Saturday, July 06, 2002

Looks like there's a lot to cover today. Let's start with the news, from Silicon, that the Inland Revenue Self Assessment service has limped back to life. That's a little bit disingenuous. The IR had a problem with their service, they took the site down to figure out what it was, fixed the problem and have put it back live. Only when they were absolutely sure that the issue was resolved and only when they knew exactly who had been affected and how could the service be restored. Silicon quotes an accountant, Chas Roy-Choudhury (who is often quoted when the IR are concerned), as saying that the only proper response is to give people an extra month to file. I don't see the logic there - the unavailability of the service for a month doesn't mean that at all. Completing the tax return online takes only a [relatively] short period of time and the deadline is still the end of September (if you want the tax you owe or that is owed you to be worked out in your tax code), so there ought to be time. The biggest risk here is that the issue puts people off using the service and, if that's the case, an extra month here or there won't make any difference. The issue is resolved now and it's been fully resolved ("110%" to quote the IR!).

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