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Online groung to a halt

Online groung to a halt

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why cant the efficient practices file in plenty of time in order that us less efficient ones can have a go at getting our returns in. its 10.15 and its ground to a halt
Nicholas Myles

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By Anonymous
03rd Feb 2008 13:17

Galled?
Clint

As a user of thrid party software, I don't understand why you think that it wold gall me if the HMRC online software works correctly. We made the choice to use software even before online filing was a realistic option but now file practically everything online.

I'm quite happy to pay the small cost - a few pounds per return - for the time saved on return preparation and all the other facilities that the software gives us. It works well and I wouldn't change. From limited use of the HMRC online facility, I think that the time savings and convenience in so many ways are well worth the cost.

Other people don't see the value in paying for software, and that is their choice. They have every right to expect that it works when they most need it. If every return they did went through first time and accurately, I wouldn't be at all upset - indeed I'd be pleased.

I do think that it's valid for people who do file using third party software to report that this is going through OK, not out of any gloating or other motive but simply to help people to identify where the problems lie. Otherwise some people who could file without problems could be put off.

As you say, it doesn't do everything, so we all suffer, albeit to a smaller degree, when the system screws up.

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By Anonymous
02nd Feb 2008 19:15

Jane
"To have to pay someone else to fulfill obligations seems wrong".

It's your choice. I have about 100 clients and could easily do the same - use HMRC software - but I prefer to use PTP as it is a tool that makes my life easier. In the same way that I can walk the 2 miles from home to work (and often do), but often choose to take the car because it makes my life easier.

I've just starting using their software for company tax returns, and also decided to take the FBI option, because it makes the proces easier.

I suppose it depends upon many factors, but at the end of the day, it's your business and your choice.

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By AnonymousUser
01st Feb 2008 20:17

Agreed
Yes. If there had been a free work-around I would have used it, but the real problem is a government service not serving and I''m not going to pay a pointless £20 just to get around that problem instead of complaining about it.

I've just seen some other posts. Agreed. Nice to have software if it helps your business in some special way, but if, like me, your're just a sole trader with a simple business trying to follow the law then special software is a diversion

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By janelm
01st Feb 2008 17:43

Re Dave & Clint
Sorry to have caused offence with the word "boring". I was surprised people with working software feel the need to post on how well its working, but Clint has summarised how I felt in his final paragraph much better - to have to pay someone else to fulfil obligations feels wrong.

I am a qualified chartered accountant, age 30, doing this for a living. Having built a satisfied client base of over 50 clients in less than 3 years I'm happy, even if I am "daft" in relying largely on HMRC software.

My previous post points out that I did review and invest in software, for clients who needed foreign pages (not currently supported by HMRC). As I only needed a few I paid for a cheap licence, and was considering getting a full licence next year as my client base expands. However, as posted, it crashed 5 times and lost data in preparing 4 returns - a problem I have never had with the HMRC software! I am prepared to accept this is perhaps just unlucky, I may try TaxCalc next year.

I managed to file 2 returns in the small hours of the start of 31st, and I got 5 others filed yesterday too, all of whom just needed filing after receiving authorisations, so I am not unduly affected by the problems, despite my reliance on HMRC software.

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By AnonymousUser
01st Feb 2008 17:00

It's not hard to understand ...
... the self-congratulatory comments of third party software users. They spent good money for the product, and obviously feel the need to justify the expense. How it must gall them to have paid for it on those occasions when the free facility provided by HMRC is working OK.

A bit harsh really. We use third party software and don't regret it even when HMRC is up and running. BUT I have yet to encounter a third party product that does all the other stuff (apart from simply filing returns) that you get on the HMRC gateway such as viewing taxpayers' account with HMRC etc, none of which is currently available via the web at the time of writing.

And there does seem to be something intrinsically sad in a system that obliges you to pay someone else in order to fulfil your statutory obligations, when it should not be necessary.

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By Anonymous
01st Feb 2008 16:59

Jane
Sympathy, etc..

Yes, it must be very boring.

But then again, you've posted this on an accountancy website, frequented by accountants who do this for a living.

Sorry if it bores you, but to rely on HMRC software to run your business is just plain daft. The decision to invest in third party software is not simply to line their pockets, it's to run a business more efficiently and effectively.


