Setting Up & Creating your Personal Tax Account

Here is useful information to walk you through how to set up your own Government Gateway account:

The purpose of this video is to take you through how to set up your own Government Gateway account or as it’s known at the moment your online tax account.

The first part will take you through how to set up a personal digital tax account and the second part, which is very quick will take you through the self-assessment adding onto it.

So, Why Do you Need a Tax Account?

It makes sure all your information from the Government is in one place. That can be your pension forecast, your National Insurance record, any PAYE work that you’ve done, see what have people paid you and how much tax has been deducted.

This can be very useful if don’t have a P45 or a P60 for when you have to do a tax return. You have the ability to link personal tax accounts with your self-assessment, but don’t worry if you are a client of mine, I will still be doing your self-assessment, even though you might have access to it.

Go to the HMRC Website:

So you need to go through to register for HMRC services online.

Click through and then it just tells you who might want to set one up and why, so that’s absolutely fine, so you can scroll past that.

What we want to do is set up a personal tax account. If you do need to do a self-assessment tax return, you can add it after but for the moment we’re just doing the personal tax account.


Click start now,

It will then ask you to prove your identity. There are various different options, etc., but the one that I prefer people to go through is actually to create your account, then click continue.

To prove your identity create a government account. I find it a bit slower but just go with creating a Government account.

Now it brings you straight into sign in and then you go into panic mode to say, but I can’t sign in because I haven’t set my account up. Well, don’t worry, click create the sign in detail.


Add your email. It doesn’t matter if it’s a UK one or it’s an overseas one. Click continue and it will ask you to confirm your email address again, and it sends an email to you giving you a confirmation code.

It may take a minute or so to come in, it’ll be six characters. Click into the box, type your characters, and then off you go. It’ll then come up with that your email address is being confirmed. It’s happy. It likes you.

It will then ask for your full name. Once you’ve entered it, press continue and then it will ask for a password. Now, unlike most other systems, it doesn’t want a special character and it doesn’t have to have an uppercase and a lower case, so providing it’s between eight and 12 characters long and has at least one number and one letter.

It will then ask you to set up a recovery word, if for some reason you’ve made a mistake on your password, it’ll then say, okay, do you want to do recovery your details and you can enter the recovery word, which will then flag up to say, okay we’ll give you your details.

So set up a recovery word and then press continue and it pops up on the screen and it says this is your user ID. Please keep a note of this. It will send it to your email address. Keep that email, print it, whatever you do, write it down, so you’ve got three things to write down and that was your user ID to get into the system, your password and your recovery word and this is the fourth piece of information, which is your Government Gateway ID.


Click continue. Now, what type of account do you want?

Select Individual and press continue. It will ask you to set up additional security.

Normally I would always get a text message sent to my mobile phone.

It’s normally immediate, the access code will come through to you. Put the access code in and click continue. There you go and now it’s telling you you’ve set up the additional security and every time you log into the system, they will send you a text message to say, okay enter this and then you’re fine. You do have the ability to tick a button to say, remember this for seven days and you don’t have to then rego through this process for getting the text message.

You’ve already given it your name and it still wants your name again, so go with the first name, your last name, your National Insurance number and your date of birth. Okay. Now select a valid UK passport.

If you don’t, there are other options of verifying yourself, but for this one, it’s whether you have a UK passport. So I click yes and continue.

Then because of GDPR, it then asks whether you’re okay for the system to go to the passport office to verify you. Well, if you’re not okay with it, then obviously you would’ve picked a different method, so most of the time it’s yes and it will carry on.

It now asks you to put in your passport details, so your passport number, your surname and your given name. So your surname and you know your first name. Now it is potential that you have a passport in a different name. Now it doesn’t mean to say you were a gunrunner, but it could be a case if you might have got married recently and not changed your passport or for other reasons you’ve got a different name in your passport, especially those people from overseas that might have a very long surname, so you are known by a name first, which might be a short name, but your passport has your full name on it, and then your expiry date. It will go off, it’ll check all this information and it comes off with we’ve confirmed your identity and it’s happy. So then press continue.

Now, here’s a question for you. It was to know how you would prefer to receive any notices from HMRC. Notices tend to be things like we want you to complete a tax return, or you’ve been a naughty person here’s your £100.00 fine because you didn’t file your tax return on time, so those types of things will come through. So click by post. It’s a bit more secure and it’s probably easier to spot if there’s a fraud. So click by post.

Okay. So that’s set up your personal tax account and these are all the things you can actually do in it.

So if you like to move around the country, then you can actually tell them where your new address is via this system. Very good idea, because if they send you, you must have a tax return done in the last tax year and they send it to your old address, so long as they can prove they sent it to the address they had registered on the system, then you can’t have a leg to stand on by saying I didn’t receive it. You won’t have received it because you moved, but you are supposed to inform them when you move, so these are all the other things you can do in that tax account. So this is the personal tax account, and this is what my main screen looks like.

So if you wanted to go into PAYE you could see who has paid me you the year. If you click on there, it will take you to the different tax years. I can click on the tax year and then it would take you to the employers that have had you on their payroll system and then you can go into those employers and see how much they’ve paid.  You can also link it to your self-assessment and there are details on how to get to your National Insurance etc. If you wanted to set up any benefits, order Tax Credits or Child benefits. It also has a link to your state pension, so you can see what your National Insurance record is like and how much state pension you may recieve.

You can now set up to have your self-assessment linked. It does enable you to do a tax return if you want to or you can just skip through, and then you can see what’s happened on your tax account.

So if you scroll along to the self-assessment and it’s asking do you really want to access self-assessment? Well, it’s best I have access to everything.

So I would then click on request and what happens it will just say you’ve requested access and you will get something called an activation code that comes through normally within seven days. Sometimes it can be quicker, depending on whether there’s bank holidays etc. And that activation code is just a secure method to make sure it really was you that asked for access to self-assessment. So you go away seven days, later it comes in the post and you come back to the system. You log onto your personal tax account. You go to self-assessment and it will start to give you what they call the business tax summary.

Okay, use the code we posted to activate your self-assessment. Woo-hoo. Enter the 12 character code and then request access and that’s it. So you now have access to your self-assessment.

You can start using it or you can add another tax etc. In effect, you end up with two tax accounts, but they are linked together and you only need to access one and then you get a link to the personal account or the business account depending on which one it takes you into.

Okay, so that’s the business tax summary. If you have any questions please just bung me an email ([email protected]) and I’ll see if I can help.

About the Author