Skip to main content
GOV.UK Verify

GOV.UK Verify / self-assessment trial complete

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Delivery

By March 2016, GOV.UK Verify will be the default way for people to prove their identity when using digital services that need to know who the user is. In HMRC’s case, this will include a range of personal tax services - not just self-assessment but also services like transferable marriage tax allowance, tax credit renewals, accessing your PAYE records and tax-free childcare.

To help HMRC get ready to adopt GOV.UK Verify across its digital services, and to help inform how we continue to develop and improve GOV.UK Verify, last month we ran a trial to allow people to choose to use GOV.UK Verify to access the self-assessment service. We wanted to use the trial to learn about what it’s like for users accessing self-assessment through GOV.UK Verify, rather than Government Gateway.

We had originally planned to end the trial before the final few days in the lead-up to the 31 January, but by mid-January we could see the trial was going well - hundreds of people were successfully using GOV.UK Verify rather than having to wait for Government Gateway credentials to be sent through the post - so we decided, with our HMRC colleagues, to extend the trial to include the 31 January peak.

Through the trial, 11,000 people filed their self-assessment returns using GOV.UK Verify, including about 3,300 people who had not used the self-assessment service before. This saved them having to call the HMRC call centre or wait for new Government Gateway credentials to arrive in the post.

We’ve agreed with HMRC to keep GOV.UK Verify in place as an option for people using the self-assessment service. We’re working together to review the stats and feedback in detail, and we’ve already started talking about how we’ll carry on developing the user journey based on what we’ve learned.

Meanwhile, we’re working in earnest with our colleagues to ensure that GOV.UK Verify is ready for more services to adopt it over the coming months. Mark Dearnley, HMRC's Chief Digital Officer, has blogged about HMRC's plans over on the HMRC digital blog.

Sharing and comments

Share this page


  1. Comment by Scott posted on

    Can you tell me how many users in total Verify currently has? And the projected number of total users over the next few years up until 2020?

  2. Comment by Len posted on

    All I wanted to do was report one fact and request change to my tax code (to avoid need for self-assessment next year).
    Not impossible, on-line, but needs completion of total income report for current year (including all references) OK, done.
    Why, I don't know, but this resulted in an invitation to log-on to my Gateway account.
    WHAT A USER JOURNEY THE NEW SECURITY IS - the brainchild of a paranoic, perhaps? London to Birminham via Cornwall and Aberistwyth !!!
    I agree with security, but this system detail needs rethinking.
    Initial login results in a 6 digit no being phone to user, which needs to be keyed in full before the account can be accessed. So far, so good.
    BUT, it's a one-time code - future log-in require a new 6 digit number being phoned to user every time!
    This system is used by many institutions as seconadry or tertiary security steps, the difference being there's initially one number, after which logons require a random selection of digits.
    Apart from overkill for pc users, this denies access to users away from home or with wifi laptops/tablets (and no access to a phone line).
    No problem with one 6 digit no, but please ditch the multiples!

    • Replies to Len>

      Comment by Rebecca Hales posted on

      Sorry you've had a frustrating experience using Government Gateway, Len.

      GOV.UK Verify does offer options for users without mobile telephones. If you are unable to receive a security code via a mobile (due to lack of device or reception), some of our certified companies can send it by landline, tablet or app.

      The Government Gateway service to which you're referring is run by HMRC and does require you to have a mobile telephone. You may wish to contact HMRC direct with your feedback here:

  3. Comment by R D Paul posted on

    Why the necessity for passport numbers?

    • Replies to R D Paul>

      Comment by Emily Ch'ng posted on

      If a person wants to use a service that includes GOV.UK Verify, they will be asked to verify their identity using a certified company.

      To verify that the person is who they say they are, the certified company may ask them some questions or other checks using photo identification (such as passports or drivers licences) and financial information to make sure their identity is real and not fraudulent, and that the user is the real owner of the identity. To achieve the required level of assurance, the certified company has to validate evidence across a range of categories, check that the identity has been active over time, and check counter-fraud records. See this post which explains what certified companies have to do, and includes information on GOV.UK Verify's use of passports:

      However, passports are not always a necessity. Recently, one of the certified companies introduced a new method of verification meaning that if you have a bank account and a credit or debit card, you can now verify your identity without either a passport or driving licence.

  4. Comment by Elizabeth Turner posted on

    Since Nov 2016 I have been trying to submit my self assessment (as I did the previous year) Now,when it comes to the credit checks I answer I am then told " there are technical difficulties" try in 5 minutes. When I try again I have a message I have tried to log on too many times (When I tried only once) and am locked out for 24hrs. I have sent complaints I have spoken to people, I have a Ref Number but this is not helping me. I do not pay tax and can see if I have to send in the paper version I will be fined regardless!! Like a goldfish I keep going round and round.

  5. Comment by Emily Ch'ng posted on

    If you need support filing your Self Assessment for 2017, please contact HMRC if you are using Government Gateway:

    If you are using GOV.UK Verify to access Self Assessment and require help, please get in touch with GOV.UK Verify's user support team: