How to choose a tax agent

Find out what you should look for if you want a tax agent to interact with HMRC on your behalf.

You can choose to use a tax advisor or agent to interact with HMRC on your behalf, particularly if you have complex tax affairs.

If you decide that you need a tax agent, you must make sure to choose the right tax agent carefully. This is because even if you use a tax agent, you remain responsible for your own tax affairs.

How to decide if you need a tax agent

Before choosing a tax agent, think about whether you can deal with HMRC yourself. You can do this through your personal tax account or your business tax account.

You can claim a tax refund (also known as a tax rebate) on GOV.UK. You do not need an agent to do this for you.

An agent will charge fees for claiming a tax refund for you.

You can also get help from:

What you need to look out for

If you do decide to choose a tax agent, you should:

  • check their website to see what tax services they offer
  • read their terms and conditions so you fully understand the fees you will pay, any legal contract you may be agreeing to and the service you’re signing up for
  • check how much the agent charges and how and when you’re expected to make payment
  • find out about their reputation and history (for example, search for online reviews or their Facebook page)
  • make sure they have the right experience to help you, for example certain trade sectors or business sizes
  • check they can provide all the services you need, for example, payroll, audit or investment
  • ask if they’re registered for Online Access with HMRC so they can do your tax digitally
  • confirm they are aware of and meeting HMRC’s agent standards

Make sure you contact a few different agents before choosing which one provides the right services for you.

You should meet the person who will be interacting with HMRC on your behalf and find out how much they will charge you for their services.

Even if you use an agent, the figures on your tax return are your responsibility. You must not sign a blank return for your tax agent to fill in and should always review the return before signing it.

You should also never share your Government Gateway user ID or password with your agent.

What to do next

Once you have chosen an agent, you must appoint and authorise them to deal with HMRC on your behalf.

Find out how to appoint someone to deal with HMRC on your behalf.

Published 22 September 2022