What is Government Gateway?

Government gateway is an online service where you can register to use a variety of online government services.

Importantly for taxpayers you can use government gateway HMRC which gives you access to digital HMRC services.

Some of the widely used government gateway tax services include the personal tax account and self assessment.

For individuals who want to manage their tax online using the options made available by HMRC can be really useful and save you time.

Once you have registered for a government gateway account you can then select the tax service you want.

There are different types of HMRC government gateway accounts with our guide focusing on the account specifically for individuals who are employed or self employed (or both).

How do I sign up for the government gateway?

To sign up for a government gateway account you will need to prove your identity.

You will need your national insurance number and two other forms of ID from the list below:

  • Valid UK passport.
  • UK driving licence.
  • P60 from the last tax year.
  • Information from a self assessment tax return if you submit one.
  • Payslip from the last three months.
  • Information relating to a tax credit claim.
  • Credit record details for example information relating to a personal loan or credit card.

It’s best to have what you need before you try and sign up online to avoid wasting your time.

Follow the GOV.UK link and click on the green box and then select the ‘Create sign in details’ link.

You will be asked to:

  • Enter your email address.
  • Enter your full name.
  • Create a password.
  • Create a ‘recovery word’ just in case you lose access to your account in the future.

After you have followed the online process you will be sent a government gateway user ID which is twelve characters in length.

It is recommended to keep a copy of your 12 character user ID, password and recovery word in a safe place.

Government gateway and HMRC services

HMRC uses the government gateway for access to many of their digital services.

They have an account for individuals aka personal tax account and organisations called a business tax account.

You can register for the following HMRC digital services via the government gateway:

  • Personal tax account (individual account).
  • Self assessment (individual account).
  • Corporation tax (organisation account).
  • PAYE for employers (organisation account).
  • Business tax account ( organisation account).
  • VAT (organisation account).

Government gateway and your personal tax account

The government gateway allows you to register for your personal tax account.

Registering for a government gateway account automatically sets up your personal tax account for you.

Each time you log in to your personal tax account HMRC will send you a fresh access code to your mobile phone or other device.

The personal tax account is a great way to deal with your personal tax matters online and lets you see and update information instead of having to call or write to HMRC.

Some of the popular features a personal tax account offers include:

  • Changing residential address details.
  • Checking and changing your tax code.
  • Finding P45 and P60 figures.
  • Finding your national insurance number (NINO).
  • Finding your employers PAYE tax reference.
  • Claiming some job expenses under PAYE.
  • Updating tax credit information.

Government gateway and self assessment

HMRC have a self assessment online service for individuals who need to complete a self assessment tax return.

To sign up for government gateway self assessment you will require your 10 digit unique taxpayer reference (UTR) which will be connected to the government gateway account you have established.

HMRC’s online self assessment service sends you a postal activation code as an additional security tier before you can access it for the first time only.

It allows you to complete and submit your tax return online, check SA statements and make self assessment tax payments to HMRC.

Your self assessment tax account also has a number of other options which are very useful when needing to oversee your self assessment record.

You can register here for self assessment online services through the government gateway.

Government gateway HMRC business tax account

You can get an HMRC business tax account by choosing the organisation account option when you sign up through the government gateway.

The business tax account is for likes of sole traders, partnerships, and limited companies and allows you to register for self assessment if you are self employed.

Choosing the organisation option for a business tax account is an obvious decision for most businesses.

For self-employed sole traders who do not currently need to register for VAT or PAYE but anticipate that they might in the future, setting up a business tax account can be beneficial to ensure readiness if the need arises.

Some of the taxes you can oversee through your HMRC business account are:

What do I do if I have lost my Government Gateway User ID or password?

If you have already set up a government gateway account and you have lost your user ID and/or password you can retrieve or reset what you need online.

What you should do will depend on the type of service you want to use.

HMRC has a problems signing in page which will let you know what process to follow. You can also phone HMRC on: 0300 200 3600.

You will be given three options to reset or recover your login details as listed below:


Check your emails. If you have misplaced your government gateway user ID you can find it on the original email that was sent to you when you first registered for the service.


HMRC has a free app that you can download to support you with your income tax and claiming a tax rebate.

To use the HMRC app you need enter your government gateway details. You should only need to use your government gateway ID and password for the first time you use the app.

After the first time it’s easier to login because you can use facial recognition, your fingerprint or a six digit PIN.

Government gateway and GOV.UK Verify

Government gateway and GOV.UK Verify are not the same. GOV.UK Verify is an online service that is used to prove your ID.

It is no longer supported by HMRC and isn’t helpful when creating a government gateway account or when using HMRC services online.

What other government services are online?

There are many government services which offer different degrees of online access.

The number will probably keep growing as more and more services are digitised to help save time and hopefully money.

You can find here a complete list here of all government departments that currently have online services and support.

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