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Government gateway's wheels come off

24th Jun 2015
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The issues with the DWP’s online services portal which hampered online filing in the past few days have been resolved – but there may still be some backlog.

The government gateway crashed over the weekend, affecting the online submission of forms for several departments including HMRC and the Department for Work and Pensions.

AccountingWEB was awash with members posting their personal experiences dealing with the issues. Sheppitsgal summed up AccountingWEB member frustrations, “Loads of Friday RTI submissions, plus one last minute CIS Return to submit. NOT HAPPY!!”.

According to the HMRC press office, the problem lay solely with the government gateway, run by the Department of Work and Pensions. A spokesperson for the DWP said, “We were aware of the issue affecting some online services on Monday. The problem was resolved that afternoon, and customers should have no problem using these services.”

A continuing issue may be the large backlog caused by the problems. “There is still a large backlog of responses messages which may take some time to clear through the system,” said BTC software in a statement. “Customers who are still waiting for a business response from Gateway should continue to poll for their response.”

HMRC’s service availability page gives the following advice, “we are aware that you may be experiencing a delay in receiving your acknowledgement to submissions made. Your acknowledgement will be sent once the service is restored. Please do not attempt to resubmit your submission.”

The Revenue has also implemented a three days grace period on RTI filing, confirming to AccountingWEB that “Reasonable excuse provisions will apply to anyone who was affected”. 

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Replies (32)

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By Sheepy306
25th Jun 2015 10:18

So it was just a problem on Monday for a few hours? What's everyone been moaning about since Friday then?
Unless of course the DWP perhaps aren't quite being entirely truthful? Surely not.

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By AndrewV12
25th Jun 2015 10:29

Are the wheels back on

I hope the service is up and running now, before more problems arise.

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By 1angie
25th Jun 2015 10:31

Thanks for 3 days grace!!!

As the system was down from Friday and we could not submit any wages information until Wednesday morning (I even tried from home on both Monday and Tuesday evenings!)  how does this equate to 3 days?  Also, given our employers (about 50 of them) for whom we do wages are all small and have been given the 3 day rule anyway what difference has this made? Thanks for nothing again HMRC.  And no it wasn't just receipts we were missing - our system would not submit as it timed out and then we have received loads of copies of emails for submissions that didn't actually go through.  As asked on other threads, who now bears the cost of sorting out this mess our end to make sure all our clients are up to date and correctly recorded? Not HMRC or the clients probably!

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By 1angie
25th Jun 2015 10:31

Wheels back on

Wheels might be back on but they appear to still be wobbling a bit!!

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Francois
By Francois Badenhorst
25th Jun 2015 10:44

Right?

HMRC's press office were adamant that it was just for a few hours on Monday. I've heard from two accountants already who have said that the problems put them back a day. 

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By Peter Cane
25th Jun 2015 11:34

Definitely not just Monday

We had emails from CCH warning about Personal Tax and Corporate Tax submissions first on Monday and then again on Tuesday, quoting the following from HMRC "We are aware of a further issue with the Live Service today". I started to do an RTI submission using Moneysoft on Tuesday but the software flashed up a warning about service issues, so we held back from submitting this until Wednesday. So HMRC's Press Office are wrong.

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By Geoff123
25th Jun 2015 10:49

Agent Authorization Codes

Don't know if anyone else has had a problem with the above but recently I've requested 3 codes the agent screen suggests they have been released however the have not turned up at the potential clients address despite numerous checks of mail  and have now been declared expired

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Replying to Anonymous.:
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By rhian.golding
25th Jun 2015 11:21

We regularly have this problem and more often than not end up getting a second code sent out - its ridiculous! It seems to have become the norm - HMRC getting worse and worse and the most annoying thing is their automated messages when you ring them - 'more information on our website' - if we could find the info there we wouldnt have to ring!!!

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By simonwwhitt
25th Jun 2015 11:22

Systems failures

IF HMRC has a systems failure that is just unfortunate and we the users just have to waste our time re-submitting data.

 

If I have system failure (or dare I suggest staff absence) and end up submitting late then I get fined.

 

So that is all entirely fair and reasonable.

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By SJH-ADVDIPMA
25th Jun 2015 11:25

china
I heard it was China testing out elements of its cyber warfare capability. If the accountants are taken out by stress, society will crumble shortly afterwards and be unable to put up much of a fight.

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By David McFarlane
25th Jun 2015 11:31

HMRC

On Monday we had 4 acceptances for one client's return and 4 rejections but the rejection notices  all said that WE had failed HMRC data  checks-was it not the fact that they had failed us?

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By Geoff123
25th Jun 2015 11:43

HMRC

A complete bloody shambles

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Stephen Quay
By squay
25th Jun 2015 11:48

RTI Reasonable Excuse! What a Joke.

I ran a payroll for a client on Monday 22nd for payment to staff on Tues 23rd (same dates every month). Could not submit due HMRC systems down. Couldn't find anything conclusive on the HMRC service pages until 23rd. Aweb members were reporting problems via any answers so that was comforting I was not alone, Couldn't submit on 23rd either but now Moneysoft and TaxCalc had both posted the problem on their support pages.

