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HMRC to roll out Government Gateway replacement

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From May 2024, HMRC will become one of the first government departments to implement the new gov.uk One Login service. However, as with previous attempts to replace the system, tax agents and companies will have to bide their time before migrating.

4th Apr 2024
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The gov.uk One Login service will eventually replace Government Gateway accounts as a single identity check and login system to access all central government services, according to the Cabinet Office, which is leading the rollout of the project

HMRC is one of the first government departments to adopt the digital sign-in scheme, with the eventual goal of all taxpayers, companies and agents accessing its services through One Login. 

While the estimated timeline to complete the overall project is three years, the rollout for HMRC individual users is expected to be completed within a year

Those with business or other organisational credentials are likely to migrate to the new system in 2025, while no timescale has been announced for those acting on behalf of others, such as tax agents or those with power of attorney.

‘No sudden switch-off’ for Government Gateway

Writing in Agent Update 118, HMRC stated that from May 2024, some taxpayers who do not have a Government Gateway account will be prompted to create a gov.uk One Login account. 

HMRC emphasised to AccountingWEB that there will be no sudden switch-off for the Government Gateway service, and it will begin the One Login rollout with a small number of new users, gradually building up over time. 

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Replies (49)

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By taxdigital
04th Apr 2024 10:01

That’s all good. But when we expect them to pick up the phones please?

Thanks (27)
Replying to taxdigital:
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By 0098087
04th Apr 2024 10:29

Time to leave the profession?

Thanks (11)
Replying to taxdigital:
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By Ned Ludd
04th Apr 2024 10:34

Currently been on hold 1 hour and 2 minutes

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Replying to Ned Ludd:
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By Vallery Lee
04th Apr 2024 14:39

You are far more patient than I. 20 minutes has me losing my temper and swearing at no-one.

Thanks (4)
Replying to taxdigital:
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By FactChecker
04th Apr 2024 18:36

Indeed ... but the really BIG question (and the one that as usual no-one in the Treasury has asked) is 'what happens to the taxpayer when One Login fails?'

Not simply whether/when it will go live or whether it will actually provide seamless access to all those different 'services' for the 'user' - both of which it is reasonable to doubt - but IF it all happens ... then, since every system ever built hits glitches from time to time, what does a user do if unable to login?

This might mean 'fully locked out' (you've become a non-person), or 'partially locked out' (service options for you are limited - by state design or by mistake), or simply 'unable to attempt login' (due to medical immobilisation or just broken personal technology or of course the big one - no Internet signal, still fairly common in parts of UK even if a sunflare doesn't knock out satellites etc).

I explained all this (in considerably greater detail, including specific technological impacts and weak points, over the course of several sessions) a decade ago to Treasury GDS ... which (as no doubt only one of the inputs they received) eventually persuaded them to drop their then plans and replace them with the doomed Verify (which was never going to work properly for HMRC).

Presumably by now staff turnover has allowed those lessons to be lost ... so here we go again!

Thanks (8)
Replying to FactChecker:
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By FactChecker
04th Apr 2024 18:57

Also, talk about 'levelling-up' ... this is more dig the trenches and shovel in those who don't fit with our expected norms.

If you follow the article link to "Proving your identity with GOV.UK One Login", it is immediately clear that the options/alternatives ALL make the same assumptions:
* you MUST have official Photo ID (typically UK photocard driving licence or UK passport); AND
* you MUST possess a (recent) phone with a working camera.

And in a wonderful example of bureaucratic 'thinking', the only route for which you don't HAVE to have a mobile does say you will have to "answer some security questions about things like your mobile phone contract"!

As mentioned previously, this is precisely why I remain locked out from my PTA ... because when trying to register many moons ago, it first asked me about my mobile contract (answer at the time = none) - and then told me I was lying (because, as I eventually found out with the help of an HMRC director, it had gone through my bank accounts and found a solitary payment to Vodafone a few years earlier - from when I'd once paid my, now deceased, wife's bill for her)!

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Replying to FactChecker:
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By CMED
05th Apr 2024 18:28

I followed the link to "Proving your identity with GOV.UK One Login".

