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Revenue tax filing system struggles to cope with demand

The Inland Revenue’s website for filing tax returns struggled to cope with demand yesterday as thousands of tax payers raced to...

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The Inland Revenue’s website for filing tax returns struggled to cope with demand yesterday as thousands of tax payers raced to meet the 31 January deadline.

One taxpayer contacted Computer Weekly after experiencing difficulties completing his tax form online.

“Judging by the number of errors I am receiving it would appear to me that your website allowing individuals to file their self assessment forms has either crashed or this afternoon/evening [30 January] or has is been totally overloaded,” said one taxpayer in an e-mail to the Revenue. “Can you advise me when this will be rectified?”

A spokeswoman for the Inland Revenue said its online self assessment service had slowed down yesterday afternoon but was now running as normal.

“We received thousands of returns over the weekend. There is a very high level of demand and this resulted in the service running more slowly than it would have otherwise,” she said.

Earlier this month the Inland Revenue’s system crashed on due to a server failure.

The online filing system was available only intermittently between from around 3pm to 10pm during one weekday.

It is not the first technical failure that the Revenue’s tax filing system has suffered. In October 2002 the Revenue’s online system was overwhelmed with taxpayers trying to file tax returns online, and thousands of people were locked out of the system.

Last year around one million of the 9.5 million self-assessment taxpayers filed their returns online.

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