Online tax return system buckles under demand


Online tax return system buckles under demand

Lindsay Clark

The Inland Revenue has given a 14-day extension to people who experienced technical difficulties in submitting self-assessment tax returns online before the 31 January deadline.

Demand for the service running up to the deadline delayed the Revenue’s attempts to send out validation to those filing tax returns online. The Revenue admitted that those who failed the validation might not have had time to rectify the return because of the delay and waived the £100 late penalty in those circumstances.

A spokeswoman for the Revenue said, "The systems were not running as fast as usual because of the volume of traffic. Nine million tax returns were issued in April. We would not be able to say how many would choose to return online in the run-up to the deadline."

The Revenue said that by 31 January the problems had been resolved and it had records of all who had sent returns before then. In the days leading up to the deadline it was receiving up to 30,000 returns each day. The spokeswoman could not say if there would be an enquiry into the problems, or if the systems would be upgraded before next year’s deadline.

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