Yes, I have Passport, don't use it for travel, just because you need one to prove who you are.

Yes, I have a driving license, because I drive a car.

No, I don't have a smart phone.

I am resigned to live the rest of my life as a non person.

Thanks (4)
Replying to CMED:
stonks
By WinterDragon
09th Apr 2024 10:18

CMED wrote:

I followed the link to "Proving your identity with GOV.UK One Login".

Yes, I have Passport, don't use it for travel, just because you need one to prove who you are.

Yes, I have a driving license, because I drive a car.

No, I don't have a smart phone.

I am resigned to live the rest of my life as a non person.

Am I missing something? I followed the same link and it mentions the option to go to the Post Office that will scan your ID and take a photo of you. No requirement for a phone with a camera - just the facility to receive emails.

And ultimately this is to use digital services. Although HMRC do a terrible job with not answering phones nor post, you are not resigned to live life as a non person, you just might have to use the digitally excluded methods or engage with an agent to assist you.

I write a bit of this tongue in cheek but we all (well some of us) moan about HMRCs systems being outdated but then criticise any proposed changes or updates. At some point we're going to have to get behind a step forward or HMRC's systems will continue to need floppy disks to function.

Thanks (2)
Replying to WinterDragon:
Rob Swan
By Rob Swan
09th Apr 2024 14:13

HMRC: His Majesty's Retro Computer (Dept.). Brilliant!!
I'll take mine with CP/M and 8-inch Floppy disks - my first stock control system; never failed, never got hacked - still miss it :(

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Replying to WinterDragon:
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By FactChecker
10th Apr 2024 22:22

All broadly true, but with dubious logic at the end ... "you just might have to use the digitally excluded methods or engage with an agent to assist you."

As a sample of one (me) ... I'm not remotely digitally excluded (other than I've never tried any 'social networking' unless this site counts) and will happily adopt new technology whenever it delivers identifiable benefits (often but not always the case).
BUT until I reached 70 my driving licence was the old pink paper type (no photo) and was only replaced because they won't renew it (mandatory at 70) without a photo ... and, to add insult to injury, I've been warned that this may be taken off me in the nearish future (on various medical grounds).
Similarly if, when my Passport comes up for renewal in a couple of years, I find it no longer possible to get international travel insurance then I might as well let it lapse ... at which point I'd possess neither of the valid Photo IDs required.

That might sound extreme to youngsters (and probably would've done so to me a mere decade ago), but it describes the majority of people I know ... who according to stats for pensioners are now a massive cohort. Most (or at least many) of whom, like me, have all their mental faculties intact ... no cheap shots at the back!

Is it really right for the govt to design core systems (this isn't just about Tax but supposedly ALL interaction with State services) that *require* a few million citizens to choose between labelling themselves as 'digitally excluded' or dipping their hands in their wallets to pay an agent?

Thanks (5)
Replying to FactChecker:
stonks
By WinterDragon
10th Apr 2024 23:56

Oh FC, I wish when you disagree with me you'd make less convincing points.

You are quite right that it is not unusual for someone to have neither a driving license nor a passport. I suppose this is where I'd point towards HM Government and say they should have implemented national ID cards donkeys ago. (-scrap that, I just googled it and apprently ID cards were a thing before being abolished by Cameron's conservative government in 2011 to 'roll back state intrusion'.) I guess that at the very least, they should allow more forms of ID to be accepted.

On your last point of requiring a few million to choose being being 'digitally excluded' or paying an agent, is it that bad (in theory) to not be able to use the online services? It doesn't seem unreasonable (to me) to require verifying you are who you say you are before setting up an online account. In a world filled with more fraud and cyber attacks, it makes sense to increase security over reducing online services. It is an unfortunate side effect that more people that are capable of using the system will be unable to use it due to circumstances outside of their control. I'm leaning more towards improve the accessible offerings to ensure it does not become a two-tier system.

