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Corporation tax online filing - HMRC new system

I wasted hours today attempting to use the Revenue's new online filing software to file a straightforward CT600 return.

All I have to show for it is a long list of unanswered questions, which I have passed to the Online Services Helpdesk.

Has anyone else tried it, and if so, with what result? Is it me, or have others experienced difficulties?

Amongst many other problems, I found it excruciatingly slow in operation, and it seemed to hog all the resources on my PC. 

After struggling on with it nearly all afternoon, I finally couldn't get past the "error message not found" message, so had to give up.

Helpful advice gratefully received!


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you are not alone

even the big software houses an d little me is struggling with XRBloodyL

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Me too

It has taken ages to do one return. 

I thought I would be good and use their accounts service but it wouldn't let me enter a debit balance as the VAT 'creditor'.  OK, fair dues but it is immaterial in the accounts and would have meant moving bits around in the stat accounts to make it all match so too much effort.

I then started the computations then gave up on that for some reason which I can't remember. Now I have ended up attaching both as pdfs.

At the moment it is all printed waiting for client's authorisatin, I haven't yet tried to press the button and ping it off.  Overall though, not a great experience so far, it has taken very much longer than the old one for a very simple loss making company in its first year.

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And Me

I sent the return by post in the end - wasted a whole afternoon.

Mike Sexton


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Don't just complain!

There needs to be a proper forum for these things that HMRC has to deal with.

Sign up to this petition! Many thanks Patrick Reynolds

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I gave up and bought ftax instead - can't be doing with the HMRC system any more

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Using HMRCsoftware

This has been coveredc many times on this forum.  But using the HMRC site to process Tax Forms must be a no-no for professionals.  THere are many vendors out there that will sell you for not a lot the software to lodge as a third party.

Why anyone would want to use the HMRC's software is beyond me.


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Using HMRC software

...doh!  Cost of course!  Sole practitioner, home office, low income demographic area - keeping costs low so as to keep fees low.  Mind you, I'm still doing CT600's on paper.  For partnerships - either paper returns, or Andica (low price for limited no. of filings).

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Seems OK using Digita

Online filing seems to be working fine with Digita CT package

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HMRC online CT600

I also spent several hours preparing a CT600 which previously would have taken about 15 minutes.  The instructions suggest that one should be able to attach accounts and computations as before, but I couldn't find any means of doing this.  It seems that you have to enter the complete set of full accounts before you get to the actual CT600.  Any suggestions gratefully received as I don't really want to spend several hundred pounds just to file about 6 CT600's per year.



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Like the previous author I too have had enormous problems with this system. I have tried to file two returns but had to give up because of incomprehensible error messages. Both returns are in the hands of the helpdesk.

I have gone back to filing paper returns until at least next February, when the "heavy" season is over. Can anybody tell me why this new system was introduced at the busiest time of the year, instead of in the quieter period after January? What was wrong with the old system? It worked which is more than the new one does.

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I thought it was too good to be true

I filed a simple CT return on line with HMRC in September.  It did take a while but I managed (or so I thougt) to attach all the relevant computations and accounts in PDF.  I received acknowledgements and e-mails telling me everything was ok and the return had been accepted.  Then a few weeks later HMRC wrote to us saying the return was not acceptable because no attachments where filed and a condecending note about how accounts have to be provided etc. The previous year return was accepted (loss) no problem.  I'm going to send it by post now I think

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come on guys

everybody is having xrbl problems hitherto the HMRC CTonline filing has been fine and i am sure it will be again soon

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Can only submit recent returns

Many of my corporation tax returns are for periods beginning before 1st April 08 - and the new system doesn't accept them!  Hence I need to get them physically signed by the client and sent in to HMRC.  That is a step backwards from the old system.    Some clients are asking that I don't send in the return for 12 months and others just don't get me the paperwork in good time - I'm sure other practitioners must be facing the same problem?

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Well, obviously - it's Digita - what else would you expect!

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Thank God I'm not the only one!

I have only a couple of clients for whom I need to submit a CT return therefore it is not worth the cost of purchasing Digita etc.

I completed a clients return before the so-called 'upgrade' but the client added something to the accounts which meant the return needs to be revised. I tried to do that today to find that I could do nothing - all I got was a blank screen and yes, I did do the 'Security' alteration suggested on the HMRC screen.

