Software Bug Prevents Business Owners Amending Tax Returns
Business owners submitting self-assessment tax returns may face delays on any rebates they are owed following a glitch in the Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) website, small business software firm Sage has revealed.
The online self-assessment filing system should allow users to amend their tax returns on the HMRC website as many times as they need before the 31 January deadline, to ensure the data they entered is correct. But due to a software bug, anyone trying to enter the system to make a second amendment has been locked out and shown an error message.
Sage said that small-business owners who have submitted incorrect data on the site and pay too much tax as a result could face a delay in receiving a rebate.
“The first thing to do when you encounter any issues with HMRC systems is to print out a copy of the error message you see on screen, so you can use this as proof, if necessary, that you were subject to system problems.”
said Sage accountants division spokesman, Andy Laver.
“You should also contact your tax office to make sure that they know an identified error is affecting you. And be sure to keep a record of the name of the person you spoke to and the date on which you called, together with the advice they give.”
“If systems are likely to be down for some time, writing to provide your tax office with full details of further amendments to your self-assessment return may also help ensure quicker payment.”
He added that if a taxpayer owes tax as result of incorrectly submitted their self-assessment, they may have to pay interest on any underpayments at the end of January.
HMRC spokesman, Andrew Bennett, said:
“This has only affected a few hundred people out of 6.8 million people who filed online successfully last year.
“Customers can file their tax return online as usual and make a subsequent amendment as expected. However, if they then wish to make a further amendment they are currently unable to do so. A fix has been identified and testing is about to begin ? further amendments to customer self-assessment tax returns will be available again in December.”
“Nobody will be out of pocket because of this issue ? everyone will either pay the correct amount of tax or get the correct tax rebate from HMRC. If the repayment is delayed directly because of this, interest may be available to those affected.”
Visit the HMRC website for more information about filing self-assessment tax returns.