HMRC Is Shite

HMRC Is Shite
Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

HMRC Experiencing System Problems

HMRC have just tweeted this:

"We are aware of issues affecting some of our online services. We are working to provide an urgent fix for the problem and apologise for any inconvenience caused."
Chris White just tweeted this:

VAT down (deadline for filing tomorrow), PAYE filing down, CIS filing down, self assessment filing down.... in many years of being an accountant and seeing HMRC's online systems go from infancy to today this is about as bad as I ever remember it. Everything's broken today!

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Anyone wanting to pay their 16/17 tax bill on a credit card needs to do so by next week - the 13th January 2018. After that date HMRC will no longer take any credit card payments.

    (It's a crazy, short-sighted decision by the hapless Senior Management to save a few pennies on transaction cost - due to new legislation preventing credit card surcharges being applied to the 'customer' - which will undoubtedly see an increase in uncollected tax debt, but that's a whole different story).

  2. I understand they had a major disk array failure in one of their data centres on Thursday but I thought that had been fixed.

  3. What is a disk array failure?

    1. Data being written to storage gets striped across multiple disks to protect it if one fails. If multiple disks go down or the disk controller is faulty then the system slows and then finally stops. The disk array then has to be repaired and rebuilt which involves taking it offline. According to what I have heard that hardware failure caused the outage on Thursday. Looking at AccountingWeb it seems Saturdays outage was a separate incident. God knows what caused the latest problem. There have now been two outages in the self assessment peak this year. HMRC can't blame the Aspire Contract for these problems the management of the IT systems was bought back under the Departments control in June 2017. They now manage all the day to day IT operations.

    2. Just to add that while disk array failures are supposed to be million to one chances the actual disks tend to be brought and installed in batches. This means if there is a manufacturing error they can all fail at around the same time. So HMRC may just be unlucky rather than negligent.

    3. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if HMRC are relying on luck rather than proper planning and resilience. It's cheaper, see? Good job it's not affecting any core services...