So I can do nothing. This is not funny and of course when I phoned the helpline I could not get through.



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Following on from an anon - you don't have to enter the account

In order to get to the return without entering the accounts data, answer no to the  question " do you want to use the accounts service", you can then attach accounts towards the end.  Same applies for the computations.

I attached pdfs in the end.  Client is approving all tomorrow so will hopefully be able to submit without problems...

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online help!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm still waiting for the Online help desk to get back to me after a week as I am unable to print and review the CT600 I get an error message telling me I have to set my associations in the Control Panel.  These have all been checked and are correct - I wonder how much of my tax was spent (sorry wasted)  developing this software?


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Ftax 'iXBRL Ready' CT600 works!!

The Ftax CT600 has been recognised by HMRC for iXBRL online filing. For an interim period (up until April 2011) pdf accounts and computations may also be attached and submitted online.

Feedback from our users so far has been positive.

Use 'AWdec20' for a 20% discount when purchasing at






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I am going back to paper

 I submitted one CT Return since the new system came in but am now going back to paper for the foreseeable, after several wasted hours today. I cannot even print out the pdf I have filled in!

Problems include;

• I am a Mac user but have Parallels - the form will not submit under either Mac or Windows;

• It will only open in Adobe Reader - not in Preview or Acrobat;

• It will not attach other pdfs so I could not attach my own CT Computation;

• Their CT Computation is inflexible - no place to add an explanatory note or add back anything other than a restricted list

• It will not allow me to download prior periods. There is an utterly weird list of nonsensical Accounting Periods an no facility to change an AP

• If you go for using their Computation the expense categories are all over the place (does not follow Standard Accounting Information format they previously invented) which means one has to dodge all over the place to add this and that together.

A DISGUSTING waste of our time.

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Waste of money

........and I hear on the news today that Good old Gordon is looking for ways to save money .......wonder how much this has cost and what it will cost to put right and make it usable?

Still haven't had a response from the online services help desk as to why I am unable to print the pdf? 


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Me too. I had all my figures to hand and expected it to take an hour at most but it took all day.

I made a loss this year but could not select the small company's rate without a positive net profit so all I could do was to leave the losses box blank and put a note to that effect in the included calcs. The file takes several minutes to open and slows the PC to a crawl although it is fine for other purposes. I tried another PC and that was the same. Perhaps they expect me to buy a new one just to submit their return.

Then it would not submit, simply doing nothing but clearing the password. After umpteen attempts  it started trying to submit but giving an error. Then after umpteen attempts squared it worked. During all this time I checked more than once that there was nothing wrong with my internet connection and I could log onto the HMRC site ok

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Another discrepancy

If you decide to print out the form you may find that the CT calculation in the printable PDF is based on standard rate and does not match what is in the submission PDF, which is based on small companies' rate as selected. What has been submitted? God knows.

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Can not find anywhere to add other operating income in the proforma also there is no where to deduct the online filing incentive. Are HMRC now telling us that the only deductions from profit on the tax return can be  Employees remuneration previously disallowed, profit on fixed assets and interest received. If so where is this in the legislation.

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Five weeks waiting for online help

I only have a couple of company clients and I too have given up and sent by post.

I cant print at all - I first asked the online help desk for advice five weeks ago. I wasnt given a ref nos initially so apparently my query did not go through to the specialists until three weeks ago following my seventh phone call.

I must have reloaded and checked that the 'Security' box was ticked at least a dozen times.

They now think it is something to do with my computer settings but cant tell me where or how. They basically arent interested if it is not an easy problem.

So I've given up and will wait until the 31 Jan 'rush' is over before trying again. This is the only programme that I have difficulty with.. none other. The other Adobe reader etc , Digita personal tax, Companies House pdf, word etc etc are all fine - just this one.

So why cant I print?




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Service is still c**p

This is just appalling. Heads should be rolling and what are our institutes doing about it ? This is the sort of issue that affects small practices where they should be getting stuck in and raising hell. But my guess is they are probably not !

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I have exactly the same issues regarding printing.  I have sent numberous screen shots of the messages I have sent gone through all the various checks with the online help desk and now that they have exhausted the list they are starting at the beginning again asking me what version of adobe I am using?  it's still the same 9.2!

