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Sheer weight of Brits' interest knackers new tax tool

HMRC web calculator flooded by 400,000 punters

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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.

Taking into account how much money you're paid, the HMRC calculator shows how much of your tax is spent on education, health, defence and other areas. The calculator can also help people and bosses work out tax bills.

"Well over 400,000 people have accessed our online calculator resulting in a much slower service than we would like and for which we apologise," HMRC spokesperson Patrick O'Brien said, assuring us that a full service was being restored and that the mobile applications are unaffected.

The calculator is primarily aimed at people who are on Pay As You Earn (PAYE), the widespread system used by employers, and HMRC says that individuals' data is not stored after the calculation has been run.

The tool is available as iPhone and Android apps for those who want to audit their finances "on the go". The software has picked up a four-star rating on iTunes and a 4.5-star rating on Google Play. ®

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