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back to article Record year for online tax filing - and phishing mails

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs is celebrating another record year for online tax returns, over six million people filed online this year. By the 31 January 6,429,899 people had filed returns online - three quarters of the total returns received. This is up 12 per cent from last year when 5.8m used HMRC's website. The busiest …

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Working Class and Glad

Things like this only remind me why it's so great being Working Class.

Now, if only employers would switch to advertising wages *after* tax, we could pretend we weren't even paying any .....

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Spam

I received several --- does anyone know how to forward them on to the HMRC? The concept of siccing the Tax Men on these bastards is one that fills me with a holy joy.

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Grenade

Do you know why the numbers are higher?

Let me explain.

If you want to file on paper, you can only download the form from the website. So far no problem.

Exceopt the use a nice aquamarine backgorund that doesn't print unless you are using a million poung laser printer or something (perhaps on photo-res on something cheaper it might also print out on a printe you actually own, except then of course you have to use special paper.

That is to say, it would be cheaper to employ an accountant than print out a paper return to do it off line.

So this year I filed on line for the first time, because I had no alternative if I didn't want tp pay to file my tax return. (complex circumstances not multi-millionaire, in case you were jeering)

You don't need another "getting my fscking government gateway pin" story so I'll move on.

Except, because I've only been using a computer for around thirty years, it wasn't exactly obvious how to navigate through the pages

And of course I made a mistake on the form leading to a huge overassessment

You don't need another "trying to get some sense from the telephone helpline story" so I'll move on.

Eventually I discovered it was possible to amend and resubmit. So I did.

However, what I didn't appreciate was that amending and resubmitting (that will only be the two of us then) leads to a system error so I couldn't then log back on to retrieve the amount I owed and pay it.

But it's alright, HMRC knew all about tis problem and on 15th January they posted a notice to the effect that: "unfortunately their 'software partners' won't be fixing it until February.

Actually, today, I notice that it seems to be fixed, so one is then caused to ask why it could be fixed sooner.

Not it mention, wondering if this system actually saves HMRC any money.

.

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@gerryg

"If you want to file on paper, you can only download the form from the website. So far no problem."

wrong, tax offices can also issue the form, infact they 'should' issue it to your address as a matter of course if you're required to complete a return

"Except, because I've only been using a computer for around thirty years, it wasn't exactly obvious how to navigate through the pages"

really? there is a next button at the end of every page to navigate through the pages

"However, what I didn't appreciate was that amending and resubmitting (that will only be the two of us then) leads to a system error so I couldn't then log back on to retrieve the amount I owed and pay it.

But it's alright, HMRC knew all about tis problem and on 15th January they posted a notice to the effect that: "unfortunately their 'software partners' won't be fixing it until February."

in the article it states how many returns was submitted to HMRC on the days leading to the deadline, maybe they couldnt risk making any ammendments to the backend systems incase it caused problems days before the deadline?

AC

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Megaphone

I was wrong, sorry

They haven't fixed the problem, merely removed the notification from the website.

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It appears that the difference between you and me...

...is that I went to a local tax office to obtain a form.

"We don't just issue them" quoth he (Why not?) faintly aggressively (Why?)

As I went to walk out, he said, "You can use that helpine over there"

As I approached the phone he continued "but you'll need your 10 digit UTR"

(a) Why? (b) Unlike many I suppose, I don't carry it around with me (c) had he tried using his own system?

Later on I phoned the the helpline, which not only didn't require my UTR, but was just an automated message telling me to go to the website.

So prithee, what alternative reality did you experience?

Further, I do apologise that the system was not obvious to me - unlike my bank, my insurance, Amazon, John Lewis, and so on

And since you know so much, perhaps you could tell me how many people amended their tax return

(a) this year

(b) last year, which was clearly such a small number that the error wasn't tested for when the system was changed

and therefore how much of the system overload was caused by people trying repeatedly to do something impossible, merely because the error message was so uninformatiive?

Penultimately pehaps you could advise as to what were those people actually supposed to do?

I know, ring up, did you see the NAO report? There's a link here on El Reg.

Finally, even for those that did know how to use the system, but amended their tax teturn, (or whatwever else causes an error) can you explain why it was easier than doing it on paper?

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↑ that

from hmrc's website

"The email contains a link to a fraudulent website that requests the disclosure of personal account information and password. The email is not from HMRC. If you have received a copy please forward it to us at phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk. "

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... and pay for the privilege ...

Being a partnership, we have to pay for "software" (actually an editable pdf form) to submit our return as there is no online version on the HMRC site.

The HMRC pages seem to be designed for them rather than the user, e.g. when doing our individual returns, at the beginning there are questions about whether you are employed as we as self-employed. Despite saying no, half-way through the form it asks if you want tax collected by PAYE (from a non-existent job).

There are also links that give 404s (not in the actual form)

When online filing first started, there was an error relating to charitable donations. The Tax office said there was a "quirk in the system". One of our sons suggested that this might Microsoft Quirk.

Send them a message? But don't use the wrong characters or carriage returns - but you don't get told this until after you've tried sending it, and it doesn't like pages referenced by URLs either.

They did reply to a question about the VAT pages -tried to find out why an old post code was shown but not allowed to access "my account". They said:

"I advise that you contact our helpdesk on the telephone number below as the ‘access denied’ error message that you detailed in your email may be linked to the ‘shared secret’ security questions on your account which may need to be cleared by an advisor after completing security"

So there! Except that no "shared secret" question had been asked.

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