back to article Sheer weight of Brits' interest knackers new tax tool

Hundreds of thousands of Brits were so keen to check what the government does with their tax that they crashed a new online expenditure calculator. The service was launched on Monday by HMRC, and promptly fell down again after getting 400,000 visitors before midday - although the service is now limping back to functionality. …

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FAIL

Yeah

I tried the site yesterday, down,, so I downloaded the app, quite what it does that 10+ year old pre-existing websites don't already do (apart from a thin veneer of BS about what your money is spent on) is beyond me. Try adding tax on petrol, heating, alcohol, cigarettes, VAT, etc and then give us a figure (i.e. add 20% to the figure that HMRC gave you).

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Mushroom

It's funny because

Your link had session data attached which bombs when anyone else tries to look at the link (IE try it on a computer other than the authors.)

It's funnier because HMRC can't build website for sheeeeeet.

Actual Link: https://esi2calculator.hmrc.gov.uk/hmrctaxcalculator/

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Trollface

Re: Er, no, actual link

Actual link*:

https://esi2calculator.hmrc.gov.uk/hmrctaxcalculator/

* Link may vary, no warranty, explicit or otherwise is provided etc.

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Happy

I prefer

listentotaxman.com - I find it to within a few pence of my actual payslips so I trust it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I prefer

A few pence? Hmmm. That sounds suspicious. You do know a company was recently fined for paying all their employees after "rounding down" all the payslips to full pounds. Might only be a penny or two, but if it's a big company or a large employment agent, it soon adds up.

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Re: I prefer

Slight differences are bound to occur between what the website calculates and what your employers payroll software calculates. I've used listentotaxman for years and as a guide, which is all its intended to be, its brilliant.

Eg. I know i am getting a £1,500 pay rise next month, and another £1,500 at the end of the year, so taking into account tax, national insurance and pension contributions, i can figure out with a good degree of accuracy what my new net pay will be, so can see that yes, i will still be quite skint.

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Re: I prefer

Agreed that LTT is very useful, but isn't it a completely different thing to this new HMRC dealy?

I can't check for sure, for obvious reasons.

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scaling

Of course something like this is going to attract a lot of attention just after launch, but it would be wasteful to scale a permanent platform for the initial load.

Of course the best option would be to able to dynamically assign hardware to services based on predicted and/or actual load,

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DJV
Alert

Re: scaling

Ah but that assumes the government/civil service actually knows what it's doing!

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FAIL

Re: scaling

Recyle, reuse, rinse, repeat. I posted this a year ago here, when the e-petition site went down:

Every, and I mean *every* time the government puts up a shiny new website it falls over due to 'unexpected demand'.

If you can't see the problem with that statement I can only assume you are a government IT provider.

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Re: scaling

A server rack just for roll outs of new sites and services. Good idea. Then when the demand drops off, you swap the spare servers to the next next big thing. I doubt many of these large companies or public service sites will have more than one project going on at a time, so you only need the one set of spare servers. They'll get plenty of use no doubt, and be worth the investment.

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FAIL

Re: scaling

Nice try, but due to (high - and no, you really don't want to ask - you'd just get upset) costs that the Dept's IT suppliers would charge for doing this work........it is better just to let it stutter along for a couple of days before the novelty wears off.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: scaling

I think HMRC (or rather whichever outsourcer runs it's for them now) has plenty of web-farm capacity. The spare Self-Assessment resources from November to Feb for one?

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Joke

Re: scaling

Clearly they scalled it towards the Greek market.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: scaling

@FartingHippo

How many times do we hear about them putting up another boring and limited use site that doesn't die on it's feet as it was spec'd correctly or overly so? Hardly never I would hazard a guess. So the exceptions like this new site are not the rule as you suggest.

No I have affiliations to HM Gov, just like to apply a little common sense instead of making unsubstantiated knee-jerk statements to rile the "Regiratti" into a lather.

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Coat

Hundreds of thousands of Brits

Arrested in co-ordinated DDOS attack on HM Government website.

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IT Angle

Has anyone written some kind of real time ticker? A widget for phones or desktop? Not because it's so interesting but perhaps if people could see the number ticking up all the time they'd suddenly get really interested in taxation rather than just grumbling a bit now and again.

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DJV
Happy

Be interesting if...

Wouldn't it be interesting if we had the choice of deciding where our individual tax goes. So, if we were pro something then more of our tax would go to that and if we were against something then our money wouldn't go there. It would be fascinating to see how that choice would skew the actual breakdown. Probably be an absolute logistical nightmare to administer though!

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Thumb Up

Re: Be interesting if...

Within 6 months Whitehall and Co would be running Bring and Buy sales to raise money.

It might be nice to see Bake Sales for Bullets instead of Hospices though.

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Happy

Re: Be interesting if...

We have: every 5 years we get to vote on them.

Now a discussion on the egality of our current voting system and the reliability of those we vote for...

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FAIL

Sooo.....

Is HMRC exempt from cookie law?

It didn't ask me if cookies were OK

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sooo.....

Is the answer yes?

It seems they are always exempt from laws. :(

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Stop

Cookie law

isn't the law that cookies used to provide the core functionality the user requested of the website are exempt ?

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Pirate

Re: Sooo.....

Meh, mere statutes and acts of parliament, they can be safely ignored by the free.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sooo.....

Now they are talking about 'implied consent' - which sounds a bit like 'don't bother asking'.

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Alert

Available on Android and iPhone

*Another* illustration of how Windows Phones is dead.

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Thumb Up

Re: Available on Android and iPhone

> *Another* illustration of how Windows Phones is dead.

I thought that as soon as I read the article as well. Given the depth MS is in bed with gov.uk PLC; the fact that they are not supporting Mobile WIndows is a major slap in the face to Redmond.

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Anonymous Coward

Will this site show me how much of my tax money was spent on developing these Android and iOS apps?

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Holmes

I would suspect it comes under "other".

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