HMRC to replace Government Gateway accounts with One Login

HMRC to replace Government Gateway accounts with One Login

Mar 14, 2024

The government is investing £305m in a single login system for taxpayers and agents using online services such as HMRC with the launch of GOV.UK One Login

The new login service has two factor authentication and will be rolled out across all government web services to replace Government Gateway accounts over the next three years.

The project is being led by the Cabinet Office with HMRC one of the first government departments planning to roll out the service.

In future, users will only need a single login to access all central government services, rather than remembering multiple accounts and passwords. Gradually, over time, One Login will replace all existing login and identity checking platforms across central government. Government Gateway is over 20 years old and was first introduced in January 2001.

The Cabinet Office said: ‘The GOV.UK One Login programme as a whole has a cost of £305m, which includes development, implementation, running the system and support for users and services. This is over a three-year period and will see up to 145 services from across government join by March 2025’.

In a bid to prevent fraud, One Login includes two factor authentication, which requires users to set up their account with a code used in addition to the password, for secure logging in.

When a user proves their identity using GOV.UK One Login, there will be sophisticated counter-fraud measures in place to ensure they are who they say they are.

GOV.UK One Login will improve digital inclusion by offering multiple ways for people to prove their identity – including those without photo documentation (like a passport or driving licence) – and access government services online, the Cabinet Office confirmed.

As the rollout is expected to be completed within a year, there will be pressure to transfer millions of Government Gateway individual users to the system.

In a statement, HMRC said: ‘From Spring 2024, HMRC will begin to invite individual customers without existing HMRC online sign-in details to create a GOV.UK One Login account. There will then be a gradual migration of existing Government Gateway customers starting with very small and controlled numbers.

‘HMRC is still in the private testing stage, so precise dates are yet to be confirmed.

‘Initially, only a small number of users will be able to access HMRC services through GOV.UK One Login, with volumes building gradually over time. There will be no sudden switch-off of the Government Gateway service.

‘This measured approach is designed to ensure a high-quality experience for users.’

It is important to note that HMRC will contact individual taxpayers to advise them to migrate.

HMRC stressed: ‘Existing Government Gateway users will be informed when they need to create a GOV.UK One Login account to replace their Government Gateway – they don’t need to contact HMRC.’

‘It will not happen for everyone at the same time, and you do not need to do anything unless we ask you to.

‘You do not need to do anything differently to access HMRC online services, until we prompt you to.’

The scheme is projected to deliver at least £700m of benefits by April 2026, the Cabinet Office said.

This spring, users new to HMRC will have to set up a new GOV.UK One Login. Later in the year, all users returning to HMRC services will be directed to use One Login, rather than Government Gateway.

Agents will continue to use Government Gateway to access their services for the time being and HMRC has not yet finalised details of how the agent rollout will work and the timetable.

Once the system is fully operational, the full range of HMRC and wider government services will be available online through the single login, including income tax, student loans, and Universal Credit, which are currently available through Government Gateway.

At the moment, there is simply a list of links to other pages on gov.uk sites, including find a grant, apprenticeship assessment service and basic DBS checks.

HMRC has issued initial guidance on the new login, stating that ‘GOV.UK One Login is a new way of signing in to government services. It provides a simple way for you to sign in and prove your identity using an email address and password’.

Over time it will replace all other sign in routes including Government Gateway that many customers and businesses currently use.

Going forward, anyone accessing government services online, including HMRC, will automatically be asked to create a GOV.UK One Login.

The One Login service will have to be used by accountants and tax agents although full details of how these accounts will interact with client accounts has not been published.

HMRC confirmed: ‘If you’re a tax agent, or an organisation with a business tax account, you will continue to use Government Gateway until you’re asked to create a GOV.UK One Login.’

There is a new authorisation and identity verification process to sign up to the One Login, which means you will need to have some identification documents such as a passport or driving licence to complete the application.

Users will have to input an email address and include the preferred method to get security codes, either via a mobile number or an authenticator app.

Once you start the registration process, HMRC first checks your email address by sending a six-digit security code to verify the email.