Tax return deadline extended as HMRC site crashes

Online filing service goes down on deadline day

HMRC has been forced to issue an apology after its online self-assessment service crashed on the deadline day for submitting tax returns.

Reports of a problem with the site started to emerge early this morning as thousands of business owners and self-employed people tried to log on to submit their tax returns electronically.

A spokesperson for HMRC confirmed that a technical difficulty had occurred and the online filing service had been unavailable from Thursday morning.

“HMRC takes any disruption of service very seriously and apologises for the disruption,” the spokesperson continued. “As a result, anybody that files by midnight on February 1 will not be fined.”

HMRC said that 3.3 million people had already successfully filed their returns online so far this tax year.

More than 150,000 people reportedly filed their tax return on January 31 last year. Up until this afternoon’s announcement of an extension, thousands were facing fines of £100 for late submissions.

According to research by accountancy software firm Kashflow, 20% of small business owners did not expect to get their returns in on time this year.

Reasons cited included forgetting about the deadline, forms proving too confusing and not getting information across to accountants on time.

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2008

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