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Inland Revenue Tells People Not To Use Online Filing Service

by Jason Gorringe, Tax-News.com, London

30 September 2002


Unbelievably, given the tax agency's track record in this area, the UK Inland Revenue's advertising campaign for its online filing system has proved to be extremely popular in the run-up to the September 30 filing deadline.

There's only one problem. (Didn't you just know there was going to be?) The electronic tax filing system has become overloaded as a result of the more than 100,000 returns received thus far this year, and many taxpayers have recently found themselves unable to access the system between 7pm and 11pm, the most popular usage period.

Speaking immediately prior to the announcement that would-be filers should...um... not use the online system between those hours, an Inland Revenue spokesman announced that the agency was 'very pleased' with the response from UK taxpayers, who had just regained confidence in the service after it was shut down over the summer due to a security breach.

Speaking on British television last week, Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of tax at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) suggested that in the wake of this latest crisis: 'There should be a root and branch investigation into what is going wrong with the Revenue's computer systems. It doesn't do anything for people's confidence if they are trying to file online.'


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