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Accountants in Practice

Agent Services Account and Making Tax Digital

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  • To submit VAT returns on behalf of clients under Making Tax Digital, agents need a new Agent Services Account (ASA)
  • You may already have a new ASA if you’ve signed up for the Trust Registration Service (TRS) or signed clients up for the MTD for Income Tax Pilot. You do not need to create a new one for MTD for VAT
  • Be prepared – once a client is signed up to MTD their returns MUST be submitted using MTD compatible software, so don’t sign up your clients unless they are ready
  • Business that pay by Direct Debit must sign up at least 15 working days before they need to submit to allow the payment to be taken

Step 1 - Creating an Agent Services Account (ASA)

  • Before signing clients up to MTD you must first create an Agent Services Account (ASA)
  • For guidance and to create an account go to: services-account
  • ASA is currently only used for the TRS, MTD VAT and MTD Income Tax
  • You will use your current Government Gateway (GG) ID to create your ASA, and as part of signing up will receive new credentials. It is these new credentials that you will use to access MTD services
  • You will still need your current GG IDs to access other HMRC online services

Step 2 - Linking existing agent/ client relationships


  • Once the ASA is created, you can use the service to link existing authorised client relationships by following the guidance on linking existing clients
  • The ‘link clients service’ is accessed from the ASA. Once each client is linked, you will see an ‘Account linked’ message
  • This process requires you to input your current GG IDs so that we can identify the relationship already exists
  • All the clients that exist under a specific GG ID are linked to the ASA (if you have multiple GG accounts you may need to repeat this step to link all of your clients) 

Important: The client list cannot be viewed from within the ASA

Step 3 - Authorise MTD compatible software

  • Before signing a client up to MTD you must make sure you have compatible software, see:
  • If using existing software, you need to make sure it is MTD compatible and that its MTD capabilities have been enabled – contact your provider to discuss
  • You must delegate authority to the MTD compatible software (this applies to both new and existing software)


Once signed up returns must be submitted using MTD compatible software. You cannot use the previous channel

Step 4 - Sign business up to Making Tax Digital

  • Using the new GG ID created for your ASA you can sign up clients by going to:
  • You will receive confirmation that the client’s information has been received. We will email you (usually within 72 hours) confirming you can start using MTD software to submit the client’s return
  • You should tell your client you are now submitting returns through Making Tax Digital
  • Each client needs to be signed up individually or the client can sign themselves up


When connecting software to HMRC you must use your new ASA GG ID. If you attempt to log in with another GG ID our systems will not be able to recognise the MTD relationship with your client so you will receive an error message and be unable to file the return.