Self Assessment Online recovers from peak load crash - UPDATEby
The Self Assessment Online portal has been restored to service in the mid-afternoon on Thursday after breaking down on the busiest day of the tax year.
An HMRC spokesman confirmed that the Self Assessment online filing service experienced 'technical difficulties' on Thursday morning, which meant that some taxpayers could not file online.
Just after 3.30pm, the department advised: "The system is now rapidly returning to normal levels of service." Because of the disruption, it also promised that no-one who files electronically or by paper by midnight Friday 1 February will face a penalty.
In spite of the system crash, 104,000 people filed returns on Thursday, the department said. So far, 3.6 million returns have been filed online, and more than half a million returns have gone through the system since it broke the 3 million mark at the end of last week.
The disruption to the SA Online site first emerged on AccountingWEB.co.uk at 10.15pm on Wednesday evening in an Any Answers post from a frustrated Nicholas Myles.
By Thursday lunchtime, 17 other members had reported similar experiences. The normal SA Online page was replaced with a message stating: "The Self Assessment online system is temporarily unavailable to some customers. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and are working to restore the service as soon as possible."
Several AccountingWEB.co.uk members using commercial applications commented that they appeared to have fewer problems than those logging in directly to SA Online. James Smith wrote: "I have actually been very impressed with the filing speeds this year - since January I am sure they have actually been somewhat quicker going through than during the other 9 months of the year, the only slow thing being the email reply which has taken a while to come through in the last 2-3 days rather than instantly arriving as it normally does."