ICB qualifications in Payroll Management, Self Assessment Tax and Corporation Tax mean you can act as a Tax Agent for your clients

Online Services for Agents Account

If you want to file Self Assessment Tax, Corporation Tax and PAYE on behalf of your clients you'll need to set up an HMRC online services for agents account.

You can do this on HMRC's website:


Once you have set up your account you'll need to enrol for each 'service' that you want to use and your clients will then need to authorise you to act on their behalf.

The services are:

To enrol for these services you will first need to get an 'SA Agent Code' and/or a 'CT Agent Code' which can only be obtained in writing as per the above links.

To enrol for PAYE you will need an 'Agent Reference' which can be obtained online as per the above link.

To enrol for VAT you will need your own company's VAT Number to hand. If you're not VAT registered, you'll need to follow the steps online to get a 'VAT Agent Reference Number' and then wait up to 24 hours for it to work.

Once you've set up your VAT for Agents service you will then be sent an activation code in the post within 10 working days. You must activate VAT for Agents within 28 days of the date on the letter, or you’ll have to complete the sign up process again.

You can also register for the Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings online service.

Once you’ve enrolled on the services you want to use, you must then get authorisation from your clients to act on their behalf. You can do this directly through your online services for agents account. After logging in, either select 'Authorise client' from the left hand menu on the 'Your services' page or 'Request authorisation' from the left hand menu on the 'At a glance' page. Your client will then be posted an authorisation code to give to you to authorise the account. They should receive the code within 10 working days. Your client needs to pass the code to you so that you can activate the request in your online servcies account. 

Once you have successfully set up your agent account, enrolled for each tax service, and have authorised clients, you will be able to use HMRC online services to:

  • manage your client lists
  • file returns
  • update a client’s details
  • receive information about your client from HMRC
  • give and revoke access to members of your team

You can also contact HMRC by phone or post on behalf of your client.

Agent Services Account (ASA)

If you want to sign up your clients to MTD you'll also need to set up an Agent Services Account. This can only be done if you already have an HMRC online services for agents account as above.

You can set up your ASA here:


You'll need the Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) for your tax agent practice. This will be your:

  • Corporation Tax or company UTR for a limited company
  • partnership UTR for a partnership or limited liability partnership
  • Self Assessment UTR if you’re a sole trader

You’ll also need:

  • the Government Gateway user ID and password you use to access HMRC online services for agents
  • the postcode associated with your UTR
  • your money laundering supervisory body details, including:
    • your supervisory body’s name (ICB appears as Institute of Bookkeepers)
    • your membership number
    • the date your membership expires

For more details on MTD and setting up an ASA visit:

> www.bookkeepers.org.uk/MTD