The client paid his staff as usual on 23rd and I did't tell them there was a problem with the submission. Why would I? Its not relevant to him.

On 24th TaxCalc reported all filing services had been restored, Well done TaxCalc for being up to date, shame on Moneysoft for not. Also I expected a headline feature on Aweb but apart from any answers thread it seemed to go largely unnoticed by the editorial staff.

Finally submitted the payroll on 24th and, for the first time ever, got the prompt as to why I was submitting late! I scrolled down to find the option "HMRC screwed up", I mean "HMRC filing service unavailable". But no, nothing appropriate appeared in the standard response list. Obvious really; the HMRC filing service never fails does it so it must always be our fault. So went for "Reasonable Excuse" as the sensible option. Just feels like an unnecessary reprimand from HMRC when you're already annoyed at the failure of this very important service.

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By taxbakbristol
25th Jun 2015 12:12

Agent Authorisation Codes

The comment regarding codes is a big problem for us.

We sent on line 4 requests, 3 of them HMRC said they sent out the code but the clients never received them , we have manage to authorise one!

2 more were sent in by post 4 weeks ago and nothing yet. My clients luckily know that HMRC are   dreadful with their admin otherwise I would have 5 unhappy clients looking elsewhere.

These clients are NEW clients who take a lot of getting and it is awful to lose them due to the inefficiencies embedded in the CAA Team and Benton Park in general.

Its not rocket science is it? If the codes are not received by Monday next then I will have to send the returns to the clients for their signatures and get them posted!

UTR request are the same , weeks go by and I ring up Agent Help Line (they are ok) and they tell me the codes were sent out weeks ago. but they NEVER seem to arrive at my clients addresses.

I can understand 1 in 100 getting lost but not  this many!

Things are getting worse , soon HMRC will just implode into a black hole

I forgot - Benton Park is a black hole so it will not be hard.

 

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By David Gordon FCCA
25th Jun 2015 13:41

of course it was only a few hours

 

 Of course it was only a few hours.

 Any of you who are also science fact and fiction fans know that the closer you get to a black hole the slower time runs.

 We already know from the postmark saga on HMRC correspondence, from getting 64-8 approved, and from receiving CIS refunds due,  that time runs differently on planet HMRC compared to us on planet Earth GB.

 For me their few hours lasted, according to my computer submission receipt until 13:59 yesterday.

 I remind you that these are the alien munchkins who reckon that when they do away with annual income tax returns, all will be well because earthlings are going to be over the moon with the opportunity to work their stuff on planet HMRC's super duper wizz bang computer.

 I am off down to the bottom of my garden, to enjoy a whisky (Or two) with my friend Harvey.

 He, after all, is closer to reality than the aforsaid alien munchkins.

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Replying to PandoraSleeps:
Francois
By Francois Badenhorst
26th Jun 2015 13:57

Haha

David Gordon FCCA wrote:

 

 Of course it was only a few hours.

 Any of you who are also science fact and fiction fans know that the closer you get to a black hole the slower time runs.

Thanks for giving me one of the biggest laughs I've ever had on AccountingWEB. Just laughed out loud like a bloody buffoon in the office. 

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By Oppco
25th Jun 2015 14:18

Authorisation codes

For years I have suspected that on line requests for VAT Authentication Code are not always actioned by HMRC. Too many (reliable) clients say they have not received them. It's interesting to see I'm not alone

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By MzEden
25th Jun 2015 14:46

Me too

I was still having problems filing info via the Basic Tools software yesterday afternoon.

Our own payroll software tells us that we still need to do something on the wages, luckily, but now we've got to go back and make sure that everything we have already submitted has been received.

It's a pain in the *^&%!

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By 1angie
25th Jun 2015 14:48

Is it gone again?

I have done some of the backlog of work due to the loss of online, but have just found I am stuck again.  Is anyone else having problems with the system?

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By david ryan
25th Jun 2015 14:54

Its not just the instability of the RTI portal. The whole HMRC system of dealing with taxpayers is a joke

You have a problem and you want to have an intelligent and resolving conversation with someone named, including their telephone number, on a HMRC notice or communication.

Dial the number, listen to the normal flowery rubbish, and the ensure you have plenty of time for a long, long long...........wait. 30 mins plus and still no contact.

 

I have even written and followed up after three months because of the absence of any acknowledgement or reply.

I am honest and want to ensure any taxes I owe are properly accounted for and paid on due date. Heavens knows how much we are losing out from the more dishonest taxpayers.

The whole system needs to be reviewed and replaced by something that promotes direct communication,

I would be happy to offer my services to HMRC for free. I would resolve the problem within 3 months for a % of the tax recovered No recovery no fee.

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By Moonbeam
25th Jun 2015 15:33

HMRC Spokespersons are never kept in the loop. They are used by HMRC management to issue soothing nonsense about how everything will be OK soon, or it was just a small amount of downtime.

