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The Kafkaesque nightmare that is the HMRC website

PostPosted:Fri May 03, 2019 5:11 pm
by Cowshed
I’m very comfortable doing my Self-Assessment online, but I’ve forgotten my User Id. I’m going round in circles and can’t seem able to find a way to get it reset.

Starting from the webpage https://www.gov.uk/contact-hmrc I selecting ‘technical problems using HMRC online services’.

This takes me to https://www.gov.uk/government/organisat ... s-helpdesk.

Clicking on ‘get help with problems signing in’ takes me to https://www.gov.uk/log-in-register-hmrc ... signing-in

Clicking on ‘recover your user ID’ takes me to https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/account- ... ver-userid

I then select the first option and this takes me to https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/account- ... ecoverable which basically says “You cannot recover your user ID online”!!!! :evil:

However, it does provide a link to contact HMRC to recover your user ID. I click this link, hold my breath, and guess what…..

…it takes me back to the first webpage!!! :twisted:

I’ve also tried the phone number. I have to admit that the patronising tone of the voice and the whole construction of the automated options makes me so hoping mad I’m not really listening. However, it seems to refer me to the website!!!!!

Anyone got any ideas?

And how can such inadequate website design by implemented by a government department?

Re: The Kafkaesque nightmare that is the HMRC website

PostPosted:Fri May 03, 2019 6:14 pm
by stevelup
You could try searching your mail client for the phrase 'government gateway'

You will have received at least two e-mails (they send the ID through in two separate pieces).

Maybe still in your inbox?

Re: The Kafkaesque nightmare that is the HMRC website

PostPosted:Fri May 03, 2019 6:30 pm
by Cowshed
Thanks Steve

Tried that - most of the the emails I've had are just generic ones telling me something has changed and that I need to log onto my account to see the changes.

There was one from a few years ago when I renewed my driving licence which did refer to a Government Gateway User ID, but it isn't the number I usually use (the one I use for HMRC is alpha-numeric, and this one is 12 digits). I tried it, but no joy!

Re: The Kafkaesque nightmare that is the HMRC website

PostPosted:Fri May 03, 2019 6:54 pm
by stevelup
Ah - I have my 12 digit 'government gateway' ID linked to HMRC.

So I use the same login for all governmenty things... Maybe you should just re-register?

Re: The Kafkaesque nightmare that is the HMRC website

PostPosted:Fri May 03, 2019 6:54 pm
by wonko the sane
I've just been through exactly the same pain.

The way I got around it was by setting up a ".Gov .UK Verify" login. I verified my identity through the Digidentify service, which takes a couple of minutes. Now I log in for self-assessment using that.

Press the GOV UK Verify button on this page : https://www.signin.service.gov.uk/prove-identity

In my case the problem was that I hadn't done self assessment for a few years and then subsequently got another Government Gateway Id for a different purpose. So I now have two gateway Ids but only know the password for one, and the UTR for self-assessment appears to be only valid on the other. But this GOV UK Verify thing seems to just cut straight through that.

Re: The Kafkaesque nightmare that is the HMRC website

PostPosted:Fri May 03, 2019 7:02 pm
by Bill Haddow
I feel your pain, I was in that position a few years back, fortunately the phone helpline sorted it out quickly. Quite why I need an NI number (2letters 6digits 1letter), plus a UTR* number (10 digits, they sure are into future-proofing), and for good measure an HMRC UserID (12 digits) is completely beyond me.

At least if its your 2018-2019 return you are doing, you're not under too much time pressure.

Bill H

* - UTR stands for Unique Taxpayer Reference, don't say the civil service has no sense of irony.

Re: The Kafkaesque nightmare that is the HMRC website

PostPosted:Fri May 03, 2019 8:22 pm
by akg1486
Perhaps you should pressure you government to introduce electronic identification? Many countries do, including the Scandinavian countries where it's the banks that issue them. They are the greatest thing since sliced bread: one app for two-factor authentication to the government, banks, insurance companies, employers,... No registration, no lost passwords. You enter your identification number (ten digits) on a site and in an app, the authentication app opens and you enter your passcode. The authentication app lets the other site/app know you are authenticated.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_identification

Re: The Kafkaesque nightmare that is the HMRC website

PostPosted:Fri May 03, 2019 9:46 pm
by PeteSpencer
You could fill in the paper form and be done with it.

Peter

Re: The Kafkaesque nightmare that is the HMRC website

PostPosted:Sat May 04, 2019 6:42 am
by Charles Hunt
Put quill to papyrus once you have the new one.

Re: The Kafkaesque nightmare that is the HMRC website

PostPosted:Sat May 04, 2019 10:16 am
by Cowshed
Thanks for all the suggestions. I created a new Goverment Gatway User ID which has given me access to most things (e.g. my tax code, NI contributions), but can't be used to look at Self Assessment - apparently you need to sign in with the Government Gateway User ID and password you used when you enrolled for Self Assessment online. From what I can see there is no way of resetting this as it sends you into the same loop as I first encountered.

I'm pretty sure you used to be able to find out your User ID as I recall doing so some years ago, but one seems unable to do so now.

Following Wonko's suggestion I thought I try registering with Digidentify and it has worked! I can now access my old Self Assessments.

They certainly don't make it easy with the myriad of reference numbers, and now external 3rd parties providing 'ID verification'.