Update: More HMRC Online maintenance work scheduled for next Monday night | AccountingWEB

Update: More HMRC Online maintenance work scheduled for next Monday night

Following work last Wednesday and over the Bank Holiday weekend, HMRC has sheduled another 10-hour break in service to carry out maintenance work on the evening of Monday 1 September.


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PDF Colour Return?

AnonymousUser | | Permalink

Has anyone else had any problems with downloading a colour PDF copy of thier clients returns? i can only seem to download the rubish black and white copy which isnt in the format of a "REAL" tax return.

Shaun - colour PDF

Anonymous | | Permalink

No solution I'm afraid, I am having the same problems. I click on "next" on the download page and nothing else happens. Where does it go?

I have adobe and used the servcie last year with no problems. I am also able to download and/or print the text only version with no problems.

John Stokdyk's picture

Error 1046 problems "resolved"

John Stokdyk | | Permalink

Kevin, just to confirm what Dave Smith mentioned on Tuesday, that HMRC eventually did fix the error 1046 problem - although I am still awaiting a detailed explanation from them. Given the frustrations everyone is feeling about the speed of information coming out of the department, your suggestion about the email alerts is a very good one.

In the meantime, you can find out more about the issue and pick up any further updates from a separate news item, HMR : Online agent authorisation problems resolved

Thanks to Dave and everyone else for helping to keep us all informed of the developments at HMRC online.

John Stokdyk
Technology editor

Remind me

Anonymous | | Permalink

What was wrong with ELS ?

It took a few years but as I recall, ended up secure, simple and reliable.


mikewhit | | Permalink

Although I hold no brief for HMRC data systems, it's an annoying fact of life that complex systems that have developed over a number of years need to be taken down in order to reorganise and enable future capabilities.

Rather like rewiring a house, you hope everything will work just as it did previously, no worse (and no better) - of course, software doesn't wear out but I can imagine that systems that may have originally been stuck together in an ad hoc fashion would benefit from configuring correctly from the ground up.

kevinringer's picture

Why can't we be told in advance?

kevinringer | | Permalink

Most of us using 3rd party software weren’t aware that online services were down until we stopped received responses to our submissions. We then go rooting through the service availability pages to learn that online services would be back in action the next day. But I experienced more problems the following day with returns being rejected with error message 1046. Nothing on HMRC’s website about error 1046, so calls to software suppliers on online services reveal that HMRC are aware that there is a problem resulting in false 1046 messages – but HMRC didn’t put a message on their website until after they’d fixed the problem! So we’ve all wasted time finding out.

The solution – HMRC update service availability and problems immediately, not the next day. Also, HMRC have the email addresses of all efilers, so why can’t HMRC send an email to all efilers advising them of known service problems.


dhollister | | Permalink

Wouldn't it be nice to wake up one morning after a 'routine upgrade' and discover that the IR self-assessment and PAYE facilities were running faster..........

Credentials should be ok now

garyging | | Permalink

HMRC's SDS team sent an email bulletin to all software developers on Friday to inform them that there was a problem with the validation of user's credentials.

Another update was sent today to say that the issue has now been resolved.

John Stokdyk's picture

What news on Thursday am?

John Stokdyk | | Permalink

Still waiting to hear back from HMRC, but am keen to find out if the upgrade work has been completed - and to see what the differences are. Has anybody checked what's available online this morning?

All replies appreciated, as usual.

John Stokdyk
Technology editor

John Stokdyk's picture

HMRC Update - infrastructure enhancements only

John Stokdyk | | Permalink

HMRC's press office has sent us a reply explaining that this week's 24-hour suspension of service was the second phase of a planned upgrade to enhance HMRC Online to cope with major incidents such as power cuts. The first phase went in on the 1st August.

The work taking place "is not an enhancement to any particular online service," he department said, adding that "the increased robustness of our infrastructure will benefit all of our online services".

Meanwhile, in Any Answers yesterday, Alan Moore reported that on logging into the updated site, he no longer appears to be an agent for corporation tax clients and has been invited to add the service to his profile.

Thanks to the department for responding - and to Alan and all the other AccountingWEB members for their reports.

Looking forward to hearing how the site performs from next Tuesday.
John Stokdyk
Technology editor

Early days, but ...

AnonymousUser | | Permalink

... not noticed any additional features as yet, except possibly that if you change the address of an individual on the SA system it now works, where previously it only regurgitated an error message.

But I can confirm a couple of things that have NOT changed, that I was waiting for:

If you change the client's address, or apply for reduced payments on account, you helpfully get a confirmation on screen that quotes a unique security reference, but it STILL does not state anywhere on the confirmation what is the name of the client, nor UTR, nor NINo, nor agent's reference for the client.

I expect there will be a few other long-standing irritations still on the system.

No success with third party software either

breakaway.barry | | Permalink

According to HMRC's service availability notice:-

"If you use commercial software you will experience a delay in receiving your response acceptance/rejection response to your submissions."

I've just tried submitting a return for the past hour without any success!

TC site ?

mikewhit | | Permalink

I thought the online tax credits system disappeared a couple of years back ?

Nature of improvements

Anonymous | | Permalink

I had 'assumed' it was connected with the forthcoming mass issue of new PAYE Codes to issued at the end of August to be used from 7th September following the 10p tax debacle.

Hopefully luck is not an issue .......

Anonymous | | Permalink

In todays environment you simply do not take systems down at your own convenience without any though about the impact on users

Any maintenance should be done out of hours (i.e. evenings, overnight, weekends) because the cost of any other approach is completely unacceptible. One only has to weigh up the cost of a few IT staff on overtime against a working day for all those who use the system

But then again it is probably the mentality (or lack of accountability) of these government departments that allows this approach.

As for '.. experiences may have made HMRC a little reticent about discussing its IT upgrade work in too much detail..' - when are these jokers going to start performing like a commercial organisation instead of being in an Ivory Tower?

One sincerely hopes that '.. Our IT partners ..' are not the same players involved in previous debacles

John Stokdyk's picture

Nature of maintenance and improvement?

John Stokdyk | | Permalink

We've approached HMRC to ask about the nature of the maintenance and upgrade work taking place and are waiting to hear back.

However, a supplementary budget report issued in March explained that work would take place from April onwards to upgrade HMRC's online services. The report suggests that we can expect improvements in the performance of the SA Online portal, hopefully with better search facilities, as requested in the past by Working Together participants and AccountingWEB members.

I suggested to the department that when commercial software developers introduce new features, they trumpet them far and wide - people might be more accepting of temporary loss of service if they understand that they will get access to better features afterwards. But previous experiences may have made HMRC a little reticent about discussing its IT upgrade work in too much detail.

We wish them luck in their efforts during the next week and hope that come Tuesday morning next week, all will be rosy and efficient in HMRC's online garden.

John Stokdyk
Technology editor