The Forum of Private Business (FPB) has criticised HMRC’s decision to shut down its online services over the Easter break as it shows “little understanding for the needs of businesses”.
With just days to go before the end of the current tax year HMRC announced plans to shut down its entire IT systems for nearly a week to carry out maintenance and upgrade work.
Online services will be down from 9pm tonight to 6am on 10 April, and in some cases 11 April.
Those looking to submit Self Assessment, CIS, PAYE and Corporation Tax returns, as well as Child Trust Funds, online agent authorisation, pension schemes, shared workspace and stamp taxes, will not be able to do so.
Online services such as VAT will be available up until midnight on 7 April, the official deadline for payment, and will then be down for a few days.
HMRC said the downtime was to allow it time to get ready for the new tax year and have warned there could be more scheduled maintenance in October.
FPB chief executive Phil Orford said it was the wrong time to schedule the work: “Many firms will find it hard to understand why HMRC has chosen to do a major upgrade to its IT systems at such an important time of the year in the tax calendar.
“The fact that it was only announced last week as well shows little understanding for the needs of businesses.”
Full details on the online availability over Easter can be viewed on the HMRC website.