Some people - often known as clients - might ask you to deal with their Child Benefit on their behalf. You usually need to have your client's authority to act on their behalf but not if you want to give them general advice.
On this page:
You need to be authorised to act on your client's behalf if you:
If you only want general Child Benefit advice, you don't need to be authorised. A lot of general Child Benefit advice is available online by following the link below.
You will be able to discuss your client's Child Benefit claim with the Child Benefit Office and also provide information about them.
Unless you have been authorised to act as an 'appointee', you will not be able to:
Your client should
The Tax Credit Office takes the relevant details and then sends the form to the Child Benefit Office. Alternatively, your client can write a letter giving exactly the same information as on form TC689.
If you are dealing with a lot of Child Benefit queries you may want to register as an 'intermediary organisation'. To do this you will have to register with the Tax Credit Office’s Intermediaries, Agents and Appointees Team. This allows you to contact the Child Benefit Office urgently for advice, and will help them deal very quickly with any queries you may have. To register you need to write to:
HMRC Tax Credits
Intermediaries, Agents and Appointees Team
If you need authorisation urgently, and you have your client’s completed form TC689, you can use an online form to make your request. Your organisation must have registered with the Intermediaries, Agents and Appointees Team to do this. If they have, they'll have been given an Office Identification Number (OIN). You must quote your organisation's OIN on the online form.
If you use the online form you must keep hold of your client's completed form TC689 for seven years from the date it was signed. The Tax Credit Office could ask to see it at any time.
You will not be able to act until the Tax Credit Office has received both of the following:
Until then, your client will need to deal directly with the Child Benefit Office. If you call the Child Benefit Helpline in the meantime, your client will need to be with you. At the start of the call they will need to:
If your client is not with you, you'll only be able to get general advice.
If your client doesn’t have English as a first language the Child Benefit Helpline can arrange advice through an interpreter. Your client can use their own interpreter but both you and the interpreter must be present, along with your client, when you call.
If you need to call the Child Benefit Helpline you'll need to be able to answer security questions about your client and about yourself. This is to make sure the Child Benefit Helpline is dealing with the right customer and the right intermediary and not breaking confidentiality rules. It helps if you can also provide your client's Child Benefit number, or National Insurance number, if they have one.
You can deal with your client's Child Benefit affairs on their behalf until your authorisation runs out. Authorisation usually lasts for 12 months from the date your client signed the TC689. But it can be earlier or later if they have entered a different end date on the form.