IT problem with HMRC's free corporation tax returns service

Despite efforts to move all tax transactions online, HMRC continues to experience IT problems, with the free corporation tax online return service failing to display the final submission status during filing, meaning that company filers will have to double check submissions

Taxpayers who submit returns using the HMRC free service will receive an on-screen acknowledgment (‘Submission successful’ or ‘Submitted’) during online filing, but this does not confirm the final status. This means that taxpayers need to doublecheck their entries as it is not clear at this stage whether the return has actually been processed.

Those companies using the free service will have to login twice to check the dashboard to confirm whether the submission has been accepted. The dashboard is the only place to see the final outcome, which will be either ’Submission error’ or ‘Submission complete’, which means the filing was accepted.

Until the problem is resolved, HMRC is telling taxpayers to ‘log back into the service following online submission and view the dashboard. You can track your submissions here to determine the final submission status anytime within 30 days of filing’.

An HMRC spokesperson told CCH Daily: ‘HMRC is aware of this issue and working on a solution. Any customer who doesn’t get the notification after filing their corporation tax online should check their account over the following 30 days after filing for an updated status.’

There is no projected date for resolving this issue, HMRC confirmed.

There is also a problem with the online tax registration return service for taxpayers who are already registered for the corporation tax online service. Any change of trading status cannot be notified via the online service, so for example if a company is no longer trading, is dormant or has reverted from dormant to active status.

Despite the move towards Making Tax Digital, which is due to make mandatory online reporting mandatory from April 2018 for all unincorporated businesses, landlords and sole traders registered for VAT, the tax authorities are struggling to offer a full online service.

To get around the online reporting failure, HMRC suggests that companies already registered (ie, those who have a user ID and password for the corporation tax online service) will have to contact HMRC in writing.

CCH Daily has asked HMRC to confirm when it expects to resolve these IT problems, but HMRC has not responded so far.

Further information about filing issues for corporation tax returns and service availability issues is available from HMRC

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