How to set up Government Gateway Accounts for Businesses

how to set up government gateway accounts for businesses- Butt Miller Accountants
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    Disclaimer: This article is based on legislation which was correct at time of publishing on June 14, 2022
    This page was last updated on January 3, 2024

    When starting a business, you’ll need to set up a business tax account via the Government Gateway system to be able to access your business’s financial records.

    Government Gateway is the system used by HMRC to ensure businesses and individuals can use Government online services. Setting up a Government Gateway account for your business allows you and your accountant to manage your business tax account and personal taxes efficiently.

    Our blog walks you through the step-by-step process of creating a Government Gateway account in the most straightforward way. Keep reading to find out more about setting up an online account as a Government Gateway user, or contact Butt Miller today for better business support.

    What is a government gateway account?

    In short, a Government Gateway account is an online portal where you can access your important business accounts, personal accounts and many other online services.

    Should you make a separate government gateway account for each business?

    If you own multiple businesses, then it is sensible to set up separate Government Gateway accounts for each business you own. This keeps all information separate and makes it easily accessible to the various people involved with each business.

    Is a government gateway account the same as a business tax account?

    A Government Gateway account is the online portal used to access various HMRC online services, including your business tax account. So, while it isn’t the same thing, you will need an active Government Gateway account to set up your business tax account.

    A business tax account is an online tax service created by HMRC to help business owners efficiently manage their taxes in one place.

    Instructions on how to create a government gateway account

    1. Go to HMRC’s login page.
    2. Click the GREEN sign-in button.
    3. Click “Create sign-in details”.
    4. Enter your email address where asked.
    5. You will be sent an email confirmation code to confirm your email address.
    6. Once the email address is confirmed, you will be issued a user ID for your government gateway account on screen and via email.

    Print the user ID page to PDF and file it somewhere safe.

    It’s important to note that the user ID isn’t easily memorable, and losing it can cause unnecessary hassle in the future. You especially don’t want to lose it if you’re edging closer to a deadline or if you already have a late payment penalty.

    There are two options when setting up an account. You can choose to register as an ‘Individual’ or as an ‘Organisation’.

    If you are a business owner setting up your Government Gateway account, then you will need to register as an ‘Organisation’ so you can use the other services available. This will then create a business tax account, enabling you to make transactions on behalf of that organisation.

    The 2-step verification process

    After setting up your business tax account, you will then need to set up your 2-step verification for further protection. Protecting your account as much as possible is essential when dealing with taxes and finances, so you shouldn’t skip this step.

    A 2-step verification can either be set up via a mobile or landline number, to which a unique access code will be sent each time you sign in. You can also set this up through an authentication app, which will allow you to create a one-time password (OTP).

    It’s important to note that using someone else’s number will require you to have access to that phone every time you attempt to sign in. You should also be aware of scammers if you choose to receive the code via an SMS message.

    You may be required to answer a few security questions after completing the 2-step verification. HMRC will usually give you the choice to provide details about your passport, recent payslips, or a recent P60. If this isn’t an option for you, you may be able to provide information based on your current credit history data, including any bank accounts, mortgages or loans you may have.

    If you have any problems with any HMRC online services, you can contact them for further support.

    You will now have created your government gateway account:

    This only needs to be done once per business.

    • You will need to create a separate government gateway account for each business so that the details for each business are held in one place.
    • It is sensible to add and activate taxes to your government gateway account as soon as you have registered for them.
    • You do not need to add taxes that you are not registered for.

    Adding taxes to your government gateway account

    Now you have successfully created a Government Gateway account for your business; you can start to add the relevant business taxes you need to manage.

    The taxes you can add include:

    • Corporation Tax
    • PAYE for Employers
    • VAT
    • VAT EC Sales List

    When adding the various taxes, each will require specific information, such as your unique taxpayer reference for Corporation Tax, your VAT certificate and PAYE numbers.

    To add a service, you will need to do the following:

    1. From the business tax summary page, click “get online access to a tax, duty or scheme”.
    2. Select the tax that you want to add.
    3. Click the GREEN continue button.
    4. After adding the tax, HMRC will post an activation code to your registered office address. This should take about 7-10 days to arrive.
    5. After you have received the code and input it into the account, your tax will have successfully been added.

    Repeat these steps for each tax you want to add to your record.

    After creating a Government Gateway account and adding the online services you wish to use, you may not be entirely finished. Some HMRC services, like the Self-Assessment online service, require an additional security step. It is fairly straightforward, and you will be notified by an on-screen prompt should you need to do it.

    Looking for tax advice? Contact Butt Miller Chartered Accountants

    Our team at Butt Miller can support you with all aspects of business tax and accounting. If you need support with Corporation TaxPersonal Tax or submitting your Self-Assesment Tax Returns, we will gladly guide you.

    Contact us today, and let us help you see the bigger financial picture.

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