Share this content
2
1613

How rubbish is the HMRC agent service?

Busted!

Welcome to Agent Services

This service is unavailable due to maintenance.

I've now had this message continuously since Friday afternoon.  This sort of utter rubbish worries me a lot when it comes to Making Tax Digital.  It's bad enough that - with their usual utter contempt for us - they are doing it in the final week for October VAT submissions.  Overall by far my biggest concern about MTD is that HMRC are just too incompetent, run by too many numpties, to make it work.

They claim Real Time Information as a success, but the number of duff PAYE codes and rubbish data in their database in my view is no less than before RTI.

 

 

Replies

Please login or register to join the discussion.

avatar
03rd Dec 2018 15:45

I haven't signed up to Agent Services, decided to let others be HMRCs test pilots.

I get this:-

Welcome to Agent Services
This service is unavailable due to maintenance
Go to the original HMRC online services

Fortunately the link goes to old style HMRC services, which is what I want.

Completely agree however with the OP's sentiments.

Edit: This applies for SA / CT / VAT. For PAYE see separate post below.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By eburden
to Wanderer
03rd Dec 2018 14:32

You are lucky, my link just loops round and shows the same page. I have tried two other accounts and I just cannot get anywhere near logging in.

I may have left some rude responses for HMRC as they asked what I thought!

Thanks (2)
to eburden
03rd Dec 2018 14:39

eburden wrote:

You are lucky, my link just loops round and shows the same page. I have tried two other accounts and I just cannot get anywhere near logging in.

I may have left some rude responses for HMRC as they asked what I thought!

Mine is the same. No access at all.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By thomas
to Happy Up North Accountant
03rd Dec 2018 15:08

same for me

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Sarah P
to Wanderer
03rd Dec 2018 15:30

No access for me either and numerous VAT returns to file :-/

Thanks (0)
avatar
to Sarah P
03rd Dec 2018 15:43

Good old HMRC!

The login that we use for SA / VAT / CT goes to 'old HMRC services' and works fine.

The separate login that we use for PAYE goes into the loop that others are getting.

Thanks (0)
By Tornado
to Wanderer
03rd Dec 2018 16:06

I think a lot of us were signed up to a BETA Agents Service a long time ago (I cannot remember agreeing to this) and as others have said, this results in the endless looping when trying to locate the 'Old' log-in. I have no idea where to find the 'Old log-in' as any attempts to log-in elsewhere take me back to the BETA page and the endless loop.

I can say, however, that this BETA service does seem to provide access to additional useful information, so I will not knock it.

Pity HMRC did not carry out extended BETA testing of MTD.

Thanks (0)
03rd Dec 2018 14:38

I think we all don't mind so much that systems can be down and updates happen to upset access rarely.

It's the constant shift in reporting requirements and the other topics you've mentioned which cause frustration.

Because some of my clients are I suspect sick of me blaming HMRC for various issues I've literally had to send them links to forums on this site to say "Look! It's not just me, I'm not lying!".

I think the first stage of MTD for VAT with businesses with turnover above the threshold will be relatively OK.

I just detest what is another reporting requirement which gives all the benefit to the government whilst simply looking to increase burden, costs and disruption to tax payers.

But yes, we cannot have any of this nonsense of not being able to access systems if they are pushing for full MTD.

Thanks (0)
avatar
03rd Dec 2018 14:42

It would be fine if it said when it would be back up!

Thanks (0)
avatar
03rd Dec 2018 15:48

It seems to be back up and running now.

Thanks (0)
03rd Dec 2018 15:56

How about this one ?

If you fill in an online application for Annual Accounting, you come to the question

Is this address in the UK ?

Click "Yes" - nothing happens. No drop down

Do you know your VAT number ?

Click "Yes" - same thing.

Then print off the form and you have to enter the address and VAT number OSWB.

I would've thought this was basic stuff for a programmer. I'd report it - but to whom ?

Thanks (0)
avatar
By mumpin
to lionofludesch
04th Dec 2018 09:31

This happens in FireFox but not in MS Edge or IE. Which browser are you using?

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Jholm
03rd Dec 2018 17:29

Happening a lot lately.

....funnily I don't ever recall there being any issues with their payment systems.

Thanks (0)
03rd Dec 2018 17:59

Thanks for raising the alarm mr mischief - and to all the other members who shared their experiences this afternoon.

I missed most of the action, but was alerted by an email from another member who was experiencing the same issues. His advice from HMRC was that they hoped the Agent Services mechanism would up and running by 11am tomorrow. This is what the official service availability site has to say:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/agent-services-account-servic...

They seem to have beaten the 11am Tuesday deadline, but my informant had an issue with migrating client data from the old gateway account to the new ASA and was told HMRC would not be able to fix that.

We'll see if we can get a clearer explanation from the department in the morning.

Thanks (0)
03rd Dec 2018 18:13

1812:
Welcome to Agent Services

This service is unavailable due to maintenance

Rumours that HMRC have got their fingers out of their arzzes have been greatly exagerrated. I have made the point very forcefully to them that their service levels are in the bottom 10% of the UK data services I use, and that this is just not good enough when we are being forced to do MTD at gunpoint.