Obviously it is all my fault and must be something to do with my computer settings as it can't possibly be a b**ls up at their end!


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They don't get it

What they don't get is that a major system like this can't only work for users running IE5 whilst standing on their head wearing pink underpants. It has to work straight out of the box for the majority of user configurations. Given the megabucks the IT consultants who design and implement these systems are paid it doesn't seem too much to expect given we are now over a month past the launch date. AND they are going to make it compulsory soon, what a joke !

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Online incentive

I've got some feedback from the HMRC technical people regarding the PAYE online incentive not being available as a deduction within the CT600 computation section.... "The PAYE filing incentive was only available for a limited time, it doesn't constitute part of the HMRC downloadable product. Therefore this product is not suitable for anyone wishing to declare this incentive".  The HMRC staff on the phone are always a pleasure to deal with, but it looks like the people responsible for developing the CT600 form need a kick up the backside.

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...........I'm still waiting for a response as to why I am unable to print or even save and review a completed return.  That's nearly 2 months now!


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Online Ct600 system - waste of time and money

I spent 3 hours yesterday getting my accounts into this system, the old system only took half an hour. I almost resorted to quitting and using paper. I can't believe they have release such an ill thought out system and it will become compulsory soon, so no work arounds.

I wish I'd spotted the bit about being able to attach PDF's of the accounts, would have saved at least an hour.

What I really don't get is why after you have input a full set of accounts in their format do you then have to re-input the same information over and over again in the other sections (Computation and CT600) to complete the submission.

Is the designer of this system an idiot. The implementers clearly are, but what about the person running the project, surely they must know that "turnover" (to name one item) is the same in all three sections - so why ask for it again and again and again.

If HMCE or the implementers are reading this, just get in contact with me and I'll sort out this software for you.

Alternately, just sit on your hands and listen to the critcism.




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Printing not working

I also discovered the save and print doesn't work, all you can do is download the ct600 copy in PDF. Then you can print it and the acknowledgement is at the bottom. Remember how they used to send this by email, alas no longer.


What a load of dross.


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Not really built for agents

The free HMRC software is primarily aimed at small unrepresented companies that will only need to deal with it once a year.  It hasn't been designed for agents who need to use it regularly.

HMRC expects agents to buy commercial software for filing CT returns so has made the free software as basic as they can.

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Excuse me?

 Is "Anonymous" the person who cocked the system up?

I cannot imagine anyone else defending the indefensible like that

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Lets all shoot the messenger?

Where exactly am I defending it?  Just letting you know the thinking behind the design of thing.

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Dear Anonymous

 "HMRC expects agents to buy commercial software for filing CT returns so has made the free software as basic as they can."

Please quote your authority for that statement. If you don't have inside knowledge, what have you read that I have not?

Besides, as everyone has said, the thing just does not work, whoever it is designed for. If it is for punters it should be dead simple, yet it is more complex than what it replaced.


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Errors still unresolved

HMR&C online help desk actually got back to me today about the print / save / pdf issue that I raised back on 24th November.  Apparently it's my fault as my system is unable to cope with their new software!

The suggestion was that I try filing another CT return to see if that doesn't work and then they will go back to the programmers and get them to it me!


Oh and I still can't print / view or save the pdf of the CT return that I have already filed and that has been accepted!

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HMR&C - New CT online filing

I have finally resolved the view and print issue that I had with the new CT online Adobe forms which has been going on since Novemeber 2009.  There is a conflict with Vista and Adobe which I managed to sort out myself using free online software to un-associate the pdf files

Just for the record, there is an online complaints form, but you do need to have a case reference to use it (much better than the online feedback included in the CT software as you have 2000 words of space to let go!

Go to and let HMR&C know how you all feel about the new system.  I have been told by the Manager of the online help dept that they are in talks with Adobe to resolve issues, but they need to know what these issues are - so please everyone get writing!




