HMRC experiencing IT difficulties ahead of January tax return deadline
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has been experiencing a number of IT difficulties in recent days, as customers rush to file their tax returns before the 31 January deadline.
According to reports, several HMRC IT systems either crashed or went down completely on Saturday 6 January, affecting hundreds of taxpayers who had specifically set the weekend aside to file their returns.
A report in Computer Weekly suggests that several of the department’s most popular online services were affected by the issues, including self-assessment, VAT and PAYE.
HMRC’s self-assessment service also experienced issues a few days previous, with the service temporarily down on Thursday 4 January, too.
The tax authority received an influx complaints via social media, with many users struggling to perform actions via their personal digital tax accounts – and many more being locked-out of HMRC’s website altogether.
Since the weekend, the Revenue’s services are now back online.
An HMRC spokesperson said: “Our IT experts worked very hard to get services back to normal as quickly as possible, and services resumed later that day.”
The frustrating issues experienced by many users at one of the busiest times of the year for HMRC highlight the importance of forward-planning, and of avoiding peak times such as weekends when digitally submitting a tax return. It is also always wise to seek the assistance of a specialist accountant where appropriate.