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By janelm
01st Feb 2008 16:05

Re: John Robertson
About a month ago I did some internet research, and bought ProTax Light for £20 which does 5 returns (with foreign, self employed all the pages). Am not too impressed as I crashed it at least 5 times whilst preparing the 4 returns which had foreign income (I've used HMRC software for the rest) - make sure you press save a lot else you lose all the data you put in!

The other cheap option looked like TaxCalc which people generally seemed happy with - £25 to do 6 returns. Am imagining at this stage you only have a few left to do and it may well avoid the HMRC filing problems to use one of these.

Am getting bored of all the 3rd party software users saying "we don't have problems" - its not the point, there are all the individuals out there trying to file as well as a lot of small agents, I don't believe in paying software manufacturers exorbitant amounts when the free product is suppose to work, and up until 2 days ago I found it very easy to use with no problems.

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By AnonymousUser
01st Feb 2008 14:53

3pm and worse than yesterday
Does anyone know the cheapest self-employment tax return software?
I saw a message somewhere to say that these things weren't effected.
John

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By AnonymousUser
01st Feb 2008 10:07

Seems to have ground to a halt again
At 10:00 am Friday 01 Feb, can log onto the online service page, but can't get any further (ie to Self Assessment services). Interesting to see if they issue another filing extension.

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By Joy Eziefula
31st Jan 2008 17:00

Hmmm, interesting
Just had four e-mails from [email protected] about this tax return. The first two were entitled “Unsuccessful submission for Reference xxxxxxxxxx”. Then got a third entitled “Successful Receipt of Online Submission for Reference xxxxxxxxxx”. Finally to round it off I got a fourth e-mail entitled “Unsuccessful submission for Reference xxxxxxxxxx”.

Tried to re-file only to have it rejected as a duplicate.

Thanks for your comments RR, at least it’s not just me.

Not quite sure what to do now....

Regards

Joy

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By Anonymous
31st Jan 2008 16:21

Joy
It may not be that helpful, but I've had the same thing as you (albeit a couple of months ago). I checked with the Revenue at the time and they confirmed that it had come through.

I've just checked in PTP and the client is languishing in 'returns rejected by Revenue'.

I've just checked my confirmation email folder and have a successful filing one (as well as several unsuccessful ones).

And to round the circle, I've just gone into the Revenue website to check...but of course, I can't get in at the moment.

Sorry, in the circumstances, I think that's as good as it gets.

BTW, filed my one and only SATR on line today, it took 3-4 hours to get the confirmation email back (compared with 20 seconds normally). So you may a little wait.

Good luck :)

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By neileg
31st Jan 2008 16:13

Progress
I can get to the login screen, but I can't log in....

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By graememorrice
31st Jan 2008 16:10

Is it on time, though?
OK, so "no-one who files electronically or by paper by midnight Friday 1 February will face a penalty.", But is the Return still technically late, I wonder

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By Anonymous
31st Jan 2008 16:03

Don't panic...news just in from HMRC:
"HMRC’s Self Assessment on-line filing service has experienced technical difficulties this morning which has meant that some tax payers have experienced difficulties filing on-line. The system is now rapidly returning to normal levels of service. A record number of 3.6 million taxpayers have already successfully filed on-line with 104,000 filing today.

HMRC takes any disruption of service very seriously and to reflect this no-one who files electronically or by paper by midnight Friday 1 February will face a penalty."

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By Joy Eziefula
31st Jan 2008 15:49

OK I’m panicking now
Tried to file a return at lunch time using PTP. Got an error message about problems with the government gateway and so the return wasn’t filed. Tried again 15 minutes later and the return went through fine. Went to get my acceptance receipt to found out that the return had been rejected as follows:

Error No. 3001 - Type: business
The submission of this document has failed due to departmental specific business logic in the Body tag.
RaisedBy: IR-GGIS
Number: 2015
Type: Business Rule
Text: A Return for the user and tax year has already successfully been made. If amendments need to be
made to your return please write to your Tax Office.
Location:

Online helpdesk is not picking up and I don’t know who to contact.

Any ideas?

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By neileg
31st Jan 2008 14:50

Billpay working fine
I decide to pay my tax as evidence that I have tried to file my return. That works just fine.

Could that be because HMRC don't run Billpay, I wonder?

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By neileg
31st Jan 2008 13:21

I never leave things to the last minute
So I tried to file mine last night! I was cursing because my modem died but it sounds like I would have failed anyway. I was relying on filing today at work...

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By Anonymous
31st Jan 2008 12:51

Nichola
What kind of example are you setting??

