Alarm over missing SA acknowledgements
AccountingWEB members have reported delays in receiving email acknowledgements from HMRC that their online self assessment returns have been received.
Originally posted on the eve of the online SA deadline, the initial thread drew complaints from several members that they had not received the usual email confirmations of successful filing, in some cases for several days. Receipt of client payments were also slow to appear in the online client records, noted the original poster, non-sequitor.
The issue hasn't gone away and today other members posted similar comments in another thread.
Interpreting the delays as a sign that HMRC's servers may not be coping with demand on the home straight of self assessment season, AccountingWEB member spikecat commented: “I would imagine they are diverting system resources for the mad final rush”
ACDWebb advised not to put too much reliance on the email responses, and advised that the software confirmation codes were a more reliable indicator, as they would enable HMRC to track down a submission if something went awry.
AccountingWEB member DMGbus suggested an “unpublished method” to find out if a tax return filing has reached HMRC by viewing the client details in the online agent's list. His informal assessment was based on interpreting the portal message according to the following "traffic light" system:
- message says no SA return received - red
- message says tax return can be amended - amber
- message says tax return received on a specific date - green
DMGbus found that the tax return can be amended message usually appears within minutes of a filing and the next day the tax return received message appears. However, this was an informal method and other members pointed out that their clients were appearing in green on the list, even though their tax returns hadn't been submitted yet. To add to the mystery, AccountingWEB received reports earlier in the month of the age-old phantom client menace, where clients' records inexplicably disappear from the agent's list.
When AccountingWEB contacted HMRC, the deparment said it was looking into this situation as a matter of urgency and would report back as soon as possible.