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What to Do If You Have Lost Your HMRC User ID and Password

Have you lost your government gateway user ID and password? If so, don’t panic! Here’s what you need to do if you are having problems signing in to HMRC because you have lost your government gateway user ID or password, or forgotten both.

Friendly Disclaimer: Whilst I am an accountant, I’m not your accountant. The information in this article is legally correct but it is for guidance and information purposes only. Everyone’s situation is different and unique so you’ll need to use your own best judgement when applying the advice that I give to your situation. If you are unsure or have a question be sure to contact a qualified professional because mistakes can result in penalties.

What is a Government Gateway User ID?

Your gateway ID is a code issued to you when you become a registered user on the HMRC website. Whether that was because you registered as self-employed, manage your VAT, are employed and want to check something about your payslip or need to fill in a tax return for any reason.

Your HMRC user ID is a 6 or 12 code that is randomly created and is made up of numbers and letters. It is sent to the address that HMRC hold on file for you. You should keep your HMRC User ID and password private.

How Do I Find My Government Gateway User ID and Password?

Your gateway ID will have been issued to you when you signed up online with HMRC. Your automatically generated user number will have been posted or emailed to you when you set up your government gateway account.

How To Recover a Lost HMRC User ID

You can request for a lost or forgotten government gateway ID to be sent to you by email or post. Head over to the .GOV to start the recovery process.

lost hmrc user id
How to Recover Your Government Gateway User ID

Due to the highly confidential nature of your government gateway ID and the information it can access, you’ll need the following to verify it’s you:

If you choose to have your gateway ID sent by email, then it will be sent to the email address you registered with. If you’re not sure what the email address you used was and whether you still have access to it, then choose to get your lost HMRC ID by post.

How To Reset a Lost HMRC User Password

You can request a lost or forgotten HMRC User Password to be sent to you by email or post.

lost hmrc user password
How To Reset a Lost HMRC Government ID Password

To reset your lost gateway password you’ll need to provide the following information:

  • You HMRC gateway user ID;
  • The email address you used to sign up with. (Only if you are requesting to retrieve you lost HMRC user password by email);
  • Unique taxpayers reference or UTR number;
  • National Insurance Number or postcode;

What to do if you have lost both your HMRC User ID and Password

If you have lost both your government gateway user ID and Password then you need to take a slightly different approach to resolve the problem.

Remember your HMRC government gateway account holds lots of personal information about you. Therefore, you need to pass through a lot of security to retrieve these items.

You will need to have ready:

  • The phone or app you use to get access codes**;
  • Your National Insurance Number;
  • Proof of your identity;
  • Date of birth;
  • 10 minutes of spare time;

First things first, head over to HMRC to get started with the retrieval process. If you are registered for self-assessment, then you’ll need to call HMRC to help with unlocking your account (see below for their contact details). If you are not registered for self-assessment, then you’ll need to create a new account for yourself. (This includes waiting for an activation code).

hmrc user id and password
How to Recover Your Gateway ID

What is an HMRC Government Gateway Account?

A government gateway account is a portal you need to use to manage all your taxes, communicate with and receive reminders from HMRC. You’ll also be able to check out key information like how much state pension you are entitled to and when your next tax return is due.

How Do I Get a Government Gateway User ID?

You can get a user ID by signing up online on the HMRC website. You’ll firstly need to register for an account, then wait for an activation code to be posted out to you.

Once you have activated your government gateway ID you’ll be able to view information such as your personal tax code, manage your tax credits and see how much tax you owe.

How Do I Get an Activation Code for HMRC?

You’ll automatically be posted an activation code when you set up your government gateway account, to complete the verification process. It is a 12 digit code that usually takes around 10 days to arrive.Once verified, you’ll have full access to all your tax information so it is important you enter the code as soon as you get it because it expires after 28 days.

If you have lost your activation code, did not receive or it has expired, then log back into your government gateway account and request for a new one to be sent out to you. HMRC recommends you wait 28 days before requesting a replacement activation code if you haven’t received it in case it has been held up in the post.

What is an HMRC Access Code?

An HMRC access code is used by HMRC for dual authentication when accessing your account. An access code is a unique 6 digit number that is delivered to you by text message and that you need to enter when you log in to your government gateway account.

HMRC access codes are optional but highly recommended due to the extra level of security they offer.

You can also choose for your HMRC access code to be remembered for 7 days – which can help cut down the number of times you need to enter it.

Can You Have More than One HMRC Gateway Account?

It’s actually pretty common for individuals to have more than one personal government gateway account. This is mainly because they have registered multiple times over a number of years.

Although you may have more than one personal government gateway account, it is not possible to combine them. So you should pick one account, activate all the services you need and continue to use this as your sole account.

If you have a separate business like a limited company then your business will have its own government gateway, where you or your accountant can manage business taxes like corporation tax and VAT.

If you are self-employed then you’ll manage your business taxes through your personal government gateway account.

How Do I Reset My HMRC Password?

You can reset your HMRC password by logging into your Government Gateway Account and clicking “manage personal details”.

What If You Continue to Have Problems Signing In?

If you have reset your User ID and Password but still continue to have problems signing in, then you should contact HMRC directly.

How To Contact HMRC about Government Gateway Accounts

If you are still having problems signing in or retrieving your lost User ID or Password then call HMRC.  The phone number for the HMRC Gateway Helpline is 0300 200 3600.  Their opening times are:

Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm
Saturday: 8am to 4pm
Sunday: 9am to 5pm