(although saying that, I filed my 06 return in January 07, so I guess I can't really say too much!)

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By tuliptownman
31st Jan 2008 12:05

This seems to be system wide
It would seem that this is a system wide failure. I only discovered the problem when trying to check if a client had paid their CT.

This is on top of a localised issue at the Peterlee Call Centre covering Lincolnshire and other parts when their server was down on Monday and Tuesday of this week. They therefore could not access any records and neither could any other Call Centre due to record access still being very much localised. I understand that this is to change.

I think that this issue combined with the problems with payslips not going out will inevitably result in people missing the tax payment deadline.

Tax Returns filed using Third Party Software do appear to be going through and must be a consideration for those that do not have any for next year.

There will always be clients who leave things to the last minute and all Practices will have examples I'm sure.

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By Anonymous
31st Jan 2008 11:59

Goody two shoes
Have to admit that I have failed thus far to ever file my personal return electronically as I always leave it too late and the system slows and then I give up. BUT, I tried and managed to file mine yesterday (mid-morning too) and it was seemless. So good in fact, that I managed to file my husband's straight after.

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By willkyne.blueyonder.co.uk
31st Jan 2008 11:57

Obtain a call reference
Have spoken to the online help desk again as to the inability to access the online service (first call at 10.15am and then at 11.50am). Suggest all users obtain a call reference in case we have a situation where the system does not come back up again today or operates so slowly it is impossible to submit returns.

Bill

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By Anonymous
31st Jan 2008 11:37

Like Heather
just wanted to check a few clients (actually clients who didn't want to pay my fees, were going to file their own, but hadn't a couple of days ago).

I imagine that if you use the Revenue's software, it must be so frustrating.

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By Anonymous
31st Jan 2008 11:35

Still down at 11:30am
I was getting Error 404, but now I can't even load the error page.

Can we FBI tomorrow without penalty?

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By AnonymousUser
31st Jan 2008 11:05

Bring it on!
Bring on Carter - can't wait!!!!

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By carnmores
31st Jan 2008 11:03

who thought that today of all days
we would be sitting around twiddling our thumbs.....

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By Anonymous
31st Jan 2008 10:59

Checking payments
I was trying to check that payments for clients have been received (although too late if they haven't been!) so the melt-down is annoying.

Otherwise, still FBI-ing quite happily.

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By StephenElms
31st Jan 2008 10:46

The Famous 404
Now 10:45 and the hyperling to HMRC is generating the Famous Four Oh Four!

Error 404--Not Found

Whoppee dee!

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By StephenElms
31st Jan 2008 09:47

HMRC Site Error
Fom 09:30 today to now, the HMRC web site is generating error messages - I presume that it is overloaded. The reason given is:

"The Runtime Service cannot communicate with the Entitlements Service
You must edit or replace this page before making it public.

The information below details some of the possible scenarios when this error occurs, and how to troubleshoot it.

For the exact reason why this communication failed, refer to the Local Log file of the Runtime Service in the /log directory. The filename format is: LocalLog_RUNTIME__.log.

For detailed descriptions of the causes and their solutions, refer to the Troubleshooting Guide.
Possible reasons for this error
No Entitlements Service is available"

Good one eh?

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By Anonymous
31st Jan 2008 09:11

Third party software
I agree with the last post, filing online using third party software has been a doddle this year, even yesterday and today (so far).

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By gerrysims
31st Jan 2008 00:05

Ditto here.. and Companies House closed
Logged in to check a client's balance so I could email the payment sum to them for tomorrow and couldn't even get as far as viewing their account.
Then tried Companies House to file a March 2007 set of accounts only to discover they close at midnight !! So their servers can get a good nights rest I presume, unlike the rest of us.

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By janelm
30th Jan 2008 23:56

Arrrrrgh make it work
Can't believe its not working (23:55)....been trying for last hour but although I occasionally got logged in, as soon as I selected self assessment from my agent services it fell asleep.
Only need to file, received two signed authorities today and expecting 5 in post in morning. Someone better be fixing it fast.....or they better extend the deadline.....though I guess we have till midnight on 1st Feb.
Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

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By AnonymousUser
30th Jan 2008 23:41

Taxation staff...
Well at least two of us at Taxation were intending to file our returns online tonight, so we're not helping...

I'd got all the hard stuff done, the employment and self-employment (a bit of freelance income) done, but as soon as I started on the main form it slowed to a crawl, and then kept timing me out.

Mike Truman
Taxation magazine

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