYE source of income you should send them to:

HM Revenue & Customs
PO Box 4000
Cardiff
CF14 8HR

Find address details for HMRC offices

Form FBI 2: authorisation to use the PAYE/CIS for Agents online service

You can use the PAYE/CIS for Agents online service to set up client authorisations. This service enables you to handle your client's PAYE for employers and/or CIS affairs online.

If you don't choose to use the online authorisation process, your client can authorise you to transact online on their behalf by completing the paper form FBI 2 instead.

Form FBI 2 can only be used to authorise the accepting of information over the internet. If you want to handle other PAYE for employers or CIS matters for your clients, your client must also complete from 64-8.

Get form FBI 2

Go to form 64-8

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Authorisation for VAT

If your client's business is already registered for VAT, please send the completed form 64-8 to HMRC at the following address:

HM Revenue & Customs
Central Agent Authorisation Team
Benton Park View
Longbenton
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE98 1ZZ

If your client's business is not registered for VAT, please submit the application for registration before you send in form 64-8. This will enable you to quote your client's VAT number on form 64-8. HMRC will still deal with you if they have any questions about your client's VAT registration application.

Read more about registering for VAT

When is form 64-8 not appropriate for VAT?

VAT online service

Your client can use form 64-8 to authorise you to act for them for VAT, but this doesn't authorise you to transact with HMRC online. If you want to transact with HMRC online on your client's behalf - for example submit their VAT Return - you also need to set up an online client authorisation through the VAT for Agents service.

Please note: if your client has more than one accountant or tax adviser acting for their business, and they want one of them to submit their VAT Return online, they will need to be careful about how they tell HMRC about this. The accountant, adviser or bookkeeper that your client wants to submit their return online must use the VAT for Agents online service to set up an online authorisation for VAT. Any other agent authorisations must be made using paper form 64-8.

Find out more about the VAT for Agents online service

Non-Established Taxable Person (NETP)

If, for VAT purposes, a client is a Non-Established Taxable Person (NETP) - defined as a trader who is not normally resident in the UK and who doesn't have a business address in the UK - they're entitled to appoint either a 'tax representative' or a 'tax agent' to act on their behalf. There is a different process for appointing agents and tax representative in these circumstances. Please follow the link below for more information.

Find out more about NETPs, VAT tax representatives and VAT agents

Option to Tax

VAT traders who wish to appoint an agent or other third party to make an Option to Tax (taxing any land or buildings being supplied) on their behalf are required to submit written confirmation to HMRC that the third party is authorised to do so. HMRC would also like to be notified if you withdraw that authority.

Find out more about Option to Tax

Registering or making changes to VAT groups

Your client must use form VAT 53 to authorise you to register a VAT group or make changes to an existing group on their behalf. If you're registering a business for VAT and setting up a VAT group at the same time you can send form VAT 53 with the application. If you're using HMRC Online Services you should attach the form to the online application.

Please note: form VAT 53 doesn't authorise you to deal with HMRC on behalf of the VAT group for any other matters.

Get form VAT 53

Read more about VAT groups

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Authorisation for tax credits

You can't set up client authorisations online for tax credits. Instead your client must complete form 64-8 and send it to HMRC.

HMRC will continue to write to your clients about their claim, but can deal with you in writing or by telephone on specific matters.

Please note joint tax credits claimants must both sign form 64-8.

If you are making a claim for tax credits at the same time as submitting form 64-8, please do not post them together. You should send form 64-8 to:

HM Revenue & Customs
Central Agent Authorisation Team
Benton Park View
Longbenton
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE98 1ZZ

Applications for tax credits should be sent direct to the Tax Credit Office at:

Tax Credit Office
Comben House
Farriers Way
Netherton
Merseyside
L30 4RN

Please note: you can only apply for agent authorisation for tax credits where there is an existing claim or if you're confident that a claim is due. For tax credits applications made within 12 months of form 64-8 being submitted, you can have your authority applied to the client record by contacting the Agent Priority Line. After that, a new form 64-8 will be needed.

Go to form 64-8

Find contact details for the Agent Priority Line

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Authorisation for the High Income Child Benefit charge

Your client can use form 64-8 to authorise you to request specific income and Child Benefit details about their partner/ex-partner.

Your client should send the completed form to:

HM Revenue & Customs
Central Agent Authorisation Team
Benton Park View
Longbenton
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE98 1ZZ

Go to form 64-8

Read about asking for income and Child Benefit entitlement details for a partner/ex-partner

When is form 64-8 not appropriate?

If your client wants to authorise you to deal with other Higher Income Child Benefit charge matters, they must complete form CH995 and send it to:

Child Benefit Office
PO Box 1
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE88 1AA

Form CH995 will allow you to do the following on your client's behalf:

  • ask about any Child Benefit payments they've received
  • tell the Child Benefit Office of their decision to stop or restart their Child Benefit payments
  • discuss matters relating to their decision with the Child Benefit Office on their behalf

Once authorisation has been set up the Child Benefit Office will be able to deal with you in writing, by telephone or online for these matters. But the Child Benefit Office will continue to send correspondence to your client regarding their Child Benefit.

