https://hmrcdigital.blog.gov.uk/2015/12/17/personal-tax-account-goes-live/

Personal Tax Account goes live

assisted digital2

Hello everyone, I’m Richard James - Programme Director for HMRC’s Personal Tax Account (PTA). Back in August, I blogged about testing the new account. The last few months have just flown by but it’s good to be able to blog again with quite a significant update.

The big news is that we’ve launched PTA. We announced this formally on Monday (14 December) at the Department’s Making Tax Digital stakeholder conference. So now for the first time anyone can log into their own PTA and check their tax information online and all in one place.

It was great to have the opportunity to attend the conference with some of my team to demonstrate the service. The response was positive, which was encouraging. It also mirrors the responses we’ve had during the testing where we were seeing an 80% satisfaction rate from the 3,000 people who used PTA.

I encouraged everyone I spoke with to try PTA for themselves. Quite understandably, a very common question was, “But what am I able to do through my account once I’m in?” Well, you can now:

  • view and update your personal details
  • see how your PAYE income tax is calculated and an estimate of how much tax you’ll owe this year
  • see the tax effect of changes in estimated pay
  • tell HMRC about changes such as to a company car or to medical insurance benefits, and make sure you’re paying the right amount of tax on those benefits
  • access a wide range of forms covering taxes, National Insurance, pensions, and some aspects of benefits – and submit and track those forms online
  • find out about Marriage Allowance entitlement, and make a claim online

As with anything new, some of those I spoke with also had reservations. A couple of particular concerns were around how secure the account is and also how easy will it be for people to prove who they are in order to access their own account (often referred to as a user authenticating themselves).

In terms of security I was able to reassure them that, as always, security of their data is our top priority. We have strong defences in place to stop criminals attacking our systems and we also monitor transactions constantly to look for anything unusual, a bit like the way your bank will look for unusual activities on a credit card.

In terms of authentication, I was very pleased to be able to advise that there’s now more than one secure way to access PTA:

  • Gov.UK Verify is one way but, currently, you’ll need either a UK Photo Driving Licence or a UK Passport to do so
  • If you have a Governmment gateway account then you can use this to prove your identity, and we’ve enhanced it to make it even more secure
  • We’ve also introduced something called Identity Verification and using this method you’ll be asked some questions about your previous interactions with government - things that only you would know - to prove identity 

I really hope you try out your own PTA for the first time soon. We’re continuing to develop and improve the service and your feedback will really help us – so please take the time to complete the customer satisfaction survey too.

Of course, this is just the start for PTA. We’ll be adding more services to the account over the coming months. Thanks for taking the time to read this and I’ll be posting again soon with another update so, as they say, watch this space!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Richard

7 comments

  1. Lionel Harman

    Up to now we are required to file and pay 31st Jan, for profits earned up the previous 5th April.
    How will payments be made in the future?

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  2. Tim Moody

    Hi Richard, thanks for writing the blog. Its good to keep up to date with the thinking in this space. I had provided some feedback on the site in the relevant form in a few areas but its a great start. I would be really interested in the future functions you are going to bring online? Merry Xmas.

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  3. John Clegg

    I can't find out how to use my Government Gateway account to access my PTA

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    • Richard James

      At present John the only customers who can use their Government Gateway credentials to access their Personal Tax Account are those customers that are not in business and don't have an agent acting for them. When they use their Government Gateway credentials to log into HMRC online to submit their return for 2014-15 they will automatically be asked to uplift their security. Once they have gone through that process they can access to their Personal Tax Account. Other individual customers can access their Personal Tax Account by going through the verify process using our sign in to your Personal Tax Account page on GOV.UK.

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  4. Paul

    I logged on, a an agent, and I could not find any Personal Tax Account for any of my clients, at all

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    • Richard James

      Hi Paul, I answered a similar query on my last blog. The Personal Tax Account isn't currently designed for use by agents. We'll be improving the service to provide agents access but until then you shouldn't try to access it on behalf of a client. If you log on to submit a client’s return using your client’s credentials this can create security alerts which we need to investigate. This can cause delays to clients receiving repayments. The new service won’t change the way agents interact with HMRC for example you can continue to file SA returns using the existing portal service

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