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What is a government gateway ID and where to find it

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A government gateway ID is 12-digits used alongside a password to enable access to the UK government's digital services, including filing corporation tax and viewing your personal tax account.

But where can you find a government gateway ID and why is it required? We’ve delved into the ins and outs of a government gateway ID so you have all the information covered if you ever need to set one up or what to do in the event that you lose it.

What is a government gateway ID and why is it required?

Your 12-digit government gateway ID is a method of HMRC verifying you when you want to use a variety of their online services. It’s also known simply as a ‘HMRC login’. You’ll often find that when you go to sign in to access different sections of the HMRC website, such as the construction industry scheme (CIS), your personal tax account, or your Self Assessment, that you’re required to input your government gateway ID and a password to confirm your identity.

Where can you find a government gateway ID

You would have been sent your government gateway ID when you registered to create an account with HMRC. This could’ve been done when registering for your first Self Assessment, VAT, and other HMRC services. Your ID would have been posted out to your registered address or emailed directly to you once you’d registered.

How to set up your government gateway ID

To set up your government gateway ID, you’ll need to follow just a few simple steps:

  • You should’ve received an email or letter to register for your ID. If by email, click the link in the email itself which will then take you to the ‘Breathing Space Service’. If you received your ID registration by letter, follow the link instructed.
  • You’ll be asked on this link to ‘sign in using government gateway’. Select this option to continue.
  • On the following page, you’ll be able to ‘create sign in details’ when you scroll further down the page.
  • You’ll need to enter the email address you’ll be using. If you’re the super user, you must use the email address you provided when you enrolled in the service.
  • Input the confirmation code you’ll have received from the service via email. Select ‘I have not got an email’ if nothing has been received and the email will be resent to you.
  • Next, enter your name, create a password, and create a recovery word.
  • It’s complete! By this stage you should be all done with your registration.
  • You’ll get confirmation of your ID on the next screen and a confirmation email sent to you as well. Make sure you keep a record of your government gateway ID and your password for future use.

What will you need to set up a government gateway ID

There are very few things you’ll need to set up your government gateway ID. You’ll require:

  • Your name
  • An email address for the account (all correspondence is sent to this email address so ensure you have full access to the account)
  • A password to use for each future login
  • A memorable word/recovery word in case you forget your password.

What to do if you’ve lost your government gateway ID

If you’re unsure of your ID or password and get this incorrect five times, HMRC will lock you out of your account. So, if you’ve had a couple of attempts and you’re still not sure, there’s a few things you can do to start with.

First, check your emails for your previous government gateway ID confirmation. Searching these terms in your inbox can help you find your email quicker. If the email cannot be found and you still cannot remember your ID or password, you can recover these through HMRC’s problem signing in page.

If it’s your ID that you cannot find, you’ll be asked to confirm the email address that the original code was sent to, the password for the account, your national insurance number, and your postcode.

If it’s the password that you’ve lost or forgotten, you’ll be asked to confirm your identity by providing your government gateway ID, the email address the account was registered to when signing up (but this is only required if you want your password recovery to be sent via email), your unique taxpayer reference number (UTR number), and your national insurance number (NI) or postcode.

Worst case scenario you’ve lost or forgotten both your ID and password. In this case you’ll be required to pass lots of security checks so that HMRC can verify your identity. You’ll need to have:

  • Your national insurance number
  • Something that can be used as proof of identity such as a passport
  • The phone or app you’ve used to get access codes
  • Your date of birth

Go to the HMRC service registration page to get started. If you’ve already started a Self Assessment, you’ll need to get your account unlocked. To do this you’ll need to contact HMRC directly on their government gateway ID helpline on 03002003600. If you’ve not registered for Self Assessment, then you’ll have to create a new account. You’ll have to wait for a new account activation code to be sent to you directly.

Can I share my government gateway ID

HMRC recommends that you never share your HMRC login information with anyone, even your agent or accountant. They recommend that your login details are treated the same as your bank details, which of course you’d never share. Your login is classed as sensitive information and includes details that could allow someone to steal from you if it got into the wrong hands.

Getting help and advice regarding your government gateway ID

Crunch offers a range of support services included in our subscriptions. From expert advice to qualified accountants, we can help you every step of the way. If your query is regarding a lost or forgotten HMRC login, then please follow the previous steps in this article. However, get in touch for any further information or questions you have, or make use of our helpful online resources - from our personal income tax calculator, to tips on setting up a limited company, we're here to help you make the next step!

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Alexandra Moore
Content & communications specialist
Updated on
March 29, 2023

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