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HMRC Online: Off for four days

10th Oct 2012
Freelance journalist
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It’s that time of year again. HMRC’s website will be shut this weekend for routine maintenance, reports Nick Huber.

HMRC’s IT systems will be offline in stages from today (10 October) until 6am on Monday 15 October for a routine IT upgrade to ensure accurate services, the tax department said.

Helplines will remain open through this period for general queries, but tax or benefit records cannot be amended. 

Somekey key online services (corporation tax, CIS, PAYE & self assessment) will be unavailable from today (10 October), while the bulk of the overhaul will take place between Friday and Sunday, according to an HMRC summary of services affected by the upgrade. HMRC apologised for any disruption the IT upgrade will cause.

Althought they are planned and announced in advance, previous shutdowns of the web site have angered business and their advisers. In April, the Forum of Private Business (FPB) criticised HMRC’s decision to shut down its online services over the Easter break for showing “little understanding for the needs of businesses”.

The upgrade, which came days before the end of the previous tax, lasted for nearly one week. 


Replies (10)

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By taxhound
10th Oct 2012 18:10


And yet when RTI comes in we will be required to give information immediately.  So presumably no more shutdowns?

Just wondering what we will do if we can't log on to give RTI details the moment someone is paid their salary.  My internet was down last Friday.  What happens then?

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By acca_Laurence
11th Oct 2012 11:12

Why is this necessary in today's world

The online services of the banks, major online retailers and the various social media sites do not routinely shut down for 4 days for "a routine IT upgrade to ensure accurate services ". 

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By petersaxton
11th Oct 2012 14:12

It would be better to shut down for a couple of weekends

Then at least working days (for some) will not be affected.

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By jimeth
11th Oct 2012 16:48

Shutdown is during the Monthly CIS Submission window

For companies in the construction industry who have to make Monthly CIS Returns the timing is bad yet again.  Each month the Returns have to be submitted between the 6th and 19th of the month.  So shutting down for days within that period significantly reduces the available filing window.

Can't HMRC avoid this filing period when pre-planning upgrades?

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Replying to pauljohnston:
By jjswjjsw
14th Oct 2012 14:37

7-day week

jimeth wrote:

Each month the Returns have to be submitted between the 6th and 19th of the month.

I agree entirely, the ECSL is due today, luckily I submitted over a week ago. 

With RTI en route the upgrade process needs re-considering as businesses operate on all 7 days of the week these days.

I'm afraid I missed any warning in advance that HMRC were shutting down, it wasn't mentioned on the last Employer's bulletin and I haven't seen details when logging-in, perhaps planned shut downs should be more widely publicised? I always seem to learn about them on Accounting Web or once looking at service availability when I can't log in.

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By nogammonsinanundoubledgame
12th Oct 2012 07:01

I have been waiting for this moment ...

... for the better part of half a year:

With kind regards

Clint Westwood

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By ACDWebb
12th Oct 2012 14:15

It rather looks as if

something more fundamental may have occurred this morning as the link to the Service Availability page currently fails

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By petersaxton
12th Oct 2012 15:09

It works now

It's back up again.

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By Chris Wise
15th Oct 2012 12:07

CT Assessing sub numbers

Appear to have disappeared fromt he HMRC portal. so if you have no payslip you can't confirm the ASN the client needs to make the payment electronically. Well you can if you want to try and work it out.
Anyone found it hiding in a new place?

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By ACDWebb
19th Oct 2012 15:29

A problem remains

with P46(CAR) submissions - see Service issues - PAYE

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