Q1. Why do I need Internet Explorer?

A1. As a Government Gateway ID owner, you will need to authorise the Excel Bridging Tool to access your MTD account. HMRC stipulates that this must be done on HMRC's website. The Excel Bridging Tools are configured to automatcially redirect you to HMRC's web pages using the Internet Explorer browser. Here you can grant the Excel Bridging Tool authority to connect with your MTD account. Upon completion, you will be guided back into the Excel Bridging Tool where you can then start to use the API functionality built in. For example, to view Obligations and file VAT returns.

Q2. I granted authority to the workbook successfully, however when I view Obligations I receive a message stating 'client/agent not authorised'.

A2. Surprisingly, HMRC allows Government Gateway IDs to grant authority to bridging software even though IDs may not yet be MTD registered. In such a case, HMRC will not allow an ID to view Obligations, Liabilities or Payments and will also not allow a VAT Return to be submitted or retrieved. In these cases HMRC will issue the 'client/agent not authorised' message.

Tip: Be certain you are MTD registered before your use the bridging tool's functions. HMRC will send confirmation of your registration via email, which can take up to 72 hours from the time of your signing up. Don't forget to check your spam folder if it appears you haven't received it.

Q3. We are a tax team. Can a single VRN be processed by multiple Government Gateway IDs?

A3. Yes, a VRN can be used in conjunction with more that one Government Gateway ID and password so long as each ID is MTD registered and grants authority to the bridging software tool.

Q4. How do I register for MTD for VAT?

A4. You can register for MTD for VAT as either a business or your client at the following links:

Q5. I can view my Obligations but HMRC does not return any Liabilities or Payments. Is this right?

A5. Yes, that's correct. MTD accounts start with a clean slate. Any Liabilities or Payments relating to pre-MTD submissions are not included. The single exception to this are a number of fulfilled returns in your Obligations that are dated prior to your MTD registration. However, because your MTD account only includes data pertaining to MTD submissions, you will not be able to retrieve these returns.

Q6. I cannot authorise the tool. I get a message box response saying "Auth-Code Fail". I notice that I granted authority in the Edge browser rather than with Internet Explorer.

A6. Internet Explorer remains the only browser that can be automated on a distributed basis. So if you are trying to authorise your bridging tool, you will need Internet Explorer to be available. And if you have Microsoft Edge set as your default browser, you may not be able to complete the authorisation process successfully. To proceed successfully you can change your Edge settings to make Internet Explorer available to the bridging tool. Open your Edge browser and navigate to Settings >> Default Browser and select the following highlighted options. You will need to restart the Edge browser to complete.