Their Twitterhandle HMRCcustomerservice is yet another example of this approach. Until IT people in HMRC are allowed to brief the people in these public relations teams as to what's really going on, I don't believe anything they say. And of course, it's only taxpayers who are duty bound to tell the truth.

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By Mature Student
25th Jun 2015 18:40

3 hours or 3 days?

Multiple failures to submit a single very small CT return on Sunday afternoon eventually followed by a successful pass through the gateway but no confirmation passed back, All day Monday, repolling = 'Computer says no'. Same all day Tuesday. Came into the office on Wednesday to an email sent 1.35am that morning to confirm successful submission.

Has there simply been a mix-up between hours and days? Of course not; don't you know HMRC never makes a mistake?

 

 

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By Geoff123
26th Jun 2015 11:50

HMRC

Government Gateway to Hell nothing but frustration and looking like a fool in front of clients

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By markabacus
26th Jun 2015 13:25

Vat rtn submission - PENDING

So at the beginning of the week we cldn't get RTI submissions to go. Earlier today we tried to submit the 1st of 4 vat rtns. After several minutes of 'Please wait' it advised the submission had been marked as 'PENDING' and to comeback later to find out the outcome!

How nice of them, cldn't manage an email to advice instead we have log in again!

We didn't bother with other 3

So the problems continue, related or otherwise

 

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By DMBAcc
26th Jun 2015 21:18

CT600 on line

I submitted a CT600 on line but got no receipt on that system.  a couple of days I got an email confirming receipt and checked with CT helpdesk who confirmed how much I needed to pay and gave me my 17 digit reference (I ask you 17 digits!!). Anyway she was helpful BUT.... I cannot printoff my final CToutput as I have still not received a receipt on the CT600 system.  does anyone know if I will get one and if so when?  I really have better things to do than wait on the phone for 30 minutes or more to be told they don't know!!

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By taxbakbristol
28th Jun 2015 03:59

Delays

RTI on Saturday was still slow with FPS submissions.

Waiting for 4  to be received on the next day.

Do HMRC think I have nothing else to do but wait for them to sort poor software and bad phone answering.

When I started my career  my dealings with HMRC  were say 15% .I spent most of my time with clients who were seen as the people that pay me money

Now I spend at lest 30% of my time , maybe with chasing them at 40% and client face to face time is almost non existent.

10 years of massive decline. Call centres are not the answer , sorry but reopen local offices with proper Inspectors as tax is not easy and everyone now including hundreds of thousands of old age pensioners are needing to complete a tax return as their income is above £10600 pa

Make the age limit £20000 , abolish CIS and CGT - that would cut HMRC work down by at least 15%

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By DMBAcc
28th Jun 2015 11:26

Delays - taxbakbristol

I like some of your suggestions.  I can't believe I am still doing a tax return for my mother aged 81 for goodness sake!

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By David Gordon FCCA
29th Jun 2015 10:35

Fortunately

 

 Fortunately I am doing some work for a Spritualist Church.

 On 23rd April I informed HMRC in writing that, sadly, my client a pensioner living with daughter in rented accommodation, his only income state pension,  had died of lung cancer. That there was no estate. To tidy things up I also submitted a final ITR. 

 Today I received a penalty demand for £100.

 I have replied, asking HMRC to contact the client direct.

 Should I ask my client, the Spiritualist Church, for assistance?

 

 

 

 

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By DMBAcc
29th Jun 2015 10:47

It goes to show....

...... that many recipients of letters never actually read what is in front of them!!!!!

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By taxbakbristol
30th Jun 2015 10:48

RIP CAA Team

It is a sad day in our office today.

We are all of the opinion that the CAA Team has been taken from us as we have sent 6 x 64-8s stretching out over 7 weeks and only 1 has so far appeared as authorised.

Its the only logical explanation .....it wasn't unexpected but I believe there was a lot of suffering involved.

Can I ask that when you are on hold waiting for your call to be answered from whoever in HMRC  that you set aside 1 minute , in the quiet ad think of them.

Gone to a better place ?

YES , GONE ANSWERING THE PHONES!

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By Geoff123
30th Jun 2015 12:20

64-8's the non appearance of activation codes

Spoken with HMRC this morning about this it appears that in most cases HMRC have difficulty in confirming a clients address even though an official a post coded address has been supplied I explained that Utility Companies, Telephone companies,Aunts,Uncles and just about everyone else can post a letter to the address and be assured that it will arrive I asked why this was the reply I got was silence followed by I have no idea, will now go back in time and download the Tax Returns and fill in manually,this is progress into the technical age for you.

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By Oppco
30th Jun 2015 16:20

HMRC foot in it

Like David Gordon above, I also, sadly, had to inform HMRC of the demise of a client.

A few weeks later, a letter arrived (addressed to my deceased client and opened by his widow), reading:

'Because of a change in your circumstances it will no long be necessary for you to submit tax returns in the future'

No penalty notice thankfully

 

 

 

 

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