It’s time to take your selfie seriously

Remember when selfies were just about silly faces and holiday views? Well, not anymore.

We’ve just added selfie check technology to the SecureIdentity registration process. It’s a new option that allows you to set up your SecureIdentity account even faster.

Here’s how it works

The selfie check technology uses the phone’s camera to scan your passport’s photo page. Just after that you’re asked to take a selfie. Your selfie is matched with the official passport photo by our state of the art selfie check technology.

Why are we introducing selfie checks?

The biometric technology we use to deliver the selfie check helps us keep the best security in the word accessible and convenient to use.

SecureIdentity is powered by Safran, the word leader in Government ID. Over the years and around the world, our business has been developing new technologies designed to help people do more secure things online simply.

Last year, when we created the SecureIdentity Simple Sign-in app, our goal was to make accessing government services more straightforward and more secure. In a world where we routinely use the internet to shop, check our bank details or book our holidays, the traditional ways to access government services seemed outdated and complex. The SecureIdentity Simple Sign-in app changed all of that.

Creating your SecureIdentity account takes just a few minutes. If you’re not the kind of person that wants to fast-track your registration with a selfie check, we’ll simply ask you a few more questions to complete the process in minutes. It’s swift, straightforward and secure.

Once you’re registered, you can use the Simple Sign-in app to access any Government service via GOV.UK Verify. Just enter your email and PIN into the app and you’re in.

To register for SecureIdentity using a secure selfie just:

  • Download the SecureIdentity app from the iOS or Android app store.
  • Open the app to start the registration. You will be asked to choose a four digit PIN number.
  • Scan in the photo page of your passport then take a selfie.

Download the app and try it for yourself

 

Last lifeline to avoid a HMRC fine

Quick, quick get moving on filing your self assessment tax form because the deadline is Tuesday 31st January 2017. Last January 2016 some  890,000* individuals filed their return late. There’s a £100 fine for late filing. Submit your tax return on time to avoid having to pay late fines and penalties. No one wants a case of the January blues this month courtesy of HMRC.

There are two ways to get started.

The old way – no haste by post

You can choose to register your account with Government Gateway which many people have already done. The first part of your pin will be revealed online while the other part will be sent to you in the post. This could take days and even up to a whole week.

What if you have a Government Gateway but no password?

You may have used Government Gateway before but having all the access details you need to hand may not be that simple. It’s all too easy to misplace codes and passwords you rarely use.

Instead of getting dizzy trying to remember your identity code or the complicated PIN number, why not use SecureIdentity and GOV.UK Verify to create an online account.

The new way – quick as an app

If you have not created an online account to access government services, you could use SecureIdentity. With us creating an online account will only take 10 to 15 minutes – you could start your self assessment today and file before the 31st January deadline. We are one of 7 certified companies that can verify your identity through GOV.UK Verify

All you need to get started are your main forms of identity (passport, driving licence, bank statements), your smart-phone and the SecureIdentity simple sign-in app. You should be able to create your account in about 10 to 15 mins by answering some questions.

Once you’re verified you can use your SecureIdentity to access other online government services too. Eventually using Verify will be the preferred method of accessing government services at GOV.UK for most people. So by using GOV.UK Verify now you’re saving yourself time later. Over time all government services will be going digital and Government Gateway will be phased out.

So get started on your self assessment form now.

3 really useful tips for filling in your self assessment tax return

Want to save yourself a £100 fine and further penalties by completing your self assessment tax return before the January 31st deadline? We’ve scoured the internet to collate the three essential things you can do now to ease the burden of filing and submit your return in good time. Read on to avoid a filing nightmare and  turn your self assessment tax task into a quick-click affair.

  1. Go online to avoid a fine
    Sadly, you’ve missed the deadline for filing a paper return. This was October 31st so now you’re only option is to create an online account. You have two choices: the old way and the new way.

The Old Way

The old way is to use the Government Gateway. You’ve probably heard of it already. Registering this way can take days because you have to wait for the post to get your access code. But if you’re already registered with Government Gateway and have access to the Self Assessment service, this may be a good route for you.

