What is a Personal Tax Account?

Personal tax account is an online service provided by HMRC to give you access to your personal tax information all in one place. The personal tax account allows you to manage your tax issues in your time without the need to write or call HMRC.

Having instant access to your personal tax account will save you time and energy letting you handle your tax matters in a better way.

It was launched in 2015 and it has been a great success with countless hours saved by dealing with everything online at a time that suits you.

Why should I set up my Personal Tax Account now?

Personal tax account is a free service set up by the government and operates with high security systems in place.

The main benefit to having your Personal Tax Account up and running is that you have your tax information altogether in one online portal. The idea is that having all your information accessible in one place will give you more overall financial control.

Your account is personalised to you. This means that you don’t have to wade through a wealth of irrelevant ‘stuff’ to find the regulations that apply to you.

We think that another positive to this new system is speed of processing information. It should cut the waiting time between applying for a tax rebate and actually receiving your refund cheque or BACS transfer.

What can I do with my Personal Tax Account?

This system is growing all the time and you can already access a variety of elements to your financial life. Such as:

  • Simply informing HMRC that you’ve moved house.
  • Make sure you have the right tax code, people generally underestimate how important this is.
  • Find your national insurance number.
  • File and monitor a self assessment tax return online.
  • Check your income tax estimate, enabling you to budget more efficiently.
  • Checking your State Pension track.
  • Keeping an eye on any tax related forms you have sent to HMRC online.
  • Organise tax credits.
  • Update and monitor your Marriage Allowance.
  • Find a lost UTR number, you have one of these if you are self employed or complete a tax return for other reasons.
  • Check work benefits, like medical insurance or company car.
  • Analyse your P800 forms if you have paid too much or too little tax.

Remember, this is just the starting list for the Personal Tax Accounts. HMRC are adding new elements continuously as they work towards their goal of having a fully digitised tax collection and payment system.

How do I set up my Personal Tax Account?

Let’s be honest here, there are no actual ten minute jobs, even HMRC say that it should only take 5-10 minutes to set up.

To get started you will need to login to your government gateway account.

The online form bit itself is easy to follow; as it simply involves setting up security protocol and inputting your information. But how long it takes you to find the details you need is entirely dependent on how organised your paperwork is to start with.

Things you need to apply for a personal tax account:

  • National Insurance number (this is on your payslip)
  • Recent payslip
  • Most recent P60 or UK passport (must be in date)
  • Your mobile number or landline number, as part of the 2-step security
  • Choose which email address you want to attach to the account

Now you’ve got all that together, just go to Government Gateway and select either the individual, organisation (if you represent a business) or agent (if you represent others’ in financial matters to the government) column to start the registration process.

This is done in four well guided steps:

  1. Type in your name, email address and a unique password. The software generates your Government Gateway User ID.
  2. To sign in for the first time, you will need this User ID, your password and a unique 6-digit number code. At this point you need to say which phone number you want this code to be sent to, landline or mobile. Most people find a text to a mobile is the most convenient, but it’s up to you. After you receive the code, you enter it in the appropriate field in order to have your identity confirmed.
  3. Answer security questions based around the information you have to hand from your P60, passport and payslips.
  4. Your identity will be verified by your answers and then you can access everything in your Personal Tax Account.

That’s it, next time you will need your User ID and password to get into your account.

If you have any problems with the process you can contact HMRC for some help.

Safety and security with your Personal Tax Account

You are the only person who can access your Personal Tax Account with your individual user ID and password. The service is only available for people that have completed the same registration procedure as you.

HMRC takes security very seriously and uses firewall protection as standard for all of its systems. This provides maximum security for your information because it detects any unauthorised entry attempts. All the data you share with HMRC online is encrypted and your account can only be seen by you.

You do have to be vigilant about your own online safety. Do not tell people your user ID or password and, if you need to note it down, keep it in a discrete place.

One of the security measures within the system is to show you the last date and time you logged into your Personal Tax Account. You need to check this and if something doesn’t look right, contact HMRC immediately through their website.

Another safety aspect that is already built in is an automatic log out if your account is not active after 15 minutes. This is really useful if you are forgetful about logging out.

As ever, we reiterate, HMRC will not ask for any personal or financial details by phone, text or email and this includes reference to your Personal Tax Account. We all have to watch out for scammers and report anything suspicious, even if you haven’t lost any money.

Sharing Information with your accountant

Your Personal Tax Account is a useful gathering of all your tax information. You can use it when your tax expert needs details for filling in a tax return or submitting a tax rebate claim.

Instead of typing out all the information, you could just take a screenshot of the relevant Personal Tax Account page and attach it to your email. We always need the tax year and your employer’s name if we are dealing with your income.

Or, you can login to your account, give us a call and read all the numbers over the phone.

Alternatively, you can go completely ‘old school’ and print out the necessary page from your Personal Tax Account and send it by Royal Mail.

However you share your data, your Personal Tax Account is a useful tool for compiling anything connected to your tax situation.

HMRC app and other digital services

HMRC offers a free app which can help you access the same features as the personal tax account.

You can use it for claiming a tax rebate online and can find out more about the HMRC app in our blog.

The HMRC digital assistant is another handy online tool which lets you search for solutions to your tax queries instead of phoning the HMRC helpline.

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