Since the service was closed for maintenance recently, we have found that we are having certain difficulties in accessing our clients records on line. For example we need to search the whole client list and select the client name/UTR from the list to see their records, rather than type in their name or UTR and go straight to it. Neither can we view some of the tax years information. All we get is a blank screen and fault note.
Something else happened today which is very strange. One of my colleague was checking to ensure our client had paid all he should have to date while dealing wiht his tax return and click on view statement of account. The statement which came up on screen (and which we printed) did not include any details relating to our client apart from his name. The UTR the statement date, statement number and payments made were different than any information we had on file. On the advice of the online helpline service I contacted the tax office dealing with this client and they confirm that in fact the tax payer whose UTR is shown on the statement of account printed is not our client. It is someone completely different and we don't act for him/her.
What is going on? The gentleman at the call centre was just as pzzled as we are and he is looking into it for us.
Meanwhile I had sent an email to the online service on 24th November highlighting the difficulties experienced in trying to access our clients records and their automated reply was to telephone the tax office or the online helpdesk. The latter told me today that they were unable to help.
Are they taking a leaf of the old tax credits book and referring queries to different departments in turn so that one feels one is going round in circle and not achieving anything.
I shall hope that the gentleman of the call centre will have more luck and that we may come to the bottom of it quickly.
This does not inspire me confidence and with the 31 January 2006 deadline fast approaching it scares me a little. I should not want a repeat of last year's problems...