HMRC to increase security checks for online services

To protect customer data, which continues to be a priority say HMRC, a 2 Step Verification (an extra layer of security which requires a mobile or landline phone) is being introduced for online Government Gateway services such as VAT, PAYE and Corporation Tax.

The process, which has been in operation since 29th March 2016 for those with digital tax accounts, is intended to help protect businesses against the ever increasing risk of online fraud

The service links customers’ mobile or landline phone to their account login details. This means, when a customer initially logs in, HMRC will then either text them or send them an automated message with a code which they’ll enter to gain access to their account.

This should help prevent criminals attempting to use stolen log-in details to access and exploit customers’ tax accounts as, without the registered mobile or landline phone, they are far less likely to succeed.

Two Step Verification (2SV) is commonly used across the web for internet banking and email services and should be just as easy to use on the Government Gateway when it is introduced. Customers will follow the on-screen steps, with either a mobile or landline phone to hand. If more than one individual uses the account then new users can be created via a delegation tool. Customers who lose their phone or change the number can reset the verification by ringing the helpdesk number that will be provided.

It is intended to roll out the process across the online services, in the near future, and businesses should identify the users and phones they wish to use in order to ease the initial log-in procedure.


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