The New Way

The new, straightforward, quick way to access Self Assessment (and other government services) is to use GOV.UK Verify together with a certified identity provider like SecureIdentity. It takes 10 to 15 minutes. After registration with SecureIdentity you can begin filling in your self assessment tax return immediately.

You’ll need to choose a certified company to verify your identity at GOV.UK Verify. Have your  identity documents to hand (ie: your passport, driving licence and bank statements) and choose SecureIdentity when you’re asked to choose a certified company to verify your identity. There’s no difficult-to-remember passwords and you’re not stuck waiting for something in the post.

Once you’re verified you can use your SecureIdentity to access other online government services too. Eventually everyone will be required to create an online identity to access government services at GOV.UK so by getting one now you’re saving yourself time later. The Government Gateway will eventually become obsolete

  1. Paper preparation eases the declaration
    Another thing you can do to de-stress the whole process is gathering all the relevant documents in advance. Here’s a list of some of the things you’ll need:
  • P60 – if you’re employed this will have all of your end of year figures.
  • P11D or P9D – if your employer has given you extra benefits in addition to your salary, or you have expenses, they must all be declared using these documents.
  • P45 – if you changed jobs during the tax year, your previous employer would have issued this.
  • payslips – to calculate your earnings and check figures against your P60 or P45.
  • receipts – for all the expenses you are claiming for example, business related travel. But be sure that your expenses are HMRC approved.
  • bank statements of your savings accounts – you’ll need them to calculate the interest you earned after being taxed which is you net interest. Also do remember that your ISA income does not need to be declared, it’s tax free.
  • dividends statements – to calculate income received from stocks and/or shares.
  • statements for pension income – to add to your income.

But what if you’ve lost one of the above bits of paper? Here’s what you can do:

  • P60 – you can get a replacement from your employer which will be marked duplicate. Your employer is obliged to keep copies of your P60 for at least the last three years.
  • P11D – again your employer should be able to provide you with a copy or else you can contact the HMRC for a copy.
  • P45 – you can not get a replacement but your new employer may be able to provide you with a ‘Starter Checklist’.
  • payslips – the first place to ask would be your employer but if you get really stuck you can use your bank statement to find the figures for earnings that you received.
  • receipts – this is a grey area, it’s not really advisable to estimate expenses as you really need evidence if you are audited.
  • statements from your bank, pension provider and share or stock organisation – contact the relevant organisation for a copies. But do remember that you may be charged for copies.
  1. Giving is receiving to charity
    Be sure to list all your charitable donations. This is particularly important if you are a higher rate taxpayer because you can reduce your tax bill by offsetting what you have donated. Charitable donations include GiftAid payments and annual memberships of charities such as English Heritage and the National Trust.

Don’t delay, get started today on your self assessment tax return! 

Help your friends or family with their tax affairs

Tax returns and other government services have gone digital, which can be daunting for some people, especially the elderly, disabled, infirm or vulnerable who may be reluctant to go online themselves.

You can help friends and family access the government services they need online by becoming a “trusted helper”.

A trusted helper can:

  • confirm that their friend or family member’s Income Tax assessment is correct
  • update or check their friend or family member’s personal tax account
  • claim their friend or family member’s tax refund
  • check their friend or family member’s company car tax

You can be a trusted helper for up to 5 people using SecureIdentity and GOV.UK.

Here’s how it works

If you already have a SecureIdentity just use your Simple Sign-in app to login (if you don’t already have a SecureIdentity you can create one in 10 to 15 minutes. Just choose SecureIdentity when you’re asked to choose a certified company to verify your identity at GOV.UK Verify).

After verifying your identity, you’ll need the following details for each individual that you will be helping:

  • first name and surname
  • date of birth
  • National Insurance number

The person that you are helping will need to verify their identity on GOV.UK Verify. They will have to sign-in to their account and accept you as a ‘trusted helper’.

Remember that even if you are helping someone with their tax, they are still responsible for their own taxes.

