HMRC offers reassurance on SA online availability

Community Correspondent
Sift Media
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HMRC reassured taxpayers and accountants that its Self Assessment Online services will be fully available ahead of the 31 January filing deadline.

AccountingWEB member Mr. Mischief reported getting a "website currently unavailable" response last Thursday evening and asked if other members had been affected. None responded.

HMRC told AccountingWEB its SA site had slowed down between 19:45 and 20:15 due to testing, but was never completely off-line and was back to full capacity immediately afterwards.

"The SA Online system experienced a very limited period of slow functionality due to testing for around 30 minutes. The system remained working, but we apologise to any users who experienced a slow service. Full functionality returned once the test was complete," an HMRC spokesperson said. 

"There is no downtime planned between now and 31 January," he added. 

So far, Thursday's hiccup is the only one reported to AccountingWEB this month. Some members may recall the difficulties experienced in 2005, but since then the department has invested a lot of time and effort to ensure the online SA system could cope with demand.

January 2012 passed without incident, so there's a good chance HMRC's reassurance that it expects no more downtime will hold true for 2013.


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Very slow

Saturday morning and this morning (Tuesday) very slow. Links to pages very slow or non-existent.

Basically hopeless.

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Stupid timing!!!

Saturday morning was unavailable for me??

What a stupid time to have "testing" at the busiest time of the year for us??

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Gone down now?

Not been able access for last 1/2 hour or so, anyone else?

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Lost Authorised clients

I logged on to HMR&C Website t find that one of my authorised clients had disappeared ........the client was on the authorised list last week and a phone call to the Agents Help Line informed me that no 64-8 had been lodged .....

Has anyone else 'lost' clients .It happenned last year and I was hoping it would not happen again but......

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Lost Clients

Yeah the same happened to me - lost an authorised client and am having to go through re authorisation. Hopefully Authentication code arrives in time!!

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January 2012 submissions

There was an 'incident', ie the extra two days into February because of industrial action.  HMRC's prior notification of the extension & of the reason behind it were very acceptable

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From the email "How's it working for you?"

Fine for me at present

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Downtime issue

I had an issue last week when trying to access client SA records on the HMRC website - it wouldn't let me in! I could access all of my other services, but not SA. I gave up in the end and it was fine the next day.

I have also "lost" clients and had to get them reauthorised. I did have one which was a technical issue rather than a 64-8 issue and HMRC could see that I was the agent, but the client had disappeared from my list. A call to the online services team eventually sorted it out.


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Unble to log in for SA

I'm having a nightmare this morning!  I'm unable to log into the Self Assessment area to submit tax returns.  All other services are accessible but not the SA?  Have called HMRC and they are looking into it, in the meantime, I'm stress eating chocolate cheesecake waiting for the service to resume.  Anyone else had this?????

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lost clients

Seems to happen quite regularly.

All we get is "no 64-8 on file resubmit" which makes you feel like an idiot when you have acted for a client for years and have to explain to a client why you need a new 64-8 completing.

Even when you can quote from a letter they have written you as agent they do not seem to be able to do anything, but thats HMRC for you, some of people on Agent Help Line are excellent but they are been let down by CAAT who seem to hang on to 64-8's for ages before processing them and I have got fed up of chasing some so where I have a UTR just file tax return with our software and hope 64-8 gets logged eventually.

They must be having megga problems at CAAT as you cannot even ring them now!!!

Have tried the online system for registering SA clients and it takes ages for the code to be received by the client even though they say it has been sent.

CT seem to be working OK for authorisations as last one came through in 10 days.

As far as access times are concerned since we upgraded our Broadband everything is going very quickly and we have not experienced any downtime, lets see how it goes.

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Just another month

Got a 9A enquiry dated 9th January 2013 that arrived in the office on 14th January 2013. response required by 30th January 2013. marvellous - oh how we laughed......



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HMRC Update

Eric Robinson wrote:

Got a 9A enquiry dated 9th January 2013 that arrived in the office on 14th January 2013. response required by 30th January 2013. marvellous - oh how we laughed......

Yep. We got one as well last week. Its now gone in the shredder but I did phone HMRC to tell them that haven't acted for the client since submitting his 2005 SAR. No records in the file now. Also got through to the tax chappie on his direct line immediately. Amazing how compliance offices are not plagued buy the usual call centre queues.

And the HMRC web site is working fine for us.


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failure to logon

The system told me that I had used the wrong password when I tried twice on Thursday evening to login without luck.  Tried again on Friday and a few times since without any problems, I do not believe that I mis-keyed twice on Thursday, I am an experienced user of computing systems.



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On a positive note....

Absolutely no problems. Beats the days when we used to carry armfuls of tax returns down to the tax office!

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Lost Client

Yep I had one this year. An old lady for whom I had acted for what seemed like forever. When I telephoned HMRC and went through client identity this nice lady on the agent help line was happy to discuss my clients affairs with me. My client had, however, gone from my agent list, but it seems not that of HMRC. Longbenton, though, was about as useless as a chocolate tea pot. They were the only people who were allowed to help me and they couldn't understand the problem and kept asking for a 64/8 thinking she was a new client. I couldn't speak to them on the phone only by letter. In the end I sent a noddy type letter with bullet points explaining the problem that even an idiot could follow with a copy of the 64/8 the client signed about 15 years ago. Without a word of explaination her name reappeared about a month later.

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The HMRC have taken their ball home with access to the SA system

I am strangely cheered to note that I am not alone, and that the HMRC haven't just got it in for me. I have reached that point of the year when such ludicrous notions are worth a punt! I have logged onto the HMRC but can't access the SA service. The "system error - the system is currently unavailable, please try again later or contact the on-line service desk quoting reference: 16 digit number differs each time". Helpdesk is at it's front line defeated and I am up the tree (or the river without a paddle).

This did happen once before, I went off and got distracted by other work, no vallium was applied and the next day all was well. Today a nasty flinch has set in and panic appears sensible.

I haven't lost anyone yet, but the 64-8 sent for a client for 2012-13 returns has got suspended in mid-input, they have it but she hasn't popped up on the list.

Could this problem I am having be volume of other users on the system - seems unlikely - however, if so would anyone be willing to fall on their sword and get off so I can get on? I won't hold my breathe.

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No filing problems here

We have no problems here. Submitted fine on Saturday, Sunday and this morning Monday.

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No filing problems here


No issues at this end so far either - 3 Activation Codes for new clients gave rise to the clients' appearance in the Authorised List within 24 hours. 

However, I have a question that more experienced colleagues could perhaps answer, which is....if a previous agent has NOT used HMRC's online filing, does that mean that I can't or won't be able to access Returns/other details prior to the one for which I am now authorised?

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For Coverack

No. You should be able to see all the tax years that the client was issued an SAR plus all the payments made, etc.It is not agent dependent.

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From Squay on 29th January

   Thanks - useful information, although as a stop-gap I've ordered up screen-shots of the relevant Return(s) and these should be in my snail mail reasonably soon.


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Missing clients

I am still waiting for two clients to appear on SA online services.  64-8's were sent with sufficient time (5 working days) for input before 31 January but still no sign of them on the system.  Appeals against late filing penalties were lodged on the morning of 1 February citing failure by HMRC to act in reasonable time.  I await developments...

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