PAYE e-filing system freezes advisers’ PCs

Despite HMRC’s claims that there were no major problems with its computer
systems, advisers claim to have experienced long delays.

The problem also appeared to cause PCs to freeze. ICAEW tax faculty deputy
chair Paul Aplin bemoaned the problems, claiming that on one occasion he was
only filed six returns in six hours. ‘We had 80 returns to file in the last
week. At that rate we wouldn’t have managed it.’

Aplin, whose firm AC Mole was an early adopter of electronic tax filing, said
that although the system had worked better than last year, the problems were
still not acceptable – especially with HMRC encouraging filing out of regular

Scottish firm Campbell Dallas said it had wasted ‘valuable time and money’.
Staff said that at one point it took in excess of an hour per return to upload,
‘freezing’ their computers.

HMRC said it was ‘pleased’ that more than 1.3 million organisations had filed
their returns online.

But advisers are also unhappy with the plans to shift self assessment
deadlines forward from 2008. Nine professional bodies are encouraging their
members to take part in an online survey, which will be presented to HMRC. After
just one week more than 2,000 practitioners have already taken part.

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