I don't oppose the proposals to roll out the new login and have the ID verification as a requirement. Where we can probably agree is that the backup routes need to be accessible and of an equal standard as the digital routes. If a public building has stairs then you would need to consider accessibility and have a ramp/lift but you can't install a lift that's broken or unusable 50% of the time and call it job done. And it would also be completely unfair if the stairs were free but you needed to pay for someone to operate the lift for you.

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Replying to WinterDragon:
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By FactChecker
11th Apr 2024 21:42

A very fair analysis ... with a neat side-step regarding what used to be known as 'equality of opportunity' but is, in this context, 'equality of access'.
And I particularly liked (at the risk of sounding like an English teacher) your choice of analogies in your last para - very apt.

But (there's always a but ... it's written in the constitution I believe) you started the core section by posing the question: "is it that bad (in theory) to not be able to use the online services?"
And then continued straight onto the need for verification for such accounts.

Whilst few, if any, would dispute the need for verification (which is where we trip over the means of doing so) ... I wouldn't answer your actual question in the way that I suspect you expect - namely, 'Yes it is bad to not be able to use the online services' *because* they are rapidly replacing other methods of access.
What were originally an alternative (and potentially better, faster) option are now becoming the ONLY option - as offices close, phone-lines become full/erratic, e-mail is treated as the devil's spawn and paper forms/post (looks of incredulity) long gone.

I'm sure you recognise the parallels of what I've just mentioned with everyone's experience of trying to interact with HMRC nowadays - but it applies across govt (try DWP and UC or disability benefits) and local govt (try parking permits through to social services and all points between), and is spreading.

And that's why your analogies were spot on ... it's not all about the inequality of accessing the online services, it's mostly about the lack of any alternative (and in particular when things go wrong - which they always will from time to time).
That's when difficulty in (or lack of) access REALLY hurts - literally sometimes.

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By Duggimon
04th Apr 2024 10:25

"Built by the Government Digital Service (GDS) at a projected cost of £305m"

I guarantee this will cost more than £1bn

Thanks (20)
Replying to Duggimon:
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By Truthsayer
04th Apr 2024 10:36

....before being axed after failing to ever work properly.

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By anthonystorey
04th Apr 2024 10:26

A new Login system eh! What could possibly go wrong?

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Rob Swan
By Rob Swan
04th Apr 2024 10:39

Not entirely sure whether this is news or a catalogue of govenrment IT failure and a warning of more chaos ahead. For now, I'm going with the latter.

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By listerramjet
04th Apr 2024 10:44

That it has such a long tail would tend to suggest they over-engineered it. HM Government: making the simple complex!

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By Ben Alligin
04th Apr 2024 10:45

Verify your ID at a Post Office. Seriously?!

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Replying to Ben Alligin:
By mydoghasfleas
04th Apr 2024 11:30

Could be worse, it might be a branch of a bank. But then again the Banks do not use Horizon.

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Replying to Ben Alligin:
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By Yossarian
04th Apr 2024 12:52

Presumably if the Post Office's system crashes half way through the ID verification process it will issue an automatic conviction for identity theft..

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Replying to Yossarian:
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By D V Fields
07th Apr 2024 11:21

“If there are to be any miscarriages of justice, it will be really important to me and HMRC that we surface these. As my investigations have gone through, so far we have no evidence that this will happen.” Said Paula, a spokesperson for Jim.

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Replying to D V Fields:
Rob Swan
By Rob Swan
07th Apr 2024 13:31

OH! They have an 'algorithm' for that. Goes something (exactly) like:

if(problem_reported)
reply("Not our fault. You are the problem.")

Apparently, works every time...
... until someone exposes the algorithm.

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Replying to Ben Alligin:
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By kjevans
04th Apr 2024 15:26

Well, it's more likely to work than assuming that everyone is using a modern smartphone like the NHS does and getting them to take a selfie while holding their passport. Post office verification worked for me for driving licence.

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By 0098087
04th Apr 2024 10:52

Hope Rachel Reeves is watching, how not to do things!

