RTI Error: Authentication Failure. The supplied user credentials failed validation for the requested service

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By far the most common error message we see when submitting RTI (either FPS or EPS) to HMRC is “Authentication Failure. The supplied user credentials failed validation for the requested service”.

This somewhat cryptic error message is generated by HMRC’s internal systems. It is also known as HMRC error 1046, as 1046 is their internal error code.

There are a number of causes for this error, if you encounter this problem please work through the following steps.

Check your Government Gateway Credentials

Your User ID is usually a string of 12 digits. The password should be no more than 12 characters. This will change in April 2020 when HMRC will allow more complex passwords.

Check you can log into the Government Gateway

Head over to the Government Gateway and check you can login with the user id and password you entered into Shape Payroll.

Do your credentails have access to PAYE?

Now you are logged into the HMRC portal check that you can see the PAYE details for your company. If you can’t see these you are using the wrong user id and password, maybe your personal creds or those for another company.

Check you are trying to file for the correct company

Are the Accounts Office Reference and PAYE Reference that you can see in the Government Gateway the same as the ones you entered into Shape Payroll? If not then you are trying to file for the wrong company and it won’t work.

Is your PAYE scheme new?

If you have recently registered for PAYE you will need to activate your scheme. It takes several weeks for HMRC to send you an activation code, once received you will need to go through their activation process before you can file RTI.

Another reason?

If you have solved this error in a way not listed here please let us know so we can add your solution to this list.