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Where Taxpayers and Advisers Meet

Basic online self assessment tax return question

Joined:Sun Sep 02, 2018 1:40 pm
Basic online self assessment tax return question

Postby luke1206 » Sun Sep 02, 2018 2:18 pm


I'm trying to do an online self assessment tax return for the first time. An accountant did it for me for the previous few years but I de-registered as I sold my buy to let, but now need it do it again as I want to claim back higher rate of tax on my SIPP.

I can't seem to figure out how to start the process. I have a Personal Tax Account. I follow this process:

1. In the Self Assessment section in the centre of the screen. I select "Find out how to access Self Assessment".
2. You already have a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR).
We need to ask you some questions before we can help you.
3. Have you ever done your tax return online? Answer: Yes
4. Did you de-register from Self Assessment online? Answer: Yes
5. You need to register again for Self Assessment online
Use your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) to register again for Self Assessment online.
Registration can take up to 10 days. After registration you must activate your account with the code we send you by post.
6. Are you trying to file your Self Assessment tax return? Answer: Yes, enter name, dob, NI.
7. You're not registered for Self Assessment. Enter name, email address & p/w
8. Make a note of your User ID
9. Get the access code.
10. We just need to confirm who you are. Enter name, dob, and NI. Enter Passport details.
11. We have confirmed who you.
12. I then end up back at Personal Tax Account screen where I started.

I did this about a month ago numerous times and never get anything in the post.

I must be doing something wrong. Any ideas?



Joined:Wed Feb 03, 2010 4:40 pm

Re: Basic online self assessment tax return question

Postby JRG » Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:22 pm

I suggest you telephone HMRC and, when they eventually answer, explain that you re-registered for Self Assessment on such-and-such a date, but are still awaiting the account activation code that you were advised would be sent by post.

Joined:Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:19 pm

Re: Basic online self assessment tax return question

Postby AlanJD » Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:37 am

Did you ever succeed? I had a similar problem trying to set up self-assessment for my aged parents who live miles away. I seemed to be stuck in a loop creating new Government gateway accounts. Helpdesk tried to walk me through but the process failed because the security code was being sent to the (engaged) phone I was using to ring the helpdesk.

When it works what does the home screen look like? Currently there's a box for personal tax account in the top left, one for self assessment in the top centre (and various others). The self assessment one just kicks off the 'lets get you a new gateway account' loop. Should it link to the self assessment home screen as it has been for 15 years or so?

Joined:Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:01 pm

Re: Basic online self assessment tax return question

Postby robbob » Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:09 pm

The helpline really is the best place to sort out these issues, it isn't very good that hmrc make it hard for some - but that's life with hmrc keep - persevering with them and the helpline and you should get their in the end - quite often getting lucky with a good advisor who knows the pitfalls and how to get around them is the key. ref phone issues can you not simply call from another phone so chosen for is free to received code?

Note you can have some issues if there is a previously stored login in your cookie jar, so sometimes clearing your browser history or using a different browser that doesn't have any hmrc history may ensure you don't get diverted somewhere you shouldnt be diverted to.

Joined:Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:06 pm
Location:West Sussex

Re: Basic online self assessment tax return question

Postby pawncob » Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:03 pm

The on line registration software is not up to the task.

Having dealt with clients' affairs on line for many years, I tried to register myself when I retired and ceased to have an Agent's reference.
I too went round in circles and got trapped in the loop. A phone call to HMRC failed to resolve the matter, as it turned out that I had registered many years ago (according to HMRC) but they couldn't give me a reference number or tell me about that registration as I failed the security tests for the previous (forgotten) registration.

This nightmare scenario was only resolved when I wrote to HMRC as an Agent and instructed them to remove my previous registration.
I'm sure there are other circumstances where taxpayers can get trapped in the loop.
With a pinch of salt take what I say, but don't exceed your RDA

Joined:Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:01 pm

Re: Basic online self assessment tax return question

Postby robbob » Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:21 pm

If you are struggling to register to get the tax return issued, they will now normally process your application to get back within self assessment over the phone - if you ring the self assessment helpline that should do the job if the online application hasn't worked or wont work. Note if you want to get a return issued over the phone don't under any circumstances ring the online services helpdesk!

Note getting into the gateway (personal tax account)and being within self assessment (getting a return issued) are two completely separate issues - you should be able to get into your personal tax account even if you are outside self assement at present - all you should need is the UTR - lathough it sounds like this process has failed online for you so far :(

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