Go to form CH995 Authorising a tax adviser for High Income Child Benefit charge matters

Read more about the High Income Child Benefit charge

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Personal representatives and agent authorisation

Personal representatives can use form 64-8 if they want you to deal with individual PAYE, Self Assessment and National Insurance affairs for the estate of a deceased person. When completing form 64-8 they should:

  • Put the name of the person (known as the signatory) who is authorising you to act on behalf of the estate in the first box on the left. This is usually the personal representative. The signatory should also add their signature next to their name.
  • Enter the address of the signatory in the ‘Give your personal details or company registered office here’ box.
  • Include the date of birth and National Insurance number of the signatory just above the ‘For official use only’ on form 64-8.

Please note: the National Insurance number or Unique Tax Reference (UTR) of the deceased person should be included in the boxes on the right.

The completed form should be sent to HMRC at the following address:

HM Revenue & Customs
Central Agent Authorisation Team
Benton Park View
Longbenton
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE98 1ZZ

Go to form 64-8

Read more about appointing someone else to act on behalf of a personal representative

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More than one agent acting for the same client

If your client has more than one agent acting on their behalf they must complete the appropriate form for each agent. For example, if your client has an agent for Self Assessment and another for Corporation Tax they must make it clear on each form 64-8 what service each agent is being authorised for.

Please also see the section above for information about multiple agent authorisations for VAT.

PAYE for employers

For PAYE for employers a client may want more than one agent to act on their behalf and deal with payroll issues. HMRC's PAYE for employers system is only able to send out information such as tax code notices P6 and P9 to one agent. Clients who have more than one agent dealing with their payroll matters must choose which one 'lead' agent they want to receive this information.

If you are becoming the 'lead' agent, you must be authorised using either the agent online authorisation service or by completing form 64-8. Clients can authorise HMRC to send information to you either online or by using form FBI 2.

If your client is already using an agent who continues to act for them as the 'lead' agent, please do not submit a form 64-8 for your authorisation as this may result in the 'lead' agent's details being overwritten.

If your client wishes to nominate you as a second agent, they should send a letter to HMRC with details of the secondary authority so that your records can be updated accordingly.

And remember, if you only wish to file information online on behalf of your client, and do not need HMRC to communicate with you directly, you can do so without submitting a form FBI 2.

Get form FBI 2

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Helping HMRC speed up the paper authorisation process

There are a number of ways that you can help HMRC make the paper agent authorisation process faster. But wherever possible, you should use HMRC Online Services instead of a paper form. The online process is fast, safe and secure and you can be certain that HMRC has received your request.

Use the latest on-screen forms

You can fill in forms 64-8 and CH995 on screen. This will save you time and you can send it to your client for their signature with the fields pre-filled. It will also help the form to be processed accurately using information you provide.

For this reason, it's a good idea to make sure you use the most recent version of the forms and discard any previous versions you may have.

Go to form 64-8

Go to form CH995

General hints to speed up processing of paper authorisations

You can help speed up the processing of authorisation by following the hints below:

  • don't send a covering letter with the completed form unless you have a specific question relating to the processing of the form
  • if you need to send other correspondence or forms with the 64-8 attached please send them to the right address
  • don't send duplicate authorisation requests (whether online or by paper) - if the authorisation hasn’t been processed in the appropriate timescales you should call the appropriate helpline to check its progress
  • if your form 64-8 hasn't been processed in the appropriate timescales and you sent it somewhere other than the Central Agent Authorisation Team, you can contact the Agent Account Manager team - who can try to identify the root cause of the problem and the appropriate contact within HMRC to resolve it
  • make sure the 64-8 or CH995 has an original signature and is dated by the client - don't send photocopies as they can't be processed
  • make sure you've included relevant agent identity codes
  • don't use form 64-8 to apply for an agent code or reference number
  • make sure you give all the information required for each entity covered by the 64-8 (individual, claimant, company, employer etc)
  • if submitting your client's form CWF1 or SA1 at the same time as form 64-8, make sure the forms are stapled together
  • form 64-8 only sets up a client authorisation - it doesn't register your client's business with HMRC (ticking the 'If UTR not yet issued tick here' box won't create a Self Assessment record)
  • if your client already has a Self Assessment record make sure the UTR or National Insurance number is included - otherwise your details can't be added to your clients record
  • if you're applying for authorisation to deal with a PAYE employer, make sure you include their full PAYE reference number (including tax district number)

Go to form 64-8

Go to form CH995

Get form FBI 2 for PAYE Online Services

Use the 'Where's my reply?' tool

Read more about Agent Account Managers

Read more about how to register your client's business with HMRC

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More useful links

Get an overview of agent authorisation

How to register your client's business with HMRC

Get started with HMRC Online Services for agents

Taxes and online filing for agents

Get authorisation to make a repayment claim on behalf of a charity or CASC

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