More about becoming a trusted helper

It’s taken 20 years to create SecureIdentity for GOV.UK Verify

Barclays, Paypal, The Post Office, Experian: these are just some of the household names available to you when you need to choose a certified supplier and access the services you need on GOV.UK.

SecureIdentity by Morpho is a bit different. We don’t spread our expertise across lots of services. We don’t do retail, banking, consumer credit or credit checking services. Keeping your personal details safe and secure in the digital world is all we do and we’ve been doing this for more people in more places for over 20 years.

If you haven’t heard of us already it’s because Morpho has traditionally been a company that’s worked for the world’s major governments, institutions and security services behind the scenes.  Think of us as the security  ‘engine’ that powers privacy in today’s networked world. 

  • We’ve already secured over 2.5 billion identities for citizens around the world
  • We’re the world’s No 1 provider of driving licences
  • More than 50 of the world’s governments already use our services to keep private details secure for citizens
  • We employ over 8,600 people in more than 50 countries

We provide reassurance

We’re backed by more than 20 years of experience. We’re extensively involved with government schemes where identity and security is at the top of the agenda – helping citizens to interact with official organisations in the knowledge that their valuable personal data is safe.

We provide the systems that deliver this reassurance – across the public sector as well as for financial institutions and government security services.

  • We authenticate 20 million digital signatures a year
  • We trace and archive 50 million transactions every day
  • We produce more than 2 million smart cards a day

You know us better than you think

The chances are, if you’ve got a mobile phone, or you’ve bought online or in-store with a credit card, or you’ve passed through passport control, we’ve been working behind the scenes to make sure your personal details are safe and your financial transactions are secure. Now, with the launch of SecureIdentity by Morpho, the world’s most established government grade identity systems are in your hands. 

Why replace Government Gateway with GOV.UK Verify?

The government has been looking closely at how the new connected world can enable improved, more straightforward access to government services for UK citizens. It has also been looking closely at online security; how it can best handle people’s personal information sensitively and provide the reassurance that their data is safe when they enter it online.

Making it all easier and more secure

The entry point to local and national government services – the way you got in and were asked to prove who you were – has traditionally been through the Government Gateway. You might already have used it. If you have, then you may well be one of the 65% of people who say that, getting access to the government services you need today is  a bit tedious. The multi-stage approach to proving who you are on the Government Gateway was appropriate when the system was launched some years ago, but now it needs a refresh. The Government Gateway scheme is now being gradually replaced by GOV.UK Verify, which aims to provide a faster and more secure service, for most of its previous functions.

Providing better digital service

For about 15 years this entry system – where you sign in and prove you are who you say you are –  worked how it was supposed to, but the world around us has changed.

How we connect and interact with online services has changed. Now we thrive on getting things done quicker, in a secure online environment, with far less hassle:

Faster

We all expect faster responses when we’re online. We demand easier access, and less fuss. Technology has made it all possible. You can shop online, run your bank account online, book flights, arrange holidays, pay bills.

There’s no reason why your interactions with government services can’t be just as smooth and straightforward as they are with any other organisation you connect with online.

Safer

This is the main reason why the government has engaged with a range of leading technology firms.

Using external expert companies is going to make sure that the procedures you go through when you prove who you are at GOV.UK  are always at the cutting edge of smart technology and that that latest advancements in secure online verification will always be freely available to people when they use the new Government services portal. This makes everything more straightforward.

Simpler

Today we expect to achieve much more online. Our expectations of what should be able to do when we access Government service via the web is much more joined up.

We want straightforward access to the entitlements that are due to us (like tax credits or benefits) and when we need things from other Government departments (like a new passport or a visa) we expect the relationships we have already established with one aspect of Government to speed up our requests and help us get what we need faster. The new GOV.UK Verify process enables you to register and prove who you are  once and after that, never have to jump through the same hoops again.

In a nutshell, this is what UK GOV Verify has been designed and built to offer – simple and secure access; taking the hassle out of using the numerous services you call upon through various government departments – from passport renewals to benefits and tax returns through to registering births, deaths, and marriages. All these things have to be done – now they’re just going to be easier to do.