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Alarm over missing SA acknowledgements

31st Jan 2013
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AIA

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AccountingWEB member DMGbus suggested an “unpublished method” to find out if a tax return filing has reached HMRC by viewing the client details in the online agent's list.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.

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Replies (13)

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By tugwilson
31st Jan 2013 16:24

By the traffic light system, do you mean the client list on the HMRC website? If so, where is it please?

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Replying to Limited Company:
By Robert Lovell
31st Jan 2013 16:41

Re. Tugwilson

Hi Tugwilson,

From an Agent's online client list, as per this original post from DMGbus: "An unpublished method of finding out straightaway if a Tax Return filing has reached HMRC is to view client details from an Agent's client list."

Regards,

Rob

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By jasonholden
31st Jan 2013 16:49

Not so

Having looked at this and contacted our software provider these agents list on the HMRC site are 2 days behind so won't offer any comfort.

Jason

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By tugwilson
31st Jan 2013 16:51

Hi Rob

I'm obviously being thick here. I'm looking on our HMRC client list and view all clients. On the specific clients we know have not submitted a return for, it's highlighted green. I would expect it to show red, unless I am looking in the wrong area. Further help would be most welcome.

 

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Replying to Tim Vane:
Quack
By Constantly Confused
01st Feb 2013 09:06

Hmm

tugwilson wrote:

Hi Rob

I'm obviously being thick here. I'm looking on our HMRC client list and view all clients. On the specific clients we know have not submitted a return for, it's highlighted green. I would expect it to show red, unless I am looking in the wrong area. Further help would be most welcome.

 

I'm sure they are being literal with the colours thing, I think they just mean if it is marked as 'can be amended' you consider that amber; if it is marked as received on xx/xx/xx you consider it green.

Unless I'm being thick too!

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By sally1964
31st Jan 2013 16:57

Own software

The software I use collect the FBI receipt and we keep this in case HM receipt not received.

 

We had a problem last week - but later discovered that our inbox limit had been exceeded and once we had cleared out old emails we have not had a problem - but still never got the ones which mush have bounced back.

 

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By craig__2k4
01st Feb 2013 08:54

Iris

I tweeted Iris about it yesterday and here is my reply from them:

 

"We've just had confirmation from HMRC that the delay is at their end, please bear with them as they fix the issue"

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John Stokdyk, AccountingWEB head of insight
By John Stokdyk
01st Feb 2013 12:15

Thanks @DMGbus for clarifications

And Constantly Confused for helping out. DMGbus has been in touch to confirm that the so-called "traffic light" is their personal interpretation of the messages on the client list. Here's what they said: "I should have made more clear that it was not literally colours or traffic light logos to be seen, but rather my own monitoring concept. Now, if HMRC were to colour code the messages then it could be a really useful thing for people." 

"

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By keithlawrence
01st Feb 2013 14:47

SA confirmation emails
On the contrary, we've found the HMRC confirmations to be coming through very quickly - nearly all between 1 minute and 10 minutes. Checking the agent lists isn't so useful as they seem to be mostly about 1-2 days behind...

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By taxgenie
01st Feb 2013 15:07

SA confirmation emails

I haven't received one since 28 January but the returns are showing as received on the website except for those that I submitted yesterday.

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By Michael King
03rd Feb 2013 10:29

Still waiting........

Same here taxgenie. I stopped getting them on 30 January and still haven't received anything as at today's date, 3 February. On the plus side, I have been able to print off the HMRC receipt and their website shows the Returns as having been received and actions taken to deal with a few cases where repayments arose. It's just frustrating that those additonal e-mails, which for me have always formed a part of the paperwork that I keep on file, have not been forthcoming and there has been no 'official' explanation (as far as I know) from HMRC. Will we ever receive the missing e-mails now - who knows?

 

 

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By cathy329
06th Feb 2013 22:10

SA confirmation emails

The last confirmation email I received was on 29th January at 12.37.

I use PTP software.

 

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By Michael King
06th Feb 2013 22:28

Still waiting........

Hi Cathy - yes, my last one received was on 29th January too - at 09.40. I don't imagine that we will ever receive any outstanding ones for 30th & 31st submissions now, do you? Trying to forget about it and move on, although it is slightly annoying........!

I also use PTP (always have) with which I'm well pleased.

 

 

 

 

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