Tax agents may be presented with a blank screen when they attempt to access the government gateway on Monday.
Due to a government gateway update on the 10 September, HMRC has warned tax agents that they may be taken to a read-only screen, rather than something that they could update.
For the affected agents, HMRC said they will receive a message when they try to access the page that will direct them to use a different link.
HMRC has advised any user that encounters this scenario to follow this tax service link or copy and paste www.tax.service.gov.uk/client-management/clients. The link will allow users to continue as normal.
HMRC has contacted the professional accounting bodies, to ask if they could alert their members about the potential disruption. Regular Any Answers users will be familiar with the perennial problems government gateway often throws up for tax agents.
As recently as March, AccountingWEB member Kazmc reported having issues submitting FPS/EPS. While this was not the case for everyone, their frustration was shared by AccountingWEB regular Glenn Martin who compared the reliability of the government gateway to “Russsian roulette” as to whether it works or not.
HMRC’s government gateway has gradually undergone an overhaul. Although access to the services has not been interrupted, behind the scenes the government gateway is being moved to replacement systems, with March 2019 being the target completion date.
In March 2017, AccountingWEB reported how HMRC government gateway programme director Mike Howes-Roberts confirmed that the infrastructure was being rebuilt.
In the blog from last year, Howes-Roberts wrote: I have to provide a new set of services that will support 53 of the existing 123 services hosted.
“In addition, we’re exploring options around other government departments also using this replacement service.”
About Richard Hattersley
Richard is AccountingWEB's practice correspondent. If you have any comments or suggestions for us get in touch.