How to recover a lost Government Gateway ID for your e-commerce business

Anna Shvets
Lost government gateway - woman in suit jacket on the phone writing at a desk

A lost Government Gateway ID can be problematic, but it can be retrieved. Your 12-digit code is required for the filing of many of your e-commerce businesses taxes and official documents. Follow these steps to recover your lost Government Gateway credentials.

If you signed up for a Government Gateway ID when you started your e-commerce business but didn’t safely store your credentials, you may end up scrambling come tax season. Make sure to store your Government Gateway and any other HMRC credentials somewhere safe and secure that will give you and any staff easy access in future. For now, here’s how to get them back:

To find your e-commerce business’ ID number

If it’s your ID number you are missing, you can attempt to retrieve it in one of three ways:

  • Search your email archive for an email that looks like this:
    Lost government gateway - example email
  • Call HMRC on 0300 2003600. You will need to confirm details about your e-commerce business to be granted access. Depending on the details you are missing, this may take some time. You may be asked to confirm:
    • Name and address
    • Date of birth
    • Personal Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
    • National Insurance Number
    • Most recent P60
    • Valid UK passport
    • Employer’s PAYE reference if applicable
    • Accounts Office Reference
    • VAT Registration Number if applicable
  • If you registered your e-commerce business within the last 28 days, you can simply request a new one.

If your code expired because you didn’t log in fast enough after registering, you should re-enrol your e-commerce business for access.

HMRC has a step-by-step system to help you recover your lost Government Gateway ID on their website.

To find a missing password

If you still haven’t lost a Government Gateway ID but have misplaced your e-commerce business’ password, that can be retrieved here. In order to reset your password, you will need your Government Gateway ID number (you may have to retrieve this first and then reset your password) and the email address you created the account under.

If you are unsure which email address you used, search for correspondence from HMRC across your e-commerce business and personal accounts until you find it.

Lost government gateway - woman sitting at a desk in a red top working on a laptop and smiling

Storing your Government Gateway ID

The process of retrieving a lost Government Gateway ID can be frustratingly long; especially, if you have also misplaced your password and/or no longer have access to the email address you used when you created the account. Once you have retrieved your e-commerce business’ details, make sure you won’t be in the same position again by using Xero’s filing system. Xero is so much more than a regular accounting app, with functionality designed specifically for e-commerce from the ground up. That’s why it includes an option to store your key e-commerce business documents in a library, so “all your records are stored and backed up online for easy reference and sharing”.

Next Steps

Once you have recovered your lost Government Gateway ID, it’s time to submit your e-commerce tax returns. If you would like a helping hand with this or transferring your accounts over to Xero for better functionality, get in touch with our team.

The best time to act is now.