Today is the last day for filing UK self-assessment tax returns, and believe it or not Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs website is struggling to keep up with demand.
Many people are getting 404 errors rather than the log-in page.
A spokeswoman for HMRC told the Reg: "The self-assessment website is temporarily unavailable for some people. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause." We were promised an update later including an answer as to whether people who've tried, and failed, to file online will still have to pay the £100 fine for missing the deadline.
Several Register readers got in touch:
In an unexpected move the HMRC website, being used by tens (possibly hundreds) of people to file their income tax returns and is running either at a snails pace or is claiming not to there at all (i.e. one gets a 404 from their ‘Welcome to Online Services’ page - where one needs to go to do the filing.)
Well, I know I shouldn’t have left it to the last minute but the site is completely knackered. It has gone from random 404 errors to a nice page saying online services are unavailable.
Have been trying to file my return since 8pm last night and the submit screen has just been hanging indefinitely - until now when it is just redirecting to the above mentioned error page. Of course I have been unable to get through on the phone either, and no recorded message on their help line.
Nice to see that HM gov have built another scalable and user friendly solution to help us all work more efficiently. Looking forward to my £100 fine already....
Reg reader Ben perhaps put it best:
Yes... Its that time of year again.....
Why when my 16 employee company can built a SaaS platform to handle 17 Million DB operations per day on commodity hardware and OS software (5-nines availability for the past 3 years), on an annual budget that is less that the (presumed!) salary of one of the senior bods at HMRC, can they not get their act together to build a reliable system that is capable of handling peak load at the one time of the year when we know it is going to happen.
Its not that difficult, cmon!
We'll let you know when we hear more from the Revenue. Yesterday they told us almost 3.2m people had successfully filed returns online. ®
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