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HMRC website down - MTD problems to come?

30th Sep 2017
AccountingWEB
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I have been trying to submit an EU refund claim since yesterday morning.  The deadline is today with no right of appeal apparently. 

I know the client should have sent me her info before this but despite my nagging she didnt. Now I find I cant submit. I thought it was me and I'd done something wrong but after what seemed an age this appeared:

'Some of HMRC's Digital Services are currently down for maintenance'.

I checked... nothing was shown under their published pages of planned downtime and there has been nothing on this site either. Then I found this...

https://www.product-reviews.net/down/hmrc-website-login-not-working/

"Great - still not working. Maintenance is rubbish. I was on the phone to online services when it first crashed yesterday afternoon and they knew nothing about it! This long for an official government website with no explanation is why HMRC is not trusted to manage quarterly reporting..."

I went on HMRC's Twitter account and found that I was definitely not alone. I asked whether any penalties levied for non submission of VAT returns in particular would be cancelled and received a standard response that you may (not the word... 'may') be able to appeal.

>>This unexpected downtime needs to be investigated. Someone from the professional bodies must take this up with HMRC  (Tony Margaritelli - are you out there?) even submit a 'Freedom of Information' request. Not only into why this has happened but also into HMRC's response time. Its just not good enough.

The first thought (after 'oh no...I cant submit!') was about MTD. Yet more proof that HMRC's sysems cant and wont be able to cope. Word on the grapevine is that HMRC's contracted IT people are leaving in droves as a result of the new IR35 rules for government contracting companies. Possibly this is the result? 

I asked in my Tweet whether the systems had been hacked = no response.

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Replies (15)

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By mcgregorian
30th Sep 2017 15:10

Looking forward to hearing what has actually gone wrong. Suspect it will take a freedom of information request.

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By mcgregorian
30th Sep 2017 15:10

Looking forward to hearing what has actually gone wrong. Suspect it will take a freedom of information request.

Thanks (0)
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By mcgregorian
30th Sep 2017 15:10

Looking forward to hearing what has actually gone wrong. Suspect it will take a freedom of information request.

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Replying to mcgregorian:
By itp3asso
06th Oct 2017 15:41

Let me assist should there be miscomprehension regarding yiur comment . What you are probably saying is effectively;

Looking forward to hearing what has actually gone wrong. Suspect it will take a freedom of information request.

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By Marion Hayes
30th Sep 2017 21:37

Not just HMRC. Yesterday spent time on phone with Co House trying to file DS01 between my rural broadband issues and the basic problems they were having on system. Worked in the end but wasted hours.
Then this morning my broadband (infinity2) said it was fine but I spent hours literally looking at a Page won't display message!!!
MTD panic/panic

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By joolzjbs
03rd Oct 2017 14:35

I have been trying since friday pm to file S/A and been met will all of the website down please try again error log 404 and a whole array of different messages, I keep trying and its very time consuming, I have managed to get a Cis return through today, but its very annoying to say the least and the thoughts of MTD just fills me with dread, all of the HMRC websites say that availability is normal, I even logged a couple of calls over the weekend, and was still not told it is obviously quite a major issue and needs sorting, we are not in the position to levy fines against them as they will no doubt do against us as they will come out automatically

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Replying to joolzjbs:
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By timkingcott
06th Oct 2017 20:27

I struggled with the downtime as well. Tried to get a self assessment submitted. Even when the downtime finished it still would not submit so left another couple of days then it finally went through

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chips_at_mattersey
By Les Howard
03rd Oct 2017 17:41

Back to hard copy submissions?

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By Kate Upcraft
04th Oct 2017 10:51

It was equally a problem that PAYE returns for September could not be filed. Totally unacceptable, at least we have a 3-day easement from penalties at present but what about next year when automated late filing penalties will probably return, will we have to appeal each one separately ? equally the belated message on the PAYE service issues page (no deleted as it's all fixed but no apology or explanation) refers to 16/17 returns which is referring to SA not PAYE and was placed under an 'urgent' message about PAYE accounts that's been there a year with no update. The comms are simply woeful

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By L Haldane
04th Oct 2017 11:32

On the same theme of HMRC not being digitally connected, I recently received the following email from a tax inspector requesting information for an ongoing enquiry :

'I would be grateful if you could help me to confirm my understanding of xxxxx. I will be working off site with little to no access to emails for the next week. If you have any questions in the meantime please feel free to email me.'

Just about sums up the whole MTD farce !

If 'I will be working off site with little to no access to emails for the next week' isn't HMRC speak for 'I will be on holiday next week but I want you to think I am on your case', we should all be worried that there is one rule for HMRC and another for the rest of us on this side of the MTD fence.

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By KateR
04th Oct 2017 20:16

From Sunday until Tuesday morning could access most of HMRC site except anything to do with 2016/17 self-assessment. When I looked for any service issues or maintenance information there was nothing. I was getting an error message which suggested I needed to clean up my Windows registry.

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Morph
By kevinringer
05th Oct 2017 13:46

See also https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/any-answers/ptp-api-returning-errors-hmr... and https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/any-answers/anyone-else-having-problems-.... EU claims and RTI have been in regular use for some years but HMRC still has unexpected down times for no reason: yes 29 September was a "deadline" day, but there are a couple dozen other such deadline days during the year (well 365 if we consider RTI) and there's no reason shy 29 September should be busier than others. After 4 years of RTI HMRC's systems are still not resilient enough. And HMRC wants to force MTD on us. HMRC wouldn't be able to cope.

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By steve 12321
06th Oct 2017 14:36

no option to file 2017 CIS returns yesterday. might be the same today. going to look now. HMRC is awful

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Replying to steve 12321:
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By DMGbus
06th Oct 2017 19:12

I actually managed to file a month ended 5th October 2017 CIS300 return (actually a nil declaration) this was done two days early on 4th October 2017.

Looking at online CIS300 filing on 5th and 6th October I saw that the drop down year box now only goes as far as 2016, the current year 2017 being now absent.

So this mysterious error on HMRC's part appears to have arisen late on 4th October or early on 5th October.

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Replying to steve 12321:
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By DMGbus
08th Oct 2017 19:10

I see that today, 8th October, the option to file CIS300 returns dated 2017 is now present again.

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