Why Can’t HMRC Confirm My Identity?

If you are wondering about the possible reasons why HMRC can’t confirm your identity, you will find the answer to this question in the following blog post; as well as detailed guidance on the steps to follow if you need to provide verification details to the authorities.

Why Can’t HMRC Confirm My Identity?

There are many reasons why HMRC can’t confirm your identity. Sometimes users have issues with their verification process, and the system tells them that their identity verification process has failed. There could be many reasons as to why that is happening.

There could be a number of human or technical errors due to which your verification with HMRC is not possible. Some of the possible reasons include the following:

  • the details that you’ve provided do not match the details in HMRC records
  • your data with HMRC may not be up to date 
  • you’ve recently changed your residential address
  • you’ve made an error in answering the security questions
  • your passport was lost or stolen and lost or stolen passport details do not verify your identity 
  • you are using an expired passport to verify your identity
  • you are using a passport issued by a different country
  • you could be making a transposition error with the adjacent digits in your documents, such as typing your 9-digit passport number 987378427 as 987378247
  • the system could have some technical issues  

In addition to this, there could be grammatical and spelling errors in the data you entered, for example, the spelling of your name, and your complete date of birth are not written in the correct required order.

You need to register for a Government Gateway ID to access HMRC’s online services and as a part of signing up, a user ID and password are provided. When logging in, the system often does verification of your identity to avoid fraud and sometimes the process simply fails due to a technical error.

In any of the above-listed situations, there is a possibility that the system will show that your verification process has failed after you’ve answered the verification questions.

If your identity is not verified with HMRC, it means that your account will not be verified and that you will not be able to access HMRC online services till you get this sorted. 

What Should I Do To Get My Identity Verified With HMRC?

In order to get your identity verified with HMRC, you may need to provide the authorities with either of the following documents:

  • UK passport 
  • Northern Ireland Driving license 
  • most recent p60
  • recent self-assessment returns 
  • pay slips from the last 3 months    

If you find out that your verification is hindered due to a change in your personal details then find the “change your address and personal details” option, find the necessary contacts at HMRC, their work timings and inform them of your situation.

Sometimes the wrong order of data is entered, make sure to avoid this error because it is a matter of your confidential information about taxes payment and its misuse will cause both you and HMRC. 

However, you should keep in mind that multiple attempts to verify your identity might get you logged out for the next 24 hours.

How Do I Contact HMRC To Inform Them That I Cannot Confirm My Identity?

There are many ways to contact HMRC and inform them that you cannot confirm your identity. You can contact them in any of the following ways:

  • calling them on 0300 200 3600 from Monday to Friday between 8 am and 6 pm
  • using the HMRC app
  • using HMRC’s online webchat service

That said, you should keep in mind that it can take a few weeks until HMRC records are updated and your identity is verified.


There are many reasons why HMRC can’t confirm your identity. However, it is essential to be patient when anything like this occurs and check your sources on the internet when trying to find a solution. The most advisable next step in such a case is to contact HMRC and provide the necessary details that they require to verify your identity.


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