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  1. #1

    Contractor Among Contractors


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    Default HMRC Filing P11Ds online -- what a bunch of incompetents

    Warning, this is more of a rant than a question.

    So, my better half went online yesterday to try to file our P11Ds on HMRC's website. It didn't go well.

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    Two computers, three different browsers, same result.

    Call HMRC, go through the joys of waiting through all the recorded messages, etc, then the line drops. Thank you. Call again, finally get a person. The advice is to go through their recommended change to settings on Adobe Reader. It's been done, but we went through the process again. Same result.

    Call again, finally get a person, same advice. Yes, we have the latest version of Reader. Yes, we've done the settings. Oh, it must be because of your pdf plugin in Chrome. You need to disable that. Their instructions for disabling it are obsolete. We figure out how to disable it, and now the thing opens, but it won't open in Chrome, it downloads it and you can open it in Reader. But there is no way to upload the result after you fill it in. So now you can fill it out but you can't send it in.

    Finally, because I am determined and because today is the deadline, I decide to try Internet Explorer. Yes, it worked. I filled out the form (it only takes about 5 minutes, as opposed to the five or more hours total spent trying to get the stupid form to work). I save it as a PDF. I submit the results. I get and print a submission response with a submission receipt reference number. All done.

    Then, I go back and open the saved PDF to get the Class 1A contributions due, so we can make the payment. The saved PDF form is blank. Nothing I've entered there is to be seen. It is all gone, gone, gone.

    I call HMRC. I tell them we've spent at least five hours trying to get this to work, we finally get it to work, and then we get this. The guy says he'll put me on hold and go check something. The line drops. I call again. This time, when I actually get a human being, he says, "Oh, yes, the blank PDF is a >known issue<." Apparently it is a known issue that Internet Explorer works when some other browsers don't, too.

    I tell him that when you look on their service availability page, there is nothing that says there is any problem with this service. I don't tell him that HMRC technical incompetence is a known issue, but it does cross my mind. I don't tell him that if they were reasonable about IR35 they could probably get some good contractors in to fix some of these known issues. That crosses my mind, too.

    I ask if there is any way to find out if the form filed properly. Well, no, actually there isn't. Apparently it should show up on our account on their website in 72 hours or so, but since it hasn't processed yet, there is no way to verify it yet. But I "probably" wouldn't have a submission receipt if it hadn't gone through properly, you "probably" wouldn't get that if it was all blanks. So I asked how I can find out how much I'm supposed to pay, and he said, "I suppose you could go online, fill it out again, and make a note of what it says, but not actually submit it this time." I said, "Or I could add up the total and multiply it by 13.8%, right?" He didn't know the rules for tax on BIKs, he's just a technical guy.

    So, it's not hard to compute, I was just being lazy when I opened it up to check the amount. But when I saw it didn't save properly, I did want to confirm, since today is the deadline, that it got filed properly. I can't. There's no way to know. I won't be able to know for at least three days, by which point I'll be past the deadline, if anything did go wrong.

    So I'm assuming I should just do nothing, except file the printed submission response with the submission receipt reference number in a very safe place. I'll probably add a new folder to my filing cabinet, under the heading, "Idiots." Or maybe, "Idiots who apparently can't support any browser except IE, and even that doesn't work right."

    If anyone thinks there is anything else I should do (besides pay the tax), please let me know.

  2. #2

    More time posting than coding


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    Default

    Your rant sums up HMRC pretty nicely at the moment!

    Anyway, if for some reason the submission hadn't gone through (I'd be almost certain it has gone through) then first off you'd have a reasonable excuse for late submission so would be able to get a penalty waived if you made the submission as soon as you realised it hadn't gone through. Secondly, you would only get a penalty if the return wasn't with HMRC by 19th July as they don't start charging penalties until then so you would have an extra week and a half to get the submission made.

    Martin
    Contratax Ltd

  3. #3

    Still gathering requirements...


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    Default

    I de-registered for VAT for my ltd company back in Feb (Chose Feb for end date) and saw a success response on the screen. I then emailed my accountant saying that de-registration was successful and lived happily. Then in July I received a threatening letter from HMRC demanding that my return for the quarter ending June was not submitted on time and I have to pay a penalty. I immediately logged in and found that VAT was still *active* for my company. Went through the de-registration process again. This time along with a success response I also got an email with the same content.

    So moral of the story. If you don't get an email or a letter from HMRC there is just no guarantee what it says on the screen is true.

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