Save time and reduce errors by transacting online

Register for HMRC taxes and sign up for online services

If you're already registered for tax you can start sending your returns online instead of on paper by signing up for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Online Services. Follow the link to 'Sign up to send returns using HMRC Online Services'.

If you start a business, take on an employee or subcontractor for the first time, or need to register for VAT, you must tell HMRC. There's a registration service to help you with this. As part of this registration service, you will be able to sign up for free business advice emails from HMRC.  This means you will receive a series of tax related help and support emails that give you and your business clear information at specific times.  For example, they could provide guidance about the type of financial records you have to keep, when and how to complete your tax returns and when payments  to HMRC are due.

If you are not in business or have been self-employed before, there are other ways to register for tax – see the 'When to use other ways to register for tax' section, below.   

On this page:

Tell HMRC you're a new business, new employer or contractor, new to VAT

If you have a new business or have taken on employees for the first time, you can use HMRC's online tax registration service to register a business with HMRC for the following taxes:

  • Self Assessment (businesses only)
  • Corporation Tax (limited companies only)
  • PAYE for employers/contractors
  • VAT

When you use this service to register for a tax you will automatically be enrolled for the appropriate online service.

Follow the 'Register your business for HMRC taxes' link below to tell HMRC you're a new business, new employer or contractor, new to VAT.

Register your business for HMRC taxes


If you're an agent you can use the tax registration service on behalf of your client. You must first be set up as an agent through the Government Gateway - but you don't need to have a formal agent authorisation for your client in place to use this service. If you register a client for taxes they will not be automatically enrolled for online services.


When to use other ways to register for tax

Self Assessment

You may have to register for Self Assessment because you need to tell HMRC that:

  • you have more complicated tax affairs, for example you have income from property or capital gains
  • you have worked for yourself before and are restarting self-employment

Follow the 'Register for Self Assessment' link below for information about how to register.

Register for Self Assessment

Corporation Tax

To register an organisation, for example a club or society, for Corporation Tax, follow the 'Starting a company or organisation and Corporation Tax' link for more information about how to do this.

Starting a company or organisation and Corporation Tax

PAYE and employers

There are some exceptions where employers in certain unusual circumstances can not use the Online Tax Registration service.

Follow the 'How to register as an employer' link for more information

How to register as an employer


There are some exceptions where you cannot use the online registration service to register for VAT. Follow the 'How to register for VAT' link for more information.

How to register for VAT

Please note: If you have used one of the other ways to register for business taxes, you need to sign up for online services separately (see below).

VAT Mini One Stop Shop (VAT MOSS)

An optional scheme for EU or non-EU businesses providing telecommunication, broadcasting and e-services to EU customers to submit returns to account for VAT due in all member states.

Register for VAT MOSS

Machine Games Duty

If you are responsible for premises where machine games are played and Machine Games Duty (MGD) will be due, you must register with HMRC.

More about Machine Games Duty Online

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)

Service for financial institutions to report to HMRC on interests held by US citizens and other overseas residents under FATCA and similar reporting obligations. You should register as an organisation to use this service.

Register for Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act


Sign up to send returns using HMRC Online Services

You can sign up and enrol to use the different HMRC Online Services if you have the appropriate reference number:

  • a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) for Self Assessment Online
  • a Corporation Tax reference for Corporation Tax Online
  • a VAT registration number for the VAT online services
  • an employer PAYE reference number for PAYE Online

You can use these services to deal with HMRC and submit your returns online.

Follow the 'Sign up for HMRC Online Services link'.

Sign up for HMRC Online Services

Tax agents and advisers who want to sign up for online services should follow the link below to find out more.

Get started with HMRC Online Services for agents


More useful links

See a demonstration of HMRC Online Services

Software choices when filing online