Following IT problems with the self assessment pre population service, HMRC has now confirmed that the system is up and running, so taxpayers can see pre-poluated data when they log into accounts but there are still problems with setting up a direct debit
However, there is still no resolution to the direct debit issue, which means taxpayers cannot set up new direct debit payments.
Individual self assessment forms are now once again being pre-populated with details of marriage allowance, national insurance contributions, benefits, employment, income and tax information.
Note that in order to access the service, individuals and agents will have to re-authorise their software and go through two-step verification and identity checks.
Direct debit set-up not working
There is still no fix to the problem with setting up direct debits for self assessment taxpayers using Verify, as they are unable to access the online service to set up a direct debit.
When trying to access these parts of the service taxpayers are taken to a ‘login’ page and cannot proceed any further. HMRC stresses that although the direct debit service is out of action ‘this issue won’t stop you from submitting your Self Assessment tax return’.
This issue has been under investigation since 5 January. The final deadline for self assessment returns for tax year 2016/17 is 31 January 2018.
Tax returns filed or part completed on 4 January 2018 - update
Following the problems with filing on 4 January 2018, anyone whose tax return was rejected and received a message on screen to ‘save the return and submit it later’ should ensure that this is done before 31 January 2018.
The whole system is creaking and HMRC is stressing that taxpayers must clear their cookies and cache to be able to submit the form correctly.
The HMRC IT availability notice states: ‘When you retrieve your saved return and you get the message “temporarily unavailable” you should clear your cookies and cache. Then click back to stage 4 “Fill in your return” and follow the instructions to complete the return.’
HMRC has now cleared the backlog processing forms successfully submitted on 4 January before the IT problem started.
Anyone who managed to file a return on 4 January 2018 and were waiting for this to be processed, HMRC says ‘this has now been completed. Check that you have received confirmation of your submission’.
Self Assessment: service availability and issues Updated 19 January 2018
IT glitch at HMRC forces delays as self assessment returns rejected [published 5 January 2018]