HMRC suffers tax computer glitch
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs has played down a software bug that has stopped hundreds of people from accessing their online tax returns.
The online Self Assessment filing system should allow users to amend their returns as many times as they like before the 31 January deadline, but anyone trying to enter the system to make a second amendment has been locked out and shown an error message.
“Customers can file their tax return online as usual, and make a subsequent amendment as expected. However if they then wish to make a further amendment, they are currently unable to do so,” a spokesperson said, adding that the issue only affected “a few hundred” of the department’s seven million “customers”.
As a result of the glitch, consumers could face delays in getting rebates if they have overpaid tax during the year, but the spokesperson said anyone left out of pocket would be recompensed.
“Nobody will be out of pocket because of this issue – everyone will either pay the correct level of tax, or get the correct tax rebate from HMRC,” he said. “If the repayment is delayed directly because of this, interest may be available to those affected.”
The spokesperson said the HMRC’s IT team had identified the bug and was working on a fix, which should be available in December.
It’s not the first time the HMRC’s Self Assessment system has caused red faces. In 2008, the department’s computers collapsed under the weight of traffic on deadline day, leaving 20,000 people unable to log in and file.