Inland Revenue website struggles with self-assessment

The Inland Revenue has agreed to extend the deadline for the return of self-assessment tax forms after its website experienced difficulties over the weekend due to the number of last minute filers.

The original deadline for the forms was midnight Monday, with late returns incurring a £100 automatic fine.

The Revenue's website was unable to cope with the sheer volume of last minute electronic returns leading to many taxpayers and accountants being unable to either file their returns over the internet or being totally unable to access advice pages.

After first rejecting calls for an extension, the Inland Revenue announced that the £100 late payment fine would be wavered for those who tried but were unable to submit their returns over the weekend if they re submit their returns within the next 14 days.

"We hold a complete record of all submissions over the weekend and if any of those failed submissions are re-submitted within 14 days of the date when we sent out the 'submission failed' message, we will waive any late filing penalty notices," the Inland Revenue said in a statement.

It also apologised for the disruption to the service but insisted that payments should still be made in the usual ways on time.

Freelance UK Tip: Don't be silly - leaving this kind of thing to the last minute causes too much stress. If you are not organised enough to get things finished in time to submit before the night of the deadline then pay an accountant to handle it for you.


2nd February 2005

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