• Evolve Team

Setting up a Government Gateway Account (and why you need to!)

A Government Gateway account doesn’t sound terribly exciting does it? It’s hardly a portal to another (better!) world. But believe me when I tell you that this could spare you hours on a phone line, save hundreds on fines and/or accountants fees and all leave you feeling a lot more in control of your finances and taxes.


Information is power and that is what your own Government Gateway Account will give you. It’s rather satisfying to be ahead of the game and know where you stand with future payments. So why not read on and get yourself set up right?



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What is a Government Gateway Account?


The Government Gateway is an online space that you can log into and access many online services including your HMRC tax account used to file your self-assessment return.


It is a free service and is quick to set up and well worth doing as you can view all your relevant tax stuff in one place. Plus, the government is driving everything digital so best to be on board early and don’t get left behind.



Why you might need a Government Gateway Account


A Government Gateway Account is a very useful tool. You can view how much tax you need to pay, including payments on account, manage your payments including finding payment reference numbers, set up direct debit for vat etc, check your tax code (if you are employed). It’s basically going to give you the same snapshot of information that the government sees about you and your business, so you are all singing from the same hymn sheet. That’s incredibly useful.


One other very interesting and important benefit of the Government Gateway throughout the pandemic was that the SEISS (Self Employment Income Support Scheme) government grants issued had to be applied for using the gateway. This caught many people out who assumed their accountants could just do an application for them.


It seems therefore highly likely that any future potential schemes will always utilise this Gateway as the main hub for processing. Better to be already familiar with it so that in an emergency, you can access help straight away without a steep learning curve during what might be a very stressful time. You might say this will never happen again, but we never expected a two-year global pandemic and lock-down in the first place. So be prepared!



Do you need a separate Government Gateway Account for each company?


You can set up a Government Gateway as an individual and also for your business. You will need to create separate accounts for each.


If you have multiple businesses, then they each need their own account too.



How do I know if I have a government gateway account?


My preferred method of figuring out if I already have a login for anything is to run a search through my emails to find login or link details. Try using the words ‘Government Gateway’ and see if you discover an old email down the back of your sofa with some login details. You’ll probably have to request a new password if you haven’t used it before or forgotten you had it.


Failing that, you can try calling the HMRC tech support helpline on 0300 2003600, but be prepared to spend a long time on the phone. We recommend searching your emails first - it’ll be less frustrating.


The chances are, after a search of your emails, if you find no previous contact from them, then you probably did not already set up an account. So time to get cracking!



How to set up a Government Gateway Account - step by step


Right, let’s dive right in and get you set up with your new user ID and login details. Here we go…


1. Set up your Government Gateway Account using this link:

https://www.gov.uk/log-in-register-hmrc-online-services


  • Click sign-in, click create sign-in details, enter email address (you will be sent a verification code), enter name, create a password.

  • Keep a secure note of your password, set up a recovery word in case you lose access to your account. You really do not want to get locked out of your own Government Gateway Account.


2. When your Government ID is generated, print out or save a copy.


You will need these details along with your password every time you want to log in.


3. Chose what type of account you want:


  • Individual account - you can view your personal tax history, plan your payments on account if you are self-employed and do not need any other services


  • Business account - if you run a business and need services such as PAYE or VAT you will need to register as an organisation.


  • Agent account - this is for accountants, you can ignore this option.


4. Complete 2-step verification.


This provides extra security for your account if the details are lost or stolen.

  • You either use your phone number where an access code will be sent every time you log in or you can use an authentication app (such as microsoft or google authenticator).

  • Once you have set up the the 2-step authentication you will need to answer some security questions about your passport or recent earnings


5. Add the taxes you want to manage.

  • If you are in business this may include Corporation Tax, VAT, PAYE for employers.

  • From the business tax summary click “get online access to a tax, duty or scheme” select the tax you want and click the green button.

  • You will need to add the details of each tax eg Corporation Tax UTR, VAT registration number or employers PAYE reference numbers.

  • HMRC will then post activation codes to your registered offices.

  • You do not need to add taxes that you are not currently registered for.


Once you have a Government Gateway, you can add new taxes at any time. Ba-da bing!



Government Gateway - good to know

  • Your accountant does not have your Government Gateway ID or password. If you are locked out of your account for any reason we cannot help you, this is something you must contact HMRC about (sorry!).

  • You should not share your Government Gateway login details with an accountant or agent - there is a separate system for giving access to your accountant, which does NOT mean giving them YOUR log-in details.

  • Accountants have a special Agent Gateway (this sounds way cooler than it is) that allows them access to their clients tax details.

  • Reminder: You will need separate Government Gateways if you want to access services as an individual and business.


If you need more information about setting up a Government Gateway Account for you personally or your business, take a look at the Government website that covers this in more detail. It’s surprisingly well written!


Or simply get in touch.


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