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HMRC Online

 Trying to do CT600 online has been a true nightmare and I'm still trying to sort out the error messages with them after weeks.

spurs fan


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Update on above

I reckon I wasted a week of stress and hair pulling trying to see where the HMRC error message related to after going over and over everything looking for the proverbial needle.(after low level person at helpdesk  could only read the definition of what supposedly the error code meant).  At no point until the very end at the final  submission stage of input did I get an inkling that anything was "wrong".  After re-rechecking all computer data again and finding nothing wrong, I even went to the extent of writing a manual paperwork of all inputs for the accounts and CT600 across a spreadsheet.  Got to the end and there was nothing wrong that could possibly relate to the error code.  I rang the respective CT office who could not really help me save to send everything to them as entered on the system to them.  I luckily could did this before it all disappeared into the ether, and they input all my data as written onto their system.  Guess what - yes nothing wrong.  They confirmed it was all ok, and I still to this day have no idea what was wrong.  Boy oh boy do I look forward to next year's input.

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I had another go recently

 There are only slight improvements - the whole thing is cantankerous and I am sticking to paper Returns, which is bad news for the staff in Brighton who now deal with Bournemouth

We are threatened with another "upgrade" when they incorporate Companies House submissions later this year. If only thy gave the job to Companies House, who seem to have competent programmers !

It is a serious issue, because Online filing will become compulsory next year - this should not happen if the provided system is not up to snuff

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Companies House

For the record, Companies House will also be updating their online forms to the same as HMR&C.  Lets just hope that the gremlins have been eradicated by then!

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CH staff are just as bad as HMRC

they cannot even deal with paper forms - without maaking serious and competing errors

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Another wasted Half Hour

 I thought I would play again with the HMRC online system, using a dormant company which would be simple.

First of all it rejected my full working version of Adobe Acrobat (as it has before) then using Adobe Reader I cannot get beyond Page 2;

"X ERROR:This service is trying to auto-save your progress but is unable to do so because the trust settings are not enabled, please refer to the help for more information"

Goodness knows what this means - I have tried changing all the security preferences, with no result

Bank to printing .....

The ominous thing is that the Companies House logo is now appearing along the top - the CH system works perfectly, I hope it doesn't get trashed by connection with this HMRC crap.

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Lisa B

I have tried to use the software and I cannot even download the pdf.

The download button just brings up a message that the site cannot be found or is unavailable.

It took ages to get through to the online helpdesk. They told me I had to change my settings to allow it to work. However the FIRST thing you have to do to change your settings is to download the pdf WHICH I CAN'T!!!

Very frustrating.

I have tried the download button on two different days, at two different times. Has anyone else had this problem?

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Fixing the trust settings on CT600.pdf

After holding on the phone for what seemed like an eternity the HMRC told me to follow the instructions here:

and this does work, it allows you to progress from the first page. I remember doing this before and the problem is that if Adobe updates the reader software it destroys the trust settings and you have to do it again.

The instructions are in pdf so you might find you have to print them out first, which is another pain, I complained about this 2 years ago...

Why they don't make this help searchable from the online FAQ is a complete mystery too....

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Try a different browser

I had the same problem this week of not being able to download the  PDF, kept telling me it was not available. May be to do with the browser add in settings. I was using IE but when I switched to another browser (Google Chrome I think) it worked.

It's always worth having more than one browser on your PC to check out such problems, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari or Opera are all free and easy to instal.

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It's still the same old rubbish. Pretty sure I emailed them last year about a problem that is still there.

If you are using windows 7 and cannot see all the boxes you are supposed to tick when setting the trust settings, right click on desktop, resolution/make text and other items smaller or larger/choose smallest.

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invest in software everything is so quick you wont believe it

try taxcalc

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How did you solve the "View and Print" problem?

Edit: I found the answer:


Hi accountright,

Please could you explain how you solved the "View and Print" problem? I'm experiencing the same problem and it's driving me crazy!

Any help much aprpeciated,


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problem solved
How did you solve the "View and Print" problem?

Edit: I found the answer:


Rangi, you have the answer.  click on the link above and then find the following on the web page.  Click on the


Removing .PDF file type association Download and save it to DesktopExtract the contents to a folder and run the file unassoc.exeSelect .PDF from the list and click Delete file typeThe file type association for .PDF is now removed.


next, click on the link and at the bottom of the page just under the word "attachment" is the download

download the file and follow the instructions and you should be able to print your files.

Good luck




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