Thanks (1)
avatar
03rd Dec 2018 18:50

OH COME ON MOST OF US KNEW
OF COURSE THEY HAVE TO MAINTAIN ESPECIALLY WITH THE CALCULATION PROBLEMS
LETS WAIT AND SEE UNTIL TOMORROW

Thanks (0)
avatar
to carnmores
03rd Dec 2018 20:29

No need to SHOUT

Thanks (0)
avatar
to Manchester_man
03rd Dec 2018 21:01

If I want to shout I will but actually I smashed my glasses as you will see from other posts haven't you got more important things to worry about. Incidentally I am replying on my phone this time so am only 3 inch away

Thanks (0)
03rd Dec 2018 20:29

Site maintenance is fine. In fact positive. For example, one of my best friends used to be pretty senior in the Nat West maintenance team. That meant he was often busy on Sunday mornings at 2am whilst they took things like online banking down for 4 or 5 hours.

What it never meant was shutting down a service totally at 5 or 6pm on a Friday and still having it down at 2027 on the following Monday.

That is exactly what it does mean for HMRC online services so, so often. That is exactly why they are in the bottom 10% - easily in the bottom 10% - of online service providers in the UK. For comparison, Companies House are in the top 50% so this is not a public sector private sector thing, it is very much a "HMRC are totally pants" thing.

Thanks (3)
avatar
to mr. mischief
03rd Dec 2018 21:03

I'd rather they got it right but like you I don't have much faith they will. CH is simply a search engine with knobs on.

Thanks (0)
to carnmores
04th Dec 2018 07:54

The fact that HMRC is a more complex operation than CH is no way an excuse for their rubbishy service, after all their staff budget is many times that of CH too.

The main issues here are:

1. HMRC is run by clueless numpties.
2. They treat their "customers" with contempt.
3. They don't listen to the concerns of their staff, in fact raising issues can be a career shortening move.

So as a result they provide a rubbish database to us all. Now they plan to give this a massive stress test with Making Tax Digital and we all know what's going to happen.

So do the numpties who run HMRC, they've been told by accountants, the House of Lords et al until we are blue in the face.

This week's totally unacceptable downtime is just the start.

Thanks (1)
avatar
to mr. mischief
04th Dec 2018 09:05

you are aptly named Mr M , though i do agree with small parts of your comments. Do I want to go back to the handwritten returns as per pre 1996 97 NO. A favour oft repeat does not become an obligation............

Thanks (0)
to mr. mischief
04th Dec 2018 09:14

mr. mischief wrote:

What it never meant was shutting down a service totally at 5 or 6pm on a Friday and still having it down at 2027 ....

Jeez - I hope it'll be back before 2027.

Thanks (2)
avatar
03rd Dec 2018 21:51

We were all told in email sent out last week.
Also a bulletin was sent to developers . It seems that Accountants are told noting anymore . Lets see what happens when all the Accountants are gone. I guess it will be RIP HMRC. Disgusted .

Thanks (0)
avatar
04th Dec 2018 08:34

08:34 and HMRC site is still down - in a loop to get to "old" site, and yes I've got VAT returns to submit as well :-( The words, up, p!ss and brewery spring to mind.

Thanks (0)
avatar
to claudialowe
04th Dec 2018 09:02

its not up and running till 11 am . it takes 5 minutes if that to do a VAT return online

Thanks (0)
04th Dec 2018 09:07

At least we have this site so we can check and know that we are:
1. Not going something stupid the site is down
2. Don't need a new PC - the site is down
3. Have an archive we can come back to to prove the site was down.
4. Have an online water cooler chat about the site being down (ok who even has a water cooler?)

Thanks (0)
avatar
to coolmanwithbeard
04th Dec 2018 09:27

boom boom

I am reminded of when Network Rail are working on the track / signals we do not expect trains to be running at that time (or at least most sensible people do not). HETL

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Branski
04th Dec 2018 09:39

Still Down!

A few new clients to get authorised and codings to check but would be much worse if VAT Returns still to submit like some. Hope it is back up soon!

Thanks (0)
04th Dec 2018 10:34

Here is the official comment from HMRC's spokespeople: "The reason for access struggles yesterday is because our MTD pilot service is currently being updated to allow us to extend it to more businesses and their agents.

"This downtime was planned and listed in advance on GOV.UK as well as in a note to agent professional bodies. We expect the service to be ready to use again by midday today."

We've asked a follow-up to clarify what has been added and what kind of businesses and agents will now be able to access the system.

We've also asked for an explanation about why and how our AccountingWEB member was having trouble bringing across his online client authorisations into his ASA.

The feedback (and public record) from these incidents is very helpful, so thanks to you all again:
1. You are not alone and it's not your fault
2. If maintenance is taking place and system improvements being added, it is in HMRC's interest to keep agents informed, for example by responding to concerns raised here.
3. Clarity about the MTD system's internal workings and project timetable will be in everyone's interest in the long term.

Thanks (0)
avatar
04th Dec 2018 11:07

I've patiently waited for the Agent Services site to be back up and running at 11am, but it is still not. I have such a backlog of filing to do - I use commercial software for CT returns, but still use HMRC (which generally works fine) for VAT, self assessment, client address changes etc. It is so annoying!

Thanks (0)
avatar
By gordo
04th Dec 2018 13:58

Cannot file clients VAT returns for quarter ended November.

Anyone think that letting HMRC loose with MTD is a good idea?

Thanks (0)
to gordo
04th Dec 2018 14:08

Yes - HMRC do.

Thanks (0)
to gordo
04th Dec 2018 14:44

I successfully filed a Nov Q/E VAT Return at around 11:30 this morning. No problems at all.

Thanks (0)
avatar
04th Dec 2018 14:07

Will everyone stop whingeing. File a Nov 1/4 vat return you've got another month. Have people forgotten they have a life?

Thanks (0)
Share this content