IT glitch at HMRC forces delays as self assessment returns rejected

HMRC is still trying to rectify problems with the self assessment tax return online service for taxpayers attempting to use Verify to access online services

The system is now partly working so HMRC has confirmed that anyone who tried to submit a self assessment tax return online using Verify to access online services on 4 January should now be able to resubmit their returns if their return was rejected at the time.

However, for anyone who filed a return on 4 January 2018 and has not had confirmation of submission, HMRC says these forms should not be resubmitted as there is a processing backlog which the tax office is currently dealing with.

There are also issues with the direct debit payment service which means that self assessment taxpayers using Verify will be 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 is currently under investigation.

The recurring problems with HMRC IT systems highlights the lack of robust IT systems in place at HMRC, particularly during the busiest filing system of the year as the 31 January filing deadline approaches. This will become an increasingly serious problem once Making Tax Digital for VAT rolls out in 2019, followed by wider quarterly reporting for the majority of businesses from 2020/21 tax year.

Check HMRC service availability for updates on this IT problem

For tips and advice on avoiding the most common problems for taxpayers when completing self assessment tax returns, read Jonathan Amponsah’s useful article Top mistakes people make when completing their tax returns

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