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Replying to 0098087:
By mydoghasfleas
04th Apr 2024 11:35

It might make a difference but she will still have the same cabal of Treasury and HMRC staff advising her they have it under control; they have learned lessons (not necessarily the ones they said they would; asked for responses from stakeholder - strangely there were none because they were to be made by phone and the staff had just been allocated back to reopening the SA line again; etc

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By Ammie
04th Apr 2024 10:53

Brace yourselves!

I anticipate the same drama in ID verification as in certain HMRC areas where one incorrect space, leading zero, incorrect salutation or letter casing will lead to rejection and denied access.

A 5 minute task that could take hours if not days to achieve acceptance.

I hope I am wrong.

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By jonspe
04th Apr 2024 11:13

I find the current log in procedure for a mix of companies and personal tax quite straightforward and usually working ok.
I cannot help but think that this proposal is not an efficiency measure but a step in the process to consolidate the data capture on individuals along the lines of the Chinese system. If I can sign in to all government services with one login, then that way in can easily be queried by a government official just as easily for whatever purpose. Then consolidate that information with access to bank accounts and then the government has access to a vast amount of information about an individual through just one portal.

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Replying to jonspe:
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By Shepherd03
05th Apr 2024 00:00

I take it you've not seen just how much data is already collected and analysed by HMRC's Connect data matching software?

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Replying to jonspe:
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By EnglishRose
14th Apr 2024 16:51

I agree. I like to keep everything separate and not depending on other things eg landline and a mobile. No smart meter. if X goes down Y is still working. It is called being sensible. So if instead the state has one log in only that just seems more dangerous to me.

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By mydoghasfleas
04th Apr 2024 11:27

Plus ca change plus ca meme chose.

Have you ever tried using the verification where you are asked for financial transactions or tax payments? After about six attempts because you cannot be sure exactly to what payment or which account to which the question relates, I decided it was simpler to call Samaritans.

At least Samaritan hold times are short; they do not suggest you are wasting your time calling because all the answers are on their website; you are not driven mad by a bass riff that might have been cool in a jazz club in the 50's.

Does the single entry point really achieve anything unless all you need is also on one system? If not you get in and the menu takes you off down wildly different rabbit holes? When you leave one burrow to go to another do you have to log out and reopen your browser because you will get a denial of access and a link to somewhere in GOV.UK/Horsehead Nebula? OK, that is not a real link but might as well be. I must go the nurse is bringing me my Diazepam

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By Democratus
04th Apr 2024 11:41

4 days too late for April Fool.

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Replying to Democratus:
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By Open all hours
04th Apr 2024 12:28

What’s 4 days when you’re 10 months behind with your post?

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By Nick Graves
04th Apr 2024 12:03

What NOW...?

HMRC: obtaining your client's authorisation is achieved in the following 648 stages:

...

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By Paul Crowley
04th Apr 2024 13:16

How long will it take before HMRC realise that only children are impressed with a new shiny toy.
Adults want the current system fixed so that it works properly.

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By D V Fields
07th Apr 2024 12:53

Alas it is children running HMRC.

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Replying to D V Fields:
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By Paul Crowley
08th Apr 2024 19:23

I wish it was children operating their Chatbox and MTDforIT. Kids are quite blunt when they know that the software is rubbish

Thanks (1)
Replying to Paul Crowley:
Rob Swan
By Rob Swan
09th Apr 2024 04:23

Paul Crowley said: "..Kids are quite blunt when they know that the software is rubbish"
As are ex-MPs and Civil Servants whan talking about the rubbish they 'had to do' in office because, well... 'that's politics'. Apparently it's the 'politics' to blame for all the C.R.A.P. we have to deal with. And.... the people doing it are well aware that it's rubbish. They just 'can't' say so. Taxpayers money.....

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By indomitable
04th Apr 2024 13:59

I shall look forward to the comedy show!!

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By Self-Employed and Happy
04th Apr 2024 14:07

Been wanting one log in for so long, I even used the HMRC ID Check App for a client setting up a Gateway for Property Disposal (ridiculous they have to do that), the app itself using a passport and facial scanning was actually very impressive.

