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Some people - often known as clients - might ask you to deal with their tax credits 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.
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You need to be authorised to act on your client's behalf if you:
If you only want general tax credits advice, you don't need to be authorised. A lot of general tax credits advice is available online by following the link below.
You will be able to discuss your client’s tax credits claim with the Tax Credit Office and also provide information about them.
Unless you have been authorised to act as an 'appointee', you will not be able to get:
Your client should:
Alternatively, your client can write a letter giving exactly the same information as on form TC689.
You might deal with a lot of tax credits clients. If so, you may want to register as an 'intermediary organisation' with the Tax Credit Office’s Intermediaries, Agents and Appointees Team. This allows you to contact the Tax Credit 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.
If you are a professional adviser working for clients on an ongoing basis in return for payment, you are often known as an 'agent'. For example, you could be an accountant, solicitor or tax adviser.
If your client asks you to handle a tax credits claim for them, they'll need to complete form 64-8.
You can't set up client authorisations online for tax credits.
Your friend or relative will need to fill in form TC689 Authority for an intermediary to act on your behalf. Once they have completed this form they should send it to the Tax Credit Office. A photocopied form is acceptable, but any signatures must be original. The address is on the form.
Appointees are people who have been appointed to act for someone else by one or more of the following:
You're not an appointee if you're simply helping someone to understand what they need to do to complete their claim form.
You can deal with your client's tax credits 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.
You will not be able to act until the Tax Credit Office has received both of the following:
Until that time, your client will need to deal directly with the Tax Credit Office. If you call the Tax Credit 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 Tax Credit 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 call the Tax Credit Helpline you'll need to be able to answer a number of security questions about your client and about yourself. This is to make sure the Tax Credit Helpline is dealing with the right customer and the right intermediary and not breaking confidentiality rules. You will also have to provide your client's National Insurance number if they have one.