What is my Government Gateway ID?

Most HMRC services, such as viewing your tax account or submitting a return, are available online, so you’ll need a Government Gateway ID to verify your identity and access these. Your Government Gateway ID acts as a portal, connecting you to any services which you sign up for and link to your account.

How do I get a Government Gateway ID?

You can sign up for a Government Gateway ID through the GOV.UK website. You’ll need your:

  • National Insurance number or UK address
  • P60, a recent payslip, or a valid UK passport


How will my Government Gateway ID be sent to me?

Your new user ID will be sent to you by email or post once you sign up. The password will be something you choose yourself. If you request new details, or an update to your details, then these will also be sent to you the same way.


What does the Government Gateway ID look like?

Your Government Gateway ID is generated automatically as a combination of up to 12 numbers. For example, 123412341234.

How do I use my Government Gateway ID?

Keep your ID and password safe as you’ll need them every time you log in, but the security doesn’t stop there! Each time you enter your log in details, you’ll receive a text message containing a unique 6-digit code. You’ll need to enter this on-screen to pass the security check, and complete your sign-in for HMRC’s online services.


What can I access through the Government Gateway?

Your Gateway account can give you access to a lot of services, ranging from finding a job, to your Personal Tax Account, submitting tax returns, and beyond. The full list can be found on the GOV.UK website.

You will need to link some services to your Gateway account before you can start using them.


For instance, before getting stuck in with Self Assessment tax returns, you must register for Self Assessment and wait for your UTR number so you can link the service to your Gateway ID.

What if I’m having problems signing in with my Government Gateway ID or password?

These days we seem to need an ID and password for pretty much everything, so it’s no wonder they sometimes get forgotten.

The good news is that you can recover your user ID and reset your password online if you can’t remember either your user ID or password for the Government Gateway.

Depending on which service you want to log in and use, you may also need to provide other information to confirm your identity, such as your name, address, NI number, or UTR number.

If you lose your activation code for a service, you can sign in and request a new one as long as you signed up less than 28 days ago. If more than 28 days have passed, you’ll need to enrol for the service again.

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What can I do if I get locked out of my Government Gateway account?

You’ll be locked out of your Gateway account if you enter the wrong user ID or password five times in a row. If this happens, you must wait two hours before you can try again. It’s one of the (many) reasons accountants tell their clients to leave lots of time for tax returns!

If you’re still having problems signing in, you’ll find further information and HMRC’s contact details via their technical helpdesk.

Our top tip:

If you can’t remember your ID, search your email inbox and folders for the words ‘Government Gateway user ID’.

What is GOV.UK Verify then?

GOV.UK Verify is very similar to the Government Gateway in that it’s another way of confirming your identity in order to use HMRC’s online services. Again, it can be used for a number of things, but this excludes your Business Tax Account, which requires a Government Gateway ID.

Government Gateway or GOV.UK Verify: How do I know which one to use?

This is entirely up to you! Using the Government Gateway is useful if you run your own business, because you’ll be able to use it to access HMRC’s full range of online services, as well as your company’s Business Tax Account if you have one. You’ll need access to this in order to submit a Company Tax Return if your business is a limited company.

Sole traders, on the other hand, may find GOV.UK Verify is enough, particularly if you only need access to your Personal Tax Account, don’t have any employees, and you’re not VAT registered. Ultimately the choice is yours depending on your needs.

Learn more about how Pandle bookkeeping software can help you keep your business on track, and register your free account.

Elizabeth Hughes

A content writer specialising in business, finance, software, and beyond. I'm a wordsmith with a penchant for puns and making complex subjects accessible.

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