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Replying to Self-Employed and Happy:
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By kjevans
04th Apr 2024 15:28

Try it for someone with no smartphone and no passport... There are a few of us around.

Thanks (9)
Replying to Self-Employed and Happy:
By mydoghasfleas
04th Apr 2024 15:37

It really depends on the quality of the facial scanning recognition software. Some recognition apps are fooled by a photo. If you only need take a photo of the intended scam victim it will save keeping their head in a carrier bag.

PS I am not suggesting either approach but with the latter, the police have a better chance of catching you when the bag leaks or the contents start to smell.

PPS I am not suggesting police evasion techniques either.

Thanks (2)
Replying to mydoghasfleas:
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By legerman
07th Apr 2024 20:51

I use an identity app for a side gig I do. It requires me to look into the camera phone and takes a face forward image. I then have to move my head slowly to each side where it takes an image both sides. This is then verified by their systems in approx 30 seconds and I can log in to do the jobs assigned to me.

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By kjevans
04th Apr 2024 15:33

Currently, One Login verification is impossible for non-drivers (eg epileptics, visually impaired etc) without a passport even at the Post Office. Have they though this through? Of course not!"

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By Mr J Andrews
04th Apr 2024 17:12

So - another new system on the Horizon ? All sounds rather tortuos and reminds me of the inept plumber fixing a leak but kept banging nails in the pipes.
As for the verbal diarrhoea by the unamed HMRC spokesman : -
“As part of our gradual and controlled rollout, we are assessing the role One Login will play in intermediary and organisation access to HMRC services,”
- lets hope he can explain clearly the administrative and cost effective benefits, once things are running smoothly at his end.
Or will this be yet another unMiTigateD, costly, ill thought out, waste of space ?

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By Philysis
04th Apr 2024 18:35

It will take 10 years not 3 for those Whitehall clowns to implement by then all decent accountancy providers who prop up these awful civil servants will be gone , the poor public will rely on the software providers those evil sharks ! It’s beautiful software that fixes everything according to Mr hunt , like horizon Jeremy , rip tax collection.

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By AdamJones82
05th Apr 2024 12:22

HMRC rolling out new software. What could POSSIBLY go wrong?!

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By EnglishRose
07th Apr 2024 09:40

Change involves a waste of time and mistakes happening. I bet this does not go well. They also need to give lots of options for people without a passport or driving licence or with bad internet signal. i am outer London but my internet goes down a few times a day and BT cannot fix it! it is only brief but still not great. Mobile signal is not good either and I use a landline (although I usually can get codes to my mobile to verify). I don't use a mobile much so if I had to do something like use my mobile to send a picture or use a webcam for one that would rule me out.

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By Ian McTernan CTA
08th Apr 2024 09:42

Oh joy, another system to add to the already two different systems agents have to use to not access most of the information that would be useful to have, as we than need to get income tax viewer authorised by each client all over again to then not get the right figures...

I can see this being of zero help for several years..surely it would have been better to get agents etc sorted first so we can iron out the bugs rather than having to deal with the inevitable client queries when they can't use it properly and us telling them 'we can't use it'...

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By jeremybarker
15th Apr 2024 00:01

One really wonders why they couldn't simply have kept the original Government Gateway system where you registered for an account and were sent an access code by post with a final stage of providing additional information such as an NI number and details from the most recent P60 (as I recall - this was all several years ago). Failing to have a system that works easily for everyone is a recipe for disaster.

Back then I worked for Citizens Advice we often helped people to set up a Government Gateway account so on a futher visit (after they had received the access code) they could login and we could help with things like checking their NI record or submitting a tax return online. The people we helped more often than not didn't have things like passports and driving licences and when Universal Credit came along they wanted people to use Verify which was supposed to work for most people but it didn't. After wasting huge amounts of time with failed attempts, even for people who had documents that were supposed to provide access, we advised everyone to go to the Jobcentre who accepted a wide range of things to verify identity for their claim. Even the current iteration of Government Gateway, which requires far more than it originally did, would have been useless for many of the people we helped and this development appears to be no improvement.

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