By AAT Comment Accountancy resources Briefing note – Agent Online Self Serve (AOSS) 14 Jan 2016 Agent Online Self Serve (AOSS) is a programme of work which will deliver new and improved online services for agents. It supports HMRC’s digital and agent strategies, as well as the government’s overall approach to digital transformation. AOSS will deliver functionality that will provide a suite of easy to use, joined-up digital services that will allow agents to access services their clients have authorised them to use. AOSS will continue to extend the current service delivered for agents that gives them a view of their client’s PAYE account, to VAT, SA and CT. AOSS will also provide an improved process for agent authorisation. AOSS is being developed with input from agents to ensure that it best meets agents’ varied needs. Agents have told HMRC that viewing employer client PAYE liabilities and payments was a priority, so this is the focus of the initial beta service testing. Agent Volunteers The private beta service for PAYE liabilities and payment was launched in April 2015. Since then over 800 agents have been actively testing the AOSS service, providing valuable feedback and suggestions for enhancements. As HMRC move towards a public beta service for PAYE liabilities and payments, and in the future the extension to SA, VAT, and CT, they continue to look for agents to volunteer to test these services. Currently we are looking for volunteers from agents with no more than 200 clients within each individual service in these tax regimes. The full list of services are listed on the ‘Services you can use’ section of ‘Your HMRC services’ after log in to HMRC online services for agents. If agents who meet the current criteria are interested in helping us with this trial they should complete the questionnaire on GOV.UK. The period for agents to volunteer for the trial closes on 11 December 2015. Agents with over 200 clients in any service who have already sought to join the private beta trial will be contacted and, where possible, will be invited to test future services when these are developed. Larger professional services firms The current service has been designed and tested for small sized agents, which is defined as those with less than 200 employer clients, who interact directly with the systems. In time, firms using in-house or third party software, will also be able to access services provided for agents. Feedback from larger firms has told them that they would prefer to use application programming interfaces (APIs) to interact with HMRC. HMRC are in discussions with software developers and larger agent firms to develop this work, and they will update you on any developments in due course. Prototype Pages Static screenshots of the prototype pages can be found at HMRC Digital Service Screenshots. Agents are being encouraged to take a look and complete the short feedback form on the final screen. Next steps Over the coming months HMRC will continue to build and test the services built for AOSS, and add additional features. For AOSS to deliver its full benefits for agents and HMRC it is important that both hold the same, up to date and accurate information about agents and their clients. It is therefore increasingly important that agents prepare now for AOSS by ensuring their client information and lists are up to date and accurate. Updates on AOSS will be provided through regular briefings to stakeholders and posts to agents on the HMRC Tax Agents’ Blog. AAT Comment offers news and opinion on the world of business and finance from the Association of Accounting Technicians.