HMRC Government Gateway changes on 14 Feb 2018


Feb 02, 2018


Key Dates Tax Tips

Are you aware that the HMRC Government Gateway will be closing on 14 February 2018? HMRC has confirmed that is planning to decommission the Government Gateway service, and in its place it intends customers to use the existing Government Digital Service (GDS) ID platform called GOV.UK Verify.  Meanwhile it has also started developing a replacement service for the Government Gateway, which will involve a significant overhaul in terms of functionality and strengthened security.

There are currently five HMRC services which are linked to GOV.UK Verify.  These functions are:

  • Check your income tax
  • Claim a tax refund
  • Help your friends or family with their tax
  • Sign in and file a self assessment tax return
  • Sign in to a personal tax account

Impact of the Government Gateway closure

The closure of the Government Gateway means that if you use an old version of desktop accounting software to submit your tax returns, you’ll now need to re-consider your options.   As an example, any version of Sage 50 Accounts prior to the latest Version 24 (released in September 2017), will not be compatible with the GOV.UK Verify platform.  Cloud accounting software packages, however, will be updated automatically.

If you decide to continue running an older accounting package for your business rather than switching to the latest software, then you will need to access your tax account & enter the required information manually.  This could lead to possible access problems and the opportunity for errors.

At a time when the government is making plans to implement Making Tax Digital, this could be the perfect opportunity to migrate onto the latest version of your accounting software or move onto online cloud accounting.  This will be fully updated, and will allow you to continue submitting your tax information easily whilst staying ahead of future changes in legislation. You’ll also benefit from any of the latest improvements made to your accounting software, which are generally designed to save you time and boost your productivity.

If you have any queries about your current accounting software, and the new process for submitting your tax return via GOV.UK Verify, then please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.