Partner Rebecca Benneyworth Training Consultants
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Online services help

25th Jan 2010
Partner Rebecca Benneyworth Training Consultants
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As all accountants dealing with tax returns know, 31 January falls on a Sunday this year, so the last couple of days before the filing deadline will be a long weekend haul.

HMRC has published details of support available to agents from the Online Services Helpdesk during the weekend of 30 and 31 January.

Normally weekends are reserved for carrying out essential maintenance on computer systems, and this is particularly important when the volume of returns being received is so high – HMRC is predicting that around 2 million returns will be filed online this week. Clearly, it would be inappropriate to have system downtime in the last week of January, but the volume of returns and the unavoidable maintenance work means that there will be constraints on the help that the Online Services Helpdesk can provide next weekend.

Normal service

HMRC has advised agents that a full service will be available from the Helpdesk between 08.00 and 16.30 on Saturday 30 January, and between 08.00 and 20.00 on Sunday 31 January. Weekend hours are normally 8.00 to 16.30 on Saturday and no service on Sunday.

Limited service

Outside of the hours stated above, the Helpdesk will not have access to the self assessment computer system, and so will not be able to provide any client specific information, as they will be unable to verify agent relationships, or indeed access much of the client specific information that you may be asking for. The service will be able to assist with general online filing problems which are not client specific.

What you should do

  1. As far as possible review outstanding work to check what information you may need from Online services and plan ahead
  2. Bear in mind when working over the weekend when you will be able to get client specific help if you need it

Replies (5)

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By Gentoo
25th Jan 2010 11:43

SA online

I have deen trying to access SA Online all weekend and most of this morning.  I keep getting a "System error" with a suggestion that I contact the help desk quoting a 16 letter reference.  

Moreover I swallowed my pride and borrowed an MS Windows machine on the assumption that soemhow Linux had been disabled. 

Anyone experiencing similar?

Thanks (0)
By Anonymous
25th Jan 2010 12:01

No problems

I filed a return online on saturday morning and it flew through in seconds.

No problems today although its still showing position as of 22 January when looking at specific client detail.

Guess its your operating system??

Thanks (0)
By Anonymous
25th Jan 2010 12:50

SA On Line

 I too filed a return on line on Friday evening.  No problem with the submission, but I was unable to view, print or save the "coloured"

return.  Error message received - Internet Explorer unable to find file or website down, try later. 

I have tried several times since then, but no luck.

Anyone experiencing this problem?

Thanks (0)
By Nick E Morgan
25th Jan 2010 14:33

Why the problems?

In the next 24 hours this list is going to be full of professionals saying that they are having difficulty online: they can't print out, they can't get a receipt, they can't get onto the site. Why? When organisations like YouTube and Spotify can stream data to millions of people why can't HMRC have the bandwidth or know how to accept relatively small files.

I mean, it's not rocket science.

Come on HMRC, get your act together.


Thanks (0)
By ridgways
27th Jan 2010 17:53

HMRC message online service not available

I have encountered this problem from time to time and realised that if you follow the link you will generally, and magically, be able to access the service as if there was no problem in the first place!

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